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Ovation: White House Objects To “Conscience Protections” In NDAA Amendment.

06/12/2013

white house logoThe slowly shrinking presence of Christian homophobia appears to be growing desperate to be heard.  Perhaps people are realizing that a “conservative” label can have many meanings or maybe they’re learning that a fight against equality is a losing battle, but that’s not stopping Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) from offering an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would expand “conscience protections” and grant a “license to bully” based on religious beliefs.  The amendment, essentially, would protect anti-gay harassment.

Yesterday, the White House released a statement related to the bill that specifically references strong objection to section 530, the “conscience protections” provision, of the bill.  The statement reads, in part …

Expansion and Implementation of Protection of Rights of Conscience of Members of the Armed Forces and Chaplains of Such Members: The Administration strongly objects to section 530, which would require the Armed Forces to accommodate, except in cases of military necessity, “actions and speech” reflecting the “conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the member.”  By limiting the discretion of commanders to address potentially problematic speech and actions within their units, this provision would have a significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.

If enacted, Fleming’s amendment would protect inappropriate, defamatory and discriminatory speech and actions.  This significant and unnecessary expansion of current protections for beliefs would leave commanders with no means to address prejudicial conduct when it occurs in their units.

I think this amendment is foolish and unnecessary.  And, frankly, I’m tired of people using their “religious beliefs” as an excuse to not do their jobs.  If you’re a pharmacist who refuses to sell morning after pills, you’re not doing your job.  If you’re a baker who refuses to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding, you’re not doing your job.  If you’re a county clerk who refuses to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, you’re not doing your job.  If you’re a soldier and you defy orders, rules or regulations because you think you’re religion tells you to, you’re not doing your job.

It’s always been my experience that when you don’t do your job you get fired.  The White House agrees that conscience objections should not be a free pass to discriminate, harass or not do your job.

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4 Comments
  1. Don’t discriminate.
    Against anyone.
    It’s that simple.
    If your religious conviction is that Gay Is Wrong, well, bully for you, but don’t use your conviction to discriminate in any way shape or form.
    Is that what God wants you to do?

    Like

  2. Very well said. For a party that wants to increase its diversity, they have a strange way of going about it. I like to say to the GOPers who want their message understood by more … The problem is not understanding the message. We understand it. We just don’t like it.

    Like

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