Vacation: too brief, too close to home

  1. One simple RFRA question
  2. Christian Conservatives: Have you figured it out yet?
  3. A Real Theocrat
  4. The last time local media were in such high dudgeon
  5. A Proverb that influenced this blog

1

I was on vacation last week, but didn’t get far enough away to avoid celebrities, left-coasters and Chamber of Commerce types hammering my state for passing its version of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

It is impossible at this historic juncture in the United States to propose stronger protection of religious freedom without being accused of legalizing “discrimination.” The campaign to accuse Indiana of legalizing discrimination is powerful, and shows signs of orchestration by some PR firm with major financial backing.

Who’s behind it?

Why isn’t the press curious? Oh, silly me! The press isn’t curious because they’re being fed pre-digested news (which fits their confirmation bias) in the form of press releases and staged events.

Of course, businesses already have the profit motive to do business rather than to refuse business. I have yet to hear any plausible claim of a widespread contemporary problem of Hoosier businesses turning away business (other than for “no shirts, no shoes”).

I suppose I could vent my spleen at Indiana’s attackers and their local accomplices (who self-fulfillingly shriek “you won’t want to do business with us any more because we’re suddenly a bunch of bigots!”), but let me ask just one question instead:

Democrat Ed Delaney claims “Indiana’s version of this law is not the same as that in other states. It adds all kinds of new stuff and it moves us further down the road to discrimination.” What “new stuff … moves us further down the road to discrimination”? I’m not interested in immaterial “gotcha” differences in wording (extending the definition of “person” to corporations, for instance, strikes me as immaterial to inciting discrimination – but I’m persuadable).

Yeah, that is a “put up or shut up” question.

2

As noted, Chamber of Commerce types largely fell in line with the opponents  of RFRA.

Christian conservatives: have you figured out yet that big business is not your friend? What do you suppose we should do about that?

3

My Christian tradition is very small in the U.S., and very uncongenial to the kinds of Christians who have theocratic aspirations. So if I saw a theocracy coming, I’d be screaming bloody murder because bloody murder likely is what they’d plan for me.

The real Reconstructionists are acolytes of brilliant, incorrigible crank R. J. Rushdoony, a biography of whom is reviewed in the current First Things as if to remind me how thoroughly I distrust his ilk now. I can’t say I fear them much, though, because they’re so very marginal.

Rushdoony’s reported influence on people like Pat Robertson or Michelle Bachman is dubious if not laughable. His theocratic political system makes sense if you think Christians are called to build God’s kingdom on earth (postmillenialism). It makes no sense juxtaposed against a “rapture theory” that things are sliding quickly toward Armageddon and that True Christians® are going to be snatched up with Jesus before the seven really bad years arrive.

4

I haven’t seen our local newspaper this full of righteous indignation since January 11, 1997, when it published this lead editorial:

Journal & Courier in High Dudgeon
Local Newspaper in High Dudgeon

They joined in treating the young victims as agents of the Religious Right, trying to destroy the Human Relations Ordinance, since Ledbetter was the poster boy for adding “sexual orientation” to the Ordinance. That together with pressure from Ledbetter’s defense attorney led to a false retraction of true accusations.

We know the retraction was false because Ledbetter was found 10 years, 2 states and dozens of adolescent victims away to have made videos, meticulously catalogued and dated, of the many adolescent boys he’d buggered, including the Lafayette boys bullied into retreat by our Establishment.

The closest the newspaper ever came to an apology was a new editorial saying that there was “embarrassment for those who were fooled by Ledbetter’s assertions of innocence,” but with a tone-deaf qualifier still insisting that the accusations were “seemingly incredible” at the time. We who had the gall to think that plausible charges were, well, plausible never got the grovel formerly demanded of us, despite that maxim about sauce, goose and gander.

The accusations were never incredible. They were just as plausible as news that foxes guarding the hen house helped themselves to some chicken (these were adolescents, remember, not children). The “incredibility” came from how embarrassing the charges were to the Establishment if true, and turning a couple of expendable losers at Cary Home into catamites was not too high a price to pay for saving Establishment face. Nothing to see here. Move along now.

I consider “Greg Ledbetter” to be, in addition to a very troubled and pathetic criminal, the definitive proof that sexual orientation sometimes should be considered in hiring decisions, and thus the proof that our Human Relations Ordinance, insofar as it fails to distinguish invidious discrimination from principled discrimination, is deeply flawed.

5

“A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart.” Proverbs 18:2

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.