Sunday, March 29, 2015

Indiana's RFRA: Who knew Pharaoh Ruled Here?

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Indiana’s RFRA that passed last week. The main subject of controversy is being beat to death and I think most people have made up their minds so I won't try to convince you one way or the other except to say that for myself after reading the bill’s synopsis and listening to the people who have actually read the bill it doesn't sound like it legalizes discrimination. Instead it attempts to protect small business owners from being forced into participating in something they find objectionable on the grounds of their faith.

That being said, I’m not a lawyer or politician and I won’t speak from the perspective of an expert. I’ll say this, I don’t believe that there are more than a small handful of people in the entire state, let alone the elected government, that would actually like to see discrimination legalized so I don’t believe that there is a statehouse full of these evil little people who would advocate treating anyone in a discriminatory way.

What I see as the real problem with Indiana's RFRA is this, pulled from the bill's official digest, "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." Think about that for a minute. What this is saying is that at some point the government's interest might conflict with God's and when that happens the government has a way to win. So my real problem with this bill is that the government is still placing itself above God. 

Reading the Book of Exodus we find a Pharaoh who thought that he had a compelling reason to deny the Israelites the freedom to go a “3 day’s journey into the wilderness” to exercise their faith and we know how that turned out for the Egyptians.

If we believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; If we believe in the Living God who brought the Israelites out of Egypt; If we believe in the God who came to us in the flesh in Jesus Christ, then we can accept nothing less than the freedom to fully exercise our faith, anything less is merely our government acting with the same hardness of heart that plagued Pharaoh. In other words, the real problem with RFRA is that the bill reaffirms that, Indiana and America, like Pharaoh of the Book of Exodus, places itself above God. A compelling reason…… indeed.