Blog Post – Betrayal in Indiana Comes With the Sound of Corporate Silver Jingling
One week ago today freedom of religion was reinforced in Indiana, but now the legislature has bowed to the threats of homosexual activists and their allies and taken the pieces of silver offered by corporations. On another Thursday night two thousand years, a man named Judas took thirty pieces of silver from influential leaders to betray his friend to his death and today Indiana legislatures took the silver promised by corporate bullies and betrayed their friends, their citizens, to the death of their religious freedom in the Hoosier state.
Under a firestorm, cowards in the Indiana legislature quickly joined together with CEOs and homosexual groups to not only gut the week old Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), but to impose fines and possible criminal prosecution for business owners who follow their freedom of conscience. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty describes the proposed language as making “specific allowances for criminal prosecution.”
The “fix” to a law that did not need to be fixed does great damage to religious freedom. That was probably the intention of the homosexual activists and their corporate bully allies who were involved in “helping” the legislature solve a non-existent problem in the original bill. They smelled blood, prepared their attack and with surgical precision carved out any religious freedom defense for Christian business owners. As our good friend Matt Barber called it in an open letter to Governor Mike Pence, it has now become the Religious Freedom Destruction Act.
Specifically, the new language says the RFRA does not authorize a provider — including businesses or individuals — to refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, goods, employment, housing or public accommodation to any member of the public based on sexual orientation or gender identity, in addition to race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex or military service. It has truly lived up to Matt’s description of it as a Religious Freedom Destruction Act.
Corporations such as Apple, Marriott General Electric, Eli Lilly, Cummins, Salesforce.com, AngiesList.com and others which have loudly opposed Indiana’s efforts to protect religious freedom do so at their own risk. They should remain neutral in the culture war, as coming down on either side of an issue will ostracize customers. Corporations such as American Airlines, Levi Strauss, Orbitz, Starbucks, and Wells Fargo have a long history of being “gay-friendly.” So-called institutions of higher education which announced their opposition to the RFRA comes as no surprise as these once great halls of learning and ideas have now become indoctrination centers for the Left.
Governor Mike Pence and the legislators have taken the corporate CEO’s thirty pieces of silver to kill religious freedom in their state, while a gofundme.com campaign set up for Memories Pizza, which was targeted by homosexual activists, has raised over $477K in one day. The owners say they no longer feel safe in Indiana and will probably leave the state. That is exactly what the Left wants — to force those with deeply held religious beliefs into silence. However, two days ago a Rasmussen poll showed 70 percent of Americans believe Christian business owners should not be forced to compromise their religious beliefs in order to provide services for a same-sex “wedding.”
By the way, Indiana Governor Mike Pence has signed the “fix” to a non-existent problem, but there are some on the Left who say it doesn’t go far enough. The most vocal opponent is the CEO of AngiesList.com.
Down in Arkansas Walmart’s CEO asked Governor Asa Hutchinson to veto that state’s RFRA. Rather than veto it, he sent it back to the legislature to “fix” the non-existent problem in that bill. The new version mirrors the 1993 federal RFRA and has been signed into law.
In light of these corporations opposing the religious freedom of the majority of their customers, it may be time for Christians to re-evaluate where they spend and invest their money.