My Photo

« Your Pi Day open thread | Main | prison »

March 14, 2014

Comments

The Golden Rule isn't about how the eye-for-an-eye thing is fair or right. It is just about how to tell how you should behave towards others. It is about empathy.

In the case of those who have (mis)used their religion to persecute others (ignoring, in the case of Christians, the message of their messiah about how to treat even those who they do not feel worthy), it is hard to be sympathetic. But I suspect that their fear of being persecuted in return is over the top.

Yes, they can anticipate the pain of no longer being able to persecute others. And for some, that will be traumatic. But being persecuted themselves? Maybe in the sense that some groups exert strong pressure towards conformity of thought. But that pressure is not related to anyone's religious beliefs, per se.

Sometimes, of course, that group-think is based on religious beliefs (including atheism). But sometimes it is just about something as remote from religion as what to wear or where to live. Seeing it as religious presecution ignores the myriad possible bases for it.

OK - but why is it necessary to characterize atheism as a "religious belief"? I've heard this often, mainly from religionists who feel they're losing the debate and so trying to bring down atheists to their own level.

But it doesn't make sense.

Atheism is about religion, yes? And it is a matter of belief. You can be an agnostic, because you do not believe in a god or gods. But if you believe that there is no god, that is (obviously) a belief. It is, after all, not something that can be proven; it is a matter of faith.

I grant that there is a tendency for some people, who are actually agnostics, to embrace the label "atheist." But that is, simply put, a failure of vocabulary. They fail to distinguish between "I do not believe in X" and "I believe in not X". One is a position that declines to believe something that cannot be proven. The other is a position that believes something (albeit something negative) which also cannot be proven.

That's a false equivalence, wj. Most of us don't believe in most things for which there is no natural evidence. Do you really want to claim that not believing in the reality of the Grinch, or the Greys, or that every supermodel in the world would want to sleep with you if she just met you, is an act of faith also?

Yup. (What JakeB said) WJ: If you do not believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster - let us for the sake of argument assume you do not - may we define your lack of belief in the FSM as your "religion"? Or do you persist in being "agnostic" on the question of the FSM?

And your etymology (and logic) are simply wrong. "Atheist" does not - or need not mean - "I believe that there is no god." It is simply "without god." I see no need for that hypothesis, any more than you see a need (again, I conjecture) for the FSM.

There is also a difference between non-belief (passive) and disbelief (active). To argue with etymology here is problematic anyway because it presupposes that the only possible type of supernatural entity fits the type of god (theos) common to 'our' culture in the widest sense. Non-theistic religions (e.g. some variants of Buddhism) do not tightly fit in the scheme (leading some scholars to categorically exclude Buddism from the 'religion' section at all, declaring it to be 'just' a philosophy).
My (German) dictionary of philosophy is aware of the debate and offers different possible definitions of atheism
a) (simple) lack of belief in a specific supernatural entity
b) (active) disbelief that such an entity of whatever kind could exist
Accordingly agnosticism can be (and is) defined party depending on the understanding of atheism. For those thinkers that follow a) agnosticism is about perceptibility and thus defined rather narrowly. If atheism is defined a b) then agnostisicm covers atheism tye a) too.
From a superficial survey I would conclude that German literature strongly leans towards b) while the English literature by tendency prefers a). So, if we assume tabula rasa for a newborn, a German baby would be seen as a (weak) agnostic, an 'English' one as an atheist.
Therefore on this side of the pond atheism has far more in common with a religion at least as far dictionaries are concerned. And the experience with 'state atheism' supports that. Several states in the communist block made certain rituals mandatory that could be interpreted as 'religious atheism'. Ironically these were often carbon copies of Christian rituals. East Asia seems even more complicated there (or how would one interprete e.g. the state worship of the Kim dynasty in NK that attributes divine characteristics to at least the first one in an otherwise strictly atheistic dictatorship?).

Concerning the US (and to a degree Britain) the picture (at least from my POV) looks like that: certain parts (typically strongly rightward leaning) of the Christian community push the 'atheism as religion' meme for purely political reasons not because of any categorical dispute. It is simply to discredit the idea of objective observable truth because that idea is pure poison to them. In a way they reduce their own ideology to 'pure opinion' in order to be able to do the same to the opposition (and then bet that they have the stronger regiments to prevail). In part as a reaction the traditionally rather moderate non-believers gave rise to the 'new atheists' that more and more begin to resemble their opponents in becoming in essence missionaries of a new 'faith' and also developed an increasing intolerance to those not following their strict line. The specimens I encountered often treat self-professed agnostics the same way that radical Christians treat moderate mainstreamers.
---
I think I will stop here at the moment. I remember we had that same discussion here a few times in the past already and it tends to go similar to abortion or gun debates becoming more or less futile exchanges of disdain for the opposite POV.
Btw, does Cthulhu qualify as a god. If yes, does his star-spwan too? That's also a hot debate in fan circles.

I think it's worth pointing out that, despite the human tendency to lump people who share some common characteristic together, and treat them as though they were interchangeable, "the losers" here are not one undistinguished lump, any more than "the winners" are.

This wouldn't be like me meeting my 9th grade nemesis today, and kicking some dirt in his face because he was down and I still harbored a grudge. It would be a bit more like today's "affirmative action", where somebody vaguely related to someone who was wronged a generation or more ago, gets privileged at the expense of somebody else who is likewise sort of vaguely related to the guy who did the dirty deed, but neither of them are actually the wronged or the guilty.

Or to be explicit, Elaine of Elaine Photography is highly unlikely to have ever torched a gay bar, so don't try justifying any impositions on her on the basis that she did.

I would caution that the cause of SSM has indeed advanced rapidly of late. But, it has not done so by rapidly changing mass opinion, it has done so by virtue of elites not giving a damn about mass opinion. This places the victories in a very tenuous situation in what is, at least nominally, a democracy.

IOW, golden rule, no golden rule, don't get so enthusiastic about listening to the lamentation of the women that you forget your foe is still numerous, and really piss them off.

"I would caution that the cause of SSM has indeed advanced rapidly of late. But, it has not done so by rapidly changing mass opinion, it has done so by virtue of elites not giving a damn about mass opinion."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_opinion_of_same-sex_marriage_in_the_United_States

There's a wealth of data showing that mass opinion has indeed been trending towards support for SSM, and I've saved you the trouble of googling for it. Now do us the courtesy of reading about it.

"This places the victories in a very tenuous situation in what is, at least nominally, a democracy."

If this were a pure democracy then 51% of the voting population could vote to pass a law to disenfranchise the other 49%. But we don't live in a pure democracy.

So far, the expectation of persecution for opposing same-sex marriage seems to be projection, i.e., what they'd do in that situation, which tells one more about their "morals" than they'd like. I suspect magnanimity will disappoint if not anger them.

Tough.

Also, isn't there a Ray Bradbury story along these lines?

"So far, the expectation of persecution for opposing same-sex marriage seems to be projection"

Except for that Elaine Photography thing, of course.

If you've treated people badly, if you've scorned, despised, and harassed them, then you've laid down a precedent about how you "would be done by". If the tables turn, why should expect anything other than your own medicine?

No, you haven't, you've simply failed to follow the "golden rule". Your interpretation of this particular moral injunction is frankly bizarre.

You can be an agnostic, because you do not believe in a god or gods. But if you believe that there is no god, that is (obviously) a belief. [...]

I grant that there is a tendency for some people, who are actually agnostics, to embrace the label "atheist." But that is, simply put, a failure of vocabulary. They fail to distinguish between "I do not believe in X" and "I believe in not X". One is a position that declines to believe something that cannot be proven.

Setting aside the matter of positive ("I believe there are no gods") and negative ("I do not believe in any gods") atheists, there's some room for wiggling, confusing, and arguing on the meaning of agnostic, too. I've always cleft strongly to the original definition coined by Thomas Huxley, since it seemed a lot more useful than the vague and unconvincing "believes in nothing" pop culture definition. Agnosticism, per Huxley, is a belief orthogonal to atheism, not one in contrast with it; it's a belief that it isn't possible to know whether or not gods exist with meaningful certainty, whereas atheism addresses a belief in no gods existing, or one that gods don't exist. By that standard, agnostics can be theistic or atheistic. One is a belief about knowledge or certainty, and another is about existence.

I agree that this is a misapplication of the Golden Rule, but there is still scripture on point: as ye sow, so shall ye reap. Or, more currently, paybacks are hell. People who continue to opposed *civil* marriage for gays find their arguments diminished by their lack of force and suasion. There isn't a principled argument against gay marriage that doesn't eventually devolve into "my religion says you can't get married."

I'm an Episcopalian and I believe in God. As a consequence, I speak the lingo. The true believers tolerate a lot of sin among themselves while reserving their bullets for something that didn't even make the Top Ten List way back when. Go figure.

Yes, Huxley.

i find the variety of reasons SSM shouldn't exist and the rapidity with which opponents come up with them to be truly amazing. they really are throwing everything against the wall, as fast as they can, hoping something will stick.

but "how the losing side should expect to be treated" might be the least-compelling concern possible. at least they admit they've lost, but moaning about the possibility that people won't respect their "deeper understanding of the moral and theological ideas in play" - an understanding which lead them to think pointless discrimination was A.OK - is pretentious and arrogant self-pity.

nobody is taking anything away from you, except your ability to discriminate. and nobody is going to spend two seconds thinking about how you should be treated. you'll be treated the same way you always have - as a bigot. and we won't have to argue about the effects of your bigotry anymore. you can continue to stroke your hate, if that's what makes you happy. but once the last state comes around, nobody will have to pay attention to it.

maybe that's what Douthat et al are going to miss most: being the center of attention.

"There isn't a principled argument against gay marriage that doesn't eventually devolve into "my religion says you can't get married.""

Not quite true--I'm currently reading an ultra-conservative (politically and religiously) Thomist who argues against gay marriage on natural law grounds. It's pretty unconvincing stuff. But he'd claim it's not linked to any specific religion. Thomists think you can prove God's existence and that various moral strictures can be backed up (you can get an "ought" from an "is"), but not the specifics of Christianity. But this writer also seems to have a real visceral hatred for the concept of gay marriage. I suppose if you think you can logically justify your opposition, then it gives one permission to let one's prejudices run wild. So on the subconscious level I think you're right as far as this writer is concerned, but he'd claim he arrived at his position via pure reason.

About twenty years ago I was opposed to gay marriage, on not very well-thought through religious grounds. It wasn't a passion with me the way it obviously is with opponents of gay marriage today, just something I thought was part of the package of buying into Christianity. I'd like to say that I changed due to a careful analysis of my belief system, but actually, it was just knowing a few religious gay friends who themselves had thought gay marriage was wrong, but changed their minds.

I still wince, though, when people make fun of the notion of "hate the sin, love the sinner". It seems like a perfectly fine slogan to me. I've just changed my mind on who the sinners are on this issue.

I prefer the original version of the Golden Rule, which was more prescriptive than aspirational: Do not do unto others that which is hateful to you.

Regarding SSM, and the anti's fears about being "persecuted" for their sincere religiously-held bigotry, the world's smallest violin is too large to play a proper threnody.

Maybe I'd be more sympathetic if they didn't use their religious principles so selectively; if, for example, they insisted on upholding all the proscriptions in Leviticus, rather than the single one that matches their personal preferences.

So, what will gay people come up with next to keep themselves in the limelight? That Christian photographers don't want to film their weddings? As the start of the back and forth, as far as I can tell from reading Douthat and Dreher, was a reaction to Jan Brewer rightly vetoing the law in Arizona.

This was a stupid over reaction law to a stupid lawsuit that tried to force a florist or a photographer or whatever to work a gay wedding.

Now that is certainly a hill to die on in the war against discrimination, for either side.

We have now reached the stage where there is a sense of empowerment to force every human being in the world to "accept" one as equal. And, as someone might have pointed out above, who will care one way or the other once fifty states legalize SSM? I am not sure it is Douthat worrying about not being the center of attention.

It really doesn't have the same staying power as abortion.

If you do not believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster . . . may we define your lack of belief in the FSM as your "religion"?

That belief is not "my religion." It is, however, a religious belief and thus a part of my overall set of religious beliefs. Just as it is part of your religious belief that Thor is not real. You don't just doubt the existance of the Norse god of war, you believe that he does not exist. Similarly, if you believe that no gods exist, that, too, is a religious belief.

Perhaps if we bring a different arena into the discussion. In Scottish law, there is a difference between a legal verdict of "not guilty" and one of "not proven." Not Guilty means that the jury found that the defendant did not commit the crime inquestion. Not Proven merely means that the prosecution's case was not sufficient to prove that he did. And that, I would say, is the difference between agnosticism (not proven) and atheism (not true).

Would gods cease to exist if nobody believed in them?

My answer is no, and it applies equally to Thor, Apollo, AND Jehovah/Allah.

I don't know whether that makes me agnostic or atheist by any dictionary definition. But it does make me different from somebody who would answer yes. And it certainly makes me different from anybody who answers no in general, but yes for this or that particular deity.

--TP

"This was a stupid over reaction law to a stupid lawsuit that tried to force a florist or a photographer or whatever to work a gay wedding."

The lawsuit wasn't stupid, as such. I can see two possible rational, (But both offensive!) motivations for it: Either the couple thought they'd derive a certain satisfaction from knowing they were forcing the photographer to work for them, (Much as I might get a kick out of forcing Chuck Shumer to host a fund raiser for the NRA. Not that I would...)

Or perhaps they just figured it was easy money, given the state of the law.

Either way, it does seem fairly clear they went deliberately looking for somebody to sue.

"nobody is taking anything away from you, except your ability to discriminate."

Except your liberty. As in the case of Elaine Photography.

You know, in battle, unless you want a fight to the death, you leave your foe a path for retreat. In political/social battles, the equivalent is allowing them to not be complicit in something they find offensive. People can tolerate an awful lot they don't like, if you don't force them to be complicit.

D'oh! Switch "yes" and "no" in my previous comment. Or replace "cease" with "continue".

--TP

Brett, how did you miss the third (equally offensive) possible motivation? The couple may have felt that they deserved, indeed had a right to, have the services of anyone that they wanted, regardless of whether that person wished to serve them or not. In short, they may have believed that anyone in a service occupation is effectively a slave to anyone who is willing to pay for their services.

"Your liberty" and "your ability to discriminate" would seem to be equivalent in Brett's book. And I AGREE.

You can't be truly free unless you're free to be a bigot. Or a nudist, or a cannibal, or a slave for that matter. And of course you can't be truly free unless you don't give a crap about social mores or taboos, because those can limit your freedom even more than laws do.

Liberty(TM) is hard.

--TP

I think that, as others have noted, Doc S misunderstands the golden rule.

Although it's an aside and I'm not interested in jacking the thread, I feel obliged to note that Brett misunderstands the purpose of affirmative action.

All of that said, I'm still scratching my head to understand WTF social or cultural "trads" lose when gay people are allowed to marry.

Can anyone anywhere possibly explain this to me? I'm freaking mystified.

"All of that said, I'm still scratching my head to understand WTF social or cultural "trads" lose when gay people are allowed to marry."

Not much that I can think of. But, again, Elaine Photography. This doesn't stop at "allowed", mere "tolerance" is not the end game.

I'm still scratching my head to understand WTF social or cultural "trads" lose when gay people are allowed to marry

Because part of their traditions have become socially risible, some traditionalists feel that their liberty to publicly express their bigotry is constrained (the missing subtext is "unchallenged, and without consequences), and their ability to teach their children to hate the same things they hate is impaired (and to be fair, that may well be true).

Man, this is a bizarre thread, Tony P agrees with Brett:

would seem to be equivalent in Brett's book. And I AGREE.

I've previously discussed how/why I think the right to discriminate is important and should be protected, I don't think it needs to be redone.

Tony:

And of course you can't be truly free unless you don't give a crap about social mores or taboos, because those can limit your freedom even more than laws do.

I think I see what you are saying, but I wouldn't phrase it like that. I'm all for racists and bigots, etc, being discriminated against socially or by association. I think that's the right and proper way to affect social change.

But I don't actually view that as an infringement of their liberty. They are free to believe whatever crap they want, but nobody else in society is on the hook to tolerate their beliefs.

Bringing it back to the post:

face significant social stigma for their religiously-motivated attitudes

Tough. If someone feels that their belief is righteous: Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

But really, I don't see much social persecution as likely. How often does SSM come up in conversation with random people you meet?

Unless someone goes out of their way to explain how their beliefs are being offended and everybody should modify their behavior so they aren't confronted with something they don't like...I just can't imagine it coming up that much and resulting in conflict.

But, again, Elaine Photography.

I can understand the Hugenin's not wanting to be required to photograph a gay wedding. I think the legal aspects are problematic - it's hard to see how there could be any decision in that case that wouldn't be unfair to somebody - but I appreciate that the issue is difficult, for *both* sides.

All of that said, I'm not sure that amounts to an argument against same sex marriage. Or, against changing any of the 1,000,000 other ways that gays have been discriminated against, abused, harrassed, and persecuted, both de facto and de jure, for basically ever.

And it sure as hell has nothing to do with Dreher's whining about not being able to basically call people fags in public anymore without somebody objecting.

And the "end game" here is simply that gay people should not be denied access to the basic civic and public privileges that the rest of us enjoy, simply because they're gay.

Basically, they want to be able to be gay without having to put up with beatings, refusal of housing, refusal of or loss of employment, denial of familial rights, having their children taken from them, etc etc etc.

Dreher's might have somebody call him a bigot if he publicly expounds on his dislike of gays? Too freaking bad. Boo hoo.

Dreher can go cry in a corner. Asshole.

Some guys are attracted to guys. Some women are attracted to women. What's it to Dreher, or Douhat? Their religious beliefs tell them it's wrong? Then they should refrain from marrying guys.

Seriously, do we all get to impose our religious beliefs on the everybody else? I've got some of my own to trot out.

the issue is difficult, for *both* sides.

How is Elaine Photography not being willing to photograph a gay wedding a difficult issue? The closest I have seen for an argument for requiring a service company to provide a service was this: "In some places there are very few choices for a particular service (due to low population density, mostly). So if one company refuses, then ther are no alternatives." OK, that's unfortunate.

But then again, there are places where the population density is so low that there are NO companies providing that service. And you can do the same as people do there: do it yourself or cope without. It's not like you have a right to a service, just because you would like to have it.

So, should nudists be able to sue any photographers who refuse to photograph their nude wedding?

It's not like you have a right to a service, just because you would like to have it.

Would the same argument apply if the couple were black?

So, should nudists be able to sue any photographers who refuse to photograph their nude wedding?

Getting beyond the fact that we are pretty much free to sue anybody for just about anything....my reply is: NO. Nudism is a choice.

I think that, as others have noted, Doc S misunderstands the golden rule.

After rubbing both of my brain cells together for a bit, I would say Doctor Science has got it exactly correct. If you treat people like crap, then you should expect, nay desire, to be treated like crap in return.

How is Elaine Photography not being willing to photograph a gay wedding a difficult issue?

It's difficult for the couple in question because they apparently would have liked Hugenin to photograph their wedding, and were informed that that wouldn't be possible, because Hugenin's religion tells her that what the couple wants to do is an abomination and hideous in the sight of God.

So, that kind of sucks for them.

It's difficult in general because it requires us to draw a line, and drawing lines is inevitably somewhat arbitrary, and somebody(s) usually end up holding the short end of the stick.

I think most if not all of us would agree that a minister should not be required by law to perform a same-sex wedding, if his or her conscience or religious beliefs told them it was wrong.

And, conversely, I think everyone would agree that a hardware store should not be able to refuse to sell a hammer to a gay person. Because it's freaking hard to see how "religious beliefs" comes into hammer sales, and "I think you're icky" is not a good enough reason to deny somebody a good or service you otherwise offer to one and all.

So, the line is somewhere in between.

If you think it's a no-brainer where, exactly, the line should be drawn, by all means share your wisdom with the rest of us.

Personally, I think it's not as obvious as it seems to you.

I try to avoid interactions with fervent believers of the golden rule who are masochists.

So, should nudists be able to sue any photographers who refuse to photograph their nude wedding?

depending on local contract law, the answer may well be Yes and imo it beats the alternative. Usually the rule is, if one offers a service to the public in general, one waives the right to refuse serving a part of said public. The only way to legally refuse a request (that in itself is not illegal) for the service is to not offer it to the public in general but to make it exclusive in the first place (by defining the customer base preemptively in a manner that again is not illegal in itself, i.e. usually a positive definition [not: anyone but...]).
A difference exists in many places between goods and contracts. E.g. a baker could not legally refuse to sell a person a bun but could turn down a contract for the production of said buns without giving a reason. In the gay wedding cake case that would mean that the couple could request a cake on display for sale (and sue if refused) but could not force the production of a not yet existing cake according to their specific wishes.
That would cover most cases quite neatly but of course could be circumvented by a conspiracy by all potential service providers not to take the contract and not to keep any goods in stock.
The ability to sue should imo be limited by the actual damage incurred, i.e. if the service cannot otherwise be obtained and this causes material damage.

You know, in battle, unless you want a fight to the death, you leave your foe a path for retreat.

The thing about this is that this is not, remotely, anything like a "fight to the death" for Hugenin. Far far less for Douthat or Dreher.

It's absurd to frame the issue in these terms.

At the very worst, Hugenin will be required to take pictures of a ceremony that she finds objectionable on religious grounds.

At the very worst, Douthat and Dreher will have to endure other folks calling them bigots.

Compare and contrast to what gay folks have put up with, and continue to put up with.

I know more than one gay person who has been subject to random, uprovoked assault, merely and specifically for walking around gay. If you know any gay people, at all, you more than likely know someone like that also.

This isn't really an equivalence between the two situations.

And, gays aren't trying to "win" anything other than being treated like everybody else. They aren't trying to make anybody else gay, they aren't trying to keep straight people from doing anything at all, other than possibly not crapping on gays.

They have no interest in lording it over anybody else. They want to be able to live their lives, like everybody else does.

That is the freaking gay agenda. To be treated like everybody else.

If that feels like a "fight to the death" to anyone, they need to seek psychiatric counseling.

Nah, it didn't suck for them, because what they got from Elaine Photography was exactly what they were looking for: Somebody who didn't want to photograph them.

They were shopping for an opportunity to file a lawsuit.

bobbyp:

I'd agree if you treat people like crap, you can expect similar in return.

That, however, is not the golden rule.

That's more an 'eye for an eye' or as McK says:

'as ye sow, so shall ye reap'

I think the missing link here is that the golden rule is not a standard of reciprocity, e.g. any behavior is allowed/encouraged/expected as long as it is reciprocating a previous behavior.

The golden rule is an exhortation to not mistreat people, not a post hoc justification for mistreating someone that previously mistreated you.

I've always found it interesting. The phrasing (although varied) generally involves a comparison between 'others' and 'self'. In that sense, I've always felt (and I am not a philosopher) that the Golden Rule (in most of its varied forms) was an early recognition that people often dehumanize the 'other' (not self, family, friend, clan, nationality, etc) and an admonition to rectify this by forcing people to equate 'others' with 'self'.

Conducting (non-secular) weddings is a typical service limited a priori to the membership of a group, so a refusal to non-members should pose no legal problem. And violation of the group membership rules (e.g. being gay in church X) allows exclusion and in consequence refusal of service depending on membership.

If you treat people like crap, then you should expect, nay desire, to be treated like crap in return.

IMO this is a not-bad principle to live by, and if it informed more of what we said and did, the world might be a better place.

But it's not the golden rule. More like karma.

"At the very worst, Hugenin will be required to take pictures of a ceremony that she finds objectionable on religious grounds."

"They have no interest in lording it over anybody else."

The sad thing is, I think it's possible that you genuinely don't understand that these two statements stand in direct opposition.

They were shopping for an opportunity to file a lawsuit.

If true, that should be brought up in court and appropriately decided. It's not as if this situation is not specifically covered in many places (and has been since at least the 19th century e.g. over here).

At the very worst, Hugenin will be required to take pictures of a ceremony that she finds objectionable on religious grounds.

And in the balance between that and not having a specific wedding photographer, you think not having a specific wedding photographer is worse?

Would the same argument apply if the couple were black?

I would say that it should apply. Unless there is a local law which in some way restricts businesses which would be willing to do so from setting up and doing so. That would be a whole different issue. (And that was, in large part, what the situation was in the South in the middle of the last century.)

wj:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't you arguing the opposite way with me a few threads ago?

Is there a nuance I'm missing?

russell, I would draw the line roughly between selling goods and selling services. (Which is sort of what you were implying, I would say.) That is, if
you are going to set up in a business of selling goods, you should not get to discriminate as to who you are willing to sell to. But if you are selling your services, you do get to select who you will accept as a client, and can do so on whatever basis you like.

Is it a perfect hard and fast rule? No. For example, if I run a gun store, can I refuse to sell a gun to my local mob boss (assuming he was willing to buy a gun with a paer trail!)? Yeah, I would say so. But that's the only kind of exception for selling goods that I can come up with off the top of my head.

As for exceptions for services, I would say that if you are selling a government service, either as a government employee or contractor, or as someone licensed especially to provide a public function, such as a notary public, then you don't get to discriminte.

The sad thing is, I think it's possible that you genuinely don't understand that these two statements stand in direct opposition.

The sad thing is, I think it's possible that you genuinely don't understand how utterly incommensurate the harms done to religious people are relative to those done to gays.

And in the balance between that and not having a specific wedding photographer, you think not having a specific wedding photographer is worse?

If you're asking me, personally, I would say no. But I'm not in the NM supreme court.

Drawing lines is hard. Not drawing them is worse.

I would say that it should apply.

Seriously, that is f****d up. I'm not sure what else to say about it.

thompson, I suppose I might have been. Do you recall what I said (or what the thread was)? then I could at least look and see if I have been inconsistent -- or have merely changed my mind. Which I have been known to do on occasion.

And in the balance between that and not having a specific wedding photographer, you think not having a specific wedding photographer is worse?

Let's turn it around.

Instead of "wedding photographer", let's say "brain surgeon". Or "criminal defense attorney". Or any other profession where the difference between the really good guy, and the kind of OK guy, might actually be the difference between suffering harm and not.

Is it OK in that case for folks to say, "sorry, I don't work with gays"?

If not, how are we going to draw lines between who can discriminate, because what they do is really not that important in the first place, and people who can't, because their stuff is more important?

And if it is OK, then we are in fact in a world in which some people will be harmed by discrimination against them, and discrimination not based on anything they do or say, but based on who they are.

It's not like there isn't a price paid if we slice things the other way.

Drawing lines is hard. Not drawing them is worse.

I'd phrase it as: Drawing lines is hard. Not drawing them is often a good solution to that problem.

But my distaste for drawing lines is hardly news, so I think that pretty much covers it.

Here's a funny family story.

My old man grew up in rural GA. During WWII he was posted in NYC for some training. He met my mother, a fabulous Brooklyn Italian girl who must have seemed quite exotic to him, they fell in love and were married.

At some point he drove mom to GA to meet the relatives. He stopped for gas somewhere in SC, the guy wouldn't sell him any because he had NY plates. Damned Yankee!!

After my old man tore the guy a new one, he did eventually get the gas, but I think only because he was actually born and raised about fifty miles from where they were.

If he had been born and raised NY, my guess is no gas.

That's the world of an unrestricted right of association. I don't like the cut of your jib, no gas for you. Oh, you don't have enough to get where you're going? Tough sh*t, walk.

Is that seriously the world you want to live in? That's the world you're asking for.

Over a hundred years ago, we fought a war to establish a very important principle: No man is entitled to another man's labor against his will.

Now we're gradually unestablishing that principle. Maybe for the best of motives, but it IS dying.

I suspect that if Hugenin shoots the wedding, she'll get paid.

Also, allow me to point out that, in this entire discussion, the greatest examples anyone's been able to cite of material harms flowing from same sex marriage are:

Cake lady got sued.
Photographer had to take pictures.

It's a new world order!

One freaking speck of perspective might be in order.

I can't imagine compelling service providers to provide services like photography and custom cakes for an important, one time event like a wedding. At best, you can expect the minimum level of service possible. At worse, you could end up with a disaster on your hands.

You should be careful when trying to rub other people's noses in something. You may end up with more of it on yourself than on them.

It's not like there isn't a price paid if we slice things the other way.

Absolutely, there is a price paid. I wouldn't argue otherwise.

Or "criminal defense attorney".

Could one of the atty's weigh in? I worked at a law firm for awhile and it seemed like you could terminate representation pretty much at will. But I wasn't the one making those calls, merely stuffing the notifications in files, so I could be wrong.

I have a similar understanding about doctors, as well. In non-emergency situations, I believe doctors have incredibly broad latitude in denying care.

Is that seriously the world you want to live in? That's the world you're asking for.

Yes, because I believe the freedom of association is an important right. Even if it is misused.

cite of material harms flowing from same sex marriage are:

I would point out neither of those harms flow from SSM. They flow from restrictions on freedom of association.

Which is a hard subject in its own right.

thompson, does the term 'denial of bread and water' ring a bell with you? It has gone a bit out of fashion lately in civilized places but what you are asking for would make that perfectly legal again. There are enough places isolated enough (in the US) that would be perfectly willing and able to make use of it (again).

Except your liberty

so silly. so, so silly.

if you're a public business, working for the public, you have to serve the public. in exchange, you get all the protections and benefits afforded by the government(s). those are the rules this country operates by. if you don't like it, leave.

I can't imagine compelling service providers to provide services like photography and custom cakes for an important, one time event like a wedding.

Neither can I. I'd be surprised if Hunegin ends up shooting that particular wedding.

I would point out neither of those harms flow from SSM. They flow from restrictions on freedom of association.

The set of harms that have been demonstrated to flow from SSM is thus empty.

The set of harms that have been demonstrated to flow from SSM is thus empty.

And this surprises you?

" I'd be surprised if Hunegin ends up shooting that particular wedding."

She didn't. They found a photographer to sue, and a photographer to do the work. The Hunegin's job wasn't to photograph the wedding, it was to be sued and pay for it.

"I suspect that if Hugenin shoots the wedding, she'll get paid."

Yeah, right, that's the only problem with slavery, that the slaves don't get a paycheck. Not that they don't get a choice.

The set of harms that have been demonstrated to flow from SSM is thus empty.

the bigot's liberty to have his bigotry enshrined in law has been taken away, and with it, his position as the country's self-appointed moral arbiter. and it has come at the point of the government's big, evil, violent, stupid gun. such harm. very kept down.

won't anyone think of the bigots and their liberty?

wj:

Do you recall what I said (or what the thread was)?

No, I don't recall the specifics. I was going on about unrestricted freedom of association in discussion with you and russell.

then I could at least look and see if I have been inconsistent -- or have merely changed my mind. Which I have been known to do on occasion.

Neither of those is a problem for me, I wasn't trying to pick on you. Never been a fan grinding people into either inconsistencies or mind-changes. Especially with complex, sensitive subjects.

Words are imperfect and thoughts develop and change over time.

I was just curious if there was a nuance I was forgetting. But as you don't recall the exchange either, it's not important.

Yeah, right, that's the only problem with slavery

New Mexico has laws which prohibit discrimination based on sexuality. the photographer broke that law by refusing to work for gay people. it's as simple as that.

there's no slavery involved.

you might try not hitting the hyperbole button as absolutely hard as you possible can every time you want to make a point.

Yeah, right, that's the only problem with slavery, that the slaves don't get a paycheck.

This is idiotic. More than idiotic, it's freaking obscene.

Being required to serve the public, should you decide to open and operate a business, and not being allowed to pick and choose who you will and will not serve based on who those people are, is not the same as slavery.

Apparently, words now have whatever meanings suit our purposes at the moment.

I am trying, with total lack of success, to imagine a situation where I would want to be represented by an attorney who was unwilling to represent me. It seems like compelling service in that situation would be a seriously stupid thing to do, just from a self-interest standpoint.

I'd say it would be on a whole different level from being represented by an attorney who merely thinks you the scum of the earth because of the crimes you have committed. He at least might be willing to do so because he believes in the system, and therefore you are entitled to the best representation you can provide. But compulsion? Not the way to get good service.

the bigot's liberty to have his bigotry enshrined in law has been taken away

That's the antithesis of liberty. That's the government stripping people of their rights because a majority of the population decided it was correct for some reason or another.

The (thankfully eroding) bans on SSM are an example, to me, of what happens when we let majorities erode rights of people they don't like.

won't anyone think of the bigots and their liberty?

Even terrible people have innate rights, and those rights should be protected by law.

We protect the 4A rights of criminals, in my mind we should protect the association rights of bigots.

Re: my understanding (or not) of the Golden Rule.

I agree that as we usually understand it the Golden Rule is not threatening, it's exhorting. The threat is implied by logic, or something: if you have been using your power to treat people badly, you're basically telling everyone by your actions how you expect people in power to behave.

It's related, IMHO, to the South's obsessive fear of slave insurrections before the Civil War, and of what freedmen might do after it. Although white Southerners always *phrased* it as "Negroes are terrible people! think what they would do!", there is nothing they were afraid of blacks doing that they had not done to blacks first and worse.

"Being required to serve the public, should you decide to open and operate a business, and not being allowed to pick and choose who you will and will not serve based on who those people are, is not the same as slavery."

I suppose the defining characteristic of slavery is singing spirituals, or picking cotton, then, and not the little matter of not having a choice about working for someone?

I'm down with SSM. I am not down with govt extending the civil right to marry to one pair of adults but not another pair of adults. I'm also down, generally, with religious-neutral businesses being required to render services without discriminating.

Seems to me, though, that the principle that compels allowing SSM goes a bridge too far when it is used to compel private citizens to, in some form or fashion, participate/support a specific act of SSM, particularly if the objection participating is based on their religion.

Is it bigoted or an act of faith that I don't agree with? I think that varies from person to person. Preventing two people from marrying and forcing a third person to provide service to that wedding seems like two sides of the same coin.

Religious people need to give it a rest when two gay people desire a civil union, and those gays on the periphery of the gay rights movement (I agree with Brett insofar as this looks like a fight that was picked on purpose and to make a point) need to give requiring those unwilling to buy into their program to do so anyway a rest as well.

That last was a pretty awkward sentence, but the course was unkind to me today.

I am trying, with total lack of success, to imagine a situation where I would want to be represented by an attorney who was unwilling to represent me.

Yeah, me too.

I wouldn't want to buy gasoline, or a hammer, or a pack of gum from somebody who didn't want to sell it to me because I was gay, or black, or any other reason, either.

the bigot's liberty to have his bigotry enshrined in law has been taken away

That's the antithesis of liberty. That's the government stripping people of their rights because a majority of the population decided it was correct for some reason or another.

What about the person who is the object of that guy's bigotry, and bigoted actions?

Does that person's rights and interests come into it at all? Or is the right of association somehow transcendent?

Is my liberty not harmed in any way if I can't buy cakes, hammers, gasoline, or photography services from folks who are perfectly happy to sell them to the next person?

Why does freedom of association trump every other consideration?

I suppose the defining characteristic of slavery is singing spirituals, or picking cotton, then, and not the little matter of not having a choice about working for someone?

The defining characteristic of slavery is that you are someone's property. They can not only require you to sell them a cake if you happen to be in the cake-selling business, they own your literal ass, they own every minute of your time, they own all of the fruit of your labor.

If you go into business offering goods and services for sale to the public, you're obliged to offer those goods and services to sale for whoever wants to buy them.

There are exceptions, and that principle doesn't apply everywhere, and the question of where it does and doesn't apply is an interesting one.

But there is no place other than on Planet Brett and I suspect the right wing blogosphere where the legal requirement to not discriminate in offering goods and services for sale can, remotely, be misconstrued as slavery.

And with that, I'm done on this topic, because it's a particularly odious threadjack and I'm not interested in furthering it. Seriously, you should be ashamed of yourself.

"Seems to me, though, that the principle that compels allowing SSM goes a bridge too far when it is used to compel private citizens to, in some form or fashion, participate/support a specific act of SSM, particularly if the objection participating is based on their religion."

I am generally of the opinion that being religious should not give you any extra rights. But this is only to say that I think EVERYBODY should have enough liberty, that the religious should not need to seek from the government exemptions.

If a law is of such a nature that it would be reasonable to exempt somebody who had a religious objection to complying with it, you probably shouldn't have the law in the first place. Communion wine shouldn't need to be exempted from Prohibition because there shouldn't be Prohibition, IOW.

Now, it is frequently said of complaints about "public accommodation" laws, that nobody has to be a photographer. And, if public accommodation laws applied only to one or two obscure professions that could be dispensed with, this might actually carry some weight.

But, while nobody has to be a photographer, generally people have to be SOMETHING. And the forces driving the expansion of public accommodation laws seem to have no stopping point.

DocSci:

The threat is implied by logic, or something: if you have been using your power to treat people badly, you're basically telling everyone by your actions how you expect people in power to behave.

I see what you're getting at (and agree with the karmic principle) but I would describe it as orthogonal to the golden rule and better described by the other proverbs mentioned.

Indeed, the very context points that this is a failure to follow the golden rule, not an application of it.

The "trads" or whatever you want to call them are afraid of the very persecution that they've been dishing out. That persecution is clearly not how they "would be done by" or they wouldn't be complaining.

They failed to treat others as they would like to be treated. Indeed, in one of the articles you linked there is a recognition that they and/or their predecessors failed to treat a minority as they wish to be be treated now.

Reaping the whirlwind/eye for and eye/karma/etc is not the logical extension of the golden rule. At least, not by any way I can construct it in my head.

But russell, if I "gasoline, or a hammer, or a pack of gum from somebody who didn't want to sell it to me because I was gay, or black," etc., the thing that I buy will still work just as well regardless. (I may not want to give him my business, but that's a separate discussion.)

Whereas, if I am buying a service from someone who doesn't want to provide it to me (for whatever reason), whether the service will be the same quality is doubtful. You can provide sloppy service if you feel you are being forced into it. But can you provided a substandard hammer, or pack of gum just because you don't want to sell to a particular buyer? Only, as far as I can see, if you take the trouble and expense to stock extra, poor quality, merchandise for that part of your market.

Seems to me, though, that the principle that compels allowing SSM goes a bridge too far when it is used to compel private citizens to, in some form or fashion, participate/support a specific act of SSM, particularly if the objection participating is based on their religion.

Apparently, the argument Hugenin made was based on freedom of speech, rather than religion. It looks like the argument was that photography as an art is a form of protected speech, and Hugenin could not be required to "tell a story" that she did not support.

Which raises (for me) the question of whether commercial creative work done for hire deserves free speech protection, but I'm sure that ground has been covered at some point.

I disagree that this is a question of Willock and her partner picking a fight. They were looking for a photographer, approached Hugenin, and Hugenin refused the work because they were gay. They felt that they had been discriminated against, and they were correct. That's illegal in NM, so they sued.

I do agree that it would have been easier all around if they had simply moved on and hired someone else. Life goes more smoothly if folks don't take things personally, and sometimes there's value in just letting stuff go. It doesn't appear that there was any malice on Hugenin's side.

But, I can also understand why they might have wanted to make their point.

What I totally objectionable is the idea that this constitutes some kind of religious persecution of Hugenin. She wasn't sued for being Christian, she was sued for refusing to serve people because they are gay.

Whereas, if I am buying a service from someone who doesn't want to provide it to me (for whatever reason), whether the service will be the same quality is doubtful.

I take your point wj, and don't really disagree with it. I would probably draw the line in about the same place as you - offering goods for sale is one thing, services another.

I don't know how it would be expressed in law, but it seems reasonable to me at an intuitive level both that providing services is more likely to involve matters of conscience (of whatever kind) on the part of the provider, and also that nobody would want someone providing services to them against their will anyway.

Hammers, gas, and gum, different story.

Apparently, that's not the law in NM.

But can you provided a substandard hammer, or pack of gum just because you don't want to sell to a particular buyer? Only, as far as I can see, if you take the trouble and expense to stock extra, poor quality, merchandise for that part of your market.

As an aside, this kind of differential product offering was quite common during Jim Crow days.

So, it's not an academic point.

That's the government stripping people of their rights because a majority of the population decided it was correct for some reason or another.

democracy. you're soaking in it.

Does that person's rights and interests come into it at all?

Which rights? Their right to have a specific photographer at their wedding? Their right to not be confronted with people who disagree with them?

How is that distinct from the "rights" of a bigot to not be confronted with whatever they are bigoted about?

I don't view any of those things as rights. There are unpleasant people in the world, sometimes you have to deal with them. It should not be a legal matter, nor should those unpleasant people have any legal recourse if people don't like them and boycott their establishments.

Is my liberty not harmed in any way if I can't buy cakes, hammers, gasoline, or photography services from folks who are perfectly happy to sell them to the next person?

I'd say this is where we disagree. I don't view buying a hammer from a specific store as an innate right. I don't see any infringement on your liberty. You clearly do, and that's fine. That's a likely source of our disagreement.

And with that, I'm done on this topic

Fair enough, I'm not saying anything I haven't said before, retreading the same ground sheds more heat than light.

I am generally of the opinion that being religious should not give you any extra rights.

This is getting scary: I agree with Brett again.

Alternatively, in the US we live in, I could accept "atheism" being called a "religion" for 1st-Amendment purposes. Extra rights for everybody!

Where Brett and I part company is that he is pure and I am ... cynical? pragmatic? impure? I don't share Brett's exquisite philosophical sensibilities about what laws we should not have. For instance, I don't think we should abolish taxation on the grounds that we're willing to exempt churches from it.

My own guiding principle is not to maximize liberty, or even consistency. It is to minimize fuss and bother. In a fairly pious nation like the US, not taxing churches is less fuss and bother than arguing about it would be.

--TP

this kind of differential product offering was quite common during Jim Crow days.

While I am not an economic historian, my impression is that the only reason this behavior was viable during the Jim Crow era was that there were substantial legal barriers to starting a business which did not follow that pattern. No doubt someone with more knowledge of the legal and economic history there will correct me if I am wrong.

I think it is in general very common when there is no constant quality of a product or a usual range. The seller will be inclined to distribute the quality (he has no influence on) in a way to customers that is most advantageous to him. A regular good customer (or one of influence) can expect to get offered the specimens from the upper end of the scale while customers the seller has not to rely on (outsiders, people that have no other choice etc.) will be treated to the lower end. The seller will not usually acquire lower quality goods in order to annoy customers he does not like. At best he will do so, if the low quality stuff is cheaper but can be sold at the standard price to the non-well-esteemed customer.

Which rights? Their right to have a specific photographer at their wedding?

The right to not be denied goods and services because they're gay. That right.

You see a refusal to do business with people because they're gay as an expression of the right to free association. I think that stretches the idea of "free association" to an extraordinary limit.

If you open your door for business to the public, you don't get to decide you're not going to do business with people because they're black, or gay, or speak a funny language, or whatever.

You opened the door, you assume certain obligations when you do so.

Their right to not be confronted with people who disagree with them?

The issue was not "I disagree with you". The issue was "my religion tells me that your getting married is an offense to God". And, "my taking a picture of your wedding would be telling a narrative that I consider a lie".

You should stick with "it's an important right even if it's misused".

@russell: "And, conversely, I think everyone would agree that a hardware store should not be able to refuse to sell a hammer to a gay person. Because it's freaking hard to see how "religious beliefs" comes into hammer sales,"

That would be HORRIBLE, BLATANT religious bigotry!

"If you open your door for business to the public, you don't get to decide you're not going to do business with people because they're black, or gay, or speak a funny language, or whatever."

There is a large difference and an obvious one between the lunch counter in Birmingham and the wedding in NM. Such a big difference I am actually angry that you would use this chestnut to justify your position. And I am done because you made me angry.

Pretty much every sole proprietor small service business picks their customers however they want. I am pretty sure your band wouldn't play a KKK rally.

Doc,

I agree that as we usually understand it the Golden Rule is not threatening, it's exhorting.

I was thinking along similar lines with my comment, just taking the moral logic a bit further. To maintain consistency of "exhortation" moral and/or otherwise, a person who does bad stuff should logically demand they be treated as they treat others if they claim they are guided by the golden rule. Two sides of the same coin as it were...but it's a minor karmic point.

to wj, thompson, et.al.

There is no right to be a bigot enshrined in the Constitution. In fact, we do have a Constitutional Amendment that specifically outlaws bigotry as actually observed in historical practice, as opposed to your fevered imaginations, i.e., the 14th Amendment. Congress is specifically authorized to pass legislation to enforce said provision.

Don't like it? Amend the Constitution.

So yes, the principle that we can pass and enforce laws to curb the bigotry of "unpleasant people" is actually enshrined in the Law Of The Land in that document that many otherwise worship when not attending church, i.e., the U.S. Constitution.

As for the "right of association", well there's a slippery beast, a chameleon amenable to many a point of view: Is the Sherman Anti-Trust act a violation of this "principle"? The banning of secondary boycotts in Taft-Hartley? So called, "right to work" laws?

I should think a common sense adjudication of the cake lady case is to tell her to chill, because if you feel otherwise, you are basically raising the social concept of the "war of all against all" to a near absolute principle that comfortably agrees with your political opinions.

In other words, you are crossing the line of common sense.

The right to not be denied goods and services because they're gay.

Like I said above, I don't anybody, regardless of sexuality, has a right to a service from a specific person, nor do I think laws are required at this point to rectify the damage caused to the injured parties. You seem to disagree. Fine.

You should stick with "it's an important right even if it's misused".

I plan to.

The issue was not "I disagree with you". The issue was "my religion tells me that your getting married is an offense to God". And, "my taking a picture of your wedding would be telling a narrative that I consider a lie".

I'd agree the vendors are wrong on many levels, I just don't think people have a right to not have to deal with unpleasant or otherwise hurtful people. I'm not saying they are being persecuted for their religion. They aren't. Nor am I saying that they handled a delicate situation well. They didn't. I'm saying they should be allowed to form business associations or not as they see fit.

I don't think laws are the appropriate way to rectify the situation. I think social pressure is.

I don't think you should legislate civility or morality.

Society, even in the bible belt, is moving rapidly towards broad acceptance of SSM. My personal distaste for people resisting that change aside, I do not see the need to grant specific protections, especially if those specific protections burden the free association rights of others, even if I don't like or agree with their use of rights.

bobbyp:

There is no right to be a bigot enshrined in the Constitution.

Doesn't the freedom of speech include bigoted speech? Doesn't the freedom of religion include bigoted religion?

Or did I miss the clause which says only socially accepted speeches and religions are free?

Again there are numerous rights that are important to protect, even if they are misused by some actors.

In fact, we do have a Constitutional Amendment that specifically outlaws bigotry

The 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause concerns the conduct of states and state actors. It does not, in general, apply to private actors.

Doesn't the freedom of speech include bigoted speech? Doesn't the freedom of religion include bigoted religion?

Sure. Has ANYBODY who disagrees with you on this board said otherwise? Red herring and really absolute BS.

Or did I miss the clause which says only socially accepted speeches and religions are free?

A totally misguided and facile rhetorical device that falls flat. Utterly.

Again there are numerous rights that are important to protect, even if they are misused by some actors.

Yell "fire" in a crowded theater. Tell the judge there is a right involved that is "important to protect". See how far it gets you.

Are you kidding me?


The 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause concerns the conduct of states and state actors. It does not, in general, apply to private actors.

Insofar as private actors are insisting and/or demanding that both the law and the power of the state be invoked to protect and enable their bigotry (because that is in fact what you are arguing for), you are way off base here.

Way way off.

Sure. Has ANYBODY who disagrees with you on this board said otherwise? Red herring and really absolute BS.

As it was in response to a statement that bigotry is not protected in the US Constitution, it seems pretty responsive to me.

I can refuse to represent the KKK because being a racist shithead is not a protected category. I cannot refuse to represent a gay person because, in my city, orientation is a protected category.

NM didn't have SSM at the time, and the event that the photographer refused to photograph wasn't a wedding. It was a party. The customers didn't go to court seeking an injuunction compelling the photographer to attand and work. Instead, as is their right, the reported what looked like a refusal to provide services based on orientation to the administrative body that enforces the discrimination laws. That body concluded that there had been a violation, and levied a very nominal fine. The photographer took it to court, and when she lost, took it to the Supreme Court. And apparently to the US Supreme Court. Such oppression!

Insofar as private actors are insisting and/or demanding that both the law and the power of the state be invoked to protect and enable their bigotry (because that is in fact what you are arguing for)

I don't even know what that means. I'm arguing the 1st amendment applies. Insofar as that "protects" bigotry, I suppose I am arguing to protect bigotry.

If you're suggesting I'm arguing bigots should be protected from social backlash for their stances, you are incorrect.

Pretty much every sole proprietor small service business picks their customers however they want.

Absolute. Crap. Pretty much every sole proprietor/small business is under-capitalized and begging for customers. Typically they have a 90% change of not being around in 5 years.

Bigotry is a pretty stupid business plan.

As it was in response to a statement that bigotry is not protected in the US Constitution, it seems pretty responsive to me.

Disagree. You clearly and unambiguously ascribed an argument to those who disagree with you that none of them have made.

You can do better. Draw more lines.

"So, should nudists be able to sue any photographers who refuse to photograph their nude wedding?"

They are able, but the bigger question is should the nudists be forced to where clothing in court.

And further, what happens if they show up nude and the court sketch artist adds clothing to the drawings. Can the nudists then sue for misrepresentation?

________________________

"Over a hundred years ago, we fought a war to establish a very important principle: No man is entitled to another man's labor against his will."

and ...

"At some point he drove mom to GA to meet the relatives. He stopped for gas somewhere in SC, the guy wouldn't sell him any because he had NY plates. Damned Yankee!!"

I sense a pattern here. Maybe we need to fight that war again. I'll bet the gas station owner hummed a spiritual as he refused service to Russell's Dad.

________________

"You should be careful when trying to rub other people's noses in something. You may end up with more of it on yourself than on them."

So we can expect the NRA and suchlike to cease and desist from pushing their wares and political advertising in and around Sandy Hook?

________________________

"My own guiding principle is not to maximize liberty, or even consistency. It is to minimize fuss and bother"

Is there anything more fussy than a wedding cake and more bothersome than a wedding photographer?

_______________________


As far as compelling labor by force, I suppose I could point out that cutting off long-term unemployment benefits could be construed as compelling labor by force, if we believe, as some do, that all government actions, even negative ones, are presumed to be at the point of a gun.

Leaving that aside, I think it is a travesty that I've been fired from labor for singing spirituals in a loud, deep baritone during work hours.

Even slaves had that right.

I'm curious. Could a nudist sue a clothing merchant for refusing the former service, even though the service would presumably resolve the reason for the merchant's taking of offense?

Further, are there changing rooms in clothing stores at nudist camps?

I'm curious, well, not curious in that way, but more on the level of serious constitutional matters, if an unemployed man of undetermined sexual identity has his unemployment benefits, food stamps, and his slauson (at the Slauson Cutoff) cut off and the only job he is compelled to find so that he and his family don't starve (at starvation point, one could say) is jumping out of a cake naked at a gay bachelor party, who may he sue for enslavement -- the cake maker, the gay newlyweds, or Paul Ryan?

Freedom is never having to say your sorry.

bobbyp:

Clearly I'm missing what you're saying in some way. You made a statement that I thought was incorrect. I quoted it, and than explained why I thought it was wrong.

You claim that I'm ascribing an to you that you didn't make, which I understand can be frustrating. I'm certainly not trying to antagonize you.

Did I misquote you, or did I miss context that altered the meaning of the quoted text?

I don't even know what that means.

Jayzus effing christ!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's straightforward English. You are saying that a business firm that is licensed by the state, that has rights protected by the state, that has certain tax status and investment risk protections granted by the state, that has unique standing backed up by the power of the state HAS THE RIGHT TO BE A BIGOTED ASSHOLE AND DENY RIGHTS TO SOME PEOPLE BASED ON ATTRIBUTES THEY HAVE NO CONTROL OVER?

Again, you are way off base here.

Alright, and I'm out. To many exclamation points and bold text.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Whatnot


  • visitors since 3/2/2004

August 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            
Blog powered by Typepad

QuantCast