Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Arizona Lawmakers Say SB1062 Not Anti-Gay, It Discriminates Against Every Group Christians Oppose


SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has until Saturday to decide whether to veto Senate Bill 1062, which allows business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to refuse service to gays and lesbians. The controversial bill was introduced to protect the religious freedoms of Christian-based enterprises, but in doing so discriminates against members of the LGBT community, according to opponents. It has been dubbed “Turn the Gays Away” by civil liberties groups and gay rights activists. State senators, however, accused detractors of misinterpreting the intent of SB1062. “The bill doesn’t discriminate against gays, that’s a false assessment; it discriminates against any group Christians disagree with,” snapped Arizona legislator John Shillelagh-McPaddy.

Religious critics who oppose the measure cite Matthew 22:21 in which Jesus states, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's.” Jesus clearly understood that one’s faith and one’s obligation under established laws belong to two separate worlds -- the essence of the “separation of church and state” clause in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Arizona lawmakers, opponents claim, have misunderstood the nature of this message.

“To say this bill allows business owners of faith to discriminate against gays is a narrow understanding of its scope,” Sen. Shillelagh-McPaddy said. “Such claims are not only gross understatements but misleading sentiments used by political opponents to further their own agendas. The fact is, SB1062 gives Christian entrepreneurs full license to refuse accommodations for any heathen, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.”

Religiously conservative lobbying groups, such as the Knights of Columbus, have spent millions of dollars to back the bill, explaining that it promotes religious liberty for shopkeepers and service providers whose religion prohibits them from serving homosexuals. But again, Sen. Shillelagh-McPaddy said the bill encompasses so much more.

“It’s cute when liberals call this a Jim Crow law for gays,” Sen. Shillelagh-McPaddy quipped. “Jim Crow just targeted blacks. Our bill sets its sights on any distasteful group -- blacks, Christ-killing Jews, fruits, illegal aliens, women, you name it.”

Indeed, the bill’s aims are much loftier, although religiously righteous homophobia may have served as the catalyst. For lawmakers such as Shillelagh-McPaddy, the bill defends biblically sanctioned homophobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, misogyny and more.

“Look, I believe a bunch of dirty Jews killed Christ, so under SB1062, I can now hang a ‘No Jews Allowed’ sign outside my establishment,” Shillelagh-McPaddy explained. “I think Mormons pervert the factual history of Jesus as outlined in the Bible, so I can refuse service to their cult, as well. In Deuteronomy 7, God tells the Israelites to 'smite and utterly destroy' foreigners. He also says, ‘Thou shalt make no covenant with them nor shew mercy unto them. Neither shalt thou make marriages with them.’ So this dovetails nicely with our anti-immigration bill. We can now refuse service to Mexicans, for example, and deport them. Maybe even more.”

Chapter 25 of Numbers illustrates the Lord’s wrath at discovering occurrences of interracial marriage, He kills the offending parties. Under SB1062, Christian restaurant operators would have no problem banning mixed couples from their diners.

Throughout Corinthians, Ephesians, Timothy and Romans, to name a few books, the Bible mandates the silence of women and their subservience to their husbands. Under the provisions of SB106, Christian shopkeepers can deny helping, or even acknowledging, unescorted or demanding women in their facilities. In Deuteronomy 22:5, women who wear similar attire as men are labeled “abominations.” Again, SB1062 frees Christian-based men’s clothing retailers from having to deal with abominable women.

“It’s a much broader piece of legislation than gay rights groups believe,” Shillelagh-McPaddy said. “I sincerely hope the true message and full breadth of the bill doesn’t get lost amid all the simpering, selfish and blasphemous noise of these mincing nancies.”

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