• Reverend Robin Hannon

Bigotry in the name of religion

First 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 for me.

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

The idea of discrimination based religion is anathema. It's vile, it's inhumane, and it might well be unconstitutional. "Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

By allowing this bigotry against the LGBT community, we are as a nation establishing a religious theocracy, not a democracy. When religious rights step on human rights and intolerance festers, we can no longer say we are the land of the free.

Yes, we should be able to practice our religions in any way we see fit. No, we should not be allowed to practice racism, hatred, or bigotry in the name of religion, Christianity or otherwise.

This decision for hatred and intolerance is going to lead to further vile acts of segregation if allowed to continue. What is to stop people from enacting Jim Crow laws again based on religious views? If we take this to a logical extreme, why not reinstitute slavery in the name of religion? Why not refuse the right to vote in the same name? What would stop Antisemitism from rearing its ugly head in the name of faith? Can we imagine rebuilding camps such as Buchenwald, and Dachau here in the USA? Do we think that given this permission, the government might not start more internment camps, and not just for immigrants? We have children in cages on the Mexican border as we speak. What was a horrid nightmare in our past is now becoming revitalized in the name of "border safety." Congressmen and women were turned away and laughed at by the guards at the border.

Have we forgotten the internment of Japanese Americans in the United States during World War II? We still bear the shame of forced relocation and incarceration in camps in the western interior of the country of between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom lived on the Pacific coast.

Our government has just withdrawn from the human rights commission. We are on a collision course with the end of Democracy, Freedom and everything we hold dear. It is time to stand up and stop this freight train, and it's already left the station to its destination.

#bigotry #religion #human #rights

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