Once is nothing, twice is a coincidence, three times is a trend. This is the third time in less than a week that I’ve heard a Christian right bigot make the argument that making government officials apply the law equally to their constituents is “slavery.” Bryan Fischer is the latest:
“There’s a court hearing today before the federal judge, and she may order these probate judges to violate their own conscience and their own religious scruples,” he said. “She may order them to violate their conscience. You know what that is, ladies and gentlemen? You are ordered by an agent of the government to violate your conscience? That is tyranny.”
“When you are ordered by an agent of the government to violate your own conscience in something that you do, that is slavery. If you are forced to violate your conscience to do work, that is tyranny, that’s Tammy Bruce, that’s the gay gestapo. Tammy Bruce is the one that coined the term ‘gay gestapo.’ That’s the gay gestapo at work. You either do what we tell you or you’re going to get punished.”
So if a Muslim DMV clerk believed that women should not be allowed to drive, it would be “slavery” to force him to issue licenses to women, right? I mean, if we’re going to apply this “reasoning” consistently, it has to be. If one of those probate judges thinks interracial marriage is a sin — and I would be willing to bet some of them are; after all, a whopping 41% of Alabamans voted not to remove the ban on interracial marriage from the state constitution only 15 years ago — then it would be “slavery” to force them to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple, right?
They would say no to both of those questions, of course, but that only demonstrates that they don’t actually believe their own arguments. They’re not making a serious argument, they’re making a pretextual one and engaging in special pleading. As usual, when they say “religious freedom” what they actually mean is Christian privilege. I wonder who it was who invented this argument that is now spreading like wildfire?