If the Left knew Christians were coming they'd've baked a cake

The religious freedom legislation that gelatin-spined Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed wasn't controversial until the Left started lying about it.

The state-level civil rights bill that Brewer mothballed Feb. 26 was killed by a media-led propaganda campaign that falsely characterized it as "anti-gay."  To no one's surprise, both of the GOP's last two RINO losers, Mitt Romney and John McCain, urged a veto.

As Ed Whelan blogs at National Review,

There has been a blizzard of hysterical misinformation about Arizona’s SB 1062.  As anyone who takes the trouble to consult the text of the legislation will readily discover, SB 1062 does not mention, much less single out, gays or same-sex ceremonies.

As Douglas Laycock (who supports redefining marriage to include same-sex couples) and other leading religious-liberty scholars explain in a letter to Arizona governor Jan Brewer, SB 1062 “has been egregiously misrepresented by many of its critics.”

SB 1062 would not have given Arizona residents the right to discriminate.  Although freedom of association has been under attack by the Left for decades, Arizona law already acknowledged that residents retain the right to discriminate in at least a few aspects of their private lives. 

The veto "marks a sad day for Arizonans who cherish and understand religious liberty," said Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy.

SB 1062 passed the legislature for one reason only:  to guarantee that all Arizonans would be free to live and work according to their faith.  Opponents were desperate to distort this bill rather than debate the merits. Essentially, they succeeded in getting a veto of a bill that does not even exist.  When the force of government compels one to speak or act contrary to their conscience, the government injures not only the dignity of the afflicted, but the dignity of our society as a whole.

Brewer's decision to nix the measure in the current political and cultural climate emboldens radicals to treat opposition to same-sex marriage as a thought crime.

The legislation that Brewer fashioned into an origami rainbow was aimed at discouraging activist thuggery.  It is necessary because progressive activists have become increasingly aggressive and even sadistic during the Obama administration.  They taunt and abuse people by trying to force them to do things that violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.  They want to roll back the religious freedoms protected by the Constitution.

The vetoed bill would have given some much-needed protection against lawsuits to those who refuse on religious grounds to provide services.  In other words, it would have made it more difficult for activists to successfully sue service providers for refusing to make cakes for gay weddings or to do photographic spreads of such ceremonies. 

After all, what good is a right to refuse service if you can be still be sued for refusing service?

As champagne corks pop across the fruited plain, the Left views the defeat of this legislation as an opportunity to make examples of and publicly humiliate those who fail to genuflect before their policy agenda.  It is no longer enough for left-wingers to be winning the nationwide battle over same-sex marriage (and at lightning speed). 

Now they want to compel their opponents to approve of same-sex marriage.  They want same-sex marriage opponents to be forced to participate in the celebration of same-sex marriage.  It is a new, creepy, ritualized form of torture in our litigious society.  We can only wonder how far off into the future coerced, politically correct public self-denunciations, may be.

Left-wing activists call this kind of in-your-face harassment “accountability,” an Orwellian euphemism to be sure.  Accountability actions focus on harassing and intimidating political enemies, disrupting them, and forcing them to waste resources dealing with activists’ provocations.  It is a tactic of radical community organizers, open borders fanatics, and union goons.  They want to shut down and silence those who disagree with them. 

Brewer's cowardly veto only encourages these people.  The Republican governor rang a dinner bell summoning rapacious trial lawyers and radical activists to feast on religious people, conservatives, and anyone else opposed to their America-transforming agenda. 

While Arizona lawmakers were still debating the religious freedom bill, media figures and other left-wing activists were busy lying to the public about its contents.

The fabulists of the media went out of their way to paint SB 1062 as an assault on gays so they could have the debate they wanted to have, as opposed to a debate on the merits of the actual bill.

For example, Matt Wilstein of Mediate straight out misrepresented the legislation, falsely describing it as a bill that would allow businesses "to deny service to gay and lesbian customers based on religious belief."

Many so-called libertarians are siding with the liberal fascists opposed to SB 1062.

In what might be one of the strangest, most incoherent columns to emerge from the world of libertarianism since Murray Rothbard walked the earth, Reason magazine's J.D. Tuccille got the issue completely wrong.

In a bizarre rant titled, "Arizona's SB 1062 is a Homophobic Stunt, Not a Blow Against Big Government," that has to be read to be believed, Tuccille claims that "gay bashing" is "at the heart" of the bill and calls Arizona lawmakers "homophobic pricks."

It's not clear that Tuccille even read the bill.  (You can read it here at the Arizona State Legislature's website.)  Perhaps he got suckered by the Left's propaganda.  It happens.

But the arguments that these detractors, who ought to be directing their fire at current Arizona law instead of SB 1062, don't seem to grasp is that this is still America.  You ought to be able to discriminate against anybody for any reason and without having to explain yourself.

You shouldn't have the right to force a homosexual-owned print shop to make "God hates fags" signs for the Westboro Baptist Church to hoist at the funerals of dead American soldiers. 

You shouldn't have the right to compel a Muslim-owned copy shop to print images of Mohammed.

You shouldn't have the right to make a delicatessen owned by Kosher-observant Jews serve you a bacon cheeseburger.

You shouldn't have the right to commandeer the ovens of religious bakers opposed to same-sex marriage and force them to make a cake for a gay wedding.  Similarly, you shouldn't have the right to coerce a traditional marriage-supporting photographer to take pictures at a gay wedding ceremony.

Just go somewhere else for your cake and photos.

Matthew Vadum (website) is an investigative journalist in Washington, D.C., and author of the ACORN/Obama expose, Subversion Inc.  Follow him on Twitter.