by Anton Wills-Eve

<a href=””>Fool Me Once</a>

odd minds some people have


Why on earth is everybody making such a fuss about the religious freedom bill in Arkansas? Seriously what’s the big deal? The bill nowhere states that it has anything to do with a person’s sexual orientation. What it does say is that everyone should be allowed the freedom to practise their religious beliefs according to their conscience. Well of course they should. No, it is the immediate assumption that the bill is aimed at discriminating against people who prefer their sexual practices to be with people of their own sex, or mixtures of all sexes, that baffles me. It has nothing to do with this at all.

Had the State Legislature passed a bill saying the exact opposite to what it said THAT would have been discrimination. Could you imagine the outcry if priests had been banned from reminding Christians that they should keep the Ten Commandments? It would have been dreadful. But how does this bill differ from that religious freedom that all Christians in Arkansas have always had, even if they once did not choose to listen to their priests and ministers? It doesn’t. What it says is that if somebody wants to practise their religion in the way they judge is right they should be allowed to do so.

Are we going to give theives the right to steal because the only reason why they shouldn’t is because it is against God’s laws? No we are not, nor should we. But if I want to criticise another person’s beliefs  I have that right. I should not insult him, or her, because that is extremely unpleasant. But that is all it is. I am never going to say to somebody who behaves in a way which I consider to be sinful, “Oh it’s ok in your case. You can commit any sin you like.” But now we are getting close to the crux of ths whole problem. And it is a serious SOCIAL problem nothing else. What we have to decide is whether preaching what we believe to be right is something we must be allowed to do whether people who disagree with us like it or not. Ultimately, if that right were taken away, it would lead to no expression of personal opinions or beliefs in public at all.

But if we do have to drag sexual preferences into this debate let be in a sensible and understanding way. I have never discriminated against anybdy in my life just because I knew they had a different sexual orientation to me. Why should I? That is how they were born, it is their nature and they cannot help how they feel. But I do have the right to say that some actions are not acceptable to me  even if I understand why so many people indulge in them. And I am not talking about homosexual people, I am talking about adulterers  who don’t think twice about committing sins of lust and depravity. Their gender is totally irrelevant.

But I think what annoys me most about this is that far worse sins were rife and openly encouraged in Arkansas when I was growing up. Remember Little Rock and all those segregated school buses? I do. I am glad the practice was stamped out. I should imagine the President and most Americans are too. It was a far worse sin than two men or two women enjoying sex with each other. But the tragedy is that it only happened for the same reason, to wit, because the majority of people in the region at the time didn’t mind.