Not just religious freedom hysteria in Indiana, but now more in Iowa. First we had the injustice of using state power to close Dick and Betty Odgaard’s business in Grimes, IA not for mistreating anyone, but for politely declining a request to participate in a ceremony that violates their deeply held religious beliefs. The issue wasn’t serving gay clients, the issue was participating in a ceremony (by the way, there is a religious element in all ceremonies). Result: They were forced by the courts to decide between violating their beliefs or closing their business. They chose to stop providing all wedding services, a major blow to their business
This week, we’ve had protests of Dowling Catholic High School in Des Moines who refused to hire a gay teacher. In this case the issue isn’t whether a business should serve all customers for any service, but the ability of a church to have religious standards for staff hiring.
Please Iowans, let’s not respond in hysteria like they did in Indiana about RFRA law with threats toward pizza restaurant owners. Let’s please slow down and have an adult reasoned discussion about these issues and stop bullying tactics of economic threats, legal threats, and using slurs like homophobia to demonize the other side.
How can we get back to real conversation rather than threats and slander?
We are all for reasoned debate right? How about freedom of speech? Still ok with that one? Do you know that freedom of speech means that people can have opinions that are different than yours without resorting to threats, name-calling, and calls for using the courts to make someone’s speech a crime? How about freedom of religion? Ok for a Jewish butcher to not handle pork? Ok for Muslim web designer to refuse to publish cartoons of Mohammed? Still tracking? Ok for people to exercise these beliefs in their business and not just for one hour per week during a specific religious ceremony?
Can we have a reasoned conversation? Spoiler: politically incorrect language (though not yet illegal) below:
In the conversation, can we include the health damage and the public cost of treating STD’s and gender reassignment surgery?
In the conversation, can we include the high suicide rates among the gay community?
In the conversation, can we include the damage to children raised in households with single gender couples?
In the conversation, can we include the draconian limits proposed by President Obama this week to prohibit any kind of licensed health care providers from persuading young people who admit they are confused about their sexual identity toward a straight lifestyle.
In the conversation, can we include the damage to others’ freedom when we threaten them for not anything they’ve done participating in wedding ceremonies (hint: a ceremony isn’t a legal term, it is a religious term)?
In the conversation, can we include the violation of article six of the Constitution that prohibits excluding people from political office based on religious tests when Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was fired not for treating anyone poorly, but because of his sincerely held religious beliefs?
In the conversation, can we include the inconsistency of company leaders like Tim Cook commenting on Indiana’s religious freedom law (nearly identical to the one Bill Clinton signed and nineteen other states have) while silently raking in millions of dollars in nations with poor human rights records?
Yes it is all that and plus that the Bible speaks about homosexuality in passages like Romans 1 and 1 Timothy 1.
Now back to love and acceptance… can we at least talk about “gay marriage” with all of these factors in mind rather than forcing a choice between complete acceptance or being demonized by some in the gay community?
To everyone who has been silently waiting until this frenzy gets to the church’s front door before speaking out on these issues, that day has come.