Ethical Hysteria

This is a blog that I had no desire to write, and concerns a matter for which I have been troubled for a few days now.

I am a Hoosier, a resident (and native) of Indiana, which is a state that is either, depending on your perspective, the epicenter of common sense or a new hotbed of hatred. The week just passed was marked by the private signing of a law named “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act” in Indiana, by Governor Mike Pence. This came out of a legislative session that had, up to now, been considered rather tame and even dull to most who work within Indiana politics. The windup to this has been nothing compared to its national response, which has been abundant and vociferous.

Indiana has a sort of curious pride in its ability to be neither the first nor last to do much of anything. Hoosiers are a people who survey the passing scene, dwell on it awhile, and then decide to join when the water seems tepid enough. We continue to celebrate such things as a dessert item that can be deep fried at our State Fair, we crown a “Pork Queen” at an annual festival thirty miles north of our Capitol, and shake our head at the corruption in parts of the state while we mow our lawns and lay down fresh mulch on our flower beds every Spring, undeterred. If you move here you’ll probably receive a pie from someone, and a recommendation to the best steakhouse around. Indiana is generally a delightful, non-threatening place.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.