Does Georgia need a ‘religious liberty’ bill?

firstamDebate over “religious liberty” legislation promises to be harsh in this year’s General Assembly, with social conservatives pushing to combat what they see as religious persecution and opponents fighting what they see as an effort to legalize discrimination against gay Americans.

I have two major problems with the legislation:

1.) Claims that Christians are being persecuted in this overwhelmingly Christian country — especially here in Georgia, a state that is more Christian that most — ought to be taken skeptically. When the majority sect cries persecution, it is generally not persecution at all but frustration that its majority status does not translate into the deference that they believe they deserve. There is a very important difference between the two, because that deference to the religious majority comes at the expense of the minority, which undercuts rather than protects religious liberty.

2.) I’d be a lot more comfortable with the bill if I understood more precisely what its supporters hope to accomplish. They deny they are seeking a religion-based exemption to justify anti-gay discrimination, and instead claim it is needed to address unrelated infringements on religious freedom. But in each of the cases that they cite, existing law appears to have resolved the issue appropriately.

091214_9-11_anniversary_kdj10

Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran

Some groups are now seizing upon the case of Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran to demonstrate why the legislation is needed. Cochran was placed on unpaid leave after a self-published Christian book came to light in which he equates homosexuality to bestiality and child sexual abuse, and after allegations that he had given copies of his book to subordinates.

“It is time for believers to stand up for their religious beliefs, biblical principles and fellow Christians who are punished or marginalized for their faith,” Dr. J. Robert White, executive director of the Georgia Baptist Convention, said in demanding that Cochran be reinstated and given back pay and an apology.

However, using Cochran’s case to demonstrate why the legislation is needed confirms rather than refutes the claim that it is intended to create legal space in which to discriminate against gay Georgians. And if we rearrange the facts a bit without altering the principles at stake, we can more clearly see the underlying problems in the bill.

If Cochran had instead written a pro-gay, anti-Christian diatribe and shared it with his employees, would practicing, devout conservative Christians in his department feel confident that they would not be discriminated against? My sense is that they would worry — correctly — that he had created a hostile work environment. If he were an adherent of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, and if he distributed Black Muslim pamphlets to the men and women who work for him, would the Georgia Baptist Convention defend that action under the banner of religious liberty?

Under such circumstances, they would be more likely to see what they apparently cannot see under the current circumstances. When you are placed in a position of secular authority over others — Cochran has more than 1,000 employees under his command — your expression of religious faith in the workplace can be experienced as an imposition on the beliefs of others. And I don’t believe that Georgia law should be rewritten to encourage such actions.

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2988 comments
ODDOWL
ODDOWL

"Religious Liberty bill" =  diversionary tactic which seeks to distract the attention of the naïve the ignorant and the gullible away from the crux of the issues...   The crux of the issues are;  Georgia have the highest unemployment rate in the country, Georgia has some the worst roads in the country, hundreds of bridges are in varies states of collapse, failing public, private and charter schools systems...  College tuition beyond the reach of most Georgians, No money for job training, corporations get tax cuts but don't create any jobs in Georgia...  No hospitals, worst medical care in the nation etc...  These are the problems the state legislature should be working on, not social issues like religious liberties, gay marriage, voters repression, abortions and the Republican zealots attempting to impose their extreme right wing, neo-con, tea party ideology onto secular Georgians...

juliainatlanta
juliainatlanta

I predict an interesting season from the clowns under the gold dome.

LeninTime
LeninTime

Couple of days ago someone - a liberal, no less - referred to the personage in my avatar as a "human piece of trash" and mass murderer, a purely baseless and scurrilous charge.

But you want to know who actually does fit that description, and fits it to a T? On New Years thousands gathered in Kiev to hold a march in his honor (the same people Washington calls its allies in Ukraine).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKMzwhHzRps

straker
straker

KUTGF - "claiming that Wilson's version was the truth"


No, see, I have NEVER claimed that here.


Pay attention.


What I DID say was that, in a wrongful death trial that is likely to happen, we may finally get to know what actually did happen there.


I ALSO said I would accept the jury's decision in that trial.


Will you?

CommonSenseisntCommon
CommonSenseisntCommon

@straker 

A TRIAL by jury YES. A GJ that is presented evidence (note I didn't say ALL evidence) from a DA that had a father killed in the line of duty (PD) not so much.

SFM_Scootter
SFM_Scootter

@straker  "What I DID say was that, in a wrongful death trial that is likely to happen, we may finally get to know what actually did happen there."


IMO none of us will ever know what "actually" happened there except Wilson himself.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Raindroid, since you're around--very belated thanks for that movie tip. 

We (finally!) watched "Terms and Conditions May Apply" over the weekend, fine stuff, highly recommended.

it's streaming on Netflix if anyone's interested... and willing to have a lot of their worst assumptions of our electronic overlords confirmed.

RaindroidWillBoy
RaindroidWillBoy

@stands_for_decibels


Glad you enjoyed.  Another I recently watched is called Print the Legend which evolves around the evolution of 3-D printing..I thing the term printing is somewhat misleading but fascinating stuff.  Smaller manufacturers are using open-source approach in attempt to put a 3-D printer on every desk.


Sadly as this evolves, more manufacturing jobs will vanish...heck rednecks can print an AK 47..

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@RaindroidWillBoy @stands_for_decibels My best friend is a commercial artist, but also has a lucrative sideline in making props and costume items for cosplayers.  He likes to work with his hands, and he finds great artistic appeal in crafting a sword, pistol or helmet just like one that a key character used in a comic book or anime series.


Anyway, he's been fooling around with 3D printing; he says that he feels that it has great potential, but that for truly detailed work, it'll be another generation before it can do what he does.


Now, then, my friend is also a gun enthusiast, and he does feel that 3D printers offer a means to produce largely undetectable firearms -- and that anyone who's interested in doing that sort of thing is likely up to no good.  He (and I) both support the notion of making printed firearms illegal for both private production and private ownership -- at least until law enforcement technology can catch up.


Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Saw this down below, from Scootter, and it deserves a reply from me:

Would you mind lending that Wagner Sprayer to me for a while? Whew!

That's a fair enough knock--a more careful editing would've softened up the rant a bit and made it sound less superlative-y. Obviously I've known, and know, some conservatives who do a fabulous job raising their young, and I've learned from them as I've learned from left-leaners.

But LBB's notion that conservatives are somehow less likely to over-indulge their kids is just laughable, in my experience anyway.


SFM_Scootter
SFM_Scootter

@stands_for_decibels I was wondering about that.It's seems pretty rare when you "broad brush".Which is something else that is quite common around here.(smile)

moonbat_betty
moonbat_betty

You mess with one Mean Girl, you mess with ALL the Mean Girls.

~Thomas "Mean Girl" Jefferson

TBS
TBS

@moonbat_betty


I'm not so selective with my likes so I clicked like on your comment


LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brosephus
Brosephus

@moonbat_betty 

I probably shouldn't have clicked like.  Seems as though my likes are highly scrutinized here for some reason.  Hopefully, you won't be ostracized because I liked something you posted.

:-)

straker
straker

Common - "he may not have been shot in the back, but it wasn't for lack of trying in the cop's part"


Were you there?


Did you see the entire event?


If not, why are you posting speculation as though it was a PROVEN FACT?

KUTGF
KUTGF

@td1234 Exactly.  Only Zimmerman testified as to that claim; the only other witness was dead.  Not "proven fact".  And the physical evidence could support self-defense or an attack.  Impossible to be used to "prove" who struck first or who "attacked".


You are still having problems with empirical factual evidence too...like yesterday with your West hatred claim. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

@straker  Well now, there is not much that is "proven fact" in connection with the Brown shooting but that has not precluded you and others from claiming that Wilson's version was the truth. 

RaindroidWillBoy
RaindroidWillBoy

@straker


Such believers remain in denial that this kid was moronic enough to assault a man with a gun and try to take it from him.  Thus creating a situation ripe for the outcome.

RaindroidWillBoy
RaindroidWillBoy

@straker


A proven fact is not always what really happened but usually in instances like this, what you can sell.


Thru assumption, I can prove the sky isn't blue.

td1234
td1234

@KUTGF @td1234 Talk to those men and women on the jury as to what they believed? 

CommonSenseisntCommon
CommonSenseisntCommon

@straker 

A fully loaded weapon was EMPTIED the SUSPECT was SIGHTED RUNNING AWAY. He was HIT WITH FEWER SHOTS THAN THE WEAPON HELD WHEN FULLY LOADED.


CAN YOU NOT READ?

CommonSenseisntCommon
CommonSenseisntCommon

@RaindroidWillBoy @straker 

WHO STARTED THE ASSAULT. The officer stated that an attempt was made at his weapon BUT did he try to draw it before any assault occurred? If so is that why he was hit? The only SURVIVING person testified.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@td1234 @KUTGF  LOL...  you mean like Witness 40?


Believing one witness over another does not make something "proven fact".  If that were the case, then DNA could not be used to free innocent people wrongfully convicted.


Again you have failed as a lawyer wannabe.

RaindroidWillBoy
RaindroidWillBoy

@CommonSenseisntCommon @RaindroidWillBoy @straker


I see zero relevance in your approach here. So you are saying that the drawing of the gun by a cop is justification of an attack?


Only the foolish approach one with a gun and dish out crap.  Oh and this guy with a gun has a license to kill. This was the proximate cause of loss here.  Not criminal activity prior.....

RaindroidWillBoy
RaindroidWillBoy

@CommonSenseisntCommon @straker


He was sighted running both directions. If I am dumb enough to attack a cop and try to take his gun, I suffer the consequences...you should try being a cop.  I'm sure you would have handled split second decisions such as this better....

CommonSenseisntCommon
CommonSenseisntCommon

@RaindroidWillBoy 

Oh and this guy with a gun has a license to kill. This was the proximate cause of loss here.

----------------------------------------------------------

Yep, Michael Wilson had no warrants on him so the potential criminal was carrying the license to kill 

LeninTime
LeninTime

@fiftythreepercenter 

Based on liberal.....ummm......"logic", this must have been

***
What's a liberal? 

I'm not convinced you have the basic literacy in political concepts to know what one is.

Michael B
Michael B

The view from Brasil - Obama is starting to catch up with reality in Cuba. Brasil provided about 85 percent of the capital for the new port just finished near Havana. The port has the capacity to accept super tankers and the larger cargo ships that will traverse the expanded Panama Canal. Savannah and Charleston, are you listening?

Business will now begin to knock down the embargo. And Rubio is not strong enough to hold back that tide.

TBS
TBS

"Too funny!

I'm more selective with mine. They're few and far between."


Yes being a Drama Queen as you were being about likes on a blog is "too funny".

We both were able to laugh about this one.

Cool



Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@TBS Figgie-rina:  Zero


The Cool Kids' Table in the Cafeteria:  Lots


fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

" You couldn't wait till further investigation could you?"


You mean like posting a blog on a major news outlet's web site erroneously claiming the cops shot an innocent unarmed victim in the back? 


Yea, that would be awful wouldn't it....

CommonSenseisntCommon
CommonSenseisntCommon

@fiftythreepercenter 

You mean like posting a blog on a major news outlet's web site erroneously claiming the cops shot an innocent unarmed victim in the back? 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

He may have not been 'shot' in the back but it wasn't for lack of trying on the cops part. 

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@fiftythreepercenter Shorter 53%er:  Eyewitness accounts that support the cops' version are evidence.  Eyewitness accounts that don't support the cops' version are merely hearsay.


Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Anyhoo...

Is it irresponsible to point out to those bored with this here thread, that Kyle has a yet another b0nerific piece on yet another way to defund evil public schools in favor of swell private / online learnin'?

It is irresponsible not to!

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@CommonSenseisntCommon @stands_for_decibels

I want to believe that Kyle’s his school-reform b0ner is borne of motives that are decent enough; in fact, so much so that I find it difficult to go there and give him the piece of my mind I typically give some of the dumber right wingers who go on about the “failure” of our “government schools”.

I’ll have to learn more about Arizona’s policies before I weigh in over there, actually. (Got some fambly who know a thing or two who might shed some light for me.)