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Indiana Reeling Over “Discriminatory” Law

BACKLASH FUELS DEBATE OVER COMPETING LIBERTIES … || By FITSNEWS || Mike Pence – the governor of Indiana – is in full-scale damage control mode as he attempts to mitigate a national uproar over a state law some say is discriminatory.  In fact Pence is seeking to make changes to Indiana’s…

BACKLASH FUELS DEBATE OVER COMPETING LIBERTIES …

|| By FITSNEWS || Mike Pence – the governor of Indiana – is in full-scale damage control mode as he attempts to mitigate a national uproar over a state law some say is discriminatory.  In fact Pence is seeking to make changes to Indiana’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” in the wake of the uproar.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be helpful to move legislation this week that makes it clear that this law does not give businesses the right to discriminate against anyone,” Pence said during a press conference in Indianapolis – which is hosting the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four tournament this weekend.

The NCAA has threatened to boycott Indiana as a result of the law.

“We’re going to have to sit down and make judgments about whether or not it changes the environment for us doing our work and for us holding events (in Indiana),” NCAA president Mark Emmert said earlier this week.

In addition to hosting events in Indiana, the NCAA’s corporate offices are located in Indianapolis.

In other corporate news, Angie’s List – a company whose CEO Bill Oesterle was a major financial supporter of Pence – announced its decision last week to halt a planned $40 million expansion in Indiana.

“It’s very disappointing to us that (the bill) passed and was signed by the governor,” Oesterle said.  “We believe that the impacts of that bill on our ability to hire and continue to build a high-growth technology company are material and are inconsistent with the state’s activities to encourage growth.”

Pence said he didn’t believe the law was intended to promote discrimination.

“If this law had been about discrimination, I would have vetoed it,” he said.  “I don’t believe for a minute that it was the intention of the General Assembly to create a license to discriminate, or a right to deny services to gays, lesbians or anyone else in this state, and that was not my intent, but I appreciate that that’s become the perception.”

At issue is the basic right of a business owner to deny goods or services based on their beliefs … versus the right of the individual being denied to receive goods and services.

Should this even be an issue?  No …

In a perfect marketplace, goods and services would exchange freely.  Money, after all, is colorblind.  Gender neutral.  It doesn’t care what you believe – or who you sleep with.  But we don’t live in a perfect marketplace: We live in a world loaded with biases, although the marketplace does assist in determining whether those biases are allowed to endure.

Take the Indiana backlash … whether the outrage over the law is justified or not (we haven’t read the statute, so we can’t really say) Indiana is being forced to modify its behavior in response to market pressures.

That’s the beauty of the free market … and further proof it is a far more effective legislator of morality than, well, “legislatures.”

Having said that, we believe there is a strong case to be made in defense of those who support the law.  In fact we made their case in a recent post on the “other side” of the gay marriage debate.

“In stamping out one form of unfair discrimination our country cannot usher in another,” we wrote, referring to efforts aimed at mandating gay marriages (which is a whole lot different than permitting them).

But where should this line between competing liberties be drawn?  We’d love to issue a blanket statement: That any private entity should be permitted to provide (or refuse) goods or services to anyone on any basis … but such a position would in turn create a host of liberty-depriving situations.

What sort of circumstantial discernment, then, is required?

How can we best balance competing rights?

We’re all ears, readers …

***

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143 comments

Bible Thumper March 31, 2015 at 3:54 pm

Why did Fits take down Becky Akers’ “Are Traitors the Best Patriots”?
https://www.fitsnews.com/2015/04/01/becky-akers-are-traitors-the-best-patriots/#comment-1938509701

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Kudos to you March 31, 2015 at 4:10 pm

Good to see you reading Becky Akers.

She’s tied the Mises-Rothbard wing, therefore Cato verboten. If Cato is stroking the majority of checks to Sic, they might have nixed it as they don’t like competition in the “libertarian” marketplace.

She contributes to Lewrockwell.com quite a bit.

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Bible Thumper March 31, 2015 at 4:24 pm

While Mises-Rothbard influence may cause me to lean to one direction, l’m too pragmatic to drink the Kool-aid.

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Kudos to you March 31, 2015 at 4:26 pm

Whatever floats your boat, “pragmatic” one.

Regardless, I’m just saying if you liked Akers you can read her over @ LRC if she’s been deemed “verboten” here.

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Bible Thumper March 31, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Already did.

Kudos to you March 31, 2015 at 4:40 pm

Good. Who knows, maybe you’ll like one or two other over there too. Fred Reed is pretty good/funny, & Buchanon contributes there too…might be more up your line of thinking.

Nölff March 31, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Didn’t South Carolina pull something like this in the name of “Families” or “Religion”? Now the Supreme Court will intervene and make Indiana gay.

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Nick March 31, 2015 at 4:14 pm

I love when ignorant bigots are exposed to the public. They quickly backtrack and shut the fuck up. So stupid and so cowardly.

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Really? March 31, 2015 at 4:20 pm

“but such a position would in turn create a host of liberty-depriving situations.”

Such as what?

If one cakemaker refuses to bake a cake for gays, what’s stopping gays from hiring a cakemaker that will?

When it comes to “public” organizations, meaning funded by the taxpayer, there can be no discrimination.(though I could make a case there could be based on who is or is not paying taxes, but that’s a whole different discussion)

When it comes to private property, it’s just that, “private”-if the word means anything.

If you are going to start telling people what they can or can’t do with their private property(granted, that happens already via gov’t, but I’m speaking on the ideology), as long as they aren’t physically hurting other people/property, you might as well go ahead and rename the country the USSA.(prolly should be renamed anyway)

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Refusal of Service March 31, 2015 at 4:31 pm

What stopped black people from drinking at different water fountains or using separate bathrooms?

Can’t wait until a gay person is refused surgery because the ER doc doesn’t want to touch icky gay people. I mean of course a bigot’s liberty trumps their life, duh!

I am a straight white male with decent income so obviously I will never have to face the negative aspects of this kind of legislation, why should I have a problem with it?

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Really? March 31, 2015 at 4:34 pm

Oh Jesus, here we go.

Do you want a bitter/racist white honkey ER surgeon being forced to operate on you if you’re black?

Sic just made the point that the PC pressure for people to not be jackasses is changing things…it’s not the 60’s anymore and newsflash…the US world probably would have opened up over time to blacks anyway…most of the racism at the time was gov’t/institutional(Brown vs. Board, etc.)

Gov’t loves racism more than any other private instition today. How many gov’t forms have check boxes for race?

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Bark versus Bite March 31, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Part of what swayed public opinion was government action, such as sending national guard troops to force integration in public schools, or Maurice Bessinger losing 8-0 in the Supreme Court. Before then discrimination was alive and well and no business, at least in many parts of the country, would suffer from refusing to do business with different types of people because it was socially acceptable. Undoing protections would see a slow slide back into discrimination against certain people and undo all of that progress.

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Really? March 31, 2015 at 4:50 pm

“Undoing protections would see a slow slide back into discrimination against certain people and undo all of that progress.”

Nah.

Also, notice that forced integration had to occur in a “public(gov’t) school”.

Fuck, just about every BBQ joint in SC is superior to Maurice’s. You really worried about him being a fat racist?

Almost every other joint loves having black people at their place.

Forced Integration March 31, 2015 at 4:51 pm

Forced integration had to happen at public schools, segregation was still alive and well in private schools, which is why segregationists wanted to push to get kids in private schools to circumvent desegregation. You made a very bad point sir.

Really? March 31, 2015 at 4:54 pm

“which is why segregationists wanted to push to get kids in private schools to circumvent desegregation. ”

Seriously, who cares? Let racist whitey be with other racist whitey’s, k?

Same goes for blacks! Let them have their own schools.

Draw the line between private and public or you’re saying the gov’t has a right to control your shit…which is a BIG MISTAKE!

Look, I had a black father figure growing up that really meant a lot to me, when we talked once about the problems within the black community(I’m white) he was very sure the answer was that “blacks need their own businesses”. I believe to this day he was right.(that was 30 years ago)

Locked Out In The Cold March 31, 2015 at 5:07 pm

Let blacks have their own schools? That is part of why they fought segregation in the first place, because white schools would be far superior, with much better funding, better books, better teachers, and so on. Poverty among blacks cut black schools off at the knees and poor education ensured less capable teachers. It creates a vicious cycle of under-educated people under-educating people.

What happens when that results in one type of people being limited to inferior options when it comes to food, shelter, education, healthcare? I do not think those people would feel very free at all. Being able to find friendly faces as part of the majority is easy but not so easy when you are part of a group that only makes up around ten percent of the population, especially if your group tends to be dirt poor. It reduces the number of people who are likely to make businesses, let alone successful ones.

White people act surprised that groups like the Black Panthers came into being. Black people were pissed at their predicament. Violence may have not been the answer but when you are that held down and that mad it becomes more and more attractive. I guess they did not like your so called freedom much after all.

Really? March 31, 2015 at 5:12 pm

“That is part of why they fought segregation in the first place, because white schools would be far superior, with much better funding, better books, better teachers, and so on.”

Ok, you’re mixing things here.

First, if you’re talking about “seperate but equal” stuff that was again all gov’t institution inequality so to speak…so once again it’s gov’t that in the past has been the largest perpetrator of actual racism.

Now all that aside, if there’s one thing that seems to have been proven in SC: it’s that throwing money at the SC educational system does no good.

I’d like to see more black homeschooling families myself. In short, I reject your argument as a whole- obviously.

Gov’t force hasn’t been the solution for blacks up to this point, and it’s not going to change. So passing whatever discrimination laws isn’t going to fix the problems in the black community today just like it hasn’t in the past.

Blacks need to embrace capitalism, like every other minority that has come over here and been successful(Koreans, Mexicans, Italians(far back), Irish, etc) and reject government handouts.

Not Comparable March 31, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Docs take an oath and they cannot refuse to treat anyone in an ER.

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Gay Weddings Planner March 31, 2015 at 4:28 pm

If I were a bakery owner, I would launch a huge ad campaign to announce that I specialize in gay weddings – not just cakes, but clothing, flowers, invitations, etc. This is a huge untapped market niche!

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Really? March 31, 2015 at 4:36 pm

EXACTLY!

How many gays want fabulous/expensive weddings?

ALL OF THEM!

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Mom March 31, 2015 at 4:32 pm

What if I simply don’t like the customer because he cusses, smells bad and I don’t really need the money that bad? Can I tell him I won’t bake him a cake or is that discrimination?

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Really? March 31, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Of course it’s discrimination.

Everyone discriminates, it’s just that some discrimination is considered “bad”.

What’s next, are we going to tell employers they have to hire stupid people or they are discriminating? lol

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Mom March 31, 2015 at 4:39 pm

I disagree. As a small business owner, I can work when and where I want to. So I’m a photographer who is allergic to cats. A customer wants me to photograph his cats. Can I say no?

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Mom March 31, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Okay. I confess I’m not allergic to cats. I just hate people who own cats.

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Really? March 31, 2015 at 4:43 pm

lmao! Good for you!

Be careful though, some might take offense to that and sue you over it…for “discrimination”.

Thing is, as repulsive as it sounds to many, you shouldn’t be able to sue someone because they don’t like the color of your skin.

Free society tolerates assholes as long as they are hurting anyone.

Really? March 31, 2015 at 4:51 pm

edit: “aren’t hurting”

Bible Thumper March 31, 2015 at 4:58 pm

What next? Will you be calling me names? Like “Cat Lover”.

Mom March 31, 2015 at 5:45 pm

YOU are a cat lover? I knew it all along!

Bible Thumper March 31, 2015 at 5:47 pm

Actually, it’s more of a love-hate relationship from both sides. Kinda like T-Rav and Kathryn. ;-)

Really? March 31, 2015 at 4:41 pm

“Can I say no?”

Of course you can, and newsflash, you’re “discriminating”. So we are you disagreeing on? lol

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Mom March 31, 2015 at 4:43 pm

What types of discrimination do you consider “bad”?

Really? March 31, 2015 at 4:45 pm

None. Zero.

As long as the discrimination isn’t a crime, meaning violating the non-aggression principle, it’s none of my business.

People discriminate all the time. That’s how they pick spouses, decide who to employ, who their friends are, etc.

Now, if someone decides to beat someone with a bat over the color of their skin, they are a criminal…but not because they are racist, but because they committed assault.

Mom March 31, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Okay. Your my new BFF. See you Thursday for coffee.

Really? March 31, 2015 at 4:50 pm

;)

Don’t tell the wife and we’re straight.

I keeeeeed!

Mom March 31, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Same here. Too bad you’re not a chick. I’ll send the hubby to have coffee with you so you don’t get your feelings hurt.

Really? March 31, 2015 at 4:46 pm

edit:

*what are we disagreeing on
(looks like we figured it out anyway)

Bible Thumper March 31, 2015 at 4:46 pm

You’re an Ailurophobe. You should die.

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Mom March 31, 2015 at 4:48 pm

Please save me from having to google that word.???

Bible Thumper March 31, 2015 at 4:52 pm

If you have to ask, you’re Ailurophobic too. Even discussing it proves it’s existence and your guilt.

The Rock Obama March 31, 2015 at 5:06 pm

Well in this case, you could refuse to take photos of gays, or blacks, and if they tried to sue you for discriminating, you would be protected against the law suit. In essence, it took away from those who are discriminated against, legal recourse to seek remediation. And that was bad.

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Rocky March 31, 2015 at 4:59 pm

No. You still would sever Grand Tango anyway. Or Rocky.

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Mom March 31, 2015 at 5:42 pm

Not if they are assholes and if I am having PMS.

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The Colonel March 31, 2015 at 6:59 pm

What if he comes in with no shoes or shirt?

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Rock Obama March 31, 2015 at 5:04 pm

Wait for it. In a short period of time GT will come on tell us it’s all because of LIberals and Obama, and a bunch of %#(% suckers and gays who are trying to destroy America and all the good Lady Liberty stands for, even though Lady Liberty was a gift from the French, and could very well have been bi-sexual. In either even he’ll rant, then talk about throwing fecal matter, claim it’s all my fault, and that I’m a liar and a communist and I’m ruining this country and I know it’s true, and …..blah, blah, blah. In reality, it was perceived as discriminatory against gays and lesbians, and the corporate community stood up and said No! And so the law shall be changed. Even if it didn’t really discriminate, which some say it didn’t. Just the perception, and the immediate reaction of good, upstanding Americans is enough to say, Amen Brother – finally – common sense is talking.

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Jeb For President March 31, 2015 at 5:07 pm

As for the politics of this which is all that interests me

Pence joins Haley as a non viable VP candidate for Jeb.

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Jack March 31, 2015 at 5:15 pm

Right. Pence is now politically dead as governor ultrasound. His career is over, because he let himself get pushed into a stupid piece of legislation by a bunch of religious zealots,

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TontoBubbaGoldstein March 31, 2015 at 8:20 pm

Maybe.
But what’ll really kill his career deader ‘n Kelsey’s nuts, is backing down to y’all SJW types who wouldn’t have voted for him anyway.

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Jan March 31, 2015 at 5:32 pm

Of course Jeb put his foot in it by coming out in support of this law. He should have looked at it first. That will come back to haunt him.

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Bible Thumper March 31, 2015 at 5:25 pm

I’m conflicted on this issue. If discrimination denies an individual access to the commerce and economy of an area, then I’m against it. But if the fulfillment of a service causes you to violate a religious belief, you shouldn’t be forced to perform it.
Examples:
1. Refusal of a doctor to provide medical treatment to a gay person would be illegal.
2. Refusal to provide reproductive services to a gay on religious grounds would be allowed.
3. Refusing make a birthday cake for gays is illegal discrimination.
4. Refusing to make a anniversary or wedding cake for a gay couple would be legal.

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Terry March 31, 2015 at 5:28 pm

So where does the bible say you can’t bake a cake for people you consider living in sin? Who exactly holds a religious belief that baking a cake for anyone is prohibited by scripture.

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Bible Thumper March 31, 2015 at 5:32 pm

Personally I wouldn’t refuse service to anyone. I don’t see my role as a businessman to pass judgment on anyone. But I do respect the right of others who disagree.

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Bible Thumper March 31, 2015 at 5:34 pm

What if you were asked to cater an event for the KKK?

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Terry March 31, 2015 at 5:45 pm

That wasn’t my question. You said you were ok with people not baking a wedding cake for gay people if they had a religious objection objection to doing so. I am simply asking what is the scriptural basis for such a religious belief.

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Bible Thumper March 31, 2015 at 6:07 pm

1 Corinthians 8:4-13
I haven’t done extensive research. I don’t believe there is scriptural objection, but your brothers’ and sisters’ faith may be weaken by your liberty in Christ.

Terry March 31, 2015 at 6:24 pm

Sorry, not buying the argument baking cakes for gay people is the same as eating food offered to idols. There is no valid biblical basis for saying you as a Christian have a religious objection to baking cake for a person you consider to be a sinner. Its just crap people say, because they don’t like gay people and don’t want to say, I refuse to bake that cake because i think those people are disgusting.

Bible Thumper March 31, 2015 at 6:54 pm

I’m not saying I buy it, but to not acknowledge the same scriptural logic can be generalized beyond food sacrificed to God’s is disingenuous. The scripture itself does this to any food not just food/ meat sacrificed to idols.
1 Corinthians 8:12 And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.

notLindaBurke April 1, 2015 at 11:12 am

Sorry, not buying the argument baking cakes for gay people is the same as eating food offered to idols.

Me, neither. Taking verses out of their context and culture leads to misinterpretation but helps reassure the fearful of their righteousness. Yet another demonstration of the insecurity of some trapped by their notion of Christianity.

The Colonel March 31, 2015 at 6:58 pm

Stupid question, there are multiple admonitions against homosexuality and against being “unequally yoked”, (being in business with people who don’t have your values).

Terry March 31, 2015 at 7:31 pm

Baking a cake is not homosexuality. No one said anything about being in business with anyone. Did Jesus refuse to give food to sinners? What about at the sermon on the mount? Did he not feed sinners? Did he not make food for sinners? What about the wedding at Cana. Did Jesus not make wine for sinners? Your response was stupid..

The Colonel March 31, 2015 at 7:58 pm

The wedding photographer and the wedding cake baker are entering a business contract with their customers – the very thing that 2 Cor 6:14 warns against.
Can you forgive sins or rise from the dead? Jesus did that as well.
Every “free meal” he handed out came with a hook, something along the lines of “…do not sin…” . Leaving aside for the moment the issue of homosexuality as a sin in and of itself, all sex outside of marriage is sin. I’d be willing to bet that most of the people who wouldn’t provide services to a gay wedding wouldn’t do a heterosexual orgy either. Matthew 19:5 establishes what a marriage is for most Christians.

Frankly, I don’t care who or what you have sex with, just do everyone a favor and keep it to yourself. Most of the “trouble” in these refusals to do business has come from folks looking to start trouble.

Rakkasan April 1, 2015 at 8:04 am

Yeah boss, you know, those people who want equal treatment under the law. First there were those blacks who wanted to vote, then women wanted to vote too. Then the slippery slope slid into the workplace, then even old farts want protection from discrimination. Now here we are with gays and lesbosians , infringing on my liberty–the liberty to discriminate against them if I want to.

Rakkasan April 1, 2015 at 8:20 am

Almost forgot about the biggest trouble makers, those darn gays in the military who want us to think it’s OK to serve “openly”. They need to get their sorry selves back in the closet where they belong, right COL? Damn trouble makers

The Colonel April 1, 2015 at 8:26 am

I can assure you that I’ve chewed a lot of young foolish asses about their graphic description of heterosexual behaviors but I don’t ever recall having to counsel one of my “gay” Soldiers about similar actions. I’ve had “gay” soldiers from time to time throughout my career. Never cared who they had sex with, just how well they did their job, most did me the courtesy of not discussing their sex lives with me.

Rakkasan April 1, 2015 at 8:44 am

Wait, you just you “had” gay Soldiers from time to time. Was it good for you too?

The Colonel April 1, 2015 at 8:46 am

In this case, “had” = “served with” Rakkasan, you knew what I meant.

Rakkasan April 1, 2015 at 9:39 am

Of course I did. Just pulling you leg COL, –FIGURATIVELY

Rocky April 1, 2015 at 9:08 am

And likewise, you judged them on their character and how well the performed their duties. A fair trade indeed. Honestly, I wish you would reconsider your retirement.

The Colonel April 1, 2015 at 9:21 am

Thanks but not an option. I’m at mandatory retirement (30 years). I could theoretically stay on as a warrant officer but I’m tired and my knees hurt, if I can’t “lead from the front”, it’s better that I go.

Rocky April 1, 2015 at 10:57 am

Try the contractor role. I understand from family members it’s very lucritive. You just fly often. Or come on over the the dark side – private sector:)

The Colonel April 1, 2015 at 12:57 pm

I am a reservist, I’ll still have my regular gig.

Roberto March 31, 2015 at 7:52 pm

There are more admonitions in the bible against eating pork. Is the owner of Little Pigs and his customer base commiting sin?

The Colonel March 31, 2015 at 8:01 pm

For an observant Jew yes, but there’s something in there about “…kill eat…” in the tenth chapter of Acts that overrides the dietary laws in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

vicupstate April 1, 2015 at 8:28 am

“unequally yoked”, refers to a Christian being married to an non-Christian.

The Colonel April 1, 2015 at 8:37 am

Your preacher may have used it in that context but here is the verse: 2 Cor 6:14 “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?”

Where in there is marriage mentioned? In fact, the word unbelievers is intentionally plural. In context, the verse is referring to all believers, the chapter opens with these words “We then, as workers together with him…” meaning it applies to all believers, the rest of the chapter describes how we are to relate to others, relationships with believers and non believers are discussed.

Rakkasan April 1, 2015 at 8:47 am

From your comments, we get a better sense of the “Christian”-centric culture of the military, for sure.

The Colonel April 1, 2015 at 8:49 am

So are you saying I can’t be motivated by a “Christ centered” ethos?

Rakkasan April 1, 2015 at 8:54 am

Not talking about ethos, talking about behaviors ,policies, and practices by military leaders, sanctioned and sometimes paid for by tax dollars (OMA budget dollars to you sir)

The Colonel April 1, 2015 at 9:04 am

Funny you should mention OMA dollars, I’ve spent months arguing about money to pay soldiers for an exercise we’re getting ready to run. My last few months in the Army have convinced me it’s time to go, I didn’t join to argue with idiots about money. 1 June can’t come fast enough.

My “command policy letter” has always included this slightly plagiarized line. “You will judge your soldiers not by their race, creed or gender but by the content of their character and the performance of their duty.” Have my actions been colored by my ethos? Most certainly, at least I hope they have.

Rakkasan April 1, 2015 at 9:34 am

Reasons are important in ethical decision making, but one can do the wrong thing for the right reason, like spending $$ for young couples to go to a marriage retreat weekend then ambushing them with religion when you have a captive audience at the retreat. Preferential treatment for soldiers who go to church in BCT, public Christian prayers imposed outhouse of other (or no) faiths, etc

Rakkasan April 1, 2015 at 9:42 am

“on those”–not outhouse. Bad spellcheck. Bad

The Colonel April 1, 2015 at 11:07 am

I don’t know that we got/gave preferential treatment to the soldiers who chose to go to church in basic training – they did get an hour or two away from the “round brown”. No one said you have to believe anything, just that you had to fall out for religious services. Most of my cohorts slept through the whole thing.

I was an IG and one of my generals opened his staff meeting with a prayer by the chaplain. He tried to be ecumenical but his fundamentalism sometimes bled through. I had a staff officer file a complaint about it one day. I asked him what harm it caused – he hemmed and hawed before admitting there was no real harm. I then asked if he had been in some of the raucous staff meetings we had before this general took over and started the “prayer thing” and he said no, that he was unaware of that.
I then pointed out that he was free to join in the corporate activity of prayer or study his notes and that no one would be the wiser because the vast majority of the staff had their eyes closed and heads bowed. He asked me how I knew that and I told him I looked around – no one was forcing me to participate. In shock he said but you go to that Baptist church right off base. I said yep, what’s your point – realizing he had none, he withdrew his complaint and walked out.

Rakkasan April 1, 2015 at 12:23 pm

You miss the point. When you say you have to attend, you are an agent of the gov’t imposing a religious preference. Harm, well, ask the Supreme Court who, for example, says that prayers at school can’t be led by school officials because they’re agents of the gov’t. Same for the staff meeting prayers. I don’t have to show or prove harm; a fundamental right is being violated. And, I’m very aware what the chaplains do at the retreats and that the program is not entirely scripted but leaves room for a few overzealous chaplains. Kinda similar to those commanders who would march the troops to the pitches from the financial companies. The message, while not explicit, is still very clear. We have this expectation….

The Colonel April 1, 2015 at 12:51 pm

“Imposing religion” by offering a prayer is a specious use of the word “impose”. When Jefferson wrote that there was a “…wall of separation…” he was talking about a religious test to hold office, not a simple public prayer. Isn’t it amazing that the Supreme Court opens with the intonation “The Honorable, the Chief Justice and the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! All persons having business before the Honorable, the Supreme Court of the United States, are admonished to draw near and give their attention, for the Court is now sitting. God save the United States and this Honorable Court!”
And yet there is something wrong with a prayer to start an event or meeting? In fact, that “august body” has said that there is nothing wrong with opening a public meeting with a prayer: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/after-supreme-courts-decision-on-prayers-at-meetings-what-about-crosses/2014/05/11/ff92d118-d915-11e3-8009-71de85b9c527_story.html

Rakkasan April 1, 2015 at 1:18 pm

SCOTUS also said it a prayer before a PUBLIC meeting didn’t impose undue influence. Staff meetings aren’t public meetings, and given the power hierarchy in a military organization, if it’s coming from the top, it comes with an expectation. For example, did you go to C&GS? Largest per capita church attendance I’ve ever seen. I’m sure it has nothing to do with staff group leaders and supervisors being there.

The Colonel April 1, 2015 at 1:44 pm

“Public” in this ruling means a”gubamint” meeting. Other courts have ruled in that manner using this and previous rulings as precedent.

notLindaBurke April 1, 2015 at 11:00 am

Thank you for making abundantly clear that discrimination is part of Christian theology. Perhaps that’s why some of our learned founders weren’t Christian. Why some so-called Christian denominations have emphasized the differences between “them” and “us” is probably more about pandering to human nature and the need for a pecking order than about any god.

The Colonel April 1, 2015 at 12:07 pm

I don’t know that this is a license to “discriminate” in the sense that you do – I don’t treat it as such. The Bible also says “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” Matt 28:19. I think anyone would understand “all nations” to mean black, white, gay straight… We have a song about it – “…red and yellow, black and white, the are precious in His sight…” Many of us actually believe that.

What most “areligious” and anti-religious folks don’t get is that I don’t have to condone your behavior to still love you. We sum that concept up this way – Hate the sin, love the sinner. Admittedly, some are better at it than others.

Bill March 31, 2015 at 6:03 pm

I’d take the money, subcontract the work to a minority owned business, and make sure they knew who it was for. Win win.

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Mom March 31, 2015 at 5:39 pm

What if the gay couple wants a cake decorated with pix of pretty little boys on it?

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Bible Thumper March 31, 2015 at 5:40 pm

I would suggest naked cherubs instead.

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Jan March 31, 2015 at 5:51 pm

Or the David by Michelangelo.

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The Colonel March 31, 2015 at 6:54 pm

Nothing about Michelangelo’s David is little.

TontoBubbaGoldstein March 31, 2015 at 8:14 pm

Nothing about Michelangelo’s David is little.

STOP STARING!!!!

The Colonel March 31, 2015 at 8:31 pm

The dude is 17 feet tall for crying out loud.

Roberto March 31, 2015 at 8:14 pm

Then it would be a cake for Catholic Priests, whose theology is against gay people.

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nitrat March 31, 2015 at 6:29 pm

What a great example…you either have to be crazy to be a Libertarian or the constant mental (intellectual is the wrong word here) masturbation that keeping to its dogma requires makes you lose your mind.

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FastEddy23 March 31, 2015 at 7:39 pm

Me thinks you are confusing the libertarians with this here issue. I can’t find any “progressive”/ quasi-demo-god newspeak or Gruberment spew and hogwash about the Indiana (and proposed Arkansas) law that has any association with libertarianism or even “classic liberalism”. (Look it up)

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nitrat April 1, 2015 at 10:01 am Reply
TroubleBaby April 1, 2015 at 10:15 am

…however you miss that any such employee can leave Hobby Lobby and go work for another business more in line with their personal views/needs.

So there is no “imposition” by said business..the employee always has a choice…he/she can stay or leave. It’s a voluntary contract on both sides part-until gov’t gets involved that is.

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bogart March 31, 2015 at 8:05 pm

“Thou shalt not commit adultery”. Would Mark Sanford and Soul Mate have gotten a wedding cake? Bible thumping politicians are idiots.

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FastEddy23 March 31, 2015 at 11:10 pm

Yes, usually.

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Roberto March 31, 2015 at 8:13 pm

This issue has nothing to do with baking cakes, or denying services to gays. If a business man actually has a problem with someone’s lifestyle, and wants to refuse service and not take money, so be it. As long as it is not public accommodations, he can refuse the service, and the money will go elsewhere.

However, if a business takes tax breaks, and the government gives tax breaks to the businesses donors, then they have a problem. The issue is about churches. As long as they are given tax breaks, and are allowed to perform the civil ceremony of marriage, they will lose in a court.

The issue of civil marriage is settled. Now the issue of civil marriage in a church. The churches will lose, unless they feel so strongly that they will give up their tax breaks.

Indiana sees this and is trying to take care of the issue proactively.

And Indiana will lose.

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Tom April 1, 2015 at 10:39 am

They can’t and that is the problem with cases like Citizens United, and the assertion that Corporations are people and money is speech.

If money is speech the average American is but a whisper never to be heard over the screams of the rich and the poor are mute.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein March 31, 2015 at 8:13 pm

But where should this line between competing liberties be drawn? We’d love to issue a blanket statement: That any private entity should be permitted to provide (or refuse) goods or services to anyone on any basis … but such a position would in turn create a host of liberty-depriving situations.

Such as?

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The propertarian says... March 31, 2015 at 8:54 pm

“I don’t agree with discrimination, I just support property rights.”

“I don’t agree with segregation, I just support property rights.”

“I don’t agree with slavery, I just support property rights.”

“Discrimination is freedom, equal protection is tyranny.”

“Making a baker sell a cake to a black or gay person is literally slavery and rape.”

“Why are there so few minority libertarians?”

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TroubleBaby March 31, 2015 at 11:00 pm

So what does the anti-propertarian say?

“I don’t support property rights.”

“There are a majority of anti-propertarians and that makes me feel I’m “right””

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William April 1, 2015 at 11:07 am

There are very few anti-propertarians. Propertarians are people who believe property rights are more important than all other rights. Anti-propertarians are people who believe there should be no property rights. Communists for example. Most people believe Property rights are very important, but that other rights are just as important if not more important.

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TroubleBaby April 1, 2015 at 1:14 pm

Anyone believing that some rights are “just as important”(meaning in your lingo, trumping other “rights”-let’s not BS each other) as property rights are “anti-propertarians”.

The idea that you can have a civil society without property rights is laughable as the bar for when you get to keep and/or control your stuff is constantly changing via the attitudes of society.

The confiscation and/or control of others property is violence in and of itself, so by condoning such because someone holds “incorrect” viewpoints is violent and dictatorial. PERIOD.

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William April 1, 2015 at 10:35 am

The richer you are the more likely you are to believe property rights are more important than the fundamental rights of man. Jefferson identified three fundamental rights in the Declaration of Independence, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But he did imply there were more. Fundamental rights are rights held by all men from birth and do not come from government under out theory of government. Property rights are secondary rights. They come from government. They are important but should be secondary to fundamental rights. . Modern Republicans would not agree with that assessment. They believe all rights should be secondary to property rights.

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TroubleBaby April 1, 2015 at 1:19 pm

“Modern Republicans would not agree with that assessment. ”

It’s not just “modern Republicans”, it’s anyone that recognizes that you can’t have a prosperous and civil society without holding property rights sacrosanct.

Btw, many “modern Republicans” don’t hold property rights as sacrosanct, so there’s that too.

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William April 1, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Property rights have never been held “sacrosanct” by any government. Property rights are creations of government. They do not arise naturally. Property rights were not endowed by the creator. Without government property rights do not exist. The rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness do. Many successful (and civilized) societies have existed where property rights for anyone except the most physically or politically powerful were essentially meaningless. In fact that is the history of Europe. In addition, successful and civilized societies have existed where real property ownership was not even a concept.

Property rights have limits in this country as they have in every country that has ever existed. Eminent domain is one limitation. The obligation to pay taxes to support the needs of the country is another. The establishment of a system of property rights is but one pillar in the goal of securing the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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TroubleBaby April 1, 2015 at 2:07 pm

“The establishment of a system of property rights is but one pillar in the goal of securing the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Very simply if you don’t hold property above the others you have not built as lasting system for success, which is why there is no recorded history of an ever surviving empire/government.

“Many successful (and civilized) societies have existed where property rights for anyone except the most physically or politically powerful were essentially meaningless. In fact that is the history of Europe. In addition, successful and civilized societies have existed where real property ownership was not even a concept.”

You seem to be saying two things here:

You are saying that successful & civilized societies existed without respect to private property, yet in the same breathe acknowledged some basis for such among the “physically or politically powerful”.

So because you seem to be arguing both for and against property rights in your above commentary, I’d like an example of such society in Europe in your opinion.

Also, because you seem to have implicitly accepted the concept that denying people property rights is violent(and it is), do you think society still can be civilized when the underlying theme/operation allows for said violence?

nobrainer March 31, 2015 at 9:20 pm

We all know how this will end…churches that teach traditional 3,500 year-old Mosaic Christian principles regarding marriage will be sanctioned and eventually outlawed by the anti -Christian bigot fascists who insist that everyone must be compelled (by judicial fiat) to embrace their perversity.

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nitrat April 1, 2015 at 9:57 am

Do you honestly think that the Jews were the only culture on the planet to come up with the idea of marriage?

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Goobersmacker April 1, 2015 at 11:27 am

“No brain” fits you to a T!

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Manray9 March 31, 2015 at 9:52 pm

The “religious freedom” addressed in these laws is a rhetorical subterfuge for discrimination. There are no “competing liberties” at issue. Religious freedom is not and hasn’t ever been at risk in the U.S. Religious people dominate life in America and all politicians and elected officials kow-tow to them. This is politics — pure and simple. Today’s GOP is using homophobia to arouse and manipulate a credulous voter base, just as Democrats used racism to do the same in the days of Strom Thurmond, George Wallace and Lester Maddox. Both eras saw similar empty rationalizations too: This isn’t about discrimination. It’s about the freedoms of commerce, association, religion and so on and so on.

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notLindaBurke April 1, 2015 at 10:35 am

All we have to do to conclude that these recent RFRA laws aren’t about religious freedom is to consider whether they would attract backers who are not part of the reactionary “taking-back-our-country” right. Talk to someone whose reality is all white and all (nominally) Christian and see how that person has imprisoned him/herself in order to be safe from those who don’t fit that vision. No law can ensure that safety in a changing world, and therefore no law can free these poor frightened souls.

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GrandTango April 1, 2015 at 9:46 am

Liberals are like NAZIs. They hate Christians…and want you dead, if they can find a way to eliminate you.

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Mary April 1, 2015 at 10:18 am

I am a Christian, you are not. Nothing you say is anything that would ever come out of the mouth of Christ. But since you are not a Christian you would not know that. So I will pray for your redemption before you die.

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GrandTango April 1, 2015 at 10:39 am

So everything that has ever come out of your mouth is only what would have come out of Christ’s mouth…and that’s what makes YOU a Christian…and not me?

Interesting….

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Mary April 1, 2015 at 10:46 am

We all have sinned and fallen short of god’s grace, and must seek forgiveness. You however are consumed by hate and anger. You hate all who do not agree with you. You hate the poor. You hate Democrats, You hate black people. You hate minorities. You hate gay people. You hate people you deem liberal and threaten with violence. You hate Christians who do not agree with your version of Christianity centered on hate. Christ is love, not hate. Salvation comes from love not hate. Hate has only one source and it is not heaven.

I will continue to pray for your salvation.

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Rocky April 1, 2015 at 10:56 am

Gonna be a long prayer.

GrandTango April 1, 2015 at 10:56 am

So judging me to H#!! is OK for you…because you’ve been taught that anyone who does not consume your political ideology is to be violently attacked w/ your rhetoric and is damned…???….Hmmmm…

You are very indicative of those you represent. Thank you for revealing who, and what you, are.

Rock Obama April 1, 2015 at 10:58 am

GT – I think what she was saying was it is you that seems to have the rhetoric supporting viloent attacks. Just a thought.

GrandTango April 1, 2015 at 11:16 am

So you’re talking for her…and she says ANYTHING that EVER came out of her mouth would be the same that came out of Jesus’ mouth…and since I’m not as good (sanctified like) as her, and Jesus, she is judging me to H#!!…
Thanks for showing me that she is not the only one who thinks like that….

Daniel Boome April 1, 2015 at 12:33 pm

Everything you have said here is typical liberal klap-trap when responding to a Christian’s admonishment of your behavior. You skirt around the real issue and make up straw-men, accusing the other person of saying something they never said and pretending as though you are above reproach. For once, try to engage in a discussion and cut it out with the vile retorts.
Oh, and enough with “Thanks for showing me” garbage statements that you throw out repetitively. It’s just another chance for you to make up stuff. The only person showing anybody anything is YOU when you show us what a despicable human being you are with your hateful responses.

GrandTango April 1, 2015 at 12:47 pm

Go put your clothes back on, you ignorant F*#k…I just undressed you…and if you deny that, you’re even more F*#king stupid than I think you are…LMAO…

Daniel Boome April 1, 2015 at 12:57 pm

Well, seeing as this is the first thing you’ve said to me today, I don’t know how you could make that claim. But nice try there, buddy. It’s always a classical liberal tactic to try and throw your opposition into a catch 22. Either I acknowledge that you “undressed” me or I deny it and magically become “more F*#king stupid than” you thought. I guess that tactic is a way to replace thinking and engaging in rational discussion. Congratulations, you’re still a mockery.

Mary April 1, 2015 at 11:22 am

My political beliefs have nothing to do with it. Christ loves me, he loves you, he loves gay people, black people, brown people, red people, poor people, rich people, sinners and saints. Christ is concerned with salvation of the soul, not the accumulation of personal wealth here on earth. Christ commands we feed the poor, cloth the poor, treat the sick, minister to those in need, and love all mankind. Hate has no place in Christ’s teachings.

Christ said judge not, lest ye be judged. I judge you no more than you judge others. Your hate and anger is obvious. It is my heartfelt belief that real Christians do not hate. Ergo, I must assume that you have been misguided by sources other than Christ.

I continue to pray for your salvation.

GrandTango April 1, 2015 at 11:31 am

I think you – like most delusional liberals- equate the moral dictates based in the religion of liberalism…as equal to Christianity…
Jesus warned us of fools….
The juxtaposition for you is that most of you HATE God..and loathe Christians…
But we do get a Dumb@$$, who comes along every now and then, and tries to damn freedom-loving Americans to H#!! because we don’t think that people should be granted special privileges based on your political Bull-S#it and sinful immorality…
Race-based hate is just as much a sin for hateful blacks and liberals as it was for the KKK.
And Gays are not anointed to some special place devoid of responsibility, just because the Democrat Party think you can maintain your power and feed you GREED w/ their influence…
You are one mis-guided and stupid some beech…

Mary April 1, 2015 at 12:06 pm

Christ will welcome you when you are ready. The door is always open to those who knock. The path is always lighted, for those who seek it. He will release your anger, replace your hate with love, calm your soul, and give you peace and purpose. I and all of his followers will rejoice at your redemption, for what was lost is found.

GrandTango April 1, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Nice try….LMAO…

And Satan will pat you on the back, each time you use the dogma of the left to try to deceive the just…in order to get the simple-minded to follow your immoral political doctrine…

Ol' Sparky April 1, 2015 at 10:32 am

Take your shoes off and sit a spell.

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Daniel Boome April 1, 2015 at 10:21 am

The cesspool of idiotic commentary that comes on the heels of this is nauseating. Liberals just can’t stop with the irrelevant arguments with regards to this law. It reminds me of the Arizona immigration (which did nothing more than ensure LE was able to comply with federal law) and all proposed boycotts (from moving the Super Bowl to moving the World Series). This law does nothing more than allow a business to argue IN COURT that selling a certain service would cause them undue harm as far as their personal beliefs (whether religious or not). It is up to the court to decide whether the business owners argument has merit or not. The law does not give business owners the right to refuse service to someone solely on the basis of the fact that they are gay, because that already violates FEDERAL LAW. So enough with the red herrings and straw-men. This is just another avenue for liberals to inject their BS and throw intolerance grenades.

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notLindaBurke April 1, 2015 at 10:46 am

This is just another avenue for liberals to inject their BS and throw intolerance grenades

OK, Why is this law needed? What protection does it offer if not to permit businesses to pretend they’re human beings with religious beliefs that discriminate against other human beings?

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Daniel Boome April 1, 2015 at 11:05 am

The law is to allow business owners the right to argue IN COURT that their refusal is due to an undue burden placed on them infringing upon their personal beliefs (religious or otherwise, but typically religious). They could argue in court the right to refuse service to gays solely on the basis that they are gay, but that would not permitted under this law because it already violates federal law (and therefore they would lose the argument in court). Refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple on the basis of the fact that the baking shop owner is against marriage between gay couples (and not based solely on the fact that they are gay) would constitute grounds for the “undue burden” argument (and it would still have to be argued in court).

Put it another way. If an LGBT sign company refuses to make a sign for a member of Westboro Baptist (solely based on the fact that they are a member of the church), the WBC member would be protected in the same way that the gay individual in the example above would. If, however, the sign company refused to make signs that say “God Hates Fags”, they would be permitted to do so in the same way and using the law in the same way that the baker refusing to bake the gay wedding cake would, using the “undue burden” on personal beliefs argument.

If I was a baker, I personally wouldn’t refuse to bake a gay couple’s wedding cake. My standing in the Kingdom of God is not based on whether or not I provide service to a gay couple’s wedding (even though I disagree with it), particularly if they are going to get married anyways.. If it were something that would affect my standing, I would go out of business as I would have to refuse to bake wedding cakes for all cohabiters, fornicators, liars, etc. If anything, providing the service may provide me a witness opportunity. Nevertheless, that doesn’t change the fact that others may see the requirement to provide this type of service as infringement on the free exercise of religion (even though I personal disagree that it does). It doesn’t matter whether we agree with whether they are exercising a “legitimate” case of religious freedom, but they should at least be allowed to argue their case before a judge. That’s the point and aim of this law.

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notLindaBurke April 1, 2015 at 11:21 am

To boil all that down: It’s a solution seeking a problem that is unlikely to affect anyone but those who are threatened by “the others”. No outlandish and/or improbable “what ifs” change the reality that these “religious freedom” laws are unnecessary sops to fearful base voters.

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Daniel Boome April 1, 2015 at 12:37 pm

No, it’s a solution trying to prevent a potential problem, one that has been realized in many instances. The business owners did not start the litigation, those who erroneously felt like they “discriminated” against did. No amount of couching it in terms being “threatened” or “fearful” change the facts of this situation. No amount of mocking “religious” freedom does, either. Is giving the LGBT sign company the freedom to refuse service of a “God Hates Fags” sign to a WBC member a sop to fearful base voters?

notLindaBurke April 1, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Is giving the LGBT sign company the freedom to refuse service of a “God Hates Fags” sign to a WBC member a sop to fearful base voters?

When all fact-based arguments fail. go for the hypothetical. As I said, “No outlandish and/or improbable “what ifs” change the reality that these “religious freedom” laws are unnecessary sops to fearful base voters.”

Further, the FACTS are that LGBTs (and other minorities) have good reason to be fearful. The record of discrimination against them has fostered hatred that has led to physical and emotional violence.

Daniel Boome April 1, 2015 at 3:22 pm

My fact-based arguments have not failed, nor does my hypothetical represent an “outlandish what if” scenario. Just because we don’t know if something like it hasn’t happened before doesn’t mean it’s just some sort of fringe, pie-in-the-sky example.

“The record of discrimination against them has fostered hatred that has led to physical and emotional violence.” This is simply not true and also ignores the fact that Christians have faced all kinds of unwarranted hatred from the militant gay lobby “that has led to physical and emotional violence”. There is absolutely no wide-scale record of physical/emotional threats against gays from business owners. You are simply begging the question. No gays will be harmed in any way by this law unless you count being harmed in the pocketbook, because they will no longer be allowed to frivolously claim discrimination. There are plenty of bakers who will cater to gay weddings. Choosing the one who won’t solely to gain financial reparation is part of the reason this law must go into place. Again, I don’t agree with refusing service to gays for their wedding, but I also don’t believe that it in any way fosters hatred that will lead to violence.

Krazy Kat April 1, 2015 at 2:24 pm

Anyon remember “Man From GLAD!” I think of him everytime I see this guys picture.
Certainly not the Man from GLAAD!

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Soft Sigh from Hell April 1, 2015 at 7:46 pm

Indiana — “the most northern southern state”

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Soft Sigh from Hell April 2, 2015 at 8:13 pm

The Indiana legislature once tried to make pi a rational number.

Them Hoosiers am harebrained.

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