Thursday, March 31, 2016

Rite to Discriminate

*Note: This post is a serious departure from my usual topics*

I believe our government leaders may be confused, based on some recent activity: Protecting Freedom of Conscience Act, Free Exercise Protection Act, and HB2. In these bills, our representatives are proactively allowing discriminatory actions against a particular subset of people (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) based on religious views, in addition to declaring who may use what bathroom based on whether or not one has a penis. 

I'm really trying to understand what's happening here because it seems to me that our lawmakers are obscenely interested in the workings of its citizen's bodies and whether or not those body parts are worthy of being present and accounted for in different establishments, like public bathrooms. Or if they should be assisted in government agencies where one might apply for and receive legal documents. Or whether those bodies should be acknowledged in places where a citizen may enjoy delicious pastries to commemorate important life events. 

There's been a lot of talk of everybody's rights, so I got to thinking that perhaps the confusion is due to our tricky English language. For example, words like RIGHT and RITE could be easily mixed up. RIGHT can be a noun, adjective, adverb, verb, or exclamation, unlike RITE, which is a noun. 

So I looked up the definitions in good ol' Merriam-Webster. 

RIGHT 


  1. 1:  righteous, upright
  2. 2:  being in accordance with what is just, good, or proper <right conduct>
  3. 3:  conforming to facts or truth :  correct <the right answer>
  4. 4:  suitable, appropriate <the right man for the job>
  5. 5:  straight <a right line>
  6. 6:  genuine, real
  7. 7a :  of, relating to, situated on, or being the side of the body which is away from the side on which the heart is mostly locatedb :  located nearer to the right hand than to the leftc :  located to the right of an observer facing the object specified or directed as the right arm would point when raised out to the sided (1) :  located on the right of an observer facing in the same direction as the object specified <stage right> (2) :  located on the right when facing downstream <the right bank of a river>e :  done with the right hand <a right hook to the jaw>
  8. 8:  having the axis perpendicular to the base <right cone>
  9. 9:  of, relating to, or constituting the principal or more prominent side of an object <made sure the socks were right side out>
  10. 10:  acting or judging in accordance with truth or fact <time proved her right>
  11. 11a :  being in good physical or mental health or order <not in his right mind>b :  being in a correct or proper state <put things right>
  12. 12:  most favorable or desired :  preferable; also :  socially acceptable <knew all the right people>
  13. 13often capitalized :  of, adhering to, or constituted by the Right especially in politics


Ohhhh....now I get it. It's very clear right there in #5 - "Straight". 

Maybe our representatives didn't see the part next to it that said <a right line>, ya know, as in geometry? They took it to mean that to be RIGHT is to be straight (as in heterosexual, just to be clear). Maybe they also thought that to have RIGHTS, you need to be straight. I can see how that could be confusing. 

Before we move on to RITE though, we should take a peek at the BILL OF RIGHTS, which will probably clearly outline the right to suppress another's rights, even in a government setting doing a government job, based on personal religious views. Right?


BILL OF RIGHTS 

Amendment I 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Hmmm. I assume our representatives were looking at Amendment I, where it states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." I'm guessing they were focused on the prohibiting the free exercise thereof part because otherwise, they might have noticed that the bills they created sounded an awful lot like establishing a government-sanctioned religion, or at least a preference for a specific set of religious beliefs.

And they may have been closer to creating RITES than RIGHTS, but let's check in with Merriam-Webster before we jump to conclusions.

  1. 1a :  a prescribed form or manner governing the words or actions for a ceremonyb :  the ceremonial practices of a church or group of churches
  2. 2:  a ceremonial act or action <initiation rites>
  3. 3:  a division of the Christian church using a distinctive liturgy

Ah, it's all become clear - the darned English language and those perplexing homophones are to blame! (Not to be confused with homophobes. Those are different). 

The religious views of those who drafted and voted for those biased bills must have been focused on RITES instead of RIGHTS. I guess their RITES are filled with hateful speech and actions and they recognized their RIGHT to not be prohibited in their free practice of those RITES. 

Homophones can really cause some of the most awkward and shamefully embarrassing situations! (May also occur with homophobes). 

Whew, I'm glad that's cleared up. Because I can't for one minute believe that Christians would draft legislation that would go against the teachings of Jesus Christ whose instruction was to "Love one another". They clearly were confused by the homophones because these bills urge people to not love one another. 

My Christian upbringing has spent the past few hours standing appalled and stunned in the corner, trying to make sense of it all, but I feel quite confident now in my right to say (Amendment I) that whatever way I line this legislation up, there is NOTHING RIGHT about it (see definition of RIGHT, #'s 2, 3, 4, and 6)

No comments:

Post a Comment