Commentary

Georgia Governor Deal Caves to Big Business Bullies, Furthers Left Mantra on Money in Politics

Mario Díaz
By Mario Díaz | March 29, 2016 | 4:43 PM EDT

The governor of the US state of Georgia has vetoed a "religious freedom" bill after facing pressure from business interests. (AP Photo)

You usually hear the left complain about the evils of Big Business and corporations, that awful “one percent” that controls our economy and our politicians.  The left hates them — except when those same corporations use their despicable money and power to bully supporters of religious freedom.  Then they’re not that bad.

What happened in Georgia is a perfect example.  The people of Georgia asked their legislators to work on a bill that would show some sensitivity and balance between our First Amendment right to religious freedom and the recently discovered constitutional right to same-sex “marriage.”  House Bill 757, known as the Free Exercise Protection Act, was the product of a long, arduous process where all sides worked together to come up with a compromise that would move the ball forward and protect all interested parties.

The Free Exercise Protection Act was a very modest bill.  It was not perfect for either side.  It was the product of lawmakers doing what they are supposed to do, come together and tackle the tough issues of the day to develop a framework that can protect all citizens.

The left hated the bill because … well, because it has the words “religious freedom” in it.  In their estimation, there is no case in which religious freedom should win over left-wing-preferred rights.  That is certainly the case with homosexual (LGBTQ) rights.  As Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Commissioner and pro-LGBTQ activist Chai Feldblum has said, she recognizes that “gay” rights intrude on religious freedom but, “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.”

But it is not just “gay” rights; last week, the Little Sisters of the Poor were at the Supreme Court trying to prevent the government from forcing them to be part of a process to give out free contraception and abortifacients that are in violation of their deeply held religious beliefs.

There is no reason to force these poor nuns to participate in the government’s scheme to provide free drugs in violation of their conscience.  Just like there is no reason to force a photographer to go to a wedding ceremony in violation of his or her conscience.  There is no harm if they are allowed to decline to participate.  The government can provide for the drugs itself through other channels, and the photographer will just lose some serious business.  The same-sex couple will have many choices for their weddings.

Nothing good comes from forcing people to violate their consciences.  It does not advance “gay” rights in any way.  On the contrary, it exposes their lack of good faith and cements the opposition.

Still, that is exactly what the left and Big Business wants done in every state of the union.  Bully the nuns and Christian bakers and photographers.  They must be part of what violates their faith or face the consequences.  Force them out of business, and treat them as criminals if necessary.

From Apple to the NFL to Disney, among many others, Big Business used all its power and resources to bully Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to veto House Bill 757, while the left cheered him on.

Gov. Deal caved.  And in doing so, he furthered the left’s mantra of Big Business’ hold on government.  He should have stood with the people of Georgia who spoke in true democratic fashion through their legislature.  He should have stood up to the bullies.

Instead he decided to give in to the demands of Big Business, joining the left in condemning all bullies, except those who have the goodies you like.

Mario Díaz, Esq., serves as Concerned Women for America's (CWA) Legal Counsel and leads CWA's Legal Studies Department. Mr. Diaz is a Constitutional Law scholar who focuses on cases and legislation dealing with CWA's core issues: religious liberty, sanctity of human life, defense of the family, sexual exploitation, education, national sovereignty, and support for Israel.

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