Arizona Refuses to Outlaw the Inquisition

Arizona gay inquisition

“Do you recant?”

The wizened friar hovered like a sepulchral fiend over the prostrate man. His naked form was stretched to its limit and tied across a wooden rack. His eyes were wide with terror and beads of sweat stood on his forehead, but he shook his head.

“I can’t! Have mercy! I believe what the Bible teaches – I do! But – ohhh, have mercy!!”

His plea ended in a scream as the remorseless rack stretched his body beyond the physical limit. Bones and ligaments popped as the poor man yelled in agony. The friar motioned to the rack operators and the process paused.

Leaning in till his face was inches away from the contorted features of his victim, he hissed, “Now do you recant?”


Is this what you want, Arizona?

This is a picture of where society goes when freedom of conscience is not protected. This is what happened in countless villages and cities across Europe centuries ago. This is what the First Amendment was passed to prevent.

This is the Inquisition, a powerful organization forcing individuals to violate their consciences by whatever means necessary. And it’s in your state, only without the racks. Your lawmakers tried to do something about it, but your cowardly governor put a  stop to it. Even Christians have been vocal in favor of it, which reminds one of the grim fact that the medieval Inquisition was the work of professing Christians.

Now, of course, the gay rights activists don’t want to put you on the rack (yet). Why? Because that’s not what it takes to get business owners to violate their consciences. For that, all they need is a lawsuit. But that’s not the point.

The same attitude, the same philosophy that burned so many people at the stake for acting according to their conscience is the very same attitude that is forcing religious photographers to take pictures of gay weddings.

There it is, folks. Freedom from coercion means freedom to make decisions that people disagree with, and may even be wrong. And the same Bible that condemned coercion of conscience in the dark ages is the same Bible that condemns it now.

Which do you want, freedom or tyranny? It’s up to you. And if you’re not sure, there are hundreds of thousands of people who would scream at you from the pages of history that tyranny set in motion is an absolute hell on earth.

11 Responses to “Arizona Refuses to Outlaw the Inquisition”

  1. Let me get this straight. We bring up one of the more shameful things in Christian history, in which the church was responsible for the pogrom, forced conversions, and exile of thousands of Jews, muslims, and well-meaning but not vocal christians, and compare it to the defeat of a piece of legislation that would allow Christians to alienate and discriminate against not only gays but also muslims, jews, and anyone else that they can possibly justify discriminating against? Did you even read the article you linked to in the piece? If you want to know why Christianity is perceived by a lot of people as being hateful and damaging, look no further than articles like these and legislation like the one it is trying to defend. The rates of suicide among young, christian homosexuals is staggering, precisely because there is no support for them, because they know they will be judged, looked down upon, and will be pressed to “change.” If change is so easy, why do they kill themselves? Who, growing up in a conservative christian church, would ever choose to be gay? What you are espousing in this post is not christianity, it isn’t grace, it isn’t mercy, it isn’t the love of Christ. It is, pure and simple, hatred.

    • “…a piece of legislation that would allow Christians to alienate and discriminate against not only gays but also muslims, jews, and anyone else that they can possibly justify discriminating against… WRONG. It’s not discrimination, it’s forced association. Are you going to support making blacks join the KKK?

      As for the suicide rates, this comment addresses the power of sin more than it does the ‘power’ of Christian culture to ostracize sinners.

      Lastly, how is the law anti-Christian? Would you make us support 45 year old men marrying 6 year old girls?

      This article and comparison is spot on. Your thinking is from the 12th century.

      • I would support making blacks able to join the KKK if they wanted to.
        Forced association is life. A lot of people didn’t like it when their school children were forced to associate with black kids after integration. The role of the Christian should be to lead, to make the first contact and crossing over to the rejected and the despised. As slaves of Christ, we should be first trying to uphold the rights of others, and to be willing to spend our time with everyone, especially those who are different and outcast.
        As far as your last comment, if you can explain to me how a marriage between a 6 year old and a 45 year old can possibly be fully consensual, then we can talk about the appropriateness of your comparison. Until then, please keep the hyperbole to a minimum.
        Finally, and most importantly, I want you to think about suicide. What would cause you to try and kill yourself. What sort of despair would you have to be in to do that to yourself? Especially when you have been taught from a young age that suicide is a mortal sin? What sort of pain makes risking hell better than any other option? I have spoken with people who have dealt with that pain, and what has overwhelmingly caused it was their rejection by their family, friends, and pastors in the church.
        Finally, the old obscenity, faggot, used occasionally for those who are homosexuals, refers back to a time when those found guilty of homosexuality were burnt. The 12th century would have no doubt had its own share of these bonfires. I fail to see how my thought is worthy of the 12th century.
        Christ came so that we could love.

        • John, you’re getting two issues confused here. The first is how Christians should treat homosexuals according to Scripture, and the second is what the government should enforce.

          This article is looking at the latter issue, not the former. Whether or not Christians *should* have conscientious objections to servicing a gay wedding, if they do, their rights to follow their own conscience should be respected by both citizen and government.

          Those inquisitors were well-meaning, I’m sure. They probably believed subscribing to the Catholic doctrines of the time was the right thing to do. But that doesn’t matter. It was to obtain freedom to follow their own consciences that the Pilgrims came over here to start with. They wanted to find a place where Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jew, and anyone else could practice their own religion without coercion from anyone else.

          When you’ve said someone can be forced to violate their conscience, that’s a slippery slope that spawns all kinds of injustice, sometimes violence, and yes, the Spanish Inquisition.

          • So then, because I believe that God forbids war, I should not have to pay taxes to support the US Military? or if I opposed interracial marriage I should refuse to sell people my wedding service? And I would look back at the history of those same pilgrims as far as their opinion on the religious freedom of others. I think you will find that the quakers, the baptists, and of course, those accused of witchcraft didn’t find the pilgrims all that willing to let them practice their own religion. The reason that this law was vetoed, I believe, is because one of the founding principles of this nation is that religious law does not have authority over secular law, and that includes things like who can legitimately be barred from commerce.

      • Ooh! Ooh! Because making sure that you can’t close your doors to people you are uncomfortable around is IDENTICAL to a 45 year old marrying a 6 year old.

    • RUN, JOHN!


  2. So . . . anti-discrimination laws are the equivalent of being tortured on the rack?

    I get the feeling that one of us is confused about the severity of the comparison.

    • Here’s part of the article that I think you must have missed the first time through:

      “The same attitude, the same philosophy that burned so many people at the stake for acting according to their conscience is the very same attitude that is forcing religious photographers to take pictures of gay weddings.”

      That attitude has manifested itself in many different ways throughout history, and it is completely capable of motivating torture under the right circumstances.

      What I’m saying is that this is the same beast, but now he’s only growling instead of biting. Bad analogy, but you get the point.

      • Lightly Amused March 2, 2014 at 8:05 pm

        I may have missed? Oh, no worries; I passed my reading comprehension tests. The fact is that not only is it a rotten comparison, it’s a rotten attempt to dredge up intense feelings of persecution that Tea Party members feel the need to perpetuate.

        The rest of the world calls that fear-mongering.

        As for getting the point, I’m afraid John has gotten it loud and clear. And the first response he got used a comparison about as apt as calling anti-discrimination laws identical to torturing Jews; the (legendary, shall we say) comparison of gay marriage to government-sanctioned paedophilia.

        Well done, indeed.

        While I’m sure that the Paranoid WASP movement is more than happy to make glib and cursory comparisons between the Inquisitions and anti-discrimination laws, people who have been genuinely discriminated against are going to be less than impressed. For that matter, people being actively persecuted, harassed, or even murdered for their faith are going to be less than impressed.

        And I’m not sure that “Bad analogy, but you get the point,” does anything other than prove you can trivialize atrocities committed in the name of [our] faith.

        Frankly, an apology is in order. Not because anyone’s offended, but because if you want to be taken seriously outside the Tea Party bubble, this kind of rhetoric will fly about as far as, well, the Tea Party bubble.


  1. Arizona Refuses to Outlaw the Inquisition - Rick Green - February 28, 2014

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