The Times They Are REALLY A-Changin’

At least, they are changing in Georgia. From the Georgia publication, GA Voice, we learn

If you didn’t think things could get anymore dramatic in the fight over the so-called “religious freedom” bills, think again. Michael Bowers, the infamous Republican former Georgia attorney general who was at the center of two of the state’s biggest LGBT rights cases, has been hired by Georgia Equality to help fight passage of HB 218 and SB 129. In other news, dogs and mail carriers have reached a truce, Jennifer Aniston was spotted antiquing with Angelina Jolie, and Batman is going in on a summer home in Cape Cod with the Joker.

This was the Bowers of the infamous Bowers v. Hardwick case upholding Georgia’s law against gay sodomy–a case that made criminals out of LGBT folks until it was finally overruled in Lawrence v. Texas. He is now working with Georgia Equality to fight discrimination against gay citizens and others–discrimination that he says these measures will protect.

It is no exaggeration that the proposed [measures] could be used to justify putting hoods back on the Ku Klux Klan. For decades, Georgia’s Anti-Mask Act has prohibited wearing masks in public.

The law was enacted to prohibit the Ku Klux Klan from wearing hoods in public, and by extension, to discourage participation in its activities. While this statute contains exceptions for holidays, sporting events, theatrical performances, and gas masks, it does not contain a religious exercise exception – because many Klansmen used religion to justify participation in the Klan.

But the proposed [measures] would create a religious exception that was purposefully excluded. Anonymous participation in hate groups would undoubtedly rise….

Here in Indiana, the same measure is sailing through the General Assembly.

Bower’s analysis reminded me that Indiana used to be “ground zero” for the Klan; I’d like to think we’ve evolved….that the times are also changing here.

I guess we’ll know once the legislative session concludes.


  1. The republicans in the Indiana house are like children on a field trip without adult supervision. They don’t know where they are going and there is nobody (leadership) pointing them in any particular direction. Reagan’s prophetic words have finally come to fruition: Government is not the solution, it’s the problem. Ironically, it’s a problem because the tea baggers and social conservatives have worked very hard to make sure it has become a problem.

  2. One thing that’s pretty obvious to those who participate here regularly is that our interest is largely due to the fact that Sheila is exceptionally well informed about the details of government and politics. Good for her. Good for us.

    Today’s piece is no exception.

    The future of democracy though is inconsequentially influenced by these efforts. We’re a drop in the ocean. A bug in a swarm. While Sheila is tireless in her teaching efforts to wide and diverse audiences those audiences will not carry the day.

    So, the question is, what will leverage the thoughts here into sufficient minds to bring back progress for the country?

    I hate the answer that occurs to me. It rubs me the wrong way. It goes against my grain in every way but I see no alternative.

    Become extreme Democrats.

    I’m not even registered as one. I hate extremism. I hate party voting. I so want to be independent.

    I just don’t see any way to build from the ideas expressed here to national action other than becoming a stampede.

    There are risks to that no doubt. The magnitude of the threat though requires drastic even risky actions. We are pre Revolutionary America again. If we don’t re achieve democracy democratically the only option is violent as was our birthright.

    Focus is the key. And what institution has the infrastructure to achieve real progress? Only one that I can see. It requires some fixing for sure, but it is, as they say, serviceable and functional.

    We have defined the problem and what’s left is to fix it.

  3. Be patient, Sheila……it took a little time for former Attorney General Bowers to come around. Maybe in a decade or so Mike Delph and Jim Bopp will be championing the cause of Transgender Equality.

    Ok, Ok, that’s too optimistic. A cold day in February 2035, maybe?

  4. And what are the bill numbers so we can write some fruitless letters to our reactionary reps?

    I recently reacted to one of my representative’s more outrageous votes, indicating that it was not in the best interests of the citizens or the common good. In a rare response, he defended his vote by stating that he had a business, a wife and kids. It’s hard to respond rationally to a rationale like that.

  5. You’re so correct, Pete. That is why I’ve been saying ”Run, Liz, Run’ for so long. It is a scary thought to believe that turnout would enable her election but what alternative do we have? Out and out revolution? I may be wrong but I feel that if we can put a black man into the office, twice, we can certainly put a white women there.

  6. If the KKK applied this law to dress up in their clown suits with masks, it sure could make the prevailing party and legislature look bad, and give our fair state a lot of really nasty publicity, but given the current mental state, bad publicity doesn’t seem to phase them. Ideological purity seems to trump moral. physical and financial consequences. A medical/economic article saying Pence’s refusal to expand Medicaid could lead to 750 deaths per year didn’t seem to phase him.

  7. I wonder how long the legislation would last if some business denies service to Christians based on their Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or other religious values.

  8. Nancy Pappas; I have wondered if proof of religion would be required to maintain employment and hire employees in these businesses or to provide/deny services. If the religious faction in government is currently taking control regarding health care, marriage, employment, receiving services, selling specific merchandise, etc.; can required documented religious affiliation for all be far behind? We are victims of Big Brother on all sides and I don’t see the situation improving in the near future. The Constitution and Amendments are becoming bastardized by the controlling party – and that is not President Obama – and religious dogma rules the GOP. With another government shutdown looming I am way beyond jaundiced, Sheila. Beyond here there be dragons…

  9. Just spotted this on Facebook. Who should we fear the most in this country; terrorist attacks by ISIS or those who would support this total removement of our freedom at it’s basic level?

    “Among Republican-leaning Christians: over half of the population polled, 57%, would like to see the United States turned into a Christian State.”

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