Monday, March 23, 2015

The Indiana General Assembly passes Senate Bill 101 and steps toward establishing Indiana as a theocracy

Discrimination by employers against the sincerely held moral beliefs and practices of freethinkers was given a green light by the Indiana General Assembly in a 63 to 31 House vote favouring Senate Bill 101. This bill titled the Religious Freedom Restoration Act prohibits employers from making certain requirements of or withholding benefits from an employee if the employee’s action is based upon a “sincerely held religious belief.”

The present interpretation of the federal Title VII allows for three separate causes of action for religious discrimination: disparate treatment; religious harassment or hostile work environment; and failure to accommodate religious practices. To qualify an employee must adhere to a religious belief system or engage in religious practices; be a member of a protected religious group; or hold a sincere religious belief, respectively.

As I wrote in What is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act? - 2015 Indiana Senate Bill 568
”By the very language of this bill if I were to hold a personal bias or prejudice against cult followers based upon my sincerely held ethical or moral beliefs [such as being vegetarian is a moral absolute] I am not protected by this bill but if they wanted to discriminate against me for that belief and practice they are protected in the name of religion. It is not equitable and establishes a preference for cults.”
Put another way
If a Muslim working for the health department gets sent to the grocery to do an inspection, by way of his religion in which he may not handle some of the meat, he may refuse without consequence. Under Senate Bill 101 he would be protected from adverse employment action. Yours truly could be sent in to complete the inspection instead. But I will not do anything to assist in the production, delivery of or sale of animal products, which would include inspecting the meat or butcher area of the grocery. Likewise, I would also refuse to perform the inspection. Under this bill, because I maintain an independent free thinking moral belief and have not given up my independence to a cult, I am not protected and could be fired.

Welcome to the theocracy.

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