Beliefs Culture Jana Riess: Flunking Sainthood Opinion Politics

How abortion changed the culture wars on same-sex marriage and religious freedom

Prof. Andrew Lewis, author of “The Rights Turn.”

A provocative new book argues that the Christian Right has turned to “rights” arguments to advance their political agenda — and that the strategy started with abortion.

In The Rights Turn in Conservative Christian Politics: How Abortion Transformed the Culture Wars (Cambridge University Press), political scientist Andrew Lewis explores the highly successful tactics of conservative Christians as they have moved from “moral majority” to “shrinking minority” but have managed to hold on to a game-changing amount of political clout. — JKR


RNS: You argue that in recent years, the Religious Right has moved away from discussing morality to “rights,” especially the “rights of the unborn.” Talking in terms of individual rights used to be primarily the purview of liberals. How did we get there?

Lewis: It happens over time, but essentially the big picture is that as the cultural status of conservative Christianity declines, they no longer have the cultural power that they once had. They move from taking cultural majority positions to thinking about rights and minority positions.

So it’s a pluralism position, more about finding a place within the culture than dominating the culture. Religious conservatives have in some sense taken up this rhetorical and political strategy of the left, and adopted the playbook of groups like the ACLU as they have targeted the Supreme Court.

RNS: So in part this is occurring because evangelicals now feel like an embattled minority rather than the “moral majority” of a bygone era?

Lewis: I think the question is how will they react to becoming a minority. The 2016 election exposed a handful of reactions to that. One option is that you seek to reclaim the past, and we saw on the one hand some conservative Christians seeking to go backward to some sort of “Christian America.” On the other hand you had some trying to plot a new path forward, seeking greater religious freedoms and protections for their way of life within this pluralistic culture. So the debate goes on about the best way to do that.

At the same time, the answers to both of those debates are all wrapped up in one party. Evangelicals may have voted overwhelmingly for one political party, but these factions have very different visions of the future, which you could see in the primary season. They have very different ideas about the way forward, even if the end result in the general election was the same. I think evangelicals are at a crossroads of where they’re going to go. Part of this is generational, and part of it is their commitment to the rights of others. There’s a fear of losing their cultural position, and this idea that they’re being threatened.

RNS: So, how did abortion transform the culture wars?

Lewis: This is the most provocative theme in the book. A lot of people have understood that conservative Christianity is moving toward rights and minority politics, even though no one has documented it yet in the way of this elite politics and mass opinion the way that I have done. Abortion is central for two reasons:

1) It taught conservative Christians the language of rights, and about minority politics.

Once Roe v Wade happened, and the decade after, people in the pro-life movement became the minority, and had to learn what it was like to be in that. They began countering the left’s “right to choose” language with their own potent language. It’s been very effective, as borne out in survey data.

2) Abortion is the issue to which all other issues get connected.

As conservative Christians start engaging on a wider array of things, particularly issues that might be controversial and the base might not be sure what to do with, the leadership always ties it to abortion. “We need to argue for more free speech, because this will help us when we protest about abortion.” Or, “we can’t have national health care coverage, because what are we going to do if the government wants to provide abortion or contraceptive care?” So it becomes the single most important issue to allow the expansion of the sphere of conservative rights advocacy that legitimizes this enterprise to the base.

RNS: So abortion is a wedge issue?

Lewis: Not a wedge issue in the eyes of these leaders, but an easy issue to link to. Rather than driving people away, it’s easy to bring their base in. Abortion is the center of the bicycle spoke. In the death penalty chapter, there’s an entire argument of a pro-life ethic for capital punishment: if life is so valuable, then if someone takes a life, then they deserve the ultimate punishment.

I end it on a positive note, that in some ways, conservative Christians have become more tolerant in the last 40 years, and more respectful of other people’s rights. When we have evangelicals pick a group that they like the least and say whether those groups should be protected in public, they are now more likely to extend those rights to other people as well, even the groups they dislike. So there is some sort of grand movement toward valuing the rights of others. That might be a salve for the wounds of the culture wars for some on the left.

We often get so consumed with the idea that evangelicals support Donald Trump, or the Muslim ban, that we haven’t seen that in the last 40 years, evangelicals’ support of gays or for other religions have outstripped the general population in becoming more tolerant. These kind of things are episodic and not necessarily linear, but it is important to step back to see what it looks like over decades.

RNS: How did the phrase “religious freedom” become coded language for people who oppose gay marriage? Or is that question loaded in itself?

Lewis: Maybe a little loaded, but culturally it’s fair to describe how many people see it. You don’t see the real rise of many of these things until 2013, 2014. Federal religious freedom laws gained some steam in the mid-1990s, and a decent number of conservatives were involved in them, but there was very little public awareness that they were going on.

It’s not until you see the legalization of same-sex marriage that you see this real drive to protect religious freedom. The day that the Obergefell case was decided, you got these conservative religious legal organizations standing on the Supreme Court steps making their claim to protect the rights of religious individuals to practice their beliefs. Immediately, there was a shift to define these protections. They knew that they were losing this cultural battle and this was a way to preserve what they thought was their orthodox faith in action.

The trouble is that it pits two really important rights against each other, the right of people not to be discriminated against, and the right to practice your religion—not just in a house of worship but wherever you are. That’s what makes it particularly volatile.

RNS: What are you hoping the book accomplishes?

Lewis: I hope that it shows the significant change in our cultural politics of late, where rights on the left and right now compete with each other. In doing so, I want the book to engage where we’ve been and where we’re going culturally. The biggest takeaway, however, may be that as evangelicals have come to protect their own rights there have been positive secondary effects. Evangelicals have become more favorable to extending these rights protections to others than they were generations ago. While there’s certainly nuance, I think this is a valuable lesson.

And what might I do next? Religious freedom and racial politics are the issues culturally right now, and I’d like to handle religious freedom, particularly how as it becomes more politicized, what are the effects on how we think about the right to religious liberty. I hope to write a book about that.


Related posts:

Why abortion may increase during a Donald Trump presidency

As a fellow Mormon, I’m proud of Jeff Flake


About the author

Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (Random House/Convergent, 2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church" (Oxford University Press, 2019). She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.


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  • My Summary?

    The anti abortion right has been milking the issue for 45 years, making a pile of money while doing it, but actually, doing pretty much nothing. It is not in their financial or political interest to ban abortion. Their opposition to birth control and age appropriate sex education being widely available is the dead giveaway, because those things would reduce abortion.

    Gay marriage is indeed a religious freedom issue— whether evangelicalsicals get to set the rules for the religion debate for people who are not religious, for religious liberals, for gay people.

    Their “religious freedom” is also nonsense. They are free to believe what they wish. They are not free to ignore anti discrimination laws. Various states have laws protecting gay people from discrimination. So much for the state’s rights ideas.

    It’s all about power, money, and dominion.

  • “Their “religious freedom” is also nonsense. They are free to believe
    what they wish. They are not free to ignore anti discrimination laws.
    Various states have laws protecting gay people from discrimination. So
    much for the state’s rights ideas.

    It’s all about power, money, and dominion.”

    you are a ray of sunshine, poking through the storm.

  • Opposition to abortion began largely in the Catholic Church. From the beginning, the church used the liberal argument of the “rights of the unborn.” Evangelicals, for the most part, did not support opposition to abortion initially because it was a Catholic issue. When they did join the fight, they changed the argument and the Catholic Church went along with it, if for no other reason because it increased the numbers. Plus, the church was not going to fight the morals argument because they saw it as a morals fight as well. What the evangeicals also did was sideline the Democratic legislators, mostly Catholic, who were opposed to abortion because they tied oppostion to abortion to the conservative cause. In many ways they tried to sideline the Catholic Church in the process, which has never seen it as a conservative cause but as a human rights cause. That is why you can go to what has traditionally been deep blue and very Catholic Dubuque County, Iowa and see a multitude of anti-abortion and pro-life signs.

    It’s instructive, I think, that conservative Evangelicals are changing the argument again. This time, however, they are going back to the beginning and taking up the old liberal, and Catholic, argument. (Of course, they will not use those terms.) The morals, argument, it seems did not work to their advantage. After all the pro-choice side could make morals arguments about the life of the mother, as just one example. Will this work? The Catholic Church assumed they would attract more liberals way back when, but for the most part liberals chose a more libertarian stance instead. I doubt this will grow the base, if at all, and I doubt they expect it will either. I also doubt it has anything to do with the expansion of rights. Contrary to what Andrew Lewis says, I do not see Evangelicals as “more tolerant in the last 40 years, and more respectful of other people’s rights.” That might happen in the next 40 years, but self-preservation is what this is all about.

  • When it comes to religious rights, we should differentiate between belief and practice. Belief is personal, an internal conversation. So belief is always free. Of course, you might be persuaded to change it, but still it couldn’t be forced. Others may have the same belief, but you wouldn’t know it until it is expressed, either through word or action. Religious action/practice is where we need to focus.

    The first question in my mind is what constitutes religious practice. All agree that worship (i.e., Sunday services in a space designed for it) is a protected freedom. One flash point is worship in a public place (i.e., tax supported, jail, public school room, courthouse, or before a high school football game). Here the appeal isn’t as much to religious freedom as the free speech of the person wishing to worship outside of a space designed for it.

    A second flash point is anything connected to sex (birth, birth control, abortion, same sex marriage, and to a lesser degree, women’s rights). People with particular religious scruples are free to practice these as they see fit, providing they are legal. If a law conflicts with a particular belief, they are free (as in a civil right) to attempt to change it.

    The issue that seems particularly current concerns whether one person can, outside of attempting to change the law, simply refuse to recognize another person’s freedom by declaring such would violate their own religious freedom. Is baking a cake (or not baking a cake) a religious act protected by our religious freedom? If you are a nun, is refusing to pay for your non-religious employees’ birth control a religious practice? If you are a secular employer who refuses to pay for your non-religious employees’ birth control, is this a religious practice. With tongue in cheek I’ve suggested not paying taxes can be a religious practice. A friend of mine tried that and when faced with jail eventually paid up.

    When is baking or not baking, paying or not paying, a religious practice? When a court says so, I guess. I fear if we keep pushing the definition of what is or isn’t a protected religious practice into new territories, the courts will be forced into defining religious practice in every aspect of life. Then where is our freedom? This political strategy is likely to result in unintended consequences no one likes.

  • If sexually active, responsible citizens would practice safe sex, abortion would be not an issue. Cases in point. There are over one million unplanned pregnancies annually in the USA because women fail to take the Pill daily. There are over another one million unplanned pregnancies in the USA annually because men did not wear a condom even though they had one in their pocket., dimensional analysis of said statistics.

    And then there is this:

    And putting some added numbers into the discussion about those who do not practice safe sex:

    The CDC estimates there are on average 19 million cases of STDs in the USA every year. That is 190 million cases in ten years and 380 million cases in 20 years showing that either many citizens get more than one STD infection or that almost every citizen has had one STD infection in their life as the USA population is ~325 million. And in most cases such infections could have been prevented by the proper use of a 50 cent condom.

  • Ben’s ‘reasonings’ are pretty darn good aren’t they? Totally agree with your ‘ray of sunshine, poking through the storm’ observation.

  • ” They are free to believe what they wish. ”

    Yes of course, as you’ve stated that theme before. You’ve also accurately stated before, in so many words, that ‘folks can believe whatever they want, but those beliefs should never be used to harm or diminish the lives of others’.

    Common-sense and love-sense attitudes are the best.

  • The writers neglect to mention that the idea fetii have “rights” has failed to gain traction except among right-wing folks, who use the argument cynically to justify their efforts to subjugate women. The same is so with the efforts to exempt florists, bakers, wedding venues, etc. from civil rights laws. Few except those committed to oppressing LGBTQ folks believe that such a commercial enterprise is at all a religious exercise and most of the ones saying it is know they are lying through their teeth.

  • Abortion and same sex marriage might be the hot button issue at the moment, but just waiting in the wings are two issues that will cause similar controversy and division.

    The first one is the question of euthanasia. Do people have the right to end their lives if they so choose? If not, what do you do about people who are dying an agonising death? If so, how does society regulate euthanasia to prevent abuses?

    The second one is juvenile male circumcision. What takes precedence, the right of males to the protection of their bodily integrity, or the right of parents (and religious bodies) to insist on this procedure for religious or other reasons? Also, how can it be argued that little girls’ genitals are protected from interference while little boys’ genitals are not? And what about dangerous traditional practices like metzitzah b’peh (sucking the circumcision wound)? Should this be unregulated or should it be discouraged by public education or even banned?

    In a multicultural and multi faith society, where people have starkly different attitudes towards both euthanasia and circumcision, how do you decide what to do or not to do? It won’t be easy to find a way forward.

  • My own supposition is that if the conservatives this one, they may well have won a battle, but they have lost the war. There are so many ways that this will come back to haunt them. and worse for those vendors who are just too stupid and self-righteous to say, “Sorry, I’m booked” or a host of other perfectly legal excuses– as opposed to the illegal ones like “My religion says you’re icky.”– These may find a war on their doorsteps that they will not be able to win.

    Some years ago, Long before the internet, I had a “computer expert” with a shop on Main St. promise to fix my computer, but was unable to do so. He declared it was all my fault, and gave me back my computer as a box of parts. He wasn’t going to charge me anyway, but refused to put my computer back into mostly working condition. I explained to him that things did not work that way. He persisted. I told him I would be happy to hire five homeless guys to park themselves in front of his shop every day, until he not only put my computer back together, but paid for the cost of hiring them.

    He saw the invincible logic of my position, and not only put my computer back together, but fixed the previously unfixable problem.

    And now, we have the internet.

    Bake the damn cake, or be smart enough to offer a perfectly legal excuse as to why you can’t.

  • “metzitzah b’peh (sucking the circumcision wound)?”
    I don’t even want to get into that one. A few years ago, if I recall correctly, a little boy died because of it.
    not to mention the obvious, which should be outraging everyone.

  • It is not the baking of a cake that is the issue. It is appearing to endorse evil that is the wrong.

  • Absolutely Billy. Forcing someone for example, to bake a cake and participate in an event that Christ has declared immoral does diminish their lives. It is just common sense and love sense.

  • I’ve heard there were 40 million babies aborted in the US. Look at the revenue the government as missed out on, and funding for projects that could possibly make the place a better place to live, that has gone down the drain, in the enterprise of a murderer. Just imagine. How much money had this made for Margaret Sanger and her crew. Kept them in business. Paid their rent – all on the backs of dead little babies who hurt no one.

  • “Evangelicals have become more favorable to extending these rights protections to others than they were generations ago.”

    What “others”? Certainly not Muslims. Certainly not atheists. Certainly not black people. certainly not Mexicans. Certainly not poor people. And absolutely not LGBT Americans. (On the last group, Evangelicals in a heartbeat would strip every last legal and human right from if they had the votes.)

    Name one people group that Evangelicals have become more favorable toward extending rights protections to.

  • “how do you decide what to do or not to do?”

    um.. how about not legislate individuals’ right to decide about their own bodies? It is none of the state’s business if someone chooses euthanasia. And the circumcision question should be a choice by that individual… the doctors, the parents, society in general should have no right to mutilate a baby. let the kid grow up and then decide for themselves.

  • You are dead-on that it’s about power, money, and domination.

    I’ve observed that one phenomenon that characterizes right-wing activities is that accusations they make against others in fact characterize their own activities and hopes more than the actions of those they hate. “Rights” is a wonderful example: their own rights are not being threatened at all, but of course, they are very eager to abrogate the rights of those they oppose.

  • I think there are some aspects of the cake-baking situation that have not been fully appreciated, and that ought to give us pause.

    My understanding of “doing business with the public” is that those who are selling their goods or services to the general public are not allowed to discriminate in any way (except for obvious matters like payment, orderly conduct, etc).

    If I’m recalling correctly, this was one aspect of the desegregation fights of the ‘fifties and ‘sixties: stores (in the south, of course) were refusing service to African Americans, violating the notion of treating all customers equally.

    Now, suppose someone walks into your bakery (etc) and says “I’d like you to bake a cake with this swastika and picture of Hitler on it. Principles of Naziism are part of my religion.”

    If the court rules in favor of the Colorado bakers, can a future baker refuse to bake the swastika cake?

  • A few observations:

    1. IIRC, that well-known anti-Catholic liberal, Aquinas, states somewhere in his writings that “life” does not begin until around 40 days after conception. Funny how the church relies so much on Aquinas, except in this case.

    2. There have been numerous cases in which the fetus threatened the life of the mother, yet the RCC insisted that abortion was wrong–there was an infamous case a few years ago in New Mexico, in which a bishop (as I recall) **excommunicated**!! a nun who approved an abortion, after consultation with lots of others. The bishop subsequently apologized–much more quietly, of course.

    Opposition to abortion is related, I think, to the RCC’s distinct and high unease with sex. As well, part of it is about making sure that pregnant, unmarried girls are shamed for their “sin”.

  • I would also note that The word is dominion, rather than domination. Dominion is a particularly religious concept. But either will do. ??

  • If a prospective hetero couple wanting a wedding cake are not biblically free to marry, wouldn’t baking that cake endorse “evil”? My guess is this only applies to same-sex couples as their “sins” are apparent and the bakers are not going question the hetero couple.

  • When it comes to abortion, the reason for the emphasis on rights is obvious — animals don’t have rights; plants don’t have rights; only people have rights. To insist on the unborn baby’s right to live is to recognize its inherent humanity, and that is anathema to all that wish the slaughter to continue.

    And pragmatically, it is a position that enjoys majority support; however people might identify themselves, in every poll I’ve seen where people are explicitly asked whether elective abortions should be legal the majority has said no.

  • The two issues are a test from God and all sides have flunked the test, therefore the U.S. will come to an end soon and the world will follow. Climate change cannot be stopped because God is allowing it.

    It is a matter of rights given by God and neither side understand. Abortion is not a matter of the child’s rights, it is only a matter of the mother’s right. The SCOTUS and all others do not understand that allowing abortion is a failure to protect the mother’s constitutional right.

    The Revolution was a test from God and only because of those with understanding, does the U.S. exist today.

    The Civil War was a test from God and only because of Lincoln’s understanding does the U.S. exist today.

    The same can be said for the two world wars.

    We have a test from God today but we have no one that understands and for this reason the U.S. will not stand much longer.

    Yes, both sides can keep fighting right up to the last day.

    Somebody better get some understanding.

  • As a citizen I pay taxes to support a government. That government kills innocents and tortures helpless people. Am I endorsing the the evil some in my government commit…with my tax dollars?

  • I always like to bring up atheist ceremonies and god’s holy institution, or Hindu ceremonies where false gods and demons are invoked in stead of the One and Only True God Ever in the History of the Entire World.

    The only “evil” that ever gets their Holy hockies Hot is gay gay people. All of the other evils are negotiable.

  • Are you aware that for most of Christian history life was understood to begin at birth with the first breath? What was born of miscarriage or carried to term but born dead was not considered a person. And besides, for most of that time “rights” were not accorded to children anyway.

    Were those generations wrong? Perhaps. Certainly their understanding of the process of birth was limited. Could we be equally wrong today? Perhaps. Certainly our fixation on conformity with absolute answers has not produces much comity, peace and love.

  • Well, you write out the sin questionnaire for the bakers in the US, Jim. It’s much more evident when they people on the cake are the same sex.

  • If sexually active, responsible citizens would practice safe sex, abortion would be not an issue. Cases in point. There are over one million unplanned pregnancies annually in the USA because women fail to take the Pill daily. There are over another one million unplanned pregnancies in the USA annually because men did not wear a condom even though they had one in their pocket.…, dimensional analysis of said statistics.

    Failure rates of thhe most effective forms of contraception, ranked by “Perfect use”:

    – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
    – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)

    Followed by: (from Guttmacher)

    One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
    Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
    The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
    Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
    IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

    Failure rate – typical use:

    IUD, 1%
    The Pill: 8.7 %
    Male condom: 17.4 %
    No protection: 85%

  • The dirty little “secret” about anti-abortion activism is its origins in racism

    Abortion was always the “consolation prize” issue for the former segregationists. If the attempt to attack the rights of racial minorities is forever doomed, change the focus to attack the rights of women.

    Actual concern for life never factored into the position or rhetoric. It has always been about asserting control over others.

    This is seen whenever an anti-abortion type even bothers to address pregnant women in their rhetoric. It is generally dripping with arrogant derision, shaming tactics, and just plain outright hostility. Forgetting that women are people with lives that are not subject to the narcissistic proponent’s opinion.

    “Religious Freedom” coming from Christian conservatives is even more explicitly related to the segregationist roots. It is literally an agenda to reassert legalized discrimination against a class of people in the same exact vein and methods as segregation. The proponents even use the same arguments “Separate but equal markets”, “freedom of association”, “anti-discrimination laws don’t change the hearts of people”, and so on.

  • Only assuming you live in a theocracy run by your sect of Christian. But in a democratic country which respects religious freedom and the rights of people regardless of their religious faith, then it is not forcing someone to bake that cake. It is more honestly called conducting open commerce to sell goods and services to the public.

    If you have a shop open to the general public, the world doesn’t ever have care what kind of personal prejudices and religious exhortations the owner has. Customers with reasonable requests get to be served regardless.

  • Religious freedom means nobody is ever bound under color of law by what you or anyone else thinks God says on a particular subject.

    You are entitled to your belief that rights are given by God. Where you fail is the idea that such ideas have to be recognized as true for anyone besides yourself.

    “Abortion is not a matter of the child’s rights, it is only a matter of the mother’s right.”

    Right. 🙂

    Because children don’t factor into it. Children are born. A fetus lives inside its mother. Its mother being a born person with rights and ability to make decisions, the only party to a pregnancy who matters.

  • “When it comes to abortion, the reason for the emphasis on rights is
    obvious — animals don’t have rights; plants don’t have rights; only
    people have rights”

    People are born. Your attempt to insist on a fetus’s right to live is to ignore the inherent humanity of its mother. Pretending she doesn’t exist, is irrelevant, is not a person and whose life is solely subject to your whim. Its telling how you essentially ignore the existence of the mother in all of that.

    “in every poll I’ve seen where people are explicitly asked whether elective abortions should be legal the majority has said no.”

    So your personhood is meant to be subject to the whim of the mob? If a poll showed the majority of people supported turning women into chattel property, is that relevant? The whole notion of civil liberties is that there are certain things which are so fundamental that we cannot put it to a popular vote.

    The fact that you talk of elective abortions in of itself shows a level of arrogance in the position. Essentially stating that a woman’s decisions concerning what goes on in her body are somehow subject to your approval. It makes no difference what I think of a woman’s right to abortion. I am not the one who ever has to make the decision. Its all hers.

  • Depends on the influence of fetus worshipers in a given state. But the question ignores the fact that such crimes are first and foremost against the mother.

    NOBODY considers death of a fetus in of itself to be the act of murder. Many states consider it an assault against the mother and its own class of injury “abortional acts” in some places.

  • If men and women were lawfully executed for spilling the blood of the innocent children in the womb, abortion would no longer be an issue.

  • I meant to add far left to my comments.

    “Projection” suggests the possibility of that behavior being unconscious. I wonder about the extent to which it is a conscious, deliberate strategy.

  • “Now, suppose someone walks into your bakery (etc) and says “I’d like you
    to bake a cake with this swastika and picture of Hitler on it.
    Principles of Naziism are part of my religion.”

    Silly, overused, and extremely dishonest analogy.

    You are conflating a clearly unreasonable request with one which on its face is no different from one from any other class of customer. In all of these cases it was never the request of the cake which was the cause of objection, but the fact the customers were gay.

    More honestly, if a person a baker knows to be a neo-nazi walks into a bakery and asks for a cake which says “Happy Birthday” on it, the baker is in the wrong to refuse the request just because of the class of customer.

    Face it, those “Christian” vendors are simply malicious types who meet reasonable requests with an excuse to say, “We don’t serve your kind, —- off.” The fact they want excuses under the law for it is just spinelessness on their part. If it were really religious conviction, they would take the punishment gladly as a sign of martyrdom. They would not try to BS the rest of us in pretending this is supposed to be acceptable behavior.

  • All laws ever created come from beliefs and are maintained by belief systems. To remove laws from religious discussion is a destruction of religious freedom and freedom of speech.

  • “Americans Say Wedding Businesses Should Be Required to Serve LGBT People, Not Weddings

    The public distinguishes between a business serving people and servicing weddings:

    • A plurality (50%) of Americans say that businesses should be required to “provide services to gay and lesbian people,” even if doing so violates the business owners’ religious beliefs.

    • But, 68% say a baker should not be required to provide a special-order wedding cake for a same-sex wedding if doing so violates their religious convictions.

    Few support punishing wedding businesses who refuse service to same-sex weddings. Two-thirds (66%) say nothing should happen to a bakery which refuses to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. A fifth (20%) would boycott the bakery, another 22% think government should sanction the bakery in some way, such as fining the bakery (12%), requiring an apology (10%), issuing a warning (8%), taking away their business license (6%), or sending the baker to jail (1%).”

  • My suspicion is that it is generally unconscious. It seems to be a product of the self-righteous mind. The world is black and white, with the self-righteous mind being definitely on the white side. So when things that are on the black side come up in the SRM, they are automatically projected on to the “other.”

    Case in point, though there are many. I want to talk about civil rights and free participation in society. The SRM wants to talk about whatever it is they think I am doing with my dangly bits.

    Some 40 years ago, a virulently antigay politician was trying to ride on our backs to the governorship. (He failed). His most revealing comment, repeated in several different ways: “How would you like it if some homosexual shoved his penis in your 11 year old son’s mouth?”

    How would YOU like it, indeed?

  • So what?

    The majority of people support discriminatory laws. That is how they get passed. Majority vote. It does not mean they are a good idea, should be legal or constitutional. Your post is making the worst moral argument possible. Essentially nothing more than “might makes right”. Thank you for showing me what kind of moral and ethical standing is lacking in that crowd.

    My attitude towards those people with “religious convictions” that somehow compel them to discriminate against others is to put it bluntly, —- them and the horses they rode in on. Religious convictions do not give one license to attack others. They deserve to be punished for clearly discriminating against others in open commerce. Religion used to be employed to justify other forms of discrimination. Invoking it here doesn’t make it any more excusable.

    If one is so overcome by religious inspired bigotry that they can’t even bother to provide the most basic common level of professional courtesy to customers because they are of a certain class, they have no business opening a store to the public. It is clear open commerce does not suit their personal impairment there. A store open to the public has a duty to serve the public in a reasonable manner regardless of the class of people the customers are.

    Btw is not a group whose polls or views need to be taken at face value. As a right wing think tank, it is a given that such polls and results reported will fall in line with a specific conservative viewpoint. I already know the Koch’s support Christian dominionism. I don’t need a poll to tell me that.

  • Of course it does. Religious freedom means nobody has to care who you think God hates. You have to treat them as human beings regardless. No attacking people for Jesus for you.

  • Projection could well be the explanation.

    But consider this: over the years, quite a few virulently anti-gay REPUGNICAN pols have been pushed out of the closet. (In fact, there’s a book on this subject.) So it could well be a simple matter of those pols trying to preserve their position by showing voters they are anti=-gay. I suppose this might be more like reaction formation than projection; but in any case, Occam’s Razor is a good guide to thinking on this matter.

  • The tone of your comment sounds to me like you are attacking me. I was not advocating for the baker, and I agree with some of the points you made; rather, I was trying to point out that the kind of situation I am thinking of might not necessarily be as nutty as a Nazi seeking a cake. It could be some situation that none of us has thought about. Situations like this do have an un-imagined way of coming back to bite people in the butt.

    A key issue here I think is the question “how, exactly, does baking a cake for this gay couple infringe on your rights? You are not being asked to abrogate your rights; you are simply being asked to do what the sign on your door says you do.”

  • Homosexual hating homosexuals are another case entirely. But still, the projection is strong.

    Robert Oscar lopez is a perfect example. Supposedly gay, actually heterosexually married and possibly bisexual, lies a great deal about everything. He is ALWAYS talking about the Gay Menace, the danger we gay people pose to children.

    He writes novels that can only be desrcibed as sado-porn involving gay teenagers.

    Summing pu one of his books:

    Riley, a paramedic, marries Agosto after saving him from a suicide attempt. Angel decides to move back to Buffalo to live with his childhood friend Joseph, who he maybe raped when they were teenagers. Joseph is sleeping with his sister’s husband, Harry, who is secretly gay. Angel becomes a court advocate for Riley’s troubled younger brother, during which Riley decides to leave Agosto for Angel. Agosto then claims to be Angel’s cousin in order to get a job at Joseph’s family business, where Harry is employed. Agosto realizes that Harry actually tried to rape him years earlier, sparking an altercation that lands Agosto in jail, with – surprise, surprise – Angel acting as his court advocate. Angel eventually leaves Riley, Joseph leaves Harry, and they both decide to live with Agosto. They seal their trifecta with tongue kisses (seriously) and decide to move to New York City together at the end of the book.

  • Lawfully executing murders who use guns to murder people is a huge deterrent to future gun murders. Not only is the murderer stopped, but also would be murderers.

  • Did the men of Sodom or the Benjamites of Gibeah have a right to rape strangers in the streets? (Judges 19) Maybe these rights weren’t written down, but the men of Gibeah gave their lives taking a stand to protect their homosexual citizens who were lawfully wanted for rape. Instead of handing over the rapist, they sided with them and died for their beliefs, which gave the homosexuals special rights. Did they believe homosexuals where born that way or made that way in the womb by God?

  • From the tone of my voice, you will see I am annoyed by the CONSTANT use of the analogy. It doesn’t accurately describe a similar situation as the subject here and is frequently used to derail discussion.

    You were making an argument based on a patently and obviously unreasonable request from a customer. That is not appropriate under the conditions. My analogy was far more on point. (The Nazi who wants “Happy Birthday” on a cake)

    “A key issue here I think is the question “how, exactly, does baking a cake for this gay couple infringe on your rights? You are not being asked to abrogate your rights; you are simply being asked to do what the sign on your door says you do.””

    Fair enough. 🙂

  • If anyone else kills the child in the womb, it is considered a capital crime, but pregnant women are given special rights because why? Do people think women are stupid or under duress and don’t really know what they are doing? If we have to treat her differently with special unconstitutional rights, how about, if we give her special murder rights to kill the man who put her in the unwanted pregnancy predicament instead of letting her kill the innocent child in her womb. Abortion will be around as long as wicked men keep pornography around and for the same reasons.

  • The point is that your desire to punish reluctant bakers is distinctly a minority viewpoint, rejected by two thirds of the people in this country. And depending of what kind of sanctions you’d want to impose on them, you would find yourself in an even smaller minority – so, politically speaking, you can forget about turning your anti-Christian prejudice into public policy.

    And by the way, the Cato Institute is a libertarian, not a “right wing,” (or even a “conservative”) think tank. Almost anyone could figure that out by surveying the links on their web page, several of which take Republican policies (and politicians) severely to task. But perhaps it’s unrealistic to expect an anti-religious zealot to take such “subtle” distinctions into account.

  • “His most revealing comment… ‘How
    would you like it if some homosexual shoved his penis in your 11 year
    old son’s mouth?'”

    IOW, he changed the subject from “homosexuality” to “Catholic priests”.

  • Point is, they deserve to be punished for acting badly. All discriminatory laws and acts done by a majority. Popularity is not a criteria for moral conduct or legality.

    And no, I do not take a Cato Institute poll as an objective sign of public sentiment anyway. They are well known as right wing shills. Their former name was “The Koch Institute”. Libertarians these days have infantile views of civil liberties anyway. People who don’t actually support civil liberties of individuals. Those who say with a straight face that all anti discrimination laws are bad, because companies should have a right to institute segregation of all stripes.

    You are going through the pretense of a “might makes right” argument. It shows me that you have no moral or legal leg to stand on. Sorry Sparky, but our civil liberties are not subject to mob rule. Quite the opposite.

  • “but pregnant women are given special rights because why?”

    Because it’s inside HER body. That’s why.

    The notion of consent and a woman’s personhood really eludes some people.

    “Do people think women are stupid or under duress and don’t really know what they are doing? ”

    You obviously do. Your whole view is that women are not capable of making decisions for themselves about what goes on in their body. Therefore narcissistic fetus worshipers like you must do it for them. All women being their personal chattel property.

    BTW I will never click a YouTube link in a political discussion unless it’s a cat video and pornography is protected under the right to free speech.

  • Well, I wouldn’t go that far. I wouldn’t blame all catholic priests for the sins of some. The church’s greater jupiter-sized problem is the willingness to cover it all up, all the while shouting “Gay Squirrels! Look over there! gay Squirrels!”

  • Does the RCC acknowledge homosexuality in nature? I know that it now acknowledges that homosexuality is not a choice, but of course, it has not yet addressed the bigger question: “if god created humans, and if he hates homosexuality, how come he created some of his creatures homosexual?”

    As to RCC & homosexuality, I think it is important to note 3 points:

    1. this is not a new phenomenon–it goes back literally hundreds of years.
    2. what are we to make of men (and women) who choose to give up a fundamental part of their human-ness? How on earth do those individuals, or the RCC as an institution, think that is possible? What does that say about their understanding of human nature?

    3. From what I have learned and read, it appears that some men enter the priesthood hoping that that action will help them overcome some “sexual problems” they have.

  • Number1: At least 1000 years. I also remember reading something that takes it back at least another 500.

    Number 2: people always have a choice. And even if they make the wrong choice for what appear to be wrong reasons, they still have a choice. If that’s what they want to do for themselves, I don’t care. What I care about is what they do with the choice. If they use it to say, “look what I did. you must to do it to.” Or they repeat the usual antigay lies to bolster their position, or worse, like a certain ex gay poster boy— I.e., most of them— all the while knowing they are no more exgay than I am— then I object.

    Number 3: absolutely. I have heard this from a number of former seminarians, appalled that they found more sex going on inside the Seminary of Hypocrisy than they ever saw outside. .

  • Gibeah, like sodom, was a story about forcible rape, not homosexuality.

    The “sin of sodom” didn’t actually happen, though it could have been a Gibeah if only the crowd had wanted to rape lot’s daughters. In which case, it would have been about heterosexuality, but of course, never twisted and distorted into a condemnation of something that it had nothing to do with.

    Gibeah, on the other hand, did happen, as far as anything mythical might ever have a basis in truth. But somehow, it still didn’t result in a condemnation of heterosexuality, and barely a condemnation of rape. But has been twisted and perverted yet again into…guess what?!?!…

    A condemnation of homosexuality.

  • STraw man.

    There is no desire to “punish” reluctant bakers, of which Only a handful exist. The desire is to enforce non discrimination laws, and to stop claiming that certain vendors, in this case, and in THIS CASE ONLY, have a right to ignore laws which forbid discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs.

    As a former wedding professional, I can assure you, very few of these “reluctant vendors” will survive in their businesses if they become known as moralizing buisbodies claiming a special right to be total a-holes.

    They have plenty of completely legal means to avoid being labeled unprofessional bigots, starting with “I’m booked. Please call so and so.” Butthey wish to be praised and rewarded for “taking a stand for righteousness” when all they are really doing is bringing their prejudices into a place where it has no business— and will garner them very little—behaving unprofessionally to say the least, being stupid business wise, and insisting that they have a special right to discriminate to the younger generation…

    Who are their overwhelming customer base, and who by a fair percentage don’t like antigay discrimination and bigotry.

  • And what amazes me, is not ONE PERSON commenting has asked what that outrage is, indicating thevery level of blindness that I was commenting on.

  • No you don’t. Because actual moral questions are of no interest to people who claim that god can murder as many people as he likes, and it’s just fine, because he is, ya know, god.

  • I’m no fan of either. Frankly, at Univ of Michigan in the late 80s, it was the far left that tried to stamp out debate, speech, and the free flow of ideas. No jackboot around. Whether it’s some misguided nanny government mandate from the left, or some authoritarianism (Patriot Act) from the right, it makes no difference to me from which direction the boot on my neck originates. In fact, my analytical framework anymore dispenses with right/left dialectics and looks instead to see if a) will it tend to increase or decrease my freedom, and b) what is the evidence favoring or disfavoring a particular position. I try not to have a “team” that I have to defend no matter how unjustifiable its position. I could never be a Carville or Limbaugh. Too much craziness on both sides.

  • And He gives life and takes it away, Ben. That is His right. You, so concerned about rights all the time, eh? Well, He has His also.

  • really! you can’t just go around being all centrist and rational and everything. There is no money to be made on that kind of clarity.

  • You got it. she, of course, did not. But her perspicacity is only matched by her morals.
    Thanks. BTW, don’t match wits with me. :0)

  • The right to murder indiscriminately for an alleged offense against his alleged “holiness”.

  • You’d also have to subtract the number of people who died over the last twenty years from your total, which would make the number of living STD cases significantly lower among those living today than your calculation.

  • Any argument given for why children in utero should be treated differently under the law, can also be applied to the big people. You can’t kill people because they show up uninvited, or they are unconscious, or in your house and becoming a burden. Part of the consent to sex, obviously needs to be consent to procreation or consent to kill the products of conception.
    Why are women currently so devalued that we allow them to sell the use of their body for sexual deviants? Isn’t there a lot of consensual things that are immoral, destructive, and obscene which shouldn’t be allowed? If somebody wants to work another person 100 hrs. a week, for a dollar a month, are we supposed to claim it’s ok as long as it’s consensual?
    Consider prostitutes in Germany, over 400,000 serving over a million men, some in mega storied brothels, with no taboos, and at flat rates. If they offered a vote on whether prostitution should be legal, the prostitutes themselves would vote to keep it legal, because it’s their roof overhead and their food on the table. In the article, they talk about how their public education schools actively sought to normalize prostitution and destigmatize it. Is this part of your vision of a better world? Are women empowered and equalized in such a society, under such a culture?

  • “Any argument given for why children in utero should be treated
    differently under the law, can also be applied to the big people. ”

    What are you smoking and is it legal? First of all, children are not in utero. Children are born. Big people don’t rely on the biological systems of other people to exist. So there goes your entire spiel

    Any argument where you can’t tell the difference between born and unborn is inherently dishonest nonsense. I can take custody of a child from its mother after birth, under a variety of situations or reasons. Feel free to figure out how to do that with a fetus, then get back to me. 🙂

    Its also amazing that you are so utterly and completely
    dishonest/delusional/ignorant (take your pick or combination thereof)
    that I have to explain to you the exigencies of placental mammalian
    reproduction to you and its importance in the subject.

    ” Part of the consent to sex, obviously needs to be consent to procreation or consent to kill the products of conception. ”

    That is your opinion. One that needs not be shared by anyone, nor accepted. You miss the point wildly. Your opinion is ultimately an irrelevancy here. It is not your body, you have no say in the matter. Who are you that you have such a say on how people engage in such relations? Nobody. I honestly can’t give a flying crap what you think about female sexuality. It is clear you don’t actually regard women as people but as your property to command as you see fit.

  • Big people at times, rely in mechanical systems, which rely on biological systems, so yes big people on life support rely on others for survival. People have taken custody of a child by killing the mother and taking the baby out of the womb. As medicine advances with artificial womb technology, this could be done at younger and younger ages. If you believe life magically begins at first breath, would you have no problem with flipently killing children who are partially born, but haven’t taken that first breath yet? Is that scientific of you?

  • Only when there is a civil law that makes it so. During much of Christian history such a loss of a fetus might have occasioned a fine. Not because the unborn was a person, but because it could have been considered an offense against the father and a potential monetary loss. The seed the man planted and the woman was fertile ground; he lost his harvest. The things some call eternal truths are in reality just today’s truths.

  • So, ban abortions so profit margins won’t be affected, right?
    Unwanted children are big business in states that contract out their care. Texas has managed to kill quite a few with low bid contractors. The current admin there still can’t get their shit together in spite of their flashy Christian piety.
    Florida was good at murdering babies the six years I lived there. You see, Jeb Bush cut the funding required to background check ALL foster parents and quite a few killers were made welcome in the system.

  • ” Part of the consent to sex, obviously needs to be consent to procreation or consent to kill the products of conception. ”

    That is your opinion. One that needs not be shared by anyone, nor accepted. You miss the point wildly. Your opinion is ultimately an irrelevancy here. It is not your body, you have no say in the matter.

    Instead of pretending it is just my opinion, let’s just refer to it as basic sex ed 101. 55 million abortions since Roe and people still can’t figure this out.

  • I don’t remember the part of that class where one has to run all their decisions concerning sexual relations past you for approval. Nor do I remember the part where all women are considered subject to your opinion as to what goes on in their bodies.

    How about instead of pretending you are remotely concerned with the sanctity of life you just be honest and say that its all about controlling who has sexual relations and the lives of women.

  • Now you are getting stupid in stretching a point. I can’t even pretend you are trying to make a rational argument here.

    At no point is “rely in mechanical systems, which rely on biological systems” anywhere remotely similar to the condition of a fetus in a woman’s womb. Even your silly and wildly dishonest example misses the point that any human being can operate those machines. But only the unique mother can keep a fetus alive.

    ” People have taken custody of a child by killing the mother and taking the baby out of the womb.”

    That assumes a fetus is capable of coming out. Viability is a major part of the right to abort. If it can come out in birth, that is generally how it does come out. The arguments concerning late term abortions are tone deaf nonsense which avoid the fact that they are invariably done by women who intended to keep their pregnancies but could not due to medical issues.

    All you have proven to me is what ridiculous lengths you will go to avoid the basic facts of the matter. A fetus is inside a woman and can’t come out until ready to be born.

    ” As medicine advances with artificial womb technology..”

    Until an entirely artificial womb is invented, abortion rights will still exist. Face it, if we were sentient platypuses (platypii?) this would not be an issue. Anyone would be able to hand over the fertilized eggs for someone else to care for them.

    “If you believe life magically begins at first breath”

    If you are a firm believer in the Bible, then it is the definition used. 🙂

  • As to giving up sex, my best guess is that you find every possible reason represented: some probably have very low (or no) sex drive, others, guilt, others probably have doubts about their own performance, some just want to see sex “go away”, etc.

    But IAC, until ~ 1000 years ago, priests *were* allowed to marry. The problem was that there was some question about ownership of church property for married priests.

  • It is about controlling sexual abuse and the lives of women who are being abused, but the sanctity of human life is the key foundational misstep that leads to these multi faceted abuses of women and children.

  • Firm Bible believers agree, life is in the blood and that we are created in His image, and that He knows you before first breath, and that He nits you together in your mother’s womb.

  • “STraw man.
    There is no desire to “punish” reluctant bakers…”

    Wrong. There is plenty of such desire — see Spuddie’s response immediately below: “Point is, they deserve to be punished for acting badly.” You guys need to get on the same page.

  • That’s Spuddie. And all he is doing is calling for whatever legal punishments are available for people who insist they have the right to discriminate on the basis of religious belief. He doesn’t want to punish reluctant bakers at all. They could, for example, reluctantly say “I’m sorry. I’m booked for your date.”
    for myself, I don’t really want to punish them. But if they insist that they have the right to discriminate on the basis of religious belief…

  • Life is in the blood and humans are made in His image.

    Genesis 9:4-6 (KJV) But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
    And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.
    Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

  • Yep, fall back on religion when one cannot produce a credible, objective or honest argument.

    Lark’s Law, when a Christian is backed into a corner after failing miserably in an online argument, they will threaten an opponent with eternal damnation. 🙂

    Might as well be shaking a voodoo doll at the screen and putting my name in a pickle jar at this point.

  • That’s nice. Keep it to yourself.

    Religious freedom means I and everyone else never have care what you think God says or wants. Nor can you force anyone to care either.

  • Its about you pretending that all women are subject to your whim and are your property.

    Any concern for the sanctity and value of life from you is a fiction. Life only has sanctity if you deem it so. A woman is not really a person in your eyes.

  • Why according to your logic, do you believe she can be bought with a price. Why do you believe she has a right to sell herself? There is belief systems behind every law.

  • All law is someone forcing their beliefs on someone else, if you want to argue about it you had better come to grips with that simple fact.

  • Religious freedom means everyone had a right to argue the validity of their beliefs and their reasons for why their beliefs should be encoded in law. Every law comes from belief and is maintained by belief. When beliefs change, the laws will follow that change. The U.S. Constitution is based on beliefs as well as the decision of roe and the laws which followed.

  • Um no. Laws in a free country are about interests and rights with q measure of social control and stability.

    I don’t give a crap what your religion says here. I never have to. You are devolving into childish threats and nonsense.

  • Lay off whatever designer narcotics you are abusing at the moment.

    You are the one who does,not consider her a human being, capable of making personal and Intimate decisions without your go ahead. Slaves to your will.

  • Quick Quotes: The Bible Says the Baby is Alive

    – – – – – – –

    • “And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. ” – Genesis 25:22-24

    • “Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?” – Job 31:15

    • “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” – Psalm 139:14-18

    • “He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.” – Ecclesiastes 11:4-5

    • “Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.” – Isaiah 44:1-2

    • “Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;” – Isaiah 44:24

    • “Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name…And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.” – Isaiah 49:1,5

    • “Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:4-5

    • “He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God: Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us;” – Hosea 12:3-4

    • “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost…For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” – Luke 1:41,44

  • Um no. Not even close. It means nobody gets their purely sectarian religious belief to have color of law.

    You are a big baby. Go whine to someone else.

  • Consent to sex is NOT consent to pregnancy. Birth control fails. Why should a woman lose her civil rights because of a stray sperm?

  • You don’t care about the sanctity of the woman’s life. And forcing a woman to carry an unwanted child is definitely abuse.

  • Tell that to the 60,000,000 women who got pregnant when they didn’t want to and then felt they had to kill the baby. Maybe their sex ed was like yours.

  • Anything you believe about how things should be is a belief. If you believe you’ll be able to finish college by spilling the blood of the baby in your womb, that’s a belief. If you believe you should be allowed to do that, again it’s a belief. Abortion is a leap of faith in a belief system.

  • Thank you for demonstrating what kind of arrogant immature self righteous narcissism is integral to your position.

    You don’t like a woman making choices without your approval. Bio friggin hoo. Nobody asks or requires your opinion on such matters. Respect for life means you respect that people will make choices in their life, you won’t like. They are people, not your property.

  • “Innocent” being important. Because in your view only a fetus’s life has value and not dirty s1utty women or their b’stard children. Those lives are so unworthy, they are not even considered people.

  • Respecting life means protecting people. The enemies of the God of the Bible eat their own flesh and drink their own blood in rebellion against Him. Am I supposed to pretend such self destruction is normal and good. Belief systems which claim abortion is a blessing through removal of an innocent child from of the earth, are a lie and from the pit of hell. Just because God gives people over to sins of self destruction, doesn’t mean Christians should sit back and try to make them comfortable as the lie believing enemies pursue their paths of self destruction.
    Who is able to tell the Christian what is a loving and kind way to treat their gay customer who wants a wedding cake? The world’s philosophies can’t tell me Hitler was unloving, but they are convinced Jack stepped over the line when he refused to participate in a mockery of God’s design.

    If you see someone about to walk off a cliff, making a pledge to a lifestyle of rebellion against God, is it loving to pretend everything is peachy. Wouldn’t it be loving to say something, even if it’s awkward, to try to stop their fall. Is it loving to bake a cake for a mockery of God’s marriage design, a celebrative embrace of a self destructive lie. You’ll find Christians will have stronger and stronger reactions, as the enemies get closer to being sacrilegious.

  • “Protecting people” from themselves? Because you know better than they will about their own bodies? Because all people must obey the commands of their Christian betters. yadda yadda yadda. Another self-absorbed zealot who wants to claim everyone else as their property.

    You aren’t doing much to dispute my prior remark. Have a good weekend. Bless your heart. I will pray for you.

  • So you are against “killing” a fetus, but for killing a human being? So much for the sanctity of life.

  • ” making a pledge to a lifestyle of rebellion against God”
    You’ve just described the 2/3 of the world that thinks the Christian story is nonsense. But funny about jack… I bet he has never had a single problem making a cake ofr a hindu wedding or an atheist wedding.
    Every time an atheist gets married, it makes a mockery of god’s design for marriage. What upsets you is gay people getting married. Which means, what upsets you is that gay people are now your legal, moral, social, cultural, sexual, and familial equals.

  • You are not participating in a couple’s wedding by baking a cake anymore than the person that sold them their tires. You are providing a product. Get over yourself.

  • If the court rules in favor of the Colorado bakers, can a future baker refuse to bake the swastika cake?

    Anti-descrimination laws require businesses to offer their products/services to the public without discrimination.

    They do NOT mandate the product/service to be provided.

    If you make wedding cakes, you have to offer them to all comers. If you make nazi cakes, you have to offer them to all comers. But you cannot force a nazi cake baker to bake wedding cakes or wedding cake bakers to make nazi cakes.

  • And Numbers 5 tells how to get a chemical abortion from the temple priests if you suspect one of your wives is pregnant by another man.

    The only passage in the Bible that talks about abortion and it’s not forbidden — it’s a priesthood ordinance!

  • Just to clarify:

    1. I have a strong dislike for these bakers and their crackpot ideas. I don’t see how their rights are being violated, and in fact, they are doing a good job of showing Christianity, and their (mis) understanding of it, in a bad light.

    2. The main point I was trying to make is that cases like this have a way of coming back years after the ruling and biting people in the ass; a ruling in favor of the bakers could well be used in future times in ways and cases totally unimaginable now. This has happened with several laws–as I recall, RICO is one of them.

  • Anti-discrimination and protected class laws are well established.

    If there are any future issues, they can be dealt with when (and if) they occur. Slippery slope arguments can’t keep us from acting to protect people today.

  • “You are going through the pretense of a ‘might makes right’ argument. It shows me that you have no moral or legal leg to stand on…”

    What your comment shows me is that you have no understanding of the Christian faith, its values or its believers. It’s particularly ironic that you should accuse me of relying on a “might makes right” argument. The willingness to buck the mighty is one of the things that’s gotten serious Christians in serious trouble ever since Jesus himself embodied the conflict and set the example. Political power, popular opinion, intellectual fashion, human tradition, etc., etc., are all part of what’s theologically known as “worldly” concerns – to be acknowledged and, where necessary accommodated, but not to govern the thought or behavior of Christian believers.

    But occasionally, political power, or popular opinion, or intellectual fashion (or some other “worldly” trend), does align with right. In the poll I cited, it’s popular opinion. Now, who knows how long those attitudes will prevail? But, for Christians, that’s strictly in the realm of “worldly”affairs, and ultimately doesn’t matter, because no matter what “the world” thinks, we believe the values (not the human attitudes) we espouse (not always act on) will ultimately rule the human race in general and the destiny of individuals as well.

    The main reason I raised the matter of public opinion was to disrupt the echo in the echo-chamber. The preponderance of “progressive” commentary (both religiously and politically) on the RNS comment boards can easily lead the participants to believe their thinking represents a preponderance on a nationwide basis as well – one of the ever-present dangers of groupthink.

    “Not so” says the poll — and me.

  • you are providing a product that endorses the wickedness kose. Christians shun the appearance of evil

  • Consider the parable of the good Samaritan.


    29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

    30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

    36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

    37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

    Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

    Luke 10:29-37


    Two things interest us here. The victim is left “half dead.” We can imagine a man by the side of the road, beaten, bloody and unresponsive. For all appearances to passersby, dead. Or at least, possibly dead.

    Second the “righteous” people who pass by. A priest and a Levite. The Levites were the priestly tribe. Both of these people would be involved in duties at the temple and synagogues that would require them to be ritually “clean” to perform.

    If the man were dead when they went to check on him, or if he died while they were offering aid, they would become ‘unclean’ under the Law. Unable to perform their duties for a specified time and requiring specified rituals.

    The message is not just one of being willing to help. But being willing to become ‘unclean’ ourselves when offering our help. Ritual ‘cleanliness’ is second to Christ. First is our service to others.

    Next, we look at protected classes. Protected classes have been established to ensure that minorities that have traditionally been discriminated against are served by the public. It is illegal to deny service to someone based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, citizenship, familial status, disability, veteran status, or genetic information.

    Some states have added LGBTQ+ people to their list of protected classes. It is in these states that these lawsuits have taken place. Basically, in these states, it is illegal to deny service to these people based on their LGBTQ+ status.


    If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.

    Matthew 5:41


    In occupied Judaea, a Roman soldier could compel someone to carry their pack up to a mile. By law.

    Jesus is saying to obey the law. Go above and beyond in your obedience to the law.

    If you are a baker, florist, photographer compelled by law to serve your fellow citizens, do you refuse because it will make you, somehow, unclean? Do you refuse because you find the law inconvenient when protecting one group but not others? Do you refuse to serve others who don’t live up to Biblical standards? Divorced people? Tattooed people? Adulterers and fornicators? Shrimp or bacon eaters?

    Jesus called us to serve. Not to judge.

  • and we do not endorse our neighbour doing things that will kill themselves. Sin leads to death.

  • The logic of sanctity of life demands the judicial execution of those who commit murder.

    Genesis 9:4-6 (KJV) But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
    And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.
    Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

  • I wonder if having special rights will have an overall adverse effect on their lives, like in the black community? I wonder if special rights means they will always be treated differently?

  • Also on the hetero sexual non believer weddings, Hindu, or Atheist weddings, you are correct on such unions giving practically no offense, but that it’s because God made them male and female. Forced to participate in a homosexual wedding big problem, forced to perform the ceremony at your church alter, so offensive that there will be calls for a revolution. But perhaps this is what the homosexual community wants, to bring this to all out war. Either stand and die with us or stand and die with them. Did the rapist of Gibeah feel fully accepted and supported by their Benjamite brothers. Was there lifestyle of raping strangers fully accepted and honored in local their community? Did the believers of the Gibeah claim it was morally ok, because it didn’t noticeably effect them? When the Israelite armies assembled against them, they only wanted the rapist, but Gibeah refused and fought to the death because they had elevated the rights of rapists above the rights of those victimized by the rapes.

  • What you find offensve is that the people you despise so heartily are now your equals. All of your paranoid slander follows from that.

  • Homosexuality is belief system based. Isn’t is interesting how homosexuals claim they are unable to choose and shouldn’t choose to become less homosexual, but that the transgender 4 yr. old can choose to be their opposite gender. How’s that for a powerful unscientific faith based delusion. Also, they have a type of once converted always converted belief system. If God would set the homosexual free from their homosexuality, would your belief system try to stop Him.
    However, even as a belief system, I cannot give them religious freedom as I would other delusional belief systems, because I believe homosexuality is self destructive like abortion. I cannot look the other way while a child sacrificing belief system sets up shop in my community and I cannot look the other way while homosexual belief systems trash the biblical view of marriage, being one man and one woman, joined together by God.
    Part of religious freedom is coming to the table and saying this is how things should be according to how I believe. Certain belief systems try to come to the table pretending their beliefs aren’t beliefs. Can they ever be equally considered, when everyone else at the table already knows they’re just belief systems, pretending to be non believing? People need to stop claiming they don’t believe and instead recognize what they have already believed. Then they can come to the religious freedom table and we’ll talk about what is real, what is believed, and what should be.

  • I say innocent to point out they have no fault in becoming existent. Belief systems which would save and protect the child before birth would do so after birth. But there is truth to it being much harder to love and help those being destroyed by their sins. While I consider stopping abortion a huge step in helping dirty slutty women and her b’stard children, I recognize it is a huge unbelievable hard task to actually pull her and her children out of the gutter. It’s a philosophy problem which no amount of money or personal effort can fix. It’s a problem with what people value and worship, what they believe will make them better, even in what they believe better would be.

  • Leyla1001nights, Whether the woman feels forced to carry or forced to abort, our current societal belief system will pretend the man involved bears no responsibility, need make no commitments, and doesn’t even have to be considerate. Abortion is made for wicked juvenile men, who want their women cheap, accessible, and exchangeable, like disposable toys.
    If you look into parts of this world where women are owned as sex slaves, their owners force them to take overlapping forms of contraceptives and abortions when pregnancy accidentally occurs. It keeps them usable while maintaining resale values.

  • “Because I believe homosexuality is destructive, like abortion.”

    Bigots gotta bigot, I guess.

    “Homosexual belief systems trash the biblical view of marriage.” Unlike trump, Gingrich, Limbaugh, tchvidjian, long, hAggard, hastert, Liz Taylor, and an ever growing host of alleged Christians.

    Bigots gotta bigot.

    Have a nice day.

  • Having the same rights as you is not a special right, except in a world where other people having the same rights as you diminishes you.

  • And yet, Deuteronomy also commands the murder Of people who don’t share your beliefs.

    I always love to hear Christians go on and on about the sanctity of life.

  • There is still in our day belief systems, which must be stopped by killing the believers of such things. That is an embrace of the sanctity of human life and human rights, not a rejection of it.

  • If we’re not talking about special rights for homosexuals, then what are talking about? Blacks, women, and homosexuals will never be treated as equal citizens as long as they demand special rights and protections. They’ll never be constitutional equals as long as they think they need to be treated differently because of their group or affiliations.

  • Abortion makes women cheap, accessible, and exchangeable to wicked men who could care less for her, her children, or her future. They use women as disposable toys, taking no responsibility, making no commitments, and without even bothering to be considerate. The abortion gospel……..Trade your marriage for a fling, and your baby for some bling.

  • You missed my point, but that was my fault because my questions wasn’t clear — I should have said “murder” rather than “homicide.” So let me ask it properly. Do you believe that when someone deliberately kills a pregnant woman, he has committed two murders rather than one? Morally, whatever the law says.

  • So what if he made a cake for a Hindu couple. It is still a woman marrying a man. Which is what God/Jesus intended for humans to do.

  • Maybe you should read your bible instead of telling other people how they should read theirs.

    And then, when you have read god’s commandment, you can let the killing begin. But of course you won’t, because you’ll be able to find a way out of following god’s clear commandment.

  • Sure, THAT commandment, but not the far greater sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit by not believing that Jesus died for your sins. Not the command about not worshipping demons and false gods.

    But thank you for showing clearly that you really don’t give a damn about what your bible says, but do care so much about “get the gays.”

  • So women that are faithful to their marriages and face the very difficult decision of abortion are cheap, accessible, and exchangeable.

    Does your wife know what you think of women?

  • Yes, been married 16 yrs, she knows. My point is society has devalued women and children to such a degree that men don’t care what they owe women and children before God. If people are wanting to kill and abandon their own offspring for their personal comfort and peace, society is in big trouble. This is about what people love and honour, what they are willing to die for and kill for, what they believe will make them complete and happy.

  • Passage deals with jealousy, possible stds, and infertility, but not abortion.

    Numbers 5:28 (KJV) And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed.

  • Well, let’s read the whole paragraph for context:

    23 “‘The priest is to write these curses on a scroll and then wash them off into the bitter water. 24 He shall make the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and this water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering will enter her. 25 The priest is to take from her hands the grain offering for jealousy, wave it before the Lord and bring it to the altar. 26 The priest is then to take a handful of the grain offering as a memorial[e] offering and burn it on the altar; after that, he is to have the woman drink the water. 27 If she has made herself impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse. 28 If, however, the woman has not made herself impure, but is clean, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children.

    Numbers 5:23-28

    Yep, there’s your cherry picked bit at the end. Well done. Lying for Jesus is such an honorable task.

    Readers are encouraged to read the whole chapter for even more context. But this one paragraph shows a chemical abortion being performed by the temple priests at the alter.

  • In your attempt to judge God as immoral, you have admitted that you believe there is a better way for God to judge. If you believe there is a better way, you also believe there is a best way for God to judge. Maybe God knows it and you don’t. Sandi is right, He gives and He takes away and there is nothing immoral in His judgement.

  • No, quite the opposite. I believe there is a better way to judge god– by the same standards he judges us by, if I believed in a god and believed in one that judges.
    Maybe god knows? you can drive a large cathedral through a loophole like that.
    Nothin immoral in his judgment is simply accepting that your god is immoral, and not the fount of morality. if your god is not the standard of morality, then there can be no morality– as so many fundamentalists have repeatedly informed me must be true of atheists. You are simply stating there is no absolute standard of morality.
    We’re in agreement there.

  • That’s just your poor translation. Here’s the same verse in the NASB and the kjv.
    27 When he has made her drink the water, then it shall come about, if she has defiled herself and has been unfaithful to her husband, that the water which brings a curse will go into her and cause bitterness, and her abdomen will swell and her thigh will waste away, and the woman will become a curse among her people. 28 But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, she will then be free and conceive children

    Numbers 5:27-28 (KJV) And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.
    And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed.

    Even if it could by interpreted as an abortion, it would still be considered a curse, the opposite of what you want abortion to be viewed as.

  • her abdomen will swell and her thigh will waste away

    And now, for the $64,000 question: What is “her thigh” in this verse?

    Your extensive biblical study will surely have brought you to this bit of trivia. In Jewish tradition life begins at birth, with the first breath taken by the child — the breath of life. For the first 45 days of pregnancy, the fetus, embryonic sack, etc. were considered “water.” After the first 45 days and until birth all this was referred to as “her thigh.”

    The thigh that wastes away in this verse is the fetus that dies and is miscarried.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  • Your Christian faith seems to define itself entirely on hating gays, acting obnoxiously to others, and showing zero respect for rule of law.

    It’s pretty damn worthless.

    As someone representing all Christendom you are doing a lousy job in showing why anyone should give it respect. Your Christian belief just appears to he a series of excuses for acting immorally.

    Face it, your entire argument is “a bunch of people agree with me.” As if that was a moral argument. You are just annoyed that I won’t take it seriously. Evidently people in your echo chamber were impressed by it. I am not. It just shows you are just lazy.

  • Even if it could by interpreted as an abortion, it would still be considered a curse, the opposite of what you want abortion to be viewed as.

    This curse is brought about by:
    – the priest creating a potion
    – the priest pronouncing the curse
    – the priest forcing the woman to speak the curse
    – the priest forcing the woman to drink the potion

    All this is done at the alter in the temple by the temple priests. It is commanded by Moses in the name of the Lord.

    It is a God sanctioned priesthood ordinance of abortion.

  • No standard without God. He gives objectivity to morality. You have to borrow from that objective standard to even be able to discuss these things. When I said maybe God knows it and you don’t, I was trying to point out your severe limitation in knowledge. What did God say to Job……..

    Job 38:1-4 (KJV) Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
    Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
    Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
    Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

  • God deals the curse as well as the blessing. God causes his enemies to eat their own flesh and drink their own blood.
    Isaiah 49:25-26 (KJV) But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.
    And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

    Children are a blessing from the Lord and the Israelites understood this, unlike current Americans, and would have seen any kind of abortion as a curse.

    People pursue the very curse God has ordained to destroy them. In their rebellion against God they think they are making the best choices for their own interests, but from God’s perspective He is feeding them their own flesh and blood in judgement. As a Christian bystander observing their banquet in the grave, I should be allowed to tell them the good news of the gospel, that God has made a way for them to be reconciled and to stop eating their own flesh and blood in their endless pursuit of this world’s material vanities.

  • Have you ever had a discussion with S-andi before? It’s not usually productive. S-andi doesn’t change and those it argues with don’t change either. Kinda pointless. Obviously it’s an education process and none of my business. I’ve been through it 🙂

  • I’m going with infertility………”More often Scripture regards the thigh as the seat of vital functions, especially procreation. English translations often obscure this connection. The Hebrew text of Genesis 46:26 ; Exodus 1:5 ; and Judges 8:30 gives the thighs (KJV loins) as the source of offspring. Marital infidelity was punishable by “the falling away of the thigh,” that is, by failure of the reproductive system ( Numbers 5:16-21 )

  • Actually he is participating because he (the “masterbaker” man) is on record as saying “part of me goes to the wedding when my cakes are there”

    Now, what part of him goes to each wedding his cakes are at is an interesting, possibly quite disgusting thought, which I try not to think about. Do his cakes include an ingredient which is part of him? Does his seed go to every wedding in every cake? Yuck.

    Hey, I know his cakes would definitely NOT be at my wedding. My straight friends say the same!

    * of course the other thing to consider is that the cake is never at the actual wedding (in my experience at least) … the cake is not in the church during the service at all. It’s not even in the room at a non-church wedding. It is at the reception which takes place AFTER the wedding.

    Doesn’t change anything. He can keep the part of him that is in his cakes. He can keep his cakes to himself!!

  • I make the point, I explain the point, I illustrate the point – but you still don’t get the point. One more try:

    As a Christian, I am in principle indifferent to the shifting winds of public opinion in what I believe and how I practice it. The fact that “a bunch of people agree with me” doesn’t influence anything I believe, and it’s not an argument FOR anything I believe. It’s simply a transient social fact. But it happens to be a fact that cuts against the grain of the progressive claim to represent a groundswell of moral opinion. And THAT is the reason I brought it up. It’s just a fact that you don’t like. Deal with it as you will, but quit calling it an “argument.”

  • I didn’t realize that you had left.
    If you are referring to Jesus, that was written ca 2000 years ago. Many generations have passed.

  • And the prophesy for the birth of our Savior Christ Jesus took approximately 4000 years.
    Big deal so centuries have passed.

  • And there was no date attached to that prophecy as there is no date scheduled for His return (or none that we are capable of knowing)

  • You are more than welcome to live in your ignorance.
    Most true Christians would jump for joy at even the thought of our Lord Christ Jesus returning in such a short time. At that’s I would of thought anyway.
    But the reality is that most Christians are frightened at even the possibility of His return being within the next 60 years.
    I cannot figure out why these Christians are frightened of such a great event happening in such a short time.
    Take care.

  • You are more than welcome to provide evidence to you claims of quasi specific dates.

  • Spring, Summer, Winter, or Fall?
    Where’s the evidence of your claims to quasi specific dates?

  • You ramble incoherently and make a point which is infantile and largely irrelevant.

    1.We do not put civil liberties in the hands of mob rule.

    2. Christians who want a legal right to attack others in Jesus’s name can go —- themselves.

    In a free society that values religious freedom, we don’t use faith as a pretext to ignore laws protecting all citizens or as the basis for discrimination.

    Your version of Christianity is rather worthless. It defines itself by who one hates and how badly you act to others.

  • My “one more try” obviously didn’t work

    My comment strikes you as “incoherent” because you have zero understanding of Christianity to help you organize its meaning (i.e., to make it “hang together,” or “cohere”). You are by definition poorly equipped to comment on Christianity, because you have no concept what the Christian faith involves, what it means to its adherents on any level, no wish to acquire any, or even any sense that it might be a good idea to have some. For whatever reason, the glasses through which you view Christianity are tinted (tainted) with spite and spleen, as your numerous benighted comments about it show.

    Understand one thing. When your response to a stated position is simply to yell “bigot,” you are saying that rational discussion is not possible, that the “conversation” is essentially over. So be it. My mistake was failing to realize this conversation was really over before it even began.

    Oh – and one more thing. A man who resorts to obscenity in an argument has lost control of his rhetoric to his emotions – either because he has lost the argument, or for some other emotionally charged reason. So…what’s your reason?

  • Whatever. Once you start devolving into a discussion about who said what, the conversation becomes a waste of time. You aren’t covering any new ground. Now you are just flinging poo.


    Its not like you addressed anything I said anyway. You got your script. You can’t seem to go off it and have a conversation. I have no interest in what you have to say here from now.

  • The argument “devolved” because you kept misdefining my position. That’s a good way to win arguments in your own mind, but it’s no way to conduct an honest discussion. So, yeah…you got the discussion pretty much stuck at exactly that point.

    Oh…and ”flinging poo”? That’s pretty rich, coming from you.

  • Not at all. I simply gave it in the most honest and basic form. You just can’t deal with going off script. Your point was simple, but wrong in every way. I am sorry that your feelings are hurt by not playing the game the way you wanted or planned for. Maybe you should understand your positions a little better.

    Have fun. 🙂