Indiana Governor Mike Pence is backtracking after signing into state law a bill that would allow individual businesses to decline to entertain certain customers. The law is called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. According to an analysis at the Atlantic, Indiana’s law is different in key ways from the federal law of the same name: “the Indiana law explicitly allows any for-profit business to assert a right to ‘the free exercise of religion.’” There’s more:
The new Indiana statute also contains this odd language: “A person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a violation of this chapter may assert the violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding, regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding.” (My italics.) Neither the federal RFRA, nor 18 of the 19 state statutes cited by the Post, says anything like this; only the Texas RFRA, passed in 1999, contains similar language.
What these words mean is, first, that the Indiana statute explicitly recognizes that a for-profit corporation has “free exercise” rights matching those of individuals or churches.
And lo, certain for-profits have stepped forward to embrace their new rights! Because Jesus was all about refusing to serve people he or his society found distasteful. In fact, he went to the cross rather than sell pizza to same-sex couples.
You don’t remember that part? Read your bibles, folks, come on. It’s Holy Week.