I am against SB 1062 because it allows employees to refuse to serve customers against the will of their employers, if for one reason or another the employee claims he has "religious beliefs" that make him feel bad about serving the customer.
An employee shouldn't accept a job if he has "religious beliefs" about doing the job. And the government shouldn't force an employer to hire and pay a worker who refuses to work based on his religious beliefs.
On the other hand I think discrimination against people because of their race, sexual orientation or other reasons is wrong in general I don't think the government has any business forcing people to do love their neighbour. Just because something is the right thing to do, or the politically correct thing to do the government has no business forcing a person to do it.
SB 1062: Why oh why is it always Arizona?
The Arizona economy tanked over the weekend as thousands of companies closed their doors, gave up the ghost and went out of business.
This, in the name of religious liberty.
Once they considered whom their religious convictions would allow them to serve, it seems they had no customers left.
Christians across the state applauded the economic devastation, saying it is a good and noble thing not only to walk in the name of the Lord but to serve as his judges here on earth.
They are praying that Gov. Jan Brewer will sign Senate Bill 1062, allowing individuals and business owners to refuse someone service if it violates their “sincerely held” religious beliefs.
It is, they say, a matter of conscience, a matter of freedom and tolerance. It’s a matter of their right to act upon their beliefs when it comes to baking cakes or supplying flowers or catering the weddings of same-sex couples.
Or, presumably, selling them groceries or renting them rooms or dry cleaning their clothes.
“SB 1062 is about religious people saying ‘No’ to an abomination,” wrote Tom, in an e-mail responding to my Saturday column about the bill.
“Christian business owners here are conscientious objectors,” wrote Nolan, of Flagstaff. “The government has no right to force believers to participate in a heresy against their most sacred rites.”
“All this law is for, is for people like me to be free from being forced to accept the beliefs of others,” wrote Daniel. “It’s about making tolerance a two-way street.”
“I am not a Bigot, I love all people, but I do not love their sin nor can I condone it,” wrote Rosalie, of Mesa. “I hope the Legislature has enough backbone to encourage some much needed morality.”
Me? I just wish the Legislature would fund public education, fix CPS and go home.
A caller named Joy disagreed and suggested that I get out my Bible.
“You anti-Christian people,” she said. “If you want to know what God thinks about homosexuals, read First Corinthians. I am tired of having homosexual activity shoved down my throat. I do not approve of it. I would not mistreat them but I do not want to be around them. And I would not hire one. I would not work with one. I do not want to be around them. Their way of life is repulsive. It is abnormal and most Christians will never accept that way of life and God does not either. Read the Bible, Laurie, before you start calling that bill a vile bill. It is protecting the Christians.”
I didn’t actually realize that Christians needed protecting. Or that you had to embrace someone’s way of life in order to bake them a cake. So I took Joy’s advice and pulled out my St. James Bible to read Corinthians.
Turns out there’s a vast array of sinners we Christians — and yeah, Joy, I consider myself one, though a most imperfect one — should be shunning.
There are the fornicators, the idolaters and the adulterers. There’s the “effeminate”, which I took to mean homosexuals, and the “abusers of themselves with mankind,” whoever they are. Prostitutes, maybe? There are the thieves, the greedy, the drunks, the swindlers and the verbally abusive.
Add in people who use birth control (if you’re Catholic), people who are divorced and those who don’t keep the Sabbath and who’s left that I could sell a ham sandwich to?
I understand that Cathi Herrod and the Center for Arizona Policy – a k a the Arizona Legislature — are in a tizzy about a couple of lawsuits in a couple of states where judges have ordered businesses to get to baking, photographing, etc.
But it hasn’t been a burning issue in Arizona and even if it was, it’s one that’ll inevitably wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Couldn’t we let some other state bear the legal costs this time?
If not, could we at least agree to be consistent? That if you’re, say, a Christian who bakes wedding cakes for a living, then you should not be able to pick and choose among your “sincerely held” religious beliefs.
I suggest a Let Them Eat Somebody’s Else’s Cake Checklist, wherein you decline to provide the goods to couples:
1. If either person has been divorced (unless said divorce is sanctioned, according to Matthew).
2. If a believer is marrying an unbeliever.
3. If the couple has had premarital sex.
Or 4. If they’ve committed any of the multitude of sins listed in Corinthians.
Won’t that be good for business?
But if a belief is sincere, then surely it should also be consistent. This should be, as some Christians have told me, about loving the sinner and hating the sin.