There are moments when Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) really seems to shine, and this past Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd was one of those times for me. Todd seemed to maneuver into an attempt at catching Governor Jindal with a ‘gotcha’ question on Indiana’s recently passed then amended, Religious Freedom Restoration Act bill. Todd asked Jindal if he believed that the Governor’s of Indiana and Arkansas had caved to liberal pressure on the RFRA’s. Instead of taking the bait and bashing the Governors or talking about the fascist gay lobby, Jindal focused in on the intent of the RFRA’s.
He reminded Todd and NBC’s viewers that once upon a time in America WE ALL supported religious freedom. Christian businesses are simply asking America to allow them not to participate in certain ceremonies that contradict their sincerely held beliefs. We’re not asking the nation to allow us to discriminate against homosexuals in general; we’re simply reminding America that we used to value religious freedom above almost everything else.
Chuck Todd: Well let me ask you this. Do you agree with some other folks and conservatives that you think Governor Pence and Governor Hutchinson in Arkansas and Indiana have essentially caved too much pressure?
Governor Bobby Jindal: Well, Chuck, I was very worried about the law in Indiana. I’m disappointed. Let’s remember what this debate was originally all about.
This is about business owners that don’t want to have to choose between their Christian faith, their sincerely held religious beliefs, and being able to operate their businesses. Now, what they don’t want is the government to force them to participate in wedding ceremonies that contradict their beliefs.
They simply want the right to say, “We don’t want to be forced to participate in those ceremonies.” I was disappointed that you could see Christians and their businesses face discrimination in Indiana. I hope the legislators will fix that and rectify that.
Chuck, there used to be a bipartisan consensus in this country around religious liberty saying that as Americans, we don’t all have to agree with each other but we should respect each other’s rights and freedoms. And that’s what this debate is really about. Are we going to use government to force people to contradict their own sincerely held beliefs?