Here in Georgia, Senate bill 129, or the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act”, has been a big topic of conversation. Religious leaders have been showing up at the capitol repeatedly to express their support of a bill they believe will allow them to discriminate based on LGBT* status. Georgia Unites demonstrated today to share the opposite opinion and fight for anti-discrimination.
The bill’s original sponsor, Josh McKoon, says it does no such thing as religious leaders champion and progressives fear, instead pointing to the controversial firing of Atlanta’s fire chief based on a book he wrote, without permission, containing homophobic material. Here’s a half-hour long video explaining McKoon’s side, which I skimmed through.
I have a lot of thoughts on “religious freedom” and its need for “restoration”. I think the priority religion has in overriding other laws is already often too high. I feel that nuance in different situations is lost when everything is subsumed by “public square” chatter. Overall, I feel this bill serves to further elevate the privileged and conveniently ignore the marginalized.
This is my confession. This is my warning. And this is my struggle.
Tonight I had dinner in Warner-Robins, Georgia, at a southern comfort-style place. The food was alright, though the green beans left something to be desired (perhaps they absorbed some of my salty demeanor). Playing low throughout the place, over muted basketball games on televisions and families deciding sides for their entrees, was a country and Southern rock station. These genres dominate the radio airwaves in middle Georgia, rivaled only by stations with “praise”, “inspiration”, or “grace” in their name. Even the generic rock station I found bends well into that twangy acoustic territory on a regular basis.
I like those genres pretty well, to be clear, often way more than just that. In fact, some of my favorite artists and songs are within it.(1)Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, Alan Jackson But country in particular rides a fine line for me. Too many mentions of trucks, dogs, women, or beer, and I simply can’t enjoy it much anymore.
It’s nearing election day in the US, and as the only resident at my address, I’m now subjected to loads of political ads and mailings each week. They’ve all been in favor of conservatives, and perhaps entirely funded by the Georgia Republican Party. Today’s, though, demonstrated so concretely the hypocrisy and misleading nature of political ads that I just had to share.