Oh man, the religious right, is going to hate Brittney Cooper if they ever read this. She debunks the idea that being a Christian means that you will automatically support their extreme hate filled, Un-American agenda. I’ll bet that Bryan Fischer would never consider her a “true Christian” and would persecute her, if he ever got his way. Cooper is not someone people like him would like. She supports genuine religious freedom for people of all faiths, She’s a feminist and she supports the rights of people in our gay and lesbian community to be who they are.
Michele Bachmann, Mike Pence, Mike Huckabee (Credit: AP/Reuters/Susan Walsh/Michael Conroy/Joe Skipper/Photo montage by Salon)
Just in time for Holy Week, the State of Indiana has passed a new Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The law explicitly permits for-profit corporations from practicing the “free exercise of religion” and it allows them to use the “exercise of religion” as a defense against any lawsuits whether from the government or from private entities. The primary narrative against this law has been about the potential ways that small businesses owned by Christians could invoke it as a defense against having to, for instance, sell flowers to a gay couple for their wedding.
Any time right-wing conservatives declare that they are trying to restore or reclaim something, we should all be very afraid. Usually, this means the country or, in this case, the state of Indiana is about to be treated to another round of backward time travel, to the supposedly idyllic environs of the 1950s, wherein women, and gays, and blacks knew their respective places and stayed in them. While the unspoken religious subtext of this law is rooted in conservative anxieties over the legalization of same-sex marriage in Indiana, Black people and women, and all the intersections thereof (for instance Black lesbians) should be very afraid of what this new law portends.
Last year, the Supreme Court ruled in the Hobby Lobby decision that corporations could exercise religious freedom, which means that corporations can deny insurance coverage for birth control. Now this same logic is being used to curtail and abridge the right of gay people to enjoy the same freedoms and legal protections that heterosexual citizens enjoy.