Recently, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal decided to veto a religious liberty bill.
Soon after, Bill Donohue wrote a Newsmax article on how the left-wing establishment, led by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the corporate establishment, led by Georgia Prospers, were independently working to crush the Georgia equivalent of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act; 30 states have similar laws. Then Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal pledged to veto the bill.
If Gov. Deal were honest, he would have said that the pressure coming from the corporate elite was overwhelming and that it threatened to cause economic ruin to his state. Even men and women of faith could understand why he vetoed the bill.
Instead, he justified his veto saying, “I do not respond very well to insults or threats.” That is a lie—he responds very well to threats. Indeed, it is precisely the kinds of threats issued by the NFL, Disney, and Marvel Studios that made him cave: the NFL threatened to deny Atlanta a future Super Bowl, and Disney and Marvel threatened to relocate.
Gov. Deal made matters worse when he snickered at the faithful. According to CNN.com’s account of his position, he commented how ironic it is that “some people acknowledge that God grants the freedoms enumerated in the First Amendment, but want the government to enact laws to secure those rights.” He was quoted as saying, “Perhaps we should heed the hands-off admonition of the First Amendment.”
That is an astounding argument. The same Founders that acknowledged that our rights come from God, not government, insisted that it was the job of government to ensure those rights. If Gov. Deal can’t understand the difference between the origin of our inalienable rights, and the duty of government officials to protect them, he ought to take a remedial course in civics.