Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips and his staunch support of Arizona's vetoed pro-discrimination bill
Only a national outcry prompted Governor Jan Brewer to veto Bill SB1062. Had this not gained the attention it did, discriminatory law would now exist in Arizona. What’s most disturbing about this bill was how far along it got. Suppression of the rights of Americans, disguised as “religious freedom,” was almost a reality in the United States.
In a letter reacting to the veto of this bill, Tea Party personality Judson Phillips railed against Governor Brewer, demonstrating his incredible ignorance in doing so: “Why is this bill so important and what did it mean for not only Arizona but America? The issue can be boiled down to one word: Freedom.”
Phillips goes on to rant about the “homosexual agenda” and it’s “assault on freedom.” But here’s the best part: “Liberalism is the paranoid belief that leftists have that somewhere, someone may be thinking for themselves. It is the tyrannical belief that no deviation in belief is allowed from the decreed orthodoxy.”
Classic projection. Phillips, in decrying the opposition to SB1062 actually lists the reasons why the bill was killed. The “tyrannical belief that no deviation of belief is allowed?”
Judson Phillips, by the way, is the same guy who hates Muslims, and urged the defeat of the only Muslim member of Congress just because of his religion. What he really stands for is freedom for his own religion and nobody else’s, that’s what he is essentially complaining about. He was denied the “freedom” to discriminate against homosexuals. So, for Mr. Phillips, and those who think like him, let’s go over what Religious Freedom actually means.
Freedom of Religion means you are free to practice your own beliefs. It does not mean you have the right to suppress another’s freedoms because of your religious beliefs. Saying homosexuality is wrong according to your scriptural law only applies to you. You may not impose those beliefs on others of different religions. You may state your views all you like, but be prepared for disagreement, and the consequences of what you say.
Similarly, suppressing any portion of the population because of gender, race, or sexual orientation are mass violations of civil rights. That is not Freedom of Religion. That is religious oppression. This is why there is, and always should be, separation of church and state. Suggesting otherwise goes against the wishes of the Founding Fathers, not to mention the First Amendment. Therefore, Bill SB1062 was un-american.
Coincidentally, people looking to force their beliefs as Mr. Phillips is, on everyone are anti-Islam. Many of them toss about wild theories that President Obama himself is Muslim and wants to implement Sharia Law. That they themselves push for restrictive tenets similar to Sharia Law; discrimination against homosexuals; restriction of women’s reproductive rights; adherence to Scriptural Law; is horrifyingly hypocritical yet sadly funny all at the same time.
One step further is to point out that people supporting the discriminatory SB1062 bill say that they are Christian. They are trying to use their faith to justify their hate and ignorance. This is completely wrong, and goes against everything a true Christian would stand for. Love thy neighbor. Turn the other cheek. Help the poor. Heal the sick. Pray in private.
Why would anyone listen to those who would push agendas both un-American and un-Christian? Well, that’s where conservative media comes in. Fox News spends a lot of time blaming the nation’s problems on the “Other.” Immigrants, LGBT Americans, ethnic minorities, and non-Christians are all viewed with suspicion and paranoia. Hence their yearly reports on the non-existent “war” on Christmas.
Tell the viewers that the “Other” is coming to take their way of life; that Christians are the chosen people of God and America; and most importantly, that everyone else lies to them. This is how ignorance is nurtured and grown. This is classic population control. More simply put, and as this site has mentioned before, it is impossible to argue with a fundamentalist.
Racism, sexism, zealotry, these are all tools of ignorance. They are used like weapons to insult, to oppress, to bully, to intimidate, and most importantly to gain power. Ultimately, these are all methods to assuage an inferiority complex. Those who employ these tactics use them to enable their belief that they are better than other people. They need to, because deep down inside they know they’re no better than anyone else. They can’t face that fact, their egos will not let them.
When someone calls you a slur, whether it is racial, gender-specific, against your orientation, or just a name made of four letter words, they are trying to belittle you. They are trying to say that they are better than you. But they aren’t really saying this to convince you. They are saying this to convince themselves.
The ignorant will not be changed. Not by you. Not by me. But they cannot be allowed to rule the day. Ignorance brings with it intolerance and hatred. All three of these lead to pain, suffering, disaster, and war.
Resisting the ignorant is a loud and unruly mess. Insults will rain down upon you. The trait is a lack of, or rejection of, facts and reality. So reason is first out the window. But you must not be intimidated, the ignorant do not outnumber the rest of us. Instead, they use the volume of their opinions to make up for the lack of volume in their numbers.
Bullies do not go away. You cannot make the ignorant learn. There is only one way to resist them, and that is at the polls. The best way to beat the ignorant is with your vote. Make it count.
“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” – Isaac Asimov.