Majority Of Americans Oppose ‘Religious Freedom’ Laws

A new poll suggests that the American public does not support laws that give religious exemptions to businesses that want to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

church-state-street-signs

While the controversy over the RFRA-type laws that were recently passed in Indiana and Arkansas, only to be amended significantly after public protests and strongly worded protests from national and local business leaders has died down, the issue itself has not gone away completely and a new poll seems to suggest that most Americans oppose the idea of giving people religious exemptions that would allow them to discriminate against others:

(Reuters) – A majority of Americans believe businesses should not be allowed to refuse services based on their religious beliefs in the wake of controversies in Indiana and Arkansas over gay rights and religious freedom, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found on Thursday.

The poll, conducted April 6 to 8, also found that 52 percent of Americans support allowing same-sex couples to marry, far more than the 32 percent who oppose it.

The survey results suggest a split over the issue between Americans and some of the politicians who represent them.

Indiana’s Republican governor, Mike Pence, triggered a firestorm in his state this month by signing a law that would allow businesses to refuse services to certain groups or people based on their religious beliefs.

Gay rights activists saw the law as discriminatory and the resulting backlash forced Indiana’s state legislature to make changes to the law.

Days later, Arkansas’s Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson, forced his state legislature to change a similar law in order to avoid having it blow up into a controversy in his state.

The poll found solid opposition to allowing businesses to refuse services or refuse to hire people or groups based on religious beliefs.

Fifty-four percent said it was wrong for businesses to refuse services, while 28 percent said they should have that right. And 55 percent said businesses should not have the right to refuse to hire certain people or groups based on the employer’s religious beliefs, while 27 percent said businesses should have the right.

It’s worth noting before we begin that previous polling on this issue has shown some different numbers. An ABC News/Washington Post poll in March 2014 found that less than 30% of those surveyed supported the idea that a business should be able to refuse to provide services for a same-sex wedding based on religious objections,  for example. In January of this year, an Associated Press poll found markedly different results, with a majority of respondents saying that businesses with religious objections should be free to refuse services for such a wedding. The most recent poll on the topic before the Indiana controversy, though, appears to be a September 2014 Pew poll which found Americans almost evenly divided on the issue. The differences between these numbers could be due to everything from differences in samples to how the questions were worded, but the fact that all of them were taken before the issue received the kind of coverage that it did last month suggests that they aren’t necessarily as valuable in trying to figure out what the public thinks about this issue now.

The new Reuters poll also shows that a majority of Americans, 52 percent in this particular poll, supports the legalization of same-sex marriage, although only 34 percent believe that the Supreme Court should make it a right nationwide rather than leaving the matter up to the states or to Congress, although it’s worth noting that this number is larger than the number of those who say it should be left up to the states or Congress and one-quarter of the respondents said that they didn’t know what the best way to accomplish the goal was.  In any case, though, the numbers themselves do seem to be reflective of the generally increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage we’ve seen in polling for the past several years as well as the increased acceptance of gay and lesbian relationships in general. Given these facts, it’s perhaps not too surprising that the public would be opposed to the idea of businesses being able to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation or that they would be receptive to the argument that those businesses ought to have an exemption from laws barring discrimination on that basis if they claim that it would violate their religion. This seems significant given the fact that these are the same Americans who, time again, express an overwhelming belief in a God, and that American Christians are more likely to attend church regularly than their European counterparts.

If you dig deeper into the poll, of course, you find differences that are also entirely unsurprising. On the question of whether businesses should have a right to refuse services based on their religious beliefs, some 47% of Republicans support that position even though a majority of Americans, and 55% of Independents oppose it. Given the fact that Republicans remain one of the few demographic groups where a majority continues to oppose same-sex marriage, this isn’t entirely surprising, and I would imagine that you might find stronger support for the idea of a religious freedom exemption in Republican dominated states such as Alabama and Mississippi. Nationwide, though, it seems fairly clear that the majority of the public is opposed to this idea and that Republicans who have been quick to rally behind it in the wake of the controversies in Indiana and elsewhere. While that position may play well with the party base, it seems likely to only contribute to the general perception that Republicans are out of step with the rest of the country on social issues.

Poll numbers like this don’t necessarily mean that the debate over RFRA-type laws is over, of course. There is a bill that is arguably more extreme than the ones that became the point of controversy last month that will be considered by the legislature in Louisiana this month. Governor Bobby Jindal has indicated that he would sign the bill if it came to his desk, but given the fact that the bill has not really reached the point of national public attention yet it’s not at all clear whether he or Louisiana’s legislators will be able to withstand what is likely to be an onslaught of public and business pressure. It’s also likely that there will be an increased push for these types of laws if, as expected, the Supreme Court strikes down the remaining state law bans against same-sex marriage later this year. That is likely to set off another round of political and legal fights that could last all the way through the 2016 election. For the moment, though, it seems fairly clear where the American people stand on this issue, how politicians react to that remains to be seen.

Update: There are similar results in a new YouGov poll:

Half of Americans think that business owners should be able to refuse service in most cases, except when it comes to certain groups like LGBT customers

Americans think business owners should have the right to refuse service to anyone and for any reason – but there are clearly limits.  Most Americans in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll – religious or not – think business owners should not have the right to refuse service to gays and lesbians even if those owners have “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Those who describe themselves as “very religious” are more likely to answer positively to both of those questions and say owners with sincerely held religious beliefs should be able to refuse service. But the pattern is the same: by 58% to 31%, the most religious say business owners should be able to refuse service to anyone for any reason, but only a third say business owners with “sincerely held” religious beliefs should be able to refuse service to gays and lesbians.

It appears we have a consensus.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Law and the Courts, Public Opinion Polls, Religion, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. J-Dub says:

    I find it ironic that these right-wingers want a country that closely resembles Iran, while simultaneously wanting to bomb that country into oblivion.

  2. Modulo Myself says:

    I don’t see popular support for anything the Republicans want. End big government? Right, we’ll just stop Social Security and Medicare and see what happens. Endless war and paranoia? No thanks. Turn American into a plastic paradise fit for dumb Jesus freaks? Hell no.

    They’re basically a top-heavy operation that has toppled. It’s not surprising that the states where the GOP rules completely are the states that were once feudal kingdoms run by slave-owning planters, or that the typical GOP scapegoat is someone (a teacher, for example) who is actually indispensable.

  3. Modulo Myself says:

    On the other hand, this may be the beginning of something terrible. Good old Rod Dreher lays out the implications:

    A darkness is clotting in Western societies. There is a quickening. You see it in New England. You see it in Ireland. As Brendan O’Neill says, it has become the issue around which modern people rally to express their hatred of the ancien regime. It is proud, it is zealous, and it is perfectly convinced of its own righteousness. We have been assured repeatedly that this sort of thing would not happen as gay rights expanded, but it is not true, and never was true. Learn from history. Read the signs of the times.

    Also, carbon dating the Shroud of Turin was a failed enterprise. Science simply has no answer!

  4. slimslowslider says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    He is a piece of work. I shared this in one of the other threads, but it sums up Dreher life pretty well.

  5. Modulo Myself says:

    @slimslowslider:

    The shilling for the book about healing and salvation is the best. He’s like a half-naked derelict on a sidewalk shrieking about the end of the world who then hands you his resume.

  6. grumpy realist says:

    Oh, the piece about how Europeans are trying to increase birth rates and we’re all doomed, DOOMED because the Concept of the Family has Changed and Teh West Is Evilly Progressive was fun as well.

    There seems to be a certain subset of religious believer who loves standing on the corner of the sidewalk and screeching about Teh End Of The World. The solution for preventing TEOTW is always to do exactly as he says. Funny about that.

    I noticed that of the comments on that thread, most of the practical and pragmatic ones about the problems discouraging people from being parents were from women. All the comments from the handwringers blaming our Godless/hedonistic culture and totally floating over the, um, actual reality of having kids seemed to be from men.

    I especially liked the comments from the guy who claimed it was all due to this nasty modern birth control and women used to be much happier with having kids (he didn’t say “women were happier with their place” but boy do I wonder if he was thinking it.)

  7. michael reynolds says:

    If you go deeper into the cross-tabs you find that 70% of Americans said, “How the hell are we still debating this? Did we travel back in time to 1964?”

  8. slimslowslider says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I am yet to understand a single comment from “EliteCommInc.”

  9. Jack says:

    @J-Dub:

    I find it ironic that these right-wingers want a country that closely resembles Iran, while simultaneously wanting to bomb that country into oblivion.

    You’re an idiot.

  10. DrDaveT says:

    @Rod Dreher:

    A darkness is clotting in Western societies. There is a quickening.

    Well, if quickening has already happened, then it’s now unacceptable to abort it, right? The clotting darkness clearly has a Right to Life.

  11. legion says:

    @Jack: If you disagree with him, I’d like to see you support yourself…

  12. Jack says:
  13. Jack says:

    @legion:

    If you disagree with him, I’d like to see you support yourself…

    The idea that those in the Republican party/Conservatives want a country that resembles Iran is too far out there as to not need to be argued. It’s like trying to debate someone who believes Elvis was captured by aliens and taken to their ship.

  14. Pete S says:

    So it would be safe to assume that the same religious groups pushing these laws are simultaneously demanding to be excluded from any protections from discrimination they may enjoy under current law, correct? They wouldn’t dream of setting themselves up as a special class under law. Otherwise they would just look like a petulant group of 5 year olds mad that they are losing the ability to tell other people how to live their lives.

  15. DrDaveT says:

    The recent run of events has got me thinking about semantics — in particular, about what Republicans might possibly mean when they use the word ‘freedom’.

    I’ve concluded that there isn’t any nonsectarian definition of ‘freedom’ that works. Even if you restrict it to “freedom of religion”, it’s pretty clear that they don’t want people of ALL religions to enjoy the same freedom, whatever freedom might be. I suspect that Republicans think of freedom the way the Pilgrims did: “Freedom to impose our peculiar notions of right and wrong on everyone else”.

    (I’m currently listening to a series of lectures on the history of the Reformation. It’s a forceful reminder that orthodox Christianity was fundamentally opposed to letting individuals choose their own interpretations of scripture and tradition. When you believe that you have a monopoly on truth, and that error leads to eternal damnation, there’s a strongly implied moral obligation to ‘correct’ the incorrect — at swordpoint if necessary. Ironically, the spiritual descendants of the persecuted heretics of that time are now the leading advocates of theocracy in the US.)

  16. Fifty-four percent said it was wrong for businesses to refuse services, while 28 percent said they should have that right.

    These two options aren’t mutually exclusive.

  17. gVOR08 says:

    @Jack: Everybody but you already knows 2014 was an aberration. Everybody but you already knows the acreage of the country leans heavily Republican, the population not so much. (Don’t waste your time, guys, it’s the usual oh look, the whole country is red except for those blue dots and the stripes along the coasts map.)

  18. @Modulo Myself:

    A darkness is clotting in Western societies. There is a quickening. You see it in New England. You see it in Ireland. As Brendan O’Neill says, it has become the issue around which modern people rally to express their hatred of the ancien regime. It is proud, it is zealous, and it is perfectly convinced of its own righteousness. We have been assured repeatedly that this sort of thing would not happen as gay rights expanded, but it is not true, and never was true. Learn from history. Read the signs of the times.

    “The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies… and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not… and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives… the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies”

  19. gVOR08 says:

    @DrDaveT:

    The recent run of events has got me thinking about semantics — in particular, about what Republicans might possibly mean when they use the word ‘freedom’.

    George Lakoff has a whole book, Whose Freedom, on the subject. Spoiler alert, to a conservative “freedom” doesn’t mean what Noah Webster thought it meant. It basically means being able to do ones duty as he sees it. And part of his duty is to force you to do your duty – as he sees it. (Yes, it’s only “him” that counts, not “her”.) So yes, we’re interfering with their freedom to discriminate against gays the way god tells them to.
    Lakoff’s prose is horribly repetitive, and he doesn’t show his work, but if you can hack through it, he has good insights.

  20. KM says:

    @DrDaveT :

    The recent run of events has got me thinking about semantics — in particular, about what Republicans might possibly mean when they use the word ‘freedom’.

    Indeed. It’s very Newspeak: when they say “Freedom” they mean “Ability to Control” or “Power”. Not to mention they seem to think there are limited quantities of it and thus if Joe Blow gets him some freedom, by gum there won’t be any left for them! We are not having the same conversation in the same language as they are.

    In the Master’s words:
    Fundie bellyfeel doubleplusgood doublethink goodsex.

  21. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    Well you want to suppress votes, homogenize the population, and have a single religion.
    If it walks like Iran and talks like Iran…

  22. MBunge says:

    @slimslowslider: The most pitiful thing is that it’s all because Rod is a decent writer but not a very interesting thinker. He found out that his gay marriage posts attract far, far, FAAAAAAR more attention than anything else he writes and…bang!

    Addicted to click bait.

    And like all addictions, it has degraded his already meager intellectual and moral fiber.

    Mike

  23. grumpy realist says:

    @gVOR08: It’s like that idiot who claimed that no, really, things were really better for women back in the 1870s because there were fewer governmental regulations affecting everything.

  24. Tyrell says:

    I certainly would not want a business refusing me service because I was wearing one of those horseshoe nail crosses, or for wearing a John 3:16, Austin 3:16, or Arnold 3:16 t-shirt.

  25. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Well you want to suppress votes, homogenize the population, and have a single religion.
    If it walks like Iran and talks like Iran…

    I do? Funny, I didn’t know that.

    So, unless you have something I posted that states the above, we will again simply call you a liar.

  26. J-Dub says:

    @C. Clavin: And force their views on a poplulation that isn’t particularly interested.

  27. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    Are you saying you don’t realize you are in favor of voter suppression, homogenizing the population, and a single religion?
    Because we have all been reading you comments in support of those things for some time.
    It’s possible you don’t realize what you are saying. Actually that might make some sense.
    But I can only judge you by what you type…and that’s what you type…repeatedly.

  28. grumpy realist says:

    P.S. Rod et al. would get a better idea of what is going on if they went around and asked a whole bunch of people exactly what period of American history you would like to have been born in, if you could pick any year.

    I really, really doubt that they’d find any women or minorities who wanted to be born before, say, 1910.

    (A lot of people seem to have undying nostalgia for the 1950s, but I keep wondering whether that’s because they were kids during that period. And heck, it was all those innocent young children growing up during the 1950s who turned into the Sixties radicals. If your idealized life-style can’t even manage to pass itself on to the next generation you’ve got a problem. It’s not a culture; it’s a fad.)

  29. dennis says:

    @Jack:

    Good afternoon, Jack.

    If you don’t mind, I’d like to know your thinking on why J-Dub is an idiot.

  30. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Well, if a majority of the courts and a majority of the people oppose these laws, then they aren’t very long for the books, are they? Hell, if the anti-RFRA forces are so dominant, why are people arguing about them?

    Especially in light of my recent health issues, I really shouldn’t expend too much energy on lost causes. So in this case, I think I’ll just stop arguing and wait to see these overwhelming numbers congeal and just outright kill these laws.

  31. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: I have never supported voter suppression, homogenizing the population, and a single religion. Ever. You can call a duck a horse, that doesn’t make a duck a horse.

  32. Jack says:

    @dennis:

    If you don’t mind, I’d like to know your thinking on why J-Dub is an idiot.

    Because in no way, shape, or form are “right wingers” trying to make this country like Iran and any comparison of the two is liberal moonbattery.

  33. J-Dub says:

    @Jack: Do you want Christianity to reign supreme over all other religions in the Public Square?

  34. J-Dub says:

    @Jack: Do you want to shoehorn Christianity in between a woman and her doctor?

  35. J-Dub says:

    @Jack: Do you want to define marriage in terms of Christianity?

  36. Blue Galangal says:

    @DrDaveT: Well, that’s what Rhode Island was for, all those “ungodly” people. Or, as a professor of mine in undergrad used to call it, “Rogue’s Island.”

  37. Jack says:

    @J-Dub:

    Do you want Christianity to reign supreme over all other religions in the Public Square?

    No.

    Do you want to shoehorn Christianity in between a woman and her doctor?

    Who is doing this?

    Now, if the question is, Do I believe Christian businesses should not be forced to pay for a product that violates their conscious? Then the answer is yes. Christians are not getting between doctors and women. Ladies, if you want something from your doctor, feel free to pay for it yourself and not rely on use to pay for it for you. In no way are Christians getting between doctors and women. There are no Christians overseeing every appointment or decision a doctor and women are making and vetoing said decisions.

    By the way, these policies are not just supported by those of Christian beliefs….you of the party of inclusiveness.

  38. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    Thank you for proving my point.
    Christian businesses…that’s funny.

  39. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    What’s going on with your health, man?

  40. Neil Hudelson says:

    Echo Michael’s comment. I disagree with Jenos, but I don’t wish ill-health on anyone.

    Hope whatever is going on, you are on a path to recovery.

  41. James P says:

    Yeah, according to polls a majority of Americans are for homosexual marriage too.

    Then when they vote on it, homosexual marriage fails spectacularly almost every time it is on the ballot.

    People may tell pollsters they don’t support RFRA laws because they don’t want the hassle, but if they were to vote on it they’d support it.

    If people supported homosexual marriage it wouldn’t fail almost every time it is on the ballot. People oppose RFRA laws just like they support homosexual marriage.

  42. Tyrell says:

    There was some restaurant that was giving discounts on Sundays to customers who brought their church bulletins. Some misguided individual or group raised a fuss and stirred up a bunch of trouble, so the owner discontinued the practice. Disgusting. Giving a group a discount is not some sort of phony discrimination, so let’s not try that. Think of all the discounts given regularly at restaurants, stores, and movie theaters based on age (seniors, children, students), team fans (wearing the team shirt), city residents (museum), people who dress a certain way (Halloween, St. Patricks green ), or pajamas (midnight movies), weight (cheaper health premium for making the weight brackets), even color ! (discount for red hair on Valentines Day).

  43. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack:

    Ladies, if you want something from your doctor, feel free to pay for it yourself and not rely on use to pay for it for you. In no way are Christians getting between doctors and women. There are no Christians overseeing every appointment or decision a doctor and women are making and vetoing said decisions

    So, you are pro-choice?

  44. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Especially in light of my recent health issues, I really shouldn’t expend too much energy on lost causes.

    Not the worst advice, considering the circumstances. Gay equality was kind of an inevitable result of the perfectability of our union.

    At any rate, I wish you a full and speedy recovery.

  45. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: @Neil Hudelson: I appreciate the concern, but I’m not going to go into too many details publicly, as there are some here who I’d rather not know details about my personal life.

    What I will say is that in January, I had a major health issue that 1) put me in the hospital for a week, and 2) was pretty close to killing me. Since then, I’ve been pretty physically limited. And yesterday I had a rather simple yet potentially very risky procedure that will bring me back to… well, better capacity.

    Oh, and I’m pulling very sticky sensors off very hairy body parts. I appear to have a very select form of mange. Luckily,they’re in parts that don’t get much public exposure.

    On the other hand, with the drugs they’ve now put me on and the changes I’ve been forced to make to my diet and the new exercise regimen I’ll be under, I’ll be feeling healthier than I have in… God, maybe decades.

    And I had a little fun. During my procedure (not in an operating room, but I’m still gonna call it surgery, as they put things in very touchy parts of my body, well under my skin, and left them there), two of the orderlies were wearing… colorful scrubs. One was bright orange, the other camouflaged pattern. I announced “it’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” and told the other that I was relieved that I wasn’t the only one present “going commando.”

    And near the end, I informed the medical student observing that I hoped she had taken good notes, because I was NOT going through that again for her benefit. (It’s a teaching hospital, and a damned good one.)

    Yes, I was conscious for the entire procedure. Slightly dopey (as shown by my utter lack of discretion in speaking), but I remember most of the entire thing. I kinda wish I had more interesting surgical scars, but I guess the doctor was too good.

    But to the topic at hand… I wouldn’t call “Jack” an idiot, nor would I echo him in his calling J-Dub an idiot. J-Dub is merely engaging in rather stupid hyperbole, trying to score points with the established commentariat by trying to out-outrage the others. Much like wr and Cliffy do. For some, that’s the best they can do when they don’t have anything of real thoughtful substance to offer.

    For the record, I think J-Dub’s likening American conservatives to Muslim extremists idiotic, tasteless, and pointless. But I don’t feel any overwhelming compunction to say so. For me to do so would be about is counterproductive as J-Dub’s remark.

  46. Jack says:

    @J-Dub:

    Do you want to define marriage in terms of Christianity?

    No. I want government out of marriage. A marriage is between those getting married and the person officiating the marriage.

    I do however oppose those that want to force people of faith to do something that they oppose. I think we can have religious liberty without having discrimination.

    I’m not talking about upending discrimination laws in housing, employment, federal benefits, etc. I am in general though very supportive of defending religious liberty. And I think we can do that without condoning discrimination. I don’t think those two values are mutually exclusive.

    But right now, people are becoming Christian bashers. Unless and until you stand up for the guy refused service at Muslim owned Kinkos for requesting them to reproduce posters of a hand drawn picture (thus art) of Mohammed screwing a goat, or you stand up for drunks or those simply transporting alcohol being refused service by Muslim taxi drivers, or you stand up for the people who must wait in line while a Muslim clerk refuses and must get a manager because he/she cannot ring up you bacon purchase.

    The RFRA laws protect all religions not just Christianity. Should a Muslim, Jewish Rabbi, Catholic Priest, or Christian pastor be forced to participate in ceremonies their faith tells them is wrong? When will we see priests and pastors sued because they refused to gay marry a couple? When will we see priests and pastors sued for not participating in Wiccan ceremonies? We’re not talking’ about restaurants denying service to people who wanna come and have dinner. We’re not talking about day-to-day routine commercial transactions. We’re talking about a very specific example here of business owners, of florists, of musicians, of caterers who are being forced to either pay thousands of dollars or close their businesses if they don’t wanna participate in a wedding ceremony that contradicts their religious beliefs.

    You may say that I am developing scenarios that will never come to pass, but I among others predicted that priests and pastors in the military would be targeted after DADT was repealed….and it’s happening now.

    Public accommodation laws serve a compelling state interest, but the question is whether those should apply when a vendor has to participate in a specific event. RFRA allows for a balancing test to take place, but it doesn’t guarantee the outcome of the dispute. It just requires a stricter level of scrutiny on government actions.

  47. Scott says:

    @Tyrell: My big beef is that they keep raising the senior citizen discount. Used to be common at 55, now its 65. I’m sure they will keep raising just ahead of me. That’s what I get for being a boomer. It’s my parents fault.

  48. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @humanoid.panda: According to Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, “I support letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved. Period. End of story.”

    Which, I assume, means she doesn’t support the government getting involved by paying for it…

  49. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Jack: Now that is a more reasonable response, and one I can find elements with which I agree. You do have some factual errors that don’t affect your main point, but I am comfortable in predicting that there are already one or two idiots who are going to point out those mistakes and say they invalidate your arguments. And in that spirit, I won’t give them any help by pointing out your errors.

    Or, alternately, I could be making up those “errors” to send those idiots digging through every single aspect of your comment to find these non-existent mistakes, keeping them busy and out of our hair for a few moments. Also a possibility.

  50. Jack says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Which, I assume, means she doesn’t support the government getting involved by paying for it…

    I’m sure she doesn’t mean that. You are being way too obtuse when looking at her statement. You are twisting her words and using them against her. That’s not what a good democrat subject would do.

  51. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    And let’s head off another of the idiots’ standard lies: I am not “Jack.’ Note that he and I both posted lengthy comments that share a time-spamp; this site will not allow one person to make comments in such close succession. It would not be physically possible for one person to post both of the 15:16 comments.

    Well, it might, but it would require a hell of a lot more knowledge and hard work for a truly pointless accomplishment. And I’d rather bait the idiots on a purely intellectual basis — like saying that Jack’s comment has a factual flaw, but not saying what it is, and sending them hunting for it — when it might not exist at all. That’s more how I roll.

  52. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:

    The RFRA laws protect all religions not just Christianity. Should a Muslim, Jewish Rabbi, Catholic Priest, or Christian pastor be forced to participate in ceremonies their faith tells them is wrong?

    No, of course not. But that’s not what Republicans like you are asking for. You are asking that businesses be allowed to discriminate. You keep trying to cloud this. A Catholic Priest is not forced to officiate a gay wedding. Period. A cake baker open for business must be open for business to all. Laws like the one in Indiana try to make discrimination in the business place legal. They, and you, want a single religion. Yours.

  53. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Jack: Yes, I’m taking the DNC Chair at her word. Ain’t that a really rotten and dishonest and sexist and anti-Semitic (She’s a Jewish woman, so obviously that’s what I don’t like about her) and probably racist thing of me to do?

  54. grumpy realist says:

    @Jack: The problem is–where does it stop?

    (IMHO, it takes a certain type of narcissism to believe that your providing a foodstuff to a party of 500 people held in a restaurant/convention center/train station means that you yourself are blessing the relationship. Even if you do put two groom figures on top of it. Do your effin’ job man, and act professionally. No one gives a crap about your beliefs and you’re just acting like a spoiled drama queen.)

  55. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Jack: You see now one of Cliffy’s very limited tactics. He spells out his position, then he calls you a liar and says that your position isn’t what you say it is, but what he says it is. He really, really needs to stuff you into his straw man if he has the slightest chance of not utterly humiliating himself.

    A little free advice: don’t play his game. To steal an old line, “don’t argue with idiots. They drag you down to their level, then beat you through superior experience.”

  56. Mikey says:

    @grumpy realist:

    IMHO, it takes a certain type of narcissism to believe that your providing a foodstuff to a party of 500 people held in a restaurant/convention center/train station means that you yourself are blessing the relationship.

    Indeed, selling a product or service to someone does not imply any kind of approval or endorsement. It’s a business transaction, plain and simple.

    The ones trying to make it something it’s not, and then using that as a pretext for discrimination, are the religious people who want special treatment: being permitted to use religion as an excuse to avoid obeying the laws that apply to every public accommodation.

  57. al-Ameda says:

    Fifty-four percent said it was wrong for businesses to refuse services, while 28 percent said they should have that right. And 55 percent said businesses should not have the right to refuse to hire certain people or groups based on the employer’s religious beliefs, while 27 percent said businesses should have the right.

    The Public is a piece of work. They accept the RFRA stuff in the abstract, that is, until the sh** hits the fan. Then when pollsters ask the question, it really comes down to “do you favor discrimination?” and of course even those who favor RFRA are going to tell pollsters that they oppose discrimination based on religion, because saying ‘yes’ would present them in an unfavorable light. Then, there’s always that 27% Crazification Factor – those who support virtually any toxic initiative.

  58. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Get better soon!

  59. humanoid.panda says:

    But right now, people are becoming Christian bashers. Unless and until you stand up for the guy refused service at Muslim owned Kinkos for requesting them to reproduce posters of a hand drawn picture (thus art) of Mohammed screwing a goat, or you stand up for drunks or those simply transporting alcohol being refused service by Muslim taxi drivers, or you stand up for the people who must wait in line while a Muslim clerk refuses and must get a manager because he/she cannot ring up you bacon purchase.

    First, off, you need to separate the printer story from the other two. An individual printer should not be forced to provide a speech service for speech he doesn’t like, in exactly same way a Christian baker should not be forced to sell “I love gay marriage” cakes. A Muslim employee of Kinko’s , however, might be accomodated (or not) by his employer- that’s not a legal issue. For the taxi drivers -they should (and were when that happened) to serve all clients who withstand standards of decent behaviour. Taxicabs are a public service, and should serve the public (they, and everybody else, are allowed to say no to drunk drivers, of course. As for the clerk- again, if her employer wants to accomodate her, its their choice, but she definetely doesn’t have a constitutional right for such accomodation. There is a huge distinction between accomodations that don’t touch on the core of one’s job activities- say wearing hijab, and accomodations that affect one’s ability to serve the public.

  60. DrDaveT says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    Well, that’s what Rhode Island was for, all those “ungodly” people. Or, as a professor of mine in undergrad used to call it, “Rogue’s Island.”

    Heh. I (as well as both Dubya and Barack Obama, as it happens) am directly descended from rogues who were too roguish even for Rhode Island — the “Seventh Day Baptists” who split off and fled to found a colony of their own in Piscataway, NJ and (when things got too hot for them there) in what is now New Salem, WV.

  61. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: First off, get well, and I hope that things go well for you. Second, as you very well know, the federal government doesn’t pay for abortions. Third what you are doing here is silly sophistry.

  62. humanoid.panda says:

    And of course, by screaming “Squirrel,” or in this case, DWS!, Jack and Jenos avoid my question: how can one say Christians don’t want to impose themselves in medical decisions, given the abortion issue.

  63. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Look if you don’t understand the issue then admit it…but don’t call others liars…especially considering you are about the most mendacious person on this site.
    The issue here has never been pastors or churches or synagogues going against their religious beliefs. However, that is used to cloud the issue…exactly as Jack did.
    A Pizza Joint advertising to cater weddings should cater weddings for all. This is longstanding law. Republicans want to change this…as the failed Indiana law plainly illustrates.

  64. @humanoid.panda:

    First, off, you need to separate the printer story from the other two. An individual printer should not be forced to provide a speech service for speech he doesn’t like, in exactly same way a Christian baker should not be forced to sell “I love gay marriage” cakes. A Muslim employee of Kinko’s , however, might be accomodated (or not) by his employer- that’s not a legal issue. For the taxi drivers -they should (and were when that happened) to serve all clients who withstand standards of decent behaviour. Taxicabs are a public service, and should serve the public

    If I hail a cab to take me to a klan rally, is the driver legally obligated to take me there?

  65. C. Clavin says:

    These same “religious objecters” never seem to complain about serving divorcees, or adulterers, or a host of other venial and/or mortal sinners. They only seem to object to serving the yucky gay people…which of course this fictional Christ fellow never even mentioned. It’s really just typical Republican hypocrisy.

  66. Jack says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    So, you are pro-choice?

    I will never have to choose between aborting a child or not. I’m not physically equipped.

    Pro-life, by my definition, does not mean forcing women/couple to have children. It means, that women, or more preferably a couple, would hopefully come to the conclusion that a person, with DNA from both the mother and the father is gestating and if there is some way to preserve that life, do so. I do not feel abortion is the same as birth control.

    I tend to lean pro-choice. But as a libertarian, I would.

    Pro-choice by my definition involves all the choices. From the time a couple decide they want to have sex, to the time the plan for a place to have sex, to the time the plan for a time to have sex, to meeting up for the sex to the decision to not use protection to have sex (yes, I know protection is not infallible) to the decision, usually by the woman out of convenience, to terminate a pregnancy.

    However, I am pro-choice across the board. I would defend a mother/couples choice to have/abort a child in the same manner I would defend a business owner’s decision to participate/not participate in a gay wedding.

    Too often social conservatives are told it’s wrong for “others or government” to get involved when it comes to a woman’s choice, but those same social conservative are told “others or government” involvement when it comes to a business owner’s decision to not make a cake, take pictures, arrange flowers, cater, etc. a gay wedding is critical. How can you justify one but not the other? If you are self-described pro choice, you must defend the business owner with the same voracity you defend the mother.

  67. humanoid.panda says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    If I hail a cab to take me to a klan rally, is the driver legally obligated to take me there?

    If there is no physical danger in the rally, and you are not abusing him as he drives, yes.

  68. C. Clavin says:

    FYI…A bill in Bobby Jindal’s red mooching welfare state of Louisiana (takes $1.78 in federal money for ever $1.00 sent to DC) goes even further…like the failed Indiana law it would allow businesses to not serve gay couples…but it will also allow businesses to not offer benefits to married gay employees.

  69. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    But as a libertarian, I would.

    This explains SO much …

  70. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: Apparently you don’t “reed two well”

    I’m not talking about upending discrimination laws in housing, employment, federal benefits, etc.

    We’re not talking’ about restaurants denying service to people who wanna come and have dinner. We’re not talking about day-to-day routine commercial transactions. We’re talking about a very specific example here of business owners, of florists, of musicians, of caterers who are being forced to either pay thousands of dollars or close their businesses if they don’t wanna participate in a wedding ceremony that contradicts their religious beliefs.

  71. Jack says:

    @Mikey:

    It’s a business transaction, plain and simple.

    Based upon your logic, a hookers can’t be forced to perform a service she doesn’t want to perform either. Hey, you did it for that guy, you have to do it for me too!

    Arranging flowers, decorating a cake, taking photos, planning a wedding” are not simple business transactions. They require creative input from the producer. Why would anyone want to force someone to do these things against their wishes?

  72. KM says:

    @Tyrell:

    There was some restaurant that was giving discounts on Sundays to customers who brought their church bulletins. Some misguided individual or group raised a fuss and stirred up a bunch of trouble, so the owner discontinued the practice. Disgusting. Giving a group a discount is not some sort of phony discrimination, so let’s not try that.

    Did they give discounts for the synagogue newsletter or a printout for the local mosque? If they did, no harm no foul. If not, then they were pretty obviously grant religious favoritism to a group at the expense of others (notoriously bad tippers at that!). It’s not discrimination per se but it WILL piss off a whole bunch of customers who feel it’s not fair because they don’t worship the way the owner likes and so have to pay full price. If Disney World offered gingers 50% off because they really really like redheads, watch the screaming start and the sale of hair dye go up.

    Come on, man. Everyone you cited has a reason to give those discounts directly related to the function that’s being discounted: city gives students discounts so they go to the museum and learn something, team fans get discounts for their home team to fill the seats repeatedly, people who are obviously making an effort to be healthier cost less and thus are preferable. The category of discountee is tied in some concrete fashion to the discounted action so tell me – exactly what function does “church-goer” have in relation to “brunch” that deserves a reward the rest don’t? Answer: none. It’s a category the owner personally favored, not one he could make a legit business case out of. He stopped because he got called out on his personal agenda and decided not to stand by it.

  73. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack:

    Too often social conservatives are told it’s wrong for “others or government” to get involved when it comes to a woman’s choice, but those same social conservative are told “others or government” involvement when it comes to a business owner’s decision to not make a cake, take pictures, arrange flowers, cater, etc. a gay wedding is critical. How can you justify one but not the other? If you are self-described pro choice, you must defend the business owner with the same voracity you defend the mother.

    Because there is a huge distinction between choices one makes that affect himself, and choices that affect others. I believe that a first trimester or second trimester fetus is not a person, and therefore I am strongly pro-choice. However, I believe that the state has a compelling reason to interfere with abortion post-viability- as much as that aches me, because another person, or potential person become s involved. In a similar way, if we face a zombie apocalypse, and society needs to repopulate, I will be ok with banning abortion- because the interests of society would need to balance individual interests.

    In the case of anti-discrimination laws, the effect of one’s decision to discriminate limits the access of others to the commericial sphere where we live our lives. I, unlike other liberals, think that in the cases of Christian bakers, and florists, and so on, we should carve out limited exception, because that effect is rather muted. I however, can’t accept a general exception from anti-discrimination laws, if people decide that hiring women, or gays, or (more likely) providing spousal benefits to SSM employees burdens their freedom of religion.

    Balancing acts like this is why I am a liberal, and neither a socialist nor a libertarian.

  74. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin:

    A Pizza Joint advertising to cater weddings should cater weddings for all. This is longstanding law.

    Memories Pizza never advertised catering for wedding. The report simply asked the owner if they would and the owner said no. She said we have no problem serving gays but we will not participate in their wedding ceremonies.

  75. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jack:

    We’re not talking’ about restaurants denying service to people who wanna come and have dinner. We’re not talking about day-to-day routine commercial transactions. We’re talking about a very specific example here of business owners, of florists, of musicians, of caterers who are being forced to either pay thousands of dollars or close their businesses if they don’t wanna participate in a wedding ceremony that contradicts their religious beliefs.

    So I think in practice, we don’t disagree on much. My problem with Indiana and Louisiana and style laws is simply that instead of carving specific exceptions for specific businesses, they are written in a way that does disrupt the basic principles of anti-discrimination laws.

  76. Mikey says:

    @Jack:

    Arranging flowers, decorating a cake, taking photos, planning a wedding” are not simple business transactions. They require creative input from the producer.

    What difference does that make? I apply creative input in my job every day and I can’t tell a customer “I won’t serve you because I don’t agree with your ‘lifestyle.'” It’s a business transaction because they’re being commissioned to provide the product or service. If they want to pick and choose, they can volunteer their services, but as soon as they make it a business, they have to obey the laws that apply to a business.

    This is, again, just a pretext some religious people are using to demand special exemption from the law.

  77. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jack:

    There’s a book about such horrors:

    “Someone must have slandered Joseph K, for one morning, without have done anything wrong, he was forced to arrange flowers, decorate a cake, and then plan a gay wedding. “

  78. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin:

    serving divorcees, or adulterers, or a host of other venial and/or mortal sinners.

    These people typically don’t advertise their sins, then go ask a Christian for service.

    “Hey, I’m an adulterer, would you make a cake for my mistress?

  79. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    Apparently you can’t “reed” the laws you folks are trying to pass.

  80. Jack says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    HarvardLaw92

    This explains sooooo much!

  81. KM says:

    @Jack:

    Arranging flowers, decorating a cake, taking photos, planning a wedding” are not simple business transactions. They require creative input from the producer.

    This is the new BS excuse for the self-absorption of “Cake is Speech”. If “creative input” is the criteria threshold, you’re going to be unpleasantly surprised at who you just granted permission to discriminate. So if the McD’s kid swirls a smiley face on your Big Mac, his “creative input” now allows him to throw your hatin’ self out and refuse to serve you (Christ is Love, remember!)

    Be careful what you wish for – True Art is undefinable and “creative input” can be… anything my creative mind decides it is 🙂

  82. Jack says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    In the case of anti-discrimination laws, the effect of one’s decision to discriminate limits the access of others to the commericial sphere where we live our lives. I, unlike other liberals, think that in the cases of Christian bakers, and florists, and so on, we should carve out limited exception, because that effect is rather muted. I however, can’t accept a general exception from anti-discrimination laws, if people decide that hiring women, or gays, or (more likely) providing spousal benefits to SSM employees burdens their freedom of religion.

    Based upon my posts above, I do not see much light between our positions.

  83. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: @C. Clavin: You still can’t “reed two well”.

  84. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jack:

    Based upon your logic, a hookers can’t be forced to perform a service she doesn’t want to perform either. Hey, you did it for that guy, you have to do it for me too!

    The real question revolves around whether or not female Christian escorts have to offer their services to the straight men at a bachelor party for a gay wedding.

    And let’s not get into the question of whether a Christian drug dealer should offer his services to events his faith prohibits.

  85. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    Are we now conflating a wedding reception with a wedding ceremony? Funny, I don’t think I’ve ever seen pizza being served in a sanctuary during a wedding.

  86. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    Do I believe Christian businesses should not be forced to pay for a product that violates their conscious?

    “Christian business” is sort of a contradiction in terms, isn’t it? What’s so Christian about the profit motive?

    Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. Matthew 19:21

  87. Jack says:

    @KM:

    This is the new BS excuse for the self-absorption of “Cake is Speech”. If “creative input” is the criteria threshold, you’re going to be unpleasantly surprised at who you just granted permission to discriminate.

    Then gays should have no problem finding hundreds of other people perform these functions for them as all “creative input” is equal, right? Right?

    My kids drawing is the artistic equivalent of the Mona Lisa. My shed is the architectural equivalent of the Coliseum.

    Me thinks she doth protest too much.

  88. KM says:

    @Jack:

    Based upon your logic, a hookers can’t be forced to perform a service she doesn’t want to perform either. Hey, you did it for that guy, you have to do it for me too!

    Consider hooking is illegal in most places, how exactly do you plan to enforce that equality with the rule of law?

  89. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    I’m still waiting for any of them to explain to me how a business can have religious beliefs in the first place.

  90. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders: Jesus did not extol poverty as some great virtue. In fact, only one time did He tell someone—the rich young ruler—to sell his possessions and give to the poor. It was because that man was possessed by his possessions. Because when Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me” (Matthew 19:21), the Bible says that he went away sorrowful. It was a test to see whether God was more important to him than his things.

    Money is not the root of all evil; the love of it is. The problem with wealth is not in having it. It is how we get it. It is how we guard it. And it is how we give it.

  91. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    Yes, yes it does. Thanks for noticing 😀

  92. Jack says:

    @HarvardLaw92: So a sole proprietor cannot have religious beliefs? Are you that dense?

    Don’t most small companies start as sole proprietorships or partnerships and grow from there? Family owned businesses have policies based upon the beliefs of the founder and the founder’s family. If you don’t understand that, then I question your pedigree.

  93. DrDaveT says:

    @Jack:

    Arranging flowers, decorating a cake, taking photos, planning a wedding” are not simple business transactions. They require creative input from the producer.

    So does a restaurant meal, but you insist you’re not talking about that case. I’m hard-pressed to understand how decorating a cake is intrinsically creative and personal, but preparing and plating a dish is not.

    Why would anyone want to force someone to do these things against their wishes?

    If that argument has force for decorating cakes, it has force for preparing meals. If it has force when the religious objection is to homosexuality, it has force when the religious objection is to heresy. The very existence of public accommodation law is a statement that “this argument has no force”.

  94. Jack says:

    @KM: You didn’t address the question. You built a completely separate argument.

  95. grumpy realist says:

    @KM: Yah, we’ll really hear the screaming start when the Starbucks barrista (who draws pix in the foam they put on top of the cappucino) takes advantage of her righteous artistic get-out-of-jail-free card and decides to not serve the mom in yoga pants who comes in with a stroller because “breeders are icky.”

  96. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    When functioning ex officio? No. When functioning as an individual? Sure.

    You are erroneously conflating the individual with the business.

  97. KM says:

    @Jack:

    Then gays should have no problem finding hundreds of other people perform these functions for them as all “creative input” is equal, right? Right?

    If their “creative input” is so great, then surely they don’t need Go Fund Me’s when the Hammer of Social Disapproval smacks them on their economic asses. They should be able to make up the income easily with their creativity as it sets them apart from all those other hundreds of people, right? Right?

    It’s a @&#&^$* cake. It ain’t special. They ain’t special – Cake Boss, they are not. This really is about their fragile little egos. Whatever “gifts” they think they have? Does not excuse them from the basics of society and the expectations of law. And since when did creativity get conflated with religion? I though the reason for all this was “timeless morals”, not “can make really nice sugar roses”.

  98. Jack says:

    @DrDaveT:

    So does a restaurant meal, but you insist you’re not talking about that case. I’m hard-pressed to understand how decorating a cake is intrinsically creative and personal, but preparing and plating a dish is not.

    Fixing a meal, the same meal prepared for every other customer that walks in, and participating in a ceremony by photographing the ceremony, serving at the ceremony, preparing the ceremony, and preparing a cake for the ceremony are two different things. The latter are typically made at the customers specifications. Those discriminated against didn’t walk into a shop and say “gimme one of those on display for my gay wedding”.

  99. grumpy realist says:

    @DrDaveT: Also considering how touchy French chefs have been traditionally portrayed in literature, I think you’d be hard pressed to say that wedding-cake decorators are “artistic” but chefs of $500 dinners aren’t….

  100. KM says:

    @Jack:

    You didn’t address the question. You built a completely separate argument.

    Try to pick a better example and I will. You asked about hypothetically enforcing legal equality and religious freedom in a blatantly illegal action. Not my fault that was all you could come up with.

  101. grumpy realist says:

    @Jack: You’re effin’ telling me that a chef at a restaurant doesn’t make a dinner according to the customer’s expectations?

    Have you ever BEEN to a restaurant?!

  102. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    Again, I have rarely seen photographers taking photos during a wedding ceremony. For that matter, I don’t think I have ever seen people serving food during one.

    You are conflating the wedding ceremony with the wedding reception. Now, it may be difficult for you to grasp, given your inclination towards conflation, but a wedding reception is a party. It is NOT a religious ceremony.

    I’ll agree with you that a caterer shouldn’t have to serve cake during a wedding ceremony that he/she disagrees with.

    Given that they’d never be asked to do so in the first place.

  103. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    If “businesses” aren’t supposed to have opinions on this matter, where’s the outrage about Apple and Wal-Mart saying they oppose Indiana’s RFRA? Do they get a pass because they’re on the “right” side?

    What am I saying? Of course they do. Corporations are like minorities. They’re fine when they’re liberals, and not allowed to be conservatives.

    Cliffy, you’re the one who’s lying about the issue. The pizza place didn’t discriminate against gay people. As I said in another thread, if two gay men were to go in there (presuming they’ve reopened after the bomb, robbery, and death threats from the oh-so-tolerant side) and say, “we want a large pizza and we want it smothered with big, juicy, mouth-watering, succulent sausages,” the order taker would most likely say “Anything to drink, and is that for here or fo go?”

    When asked by a truly stupid and/or agenda-driven reporter from the big city, they said that they would not be interested in catering a gay wedding. Which raises some very important questions.

    1) Who the hell would want their wedding catered by a pizza company?

    2) How many weddings have they catered in the past?

    3) Seriously, of all the people who’d get married, what self-respecting gay couple would want their wedding catered by a pizza place?

    OK, maybe the smothered with big, juicy, mouth-watering, succulent sausages” would have some appeal for a more… flamboyant gay couple, but who the hell would want their reception to feature greasy, messy, sloppy hand food?

    The “discrimination” was 1) purely hypothetical, 2) totally absurd, and 3) aimed at an event, not a person.

    But if you want something where you can actually show you’re driven by principle (that one’s not aimed at Cliffy, obviously, who thinks “principle” is the guy in whose office he spent way too much of his youth), here’s a video of Muslim baker after Muslim baker refuising (politely, but refusing) to prepare a cake for a (hypothetical) gay wedding.

    I think they have the right to refuse this. On the other hand, I don’t think that Muslim cabbies have the right to refuse passengers with booze or guide dogs because that offends their Muslim sensibilities. But I’ve noticed a certain lack of outrage when the people who want to preserve their religion’s strictures in their own lives when the people doing the asserting aren’t Christian.

  104. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Oh, and thanks again for the kind words here. As I said, I’m actually feeling better than I have in a long time, and expect to continue to improve. More importantly, so do my doctors and other caregivers — as long as do as they tell me to, and I intend to.

    I also did not discuss politics at all with anyone I encountered in either of my hospital stays, and it felt marvelous.

  105. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You really are a vile individual, and after that comment I think you know exactly why I just said that.

    You’re on ignore now. Don’t bother responding.

  106. KM says:

    @Jack:

    Fixing a meal, the same meal prepared for every other customer that walks in, and participating in a ceremony by photographing the ceremony, serving at the ceremony, preparing the ceremony, and preparing a cake for the ceremony are two different things. The latter are typically made at the customers specifications.

    Woah, clearly somebody eats only at fast food places. As former food service, I can name at least 10 chefs who’d be dying for a go at you for that denigration of their skills. You think nobody orders wheat pasta instead of regular? No allergy modifications? Someone on a salt free diet? You have no right to just somebody’s creative input, remember. You have no right to mock their creatively in arraigning your garnish or orange peel flower. Can you make those on command?

    Meanwhile, the photographer takes the same photos every wedding. Bride. Groom. Bride+groom. Party. Cute kids. Rinse and repeat. Hell, even the poses are standard (kiss, hug, one person sitting in a chair with the other’s hand on their shoulder)! But nooo, somehow that’s more “creative” when done for the 1,000th time then making a plate of Lo Mein.

  107. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Again, I have rarely seen photographers taking photos during a wedding ceremony. For that matter, I don’t think I have ever seen people serving food during one.

    The reason you haven’t seen the photographers taking pictures at the wedding is, I suspect, that 1) you’re (properly) focusing your attention on the happy couple, and 2) good photographers are incredibly discreet. Go look at some wedding albums — you’ll most likely see several photos of the ceremony proper. They’re usually the ones that get stuck on the cover.

    And you’re threatening to start a whole side-argument here — is the reception a part of the whole wedding? It is an essential element?

    I wonder what would happen if one were to order a cake for a “HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEFFERSON DAVIS” party from a black bakery, or a “88 DAY — YAY, HITLER!” from a Jewish bakery on August 8…

    Hell, what if you wanted a “THE HOLOCAUST WAS A MYTH” cake for Yom Hashoah from a Jewish baker… (michael, you wanna explain that one to those who aren’t up on Jewish holy days?)

  108. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I said a LOT in that comment, and I wasn’t trying to “go vile” until my 17:06 comment. Since Harvey is having a temper tantrum, could someone else point out what part of my comment was “vile?”

    And yes, I’m reinterpreting what Harvey said to pretend he didn’t violate the Terms of Service. I’m reading it as “you said something vile,” and not “You are vile.” I’m generous that way.

  109. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Look, you’re trolling. You know it, and I know it. The tactics are pretty clear. The whole mixing being obnoxious with appeals for sympathy thing was particularly obvious. I suspect that arguing with smart people and splitting hairs until you find a strawman that works is how you find meaning in your otherwise self-admittedly dull life.

    “Look at me! I pwned those smart people! I am validated!”

    The comment was vulgar, and you wrote it specifically to be vulgar, because your goal is not discussion. You aren’t fooling anyone. You may not have been James P, but you ARE a troll. Like I said, we’re done here.

  110. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    So a sole proprietor cannot have religious beliefs? Are you that dense?

    Sure, the sole proprietor can have religious beliefs — as an individual. But his business, as a state-chartered entity, cannot.

    Similarly, I’m the sole proprietor of my umbrella, and I may have religious beliefs. But that doesn’t make my umbrella a Roman Catholic umbrella. It’s just an umbrella, man.

  111. KM says:

    @Jenos:

    I also did not discuss politics at all with anyone I encountered in either of my hospital stays, and it felt marvelous.

    That’s always a good policy. Hospitals are for rest, not debate. Get better and try not to be a @^$&-stirrer for a bit, OK? Not good for the blood pressure. 🙂

  112. Monala says:

    @Jack: But when customers do, those same “can’t violate my religious values” bakers have no problem baking cakes for divorce parties, for babies born out of wedlock, or for adultery or for pagan solstice parties: http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-20698-the_cake_wars.html

  113. Monala says:

    @Jack: Jesus gave instructions about giving to the poor and warnings about riches (and not just “love of money”) to many others besides that one young man.

    23And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24″Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19

    14Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12

    32“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12

  114. Monala says:

    @Jack: None of those folks, except perhaps the photographer, are even present during the ceremony. They either decorate the place before hand, or they are serving at the reception.

  115. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @KM: Hospitals are for rest, not debate. Get better and try not to be a @^$&-stirrer for a bit, OK? Not good for the blood pressure.

    I appreciate the sentiment, really, but 1) I’m out of the hospital now, and 2) look up “catharsis.”

    This isn’t aggravating, it’s therapeutic.

    @HarvardLaw92: I’m not “trolling for sympathy.” As I said, I’m feeling better now than I have in a long time. If I was trying to elicit sympathy, I’d go into detail about my issues, describing just how bad things could have been. Instead, I’ve mainly recounted details that I intend to amuse others and, possibly, laugh at me a little. There’s a certain intellectual level here, mostly, and I figured that a good chunk of the audience could enjoy a little absurdity and irreverence that was also completely apolitical.

    Further examples: when the nurse is explicitly asking you your mental health, it’s not a good idea to answer “oh, purple kumquat refrigerator.” But you can get away with asking, in a discussion about a radioactive dye test, “do you supply the radioactive thallium, or should I bring my own?”

    But the biggest consequence for me and here: I have far higher priorities than commenting here. So I should only do it as long as it’s fun.

    Which means that I will not deliberately violate the Terms here to the degree that JamesP did. When I stop commenting here, I want it to be by my choice.

    Like when I demanded that wr put up or shut up with his repeated and false accusations that I was violating the Terms of Service here by sock-puppeting. I dared the Gutless Wonder to put up or shut up, with the loser leaving the site permanently. But instead he wussed out and just kept repeating his lies, without ever offering the slightest shred of evidence.

    I was comfortable making that wager because 1) I knew h was too gutless to take it — he just repeats his lies over and over, and 2) I knew I couldn’t lose it. But watching him weasel out of showing the slightest integrity and courage… that was entertaining.

    And it still is.

  116. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Like when I demanded that wr put up or shut up with his repeated and false accusations that I was violating the Terms of Service here by sock-puppeting. I dared the Gutless Wonder to put up or shut up, with the loser leaving the site permanently. But instead he wussed out and just kept repeating his lies, without ever offering the slightest shred of evidence.

    I was comfortable making that wager because 1) I knew h was too gutless to take it — he just repeats his lies over and over, and 2) I knew I couldn’t lose it. But watching him weasel out of showing the slightest integrity and courage… that was entertaining.

    And it still is.

    Like I said

    Look at me! I pwned those smart people! I am validated!

  117. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    But the biggest consequence for me and here: I have far higher priorities than commenting here. So I should only do it as long as it’s fun.

    Which, of course, invites the obvious question:

    What makes it fun for you?

    The answer to that question won’t even break 1:1 odds in Vegas, pal. It’s that obvious.

  118. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “pwning” wr is hardly “pwning” a “smart person.”

    As for what makes it fun for me? I really don’t see a scenario where answering that benefits me. I see scenarios where it achieves nothing, and scenarios where it harms my future enjoyment, but no scenario where it does anything good for me.

    Besides,you’re supposed to be ignoring me. So you’d just ignore the answer.

    Finally, I asked you what I said that was so “vile” before you asked your question. Why should I answer you before you answered me?

  119. An Interested Party says:

    Arranging flowers, decorating a cake, taking photos, planning a wedding” are not simple business transactions. They require creative input from the producer. Why would anyone want to force someone to do these things against their wishes?

    Using that logic, racists in these professions shouldn’t have to provide services for those of other ethnic groups, religious bigots shouldn’t have to provide services for those of other faiths, etc….a very interesting form of “freedom”…

    But I’ve noticed a certain lack of outrage when the people who want to preserve their religion’s strictures in their own lives when the people doing the asserting aren’t Christian.

    Bigotry based on religion is still bigotry no matter which religion is being used to justify such views…

  120. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I really don’t see a scenario where answering that benefits me.

    LOL, I would imagine not … 😀

  121. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: They taught you a really, really odd definition of “ignore” at Harvard Law, Harvey… it doesn’t really match any I’ve heard of, but I don’t have your stellar credentials and qualifications and whatnot.

  122. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I decided “what the hell”.

    Helpful hint – attempted jabs like “Harvey” don’t work with me. They’re bush league tactics. Try again.

  123. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Jack: Hundreds If you live in metro NYC. Potentially hundreds of miles to the next service provider if you’re in a rural area. How many wedding cake providers per square mile do you think exist in Wyoming?

    The ability to deny public accommodation against a minority class because of who they are has the potential to place an undue burden on their ability to obtain services that is analogous to a heckler’s veto.

  124. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Try again.

    Nah. it’s not as fun as engaging others.

    For example, Grommitt Gunn just offered up an intriguing challenge…

  125. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I also did not discuss politics at all with anyone I encountered in either of my hospital stays, and it felt marvelous.

    ha! that’s another key to recovery and good health, cheers!

  126. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: Would you mind if I injected some actual facts into your example?

    For the record, I don’t know a damned thing about Wyoming as far as gay marriage goes, but I’m willing to demonstrate my Google Fu. Here are some factoids I’m discovering on the fly:

    1) Gay Marriage became legal in Wyoming as of October 21, 2014, when a federal court struck down the state’s ban.

    2) This site lists 21 wedding caterers in Wyoming, including “Pioneer Bar-B-Cue.”

    3) I think a more relevant statistic would be wedding caterers vs. population. But I think both are relevant.

    4) Assuming that there are only 21 caterers in Wyoming (which I’m not buying for a moment, but my Google Fu is weak tonight), that works out to one per 4,658 square miles, and one per 13,908 potential couples (taking the population and dividing by two).

    Sounds like there’s a hell of a potential business opportunity in Wyoming for wedding caterers, especially one that is willing to take all comers.

    Alternately, I could simply be really crappy at finding out how many wedding caterers there are in Wyoming…

    Oh, what the hell. I read that bad statistics still have a comparative worth. If I were to apply the same methodology to another state with similar demographics but a far more “gay-friendly” reputation, it’d offer at least some data on it. How about Vermont?

    OK, Vermont has 17 caterers listed. That works out to one per 566 miles (Vermont is considerably smaller than Wyoming), but one per 18,428 couples.

    Hell, Vermont’s even more ripe for caterers than Wyoming. And it’s a lot more geographically dense…

  127. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Hope they were careful exposing you to thallium, dude. It’s nasty stuff.

    (I used to work with it. Ugh.)

  128. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @grumpy realist: You know, I had never noticed that third nipple before… or that fourth one…

    Seriously, it was, and I quote, “intravenous administration of 4.4 mCi of thallium-201 at rest.” And considering the results of that injection (VERY positive), I really don’t mind the extra nipples.

    Besides, I’ve seen both Spider-Man and the Hulk. I’m willing to risk a little radiation-inspired mutation…

  129. James P says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    You may not have been James P, but you ARE a troll.

    So I’m not Jenos? Can you be certain? What else did you get wrong, Harvey?

    You were convinced I was Jenos – how could someone as brilliant as you possible be wrong about anything – ever.

  130. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @James P: Christ, you really can’t take a hint, can you?

    The owners don’t want you here. Whether or not you think that is just, it’s their absolute right to decide who can and who can not comment here. And they’ve made their decision.

    Pissing off the Regular Gang of Idiots is one thing. Repeatedly defying the site’s owners… that’s another thing.

    At this point, all you’re doing is annoying pretty much everyone. There’s nothing positive you can achieve here. At least I can claim to a little agreement with some commenters, and I go out of my way to NOT antagonize the authors.

    Just go away. You had your fun.

  131. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “And yes, I’m reinterpreting what Harvey said to pretend he didn’t violate the Terms of Service”

    My God, you’re whining and pitying yourself even more than usual today. I can only hope it’s whatever drugs they put you on, because you’ve just gone from intolerable to insufferable.

  132. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Just go away. You had your fun”

    He won’t for the same reason Jenos won’t. He’s a troll. He can only tell he exists when he’s annoying someone.

  133. michael reynolds says:

    So, summarizing, the “conservative” position appears to be that it’s perfectly fine for a Christian business owner to put up a sign that says, “No Jews.”

    Thus completing the devolution of the party of Lincoln.

  134. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: Nope. Like the NRA Annual Meeting, you fail again.

    It would be perfecctly fine for any baker — even a Muslim one — to say “no Bar Mitzvahs.” Or even a pizza place.

    And if there’s any catered event almost as unlikely to feature pizza than a gay wedding, it’s a bar mitzvah. (Or bat mitzvah.)

  135. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: I’ve been on the same drugs for almost three months. And you’re still a gutless coward who provably doesn’t believe his own bull$#!+.

    Got a new false accusation to slander people with, gonna stick with the old tried and proven false, or just pretend you never said any such thing?

  136. anjin-san says:

    @Jack:

    don’t wanna participate in a wedding ceremony that contradicts their religious beliefs.

    Do they also refuse to participate in second, third, and so on marriages where the prior divorce was not the result of infidelity? Because Jesus made it pretty clear how he felt about that.

  137. MBunge says:

    This issue has come up before, so I want to point out the difference. Jenos is a troll. James P is something else.

    Mike

  138. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Um, no, as usual you’re full of shit.

    If the principle is that a business has religious convictions which must be respected, surely a Christian can refuse service to a Christ-killer.

    Right?

    Sure you can. I mean, some good Bible-believin’ Baptist gonna take pictures of a couple of Jews as they perform ceremonies of a faith that denies Jesus? Have to respect their religious contempt for Jews, right?

  139. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: @michael reynolds: I hope you went to bed to sleep it off, michael, ‘cuz you’re way too drunk to post.

    Let’s review:

    1) You say that this allows businesses to discriminate against individuals

    2) I respond by saying no, it’s allowed against events, not individuals.

    3) You get typically belligerent and call me names, then refute my argument by citing an example of discriminating against an event.

    When you insult me and prove me right in the same comment, you really need to step away from the keyboard and sober up.

  140. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Jenos, you really need to get over your obsession with me. I’m not going to be your pal, and I’m going to remain completely indifferent no matter how many silly little names you call me. I understand that you want some kind of emotional relationship, but I have actual people in my life and no room for an anonymous internet troll.

    I’d wish you the best with your recovery, but last time I did that you lapsed into an incoherent spiral of outraged self-pity and angry whining, and you seem to be doing just fine on that score without my help.

  141. MBunge says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: 2) I respond by saying no, it’s allowed against events, not individuals.

    That’s some decent trolling. Invent a new standard, which no one else uses, to defend a position. Don’t explain the standard or the rationale behind it. Pretend other people are stupid for not following your opaque tangent.

    Better than usual for you.

    Mike

  142. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Explain how you separate “individuals” from “events” without purposefully disregarding a great deal of relevant context.

    Those who support special religious exceptions to the law may claim they are only wanting to avoid providing services at an “event,” but the root reason for that is they don’t agree with what the INDIVIDUALS at the center of the event are doing. You can’t legitimately separate the two.

  143. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    1) You say that this allows businesses to discriminate against individuals

    2) I respond by saying no, it’s allowed against events, not individuals.

    Utterly imbecilic.

    “Hey, Manny, it’s not you they’re discriminating against, it’s just your bar mitzvah.”
    “But why won’t they bring flowers to my bar mitzvah? Is it because I’m a Jew?”
    “No, it’s not because you’re a Jew, it’s because you do Jewy things . . . like have a bar mitzvah.”

    Even you aren’t dumb enough to think that will fly.

  144. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: Well, one argument on the right against gay marriage is that there’s no discrimination in banning it because both straights and gays are free to marry people of the opposite sex. This is just an extension of that — “religious” florists don’t dislike Jews, as proved by the fact that they’ll provide flowers to any Jew’s baptism.

  145. Tyrell says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: There are a lot of people around with the name Jefferson Davis. I once worked with a man who went by Jeff. Considering the amount of history most people know today, few would have any knowledge of Jefferson Davis.
    I read a book a while back on pre-Civil War society. Apparently Davis was a party animal, and was considered a charming and hospitable person by politicians and their wives, and that included some famous northern people with power.

  146. dmhlt says:

    @Jack:

    First of all, those are NOT states in your map – those are Congressional Districts.

    So let’s look at a map that DOES show states. Of course the most recent one would be the 2012 Presidential election. And to get an accurate portrayal of “One Man, One Vote” – here’s a Cartogram Map of the 2012 landslide by Pres. Obama:

    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2012/statepop1024.png

  147. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I respond by saying no, it’s allowed against events, not individuals.

    Hmm. Now I sometimes produce events as part of my work, pretty good ones too, occasionally at major league sports facilities with well known professional athletes. Now if a vendor refuses to work with me because I somehow offend their sensibilities, I personally am damaged. My business reputation takes a hit, and my clients say “Are we gong to have problems when this guy is in the drivers seat”? I start do have doubt creep into my mind – maybe I can’t get the job done. I’ve been harmed. Me personally. Events are people, my friend.

    But that never happens to me. I am white, straight, and I have that nice patina of 10%er respectability and inclusion. Doors have been flying open for me my entire life. I’m a first class citizen in America.

    Shame on anyone who is OK with the idea of second class citizens in America.

  148. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Hmm. Now I sometimes produce events as part of my work, pretty good ones too, occasionally at major league sports facilities with well known professional athletes. Now if a vendor refuses to work with me because I somehow offend their sensibilities, I personally am damaged.

    If you’re going to argue that the discrimination is based on the individual and not the event, then it might be helpful if you stop citing examples of events.

    And “events are people,” but corporations aren’t. Got it. That reminds me — where’s the outrage that Apple and Wal-Mart are taking sides in this dispute? Isn’t it THE WORST THING EVAR when Big Business throws its weight around on such matters? And they don’t get much bigger than Apple and Wal-Mart.

    I know I’m asking a hell of a lot from you, but could you please present a coherent argument? Just once?

  149. Monala says:

    @wr: Or an even closer analogy to the situation at hand: a florist normally provides flowers for baptisms, but won’t for a baptism they disapprove of (maybe an infant baptism, if the florist’s sect believe in adult baptism only).

  150. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’m sorry, you are not welcome at my events. You offend my sensibilities. Too bad, ’cause we have some pretty bitchin’ stuff on the calendar 🙂

  151. anjin-san says:

    could you please present a coherent argument? Just once?

    Ah, you mean like your “Ebola is here, and bodies will be stacked up like cordwood. And it’s all Obama’s fault.”

    or

    “Everything George Zimmermann said about the Treyvon Martin shooting is true.”

    or

    “Benghazi is the worst scandal in history.”

  152. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: I’d be really impressed if you could actually cite me saying any of those things, especially since you put them in quotes, which means they’re verbatim quotes.

    But I know you won’t. Because you’re too busy spanking your monkey to fake Gawker stories.

    Which is why I’m not challenging you to put up or shut up. Because you won’t. You won’t give links to where I actually said those things, because I never did. But like wr, you’re a gutless coward who lies repeatedly, and is proud of it.

  153. anjin-san says:

    Shorter Jenos – “I’m going to continue to pretend that I never spouted thousands of words of utter horseshit about Ebola, Benghazi, and the Treyvon Martin shooting.”

  154. An Interested Party says:

    That reminds me — where’s the outrage that Apple and Wal-Mart are taking sides in this dispute? Isn’t it THE WORST THING EVAR when Big Business throws its weight around on such matters? And they don’t get much bigger than Apple and Wal-Mart.

    Any entity, whether it be a corporation, a person, a group, etc., should be praised when it takes a stand against bigotry and discrimination…I can understand why that would be hard to grasp for someone who thinks discriminating against an event is not discriminating against people…

  155. anjin-san says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Yes. And it’s worth noting that Tim Cook, though he is certainly not a transformative figure like Steve Jobs, is quietly asserting himself as a very admirable character.

  156. wr says:

    @anjin-san: “And it’s worth noting that Tim Cook, though he is certainly not a transformative figure like Steve Jobs,”

    Transformative is good, but not being a dick is good, too.

  157. anjin-san says:

    @wr:

    Cook seems to be almost an opposite of Jobs in some ways, very humble, unimpressed with himself, and compassionate. If he imparts some of that to one of the most important corporations in the world, he will have really made his mark.

  158. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: Any entity, whether it be a corporation, a person, a group, etc., should be praised when it takes a stand against bigotry and discrimination…I can understand why that would be hard to grasp for someone who thinks discriminating against an event is not discriminating against people…

    So corporations have no business getting involved in political issues unless they’re on your side. Chick-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby bad, Apple and Wal-Mart good.

    What an astonishingly convenient moral principle.

    And if Tim Cook wasn’t a raging hypocrite, he’d extend his moral principles to cut off most of the Muslim world from Apple products. In those countries, it’s not only legal to discriminate against gays, it’s a capital offense.

    And they actually do kill people for being gay.

    But it’s easy to bash Indiana. Going up against the Muslim world… that would take real guts.

    Hey, Apple makes most of its products in China. How are things for gays in China?

    Adult, consensual and non-commercial homosexuality has been legal in China since 1997, when the national penal code was revised. Homosexuality was removed from the Ministry of Health’s list of mental illnesses in 2001 and the public health campaign against AIDS-HIV pandemic does include education for men who have sex with men. Officially, overt police enforcement against gay people is restricted to gay people engaging in gay sex acts in public or gay prostitution, which are also illegal for heterosexuals.

    However, despite these changes, no civil rights law exists to address discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The media tends to censor positive depictions of gay couples in films and television shows and households headed by same-sex couples are not permitted to adopt children and do not have the same privileges as heterosexual married couples.

    Sounds like gays have it better in Indiana than China.

    But I’m sure that Mr. Cook will expand Apple’s newfound conscience to other countries, too… any day now… profits be damned!

  159. An Interested Party says:

    So corporations have no business getting involved in political issues unless they’re on your side.

    Ohhhhh…so being for discrimination and bigotry must be your side’s position…

  160. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Hey, Apple makes most of its products in China.

    Umm. So does everybody. Are you boycotting Chinese goods? No? Well, that must mean you endorse a brutal regime that executes people for free speech that offends then state, then sends their family a bill for the execution. What kind of person are you? Clearly you hate freedom.

  161. anjin-san says:

    But it’s easy to bash Indiana

    Indiana is part of America. I’m an American. So yes, I do feel I have a say about what goes on in my own country, and a responsibility to try to make it a better place. Is that confusing to you?

  162. MBunge says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: So corporations have no business getting involved in political issues unless they’re on your side.

    This, however, is weak. What kind of an accusation is “You want those who agree with you to have more political influence and those who disagree with you to have less”?

    Mike

  163. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: @MBunge: So the next time people start yelling about corporations exerting undue influence in politics, be sure you carve out the exceptions for the issues they are allowed to exert influence, and on which sides they are allowed to take.

    ‘Cuz I’m still not getting how it’s horrible that Chick-Fil-A gave money to a cause, but it’s awesome that Apple, as corporate policy, is threatening economic action against a state over a law.

    I can see arguments that corporations have as much right to get involved in politics as individuals, and I can see arguments that they shouldn’t be allowed to get involved in politics. What I don’t see is an argument that they can only get involved in certain issues, and only on certain sides, that just so happen to line up with the advocate’s personal beliefs. That’s just grossly self-serving.

  164. People in the U.S. are clueless about what freedom is and why it’s good. U.S. citizens don’t want freedom, they want the hammer of government to rule every aspect of their lives.

  165. MBunge says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: What I don’t see is an argument that they can only get involved in certain issues

    And this is even weaker. Who, in the history of politics, has ever said “Corporations can only get involved in certain issues”?

    It’s like you’re complaining that fans of the Boston Celtics cheer when the Celtics win but not when the Lakers win. Are those people “guilty” of thinking that ONLY the Boston Celtics should be allowed to win basketball games?

    You were doing so nicely before.

    Mike

  166. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    @Colonel Nogov: Oh god. First James P. and now this. We seem to have finally reached full moron saturation.

    Is there a new breadcrumb (or beer cap) path to this site somewhere?

  167. wr says:

    @Colonel Nogov: Instead of whining about your fellow Americans, “Colonel,” why don’t you enlighten us as to what freedom actually is?

    No, wait — let me guess: Freedom means that everyone is armed at all time so they are free to protect themselves by shooting anyone they don’t like, there are no government services for the poor, so they are free to die in the street, there are no gummint schools, so they are free to be ignorant, and abortion and contraception are illegal, so all women are free to follow the demands of one small branch of Christianity and have children whenever any man chooses to have sex with her.

    Is that about it?

  168. An Interested Party says:

    ‘Cuz I’m still not getting how it’s horrible that Chick-Fil-A gave money to a cause, but it’s awesome that Apple, as corporate policy, is threatening economic action against a state over a law.

    It’s not surprising that you don’t get that, considering that you think discriminating against an event is not discriminating against people…once again, just so it’s spelled out for you: being against bigotry and discrimination is a good thing…being for bigotry and discrimination is a bad thing…

  169. Tom M says:

    @Jack:
    You comment was from way up the thread, but perhaps you are really on to something.

    The EX VPOTUS actually said the other day that the current was actively trying to tear down the USA. So, as far as this goes (Your words):

    @legion:
    If you disagree with him, I’d like to see you support yourself…
    The idea that those in the Republican party/Conservatives want a country that resembles Iran is too far out there as to not need to be argued. It’s like trying to debate someone who believes Elvis was captured by aliens and taken to their ship.

    I ask you one simple question: Do you think the POTUS is trying to bring down the country, because of animus, or anti – colonial hatred, or whatever? It’s one thing n to to like him, or think he’s doing a bad job, but do you truly think he is trying to take dome the US?

    Because many many rightwing nut jobs believe that. Do you believe that?

    Little tiny note: believing that puts that person in the same category.