When Good Legislation Goes Bad

Yes, it means exactly what it says. Legislators can put forth a great piece of legislation, beautifully written and fair and thorough; a piece of work that the people would love. But then its submitted for perusal by their peers in the Senate and the House of Representatives, where its beaten, tortured, slashed, twisted and manipulated into being nearly completely useless. Or perhaps it sounds good on the surface, but when you dig into its depths it becomes clear what its real purpose is. Or perhaps it renders yet another good piece of legislation useless.

Take, for instance Georgia Senator Josh McKoon’s submission of his Religious Freedom Bill. Like so many of the bills submitted for a vote, it sounds like it could be a very good thing. But, when you start digging, you realize that it could circumvent the effectiveness of the first amendment right to freedom of religion. However, this bill, if passed would nullify freedom of religion on the whim of any business owner. It essentially allows them to deny their employees their rights by claiming it goes against their own religion. This is a slippery slope ladies and gentlemen. This opens the door wide for discrimination wrapped in the very constitutional rights we already have, disguised as something new. Well it’s new alright, a new way to put the whims of the wealthy ahead of the rights of the working class.

Think about how you would feel to know your freedom to live as you choose were eliminated in favor of your boss’s idea of how you should be living. On a small scale, for the sake of understanding, suppose your boss were a tee totaling Christian who disapproves of anyone drinking and he saw your vehicle parked at the local bar. You could be given your walking papers because you’re not the kind of person he wants working for him, all for doing something you enjoy on your own time.

Consider this. You are a skilled worker with 20 years invested and all the best certifications as evidence that you’re the best at what you do. But your job was outsourced to China. Along comes a new company that’s going to give jobs to a community that’s starving for them and you and your co-workers have a good chance of working again at less than what you were making, but more than the average joe. You put in your application but you never hear anything. Come to find out months later that the owner is Jewish and decided only other Jewish people should work for him because they’re the only ones who would be a credit to his company. So he filed your resume in the old familiar file 13, the tin bin at the corner of his desk. But don’t worry, the company recycles. Not fair? Neither is this bill.

Now you might say these things will never happen to you. You’re a white, American male Christian and this kind of thing is not acceptable in the great United States of America. But you’d be wrong. You’re mistakenly thinking that your legislators and people with money value you. They don’t. They will throw you under the bus for a buck. This bill is specifically designed to do two things. As a Republican, the author of this bill is looking to make it okay for his patrons to discriminate against women (via denying them their own healthcare choices) and LGBTQ individuals. But this law opens the door for ANY kind of discrimination; they only need call it against their religion. And the only thing you need do to get caught in their sights is to offend them in anyway, whether intentional or not.


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