As the world watches the incredible events in the Ukraine, Arizona quietly retreats social justice into the Dark Ages. By passing a bill that allows establishments to refuse to serve individuals who place a "substantial burden on their sincerely held religious beliefs" the state has opened a Pandora’s box of discrimination, hatred and bigotry.
The national discussion of the law has focused on LGBT rights and the bills intent to focus on what the right wing terms a “religious freedom” issue. Be there no mistake, this bill opens the door to discrimination against those wearing a Sikh headdress, a Star of David or a Pentagram. Such legislation should sound the alarm for Progressives everywhere that our rights are precariously perched on a precipice soon to be violently shoved down the slippery slope of intolerance under the bogus cover of a religious liberty claim.
Progressives, be alarmed, very alarmed, those seeking to frame Freedom as the source of their hatred and intolerance are a threat to all who embrace true religious, social and economic freedom. Once again, those promoting hate have wrapped themselves in the flag of our nation expecting immunity from a populous deceived by their use of the vernacular of Freedom.
Those who would frame this as “just a LGBT issue” miss the point; unless you are a blue eyed, blond haired, straight, old male Christian this kind of legislation is a profound threat to your freedom, to social justice and to the very foundations of our constitutional form of government.
Today, Arizona’s diverse population is backed against the wall. The choices are clear, go quietly into the night, deceived by those who would pervert our founding principles or resist with the understanding that this is the moment when we as a nation have the opportunity to defend the foundational freedoms that protect us all.