Indiana Senator Dan Coates, in response to the ENDA anti-discrimination bill passed by the Senate but which will die in the Republican-controlled House, writes:
…the religious beliefs of faith-based childcare providers and small business owners would be disregarded under this legislation. Faith-based daycare providers could be forced to hire individuals with views contrary to the faith incorporated values of these daycare providers. Do we want to support policies that discriminate against an employer’s religious beliefs and require employers to hire individuals who contradict their very most deeply held religious beliefs?
(I got this one, everyone. I’ll answer this one. Thanks.)
Answer: YES. That’s exactly right. Well put, Senator Coates.
No no, we need more than just “yes” here. Fair enough. Let me explain:
Senator Coates, I have deeply-held religious beliefs that tell me that Senators from Indiana, and citizens of Indiana that vote for them, threaten the morality of children and must be kept away from them at all costs. For the children! I’m sure you won’t mind being discriminated against, since it comes from my deeply-held religious beliefs.
No, no, let’s be serious here. This is a grave cultural moment and it deserves depth of reflection and solemnity of response. I recognize that my position is deeply nuanced and may be difficult to understand and communicate effectively. Let me try again:
FUCK YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.
How’s that? Is that clearer?
Your religious beliefs are the problem. They are the reason anti-discrimination laws are necessary. Do you fucking get it? You are the bad guy here.
If you look into your deepest heart and most cherished beliefs and see a “GOD HATES FAGS” sign, then so be it… may whatever version of an afterlife-judging-diety you believe in judge you in whatever way s/he sees fit. But here on Earth, in the meantime, while you are allowed to have blackness, fear and hate in your heart (we have no thought crimes), the rule is that you cannot spill it into the public sphere. You cannot discriminate. And if your religion tells you to discriminate, and you can’t look at your religion and say “wow, that’s actually pretty fucked up,” then keep it the fuck to yourself.
Your religious views aren’t our problem, in other words. We don’t care. We don’t give a shit what you believe. Get it? Good.
(And before you inevitably shout “but that’s discrimination!”: no, it isn’t. Look it up. Religious discrimination is “when adherents of different religions (or denominations) are treated unequally, either before the law or in institutional settings such as employment or housing.” Forbidding discrimination isn’t treating religious people unequally, it’s treating them equally. Nobody gets to discriminate. And if your god tells you to, then fuck your god, and fuck you if you try it.)