“Freedom of Religion” as Bizarre Right Wing Fantasy

without JesusWhat’s happening lately when it comes to “religious freedom” is nothing short of bizarre. Since when does ANYONE have to right to just flout the law and claim some sort of religious belief to get themselves out of trouble? Where the hell does that come from? Does this absolutism mean we couldn’t judge David Berkowitz guilty these days? After all, we can’t prove God didn’t speak to him through his dog, so maybe God really did tell him to kill those people, right?

Well, right?

Kim Davis, the county clerk down in Kentucky who has unilaterally decided that she is more capable of deciding who does and does not qualify for a civil, secular marriage license than the court system, is the latest cause celebre for the idiots on the right, who cite her as some sort of “religious martyr” because, as you know, if you cite God as a rationale for anything, no one can question that since you have “religious freedom.”

Davis is following in the footsteps of various bakers and pizza shop owners , who have decided that same-sex couples are not worthy of their wares, precisely because their version of “God” is superior and doesn’t approve of them. These idiots, too, thumbed their nose at the law and became heroes in the eyes of the most ignorant people in this country, many of whom believe they know more about the Constitution and the Bible than any of us “lesser” folks, even though they seem to have never read either, at least for comprehension.

See, here’s the thing, you “religious freedom” wackos; the Constitution applies to everyone equally. At least, it should; there are still a few gaps, like the one that says same-sex couples can be legally married, but if their boss finds out, he or she can fire them, but we’re working on that. According to the text of the Fourteenth Amendment, everyone is entitled to equal protection of the laws, which means they are entitled to the same protection of their “freedom of religion.” Got that? Everyone’s religious rights are supposed to be protected equally. (Yes, I know that’s redundant, but a certain level of redundancy seems to be necessary when talking about religious freedom.)

kim davisWhen someone like Kim Davis uses her phony piety to refuse to allow someone else to have a marriage license, she has raised her claimed “religious freedom” to a level beyond that of the people she’s dealing with, which is a direct violation of the Constitution. She claims her religion prohibits her from placing her name on a civil, secular marriage license, but what about the couple applying for that license? Obviously, their religion doesn’t prevent them from obtaining a marriage license; in fact, their religion may actually require it, which essentially means Davis is violating their religious rights by doing what she’s doing. In order to praise Davis for being so “strong” in protecting her own religious rights, you are actually praising her for denying the religious rights of others. Even for right-wingers, that’s absurd.

See what I mean by “bizarre”? These people have been convinced by their ideological propaganda that “Christians” are “under attack” and “oppressed,” which is why they believe such nonsense. But the question is, given that more than 70% of the population calls itself “Christian,” where is this “oppression” coming from? I mean, only about 2% of the population is Muslim, so they don’t have the ability to pass “Sharia Law,” so it pretty much has to come from other Christians. And that is why heaping praise on people like Kim Davis is so strange. Kim Davis is the one doing the oppressing. Based on pure statistics, most of the same-sex couples who were coming through her office were likely Christian, as well, which means it is Christians like Kim Davis who are oppressing other Christians.

Kim Davis has two choices in this situation. If she really can’t issue licenses to same-sex couples in good conscience, she can resign. Or, she can put aside her personal bigotry while she’s on the job as a public servant and obey the law and her oath of office. That’s it. Those are her choices.

stupidThey’re the same choices that people who own publicly operated businesses have; they can either follow the secular laws of their state or the federal government, or they can go out of business altogether.

Rights are a balance; everyone has them and everyone must honor them for everyone else if this society is to work. If your bakery won’t make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, then you can’t make them for anyone else, either. If you cannot cater a same-sex wedding with pizza (ahem), then you can’t cater any other gathering with pizza, either.

We separate church and state in this country, and we do so for a reason. Separation of church and state is the only way to preserve both. People who refuse to honor that separation have no place in public life, period.

Religion is very personal and the rest of us would appreciate it if you kept it that way…

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