Friend of ours was driving from the upper Midwest to the East Coast the other day, with family. They left at night, got hungry for breakfast around dawn, and then remembered:
“Yikes, we’re in Indiana.”
Indiana, with the new law permitting bigots to refuse to do business with gays – on religious grounds.
Just for the record, this is not a family that is going to arouse the deep fears and prejudices of the smugly religious. But this is a family with quite American values. So they kept going, 153 miles from west to east on Interstate 80/90, heading east, toward gasoline and biscuits.
That is the way to go, while Gov. Mike Pence makes a total ass of himself on national television, trying to explain what is so obvious from the hard look in his eyes.
He is standing up for his base, the rabid core, that will say it loves everybody but doesn’t want to make a wedding cake for two men or two women who love each other, or sell coffee to them, or gasoline.
The reaction from major companies like Eli Lilly and Cummins Engine Co. has been instructive. I can speak about Cummins a bit. When we lived in Louisville, Ky., one of our most beautiful outings was on a crisp fall Saturday, visiting the great architecture of Columbus, Ind. -- a Saarinen church, courtesy of Cummins. Just memorable.
I loved the southern part of Indiana, near the Ohio River, even with its county-by-county time zones that could make you nuts. Loved the stone county courthouses. Loved the hills of Brown County. Loved the great music from Indiana University.
But these are new times. The base is threatened by having to do business with the emerging America, the minorities-becoming-majorities, plus the gay couples getting married, many of them raising children.
Indiana has made its statement. Drive on.
With the arrival of LED lighting, which costs so little to burn, every house has become an island of illumination, every city a blazing forest fire of artificial light. In my own backyard, it’s hard to enjoy the full moon because so many of our neighbors now leave their lights on all night long. And that’s without the holiday displays, each one bright enough to guide an airplane from the sky and land it safely in the middle of our street.
---Margaret Renkl, The New York Times, Dec. 21, 2022.