Thursday, February 27, 2014

Religious Liberty Vetoed in Arizona

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

After all the controversy surrounding the Arizona Legislature's passing of Senate Bill 1062, designed to provide clarification of existing religious freedom law, Governor Brewer has vetoed it.

And in doing so, she has bowed to the fierce demands of homosexual activists and their advocates, but has also struck a blow to religious freedom, miserably failing the faith community.

National attention was drawn to the Arizona issue when it became a "gay rights matter," yet the bill makes no mention of gay rights in its text.

The bill did not plow new ground, as they say, it was simply an amendment to the 1999 state Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a state law similar to the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law in 1993 by President Bill Clinton.

This bill, Senate Bill 1062, was designed to merely clarify the protection already offered in the state Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It would have clarified that protections extend to any "state action" and would apply to "any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, religious assembly or institution or other business organization."

In other words, it protected all citizens and the associations they can form from undue burdens by the government on their religious liberty or from private lawsuits that would have the same results.

This bill was deemed "discriminatory" not only by homosexual activists, but by industry leaders such as Brad Tilsen, CEO of Alaska Airlines, "conservative" Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain and a list of others.

Who now has been discriminated against? Who has been treated to extreme intolerance? Whose freedom and right of conscience has been "vetoed?"

If you are interested, this is the text of Arizona Senate Bill 1062

This is a link to the Associated Press article that is presently being quoted. Much more comment will be published today on this issue.

While the bill didn't directly address homosexual "rights," it included all so called rights that can be used to undermine religious freedom.

This decision by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, coupled with a federal judge striking down the gay "marriage" ban in Texas yesterday is being hailed and celebrated by homosexuals and progressives across the country.

These decisions are being hailed as "progress" by the progressives, with activists proclaiming this as yet another nail in the coffin of outdated biblical principles and values.

While these kinds of decisions stoke the fires of passion, they also continue to shed light on how very far we have drifted from our founding principles.

Heritage Foundation's "The Foundry" points out that "Part of the genius of the American system of government is our commitment to protecting the liberty and First Amendment freedoms of all citizens while respecting their equality before the law. The government protects the freedom of citizens to seek the truth about God and worship according to their conscience, and live out their convictions in public life. Like wise, citizens are free to form contracts and other associations according to their own values."

The question that comes to mind is, "Does every florist need to provide wedding arrangements for every ceremony? Does every photographer need capture every first kiss?" Of course not. Unless it is a same-sex "marriage."

America was conceived in liberty---religious liberty, not the freedom to force affirmation and celebration of same-sex behavior on those who reject it because the Bible condemns it.

What next?

I'm talking more about this on the radio today. Specifically discussing the Christian's response to the continuing assault of religious freedom.

Here's how to join me from anywhere in the world at 9 AM PST.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Informed. Be Bold. Be Blessed.


  1. This bill was at its core unconstitutional and best it was vetoed.

    You compare it with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act but the difference with that is that it is always between a citizen - that has a right to religious freedom, against the federal government - which has no religious rights at all.

    The state bill interfered between the interactions of two citizens - both with equal rights to religious freedom, giving the one that wants to religiously discriminate special status over the citizen being religiously discriminated against.

    Simply put neither the federal government or the state of Arizona's constitutions allow that.

    Arizona's constitution Article 2 Section 12 is very similar to Washington's in that it specifically prohibits someone using their right religious conscience to act without regard for someone's rights - including their own right to religious conscience:

    Section 12. The liberty of conscience secured by the provisions of this constitution shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness

    With 'licentiousness' in 19th century legal parlance meaning 'Acting as one wills without regard for the rights of others'. This in contrast to 'liberty' which is 'Acting as one wills with regard for the rights of others'.

    And that's the issue - how can there be a right to religiously discriminate against a member of the public that has their own right of religious liberty by a business that operates as a public accommodation?

    Literally the state can't even make a law that makes that possible or takes the side of one citizen over the other.

    That means a business making an offer of accommodation to the general public can't tell someone taking them up on it they refuse to do business with them because someone there doesn't like their religion, its view, or the acts that naturally follow from those constitutionally protected beliefs. And the state can't make a law to facilitate it.

    Supreme Court ruled on a case about the sale of goats for religious sacrifice. The business and the city didn't like it so the city passed laws to allow the business to NOT sell goats to the church in question. The court ruled 9-0 that was unconstitutional - the right of the customer to their religious liberty and practices trumped the business's 'religious conscience' to not sell to them, and the city's laws they passed to make such religious discrimination 'legal'.

    Face it, if the customer of a public accommodation has a right to sacrifice their purchase, they have a right to buy a cake, flower arrangements, photoshoot, or anything else a business might sell. And most certainly the government can't pass a law to try and make that religious discrimination easier.

    It was an unconstitutional law, it would have hurt Arizona in many ways if passed, and everyone should thank the Governor for vetoing it.

    1. "A right to buy.....".....what???? That means what I make by my labor....some else has a right to demand I make for them??? What? Isn't that the essence of slavery?

    2. No, since these cases are about someone who freely offered things for sale to the general public. Its about when a member of that public shows up and takes them up on their offer and they go 'No, I don't like your beliefs or what your beliefs allow you to do that mine don't.

      Its is rescinding an offer already made for reasons of religious discrimination that is the issue.

    3. Perhaps Oshtur -- but do you really want to buy creative services from a business that abhors the subject of their creative act? Would you not prefer to know that the photographer or cake designer or writer is so uncomfortable with the situation that it interferes with their creative process and that you would not get their best work?

      I can understand your position when it comes to buying store goods, gasoline, other retail products .. but when a seller must invest his imagination, emotion and opinions into an end product, then it's best that the seller be working on projects they can get behind.

      It's a disservice to the homosexual community to be enabled to purchase from creative professionals who don't want the job and can't do their best work.

  2. If they're going to make us do business with the gays, might as well just throw us to the lions and get it over with.

  3. I believe the governor acted licentiously (my new word for the day, I guess) {or maybe something close to it anyway} in vetoing the bill that would have helped to clarify the religious rights we all have had and been able to enjoy without infringing upon the rights of others, at time when businesses are being treated unfairly by law suits that are without merit,
    something that is unnecessary, costly, and troublesome to defend against, something that really should need no defense, because no lawyer should even consider such things as legitimate cases, as if some harm or offense has really been done.

    It's as if the governor was saying that the state doesn't care if businesses are being harassed by crazy lawsuits that have no real merit, and as if constitutional rights don't need protection when people are coming under attack for doing Nothing At All Wrong.

    And it seemed to me that the reason was all wrong, (naturally the reason would be wrong if the action is wrong, and the person was actually doing some thinking) that being that "it wouldn't be good for business".

    I wonder if she was talking about gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple, silk, scarlet, thyine wood, ivory, all kinds of vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, and cinnamon, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariouts, and slaves, and souls of men. (Rev 18:12)

  4. I was refused service by a paint shop because I wanted my work vehicle given a cheap paint job.

    "No. We don't do that kind of work." they said. I would have gladly paid them fairly for an economical paint job, and signed whatever saying that I would not refuse the work because of this or that, and even agree to not tell people who painted it, (though that part might be difficult to do, especially if I thought they did a very good job for the money) if they wanted.

    They have the right to do that. They were used to doing very good quality work.
    That's how their shop was set up and how their employees were trained.

    They just didn't want to do the kind of work I wanted done.

    I painted it myself. That's OK. I know they have the right to do that and I'm fine with that, even though I was hoping I wouldn't have to do it myself. I have no grounds for a lawsuit, and it would be crazy if I would try that. That would be stupid of me and wrong. They don't have to give me what I want.

    If I had a nice car and wanted it painted, I think I would have liked to take it there. They have a nice shop and the people seemed OK.

    1. You guys really need to work on your analogies, you keep trying to compare apples and oranges and it's not making you look very bright.

      The auto shop didn't do cheap paint jobs - period - for anyone - EVER! So they weren't discriminating when they wouldn't offer you a service that they simply don't offer to anyone.

      Now, if they did do cheap paint jobs for other people but wouldn't do it for you because you were a Christian, THAT would be discrimination.

      Do you really not understand the difference?????

  5. And if I owned a hardware store, and knew there was a rash of vandalism in the neighborhood, and they were using spray cans of paint, and I suspected certain people of doing that, would I have to sell them spray cans of paint?

    I think I would want to be fair and listen to them make their case as to why I should sell them the paint. Maybe they had a legitimate project to get done by a certain time... But don't I have the right to say "NO", depending on whether or not they are doing something I don't want any part of?

  6. All these examples you are bringing up have nothing to do with the public accommodation requirements.

    You can't refuse to hire someone or have someone as a customer because of their religion, creed, race, sexual orientation, etc. if you made the offer of sale or employment to the general public.

    All of these cases someone at the business freely admitted they were religiously discriminating against the person taking them up on their offer.

    So no you don't have to do a cheap paint job if you don't do one for anyone - this is only about things you actually offer to the public as sale or service.

    So no you don't have to sell something to someone if you think they are shady or going to use it in a an illegal criminal enterprise. The individual isn't protected it is WHY they are being refused as a customer that can be illegal for the business.

    So yes, you could just refuse them without giving a reason, or make up an excuse, but they you are in the position of sinning because you didn't like their religion. There are problems there, right?

    And this law would have been found illegal - it goes against the Arizona state constitution, state and federal law, and is just bad precedence. It was so broadly written people would have been able to discriminate because people are Christian just as easily.

    Again, the solution is simple - set up the business so its NOT a public accommodation if you don't want to fall under public accommodation laws. Someone wants to religiously discriminate isn't it fair they have to do the legwork to do it?

  7. Government is supposed to protect our rights, not try to control everything, and take them all away. They are supposed to protect our freedoms, not control everyone, forcing them to do whatever they think people should do. They are not God.....He's been around a lot longer than they, and they have so much to learn, justice, judgment, fairness, righteousness, liberty and such.

  8. Oshtur, Isn't this what they are saying? "Hey? You don't like my wedding? I'm going to sue you and everything!
    I wanted my cake and to eat it too! You have to like what I do!
    I'm going to make you! You have to like what I do! You can't decide for me what you like or don't like! I decide that for you! What's wrong with you people?
    You don't want me ruling over you? I'm going to get you for this!
    Who do you think you are? You have to do what I say! Get out of that store!
    I'm going to beat you! I'll make you pay for this! On that you can be sure!
    And everyone will know. I'm right and you 're wrong! Don't tell me about rights!
    I will tell you what's right! I decide what's right! If it's right to me then who are you to decide it's not right for you?! That's why we have laws you know, and I'm going to throw the book at you! You are going to wish you never messed with me! I'm bigger than you! I'm going to get you for this! And just to let you know that we are not messing around, we are going to do this with flower arrangements too, and wedding invitations! Soon there won't be anything you can do unless we tell you what to do! And this will never end! We will think of other things too!...."

  9. If the law says it's legal to use spray paint to vandalize, then if you sell spray paint to those who maintain the things they own to keep them in good useable condition, you must also sell cans of spray paint to those who use the product to vandalize, and cause damage to the world around us.

    That seems to me to be what they are saying.

  10. We live at a time when so many things try to hide behind another name. Truth has a name and it isn't discrimination.

    1. And how many times have you guys gotten the "truth" wrong throughout history? I'm sure you'll never see reality here, but the next generation does. They're running from your religion in huge numbers and a lot of it is based on your treatment of gays.

  11. Personally, I don't believe that sellers of widgets should have an issue with selling to anyone because of religious beliefs but I do have a problem when it's creative professional services that are forced. The end result is bad for both the seller and the buyer. Why? The creative services include illustrations, photography, design, writing. If a homosexual couple asks me to take photos of their marriage and I find such marriages morally and religiously repugnant and wrong, do you really believe that I can simply put those feelings aside and produce excellent photos of the two grooms? I am sorry but when it comes to creative services, your emotions are in full play. And while I understand that professionals need to keep their emotions in check, there is a reason that those in the creative fields do work only in select areas -- the areas that they are best in are also the areas that they love, respect, are enamored with, feel passion toward.

    I do not think a homosexual couple should be denied the knowledge that the creative individual they would be working with (if forced by anti-discrimination laws) is uncomfortable with the paid gig. The homosexual couple should know up front that this is not the best person for the creative endeavor and they should have the opportunity to find the right person for the job.

    What we will now have is a need to lie in order to avoid being prosecuted by the law. That does not serve homosexuals well or the sellers.

    Let their be an exemption.

  12. Amen. Let there be real religious freedom for all that all may have a chance to serve the Lord in righteousness and truth, and not impose whatever it is that they believe on others by force or coercion.


Faith and Freedom welcomes your comment posts. Remember, keep it short, keep it on message and relevant, and identify your town.