Gender & Sexuality News

No major US religious groups approve refusing service to gays

An LGBT lambda equality flag flies in West Hollywood, Calif., on June 26, 2015. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

(RNS) In no U.S. religious group does a majority think it’s acceptable for businesspeople to invoke their religious beliefs to refuse service to gays.

This finding from a 2016 Public Religion Research Institute survey is a first, said Robert P. Jones, CEO of the nonprofit research group.

In a 2015 PRRI survey that asked the same question, more than half of white evangelical Protestants and Mormons approved of those who cited religious belief to deny service to LGBT customers.

But in the new 2016 survey, only 50 percent of white evangelical Protestants expressed such approval, as opposed to 56 percent the year before.

Mormons showed the second-highest rates of approval. About 42 percent of Mormons backed businesspeople who deny services in the latest survey, as opposed to the 58 percent who favored them the previous year.

“Declining Support for Religiously Based Service Refusals Across Religious Groups” Chart courtesy of PRRI

But these two conservatively minded religious groups weren’t the only ones to shift their views about bakers, for example, who won’t make a cake for a gay couple’s wedding.

The percentage of white mainline Protestants who approved of businesspeople who withhold services to gay people dropped to 30 percent in the recent poll, down from 37 percent in 2015.

Overall in 2016, twice as many Americans disapproved than approved of those who refuse service to a gay person based on religious beliefs (61 percent to 30 percent).

PRRI’s findings corroborate a more dramatic overall shift in attitudes about same-sex marriage and LBGT Americans in the past decade.

Most religious groups today support same-sex marriage, Jones noted. “The religious groups in which majorities oppose same-sex marriage make up less than 20 percent of the public.”

And though conservative religious groups have effectively ended their political campaigns against gay marriage since the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing it, the question of whether people can legally use their religious convictions to refuse service to LGBT Americans remains an issue.


READ: Poll: Americans say there’s no turning back on gay marriage


In statehouses across the country, lawmakers, voicing concerns about the erosion of religious liberty, continue to introduce bills to allow businesspeople and professionals — from florists to pharmacists — to deny service to gay people based on religious beliefs.

One such bill signed into law by Vice President Mike Pence when he was governor of Indiana was later amended after an outcry from citizens and businesses who called it anti-gay and threatened to boycott the state.

While white evangelical Protestants show the highest levels of approval for those who deny services to gay people for religious regions, Unitarian-Universalists show the lowest rate — 8 percent.

The PRRI poll, which asked about 40,000 this particular question, has a margin of error of  plus or minus less than 1 percentage point for Americans overall, and higher margins of error for particular religious groups.

About the author

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe has been a national reporter for RNS since 2011. Previously she covered government and politics as a daily reporter at the Charlotte Observer and The State (Columbia, S.C.)

243 Comments

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  • “I guess my church isn’t considered mainline.” — one of my chaplains in the office today. Funny, based on the number of his particular flavor of chaplain that I have had working on my staffs I would suspect the Air Force considers his church body “mainline”.

  • So you are saying discriminatory attitudes are more common than represented here, in a manner you appear to be proud of.

  • The PRRI study is talking about groups as in the article diagram and didn’t isnt about all particular churches.

    What particular church group is the chaplain a part of?

  • So it seems that, according to this article, despite all the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth of the Poor Persecuted Snowflakes– I mean, Christians of a certain type– who are weeping and wailing about how Those Mean Ol’ Homsexuals are meanly depriving them of their rights to be poor and persecuted, and to perform their religious obsequies in the following of the holy commandment “thou shalt not provide services in open commerce for them that thou despiseth, yea, even unto the baking of sweet things or the provision of flowers”…

    For the majority of Christians, those neither of the self righteous, self entitled, or snowflake specials varieties, it seems that it is what it ought be– not really any kind of a big deal whatsoever.

    And for those who are STILL miffed that they have to show love to people they despise, to treat others as they would like to be treated, to lose control over the lives of others who don’t share their particular and peculiar beliefs, or think that they get gay cooties…

    You can STILL tell the people who want to give you their good money, “sorry, I’m booked. Why don’t you call so-and-so.”

    Or, you can get stuffed.

  • I think you’re confusing “Mainline” with “mainstream.” Mainline churches are specific liberal Protestant denominations: ELCA, ECA, UMC, UCC, UPC, etc. Baptists may be considered mainstream but except for American Baptists and National Baptists, they are largely not Mainline. The Air Force has a well-documented problem with improper prosletyzing especially at Colorado Springs.

  • Long story short: even people in the most far-right churches are aware that to vocally refuse service to LGBT customers is not a valid exercise of religion and essentially amounts to just being a rabid orifice.

  • Like a truly holy a-holey orifice at that!

    Not to malign a perfectly useful orifice.

  • Okay, so this PRRI poll says that America’s downward slide continues to get worse.

    People, this is a critical time, regardless of your chosen label. We Americans — all of us, of any flavor — are already locked into a Jeremiah 18:7-10 situation. We are on the bubble.

    7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed,
    8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.
    9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted,
    10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.

    So Christians, forget the polls. Forget the Supremes. YOU have to do your own business decision when Goliath calls on you, and your decision WILL help push us towards or away from the Brink.
    Your call.

  • Yeah yeah – we know. Any nation that tolerates the existence of gay people and doesn’t round them up and exterminate them will be destroyed by your god. And then they wonder why people are running away from their religion.

  • Nobody said anything about roundups and extermination. In fact, the last paragraph (calling for a business decision when the time comes) was specifically aimed ONLY at Christian business owners. Nobody else.

    So where are you getting those false notions from, hmm?

  • (This is an addendum, it’s meant for everybody to read, not singling anybody out.)

    Okay, so you’re a Christian wedding-cake baker. No problem. But tomorrow, you get two gay customers, demanding you bake them a cake with a gay-marriage-affirming theme (“Congrats, Adam & Steve” with two Plastic Gay Guys on top.)

    What will you say to them? You gotta make a real decision. Theologian Russell Moore offers a practical suggestion:

    “I think you just need to say, ‘I would love to be able to help you in all sorts of things, but I can’t in this, because I have beliefs about marriage. I have beliefs about sexuality that I am happy to talk about if you want to talk about it, or not talk about it if you don’t want to talk about it, but they are informed by the gospel.
    They are informed by what Jesus says is the way that God designed the universe from the beginning, and that it points to the gospel of Jesus Christ. And it won’t allow my conscience to participate in this way.
    So I thank you for asking me, but you are going to have to get someone else to participate in this wedding, because I can’t do it according to my conscience.’”

  • “And though conservative religious groups have effectively ended their political campaigns against gay marriage since the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing it, the question of whether people can legally use their religious convictions to refuse service to LGBT Americans remains an issue.”

    No, it is only an issue for the minotirty of religious people who wish to use their religions as weapons against other people, who want to hide a virulent and vicious social prejudice behind a pretty screen labeled “sincere religious belief”, who think that discrimination on the basis of religious belief is perfectly acceptable in THIS ONE INSTANCE AND THIS ONE INSTANCE ONLY, who don’t understand the clear intention of the civil Rights Act of 1964, who think that the words “public accommodation” means a restroom, who don’t think the lesson of “render unto Caesar” applies to them, who know that treating others as they would like to be treated has a lot of asterisks attached, who would howl like babies needing a change if the same behavior were directed at them, and who think that similar laws at every level of government should not apply to them…

    …because they and their “religious beliefs” about gay people and our place in society are special, like snowflakes.

  • SOME Christian business owners– the ones that are just too special to treat others as they would like to be treated.
    But didn’t you read the poll? A majority of YOUR people think YOU are out of line.

  • Sorry, but Christianity isn’t based on the latest polls. It’s based on what the Bible says. Go figure.

    But make no mistake: MY people in MY particular denomination (the 6.5 million members of the Church of God in Christ) are firmly opposed to gay marriage. In fact we were the only black denomination to clearly state our collective opposition to gay marriage in writing, after Barack Obama openly betrayed American Christianity. We do not want to participate in ANY of it.

    The PRRI survey doesn’t even take this large number of blacks into account. In fact, you probably noticed that their laundry list had a category for “White Evangelicals”, but it didn’t even have a category for “Black Evangelicals.”

    As if we don’t exist. Heh. That’s the white liberal pro-gay media for you.

  • True. But “Mainline churches” is a finite category, whereas “mainstream churches” is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Christians, when you refuse services to those you have bigotries against, you do not honor Christ; you are just meanspirited.

  • Intentionally and viciously false premise. The issue isn’t about refusing SERVICE to homosexuals. The issue is about refusing to make specific things, or perform specific services, that violate the beliefs of the merchant. The things and services would violate beliefs no matter who the customer is.

  • Not the case at all. in all the cases the customer wanted to buy or rent exactly what the business was offering for sale to the public.

    Either they offer wedding cakes/flowers/photography/event spaces to the public without illegal discrimination or they don’t: pick one.

  • None of these cases have been about any physical quality of the product being bought.

    The obvious solution for your strawman is for the business to let another employee put on the names and figures or the business not offer the public something they feel they can’t sell to the public as the law requires.

  • Paul in 1 Corinthian 5 made it clear that Christians can have business dealings with ‘those of this world’ in a city where much of what they sold to them ended up on the altars of the largest temple to Aphrodite in the empire.

    If Christians can sell pagan sacrifices they can sell wedding cakes for marriages of samesex couples.

  • That is a load of crap. We have doctors and EMTs who are demanding not to deal with gay patients or children of gay parents. We have employers who want to fire people for being gay and married. We have private schools which don’t want to have children of gay couples.

    It’s all about demeaning and attacking people and using religion as a pretext.

  • This whole idea that they are “participating” in the wedding of a same sex couple– code for having to “approve”, though their ”approval” is neither sought nor relevant– but not participating in the wedding of demon invoking Hindus nor Jesus denying Jews, is a good indication of what this is really about. They tie themselves into knots to show that it is different in some way that I’m sure makes sense to them.

    When you’re that desperate to hide behind your faith, well, any port in a storm.

  • Amazing how the good people of YOUR denomination–or so you claim– are far more concerned about two white guys getting married than they are about fatherless children in black families, fathers more likely in jail than in college, a 70% illegitimacy rate, and intergenerational welfare.

    The best part of it is when YOU blame that on gay people.

  • This article is mistaken. Those businesses that have been in the news recently did not refuse services to gays, but only to gay weddings. Otherwise, they baked cakes, did floral arrangements, etc. for gay clients but only did not want to be part of the weddings. In other words, the businesses did tolerate gays, but didn’t wish to be involved in a ceremony that they considered wrong for whatever reason. And they should be able to refuse. It cannot be discrimination to serve gay clients for all things but then labeled discrimination when they don’t want to be involved in a wedding. They are being tolerant but the LGBTQ community is not interested in only tolerance but demands sanction and approval by everyone for their choices even using the authority of the state and the gun (that’s how the state works) to get their way.

  • See as none of the small handful of these vendors are having to get gay married themselves, and their “approval” is neither wanted nor required, that they are selling exactly the same product to gay couples as they sell to hetero couples, and that they have no problem “participating” in the weddings of demon invoking Hindus or Jesus denying atheists…

    No.

  • I’ve been to 1000 weddings. I’ve NEVER seen a wedding cake with a message on it.

  • In the United States, if you offer a specific service – e.g., wedding cakes (as opposed to cakes in general), floral arrangements for weddings (as opposed to just floral arrangements generally) – the underlying principle supporting statutes regarding public accommodation apply. There are no exemptions for conscience rooted in embracing the social mores of Ancient Near Eastern shepherds and fishermen.

  • 70-yeay-old Christian florist Baronelle Stutzmann freely gave both customer service AND employment to gays, for years on end. But it wasn’t enough.

    The gay bullies demanded her PARTICIPATION in their gay wedding, and wouldn’t even let her do a referral to partcipating florists. The gay bullies went after her mercilessly, viciously.

    You talk of honoring Christ. But Stutzmann has done MORE than just talk about it. She’s lived it out.

    Make a birthday cake for a gay *person*? Sure. Every person is of value to God. Bake a cake.
    But make a cake whose decoration celebrates a specific *ceremony or ritual* that is completely opposed to God, Jesus, and the Bible?

    Nope. Not at all. As you said, we gotta honor Christ.
    .

  • So, you are saying, “we’re being tolerant of them uppity gays, but we will only be THIS tolerant and no more.”

    Why, that sounds just like…

    Intolerance!

  • A couple hypothetical scenarios:

    You’re the pastor of a local church. I’m a web designer and an atheist. You decide it’s time to get a website for your church, and make an appointment to talk about the project. You tell me you want to have a web presence, and that it’s important that visitors have easy access to sermon archives, the podcast you’ve decided to start doing, and so forth. You also tell me you want it to be obvious what your church believes about current issues, such as same-sex marriage, by citing scripture in large, bolded text. I tell you that, as a matter of conscience, I cannot perform this service – the only service I offer – to you because I don’t do websites for Christian churches. You know I’ve done sites for a local UU church and at least one progressive synagogue, so why not your church? What are your thoughts at this point? Do I have solid moral and legal grounds to refuse service to you?

    ———————————————-

    You’re on the planning committee for your churches’ upcoming picnic. Your responsibility is to buy the food, and last year 350 people showed up. I’m the owner and manager of a new grocery store in the neighborhood which has quickly become known for quality and low prices. Better than others in the area. Plus, there’s no Costco or BJ’s nearby, and you want to support local business so you stop in to ask about making arrangements to buy non-perishable foods in bulk, and is it possible to get a discount since you’re buying so much. I tell you that, as an atheist, not only is there no discount, but I cannot in good conscience sell anything to you that might be used as part of your church picnic. I see it as support for religion, and that violates my deeply-held beliefs. What are your thoughts at this point? Do I have solid moral and legal grounds to refuse service to you?
    As an atheist who happens not to be a grocer, knows only enough web design to work on my own pet projects, and who believes in public accommodation, I can sincerely say I can’t imagine embracing (much less expressing) such attitudes as a business person. However, not everyone feels this way, and exemptions for conscience must apply to everyone, so it’s worth considering whether you’ve carefully thought through the implications of such exemptions.

  • Umm, no. In my state, (and some others), gay bullies cannot get away with doing their bullying mess on Christian small wedding vendors.

    (And the gay bullies know it, which is why you see incidents happening in SOME states, but not others.)

    There is NO Supreme Court decision that says that all Christian vendors coast-to-coast *must* participate in or help affirm gay wedding ceremonies or events via providing goods or services.

    And of course, constitutional religious liberties have not (yet) been repealed.

  • Which is why I mentioned the underlying principle, not specific statutes. However, a slight modification to Title II of the Civil Rights Act would be sufficient. Just add “sexual orientation,” and poof! Suddenly same-sex couples are protected under the same laws preventing discrimination by businesses against someone on the basis of skin color, religion, etc..

  • If they felt they couldn’t sells something to the public as the law requires they shouldn’t be offering it to the public. And, of course, unless you are in the ceremony itself you aren’t participating in the marriage and a wedding is just a party.

    The SCOTUS has sat on the Masterpiece Bakeshop case for months now and many thought it was because they were waiting for the Arlene’s Flowers case to reach their them and buddy them up. People said it was going to be submitted on Monday – it wasn’t. Today is the last Conference of the session and so Monday will be the last opportunity to either take the case or refuse it.

    If someone can use the excuse of religion to ignore the civil rights of customers it becomes a ‘get out of jail free’ card and would undercut many laws. I just don’t see how the courts could rationalize it without causing themselves a boat load of future work they really don’t want to deal with.

  • Not speaking from a legal standpoint…in both of those instances I would be grateful for your candor, which would enable me to procure better and more enthusiastic service elsewhere.

    FYI, church picnics are mostly potluck.

    BTW, your first hypothetical is a decent analogy, while your second is not.

  • We have laws at every level of government which for bid discrimination on the basis of religious belief. Somehow, this is different.

    But unless the SCROTUS is going to either invalidate the civil rights act of 1964, or claim that religious discrimination in this case, and this case only, is OK, I don’t see much happening.

  • So you would be ok if a
    white supremacist group wanted you to rent them your conference center?

    Or maybe a radical Islamic group that wanted you to bake a cake that said “Death to All Infidels”?

    You’d be ok with that.

  • 1 Cor. 5 had nothing to do with buying or selling, serving or crafting. It was about sexual immorality within the church.

    And actually early Christian craftsmen DID face multiple difficulties conducting their businesses in a culture steeped in idolatry, where belonging to craft guilds necessitated participation in pagan rites. And they DID refuse to craft idols and incense for pagan worship. Tertullian wrote a great deal on the subject.

  • You seem to think that the chapter is about only one thing, that’s incorrect.
    I have written to you in the epistle not to mix with fornicators;
    10 not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the avaricious and rapacious, or idolaters, since [then] ye should go out of the world.

    They have permission to have dealings with those of this world.

    And no one is asking any business to make anything they haven’t’ freely offered for sale. Yes, a trade guild that required worship would be a problem – has nothing to do with any of these cases.

    If the business can’t sell wedding cakes to the public legally a Christian wouldn’t offer wedding cakes for sale in the first place, they have the right to refuse to sell such things, which I believe is exactly what Tertullian suggested himself.

  • Asked my Wing Chaplain about this, who is Roman Catholic. He considers himself “mainline”. Also asked him what the deal was at the Academy. He said a liberal feminist ELCA chaplain who did not understand how the chain of command work set up a situation and then orchestrated events around it designed to make the press with her personal agenda. It made the press, but she was terminated by the Air Force for improper use of her office which was substantiated by legal review.

  • The question could have been worded much better. Given how few people actually watch the news or are aware of the various facets of this issue, it would be very easy for the average person to take the question as referring to blanket discrimination against gays in general, which of course most Christians would not favor, without even realizing that what is actually in question here is a very narrow category of businesses in a very narrow circumstance which is problematic from a conscience standpoint.

    But of course the imprecise terminology used makes sense when one considers the objective of these surveys, which is to influence policy makers and (most improperly) judges.

  • You can have any dealings with the world which do not amount to participation and condoning of sin.

    If you understood Paul’s “don’t ask don’t tell” policy wrt food offered to idols, also found in Corinthians, you would probably understand where the difficulty lies here.

  • I’m sure Hillary Clinton would have agreed with you — prior to losing Florida on election night.

  • The Church might eventually learn that if you do not condemn homosexual behavior, you are endorsing it.

  • And since every public merchant in America has to deal with customers regardless of their beliefs about sin, that is an issue but not the customer’s concern.

  • I’m glad you posted this. These are some of the real reasons we need laws addressing these things.
    If I were gay, I think, I would care less if there was a law that said you have to feed me cake on my wedding day. I know legally they are tied together but what you bring up are the greater issues.

  • You’re a little off, Lauren….
    as of 2016 “Nearly half of those questioned said it was unacceptable for a gay or lesbian person to teach their child, with the majority also opposing gay marriage.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3532355/More-half-Muslims-want-gay-sex-outlawed-nearly-quarter-support-areas-UK-run-sharia-law.html#ixzz4kkUuOq6q

    I suppose Muslims are a “religion” too.
    ‘That homosexuality is wrong and should be illegal’ (a bit difficult to read, but interesting results)
    Age group
    55+ 45‐54* 35‐44 25‐34 16‐24
    Agreed Disagreed (%) (%)
    50 39 54 36 55 36 65 26 71 24
    Did not know (%)
    11 9 9 8 6
    http://www.civitas.org.uk/pdf/ShariaLawOrOneLawForAll.pdf

  • White supremacists aren’t protected under civil rights laws. But if an Aryan Church wanted to rent it of course.

    And, again and again and again, none of these cases are about any physical quality of what the customer wants. A store can have a policy they don’t do disparaging messages and reject any such message no matter what the civil rights category they might belong to.

  • If they didn’t want to be ‘part’ of weddings they shouldn’t be offering wedding services to the public in the first place. Civil rights laws guarantee ‘full enjoyment of all services’ the business offers and the owners knew that before they made the offer to the public.

    There are ways to legally discriminate by civil rights classes, the business owners that want to do so just need to get off their behinds and bother to do their due diligence and make it happen.

  • Hmmm, not what happened at all:

    After several “reasonably tense” days among the academy chaplains, Morton said, she received an e-mail on May 4 from Whittington. It said a new executive officer would be named, effective immediately.

    Fox, the academy spokesman, said this change was made because Whittington is retiring from the Air Force in June and Morton is due for a transfer in July to Okinawa. But Morton said the normal procedure would be to keep her in the number two post until she departs, so that she could help the unit’s new commanding officer settle in.

    Not terminated, just transferred and she says she was transferred because she agreed with the Yale Report about evangelical bullying at the Academy.

    If someone told you she was terminated just means that’s not a source you can trust.

  • The customer’s right to believe in marriage regardless of séxes is just as valid as the business owner’s to believe otherwise and the customer is responding to their freely made invitation to come and buy the products and services.

    There really is no way the court can put the business owner’s beliefs above the customer’s.

  • No. They might learn that it is simply none of their business for anyone but their own parishioners.

  • Don’t need to add sexual orientation. In this case, it is already covered. Under Religion

  • BTW if I was in the cake business I would care less if there was a law that said I didn’t have to feed someone cake on their wedding day. Just wanted to be clear on that.

  • If she can’t sell custom wedding floral arrangements legally then she shouldn’t be selling them at all. And she hasn’t for over 4 years. And of course there were other employees that could have made the arrangements, one quit on the spot when told to treat customers illegally, bet Eryn would have been happen to handle the order.

    Hers is the need to discriminate its up to her to find a solution that is a legal one.

  • Let’s imagine the reaction of TrueChristians™ if a few atheist bakers refused to sell a cake to a Christian for the celebration of a baptism.

    So, I assume you would be willing to point out that the atheist bakers “baked cakes, did floral arrangements, etc. for gay Christian clients but only did not want to be part of the weddings baptisms. In other words, the businesses did tolerate gays Christians, but didn’t wish to be involved in a ceremony celebration that they considered wrong for whatever reason. And they should be able to refuse. It cannot be discrimination to serve gay Christian clients for all things but then labeled discrimination when they don’t want to be involved in a wedding baptism.”

  • Those poor restaurant and hotel owners were bullied by the big bad civil rights goliath that forced them to violate their faith by having to be forced to serve black customers and treat them as equals. They were doing just fine in letting them pick up food at the counter or staying in their side of town. But that wasn’t enough.

    They demanded that those owners violate the god given notion of white superiority and demean themselves before people who were unworthy of such efforts.
    -Floydlee, 1963

  • No need to imagine the reaction. Here it is: “Thank you for your honesty.” Whereupon we open the local Christian business directory, which is probably where we should have started in the first place, and find an alternative vendor for whom the above scenario will constitute a welcome financial boost.

  • They violated anti discrimination laws in order to act maliciously and to demean gay customers. They wanted to treat them as inferiors to other customers.

    There is no good intentions or act of conscience here. It was simply being uncivil and hostile to people but having a legion of bigoted dishonest apologists around like you to make excuses for them.

    They wanted to treat gay customers like garbage and paid the price for it. They got what they deserve. You are an immoral person for coming up with such nonsense in defense of this bad behavior.

  • Perfectly stated. Tennessee passed a law so therapists can refuse LGBT patients. And look up Mississippi HOUSE BILL NO. 1523.

  • Well all those people who disagree with you are reading the same Bible. You are just interpreting it a different way. I would think the creator of the universe might be able to generate an unambiguous book.

  • This probably qualifies as fake news but typical of leftist media: come up with a poll then create a “news” story around it. The piece doesn’t tell us that the “Public Religion Research Institute” is really a homosexual advocacy group & certainly not some unbiased research group; and who surprise, surprise, comes out with a “poll” whose results support their agenda. We know absolutely nothing about who was polled, while the notion of denying services can mean anything and people may rightly say no, taking that in a blanket fashion. The specific issue people are fighting against are homosexuals forcing some specialized product or service be performed or that people pledge their allegiance to their ideas and agenda, i.e., you must bake me a homosexual “wedding” cake, you must print a pro-sodomite message on a t-shirt, you must publicly state your approval for homo “marriage” or be punished. Of course, we need a reminder that just because a majority thinks something does not mean it’s okay. These folks will never stop until they have forced everyone to think and say as they do. It’s very observable that the tolerant folks are the most bigoted, close-minded people there are.

  • You not liking the result does not make it “fake news” or PRRI a “homosexual advocacy group.” Cry all you want, it doesn’t change the fact that YOUR co-religionists are changing their views.

  • Sorry, go at look at the PRRI website. If you think they are some unbiased research group i have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. And again, just because someone comes out with a poll does not make it the undisputed truth. That’s exactly the way propaganda operates. I guarantee you someone else could also conduct a poll and come out with the opposite results.

  • And you told us Trump was going to make it all better! Good thing I didn’t listen to you and voted for Hillary. Oh wait..

  • Sorry to say, I think the last election more or less soured everyone except the far left on polls and news media.

  • The category says “Black Protestant.” I’m sure there are varying degrees of belief within that category. Nevertheless, one can oppose gay marriage and still oppose the question stated in the poll: should a small business owner be allowed to refuse service? Indeed, a Pew Forum study in 2016 found that Black Protestant support for gay marriage was 39% (it is trending upwards in all Christian categories, however).

  • I’m not part of the far or near left, but there is no suggestion, other than “I don’t like it!,” that this poll is scientifically inaccurate. It is consistent with expectations in societal thinking: a change is made, people get used to it, their opinions change. It has already been shown that people don’t necessarily toe the party line when it comes to their religious beliefs. So white evangelicals as a whole may be in a very different place on this question than Russell Moore etc.

  • Bull. Shit.
    You know as well as I do that every Christian website in this country would have an absolute field day. Go Fund Mes would be started, boycotts would begin. Is that how they treated Target? “Thank you for your honesty about bathrooms, we’ll go shop at a Christian store instead.”
    Edited to add: That might be your personal reaction, I doubt it will be the reaction of most, and I’m basing that on empirical evidence.

  • Catholics are not Mainline, by definition. The term refers to legacy Protestant denominations that are not Evangelical. The proselytizing situation at USAFA goes well beyond one single incident.

  • So the local chapter of ISIS comes into your bakery and asks for a cake? Yes, I think you would be obligated to sell them the cake.

  • Actually ISIS is a political group and there are very few locals that have political affiliation as a civil right (Seattle is one).

    You could refuse ISIS just like you could Republicans or Democrats.

  • I’m being a little loose with the terms here because I’m trying to imagine a radical Islamic group ordering a cake. Put it this way: what if it was the Westboro Baptist Church? Or a mosque whose imam has stated that the penalty for homosexuality should be death? My answer would be the same.

  • Yeah, writing on a wedding cake and even toppers to a great extent are so ‘last millennium’ But in theory someone might ask.

  • Not sure what your reference to “1963” is about.

    But I do know that around that time, as a kid visiting relatives in southern Oklahoma, I had to use a dark, dingy, no-light-bulb bathroom marked “For Colored Only.”

    There were NO bathrooms marked “For Gays Only.” (And no, the gays were NOT volunteering to use the colored restrooms as a “sign of solidarity” with blacks.)

    So your attempted racial parallel is a complete & utter fail. Not even close, as most black evangelicals will inform you.

    Not to mention the fact that gays have always been welcome to dine and work (and use the restroom) at public eateries anyway, even the Christian-aligned Chick-Fil-A.

  • Researching I see that Tertullian said the Christian incense seller should just stop selling incense all together. But as far as being part of a wedding celebration he said:

    it is objected that appropriate sacrifices take place. But if I am invited and the ceremony is not described as “assisting in the sacrifice,” then I will give my assistance to their full satisfaction.

    He then goes on to say the line is drawn if he were asked to be the priest or perform the sacrifice.

    Again, a Christian can sell them a wedding cake which is not part of the ceremony at all, ditto wedding floral arrangements, or renting the space for the ceremony. If the cake or flowers were part of the ritual then, like the incense or idol, there might be an issue.

    But they aren’t.

  • I never saw such a wedding cake in the 30 years I was in business, including a bunch of years in the last millennium.

  • I have only seen them at ‘ancillary’ celebrations where someone picked up a cake at their local safeway, but yeah not a ‘real’ wedding cake.

  • Unfortunately, a court just did, sort of. Mississippi’s legalized discrimination bill just got the go ahead from a federal appeals court on the basis that the plaintiff’s lacked standing, and no harm had been done..YET.

  • Yes, but once it gets to SCOTUS it will be toast. They already ruled on a law like this with a unanimous vote – even Scalia said there can’t be laws that are written to be biased against a religious practice like same-séx marriage.

  • It’s what she says is her personal reaction. That doesn’t mean it is, because she is big on appearances.

  • Sure, those Christians like Baronelle Stutzmann, who honor their Christ under pressure, and honor their Bible when Gay Goliath gets all nasty about it, genuinely may face the total LOSS of their business.

    Lose their livelihood, yes. Get their very life savings threatened, like Baronelle Stutzmann did. That’s what the Fascist Goliath wants.

    So what’s needed at this time, is to help Christians to anticipate things, and seriously prepare themselves.

    Christians will just have to honor and trust their God and Christ by taking a courageous biblical stand against gay marriage, even if Goliath kills their business in revenge. Local Churches must reach out and support such people.

  • The year before the Civil Rights Act, when laws that allowed white people to refuse service to black people like you and cite their sincere religious beliefs as a justification for treating black people like you as less than human, less than citizens, and perhaps even as 3/5 of a genuine person.

  • Gay Goliath won’t be killing their businesses. Decent, compassionate, intelligent heterosexuals and Christians will

  • Wow, drama queen much?

    She was fined $1000 and the plaintiffs were awarded one dollar in legal fees. That’s right 50¢ for the state of Washington, 50¢ to the ACLU.

    And in the beginning all the state asked was for her to promise to run her business legally in the future, which she has done by the way for the last 4 years.

    She made a fraudulent offer to the public which has a right assume all advertised services will be sold according to the law.

    She is just a prima donna in love with the spotlight with ample opportunity make the promise or pay the fine and to subsequently run her business legally and according to her conscience just as she as for the last 4 years.

    Again, how does a $1001 payment bankrupt a business?

  • I would think so too, yes.

    So exactly which Bible texts are you claiming to offer the SLIGHTEST support (as opposed to the usual flat-out unambiguous condemnation) for gay marriage?

  • Go Fund Me for what? Emotional anguish? Hogwash.

    And do you have a problem with boycotts? Because the left loves them to pieces, you know.

    True that it would be my personal reaction, for there is very little that I would ever sue another for. The legal system is swamped with dirt and abuse which I want no contact with. And I certainly wouldn’t want to run anyone out of business over trivialities like cake. What would be the point? So they and their employees could end up on the public dole for me to help support? No thanks. But I don’t think my response is atypical, either. Any Christian who knows the gospels likewise knows that cultural disapproval is something to be expected, not something to fall apart and race for the legal directory over.

  • As I pointed out above, the operative question is worded in such a way that the average person, who is probably not terribly informed on the issues, does not know exactly what is being asked about. It covers a great many scenarios which I would not condone, either. It says nothing about the very narrow circumstance which presents a conscience issue.

  • Christians are not obligation by coersion or otherwise to participate in ceremonies or activities that violate their Christian convictions, but we are to always seek to be confirmed to the image of Jesus and be sacraficial in love.

  • It’s possible that respondents would react differently if the question were asked precisely how you’d like it to be asked. However, this question of refusals to gay couples has been in the news a lot in the past few years. I’m not going to assume the poll participants thought “they just mean businesses who would refuse to serve any gay people.”

  • You just hate her guts, don’t you? But yes, she still did the Christian thing, and did it right.

    And yes, besides shutting down her business for refusing to bend over to Goliath, she *was* actually threatened with loss of home and loss of life-savings.

    70-plus years old and being threatened like that. (Goliath can get feral-hog-insane when the fake media-friendly PR mask comes off.)

  • It would be better if you treated those who hold Christian convictions with the same respect you would wish to recieve and not presuppose that they are “hiding behind their faith” with an alterior motive of Homophobia or something of the like. Swimming against the tide is much more difficult and brave than those who swim with it-ask any salmon…

  • The piece doesn’t tell us that the “Public Religion Research Institute” is really a homosexual advocacy group & certainly not some unbiased research group

    The PRRI is one of the highest reputation religious research groups in the US. Pew Research got similar results last year.

  • And since no one asked them to be part of a ceremony they are good. And again, if they couldn’t respect the beliefs of the customer as the law requires they should just not offer it to the public to begin with.

    The need to discriminate is theirs, its up to them to figure out how to do so legally.

  • Go Fund Mes have been started for a lot less. And I already told you I’m not part of the left, so I’m not really interested in what they feel about boycotts. In my view, boycotts have some purpose, although most of the time they’re quixotic and counterproductive. The Starbucks allegedly anti-Jesus red cup debacle of a couple of years ago proves that: after Josh Feuerstein’s anti-Starbucks video went viral, Starbucks had their best holiday season ever. Personally, I think they were in cahoots… But more to the point here, Feuerstein is also known for calling a small bakery and asking for a “We Do Not Support Gay Marriage” cake. The bakery refused and was subjected to a barrage of harassment from his followers. That’s the kind of empirical evidence I’m talking about. I’m glad to hear you are not so litigious, I just think you’re an outlier.

  • Hate her? Hardly, she is just a tottering old lady that loves the spotlight.

    And of course she was never ‘shut down’ and she is the one that put her home and life-savings on the block – when a business that is only running illegally at the instruction of the owner they lose any financial protection a Limited Liability Company might otherwise give. So theoretically she did by her own actions expose all her assets to judgement but lucky for her the state of Washington is far more compassionate than she is and fined her $1000 and only one dollar in legal fees when she lost.

    Everything else that has happened since is on her.

    No one threatened her, all her problems are self-made out of her own pride, and even then the state showed magnanimous compassion. Even today she could just drop the case, keep running her business legally as she has for the last 4 years, and be done with it.

    But that spotlight is just something she can’t leave behind it seems.

  • Did you read the whole passage? It was about ATTENDANCE at a pagan family wedding at which pagan idol worship might take place, nothing to do with commerce or provision of services, and the reason WHY attendance at such an event is non-problematic is that:

    “We must consider the causes of the ceremony. These, I think, are innocent in themselves, since neither the man’s clothing nor the man’s ring nor the marriage bond originate in honor paid to an idol. For instance, I do not find any clothing cursed by God except woman’s on a man. “Cursed is every man,” it says, ‘that putteth on a woman’s garment.’ But the toga is expressly called “manly.” Again, God no more prohibits the celebration of a marriage than the giving of a name.”

    The same can not be said, however, for the “causes” of a same-sex ceremony, since they DO originate in sin which God has prohibited.

  • Why shouldn’t they think that? That’s the way the question was framed, and intentionally so.

    In a country in which less than one in five can name more than one of our 1st Amendment rights, it’s difficult for me to assume the average American’s conversance on the finer points of 1st Amendment issues in the news.

  • According to my Wing Chaplain she was eventually terminated following the transfer. Supposedly she brought the group from Yale and gave them access to military records and facilities without authorization. From talking to my guy it sounds like she had an agenda and an axe to grind and ensured it made the press.

  • “Go Fund Mes have been started for a lot less.” By people who have been financially damaged in some way, which would certainly not be the case for Christians refused baptism cakes from atheists.

    But as for boycotts, my favorite is the left’s boycott of the clothing/accessories line of Ivanka Trump, who is arguably the best friend the leftists have in the White House — or was.

  • Thank you for confirming the line is actually engaging in idolatry or providing something used for idolatry. A wedding cake, flowers or photographs are not incense or idols and they can be provided even assuming that Tertullian was right in his analysis to begin with.

  • The government has long avoided “judging” the validity of a person’s sincerely held religious beliefs. I think the lower courts are going against this precedent. It will be important and interesting to see what the Supreme Court ultimately decides. We have the intersection of two sets of rights both protected by the Constitution. I suspect the Court will have to deconflict. In my opinion, the right to religious freedom and express is specifically mentioned in clear terms while many other rights are made as extension or application. I think the former must take precedent over the latter for there is a process for the American people to change the Constitution if they want to change how it impacts our lives. The legal process should be followed rather than the legislation from the bench that has taken place in recent years.

  • Your disrespect for the Constitution and our American way of working out these issues as established by the founding fathers is noted.

  • I didn’t, just because my denomination’s interpretation of its meaning differs doesn’t make it a misrepresentation. No one is asking the business to conduct the ceremony, or provide anything used in the ceremony. Just as Jews were allowed to give the idolatrous coins to Caesar – a living god, so can Christians sell to those things to people of this world without sin.

  • They are not incense or idols but they are the trappings of a sinful act. As Tertullian went on to say, “Since fornication is forbidden to me, I offer no assistance or connivance in it to others. By keeping my own body away from the brothels I acknowledge that I can not pander or make profit of that sort on anyone else’s behalf. Again, the prohibition of murder shows me that a trainer of gladiators must be kept out of the church. He can not escape responsibility for what he helps another to do.”

    The point of it all is that this is not something new that Christians have never faced before. As Tertullian aptly put it, it is not necessary that we live; it is necessary that we be faithful to Christ.

  • That’s like claiming that the Little Sisters must abandon their religious beliefs and provide birth control to their employees because of the employees’ “religious beliefs” that birth control is OK.

    Too weak an argument.

  • And after Nordstrom dropped her line, the right started a boycott of Nordstrom. Neither of these things is going anywhere.

  • Appreciate the feedback. Pot luck picnics were the norm where I went to church too, but the trustees also chipped in with common bulk items so I ran with that.
    Anyway, I’d be interested to know if you’d feel the same if, say, these situations involved race rather than religion?

  • It wasn’t a federal appeals court – which court has already rejected such law twice – it was the Mississippi Supreme Court. I do not think it put anyone’s beliefs above anyone else’s either as it left the door wide open for an appeal by a plaintiff in good standing.

  • Hmmmm, doesn’t jive with the facts:

    As part of its response to the sexual assault charges, the academy asked a team from Yale Divinity School to visit the campus during the summer training for incoming freshmen.

    “We were asked to study the quality of cadet-centered pastoral care,” said Yale Prof. Kristen Leslie. “What we found was this very strong evangelical Christian voice just dominating. We thought that just didn’t make sense in light of their mission, which was to protect and train cadets, not to win religious converts.”

    and…

    In June of 2005, MeLinda resigned her commission in the Air Force, citing an inability of Air Force leadership to confront and correct a systemic and pervasive atmosphere of religious intolerance and unconstitutional institutional support of proselytizing by activist Conservative Christian Evangelicals.

    Actually sounds like your Wing Chaplain is the one with the agenda here.

  • You don’t even know what that case is about, do you? No one is trying to make the Little Sisters provide birth control – there is already a mechanism to make sure the employees get their health care. What they Little Sisters don’t want to do is sign the form that says they object to providing birth control so that the mechanism can come into play.

    That’s it, its all ego.

  • And so you are saying that the businesses shouldn’t be selling things they can’t sell to people of all ‘sinful’ status since everyone has a right to beliefs that are sinful in the eyes of someone else here in America and a civil right to equal access to public offers regardless.

    Works for me.

  • Hypothetical in short-hand, Oshtur. The point is that your argument creates “religious beliefs” out of thin air and then prioritizes one over the other.

  • No, the right to believe in same-séx marriages is exactly equal to thinking they can be only multi-séx and the customer is responding to a presumptively legal invitation to come buy from the business.

    If the business didn’t want to sell something to people of all beliefs they wouldn’t be offering it to the public – a group comprised of all beliefs – in the first place. Once the invitation is made the customer’s own right to religious freedom shields them from any ‘sin’ test the business might toss their way.

  • Racial anti-discrimination laws were an instance of the Commerce Clause being stretched beyond its purpose in order to get rid of the leave-overs of state-mandated business segregation. Perhaps they were the only way to get rid of the particularly egregious problem of Jim Crow (perhaps not, we will never know now), but I think we should recognize the extraordinary circumstances under which they arose and not further twist the Constitution in the mere service of the aggrieved group du jour’s hurt feelings — even if I happen to be part of that aggrieved group.

  • It should be noted that the lowest “favor” numbers here, other than the Nones and UU, are for minority faith groups. It supports a hypothesis first borne out when New York legalized same-sex marriage. Some asked whether the heavily Orthodox Jewish diamond market in NYC would refuse to sell to gay couples. In the article I read, not one person said they would refuse. They didn’t agree with it, but it was business and people had to live their lives. That’s what happens when you _don’t_ have religious privilege.

  • Don’t worry the rights of Christians to hold to their convictions will be destroyed soon enough and those that choose to use them (Christian florist, bakers et al) knowing the implications that it has for their beliefs and relgious practices and need to obstain from said performances will get their way by judicial fiat. The constitution will take yet another hit:(

  • It’s all rather silly, I agree. I don’t know who has time to keep up with whom all is supposed to be boycotting whom.

  • Other sites have never updated the sample ‘prohibited words’ file that comes with Disqus so if you type it the messages goes into the 7th circle of message moderation. So just have the macro automatically add the accent and it passes the test.

  • They have a perfect right to hold to their convictions – if they can’t sell something as the law requires they can sell something else. Same decision a butcher makes on whether they wants to go kosher or not.

    Masterpiece Cakeshop no long offers wedding cakes just like many bakeries don’t. Arlene’s Flowers no longer sells custom wedding floral arrangements, just as many florist shops don’t.

    The need to discriminate because of creed, séx or sexual orientation is the business owner’s, its up to them to figure out a way to do so legally.

  • This isn’t a matter of “people” or their “status” and who to sell to or not to sell to but of participation in actions.

    As I’ve said before, I would sell ANYONE a cake in exactly the same manner as ours was sold to us. I chose it from the book of standard designs of the same grocery bakery which had made my parents’ wedding cake 40 years earlier, paid for it with a credit card, and had it delivered to the proper venue before anyone was even there. Neither my husband nor I ever saw the baker or the deliveryman. No problem whatsoever. A clear case of “don’t ask don’t tell” a la Paul. The degree of participation necessary is where the problem arises. Photographers are in the most vulnerable position of all. No way would I be a professional events photographer in the current social climate. It is literally begging to be attacked.

  • Oh and I do think its interesting you are worried about the Christian rights while using a handle that is the most famous atheist founding father. THAT Thomas Paine thought they should outlaw all organized religion period.

  • Just send someone else, let someone else take care of the order, etc. It is the business with the obligation, not any particular employee. One reason Elane Photography lost – they admitted they had hired 3rd party photographers in the past, no reason they couldn’t for the commitment ceremony client.

  • The year the civil rights act was passed. It’s telling you simply repurposed arguments used by segregationists. What Aristotle would have called “dramatic irony”.

  • These jobs can certainly be sub-contracted out. It’s just rather silly, though, for the customer to force a cut of the money into the unwilling vendor’s pocket (which I for one would put directly into the nearest fund for vendors financially victimized by litigious activists), just because they can, when they could just go over to the subcontractor in the first place and let them have the whole enchilada.

    But there’s no accounting for the zany choices of the angry and insecure.

  • Thomas Paine was neither an atheist nor a founding father, and what he wanted to abolish was formal government.

  • You might have different sources than I do, but nothing in the election results suggests Black evangelicals voted en masse for the Orange One.

  • That’s only a small part of everything that’s been going on there. There’s been documented instances of pressure on cadets to get born again and such for years.

  • You don’t do it by doing what she did. It’s not “participation” any more than the audience is participating in the super Bowl. That’s just an excuse to behave reprehensibly.

  • No one is forcing anyone – the business is the one that wants to offer these services to the public and knows how those transactions are regulated by civil rights laws. Just a calculated part of doing business.

    But there’s no accounting for the zany choices of the angry and insecure.

    Of course I would consider that to refer to the business owners, you probably not.

  • Well he was the most marginal of deists, even more so than Jefferson and no he wasn’t against formal government but formal religion. Most definitely thought the Bible was not the least bit holy.

  • O/T in the nature of polls Gallup just released one about gay couples and found that in the 2 years since Obergefell 61% of cohabitating LGB couples are legally married (in comparison to 88% of multisex couples)

    After just 2 years that’s not bad.

  • Agreed. And also Mainline. The two categories are not mutually exclusive. For purposes of this study, I see they posited it that way and that’s OK. But they’re closer to American Baptists and Methodists than to Southern Baptists.

  • Wow! What a “Christlike” response “Ben in Oakland.” I’m impressed! (But NOT positively: I *cannot* imagine Jesus writing what you’ve written here much less the way you’ve written it.)

  • Definitely not. Where one is secure in the rightness of one’s choices, there is no particular drive to compel the approval of those who disagree.

  • He was so “marginal” that he recognized the natural rights of man, referenced in the Declaration of Independence, as having divine creation as their source. Sorry, materialists.

    And as for government, “There is a natural aptness in man, and more so in society, because it embraces a greater variety of abilities and resource, to accommodate itself to whatever situation it is in. The instant formal government is abolished, society begins to act: a general association takes place, and common interest produces common security…But how often is the natural propensity to society disturbed or destroyed by the operations of government! When the latter, instead of being ingrafted on the principles of the former, assumes to exist for itself, and acts by partialities of favour and oppression, it becomes the cause of the mischiefs it ought to prevent.” — Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man.

    As for the Bible, quite true.

  • And this isn’t about approval at all, its about making good on an public invitation of sale as the law requires. Making an offer they have no intention of fulfilling legally seems zany, and getting angry about being called on it is very insecure.

  • No, the deist creator mention in the DoI isn’t ‘divine’, and most certainly isn’t the Christian god. Jefferson originally wanted the more awkward wording ”We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable; that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; but was convinced to change it.

    And the natural rights of man are from the Bible of the deist, creation itself. Natural law is what justifies marriage regardless of gender and equal rights.

  • Paine’s Creator is definitely divine: “The principles we discover there are eternal and of divine origin; they are the foundation of all the science that exists in the world, and must be the foundation of theology.” — Paine, The Age of Reason.

    And no matter what words Jefferson selected to express the idea in the DOL, he could not avoid the fact that without a transcendent source, a creator, no natural rights actually exist. He in fact attributed the right to religious freedom to Almighty God in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. The same Jefferson, btw, who saw so much justification for same sex marriage in natural law and the “bible of creation itself” that he advocated castration for homosexuals and considered himself quite liberal and restrained in doing so.

  • Our rights are a natural result of our creation but that deist creator has had nothing to do with the universe from that moment. The usage of the word ‘divine’ here isn’t supernatural but creational as you know from the part of the paragraph you omitted:

    …instead then, of studying theology, as is now done, out of the Bible and Testament, the meanings of which books are always controverted and the authenticity of which is disproved, it is necessary that we refer to the Bible of the creation…

    He was speaking metaphorically.

    And yes, Jefferson was very advanced for his time, he removed the death penalty and replaced it with a punishment that was never carried out.

    And that’s the great thing about natural law, the more we learn the more we grow, the better we understand creation the more we can comply ourselves with it. That they didn’t have the knowledge to understand genetics or developmental neurology isn’t important now because we do. There is no difference between those attracted to a séx regardless of their own, if one can marry so can they all.

  • Well Paine certainly thought that the deist Creator would have something to do with HIM, at least, after death: “I do not worry about an afterlife. I feel content and secure in the knowledge that the Power that gave me life is able to continue it if he decides to. It could be in any form he chooses; either with or without a body. It seems more likely to me that I will continue to exist in an afterlife, than that I existed in a life before this one. ”

    Have you actually read any of the works of Paine? Probably not, or you would not have originally referred to him as an atheist.

  • That was an error, deists did hope that there was something, but every religion has learned that – you can never promise less than the previous one in this regards. Thomas had his hopes but obviously realized that there might be nothing at all just hoping it was more likely than reincarnation.

    Yes I have read them but long long ago. Deism really can be summed up in a couple paragraphs but they did drone on about it as they were trying to convert people. I would most compare it with secular Buddhism today which is accessed by many more people than deism primary because it has no presumption of a divine force or afterlife. Deism of revolutionary times was a stepping stone to losing any hint of a godhead.

  • When people would rather force unwilling artisans to reluctantly contract with them with probably subpar results, rather than make a fully informed choice of the best and most enthusiastic service available, there is no sensible explanation for that OTHER than a desperation for social approval — which will likely never be satisfied, unfortunately.

  • There is no religious freedom issue here. Your religious beliefs have never been cause to harm others in service of it. Discrimination is a legally recognized harm.

    Since judging the beliefs is out of the question one must judge the actions. In this case it is the denial of goods and services sold in open commerce on the basis of prejudices against the class of customer. It is in no way distinguishable from any other form of discrimination.

    What you fail to grasp in your little nonsense post is that the laws in question and their application are legislation on the books. Laws these christian discriminatory bigots want to ignore with impunity.

  • Our founding fathers had a dismal view of civil liberties. It took about a century to correct their errors.

  • Considering some of the malicious, ignorant and dishonest nonsense people claim to say in the name of Jesus, that could be construed as a compliment.

  • “According to my Wing Chaplain” appears to be a euphemism for, “I am making this up”

  • Your information is incorrect. The law had already been etermined unconstitutional by US Judge Carlton Reeves. It was the US fifth circuit court of appeals that reversed him.

  • I have a great deal of respect for the constitution. Not so much for the people that decided money is speech, corporations are people, and a few other really crap decisions.

  • I’m not a Christian. But then, as far as I can tell as Christians (of a sort attack) gay people with lies and political campaigns in order to restrict our participation in society, as they attack other Christians for not being the right sort of Christian…

    Neither are most Christians.

  • I don’t presuppose people are hiding behind their so called faiths. I don’t just people by what they pretend to or actually believe, but what they do and they say.

    Wants to believe homosexuality is a sin? Have at it. I don’t really care, though I think it is an abuse and misuse of scripture. But start political campaigns to limit my participation in society, as I am made, and I might start to think your a bigot. Bolster your political campaign with lies, distortions, and half truths intended to demonize and harm me and mine, and I become pretty sure that you’re a bigot. Call for my death or imprisonment, call my marriage, love, and life a threat to yours, seek to harm my children, pay for “studies” that a slow 6 year old can see through to prove your “point”…

    And I’ll be sure of it.

  • since you are obviously committed to that strawman I don’t see any point in discussing it further.

  • I guess you want to see the Civil Rights Act of 1964 take a hit, because it forbids exactly the kind of religious discrimination that you seem to think is a constitutional right. Not to mention, all of the laws we have at every level of government that also forbid such discrimination. But hey! when you are a special Christian snowflake, who demand the special right to ignore our non-discrimination laws, because you are just too damned special to say “Sorry, I’m booked”…
    well, anything is permissible.
    It is worth noting that
    1) out of the at least 500,000 same weddings in the last 14 years in this country, there have been about 20 of these oh-so-special snowflake vendors, and they have every one of them lost their cases.
    and
    2) They are demanding this right to discriminate in one case, and one case only, and would howl like babies with poopy diapers if the same behavior were directed towards them.
    and
    3) None of these hyper religious Christians had the slightest problem using the law that governs all of us to run over the religious beliefs of gay people, ministers, churches, and entire denominations that have no problem treating gay people with respect, and just like they treat everyone else.

  • As you know, I was a professional photographer for 30 years. In no way would I have ever said I was participating in the wedding. Therefore, I would not reserve that extra special right to the handful of extra special snowflake Christians who are just too special to say “Sorry, I’m booked” or could proffer any number of perfectly legal, polite, professional, and honest reasons why they should not be hired.
    I gave you such a list of reasons two years ago. You dismissed it in favor of being self- righteous.

  • Yet another straw man. No one wants to force anyone to work, especially if the results would be sub-par because those Christian snowflakes are just too special to be professional in their jobs. What they want is to be treated the same as all other customers– without the whining, without the “I’m a special Christian snowflake”.

  • The point is that your argument creates “religious beliefs” out of thin air and then prioritizes one over the other”
    like so many snowflake Christians do. That’s the whole nonsense about violating their sincere religious beliefs where nowhere can it be found in the bible “thou shalt not bake a cake if though likest not the eaters thereof.”

  • I am glad your type of thinking, reasoning and overall decorum and respect for those you disagree with was not predominent in the thinking of the original framers of our constitution. Enshrined in our constitution “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” You would first like to see others imposed their religion of same sex marriage imposed on those whose religion is and has been for centuries that the institution of marriage is one between one man and one women. It is not an imposition of the later religion to deny the request to perform a service in contraction of the religion of the former but it is one for the former “religion” to impose its position-view or faith of later.

  • Your “conviction” here is that certain classes of people should and must be treated as less than human. Moreover that you should be granted special legal privileges to attack such people with impunity.

    That is not only unworthy of respect or deference, it would be moral to oppose such views. By showing you respect for such ideas would make me or anyone else willing to do so complicit with them. No thank you.

    Nobody is compelled by their faith to act maliciously towards others. That is just a “happy bonus” to those already willing to do so. So yes, its homophobia. You are not being brave by hiding behind religion to support personal bigotry. Quite the opposite.

  • Religious freedom means nobody has to be bound by your religious views. Nor does it give you license to attack others in service of it. If your faith prevents you from complying with laws to refrain from attacking the civil liberties of others in open commerce, you should avoid having a business open to the general public.

    You don’t get special privileges on the basis of being a Christian or having sincere beliefs here. If you can’t play nice with others, face the consequences of your actions and don’t be such a whiny little baby about it.

  • Your rights end at the point when you are using your “religious convictions” as a pretext to attack others. You have no more a right to discriminate in open commerce than you do to commit human sacrifice, honor killing or to burn a cross on someone’s property (without their permission).

  • “In no way would I have ever said I was participating in the wedding.” Well of course you wouldn’t. You’re not a person of faith, and have no concept of “whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and not for men.” Or “whether you eat or drink or whatsoever you do, do all for the glory of God.” That you don’t get it in no way negates how others view the free exercise of their faith.

    “I gave you such a list of reasons two years ago. You dismissed it in favor of being self- righteous.” I didn’t dismiss it — I said that no doubt many do use those very fibs to avoid objectionable activities. But notice that the outcome of each alternative here, honesty or lying, is exactly the same thing — no service contract. The only difference between the two is that in the former case one receives full disclosure and THAT is what the angry and insecure simply can not handle.

    Tell me straightforwardly that my beliefs or my life or my marriage or anything else about me is offensive to you and I am not disturbed in the slightest. Have a nice day and on to my salon appointment at 3. But it’s like you poor guys are collectively screaming “Lie to me, for God’s sake! Do anything but tell me the truth or I will fall to pieces and require extensive treatment for migraines, high blood pressure, excessive sleep, paleness, impaired digestion, resumption of smoking habit, feelings of mental rape, loss of appetite, weight gain and much more — all at the same time.”

    I’m sorry, Ben, but I’d really hate to be that dependent on others for my sense of dignity. Most of our generation progressed beyond that somewhere around the mid-point of high school, but of course we now live in an age of extended childhood. Sigh.

  • If I’m looking to make a service/product contract I care nothing about whether I’m “being treated the same as everybody else.” That’s kindergarten stuff. What I want is the best service/product I can get for my money, and all the information necessary to procure that. Sorry that you don’t.

  • No I think that everyone is a special creation made int the image of God and we should show them love perhaps even more if they are living in the Sin of sexual immorality. He has designed and created humans to reflect and manifest his Glory and divine purposes in a dark and fallen world– but some rebel and reject his free offer (the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ) of salvation and will be justly condemned. That aside our constitution does not allow that anyone would be forced to conform too and live under someone elses worldview and that goes for bakers, florists or anyone else.

  • That’s because you as a white Christian heterosexual have never been treated differently than anyone else. And again, you’re trivializing the issue from your own viewpoint of your completely imaginary superiority.

    When you are on the receiving end of what gay people have been getting from you and your ilk for the past 2000 years, you might see it differently.

    In this case, if you don’t want to service my needs, I don’t want you to, either. that, as I say, is not the issue. But as long as anti discrimination laws in this country exist, you damn well will treat me the same as all of the other people you believe are going to hell but who don’t happen to be gay. Politely, respectfully, and keeping your Goddam and goddamming faith out of it.

    It didn’t work for black people and Jews when you were trying to justify discrimination on the basis of your religious belief with them. And it will not work with me.

  • No, what I told you two years ago were all perfectly honest ways of dealing with it. I mentioned that in my posting. Again, you chose to ignore it in favor of trivializing it into hurt feelings.

    But if we,re going to trivialize it that way: exhibit A. “my poor religious feelings have been hurt.”

  • The framers of our constitution had no concept of discrimination as we understand it today.

    You see it as the free exercise of worship. I have yet to see where any court would agree with you. you are providing a service to worshipping.

    You would like to see your concept of no same sex marriage imposed upon the people who don’t believe as you do. The difference is, your concept hurts me and mine, while my concept simply offends you. Plenty of Christians, Jews, rabbis, ministers, churches, synagogues, and entire denominations have none of the issues you are claiming as yours.

    So it is very much a different story entirely.

  • I agree the religion of the secular culture and its current idols of worship i.e. transgenderism, same sex marriage et al should not be forced upon anyone. It is a big marketplace with many choices. I would not seek to use the services of someone who opposes my religious convictions. I am not sure why this agenda driven effort to to use services of businesses that hold a view of marriage that opposes their own continues to go forward..or maybe I do!!
    And no need for name calling I am willing to entertain your comments as we also have the liberty of participating in the free exchange of ideas without the rancor.

  • Don’t honestly care what you think your religion tells you here. I don’t have to. I care about what kind of actions you seek to justify with them. Religious freedom means nobody ever has to live in accordance to your beliefs.

    In this case, you seek to use your beliefs as an excuse for discrimination in open commerce and to treat other people as less than human. It is objectively immoral and in many places illegal. There is nothing worthy of respect there no matter how you try to dress it up in the trappings of religiosity. It is objectively immoral and malicious in nature.

    I have no reason to respect such views and feel offended that you expect others to as well. That would make everyone complicit in your harmful actions and intentions.

    If you hold a business out as being open to the public, you have a duty
    to serve the public in a reasonable and non-discriminatory manner. You
    don’t get a free pass to ignore such rules because you are Christian.
    You don’t get a free pass to ignore any rules protecting the general
    public for being a Christian.

  • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof–Not sure where the first ammendment supports your assertion that my right to “free exercise” ends at some point? It doesn’t say that I can only practice it a church, a house or someplace where it doesn’t offend someone with a different belief or worldview…And someone who refuses to bake a cake for someone is equal to human sacrafice, honor killing. By the way when was the last time you confronted a Muslim about honor killing?

  • You just do not seem like a very tolerant person. Why is it that when I disagree with you I am called and intolerant biggot because I do not subscribe to your belief but in my view when I disagree with your belief I just consider myself opposed to your belief, no hate, no name calling, I just disagree. Who is the intolerant one?

  • Interesting 1st point. I suppose if my web business agreed to service everyone (Nazi’s, Christians, KKK, ETC), one potential way to solve this issue is to state from the beginning (as part of your business mission statement). I will service anyone, but I will not perpetuate hate in any form. So you may have to build a snowflake website, but will not ever marginalize or malign people as a rule. I don’t know, great point though…

  • I believe the founders called it “conscience.” The cornerstone of the Bill of Rights.

  • And yet that word does not appear in the bill of rights, any more than god or Jesus or Christian appears in the constitution.

    Hmmmmm.

  • “I agree the religion of the secular culture and its current idols of
    worship i.e. transgenderism, same sex marriage et al should not be
    forced upon anyone.”

    In plain language you are pretending you have a right to banish certain classes of people from your presence and deny their existence. Well tough luck. Nobody has to take such ideas seriously. Nobody is bound by your beliefs there.

    If your belief is that various kinds of people are unworthy of the basic civility and humanity expected in society, then it is unworthy of respect. It does not need to be tolerated to the point of permitting you to harm others. In fact, society, especially a free one which respects the rights of others to live peaceably must actively oppose such actions done in service of your faith.

    You are welcomed to your beliefs as am I. But what you aren’t welcomed to do is expect some kind of special rights or privileges because of them. Especially when it entails deliberately attacking others.

  • What I truly do not understand is these said baker and floral arrangers will sell basic flowers, cakes and such – just not wedding cakes or wedding flowers. Well aren’t they being true hypocrites? You can buy everything BUT wedding cakes and flowers. Yet they have already stated (Gays are Evil, My Religion is agains them etc…), how is it OK to sell a basic cake but not a wedding cake. Isn’t the GAY still a sinner in both scenarios? Simple and pure discrimination and bigotry hiding behind religion. VILE.

  • I just don’t think it is fair or tolerant to push your beliefs/agenda on people and when they don’t like it call them biggots and intolerant. Tolerance means that you can tolerate opinions you disagree with but you cannot tolerate opinions that you oppose (and start name calling) which is the definition of intolerance.

  • Who says I’ve never been “treated differently?” You know nothing about me or anyone else here. I doubt that there is anyone who has NOT faced an inequity at some time or another. That’s part of life. By growing up we learn to deal with it without crying to the teacher.

    “Politeness” is a matter of culture. The way to maximize your reception of it is to confine your associations to ladies and gentlemen as much as possible. The only “respect” to which we are legally entitled is found in the constitution — to be secure in our persons and property and to do as we please with no more government interference than what is expressly allowed by that constitution. Behaviors and ideas are not entitled to respect, as your compadres around here frequently affirm. Neither politeness nor respect is the business of government or of legislation. If it were, your fellow Dems would be suffering a lot more than just the repeated loss of elections.

    And no, sorry but I don’t think I will keep my faith out of anything I do.

    But take care of that blood pressure — keep those ears covered!

  • “Not sure where the first ammendment supports your assertion that my right to “free exercise” ends at some point?”

    Free exercise has never entailed a right to harm others in service of your beliefs. Hence we have perfectly valid laws which would prohibit human sacrifice, honor killing, and sectarian pogroms. Your right to discriminate in open commerce is the same as those other acts I have described. None whatsoever. Just like your right to free speech does not entail defamation or fraud. Your right to free expression doesn’t entail a right to beat up people whose views differ from yours. In all those examples you will notice freedom does not become license to harm others.

    Its also telling that you use the SAME EXACT ARGUMENTS people tried when trying to justify segregation in light of the Civil Rights Act. I guess bigots don’t change their method of thinking, just targets.

    Refusing to bake a cake, from a store open to the public because you do not respect the class of customer as a human being is a violation of anti-discrimination laws. An attack on the civil liberties of the customer and their right to access of commerce open to the general public.

    I am not going to treat it as a de minimus act. Especially when Christian bigots like yourself also advocate attacking the ability of gays to find employment, housing, education, rightful access to government services and other forms of commerce besides wedding service. So it is a far bigger deal than you are going to admit to.

    “And someone who refuses to bake a cake for someone is equal to human sacrafice, honor killing.”

    Are those not forms of harm done to people in the name of sincere religious beliefs? Of course they are. The same excuses you would use to violate anti-discrimination laws would apply to those as well. You seek a special right to attack people in the name of your religion. Whatever arguments you can use against those things can be used against your proposed actions.

    “By the way when was the last time you confronted a Muslim about honor killing?”

    The last time there was one around for me to comment on. 🙂

  • I don’t agree regarding the extensibility of the Commerce Clause. I’m no legal scholar, but having read a few scholarly papers on its use in this context, I don’t think it’s as inflexible as you suggest. Laws change, and their use and interpretation varies. But it’s also not entirely relevant to the question either.
    The question was, would you feel the same about the situations if they involved race instead of religion? To clarify, is it ethical for businesses to discriminate on the basis of race? For example, would you respond the same way if you were one half of an interracial couple seeking a cake for your wedding, only to have the baker tell you it’s against his deeply held belief in racial purity?

  • Your view is that certain classes of people are unworthy of being treated as human beings. As a moral person, it is my duty never to tolerate such loathsome ideas. I don’t have to treat your views with respect. They are repugnant to anyone interested in tolerance of fellow people.

    The intolerant one is still you. I disagree with you and think you are a terrible and immoral person. But I unlike you, I don’t believe that means I have a right to attack you in a malicious manner or deny you civil liberties because of it. Therein lies the difference. Take your “you can’t tolerate my intolerance” and shove it.

  • Neither does “separation of church and state.”

    But the primary drafter of the constitution wrote plenty about it:

    “Conscience is the most sacred of all property; other property depending in part on positive law, the exercise of that, being a natural and unalienable right.” — James Madison

    “The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, who enters into any subordinate Association, must always do it with a reservation of his duty to the General Authority; much more must every man who becomes a member of any particular Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign” — James Madison

  • Why don’t you speak plainly and honestly?

    You don’t think its fair that you don’t have any special privilege to attack people in service of your faith. Poor snowflake is melting here.

    Religious freedom is a pain in the neck that way. Nobody ever has to give a crap what you think God says on any given subject, nor can you compel them to.

    Calling you a bigot is not merely name calling, it is a perfect description of your view. You want to treat others like crap out of personal prejudice and spinelessly want to hide behind religion to pretend it needs to be considered socially and legally acceptable. Tough luck. Show a little bravery and own up to your prejudices. All you have done is show why it is appropriate here. You are uncomfortable with the label. Good.

    Your opinion here is that certain classes of people are unworthy of being treated as human beings. No moral person can or should tolerate such ideas.

  • I am sorry you feel the need to call me a bigot because I disagree with you on this topic. I forgive you though and wish you all the best-God Bless!

  • That’s the key – the message being sent, or being requested. It seems to me the Christian bakers, florists, etc. believe that, by selling these products to a same-sex couple for use during their nuptials, they are in some way communicating endorsement. This doesn’t align at all with my own experience as a consumer, and having attended many weddings I’ve never even thought to assume the baker, florist, photographer, etc. approved of the couple. It’s not their business to offer an opinion on the matter.

  • G J, thanks for seeing what our real issue is. All of us could find another florist, who can choose the EMT who shows up at the accident, or the doctor in the OR?

    There was an article I can’t find at the moment in the Salt Lake Tribune about a year or more ago, about a lesbian couple who wanted to have a child. They started interviewing pediatricians before they were pregnant. They found one they liked who agreed to take them on. When they showed up for their first well baby check up, the doctor took the appointment she charged them for, to tell them she’d changed her mind and wouldn’t treat their child because they were gay.

  • Your passive aggressive reaction is duly noted. Obviously you are annoyed at the label, but not disputing whether it is inappropriate or inaccurate. I am not in the least bit sorry your delicate sensibilities are hurt by such a display of honesty concerning your position.

  • We know what the Commerce Clause is for — it is to give the federal government power over INTERSTATE commerce. And we know what kind of situations it was meant to address. Enumerated powers, which is our constitution’s underlying principle, means that the federal government is given the stated powers and no others. If the Interstate Commerce Clause is inadequate to our current society then it should be amended as per the process outlined in the constitution itself. The SCOTUS committed a particularly egregious act of judicial usurpation when it in effect “amended” the Interstate Commerce Clause by extending it to purely intrastate commerce in the U.S. vs. Darby case — which by all rights should be reversed. Fortunately, the current SCOTUS is gradually returning on its own to a more restricted reading of the clause.

    I find no biblical justification for opposing interracial marriage or segregation — for all the blather to the contrary, it simply isn’t in there. So no, I don’t find it ethical to discriminate on the basis of race. But, were my marriage interracial or otherwise, I personally would not wish to involve anyone in it who would be offended by it, nor would I wish to punish them for that sentiment, which would ultimately serve no purpose. Where we are persuaded in our own minds about the rightness of our actions, the approval of strangers is unimportant.

  • I’ve never attended a wedding where I knew who the baker or photographer was, nor did the participants, some wedding planner or parent took care of that.

    For our gay wedding on our 21st anniversary we didn’t deal with any of that. Straight friends did. One made us a glorious cake, one professional photographer friend (again, straight) donated his services, Another straight couple and two other (straight friends) did all the set up and take down of the room we used for the wedding and the park we used for the reception. All in all there were 150 people in attendance and about 10 of us were LGBT, including my wife and I.

  • I am not annoyed at all, I just find conversations to be more productive when name calling is put aside and constructive dialog is able to happen. Obviously you are very passionate about this conversation and it has led to hatred towards me. I am sorry to have been in part the reason you have hatred in your heart right now. I will leave the conversation and let you know that God loves you regardless of your sin and wants to have a relationship with you through his son Jesus Christ. Hopefully your Heart will be softened and opened up to the truth of his love for you.

  • I find your use of euphemisms, canned arguments and religious appeals made any attempt at constructive dialogue laughable. The idea that one treats civil liberties and whether to treat others as human beings part of a genteel dispassionate discussion is sociopathic. Borne of an immoral view of other people and notions of basic humanity.

    “that God loves you regardless …”

    Ah the “I will pray for you” kissoff. Christianspeak for “go f–k yourself”.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2011/11/ill-pray-for-you/

  • Proverbs 14:29 Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.

  • If I know a business that discriminates in any way, I’ll take my business elsewhere. Jesus summed up my viewpoint as follows:

    Matthew 25:45
    New International Version

    “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

  • To quote poet laureate Mr. Vincent Neil of Los Angeles, “Don’t go away mad. Just go away”. 🙂

  • I had a very similar experience as you did. The part of all of these arguments that is tough for some of these folks to grasp is there are some people who live in places with limited choices and available services. It would cause an undo burden for people to find someone who will accommodate if everyone was allowed to discriminate.

  • I feel exactly the same way. I could accept these so-called businesses’ attempt to discriminate if they would be willing to post the fact prominently on their websites, cash registers, and promotional materials.
    But I doubt they would, because they don’t want to be seen as– wait for it– bigots.

  • maybe it is just me but I will take the Wisdom of Solomon over Vince Neil-just sayin. Anyway sorry for the hard feelings and I hope you do not go away mad…

  • There is nothing wise or honest about your views.

    Such a snowflake.

    You already prayed for my immortal soul. We are done here.

  • I do get that, I live in one of those small rural communities with limited choices and availability. Just last night we had a huge town hall to try and save Obstetrics in our local hospital. The nearest other hospital is 48 miles away over twisting mountain roads and takes a minimum of an hour and a half to get there, unless you flight for life. I am fortunate enough for it to be in California, though 😉 and we kept Obstetrics at our hospital. By the time we got done talking to them, the board’s vote to keep it was unanimous.

  • He said “the least of these my brethren.” Whom did He call His “brethren” in the gospels?

    But kudos to you for understanding how a free market among free equals is supposed to function.

  • So, essentially, it is ethical (in your view) for a government to allow discrimination on other bases as long as those who wish to do so derive justification from a book they believe is sacred. Is this about right?

  • As our SCOTUS has ruled in the past, the right to free exercise of religion as per the 1st Amendment is of the utmost importance and any law which burdens it must serve a COMPELLING government interest and be the least restrictive alternative available. It is a balancing act.

    Personally, I don’t think a cake or a posy rises to the level of a “compelling interest” sufficient to outweigh the first and foremost right listed in the Bill of Rights. If you do, then it’s hard to imagine what you think the 1st Amendment DOES outweigh.

    FYI, all discrimination is not the same in constitutional jurisprudence. No other classification has ever received the level of scrutiny that has been accorded to race — because the SCOTUS knows that it is a unique problem in our history which required extraordinary measures to solve.

  • It is a balancing act, but your characterization of the issue is flawed. As you well know, cakes and posies are not the issue. Protecting citizens from discrimination is, and doing so has repeatedly been affirmed by SCOTUS as constituting a compelling state interest. And, incidentally, as evidenced by the 14th Amendment, which has heretofore been applied to race and gender discrimination cases, and may yet bear in some way on the issue we’re discussing, as it has in previous cases involving gay rights.

    What bakers and florists of the Christian persuasion who feel inclined to treat their fellow citizens as persona non grata need to demonstrate is that their right to free exercise is substantially burdened by having to serve people they judge to be unworthy of their labor in virtue of their sexual orientation. Whether or not SCOTUS chooses to hear one of these cases (e.g., Masterpiece Cakeshop is a current petitioner) remains to be seen, and it may very well rule in favor of the petitioning business owner. However, as before, this isn’t truly relevant to my last question.

    To reiterate, is it ethical, in your view, for government to allow discrimination on other bases as long as those who wish to do so derive justification from a book they believe is sacred?

  • The 14th Amendment restricts state action, J.C., not private business.

    “Protecting citizens from discrimination is, and doing so has repeatedly been affirmed by SCOTUS as constituting a compelling state interest.” I have already explained to you that all varieties of discrimination are not the same in constitutional jurisprudence. They do not all receive the same level of scrutiny.

    “What bakers and florists of the Christian persuasion who feel inclined to treat their fellow citizens as persona non grata need to demonstrate is that their right to free exercise is substantially burdened by having to serve people they judge to be unworthy of their labor in virtue of their sexual orientation.” Talk about a flawed characterization! The substantial burden exists not in any reluctance to “serve,” nor on any belief that anyone is “unworthy of labor,” (for every business owner who has encountered this situation has willingly served gays in other contexts) but on having to participate in a morally objectionable ACTIVITY. Something that the pro-LGBT crowd perennially fails — or refuses to — understand.

    As to your reiterated question, I already answered it. As it is a balancing act, it depends on the situation. In some cases yes, in some cases no.

  • I have already explained to you that all varieties of discrimination are not the same in constitutional jurisprudence. They do not all receive the same level of scrutiny.

    I didn’t argue otherwise. What I said was that SCOTUS may indeed consider the discriminatory conduct here to be of compelling interest to the state, as it frequently has before with regard to other minorities who’ve been discriminated against. And, as I also said, the 14th amendment may bear on any case it chooses to take on. It may not. But it did in finding same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional, so to the extent present law fails to protect same-sex couples from discriminatory conduct by people who think their sacred book justifies behaving badly toward other people, it may have relevance.

    I’ll say again I’m not a legal scholar, and I’m not a lawyer. But I do know enough to say, with absolute confidence, that your position is less firm than you think it is.

    The substantial burden exists … on having to participate in a morally objectionable ACTIVITY

    No, and not least because the Court doesn’t decide what individuals may or may not consider morally objectionable activity, much less what morally objectionable activity consists of in general. The mind boggles at the idea that SCOTUS would find weddings to be morally objectionable, but whatever. Scripture, which is what Christians use to justify their moral concerns, simply isn’t a resource they turn to in deciding their cases.

    The petitioners must show their right of free exercise is substantially burdened by being forced to serve same-sex couples celebrating their nuptials against their deeply-held religious beliefs. In other words, does the act of baking a wedding cake or arranging flowers for a same-sex wedding or reception constitute a substantial burden on the business owner’s First Amendment right to free exercise. The Court, if it takes a case, will have to decide whether a burden exists and whether it’s substantial enough to warrant a decision in favor of the petitioner.

    As for your answer to the question, I understand you to mean that you think it’s ethical for the government to permit discrimination on religious grounds, at least in some cases. And I further surmise that you think that Christian scripture should be used to determine what circumstances call for such discrimination. Am I right? If so, why not the Quran as well? Should the Court find in favor of a Muslim who discriminates against a Christian or Jewish couple?

  • The 14th Amendment came into play in the same sex marriage case because it involved state action — namely, state laws limiting marriage to male-female unions. Private business action is not state action.

    “The mind boggles at the idea that SCOTUS would find weddings to be morally objectionable, but whatever. Scripture, which is what Christians use to justify their moral concerns, simply isn’t a resource they turn to in deciding their cases.” The SCOTUS already acknowledged in Obergefell that the belief in the wrongness of same sex relationships is based on “decent and honorable religious premises.” There is no particular need for them to further explore scripture on the subject.

    Muslim conscience issues would presumably face the same balancing act as anyone else’s. For myself, I’ll happily remove myself, without sequelae, if I present a moral difficulty to a Muslim business owner. I have no more wish to violate a Muslim conscience than a Christian one.

  • I would never call any Christian religion a cult. I will, however, allow other Christians to do so. And you do,

  • YOU don’t find it, but other so called Christians certainly have. They have justified all sorts of atrocities against their fellow humans. To pretend otherwise is simply to believe the self constructed myth of Christian superiority.

  • Not interested in the opinions of people trying to read social mores into scripture, whether today or a century ago. I invite you or anyone else to produce the SCRIPTURE which mandates, or even suggests, racial segregation or prohibitions on miscegenation.

  • As I keep telling you…but you keep wishing to change the subject…
    Your response should be to the Christians who promoted it, not me. I think your entire book is BS. You can start with the judge who wrote the original loving v. Virginia decision. You can go read Uncle tom’s Cabin, a response to the very people who were busy using scripture to support slavery. The tents of ham: an oft quoted passage as to why Christian missionaries in Polynesia were right to destroy native languages, religions, and cultures, Just because YOU can’t see it in Scripture doesn’t mean that they couldn’t and didn’t.
    Again, talk to them, not me.
    But meanwhile, there are plenty of Christian right now who don’t see the biblical justifications for invidious antigay discrimination by Christians such as yourself. Perhaps you should talk to them.

  • They’re pretty much all dead, Ben. It is not possible to talk to them. Therefore, until you produce this so-called scriptural mandate for segregation I see no reason to discuss this further.

  • Of course you see no such need. It completely undermines your argument. But their writings are there. You just don’t wish to see it.
    There, I can’t help you.
    But I did also direct you to living people, who see no biblical justification for invidious antigay discrimination. You won’t talk to them either, and for the same reason.

  • “Their wriitings are there,” you just don’t seem to know exactly what thry are or what they say. If you don’t have the wherewithal to do your own homework I have no intention of doing it for you. Come back when you have something specific to offer.

    As for the rest, I’ve talked to a great many of them here as you well know.

  • SCOTUS would seem to disagree with you since they are taking up the case. So would appear it may indeed be a “religious freedom issue”.

  • That is kind of begging the question. We know anti gay bigots have resources. So buying their way into Supreme Court is not a problem.

    BTW they didn’t find religious freedom issues existed in the playground case but still took it anyway.

    It’s a loser. Kennedy is not going to side with anti gay discrimination. He penned four cases which defeated it.

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