I’d like to say a few things about SB1062 which is currently waiting for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to either sign or veto it. I was born and raised in the Phoenix area and, as you may know, the city of Scottsdale has included the Stranger Reduction Zone into their Spring Equinox Canal Convergence event to take place March 20-23 this year.
First and foremost, I want you to know that the Stranger Reduction Zone is artwork that is meant to create a friendly and playful environment where a person can meet some of the folks they are around all the time already. This is not exclusive to any race, religion, sexuality or any other variable. It is meant to be person to person, human to human, period. The factors or religion, race or sexual preference do not determine the goodness or worthiness of an individual. I find it a bit serendipitous that the SRZ had been selected to show in Scottsdale prior to this abomination of legislature as I now find myself rather uniquely situated to make a strong statement against this kind of bigotry with my art.
Conducting business in America creates a special relationship between that business and the government and between that business and the community. Businesses benefit from the lush and vibrant multicultural society that was built by opportunities in America and the strong economy we continue to enjoy. It is entirely unethical for a business to discriminate against any part of this society from which they have benefited and hope to further benefit from.
Furthermore, it is my belief that religion has no place in business unless the primary action of that business is faith-based. America is not a theocracy and was not founded to be one. As business is a relationship with a non-theocracy I find it disgusting that politicians would craft this bill to make it legal for business owners to use a claimed faith to oppress productive members of the society that gave them the environment to be able to open their business in the first place. It is very disheartening to see the need for laws to keep what should be intelligent and rational people from discriminating against our fellow human beings (such as the Voting Rights Act which should never have been struck down). It is ever more depressing to see those elected to act in the best interest of all people craft this legalized bigotry and actually stand behind it.
Lastly, on religion: if your faith has a strong, true and viable message to grip the hearts of the people and “show them the light”, that’s great. If it doesn’t, passing laws based on religious beliefs doesn’t make the message of your faith true. It only shows the flaws and weaknesses of the way of life you claim as the one and only true way. So, please conduct yourself according to your faith if you wish, it’s ok as long as you don’t attempt to force it on everyone else or use it to oppress, discriminate, or in any other way cause someone else a less joyful life.
Timothy C. Flood