Mississippi HB 1523: Pathetic

Mississippi HB 1523:  Pathetic

Phil Bryant, Philip GunnWhile the title of this article could be used to describe the current Republican front runners for the Presidential nomination it sadly does not.  Instead it is meant to describe Governor Phil Bryant who today signed into law Mississippi HB 1523.  It is a bill which allows businesses in their state to deny services to Gay, Lesbian and Transgender people.  They masked this latest form of bigotry under the guise of a Religious Freedom Act.

After signing the bill, the Governor went on a local conservative talk show and explained it like this, “It prevents the “government from interfering with people of faith who are exercising their religious beliefs … in matters of marriage.”  Bryant said it would not allow discrimination of anyone.  So basically if you are a Gay, Lesbian or Transgender couple you can be refused service.  Sounds like discrimination to me.

Mississippi HB 1623 I guess “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL MEN are created EQUAL, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” are just too many words for those narrow minded bigots in the Mississippi Senate to actually understand what those words mean, You can’t have FREEDOM for ONE if you don’t have FREEDOM for ALL.

Religious freedom’s ONLY guarantee is that Americans have the right to worship the religion they chose in their house of worship and in the privacy of their homes.  When dealing with the public their religious beliefs do not trump any of the other freedoms guaranteed to all by The Constitution.  The First Amendment clearly states,

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

According to “The Legal Information Institute” the First Amendment Establishment Clause “prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.” This clause not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another. It also prohibits the government from unduly preferring religion over non-religion, or non-religion over religion.”

Reaction to this sad and pathetic attempt to trample on Americans civil liberties was quick.  The head of The Human Rights Campaign Chad Griffin said in a statement, “And now his state will suffer because of his ignorance and failure of leadership. Just as we’re doing elsewhere, we will continue to rally fair-minded voters, businesses, and civil rights advocates to repeal it.”

A spokesman from Nissan said, “It is Nissan’s policy to prohibit discrimination of any type, and we oppose any legislation that would allow discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals,

Mississippi HB 1623
Short Memory

Jennifer Riley-Collins Executive Director of The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi said:

“This is a sad day for the state of Mississippi and for the thousands of Mississippians who can now be turned away from businesses, refused marriage licenses, or denied housing, essential services and needed care based on who they are.  This bill flies in the face of the basic American principles of fairness, justice and equality and will not protect anyone’s religious liberty.  Far from protecting anyone from ‘government discrimination’ as the bill claims, it is an attack on the citizens of our state, and it will serve as the Magnolia State’s badge of shame.”

Managing attorney of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Jody Owens, called the decision “unconscionable.”

“This newly enacted law – like the draconian anti-LGBT laws in other states – uses the guise of ‘religious freedom’ to justify discrimination, mistreatment and bigotry. It’s the same sort of rationale used by white supremacists in earlier eras to justify slavery and Jim Crow,”

Mississippi Democratic Party spokeswoman Ouida Meruvia said, “Instead of tearing down walls that divide, the Republican Party has spent this session building new barriers of bigotry.  We must do better.”

The NEW face of bigotry in Mississippi
The NEW face of bigotry in Mississippi

And you know she is right.  At a time when the Republican Party is tearing itself apart from within, things like this just put another nail in the coffin.  If this keeps up much longer it won’t matter who we nominate to run for President the Democrats will sweep the White House rug right out from under our feet.  We must all unify against this kind of ignorant, narrow minded bigotry and let the world know there is no place for this kind of behavior anywhere in the United States.  Not now …not ever.

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2 Responses to "Mississippi HB 1523: Pathetic"

  1. Excellent article and I couldn’t agree more. The Republican party needs a transformation and a transformative figure. It does not need a Ronald Reagan. It needs a Teddy Roosevelt or a Lincoln! It also needs to focus on the individual, protection of the individual, protection of individual wealth and protection of individual rights; and not on corporations, not on race, not on the rich, not on any religious group (especially “Evangelicals”), and certainly not on the government. The Republican party has become the party of the old, rich, white, male reactionary. One only had to look at the campaign headquarters of Mitt (a sea of Wonder Bread) on the last election night to see what the Republican party has become.

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  2. By Reggie Secular

    One suspects there is a bias here that does not acknowledge reality. “Bigotry” has become a lazy rationalization to a difficult reality. If “bigotry” wins just because something offends us, without any demonstrable harm, this is censorship. It is a “trigger warning” to hasten you to your “safe place” less reality is uncomfortable, the political correctness of college campus gone amuck.

    There is an intersection of religion and state that has more significance than to shuffle it to the go-to argument of bigotry, “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.” And in many cases is this not reverse psychology or psychological projection?

    Where is the open mindedness for those who hold different opinions from oneself, given the premise of “do no harm? Is the Pope a “bigot” because he is for “traditional marriage” and against “abortion”? I think not!

    As to freedom constitutionality, The Westboro Baptist Church, a radical Baptist religion, with all its ugliness, has been legitimized by the Supreme Court. In an 8–1 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Phelps on March 2, 2011. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion stating: “What Westboro said, in the whole context of how and where it chose to say it, is entitled to ‘special protection’ under the First Amendment.

    Are those that disagree with the Supreme Court “bigots” or are those that agree “Traditionalists”??

    There are key words that play to political correctness rather than the merits of an argument. Some of those words are racism, bigotry, homophobia, classism, and xenophobia.

    There are countless religious who like the Little Sisters of the Poor, treasure their spiritual moral code, may not believe in homosexuality, gay marriage, abortion, their God, or even the extremes of any social issue.

    A baker should be reasonable enough to bake a cake for anyone. But they should not be forced, by the government, to put a “KKK” emblem in decoration. This is called “freedom’s accommodation”, not evident in today’s arguments.

    Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion are linked. Is it not somewhat hypocritical that we dance around the homophobic, sexist, Shira Law vituperation, the growing American “no-go-zones”, and the Fatwas culture of Islamic courts within our nation, which are destroying, by lack of reverse diversification, assimilation, America’s and Europe’s western culture by non-assimilation?

    We yield to the radicalism of the Islamic culture and grow barriers to the protection of our own religious to live their lives by their own moral code. Is it because, in the extreme, they will kill us if we legally object to their position on homosexuality, sexism, and strict interpretations of their “founding documents”? Is there a sense of cowardice, that Christians will not do battle, as patriots will? Is hell and the crucifixion too extreme???? Will we die for our country and not our religion?

    Do we side with or attack the Little Sisters of the Poor? They simply ask to do “public service”, the intersection of “public service” and “religious freedom”, without being “forced” to abandon their “spiritual” beliefs.

    The Islamic culture is allowed to wear garments at work, demand disruptive prayer time at work, and is forcing the Sharia Law construct onto and into our Judeo-Christian legal system, without any of the push-back passion demonstrated in this essay. If we surrender our Judeo Christin ethics, we surrender America. And isn’t that the aim of radical Islam?

    There is a marvelous technique is this soliloquy which conjures up all of the emotional baggage of the KKK, their religion was agnosticism and atheism, rather than the intellectual merits of the argument.

    And yet there was little acknowledgement that our founding Judeo-Christian culture is moving toward secularism, which historically has led to communism or anarchy, two extremes of the political continuum.

    Religion, by the separation of Church and State, was put into the realm of constitutional protection. Condemning by passion rather than argument, allowing for dictate instead of accommodation, is shooting the messenger….let alone deconstructing the constitution.

    Our Founding Fathers’ acknowledged that religion and education were the pillars of our culture. Our Judeo-Christian religions are under attack and our educational system has been purposefully diminished over the last century.

    If we label those who seek to honorably exist without compromising their beliefs as “bigots”, in a growing radical secular progressive culture, where the honorable traditionalists are strenuously battling for accommodations of religions against a growing secular populous that is trending to un-assimilate, it is we who may deserve that coronation!

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