by: the Common Constitutionalist
The year is 2015. It’s late August in Indianapolis Indiana. There’s a buzz in the air about the Colts who are undefeated thus far in preseason.
Judging by the mainstream press, this is not the only exciting thing emerging from the state. The press is still reporting on the nationwide sigh of relief, as just a few weeks ago Governor Mike Pence came to his senses, and facing extreme pressure, used a state executive action to rescind the
narrow minded and bigoted Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
On that day a reporter visited a lovely homosexual couple, Fred and Ethel (his name was Eddie – he changed it to Ethel. The reporter didn’t ask why), owners of a local bakery in Indianapolis who were thrilled by the news. Evidently, ever since they heard the news they have been giving away rainbow frosted cupcakes to patrons in celebration.
During the interview, Ethel, the one with the beard, said that despite being homosexual, they were also Christian and said they believe God loves them as much as heterosexuals (which, by the way, he does).
Fred added that despite their Christian beliefs, they didn’t care for Indiana’s RFRA and were glad Gov. Pence came to his senses. They heard from many sources in the media that the Indiana law was just one more obstacle to equality.
Now weeks since the ruling, the intrepid reporter decided to pop back to Fred and Ethel’s bakery to see how they were getting on. Much to his surprise, he found the couple in a rather dour mood. Upon investigation, the reporter found that members of the Westboro Baptist Church had just days ago, descended on the couple’s bakery demanding that Fred and Ethel design and craft a mock wedding cake with two men perched atop it and the words “God Hates F*gs,” written in rainbow frosting.
When asked why they couldn’t just refuse, Fred exclaimed that “We are a for-profit business and the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act doesn’t apply to us. Yes, we are homosexual, but we are Christians and our belief that God loves us all is directly at odds with what those swines at the Westboro Baptist Church want. They said they would sue us and force us to close our shop if we don’t comply.”
As the couple was lamenting to the reporter, a woman walking by overheard the conversation. She walked up to the couple and said “Excuse me, but I couldn’t help overhearing your dilemma. I was wondering if you two were glad that our governor did what he did in striking down Indiana’s religious freedom law.”
Ethel replied, “Yes, yes we are glad, we don’t need any more obstacles in our path for equality. As homosexuals, we understood the state law to be much more exclusive than the federal.”
To that the woman said, “May I read you something?” “Sure,” replied Fred. The woman then read the provision of the Indiana law that differed from the federal and was said to be such an obstacle.
“A person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a violation of this chapter may assert the violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding, regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding.”
Ethel said, “Well, what does that mean?” The woman answered that “In other words, the Indiana law explicitly allows any for-profit business to assert a right to the free exercise of religion. The federal RFRA doesn’t contain that language.”
Astonished, Fred exclaimed that “What are you telling me – that if Mike Pence would have stood his ground and not knuckled under the pressure, we as Christian business owners would not be in the trouble we’re in? We could have simply refused those bast*rds request?!”
“Yep – that’s what I’m telling you,” the woman replied. She added, “Be careful what you wish for and who you listen to,” and walked away.