Will Governor Phil Bryant "lie back and enjoy it" as his Peach State counterpart Nathan Deal did a few days ago? And, more interestingly, should he....or shouldn't he?
The devil, as always, is in the details:
Mississippi’s House Bill 1523 says, among other things, that public employees, businesses, and social workers cannot be punished for denying services based on the belief that marriage is strictly between a man and a woman.
Based upon my high-powered understanding of the English language, does that not go a bit beyond forcing "people of faith" to participate in paganistic, perverted mockeries of Christian social rites and rituals? Clergy and justices of the peace and caterers and photographers who belong to Jesus Christ should not be forced to participate in sodoweddings, but the further away we get from that clarity, the more questionable and less legally defensible it becomes. For instance, outside of the aforementioned context, how would a public employee (presumably not the Kim Davis scenario), business, or social worker - all very general categories - necessarily know what a client/customer believed about marriage? Wouldn't they have to ask them? And in most such situations, would that question be one that they would ordinarily ask in the context of doing their jobs? Do you see where this is headed?
Same goes for people who act on the belief that “sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage”....
Words mean things, folks. These days, a lot of them mean things different from when I learned them - the word "gay" comes to mind - but “sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage” covers a lot more ground than just sodomarriage, or homosexuality, for that matter. If you follow the logic of that statement, where you end up is "public employees, businesses, and social workers" not only asking clients/customers of their views on marriage, but their views on fornication and adultery as well. Now, just to reiterate for the record, I am against all sex outside of heterosexual marriage (and yes, I can't believe I have to etymologically drill down that far), and I have never deviated from that standard and principle in practice, and pray that I never do. But, speaking for myself but, I suspect, for a great many others of like mind, I really would have no desire to inquire of the owner of the local MAACO dealer down the street who's contracted me to keep his books if he's ever sampled the whores of Clark County, Nevada. If the McDonalds owner/operator on South Hill in Puyallup is a bigamist, that's his problem, and I do not nor do I have to approve of it, but how do his indiscretions impose anything upon me?
....and that gender is determined at birth. It says the government can’t prevent businesses from firing a transgender employee, clerks from refusing to license a s[odo]marriage, or adoption agencies from refusing to place a child with a couple who they believe may be having premarital sex.
Gender is determined at conception, actually. Because it's genetic. And "transgender" employees should be subject to termination in "at will" employment same as anybody else, though I will acknowledge that if the most qualified candidate for an, um, opening in a company I owned called himself "Caitlyn," and I wasn't running a day care center or a charter school, that would be toe-curlingly awkward, but I wouldn't have justifiable grounds on which not to hire them.
But you can see the problem by this time, I trust. It's one of indiscrimination. The Religious Liberty Accommodations Act is insufficiently targeted and possesses too large a legislative scope to be practical. It sacrifices reassertion of religious freedoms and Christian civil rights to create at least the appearance of what our atheist enemies have always accused us of plotting: "legislating morality". And it would, of course, be injuncted and struck down before the ink could even dry on Governor Bryant's signature.
So imagine his plight right about now. Phil Bryant has championed religious liberty bills in the past, and justifiably and emphatically so. Now he's faced with one that not only will never survive the legal challenges already warming up against it, but will undermine the cause of religious freedom itself by handing our enemies all the propaganda ammunition to use against us that they could ever want. It's all pain, no gain. And yet ensconsed among all the overreach are worthy items very much, indeed desperately, in need of enacting.
Brothers and sisters, if ever there was a situation tailor-made for the line-item veto, this would be it.
I hope Mississippi has one. Because otherwise, Phil Bryant's will constitute one more job that I'm glad I don't hold.
UPDATE: Woe be unto Christian barbers, as they are the next targets.