True Colors

With the successful campaign to smear and intimidate the supporters of Arizona Senate Bill 1062 into silence, we have seen the true colors of modern liberalism: it is a totalitarian movement which seeks to destroy religious expression. This is bad enough, but sadly, this is only a symptom of the much larger problem of radical individualism run amok. In a way, the gay pride flag is a fitting emblem of the greatest of all sins, the sin of pride, which now animates the political left today.

The so-called equality agenda is of course very much in the news. It seems we cannot go a day without some new story blasted in the headlines. Last week it was the Olympics. The week before that it was a football player coming out of the closet to much fanfare. This week it was the Arizona Religious Freedom Act. Next week it will be another federal judge singlehandedly overturning a state constitution. Just as with the run-up to the Supreme Court decision on the ObamaCare individual mandate, opponents of religious freedom are sending a clear message to the Supreme Court once again that they will unleash havoc if the decision is not in their favor.

A Pride Flag

An Improved Pride Flag

Anyone who dares dissent from the liberal agenda risks being labeled anti-gay, anti-intellectual, anti-woman, or anti-something else. The rainbow is supposedly a symbol of diversity and peaceful coexistence, but in the disgusting and scurillous manufactured outrage in Arizona this week, we have seen that entirely the opposite is true. This ancient and universal symbol has been perverted and corrupted beyond recognition. The left believes very deeply in the right to privacy, which is to say, you should keep your religious beliefs private.

In any other respect, the right to privacy does not have a good track record of late. Over the last several years, we have seen astonishing revelations of harassment of innocent citizens by the IRS and the Justice Department. We have seen the NSA scandal and Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and all the rest. Today we learn that a British intelligence service has been unwittingly collecting hours of amateur pornography and cyber-romances from Yahoo webcams without cause. In all this, where were the better angels of our nature to ask if maybe we have gone too far? How are we to trust the government to protect our freedom of conscience when it seems so much else is already being violated every day?

Whether in faithless elected officials or judges with lifetime tenure, the seduction of power is proving stronger than abstract notions like freedom and privacy. Unelected civil servants like Lois Lerner or Eric Holder now get to decide who should be punished by the apparatus of the government. Meanwhile renegades like Bradley Manning take the law into their own hands in other ways. The law is being abused wherever it is convenient to do so and utterly disregarded the rest of the time.

As Americans, we like to flatter ourselves that we are governed by laws and not by men, but when the men who carry out the law are consumed by their raw egotistical pride and the passions of the day, the law is no stronger than the paper it is written on. Nearly two centuries ago, Tocqueville warned against radical individualism for the future happiness of our Republic. Sadly, we are now getting a painful and vivid lesson just how dangerous these forces are when left unchecked.

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Categories:Culture Law Marriage Politics Religious Liberty

9 thoughts on “True Colors

  1. Bill says:

    Some day, they will put signs on the Catholic churches: : “Out of Business.”

  2. pchristle says:

    I am so old that I can remember when sex was private.
    “Don’t ask, don’t tell” applied to everybody. (Thomas Sowell)

  3. pchristle says:

    Homosexual activists (and, apparently, poster “JD”) have no use for the truth. What they want (i.e. demand) is that we all celebrate their homosexuality and deem it perfectly normal behavior, which, of course, it is not. The argument that anything homosexuals perceive as anti-homosexual will have major impact on the economy of a state or region is one of the biggest LIES the progressives are selling these days. Don’t buy into it. “At some point, ‘leave us alone’ became ‘bake us a cake. Or else!’ And that’s a very different thing, altogether.”

  4. JD says:

    LOL. You try to make it sound like the extremists in the AZ legislature and the real bill’s authors, ADF and AFA were trying to pass some innocuous piece of legislation and the terrible evil gays wouldn’t let them. You fail to mention that the bill would have allowed full discrimination of LGBTs and nullified all public accommodation laws that currently exist for us. What do you expect us to do, not fight something so egregious?
    You are just mad, because more and more people are turning away from your bigotry and recognizing that gay people aren’t monsters and deserve equality. Your world that relies on superstition and lies to propagate itself is crumbling before our eyes. It is beautiful and most people are celebrating.

    1. For those keeping score at home, here is the entire text of SB1062, omitting the strikethroughs for ease of reading. The whole bill is a title page plus two pages of formatted text. Read it and tell me where it allows “full discrimination” (as opposed to partial discrimination?) and nullifies “all public accomodation laws”:

      REFERENCE TITLE: exercise of religion; state action.

      State of Arizona
      Senate
      Fifty-first Legislature
      Second Regular Session
      2014

      SB 1062
      Introduced by
      Senators Yarbrough: Barto, Worsley

      AN ACT
      AMENDING SECTIONS 41-1493 AND 41-1493.01, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES; RELATING
      TO THE FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION.

      (TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)

      SB 1062

      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

      Section 1. Section 41-1493, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

      41-1493. Definitions

      In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:
      1. “Demonstrates” means meets the burdens of going forward with the evidence and of persuasion.
      2. “Exercise of religion” means the PRACTICE OR OBSERVANCE OF RELIGION, INCLUDING THE ability to act or refusal to act in a manner substantially motivated by a religious belief, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.
      3. “Government” includes this state and any agency or political subdivision of this state.
      4. “Nonreligious assembly or institution” includes all membership organizations, theaters, cultural centers, dance halls, fraternal orders, amphitheaters and places of public assembly regardless of size that a government or political subdivision allows to meet in a zoning district by code or ordinance or by practice.
      5. “Person” includes ANY INDIVIDUAL, ASSOCIATION, PARTNERSHIP, CORPORATION, CHURCH, RELIGIOUS ASSEMBLY OR INSTITUTION, ESTATE, TRUST, FOUNDATION OR OTHER LEGAL ENTITY.
      6. “Political subdivision” includes any county, city, including a charter city, town, school district, municipal corporation or special district, any board, commission or agency of a county, city, including a charter city, town, school district, municipal corporation or special district or any other local public agency.
      7. “Religion-neutral zoning standards”:
      (a) Means numerically definable standards such as maximum occupancy codes, height restrictions, setbacks, fire codes, parking space requirements, sewer capacity limitations and traffic congestion limitations.
      (b) Does not include:
      (i) Synergy with uses that a government holds as more desirable.
      (ii) The ability to raise tax revenues.
      8. “Suitable alternate property” means a financially feasible property considering the person’s revenue sources and other financial obligations with respect to the person’s exercise of religion and with relation to spending that is in the same zoning district or in a contiguous area that the person finds acceptable for conducting the person’s religious mission and that is large enough to fully accommodate the current and projected seating capacity requirements of the person in a manner that the person deems suitable for the person’s religious mission.
      9. “Unreasonable burden” means that a person is prevented from using the person’s property in a manner that the person finds satisfactory to fulfill the person’s religious mission.

      Sec. 2. Section 41-1493.01, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

      41-1493.01. Free exercise of religion protected; definition

      A. Free exercise of religion is a fundamental right that applies in this state even if laws, rules or other government actions are facially neutral.
      B. Except as provided in subsection C, OF THIS SECTION, STATE ACTION shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.
      C. STATE ACTION may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if THE OPPOSING PARTY demonstrates that application of the burden to the PERSON’S EXERCISE OF RELIGION IN THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE is both:
      1. In furtherance of a compelling governmental interest.
      2. The least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
      D. A person whose religious exercise is burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE GOVERNMENT IS A PARTY TO THE PROCEEDING. THE PERSON ASSERTING SUCH A CLAIM OR DEFENSE MAY OBTAIN APPROPRIATE RELIEF. A party who prevails in any action to enforce this article against a government shall recover attorney fees and costs.
      E. In FOR THE PURPOSES OF this section, the term substantially burden is intended solely to ensure that this article is not triggered by trivial, technical or de minimis infractions.
      F. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, “STATE ACTION” MEANS ANY ACTION BY THE GOVERNMENT OR THE IMPLEMENTATION OR APPLICATION OF ANY LAW, INCLUDING STATE AND LOCAL LAWS, ORDINANCES, RULES, REGULATIONS AND POLICIES, WHETHER STATUTORY OR OTHERWISE, AND WHETHER THE IMPLEMENTATION OR APPLICATION IS MADE OR ATTEMPTED TO BE MADE BY THE GOVERNMENT OR NONGOVERNMENTAL PERSONS.

    2. Caro says:

      Hi JD,

      I just hope you know that we just want to practice our faith just like you want to continue your “pride” parade. Why do we have to do behid closed doors when you are so eager to come out? It’s not impossible to respect your views and not agree with them and for you as well to respect my beliefs and not agree with them. I wouldn’t sue you for not agreeing with me, so how come your side can??

    3. Eric Johnson says:

      This ultra-conservative “Catholic” site is so out of step with the changes Pope Francis is attempting to bring to the Church. I wish him all the best.

    4. wheaton4prez says:

      JD. By posting the actual text of the bill, Joshua Bowman has just demonstrated that your accusations are false.

      What do you have to say for yourself and your movements dishonest portrayal of this issue?

  5. George says:

    It’s actually Chelsea Manning, now.

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