ACLU

The ACLU Now Opposes Religious Freedom Because Christians Need It

The Sometimes Civil Liberties Union

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Christian
Dreamstime

The American Civil Liberties Union has formally reversed its support for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signaling that the organization is no longer interested in mounting an ideologically consistent defense of all people of faith. It's a disappointing retreat on principles for the ACLU, and the organization's explanation suggests that a singular disdain for Christian belief is the reason.

Louise Melling, the ACLU's deputy legal director, announced the change in policy in a Washington Post op-ed. Her article provides a useful history of RFRA, which became law in 1993—two years after the Supreme Court refused to let Native Americans smoke peyote as part of their religious practices. Popular sentiment disagreed with the Court, and Congress passed the bipartisan RFRA to safeguard the rights of religious minorities. The law has been used to defend Sikh men from having to shave their beards to serve in the U.S. Army—an outcome the ACLU supported, according to Melling.

So why has the ACLU suddenly decided that RFRA is no good? Melling explains:

In the Hobby Lobby case last year, a Supreme Court majority blessed the use of the RFRA by businesses to deny employees insurance coverage for contraception, a benefit guaranteed by law, if those businesses object on religious grounds and there is some other means of furthering the government's interests. Religiously affiliated nonprofit organizations such as universities are taking the argument further. They invoke the RFRA to argue not only that they should not have to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives, but also that they should not even have to notify the government that they refuse to do so because, they maintain, notification would trigger the government to intervene to ensure coverage.

Yes, religious freedom needs protection. But religious liberty doesn't mean the right to discriminate or to impose one's views on others. The RFRA wasn't meant to force employees to pay a price for their employer's faith, or to allow businesses to refuse to serve gay and transgender people, or to sanction government-funded discrimination. In the civil rights era, we rejected the claims of those who said it would violate their religion to integrate. We can't let the RFRA be used as a tool for a different result now.

It's time for Congress to amend the RFRA so that it cannot be used as a defense for discrimination. Religious freedom will be undermined only if we continue to tolerate and enable abuses in its name.

In other words, the ACLU believes the peyote-smoking Native Americans and beard-wearing Sikh men are practicing an acceptable degree of religious freedom, but Christians are engaged in discrimination, and discrimination is bad. This seems like a funny place to draw the line, though. If religious freedom does not include the freedom for individuals to peacefully decline involvement in private commercial activities they find objectionable, it's a meaningless concept.

I personally find the argument that a Sikh believer should be able to keep his beard in the Army more difficult to justify (from a civil libertarian perspecive) than the notion that Christian businesses should be free of the burden of covering medical expenses that violate their creeds. Serving in the Army, after all, is not a right—the Army is a government agency. Paying employee's medical expenses, on the other hand, is a voluntary, private exchange that doesn't (or at least, shouldn't) involve the state in any way.

To be clear, I side with the people of faith in both instances. But so should the ACLU, which risks becoming just another lefty advocacy organization—rather than a true defender of civil liberties—as it continues to stray from the path of impartiality.

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  1. a Sikh believer should be able to keep his beard in the Army more difficult to justify (from a civil libertarian perspecive) than the notion that Christian businesses should be free of the burden of covering medical expenses that violate their creeds. Serving in the Army, after all, is not a right?the Army is a government agency.

    Also, a lot of chemical protection gear doesn’t work well if you have copious amounts of facial hair.

    1. You know who else discovered that gas masks don’t fit well over full beards and long moustaches?

      1. Agile Cyborg’s ladies/boys, lady-boys on a Saturday night?

      2. Adolph figured it out in WW 1. That is why he had the mustache he did.

    2. Beat me to it. Just cycle them through the gas chamber once a week – they’ll start shaving.

      1. You know who else cycled people through a gas chamber? (same one that Ceci is asking about)

    3. I read something that inferred the Army had done a study and their beards didn’t interfere with good seals like you would think. I imagine they probably had full MOPP on, and the hood+beard+tight mask kept CS from getting through.

      With that being said, uniformity of dress and appearance is something we go for in the military. If I can’t have a beard as a white dude because it’s against good order and discipline then they shouldn’t either. I base that not off of religious freedom, but instead on the idea that good order and discipline is a constant.

      1. They already gave up on tatts – I imagine the pool of young people without them would be severely limited these days – I see no reason to expect conformity of hairstyle anymore either.

        1. They already gave up on tatts – I imagine the pool of young people without them would be severely limited these days

          It’s certainly true of young women. I can barely enjoy strip clubs anymore.

          1. you cant enjoy naked chicks cuz they have tattoos? i think you’re the problem here

            1. I think tatts ruin a good body – not sure how that is even debatable?

              1. I was starting to think I was the only one who disliked ink on the female body! Although I can tolerate a small tattoo here and there, I’d prefer none at all, all other things being equal.

                But when a woman has crap all up and down her arms and all over her chest, that just ruins it for me. Copious piercings (on sites other than ears) have the same effect. I like my women to look like women, not like crusty old sailors from down at the docks.

                Before anyone jumps down my throat, I just want to reiterate that this is my opinion. In no way am I saying that women shouldn’t get tattoos or men shouldn’t like it when they do. It’s just a statement of aesthetic preference.

              2. “I think tatts ruin a good body.”
                Seconded enthusiastically. When I see a beautiful woman with some big ugly-as-shit tattoo sprawled across her body, I can’t help but think “why did you feel the need to barf all over the Sistine Chapel?”

                1. Because her body doesn’t exist to provide your eyes with pleasure. Male privilege much? 😉

                  1. I’m hoping you’re kidding. That’s like saying because I don’t find Asian women attractive I’m a racist.

                    1. You said it, not me.

                      I am joking, obviously. Unfortunately, I just pantomimed the sentiments of an ever-growing portion of our culture.

              3. Both my arms, both my legs, and my back are tattooed almost completely, but I agree with this statement. I realize I’m a hypocrite.

                1. You’re not a hypocrite EW, you’re normal. Without doubt there are young women who feel the same way, who don’t like them on themselves but love them on a man, or vice-versa. You may be the most straight-laced fellow in the world, but for some woman, you may be the “bad boy” she has always dreamt of, the one she thinks will piss off dear old dad.

                  I am an old fashioned moron, so I love to see women as God made them, without the benefit of tattoos, but to each his own of course. Your milage may vary. I had a beautiful girlfriend in Vienna years ago who had a fairly discreet one on her lower back and after a while I didn’t notice it and then I would get an elbow when I made a remark about girls with tattoos in front of her. “Tramp Stamp” wasn’t part of her vocabulary.

                  People just get wired a certain way, often through formative experiences, they travel to someplace exotic as a young person and ever after are drawn to women outside their race. White men who love black women like DeNiro or the late doofus Roger Ebert, black women who like white men, hispanic men who like black women, or Asian men who like white women.

                  The quirks of human nature is endless and should be fascinating to us, but now the left gets their panties in an uproar about almost everything that is done or said, works to shout down any discussion outside of their narrow dictates. Now, everyone seems to be self-conscious about everything, self-censoring.

                2. You’re not a hypocrite EW, you’re normal. Without doubt there are young women who feel the same way, who don’t like them on themselves but love them on a man, or vice-versa. You may be the most straight-laced fellow in the world, but for some woman, you may be the “bad boy” she has always dreamt of, the one she thinks will piss off dear old dad.

                  I am an old fashioned moron, so I love to see women as God made them, without the benefit of tattoos, but to each his own of course. Your milage may vary. I had a beautiful girlfriend in Vienna years ago who had a fairly discreet one on her lower back and after a while I didn’t notice it and then I would get an elbow when I made a remark about girls with tattoos in front of her. “Tramp Stamp” wasn’t part of her vocabulary.

                  People just get wired a certain way, often through formative experiences, they travel to someplace exotic as a young person and ever after are drawn to women outside their race. White men who love black women like DeNiro or the late doofus Roger Ebert, black women who like white men, hispanic men who like black women, or Asian men who like white women.

                  The quirks of human nature is endless and should be fascinating to us, but now the left gets their panties in an uproar about almost everything that is done or said, works to shout down any discussion outside of their narrow dictates. Now, everyone seems to be self-conscious about everything, self-censoring.

              4. Seconded. Tats on women are gross. It’s like someone took a shit on my salad.

                1. But then you’d be prevented from eating a salad, so that’s a good thing

              5. LOL, isn’t it past your bed time?

          2. I have a similar distaste for tattoos and they’re so ubiquitous among my generation.

            1. Yep. There was a time, during I’d say up to the 1960s/70s/early 80s, where having tattoos was seriously a mark of possibly felonious behavior, and was highly shocking. People who had tattoos probably WERE dangerous, had been in prison, etc. Or had been in the Navy for a long time. But, after about 1989 or so, everyone and their brother started getting tattoos, and pretty much all recruits into all the branches of the armed forces started getting them as soon as they graduated boot camp. At that point, for me at least, tattoos became boring and useless. Nowadays, women who get tattoos strike me as lemming-like.

        2. They changed their policy back again about tattoos, because they don’t need as many recruits anymore.

          1. Current SMA reversed policy again. Now, as long as it cannot be seen in dress uniform, it’s ok.

            1. Yup, Daley seems legit. SMA Chandler on the other hand can lick the Army’s collective taint.

        3. I remembered the high and tight being a golden mark for the bamboozlers, swindlers, and crooks surrounding installations.

    4. It’s not just MOPP gear. Beards tend to get caught in zippers, straps, and are easy to grab hold of in fighting. They also have been shown to carry a LOT of germs/bacteria and be unsanitary, particularly in conditions where one doesn’t have access to showers or water at all, for weeks or months. Imagine a beard that hasn’t been washed in weeks, in a hot and/or humid climate. That’s why professional armies nowadays for the most part don’t allow beards. Also, having served in both the Marine Corps and the Army, I can tell you that a unit with some troops with beards, especially of varying lengths, would look like shi-nola and not look professional at all. This is not the Union or Confederate armies of 1863, where beards for military was cool, and there was no knowledge whatsoever of microorganisms and hygiene.

  2. To be clear, I side with the people of faith in both instances.

    Too late, Rico. I flame thee as anti-Sikh.

  3. Louise Melling, the ACLU’s deputy legal director, announced the change in policy in a Washington Post op-ed.

    In poker this is what we call a tell.

  4. It’s a disappointing retreat on principles for the ACLU,

    You’re going to need a citation for disappointing, and here’s why, from the ACLU itself:

    a Supreme Court majority blessed the use of the RFRA by businesses to deny employees insurance coverage for contraception, a benefit guaranteed by law,

    Except that’s not what Hobby Lobby did. The company was opposed to about four things from the list of 20, items it saw as abortion-inducing. HL is not banning use of the pill or other commonly purchased items. The ACLU knows that. Principle gives way to politics.

    1. They’re also prioritizing free contraceptives which isn’t a civil liberty over religious liberty which is.

      1. You must not have gotten the revised constitution: free stuff from the government (or kkkorporations at the government’s order) is the most fundamental right there is. All else is secondary.

    2. Except that’s not what Hobby Lobby did.

      According to your interpretation!

    3. Also, Hobby Lobby is not denying anyone anything. Not giving does not equal denying.

      The real question here: Is Melling lying or is she a useful idiot with scrambled brains?

      1. Yes they are according to reason and many commentors the last few days. The law says that everyone is entitled to free contraception. It’s a right. And we all must be equal, therefore to be consistent Robby should be opposed to HL.

      2. “Not giving does not equal denying.”

        Whenever I’ve found myself discussing the Hobby Lobby case with a “progressive”, I like to ask them if my employer should be forced to supply me with firearms and ammunition as part of the compensation package. After all, I have the right to keep and bear arms, and not giving me those tools is tantamount to taking them away from me, correct?

        1. How does this converstaion usually go after this?

          1. Allow me to take a crack at guessing their reply:

            “herpa derpa derp herfen derpler”

        2. Heh. I have long suggested that if there is a right to keep and bear arms for individual and collective self-defense (the militia clause), based on utility (see the Constitution) then the government or some other civic institution should set about supplying the poor and the homeless with modest but adequate firearms and ammunition. Curiously, almost no one has liked this idea, whether they were gun nuts or gun control nuts or in between. Yet it is a logical consequence of the goodness of weapons and the principle that the better-off should help the poor. Now that you’ve brought this up, I expect y’all libertarians to get on the case and make it happen.

          As for ‘religious freedom’, my religion (communism) says it’s all right to loot banks and other repositories of unjust wealth, so I’m all for it. Let Hobby Lobby do as it pleases; just let me at the cash register and the safe.

      3. I’d say both.

  5. Yes, religious freedom needs protection. But religious liberty doesn’t mean the right to discriminate or to impose one’s views on others.

    Those damn religious institutions, reflecting oppressing people who voluntary agree to work for them!

    1. that’s just it. When you choose to join an organization, it’s up to you to adapt, not the other way around.

    2. What I find amazing is that the claims that employers are “inflicting their will” are not being laughed out of the building. If my employer refuses to buy me a pony do I get to hold my breath stomp my feet and scream “not fair” to the approving accolades of a 12 page rolling stone article?

      1. Ponies? New cars? Viagra? Plasma screen tvs? My employer provided for all of that…It’s called “my paycheck.”

        1. And you can buy your own contraception using that same paycheck.

      2. What else are you supposed to do? Get another job? Don’t be ridiculous!

        1. Well, in the Obamaconomy, that might actually be ridiculous…

      3. “My birth control is none of my employers business!” Is the left’s version of “Keep the government out of my Medicaid!” Neither side, unfortunately, realizes the irony of their statement.

        On another note, have you seen Remy’s Cough Drops video? One of my favorites, and it concludes with this line that sums up the left’s view on a lot of things: “How is he supposed to get access to cough drops if we don’t make someone else buy them for him?”

        Remy asks the question in parody, but I think many of the left truly scratch their heads over that one.

        1. “My birth control is none of my employers business!”

          Except in the fact that they are paying for it.

      4. That’s what a lot of people do. It’s called “going on strike.”

    3. I joined the ACLU in order to ally myself with an organization that would support RFRA, and now I find that they’re trying to enforce their idiosyncratic beliefs on me. I am outraged.

      1. “I joined the ACLU…”

        There it is. There’s your problem…

      2. If only they applied the same standard to their actions that they are applying to HL and the RFRA.

    4. Birth control is an inherent right tho.

      1. Birthcontrol is an inherent right. Speech, association, practice of faith, these are not.

      2. Butt sex will reduce unwanted pregnancies.

  6. It’s a disappointing retreat on principles for the ACLU, and the organization’s explanation suggests that a singular disdain for Christian belief is the reason.

    I left my shocked face around here somewhere…ah, found it!

    *shocked expression*

    REALLY?!?!?!?! WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THAT COMING???!?!!!

    1. Really. I almost couldn’t stop laughing when “the ACLU” and “principles” were mentioned in the same sentence, as if the former had anything to do with the latter…

  7. It’s all about whether the parties involved are part of a proggie tribe. It is not about the merits. Here is a thought experiment. Does anyone really believe SCOTUS would have made the same decision in the Texas license plate case if it was a pro-choice group or some SJW “men are all rapists” whose plate was denied?

  8. There’s a far more compelling state-interest argument for requiring a Sikh to shave his beard in the Army than there is for requiring an employer to provide abortion-inducing drugs.

    1. Its even more than that. HL only refused to pay for 4 of 20 types of contraception AND there is the parallel insurance system set up for religious non-profits, by which HL employees who want those 4 types of contraceptive can still get them at no cost. There is, I think, literally, no burden to HL employees.

      1. Analogous case: KY has a law that forbids employers from prohibiting employees from keeping firearms in their cars parked on company property. Let’s say a Quaker employer says he’s opposed to having any ‘implement of violence’ on his property on religious grounds and demands a religious exemption allowing him to forbid his workers from doing that. Support?

        1. Absolutely support.

        2. Your business is like your house. You can set any rules you like.

          1. The business and the parking lot are the property of the owner, but the parking lot is kind of a complicated case, I’d say. Yes, the employer owns the parking lot, but the employees own the cars. So there are little ‘bubbles’ of private property belonging to the customers and employees inside of the owner’s property. When you are in your car, or when you leave your personal belongings in your car, that should be considered your own property (even if it’s a rental, it’s still your temporary property, I guess?)

            The law still allows the employer to ban firearms in his place of business, or on his property (he could fire you for taking your gun out of your car and walking around the parking lot with it, for example).

            1. I agree with you. Yes the employer has the right to engage in use of his private property. But when creating a parking lot, the understanding is that people will be using THEIR own private property for transportation onto the parking lot. And as Paul said, cars are ‘bubbles’ of private property owned by the employee. After all, if an employer said that employees are not allowed to bring food with them in their vehicle during the daytime in Ramadan, does the employers private property rights trump the employees? What about medical supplies when the employer is a Christian Scientist? Or if the employer is a militant athiest can he ban the employee from bringing a Bible in his car?

              1. Also, prohibiting a gun to stay in a car also prohibits the gun owner from having his gun at all if work is one of the stops he’ll make that day.

            2. So let’s modify that. The employer has a right to say you can’t bring your car on my property if it contains a gun. Either way the owner has a right to tell you no guns. The private property bubble concept doesn’t work the way you want it to.

              1. I suppose he could, but how would he enforce it? Would you support the right of an employer to demand the right to conduct random searches of his employees’ personal vehicles?

                1. Yep. If I invite you to thanksgiving dinner I can insist you can only come if you let me search you. A private business is private property no different from your home. You make the rules. If I don’t like them I stay away.

        3. I would think a private employer would have that right regardless of religion?

          1. Not in Kentucky.

            http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Statutes…..x?id=11131

            1. You were asking about our support. We are all well aware government does shit they should not be allowed to do on a regular basis. When did Reason posters become the mouthpieces for the status quo in your view.

              1. It’s the Bo Puppet. Don’t expect reality, expect trolling.

                Don’t feed.

                1. He doesn’t particularly bother me. He is on and endless quest to prove libertarians are hypocrites. Let him tilt at whatever windmills make him happy.

                  1. Yes, but feeding it is like giving beans to the flatulent. Do we really want more fart gas in the room?

                    1. If I’m the one farting, yes.

                      Anyone else, no.

              2. Rhywun|6.29.15 @ 9:41AM|#

                I would think a private employer would have that right regardless of religion?

                My reply link was to the statute itself that demonstrates this is not the case in Kentucky.

                1. As a libertarian I am truly shocked to learn that government does bad things that I wouldn’t support.

                  1. My point was that it’s easy to take a stand when you think the thing in question is silly (contraceptives) than when it’s something you value (gun rights). Good for you and the others here who gave a principled reply that you’d find the KY law bad too.

                    1. You have an interesting definition f the word ‘principle’.

                      The inside of my car is the same as the inside of my living room. It is my property.

                    2. See rude host?

                    3. f the word ‘principle’.

                      This is the ethos of Botard the Hotard in one sentence.

                  2. I wish there was a blog on which we could read about such things.

                  3. Please make and sell stickers of that. Oh and make evil, evil profit doing so.

            2. Awww, Bo didn’t get the responses he wanted.

        4. Forget the religious argument: If the employer owns the property they’re free to say “no guns allowed” because property rights.

          Unfortunately, property and association rights have been greatly weakened. While, historically at least, religious liberty has stayed reasonably strong. So people end up having to lean on religious liberty to protect other rights when it really isn’t logically the best way to go.

          1. Are they allowed to say no Bibles in your car? Or no food during the daytime hours during Ramadan in your car? Why does the private property of the employee (i.e. their car) get trumped by the private property of the employer (i.e. the parking lot). Particularly when creating a parking lot, it is understood that employees will be parking THEIR PRIVATE PROPERTY on the parking lot. It isn’t a guns or 2nd amendment issue at all (as 2A, like the rest of the Constitution puts restraints on the gov’t, not other citizens). It is an issue of whose private property takes precedence.

            1. The employer can fire you or have your car towed without infringing your property right to your car. This isn’t complicated. Just as your employer can empty out your desk and send you the contents in the mail, he can remove your car from his lot provided that it isn’t damaged in the process and is available for you to reclaim.

              1. But your private property is stored in your desk drawer that is his property. However, he can’t go through your wallet just because you put it in the company’s desk drawer. So apparently he can have your car towed for whatever reason he wants? That would violate my private property rights because I have to pay to get my own property back.
                And the only time this seems to come up is with guns. And therefore if a company can tell you that you can’t store a gun in your own property while it is on his property, then he can tell you that you can’t put whatever he wants to ban in your car. Essentially this seems more analogous to rental property rights. You are engaged in a “rental” agreement with your employer that as part of your employment compensation, you can “rent” a parking space. Just as a landlord can’t just come in or ban things arbitrarily in your apartment, so an employer can’t arbitrarily ban things from your car.

                1. Essentially this seems more analogous to rental property rights. You are engaged in a “rental” agreement with your employer that as part of your employment compensation, you can “rent” a parking space.

                  This is certainly true at my place of employment, where I have to pay for a parking permit. :-/

                2. Just as a landlord can’t just come in or ban things arbitrarily in your apartment, so an employer can’t arbitrarily ban things from your car.

                  You realize you’re on a libertarian site, right? The landlord should be able to do whatever the fuck he wants provided in so doing he does not harm you or your property nor violate any contract that he freely entered into.

                  The same is true of your employer. If he wants to ban guns on his premises, then that is his right. He can’t throw you in jail over it, but he can ask you to remove the guns, to remove your vehicle, and he can even terminate your employment. If he owns the parking lot, then he can have your vehicle removed. As long as you knew the rules, then you accepted the cost of the tow when you violated those rules.

                  Furthermore, setting aside the ideological arguments, any restriction on the freedom of landlords, employers, or anyone else is going to have a cost. Rents are inflated because landlords can’t exercise certain forms of discretion over their tenants and the use of their property. If you want your employer to have to respect your special snowflake syndrome, you will find that there are fewer jobs available.

                  1. I propose the following compromise:

                    1) Every private business and entity is allowed to prohibit their employees, customers and visitors from possessing or carrying firearms on their premises.

                    2) However, if
                    a) any employee, customer or visitor is the victim of a criminal attack and,
                    b) The attack occurred while on the job, or on business premises or while the victim was walking to and from the premises and,
                    c) The employee, customer or visitor was qualified by law to possess or carry a firearm and,
                    d) A jury finds that under the totality of the circumstances, the employee, customer or visitor would have been reasonably able to defend themselves with a firearm against the criminal attack.

                    then

                    3) The private entity must make the employee, customer or visitor whole by paying for survivor’s benefits or medical treatment and loss of property or income resulting from the criminal attack.

                    This seems fair to me. If you ban your associates from defending themselves, you should assume the responsibility to defend them.

                    1. So a person owns the property where a crime is committed is as guilty as the one committing the crime?

                      Funny notion of justice…

                    2. That does sound reasonable. Except in the actual USA, these employers say “That’s the job of the government. Next…”

        5. Not analogous at all. The question hear is whether the Quaker company’s ownership of the parking lot trumps the employee’s ownership of his car.

          In Hobby Lobby there is no such conundrum: it’s the employer’s money, and that’s all there is too it; the question is can you force them to use their money to pay for the abortions of people voluntarily working for them. Anyone to whom the answer is not obvious should have their head examined.

        6. Same thing in AL. There is a 911 outside with a Beretta PX-4 .40 S&W hiding in the arm rest compartment…right under my office window.

  9. ACLU : Christians are literally worse than Nazis.

    1. Christians and Republicans and Nazis! Oh my!

      1. We’ll get you, My Pretty!

      2. We’ll get you, My Pretty!

    2. You know who else was a NAZI?

  10. In other words, the ACLU believes the peyote-smoking Native Americans and beard-wearing Sikh men are practicing an acceptable degree of religious freedom, but Christians are engaged in discrimination, and discrimination is bad

    Who could have seen this coming? I mean it is totally unexpected.

    “I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools,” he wrote.

    justice alito

  11. The ACLU “risks becoming just another lefty advocacy organization”? I think it’s a little late for that to just be a “risk.”

  12. So at this point the ACLU has…what, exactly, going for it?

    1. They’ve consistently fought wiretapping and droning under Obama as much as they did under Bush, for one.

      1. That is only because they haven’t come out with their manifesto explaining why droning Christians is OK.

        “We all know refusing to buy employees gay porn is unjustly inflicting your will on them. It is impossible to acquire goods or services unless your employer pays the bill directly. Therefore Christians should be droned.

        Sincerely
        ACLU”

        1. Again, I don’t get that they’re hostile to Christians. Here’s the work they’ve recently been doing in religious liberty, lots of Christian clients there.

          http://www.aclu.org/aclu-defense-reli…..expression

          1. This particular case implies a hostility to Christians not to mention a complete inability to apply even third grade level logic. Perhaps its just a special kind of stupid in this instance. We will see. The only other possibility I can see which is also plausible is that they fear the blow back form the SJW crowd if they properly side with Christians in these cases. Whether they are cowardly or unprincipled is somewhat irrelevant. This was a once valuable organization that apparently can no longer be trusted.

            1. Where does it ‘imply’ a hostility to Christians? You don’t think they’d oppose an Orthodox Jewish business owner who wanted an exemption from the contraception mandate?

              1. The counter-factual is not provable but that is my suspicion. You could argue that its just hostility to religious people in general but that wouldn’t change my opinion of the organization. They seem to have lost their commitment to civil rights in favor of political correctness.

                1. “They seem to have lost their commitment to civil rights in favor of political correctness.”

                  Then why did they recently come out in criticism of the subpoenas of anti-gay rights ordinance pastors in Houston, to take one case?

                  1. So if I burn a cross in a black families lawn I am not a racist unless I burn one on every black person’s lawn in my neighborhood? Simple question. Is this move by the ACLU consistent with their alleged commitment to civil liberties?

                    1. Again, they’re defending lots of Christians, many Christians who certainly don’t have the ‘PC’ view of things like gays. So given that, isn’t it just more likely that it’s not about Christians but about distinctions they make on things like commercial actions?

                    2. I think this is right. Seems to be Employees matter and employers don’t, rather than a Christian thing. The ACLU is still wrong, but not on the basis of religion.

                    3. Not really. Employees have a right to buy guns. I am pretty sure they ACLU would not be filing a lawsuit against companies that insisted guns not be allowed on company property even if the law explicitly required that they do. The best you can say is this is about specific political positions the ACLU likes. I still doubt that but it certainly isn’t some natural inclination to favor employees.

            2. The ACLU, like most in America today, is hostile to discrimination. That is what this is really about. If someone tried to discriminate against a Christian I suspect the ACLU would fight it.

              1. The ACLU, like most in America today, is hostile to discrimination.

                Yet discrimination is one of the most fundamental civil liberties. If the government can compel association, then what good is freedom of religion?

                If someone tried to discriminate against a Christian I suspect the ACLU would fight it.

                If true, then it only affects the accusation of political correctness, which is only of interest to culture warriors. They are still not a civil liberties organization if they seek to compel the association of private individuals.

              2. ” If someone tried to discriminate against a Christian I suspect the ACLU would fight it.”

                Except for the fact that the ACLU is not talking about discrimination here.

                “But religious liberty doesn’t mean the right to discriminate or to impose one’s views on others. ”

                The irony is they are complaining about imposing ones views on others while supporting a law that does exactly that. An employee who isn’t provided ponies or birth control can go buy them. On the other hand an employer can’t exercise his natural right to run a business unless he let’s the ACLU and their logic impaired jag off co-conspirators impose their will on the employer.

                Also war is peace.

            3. Bo may actually be accidentally right here, weird as it sounds.

              This may be more because it’s about birth control than because it has to do with Christians. Remember, the moment the discussion turns to gender (“women’s issues”, i.e., things women should all get for free at the expense of the taxpayers) these people go full retard.

              1. That is a fair interpretation. I’m not sure I agree but it isn’t worth arguing about as long as we agree on the full retard part.

  13. What is this “benefit guaranteed by law” nonsense?

    Also, I blame the gays.

    1. Get with times. We are no longer blaming the gays for things, the blame game has come full circle and it’s back to blaming the Jews for everything.

  14. It’s a disappointing retreat on principles for the ACLU

    It’s not disappointing to me. Look at the ACLU’s position on the right to keep and bear arms. They’ve been selective about what civil liberties they support for a long time.

    1. Yeah, I’ve never really been a fan of them. Supported 1 or 2 actions of theirs, sure. Consistency has ne’er been their strong point.

      1. “Consistency has ne’er been their strong point.”

        Exactly why consistent people occasionally find themselves on both sides of ACLU positions.

      2. I used to have a grudging respect for them: they would occasionally take unpopular positions where all the other leftists vehemently opposed individual freedom.

        More an more, it seems like they’re giving and towing the totalitarian party line. Basically, the ACLU is going the way of the Southern Poverty Law Center; once an organization with a purpose, now little more than a left wing statist propaganda center.

  15. “In other words, the ACLU believes the peyote-smoking Native Americans and beard-wearing Sikh men are practicing an acceptable degree of religious freedom, but Christians are engaged in discrimination, and discrimination is bad.”

    That’s a pretty uncharitable argument. While I disagree with them, it’s more likely (given they have been counsel in some of the more famous religious liberty cases in our history, many involving Christians btw) they just never foresaw RFRA being used by businesses, whether they be Christian or not.

    1. Ah, so it’s not really Christian’s religious liberty that they oppose but liberty in any form, related to commerce.

      That’s actually a lot worse.

      1. Yes, it’s bad, but it’s not a hatred of Christians. They’ve defended, and are defending, lots of Christians. They just don’t think commercial activity=religious expression.

        1. I think the real reason they’re being retarded about this isn’t even because it’s commercial activity, but rather because it’s about contraception/abortion. The ACLU has joined the club of people who think one has not merely a right to have those things, but the right to force someone else to buy them for you.

    2. I think that’s fairly likely, but I’m pretty sure that the current ACLU also would reject an individual employee who wishes to violate an employer’s anti-discrimination policy for religious reasons.

      1. Though I think that most libertarians would also reject individual employees doing that, though obviously many conservatives wish to make exceptions for pharmacists, etc.

      2. That’s an interesting hypothetical test case for them. So it would be something like a Christian waiter who refuses to work a gay marriage party, is fired, and sues claiming they were fired in violation of laws prohibiting discrimination based on religion?

        1. I would agree that the pharmacist thing who works for CVS, Target, Walgreens et. al., is analogous to the catering company who hires the waiters to work weddings. The company has the right to say, “If you work for us you will have to work the weddings we decide.” If the waiter has a religious objection to a gay wedding, then they can choose to swallow his pride and work it, or decide to find another job. Same is true for a pharmacist. However, a small business pharmcist who owns his/her shop should legally be able to say we don’t sell those types of drugs here.
          So Socons aren’t always consistent either ( I know, big surprise!)

    3. That’s a pretty uncharitable argument.

      How so, considering it comes from the ACLU’s own words?

      Yes, religious freedom needs protection. But religious liberty doesn’t mean the right to discriminate or to impose one’s views on others.

      1. Their own words demonstrate that they value religious freedom, they just don’t think that’s involved in these commercial actions they label as ‘discriminating’ and ‘imposing one’s views on others.’ They might be wrong about that of course, and I’m sure they’re guilty of being inconsistent with libertarian ideals, but I don’t think they’re being hypocrites about supporting religious liberty as they see it. And most certainly it seems uncharitable to say it’s some anti-Christian thing considering 1. they are defending lots of Christians in religious liberty cases and 2. they’d almost certainly oppose an employer from some other religion trying to ‘discriminate’ or ‘impose one’s views on’ their employees based on religious grounds.

        1. Their own words demonstrate that they value religious freedom,…

          No they don’t. They very clearly say that religious freedom needs protection, BUT not if it discriminates. They value religious freedom as long as it falls in line with what they think it should look like, otherwise they will fight against it.

          1. This.

            The bullshit before the but.

        2. “Their own words demonstrate that they value religious freedom”
          Their actions demonstrate that they don’t.

          Selectively defending a right is no defense of that right at all.

  16. What do you mean, “risk becoming” a left-wing advocacy group? What do you think they have been? Ask the ACLU what it thinks of freedom of association, liberty of contract, and unenumerated rights–and see how many nanoseconds it takes before the dread name of Lockner is thrown at you.

    During the Clinton years, the Supreme Court held that the Boy Scouts had the constitutional right to exclude gay scoutmasters. It is black letter law that government cannot retaliate against a citizen for his exercise of a constitutionally protected right. But the ACLU in Los Angeles attempted to do just that: it demanded that city government expel the Boy Scouts from all public property because if its stance on gay scoutmasters.

    The ACLU has always had a left-leaning bias. I am not surprised that its revulsion against “Christians” overrides it’s supposed dedication to “civil liberties.”

    1. They’d say they love unenumerated rights, Griswold, Lawrence and Roe are touchstones for them.

      1. If you notice, Bo, all those cases have one thing in common: they involve the rejection of legislation based on traditional religious notions of sexuality and reproduction. That seems to be the only unenumerated right the left respects.

        And if you notice, the decisions you cite, with the possible exception of Lawrence, avoid any discussion of unenumerated rights. Instead we get inane discussions of “penumbra” and “emanations” from the Bill of Rights or, in the case of Roe, multiple opinions with multiple inconsistent theories.

        1. Nobody* actually supports Roe, certainly not the ACLU or even the Supreme Court. Remember how the decision hinged on a right to privacy? Although the reasoning has become a joke, no right to abortion per se was established. The ruling hinged on the fact that, as a private transaction, abortion was not subject to government control. Yet how far has that reasoning been applied outside of abortion? How can the ACLU support Roe and yet say that the government can regulate the sale of cakes? Is that not a private transaction?

          * = outside of libertarians and anarchists, i.e. a practically nil set

    2. +1

      The ACLU has been a left-wing advocacy group for years. That it sometimes gets issues right does not alter this.

    3. I have no problem with the Boy Scouts discriminating all they want – just don’t expect me to give them tax dollars to do it.

      1. I’m not familiar with the details. Were the BS getting public money or just using public spaces?

        1. As I recall, it was attempting to deny them the use of space made available to community organizations.

          1. That sounds about right. And the rest of those “community organizations” can pay for their own damn space too.

            1. That sounds about right. And the rest of those “community organizations” can pay for their own damn space too.

              Indeed, the problem with expelling the Boy Scouts was (besides the vindictive nature of it) the government-sponsored discrimination. Either you allow all groups (with very limited exceptions for e.g. violent or destructive behavior) or you forbid all groups. And if you’re going to charge fees, then you have to charge them to all groups (and the fee schedule must be based on factors not related to the group’s purpose or mission).

              Of course, libertarians already know that “public” property is a joke (the public is everyone except you), but the government at least has to follow its own laws.

  17. Oh, now you notice.

  18. It’s a little annoying how some people on the left want to bend over backwards to automatically defend minority religious practices in questionable situations–the case of the Sikh men with beards and the military being an example.

    1. Sikhs are cute and contribute to diversity. Christians are yucky and remind me of my father who I hated.

  19. The disgusting bigotry of the ACLU has no place in America and religious groups need to organize to have ACLU meetings banished from government owned buildings. Exclusionary policies belong in the past, in a museum with the Confederate flag.

  20. See, I told you there was no way gays would start going after religious groups if they were just given the same freedoms as everyone else. Those stupid preachers who wouldn’t shut up about being forced to go against their religious practice sure were stupid. Looks like everything will be sunshine and rainbows from here out.

  21. he ACLU, which risks becoming just another lefty advocacy organization?rather than a true defender of civil liberties

    Haha, good one, Robby.

  22. religious liberty doesn’t mean the right to discriminate or to impose one’s views on others. The RFRA wasn’t meant to force employees to pay a price for their employer’s faith, or to allow businesses to refuse to serve gay and transgender people, or to sanction government-funded discrimination

    I’m kind of impressed they could get that so completely ass fucking backwards.

  23. When your *rights* ome from your employer, what are you going to say?

  24. The problem is that no one except libertarians consistently believes in the right to discriminate.

    1. however…the right to be ignorant is pervasive. especially among the hiring end in gov’t.

    2. What are anarchists, chopped spaghetti?

  25. c’mon, I meant come.

  26. “The RFRA wasn’t meant to force employees to pay a price for their employer’s faith” Isn’t employment at any specific place a voluntary contract? Slavery doesn’t exist in the USA. How the hell does compelling a business to supply a benefit they don’t support on religious grounds an uncorrectable infringement on an individual’s rights? That individual can tell their employer to kiss their ass and walk out to find employment elsewhere. I can’t get my head around free contraception as a civil right. It is truly an effed up time in history…

    1. “I can’t get my head around free contraception as a civil right“.

      Exactly.

  27. Here’s a current case where Lipan Apaches have been trying to preserve their right to possess eagle feathers that they use in religious ceremonies. Should we expect the ACLU to make an exception because conservation is important?

    1. There is a tradition of targeting religious exemptions to smaller religious groups.

      1. What in the world does the size of the religious group have to do with an exemption? You have a right to exercise your conscuence or you do not. Freedom applies to individuals, minorities, pluralities, and majorities equally or it does not exist for any.

      2. “There is a tradition …”
        Well if that’s not the sound defense of a course of action, I just don’t know what is.

    2. I can’t *own* or even possess a feather from a Bald Eagle. It’s a felony (for a non-Amerind). I guess the courts are using that law to get more convictions. Surprise, surprise.

  28. It’s not just a “we don’t like the Christian majority” thing. In very nearly all of the cases, the ACLU has supported the employee, not the employer. It’s part and parcel to the nonsense that you somehow have a right to a job with a particular employer and the ACLU’s rejection of the concept of employer property rights.

    1. And that employment is a type of mutual exchange among equals.

    2. Yes, it seems to be much more about hatred of property rights than anything about Christianity per se.

    3. And yet, aren’t employers the minority?

    4. Agreed.

    5. Thru their entire hx, the CLUs have had as a major reason for being support of employees vs. employers.

  29. “This seems like a funny place to draw the line, though.”

    It would see “funny” only if you fail to understand that the ACLU is about advancing and instituting the progressive agenda.

    1. Yes, when push comes to shove, the ACLU abandons the individual for the majority. It’s a useful bedfellow at times. Otherwise, it bites the notion of freedom in the ass in favor of collectivism.
      Like anyone anywhere you have to pick and choose.

      1. the ACLU abandons the individual for the majority

        Why shouldn’t they? That’s where the contributions come from. ACLU execs gotta get paid, after all.

  30. “If religious freedom does not include the freedom for individuals to peacefully decline involvement in private commercial activities they find objectionable, it’s a meaningless concept.”

    Money shot right there. Well written Robby.

    Also, just heard over the weekend that some (I can’t remember which) Sports Book in Vegas is giving UM 16 vs. Ohio State.

    1. It is not just “freedom” that becomes meaningless. “Free exercise” becomes meaningless as well. The Constitution says “free exercise” of religion not “free expression. Expression of all kinds is protected by a different clause. The ACLU and if you read the gay marriage decision closely, a majority of the Supreme Court, want to read the free exercise clause out of the constitution and combine it with freedom of expression. The intended effect of this would be to tell religious people they are free to think and say whatever they want but they can only act on it when the government finds the actions permissible.

      1. But even you wouldn’t allow all religious motivated actions to be exempted from laws would you John? For instance, if there’s a compelling reason.

        1. Sure, it is called strict scrutiny. You deal with religious actions the same way you deal with infringement on any other right. But the actions are what is protected and gets the benefit of strict scrutiny not just the statements. The ACLU’s and the Supreme Court’s, at least according to Kennedy, want to just give the expression such protection. Thus, a law that says “you can’t object to gay marriage” gets the protected but the refusal to recognize a gay marriage because it violates someone’s religious convictions would not. The refusal to recognize because just another act and the law outlawing it gets scrutinized under the rational relationship test.

        2. I don’t see where you get “all religious motivated action” out of this.

          Letting a religious person pay for goods or services legally available in a discriminatory manner based on their religious beliefs is not akin to letting a religious person murder people based on their religious beliefs. You’re inverting the leftist position here and ascribing it to proponents of religious freedom.

          In reality, Hobby Lobby shouldn’t have anything to do with religious freedom: an employer shouldn’t have to by their employers birth control or abortions. Full Stop. Doesn’t matter whether for religious reasons or not. If anything, the argument from other side here seems to be that the state should be allowed to regulate behavior that is otherwise completely legal precisely because it is categorized as ‘religious’ behavior.

          1. Yes…There is no conflict in Hobby Lobby is the govt hadn’t mandated specific types of health insurance coverage. It’s only because of the govt’s interference that there’s a case to begin with.

            I absolutely agree. A person shows up for work and exchanges their labor for pay. The employer should be required to do nothing beyond paying for the labor they received. Pay the employee, let the employee buy whatever their heart desires.

            Unfortunately in HL the time wasn’t right to make the whole case, so they looked for any excuse they could find to win.

  31. Should we expect the ACLU to make an exception because conservation is important?

    When everything is a compelling interest, nothing is a compelling interest.

  32. The ACLU is frequently inconsistent, waffling on rulings the SCOTUS hands down that interfere with their preset political biases (2A guaranteeing the right to own a gun, for example). They like to do this song and dance about “protecting the civil liberties of all Americans”, but when it comes right down to it, they’re just there to further the progs’ agenda.

  33. “a Supreme Court majority blessed”

    Stop right there.

  34. I read Kennedy’s opinion in the gay marriage case. The analysis of the case is missing the most offensive part of it. The entire decision rests on, to use a silly but for once applicable word, statist notion that the government defines and determines the existence of the most intimate and personal of all civic institutions. Kennedy spends paragraph after paragraph lauding the wonders of marriage and the love of two people and how it is everyone’s right to pursue that. That is true as far as it goes. The problem is that Kennedy assumes that people are only allowed to pursue such if the government says they can and gives them a piece of paper saying so. Everything else in the decision flows from that assumption.

    That is of course appalling. My marriage’s existence or non existence has nothing to do with the government. The government could declare my marriage null and void tomorrow and I wouldn’t give a fuck. I would still be married as far as I am concerned. The government doesn’t own reality. It doesn’t own the meaning of words. No one needs a piece of paper to be married and no piece of government paper is going to tell me or should tell anyone else definitively whether someone is married or not. That is up to you and the people involved. We own the intstution and the word not some robed overlord.

    1. You could have gotten that just from the last (?) sentence where he says that the Constitution grants the right to marry to gays. As a Supreme Court justice, I suspect it wasn’t just an inartful statement.

      1. If the case concerned government laws that refused to enforce contracts between gay couples or made it illegal for gay couples to live as married and claim they are married, all of Kennedy’s waxing poetic about the joys of love between two people would have been relevant. The case didn’t involve that, however. It involved laws that said state governments would not grant official sanction to gay relationships. So the only way his praise of two person relationships is relevant and the denial of official sanction a violation of the right to pursue such is if you assume such relationships can only exist if the government sanctions them. Or, that the government determines what is a marriage not the people involved or civic society. That is a completely totalitarian view of government.

    2. you are correct sir. but you knew this was how it would come about: the correct decision under false pretensions. there is no other way with the current batch of unintellectuals running the show.

      1. The correct decision would have been to give no decision at all. Marriage licenses are a state issue. Since the ability to get one does not determine the existence of your marriage in reality, the refusal of states to grant them is not an infringement on federally protected rights.

        Remember, this is not analogous to Loving. There, it was a crime for an interracial couple to be married. It wasn’t just that you couldn’t get a marriage license from the state of Virginia. It was if you had a marriage license from another state and tried to live as a married couple or if you didn’t have a license at all and tried to live as a married couple, you were committing a crime.

        Here gays were free to get married and live as married couples and even get licenses from states that wanted to give them. The only issue is whether the states and the feds had to recognize them. But again, their refusal to doesn’t mean you are not married because the state doesn’t own the institution.

        1. So if the law in Loving had just refused to recognize interracial marriages but did recognize intraracial ones that would be OK with you?

          1. Then it would have been a strict equal protection issue. Remember, this case was not decided on equal protection grounds. Kennedy’s opinion was that there is a substantive due process right to be married and you are not married unless the state gives you a license.

            If Loving had just been about refusal to recognize interracial marriages, it still would have failed under equal protection because race is a protected class. Gays, even after the gay marriage decision, are not. The Kennedy opinion is based on substantive due process and the right to be married not the right of gays to get marriage licenses if straights do under equal protection. That is what makes the decision both totalitarian and also so irrational. Gays get the substantive right to marry but for some reason Polygamists or people who want to marry close relatives don’t, even though all of the argument Kennedy laws out in support of gay marriage apply equally to them.

          2. Could we go back to getting just the 1st and 4th Am. consistently right?

            I mean, it’s quite literally becoming standard to violate the 1st and 4th for all Americans equally and uphold the 14th for those who, in some arbitrary way, fits the definition of unequal.

    3. The government doesn’t own reality. It doesn’t own the meaning of words.

      Unfortunately, for statists, it does. Which is why so many of them have been celebrating. They have finally been folded into the warm embrace of the state, where almost everyone apparently wants to live. It is very sad.

      1. This entire thing is a great opportunity for Christians to make their religion the kind of radical and subversive religion it should be. Fuck the government. Christians should stop getting marriage licenses. Get married in their churches and tell the government to go fuck itself. That piece of paper is not what makes you married. And shame on the conservatives for fighting the gay marriage fight under the assumption it does. Instead of having vapors about the government redefining marriage, they should have rejected the government’s power to define marriage at all.

        1. That would be truly awesome if they did.

        2. That would be awesome, but there’s no way it’s going to happen while the government still grants benefits to (legally) married couples that they won’t grant to individuals.

          1. The benefits are overrated. They amount to getting fucked on your taxes if you are duel income couple, having the government restrict how you can dispose of your property if you die, and the ability to not have to make a medical power of attorney.

            The only real benefits are if you want to adopt (we can’t have people living in sin adopting) and immigration. That is about it. For most people where both parties work, legal marriage is not a benefit. In many cases it can be a harm. For example, if one party has a handicapped sibling and the other party is independently wealthy. The first party can’t leave their entire estate to their handicapped sibling. The spouse gets a forced share no matter what the will says. And of course even prenups are generally useless if you are married long enough. All the other spouse has to argue is that they supported the other spouse and allowed them to not have to huge the money that was covered in the prenup. Then prenup or no, that money or some part of it becomes community property.

            1. Those dual income earners are the evil 1%, John, and need to be punished anyway for their sins. In the aggregate, marriage is subsidized; the middle class gets lots of goodies.

        3. Instead of having vapors about the government redefining marriage, they should have rejected the government’s power to define marriage at all.

          I think you will see more of this. I know Alabama and I think Mississippi are moving in that direction. Others may follow.

          1. Here’s what’s going to happen: progressives will deem these efforts attempts to circumvent the rights of gays to marry and shut them down using the courts.

            Leftists might have supported getting government out of marriage back in the old days; now that the government institution of marriage is defined according to their values, they love it, and will fight to impose it.

            Just watch. “Getting the state out of marriage” will be denigrated as veiled anti-gay bigotry. That’s going to be the new talking point. We need the government in all facets of our live, for what would we do without it?

        4. It would be interesting if the main stream of Christianity were like the Mennonites (at least some of the more radical ones) rather than the Catholics, Orthodox, & major Protestant sects they are now. But then something else like the Catholics, Orthodox, & major Protestant sects would exist, just not be called Christian. So it really wouldn’t make a difference. Nobody’s going to turn all those types into radicals. It only works in reverse, like how the Quakers became mainstream in society.

          1. The most popular religions I know of among radicals now who are sincere about religion are various forms of paganism.

    4. “My marriage’s existence or non existence has nothing to do with the government.”

      So you refused a marriage certificate from the government then I geuss?

      1. No. But my getting one isn’t what makes my marriage a marriage. If tomorrow the government declared all marriages null and void, would I not be married? Would I now feel free to date and marry someone else? No. I would not because my marriage exists independent of the government’s willingness to recognize it.

        1. I just have a hard time with someone who felt the need to get one lecturing people who couldn’t get one on how worthless it is.

          1. No. You have a hard time because you can’t respond to my point and resort to ad homnen. Again, if the government tomorrow said “no more marriages will be legally recognized”, would everyone then become single? Would the nature of the relationship between married couples change? Of course not. Married people would still be married. That is because “marriage” is a civic and personal institution first and foremost. The fact that it is a legal institution just flows from its existence as a civil and personal institution. The exist or definition of “marriage” does not depend on the legal institution or recognition of marriage.

            1. It’s not an ad hominen John. If someone is arguing ‘you know what, I don’t need X, X is worthless, why would anyone want to get X’ and that person has himself taken the steps to get X, I’m thinking perhaps he’s involved in some self deception after the fact.

              1. You are such a half wit. “That is not ad hominem John. I am just saying why should I believe your argument when you have done something contrary to them”. Wow.

                For the third time, i have a license because my wife wanted one. If it had been up to me, I wouldn’t have one. Moreover, it is not that the license invalidates my marriage. It is that my marriage’s existence or the terms of my marriage exist independent of it. Just because I think licenses are meaningless, doesn’t make it wrong for me to get one. They are meaningless, meaning it doesn’t matter if I have one or not.

              2. It’s kind if like telling people to not argue with Bo, after having a long argument with Bo, right?

              3. It’s not an ad hominen John.

                Actually, it’s just about the textbook definition of an ad hominem. You’re trying to impugn John’s credibility, rather than addressing the substance of his argument (kind of par for the course with you).

          2. Maybe he got the certificate for tax purposes?

            You’re trying to use a tu quoque argument, and even if you were using it right, you’d still be wrong.

            If the government decides to give everyone a free car, then I’m going to get my free car, but I’m still going to say it’s a stupid policy. Does that make me a hypocrite? No, it doesn’t: my tax money helped pay for those free cars; if I abstain, all it means is I’m helping buy everyone else a free car; may as well at least get my share of what I paid for.

            Similarly, the financial advantages of legal marriage are paid for by taxpayers; someone who helped pay for those advantages may as well collect them while they’re there, even as they condemn the existence of those advantages to begin with.

      2. Not everyone marries someone with the same politics. I would have been fine to just live as married, but my wife wanted the blessing of the state and the church. Also there are plenty of people that will say you aren’t really married unless you do it “legally”. It’s fair to say other’s opinions don’t matter, but few of us are willing to stand against the peer pressure of family.

        1. And you respected that your wife thought it was important, so you can imagine how other people, some gay, might also.

          1. You’re barking up the wrong tree Bo, I supported SSM, even though I prefer no state licensing.

            1. I’m not saying you didn’t, just noting that people who don’t think getting it licensed can respect those who feel otherwise. I agree with you that it’d be nice to get the government out of licensing, but it would have to be altogether.

              1. If someone told me I couldn’t get legally married because of my hair color or some arbitrary thing, i wouldn’t give a shit. I would campaign to end the legal institution of marriage perhaps so I could keep my taxes from being used to give tax credits to married people, but that’s it.

                It is a fucking piece of paper. Nothing more. The fact that gay people valued that piece of paper so much is, in my opinion, misguided. They should have been fighting to end the legal and financial privileges associated with official marriage instead of fighting to expand them. I gather that they have been less politically possible, but still. People who fetishize a piece of government paper aren’t going to get a lot of understanding from me. Frankly, if the Catholic Church had any balls themselves, they’d separate their sacrament of matrimony from official marriage altogether as well. As it stands though, I think they still require Catholics who marry in the church to get legally married as well. Which is asinine.

        2. Yes. And most churches require you to get a marriage license to get married in their church. That needs to stop. The Churches should not recognize the government’s authority to define marriage.

          As a duel income couple, it made no sense for my wife and I to get legally married. But we had to to get married in the church and my wife is like your wife and insisted on that. I would have been fine with no license.

          1. It would be awesome if churches did exactly that.

            1. The Churches should not recognize the government’s authority to define marriage.

              I meant this specifically.

              1. Definitely.

                But I suspect, with lefty statists’ love of using state institutions to impose their will on others, that progressive politicians would threaten to do away with churches’ tax exemptions should they choose to separate their matrimonial sacraments from the state’s sacrament of marriage. The legal definition of marriage is now a bargaining chip with which to control those churches.

                In time, I expect to see serious prog efforts to make all churches in the US the American equivalents of the Church of England.

                1. So many people live together these days, why would it matter to the govt if people got married in the church without a license? Only if they applied for a married status on their taxes without having the piece of paper to prove it.

                  I’ve heard about some gay couples that want to get married in a church (my niece got married a couple months ago). If the govt will marry you and the church won’t, then go get a govt marriage. Don’t try to force the church to conform to you, that’s not why they exist.

          2. And most churches require you to get a marriage license to get married in their church.

            I didn’t realize that. Strange.

            1. I honestly didn’t even think about it at the time. But they do. I am honestly not sure why.

              1. When I got married, the church didn’t require a license. That is why I found it strange that other churches do.

          3. As a duel income couple

            Heh…been a long time since you had a funny typo. Thanks.

    5. I asked about this on Friday, and no one was able to give me a non-religious reason why they got more “fulfillment” out of their relationship being a marriage than just a loving, long term relationship.

      1. Do you have a marriage certificate?

      2. You don’t, necessarily. Every single point Kennedy makes is true of any close relationship between two people whether they have a marriage license or not. I have a sister who has lived with her boyfriend for over 20 years. They are not legally at least married. And everything Kennedy says about marriage is true of their relationship.

        And that is my entire point. Kennedy assumes that if the government doesn’t sanction it, the relationship can’t exist. Or in other words that the government determines the meaning of a word or the nature of a relationship not the people involved or civil society.

        1. I think his argument is that if the government does sanction it then it has to do so equally.

          1. NO it isn’t. Read the decision. It is based on the substantive due process right to marry. That is not equal protection. You either haven’t read the decision or did and don’t understand it. It is not based on equal protection. It did not declare gays to be a protected class under equal protection.

            1. I did read it. His argument is: marriage is really important to people and society in four ways. Something this important can’t be denied to a group without a really good reason.

            2. While Kennedy’s opinion led with a Due Process argument, he also made an Equal Protection argument. It’s true that didn’t “declare gays to be a protected class,” bujt that’s because he really didn’t bother thinking through his EP argument. In particular, he didn’t even try to fit sexual orientation into the strict scrutiny/intermediate scrutiny/rational basis framework that is usually applied to analysis of classifications that are challenged under Equal Protection. (It’s almost as if he knew what outcome he wanted and didn’t really care how he got there.)

            3. While Kennedy’s opinion led with a Due Process argument, he also made an Equal Protection argument. It’s true that didn’t “declare gays to be a protected class,” bujt that’s because he really didn’t bother thinking through his EP argument. In particular, he didn’t even try to fit sexual orientation into the strict scrutiny/intermediate scrutiny/rational basis framework that is usually applied to analysis of classifications that are challenged under Equal Protection. (It’s almost as if he knew what outcome he wanted and didn’t really care how he got there.)

              1. See my post below Seamus. That is exactly what he did. He used the substantive rights argument to then pretend that it meant he didn’t have to examine the issue of gays being a protected class under equal protection.

                Kennedy managed to write about the worst most incoherent opinion possible. It would have been better if he had just done it under equal protection and declared gays a protected class. That would have lead to some nasty consequences but it at least would have been honest and coherent.

          2. That was his Equal Protection argument. But he also made a Due Process argument, which wasn’t based on any idea that the government had to treat all unions equally, but seems to have been based on the idea that the government has an obligation to recognize as “marriage” any loving committed relationship. (I’m looking forward to how Kennedy will respond when two brothers who want to take advantage of the spousal exclusion from estate tax sue because they’ve been denied a marriage license.)

            1. The two points fit together. He used the idea that marriage is a substantive right to then justify gays being entitled to equal treatment even though they are not a protected class. It was nothing but results oriented decision making. Kennedy wanted to affirm gay marriage but did not want to declare gays a protected class and make being gay the same as being black under the law. So, what he did was declare marriage a fundamental right under substantive due process and then said gays couldn’t be denied it under equal protection. If it is a fundamental right, you don’t have to be a protected class to claim it under equal protection.

              1. So because marriage is a fundamental right, when I go to marry my brother, and we’re denied a marriage license, my brother and I to claim that our rights are being violated under Equal Protection, even though siblinghood isn’t a protected class under the EP Clause? Sounds like Kennedy’s brand of incisive legal reasoning. (One more reason to lament that Doug Ginsberg had been a pothead.)

                1. That is problem Seamus. All of Kennedy’s arguments apply equally well to you wanting to marry your brother. Of course you won’t be able to do that legally anytime soon. That is because Kennedy really didn’t mean what he said. He just likes gays and gay marriage and wanted to see it happen. That is really all it was.

    6. Everything within the state.
      Nothing outside the state.
      Nothing against the state.

  35. The ACLU, as long as I can remember, has always been unfriendly towards Christians.

    1. Christianity is the dominant religion. Ergo, deserves same treatment as white privilege and patriarchs. Also racists.

  36. it seems to be much more about hatred of property rights than anything about Christianity per se.

    I think you may be on to something.

  37. Well, they were founded as the legal defense arm of the Communist Party of the United States; the more palatable name, American Civil Liberties Union, was adopted many years later.

    1. Here is the organization’s director and co-founder, Roger Nash Baldwin speaking in 1934 –

      I believe in non-violent methods of struggle as most effective in the long run for building up successful working class power. Where they cannot be followed or where they are not even permitted by the ruling class, obviously only violent tactics remain. I champion civil liberty as the best of the non-violent means of building the power on which workers’ rule must be based. If I aid the reactionaries to get free speech now and then, if I go outside the class struggle to fight against censorship, it is only because those liberties help to create a more hospitable atmosphere for working class liberties. The class struggle is the central conflict of the world; all others are incidental.

      1. Which summarizes the leftist position quite well: rights and freedoms are a means to overthrowing the dominant social/cultural/patriarchal/capitalist whatever the fuck.

        Ergo, in so far as those rights and freedoms are a hindrance to the rise of the anointed victim classes, they must be destroyed.

      2. I didn’t know this, thanks for the intel. It does shed some light on their motivation now that mask is slipping.

  38. Stoopid 1500 character limit.

    When that power of the working class is once achieved, as it has been only in the Soviet Union, I am for maintaining it by any means whatever. Dictatorship is the obvious means in a world of enemies, at home and abroad. I dislike it in principle as dangerous to its own objects. But the Soviet Union has already created liberties far greater than exist elsewhere in the world. [?] While I have some reservations about party policy in relation to internal democracy, and some criticisms of the unnecessary persecution of political opponents, the fundamentals of liberty are firmly fixed in the USSR. And they are fixed on the only ground on which liberty really matters ? economic. No class to exploit the workers and peasants; wide sharing of control in the economic organizations; and the wealth produced is common property.

    1. So Tony is Baldwin and undying? That’s chilling.

    2. Man. That’s quite a quote. Goes to show how good the Soviets were at keeping a lid on things, I guess, given that was written in the year following the Holodomor.

  39. It’s time for Congress to amend the RFRA so that it cannot be used as a defense for discrimination. Religious freedom will be undermined only if we continue to tolerate and enable abuses in its name.

    Next on the agenda: Amend the First Amendment, so that it cannot be used as a defense for hate speech and movies critical of Hillary (but I repeat myself).

  40. Dictatorship is the obvious means in a world of enemies, at home and abroad. I dislike it in principle as dangerous to its own objects.

    Nice. Freedom is all well and good, in theory, but people cannot be trusted to behave as I wish them to. They must be shown the True Path, and forced to remain upon it.

    1. Just like Lenin: “Freedom is precious. So precious, in fact, that it must be rationed.” (I may have paraphrased a bit, but it is close enough.)

  41. Those christian organizations sure are evil for not just refusing to cover contraception but banning their employees from reaching into their own pocket and purchasing it on their own accord.

  42. The Hobby Lobby case is similar to, but different from the bakery/photographer cases. In the case of Hobby Lobby, it is a case of an employer and an employee entering an employment contract. The employment market is necessarily narrower than the retail market.

    There is the concept of “public accommodation” which applies to retail. You offer a service to the public market, you accommodate the public. But the idea the Federal Government has to dictate employers must offer 20 specific contraceptive and abortifacients, seems oppressive. At the same time, a employer providing insurance which provides 16 specific contraceptives, and allows the prospective employee to purchase others (including over the counter abortifacients) on their own, in the public market, seems adequate.

    But let me ask this. How is the refusal of a baker to bake a cake for a gay wedding any different from Uber denying carriage to someone legally possessing a handgun, post Obergefell? Is it not a public accommodation of someone doing something they are constitutionally allowed to do?

    1. It is not. It is exactly the same. I would support the business in both circumstances. I absolutely have a Constitutional right to own a gun and carry it in public. I do not however have a right to own a gun and carry it on an uber cab. It is their cab and if they don’t like my gun, too bad for me.

      The stickier issue is can a Muslim cab driver refuse to take a customer with a dog or with alcohol. They have a religious objection. I would think the cab company has every right to cater to that if they wish. Can the cab company then fire them if they refuse to take a guide dog? I say yes. I don’t have a right to demand the cab company take my dog or my bottle of bourbon but they don’t have a right to demand the cab company hire them and then refuse to take paying customers.

    2. Likely response: There is a “rational” reason for the Uber driver to refuse service, but no such reason for the baker.

      1. Oh yes, hoplophobia is so much more rational than religious belief.

    3. Re: meh130,

      There is the concept of “public accommodation” which applies to retail. You offer a service to the public market, you accommodate the public.

      The “public accommodation” concept is totally bogus; it is a canard, based on ignorance of economics. Public Accommodation would only apply if the seller had an infinite number of goods to give away to the “Public”. Sellers as well as buyers face scarcity, which is why they TRADE the goods, not give them away.

      In the first place, you’re not offering goods to the “public”, you’re offering them to paying customers. That’s NOT the public, those are paying customers. There is already an exclusion happening at that moment, rendering the term “public accommodation” completely meaningless, which is why I say it is a canard, a bromide invented by Marxian politicians (or economically-ignorant politicians, the two types being practically interchangeable). In the second place, the term implies the goods belong to the public by virtue of being offered to paying customers. This is a travesty that makes hash of Private Property rights.

      I understand the point you’re trying to make but one thing I recommend to you is that you try with all your might to not fall into these semantic traps set up by the Marxians.

    4. Agreed. As much as can’t freaking stand the attitudes of anti-gun nuts and corporate pussies who have these policies, no one is making anyone use Uber or any other privately owned service. Con and liberals both seem to forget (in their own pet rights) that the Constitution was to set limits on gov’t NOT other people.

    5. How is the refusal of a baker to bake a cake for a gay wedding any different from Uber denying carriage to someone legally possessing a handgun, post Obergefell?

      It’s not. But I support the right of either business to do that, despite only the latter particularly goring my ox. In fact, I’m glad they made their position known, so I can stop giving money to people who sneer dismissively at my tribe. Which is why I can’t imagine why a gay couple would want to hire an anti-gay baker, except as a false flag operation.

  43. They have been the Anti-Christian Liberty Union for a very long time.

  44. Yes, religious freedom needs protection. But religious liberty doesn’t mean the right to discriminate or to impose one’s views on others.

    Wasn’t the purpose of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to stop the contrary from happening, which is people discriminating against or imposing their [secular] views on religious [e.g. Christian] people?

    But so should the ACLU, which risks becoming just another lefty advocacy organization

    I think it is too late for that, already. 70 years too late, in fact.

    The RFRA wasn’t meant to force employees to pay a price for their employer’s faith,

    And to leave no doubt the ACLU is indeed just another lefty advocacy organization, we have the above contention that an employee receives a salary and benefits from an employer as a matter of right rather than the result of an agreement between the two parties.

    Ah, those little Marxians from the planet Marx!

    1. Every year they seem to read more and more out of the Constitution. They have already read the 2nd Amendment out of it. Now they are reading half of the 1st Amendment out of it. And I am not sure of their position on Citizens United but likely they have already read the other half of the first out as well.

  45. “Christians are engaged in discrimination, and discrimination is bad”

    Wait, so you’re saying i CAN get a cheeseburger in Kosher deli?

    those motherfuckers were just messing with me!

    1. You should be able to get a bacon cheeseburger at the Kosher deli because public accommodation.

      1. Humorous, but sadly not quite a parallel construction. Kosher delis (as public accommodations) are legally required to sell the things they sell to anyone who shows up and meets the basic requirements (shoes, shirt, not a pet — although, really, I’m not sure why shoes and shirts provide exemptions from public accommodation), and not discriminate based on religion. Wedding cake bakers are not required to serve bacon cheeseburgers either, no matter the gender or sexual preference of the consumer. Or, to put it another way, Kosher delis don’t server bacon cheeseburgers as a matter of course. No one is arguing that wedding bakers don’t bake wedding cakes.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’d love some good ammo to shoot at public accommodation laws. This just isn’t it. :-/

  46. here you go this is the foot in the door to force churchs to accept and even marry gays and to eventually not be able to practice your religion as it may require.

  47. I guess religious freedom is only for people who don’t create jobs.

  48. The ACLU has always been a leftist organization, especially when it comes to Second Amendment rights. I’ve tried to enlist their help in Arkansas to protect veterans from losing their gun rights, but they refused.

    1. Arkansas Constitution, Art II, Sec 5. Right to bear arms.
      The citizens of this State shall have the right to keep and bear arms, for their common defense.

      Seems pretty straightforward to me.

  49. So the ACLU has gone so far off the rails that *Reason* magazine criticizes their irrational anti-Christian bias.

    That’s as if someone* got so fat that even Chris Christie started expressing concern.

    *like yo mama

  50. I don’t mean to argue the merits or drawbacks of mandated birth control but in the case of Hobby Lobby I think it’s really important to distinguish between the freedom to practice your religion (Native Americans and Sikhs) and more or less imposing your religious beliefs (in the form of withholding payment) on your employees. There is nothing about the Sikh’s beard or the Native’s peyote that affects anyone but themselves.

    I don’t mean to provide an opinion on the ACLU but I think it’s important to recognise this very important distinction between interpretations of practicing your religion.

    1. The employers were refusing to pay their employees if they decided to use their paychecks to pay for those specific forms of contraceptives?

      Bullshit. My employer is not denying me access to an automobile by not providing that as a benefit.

      1. The New Normal says that he’s discriminatorially denying you access to an automobile by not supplying you with one as is your right.

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  52. Man. ACLU is going backwards. Skipping “two” was bad enough, but now they count to ten starting at “three”?

  53. “… ACLU, which risks becoming just another lefty advocacy org…”. What? There is no risk here. ACLU has fulfilled this role for a generation.

  54. I think you are missing the point. The government telling the Sikh not to have a beard is an impingement on his personal freedom. Hobby Lobby telling its employee it won’t provide insurance for contraception is a loss of individual freedom because Hobby Lobby is an organization not a person.

    Too many times libertarians mistake state or institutional freedom for individual freedom.

    1. Hobby Lobby is a privately held company. Therefore, its owners can pay or not pay for whatever the hell they want. They are not discriminating as they don’t provide those 4 out of 20 forms of birth control to anyone they employ. You are assuming that a person has a right to demand someone else provide their birth control! A woman has the right to use birth control and to screw anyone that is wlilling to screw them. A woman does NOT have the right to force someone else to pay for it.

      And anyone who is actually a libertarian (nor any true Scotsman for that matter!) confuses “state” freedom (there is no such thing) with individual freedom. And a privately owned company is just that: owned by an individual who makes choices about what his/her company will do. So it is simply back to individual freedom.

    2. ” Hobby Lobby telling its employee it won’t provide insurance for contraception is a loss of individual freedom…”

      So subsidizing somebody else’s birth control is the source of individual freedom? Between 1776-2014 people paid for their own. Now, I suppose, it brings new meaning to the phrase “new birth of freedom”.

      Anyway, the Hobby Lobby decision was very narrow. Hobby Lobby is privately held with a Christian business model. It’s pretty easy to avoid working for a company that fits that narrow criteria if you think it’s worth your time. Destruction of freedom averted!

    3. Gotta be a troll….

  55. “But so should the ACLU, which risks becoming just another lefty advocacy organization?rather than a true defender of civil liberties?as it continues to stray from the path of impartiality.”

    Lol @ “risks becoming.”

  56. They really didn’t come out against Christians, they’ve come out against Christians perverting the intent of the RFRA, and it’s stated quite clearly in their statement: “Yes, religious freedom needs protection. But religious liberty doesn’t mean the right to discriminate or to impose one’s views on others.”

    1. So an employer who’d rather not pay for abortions, or a florist who’d rather not decorate gay weddings, are the worstest, more horriblest people in the world. Whereas the feminists and queer activists who would force these people to act against their beliefs are wonderful Americans.

      This is a line of argument I can get behind! Where do I send my check?

      1. That’s Bo level stupid, Squid. Seems like a progtard troll offensive. Several with idiotic points on this thread. NTTAWWT.

        1. Truth hurts?

  57. “The RFRA wasn’t meant to force employees to pay a price for their employer’s faith, or to allow businesses to refuse to serve gay and transgender people, or to sanction government-funded discrimination.”

    Translation: we didn’t mean to give people a way to resist

  58. The author takes a big leap in his attempt to connect the ACLU to being anti-Christian.. He fails to see the point or is deliberately attempting to defame the ACLU. The point the ACLU is making is not one of non-support of the Christian faith, but rather an attempt by certain Christian groups to go beyond the scope of the RFRA and use it to violate the civil rights of others in the name of religious freedom. Their desire to not supply contraception via there company provided health insurance has been affirmed by the Supreme Court, but by attempting to say those same employees have no right to information on how they can obtain contraception elsewhere is a blatant attempt to impose their religious beliefs on others. The RFRA was not intended for this purpose.

    1. the civil right to have your boss buy stuff for you? The only thing you deserve is a paycheck and a safe workplace. labor is exchanged for money, nothing else matters

  59. Is it the day where the ACLU had jumped the shark or nuked the fridge?

  60. The ACLU lost me in Skokie but their hypocrisy has been evident ever since they sided with the anitgun lobby long ago. The organization was originally established to support the Bill of Rights, but subsequently decided that the Second Amendment is an embarrassment to good liberals.

  61. No, they just are intolerant of Christian Religious Freedom (and those Uppity Jews too).

  62. We have a guy in our agency with a beard due to a medical condition where shaving causes severe irritation

    im unsure if the military has allowed this medical exception?

    Allowing people to visibly express their religious affiliation is against Peel principles and common sense

    We disallow (except for chaplains – who don’t respond to 911 calls) VISIBLE crosses, stars of David, or any religious garment

    I’ve never heard of orthodox Jewish cops wearing their side curls

    Mormons can wear their underwear, and Sikhs their ceremonial knives – concealed

    L empathise with Sikhs and would like to have Sikh cops, but having visible religious affiliation in uniform
    Strikes me as improper and it also seems a unique exception being made

    It’s not as bad as in the UK where they allowed Muslim constables to opt out of protection detail for Israel embassy!

    That would be like allowing a ‘prolife’ cop not to respond to paper details at an abortion clinic

    Sorry, but uniform appearance should be UNIFORM (imo that means men and women BOTH should be allowed stud earrings and long hair IF the hair is properly bound up for duty, as it has to be for women (this is for safety too – ponytails offer a great handle to drag somebody. It’s why we wear (God forbid) CLIPON ties too

    Also, this would allow Native American make cops to wear their long hair (for some it’s a religious thing) without it being an exception

    Most, but not all, agencies ban even ‘neat’ bears – except for medical

    1. The condition is called keloids. It is much more prevalent among blacks than whites. And yes the military allows beard wearing if you are prone to keloids. However, the beard must still be very short and neatly trimmed–no ZZ-Top or mountain man action.

      1. Men with very curly beards tend to get ingrown hairs, like a real bad case of acne. Real nasty when they get infected.

  63. Consistently means little to the prog when there are pro-choice mandates

  64. Fascinating. Oddly enough, I understand and, to an extent, agree with their reasoning. The law began to protect the rights of individuals, but is now being used to protect the religious beliefs of those most devout and pious worshippers: corporations, businesses, and for-profit institutions (like private colleges).

    On the other hand, I’m in total agreement with Patrick Stewart that businesses should not be compelled or forced to provide products or services for things they find objectionable. As a software developer, there are a lot of really, really, really heinous things that people would like me to write programs to do, and I have always refused. Doesn’t take much imagination to consider that the NSA might one day tell developers they have no right to refuse to write invasive spying programs or program backdoors.

  65. Robby, the reality is this: if an entitlement is involved, the ACLU will defend that over actual liberty, every time.

  66. “Now” they oppose? The ACLU has always been opposed to religious liberties, especially for Christians and Jews.

    Taking on cases to support the rights of non-atheists and especially Christians and Jews has been a smoke screen for the ACLU, doing just enough of those cases to claim they don’t only support atheist’s claims of discrimination.

  67. The more obvious pattern to the ACLUs judgments in these cases is an anti business/corporate bias.

    People who *produce* wealth are the natural enemies of the Progressive Theocracy, therefore they stick it to them every chance they get.

  68. Hobby Lobby is NOT opposed to *contraception*. They do NOT want people to have unplanned or unwanted pregnancies.

    Contraception, the prevention of conception, is NOT abortion nor is it anything that causes a miscarriage or alters when or if birth occurs.

    The pro “choice” people miss-use birth control to refer to forms of contraception such as condoms and hormone pills.

    Hobby Lobby is opposed to forms of birth control like abortion or the RU-486 drug that causes an implanted embryo to be aborted. I dunno what their policy is on the “morning after pill” which is simply a dose of hormone pills that attempt to prevent conception.

    If it blocks sperm from reaching or fertilizing the egg cell, it’s contraception, not “birth control”. Once the ovum is fertilized, then drugs and procedures to prevent it from developing into an embryo, fetus, then baby are birth control.

    Drugs and procedures used to prevent premature birth are also birth control.

  69. The ACLU has not been in the civil liberties business for decades. It was taken over by leftist social justice warriors by 1980. Sure, it occasionally does a high profile intervention for truly loathesome folks like neo-Nazi’s, but don’t be fooled. That is all about deceiving folks into think they are balanced.

    They are not balanced and haven’t been for decades. They are big government liberals, and the only time it looks like they are for liberties is when they can take a libertine position or they do a false flag operation like their Nazi stuff.

  70. [I]… the ACLU, which risks becoming just another lefty advocacy organization?rather than a true defender of civil liberties?as it continues to stray from the path of impartiality.[/I]

    Robby S:

    You now just noticed this?

  71. “We can’t let the RFRA be used as a tool for a different result now.” Right. But we have let it be used as a tool–a crowbar that bends the intent of the law. Hobby Lobby, the bale-fire case. Admittedly. the ACLU seems to be giving away a lot of moral high ground with the recent announcement but something has to happen, something corrective. Religious fundamentalism is indeed a powerful tool in the hands of those who would, and are attempting to, re-shape our government according to scripture. While, in another part of the world, a so-called Caliphate is emerging out of the unchecked excesses of religious zeal. Religious freedom is a porcupine of an issue at best and it looks as if the ACLU is putting their gloves on. Let’s trust them a little longer to do what they’ve always done, advocate for equality under the law.

    1. You are trying to conflate Hobby Lobby with ISIL….best head back to Salon, brochacho, no one around here buying your brand of bullshit.

      Also, dead thread-fucking is a Tony tactic, so you lose.

  72. Religion…..the root of all evil…..

    Now what do these religous brainwashers tell the younger generation to keep them in line and continue donating MONEY to them. Going to be quite difficult to “cage” the gay people and make them worship a fantasy man who hates them when the law says it is ok to love another of your choice.

    Religion is all about money and stupid people who cannot think for themselves.

    Life is very simple..treat others the way you want to be treated….no invisible fantasy man exists with the threat of eternal torture….

    After 12 years of attempted brainwashing on me.. I still find it amazing how many people believe in a book written by cavemen that contradicts facts and itself over and over.

    If “god” is so supreme why wouldn’t it have written a book to help the human race ..for example medicine and facts about how the universe works..if i were to go back 2000 years with the knowledge of today I would be helping humanity and this fantasy god does nothing but threaten eternal torture to people and allow death and murder and HATE in his name..IT IS INSANE

  73. I noticed this trend in the ACLU years ago. Concepts of free speech, fair play, right vs wrong, and freedom of religion/unbelief is a moving target which depends upon those who write the script. I used to believe they existed to help the voiceless, powerless, minority regardless race, creed etc., find room at the table, but quickly realized they’re after the whole table and all the place setting.

  74. “They invoke the RFRA to argue not only that they should not have to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives” – Louise Melling ACLU

    Melling is a liar and she knows it. Hobby Lobby insurance covers contraception. Hobby Lobby was arguing only about 3 or 4 of the contraceptive methods they did not want to pay for. Employees still have something like 14 different choices, but hey, the truth doesn’t matter to lying shitbag belly crawling asswipes like Melling.

    1. “They invoke the RFRA to argue not only that they should not have to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives, but also that they should not even have to notify the government that they refuse to do so because, they maintain, notification would trigger the government to intervene to ensure coverage.”

      It is really odd that you decided to end the quote at a comma and completely dismiss the rest of the statement which contains the major objection to what is happening. They don’t want to notify the government that they are opting not to provide certain forms of contraception, which is a requirement of the ACA. This is so that the government can step in and fill the gap and relieve the religious organization of the burden.

  75. Why is it so difficult to recognize that when a business refuses to do business with a person because they are a LGBT person, that it constitutes discrimination?

    In what way is a business’s religious beliefs compromised when they sell that person some item, or bake a cake?

    How can a business claim they are being “forced to participate” with such a simple action? When has a business been “forced to participate” by attending and taking part in a wedding, a celebration or any other LGBT event? When has a business been required to approve of any LGBT practice or belief?

    The answers are simple and obvious. A business’s refusal to sell to or provide a simple service to a person because they are identified as LBGT is clearly discrimination when it does not require acquiescence to LGBT beliefs by the business.

    I believe a citizen should be free of such discrimination and such a right would be supported by the 9th amendment to the constitution. I believe he should also be free of such discrimination through the reasoning and morality of men of conscious, and men with religious integrity.

  76. “This seems like a funny place to draw the line…”

    Except that it’s the PERFECT place to draw the line.

    Natives smoking Peyote are not involving unconsenting others.
    Sikhs not shaving doesn’t involve unconsenting others.

    Forcing someone to participate in a ceremony they find abhorrent and/or forcing them to pay for contraceptives that the people using it should pay for their own damn self – this DOES involve unconsenting others – making it a crime by definition.

    Duh. . .

  77. How is religious freedom undermined by standing up for your religious freedom? Is it abuse of the RFRA according to Ms. Melling, if a christian or christian business choose to speak out in defense of their religious beliefs? I’m beginning to believe that the ACLU believes that Christians should no longer have a public voice in the United States. What’s next?

  78. ” Religiously affiliated nonprofit organizations such as universities are taking the argument further. They invoke the RFRA to argue not only that they should not have to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives, but also that they should not even have to notify the government that they refuse to do so because, they maintain, notification would trigger the government to intervene to ensure coverage.”

    It seems like every single commenter on this thread just decided to ignore this entire point, which is clearly the major objection the ACLU has in this case. Religious organizations are REQUIRED to NOTIFY THE GOVERNMENT if they are opting not to cover certain forms of birth control. That way the government can step in and fill the gap if needed, and relieve the organization of the burden of providing something they object to. This is a requirement of the ACA. Does anybody have any thoughts about that?

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