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Having followed this reasonably closely from outside Arizona, I have to say that I haven't read any accounts suggesting that the bill allows for discrimination on the basis of race, religion, or sex. Rather, the outrage has been focused on just the area Mr. Langhofer identifies: sexual orientation. That is exactly what opponents oppose about the bill. In that regard, the mainstream media seems to have done a fine job identifying the controversy.

Though you refer this as doing only "a little bit," this "little bit" is actually a really big deal for those in favor of equal rights for non-heterosexuals. Particularly in light of the scope of the new religious exemption, it is understandable that they are so concerned, is it not? In any case, it's not fair to say that it's "nothing" since it is in fact something (the state Senators' comments notwithstanding).

I've seen various attempts at justifying the bill based on "it does not do anything" logic. But such claims fail: if the bill would do nothing or virtually nothing, why pass it?

I understand the intent of the authors and the supporters of SB 1062. For too long government in general and the Obama administration in particular have been encroaching on our religious freedoms. They do it in the name of "fairness" and, ironically, quote scripture saying "Jesus wouldn't turn away a gay couple." Actually, what He would say is "Go, and sin no more," but the left doesn't want to hear that. What has raised the concern of religious adherents of most faiths is the government-sanctioned attacks on people of faith. Hauling people to court because most faiths (Christian, Jew and Muslim) believe in their respective scriptures and try to obey their teachings. The left, of course, will have none of it and in a most ironic way are the most intolerant claiming that religious people are intolerant. That said, I don't see a need for this bill to become law. Our founding documents guarantee us freedom of religion (not freedom from religion) and the freedom of association and the protection of property. That should be enough to protect us all. When a lawyer wants to challenge those freedoms in court using "fairness" and "being nice" as their case, we should demand that judges deny their complaint out of hand. If not, then we should remove any judge who doesn't follow the U.S. and Arizona Constitutions.

Unfortunately, this bill is needed.

Not because the Constitution doesn't protect the rights of freedom of religious practice, freedom of speech, and freedom of association; rather, the courts have refused to enforce those rights in too many cases. They've replaced those vital and fundamental rights with a right to not be offended - but only if you're in a certain minority.

Gays have the right to do as they please. They do not have the right to force others to do their bidding. Would a gay photographer like to be forced to provide services to the Phelps Baptists? Should a Jewish person be forced to bake a wedding cake for a Nazi wedding ceremony?

Too many, blinded by the successful propaganda campaign, don't understand the stakes.

This bill will make a small start in pushing back against the forces of political correctness. If we lose the Super Bowl because of it, well, good. If they are so bigoted as to believe that the rights of a tiny minority not to be offended exceed the rights of a larger and more traditional morality not to be offended or forced to choose between sacred duties and their business, well... they can take their game somewhere else.

Finally, folks should understand: this is not about discriminating against gays, per se. I don't know of a religion that says that you should do so; it is about providing services to further behavior that some consider sinful. There is a huge difference.

Best article on the bill I've seen. Actually the only one that objectively analyzes it.

John Moore: excellent commentary. But we shouldn't have to have another law that says we have a First Amendment right to freedom of religion. We should demand that judges do their jobs and live up to their oath of office. Otherwise, get rid of them and stop the nonsense that every time a liberal activist judge oversteps his/her authority we have to write another law. Enough already.

There is a real story is this whole sordid episode. A significant one, but you won’t read it in the Arizona Republican or on EspressoPundit. The powers that rule the Republican Party, big money and corporate America, treat religious conservatives as total suckers. Again and again. And the religious right just keeps getting suckered over and over.

One would think that religious conservatives might catch on. They’ve been given ample opportunity. Ronald Reagan and the people around him worked hard to bring the religious right into the GOP, and then rewarded them by treating them as suckers. Reagan appointed pro-Roe vs Wade Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court. He consulted Nancy’s astrologist to set his schedule of meetings with world leaders. Ronnie stayed up into the wee hours of the morning phoning Congressmen to get votes for his tax cuts. On the bill the mattered most to the religious right, a constitutional amendment to permit prayer in public schools, Ronnie went to bed early. Very early, in fact. He didn’t lift a finger to help pass the bill, and allowed bigoted Senator Jesse Helms to lead the floor fight. Helms, shockingly enough, lost.

Suckered. The evangelical right barely said boo about O’Connor, and never uttered a word of complaint about an allegedly Christian president consulting an astrologist to decide when to meet the leader of the Soviet Union.

Ten years ago, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney won a second term by whipping the dead horse of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. The religious right turned out in huge numbers to support them, spurred on by nearly a dozen state level referendums on gay marriage. Bush rewarded them appropriately, of course. He got his two enormous tax cuts for the rich. He launched his second term not by proposing an amendment to ban gay marriage, but by proposing to end Social Security and allow the Wall Street financial wizards to gamble with everyone’s retirement money. When it came time for a vote on the gay marriage amendment in Congress, Bush spent all of four minutes reading a prepared statement and then vanished, as did the amendment. It wasn’t worth five minutes of his precious time. Cheney now supports gay marriage, and Mr. Bush, if anyone actually cares to know his opinion, says that he now supports civil unions. Suckered again.

The religious right supported Jan Brewer. She says all the right things to give one the impression she might be one of them. But then big money spoke with a big voice. Arizona was actually in danger of losing its second Super Bowl to right wing foolishness. And down came the veto. A choice between the religious right’s idea of religious liberty and big money? Was there really ever any doubt where she’d come down? Suckered again.

How many times will religious conservatives accept being treated this way? Will they ever figure out that the big money players who run the GOP are just using them, in a very crass way, but have no real commitment to their agenda? The Tea Party and the religious right have been allowed to pull the Republican Party far to the right. It’s cost the GOP dearly. The big money cats that control the party will no doubt be spending big to regain control this year, and again in 2016. At some point, you have to wonder if the Tea Party folks won’t choose to go back to far right wing la-la land and the religious right won’t choose to bolt and form their own party. Or perhaps they’ll choose to just keep being played for fools.

Because running liberal Republicans like Ford, Bush I, Dole, McCain and Romney works well.

Analysis fail

So Ronald Reagan was a liberal Republican?

Apparently you cannot read.

Go back to HuffPo or Daily Che.

If you had actually read my comment, you might have noticed that the examples I gave were Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush suckering the religious right into supporting them. Your argument about "liberal Republicans" is pretty much a non sequitur. Unless you are arguing that Reagan and Bush the second were liberal Republicans. Back to Faux News time, I think.

Don't have cable, but nice try.

Surprised you didn't throw in a Koch Bros. reference, hack.

I must admit I was completely wrong.

The story made it to the Arizona Republican. It was such a crushing humiliation of the religious right wing in Arizona politics that even Robert Robb of the Arizona Republican had to take notice of it.

It goes without saying that he neglects to mention the long history of the Republican party powers that be suckering religious conservatives time and time again.

But at least he noticed.

But would Mr. Espresso actually take notice? Nah, slay me.

It's called the Arizona Republic, genius.

Go start your own blog and have your own strokefest if you're such a great political analyst.

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