I’ve never written about politics on this site before. I think the time has come. I’ve spent the evening reading Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This Act is absurd on so many levels, I wish I could just laugh it off. But I can’t. The Act seems designed to hurt people. More particularly: the Act seems designed to give religion the freedom to hurt people.
But before I climb on my soapbox, let’s try something constructive. Let’s read the Act together. Don’t groan! The Act is a simple piece of reading. It’s not even three pages long, and it has wide left and right margins. It’s barely a five minute read. Admittedly, to understand what the Act is saying will take us a little longer, but the Act itself is mind-numbingly simple. Nearly the entire substance of the Act is set forth in a paragraph, found in Section 6 of the Act:
A state action, or an action taken by an individual based on state action, may not substantially burden a person’s right to the exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a law or policy of general applicability, unless the state or political subdivision of the state demonstrates that applying the burden to the person’s exercise of religion is: (1) essential to further a compelling governmental interest; and (2) the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest.