A Modest Proposal For Religious Freedom Laws

I think this is a good idea. You don’t believe in divorce? Just post the sign that your wedding chapel doesn’t do second, third or even sixth marriages.

I’ve been reading a lot of people’s thoughts on this, and frankly I understand the anger and frustration. I too grow weary of the need to defend my right to a hand-holding dinner for two.

I do not, however, want to sink to the level of fighting and name calling that many have. Some folks on the left are doing just that. I will resist that impulse, but as I said, I do understand. It’s not like there really is a middle ground. Is there?

Isn’t bigotry still bigotry, even if it comes from a lack of understanding? Even if it is the result of the same cultural brain washing many of us who grew up in the church endured? We can sympathize, even empathize, but why do we think we should compromise?

Is it ever ok to reserve the right to not serve blacks? Jews? Lefties? To not pay women equally? Blacks and Jews are not somehow inferior races to whites, and women are not some lesser class than men. So why have we allowed them, those kind religious folks, to convince us that they have a right to treat a trans man or woman, a gay man, a lesbian, a gender queer person, or a person of any sort, as if we are not all equal citizens? Is it because they have opressed us for so long that the kindest souls among us secretly fear that we really do deserve it?

Sometimes there is no middle ground. Sometimes the other side truly is wrong. But that’s no excuse to act hatefully ourselves. Let’s be dignified, even kind. But please, let’s do be strong and put our collective foot down. I can be kind to you if you think the world is flat, but I need not respect your opinion, and I will not tolerate your ignorant treatment of the rest of us who know that the world truly does rotate on its axis as it revolves around the sun–no matter what your regious leaders might tell you. I will be glad to talk to you, and if you refuse to hear, I will let you believe as you wish, but I will not condone your ill treatment of others, because there is never a time when that is acceptable.

Oh, and you, you who outright call me names, and would take away my rights, even my life if you could, well you just go ahead talking that way, but be honest about it. Post it on your door and in your window, and see how many friends you’ve really got.



In 1994, I moved to Los Angeles to attend film school, and I quickly discovered a local hangout called Barney’s Beanery. It was one of those places that hipsters would call a “dive”, which meant the décor was fashioned to look old and tacky but there weren’t actually any creepy drunks lingering around to bring everyone down. My friends and I used to hang out there and talk about movies, because we heard Shane Black went there to write, and because the menu was full of the kind of deep-fried pub food that we were too young to realize we shouldn’t be eating so much of.

Then one day, the one openly gay guy in my MFA program (I wasn’t yet brave enough to come out myself) told me why he never joined us when we went there.

“The owners are homophobes,” he said.

“No!” I insisted. “That’s impossible.”


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3 Comments Add yours

  1. A brilliant solution.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. theoccasionalman says:

    I was thinking about something related to your comments this week, reading Their Eyes Were Watching God with an Arab woman. Do we accept Tea Cake beating Janie because that was more normal in the 1930s, or do we hold firm the idea that spouse abuse is always wrong? I don’t think that our morality should bend to match society’s expectations. Yes, I expect a Christian business to donate to anti-gay causes or otherwise discriminate against me, but that doesn’t mean I think they’re right to do it. I can get angry at the injustice even when it matches my expectations exactly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. oh blimey …barneys beanery….hahaha..that horrible sign at the bar that read ‘faggots out’ … i got taken there for a meeting with some jim jim, pitching himself to me for a promotional pop video..i kept glazing over, just looking at that awful sign at the bar….then a bunch of years later i was in amsterdam in that briliant modern art museum that i can never spell or pronounce,and lo and behold there was a walk in art installation of barneys beanery, complete with the ‘faggots out’ sign.. i wish i could remember the name of the artist who did it…it’s bound to bone traveling the circuit…you’d crack up if you saw it….it’s a big piece.

    Liked by 1 person

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