And Then They Came for Me: Thoughts on House Bill 757

I believe in freedom of speech.  I believe it is the First Amendment for a reason.  I believe that people can and should be able to speak their minds, even if I find them to be assholes.  My definition of assholedom is different than others, and I consider “In Your Face” people to be the ultimate assholes. I am NOT politically correct, nor do I aspire to be; the two little people in my world will be handed over to my best friend and his husband if my spouse and I get hit by the same bus/train/car/white supremacist (it’s in our will); I go to church regularly, and I believe that being a Christian means loving everyone, including assholes; I believe that businesses should be able to serve or not serve anyone they want to serve or not serve based on anything that those businesses feel are against their moral compass. I’m just a walking dichotomy, and proud to be one, although many find my dichotomies tedious.

All of that said, I am against House Bill 757, The Religious Freedom Bill that is floating around in Georgia. My friend, Daniel, says that it would be fine if it were an “Economic Freedom Bill” because then everyone would be on the same footing (an equal opportunity discrimination bill, if you will).  My spouse says that money is green, and although Chik-fil-A is against the marriage of same sex couples, he is pretty sure that they won’t deny two women holding hands a biscuit if their money is green. I believe that people should and will choose to boycott specific places based on their convictions (even if the biscuit is THAT good).

But we get into some murky water with all the what-ifs and suppose-thats.  I’m not interested in our government in my bedroom or in my bible.  I’m not sure that I want the government to be in my life at all, really, and I fear that this bill, if taken to the extreme (and there are always extremists) could turn into a discrimination legislation the likes of which we witnessed with the Jim Crow Laws here not too long ago, the likes of which we witnessed in Germany, the likes of which we see in other countries today.

If Georgians want to continue to grow this state economically, then I think our legislators need to rethink this bill because we never know when they will come for me or you…

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

                                                                                                                  ~Martin Niemoller