Religious Liberty Exemptions, Lawmakers, and Stupidity

Many of you are probably sick and damn tired of hearing about Kim Davis, who has been made famous, or infamous, depending on your view, by refusing to follow U.S. laws and choosing instead to follow her imaginary  god’s law. She represents the problem that many of us have with a certain segment of Christians: they want to impose their religion, their beliefs, and their morality on everyone. It’s not enough that they believe stupid, unjust or irrational things; they want all of us to follow along as well. And if we don’t, well, they’ll bully us until we do.

So Davis doesn’t believe that her god thinks gay marriage is moral? Fine. In her next marriage (and by now surely everyone has heard that Davis has been married four times), she should not marry a woman. All of this has nothing to do with her job, which is to be the conduit of the law for fellow citizens.

The funny thing is, she doesn’t even realize that she is just following silly memes impregnated into her brain by religion, most likely by her pastor. God says homosexuality is a sin. Did she ask god, the same god who also says not to judge, not to usurp his powers? Of course not. She’s just caught up in the script of her church’s morality play.

And now we have the story of a Muslim flight attendant who was suspended for refusing to serve alcohol. Ms. Stanley converted to Islam two years ago, and her very subjective beliefs now affect her ability to do her job. Her god says that she cannot drink alcohol and neither should anyone else.

You know what? If the god of your imagination tells you not to marry someone of the same-sex or not to drink alcohol, good for you. Don’t drink; don’t have a same-sex marriage. But you cannot decide for others, and if it’s your job to serve others, and you cannot understand that you must separate your subjective judgments from your paid work as an employee, then find another job. If my god says I have to fast during a certain holiday, or that I cannot eat meat at certain times, and I work as a server, is it acceptable that I don’t serve food or meat during the times my god says not to? It may seem extreme but it’s the same logic. What if I convert to Religion X, and my god says that I cannot work on Wednesdays–and neither should my clients–because working too much is bad for the soul? Shouldn’t I receive the same respect for my beliefs that others want to give Davis and Stanley?

I sure hope that our lawmakers will not be like Davis’ husband, who said, “I’m just an old, dumb, country hillbilly, but I know God…” Once you allow citizens the right to claim religious liberty exemptions, you have created “micro-lawmakers”: you allow citizens who claim this exemption to make and change public policy according to their beliefs and their whims. That is not fair or just. That is not a democracy. Davis and Stanley are not choosing between their career and religion. If they don’t like their job functions, if they feel they are unable to perform, they can find another, more suitable job for their judgmental personalities. Or, like the rest of us, they can perform their jobs realizing that there are some things they don’t like but must do, as long as those job functions are legal and not causing harm to others. However, that requires a certain level of maturity, morality and cognizance that some folks don’t seem to have.

The two cases are a good springboard for a discussion with our kids. Whether it’s refusing to fill a prescription for the morning-after pill or issue a marriage license, should one person be allowed to affect or prohibit the lawful behavior of another? Isn’t this a gateway to more dangerous behaviors, such as: it’s okay to kill others when justified. You know, like bomb abortion clinics or shoot people who are of a different faith?

Let’s hope that our nation’s lawmakers see past this religious ruse.


38 responses to “Religious Liberty Exemptions, Lawmakers, and Stupidity

  1. I came across someone who said “The government was forcing gay marriage on the country.” My response: I have read the Bible. And lucky for us, we live in a country founded on freedom from/of religion. Meaning we are free to believe or not believe in any religious organization. Add to that, The Bible is not the only religious book or belief of our country, so the government has to serve ALL tax paying citizens, equally. So would you say it’s only OK to force your belief on others, but not the other way around? Seems to me, the government isn’t doing the forcing here.

  2. An employee’s job is to conduct the employer’s business as the employer and the law dictate. If she cannot or won’t do that, she needs to find another job. I’ve no sympathy whatsoever for bigotry posing as “religious freedom.”

  3. Amen! Just kidding. You are the most rational person that I have ever read

  4. Do you know who else wants to impose their religious beliefs on everyone. ISIS.

  5. I thought I had seen it all … There are simply no words … The absurdity of Some of these religious pandering candidates saying that the religious are being oppressed … No they have oppressed all of us non-believers for years … I need to move to Sweden … Thanks for the article .. Well done as usual

  6. If the county clerk was a Muslim woman and she decided not to give a marriage license to any woman who doesn’t wear a hijab, would all of these nut jobs be defending her? Not a chance! But it’s exactly the same principle.

  7. This is just revenge because obviously no gay man has ever been willing to teach her how to dress or do her hair 🙂

  8. 1 significant difference between the 2 cases cited. The Muslim flight attendant had followed the employer’s suggestion, and made arrangement with co-workers that they would sell alcohol to her passengers when requested. She did not try to impose her belief on them. This worked well until 1 co-worker complained (and also griped about her wearing a scarf on her head).

    By comparison, Davis is (so far) unwilling to step aside and let others on her staff hand out marriage licenses. She is unhappy because her name (as county clerk) is on those licenses whether she processes them personally or not. I would say that if she can’t handle that detail, and the state legislature won’t remove her name from the license (which they shouldn’t have to do) then Ms Davis really needs to find a new job.

    • Hi Chris A! Yes, I read that, too, but still it seems that if you are making the judgment for others (drinking is sinful/immoral) and therefore you won’t serve alcohol to anyone else, then you are certainly imposing your beliefs. These customers are not children. They have the right to ask for and be served a drink in a place that legally serves them. Not only is drinking wrong for her, but it’s wrong for others, too–or she’d serve them. What if, during Lent, a Catholic server refused to serve his customers meat?

    • Chris, the part you’ve missed and as was reported after the initial blow up of this story, is that on this person’s specific flights there were often only two attendants onboard, meaning the other ended up taking on the pay load of work because of this person’s beliefs. She also declined passengers and had them wait until the other attendant was free to serve them. The airline tried to make it work by allowing her to find a solution, and when it didn’t they took the appropriate action. I don’t care if it affected one or many attendants, one person shouldn’t have to take the lion’s share of work because of another’s belief and I think a complaint was fair. At the end of the day she was imposing her belief on other crew and passengers, and not doing the full scope of work she was hired for. I have to say I also found it quite hysterical that this person didn’t realise until *after* she converted that she wasn’t able to serve alcohol. She clearly researched and listened well before her conversion.

  9. Good one pinkagendist!

    It’s just all so silly, isn’t it? All this controversy all because of writings in a book that they “believe” to be the word of God.

    I just recently read this from the Huffington Post:
    “Religious liberty is guaranteed in this country. But that does not mean that every job needs to bend to your particular interpretation of your faith,” “If you really believe doing your job is violating your faith, then stepping aside would be a small price to pay for the love of the Gospel.”

    She needs to do just that and step aside!

    If you go to Huffington Post they saved her the time by listing 13 jobs she should definitely not apply for. 🙂

    • I love this thought .. sacrifice to your God by stepping aside for the love of Christ … I will use this in debates from now on. I mean if you are not willing to sacrifice like the Bible says (has to be in there somewhere) are you really a good Christian? Thanks

    • Amen, Juls! Ha! I was going to suggest that she serve meals in a nursing home, so I’ll have to check that out! I sure hope that lawmakers do NOT pass religious exemption laws…I mean, what if your emergency room doc is a right-to-lifer and you come in with an ectopic pregnancy?

    • If she stepped aside, she would not longer get to deny gay people their rights, which is her true goal.

  10. You cannot use rational arguments for those that think irrationally. For the evangelical-style religions, it is their belief that they must spread the “word”, so using “to-each-their-own” arguments will fall on to deaf years.

    Religions is just another manifestation of human’s biological imperative to gather and procreate with those of their own group, and those not in the group are to be shunned. You see this kind of behavior in numerous species.

    Fortunately, progress is being made, where are culturally advancing to look beyond artifical differences like skin color (still a work-in-progress, but it is better than in our past) and other physical differences. Therefore, group selection criteria is based on how you think and what you believe: Republican vs Democrat, Christian vs Muslim vs Atheists, etc…

    As Heinlein wrote, “Man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal.” Until people realize that we are animals, albeit intelligent ones, we can better manage and transcend our instinctual natures.

  11. I just read a blog where the author printed Kim Davis’ work address and asked every gay couple in the country to send her a wedding invitation. Just a little reminder that gay marriage is legal in this country and there’s not a damn thing she can do about it. I love that! So for anyone reading this who is gay and getting married soon, please send a wedding invitation to Kim Davis (and her fourth husband, if you want to include him) at: 600 West Main Street, Room 102 Morehead, KY 40351

  12. Glad to see you are posting again. I think all of the religious people who have problems with our laws should spend their summer vacation in Saudi Arabia. But knowing these country folks as I do, they would probably just convert and come back worse than when they left.

    • Thanks, Milton.
      Yes, it’s doubtful that they’d appreciate all the protections they have here in the US. It’s the hypocrisy and judgment of a small percentage that really ruin things for everyone.

  13. She goes back to work tomorrow, 14 SEP. What will she do? Has she learned anything?

  14. So how long before Ms. Davis gets her own show on TLC?

    Isn’t that what she’s been aiming for all along? She certainly didn’t do this for the jail house cuisine.

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