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Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association called people who wanted Governor Jan Brewer to veto the bill allowing businesses to discriminate against gays, "jack-booted homofascist thugs."

The whole business, he said, is an illustration of how, in the U.S., “We are going to have to choose between homosexuality and religious freedom, because we can’t have both.”
“If homosexual activists actually believed in tolerance, what they would do is they would respect the convictions of Christian businessmen,” he insisted. “In fact, I think they’re jack-booted homofascist thugs is what ‘Big Gay’ is. I’m not saying all homosexuals are like that, I’m talking about the homosexual lobby.”

“They don’t believe in tolerance,” he reiterated. “They are jack-booted homofascist thugs who want to use the tyrannical and totalitarian power of the state to send men of faith to jail, and that frankly sounds a lot more like Nazi Germany than the United States of America.”

The problem with Fischer's logic is that it is a false choice. The 1st Amendment protects freedom  of expression. The 14th Amendment, however, states that Arizona cannot deny its citizens equal protection under the laws. Therefore, laws that protect against discrimination apply to gays.

When I walk into a business, I expect to be served. Therefore, when a gay person walks into an establishment wanting to order a wedding cake for their upcoming marriage, they have no way of knowing that the business in question is run by a diehard religious fundamentalist who thinks that gays are engaging in a sinful lifestyle. Businesses should be upfront about their convictions -- "Celebrating your wedding to the glory of God," for instance. When a gay person walks into an establishment and they are denied service, that is when conflict starts. But when they see for themselves up front that the owner of the establishment might not be enthused about making them a wedding cake for their gay marriage, they will likely go somewhere else.

But then, there is the flip side. If I am upfront about my Christian beliefs, and someone walks into my establishment wanting a cake for their gay wedding, I have a moral obligation to serve them, not just a legal obligation. Last time I checked, Jesus told us to go the extra mile for anyone who asks. Back in Jesus' times, Roman soldiers had the legal ability to make people carry their luggage for a mile; Jesus was telling his followers to go beyond the call of duty and go two miles with them. "Give to him who asks," he said. These were pagan soldiers who killed and butchered people for a living. If we were told to go the extra mile for them, surely we have a moral obligation to go the extra mile for gay people. To put it another way, I may not agree with your lifestyle, but I will defend your right to live it.

The solution, therefore, lies in the ability of each person to respect the fact that other people might not think the way they do. The problem with the Arizona bill legalizing discrimination is that it uses the same logic that the segregationists used to justify Jim Crow.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    "The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression." - W.E.B. Du Bois Be informed. Fight the Police State.

    by Eternal Hope on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:55:45 AM PST

  •  I guess "Jackbooted Thugs" is the buzzword de jure (12+ / 0-)

    Now Fischer, yesterday Nugent, who'll be next to use the Nazi reference?

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 09:02:13 AM PST

    •  I'll wear... (0+ / 0-)

      ....of pride knowing who it came from; it's a compliment that we are winnning the battles.  When it comes down to name-calling with respect to the gay communities, the losers have been doing it for a long time and it's never really worked out for these people.  In 1973 the mentally ill label was stripped from homosexuality (unless it was ego-dystonic) and the loss of that label was huge.  Slowly, and with some setbacks, we've been winning ever since.

      The Anti-LGBT Folks       10
      Homofacist Thugs          56
      (end of 3rd Quarter)

      Failure to Publicize Acts of Hatred Only Allows Them to Fester and Metastasize.

      by BoxerDave on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 11:56:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Always useful (6+ / 0-)

    to have a reminder of why these assholes are designated a hate group by the SPLC.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 09:07:03 AM PST

  •  Don't TV networks (0+ / 0-)

    and other media decline to accept advertising from some sources?

    If the KKK walks into NBC with a big check, is the network required to run the commercial for the Klan?

  •  This is totally true (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfbob
    “They are jack-booted homofascist thugs who want to use the tyrannical and totalitarian power of the state to send men of faith to jail, and that frankly sounds a lot more like Nazi Germany than the United States of America.”
    in the void between his ears .

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 09:19:16 AM PST

  •  I wonder if he gets a little tingling feeling (9+ / 0-)

    when he thinks of gay "Jackbooted Thugs" ?

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 09:22:33 AM PST

  •  What's this I keep hearing about (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, lgmcp, Darmok, sfbob, anon004

    back-juted rugs?

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 09:23:52 AM PST

  •  My browser tab understands Bryan Fischer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfbob

    It displays the article name as "American Family Ass"...

  •  Bryan Fischer and his ilk (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tampaedski, librarisingnsf, sfbob, anon004

    can shove their religious freedom wedding cakes up their collective asses. I know, I know; it's not very jackbooted of me but I've grown weary of these pseudo-religious gay-sex obsessed shitheads. Can't they at least keep it interesting by coming up with new material every now and then?

    btw, Mr. Fischer, in your usual bigoted and hateful zeal you got it completely backwards; Nazi Germany would have been a completely different place had it been against the law to discriminate against anyone based on religion. Think about if for a minute you self-righteous pea-brained twit because in your "religious liberty" Godwin scenario YOU are the Nazi. Championing laws allowing open hostility and discrimination toward others isn't christian despite your desperate bleating to the contrary.

    So with all due respect, go fuck yourself.

  •  why don't gay people tolerate (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, Darmok, librarisingnsf, sfbob, anon004

    ...mindless discrimination and oppression against them? how intolerant!

    of course gay people being treated equally under the law and enjoying the same rights and freedoms as everybody else in no way keeps anybody from practicing their religion.

    denying gay people service at your business is not practicing your religion! it's just discrimination.

    "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

    by humanistique on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 09:39:13 AM PST

    •  Particularly when your religion (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden, sfbob, anon004

      goes on at some length about forgoing judgement and offering kindness towards all.    

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:12:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  When I see a boat flying a red flag (0+ / 0-)

      with a diagonal white stripe ... I assume the flag means "diver below".  (Though it sometimes means "drunk and wiseass teenagers aboard" -- the practical meaning "keep well clear" --  is about the same.

      Similarly, when I see a confederate battle flag displayed on a vehicle or a place of public accommodation ... I assume it means "Dangerous Whitefolks Hereabouts."  

      So, if you are gay,  it probably makes sense NOT to trust a photographer with religious icons where the children-and-pets photos ought to be,  with "making you look good" on your "special day."

  •  Is Bryan Fischer actually Ted Nugent in disguise? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope, jayden, a2nite

    Would explain why the same phrase was used by both.  

    Of course, they're equally offensive and unimportant.  So they could very well be the same person.  

    ;)

  •  Fischer's Job is to be outrageous (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    librarisingnsf, Eternal Hope, jayden

    and he's especially good at it.  Not as good as Glen Beck, but I guess each generation only gets one Lonseome Rhodes.  

    I wonder at times if he believes the crazy-ass shit he spews, and I can't tell.  I don't suppose it's important.  

    Good job analyzing this and nice use of Christian imagery.  I'm a Methodist myself and share your interpretations.  I guess those who like to turn everything into a "smart atheists versus dumb Christians" argument either haven't noticed this diary or are out sick today.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Kangaroo on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 09:55:47 AM PST

  •  "Jackbooted homofascist thugs" (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope, jayden, trumpeter, sfbob, anon004

    makes it sounds like thousands of Christian businesses have had their shop windows smashed and their lives threatened.  

    As opposed to people wanting ... you know ... to be served as customers.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:08:21 AM PST

  •  Well... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, sfbob

    ...I'm sure Bryan Fischer knows a thing or two about jackbooted thugs.  He has, um, some career experience of his own in this department.

  •  My parent, bless 'em, marched to desegregate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, trumpeter, sfbob

    lunch counters and movie theaters in Austin, Texas around 1961 or thereabouts.  

    White and black protesters would line up in pairs outside the cinema, and try to buy tickets to sit together.  When the cashier refused, they'd go to the back of the long line to start again.  Naturally regular paying customers tended to avoid the waiting and commotion, so business suffered.  

    Time for a reprise in Arizona, if this law goes through.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:23:35 AM PST

  •  Has he been hanging around South of Market again?/ (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, trumpeter, sfbob

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:28:21 AM PST

  •  I think I'm going to start a business selling (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, anon004, jayden

    pink and lavender jackboots.  Apparently there must be a huge pent-up demand!

  •  To the AFA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden

    "see this is what happens when you disregard the Ten Commandments and tell lies. Liars, as you prove so well, have to resort to hate, fear mongering and cliches, to further their cause. I will let Jesus himself tell you of your fate, in Matthew 25: 31- 46. Take heed and change your ways while you still can."

    This is the only response to the oh so holy idiots - pillory them with the words of Jesus.

    "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

    by azureblue on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 11:31:11 AM PST

  •  "My God Hates Fags" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anon004
    Businesses should be upfront about their convictions -- "Celebrating your wedding to the glory of God," for instance. When a gay person walks into an establishment and they are denied service, that is when conflict starts. But when they see for themselves up front that the owner of the establishment might not be enthused about making them a wedding cake for their gay marriage, they will likely go somewhere else.
    Why be so oblique?  There are lots of very religious people who "Celebrate the wedding of gay couples to the glory of God".  Being a devoutly religious and faithful person is NOT the same as being a bigot.  My husband and I were married by my good friend, a Congregational minister. The bigoted religious Christians (Jesus was not a bigot, doesn't even mention gays) do not have sole ownership over Christianity.

    If they want to discriminate, let them put that sign

    "My God and Me Hates Fags"
    in their windows, so everyone will know how they live their faith.  

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 12:17:23 PM PST

  •  Fischer is a pedophile child rapist (0+ / 0-)

    Since all religious defects rape kids and he is defective and religious he therefore must rape kids.

    the religious constantly proving why they should be sterilized and put in fema camps.

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