It’s quite the irony: Arizona was one of the states that had introduced legislation banning Sharia law, which is the moral code and religious law of a prophetic religion; this usually understood to refer to Islam in our country.
Yet with the passage of Arizona Senate Bill 1062, passed by both houses of the AZ legislature, the legislature may have inadvertently opened the door for Sharia law in the state.
But conservative Arizonans should also remember that as there is no state-sanctioned religion in the United States, SB 1062 provides a foothold into Arizona of both Sharia law, and, yes, even Satanism. Believe it or not, “the Devil made me do it”… will become the law of the land in the Grand Canyon state.
Take a look at the bill. The items crossed out
like so was in the original law. Items IN CAPS are the new regulations.
Sec. 2. Section 41-1493.01, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:
41-1493.01. Free exercise of religion protected; definition
A. Free exercise of religion is a fundamental right that applies in this state even if laws, rules or other government actions are facially neutral.
B. Except as provided in subsection C, government OF THIS SECTION, STATE ACTION shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.
C. Government STATE ACTION may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it THE GOVERNMENT OR NONGOVERNMENTAL PERSON SEEKING THE ENFORCEMENT OF STATE ACTION demonstrates that application of the burden to the person PERSON’S EXERCISE OF RELIGION IN THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE is both:
1. In furtherance of a compelling governmental interest.
2. The least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
D. A person whose religious exercise is burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding, and obtain appropriate relief against a government REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE GOVERNMENT IS A PARTY TO THE PROCEEDING.
E. A PERSON THAT ASSERTS A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION MUST ESTABLISH ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:
1. THAT THE PERSON’S ACTION OR REFUSAL TO ACT IS MOTIVATED BY A RELIGIOUS BELIEF.
2. THAT THE PERSON’S RELIGIOUS BELIEF IS SINCERELY HELD.
3. THAT THE STATE ACTION SUBSTANTIALLY BURDENS THE EXERCISE OF THE PERSON’S RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.
F. THE PERSON ASSERTING A CLAIM OR DEFENSE UNDER SUBSECTION D OF THIS SECTION MAY OBTAIN INJUNCTIVE AND DECLARATORY RELIEF. A party who prevails in any action to enforce this article against a government shall recover attorney fees and costs.
E. G. In FOR THE PURPOSES OF this section, the term substantially burden is intended solely to ensure that this article is not triggered by trivial, technical or de minimis infractions.
H. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, “STATE ACTION” MEANS ANY ACTION, EXCEPT FOR THE REQUIREMENTS PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 41-1493.04, BY THE GOVERNMENT OR THE IMPLEMENTATION OR APPLICATION OF ANY LAW, INCLUDING STATE AND LOCAL LAWS, ORDINANCES, RULES, REGULATIONS AND POLICIES, WHETHER STATUTORY OR OTHERWISE, AND WHETHER THE IMPLEMENTATION OR APPLICATION IS MADE BY THE GOVERNMENT OR NONGOVERNMENTAL PERSONS.
Thus religion – ANY religion – can be reason for taking a wide range of discriminatory actions against another. The law was supposedly “helping” people who did not want to serve gays. But might not a mixed-race couple be denied service because “MY religion” frowns on such things? That pregnant young woman does not appear to have a ring on her finger; throw her out! Talk about your slippery slope. The burden of proof is on the government to declare a compelling state need. This is not merely discriminatory, it is bad law.
The Oklahoma law considered back in 2010 was just as awful, but they had the good sense not to pass it. I would support a boycott of any state passing, and signing into law, such a draconian measure, because only the loss of resources will have any effect on changing the tide.