With respect to the threat of boycott and intimidation tactics resulting from the passing of the Religious Accommodation Law, Mississippi should look to Arizona as a model in resisting the politically correct intimidation and bullying, much coming from LGBTQSM ideology, celebrities, and out-of-town CEOs.
Of any state whose residents can lay claim to being fiercely independent Arizona would have to be at the top of the list. North Carolina may be vying for a close second. Political intimidation, while perhaps new to NC, is not new to Arizona. In the late 1980s then governor Evan Mecham refused to recognize the new MLK holiday because the previous governor Bruce Babbitt, instituted it illegally as it had only passed the Senate but not the House. A hailstorm of criticism ensued with Stevie Wonder, the Doobie Brothers, and the U2 band cancelling concerts.
In November 1990 Arizonans would vote on the matter. But in March 1990 the NFL awarded the Super Bowl to Arizona and quickly warned/threatened Arizonans in the approaching vote on the MLK holiday that the Super Bowl would be moved if the holiday was rejected, suggesting which way the wind was blowing, forecasting the state would lose $200 million. Arizonans don’t much like the wind blowing anyway and were unimpressed and defeated the bill.
The MLK holiday issue, which should have been an issue honoring a great American became instead an issue of subsidiarity, a state’s right to decide what’s best for its own people, not unlike what is happening now in our fine state with respect to the Religious Accommodations Law, a law that 65% of Mississippians approve.
Well it didn’t take long before business came calling again in Arizona, better than ever.
In 2010 Arizona once again became the center of controversy over an immigration bill. Attempts were made to ostracize Arizona as racist. Money was lost and their tourism industry suffered. Again, the great wonderful celebrities cancelled concerts and even MLB threatened to move the All-Star Game. But, as before, the rallying cry soon faded and the boycott fizzled quickly, fading into another beautiful Arizona sunset. And again Arizona’s economy roared back.
Again, in 2014, Arizona became the center of controversy when the legislature passed a bill to protect the rights of those now being threatened by an unrestricted and mobilized homosexual ideology that respects no boundaries whatsoever; an ideology whose aim it is to compel others to participate in their same-sex weddings. The Arizona bill was decried as anti-gay (of course, we know if you’re not pro-gay you’re de facto anti-gay), was ridiculed, the butt of jokes, called names and threatened with catastrophe. Again the NFL piped in that the 2015 Super Bowl was on the line. Unfortunately, Governor Jan Brewer did not sign the bill claiming it was unnecessary; the events in North Carolina have proved the shortsightedness of that position.
Like the Arizona bill that protected rights of those who these days don’t seem to have any rights – Christians -- Mississippi’s new law does the same thing, being necessary given the all-out offensive against common sense and natural law.
Arizona has been the target of celebrity boycotts, intimidation tactics, and has witnessed unscrupulous business interests holding job opportunities like a ransom demand. They’ve been ridiculed, lampooned, and punished for their adherence to moral sanity; they’ve had Super Bowls taken away, concerts cancelled, and big conventions moved elsewhere. YET Arizona’s economy has boomed, their population has grown exponentially, and Phoenix, now the sixth largest city, has become the most populous capital city in the nation.
When counseling people, trying to help them through issues of indecision and confusion, perhaps laced with poor self-esteem, driven by their desire to “get along”, I will ask them whether they want to live their dreams, or someone else’s dreams. Do they wish to make decisions based on their life goals and their values, or the immediate and usually shortsighted aims of others, often to the point of being used by the others.
We are at that same point with the passing of this new law, a law which does not allow carte blanche discrimination as many say, but a law which is narrowly focused and specifically targets the protecting of persons who do not wish to be compelled to associate with or participate in a same-sex wedding, or the placement of foster children with same-sex “married” couples. It protects a Christian-based school from being compelled to hire or retain homosexuals who live a sexual lifestyle that is inconsistent with the teachings of a Christ-based faith.
Let’s take a lesson from the Grand Canyon State. Let’s keep our heads held high and stay the course. There are many who are with us in prayer and spirit. There are many others in other states who likewise want, like us, to avoid this tyranny. Let Arizona be a guide in this matter. We’re not alone. Let’s keep the faith – and the powder dry.
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