Last week, Cathi Herrod sent out her 5 Minutes for Families propaganda. She was reminding people to register to vote for the city elections and hawking her voter’s guide. The subject of her last issue of the summer was Conscience vs. Career. She states “For Christians, faith penetrates all aspects of life.” Her point is that she considers it a tragedy that Christians must “check their sincerely held religious beliefs at the door of their office or school.” The irony is that she follows that statement up with an appeal to the First Amendment that prohibits religious discrimination. The email contained a link to a video that tells the story of how a trained pharmacist chose to quit his job rather than fill the legally drawn prescriptions for the “Plan B” morning after pill. His conscience wouldn’t allow him to continue with his profession because it went counter to his deeply held religious beliefs.
EXCUSE ME? Your sincerely held religious beliefs should allow you to make life decisions for others? I don’t’ think so!
Let’s back the truck up here and take a look at this so called “Center for Arizona Policy.”
There are times when I read or see something coming from our very own Center for Arizona Policy that makes me say, “Say what?” The latest video from Cathi Herod brags about being a key player in trying to get a law passed through our legislature that allows a licensed pharmacist to deny filling a legal prescription for birth control. It is full of raw emotion and bad information.
There is a concept that one hears often and attributed to many people. It involves freedom. It says, “Your Liberty to Swing Your Fist Ends Just Where My Nose Begins.” How many of these religious quagmires are related to that concept? Freedom of religion DOES include freedom from religion. You’re free to follow your conscience until it impacts another person.
I suppose that there could be an argument to be made for an owner of a pharmacy to choose to not stock certain medicines but if the pharmacy stocks a medicine, the counter monkey doesn’t have the right to withhold that medicine from a customer with a valid prescription. Could an Atheist fertility doctor withhold treatment to a religious couple because he couldn’t in good conscience allow another child to be born into a religious household? Think about it! We all have a right to our own beliefs. However, our beliefs should not allow us to change the lives of those that don’t share our beliefs.
Believe it or not, we are moving away from some of the religious trappings in our society. We no longer have as many “blue laws.” The blue laws were laws that enforced religious standards on to everyone. Mostly, they affected commerce on Sundays. In particular, they prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages in most cases. Here in Arizona, we lost our last blue law on the first Sunday in August, 2010. But not everything is roses.
The same lady bragging about allowing licensed pharmacists to not fill valid prescriptions is also responsible for killing a bill to prevent school bullying. The Center for Arizona Policy is so “dedicated to influencing our culture through the proclamation of biblical truth” that they couldn’t allow a bill to pass the Arizona legislature that may protect gay kids even though the bill was directed at preventing bullying for everyone. There was no specific mention of gay or sexual orientation in the bill.
Let’s keep tabs on what’s happening here in Arizona. Support the Secular Coalition for Arizona and please review the 2013 Scorecard.