This past week, the Arizona legislature passed SB 1062. SB 1062 was to amend Arizona’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The legislation would have allowed business owners to argue their religious beliefs as a defense against any allegations of discrimination. Under heavy pressure, Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoed the legislation. It is a real shame that there was no real debate as to the validity of the legislation.
The issues that were brought forth in SB 1062 are legitimate. Instead, the Gay Rights lobby was effective in shouting bigotry and the media refused to question those assumptions. Listening to this debate, one would assume that there would be a floodgate of discrimination if this bill had been signed into law. The reality is that society is quite accepting of gays and lesbians. Not only that, but in this past election cycle, you had two states approve through a referendum same sex marriages.
Last year the New Mexico Supreme Court stated that a photographer’s religious conviction was irrelevant when they refused to take wedding pictures of a same sex marriage ceremony because to do so would violate the photographer’s moral belief. In Colorado, proponents of same sex marriage argued that one’s religious belief was irrelevant in this debate.
In a past post, I warned that the First Amendment was being restricted. This is what is at issue in these debates. As I argued then and do so again, the moment that government is allowed to dictate what is orthodox thinking in our minds, we will begin to lose our freedoms.
What will prevent the government from dictating what is true and what is false? If this trend continues, the odds are greater of the government closing a newspaper or television station in the name of “tolerance” than a gay person being refused service at a restaurant or a store.
The First Amendment is intended to protect our conscience. It is intended to protect us from the government to dictate what our thoughts should be even if it is done in the name of tolerance or security.
It is a shame that we could not have this debate.