Monday, March 03, 2014

Free to....What?

I have not become a genius in the years this blog has been written. I have discovered, however, that writing commentary on issues that aren't even off the front page of the paper carries a little danger. That's because things can change quickly, and words that are floating around the internet today may seem kind of, ah, stupid in just a few weeks, let alone in future years.
That being the case, I don't think I should try to resolve the Ukraine situation in this space. It's all too new, and I, with zero personal military experience, am more liable to write something stupid than to nail down the truth the first time out. Maybe some other time.

 An observer might think that Arizona not only has a Republican majority in its legislature, but that the state's attitude toward certain controversial measures is meaner, less tolerant and more partisan than other places. I personally can't agree. As it happens, the same things have been proposed in other states, at nearly the same time, often using the same words.
But Arizona has been at the front of the line in passing hard right legislation, including one guaranteeing business owners the right to decline service to people on the grounds of religious conviction.   
On the surface, this seems harmless enough. People who build their own businesses should be able to turn away certain types, shouldn't they? Certainly we don't want the government telling us who we can and can't serve, right? There are plenty of other places those gays, Hindus, stud-faced hippies, tattooed losers and blacks can go, and that's just what we want them to do. Anything else means somebody has decided my freedom isn't worth having. I disagree.
But, like most things, reality isn't that simple. It was that same government we hate so much that built the road to our store, and they've done lots of other things over the years which made it possible for us to open in the first place. And we're not talking about people with no shirts or shoes here, but about people who really have no plan to take away our faith. They're just folks who want what we sell, which is supposed to be good news. Unless you find a way to make your business a private club of some kind serving members only, presumably white Christians just like us, then you are serving the public, and that means everyone, whether you like their lifestyle or not.
You probably know how it turned out in Arizona. Big business, with the help of the state's two Republican senators, in an effort to save the Superbowl planned for Phoenix, lobbied hard against the measure after it passed both legislative houses. Last week, the governor vetoed the bill. Look for something similar near you soon.    


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