The Left is wrong about AZ’s proposed law, but religious freedom supporters might have to boycott the Super Bowl to make that point

Gay marriage wedding cake photo by Giovanni Dall'Orto, 26-1-2008.I’ve mentioned gay marriage once already today as the latest non-issue to roil the left even as the world around us crumbles (a la the 1930s), the American military is reduced (a la the 1930s), and tyrannies are rattling their sabres (a la the 1930s).  Overnight, the same liberal who have been remarkably quiet about the Obamacare debacle, uprisings in Ukraine and Venezuela, the flat economy, etc., have found a new cause:  Arizona, they scream, is poised to enact the next generation of Jim Crow laws, in the form of Senate Bill 1062, an amendment to Arizona’s existing Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

This Jim Crow claim, which gained instant traction amongst America’s Progressive class, is flat-out wrong as a matter of law and fact.  Nevertheless, presumably in the foolish hope that it can appease the Left into backing off from its ongoing effort to destroy football, the Super Bowl committee is using economic blackmail against Gov. Jan Brewer, promising to pull the upcoming Super Bowl from Arizona if she signs the bill.  To the extent that the Left is using the Super Bowl as a cudgel against religious freedom, it may be time for supporters of traditional marriage to use their own economic pressure against the Super Bowl.

Better people than I have examined the proposed law, so I won’t rehash it.  Without addressing the proposed law’s specifics, though, it’s still possible to show the falsity of the Jim Crow comparison.

First, no mainstream American religion has ever had racial discrimination as a core religious doctrine.  All traditional religions, however, have heterosexual marriage as a central tenet of the faith.  To the extent Southern racists claimed Christianity as their justification for separating the races, all that they could point to was their own twisted interpretations of the Bible, a document that never concerned itself with racial discrimination.

Heterosexual marriage, however, is something quite different.  The Catholic Church elevates it to one of the seven sacraments, and all other traditional religions enshrine marriage between a man and a woman (or several women).  What this means is that the Southerners in times past who asserted their right to Jim Crow laws had no protected First Amendment right.  The contrary is true today:  Those people who will benefit from the proposed Arizona law have a strong First Amendment right that cannot simply be thrown aside.

Second, the Jim Crow laws were actual laws, relying on the state’s coercive power.  In other words, they represented government action discriminating against American citizens.  The Arizona law, however, does  not advocate any type of segregation or discrimination.  It simply says that Arizona’s government cannot use economic coercion, not to mention the threat of imprisonment, to force Arizona citizens to engage in religiously offensive activity.  There are also safeguards is the act:  The protesting citizen must show that he is acting consistently with his faith and that he has a track record of being faithful.

Jim Crow laws meant that the government was discriminatory and coercive in a matter that did not implicate religion.  By contrast, the proposed Arizona law narrows the range of situations in which the government can be discriminatory and coercive against people of faith.

Third, the Jim Crow laws mandated that Southern citizens refrain from providing goods, services, or jobs to blacks, or they mandated that those goods, services, or jobs, if provided, must be provided in the most limited, demeaning way possible.  The proposed Arizona law not only does not mandate any conduct, it’s also extremely narrow in scope.  It says only that genuinely religious people cannot be forced to participate actively in a specific event that clashes with their faith.  It’s worth keeping in mind here, as Eidolon so beautifully explained, that up until just a few years ago, every mainstream Democrat politician in America (including Obama and the Clintons) rejected gay marriage, a position consistent with all known human history.

Super Bowl ArizonaI have no doubt that Gov. Brewer is going to cave to Leftist pressure because of the economic risk that the Super Bowl will pull out of Arizona.  That seems to be the ultimate leverage, right?  But supporters of traditional marriage — or supporters of a religious individual’s right not to participate in a ceremony that mocks his beliefs — actually have an even bigger stick than the Super Bowl.  Just as the Super Bowl can boycott Arizona, believers in religious freedom can boycott the Super Bowl.  I mean, it’s a great game, but sometimes we have to subordinate pleasure to principle.

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  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Let me ask you this, if you think the Second Coming and the anti Christ are bringing Armageddon soon to the Earth, or if you think being off grid is a good defense against the Left’s Totalitarian Regime and its murderous rape squads in inner cities, why would you ever go to a public event such as the Superbowl or participate in popular culture? It only takes one FAE bomb to take out an arena, and that includes those NASCAR audiences.
    The sooner people stop drinking the poison from the public Kool Aid, the more healthy they will become in body and spirit. People already know where to get warrior skills if they want them. And it’s not the Bowl of Leftist retards.

  • jj

    The National Football League’s championship game, for some reason referred to as the “Super Bowl” – though it’s not a bowl game and is only rarely super – does not seem to be much of a stick with which to beat Arizona.  Were I Arizona I would invite the NFL to confine itself to playing a game, and leave everything else to the adults.  (Hell, the stupid game’s only rarely worth watching anyway: the one earlier in the month featured twelve minutes of actual playing time, forty-six minutes of commercials – and somehow required more than three hours to get behind us.  Talk about time moving at a glacial pace…)
     
    The NFL, stupid as it is, has some nerve getting involved.  (No brains, just some nerve.)  It will dawn on them when they notice – as you have said –  that most of their southern adherents are in fact pretty religious, and north of the Mason-Dixon Line there are still a hell of a lot more church-goers than there are (I almost wrote something quite vulgar).
     
    But I suspect the forces of political correctness will prevail on Madame Brewer, which is a shame.  She is presented with such a prime-time opportunity to invite Roger Goodell to shove Sun Devil Stadium up his ass as rarely comes along in a life, and she’ll probably blow it.  So to speak.

  • Call me Lennie

    When will conservatives stop playing into leftist hands by passing laws such as this piecemeal, i.e, one state at a time.  This allows the Left to put the Alinsky Rule — “Pick a target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it” into full play.  When you propose something counter to the leftist faith, you have to have partners to absorb the ammunition — there should be thirty states doing this all at once.
     
    And of course, Brewer will have to fold.  Arizona is not so conservative that the Republican Party can survive an all out media assault which includes denying the tourism industry the tens of millions of dollars that come with a Super Bowl.  Arizona can flip to Democrat in the blink of an eye.  

  • Libby

    Didn’t this also happen back when AZ didn’t initially recognize Martin Luther King Day as a national holiday? Seems that the activists, politicians, media & various organizations have gotten a lot more coordinated in voicing their displeasure since then.
     
    In the last few years I’d gotten the feeling that the left wanted to destroy the very American sport of football (Rush has mentioned this on his program). Looks like they’ve finally found a way to do it: turn the NFL into just another tool for social activism, whether it’s making the manly players don silly breast cancer awareness pink-wear, or this more thuggish approach of issuing threats against states who dare to pass legislation they don’t like. The Left corrupts everything it touches.

  • lee

    Start posting the NFL’s 990’s anywhere and everywhere. Out-Alinsky the left by focusing on the NFL. They’re a nonprofit that makes insane amounts of moolah. I’ll bet their 990’s ate fascinating. I think I’ll go check ‘em out…
     

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Perfect Slavery is when the slaves think they are free.
     
    Which Americans think they are free?

  • Charles Martel

    You can see the seep of political correctness starting to undermine the NFL. For some reason the people who run it think we’re all a bunch of simpering leftist dunces who take offense at the drop of a hat. “I’m OUTRAGED that the Washington team is named ‘Redskins.'” “I’m OUTRAGED that players use ‘gay’ as a slur and I demand that such language be banned.” “I’m OUTRAGED that players use ‘nigger’ routinely, even though we white leftists gave blacks, who are a majority of NFL players, a pass on use of the word.” “I’m OUTRAGED that players hit each other during the game, and I demand that gentle touches and conciliatory requests replace tackling.”
     
    I enjoy football, but as I watch the encroaching wussification of the sport, it interest me less and less. Rugby has been looking pretty good lately, and I will enjoy it until it becomes popular enough to attract the effeminate fascist handwringers who want to reform it.