Gays love cake. And pizza, apparently. So much so that both seem the perfect combination for a fabulous gay wedding. And who wants to deny them that? It’s a free world. If you wanted to serve frozen fish heads and Vaseline for your wedding, go for it. There may be people crying in the corner, but no one’s going to stop you. Unless you’re Indiana, that is. For those that don’t know, in 1993 the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed. This was done to prevent legal neutrality with regards to religion causing discrimination against religious people. If people are religious, they deserve the right exercise that belief rather than be discriminated against – such is the land of the free and all that. But like most people given an inch, some idiots ran a fucking mile with it. Apparently it was perfectly moral not to provide employee health care that could potentially be used for condoms, and suddenly it was okay to deny people cake. Marie Antoinette is currently rolling in her grave.
Due to multiple sovereignty, a state can also choose to establish the law as a state concern, meaning that the previous rule of the Government not interfering with religious freedom unless the burden is deemed worthy of federal investigation can be microcosmically reduced to being a state affair. Okay, that makes sense. If an individual wishing to pray to Mecca gets assaulted on the street for practicing their religion, it can be addressed by the state. The purpose of this law is to prevent people from feeling like they aren’t free to practise their beliefs. Like most first-world laws, its decision is wholly humanitarian, seeded in the desire to let people be people and do people things. Providing that these people things do not affect the freedom of others. Like letting them have pizza.
The pizza-cake explosion from this has been kind of bizarre. It’s not as if the owner shoved a bible in the guest’s face and insulted them verbally for their private lifestyle. And yet, it is necessary for this to become a national concern, because it was a national concern that enabled this individual situation to happen. Just as someone can say a racist comment in public and then laugh it off and say they’re “only joking”, so can the owner of a pizza shop deny serving individuals who have done nothing illegal and claim it’s his religious freedom to do so. Yes, I’m denying these people pizza for their wedding, but it’s okay – they can just go somewhere else, it’s no big deal, but I personally don’t want to have to conflict with my religious freedom. The intimate nature of the scenario skews the severity of the circumstances. This isn’t about denying people pizza (god forbid) but the fact that one individual can twist their freedom of expression to act as a tool for discrimination.
This is a sad, pathetic and sick bastardisation of the religious freedom act and of the religion itself. The somewhat embarrassing obsession held by much of Christianity in the US (and elsewhere but we chattin’ ‘bout ‘Murica) towards homosexuality is testament to how one, minor aspect can be blown out of proportion and twisted to fit someone’s agenda. We’ve all made jokes about people picking and choosing what they want from the bible and yet it is still happening. Ignoring the history of misogyny, xenophobia, racism, and general shitiness of Christianity’s past, there are some undeniable factors at the religion’s core. It’s supposed to be about love. Not hippie love – no, that’d be too awesome for even Pope Francis to get behind, or be taken from behind. The simple, basic, fundamental, mind-numbingly-obvious-how-are-you-not-getting-this-you-inbred-prick point of the religion is to be a good person, do good things, don’t judge others and let your god do the rest. To hate someone is unchristian. To judge someone is unchristian. To deny someone something they have a right to is un-fucking-Christian. And in doing so, you evoke any right whatsoever to any sense of religious freedom of expression.
Because religion is based on belief, and not law, it can be hard to pin point where someone’s legal standpoint is coming from. But that’s why there’s the fucking bible. Does the bible say you have the right to deny gay people service? No? Then it’s not violation of your religious freedom. You don’t like what they do? Okay, that’s a shame and you have my sympathy, but guess what, life fucking sucks sometimes. I have a moral repulsion towards Justin Bieber fans – I think he’s vile and eroding younger generations’ minds – but if I have to serve them at the bar then I will. Plus, it’s always funny when a drunk Belieber realises their life has been a waste. Having the freedom of expression and opinion is a fucking privilege. The amount of years and sacrifices that have been made to get to this point. And in America, of all places. There are still countries today whose civilians cannot speak a word out of line for the fear of their tyrant’s anger – having an opinion and expression is not a human-born right, it’s something that has been fought for. Don’t shit all over this new-born baby of liberty by fucking it in the mouth.
Words by Laurence Williams