Why "performing an act" in North Carolina sounds icky

If evidence of the absurdity of Senate Bill 2 hasn't hit home by now, it never will. Also known as the "Bigots for Berger's Re-election Bill,” it allows county magistrates to opt-out of performing marriages that conflict with their closely held religious bigoted beliefs. And God knows North Carolina has some bigots. Fancy, salaried bigots for sure. Whether on a local, county or state level, these principled bigots enjoy their financial livelihoods at the expense of North Carolina’s taxpayers. While words like "opt-out" might sound purposefully important, “cop-out" seems more appropriate. As Taylor Batten writes in the Charlotte Observer; "I now want in on Senate Bill 2", a positive side to this absurdity might be floating to the top.

I will not work March 17-18, 2016, during the greatest days in sports – the first two days of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. I will not work March 24, assuming Duke is playing in the South Regional semifinal that day, nor March 25 if the Devils are in the East Regional semifinal. And I will not work Monday, April 4, if Duke is in the national championship game.

As House Majority Leader Mike Hager has so eloquently stated, “It simply gives protection to our magistrates and registers of deeds so that they are not forced to perform an act that they have a sincere religious objection to." Say what? "Not forced to perform an act that they have a sincere religious objection to"? Sounds eerily similar to the "rules of engagement" handed to first time visitors at the Chicken Ranch Brothel in Pahrump, Nevada. For believers, let's call it what it really is. Senate Bill 2 is the equivalent of workers' rights percolating into a full blown union. The kind of organization Republicans despise and Jimmy Hoffa would support.

Those pesky unions. Friends of mine in the transportation business can vouch for the importance of unions. While visiting a port on the West coast years ago, a tour of a cargo ship had been arranged beforehand. A chance to observe whatever is necessary to sail a ship with as many as 19,000 containers on board. Doing those tasks requires some give and take, especially if you're union. On this particular ship, the crew and their union contract requirements took precedent before the first painter was untied. Regarding the contract, M&M's were to be prominently placed in a large conspicuous bowl for crew members' enjoyment. But not just any M&M. Only yellow, nut free M&M's. An apparent novice entrusted with buying groceries happened to purchase bags of multi-colored M&M's. Once displayed, senior crew and union members were aghast. While the ship was set to sail within an hour, everything came to a screeching halt. Another crew member was sent to buy the correct type of M&M's. And it should be noted that the separating of M&M's by crew members is disallowed per union contract. Several hours later, the crew member and correct color of M&M's were back on board. Apparently, buying multi-colored M&M’s was somehow the work of the devil. The cost to prepare, load, sail and unload a ship per hour is exorbitant. Those costs, even by way of forgetfulness or stupidity, are always passed along to the consumer. In the case of Senate Bill 2, voters and those who are supportive of same sex marriage.

But objections are objections and that's all that matters. I'll side with Batten on this. More could be written about this clownish behavior but my closely held religious beliefs require me to opt-out on this day of the Sabbath. In addition, thoughts, energy and time required are not in my contract.




I believe "performing a duty" is the appropriate phrase. "Performing an act" sounds chalkboard screeching repugnant. But enough to get the "holier than thou hypocrites" steaming.

The jury's still out on the use of registers of deeds. If applicable, something along the lines of "bending over" or "getting on one's knees" might seem appropriate for Hager's explanation.

Why just magistrates?

Why should police, firefighters, sheriffs, social workers and others have to perform their sworn duties for the citizens who pay their salaries? They might well have "sincere religious objections" too.

Say, they might object to performing a duty for bigots who pretend to be Christians. "Sorry, Senator Berger, we don't serve your kind" would be quite a wake-up call, wouldn't it?

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014