Governor Markell puts pressure on AZ Guv to repudiate "religious freedom" anti-gay bill...
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer insists - during an interview on CNN -- that she'll "do the right thing for the state of Arizona", with reference to the controversial legislation that would allow businesses to refuse service to any person on the basis of the business owner's profound religious convictions. Opponents say the legislation would only fuel discrimination against people based on their perceived or real sexual orientation.
Delaware's Governor Markell added fuel to the controversy, saying it would only be right and proper for the National Football League to yank next season's Super Bowl from the 48th state if Governor Brewer were to sign the legislation. (One wonders: Does all the outside pressure only create more pressure within Arizona to sign the legislation?) Deja vu for Arizonans: They went through all this once before, with their tardy approval of an MLKJr. Day.
"Business leaders have spoken out forcefully against SB 1062, and the tourism industry has been especially worried about the effects the law could have in advance of the big football game.
It wouldn't be the first time Arizona lost a Super Bowl. In 1993, the state was also supposed to host it. But after Arizona voters failed to approve a ballot measure making Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a state holiday, the NFL pulled out and took the Super Bowl to Pasadena, Calif., instead.
In recent weeks, multiple states have been pushing these anti-gay bills, although they have not advanced as far as in Arizona.
A majority of Arizona's congressional delegation, including its two Republican U.S. senators, have spoken out against SB 1062 and urged Brewer to veto it."
The power of money.
It would seem that maybe the only businesses that might be able to claim a religious issue with Gay/Lesbian marriages are those involved in the actual performance of the marriage ceremony event, notably churches [and their banquet facilities], caterers, wedding-cake makers, florists, and musicians.
Beyond that, with restaurants & other stores, that seems more like a discriminatory thing, not a religious thing. Gay people now shop in your store and eat in your restaurant. As a Christian who believes it is sin and not in God's plan for LGBT marriages, [civil union by the state is different as the state isn't seeking to honor God in what they do,] I would not want to be forced to have to do an LGBT wedding as a church musician. That would violate MY freedom of Religion. There are plenty of other musicians who'd gladly take their money and play the LGBT wedding.
But beyond the marriage ceremony/event, businesses should not be allowed to say, discriminate, against an LGBT couple.
Whether or not the NFL should move the Super Bowl to some other place if AZ passes that law, that's up to the league. The NFL now has an out-of-the-closet gay player, so is the league going to kick him out? Probably not. LGBT folks live with us and shouldn't be discriminated against. I'm just against people being forced to be involved in marrying them, as they goes against my understanding of God's Word, the Bible, and that is my right as with Freedom of Religion. They have the freedom to marry; I should have the freedom to say no thank you, I'm not interested in being involved; please hire someone else to do your wedding.
Tue, Feb 25, 2014 12:55pm
Governor Brewer will veto this bill.
The wording of this bill is very interesting:
"B. Except as provided in subsection C, of this section, state action shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.
C. State action may substantially burden a person's exercise of religion only if the government or non-governmental person seeking the enforcement of state action demonstrates that application of the burden to the person's exercise of religion in this particular instance is both:
1. In furtherance of a compelling governmental interest.
2. The least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest."
Could a Rastafarian claim that the government cannot prevent him from smoking pot? Could Earl Bradley claim that he is Catholic and it is OK to molest young boys, since this apparently been church policy for many years?
Tue, Feb 25, 2014 2:53pm
This bill doesn't go far enough. Homosexuals need help overcoming their addiction the same as alcoholics do, and this bill only addresses the social consequences, but does nothing to get to the root of it.
Wed, Feb 26, 2014 7:37am
I honestly can't tell if mrpizza believes what he's saying, or if he's just a blog troll, trying to bait us with horrendous statements. Certainly no sane, intelligent, informed human being still believes homosexuality to be an addiction or a choice!
Part of me actually hopes Governor Brewer signs this bill into law. Watch her state implode as the Super Bowl leaves. As Apple decides not to build its plant in Mesa. As plenty of other businesses follow suit. This is all about a company's right to not have to go against its religious beliefs, right? Then plenty of other companies also have the right not to do business in Arizona if they disagree with the law. And I have the right never to visit that God-forsaken state, too.
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Feb 26, 2014 8:37am
Mrpizza: I believe in miracles, but also know that the scientific data is more and more compelling showing that most of these folks do not get a choice [Billsmith said he's AC/DC so apparently he does choose], but for the true homosexual, their genetics decides which way they'll go, just as it does for you and I as heterosexuals.
I know I could never become a homosexual, unless God did a miraculous work in changing my DNA, because I'm simply not wired that way. The same goes for the true homosexual. I've known gay/lesbians who truly wish they weren't, but could not do anything about it, other than pray for that miracle [I'm not referring to Michele Bachmann's Pray away Gay thing, but simple heartfelt prayer between a person and God]. Should we bash, hate, and discriminate against such a person? Even the GLBT person who is happy as they are [I'm happy as I am as a heterosexual], they still can't do anything about it other than ask God for that miracle.
In one sense, they are like the Leper who can't do anything about their problem, but unlike Leprosy which is contagious find themselves being shunned by society as the Leper is. Interesting sidebar: due to medical advances in 1941, the development of sulfone therapy made leprosy non-contagious if the Leper is taking the medication.
It is not our job to judge those GLBT folks. As followers of the Risen Christ we are to Agape Love as God would, those folks, just as we are to do with all other people. That doesn't mean we have to endorce or participate in their GLBT marriage ceremonies/celebration, because our understanding of what God's word says is that it is sin and that marriage is between a man and a woman, thus the ONLY point of law that AZ should have addressed is forcing folks who's religious beliefs are the reason they don't want to be involved in any way with a GLBT marriage ceremony / celebration. Beyond that their law is simply discriminating against the GLBT folks and the parts beyond what I just described should not be passed. As Americans, that is not what this nation is about.
Wed, Feb 26, 2014 8:57am
I agree with the second portion of Shawn's post (though from a different point-of-view)
Just as Duck Dynasty stood by their core religious beliefs and risked the consequences of losing their TV show, sponsors and endorsements... so too Arizona will risk the possibility of losing business if Arizona's governor signs this bill into law. If Arizonans believe the bill should be passed, then let them do it and see where "the chips fall". For the businesses that leave, I'm sure that it will attract other businesses, especially the businesses that value the First and Second Amendments ...firearms manufacturing firms are fleeing the NorthEast and moving South.
The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Feb 26, 2014 10:29am
EarlGrey: the problem with the Duck Dynasty issue is how they said what they said. It's one thing to say what the Bible says about homosexuality, but Phil Robertson's language was rather graphic, crude, and totally inappropriate for a magazine article. What he said was NOT said in Agape Love. I cannot even imagine Jesus using the language Robertson did.
The only reason they got away with it is the show is making tons of money for both them and A&E. Had the show's ratings not been good, they'd be unemployed as TV actors now. It was all about the money. Even so, their ratings now are not what they were PRIOR to Phil's remarks, so apparently some of the Duck viewers were also offended by Phil's comments and have tuned away. We are to preach the word in Love. That is not what Phil did. I support his right as a Christian to talk about his faith and beliefs, but I don't support doing so in a hateful, crude, insulting, manner. Phil crossed the line, in my opinion.
The other thing that many on the right overlook is the Robertson family had to agree to work with both minorities and Gay folks as part of Phil being reinstated to the show. So they did have to give something to the network in return for Phil getting back on the show. So it's not A&E bowing down in surrender to the Robertson's as many TEA folks on FB and other blogs like to spout.
Wed, Feb 26, 2014 10:55am
Phil (and all others on the show) NEVER said they wouldn't work with minorities or homosexuals... they simply said that they believe man/woman makes a marriage and all sex outside marriage is sin in God's eyes.
Jesus was a radical who hung out with the outcasts of society (prostitutes, the poor, lepers and "evil" tax-collectors)... pretty sure they used "salty" language. Nothing Robertson said goes against the teachings of the Bible (crude maybe, but Phil is a redneck and proud he's not a yuppy). The interview was not on Sesame Street but with adults on adult-level conversation.
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Feb 26, 2014 1:35pm
EarlGrey: If I used were a talk-show host on WDEL and used the words Phil used, my guess is WDEL would edit them out from the broadcast or I'd be told about it and not to do it again; and CBS Radio probably wouldn't air it either and even on the blog here WDEL might edit it out. It wasn't necessary in explaining what he believes. THAT is my point. He certainly exemplifies the "stereotype" of what I as an Northerner and most other Northerners view Rednecks to be, and something I'd not want to be, and I'm not a Yuppie. Yep, Phil's comment was a great witness to the unbelieving world.
So then, you must not have a problem with the language that Obama's former pastor used when he said G** Damn America. Never thought I'd hear a preacher use the Lord's name in vain or use "salty" language.
I'm sure St. Peter and the other fisherman could be "salty", but maybe after being with Jesus for some time they might have not been so salty. After all, being with Jesus changes people for the better. Somehow I can't picture Jesus using salty language, yet somehow he reached those folks.
So if your pastor starts using "salty" language in conversations with you, and why not, from the pulpit, it's OK apparently. Sure, let's become like the world, rather than being the light to the world. Doesn't sound scriptural to me.
I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.
Wed, Feb 26, 2014 2:04pm
Mike: Yep, we will have to agree to disagree on this one... Phil never took the Lord's name in vain as Jeremiah Wright did.
Wed, Feb 26, 2014 4:38pm
For what it's worth, I know several Catholic priests who cuss. Never from the pulpit, of course. But talk to them one-on-one outside of the sacristy - in the office or outside of the church building altogether - and they can let a few choice words fly. Personally, I like it... it makes them seem more human. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Jesus let a few choice expletives fly while he was throwing out the money-changers. :)
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Feb 26, 2014 6:09pm
Shawn, my guess is that those same priests wouldn't use that language out in public (maybe among friends where they felt they could let loose a bit!) & my guess is they'd certainly not use graphic vulgar language during an interview for a magazine.
I remember something a preacher once said: Be careful how you talk & act, seeking to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in your words & actions, because you might be the only Christian some folks will ever meet. They'll judge how real the Gospel is by what they've observed in you.
Think about Gandhi, who was treated poorly by some Christians, causing him to say 'I like your Jesus, but not his followers', causing him to no longer seek out Christ. That's the point I'm making. How we live our lives reflects back to The Lord & could be a stumbling block that keeps someone from coming to Christ, meaning they could end up spending eternity in Hell due to something we did or said.
We are to live, speak, & act as Jesus did. He is our example of how mankind was to live. Through Christ, all things are possible, because on my own, I could never be like Jesus. We are to seek his ways, not become like the world. In my opinion, Phil Robertson acted more like the world than Christ in that interview. The issue is all these Christians are praising him. That to me is a sad commentary on Evangelical Christianity.
Wed, Feb 26, 2014 8:14pm
First, I shall address Shawn. Yes Shawn, I do believe what I say about homosexuality. I believe it because GOD says it. Here are some scriptural samples:
"And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved."
- Romans 1:27
"Thou shall not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination."
- Leviticus 18:22
Now I'm assuming you don't recognize the Bible as the standard by which all law and human behavior should be measured by, but I do. God hasn't changed, and after living on this earth 56 years, I sure ain't changin' just because the rest of the world is deceived.
Now, on to Mike from Delaware. I'm not passing judgement on these "folks" anymore than you are. We both agree that mankind has a general sin problem that Jesus died for and that salvation is available to all. However, I believe you're falling for the liberal kool-aid as far as this business that it's genetic and they can't help it. If we go down that road, then we have to say that serial killers aren't responsible for their actions because their behavior is compulsive. Well, sexual sin, homosexuality, adultery, fornication, pornography, is all compulsive behavior. Certainly God is going to overlook it on Judgment Day, right? NO! That's called playing Russian Roulette with your soul. If a gay person is happy or "at peace" being gay, then that person has a false sense of security and the devil is quite good at providing that once he has people where he wants them. So Mike, I challenge you to be very concerned about these people's souls, especially if they claim to walk with Jesus. I believe in most cases, homosexuality is a demon which must be cast out. Unfortunately, most of the church doesn't believe they exist anymore, or at least if they do, they're irrelevant to anything. I believe the enemy has a demon assigned to every one of us, and we must choose whether or not to listen to it. In the case of any kind of compulsive behavior, even if it's overeating, usually there's a demon that must be dealt with and sent packing.
Finally, I should remind both of you that there's a political and social component here which transcends individual opinions. There's a radical homosexual element working against us just like there's a radical Islamist element working against us. As Christians, we must fight them with the sword of the spirit and as Americans, we must fight them at the ballot box and in the legal system for what value that may still have.
Wed, Feb 26, 2014 8:48pm
MFD: Just thought I should add a footnote here. I know you could argue that if homosexuality can send you to hell then gluttony could equally send you there, but what I get from the Scriptures regarding sexual sin is that God considers it to be a bit worse than the others. I also gather that he considers same-sex sin to be the worst of all. How that plays out in who goes to hell and who doesn't will always be an open question, but I prefer to err on the side of caution.
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Feb 26, 2014 10:11pm
Mrpizza: The issue isn't whether or not God will condemn homosexuality as sin; He will, the Bible clearly tells us that. The issue is that too many of us who have been forgiven our sins by Christ want to judge others, which is not our job. We've become a barrier to gay/lesbians coming to Christ. That is something I believe the church will have to answer to God for on judgement day. I'm very concerned for the gay / lesbians' souls.
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