An editor asked me to weigh in on Indiana's new anti-gay bigot empowerment act, which they somehow think is acceptable because it's directed at gays and draped in someone's idea of religion. The lede echoes "Welcome Back to the Steinberg Bakery," written last year when Hobby Lobby decided to thrust its hands down the pants of its employees to check what they were doing down there. But I figured it would be a new concept to most of the newspaper readers. The following only lived online Friday, it wasn't intended to be published, but I thought you might like to see it.
Before I begin today's column, I have to ask any menstruating women to stop reading.
No offense. But my faith believes you are unclean — it's written somewhere, I'm sure; I'm not going to bother digging out chapter and verse. So if you would set your device down, and go sit in the Hut of Shame for a few days and wait for it to pass, well, then I would feel better. You are welcome to read this column later, after you perform certain ablutionary rituals I will not describe here.
There, now my religious scruples are honored, I can cluck over Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signing a law Thursday that allows Indianapolis photographers and Bloomington bakers, Evansville owners of Grange Halls and Fort Wayne barbershop quartets, to refuse to serve gay weddings because, well, God wants it that way, in their estimation.
As far as why this should be limited to gays — why anybody of any faith should not use any religion as a reason to refuse any kind of service to just about anybody — has not been sufficiently explained. We have to take it on faith, I suppose.
I could use this as an opportunity to sneer at Indiana. The state where, in the mid-1920s, half the members of the same General Assembly that passed this law, and its governor at the time, belonged to the Klu Klux Klan, along with 30 percent of the white Protestant men. I assume that's no longer the case, but I haven't hard evidence.
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