Burroway explores the extremes of that argument. A Muslim landlord could refuse to rent to a single woman. A Muslim homeowner could refuse to pay interest on his mortgage. A divorced Muslim could refuse to pay alimony. That means this bill would legalize Sharia law in Arizona. Commenter Jim adds:
What Arizona has done is (1) legalized pot, for Rastafarians and anyone who wants to claim to be one; (2) legalized polygamy, for Muslims, fundamentalist Mormons and traditional African religions; (3) legalized animal sacrifice, for practitioners of Santaria, Voodoo, Satanism, etc.; (4) given everyone days off work for religious holidays (employers cannot force employees to work Sundays if they claim to be Christians).Commenter Ben in Oakland wrote that he would like to see businesses display signs:
We are members of the (__________) faith. We reserve the right to refuse to provide goods or services to anyone because of their sexual orientation or religious beliefs, whether real or perceived.Gay people and their allies would then know to avoid that business. Alas, it has been tried already -- in the Jim Crow laws.
Rob Tisinai, also of Box Turtle Bulletin, gives his take what this bill might imply. He summarizes it all to a few simple points:
• The bill expands the definition of “person” to include, well, anything.Emphasis in the original. All that means this bill would come close to trashing the rest of Arizona's system of laws. Arizona could become a lawless place (as in worse than now).
• The bill expands the notion of religion to include things that are not compulsory, central, or possibly even part of your religion — in other words, just about anything.
• The exceedingly subjective interpretation of “substantial burden” can include things that do not seem reasonable, sound, or consistent in a court of law; the tautological definition of “substantial burden” can include just about anything, given the wording of this bill.
• The mandated standard of strict scrutiny can strike down, well, not anything, but a huge and not entirely predictable chunk of the state’s laws.
I've been referring this mess as a bill. That's because the governor hasn't signed it yet. There is, of course, an effort to convince her not to from the business community and from both Arizona senators. And then there is the case of three state senators with voter's remorse urging the gov. to veto a bill they voted for. If those three had voted against it would have been a 30-30 tie.