OK

Since Kansas lawmakers believe that religious freedom means the freedom to discriminate against anyone who doesn't share your personal beliefs, here are mine.

1. Praying -- I believe that prayer, i.e., asking God to do something because you're asking for it --is self-centered and arrogant. Why should God change His plan because I want something different? Surely an omniscient deity knows better what should be done than I. Praying is likely to tick Him off. Why should He have to listen to all these mealy-mouthed brown-nosers day and night? I believe that nobody should pray -- ever. Since my business is landlording, can I refuse housing to people who pray?

2. Pets -- I believe that taking a pet into your life and taking good care of it is an indication of character and kindness. I in the future, shall stop renting to people who don't have dogs.

3. Food -- I believe that whipped cream is one of the most stomach-churning and disgusting substances on earth. I don't just dislike it. I FEAR it. I'm uncomfortable when I have to look at it. Someday, if I ever open that little cafe I've dreamed of, I think I shall refuse to serve and eject any patron who asks for whipped cream on a dessert. Ditto for shredded coconut and coffee. Coffee especially, because they're likely to ask for it earlier in the meal and I'll get a warning that this person is a pervert. This may cost me customers, but its better than having in interact with people who are different from me.

4. Religion -- I believe that the existence or non-existence of a supreme Deity that created the world is unknowable. But more important, I believe it doesn't matter. The world is what it is, whether it was created by God or by a natural process that we can't observe enough of (because of our mortality) to define. What matters is how we conduct ourselves within this world. If there is anything for me beyond the span of my years in this mortal body, I'll find out when I get there. Meanwhile, I'm going to try to use what is available to me as well as I can, and treat all other entities with respect and what cooperation I am able to offer. If that's not enough and God rejects me because I didn't worship enough, too bad. I will not try to impose my worldview on others, or insist that in order to receive any services I offer they must conform to my concept of righteousness.

I know... that last one kind of keeps me from discriminating on the basis of the first three, but believe it or not, that's what the word FREEDOM means. It's not just for me. Freedom isn't freedom unless everyone has it.

If you work for the government and issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple would violate your religious beliefs, it's your obligation to ask for a transfer to duties that will not violate your beliefs. Because they are YOUR beliefs, not the state's beliefs. You are responsible not to take a job that will require you to violate your principles. That's why we have had conscientious objector status for military draftees.

If you are an employer and paying for insurance that covers abortions and birth control violates your conscience, give your employees the money and let them send the check to the insurance company themselves. You owe them fair compensation for their labor, but you don't have any power over what they buy with the money you pay them. After you pay them, it's their money, not yours. I can't hire someone and tell him he can buy food with his paycheck, but NO WHIPPED CREAM.

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