Thursday, February 27, 2014

Religious Dilemna

In the event you missed this week, Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the controversial bill passed by the Arizona legislature that would have given businesses, and citizens, of Arizona the ability to run their businesses based on their religious beliefs. The bill was dubbed the "Anti-Gay" Bill by Progressives and backed up by "Moderate" Republicans as an affront to Civil Liberties of same-sex couples in Arizona. What I am curious is if anyone read the bill as I doubt those with the largest megaphones did.

Here is the Bill: http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/51leg/2r/bills/sb1062p.pdf

While the originals of the bill stem from recent business owners being sued over not photographing same-sex marriages, baking cakes for same-sex weddings and providing flowers for same-sex ceremonies. I am a small business owner. As a small business owner I wouldn't turn away anyone as long as the payment method for the services I render is done with legally obtain dollars.

Then again its my business and my choice as an owner to make that decision. If another business owner wants to alienate a segment of the population because of a moral, religious or any objection then so be it. If their business fails, its on that business owner. The florist that was sued in Washington over not providing flowers for a same-sex marriage because she didn't feel Jesus would approve then so be it. AGAIN it is her business.

SB 1062 in Arizona wasn't giving religious freedom to just Catholics, Lutherans, Methodist, or any other Christian sect. It was giving religious freedom to ALL religions. 86 large companies, along with the NFL, placed pressure on Gov. Brewer to veto the bill - ironic isn't that the Progressives can't stand Big Business contributing to political campaigns but have no problem when Big Business is backing their cause!

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker was reported to have written a letter to Gov. Brewer saying(http://money.cnn.com/2014/02/25/news/economy/arizona-anti-gay-bill/),"I can assure you that this proposed legislation is causing tremendous concerns for our employees, particularly those who live and work in Arizona." Really? Expanding religious freedom and protecting that religious freedom from lawsuits is creating a concern for employees? The Bill doesn't allow business or institutions from violating the religious freedom of the employee.

Progressives are there for religious freedom for the employee but don't want to give the Mom and Pop business owner the same religious freedom. By not allowing a business owner the ability to run their business aligned with their religious belief but imposes upon that business owner the religious beliefs of their employees and patrons is not equitable in a free society. We all have the Right to exercise our religion without fear of retribution by the government. The fact, as in the case on the above example from Washington, it was the Attorney General that brought suit. Combine that with the Affordable Care Act, religious freedoms of the business owner is being trampled upon.

I know I said this above but it needs repeating - Being a small business owner, I don't understand why anyone would turn away patrons/clients in so far as the money used to pay for services is obtained legally. Yet in a free society, that business owner has that choice just as everyone has the choice of not patronizing that business.