State Senator Jake Hoffman’s SB1279 would ban satanic displays on public property. Its broad text could even have implications for citizens who simply wear shirts or display satanic elements. (i.e. metal band merchandise, placards and handouts by satanic organizations, etc.)
In Senate Government yesterday, Hoffman said satanic displays “desecrated public property” but never explained why. Assistant Minority Leader Juan Mendez and several members of the public — including two former military members — pointed out the bill’s true nature: legally allowing one religious group to erase another.
Imagine a government body explicitly banning displays of the menorah, nativity, Angel Moroni, Om, Indigenous symbols, the crescent moon and star, Virgin Mary, Buddah, Atheist swirl, Catholic pope, Happy Humanist… etc.
SB1279 could set legal precedent allowing any politically-powerful denomination to punch down on a weaker one in this fashion. It’s a flex by religious extremists, as demonstrated by Hoffman’s bullying behavior in the hearing.
It’s also blatantly unconstitutional, and opens the state up to wasteful lawsuits.
The US and Arizona constitutions require the government to treat all religions equally without preference or discrimination.
People in both parties will need to hear from constituents to stop SB1279.
Senate Republicans may not necessarily all vote for such a fiscally irresponsible bill… let alone one that undermines their own constitutional protections.
Democrats may also need to hear support from constituents before getting on the record about SB1279. Satanists are not politically popular, which is why they are being singled out in this fashion.
Once again, we are proud to unite with you to protect authentic religious liberty. That means keeping politicians like Hoffman from acting like anyone’s faith makes them less equal under the law.