We are informed (“Georgia governor vetoes religious freedom bill criticized as anti-gay,” March 29 news article) that Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is opposed to religious liberty, namely, the liberty of faith-based groups and individuals in Georgia to discriminate against gay and transgender individuals. The reason for his opposition: Not to combat injustice but the fear that Georgia will be boycotted regarding movie productions, sports, political and business events – an economic disaster for the state.
Since the profit motive has been the cause of numerous cases of injustice in society, it seems only fitting that the profit motive be enlisted in the cause of justice.
It is ironic that Bank of America and 80 or more “godless” corporations reject the discrimination involved in HB2 while the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission supports similar legislation. Southern Baptists also defended slavery and segregation and currently denies the right of women to become ministers – all allegedly “Bible-based” positions.
Since the United States rejected faith-based beliefs supporting slavery and segregation and the denial of women’s right to vote, we must vigorously oppose HB2, termed, correctly, “a national embarrassment” to a formerly progressive state.
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Bernard H. Cochran
Professor Emeritus, Department of Religion and Philosophy, Meredith College