Why Gov. Pence bothers me more than the so-called “religious freedoms” law

“Texas and Missouri specifically protect civil rights laws in their state RFRAs.  Why can’t Indiana?”

That’s from The clash of “religious freedom” and civil rights in Indiana. And it cuts right to what really bugs me about Gov. Pence and Indiana’s putatively “religious freedom” act. I expect that in anything like a democratic system of government, there will be times when the people with whom I most vehemently disagree have the political advantage. Naturally they will do things I find completely wrong in terms of what’s good for America, just like I’d expect my team to do were it in that position. Bi-partisanship is over-rated. It’s nice when it can happen, since that means the “opposition” might just take its bitter pill with a touch more grace and dignity, but it’s not necessary when one side of the bipartisan farce has the clear advantage. That’s called a mandate. They, whoever they are, should run with that.

Right now the opposition has the ball in Indiana. I get that. The courts will eventually settle this. It’s a big to-do for good reason, of course, but I have confidence that this will eventually work itself out right, even if it takes another 50-100 years, which we may or may not have. What gets me, and it absolutely happens on both sides, is the failure at message control. I can’t help but to read it as contempt.

By taking such a weasly position on the subject, Gov. Pence forces us to ask, “Gov. Pence, are you evil, or just stupid?”

Evil’s not a stretch. I think that most people of conscience would agree that lying is evil. There’s a reason we’re supposed to eschew it. So when we’re presented with an enthusiastic signing event upon which the act became the law of the land, an event attended by notable anti-gay equality activists, and he later says that anti-gay discrimination was never, oh no, never the intent *ahemsplutter* we kind of have to believe he’s lying, even if we’re not sure which lie he’s using on whom. There’s a lie in there, dammit, and it’s a whopper. That would make Pence an evil sack of shit, to stand there in front of the cameras and tell not only his viewers across the nation, but also the businesses that make business decisions based on the quality of information at their disposal, that there’s no intention to discriminate built into the law. Of course there is. The proponents of discrimination had the option to include language that would specifically protect civil rights and turned it down. His flimsy attempt to justify it as a game of kick the can to the courts just doesn’t cut it. What matters is he damned well had to know the intent of the law he championed and signed. Then he tells us, like we’re a bunch of idiots, or just people powerless to do a damned thing about it, that of course it has no intentions of violating civil rights built right into it.

He had to know. Either that, or he actually is a complete moron, one who cannot complete the simplest connect-the-dots puzzle and acts baffled when we ask what the hell he just drew. As much as I don’t like the guy, I have a hard time accepting that he’s a drooling idjit, so that leaves me with evil.

Pro-tip, Gov. Pence. Those of us who don’t agree with you already aren’t going to like what you do, and those who do like what you do will applaud you for it, if they’re honest, so just be proud. There’s no need to lie. It’s bad enough to lie when it’s necessary, but when it’s not even needed? That’s pathological. If the bill signing was such a faithful thing to do, why mince words? Dress that issue up in full regalia and parade it around in front of us. Tell us exactly what it is, what you mean, and what you stand for. Because, honestly, if I were one of the supporters who helped craft this travesty of human ethics and American legislation and saw you mealy-mouthing around the sanctity of your mission as though it were something to be ashamed of, I’d start having doubts about you. Maybe you just aren’t True Believer enough.

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