Arizona

26 Feb

This post is NOT about my personal beliefs on homosexuality.  I AM NOT DEBATING if homosexuality is a sin or if it’s not.  If you post comments praising me for taking a stand against homosexuality OR call me a bigot for supporting hate crimes, those comments WILL BE DELETED! Please, READ THE ENTIRE POST before liking or commenting.

I rarely have to write such a disclaimer but this Arizona bill is blowing up!

And I’m not interested in making this a personal matter about me.

However, when I saw my Christian friends on my Facebook news feed commenting things like “Jesus never turned anyone away” and “#ArizonaHateCrimes, I feel the need to remind everyone that the media sometimes tells us lies…. and we need to do a little investigating before we join a bandwagon.  Especially when ignorantly, we might be hurting ourselves personally in the future.

Before I get started, let me first say – I am a Christian, and I was once lost.  Reaching and saving the lost will never happen by refusing to speak to, serve or socialize with the unsaved of any kind.  That’s not how Jesus lived, and it’s not an example that will lead to any fruit in our lives.

But keep in mind, sometimes Jesus did have to take hard stands.  Remember when he flipped over the money tables at the temple?  Yes, he talked to the prostitute women, but he didn’t offer to take pictures of them with their many sexual partners.

That being said, let’s dig in a little.

Is the Arizona bill a hate crime?  Is the Arizona bill strictly about homosexuality?

No and No.  What makes me say this?  I’ll explain.

IS THE ARIZONA BILL A HATE CRIME?

A hate crime is when someone is discriminated against because of WHO they are (skin color, beliefs, etc.)

A civil right freedom of religion is the prevention of someone being forced to condone or support the BEHAVIOR or ACTIVITY  of someone else in which they participate that they do not agree or believe in themselves.

If this bill gave businesses the right to stand outside the door or force everyone to fill out a survey that said “Are you gay?  Are you Jewish? Are you a Muslim? And then refuse to speak to or serve them based on that answer … THAT is a hate crime.

Just like signs that use to say “No Blacks Allowed.”  They were refused service because of WHO they are.  Not because they were participating in something the owners disagreed with that the owners would have to condone by serving them food.

When homosexuals are beat up on the streets just for walking down them,  THAT is a hate crime. And that is disgusting and intolerable.

This bill is designed to allow business owners the RIGHT TO REFUSE serving ANYONE (not just homosexuals) when THEY THEMSELVES have to go against their religious beliefs to participate in what they believe to be sinful as well.

Take a look at a few of the court cases that have led to the proposal of this bill:

(These paragraphs have been taken from The Matt Walsh Blog because I appreciate the way he cited and worded this already.)

Hands On Originals. The Christian owner of a local t-shirt company declined to produce shirts advertising Lexington’s annual Gay Pride Festival. Hands On Originals had likely made shirts for many gay people in the past. As far as I know, they never asked anyone to fill out a questionnaire about their sexual proclivities before ordering their apparel. In this case, however, the company was being asked to advertise for a gay pride festival. He politely turned down the business and even pointed the organizers to other manufacturers that would make the shirts at the same or better rates. Nobody’s rights were infringed upon. Nobody was victimized. Nobody was even inconvenienced.

Masterpiece Cake Shop. The Christian owner of a Colorado bakery has been forced by a judge to bake cakes for gay weddings, after declining the business 0f two gay men who wanted him to make a cake for their same sex nuptials. The baker didn’t refuse them “because they’re gay.” In fact, he specifically said: “I’ll make you birthday cakes, shower cakes, sell you cookies and brownies, I just don’t make cakes for same-sex weddings.”

He had a problem with the activity itself, not the people participating in it. But the gay couple, instead of respecting the man’s beliefs, decided to file a lawsuit.

Elane Photography. A New Mexico judge ruled that a small photography company in the state is not allowed to decide which weddings they will photograph and which weddings they won’t photograph. He compelled the Christian photographers who own the business to work gay weddings, despite their religious convictions.

This ruling came after Elane Huguenin politely declined to photograph a lesbian wedding back in 2006. As Huguenin explained: they will “gladly serve gays and lesbians—by, for example, providing them with portrait photography—whenever doing so would not require them to create expression conveying messages that conflict with their religious beliefs.”

But this wasn’t good enough. Even though the lesbian customers promptly found a different photographer who charged better rates, they still took the matter to the courts.

Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts. A florist in Washington state was sued after she decided not to provide flowers for a gay wedding. In this case, even the customers admit that the business owner had served them many times over ten years. If she wanted to “refuse service to gays,” she would have already. But it wasn’t the gay men she had a problem with — it was the gay wedding. Of course this explanation, reasonable as it might be, wasn’t sufficient.

She was dragged to court. The lawsuit, I believe, is still ongoing.

In none of these cases did the business owner forgo service to a gay person out of some kind of disgust or animosity towards gays. They simply wished to take no part in a gay wedding. To call this discrimination against gays is to make no distinction between the person of a homosexual and the activity of a homosexual.

Is the Arizona bill strictly about homosexuality?

It sure seems like that because the media portrays it that way and most of the time, it’s homosexuals taking heterosexuals to court for supposedly declining them their rights; however, the bill in its entirety is not limited there.

This bill gives ALL BUSINESSES the RIGHT to REFUSE SERVICE when their BELIEFS ARE COMPROMISED.

This would give Jewish business owners the right to refuse photographing Wiccan Worship Services if the activities there go against their religious beliefs.

This would give Homosexual business owners the right to refuse making t-shirts for a Marriage Revival Retreats that said “One Man, One Woman.”

This would give Muslim business owners the right to refuse making Easter Service Cupcakes that say “He is Risen.”

What happens if we deny religious freedoms?

We lose them.  Across the board for everyone.  Or else we’re actually participating in Hate Crimes Against Christians for providing rights for everyone else, but denying them theirs at every turn.

There is a business out there who agrees with your beliefs, no matter what service you’re looking for.  Choose to give your business to them.

Otherwise, the next step is forcing doctors to perform abortions and loan advisors to grant decisions based on horoscopes.

After all, if it’s not against my beliefs, it’s not against yours either.  Is that really the right stance?

Practical Application:

Agree not to let the media be your “truth serum” on hot button topics.

Think about this a little further before writing it off as a hate crime.  Maybe, this is actually religious protection for everyone, not just Christians.

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14 Responses to “Arizona”

  1. daymon11 February 26, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    Thanks for the detailed explanation and examples of this. I had seen the angry FB comments about it but not done the research it would have required to understand it to this degree. I appreciate you taking the time and I appreciate the perspective!

    • Kayla Gulick February 26, 2014 at 11:36 am #

      You’re welcome. I caught myself trying to draw a few conclusions myself before I did some homework, so I thought others might be caught up in it all too! Hopefully this helps give people a little more food to consider.

  2. Lee Lee Bug February 26, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

    Where do you draw the line?

    If the law passes, will the business owners who don’t want to provide services for same-sex weddings also decline to provide them to couples who previously lived together (fornicators) and couples who have been previously married to other people (adulterers, according to the Bible with the sole exception of adultery)?

    Also, these couples are being married in civil ceremonies, not religious ones. So wouldn’t they have the same rights to receive services as any other U.S. citizen?

    I find it interesting how some Christians pick and choose which sexual sins they’ll accept and which ones they’ll take a stand against.

    • Kayla Gulick February 26, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

      Hi Lee Lee –

      I don’t believe there is a line. Other than the line that we can’t break the law when interacting with each other.

      To politely decline service on the basis of disagreeing on religious beliefs is going to look different for everyone.

      I think that’s the point of this bill — so no ONE PERSON can set a line or standard across the board for everyone. Other wise, no one has religious freedom at all…. we all have the religious view of the person who set the line.

      I believe some Christians wouldn’t provide flowers for couples living together before marriage and yet, I believe other Christians would gladly provide flowers for same sex marriages.

      The bill is being designed not to force those who do have religious views against certain things to “have” to do something that compromises those beliefs.

      Remember, it’s important to keep in mind that this bill protects everyone from losing their freedoms.
      It doesn’t say anyone has to stop doing anything they choose to do because a business owner doesn’t like it (like same sex couples getting married) it just says that someone who doesn’t have a religious conviction about it can be the one to provide the flowers.

      • Lee Lee Bug February 26, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

        I agree that a gay couple could find another vendor in most cases. In my state gay marriage is legal and there are specific gay-friendly chambers of commerce where all of the businesses are more than happy to serve them.

        But I’m uneasy with a law that says it’s OK to refuse to provide a service to one person/couple when you provide the same service to another. What if I want to order a wedding cake from the best bakery in town — the only one that makes a particular flavor cake — and they turn me down b/c my religious views conflict with their? When is this OK and when is it not OK and who gets to decide?

        I have a friend who is a very conservative Christian. She runs a home-based photography business. She gets around this issue by not doing any wedding portraits, gay or straight.

        I think it would be reasonable for a baker or florist to have the same no-wedding policy if they feel uncomfortable about providing services for same-sex couples.

      • Kayla Gulick February 27, 2014 at 7:16 am #

        I appreciate your heart on this issue Lee Lee.

        I wonder though, just for the sake of coming at this from all angles (because we have to remember this isn’t a homosexual/heterosexual bill) what if you are a t-shirt maker and you make shirts for every rally/festival/party imaginable. You’re a Christian – and you just made gay pride shirts last week. But today, in walks a man from the KKK and he wants 2000 shirts made that have a swastika and say “burn them all, white pride.” (Hate isn’t against the law, nor is wearing a shirt that says that)

        In that instance, would it be ok to turn him away, or would it be better for the owner to refuse to make t-shirts any longer for any festival/rally/party?

        I think what makes this SO hard on everyone is that we all have different things that we’re ok with and that we’re not. That’s part of free will.

        I have heard the argument made that two people living together and sleeping together before marriage is sinful, but to support their marriage is OK because the marriage is still being performed under the sanctity of how God designed it.
        It isn’t about server a sinner, it’s about being OK with their part in the service that supports the union.
        So, they don’t agree with sin, but they aren’t asked to participate in that sin.
        However, they feel the disruption to the sanctity of marriage the way God designed it as one man and one woman is sinful and that is something they are condoning by providing services.

        I will say, I’m really glad I’m not a business owner because I would have a hard time turning anyone away. But there are certain things, I would not do. Like make shirts that say “burn them all.”

  3. howsyourlovelife February 26, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    Wow, you have really given me something to think about. I was cringing this morning when GMA was interviewing a Christian business owner supporting the bill, I was thinking I didn’t want to be lumped in the same category. Maybe I do. Thank you for the full story.

    • Kayla Gulick February 26, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

      You’re welcome. I hope I didn’t paint the picture that this bill is the golden ticket to solve all our problems, because I have not studied every last word of it. However, I researched enough to know if was being painted wrong by the media and that it is good for us to propose laws that further protect religious freedom for us to stay a free nation, especially since the civil rights of everyone are increasing daily.

  4. Meagan February 26, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    I’m very glad for this post. There are so many people that think if one disagrees with “gay marriage” (or whatever one wants to call it), that means that you must HATE gay people. So ridiculous. I love that you made the point that, in forcing people with religious beliefs to professionally serve in/at events that they disagree with, those people are being discriminated against. My husband and I have been talking lately about how it seems like the world today wants to say that everyone has rights, and everyone is equal…as long as you are not Christian. Even Muslims and Jews, who have some of the same moral beliefs as Christians, are given precedence over Christians. It seems ok for Muslims to treat women the way they do, but the Christians are wrong for not making a cake for a gay wedding. And whatever happened to the signs hanging up in most businesses that said, “We reserve the right to refuse to serve anyone”?

    I have to say, though, that I am surprised that there are Christians that think the bill in Arizona could be considered a hate crime. I would think that Christians would be pleased that there are still legislators willing to stand up for all religious beliefs. I also found it HILARIOUS that you had to say, “The media sometimes lies.” Umm…SOMETIMES??? LOL I have a very hard time believing ANYTHING coming out of the media! American media hardly prints anything without a liberal bent, and news coming out of other countries is so heavily restricted by the governments, you never know what to believe! My husband and I have not watched the news for about a year now. He was very interested in politics, but realized that nothing on the news was honest, and it started making him mad. I’m online a lot, so I know if there is something major going on, but we stay away from the media/news/politics as a general rule.

    Ok, I think I’m rambling now. Anywho, I enjoyed your post, as always. 🙂

    • Kayla Gulick February 26, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

      I do think that the world at large tackles difference as if “fighting for my rights, should come at the cost of you losing yours.”
      This would be fine if we all lived by the same moral law. But we don’t. So we can’t have our moral rights and others have their moral rights and both be able to live happily with each other if they clash. And I think that’s come at the cost of Christians losing their moral rights in many cases 😦

      And I agree, media outlets are very liberal.

  5. prayingwife79 February 26, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    Thank you for the information. It actually made me sad to think that christian business owners would be forced to provide service…
    I am a “God is love” supporter. So I am not expelling hate here by any means, yet it does seem that so many rights are protected except when you are christian… I got tears in my eyes thinking of what a standard. And I have many times seen the sign “right to refuse service to anyone”.

    • Kayla Gulick February 27, 2014 at 7:20 am #

      Sadly, I really believe what we’re coming to as a Nation is “Who is going to get rights?” Not, “Equal rights.” Because every day more and more what we’re hearing and seeing is every side of every issue saying “But when they do this, they take away my right.”
      With the lack of agreeing on a common moral law, that is what is going to happen — everyone is going to constantly be offending everyone. And fighting for the other side to lose their rights so that they no longer have to feel offended. (That’s not getting rights for yourself, that taking others away.)

  6. fitmom27 February 27, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    VERY well said! Thank you….passing this one along. 🙂

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