Although there has been progress throughout America’s history, the idea of equality for every citizen has never completely caught on. Still, equal rights is purported to be one of America’s defining characteristics and it appeared to be what the Founding Fathers eventually hoped would be the case. Regarding equality and freedom for all Americans, there is a recent prescient quote the Constitution’s framers likely would agree with if they were alive today; “Those who believe in freedom must stick together; if it’s not freedom for all, it’s not freedom at all.” The problem with the statement is the speaker’s definition of freedom, and since it was a recent pronouncement, freedom likely means religious tyranny.
The cretin who wrote those words, Louisiana Governor Piyush ‘Bobby’ Jindal, not only disagrees with the statement, he has made opposing it one of the top three priorities this year as Louisiana governor. Jindal opposes more than ‘freedom’ is equality, and Piyush is so opposed to equality for all, especially the poor souls stuck in Louisiana with him as governor, that he penned an op-ed in the New York Times defending his concept of freedom; a concept that does not apply to all Americans.
According to Jindal, his religious freedom is so precious to him that he is “holding firm against gay marriage” because he “holds the view that marriage is between one man and one woman. Like many other believers, I will not change my faith-driven view on this matter, even if it becomes a minority opinion.” The most recent ABC News/Washington Post poll out yesterday found that 61 percent of Americans support gay marriage; Piyush’ faith-driven view on the matter is, and has been, a minority opinion for some time. It is not an opinion that is held by most businesses and large corporations Jindal is very angry at.
Jindal’s screed amounted to a solemn vow that he is not going to “bow to the pressure of left-wing activists and large corporations” who actually believe in and support equality for all Americans. In fact, Piyush did not mince words and laid down the law to IBM, Apple, Angie’s List, left-wing radicals, Hollywood, and the media elite he contends are openly hostile to Republican bigots in Louisiana. He said “A pluralistic and diverse society like ours can exist only if we all tolerate people who disagree with us” and his “clear message for any corporation that contemplates bullying our state” for being intolerant bigots is “Save your breath.”
What has Piyush in a religious huff is, besides the governors of Indiana and Arkansas “cowering and hastily retreating” from righteous religious legislation, that they backed away from large corporations and left-wing activists he claimed “like to bully elected officials.” Jindal believes the two Republican governors should have stood firm and not backed away from what he contends were “strong protections for religious liberty enshrined in the Bill of Rights.” The Indiana and Arkansas legal discrimination laws were not enshrined in the Bill of Rights or anyplace in the Constitution.
Apparently Jindal is unaware of strong equality protections under the law in the 14th Amendment and defended the Indiana, Arkansas, and now Louisiana’s “legislation as simply allowing an individual or business to claim a right to free exercise of religion” to discriminate, against anyone. Jindal’s interpretation of the Indiana and Arkansas license to discriminate legislation was that “an individual or business has the right to cite religious liberty as a reason for not participating in a same-sex marriage. After all, that is what Indiana and Arkansas sought to do.” There was nothing in either law that mentioned needing a reason for not participating in same-sex marriage and Piyush knows it.
What Jindal revealed he does not know is that corporations, including very large corporations, are in business to make money; not alienate 61 percent of their prospective customers or their employees who do not cling to ‘faith-driven’ hatred for the LGBT community. In fact, a letter from IBM warned Jindal “that a pending religious freedom bill would create a hostile environment for the tech company’s employees. IBM vice president James Driesse wrote that “A bill that legally protects discrimination based on same-sex marriage status will create a hostile environment for our current and prospective employees. It is antithetical to our company’s values. IBM will find it much harder to attract talent to Louisiana if this bill is passed and enacted into law.” Driesse asked Jindal to work with the legislature to “ensure this legislation in not discriminatory.” After making significant investments in Louisiana, including a substantial technology services delivery center in Baton Rouge, one might think Jindal would set aside his religion-based bigotry for the sake of jobs in the state; something Piyush is unwilling to do.
Jindal’s op-ed reply to IBM was “that to succeed in advancing freedom, the business community must stand with those fighting for religious liberty. The left-wing ideologues who oppose religious freedom are the same ones who seek to regulate businesses out of existence. The fight against this government-dictating ideology is one fight, not two that conservatives can allow large corporations to rip in half.” So there it is; the “you’re either with us intolerant bigots or you are our enemy” statement. It exposes Jindal as the religious fanatic he really is and one that large corporations are unafraid of.
Jindal is the worst kind of religious fanatic; one that will cost his state dearly in jobs and business revenue. In fact, Louisiana Senate President John Alario said the legislation that is Jindal’s top priority “puts Louisiana in a light of hatred and bigotry and discrimination.” The executive director of the Forum for Equality, SarahJane Brady said “This bill permits discrimination against interfaith couples and interracial couples; not just the gay and transgender community.” As Brady noted, “This bill is not about religious freedom — we have that guaranteed by the federal and state constitutions. The bill is a license to discriminate in Louisiana.” The Human Rights Campaign National Field Director stated what Jindal clearly cannot see through religious blinders; “Louisiana families are worried about making enough money to get by, securing a well-paying job, and building a better future for their children.”
It is obvious that Jindal does not believe that “those who believe in freedom must stick together” because his concept of freedom is not freedom for all, it is divisiveness. Like all evangelical fanatics, his interpretation of freedom is religious license to discriminate against any Americans his kind cannot tolerate and it is what drives inequality in America. According to Jindal, demanding equality for all Americans is radical and if businesses are involved it is corporate bullying; especially in Louisiana.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.