A Useless Proposed Law to “Fix” a Non-Existent “Problem”

Posted: January 26, 2014 in homosexuality, religion
Tags: , , , , , ,

Grand-standing and proposing bills and even passing laws that are useless and/or redundant in order to score political points is an American pastime. So, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at the latest that WND is promoting by Republican Senator Mike Lee (from Utah) in their story, “Bill Protects Churches from ‘Gay’ Bullying.”

Oye. Where to even begin?

Let’s try this: Religious institutions are sovereign in the US, able to do pretty much whatever-the-hell they want and accept or reject whatever they want. They are NOT a public accommodation and hence are not required to abide by public accommodation laws (that I’ve talked about before that prohibit discrimination based on things like sexuality). And, most legislation that has legalized same-sex marriages has provided even more, explicit (and redundant) language that specifically excludes religious institutions from being forced to do what they think is icky, such as be the venue for a same-sex marriage ceremony.

But, apparently that’s not enough. No, we need another law on the books to make triply sure that The Gayz can’t dirty the place where we go to hear about how God will come upon us:

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is leading a congressional counter-offensive designed to protect churches and other religious institutions from being forced to perform same-sex ceremonies.

“What we want to do is make sure that religious institution, churches, synagogues and other entities are able to maintain their own religious freedom and enable them to define marriage in the manner that they deem fit without the threat of adverse action being taken against them by the federal government,” said Lee, lead sponsor of the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act.

The vast majority of jurisdictions that have legalized same-sex marriage have included language in their laws to provide freedom of conscience for religious institutions and protect their right not to endorse activity or ceremonies contrary to their faith. Lee said more needs to be done.

I do find it slightly ironic that he entitled this, in part, the “Marriage … Freedom Act.” ‘Cause, you know, freedom to marry is the whole point of the same-sex marriage / marriage equality movement. And this bill is clearly against that.

Reading further down the short WND article, it appears as though “the primary goal of the bill is to protect the tax-exempt status of religious institutions.” That’s somewhat interesting, and I’m not sure what I think about it. Well, I actually do: I don’t think churches (and religion in general) should be tax-exempt. Them being tax exempt means, put another way, that I have to pay MORE taxes to subsidize their religion because the governments bring in less money than they otherwise would if religious stuff were not tax-exempt.

However, I think that THAT is why religious institutions should not be tax-exempt. Not that they don’t follow what’s PC in this day and age or for their beliefs. Ridiculed? Sure. Engage in political speech and so lose their tax-exempt status like anyone else who officially plays a role in politicking? Yes. But not because of their beliefs.

And, I’m not sure why any gay person would want to be married in an institution that hates who and what they are.

But, with that said, what constitutes a “church” or other religious establishment? I ask because of the following hypothetical scenario: This bill is passed into law. A secular wedding hall that is owned by a conservative Christian doesn’t want to follow the public accommodation laws in something like 31 states that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. They declare themselves a church and have a priest there for breakfast once a week. They can no longer be required to follow the rules that apply to everyone else. Possible? Maybe.

Meanwhile, the story got 22 ratings (4.8/5 average) and 46 comments. The comments are about what one would expect for WND, just generally anti-gay and gay is immoral, etc.

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