The internet has lit up over the past few days about the "religious freedom" bill that was signed into law in Indiana this week. This is a bill that allows discrimination against gay and lesbian people because of religion. Haters gonna be allowed to hate. Update: seems it might really be aimed at denying contraception to women through the Affordable Healthcare Act but the ability to discriminate against gays might be a useful side effect for supporters.
I'm not terribly religious in my adult life although I was brought up in a Catholic household so this post contains more religious stuff than I'm really comfortable with.
If you are religious then in my opinion, it should be about two things: your relationship with your God, and your relationship with your community. These should both be positive relationships. Your religious practice (or lack of it) should not negatively affect other people. Your non-religious acts should also not negatively affect others.
The negative effects of religion occur way too often. ISIS. Boko Haram. Al-Shabaab. Westboro Baptist Church. The War on (Muslim) Terror. Israel and Palestine. Northern Ireland. I'm sure there are thousands more examples where religion has a negative effect on society at large or where religion is used as a tool to facilitate existing hatred.
This religious freedom law is another example of allowing religion to have a negative effect on society. It creates division in society. I might hate gays and not want to serve them pizza but what stops me hating Muslims or black people or women and refusing to serve them pizza too. Where does it end?
My biggest problem with the law is that it just seems un-Christian. I have no Bible quotes to claim whether homosexuality is right or wrong: I don't really care. If there is anything that you want to do and it doesn't affect me then why should I care?
I've never read the Bible but I thought I should find Bible quotes of my own. This is what I came up with (Matthew 22:39):
Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
This sums up how I believe everyone should live their lives (except the God part, should you choose that). It's really summed up as:
This is a pretty good way to live your life, with or without religion.
Yet, this religious freedom bill allows others to treat you differently because their religion dictates it. Discrimination is not how I should be treating others and any religion that mandates discrimination should not be given the legal right to do so.