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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Indiana's religious freedom law

While it is April Fools Day, Dana's show today was not some sick joke.

First and foremost, meet Jess Dooley.  This is the woman that Dana called the American ISIS.  This is a woman who I think most people, for and against the law, could agree did wrong when she said she wanted to get a mob together to burn down Memories Pizza in Walkerton.  There's only one problem with Dana's reporting on this, however.  For the entire first hour, she called Jess a man.  I get it, she has a man's name.  But seriously Dana, how could you get something so obvious when you actually look into the facts so wrong?

And the whole thing about being surprised that the ABC affiliate in South Bend is on channel 57... the history behind that is pretty simple.  Anyone in broadcasting should know it.  When ABC lost Monday Night Football to ESPN, CBS also lost the NFC to Fox (they would later steal the AFC from NBC, and NBC would get a newly created Sunday Night game... but I digress).  Many stations who were on the lower part of the dial fled ABC for Fox, who had games on Sunday afternoon.  Chanel 28 moved to Fox two years before ABC 57 came along.  They also have NBC 16, and CBS 22. Nobody there is that low on the dial, because they are in a UHF island between Chicago (2, 5, 7, 9, 11) Grand Rapids (3, 8, 13) Lansing (6, 10) and Indy (4, 6, 8, 13).  Not that it matters now, since the digital age makes the numbers meaningless.

The point of all this is Indiana's Religious Freedom bill.  A bill that will allow discrimination in Indiana. It is true that there is no specific language in the bill that says Christians can discriminate against homosexuals.  No bill on its surface does spell out it's faults. It doesn't have to spell it out to be true, however.  It has two things other similar bills in other states don't.  It gives these religious rights to organizations, and there is no provision in Indiana law that protects homosexuals from discrimination.  To say this bill is exactly like the federal bill, or bills in most of the 19 other states who have a bill like this, is to say a Yugo and a Mercedes are exactly alike.  They both have four wheels, don't they?

ABC 57 ran a report last night, where a pizza place in Walkerton, Indiana stated they would not cater a gay wedding.  Now, I get religious freedom and all, but to me, that is blatantly discrimination. What they are basically saying is, because I don't like the idea of gay marriage, I shouldn't have to do business with gay people.  Because the bible I read when I was growing up (and as far as I know, it hasn't changed) doesn't say turn away the sinner.  On the contrary, there are several times Jesus himself says to be all inclusive.  He who is without sin throw the first stone? He that did these things to the least of these did them to me? Love God and love thy neighbor?  Forget the darn bill, when did Jesus give these people the power to turn away someone who clearly could use a little religion in their lives?

I don't think this is what is getting most people up in arms.  It is what the father said, about being gay being a choice.  Jess Dooley even included that in her tweet about burning the place down.  Medical science believes being gay is not a choice.  Gay people believe the same.  If it were a choice, in this day and age, it would be a pretty terrible choice, don't you think?  Not just because of the discrimination they deal with everyday from groups that don't agree with their lifestyle. They can't have children, and while there are ways to make it semi=possible today, only one of the couple can contribute DNA to the child.  Up until recently, they couldn't marry, and many of the rights straight couples had were out of their reach.  I could go on and on.

For the Jess Dooleys of the world, for the people who have gone out and given bad Yelp reviews, or bought the domain of Memories Pizza because they didn't and turned it into a gay pizzeria... please stop.  You aren't helping, either.  Fighting intolerance with intolerance is not going to work. You just give more fuel for people like Dana to stoke the fire with.  Because Dana knows how to stoke that fire.  She doesn't really need your help, she can and has manufactured what she needs out of thin air.  Could we please, on both sides, try to keep it civil for once?  Indiana thanks you.

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