Thursday April 2, 2015
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I wasn't going to write about Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA - pronounced RIFF-ruh) not because I didn't want to take a position, but because I can't understand it.
I don't understand what it does, and I don't understand what problem it was trying to solve and before you hit the SEND key I am absolutely not interested in you telling me why you think I'm wrong about my interpretation even though I have no interpretation.
I have no plans to travel to Indiana - no one invited me to the NCAA Final Four
again - so I don't have any moral judgements or political statements to make.
One of the issues I found, while poking around looking for a straight-forward explanation is that Indiana's RFRA lit a fuse the caused a public policy explosion on both sides from people who, like me, have no idea what is in the law.
I'm willing to bet that most of the members of the Indiana state legislature never read it before they voted on it. How can I say that? Because most members of most legislative bodies don't read the bills they vote on because even if they did it wouldn't make any sense.
"In Section 234(a)(1) of PL 98-12 insert the word "twelve" in lieu of "ten" …"
See what I mean? By the way I made all that up. I have no idea is there is a PL 98-12 and if there is I don't have any idea if there is a section 234. And I don't care so, again, if you happen to be in the Legislative Counsel's office of the U.S. House or Senate don't tell me.
In the Congress most Members look to someone who is on the Committee of jurisdiction for guidance on whether to vote for or against a bill, an amendment to a bill, or a resolution.
Those are the thoughtful ones. The rest just ask if Obama is for it or against it and vote accordingly depending on which side of the aisle they sit.
Many of the arguments for and against the Indiana bill are silly. When Apple Chairman Tim Cook, who is Gay, wrote in an Op-Ed in the Washington Post:
"The days of segregation and discrimination marked by "Whites Only" signs on shop doors, water fountains and restrooms must remain deep in our past. We must never return to any semblance of that time."
Those who opposed Cooks comparing Indiana's RFRA to "Whites Only signs on shop doors" immediately reacted by saying Apple sells products in Saudi Arabia where discrimination Gays includes the death penalty.
I would have said, in response, that anyone who agrees with Cook should think about where the gasoline in their car came from. There is a high probability that at least some of it came from that same Saudi Arabia.
A friend of mine wrote to say that this law would prevent a Kosher baker from having to make a cake for an admitted Nazi. I don't know whether that's true or not, but I'm pretty sure that hate speech is covered elsewhere in the Indiana Code. And, if the admitted Nazi didn't show up in a Storm Trooper outfit or shout epithets, I'm not certain the Kosher baker should be allowed to refuse service.
While I'm on a equivalency rant, the new host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, is being accused of anti-Semitism for some Tweets that he thought were funny. Here's one via The Hill newspaper:
"Almost bumped a Jewish kid crossing the road. He didn't look b4 crossing but I still would hav felt so bad in my german car!"
Almost killing a Jewish kid. Always good for a laugh.
If Trevor Noah showed up on my bakery I'd pelt him with four-day-old bagels.
Still waiting for the screams of outrage from Daily Show fans.
On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to the Tim Cook essay, to the Washington Post article and to the Hill Newspaper's collection of knee slapping humor about Jews by the new Daily Show guy.
Also a Mullfoto making fun of Vegans and lunch trucks. Don't look if you will be offended.
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