Fading Freedom

UPDATE at bottom of post.

One of the reasons I love being an Arizonan, a native at that, is that politics is never boring here.

az sb 1062

Regarding the AZ Bill 1062, I wonder what the outcry would be if this all started with a Muslim baker/caterer/photographer instead of a Christian. Let’s insert Muslim, Islam and Muhammad in every instance where Christian, Christianity and Jesus Christ is mentioned with regards to this bill.

Try it. Now what do you think?

Would the passion for this bill to be vetoed be the same? Or would the thought of having your head sawed off have anything to do with it? Just wondering.
No one is claiming that Christians should be allowed to simply not serve gays. No one is claiming that or even arguing that. What is claimed is that a Christian butcher, baker, candle stick maker, florist, photographer, or priest should not be forced to provide goods or services to a gay wedding or risk…..losing……their…….business…….. on orders….. of the state.
That’s it. No anti-gay law. It’s a short bill, read it.
Tolerance does not mean acceptance or participation. It means allowing people to make their own choices about what they choose to do, and to respect the ability of their fellow citizens to do the same as long as it does no injury to them. What this contretemps shows is that America is getting a lot more intolerant the more “tolerant” we become.
Land of the free and home of the brave is becoming less on both counts.

 If everyone took the same approach as Andrew Sullivan (wow, yes Andreww Sullivan!) there wouldn’t be a need (real or perceived) for this bill at all:

I would never want to coerce any fundamentalist to provide services for my wedding – or anything else for that matter – if it made them in any way uncomfortable. The idea of suing these businesses to force them to provide services they are clearly uncomfortable providing is anathema to me. I think it should be repellent to the gay rights movement as well.

The truth is: we’re winning this argument. We’ve made the compelling moral case that gay citizens should be treated no differently by their government than straight citizens. And the world has shifted dramatically in our direction. Inevitably, many fundamentalist Christians and Orthodox Jews and many Muslims feel threatened and bewildered by such change and feel that it inchoately affects their religious convictions. I think they’re mistaken – but we’re not talking logic here. We’re talking religious conviction. My view is that in a free and live-and-let-live society, we should give them space. As long as our government is not discriminating against us, we should be tolerant of prejudice as long as it does not truly hurt us. And finding another florist may be a bother, and even upsetting, as one reader expressed so well. But we can surely handle it. And should.

Leave the fundamentalists and bigots alone. In any marketplace in a diverse society, they will suffer economically by refusing and alienating some customers, their families and their friends. By all means stop patronizing them in both senses of the word. Let them embrace discrimination and lose revenue. Let us let them be in the name of their freedom – and ours’.

That is the definition of tolerance — not enforced participation, but allowing people to make their own personal choices free of government-imposed mandates of acceptance and participation.


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