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Poll suggests religious freedom push is having an effect

Christian activists gather outside of the Supreme Court in support of Colorado cake baker Jack Phillips on Dec. 5, 2017. RNS photo by Chris Mathews

(RNS) — Standing beneath the cast aluminum statue of Lady Justice in the Department of Justice’s Great Hall, Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a bold statement last week: “Many Americans have felt that their freedom to practice their faith has been under attack.”

He spoke of Catholic nuns being forced to buy contraceptives. (Actually, the Affordable Care Act required the nuns to cover the costs of contraceptives in their employees’ health plans.) He cited judicial nominees questioned about their faith.

And in a nod to Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who won a Supreme Court case after refusing to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding, Sessions said, “We’ve all seen the ordeal faced so bravely by Jack Phillips,” who was seated nearby.

An increasing number of Americans appear to agree with Sessions.

A new poll by Public Religion Research Institute shows a modest but statistically significant uptick in the percentage of Americans who believe that owners of wedding-based businesses, such as caterers, florists and bakers, should be allowed to refuse to serve same-sex couples if doing so violates their religious beliefs.

The poll, conducted last month from among 2,008 Americans, found that 46 percent thought small businesses should be exempted from having to serve LGBT couples — a 5 percentage-point increase from last year, when 41 percent of Americans said the same.

The shift was most noted among Republicans, with 73 percent of those polled saying wedding vendors should be permitted to refuse services based on religious belief. Only 27 percent of Democrats said vendors should be permitted to do as much.

During a panel discussion that followed Sessions’ speech announcing a special religious liberty task force last week (July 30), Phillips gave his testimony.

Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, manages his shop on June 4, 2018, in Lakewood, Colo. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that he could refuse to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because his religious beliefs did not violate Colorado’s anti-discrimination law. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, outside of Denver, Phillips relayed how early in his career he and his wife agreed to uphold certain Christian principles such as not baking cakes for Halloween, a holiday with pagan roots, and closing for business on Sunday, the Christian Sabbath.

He also said he was happy to serve all people — including LGBT people — so long as he doesn’t have to create same-sex wedding cakes, which he regards as artistic expression.

“Every American should now be able to live and work freely according to their conscience without fear of punishment from the government,” Phillips said.

Service refusals are a relative newcomer to the religious liberty realm. It used to be that religious people asked for exemptions: Jews might ask to be excused from school on their High Holy Days; Seventh-day Adventists might ask to be exempt from having to work on Saturday, which they consider their Sabbath.

Today’s legal cases involve businesses owned by religious families refusing to provide services because they conflict with their beliefs. The most notable of those cases was brought by Hobby Lobby, the craft store chain founded by the evangelical David Green and owned by the Green family, whose religious beliefs, it was argued, prohibited them from providing health coverage for emergency contraceptive drugs as mandated in the Affordable Care Act. In  2014, the Supreme Court sided with Hobby Lobby.

Increase in Support for Religiously Based Service Refusals by Wedding Businesses. Graphic courtesy PRRI

Faith-based adoption agencies that receive government funds are now the latest service providers that claim their Christian faith prohibits them from placing children with same-sex couples.

Last month, a federal judge in Philadelphia ruled that Catholic Social Services had violated the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, because it denied adoptions to same-sex couples.

Anticipating such problems, at least seven states have already passed laws that would allow such agencies to deny adoptions to gay or lesbian couples on religious liberty grounds.

LGBT advocates and many secular Americans have vehemently protested such laws, often pointing out that religious freedom claims were also made to defend segregation in the civil rights era.

“There were places that did not want to accommodate mixed-race couples, for example,” said David Niose, legal director at the American Humanist Association. “They claimed that mixing the races was offensive to their religious views. But those claims were struck down and rightly so.”

Recently, anti-discrimination activists have fought back. A campaign titled Open to All recently convinced several big-name companies, including Airbnb, Lyft and Levi Strauss, to publicly vow to serve customers from all backgrounds.

Some evangelicals counter that their motive is not to slight LGBT people, but rather to live up to their Christian faith.

“Most people in the religious community do not want the LGBT community to ever feel like they’re second-class citizens, or for someone to be denied service in an illegal way,” said Jeff Hunt, director of the Centennial Institute, a think tank at Colorado Christian University. “We need to work through this. We’re at a watershed moment where these two rights are facing off with each other.”

Hunt said evangelicals are concerned that secular Americans and some advocacy groups, particularly the Southern Poverty Law Center, are stridently anti-religious and appear to be motivated by religious animus.

Now the Trump administration and the Department of Justice appear to agree with Hunt’s assessment. At his religious freedom summit, Sessions announced the creation of a religious liberty task force that will direct agencies to protect religious liberty.

“This Department of Justice is going to court across America to defend the rights of people of faith,” he said.

Complicating the picture is the fact that Americans are becoming ever more accepting of LGBT rights as well as same-sex marriage. Overall, 64 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage and 71 percent of Americans say they favor laws that would protect LGBT people against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations, the PRRI poll found.

That leads researchers at PRRI to suspect that although more people say they support service refusals to LGBT people, that support may be fleeting and could be a reaction to the Supreme Court ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

“There’s a reason I think it might be a momentary shift and not a trend,” said Daniel Cox, research director at PRRI. “It may be a short-term reaction to the political environment than a long-term shift in opinion on this issue.”

The PRRI poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percent.

About the author

Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron is an RNS National Reporter and Senior Editor.

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  • “There’s a reason I think it might be a momentary shift and not a trend,” said Daniel Cox, research director at PRRI. “It may be a short-term reaction to the political environment than a long-term shift in opinion on this issue.””
    It’s most likely just a reaction to the constant drumbeat of “they’re comin’ ta take away our religious freedom” that the Religious Reich has been whining about for the last 20 years. As Himmler (?) noted, just keep repeating the big lie often enough, and people come to believe it.

  • Vendors who purport to withhold goods and services based on their so-called “sincerely-held religious beliefs” are highly selective in judging which sins demand that they finally take a “principled” stand. Funny how it’s always homosexuality that tips the balance. Not murder, not divorce, certainly not adultery or child molestation which the conservative party, the Republicans, have proudly embraced in people like Donald Trump and Roy Moore. No, gay people who simply want to take advantage of those 1138 statutory provisions civil marriage affords as the law now allows are the ones who always have to bear the burden of everyone else’s sinfulness while everyone else’s hidden sins are routinely ignored.

    One wonders how many wedding cakes the vendor in Colorado has made for previously-divorced people, people with criminal records, wife-beaters, or those who fool around on their spouses? Since he never bothers to ask there’s obviously no way for him to know. Yet he’s absolutely certain that his conscience compels him not to serve those notorious gay “sinners.” I think God has big surprises in store for him on his day of judgment when the scales are finally removed from his eyes and he will be forced to confront his considerable lack of charity. But that’s his problem, not mine.

  • The nature of “sincerely held religious beliefs” is inherently selective.

    The possessor of the belief gets to believe it, not you, not the government.

  • Portraying it as a “service” refusal also tips the balance toward sympathy for the vendors. If it’s a refusal to provide a “good,” like an already-baked cake, I suspect people’s sympathy would go way down.

  • You either have constitutional religious freedom, or you don’t. Some people honestly don’t want you to have it.

    Either the government does NOT have the right to force you (whatever your label) to participate in events (repeat : events) that are totally and visibly opposed to YOUR personal religious beliefs, or else the government has the right to stick it to you and force you to participate in those opposing events (in clear violation of your own Bill Of Rights liberties).

    Gay Goliath wants the government to repeal YOUR constitutional religious freedom. Goliath was winning till Trump came along to fight for you. But you can’t take your freedom for granted anymore. You MUST fight for it, or else you lose it.

  • Re: “Either the government does NOT have the right to force you (whatever your label) to participate in any events (repeat : events) …” 

    Selling a wedding cake does not, in any way, constitute “participating in” the wedding. Moreover, to be precise, the cake doesn’t even have anything to do with the “wedding” itself. It’s displayed, then cut and eaten, at the reception which follows the wedding. 

  • Great point.

    Elagabalus invents scenarios in which Jack Phillips knowingly made a wedding cake for someone who Phillips knew was beating his wife or was cheating on her spouse or something and then declares Phillips’ actions “highly selective.”

    The other problem with this reasoning is the assumption that making a wedding cake for someone who has a criminal record or has abused his wife is celebrating the bad behavior as opposed to the wedding. According to Phillips, it’s not the individual that matters, but the event.

  • Religious Reich…how clever. Godwin’s Law, etc. You win the award for the thread.

    It was Goebbels who said it.

  • Isn’t the reception part of the wedding celebration? It’s not like the reception is a totally unrelated event.

  • “He spoke of Catholic nuns being forced to buy contraceptives. (Actually, the Affordable Care Act required the nuns to cover the costs of contraceptives in their employees’ health plans.)”
    This seems to be a distinction without meaning.

  • I’m always amazed how much the wording of polls changes how people respond.

    Unless the exact same language is used over the years, it’s virtually impossible to track changes in opinion.

  • I think you raise a good point. What sins (as Christians) do we selectively overlook as we interact with others and which ones do we never compromise on because of our conscience? Funny though, that Christians are always being forced to defend there use of conscience.
    I think we need to remove the religious (or political) aspect of this and look at it from that of a small business owner and the rights that they have to operate their business.
    Some business owners have no problem selling to anyone; they are after the dollar and the more they sell, the better. Others are very selective of who they sell to or how their products are used. Note that the Who in my example is someone that may have criminal or undesirable intent.
    Where is the line between a business owner adhering to his conscience and one that is just being a dick (for any reason)? I guess it depends what’s in their heart; which cannot be measured.
    No one really knows; which is why we need the law. I think there should be a employee threshold. 10 employees or less, you can choose who to serve; 11 or more and you serve everyone no questions asked.

  • Photo caption:

    “The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that he could refuse to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because his religious beliefs did not violate Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.”

    No, effectively what the Supreme Court ruled was that due process had been denied because the so-called Civil Rights Commission in Colorado was a kangaroo court with commissioners making ex tempore inflammatory religious comments prior to making a finding.

    “Last month, a federal judge in Philadelphia ruled that Catholic Social Services had violated the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, because it denied adoptions to same-sex couples.”

    The Federal judge, Judge Petrese B. Tucker of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, did not rule in “Sharonell Fulton et al v. City of Philadelphia et al, Civil Action 18-2075″ that faith-based adoption agencies may not turn away same-sex couples who don’t meet the agencies’ religious criteria under Federal law nor did it render a final judgment on whether Catholic Social Services Agency and Bethany Christian Services violated the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance.

    What the court ruled was that Catholic Social Services Agency and Bethany Christian Services were unlikely to succeed in seeking relief because compliance would violate their rights under the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses of the First Amendment, the Pennsylvania Religious Freedom Act, and the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, and therefore the court denied the request for a temporary injunction.

    Here is the text of the decision in full to clarify just what the court considered and concluded.

    https://www.aclupa.org/files/8215/3152/5776/Fulton_District_Court_Ruling_on_Motion_for_Preliminary_Injunction_July_13_2018.pdf

    Catholic Social Services Agency and Bethany Christian Services are free, and Catholic Social Services Agency has indicated it will pursue, further remedies under both the Pennsylvania state and Federal courts.

  • What really tips the scales are cases where the plaintiffs set the defendant up and then launch a full scale attempt to crush the defendant, including putting her or him out of business.

    As the legislative process prior to Obergefell v. Hodges demonstrated, Americans have a real sense of fair play, and generally are willing to accommodate reasonable requests.

    The ACLU’s presence in the case will actually work in favor of the two social service agencies in the court of public opinion.

  • Re: “Isn’t the reception part of the wedding celebration?” 

    If you’re looking to rationalize assuming the cake is part of the “wedding,” I suppose one could say that. However, it is NOT part of the wedding ceremony itself. It’s not even necessary, for a wedding, in the first place. 

    Re: “It’s not like the reception is a totally unrelated event.” 

    “Related” or not, it absolutely is NOT the wedding itself. 

  • There were other parties besides the Catholic sisters, including Protestant colleges.

    What the Affordable Care Act required nothing about contraceptives.

    The problem arose when Obama’s “house” Catholic, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, devised a set of rules which made contraceptives part of ordinary healthcare and refused to accommodate religious objections.

    It went all the way to the Supreme Court which, in an unusual move, ordered the parties to supplement their briefs.

    The government sheeplishly showed up with a rather lengthy brief which boiled down to “never mind”.

    That put the cases back at the District court level where they have all been dismissed.

  • In your opinion “Selling a wedding cake does not, in any way, constitute ‘participating in’ the wedding.”

    if the government adopts your opinion, it is adopting a particular religious belief.

  • He was more than sympathetic.

    The combination of the farcical Civil Rights Commission and the over-the-top positions of the ACLU et al made him look like a victim, which in my opinion he was.

  • He also was being asked to make something from scratch. Whether you call it a “custom” cake, him an “artist,” whether they wanted a specific design, whether he would have sold them a wedding cake off the shelf, whether a cake is “speech” within the First Amendment, etc., people seem to recognize that this case’s particular factual scenario made it different from, for example, the “no gays allowed” hardware store.

  • Right, but the cake is being designed to help celebrate the wedding, which is the point (from the perspective of the vender). I’ve heard a few rational arguments on the “just bake the cake” side, but saying that “well, technically, the cake is not being used in the literal wedding ceremony, so what’s the big deal?!” isn’t one of them.

  • What stood out for me is the comment “most don’t want LGBT to feel like second class citizens”! What does he think refusing service does to them if Not make them feel like second class citizens?

    It is this sort of hypocrisy that many see.

  • Well, that was an issue.

    Thanks to the buffoons in Colorado it remains unadjudicated.

    It does seem reasonable to most people, as you write, that the situation is “different from, for example, the ‘no gays allowed’ hardware store.”

  • I’m glad you noticed.

    Normally, I avoid calling anyone a Nazi unless they actually are Nazis, just like I avoid comparing somebody to Hitler unless than he actually is Hitler. Even the residents of Bobworld get that much

    However, in this case, the use of the term religious Reich was a deliberate pun on the term religious right, pointing out the use of the big lie in both circumstances. In this case, the idea that religious liberty is under threat for conservative Christians when it doesn’t seem to be under any threat at all to any other kind of Christian gives you a good idea of exactly what is going on here.

    Virtually every single attack on gay people and our participation in society for the last 40 years has been promulgated, funded, Manned, and supported by the religious right. Whether it was Anita Bryant and her lies about gay people attacking non-discrimination laws in Miami, or the calls for the death of imprisonment Of gay people coming from the wingnut wing of the hyper conservative Christian, or the marriage bans, clear attacks on the religious freedom of liberal denominations — every bit of it has come from the religious right. Remember Jerry Falwell claiming that the September 11 attacks were because of the gays? I certainly do.

    Religious Liberty under attack? Nonsense. The ability of a certain type of so-called Christian to discriminate under color of law against gay people on the basis of their religious beliefs about gay people is certainly under attack, just as it would be for them to attack Jews, which used to be quite popular, or Jim Crow laws attacking black people, and so forth. People that are actually being attacked, as opposed to fictionally being attacked, might just get tired of it. I know I am. I have been in this fight for 47 years.

    Believe whatever you like about gay people, but keep your purely theological concerns and justifications for bigotry in your church, or your family, and out of the civil laws that govern all of us. this fight will not end until either we are dead, or you have learned that the civil rights act of 1964, which forbids discrimination on the basis of religious belief flight Applies to you as clearly as it applies to everyone else.

  • So, you’re arguing that you would rather people with religious beliefs feel like second class citizens in order to prevent LGBT citizens from feeling second class?

  • It is highly telling that the only place such a right is claimed is when anti gay so-called Christians have to treat gay people with the same courtesy and respect they routinely extend to alll of the other people they believe are sinning and are going to burn in hell forever, especially the people who reject the entirety of their “sincere religious beliefs”, And not just the anti gay part,

  • Re: “Right, but the cake is being designed to help celebrate the wedding, which is the point …” 

    Irrelevant. The cake remains decidedly NOT a part of the wedding itself. People can, and sometimes do, get married without cakes. Yep, really! As I said, I don’t doubt your ability to rationalize injecting the cake into the wedding itself … but you simply cannot, logically, do so. Because cakes are NOT part of the wedding. 

    This is not even debatable, so I can’t imagine why you’re continuing to raise the same (invalid and irrelevant) point. I guess it must be really important to you to be able to use cakes to bludgeon others into submitting to your dour religionism. 

    (Let’s be honest: That’s really what this is all about. Finding ways to wriggle oneself into others’ lives and contrive ways to make things more difficult for them, just because one objects to their existence. Just admit that reality, and we can move on, because we can dispense with your lie that cakes are part of wedding ceremonies.) 

    Re: “… but saying that ‘well, technically, the cake is not being used in the literal wedding ceremony, so what’s the big deal?!’ isn’t one of them.” 

    So the hell what? Why would I care what you have (or haven’t) heard elsewhere? What difference can that possibly make, to me? Do you think that’s supposed to impress me, or something? 

    You’re just hurling more irrelevancy at me. I’m not falling for it. 

  • “Virtually every single attack on gay people and our participation in
    society for the last 40 years has been promulgated, funded, Manned, and
    supported by the religious right.”

    Almost the entire LBGT propaganda campaign over the last 40 years has been promulgated, funded, and supported by big business.

    You don’t turn American law on its head by putting coin jars on the counters in convenience stores.

    There is essentially zero similarity between racial discrimination and religious objections to LBGT; the black community almost universally rejects the comparison.

    You’re exactly the worst sort of “friend” LBGT people need.

  • I believe that the owner of Masterpiece Bakery was courteous and respectful when he said “no”, including explaining his reasons (which btw they knew full well before they asked) for saying “no”.

  • Let’s rewind..

    “A new poll shows a modest but statistically significant uptick in the percentage of Americans who believe that owners of wedding-based businesses, such as caterers, florists and bakers, should be allowed to refuse to serve MIXED RACE couples if doing so violates their religious beliefs.”

  • “All I said was that this halibut my wife made was tasty enough for Jehovah himself” STONE HIM!

  • The entire reason we have civil liberties is because EVERY discriminatory law was passed by a majority popular vote.

    Lets clear the air here, this has nothing to do with religious freedom whatsoever. Evangelical Christians are seeking a privilege to attack others using their religious beliefs as a pretext. It is as far from exercise of 1st Amendment freedoms as human sacrifice, cross burning and segregation.

    “Service refusals are a relative newcomer to the religious liberty realm.”

    ABSOLUTELY AND UNEQUIVOCALLY FALSE!

    People were using religious liberty to justify violating the Civil Rights Act and keep segregation going.

    Lets call this for what it is, a demand for segregation.

  • “this case’s particular factual scenario made it different from, for example, the “no gays allowed” hardware store.”

    Actually it wasn’t. SCOTUS never evaluated his claims whatsoever. In fact Kennedy had made it clear that if he had to do so, he would have rejected Phillip’s claims entirely.The ruling was entirely focused on the behavior of the Human Rights Commission. Any claims that Phillips won a right to discriminate in the decision is purely fictional.

  • No he wasn’t. He got off easy because the Human Rights Commission made fun of his disingenuous religious freedom claims.

  • Which is why the entire notion of “sincerely held beliefs” as an excuse to duck out of anti-discrimination laws is a load of garbage. Its simply an excuse for segregation, pure and simple. Nobody ever has to go through the burden of navigating which vendors are raging bigots and which ones are not. Open commerce is meant to be open. We already had a system like that, it was harmful garbage.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Negro_Motorist_Green_Book

  • Keep commerce open. Nobody has to care that your religion says you can treat certain classes of people like garbage.

  • It was a nonsense premise to begin with. Covering healthcare premiums is not the same as paying for services or even having any say in the services provided.

  • There is no constitutional freedom to discriminate in open commerce. Your right to free exercise of religion always stopped where you were harming others in service of it. Refusing service in open commerce is a deliberate harm to others.

    You have the same right to discriminate in your business as you do to burn crosses on other people’s lawns, burning witches, pogroms, and forced conversion. None whatsoever.

  • Isn’t the cake being sold in a store open to the general public?

    If it isn’t then you can sell it to whomever you want. But if it is, then you have to serve the general public.

    If the only difference between one sale and another is the class of people buying, then you are out of luck. You have no excuse. If your religion states you have to treat certain classes of people like crap, nobody has to care. You do not get a right to attack them in the name of your faith.

  • All time care about is trampling the civil rights of LGBTQ+ people, Your Blackness.

    Black people should know better. Christianity must have done this to you.

  • The cake is being sold in a store open to the general public. It is indistinguishable from any other cake sold by the vendor for other customers. The only difference is the class of people buying. You don’t get to choose which classes of people buy your product if you are open to the public.

  • Public opinion on the case is largely driven by deliberate misrepresentations as to what happened. Mostly by people trying to claim it as a victory for discrimination.

  • Christians just don’t want anyone else to have the same civil rights as them. That’s how stupid Christians are.

  • Yes, and here was their justification:

    “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”–Judge Leon Bazile in Caroline County Court, 1958

    And that is why anti-miscegenation laws remained on the books in states throughout this country from the colonial period until 1967 when the Supreme Court finally outlawed them with “Loving v. Virginia.”

  • commerce Is the free exchange of goods and services. There is a difference between a sole proprietor and Starbucks.
    I’m not saying anyone has a right to treat anyone like garbage. But I am saying for a sole proprietor the job is very personal; because it is the very essence of the business.
    I asked this last time and I will throw it out to all the self-identified homosexuals and atheists – what is your moral line that you refuse to cross? If you are a business owner and some (insert the group you despise most) guy walks in and requests you to print (insert the most abhorrent phrase to you) on 1,000 t-shirts; are you going to smile and print them because you have to? Or, are you going to tell him/her to get the hell out of your store?

  • “You either have constitutional religious freedom, or you don’t. Some people honestly don’t want you to have it.”

    pot. ketlle. mirror.

  • In fact there is.

    What you may be thinking about is that racial discrimination is prohibited in interstate commerce.

  • I can always look for an intelligent response from you. Run along, your ant farm is waiting.

  • Not at all.

    Religious objections were scarce.

    LBGT involves behavior.

    Race involves pigmentation.

    And so on.

    There is really no connection at all.

  • Just like with the abortion and gay marriage controversies, the opposing sides in the Religious Freedom war, carefully choose the words and phrases that they believe will best persuade the people.

    (And yes, I do the same thing. I love a freshly-baked meme!)

  • Let’s be honest: what this really all about is that you and some of your friends hate religion, those who adhere to religion, and religious rights.

    if you had your way they’d be shoveled off the public square and restricted to synagogues, temples, mosques, and churches and watched very carefully.

  • Good, let’s not do a hypothetical scenario, but a real one.
    then Phillips would never ever want to “participate” in a wedding for god denying atheists, jesus rejecting jews, Jesus down-grading muslims (he was only a prophet, ya know), demon worshipping hindus, false god worshipping Buddhists, western god-rejecting daosts, or ancestor-worshipping (and therefore false god and false religion)shintoists?
    After all, his baking a cake for such an EVENT would be a clear affront to his delicate conscience, because he would be participating in rejecting jesus, denying god, worshipping devils– and supporting and approving of those who do.
    That is where your logic takes you.

  • In the Masterpiece case the cake being sold was a made-to-order from scratch custom cake, not one off a row on the shelf.

  • My point is that we’re all sinners in need of God’s redemption. When Jesus said those words to the Pharisees he was speaking about a woman caught in the act of adultery whom he later told to “go and sin no more.” This is of course what people like you typically throw back in the face of people like me who are gay, even though Jesus said nothing about homosexuality and even though Republicans like Donald Trump are guilty of multiple acts of adultery. Don’t forget that Jesus said in Matthew 5:28 “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Since Leviticus 20:10 states, “If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.” How many people do you suppose would be spared from stoning if people were as critical of adulturers (including those who merely lust in their heart) as they are of homosexuals? Truthfully?

  • It has to be merchandise in interstate commerce and then the racial discrimination is forbidden.

  • No, Kennedy did NOT make it clear that he would have rejected Phillip’s claims altogether.

    You should actually try reading opinions once in awhile.

  • “Public opinion on the case is largely driven by deliberate misrepresentations as to what happened”, as you never tire of demonstrating with your zany positions.

  • Let’s clear the air here, you dislike religion, people with religious beliefs, and any accommodation to religion at all as a card-carrying member of the AFL-CIO, Americans United For the Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

    Let’s call your posts for what they are: anti-religious propaganda.

  • Incorrect

    “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

    — Judge Leon M. Bazile, January 6, 1959

    “Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld segregated railway cars on the grounds that “[t]he natural law which forbids [racial intermarriage] and that social amalgamation which leads to a corruption of races, is as clearly divine as that which imparted to [the races] different natures.”

    In 1901, Georgia Gov. Allen Candler defended unequal public schooling for African Americans on the grounds that “God made them n*groes and we cannot by education make them white folks.”

  • In Colorado the Civil Rights Commission let people not print abhorrent phrases as long as the objection WAS NOT ON RELIGIOUS GROUNDS.

  • But they wouldn’t feel like second class citizens. They are not being discriminated against.

  • You had to go back 69 years to find the tiny minority who raised religious objections.

    There is essentially no similarity between the racial issues and the LBGT issues despite forty years of propaganda otherwise.

  • Umm, that’s why I specifically repeated the word “events”, and emphasized the fact that our Constitution sets very real boundaries on government in terms of IT not forcing **you** to participate in specific events that clearly and openly violate whatever core belief system you’ve chosen to practice.

  • “There is a difference between a sole proprietor and Starbucks.”

    On this issue, there isn’t. Size of a company does not change its responsibilities to the general public in this regard. Only the depth of the pockets of those who choose in their malice to violate various laws in the matter.

  • they refused to provide event services for blacks back then,

    Which part of the Constitution says this?

  • Indeed. I have to laugh at these frequently-offered hypotheticals which invariably confuse person with event.

    While it is wrong to commit crimes, it is not wrong for a criminal to marry.

    While fornication is wrong, it is not wrong for a man and woman who are already living/sleeping together to marry (in fact from a biblical standpoint a marriage is the ideal prescription).

    Divorce is wrong in most instances, and it might be wrong for a divorcee to marry someone else, depending on the circumstances (I once knew a photographer who would not participate in such) but determining this would require considerable background investigation which most customers would consider an invasion of privacy. For the purposes of conscience a Christian may simply assume the best wherever possible, as per the “food sacrificed to idols” instructions given in the NT.

    However, there is no way to look at a same sex marriage that could allow one to assume its legitimacy. That is what makes the difference.

  • This was not a minority. The South passed Jim Crow laws because of this belief. You are either being willfully obtuse or are staggeringly ignorant about American history.

  • It would be very good to see the data that supports the reason for this task force. For instance, how many religious people are refused housing, refused jobs, refused services, refused goods based on their religious beliefs. (I bet they don’t want to compile that data because it would most likely show that religions they don’t like, oh I don’t know like Islam, are the ones that actually suffer harm!). To those that claim their beliefs are being “attacked” because they have to serve a gay person, how are their religious beliefs being forced to change? No one told the nuns they had to accept contraception.

  • Homophobic black people and racist gay people are the lowest of the low and the worst of the worst. They should have learned the lessons from being the object of other people’s bigotry but instead they turn around and act bigoted towards others. Scum, each and every one.

  • I can answer this one! Tater replied to that same question quite some time back that yes, he should have to do exactly that.

    Freedom of speech is as disposable to some as freedom of religion, if it gets in the way of a pet agenda.

  • Let’s call refusing to accommodate gay people for what it is: a violation of the law, an immoral and uncharitable choice to discriminate.

  • No Spuddie. That ain’t true. If you’re a serial abortionist, you will naturally offer abortion services to everybody as your public business, but that does NOT mean you (the vendor) have to agree to accept customer-requested donations earmarked to kill black babies as a means of helping white babies beat affirmative action.

    (In other words, you don’t have to imitate Planned Parenthood.)

    You the vendor have the constitutional right (for now) to NOT be forced by govt to participate in an **event** that violates your religion, even if it’s Atheism or Agnosticism.

  • What do cake-bakers lose by selling an expensive cake to a gay couple? They’re not losing business.

  • Spuddie didn’t say all religious people, did he? He said Evangelical Christians, who vote reliably as a bloc each and every time. I’m a religious person, so I think that allows me to absolve Spuddie of your baseless accusation. Spuddie doesn’t dislike religion, he dislikes religious hypocrites like you. Speaking as a religious person, so do I.

  • What you’re advocating for is chaos. Everyone should be able to do whatever they want to to based on their religious beliefs? When do Christians start practicing what Jesus commanded – that you love your neighbor as yourself?

  • The south did not pass any Jim Crow laws because of any religious belief. They mangled religious belief to justify the Jim Crow laws (we see the same thing happening to justify ssm).

    If religious beliefs had really been the source of Jim Crow, those same beliefs would have prevented the slave trade.

  • Good question. Since I believe in that teaching, does that mean I can not serve born-again/evangelical Christians because they don’t practice Christianity as it was intended?

  • Evangelical Christians do not vote reliably as a bloc.

    They share certain beliefs – such as abortion being an evil – and vote those beliefs.

    They vote those beliefs with orthodox Catholics, Anglo-Catholics, and others who share those beliefs.

    The chimera religious bloc voting is a construct, a construct that simplifies making simplistic but wrong generalizations.

    Doing that is one more reason the Democrats lost the 2016 presidential election.

  • Your answer is much more honest than Canis’s and Etranger’s.

    Your implicit answer to Bob”s question is clearly a “Yes.”

  • No, it was a minority.

    You are either being willfully obtuse or are staggeringly ignorant about American history.

  • Does it take anything other than a self-righteous hypocrite to believe that a virgin gave birth?

  • Yeah, I get the adulatory part…I’m glad to hear you are a sinner like the rest of us (except Ben).
    I tried to remove the gay part and make it just about business. Perhaps that just can’t be done on this discussion board, or this case specifically nor in real life.
    I was going to ramble on about how I used sell financial products and tell you about my Muslim, Chinese, black and gay clients; but it doesn’t matter because this is all about the gay vs christian war.
    My point is that a small business owner should have flexibility to sell or provide services to who they want. A small business owner is not a corporation nor do they think as such. (Most) hustle for business and take whatever they can get to survive. Others may choose to target a certain market or demographic. Some, who are very specialized and are in high demand can be more choosey on who to accept orders from. My point is, to a small business owner, the business is their identity; and they run it as such. I am not saying it is okay to discriminate; I am saying that for a small business owner their conscience comes into play.
    I’ll ask you the same thing I’ve asked some others- if you were a business owner and some customer asked you to produce something that was offensive to your belief system- would you do it? Before you go off on a “homosexuality is not offensive” response; I am not saying that it is (in my example). I simply want to know who you would refuse to serve if you were a business owner.

  • Excellent! Unfortunately, of course, a good Christian couldn’t come to that conclusion 🙁 And it makes absolutely no business sense to require a complete checklist of moral behaviors from your customers as these right wingers want!

  • It means the gov’t can’t **force you** to participate in conservative Franklin Graham’s next public event (or gay Ellen’s or RuPaul’s next public event), via providing the cakes, brownies or floral’s for any of their events.

    Welcome to the Bill of Rights.

  • Of course…providing cakes, brownies, flowers, etc. is not “participating” in those events. Also, not working for Franklin Graham’s event (working for is not participating, when did we lose our ability to speak our own language?!) has nothing to do with his religion.

  • Serious question. You’re running a business. Who do you refuse to sell to and for what reason? Be serious.

  • That was incoherent and way off the point. Bad analogy taken to an absurd level. Have you recently changed meds?

    “You the vendor have the constitutional right (for now) to NOT be forced by govt to participate in an **event** that violates your religion, even if it’s Atheism or Agnosticism”

    Wrongarino. If your business which is open to the public involves “participation” in such events, you are obligated to do so regardless of the class of people who are customers. It didn’t fly when we were talking about serving black people, it doesn’t fly against gays, atheists, muslims, or Mexicans….

  • And again, you make the argument by very deftly and subtly changing the subject.

    It doesn’t matter whether YOUR interpretation of the Bible allowed slavery, Jim Crow, or racism. It doesn’t matter whether YOU think NOW that the Bible allowed such things, or even whether it actually did, as if 2000 years of argument about whether at single word changes everything about any given passage.

    What matters is that THEY THOUGHT SO, and THEY QUOTED THEIR BIBLES TO PROVE IT.

    In short, they thought so, and they had their bible passages to prove it,

  • So you are asaying that discrimination like this is wrong, but not if it’s a small business. Then it is right.

  • It was such nonsense the Federal courts listened to the sisters and overruled the government.

  • I’ve made exactly the same arguments sans Bible.

    You haven’t been able to make argument at all.

    That says something.

  • All Ben is knows is what he wants, when he wants it (now), and the why is pretty much how he feels when he gets up.

  • I was under the impression self-righteous LBGT propagandists like you and Charllotte N/A beat both hands down.

  • The danger here is that while we want “religious freedom” we also want (or should want) a market place where all are treated equally, given the same opportunity to buy and sell services.

    Public accommodation laws in this country are written to prevent discrimination. The laws may be local, state, or federal but they must recognize equal protection regardless of race, color, national origin, or religion. The argument is whether or not a new category needs to be added to assure equal treatment of a newly recognized minority – LGBTQI people.

    Ironic that religion is a category that is protected from discrimination and now wants the right to discriminate because of their religion.

  • And yet no one can seem to produce those Bible passages, except for the so-called curse of Ham, which did not exist

  • It is actually not more honest, because it is just Charlotte’s fantasy response to Bob’s imaginary scenario. There is no discrimination against religious (sorry, Christian) people in this country. No Christian person is attending church secretly in someone’s basement for fear of being arrested. No religious person (of any faith) is being told to change their religious beliefs. It is all an invented persecution to gain more power.

  • What a convenient caveat. The same could just as easily be said of all established law. So your point is?

  • I am not saying it is okay to discriminate

    Then what are you saying? In the public sphere business owners are required to serve the entire public, which means everyone. Obviously there are notable exceptions: people who are caught stealing, people who are pestering other customers or being generally disruptive, etc. But that is all based on inappropriate behavior, not on the basis of a person’s state of being. Do you see the difference?

  • No actually its a stupid question meant to spur a conversation pretending the issue is something other than obvious discrimination for its own sake. Because the class of people the customer belongs to is never a valid criteria.

    Business owners can use all sorts of reasonable ones for refusing service:
    Inappropriate attire
    Disruptive behavior
    Not having enough money to purchase the goods/services sold
    Shoplifting
    Bringing in food
    Bringing in animals other than a service pet
    Unreasonable requests having little to do with the usual business
    Out of supplies
    Closing shop
    ….

    But never, because you are a ________ and my religion says I don’t have to treat you like a human being.

    There is no need to bring back segregation and Conservative Christians have constantly demonstrated no appreciation or understanding of religious freedom.

  • Yes. For example, those who allow for the inclusion of inherited myth as more an incidental than fundamental tenet of the faith. Episcopalians have a saying regarding things the church teaches that ought to be believed in a literal sense: all may, none must, some should. Strict orthodox types hate that. It disturbs their need for absolute conformity. Episcopalians are more comfortable with things like paradox and ambiguity. The legalists among us, not so much.

  • LOL! You still pretend blatant discrimination of denial of goods and services in open commerce is simply “not choosing to participate” in an event. So its not like you have an honest or objective take on things.

    “Freedom of speech is as disposable to some as freedom of religion, if it gets in the way of a pet agenda.”

    Yes, you made it clear you have little use for either.

  • “I’ll ask you the same thing I’ve asked some others- if you were a business owner and some customer asked you to produce something that was offensive to your belief system- would you do it?”

    What a completely dishonest and scripted question. It is not the product or even the service which is offensive. It is the people requesting it. The whole “Nazi cake” hypothetical is a dodge for what these discriminatory christian bigots are doing. Refusing to sell something they would give to anyone else because the customer is gay. It is not the product they are objecting to, its the customer.

    If your delicate religious sensibilities prevent you from treating all customers asking for the products you sell in the normal course of your business as human beings, you don’t belong in open commerce. If you want a special privilege to discriminate because of your faith, get bent. You should not annoy the rest of the public with your raging bigotry and sell your product in closed commerce forms. (Membership clubs, word of mouth, selective venues to operate)

  • Yep. Self righteous as usual. Although, you’ve probably never owned or ran a business before; so I can’t expect you to man up and answer a simple question.

  • “LGBT” is not a behavior, you goddamned bigot. However, dehumanizing people as you like to do in this way is a sociopathic behavior.

  • Myth and metaphor are a tough sell to a child’s developing brain, particularly an autistic child. Stop forcing children to believe things that aren’t true.

  • Y’all know that the further the Trumpees go on this theme, the less religious freedom everyone has, right?

  • I think the amount who voted for Trump because of that was miniscule. Or at least dwarfed by those motivated by hatred of immigrants.

  • “Religious freedom” has been reinterpreted to mean the right of Evangelicals to throw gay people out of businesses and say “We don’t serve your kind in this business”. It’s all about Evangelicals and their undying hatred of gay people. They want the law to protect their mistreatment of other human beings. Of course, back in the day, Evangelicals claimed that they should have the “religious freedom” to not serve black people. They lost then, and they’re gonna lose again. The promise of America is expanding freedom and rights, and protecting people who were formerly marginalized.

    By the way, back in the day a majority of Americans supported the right of businesses to not sell or serve black people. It didn’t make it right then and it doesn’t make it right now. Lets treat everyone fairly and decently and not throw people out of businesses or refuse to sell to them. Evangelicals wouldn’t like it if they were thrown out of businesses. So, how about treating people the way you want to be treated? Or is that asking too much of Evangelicals?

  • “Pending a constitutional amendment” we could do a lot of things. One could make a list a mile long. For example:

    Pending a Constitutional amendment we could strip Evangelicals of the right to marry.

    If we’re going to start voting on people’s Constitutional rights, lets put Evangelicals up for a vote.

    Or we could respect the Constitution and protect EVERYONE’S rights.

  • It’s really dumb to phrase this as a religious freedom issue. It’s not, at it’s core; it’s a freedom of association issue. People have a right to associate with only those whom they want to associate, and running a business doesn’t change that. All, and only, voluntary transactions are just; any law forcing anyone to transact with any person or group against their will is a violation of basic liberty.
    What does that look like in practice? Yeah, there’ll be a few stores that don’t sell to gays, to blacks, to Muslims. There’ll also be some that don’t sell to straights, to whites, to Christians. If you run across a store that refuses you service, suck it up, be an adult, and find somewhere that does, instead of throwing a tantrum and suing or using the cudgel of the law to force people to act the way you want. If it really grinds your gears, trash the store on Facebook, Yelp, or one of any number of review sites. Actually convince people and businesses to either change their mind or at least agree that inclusivity is the better business practice.
    In short, behave like an adult when someone doesn’t want to include you, quit running to mommy government every time the mean kids won’t play with you.

  • There is plenty of polling evidence that older, Republican, Evangelical white men pretty much have voted in a block for the past few years.

  • What if a person lives in a rural community and there is only one pharmacy or restaurant or hardware store, and they refuse to serve black people or brown people or gay people And why would we want a “Balkanized” America where people have to go from store to store and business to business finding one that will serve or sell to “their kind”? Our nation was founded to get away from that kind of thing, however imperfectly we have applied it at various times in our history.

    We have a long experience in this country with black Americans (and other minorities) having to go from town to town to find a hotel they could stay in or a restaurant they could eat in. Why do you want to go back to those days? Does that make us a better nation? (No!).

  • What the evidence shows is that older white men are more conservative, which is evidenced by their being Republican, Evangelical, and so on.

    Public Religion Research Institute spins it into religious voting blocs, but that appears to be as much marketing “Religion” to peddle “Research” as anything else.

  • So how are things over at JoeMyGod? Slow?

    The decision in Obergefell v Hodges was not based on the Constitution.

    It was based on Justice Anthony McLeod Kennedy’s zany personal ideas which fabricated a right out of thin air.

    Every power not specifically delegated to the Federal government is retained by the states or the People, and that includes the regulation of marriage.

    That bad decision is the law, however.

    Down the road when the Constitution is amended to rein in the Supreme Court and the lower Federal courts, it will be revisited along with Roe v Wade.

  • Your positions’ lack of correspondence to facts only has two possible explanations: (1) you’re propagandist; (2) you’re a nincompoop.

    I’m surprised you picked (2).

  • We already have a balkanized America.

    The racial issue is settled, so there is no point in beating that dead horse.

  • The fact that not only do people run to mommy government every time the mean kids won’t play with you, but actually set up situations to create those circumstances, tells you what their real agenda is.

    Charlie Craig and David Mullins in the set up that led to the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 584 U.S. ___ (2018) case had already done business with Jack Phillips.

    They knew he would not, for example, bake Halloween cakes because of his deeply held religious convictions, although he employed gay people and on ordinary products – e.g., birthday cakes – never turned them down.

    In cooperation with the ACLU they devised a request for a custom gay marriage cake that they knew before the entered the store Phillips would refuse to bake.

    The agenda is to destroy the rights of people with religious beliefs.

  • Where has “’Religious freedom’ … been reinterpreted to mean the right of Evangelicals to throw gay people out of businesses and say ‘We don’t serve your kind in this business’.”?

    Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, not only regularly served gay people, including Charlie Craig and David Mullins, he employed gay people.

    The promise of America is NOT expanding freedom and rights, it is protection of the freedom and rights delineated in the Constitution.

    Expanding them involves modifying the Constitution which is NOT the province of the judiciary if they themselves obey the Constitution.

  • Everyone has the right to discriminate.

    It’s why most people eat chocolate rather than sh-t.

  • Episcopalians are a minority, even within the Anglican Communion with which they have impaired relations, whooping it up while the ship sinks.

  • Religions have always discriminated because of their religion.

    Christians refused to offer sacrifices to the Roman gods and were persecuted for it.

    Now Christians refuse to genuflect to the LBGT (QI?) gods and are being persecuted for it.

  • The internet makes almost any such desert island whataboutist scenarios obsolete. And ultimately, if you don’t like the quality of services in your area, you can vote with your feet – leave.
    No one’s claiming to want a Balkanized America. I want a free America, where people can choose who they want to do business with without the government sticking it’s nose into where it doesn’t belong.
    Being morally opposed to discrimination doesn’t entail banning it by law like some Puritanical busybody.

  • I can’t help it if your playbook is well worn, has obvious flaws in it and misses the point entirely.

  • When evangelicals are demanding reinforcement and expansion of their so-called “religious freedom,” I see the term as a euphemism for “religious fiefdom,” which is obviously what they are lusting after. Obtaining and maintaining dominion over everyone else is one of their sacred priorities.

  • And I wouldn’t ask you to.

    I was actually trying make it easy for you, limiting it to just BIBLICAL justifications for racism. Christian and religious justification for racism, slavery, and segregation, would have produced triple the hits, of course.

    Because. You see— well, You KNOW— that it doesn’t matter whether it is in the Bible or not. Because, like the current controversy, it was JUSTIFIED as sincere religious belief, JUSTIFIED as what god wanted, JUSTIFIED as the right thing to do.

    Exactly how many denominations split over the issue of slavery, including your own? How many denominations rebuked other denominations for Jim Crow?

  • So you think that because others make you feel like a second class citizen that gives you the right to make others feel like 2nd class citizens!

    Didn’t your mother ever teach you that just because someone does something to you doesn’t make it right to do something to them or to others!

    Some of us were taught better manners than you and others–all those who believe that religious freedom is right to discriminate and persecute those that reject your beliefs.

  • So you think that making other citizens feel like second class citizens is justified because your second class citizens trump those second class citizens?

    Some of us were taught better manners than you, and logic as well.

    Driving your odd take on this is simply your hatred for religion and those with religious beliefs. The rest if eyewash and posturing.

  • I don’t know if you are really interested in an answer to your question but I think it is an important question and many don’t really understand the reasoning behind the actions to discriminate, as in the case of the cake baker.

    Some think that homosexuals are angering God and God will bring his wrath down on the US. This was shown in a comment made by an Evangelical preacher after the hurricane hit New Orleans. They base this reasoning on the mis-reading of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The story is about how strangers are treated in a community NOT about a community turned to rampant homosexual lust!

    Some believe that it is their duty to save others from their own destructive action–i.e. to save their souls. So they believe in laws that restrict what they see as immoral behavior.

    Some believe that if they serve someone who does something they (or what they think God) disapproves of by NOT saying something they will be complicit in the sin.

    Some like the Hobby Lobby folks attempt to show the world how holy and pure, righteous they are. They think some forms of birth control are actually abortions and so they refuse to be complicit in helping their employees murder a fetus! Though by doing so they are intentionally violate one of the 10 Commandments to not bear false witness, which means lie! In this case the lies are about what birth control does. So they simply show themselves to be self-righteous hypocrites that pick and choose which passages they want to follow.

  • I’ve never personally forced anyone to believe anything. Stop lumping all Christians into one convenient grab bag – it’s the lazy way out and demeaning to those of us who are sympathetic to many of your own beliefs.

  • That’s cute. I have to deal with Christians trying to lynch me and trelling me that I’m going to hell just for existing. Maybe if you spent more time proselytizing to them instead of me, we wouldn’t have this issue.

  • You weren’t taught any manners or logic Bob as your comments show!

    I don’t think anyone should be treated as 2nd class citizens. But you seem to see many as 2nd class citizens! Very interesting!

    Now I don’t hate religion. Honestly that is such a juvenile comment. I have as they all say many friends that are religious. I just object to religion being misused as a tool to justify and sanctify fear and hate of the “other” those that are different or that reject one set of beliefs in order to follow another set that works for them!

  • Yes, you hate religion.

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/religionnews/philosopher_stephen_asma_leaves_open_the_door_to_religion8217s_power/#comment-4020782154

    You go out of your way to belittle religion, belittle those with sincere religious beliefs, and advocate pushing religion out of the public square.

    Of course you think someone should be treated as 2nd class citizens – your remark plainly stated that holders of religious beliefs hold them in abeyance in favor of LBGT beliefs.

  • It’s voluntary to be in business. If you decide you want to be in business, there are laws which govern that.

    It’s voluntary to drive. It’s a privilege, not a right. If you want to drive, you have to obey the rules of the road.

  • Really both issues are just proof that Conservative Christians just don’t respect the lives of other people. That they feel this need to control and attack others.

    In both cases, the sane suggestion is that if you don’t like either not to have any. If you don’t like anyone else having them to buzz off.

  • It is not voluntary to have to earn a living unless you’re a Kennedy.

    In fact, it is a right.

  • Ben,
    This, too, seems like a hypothetical scenario in that neither you (presumably) nor I know whether Jack Phillips would consider making a cake for a wedding for one of the people listed above as celebrating his or her religious beliefs (or lack thereof).

    But regardless, perhaps I’m misunderstanding why the logic of refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex marriage celebration leads one to have to refuse to bake a cake for a Jewish, Muslim or atheist couple. I don’t understand why, logically, one must follow the other.

  • Yes it’s voluntary to be in a business. That doesn’t negate the fact that laws requiring businesses to serve those whom they don’t want to serve are unjust. The fact that such laws exist is the very crux of the problem.

  • Which is why the whole “I won’t sell to those people because my religion forbids me” argument is inherently dishonest garbage. One can proof text and justify any action as being congruent with their faith and come up with carve-outs and exceptions why you aren’t somehow a hypocrite for not doing so consistently.

    Better to just chuck the entire argument out entirely because it is a phony narrative and relies on expecting bigoted fundamentalists to apply rational arguments, logic and consistency to something which never had any. Once you start using religion to justify your personal bigotry, then you will come up with any excuse for why it needs to be taken seriously.

    Phillips didn’t want to sell a cake to gay people because they were gay. If he had trouble with the idea of “participating” in events of his customers, then he should not have a store open to the general public. Because that was a given in his profession. It was not the cake itself which was some kind of custom unusual product compared to anything he had sold before. It was the type of customer ordering it. Discrimination of the class of customer and nothing else. No need to pretend that he was overcome by the spirit of the Lord which commanded him not to make the cake. He was just a bigot who wanted to treat gays like crap.

  • Why is it that I can reject the entirety of someone’s religious beliefs, and this offends no one but the most rabid of fundamentalists? But let me say that I am gay, and just reject the teeny, tiny portion of someone’s “sincere religious beliefs”, and I am suddenly a threat to their entire way of life?

    I don’t know what jack Phillips would do. But I was a wedding photographer for 30 years, and I never heard of anyone blatantly refuse to service a god-rejecting atheist wedding. Maybe they did. I have no idea. But so far, I can’t even think of INE SUNGLE CASE that made the news where a so called christian claimed that he wouldn’t service a demon worshipping hindu wedding, or s jesus rejecting Jewish wedding, TOLD THE CUSTOMERS THAT HE WAS DOING IT AND WHY.

    Either we allow discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of religious belief, or we don’t. Allowing it is just one circumstance, but rejecting it in all others, merely underlines why we have those laws to begin with.

  • Which is why it is a losing argument. Freedom of association already is not a legitimate reason for ignoring civil rights laws. That argument was shot down when they used it to keep segregation going.

    If your business is open to the public, you lose that right of association and must serve the entire public (within reason). You do not get to choose which class of people are your customers.

    “What does that look like in practice?”

    Segregation. Its not a hypothetical, its a historical example. We already did things that way. It was garbage.

    Your spiel is a perfect example why Libertarian arguments are garbage. You do not actually support the liberties of people. Just those with the money and power to make their own rules and attack others with impunity. We all have a right to be able to purchase goods and services in open commerce without having to navigate the personal bigotries of commercial vendors. The government is the chief protector of those rights.

  • These explanations are subsumed within the real one, that these people need a Constitutive Other as someone to blame, someone to feel superior to, someone to project their own inadequacies onto. Every religious explanation is just cover for deep-seated shame.

  • Sorry, that argument died in the 50’s.
    I think it is the government’s job to make sure that institutionalized prejudice does not gain a legal foothold. But then, as a liberal, I think that all citizens should be treated fairly.

  • “That doesn’t negate the fact that laws requiring businesses to serve those whom they don’t want to serve are unjust.”

    No they aren’t. Not in any way. Your assumption is garbage.

    It is unjust to have to deal with the personal prejudices of a business owner just to buy a product or service being sold to the general public. In fact forcing people to deal with such conditions is a perfect example of unjust actions and oppression.

  • To your first question, yes.

    To your second, it depends on the jurisdiction in which the business is located and the applicable laws. In some jurisdictions, it is legal to deny service to gay people. In others, like Colorado, where Jack Phillips’ bakery is located, it is against the law. However, he had hoped the court would find that denying services for a same-sex wedding is not the same thing as denying services to all gay people and thus permitted under Colorado law. I can see the distinction, but I can understand why others don’t. As we know, the court decided not to rule on this issue, so it’s left for another day and another case.

  • As I noted in my other response to you, whether or not a business open to the public can discriminate against certain classes of people depends on the jurisdiction in which the business is located and the applicable laws. Business owners can choose which classes of people they serve as long as that class of people is not protected under the law of the jurisdiction.

  • The jaundiced view is that he has no knowledge, respect, or even belief in God except as a tool to satisfy his Id. (If he does it only makes this sort of religion all that much uglier and sociopathic.) There are no surprises in store and he knows it. But he knows a bandwagon that rubs him the right way. Most religion, certainly particularly Evangelical Christianity, is too easily utilized as an expression of subjective ends always justifying relentless means. It’s transactional faith. It may not be this way out of original or editorial intent, but it is certainly this way as exemplified by wide practice.

    That other Christians condone or simply ignore this is a reflection upon them personally, and their faith.

  • “whether or not a business open to the public can discriminate against
    certain classes of people depends on the jurisdiction in which the
    business is located and the applicable laws.”

    Which misses the entire point of the “religious freedom” effort by Christian bigots. Which is to circumvent and excuse them from compliance or liability where such laws exist already.

    There is no jurisdiction in this country whose civil rights laws are so loose as to permit one to discriminate against the class of customer in open commerce either. It either violates the community’s laws or is an actionable tort in a civil law context.

  • Wrong. Even if the local civil rights laws do not include certain classes of people, discrimination becomes actionable as a civil tort. 1st Amendment rights do not cover the actions of a vendor in that situation. A right of association is circumscribed when dealing with open commerce.

  • Whether the cake is used as part of the wedding ceremony itself or the celebration following it is irrelevant, from the perspective of the baker. The cake would have been used to help celebrate the wedding, which is what the baker objected to. I’m not sure why you think it is an important distinction to point out where the cake is being sliced. It makes no difference to the baker.

    Of course some people choose not to have cakes at the wedding receptions. I was one of them. But this is also irrelevant.

    I never said cakes are part of “wedding ceremonies” so I’m not sure why you are calling me a liar. I have no desire to bludgeon others into submitting to my will. It doesn’t appear Jack Phillips does either. It’s actually the “bake the cake!” side that is using the power of the state to coerce people into doing things again their will.

  • Oh yes, it matters very much whether it is in the Bible or not. It is the difference between beliefs grounded in authoritative scripture and beliefs pulled from someone’s posterior.

    Another atheist of that time, with as paltry a scriptural knowledge as yours but who liked the segregation agenda could just as easily and with just as negligible support have claimed “Many Christians believe in segregation not in spite of but BECAUSE of what their Bibles say…”

    You sure use awful lot of words to say that you’ve got nothing to back up your claims. Brevity is your friend.

  • I hadn’t thought of civil suits. Have there been any successful civil cases brought against businesses that have discriminated against classes of people? I’d be curious to know.

  • Of course this “religious freedom” movement isn’t about actual religious freedom, but about allowing white evangelicals to capriciously nullify anti-discrimination law with impunity and without criticism. They’ve been after that dream since Brown v Board of Education.

    Since it’s mostly about white and/or Protestant and/or ‘heterosexual’ male privilege, it doesn’t take much to push the polls a bit its way.

  • Phillips sold lots of cakes to lots of gay customers

    Yep, it was a custom product. That was the point.

    And to ascertain whether a narrative is “phony” one must have some acquaintance with the narrative. Your perennial difficulty which consistently prevents you from being taken seriously.

  • What a load of bullsht. He clearly had a problem with treating gay people as social equals, hence the problem here.

    Phillips had no objection to the kind of cake sought, it was not an unusual or even unreasonable request compared to what he did before. It was just the class of customers requesting it which caused the objection.

    Being a custom product doesn’t make a difference here. This was not one which was objectively different from prior requests he took.

    If it were the case of an unreasonable custom request, it would never have run afoul of the Colorado laws. The entire line of argument is dishonest garbage.

    This was plain old discrimination against the customer.

  • Ben,
    I still don’t understand why, logically, you think someone who refuses to bake a cake for a same-sex marriage must also refuse to bake one for a Jewish or Hindu wedding. You continue to insist that this is some sort of big “gotcha” but you haven’t explained why it is.

    As to your last statement, I think a good case can be made for allowing exceptions in some cases but not others based on the severity and pervasiveness of the discrimination. Julian Sanchez makes a decent point here, if you care to read: http://www.juliansanchez.com/2014/02/27/discriminating-between-discriminations/

  • Plenty. You are missing the point, intentionally.

    If such discrimination was already legal, then there would be no need for Christian bigots to demand special dispensation to do so. Obviously that is not the case.

  • Can you point me to one or two? I’m ignorant in this area of the law. I just want to see the type of argument made…what civil courts have found, etc. I didn’t miss this point intentionally. I’m not sure why you would assume I had.

    My point wasn’t that discrimination against gay customers was legal everywhere, only that is it legal in some jurisdictions, so when you make a blanket statement that if one has a business open to the public one has to serve everyone, that is actually not the case when it comes to the law. It is legal, in some jurisdictions, to discriminate against gay customers. In others, it is legal to discriminate against other unprotected classes of people under the law. You just can’t make blanket statements that apply across the board in every jurisdiction (when it comes to statutory law).

  • Sorry, you’re not entitled to another person’s goods. If they don’t want to sell them to you, you have no legitimate claim to them. To force them to do so using the power of the state is in fact an unjust violation of liberty.

  • No, you haven’t. You’ve alleged that baking a cake for such a wedding would violate Jack Phillips’ conscience because by doing so he would be rejecting Jesus, but you didn’t explain why your assumptions logically follow from Jack Phillips refusing to bake cake for a same-sex wedding celebration. Why would baking a cake for a Jewish or Hindu wedding violate Phillips’ conscience or be an incidence of him rejecting Jesus?

    And then you cited an example from your personal life, but that doesn’t explain why one thing follows the other logically.

  • Last time.
    If he bakes a cake for a same-sex wedding, he is “participating” in that wedding, and “approving” of it.
    If he bakes a cake for a hindu wedding, he is “participating” in that wedding, a wedding in which false gods, also known as demons, are invoked, and approving of the invocation of strange gods. If he bakes a cake for an atheist wedding, her is “participating” in that wedding, a wedding which rejects the idea of god, or his approval being necessary, and his establishment of marriage as a sacrament.
    what’s sauce for the gay goose apparently isn’t sauce for the propaganda.

  • It’s not a big “gotcha”, it is simply applying what fundelibangelists say are their principles.

  • Thank you for taking the time to explain the logical connection. I think the argument the baker would make in this hypothetical is that the same-sex wedding is inherently immoral because it involves two men or two women while the Hindu, Jewish or atheist wedding is not, despite false Gods or no God being mentioned.

    As a side note, Protestants don’t consider marriage to be a sacrament. Catholics consider it one. I’m not sure what the Orthodox or other Christian denominations believe.

  • A custom cake requires artistic expression, and increases the degree of necessary participation in the matter. No, it is not the same.

  • Your conclusion is similar to the one reached by the early church father Tertullian, in response to early Christians’ questions and concerns about attending the wedding celebrations of friends and family who were pagans.

  • The fact that laws were passed decades ago violating the free association rights of business owners doesn’t in any way negate the fact that such laws are clear violations of liberty, and unjust.
    You have NO right to the goods or services of another. Full stop. To force him to provide them to you is unjust. You don’t lose the right to free association when you open to “the public”; your right becomes infringed by public accommodation laws.
    The problem with segregation is the exact same problem facing public accommodation laws: they were forced on the business owners by an oppressive government. Jim Crow laws weren’t unjust because they allowed discrimination; they were unjust because they enforced discrimination. Forcing businesses NOT to serve some people is just as unjust as forcing them to serve some people.

  • Have you any information that he baked a cake for Hindu or an atheist wedding?

    Would the fact that he refused to bake Halloween cakes alter your comments.

    Do you, in fact have ONE fact on the case that is relevant?

  • Some Protestants consider marriage to be a sacrament.

    The Orthodox, Assyrians, Non-Chalcedonians, Ethiopians – basically all the Christians who consider Holy Orders a sacrament – consider marriage a sacrament.

  • Remember Tater believes the state has the power, and should, compel people to perform and assist at abortions despite their religious objections.

  • I suppose the fact that he actually hired gay people just bounces off the armor of the T-34 tank of your invincible ignorance.

  • Again, there was nothing special about the request the baker had not done before for other people. The only difference was the class of customers requesting it. If your argument had any kind of merit, the issue would not have gone before the CO Human Rights Commission. It would have been excusable under the laws in question.

    You are simply pretending that renaming an action somehow changes it. There is nothing honest about your argument here. But then again excuses for discrimination never are.

  • Well, that is certainly one way to wiggle out of the obvious.

    As far as I know, blasphemy against the holy spirit is the one unforgiveable sin. Not believing that Jesus died for your sins is a sin. Worshipping false gods is a sin.
    But “participating” in those weddings is not really participating in those weddings. It’s very telling about what this is really about. you are participating when you want to, not participating under exactly the same circumstances.

    I have bene told repeatedly by protestants that god established marriage, that marriage is holy, that god is present in every heterosexual marriage. But apparently, they were mistaken.
    Just admit it, please. The bible applies wherever bible believing Christians believe it applies, and doesn’t apply elsewhere.

  • Translation from Libertarian Wingnutese:

    I don’t like Civil Rights Laws, I want the privilege to harm people without consequences. I value a right to harm others over a civil, well ordered society or consideration of those harmed.

    Your remarks about public accommodation laws and Jim Crow are so far off the mark factually that they cannot be taken seriously.

    Business owners needed to be forced not to discriminate because their interests are not as important as the free flow of open commerce. The government is hardly oppressive in standing up for people who are simply trying to buy something in a store open to everyone. Oppressive are the people deliberately withholding such items and services just to please their personal bigotry.

    Jim Crow enforced discrimination by allowing it. You were begging the question there. It was unjust because discrimination is unjust.

    If you think its unjust to treat every customer for a store open to the general public, then go —– yourself. I have no sympathy for your plight here. Your sensibilities are too delicate for open commerce. You are too hateful and uncivil to be running such a business effectively. Your pathological need to treat people like crap is not one I need to care about.

  • If you are selling them to the general public, I very much am.

    If you are such a hateful person that the idea of treating all customers like human beings is tough for you, tough crap. Don’t open a business to the general public. There are ways to do business which permit you to be as hateful as you want. This isn’t one of them.

    “To force them to do so using the power of the state is in fact an unjust violation of liberty.”

    Hardly. To force people whose only goal is to simply purchase goods and services available to the general public, they are oppressed by having to navigate through the individual bigotries of vendors.

    If you are upset because you are not permitted to treat people like crap and face repercussions for doing so, get bent. Your interests in doing so are worthless. They are not as important as open commerce. You are not being oppressed because you cannot oppress others. You are just being whiny and childish.

    You have no concept of liberty. Like all Libertarians, you think might makes right is the only law that should exist. Moral and sane people know otherwise.

  • Not in the slightest, because your premise is inherently false.

    If you were correct in the first place, these Christian bigots wouldn’t need to ask for special permission to discriminate in their businesses. They would already be protected under the law (or lack thereof). But since they are not, they are demanding “Religious freedom” laws to get special privilege to avoid the legal consequences of doing so.

  • No one scrutinizes other customers like this. Do cake-bakers quiz their straight clients regarding their marriage status? Divorce status? Whether or not they have disobeyed any of the commandments? Whether or not they love their neighbor as themselves?

  • Sessions’s “task force” is a joke. The main threat to religious liberty in the US is the Trump, who wants — 1. to deny women their rights of conscience n abortion and 2. to wreck the public schools that serve 90% of our kids by compelling all taxpayers to support church-run private schools through vouchers or tax credits. Trump and his toadies a re thumbing their noses at Madison, Jefferson and the other Founders. — Edd Doerr

  • You ignore the fact that they’re trying to lynch me too, but you also conveniently ignore the fact that there have long been Christians sympathetic to the gay cause: The United Church of Christ, Unitarians, Episcopalians, some Lutherans have all come out in favor of gay rights. Even a majority of Catholics in the pews who make up the church are more liberal than your average Christian. You do yourself and your cause no favors by stridently and unfairly lumping all Christians together in one basket. In the end, you just make yourself look small.

  • The “general public” argument is spurious: there’s no such entity, that’s just a name given to identify each individual collectively. Businesses aren’t open to sell to the “general public”, they’re open to sell, period. Each transaction an individual occurrence where neither party has a right to the goods or services of another. The only such transactions which are just are those that are voluntary; those that are forced upon one party by the law are unjust.
    Like all libertarians, I believe that right makes right. The might makes right philosophy is that espoused by those who would force others to transact with those whom they don’t wish, simply because they disagree with the reasons for their refusal. It’s the public accommodation laws which are trying to enforce their idea of morality through the apparatus of the law; I’m simply advocating freedom to allow people to act as they will with the goods and services they possess.

  • “Almost the entire LBGT propaganda campaign over the last 40 years has been promulgated, funded, and supported by big business.”

    If your right you are simply saying that big business is more decent, more moral, and more Christ like (not the same as Christian) than the religious right.

    I suspect you are right, but what a condemnation of the evil that people do in the name of their theoretical deity; bested by American big business Eeeeuuuuh!

  • Jim Crow enforced discrimination not by allowing businesses to discriminate but by requiring them to do so. That was the injustice. A business that did not want to segregate was not permitted to refuse, thereby infringing upon the free association liberty of the business owner just as much as current public accommodation laws do.
    Businesses don’t need to be forced to serve all comers; it’s the best business practice to do so and most will recognize this, especially in today’s high information age. Those that don’t may be boycotted, shamed, or shunned. Serving all comers is a morally upright position, but you are not permitted to use force to bludgeon others into compliance with your morality simply because you fail to convince them of the superiority of your position. That is the epitome of oppression, and is quite clearly unjust.

  • No, the idea that a business owner’s interest in deliberately harming others is something worth taking seriously is spurious. Discrimination is very much a deliberate and malicious attack on customers.

    The idea that government ensuring people can buy goods and services in open commerce without restrictions of personal bigotry is a rather important interest to pursue.

    Your entire argument is infantile. You want a right to attack people but without facing the consequences of doing so. That is not worth protecting. In fact its downright harmful a privilege to give in a civil society. A society does not effectively function in such a fashion. It amounts to oppression of those who are discriminated against on the basis of the class of people they are.

    If you are so hateful that you cannot treat all customers like human beings, go —- yourself. Your needs are not worth consideration. You have no right to engage in open commerce. It is not suited for you. Do business in another fashion. Our laws do not have to protect your unreasonable desire to not face the consequences of harming others.

    “It’s the public accommodation laws which are trying to enforce their idea of morality through the apparatus of the law”

    Wrong as usual. They are trying to enforce the idea of CIVILITY through the apparatus of law. People in a civil society have a right to go about their business without the fear of being attacked in an arbitrary and malicious manner. Nobody has to care whether a vendor is a raging racist. If the vendor’s business is open to the public, they have an obligation not to act on it.

    “I’m simply advocating freedom to allow people to act as they will with the goods and services they possess.”

    Not true at all. You are advocating a right to attack others with impunity and under the protection of the law.

  • Ben – I suspect it isn’t that you’re gay – it’s that you’re gay and normal (well – like most of us, normal-ish at least!).

    The fear is not that you are gay – it is that they may be gay. That’s why being gay can’t be normal – they’re normal! And if gay isn’t normal and they are normal they can’t be gay can they – Phew!

  • If a person is going to have a party, they cannot usually force a business to provide service to that party. Unless the person is gay and lives in one of the states where the judiciary recognizes gay privilege – by which a celebration must be serviced if the theme can be linked in some way to something gay. The pretext for this is that the refusal to service the celebration of a theme that can be linked in some way to homosexuality, is supposedly the same as discriminating against someone because they are gay. Thus, the theme of the party inherits the protected status of a certain class of people.
    That sort of rationalization stretches discrimination law beyond the breaking point. As far as I know, the judiciary has never granted that kind of privilege to any other group. And as far as I know, no other group has ever demanded such a privilege.

  • Participating in those weddings, marriage being part of the natural law, does not involve a sacrilege.

    A same sex “marriage” does, since it parodies what even the pagan Romans consider fundamental to a human society.

    Since you’re untrained and unlearned in matters religious, natural law, and accept the unacceptable as a “right”, you’re ill-equipped to critique what is or is not a bona-fide sincere religious belief.

  • ” there is no way to look at a same sex marriage that could allow one to assume its legitimacy. That is what makes the difference.”

    For a certain subset of those with irrational beliefs regarding god(s) this is true. For many others without such beliefs, and many whose religious beliefs are irrational but different the concepts of compassion and empathy are the way to look at same sex marriage that you appear to be unable to see.

  • It most certainly does not. It is an orientation. There are plenty LGBTs, heterosexuals, and asexuals who never have sex.

  • “No, the idea that a business owner’s interest in deliberately harming others is something worth taking seriously is spurious.”

    In the Masterpiece case the owner did not deliberately harm others.

    In fact the individuals who brought the complain knew before asking Phillips he would deny them a same-sex wedding cake, had already identified an alternate vendor, and immediately obtained said special wedding cake with no problems.

    Your concoction of “deliberately harming others” is just that, a fabrication to make a ridiculous position look less ridiculous.

    People with religious beliefs have rights.

    Get used to it.

  • Exactly!!!!

    I think.

    Nah, actually, that is it. As I have often said, it isn’t marriage that has been redefined, it is gay people— As no longer the legal, cultural, familial, sexual, moral, and religious equals of a certain class of so-called Christian. That’s what pisses them off.

  • No harm is committed when a business owner refuses service, because no one else has a right to the business owner’s goods or services. A just transaction is formed by one person voluntarily agreeing to procure some good or service from another, who in turn agrees to provide it for what the other offered. To refuse any provide any good or service is no more an attack than refusing to purchase one.
    Civility is simply a moral judgment; that it is a good thing for people to be courteous and not to allow their personal feelings to enter into their transactions. It’s an admirable goal, but still no more defensible to enact by force of law than any other moral goal. The fact is that a person has a right to determine those he will associate with, in business no less than in his private life, and his goods and services are his to dispense as he sees fit. It is unjust to force these transactions upon him, violating his liberty in so doing , simply because those in power find civility to be a preferable society.

  • “Jim Crow enforced discrimination not by allowing businesses to discriminate but by requiring them to do so.”

    Completely wrong.

    Nobody was required to segregate in their private business. It was enforced through extralegal threats in many places. One did not do so out of fear and tacit approval of domestic terrorism by authority figures.

    “Businesses don’t need to be forced to serve all comers;”

    If they are open to the public, they do. If it is being “forced” to treat all customers like human beings, then a business owner should seek different avenues besides open commerce. The need to attack customers on the basis of the class of people they are is not one anyone has to take seriously. The need to be able to purchase goods and services in open commerce without undue and arbitrary restrictions is far greater and necessary.

    Again, if you feel oppressed because you can’t oppress others, tough luck. Get bent. Grow up. You are doing nothing more than declaring what kind of immature fool ascribes to Libertarian views. One who demands a privilege to harm others but never face consequences of their actions. We don’t ever need that in a society.

  • Jim Crow laws are a matter of historical record. That they forced businesses to segregate is a fact. I suggest you research the subject, the information is available. Both the law and law enforcement made sure businesses were obeying the segregationist demands regardless of whether the business owners felt on the issue, exactly the same kind of injustice perpetrated by public accommodation laws today, only with opposing goals.
    Again, businesses do not open to serve “the general public.” No such entity exists, this is just a name used to refer to the sum total collection of individuals. Each transaction is an individual occurrence, and in each, neither party has a right to the goods or services of the other. No harm is being done to anyone in denying to them what they had no right to in the first place.

  • Wrongarino. Open commerce exists because anyone has a right to purchase goods and services made available to the general public. If one wants to be a bigoted discriminatory scumbag, there are other ways of doing business to meet such needs. Repeating the same lie over and over again doesn’t make it true no matter how hard you are trying.

    Discrimination is already a recognized legal tort. It is meant as a deliberate attack on those refused service. A way to publicly demean one for belonging to a given class of people. To declare the customer is a lesser person socially than the vendor. Malice and the desire to harm is a given in such activities. Nobody discriminates by accident or with good intentions. Nothing which can possibly be considered an exercise of personal freedom.

    Civility is not morality. It is simply a way society which functions with a certain level of behavior to avoid unnecessary harm and to ensure safe interactions with others. Its a necessary goal in a society where we don’t all live like hermits. The right to associate with others is tempered by actions when one holds themselves out to the public. Once one has agreed to engage in open commerce with the public, they have taken on a responsibility to serve the public. If one does not want the responsibility there are other ways to do business. If they are not as profitable, that is their tough luck. There is a price for an overwhelming desire to act like a raging d-bag to others.

    Again, you seek actions without responsibilities or consequences. Your argument is entirely sociopathic in nature. You seek to harm others with impunity. There is no liberty to do so. There is no oppression to be responsible to others for harming them.

    The old adage goes, “your right to swing your fist ends at the nose of the next person”. You seek not only a right to punch someone in the nose but expect government to restrain them from responding. You are full of crap in the most obvious way. An immature whiner who is annoyed that they can’t oppress others. You have no concept of what is just and what is unjust.

  • You already lied about history. I have no need to take your blathering seriously as you double down on your fictions.

    ” Both the law and law enforcement made sure businesses were obeying the segregationist demands regardless of whether the business owners felt onthe issue, exactly the same kind of injustice perpetrated by public accommodation laws today, only with opposing goals.”

    Wrong. Segregation of private business was enforced through fear. Businesses where races mixed ran the risk of being bombed, and their owners/patrons murdered through the KKK. They expected law enforcement to not bother to investigate such attacks.

    “Again, businesses do not open to serve “the general public.” No such entity exists”

    They very much do. They have stores open to all who pass through during business hours. Discrimination is meant as a harm to customers who have an expectation of being treated like human beings by walking into a store and asking them for goods and services the vendors are declaring available to the public.

    You are nothing but a whiny sociopath. Someone seeking a privilege to harm others and the government to restrain those harmed from seeking redress.

  • There’s no such entity as “the general public.” No businesses are doing business with the sum total collection of all individuals, they’re doing business with one individual at a time, and in each, the individual has no right to the goods or services being discussed. All and only voluntary transactions are just.
    Your appeal to legal tort status of discrimination is circular: of course discrimination is illegal, that’s the very thing I’m arguing is unjust, as it is a violation of the freedom of association.
    Your right to swing your fist does indeed end at the other person’s nose. You may do as you will with you and yours so long as another is not harmed or their rights violated. Discrimination in business, although unsavory, does no harm and violates no rights: neither party has a right to the goods or services of the other to begin with.

  • No doubt scripture doesn’t matter overmuch to a great many people in formation of their beliefs. Which is why it becomes necessary to examine certain positions against scripture to see how they hold up — at which point people like you usually come out calling us big ol’ meanies for doing so, to our invariable amusement.

  • If you think YOU’RE ignorant of the law, you ain’t seen nothing yet till you’ve seen Spuddie’s ignorance on full display.

    He’s making this claim up, btw. In order for “discrimination” to be actionable under tort law it would have to be attached to something else such as harassment, intentional infliction of mental distress or somesuch. And actual damages would have to be proved, which would eliminate nearly all cases from the git-go.

  • First belittlting is NOT the same as hating Bob. I tell it like it is, I don’t pull my punches, I am blunt and honest, i don’t lie. That is NOT hating religion. As I said I object to religion being used as justification and sanctification of the persecution of others. I think that religion should lift people up NOT drag them down into the sewars as some do. I think that religious leaders should encourage people to strive to be better people not WORSE people as some of them do. I think religious texts and documents and preaching should inspire people to reach for higher ideals NOT lower ones, as some do.

    As I said I don’t think anyone should be treated as 2nd class citizens. I think they should have to abide by the same rules the rest of us abide by, treating ALL people with equal justice, fairness, respect no matter what their beliefs sexual orientation, gender identification, age, gender, wealth, social status, country of origin, immigration status, color of their skin, the clothes they wear or don’t wear. IF people want their religious rights upheld they have to uphold the rights of others even of those that reject their beliefs.

    WE the People means WE not some.ALL are created equal means ALL not some are more equal than others.

  • You have not made one correct claim so far.

    The general public exists and can’t be handwaved with simple denials. It represents the community where a business transacts within.

    All businesses engaging in open commerce are dealing with entire communities and exist at their sufferance. They rely on the community for the space to sell their wares, employees, for customers, for services to maintain the business, for a government to protect their commercial interests. Open commerce is an agreement between a business and all those who transact with them.

    “the individual has no right to the goods or services being discussed.”

    If a store is open to the general public, they do. If the vendor wants a right to discriminate against customers, there are ways to do business other than open commerce. They should do so if their bigotry prevents them from acting civil to others in a commercial setting.

    Repeating the same lies over and over again has not done anything to make your posts into a reasonable argument.

    Your entire argument is a desire to harm others without consequence. It is infantile, dishonest and a bit ridiculous. If you feel oppressed by not being able to say , “We don’t sell to your kind”, tough luck. I could not care less. You are a terrible person of low character who is unworthy of being taken seriously if that is the case. Grow up whinybaby.

  • Belittling is one form of hating. You tell it like you think it is.

    You suggested that since LBGT folks should not be treated as 2nd class citizens, those with sincere religious beliefs should suck it up.

    The fact that makes those with sincere religious beliefs 2nd class citizens not only does not bother, you’re apparently unaware that’s what you’re saying.

    You think that religion should lift people up NOT drag them down, and the way to accomplish this is to peddle the ware you happen to like.

    WE the People means get your mitts off people with religious beliefs, and keep them off.

  • No dear. You are a sola scriptorium kind of a girl. You believe that is the only way to know god’s message to the world. How do you know it? Scripture told you, except for the Catholic Church, who told you something else.

    In short, you just pulled it out of your butt, same as any other religious claim. You just prefer that particular claim to the claims of other people…

    To the invariable amusement of other people.

  • Good to know that IGNORING ALL OF THE CLAIMS OF JESUS BEING THE SAVIOUR IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH NATURAL LAW, AND HAT ORSHIPPING OTHER GODS, FALSE GODS, ISNT SACRILEGE.

    Just the other day, you stated categorically that religious liberals hate religion. as someone who has repeatedly damned other people for not believing the same version of Christianity that you do, not to mention damning anyone who isn’t a Christian, you are hardly one to critique what is or what is not sincere religious belief.

    Back to ignoring you, dearie. Give me another 20 posts or so, and maybe I will read one.

  • I’ll provide my own hypothetical to help you see my point. Let’s say I was one of those teetotaling Baptists who believes that drinking is sinful, and I run a catering company. I’m asked to cater a birthday party. I’m also asked to cater beer chugging competition. I think I could make a legit case for catering the former, even if I knew beer was going to be consumed there, and forgoing the latter. In my hypothetical moral system, there’s nothing inherently wrong with a birthday party, so my association with it is not morally problematic. But my association with a beer chugging competition, an event specifically organized for the purpose of celebrating something I see as sinful, would be morally problematic. Yes, it’s a fine line, but there is a difference.

    I’ve heard people say those things about marriage as well (holy, established by God, etc.) But “sacrament” in Christian theology has a specific meaning.

    (Please keep in mind the views I defend are not necessarily my own.)

  • When Jesus was asked a question on some matter of doctrine or morality He almost invariably referred His interlocutor back to scripture. There is no reason to think He wouldn’t do the same today, so it remains the best recourse for His witnesses as well.

    Be as amused as you like. No one really expects you to get it.

  • Constitutional Religious Freedom is normal too.

    Government can’t force you to participate (even tacitly) in Christian events that are totally & clearly
    opposed to your religion of atheism.

    Likewise, gov’t can’t force Christians to participate (even tacitly) in the “Atheist Church” events in Kansas City. (I did tell you that atheism is a religion.) Religious Freedom is non-negotiable.

    And that goes for Ben”s religion too. (The Gay Religion!)

  • The point is, as is obvious from the context of the discussion,, that there is no way for a Bible-believing Christian to look at a same sex marriage as something legitimate.

    I heard all the “compassion and empathy” stuff years ago when I was looking for a divorce/remarriage loophole. All it really boils down to is setting aside God’s word because “I wanna.” Or you wanna, or he/she wanna, etc., all the same.

  • Thanks for additional info on the non-Catholic/Protestant views. Which Protestants consider marriage to be a Sacrament?

  • Re: “The cake would have been used to help celebrate the wedding, which is what the baker objected to.” 

    It’s not the baker’s wedding. It’s not up to the baker to object to it. Bakers do not have the authority to decide who can and can’t be married. For them to assume this authority is arrogance of the highest order, and is absurd, in addition to being childish. 

    Re: “I never said cakes are part of “wedding ceremonies” so I’m not sure why you are calling me a liar.” 

    You did, in fact, assert that they are part of the ceremony, hence the baker’s presumed right to intervene based on his subjective disapproval of the marriage. 

    Why are you so concerned with who other people marry? What makes it any of your business? Or that of any baker? 

  • Why should the yahoos on the CCRC grasp the difference between person and event anymore than the majority of the posters here do? Don’t be so gullible. Commissioners mess up too, all the time.

  • They didn’t. They got it right. They were pilloried over a dismissive attitude towards Phillip’s religious belief claims.

    You really didn’t read that decision very closely (or at all from the looks of it).

  • Oh, I got it a long time ago. That’s why I’m not a Christian

    “There is no reason…… some thing else you just pulled out of nowhere. Again.

  • No, the “general public” represents the pool of individuals a business is able to transact with. Each transaction itself is an individual occurrence.
    Stores aren’t open to a mythic “general public,” they’re just open for transactions. No harm occurs by declining any one transaction; where harm does occur is the violation of the freedom of association of the business owner by the state in forcing transactions upon them.
    Stop trying to enforce your view of morality through the force of the law.

  • So your association with an event that you KNOW will be worshipping devils and false god’s— nothing so minor as alcohol— it’s ok. There is something inherently wrong with worshipping demons and false god’s that deny jesus saved anybody from anything. But apparently, any straw will be grasped in a storm.

    Some people believe marriage is a sacrament. I would put it to you that gay people, their ministers, churches, and entire denominations thAt believe marriage is a sacrament believe that it is a sacrament that is applied to their gay parishioners as well.

    The fine line is the line of prefer to draw so that gay people are excluded. As I said, this seems to be the ONLY place where such a line is drawn. Newt has had three marriages, the first two ending in adultery, fornication, and divorce. And yet, he got married IN THE CHURCH.

    A fine line, indeed. And an obvious line.

  • The following is not ‘Justice Anthony McLeod Kennedy’s zany personal ideas…fabricated…out of thin air.’

    No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy
    June 26, 2015

  • No, the Constitution did not grant them that right.

    In fact, the Constitution gave the Federal government absolutely no regulatory role over marriage.

    Not being lonely is not a civil right.

    Forming strange geometric patterns in pairs while naked is not a civil right.

    It was not up to Justice Anthony Macleod Kennedy to opine on whether “marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death”, which was somewhat outside his duties as a Supreme Court Justice, although it might work as greeting card sentiment.

    No, what you’ve demonstrated is that the last Justice Scalia was right when he said that Kennedy based a decision on “the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie”.

  • You will be – and no one has any doubt – completely unable to support the claim that:

    “Just the other day, you stated categorically that religious liberals hate religion.”

    Facts really are not your shtick, nor is logic.

    Whether it, or is not, sacrilege is for the believer to decide, not some whack with an agenda.

    You’re the best thing that ever happened to people in these discussions who oppose your positions.

  • I saw that decision coming from a mile away. The foreshadowing of it was plain to see in Obergefell itself.

    The case could very easily have been decided on the merits regardless of the CCRC’s faux pas. But Kennedy, a stickler for 1st Amendment freedoms despite his more imaginative readings of the rest of the Constitution, was NEVER going to hand the alphabet club another hammer to beat ordinary business people over head with. Which is why he ducked out st exactly the right time, with a hearty scolding for the God-haters like you yet with his status as the patron saint of gay intact, leaving it for a more conservative SCOTUS to firm up threatened 1st Amendment freedoms in the near future.

    It is because you don’t read ANY opinions (other than those found on liberal echo chambers) that you thought the baker’s case was “going down in flames” and got bitterly disappointed. Your vulgarity meter has run off the charts ever since, you poor thing.

  • Anglo-Catholics (almost gone in the USA but still a force worldwide in the Anglican Communion), Hussites, and the Community of Christ (which actually recognizes eight sacraments) for certain.

    There may be others that I have not run across.

  • Your entire argument is making the same dishonest declarations over and over again without bothering to support them in any way other than “this is what I declare”. A feeble attempt to reframe actions by calling them something else.

    Sorry, not buying it for a moment.

    Your entire point is the whining, “Why can’t I treat people like crap without consequences”. Sorry that is not liberty or justice. That is just sociopathic nattering. Expecting the world to revolve around your desires and hates. That is just childish.

    “Stop trying to enforce your view of morality through the force of the law.”

    Get bent loser.

    You demonstrate why Libertarian appeals are so goddamn stupid! They have nothing to do with liberties or rights. It is simply expecting the benefits of society with none of the responsibility required to earn it. You are demanding a right to harm others, to demean them in public to treat them as less than human, to cut off open commerce on the basis of arbitrary whims and malice and you want government protection to do it. You feel oppressed that people won’t give you such an exalted privilege. You poor baby. Maybe try growing up first.

  • No I didn’t.

    The gospels tell us that Jesus, both before His resurrection and after, instructed His followers to teach others all that He had taught them.

    And one of the things He taught them by example was to answer questions on doctrine with “It is written…”

    If you had actually searched the gospels, you would know exactly how central that was to His ministry.

  • Diatribe, noun:

    A forceful and bitter verbal attack against someone or something.

    Origin:

    Late 16th century (denoting a disquisition): from French, via Latin from Greek diatribē ‘spending of time, discourse’, from dia ‘through’ + tribein ‘rub’. Related to “spuddie”, a familiar form of “sputter”, late 16th century (as a verb): from Dutch sputteren, of imitative origin.

  • They got nothing right.

    They made it clear that having religious beliefs and acting them was, in their opinion, a prima facie violation of Colorado law.

  • You still didn’t read the decision and your post shows it. Nothing you said was even remotely on point with how it came out. You are just venting in an unhinged Floydlee type declaration of your personal bigotry and desires to harm others for its own sake.

  • Lol! Well, one of us anticipated the decision and one didn’t. I think that indicates that the one who doesn’t read decisions is … the one who quotes them incorrectly with key language omitted in ellipsis — for brevity, no doubt. ?

  • Do you know why he got married in the Church?

    If you don’t, you really ought to stop babbling.

    Btw, gay people, their ministers, churches, and entire denominations that believe marriage is a sacrament are completely entitled to do custom wedding cakes for same sex marriages.

    People who don’t share that believe are free not to.

  • That heaping dose of fertilizer was just what the lawn needed.

    Out of all the religious beliefs out there you chose the one which enables you to be a malicious and dishonest person. That was one which appeals to you and feeds your ego. God didn’t make you a miserable hateful person. Religion just gave you excuses to be one.

  • Yup – you told me – many times. You’re still wrong.

    Are you ever going to get round to giving me any of these proofs of God etc. that you regularly brag about – and then welsh on?

  • Still not buying it. Your unhinged response before is proof enough you wanted more out of it. Of course if you were honest, logical and consistent you would be calling it legislation from the bench. But you aren’t.

    Since I am not beholden to such fictions I chalk it up to Kennedy’s overdeferrence to companies over individuals.

  • One doesn’t follow Christ because it’s “appealing.” One follows Him because it’s compelling.

    “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:67-68

  • Liberty is being free to do as you will with yourself and your possessions without infringing upon another’s ability to do the same. Justice consists of limiting the law to preservation of liberty. Public accommodation laws, by design, violate the liberty of the business owners, and are therefore unjust.
    Your argument consists of a false dichotomy; the assumption that, because something is allowed by law it is therefore permitted to endure without consequence. This is simply untrue. Any business operating in a just society which chose to discriminate would face no legal consequences, but social pressure, public stigma, and declining sales would each be very much a factor.
    It all boils down to the fact that if you don’t like discrimination, there are plenty of just options available to you. You can choose not to discriminate yourself, you can publicize and call out those who do, you can try to persuade, cajole, and reason with business owners to work within the community to bring about civility and decency. If at the end of the day you can’t convince people to voluntarily transact with someone, it still remains unjust to force them to do so.

  • So I’m unhinged for having clearly foreseen the outcome based on what had gone before? Uh, ok.

    How is it “legislation from the bench” to leave in place the priority of 1st Amendment rights over rights mentioned nowhere in the Constitution?

    You chalk it up to anything your pretty little head desires. Maybe you’ll be just as blindsided next time.

  • 1 – what you call “Bible-believing Christian” is someone who is covered by my “a certain subset of those with irrational beliefs regarding god(s)”. Therefore no disagreement.

    2 – God’s word – yeah right. Look – there is no way you can demonstrate the existence of god(s) – and therefore no way you can demonstrate that any one of the world’s multiple scriptures is “God’s word”. Just because you have chosen to believe in a particular version of a particular deity doesn’t mean it exists outside your imagination – unless you can prove otherwise. And if you can’t demonstrate that your god is real then the odds of your chosen scripture being “God’s word” are so long as to make winning the lottery seem positively likely.

    People don’t take a stance on social matters because of “God’s word” – they take it because they have a unique blend of nature and nurture – and sometimes that blend is weak, easily lead, fearful of fictional futures and happy to hide behind the skirts of religious bigotry.

  • Except it totally didn’t. Nor was it the outcome you expected. The great thing about revisionism is that when the past is inconvenient you just change it. 🙂

  • The ability to harm others with impunity is not liberty. It is special privilege at the expense of others.

    Your desire to act like a dbag to others doesn’t come with a “get out of consequence free” card. It’s an interest not worth protecting.

    Didn’t read the rest of your rant past the second paragraph. I have no respect for your position nor need to. Ita nothing more than dishonest spouting off for demanding not to be responsible for ones actions.

    Businesses are an agreement between a vendor and the community which permits its existence. You open a store for anyone to walk in or sell online to anyone with a credit card, you accept as a condition, you must serve all reasonable customers in a civil manner. If you can’t do that, nobody has to care. You face the penalties for breaking that agreement.

    Nobody can give a defense of discrimination without looking like an immoral sociopath. It is a desire to unilaterally harm others without penalty and nothing more.

    Your notion of liberty is self serving garbage. It’s nothing more than demanding special privilege. Nobody needs to care.

  • It did for the time being — pending the shift of the SCOTUS to the right, which was Kennedy’s intention all along. And you still haven’t explained what makes it “judicial legislation” — because you don’t know what that is.

    And I expected that outcome not only after Obergefell, for sure, but BEFORE it — gay marriage for those who believe in it, the right to not participate for those who don’t. And was told by one of the most ignorant posters here (wonder who that was?) that my “ignorance was duly noted.”

    LOL! You make it so fun and easy to make you dance, Tater.

  • You can tell yourself that, but it is obvious you get off on acting like God’s sole voice as an excuse to be a terrible person. I have no reason to take your sob story seriously.

  • “Liberty is being free to do as you will with yourself and your possessions without infringing upon another’s ability to do the same. ”

    Discrimination infringes on the ability of a buyer to purchase goods and services available to everyone else. Therefore it is not liberty.

    You lose.

  • A minor correction . . .

    “One doesn’t follow Christ because it’s “appealing.” One follows Him because it’s compelling they are gullible.”

  • So this is what it looks like when freedom starts to die.

    “First they came for the gays, and I didn’t protest, because I was not gay.”
    “Then they came for the leftists, and I did not protest, because I was not a leftist.”
    “Then they came for the moderates, and I did not protest because I was not a moderate.”
    “Then they came for the people who thought they were preaching freedom, and then I protested, and they came for me too. And there was no one to protest for me.”

  • Funny you should think that. I don’t follow you, Tater. You follow me, and write reams of spew to show how “seriously” you don’t take me.

    Whom you take seriously is obvious to everyone except you.

  • How do people with religious belief become second-class citizens by baking cakes for people? That’s their business. That’s why they got into business. If they wanted to preach the Gospel as they see it, they should have founded a church and stayed out of the business world.

  • Not according to TVOR and his fellow Libertarians. They’re determined to undo the Civil Rights Act and restore segregation to America.

  • You can’t fill a prescription over the internet. You can’t buy gas for your car over the internet. Libertarians are racists – they want to go back to the days when businesses put up “Whites Only” signs.

  • No “right” or “freedom” has ever been absolute in America. There are restrictions on all of our liberties and freedoms, including religion, speech, and so forth. You can’t do child sacrifice even if your religion believes in it. You can’t shout “fire” in a theater. You don’t have the right to own certain weapons. You have to be 21 to drink alcohol. You can’t store nuclear waste in your house. You can’t produce child porn. This idea that religion or speech or property rights or the right to be a arms is unfettered and doesn’t have limits is pure hogwash.

    This nation decided a long time ago that non-discrimination in the marketplace trumps one’s religious rights or freedoms. Now comes Evangelicals demanding an exemption from our non-discrimination laws because they hate gay people with an undying passion. They loath their very existence and want to be able to throw them out of their businesses and say “We don’t serve or sell to your kind”. If we start granting exceptions to our long-standing non-discrimination laws to one group (Evangelicals) we are opening a “Pandora’s box”. What about racists? Why shouldn’t their sincerely held beliefs be accommodated?

    Nay, I say! Let us hold fast to our laws on non-discrimination and not give in to the bigots and haters, even under the cloak of their “sincerely held religious beliefs”. Let us not turn the clock backward in America, for it violates the promise of America that ALL should be treated equally.

  • When evangelicals claim that gay marriage will destroy the United States, they are determined to make it so.

    After all, they created this Task Force.

  • No, were that the case given the endorsement of the Episcopal Church, among others, I’d be standing in line with Justice Kennedy.

    In the United States the government role in marriage is:

    – the Federal government has (according to the actual written Constitution) no role in it.

    – the regulation of marriage belongs to the states or the people (10th Amendment).

    The sole purpose of marriage, which we inherited from our Anglo roots which in turn inherited it from the Romans, is the natural law which places the family as the building block on which a society is formed.

    That defines the government role in marriage – protecting society by protecting the family.

    Same sex “marriage” has no antecedents in that legal tradition; to the contrary.

    Anything else?

  • You only want to further the desire of calvinists (aka evangelicals) to take over the US and impose a theocracy on those of us who support democracy and the actual teachings of Christ.

  • And, I would add that their “sincerely held religious beliefs” are nothing but a big stinking pile of Sincerely Held Imaginary Truth.

  • In my hypothetical I noted the difference in the events (the purpose of the birthday party vs. the purpose of the beer contest) in regards to my association with them. The purpose of a Hindu wedding is not to worship false Gods, but to wed two people just like the purpose of a birthday party is not to drink beer, but to celebrate a person’s birth. On the other hand, the purpose of a same-sex wedding celebration is to celebrate the marriage of two men or women.

    I think a line can be drawn between the purpose of an event and the occurrence of something at an event.

  • “The purpose of a Hindu wedding is not to worship false Gods…”
    You’re right. It is to worship the True gods. Ad if you are particpating in my wedding, you are participating in that as well. Remember, as so many Christians aver, marriage is god-ordained institution. Or in this case, a GODS ordained institution.
    But you’re wrong as well, because that is the purpose of any church wedding ceremony. Worship AND Unity. Prayers to god for the well being of the couple, that children may come, etc etc etc etc. Because the priest is there and he/she is indeed conducting a religious service.
    But s I said, you will indeed draw your lines very carefully to include or exclude as your religio-political agenda dictates.

  • The day an event can Elle up to a bar and order a drink is the day that an event can go into a bakery and sign a contract to order a cake is the day that this is simply grasping at straws.

  • I dislike religious fundamentalists because they are trying to make the USA a theocracy. I am friends with Christians, Jewish people, those of every religion. They are not trying to shove religion down everyone’s throat and convert US law and policy to reflect Catholic or Evangelical beliefs. I’m part of Catholics for Choice. Your hit list Bobby-brains is pretty pathetic. American’s United is not anti-religious. Just leave us the EFF alone. Leave LGBTQ, women considering a legal procedure called abortion, and non-theists alone. You paint everyone with the same brush. How stupid of you.

  • Actually it’s 81% and they are still with the Dumpster Fire. They know this is their last chance to take over the country as a theocracy. Young people are leaving religion in droves. Most of these people are fed up with fundamentalists propaganda and tactics. The religious right, as represented by Bobby-Brain will die out.

  • heck. My husband is an older white male and he’s gotten more open minded.
    You might go on Barna.com or Pew research and look at their decades of polling,
    much of it borne out by later voting trends.
    Bobbie-BooBoo are you anti-science, too???

  • Soon you will die and already you are a dinosaur with your hidebound beliefs. Your numbers of braindead Christians is fewer and fewer. Bye-bye.

  • Hi pennyroyal – There are many Catholics on the political left who would like U.S. law and policy to reflect Catholic teaching on issues such as a strong social safety net for the poor and elderly, compassion for immigrants, adequate health care for the sick, the death penalty, etc. Perhaps you are one of them. I share some of these views. Yet you describe those who want U.S. law and policy to reflect Catholic teaching on abortion as wanting a theocracy and trying to “shove religion down everyone’s throat.” Do you differentiate the former from the latter, or are they all theocrats?

  • Thank you. If it’s about who is going to “sign a contract to order a cake”, then there is no discrimination if the store policy is to not service festivities that celebrate same sex marriage. Gays are not the only people who “sign a contract to order a cake” for festivities that celebrate same sex marriage. It’s a diverse group – gay and straight alike. It’s not a protected class.

  • This is helpful to know, thanks. As I said, I know next to nothing about civil cases/tort law.

  • I am correct. The Christians who are bringing legal cases are in jurisdictions where discrimination against gay people is against the law. But there are other jurisdictions where it is not against the law. Whether or not one can discrimination depends on where one lives. It is factually untrue to say that “You don’t get to choose which classes of people buy your product if you are open to the public.”

  • Not that you had even the slightest bit of a point…

    Sexual orientation non discrimination laws also protect heterosexuals.

  • You’re right that it’s not the baker’s wedding and he can’t stop it from taking place. The baker is not trying to gain this authority. He’s merely asking to not be forced to bake a cake for the celebration.

    Where did I say that cakes are used in a wedding ceremony? Please go back and read what I wrote and then provide a quote where I said what you say I said.

    Beyond wanting healthy, stable marriages to take place in my community, I don’t really care all that much who marries whom, particularly when I don’t know them or they don’t live near me.

  • what are your qualifications as a constitutional Scholar?
    Anton Scalia spent 30 years assailing separation of church and state. Article by Simon Brown in “Church and State” April 2016. The man was pathetically try to write his beliefs into law. There is NO such thing as original intent, as you well know.

  • ‘by their fruits ye shall know them’. The religious right distinguishes itself for its read of Catholic teachings. I make common cause with those Catholics who would never seek to impose the Catholic hierarchy’s political positions onto individuals, Catholics or not. As you may know, 98% of Catholics of childbearing age use birth control. And they have abortions on a par with other groups. 96% are in favor of abortion even if they would ever have one themselves. As Italians women said when voting to allow abortions, “for the other”. Their hearts and minds were big enough not to impose their views onto others. Many public Catholics do the same.

  • Re: “The baker is not trying to gain this authority.” 

    Of course he is! He’s asserting he’s personally involved in something that, in reality, doesn’t involve him at all. He won’t even be present for the wedding or the reception. 

    Re: “He’s merely asking to not be forced to bake a cake for the celebration.” 

    There’s no reason for him to make that assertion unless he presumes to have authority over the marrying couple. 

    Re: “Where did I say that cakes are used in a wedding ceremony?” 

    You said they celebrated the wedding, which you construed includes them in the ceremony itself. 

    Re: “Beyond wanting healthy, stable marriages to take place in my community …” 

    It’s not up to you to decide who should or shouldn’t marry. Also, you’re assuming hetero marriages are more likely to be healthy and stable than gay marriages, which as far as I know is not yet in evidence. 

    Re: “… I don’t really care all that much who marries whom …” 

    Well, actually you must care about that, if you’re going to assert gays shouldn’t marry. 

    Re: “… particularly when I don’t know them or they don’t live near me.” 

    So you’re only concerned with proximity? You’d object if a gay married couple moved in (say) next door to you, but wouldn’t care if they moved in across town? Is that it? If so, why would that be the case? And on what rational grounds could you object to a gay married couple moving in next door when you wouldn’t if they moved in elsewhere? 

  • Thanks. But don’t Catholics who, for example, support higher taxes to pay for health care coverage for the poor, impose their political positions onto others who might not want to pay higher taxes to pay for health care coverage for the poor? Or take the death penalty, there are many parts of the country where the majority of the people support the death penalty, yet Catholics are still trying to outlaw it. How is trying to outlaw abortion “theocracy” but trying to outlaw the death penalty not “theocracy?” Aren’t most if not all Catholics (and other people of faith…I don’t meaning to pick on Catholics here) trying to structure U.S. law so it better reflects their religion’s beliefs about just public policy?

  • The law forbids denial of service BECAUSE the customer is homosexual or BECAUSE the customer is heterosexual. If the denial of service is because of some reason other than sexual orientation, race etc, then there is no violation of the law. Your theory that denial of service to a heterosexual is ipso facto discrimination against heterosexuals is as ridiculous as saying that denial of service to a homosexual is ipso facto discrimination against homosexuals. It all depends on the reason for the denial of service. Your theory has absolutely no basis in the actual law. If it did, then no customer could ever be denied service for any reason.

  • No, the baker is not trying to gain the authority to say “who can and can’t be married.” The baker does not presume to have authority over the married couple. He presumes to only have authority over his own actions, which include whether to bake a cake for the wedding. He just don’t want to be involved.

    You’re correct that I said cakes are used to help celebrate the wedding, which is true. I never said they were included in the ceremony itself. You’re just making that up or assuming that that is what I meant.

    As for your other comments, you’re making far too many assumptions about me. I never asserted that heterosexual marriages are more healthy or stable than gay marriages. You’re correct that we don’t have much data on that at this point. And I never asserted that I object to gay people living nearby. Do you not want healthy and stable marriages in your community? Wanting such a thing does not mean I want veto power on who should get married.

    As for proximity, I do care more about the people who live nearby than people who live far away. Don’t you? What people do hundreds of miles away doesn’t really concern me. What people do down the street does. This philosophy extends beyond gay and straight people, to all people.

  • That’s a decent point. Presumably, if a straight friend of a gay couple went into one of these bakeries and said he wanted to contract a cake for her gay friends’ wedding the baker would decline to provide the service. This would mean it’s the event that’s problematic, not the paying customer.

  • It’s really very simple. Give people choices and do the right thing by them. Religious people have ethical foundations which come from earlier in history, back to the Ancient Greeks and the Confucians. This is centuries before Judaism let alone Christianity and Islam.

    Do the right thing, stop people like you who wha-wha constantly about their taxes, from dominating the discourse and pass reasonable laws. Look at the ‘socialist’ countries like Denmark. People are happy that they have healthcare paid for. No one retires and has to fear that they’ll starve in the dark and not have treatments for the cancer they might get. US healthcare is cruel. People die from lack of treatment.

    Ethics relies on treating others as we want to be treated. The added rule is that we watch out for others, lest they slip through the safety net. Right now, the safety net has gone AWOL under Trump. The Good Samaritan is a good example. He bound up the man set upon by thieves, brought him to an inn, and gave money to the innkeeper to care for the man. He even said, if his care is more, I will pay it when I return. Christian fascists and Tea Potty types would have us leave the beaten and dying man to die in the street. Where do you place yourself in this equation?????

  • Re: “He just don’t want to be involved.” 

    But he’s not involved in their wedding! What part of this do you not comprehend? 

    Re: “You’re correct that I said cakes are used to help celebrate the wedding, which is true. I never said they were included in the ceremony itself. You’re just making that up or assuming that that is what I meant.” 

    Bzzzzt! Wrong. What you said is that baking a cake for a wedding reception necessarily involves the baker in the wedding itself. You just repeated that, above, in this, your latest response to me! How dare you claim never to have said such a thing? You just repeated the same assertion! 

    Re: “I never asserted that heterosexual marriages are more healthy or stable than gay marriages.” 

    Then why would gay marriages matter to you at all? 

    Re: “And I never asserted that I object to gay people living nearby.” 

    Bzzzzt! Wrong. What you said was, “I don’t really care all that much who marries whom, particularly when I don’t know them or they don’t live near me.” This necessarily means that if gays DID live near you, you MIGHT care that they got married. 

    Re: “As for proximity, I do care more about the people who live nearby than people who live far away.” 

    Bzzzzt! Infraction! This was a neat trick. After implying proximity could matter (in your last response to me), you said it didn’t, above … but now, you concede you DO care about those living near you. Can you make up your mind already? 

    Re: “This philosophy extends beyond gay and straight people, to all people.” 

    Well, bully for you! I do, in fact, care about what my neighbors do … when it can affect me. If they dump toxic waste on their property and it could intrude on my own, I definitely care about that. If they host a rock concert at full volume for thousands of people at 3 am in the morning, I also would care about that. 

    But … if they’re gays and get married? What the hell difference does that make, to me? How does that become my business? I have no say in that — and shouldn’t. 

  • Not in the least. Again, the actions of these bigoted Christians clearly undermine your contentions here. If it were true they would not be demanding a right to discriminate at all. They would already have one.

    “The Christians who are bringing legal cases are in jurisdictions where discrimination against gay people is against the law”

    No actual examples? Oh well.

    What would they be suing for?

    By all means provide examples of actual cases where that is happening as you claim.

  • I always like to hear what’s going on in the minds of the folks whose grasp and connection of and with reality is tenuous.

    Thanks for the update.

  • The Church of Rome used “natural law” to justify human slavery for nearly two thousand years. BEWARE.

  • PHOTO CAPTION: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that he could refuse to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because his religious beliefs did not violate Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.

    This caption is inaccurate: The SCOTUS did not rule on the substance at issue, i.e., whether the cake baker is constitutionally free to refuse to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. “The Supreme Court ruled today in favor of Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex couple because he believed that doing so would violate his religious beliefs. This was one of the most anticipated decisions of the term, and it was relatively narrow: Although Phillips prevailed today, the opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy rested largely on the majority’s conclusion that the Colorado administrative agency that ruled against Phillips treated him unfairly by being too hostile to his sincere religious beliefs. The opinion seemed to leave open the possibility that, in a future case, a service provider’s sincere religious beliefs might have to yield to the state’s interest in protecting the rights of same-sex couples, and the majority did not rule at all on one of the central arguments in the case – whether compelling Phillips to bake a cake for a same-sex couple would violate his right to freedom of speech” (http://www.scotusblog.com/2018/06/opinion-analysis-court-rules-narrowly-for-baker-in-same-sex-wedding-cake-case/).

  • Yet more irony from Bob Jose Arnzen Carioca there. Bob-Jose, reality eludes you again, as usual.

  • No, Bob Jose Arnzen Carioca. Vladonald has you pegged quite precisely. You are all whackjob, all the time.

  • Jack Phillips, the case we’ve all been discussing here, is the perfect example. The Barronelle Stutzman case in Washington is another example. These are people who own businesses in states where it’s against the law to discriminate against gays and lesbians. They have brought suits against their respective states arguing that their religious freedom is being violated by having to provide services to gay weddings.

    However, other states and jurisdictions don’t have laws making it illegal to discriminate against gays and lesbians in public accommodations. Therefore, in those states, it is legal to discriminate.

    Thus, it is inaccurate to say that “You don’t get to choose which classes of people buy your product if you are open to the public.” If you’re open to the public in some states, you can decide who to provide services to. In other states, you can’t discriminate.

  • He’s being asked to become involved in the wedding celebration, in his opinion, when he’s asked to bake a cake. He doesn’t want to bake the cake. He wants to be in control of his own actions, not demanding to have a say over who can and cannot be married.

    You originally said that I said the cake was used in the wedding ceremony, which I never said. And then you called me a liar for supposedly saying something I never said. “Just admit that reality, and we can move on, because we can dispense with your lie that cakes are part of wedding ceremonies.”

    I’ve used the term “wedding” and “wedding celebration” interchangeably. So what? You know what I mean, and it’s incidental to the point I’m making – that in the mind of the baker, it doesn’t matter where the cake is sliced (wedding ceremony, wedding reception, some other event to celebrate the wedding), what matters is he’s being required by the law to bake a cake to help celebrate a same-sex marriage.

    Saying that I don’t care all that much about who marries whom, particularly when they don’t live nearby or I don’t know them, does not mean I don’t want to live near gay couples. You’re inferring that. What I mean is I care more about who marries whom, regardless of the sexual orientation of the couple, the closer they are in proximity or relationship to me. If someone I knew or lived near someone was planning to marry someone who I didn’t think would make a good spouse I’d speak up. If you wouldn’t, that’s your business.

    I never said proximity didn’t matter. I’ve consistently asserted all along that the closer (in relationship or geographical proximity) someone is to me, the more it matters.

  • Re: “He’s being asked to become involved in the wedding celebration, in his opinion …” 

    Who really care what “his opinion” is? In truth, neither the baker nor his cake are part of the wedding itself. His opinion about it is irrelevant and of no account. 

    Re: “You originally said that I said the cake was used in the wedding ceremony, which I never said.” 

    You DID say that — and you just confirmed it, above, by citing the baker’s “opinion” on the matter. Just take responsibility for what you say already. 

    Re: “I’ve used the term ‘wedding’ and ‘wedding celebration’ interchangeably. So what?” 

    First, thank you for explaining why you think the cake is part of the wedding — because you openly admit you’ve construed “wedding” and “wedding celebration” as the same thing. Second, the distinction matters, because facts are important. I dunno, maybe I’m funny that way. Maybe in the Groper-in-Chief’s America, facts no longer matter … but neither he nor you nor anyone else will ever convince me they don’t. 

    Re: “Saying that I don’t care all that much about who marries whom, particularly when they don’t live nearby or I don’t know them, does not mean I don’t want to live near gay couples. You’re inferring that.” 

    I’m only going by the words you used. If you’d meant to say something different, then you need to have used different words to express it. 

  • Completely wrong.

    Philips did not win his case on the merits of his claims. Stutzman was a defendant trying to appeal a fine and civil judgment. Neither of them brought their suits in the first place. In both states there were civil penalties/fines for their discrimination under the law.

    You really dont have a grasp of the basic facts here. The premise which flows from that incorrect factual basis is by its nature wrong as well.

    I will be nice and chalk this up to ignorance.

  • Whether or not they succeeded or the nature of their legal proceeding is irrelevant to the point that in the states in which Phillips and Stutzman reside it is a violation of the state’s rules to discriminate against gay people – that’s why they were either fined or disciplined in some way by the government. Why you asked for examples of this I have no clue as it doesn’t buttress your point that no business owner anywhere can refuse to serve gay people. We both agree that there are some states where you can’t discriminate.

    My original and main point that you’ve now apparently given up contesting while getting bogged down in the irrelevant minutia of the Phillips and Stutzman cases, is that it’s factually untrue that “You don’t get to choose which classes of people buy your product if you are open to the public.” If you’re open to the public in some states, like Colorado and Washington, you cannot discriminate. However, in other states there are different rules and you can.

  • Thanks for your response. I’m not sure I’m getting a clear line being drawn in your comment between theocrats and non-theocrats.

    Sticking with the example of health care, there are clearly people in the U.S. who think some sort of universal health care is good public policy and clearly some do not. Some of the people who advocate for universal health care do so from religious conviction because they think providing health care for people is what God wants in a just society (to sum it up). They want to impose this regime on those who do not think it’s good public policy by forcing them to pay for it and, presumably, participate in the government-run public insurance pool (the amount of coercion may differ depending on the regime, but there is always some coercion going on). Why is this (or banning the death penalty or having a lax immigration system) not “theocracy” while banning abortion is evidence of a desire for “theocracy?”

    You seem to arguing that the propriety or effectiveness of the public policy is what divides theocracy from non-theocracy. But that can’t be right, is it?

  • Stan,
    Calvinist is not another word for evangelical. While there are evangelicals who are calvinists the two things, theologically speaking, are not the same.

    You seem to be saying that the political tactics of evangelicals differ in kind from the tactics of other people of faith to get their preferred public policies enacted into law by contrasting “theocracy” with “democracy.” In what ways do the tactics differ?

  • You are doubling down on an obvious misstatement of facts which underpinned your entire premise. Meaning it was not merely a mistake on your part, but a deliberate misstatement.

    Phillips and Stutzman were not the plaintiffs in those cases. They were people who violated state anti-discrimination laws and were sued/fined over it. They sought excuses to existing laws which forbade their discrimination. Your claims are utterly false and clearly dishonest.

    Your entire premise is false.

    If the various state laws didn’t already have a public accommodations laws which forbade the Christian bigots actions, they would already be protected in their acts. Since they are seeking special dispensation, obviously it is not the case. The actions sought by the Christian bigots here speaks for itself and undermined your argument.

  • Some religious positions coincide with secular values. Its an important part of democracy to express your ideas for society. In a theocracy values and laws are determined by religion. In a democracy citizens should argue from reason and conscious not try to push their religious values on others. Things like the death penalty, respect for LGBTQ, requirements for marriage, and abortion can be discussed from rational viewpoints without bringing in your religious viewpoint.

  • The propriety of effectiveness of the public policy is all that should be considered in a democracy. Religious values are considered only in a theocracy. A democracy should guarantee freedom of conscious so that all can believe as they will.
    Belief does not authorize them to act on that believe in society, unless such action causes no harm to others.

  • today a judge in a hearing brought by the ACLU to discuss a child who had been returned to his mother heard that mother and child had been spirited out of the country. The case was on hold until midnight tonight and the mother and child were supposed to be in the US while this case of seeking refuge was resolved. Meanwhile the government disregarded the judge’s order. The judge was so angry at this miscarriage of justice and ordered the plane to be turned around. Now we see how vile the government is and how they are disregarding the law.

    Go read the Good Samaritan. And do thou, likewise.

  • Yeah but for 95% of them the mistaken notion there is a War on Christmas and such was a low priority.

  • Yes Bob, something(s) else.

    You say that only States have the role of regulating marriage. The Supreme Court overruled that notion with Loving v. Virginia. Or do you think that mixed race couples shouldn’t be allowed to marry?

    You claim that marriage’s purpose was to recognize family as the building block. Do some addition research, Bob, as marriage was really a way to protect the wealth of the rich. The powers that be didn’t give a rat’s ass about whether the peasants went off and had kids out of wedlock—why would they? Maybe the church claimed to care, but did it really? What did it matter—again, unless it was a way to help the wealthy who were the patrons of the church.

    Lastly, there are more reasons to give protected status to married couples than there ever was back in the days that you claim the tradition came from—legal, financial, governmental—all of which apply to same-sex couples and THEIR FAMILIES. Yes, Bob. Same-sex couples have families. They have kids. Kids that you would prefer continue to have second class status. Just like those mixed race kids, Bob? Second class? Is that what you think of them?

    You keep living in the Roman era while the rest of us move on. We won’t miss you.

  • Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967) did not deal with regulating marriage.

    What it dealt with was Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which it ruled violated the Fourteenth Amendment.

    The Supreme Court did not attempt to redefine marriage, to usurp the states’ authority to regulate marriage, none of it.

    As to “… marriage was really a way to protect the wealth of the rich”, simply no.

    Basically you argue that the time was right for a change, and the place for that changes was NOT the legislatures, NOT the people, NOT the states through a constitutional amendment, but the Supreme Court by edict.

    Judges should strive to apply the law as it is written, focusing backward, not forward, and looking to text, structure, and history to decide what a reasonable reader at the time of the events in question would have understood the law to be – not to decide cases based on their own moral convictions or the policy consequences they believe might serve society best.

    One of our seated justices in a 2005 article argued that “American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda” and that they are “failing to reach out and persuade the public”. Gorsuch wrote that, in doing so, American liberals are circumventing the democratic process on issues like gay marriage, school vouchers, and assisted suicide, and this has led to a compromised judiciary, which is no longer independent. Gorsuch wrote that American liberals’ “overweening addiction” to using the courts for social debate is “bad for the nation and bad for the judiciary”.

    I agree, and present your arguments as Exhibit A in support.

  • Republicans are always whining about liberals relying on the courts. They rarely whine when the court goes their way. The judiciary is an equal branch of government that is designed to put a check on the legislative and executive branches.

    A majority of judges looked at the case before them and decided that the time was right to provide marriage rights for same-sex couples. This has not harmed you in any way, nor is there any indication that there is any harm to society, only good.

    Your arguments do not make up for your apparent hatred and bigotry against equal and human rights for LGBTQ individuals. Why are you so set against rights for others? What is it about your basic make-up as a human being that leaves you so incapable of empathy and compassion?

  • Conservatives who belief the Constitution says what is written down point out that liberals rely on legislating by judiciary.

    I don’t believe people who adhere to that fundamental belief, that we have written Constitution to avoid what England had, belong to one party exclusively.

    The judiciary is one of three branches of government that has a very specific purpose.

    “A majority of judges looked at the case before them and decided that the time was right to provide marriage rights for same-sex couples.”

    That describes a legislative process. That is NOT what the courts exist to accomplish.

    In your three branches of government, that role lies wholly and specifically with the Congress.

    And, since legislating marriage is a power of the states or the people, Congress lacked the authority to mandate same sex marriage.

    However, you really care not a whit about of any of this.

    What you care about is getting what you want, and consequences be damned.

    There is indication that there is any good to society, irrelevant as that may be.

    The only apparent hatred and bigotry against equal and human rights for LGBTQ individuals you can point to is that I disagree with you.

    I am in agreement with the bulk of the world, the 3,000 year old Judeo-Christian tradition, our Anglo-American legal tradition, and natural law considered with right reason.

    If that is hatred, then hatred it is, and no apologies.

  • I have to say I have rarely ever read a post displaying such total and complete disregard and/or ignorance of the lawful constitutional role of the judiciary. Even from the Tater. Congrats.

  • A large part of your precious Judeo-Christian world now recognizes same-sex marriage.

    The Judeo-Christian world view is explicitly NOT in the constitution. In fact, the constitution explicitly states that NO RELIGION shall be established in the United States. Get over it.

  • Actually the by far largest part of the Judeo-Christian world do not recognize same-sex marriage: Orthodox, Catholic, Assyrians, Non-Chalcedonians, most Anglicans, most Baptists, and on and on.

    Whether the Judeo-Christian world view is in the Constitution is irrelevant since the Supreme Court was exercising jurisdiction it did not have and power to legislate it did not possess.

    We’ll fix it later with one or more constitutional amendments.

  • Let me rephrase the second paragraph in a way you might understand.

    The court, upon request from plaintiffs, with standing, decided to consider the cases of several couples who felt that the States in which they resided where suppressing their right to marry.

    Given that other States had made same-sex marriage legal, thus making interstate movement difficult in regards to transferring rights—including those of families with members in the military services, the Court felt that a judiciary decision was worthy of their review.

    After listening to arguments both for and against, the Court Held:
    “The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State.”

    Sounds like they were doing their constitutional job to me. They were asked to review a case of competing state laws, they used the constitution as reference, and they ruled for one side. You may not like the result, but that doesn’t mean they were legislating from the bench.

  • What’s the role of the court? Let’s discuss in relation to the Obergefell case.

    Plaintiffs—with standing—petitioned the courts to review their cases. Several lower courts ruled in contradictory ways, causing confusion in the law on a federal level—affecting already married same-sex couples ability to seek equal rights as they moved to other States within the country—including military families.

    The Supreme Court was asked to take up the case and they chose to do so. They listen to arguments from both sides, reviewed how the law fit within the constitution and held: “The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State”

    They followed their constitutional role. You may not like it, but that isn’t the same as legislating from the bench.

    You may want a theocracy, but the tighter you try to squeeze our government in your fist, the more young people will see it’s ugly purpose and slip through your fingers. #NonesGrowing

  • Theocracy has zero to do with it, and you can drop that line of attack now.

    Article Three of the Constitution of the United States creates a Supreme Court. No other courts are created, so all lower Federal courts are created by Congress.

    Section 1 gives the Supreme Court the authority to interpret and apply the law to a particular case.

    To enforce judicial decisions, the Constitution grants it criminal contempt and civil contempt powers. Implied powers include injunctive relief and the habeas corpus remedy.

    Clause 1 of Section 2 authorizes the federal courts to hear actual cases and controversies only. Their judicial power does not extend to cases which are hypothetical, or which are proscribed due to standing, mootness, or ripeness issues.

    Clause 2 of Section 2 provides that the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in cases involving ambassadors, ministers and consuls, for all cases respecting foreign nation-states, and also in those controversies which are subject to federal judicial power because at least one state is a party.

    The Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

    By the doctrine of ‘Res judicata’, federal courts give “full faith and credit” to State Courts. The Supreme Court will decide Constitutional issues of state law only on a case by case basis, and only by strict Constitutional necessity, independent of state legislators motives, their policy outcomes or its national wisdom.

    The only Federal issue in the several lower courts ruling in contradictory ways was whether states which did not themselves permit same sex marriage were required to recognize same sex marriages contracted in other states. The general consensus was that the full faith and credit clause required that, and I expected the Court to so rule.

    What was not at issue was whether states were free to provide for same sex marriage, provide alternates such as civil unions, or authorize neither.

    Since “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”, the Court lacked jurisdiction. And, as since as you already outlined, it was legislating rather than applying the law to facts – its only power under the Constitution – it also lacked the power.

    Unfortunately there is no higher authority as to law than the Supreme Court, so now the task of fixing the damage requires amending the Constitution.

  • I accept your defeat and unconditional surrender.

    I’m only sorry that you continue this charade of trying to hide your raw bigotry behind some false sense of judicial originalism. You’re not doing anyone any good, yourself included I suspect.

  • Oh, give it a break.

    Your anti-religious rant at anyone who dares to suggest you’re not entitled to what you want, when you want, how you want is silliness.

    Worse is the denial of the obvious fact that Obergefel v Hodges was the culmination of a long and expensive propaganda campaign, a contempt for democratic process, and the zany ramblings of a Supreme Court justice who became a legend in his own mind.

  • Hi Bob,
    What happens when religious values inform someone’s sense of the propriety of a public policy? For example, Nancy Pelosi has accused Republicans of dishonoring God by trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act and accused President Trump of dishonoring God for ignoring climate change. Her Catholics values clearly inform her sense of the propriety of certain public policies. I don’t see anything wrong with this. I think her religious values should help inform her public policy choices. She’s not trying to force other people to believe like her. People who disagree with her still have freedom of conscience.

  • I agree that the policies separating parents from their children are immoral. Though I don’t understand how this bears on what we were discussing. I’m getting the sense that you think that people who let their faith inform their public policy positions in ways that you agree with are okay, but those who let their faith inform their public policy positions in ways you disagree with want a theocracy.

  • Reviewing competing state laws does not require the federal judiciary to assume the legislature’s role of defining and regulating a matter not enumerated to it by the constitution and therefore belonging to the states. The Full Faith and Credit Clause was included in the constitution specifically to address differing state laws and judgments.

    You’ll be waiting a long time for the SCOTUS to instruct states that they have to allow or disallow common law marriage or cousin marriage. That’s because they generally respect the states’ sovereignty over marriage.

    “The whole subject of the domestic relations of husband and wife, parent and child, belongs to the laws of the States and not to the laws of the United States.” In re Burrus, 136 U. S. 586–594 (1890).

  • As long as the religious value agrees with humane secular values there is really no problem. The point is it’s proper because its right, not proper because of Gods will. The Republicans are dishonoring themselves by disregarding the needs of all people. It’s great that some people think that this will please their understanding of God’s wishes, but not all Christians will agree with that. This is a secular decision that requires emotional and rational decisions by all regardless of religious belief or unbelief.

  • Hello Sam,
    It’s great when religious values advocate humane actions. It’s also great when a government official with religious values advocates a humane policy. My point is that it is the correct decision because it is the moral thing to do, not because politicians interpret their religions to say it’s Gods will. This is an example of why in a democracy with diverse belief systems, government decisions must be in a secular manner. When people with differing religious values make decisions for the entire public, they should consider what would be best for the entire country using empathy, compassion and reason.

    The Republicans are dishonoring the people This is not about God. Nancy may believe that God would approve. Many other Christians would not. Also Christianity is not our only belief system. Universal Health care is a necessary humane decision. Not because God would agree, but because it is right.

  • The tactics of Evangelicals do differ and have effectively acquired more political power compared to their numbers than other people. One program that has increased their political power is their anti-abortion campaign. After roe vs wade their was no Evangelical agreement against it. Although they were against abortion, they did not want to make it unlawful. Then there was collusion between the most popular Evangelical clergy and leaders of industry (Republicans). They decided they needed an issue to use for political control of the Party which in turn would support the Evangelicals. Francis Schaefer decided on abortion. He created an intensive propaganda campaign including books, study plans, and videos that were used by pastors to indoctrinate their followers. The arrangement was that politicians that supported anti-abortion legislation could count on Evangelical support. Anyone that was against legal abortion would need to vote for Republicans which also supported the issues of big business.

    Many Evangelical pastors also advocated free enterprise as part of Christian belief. Evangelicals and Republicans are now very closely aligned. This is why Trump’s Evangelical Counsel has tremendous political power in this administration.

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