Here is the “digest” of Senate Bill 568;
“Religious freedom restoration act. Provides that a state or local government action may not substantially burden a person’s right to the exercise of religion unless it is demonstrated that applying the burden to the person’s exercise of religion is: (1) essential to further a compelling governmental interest; and (2) the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest. Provides that a person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a state or local government action may assert the burden as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding, regardless of Religious freedom restoration act. Provides that a state or local government action may not substantially burden a person’s right to the exercise of religion unless it is demonstrated that applying the burden to the person’s exercise of religion is: (1) essential to further a compelling governmental interest; and (2) the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest. Provides that a person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a state or local government action may assert the burden as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding, regardless of whether the state or a political subdivision of the state is a party to the judicial proceeding. Allows a person who asserts a burden as a claim or defense to obtain appropriate relief, including: (1) injunctive relief; (2) declaratory relief; (3) compensatory damages; and (4) recovery of court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.“
The “digest” is basically a summary, and after reading the law language itself, there are very little difference between the two besides this is written in English and not “leagaleze”. It is much easier to understand. You can find various places online for the full text of the law that has been adopted and changed in several states.
After reading this you will see that this is a law that supposedly allows the exercise of “religion”, just like the Constitution does, and makes it more difficult for the government to restrict said freedom and exercise. Notice there is no “discrimination” language in here pointing at anyone. Why is this? Because the Constitution already allows and guarantees the free exercise of religion. But when it comes down to it this is really not about religion at all is it?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
– Text of Constitution (Bill of Rights)
When we look at the actions of the individuals calling “foul” here we see that this has nothing to do with religion, this has to do with people’s opinions and point of view being squashed, not by those who would refuse service, but those to whom the service was refused. In other words not the store owner, the customer.
One of my friends went into a sandwich shop and asked for a ham and cheese calzone. The man behind the counter sat there for a moment just staring at him with a funny look on his face. Then the man said; “Do you realize where you are?”. My friend was in a Jewish sandwich shop. They don’t even have ham in the store! Now, would it be right for my friend to boycott, harass, demand ham from, and/or picket the establishment until they got ham in the store to cater to him or shut the place down? No, of course not. I know, I know, “but that’s different”. Right?
Nope, no different. Just because someone doesn’t have a sign in front of their store that states; “Warning, establishment owned by Christian or religious people!!” doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to refuse service for something that would be against their principles or religion. There used to be signs all over the place that said “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”. This was more than just a principle, this was also for protection. If a customer, or even potential customer came in and was disgruntled or rude, the worker, manager or owner could ask the person to leave, thus not serving them. This also allowed for any product, a cake for example, that would go against the principles, religion, or even image of the company. What is wrong with this? NOTHING!
Here in Colorado a man who wanted a cake done with a verse in the Bible that is against homosexuality was denied service at a bakery that was pro-homosexual. This was taken to court and the store owner was granted the right to refuse to this person. The court stated that it was “hateful”. I disagree. This is called religious apartheid. If the store didn’t want to make the cake because they did not agree with the message, or they did not want to be associated with the message, I have no problem with this, regardless of the message. Where I have and issue is the Bible being called “hate speech” or “hateful” in a court of law that is supposed to be upholding the rights of the citizen.
Yet, on the other end of things we have a bakery who refused service to homosexuals and the opposite happens. The court goes against the bakery this time. Why? Because like I said before it is not a matter of religion, it is a matter of agenda. It is not a matter of freedom, it is a matter of agenda and specific bias towards a people who want more than freedom, they want conformity.
We are looking at the slow and methodical erosion of freedom in this country. Look at how both of these court cases slowly, on different fronts, get rid of religious freedom. Put them together and you have religion being regulated by the “state” and the Bible specifically classified as “hate speech” when convenient, therefore all laws governing such will apply to it. Which ultimately means we are completely removing Christianity from all parts of society. Not just the classroom this time. 1962 was bad enough and we can see the results of removing God from the classroom, going from issues like chewing gum and talking in class to guns, teen pregnancy at an all time high, kids getting high, and total moral abandonment. There is no denying this.
I’m tired of being silent on this and I am tired of Christian people, being squelched by the media, politicians, the schools, companies, and more.