Mooresville writer John Deem is not impressed with state House Speaker Tim Moore’s recent statements about the so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” and its potential impact on North Carolina’s “brand”:
Speaker Moore: “I’m all about the brand, ’bout that brand, no trouble …”
N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore’s promise of a pragmatic approach in deliberations over the proposed Religious Freedom Restoration Act is all the confirmation we need that the issue has little to do with the protection of faith-guided principles, and everything to do with pure, partisan politics.
Moore’s explanation that he and his colleagues should be guided by how passage of any such legislation could potentially “harm North Carolina’s brand” also is an egregious display of political cowardliness in the face of right-handed flamethrowers from of his own party.
Either the “religious freedom” of North Carolinians is being threatened, or it isn’t. If Speaker Moore believes that it is, then pragmatism be damned. He should push ahead with the legislation at full speed. Protecting the inalienable rights of North Carolinians should always trump concerns about how the state looks to outsiders, after all.
If Moore disagrees with the proposed legislation’s dire warnings of religious oppression, then he should say so (as Gov. McCrory and other influential Republicans already have) and expose the conservative mavericks in the House as extremists bent on using Christianity – a faith rooted in grace – as a tool to separate themselves from their neighbors who might not look, think or love exactly as they do.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is either a battle cry of freedom or a sacrilegious sham. I look forward to hearing what “brand” of legislation Speaker Moore thinks it is.
– John Deem is an award-winning writer and editor living in Mooresville.