Happy Easter! Let's discriminate for Jesus!
The Indiana law and a pizza joint's rise to fame
A fellow hubber, K. David Ladage has written a piece on the legislation that includes the entirety of the actual law, so I won't re-post the legal verbiage here. In his article he provides a hypothetical that basically says that a Christian business who refuses to cater a gay wedding would be legally protected to do so, whereas a gay catering business that refused to cater the wedding of a Christian couple on the grounds of the couple's religion could face legal repercussions. This, of course, does not keep in mind the protected right of a private business to refuse service to anyone, any time, for any reason. That right, however, is almost non-existent in today's litigious society.
But that hypothetical has come true in the case of Memories Pizza, a small mom and pop business that stated they would not cater a gay wedding when asked about this speculative scenario in an ambush interview conducted by a rookie reporter. Memories pizza closed its doors temporarily in the wake of the backlash, depriving a small town in Indiana of what I'm pretty sure is one of the worst pizzas this side of Domino's.
But the social media attacks on the small town pizza parlor only served to create a sense of solidarity among so-called Christians who truly believe Jesus' ministry was one of underlying hatred and a promise of prosperity to those whose worship is pure. The owners of Memories Pizza have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the Tom and Betty Bowers of the world (see photo above), proving once again that American Christianity is as far removed from the so-called Messiah's words in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as Miley Cyrus is from any sense of propriety.
This is not to say that some of the backlash wasn't downright crappy. It doesn't matter what someone's opinion is, you don't threaten to burn down their livelihood because of it as Jess Dooley, a female coach at a nearby high school did when she tweeted:
"Who’s going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me?"
Ms, Dooley has since been suspended from her position. I'm not sure what Ms. Dooley's sexual orientation is but using stereotypical thinking (shame on me, I know), judging from her profession I can make a good guess. There may be ramifications stemming from this suspension as well. Despite the law, one cannot be fired for sexual orientation. Inciting arson is another matter. The outcome remains to be seen, but she's already received a mound of virtual hate mail, leading her to delete her Twitter account
There's no doubt this law and the reactions to it are going to continue to snowball into a fustercluck of monolithic proportions.
Arkansas Senator rears his Cotton-picking head again
Conservative reaction to the backlash
In addition to the significant amount of money (approaching the $1 million mark as of this writing*) the proprietors of Memories Pizza have received, every conservative in the country has come out in support of the Indiana law, with comments as varied as the flavors in a bag of Jelly Bellys and about as intelligent.
We have the Tom Cotton quote from above, basically stating that gays shouldn't be too upset by the potential discrimination the law affords, because they could be getting executed. In other words, have one's quality of life diminished is preferable to death. While this may be true, it doesn't change the fact that Republican thinking is barely one step up from that of Islamic extremists and lands in the same bailiwick of oppressive religious thought.
Cotton's thinking is just ludicrous and sad. This just in: There's every possibility that Cotton himself is homosexual.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have Pat Robertson of the 700 Club whose histrionics have reached mythic heights:
* Prosperity Theology in action
Pat Robertson on the gay conspiracy to make everyone enjoy taking it in the rear
He's sort of right about one thing, though. I don't really picture ANYONE wanting pizza catered for their wedding. There may be some sports fans out there who get married on a big game day and feel pizza is appropriate for the celebration, but I'm pretty sure that not wanting pizza at one's wedding isn't limited to the homosexual population.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence, the law and the subsequent back-tracking
Indiana governor Mike Pence won state leadership in 2012 on a typically Republican platform of fascist attitudes toward immigration and tax cuts (mainly benefiting the wealthy - one of the big ones was the killing of inheritance taxes, ensuring a future state population of young, rich sufferers of affluenza).
Like most Republican lawmakers seeking office, his platform consisted of a healthy dose of Bible thumping, twisting the words of Jesus to shore up the walls of bigotry and hatred that hold up the house of today's conservatism.
Faced with the tremendous amount of backlash since the inception of the law in March, Pence has backtracked and amended the bill slightly. Now it is NOT permissible to deny employment, housing or accommodation based on religion. Two major segment are not protected, however, and they may be the two most horrifying of the bunch.
Healthcare can be denied on the basis of religious beliefs. For example, a "Christian" pharmacist can refuse to fill a prescription for an assumed gay patient based on the pharmacist's mistaken belief that God hates fags.
Even more disturbing is the educational restriction. A teacher cannot intervene on an incident of bullying if the reason for bullying is based on a religious conviction. Now, the nerdy kid who doesn't like sports and prefers to keep his nose buried in a book can be picked on as a queer if the bully sites Godly admonishments toward homosexual behavior. Make sense? Well, it shouldn't, but neither does most legislation introduced by the Right.
Indiana is not alone
This is a list of states that have legislation similar to Indiana's:
- Alabama - in an actual constitution amendment
- Arizona - not surprise considering their immigration policies
- Arkansas - not as fascist as Indiana's, but on the books.
- Connecticut - I have no idea how Christian-owned antique shops will stay afloat
- Florida - again, no surprise
- Idaho - second largest Mormon population of any state - again, no shockers
- Illinois - really?
- Kansas - considering their treatment of Native Americans, no surprise
- Kentucky - hmm, I though banjo music and sodomy went hand in hand
- Louisiana - Bobby Jindal is governor. 'Nuff said.
- Mississippi - see Kentucky
- Missouri - ditto
- New Mexico - Arizona jr.
- Oklahoma - see Kansas
- Pennsylvania - largest collection of rednecks north of the Mason-Dixon line
- Rhode Island - this is a head scratcher
- South Carolina - still stuck in antebellum thinking
- Tennessee - see Kentucky and Mississippi
- Texas - the state that has included Moses as a Founding Father in history books
- Virginia - see South Carolina
This is turning into a social pandemic. Lovers of liberty for all and not just a segment of humanity, shudder. Shudder like a leaf under the onslaught of the Santa Anas.