mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Religious Freedom Rifts
Indiana and Arkansas Backpedal on RFRA
Features Icon
Features
show comments
  • Proud Skeptic

    Nobody is “backtracking” here. Governor Pence is simply looking at a separate issue which is discrimination against gays. He recently signed into law a version of RFRA, which looks out for the rights of religions. Assuming the law that follows from this next effort makes sense and manages to walk the tightrope between protecting the rights of gays and giving gays more rights than other groups, then this is time well spent.

    As for Arkansas, it just makes good political sense to take a moment and see if the law is inherently flawed before signing it. Nothing wrong there.

    In the end, we owe it to ourselves to maintain a structure of laws that protect the rights of everyone without making special accommodations for one special group or another.

    That said, I have read pretty thoroughly on this topic and IMHO the Left has got this issue SO wrong. Maybe they should calm down and not make such a big deal over a few Mom and Pop operations running their business according to the Bible. I’m sure these people do plenty of wonderful things that more than compensate for their refusal to sell a cake or some flowers for a gay wedding here and there.

    • Blackbeard

      Why should they “calm down” when they are winning? The goal of the Left here is not anything as silly as compromise or tolerance, the goal is to so totally crush their enemies that no one will dare speak up again.

      As long as the Left largely controls the media, the entertainment industry and the academic world they will keep on winning these fights.

      • Proud Skeptic

        I share your concern…but to me ensuring that both religion and homosexuals have equal protection under the law is perfectly acceptable. The trick is to make sure nobody gets the complete upper hand.
        I can understand why you and a lot of others think the Left is kicking butt. They don’t see it that way. They think they are losing!

        • Blackbeard

          I completely agree with you that we should seek balance and not one side totally getting the upper hand. But I fail to see how any reasonable person on the left could fail to see that they are winning, and winning big, on social issues. Who could have foreseen, ten or 15 years ago, that SSM would be the law of the land so quickly? Even Obama, during his first term, had to pretend he didn’t support SSM because he feared a negative reaction.

          In victory it would be nice for the left to show some moderation and tolerance. They won’t.

          • Proud Skeptic

            I think that both sides are capable of such moderation and tolerance.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Does anyone have examples of the purpose of a state RFRA (such as Indiana’s, where corporations get a religious legal defense for their actions) OTHER THAN the proverbial photographer, florist or caterer seeking to refuse service to a same-sex wedding?

    I have a feeling that those heretofore unconsidered “other” things are what should be debated. After all, it would be fairly simple for any Republican state to enact a one-line bill saying, “Any person or corporation may refuse to commercially participate in any wedding for any reason or no reason”. We’re really being stupid to open a large can of worms with unknown ramifications to solve that singular beef from certain church people.

    By the time Indiana and Arkansas get done, we may end up with ambiguous messes on the law books which permit everything under the sun in the name of religion EXCEPT refusing service to gay weddings. We should all stay tuned to see what these legislatures cook up.

  • Fat_Man

    The elite liberals are using the Gay rights movement to literally demoralize the American middle class. They have control of the media and the educational establishment where their code of political correctness has been honed into a sharp edged instrument that prevents young people from entertaining deviant thoughts.

    At the same time, they have used their control over the education system to ensure that their children are promoted to positions of power and that middle class children from flyover country are rigorously excluded.

    Their plan does have holes in it. The elite does not have a firm grip on the instruments of state violence, because they shun participation in the military and law enforcement which are, perforce, largely drawn from the middle class. Nor do they have any religious sanction for their rule. They cannot assert that they rule by the grace of God, because they deny his existence. Further, their economic basis in government, education, media, and finance is entirely parasitic.

    How the war starts I cannot predict, but it will happen. Perhaps a liberal government will overreach on gun control. Or maybe the next financial crisis will be more like Germany in the 1920s. But, it will happen, and it will be very violent and very bloody.

    Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate.”

    • fastrackn1

      “How the war starts I cannot predict, but it will happen.”

      I doubt there is enough ‘testosterone’ left in American society for that to ever become a reality…unfortunately….

      • FriendlyGoat

        If it’s a good idea at all on any merits——then why not get the women to do it?

        • fastrackn1

          “then why not get the women to do it?”

          The direction society is going with it’s constant neutering of men, women will be fighting all the wars in the future.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Do you believe that testosterone is the source of good decisions? You were lamenting lack of “T” being the unfortunate impediment to Fat Man’s vision of a “bloody war”.

            I was just wondering if the literal war thing against elite liberals is such a hot idea that maybe the women will go forward with it in lieu of their neutered brothers.

          • fastrackn1

            FG, I was using testosterone as a metaphor. What I mean is that Americans don’t have the will to actually do a full-on revolution as some would like because they are to fat and content with the easy lifestyle we have here, and for many other reasons like the neutering of men, etc.
            Revolutions are born in 3rd-world countries where things so much worse than what we have here, and where the population is already used to a hard lifestyle, and the government is killing and torturing it’s citizens. Can you imagine the average American living without electricity for an extended period of time or pulling the trigger on another American? Do you think they would actually have the stomach for it. Heck, basic surgery can’t even be shown on TV without it being blurred out and a warning being flashed on the screen beforehand.
            Revolution is just a pipe dream for disgruntled Americans, but if it actually happened I would be the first one in line.
            And for me it has to do with a lot more than elite liberals. To me nothing is ‘elite’, liberal or otherwise.
            To me a carpenter has as much or maybe even more value than a president.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I’m grateful we don’t have sufficient animus here (so far) to bomb out our own electrical-supply plants or to shoot each other willy-nilly on the streets, and I’m glad you are too. (Fair enough assessment of my positive estimation of your REAL deep-down sense?)

            I’m also grateful that individuals mostly gave up the testosterone sport of literal dueling. To be doing that in groups for questionable reasons wouldn’t somehow be a better idea. (But we could ask our women about that—-the origin of my commenting here.)

            The two revolutions we need in America (IMHO) are reversal of our errant trend to high-end tax cuts, and restoration of the simplest plain-spoken teachings of Jesus as the main subject in our churches, (instead of polarized politics sucking all the spiritual oxygen out of those places of worship).

          • fastrackn1

            FG, just to be clear, I am in favor of a revolution, to a degree probably quite a bit more extreme than you are, to make changes to the direction and culture of America. I just don’t think it will ever happen and I won’t be ‘prepping’ for it.
            I am in total agreement with both points in your last paragraph, although I am not a follower of organized religion, I am however a follower of God.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Okay—–on first two sentences. (Glad no “prepping”.)

            Big thumbs up—– on your last part. I am no longer in church either, but not separated from Jesus at all in thoughts and hopes. Thanks for agreement on important things.

  • stanbrown

    The Left is waging war on America. And common sense. As normal Americans living in the real world get pushed deeper and deeper into a corner, the likelihood of violence increases. There are a lot of really pissed off people out here in flyover country.

  • Anthony

    I can take away one big thing from this. The back tracking in Indiana and Arkansas in the face of corporate pressure supports what the economic left (as distinguished from those who are mainly focused on social issues) has talked about for a log time. Namely, big business runs this country. If the corporate elite truly put their foot down on an issue, as they seem to have done with respect to the Indiana law, the issue will be settled in their favor.

    I love the fact that Professor Mead decided to take a shot at WalMart. He obliquely points out that it is strange for them to oppose these bills in Indiana and Arkansas when they do a massive amount of business in China, a country whose government is responsible for massive human rights abuses. He usually has only positive things to say about the company.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service