Free Birth Control and Unfree Photographers

Dubious rights threaten true liberty.

According to The New York Times, a case the Supreme Court heard in March, involving a challenge to Obamacare's requirement that businesses pay for their employees' contraceptives, "pits religious liberty against women's rights." Similarly, the recent controversy over an Arizona bill aimed at protecting business owners from being forced to treat homosexual and heterosexual couples alike was widely perceived as a conflict between religious liberty and gay rights.

Both of these debates are more accurately described as clashes between real rights and fake rights. They pit negative liberty, which requires freedom from external restraint, against positive liberty, which imposes demands on other people's resources. Under the latter vision, giving freedom to one person requires taking it away from another.

In the Supreme Court case, two family-owned businesses, the craft store chain Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Pennsylvania cabinet manufacturer, argue that forcing them to provide health insurance that covers birth control methods they view as tantamount to abortion violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Under that law, "government may substantially burden a person's exercise of religion" only if it is "the least restrictive means" of serving a "compelling governmental interest."

That was the test the Supreme Court applied under the First Amendment until 1990, when it decided any burden was acceptable as long as it was imposed by a neutral, generally applicable statute. A nearly unanimous Congress responded by passing RFRA.

Arizona has its own version of RFRA. S.B. 1062, the bill that Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed last February in response to nationwide criticism, would have clarified that the law protects businesses and that it applies to legal actions brought by private citizens. The bill's chief sponsor said he was reacting to a discrimination complaint against a New Mexico photographer who declined to take pictures of a gay wedding. There have been similar cases involving a Colorado bakery and a Washington florist.

Arizona currently recognizes no such cause of action, so S.B. 1062 would have had no immediate effect on interactions between businesses and gay couples. And if Arizona's legislature one day decided to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, the ban could still be upheld as "the least restrictive means of furthering [a] compelling governmental interest."

But does the government have a compelling interest in forcing people to accept behavior that violates their deeply held beliefs? There is an important difference between requiring the government to treat gay and straight couples the same and requiring private citizens to do so. One is a matter of equal treatment under the law, while the other is intolerance disguised as its opposite.

Similarly, there is an important difference between demanding that the government refrain from interfering with people's reproductive choices and demanding that business owners subsidize them. Just as no one has a right to pictures taken by an unwilling photographer, no one has a right to an IUD or a Plan B pill purchased with the money of people who do not want to pay for it.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) disagrees. "We don't allow religious beliefs to be used to discriminate against others," says Brigitte Amiri, a senior attorney with the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project, explaining why the Supreme Court should uphold the contraceptive mandate. ''Religious freedom is a fundamental right," says Daniel Mach, director of the ACLU's Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, "but it's not a blank check to harm others or impose our faith on our neighbors."

That is why, according to Mach, photographers, bakers, and florists must be conscripted for gay weddings. Exactly who is imposing on whom in that situation? By choosing positive liberty over negative liberty, the ACLU is forsaking the freedoms it claims to defend.

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  • Paul.||

    Any 'right' in which a service, product or labor must be provided by another is a privilege, not a right at all.

    And comments still broken on this Saturday morning? I AM DISAPPOINT.

    I HAVE A RIGHT TO TROUBLE FREE COMMENTING.

    OCCUPY REASON!

  • Sevo||

    "OCCUPY REASON!"

    Naah.
    If you're a contributor to Reason and find the web site one of the products you enjoy from your contribution, it's much simpler:
    Knock a buck or ten bucks off the contribution for every day it's acting like the O-care site!
    Hit 'em in the wallet, where it hurts.

  • Cap'n Krunch||

    I disagree. Any right or privilege which requires someone else to provide you a service, product or labor is servitude. A right or privilege requires nothing of anyone else. I have the right to chew gum, I have no right to make you pay for my gum or sell me your gum or make gum for me to chew. Constitutionally my right to chew gum is solely because the state I reside in chooses to allow me that right, the federal government has no duty or power to protect that right or deny that right. If my state decides to issue gum chewing permits or only allows me to chew gum because I'm a white male then my right becomes a privilege.

    Where trouble free comes into it I don't know, I think that was just some poop that flopped out of your brain onto my monitor.

  • Rhino||

    No. You have rights independent of the state. If the state decides to issue gum chewing permits or only allows you to chew gum because you're a white male, then the state is infringing upon your rights. It is declaring ownership of you by saying you can only exercise your rights if they say you can. You have rights without the state. It makes more sense to think of rights as ethics. Just because you have a right to do something doesn't mean others will respect that. Just like, just because it's immoral to kill, doesn't mean that there aren't people who kill. So, you have rights, and it's your responsibility to protect them because there are people out there who will infringe upon them. Especially governments.

  • buybuydandavis||

    The right to force labor from another person against their will.

    There used to be a word for that...

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Progressiveism

  • Number 2||

    And this is why I refuse to take the ACLU seriously as a "civil rights" organization.

  • GroundTruth||

    +1

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    By choosing positive liberty over negative liberty, the ACLU is forsaking the freedoms it claims to defend.


    What else is new?

    Some ACLU local chapters are better than others, but as a whole the organization is decidedly mixed on freedom.

  • DJF||

    Some seem to think that their job is to protect all rights proclaimed in the Communist Manifesto

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Some ACLU local chapters are better than others, but as a whole the organization is decidedly mixed on freedom."

    Like all relatively large advocacy organizations, their budgets are driven by donors, and the positions they stake out are a function of what their donors want.

    The same thing happens with lots of other causes and organizations. Burning natural gas releases 40% less CO2 into the atmosphere than coal--so why did the Sierra Club come out against closing coal plants and opening more that burn natural gas?

    Because fracking is in the news, and coming out big against fracking generates more donations right now. They're got overhead! Their staff can't work for free.

    And it's the same thing at the ACLU, I'm sure. If many of their important donors are openly hostile to the Second Amendment, then don't expect to hear a lot of support for the Second Amendment coming from them.

  • WDATPDIM?!||

    What Ken said. The ACLU is basically selling its legal services to the biggest/most donors.

  • Professor Woland||

    They were on the side of the angels with the whole Citizens United thing if I remember correctly, I'm sure that pissed off a lot of their supporters. But, on the whole the organization is a mixed bag at best.

  • Robert||

    Well, yeah, but that doesn't explain why so many of the CLUs's important donors would be openly hostile to 2nd Amendment. Devolution of blame isn't much of an analysis.

    I think the reason they're openly hostile to RKBA is the same reason open carry evokes so much more heated opposition than concealed carry: it's a totem of violence, and these people oppose the thought of violence. They don't oppose the threat of violence much, as long as they don't see actual violence.

  • Rhino||

    Open carry is not violent. The whole point is to publicly display that you have a firearm and nobody is in any danger, thus proving that people who think people should not be allowed to own or carry guns are hysterical and not to be taken seriously. In most cases, if the intent was self defense, then the person would conceal and you wouldn't know they had a gun. Open carry is mostly done for activist purposes.

  • Robert||

    I can't blame the CLUs much, because it's easy for people to get confused this way, and most of their members don't analyze that deeply but just either take what the leadership gives them, simply assumes they'll be a certain way, or quits.

    People are widely taught that historically there's been a big problem with religious oppression, wherein entire societies—their gov'ts, other organiz'ns, & individuals— undertake to be mean to devotees of certain religions. Being mean might mean anything from torturing & slaughtering them to shunning them & calling them names. This is generally seen as a bad thing in retrospect, and it's generally been true that the torturing & slaughtering have gone together or been in association with the name calling & shunning. So being in favor of religious freedom comes in most people's minds to mean not slaughtering & torturing their devotees, and mixing with & not saying mean things about them. So in this way of thinking, laws requiring mixing with and not insulting members of these groups just "go along with" laws against killing & torturing them.

  • Jonas Planck||

    Interesting... so you feel it's acceptable to forcibly compel ACLU lawyers to go against their personal beliefs and defend things that they don't want to defend?
    ...I suppose you're decidedly mixed on freedom. Someone selling a product or service has the right to refuse service to anyone they choose... BUT NOT LAWYERS! Lawyers MUST violate their beliefs!

  • ||

    Are you stupid, dishonest, or just illiterate? He said nothing about forcing lawyers to defend something against their beliefs. He criticized an organization that's supposedly about protecting people's freedoms for explicitly coming out against freedoms they don't like.

    If you're only interested in mental masturbation, I'm sure Huffington Post will welcome your auto-fellation.

  • logical_atomist||

    In general the ACLU is pretty good liberty stuff. Not nearly as good as most of the readers here are, but compared to just about any other group, way more often on the right side. I was a member for a while when Bush was president, but then I got a little fed up with some of their mindless progressivism and decided I couldn't support them anymore. But it was a little close because all the mainstream conservatives, so-called liberals, hard core progressives are so awful for a freedom lover.

  • The Baker||

    I just have a really hard time understanding how someone could think the appropriate response to "No thanks, I don't want your business" is "Put them in jail" it's such a ridiculous outcome and yet there are so many people celebrating it.

  • DJF||

    This came about with the 1960’s Civil Rights laws, we went from a bad system with government telling people they could not associate with each other and replaced it with another bad system where the government tells people they must associate with each other.

  • Paul.||

    Nicely summarized.

  • Virginian||

    RACSITT!!!!!!!!!!!1111one

  • WDATPDIM?!||

    Part of the narrative is that businesses wanted to discriminate. So only the Great White Father in Washington was capable of making sure that blacks would have access to goods and services.

  • Robert||

    I have a real easy time understanding it, and it's the same reason people support jail as a legal response to many things: deterrence. They don't expect many people to go to jail, they expect them to surrender and do as they are commanded. When deterrence fails, that's always a bad thing, but they consider the possibility of occasional war preferable to not maintaining any threat at all. The extreme example is nuclear weapons, which nobody has used or wanted to use in a long time; but it is thought the possibility of megadeaths is worth maintaining its threat.

  • Robert||

    Also, as to why people see it as appropriate particularly for making people do business, see my comment above. People have seen saying mean things about members of groups, and boycotting or otherwise shunning them, as on a continuum with expropriating, killing, and torturing them. Therefore people see the former as leading, perhaps causally rather than merely sequentially, to the latter, and they suspect that if people can be made to be nice to members of certain groups, that will prevent the group from being isolated to the point where the killing, torturing, etc. of them becomes thinkable. So it's like, jail a few people today to prevent future persons from establishing death camps.

  • poloniusium||

    The hilarious bit, if you're a cynical, dark humored person, is that trying to force people to be friendly and PC engenders more hatred and polarization that letting them freely associate or not.

  • DenverJay||

    The "throw them in jail" mindset seems endemic in the good ole US of A. We throw people in jail at the drop of a hat. Didn't pay your child support? Jail! Smoke a plant? Jail. Have a beer or two and get pulled over? Jail! Steal a pair of socks and it's your third offense? Prison! For life!

  • Ken Shultz||

    "They pit negative liberty, which requires freedom from external restraint, against positive liberty, which imposes demands on other people's resources. Under the latter vision, giving freedom to one person requires taking it away from another."

    Liberty is being free to make choices for yourself, and any "liberty" that doesn't respect people's freedom to make choices for themselves isn't really liberty.

    I think people get confused by cases where our liberties overlap and conflict with each other such as abortion, noisy neighbors, pollution, etc., but even in those cases, the parties are only wrong insofar as they disregard the right of other people to make choices for themselves.

    Certainly, forcing other people to do something against their will, like sign a lease, whatever else that may be, it can't properly be thought of as liberty.

  • Ted S.||

    You're not free unless you're free to be wrong.

    Let's see if this comment goes through....

  • Robert||

    Liberty is being free to make choices for yourself, and any "liberty" that doesn't respect people's freedom to make choices for themselves isn't really liberty.


    Not a true Scotsman, huh?

    Why isn't it liberty for A to capture & enslave B? It's liberty for A, but not for B. Or it could be liberty for both, if you allow whichever captures the other 1st to be master & the other, slave.

    You can make whatever liberties you want. What you mean is that some systems of liberty are inferior.

  • Ken Shultz||

    So long as someone is being forced to do something against their will, it isn't liberty. No true Scotsman doesn't have anything to do with it. You can call it forcing people to do something against their will "liberty" all day long, but that won't make it so.

    A thing is what it is and not something else. If liberty is the freedom to make choices for yourself, then having choices forced on you against your will can't be liberty.

    In fact, I've got a word for forcing people to do things against their will. I call it "crime". That's why rape is a crime, right? 'cause the victim didn't get to make a choice? That's why robbery and murder are crimes, too.

    Sometimes criminals are forced to go to prison against their will but a) that's supposed to be at the behest of a jury of your peers (rather than at the behest of government) and b) I'm not claiming that being forced to go to jail is "liberty".

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I'm not claiming that being forced to go to jail is "liberty".

    Ah, what the hell, it's Saturday!

    Being forced to go to jail can be liberty in a way. The trick is to deal with the "being forced" part. They're not absolutely "being forced".

    Generally speaking, an important component of convicting anyone of a felony should be mens rea. It's necessary to have meant to do what you did. If someone held a gun to your head, then you shouldn't be found guilty--because you didn't commit the crime of your own free will. See what I'm saying?

    In other words, rapists effectively consent to forgo their liberty and go to jail when they intentionally rape someone. To me, that's what mens rea is really all about--a crime was committed when the criminal intentionally chose to violate someone else's freedom to make a choice for themselves.

    At that point, it becomes something like in contract law. Is the government really forcing a choice on someone who violated a contract by rendering a judgement against him? I don't think so--not so long as the person defendant who violated the contract signed it willingly.

  • Robert||

    If liberty is the freedom to make choices for yourself, then having choices forced on you against your will can't be liberty.


    Of course. It's not your liberty. But it is the liberty of the person who's forcing you to do whatever it is, as long as that person has choice in the matter.

    Liberty can be had by some and not others, just as the fact that someone has a ham sandwich and someone else doesn't is not proof that ham sandwiches don't exist or aren't real.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Using your analogy, what I'm saying is that one of those sandwiches isn't like the other.

    One of them is a ham sandwich.

    The other one is a shit sandwich.

    You can call shit sandwiches "ham" all you like, but that doesn't make it so.

    Forcing other people to do things against their will isn't "liberty". Some people may call it that, but some people put lipstick on a pig and call it "Miss America".

    ...doesn't make it so.

    Liberty is being free to make choices for yourself. Liberty is not forcing other people to do things against their will.

    Some people may find some qualitative benefits in denying other people the freedom to make choices for themselves--and call that "liberty". But that doesn't make it liberty.

  • Robert||

    Language is useful to the degree people use words to mean the same thing. Maybe you have another word for the condition wherein you can make choices regarding your own life, and where you may or may not be allowed to make choices regarding other people's lives, that distinguishes it from the condition wherein you can make choices only re your own life, but if so, it's probably not in wide use. People have long understood liberty in the sense I've given it, and indeed it's been argued that the concept of liberty was derived largely thru the observ'n of the distinction between master & servant, the master's being said to have liberty and the servant's not. There are practically no observers who would say the master does not have liberty, but would gain liberty by freeing hir slaves! In fact I've never known anyone to use the word that way; you may be alone, so good luck communicating.

  • Mrs. Renard||

    "Maybe you have another word for the condition wherein you can make choices regarding your own life, and where you may or may not be allowed to make choices regarding other people's lives, that distinguishes it from the condition wherein you can make choices only re your own life, but if so, it's probably not in wide use. "

    See negative rights vs. positive right. Basic political science.

  • Mrs. Renard||

    "There are practically no observers who would say the master does not have liberty, but would gain liberty by freeing hir slaves! "

    In the above case the master has liberty the slave does not. If the master frees the slave the master's liberty does not change, it remains the same, and the slave now has liberty as well.

    The master's liberty does not come from his ability to have a slave, but from his ability to not be forced to be a slave. Look up negative and positive rights if you do not understand this distinction.

    Being able to force someone else to do what you want them to do is not the generally accepted definition of liberty. It is the generally accepted definition of tyranny.

    Yes, "Language is useful to the degree people use words to mean the same thing."

    You are confused.

  • Robert||

    No, I'm not confused, and neither are you, but Ken Shultz is. Backtrack the thread and you'll see.

    Positive & negative liberty are distinct things. However, "liberty" in the Ken Shultz sense is something else entirely that I don't think is how anybody else means either positive or negative liberty!

  • Robert||

    Being able to force someone else to do what you want them to do is not the generally accepted definition of liberty.


    And nobody here is saying it is. However, Ken Shultz says that not being able to force others to do stuff is a necessary condition of one's own liberty!

  • Mrs. Renard||

    Yes. I see what he says, but I don't see how your point addresses his. It seems like you are writing parallel to him.

    Ken Shultz is talking about liberty as a general quality of a society and you are talking about individual freedom.

    The positive right of an individual necessarily violates the negative right of another in that society. Yes. They are not the same person, but so what? Overall liberty in the society has decreased.

  • Mrs. Renard||

    I took him to mean that a positive liberty necessarily violates a negative liberty. Not in the same person, obviously.

  • GroundTruth||

    This is the key point that the socialist progressives conveniently and consciously ignore over and over.

    It's most unfortunate that "negative liberty" is what we (most commenters on Reason) know to be true liberty, whereas "positive liberty" is nothing but socialism in sheep's clothing. Clear wording perhaps, but it does make it just that much harder to sell the argument to my neighbor or coworker.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, if positive liberty is truly liberty, then is enslaving someone else the most positive "liberty" of all?

    That isn't liberty. It certainly isn't what any of us libertarians think of as liberty. Why perpetuate the misconception by calling it such?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "it's been argued that the concept of liberty was derived largely thru the observ'n of the distinction between master & servant, the master's being said to have liberty and the servant's not."

    I've read Orlando Patterson writing about the origin of freedom as the opposite of slavery. I don't remember him suggesting that enslaving people was somehow an example of liberty.

    And even if freedom as an ideal originated as the opposite state to that of slavery, that does not mean that freedom as we understand it today is dependent on anything like slavery now.

    Even if liberty originated as a reaction to slavery way back when, there's no need to conflate oppressing other people and liberty as the same thing now.

    AIR, Patterson wrote about tribes enslaving other people as a very primitive conception of freedom.

    "In fact I've never known anyone to use the word that way; you may be alone, so good luck communicating."

    You think I'm alone?

    How many other people define a free society as a place where people are forced to do things against their will?

    How many people think that the totalitarian governments of the 20th Century were the freest societies of all?

  • Mrs. Renard||

    According to you tyranny isn't tyranny it is liberty (for the tyrant).

  • Robert||

    It's at least compatible with liberty for the tyrant. Whether the tyrant has liberty still depends on whether s/he's allowed to also make choices regarding hirself.

  • Mrs. Renard||

    As you said: "Language is useful to the degree people use words to mean the same thing."

    If you're calling a macro-tyranny compatible with some kind of micro-liberty for the tyrant and thus calling the state of tyranny compatible with a smidgen of liberty, then yes, we have left the realm of people using words to mean the same thing.

  • ||

    I think we need to separate this concept of pure liberty from a libertarian *system*, that is a set of rules (not that rules inherently restrict pure liberty), which govern relationships among free and equal people.

    Obviously, free people are going to come into conflict and there needs to be some system for resolving those conflicts in a fair and equitable manner.

    That's why we have principles like "equal justice under law".
    If we're going to treat everyone as autonomous equals, that has to include, among other things, not being compelled to do things you haven't contractually agreed to do.

    If we're all autonomous equals, then you cannot have any prior claim over my life, and I cannot have any prior claim over yours. Thus I have no moral right to compel you to act in my interest, no matter how dire my need is.

  • Ken Shultz||

    My observations aren't a system, per se. It's more like an observation.

    If we're going to answer questions like, "Why is it not a crime to kill someone in self-defense?", we're going to end up making some fundamental observations that come across like mens rea issues--you're not criminally responsible for killing in self-defense because you didn't have a choice. Indeed, that presence of choice seems to be fundamental to our ideas about crime and justice as well as freedom and oppression.

    I'm not looking at any system, per se. But I'm a big believer in fallibilism, especially the idea that the things that are most likely to be true are the things that have been most thoroughly scrutinized. And when I look at where we've landed as a culture on these questions, through 2,000 years of Western culture, I see choice as the fundamental foundation upon which our conceptions of liberty and justice stand.

    I'm not arguing a philosophical system. I'm making observations. When you sift through it all, at the end of the day, you can't talk about liberty without talking about choice. Even those who think of liberty as the ability to impose themselves on others aren't confused about what that means for the people who are being imposed on.

    Liberty means being free to make your own choices. If some people who doing the imposing are confused about that, well that doesn't really change anything. There are certainly very few people who think of themselves being imposed on as liberty.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "Similarly, the recent controversy over an Arizona bill aimed at protecting business owners from being forced to treat homosexual and heterosexual couples alike was widely perceived as a conflict between religious liberty and gay rights."

    Well, the *Reason* coverage at the time was quite hostile to the bill's sponsors, calling them all sorts of names, while obscuring the underlying issues.

    And the bill would have protected religious freedom for a broad range of dissenters, not just trogloditic homophobes. Indeed, the bill was based on a law passed overwhelmingly in Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton, safeguarding religious freedom against "accidental" infringement.

  • WDATPDIM?!||

    Well, the *Reason* coverage at the time was quite hostile to the bill's sponsors, calling them all sorts of names, while obscuring the underlying issues.

    Was it really?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Don't know if that's sarcasm or not, but here ya go:

    "...Arizona lawmakers are basically just being homophobic pricks...this is grandstanding..."

    http://reason.com/blog/2014/02.....oliticians

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "...stupid piece of nonsense...Update: Some Reason commenters argue I’m unfairly maligning the capacity of this law to expand freedom."

    http://reason.com/blog/2014/02.....o-deny-ser

  • WDATPDIM?!||

    Thanks. I totally forgot about that.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Way to go, cherry picker. Any objective reading of both those articles would make it obvious the objection was the very idea that government should be able to legislate in that field, whatever the legislation's goals or results.

    If you think that makes Reason's coverage despicable, you have failed reading comprehension 101 remedial. Next time, take your blinders off.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I can't really speak to "Reason"'s treatment on the issue (isn't the above article published through Reason?), that's really not the way either of the two articles reads. One article calls the pro-religious freedom legislation "pointless and stupid legislation intended to make some portion of the population feel unwelcome" with support for the legislation emerging from "homophobic pricks". The other calls it a "stupid piece of nonsense", putting "freedom of religion" in quotes as if it were not freedom of religion being protected by the legislation. The issue is characterized as "two sides fighting to control laws to control things that shouldn’t be controlled by laws", when on this specific issue (freedom of religious association) there is only one side promoting laws to "control things that shouldn't be controlled by laws".

    One notes that at the time of its passage, the Bill of Rights was just as redundant as the legislation in question -- yet I'm quite certain that Reason would not publish an article calling the First Amendment "a stupid piece of nonsense" merely on account of this redundancy (or at least, I'd hope not).

  • Trollo||

    I'm quite certain that Reason would not publish an article calling the First Amendment "a stupid piece of nonsense" merely on account of this redundancy (or at least, I'd hope not).

    Don't be so certain.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "If you think that makes Reason's coverage despicable"

    I said hostile to the bill's sponsors. Where did you get "despicable?" I bet you pulled that out of your...hat.

  • Zing||

    Way to go, cherry picker. Any objective reading of both those articles would make it obvious the objection was the very idea that government should be able to legislate in that field, whatever the legislation's goals or results.

    If you think that makes Reason's coverage despicable, you have failed reading comprehension 101 remedial. Next time, take your blinders off.

    This is totally the post of a person with no blinders.

    Seriously though, as someone with absolutely no dog in this fight, I read the article and found it inflammatory and childish. Feel free to insult me and question my bias, I won't take it personally.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I read it them to merely be saying that they were pushing for something which was correct but unnecessary, and that the reason they were pushing it was condemnatory. Imagine a Blue State legislature passing a law after the removal of the Mozilla fellow stating that personnel decisions based on political opinions were permitted, in a state where such was already the law, and because they were hoping more people would be so removed. Can't a libertarian magazine writer condemn that?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "ities in Arizona, Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, have adopted local ordinances that protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination in the workplace or places of public accommodation, such as a public restaurant or hotel....

    "The bill would give business owners in Phoenix, for example, a way out of the anti-discrimination ordinance in situations such as if the business owner can prove that treating gay couples equally would be a substantial burden on their religious beliefs, [attorney Kory Langhofer] said."

    http://azcapitoltimes.com/news.....edom-lgbt/

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    three cities in Arizona, etc.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Was Shackford aware of that when he wrote those pieces?

  • Trollo||

    Fuck off, Tulpa.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    No response necessary from those who can't make one.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Uh, I'll guess he *wasn't* aware.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think unless we know he was misinformed he was probably just operating under a premise he did not know was incorrect, which is different than being biased.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I said he was hostile to the bill's sponsors. He went off on a rant about how the law would not give any extra protection to businesses if they didn't want to serve gays.

    Whether you want to attribute his mistake to bias, or to just not taking the time to pick up the phone and talk to the bill's supporters, it was an unfortunate error, and was part of the reason the bill was "widely perceived" as conflicting with gay rights.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I should say part of the climate of opinion contributing the hostile reaction to the bill.

  • Virginian||

    that the reason they were pushing it was condemnatory

    I don't give a fuck about motivations, and anyone who does is an irrational fool. Results matter. Intentions are meaningless.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Our common law tradition must be an irrational fool then, because the exact same result can be guilty of murder, not guilty because homicide justified, or not guilty by insanity depending on different mindsets.

  • Virginian||

    That's some quality Botardation.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Yes, your comment was quite silly given that intent is a pretty fundamental way our society has understood how to judge actions for hundreds of years.

  • ||

    Doing is not the same as refraining from an action. Our legal system judges the intent someone has in TAKING an action AGAINST ANOTHER PERSON. It tells us whether their action was warranted in response to someone else's assault or not. Not the same as judging someone's lack of a desire to give or trade their property to another person.

    If you're too stupid to understand the difference, than just fuck off retard.

  • Virginian||

    Well darius gets it. But Bo doesn't. Because Bo is Botarded. It's like being retarded, but retards don't labor under the delusion that they are intelligent.

  • fuck you sockpuppet||

    .

  • Robert||

    Motivation is irrelevant after the fact. What's done is done. However, motiv'n is relevant before the fact. I'd rather be in a society where contemplating killing someone is contemplating doing something illegal, while merely understanding that you might accidentally kill someone in the ordinary course of life is not illegal.

  • Robert||

    An objective reading of those articles by longtime readers made that objection fairly clear, though maybe I wouldn't say "obvious"; but it was so larded with gratuitous, seemingly disclaiming language of the type Notorious G.K.C. highlighted that I wouldn't blame casual readers at all for thinking the opposite. It was like, "I'm holding my nose real tight while I take this position I sorta-hafta take, so who could blame you if you took the opposite position?" That is, if "position" is the right word for it.

  • ||

    The birth control case is especially idiotic because of the way it hinges upon a legal requirement that employers pay for their employees' health insurance. Almost everyone agree that the employer-based system is a terrible way of delivering health insurance to people. And yet the ACA makes it mandatory. If the ACA hadn't codified into law a mandate that employers pay for insurance, then Hobby Lobby and other could simply decline to provide health insurance, and that would be the end of the matter. So not only is the employer mandate NOT the "least restrictive means" of providing birth control to women, it is positively a perverse, stupid, and pointless complicated means of doing so. In part BECAUSE it compels people to participate in activities they find immoral.

    This is just one example of why the whole concept of "positive" rights is immoral. Because of the fact that they impose demands upon other people's resources, that means they cannot be implemented without forcing people into compulsory acts, such as mandating the purchase of insurance. And sometimes those acts that you have to force people to perform are going to be things they find morally abhorrent.

    Now, personally, I don't think there's anything immoral about birth control. But I do think it is immoral, and illiberal, to force people to do things that violate their conscience. It is just deeply, fundamentally, evil, to compel people to act against their beliefs.

  • SusanM||

    Yeah, Hobby Lobby owners are really bothered by contraception....

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ri.....objection/

  • Marktaylor||

    It's not your job to tell the Greene's how to practice their religion. You are free to think they are hypocrites, not free to dictate what they do or do not find morally objectionable.

  • fuck you bo||

    there's no hypocrisy anyway it's a 401k, susan would apparently want the employees to suffer so the owners can demonstrate their adherence to their ideology, despite the fact that the legal requirements and level of involvement is completely different for a 401k vs health insurance.

  • ||

    Also, 401(k) are not mandatory. Hobby Lobby is not compelled to offer it.

  • SusanM||

    Irrelevant. Their conscience is so stricken and principles so offended that they want special favors (remember, they don't give a fuck about anyone else here) but not so much when it comes to making money. Besides, as the article states, there are investment options for conscientious religious people.

    fuck you bo, since when do libertarians give a shit about employees - or anyone else, for that matter - suffering? If this were a discussion about unsafe Asian sweatshops you'd dismiss the notion of employee safety by saying "well, they had a choice..." Pick a premise and stick with it sweetie ;)

  • fuck you tulpa||

    Irrelevant. Their conscience is so stricken and principles so offended that they want special favors (remember, they don't give a fuck about anyone else here) but not so much when it comes to making money.

    Um, yes relevant, you stupid fucking asshole.

    It's the EMPLOYEES MONEY, and the EMPLOYEES 401k.

    uck you bo, since when do libertarians give a shit about employees -

    I didn't say shit about libertarians cunt. Make up more stupid shit.

    I think the best part of this is how obvious it is that you have no idea how 401ks work, or even what they are.

  • ||

    I think the best part of this is how obvious it is that you have no idea how 401ks work, or even what they are.

    That's because SusanM is the prototypical tumblr SJW who thinks libertarianism is cool as long as it is defending the freedom of a victim group she thinks is worthy, but doesn't care much for the consistent application of the underlying principles.

    IOW, principals over principles.

  • ||

    I think the employees should be free to "spend" their "compensation" on ANYTHING they want. Such as NOT on health insurance.

    And if they buy health insurance, I think employees should be free to spend it on something other than maternity and pediatric dental care if they are women over 50.

    What's hilarious is the way progressive get all up in arms at the idea that employers not pay for contraception coverage. But they are perfectly FINE with mandating that infertile women have maternity coverage and pediatric dental care. They are perfectly fine with forcing people to have health insurance hat is up to THEIR preferences.

    The entire health care bill is FULL of restrictions on what you can "spend" your "compensation" on. But somehow, not paying for someone birth control pills is suddenly this massive imposition that amounts to forcing your religion on people.

    You know who is forcing their religion on people, really? Progressives? Their fucking religion that people should be forced to pay for other people's health care. Their fucking religion that health care is a right. Youre whole health care law shoves your beleifs down other people's throats and forces people to live according to them.

    Just because you don't call it "religion" doesn't mean it's not a belief system and a set of values that not everyone shares.

  • SusanM||

    Hazel, please point to where I've ever defended Obamacare.

    My issue with the Hobby Lobby case is that they're not fighting the mandate itself. They're saying, in effect, that the mandate is good for everyone else but since they love jeebus it shouldn't apply to them. But they're perfectly ok with making contributions (remember that they match employee contributions) to the companies who make these products. With that, it's pretty obvious that "religious values" is just a convenient dodge.

    Just because you don't call it "religion" doesn't mean it's not a belief system and a set of values that not everyone shares.

    Pots and kettles, Hazel. Libertarianism is no less driven by faith and emotion as any other philosophy. Moreso, maybe, because you've not gotten past spreadsheets and bluebooks and into reality. Some good ideas but a pathetically naive understanding of human nature.

  • SusanM||

    Hazel, please point to where I've ever defended Obamacare.

    My issue with the Hobby Lobby case is that they're not fighting the mandate itself. They're saying, in effect, that the mandate is good for everyone else but since they love jeebus it shouldn't apply to them. But they're perfectly ok with making contributions (remember that they match employee contributions) to the companies who make these products. With that, it's pretty obvious that "religious values" is just a convenient dodge.

    Just because you don't call it "religion" doesn't mean it's not a belief system and a set of values that not everyone shares.

    Pots and kettles, Hazel. Libertarianism is no less driven by faith and emotion as any other philosophy. Moreso, maybe, because you've not gotten past spreadsheets and bluebooks and into reality. Some good ideas but a pathetically naive understanding of human nature.

  • ||

    But they're perfectly ok with making contributions (remember that they match employee contributions) to the companies who make these products. With that, it's pretty obvious that "religious values" is just a convenient dodge.

    This makes no sense. Hobby Lobby isn't trying to get out of the mandate. They just don't want to cover contraception.

    Are you trying to argue that Hobby Lobby concocted an elaborate lie about their religious beliefs with respect to certain contraceptives in order to get out of ... paying for certain contraceptives?

    There is no reason to believe that Hobby Lobby isn't sincere about their religious beliefs, and however inconsistent or contradictory you might think them, they are entitled to interpret their own faith and decide what they do and do not find morally objectionable.

  • ||

    Pots and kettles, Hazel. Libertarianism is no less driven by faith and emotion as any other philosophy.

    In our philosophy, YOU are perfectly free to live according to any belief system you want. You just aren't allowed to force anyone else to join.

    Go form a commune where healthcare is a right. Nobody is stopping you. Libertarians certainly won't.

  • fuck you bo||

    So, you're saying you're too fucking stupid to see the difference between a 401k and what's happening with the ACA and Hobby Lobby?

    "OH MY FUCKING GOD!!! HOBBY LOBBY PROVIDES THEIR EMPLOYEES A 401K WHICH THE EMPLOYEES THEMSELVES CAN USE TO INVEST IN THINGS THAT THE OWNERS OF HOBBY LOBBY HAVE RELIGIOUS OBJECTIONS TO I'M SO FUCKING IGNORANT OF HOW 401K'S WORK, AND SO STUPIDLY PATHETICALLY FUCKING PARTISAN, THAT THIS IS CLEARLY A REAL THING TO DEMONSTRATE THEIR HYPOCRISY!!! AND NOT INSTEAD, A DEMONSTRATION OF HOW HOBBY LOBBY REALLY DOES WANT TO LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE TO MAKE THEIR OWN CHOICES AND WOULD IF THE ACA WOULD LET THEM!!!!

    /susanm

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Goodness, you are unhinged.

  • Trollo||

    Fuck Off, Tulpa.

  • ||

    This is completely stupid.

    The money in a 401(k) account belongs to the employee, not Hobby Lobby. The employee controls how it is invested.

    But health insurance is NOT like a 401(k). You cannot sell your health insurance and buy something else. It is NOT fungible.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    I don't understand why this has to be about religion. Fuck religion; just take it out of the equation.
    It's about having the right to free association and the fruits of your labor.
    Isn't there a word for being forced to work against your will?
    Isn't there a word for taking someone else's shit so you can use it to pay for your shit?
    How did we get to the point where if you think that we're all responsible for paying for our own birth control, that means we're in favor of preventing people from getting birth control?

  • Robert||

    It's "about" religion just because historically people have discriminated on the basis of religion much more often than they've discriminated on the basis of shoe size. Historic accident.

  • logical_atomist||

    Good answer! The whole religion angle is just dumb.

  • ||

    As a practical matter, it's about religion only because religion is the last enumerated right that might possibly supersede the mandate in court. The rest of the BOR was subordinated to social justice half a century ago, and all the precedent is on the side of the law.

  • RishJoMo||

    Dude seems to know which way is up. Wow.

    www.YourAnon.tk

  • Ted S.||

    As usual, RishJoMo wins the thread.

  • Rev-Match||

    That is why, according to Mach, photographers, bakers, and florists must be conscripted for gay weddings. Exactly who is imposing on whom in that situation? By choosing positive liberty over negative liberty, the ACLU is forsaking the freedoms it claims to defend.

    In typical prog fashion, as long as one is coercing the "right" people, it is perfectly ok.

  • Marktaylor||

    I don't see a need for the RFRA. The first amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." It doesn't say make only laws minimally restrictive, or make waivers for those with religious objections. Does the ACA prohibit the free exercise of religion? Yes. Then it's unconstitutional and should not be a law. Not just for Hobby Lobby, or Christians, but according to the constitution- for every person.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    OK, but how do you win in the Supreme Court? If they can persuade themselves that a law isn't discriminatory re religion and isn't targeting a religion, then they claim it doesn't violate the 1st. RFRA restores the old rule that the feds, religious freedom, even if the violation wasn't targeted at a religion.

    Now, in the case of the ACA, I don't think it's neutral regarding religion, even under the Supreme Court's narrow precedent, since it's full of loopholes, including religious loopholes, so it's a question of favoring some religions over others, which isn't cool.

    But RFRA avoids that kind of analysis and goes straight to testing the government's justification, and if there isn't a narrow means of fulfilling a compelling govt interest, the regulation loses.

    It's all very well to say, "well, just use the First Amendment," but the Supreme Court often seems unwilling to do that without legislative prompting.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    restores the old rule that the feds *must justify restrictions on* religious freedom

  • Marktaylor||

    I don't disagree the RFRA is meant to restore 1st amendment rights that judicial activists have removed (though the RFRA is less restrictive to law then any plain and obvious reading of the first amendment). My point was not that the RFRA was bad, it was to illustrate how far we've drifted from the constitution. Any fourth grader (mine just finished her testing on reading comprehension) is capable of comprehending the scope of the 1st amendment, and the error in the SCOTUS' interpretation. I think it's important to remind ourselves and others that this straightforward amendment still exists and though there exists a method to change it, nobody has ever done so.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    OK!

  • ||

    For the same reason that we need laws against eminent domain abuse.

    Because SCOTUS isn't doing it's job upholding the constitution.

  • leo5336||

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  • Robert||

    Both of these debates are more accurately described as clashes between real rights and fake rights. They pit negative liberty, which requires freedom from external restraint, against positive liberty, which imposes demands on other people's resources.


    Oh, please! I didn't think Jacob would get this way too.

    Al rights are equally real. Rights are whatever people make. The distinction I'll accept in this case, if you must have some way to put it other than positive & negative liberty, is between on one hand a system of rights that easily holds together as consistent, and OTOH a collection of rights that are ad hoc rather than systematic. Or to put it more bluntly, good rights vs. bad rights—or recommended rights vs. deprecated rights.

  • Marktaylor||

    I don't understand "all rights are equally real." It seems to me that something like the right to own a gun is different than the "right" for someone to buy you a gun. As a basis of our constitutional rights we have a belief in unalienable rights. Rights that are not privileges afforded to you by the government. They exist even when government or authority doesn't exist. Who would stop free speech if there were no authority? Who would stop you from owning a weapon? These rights are of a decidedly natural status of humanity. Things you can do unless someone stops you. But the "rights" we discuss as services like free birth control can only exist with an authority and involve removing choice. Any definition that includes those things as "rights" is so loose a definition that it could include anything up to include slavery. I'm hungry, I have a right to force you to work my farm. Therefore they're not rights at all.

  • Robert||

    Yeah, they're different, just not on the basis of reality.

    But the "rights" we discuss as services like free birth control can only exist with an authority and involve removing choice.


    Sure, but that authority exists, and the removal of choice is real. So how is the right to free birth control not real?

  • Robert||

    In fact, the authority could make the right to make you work my farm real, and the right to buy a gun unreal.

  • Paul.||

    No it can't, it can either protect your right to own a gun, or attack it. The right remains even when the state claims it doesn't.

    My reality is not defined by the strictures of the state.

  • ||

    Rights are actually, essentially conflict resolution mechanisms. A right is effectively a determination as to who gets to use a scarce resource.

    For instance, the money Hobby Lobby's bank account, who gets to use it? Some might say Hobby Lobby. Other's might say Hobby Lobby's employees.

    But the problem with "positive" rights is that they conflict with other rights, and with themselves. Everyone can't have a right to the same resource. If you do that, you havn't resolved the conflict. The "right" doesn't "work".

    For instance, if everyone has a right to an apple, but there aren't enough apples to go around, then you immediately have a new conflict over who gets the apples. And what ends up happening amounts to might makes right.

    The only system of rights as yet devised that is internally consistent derives from the self-ownership principle, and excludes so-called "positive" rights.

  • Robert||

    No, the self-ownership principle derives from that system of rights, not vice versa. You can derive self-ownership from general liberty, but you can't derive general liberty from self-ownership.

  • ||

    I disagree. Liberty STARTS with self-ownership.

    If I own myself, then I own the product of my labor. And if everyone else owns themselves, then THEY own the product of their labor. And therefore the only moral means for us to interact is via voluntary exchange.

    Via self ownership, I am free to do whatever I want up until it starts to interfere with anyone else or his property. And vice versa. When we come into conflict, we may not force the other to obey our wishes, we must make an exchange. Any "liberty" that does not respect the right of individuals to self-ownership is not liberty in the first place. It is enslavement.

  • Robert||

    If liberty starts with self-ownership, and then ownership of other things flows from that, and the bounds of liberty are thus defined, then what do you make of the person who is kept in a locked room that is someone else's property? Or who has someone else's parked car blocking his driveway at the street? Freedom of movement is not derivable from self-ownership, because you are entirely at your own disposal even in a locked room, but clearly your system of liberty is incomplete without freedom of movement.

  • Robert||

    And similarly you may be able to get into your car and operate it in your driveway, listen to its radio, or even strip it for parts; but if someone's blocking your access to the street (by having parked hir own car on property you don't own), the principal reason for owning the car is vitiated. So clearly there's something more to this liberty thing than can be derived from self-ownership or anything-else-ownership.

  • ||

    How did you get into the locked room in the first place?

  • Robert||

    Sorry, I didn't mean it was locked when the person entered! Didn't mean to turn this into an A.C. Doyle story.

    Let's say the party ended, everyone else left, and then the owner locked the door, and wouldn't let the last guest out. Maybe it was one of those dinner parties in the sharing economy!

    As to the car, similarly the driveway was not blocked when the owner entered.

  • Robert||

    BTW, if you like A.C. Doyle stories, read "The Lost Special", on which the recent TV serial Lost was based, and after which it was named. How did a railroad train disappear? (It translates to an airliner on Lost.)

  • ||

    Presumably when you enter someone premises as a guest there is an implicit contract that you are also free to leave. Very few people would attend dinner parties in the sharing economy if there was not an understanding that they be allowed to leave whenever they wished.

  • ||

    Also nobody would buy a car if there was no way to drive it.

    Public roads can be construed as a contractual relationship among local residents. There is generally some sort of agreement that roads are mutually beneficial and some means of collectively providing for their upkeep. Even in a complete anarchy people would work out a mechanism for providing roads.

    Also, roads have the benefit of providing a single passage between or across lands that everyone can use. Instead of having people crisscrossing one-another's property willy nilly, it is much more efficient (and less restrictive to the landowners), to have just one passage along a defined route.

  • MJGreen||

    That is a good distinction, though it can be difficult and contentious to sort it out. I think a more useful distinction is between rights created through contract (with obligations assumed voluntarily) and rights created by statute (with obligations imposed by an authority).

    I have a right to live in my apartment because of the rental contract; the owner agreed to the obligations involved in this relationship. My neighbor's kid has a right to enrollment in a school because the state says so. In this latter case, the obligation to fund the school was imposed on taxpayers. On what grounds the taxpayers may be obliged against their will is the big question.

  • Barnstormer||

    How do I "impose my faith" on someone if I sit on my arse and do nothing? How do I "impose my faith" if I don't buy somebody contraceptives, or maybe don't buy them a yarlmulke?

  • ||

    The whole dilemma is created by the fact that the government has imposed a legal obligation to pay for one's employee's health insurance.

    If your employees have a right to force you to pay for their health insurance, then not paying for it violates their rights.

    This is why positive rights are stupid.

  • Jim Kress||

    "government have a compelling interest"

    The excuse used to impose tyranny more than any other. The government has no compelling interests except those enumerated in the Constitution.

  • Robert||

    No, actually they impose more tyranny under the excuse of ordinary interest. Far fewer are excused as compelling.

  • AlbedoAtoned||

    The way I see it is that practically all sides are wrong, though not all are wrong to the point they need to be forced. I don't see how contraception is the same as abortion. By such logic, abstaining from sex is also abortion. And yet, I don't think people should be forced to buy contraception, especially not for others. But I do see it as kind of stupid, because such contraception could lower abortion rates, which I am certain those people would be against more. If it were me, I'd feel I had blood on my hands.

    On the other hand, why would you want to hide the cost of contraception? As far as I know, it's affordable, but make it an insurance thing and you can bet the price will rise. Hasn't everything else insurance taught people anything? People want to put it behind a wall that is so expensive that only those with insurance will be able to get them. Ironically many of these same people think we should encourage kids how to use them, and yet these same kids will not be able to get them so of course they won't use them.

  • Kevin47||

    "I don't see how contraception is the same as abortion."

    This debate turns on a specific form of birth control that Hobby Lobby regards as an abortifacient. Hobby Lobby does provide coverage for most types of birth control.

  • Jonas Planck||

    Okay, let's see if I can make sense of this... I'll skip the contraception mandate, because that's obviously state compulsion, but the immunity from discrimination lawsuits thing is a lot thornier than most people here seem to realize...
    Continued as reply...

  • Jonas Planck||

    premise: A business has the right to refuse service to anyone that the business' religion deems is unworthy of said business. In order to secure this right, the business must first have a religion. Since a business is not a corporeal living being (it is a collective)and it is incapable of having its own autonomous belief systems, this translates to the business' OWNERS' religion being dominant. So in order for that right to be protected, the rights of the employees to have different beliefs is NOT protected, because they are now part of that collective, and the business MUST have a overall belief system for its belief system to be protected in the first place.
    Therefore, In order for the collective's rights to be protected, the following individual rights must be violated:
    Continued...

  • Jonas Planck||

    Any employee can be compelled against their will to violate their personal beliefs at any time, in order to comply with the beliefs of the collective if they wish to keep their jobs. All customers are compelled to comply with the beliefs of the collective if they wish to be customers. Customers are also compelled to reveal to the collective personal information about themselves against their will in order for the collective to determine if they are worthy of being customers. Judges and lawyers are compelled against their will to ignore all lawsuits filed alleging claims of discrimination committed by the collective. And finally, any customer who is refused service is compelled against their will to find competing businesses who will be willing to serve them, stripping them of consumer choice, regardless of what their belief system is.

    ...so. When did you guys decide you were going to become communists? Did it happen so gradually that you didn't notice?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    ...no. The logic is simple:

    1) I own X

    2) You wish to use X or trade Y for X

    3) Since I own X, I get to decide whether you can use X for the purposes you wish to use it for, or whether I want to trade you X for something else.

    When it comes to employment, I as an employer own money. You wish to trade me your labor for my money. I get to decide whether I want to make that trade, for whatever reason -- even if it is a stupid reason like racism or the like, else my property rights are being violated. You get to make the same decision, which is why you can quit for whatever reason (including racism) without being sued into oblivion by myself for refusing to trade with me. We are both equal in our authority. A discrimination lawsuit authorized by a third party which is not based on the agreements we make with one another diminishes the rights of one party arbitrarily, therefore must be rejected by a classical liberal as being without basis.

  • ||

    I depresses me how easily it is to dispatch these arguments, and yet, people still bring them back, over and over again.

    It's like battling an endless succession of those easily defeated Orcs from one of the LOTR movies.

    Why? Because there is some evil stupid-mill out there, churning our stupid people wielding the same stupid arguments, endlessly. I believe it is called the public education system.

  • Robert||

    No, the "stupid-mill" is general experience. It precedes publik skooling.

    The sort of experiences people have generally in their lives does not lend itself easily to the analysis you need to get to "my money, my conditions". They have some experiences which viewed in isolation would lend to such analysis, but overall people's experience leads to all sorts of mis-analyses. I couldn't count, for instance, how many times people told me they thought they or someone else might have a good lawsuit against someone for something where, if you just thought about it a while without comparing to some regular-life experience, you'd see that person was not responsible for those damages, or even that there were no damages at all. People's intuition based on their usual dealings with others leads away from proper conceptions of justice. The mis-teaching they get from their own families & friends is far worse than whatever they get in school.

  • Robert||

    An example is when my sister had successive imagings of her breasts some time apart. The 2nd time, some anomaly was found, which worried her a great deal, but it turned out on biopsy to be harmless. Then she said that they should've found that thing on exam #1, which she considered in retrospect to have caused her so much distress after exam #2. I pointed out that since the anomaly was harmless, she'd've been better off had she never known about it. Therefore by missing it (if it was even there), exam #1 did her a favor. She had only been thinking "medical mistake...failure to find lesion...I got worried...bad!" without filling in the important relationships.

    Similarly, ask people for their ideas of justice in Hobby Lobby, and they'll give you all sorts of irrelevant considerations. They didn't get those from school. They got them from dealings they thought were fair, and those they thought were unfair, and what other people similarly confused thought about them. It's not something deliberately taught.

  • Robert||

    Put simply, life makes people smart in their own affairs, and stupid regarding everything else.

  • Jonas Planck||

    What I'm asking is this: How is it any different for a customer to impose their will on a business if it violates that business' beliefs than for a business owner to impose their will on an employee if it violates the employees' beliefs?

    The customer is paying for the service, just as the employer is paying for the labor. How is it that the employer has the right to buy compliance with a belief system, while the customer does not? It seems to me that this double standard negates the moral aspects of the argument.

  • ||

    Customers are totally free to impose their will on a business by not shopping there.

    You the consumer are completely free to be racist and not patronize businesses owned by blacks. There is no law requiring you to shop at black-owned or gay-owned or women-owned businesses.

    Why is not hiring someone or not serving someone treated any differently.

    Both are exchanges among ostensibly equal people. If the business owner is the equal of the customer, why is the customer free to refuse to trade, but the business owner is not?

  • Kevin47||

    "Because the customer is paying for the service, just as the employer is paying for the labor."

    And neither is imposing anything.

    "How is it that the employer has the right to buy compliance with a belief system, while the customer does not?"

    The premise of this question is incoherent. The employer, like the customer may choose not to buy, if what they are buying does not comport with their belief system. Or, at least, that's the way it should be.

  • Jonas Planck||

    Unless the owner is micromanaging every transaction with every customer, then there's going to be an employee involved. That employee must therefore enact whatever discrimination is required by the owner of the collective, regardless of what that employees' beliefs are.
    This wouldn't be an issue if employees had any bargaining power or if jobs were plentiful, but in this modern economy, a lot of people are one missed paycheck away from being homeless. keeping a job is not a mere choice, it's required for survival. I fail to see the morality in forcing someone to choose between their survival and their beliefs. But I suppose that's a fundamental right, even though I'm pretty sure Jesus wouldn't look too kindly on such a dick move. Luckily, Christians aren't too keen on the teachings of Christ, so they don't have to abide by them, despite having special privileges derived from their alleged loyalty to said teachings.

  • ||

    Jonas, the fact that jobs may be hard to come by is a completely separate issue.
    Why does this have any bearing whatsoever on the fact that, if we regard both the employer and employee as free and equal people that BOTH must be free to refuse to trade, for any reason? If the employee is free to turn a job down because they are racist, the employer must be equally free to not employ someone because they are racist. Otherwise they are NOT being treated equally under the law.

    If one party has a harder time finding people willing to engage in trade, that could only be because they don't have as much value to offer. But having less of value to offer does not impose moral constraints on other parties.

    What you are really arguing is that employees are inferiors and the employer has a moral responsibility to treat his inferiors kindly. It's an aristocratic view of society, with business owners being the aristocracy, and having a nobblesse oblige towards the working class.

  • Kevin47||

    "I fail to see the morality in forcing someone to choose between their survival and their beliefs."

    By this logic, a church cannot require its pastor to be a Christian, and Planned Parenthood cannot require its executives to support legal abortion.

    The way markets work, your choice between beliefs and survival is a false one. An employee can simply choose to provide a different service in exchange for their wage.

    "But I suppose that's a fundamental right, even though I'm pretty sure Jesus wouldn't look too kindly on such a dick move."

    Not that what Jesus would consider to be a "dick move" should guide our policy, but, per scripture, he literally requires everyone to believe him or die for all eternity. Not sure where you think this gets you.

  • Kevin47||

    Nobody cedes the premise that, simply because you are operating under as the head of a corporation, you have no right to decide how to run your business. That is stupid.

  • logical_atomist||

    Why exactly is it that religion, which plenty of reasonable people unsurprisingly think to be a pack of infantile myths is a good excuse for not obeying the law, but a principled, rational argument against business having to provide any health care for its employees isn't? It's clearly a violation of the separation of church and state, as well as a violation of what ought to be recognized as the true meaning of the establishment clause of the First Amendment to give special break for "liberty of conscience" or whatever. The Supreme Court has just produced a truly irrational interpretation of both the establishment and free exercise clauses over the course of history for purely political reasons. So the claim that this stuff is somehow unconstitutional or particularly bad because it takes away specifically religious freedom is just wrong about this even though the contraception requirement is of course an awful, liberty-crushing thing in itself.

    It's also wrong to think that there is any reasonable way to make a First Amendment criticism of the wedding cake stuff. The way that makes sense is maybe to attack it as a Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment taking of property without due process of law. Again, the author is right in both cases about both being examples of typical, mindless anti-freedom, "positive liberty" stuff by progressive knuckleheads and authoritarians.

  • Kevin47||

    Because the first amendment protects the free exercise of religion, and the Civil Rights Act passed Constitutional muster somehow.

  • ||

    Freedom of religion really ought to be expanded into a general freedom of conscience principle IMO. Whether that conscience stems from religious faith or some set of secular moral principles shouldn't matter.

    The notion that businesses be compelled to purchase health insurance on behalf of their employees is wrong on multiple grounds.

    But the point of the freedom of conscience issue is that it demonstrates the fundamental incompatibility of "negative" and "positive" liberty. If you're going to have "positive" rights, then you're going to have to compel someone to come up with the object of the positive right. And if you're going to be compelling people to do things, sometimes, those things are going to violate their beliefs.

    Thus you can draw a straight line between the positive "right" to health care, and compelling religious conservatives to pay for what they consider to be abortions. The positive right to healthcare is incompatible with the negative liberty not to be compelled to do things that violate your conscience.

    It makes a very neat illustration of why positive rights are wrong and incompatible with liberty.

  • Robert||

    It has been so expanded, mostly because it's too hard to draw the line between the religious & the secular. Similarly freedom of speech & press have been altered in such a way that various forms of conduct may be protected as "expression".

  • ||

    As they rightly should, where they do not infringe on anyone else's liberty.

  • ||

    I do not understand feminists, case 25: demanding that other people must pay for their "right" to contraceptives or abortion services. Feminism is a progressive run around the democratic process by force, emotion, and complete stupidity. I await the male contraceptive pill only to see how blantant feminists' hypocrisy will be, how selective their "rights" will get when they apply equally to another.

  • OzarkAggie||

    A photographer has to frame and focus the shot and you can't do that blind. So if they feel that photographing the make-out sloppy kissing scenes are uncomfortable then they should just say so and excuse themselves.

  • Kevin47||

    But... Gay!

  • SQRLSY One||

    All this talk of different types of freedom is of some interest, but we VERY quickly run up into the brick wall of, rights are something that the speaker thinks he or she should have, and more precision beyond that is often an illusion. For instance, most libertarians (and most people with common sense) will inwardly start to sneer if I start talking about my “right not to be offended”… But on what other basis are there laws against my rights of pissing, pooping, or making love in public? As long as I clean up my mess afterwards? So I DEMAND my rights, can I do these things on the sidewalk outside of your house? Aren't these things "free speech"?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Oh, yes, and the other way that all this talk of “rights” is so much blather, is self-defense. I can have all the self-defense rights in the entire local galactic cluster, but if the thug, whether a legal thug or an illegal thug, shoots me dead before I shoot him, my rights have meant nothing. Rights are only meaningful if you exercise them, and sometimes you have to exercise them very quickly, for them to have any meaning at all. And if I do what I want, and get away with it, 99.999% of the by-standers who think I should not have a right to do what I just did, can go piss in the wind. Rights? 95% blather and not much more… We should all treat each other with respect and obey our conscience. “Rights” can kiss my ass…

  • SQRLSY One||

    Rights = blather take #3: In the old Soviet Union you had a right to affordable bread, yes, now stand in line for 5 hours and maybe you’ll get lucky. In today’s Venezuela, about the same. Obamacare is taking us there in the USA. You have the right to free everything, now, go, and good luck finding it! As I put on my tin-foil hat, I foresee a future USA where you will have the right to have intercourse (social and/or sexual) with any passer-by that you demand it from, except, of course, the “public servants” who are too busy enforcing your rights, to have intercourse with you. AKA, they are too busy fucking with you, to let you fuck them! And we will have to sneak, under cover of darkness or fog or smog, from house to house, to have any kind of voluntary social or sexual intercourse, for fear of having “freedom” foisted upon us, if we walk about openly… Or maybe we put on a REALLY ugly, slime-dripping disguise, and take out chances…

  • ||

    This is precisely my point about positive rights being nonsensicle. If there isn't enough X to go around, having a "right to X" doesn't mean anything. It resolves nothing about who gets X. You still have to fight over who gets a share of X, and some goods are non-divisible. There's no such thing as half a heart surgery.

    ObamaCare doesn't give anyone a right to healthcare. It may give you a right to a place in line. Whether you get the healthcare depends upon the supply of doctors and facilities and whether you get to see the doctor in time.

  • ||

    Actually, it depends upon whether you have the political influence necessary to make the kind of healthcare you need part of the mandatory coverages. Otherwise, chances are, you will be paying out of pocket.

    Thus, mammograms are free, and birth control, and maternity, and pediatric dental care are mandatory and everyone has to contribute. But if you want to see an out-of-network specialist, that's not covered.
    It all depends on politics and what you can get legislated as something that everyone has to have.

  • ||

    Actually, if you are doing it on your own property, I see no reason why you shouldn't be allowed to piss, poop, and fuck in public.

  • 619 Limo||

    agree!

  • Mr Borgesson||

    Why on earth would you want to enlist a photographer, florist or baker that obviously don´t want to work with you in the first place? It is not a foundation for quality.

    In the case of the medical insurance, would we accept that an employer don´t want to pay for insurance that includes blood transfusions since its against his/her religious beliefs?

  • Paper Wasp||

    Blood transfusions are prescribed as a treatment for people who are sick/gravely injured, and likely to die if blood is not given.

    Birth control is prescribed so that a healthy and functional reproductive system will stop working.

    There are women (about 10% of women of childbearing age) who are prescribed birth control to treat hormonal imbalances, but I doubt Hobby Lobby or anyone else has intended to block hormonal birth control from being prescribed as a treatment for actual illness.

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