As I write this post, both the upper and lower houses of the United States state of Arizona’s legislature have passed a bill that would permit any business in the state to refuse service to certain people (read LGBT), based on “sincerely held religious beliefs”. If this bill receives the governor’s signature, it will become the law of the land, and there is every likelihood it will, as the governor is a social conservative. Taxi drivers will then be able to refuse to transport LGBT folks, restaurants could refuse them service, and hotels could refuse to house them. These are but a few examples. Does this scenario have familiar echoes? How about memories of brave civil rights pioneers who refused to leave a “whites only” lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina back in the 1960’s?
“You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons,”
Any of my regular readers will know that I have a rather low opinion of organized religion and an even lower opinion of any sort of discrimination or bigotry–combine the two, and it gets to a special place of dislike for me. Actions such as this only reinforce and deepen my already deeply held disdain of religion, especially Christianity. It is conservative Christians who are behind this blatant and hateful step backwards to the days when businesses in the United States could refuse service to people because of their skin colour. Is that next? What if someone claimed “sincerely held religious beliefs” in refusing service to a mixed-race couple? After all, there are passages in the Bible that indicate that mixing of the races is incorrect, and I have quoted the best one above–Deuteronomy 7:3 was and still is trotted out by the simple-minded, un-evolved, knuckle-dragging bigoted assholes of the world.
I am done with how we bend over backwards to accommodate religion in this world. From laws in some United States states that allow parents to refuse proper medical treatment for their children, thereby allowing children to suffer and die needlessly, because their “sincerely held religious beliefs” hold that they should heal their children with faith and prayer alone; to the massive subsidy of organized religion via tax exemptions and tax deductions. This must end. We turn our eyes the other way in the face of religiously motivated discrimination against women in places like Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries, or the codified discrimination against LGBT folks in Russia (which is motivated in large part by the Russian Orthodox Church), because it is their “religious beliefs”. Bullshit on that! If your religion teaches that women are inferior to men; or people who love someone of the same gender, or people who are not the same skin colour as you are somehow inferior, then FUCK your goddamned religious beliefs! They deserve none of mine or anyone else’s tolerance or respect, and they will get none from me. I won’t even dignify these beliefs with anything approaching politeness either.
So, I for one, will not spend one red cent in Arizona if this discriminatory law is enacted, and it will be my dearest hope that they will suffer economic ruin for this folly. I know a chunk of their economy depends on tourism and convention business. I would hope it all evaporates. These assholes need to know that their bigotry and hate has a price, and I hope it destroys them.
If you wish to read a slightly more polite take on this, check out George Takei’s blog entry here.