Hold on. The rabid right is on the march, spreading its intolerance, bias, discrimination and hate among the population and, of course, declaring it is all “God’s will.”
Indiana recently joined the list of conservative collectivity by passing a “religious rights” bill that allows those who hate gays, blacks and others to practice bias and discrimination to do so without condemnation or punishment as long as they do it in the Lord’s name.
And while the Hoosier state revels in support from the racist right, it also depends on business and more widespread dependance on business, tourism and more responsible people who vote with their checkbook and reason.
A nationwide revolt against Indiana has spawned a “boycott Indiana” movement within social media. Consumer review service Angie’s List, last week suspended plans to expand its operations in Indiana. The move could cost the state $18.5 million in lost revenue and 1,000 jobs.
Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, writing in The Washington Post, calls the new Indiana law, and similar pieces of legislation in other states, dangerous, decisive and filled with hate.
There’s something very dangerous happening in states across the country.
A wave of legislation, introduced in more than two dozen states, would allow people to discriminate against their neighbors. Some, such as the bill enacted in Indiana last week that drew a national outcry and one passed in Arkansas, say individuals can cite their personal religious beliefs to refuse service to a customer or resist a state nondiscrimination law.
Others are more transparent in their effort to discriminate. Legislation being considered in Texas would strip the salaries and pensions of clerks who issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples — even if the Supreme Court strikes down Texas’ marriage ban later this year. In total, there are nearly 100 bills designed to enshrine discrimination in state law.
These bills rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear. They go against the very principles our nation was founded on, and they have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality.
“I have a great reverence for religious freedom,” Cook says. “As a child, I was baptized in a Baptist church, and faith has always been an important part of my life. I was never taught, no do I believe, that religious should be used as an excuse to discriminate.”
Yet religion is used as a rallying cry to promote discrimination throughout the nation and, sadly, right here in Floyd County. Anti-gay messages abound in sermons from area pulpits, ministers praise the actions of celebrity “born again Christians” like Duck Dynasty reality show host Phil Robertson, who uses religion to promote hate, racism and bias.
Robertson is currently under fire for telling a religious breakfast in Florida that an atheist deserves to have his family raped and murdered because people might not believe in God.
The criminals, Robertson said, “can look at him and say, ‘isn’t that great that I don’t have to worry about being judged? Isn’t it great that there’s nothing wrong with this? There’s no right or wrong, not is it, dude?”
“Phil Robertson is an embarrassment, not a hero, the the socially conservative movement needs to distance itself from him immediately,” says National Review reporter Katherine Timpf.
Don’t get me wrong — I agree that our culture is experiencing a terrifying shift towards censorship. People have become so easily offended that it’s almost impossible to say anything without someone getting upset about it; and concepts like trigger warnings, safe spaces, and microaggressions are threatening free speech.But none of this changes the fact that Phil Robertson is an ignorant buffoon, and that many of his comments — despite the fact that he does have every right to make them — are not ones that anyone should ever want to be associated with.Now, before you start composing your hate mail — think about it. Do you really want a dude who is going to publicly ruminate about the gruesome rape, murder, and castration of a man and his “little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters” to be an official face of your #brand?
Falwell started Liberty College (later christened a “university”) in Lychburg in 1971 and, in his “statement of purpose” called the school committed to “a Christian worldview that includes creationism, political conservatism and a firm support for American’s economic system of free enterprise.”
Pat Robertson offered the same rationale for Regent University, the school he started in Northern Virginia. Both schools are now stops for rabid right politicians who seek national office. Texas Senator Ted Cruz announced his 2016 run for President at Liberty last week.
Liberty’s “honor code” suggests a time in the past. It forbids pre-marital sex, bans dancing or even attending a dance and watching a R-rated movie.
Similar rules apply for Regent, where former Gov. Bob McDonnell, convicted and awaiting appeal on federal fraud charges. McDonnell was the first Regent alumni to become Virginia’s governor. He was the first governor to be convicted of felonies.