The Mayor of the town, Theresa Kenerly, and a city councilman had a conversation in a closed door council session about a job opening they were trying to fill.
The mayor said that she didn't think the town was ready for a black administrator, one of four potential candidates for the position.
The councilman, Jim Cleveland, agreed. And his justification was eye opening.
I’m a Christian and my Christian beliefs are you don’t do interracial marriage. That’s the way I was brought up and that’s the way I believe...I have black friends, I hired black people. But when it comes to all this stuff you see on TV, when you see blacks and whites together, it makes my blood boil because that’s just not the way a Christian is supposed to live.Another council person was shocked by the repartee and was told by the city attorney not to put her concerns in writing. In any case, as you can imagine, there is now quite a hubbub and current calls for the Mayor to resign. Racial discrimination in hiring has been against federal law since passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The reason I bring the incident up is because this is a week after Trump enacted one of a series of religious liberty bills, this one allowing health care workers and large corporations to refuse to provide services if they run afoul of their religious inclinations.
Two final rules on religious and moral exemptions to the contraceptive coverage requirement set forth under the ACA carve out conscience protections for employers that allow them to withhold contraceptive coverage requirement services to their employees based on “sincerely held religious beliefs” and “non-religious moral convictions.”And I think to myself and extrapolate, well doesn't it follow that the Councilman in Hoschston has a sincere religious belief or moral conviction against miscegenation and the mixing of the races? Why do we not honor his sincere theological convictions? After all, it is forbidden in the bible. Cursed be the son of Ham.
Isn't it logical to think that if allowed to continue, the direction of the Trump administration will be the end of discrimination enforcement in this country as we know it, be it racial, sexual, orientation or otherwise? As noted in this article, the Trump administration has elevated religious liberty to a position above all other rights.
Though the U.S. Supreme Court has long recognized that religious freedom should not be interpreted to permit harm on others, the Trump administration has redefined the extent of religious liberty protections, establishing a broad license to discriminate. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ guidance on “Federal Law Protections for Religious Liberty”—which he claimed would clarify the existing protections regarding religious liberty—serves as the groundwork for writing discriminatory actions into law. The guidance prioritizes religious exemptions over all other rights, and it defines the constitutional and statutory protections of religious liberty broadly so that they can be widely implemented. For example, previous analysis by the Center for American Progress found at least 87 regulations, 16 agency guidance documents, and 55 federal programs and services that the guidance could undermine—most of which the Obama administration created to advance LGBTQ equality and prohibit federally funded programs from discriminating, including on the basis of religion.The guidance establishes an overarching license to discriminate for the federal government. Moreover, it puts vulnerable populations at risk of being denied equal treatment under the law.Dangerous stuff.