It must be boring in Arizona.
The Legislature in Arizona has apparently nothing more important to do than discuss and pass a bill (House Bill 2153) messing with religious freedom. In a nutshell, it would allow individuals – and businesses – to use religious beliefs to defend against lawsuits.
See here for further information.
The discriminatory nature of this legislation has already been pointed out elsewhere. Not only gays and lesbians would be affected, but also non-believers, believers in a “wrong” religion – if they can spot you, or if you have come out.
But there is more to it. We argue, that businesses should not have this kind of protection.
Businesses are not like individual persons. They are entities built for a business purpose. They are there to make money, make customers happy etc. While they are people running these businesses, and those people have of course beliefs, the business itself is an abstract, and as such does not have beliefs, or even opinions. You can have strategies, plans, goals, a purpose. Also formulated by the business people, but these are things you can attribute to a business. But not beliefs.
Beliefs belong to people, not businesses.
To some extend you can make the same statement for churches, too, Although they are there to promote certain religious beliefs (just what the church stands for, not in general, mind you), they are also like corporations, associations, with members, employees.
But it is even worse.
This bill is about protecting religious liberties.
This is what they want to do:
“Establish wording that says that in order to assert a free-exercise-of-religion defense, the individual, business or church must establish that its action is motivated by a religious belief, that the belief is sincerely held and that the belief is substantially burdened.”
Arizona’s free-exercise-of-religion-law – to be expanded – will then protect you.
So who is protected?
Among other people, Islamist terrorists, Jihadists, Taliban, Al-Qaeda all can make that assertion. Even as a group!
Under this rule, the 9/11-terrorists would be protected, too.
So, Arizona is saying to them, come here to our state. We will protect you, no matter what.
On the other hand, if you refuse service to a Christian, you would be protected, too.