COMMENTARY: Rallying the troops with self-righteous fury

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Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest based in New York. He is the author of “Just Wondering, Jesus” and founder of the Church Wellness Project. Photo courtesy Tom Ehrich

Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest based in New York. He is the author of “Just Wondering, Jesus” and founder of the Church Wellness Project. Photo courtesy Tom Ehrich

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(RNS) Nothing rallies the troops better than self-righteous fury. Tell those who are indeed being victimized that they are under assault by a vulnerable minority, turn attention away from those actually gunning for their money and freedom, and create a scapegoat.

  • Doc Anthony

    I’m not much for $382,000 wristwatches (food and shelter is too high-priced to be playing with such toys), so indeed I do agree with the criticism of Tom Perkins.

    But I commend the Kansas House for standing up for the constitutional freedom of religion and conscience that belongs to all of us, whether Christian or non-Christian, whether individuals or congregations.

    Whether it’s acknowledged or not, there is a real problem with the Gay Gestapo and what they did in New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont.

    These activists demand that businesses/agencies be forced to help celebrate, validate, and affirm gay marriage with their goods and services. Forcing businesses to accomodate people’s lifestyles and behaviors instead of just accomodating people.

    That’s no good. That’s unconstitutional. That’s unbiblical (just like gay marriage. That’s a gay mess and it needs to be stopped. Kudos to the Kansas House.

  • Larry

    Appealing to bigotry has always worked well for rallying conservatives. Pretending bigots are somehow a victim class has always been a way to assuage the feelings that their views are losing social sanction.

    Civil liberties are not about asking people politely to respect others, its about giving bigots no other choice. Forcing businesses to follow laws that ban discrimination and not having commerce tied up due to prejudice is part of what civil liberties are all about. It didn’t fly with all forms of minorities, it doesn’t for gays.

    If you hold your business out as being open to the public, you must serve the entire public. If you want to discriminate in business, open a private club and take the loss in revenues that decreased exposure brings. That is the price of prejudice.

    The fact that you have to ground your views in religious terms (“its unbiblical”) shows how irrational your arguments are. If you had to defend them on a rational or secular basis, it would come up wanting. Its why the anti-gay zealots keep losing court cases.

  • J.C. Samuelson

    Yes, I’m sure you’re right. “Heterosexuals only” signs are long overdue. Damn gay people. Always demanding to be treated equally. Who do they think they are, anyway? Citizens or something?

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  • Doc Anthony

    It’s one thing for businesses to accomodate people.

    It’s another thing for businesses to be forced to help celebrate and validate people’s lifestyles and marriages. That’s wrong.

    All people are created equal; all people’s lifestyles and marital choices are not.

  • Larry

    Its one thing for businesses to act like businesses. Its another thing for them to be used as a sounding board for bigotry and tying up commerce to do it. The government has an interest in keeping the flow of commerce going without such irrational constraints.

    If you are not going to perform services and sell goods strictly for commercial purposes then you have no business holding yourself out as available to the public for such things. There is plenty of leeway to engage in bigotry and discrimination in your commercial activities. You just have to do it as a private cluble.

  • J.C. Samuelson

    You’re not making sense. The businesses in question already “help celebrate and validate people’s lifestyles and marriages,” do they not? Goods such as wedding cakes and services such as wedding photography are typically associated with celebrating “people’s lifestyles and marriages,” are they not?