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1634, 27 Mar 15

Indiana Becomes 20th State to Pass Religious Freedom Act

And yet people are freaking out over Indiana.

Forty percent of U.S. states have something similar to Indiana, as does the federal government.

A federal RFRA signed by President Clinton in 1993 shares language with Indiana and other states’ bills, prohibiting the government from “substantially burdening” individuals’ exercise of religion unless it is for a “compelling government interest” and is doing so in the least restrictive means.

The fact that legislation like this is so widespread probably gave Pence some confidence in signing the bill, despite the controversy in Arizona last year over its bill that was ultimately scrapped, and in other states, like Georgia, which are considering similar measures this year (the NCSL found13 additional states are considering their own RFRA legislation).


1634, 27 March 2015


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    This is a great thing.

    Christianity deserves to be treated at least as well as the religion of evolution, the global warming cult, and other weird lefty religions in the public spere.

    The companies claiming to boycott Indiana over this bill do not boycott China, which arrests, detains, and sometimes tortures, the open practice of Christianity.

    …and if Miley Cyrus is threatening to not come to your state over this, that is reason enough to pass this legislation!

  2. Mark Maley

    This is a poison pill for tourism .

    ” Come to Indianapolis and hope your group gets served , assuming their beliefs don’t anger any religious zealots ”

    The Republucan mayor of Indianapolis basically said this yesterday because unlike the Govenor
    Of Indiana, he’s not crazy .

  3. Dave

    Bigotry disguised as “religious freedom” is still bigotry, whether in Indiana, Arkansas or any other state wacko enough to think this is OK in the 21st century.

  4. Northern Pike

    I grew up in North Carolina and had a grandmother and great aunt for whom the civil rights revolution of the 1960s was an agonizing time. They fiercely believed integration was wrong and told me the Bible justified, even required, racial segregation. This was a sincere belief on their part, and it was not uncommon at the time.

    Which leads to the question: Are there any circumstances in which the Indiana law permits a person to act on religious belief in opposition to homosexuality but not in the case of religious opposition to racial integration?

    If the answer is no, then we’re probably talking about nothing. If the answer is yes, then the law is an act of bigotry directed specifically at gays and lesbians, and Indiana deserves all the negative scrutiny that’s headed its way.

  5. Kevin Scheunemann

    Dave said,

    “Bigotry disguised as “religious freedom” is still bigotry, whether in Indiana, Arkansas or any other state wacko enough to think this is OK in the 21st century.”

    So the bigotry of secular humanists, like yourself, who seek to oppress any public expression of marriage under God’s design, one man, one women, can continue unchecked without this law?

    Pike said,

    “I grew up in North Carolina and had a grandmother and great aunt for whom the civil rights revolution of the 1960s was an agonizing time. They fiercely believed integration was wrong and told me the Bible justified, even required, racial segregation. This was a sincere belief on their part, and it was not uncommon at the time.”

    Your great aunt and grandmother were not reading their bible. What passage(s) did they use to justify their position? (Just curious)

  6. Mark Maley

    Mike Pence danced for 15 minutes today on ABC blaming the media for all the problems .

    He refused to answer the yes or no question asked 3 times .”Can gays be discriminated under this bill ?”

    Indianapolis has $4.4 Billion in tourism annually . Business doesn’t need to listen to Pence flail to defend the bill .
    They vote with their feet.

    I wonder if the Dairy Queen franchisee’s in Indiana aren’t falling over themselves buying the signs that say
    “Everyone is welcome to buy Ice Cream here”. Would they really deny selling an ice cream cake that had 2 Grooms on it in 2015 ?

    “Religious freedom ” is just a political dog whistle to Evangelicals that says
    No Gays
    No Muslims
    No Blacks ( ever been to Southern Indiana ?)

    I was going to write “no Jews “but conservatives have elevated the Jews from money grubbing killers of Christ to infallible Arbiters of what the US should do in the Middle East .

    The Grand Dragon of the KKK ( DC Stephenson ) was the mayor of Indianapolis in the 1920’s . Back then , they especially despised Catholics ( although today’s evangelicals may not believe Catholics are true Christians ) .
    My immigrant family felt physical pain from these religious and political zealots .

    Real followers of the Christ of the Beatitudes could never support this type of bill. What does it say about those who do ?

  7. Northern Pike

    They used the Cain and Abel story in the Book of Genesis. They told me that when Cain was cursed and marked for life for the murder of Abel, Cain’s mark was black skin and his exile was in Africa; hence black people were the descendants of Cain. Rightly or wrongly, that’s how they interpreted the Bible.

    My relatives aren’t the only ones who used the Bible to justify separation of the races. In Loving v. Virginia, a Virginia court upheld a ban on inter-racial marriage, and trail judge Leon Bazile wrote: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

    Regardless of how people interpret the Bible, the following question remains: If I own a franchise motel in Indiana, does my sincerely held religious beliefs, Biblically correct or not, allow me to deny accommodations to a same-sex couple but not an inter-racial couple? What does the law say on this point? What should the law say on this point?

  8. the bystander

    Thank God I don’t have to make wedding cakes for those Christians any more!

  9. Owen

    Funny how the left celebrated this law as a piece of important civil rights legislation when Clinton signed it.

  10. Mark Maley

    20 years ago

    In 2004 , Karl Rove won a ton of seats by putting Tradtional Marriage laws on the ballot .

    Times changes , thankfully.

  11. Kevin Scheunemann


    Anyone that embraces the Old Testament in that fashion and ignore the New Testament when it comes to Christ’s grace, love, forgiveness, the Golden Rule, and the Great Commission—to make disciples of all nations, its difficult to put a “Christian” label on that person when they deny the basic truths of the New Testament by having that kind of racist view in action.

    For heatlh and safety reasons, I will not serve anyone bringing a “comfort kangaroo” into the restaurant. The Washington County Health Department will not allow it either. Am I discriminating against the disabled? (the Beaver Dam McD’s did precisely this.)

    If someone wants to express a viewpoint of marriage under God’s design, one man, one women, in how they run their business, they should be free to do so.

    Mark said,

    “Real followers of the Christ of the Beatitudes could never support this type of bill. What does it say about those who do ?”

    So Christians who follow marriage under God’s design, one man, one woman cannot express their biblical position in your world? Any other type of “marriage”/adulterous relations is considered an unrighteous act in the New Testament. (In several places.)

    So you are saying Christians should not follow this part of the beatitude:

    “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.”

    “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

    So Christians should not strive for this part of the beatitudes by training, correcting, and sometimes gently admonishing, others from unrighteousness?

    If you embrace marriage outside of God’s design, don’t you, flat out, reject this beatitude?

    Do you embrace all the beatitudes? or just some of them?

  12. Paul

    2015 – 2004 = 11

  13. Jon Van Deurzen

    Kevin, you still skipped the question. Does this bill allow for discrimination if your interpretation of your religion is segregation?

    Because your interpretation of the Bible is probably different than your neighbors. Whose is right?

    I can only hope that organizations and companies that don’t believe in this type of discrimination vote with their feet and their dollars. Lets see how they like it if the NCAA, GenCon, Salesforce, and others start pulling out of IN.

  14. Kevin Scheunemann


    You mean does the Indiana bill allow for choices? Yes.

    Christians should be free to NOT participate in acts they consider unrighteous. This would include any imposition of Sharia law by naieve liberal governments. I would also consider it agreat bill when it comes to the choice not to participate in the godless public school system for my kids.

    20 states have passed this bill in some form. Bill Clinton signed it back in the mid 1990’s.

    The Gov. of Conn. has this law on the books and just banned state travel to Indiana.

    All this bill does is establish a test if your religious choice is violated by a government agency. Government has to show a compelling state interest/reason to violate a religious choice by a Christian.

    Is tolerance a two way street, or not?

  15. Northern Pike

    “Christians should be free to NOT participate in acts they consider unrighteous.”

    This applies only to Christians?

    I would have thought the correct sentence was “Individuals should be free to NOT participate in acts they consider unrighteous.”

    But I guess I’m just a naïve liberal.

  16. Jon Van Deurzen

    So Kevin, let me get this straight. You support a law that would allow someone to deny service based on the color of skin, eye color, gender, or sexual orientation, in the name of religion? Ok. Got it.

    Tolerance is a two way street. And again, I hope that any organization that has issues with this law, votes with their dollars.

    To be honest, this will be a completely moot point/law. The first person/business to use this law to discriminate will be driven out of business. And rightfully so. They have the right to do it, doesn’t mean they should.

    And THANK GOD that we have a godless public school system. If I wanted my children to be taught about religion, I would do so in the privacy of my home or church. Not someone I barely know teaching them that. KEEP God out of the public school system. Short of a High School religious studies class He should not be there.

  17. Kevin Scheunemann


    You are over stating the law.

    All the law does is establish a compelling state interest to override a religious choice on part of busines owner…and if that test is met, the state must remedy the issue in the LEAST restrictive way possible. 1st amendment.

    In the absence of this law, the intolerant gay lobby has made it impossible/difficult for people to openly express a view of marriage under God’s design. Its a good thing to protect that point of view. Just like its important to protect your view of marriage without government penalty/threat.

    I find it interesting that liberals are getting in twist about that simple issue. Liberals used to stand for the first amendment and free speech.

    Obama is, currently, trying to do a deal with a country, Iran, that executes homosexual behavior on the spot by stoning. Let’s keep an eye on the more important issue. The liberal president doing business with monsters. Where is the liberal outrage over that?

  18. Kevin Scheunemann

    Pike said,

    “This applies only to Christians?

    I would have thought the correct sentence was “Individuals should be free to NOT participate in acts they consider unrighteous.”

    Correct. Just using Christians as an example of how this law is valuable and useful for a free, open, society without oppression from the intolerant.

  19. Jon Van Deurzen

    Kevin, I was not overstating this particular law. I was generalizing the subject. But, if it is one thing that history has shown us, it is that people will pervert religious beliefs to fit an agenda.

    And I agree, we need to protect your point of view. As you have every right to have it and publicly pronounce it. But the minute it begins to infringe on other’s individual’s rights, we have a problem.

    Because refusing someone service based on your beliefs is a very slippery slope.

    Again, this won’t matter. It is an argument that will probably never see the light of day. Because the minute someone tries, they will be crushed under the spotlight and probably put out of business. (Then proceed to get a reality show. Because this is America)

  20. Kevin Scheunemann

    Jon said,

    “And I agree, we need to protect your point of view. As you have every right to have it and publicly pronounce it. But the minute it begins to infringe on other’s individual’s rights, we have a problem.

    Because refusing someone service based on your beliefs is a very slippery slope.”

    Do you have a right to impose your moral choices on others as a consumer? Consumerism has a line. Consumers are not the only part of the equation, the producer/business owner is as well.

    I sell ice cream cakes. I will not serve anyone that wants profane, vulgar, or “salty” language on a cake. Am I “discriminating” against the unrighteous? Absolutely. I get to determine that, not the customer, as the person who wants to run a Christian business. If the customer does not like it, they can find another business that will service them with no moral line. In the past, most customers making this kind of request, understood it was wrong, but modified their request to meet my moral standard on it.

    You cannot impose a customer’s lack of moral choices on those that choose to have a moral line for for their products and services.

    To do otherwise, is intolerant.

    This law resolves the intolerance eminating from the church of liberalism.

  21. Jon Van Deurzen

    Kevin, if 2 people come into your Ice Cream shop and both want “happy birthday” on their cake. But you flatly refuse to serve one because of gender, color, or sexual orientation is that legal?

    The Governor is already back pedaling on the law. Looking to “adjust” it.

    How about if your business discriminates you need to put a large visible sign somewhere in your business. Then everyone can look and see whose business we can support. Pretty simple. Just like business have to do for labor laws. How does that sound Kevin? That would eliminate the awkwardness of someone getting turned away!

  22. Kevin Scheunemann


    #1…who discriminates on gender and skin color over “Happy Birthday” on a cake? No one that I know.

    #2…who gives a quiz on sexual orientation when someone asks to put “happy birthday” on a cake? The only way I would know there sexual orientation is: if the customer would make a point, or insist, on telling me about their carnal proclivities. At that point, I would tell them they might want to consider a relationship with Jesus and ring up their cake.

    I should put a large sign explaining simple moral behavior? “No profanity, vulgar, or salty language is allowed on cakes”. Simple decency used to be implied in our society, no one needed a sign, but the secular humanist religion in public schools has corrupted all that.

    There is simply too much immoral behavior I encounter in the restaurant over the years to list all the possibilities on one sign. It can range from teenagers “making out”, to stealing soda, to physical fights (fortunately that happened only once), boorish behavior interpruting the enjoyment of other customers.

    One of the worst immoralities is when you get a profane customer, swearing at a poor 15 year old teenager that read the food order back, customer verifies it, the customer gets exactly what the confirmed order said and launches into the poor girl who did exactly what the customer said…I should put on a sign that I discriminate against the rude, obnoxious, and immoral? I don’t stop to ask whether this kind of awful behavior is gay or not….but you seem to want to give a fellow like this, special protection if they are gay.

    Liberalism has corrupted simple social morality/courtesy so much that its impossible to get it all on one sign.

  23. Jon Van Deurzen

    Here you go Kevin. I just saw this moments ago.

    Kevin, your definition of simple decency is different than mine. And depending on who we talk to, it could be even more different. It used to be considered indecent for women to wear pants and not skirts, etc. Times change, people need to keep up. Even the Pope is loosening up a bit.

  24. Kevin Scheunemann


    If you smoke cannibas in your home, I don’t have a problem with that. I’d discourage you from it, demand that you don’t drive while on it, but don’t have a problem with your bad decison in your home. Just don’t make me pay for your health care when you choke up a lung from your bad choices.

    If you smoke it in my restaurant, and stink up the joint, I got a problem with that.

    So whether its your cannibis religion, your “gay is the way” religion, or your global warming cult, the religious freedom law allows me to make decisions for my business and reject those religions, and toss them out, WITHOUT SUBSTANTIAL GOVERNMENT INTEREFERENCE (and if there is the government has to mee the strict scrutiny test on it.) if they are being openly practiced by customers at my place of business.

    (Actually, global warming cult, I only have a problem if you want to stop the warming. If you embrace the warming, and want more warming, I might let you talk in my restaurant all day long about that.)

    For some reason, you keep missing the point about choice. Why is that?

  25. Northern Pike

    After 24 entries, I still haven’t gotten an answer to whether there is any circumstance in which the Indiana law permits a business to deny service to a same-sex couple but not an inter-racial couple. It’s not a complex question. The answer is either yes or no. If the answer is no, then the previous 24 entries were a lot of talk about nothing.

    And that’s the part I don’t understand. Why can’t Gov. Mike Pence and Kevin Scheunemann come out and say, “no.” What’s so hard about that?

    Unless the answer isn’t “no.”

  26. Kevin scheunemann


    Does everyone run around expressing their carnal proclivities? If yes, and businesses don’t want to deal with that…that is fine under the law.

  27. Northern Pike

    Uh, yes.

    Twenty years ago, my wife and I staged a big ceremony in which we invited relatives and friends to a ceremony in which we proclaimed our heterosexuality by saying to each other, “I do.”

    When we check into hotels, it’s pretty clear we’re heterosexuals given that we show up as a couple and sign in under the same last name. While we try not to flaunt it, the tell-tale signs are just too hard for anyone to ignore.

    But anyway, it appears you believe that hotel or a restaurant has the right to refuse service to a same-sex couple. Thanks for clearing that up. Wonder what Owen thinks.

  28. Kevin scheunemann


    Not sure how a restaurant fits into your little scenario, but a restaurant has right to kick out anything they declare excessive PDA, gay or not. You just declared a special protected class, married heterosexuals would not have. That is wrong.

    If you want to flaunt in the manner you describe for world to see, there is consequence. if the newly married couple, under God’s design, is acting out of line and disturbing others, I’d kick them out to.

    Why even have a business since libs want to micromanage every interaction? Isn’t it enough that libs tax everything to death? Now you want to manage simple public civility to lowest common denominator for any business open to public?

    Stop fooling around, just declare us the liberal dream, Venzuela, and confiscate it all. Then you will see lack of diversity in true action. You will not have to worry about ice cream flavors because the government will be too busy trying to get gas to a gas station which regularly runs out.

  29. Mark Maley

    The Arkansas Governor has backed off signing the law citing concern from his son about the discriminatory part.
    If his so. Is not gay , I’m sure he has friends who are .

    This is how the nation moved towards equal rights for all.

    Respectful, monied customers could be denied service and both Arkansas and Indiana know it .

    The “tweaks” will get it in line with federal law. They got caught saying it was the same law , but it wasn’t .

    the good news is that the DQ in K town can keep serving their gay clientel, even if they aren’t sure who they are.

  30. Northern Pike


    Sorry to learn that my wedding and checking into a hotel simultaneously with my wife qualified as excessive PDA.

    We’ll try to be more discrete.

  31. Kevin Scheunemann


    I didn’t say your example was neccessarily excessive PDA. However, in either a restaurant or hotel setting the “carnal choices” of customers are not readily apparant, and most people don’t care about the “carnal choices” of their customers, unless the parties make it a point to tell someone, or dshow it through excessive PDA.

    Restaurants and hotels need the right to kick people out for excessive PDA, as one example, without the fear of someone screaming “bigot” or “homophobe” over every little decison about moral practice in a private establishment open to the public.

    I agree my limit for public displays and decorum maybe less than others, and that is mainly because of my Christian world view. That limit is my decision, not yours to make. My simple Christian decisions of this type should not be under constant attack by government.


    So is it a problem that I adopt the Clinton approach, “don’t ask, don’t tell?” Or do liberals now find that offensive as well?

    Hard to know, because, the alleged liberal flag wavers of tolerance, get offended by nearly anything these days.

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