Several months ago, as we were celebrating the Supreme Court’s historic ruling that ALL Americans have an equal right to marriage, I predicted that the battle had only begun for many of us. North Carolina and Mississippi now have proven that to be true. They aren’t likely to be the last, just the most ham-fisted … well, Alabama hasn’t weighed in yet.
I hope no one is surprised that these bills are using “religious freedom” as the excuse to legalize discrimination against law-abiding taxpayers. I also hope we all are paying attention to how organizations like ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) have become a shadow government, writing legislation that often is passed verbatim in conservative states. These stealth organizations are funded secretly by the Koch Brothers and others who have successfully gerrymandered the government to ensure that the MAJORITY no longer rules; rather, the one percent will rule through the party that they control via their donations. (For more information, please click HERE.)
I suppose you could say that this Liberating Word is about politics, unless you believe, as I do, that Jesus came to speak against the empire of the few/wealthy/mighty controlling and oppressing the poor and those at the margins. My point is that, right before our eyes, our own government is the instrument of the empire. Frankly, it always has been, but what disturbs me now is that the Religious Right is trying to sprinkle it with holy water and use “religious freedom” as the disguise for the same rank discrimination, division, and oppression.
No wonder lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people flee Christianity. Who can blame them, especially when it seems that only secular people speak up and speak out? In this country, the more church-going a state is the more bigoted it is. Can anyone dispute that? Well, it is up to you and to me to change it, or at least publicly, courageously, and relentlessly bear witness against it.
Rev. Michael Piazza