Kant said it best in the 1780s: enlightenment means “sapere aude,” dare to think (for yourself). The political powers-that-be in North Carolina and Mississippi have disgraced themselves by pretending to uphold freedom and fight against discrimination while actually laying out permission structures for bigotry and hate. Bearing in mind that, as Malcolm X said, if you’re south of the Canadian border you are in the South; and bearing in mind that enlightenment does not come easily to most of us regarding any subject at all that make us feel ill at ease–still, what has happened in several states since the Obergefell decision is disgraceful because it is political theater by hypocritical politicians who seem to do as they please in their own private lives, to say it as politely as I can.
However, to give praise where it is due, my hat is off to the governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, who said “We respect our fellow citizens for their beliefs, but we do not discriminate based on our disagreements…discrimination is not a Louisiana value…Louisiana…is respectful and inclusive of everyone around us.” The governor’s letter cited words of approval from the CEO of “Oscar winning, Louisiana-based Moonbot Studios: ‘this is a step in the right direction and supports Moonbot’s decision to recruit the best talent in the country–no matter the candidate’s sexual orientation or gender identity.'” Sounds good to me–Don’t mess with Moonbot.
Meanwhile, in Tennessee, Governor Bill Haslam did not just veto a bill passed by Tennessee legislators that would have designated the Bible (which version? but I digress) as the state’s official book, he gave compelling reasons: “my personal feeling is that this bill trivializes the Bible, which I believe is a sacred text. If we believe that the Bible is the inspired work of God, then we shouldn’t be recognizing it only as a book of historical and economic significance. If we are recognizing the Bible as a sacred text, then we are violating the Constitution of the United States and…of Tennessee by designating it as the official state book. Our founders recognized that when church and state were combined, it was the church that suffered in the long run.” Don’t mess with a governor who actually grasps what the First Amendment was all about in the first place.
Sorry to say North Carolina and Mississippi, as of today, have their heads still stuck in the honeypot (see Winnie-the-Pooh) and haven’t figured out how to extract themselves. Dare to think, you little devils, about something other than how your vulgar fusion of Christ and Caesar will benefit your reelection campaign.
Update: rumors that Louisiana (contrary to the spirit of the True Blood show) has created special rights for dead people are unfounded.