Arizona: Should business owners be allowed to refuse to serve religious people?

From my Gazette blog . . .

It seems absurd that the question of whether religious people should be allowed to discriminate against gay people would be left to one person to decide. But that is the situation Arizona governor Jan Brewer finds herself faced with this week as she decides whether to veto an anti-gay bill that would allow business owners to refuse to serve gay people. (See Globe and Mail report.)

If she signs the bill into law, it is state-sanctioned homophobic discrimination, and Ms. Brewer will find herself lumped in with the likes of Uganda’s president and Nigeria’s president, and the state will undoubtedly face economic boycotts by companies and individuals.

You would think this would be a no-brainer for the Arizona governor, and that she won’t get her back up like aforementioned African presidents did, saying they didn’t want outsiders pushing them around, and that they’d show us. You would think Ms. Brewer will veto the ugly legislation.

But for those who might be struggling with the issue, who think that maybe business owners should be able to pick and choose their customers and turn away gay clients, I’d suggest turning the question around.

Should business owners who might be atheists have the right to deny services to religious customers? After all, there is not a shred of scientific evidence to support the existence of God and all the superstition accompanying religions. Religions are an affront to the intelligence of  many people.

The answer, of course, is that business owners who sell to the public have to treat everybody equally, and the customers’ currency be it cash or credit is non-denominational and exempt from petty class distinctions.

If business owners feel they can’t in good/bad conscience serve gay people, then they should find another line of work.

I’m sure the issue is a huge embarrassment to many people in Arizona. The world is watching.

Jillian

4 thoughts on “Arizona: Should business owners be allowed to refuse to serve religious people?

  1. Jillian,

    I think this is the thin-end of the wedge. If this legislation goes through and there isn’t a big enough backlash, then the christian dominionist lobby will begin to feel more emboldened and the other dominoes will begin to fall.

    Be sure that this is the first step to on the road to fascist theocracy. And once the LGBT community has been marginalised sufficiently to force it back underground, it will then become illegal. The dominionists will then begin to work against other groups. You’ll see blasphemy laws and then you’ll see the wholesale gutting of the atheist community, perhaps even other religious minorities. Heck, we may even see racial segregation rear its ugly head again in some areas.

    I’m prompted to recall the poem by Martin Niemoller, the one he wrote chastising German intellectuals during the rise of Nazism:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Intellectuals in the free world, all around the free world, should be a lot angrier about this. The people behind this movement have a dominionist ideology and they will not stop unless their ideas and the people who support them are purged from governance the world over.

    Unless people want to live in a world were they have a choice between Islamic Sharia or the Christian equivalent, they need to find common ground and get so furious that this type of thinking becomes the crime it should be.

    Get ANGRY people; you’re asleep at the wheel.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another question is “Should all businesses feel the effect of the homophobic few?” If this bill is signed into law it will effect all the businesses there. One airline is hinting it may cease service to the state and two others are also apposed to this law. The NFL is also giving some indication that it may move the location of next year’s Superbowl. Granted, this law is unconstitutional and I’m told the legal process to fight it will start within hours of the signing so some lawyers will certainly make money.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Personally, as a heterosexual and as an atheist, I don’t think they should, period. Frankly, I think there are too many bigots who adopt Christianity as their protective shield for their bigotry and they give other Christians, who whether they have an opinion or not, or even dislike homosexuality, have no wish to impose their views on others, a really bad reputation. They are bigots because they are bigots who are, incidentally and all too conveniently, Christians of a particular persuasion. Their bigotry is their state of mind and their Christianity is their weapon of choice.

    Part of the problem is that where you have two interest groups that have diametrically opposing views on something and who think they should have an absolute right to exercise those views in practice with no constraint at all. Yet society says I can’t just kill my neighbour because he sneezes too loudly all the time. I want to know why.

    Society imposes what are essentially arbitrary constraints on all our behaviours all of the time, but just because someone makes a claim for an historical, hereditary right to believe in the ultimate sky fairy which they argue should not only grant them special treatment, a special status, but to also pick-and-choose on an entirely arbitrary and wholly personal basis what the terms of that special status should be.

    Some people like to moan about the fact that certain factions of the LGBT community although entitled to their way of life are far too belligerent and in your face about exercising those rights. Even if that is true, as far as I am concerned, they are complete amateurs when compared to the theists who also like to shove their agenda in everyone else’s faces. And they have the gall to complain that they are the only people who are persecuted. It would make you laugh if it weren’t so pathetically disingenuous.

    Liked by 1 person

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