So, the United Kingdom has issued a travel advisory for its citizens traveling to Mississippi. I have seen some bad times in Mississippi but it seemed like we were making progress. The "Whites Only" and "No Blacks Allowed" signs had disappeared, at least from the restaurants and restrooms, but obviously not from the minds of some elected officials. The actions of a few have set us back decades and I have never felt more like I live in a third world country than I do now--backwards, ignorant, intolerant, and fearful.
The Bible I read and the God I worship frowns upon sin and it does not have levels of sin. Sin is sin. If the belief is that LGBT folks are sinning and we should be able to deny them service, then why should we not be able to discriminate against those who are divorced, drink too much, use drugs, curse, are prostitutes, don't worship like they should? Those are also considered sins by many but tolerated by most. The answer is really quite simple, this great nation was not founded on such principles and discrimination is not what God wants us to do. Did Jesus only associate with the priests and the holy? I seem to recall he talked to and ate with prostitutes and thieves, among other sinners (including tax collectors, aka politicians). But of course I do not have the same bible that Governor Phil Bryant has for I am sure that in his "version" Jesus does not eat with the sinners (Mark 2:13-17) but instead discriminates against them and refuses service. After all, showing Christian love and charity to only the chosen is a long-held Biblical standard, is it not?
I may be wrong, and it would certainly not be the first time, but the day will come, I believe, when we all stand before our Maker and are judged by our actions. I am more confident that showing love, charity, and compassion to all will go further with Him than talking about the times I stood up to what I thought was sin. I seem to recall something about not judging others.
I deal with people all the time I do not agree with: people with haircuts I don't like, people who wear ugly tee-shirts. My dealing with them in no way says I like their haircut or their choice in clothing. How could selling a cake to someone I disagree with possibly imply that I agree with them? How could providing a service to someone I disagree with possibly imply I agree with them? And how are we to know? Will we all be required to check a box at each restaurant and indicate our sexual preference before we are served? I can see it now, "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Incorrectly Checked Boxes, No Service". Can we discriminate against those of other religions based on "strongly held religious beliefs" of our own? Imagine that, a sign that says "Christians Only", or "Must be Muslim to Enter Store". Does it have to stop there? Can we say Presbyterians and Methodist can sit in the front but Methodists and Lutherans have to sit in the back?
My dear friends, what bothers almost as much as the sheer stupidity and nastiness of HB 1523 is how it is being defended. Calling a discrimination law an "anti-discrimination" law does not make it so; it is merely "blackwhite", to borrow a Newspeak phrase from George Orwell's 1984. No, Mississippi HB 1523 is doubleplusungood. Perhaps our legislators should read that book and think about where these laws could lead, but somehow I get the feeling they are more familiar with Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and believe that Montag is the villain.
Well, time to grab my Bible and gun and head to church. Thank you House Bill 786, "Church Protection Act"! Now we can really show our Christianity and make sure those LGBT troublemakers don't interfere with our worship.
May the Lord have mercy on our souls for we are led by clueless.