Searching for Balance

This graphic always makes me feel conflicted.

PromoteWhatYouLoveI spend an awful lot of time railing against the shit that I hate, mostly because there’s just so much out there and, lately, it seems to be getting more and more enthusiastic.  Alabama is trying to pass a law that allows minors to possess firearms.  Indiana just passed a blatantly discriminatory “religious freedom” bill (do you even need a link for that?).  All over the place, legislation is either being considered or passed that limits women’s rights, disrespects workers, and attacks teachers.

In the face of all of this, I feel it’s important to stand up and point out the vile and ugly.  It’s also important to point out the people who are doing good in the world – the people who are arguing in court against the laws, the people who are holding politicians’ feet to the proverbial fire and insisting that they answer straightforward questions, the businesses (and, admittedly, religious groups) that are standing up and saying “no” to the ugly and hateful, and I do admit that these things are happening….

business serves everyone…but I feel that I am much more a stand-up-and-point-out kind of activist than I am a behind-the-scenes-supporter kind of activist.  The way that I love the world – and the way I support those who are doing good – is by doing good myself.  The way I love the world is by standing up and making noise, by using my voice and my education and my privilege to advocate for those who may not have them, and by bringing light and attention to the things that will do others harm.  I get that a lot of people see my activism as bashing what I hate, but I need to spend my energy bringing awareness to the very real harm being done in our world.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Searching for Balance

  1. Brandon

    Does the fact that 20 other states have religious freedom laws on the books and that we’ve had this on the federal level since 1993 give you any pause as to whether the assumption that a wave of illicit discrimination will be unleashed in Indiana is overwrought?

  2. The 20 other states’ laws are significantly different from Indiana’s law, Brandon. Start here: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/03/what-makes-indianas-religious-freedom-law-different/388997/

  3. Brandon

    I wouldn’t necessarily call that super significant since it more or less reflects how these laws have developed over the past 20 years based on decisions that have been made on the federal level, some in favor of and some not in favor of, whether an individual can claim RFRA when the other party is a private individual and not the government. It is reflecting the evolving case law.

    Also, these acts don’t provide automatic immunity, they simply allow the defendant to raise a defense. Some cases have found that a substantial burden was created and others have found that this wasn’t the case, so nothing is guaranteed.

    It is my understanding that Indiana does not have any type of non-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation, so if there was going to be a problem, it seems that it would have manifested itself already whether this legislation was even enacted or not.

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