Saturday, March 21, 2015
IN THE NAME OF RELIGION
I can’t wait to hear the words “sine die.” Those will be the words spoken by the Georgia Speaker of the House when they adjourn the 2015 session in less than ten days. We need for them to get out of town! Havoc has been kept to a minimum this year. However, with so many hundreds of bills floating around, we won’t know until the handkerchief is dropped what may happen.
The future of the two most controversial Bills still remains uncertain. There’s the Governor’s Bill that allows him to take over failing schools and re-institutes segregation. Then there’s the Religious Freedom Bill that makes most anything you do legal as long as you assert, “It’s my religious belief”.
The other Bill I’ve been following for you, the Medical Marijuana Bill, passed out of Committee and on its way to the Senate Floor. While I have not seen the actual Bill that will be voted on and we don’t know what the directives will be, it is reported that with most conditions, you will have to be close to death to warrant approval. It’s disappointing that the condition of Fibromyalgia was removed. There is currently no drug on the market that helps the debilitating effects of this mysterious condition.
A member of the Bush royal family, Jeb, made an appearance at the State Legislature this week. Being true to his base, he endorsed the Religious Freedom Bill. Then he continued (and this is a direct quote), “A U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality would automatically shift focus “ to people of conscience” who may not want to provide services for a gay marriage.” Services for a gay marriage? Does he think that’s what it’s about? Does he think it’s about florists, cake bakers, caterers, tuxedo rentals, bridal gown businesses, and people invested by the power to perform marriages? NO! This Bill is about the Hobby Lobby’s of this world (and there are plenty of them) who will use religious belief to discriminate against gays and women. This Bill may sanction domestic violence in the name of religion. The Bill does not protect children from abuse or harsh punishment by their parents because of their religious beliefs.
What I find most offensive is the term he used, “people of conscience”. This term used to describe a progressive liberal believing in social justice. Now the term has morphed into a code word meaning racists, homophobes, or anti-semetics. As a fairly liberal Democrat, I used to describe myself as a “person of conscience.” I can no longer say that because it has a whole new ugly meaning.
Truth is, of all the Republican Presidential wannabes, I thought Jeb Bush might be the most palatable to Democrats. But, last week he stated that the Federal minimum wage should be abolished, WHAT?? The Federal minimum wage is $7.25. The State of Georgia’s minimum wage is $5.15. Yes! All of us in Georgia will vote for Jeb Bush because we want our wages to go down $2.10 per hour.
Also, at the State Capitol last week. Jeb Bush posed for a picture with Georgia’s most notable rapper, Ludacris. Bush immediately tweeted the picture and bragged about being with Ludacris. Considering Ludacris’ song in 2008 disparaging Jeb’s then-President brother, I think that was ludicrous!