My religion says I must kick bigots square in the nuts.

This makes me sick.

A pending bill in the Kentucky state legislature could pave the way for increased discrimination against LGBT people. Patheos notes that human rights groups are going to battle against a bill that would allow residents to sidestep anti-discrimination laws if they pointed to “sincerely” held “religious beliefs” that justify their actions.

The bill is sponsored by a conservative Democrat and has already passed the State Senate. The legislation would boost someone’s ability to “ignore state regulations or laws that contradict his or her ‘sincerely held’ religious beliefs,” Patheos blogger Camille Beredjick notes.

This should tell you something about religion.  Where humans value equality, and even enshrine it in our laws, the recourse for the eager bigot is to the bible.  If you want to be less than the human ideal, your religion should not make you above our laws.

And if it passes, and you get to ignore the law if your religion says otherwise (how many CEOs will suddenly find justification for working people more than 40 hours per week without overtime within the pages of the bible?), I might just find the lord: a noodley lord, who told me through personal revelation that I am to kick bigots square in the balls on sight.

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.

  • Glodson

    I’m going to start my own religion with a sincerely held belief that God needs booze. And I’m god.

    Seriously, it is good to see people put their superstitions above the needs of their fellow men. The sooner we get rid of religion, the better.

  • smrnda

    The problem with this is that by granting exceptions for any ‘sincerely held religious belief’ it effectively makes everyone a law unto his or her own self, which defeats the whole purpose of passing laws to begin with since the basic idea is that laws are in effect in all places and all times.

    The appropriate form of protest would be for people to start inventing religions just to get around following laws, though the problem is that with Christian hegemony, it’s likely that not all sincerely held religious beliefs will be treated equally. We see this already where laws objections to contraception or homosexuality seem to be taken seriously, but anybody trying to say, not cover blood transfusions in their medical insurance wouldn’t be since their particular religion lacks clout. It’s a whole load of nonsense.

  • M

    So let’s see … I think my religion requires people to partake freely in nature’s bounty. Marijuana is natural and a critical ingredient of worship services. The Goddess also requires public altars at town courthouses- hey don’t ask me why, I didn’t set the rules, that’s just what She needs. You wouldn’t get in the way of my sincerely held religious beliefs, would you?

  • Loqi

    A friend linked this on Facebook. It made me wonder if the number of people following the Aztec religion is going to spike, since it would afford them a free murder periodically (per day? I don’t know much about the sacrifice schedule…). In court, it would become known as the Nanahuatzin Defense. There would also be the Kent Hovind Defense for tax evasion. Killed your kids because god told you to? The Abraham Defense will get you off the hook. Go on a killing spree? Just declare the victims to be “infidels” and you have an airtight Qur’an Defense. Hell, between the Leviticus Defense and the Deuteronomy Defense, pretty much any hate crime imaginable will be perfectly acceptable.

    • baal

      I suspect that ‘strongly held religious belief’ will get limited to ‘oh we meant christian (but not a sect or cult) only’.

  • pjmaertz

    If a Muslim man beat his wife or married a 13 year old using the Koran as justification, these people would go insane. And how does one define “sincerely held” anyway? Oh well, this shitty law clearly can’t be constitutional. If it is, I’ll have to start a religion that involves robbing churches.

  • The_Schwa

    My religion requires that I download music and movies without paying for them, and that I may infringe on the patent rights of others to my economic benefit. I can also drive drunk and have sex with 17 year olds. And once a month I can enter any of my neighbors’ houses and take what I can carry using only my bare hands (see how reasonable it is, since it forbids the use of wheelbarrows! God is truly wise!)

  • Reginald Selkirk

    I might just find the lord: a noodley lord, who told me through personal revelation that I am to kick bigots square in the balls on sight.

    Sexist pig.

    • Aoife

      Seriously. My noodly deity requires that I kick bigots, instead, square in their sensitive and delicate bits on sight. I must kick them on sight. I must kick them all on sight.

    • Artor

      No, no, no, you don’t understand. “Balls,” as used here, is allegorical, referring to the Holy Meatballs of the Great & Mighty FSM. A kick in the balls, in scriptural context, refers to the stomach, where all True Believers put their meatballs after partaking of the holy sacrament. What’s that? You don’t eat meatballs? Unbeliever! You shall be force-fed meatballs with extra marinara, and THEN we shall kick you in the balls!
      Jeez you ignorant bigots! Get it right!

  • iknklast

    “how many CEOs will suddenly find justification for working people more than 40 hours per week without overtime within the pages of the bible?”

    On this one, JT, they don’t even need the Bible, they’ve already got the labor laws. You give the person a particular sort of title, make sure you write their job description a particular way, then call them exempt. After that, the rules change. Which is why no one bats an eye when Larry Summers talks about college professors needing to work 80 hours a week; they’re exempt, they’re salaried, they don’t get to take 40 hour weeks. Management? Much of that is damn hard work, and much more than 40.

    Sorry to get off the track – just wanted to clear that up. That one’s already got a work around even without the Bible.

  • Ken

    So, once this is law, it will be legal for Muslim men to have sex with 13 year old girls in Kentucky? Legal for some Mormons to marry multiple women? Legal for Jewish and Christian daughters to rape their fathers by getting him drunk?

    The fundies warned me these things would happen once gay marriage was approved. When was gay marriage approved in Kentucky? I must have missed that announcement…

  • Randomfactor

    Solution sounds easy to me. “Sincerity” in religious belief is measured by a DEMONSTRATED tithe in excess of ten percent of gross income. The law doesn’t apply to you unless you can prove it with receipts.

    I suspect about 102 percent of the applicants would fail to qualify.

    • Christine

      You really don’t think that people would add an extra dollar to the collection plate just to get to be discriminatory? That’s a nice rosy view of human nature you have there.

  • baal

    Should this bill pass, I don’t see how it could possibly work. As noted, not everyone is on board with allowing free exercise of others religions (no blood transfusions for you!) let alone the issue of the rights of 3rd parties (but I want a blood transfusion and I’m not a part of your faith!).

  • Stogoe

    My religion demands I perform unnecessary surgery without anesthesia on at least one corporate executive every day. This holy sacrament also demands that I drain that executive’s bank accounts and mutual funds and donate the proceeds to myself and Amnesty International.

    I mean, I don’t particularly go in for the blood and the sharp implements and the screaming (dear Hoatzin, the screaming) myself, but I can’t argue with my sincerely held beliefs, can I?

  • pjmaertz
  • John Horstman

    Interesting; my religion mandates that I murder infidels. If I want to murder non-Christians, I’ll go Christian for the day. If I want to murder Christians, I’ll go Muslim. That protects me from any murder charges, as the First Amendment guarantees me the right to switch the crazy-ass things I believe without evidence at the drop of a hat; I think I’ll start with the Kentucky legislature.
    (NOTE: the above is satire intended to illustrate how absurdly stupid this bill is. I’m not really going to murder anyone.)

  • WCLPeter

    9/11 was perpetrated by people who held a “sincere religious belief” that they were doing Allah’s work by flying planes into the World Trade Centre. Since they’ve now done nothing wrong, at least according to this lawn, does that mean the US Military will pull out of the middle east and stop bombing Muslim countries?

    • Thumper1990

      And be prosecuted for killing Obama?

      • Thumper1990

        *Osama. Fuck, the Republican’s lies have infested my head.