Wednesday, February 26, 2014
The Arc Bends Toward Justice...
Hawaii...Arizona...these are some of the states which, in recent
months, have begun the push for "religious freedom" bills like
the one the governor of Arizona must sign or veto by Saturday.
"Religious freedom" is the title that the people sponsoring and
pushing these bills are hiding behind, once again waving the
flag of fear in the name of religion...when what they are really
doing is trying to legalize discrimination.
As I understand it from what I've heard and read, the bill in
Arizona would make it legal for store owners and businesses
to refuse to serve or deal with people whose "lifestyle" or
beliefs offend their own. But where does this stop? We have
long fought for racial equality, but what would stop an
Arizona store owner from refusing to serve a person of
mixed race because the mixing of races is against his "religion"?
What is to stop another from serving women because they
feel that a woman's place in in the home and not out in the
marketplace? The Christian/Hebrew bible is subject to many
and varied interpretations...so which one will be THE one by
which to measure this bill? And I still must ask, with regard to
LGBTQ people, how- unless they wear a SIGN declaring who
they are- is a shop owner or hotel owner or whomever to
know? Because someone "looks" gay? whatever that means.
As someone who considers herself to be a Christian, someone
who tries to follow the path and call of Jesus the Christ in
my daily life, I am deeply offended by those in the Christian
religious community who are trying to co-opt the title "Christian",
insisting that their brand is the only one, that their take on
the teachings of Jesus is the only game in town. I am offended
that those of us who take seriously the words of Jesus to love
our God, our neighbors, and our enemies...to welcome and
accept all people...to judge NOT, but to love...have been
shoved aside and virtually silenced by the stridently conservative
voices which oppose abortion but support the death penalty
and war...which...and even as I'm writing, a news flash came
on my screen, telling me that Arizona's governor has vetoed
the "Religious Freedom" bill in her state. Thanks be to God!
Perhaps the times they are a-changing after all. Perhaps all
that is needed is for good people to stand up and unite and
refuse to be silenced when wrong is being done. I can go
to sleep tonight will a joy-filled heart...one small step for
humankind has been made this evening.