Reveille is a traditional military drum or bugle signal used to awaken the troops and get them ready for assembly. It’s a derivative of the French word réveiller. Here in Canada, French is one of our two official languages. We’re cool like that. We even have some good chuckles about it at times. Mississippi has only one official language – English. But I wouldn’t know it from all of the discriminatory language I see in some of their legislative documents. That is NOT a laughing matter.
And it looks like my fellow Canuck Bryan Adams doesn’t like their tone either. Much like Springsteen cancelled a show in North Carolina last week over their latest anti-LGBT law, the HB2 bill aka the “bathroom bill”, Adams is doing the same in Mississippi. His performance scheduled for April 14th in Biloxi has been scrapped because, as Adams says in his Facebook post from this past Sunday, he “cannot in good conscience perform in a State where certain people are being denied their civil rights due to their sexual orientation.”
Mississippi’s House Bill 1523 has been named the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act.” Essentially it allows those whose religious beliefs and moral convictions protected by this law to decline products, services, and employment to people [read: LGBT people] whose lifestyles are in opposition to those beliefs and convictions. Senator Jennifer Branning says she doesn’t “think this bill is discriminatory. It takes no rights away.” Looks like Sen. Branning can join up with NC Congressman Mark Walker for a refresher on The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
As you can tell from my recent posts about The Story Of God, I am all for religious beliefs. Believe what you want, I certainly do. What I am not for however is allowing those beliefs to be manifested in ways that blatantly and prejudicially victimize others.
I am an alcoholic. A 17 years sober one, but a drunk nevertheless. I am an everyday kinda quote-un-quote normal person. On average I am at least one, quite possibly more, out of every 20 or so people you’ll walk past on a typical day in North America. I have accepted that I have the disease of alcoholism, or the Alcohol Use Disorder if you prefer the more formal definition as classified by the DSM-V. I also accept that I am left-handed, have epilepsy, and don’t have a spleen. And possess a corny sense of humour as my kids tell me. It’s all part of my identity that makes me unique. I like being special. I’m cool with that.
Alcohol consumption and even more so alcoholism is prohibited by a number of religions. So what’s next? Will there be a body of government who enacts a bill to make it okay for a coffee shop owner to not serve me a takeout double-double because they know I’m grabbing it on my way to hangout with a bunch of folks with blue books and a very special staircase who just so happen to meet up regularly and often in church basements? Or worse yet, will those very church basement landlords kick all of us out if alcoholism is considered by their beliefs systems as a “sin”? If yes, I sure hope there will be international superstars like Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams around to rally against such discrimination practices.
Thank goodness they are around right now for the LGBT community. And so are some of the largest business corporations, folks like PayPal who dropped their plans for a $3.6 million expansion in North Carolina, and also a bunch of US mayors who are uniting against discrimination towards the LGBT community including barring official travel to states with anti-LGBT laws. The power of the voice. The power of the purse. The power of collectiveness.
The reveille bugle wake up call in the video above is for Mississippi. Specifically, dedicated to that state’s politicians and other supporters of HB 1523. The lyrics from the song below are for the LGBT people in North America, and everywhere. May the future be so that assembly bugle calls may be played everywhere for you all in freedom and in peace.
Then from on high, somewhere in the distance
There’s a voice that calls, “Remember who you are”
If you lose yourself, your courage soon will follow
So be strong tonight, remember who you are
Yeah you’re a soldier now, fighting in a battle
To be free once more, yeah that’s worth fighting for
Sound The Bugle by Bryan Adams