Saturday, May 11, 2013

Save Your Indignation, Part Deux

Sad by paynehollow
Sad, a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.

On the same theme as the last post, a whiny blogger recently listed a whole list of religious folk getting in trouble for refusing service to others because of their "religious beliefs..." for things like a florist not being able to refuse service to send flowers to a wedding between gay folk or adoption agencies refusing to allow gay folk to adopt, etc.

The blogger said...

What is in common with all these stories? Yes, there is a whole lot of "look what 'gay marriage' is doing to religious freedom", but that isn't in all of these cases. Yes, it does look like religious persecution is starting in America, but it's a little hard to support the term "persecution" when it is so spotty and rare. What, then? The common element is religious convictions in the public square. Obama, for instance, allowed the Roman Catholic Church an exemption for contraceptives because the Roman Catholic Church is, well, a church. Their subsidiaries, their services, their other programs? Not protected. Neither are private citizens who own businesses such as Hobby Lobby. That is "the public square" and religious persuasion in the public square will not be countenanced. You are free to believe what you want in private; just don't exercise your religious convictions in public.

And he may be right that some people are getting in trouble for their "religious beliefs" but he reaches the wrong conclusion. They are NOT getting in trouble for exercising their religious convictions in trouble. You can do that all day long if you want.

They are getting in trouble for illegal discrimination which results in harm to others.

That is a big difference.

Let me run down a list of examples of the difference.

Does your religion teach you to help the poor? You are free to express those religious beliefs publicly.

Does your religion teach you to kill the infidel? You are NOT allowed to express that belief publicly.

Does your religion teach you to not steal, to not lie, to not cheat? You are free to express those religious beliefs publicly.

Does your religion teach you to discriminate against "the gays," "the Jews," Muslims, Christians... and refuse to let them in your business? You are NOT allowed to express that belief publicly.

Does your religion teach you to hate the behavior of gay folk, black folk, muslim folks, Christian folks? You are free to express those religious beliefs publicly.

Does your religion teach you to kick "the gays," "the Blacks," Muslims, Christians, those who fornicate out of your rental property? You are NOT allowed to express that belief publicly.

Get the difference. Yes, there ARE some limits we place on our liberties. We are free to think that some people are hell-bound sinners, but your liberty to believe that STOPS at the line of harm. You can think Muslims are sinners, but you can't kill them, beat them or refuse service to them.

So it's NOT the case that "religion in the public square is not to be countenanced." It's the case that we have reasonably concluded that your right to believe what you want ENDS at harm.

Stop whining and complaining about the pending "persecution..." you just look silly.

Or not, you remain to be whiny as hell in the public square in the name of your religion. It just comes across as a rather pathetic, wimpy religion, but you remain free to be pathetic if you want.

114 comments:

Alan said...

It isn't just whining. Oh, it's whining, to be sure, but it isn't only whining. The other issue here is ignorance. The fundies don't seem to understand the basic purpose, rights and responsibilities of being granted a business license -- a license granted by the citizens of a jurisdiction to allow someone to do business for the citizens (all the citizens) of that jurisdiction.

It isn't about harm; it is about permission. The public has granted a business permission to provide goods or services under particular terms including health, safety, and equal access. If a business owner doesn't want to serve the public who gave him/her permission to run that business, there is a simple way to resolve the situation: find another line of work.

But you don't get to deny services to a member of the public because of their lifestyle choice of following a religion that is different from yours.

Dan Trabue said...

Rampaging Paranoia...

"The scope of the attack on Christianity in the form of an attack on religious freedom (I call it an attack on Christianity because I don't hear, in the public arena, anyone calling for the outlawing or removal of Islam or Buddhism or any other religion.) is much larger than we realize."

Craig said...

This is fascinating to me. I spent 25 years operating a service business,and I routinely chose who I would do business with based on many factors. It seems strange that the government can mandate that a business be forced to serve anyone. I routinely see signs stating something like "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.".

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Craig - but you cannot systematically refuse to serve a class of persons because of who they are. That means you can't refuse service to African-Americans. You can't refuse to serve Orthodox Jews (commonly referred to as "people with special dietary needs"). And you can't refuse to serve someone who's gay because they are gay. That's the textbook definition of discrimination. A guy may be a bigot but if he owns a hardware store he still has to sell a recip saw to an African-American; a restaurateur may make clear that her menu items are not kosher, but he or she cannot say, "I won't serve Jews." And, no - you can't hide behind Jesus's skirts and say, "I don't like fags, so I'm not going to sell them wedding flowers."

How this is unclear is beyond me. Unless, of course, it's clear as day and the huffing and puffing is fake.

Dan Trabue said...

In my experience, usually, when a vendor has a "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone," it was generally there as a mild threat to any one individual who is not behaving appropriately... in THAT case, they reserve the right to kick them out and refuse them service. And no one is protesting that. Maybe back in the 50s, that sort of sign meant just that, but I don't think anyone seriously supports that today, do you?

It is, as Geoffrey rightly pointed out, the generalized discrimination against a particular GROUP that is illegal in our nation.

Do you believe that a business SHOULD be able to legally discriminate against "the blacks," or "the gays" or Muslims or Baptists, Craig? Or, who did you routinely choose to not serve?

That's fine if you do, but most of your fellow citizens disagree.

Regardless, it is not an orchestrated "attack" on Christianity nor is it an unusual loss of "liberty" to disallow such discriminatory practices.

What the paranoid Right needs to recognize is that these protections are there as much for THEIR protection as it is for the protection of others. We anabaptists have a long memory and still remember when being an anabaptist Christian was not legal and could be refused service.

Protection against discrimination is there for everyone, the Right, included. You won't always be a near majority (at least, not at the rate that you're going), would you support routine discriminatory practices against the Religious Right when you've marginalized yourselves to a smaller minority?

Regardless, my point stands: This whining about "attacks" and "persecution" just makes you sound thin-skinned, paranoid and frail, is that the goal?

Marshall Art said...

"Do you believe that a business SHOULD be able to legally discriminate against "the blacks," or "the gays" or Muslims or Baptists..."

Absolutely. More to the point, a business should be allowed to determine with whom it chooses to do business for whatever reasons it sees fit, in accordance with the rights to liberty and the pursuit of his own happiness. If that means a bigot won't serve blacks, too bad for the blacks. But too bad for the business owner, too, if he holds that position within a community that doesn't agree. For they have the right to take their business elsewhere. I know I would if I so chose.

I don't agree with discrimination against people of any particular race, simply because of their race, or ethnicity simply because of their ethnicity or religion simply because of their religion. But I agree less with gov't intrusion into the private dealings of a private business, so long as no harm is inflicted. Simple refusing to sell flowers doesn't fall into that category of doing no harm.

But no one said, "I don't like fags, so I'm not going to sell them wedding flowers." The person in question had homosexual employees and had even sold flowers to the guy to whom she refused to sell wedding flowers. She, in other words, wasn't discriminating against any "group", but against a specific type of sale and what it represented, which conflicts with Scripture.

This is all what Rand Paul was trying to argue when speaking against Civil Rights law. His point was that it was the gov't who could not discriminate, but not private individuals. The market will weed out those whose discrimination is unreasonable.

Alan said...

I completely disagree with MA hat business owners should have the right to discriminate because that's "government intrusion." It isn't. The primary reason libertarianism is a failed economic philosophy is because in a democracy, the government is not some nefarious "them", the government is us. I seem to remember a famous phrase about "government of the people, by the people, and for the people." We, the public, grant the privilege (not the right) of a business to operate, so it isn't government interference to mandate that those to whom we grant that privilege follow public mandate. It isn't like this is a surprise, that they didn't know this was a requirement before they opened up shop.

And if they didn't know, then they're really just too stupid to be allowed to operate a business.

And it isn't about serving "anyone" as Craig suggests. A bank obviously has the right to refuse a loan to a bad risk. But they can't refuse just because the borrowers are Catholic. If that's what Craig is really arguing for, and I doubt it is, someone should inform him that's illegal.

That said, I'm fairly indifferent to the sorts of lawsuits that piss MA off so much. Perhaps I should care more about them, but I think there are other effective ways to make change.

About 10 years ago my husband and I had a major landscaping project done on our old house that included the demolition and rebuilding of our front and side porches. The subcontractor that the landscaper worked with on those sorts of construction jobs refused to do the job for "fags" (his word.) So, the landscaper hired someone else who did a great job. Turns out our fag money is just as green as anyone else's.

Three things happened after that. 1) About every month or so for a year after the project was completed people would stop by when we we out working in the yard and would ask us who did the porches. We had a stack of his business cards and handed them out and he got a great deal of work out of it. He still sends us Christmas cards. 2) The lanscaper refused to use the bigotted sub ever again. 3) Also, it was a small town and we told everyone who asked about the project, our friends, our neighbors in the neighborhood association, etc. about the sub who refused to do the work. Within 6 months he was out of business.

We could have sued him, and likely his insurance company would have paid some settlement. Instead, we deprived him of his business altogether, made him a pariah in the community, and sent a pretty strong warning to other people in his field, three things we may not have accomplished with a lawsuit. And we did so without spending a dime or lifting a finger.

There might be instances in which a lawsuit is the only recourse, but there are other ways that are at least as effective.

Marshall Art said...

Thanks, Alan. Your experience just proved my point. That sub-contractor acted on his beliefs and paid the price of lost business. What's your problem with that? It worked just the way it's supposed to work. And I truly applaud the landscaper for simply moving to another sub-contractor and refusing to do business with the "fag-hater" (as well as you promoting his business). You're just like me!

But I wonder if you could provide some basis for this:

"We, the public, grant the privilege (not the right) of a business to operate"

I'm not arguing that our current laws run this way. I'm wondering if you are aware of something that perhaps Madison or Hamilton might have said. The fact that the law does run this way IS government interference, and again, your anecdote shows the law isn't necessary. And the way I understand the founders, they were concerned with limiting government, not the people in their pursuit of happiness as THEY see it.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Honestly, Art, your comment doesn't even begin to make sense. Licensing a business isn't "government interference". It's making sure that the public is served by honest business operators. Quoting a founder makes about as much sense as quoting Martin Luther on Copernicus (hint: he thought Copernicus was a big fat Roman Catholic liar). This is the way our government, local, county, state, and federal, operates. We create a licensing and regulatory system in order to ensure the public is safe from predatory businesses.

Again, that's because we are a nation of laws; a practical people who devise solutions to problems as they arise. There are no principles involved here, except protecting the public at large, a far more important "value" or "moral principle" than making sure any schmo with an idea can make money from a sometimes gullible public.

Bubba said...

"We are free to think that some people are hell-bound sinners, but your liberty to believe that STOPS at the line of harm."

This appears to be a reasonable position, but then "harm" seems to be defined as the refusal to enter a business relationship with another person -- or at least, to refuse on a discriminatory basis.

If I had a beachfront property and refused to rent it out to somebody because it's already spoken for, or because it's not actually on the market, that's fine. My refusal doesn't harm him.

But if I refuse because, say, he's a well-known health-and-wealth televangelist whose beliefs I think are corrosive, that's wrong, because my refusal harms him.

Somehow.

The results are the same in every case: he wanted to rent my property, and I refused him, but somehow my reason for doing determines whether he's harmed or not.

We should treat each other as impersonal and interchangeable actors in the free market, because anything else is harmful.

Okay, fine. Surely, then, Dan thinks boycotts are just as immoral. You shouldn't avoid that business because it's run by a religious fundamentalist who has the gall to think God made us male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife: to refuse to patronize his business because of his religious beliefs is discriminatory and therefore JUST as harmful.

Harm's the point of a boycott, after all: to "hit him where it hurts," to stigmatize the businessman for his beliefs and cause him financial pain.

The condo owner who refuses to rent out his property in service to an adulterous affair might not be seeking to harm the couple, his intent toward them might be wholly benevolent, or he may just want to practice his business in a way that honors his faith. If his discrimination is wrong even if he had no intent to harm, SURELY the boycotter's discrimination is at least as wrong because the intent to harm is built-in and often explicit.

Or should we conclude that boycotts are fine because they aren't actually harmful? That they're wholly ineffective in accomplishing their stated intent to harm?

--

It's all so confusing, so it is of a piece with that previous blog entry.

Dan ridicules people for seemingly getting their facts wrong about harmful government action, but he used to defend that "man of God" Jeremiah Wright despite his lunatic ravings about the U.S. government inventing AIDS as an act of attempted genocide.

He insinuates that people want to shove Bibles down soldiers' throats, metaphorically speaking, but he didn't have a problem whitewashing the acts of an unrepentant domestic terrorist who planned to detonate quite literal nails into the quite literal bodies of soldiers and their loved ones.

Dan even invokes extremism and zealotry as pejoratives, as if he doesn't claim allegiance to a teacher who commanded us to love God with all our hearts, all our minds, all our souls, and all our strength.

It's almost as if Dan's north star is belittling political conservatives, with no regard for consistency, coherence, and rationality. But surely that can't be right.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba, the point of this post is that we Christians (or other religious folk) are NOT being persecuted, nor are we under attack for our beliefs. To the point of the post, do you have any comments?

Are you saying that it is your opinion that business owners OUGHT to be free to discriminate against gay folk, black folk, Baptists, Muslims... whoever?

If so, then make your point on the topic.

Bubba said...

Why limit the question to "business owners"?

If you were really as opposed to discrimination as you would like us to think, surely your position would be that NO ONE should be free to make business decisions for discriminatory reasons -- not just business owners, but customers and consumers as well. You'd oppose boycotts on principle.

Craig said...

Again, from that standpoint of business licensing, I'm not sure you guys have it right. Having said that most licensing is at the city level and is different from place to place. Most of the license stuff I've dealt with was more about making sure there was proper insurance in place and making sure that the license fees got paid than it was about "permission" or discrimination or anything else. Granted, this was more than a few years ago, and in one particular metropolitan area, so things might be different now and in other places.

The fact that you all seem to be saying that the government has the power to force anyone to do business with anyone else seems a bit of a reach. For example, it seems as though you are suggesting that the government can mandate that a non-smoking business serve and accommodate smokers.

As far as me personally I refused to do business with different folks for different reasons, not necessarily because of race, or gender or religious affiliation etc. but there were times I chose to pass on work because of the individual or company. The interesting thing is that in most cases (race being the obvious example) I would have no reason to know any of the other reasons mentioned to discriminate.

I think Art has a point in that if you exclude large groups of people from your customer base, then you will likely not succeed. I also agree that in Alan's case exactly the right thing was done by all.

GKS, maybe you misunderstood my question. I was not suggesting that classes of people should be systematically denied access to goods and services. I was trying to clarify, based on 25 years in business what you all thought the purpose of a business license is. It's really not sinister, and I'm still not sure that the business license does what you all think it does. Having said that, now that I'm firmly in the non profit world, it's pretty much a moot point.

Dan,

It should be obvious that I don't think businesses "should be able to legally discriminate", if for no other reason that it is bad business. However, businesses legally discriminate against people daily for numerous different reasons. Hobby Lobby discriminates against those who want to shop on Sunday. Restaurants that haven't been certified kosher, discriminate against observant Jews. Are we really going to force every restaurant to be certified kosher. Or force every restaurant to allow smoking?

I occasionally discriminated against people who I though would be difficult to work with or who I suspected would not pay for the work promptly. Should discrimination happen, no. Does it happen, yes. Is it automatically bad, no.

Since, this was not actually on topic, I appreciate the indulgence.

Dan Trabue said...

Because that is the arena that the whiners are whining about.

See the post...

a whiny blogger recently listed a whole list of religious folk getting in trouble for refusing service to others because of their "religious beliefs..." for things like a florist not being able to refuse service to send flowers to a wedding between gay folk or adoption agencies refusing to allow gay folk to adopt, etc.

They are the ones who are pointing to public businesses as a sign that Christians are being "attacked" and "forced" to do that which is contrary to their belief system.

You see, the difference is this:

IF someone were to go to your home and, at gunpoint, say, "Hey man, you have GOT to have sex with that other man...," then that would be forcing you to do something against your belief system.

But we as a society saying, "Hey, you can't discriminate against groups of people as a business or educational or institutional policy," that is not forcing you to do something against your belief system, unless your belief system says that discriminating against groups is part of your religion.

Boycotts to affect change in policies are not the same as discrimination against groups of people. That's a different topic that you can feel free to post about on your blog if you wish.

On the topic here, do you have anything to say?

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

It should be obvious that I don't think businesses "should be able to legally discriminate", if for no other reason that it is bad business. However, businesses legally discriminate against people daily for numerous different reasons.

Craig, the point is, we as a society have decided that it is wrong to systematically discriminate AGAINST GROUPS/CLASSES of people as corporate or institutional policies.

This is not to say that you MUST be open on Sunday in order to "not discriminate" against those who want to shop on Sunday. There is no protected class of people who MUST shop on Sunday.

This is not to say that you can't refuse to hire a fella with a KILL tattoo across his face. There is no class of people who have KILL tattooed across their face.

It IS to say that you can't legally discriminate against black folk, Muslim folk, gay folk, Baptist folk. And again, this is EXACTLY about religious liberty. It is to PROTECT religious liberty that we don't allow the dominant group to discriminate against minority religions or non-religions.

Do you get the difference between freely allowing general discriminating tastes when dealing with customers or employers vs discrimination against classes of people BECAUSE of the group they belong to?

So, where you say...

I occasionally discriminated against people who I though would be difficult to work with or who I suspected would not pay for the work promptly.

IF you are discriminating against "that guy" because he looks shifty and you've heard bad things about him from other businesses, that is not illegal or wrong necessarily. On the other hand, if you discriminate against "the blacks" because you don't trust "their type" to pay promptly, that is illegal discriminatory practice, and rightly so.

Do you disagree?

Bubba said...

Questioning the underlying premises and rationale of your position is entirely on-topic, Dan.

You now presume to tell us what "we as a society" have agreed to, but it's inconsistent for you to appeal to the authority of the status quo when you like it, only to argue against it when you don't -- as when you couch your pet projects as fights for equity and equality.

--

"Boycotts to affect change in policies are not the same as discrimination against groups of people."

Okay, they're different, but there's a key similarity that's quite germane to this discussion.

BOYCOTTS CAUSE HARM. They cause economic harm to the businesses that are boycotted and, therefore, to the owners of those businesses.

"Affecting change" is the ends, but the means are economic harm -- often quite explicitly so -- and your position is, "we have reasonably concluded that your right to believe what you want ENDS at harm."

--

You now tell Craig, "There is no class of people who have KILL tattooed across their face."

Sure, there is, it's just that they aren't a legally protected class. But, if we're going to split hairs about what "we" have decided as a society, I'll point out that we haven't passed a constitutional amendment requiring equal protection on the basis of sexual orientation -- nothing comparable to the Fifteenth or Nineteenth Amendment.

So when is it that "we" decided that gay folk are protected but tatooed folk aren't?

--

And, again, why should this protection only be imposed on businessmen and not customers?

You claim, "it is wrong to systematically discriminate AGAINST GROUPS/CLASSES of people as corporate or institutional policies."

Why do you not include individual policies as well?

As a private individual, a billionaire could have a huge effect on a local economy if, AS A CONSUMER, he only bought construction services from white businessmen -- the effect would be much larger than if an individual contractor only hired white men to fill out his four-man crew.

So why let the consumer off the hook?

Bubba said...

Questioning the underlying premises and rationale of your position is entirely on-topic, Dan.

You now presume to tell us what "we as a society" have agreed to, but it's inconsistent for you to appeal to the authority of the status quo when you like it, only to argue against it when you don't -- as when you couch your pet projects as fights for equity and equality.

--

"Boycotts to affect change in policies are not the same as discrimination against groups of people."

Okay, they're different, but there's a key similarity that's quite germane to this discussion.

BOYCOTTS CAUSE HARM. They cause economic harm to the businesses that are boycotted and, therefore, to the owners of those businesses.

"Affecting change" is the ends, but the means are economic harm -- often quite explicitly so -- and your position is, "we have reasonably concluded that your right to believe what you want ENDS at harm."

--

You now tell Craig, "There is no class of people who have KILL tattooed across their face."

Sure, there is, it's just that they aren't a legally protected class. But, if we're going to split hairs about what "we" have decided as a society, I'll point out that we haven't passed a constitutional amendment requiring equal protection on the basis of sexual orientation -- nothing comparable to the Fifteenth or Nineteenth Amendment.

So when is it that "we" decided that gay folk are protected but tatooed folk aren't?

--

And, again, why should this protection only be imposed on businessmen and not customers?

You claim, "it is wrong to systematically discriminate AGAINST GROUPS/CLASSES of people as corporate or institutional policies."

Why do you not include individual policies as well?

As a private individual, a billionaire could have a huge effect on a local economy if, AS A CONSUMER, he only bought construction services from white businessmen -- the effect would be much larger than if an individual contractor only hired white men to fill out his four-man crew.

So why let the consumer off the hook?

Bubba said...

Apologies for the double post.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Oh, for crying out loud, Bubba. You want to defend Christians discriminating against anyone, gays, racial minorities, other religious groups - you go for it.

Let some of us, at least, take that as the presumption that you're doing the whole Christian thing wrong.

Bubba said...

Where do I defend discrimination, Geoffrey? I'm only pointing out the logical holes in Dan's stated rationale for why only specific types of discrimination are wrong and ought to be illegal.

Suppose a man walked into a deli, with a "Gay Pride" tattoo covering his face. Dan thinks that it's okay for the owner to refuse to serve him because of the fact of the tattoo, but not the content of the message conveyed by the tattoo.

He opposes discrimination by a business because it causes even unintended harm, but the intentional and often explicit harm caused by a boycott is just fine.

There's no coherence there, except the partisanship that's always there.

Craig said...

Dan,

Since I clearly stated that I don't agree with discriminating against groups of people I'm not sure why you feel like you had to ask if I agreed with what I said earlier.

My point still remains. Which is that while there are laws that deal with systemic group discrimination,business licenses are not necessarily the vehicle for those protections.

Dan Trabue said...

...And my point stands:

It is goofy and paranoid to point to laws protecting against discrimination and call them "attacks" or "persecution" against people of faith.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

He opposes discrimination by a business because it causes even unintended harm, but the intentional and often explicit harm caused by a boycott is just fine.

There is a difference in type between the two, Bubba. If you can't see that then shame on you.

DO you support a religious zealot's "right" to discriminate against whatever group he wishes to because that discrimination is a part of his religion?

Bubba said...

I've already granted that boycotts are different, but there is a BIG similarity that is quite germane.

That similarity is harm -- or at least harm as you seem to define it.

And according to you, "your right to believe what you want ENDS at harm."

(That's a heckuva statement too, not about ACTING on one's beliefs or EXPRESSING one's beliefs, but merely holding one's beliefs. If that's what you mean, you're arguing for Thoughtcrime.)

--

For myself, I don't think that refusing to do business with a person qualifies as harm, regardless of the reason.

Fraud and slander, theft and vandalism, assault and murder: that's harm. Not doing business with a person doesn't cut it.

People can and do decline business arrangements for petty and foolish reasons, but we are free to act in petty and foolish ways.

And sometimes people act very sensibly indeed, even if it's not politically correct: one can discriminate among instances of discrimination, as you do when it comes to tattoos and boycotts.

From what you quote, the "whiny blogger" isn't focused on hiring practices OR business arrangements, but on the requirement to provide abortificients to employees. If I were a business owner, I wouldn't have the right to dictate to my employees that they cannot spend their pay on lottery tickets or booze or any other legal product that I might consider a vice, but it does seem a bit pushy for the government to tell me that I must buy the questionable items for them.

And you mention adoption agencies, but adoption agencies don't sell products, and it's literally dehumanizing to suggest that they do. Their chief concern ought to be the welfare of the children in their care, not the self-esteem of anybody seeking to become adoptive parents.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

And on Bubba goes, defending discrimination. . . because Jesus, or some reason.

Again - if you spend half your time telling the world what a great Christian you are (and, simultaneously what horrible Christians others are), and the other half saying it's OK to discriminate because Jesus doesn't want the government telling me I can't sell to heathens, fornicators,and fags, my opinion is you are doing CHRISTIAN wrong.

Bubba said...

And does your moral preening make you feel better, Geoffrey?

Bubba said...

And, hey, Dan.

Is Geoffrey's repeated personal attack more germane than my questions about the premises of your position? Or did I miss where you've already told him to stay on-topic?

Dan Trabue said...

To be clear, ALL the personal attacks - his and yours - are off topic.

Dan Trabue said...

Is it the case that you're wanting me to stop him so that you're free to continue uninterrupted?

Bubba said...

"Is it the case that you're wanting me to stop him so that you're free to continue uninterrupted?"

What were you JUST saying about personal attacks being off-topic?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

How is what I wrote a personal attack, Bubba?

On a post about whiny Christians, we have . . . a Christian whining about a personal attack that is actually a general description of a trend among some right-wing Christians.

You don't want to be told you're defending discrimination? Stop defending discrimination! Holy cow.

Sorry, Dan - if you delete this, I'm out because buying in to Bubba's "he's attacking me" line . . . kind of goes against the whole point of this and the previous post. I know it's your blog your rules, but I also have my rules, including don't listen to people whining about personal attacks that didn't happen.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba, do you have anything to say ON topic?

Is it the case that you support religious zealots being able to freely discriminate against whatever groups they wish, or do we agree that it is reasonable to have limits on a religious groups' liberties, at least insofar as a limit against harm is a reasonable limit (and the "freedom" to harm is not really a freedom)?

Bubba...

on the requirement to provide abortificients to employees.

Again, you all don't seem to be able to differentiate between requiring companies/agencies provide non-discriminatory basics and forcing you to do the wrong yourself.

FORCING someone to do or provide an abortion themselves, that would be a reasonable line (obviously) to say, "Hey, no, we can't/won't do that." Expecting a business that already provides health care to allow the employee decide FOR THEMSELVES how to use that healthcare, that is not an impingement on your religious "liberty." Forcing someone to "gay marry," THAT would be an infringement on their religious liberty.

Expecting that a florist who sells flowers to the public not discriminate against the black cor white or Muslim or Baptist or gay or straight customers who want to buy their flowers (even if it is for a wedding of which they do not approve), that is not an infringement on religious liberty.

You all are acting as if the former examples were the latter.

Bubba said...

You seriously want people to believe that your dishonest description of my position, coupled with the repeated assertion that I'm "doing the whole Christian thing wrong," was just "a general description of a trend among some right-wing Christians"?

Bubba said...

Dan:

"Is it the case that you support religious zealots being able to freely discriminate against whatever groups they wish, or do we agree that it is reasonable to have limits on a religious groups' liberties, at least insofar as a limit against harm is a reasonable limit (and the 'freedom' to harm is not really a freedom)?"

I do not believe that the decision not to do business with a person causes harm.

You evidently don't believe it either, because you think boycotts are hunky-dory, you think there are plenty of legitimate reasons not to do business with people, including their having facial tattoos.

You seem to believe such a decisions causes harm ONLY if the decision is made BY certain people, FOR certain reasons.

- I can choose not to buy your goods for any reason, and no harm results.

- Or I can choose not to sell you my goods for SOME reasons but not others, and no harm results.

That's incoherent.

--

You write, "Expecting a business that already provides health care to allow the employee decide FOR THEMSELVES how to use that healthcare, that is not an impingement on your religious 'liberty.'"

In doing so, you invoke this vague thing about providing "non-discriminatory basics," and I just wonder, why can't the owner and employees determine how the former compensates the latter for their labor and do so, you know, "FOR THEMSELVES"?

Why must the state ensure that adults receive what the state determines the adults need as "basics"? Why must the employer become an agent of the state's priorities in bringing about the state's conception of the good life?

And, since you're hung up on harm, what's the actual harm of an employer agreeing to provide some health benefits but not all?

If an employer provides free coffee in the break room, he's not precluding the more health-conscious employees from using their own pay to bring in herbal tea.

In the same way, just because an employer provides health benefits that cover some costs, it doesn't mean he must therefore cover all conceivable costs, from lasik to plastic surgery to sex changes to abortificients.

Do you not realize that a contract is void if it's coerced? At what point does the liberty of supposedly free men become endangered, if it's not when the state begins insisting on the fact AND the details of the contracts between them?

Alan said...

It really isn't that difficult to see the difference between a boycott and discrimination. The business is granted a license by the public to do business with the public. No such license is required on the part of the consumer. To argue that there is a similarity is a lie, Bubba, so save your whining about dishonesty. Get down off the cross, someone needs the wood.

Craig writes, "The fact that you all seem to be saying that the government has the power to force anyone to do business with anyone else seems a bit of a reach."

We don't seem to be saying that, Craig, because we have said exactly the opposite:

I wrote, "And it isn't about serving "anyone" as Craig suggests. A bank obviously has the right to refuse a loan to a bad risk. But they can't refuse just because the borrowers are Catholic. If that's what Craig is really arguing for, and I doubt it is, someone should inform him that's illegal."

Let me know which words were too big for you Craig, and I'll try to make it simpler so you can understand.

MA, you can dislike how business licenses are granted and the purpose for them, but they go back to Britain in 1066 with the first royal charters. I don't care to bother looking, but I'd bet that you won't find the founding fathers saying much at all about business licenses because it was so integrated into our legal system already (having had 700 years to do so), it would be as silly to mention in the Federalist Papers as pointing out that, yes, here in America, water is also wet.

But if you don't like it, it's a democracy, so you and Bubba and Craig can form a coalition to try to persuade jurisdictions to allow discrimination on whatever basis you choose.

Alan said...

"At what point does the liberty of supposedly free men become endangered, if it's not when the state begins insisting on the fact AND the details of the contracts between them?"

I'll believe your BS about the liberty of supposedly free men and insisting on contracts when you demonstrate that you're in favor of gay marriage, you lying hypocrite.

Supposedly free men aren't able to enter into a civil marriage contract, and you support that.

So shut up, hypocrite.

Thanks.

Bubba said...

Alan, I do not believe that it is illegal for two men to enter a private contract stipulating the terms of that contract, and I support their legal right to enter such contracts.

What you're talking about is state-issued marriage licenses. Since the state issues these licenses, the state can determine what arrangements qualify for that license.

Same-sex couples' liberties aren't infringed upon, because they can enter private contracts that aren't issued by the state but which are -- AND OUGHT TO BE -- enforceable under the state's general laws regarding contracts.

--

I think the difference between businesses and consumers is at least somewhat arbitrary.

"The business is granted a license by the public to do business with the public."

And what is meant by "doing business"? You can only mean providing goods and/or services.

And how do consumers afford what businesses offer? By providing their own goods and/or services, labor being just a type of service.

But let's grant that semantic distinction; is it a distinction with a difference, at least when it comes to Dan's stated rationale for why the law shouldn't restrict individuals and only restrict "institutions"?

No, it is not.

If businesses can cause harm to a particular group of consumers by refusing to do business with them, consumers can LIKEWISE cause harm against a particular business by refusing to do business with it.

In fact, a boycott is only effective insofar as it causes such harm.

Dan's position seems to be that harm is where one's rights end, but he's only for criminalizing certain subsets of harm -- and he seems to support the harm that is caused by boycotts.

Bubba said...

Alan, I do not believe that it is illegal for two men to enter a private contract stipulating the terms of that contract, and I support their legal right to enter such contracts.

What you're talking about is state-issued marriage licenses. Since the state issues these licenses, the state can determine what arrangements qualify for that license.

Same-sex couples' liberties aren't infringed upon, because they can enter private contracts that aren't issued by the state but which are -- AND OUGHT TO BE -- enforceable under the state's general laws regarding contracts.

--

I think the difference between businesses and consumers is at least somewhat arbitrary.

"The business is granted a license by the public to do business with the public."

And what is meant by "doing business"? You can only mean providing goods and/or services.

And how do consumers afford what businesses offer? By providing their own goods and/or services, labor being just a type of service.

But let's grant that semantic distinction; is it a distinction with a difference, at least when it comes to Dan's stated rationale for why the law shouldn't restrict individuals and only restrict "institutions"?

No, it is not.

If businesses can cause harm to a particular group of consumers by refusing to do business with them, consumers can LIKEWISE cause harm against a particular business by refusing to do business with it.

In fact, a boycott is only effective insofar as it causes such harm.

Dan's position seems to be that harm is where one's rights end, but he's only for criminalizing certain subsets of harm -- and he seems to support the harm that is caused by boycotts.

Bubba said...

Another double post -- browser issues. Sorry about that.

Bubba said...

And, Dan, might I assume that Alan's not exactly avoiding the personal attacks in repeatedly calling me a lying hypocrite?

Or is this just like Geoffrey's "general description of a trend among some right-wing Christians"?

Alan said...

"What you're talking about is state-issued marriage licenses. Since the state issues these licenses, the state can determine what arrangements qualify for that license."

The same goes for a business license. I'm glad you see my point. So why're your attempting to conflate all these issues when you just gave the correct answer is ... well, who knows what your motivation is, but it is disingenuous to suggest that there is no difference between them when you just stated the difference.

Alan said...

It isn't a personal attack if it is true, Bubba. ;)

At least, that's what your buddies keep telling me. I don't remember you admonishing them, but I'm sure you'll point out with a link to where you have done so, demonstrating your sensitivity to my feelings that you're expecting from others.

So please provide that link for us Bubba, so we can see just how consistent you are.

Alan said...

The hypocrisy game...my favorite. Let's derail a conversation completely because some twit has nothing better to do, nor anything more interesting to contribute.

Bubba made the first move. And since the second play in the hypocrisy game is to show that the complainer is, themselves a hypocrite, as I've already shown that Bubba is....

Can we just move on now? It isn't like Bubba ever has anything else to add than this exact same rhetorical move in every discussion ever.

Bubba said...

Alan, you write, "it is disingenuous to suggest that there is no difference between them when you just stated the difference."

My point isn't that there are no differences, but that there is a key similarity: businesses and consumers are both capable of harm as Dan defines it.

Dan invokes harm as the reason businesses must not be permitted to discriminate, but he knows as well as any of us that harm is what makes boycotts effective. He still supports boycotts as agents of change, change being the ends that justify the means that he would otherwise criminalize when it suits him.

I point out your personal attacks only to highlight Dan's strange policy regarding on-topic comments. He's much quicker to claim that pointed questions about his premises are off-topic than he is to respond to sneering by you and Geoffrey.

Certainly, it's nothing new, but I do think inconsistency ought to be pointed out: people can make mistakes, but it is a sin not to correct mistakes as they are pointed out and to subordinate the virtue of personal integrity for the sake of one's own agenda.

At least, I think so. Others think it's all just a big game to be played and won at any costs.

Alan said...

"Certainly, it's nothing new, but I do think inconsistency ought to be pointed out: people can make mistakes, but it is a sin not to correct mistakes as they are pointed out and to subordinate the virtue of personal integrity for the sake of one's own agenda. "

So you'll be providing that link, where you chastised your buddies for their personal attacks?

Because you forgot to provide the link in your last comment. I'm assuming it just slipped your mind.

And I'm not sure, but I would guess that I've had my comments here deleted at least as often as anyone else here. Ever.

But I don't whine about it, because it's Dan's blogs and I'm an adult.

Unlike say .... you.

So provide that link, there, buddy. Prove that log in your eye is just our imagination.

Craig said...

Since y'all seem so convinced the business licenses are the vehicle to enforce anti discrimination law i thought I'd check. In an admittedly non comprehensive look at business license requirements I found exactly no references to discrimination. None. Now, I know how hard it is for some of y'all to admit the possibility that you could have made a mistake about something. I also know that since business licenses are issued by cities (not states, sorry), and that I'm quite sure that there a number of variations in license requirements. Yet, it seems safe to say that the business license is not commonly used to deal with discrimination.

I'm certainly not suggesting that there are not anti discrimination laws, or that the existing laws should not be enforced, just that business licensing is not the preferred method for enforcing those laws.

As to the topic of the post, yes it is inappropriate for anyone to whine about anything in public. It's just so nice that it's only those idiot, conservative, fundie, morons who would ever whine or blow anything out of proportion. Of course whining about whiners is just unacceptable.

Alan said...

This took all of 20 seconds to find, Craig.

From CA, "Business and Professions Code section 125.6 provides that any person who holds a license pursuant to the Business and Professions Code (87) is subject to disciplinary action if that person discriminates in, restricts the performance of, or refuses to perform the licensed activity because of a consumer's race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, disability, marital status, or national origin."

I'd say your non-comprehensive look was, clearly, non comprehensive.

But I'm sure you can admit you made a mistake about something, right? ;)

Alan said...

"It's just so nice that it's only those idiot, conservative, fundie, morons who would ever whine or blow anything out of proportion. Of course whining about whiners is just unacceptable."

Gotta love how that second sentence follows the first. LOL

It's like an Escher drawing of whining.

Alan said...

"In an admittedly non comprehensive look at business license requirements I found exactly no references to discrimination."

BTW, Craig, if my reference that clearly shows CA business licensing Code, which references discrimination, somehow is not a reference to how business licensing Code relates to discrimination, I'll be happy to admit I'm wrong. ;)

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

The point of me saying that Christians defending discrimination demonstrate doing the whole Christian thing wrong was meant kind of as a supplement to this whole discussion.

We've seen this relatively recently, with the claim that churches would be shut down when hate crime laws were passed. I kept wondering, if anyone honestly believes that, then maybe - just maybe - they don't get what it means to be a Christian.

As with hate crimes, so with the anti-harassment codes in the UCMJ. And the body of law that covers business licensing and anti-discrimination practices. It is not "persecution" to make sure that a business - which is a separate legal entity from the person or persons who own and operate it (check out the classifieds of your local paper where business licenses are announced; businesses become legal entities separate from the people who operate them, it's that whole "corporations are people" thing) - grants equal access to all on a reasonable basis. What "reasonable" means includes not arbitrarily denying access to persons solely because of their race, their religion, and a host of other legally protected classifications.

Sitting down and writing multi-post word salads saying otherwise ignores something kind of important: We're talking about real things here, e.g., businesses, the legal regime that controls how businesses are licensed and in which they operate, and the reality that, legally, a business and that business's owner and operator are two different things. Just because the guy who runs a flower shop doesn't like gay marriage, the flower shop and he are two different things, and the flower shop doesn't have religious beliefs with which the law interferes. Thus it is impossible for there to be some demonstrable harm to the flower shop through enforcing non-discriminatory business practices.

As Alan made clear - there are laws and regulations here that override all the theoreticals and alternative opinions offered by some ("In my opinion . . ." doesn't really matter here because it isn't Bubba's opinion, or Craig's or Dan's or Alan's or mine that is at issue; there is a whole body of law and set of social conditions that trump anyone's opinion).

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

For 12 years, I have been a mobile Disc Jockey playing wedding receptions, proms, that kind of thing. Over that period of time, I have watched people behave on the dance floor in ways (a) I find inappropriate for adults to behave, and (b) that offend my sensibilities. I'm not saying this in an off-hand way, either.

Now, I have some choices here. I could quite being a DJ, but I like the money, and I like the job. I like getting people to dance, have a good time, etc. So quitting isn't an option. Having realized that quitting isn't an option I want to exercise, I am left with the unpalatable reality that occasional behavior of which I disapprove is part of the price I pay doing business. Because getting on the microphone and shouting, "Stop that outrageous behavior that belongs in the bedroom!", wouldn't exactly endear me to the crowd, and involuntarily end my employment.

It is not "persecution" because some people behave in ways I morally disapprove and I have to put up with it. It is part of the compromises we all make in our daily round of living, including being professional.

Craig said...

Alan,

I'm willing to grant that you didn't read my entire comment and are basing your comments on the part you read only.

To clarify, I stated that I did not do exhaustive research. I further stated, that "I'm quite sure that there a number of variations in license requirements...". It would appear, that there is some degree of variation in business licensing. Which, shockingly, is exactly what I allowed for. I'm impressed, you've found one example. You must be so proud of yourself. For the record, I frequently admit when I make mistakes, you should try it it's kind of liberating.


GKS,

Thanks for demonstrating the point I made earlier. You, in a business sense, have put self interest (or greed) above your distaste for the behavior you see. That's good business sense. I would suspect that there is some point at which you would choose to pass on an opportunity due to the potential for offense, or some other reason.

I got in here based on a question about a part of the post. Since, I tend to agree with the general direction of the post itself, I see no reason to annoy Dan any further. So, feel free to go back on topic, or wait until Dan starts deleting again.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Alan -

I would venture a guess that some of the behaviors I've witnessed over the years are far worse than watching two men or women exchange their wedding vows. To call it "distaste" would be mild. Do I put other things over my personal revulsion at certain behaviors I find morally repugnant? Of course! Because . . . wait for it . . . it isn't about me and my personal moral sense.

I enjoy being a DJ. When I do parties and the dance floor is hopping and the crowd is cheering, that's a great feeling that I'm doing something for these folks. Sometimes, due to excessive alcohol consumption or the heat of the moment or both, folks act in public in ways that are better kept private. How should I respond? As an individual, I could get on my high-horse; as a DJ, I just keep playing music, because while I'm doing that job, I'm not "me". I'm the DJ who's there to perform a service. I'm neither responsible for how some people misbehave, nor am I called upon to speak out about such behaviors, because that isn't my role.

The job is enjoyable, but including "greed" among the things that keep me doing it is a bit of a stretch, considering what I get paid.

Alan said...

Oh, unlike you, Craig, I read what you wrote. You might have noticed I even quoted exactly the section you're now getting all pissy about: "In an admittedly non comprehensive look at business license requirements..."

Can you read, Craig?

Your comment was crystal clear: "I didn't actually do any research, but from what I didn't find online, I see that there must be no link. But if there is evidence to contradict the point I just made in the last sentence, then, well, um... it must not really be evidence because I didn't find it."

And now you're all hurt because I actually found some information, which apparently I wasn't supposed to do. In other words, whiner, you can't both claim to have done no searching, and then claim that any evidence found that contradicts your point must be an exception.

So, stop pouting, Craig. You were wrong. Man up.

"I frequently admit when I make mistakes, you should try it it's kind of liberating."

Which mistake did I make, genius? You're saying that it was a mistake when I suggested that there is a link between business licensing and anti-discrimination, a link which I then clearly proved? (Because, what exactly? You can't be bothered to do a thorough search, but if I find a relevant Google link in 20 seconds that's ... what? Cheating?)

You have a weird definition of "mistake", which in your language apparently means, "Dare to contradict the Almighty Craig with actual, you know, actual information that backs up your assertion."

So you want me to admit that I was wrong in making such an assertion, and then when I show that I wasn't wrong, you get pissy about that too.

Grow up, kiddo.

Alan said...

Good lord, how difficult it must be to live one's life as if every single event, person, and moment of time that one participates automatically requires implicit approval. Such responsibility!

One wonders how these moral busybodies use the internet at all.

You fellas do know that by using the internet you're clearly supporting porn, right? There's porn on the internet, and you're using the internet. Obviously you therefore must approve of it. Maybe you should log off and never come back.

Just a friendly suggestion.

Marshall Art said...

WARNING, DAN ROBINSON, WARNING!!! SNARK AHEAD!!! GIRD YOU LOINS!!! :D

The boys are at it again, I see. Craig has nothing to "man up" about. There is a purposely deceitful problem with Alan's accusation by virtue of his own testimony. He turns "an admittedly non comprehensive look at business license requirements..." into "I didn't actually do any research". Shameful for it's brazenness. He looked, Alan, but he didn't cover every state and municipality. YOU, however, provide ONE example that contradicts and by golly, CRAIG MUST ADMIT DEFEAT!!! Sad.


Bubba's comments are spot on. They do bring out flaws in Dan's position. He is NOT promoting discrimination, no matter how badly Geoffrey needs to believe it. He is commenting on Dan's position.

However, I am. Not in the sense that I think something like racial discrimination is a good and/or moral thing, but that denying one the right to run one's business as one sees fit is totally at odds with the intention of the founders. THEIR concern was with discrimination by the state, not the people of the state. That is to say, they weren't out to prohibit discrimination by individuals, but they couldn't abide the government treating people unequally. I would suspect that even going all the way back to Britain in 1066 we'd find the same thing, that the charters referred to what the gov't could or couldn't do, not the people. Since it is you suggesting this, it is up to you to present the evidence, not for me to find something I don't believe exists. I'll be more than happy to admit I've learned something should you manage to uncover such proofs. That's what I'm here for: to persuade or be persuaded.

We must also acknowledge a great difference between discriminating against what a person is and what a person does, or what a group is and what that group does. The florist in question did not discriminate against selling flowers to homosexuals and was even said to have employed them. But knowing that the her products were used to celebrate what her faith finds sinful makes her party to that sinful celebration.

Geoffrey tries to imply that his DJ gig presents him with the same issue. But his example fails in this regard, unless he was told by those hosting the party that his services were needed for tunes to groove upon during their orgy, in which case he should have discriminated. That would be an apples to apples comparison.

The same with Alan's internet porn attempt. There is no connection whatsoever, unless Alan is an internet consumer for the purpose of accessing porn, which wouldn't surprise me. OR, if the purpose of the internet WAS for providing access to porn. It is not. So that's a mistake on his part.

Marshall Art said...

Now for the really important part, which I meant to address earlier, but wasn't so important that I remembered to do it:

Stan is not a whiner. There is nothing in the post from which you copied the highlighted bit that resembles whining in the least. Discussing the predicted troubles resulting from publicly and legally enabling sinful behavior is not whining. The real whining is what got that sinful behavior the public and legal support it now enjoys and childishly demands in greater measure. Whining is you insisting that harm is inflicted upon hapless homosexuals due to their inability to persuade everyone that their sinfulness is goodness and light. There is no harm done by businesses denying service to anyone while other businesses stand ready to take their money no matter how sinful they might be. Indeed, what is wrong with homosexuals that, upon being refused a room for the night by a Christian who won't provide the bed for whatever, they will simply fall down weeping "Oh, woe is us" instead of simply finding a more accommodating accommodation? What a bunch of whiny wusses!

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

"Publicly enabling sinful behavior." If you'd read through my later comments, Art, you might have noticed that is part of my part-time job: I enable all sorts of sinful behavior, behavior, I might add, of which I strongly disapprove.

I could quit, and make a very public spectacle of the move. Which would prove what, exactly? That I was a prude and a busybody? That I put my personal preferences ahead of being professional?

Furthermore, how is gay marriage "sinful"? In what Bible verse is it included as violating God's law? Wouldn't two men or two women marrying prevent sin ("it's better to marry than to burn" according to this Syrian tent-maker I've read once or twice)?

Finally - let's just say that Dan is wrong and all this really does equate to persecution. So what? Doesn't that mean you folks, who I am claiming are right for the sake of argument, are doing the Gospel right, and therefore should continue to do what you do? Accept the punishment of an unjust state while simultaneously advertising your refusal to abide by what you believe is an unjust law? That would be the example set by some of the early Christians, from Sts. Peter and John through Polycarp and Justin Martyr.

They didn't whine, they just did what they did, and explained to anyone who asked why they did it.

Alan said...

"I would suspect that even going all the way back to Britain in 1066 we'd find the same thing, that the charters referred to what the gov't could or couldn't do, not the people."

Yes, the British crown has long been concerned with limiting government authority. LOL

Alan said...

"We must also acknowledge a great difference between discriminating against what a person is and what a person does, or what a group is and what that group does."

Which is why you are in favor of discrimination based on religion, since that is a choice.

Alan said...

"OR, if the purpose of the internet WAS for providing access to porn. It is not. "

There's a song cue there, but MA wouldn't get that one either. LOL

Marshall Art said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshall Art said...

Alan,

There is much you say that I don't get because of how badly you strain to make it relevant to anything I've said.

But actually, the Charter of Liberties from issued by Henry I in 1100 sought to bind the king to certain laws. So did the Magna Carta in 1215. Other charters, like the earliest in 1066, established towns and cities. Some, like for the British East India Company, was the means by which a business or company could be established. It didn't do so for all businesses, however, as public houses were all over the place and I doubt the king got involved with any of them.

What's more, that's jolly old England, not the United States of America. We were formed with a particular understanding of the concept of liberty and freedom. And as I peruse your offering for Craig, it does not appear that acquiring a license is contingent on anything but meeting the requirements of the license itself. That is, not that your quote implies. It only says what the law demands of those holding said license. Two different things. Craig, I believe, was talking about getting a business license. You offered a law the dictates to holders of a license already received, and that is indeed an intrusion into how a business operates, contrary to principles of the founders, who sought to reign in government from such things.

And as Dan just loves irony, I find it very ironic that the very people who whine about "minding your own business" when reminded about God's will concerning human sexuality, have no problem literally interfering with those who try to do just that. You all need to take your own advice.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

""Publicly enabling sinful behavior." If you'd read through my later comments, Art, you might have noticed that is part of my part-time job: I enable all sorts of sinful behavior, behavior, I might add, of which I strongly disapprove."

The question, Geoffrey, is are you seeking out business that specifically includes behavior you abhor, or is that behavior an unfortunate consequence and not automatically present with every job you take? More importantly is that regardless of your answer, you have the choice to give up this side-line if you truly were concerned that your provision of entertainment somehow compels this behavior, or you choose to ignore it for the money and the personal pleasure spinning tunes provides to you.

The florist, photographer, bed-and-breakfast owner and others like them aren't willing to compromise their faith like you obviously are. What's more, as I said before, in the case of these fine people, they were to be forced to involved themselves with something that was definitely sinful, not possibly including depraved behavior as in your case. In other words, they knew up front what they were being asked to do and their refusal was perfectly in line with their expression of their religious beliefs.

Furthermore, you might be considered more professional by not standing by in the presence of depraved behavior and that might indeed lead to more work for you by people enamored with people of principle. (Note Alan's landscaper who got more work refusing to deal with someone he found repellant. Or note the surge of business by Chick-Fil-A after standing by their beliefs.) It's really sad that you fear being labelled a prude for fleeing sexual immorality. Seems clear you're doing the whole Christian thing wrong.

(As an aside, as I looked back over your responses to me, note that I never said licensing was gov't interference. Glad I could clear that up for you.)

"Furthermore, how is gay marriage "sinful"? In what Bible verse is it included as violating God's law? Wouldn't two men or two women marrying prevent sin ("it's better to marry than to burn" according to this Syrian tent-maker I've read once or twice)?"

First, I believe Paul is more Turk than Syrian, as Tarsus was in the area now known as Turkey.

Secondly, as you well know, Lev 18 states that homosexual behavior is an abomination to God, so two who enter into a "marriage" and "consummates" said marriage might burn anyway. Though Dan knowingly distorts this passage, it is distinctly about the behavior itself with absolutely no regard to whatever context in which it might take place.

Thirdly, to pretend that Paul is talking about anything other than marriage between a man and woman to avoid burning makes it clear you're doing the whole Christian thing wrong.

Alan said...

"Note Alan's landscaper who got more work refusing to deal with someone he found repellant."

Um. You pretty much completely missed the whole point of that story.

The guy who refused to deal with someone he found "repellant"? Yeah, that guy went out of business.

It was the guy who actually did the work who got more business. We, in fact, have no idea what his opinion of gay marriage was, all we know is that it had nothing to do with building porches. He stayed in business.

(And how building a porch has anything to do with gay marriage is beyond me.)

How you could read that story and actually turn it around 180˚ to make it mean something it didn't, and even change the facts of the story to suit your weird opinions is beyond me.

Did you think we wouldn't notice?! LOL

Anyway, your opinion doesn't matter, as Geoffrey said earlier. The law is the law. And speaking of irony, it is hilarious that it is the so-called "conservatives" once again demonstrating that they are anything but conservative, by arguing against the Constitution of the United States.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Art, you should have Leviticus 18 tattooed on your body, because it is the only part of the Bible you seem to care about.

And on Alan's latest comment . . . I'm trying very hard not to laugh.

Oh, to heck with it.

Marshall Art said...

Alan,

I turned nothing around. The story as you told it supports the free market philosophy in that the "fag hater" couldn't get work after you spread the news of his reason for refusing your business (assuming that is the reason he went out of business). It showed that no law infringing on the "fag hater's" beliefs and preferred manner of doing business works as well as the force of consumer feedback. Had he concerned himself with whatever such law may have been in effect at the time, you'd have a "fag hater" making money while "hating fags". You like that better?

At the same time, were the residents of that small time of like mind with the "fag hater", he'd be rolling in dough from all the work he'd get. In either case, he was true to his beliefs as he has the God-given right to be and the consequences played out as they should for that scenario.

MY problem with the "fag hater" would be (were I a resident) simply that he's a hater and that conflicts with MY beliefs, so he would not get my business. If he was a more typical Christian, he'd be more like the florist in question or the president of Chick-Fil-A, selling flowers and chicken to everybody regardless of their twisted sexual lives. But the florist was being sued for something more than simply not selling flowers to homosexuals (which she did often), but for refusing to sell for a particular event which would make her complicit in the sinfulness that event represented to her. You don't have to agree with her. Just supply your ceremony from another source. Her refusal harms no one, does not deprive anyone of rights of any kind. She is not obliged to aid anyone in their pursuit of happiness. Her refusal does not (nor did the "fag hater's) deprive anyone of life or liberty. It just made someone whine. Boo-hoo.

As for the law being the law, this is almost a white flag in discussions such at this because no one is endorsing the breaking of any laws. But finding fault with bad law, as the activists and their enablers believe they are doing, and explaining that fault is a worthy endeavor.

I'd be interested in knowing just how we "so-called" conservatives are arguing against the Constitution. I wouldn't want to do that. I'm pretty damned sure I'm not.

Marshall Art said...

"Art, you should have Leviticus 18 tattooed on your body, because it is the only part of the Bible you seem to care about."

Ironically, Geoffrey (because Dan loves irony), it is you, Alan, Dan and other morally corrupt individuals that need such a constant reminder. I suggest inverted on your foreheads so you can read it every time you look in the mirror.

But when other teachings of Scripture are corrupted and those corruptions are forced upon the nation through law and judicial fiat, I'll demonstrate the same level of concern about those as well.

Alan said...

"Had he concerned himself with whatever such law may have been in effect at the time, you'd have a "fag hater" making money while "hating fags". You like that better?"

Um .... Yeah. Actually that's the whole point of what we've all been saying: we don't care what an individual business owner's personal beliefs are any more than they should give a damn about their customers' beliefs. All of that is irrelevant. We want them to follow the law, which is the only thing that is relevant in this conversation.

How is it possible that isn't clear by now?

Alan said...

MA,

Sorry, but your whole last comment is about "harm". I've never, in this whole thread, said anything about "harm" as a reason for anything. That's Dan. In my very first post on this thread (yeah, I know, you can't possibly be expected to either remember it, nor follow the thread) I said, "It isn't about harm; it is about permission."

So, your whole comment about whether or not someone was harmed has nothing whatsoever to do with anything I've actually said. (as usual.)

I know that keeping up with the things 3 different people are saying is taxing for your two little neurons, but do try to keep up, won't you?

Marshall Art said...

"How is it possible that isn't clear by now?"

It's crystal, Alan. But are you up for every law on the books? Are they all worthy of respect simply because they exist? Do you find the debate over DOMA or Don't Ask, Don't Tell to be worthy, or should everyone just follow the law? I'm sensing some ironic double-talk, here. Or maybe it's hypocrisy. Perhaps ironic hypocrisy or hypocritical irony. My two little neurons can't decide.

And actually, my whole last comment was about tattoos on Geoffrey's forehead. The one before that was a bit more comprehensive than simply harm. It was more broadly on the stupidity of forcing upon the private individual or business owner what is meant for government. As to the "whole point", maybe you can find where this came from:

"They are getting in trouble for illegal discrimination which results in harm to others."

Yeah, it came from Dan. As his post is what this is all about, I believe that returning to that point is justified, even in responding to you. Generally, blog hosts like for comments to stay on topic. Just trying to follow the law here.

As to "permission", I don't think that accurately describes what licensing is all about. Sure, it gives one "permission" to operate a business, but that's about as far as any permission goes. For many businesses, merely applying and paying the fee is all that is required. Some businesses require additional permits, but that only demands more training, certifications and/or adherence to special health and safety codes.

But when that "permission" is only given by forcing an individual to act against their firmly held and Constitutionally protected beliefs, then we've got a bad law on the books and it needs to be corrected. This is the case with the florist, the photographer and the bed and breakfast owner. In these cases, the harm is against them, not the consumer refused, who can consume elsewhere very easily.

What's more, it is a codified example of forcing one notion of morality upon those with a differing, and in this case more Biblically correct morality. Not good in these here United States of America.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Here's where Art keeps going off the rails: But when that "permission" is only given by forcing an individual to act against their firmly held and Constitutionally protected beliefs, then we've got a bad law on the books and it needs to be corrected. When an individual or small group of people or even an institution such as a church receives a license to do business, that license not only brings that business under the laws and regulations of doing business as a business, the individual, group, or institution so licensed is no longer considered as that person or persons or institution. This is why, for example, HHS can say that the Affordable Care Act can include Catholic Hospitals providing insurance that covers contraception. It isn't the Catholic Church, but a hospital that is the employer of record. People who work at that hospital, be they doctors or nurses or custodians or food service workers or accountants do so because they want to work at a hospital; there is no necessary expectation on the part either of the employer or employees that they would be, or should be, engaged in practices or policies developed for a church, because they aren't working for a church. They're working for a hospital.

For some reason, Catholic hospitals across Europe have no problem dealing with these issues. Sitting around crying "discrimination" and "persecution" is disingenuous because, frankly, it's just a ploy on their part to save money.

To take Alan's example, the contractor hired may well have held personal animus against gays; as a business owner and practitioner of a particular craft, his beliefs didn't have anything to do with doing his job for Alan and his husband. Why? Because that individual understands the difference between himself and his business. It's called being professional and law-abiding.

No matter how much you stamp your feet, Dan's point on this post stands. There is no reason for indignation, crying foul, and screaming about persecution because, to be honest - it just isn't happening.

Marshall Art said...

Yeah, Geoffrey. I get that some cannot separate their devotion to God from their chosen profession. I get that you find that "unprofessional". But devotion to God is considered something kinda special to God. Jesus speaks of hating one's mother and father. I would expect He'd feel that more so regarding profit.

Some of us perceive professionalism as maintaining standards of behavior that you simply set aside for the sake of misbegotten law and profit potential. Some of us know that the 1st Amendment did not expect that we save our religious expression for Sunday service and then set it aside when we open up for business.

And by the way, I don't believe being professional means taking every job that comes your way regardless of your personal beliefs. It means doing a good job once the gig is taken.

Alan said...

"What's more, it is a codified example of forcing one notion of morality upon those with a differing, and in this case more Biblically correct morality. Not good in these here United States of America."

Um... Wow...

This comment thread can serve no further purpose.

But if you don't like the US and the social contract on which it is based, you can always leave. I'm sure you'll have no problem finding countries that allow exactly the sort of discrimination you are looking to find.

Alan said...

Do you find the debate over DOMA or Don't Ask, Don't Tell to be worthy, or should everyone just follow the law?"

The irony is hilarious, as these laws are discriminatory and violate the 14th Amendment, exactly as the cake baker was doing.

So, I'm arguing that the government must follow the 14th Amendment, just as the florist must.

There's no irony nor hypocrisy here on my part, just you clearly not understanding these issues at all.

But that DADT and DOMA were excellent examples that prove my point, thanks for that.

FUMC West Dundee IL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FUMC West Dundee IL said...

While I agree with Alan that this thread is pretty much petering out with Art not understanding that businesses have to abide by the law, there are a couple things I want to point out in his last comment. First: Some of us know that the 1st Amendment did not expect that we save our religious expression for Sunday service and then set it aside when we open up for business. You may know that, but the Supreme Court, who determines what the laws mean, knows differently, and their opinion is a lot more important on this matter than yours. You don't get to discriminate then hide behind Jesus' skirts and the 1st Amendment. And, as I said above, if you're discriminating in your business in the name of Jesus, you might not be clear on the fact that Jesus wants us to treat everyone as God's beloved children, which would include doing business with them. Even if you believe sex with persons of the same gender is a sin, how, precisely do you do business with adulterers, thieves, liars, and your run of the mill human being? For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, said St. Paul. Kind of levels the playing field, doesn't it.

I don't believe being professional means taking every job that comes your way regardless of your personal beliefs. It means doing a good job once the gig is taken. I learned early in life a saying that is the defining ethos of capitalism: Money talks and BS walks. As Alan's story demonstrates, there is a cost to discrimination, a harm if you will, that is paid by the one doing the discrimination. Some other business flourished, while the "principled" contractor is pounding the pavement looking for work. Money talks, BS walks in search of a job.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

BTW that was me commenting under my work ID

Alan said...

G: "And, as I said above, if you're discriminating in your business in the name of Jesus, you might not be clear on the fact that Jesus wants us to treat everyone as God's beloved children"

Also, if one is against gay marriage, then the reasonable, adult, and Christian way to stand up for your morality is not by blatantly discriminating against others, but to *not get gay married, you morons!*

Just sayin...

I will, BTW, note that I have participated in any number of weddings between people who I did not think should get married (many of whom are no longer married because ... well ... straight people can't commit, natch) but it wasn't my job to tell them that. It was my job to show up, eat cake, tell them that the bride looked beautiful, leave a present, then talk about them behind their backs with my husband on the drive home.

Because unlike the busybodies, fusspots, tattletales and scolds, that's what people who were raised right do. Manners make the man.

On the other hand, when the government starts mandating gay marriage for str8s, then I'll be happy to agree that MA, Craig, Bubba, and the rest of their fundie Scooby Gang are actually being persecuted. Until then, they should shut up and sack up (as the kids say these days).

(But let's be honest, given how much the three of them spend time talking about, writing about, and fantasizing about gay sex, I'm not sure that forced gay marriage would exactly be "persecution" for them, if you know what I mean. Unless "persecution" means "wildest fantasies". And given how much they obviously get off on the fake masochism of their phony martyr complexes, it is pretty evident that for them, it does.)

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

The point about attending weddings when your only thought is, "Lord, this won't last until sunup tomorrow" is a good one. Been there any number of times.

And they say gay marriage demeans the institution; I've been to some, either as guest or in a professional capacity as a disc jockey, where I wished for some sign the people getting married would still be speaking before midnight.

Alan said...

Emily Post says you have up to a year to give a wedding gift. There have been times when I've seriously considered waiting in order to save money. LOL

Marshall Art said...

Alan,

"Um... Wow..."

I'm glad you agree.

"This comment thread can serve no further purpose."

Then how fortunate for you that you are not obliged to further your participation. But you will.

"But if you don't like the US and the social contract on which it is based, you can always leave."

So, you're a redneck, now? "America---Love it or leave it?" Is that it? Seems kind of ironic (Dan must be in heaven!) that you take this attitude. But we on the right have been told that dissent is American, by golly! And thus, if I don't like the direction of the country, I have every right and duty to work toward redirecting it toward a more righteous path.

"The irony is hilarious, as these laws are discriminatory and violate the 14th Amendment, exactly as the cake baker was doing."

No they are NOT discriminatory. The are only said to be so by those who demand they be changed to satisfy their own selfishness. The laws as they stood applied to everyone equally already. People like you didn't like them, so rather than leave the country and live where your twisted notion of fairness would be satisfied, you fought for change. How dare you!

Marshall Art said...

GEoffrey,

"..this thread is pretty much petering out with Art not understanding that businesses have to abide by the law..."

When you find the place where I ever suggested that businesses don't have to abide by the law, then you won't be a liar. I'm saying that people like the florist aren't breaking the law by refusing to do business with people who wish her to participate in that which conflicts with her Constitutionally protected right to express her faith as she sees fit.

"You may know that, but the Supreme Court, who determines what the laws mean, knows differently, and their opinion is a lot more important on this matter than yours."

You may know that the Supreme court renders "opinions" of what the law means. You may also know that it is rare when the entirety of the Court agrees---9-0 decisions being rare. And you also may know that some, mostly whiny lefties like yourself, like to insist that all opinions are of equal worth. (Hey Dan! More irony!) What you may not know, but should, is how often lefties will look to law to determine their morality when debates leave them absent of argument to sway the other side.

"You don't get to discriminate then hide behind Jesus' skirts and the 1st Amendment."

The type of discrimination being discussed here, and in the blog of Stan's whence comes Dan's quoted section, is exactly the type of discrimination that is protected by the 1st Amendment. That some wacky Supremes say otherwise is unfortunate for liberty-minded Americans. This is why I asked Alan to provide some support from the founders earlier. Neither of you can, apparently, since you won't be able to find any. Again, they were concerned with how the gov't treats the people, not how private individuals and businesses operate, leaving that to their own consciences.

"...you might not be clear on the fact that Jesus wants us to treat everyone as God's beloved children, which would include doing business with them."

You shouldn't try to rewrite Scripture to satisfy your own twisted notion of morality, any more than you should try to rewrite the Constitution. Jesus does NOT want us to love each other to the point where we are enabling bad and sinful behavior, and that would have to include one's business participating in bad or sinful purposes. If you can find someplace where He says otherwise, I'd be much appreciative. Pardon me for holding my breath.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

This is just so precious: You may know that the Supreme court renders "opinions" of what the law means. You may also know that it is rare when the entirety of the Court agrees---9-0 decisions being rare. And you also may know that some, mostly whiny lefties like yourself, like to insist that all opinions are of equal worth.

So because it's called "an opinion of the Court", it isn't binding. I've heard this line of reasoning before, and I so want you to try it out when you're before a judge sometime.

I would never claim that all opinions are of equal worth. In fact, I've written several times just the opposite. Of course, your reading comprehension skills being what they are, I doubt you understood it.

And even more happy-happy-joy-joy: What you may not know, but should, is how often lefties will look to law to determine their morality when debates leave them absent of argument to sway the other side. Since we're talking about the law here, and not morality, I'm straining to discover a point. But, then, why bother? You enjoy changing the subject.

Honestly, Art - you just keep on keeping on with the same tired schtick. Minnesota just legalized same-sex marriage. Illinois is poised to be next; since they just legalized medical marijuana, I figure there are all sorts or reasons to think more kindly of my adopted home state. That will make thirteen states where gay marriage is legal, and once the Supreme Court publishes its "opinion" (which means what, exactly, to you? That it isn't binding? That it has no force of law?) Prop 8 will be as dead as Jacob Marley and California will be 14.

We live in a land of law. Not morality. Not Judeo-Christian values. Law. So, yeah, I'll stick with the law when we're talking about what's legal and illegal, Art, because I love this country.

Marshall Art said...

"Even if you believe sex with persons of the same gender is a sin, how, precisely do you do business with adulterers, thieves, liars, and your run of the mill human being?"

I'm glad you asked, Geoffrey. Thanks. If I am made aware of the sinful intentions of any of the above, as the florist was with the homosexuals, as the photographer was with the lesbians, as the bed and breakfast owner was as well, then I would refuse service. Pretty simple concept. What isn't simple is determining those intentions when such intentions aren't made known. In THAT case, I would not discriminate based on mere appearance. I can't know what a sinner intends without the sinner making those intentions known to me. Thus, I would have to assume innocence on the part of any consumer who patronizes my establishment.

Again, if you were hired to play music, and were told nothing beyond the fact that a wedding or other form of party were being planned, you would have no way of knowing what level of debauchery might take place during your service to those who hired you. If they told you, "We want you to provide music by which we could act like complete hedonistic assholes", then to discriminate would be quite Biblical and professional. It's really not that hard to figure out.

"For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, said St. Paul. Kind of levels the playing field, doesn't it."

No. You misapply that verse here. It has nothing to do with enabling sinful behavior.

" I learned early in life a saying that is the defining ethos of capitalism: Money talks and BS walks."

You learned what isn't the case. This saying refers to cheap talk and no action. It is actually more of a wagering challenge. "I don't believe you can do it (or are correct, as the case may be) and I'm willing to put up money against your claim to the contrary." It has very little to do with capitalism, which you clearly don't understand. You use the expression as if to justify ignoring righteousness for the sake of a dollar. Another example of how you support immorality.

"As Alan's story demonstrates, there is a cost to discrimination, a harm if you will, that is paid by the one doing the discrimination."

Yes and no. It demonstrates how market forces might resolve the problem of discrimination should enough consumers feel the same way about a particular business. Yet, you kids don't seem to realize that there is still discrimination afoot. This "fag hater" was, if Alan's correct as to why his business folded, a victim of discrimination. The community rejected this guy due to his hatred (or more precisely, due to Alan's telling of why he wouldn't take the gig)

continued...

Marshall Art said...

This story of Alan's supports Bubba's position as regards the consumer discriminating against businesses. It is an unequal application of the law to insist that non-discrimination only go in one direction, but not the other. The guy's business went south because of not only his beliefs, but the beliefs of the consumers which were contrary to his. It is OK for them to discriminate against the business based upon personally held beliefs, but not the other way around. This is why the insistence that private individuals and businesses are to be held to a standard only intended by the founders for gov't, is wrong and unjust. It isn't, and likely not possible, to be applied equally as all law should.

And again, Alan's story demonstrates that there is no need for such governmental mandates.

Marshall Art said...

Alan,

"Also, if one is against gay marriage, then the reasonable, adult, and Christian way to stand up for your morality is not by blatantly discriminating against others, but to *not get gay married, you morons!*"

Reasonable and mature Christians do not fall for this sad level of nonsense. They continue to preach the truth in order to educate the fallen for the sake of their own salvation. It is not discrimination against people to discriminate against their behavior or desires. The reasonable, mature Christian will continue to preach and vote against this sinful Agenda That Does Not Exist,for the benefit of all, including those who push the Agenda.

"(many of whom are no longer married because ... well ... straight people can't commit, natch)"

"Natch"??? I'm sure you can provide stats that show heterosexuals are less able to commit than are homosexuals. I'll wait here.

"...but it wasn't my job to tell them that."

That depends on how close a friend you are to either of those who you believed shouldn't marry. A real friend wouldn't remain silent, even if that real friend eventually attends the wedding that should never have taken place. That's what people who were raised right to. They don't just stand back and watch friends harm themselves without some input. But people like you call such real friends (and Christians) "busybodies, fusspots, tattletales and scolds".

"On the other hand, when the government starts mandating gay marriage for str8s, then I'll be happy to agree that MA, Craig, Bubba, and the rest of their fundie Scooby Gang are actually being persecuted."


It would be helpful to remember (as well as honorable) that never has anyone, especially the gov't, forced any homosexual to "marry str8". Nice try there, if one is desperate.

And the persecution comes when the gov't forces people to act against their beliefs, as happened in the case of the florist and others.

"But let's be honest, given how much the three of them spend time talking about, writing about, and fantasizing about gay sex, I'm not sure that forced gay marriage would exactly be "persecution" for them, if you know what I mean."

First of all, you haven't shown much evidence of honesty in any of these types of discussions.

Secondly, what makes you think any of us fantasize about homosexual behavior? Project much?

Thirdly, OK, we're all homosexuals, too. But we still regard homosexual behavior in any context as the sinful abomination God said it is, and we still reject the notion of gov't mandating that states must allow homosexual marriages, and we also recognize the improper application of non-discrimination laws as regards the dealings of private businesses and individuals with the consuming public. Now what?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

the notion of gov't mandating that states must allow homosexual marriages Um . . .

States are passing laws permitting same-sex couples to marry. That would "government" doing its job. No one is "mandating" anything here, except insofar as the legislative branch passes laws, are signed or otherwise ratified by the executive branch. What, exactly, are you talking about in this . . . phrase?

Alan said...

"Thirdly, OK, we're all homosexuals, too. But we still regard homosexual behavior in any context as the sinful abomination God said it is, and we still reject the notion of gov't mandating that states must allow homosexual marriages, and we also recognize the improper application of non-discrimination laws as regards the dealings of private businesses and individuals with the consuming public. Now what?"

Well, that would only mean that you're stupid and a closet case, which is exactly what I've been saying. Advocating violations of the 14th amendment are still violations, regardless of who is advocating them.

"For the benefit of all, including those who push the agenda."

Leaving aside your continued references to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion rhetoric, thanks, but no thanks. We don't want your "benefit". So, go waste your time somewhere else.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

I haven't done a head count, but of the states where homosexual marriage is legal, most were mandated by virtue of state supreme court decisions and not a vote by the people, either directly or by their reps. The courts are a branch of gov't, so I don't understand your confusion with my statement.

"So because it's called "an opinion of the Court", it isn't binding."

I don't believe I've ever said or implied this. The topic of this thread began with a lament over perceived "whining" over the improper application of law toward business owners who wish to run their businesses according to their religious beliefs. It has nothing to do with whether or not a SCOTUS ruling is binding. No one has made the case, or suggested the idea, that it isn't. There seems a huge problem with YOUR comprehension.

" Since we're talking about the law here, and not morality, I'm straining to discover a point."

Once again, your comprehension skills are found wanting. This post is exactly based on concerns regarding the morality of law in forcing business owners to act against their Constitutionally protected right to express their faith.

"We live in a land of law. Not morality."

More's the pity. I'd much prefer the latter to the former, as the immoral feel bad law validates their immoral desires and character.

"So, yeah, I'll stick with the law when we're talking about what's legal and illegal, Art, because I love this country."

Your positions demonstrate a strange notion of what it means to love one's country. Law is changeable. Morality is fixed. At least it is to those who are true Christians. Our founders sought to frame law based upon morality. Somewhere between then and now, that changed to accommodate all manner of altered morality. My love of country understands the detriment wrought by such self-serving alterations.

Marshall Art said...

Alan,

"Well, that would only mean that you're stupid and a closet case..."

Would you say the same to an unmarried person who desires sex with another, but refrains due to his faith? How about a married guy who wants to bang the lady next door, but refrains due to devotion to God? How about a guy who covets a lot of money, but won't go ahead with the desire to rob a bank? All these people are stupid, closet cases by your definition. How sad.

"Advocating violations of the 14th amendment are still violations..."

Whether denying marriage privileges to homosexuals violates the 14th is not an issue that has been decided yet. Understanding the intent of the 14th makes that argument really foolish. What has been marriage law in this country until recently in some states, has already been applied equally.

"Leaving aside your continued references to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion rhetoric..."

Wow! I've never heard Scripture referred to in such a manner!

"...thanks, but no thanks. We don't want your "benefit"."

Well, you're in luck. There is no mandate that you MUST avail yourself of God's salvation. Just be aware that there is no Supreme Court that can force Him to grant you that benefit if you refuse to live according His clearly revealed teachings.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I haven't done a head count

I did. It took me about twenty seconds to find the states that have legalized gay marriage and how they did it.

but of the states where homosexual marriage is legal, most were mandated by virtue of state supreme court decisions

That would be two of the twelve states, Art - Iowa and Massachusetts - so not "most". As for "mandated", well, if you think that a court telling state officers they cannot discriminate against same-sex couples because it violates that state's constitution "mandating" something, i.e., following the law, then sure, those TWO states have court-mandated permission to allow same-sex couples to marry.

Should the setting aside of Proposition 8 in California be upheld by the Supreme Court, that would count as a mixed result. The state legislature had legalized same-sex marriage; then there was a ballot initiative - the full story of which I think still needs to be told, especially the role of out-of-state actors such as the LDS Church - that was passed but has been declared in violation of the Constitution by two federal courts.

So, again - I'm not sure about the whole "government forcing the state" thing. Kind of like Brown v Board of Education, where "the government" forced "the state" to integrate with no legislative process?

Marshall Art said...

"It took me about twenty seconds to find the states that have legalized gay marriage and how they did it."

OOOH! You're such a CLEVER boy! My point (missed again!) was as regards gov't mandating and that the courts are a part of gov't. Whether it is a legislative body or a state supreme court is insignificant against the point that the gov't mandates that SSM should be legal. Only three of the states (which you know from your twenty seconds of effort, you clever boy) granted this fictitious right by popular vote. Those three states at least decided by the majority of voters in those states, as the majority in so many others, including California, voted to maintain the true definition of marriage. Some like to pretend the people decided in those states, like, say, New Hampshire, were decided by the people because they elected the buffoons who voted to legalize this fictitious right to redefine the institution. But we've seen many people elected to office supporting true marriage turn after being elected, Rob Portman being a recent example.

The main problem with your response is the same problem that rational people struggle to explain to the rest of you. There was no discrimination against homosexuals by denying them their demand to have their unholy unions recognized by the state. The marriage laws were already applied equally to everybody.

But of course, all this is way off topic now. The topic of this post revolves around Dan calling righteous commentary "whining" while actual whiners are deemed victimized.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

My point (missed again!) was as regards gov't mandating and that the courts are a part of gov't. Whether it is a legislative body or a state supreme court is insignificant against the point that the gov't mandates that SSM should be legal.

OK, Art. Honestly, this is meaningless. A word salad. How else are laws passed but by legislatures? How else are laws that are clearly discriminatory removed from the books when brought before a judge?

Some like to pretend the people decided in those states, like, say, New Hampshire, were decided by the people because they elected the buffoons who voted to legalize this fictitious right to redefine the institution. But we've seen many people elected to office supporting true marriage turn after being elected, Rob Portman being a recent example.

Some like to pretend that elected bodies will do the work of legislating? Oh, yeah - that would be all Americans save Art who, for some reason, thinks that this is wrong.

Look, you can sit there and stamp your feet about "true definition" of marriage all you want. The reality is marriage isn't a "thing", but a legal institution governed by laws . . . passed by legislatures. Nothing you say otherwise changes that reality. Which, of course, brings us back to the main point of Dan's post (while I disagree that the argument is "over" as there are a vast majority of states that still have to act to make same-sex marriage legal across the country): In terms of the public debate on this issue, the majority sentiment is with granting same-sex couples the right to marry (and, yes, Art, it is a right, as declared by the Supreme Court in Loving v Virginia). There is no other way to talk about this issue in a way that makes sense given our form of government.

The simplest way to avoid being tainted by gay marriage, Art, is this: Don't get married to another man. If you think it's wrong, well, no amount of arguing will change that. As marriage is a legal institution, however, the state has control of how it is practiced, and therefore if the state passes laws regarding it, that isn't some weird "mandate" forcing something unwanted on the state. It's just America.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

You're engaging in the usual deceptive semantic games. For example, Loving v Virginia did NOT state that SS couples have a right marry each other, but that everyone has the right to marry. At THAT time, marriage was rightfully understood to mean the union of one man and one woman.

As for legislating, I'm not arguing how it is done or what it means as regards establishing legalities. I'm saying that to establish THIS legality MANDATES the concept. So my comments concerning MANDATING against the individual's already Constitutionally protected right to express their religion in their lives are accurate. There were no rights denied before, but there are and will be rights infringed upon with every state legalizing this depravity. "Discrimination" is not immoral.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Um, I never said Loving had anything to do with same-sex marriage. I'm only noting that the majority opinion made clear that marriage is a right. That's why I cited it. I thought that was kind of clear.

I'm saying that to establish THIS legality MANDATES the concept.

Again - I have no idea what you mean. I'm only slightly relieved that you probably don't either. "Semantic games" only work when one person knows how to use words.

Alan said...

"All these people are stupid, closet cases by your definition."

Nope, just you.

Alan said...

""Leaving aside your continued references to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion rhetoric..."

"Wow! I've never heard Scripture referred to in such a manner!"

Yeah, I pretty much knew you wouldn't get the reference. Google it, you anti-semitic twit.


" Just be aware that there is no Supreme Court that can force Him to grant you that benefit if you refuse to live according His clearly revealed teachings."

Actually I'm in luck because I don't believe in works-based salvation, like you do.

Marshall Art said...

"Um, I never said Loving had anything to do with same-sex marriage."

And, it is clear to anyone who can read, that I never said you did.

"I'm only noting that the majority opinion made clear that marriage is a right."

No doubt you would insist that the definition of the word must be altered from what those deciding Loving knew it meant so that bringing up Loving would be relevant here. You brought it up immediately in support of your belief that majority opinion is with granting marital "rights" to homosexuals. They've had those rights all along, not only by law (to marry someone of the opposite gender) as well as in fact (committing to whomever an individual chooses).

"Again - I have no idea what you mean."

A bit of a typo. It should have read


I'm saying that to establish THIS legally MANDATES the concept.


To clarify further, since you need it, whether by votes of a legislative body, or by decisions of the court, establishing SSM legally, (or the legality of SSM---jeez!), doing so mandate the concept upon the whole of society, including those who seek to exercise their already Constitutionally protected right to express their faith in their lives, private or business. Let me know if you're still lost.

Marshall Art said...

""All these people are stupid, closet cases by your definition."

Nope, just you."


Coming from you, this has no effect. But it's nice to know that you support all those other people I mentioned, including the homosexual who denies himself due to his faith in God. You're a pip.

"Yeah, I pretty much knew you wouldn't get the reference. Google it, you anti-semitic twit."

Proving only how little you know. I understand the reference plainly. My understanding of Scripture has no resemblance whatsoever to the Protocols, nor does my understanding of anything else. However, YOUR understanding of people who proclaim God's truth about homosexual behavior does conjure parallels to that fraudulent document. I must say, however, that I've can't recall ever being referred to as "anti-semitic". Only a twit would suggest such a thing.

"Actually I'm in luck because I don't believe in works-based salvation, like you do."

Now the white flag is truly raised, as you again assert nonsense. I don't believe in works-based salvation, but that works are a reflection of one's faith. Faith does not erase the divide between Godly and sinful behavior. That you have eagerly chosen the latter makes your faith an illusion.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

OK, so you're saying that legalizing same sex marriage makes it legal?

That legalizing same-sex marriage makes it binding upon everyone? Last time I checked the country was chock-full of people, some of them working at the Heritage Foundation, who think that people of other races are inherently inferior in some way. That doesn't mean the Civil Rights and Voting Rights laws aren't still in force. Passing a law, even nearly fifty years ago, hasn't changes at least some minds. I'm quite sure there will be folks like you who refuse to admit that a married gay couple is really married.

That's OK. The purpose of the law isn't to make folks who don't agree with it suddenly stand up and say, "You know, you're right." The purpose of the law is to make sure that local, county, state, and federal officials grant to all married couples the rights they should enjoy as married couples.

And, no, you can't hide behind Jesus's skirts in order to continue to discriminate if, say, you're an IRS agent who doesn't accept same-sex marriage using religion as an excuse to refuse tax benefits to married couples of the same gender. That is discrimination, which trumps your religion-based bigotry.

Parklife said...

wow.. this is still going on?

Marshall, your arguments are ridiculous. Perhaps 20 or even 10 years ago, they may have held some water. I sincerely hope that you plan on joining the rest of us in the 21st century.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Art on May 21: ""Um, I never said Loving had anything to do with same-sex marriage."

And, it is clear to anyone who can read, that I never said you did."

Art on May 20: "Loving v Virginia did NOT state that SS couples have a right marry each other"

I'm not even sure you have writing comprehension, let alone reading comprehension.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

It is incredible to me that you would dare question my ability to comprehend when you put up a comment like the following:

"OK, so you're saying that legalizing same sex marriage makes it legal?"

Legalizing SSM mandates how the rest of the nation must act, especially in light of very questionable "anti-discrimination" laws. This is illustrated in the florist case. She not only has to treat every customer the same (which she already was doing regularly), but she must treat their behaviors equally regardless of her religious beliefs on the subject. The law now says to her, "You must not balk at participating in behaviors you find sinful, even if that participation is merely in providing your products for celebrating that behavior." That's a mandate.

"Last time I checked the country was chock-full of people, some of them working at the Heritage Foundation, who think that people of other races are inherently inferior in some way."

Really. When did your last check occur, and who at the Heritage Foundation did you find that held people of other races as inherently inferior in some way?

"I'm quite sure there will be folks like you who refuse to admit that a married gay couple is really married."

They aren't. They only pretend and the law now enables that pretense in some states. They can only be married by changing the definition of the word. But even then, they will never have what they demand to have, because what they have is not marriage.

"The purpose of the law isn't to make folks who don't agree with it suddenly stand up and say, "You know, you're right.""

That's exactly what this is all about. Forcing the belief that homosexual unions are morally equal to normal marriages. By denying people of faith their right to refuse to enable this behavior, the law's purpose is to force the pretense of sameness between normal and homosexual unions upon the culture. It's not to "grant to all married couples the rights they should enjoy as married couples", as that had already been the case. It's to dilute the meaning of marriage to include those who don't qualify under the definition of the term, and pretend that they, too, are just like normal married couples.

Marshall Art said...

"And, no, you can't hide behind Jesus's skirts in order to continue to discriminate if..."

I'm sure in your pro-homosexual world Jesus wears skirts, but in the real world, we who recognize God's clear teaching regarding human sexuality know those are "robes".

"...say, you're an IRS agent who doesn't accept same-sex marriage using religion as an excuse to refuse tax benefits to married couples of the same gender."

THAT'S the gov't treating everyone fairly under the law. As stated, there is a difference between the what the founders intended in that regard. Private businesses and individuals aren't the gov't. Thus, if enough morally bankrupt voters and their representatives enact bad law, those laws must be equally applied. Aren't you aware of this?

"religion-based bigotry"

You say this as if it is a bad thing. To be intolerant of behaviors of which God is intolerant? I'm good with it. Indeed, in your twisted understanding of Scripture, I've no doubt, and you've given plenty of evidence to support it, that you are quite bigoted against people like me, based on that twisted understanding of yours. You are incredibly intolerant.

As to your comment of May 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM, we see once again that it is you who struggles with comprehension. When I said "Loving v Virginia did NOT state that SS couples have a right marry each other", it was in response to your use of the case within the context of this discussion. The case is irrelevant because it did NOT state that SS couples have a right marry each other. That's not to say you were suggesting it had anything to do with same-sex marriage, where plainly I was not saying you were. Let's review:

You were claiming by bringing up this case that everyone has a right to marry. Loving established this right to marry. I simply said that this decision did not suggest SS couples had a right to marry because such unions were not recognized as a marriage at that time. Thus, bringing up the case is worthless for supporting your pro-SSM position in this discussion. So clearly, I never suggested that you said Loving had anything to do with SSM, even though your bringing it up certainly did.

To put it another way, Loving had nothing to do with SSM and I never said you suggested that. But your bringing up that case had everything to do with SSM, though it doesn't help your argument since it did not say SS couples could unite in marriage. Let me know if you're still confused.

Parklife said...

"But even then, they will never have what they demand to have"

ummm.. equality? They demand equality. We are talking about the thousands of laws that benefit married couples.

Jeeshhh.. this is awful. Marshall, one day you will realize that YOUR God cant bully people around anymore. Our culture has changed. Thats okay. It happens everyday. Please deal with it in a respectful manner.

Marshall Art said...

"They demand equality."

They've had it and always will. What they demand is not equality.

"...one day you will realize that YOUR God cant bully people around anymore."

OUR God has not changed His position on human sexuality and what constitutes the proper manifestation of it. One day you will realize you can't create your own god.

"Our culture has changed."

No kidding. More's the pity.

"Please deal with it in a respectful manner."

Pot, meet kettle.

Parklife said...

"OUR God"

Lol.. Marshall. Your God is an interpretation of how you see the world. Im sorry that it makes you a bigot, but thats just life.

btw, The Boy Scouts are now supporting the Gay Agenda. Now every kid in America will grow up to be homosexual.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

For Art, because he seems incapable of typing "heritage foundation racist report" in Google, I ask that he click. And I went with The Daily Beast, a publication where Tina Brown is trying to prove she doesn't destroy everything she touches and is failing miserably at it. But at least no one can call it "The Liberal Media"

Parklife said...

"Pot, meet kettle."

ha.. did you just call yourself Hitler..

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

It isn't a matter of capability. I've long maintained (since people like you have suggested that it is up to me to verify every wacky comment you make) that I am not obliged to research your accusations. If you're going to make a charge, do so with a link like a good little boy. This will prevent your need to disparage your opponent when there is no cause. I know this is how you show God's love, but I'm still having trouble with that.

I cannot go any farther with my response as this nonsensical notion of the Heritage Foundation being racist is off topic. Likely as not, Dan will delete my comment (though even more likely, he won't delete yours or Parklife's insipid comments) because it does not address the false charge that Stan is whining when he reports the legitimate concerns of people of faith due to the growing immoral stance of gov'ts local and federal concerning the abomination of homosexual marriage, and the impact it has on their personal and business lives. However, I intend to refer to your goofy comment in an expanded response at my blog. Stay tuned.

For now, however, reporting a charge of racism does not equate to actually finding racism. Also, the Beast is liberal. At least it is not the centrist or right-wing site lefties want to pretend it is. Having contributors who are known as right of center does not make the Beast right of center, especially if they are supporting leftist positions. I'm not a visitor to the Beast, but suffice it to say, that a quick search has demonstrated it's leanings are debatable.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Oh for crying out loud.

Just admit (a) you had no idea of a major story that has been circulating for a couple weeks, and (b) you have no idea how to search for something.

It takes seconds to type something in Google and get a result. Even if the result isn't to your liking.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

"Repeating a charge of racism" . . .

If you took some time to read, you'd notice that (a) the whole thesis is racist (Hispanics are stupid because they're Hispanics); and (b) it was so blatant the Heritage Foundation fired the guy.

So, obviously, I'm just repeating a charge of racism rather than actually finding out what's going on, unlike you who can't even be bothered to Google the story in the first place.

Marshall Art said...

Once again, Geoffrey, I will respond more fully at my blog. However, I don't think this rises to the level of "major story" when several scandals are taking up so much time in the news. If it was a major story, it would have gotten more play on the various news outlets to which I am exposed daily, such as various TV and radio stations, and a couple of different newspapers. Like the racism charge, saying it's a major story doesn't make it so.

Secondly, you'll find out what my searching yields when I finish my post. But again, I'm not about to spend time researching what you should have brought to the table with your accusation. There's no way in hell you would have acted any different had the roles been reversed.

Thirdly, I read your link and the links within them (except the MoJones, cuz they can't be trusted at all) and you're still dealing with accusation and not proof of racism. Try not to wet yourself as you await my post. I'm done with this off-topic topic on this thread. It's how Dan wants it.