This past week, the (no longer) Great State of Indiana passed a Bill called "The Religious Freedom Act" and signed it into law. What exactly is this new law about? Actually, it is a follow-up to a Federal Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton. Many Conservatives ask a very good question...why the outrage now? A lot has changed in national attitudes about many different things since Bill Clinton signed the Federal Bill into law in 1993. Since that time, America has gone to war, the country has suffered through the largest economic meltdown since the Great Depression, civil liberties have come under fire in a variety of venues, partisan politics have reached its highest levels since the days of Andrew Jackson and Americans have softened their opinions as they relate to legalizing marijuana and same sex marriage. So, in other words, America has moved way down the road since the Federal Law was enacted some 22 years ago. Have you changed in any way since 1993? Indiana's "leaders", pandering to the influence of "family and religious groups" sought fit to impose a law that very likely could lead to active discrimination of Gays, Lesbians and Transgender Americans under the guise of "protecting" observers of "religious beliefs" when it comes to their private and public interactions. In other words, if my religious beliefs require me to discriminate against a fellow American, then the Constitution (under the First Amendment) allows me to (forgetting entirely about the 14th Amendment and years of Federal Case Law that says you may not).
According to CNN, this law and others proposed by States came about after Conservatives found themselves victims of law suits after refusing to engage in commercial activities with Gays or Lesbians (See http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/27/politics/indiana-religous-freedom-explainer/index.html). But the Act goes further by allowing religious beliefs to allow any discrimination. Would it be possible for someone to claim a religious basis for refusing to serve a Jew in a cafe or hotel because their particular religious belief? Interchange Jew for Black or Hispanic, or Catholic and you should begin to see what I am referring to. It's plain wrong - why? Because the Constitution was written to protect the minority from the majority. America was NOT designed to be a pure democracy, but instead to be a Democratic Republic, wherein all citizens are to be protected from the mentality of the mob. Not my words, but the words of the Framers - real patriots all! Now, Indiana is facing a huge backlash as multiple commercial entities openly ponder whether to move company offices, conventions or events away from Indiana. Isn't it always interesting to see Conservatives who hide behind religious beliefs suddenly change their "belief" based positions by proving themselves instead as worshipers of cold hard cash when "push comes to shove?" Where are our real patriots today?
Don't you think that this is all that would leave real patriots scratching their heads? Oh, not even close. You see this week, the Florida Legislature is seriously considering expanding the open use of firearms on college campuses - to keep students safe. I kid you not! It seems there is enough violence on college campuses that guns are the only answer. Florida is quickly moving towards approving the open use of firearms by college students. I wonder which lobbying group convinced our "leaders" to press for this new "freedom?" Anyone who has been to college can remember frat parties and drunken brawls during "rivalry" weeks. But what could possibly go wrong if firearms are admitted into the drunken mix? I mean, when the police are called in, it will be very easy for them to discern the "bad guys" with guns from the "good guys" with guns, right? If you think that is okay, then explain to me why the Florida legislature is also considering granting citizens a tax break for purchasing guns, ammo and for joining gun clubs? Where the hell does that come into the mix? More importantly, this is the same legislature that continues to refuse to expand Medicaid to tens of thousands of children in need of healthcare. Cut taxes to promote gun ownership but keep kids sick and in need of healthcare? Somehow, our real patriots have to be wondering from their high perch in heaven what the hell our elected politicians are thinking!?! Taxpayer subsidies for firearms, but not a penny to help children that are sick (http://www.saintpetersblog.com/archives/192550). Where are our real patriots today?
To top it off, this week the Obama Administration and its minions "leaked" a story that Israel had been spying on the United States and our negotiations with Iran over nuclear weapons. Seems the Obama folks, still stung by its public rebuke from the Israeli electorate, decided it would be a good idea to float a trial balloon lie about Israel so that far Left idiots and their supporting media could fan the flames of Anti-Semitism. Seems, Obama has a "thing" about Israel (while hiding behind his hatred of Jews). According to some circles, Obama has been preparing to abandon Israel in favor of Muslim nations for quite some time, seemingly waiting for just the right opportunity to unleash his new "assessment" of Israel (I'd use the term "Arab" instead of Muslim but Iran is Persian, not Arab). One problem though. When pressed, the Administration backed off its "trial balloon" and decided that Israel did not spy on the US, instead, it was given intelligence about the Iran negotiations from another member of the negotiating group. I wonder, could it have been Germany that supplied the intel to Israel (considering it was disclosed not too long ago that the Obama Administration had been regularly spying on the German government and leaders)? And Obama's response to all of this? "Words matter!" But for the Obama Administration, when things go bad, they go real bad. Just take a look at Yemen.
You may recall, back in 2o11, Obama praised Yemen as a model of success in the fight against terrorism. (See http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/01/20/four-months-ago-obama-called-yemens-war-on-terror-a-success-now-the-yemeni-government-may-fall/). Model for Success? This past week, the President of Yemen escaped with his life from terrorists rebelling against the government aided by Iran. You read that right - Iran (the group Obama is going overboard praising for their assistance in controlling terrorism in the Middle East). Seriously? Remember Mr. Obama - Words do matter! Unfortunately, your words about Israel, Iran and Middle East peace are questionable in judgment and dangerous. But where are our real patriots today?
In a dangerous World, real patriots are needed in order to ferret out not only our national interests, but our collective ideals. Far too often we see elected politicians selling out to monied interests to ensure re-election at the obvious cost to Americans that are no longer truly represented. Money in politics has been a problem since the beginning of time and we are seeing America slide back into the Gilded Era where money ruled and elected politicians dictated to citizens to do what they were told. The Supreme Court's naive view of money in politics certainly did nothing to help alleviate this growing problem. But then again, it's been awhile since we have witnessed real patriots in State Houses, Congress, The White House and the Supreme Court. As President
James Madison once wrote, "Wherever there is interest and power to do wrong, wrong will generally be done."
Until the American public demands our elected politicians become patriots instead of paid lackeys, wrong will be generally done. So I leave you this week with a simple question. Without partisan bickering and backstabbing, where are our patriots today? Have a great week.
* Due to the Holiday of Passover, I will not be posting a blog next Sunday. Expect something later in the week as I will be with family in New York.