by Lisa Ellison
My U.S. Representative (yours too, most likely), Walter Jones, apparently asks a question on his website each week. I don’t know how long he’s been doing it, how many people usually respond or how long this particular question has been up (my guess is since Saturday at 10 a.m., when the query went up on his Facebook page).
“Do you believe the federal government should be allowed to punish churches, charities, and private schools who, because of their religious beliefs, oppose same-sex marriage?”
One hundred forty-six, or nearly 90 percent of all 163 people who’d responded before me said, “No.” I’m one of the eight who bothered to say “other” (twice, actually) instead of just ignoring a question clearly meant to gag those who disagree, to rally those who already agree and to make Walter B. feel like he’s reaching out to and receiving nearly complete support from his public.
Is this what the congressman wants to convey, a false patina of public service? Does he want to hear from reasonable people who do not agree with his beliefs, which his question veils so thinly? Does hearing opposing views ever make any difference?
It is irresponsible of this career politician to suggest that a person or group is punished for the beliefs they hold. He panders to a frenzied mob and incites ignorance when he does not insist on the truth: those who violate the law should expect punishment for that violation, not for whatever belief may have driven it. (more…)