The Real Unseen Danger of Indiana’s Legal Discrimination Law

There is a legitimate reason Indiana theocrat Mike Pence claims he is surprised by the backlash against the religious law he just signed legalizing discrimination; there is nothing in the law stating it protects discrimination against, or targets the LGBT community. In fact, the law is very specifically written only to restrict the state from enforcing laws that ‘substantially burden’ religious expression; even though any sane person understands the law is specifically discriminatory on myriad levels.  Regardless what the Dominionist governor says, there is a deeper meaning to the legalized discrimination bill he just signed into law than targeting the LGBT community and it is stunning that according to the events of the past two years, most opponents of the law are missing the bigger picture.

The reason Pence signed the theocratic legislation in private was to conceal its Christian fundamentalist advocates and sponsors who have, according to their bastardized religious views, decided what activities constitute a ‘mortal sin’ they will not countenance in Indiana or anyplace in America. In fact, nearly identical religious legislation is being prepared for enactment in 23 states across the nation at the behest of Catholic clergy, evangelical fanatics, and anti-gay groups and not one of them mention gays or discrimination. Pence actually had two separate ‘signing’ sessions to accommodate the two groups pushing the ultimate “conscience clause” that targets much more than just the LGBT community and it is something outraged opponents of the Indiana law are completely missing and it is curious why they are ignorant of what the law really means for all Indianans.

In the first ‘official’ signing session, Pence is surrounded

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by 18 primarily religious supporters including the law’s three main sponsors, and several Franciscan monks and nuns. One of the monks celebrating preacher Pence signing the law, Fr. David Mary Engo of the Franciscan Brothers Minor in New Haven, was a key voice in testifying for the bill’s passage during legislative hearings. Engo complained about righteous adherent’s desperate need for relief from the substantial government burden being place on their right to free expression of religion. By now only a fool does not comprehend that in 21st Century America ‘free expression’ of religion means the legal right to impose theocratic tyranny on other Americans. For Catholic clergy, the right of ‘free expression’ is primarily controlling ‘sinful’ women who believe they have a Constitutional right to choose their own reproductive health; that the government protects their right is a burden on the Church’s right to free expression. It was the impetus of the Vatican-5’s ruling in Hobby Lobby that did not go far enough for Catholic leaders.

Make no mistake, Franciscan monks and Catholic nuns are not concerned about following a Jesus Pence asserted would never welcome a sinner in his business; their primary regard is outlawing women’s access to birth control their Vatican regards as a ‘mortal sin.’ It is why during Pence’s signing statement he specifically noted Notre Dame’s crusade against government overreach in the courts to prevent any women from accessing contraception the Church claims is a mortal sin. Of course the American Church hates the gay community with religious passion, but they hate ‘artificial contraception’ even more. The new law gives them religious and legal cover to deny women access to what the Catholic Humanae Vitae labels a “dire mortal sin;” artificial birth control.

It is why although the law appears only to target the LGBT community and allow the ‘faithful’ to legally punish same-sex marriage partners by refusing to hire, serve, or provide them with medical care, it is important to remember there is no mention of gays in the law. In fact, there were amendments offered to the bill that were designed to make it explicitly clear that the law was not singling out the LGBT community, but Republicans rejected them out of hand several times; likely after the Franciscan monk testified that the Church’s religious freedom was under government assault by not allowing them to control the people.

On Sunday, Pence defended the law and claimed it had nothing to do with discrimination and everything to do with “protecting religious liberties” and reminded that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act allowed private individuals and ‘corporations’ to cite religious belief exemptions during litigation. As Pence said, “This is not about discrimination, this is about empowering people to confront government overreach

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.” When Pence says government overreach, he means laws preventing religious fanatics from controlling women as much as the 14th Amendment protecting the LGBT community’s equal and civil rights.

In a second signing session staged for the benefit of another theocratic group, religious right leaders crusading against the gay community, sworn enemies of homosexuals and same-sex marriage dominated the gathering. Of particular note in attendance were Micah Clark who is an anti-gay crusader who preaches that homosexuality is a treatable disease and publicly raged against a lesbian high school student over a prom tuxedo; Curt Smith, who helped write the Indiana license to discriminate legislation and equates homosexuality with bestiality and adultery, and  Eric Miller who distributed flyers claiming that preachers are due to be imprisoned for preaching against homosexuality directly after same-sex marriage passed. Every time Mike Pence claims the law he signed is not about discrimination, he is lying through his teeth; a sin and violation of the Christian bible’s ninth commandment.

Obviously the Indiana law, like the 23 other states preparing to follow suit and usher in an age of religious tyranny and the end of equal and civil rights all have an anti-gay agenda. However, as ‘religious liberty’ laws they duly have no mention of the word discrimination, gays, or same-sex marriage that the overwhelming majority believes is their sole intent. These are conscience clause laws meant to give legal cover to any so-called religious devotee who takes it upon themselves to determine what is a sin, and how they react to that ‘sinner.’ That means that medical professionals can refuse to treat an injured person if they determine the person is a sinner. It also means a pharmacist can refuse to dispense contraceptives to a woman whether they are married or not.

The list of scenarios where a religious person can use ‘religious liberty’ as a legal defense is endless and although it appears Indiana’s law was created to target the gay community, believing it will stop there is a monumental error. Americans have underestimated the impending doom religious fanatics can bring on the nation for too long and what is happening in Indiana, and soon 23 other states, is a direct result of foolish thinking this country is immune from religious tyranny. If there is one thing history has borne out, there is no end to the damage religion can wreak on a society and American naïveté has played a major role in allowing this nation to fall prey to something as despicable as laws legalizing discrimination or controlling women. It is heartening that some members of the public are protesting the Indiana law because it targets the gay community, but the real danger is that they are missing the bigger picture that no group, race, or demographic in America is safe; including Americans protesting religious tyranny.

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Author note: The ‘alleged’ quote from Governor Pence regarding Jesus never welcoming a sinner in his workplace cannot be verified unconditionally. It was gleaned from a Facebook group’s posting here that included the statement in quotes attributed to Pence. There is, however, no way of knowing what Pence uttered during two different private signing ceremonies where in all likelihood Pence may have made the remark based on his ardent defense of the law. The statement has been removed; all due apologies.

 

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  • You cant believe anything these double-talkers say. The gotp are nothing but liars, self-righteous bigots who blame all their own failings on those who are successful...dems/Obama.

  • And yet this moron Mike Pence keeps claiming that this bill is NOT about discrimination made legal and is a strengthening of free speech by Christians..BU(($H(T!!! This law has absolutely NOTHING to do with the action of speaking WORDS and has EVERYTHING to do with out and out in your face DISCRIMINATION!!! I dearly hope tat the Reich Wing keeps pushing it's self in this direction until the entire nation wakes up before we find ourselves firmly in the grasp of a new American Bund 4th Reich.

      • These laws are all probes. The law under which she was imprisoned may not pass a constitutional test, or, more simply, her individual conviction may be overturned. The discriminatory "religious freedom"law that just took effect may be voided, or else simply repealed as bad for business. The California proposition may be kept off the ballot, and, as matters stand, can't become a valid law. But they're probes, and they're signals, just like the #47traitors letter. I am fairly certain we are looking at an intended coup, and at what we may expect if one is successful, openly or sub silentio.

        • You are so right. People are objecting to this law and rightfully so, but there is a bigger picture here. Dominionists are really pushing hard to get their agenda legitimized, and for the most part the larger American population is unaware. In order for us to fight these fascists more and more people must first, be made aware of what is going on, and second, organize ourselves into an anti-Dominionist movement that is unafraid of the Dominionist enemy and has an in-your-face attitude. These people are not our friends. They are dangerous, and they must be stopped. The only proper response to Dominionists and their attempts to make America into a theocracy is confrontation.

      • The sources I read said 20 years, and that she isn't being charged for having a miscarriage, but because she gave birth and then threw the baby in the dumpster. Prosecutors are trying to argue that the baby was alive when she gave birth, while she claims it was stillborn.

  • Seriously you guys, there are RFRA's in 20 states, and there is also a federal one passed 97-3 in the Senate and signed by Bill Clinton. The Indiana law is almost identical to the federal law basically making a balancing act of religious freedom vs. compelling gov't interest executed in the least restrictive manner possible. The only main difference is that the Indiana law extends to give some protection against private lawsuits rather than only gov't lawsuits as in the federal version. States had to adopt their own RFRA's because the supreme court ruled that the federal RFRAs could not be legally imposed on the states. Lastly, and most importantly, this law cannot be used affirmatively to deprive others of legal protections.Therefore, for example, the statement, " That means that medical professionals can refuse to treat an injured person if they determine the person is a sinner.", is blatantly and categorically false.

  • wait until the 'We Don't Serve Muslims', 'We Don't Serve Blacks', 'We Don't Serve Illegals' 'We Don't Serve Pagans' signs start showing up...

    • I think such signs are already against the law, according to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which protects people based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin from being discriminated against in public accommodations. Unfortunately, sexual orientation is not a protected category. However, this also means that heterosexuals can be legally discriminated against now in Indiana, as can women who refuse to cover their heads in Muslim owned businesses, unmarried couples who try to rent an apartment from a Christian landlord, evolutionary biologists who wish to be served a cup of coffee at a fundamentalist Christian owned coffeehouse, anyone who works on Saturday that solicits an observant Jewish mechanic to fix their car on any day of the week, and the list goes on. The Jihadists for Jesus white male heterosexuals supporting this legislation are too stupid too realize that this very same law can be used to discriminate against them on grounds other than their religion.

      • that might be true but given that the Supreme Court has already gutted the Civil Rights Act I can't imagine it would take much for someone to post one of those signs and then argue 1st Amendment rights...

        freedom of speech and freedom of religion... a 2fer...

        how do you suppose this court might rule?

  • Tyranny based on ANY ideology is still tyranny and there is no limit to what may be claimed by those who have the ear of a "god" This isn't about freedom of anything. It is all about repression and violence. Kill the unbelievers!

  • For Governor Pence to claim “...Jesus would have never welcomed a sinner into his workplace" is the complete opposite of the Christ represented in the bible.

    • The Jesus of the Bible hung out with: Thieves, Prostitutes, Adulterers, and Tax Collectors.

      His workplace? Earth.

      Try Again Governor.

    • Tea bag/repubs love to throw the constitution and/or the bible at people but they've NEVER read either.
      And their followers are too stupid to know the difference.

  • I am hoping the backlash from this despicable law is felt far and wide. And I am also hoping that we never ever elect someone like Pence or Cruz or Paul to the White House, where they will enact similar laws ASAP. The GOP is already trying, with their anti-woman laws, to pretend that there is no "WAR ON WOMEN." Right. It is not war; it is an attempt to just annihilate the female sex from anywhere but your bedrooms and kitchens. Is our vote next? I suspect there is already ALEC legislation waiting in the wings doing just that. Beware America. The religious crackpots are here, and they are taking no prisoners.

  • Wasn't one of the cries against JFK being elected that he would make Catholocism the national religion and making Vatican law the law of the land? It seems to me that this is exactly what these people are trying to do 50+ years after JFK was elected. Why aren't these zealots shouted down wherever they pop up? It's time for the majority of people who want true religious freedom for everyone to speak up and get these zealots out of power.

  • "On Sunday, Pence defended the law and claimed it had nothing to do with discrimination and everything to do with “protecting religious liberties”

    In other words, he tries to make it seem different and expect us to be stupid enough to believe it.

  • All he needs to do is add an antidiscrimination clause, witch he has refused to do. If he would do that, then this bill is useless for the purpose it was signed. Indiana, where being a bigoted @sshole is legal.
    The new state motto.

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