« Will no one think of the poor racists? | Main | E Day »

August 18, 2017

Comments

There are people - people in positions to actually make policy, to make things happen in the public sphere - who advocate for removing or weakening the laws and institutions that keep those things from returning.

Posted by: russell | August 23, 2017 at 12:49 PM

I'm not in favor of weakening anti-discrimination laws w/r/t public accommodations, but I do see the point that my friends on the right make when "public accommodation" is expanded to include wedding cakes.

The danger is that they are going to stress the institutions of public life - the institutions that make it possible for all of us, and all kinds of us, to coexist in a common polity - to the breaking point.

That is not a particularly far reach, from where we are right now.

Posted by: russell | August 23, 2017 at 01:14 PM

My point is that indiscriminately tossing around labels like "racist" and "evil" will do the same sort of damage.

I've gone on about this ad nauseam, but here it is again. This kind of stuff is happening because there is no longer a foundation of agreed facts and reality, as conveyed in schools, by the media, etc etc. Maybe it started with New Age anti-science nonsense (homeopathy, anti-vax etc etc), or maybe it started with the abolition of the Fairness Doctrine, maybe it started as politicians meddled too much with school curricula on ideological grounds. But the end result is that, nationwide, there is no base-level understanding of reality in the world. I am not (too) naive: I realise that people's worldviews always varied based on class, race, political affiliation etc. But they all started from the foundation that e.g. 2 + 2 = 4, and that the scientific method establishes the explanation for physical phenomena thus, among other results, enabling technological advances. The destruction of this commonly acknowledged reality ends in people believing whatever they are told, or indoctrinated with by people they have decided to trust, and no argument or proof will convince them otherwise. You would never have convinced die-hard racists they were wrong, but a great mass of people in the middle have been convinced by accusations of Fake News, and believe the lies and evasions of the racist politicians they support.

Posted by: Girl from the North Country | August 23, 2017 at 01:35 PM

I think it's simply a result of the internet allowing folks to self-segregate into their little tribal echo-chambers. I will take time for people to adjust and do a better job of curating their information sources, but I think we'll get there.

A tweet I just saw retweeted from the Republican Party of Virginia (@VA_GOP):

@RalphNortham has turned his back on his own family's heritage in demanding monument removal (1/2)

Not racist. Not at all.

You would never have convinced die-hard racists they were wrong, but a great mass of people in the middle have been convinced by accusations of Fake News, and believe the lies and evasions of the racist politicians they support.

Some people are not very smart, but some of the people you're referring to here are willfully ignorant. They are every bit as racist as the people they support, and that's why they support those people. They don't care to change.

Northam is just trying to honor the wishes of Robert E. Lee.

My point is that indiscriminately tossing around labels like "racist" and "evil" will do the same sort of damage.

You are not being serious. Extreme language in political debate is old stuff. Just take a moment to review the invective during the election of 1800, for starters. To give your claim any credence would be to similarly assert that the Civil War took place because folks called each other bad names.

Why, I've been called a comsymp, traitorous, un-American for decades.

I lived.

Our public institutions also got through it OK.

Your assertion in this regard is without merit.

You might turn your oh-so-serious concerns to the real causes of why one of our two major political parties is going off the ideological deep end, and constitutes a definite threat to our society.

I see it when I see people voting for politicians who enact laws and policies in a larger agenda that is cruel to "certain people", that is based on denying "those people" their right to vote, and that jeopardizes their health and safety. YMMD

Posted by: sapient | August 23, 2017 at 01:03 PM

Let's be clear: you are referencing disproportionate impacts; voter ID laws for instance don't target minorities explicitly.

Is there racial animus in the hearts of the people who formulate these strategies and draft these laws even without much or any evidence of voter fraud? Perhaps, but I'm pretty sure that the voter fraud brigade would feel differently if black folks voted Republican.

As much as I oppose these sham efforts to combat voter fraud, I don't know that I can attach "racism" to them. Is there a callous disregard to disproportionate impact on black folks? Of course, but it isn't motivated by racism; it's motivated by trying to win elections for their team, which is really bad, but not "RACIST" bad.

Compare this to actual Nazis and KKK members who would disenfranchise black folks regardless of how they vote.

Don't get me wrong, I can think of lots of bad words to describe these sham anti-voter fraud efforts, but I wouldn't take it all the way to "racism".

I think it's simply a result of the internet allowing folks to self-segregate into their little tribal echo-chambers. I will take time for people to adjust and do a better job of curating their information sources, but I think we'll get there

I'm sure your first sentence explains some of it (the spread and amplification). I think your second sentence is too optimistic, and in my opinion it's very unlikely unless a way can be found to re-establish a common basic understanding. But you'll know, if you were lurking for a while, that I'm generally with you on your disapproval of widespread accusation of fascism or evil, unless there is good evidence for it.

So, there it is. Back to square one. Republicans are racist, at least the majority of them. We don't believe the same things because, uh, science and really it's just your way or the highway.

Things are worse today, except That there have been these people for 150 years and well, we've long been calling each other names, but we need to stop these people now.

Democrats are going off the ideological deep end which constitutes an existential threat, even though there are only a few thousand Nazis they must be wiped out.

Read the thread. y'all, meaning "not me:, can't even agree on why it's bad or what's bad or how bad. It's just bad now because Trump and then Republicans.

I am not sure, except That all people not you are bad and should disappear, what you think should happen.

As much as I oppose these sham efforts to combat voter fraud, I don't know that I can attach "racism" to them. Is there a callous disregard to disproportionate impact on black folks? Of course, but it isn't motivated by racism; it's motivated by trying to win elections for their team, which is really bad, but not "RACIST" bad.

Oh oh, I guess I'm not with you on this after all. I understand your argument, of course, but I think this is either sophistry or willed naivete. If people are prepared to disenfranchise a racial group, in a democratic society, then this is almost by definition racist no matter what the motivation is (and I think your generosity on motive is also largely if not entirely misplaced).

We don't believe the same things because, uh, science and really it's just your way or the highway.

This is a misunderstanding of my position, Marty. I have no problem when people disagree with me, so my way AND the highway are perfectly fine with me in a civilised society. My point about science was as an example of a possible cause for why groups no longer share a common basic understanding of the world. You can't argue with e.g. a flat earther about the eclipse. They might insist it's because a demon temporarily swallows the sun, and you've got nowhere to go with talking to them about it, because you have no common understanding of the world. Science is a good example, because things are subject to proof.

As much as I oppose these sham efforts to combat voter fraud, I don't know that I can attach "racism" to them. Is there a callous disregard to disproportionate impact on black folks? Of course, but it isn't motivated by racism;

if you can't attach racism to them, how can you say it isn't motivated by racism? which is it: are you a mind reader or not?

the policies have racist effects. the people who crafted these policies are not stupid people - they knew what the effects would be. if the thought of disenfranchising people based on race disturbed them, they wouldn't have worked on these laws (and district boundaries). but they did. they did it knowing it would affect races differently.

not caring that your actions will look like the actions of a racist is a pretty good sign that you are in fact a racist.

You are not being serious. Extreme language in political debate is old stuff. Just take a moment to review the invective during the election of 1800, for starters. To give your claim any credence would be to similarly assert that the Civil War took place because folks called each other bad names.

Why, I've been called a comsymp, traitorous, un-American for decades.

I lived.

Our public institutions also got through it OK.

Your assertion in this regard is without merit.

You might turn your oh-so-serious concerns to the real causes of why one of our two major political parties is going off the ideological deep end, and constitutes a definite threat to our society.

Posted by: bobbyp | August 23, 2017 at 02:13 PM

I am being serious ... this is my serious face.

I happen to agree with you regarding the callous language used in the past, which is why I'm somewhat optimistic that we'll get through this rough patch. We've been there, done that.

Russel said that the racists will stress out ability "to coexist in a common polity". I didn't read that as "dogs and cats living together post apocalyptic dystopia" ... just that things will be shittier than they could be.

I'm concerned about the indiscriminate use of "racist" and "Nazi" in the same way ... it causes damage and we'd be better off without it. There's no call for you to recast my position as being more extreme than it is.

I'm concerned about the indiscriminate use of "racist" and "Nazi"

people actually marched, waving Nazi flags and chanting about the evil Jews. in the US. 10 days ago. Trump coddled them. his approval numbers went up among Republicans.

if you can't attach racism to them, how can you say it isn't motivated by racism? which is it: are you a mind reader or not?

the policies have racist effects. the people who crafted these policies are not stupid people - they knew what the effects would be. if the thought of disenfranchising people based on race disturbed them, they wouldn't have worked on these laws (and district boundaries). but they did. they did it knowing it would affect races differently.

not caring that your actions will look like the actions of a racist is a pretty good sign that you are in fact a racist.

Posted by: cleek_with_a_fake_beard | August 23, 2017 at 02:45 PM

I'm not a mindreader and that's the point: I'm not going to call someone a racist without pretty good evidence that they are in fact a racist.

I can't even reach the conclusion that they do not care about the racial impact. I can draw the conclusion that they believe the political advantage of Voter ID outweighs the disproportionate racial impact. Is that enough to call them a racist? I don't know.

Finally, as a technical matter, Voter ID laws don't disenfranchise based on race ... if they did then we'd have a really easy legal case to get rid of them. They do have a disproportionate impact on poorer Dem voters who are disproportionately minorities.

So, there it is. Back to square one. Republicans are racist, at least the majority of them. We don't believe the same things because, uh, science and really it's just your way or the highway.

I don't think so. (Although I won't vouch for everyone here.) I'd say most of us are clear that, while not all Republicans are racists, these days pretty much all racists are Republicans.

As for the make-up of the GOP, my totally unscientific guess would be something like:

  • racists: 20%
  • libertarians: 10% (including, unfortunately, a whole lot of the big donors to political compaigns)
  • tribalists: 45% (i.e. those for whom the Republican Party is "my team", and it's "my team right or wrong!")
  • other: 25%
"Other" including, for example,
  • those who are just habitual Republicans, and haven't been willing to change. Some of whom frequently vote for Democrats these days, but still identify as Republicans.
  • those who believe we need two parties for the government to function properly, and don't see any realistic prospect for a third party which can replace the GOP as that alternative party of government. So they (we, actually) are trying to return the party to sanity.
  • etc.
NOTE: there's probably some overlap in all of these cases. Which would make "other" rather larger than shown.

As for science, I'd say that the vast majority of those who refuse to acknowledge objective reality, as it is seen by pretty much everyone here including you, seem to be self-identifying as Republicans as well. Do you see any significant number of anti-vaxers, creationists, etc. among the Democrats? No doubt there are some conspiracy theorists; those seem to be on both sides. But otherwise?

I'm concerned about the indiscriminate use of "racist" and "Nazi" in the same way ... it causes damage and we'd be better off without it. There's no call for you to recast my position as being more extreme than it is.

I guess if you're talking about "indiscriminate use" you should be specific when someone does that. Because when it's justified, I think it needs to be called out. That doesn't mean that if you have a cordial relationship with your elderly next door neighbor, you have to start calling him a racist whenever you get together. But when people support racist policies, it doesn't seem wrong to call them racists.

The term "Nazi" is a bit more difficult, because people start splitting hairs about the fact that the world has changed since the 1930's, etc., and the various alt-right movements in this country don't support Yeah, sure. But with the lovely folks that were in C'ville recently (some bad and good people on all sides!), I feel quite comfortable using the term to describe Trumpism as I have been doing.

"They do have a disproportionate impact on poorer Dem voters who are disproportionately minorities."

They really don't. They have a disproportionate impact on poor voters. Not Democratic poor voters.

It isn't even clear they have disproportionate impact on outcomes, poor voters are used to working a little harder to get stuff.

people actually marched, waving Nazi flags and chanting about the evil Jews. in the US. 10 days ago. Trump coddled them. his approval numbers went up among Republicans.

Posted by: cleek_with_a_fake_beard | August 23, 2017 at 02:55 PM

I don't think that's an accurate statement of the polling ... lies, damn lies and statistics and all that.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/23/trump-charlottesville-polls-241917

That's also a pretty blunt instrument to use for applying "racist" to a large group of people.

I see I should have edited my 3:02, but you get my drift.

They really don't. They have a disproportionate impact on poor voters. Not Democratic poor voters.

It isn't even clear they have disproportionate impact on outcomes, poor voters are used to working a little harder to get stuff.

Posted by: Marty | August 23, 2017 at 03:03 PM

Point taken re: poor voters in general. I hate when people on the internet make these types of claims, but I've seen private polling that suggests poor Republican voters are more likely to have ID than poor Dem voters. My guess is that it's related to the need to have ID to legally purchase a firearm (I'm only kidding a little). This poll targeted likely voters and not the population in general FWIW.

I don't think that's an accurate statement of the polling

here, look at the graph.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_trump_job_approval-6179.html

see the bump that starts last Monday?

That's also a pretty blunt instrument to use for applying "racist" to a large group of people.

if you work for outcomes that deliberately work against one race, you're a racist.

Oh oh, I guess I'm not with you on this after all. I understand your argument, of course, but I think this is either sophistry or willed naivete. If people are prepared to disenfranchise a racial group, in a democratic society, then this is almost by definition racist no matter what the motivation is (and I think your generosity on motive is also largely if not entirely misplaced).

Posted by: Girl from the North Country | August 23, 2017 at 02:38 PM

Damn it! I almost won over one of the regulars.

As I said in another response, Voter ID is not overtly disenfranchising a racial group. It has a disproportionate impact. To put this in perspective, *lots* of laws have a disproportionate impact.

Consider a person who has a job as a legislative aid or with a partisan think tank, and that person's job is to think up legislation that will help Republicans win elections.

Assume they have good evidence that Voter ID will accomplish that goal, but the law will impact black voters in greater numbers than white voters.

Are they a racist for advocating Voter ID? Does being callous to a disproportionate impact make you a racist?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not giving our hypothetical legislative aid a gold star, but I won't call him a racist. As described he isn't a Nazi who would seek to disenfranchise black folks for its own end. That's an important distinction in my book.

I guess if you're talking about "indiscriminate use" you should be specific when someone does that.

I call people Nazis when they don't pick up their dogs' poop. Does that count?

here, look at the graph.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_trump_job_approval-6179.html

see the bump that starts last Monday?

That's also a pretty blunt instrument to use for applying "racist" to a large group of people.

if you work for outcomes that deliberately work against one race, you're a racist.

Posted by: cleek_with_a_fake_beard | August 23, 2017 at 03:21 PM

My link says the opposite. Lies, damn lies, yadda yadda.

I think it will take some time to measure the real impact on C'ville.

Does being callous to a disproportionate impact make you a racist?

it doesn't make you a racist. it demonstrates that you are.

it doesn't make you a racist. it demonstrates that you are.

Posted by: cleek_with_a_fake_beard | August 23, 2017 at 03:40 PM

"Demonstrate" ≠ prove ... unless you have a low standard of proof. Obviously I'm arguing for a higher standard.

this has become ridiculous.

"I call people Nazis when they don't pick up their dogs' poop. Does that count?"

In your yard or theirs?

"this has become ridiculous."

No, it has been ridiculous for a while.

this has become ridiculous.

Posted by: cleek_with_a_fake_beard | August 23, 2017 at 03:47 PM

Apologies ... I was actually being serious, but I had a depo cancel and time on my hands and the rapid fire posts may have been a bit much ... I'll take a timeout.

"I'll take a timeout."

That isn't necessary, this has become ridiculous doesn't mean you have. Just some of the answers to you, so I am at the rare point of agreeing with cleek.

In your yard or theirs?

Yard? I don't have a yard. Yards are for Nazis.

I do see the point that my friends on the right make when "public accommodation" is expanded to include wedding cakes.

I see the point, too.

People with strong religious beliefs quite often, historically and now, bump into situations where their convictions bump up against everyday public life. Sometimes they demand that everyday public life accommodate them, sometimes they voluntarily exclude themselves from things that create moral or ethical problems for them.

The issue I have with this issue are the folks who want to portray this as some kind of hostility to religion. Trust me, I know folks who see this stuff as one step away from Roman Christians being thrown to the lions.

Religious people have rights and interests. Gay people have rights and interests. Sometimes they come into conflict. So, a problem. We need to figure it out. There might not actually be a win-win solution. What should we do?

In these cases, specifically, granting religious people an exception to what is required of everybody else undermines the basic principle that everyone who participates in public life should be able to participate on an equal footing. That includes having access to privately owned public accommodations, which operate under publicly granted licenses and regulations.

I understand the dilemma. I also understand the consequences.

If we want to carve out an exception for fundamentalist cake-bakers, it won't really upset me all that much. Most places, there's more than one place to get a cake.

But it erodes the sense that we all share a common public life. We should think hard before we undermine that.

if you work for outcomes that deliberately work against one race, you're a racist.

I actually disagree with this. I agree with pollo, if minorities voted for (R)'s in large numbers, they'd not only make sure they had access to the polls, they'd drive them to the polling place.

My thought about racism in this country is that most of us are racist. How we think about and respond to other people are, to some degree, influenced by the color of their skin and/or their apparent ethnic heritage. I know Marty objects when I call that racism, but I simply don't know what else to call it.

It's our common problem, it's part of our heritage as a nation, it's something we all are responsible for, and something we all have to address and try to mitigate.

I live in deep-blue MA, which is politically absolutely dominated by the (D) party, and you can believe me when I say race is a factor in daily life here, one way or another.

The biggest issue I have with (R)'s regarding race is that their approaches to dealing with it seem to all be based on the idea that it doesn't exist.

If we want to carve out an exception for fundamentalist cake-bakers, it won't really upset me all that much. Most places, there's more than one place to get a cake.

There shouldn't be any carve outs for religion or any other group identities. A right either exists or it doesn't.

Consider a person who has a job as a legislative aid or with a partisan think tank, and that person's job is to think up legislation that will help Republicans win elections.

Assume they have good evidence that Voter ID will accomplish that goal, but the law will impact black voters in greater numbers than white voters.

Are they a racist for advocating Voter ID? Does being callous to a disproportionate impact make you a racist?

I think it's a larger ball of wax than just the Voter ID policy, and trying to disenfranchise people who vote D who happen to be black. They want to disenfranchise people who vote D because D policies are fashioned to create a more egalitarian world, which is why semi-disenfranchised people feel more comfortable voting for D's. It's why we seem to be polarized on most issues, because single issues usually are tied together with other issues, that reflect a more comprehensive world view. If I want to disenfranchise African-Americans because they are more likely to vote D, because Democrats are more likely to support affirmative action, fair housing and other anti-discriminatory laws, labor regulations, environmental regulations, etc., I have a view that government exists to create a fairer world. People who reject that view tend more toward social Darwinism, a philosophy that has been embraced by people like Nazis.

Just saying. No, not every single R is a Nazi, but these days, when the R party is embraced by open Nazis and KKK members, R's need to better justify their worldview of leaving less fortunate people in the dirt. Because it ends up being racist, cruel and it stinks.


I call people Nazis when they don't pick up their dogs' poop. Does that count?

They fall into the "it stinks" category.

In other words, if you need to win elections by gerrymandering, disenfranchising people, winning the electoral college only, and you strive to do that instead of winning over the majority of people with your message, you have to do a bit of soul searching about your message, and your view of democratic principles.

I actually disagree with this. I agree with pollo, if minorities voted for (R)'s in large numbers, they'd not only make sure they had access to the polls, they'd drive them to the polling place.

right. but...

if minorities voted for Rs in large numbers, the GOP would have to be a very different party than what they are now. there are many reasons a minority might not want to vote R right now, but one of those reasons is that the Rs do things that make minorities think Rs are racist. i won't bother listing examples, because i know you know them all.

there are racist Dems, no doubt. but on the whole, the Dems really do try to stamp out racism and to level the playing field. and i know you know that, too.

so, yes: minorities would probably vote Republican if Republicans did not have Republican attitudes towards race. but they do.

A right either exists or it doesn't.

Gays have the right of access to public accommodations.

Religious people have the right to exercise their religion.

Sometimes different people's rights, all of which exist, conflict.

This isn't the only example. It comes up, from time to time.

if minorities voted for Rs in large numbers, the GOP would have to be a very different party than what they are now.

You got that right.

and i know you know that, too.

Indeed I do. And so do minority voters.

if minorities voted for (R)'s in large numbers, they'd not only make sure they had access to the polls, they'd drive them to the polling place.

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Republicans have been comfortable with disenfranchising African Americans, and trying to end affirmative action, for as long as I can remember. You can (and some here have) make arguments for doing these things which present them as not racist, but the evidence stacks up pretty convincingly in my opinion. If it quacks like a duck etc (this is my post for questionable proverbs).

yes: minorities would probably vote Republican if Republicans did not have Republican attitudes towards race. but they do.

Impossible to disagree.

GftNC: But they all started from the foundation that e.g. 2 + 2 = 4

Suzie has 4 ideas. She gives Johnny 2 of her ideas.
How many ideas does Suzie have left?

Is it possible that liberals and conservatives, while agreeing that 2+2=4, would answer the question differently?

--TP

I had this same conversation with one of the organizers of the free speech rally. We were discussing one of his speakers.

"Not a racist!", he claimed.

Maybe not, says I, but the guy has publicly called Jada Smith a "monkey actress" and has publicly referred to Asians as "slopes" and "riceballs".

I don't know what's in his heart. I only know what he says.

Racist, not racist - who am I to judge? I'm not a mind reader. No doubt some of his best friends, etc.

Treats people of different races differently, that's all I know.

How many ideas does Suzie have left?

Four, but who gets the IP?

TonyP, I like your question. Personally, I think that Suzie is likely to end up with 6 ideas. But you're right, conservatives would probably disagree..

if minorities voted for (R)'s in large numbers, they'd not only make sure they had access to the polls, they'd drive them to the polling place.

Whites at the lowest end of the income scale vote Democratic.
Lower middle class whites tend to favor the GOP
Blacks are disproportionately poor, and vote heavily Democratic

Voter ID laws are a relatively new mantra by GOP lawmakers.

They are targeted at blacks.

If blacks voted R, there would not be a hue and cry by the GOP for voter ID laws.

Disparate impact is a well established benchmark used to show institutional racial bias.

Thus, to my way of looking at it, voter ID laws are inherently racist.

Are they a racist for advocating Voter ID? Does being callous to a disproportionate impact make you a racist?

If they are cognizant of the disproportionate impact and proceed nonetheless, then yes, they are.

Did redlining only affect black people?

Is is racist?

Come on, folks. This is not rocket science.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agrees re. Texas.

Relevant: The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein.

I started it recently, but I don't know if I can stand to finish it.

A right either exists or it doesn't.

Gays have the right of access to public accommodations.

Religious people have the right to exercise their religion.

Sometimes different people's rights, all of which exist, conflict.

The question, for me, is what constitutes a "public accommodation"? Clearly, a hotel or other housing qualifies. Likewise a restaurant (or bar). But does the term include any business? Including any and every possible business seems like a bit of a stretch.

I don't have a comprehensive answer that I'm happy with. But I don't think I'd go quite as far as a wedding cake bakery which is entirely takeout. Maybe what I'm groping towards is something like "suppliers of necessities are covered; suppliers of luxuries are not." Still trying to figure it out.

I'm probably restating what someone else already wrote, but Republicans could try to support policies that would help black people close the numerous gaps by which they fall behind the overall population, thereby winning some number of black votes. Instead, they leave that to the Democrats and try to keep black people from voting. That's racist. Perhaps it's systemically racist rather than individually racist, but I'm not sure who is making that particular system possible, other than a number of individuals.

"Let's fnck over black people with our policies, while also fncking black people over at the polling place so we don't pay the price electorally."

I suppose it's possible that the goal of the first part isn't to fnck over black people, and that Republicans just happen to favor policies that just happen to fnck over black people. And the second part isn't done to fnck over black people, per se, but it's necessary to enact the policies that just happen to fnck over black people.

It is a crazy world, after all.

The question, for me, is what constitutes a "public accommodation"?

Yes, that is certainly one dimension of the overall question.

The best solution I've heard suggested was Areala's: if you want to restrict who you will serve, for some or all of the products and services you offer, you make that explicit in your advertising and signage.

Don't want to make wedding cakes for gays? Advertising and on-prem signage says "We do not make wedding cakes for gays".

That way nobody has to make cakes for folks they don't want to make cakes for, and nobody has to go through the insulting exercise of having a potential baker tell them how repugnant their lifestyle is.

That might cost you business, then again it might win you business. I'm sure there's a market for 100% hetero cakes out there somewhere.

What I would *really* like is a crisp definition of what the "exercise of religion" means. Nowadays even for-profit corps have a spiritual life.

I keep looking for the passage about for-profit corps in Paul's letters, to no avail. Torah, sutras, Bhagavad-Gita, Koran, still no luck. Egyptian book of the dead, still no black letter corporate law.

But I digress.

An aside : Areala, if you're reading this, we miss you. Come visit.

Are they a racist for...

Racists are as racists do. If anyone has a better formulation, I'm all ears.

If the shoe fits, wear it. If you don't like it, change your shoe size.

Just saying.

wj, if business owners can refuse to serve me because I don’t practice their religion, we have lost the public square. Or, more accurately, a long list of minorities will, in the end, have lost it.

Some business owners say they want to turn away gays because homosexuality is against their (the business owners’) religion. Well, divorce is against a lot of the same people’s religion (or at least remarriage after divorce), but I don’t see those people refusing to serve divorced folks.

At bottom I don’t think this is about religion at all, it’s about people being squicky about homosexuality. But suppose it is sincerely about religion. Should Catholic business owners be able to turn away people who eat meat on Friday? (I suppose I’m dating myself; do they still have that rule?) Muslims/halal. Jews/kosher. Etc.

Would you feel so ambiguous about it if some business owners said it was sinful for the races to mix, so they won't let black people in their stores?

These excuses can be extended ad infinitum. If everyone was allowed to turn away people who didn't follow *their* religious strictures, we couldn't have a public square at all. Or rather, we’d go back to the days when in fact the public square was not available to blacks or gays on an equal basis with whites and straights.

Rights do collide, but I don’t think this is the best example.

[Several comments appeared while I was replying to wj. I haven't read them yet...]

There was a ruling in Maine a while back (I didn't follow so don't know if it was appealed) that a business owner (a factory, I think) could not forbid employees from keeping weapons in their cars on company property during the work day.

What if I want to keep guns out of my store?

Which brings to mind another thing. There's all kinds of shit I abhor (carrying assault weapons in a peaceful public place being one of them) that I can't justify by an appeal to organized religion. This means that self-styled "Christian" beliefs are privileged over mine.

Freedom "from" religion was one of the high motifs of my thinking during the many years of gay rights and gay marriage referenda in my home state. I find homophobic religions just as disgusting as they find my relationship choices. Can I therefore refuse to bake them a cake?

wj: I really wish much more of the GOP had your attitudes and inclinations. Then we could have HUGE fights over a few percentage points of marginal tax rates, but avoid lots of animus.

Except for wedding cakes. Them's fightin' words.

Legally requiring someone to engage in artistic expression, (personalized cakes, flower arrangements, photography, etc.), for someone else's benefit starts to shade into First Amendment issues.

Can I therefore refuse to bake them a cake?

*They* would say (and in fact have said to me out loud) that no I can't, because first amendment blah blah blah. In other words, they can appeal to their religion to discriminate against me but I can't cite my beliefs (about their religion) as a reason to discriminate against them.

Bah.

... starts to shade into First Amendment issues.

I mean the freedom of speech part of the 1A.

if business owners can refuse to serve me because I don’t practice their religion, we have lost the public square.

That's pretty much how I see it.

If you prefer an extraordinarily broad reading of "exercise of religion" to preserving the basic ability of people to go buy stuff they need from folks who had put themselves out in public as providers of that stuff, so be it.

But you're giving up something pretty important. To make sure somebody doesn't have to make a cake for an event they don't agree with.

If we're going there, there are going to be lots of things folks aren't going to want to make cakes for. Or paint houses for. Or fix plumbing for. Or sell cars for. Or, whatever.

There are lots of forms of expression guaranteed by the Bill of Rights beyond just the exercise of religion.

If you show up to my hotel in the middle of the night with a Trump sticker on your car, I might just tell you to pound sand. Need gas on a long stretch of empty road? Hope you brought your walking shoes. Car broke down and you need a tow? Sorry, we're too busy tonight, call somebody else.

I don't want to associate with Trumpies. Piss off.

You don't want to make a wedding cake for gays, you got nothing to say about it. Go sleep in your car. You shoulda gassed up before you left home. Hope you're not too far from home, maybe you can get a cab.

Be careful what you wish for.

Legally requiring someone to engage in artistic expression, (personalized cakes, flower arrangements, photography, etc.), for someone else's benefit

If you're getting paid, it's not "for someone else's benefit".

we’d go back to the days when in fact the public square was not available to blacks or gays on an equal basis with whites and straights.

Please see my comment upthread about reverting to a steady state of basic, everyday racism. Or sexism, or homophobia.

There doesn't need to be a weird apocalyptic revolution. Simply eroding what people have, literally, given their lives to achieve, seems like failure to me.

What we are talking about is a basic, rudimentary, every-day acceptance of the fact that people who aren't like you exist in the same public space that you do. And, are entitled to do so, and should do so.

People bleat about "identity politics". As if there was some kind of politics that was not "identity politics".

"Identity politics" is about not excluding people because they aren't like you. "Political correctness" is about not being fucking rude to people.

It's about not calling Jada Pinkett a "monkey actress". It's about not calling Asians "slopes" and "riceballs". It is, for that matter, not calling people who speak with a southern accent a cracker, or assuming they are ignorant trash.

Right?

It's about not telling people who ask you to bake them a cake exactly how abhorrent their very existence is, to you. It's about not following black people around in your store because you assume they're here to rob you, because they're black.

It's about not assuming that every woman who wears a hijab, or every man who has olive skin and a big beard, is planning to cut your throat as soon as you turn your back.

It's about not treating people like shit, just because you can get away with it. It's about recognizing, acknowledging, and getting the hell over your own, personal, freaking fear of anyone who isn't just like you.

Briefly, it's about growing the hell up.

That's what "political correctness" is. Another word for it is "being a decent human being". Or at least acting like one in public.

It's not a big ask.

"It's about not treating people like shit, just because you can get away with it. It's about recognizing, acknowledging, and getting the hell over your own, personal, freaking fear of anyone who isn't just like you."

Unless they shave their head and have an 88 ratio. Then you can do what you want.

It's about not calling Asians "slopes"...

On the other hand, The Slants...

i try to keep up, but i have to admit that i have no idea what an "88 ratio" is.

What I would *really* like is a crisp definition of what the "exercise of religion" means. Nowadays even for-profit corps have a spiritual life.

I am fine with corporations being, legally, "persons" for the purpose of making contracts or being sued. But for the purpose of religion, or free speech, or political activity? That's just nuts.

And I wouldn't limit that to just for-profit corporations. If you want to create a company for the purpose of pooling funds for political action, fine. But you have to have 100% transparency on who the biologic persons are who put up the money. And no layering -- your PAC's contributors can't be other organizations.

Explicitly including other corporations. If your company, as an organization, wants to engage in politics, including lobbying, either it does so on behalf of its owners, or the owners do so as individuals. Necessarily, if organizations hold stock in your company, you don't get to play. Your executives can do so, of course, but only as individuals and with their own funds.

ah do you mean an 88 tattoo? we're back to antifa, i take it.

if i see a shaved head and an 88 tattoo, i stay the hell away.

glad that somebody is standing up for rights of people with sekrit nazi crap indelibly etched into their flesh.

announce to the world that you'd love to see people who aren't just like you baked in an oven, and maybe you neeed to set your expectations about the milk of human kindness fairly low.

Snarki: Then we could have HUGE fights over a few percentage points of marginal tax rates, but avoid lots of animus.

You may be SOL. I embrace the concept of "enough". When you are making enough money to cover necessities, have adequate funds set aside for emergencies and have funded your retirement, and are bringing in money as fast as you can spend it, you unarguably are making enough. At that point, the only purpose for making more is to impress people who have no clue about the actual value of what you do. (To put it crudely, at that point it's just a dick measuring contest.)

That being the case, marginal tax rates above there are meaningless. The people that you, for whatever reason, want to impress can look at your pre-tax pay. So even a 100% marginal tax rate wouldn't be a problem. I have heard a variety of arguments otherwise; I have yet to hear a persuasive one.

We can, I suppose, argue about how much reasonably constitutes "enough". Will that do?

I suspect General Robert E. Lee was gay.

All of that mincing at the Appomattox Courthouse.

Nevertheless, I would make a statue of a cake and set it next to the statue of Robert E. Lee marrying the statue of his first cousin, Nathaniel E. Lee, just to watch pigfucking republicans tear down all three statues to satisfy their fucking fake spirituality regarding wedding cakes, which God frowned upon in general, though God didn't seem to mind the 600,000 plus slaughtered during the Civil War, but then God set low standards for shitheads.

But, maybe instead I would take the cake down to the bakery and leave it there to visit with the other cakes.

Geez, wj, are you sure you're a Republican?

"Enough." What a concept!

Can I have enough to go live in London for a few years? (I would be glad to keep working. :-)

I've watched some of the Slants' heavy metal videos.

I suspect if a Nazi walked up to them and called them "slopes", they'd find the chink in his armor and deal him out.

So, if Hitler walked among us today (he does, but without the panache) and began holding gigantic rallies drawing adoring crowds of tens of thousands of free-speech-loving Jew burners, who also walk among us, hoarding their baked goods, and calling for the annexation of Czechoslovakia and Poland into the state of Texas, who among you would object if a I stifled his free speech by putting a bullet in his head, or a bomb in his birthday cake?

I suspect rump would find the Fuhrer a strong, decisive leader and would lease space to him in Trump Tower.

What would republicans do if for-profit corporations not only had spiritual lives, but had sexual love lives as well. And some percentage of them were gay and wanted to merge with each other in ceremonies down at the courthouse, just like the straight corporations are permitted to do (and then celebrate their mergers with their investment bankers by paying women to jump out of cakes at the local gentleman's club)?

Would Republicans demand the State of Delaware leave the Union for hosting such behavior?

Someone please prove to me that the Koch Corporation is nothing other than a gay male review dressed up as Hermann Goehring, whose daughter had herself sterilized, not so that she would pass down his homosexuality, mind you, homosexuality never harmed anyone, but so that she would not pollute the gene pool with right-wing fascism.

Frankly, I wouldn't buy a cake from a conservative, even though I'm straight, because I'd be afraid the things they say about conservatives might be true, that they piss in the cake batter.

Geez, wj, are you sure you're a Republican?

Actually, I think there are a fair number of, perhaps the traditional label is Main Street Republicans. We actually live the religious admonition to care for others, treat our neighbors (all of them, not just the ones who happen to be like us) as we would wish to be treated, etc. All those traditional values that get lip service, but no more, from too many.

No question, our party has been largely taken over by the fanatics of various types. But we haven't ceased to exist.

Someone please prove to me that the Koch Corporation is nothing other than a gay male review dressed up as Hermann Goehring

I think you are confusing the Koch brothers, who are basically rabid libertarians, with the religious fundamentalist KnowNothings. They have a marriage of convenience, it's true. But it's a loveless marriage.

http://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/08/15/its-the-economy-stupid-2/

Republican bugs dismantle the public infrastructure in their midwestern states just as midwesterners turn to republicans to fuck the rest of the country.

See that Youngstown Sheet and Tube ruin in the photo. Just as I was born near my maternal grandparents in Middletown, Ohio, home of various recent fake cracker conservative philosophers, just so my paternal great uncle, Frank Purnell, was Chairman of the Board of Youngstown Sheet and Tube in its heyday. In Youngstown, Ohio, where my paternal grandparents lived.

Though he died around the time I was born, I spent many hours as a child and teenager running up the palatial front stairwell in his wife's, my great Aunt's house and down the back servants stairwell thru the kitchen in an endless game of hide and seek with my brother.

When we buried my mother in Youngstown, next to my Dad and sister, two years ago, we kids stopped at the house on a whim and rang the doorbell and an elderly woman who lives there now, graciously invited us in and let us look around. The house was sold in the mid 1970s.

I resisted taking the stairs two at a time, but my son with with us so he could see one of my childhood haunts.

This be Frank Purnell:

https://www.google.com/search?q=frank+purnell+youngstown+sheet+and+tube&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjMxPL__-7VAhVk1oMKHZsjDngQsAQIOw&biw=1523&bih=735

My father and my brother were named after him.

Funny story. He was a very conservative Republican, but Franklin Roosevelt, whom he hated, called him numerous times to Washington to galvanize corporate America for the WWII effort.

It was either on one of those trips or one to NYC that my great aunt and my grandmother, his sister, has to board the train East and retrieve him because he was hold up in a tony hotel room, drunk for a month (those corporate titans can put it away; in fact, most corporations themselves are alcoholics, being the people conservatives hold them to legally be) and entertaining most of the Rocketts and various young ingenues in his boudoir.

Not clear how many abortions resulted from this republican behavior, but then he could afford it ... and I expect ... condemn it.


wj, we may have to place you in a museum. ;)

JanieM: In other words, they can appeal to their religion to discriminate against me but I can't cite my beliefs (about their religion) as a reason to discriminate against them.

Bah.

THIS.

Except "bah" is an utterly inadequate reaction. The language of Shakespeare and Twain is rich with invective. Let's not be stingy with it. Try "Eat my shorts!" for instance.

Seriously, and fully intending to offend any godbotherers who think their "faith" gives them more rights than atheists have: go piss up a rope.

Also seriously: "88" tattoos?! Is Marty a high priest of the Church of Both Sides Do It, or what?

--TP

Speaking of drunk republicans:

"Once a president has verified his identity with a code kept constantly on his person or nearby, the military chain of command has no power to block his launch orders. [...]

[Clapper said]: If “in a fit of pique [Trump] decides to do something about Kim Jong-un, there’s actually very little to stop him. The whole system is built to ensure rapid response if necessary. So there’s very little in the way of controls over exercising a nuclear option, which is pretty damn scary.”

Clapper did not mention Richard Nixon, who was involved in a tense stand-off with North Korea in 1969, after the regime shot down a US spy plane. Nixon is reported to have gotten drunk and ordered a tactical nuclear strike, which was only averted by his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger.

Nixon’s biographers Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan quoted a top CIA official, George Carver, as saying: “The joint chiefs were alerted and asked to recommend targets, but Kissinger got on the phone to them. They agreed not to do anything until Nixon sobered up in the morning.”

Conservatives will rush in and tell us but rump doesn't drink.

Yeah, O.K.


RE: Gay wedding cakes and public accommodations …

I’m confused by some of the responses.

The CRA spells out what qualifies as a public accommodation. States can go beyond that, but for purposes of discussion, I’ll just leave it at the Federal definition that lists hotels, restaurants and “places of public exhibition and entertainment”, i.e., theaters and stadiums.

So when russell gives an example of not renting a hotel room to someone with a Trump bumper sticker, that would definitely be covered by the public accommodation portion of the CRA. Whether someone with a Trump bumper sticker is part of the protected class is doubtful and if that was the point then I’m confused for different reasons.

russell goes on to say: "What we are talking about is a basic, rudimentary, every-day acceptance of the fact that people who aren't like you exist in the same public space that you do. And, are entitled to do so, and should do so."

How is a wedding cake shop a “public space”? Are you advocating that any private business open to the public should treated as a public square? That would be pretty radical. The CRA extended protection to certain classes so they would be able to access the services of a limited list of private business categories. The “restaurant” category in the CRA is limited to establishments “engaged in selling food for consumption on the premises”. How does a wedding cake shop fit in that category?

JanieM frames this a freedom of religion issue and that’s not the first time I’ve seen that formulation, but I really don’t think that’s the legal issue. A person could be a homophobic atheist wedding cake shop owner and refuse to sell a cake to gay couple without violating the CRA. The CRA § 201 deals with extending some constitutional rights that were limited to public spaces to a limited list of private businesses. It really is a private property rights issue more than a freedom of religious expression issue.

As an aside, JanieM wonders if she can keep someone carrying a gun out of her store, and in terms of federal law the answer is “yes”. In fact, I doubt a state law that requires a private business owner to allow guns on site would be unconstitutional. The employee’s gun in the car in the employer’s parking lot is different. That’s an attempt to strike a balance between the employer's desire to maintain safety and the employee's desire to protect himself or herself with a firearm. The line has been drawn so that the employee can have a gun in his or her car, but the employer can prohibit removing that gun from the car while on business property.

Similar to russell, JanieM discusses the negative impact on the “public square”. So I’ll repeat my question, how is a wedding cake shop part of the “public square”?

If you feel that the wedding cake shop should be part of the “public square”, then where do you draw the line? The obvious next question is what about the homophobic wedding photographer? Can that person be forced to work a gay wedding?

Finally, as an aside since you guys don’t know me, I’m completely in favor of marriage equality. I’ve been fighting for it since the DOMA days. FWIW, I personally think the government should be out of the “marriage” business altogether as marriage is a religious sacrament, but rather offer civil unions to any pair of consenting adults not already part of a union.

Concerning voter disenfranchisement and race I think the GOP is mixed on that. Most of the establishment these days (at the federal level at least) is in the 'disenfranchise those that don't vote for us regardless of race, personal beliefs, sexual orientation etc.' camp. They likely see it just as a bonus that the victims are primarily minorities because the party at the same time appeals to those that hate those minorities for the same tactical reasons. But (in particular on the state level) there are still significant parts of the GOP that would hate it, if minorities started to vote for them and would push the same disenfranchisement laws. 'we do not want their votes'. And some are cowards that fear to be seen as too n-word-friendly, if they do not push for discrimination, although they themselves lack the specific prejudice.
For a non racially charged example look at Congress where GOP bills are not brought up for a vote because they could only pass with some Dem votes which would taint GOPsters with the dreaded bipartisanship, risking the wrath of the base

There were btw Jews in Germany that were ardent Nazis and extremly disappointed that they were not allowed to join in. On the other end of the spectrum at least one candidate for German president (post WW2) made it explicit that he would not accept his own election, if he got the majority only through votes from the extreme Right (a real possibility since the contest was quite close, so the handful of extremist electors could have tipped the scales).

EDIT: In fact, I doubt a state law that requires a private business owner to allow guns on site would be unconstitutional.

It really is a private property rights issue more than a freedom of religious expression issue.

In the Masterpiece Cakeshop case (which is up for review by the Supremes), the parties agreed that the cakeshop was a public accommodation.

Finally, as an aside since you guys don’t know me, I’m completely in favor of marriage equality. I’ve been fighting for it since the DOMA days. FWIW, I personally think the government should be out of the “marriage” business altogether as marriage is a religious sacrament, but rather offer civil unions to any pair of consenting adults not already part of a union.

Right with you on this.

In the Masterpiece Cakeshop case (which is up for review by the Supremes), the parties agreed that the cakeshop was a public accommodation.

Posted by: sapient | August 24, 2017 at 07:39 AM

That's because Colorado extended the federal CRA. I couched my comments to be limited to the federal CRA for discussion purposes.

That's because Colorado extended the federal CRA. I couched my comments to be limited to the federal CRA for discussion purposes.

Are there any actual cases under federal law? If not, why are we talking about it?

Are there any actual cases under federal law? If not, why are we talking about it?

Posted by: sapient | August 24, 2017 at 07:51 AM

I brought it up because I'm interested in where posters think the line should be drawn between the public square and a private citizen's right to be an asshole. The federal CRA was just a framing device.

Not to turn this into a comparative law exercise, but for the curious, Colorado defines "public accommodation" broadly as "any place of business engaged in any sales to the public and any place offering services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to the public". Co Code § 24-34-601(1). I actually think that too broad, but I'm probably in the minority here.

My interest in where others here would draw the line remains.

Pollo, thanks for trying to drive the conversation to some kind of clarity.

Personally, I figure that if you are opening the door to any custom, you're in the public square. Perhaps that is an insufficiently crisp legal definition.

In a (or my) perfect world, the right of gay people to marry, or indeed to participate in any of the institutions of public civil life, would never have been a question.

Also in a (or my) perfect world, if someone had a religious conviction that prevented them from providing some good or service for whatever reason, all parties would sit at table, discuss, and come to some amicable conclusion.

Don't want to make our cake? No harm no foul, we'll go next door. Win-win. Nobody loses.

In the real world, gays have taken literal beatings to earn the right to marry, be employed, and do 1,000 other things that everybody else in the world takes for granted.

In the real world, conservative Christians have decided that involvement, at any degree of separation, in something they don't approve of is an infringement on the practice of their faith.

Also in the real world, some conservative Christians are incapable of simply saying "no thanks", they have to do so using insulting language and claims of persecution and victimization.

So we end up with dueling rights. Which means we end up in court. Which means somebody loses. Maybe everybody. Except the attorneys.

IANAL. If you tell me the CRA doesn't cover bakeries, I am happy to defer to your greater knowledge.

No cakes for the happy couple.

But things like that erode public life. Somebody gets excluded.

The counter-argument is that, if we require people to do things that violate their conscience, their life is diminished.

My personal feeling is that, if your religious conscience makes it impossible for you to comply with normal social practice, the onus is on you to organize your life in a way to work around that. Rather than require the rest of the world to accommodate you.

But obviously, opinions differ on that point.

Long story short, I take your legal point, but the end result is still a diminishment of public life. Somebody is excluded from things that everyone else can have.

If there is no win-win available, that's what happens, I guess.

I *would* like a crisp definition of what "free exercise of religion" means under the law. The RFRA was passed to protect the sacramental use of peyote, an ancient indigenous American practice.

Now it covers making cakes and taking pictures for hire. Which seems, to me, a stretch.

So, if we're talking about wanting clarity, that's an area that could use some. IMO.

I still think Areala's suggestion was the best practical solution.

If you don't want to serve gays, make that explicit. "We don't serve gays". Or even "We don't make wedding cakes for same-sex marriages".

Right up front. Advertising and on-prem signage. Assuming you're in a jurisdiction where your bakery is not considered to be a public accommodation.

Then there's no mistake, nobody has to feel uncomfortable saying no, nobody has to sit and listen to some freaking baker tell them their very existence is abhorrent and they're probably going to hell.

If you have the conviction to take stuff like this to court, you should have the conviction to be up-front in how you present yourself to the world.

Not an ideal solution, but better than what we got now.

"...if your religious conscience makes it impossible for you to comply with normal social practice, the onus is on you to organize your life in a way to work around that. Rather than require the rest of the world to accommodate you...."

Paging Amish and Mennonites on line 1. Oh wait, they don't do that, or some don't.

It's not like good examples of "belief wins over engagement with the rest of society" don't exist, it's just that the christianist cake-bakers are too lazy and hypocritical to do more than talk the talk.

So yes, they deserve all of the mockery they get.

I think the American cake-consuming public should also know whether gays, married or not, provide the labor that goes into baking a cake.

We'll get to the pies later.

Did any LGBT citizens mill the flour used in the cake?

Did the bake shop engage, if you will pardon the expression, a gay commercial broker to lease the space the cakes use to bide their time before being ravaged by straight newlyweds and their families and guests?

Did any gay men or women give their lives on the battlefields during World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan to secure the American constitutional right to own a bakery and bake cakes.

You don't see cake shops in North Korea, do you?

But wait, mandating truth in advertising via gummint fiat would be onerous regulation, or so say the same people who want to deny cake to men who date.

When Marie Antoinette purportedly issued the command "Let them eat cake", did anyone raise their hand and object: "Well, except for the gays. And no croissants for them either. Come to think of it, the next sans-cullote who
sneaks an eclair to an effete member of the Court will be off to the Bastille to enjoy the conversation of the Marquis de Sade, who will show them novel ways of employing cake in the bedroom.

No, they didn't. Because they knew she was talking about bread and who may have it and who mayn't and they chopped off her head just below her pie hole.

I was kind of on board with you, russell. But then this popped into my head:

NO COLOREDS!!!

Andrew Bacevich, West Point graduate:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/robert-e-lee-at-west-point/

I had occasion on my road-trip to drive up the Hudson Valley right past West Point and if I wasn't on my way to visit my 91-year old uncle in the VA just north of there, I would have stopped in for the tour. I saw it as a child.

As an intellectual exercise, I can't decide who was more of a traitor, Lee or Chelsea Manning.

Yet one received cake and the other the prison jello with canned fruit suspended in it.

Also seriously: "88" tattoos?! Is Marty a high priest of the Church of Both Sides Do It, or what?

Not just that, but people aren't born Nazis. People decide to be Nazis. You don't have to be a Nazi.

On the other hand, if you are born to parents who are black, you have no choice but to be black. If you are born gay, you have no choice but to be gay.

People do have some choice in religion, but it's embedded deeply enough into some people's identities and has been the basis for discrimination for ... well, probably forever, such that protections are justified.

Being a Nazi, not so much. Fail.

and, as always, i think anyone who cites their religion in order to discriminate, but who is happy to publicly violate other tenets of their professed religion, does not get legal dispensation to discriminate.

do you tolerate women who speak in church? bake the fncking cake.

NO COLOREDS!!!

Yep.

Really, to answer pollo's question, my opinion is that if you open your door to all custom, then you open your door to all custom.

Full stop.

Very presidential!!!

hsh: NO COLOREDS!!!

Indeed.

cleek_etc.: i think anyone who cites their religion in order to discriminate, but who is happy to publicly violate other tenets of their professed religion, does not get legal dispensation to discriminate.

Repeating myself, but ...

My version would be along a different parameter: do the cake-bakers discriminate against people who commit other kinds of sins? Oh, no? Gee...

This is more about homophobia than religion, which is a convenient after the fact justification. Besides homophobia, there's also some culture war stuff. Lord knows the "Christians" (note that's different from Christians) are the real victims here.

For the whole subject from a different angle: what about Catholic hospitals wanting to exclude birth control from their employees' health insurance benefits?

P.S. Back to cleek: I think there are some people who practice, or try to practice, their religion faithfully. But I bet there's not a cake-baker (standing in for businesspeople of all kinds) on earth who gives a flying banana about any customers' sins except same-sex marriage.

've gone on about this ad nauseam, but here it is again. This kind of stuff is happening because there is no longer a foundation of agreed facts and reality, as conveyed in schools, by the media, etc etc. Maybe it started with...

as always, i blame the internet.

if you have an opinion on something, the internet will back it up with things that sound like facts, and will then lead you to a group of people who agree. and there's never a need to deal with people who disagree, as long as you don't turn off your computer.

hsh: the choice issue goes back to the first amendment (religious freedom) argument. Back during the gay rights wars in my state, people on the other side often cited the notion that gayness is a choice, people aren't born that way, and choices shouldn't be protected; if you didn't want the consequences of being gay, don't be gay, ha ha.

(Gay people had varying opinions on whether this was a good argument to get into, and whether arguing it wasn't a choice was cowardly. But never mind that for now.)

If you told the opposition that religion was a choice too, the "first amendment blah blah blah" came out. "OUR choice is protected. Yours is not," was the basic theme.

My version would be along a different parameter: do the cake-bakers discriminate against people who commit other kinds of sins?

i like that one, too!

But I bet there's not a cake-baker (standing in for businesspeople of all kinds) on earth who gives a flying banana about any customers' sins except same-sex marriage.

exactly.

the "my religion says i can't" is a BS, bad-faith (literally) argument. and the government has no business sanctioning that nonsense.

I blame the internet too.

It use to be my entire life I had to sit thru holiday dinners and listen to conservatives bloviate on their tax burdens and "those people" and what we oughta do is we oughta to go in there and the budget be damned, while I passed the gravy, since fuck you wasn't permitted at the dinner table.

Now, I can bloviate too at will and ruin the country.

I think Valerie Plame should buy the internet and kick all of us off the thing so I have more time to get the reading done.

The comments to this entry are closed.