Fitz: The Angel Gabriel appears at the Arizona Senate

2014-02-22T00:00:00Z Fitz: The Angel Gabriel appears at the Arizona SenateBy David Fitzsimmons Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A law that lets business owners cite their religious belief as grounds to refuse service to gays is now on Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk. The law is the brainchild of state Sen. Steve Yarbrough, a Chandler Republican.

The angel Gabriel hovered in the doorway of the Senator’s office. “Steve Yarbrough?”

Startled, Yarbrough reached under his desk and buzzed security. The door to the senator’s office closed by itself, with a wave of the angel’s hand. “Don’t even try. The Man Upstairs thought it was time we had a little talk.”

Yarbrough gulped.

Adjusting his halo, Gabriel said: “We heard about your law and first, let me say unto thee — you’re no Moses. And second, what were you thinking?”

Yarbrough fell to his knees, sputtering. “Mercy!”

The angel frowned. “Get up and explain yourself.”

The senator nervously adjusted his tie. “Well, sir, ahem, as you know, some Christians sincerely believe that they should not have to do business with deviants

and ...”

“Deviants?”

“Homosexuals. Anyway, the thing is, some Christians can’t refuse to do business with homosexuals.”

“Discriminate. They aren’t allowed to discriminate.”

“Um, yes, and I think that’s wrong.”

“Discrimination?”

“No. Not being able to discriminate is wrong.”

Gabriel made air quotes. “So you think a handful of ‘Christians’ who feel free to judge our Father’s gay and lesbian children should be allowed to discriminate against them?”

“Amen. Say a fundamentalist Christian bakery owner is asked by a gay couple to sell them a wedding cake. ...”

“Question. How can the business owner tell his customers are gay?”

“I was thinking they should all wear pink stars — but that’s way down the line.”

The angel said: “Oh, I see. You want Christians to be able to treat gays like they are first-century lepers. That’s merciful. And very loving.”

Yarbrough smiled a self-righteous smile. “Yes, it is. The Bible says they’re evil wicked sinners and baking a cake for a homosexual couple is condoning their lifestyle.”

Gabriel floated down next to the senator and smiled. “Let he who is without sin refuse to bake the first cake.”

Perplexed, the senator said, “But the good book says ...”

“Ah, the Bible. The Bible says you should stone your bride to death if you discover she isn’t a virgin on your wedding night. Following your logic, the murderer of his bride could cite sincerely held religious beliefs as a defense for his actions. Have you put forward that law yet? You wouldn’t be cherry-picking the ‘Good Book’ for political purposes, would you? Have you banned evolution or criminalized pork yet?”

Yarbrough tried the security button again. “I’m a good man. The baker is standing his ground. It’s his right to ...”

Gabriel thundered, “ ... to be a bigot who doesn’t understand what it means to follow our Lord’s message of forgiveness, charity and love? That heathen Mark Twain once said, ‘There’s only one Christian in history I heard tell of and they crucified him early on.’ I refuse to think Twain was right. God bless the millions of Christians who practice the love, kindness and charity they preach — unlike the lost sheep like you who shame and embarrass the good Christians with your judgmental bigotry and your hard heart.”

“Fox News says we Christians are persecuted and now even you’re turning against us! I’m calling O’Reilly!”

Gabriel rolled his eyes heavenward. “Please. There’s a church on every street corner in this country. You have drive-through churches, strip-mall churches and mega-churches, and all of it tax-free! You even own TV networks!”

Gabriel was on a roll. “I have a question for you, senator. Who appointed you spokesperson for all Christians? Ninety-nine percent of good Christians are embarrassed by the antics of the crazies that you insist on kissing up to at every election because you need them to win.”

Gabriel flew around the desk and got in the senator’s face. “You and your self-righteous Pharisees claim to be Christians, using His name in every speech, even as you punish the poor, rebuke the stranger and reward the rich while wicked prison and anti-public-school lobbies fill your campaign coffers with your hard-earned 30 pieces of silver, year after year.”

Footsteps could be heard outside the door as Gabriel rose up to the ceiling and thundered: “A den of thieves! And now you want your gay brothers and sisters to suffer because you believe they are less than lepers, to be driven out and shunned? Hypocrites!”

The senator fell back on his knees again and trembled. A security guard threw open the door and looked down on the small man behind his desk, waving away a cloud of mysterious vapor. The senator looked up. “Is he gone?”

“Is who gone?”

“Nobody! My mistake. I’m fine. Must be that burrito I had for lunch.” Reaching for his cell phone, Yarbrough punched in the number for Bill O’Reilly.

Contact editorial cartoonist and columnist David Fitzsimmons at tooner@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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