Indiana Religious Freedom Act

Joshua Miller

Who, What, When, Where, and Why?

On March 26th, 2015, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed SB 101 into Law. This bill prevents any government figure from burdening any one person's religious exercise. This bill came around near the time of the talk on whether or not it's okay to deny service to customers at a business, because of religious beliefs. Some speculations may say that this bill was passed to counter the legalization of same-sex marriage, and to discriminate against those who are non-religious. This bill has shot controversy around the internet, and has been included in the talk of gay rights.

Perspective #1

The bill has caused some sort of an uproar, mainly resinating with the media- and ironically- businesses. SB 101 has been translated by many to be a legal way to discriminate against gays. Multiple businesses have responded, claiming they were still on the side of the people and refuse to deny service to anyone. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, even said it was "dangerous" (Daniel Kreps, Rolling stone, paragraph 2, 2015). This also opened up many boycotts in Indiana. The most interesting part may be that both republican and democratic sides are disappointed with the bill.

Perspective #2

Although the seemingly "rights questioning" shockwave known as SB 101 has been a considered to be relevant topic in the U.S., it seems like nobody looks at both sides. The bigger side seems to be the ones that oppose it, but nobody seems to take into consideration the fact that this bill was passed to ensure the rights of one group, not discriminate against the other. The bill has been revisited more than once, and is designed to make sure that religious people have their rights, as well as everyone else. "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in anyway, I would've vetoed it." (ChicagoTribune, paragraph 4, 2015).
Pence signs Religious Freedom bill into law

Media Bias Explained

The media reports what people want to hear. Right now it time, it seems like society works in more of a liberal way than a conservative way. In the current push for "equality", people are going to be sensitive about anything that may "discriminate" them. To avoid offending the general population, it only makes sense that the media would report SB 101 as "unfair" or "discriminatory". What's really going on, is that this bill was intended to help a set group of people contain their rights like everyone else, which is equality. With this adding up to the already enraged public, few people will have the opportunity to realize that there is more than one side to this issue.

Criticism #1

One major criticism that can be used here, is historical criticism. America was founded and built with religious freedom being one of the major factors being played into the future society. As time moves on, it seems that less and less people are holding on to their religious values, and are adjusting to society. The civil rights movement is a prominent time in American history, because it led to blacks and whites being considered equal members of society. The most modern version of that seems to be the LGBT movements, which are pushing equality with people who wish to partake in same-sex marriage. Anything that could possibly defile that will probably be considered "evil" or "wrong". When a religious theme is introduced, people appear to turn their sensitive heads around and around until action is made against what could "oppress" them. Religion is one thing that started this country, and is now one thing that could eventually disappear into it.

Criticism #2

Another major criticism is marxist criticism. One group in society, the religious people, have had it made for the longest time. Like said, this country was built upon religion. Freedom of religion is one of the major defining factors of the U,S., and is also contained in the sacred constitution/bill of rights. Another group (maybe a group in the religious category, but also a lot of non-religious people) is the LGBT, and anyone else who supports them. This group has been struggling (but succeeding in many aspects) in their push for equality and freedoms. It appears that in modern history, society very much (in general) supports this group. The irony is that the religious group, is often under fire because of more traditional themes like marriage. The LGBT is gaining rapid momentum in support and as a movement, and seems to target anything that could compromise their beliefs. This may remind one of SB 101, where the purpose was to protect freedoms as well.