Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The pros and cons on same sex marriage

Here. 

137 comments:

Crude said...

Better list than normal. Still crappy.

planks length said...

I am opposed to the legalization of same sex marriage for the following reasons:

1. Definition. If one calls same sex unions a "marriage" then words no longer have any meaning, or we're all like Lewis Carroll's Humpty Dumpty: "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean," which amounts to the same thing.

2. Slippery Slope. Which we're already seeing in Utah with the near-legalization of polygamy.

3. The strong hand of the law forcing bakers to bake cakes against their will, or photographers to photograph what they do not wish to, or florists to decorate for events they oppose. These people are all basically artists, and to compel them to participate in same sex marriages against their will is no different than forcing a writer who supports (for instance) the NRA to write an editorial praising stricter gun control legislation.

4. Cost. Every study I've seen shows that states which allow legal same sex marriages will pay dearly for the privilege with more payouts and benefits and lower tax revenues with which to cover them. It essentially means a compulsory transfer of wealth from heterosexual couples to homosexual ones.

Gordon said...

YES, Lets take umbrage at the strong hand of the law requiring that commercial bakers bake for back people as well as white.

Once we realize that being gay is a state of being, not a chosen "perversion," this sort of argument falls apart (unless one subscribes to the uber libertarian view that takes the right not to serve to be greater than the right be treated equally.

Crude said...

Once we realize that being gay is a state of being, not a chosen "perversion,"

Irrelevant, because - last I saw - the bakers have no problem baking cakes for 'gay people'. They don't want to bake a cake for a gay marriage.

planks length said...

Gordon,

Note well that I did not write "bake for gay people" but rather bake for certain events. Huge difference. By selling baked items to a homosexual (or to a Republican, Democrat, atheist, Mormon, whatever), the baker is not being compelled to make any sort of statement. But by being forced into becoming part of what is essentially a political event (a same sex marriage ceremony), he is.

In an ideal world, the Law should be able to make such distinctions without breathing hard. Unfortunately, history has given us little hope that it will do so in reality.

Here's a thought experiment for you. Would you be so sympathetic to the "right to be treated equally" if the baker were being compelled (under threat of crippling legal penalties) to bake a cake for a Klan rally, or for a neo-Nazi event? What if the customer demanded a cake with icing that spelled out "Hitler didn't kill enough Jews"? Would you still believe it was "uber libertarian" to support the right of the baker to say no?

im-skeptical said...

"Note well that I did not write "bake for gay people" but rather bake for certain events. Huge difference."

Ah, yes. The good ol' "love the sinner - hate the sin" dodge. I'm sure Matthew Shepard was feeling the love.

planks length said...

I note that so far it has only been the defenders of same sex marriage who have brought up "perversion" or "sin".

Crude made no mention such things in this exchange. Nor did I.

It would appear that neither Gordon nor im-skeptical even bothered to think about what they were objecting to, but simply reached into their own prejudices to pull out a canned response to something that wasn't even said (except in their own minds).

Ilíon said...

Gordon: "YES, Lets take umbrage at the strong hand of the law requiring that commercial bakers bake for back people as well as white."

Exactly. Now, would you care to reason?

Gordon: "Once we realize that being gay is a state of being, not a chosen "perversion," this sort of argument falls apart (unless one subscribes to the uber libertarian view that takes the right not to serve to be greater than the right be treated equally."

Once we realize that being opposed to homosexual activity is a state of being, not a chosen "perversion," this sort of [homo-supremacist] argument falls apart (unless one subscribes to the uber leftist view that takes one's idiosyncratic (and self-serving) definition of ‘equality’ to give one the right compel others to serve oneself to be greater than the right of others exercise their rights of liberty, including the human (and Constitutional) right of free association).

Now, would you care to reason?

Ilíon said...

some widely-recognized liar: "Ah, yes. The good ol' "love the sinner - hate the sin" dodge. I'm sure Matthew Shepard was feeling the love."

Matthew Shepard -- that poor, innocent, murdered lamb -- was murdered because he was *willingly* "in the wrong place, at the wrong time" as people like to put these things so as to evade the real issues.

Shepard was out looking for "rough trade" -- he was looking for thugs with whom to engage in homosexual pseudo-sex. At least one of the thugs he willingly left the bar with was -- get this -- "gay" or "bisexual".

Moreover, Shepard *knew* at least one of his murderers, having at least once previously engaged in homosexual pseudo-sex with him while taking drugs in the back of a limo owned by "a shady Laramie figure" called Doc O'Connor, of whom at least one of Shepard's friends says that the three (Shepard, murderer, O'Connor) had engaged in a homosexual pseudo-sex three-way.

planks length said...

I note that neither of the defenders of same sex marriage in this conversation have answered my thought experiment. What is the difference between compelling a Christian baker to participate in a same sex wedding and forcing a Jewish baker to decorate a cake with the words "Hitler didn't kill enough Jews"? In either case, the issue is not "equal service", but rather one of forcing (under threat of severe financial penalty) a person to engage in speech contrary to his beliefs.

Once we go down this slippery slope (and yes, slippery slopes do in fact exist in the real world), we are perilously close to forcing everyone to think, speak, and write only in the approved Party Line.

im-skeptical said...

"Matthew Shepard -- that poor, innocent, murdered lamb -- was murdered because he was *willingly* "in the wrong place, at the wrong time""

Count on Ilion to illuminate the truth with his impeccable logic. Yes, Matthew Shepard was responsible for his own brutal murder, not the homophobic thugs who sit in the pews of America's churches listening to the hate-filled vitriol spewing from their pastors and then acting upon it.

im-skeptical said...

planks length

Yes, I would be loathe to serve anyone who advocates hateful, murderous policies and criminal activity. What in the world does that have to do with serving gay people? You seem to be saying that they are the same thing.

Gordon's analogy of different racial groups is much more apt. But this sheds light on the way you view gay people.

planks length said...

im-skeptical,

Have you never heard of the reductio ad absurdum? Using such sheds no light on how someone views other people. It is a tool to aid in showing where an argument leads to if incautiously advanced. You appear to approve of compelling a baker to support events he disapproves of, to the point of fining him or driving him out of business. (This is happening TODAY in several states.) My argumenum ad absurdum was intended to show you the logical consequences of your stated position.

But if you think about it, what you have just written shows that you may actually agree with me. If you concede that one should not be forced to participate in a Klan rally or a neo-Nazi event, solely on the grounds you consider them to be "murderers and criminals", then you ought to also support a baker's right to refuse participation in an event that he regards as morally repugnant.

I have searched your past comments on this website, and noted that you are on record as denying there is such a thing as objective morality. If so, on what grounds do you regard it as OK to impose your pro-same sex views on someone who disagrees with you? How do you justify using the strong arm of the Law to destroy his business, solely because he does not share your admittedly non-objective personal opinion?

im-skeptical said...

planks length,

I don't think that's a reasonable argumenum ad absurdum. I can easily reject support for hateful criminal behavior while advocating equal treatment based on race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. This involves no contradiction whatsoever (unless you think those things are equivalent on some level).

Regarding the imposition of my views: I'm not asking you do do something against your religion, unless treating people like human beings is against your religion.

planks length said...

im-skeptical,

You are not asking ME to do anything - I am not a baker (or a florist, or a photographer). But let me try one final time, and then I will take Saint Augustine's advice and hold my peace, having said my piece.

These persons listed in the above paragraph are not only businesspeople, they are artists - creative intellects. Their medium of expression is baked goods, floral arrangements, photography. They are essentially the same as painters, musicians, or writers.

Forcing one of them (under heavy legal pressure) to participate in an event they find morally offensive is NO DIFFERENT than demanding that a writer who is a Democrat produce campaign material for the Republicans. Or, under threat of financial ruin, insisting that an Muslim artist (who regards portraiture as blasphemous idolatry) paint pictures of Christ. Or insisting that an environmentalist composer perform music glorifying strip mining, or else he will be legally banned from writing any more music. (Do you like those examples better? Perhaps you thought the ones I used earlier were over the top.)

Do you approve of any of those things happening in the USA? Because they are precise analogues to what is TODAY being done to bakers, florists, and photographers. How can you defend this?

im-skeptical said...

planks length,

"Do you approve of any of those things happening in the USA? "

Let's try looking at it in a different way. Say you're a Christian living in a land where most people are gay. Christians are a small minority, and everywhere you go, you are told "We don't serve your kind here." You can't find a place to live or a job, either, because the laws allow open discrimination against Christians. You fear for your life because Christians are dragged into alleys and beaten. You are forced to hide who you are.

How do you like them apples?

BenYachov said...

It seems Matt Shepard was not the victim of an anti-gay hate crime. His killers might have been "involved" with him. It looks like it was something else according to the research done by this gay dude who looked into it.

http://www.advocate.com/print-issue/current-issue/2013/09/13/have-we-got-matthew-shepard-all-wrong?page=full

Just saying......

Ilíon said...

'planks length' to I-pretend-to-be-rational: "I have searched your past comments on this website, and noted that you are on record as denying there is such a thing as objective morality. If so, on what grounds do you regard it as OK to impose your pro-same sex views on someone who disagrees with you? How do you justify using the strong arm of the Law to destroy his business, solely because he does not share your admittedly non-objective personal opinion?"

On the same grounds that even though at least one of the murderers of Matthew Shepard, the Lamb of Gay, was:
1) known to him;
2) a past partner in drug abuse;
3) a part partner in "gay" "sex";
4) an actual thug whom Shepard had actively sought out;
and, no actual Christians were actually involved in any way, the murder was nevertheless the fault of "homophobic thugs who sit in the pews of America's churches listening to the hate-filled vitriol spewing from their pastors and then acting upon it."

Ilíon said...

BenYachov: "It seems Matt Shepard was not the victim of an anti-gay hate crime. His killers might have been "involved" with him. It looks like it was something else according to the research done by this gay dude who looked into it."

While the details the "gay" dude provides are illuminating, the broad picture he paints was actually known at the time.

But, when has truth – or reason – ever stood in the way of leftists?

amorbis said...

Let's try looking at it in a different way. Say you're a Christian living in a land where most people are gay. Christians are a small minority, and everywhere you go, you are told "We don't serve your kind here." You can't find a place to live or a job, either, because the laws allow open discrimination against Christians. You fear for your life because Christians are dragged into alleys and beaten. You are forced to hide who you are.

How do you like them apples?


How about you try actually *reading* what he wrote and making an effort to respond to it? I'll post it again:

Forcing one of them (under heavy legal pressure) to participate in an event they find morally offensive is NO DIFFERENT than demanding that a writer who is a Democrat produce campaign material for the Republicans. Or, under threat of financial ruin, insisting that an Muslim artist (who regards portraiture as blasphemous idolatry) paint pictures of Christ. Or insisting that an environmentalist composer perform music glorifying strip mining, or else he will be legally banned from writing any more music.

How about you try responding to that instead of changing the subject?

im-skeptical said...

Talk about changing the subject:

We were discussing whether people (specifically, with regard to sexual orientation) deserve equal treatment and whether that should be codified in the law. This was twisted into a question of whether it's right to force someone to participate in Nazi and criminal activities under threat of financial ruin. That's changing the subject. I tried to point out that this was not an appropriate analogy, but he insists that it is, so I can only presume that he equates homosexuality with criminal activity.

The question I asked is quite pertinent to the topic, and much closer to the real heart of this issue. I'd still like to hear his response.

amorbis said...
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amorbis said...

Once again, you COMPLETELY IGNORE the argument that was advanced against you. I will continue to repost it until you either respond to it or acknowledge that you cannot defeat it:

These persons listed in the above paragraph are not only businesspeople, they are artists - creative intellects. Their medium of expression is baked goods, floral arrangements, photography. They are essentially the same as painters, musicians, or writers.

Forcing one of them (under heavy legal pressure) to participate in an event they find morally offensive is NO DIFFERENT than demanding that a writer who is a Democrat produce campaign material for the Republicans. Or, under threat of financial ruin, insisting that an Muslim artist (who regards portraiture as blasphemous idolatry) paint pictures of Christ. Or insisting that an environmentalist composer perform music glorifying strip mining, or else he will be legally banned from writing any more music. (Do you like those examples better? Perhaps you thought the ones I used earlier were over the top.)

Do you approve of any of those things happening in the USA? Because they are precise analogues to what is TODAY being done to bakers, florists, and photographers. How can you defend this?


Your turn. Go.

Dan Gillson said...

Here's an interesting take from a lawyer's perspective. The author asks the question, "is there a principled reason to be outraged when anti-discrimination laws are applied to forbid the discrimination of gays, but not to discriminations of … any other group?"

im-skeptical said...

Dan,

In my opinion, public accommodation laws should apply the same for all demographic groups (as I am using the term here, racial, religious, etc). They intrude on an individual's rights only to the extent that they cross the line between demographic affiliation and ideological affiliation. I realize that this can be a gray area, and it may be difficult to separate one from the other.

Here's the way I look at it: discrimination against demographic groups is what is covered by public accommodation laws. Ideological discrimination is not covered by these laws, but is protected by the first amendment.

By my reasoning, if you are a klansman photographer who refuses to service a black wedding (demographic discrimination), you are in violation of the law. If you are a black photographer who refuses to service a white wedding (demographic discrimination), you are in violation of the law. If you are a black photographer who refuses to service a Klan wedding (ideological discrimination) you are not in violation of the law.

What it boils down to is the reason or basis for your discrimination. Of course, this may not always be easy to determine. At the same time, I think many people want to deliberately blur the line.

planks length said...

"If you are a black photographer who refuses to service a Klan wedding (ideological discrimination) you are not in violation of the law."

I seems you and I are in agreement. By your own reasoning (as quoted above), a photographer (or baker, florist, or whatever) should not be compelled to provide service to a same sex wedding if the photographer has a moral objection to such events, since "ideological discrimination" is not against the law.

Thank you for clarifying that.

Dan Gillson said...

Planks Length,

Do you think that the application of anti-discrimination laws to forbid the discrimination of mixed racial couples is in principle different than their application to forbid discrimination of gay couples? How would you accept one without accepting the other?

planks length said...

"Do you think that the application of anti-discrimination laws to forbid the discrimination of mixed racial couples is in principle different than their application to forbid discrimination of gay couples?"

Yes.

"How would you accept one without accepting the other?"

I believe I've answered that already (and multiple times) in the course of this conversation. Read my comments again. You'll find my reasoning there, quite clearly expressed.

im-skeptical said...

planks length,

"By your own reasoning (as quoted above), a photographer (or baker, florist, or whatever) should not be compelled to provide service to a same sex wedding if the photographer has a moral objection to such events, since "ideological discrimination" is not against the law."

This is where we disagree. I think that would be demographic discrimination. Being gay is not an ideology. You don't get to choose to be gay, it's just what you are. A religious person mistakenly assumes that it's sinful behavior chosen by the person because some ancient book says it is, but the ancient book lacks an understanding of human nature (among other things).

planks length said...
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planks length said...

"You don't get to choose to be gay, it's just what you are."

Even if that statement were true (and I'm not sure whether it is, but for the sake of argument, I will grant it for now), that has no bearing whatsoever on the issue of same sex marriage. None. Zero.

Allow me to explain: "You don't get to choose to be [your parent's child], it's just what you are." Fine. So if a person comes into your bakery, go ahead and sell them all the cookies they want, regardless of whether they are the son or daughter of their parents. But if that same person comes in and says, "I want to marry my mother (or father)." I such a case, the baker ought to be legally allowed to say, "Hell no, I do not wish to participate in such an event!" And the Law should not be able to compel him to do so.

That is EXACTLY analogous to the situation of the baker being forced to be part of a same sex wedding. (And it ought to satisfy Dan Gillson as to why this issue has nothing to do with racial discrimination. The two cases are in no way similar.)

Dan Gillson said...

planks length,

You haven't specified the principle which forbids discrimination in one case, but allows it in another. The question is, if someone, say, a baker, is going to provide goods and services to the public, to what extent should he be able to implement his personal beliefs on his clientele? Should he be given free reign to discriminate against whomever he wants, or should he be forced to make reasonable accommodations for certain groups who don't believe as he does? (I emphasize reasonable. Forcing a black person to provide services to the KKK doesn't count; the KKK recognized as a hate group.) What's the principled difference between refusing services to a mixed racial couple for religious reasons, and refusing services to a gay couple?

Dan Gillson said...

addendum: ... for religious reasons?

planks length said...

Dan,

What you don't seem to be grasping (or perhaps you are, but simply do not think it matters) is that the baker is not discriminating against a person. He is choosing what activities he wishes to be associated with. Gigantic difference.

I'm going to stop here (unless something new comes up), because I am beginning to repeat myself. SUMMARY: If a baker refuses to sell cookies or bread or whatever to a customer solely on the grounds that the customer is a homosexual, then of course that would be illegal discrimination. No question. But if that same customer then demanded that the baker associate his name and his business with an activity that the baker finds morally repugnant (such as a same sex wedding), then the baker is perfectly within his rights to refuse, and the Law ought to back him up on this.

im-skeptical said...

" the baker is not discriminating against a person. He is choosing what activities he wishes to be associated with. "

So the baker doesn't want to be associated with weddings?

Dan Gillson said...
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Dan Gillson said...

planks length,

It doesn't matter if you shift the burden from persons to activities, the result is still the same: the baker is still refusing to provide services to a gay couple. What justifies the discrimination in this case, but doesn't justify it in the case of the mixed racial couple? What's the principled difference between these two scenarios:

1. Bob has a bakery. Bob is a member of the Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church. Bob refuses to bake a wedding cake for a mixed racial couple because according to his religious beliefs, mixed racial weddings are morally repugnant.

2. Stan has a bakery. Stan is a member of Faithful Word Baptist Church. Stan refuses to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple because according to his religious beliefs, gay weddings are morally repugnant.

Ilíon said...

planks length: "SUMMARY: If a baker refuses to sell cookies or bread or whatever to a customer solely on the grounds that the customer is a homosexual, then of course that would be illegal discrimination. No question."

I deny this alleged "no question".

"If a baker refuses to sell cookies or bread or whatever to a customer solely on the grounds that the customer is a homosexual" -- or to a black man, solely because of his race -- then "fixing" that fact-and-act is not the business of the State. That it certainly may be a private person's business as a potential customer, is a different matter. That a private person has the right to try to influence others to not give their custom to that "biggot" (that's generally a hypocritical leftist boo-word, thus the quote-marks), is a different matter. That the State may, and generally ought, depending on the particulars, decline to give state business -- that is tax monies forcably extracted from the general public -- to that person or corporation is a different matter.

Not all things that are immoral can reasonably be made illegal, for the 'cure' is almost always worse -- more destructive to individual liberty and to society as a whole -- than is the 'disease'.

Dan Gillson said...

Ilíon,

I appreciate that your principle can be applied consistently, even though I'm not yet sure where I stand regarding it.

planks length said...

Ilion,

I'm not sure I understand your comment. Are you saying that the state has no role in ensuring that a business does not discriminate? I seem to recall Ron Paul making a similar statement some years ago. If so, I'm not sure we agree. I think Ron Paul is too extreme in his libertarianism.

I am in favor of limited government, but not in no government. There are legitimate governmental functions. But a line has to be drawn somewhere (the very definition of "politics"). It would seem to me that preventing discrimination falls on the "OK" side.

The case of a baker refusing service to a same sex ceremony, however, is NOT an issue of discrimination. Gordon and im-skeptical are quite wrong about this. By definition (see my very first comment in this discussion), such an event is not really a wedding (unless one is willing to dump the dictionary overboard and say that words have no meaning). So the baker can legitimately say that he provides service for all weddings, and such a ceremony is not a wedding.

By the way (and this is to Gordon and im-skeptical), if you do indeed wish to abandon all pretense that words do have meaning, then we cannot have law at all. Law depends on everyone mutually agreeing on what words mean. This is why legal documents are so carefully drawn up - so there is no room for misunderstanding. But if everyone comes in with their own definitions for the same words, then chaos ensues.

im-skeptical said...

Ilion,

I refer you to January 26, 2014 8:12 PM.


planks length,

The law does define marriage. And soon it will be nationwide. It's not up to you decide. By the way if your church chooses to have their own definition, they don't have the right to impose that on the rest of us.

planks length said...
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planks length said...

"if your church"

Who mentioned anything about a church? Re-read my comments. Not me - not even once.

Dan Gillson said...

Planks length,

You're avoiding specifying the principle which forbids discrimination in one case while allowing it in the other. Let's pretend that a mixed racial couple goes to Bob the baker (from the example above) to get a wedding cake. Bob the baker denies them his services because a mixed racial wedding isn't a legitimate wedding. Do you think that anti-discrimination laws apply to this case? How would it be different in principle if the couple were gay, but the reason for denying service was the same?

planks length said...

This whole race issue is a red herring and nothing more than an attempt to change the subject. Apples and oranges. Stick to the issue. How can you justify forcing a person to participate in an act he regards as morally reprehensible?

You want truly analogous examples? Here are two:

1. We allowed for conscientious objectors in the draft system (when we had one).

2. We excuse jurors who object to capital punishment from death penalty cases.

The principle is well established. How is this any different?

Dan Gillson said...

planks length,

I am sticking to the issue, you're trying to dodge it. What I'm asking for is a principled application of the law. Race isn't a red herring. If the reason for discrimination is the same, i.e., if both baker's reason are, "it's an illegitimate wedding", what is the basis for forbidding discrimination in the case of the mixed racial couple while allowing it in the case of a gay couple?

And anyways, your examples yield false comparisons: compelling a business to obey public accommodation laws isn't the same as compelling speech.

planks length said...

"compelling a business to obey public accommodation laws isn't the same as compelling speech."

Re-read my very first comment (point number 3). I never brought up the issue of public accommodation, since that is not the issue at hand. Compelling speech is precisely what I'm talking about.

And yes, bringing in race is a total red herring. It is completely off subject. I cannot wrap my head around how you think it isn't.

Dan Gillson said...

planks length,

Public accommodation law is the issue at hand, not the compulsion of speech. Nothing is compelling the owner of a business to state publicly that they find x to be morally repugnant, but something is preventing the from fully implementing their beliefs about the repugnance of x in the marketplace. The issue is whether or not this prevention is principled or partial. Now, is there a principled reason to forbid the discrimination of mixed racial couples but to allow it if the couple is gay? I don't think that there is. If we prevent discrimination in one case, then we should prevent it in the other.

amorbis said...

I think Dan and planks length are talking past each other.

Dan is seeing it the following way: Objection to a marriage because both participants are the same gender seems no different from objection to a marriage because the two participants are of different race. So why count the latter as discrimination and not the former?

planks length sees it a completely different way: in his view, "one man, one woman" is part of the very definition of marriage, in a way that "same race" is not. So for him, bringing up race just seems like a red herring.

Hopefully that helps.

planks length said...

I am also (and primarily) arguing that bakers, florists, photographers, etc. are essentially artists. Their medium of expression is baked goods, floral arrangements, and photographs. Compelling them to participate in an event that they find objectionable IS NO DIFFERENT than forcing a pro-gun author to write an editorial in his name endorsing gun control. Dan appears to believe there is nothing wrong with the state ordering him to do so, under threat of destroying his livelihood if he refuses.

So yes, yes, yes. The ONLY issue here is compulsion of speech. Anything else is an attempt to change the subject.

Dan Gillson said...

Amorbis,

It does and it doesn't help. Planks length doesn't realize that certain people believe that the Bible teaches that mixed race relationships are wrong. These people are taking their ideas from the same Bible as the people who believe that the Bible teaches that homosexual relationships are wrong. What principled reason do we have which forbids the people who believe that mixed race relationships are wrong from discriminating against mixed race couples, but allows the people who believe that homosexual relationships are wrong from discriminating against gay couples? Why apply the law partially?

Dan Gillson said...

planks length,

If the baker, florist, or photographer isn't providing services to the public at large, then sure, forcing them to participate in an event which they find objectionable is compelling speech; however, if the baker, florist, or photographer is offering services to the public--if they are part of the marketplace which offers services to the general public--then they are bound to follow the antidiscrimination laws which forbid them from discriminating against any protected group. Nothing, however, is stopping them from publicly stating that they find x to be morally repugnant; they must, however, comply with public accommodation laws.

Anyways, if forcing people who believe that homosexual relationships wrong to accommodate gay couples is compelling speech, then how isn't forcing people who believe that mixed race relationships are wrong to accommodate mixed race couples also compelling speech? Ilíon recognizes it as such, but you don't. What is the principled difference between the two?

planks length said...

"What is the principled difference between the two?"

Dan, you have the shoe on the wrong foot. Since it was you who introduced the issue of race here, the burden is upon you to explain why it is relevant. I fail to see how it has anything at all to do with what we are discussing, so I am at a complete loss to understand what it is you wish me to say.

It's like asking me to explain the "principled difference" between going bowling and baking a pie.

Ilíon said...

some whiny lying hypocrite: "I refer you to January 26, 2014 8:12 PM."

Translation:
1) I made an anti-Christian assertion that even I knew was false even as I asserted it.
2) Ilíon presented some freely-available and widely-known facts which showed my bigoted anti-Christian assertion to be not only false, but to be the direct opposite of the truth.
3) My response -- for that's just the kind of guy I am -- was to double-down on my anti-Christian bigotry and lying assertion about Christians being responsible for Shepard's murder.
4) BenYachov posted a link to an article -- at the Advovate -- that discusses these freely-available and widely-known facts which show my bigoted anti-Christian assertion to be not only false, but to be the direct opposite of the truth.
5) Therefore, rather than just admitting that what I’d asserted was false, I'm going to triple-down.

frances said...

plank's length



1. Definition.
This is not comparable to Humpty Dumpty. At all. Humpty Dumpty took a word (a glory) which had a well-established meaning and arbitrarily used it to mean something (a knock-down argument) which had no conceivable link to the original meaning. That is an extreme case, but for the Humpty Dumpty charge to have any basis, you need a use of the word which is so removed from the normal meaning as to cause real confusion if it is not explained.
It does not mean that language must be preserved as if set in stone. Language is evolutive and some shift in meaning is inevitable and desirable if language is not to become a fossilised relic of a bygone society, with no useful means of talking about the world we live in now.
With regard to the word "marriage" it is often used to refer to unions other than that of one man and one woman without causing noticeable incomprehension. For instance, If I said that King Solomon married 700 wives, would that cause you to furrow your brow in bewilderment? Or that Caligula married his horse - you understand that, don't you? I'm not saying that I approve of polygamy or marriage to animals. But I see no reason why one couldn't perfectly meaningfully use the word "marriage" in either context and if legalising them came up for debate, I would hope we might muster rather better arguments against it than just "That isn't what the word means...."
Sometimes the law specifically defines things but very often it leaves words to be the common sense of the judge or jury. For instance, the concept of "beyond reasonable doubt", the cornerstone of the criminal law, is one that the higher courts (in the UK at least) have consistently refused to define. When the law does define something the effect is often to remove it from the definition which would be used by the ordinary man or woman. I don't know much about US law, but it sounds as if it has now defined "marriage" to include same sex unions. So whether you like it or not, on your own argument, that the law uses definitions and we have to follow them or live without the laws, it seems you must accept that there is such a thing as gay marriage.

2. Slippery Slope.
What specifically are you referring to when you say "the near-legalization of polygamy"? And what evidence do you have that gay marriage has had any impact on this state of affairs?

3. The strong hand of the law
Who would an NRA writer be discriminating against by refusing to write in favour of gun control? The two things seem to me to be completely disanalogous.
Race is different from sexuality, but that isn't the question. The question is: are the differences *relevant*? Race is also different from gender but that isn't by itself a reason for saying you can't apply the same principles to both in terms of what amounts to unacceptable discrimination.
The default position should be that all people are treated equally and any departure from that needs justification.
However often you say that race is a red herring, that won't prove that it is. To do that you have to explain *why* discrimination because you honestly believe that inter-racial marriage is a sin is not acceptable whilst discrimination because you believe that same sex marriage is a sin is acceptable.

4. Cost.
Please provide links to some of these studies.

Dan Gillson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
planks length said...

frances,

"Who would an NRA writer be discriminating against by refusing to write in favour of gun control?"

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! My point exactly! Just as an NRA-supporting writer would not be guilty of discrimination by refusing to write in favor of gun control, neither would the baker be guilty by refusing to participate in a same sex ceremony.

Dan,

"Why should what the Bible teaches matter to public accommodation laws?"

Now who exactly brought the Bible into this conversation? Not me! (hint: it was you) Who brought "your church" into this conversation? Not me! (another hint: it was im-skeptical) Both you and he seem to be having a discussion with some third (?fourth?) party who hasn't actually posted anything.

Dan Gillson said...

planks length,

It's not race itself that's relevant; it's that the reasons people use to discriminate against mixed race relationships are the same as those reasons which people use to discriminate against homosexual relationships: "this is what the Bible teaches." If what the Bible teaches is invalid in one case, why is it valid in the other? Why do people who think that the Bible teaches that homosexual relationships are bad get a free pass when people who think that the Bible teaches that mixed race relationships are bad don't? Is there some underlying principle? If there is one, then that means that there's a principled difference between discriminating against homosexual relationships and discriminating against mixed race relationships such that antidiscrimination laws apply to one case but not the other. If there isn't one, then that means you wish to be partial in the application of the law.

Dan Gillson said...

What other reason does one have to oppose legally recognizing same sex unions as marriages? If what's in the background isn't the Bible, why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate same sex couples? If not one's religion, what other reason does one have to find homosexual relationships abhorrent?

im-skeptical said...

Ilion,

You think that because some guy wrote a book about Shepard that means there was no anti-gay bigotry involved? That book has been widely criticized for being poorly sourced, factually inaccurate, and in direct contradiction to court records, police reports, and statements made by the murderer himself. But none of that matters if it agrees with your agenda, right?

I'd still like to hear your reaction to the scenario I posited where you are the one subjected to hateful discrimination.

Crude said...

Dan,

It's not race itself that's relevant; it's that the reasons people use to discriminate against mixed race relationships are the same as those reasons which people use to discriminate against homosexual relationships: "this is what the Bible teaches."

This isn't true even historically. 'Discrimination against' people with same-sex attraction has taken place in a wide variety of places - from the Soviet union to the APA's views on same-sex sexual behavior to otherwise. Even in Russia right now, the justifications for whatever legal attitudes are had against same-sex sexual behavior is heavily (by their own words) based on secular interests, right or wrong - for instance the connection to demographic issues.

What other reason does one have to oppose legally recognizing same sex unions as marriages? If what's in the background isn't the Bible, why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate same sex couples? If not one's religion, what other reason does one have to find homosexual relationships abhorrent?

Metaphysical and philosophical views (Natural law, etc), cultural and societal views, and more. If I ask you on what grounds can someone regard same-sex sexual activity or relationships to be 'good' or 'moral' or otherwise, you're ultimately going to be relying on concepts and assumptions that opponents can borrow just as readily.

What is the principled difference between the two?

Regarding the difference between same-sex couples and interracial couples, here's one - same-sex marriages cannot be disentangled from sexual acts, which are distinct between homosexual and heterosexual unions. And saying 'But what if they just don't have sex?' would involve further corrupting marriage.

Mind you, lately I'm of the mind that government should be altogether out of the marriage game, so I'm occupying a different side here. But there's this idea that the only opposition to same-sex sexual behavior or state-'sanctified' unions must ultimately derive from the Bible, and that's simply not true. To put it simply, 'secular morality', insofar as it can even be said to exist, is almost entirely arbitrary - and the anti's morality and values are objectively equal to their opponents'.

Either way, I think Planck's point holds. Bakers are artists as much as anyone can be. Personally I always wondered why they didn't simply make the most sarcastic, mocking cakes possible when put into such a situation. I wonder how this would even be prosecuted? I'm sure there's a way - there always is - but hey, it seems like an effective protest measure.

planks length said...

"I'd still like to hear your reaction to the scenario I posited where you are the one subjected to hateful discrimination."

im-skeptical,

I thank you for describing such a scenario, because that is precisely what is occurring TODAY, and not in some thought experiment dreamed up by you. It's not a "scenario" - it is a harsh reality for real world caterers, florists, photographers, etc., who have been specifically targeted by homosexual activists, who had no interest in using these specific service providers, other than they were tipped off in advance that they might be refused. The people who brought ruinous legal action against persons acting out of conscience, sought them out solely in order to destroy them. That is your totalitarian thought police in action.

I don't know what kind of world you wish to live in, but for your sake I hope you enjoy being told what to think and how to express yourself (regardless of your true feelings on a subject), under the threat of harsh legal penalties if you fail to toe the Party Line, comrade.

"What other reason does one have...?"

Dan,

Damn, Crude beat me to it. I was going to respond "natural law".

Dan Gillson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Gillson said...

See my response to Crude, Plank.

Dan Gillson said...

Crude,

Your first point shifts the context. We are talking about gay discrimination in the marketplace, not about the history of gay discrimination.

As for your second point, is the principle according to which we apply antidiscrimination laws to forbid discrimination against mixed race couples but allow discrimination against gay couples to be found in metaphysical or philosophical views of sexuality? How does, say, natural law justify applying the law in one case and not the other? People think that the natural law teaches that mixed race relationships are bad. People also think that natural law teaches that homosexual relationships are bad. I ask the same question: Why do the people who think that the natural law teaches that homosexual relationships are bad get a free pass when the people who think that the natural law teaches that mixed race relationships are don't? Is there a principled difference between the two cases such that antidiscrimination laws should apply to one but not the other?

Plank's point doesn't hold. Bakers, photographers, and florists who claim to serve the general public should be compelled to serve the general public. As long as they are serving the general public such a compulsion isn't a free speech violation. These people are free to advertise that they find x morally repugnant. No one is compelling them to say otherwise.

planks length said...

"Plank's point doesn't hold."

Why not? You have yet to refute it, other than by attempting to change the subject.

Challenge: Without reference to racism, explain why any person, regardless of occupation, ought to be legally compelled to violate their conscience in such a manner. We allow exceptions for military service and jury duty. Why not here?

Crude said...

Dan,

Your first point shifts the context. We are talking about gay discrimination in the marketplace, not about the history of gay discrimination.

You were implying that a negative view of / discouragement of same-sex sexual culture and relationships were wholly Biblical in motivation. I think that claim doesn't stand up to scrutiny, and transcends the marketplace - and what I pointed at illustrates as much.

People think that the natural law teaches that mixed race relationships are bad.

Your links don't show as much. The first one argues against racial mixing on 'humanitarian' and scientific grounds. The second has nothing to do with 'natural law' in the sense I spoke of it - the word is mentioned once and explicitly draws from a Biblical view.

How does, say, natural law justify applying the law in one case and not the other? People think that the natural law teaches that mixed race relationships are bad. People also think that natural law teaches that homosexual relationships are bad.

By the arguments they advance within the framework of the metaphysical views they're operating with? Your question is just kind of odd to me. People justify racism on everything from scientific to secular to humanist to secular grounds. Why is that a concern to you and your arguments in and of themselves? If we're playing guilt-by-association, secular approaches are dead in the water.

Is there a principled difference between the two cases such that antidiscrimination laws should apply to one but not the other?

Absolutely, and I already mentioned one critical differences - they differ in terms of act and behavior, not to mention natures. Race is largely irrelevant from the natural law framework I'm speaking of - culture may matter, but race as such really doesn't. The sexual acts necessarily differ between homosexual and heterosexual pairings, with some pretty obvious results: no man engaged in homosexual sexual behavior is going to get pregnant. Nor is a woman in similar.

Plank's point doesn't hold. Bakers, photographers, and florists who claim to serve the general public should be compelled to serve the general public. As long as they are serving the general public such a compulsion isn't a free speech violation.

Sure it is a free speech violation. I mean, clearly it is. You're forcing them to publicly cooperate with, and express their endorsement of, an act they want no part of. Note, by the way, that in that case 'homosexuality' is irrelevant - I doubt these bakers would want to take part in a marriage between two heterosexual males. (And before you scoff 'why would two straight men want to get married', keep in mind in principle they can use whatever reason they want, since you're establishing the concept of marriage as almost infinitely malleable.)

Maybe you think it's a worthwhile violation of free speech. Maybe you think another concern overrides the free speech concern. But forcing businesses to take part in ceremonies they wish not to, that they would refuse if they were able, is obviously a violation.

No one is compelling them to say otherwise.

They're being compelled to take part in a ceremony they don't want to take part in, by people who apparently seek them out -expressly- to force them to conform and rub their faces in it, on pain of punishment. At that point the idea that this is all being done 'in the name of fairness' is hard to take seriously.

I propose a compromise: gay couples can demand bakers bake them a cake for their same-sex wedding. The bakers have full control over just what cake designs they provide. It's a win-win: activist gay couples can get their cakes from whoever they wish. Bakers can communicate whatever they wish in the art of their cakes.

Whaddya say?

planks length said...

"I propose a compromise"

Crude, I like that! Since Dan and company claim they are not compelling speech, then the baker ought to have a perfect right to put whatever he wants on his cake.

If they object to this perfectly reasonable accommodation, then the rug has been pulled out from under their hypocrisy. What they are truly interested in is not "equal service" but politically correct expression.

Ilíon said...

planks length: "I'm not sure I understand your comment. Are you saying that the state has no role in ensuring that a business does not discriminate? I seem to recall Ron Paul making a similar statement some years ago. If so, I'm not sure we agree. I think Ron Paul is too extreme in his libertarianism."

Even libertarian nuts can reach correct conclusions, upon occasion.

Reaching a correct conclusion in no way implies that the reasoning by which the conclusion was reached is correct.

Shoot! It isn't even wholly impossible that I-pretend-to-be-reasonable-and-rational may some day stumble upon some minor truth or other. He'll probably seriously hurt himself if that ever happens, but it *could* happen.

Notice: I didn't say that "the state has no role in ensuring that a business does not discriminate" -- and I even explicitly gave an example of permissible action by the state that is consistent with minimal government and the flourishing of human liberty. But I did say that "fixing" such discrimination is not the business of the state -- trying to make it the business of the state is a major reason why we no longer have simple a state, but a capital-S State.

planks length: "The case of a baker refusing service to a same sex ceremony, however, is NOT an issue of discrimination."

Of course it includes and issue of discrimination -- just not in the way they are insisting.

Part of the problem you're having is that you haven't yet freed you mind of the "liberal" shibboleth that "all discrimination [except the kind we like, which we will then pretend isn't idscrimination] is EVIL!!!11!" Likely, you don't even yet realizes that there is such a false shibboleth.


planks length: "Are you saying that the state has no role in ensuring that a business does not discriminate?"

The Democratic Party's infamous -- and constantly misrepresented -- 'Jim Crow' laws were written specifically so as to force private citizens to immorally discriminate against one another in business/society and to justify the State immorally-and-unConstitutionally discriminating againse some citizens.

When the Republicans invalidated those 'Jim Crow' laws, they didn't have the sense to *simply* invalidate them and then stop. Oh, no! They were on a moralistic crusading high, and so they went to the other extreme and tried to outlaw all discrimination -- which is to say, to outlaw certain thoughts and attitudes-- and so made 'discrimination' -- which is the very basis of morality and sustainable societies and indeed civilization itself -- into a boo-word, and thus played right into the leftist's hands.

Ilíon said...

Isn't it odd?

For "liberals", nude dancing (for money) at the Kitty Kat Lounge is "expression" ... which is somehow just the same as speech protected by the 1st Amendment ... and therefore a police raid of that den of iniquity (and, believe me, it was) is an unConstitutional infringement upon "free expression".

BUT, compelling someone to provide his professional services when he doesn't want to be involved is somehow *not* a case of unConstitutional infringement upon "free expression", but is, in fact, mandated by the Constitution.

planks length said...
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Dan Gillson said...

Gentlemen,

The rest of my evening will be focused on my domestic obligations. (My wife is home.) I will also have to reduce my participation on DI to lurking. (Work is going to consume my life.) Thanks for the feisty but levelheaded conversation. See you all after the weekend.

planks length said...

It's been a pleasure, Dan!

BenYachov said...

Dan has got it all wrong.

There is a difference between not baking any cake at all for any gay person or persons vs not baking a wedding cake for a gay wedding.

A racist baker will not bake a cake for any black person whatsoever under any circumstances.

A hard core leftist baker should not be forced against his/her will to bake a cake to celebrate Sarah Palin's election to office or some conservative fund raiser.

An Atheist baker should not be forced to bake any cake that celebrates a religious theme.

A Jewish Baker should not be forced to bake a Cake for a Jews For Jesus religious event.

A gay baker should not be forced to bake a Cake for an wedding between a male and female "ex-gay" couple(especially if s/he objects to conversion therapy).

What is being done to the Christian bakers is pure anti-first amendment fascism.

Nothing more.

Crude said...

It was a pleasure, Dan, even if I got in late. Hope all goes well with you.

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

Does my point about demographic vs. ideological discrimination make any sense to you? Most people think it's wrong to discriminate against a group of people (like an ethnic group) just based on their membership in that group. In the case of gay people, you don't see them as just a group of people - you see them as having an ideology that is repulsive to you, and that's what you are opposed to (I think). But the ideology is yours, not theirs. Who cares if they get married? You do.

BenYachov said...

Skept.

As an Atheist I am sure you would take great exception to being forced to pray, participate in prayer & or punished with fines if you fail to participate.

So why do I have to be forced against my will to participate in a wedding I don't believe in if you can't be forced to pray to a God you don't believe in?

> But the ideology is yours, not theirs. Who cares if they get married? You do.

I only care if I am forced to participate against my will or forced to give my consent to it.

The issue is separate to the issue of Gay marriage itself.

A Catholic who "marries" a divorced baptized person(whose ex is also baptized) of the opposite sex without a clear examination by the Church wither the former marriage was valid can be legally married by civil law. But I would not see it as legitimate as a Catholic & I would not bake a cake for such an event and I object to been told I have too.

It is a question of liberty.

I am not sure I understand your distinction here but if it endorces liberty I am for it. If it enforces fascism I am against it.

BenYachov said...

Everyone who supports fining a Christian baker for not baking a wedding cake for a gay wedding or forcing a Christian photographer to photograph a gay wedding is a fascist plain and simple.

You can support the above and call yourself a civil libertarian.

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

Surely you're not opposed to being involved in a wedding. You're just opposed to who's in the wedding.

planks length said...

Very good analogy, Ben (the one about forcing atheists to pray publicly or else face a fine). I wish I had thought of it myself!

And since im-skeptical seems to have some hangup about "who's in the wedding", let's tweak it a bit to read: "A Muslim would take great exception to being forced to pray to Christ, or be punished with fines if he fails to participate." In this example, it would matter very much to the Muslim "who's doing the praying".

See? This is all about using the Law to compel people to act against their conscience.

And it's important to keep in mind that we're not talking about some hypothetical people here, but real world victims of this supposedly legal coercion. Among their names are Aaron and Melissa Klein of Oregon.

planks length said...

I know Dan's in no position to respond, but I cannot let two recent comments, one by him and the other by Frances go unanswered, namely:

"[W]hy can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate same sex couples?" (Dan)

"It does not mean that language must be preserved as if set in stone. Language is evolutive and some shift in meaning is inevitable and desirable if language is not to become a fossilised relic of a bygone society" (Frances)

To both of them, I will respond with the words of Abraham Lincoln: "How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg."

Ilíon said...

""[W]hy can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate same sex couples?" (Dan)"

Why can't marriage be legally defined to get rid of that Islamophobic requirement of mutual agreement?

Why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate multi-sex triplets?

Why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate multi-sex polynomials?

Why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate same-sex siblings?

Why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate same-sex parent-and-child?

Why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate opposite-sex parent-and-child?

Why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate opposite-sex siblings?

Why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate non-human animals?

Why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate children?

Why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate inanimate objects?

Ilíon said...

Back late in my collage days, I applied for an advertized job at a small start-up computer store. This would have been about 1979, when the market for personal computers was just beginning to exist.

The owners of this store were atheists (I think of Jewish extraction) ... and from something they said to me, it was clear that their sticking-point about me was that I am "religious". They made reference to how some other "religious" employee hadn't worked out ... 'cause he used to stop working in the middle of the day and get down on the floor to pray.

So, not only were these atheists anti-religious bigots, but they didn't even care to recognize the social differences between Christians and Moslems.

Clearly, I discriminated against ... and I-pretend-to-be-consistent-in-my-assertions is going to help me initiate an EEOC lawsuit againsr atheist employers who discriminate against "religious" prospective employees.

frances said...

What's Lincoln got to do with it?

Calling a tail a leg doesn''t make it a leg but calling a public union between two people which recognises them as having become one family "marriage" does no violence to language or familiar concepts. It is entirely in line with our present AND our historic use of the word.

The NRA writer isn't hired by any particular group which is one of the ways in which their case is disanaologous. The baker is for hire. If s/he restricts the services which s/he purports to be selling to the public at large because of the sexual orientation of the customer then that is discrimination against that customer.
Can it be justified? It is not justified simply because it is a matter of conscience. I accept that there are people for whom gay marriage is morally unacceptable. But if that is your only basis for justifying it, then you have to explain why it would not also apply to a baker who refused to provide services for a mixed race coupe getting married.
The baker might be happy to bake cakes for two black people getting married, or two white people getting married,just not a white person marrying a black person. Do you think it would violate the baker's civil liberties to have to bake a cake for a mixed marriage if s/he had a deep-seated and genuine belief that these marriages were wrong? If you don't see any violation there how is it different from compelling the baker to bake a cake for a gay wedding?

frances said...

ilion

""[W]hy can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate same sex couples?" (Dan)"

Why can't marriage be legally defined to get rid of that Islamophobic requirement of mutual agreement?

Why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate multi-sex triplets?

Why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate multi-sex polynomials?

Why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate same-sex siblings?

Why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate same-sex parent-and-child?

Why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate opposite-sex parent-and-child?

Why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate opposite-sex siblings?

Why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate non-human animals?

Why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate children?

Why can't marriage be legally defined to incorporate inanimate objects?


It can. Whether it should or not is an entirely different issue.

planks length said...

"It can." (Frances)

And there you have it, folks. I hope no one now attempts to pooh-pooh the "slippery slope" argument. Because the two words quoted above are all the evidence one needs.

im-skeptical said...

planks length,

"See? This is all about using the Law to compel people to act against their conscience."

No, it isn't. Do you understand the concept of 'public accommodation'? That's what these laws are about. If you run a business that serves the public, then you are required to serve the public without discrimination, according to these laws. Nothing more. How is forcing someone to pray to a different God a public accommodation? Nobody is making you or anyone else do that, and it's not the same thing.

Crude said...

Since I haven't seen any opposing response to it, I repeat my compromise:

I propose a compromise: gay couples can demand bakers bake them a cake for their same-sex wedding. The bakers have full control over just what cake designs they provide. It's a win-win: activist gay couples can get their cakes from whoever they wish. Bakers can communicate whatever they wish in the art of their cakes.

Whaddya say?


If there is no squelching of speech involved, then surely this is an amicable arrangement to all sides.

frances said...

"It can." (Frances)

And there you have it, folks. I hope no one now attempts to pooh-pooh the "slippery slope" argument. Because the two words quoted above are all the evidence one needs.


Not so, Plank. The two words above are about the sovereignty of legislative bodies. Nothing more.

frances said...

Crude,

Would you consider it was a win-win compromise to allow bakers who opposed interracial marriage to have absolute control over cakes provided for such a marriage? Perhaps they might depict the black groom at the top of the cake being lynched? Freedom of speech is important, after all.

The problem that you and the rest of the anti-gay marriage posters have had is that you want to say that freedom of expression is an *absolute* good and cannot be qualified in any way. If that is what you think then you have to accept that it must include the freedom of racists to refuse services to black people.

But if you accept that a racist who opposes mixed marriage, however sincerely, cannot be allowed to discriminate against people who wish to enter into such a marriage, then you have conceded that the law has some place in controlling the grounds on which people refuse to provide their services. Then your task becomes to show why discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation is different.

Crude said...

Frances,

Would you consider it was a win-win compromise to allow bakers who opposed interracial marriage to have absolute control over cakes provided for such a marriage?

Show me the cake baker who would support two heterosexual men getting married to each other, while opposing two homosexual men getting married to each other. Likewise, show me the cake baker who would not bake a cake for a man marrying a woman, even if one or both of them identified as homosexual or same-sex attracted.

I think it's fair to surmise that the bakers in question would oppose two heterosexual men marrying each other, and have no problem with a homosexual man marrying a woman. In which case, the argument that 'you're discriminating against them before of who they are!' flies out the window. It's about acts, not individuals. And discriminating against acts is in a whole different category.

Either way, yes, I think it's a win-win compromise. Because really, it is - unless the whole goal here isn't 'I'd like a cake' but 'I want a cake and I want to make someone who disagrees with me kneel down and do as I say to my satisfaction, on pain of punishment by the state'. But good God, why the fuck would I care about THOSE people?

The problem that you and the rest of the anti-gay marriage posters have had is that you want to say that freedom of expression is an *absolute* good and cannot be qualified in any way. If that is what you think then you have to accept that it must include the freedom of racists to refuse services to black people.

Who are you talking about? I just proposed a compromise for which service is not refused. Gay couples get their cake. Now, I think even this is not necessary since discriminating against acts rather than individuals is a wholly different story. But I'm happily meeting you halfway here.

Service is granted. If the couple doesn't like the cake, they do what they dislike the cake in any other case - they refuse to buy it, and go elsewhere.

Or wait, are you going to tell me that unless the cake is satisfactorily beautiful to the couple's subjective desires, unless the cake is as tasty and scrumptious as they want it to be, unless the cake is suitably satisfactory, then the bakers should be penalized?

im-skeptical said...

crude's compromise: "Bakers can communicate whatever they wish in the art of their cakes." is the equivalent of a landlord saying "I'll rent to anyone, but white people get the nice apartments, and black people get the cockroach-infested slums. It isn't in keeping with public accommodation laws.

The basic problem here is the attitude about liberty that the anti-gay crowd seems to have: your liberty ends where it starts to intrude on my sensibilities, and my liberty has no such boundaries.

BenYachov said...

@Francis

>Not so, Plank. The two words above are about the sovereignty of legislative bodies. Nothing more.

So basically Francis you are in fact a Fascist.

You believe in a State with absolute power over the individual & the individual has no intrinsic rights that trump the will of the State.

God help us left or right if the likes of you are given any political power.

Oh wait it is in fact happening....

It can happen here.

BTW a gay man can marry a lesbian.

Two straight dude ah no!!!!

Do what you want but don't force your will on me or force me to violate my conscience.

BenYachov said...

>The basic problem here is the attitude about liberty that the anti-gay crowd seems to have: your liberty ends where it starts to intrude on my sensibilities, and my liberty has no such boundaries.

Another Fascist.

The right to swing your arm ends at the tip of my nose.

Your "right" to marry someone who is the same gender as yourself ends at forcing me to sanction it or participate in it.

It's not hard. Mine is the way of liberty and freedom.

Yours is the path to Fascism and repression.

It's not hard.

BenYachov said...

Even when gay marriage was not recognized & with the repeal and or striking down of Sodomy laws there is no penalty of two women or two dudes contact a sympathetic liberal religious minister to perform a ceremony they believed made them married before God.

But I can be fined thousands of dollars for refusing to photograph a same sex wedding or bake a cake for it.

The gay rights lobby has embraced Fascism.

Are they really so stupid as to think there won't be a backlash?

Look at Chick-Filay or Robertson.

Nuff said.

BenYachov said...

edit: No fine or penalty for gays to get a sympathetic minister to perform a ceremony etc......

Crude said...

crude's compromise: "Bakers can communicate whatever they wish in the art of their cakes." is the equivalent of a landlord saying "I'll rent to anyone, but white people get the nice apartments, and black people get the cockroach-infested slums. It isn't in keeping with public accommodation laws.

Not at all. You may as well say that I just argued the bakers can slip rat poison in the cake. Not at all.

The cake will be entirely edible and as healthy as a wedding cake can be. But they can alter the design as they please.

The basic problem here is the attitude about liberty that the anti-gay crowd seems to have:

It's not 'anti-gay' whatsoever. What's being picked out are people in same-sex marriages. Who says you need to be gay to marry another man if you're a male? But that's opposed too.

What you dislike, Skep, is that you're trying to violate other people's liberty shamelessly, by playing according to a rulebook. I'm pointing out the rules don't favor you, and am offering compromises in accordance with the rules that you detest. You don't give a shit about liberty, just as you don't give a shit about reason or science.

BenYachov said...

Skept & Francis remind me of young Roper the fictional idiot son-in-law of St Sir Thomas More in the play A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS.

Roper was scandalized when More told him that he would give even the Devil the benefit of Law.

"WHAT NONSENSE! TO GET AT THE DEVIL I WOULD TEAR DOWN EVERY LAW IN ENGLAND!"

Saint Sir Thomas More replies "Yet when the Devil then turns to attack you where will you hide now that every Law in England is down? Yes I would give the Devil the benefit of Law if only for my own safety."

Francis and Skept see the State as being the Fascist Agent that must root out feelings or ideas of racism & bigotry at all costs.

I say what they advocate is as much a danger to them as it is to Christian bakers and photographers.

It is sad the left which once upon a time held fast to civil liberties has now dumped it for the seduction of mere Power.

God help us all, gay or straight, left or right, man or woman & black and white.

frances said...

Crude,

I'd like to understand you clearly. A black man marrying a white woman would be an ACT. Would you support the right of the baker who found such an act repugnant to his deeply held beliefs to provide a cake with a lynching motif?

If you would, then whilst I would not agree with you, I would certainly have to give you credit for consistency.

BenYachov said...

Francis

Your question is why is an inter-racial wedding not a violation of natural law like a same sex wedding.

Historically the Church has never argued humans of different races can't marry anymore then they said humans with different eye colors can't marry.

Late Protestant heretics here in the USA have argued it based on the idea people of different races are the equivalent of not being the same species which is not the case.

But of course none of this justifies your fascist views IMHO.

Crude said...

A black man marrying a white woman would be an ACT.

Not in the relevant sense.

Your comparison is invalid, and mine is superior. If I oppose marriage between two people of the same sex, regardless of their sexual preferences, on what grounds do you argue that my opposition is 'anti-gay'? Again, in principle there's nothing stopping two heterosexual men from marrying each other. In fact, they may desire the benefits gained from such, even if they're straight.

BenYachov said...

What constitutes "consummating" a gay marriage?

I have heard of gay Jewish men who lean toward Orthodoxy who try to justify having a gay relationship as long as they refrain from anal sex(oral sex and other stuff is fair play).

Two gay pseudo Orthodox or Conservative Jewish men "marry".

At what legal point do they consummate the marriage?

frances said...

Ben,

Calm down! What the law can do and what it should do are not the same thing. Acknowledging that legislation can enact what it wants (subject to any constitutional limits placed on it) is not to be interpreted as support for the moral right of the state to enact any provision which takes its fancy.

Parliament could make a law tomorrow which made homosexual activity punishable with death. I would oppose such a law but I acknowledge that if Parliament passed it, that is what the law would be.

Really, this is a bit of a red herring. Can we get back to the actual topic which is - is it acceptable for the law to impose penalities on those who discriminate against same sex couples by refusing to provide services which they would offer to male/female couples?

frances said...

Crude,

Why is it not the relevant sense?

Crude said...

Frances,

Why is it not the relevant sense?

Because in an interracial marriage case, the relevant turning point would be the race of one or both of the people getting married.

In this case, the sexual preference is literally moot. Change the sex preferences of both men or both women - it will not change the opposition of the baker. Change the race of one or both parties in an interracial marriage, and it will change the opposition.

frances said...

Crude,

I'm glad to find that you do not support the right of racist bakers to provide lynching themed wedding cakes to interracial couples. (I have understood you right there?)

But your line of reasoning in justifying a different approach to those who refuse services in same sex weddings seems to be less about the act (where I can see no distniction) than it is about the motive for the refusal.

You seem to be saying that the refusal of services is not based on homophobia and is therefore permissable, whereas if it were based on homophobia then it would be unacceptable and properly the subject of legal sanctions. Is that right?

Crude said...

Frances,

You seem to be saying that the refusal of services is not based on homophobia and is therefore permissable, whereas if it were based on homophobia then it would be unacceptable and properly the subject of legal sanctions. Is that right?

Nope, I'm not even getting into that subject. I'm pointing out a flaw in your comparison and reasoning so far that keeps your choice of complaint from even getting off the ground.

Also, 'homophobia'? A phobia is an illness - don't use scientific terms for non-scientific claims.

Crude said...

Also,

But your line of reasoning in justifying a different approach to those who refuse services in same sex weddings seems to be less about the act (where I can see no distniction) than it is about the motive for the refusal

The act is still key here. 'A man marrying a man. / A woman marrying a woman.' But sexual preference is irrelevant.

BenYachov said...

@Francis

Oh you are British! That explains the retro and underdeveloped sense of civil liberties common in Europe these days which are a walking talking offense to those of us by the Grace of God fortunate enough to be born under the Constitution of the United States.

We Americans need to amend "No Kings here!" with "No Euro-PC nonsense here!".

After all if American falls to tyranny where can the rest of us flee too?

Canada? It's worst then England or Scotland.

BenYachov said...

For me Francis it is the civil liberties which are most important.

If the State decrees men may marry men and women may marry women I demand the right to opt out!

I demand the right to not be forced against my conscience to be a direct material or immediate participant in evil.

Give me liberty or give me death!

BenYachov said...

>Would you consider it was a win-win compromise to allow bakers who opposed interracial marriage to have absolute control over cakes provided for such a marriage? Perhaps they might depict the black groom at the top of the cake being lynched? Freedom of speech is important, after all.

Why not just let the market deal with the racist baker?

If I knew my local baker wouldn't serve black people I would tell my Priest who would no doubt make an announcement in Church as ask people not to patronize that establishment.

OTOH I really see no reason to boycott an Orthodox Jewish baker who does not want to bake a cake for Christians on Christmas if it means he must decorate the cake with worship language aimed at Jesus.

So is the Orthodox Jewish baker who doesn't want to bake a Cake that says "The Messiah has Come!" or "The Messiah is God the Word Incarnate" for a Christian an anti-Christian bigot?

Is he on the same level as the KKK sympathizer who doesn't want to bake cakes for Black People?

I don't think so & I am too civilized to try and force him against his will to bake a cake I could get from any Catholic or Protestant baker.

So I ask all Gay & Lefty Brownshirts who think they can force me or one of my brethren to bake a cake for a same sex wedding WTF is your malfunction?

frances said...

Ben,

A law has been passed (I understand) and you do not like that law. So you would tear the law down to get at the devil you think is behind it. And if the devil turned to attack you, where would you hide, every law in the USA being down?

Canada perhaps?

Oh no. You think that's even worse.

planks length said...

Frances,

I recognize that quote. It's from a movie about Saint Thomas More, isn't it? (not sure where I've heard it)

I'm rather amused that you would use it, because its plain intent and meaning is 100 degrees opposite of your position on the issue under discussion. The sentiment behind the quote is:

1. You don't care for the commonly accepted definition of marriage.

2. So you will attack the plain meaning of the term and tear down long-established law to get your own way.

3. And not content with that, you then use the full force of your newly enacted legislation to annihilate all that disagree with you.

4. Now that the precedent of twisting language and the law to follow the whims of "what's fashionable" has been established, there is nothing to prevent it from turning on you when the whim of the crowd decides it's time to do so.

I hope that you enjoy this Brave New World which you are working so hard to establish.

planks length said...

I should have added (or perhaps made more clear) that the whole point of the quote was that, absent compelling reason to do so, we should NOT change settled law at a whim (as we are now doing), but should show due respect for precedent and custom long established.

Crude said...

planks,

Glad you caught that. It's from A Man for All Seasons I believe, and yes, the irony there is high. The idea of finding a 'right' to gay marriage in (in the US) the Constitution, redefining law to get the way you want...

But don't worry. The devil will never turn 'round, eh? So to speak.

amorbis said...

The ONLY argument against same-sex marriage that I've ever heard that even seemed prima facie convincing was the argument that it places an additional burden on the state, leading to additional spending that increases debt, burdens taxpayers, or both. That's the only one, and I even think that one fails.

Crude said...

Well, that's one more than the convincing arguments I've heard for legalizing gay marriage.

Looks like the opponents win, eh?

planks length said...

amorbis,

That was point number 4 in my original comment.

frances said...

Crude

discriminating against acts rather than individuals is a wholly different story

Even if it were true (and if I sound sceptical, it's because I am) that refusal to provide a cake for a same sex marriage were not entirely motivated by homophobia, it would make no difference

Discrimination against a group occurs when that group is treated less favourably than another group or groups in society. It doesn't matter whether the discrimination is based on conscious dislike of the group, or unconscious or dislike of the group, or not based on dislike at all. It is the effect of the less favourable treatment which is the point.

So although the anti-same sex marriage baker might have the same attitude towards two straight men getting married, the ban will hit the gay community far harder than it does the straight community and that is all the law cares about or ought to care about if it decides to curtail discrimination against gays or any other group. This is mainly because the harm done is the same whatever the motive and it is the harm which the law tries to curtail. But it is also to prevent bigots from exploiting a loophole ("Oh, I've got nothing against black people. I just only employ people with blue eyes! I don't employ white people who don't have blue eyes and you find me a blue-eyed black man and he's hired!")

Gay people are discriminated against if same sex marriage is prohibited because they cannot do what most people at least have some chance of doing, which is get to marry the person they love. They are discriminated against when those who offer services for weddings refuse those services for same sex weddings. Just like black people would be discriminated against you only bake cakes for people with blue eyes.

BTW - "phobia" is not exclusively a medical term.

frances said...

Planks Length

The irony is that Ben used it earlier in this thread, not realising that he was shooting himself in the foot! That is why I quoted it back to him. Scroll back and you will find his full quote.

The point is not to do with changing the law (or definitions or whatever). The point is that the law applies to all of us. If you start picking and choosing which laws you accept you have set off down a very dangerous path.

planks length said...

Frances,

Attempting to discuss this with you is getting to be pointless. You keep trying to change the subject to racism, WHICH HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE MATTER AT HAND, but simply derails the conversation. Please try to stick to the subject.

Crude said...

Even if it were true (and if I sound sceptical, it's because I am) that refusal to provide a cake for a same sex marriage were not entirely motivated by homophobia, it would make no difference

Sure it would, especially since 'homophobia' is non-existent here. Christophobes like you need to learn that.

By all means, prove me wrong. Show me the baker who approves of two heterosexual men getting married, but not two homosexual men. You won't, because you know that I just buried your argument here.

So although the anti-same sex marriage baker might have the same attitude towards two straight men getting married, the ban will hit the gay community far harder than it does the straight community and that is all the law cares about

Sorry, you're out of your goddamn mind. Especially when talking about 'the law' as if it's an agent. At this point you're just saying 'Well okay I have no response to you but I'm going to totally make up principles out of the air to get what I want!'

To hear you put it, any legislative action that largely affects one discernible group is an action that must be barred. Congratulations - you've found a principle that will grind society to a goddamn halt.

Hell, I can just say that any laws passed forcing people to provide services to same-sex marriages will disproportionately harm Christians, ergo it's a bad law. I mean so long as we're completely pulling shit out of the air. Likewise, it keeps Christophobes from exploiting a loophole. 'Oh I want a cake from YOUR bakery, it's not just because I want to force you to do something against your beliefs.'

Gay people are discriminated against if same sex marriage is prohibited because they cannot do what most people at least have some chance of doing, which is get to marry the person they love.

And the heterosexual man can't marry the heterosexual man he loves. (Please, tell me sex is essential to love.) Nor can the heterosexual woman marry a heterosexual woman. A man can't marry the horse he loves.

BTW - "phobia" is not exclusively a medical term.

Clearly not, oh Christophobic one.

You lost, Frances. You put your eggs in the 'refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex marriage singles out homosexuals for discrimination!' basket, and I just used them to make an omelette. And you just proved, your reasoning doesn't mean anything here. You will literally use whatever non-logic you can to get what you want, because 'justice' and 'fairness' and even 'the rights of homosexuals' don't mean jack to you. You just want what you want, period.

Behold, Cult of Gnu atheist reasoning in its glory.

planks length said...

Crude,

I am in serious awe of your last posting. An ace right across the court! Poor guy never saw it coming.

frances said...

Crude,

LOL! The fact that I have said I am not basing my argument on the existence of homophobia doesn't stop you from spending your first two paragraphs telling me I can't prove something that I've already said I'm not trying to prove!

A ban on same sex marriage services will impact the gay community harder than it does the straight community. Does anyone seriously argue with that? How many straight people do you know (or have you even heard of) who have expressed a genuine interest in entering into a same sex marriage?

You assume that I an supporting something which I have never advocated i.e. that all discrimination is wrong and that all wrongful discrimination must be the subject of legislation to prevent it. Some discrimination is justified. Some discrimination is unjustified but it would be disproportionate to invoke the law to prevent it.

I agree that the law which requires services providers to provide their services for same sex marriage celebrations is arguably discriminatory against Christians (of a certain sort - many Christians are wholly supportive of same sex marriage). A law which requires people who provide B&B accommodation to provide it to black people as well as whiteI is arguably discriminatory against racist bigots. It is often the case that legislation must weigh the competing rights of different groups and will have to favour one over the other.

The principles I have referred to (as to the law) are not made up. They are the principles on which similar legislation operates in the UK. Of course, I can't speak with the same certainty as to how it operates in the US & specifically within any given states but from what I have read it appears to me that the principles would be the same. If not, then so much the worse for the US would be my attitude.

It is not odd to speak of the law as an agent. It is quite common in fact. For instance "de minimis non curat lex" is a well-known legal maxim, usually translated as "the law does not concern itself with trifles." What I meant by saying the effect of discrimination was "all the law cares about" was that evidence of motive would be treated as irrelevant in any case dealing with discrimination against a particular group. And rightly so - for the reasons I explained.

Crude said...

Frances,

A ban on same sex marriage services will impact the gay community harder than it does the straight community. Does anyone seriously argue with that?

It's utterly irrelevant, Frances. Likewise, no one argues that Christians and religious people will be disproportionately affected by laws forcing businesses to kow-tow to whatever petty demands activist gays make of them. It's irrelevant, because 'disproportionately affects' does not get you where you want to go.

How many straight people do you know (or have you even heard of) who have expressed a genuine interest in entering into a same sex marriage?

Once I inform them of the potential material benefits that could come from their marriage? More than one, let me tell you. Besides, you're talking about a union with a current social stigma against it, in the wake of the dominance of a traditional concept, and among people who may largely regard marriage through those past lenses. But those views are precisely what you wish to challenge and discard.

Either way, I can forgive you of your sexual bigotry on this point. I understand it's not born of malice so much as ignorance.

You assume that I an supporting something which I have never advocated i.e. that all discrimination is wrong and that all wrongful discrimination must be the subject of legislation to prevent it. Some discrimination is justified.

Wonderful! That means that establishing that a given law is discriminatory, even if it exclusively discriminates against a particular and known group, would in and of itself mean nada in terms of whether the law is justified.

I'd say thank you for your support, but as I just showed, the law in question doesn't do that anyway.

The principles I have referred to (as to the law) are not made up. They are the principles on which similar legislation operates in the UK.

Considering the UK looks hot on the heels of passing laws that will cash out to what everyone acknowledges as discriminatory among racial lines (immigration, and not just from eastern europe), pardon me if I roll my eyes at your claim.

Either way, you've made this moot. You've just now conceded that discrimination itself doesn't matter, you have to 'weigh the competing rights and interests'. And for you, materialist-atheist, that ultimately comes down to subjective whims anyway. Newsflash: Christians and religious have subjective whims too.

In terms of raw popular numbers, you may be able to push through your whims for now. Don't be surprised when that reasoning spins around and cracks you one, because you've just lost the 'principle' game.

What I meant by saying the effect of discrimination was "all the law cares about" was that evidence of motive would be treated as irrelevant in any case dealing with discrimination against a particular group.

The problem here is that it's not just 'motive' which is in question, but actual legal effect. Opposition to gay marriage is not even legally discriminatory - it snaps up both heterosexual couples and homosexual couples. But you just conceded that 'discrimination' in and of itself doesn't matter anyway.

Here's my advice for you, Frances: ditch the pretending of principle. Argue in terms of might makes right. It saves everyone time, and really, it's evident that that's what you're working with here anyway. Whatever intellectual argument you tried making here has been flushed.

Crude said...

Planks,

Glad someone's enjoying it! Thank you for the kind words, and I've admired your own approach to these and other issues around DI. Haven't seen you around before, so hey, welcome.

frances said...

"Disproportionately affects" is precisely where it's at Crude. You don't really know where I want to go.

Why would marriage to a same sex partner confer any more benefits than marriage to a partner of the opposite sex? But as same sex marriage has been legal in several jurisdictions for several years now, no doubt you have some actual case studies of straight same sex unions with which to support your argument?

The discriminatory nature of a law is not by itself enough to prove that the law is not justified. Why do you think that that is a problem? The law discriminates against children by restricting their autonomy and by decriminalising violence against them in certain circumstances. That is sometimes used by people who want to criminalise physical punishment of children as being all they need to say to prove their point. But it's a crap argument when they use it and it's a crap argument when you use it.

Balancing competing rights does not come down to subjective whims. Unsupported averment which even if it were true for all atheists (and it isn't) is mere ad Hominem.

Whatever intellectual argument you tried making here has been flushed

That's what you say. Meh.

BenYachov said...

@Francis

You are obviously stupid.

>Oh no. You think that's even worse.

My first amendment constitutional right to freedom of religion is the supreme law of the land. Thus it tears down that embedded law(which needs to go threw the formal repeals process of amendments to lawfully cease to exist) to pass a "law" that that forces me to assent to a gay marriage & or participate in a Gay wedding against my will.

A Protestant wedding between two divorced baptized persons I don't recognize either. But in the past 200 years no Catholic in the USA has been forced under pain of fine or legal penalty to participate in an invalid Protestant or secular wedding. Now gays get legal marriage in some quarters and have become Fascists.

You are OK with that?

>The point is not to do with changing the law (or definitions or whatever). The point is that the law applies to all of us. If you start picking and choosing which laws you accept you have set off down a very dangerous path.

But what benefit of the law that protects my religious freedom is being given to me here by being forced to participate against my conscience in a service I morally object too?

Even where gay marriage is not legal I can't threw force stop a gay marriage ceremony. We are Americans not Fascists. Maybe in your unenlightened country you would put a person in jail for a ceremony that had no legal recognition by the government. But in America we mind our own business.


BenYachov said...

Saint Thomas More was put to death in your country Francis by your King because he would not assent to the King's invalid marriage.

He wouldn't speak out against it so as to not commit treason but he would not assent or condone it.

For that he was put to death.

I see nothing has changed in England.

It not enough to allow gay marriage(& distort the institution beyond recognition) you must have assent to big brother.

Sad.

We where well rid of you people in 1776.

BenYachov said...

In America not legally recognizing a gay marriage "punishes" gays by not giving them a piece of paper that says they are married in the eyes of the Law.

Now that the PC Fascists are talking control the penalty for me choosing not to photograph or bake a cake for a gay wedding gets me thousands of dollars worth of fine and possible jail time.

The First Amendment even when gay marriage was not legal protected gays who wanted to have a marriage ceremony.

Why can't it protect my Christian brethren who wish to opt out?

frances said...

Ben,

Your patriotism does you credit. I think the USA is a very fine country. I don't think that it is better than the UK but still, it is a very fine country.

If the constitution takes priority and the new law breaches it, then you have a legal remedy, isn't that so? But in the real-life case which kicked this discussion off (which was about photographers) constitutional issues were fully considered by the court which found that the compulsion was not unconstitutional. You disagree, but there we are. The law won't always be as you would like it to be and frankly, given the choice between your interpretation of the constitution and that of the learned judges of the NM Supreme Court, I have far more confidence in the latter.

That aside, are you claiming that an individual's conscience must always trump the law? That any time anyone has a conscientious objection to a law they must be allowed to disregard that law?

Do you agree that people who have a conscientious objection to their taxes going to fund military purposes MUST as a matter of principle be allowed to withhold tax payments? If the principle you are defending is the supremacy of the individual conscience and the right of every individual to be exempted from laws which are contrary to their conscience then you ought to support the withholding of taxes. Have you been equally active in lobbying for Quakers and others whose conscience finds all military engagement intolerable to be excused from any legal penalties for disobeying the tax law?

If you think that a law is wrong then by all means do whatever you can to get it repealed. If you can't get it repealed then you either obey it or you choose to disobey it. But if you choose to disobey it you must be prepared to face the consequences.

BenYachov said...

Francis enough of your cowardly dodges. You support fascism.

I do not. You believe Might makes Right. I do not. You have no concept of even mere natural rational moral principles or civil liberties. You really do believe in the unlimited power of the State!

>That aside, are you claiming that an individual's conscience must always trump the law? That any time anyone has a conscientious objection to a law they must be allowed to disregard that law?

That is an ambiguity without any specifics. What I want to know is why do you Francis support Fascism?

Why do you support punishing a baker who refuses to bake a wedding Cake for a wedding he objects too on religious grounds or a photographer who refuses to take a picture for the same reason?

Would you force a Gay Photographer to take a picture at an "ex-gay" wedding(especially if he had a bad personal experience with a similar ministry)?

Yes or No?

I would not but that is the moral difference between a fascist Gnu and a Christian Civil libertarian.

>Do you agree that people who have a conscientious objection to their taxes going to fund military purposes MUST as a matter of principle be allowed to withhold tax payments?

I would go you one better. I would still pay taxes even if I knew Tax money was being spent to pay for abortion & the Catholic Bishops wouldn't call for a tax strike.

Why? Because in that case I am a remote material participant in evil. Not a direct material participant in evil. I can morally pay a guy the money I owe him for the work he has done me. Even if I know he will spend the money on something immoral like let us say PORN.

Well there is a moral and practical difference between giving a guy money I owe him & he does something wicked with it I have no control over or direct participation in vs The State telling me I have to remunerate him with PORN or provide PORN for him.

Taxes are the fees and salary I owe the government for doing it's job of governing. If It beyond my control, spends the money on evil I am still at worst a remote material participant in it's evil.

The same goes for them spending tax dollars on a war I object too.

>Have you been equally active in lobbying for Quakers and others whose conscience finds all military engagement intolerable to be excused from any legal penalties for disobeying the tax law?

Sorry but I defend the right of Quakers to plead conscientious objection and be exempt from military service. A right they have.

There is a difference between the government spending the money owed to it in a way that offends the Quaker vs forcing him to fight.

In a like manner if you work for me & take the money I pay you and buy some birth control pills so you and your boyfriend can give it rizz there is nothing I can do other that with your permission council you to repent if you will hear me. If not well then that is all I can do.

But telling me I have to buy them for you or provide them for you that is beyond the pale of civil liberty. Get them yourself, bake your own cake for your same sex wedding, & photograph it yourself. Is that too much to ask?

Is it?

frances said...

Ben,

You believe Might makes Right. I do not. You have no concept of even mere natural rational moral principles or civil liberties. You really do believe in the unlimited power of the State!

What is this based on? Because I support the rule of law? You seemed to think that the rule of law was rather a good thing when you quoted Robert Bolt's Thomas More with such approval.

You haven't dealt at all with the question I asked about Conscientious withholding of tax. You have dealt at some length with how you, BenYachov, square payment of taxes which go towards things you disapprove of with your conscience. But what I asked was how you would deal with the person who said "The fact that by paying my taxes I am not directly participating in evil make no difference at all to me. It may genuinely quieten your, conscience, Ben, but it does nothing to salve mine. I earnestly believe, with all my heart, that by paying taxes which support military aims, that's as bad as if I were to fight in the army myself."

The fact is that if what you are saying is that the law should never compel an individual to act against their conscience, then you could hardly have picked a worse person than Thomas More to exemplify it. More (at least, as characterised in Bolt's play) would have said that once the law was passed, then you must accept that any disobedience to it will incur sanctions. You may chose not to obey that law but the law then has the right to impose consequences on you for your disobedience. He would not have said that the law must be cut accommodate your conscience or any other person's (including his own).

So did More believe that might made right? Did he have no concept of natural rational principles or civil liberties? Did he believe in the unlimited power of the state? Was he a fascist?

Before you answer, have a look at this article:

http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol31_No1_Pryoronline.pdf

It will be evident from what is said there that the writer and I will be diametrically opposed on many, many issues. But where we would both agree is that nobody is above the law.

BenYachov said...

>What is this based on? Because I support the rule of law? You seemed to think that the rule of law was rather a good thing when you quoted Robert Bolt's Thomas More with such approval.

No because you support punishing Christian photographers who refuse to as a matter of conscience to photograph same sex weddings but you are too cowardly to answer me in regards to forcing a gay photographer to photograph a wedding of two "ex-gays" if he has a principled objection to sexual reorientation therapy. I answered you. But you don't have the guts to answer me.

You keep dodging the issue.

(BTW the New Mexico case had nothing to do with the rule of Law. Same sex marriage is not legal in New Mexico. The photographer was punished by a lawless Civil Rights Commission not for violating a law passed by the State of New Mexico).

>You haven't dealt at all with the question I asked about Conscientious withholding of tax.

I pretty much have. You can't morally refuse to pay money owed to someone just because you object to how they will spend it. I object to the government paying for abortions and birth control(& I lobby & vote against it) but that is not morally the same as the government telling me I must perform abortions, use birth control or directly help others do so. I still pay taxes. If I payed you for mowing my Lawn and you wanted to take the money I gave you & send it to Richard Dawkins. There is nothing I could do about it since it is now your money.

>The fact that by paying my taxes I am not directly participating in evil make no difference at all to me. It may genuinely quieten your, conscience, Ben, but it does nothing to salve mine. I earnestly believe, with all my heart, that by paying taxes which support military aims, that's as bad as if I were to fight in the army myself.

You simply have no concept of moral theory or philosophy even on the secular non-religious level. Your values are based on emotions and left wing fascist politics. If what you say above it true then you must feel you can compel anyone who works for you to spend their money only in ways you deem fit. I can't force the behavior of the government beyond voting, lobbying or running for office. But the government cannot violate my intrinsic rights. That includes forcing me to participate in military action when I object to violence or photograph gay weddings. You seem to be cool with all this fascism.

BenYachov said...

>The fact is that if what you are saying is that the law should never compel an individual to act against their conscience, then you could hardly have picked a worse person than Thomas More to exemplify it.

Just because I cite Thomas More from the Play does not mean I cart blanch endorse everything the real St Thomas More did or believed in real life. The real St Sir Thomas More once had what appears in hind sight, a mentally ill man, publicly whipped for causing public disturbance(he was a judge at one point you see). Now to be fair I don't expect any person from St Thomas More's time to have a civilized view on how to treat the mentally ill.

But the Principle I cited from the play remains in force. You oppose discrimination and racism Francis? But at what cost & within what rational frame work? Because to stop discrimination and hate against Gays by discriminating and oppressing Christians will lead to a backlash. That is just common sense as Thomas Pain would say. Also I politically support a post enlightenment republican democrat constitutional form of government. St Sir Thomas More's pro Monarchy views offend my American sensibilities.

>More (at least, as characterised in Bolt's play) would have said that once the law was passed, then you must accept that any disobedience to it will incur sanctions. You may chose not to obey that law but the law then has the right to impose consequences on you for your disobedience. He would not have said that the law must be cut accommodate your conscience or any other person's (including his own).

I am not disputing any of this. You are trying to change the subject & argue a Staw man rather then own the fact you support oppressing Christians.

>So did More believe that might made right? Did he have no concept of natural rational principles or civil liberties? Did he believe in the unlimited power of the state? Was he a fascist?

Not at all but the people who went after him where all that and more. As are most modern so called advocates of "Gay Rights". They have moved from "Tolerate us & leave us alone"(for the most part reasonable & I agree) to "Accept us & have Right Think on our issues or face jail time and fines".

Big Difference!

frances said...

Ben,

But the Principle I cited from the play remains in force

Indeed it does and it supports my position and is completely contrary to yours. That isn't just my view, that is the view of William H Pryor, a catholic, an admirer of the charcater of More as presented in the play, an American Judge and clearly no friend to the gay community.

Anyway, I think I have now said all I wanted to say on this topic and for those who haven't already done so, I invite them to read Pryor's article and make up their own minds.

Ben, you may have the last word, if you wish.

Enjoy!

;-)

BenYachov said...

>Indeed it does and it supports my position and is completely contrary to yours.

Only if you ignore and misread what I wrote as others here have noted.