I've been thinking about the RFRA bill in Indiana, and it's purposes, consequences, and what we as citizens can do to fight such bills.
This bill has just opened the door to set the clock backwards several decades. At it's core it is discrimination at its worst. Using religion to further your own political views against a particular group of citizens is cowardice pure and simple. Too many times religion has been used to ignite the passions in politics. Hiding behind any religion for political purposes says to me that a politician is too cowardly to make an actual stand. Politics from the pulpit has caused more controversy, fighting, war, and death over the millenia than any other political agenda. Look at the Witch trials, the Holocaust, the Jacobite uprisings in England circa 1700's, the Crusades, the IRA, and many others.
Bills and laws like the RFRA bill have too many consequences to be ignored. Look at the recently opened Church of Cannabis that uses the RFRA as a precedence to even be opened. What is going to happen when a business owned by a lets say someone of a Pagan bent refuses service to a Christian? Politicians need to always consider what kind of Pandora's Box is being opened when Religion is the basis for a bill.
While the most obvious way to fight is to rally and protest, to those endorsing such bills, too often this seems to fall on deaf ears. It seems to be viewed more as people throwing a collective temper tantrum. And given time will die off and go away, and the politicians that endorse these bills can sit quietly in their office and ignore it.
We are always encouraged to call our Congressional leaders, the people that the Majority have voted into office. Again, too many deaf ears.
Voting, again can be a bit more effective, but there is no real way of showing what type of public official you are getting until they actually get into office. All you can go by is their track record up to that point, and even then things are likely to change. especially the longer they are in office. This is exactly why term limits need to be set for ALL politicians. It evens the playing field a bit more due to the simple fact that they are not given time to get comfortable. Career politicians are perhaps the biggest detriment to our current affairs. Too often they become entangled with businesses, and tend to forget the constituents that they are elected to support.
What I have found that has worked most effectively is to hit them where it will be most noticed and less easily ignored. Right in the wallet. they say that action speak louder than words. Using financial stress is perhaps the most effective tool in an arsenal to make a change. The bakery that refused to bake a cake for a gay couple's wedding: Closed. Word spread rather quickly and people stopped even going to that bakery. The same can be said for the recent closing of a pizza parlour in Indiana. I read an article last night that they are also closing. Now we are also hearing stories of restuarants going so far as to remove Ice machines because they came from the company owned by the man that wrote the RFRA bill.
Politics and Business have been bed fellows for far too long. We can voice our opinions on a subject easily enough through protest; and we can call our congress critters, and that might get a bit more of a response if enough people call on the same issue to warrant a response. The ability is still there to let those cries of discontent be left unheard.
It seems that the best way to be heard is to vote with your wallet. If people stop supporting businesses that support such bills, it cuts the money trail quite neatly. When businesses are effected by the political decisions that they have made vocal they will either go out of business and become nothing more than a single voice in the crowd, or they will take notice and make the changes that need to be made. When we cut the money trail it sends a clearer message than any protest or phone call could ever make.