|Governor Mike Pence at CPAC (Gage Skidmore)|
What does the law actually say? Here is the digest of the legislation:
Religious freedom restoration. Prohibits a governmental entity from substantially burdening a person's exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless the governmental entity can demonstrate that the burden: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest. Provides a procedure for remedying a violation. Specifies that the religious freedom law applies to the implementation or application of a law regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity or official is a party to a proceeding implementing or applying Religious freedom restoration. Prohibits a governmental entity from substantially burdening a person's exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless the governmental entity can demonstrate that the burden: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest. Provides a procedure for remedying a violation. Specifies that the religious freedom law applies to the implementation or application of a law regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity or official is a party to a proceeding implementing or applying the law. Prohibits an applicant, employee, or former employee from pursuing certain causes of action against a private employer.
"I think Gov. Pence has done the right thing," Jeb Bush said Monday during a radio interview with conservative host Hugh Hewitt.
|US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)|
US Senator Ted Cruz tweeted his support for the Indiana Governor:
Ted Cruz ✔ @tedcruz Follow
I’m proud to stand with Gov. @mike_pence for religious liberty, and I urge Americans to do the same http://www.tedcruz.org/news/cruz-im-proud-to-stand-with-gov-mike-pence-and-i-urge-americans-to-do-the-same/ …
US Senator Marco Rubio looked more closely at what a conscientious dissenter struggles with:
"Nobody is saying that it should be legal to deny someone service at a restaurant or at a hotel because of their sexual orientation. I think that's a consensus view in America" Rubio said. "The flip side is … should a photographer be punished for refusing to do a wedding that their faith teaches them is not one that is valid in the eyes of God?"
Governor Scott Walker balanced his views and walked a fine line:
"In our state there's a balance between wanting to make sure that there's not discrimination [and] at the same time respecting religious freedoms. ... We do that in different ways than what they've done in Indiana.
Yet Governor Pence is caving on his own legislation. He announced in a rushed press conference:"Certainly that's going to be part of the debate here and across the country."
"It would be helpful to move legislation this week that makes it clear that this law does not give businesses a right to deny services to anyone," Pence said in a press conference in Indianapolis on Tuesday.
Then he admitted:
"Was I expecting this kind of backlash? Heavens no.
And therein lies the problem. Conservatives, pro-family advocates, freedom fighters and limited government contenders are not taking into account the full scope of this fight. Crowd shaming and media pressure can work up a person's autonomic, anatomical systems. That's a fact no one can run from.
Yet small business owners who oppose homosexuality, who support life and discourage abortion, are by definition discriminating. How does anyone stand for their values without also excluding ideas or rejecting concepts in contradiction to those values? Discrimination in itself is not a bad thing. Employers have to discrimination among applicants in order to get the best candidate for the position. Teachers discriminate among right and wrong answers to educate their students.
The need to define right and wrong, the consequences of those choices, and the dynamics of life and death, cannot be rubbed away because of a painfully self-serving need not to offend anyone.
As Washington Post Columnist George Will once quipped: Offense is turning into an entitlement in this country, and this entitlement of offense is hurting our liberties, frustrating our youth and their education, and even upending the free market order of things.
Now, why is Governor Pence starting to cave on the RFRA? Uncharacteristically, The New York Times offers a clear and convincing reason why:
In Indiana, Gov. Mike Pence was in a difficult spot trying to satisfy both the business interests that have threatened to punish the state for its law as well as the conservatives who fought for the measure and do not want to see it diluted.
Corporate America is pushing back, and pushing conservative to the wall once again. This Chamber of Commerce v. Tea Party tug-of-war has defined the war within the GOP for the past six years, yet C of C interests ignore that GOP gains in the House and the US Senate flew in on the upset victories of populist masses intent on a restoration of Constitutional rule.
The Big Businesses interests in Washington have begun tilting toward the Democratic Party, especially in California, where Big Oil supported some losing Democratic incumbents.
International Business Daily predicts that Indiana could lose nearly $300 million in revenue if businesses continue boycotting the state because of this law. Should Indiana cave to corporate pressure? Four years prior, Chick-Fil-a faced a widespread backlash because the CEO of the Company declared that marriage cannot be defined except for one man and one woman. In spite of the pro-homosexual militant protests, Chick-Fil-A supporters frequented the restaurants in drove, and their profits increased.
Why can't the Governor of Indiana muster the same courage?
Breitbart News reminds the public that the fight will not stop with same-sex marriage, nor will it cease with forcing businesses to cater to homosexual couples, even if the conduct violates the rules and conscience of the owners.
Gay activists and their leftist allies told us decades ago that same-sex marriage wasn’t on the agenda. All homosexuals wanted was the benefits of marriage, but not the title. That, of course, was a lie.
The agenda has proceeded from civil unions to recognized marriages, and now churches will fall under attack, losing their tax exemption status. Public schools are also enduring heavy assault, and major corporate interests have not only cowered and caved, but expect entire governments to get along to go along (like Indiana and even Arkansas, the home of world's largest retailer Wal-Mart). Private parochial schools will face forced adaptation or closure. Homeschooling parents may be forced to teach about homosexuality, whether this requirement violates their religious tenets or not.
Yet what remains prevalently missing in this discussion? The notion that homosexual conduct is an identity, rather than behavior; that gays and lesbians should be treated as a protected class, when the research, stats, and historical accounts do not justify this treatment.
|Martin Luther King, Jr,:|
Homosexuality is a problem
with a solution
Even Civil Rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. called homosexuality a problem in a search of a solution:
Where is this courage on display today? If even conservative governors won't stand their ground for what is right and true, then individuals of conscience must insist on doing so.