RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE(Posted April 2, 2015)
Well, they are at it again. We are once again seeing the forces of hate and intolerance attempting to brutalize yet another segment of society. I am speaking ofcourse about the current round of “religious freedom” bills being contemplated and in some case passed by state legislatures around the country.
Written as they are in very general, vague terms, these pieces of legislation causes me to have grave concerns in several areas. First, the legislation seems unnecessary in light of the protections offered under the first amendment to the US constitution. Second, more ominously, the bill may have serious unintended consequences such as
-with the Hobby Lobby/Affordable Care Act situation wherein religious preferences were cited as an excuse to ignore/violate established law;
-the possibility that these bills give us an excuse to discriminate. Can a business owner now refuse to serve someone who is gay or who is black? Are we prepared to allow this based solely on the idea of “religious freedom”? If so we may be turning our backs on the many years of progress we have worked so hard to achieve over the course of this nation’s turbulent history!
As a Christian I do not want to see this nation retreat to a time when people were denied fundamental rights simply because they were “different”. We are all God’s children and our shared goal should be to bring us together rather than separate us.
Contrary to the belief of their proponents, these religious freedom/restoration bills will most likely separate us – again – and I believe that this kind of legislation should not be enacted under any conditions.
OFF TO A SHAKY START(Posted March 13, 2015)
The attempt by some 47 Republican Senators this week to insert themselves into the realm of international diplomacy has received much well-deserved derision and condemnation.
It was bad enough that the effort was initiated by a fresh-faced, fledgling with but 2 months of Congressional experience; that other 46 senior-level veterans of the Senate were induced into signing on to this bit of political heresy is mind boggling.
To be sure, this was a terrible, precedent-setting act that has potentially catastrophic implications for this nation’s ability to deal effectively with complex national security issues. Here’s why:
One-we should not insist that nations wanting to enter into an agreement with us be required to endure the vagaries of negotiating with 535 members of Congress;
Two-this is not a simple negotiation between us and Iran; we are involved with five other nations in this effort whose participation and input is critical to the outcome;
Three-since the parties negotiating with us just happen to be the permanent members of the UN Security Council there is a good chance that, if a framework is agreed upon this month, the Security Council will then vote on it thus making it part of international law which we are bound to respect and uphold.
Why then the utterly irrelevant letter? Said differently, how is the Republican party’s attempt at governance working out?