"Remember the Arizona" was the rallying cry of American forces in the Pacific during World War II. The fall of the U.S.S. Arizona, along with other ships and sailors at Pearl Harbor, became emblematic of the freedom for which Americans were fighting.
Recent events have ensured that "Remember Arizona" will now become a rallying cry for religious freedom. Last week, amid a massive national misinformation campaign by the Left, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB1062 -- a bill that ensured the government couldn't force individual business owners to violate their religious beliefs. This bill improved the state's already existing Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which is like the Federal law, that prevents individuals and family owned businesses from being forced to trade their religious freedom for entrance into the public sphere. In other words, whether it's a wedding vendor, whose orthodox Christian faith will not allow her to affirm same-sex "marriage," or a business like Hobby Lobby or Conestoga Wood, whose faith bars them from providing drugs that have the potential to end a pregnancy, the provisions of RFRA would prevent discrimination against people of faith whether by the government or private parties using government laws and regulations.
That's all the bill did -- ensure protection of the First Amendment rights of individuals. Fearing that religious freedom would slow the steady march of enforcing their comprehensive agenda, the Left began using their media allies to distort the truth and paint the bill as anything else but what it was. The media not only grossly distorted the bill but virtually ignored the plight of business owners like Aaron and Melissa Klein, Elaine Huguenin, Jack Phillips and many others who have had their livelihoods threatened or taken away because they refused to surrender their religious beliefs in the market place.
Now that the bill has been defeated, Americans across the nation are waking up to the fact that the defeat of the Arizona bill has implications that reach much wider than Arizona. Commenting on the issue this week, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told NBC, "...imagine now if you're a Southern Baptist or a Catholic or even evangelical photographer, who does not believe, because of your faith, in gay marriage. And because of that, you don't want to provide photographic services to a gay marriage. Should you be sanctioned by the state for refusing to do so?"
To answer Senator Rubio's question: No! This not-so-veiled assault on religious liberty must not be allowed to give the Left momentum in suppressing our freedom as individuals to practice what we believe free of government interference. This bill, similar to those in 18 states and similar to the Federal RFRA which is the basis of Hobby Lobby's suit against ObamaCare's HHS mandate and which was supported by Senator Ted Kennedy should not be undermined by misinformation.
Therefore, I'm asking you to do what Gov. Brewer wouldn't: join me in signing SB1062. Together, we'll send a message that our faith cannot and will not be quarantined behind the walls of our churches.