Leslie Knope Reacts To Indiana's RFRA With Help From Nick Offerman & It's More Than You Could've Hoped For — VIDEO
What would Leslie Knope do? I feel like that's something we all should ask ourselves, especially Parks and Recreation fans, when it comes to serious matters and political issues causing controversy. For example, what would Leslie do about Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that essentially allows businesses in the state to refuse service to gay individuals because of their "religious freedom?" Better yet, how do you think Leslie would react? Thankfully, we don't have to wonder, because Parks and Rec creator Mike Schur revealed to the world, with help from Ron Swanson himself, how Leslie Knope would react to the RFRA.
On April 1 (no, this is not an April Fools' joke), Nick Offerman read Leslie's reaction at his show at Indiana University. Yes, it's as glorious at it sounds. Not only is Leslie's response spot-on, but it's better than anything you could've imagined or hoped for. Either you can listen to Offerman read Leslie's reaction below, or you can read it with your own two eyes. Either way, it's still fabulous. Here it is in its entirety:
Leslie Knope would have seen this bill for what it is, a carefully worded expertly constructed document that reminds gay, lesbian, and transgendered people that they are second class citizens. Leslie would have reminded us that recently as the late 1960s certain businesses tried s--t like this, only they said God wanted only white people to eat in their restaurant. And she would have further reminded us that the Supreme Court had a good long laugh and told them to scram. Leslie would have said that while religious freedom is a basic and fundamental right, it is not more basic or more fundamental than the words "All men are created equal," even though she would have then gone on a long rant about the use of the word men instead [unintelligible].
And she might have also pointed out that religious freedom from government oppression is not the same thing as telling a gay couple you won't bake them a cake to help them celebrate their desire to formalize their romantic love just because you get skeeved out by two dudes kissing. Then she would have told you to get over it for Christ sake, who you love is who you love, it's 2015. She would have asked for people to recognize that every American citizen deserves respect. And that every citizen has to make small compromises in order to make room for everyone else. And finally Leslie would have asked that instead of passing bills that cloak basic intolerance in that nice sounding, but ultimately deceptive idea of religious freedom, maybe we should focus on passing laws that actually help people who, you know, have no food or jobs or something. Leslie would also be annoyed at herself for this final ad hominem attack on the bill we're discussing, but she tended to get a little riled up and sometimes forgot her old debate club teachings.
What about Ron Swanson, a.k.a Leslie's BFF and co-worker? Well, I think we can all guess how he'd react to the law — or not, because Offer man tells us that too: "As for Ron, he would have hated the bill because it was a bill made by the government."
Amazing, right? Now, all we need is for Amy Poehler to get back into character as Leslie Knope, read these moving words, and give another fantastic performance as the woman so many admire and aspire to be.