The Fallacy of Religious Liberty

By Jim Koury, Editor/Publisher, Diversity Rules Magazine
© 2015 Diversity Rules Magazine.  All Rights Reserved.

Eyes_Wide_Open_PicWith the Supreme Court’s momentous and historic decision to review a marriage equality case, the battle for full equality for gay Americans took a huge step forward.  It is widely expected that the court will concur with lower court decisions that same sex marriage bans are indeed unconstitutional.

Will such a decision change people’s minds and what they harbor in their hearts? Unfortunately not, since racism and prejudice still runs and will most likely continue to run rampant in our country.  Despite implementation of historic civil rights legislation and other Supreme Court decisions that overturned decades of institutional bigotry there are forces that wish to turn the clock back to a time when gays could be discriminated against in all areas of life, not just marriage.

As a proud, out gay man, I shall never go back.  I will battle full steam ahead until those forces who harbor hate in their hearts, and have attributes of the more dismal and darker side of humanity is contained and relegated to that part of our history that most progressive people want to forget.

Since the Hobby Lobby decision handed down by the Supreme Court there has been a revolting movement by the religious right and those religious based business owners to institutionalize their discrimination by claiming they do not have to serve gay people in their establishments because of “religious liberty.” They say that doing so would compromise and violate their religious beliefs.   However, rational thinking people KNOW it has nothing to do with “religious liberty” and everything to do with prejudice and discrimination.

What’s much worse, however, are those gay people that agree that there is nothing wrong being denied service in a public business establishment.  To them I say, what about blacks, Hispanics, Jews and all the other minority groups in this country?  Would you not take issue with a business owner that did not serve them?  I either have to assume they do agree it’s ok for a business owner to pick and choose who should patronize their business or they just are not thinking the issue through as completely as they should.  I sincerely hope it is the latter.

Where does this remarkably sad apathy emanate?  I do scratch my head in total amazement each and every time I hear someone say they are fine with business owners denying service to gay people.  It certainly is a failure on our part to not keep gay history alive.  It lays with our failure to instill burning images of a time when discrimination was the law of the land not only for gay people but for any minority that did not fit in with the white privileged society’s perception of how things should be.

As Cher said to Nicholas Cage in the movie “Moonstruck” — Snap out of it!  Get a grip and realize that you are hurting no one but yourself and the gay community, generally, by harboring such an apathetic, misguided perception of what is right and wrong.

It is also quite unfortunate that our country is now being governed by those who wish to institutionalize even further their religious bias and impose their faith based tales on a secular society. Claims by those who hold their bibles close to their hearts and claim America has been and still is a Christian nation need to go back to history class. They will certainly discover that many of our founding fathers frowned upon such religious zealotry and encouraged a complete separation of religion and state affairs.  As John Adams said at the signing of the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli, “The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded by the Christian religion.”  The idea that America is a Christian Nation is one of the biggest fabrications that the religious right uses in its attempt to  to institutionalize their vile worldview.

It certainly is time for the voters to wake up and get to the polls and remove these nonsensical people guided by fear and ignorance from office. Failure to do so assuredly will be a detriment to the American value of equality for all and everything else that this country has stood for and upon which it was founded.

Religious liberty is a fallacy in this case and does not apply.  Discrimination is discrimination and there is no way to get around that simple fact.  Hiding behind religion does not justify denying full and equal protection under the law to EVERY American citizen.


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