4 Comments

Indiana’s RFRA & the Response: Hate or Freedom?

Indiana RFRA Protesters

Protesters demonstrate against Indiana’s RFRA in Indianapolis in March

There’s much of what looks an awful lot like “hate” being thrown around over recent events in our country. Some say “hate” is evident in laws passed by some states, laws (they say) which are fueled by the “hate” of supporters of these laws. “Hate” is also seen in the response to these laws by those who claim discrimination. From my vantage point (and I realize it is limited) the hate I see seems to be mostly coming from those in opposition to these laws. Not that they’re necessarily opposed to religious freedom per se, but rather (they say) their fear of religious freedom being a license to discriminate against them. Those in support of these laws strongly suggest that their opponents aren’t as much afraid of discrimination as they are insistent that everyone be forced to accept the LGBT lifestyle in all of its forms and wholeheartedly support them, even through participation in same-sex wedding ceremonies and celebrations, going against their religious convictions.

What has been the result? Passage of the law (and nearly identical laws in a number of other states as well as the Federal government) has not produced any identifiable discrimination toward those who claim that’s what these laws are all about (here, I am defining “discrimination” in the historical sense of refusing to serve individuals in your place of business as opposed to participating in a ceremony or celebration tangibly by catering, photographing, hosting, etc.) On the other hand, reaction to only “anticipated” discrimination from these laws has caused individuals, business and even governments to lash out against economic foundations which serves to only hurt small business owners and hard workers who have done nothing discriminatory or hateful.

I ask you, where is the “hate” in this issue? Where is the source of the problem? In laws that support religious freedom but have not proven to cause discrimination or in those who seek to do financial harm based on a “what if” or a “maybe”?

Indiana Pizza Restaraunt

Indiana restaurant worker who admits they wouldn’t cater a same-sex wedding ceremony

I dare say, however,  that the majority of Americans (on both sides of this issue) are not hateful people and so are not well-represented by those front-and-center in the current debate. With that said, most still have deeply held opinions, convictions and beliefs and would likely take a stand if -and when- it comes down to either compromise or submission. But I believe that for the majority of Christian Americans, their “stand” would not be the hate-filled vitriol we’ve seen so far from opponents of the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts but rather a disciplined reach for a balance of love, understanding and compassion with the necessity of maintaining a moral stance supported by a freedom to live out their religious convictions without compromise.

Unfortunately, based on recent history at least, it is likely that the gay-rights “activists” (not necessarily our gay friends and neighbors) who have insisted that they are being discriminated against at every turn will only respond to these efforts, regardless of how love-filled they may be, with more hate, rejection and legal challenges leaving people of faith with one of only a few options: compromise their religious convictions, which isn’t an acceptable option for most Christians; go out of business or change the nature of their business, which isn’t financially feasible for most small-business owners in today’s economy; or call upon the government and courts for protection of their Constitutional right of the free exercise of religion…which will put us right back where we are today.

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Photo credits:

Protesters: http://www.newsweek.com/what-indianas-law-everyones-talking-about-318494

Pizza restaurant clerk: http://video.foxnews.com/v/4149090757001/mainstream-media-attack-indiana-pizza-shop/?#sp=show-clips

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4 comments on “Indiana’s RFRA & the Response: Hate or Freedom?

  1. I don’t hate anyone, but ambiguous law is an open invitation to abuse it. The Indiana SB101 original version contained loopholes and protections not present in either the Federal RFRA nor other state versions. It absolutely needed either clarification or repeal.

    • Invisible Mikey: That could be. I wasn’t commenting on the law or its structure in this post, only the responses to it but I’m glad that you don’t hate anyone, that’s always a great first step toward getting along!

  2. Good article son. I believe our convictions are going to be challenged more and more every day and this is just another avenue of hate we will have to tolerate.

    • Cheryl Bryan: I think you’re right. Those with convictions (of any kind) will usually be targets of those with differing convictions, and I agree that it’s only going to get worse as our society slides deeper into the immoral abyss.

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