Kansas House passes bill allowing religious people to discriminate against homosexuals

I used to think tornadoes were the most destructive things in Kansas, then I got a good view of their state legislature.

The Kansas House on Wednesday advanced legislation that would allow a religious defense to discriminate against gays.

Yes, you read that properly.  The Kansas House, charged with maintaining equality for its citizenry, just passed legislation enabling, not prohibiting, discrimination.

State Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, defended his bill, saying it was meant to make sure government could not infringe on an individual’s religious beliefs.

“Free exercise of religion is at the core of who we are as a people,” Kinzer said.

Davis asked Kinzer if under Kinzer’s bill an apartment owner could cite his religious beliefs to fight a complaint if he refused to rent to a same-sex couple.

“That is generally correct,” Kinzer said.

Listen here: when religious liberty to you means arguing for carte blanche to mistreat others, you are not a religion of love or compassion.  These people have just canonized hatred as a protected virtue and attempted to hand a certain sect of the population the power to bully others as a right – and you bet your ass a lot of them will use it.  Kinzer thinks this privilege of faith should supersede justice.  This is apparently a privilege earned by being gullible enough to think someone rose from the dead 2,000 years ago.

Fucking Christ, this is why we atheists loath power in the hands religion, particularly a religion with a history saturated with divinely ordained prejudice.

State Rep. Charlie Roth, R-Salina, said that Kinzer’s legislation was “homophobic” and that it will hurt Kansas’ image. “It sends the message that Kansas is not welcoming. Kansas will become known as the land of the pure as defined by the few,” Roth said.

But Kinzer said local units of government should not be allowed to engage in religious discrimination against its citizens.

In arguing for the right to discriminate against gays, Kinzer has the gall to whine about how horrible it is to be discriminated against.  That’s fucking rich.  He also somehow imagines that if such license isn’t granted that the Christians are somehow being victimized by the government.

And it’s not just him.  The bill passed the Kansas House, and not by a small margin.

The bill was approved 89-27. Ballard, Davis and state Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence, voted against it. State Reps. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, and TerriLois Gregory, R-Baldwin City, voted for it.

Sadly, you don’t get that many morally demented people in government without a largely morally demented population to vote them in.  89-27?  89 to fucking 27!?  Seriously?  To all you believers, remember this the next time you want to tell atheist activists that we’re taking extremists as representative of the whole.

NO!  It doesn’t matter what you believe. You do not get to discriminate against blacks because of your religion.  You do not get to discriminate against women because of your religion.  You do not get to discriminate in deed against people with earrings, Hispanics, people with brown eyes, or any other American because of your fucking religion.  In America, the leeway to discriminate by action is not a right you get.  It is not a right any American gets!  It’s not a right any good person should even want.  But here we have a sterling example of how religion positively sucks at making good people.  Indeed, if anything, it empowers the evil.

It doesn’t matter how fervently you believe, it doesn’t matter how sure you are that god hates all the same people you do, that does not confer upon you an open door to infringe on the happiness of others.  And when you true, true believers dig up the temerity to get all huffy wondering why atheists disrespect you, this is fucking why!  It’s because you have failed to demonstrate the elementary cognitive capacity required to realize that people don’t rise from the dead and/or that gays are people just like you.  The idea that being religious sanctions the abuse of others should make any decent person want to retch, yet it is the people who imagine they occupy the moral high ground who will be most likely to embrace it.

It cannot be said any louder than the religious say it for us with legislation like this: religion is bad for humanity.

I want to make a joke about how Flying Spaghetti Monsterism arose because of religious people in Kansas doing amazingly thoughtless, maladaptive things, and how maybe we could use our own religion to discriminate somehow.  But I don’t want to discriminate.  I have no desire, even in jest, to argue for the opportunity.  The thought is just so awful to me.  Perhaps with a little prayer to Jesus I could find the thought less morally repulsive.

And to the believers who will email me, and they will, suggesting that I’m discriminating against religious people by calling out their bullshit, you listen up too: criticism is not discrimination.  Refusing to rent a house to someone, that’s discrimination.  Refusing them service in your restaurant, that’s discrimination.  Separate water fountains, being told you can’t marry who you love for some arbitrary, irrelevant standard belonging to someone else, that’s discrimination.  Don’t you dare to compare your privileged asses to the victims of this measure in Kansas by suggesting that somehow Christians are persecuted, especially when all you and your religion is getting on this blog is well-deserved criticism.  People like Kinzer and the people drooling over the chance to make the lives of gays miserable without fear of consequence are not the victims of persecution if they don’t get their way, and those of us with a moral barometer tuned in to the 21st century should be calling them out on not only their callousness, but also on their martyr complex.

And I’m just too fucking mad that after countless battles toward the end of discrimination in this country that we have to keep doing this shit.  I’m furious at religion for providing a shield for behavior that would otherwise be unseemly even in the surrounding camouflage of the most hicktastic episode of Jerry Springer.  Seriously, how else would this shit fly if gaggles of people weren’t convinced through faith that it’s god’s will?

Religion makes monsters of people while making them feel moral.  It’s revolting.  It’s evil.  It has no place in a civilized world.  The institution of religion, especially Christianity in the United States, should be opposed and disrespected at every opportunity for exactly the monument to archaic ignorance and immorality that it is.

Here’s the Kansas Senate roster: http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/chamber/senate/roster/

Here’s the House roster: http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/chamber/house/roster/

Go yell at them.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.