Arizona’s “Religious Freedom Bill”


When you strip away all the B.S., Arizona’s proposed (and since vetoed) “Religious Freedom Bill” would have done nothing
but legalize the already over-abundant homophobic stupidity that has overtaken that state and this nation. In my opinion: Religious Freedom
was not the issue in Arizona and is not the issue in any other state (including Texas where they the State Legislature is now
being forced to rethink how it’s traditional, myopic, religious bigotry interferes with the Constitutional rights of it’s

Let us, as Americans, go back to the First Amendment to the Constitution and understand it as it should be as it should be
understood by all Americans.

First understand that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is NOT a passage from the Christian Bible! That
may seem like a ridiculous thing to say . . . but maybe not, considering the Constitutional illiteracy of the average American!

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is a legal document based on and promoting the concept that EVERY
American has rights under the Constitution of the United States Government (and, according to the Supreme Court, the same rights under every
State Constitution); rights that cannot be denied or reversed by laws passed in those jurisdictions.

Specifically, the First Amendment states that: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the
people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

In spite of this Amendment being part of a legal document (the U.S. Constitution) it reads pretty clearly: ‘Congress
(including the Congress of a state) cannot make a law that prohibits a religious organization from performing it’s religious
rituals and observations as dictated by it’s charter as a religion.’ However, even under the unsupervised chaos that is the
Obama Administration and his Attorney General’s office, this language, cannot be construed to allow a religion or members of a
religion, in that religions name, to perform actions that are contrary to law or actions that abridge the Constitutional Rights
of any other American citizen(s).

Put all that together and flavor it with common sense, common decency and respect for others and you should have a well
functioning society.

Interestingly, it is the political persuasion of “Religious Conservatism;” (the one that always talks about liberty and
freedom from government) that has diluted common sense, common decency and respect for others to the point where we are today;
the point where the clear and compelling words of the First Amendment are being attacked and altered by “Religious Conservative” politicians who
‘prefer’ the ancient words and thoughts of Biblical prophets — prophets who clearly did not understand human nature and never
considered that humans’ understanding would grow beyond mysticism. Beyond that, these Religious Conservatives have tried (and
will continue to try) to replace the words of our Founders with ideas of ancient scholars who were only just beginning to
understand the dynamic nature of humanity.

(Personally, I would greatly prefer a gay couple who are following their hearts and instincts living next door to me or
sitting at the next table, over a couple of squinty-eyed Religious Conservatives who insist that they KNOW how others should
live their lives.) And how do they “know?

Have you ever played the party game where one person whispers a statement to another and the second person whispers it to a
third and that is continued until the last person must repeat the statement as they received it. Probably 98% of the time the
statement whispered to the last person is entirely different from the original statement. Place that in a biblical context
where words that may have been uttered by original followers of Jesus have been repeated by word-of-mouth and then through
translators perhaps thousands of times; who knows what was originally uttered or what the intent of those utterances was. THAT
is the basis of human religious knowledge and, to a man, religious believers feel free to propagate that “knowledge” as truth. The reality is,  “THE WORD” may
not be anywhere close to the ORIGINAL word after being filtered through thousands of people who had their own “truths” and motives.

Conservatives who cower at the thought of same-sex couples actually being able to take advantage of the benefits that legal
status would bring to their unions are actually trying to sell a form of “New-Math” to the American public. They are pushing
the concept that +1 = -1; i.e., every legal same sex marriage means that there will be one less “traditional” marriage. They,
of course, never present that in plain English, as it’s presented here, for if they did it would be too easy to understand
that the game they are playing is not a logical game, it’s an attempt to color every gay union as a direct threat to
heterosexual unions rather than as a result of a real affinity between two people. An affinity that was not even understood as
a possibility those thousands of years ago and still not admitted as a possibility by some people today.

“And what about the children,” these same Religious Conservatives whine! “What will become of them when they realize it is possible for two men or two females  to fall in love and dedicate their lives to each other’s needs and happiness.” Well the answer is, knowledge does not change any person’s innate sexual preference.  What knowledge CAN do is help the children understand that we humans are all different and that genuine human differences need to be understood and respected.

Hopefully, that same knowledge will help children understand that those other children and adults who refuse to respect individual differences and who attempt to vilify those who act or think different from them are not only wrong but are bad examples for them to follow.


National Catholic Register:  Was Arizona’s Religious-Freedom Bill ‘Anti-Gay’?