“No Offense But…” The Offensive Religious Liberty Bill

I am so sick of the term “No offense.”  It’s up there with “My bad,” but worse because people think that if they say “No offense” they can then say something offensive to you without ramifications.  It doesn’t work that way.

“Don’t freak out…but I’m pretty sure that tiger is about to eat you.”

“No offense…but I think your face is stupid.”

“Was that rude?  My bad.”

These days I often get them from non-Wichita State fans when they flat-out insult me or my team.  Last weekend a 20-something kid at a party asked me if I went to Wichita State games since I lived in Wichita.  I told him how I hadn’t missed a game since I moved here.  He replied, “No offense…but what do season tickets cost…$4?”  Thanks you smug little sh*t.  This from a kid who goes to a D-III school tied for 5th in their league.  I can understand that I guess because he’s young and engulfing alcohol rapidly in hopes of hooking up with another 20-something drunk chick who won’t notice his cauliflower ear from rugby…but I don’t get why KU fans have taken to insulting us Shockers.  Most recently KU’s Rock Chalk Blog tweeted, “No offense to Wichita State fans, but Bill Self is simply a better coach than Gregg Marshall.”  When I tweeted back, the blog and its fans pounced on the opportunity to squash me with insults…then the Rock Chalk Blog deleted all their tweets after the Wichita media pointed out their inappropriateness.

Most recently a number of friends from more liberal states have taken to emailing me, tweeting me, and tagging me in Facebook posts with a common phrase, “No offense…but your state sucks.”  This lashing out is in response to the “Religious Liberty” bill (2453) that passed in the Kansas House and looks to pass the state Senate as well.  <sigh>  This one hurt.  I can understand basketball teams quibbling over who’s better and lashing out at the other team’s fans…but this bill makes me ashamed of my state.  If it passes it gives businesses the right to refuse service to same-sex couples by claiming it is against their religious beliefs…and the government would support it.  It means a restaurant could deny service to a couple for being gay.  It means a hotel could kick out a couple for being gay.  It means a landlord could evict a couple for being gay.  It means Kansas is going to pass a bill condoning government sanctioned discrimination.

I personally support gay marriage and feel homosexual couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples.  That’s me.  I also believe in religion, something bigger than me, and the goodness of community awareness.  I do not support using religion to discriminate against another group.  I do not support using religion to set laws that negatively affect the lives of citizens.  I do not support this bill.  Republican State Rep. Charles Macheers says he wants to put Kansas “on the right side of history.”  Who says its right?  Who decides what is right and wrong?  I know the answer (at least his answer) is “God.”  What about those of us who think we are about to be on the wrong side of history?  What about those of us who believe in God, believe in acceptance, and separation of church and state?  Macheers and Governor Brownback feel they know what is best for all of us and our difference of opinion is proof that we need more anti-gay laws to help right this infestation.

Being gay is a choice…right?  Like how I chose my hair color.  Like how I chose my skin tone.  Like how I chose to be a male.  Choices.  I don’t ask religion to understand homosexuality I just ask it to practice a little of what it preaches…acceptance.  You don’t have to like homosexuality, approve of it, agree with it, or feel comfortable with it…but its still happening and its going to continue no matter how many laws are created.  Many of my friends are homosexual and let me tell you…they respect the sanctity of marriage better than most of my heterosexual friends!  No offense…this bill sucks.  (See what I did there?)

I will fight this bill.  If it passes I will work to have it vetoed.  If it is not vetoed I will work to create safe havens for homosexuals in Kansas.  You do not have to agree with homosexuality but discriminating rights is unconstitutional and I will not stand for it.  Sorry friends, family, and readers who disagree.  I always preach to my students to be careful what they say online because it is a very public forum and Twitter courage will bite you every time…you don’t come across as who you really are.  This is me.  This is really who I am.  You won’t like me when I’m angry.

Voice your opinion to your representative at openkansas.org or sign the petition at changekansas.org

Sign the petition today and join the fight against discrimination.
Sign the petition today and join the fight against discrimination.
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