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Economic Morality: EQUALITY of advancement opportunity and treatment under law & social memes — EQUITABILITY of economic and social rewards & outcomes. We're responsible for the decisions we make, but we are not responsible for the options given. Thus, we should create that society we would want if we didn’t know in advance who we’d be.
Holly Fisher is a right-wing online agitator who posted a Twitter photo on the left above last week as an in-your-face image in support of the Hobby Lobby SCOTUS decision.
Her pose was soon compared to the image at right of Reem Riyashi, a mother of two from Gaza who killed four people and herself with a suicide bomb in 2004.
As was so correctly posited by online news editor Ben Mathis-Lilley… Holly Fisher isn’t a suicide bomber, but even so, after an American holiday in which we use huge explosions to celebrate a country that has and still does regularly kill people abroad with drones, missiles, and bombs, perhaps even the non-extremist patriots among us might see the aesthetic overlap between the two images above and engage in some self-reflection about the potential consequences of aggressive conservative nationalist pride.
I know, I know. It’s only a photo of an enthusiastic youngster (uh, “Millennial”). She is a cliché come to life: gun, bible, and flag. All that’s missing is the apple pie.
But each “cute” and thoughtlessly acceptable step forward in extremism is another step toward the dangerous extremism.
Someday, someone will cross the line and stand draped in the flag and embrace the bible to righteously justify using the rifle on innocent citizen lives who just happen to disagree, or live a life just a bit differently, or look just a little less white christian, or maybe just were some minimum wage workers riding public transit to work one tragic day.
We already have had Tea Partiers wanting the US to default on its debt obligations. We already have had Tea Partiers gather in protest groups fully armed with exposed automatic weaponry just outside Washington DC. We see American Conservatives wanting to impose a Christian version of Sharia Law on US Citizens.
How long until our radicals become activated like “their” radicals? I hope, never.
“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”
– Judge Leon M. Bazile, January 6, 1959
Yesterday it was “The Coloreds;” today it is “The Gays.”
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today vetoed the License To Discriminate Against Gays law passed by Arizona’s house and senate. That’s a good thing. But what’s bad is that she did it for economic reasons as opposed to ethical and moral reasons (Apple, American Airlines, the NFL, all the tourism associations, etc implored her to veto the bill because implementation would inevitably mean economic boycotts against the state).
I agree with using all tools available to shoot down these religion-based bigotry bills, no doubt, yet it should be stated clearly that the greater and heftier rationale for veto are ethical and moral. In a land that espouses freedoms as a central premise, any legislation that codifies discrimination because an individual does not like another person’s life should be anathema and promptly shot down.
In one’s religious realm (at their church or in their home), one may treat and allow in another in any way they would like (short of abuse and physical harm or death), but when running a business or interacting in daily life, one is in the social and civil realm, and here you may not violate another’s freedoms to live… that is the US Constitution. That means that one’s freedom to act discriminatorily is illegal. Don’t like that the constitution protects even those you don’t approve? As conservatives have said for years to protesters, etc… if you don’t like it here, maybe you should leave for some other country.
For far too long, conservatives have used the shield of religious freedom to enshrine bigotry and discrimination. It’s nothing new. The righteous must always have the unrighteous.
While LGBT Americans are the current target of this effort to repackage prejudice as “religious liberty,” we are hardly the first. As Wake Forest law Professor Michael Kent Curtis explained in a 2012 law review article, many segregationists justified racial bigotry on the very same grounds that religious conservatives now hope to justify anti-gay discrimination. In the words of one professor at a prominent Mississippi Baptist institution, “our Southern segregation way is the Christian way . . . . [God] was the original segregationist.”
In 1901, Georgia Gov. Allen Candler defended unequal public schooling for African Americans on the grounds that “God made them negroes and we cannot by education make them white folks.” After the Supreme Court ordered public schools integrated in Brown v. Board of Education, many segregationists cited their own faith as justification for official racism. Ross Barnett won Mississippi’s governorship in a landslide in 1960 after claiming that “the good Lord was the original segregationist.” Senator Harry Byrd of Virginia relied on passages from Genesis, Leviticus and Matthew when he spoke out against the civil rights law banning employment discrimination and whites-only lunch counters on the Senate floor.
Bob Jones University excluded African Americans completely until the early 1970s. The IRS revoked the schools tax-exempt status, and the school sued. When Bob Jones’ case reached the Supreme Court, the school argued that IRS’ regulations denying tax exemptions to racist institutions “cannot constitutionally be applied to schools that engage in racial discrimination on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs.” Doesn’t that rationale sound familiar? But the justices did not agree. In an 8-1 decision by conservative Chief Justice Warren Burger, the Court explained that, “On occasion this Court has found certain governmental interests so compelling as to allow even regulations prohibiting religiously based conduct.” Prohibiting race discrimination is one of these interests. And in these modern times, prohibiting discrimination based upon sexuality has come to be one of these interests.
Importantly, in United States v. Lee, the Supreme Court has also ruled, “When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity.”
A religious bigot’s decision to refuse to do business with someone — especially for reasons such as race or sexual orientation — can fundamentally demean that individual and deny them their own right to participate equally in society.
Religious liberty is an important value and it rightfully belongs in our Constitution, but we do not allow it to be used to destroy the rights of others. Hateful discrimination is wrong. And it doesn’t matter why someone wants to discriminate.
Through their varied talking points, conservatives advance a narrative suggesting a “religious rights vs. gay rights” conflict, ignoring the fact that not all religious persons are anti-gay and the reality that many gay persons are religious. Moreover, it suggests an uneven playing field that is opposite of reality.
There are NO federal laws protecting gay citizens from discrimination in employment, housing, or public accommodations. Many states and cities offer their own laws to compensate for this national failure, but gays are still largely unprotected throughout the country. Conversely, religious discrimination has been prohibited under federal law since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964!
Conservatives absurdly portrait gay nondiscrimination protections as “special privileges,” implying that religious people are thus at a disadvantage… even though the religious already enjoy those same protections! Based on this false premise, conservatives argue that religion needs its own extra protection to compensate for these “special” gay protections — a law like what was proposed in Arizona. In reality, such a law would give religion an unfair advantage, allowing religion to trump any protections gay citizens might enjoy through other state or local laws.
THIS is really what “Religious Freedom” means in these debates: it frames a discussion for conservative Christians wrestling with the emerging equality of a previously disadvantaged group.
“American Dream” By Jakatta — DJ Avant Garde Remix, MLK Edit
They just simply do not comprehend how they could have mis-read the election outcome and absolutely can’t fathom that so many Americans see the world differently than they… as “everyone [they] knew felt exactly the way [they] felt about Obama and our fast decent into ‘socialism.'”
Perhaps they should develop friendships and interaction outside of their gated suburban communities, isolated corporate halls, and self-selecting church sanctuaries.
To listen to our congresspersons speak from “the other side of the aisle,” it’s clear they haven’t stuck their heads outside the window either.
To be fair, my closest personal conservative, Republican friends [meaning that they are a different sort, as they live in the urban residential heart of a major city within a highrise community of shared living], have issued forth no rants… just casual and respectful thoughts of, “Well, my guy didn’t win, but that’s democracy in action and how it goes.”
One business associate said he started an online conversation that has run into the hundreds of responses agreeing with him… His piece is titled, ” I Don’t Recognize My Country Anymore.” Oy Vey! It’s NOT YOUR country; it’s OUR country. This is exactly what YOU don’t understand.
In post-election commentary, too, Republican leaders have made no mention of the changing electorate, the expanded voter base despite the obstacles deliberately placed in the way, and the need to repair relations with different ethnic voters.
I think this cartoon sums up things well…