Democracy Notes

By Alex Reyes/The Guardsman

The United States’ Founding Fathers understood that a free people should be allowed to practice any and all religions or no religion at all.

But they also knew from the murderous role religion has played throughout human

history that church and state should be separate.

The Republican Party-dominated Arizona Legislature’s passage of a bill Feb. 20

allowing business owners to deny service to gay and lesbian customers on religious grounds provides living proof of how far too many Americans continue to stray from their nation’s democratic ideals.

Bowing to business and even party pressure, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, vetoed Senate Bill 1062 six days later.

The Arizona Legislature’s “Right to Discriminate” bill is the latest exhibit to appear inthe still active case of democratic human rights versus the anti-democratic and inhumane in America.

Businesses and business interests ranging from American and Delta Airlines, Apple, Intel and Marriott Hotels voiced their opposition to the “Right to Discriminate” bill.

The NFL, which has scheduled next year’s Super Bowl to take place in Phoenix, had left open the possibility of moving the game to another, more tolerant location.

But American business was not alone in lending advice to Gov. Brewer.

Republican Party stalwarts Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Arizona’s U.S. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake leaned on Brewer to veto the bill.

Even three Republican state senators who voted for the bill turned tail and spoke out against it after learning that it would have actually allowed business people to discriminate.

Is there a literacy test for Arizona legislators?

Conservative America and its Republican Party’s war on non-heterosexuals is longstanding and has often served to their advantage.

Those within the Republican Party and its religious right who are still rooting for this strain of tried-and-true, divide-and-conquer strategy must be confused about the country in which they’re now living in.

Since becoming unhinged by Barack Obama’s presidential victory in 2008, the

Republican Party has become a clear and present danger to democracy in America.

According to a PBS Frontline segment, on the night of Obama’s first presidential inauguration in January 2009, top Republican Party poobahs met at a Washington, D.C. steakhouse.

The group agreed that the Republican Party should fight everything the new democratically-elected president would propose.

The party implemented the strategy and have only “double-downed” on their attempt to congressionally nullify the Obama presidency since he won re-election in November 2012.

But the Republican war on the democratic aspirations of the American people has not stopped there.

In 2013 alone, Republican Party lawmakers proposed 82 voter-restriction laws in 31states.

The party’s national campaign to deny as many traditionally-Democratic voters of their fundamental democratic right is not just political or partisan in nature.  It is anti-democratic on its face.

Ditto the “Grand Old Party’s” ongoing attempt to allow Americans to discriminate under cover of their mean-spirited “faith.”

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