Whenever somebody is looking to promote an idea that the religious groups in this country at large don’t agree with, have you ever noticed a pattern? The pattern that these groups will have their members come out of the woodwork and claim “religious freedom.” It is such a clever line, and through it, all kinds of hatred and bigotry are able to be defended.
There is a new battle against anti-gay bullying in schools. It is being led by Focus on the Family. They claim that this new legislation isn’t just about preventing kids from bullying LGBT students, but is about “indocrination” and “promoting homosexuality.” It fails to register to them that this is blatantly untrue. These laws in various states are designed to protect LGBT youth from being bullied because they are gay. No child deserves the right to be bullied. But according to Focus on the Family, not only do these kids deserved to be bullied, but to stop them from being bullied is against “religious freedom.”
Of course, this card has been pulled before. When Obama said that the new health care law had a section in it that said that health insurance providers had to cover contraception at no cost to the patient, the Catholics came out of the woodwork, claiming that denying women access to birth control, which has health benefits far-beyond just preventing pregnancy, was within the purview of “religious freedom.” Never mind that this was about insurance providers, not religious organizations. They wanted to make a stand against it anyway.
This argument of “religious freedom” is so unbelievably worthless in the grand scope of things. By the arguments that have been made, people like Hitler could have claimed that we were against his “religious freedom.” Think about it – his Roman Catholic beliefs guided his actions. He believed that it was what God would have wanted – for him to killl Jews. When the Allies fought against him, he could have claimed that we were hurting his “religious freedom.” This argument holds no water, because it is always proven to be blatantly false.
How is the freedom to worship whatever deity you choose hurt by legislation that protects LGBT students? How are you suddenly unable to believe in the religious system of your choice when insurance providers are told that they have to cover contraception?
Or a little closer to home – how are the religious suddenly made unable to go to their religious institution because members of the LGBT community aren’t able to be discriminated against in regards to housing and hiring and firing? The argument by Protect Your Rights was that this law which failed to pass, Proposition 5, was hurting “religious freedom.” But how has it ever been hurt by any of these pieces of legislation?
The fact is that this reasoning is simply a rallying cry to the bigots in this country. It can boiled down as simply as that. Think about this – Focus on the Family openly admitted that there shouldn’t be laws in place to protect gay students. They are perfectly fine with bullying. They are openly condoning the behavior of the worst of us. Of course, they won’t admit that.
That’s the ultimate truth – these groups can’t admit the ugliness of their own position, because if they did, we would reject them. We would reject their ideology based solely on hatred, lies, and the public at large being unable to question or fight against it. This religious demagoguery goes largely unchallenged, because people don’t want to talk about stuff like this, or debate stuff like this. The idea seems to be that we don’t have the right to call a spade a spade.
Or a bigot a bigot. The simple truth is that these groups of people are merely finding a very poetic cover, for their own bigotry. And meanwhile, students, women, and people just trying to live their lives, are the ones to suffer. Our government does little to nothing to stop this bigotry.
To do so would be against “religious freedom.”