Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Indiana - The Crossroads of Bigotry

I grew up in Indiana and most of my family still lives there. As you might imagine, I'm pretty appalled at my home state this week (more than usual).
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is set to sign into law a measure that allows businesses to turn away gay and lesbian customers in the name of "religious freedom."  Link
This is, of course, the trendy "let's allow people to discriminate against gays because they're icky" law being pushed across the country by conservative legislatures. Conservatives know they can't stop the tide of same sex marriage, which came to Indiana last year, so they want to make sure Teh Gays can't sit at the same lunch counter as them. And they justify it by claiming their religion requires the discrimination. In other words, Who Would Jesus Hate?

Of course the Christian religion also required discrimination against blacks after the Civil War, all the way through the civil rights era, and in some circles to today. Isn't it funny how religious decrees just happen to agree with these people's own prejudices?

So, my home state of Indiana, you have earned this. 

Awesomely, some caring people ( have stepped up and created stickers that businesses can put in their windows to show that they aren't assholes.

Eventually Indiana will get out of the dark ages. I look forward to it.


Marc Schneider said...

It's not entirely fair to say the "Christian religion" required discrimination against blacks. Most evangelicals opposed slavery and there were many religious people in the North that opposed discrimination. Obviously, it was different in the South, but what you are saying isn't much different than saying Islam requires beheading of people. Not every Christian person is anti-gay although I guess if you use "Christian" in a very particular sense (ie, meaning fundamentalists) it works.

Tony said...

I'm still trying to figure where in the bible does it say that it's a sin to make cakes for gay weddings.

If you're going to claim to be following the bible, you need to be murdering your gay neighbors, not just kicking them out of your bakery.

Ipecac said...

I'm talking about specific instances in America's past of people (mostly Southern, but not exclusively) using the Bible (aka Christianity) to justify slavery, violence, segregation and Jim Crow.

Ipecac said...

And *I'm* not saying that the Christian religion required it, but that *they* claimed their religion required it.

Marc Schneider said...

What's happened is that "freedom of religion" has become a mantra to justify all sorts of terrible behavior. In a somewhat similar vein, people will post a homophobic comment on a website, get criticized for it and then complain "what about freedom of speech" as if it they get to say what they want and no one else can respond. The thing is, I suspect Pence doesn't expect or even want there to be widespread discrimination against gays. I doubt that he wants restaurants to stop serving them. He is trying to have it both ways for political purposes. He knows that people aren't going to start kicking gays out of restaurants or something and that, at least in big cities (but not small towns) there will always be someone to do a gay wedding. The interesting thing to me is how, to some extent, these kinds of social issues (at least gay rights)increasingly pit business-type conservatives (generally establishment Republicans) against social issue conservative who don't care. This is sort of what happened with Civil Rights in the South, at least in the larger cities, like Atlanta and even Birmingham. The business-types thought the bad PR was bad for business and, to some extent, were willing to compromise on civil rights while the hardcore segregationists didn't care.