The GOP Betrayal of Religious Freedom in Indiana

The Federalist analyzes the GOP betrayal: Indiana is now the most restrictive state in the Union.

We have now reached the point where Rick Santorum and a Lesbian couple have more in common on the concept of freedom, including religious freedom, than either have with the Republican governor and Republican legislators of Indiana.

It really is nothing less than a GOP betrayal of religious freedom.

As the Federalist puts it: “Indiana Is Now The Most Hostile State To Religious Freedom.”

In caving to corporate and elite pressure to “fix” Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Gov. Mike Pence and the rest of the state’s laughingstock Republican leadership have ironically bungled into amending it in a way that now makes Indiana the most hostile state in the country to the conscience rights the original law was designed to protect.

The hastily and stupidly crafted amendment they enacted during Holy Week provides that Indiana’s RFRA can never be used as a defense in any gay rights or other civil rights proceeding by anyone other than a clergyman, church, or religious institution. It’s in the same vein as a DC City Council proposal that would force religious organizations to hire or provide resources to people who diametrically oppose those organizations’ missions, which hundreds of congressional lawmakers are actively opposing, using Congress’s right to decide DC laws. Of course, until the advent of gay marriage there hadn’t ever been a single instance in any of the other 31 states with RFRA statutes or equivalent judicial protections using RFRA as a defense in a gay-rights case, much less in a case involving racial or other alleged discrimination.

RFRA protections have been raised, however, without success, in a series of recent cases around the country in which government author­ities, acting under state or local gay-rights laws, have ordered creative professionals such as photographers, florist’s and cake designers with religious objec­tions to same-sex marriage to nonetheless provide their services for or at these wedding ceremonies or face crippling fines and “rehabilitation.”

A side note: Many liberals want to make it illegal to offer counseling to people struggling with same-sex attractions and to help them get in a humanly-proper relationship with a person of the opposite sex. They have done so in some states for minors and, no doubt, will use medical licensing and standards to punish it for any age soon. But assigning “deviants” (like photographers who don’t want to attend mock marriages) to mandatory re-education? That’s just fine. We are dealing with genuine fascists.

While the RFRA has been rejected as an argument by some courts, only one state in the country has legislatively settled the question before any court ever got to hear an argument: Indiana.

Christians may have a shot in some cases of using the Republican Party for some good. But the fact that they are sometimes better than the Democrats doesn’t mean they have any character. This GOP betrayal of the First Amendment is just another proof that they are evil.