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Why David Brooks Is Wrong About Discrimination and Indiana’s RFRA


Why David Brooks Is Wrong About Discrimination and Indiana’s RFRA

Louise Melling

Let me get straight to the point – David Brooks’ column this week encouraging gay and transgender people to simply accept discrimination for as long as it takes for society to come around was more than misguided. It undercuts core American values of fairness and equality and advances the idea that’s it is acceptable to treat some people like second-class citizens because of who they are.


Isn’t David Brooks pretty much wrong about everything?

He wrote a column not long ago arguing that democracy won’t work anymore and that we should abandon its principles.



David Brooks (who I have long since christened with the nom de plum The Chipmunck), has been contaminating the Op Ed pages of the NYT with his fallacious and twisted world view since his first appearance there. What perplexes me is why that newspaper has been paying the fool good money for his twaddle all these years.


Because he gives pseudo respectable arguments phrased in vocabulary that sounds learned. When the argument is stripped down and applied the fallacious core stands out. Good enough for the NY Times or the PBS Newshour, but whoever said these organizations were ever really interested in the truth or ever had the integrity to pursue it. David Brook’s fuzzy obfuscations fit right in with them.


She left out a glaring example. How about a newspaper that would hire only Christian columnists? Would he be all right with that if this principle applied at all the major newspapers?


The societal construct is reinforced by its laws. It is often about how everyday actions take place without the involving the law, rather than the daily interference of it.

Beliefs and thoughts have a very real and tangible impact on our lives. Just ask the average person of color who who lives in Indiana, and does not live in an upscale neighborhood of Fishers or Carmel, who have to endure a derogatory and condescending reaction from your average store clerk everyday. The proof of purchase bait is very real in this state for people of color. If you buy an item from a retail outlet and leave without a receipt, the teller who did your transaction may call the authorities who will chase you down. And in today’s environment who know what happens after they arrive?

This is the kind of harassment that is persistent and omnipresent in Indiana. The reason they were enacting a law of discrimination was to give these business owners free reign from acting with the impunity they already are, and protect them from getting sued over civil rights issues. That may still be possible with the law in its current form.

Anyone who deals with the legal system knows how expensive it can get. The subtle and persistent discrimination that occurs in Indiana businesses are a result of an overarching belief and defacto collusion that cannot be easily pinned, but has real psychological and physiological effect on its victims.

When Mitch Daniels replaced Bayh, this pattern of behavior spiked. The indoctrination through local churches into an alignment of behavior is a disease. This law, and the reporting on it via euphemistic language by apologists will only further an insidious agenda. Brooks and his ilk know precisely the subtext they need between the lines, as there is no need to address the influence of the religious in these lexicons of American life. Madrasas have nothing on these holy houses.

It is only in the areas of the nation where this dogma is not used to brainwash the youth that there is any hope. The possibility of countering this pattern of thought through independent media is a minute one. The MSM repeats “Tolerance” as if it were a universal and persistent pattern through the nation.

Nothing can be further from the truth in midwest and the south, and most rural areas of the country.


Tantamount to ‘hiding in plain sight’ via conceptual silos is the leading sentence (in all senses of the word) in the Brooks piece.:

“Over the past few decades the United States has engaged in a great struggle to balance civil rights and religious liberty.”

Time: “Over the past few decades” - how gracious of Mr. Brooks to deign to recognize this slice of a centuries old resistance to the ‘trickle down’ application of domination.

Place/ (not Who): “the United States” - in the revving of the colonizing engine of globalization and the impact of secrecy over TTIP et al, this is a profoundly deceptive corralling of the real dynamics - and one must query as to why when it comes to “rights”- we’re suddenly not permitted to address the full scope and dimension of equality. Oh yes, that’s right, THIS is where the Constitution applies, other scales and levels, not so much.

How: “…has engaged in a great struggle to balance…” another silo. “Rights” as sociological are in a separate silo from economic/financial fraud and other destabilizing institutional shenanigans, GMO/food rights, the right to dignified labor with access to resources- like unpolluted water, land, air and above all the value of human and natural life. A field of silos.

What - “civil rights and religious liberty” - if one considers these in daily life, they are inseparable. It is only in the construct of institutional ‘externalization’ of realities that are indivisibly RELATIONAL.

Its like a game show format for a trickle down of perversion from the institutional/systemic distortions - FOR YOU! YES, YOU TOO CAN PERVERT LIKE A CORPORATION.

Well that’s fun. Lets all do the twist.


I suppose it’s not politically correct to mention the goal–advancing by the day–on the part of right wing fundamentalists to turn this nation into a Christian Nation where the wall put in place to prevent another European-style religious set of pogroms or all-out inquisition is once again taken down.

Inroads are made when public monies intended for PUBLIC schools get siphoned off into Christian home-schooling or Christian Charter schools.

Inroads are made when all white male state legislators make birth control AND abortion very difficult for women to safely obtain.

Inroads are made when so-called “Religious Freedom” laws are used to show ACTIVE discrimination against any groups (right now it’s gays), that don’t fit the Christian Fundamentalist “standards.”

Inroads are made when wars are pushed on the basis of ancient religious antipathies, and young peoples’ faith swayed in a way that turns Holy War into a “spiritual” calling.

People are taught to look at events as separate developments. However, in the same way that committed career warriors plan wars on multiple fronts, those that want our nation to go back to the Dark Ages (where church and state work in tandem using all sorts of carrots, sticks, punishments, shame, and even torture to force conformity onto all citizens) are working multiple initiatives on a variety of fronts in order to actualize this objective.

Freedom and patriarchal religion are antithetical prospects nor is it possible to have an informed citizenry under strict patriarchal religious controls. THAT is what some people–notable white Christians, mostly males–want. They are the same fools who can’t part with their guns and love war… and they think these views harmonize with the ACTUAL teachings of Jesus. Nope, for them, religion is BRAND and they use it to brand others unlike themselves.


Just a couple of corrections:

“Freedom for women and patriarchal religion are antithetical prospects nor is it possible to have an informed female citizenry under strict patriarchal religious controls.”

Men do fine under patriarchal controls.