• Source: Twitter
  • Breaking: Indiana Governor Mike Pence Has Signed 'Religious Freedom' Bill Into Law

    Conservative Republican Governor Mike Pence has defiantly signed Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. What's next?

    Indiana has just become the 20th state to pass a Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. This morning in what was supposed to be a private ceremony with no press or public (although this tweet proves otherwise) Governor Mike Pence signed the RFRA into law.

    The legislation itself will enable anyone to discriminate against anyone else, with no fear of government intervention or punishment, merely by citing their sincerely held religious beliefs.

    The governor disagrees, issuing a strongly-defiant statement this morning.

    “Today I signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, because I support the freedom of religion for every Hoosier of every faith," Pence's statement reads. “The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action.

    The 55-year old Evangelical Christian Governor citied the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case several times, and pointed to other religious challenges to Obamacare.

    And he claimed the legislation has nothing to do with discrimination, despite factual evidence to the contrary.

    “This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it. In fact, it does not even apply to disputes between private parties unless government action is involved. For more than twenty years, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never undermined our nation’s anti-discrimination laws, and it will not in Indiana.

    UPDATE: $4 Billion S&P 500 Corporation To Indiana: We Warned You About RFRA, Now We're Out Of Here

    “Indiana is rightly celebrated for the hospitality, generosity, tolerance, and values of our people, and that will never change. Faith and religion are important values to millions of Hoosiers and with the passage of this legislation, we ensure that Indiana will continue to be a place where we respect freedom of religion and make certain that government action will always be subject to the highest level of scrutiny that respects the religious beliefs of every Hoosier of every faith.”

    Many on social media are outraged:

     

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    • commented 2015-04-01 16:19:30 -0400
      SALLY JESSIE On the face of it, this seems fraught, but look a little closer at the examples you’ve given. Crimes against humanity such as perpetrated by Nazis, lynching mobs like the KKK are hardly the equivalent of a gay couple plighting their troth. Even so, I would see all of these scenarios as an opportunity to “engage with the enemy”.

      In an earlier example, I pointed out that if I were a signmaker and the Westboro Baptist Church hired me to paint their “God hates fags” signs, I would find out where their demo was to be held, and take their money. Then I would paint 100x the number of signs they had ordered and I would put “God loves fags” on mine. Then I would get on the telephone tree and stage a rival protest.

      Your Nazi example – if I were a Jewish baker, I would arrange free delivery, at which would turn up in full Orthodox regalia with a cohort of other Jewish folk and allies assisting and engage them in conversation. I would let them know in no uncertain terms that their antisemitic cake had been baked by Jews. Might they really be so willing to eat this cake?

      Half the problem with the present discrimination scenario arises from the fact the Christians who want to refuse service to gay people don’t actually realise they know anyone gay, same with Nazis and Jews, and so we become caricatures, less then human who can be dismissed or even eliminated.

      There are a number of great videos on YouTube about engagement of KKK with blacks, that may surprise you.

      Example below (and there are many many more):
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldWf5Yj-RnI

      The Muslim example is easier to solve. If he runs a Halal shop, then he wouldn’t stock anything that he wouldn’t be prepared to sell to anybody and everybody. Just as the Jewish deli doesn’t stock crabs, mussels or oysters, the Muslim cake shop wouldn’t stock bacon, so he isn’t granting a service to one type of human but refusing it do another.

      To be honest, if I was concerned I might be asked to write something offensive on a cake, i would simply change my product range to make that impossible. One way is simply to not provide a message writing service at all, and just bake the cake. Let the customer write their own message on it. Another is to have a catalogue of standardised messages. The baker is then within his rights to refuse to a message for a gay couple, because he wouldn’t write one for a straight couple either, in other words he isn’t discriminating against anyone, and can still sell his cakes to everyone under the sun.

    • commented 2015-04-01 03:23:35 -0400
      What if someone went into a bakery owned by a Holocaust survivor and wanted a cake decorated to honor Hitler and the Nazis… What if someone went into a catering business owned by a black person and wanted an event catered that celebrated the KKK… What if someone went into a bakery owned by a Muslim and wanted a cake shaped like a pig with bacon sprinkles… What if someone went into a tee shirt printing shop that was owned by a gay person and wanted a thousand tee shirts printed that say, “AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW, YOU WILL FIND ~ AIDS!”……. It is NOT about discrimination or bigotry. It is not even about religion! It is about an individual’s RIGHT to refuse to do something that is against what they believe in!

    • commented 2015-03-30 18:38:24 -0400
      The constitution was written to regulate our government so it doesn’t become a totalitarian state. It was not written to regulate we the people.The constitution says Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion (make we the people practice a particular religion ) nor prohibit ( prevent we the people from practicing one) the free exercise there of. It wasn’t written to suppress religious liberty but to protect it. It doesn’t say the government or people in the government cannot exercise a religion. It just says it can’t make you do it. The Holy bible has been used for 200 years for swearing in elected officials and in courts of law. Many courthouses have had the 10 commandment for 200 years and many public buildings including in Washington DC have carvings, biblical quotes and statues of Christian religious figures like Moses. The White House for all of these years has been decorated for Christmas. Throughout our history people have understood that the Constitution never said our government or government employees can not be Christian. They understood the Constitution just said it can’t make you be one nor keep you from being one. There is no such provision in the constitution as separation of church and state. Publicly exercising a religion forces no one to participate. Prohibiting the public exercise of religion DOES suppress a persons religious liberty which is contrary to the constitution. Why in a nation that was founded for the sake of freedom of religion are only athiest and secularist allowed to have their beliefs influence our government and its laws? http://myemail.constantcontact.com/-Our-laws—-are-based-upon-the-laws-of-Moses-and-the-teachings-of-Christ——Supreme-Court-Justice-David-Josiah-Brewer.html?soid=1108762609255&aid=i1YmpCc8S1U

    • commented 2015-03-29 11:30:44 -0400
      Thank you Indiana for falling on the sword. You are helping to turn the tide across the country. Montana has rejected a similar bill. This is what Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said: “What’s happening in Indiana is something that shouldn’t be happening in Montana. We don’t need laws like that imported into our state.”

    • commented 2015-03-28 04:03:14 -0400
      The federal RFRA was held unconstitutional as applied to the states in the City of Boerne v. Flores decision in 1997, which ruled that the RFRA is not a proper exercise of Congress’s enforcement power.

    • commented 2015-03-27 13:53:30 -0400
      What is the difference between the apartheid of South Africa or the “no jews allowed” of Hitler’s third Reich? Is this the “revenge of the child abusers”?

    • commented 2015-03-27 13:15:56 -0400
      In this nation wherever intolerance and bigotry exist, there will be severe back lashes against the “freedom to discriminatr.” These laws will further impoverish those states that seek to protect the freedom to discriminate against someone based on hypocritical thinking of the person doing the discrimination.

    • commented 2015-03-27 02:48:08 -0400
      Where were all of the religious zealots during the AIDS crisis?? Nowhere. They allowed thousands of people to die a lonley, and painful life while Regan refused to even say the word AIDS. You should all hang your heads in shame. You will have to face God and explain your anti-christian behavior on judgment day. And now you want the right to tell my husband and I that you will not serve my kind? You do not deserve my business, and I hope that more business will boycott the Hoosier state. I was born and raised there, however I will never make that claim again. I am very ashamed of this action, and my heart goes out to all of my brothers and sisters living in this God awful state.

    • commented 2015-03-26 23:50:52 -0400
      To all of you who heard my Council of Nicea speech I was raised with Franciscan friars their robes are grey! 1600 years of human social evolution brought these people to their beliefs and to where we are today. If we where honest and open and found compromise not war we could live in a much different world. Their beliefs are wrong to us. As ours to them. Just know we are just as big a threat to there lives as you are to theirs. But they have a disease called religion And just as coming out or wanting to is center of your world God is theirs. Honest this country may get further if instead of breaking each others beliefs we tried to bend them with some fucking honesty and co-existed all the way around! Before you get angry those shit eating grins are not because they want to destroy you it is because they love God and think they are doing his will. I wish somehow there was someway to teach them that is exactly what we are!

    • commented 2015-03-26 21:06:23 -0400
      The only “freedom” the Republican party want is the right to refuse to sell food, education, healthcare, accommodation, transportation and other goods and services to gay people. With “deeply held religious belief” now legally enforceable, overturning the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, comes the right to turn away Jews, Muslims, atheists, African Americans, humanists, and “not the right kind of Christian”.

      Muslim shop owners can now legally refuse to serve women unaccompanied by their husbands, women with their clitoris intact, educated women, women not obscured by the burqa, women who drove a car to the shop, non-Muslims, or anyone with an iTunes account. These are all “deeply held religious belief” enshrined in Qu’ran / Hadith / Shariah.

      A supermarket employee whose religion teaches against smoking, drinking, contraception and divorce can refuse to sell cigarettes, alcohol or contraceptives to a customer, or anyone who is divorced, because of their religious belief against smoking, drinking, contraception and divorce. The supermarket will be unable to sack them for refusing to do their job.

      The GOP disingenuously know SCOTUS may overturn all these laws, but want their acolytes to know “at least they tried” to write anti-gay animus into law.

    • commented 2015-03-26 20:00:48 -0400
      Maybe the good people of Indiana should have been allowed to vote on this instead of trusting/relying on their apparently idiotic elected politicians to do what is best for their constituency?

    • followed this page 2015-03-26 14:12:29 -0400

    • commented 2015-03-26 12:08:10 -0400
      OTOH, this law should protect those who have deeply-held religious convictions to allow abortions the freedom from persecution. I’m not holding my breath.

    • commented 2015-03-26 12:07:28 -0400
      SCOTUS will inevitably rule this law a completely unConstitutional excuse for religious discrimination. And an attack on religious freedom. In the meantime, many people will needlessly suffer. A sad day indeed.

    • commented 2015-03-26 12:06:44 -0400
      We can – and we must – fight back. Many of the legislators who voted for this bill have outside business interests and we have the power of the Internet to help inform each other of what those are. If you know of any businesses that discriminate against any group of people for any reason – or if you know of businesses that are owned or controlled by these legislators, please register and report them at www.bigot.biz Most important, be sure to share this information with other allies. Let’s make them pay where it hurts most: in their bank accounts.

    • commented 2015-03-26 11:58:27 -0400
      The Christian Taliban strikes again!

    • posted about this on Facebook 2015-03-26 11:53:23 -0400
      Breaking: Indiana Governor Mike Pence Has Signed 'Religious Freedom' Bill Into Law

    • commented 2015-03-26 11:40:25 -0400
      Wonder who gets the contract to make all the ‘Christians ONLY!’ signs for the businesses…

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