“Too small is our world to allow discrimination, bigotry and intolerance to thrive in any corner of it, let alone in the United States of America.” – Eliot Engel
Too small is Indiana. Too small is Marion county. Too small is Indianapolis. Too small are the hearts of the 63 “lawmakers” that passed SB 101, otherwise known as The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, today. Too small. This bill, this act, gives the power to Indiana businesses to legally discriminate against potential patrons based solely on their religious beliefs. Let me write that again. Indiana, a state, is passing a law that would allow its citizens the religious right to discriminate. Church. State. Conglomerate.
Governor Mike Pence issued a statement Monday saying, “The legislation SB 101 is about respecting and reassuring Hoosiers that their religious freedoms are intact. I strongly support the legislation and applaud the members of the General Assembly for their work on this important issue. I look forward to signing the bill when it reaches my desk.”  Why is Mike Pence signing a law that, in his own words, is already guaranteed by the United States constitution? Because the United States constitution only goes so far to say that all citizens have religious freedoms and, I’m paraphrasing here, we should respect each other because we are human beings and that’s what a decent human being does. So, what’s with the law?
I remember telling people a few years ago that Mike Pence was a bad, bad man. There is not one compassionate bone in his body. When Jan Brewer and Sherriff Joe were on their illegal hunt for “illegal aliens,” Mike Pence proposed a similar law in Indiana. Seems there is some history here. A history of discrimination in the name of the bible. Why are we hiding behind the bible to discriminate? This is very confusing to me. I’ve written this before, but Jesus was a compassionate man that taught us to love thy neighbor, love thine enemy. Love. Love. Love.
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. – Matthew 5:38-48
So, now I am confused. When I take my young children to a store, how do I know if the store is owned by a person filled with hatred, or with a compassionate heart. Did they turn someone away because they were gay? Did they turn someone away because they Muslim? Did they refuse service because the woman may have had an abortion? Who are they to judge?
11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? – James 4:11-12
So what do I tell Kennedy? Miles? When Kennedy looks up to me and asks why the store refused to sell to the very nice lesbian couple in front of us in line and I tell her that it is because that the store owner is a Christian.
-But grandma is a Christian, she’ll tell me.
-I know, Ken. But, Grandma is nice. She is, nice. She’s very nice.
-Then why can’t those two mommies buy food for their kid?
-Because those Christians believe those two mommies are sinners and for some reason they can’t handle being a good human to her.
-But doesn’t Jesus say to be nice to everyone?
-That’s what I thought.
-Then why aren’t they?
-I don’t really know why, Ken. It hurts my heart.
-Mine too. I bet it would hurt Jesus’ heart too.
-Ken, you’re six years old and you get it. Please, please, please share this love with everyone you know.
It’s amazing that a child’s heart can understand the message much more than an adult’s. The reason is, that hate is a learned trait. You have to learn hate and disgust. Can we spread the word of love instead? Let’s stop the hate, please. Flood Pence’s office with a message of love. If he really is a true Christian, I suspect he isn’t, he would have to listen. I was having thoughts about how to spread the word of love when this new broke earlier, when a friend of mine share a post on Facebook. It’s below in its entirety. Please read it, and if you want to join in with the love, reach out to us. Remember that the world is too small for hatred, but it is a great size for love.
“I don’t usually talk about politics but I definitely have something to say about a recent development in the state of Indiana. I believe there is a silver lining to the so-called “right to discriminate” legislation. It gets the bigots and close-minded business owners out in the open. I have a feeling that most people wouldn’t want to do business with such close-minded individuals or give their hard-earned money to bigoted businesses. This legislation is the first step in recognizing who these businesses are. If there are business owners that believe open discrimination helps their business to grow and survive, then by all means they now have the right to that. We as consumers now have the opportunity to, first, know who they are, and, second, show them that discrimination is a failing business model by taking our money elsewhere.
Sure this legislation empowers businesses to “discriminate,” but it also empowers consumers to speak out against these businesses through economics. I, as a minority, surely would not want to do business with anyone that I know discriminates. The problem is that right now I don’t always know. Now I can.
My proposal is to start a forum for reporting these discriminating businesses and business owners. Sort of an “Angie’s List” of discrimination. I would love to develop a website that can effectively communicate to the entire Indiana community the reports of business discrimination. The problem is funding a project this large. My question: is there enough interest in this for me to start some source of crowd funding campaign?” – Richard Armada
Please to enjoy.