Denying Jesus Service at Arizona Cafes

arizona lgbt lawIf Jesus walked into a restaurant would good Christians refuse him service? After all, he said,

Even as ye have done unto the least of these ye have done it unto me.

Surely the Arizona Legislature would rank gays and lesbians among “the least,” given the bill they just passed allowing business owners to discriminate against LGBTQ folk.

If Governor Jan Brewer okays the “religious liberty” bill, our rainbowed friends can expect to be turned away from a lot more than that: lunch counters, hotels and hospital rooms… And good luck buying wedding cakes.

Next thing you know, bathrooms and drinking fountains will be labeled “straight” and “gay.”

Have these Christians forgotten the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have done unto you?

Or that Jesus elevated the commandment to love God and your neighbor above all others?

Funny how some scriptures block the view of so many others.

arizona disrimination lgbtWhile some are writ large, others are completely forgotten. Sometimes with good riddance. Women are told to veil and refrain from wearing gold and pearls. But I’ve seen plenty of unveiled women wearing both gold and pearls at church. Children who curse parents and rebel against them can be put to death. As can women who’ve lost virginity outside the bonds of marriage. Or men who lie with men. It goes on…

Why do these folks insist God wants them to discriminate, and then ignore all of this? Not that I would want them to do these things. Just pointing out the contradictions.

Or, maybe the concept of sacrifice gets skewed. The pious are asked to sacrifice for their faith in a pact between worshiper and God. Asking others to sacrifice their well-being for your religion asks nothing of the believer.

This latest “religious freedom” bill lays bare the true goal that so often lies beneath them, under cover of faith: Create a world in which straight, white, male Christians have more rights than anyone else, preserving their “rightful place” atop the hierarchy of power and privilege.

Taken far enough, the bigots will be the only ones left with freedom as they remove, one-by-one, the liberty of everyone else.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on February 26, 2014, in feminism, LGBTQ, politics/class inequality and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 39 Comments.

  1. Hi BroadBlogs. Don’t know if you’ve seen this before, but you’ll probably get a kick out of it if you haven’t. It’s fantastic.

    http://www.humanistsofutah.org/2002/WhyCantIOwnACanadian_10-02.html

    What’s not fantastic is people who think their religious beliefs have any place in a secular society and government. The US is not a Christian nation or a theocracy, and these bigots give a bad name to people like my friends who are *actual* good Christ followers. Me, I believe that the Goddess and God created our species (and a great many others!) with numerous capacities for loving relationships.

    • Thanks for the link.

      I know our Christian group on campus believes in separation of church, state. A club I advised had a meeting with them once to get their perspective on some issues.

  2. Because people can twist the Bible to support whatever they want to believe. Logic, even logic using Bible verses won’t work. You can show people like that all the evidence in the world to support the fact that grass is green, but if they believe it’s purple, they will just scoff at your opinion and keep promoting the idea that grass is purple.

    • You may be right. But it’s worth a try. Hoping it will jar them a bit. Maybe hit a few nerves, even of not all.

      I never give up on people. And when I first heard this, it had a profound effect on me. I began to see things differently.

      • I have found only one argument that works. After everything else fails, these people resort to using freedom of religion as an excuse for legalized bigotry. Then I tell them, “What about those religions which support and observe LGBT marriages? What about their freedom of religion?”

        For whatever reason, it never seems to dawn on these people that there are religions, Christian and others, that do support equal marriage. I’ve stumped a few people with that statement.

      • And actually, I’m targeting my argument to the general population, not the right wing religious folks. I don’t want the US population and our government buying their argument. I’m trying to show that it’s all a façade. They don’t even really believe their religion, and they’re just using it as a cover for discrimination.

  3. “Next thing you know, bathrooms and drinking fountains will be labeled “straight” and “gay.””

    Restrooms today are segregated by gender, and I assume this is based upon heterosexual norms of male/female sexual attraction. If this is indeed the reason, then wouldn’t it be using the same rational to segregate based upon sexual orientation?

    I know this is off point and may be somewhat extreme, but wouldn’t it be the same rationale?

    • It was just a colorful way of raising the point of segregating things because people are considered too inferior to use the same facilities. Segregation isn’t created by sex for the same reason: Because one sex would be polluted by the other.

      Restrooms haven’t always been separated by gender, though. I know people who went to Europe in the 1950s and everyone often went to the same “water closet.” Because the Americans weren’t used to it, the men on the tour let the ladies use the restroom first. That was in the past. In my travels to Europe these days I’ve seen the facilities labeled by gender.

      Restrooms are probably segregated for women and men in part because men are on average bigger, stronger and more likely to rape. You don’t have the same issue with gays and lesbians. I have used the same restroom as lesbians and have not been even a tiny bit worried about sexual assault. And gay men have been using the same restrooms as straight men for years, and I haven’t heard of their having a particular problem with sexual assault in bathrooms, either. And even with the one case I’ve heard of, it wasn’t because of sexual attraction. A straight man had raped a gay man for the reason that rape always occurs: the desire to create a sense of power and superiority over the person who is attacked.

      Wouldn’t work anyway because a straight or gay man could always go into the other restroom, posed as the other sexual orientation.

      So clearly, you can’t draw the parallel.

  4. Whoever is interested, watch this:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/25/anderson-cooper-arizona-anti-gay-law_n_4852674.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

    The senator is obvlious, and isn’t aware of what’s going on in the world! Unbelievable, but definitely commend Anderson Cooper for shutting him down.

  5. I personally prefer a more accepting religion, but I ain’t going church hunting any time soon.

  6. The sad thing and the reason you see this is because some bigots interpret the readings of the bible into their own meaning and use. As well as since the beginning of religions, words from the bible and religion used for propaganda. As it’s a good way for religious leaders to enforce or push bad intolerant views, because afterall god and heaven are powerful incentives for people to agree upon bigoted views, whcih they wouldn’t usually do, except for the promise of heaven in return. It’s unfortunate some use christianity and other religions as a tool for bad or to promote ignorance. As it makes the open minded people who follow religion, as bad or it can taint the perception of religious believes, who aren’t like these idionts but can get branded together with them, because of the stupidity from the bigots.

    • Yes, I was shocked to read the Bible and find out that Jesus was a progressive.

      Even the stuff about women veiling comes from Paul, not Jesus. And stoning women, children and gays is pre-Christ (Old Testiment, but still Christian scripture)

  7. That’s why it irritates me when some christians use words from the bible, to show that their ignorant views are backed by the bible or they see things as such because of the bible and it’s what jesus wants. But then like I always would say or think is..how do you know jesus thinks that whenh he is not the one who wrote the bible. Apostles, you know human beings like us, did and unless you’ve spoken to jesus or GOD, you don’t know what God or jesus want and think.

    • And even the apostles disagreed with each other. And both Paul and Ezekiel say that communication between God and humans is imperfect. I’m not making a judgment as to whether or not God has talked to them. Just saying that even people who think God has talked to them aren’t entirely sure they are getting and communicating things perfectly. And then there is the whole next level of scribes who change scripture.

  8. Let’s not forget the Bible was revised and edited during Constantine’s reigh and I think during the middle ages too. Some old scriptures left out, while other parts left in. A way to unify the old testament to the new testament and selecting certain apolstles stories, etc. Just like many other things, politics being the factor in such decisions for the bible. And I do believe in a GOD, so my criticism is not from an atheist point of view. If people don’t believe, that’s fine. My problem was how so many people would take texts and things so literal from the bible and interpret it to their use. I guess it doesn’t seem logical to me.

    • Doesn’t seem logical to me either, to be so literal. Maybe people see it as a test of faith? I can believe even when all the evidence points the other way.

      Of course, A lot of religions have come around and no longer believe that the sun revolves around the earth, for instance. And other religious people think that the Bible stories should be used for faith (religion) and not as a science textbook.

  9. “God and humans is imperfect. I’m not making a judgment as to whether or not God has talked to them. Just saying that even people who think God has talked to them aren’t entirely sure they are getting and communicating things perfectly.”

    I find that interesting. God can talk to humans? God is not a human, God is an entity, a Creator, a powerful spirit. It doesn’t seem logical to me. Yes God can probably have the ability to translate and be different things. But what God is and power, I have great suspiciion that mere humans, priests, popes, etc have the power and capacity to understand and communicate with GOd through talks. We are afterall, mere insignificant mortals, whose lives are so ridiculously short.

    And now suddenly, have the capacity to understad and communicate with something so beyond us? Yes, very logical (sarcasm). Communication and God trying to talk with us are very human qualities when God isnt a human. Yes there is Jesus, but there’s just too much I see from all of it that reeks, human arrogance and self importance. Of course something from God is going to be in our image, of course the universe revolves around us. Because you know human beings are so superior. Oh wait a second we have greed, violence, anger, corruption. Sure us humans are very intelligent and have made great strides but in comparison to the Universe and things around us, we are quite miniscule. The time period of our human existence is not a drop but in compariosn probably a water molecule amongst an endless, vast ocean. The ocean being the existence of the Universe or multiverse if going by quantum physics. Yet so much religious context seems like a reflection of human ego, apparently over inflated, over importance ego.

    • I am agnostic on the issue. The word “Communicating” might be more clear.

      I’m not interested in making a judgment as to whether or not God communicates with humans. And perhaps God could find a way to talk with us, who knows what miracles S/He could perform?

      It’s not important to me whether people believe or not. Just saying that even those who think they have communicated with God say that the communication isn’t perfect.

  10. I heard about this recently and was hoping it was just a hoax. It is almost unfathomable to me to believe that someone (an entire) state could be serious about a legislation of this kind. On top of the blatant discrimination, they are using “Jesus” as an excuse or means to justify such an awful and disgusting act. If they are using his name in this fashion then they are definitely ignorant to the teaching of the person they are using to justify their ignorance. I hope to goodness this law does not pass. I am disgusted and appalled at the state of Arizona for even allowing this to come this far. They have never ceased to amaze me with their blatant discriminatory practices.

  11. Unfortunate that this is all too real. I find it disconcerting that there are people who continue to invoke God/religion as the reason to take away the rights of others. To me that is hypocritical and un-Godly. Besides, I’m pretty sure HE would have no problem sitting at restaurants with all his children regardless of color, gender, sexual orientation, or species.

  12. I was raised in a Christian household, I wouldn’t say that my parents were or are homophobes, but they do not believe that being gay is “right” in God’s eyes. Now, I know that the bible does say “you shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” But a lot of things in the Bible that were correct at one time, may not be correct now. People who say that God hates gays can’t be right, because the bible also says God made everyone in his own image. Why would he create people just so that he could hate them? Why put them through life being hated and discriminated just for his own amusement? I do not believe that God hates gay people, I think people in society hates them and they use God as an excuse for this. There are a lot of Christians like me, which believe in God and what the bible teaches us, but do not just go along with everything written in it. I believe that people should not be judged by who they love or want to marry, and they especially should not be refused any kind of services. What a disgusting world to live in if this continues to spread.

  13. This is really unbelievable that in this day and age, this kind of discrimination is still alive, rampant, and being condoned by law. Raised as a tried and true Catholic myself, gayness and gay marriage often set off a strange and queasy feeling within me when I witness it first hand. This is also because I am straight. Being gay is foreign to me–it is a different perspective–a different way of life. But I am not against it at all, as I know in my mind and in my heart that we are all different, and that if the Creator makes us a certain way, we should express what we are to the fullest. Loving is the hugest and most essential part of who we are, and discrimination against people being who they are and loving who they love seems very wrong to me. Have we still not learned the simple lessons of equality that were so hard won back in the sixties for African-Americans? Being raised with a certain mind-set, or under the ideals of a certain religion can certainly affect our knee-jerk reactions to things we don’t understand, or people who are different than us. But we must reach deeper into the natural moral compass of our hearts–deeper than knee-jerk levels, and get a clue about how Jesus would react to this kind of discrimination. One of the many reasons why church and state should be separate is because some people are just incapable of reaching that deep.

  14. This is really disgusting. I live in the SF Bay Area and sometimes we in this bubble forget how much of the country views LGBTQ people. I think that this bill stems from, like most prejudice, ignorance. If LGBTQ people can be denied service simply because their sexual preferences are disliked, then where will this discrimination end? Where does this bill draw the line? I thought our country was moving toward a more understanding and open-minded attitude, but sadly, it seems Arizona has taken a huge step backward. This bill is supposed to allow small business owners to opt out of doing things according to their own religious beliefs but I think it’s plain and simple discrimination and I hope it doesn’t pass.

  15. Well let me first state that while I am a minister of the gospel and don’t agree with homosexuality, I look and view homosexuality as I would any sin, lying, cheating, adultery, murder and so forth. But I also view people who practice homosexuality, transgender, lesbianism, as Christ does, people to love and provide hope. People often use whatever platform they can gain to push their agenda and that’s unfortunate. But just as Christ has loved me through all my mess, who are we as Christians, not to love other people even in what we consider to be a sin. But I would like to look at this from a different angle, removing the religious piece. This is no different than Jim Crow laws that were used to separate a then “free” society. Government institutions have always strived to separate people through the use of racism, classism, socialism and the list goes on and on. It may start off with this but end up with the poor entry way and the rich entry way, back to the black fountain and the white fountain…it opens a door that should remain closed. But I’ll say this and then I’m done, everybody who voted for this will strive to put this in place until it’s their own daughter or son who needs help at the hospital and they are turned away because of their sexual preference. Did Dick Cheney not already prove this, who was against homosexuality and voice his opinion so strongly until his own daughter announced her sexuality and then his “public” opinion drastically changed. Ignorance doesn’t reveal itself to the person until it hits home.

  16. I have been reading a lot about the Civil Rights movement lately and what I see is history repeating itself. I feel like we as Americans should take a stand for what is right and do what they did back then and prevent laws like this from being passed. We are all free and everyone has the right to choose who they love. To deny someone their rights is to take away what this country was founded on. This just turns my stomach to see that not even 100 years after men and women fought tooth and nail for their freedoms we are right back at it.

  17. Unbelieveable yet annoying too !

  18. So basically, we’re going back into history where white is on one side and the other side are the colors that now we’re doing it to the gay community. How sweet of these people are. And if the U.S. government got a hold of this, then what was the whole point of taking away “Don’t ask, Don’t tell,” in the military? Why is it that the traditionalists must try to go back into the cycle of history when they should already know how the outcome would be? Why can’t they just evolve and find something better to do other than making others miserable just so they can feel like they did something “good” for society? I wondered if these traditionalists realized that people nowadays aren’t like people in the past where speaking out and standing up for one another was a tremendous courage to protest against the set rules that were set.

  19. It is very sad to know there are people like them. I wonder what they are afraid of, or what they want to achieve? Do they need more power? I don’t see any benefit from discriminating other people. Maybe, there is somebody belongs to them but does not believe 100% what they are doing. That person might be afraid to say something against them. They maybe feel secure in the group therefore nobody will attack you. I don’t understand why it is so hard for them to accept people who they are? I feel sorry but they did not have a good education to understand it.

  20. I hate stuff like this! African Americans are still healing from all the wrongs against them and we want to target gays now? Can we leave minorities alone please? What I love about Christianity is that its forgiving, peaceful, and loving. This new law has nothing to do with those values. You can be against homosexuality and not be homophobic, which is something more people need to keep in mind. The smartest thing I’ve heard recently was that the more you put someone down to empower yourself, the more you actually help them and hurt yourself. Meaning that this will only garner more sympathy to the people that the Arizona government wants to inhibit. Its really a shame how some people seem to be regressing in such progressive times. I know God and I are very disappointed in this law that is trying to be passed in the name of “religious liberty”. Don’t they have anything better to do?

  21. Though I have never believed in homosexuality, I do believe that we as Christians were not put on this earth to condemn or ostracize people but to spread the love of God by loving thy neighbor regardless of who they are and what they do. Movements like these just serve to misrepresent Christians as a whole as hateful people and it’s so sad.

  22. Many of my brothers forget that we are sons of GOD and that we are created like himself. I remember when Mary was brought to Jesus to be stone to death because she was caught committing a sin which was adultery and Jesus said that the one without sin should throw the first stone. No one did it because we all have committed sinful acts in our lives which leads me to the fact that we are not judges but rather we are helpers to our brothers and sisters that need our Christian love. If our brother or sister does not want any help, we cannot force them but our duty as Christians would have been fulfilled. GOD is our only judge and Jesus is the light and the only way. We should be merciful so we can receive mercy from our GOD.

  23. I honestly don’t know how these people can call themselves Christians. They read the Bible and pick certain things out and twist them into something completely different. Then they manipulate others into their beliefs. These people are entirely ignorant bigots. The LGBT community is dealing with a similar form of racism as the Blacks did in the past. If we could get rid of the majority of ethnic racism than we should be able to get rid of LGBT racism! They are people just like you and me; therefore they should be treated that way. Their sexual preference should not be anyone else’s concern. This is truly sickening and heartbreaking!

  24. Some of the things written in the Bible were put in there at the time because of safety, like not knowing how to cook pig or crustaceans properly. So it was safer to avoid eating them than getting sick. Other things were written because the society at the time lacked solid laws & organization, so they used the Bible as a way to keep people honorable, which worked at that time period. So those things can seem ridiculous when applied to our current society, where Red Lobsters/Joe’s Crab Shacks are found in many cities & fathers no longer receive farm animals in exchange for their daughter’s hand in marriage. Since homosexuality didn’t produce children, was common amidst Roman/Greek cultures, & in some cases, men were being raped as well back then. So it became a part of the laws of the time (the Bible) to help boost the population & to prevent their societies from becoming like the Roman civilization.

    There have been so many advances in science/society since then, that many things that helped create structure back then, no longer really applies to this current age. Not to say that you can’t still learn from certain teachings in the Bible, because there is still wisdom to be found in its pages. I definitely don’t care to live my life now according to everything the Bible says, because some things do seem silly or unnecessary now. But people will still continue to take some things literally & choose to look over other parts, even if they can still be applicable to modern society, because it suits their hate campaign. I’m for one glad that this law was ultimately not passed, but there are still many hurdles we have to get over before equality can reign over hate/fear.

  25. I am a Christian and I completely support gays. I respect this post but we cannot simply put Christians in this category of hating gays. I know Christian pastors who are gay and my we have gay members in my church. Yes people who do not support gays happen to be Christian and use the bible to “support” their opinion but then again they are reading the bible too literally. Many versus in the bible say that it is not our job to judge but it is Gods judge. Those select Christians are not listing to the bible just as much as they claim gays don’t. I saddens me that people give Christians such a bad name when there is so much good within Christianity.

  1. Pingback: woe to those who make unjust laws | violetwisp

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