What The Veto Means

Live And Let Live No More

Posted: March 3, 2014

Not only is Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer a savvy politician, but she’s also by no means the “movement conservative” some believe her to be. Thus, it came as little to surprise that Mrs. Brewer decided to veto SB 1062, her state’s version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

Savvy? Yes. Mrs. Brewer saw indelible handwriting on the wall. Arizona, she feared, would be rendered a pariah, particularly in an economic sense, if the feeling persisted that her state was unfriendly to the homosexual community. The NFL pulling the 2015 Super Bowl from Phoenix would have just been the start.

Some believe that Arizona, because the legislature passed the bill, is irredeemably damaged. This speaks to the standard liberal mindset — high dudgeon fueled by raging emotion and a false notion of equivalence unleavened by neither knowledge nor perspective. Liberal commentators see a direct line between the Jim Crow South and an Arizona allegedly hostile to homosexuals — even though SB 1062 made nary a mention of sexual orientation.

Such an argument is easy to make, as is usually the case with the leftist take on issues. And, to be sure, liberal pundits are making it. Indicative of the breed is The New York Times’ Charles Blow, who feverishly opined that the issue “once again places conservatives on the wrong side of history and further marginalizes an intolerance-obsessed party (i.e., the GOP) during an inclusion-oriented era.”

Ah, the “wrong side of history” drollery, as if conservative folks of a religious disposition have never found themselves in that position. Anyway, refuting such banalities is forever more difficult than posing them, if for no other reason than because, at first blush, emotion always trumps logic. But refute them we’ll try.

For starters, any business of a mind to discriminate against homosexuals would not need such a law as SB 1062 to do so. In Arizona, it is not illegal for a business to deny service to anyone on account of sexual orientation; state law does not forbid it. Thing is,Arizona businesses are not denying service to homosexuals. Thus, the idea that this is a modern Jim Crow law is preposterous. This is not a “Greensboro lunch counter” issue.

So why propose the law in the first place? Not, as we said, to provide reactionaries legal cover to discriminate, but to assure that business owners with clearly defined religious beliefs are not compelled to participate in ceremonies they view as sacrilegious. That’s what this is truly about — florists, bakers, and wedding planners whose livelihoods are threatened simply because they do not wish to be part of a same-sex marriage ceremony, which they do not consider a sacrament. Should they be required to do so under threat of legal action and potential business ruin? We don’t think so.

Here’s where the liberal argument falls apart. No longer are advocates for homosexual rights merely saying “live and let live, let us love the person of our choosing;” now, it’s a case of “bake us a cake — or else.” Surely they know that every community boasts any number of businesses — and many owned by folks of a religious bent — willing to cater to anyone with the wherewithal to pay. Why then are they fixated on those who, adhering to conviction, feel they cannot? Live and let live? No more.

There are none so blind, we suppose, as those who will not see, as evidenced by this instance of interrupted reasoning, courtesy of Mr. Blow:

“We must each follow the wanderings of our heart to find the place where we feel affirmed and fulfilled, both spiritually and physically. And as long as that is between consenting adults, that destination should be sufficient. But it isn’t. Our views of such things, especially among conservatives, remain rooted in religion and long-expired puritanical constructs of sexual behavior.”

May we offer this rebuttal: Are not conservative men and women of faith entitled to their “place,” where they feel “affirmed and fulfilled?” Religious beliefs, sincerely held, are not “puritanical constructs,” but a way of life — one with eternal promise.