SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- A controversial bill about religious freedom, signed by Indiana Governor Mike Pence, provoked national outcry from civil liberties advocates and drew harsh criticism against the Midwestern state. The law is reminiscent of Arizona’s discriminatory Senate Bill 1062, and also allows business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to refuse service to gays and lesbians. Pence defended his Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SEA 101) as a means to protect the religious freedoms of Christian-based enterprises. As most people know, the wealthy and powerful evangelical Christian community that runs the country has fallen under attack in recent years by a growing number of hysterical socialists who want to curb that community’s right to exercise its practice of bigotry and intolerance -- a fundamental U.S. freedom. But Gov. Pence claims that the law’s detractors have grossly misunderstood its reach. “The bill doesn’t discriminate against gays, that’s a false assessment and a narrow view of its scope; it discriminates against all groups of people that Christians hate,” he snapped during a recent press conference.
The legislation prohibits any state law that would infringe upon or “substantially burden” an individual’s ability to pursue his or her religious beliefs, so long as they are Christian, no matter how hateful, prejudiced or destructive they may be. In doing so, SEA 101 paves the way for open discrimination against members of the LGBT community, according to opponents. Pence, however, believes critics are focusing on one limited aspect. The law, he explained, would open the door for denying service and even employment opportunities to women, Jews, witches, wizards, atheists, blacks (who, the governor asserts, practice demon worship and voodoo), Asians (Buddhists, Shinto, Sikhs, Hindus, et al.), Muslims, divorcees, the poor and people who flagrantly indulge in Red Lobster’s all-you-can-eat shrimp buffet.
Religious critics who oppose the measure cite Matthew 22:21 in which Jesus states, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” Jesus clearly understood that one’s faith and one’s obligation under established laws belong to two separate worlds -- the essence of the “separation of church and state” clause in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Indiana lawmakers, opponents charge, have misunderstood the nature of this message.
“Such claims are not only gross understatements but misleading sentiments used by political opponents to further their own agendas,” Pence said. “The fact is, SEA 101 gives Christian entrepreneurs full license to refuse accommodations to any heathen, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.”
Religiously conservative lobbying groups have spent millions of dollars to back the bill, explaining that it promotes religious liberty for shopkeepers and service providers whose faith prohibits them from serving homosexuals. But again, Pence said the bill encompasses so much more.
“It’s cute when liberals call this a Jim Crow law for gays,” he quipped. “Jim Crow just targeted blacks. Our bill sets its sights on any distasteful group -- blacks, Christ-killing Jews, fruits, illegal aliens, women, you name it.”
Indeed, the bill’s aims are much loftier, although religiously righteous homophobia may have served as the catalyst. For lawmakers such as Pence, the bill defends biblically sanctioned homophobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, misogyny and more.
“Look, I believe a bunch of dirty Jews killed Christ, so under SEA 101, I can now hang a ‘No Jews Allowed’ sign outside my establishment,” Pence explained. “I think Mormons pervert the factual history of Jesus as outlined in the Bible, so I can refuse service to their cult, as well. In Deuteronomy 7, God tells the Israelites to ‘smite and utterly destroy’ foreigners. He also says, ‘Thou shalt make no covenant with them nor shew mercy unto them. Neither shalt thou make marriages with them.’ So this dovetails nicely with our forthcoming anti-immigration bill. We’ll be able refuse service to Mexicans, for example, and deport them. Maybe even more.”
Chapter 25 of Numbers illustrates the Lord’s wrath at discovering occurrences of interracial marriage, He kills the offending parties. Under SEA 101, Christian restaurant operators would have no problem banning mixed couples from their diners.
Throughout Corinthians, Ephesians, Timothy and Romans, to name a few books, the Bible mandates the silence of women and their subservience to their husbands. Under the provisions of Indiana’s new law, Christian shopkeepers can deny helping, or even acknowledging, unescorted or demanding women in their facilities. In Deuteronomy 22:5, women who wear similar attire as men are labeled “abominations.” Again, Indiana frees Christian-based men’s clothing retailers from having to deal with abominable women.
“It’s a much broader piece of legislation than gay rights groups believe,” Pence concluded. “I sincerely hope the true message and full breadth of the bill doesn’t get lost amid all the simpering, selfish and blasphemous noise of these mincing nancies.”
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