According to the American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, “religious freedom” means: the right to choose a religion (or no religion) without interference from the government. It can’t be clearer than that. Why is it, then, that so many red states think “religious freedom” gives them the right to discriminate? This mistaken concept has fostered numerous laws that permit businesses to refuse service to members of the LGBT community.
Last year, Arizona felt the push-back from their anti-LGBT ,law which forced their governor to repeal it. This year it’s the Indiana and Arkansas bigots’ turn to feel the outrage. Incredibly, these red-state leaders refuse to acknowledge their laws are discriminatory.
Apparently, the bigots need help. “Bigotry” is the stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief or opinion that differs from one’s own. Not surprising, an antonym for bigotry is “discrimination,” which is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of people or things especially on the grounds of race, age or sex.
If you’re going to use “religious freedom” as an excuse to discriminate, at least have the guts to admit you’re a bigot. Anti-LGBT laws are discriminatory by definition and that should offend everyone’s religious beliefs.
Tex Beauchamp, Meridian