Daily Takedown

Is It About Your Religion? Or Is It About Your Tax Status?

A draft of a ‘Religious Freedom’ Executive Order has been leaked and is circulating the internet like a Wynona Ryder facial expression meme – it’s gone berserk.

The possible order would protect individuals and organizations from “violating their conscience” by essentially violating everyone else’s conscience. Convenient. The order would allow employers to discriminate against people based on their sexuality or gender identity and to deny coverage to their employees for contraception and abortions. It could also allow adoption agencies to discriminate against same sex couples and it would require the Justice Department to enforce it.

Besides the absolute un-American and hateful horror of this, there are many layers of bile at work here that need to analyzed:

  • We remember when Trump was elected he said he would not overturn same-sex marriage, an Executive ‘Religious Freedom’ Order would be a way to do that from another direction.
  • We know Trump isn’t really a fan of actual Religious Freedom due to the extreme vetting he is pushing for Muslims. Can big papa say HYPOCRITE?!
  • Studies show that 6 out of 10 people in the US who identify as religious actually support same sex marriage and are against religious freedom bills. So who really wants this to happen?! (See below, we do have a few ideas.)
  • When Pence was Governor of Indiana and signed a Religious Freedom Act for his state he became so unpopular that he was not going to be voted back in (good thing he became Vice President instead).
  • The draft — which again is just proposed and not YET official —mentions that it would protect the tax exempt status of religious organizations AND/OR private organizations that identify as religious. SO (and until it comes out this cannot be confirmed) it seems there’s a possibility that this EO would give tax exempt status to organizations that wanted to say they were religious and then not cover birth control or a same sex spouse’s healthcare. SO, a possibility is that big money is ‘who’ wants this EO passed — not actual religious people.
  • On the same note, Donald Trump has also said that he would like to lift the IRS rule which states that pastors cannot endorse political candidates (or they lose their tax exempt status). If this rule was actually overturned people could donate to a church and in turn would be donating to a political party. Nope! Nope! Nope! Not kosher!

We instated the separation of church and state for a reason! We can’t have people’s religious leaders on the take for a candidate. That’s why we left England y’alls! REMEMBER! (In case you didn’t get to see Hamilton yet that’s an actual thing that happened.) AND our constitution ALREADY protects everyone’s religious freedoms; it’s a tenant of what it means to be American. If your religious freedom means denying your employees access to birth control (and not Viagra mind you) or not serving pizza to someone you think is gay, that’s not religious freedom, that’s just you being an asshat.

So while a bastardized notion of religious freedom is whipping Kim Davis types (you know, those who won’t do their job and give out marriage licenses because of some misguided ‘ideal’ but have been divorced 975 times themselves) up into a storm, the big boys are probably just looking at a lot of tax breaks. Nicely done.

Let us remember that the cornerstone of most major religions is love and compassion not claiming religious freedom in order to judge others (in fact that’s actually a big religious no-no). Happy Fucking Valentine’s Day.

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September 18, 2017

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