anne mikolay 2012 120The average American doesn't know much about Indiana other than what we learned in grade school: Indianapolis is your capital, and you grow a lot of corn. An internet search reveals trivial facts about the Hoosier state: your official flower is the peony; your tree is the tulip; your bird is the cardinal. Your river is the Wabash, immortalized in your official song “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away”. And you are ironically known as “the Crossroads of America”. In case you need reminding, the word “crossroads” is defined in the common dictionary as “intersection of two or more roads” and “a point at which a crucial decision must be made that will have far-reaching consequences”. Thus, thanks to your  “religious freedom” law, you really are “the Crossroads of America”. Congratulations, Indiana!

The criticism you are currently receiving from the public is well deserved. You won't serve a simple cup of coffee to someone your religion perceives as “different”? Allowing individuals to exercise their religious freedom at the expense of another is loathsome and quite an antiquated attitude. Have you checked the calendar, Indiana? This is 2015; not 1960. We're moving forward; don't push us backward. Your “religious freedom” law demonstrates a basic sociological principle: religion is an agent of social control that strengthens social order (Sociology 101!) There is a vast difference between religion and faith. Religion is a system of worship, a bunch of rules, limitations, and gobbledygook (Yes! Gobbledygook!) that effectively divides people. Faith is spirituality, the belief in something greater than oneself, and for a Christian, a belief in Jesus Christ. Some Christians in Indiana apparently need reminding that Jesus dined with sinners, tax collectors, lepers, and when He multiplied the five loaves and two fishes and instructed his disciples to feed the people, I'll bet there were (gasp!) homosexuals in the crowd. Nobody was refused “service”; everybody got their share of food. Everybody.

In 2013, Pope Francis said, “If someone is gay, and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” In case the Pope's opinion matters little to you (you might dislike Catholics, too!), perhaps the words of your native son, David Letterman, will make a dent. In his Tuesday, March 31st “Late Show” broadcast, Letterman said, “this is not the Indiana I remember as a kid. I lived there for 27 years, and folks were folks, and that's all there was to it. We breathed the same air, we were all carbon-based life forms. We didn't care.”

Did you hear that, Indiana? Folks are folks! We are all the same! You have no right to discriminate. Wake up and smell the coffee...and serve it to anybody and everybody who asks.