By Martin Mawyer
It’s bribery, plain and simple. Perhaps blackmail. Either way, it should be a crime. Corporations are buying votes to squash socially conservative legislation. Why is this legal? Or is it?
Recently, Disney threatened to pull their business ventures out of the state of Georgia if Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law a bill protecting religious freedom.
Disney was not alone. Marvel, Time Warner, Viacom and AMC also threatened to end their business relationships with the Peach State if Gov. Deal dared to safeguard religious freedom.
The NFL has also gotten its hands dirty with this political football. It announced that it would refuse bids from Atlanta to host a Super Bowl if the governor signed the Free Exercise Protection Act into law.
The Free Exercise Protection Act was passed on March 28, and was designed to protect clergymen from being forced to perform homosexual marriages if it violated their religious conscience.
It was a vote against slavery – against enslaving clergymen into marrying people whose sexual practices are forbidden by Holy Scripture. The bill was intended to keep clergymen from being shackled, jailed or fined for exercising their God-given rights.
The Georgia legislature did the right thing, having learned its lesson 150 years ago that slavery is a bad thing. It voted for freedom in the House of Representatives 104-65 and in the Senate 37-18.
But then Goofy came along, teamed up with Doctor Doom and the ranting Yosemite Sam, to turn Georgia back into The Goober State. And the comic heroes, anti-heroes and overall goofballs won. On the same day the bill was sent to the governor’s office, Gov. Deal said, “No deal.”
It harkens back to the days of “What’s good for GM must be good for the country.” Under this logic, big business is smarter than you and me.
Now the NFL, Mickey Mouse, Superman and Bugs Bunny can do an end zone dance and celebrate that slavery is once again alive in the South.
But something else won that day: bribery, blackmail and corruption.
When big business threatens to withhold millions of dollars if a vote doesn’t go their way, it’s the same as saying they will give millions if a vote does goes their way. There’s no other way to spin this. It’s flat-out corruption. Big money is buying votes.
People have gone to jail for less.
Former Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia was convicted of a felony in 2015 for simply accepting gifts and trips from a businessman, Jonnie Williams Sr. He was sentenced to serve two years in jail. Everyone agrees that the basis of his conviction stems from the quid pro quo understanding of corruption – you do X for me, I will do Y for you – but in McDonnell’s case, there wasn’t even a quid pro quo.
There’s no getting around the fact that millions of dollars were the prize for the governor of Georgia’s veto of the Free Exercise Protection Act.
We all grew up with this type of bribery. “Clean up your room or you won’t get your allowance.” “Wash the family car or you won’t get your Bruce Springsteen tickets.”
The threat is easy to understand: If you don’t do this, you won’t get that. It’s called a bribe.
Now that Gov. Deal has vetoed the religious freedom bill, his state will receive millions – if not billions – from the cartoon industries. The whole “Deal” was nothing short of a raw deal for Georgia’s clergymen and religious believers.
If I may, I would like to quote a relevant source to express my feelings on this, since animated characters now seem to govern our politics. That source is none other than … SpongeBob:
“Stupidity isn’t a virus, but it sure is spreading like one!”
Don’t get me wrong. If businesses want to pull their money out of a state after a vote is cast, fine. Get out. Just like “The Boss” did in the Tar Heel State.
If Bruce Springsteen wants to cancel a North Carolina concert because he thinks a man shouldn’t be legally forbidden from invading the bathroom privacy of a woman, then he has a right to run away. He was “Born to Run” anyway. At least he waited until after the bill was signed into law before he got down and dirty and hit “The Thunder Road.”
Now here comes a shocker. Grab your armchair: I find myself agreeing with Bernie Sanders.
Take a deep breath, and when you wipe the unbelief from your eyes, see if you don’t also agree with this statement he made just one day before Gov. Deal vetoed the religious freedom bill.
“This is the problem with American politics. Big money is dominating our political system. And we are trying to move as far away as we can.”
Bernie is not burying his head in the sand in the face of this criminal activity, and neither should we.
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Martin Mawyer is the Founder and President of Christian Action Network, a nonprofit public advocacy and education group based in Lynchburg, Virginia since 1990. He began his career as a freelance journalist and has authored several books, including “Twilight in America: The Untold Story of Islamic Terrorist Training Camps Inside America.” He has produced a number of documentary films, including “Europe’s Last Stand – America’s Final Warning” and “Homegrown Jihad.” Mawyer has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity, Larry King Live, Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, NBC’s Today Show, Entertainment Tonight and Fox and Friends. His latest book, “Twilight in America,” co-authored by Patti A. Pierucci, details the activities of Islamic camps scattered throughout the United States operated by The Muslims of America.