Religion Warriors Know Who You Are

Copyright © by Len Holman, 2/24/14


  Thank God for those who would protect us from having fire and brimstone rained down upon us!  These people know—they are absolutely convinced—that the Godless, humanistic, liberals out there are warring against believers, and they also know that something must be done.  And so Arizona has done it.  The Arizona legislature has passed a law which allows business owners to turn away LGBT people, deny equal pay to women, and allow individuals to renege on contract obligations, just as long as they claim to be doing so in the name of religion, presumably the Christian religion. 

  Several states have legislation at the ready to allow discrimination based on sexual orientation, but Arizona is the only state which has passed legislation which saves all the righteous folks in the state from having to deal with a world they don’t like.  Arizona has no laws allowing businesses to refuse serve to LGBT people, this law uses religion as a key which opens a door to discrimination, intolerance, ignorance, and fear—though Arizona Republicans deny all that and claim “religious freedom” as the reason for this un-American, foolish, hurtful, and (can anyone doubt this?) unconstitutional law. If the Arizona governor, Jan Brewer, signs this hanging chad of a law (that’s not a given, since she’s refused to sign similar legislation in the past), this will be another nail in the coffin of a unified America.  And if the legislation becomes law, a whole series of questions needs to be asked. 

  Let’s suppose there is a person who runs a small business in Tempe, a clothing store, for example, and two ladies come in to look around, finally settling on a few items.  They come to the counter to make their purchase.  Question: how will the owner determine whether they are lesbians or just good friends out for a little shopping?  Can he discover their orientation by examining a form (issued by the state) all gay people would have to fill out?  Would it be the hairstyle, the walk, the speech intonations, the shoes, or would he have the temerity to ask?  I’m pretty sure that most of us would tell this guy to mind his own business and take the credit card for the handbag.  How does anyone know what anyone else thinks, what anyone else’s sexual orientation is? 

  And what about those awful sinners, the cross dressers?  Most transvestites are straight men, so this would be a problem of detection for the clothing store owner.  Perhaps churches will start offering classes  in mind reading to make it easier for the franchise owner of a Ben and Jerry’s to tell that couple they can’t have the raspberry ice cream cake.  She would be able to look into their minds (as disgusting as those minds might be to her) with the technique taught to her by her pastor, and know for sure.  There is the question of other faiths.  Can a business owner decline to serve prospective motel room renters because they have olive skin and dark eyes and they appear that they MIGHT be Muslim?  If they were Muslim, the motel operator can’t let the rooms because these people are members of a religion which is false and he would violate his religious conscience if he let them have the room.  He’d be helping a terroristic, false religion by giving them a room.  Atheists?  They seem ok—if they’re straight.  But if the lady running the custard shop suspects a customer might not be of the True Faith—or ANY faith—and she tries to convert him, and he tells her he just wants a custard and further, doesn’t need a proselytizing event in his life just now, she might take that as an affront to her religious duty, to her religious freedom, and kick him out.  No conversion, no custard. 

  An employee at a Wal-Mart, a pharmacist, might not fill a prescription because she is a good Catholic who had five kids using the rhythm method and thinks the morning after pill bespeaks a sinful life.  The customer raises a stink and the pharmacist calls the cops.  Her right to her religious freedom prevented her from doing her job.  You are having your roof re-done, and contract with a crew to rip up your old roof and put down those new, 30 year, fire-resistant tiles.  He sees you and your significant other (who appears to be the same gender as you) kissing, and he stops the work immediately and pulls his crew.  You’ve already paid half down and bought the pricey shingles, but no matter—his religious freedom was infringed.  Then there is the matter of adjudication, for there WILL be lawsuits.  How will any Arizona court judges, or any panel of judges, resolve the religious freedom-personal rights-constitutional infringement issues?  Will it be something like a chromosome test?  No, because a beautiful woman with full breasts and long legs can have a male chromosomal pattern, with one X and one Y, if she has AIS (Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome).  Will it be on appearance?  Get real.  Will it be based on Adam’s apple size or foot size or voice register?  Maybe the judges will have ESP and can decide that way. 

  Governor Brewer has until next week to decide if she’ll sign this thing.  If she doesn’t, she angers her base and the conservatives in the state and can be sure her next opponent will use the decision against her.  She knows, though, that some court somewhere will void the law and so if she does sign the bill, she can always say, “Well, I tried to protect religious freedom, but those damn liberal federal courts shut it down!”  We see here, and in other states, the erosion of the American Unity idea, a confederacy rather than a group of united states.  And who knows if bills will then be passed in some state which prohibits left –handed people from sitting in the front of the bus, or some such nonsense.  I hope not, since I write with that particular hand and want to sit where I will.


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