If I must have Scott, make it free


As a Christian, I find it repugnant, indeed sinful, to allow my tax dollars to fund the salary of State Sen. Scott Schneider, who, along with the majority of his colleagues, is a chronic and professional liar in violation of the Law of Moses.

Christians do believe in repentance and absolution, of course; but not as much as Schneider et al. take pride rather than shame in their incessant misrepresentations and calumnies regarding their election opponents and the targets of their un-Christlike policies, I see no warrant for denying me the right to discriminate against them in accord with my religious faith.

If Schneider carries through on his promise to propose legislation allowing Hoosier service providers in the public realm to turn away, for religious reasons, citizens whom they deem to be homosexual, then let him do so without my contribution to his wages, his use of my Statehouse, and that portion of his lunch and greens fees that may be left to me after the lobbyists – straight or gay – have delivered their supply.

At least I shall have my symbolic victory. As shall he, and his colleagues, and perhaps our pietistic governor, whose love for sinners may just not be expansive enough to bring him to veto yet another Hoosier hate law.

I say symbolic, because the application and enforcement of a statute based on bedroom behavior, not to mention the constitutionality of same, are ludicrous propositions aimed at feeding the bigot constituency and distracting the masses from the state’s real problems.

Unlike my gesture, however, this one could do some real harm, adding to Attorney Greg Zoeller’s already lengthy anti-gay legal bills and further alienating the business and academic sectors that mobilized on behalf of marriage equality.

Retaliation for the defeat of marriage discrimination (by a conservative U.S. Supreme Court, yet) is the obvious motive for this typical Schneiderism, and one more occasion for regret that his bright young opponent Tim DeLaney was unable to penetrate the skulls of enough voters in 2012.

The gesture in and of itself will do more harm to the credibility of Schneider and the GOP supermajority than it will wreak upon gay couples and families. But what’s infuriating about it is that it manifests a larger perversion of religion that poisons the party’s entire agenda, in grievously practical ways.

When it comes to the Gospel message – love thy neighbor, judge not lest ye be judged, see to the little children, exalt the poor and bring low the rich – Christian conservatism as practiced by the GOP legislative and executive powers has it all backwards. And they lie about it.

Drug-testing welfare recipients has not turned up abusers of drugs or welfare in any appreciable numbers. Raising the minimum wage has not hurt either employers or low-income workers. The inheritance tax that was repealed, leaving a 10-figure hole for the rest of us to fill, was not the doom of the family farm, only an irritation to the wealthiest of heirs. Tuition vouchers have not rescued poor kids from failing schools; they’ve enriched private schools at the expense of the schools serving those kids. Same-sex marriage has been no threat to “traditional marriage;” if anything, it has strengthened a battered institution.

Lies, damn lies, and these guys. It’s been said nothing grieves God more than the bearing of false witness. And surely only God knows where the multiplying consequences stop. So let me put a stop to my role as accessory. If I can’t recall my senator – et al., et al. – then send me a refund.

Dan Carpenter is a freelance writer, a contributor to The Indianapolis Business Journal and Sky Blue Window and the author of “Indiana Out Loud.”


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