As the faithful watch cruelty with indifference

Some days I cringe when I think of the people with whom I have to share the earth.

Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill that ensures Arizona workers won’t lose their professional licenses for denying services on religious grounds.

The bill is a broader version of the so-called conscience clause that Arizona and other states have recognized for pharmacists, physicians or other health care workers who decline to perform abortions or prescribe emergency contraceptives.

I guess, for some doctors, their allegiance to a discriminatory god is stronger than their allegiance to the Hippocratic Oath.

Proponents acknowledge there are no known incidents of faith-based discipline in Arizona. They say the bill is a reaction to cases in states such as Michigan where a student counselor was disciplined after refusing to work with a gay client because of her religious beliefs.

Republican Sen. Steve Yarbrough introduced the legislation, saying it’s “fundamentally wrong” that if “you don’t affirm the particular lifestyle, then your license is going to be at risk.”

It takes a biblical amount of moral confusion to think that affirming your empathy when others are sick means you are lending consent to the way they live.   It doesn’t matter if you don’t like that someone is gay, when they are sick, you fucking treat them.  If you don’t, your license should be lost.  You don’t just treat the people you think are holy enough to deserve good health.

This piece of legislation makes a simple announcement: that someone’s religious beliefs are more important than the well-being of others.  If somebody doesn’t live their life in accordance to your rules, then you have no obligation, as a doctor, to ease their suffering.  This is yet another example of Christianity aligning itself against compassion and calling it love.

What could cause human beings to adopt such an inhuman outlook?  Of course, the answer is obvious.  It’s the force that can make a doctor opposed to treating a sick person.  It’s what motivates throngs of people in states like Arizona to clamor for their personal prejudices to be enshrined.  In modern times, wherever you find the moral sickness of our ancestors, you are bound to find religion nurturing it to health.

Make no mistake; when you can stare at a suffering person with indifference, or even self-satisfied superiority, because they don’t dance to the beat of your mythological drum, you are heartless – and it is your dear, important religion that has made you that way.

And it’s not just the doctors flying hatred under the banner of Christ’s love.  This bill couldn’t have succeeded without a large number of equally cold-blooded believers in the citizenry supporting it.

And for you moderates who will comment and email me, listen up.  If you came here to absolve religion by telling me that the crowds of believers who supported this piece of wretched legislation have faith all wrong before taking your criticism to them, as though telling me about the goodness of god was more important than telling other Christians about the vileness of bigotry, then you are just as morally corrupted by faith.  You want to do something useful?  Get the fuck out of my sight until you realize that your job is not to make excuses to me – it’s to rebuke the evil of people who believe in the same bible as you.

Tell me again how religion makes people more moral.

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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.