In Opposing the Current Religious Liberty Bill, Governor Deal Turns To the Gospel of John

For the second time in less than a week, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has issued a strong statement opposing the religious liberty bill that includes both the Pastor Protection Act and the First Amendment Defense Act. Amended by the Senate and sent back to the House, HB 757 awaits movement in the lower chamber.

As reported by Greg Bluestein in the AJC, the governor turned to biblical lessons to illustrate his opposition to the legislation, which is seen by some as being discriminatory towards gays, lesbians, and other individuals.

“What the New Testament teaches us is that Jesus reached out to those who were considered the outcasts, the ones that did not conform to the religious societies’ view of the world … We do not have a belief in my way of looking at religion that says we have to discriminate against anybody. If you were to apply those standards to the teaching of Jesus, I don’t think they fit.”

He then turned to a passage from the Gospel of John that showed Jesus reaching out to an outcast.

“What that says is we have a belief in forgiveness and that we do not have to discriminate unduly against anyone on the basis of our own religious beliefs. We are not jeopardized, in my opinion, by those who believe differently from us. We are not, in my opinion, put in jeopardy by virtue of those who might hold different beliefs are who may not even agree with what our supreme court said the law of the land is on the issue of same-sex marriage. I do not feel threatened by the fact that people who might choose same-sex marriages pursue that route.”

On Monday, the governor issued what could be considered a veto threat over the current version of the Pastor Protection Act.

*Update*

Kaleb McMichen, Speaker David Ralston’s spokesman, issued the following statement on Thursday in support of Governor Deal:

Speaker Ralston appreciates and shares Governor Deal’s sincere commitment to protecting religious liberties while ensuring that Georgia continues to welcome everyone with genuine southern hospitality.

Productive conversations continue with the Governor’s staff as well as other members of House leadership regarding HB 757 and the Speaker is confident that we can find a way to move forward together.

The speaker also expressed his support for preserving religious freedom without discrimination following the Governor’s remarks on Monday.

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Dave BearseWill DurantBenevolusJohn Konopxdog Recent comment authors
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Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

I rag on Gov. Deal all the time, but I’ll give credit where it is due. *slow clap*

Bertha
Bertha

[The second person starting the slow clap on the other side of the field/screen/auditorium.]

Robbie
Robbie

I’m very impressed with Governor Deal’s statement today.

Calypso
Calypso

Thanks, Guv.

xdog
xdog

Deal has many faults but he knows where the money comes from and where it goes. He’s reacting much as he did on prison reform. I don’t question his moral argument but it’s time for a pragmatic stand too. Good on you, Deal. Now make it stick.

John Konop
John Konop

Did not Sen. McKoon pushing this law looking for a problem, tell us it would have no financial effect on our state? I have asked Mckoon numerous times to personally guarantee with his own money, since he is so positive it would have no effect. Pagging Sen. McKoon, please put up your money with your mouth? Could it be McKoon is just another politician, saying one thing, and doing another?

Benevolus
Benevolus

Huzzah!

Will Durant
Will Durant

With apologies to Mel Brooks. In this case it’s good to have a king. Sen. McKoon will be able to work with this. Expect him to squeal like a newly castrated pig (even if you’ve never seen it, you can imagine the high pitch and timbre), on the campaign trail this year. Probably works for Ralph Reed as well as there is no telling how much more he can pull in trolling from the pulpits until next session. They both have somehow done a number on some people convincing them that this legislation is needed in a state that has… Read more »

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Not a single Senate Republican voted against HB 757, and Cagle’s been silent.

Now there’s a guy that can be relied on to lead should he ever become Governor.