With the help of 10 missing members, the N.C. House overrode Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of the gay-marriage bill last week. So N.C. law now lets magistrates and register of deeds employees refuse to serve certain people with marriage-related needs if it violates the employees’ sincerely held religious beliefs.
The bill “does not discriminate against anyone for any reason,” House Majority Leader Mike Hager argued. “It simply gives protection to our magistrates and registers of deeds so that they are not forced to perform an act that they have a sincere religious objection to.”
This is wonderfully liberating, and I see no reason why magistrates and register of deeds employees should be the only ones to receive this common-sense treatment. I certainly expect my bosses – both at work and at home – to take the same approach with me. So starting today, I will recuse myself from performing acts that violate my sincerely held religious beliefs.
▪ I will not work March 17-18, 2016, during the greatest days in sports – the first two days of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. I will not work March 24, assuming Duke is playing in the South Regional semifinal that day, nor March 25 if the Devils are in the East Regional semifinal. And I will not work Monday, April 4, if Duke is in the national championship game.
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▪ As baseball is sacred, I will not work on Friday, July 3, when the Charlotte Knights host a 12:05 matinee against the Gwinnett Braves, nor Thursday, Sept. 3, when they have a first pitch at 12:05 at home against the Durham Bulls.
▪ I will not work if the Observer’s escalators and elevators are broken, as they often are, because my religion prevents me from climbing four flights of stairs to get to my office.
▪ I will not write editorials on Mondays, a holy day to be used to recover from the weekend, or on Fridays, when I’m recovering from the week.
▪ September 11, when Van Halen is in town, and December 5, when Billy Joel is in town, are religious holidays. (I am fully available to work July 7, however, when Imagine Dragons are in town.)
▪ I will not take phone calls or respond to emails from unholy readers.
▪ I will not write about Hillary Clinton until 2016.
▪ I will not read press releases from unclean special interest groups.
▪ As my body is a temple, I will go to no more rubber-chicken dinners.
▪ On my way to and from work, I will not sit behind people who don’t pull out into the intersection to make a left turn, and I will tailgate those who drive 5 mph below the speed limit in the passing lane.
▪ I will not open a present on Christmas Eve. I will not tolerate everyone opening their presents at once on Christmas morning.
▪ My religious beliefs include that wives should submit to their … er, scratch that one.
▪ I will perform no work on the Sabbath, including mowing the lawn. Golf does not count as work, even if it sometimes feels like it.
If any of this inconveniences my boss, Observer readers or my family, take it up with Phil Berger.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter: @tbatten1.