North Carolina Republicans temporarily forget they’re Americans

North Carolina Republicans temporarily forget they’re Americans June 13, 2015

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As of this past Wednesday gay marriage was legal in North Carolina. On Thursday Republicans who control North Carolina’s House of Representatives made sure it wasn’t (again).

Well, technically gay marriage is still legal in North Carolina. But it’s now the law that any country judge or employee with a hand in the process by which couples become married in North Carolina can opt out of doing their job if they harbor a “sincerely held religious objection” which leaves them offended by the idea of any particular couple—gay, interfaith, interracial, whatever—being married.

Can you imagine? What if you worked at WalMart, and thought that cat food was an offense against the animal kingdom? Then, when it came time for you to stock the store with cat food, you could say, “Sorry. I’m against cat food,” and quit working.

Man. Sweet job all of a sudden! Sort of. I mean, you’re still working at WalMart. But at least now you get to take super-long breaks. (In this case, six months long!)

What the Republicans of North Carolina have done is, of course, extremely unconstitutional. And they know it. They know all they’re doing is ensuring the legal system gets further clogged, and that extraordinary amounts of tax-payers’ money gets further wasted. But that’s okay with them, because now they have new reasons to posture and boast about what stalwart “defenders of the faith” they are.

And yet, despite all this, this morning I am cheered. Because this morning I read the below, which are quotes from three people involved in what happens, legally, in North Carolina. Read them along with me, and rejoice in their clarion call for all Americans—and yes, even the career Republican politicians in North Carolina’s House of Representatives—to harken to, and to remember … well, everything about this country that makes it purely awesome:

This law is nothing more than state sanctioned discrimination. It is a terribly misguided attempt to rewrite what equal protection under the law means. Equality and fairness are not principles that are decided on a case-by-case basis, dependent upon who happens to be working the counter on a particular day. Neither the United States Constitution nor the North Carolina Constitution permit any such thing. It is terribly unfortunate that this many elected officials don’t understand that. — Jake Sussman, awesome civil right lawyer.

Every magistrate and every elected public official swears to an oath to uphold the U.S. and North Carolina constitutions. At the core of both—at the core of our civic life—is the commitment that all persons be treated equally under the law. To authorize elected officials to ignore the law based on religious belief, in the words of Justice Antonin Scalia, invites “anarchy”—every elected official would be a law unto himself or herself. We are famously and importantly a nation of laws, not of men; [this law] flips that fundamental principle on its head and declares that we are not a society of laws but solely of men doing as he (or she) chooses. [This law] invites, begs, pleads for a lawsuit to declare it fundamentally unconstitutional.” Luke Largess, awesome civil rights lawyer.

[This law] is unconstitutional, and will undoubtedly be challenged in court. [It] is discriminatory and treats gay and lesbian couples as second class citizens. We are more determined than ever to achieve full equality for LGBT people in North Carolina and to ensure that LGBT youth know that they are not alone. — Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director, the Campaign for Southern Equality.

 

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  • Gee Deezy

    I think the religious discussion on gay marriage is heading in the wrong direction. God and Christ have taught us to love everyone first, but that if someone is doing wrong, we are obligated by His teachings to help them change, and or at the least, not participate in the their activities. Matthew 21: Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. — clearly Jesus loved these people, and he most likely warned them several times that what they were doing was wrong. At some point, he realized he could stand idle no more, and had to affect change. [Note that there is no indication that he physically harmed them, but he took action to stop their immoral practices.]

    I do not believe in gay marriage, and I wish no ill will on my gay friends and neighbors. I have no desire to harm them, but I certainly will not take part in a religious ceremony to marry them.

    So, the bottom line for me is: we should not generally treat gays with ill will, we should try to be loving and respectful. But we do not have to participate in religious ceremonies with them if their beliefs or actions are contradictory to our own.

    [That’s a lot different from your analogy about cat food.]

    Now, looking bake at those Christian bakers who refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding, my thoughts are:
    1) If they just come into your bakery to buy a cupcake, it is a violation of their civil rights to not sell it to them, just because they are gay. And, it is not in the spirit of love.
    2) If a gay couple comes in and says we want to bake a cake that supports our gay marriage, and that religious ceremony violates your personal religious beliefs, you should be totally within your rights to refuse.
    3) The question left unanswered: who gets to draw the line between civil liberties and religious liberties? I do not have the answer for that…

  • lymis

    I agree it’s unconstitutional. I agree it’s unChristian. I agree it’s unAmerican.

    One silver lining in the law – even if you have to wade through the sewage to get to it – is that the law doesn’t allow these people to pick and choose. They have to declare – in writing – that they refuse to do ANY marriage-related aspects of their jobs for ANYONE, and then they are not allowed, by law, to choose to do them for anyone, for a maximum of six months or until they declare – again, in writing – that they want to start doing their jobs again.

    Additionally, since the local and state supervisors will know that they have an employee who is exempt from their job, they are required by law to fill in the gap. It is illegal for them to allow the recusal of their employees to mean that any citizen doesn’t get the same service as every other citizen, including delays or “come back Tuesday when someone will be here.” If straight (or Christian, or same-race, or white) citizens can get a license at that date and time, everyone must, or the supervisor is in violation of the law. If everyone in any given office recuses, then the STATE must provide people who will provide those services at all times that the office is open for business.

    So, assuming that the law is followed – admittedly a big assumption (look how well everyone followed the “Don’t Ask” part of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – not a single recorded disciplinary action for anyone violating that part of the law) – no LGBT citizen should be inconvenienced, much less denied service.

    In fact, if the law is actually followed (again, yeah, right), as offensive as it is, the only people who will be inconvenienced will be the fellow employees who have to pick up the load for the people being paid not to do their jobs. THAT’S not going to go over well, and is likely to be self-correcting, and fast.

    And, when the law is inevitably selectively enforced, the law itself provides the very clear reasons that anyone denied service will be able to sue, and if a pattern of non-enforcement develops, the law can be struck down.

    Sucks. Sucks bad. But this doesn’t quite rise to the level of practical discrimination that some outlets are reporting.

  • lymis

    You do realize that this law is purely about civil ceremonies and filing government paperwork at the county clerk’s office, and has absolutely NOTHING to do with any religious ceremonies whatsoever, right?

    That it only applies to taxpayer funded government employees, and not churches, right?

  • To Gee: And you do realize, right, that the first half of your statement, “I do not believe in gay marriage, and I wish no ill will on my gay friends and neighbors” belies the second half.

  • lymis

    Thank you, John. I chose not to go there. Personally as a gay person, “I don’t believe in gay marriage’ cancels out the concept of “gay friends.’

    Preserve me from such friends.

  • Thank YOU, Lymis. I chose not to deal with the whole thing that you so aptly elucidated in the comment of yours I’ve featured.

  • Jeff Huckaby

    Except that civil servants are not representatives of a church; they are civil servants…providing civil services and licenses to tax paying citizens of all faiths, creeds, etc. When you step into a civil-servant job paid by the state or federal government (via tax payers), you become an American public servant above any personal religious affiliation. If personal religious convictions keep you from doing your civil servant duties, then you should choose to serve the private or religious sector instead. Freedom means having the choice to remain in or leave a work environment/job if you are happy/unhappy; it does not mean you are free to dictate to your employer (particularly the state) what necessary duties you will or will not do because of a personal bias (religious or otherwise).

  • lymis

    The distinction I so seldom see people make is the same distinction I’d see if someone was responsible for issuing licenses to open a restaurant.

    An Orthodox Jew might well disapprove of handling or eating pork for religious reasons, but nobody would consider a clerk in the city or county office checking the applications and issuing the license to a pork barbecue restaurant to be “participating in running a non-kosher restaurant.”

    If someone has religious objections to handling paperwork, speaking to the public, or using a computer, then they shouldn’t take the job. But they shouldn’t claim a religious exemption because of what people do outside the office with the licenses they file for in the office. Different matter, especially when taxpayer money is involved.

  • SonjaFaithLund

    “Preserve me from such friends.”

    Amen to that. Anti-LGBT is anti-me; there’s no other way to slice it.

  • Belinda

    I live in NC and am appalled. This is only one of the many things our state legislators and govenor have done to take our state back into the ’50s.

  • Sharla Hulsey

    And I don’t care what your religious beliefs are about anything. You are welcome to them. But you do not get to encode them into law, especially if they are discriminatory. The Constitution guarantees “equal protection under the law,” as well as freedom of religion. If your religion doesn’t allow gay marriages, great. Your faith may not dictate the law in this country. The end.

    This seems so blinking obvious to me, I can’t figure out why we’re still arguing about it as though we live in a theocracy.

  • Sharla Hulsey

    I think that’s what a lot of this is, actually. Take us back to the ’50s, when white men had all the power, and women and minorities knew Their Place…and a black man could never become President.

  • paganheart

    Bingo.

  • paganheart

    I think that some of these people honestly do not understand (or refuse to see) any difference between marriage as a civil, legal entity, and marriage as a religious ceremony or sacrament.

    My husband and I were married in a courthouse, by a judge. By law, we are every single bit as married as my sister and her husband, who were married in a church, by a minister. There is no difference whatsoever. (The opinions of a few of my fundie relatives notwithstanding.)

    What I seem to hear a lot of anti-same sex marriage people saying is that somehow, if same-sex marriage becomes legal, ministers and churches are somehow going to be “forced” to marry same-sex couples. That is not the case. Churches are free to pick and choose who they will marry right now, and I personally know a couple of heterosexual couples whom churches refused to marry. They aren’t filing lawsuits over it, because the First Amendment guarantees that churches can pick and choose who they will marry. The only reason a church marriage is even considered a legal marriage in the U.S. is because we allow pastors and priests to sign marriage licenses as officiants. Maybe that should change.

    Civil servants (aka government employees), including judges and clerks who issue marriage licenses, must, by law, serve everyone, regardless of race, sex, religion or (soon everywhere) sexual orientation. And if they can’t do that, then they need to quit their f—ing jobs, period. Plenty of other people would be happy to have them.

  • Timothy Gasper

    Jesus drove the moneychangers out of the temples because they brought greed to a sacred place. Jesus consistently condemned greed. Jesus never said one word about homosexuals. It certainly existed then, but it apparently wasn’t a big deal to him. It was only a big deal to St. Paul, who advised celibacy for everyone until Jesus returned.

  • scott stone

    Excellent point about possibly removing the status of Pastors and Priests as officiants. I still think we need to actually define what “marriage” is before we make changes and new law. Interested in defining the word?

  • Once, I heard a Southern Baptist evangelist say, “The freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion.” Over the following week, he and I had some very serious discussions regarding that statement. I know what he meant. He meant that people use that clause to get out of religious obligations when that wasn’t the intention of the authors of the Bill of Rights. Notwithstanding, my answer to that was when one writes “freedom of religion,” that in of itself describes a relationship which defines what is government and what is church. He, as a Southern Baptist minister, should know the principles of separation of Church and State. I then declared that evangelist was wanting it both ways, a person sitting on the fence looking to “play with the Devil,” and how hypocritical that really is. Though that conversation involved school vouchers (a big issue back ten or twenty years ago) and not necessarily marriage equality, my underlining reason is still there.

  • Sharla Hulsey

    I wouldn’t be bothered by not having to do the state’s job for them in signing marriage licenses. Let that be done at the courthouse. Then couples may, if they so choose, go to the house of worship and/or pastor of their choice for blessing of their marriage.

  • Sharla Hulsey

    …except folks for whom celibacy wasn’t possible, who were to marry. Paul knew nothing about sexual orientations. The only homosexual sex he knew was either exploitive or part of pagan religious ritual. He honestly said not one thing about committed same-gender relationships, because he didn’t know of any such thing. What people forget with Paul is that he was writing to specific churches to address specific issues they were facing. He was not writing Systematic Theology OR The Word of God For All Time.

  • paganheart

    That’s exactly the way it’s done in the UK and most other European countries, from what I understand. Any couple who wishes to marry goes through a five-minute civil ceremony when they purchase their marriage license at the at the courthouse, city hall or other office where licenses are issued. They are then free to have the religious blessing/ceremony of their choice, under whatever dictates their faith requires. Seems like doing that would reduce a lot of the drama and hand-wringing.

  • Sharla Hulsey

    I think Latin American countries do it that way, as well. But some provinces in Canada take things a step further, though, and say that ONLY ministers may sign licenses. But Canada has marriage equality, I believe.

  • Father Thyme

    Bigotry and religious fanaticism are as American as apple pie.

    Euthanize them.

    It would in time, it is to be hoped, effect a quiet euthanasia of the heresies of bigotry and fanaticism which have so long triumphed over human reason, and so generally and deeply afflicted mankind.

    (Thomas Jefferson)
    http://www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/jefflet.html

  • paganheart

    Canada has had marriage equality about a decade–or so I’m told by a Canadian friend–but I did not know about the minister rule. Then again, it is also my understanding that Canada doesn’t have an equivalent of the First Amendment in their Constitution (and if I’m not correct on that please excuse me; I’m having a lupus flare and my brain is too medication-addled to do research.)

  • Father Thyme

    Dan Barker, a former fundamentalist preacher, started this organization. Yes, we do have freedom from religion.

    Freedom From Religion Foundation
    ffrf.org

  • Father Thyme

    Are you ok with businesses refusing to serve Christians because they are Christians?

  • Jonathan

    I live in Virginia (just a stone’s throw away from the NC state line, so I have a lot of North Carolinian friends), and I know North Carolina recently tried to get themselves exempted from the First Amendment, so I think they’re willing to go to any length possible to bring back the “good ol’ days” when everybody looked and thought alike.

  • charlesburchfield

    aren’t you some class of fanatic & bigot? posting anti-christian messages seems to be an unhealthy obsession w you.

  • Father Thyme

    Thanks for the reminder that his letter is as appropriate today as it was 200 years ago.

  • charlesburchfield

    hey rusty! I’m here for you.

  • donnadaisyduke

    But the point is that none is ASKING you or anyone to marry gay men and women in religious ceremonies. Why do those of you who are against gay marriage seem to intentionally pervert the conversation to suggest that’s the case? It’s so vile.

  • lymis

    And all too often, this discussion ignores the real and growing percentage of denominations of Christianity as well as other religions that DO support same sex marriage.

    Whether or not the “religious marriage is purely heterosexual” argument was ever true, it certainly isn’t today.

    Increasingly, the question isn’t just “Why do you think anyone is trying to force your religion to marry same-sex couples” but also has to include, “Why are you trying to restrict the religious freedom of other denominations to do so?”

    We are well past the point where anyone claiming that “Christianity” disapproves of gay people, gay rights, gay lives, or same-sex marriage is either willfully ignorant or flatly lying. They are free to speak for themselves or to cite their denomination’s doctrines, but it’s a simple untruth that “Christianity” speaks with a single voice on this any more, if it ever really did.

    And people who claim it does need to be called on it.

  • lymis

    I think that a big part of why that discussion gets so muddled is that a lot of people take for granted that moral considerations arise purely from religion and that everything that can be seen through a moral lens is inherently religious.

    I’ve been in arguments with people who say that if you keep religion out of the law, you have no ability to legislate against things like murder, or even theft, because “Thou shalt not kill” and “Thou shalt not steal” are religious ideas.

    The fact is that something can have a very real moral, or even explicitly religious component and still have a perfectly valid secular basis. Civilly and secularly, murder is bad because it severely disrupts society and creates chaos, insecurity, and only escalates violence. Moral considerations aside, society has valid reasons to prohibit murder.

    On the other hand, as important as traffic laws are, the choice to mandate driving on a specific side of the road is not morally determined. The law has a solid secular basis with no overriding moral concern.

    But Baptism has a purely religious basis with no civil or secular parallel or component. So it’s left entirely to the religion to manage.

    We can, and must, separate Church from State, but unlike what a lot of people try to argue, that doesn’t mean that a particular idea can’t be valid in both spheres – it just has to have a valid basis within each sphere. If there is no civil and secular basis for a law, then it doesn’t belong being a law, no matter how firmly people hold a moral stance on it.

  • Father Thyme

    I know, creep.

  • Lookingup73

    He said to euthanize bigotry and religious fanaticism. Then quoted our great founding father, Jefferson, on the topic. Usually folks like Jefferson, even religious conservatives. But now you say he is an anti-Christian? I guess he was not all religious like most think, and yes he was for rational thinking, but I am not sure he was anti-Christian per se. So how is father thyme a bigot and fanatic? For wanting the n.c. Legislature to treat its citizens fairly?! Wow!

  • Lookingup73

    Doesn’t this open a whole can of worms? I am deeply ethical. I abhor lying and cheating and stealing. If work as a bank teller, can I refuse to deposit a mega-church pastor’s money? I really don’t want to have any part in the ceremony of swindling people out of their money.

    Now, it sounded like you were defending the n.c. Law. If so, then you would support my example. However, if you were merely stating that pastors should not have to participate in gay marriage in a religious ceremony, but judges should have to perform civil gay marriages (I.e., do their job that we pay them for), then I agree with you and my example is off the table.

  • Lookingup73

    No one ever answers that question. I think it should be okay. A) it is a lifestyle choice that is highly offensive to me and b) it is against my deeply held beliefs to support Christian belief. THAT is their logic against gays, why can’t they see how absurd it is?!?!

  • charlesburchfield

    ‘if you’re hostile you’ll live in a hostile world. If you are loving you’ll live in a loving world.’~KEN KESEY
    I think if one stays determined to live & let live one has a chance to see the truth unfold that one is part of the whole miracle of being alive now co-creating an atmosphere of loving permission to process historical traumas that have put life together on this planet at risk. I’m here for you & I will never stop loving you.

  • charlesburchfield

    I don’t know if jefferson is anti christian. I think The person posting is.

  • I think that a big part of why that discussion gets so muddled is that a lot of people take for granted that moral considerations arise purely from religion and that everything that can be seen through a moral lens is inherently religious.

    I am very familiar with that point of view. And, I agree. That does muddle the waters. How I normally counter that viewpoint is this: If religion is the only thing that is stopping you from killing someone, then religion isn’t what you need. What you need is empathy. Then I tag this on: Perhaps that is why you cannot see that it is morally right to NOT discriminate against anyone?

    I don’t convince them except on rare occasions, one or two would think about that, come back to me and say, “I guess you’re right;” or, “never thought of that.” But even if the fundamentalist or evangelical aren’t shocked into seeing the light, most of the time they do get frustrated enough to where they will drop the subject immediately…

    Out of those two exceptions ^^ above, I think I got to them at a time in which they really needed to hear that. One had a “BFF” who recently “came out of the closet” and the other had a brother who did the same thing. I think both were struggling with how to reconcile their fundamental beliefs and still show acceptance to others. I just happened to be there at the right place, right time, and right frame of mind…

  • Father Thyme

    Stop being hostile then.

  • The idea that two people of the same gender could have committed lifetime affection and love for one another is actually a pretty recent concept. Not that there were no lifelong relationships in the ancient past, but it was never out in the open and most people never thought it could happen. This is why the word homosexual wasn’t coined until 150 years or so… That is why I sincerely doubt that the Apostle Paul would be against marriage equality as understood today.

    That deal with Romans 1, it mentions burn with lust for one another. That automatically screams out some sort of addiction. The idea that God left them to their passions confirms this for me. This is not talking about homosexuality as we understand it, but promiscuity in general. It is the idea that we have lost all control of ourselves, to where we have this burning desire to fill something deep within us, this gaping empty hole. What we need is Divine Love but since that has become inaccessible to us, we substitute something else for it. For many, it is money, a lot also substitute food, for some it is alcohol, for others it is sex. Greedy folks, gluttons, drunkards and prostitutes — how nice? Each of them suffering from a lack of something, so they fill it with what is available to them, in every form possible, even though they would not do so in their natural normal state.

    As far as 1 Corinthians 6 and 1 Timothy 1 are concerned with, that word Paul used (though most scholars doubt the authorship of Paul in regards to Timothy) was a term he coined. αρσενοκοίτης. Literally, “male bedding.” A lot of conservative scholarship still insists that this word means “homosexual” or “sodomite,” but if taken literally, it would only apply to male sexuality. Same gender female relationships would lack the male component thus would be exempt. Also, women active in a heterosexual relationship stands to be condemned, because the question becomes, “who are they bedding?” Obviously, neither isn’t what the Apostle Paul intended. So why did he coin that phrase that way in the first place? In each instance this word occurs, it is always in a list of pagan practices that are unacceptable to Christian congregations at the time. One of those practices would be temple prostitution, which was very common back in those days and it would seem highly unlikely that Paul would not have mentioned it. Perhaps he did, it’s just that today, we are confusing it for something else…

  • Lookingup73

    Maybe. That is purely speculation.

  • charlesburchfield

    That’s easier said than done! I’ve learned in AA that holding resentments is the surest way to find reasons to drink. The only way I can stay sober & serene on a day to day basis is to take the third step; turn my life & will over to god, as I see (a loving) god on a daily basis. In the program this is called ‘constant contact’. Before I got into AA I was living in a hostile world, reactivly being triggered by ppl, places & things. One of the reasons is bc I have always lacked support for recovery fr abuse fr a loving fam & community. In their turn they were also part of an alcoholic/addictive system. Ppl in AA came out w a pretty good understanding of the alcoholic’s situation. I think the principles are the same for all addicts & addictions. Hostility is one of my major character flaws & I have been working on it but, you know, it takes time to recover fr a lifetime of doing life wrong! In AA one says it’s progress not perfection!

  • charlesburchfield

    what is?

  • Lookingup73

    That father thyme was anti-Christian based on that comment. As I said, he was quoting Jefferson.

  • Thomas Jefferson remains to be one of the most vague political philosophers to date. My Philosophy professor at Arkansas State University (ASU) just loved to talk about him! Some of the very few things that Jefferson was crystal clear on was how he felt about Christ. We know that he had great respect for him as a moral teacher. He thought Christ was one of the best (if not the best), but at the same time, Jefferson did not trust all the supernatural events surrounding his life. The idea that Jesus was a miracle worker, or that he was born of a virgin, rose up a few days after his death and the promise of coming back to take revenge on all his enemies one day were all what Jefferson considered to be very bad ideas. There is even a Bible attributed to him, The Jefferson Bible which are the four Gospels that we are familiar with minus all the hocus-pocus and other spooky stuff.

    Personally, I have a lot of respect for our late president and framer of our constitution! Jefferson was a champion of human reason if there ever was one!

  • charlesburchfield

    Father t. Is just the latest persona for this famous shapeshifting troll. He’s been banned using diff names on christian bloggs more than four times in a 2yr period I think.

  • Lookingup73

    Ah ok.

  • buzzdixon

    When it’s challenged in court (and as the governor pointed it, it certainly will, and it will be constitutionally indefensible) then I hope they dock the pay of all the politicians who voted to override the veto in order to pay for it.

  • “I hold no ill will toward gay couples, I just think society would be better off if they didn’t exist.” Your beliefs are at odds with your self perception. If you don’t affirm the sanctity of gay relationships, then you do indeed hold ill will towards gay people. In fact, you hold us in contempt.

    As for the ridiculous notion that being required by public accommodation laws to serve all wedding customers is a violation of civil rights…well, it’s ridiculous. The objections from bakers are merely another expression of contempt for gay people. By comparison, bakers are required by law to bake cakes for bar mitzvahs. Certainly Judaism is not aligned with Christian beliefs. But I’ve not heard of a single baker complain that they’re being forced to “participate” in this Jewish rite of passage.

    Own your own contempt. The rest of the country sees it, you shouldn’t be blind to it. It is, unfortunately, a part of your Christian witness.

  • That thar is what’s called a BFOQ..a bona fide occupational qualification. If you want to work as a server, you’ve got to be able to touch the plate with a pork chop on it. Granting a religious exemption is unreasonable in that case.

  • Sharla Hulsey

    I would guess that there were committed same-gender couples in Paul’s day, as there are now, and as there were in many times and places between Paul’s day and now. But they were quite likely either hidden or just plain invisible. And maybe Paul didn’t know any (or didn’t know he knew any).

  • Beth Rogers

    I’m waiting for the outcry when someone is asked if they have a problem handing the various duties that might arise due to religious beliefs. When they aren’t hired because they might refuse to do their job, someone is going to be pissed. I shouldn’t apply to join the army if I don’t want to use a gun because of my religious belief and the army shouldn’t be required to hire me. A grocery store can refuse to hire me if I’m not 21 (and thus not able to work as a cashier) because I can’t do the job. I’m sure the government of North Caroline and the proponents of this law will have no trouble with the fact that people will be not hired because their religious beliefs conflict with it. Maybe they can get a job at the grocery store instead.

  • Snooterpoot

    I do not believe in gay marriage, and I wish no ill will on my gay friends and neighbors.

    That sounds so much like the bullscat I heard when I was growing up in East Tennessee. “Some of my best friends are black. But…”

    My opinion is that if a person cannot in good conscience follow all of the laws, and not just the ones s/he likes, then that person should not open a public business. It’s really that simple.

    And I think that the people who believe baking a wedding cake is participating in the ceremony itself is bupkus. If what happens after the ceremony is their objection then they should stop thinking about the sex other people are having!

    I was born in 1952. When the high school in my home town was ordered to racially integrate by a federal judge there were riots. There were KKK rallies. The National Guard was activated to quell the violence and vandalism. It was ugly. Inevitably, though, the high school was racially integrated, because even if people’s strongly held religious beliefs dictated that racial segregation was god’s will and that neither they, nor their children, should be forced to mingle with African Americans.

    https://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entry.php?rec=279

    Religious liberty means practicing the religion of one’s choice, or not practicing a religion at all. It does not mean that people can simply ignore laws they don’t like.