Arizona Jan Brewer

Tonight in Arizona the governor of that state Jan Brewer is trying to decide whether to veto a bill passed by the Arizona State Legislature that will allow business owners and others to discriminate against people who enter their establishments based solely on the premise of whether or not they (the people who work in and/or run the business) believe someone who has entered their place of business violates their religious beliefs.

The primary reason is to deny a person whom they decide is gay (how they will be able to determine that is simply their belief or even their feeling) the right to be served or even allowed to enter their place of business. As I understand the law they could also decide to deny service for other reasons based on their own personal religious beliefs.

You might say well that is Arizona and we know how crazy their legislature can be. But Arizona is only the first state to actually pass such a law. Similar laws are being considered in a number of states from Hawaii to Ohio to Georgia and yes even here in Oklahoma. So no it’s not just the crazies in Arizona who are pushing this it’s also the crazies in Oklahoma, Georgia and beyond.

By even the consideration of such laws we are rushing headlong down the slippery slope towards fascism. When Hitler assumed power in Germany he and the Reichstag (German Parliament) which was under the control of his party the National Socialists (NAZIS) moved to enact a number of laws of a similar nature. Laws that sought to discriminate against not just Jews, but Communists, Socialists, Religious Leaders who disagreed with him and his policies and even members of Trade Unions whom Hitler feared could possibly through their organizations lead revolts to try and overthrow his government.

One after the other Hitler began rounding up these different groups who sometimes didn’t agree with each other and either imprisoning their leaders and shipping them off to consentration camps or in some cases executing them. In the case of Jews he begin immediate plans to ship them off to camps with plans for their mass extermination.

When a government begins to institutionalize discrimination as a right of one segment of its society over another segment it is when it starts to become fascist in nature. We abolished slavery as an institution over 150 years ago and we must not now allow any government to institutionalize laws of discrimination simply as a matter of course for any reason especially on the grounds of religious beliefs.

It is mindboggling that people who profess to be Christians and keep harping about this nation being founded as a Christian nation to be so narrow minded and bigoted in nature as to be willing to pass a law that would allow discrimination for any reason. How anyone could vote for such a law and still call themselves a Christian is beyond my belief of what I know about Christianity. Jesus was the Prince of Peace. He practiced tolerance and love of all and in all of his teachings I can find no evidence of him condoning the discrimination any segment of society.

The attempts to enact laws of discrimination are egregious and without any merit whatsoever in a free society. Our nation has had a bad track record in the past when it comes excluding whole segments of our society from enjoying the same rights and freedoms for all but we should have long been past that. And to discriminate solely on the basis of religious freedoms is not a practice any one who calls themselves a Christian should ever be engaged in. It violates everything that Jesus and Christianity stands for!

Bob Bearden


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