Kerfuffle in Indiana!
Richard Nixon once said, regarding apparent lawlessness on his part, “If the president does it, that means it’s not illegal”; Indiana has now applied similar logic to previously illegal acts of discrimination—“If you’re motivated by religious belief, that means it’s not illegal.” Indiana wants to be the state where you can set yourself up in business and proudly advertise “Wedding Photography (for heterosexual couples only)” and “Floral Arrangements (but not for queers)”. After all, what could be more American than allowing businesses, large and small, to exclude entire categories of persons from their services? Say goodbye to “Jim Crow” and hello to—“Adam and Steve Crow”? “Amanda and Eve Crow”?
This whole contretemps has led to (among other dire consequences) Rod Dreher’s writing three successive blogs about it: “Indiana: The Holy War of the Left,” “Indiana: A Religious Liberty Bellwether,” and (you probably saw this one coming) “Indiana and the Benedict Option”. Dreher observes disapprovingly the “hysterical freakout” over the Indiana law from “Democrats, media, and big business”—and believe me, Rod Dreher knows a thing or two about hysterical freakouts.* What are Mr. Dreher’s non-hysterical conclusions from all this?
This: “Religious and social conservatives had better wake up and recognize the stakes playing out in Indiana right now. The people who hate us don’t want compromise. They want total victory, no matter how it tears this country up, and no matter how it eviscerates what was once a sacred value in this country: freedom of religion.’ 1
And this: “Religious conservative voters must be focused like a laser on religious liberty, right now. It’s that important.” 2
And, praise Jesus, this: “It is time to write the Benedict Option book, so orthodox Christians and other religious dissenters will have a framework for thinking about how to live in post-Christian America. I am putting together a proposal now.” 3
Is it just me, or do Dreher’s words “I am putting together a proposal now” sound, in this context, to be of world-historical significance? It’s as if one had overheard Thomas Jefferson saying “I am composing a declaration now.”
Yes, the Indiana Kerfuffle is leading/driving/forcing Rod Dreher to write the Benedict Option book he was born to write! This is how we take lemons and make lemonade! This is how God brings good out of evil and Rod Dreher gets to cash in! This is almost as exciting as the ending of God’s Not Dead except without the music.
Let’s hope that, by the time Mr. Dreher has written his Book, there’ll still be an audience for it—or should I say, an audience allowed to read it. Because if the Left (and NASCAR) gets its way, American Christians will be sent to a secular gulag and forced to labor at making gay wedding cakes and gay floral arrangements while listening to Judy Garland songs and to the greatest hits of Billy Idol. Is that an America in which you want to raise your children?
I don’t think so.