People want to always act like Alabama and Mississippi are the buttcheeks of America. But people forget that there are other states that are still wrestling with changing times that aren’t in the south, like Indiana. (And in Alabama’s defense, at least Birmingham is the only city that can learn from its mistakes and make moves to progress to Atlanta-esque proportions.)

So what did Indiana do? The governor, Mike Spence, signed a “Religious Freedom” bill into law. The bill allows for business owners to express their “freedom of religion” and refuse to do business with those who they deem impeding on their religious rights.

NPR quotes Religion News, which states:

“Supporters of the law say it will keep government entities from forcing business owners-such as bakeries and florists who don’t want to provide services to gay couples-from acting in ways contrary to strongly held religious beliefs. Gay marriage became legal in Indiana last year following an appellate court ruling.”

Clearly, the gay marriage ruling is the impetus for this new law—a fear-based piece of legislation designed to protect what is often erroneously called “the sanctity of marriage.”

The funny thing is that supporters think it’ll only protect those supposedly “persecuted” by laws allowing for same-sex marriage to occur. But the real of it is  that this law will affect everyone.

NPR reports how Rep. Bruce Borders gave an example of an anesthesiologist not wanting to help a woman preparing to undergo an abortion, but I’ll also say that the law could cause entities to prevent offering their wares or services to Muslims, for example. Or to black people on the insane grounds that darker skin means is the sign of Cain, which people did believe (and some probably still do).

What’s also not thought of is that this law implicitly states that there’s only one way to be religious. The more closed-minded you are, the closer you are to Jesus, supposedly. However, Jesus himself didn’t live this way, since he welcomed prostitutes (Mary Magdalene), lepers, and other outcasts into his fold. Also, Christianity is not the supreme religion; there are tons of religions out there that should be given equal respect, and I’m saying this as a Christian.

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What if a religious person wants to express their spirituality by accepting all people into their business? Of course, supporters of the law (and the governor himself) would say that the law isn’t promoting discrimination, so that it’d be okay if the business owner welcomed people of all sorts. But what if a patron of that business doesn’t like it? Would that patron then claim that the business owner is offending his religious beliefs by letting a certain person in? What if more people felt they could do this? What if people start petitioning this business? Would that business owner then lose money and, faced with making money or becoming homeless, become forced to discriminate against folks?

Or, what if a business owner is an atheist? What if someone decides to picket a place because the business owner’s lack of religion offends them? Again, how would it affect that person’s business?

More importantly, how can this law not impede on people’s right to religious freedom? The law supposedly is to protect religious freedom, but isn’t religious freedom the ability to believe what you want? If I’m a Christian and I believe all religions deserve respect and that gay people aren’t living out of accordance to God, then isn’t that my right? Why is this law in the belief that one way of Christianity is right? And why is the law’s basis steeped in the most parasitical form of Christianity out there? I’m asking a lot of questions that I already know the answer to, but still, I’m asking.

In short, this law is a new version of Jim Crow, and anyone with a sense of history, decency, and common sense, wouldn’t think of creating this, much less sign it into law.

The people on the internet are, as they should be, rightly enraged. So much so that #BoycottIndiana got started. Here are some of the tweets.

There’s also a petition that’s nearing 75,000 signatures, asking to recall Pence and have a recall election. What do you think about #BoycottIndiana and this law? Give your opinions below.

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