The Widdershins

Remain Calm, Etc: How Do We Loathe Thee? Let Us Count the Ways…..

Posted on: February 27, 2014

Good Thursday, Widdershins.

First, allow me as a Florida resident to thank the state of Arizona for distracting the entire nation from whatever-the-hell- it -is than we have done lately.  I find myself basking in the roseate glow of another state being roasted over the open fire of public opinion.  It’s really quite refreshing.

While AZ richly deserves the ire of the masses for the unfortunate piece of legislation that would permit businesses of all stripes to deny services to the LGBT community, they are hardly alone in this endeavor.   Kansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Idaho. Tennessee, Oklahoma, Utah, Missouri, Ohio, and Oregon are all in various stages of crafting eerily similar legislation as we speak.  Somehow, Arizona appears to be carrying the load on this particular fiasco.

No one appears to be entirely certain about the source of all of this ill will.  There have been some instances, especially in the wedding industry, of vendors denying services to members of the LGBT community on the basis of religious scruples.   If such legislation stands, it will effectively immunize the vendors from suit.   Even more unclear is the timing – almost all of these bills hit the various legislatures within a brief period of time, kind of like the rolling cavalcade of crap that sprang from ALEC after 2010, but this really does not appear to be an ALEC maneuver.  This appears to be more of a Tony Perkins type of event.  Oddly, no one in the more ostentatious Christian Movement appears to be claiming credit for the bills at this time.

The Republican Regulars are horrified, and well they might be.  Delta, Dell, Southwestern, American Express, the NBA, WNBA, Verizon, Marriott, Intel, Yelp and a host of other businesses are unhappy about this maneuver.  The NFL is reserving judgement, but the scheduled Super Bowl may well be in jeopardy.  All of these things could easily cost the state billions should this bill become law.  Both Senators McCain and Flake are urging Governor Brewer to veto the legislation. Three state legislators now claim that they did not really understand the (two page) bill when they voted for it, and are demanding a Mulligan.    The Guv says that she needs time to really study the (two page) bill prior to making a decision.

Basically, this seems to be the usual Repub legislative maneuver of tossing a bone to the Evangelical community in order to curry favor for the forthcoming election so that they might ensure their ongoing power.  Unfortunately for them, the party appears to have clean forgotten that they are owned and operated by corporate America, and corporate America is as intolerant of financial loss as the Evangelicals are of the LGBT community.  What’s a poor legislator to do???

As far as the Evangelicals of my acquaintance go, they are horrified at the march of progress, and even more horrified at their inability to put a stop to all of this change.  Therefore, their only open avenue is to “protect” themselves by claiming religious freedom, which would thus serve to insulate from “them”, from adverse public opinion, as well as from potential litigation.   We already permit pharmacists to decline to dispense Plan B, and Catholic institutions to opt-out of contraceptive coverage by punting to the insurer.  I understand how the Evangelical community now believes that any and all of their personal boogeymen might be tamed by claiming religious freedom, as it has worked so well in the matter of contraception.   What they fail to comprehend is that their religious liberty ends where another’s liberties begin, and that their right to practice their religion does not include the prerogative to force others to practice it with them.  No statute forces them to provide a service, but there will be no legal cover for bigotry.

This is an open thread.

UPDATE”  Governor vetoes AZ bill just as I finish writing.  (Of course.)  Now, we wait and see what happens next.  I have a feeling that we are not yet out of the woods here, although I would dearly love to be proven wrong.

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15 Responses to "Remain Calm, Etc: How Do We Loathe Thee? Let Us Count the Ways….."

It all reminds me of pharmacists not having to sell medicines to women because of their (the pharmacists) tender religious scruples. And hospitals, and employers. Where were Delta and the NFL and all the rest for that? I seem to remember more of a whachagonnado? about it. It wasn’t that long ago.

Nothing strikes fear in the heart of good evangelicals like the sinning “gays” and those sympathetic thereto to withhold their dollars or vacations. Having been in Phoenix during August, I can’t see why they are at all worried about a little fire and brimstone reining down on them — in my opinion, fire and brimstone might have cooled it down.

This great legislative imbroglio was a total of two pages in length. Hidden within it was the “religious” defense — and if the courts won’t overturn 200 years of constitutional law and give it to them, they might as well try and slip it in statutorily. Merely a step toward corporations suddenly having religious rights.

The Alliance Defending Freedom seems to be the main culprit — a James Dobson creation flush with $30 million a year and a bunch of Liberty trained lawyers anxious to rocket us into the 17th Century.

Prolix said a bunch of Liberty trained lawyers

I actually thought it was a joke at first that LU had a law school, but then I guess the late and (not so great) Jerry wanted to be sure to cover all the bases in his “university”. From their website:

Liberty University School of Law is a law school committed to academic and professional excellence in the context of the Christian intellectual tradition

Christian intellectual tradition? In the manner of Aquinas or Augustine? I think not.

Here’s a piece from Mother Jones that explains what these things are about and who is behind them.

Apparently they are calling these bills “Religious Freedom Restoration Acts”. 🙄

OMFG! This is so hysterical I’m surprised anyone in lil bobby’s office can keep a straight face with it.

Gov. Bobby Jindal will be presenting a business award to the Robertson family, of “Duck Dynasty” television fame, in northern Louisiana Thursday afternoon.

Jindal is honoring the Robertsons’ work with their business Duck Commander, which makes popular duck calls and other hunting merchandise in West Monroe. The Robertsons will be the first recipients of the Governor’s Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, which has never been given out before.

The Robertsons are the new sponsors of the Liberty Bowl. Winner prays, loser gets peppered with birdshot.
@3 and 4: Wonder what their Bar Exam scores look like? I believe that Michele Bachmann is an alum.

chat@6: I saw that! I wonder if the standard “noisemaker” will be duck-callers instead of, say, the Miss. State cowbells?

@3 and @6 — during the Dubya administration, Liberty trained seals, err lawyers, were the ones vetting all the judicial nominations. They held very high positions in the Dubya Justice Department. I can’t remember where I read it, but the questions they asked during interviews were primarily religious questions.

@6, I wonder if they will make an honorary call for Jindal? Probably not, it’s hard to effectively imitate a braying jackass.

I put a comment up on nola.com that this was the “brain trust” that came up with the duck people award.

Prolix@9: LOL!!!

Prolix@8: So were they worth a damn…as lawyers that is?

The thing about the Robertsons is that they are such colossal frauds. Phil holds a Master’s degree, Uncle Si certainly did not look like that during his 25 year stint in the Army, and I have see lovely pictures of the sons and their families that are best described a yuppified. They are portraying caricatures of Southerners,

chat@13: But it sells stuff for them!! 😉

Indeed it does.

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