36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
I spent a long time trying to figure out how to make some funny take on Arkansas HB 1228 which would allow open discrimination against minority groups. Wine you can make fun of, regardless of how crazy. There is just nothing funny about discriminating against other humans.
Discrimination is nothing new, and discrimination on the basis of religion is the most common vehicle to discriminate. In fact, modern movements to go beyond discriminating against others are a fraction of a second in the larger timeline of open discrimination against others. It is no surprise that some are trying to hold on with all they have, but they are wrong.
When you really examine discrimination, and lets not kid ourselves, this is discrimination, there is no good logical reason for it. In fact judging anyone by anything other than the content of their character is completely baffling.
I do not talk about this a lot, given the representation that people in similar situations give publicly I am embarrassed sometimes. I was one class short (that I electively chose not to take) of a major in biblical studies from Ouachita Baptist University. I am not the brightest theologian in the world, but I know a bit more than your average Sunday school participant.
I also try hard to never draw religion into an argument, but someone else started this argument. I can’t find a single reason a Christian on the basis of religion can say that open discrimination against anyone is right. In fact I would say that the central point of Jesus’ teachings is that discrimination is one of the worst things you can do. When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandments he listed only two, one was “Love your neighbor as yourself”, quote is above if you don’t believe me. Jesus said it not me.
I would go as far to say that discrimination is against my religion. And a group of Sunday School legislators can’t define my religion for me or for anyone else.
If you are not religious, or just too blind to see the realities of this, we can look at this a different way. Money. That is what this about anyway isn’t it?
Arkansas will see the negative economic impact of this bill for generations. The obvious will be the businesses that decide to move their operations outside of the state. The real impact is the stigma of being branded as a state that allowed this to pass.
Businesses will turn down vendors and partnerships in Arkansas. Others will choose to locate or expand in other states. Highly qualified and talented individuals will decide to build their careers and use their skills in other places.
As Governor Hutchinson tries to make a major move toward computer science we see the CEO of the largest computer company in the world speaking out against the move.
As Little Rock is on the verge of gaining a post season football bowl game the NCAA is openly threatening a state who recently passed a similar law.
As we pass the idiotic laws in this state the country and the world is watching us slowly kill off our future.