Idiocy exposed in N. Carolina religion bill

Idiocy exposed in N. Carolina religion bill

In 1958, two residents of Virginia, Mildred Jeter, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man – pictured above – were married in the District of Columbia. The Lovings returned to Virginia shortly thereafter.

The newly-weds were then charged with violating the state’s anti-miscegenation statute, which banned inter-racial marriages. The Lovings were found guilty and sentenced to a year in jail – but the trial judge agreed to suspend the sentence if the Lovings would leave Virginia and not return for 25 years.

The godly Virginia judge based his decision on biblical teaching, stating:

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

Why bring up the case now?

Because it was referred to this week in this Slate report about a shocking bill in North Carolina that, if passed, will allow magistrates to refuse to perform civil marriage ceremonies not only for gays couples, but any couple, so long as they can articulate a religious objection to the marriage.

That, says Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern:

Gives racist magistrates an excellent opportunity to refuse to marry interracial couples.

Stern says that, at first glance, the North Carolina bill might seem pretty similar to the anti-gay “religious liberty” measure recently passed in Indiana.

It uses the same language about protecting individuals’ religious objections, and it arose out of the same concern that spurred the Indiana law: the arrival of same-sex marriage in the state through judicial fiat.

But that’s where the similarities end. North Carolina’s bill is actually far more radical than Indiana’s, a dramatic expansion of civil servants’ right to inflict discrimination on others with the full endorsement of the government.

Stern added:

The Indiana law allowed ‘compelling governmental interests’ to trump religious exercise – but the North Carolina bill has no such upper limit.

In effect, the bill declares that protecting civil servants’ right to discriminate on the job is more important than anything else. All a magistrate need do under the bill is declare that she holds a religious objection to issuing a marriage license to a certain couple, and she can legally turn them away.

18 responses to “Idiocy exposed in N. Carolina religion bill”

  1. SallyinMI says:

    Can we get any closer to the 1800’s without turning back time? What is the matter with the GOP? The BIBLE is NOT the Constitution of these United States. On purpose. We are not a Christian nation, any more than we are a Jewish state, or a Muslim state. On purpose. The old white rich geezers are so afraid of losing their majority that they are demonizing minorities, women, the poor, the elderly…gee, the GOP hates everyone but rich white males. Come on, America, we can do better than this. We are better than this.

  2. majii says:

    If McCrory signs this bill into law, there will be unintended consequences. Those who support this bill just might find themselves being refused service by some state officials. I feel fairly certain that the bill’s supporters think it will only affect LGBTQ persons, but they’re in for a rude awakening—it could also affect them. For example, some members of certain religious groups don’t believe a woman should ever cut her hair. A heterosexual female who supports this bill and sports a short hairstyle might show up at a state drivers’ license bureau to renew her driver’s license and be refused service, if the employee is one whose religious belief is that females should never cut their hair. Stupid? Yes. Arbitrary? Yes, but so is this bill. In their zeal to “expand” their special brand of religious liberty, I don’t think NC lawmakers have thoroughly examined the many negative consequences which could result from it becoming law. I hope NC citizens don’t mind paying millions to defend the state when the lawsuits are filed.

  3. Angela_K says:

    Bigotry is still bigotry especially when dressed up as religious freedom.

  4. barriejohn says:

    @majii et al: This proposed bill was “on hold” for months, I believe, precisely because those concerned could see the dangers of “unintended consequences”. What has changed?

    And, talking of trolls, Bob Hutton just HAD to comment on the tragic passing of much-loved politician and HIGNFY panellist, Charles Kennedy. I hate linking to his pathetic site, but it’s classic – “If only he had turned to Christ for deliverance”:

  5. Barry Duke says:

    @ Barriejohn: “It is sad, indeed, when people have addictions that control them and ruin their lives.” That’s rich coming from the troll Hutton who is addicted to haunting public toilets, leaving Chick leaflets in his wake.

  6. jay says:

    It’s problematic and stupid, but it differs significantly from the old bill which was statewide. Individuals could refuse to perform but that would not prevent getting another official to do it. The old bill applied across the state, required every official to support the prohibition, and made it a crime to participate in the marriage.

  7. barriejohn says:

    Barry: It was abundantly clear to me that many of the evangelicals whom I knew had seriously flawed personalities. Many did seem to have what one would term addictive personalities, and in my own case religious belief most certainly acted like a drug, and I could be almost deliriously happy although inhabiting a virtual dream world. Many of the leaders were the type who “believed the last thing that they had heard”, if you understand that. They would almost fanatically espouse one particular line one week, after coming under the influence of a strong personality, but would then be taking the opposite line the following week when someone else had brainwashed them. This may partly explain all the schisms, as, in the case of the Brethren in particular, these were the result of very strong leaders like John Nelson Darby, who were very dogmatic in their teaching, drawing groups to them and looking upon those with other interpretations of the Bible as heretics of the worst kind. A fertile field for investigation, to my mind!

  8. sailor1031 says:

    As the NC legislature will find out this bill does not supersede the 14th amendment to the US constitution. They will likely also find out that it will enable catholics, muslims, hindus, sikhs, buddhists and jews to discriminate too – perhaps against white republican protestants.

    “the arrival of same-sex marriage in the state through judicial fiat.”

    When a federal judge decides a case based on the constitution and the laws and the rednecks don’t like it that judge is an “activist judge” imposing his personal will by “fiat” = or is it “chrysler-fiat” these days?

    @Barriejohn: Garrison Keillor had a great description of schisms among the brethren in “Lake Wobegon Days”. The congregations IIRC became so small they could meet for “worship” on a front porch

  9. barriejohn says:

    @sailor1031: I knew Brethren like that! Using the excuse that “there was no local testimony” they would meet in their front room, but it was just a cover for the fact that they didn’t see eye to eye with “the oversight”. Mum would be the organist and Dad the overseer (and often only person taking part audibly unless they could persuade other brethren to visit them on a rota basis to lend support) . When one breakaway group wanted to “set up the Lord’s Table” not far away, I remember a leading Welsh brother screaming: “Over my dead body”. He died not long after – which caused great satisfaction to some. How these Christians love one another!

  10. Stephen Mynett says:

    Barriejohn, your mention of your Dad being the only one taking part audibly triggered a memory from a few of my hospital stays. We used to be subjected to a Sunday service on the ward and an orthopaedic ward in the 70s was quite a captive audience, despite the fact few, often none, of us wanted a service. The travelling sky pilot used to bring a tape player with him so he had some backing with the Hymns – it also helped to drown out the rustling of our newspapers.

  11. barriejohn says:

    Stephen Mynett: Not MY dad, but the father of whatever family decided to set up their own “meeting” in their own home. Most considered this quite “unscriptural” in the absence of elders and deacons, etc., but when strong-willed people get the bit between their teeth there’s no stopping them!

  12. Stephen Mynett says:

    Sorry Barriejohn, I read that too quickly.Anyhow, it would have reminded of the hospital shites whoever’s dad it was. As you say, strong-willed people and these unthinking preachers were definitely that, forcing religion on those who did not want it.

  13. dennis says:

    1. I am married to a beautiful big black woman and this north carolina shit pisses me off. can some atheist become members of the county government and give them the royal christian finger. ok I am a dreamer.

    2. “get the bit between their teeth”@barriejohn yes we see them today at Joe Biden’s son funeral from westbrook baptist church.

  14. barriejohn says:

    @dennis: You’re right there. Another “family church”; they’re just fanatics really, but they KNOW that they are right. And how they love it when someone is goaded into retaliating against them – it’s exactly what they want. We in the UK were saddened to read of Beau Biden’s untimely death. A much-loved and respected MP – Charles Kennedy – died here last week, aged just 55 years. Ex-leader of the Liberal Democrat Party who took them to their greatest electoral success and was almost a lone voice in opposing the Iraq war, he battled an alcohol problem for years, and sadly lost. In an age of cynicism and self-regard, we can scarce afford to lose such genuine people.

    WBC’s message to yet-living Joe Biden and others present includes that both Biden men have been given many reminders of God’s sovereignty yet have refused to obey His standards. Man cannot continue in disobedience and defiance of God’s standards without consequence. Biden has a life time of rebellion to seek repentance for before his soul is required of him. The time is short. Repent or likewise perish.

  15. Bas Gunn says:

    I have travelled a lot for my work and I have met Muslims, Hindus,Buddhists etc,etc then of course all the different sects of Christianity . They all believe that they are right and everyone else is wrong and I often wonder how many even bother to consider other peoples religions. They can’t all be right, and as an atheist I believe that they are all wrong.