There was an article in the Hollywood Reporter recently talking about how Georgia (The state in America), was trying to pass the Free Exercise Protection Act. It allows people, businesses and churches to deny services to gay, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people, and, I’m guessing, any other people that they don;t like or think should be sent straight to hell.

Specifically, it states… “ministers and pastors cannot be forced to conduct same-sex marriages, faith-based organizations can’t be forced to provide social, educational or charitable services that violate their religious beliefs, and that the government can’t “substantially burden” a person’s exercise of religion unless it involves “a compelling government interest” — thereby extending protections to individuals.”

According to the Humans Right Campaign, this act could… “open the door to discrimination in social services and employment against a wide range of Georgians.” It also argues that taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies, homeless shelters and drug counseling centers would be free to discriminate against LGBT individuals and couples.

Thankfully, there are a lot of people with serious clout against this Act. From Disney and Marvel, who have shot Captain America, Ant-Man and other movies there, to AMC’s The Walking Dead, to the major sport franchises, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and UPS, to name a few. According to the article, Georgia has become “Hollywood South” with a lot of film industry people and companies working there. If this Act passes, they will pull out of Georgia, leaving a $1.7 BILLION dent in the economy.

But I’m not here to talk about the financial damage this act could cause. I want to talk about the reasoning, if there is any, behind this.

As I see it, the idea behind this Act is to protect religious… ok, Christian religious beliefs from having to deal with those people (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or LGBT) that Christians don’t like because of their belief system. Despite the fact that the First Amendment gives them that protection already.

There is, of course, a more simple solution. Any business, church, or person who doesn’t want to deal with LGBT people, they should boldly and proudly proclaim their beliefs in their advertising, their websites, social media, store windows, etc. Because in America, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion is everyone’s right! If they don’t to serve certain people because of their beliefs, that is fine. That is their choice. And I’m all about freedom of choice.

There would be some backlash, of course. That is also a freedom of the people, so long as it isn’t slanderous and such. Any violence towards the people or their businesses who don’t want to serve LGBT should be investigated and charged to the fullest extent of the law. After all, they have the right to express their religious beliefs through their businesses, their places of worship, and their homes.

The discrimination doesn’t have to stop there, of course. They could also indicate they don’t want to serve Muslims, Blacks, Latinos, kids, women, and anyone else they deem unworthy, unclean, or against their one true God. After all, it was their God that said to not have any other God before him. So I guess that would include Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, and so on.

But I digress.

I’m not a religious guy. But my Mother is. She reads her Bible every day, which is probably more than some holier-than-thou people out there. If there is a religious thing I need an opinion on, I ask her. But honestly, just from what I have gathered from her, and other people of faith that I know, this Act is bullshit, and pretty much goes against everything God teaches.

Sure there are passages in the Bible that anti-LGBT tout as proof of God’s hatred of them. But if anyone finds hatred in the Bible, especially when talking about the words of God, they are reading the wrong Bible. Besides, anyone can read anything they want in the Bible, or any other book on religion (I’m talking about you Muslim extremists and your screwed up version of the Quran), and twist it to their demented world view.

Does that mean the good, God-fearing Christian folks, as well as the prejudiced jerk-offs, who support this Free Exercise Act are demented? Yeah, pretty much. They are also afraid. They are cowards. They are faithless as well. If the fact that a man and a man getting married causes them such great fear that they need this kind of Act in place to protect themselves, then they must not have much faith in themselves or their religion.

By the way, remember earlier when I mentioned if people put anti-gay alerts on their businesses and that the law should protect their rights to do so? Well, the same would have to go for anyone, including LGBT people. Sad thing is, with racial tension on the rise, financial instability, and the potential for a greedy, self-serving egomaniac to lead the country, you want to bet that any minority (IE: someone who isn’t straight or white) would find themselves in a potentially unfriendly country.

Lets hope that all those big Hollywood names and corporations remember this fight in Georgia, and continue it throughout the land.

 

If you want to read the article I quoted, here’s the link below…

THR Hollywood against Free Exercise Act

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