Sunday, March 9, 2014

Religious Liberty vs. Common Sense

So Arizona governor, scared that the state might lose money, bragging rights and publicity from hosting the Super Bowl, vetoed Senate Bill 1062.  In the summer of 2009, she happily signed several bills that severely limited abortions, and in April of 2010, she ecstatically signed the nation’s toughest immigration bill; but that is neither here nor there.  I could add that she was not eager to protect the rights of women or Mexicans, (because let’s face it, immigration bills regarding border patrols are not geared towards Canadians), but I’m not going there either.

Let’s just stick to religious liberty.  In Arizona, businesspeople with certain religious beliefs want the government to allow them not to serve gays.  This idea sounds so familiar……let’s see.  When did something similar to this happen?  It’s on the tip of my fingers, but I’m just having a hard time remembering when business owners didn’t want to serve a specific group of people.  Oh boy.  I hate when this happens.  You know that you know it, and you know that you should remember it, but it’s just not coming to you.  Okay, lemme not think about it for a minute, and hopefully it’ll come back to me.

I’m back……… Could it be the Jim Crow Laws that legally prohibited Blacks from attending certain public schools, living in certain neighborhoods, patronizing certain establishments, working in certain public administrations, attending certain churches?  Could it be that?  Yeah, that’s it!

You all know I love me some Martin Luther King, Jr.  I respect the man for what he accomplished for the Civil Rights Movement.  I admire the man for the personal sacrifices that he endured.  And also, just look at those full, luscious lips and dreamy, piercing eyes!  What, too soon?  Oh, sorry, he’s not your type?  Okay, if Al Sharpton tickles your fancy, then be my guest.  Whatever raises your skirt! 

However, there was no way that I was going to a Woolworth lunch counter and pay hard earned money to EAT from those people  -- people who hate me, people who don’t want me in their space.  First off, those people probably couldn’t cook as well as what I was used to.  Then, how do I know that they were not going to lace my food with some bodily fluid, or worse …… solid?  Ugghh!  I couldn’t.  I’m glad that Civil Rights activists fought for Black people to attend better schools, be served in any public establishment and whatnot, but I just couldn’t see myself sitting down and having hateful people spit on me, put cigarette ashes in my hair, curse me out and then bring me food from another room!  So I get why bills like 1062 are being vetoed.  Who wants to go back in time?  But on the other hand, if you don’t want my business, there is no way I’m going to go out of my way to give it to you.  I am not paying you for any ‘secret’ ingredients in my food.

The first sentence in any Business book will tell you that businesses exist to make money.  There is no other reason.  And there really shouldn’t be.  Of course there are many ways to maximize profit, and common sense has shown many business owners that if they are morally and socially conscious, they can make more money.  But business owners should not be concerned about the private lives of their consumers.  It just seems so, what’s the word……un-American!

In addition, and I hate to stereotype, but a lot of gay people are loaded.  Many of them don’t have kids, so they have more disposable income. They tend to like the finer things in life, like most people, but unlike many of us, a lot of them can actually afford the finer things.  So if I had a business that catered to the bride and groom, there is no way in hell I’d refuse to serve gay people.  These people, well most of them, have bottomless purses.  Why wouldn’t I want to serve them?  I’m in business solely to make money.  Therefore, if I were in the wedding business, I would be the first in line to support same-sex marriage.  Think about it.  Cakes, flowers, invitations, gowns, tuxedos -- the list goes on.  Maximizing my profit and increasing my clientele should be my main concern, not who my clients are.  And if I were a divorce lawyer, I would be second in line because let’s face it, gay people are no different from straight people in that regards…….eventually a huge percentage of them will separate.  Not being a pessimist, just a realist.

But the point of my writing this post is to emphasize the slippery slope that laws like this can create.  Next thing you know, these people are going to refuse service to people of other religions because remember everybody else’s religion is fake, only yours is the real deal.  What’s next, people with different political views, people who raise their children differently, people who do not close the toilet seat.  Okay, that would just be me because again, it’s one of my biggest pet peeves.  But where do we as a society draw the line?

I hope I’m not the one who is getting this wrong, but I thought religious freedom meant that we are free to practice our religion openly without any persecution from others.  For some reason, people now think that it is freedom to impose their religious views on others.  Like a while ago, I was at the gym.  Yeah I know……a rare moment in history.  In any event, there was a Hasidic Jewish convention, and as I was on the treadmill walking (had to pace myself before I started running), I watched Judge Mathis.  I am a bit hard of hearing, so I admit that the TV set was probably a tab bit loud.  At any rate, the attendant asked if I could turn the volume down since some of the convention attendees were walking through the gym, just walking through, not staying.  The same convention attendees who were outside on their cell phones.   What was it that couldn’t wait until this convention was over?  So these people should not be subjected to Judge Mathis, but the image of them in thick pantyhose, thick, long black skirts and hair curled all over their faces should be etched in my memory forever?  Lady, please!

I don’t believe that people should have more money than they can spend in their lifetime, however, right now, I wish I were a multi-billionaire.  I would buy a remote island to live on because perspectively speaking, it is against my religion to live amongst jackasses.