A Texas state Representative who is sponsoring a religious freedom bill similar to the ones recently passed in Indiana and Arkansas attempted to defend the proposed law by pulling the Nazi card, a sign that he knows he is losing the debate.
Republican Representative Matt Krause told a Texas newspaper reporter this week:
“Should a Jewish bakery have to bake a cake for the neo-Nazi convention coming into town? Nobody would say that. Nor would anybody say a gay florist couple has to give flowers to a Westboro Baptist protest at funerals.”
Are you sure you don’t want to compare opponents of your bill to Hitler while you’re at it, Mr. Krause?
Krause attempted to clarify his remarks with this hiccup of verbal cow dung:
“All it’s saying is that if you feel like it has been burdened, that gives you a chance to go to court to say the government is infringing on my religious freedom because they are forcing me to do this.”
Kathy Miller, President of the Texas Freedom Network countered Krause by noting:
“Making such bizarre and wildly offensive comparisons to justify passing a bill that allows people to use religion as a weapon to discriminate is beyond cynical. Even worse is that Rep. Krause callously ignores the real-life consequences of reopening the door to the kind of unfair and cruel discrimination our country rightly turned its back on decades ago. His bill could lead to individuals being denied jobs, housing and even public services we all take for granted simply because of who they are and whom they love. And it would suck Texas into the whirlwind of criticism from businesses and faith leaders that we’re seeing in Indiana.”
I cannot help but notice that the proliferation of these so-called “Religious Freedom Acts” in multiple states just so happens to coincide with the upcoming action on the issue of same-sex marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court. And it seems clear that the right wing in this country now realizes they have lost the debate on this issue, so they are grasping at straws which will help them preserve some semblance of the past.
But they will lose, just as they have lost before on other matters of fundamental freedom. Because Americans are a tolerant and fair people who understand that what their neighbor does in the privacy of his or her home does not affect them.
And because they can smell fear, hatred, and discrimination a mile away.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.