I know nothing of the legislation in question - heck, I might even agree with the author if I read it closely, though I doubt it. It is the style of argument, emotional and social that pretends to be intellectual, that is so typical.
Fun with Gladstone. Beard quotes his famous
liberalism is trust in people tempered by prudence, conservatism is distrust of people tempered by fear.The irony: In the context of mid 19th C England, the meanings of conservative and liberal are almost exactly reversed from their meaning today. Gladstone was a classical liberal who hated socialism, quite a different item from the left-liberal of today. And 19th C British conservatives tended strongly to aristocratic rule and monarchism* - rather the opposite of Tea Partyism and conservatives complaining about elites forcing their views on an unwilling majority today. Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher both cite Gladstone as a major influence in their own thought, and William would be quite at home in the Conservative Party today. Apparently the Conservatives of his era thought so too, bolting en masse for the Liberal Party in 1922.
Next, we have fun with hymnody. I was Binging "How Can I Keep From Singing" and Mr. Beard's essay was one of the early hits, which is how I got there at all. He quotes the hymn at the end of his essay, wrongly identifying it as an early Quaker hymn. That's a small error, as a lot of folks think that. It is actually an American Baptist Hymn from the 19th C. Beard quotes the third verse, trying to provide as much religious cover and moral self-congratulation to his side. The second irony: The third verse isn't original to the song - it was added in later and sung by Pete Seeger, who removed much of the Christian content from the other verses when he performed it. It was a big 60's hippie-folk song about defying tyrants (hehehe).
Thus Beard unwittingly provides evidence for my contention that the real religion of church liberals is 60's leftism. Okay, some liberals. Simon spends much of the rest of the essay telling us how hateful the people not supporting the bill are, how small-minded and evil, while describing the supporters as lovers of equality. He quotes Jesus preaching freedom, without making the case that his view is anything similar. He then quotes Mary about scattering the proud, leaving the reader to assume that it is not Simon and his pals, but their opponents, who are the proud. No evidence for this, just the usual sneaky way of saying "Jesus is on my side," though they would find that a blasphemous claim from their opponents.
* I grant that these descriptions are over-simple.
So here's Enya with the song in question, including the more-political verse I don't like. And who knows, maybe the figures in the video reveal her politics to be opposite to mine. No matter, I can make the adjustment. Beautiful song.