That was quite a deal these past couple of weeks in Indiana, eh? You know, that gay-marriage hullabaloo that was virgin birthed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence when he signed a bill allowing legal discrimination against gay persons, I mean, uhh, that religious freedom bill that gave "freedom" to a previously non-protected class of U.S. citizens: self-righteous bigots. In short order, hellfire and damnation (in the form of media scorn, high-profile distancing from his fellow Republicans, boycotts from major American businesses, etc.) fell upon Indiana as has seldom been seen in U.S. history, so much so that Pence later recanted—sort of—and he welcomed all of us back to visit and do business with him and his fellow, fun-loving Hoosiers.
It was, he said, just a "great misunderstanding." Yeah, like during his private signing of the original bill when he surrounded himself with a who's who of gay-baiting hucksters, who verily outnumbered the persons of the cloth who mostly comprised those at the farthest extreme of religious conservatism.
Thus, I am happily rolling and cavorting on the floor with my two dogs, Rosie and Ajax—a legitimate hetero dog couple, albeit of different ethnicities—she a German, he an Australian—because, for just about the first time in my life, one of these great United States has proven to be even crazier than Utah. Before I go on, I have to clarify something. I was merely rolling on the floor and cavorting with my dogs. "Cavorting" is a big word for insecure, bullying nitwits like Pence, and is easily construed to mean something it does not. So, for the record, I was not having sexual relations with Ajax and Rosie. Therefore, the three of us do not have to be put to death per Leviticus 20, that same portion of the Bible often cited as evidence gays needn't bother breathing. I merely express my joy that Pence lives in Indiana, not Utah.
What was Pence thinking? That no one would notice? That no one would see through the façade of what his bill really intended to do—discriminate against a group of people he has disdain for? That God would lift him up into heaven to sit at the right hand of his throne?
Social media being what it is, it wasn't long before Pence was thoroughly skewered, his hypocrisy laid bare. This side-by-side comparison of Pence with Jesus was my favorite:
Jesus: "Whoever comes before me shall not hunger." Pence: Eliminates food stamps to 65,000 residents.
Jesus: "Sell your possessions and give to the needy." Pence: Gives corporations the largest tax break in history.
Jesus: "And Mary gave birth to her firstborn son in a manger, because they were homeless." Pence: Provides zero state funding for homeless shelters.
Jesus: "Love your neighbor as thyself." Pence: Signs discrimination law that targets his LGBT neighbors.
You get the point. His religion is of the type that picks and chooses the parts he likes, and he rubs people's faces in it. It's the common denominator of religious fanatics.
On the bright side, a miracle occurred. After Pence first signed his bill, an otherwise obscure pizza joint in Walkerton, Ind., made a peculiar announcement. To express their love for gays, the owners said—drum roll—they don't dislike gays, and gays are welcome at their establishment. They just wouldn't cater a gay wedding. When the predictable threats of economic backlash hit, the owners said they were shutting down the place. Then, the miracle: Through crowdfunding, the owners received more than $800,000 from folks as blind and bigoted as themselves, and they proclaimed it was "God blessing them for what we believe, and not denying Him." Then they quickly gave all that filthy lucre to charity, like the good Christians they are. Uhh, no. It went to rent, and right-wing media said that gays had forced the little shop to close. That was a lie. There was no miracle.
Here's my deal with all of my LGBT friends: If you marry, and if you order catered pizza for your reception, I ain't coming. I have nothing against gays, mind you, I merely choose to discriminate against catered pizza, as is my God-given right, and by H-E-Double Hockey Sticks, when it comes to choosing to be a catered-pizza eater or not, I'm going with what the Big Man upstairs intended: Pizza fresh out of a smoke-fired oven, or not all. Sausage- and bacon-free, of course. I know the Big Man Upstairs intended pizza to be eaten that way, because he speaks to me regularly.
Sometimes, he speaks to my neighbors, and they tell me, but mostly he speaks to me.
Well, other times, he speaks to me in other ways, you know, not directly, like through that old granny radio that's in my basement. Heck, it's not even plugged in, but he comes through loud and clear on the AM dial. And here's what came through that old Philco this morning:
"Hello, since the radio is unplugged, and yet you hear a voice, you know who this is. Now listen: If you have a business, pizza or otherwise, and you don't like gays—be they black or Jew or Mormon—just say so on a sign on your front door. That way, they simply won't come in. Neither will they ask you to cater that hypothetical wedding that you object to—Catered Pizza and Gays. Lands!
Don't take their money on Friday and deny them on Sunday. Just don't. Here's what you should do: Announce your bigotry and, yes, come out of that closet you hide within. The truth will set you free. Amen."