The Indiana “religious freedom” law is bad, but not for the reason you think

Everyone is flipping out today over the new religious freedom act signed into law in Indiana by Governor Mike Pence. Literally everyone of those people is missing the point. Everyone.

Everyone.

Truly, the left’s panning of this law is both comical and hypocritical. For the people who claim to be all about tolerance, they’re advocating forcing people to do things against their religious beliefs. The obvious cause of this is things like Christian bakers not wanting to endorse a gay marriage, Christian lodge owners being screwed by the government for turning down a gay wedding ceremony, or any combination of the florists, bridal shops, photographers, or T-shirt makers who have been legally boned for not wanting to celebrate homosexuality.

What the left is calling the “victims” in these case is missing is Freedom of Association and Freedom of Religion, also known in the United States as the First Amendment. If I sell a guitar on Craigslist, I can sell it to whoever I want. If a potential buyer says they’ll just destroy the guitar or kill someone with it or use it in an explicitly Satanic band and I decide that makes me uncomfortable, I can refuse to sell him my goods and/or services. That’s okay; he can go elsewhere.

The same applies with a cake. As a Christian who has actually read the Bible, I believe it would be wrong for me to endorse a gay marriage by supplying much of anything for the celebration. I would not sell them the cake, because it would violate my convictions. Likewise, a gay baker shouldn’t be forced to sell a cake to anyone, just like anybody can refuse service to anyone for any reason.

Immediately, people will scream how it’s not fair. Get over yourself and let the free market sort out your offense. If it’s truly an egregious offense, people will care and boycott a business. If not, then whatever. Go somewhere else or learn how to make it yourself.

swanson

Here’s an example that literally no one can say is wrong. A vegan cake shop would never, ever bake a cake for someone with bacon on it, no matter how hard they protested. Why? Because they’re vegan. And while they’re missing out on the best food on earth, that’s their right as a business owner. Bacon makes him uncomfortable, so he declines the business. End of story.

The basic premise of this bill is that you need to stop using the government to regulate others’ actions when you don’t get your way. If someone declines you service, nut up and move on. Don’t pitch a tantrum like a toddler.

Stop it.

 

But after 450 words, I digress. This new law is still garbage for one reason. I’ll copy and paste from Indiana’s own summary:

“Prohibits a governmental entity from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless the governmental entity can demonstrate that the burden: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest. Provides a procedure for remedying a violation.”

For something touted so much by conservatives, this actually increases government. They can still tell you what to do whenever they feel like it.

So we’re no better off.

The “freezing homeless child” video is a sham

There’s a month-old video going around that shows a kid acting like he’s homeless in New York City, and it purportedly takes over two hours for someone to even talk to him.

If you haven’t seen the video, here it is:

I’ll give you a minute to grab the Kleenex if you fell for it.

Now that you’re back, let’s look at just a few of the problems.

The first problem is that there are at least two cameramen. People knew this kid wasn’t homeless. Homeless kids don’t have two cameramen following them around while they have an obviously-cut-with-scissors shirt on. Remember, this is New York City, where practically everything gets filmed. They probably thought these guys were recording a new episode of Law and Order: SVU or something.

Secondly, if it was really five degrees Fahrenheit, this kid has frostbite and/or hypothermia after being out for two hours with no coat and no shoes, assuming he didn’t take a break to run inside every five minutes. It wouldn’t take much of a fluctuation in wind or temperature to really make things dangerous for this kid.

wind-chill-frostbite-chart
Good job, older brothers. You could have killed your younger sibling.

 

Of course, the tipping point is really the fact that half the in-video captions are in Comic Sans. There is literally no faster way to get people to stop taking you seriously than to use Comic Sans for something that’s supposed to be serious (This means you, English teachers.).

Comic Sans
No. I refuse.

I think it’s safe to say the “homeless kid” social experiment was just a drive for YouTube subscribers, particularly when most of this channel’s videos are pranks, and prank videos are the worst (I don’t want to watch morons making other people feel awkward.). Thanks, Internet, for the click bait.

 

What is XXX Church thinking?

I got an email last night from XXX Church, the Christian-run website that helps people battling porn addiction. I don’t know if I’ve ever gotten an email more 1) relying on click bait or 2) as big of a low blow as this one. Here’s the subject.

Subject

 

At first glance with the first couple of sentences, it looks like XXX Church founder Craig Gross is about to drop a major bombshell about Mark Driscoll and the dissolution of Mars Hill Church. Junk’s about to get real. Of course, as a Driscoll fan who was fairly torn up about the whole Mars Hill situation, I had to open it.

Body 1

Does this not seem like a gossipy bait and switch to anyone? “Hey, guys. Driscoll is awesome and so was the Resurgence, but HOLY CRAP did they blow it. Buy my stuff.” Then I got another email.

Body 2

Note: Gross didn’t apologize for the dickishness of his email and tactics; he apologized in case we were caught off guard. The other guy involved in this posted an apology, whether it’s genuine or not may or may not be debatable, but at least he made one. Gross, on the other hand, has only attempted to throw people under the bus.

XXX Church and X3 Watch have done some great things, but Gross needs to come clean and admit that he screwed up. I’m not about to call for a boycott or for Gross to step down or anything like that, but, boy, does this leave a craptastic taste in my mouth.