Photo: Associated Press
The USA is a difficult country to understand sometimes. Stupendously progressive one moment and head-scratchingly backwards the next. Last week Indiana became the 20th state to introduce "religious freedom laws" which allow businesses to deny service to gay and lesbian couples.
Freedom to practice one's religion is a commendable thing, but in a society made up of people with different beliefs there are fundamental rights that supersede (gasp) all religious ones. They're called "human rights" because they belong to all people regardless of religion, race, gender and sexual orientation. The argument that businesses shouldn't have to serve those who offend their beliefs is illogical & hypocritical. Should a non-Christian doctor be allowed to withhold life-saving services because a patient's Christian values offend them? Of course not. What if someone's religion teaches that people of colour are unclean and shouldn't be allowed inside? Don't think that would fly either, though 50 years ago it was a different story... Yet the irony of a "religious freedom law" that encourages religious discrimination is lost on many people.
So what can be done? If everyone opposed to this idiocy adopted "bigotry is wrong" as a religious belief and refused to serve bigots on religious grounds, these laws won't last long! As the Dali Lama said, "My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness." Time for kindness to stand up and be heard.
If you agree, please share! #MyReligionIsKindness