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Wednesday, April 1. 2015
As a result, I have a very unnatural feeling about the RFRA. I oppose its existence, but accept that it's needed in today's world of crazies who will sue for any reason that crosses their mind. I pointed out to a friend of mine that, as a Phillies fan, I may not want to sell a hot dog to a Mets fan. I don't like Mets fans, I'd prefer not to associate with them (at least on game day). Based on the concept of freedom of association, I have that right, since an economic transaction is an associative act. It is protected by my right to decide who I wish to interact with. All great societies require freedom of association. The downside, of course, is that sometimes discrimination takes place. Generally that discrimination is price based. An unwillingness to pay the price I set will not yield a purchase. On the other hand, sometimes it could be simply that you're not the person I want to sell my house to - for any reason. Those reasons don't have to be 'good' and they can't necessarily be labeled 'bad', they just are. You don't have to agree with my reasons. They are mine.
Would it be better to not have the RFRA and the debate surrounding it? Absolutely. But we have it because of some basic stupidity in life today. Really? You want that cake so badly it must come from a guy who doesn't want to serve you? There's no other baker in town? Your goal is what? Oh, I get it, you just want to make a big point by shaming him. Well, that's OK. Shaming is perfectly acceptable. But forcing him to make your cake is aggression.
The best way to fight this law, the Progressives think, is to boycott Indiana and its businesses. Several have started to do this, including Angie's List (which, tangentially, actually saved the state millions of tax dollars). However, boycotting is the worst way to 'fight' the law. It will create backlash and will entrench the supporters. The best way to change the law is through business. That is start businesses which do not discriminate and will hire anyone. Engagement and activity undermines discrimination, because it will generate profits. Once a discriminatory business sees its profits leaving, they will change soon enough or go out of business.
Perhaps the best example of freedom of association occurred on The Ed Show on MSNBC, however. As Ed Schultz was losing his debate with his guest, Ed chose to shut the guest's microphone off. Coward that he is, Ed was incapable of making a valid point and decided to muzzle his lucid guest. Which is not censorship, but is Ed exercising his right to associate with people he wants to do business with. Which, interestingly, supports the nature and spirit of the RFRA. While the RFRA references religion, the reality is religion has very little to do with it. It is simply the right to choose who you want to associate with, whenever you please. There is nothing wrong with that. It's a shame Ed Schultz and others of his ilk have yet to recognize this salient point.
Do I agree with the RFRA? Only insofar as it makes sense to let people do business with whomever they'd like without the government forcing them to do its bidding. Do I agree with its existence? No, technically it's covered by the First Amendment. But practically speaking, in today's absurd upside-down Progressive "do as I tell you" world, it's needed.
Addendum by Editor-Dog:
"Everybody's Lost Their Goddamn Mind Over Religious Freedom" - Both conservatives and liberals aren’t being straight about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
It’s legal to kill babies, but let’s worry about a gay person’s right to cake
Why We Need RFRAs
Has the fight over Indiana’s RFRA set the GOP up for failure?
Indiana’s Law Is Not the Return of Jim Crow
My view? This has nothing to do with reason other than political tactics. Pence stepped into a political trap. Bad timing. Facts, such as the support of Dems for these laws, and their presence in many blue states and a total of 19 states, is ignored. Pence had a target painted on him.
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Sorry, Bulldog, but I disagree. We are now a nation where "every breath we take, every move we make" is governed by some regulation, law, precedent or righteous soul willing to take us to court for "dissing" him or her.
From the day I was born, people of color, homosexuals, ethnic origins differing from mine, those with language and cultural variances have been part of my life. I could accept or reject them as friends, acquaintances or business colleagues as I chose. Most have added enormously to the joy in my life. Some…not too much, so I didn't stay involved with them. That's my choice as an individual.
Legislating morals doesn't benefit anyone. It simply makes for glaring headlines and more fodder for politicians. Much ado about nothing.
Actually, I think we agree.
I don't like the law. This law doesn't legislate morals, though. It simply supports the right to do exactly what you and I have done - choose, for ourselves, who we wish to interact with.
So I hold my nose and support the law, only because I dislike its very existence - but it's required to remind people they have the right to choose who they interact with.
If -- IF -- these laws confirm the right of the individual to make choices regarding the right to do business or intermingle or whatever, then great.
I just see it as another pool for lawyers, financiers and politicians to divide-and-conquer to win business, hedge their options or gain votes. Giving them this entry into our lives smacks of totalitarianism/facism/socialism -- anything but honoring the individual.
Also, all these divisive tidbits divert us from serious problems facing our Republic (if it still exists) and encourage Alinisky-style chaos.
Ah, well, yes - you and I agree on the basis of why this actually happened. It's make-work for the parasites of society.
I don't really care if the law works or doesn't work. It's a stupid law. But it's a good law IF it allows people to interact with whomever they choose to....which is what you said.
So, yeah, kind've my point. It's an unfortunate conundrum. I despise creating laws that don't need to be created, and this is one of them. But to think that the government can force me to interact with everybody regardless of how I feel about them is absurd.
While the law is stupid for any number of reasons, giving "freedom of association" such a broad definition so as to allow anyone to refuse public commercial transactions is among the worst. Not having the gay couple over for tea is one thing, refusing to rent a room to a gay couple is completely different. It invites government scrutiny into what constitutes religious belief, otherwise, how can you weed out a claim that refusal of service to Jews isn't based on religious belief? You'd have expert witnesses testify on this??? Insane.
If you're a Christian who owns a bakery (an not a corp. or LLC. or LP or GP, which can't have religious beliefs), and don't want to serve gays but the law says you've got to serve gays, then the answer is simple.
Hard, but simple.
Don't be a baker. "Render unto BarryCaesar" is the easy answer, but the better answer is more nuanced. Jesus asks "whose image is on this coin". To be a Christian means you bear the image of God, and that means rendering o Caesar those things that bear Caesar’s image, but more importantly, render unto God that which bears God’s image.
So if serving gays strikes at the heart of what you think being a Christian means, then don't serve gays and don't be a baker.
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." 2 Timothy 3:12
welcome to the club.
Should a baker be able to refuse to cater a wedding between two divorced people who proclaim their intention to carry on an open marriage? Does it matter whether his objection is religious or social?
I'd suggest that the owner see a spiritual director about this.
But if you're a Christian whose deeply held faith leads you to refuse service to gays, unmarried couples, no one gives you the right to not serve them, you don't need permission to not serve anyone. You just have to accept the consequences of your moral actions.
Being Christian means living in a world that rejects most of what you believe, except that you're not "of" this world, you're just here for a while.
So take a moral stance and deal with the consequences. The Church is made of martyrs in one form or another. Christians have been fed to lions for less reason than not baking cakes.
And it appears we still have people willing to feed Christians to metaphorical Lions (the State).
I agree that religious opposition to homosexuality is odd and silly. But I respect the discipline of aligning oneself to the Bible, so if that's what's driving a person's morals, and opposing gays is part of their "Christian" belief, then so be it - that's their choice, not mine. As long as they don't physically assault them, then no crime is committed. They can hate gays all they want.
I don't think that's very Christian, but it's their Christianity, not mine, and I'm perfectly willing to accept that, as much as I'm perfectly willing to not visit their business which prohibits gays or otherwise discriminates against them.
It's that simple, really. While you feel your moral standing is somehow 'better' than theirs, and from my POV it is similar to mine, where we differ is in how to deal with it. I don't think my moral position is 'better' than theirs, it's just different, and as such I have no right to pass laws to make them do the things I feel make me 'better' than them (mainly because I'm not necessarily, but also because inflicting my views on others through law is unjustifiable).
Lazlo, there's a good chance our moral position regarding this issue is similar. We probably both oppose discriminatory behavior and avoid engaging in it.
Where you and I differ is when we use the State to support what we choose to discriminate against. I oppose using the State to discriminate against the beliefs of those who don't agree with me. You seem to think it's OK - I presume because you believe "it's what's best for society."
I don't know what's best for society. I let free markets sort that out for me.
"I agree that religious opposition to homosexuality is odd and silly."
I'm not sure it is. I knew as a preteen that the catholic church had a really serious homosexual priest problem and I'm 71. If they had taken the problem seriously 60 years ago think of the lives that wouldn't have been ruined.
I think what is often missing from the conversation is that a lot of people who do not care if someone is homosexual are being forced to act like they care. While I am 100% behind the public accommodations law most of the people who are persecuting these religious cake makers and photographers ONLY care about homosexuals and would reject the public accommodations law where it didn't make them happy. Either it is upheld and enforced 100% or not at all.
I can understand not wanting to be involved in a homosexual wedding. I persoanlly do not care what someone else's sexual preference is. But I still do not want to watch it or participate in it. For example; I like history and I have always been interested in Alexander the great. So in 2004 I went to see the movie Alexander. It was a good movie I enjoyed it right up until the homosexual scene which forced me to get up and walk out. If I had known that was in the movie I wouldn't have gone to see it. I think people should indeed be allowed to opt out of participation in something they cannot stomach with or without a religious based reason.
Actually, you've got this backward.
The reason you have it backward, such as in your example of the baker, is that the choice to go elsewhere is the consumer's not the provider's. It is my store, my product, my effort. Who I sell to is MY choice, not yours as a consumer to tell me "you must sell to me, regardless of what you think of me."
Consider the example, dating myself, of the "Soup Nazi" from Seinfeld. In some ways, his discriminatory acts (however non-biased they were in terms of ethnicity or belief) were based on whether he liked the consumer in question. Everybody in line accepted his rules and lived by them. This is how we should view the reasons why the baker refuses to sell to gay couples. His product, his rules. Does his disliking gays offend me, as a straight person? YES. But I won't buy from him, I'll buy from the company that sells to anyone and does not discriminate.
Ultimately, you have it backward because it is the baker's OWN DISCRIMINATION which will undermine his business by reducing his income and his profit.
Boycotting his business on an individual basis is fine. Boycotting Indiana, as so many people cry for, is idiotic. That will only hurt good companies as well as bad - it's a poor tool for making a point.
Better to open a non-discriminatory company and lead by example.
But your comment that it's on the baker to find a different line of work is patently off-track and as you can see - easy to explain why.
The government has NO RIGHT to make the Soup Nazi serve everybody, via law or by court order. That is state aggression on the individual.
Whether a business model is successful or not is not germane to the question of whether it is constitutional.
But I put it to you that there are many places where "we don't serve your kind here" can be a very successful model. More so because StormFront's going to be writing checks every month to make sure that "No Niggers Served" sign stays up.
Change the Soup Nazi's rejection from "no soup for you" to "no soup for you, Jew", and you transition from humor to the unacceptable.
To be sure, are you saying that you believe you can refuse any service/product to any person for any reason?
My point about bakers applied only to Christian bakers whose beliefs would not allow them in good conscience to serve gays.
You've completely missed the point. Business success may not have anything to do with the Constitution, but it does have everything to do with making things work, and work well.
As such, the Constitution has little or nothing to do with this, but will have everything to do with whether being discriminatory is an intelligent course to take in business.
Ultimately, being a discriminatory ass is not good business, even if you say "No soup for you, Jew." The Constitution gives me all the freedom I want to say that, and there should be no law PREVENTING me from saying that - except "Natural" Law, which will have repercussions of its own, such as less business.
You may not like the guy who says "No soup for you, Jew" and neither would I. We'd likely take our business elsewhere. In this way, he eventually would learn that being an ass isn't helping his business OR his business will fail and he can be an unemployed ass who lost his business and keep on being discriminatory.
Until he commits a physical crime of aggression, such as forcibly escorting a person out of his premises and injuring them (such as they tried to do in the South with sit-in protestors), there is no crime. It's not a crime for me to dislike Jews (I actually have many Jewish friends, just making the point), gays, Protestant, blonds, white people, black people. None of this is a crime. Nor is it a crime for me to announce I dislike these people, nor should it be a crime for me to deprive them of my services or goods.
If you want to change the behavior of the business owner who is an ass, do so with your own behavior - not the force of law. The government should have ABSOLUTELY NO ROLE WHATSOEVER in determining who I can associate with, commercially or otherwise.
Ultimately, if my decisions to be an idiot play out to their logical end, karma will kick me in the ass for being a moron. And that's how it should be. But getting the government involved is just asking for the government to get involved as Thought Police.
Violence espouses the typical baloney that is fed to us in schools, the MSM and popular media. Violence you are categorically incorrect.
If someone wants to be a baker and not give wedding cakes to homosexuals, they are free to do so under our Constitution. Saying don't be a baker is a typical reassignment of values and blame. In fact, if you want a homosexual cake you should go to a homosexual baker. If you want Czech pastries then go to a Czech bakery. If you disagree with stupid white boys with lots of money who want their baristas to engage you in incorrect discussions about slavery and discrimination, don't go to Starbucks.
Note: If you want to blow their minds, ask them why Jessie Jackson supports modern slavery. They don't have an answer; yet, the minimum wage laws JJ supports destroy poor blacks, poor whites and poor everybody. Two great black economists back this up and have the studies to show it.
There is a huge difference between public and private business. Our Constitution limits the governmental portion but not the private. If I want to discriminate against you because your hair is red, I can. Unfortunately, Americans have forgotten this distinction and think that the government has the correct answers to today's problems.
The entire discussion revolves around the destruction of Christian values and Christian worship in America. Homosexuals are pushing the issue because right now they can. Homosexuals are not going to just get along until they have crushed the ability of Christians to speak out against that lifestyle. The goal is to destroy Christianity in America and so far, with the help of the Southern Baptist, LDS, PCUSA, other such denominations and preachers, the homosexuals are doing a fine job of advancing their agenda.
I'm discriminating against you because you're clueless and unworthy of schooling.
Violence still espouses the false dialogue of those who want to destroy America. If you disagree with our position, we will dehumanize you and force our way upon you.
Violence spouts the false words which have been taught in our schools for years. Too bad that most Americans are driven by emotion instead of facts.
The Federal govt passed a RFRA signed by Clinton and supported by Chuckie Shumer. 19 states now have them.
It's all about politics, not sense or justice.
Although I am uncertain of the context in which the Indiana and Arkansas versions of RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act), it is important to note that there is a federal RFRA and many other states with similar RFRAs. These have existed since the mid '90s, and were, prior to recent controversy, not generally seen as particularly targeting the GLBT community. Back then, they were passed with strong bipartisan support, and across both left and right, on the federal and state levels.
The main effect of RFRA is to require that any law which impacts an individual's practice of religious freedom be required to pass a "strict scrutiny" constitutional test. This means that for those laws that implicate religious freedom, the State must show that the law is narrowly tailored to meet a compelling state interest. This does not specifically target GLBT interests.
In Florida, for example, a RFRA was passed and made law back in 1998, and the main concern then was its effect on laws and rules regulating prisons. Similar RFRAs have been used to protect individual practice of religion, without GLBT rights being affected whatsoever. In the recent controversy, the governor of Connecticut spoke out against the new Indiana RFRA, without realizing that his own state had its own RFRA . . . and presumably had no effect on gay rights.
Perhaps we should all make an effort to learn what RFRA is
I understand all this.
I'm making a somewhat different point, though. The point I'm making focuses on what jma, above, commented on - the right to choose who we interact with.
It may have everything, or it may have nothing, to do with religion or religious freedom. As Ed Schultz proved, he just didn't like getting beaten in a debate, so he chose to refuse to let his competitor speak. That's freedom of association (though in today's world some of the batshit crazy lunatics would scream "SUE SUE SUE - censorship, discrimination!" if it was Fox News shutting down the microphone on Ed Schultz).
Which is why I pointed out this example of exactly why the law is both nonsensical (we already have these protections) yet needed for some bizarro-world reasons.
I pretty much agree with what your saying.
My own take on this is, that after the deluge of so much legislation to enforce the liberal/progressive agenda, support should be given to Indiana and Arkansas for passage of a preventive law that:
1. protects against legislation which intrudes against an individuals right to practice their religious beliefs;
2. was originally a bi-partisan approved measure that has already been passed, with bi-partisan support, on the federal level and in many, many states;
3. which now is suddenly being irrationally attacked by the left because it might (maybe, just maybe) implicate gay rights... and because it serves a rallying point against conservatives like Mike Pence.
In lieu of the above facts, defending Indiana and Arkansas for passing their RFRA, and for Mike Pence and those like him, should be a no brainer.
Someone #1 does something that violates a fundamental principle of someone #2. #2 refuses to do business with #1.
#1 is gay, #2 is Christian. Result: Outrage ensues
#1 is the State of Indiana, #2 is LGBT community. Result: Justified boycott.
technically it's covered by the First Amendment
Actually, not. The whole point of the Federal RFRA was to "restore" what had been assumed to be 1st amendment protections after the supreme court rulings in Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Association (1988) and Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990).
It may well be that the Indiana RFRA is in theory unnecessary under Indiana's similar 1st amendment, but in practice it is a lot easier to get relief from courts (or prosecutors) in the presence of a recent legislative act than it is to make a constitutional case.
I'm seeing a whole lot of bunkum from both sides in this fracas, but one thing that everyone in the Indiana (&Arkansas) legislatures knew or should have known is that there have been lots of cases where people have tried to use state RFRA's in other states to get out of anti-discrimination law and or public-accommodation law, and none of them have got anywhere. The only way that Indiana's is different than the others (such as CT) is that the ambiguities in applicability and definitions that had to be litigated in other places are spelled out clearly in IN, conforming to the decisions of Federal and other state court precedents.
Well, technically it IS covered by the First Amendment, particularly if it is designed to 'restore' what was lost in court.
Good show, Bulldog. You instigated an interesting dialogue that, I hope, continues on MF.
Reading the previous comments, a few have made the point that there is already a Federal RFRA law and that should suffice. There is already a Federal law (for good or evil) outlawing marijuana possession and even though Federal laws are supposed to have supremacy over state law, that seems to have no effect over state marijuana laws. As Bulldog stated, the First Amendment already covers what RFRA is designed to protect so there is no need for it, but this isn't the first time a law was passed to support the Constitution, which is supposed to already be the law of the land. I guess next we will pass new state laws that support other state laws that have already been passed.
In other forums, there seems to be the issue of majority vs minority. Somehow, the Federal RFRA was to provide protections for minority populations but those protections aren't supposed to be afforded to majority populations (I believe Andrew Cuomo made that implication)? I'm not sure that the people who would be protected by RFRA even in the states it's been passed (Indiana and Arkansas in our discussion) wouldn't really be a minority. If that's the case, would it be ok for RFRA to apply to them?
In 97 the Federal RFRA as-applied-to-the-states was ruled unconstitutional ( City of Boerne v. Flores).
The Court held that it holds the sole power to define the substantive rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment—a definition to which Congress may not add and from which it may not subtract.
That seems to say that a state cannot, for example, define other items that cannot be searched, and that only the SC can do that. By extension, it appears to say that the state cannot define any other protection from government that is not already enumerated in the Constitution's Bill of Rights. I'm obviously not a lawyer, but that's what that quote seems to imply. Am I missing something?
What you are reading is a restriction on what the US congress can do, not what the states can individually do within their own states.
Enlarging on my point, does anybody believe that the government will require that Muslim photographers be required to photograph a gay wedding or a Muslim baker be required to bake a wedding cake for a gay wedding against their desires and principles?
This is "look, a squirrel" world now. Just distract us from what critically deserves out attention while the Masters of World go about their destruction.
I can guarantee that my friends who are homosexual, of color, older, younger, fatter, blonder, etc. have much more serious issues to consider than these blinking regulations, executive orders or laws that the media and politicians seem to use as fodder for the next campaign. Having to clarify that everyone has the right to their own beliefs seems a childish argument that should have been shed when one developed a sense of one's individuality -- somewhere in the teens if not earlier.
But many of my gay friends, who normally don't care about stuff like this, are becoming increasingly politicized simply because we are in a "Look - a squirrel" world. It's hard to ignore the stupidity of:
A) passing a law like this
B)arguing against a law like this
Both contain equal parts idiocy, all driven by politics as some comments have noted.
But, as I pointed out, A is unnecessary, or should be, because of the First Amendment, while B is just goading people into a point of hysteria over perceived trammeled, yet non-existent, 'rights' (in this case, "the right to be served," which is not a right at all).
Pence would've done better by ignoring the controversy and, instead, continuing his job of governor. The minute he decided to have a televised conference about it, he legitimized the complainers.
Does he do this for every law he signs? No. So then use that as your reason..."This is just like the laws in 19 other states. We decided after all of these years that we also should have such a law, as the Supreme Court pointed out in the 90s." And then end it.
In about a month or two, the raging left will have another cause and this will be forgotten. The 'boycott' over. What a mistake to admit anything was wrong with the law.
Indeed, Pense handled this like a coward. Instead of standing up for the balance of religous liberty vs gay marriage that is the main point of the law, he backtracked and granted the moral high ground to the leftists and social justice warriors.
The next elections will see more polarization as people like Cruz stand up and people like Jeb Bush mumble.
Romans 1: 24-32
Makes very clear to not approve or participate
rather than discussing what you think the law says,
here is what the law says:
SENATE ENROLLED ACT No. 101
AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning civil procedure.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:
SECTION1.IC34-13-9 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW CHAPTER TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2015]:
Chapter 9. Religious Freedom Restoration
Sec. 1. This chapter applies to all governmental entity statutes, ordinances, resolutions, executive or administrative orders, regulations, customs, and usages, including the implementation or application thereof, regardless of whether they were enacted, adopted, or initiated before, on, or after July 1, 2015.
Sec. 2. A governmental entity statute, ordinance, resolution, executive or administrative order, regulation, custom, or usage may not be construed to be exempt from the application of this chapter unless a state statute expressly exempts the statute, ordinance, resolution, executive or administrative order, regulation, custom, or usage from the application of this chapter by citation to this chapter.
Sec. 3. (a) The following definitions apply throughout this section: (1) "Establishment Clause" refers to the part of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Indiana prohibiting laws respecting the establishment of religion. (2) "Granting", used with respect to government funding, benefits, or exemptions, does not include the denial of government funding, benefits, or exemptions. (b) This chapter may not be construed to affect, interpret, or in any way address the Establishment Clause. (c) Granting government funding, benefits, or exemptions, to the extent permissible under the Establishment Clause, does not constitute a violation of this chapter.
Sec. 4. As used in this chapter, "demonstrates"means meets the burdens of going forward with the evidence and of persuasion.
Sec. 5. As used in this chapter, "exercise of religion" includes any exercise of religion,whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief.
Sec. 6. As used in this chapter, "governmental entity" includes the whole or any part of a branch, department, agency, instrumentality, official, or other individual or entity acting under color of law of any of the following: (1) State government. (2) A political subdivision (as defined in IC 36-1-2-13). (3) An instrumentality of a governmental entity described in subdivision(1) or (2), including a state educational institution, a body politic, a body corporate and politic, or any other similar entity established by law.
Sec. 7. As used in this chapter, "person" includes the following: (1) An individual. (2) An organization, a religious society, a church, a body of communicants, or a group organized and operated primarily for religious purposes. (3) A partnership, a limited liability company, a corporation, a company, a firm, a society, a joint-stock company, an unincorporated association, or another entity that: (A) may sue and be sued; and (B) exercises practices that are compelled or limited by a system of religious belief held by: (i) an individual; or (ii) the individuals; who have control and substantial ownership of the entity, regardless of whether the entity is organized and operated for profit or nonprofit purposes.
Sec. 8. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a governmental entity may not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability. (b) A governmental entity may substantially burden a person's exercise of religion only if the governmental entity demonstrates that application of the burden to the person: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
Sec. 9. A person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a violation of this chapter may assert the violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding, regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding. If the relevant governmental entity is not a party to the proceeding, the governmental entity has an unconditional right to intervene in order to respond to the person's invocation of this chapter.
Sec. 10. (a) If a court or other tribunal in which a violation of this chapter is asserted in conformity with section 9 of this chapter determines that: (1) the person's exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened; and (2) the governmental entity imposing the burden has not demonstrated that application of the burden to the person: (A) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (B) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest; the court or other tribunal shall allow a defense against any party and shall grant appropriate relief against the governmental entity. (b) Relief against the governmental entity may include any of the following: (1) Declaratory relief or an injunction or mandate that prevents, restrains, corrects, or abates the violation of this chapter. (2) Compensatory damages. (c) In the appropriate case,the court or other tribunal also may award all or part of the costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney's fees, to a person that prevails against the governmental entity under this chapter.
Sec. 11. This chapter is not intended to, and shall not be construed or interpreted to, create a claim or private cause of action against any private employer by any applicant, employee, or former employee.
I kinda like the law. As an orthodox christian I absolutely will not, under any circumstances, serve protestants. Its totally against my exercise of religion.
I'm not saying that every Black man is a thug, but I still refuse to serve white people because they are Impure and their presence is an affront to my exercise of religion.
This is a stupid law. Allowing restrictions (except for public health and safety and a few related reasons) on ordinary, public commercial transactions is idiotic.
It's a stupid law. I've said as much.
But you're view that allowing restrictions on commercial transactions is not a view I share. For a simple reason. While I agree in principle that it's idiotic to not serve someone based on a stereotype or closely held personal belief - that's just MY view. Others, mostly in a small minority of even smaller-minded types, do not share this view.
But, for whatever reason, if I choose to not serve you a cup of coffee, as a business owner, I should be able to make that choice on my own and without your input. You can get your coffee elsewhere.
If I decide that religion is the basis of my decision (or sports, or politics, or anything), then that is my choice, and I should be able to do it.
Having a law that forces me to serve you is aggression, and it is wrong.
In all likelihood, as a business owner, if I engage my discriminatory behavior against you or anyone else, my business won't last as long as I'd like and I'd be less profitable. So, ultimately, through pure business logic, I'm back to agreeing with you that not serving people is idiotic.
But it's more idiotic to have a law making me serve you if I don't want to.
as noted political philosopher Dave Mason says, "we just disagree".
If you can't see that allowing you the right to serve the public minus people you don't want to serve is a bad idea, then you should have no problems with my hypotheticals:
I'm not going to sell you a cake, rent you a room, give you this plague vaccine because you're a protestant, Jew, White Guy.
Right? (this is not a rhetorical question)
Refer up to my response to yours in 2.1.2 for most of how I'd answer here.
On the other hand, you make an interesting point:
"If you can't see that allowing you the right to serve the public minus people you don't want to serve is a bad idea, then you should have no problems with my hypotheticals:
I'm not going to sell you a cake, rent you a room, give you this plague vaccine because you're a protestant, Jew, White Guy"
That's right - I have no problem with that. I don't necessarily think it's very smart to run your business that way, but hey, that's the way things go sometimes. And believe me, I've seen this before. There is a way to fight it MINUS THE LAW.
You seem to think it's the government's job to make this thing happen by passing a law which prevents discrimination. I disagree with you for one reason - it's not the government's job to do this.
It's not that I think this discrimination is bad. It absolutely is horrible behavior.
But it's not my right - or yours, or a majority of yous - to tell the stupid business person what his business is or should be. Better that you and your majority of agreeing friends OPEN A BUSINESS which doesn't discriminate, and boycott the bad business.
Then you get results.
But passing a law doesn't make people good out of the blue. It just makes the pissed off. Like the RFRA. It's not really solving for anything that hasn't already been solved for before....but it's riling up the brain-dead Left who completely misunderstand what it's really supposed to be for.
being widely reported:
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) - Republican Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday rejected a religion bill he had said he would sign into law, reversing course after a firestorm of criticism assailing such legislation as discriminating against gays and lesbians.
In a news conference at the Capitol in Little Rock, Hutchinson said he was sending the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) back to the Republican-controlled legislature to be rewritten to better balance tolerance for diversity and protections of religious freedom.
so the issue is moot for a while.
No constitutional right is absolute, including the right to associate freely. If you claim a generic right to discriminate based on freedom of association, that argument will fail before it leaves the starting gate.
I think we disagree on too many fundamental issues to debate them effectively on a short-form debate forum like this. However, thanks for the intellectual challenge.
The point is not moot just because a politician decides something isn't correctly written.
The point is freedom of association is a natural right, and (as Richard Quigley points out below) so is the freedom to NOT associate.
You can disagree all you want. But morally, you know that if you don't want to associate with someone, there is no law in the land that will force you to - is there?
It's what our Founders called a "Natural" Law. Today we argue about shades of it. But it is indisputable. If I don't want to sell you something, I don't have to. I don't even have to give you the reason why. Sadly, if I slip up and say why, I can get into trouble....but that's ridiculous. I should be able to say "I don't like that you're a blond, so I just won't sell to you."
Again, that's stupid and it's bad business. But nobody said you have to be smart to run a business.
So there is no debate. You simply want things to be the way you want them to be.
don't take it personal. we should be able to discuss a live issue without taking shots at each other.
the bill is no longer before the governor. if its rewritten, then there is something to discuss.
I could rewrite the bill to pass constitutional muster without any of the public histrionics. Missing is a section of legislative findings or legislative intent. Perhaps the GOP will work with the gay community to find compromise language. That's what government is supposed to do.
"Splitting" is reducing the other side to an abstraction of all good or all bad. This is a primitive defense mechanism used when the issue's emotional level and complexity is greater than a person's capacity to interpret it. That's what's currently happening here and all over the internet.
"Perhaps the GOP will work with the gay community to find compromise language. That's what government is supposed to do." Violence @ 220.127.116.11.1.1.1
Why should the GOP work with homosexuals to debase and enslave the GOP voters just to compromise with homosexuals? To destroy America is the simple answer.
Why can't homosexuals compromise with the huge majority of Americans who find that lifestyle abhorrent? Because they must have a position of power and are afraid of just living their lives within our communities. This is the homosexual push. It's our way or we will destroy you. There is no compromise until Christianity is destroyed in America. Again Violence, why can't homosexuals compromise?
To other readers, it is not the government's duty to capitulate to an extremely small minority and force the majority to give up their religious beliefs to appease that small minority. However, that is what is happening in America today.
Having the government protect homosexuals against hetrosexuals is a major point in the homosexual agenda. In this manner they may shut down Christians and churches throughout America using the government to enforce hate speech laws in the same manner that free speech is no longer protected in England or Canada.
I'm not taking it personally and I didn't take any shots at you. Maybe you could rewrite the bill to pass Constitutional muster, but I'd say it already passes Constitutional muster purely on the basis of the First Amendment - I'm not sure where you see a problem.
I know there is some (limited) case law which supports your point, but the point itself is moot when you look at things from the basis of what the nature of free right to association is.
1. I don't want to sell you something because you don't want to pay my price.
2. I don't want to sell you something 'because'. I don't need a reason. It's mine and I don't want to.
3. I don't want to sell you something because you're gay/black/Jewish/Catholic/white/etc.
Why is #3 "bad" and requiring court rulings or a law to get people to sell or provide services? It's no different than 1 or 2, but some people "take offense" to #3 because it offends their sensibilities. Big freaking deal, your sensibilities are not the proprietors' nor are they mine or anyone else's. Even if 50.1% of the other people of this nation agree with you, you don't have the right to say "My sensibilities take precedence over your right to decide who you want to sell to and why you may want to engage in that action."
It's that simple. The RFRA only upholds that, it's not forcing anyone to do anything they don't want to do, and it's providing a protection for some people who may want to act in a fashion which others deem "offensive", even though no physical or actual aggression or offense took place.
Whether the law is being re-written, withheld, or anything else by any politician is meaningless. The clear point is simply this - EVERYONE has a RIGHT to ASSOCIATE with WHOMEVER THEY CHOOSE, and that includes choosing to not associate.
Legislating who I MUST associate is a form of State-driven aggression and as Jim points out below (comment #17), State-driven aggression always ends badly.
The more we have people forcing others to 'serve me even if you don't like me or disagree with how I think or behave', the more we have a society which is breaking down on the fringes and infecting the core, because the core is made up of the rights of individuals.
I posted this partly because Ed Schultz' behavior, on his show, fully supports this essential point. The Heritage Foundation, if they were whiny ninnies like so many people in our coddled and absurdly offended nation today, should sue Ed Schultz for engaging in 'offensive behavior' by preventing them from making a legitimate and fair point - a point which, by the time he shut off their microphone, had provided enough evidence to realize his point is completely and utterly wrong.
Again - I don't like the necessity of the RFRA. But it's existence or not is meaningless to me. What's important, and IMPERATIVE, is realizing what it is for - the protection of the right of free association, a protection provided for in the Constitution and undermined by rulings which have sought to say "no, you don't have the right to choose who you sell your goods and services to." Which is a clear case of aggression against the individual by the state.
You've fallen for the propaganda that claims this law allows people to discriminate in public accommodation.
Look at 10 (a)(2)(A&B) in The Poetry of Violence's post above. So far in every case were someone has tried to use a federal or state RFRA in defense against discrimination charges, they have been unsuccessful, because the Govt. has stepped in and even with strict scrutiny demonstrated to the satisfaction of the court that there was a compelling government interest and there were no effective means that were less restrictive.
re: Sec. 5. As used in this chapter, "exercise of religion" includes any exercise of religion,whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief.
How do you propose the court determine (1) what is a religion and (2) what is an exercise of religion? Sure as shi'ite I can make up belief systems faster than you can invalidate them, and is this what you really want the government to inquire into?
That wording is straight from the Federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) of 2000, 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-5(7)(A).
Not surprisingly this bit has come up a lot in federal suits by prisoners in the 15 years since then.
[/B]Why--oh WHY can't we [/B]
Why in the world can't we who support religious freedom get on a bus here at home and drive to Indiana with a bus load of people who feel the same way? We could then do what "community organizers"do--show up en masse carrying hand painted signs and shouting untrue accusations at the opposing group on the other side of the law. Until WE have the same great street level organizers and the WILL to fight back with the same techniques --demonstrations--we will never regain our freedoms and nor more importantly protect our rights. Any of you folks know how to charter a bus, get some people from that little white church on the bus and drive to Indiana or Arkansas?
I believe that the gay couples who sued the wedding cake bakers really were shopping around for someone who would offend them. This was a hit job and worked quite well. My understanding is that in at least one of these cases the wedding cake was suposed to have a pro-gay marriage statement in frosting. In other words the gay couple insisted that the religious baker enshrine in writing something they knew would be offensive to them. Should all religious people be required to write affirmations of gay marriage?
Mark Silverstein, the legal director of the ACLU in Colorado, says “We are all entitled to our religious beliefs and we fight for that. But someone’s personal religious beliefs don’t justify breaking the law by discriminating against others in the public sphere.” OK. I actually agree with Mr Silverstein. But then I heard that a straight couple asked a gay baker to make them a wedding cake that had a statement condeming same sex marriage. The gay baker refused and as far as I know the ACLU hasn't rushed to the aid of the straight couple. Nor has the state or the media. SO what does it really mean to be against discrimination? It would seem to be perfectly OK to discriminate against certain groups but not against favored groups. Is this the avowed goal of the ACLU? What if a KKK member asked a black baker to bake a cake and put anti-black statements frosted onto the cake? Should the state require them to do that? If not why not. Why can one group force someone to do something they object to for deeply held reasons and give another group a pass. Either we all MUST be forced to do what goes against our moral beliefs or none of us should.
As a business owner, there are some customers that just are not worth the hassle that has nothing to do with discrimination. Some customers are difficult, rude, time consuming a holes that are not worth whatever you may make on them. The fact that they are gay may have nothing to do with a decision to let them go somewhere else, it may be a relief that they do. If you want to make 20% of your profit on people who consume 80% of your time, you'll struggle for years. Usually, these customers have been to every business in the area similar to yours, and let you know how the others failed them.
Amen sister, Amen. Been there myself and could not agree more.
With respect to the various RFRA's & business application might not the Public Accommodation section of the Civil Rights act have some bearing on the instance?
This is my point.
But the issue is deeper, because some people DO want to spend time making decisions on things other than business, and just business. To their detriment, I'll add.
But freedom of association is critical, and that association will often be played out as you described.
It appears that it is often forgotten that the freedom to associate also encompasses the freedom NOT to associate.
I'm with you Becky. Once worked in a travel agency. A young man of a particular persuasion came into my office and started browsing through the cruise line brochures. I asked him what he was interested in and his response stunned: "I just got off a 3 day cruise with Princess Lines--the air conditioner didn't work. I also just graduated law school, so my first case will be to Princess Cruises provide a bigger, better cruise for free". At this point and I politely took him by the arm (he was about 4 inches taller) and walked him through the front door out onto the street.
I realize I am violating Godwin's Law, but what is going on is exactly how the Nazis went after Jewish businesses in the 1930s. As one of their harassment techniques, the Nazis promulgated public accommodation laws that required all businesses to be open on Saturdays. Those who did not comply faced arrest and confiscation of their businesses. Of course, whom did this "neutral" law hit? Religious Jews, who would not work or open their stores on the Sabbath.
I would submit that is exactly what is going on here with homosexual activists and the government going after Christians who refuse to participate in gay weddings. This has nothing to do with equality or non-discrimination. It all has to do with targeting a religious group, and punishing them if they do not do something contrary to their religion.
And that is why RFRA laws are especially needed now.
This law has very little to do with fags getting married and very much to do with totalitarian statist control. I believe in the right of free association. It may not always make economic sense, but it will always make sense to follow one's moral beliefs. Duck fags. Duck the state. Thanks autocomplete!
It'll be interesting in the next election cycle when a Republican candidate using a song from the library of a leftist musician. Watch the cease and desist letters fly and the democrats cry in faux anguish.
Why can’t moral atheists and Christians and Jews and Moslems who believe what God told them treat homosexuality as feminists treat heterosexuality?