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Chris James

The Preservation of Religious Freedom

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I suppose the next thing we are going to see is fanatical Christians erecting crosses on their front lawns and crucifying themselves for the good of their religion. (Don't ask and I won't tell you what I think)

I suppose we must expect this kind of state legislative backlash to the success of gay marriage in the courts, but it is doomed to fail and along the way it will cost taxpayers a small fortune in legal fees. But don't mention financial issues to the fanatics, they have millions to waste on this crap...but governments don't.

Imagine if the millions paid out on this foolishness was spent wisely to help people find jobs, feed hungry children...you know, do the Christian thing. But no, gays must burn in hell. In fact these fanatics are creating hell right here in their communities by spreading hate. Christians of this sort have become the real evil in our society.

So Arizona passed their religious freedom act to help businesses discriminate against gay people, but already many of the original supporters are having second thoughts. At least five other states are considering laws like this. I DO hope this cripples the Arizona economy and it will long before the courts get around to calling the bills unconstitutional.

So George, what do you think: http://www.advocate.com/politics/2014/02/23/george-takei-arizona-you-dont-deserve-our-dollars

One thing the fanatics don't understand is how resilient the gay community can be, probably a lot more than many small businesses who might deny them services. Religion doesn't need protection it needs a return to sanity. I doubt if their Jesus would approve of what they are doing in his name. At least now I can take Arizona off my vacation list.

Just as the mainstream Republican party is doing it's best to suppress the Tea Party, many of whom are behind this fanatical movement, I can see in coming years we are going to have an openly right wing Christian political party. The Tea Party was all about killing big government while a Christian Party would be about putting Jesus in the Constitution. Heaven forbid.

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I was curious, so I searched out the text of the house bill: http://legiscan.com/AZ/text/HB2153/2014

Interestingly, all it requires is for someone to have a sincere religious belief. For example, all that's required to refuse service to someone is to have a religious objection to something about them... even if that something is not true.

For example, if someone believes that a person is gay, and they feel homosexuality is against their religious beliefs, then they can refuse to serve that person. They are, as far as I can tell, not required to have proof that the person is gay -- they just have to believe it.

More interestingly, the same would apply to things like Muslims and anything to do with alcohol. A Muslim taxi-driver, for example, could refuse to take a passenger to a bar, or even a hotel that serves alcohol. Hmm... I presume that alcohol will be available at the Superbowl, so how about taxi drivers refusing to take people there? What about a devout Jewish male refusing to serve women, just on the off chance that they're in the wrong portion of their menstrual cycle and anything she touches will be defined (Leviticus 15:19-33)? Will women be required to provide evidence as to where they are in their menstrual cycle before they can check into a hotel, get into a taxi, sit down at a restaurant...?

Oh, the fun you can have with this legislation if you really want to. What if you had a religious belief against paying interest (a generous interpretation of Leviticus 25:36)? Does that mean you can refuse to pay banks interest on loans?

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I think it has just started to backfire. A business associate and his partner have cancelled their planned trip to Phoenix. He called a hotel to book a room and was told he would have to take two singles, they would not allow men to share. One of the reasons for their trip was to look at the possibility of siting an assembly plant in Phoenix to serve the North American market. They are now going to Vancouver instead.

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