If you haven't heard or read all the ruckus surrounding the Indiana Religious Freedom Law – you must be hiding under a rock.
Being a Hoosier, I have watched the chatter from both sides of this event. I do get very frustrated at the number of people who are ill-informed but it's those who ARE ill-informed that are at the very base of the chaos and that's precisely what makes Indiana SO different from 18 other states.
What The Religious Freedom Law Is…
Under this law, people, regardless of their religion (this isn't just supporting Christians, just so you know), have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason that goes against their religious values.
What The Religious Freedom Law Is Not…
This is NOT an open invite to be mean-spirited and throw common sense out the window.
While people and businesses DO have the right to refuse, they CAN still find themselves in a court of law, defending their reasoning at which time it will be up to a judge to decide who is right and who is wrong.
By the same token, the Religious Freedom Law does not lend way for mean-spirited people to force people or businesses to cater to them, just because they can.
This law will NOT open a free-for-all for people to forgo common sense and force anyone into anything they are uncomfortable with.
SO, with that said…I think about the two most widely used examples supporting this law…
1. The Cake Lady
I believe she had every right to refuse service to a gay couple. I would hope she refuses service to the unwed mother wanting a baby shower cake or the adulterer who divorced his family and is marrying his mistress – but hey, that's just me.
I believe the gay couple who tried to force their hand by suing the business are nothing but bulling, fame-seeking, schmucks looking for a free cake and well-funded honeymoon.
It's her business. If she doesn't want to bake your cake, get over it, pull up your big boy/girl panties and go someplace else. Surely you have more important things to do than go after a small business owner.
Remember, Karma is a bitch and I hope you get yours soon enough.
2. The Nurse
The nurse who worked in a general health practice hospital who was called upon to assist in a procedure that goes against her religion.
My first thought is – was she a troublemaker who refused to do other work? Was she one of those women that others wanted to see gone? Was she a lazy ass, like so many people today, and looking for a free ride? Just something to chew on – because that's commonly the case. Just saying!
Now, if she is so strong in her convictions that she cannot morally engage in sterilization or abortive procedures – she should look for a job in a clinic or hospital that is more in line with her convictions. They do still have those, don't you know?
When you work for a company or organization – you are hired to do A job.
Indiana is a Right to Work State – Which basically means your employer CAN fire you for any reason, at any time, without notice and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. So if your job is important to you – do your job otherwise, there is someone else who is willing to take your place.
If an employer or a manager catered to everyone who had a problem with doing their job for whatever reason, it would become a real cluster! That's just not feasible.
Religious Freedom means YOU have the freedom to practice your religion in your own life, home and with whomever you choose to congregate with – including who you CHOOSE to work with. It is NOT the freedom to impose your views on others.
If your employer is not in line with your religious beliefs, get a job someplace else.
You do NOT force your employer to cater to you beyond making sure they provide a safe work environment in which you can work.
Religious Freedom does NOT mean you are free to bully others who are not of the same mind as you. NOR are they free to bully you based on your beliefs.
As for me…
If I don't agree with your beliefs, I will respect that – but if you try to force your beliefs on me, the people I love or the businesses around me, I will fight until I am blue in the face telling you to mind your own freaking business. I don’t care if you are Christian, atheist, gay or purple – you do NOT have the right to bully anyone, personally or professionally.
Religious Freedom is NOT Religious Control. It is NOT your JOB to save everyone on the planet.
What's funny is so many “Christians” (and I do use that term targeting a select bunch, not all – if I call you friend, I am not targeting you!) will try to force their beliefs on others – but when those people DEFEND their right to believe how they want – those same “Christians” see that as true opposition. Really, step back, ask yourself, who is trying to change who? Just because a person does not agree with you – does not mean they are trying to change you.
Pay close attention to the dialogue. If the person you are talking to spends more time defending their right to believe how they want to believe – the bully might just be YOU.
The vast majority of Indiana Conservatives are very forceful. It's either their way or you're going to burn in hell.
Many Hoosiers I associate with continually defend their rights as individuals.
And what's more – SO many seem to bitch about those things they can't really control. Please, stop wasting your time – don’t sweat the small stuff.
If people are gay – who cares? You don't have to socialize with them – you don't have to go to their house and coach them through sex – you don't have to be around them, at all. YOUR CHOICE!
For the most part, I love, admire and respect everyone. Your sins are yours and yours alone. They are yours to answer for and they are NONE of my business. So long as you live a life that adheres to the basic, good principles of the Ten Commandments (even if you are not Christian) I will always admire and respect you.
There are very few people I really hate – those who intentionally seek to harm my kids or my family – those who harm children and those who harm animals. If I am aware of such actions, I will invest an immense amount of time and energy into plotting their demise.