taking god's name in vain


HB 1023 and SB 377 are now slithering through the dank halls of Georgia’s government. These bills would allow business owners to openly discriminate against gay Americans by denying them employment or services: banning them from restaurants, hotels etc. (Translation: anybody who wishes to discriminate against someone for any reason need only say that it’s because it’s part of their “personal religion”.)

The so-called “Preservation of Religious Freedom Act” would, in effect, permit any individual or for-profit company to ignore Georgia’s anti-discrimination and civil rights laws. Legal experts warn that such “religious-freedom” bills are so vague and all-encompassing that they fling the doors wide open for discrimination against not only gay individuals, but many other others as well. Gee… ya think?!

The thought that even a penny of my hard-earned money could, via state taxes, go towards supporting the rabid plans of these myopic and destructive dementors sickens me. We seem to be moving backwards these days – deliberately ushering in our very own version of The Dark Ages.

(There are small candles being lit: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed called on state officials to pursue legislation recognizing same-sex marriages performed out of state – a key first step in what he described as “a long road to marriage equality in Georgia.”

Why any measures to ensure equality should have to walk “a long road” is quite beyond me. Hasn’t this country already shed enough blood in those wars and emerged into the light? Was the fight for civil rights just momentary political expedience? I’d always assumed that it was a national awakening and long-overdue triumph. But perhaps I was wrong.)

We’re better than this. We can – we must – be better than all of this. I’m a “Trudeau-baby” – born and bred during his influential years. (Hint: he was the Prime Minister of Canada). I agree wholeheartedly with his declaration that “there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.”

Dear God, people…in a world that’s torn apart with man’s inhumanity to man (and all other creatures) who are we to seek to deny, suppress, punish or legislate love?

Now let’s hear from a good ol’ Georgia boy:

“The bond of our common humanity is stronger than the divisiveness of our fears and prejudices. God gives us a capacity for choice. We can choose to alleviate suffering. We can choose to work together for peace. We can make these changes. And we must.”
39th President of the United States, James Earl (Jimmy) Carter.

Here’s HB 1023 in all its hellish intent.

I see this as nothing less than an attempt to corrode all rights and freedoms. Racial equality, reproductive rights, wage equity – all of it teeters on the edge of the slippery slope for there’s no such thing as “more or less equal.” No shades of grey or equivocations: it’s either equality for all or sink into the morass of bigotry and social/moral chaos.

What truly, truly confuses me is that so many of those who promote and support these heinous bills call themselves “patriots” – even as they defile the Declaration of Independence and the spirit of America.

Please… take a moment to write to those who would plunge our state into darkness, damage our economy, and shame us in the eyes of the world. Politicians seek, first and foremost, to perpetuate their own existence. Tell them NO! Tell them that we will not accept legislated intolerance.

Click here for a list of elected Georgia officials.

Image: Dark Age Battle (public domain)
Alex Kearns

Alex Kearns

Alex writes for a variety of national and international publications. A relative newcomer to the United States, she co-founded her town's first environmental organization (The St. Marys EarthKeepers, Inc.). In turns bemused, confused, entranced, frustrated and delighted, she enjoys unravelling the eternal enigma that is the Deep South.