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Oregon Agency Inadvertently Admits Rules Used to Fine Bakers Are Unneeded, Mostly Unused

Yes, actually, it is about a wedding cake.

The cake is not a lie, but claims of possible widespread discrimination are.Credit: Pixelbrat | Dreamstime.comOregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) wants to make it clear to everybody that when it ordered Aaron and Melissa Klein to pay $135,000 to a lesbian couple for refusing to bake them a wedding cake, that this money did not constitute "fines or civil penalties which are punitive in nature." It is just the state of Oregon ordering the Kleins to give their money to somebody else on the threat of having a lien placed on their home. That is apparently something completely different.

While the couple works out an appeal, take note of a press release BOLI sent out to announce its order. I blogged about the order last week and didn't even notice the release. Cato Senior Fellow (and Reason Contributing Editor) Walter Olson pointed out the release on Twitter, noting that it's trying to defend this decision by comparing it to a case where they found that a Christian had been discriminated against on the basis of her beliefs. The release did not actually ask, "Where was the outrage then?" but it is clearly mentioned as a way to show that BOLI also defends the rights of Christians when they've been discriminated against.

The case is significantly different though—about a Christian employee of a dental facility whose employer was a Scientologist who apparently attempted to require her to attend some sort of Scientology management training seminar. Even if I conceded that a Scientologist dentist does not have the right to employ like-minded associates (I am not making such a concession), this is a situation where the person being punished by BOLI attempted to coerce somebody into doing something she didn't want to do because she felt it violated her religious beliefs. See the comparison? BOLI was on the complete other side in this case but doesn't even realize the difference, because all it can see are its non-discrimination regulations and who is allowed to do what, not any sort of consistent philosophy. BOLI does not realize or care that it is now the entity engaging in coercion and threatening the livelihoods of others. They can do that because they're the government, not a bakery or a dentist.

Even more absurd in this release is that it openly admits that the law being used to punish (sorry—"require money from") the Kleins has accomplished very little and that, in fact, there are very few instances of anti-gay discrimination in public accommodations even being reported to the state of Oregon:

"Complaints under the Oregon Equality Act of 2007 are rare. In fact, the agency has found substantial evidence of violations in only seven investigations of Equality Act accommodations complaints in the seven years since the law took effect. In each civil rights investigation, the Bureau of Labor and Industries approaches the complaint not with a bias for or against the Complainant, but with a duty to determine the unique set of facts.

In the vast majority of all employment, housing and public accommodations complaints filed under the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, BOLI investigators have found that no substantial evidence exists to support charges of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity."

A "vast majority" of the complaints turn out to be unsupportable. This is BOLI's own admission that discrimination (or provable discrimination) against gays, lesbians, and transgender people in Oregon is rare.

Let's say we were to take a nuanced approach to the concept of freedom of association and discrimination laws. Let's say that we would accept laws against discrimination if it were shown that enough business collusion and government involvement had taken place so that a class of disfavored people truly had extreme challenges in just living a normal, everyday life. Historically, this is what actually happened to African-American citizens. The discrimination was real and significant.

But under no reasonable analysis of widespread discrimination would Oregon's law hold up. There is no collusion between businesses and bigots in the government to keep gay people from having jobs and buying things—not these days. There is no evidence of any sort of "redlining," where industries like banks or insurers conspire to refuse services to gay people.

Proponents of punishing people like the Kleins know full well that there is no widespread threat of anti-gay discrimination. So when it's pointed out that it is utterly absurd to use the force of the state to go after a couple of bakers over something so non-essential to as a wedding cake, they insist: "It's not about a wedding cake." BOLI says exactly this. They insist the ruling is about not allowing any sort of discrimination. But they then also acknowledge that there actually is no widespread amount of discrimination that would interfere in the lives of the lesbian couple in the center of this case. There was one incident. They have to insist that it's "not about the cake" because if it is about the cake, it means the state is threatening to destroy people's lives over something exceedingly superficial. The problem, though, is that they've admitted that Oregon has very little anti-gay discrimination to speak of. Which means, actually, it is about a stupid wedding cake and an extremely retributive process for punishing a handful of people whose discriminatory behavior actually has very little impact on the public or the intended targets.

In another matter related to the ruling, soon after it was released, some outlets reported that BOLI had "gagged" the Kleins and ordered them not to talk about the case. This is a misreading of the order, but not actually a huge misread. Oregon has a law that prohibits operators of public accommodations from declaring an "intent" to discriminate against protected classes. It determined the Kleins had violated this rule but did not punish them for it in the final order (the agency actually wanted to, though). The "gag" essentially orders the Kleins not to continue saying that they will refuse to make wedding cakes for gay couples, but since their bakery is no longer open, it doesn't really matter. They are no longer providing any "public accommodations" under Oregon law. It does not prohibit the Kleins from talking about the case.

But that doesn't mean there aren't still problems with such an order and a troubling vagueness in the ruling. Ken "Popehat" White explains the subtleties here. While it is not a gag order, White does worry that the ruling makes it unclear what, exactly, the Kleins may say.

Photo Credit: Pixelbrat | Dreamstime.com

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  • John||

    But under no reasonable analysis of widespread discrimination would Oregon's law hold up. There is no collusion between businesses and bigots in the government to keep gay people from having jobs and buying things—not these days. There is no evidence of any sort of "redlining," where industries like banks or insurers conspire to refuse services to gay people.

    Give them time Scott and let them keep fucking with people and there will be. Any gay person should loath Oregon and the couple who brought that suit. Take away that suit and the backlash against the gay marriage decision would have been much smaller than it has been. This case has created an enormous amount of ill will against gays in this country.

    If this sort of thing continues and we see more people put into bankruptcy and the IRS going after churches and such being gay won't be so cool anymore. It will become associated with being an asshole who can't be reasoned with even you give them what they want. That won't be a good thing for anyone.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    Take away that suit and the backlash against the gay marriage decision would have been much smaller than it has been.

    It was inevitable. Either it was going to happen in Oregon or it would happen in California or Massachusetts or somewhere else. This is a CRA issue, not an issue with a specific state statute or agency.

  • John||

    Sure. But the point still stands that this kind of shit is going to do a lot of harm. It isn't going to get people to accept gays. It is going get them to go from being ambivalent to outright hating gays. I don't think the people who owned this bakery hated gays but I bet they do now.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    The activists don't care. They aren't concerned with reality, they just want to be the next MLK on the next civil rights issue.

  • Vincent Milburn||

    They don't care if you like them, only that you are forced to pretend to like them.

  • PM||

    This is a CRA issue, not an issue with a specific state statute or agency.

    Presently, there is no federal CRA protection for sexual orientation. In the places where this is happening, it is completely specific to a state statute (the state-level CRA's) or agency (the agencies tasked with enforcing the state-level CRA's).

  • Sudden||

    This case has created an enormous amount of ill will against gays in this country.

    Perhaps a consequence of living in a hellish progderp dystopia, but I fail to see any evidence of this around me. I actually see petty tyrants celebrating such punishment of any dissidents.

  • John||

    Maybe I just know different people. But I know plenty of people who think gays can go fuck themselves whereas before they were not nearly as militant about it.

    When you start screwing with people's churches and beliefs they have a bad habit of not just rolling over but getting pretty angry and militant about it. This is one case in Oregon. Wait until it is dozens of cases all over the country. And it won't be bakeries it will be churches and colleges and other religious institutions getting fined and threatened with bankruptcy. People are not going to take that lying down. And the sad part is that people being what they are, it won't be the Progs who get the blame, it will be the gays.

  • Mr. Paulbotto||

    +1 Saltire of Saint Andrew

  • BearOdinson||

    It is unfortunate for gays. While most of the gay folks I know were happy about the SCOTUS ruling regarding marriage, most of them wouldn't dream of going to a government agency because a baker wouldn't bake a wedding cake for them. Some would say ok, thats unfortunate that your are losing my business but ok. Some might even tell the bakers to "fuck off"! But at the end of the day, they would leave, go next door and get their cake.
    It is the progs and the few gay agitators who are doing this.

    BTW: I get lesbians because regardless of their sexual preference, they are still women and generally prefer the security of monogamy (plus most of them aren't "lipstick" lesbians, so when they find someone, they hold on to them like grim death!). But what is with gay men? If I was gay, I would be partying like it was 1999! Why the hell would I want to get married??

  • Sudden||

    Too lazy to pull up the article, but sfgate had a piece a few years back about how 45% of hay male marriages were open marriages.

    I expect to see this custom imported into hetero marriages over time, but since it is exceedingly harder to get laid as a man than a woman, it will result in a lot of open female infidelity and any man who objects and demands a divorce will be castigated for his lack of supportiveness.

  • John||

    I don't think so. Women just are not wired for it. And ultimately, dating sucks and most people will find doing so not to be worth it.

    Swinging and such has been around forever. And it works for some people but not most. Not every social trend goes on forever. Wherever people have had a choice, they have ended up in two person marriages. That is because for whatever reason that is what works best for most people.

    The Conservatives who think this will end two person marriages over the long hall are dead wrong. Traditions and institutions don't develop in a vacuum. They are the result of collective wisdom.

  • Free Society||

    Chivalry gives way to cuckoldry. Damn you Susan B Anthony!

  • John||

    I am pretty sure most men will just check out of marriage altogether if it comes to that Free society. Again, societal norms have a collect wisdom behind them. These things arose because they work better for most people. That isn't going to change.

  • Sudden||

    It's already happening John, because men understand the "eat pray love" culture and the Sheryl Sandberg "Lean In" plan of leaning over the toilet in the club bathroom for bad asses during your peak attractiveness years hoping that you can land a wimpy provider when your looks start fading who won't mind her having had more cocks than a chicken mating facility.

    There are...

    of articles out there about this

  • Veillantif||

    That figure is awfully low. Slate and the NYT have reported percentages in the 70-80% range as being "open."

    The funny thing is, just a few years ago conservatives were scorned and derided as bigots for pointing out that gay couples seldom even tried to be monogamous. That was before places like Slate and the NYT decided it could no longer be denied, so now it must be celebrated.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "most of them wouldn't dream of going to a government agency because a baker wouldn't bake a wedding cake for them."

    Which is irrelevant. If only 1 in a 1000 gay people want to mess with businesses, they can do so - and the business can't defend itself by talking about the 999 who *don't* want to mess with them.

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    Men are sluts, so a group of mostly sluts are gonna do some fucking around.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Maybe the gays will finally be the ones to figure out how to counter the marxist tactic of turning liberal movements into human shields for their schemes of world domination.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    I've heard more talk here in TX about a new civil war, secession, and other ways of distancing themselves from the FedGov in the last month than in the prior 4 years combined.

    Social conservatives are exasperated. They don't know what to do next, and they feel like the America of today isn't the America that they idolize. They're wandering aimlessly, looking for some way to fix the giant gaping hole blasted in the head of their demi-god Government.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    To expand on my observations, there's a massive disconnect between GenX/Baby Boomer SoCons and Millennial SoCons (we need a poll!!!!). GenX/Baby Boomers are all about "take the government back! Don't back down!" Millennials are all about "maybe we need to rethink our strategy and give the government less control over the things we hold dear."

    It's no libertarian mohmunt, but the generational difference in response to Obergefell is striking to me.

  • Statutory Ape||

    Has anyone done a poll?

  • ant1sthenes||

    "I've heard more talk here in TX about a new civil war, secession, and other ways of distancing themselves from the FedGov in the last month than in the prior 4 years combined."

    That's why they're in the "hostile" part of the military's training area for JH15, and California is in the "permissive" area.

  • tarran||

    Perhaps a consequence of living in a hellish progderp dystopia

    I had a pretty harsh exchange in the lunch room yesterday with a senior manager in my employer who wanted Trump to be prevented by the government from bitching about Mexicans.

    She had most people in the room nodding when I walked in. She left bitterly complaining after I convinced most people that freedom of speech meant assholes like trump get to say stupid and objectively wrong stuff.

    Her final set of grounds, Trump was causing immigrants distress and they couldn't afford a psychiatrist to treat them for the emotional harm he was causing.

    I like to think that was a final last ditch argument that every listener discarded instantly as bullshit. I'm not so sure though.

    But, at least freedom of speech was defended semi-successfully for yet another day along a small part of the Hindenberg line.

  • Sudden||

    In a sweet irony, I was walking my dog the other day and ran into a formerly homeless black guy in my neighborhood that I know fairly well (we've spoken a good amount since I see him often on my walks). He has a website where he does man on the street interviews in downtown LA. He wanted to interview me briefly and I approved. His first question was "what do you think about what Trump said?" I started laughing and he quickly followed up with "but doesn't he have a right to say it?" My response was "yes he has a right to say it and we have a right to criticize him for it." He nodded approvingly.

    When that guy is more a voice of reason and sanity and actual tolerance than a senior manager at your company, there is something rotten in Denmark America.

  • carol||

    I got hit up by the president of the credit union that I work at about Trump on Monday. Good times. Really, there's nothing like being singled out by the president when you're lower management. I ended the conversation by saying that there are a lot of jerks in the world. I hope he knows who I was referring to.

  • ant1sthenes||

    You should have just started with a rebuttal, gone into fretting about how restrictions on speech eventually lead to political oppression and mass murder, and then faked a breakdown about wonder whether she would eventually have you killed by secret police. Then asked whether she was going to just write you a check, or...

    Well, not if you're attached to your job, I guess.

  • Homple||

    If that's the quality of thought among your senior managers, keep your résumé current and your contacts warm.

  • Windbreaker||

    Watch out for end runs.

  • carol||

    We tend to run in circles with people who think like ourselves. In my particular circle we all supported gay marriage (past tense) and have all decided that we no longer can. I thought that people were fearing mongering when they claimed that gay marriage would lead to religious business owners being discriminated against. Obviously I was wrong. Seeing someone lose their livelihood and having their home threatened is a real eye opener.

  • perlchpr||

    Except this happened before gay marriage was legal even in Oregon.

  • ssgcmw||

    Same thing with the photography case in New Mexico.

  • Robert||

    That's the problem: we tend to run in circles.

  • A special place in JW's Hell||

    If this sort of thing continues and we see more people put into bankruptcy and the IRS going after churches and such being gay won't be so cool anymore. It will become associated with being an asshole who can't be reasoned with even you give them what they want.

    How has that worked out against blacks and cripples?

    As egregious as this ruling is, it's background noise in the War on Free Association. It's been going on since the 60s, ramping up more and more over the years, and isn't showing any signs of letting up anytime soon. This has been the new normal for 50 years.

    As much as you want this to be true, John, it ain't gonna happen.

  • John||

    How has that worked out against blacks and cripples?

    I think this is different. Just because you are happy to roll over doesn't mean everyone is. I don't know a single person who could described as a Christian conservative, and I know a good number of them, who isn't prepared to tell the government to go to hell on this.

    Now I understand those people are subhumans and deserve what they get and all, but I don't think they are going to back down. And they are already outcasts and totally shunned by popular culture. So, they it is going to be pretty hard to bully them.

    As much as you want them to just die or move to another country, they won't do that. They are going to stand up and you will be faced with the distasteful and awful prospect of having to defend them.

  • A special place in JW's Hell||

    As much as you want them to just die or move to another country, they won't do that. They are going to stand up and you will be faced with the distasteful and awful prospect of having to defend them.

    Will you ever roll back to being sane, John? I mean, this whole thing has really caused you to completely lose your fucking giblets.

    I've held off on filtering you because your Homo Libs batshitedness has been scorchingly entertaining, but I might have to reconsider. There's little to no difference between you and the rest of the trolls at this point.

  • John||

    I don't know what to tell you JW, they are not going to roll over. What you do when they don't, is your business. And if you don't like my snark, don't ask for it by being snarky with me with your "as much as you want this to be true" snark. My statement is just turning your language back on you. It was snark and was meant to be offensive because of how offensive your statement was.

  • ||

    You're outright fantasizing, right in front of everyone here, about nasty backlashes against gay people for the gay marriage ruling. And you do it comment after comment after comment.

    You can project all day--which you are doing like a champ--and repeat people's criticism right back at them like a five-year-old all day too. That doesn't change your clear-as-day obsession or infantile rage about this stuff.

    Get a grip, man. Seriously. I'm not saying this in a hostile way, I used to enjoy commenting with you. But you've lost it. Try and walk it back.

  • John||

    No. You are fantasizing that I am fantasizing. I am observing what I think is likely to happen. You are accusing me of a revenge fantasy because you don't like what I have to say and want to take it seriously. So you just write it off as "you just hate the gays and are having a revenge fantasy".

    If anyone is projecting here, it is you. If you think this won't happen, say why. If you can't do that and all you can say is "you are just fantasizing", then it is pretty clear who is projecting and it isn't me.

  • ||

    So the very post after I said you were projecting and repeating people's criticism right back at them like a five-year-old, you...project and repeat my criticism right back at me like a five-year-old in response. I appreciate you making my point for me, but you didn't have to do it verbatim.

    Dude, you have a problem. Get help. Seriously. You are beyond obsessed here.

  • John||

    One more time Episiarch, what makes you think there will not be a backlash against this? Why do you think forcing people to participate in ceremonies they reject is going to do anything but make them angry and more militant in their position?

    That is all I am saying. So you tell me why that is wrong and why only a homo hating revenge fantasist would think otherwise.

  • ||

    John, may I ask you a few hypotheticals? I sincerely don't understand what you're talking about, so I want to see how your thought processes are working.

    I have a band that plays weddings. We're orthodox Jews. We are approached for a gig, but we find out that the groom is a Jew and the bride is Christian and has no interest in converting. Should I be held civilly liable if my band refuses to play that wedding because intermarriage offends our deeply held religious beliefs?

    Let's change it a bit. My band is old school Mormon. The groom is white, the bride is black. This runs counter to our deeply held religious views on race mixing and we refuse to play that gig. Should we be held civilly liable because our religion prohibits interracial marriage?

  • John||

    Candy,

    It is real easy, no. In both cases no. The only issue with Bob Jones is that it is my contention their beliefs are not sincere. If they were, then yes, the shouldn't have lost their tax exempt status. In your case we are assuming for the sake of argument the beliefs are sincere.

  • ||

    what makes you think there will not be a backlash against this?

    Because there hasn't been enough of a backlash against...oh, I don't know, the drug war, rapescanners at airports, antidiscrim statutes that "protect" other minorities, income tax withholding...I mean how many things can I list where most people have been more willing to bend over and take it in the ass than to do fuck all about it? People bow down to the state. You are going to be disappointed.

  • John||

    The past isn't always predictive of the future Nikki. Most people don't do drugs and don't want to and think people who do are criminals. And rapescanners and such don't tell people they have to give up their religious views. Moreover, things have a way of adding up. At some point even the most docile people have had enough.

    I think using government to force acceptance of gay marriage is crossing a line that we don't want to cross and is going to cause enormous problems. Time will tell.

  • ||

    We've crossed a lot of lines. I'm not going to get my hopes up. Look how the ACA is going.

  • ||

    I think using government to force acceptance of miscegenation is crossing a line that we don't want to cross and is going to cause enormous problems. Time will tell.

  • John||

    Yeah Candy.,

    The people who own this bakery are nothing but Bull Connor. You nailed it dude.

  • A special place in JW's Hell||

    It's not snark, John. It's just your bitter, traditionalist tears, burning through every deck like facehugger blood. It's more sad than anything.

    As much as you want the War on Homos to come true, you're still going to go home with the empty sweater of your Canadian girlfriend that you took to the dance.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    John Cara Esq.

  • John||

    It's not snark, John. It's just your bitter, traditionalist tears, burning through every deck like facehugger blood. It's more sad than anything.

    I know. I might be upset to see the First Amendment being eviscerated and religious freedom come to an end.

    I guess my question is why does this not make you angry? I apparently not only makes you happy but makes you so happy you enjoy it that someone is angry about it.

    Seriously, do you think this is a good thing? If you are right and no one stands up and religious freedom ends in this country, is that going to make you happy? If so, why? And if it doesn't make you happy, why are you so offended that someone else is angry about it.

    It looks to me like you hate these people and really don't give a fuck if they get run over. Rights to you apparently only extend to people you like. Sorry but that is not how I think.

  • A special place in JW's Hell||

    John, we've been talking here for 10 years now. We all know each other and where we stand, and then you ask me idiotic, non-sequitur questions like this. Am I supposed to take this seriously?

    Like I said, it's sad to see you unravel like this. As abrasive as you are and have been, you were still someone interesting to talk to. Now, you're just another lunatic yelling at passers-bye on a street corner.

  • John||

    John, we've been talking here for 10 years now. We all know each other and where we stand, and then you ask me idiotic, non-sequitur questions like this. Am I supposed to take this seriously?

    You sound like Bo. What do you mean "how you stand"? If you think this is bad say so. Don't give some " you know how I feel" BS. Tell me your opinion of this. It is your opinion, give it.

    And again, if you think this is bad, why does it bother you so much for me to be angry about it? Why are you not angry? And if you are angry, then what is your problem?

  • A special place in JW's Hell||

    I won't wear the ribbon, John. Sorry.

    What do you mean "how you stand"?

    You'd think that after 10 years of conversations and arguments that we'd all have a pretty good idea of what each other's positions on big picture stuff is. I thought that was pretty obvious.

  • John||

    You'd think that after 10 years of conversations and arguments that we'd all have a pretty good idea of what each other's positions on big picture stuff is. I thought that was pretty obvious.

    I don't keep score at home. I don't know what your opinion of this is. What is it? I am asking. Tell me if you think this is wrong and a threat to religious liberty in this country. Again, it is your opinion. Rather than have me assume what you think, why can't you just tell me? I am willing to state my opinion.

    I don't understand what your problem is. I asked you a question, just answer it.

  • A special place in JW's Hell||

    Asked and answered, many times.

    Imitating my wife will score you no points.

  • John||

    Asked and answered, many times.

    Then restate it? Is there a rule against restating opinions? Why are being so cagey on this? Is there any other issue you won't give your opinion on and just point to "you know what I think"? None that I know of.

    It seems like you want to be able to claim you support this but not if it involves actually supporting it and doing so in so many words. You remind me of Joe from Lowell when I used to challenge him to name one Democrat he thought was a crap weasel. He would never do it but would give an answer just like yours, "you know there are Democrats i don't like and I am not going to perform for you like a trained seal". It just hurt him so much to even type the words, he couldn't do it even fi doing so meant winning the argument.

    You are doing the same thing here. All you have to do is type a four sentence rant about how this sucks and what assholes that gay couple is and I have to shut up. And you can't do it. You just can't even type the words. I can't for the life of me understand that.

  • A special place in JW's Hell||

    Sigh....You never listen to me!

    Gay marriage: The state should be out of the business of issuing marriage licenses. SCoTUS decided correctly on equal protection, but with spurious reasoning in the opinion.

    Public Accommodations: Any business owner should be able to refuse service to anyone, at any time, for any reason.

  • John||

    Okay, JW,

    I assume then you think what happened here is wrong, though you still couldn't bring yourself to say this case was wrong. I guess doing that would just hurt too much.

    If what happened here is wrong, why does it bother you so much that I am angry about it? Again, what is your problem with my position? You seem to agree with it.

  • John||

    So you really are going to run away and not give your opinion on this?

    Really JW? It hurts that much to say you think this is wrong? Really? That is your opinion isn't it? And you just can't say it out loud. That is pathetic.

  • A special place in JW's Hell||

    Some us have, you know, work to do, sometimes.

    Talk amongst yourselves.

  • John||

    Some us have, you know, work to do, sometimes.

    So you will spend ten posts avoiding saying it when you could have written three sentences and solved the whole issue. You are such a coward you can't even type the words to defend these people. You just can't bring yourself to do it. But at the same time, you are too much of a coward to admit you don't give a fuck and are happy about it. So you just fall back on "you know what I think" as if I am a mind reader or something or anyone should think you actually believe any opinion you claim to hold but won't articulate when asked to do so.

  • A special place in JW's Hell||

    So you will spend ten posts avoiding saying it when you could have written three sentences and solved the whole issue. You are such a coward you can't even type the words to defend these people. You just can't bring yourself to do it.

    I'm such a selfish bastard, being productive for my employer. Don't they know that something is wrong on the internet?

    A-thee-a-thee-a-thee-That's all folks!

    Seriously John, I hope you can come back in from the ledge on this. Until that happens, you aren't really worth my time.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    You are beyond obsessed. Go back and look at your nuttery over the last week. What have you made, 1000 comments on this issue? How many people have you insulted? Straight to personal attacks when others were attempting to have rational discussion. You base your argument on false premise and then get angry when you're called out on it.

    Don't believe me. Go back and look. You've been making a complete ass of yourself for days. It's all there on the record. What sane person argues for days on end on the same topic with 30 people?

    You are so lost in this you can't even see what a fool you're making of yourself. You are certifiably, off your meds, batshit nuts.

  • John||

    And I might make a 1000 more Frank. The pleasure of watching people squirm as they are forced to either defend the rights of people they hate or admit they are hypocrites and really only care about the rights of people they like is too great to turn down.

    And yeah, the prospect of people losing their businesses and livelihoods because they hold the wrong views makes me pretty angry Frank. That is just how I roll. If you are comfortable with that as long as it is happening to people you don't like, good for you. I don't see it that way.

    i will ask you the same thing I did of JW. What is your opinion of this? Does it make you angry? If it doesn't, why not?

  • ||

    And yeah, the prospect of people losing their businesses and livelihoods because they hold the wrong views makes me pretty angry Frank. That is just how I roll. If you are comfortable with that as long as it is happening to people you don't like, good for you. I don't see it that way.

    So did I imagine your support for the CRA and anti-discrimination laws that protect blacks, or have you changed your mind about that?

  • John||

    So did I imagine your support for the CRA and anti-discrimination laws that protect blacks, or have you changed your mind about that?

    No I don't. More importantly, none of those laws require people to act against their religious beliefs.

    Nikki the reason why people like Frank and JW and maybe you can't fathom why I am so upset about this is that they don't really see religious freedom as a very big deal. Sure it is in the constitution but they can't understand why anyone would be that upset about this. Gay rights are in the Constitution too and if you are angry about this you must just be some kind of a fundie homo hater.

    That is why we are talking past each other. I am acting on the assumption that religious freedom matters and violating it is a big fucking deal in a way stepping on people's commercial rights, thought also bad, is not. And they can't comprehend that and just see my anger over this as some kind of displaced hatred of the gays.

  • ||

    More importantly, none of those laws require people to act against their religious beliefs.

    That's not true. Look at Bob Jones U. You just don't care about their religious beliefs.

  • John||

    That's not true. Look at Bob Jones U. You just don't care about their religious beliefs.

    I don't believe Bob Jones. That isn't their religious belief. They just hate blacks and are trying to hide behind religious expression. No branch of Christianity embraces religious discrimination. And Jones is lying when they claim it does. They are no different than me calling my business a church as a way to avoid paying my taxes.

    Most of the people on this board hate religion and Christianity in particular. So they just automatically assume Jones is legit because being racist and other evil things is what Christians do. I don't look at that way. The CRA, while bad do not run afoul of anyone's religious freedom.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    So...it's okay...until it happens to a religion you happen to approve of?

  • John||

    Frank., their beliefs are not sincere. It is not a religion. It is a bullshit excuse. And the tenets of Christianity, while certainly debatable in many ways, are in other ways very clear. And there is nothing in them that supports Bob Jones. Bob Jones are fakes and therefore their claim is invalid. It is really that simple.

  • ||

    OK, so say Bob Jones claims to have dug up a golden tablet from his back yard, read it with a magic crystal given to him in a vision by an angel, and discovered it was a lost testament about how black people are demons. Say he writes a book about it. Now is he allowed to not let black people in his stupid little school?

  • ||

    I don't believe Bob Jones. That isn't their religious belief. They just hate blacks and are trying to hide behind religious expression.

    Are you hearing yourself? This is exactly what one of these activists would say about Christians and homosexuals.

    Most of the people on this board hate religion and Christianity in particular. So they just automatically assume Jones is legit because being racist and other evil things is what Christians do.

    This is also untrue. This is what I assume: I'm not religious, and I don't understand the beliefs of religious people. I know they exist, and that they believe things different from me. If they say, "I believe X," I believe them, because I don't fucking understand them except to understand they are different from me. I could just as easily tell a mainstream Christian they don't really believe in God because that seems as absurd to me as believing interracial relationships are wrong. I choose to respect everyone's beliefs as real.

  • ||

    I could just as easily tell a mainstream Christian they don't really believe in God

    I still don't really believe anyone believes in God. I mean...come on.

  • John||

    I still don't really believe anyone believes in God. I mean...come on.

    I am the exact opposite Warty. They all believe in God. They just dress him up in different clothes and call him "justice" or "equality" or "reason" or "natural rights". All of those things are just God stripped of the attributes they don't like.

  • John||

    This is exactly what one of these activists would say about Christians and homosexuals.

    And since the bible rejects homosexuality in very explicit terms, they would be wrong. Since the Bible says nothing about interracial marriage, the two cases are not analogous. One case is a real expression and the other is fake.

    It sucks to have to make such a distinction but that is the price of religious freedom. If you don't make some determination about what is actual religious belief and what is a subterfuge, religious freedom swallows your entire legal system.

    Nikki, I am telling you. Bob Jones is not sincere or legit. But iif you think they are, then give them their status back. I don't think they are. But if the day comes I change that opinion, then yes, I will be very outraged by their treatment.

  • ||

    And since the bible rejects homosexuality in very explicit terms, they would be wrong. Since the Bible says nothing about interracial marriage, the two cases are not analogous. One case is a real expression and the other is fake.

    At which point I say, "You obviously don't believe in the Bible, because it's fucking retarded and you violate its tenets every day."

    It sucks to have to make such a distinction but that is the price of religious freedom. If you don't make some determination about what is actual religious belief and what is a subterfuge, religious freedom swallows your entire legal system.

    Determining the sincerity of a religious belief is, frankly, a fucking huge state intrusion into the practice of religion, and it makes no sense to be okay with it if you do care about religion.

    And you're buying this religious freedom at the price of freedom of conscious for people you don't like enough to say are religious.

  • John||

    Determining the sincerity of a religious belief is, frankly, a fucking huge state intrusion into the practice of religion, and it makes no sense to be okay with it if you do care about religion.

    There is no other way to do it. Otherwise, every law on the books is unenforceable since anyone charged with breaking it could just claim it was their religion. Law is hard that way sometimes.

    And you're buying this religious freedom at the price of freedom of conscious for people you don't like enough to say are religious.

    No I am not. There are lots of religious people I can't stand. I have no use for the Mormons but frankly they should have been allowed to keep polygamy. Bob Jones is a very special case of a bunch of fakes. For the second time, however, if you see it differently, then I am willing concede that they are being treated wrongly.

  • ||

    There is no other way to do it. Otherwise, every law on the books is unenforceable since anyone charged with breaking it could just claim it was their religion. Law is hard that way sometimes.

    Yes. And if you cared about freedom of conscience, you would think this was a huge problem. Huge. I have tons of sincere philosophical problems with laws, but because those problems are religious, I have no recourse. And the Constitution was never meant to outline all our rights, so don't start with anything about how we don't have freedom of conscience and we do have freedom of religion. Madison teaches us that is BS.

    So my point about buying religious freedom for some people is that you do it as part of this whole enterprise. Some people get freedom because the state determines they are sincerely religious. Other people get fucked. And how is the decision made? Politically.

    It's bullshit and it's a big reason why a lot of us aren't as outraged as you. Other people have been subject to this kind of oppression for decades.

    Again, I do think this sucks. But honestly, it is a drop in the bucket of the suckage of the state. The whole fucking thing is like this.

  • John||

    Yes. And if you cared about freedom of conscience, you would think this was a huge problem. Huge. I have tons of sincere philosophical problems with laws, but because those problems are religious, I have no recourse. And the Constitution was never meant to outline all our rights, so don't start with anything about how we don't have freedom of conscience and we do have freedom of religion. Madison teaches us that is BS.

    It is a huge problem but it is an unavoidable one. Just because we have freedom of religion shouldn't mean anyone willing to lie can avoid being subject to the law. So you have to figure out who is legit and who isn't. There is no other way to do it.

    God, Nikki you are as dumb as Frank on this issue. I expect it from him but not you. It is not a difficult issue to understand.

  • ||

    I'm not talking about people lying, I'm talking about people being fucking oppressed because that's what the state is. We all have freedom of conscience. You don't have to lie about it. Why do you think I am an anarchist? Because the state is oppressive. Because we all have freedom of conscience.

  • John||

    I am no an anarchist Nikki because there will always be a state. Until you change human nature and create Utopia, there will always be a state of some kind.

  • ||

    And it will always violate a shitload of people's consciences. But you want me to be this upset about one group having its conscience violated in a slightly new way? It just can't possibly get me that worked up.

  • John||

    Nikki,

    If you don't find religious rights important, then don't worry about it. I don't know what else to tell you.

  • ace_m82||

    All these "religious freedom" arguments are meaningless if we can't define what the word "religion" means, and no-one I know of has even tried.

    As the 1st amendment explicitly prevents the Federal government from discriminating based on religion, it would seem that it would be an important word to define. That being said, the same prohibition also seems to necessitate a very inclusive definition!

    - (A Fundamentalist Christian libertarian)

  • ||

    I am upset. I'm just not much more upset than I was before.

  • perlchpr||

    Oh, OK. I really don't agree with you, because I care fuck all about "religious beliefs".

    This case is wrong and evil, but not because it has anything to do with religion. It's evil because those two vicious women are using the hammer of the state to deal with their case of butt-hurt in the first degree.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    The projection is astounding. Where were you for the last 40+ years when the CRA was doing the exact same thing (but to people you didn't happen to like)?

    My position is what it has been. I am fully in support of SSM and on the completely separate issue of public accommodation, I'm in favor of repealing ALL laws that impede free association.

    Fight the right fight. I know you hate the Homos, but Jesus!

  • John||

    The projection is astounding. Where were you for the last 40+ years when the CRA was doing the exact same thing (but to people you didn't happen to like)?

    The same place you were. And again the CRA didn't force people to violate their religious views. We are right back to the problem I pointed out above, you don't like religion and can't understand why violating the right to free exercise of it would make someone more angry than violating someone's commercial rights. We are just talking past each other.

    And if you think this is wrong, then why are you not angry about it? And why are you so upset that I am angry about it? I am angry about something you admit is wrong and yet you call me obsessed and psychotic about it.

    Why shouldn't we both be angry about this? Are we supposed to think it is wrong but not really be upset lest me offend the gays or something?

  • ||

    Maybe some of us just feel like our right to free association has been ass-raped for so fucking long it's hard to get upset about one more group getting in on the action.

  • John||

    Good for you Nikki. I look at it differently. Why is that such a big deal or evidence I must hate the sacred gays?

    You damn right it pisses me off. If you don't care, then don't worry about it.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    And again the CRA didn't force people to violate their religious views. We are right back to the problem I pointed out above, you don't like religion and can't understand why violating the right to free exercise of it would make someone more angry than violating someone's commercial rights.

    I am equally outraged by both. The difference is, I realize the source of my outrage is public accommodation and not the gays. Here you sit, accusing us of taking the side of groups we happen to like, and in the very next comment you admit to caring more about religious liberty than commercial liberty. So it's okay for the bigot businesses to be put out by the CRA, or a religion that isn't really a religion (in your eyes) BUT NOT the religion that you favor?

    Face it, John, you are guilty as charged. You are an unprincipled POS.

  • Lee G||

    I believe a point that John has made in the past is that the Constitution explicitly carves out protections for religious liberty, but not commercial. From the rule of law standpoint, it matters. From the standpoint of true freedom and individual rights, it doesn't.

    Not trying to speak for you John.

  • John||

    That is a good point Lee. Again, it goes back to my larger point that people like Frank and JW don't get that. So they think my anger over this is all about the gays.

    It is that and also screaming about how I must hate the gays changes the subject and gets them off the hook from actually having to defend these people, which they know their principles dictate but really don't want to do. You can just feel the loathing when they are forced to talk about this issue. I find their squirming enormously entertaining.

  • ||

    Both JW and Francisco have been clear that their principles absolutely do not dictate that.

  • John||

    Nikki,

    I am pretty sure their principles dictate defending the bakers here. They just hate to have to do it and try to change the subject to avoid having to do so.

  • John||

    Face it Frank, you are an idiot. You are no more able to comprehend free exercise of religion than you are equal protection. Yeah, religious freedom is explicitly guaranteed by the 1st Amendment. That makes it a big deal and walking over it a big deal. And that also means courts have to be in the business of deciding what is sincere religious belief and what is not. There is no way around that.

    We just talk past each other on these issues because you don't understand them and I apparently am not clever enough to get you to do so.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    What difference does it make if it's an enumerated right or not? Freedom of religion is no more sacred than freedom of association just because it's enumerated. For the love of Christ, read 9A.

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Your argument is discredited by the Constitution itself.

    Sure, John. I'm the idiot.

    I'm the guy who can't realize his beef is with public accommodation laws and not with the gays. The sueing of bakeries and the potential damage to 1A has created a perfect opportunity to get the country to take a long hard look at the CRA and you are pissing it away with your gay bashing. Instead of taking a stand against an abomination that's been going on for 47 years, you and your kulture war idiot buddies divert the discussion to one of blaming the gays for attempting to become a protected class that shouldn't exist (for anyone) in the first place.

    How bout we fight the right fight? Bakers being forced to bake cakes for ANYONE they choose not to is a travesty.

  • perlchpr||

    Good luck, Francisco. John may be mildly upset by the goring of oxen in general, but now that his ox has been gored, well, it's all about his ox, y'know?

  • R C Dean||

    How has that worked out against blacks and cripples?

    Hard to fire is hard to hire, my friend.

    There is absolutely no way to verify it, I admit, but simple logic and a belief that people respond to incentives will tell you that antidiscrimination laws are a barrier to hiring "protected" classes.

    I've never faced the situation myself, but if I had two equally qualified candidates, and one of them could make my life a living hell, guess which one I would hire?

  • John||

    That is a great point RC. It goes to the deeper truth that you can't force people who refuse to conform.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    You can never change a person't mind through force. It's a lesson that has been repeatedly forgotten throughout history.

  • A special place in JW's Hell||

    I've never faced the situation myself, but if I had two equally qualified candidates, and one of them could make my life a living hell, guess which one I would hire?

    Oh sure, that's a rational response to a legal mandate. Risky, but rational.

    Business owners who might find themselves in this situation need to wise up and climb down off their high fucking horses and just tell the little goose-steppers, "Sorry, we're booked up. We'll try to squeeze you in, but you might want to check with the other [insert business here]."

  • cavalier973||

    Better yet, Christians should view the situation as an opportunity to evangelize. I mean, this dirty, rotten sinner just willingly walked into your store!

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    Better yet, Christians should view the situation as an opportunity to evangelize. I mean, this dirty, rotten sinner just willingly walked into your store!

    Isn't that exactly how this entire thing got started? God forbid that the bakery owner pulled out a *gasp* Bible and started reading from it in response to a request for a gay wedding cake!!! They got nailed for $135k over politely refusing to bake a cake. How much would it have cost if they had the gall to read from that hateful bigoted book?

  • Lee G||

    In fact, they weren't that polite. Not that it matters concerning the principle, but they certainly didn't help themselves.

    In response, Aaron Klein referenced a Bible verse from Leviticus — which in context, he'd cited perniciously — to call the Bowman-Cryer family "abominations."
    Later, the Oregon DOJ sent Cryer's consumer complaint to the Kleins, with a cover letter requesting that they respond to the complainants. It was an attempt to encourage reconciliation.

    Instead, Aaron Klein posted the discrimination complaint to Facebook (not taking the precaution of redacting the couple's name and address from the document). "This is what happens when you tell gay people you won't do their 'wedding cake,'" he posted.

    Yes, this is from a lefty site. But if the details are accurate, the Kleins were not passive and may have jumped the gun by posting to Facebook, which was guaranteed to get a response from the agency.

    I am not saying that they deserve the punishment, just that they either horribly mismanaged the situation or were determined to get in a public fight. The lesbian couple did apparently receive death threats as a result of the Facebook post.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    were determined to get in a public fight.

    Eh, the fight's already public when you get a DOJ complaint mailed to you.

    The lesbian couple did apparently receive death threats as a result of the Facebook post.

    That seems to be standard operating procedure for the useful idiots on both sides of the aisle.

    I agree that it sounds from what you posted that the bakers were acting like jackasses. However, they didn't start this fight, Cryer did by crying all the way to the Oregon DOJ.

  • Lee G||

    Eh, the fight's already public when you get a DOJ complaint mailed to you.

    If the complaint was actually as described, a request for a response to the complainants, then posting it to Facebook and inviting the internet to participate was a dumb fucking move. Businesses get complaints all the damn time, how you handle them matters as much as the original issue.

    If the Kleins had acted professionally throughout, it probably wouldn't have gone as far. But they at least would have had a better public image. Perhaps they wanted the public fight as much as the other side did.

    I contrast this to the Indiana pizza shop which got absolutely railroaded over nothing and conducted themselves in a business like manner throughout.

    But, as I mentioned before, it really doesn't matter much when you get down to the root of the argument concerning freedom of association.

  • R C Dean||

    Why should he redact their name from the complaint?

    Why should he be punished for quoting a Bible verse?

    The lesbian couple did apparently receive death threats as a result of the Facebook post.

    I would say they received death threat as a result of filing the complaint, myself. Now, if this had all been kept super-secret, they wouldn't have been threatened, but secret courts are no way to run a free country.

  • Lee G||

    Why should he redact their name from the complaint?

    Why should he be punished for quoting a Bible verse?

    Not saying he should have, just was responding to trashmaster's allegation that they were polite in their refusal.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    If what you quoted was correct, then it looks like it answered my question. I was originally under the impression that they simply refused. It looks like they tried to "evangelize." To cavalier's point, it cost the bakers $135k to evangelize.

    To my original question:
    How much would it have cost if they had the gall to read from that hateful bigoted book?

    $135k

  • perlchpr||

    See below.

  • Homple||

    Bitches were asking for it.

  • perlchpr||

    Not accurate, according to the order filed by the agency.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/2709.....By-Melissa

    Klein's first response, according to everyone, was that he was sorry, but they didn't make cakes for same-sex ceremonies due to their religious convictions. (Page 5, subheading 9.) The "abomination" quote only came later, after the mother of one of the brides returned to the shop to talk to Klein. In fact, the only reason the bride even heard the "abomination" quote was because the mother repeated it to her, apparently misquoting it in the process. (Page 6, sections 10 and 11.)

    And shit, even I know that the Leviticus quote doesn't call homosexuals "abominations", it says that the homosexual act is an abomination. *sigh*

  • R C Dean||

    Risky, but rational.

    Its actually taking the lesser of the two risks.

    That's what makes it rational.

  • Lee G||

    I've never faced the situation myself, but if I had two equally qualified candidates, and one of them could make my life a living hell, guess which one I would hire?

    That depends on whether or not you work in HR.

  • R C Dean||

    Actually, it doesn't depend on that at all. I've had this conversation with people who do work in HR, and they generally just kind of say "yeah, you know, its something you can't help think about".

    If anything, since they are the ones who will bear the brunt of dealing with a sue-happy asshole protected class member, they are probably even more incentivized to avoid them.

  • Lee G||

    My HR department (when I worked in a mid-size corporation) set quotas for hiring. It's hard enough finding specialty engineers without considering their skin color.

  • R C Dean||

    My HR department (when I worked in a mid-size corporation) set quotas for hiring.

    If so, they very probably violated anti-discrimination law, which generally prohibits overt racial quotas in hiring.

  • Rhywun||

    It's been going on since the 60s, ramping up more and more over the years, and isn't showing any signs of letting up anytime soon. This has been the new normal for 50 years.

    Bingo. If you want to roll back civil rights for gays, you're going to have to make the case for rolling back the entire apparatus.

  • ant1sthenes||

    "How has that worked out against blacks and cripples?"

    Blacks have Jim Crow to point to, but not wanting to participate in a non-essential parareligious ceremony doesn't really compare.

    ADA creeps are mostly just in it for money and can randomly hit stores here and there, but this push is about hurting Christians, not helping gays, so they need to go after all of them.

  • ||

    Take away that suit and the backlash against the gay marriage decision would have been much smaller than it has been.

    Why? I can think of at least three other similar suits, all of them in different states, that have happened in the past couple years. Why would taking this one away make any difference?

    Oh, and at least three of the four I'm thinking of happened in states that didn't allow gay marriage the time of the incident.

  • John||

    Okay, then take away all of them. I was thinking of this being the only significant and well known one. But if there are others, then take those away too.

  • robc||

    I think John is using hyperbole. Its about the totaluty of the iceidents, Oregon is just the lead one. Take it away and a different one would be famous.

  • John||

    Exactly Rob. This is the incident most people know. But if not this one than others. I think the cases taken as a whole have caused a huge amount of anger about this.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I think the activists have figured out that there will be backlash - they just equate it with George Wallace circa 1963, and they figure that they will be able to muster the government support to crush resistance.

    I would at a rough estimate guess that support for "gay rights" breaks down as follows:

    5% is charmingly naïve beliefs that this is all about liberty.

    35% is "screw you Mom and Dad, we have a government document validating our relationship!"

    20% is "I have reservations, but I won't talk about it because I don't want to lose my job."

    I'll be generous and say 20% is about tax benefits, hospital visitation rights, social security benefits, etc.

    10% is "I believe politics is about rewarding your friends and screwing your enemies, and once I realize I have gay friends/relatives, etc., I want to reward them and screw their opponents"

    And 10% is "I have to vote for gay rights or else they'll tell the media about my mistress/sheep/Bahamas bank account, etc."

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    I think the numbers are

    15% -Naive liberty beliefs
    2% - I'm gay and can shove it in people's faces
    5% - I have reservations, but don't want to appear backwards
    15% - Government benefits
    35% - Politics about rewarding friends
    2% - Secrets to hide
    26% - All the cool kids are turning their picture rainbow, so I am too!!! (some overlap with the naive liberty group)

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    That's probably a better estimate.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    But I would still assign a higher percentage to people who fear for their jobs.

    And I'm guessing that a lot of politicians with skeletons in their closets have either been explicitly blackmailed by gay activists or are worried about blackmail.

    In other words, a lot of support for gay marriage is from people who are scared of gays - homophobia in the literal sense.

  • grrizzly||

    And what the majority of commenters on HyR? To which group do they belong? Remember John is just a single commenter.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "OMG, gay marriage is the next frontier in liberty! And in a totally unrelated development, what's with the government trying to force businesses and schools to recognize gay marriage?"

  • Ecoli||

    The gays have fallen in with the hard core Kultur War left, and that is a sad thing.

    I supported gay marriage. Not anymore.

    I am an atheist.

    I am completely on the side of free association. If a Christian decides he wants no part of a gay marriage, that is his absolute right.

    Destroying a family's ability to make a living is despicable, and rational homosexuals should say so.

    The gay agenda (I used to think that was a joke) to destroy people who simply want to practice their own religious beliefs has hardened my heart.

    John is right. Religious freedom is a foundational principle in the US. Religious freedom, among other things, was enough to cause an armed rebellion a few hundred years ago. I suspect it might be enough reason to cause another.

  • ||

    BOLI does not realize or care that it is now the entity engaging in coercion and threatening the livelihoods of others.

    Of course not. Does the fish feel the water in which it swims?

  • Idle Hands||

    Well it probably notices when it's out of water, case and point somalia.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    BOLI was on the complete other side in this case but doesn't even realize the difference, because all it can see are its non-discrimination regulations and who is allowed to do what, not any sort of consistent philosophy. BOLI does not realize or care that it is now the entity engaging in coercion and threatening the livelihoods of others.

    something something public accommodation something something leave your rights at the door something something

  • WoodchipperPatriarch||

    I like this.

  • Sudden||

    Assuming they hadn't sold off their bakery and were still operating under the laughable definition of "public accommodation" according to BOLI (which I nominate be changed to the Eminent Bureau of Oregon Licensing and Administration), would the gag order prevent the bakers from issuing the following statement:

    "We reserve the right to refuse service to any sue-happy assholes who wish to use the power of the state to marginalize and punish anyone who doesn't see the world as they do and enforce a rigid Orwellian conformity with the cultural party line"

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    BOLI would ship them off to re-education camps if they said that.

  • A special place in JW's Hell||

    BOLI would ship them off to re-education camps if they said that.

    And send them the bill for the train tickets.

  • commodious spittoon||

    Disparate impact, friend. Minorities tend to have in their ranks a greater proportion of "sue-happy assholes who wish to use the power of the state to marginalize and punish anyone who doesn't see the world as they do and enforce a rigid Orwellian conformity with the cultural party line," and therefore it's still discrimination against protected groups.

  • Sudden||

    Minorities tend to have in their ranks a greater proportion of "sue-happy assholes

    Well obviously because lacking in cisgendered shitlord heteronormative white male privilege they are completely unable to make a living through having a job because of oppression. It is only by the glory of the dole and the courts that they maintain their sustenance in this cruel oppressive world.

    (side note for SJWs: you may be able to make a few bucks on a lawsuit against Firefox for having a build in spellcheck that insists the words cisgendered and heternormative are not actual words.)

  • commodious spittoon||

    Well, it's very nearly tautological: the groups with protected status are bound to have members who sue on the basis of their protected status.

  • commodious spittoon||

    Still unclear why it's discrimination to refuse to play a role in a religious service the business owner finds objectionable. Even if the couple in question don't view their nuptials as religious expression, the religious baker certainly does.

  • John||

    It is no different than an Orthodox Jewish caterer refusing to serve a Catholic wedding because doing so requires serving non-Kosher food. But they would never go after such a Jewish business, because the point is not to end discrimination it is to enforce the proper thought.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "they would never go after such a Jewish business"

    I dunno, the system is "complaint-driven," so a single sue-happy asshole can start a case like that.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I mean, isn't it enough that these J00s do their silly rituals on Saturday, must they drag their ridiculous religion into the marketplace?

    /sarc

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    It's because it's not a religious service since religion is confined to what occurs in a church on Sunday morning.

  • commodious spittoon||

    Aren't progressives forever harping on bigotry of something that's perceived rather than intended? I mean, it's fundamental to the notion of microaggression as a way to allege occult racism or sexism or homophobia that may not be immediately apparent but is sitting there, under the surface, hidden even to the aggressor. So if a Christian baker claims a cake order is spiritually offensive, who is the couple to claim she's wrong?

  • commodious spittoon||

    ^as something

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    So if a Christian baker claims a cake order is spiritually offensive, who is the couple to claim she's wrong?

    Check your cis-hetero-JudeoChristian privilege, you subhuman shitlord!!!

  • Mr. Paulbotto||

    Something something historical oppression something something punching down...

  • commodious spittoon||

    It's almost like they make up the rules as they go along. Cultural calvinball.

  • perlchpr||

    "almost"

  • Brochettaward||

    I think there are clear limits that have been set in other contexts and we ought to abide by those in this new context across America.”

    It's a shame our founding fathers weren't so wise.

    If our governmental education actually cared about educating its citizens and making them informed voters, maybe our mandatory schooling would actually place the constitution within its historical context and make people think critically about it. But it doesn't. It just wants to encourage goodthink and faith in government.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    Look at how the Articles of Confederation are treated by your average US History class to see how fucked we are as a nation.

  • perlchpr||

    You mean, as a very very, very brief footnote?

  • John||

    "It's not about a wedding cake."

    No Scott it is not. It is about control. Winning in court or at the ballot box isn't good enough for these people. No one can be allowed to disagree even if they lose.

    Here is what it is about.

    http://thefederalist.com/2015/.....-are-here/

    They want obedience, of course. But even more, they want their rule, and their belief system, to be accepted and self-sustaining. And the only way to achieve that is to create a new society of people who share those beliefs, even if it means bludgeoning every last citizen into enlightenment. That’s what makes totalitarians different and more dangerous: they are “totalistic” in the sense that they demand a complete reorientation of the individual to the State and its ideological ends. Every person who harbors a secret objection, or even so much as a doubt, is a danger to the future of the whole project, and so the regime compels its subjects not only to obey but to believe.

  • commodious spittoon||

    We're in the midst of another great awakening, only this time it's not predominantly Christian but Marxist. Decades of social and sexual upheaval have inspired a national sense of calamity and faithlessness, and people are running for cover under the aegis of tolerance and social equality and economic fairness, punishing sinners like recalcitrant bakers and enforcing rigid social norms in the form of speech codes and ostracism. Tolerance is the new temperance.

  • John||

    That is a good way to describe it. The problem is that there proposed victims are not only large in number but determined and well armed. As goofy as the Left's pretend fears of "right wing terrorism" are, there is some truth to the fear. If we ever had a no shit right wing insurgency in this country, it would be a nightmare and a hundred times worse than anything Muslims could throw at us. What makes terrorists and insurgencies dangerous is popular support. Muslims have no popular support and can't blend back into society. A right wing insurgency would and could blend into society. It would be virtually impossible to stop. And the more nasty the government got in oppressing it and the more it resorted to collective punishments, the more support it would garner.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    What makes terrorists and insurgencies dangerous is popular support.

    All I'll say is that, if the bakers made both the plaintiffs and the leadership of Oregon's BOLI consume a 50 pound cake made out of manure, I'd have roughly the same reaction I had to Ralphie beating up Scott Farcus in A Christmas Story.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    If we ever had a no shit right wing insurgency in this country, it would be a nightmare and a hundred times worse than anything Muslims could throw at us.

    It's coming. As much as it will be horrible and end terribly, it's coming. As I mentioned above, I've heard more about civil war and secession in the last month than in the previous 4 years combined, and I don't think it's just them blowing off steam.

    The SoCons are beginning to wake up to the fact that the government hasn't really represented them for a long time. The Tea Partiers are already there. The only think holding this country together is patriotism. If the 'Murica, Fuck Yeah group begins to lose their patriotism, it will happen.

  • John||

    Oh come on, you just hate the homos and are having revenge fantasies. JW and Episiarch told me.

    Seriously, we are closer to it than people think. These people just don't know when to quit.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    These people just don't know when to quit.

    To me that's the core of it, right there. They're not just unhappy people; their very identity revolves around being unhappy. Victory is actually a calamity to them. What, you mean it's over and I'm no longer special? I'm just supposed to go work in an office like the uncool people? No fucking way!

    I'm not arguing that this is about a vast Gaystapo conspiracy, or a vast prog conspiracy. I think it will happen just because deep down some people want it to come to blows.

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    Victory is actually a calamity to them. What, you mean it's over and I'm no longer special? I'm just supposed to go work in an office like the uncool people? No fucking way!

    I think this is common for "Freedom Fighters" everywhere when the thrill is gone with another plain old Monday looming in the horizon, they gotta look for something thrilling to fill up their otherwise routine day.

  • Lee G||

    While I don't doubt the veracity of your claim the SoCons are losing faith in the government, they do not, by and large, recognize that the problem is government. They are merely competing for who gets to control the reins. Ralph Reed, Jerry Falwell, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and the sort don't advocate for small government.

    This isn't true across the board, of course, But start suggesting truly limited government ideas in socon groups and see how uncomfortable they get.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    As I talked about above, it's generational. The GenX/Baby Boomers are all about "taking back what we lost!!!1!!!11!" The Millennials are well aware that their parents/grandparents are fighting a losing battle. They're preparing for subverting a FedGov that is openly hostile to conservative Christians.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    One thing SoCons are noted for is patriotism, which includes a serious reluctance to fight their own government - they would construe such action as...unpatriotic.

    It would take a *lot* to turn them into armed rebels. Or even to shelter right-wing terrorists.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    There is a fascinating debate among SoCons on whether to engage the culture and try to transform it, or whether to retreat into their own institutions while waiting for better times.

    But it's not about violence, no matter what the SPLC types say.

    The general attitude is "I have contempt for the officeholders, but great respect for the office itself."

    And there is a large network of SoCon protest/lobbying/litigation organizations devoted to peaceful resistance - including powerhouse legal institutes devoted to religious freedom.

    There's always a lot of fretting about right-wing violence, and then suddenly some left-winger tries to kill people at the Family Research Council, or some lefty ex-terrorist endorses a Democratic presidential candidate, and then the discussion goes right back to right-wing terrorism.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    There is a fascinating debate among SoCons on whether to engage the culture and try to transform it, or whether to retreat into their own institutions while waiting for better times.

    But it's not about violence, no matter what the SPLC types say.

    There's two types of SoCons... those who are Americans before Christian, and those who are Christian before American.

    The former are sitting at an existential crossroads. They form a significant portion of their identity around 'Murica and crying bald eagles perched on the shoulder of Jesus as he signs the Constitution. They're now discovering that their demi-god Government is separate from their naive and uninformed views of who God is. The primary reaction from these people is to "take back what is ours!!!" no matter the means required to do so. Their government-god has strayed off course, and it's their job to either elect the next Reagan-Jesus to fight those damn Commie-Atheists or find the next Washington-Jesus to start a new revolution and bring back our "christian nation."

    The latter group is much more willing to retreat back into their own communities. After all, the original Church (highly successful by any standard) was growing in a climate of "Christians to the lion!" They're much more willing to shut the hell up and let government go in its own direction until it starts trampling all over their faith.

    Guess who has the bigger microphone?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    That's too convenient...any SoCon who refuses to shut up and go away is a theocrat.

  • John||

    GKC

    You have no idea how happy SOCONs disappearing from society would make most Reasonites. They would be okay with the knowledge of knowing SOCONs exist in some far away wilderness they will never visit, like the polar bear or something. But just not actually out and about where they would demand rights and shit.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    definitely not what I said. Obviously I'm generalizing, but my point stands. The most vocal SoCons tend to be the least religiously observant. The ones who are doing some serious thinking about the role of government relative to their religion tend to be more religiously observant.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Then I regret to say I misunderstood your point.

    I thought you were drawing a distinction between SoCons who inappropriately mingled God and 'Merica, and SoCons who withdrew from society.

    Of course, if I got your point wrong, I apologize.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    But even as you restated it, your point is still wrong.

    It's *way* too convenient to say that the more "vocal" the SoCons are, the less serious they are.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    And of course I reject the idea that there is some sort of conflict between SoCons being "vocal," on the one hand, and "doing some serious thinking about the role of government relative to their religion" on the other.

    An examination of the *First Things* Web site may be of interest in getting beyond these false dichotomies.

    http://www.firstthings.com/

  • ant1sthenes||

    Yes, but that will basically be neutralized with secession and a war for independence (as opposed to insurgency), since their state or confederate government will become the "true" government, the liberal US will be the fake commie US.

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    It's coming. As much as it will be horrible and end terribly, it's coming.

    I wouldn't be surprised if you are right. I see it more as a rural/urban divide but the rural populace is generally more SnoKoney than the urban populace. Maybe it'll happen peacefully and the states can be re-organized into...districts...

  • Bill Dalasio||

    While it might end terribly, I don't think it will really have the opportunity to get truly ugly. For all their bullshit, the social justice cadres grossly overestimate what they bring to the table. Their the court pets and enforcers of the ruling class, no more, no less.

    The first church to lose its tax exemption is going to set off a firestorm. The side of the separation of church and state that often gets overlooked is the fact that it also keeps religions from explicitly involving themselves in politics. Part of that is the threat of losing their tax exemption. What do you think happens when a major denomination no longer has that to lose? Billions of dollars and thousands of manhours of free labor. Overnight, the tenor of American politics changes (and not really for the better).

    Oh, and did I mentioned that they start also looking at the other side as the enemy?

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    While it might end terribly, I don't think it will really have the opportunity to get truly ugly. For all their bullshit, the social justice cadres grossly overestimate what they bring to the table. Their the court pets and enforcers of the ruling class, no more, no less.

    I agree about the SJWs not haveing much to offer, but I don't think that this (or any Kultur War) issue will be the spark that ignites the fire. Kultur War is all about positioning the pieces on the board. The economy is what the fighting will be about. See what happened in Nazi Germany. There were small groups of eugenics supporters during the Weimar days, but it wasn't until there was a massive economic downturn that the cultural/ethnic issues came to a boil.

    There are sparks going off all around the world all the time. It's just a matter of which one will catch some gasoline and start a totalitarian inferno. Could it be Greece? Could it be ISIS? Could it be some domestic threat? Who knows. It could ignite tomorrow, it could be 50 years from now, but I certainly smell the gas being poured all over everything.

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    Overnight, the tenor of American politics changes (and not really for the better).

    Indeed. Suddenly there will be actual religious evangelists in state legislatures and likely Congress.

    Reminds me - I need to stock up on popcorn and .45ACP.

  • Chuck in CR||

    A multi-continent financial crisis might precipitate it.

  • Sudden||

    I recall having a long discussion about gay marriage about five years ago with a lesbian friend of my ex wife. She was otherwise a very cool and reasonable person, but I recall at one point asking "if the same bundle of rights is conferred via civil unions and all those things we presently call marriages are reclassified as merely civil unions as far as state recognition, would there be any problem?" Her response was that it wasn't about a bundle of rights. It was about enforcing societal acceptance (not tolerance mind you, full out acceptance, by which she meant a rigidly enforced embrace of, with all dissidence being a form of crimething).

    At that point, I knew things were fucked.

  • John||

    You can't enforce social acceptance. Trying to do so is just going to make the targets hate you more. Look at the enormous amount of ill will that was generated by forced busing. It basically destroyed the schools in many areas of the country. It didn't make whites accept blacks. It just caused whites to move to new neighborhoods.

    This is going to be much worse. Blacks were a significant part of the population. Even in the Jim Crow South whites and blacks worked and lived with each other. Gays are a small part of the population. So it will be much harder to force acceptance. You will just create a series of martyrs like these people that does nothing but make the problem worse.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    You can't enforce social acceptance. Trying to do so is just going to make the targets hate you more.

    All the better in this "hate-averse" culture. Now they have all the more reason to accuse Christians of being bigots in the same vein as the Klan.

  • John||

    Which of course will give them a sense of being victimized and make them more militant in their refusal to toe the line. This isn't going to end well for anyone. You can't have a diverse society and then try and enforce conformity. You end up with people killing each other.

  • cavalier973||

    We need to remove the cross from all government property, pronto.

  • R C Dean||

    You can't enforce social acceptance.

    Maybe not, but if you are spiteful, hateful person, you can have a lot of fun trying.

  • ant1sthenes||

    It isn't just morally wrong, it's stupid. You don't get acceptance by acting like an asshole. You may trade a small number of people who openly hate you for a larger number that secretly hate you, I guess.

    "The beatings will continue until morale improves"

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I'm not so sure I agree with Shackford that the case of the Scientologist dentist was a case of him coercing his employee. Setting terms for employment isn't coercion.

  • Scott S.||

    I don't agree that it was coercion either. I'm just trying to use the same language to draw a distinction between who is attempting to force somebody else to do something in each situation.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Fair enough. I get what you were suggesting, it's just that there is (in general, not specific to what you said) an imprecision of the language.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Fair enough. I get what you were suggesting, it's just that there is (in general, not specific to what you said) an imprecision of the language.

  • OldMexican||

    Oregon Agency Inadvertently Admits Rules Used to Fine Bakers Are Unneeded


    What do you mean they're "unneeded"? Can't you see feelings were hurt?

    Feelings! Hurt!

  • Drake||

    I'll leave this here. Crowder being repeatedly refused for a gay wedding cake by Muslim bakers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgWIhYAtan4

  • Rich||

    There is no collusion between businesses and bigots in the government to keep gay people from having jobs and buying things—not these days. There is no evidence of any sort of "redlining," where industries like banks or insurers conspire to refuse services to gay people.

    But it's *possible*, Scott. Do we as a society really want that?

  • Brochettaward||

    Before I lose my shit, is this serious?

  • Swiss Servator, rudert schwer!||

    Report to sarc meter re-calibration in Bay 9, plz.

    Also, be glad it isn't puns again...

    *preemptively narrows gaze*

  • ||

    Why is this the issue that gets everyone so insane, left and right? The NSA is spying on us rampantly, a completely foreseeable debt apocalypse is about to wipe us out, the EU is about to collapse, China's economy is on the verge of imploding, etc, etc. Any one of those things would be a good topic to freak out about. But no, all anyone wants to bitch about is homopocalypse and/or antihomopocalypse. Why? Is it because it's easy? Is it because it's easy to figure out who your team is and who the team that you hate is? Why?

  • ||

    KULTUR. WAR.

  • ||

    Why does everyone love KULTUR WAR so much though? I would like to believe there's more to it fundamentally than people's brainstems telling them OOK OOK JOIN TEAM KILL OTHER TEAM OOK. But I don't think there is.

  • Brochettaward||

    Economics confuse people and they find them boring. Culturekampf is stuff any idiot can pontificate on.

  • commodious spittoon||

    And I do, routinely.

  • ||

    Many, many people like having an enemy to hate and fear. It gives them a sense of identity, of purpose, of belonging. It's easy. They know, without having to think, who is friend and who is foe. Being on a TEAM, choosing sides; it's all easy. And people like easy. Morals and integrity and thinking are hard. People don't like hard.

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    Many, many people like having an enemy to hate and fear.

    Yes, this and fuck the NY Yankees... ;)

  • Igor||

    Dude, you're in the NY area, right?

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    Yup.

  • Igor||

    IIRC you're getting into (back into) playing with 2A things. Lemme know if you want tocome up to Fairfield Co. CT and fling some lead.

    If you do, I'm kinda busy for the next week or so, but later in July, I have more time.

  • R C Dean||

    But I don't think there is.

    Me neither.

  • Swiss Servator, rudert schwer!||

    Kulturkampf was originally waged to eliminate influence of an 'outside' institution on people of the German State.....maybe people engage it for a similar reason - to wit, they want to eliminate the influence of some insidious group - Teh Ghey, SOCONZ, Patriarchy, whatever, because they think all will fall into line once they win that struggle,ie then we will all solve the economic problems, etc.?

    The best example of that I can come up with, off the top of my head, is Pat Buchanan - at least the last time I paid him any mind, some years ago.

    Also, to throw a cheap line out there - The heretic has always been harder fought than the infidel.

  • ||

    You're a perceptive guy, Swiss.

  • Swiss Servator, rudert schwer!||

    The only thing that makes me keep a bit of hope is that the original Kulturkampf failed.

  • MJGreen - Docile Citizen||

    What more do you need?

  • A special place in JW's Hell||

    You probably have a confederate flag painted on the roof of your car that you got homo married in.

  • Swiss Servator, rudert schwer!||

    Wait...THAT'S IT! GENERAL LEE THEMED GAY WEDDING CAKES FOR EVERYONE!!!!!

  • R C Dean||

    I still think a rainbow flag with the stars and bars on it would be an awesome piece of culture-hacking.

  • Swiss Servator, rudert schwer!||

    ooooh. Nice!

  • R C Dean||

    Google up rainbow confederate flag. Its actually pretty cool.

  • perlchpr||

    That's what I did for my FB logo when everyone did rainbow icons.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    But I can't change my facebook picture to show my support for the Greeks getting more free money!

  • John||

    The problem Warty is that you can't ignore it. It never stops. I don't give a shit if gays want to call themselves married. And I really don't give a shit if people don't want to make cakes for them. I would love nothing better than to ignore the whole fucking think. But I can't ignore it because no one ever seems to want to quit in this country. It isn't about who is married. They have made it about whether anyone can object to the orthodoxy without getting pounded. If they can run the bakery or the evangelical college out of business for not toeing the line, they can come after me when I inevitably get cross with whatever social crusade is happening.

    They are eventually going to come for everyone. It is just a question of when you have to worry about this shit, not if.

  • ||

    So you really do see these people as the SA then. Or maybe the Cheka, if you prefer. They must be stopped or there will be a disaster down the road. Do I have it right?

  • John||

    I see them as totalitarians who want total control of everyone's thoughts. Normal people would have been happy to have won in court but also been willing to let the losing side express their opinion. These people are not normal. It is not enough to win. They have to ensure the losing side doesn't just lose but is converted.

    It is not about gays or gay marriage. It is about control and conformity. When this is over they will move onto something else. It will never end. And no one will be allowed to be left alone.

  • R C Dean||

    Yep. These are totalitarian fascists, and they have plenty of fellow travelers already pre-positioned in the government to supply the jackboots.

  • Igor||

    Well, John Varvatos chukka boots, but yeah.

  • R C Dean||

    As for the disaster down the road, well, who can say.

    A violent backlash against these people and their government enablers is highly unlikely, I think. Although, if bad-case scenarios about the economy come to pass, we may actually have the preconditions for something really ugly, and if so, well, that's traditionally the time to take out your grudges on people you think have abused you.

    But, I would even say that the opposite scenario is a disaster, the one where the SJWs actually remain on the scene, doing what they do, spreading their hate and punishing their enemies. What a sorry fate for this country that would be.

  • ||

    Listen, and understand.That SJW is out there! It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are part of the hive.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I don't know about disaster, but I do see continuing conflict. In one sense, at least, I don't see these people as normal. Normal people don't get all wrapped around the axle about getting acceptance from those they hold in utter contempt. If religious folk who don't like gay marriage are such horrible bigots, then why should a gay person give two shits about what they think? Why do they need the acceptance of such folks so fucking bad that they'll wage vendettas against them?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    So you really do see these people as the SA then. Or maybe the Cheka, if you prefer.

    I've always seen them as more reminiscent of the Stasi. Not giant brutes who will crush you under their heel, but scared rats that will report you up to the next rung up the ladder.

  • cavalier973||

    Is there a high-profile case of a couple losing their business and being fined $135k by the NSA?

    The collapse of the Euro and the Chinese stock market are things that "just happen"; I'm guessing that you, Warty, understand the Austrian School explanation why economic meltdowns happen, but most people gave only a vague idea about how economics works, and think that the government has something to do with managing the economy. They probably think that the current administration is just not doing it right.

  • John||

    Think of how angry people on here, myself included, get about cases where the police shoot people's dogs. As much as I love dogs, destroying someone's business is a lot worse than shooting their dogs. Yet, somehow, anyone who is pissed off about this, rather than just finding it objectionable, just hates the homos apparently and can't get over the KULTURE war.

  • ||

    Is there a high-profile case of a couple losing their business and being fined $135k by the NSA?

    Is this a joke? We know the DEA is using evidence collected by the NSA, and lying about it, to prosecute people for drug crimes. I bet some of those people are facing way worse penalties.

  • John||

    OF course they are and that is terrible. That, however, doesn't make this any better. Can't we be angry about both things?

  • cavalier973||

    The DEA is prosecuting people for something they do; this situation is perceived to be punishing people for who they are (religious beliefs can be just as much a core part of someone's identity as sexual orientation, I think).

  • ||

    So because it's easy, then. I think I agree.

  • John||

    To some degree. Those other problems do not affect people in as direct and personal way the way the culture war issues do. It sucks that China is going tits up, but no one is going to come and sue me or anyone I know over it. I am not seeing commercials CGIed to remove now offensive imagery because of it or seeing classic movies being effectively banned from public performance over it.

    It is easy to say what is the big deal about a bunch of rednecks not being able to wave the Confederate flag around or some baker having to bake a cake. And taken in isolation those are not a big deal when compared to the things Warty mentions. Taken together, however, they become a very big deal, namely the closing of our society. It is not just about gay marriage or flags. It is about a group of people who seem hell bent on eliminating any thought or expression they decide they don't like. I don't want to live in a country like that.

  • ||

    Ah, now we do have something to vaguely agree on. Society seems to be becoming more tribal and less tolerant, it's true. I have no idea why, other than a vague suspicion that the Internet allows losers to find like-minded losers and whine harder than ever before.

  • Idle Hands||

    Mostly because they have no real problems to fight. We really are an interesting product, so wealthy we have to focus on imagined hobgoblins and phantom problems to give our lives meanings. They have to have meaning because we are given so much time to think about it as opposed to trying survive day to day.

  • Sudden||

    Society seems to be becoming more tribal and less tolerant

    Because of diversity. The idea that diversity results in some patchwork quilt of identifiably different people holding hands together is 1970s new age hogwash. The reality is that diversity and proximity make people less broadly trusting in others and more inclined to bond within their own peer group. Most of the people I know that hold crimethink views of broad groups (while they're perfectly able to treat any member of that group as a genuine individual) live in the diverse neighborhoods where they are exposed to larger numbers within those groups. Conversely, most of the people I know that suggest groups writ large don't demonstrate any cultural and behavioral differences on the whole other live in sheltered suburban gated communities that are less diverse than a Klan rally and have opinions that are shaped by sitcoms instead of the harsh and narrative-defying stictures of reality.

  • Lee G||

    Because of diversity.

    /trigger warning/

    More to the point, because of identity politics that elevate the collective over the individual and seek to create division where none exists.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    Society seems to be becoming more tribal and less tolerant, it's true. I have no idea why, other than a vague suspicion that the Internet allows losers to find like-minded losers and whine harder than ever before.

    I think it's because of the decline of intellectualism in the West. What we see is what happens when a bunch of people are raised with a superficial understanding of morality and philosophy. They flutter about like a flag in a hurricane, not having learned the skills to be able to think and process through moral issues. When anchored to an ethos such as the founding of the country, these intellectually malformed people can superficially adhere to such things as respecting dissent.

    However, once that anchor is pulled up, they have no moral bearings. They are taught through a Progressive government school to respond to indoctrination, and they are not taught to think through situations and find consequences, nor are they taught to distill principles from thought and reflection. The church once provided that, the school once provided that, parents once provided that. Now, we have a bunch of mental midgets fluttering about, using their emotions to guide themselves through complicated situations because they were never taught to think.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Society seems to be becoming more tribal and less tolerant, it's true.

    I'm a New Yorker, so perhaps my perspective is skewed. But, it doesn't strike me at all that "society" is becoming more tribal and less tolerant. It strikes me that a certain element of society - namely progressive urban cosmopolitans - have become more tribal and less tolerant. It strikes me that traditionalists are probably more tolerant than at any time in our nation's history.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    And let's not assume that "cultural issues" are magically roped off from "economic issues."

    Why are entitlements for the elderly heading for such a crisis? Anything to do with economic effects of a culture of fewer children (and future workers)?

    Un-and under-employment: Gosh, any connection to the large number of fatherless children who basically opt out of the economy?

    Small businesses in trouble - gosh, could that have any connection to the risk of your small business destroyed for some petty shit, like someone freaking out over a cake and suing you for their own freakout?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Or, "wow, look at all that stuff I wanna buy - flat-screen TVs, generous pension plans, 'free' shit - hmmm...I don't have the money on me right now, so I'll just put it on the ol' credit card...or I'll vote for legislators who will do the political equivalent. Must...have...stuff...now!"

    That strikes me as both cultural *and* economic.

  • Sudden||

    John, every time I think something and want to give voice to my thoughts on a subject, Mark Steyn beats me to it.

    The dude even knows how to Godwin in such a way that it is not hyperbolic or insulting to thinking people.

  • John||

    He is a bit histrionic. Steyn's problem is that he is a Canadian and doesn't understand just how big, diverse, well armed and dangerous this country actually is. This is not Germany if for no other reason Americans don't have the single mindedness of Germans.

    If it ever came to a point where they actually started trying to put Christians who didn't' toe the line in camps, you would see a real insurgency in this country and the government would be fucked. They would be faced with a determined and well armed group of people who had the ability to completely blend in with society and had widespread support. You can't defeat an insurgency like that. To even try you have to resort to really nasty forms of collective punishment that do nothing but push the population into supporting it.

    It would play out similar to what happened to the British in Ireland.

  • Sudden||

    That wooshing sound was Steyn's salient point sailing over your head.

    And so in April 1933 it would be easy to say, if you were a middle-class German seeking nothing other than a quiet life, that, yes, these National Socialist chappies are a bit uncouth, but the checks and balances are still just about working. What's the worst they can do?

    There is a virus in the American bloodstream right now, frothing away at Miss Schumer, "Dukes of Hazzard", and a million other things none of which is particularly consequential in itself. But the trick of civilizational self-preservation is to spot this stuff when it's just small things and stop it at the itsy-bitsy stage. It's never one thing that is unlike the other, two opposing corners of civilization and barbarism, an express train rocketing from one to the other. It's always a continuum. The gleefulness of the culture warriors - the abandonment of even any pretense to the tolerance of differing views - does not speak well for where we're headed.

  • John||

    I read that. And what is his point other than it is 1933 Germany in America? I don't see that. America is not Germany. And if it ever tried to be it would be over very quickly with the aggressors deciding they had better things to do.

    I like Steyn but I find him histrionic and tiresome sometimes.

  • Sudden||

    I don't think he's suggesting that the Christians will be thrown into ovens and gas showers anytime soon. Only that the parallels in mindset are themselves disturbing. The progs will find other means to deal with undesirables as long as they continue to work.

    Your insistence on the thoughts of Americans not being so easily molded may make the slippery slope more likely, rather than less.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    Your insistence on the thoughts of Americans not being so easily molded may make the slippery slope more likely, rather than less.

    Sometimes I think that patriotism puts liberty in more danger than a tyrant. Tyrants derive their power from the masses. One man cannot blow out the flame of liberty for a million people. One man with half a million patriotic followers, on the other hand...

  • Sudden||

    Also, you realize that Germany was fairly diverse and even outright inclusive in the 20s and 30s? The level of Jewish/Non-Jewish marital integration would be celebrated by progressives in this country at untold of levels were we to have comparable interracial marriages. And Germany of the day was also the zenith of education, science, technology, etc.

    People like to predict doom of the US to be comparable to the fall of Rome. In some ways, perhaps. But I've always viewed its inevitability as more likely to take the form of Soviet collapse of Weimar Germany. I'm leaning more and more toward Weimar Germany. The only difference is the fascists that take over this time will come as George Carlin professed: wearing happy faces and claiming to be the agents of tolerance and good.

  • John||

    I don't think so;. And don't sell the Nazis short. They came with happy faces too. That part is just forgotten, along with the fact that all of the intellectuals fell right in line with them.

  • Sudden||

    And thus his thesis of the eerie similarities of 1933 Germany and 2015 America is even more profound.

  • R C Dean||

    If it ever came to a point where they actually started trying to put Christians who didn't' toe the line in camps, you would see a real insurgency in this country and the government would be fucked.

    Well, actual camps, maybe (although not certainly).

    But they can do a lot short of boxcars full of evangelicals and a constant rain of ash on nearby towns. And they will do at least some of it. And I bet there won't be much of a backlash at all.

    Just a country that is ever more gray, restricted, and culturally poor.

  • Azathoth!!||

    People respond to this because economics is about making a living.

    Culture is about making life WORTH living.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Scott, thanks for this article. Pardon the digression, but while you've always been one of my favorite Reason writers, always fun, good alt-text, and prolific, you seem to have gotten better and better, especially over the last year or so. Keep it up!

  • OldMexican||

    Suck up.

  • Spartacus||

    Angling for that internship, are we?

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    I am disappoint that no one picked up on the last sentence.

  • Swiss Servator, rudert schwer!||

    *narrows gaze*

  • Sudden||

    Ah, fuck it. Yes! That's your answer! That's your answer to everything! Tattoo it on your forehead! Your libertarian moment is over, Mr. Sparky! Condolences! The libertarians lost! My advice is, do what the gays did! Get a lawyer, sir! The libertarians will always lose, do you hear me, Sparky? LIBERTY AND FREE ASSOCIATION WILL ALWAYS LOSE!

  • OldMexican||

    Let's say that we would accept laws against discrimination if it were shown that enough business collusion and government involvement had taken place so that a class of disfavored people truly had extreme challenges in just living a normal, everyday life. Historically, this is what actually happened to African-American citizens. The discrimination was real and significant.


    Scott, please do not conflate the decisions made by a business, and the actions taken by a government to impose rules and regulations that purport to mold a certain behavior, for instance: discrimination laws AND anti-discrimination laws.

    EVEN if it were the case that all businesses in a certain area colluded to boycott a certain portion of the population, that does not mean those businesses are committing acts of aggression against people or their property. Businesses still retain their right to property and, by extension, their right to trade with whoever they wish. Laws that purport to impose a trade are themselves immoral and their enforcement a clear act of aggression against property owners.

    In all these discussions, the major assumption is that discrimination itself is a bad thing, an assumption that clearly stems from a value judgment and not an objective and rational one. It so happens some people don't like discrimination, but their distaste for such decisions do not become justifications for public policy.

  • sarcasmic||

    But, but, but... Saying "No" is an act of aggression!

  • R C Dean||

    It so happens some people don't like discrimination,

    I doubt I've ever met one. Some people have different ideas about who to discriminate against, is all.

  • sarcasmic||

    Principals, not principles.

  • Propaganda Czar||

    This is a non-issue. All Christian business owners can excercise their rights when they aren't working. When you are running your business that is government time. You can excercise your religion while you sleep, just not 8a to 8p Monday thru Saturday.

    The constitution is a living document... Public accomodation... No bigotry.. Government guaranteed cakes... Derp.

  • OldMexican||

    I almost fell for it and thought you were being sarcastic... Until I realized, you're resigning.

    :-(

  • Win Bear||

    This is a non-issue. All Christian business owners can excercise their rights when they aren't working.

    Yes, same as everybody else. It's a lousy system that tramples on everybody's right to free association.

    There is no reason why Christian business owners should get an exemption from it, in particular while being able to claim the benefits of it as members of a protected class.

    Christian business owners should join libertarians in getting rid of these privileges for everybody, including themselves.

    The constitution is a living document... Public accomodation... No bigotry.. Government guaranteed cakes... Derp.

    These sorts of government-granted privileges go back a long time, back to singling out religion as a special class worth mentioning in the First Amendment.

  • AlmightyJB||

    $135K? Seriously? They wouldn't have got that if they baked a dead cat into one of their cakes. This is a vendetta pure and simple.

  • R C Dean||

    And that is exactly what it is supposed to be. An object lesson for everyone: contradict the Orthodoxy, and we will close your business, seize all your assets, and drive you from the community.

    Spiteful, vicious, hateful fascists. They use these tactics because they work.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Just another issue with leviathan. The bigger it gets , the more likely you're going to piss off some petty tyrant somewhere with the power to destroy your livelihood if not your entire life.

  • sarcasmic||

    Rule of law is for schmucks. Rule of man is where it's at.

  • Win Bear||

    Spiteful, vicious, hateful fascists. They use these tactics because they work.

    Those are the same tactics as those used by churches and religions in the past.

    And apparently it still hasn't sunk in with the religious right that the correct response is "abolish these privileges for everybody" instead of "restore our privileges".

  • John||

    Apparently it still hasn't sunk in your thick skull that people are not collectively responsible for the actions of those in the past and even if they were, that doesn't mean they forfeit their fundamental rights.

  • Win Bear||

    If SCOTUS deems a law to be constitutional when applied to a business, it should apply to all businesses; there should be no special religious exemptions to such government coercion. If you have religious exemptions, then government gets into the business of deciding what preferences are religious in nature and what preferences are not, and that amounts to establishment of religion.

    Furthermore, the individual trying to assert such religious privileges are doing so as individuals, and are wrong as individuals, independent of history. My reference to history is only to remind people of how destructive such privileges for specific groups have been in the past.

    If you want to argue that governmental restrictions on freedom of association are a violation of fundamental rights, I'm with you. But if you want to argue that granting special exemptions based on religious grounds to those violations is an improvement to the situation, I have to disagree. Fundamental rights violations don't become less serious by granting exemptions to them to politically powerful groups; in fact, I think they become more serious.

  • John||

    That is the other thing. You could call a job applicant the N word and say you didn't hire his kind you wouldn't get stuck with a judgement this big. This was nothing but revenge.

  • sarcasmic||

    But, but, but everyone said that SSM was simply about equality under the law, and was never intended to be used to punish people!

  • Win Bear||

    First of all, Oregon case has nothing to do with SSM.

    And SSM of course will be used to punish people if they don't comply with employment regulations. For example, that Christian bakery can't discriminate against an employee based on sexual preference, and they need to treat their same sex spouse the same as any other spouse. If they don't comply, they will of course be punished. That's never been in doubt.

    Now, as a libertarian, I think such rules are wrong in general. But as long as we have such rules, they should apply to everybody, and religion should not be used to grant exemptions. Religion is no more valuable or important as a justification for action than any other justification.

  • LynchPin1477||

    It is just the state of Oregon ordering the Kleins to give their money to somebody else on the threat of having a lien placed on their home. That is apparently something completely different.

    Yeah, it's called extortion.

  • OldMexican||

    Called indeed, because it IS extortion.

    "Bake me a cake or else!" ← That's extortion, no matter your opinion on same-sex marriage.

    But our enemy, the Marxians, would call such a gross act of aggression "Social Justice."

  • sarcasmic||

    "Social Justice" is nothing more than institutionalized injustice.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "There is no collusion between businesses and bigots in the government to keep gay people from having jobs and buying things—not these days." [link to article about the federal government harassing its own employees for being gay]

    Maybe there was anti-gay collusion in the private sector in the past, and maybe there wasn't, but the link doesn't help one way or another in resolving this. It's about the government discriminating against *its own people.*

    Can the government justify interfering in the private sector because "look at our history of discrimination, and if even a noble institution like us did it, we must assume the private sector does it too!"

  • Win Bear||

    Can the government justify interfering in the private sector because "look at our history of discrimination, and if even a noble institution like us did it, we must assume the private sector does it too!"

    As long as the state interferes, I have no problem with homosexuals using the state to trample on the rights of Christians as Christians are using the state to trample on the rights of homosexuals. In fact, the latter does have a very long and ugly history.

  • ||

    A "vast majority" of the complaints turn out to be unsupportable. This is BOLI's own admission that discrimination (or provable discrimination) against gays, lesbians, and transgender people in Oregon is rare.

    Nearly literally zero discrimination against homosexuals *and* a vast majority of complaints were unsupportable? I honestly thought heart surgeons were across the country were refusing treatment to homosexuals unless their partners stayed more than 1000 ft. away from the hospital at all times. Let me find my shocked face.....

  • John||

    The gays won on this issue because they made themselves acceptable and their opponents into aggressors. They seem to be hell bent on reversing that.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Now that the court has spoken, they (activists, not gays generally) may rightly feel practically legally invincible. A whole lot of people might want very badly to push back in some legal fashion, but what legal fashion is left? Amending the constitution? Not likely.

    Killing public accommodation law in general? Even if they did, can they guarantee that SCOTUS wouldn't reinstate it?

    If you have a large group of people getting hammered (unfairly not only in their minds, but also in the minds of other people as well), who feel they unfairly been denied legal recourse, then you know that some of them are going to start considering recourse in broader terms.

    I know you think it will turn into anti-gay violence, but I think people are going to be considering this as just one issue in the broader context of HUD policies, of IRS malfeasance, of Hillary openly flouting federal law, of the absolute incompetence of the feds at doing their jobs, of the pervasive assholery of SJWs on all issues, etc.

    Wouldn't exactly be shocked if Jesusland ended up becoming an actual country before too long, though.

  • sarcasmic||

    I supported SSM until it became framed as a civil rights issue. At that point I saw that the purpose was to wield it as a weapon against people, businesses and organizations that disagree. And guess what? I was right.

  • ||

    I supported SSM until it became framed as a civil rights issue.

    I opposed SSM before it was cool to oppose SSM.

    Seriously, the signs of full retard were there from the start, they've been waiving them in parades and getting more numerous for a better part of the last 40 yrs..

  • sarcasmic||

    When I naively thought it was simply about treating same sex couples the same as hetero couples under the law, I thought it was a good idea. I've always supported that. But when it became a civil rights issue I saw the ruse for what it was.

  • John||

    I never for the life of me understood why the hell they wanted it so badly other than as a legal sanction to fuck with people.

  • R C Dean||

    There's only two things you need to be "married" to get:

    (1) The spousal privilege, which seems an awfully thin reed to hang an entire social movement off of.

    (2) Tax treatment as a married couple, which can be good or bad, depending.

    Absolutely everything else can be gotten via contract.

    I knew this wasn't about technical legal equality when the gay activists ran the "civil unions" idea out of court. They were pretty overt that they didn't want civil unions, because what they really wanted wasn't the legal benefits of being married, but the social acceptance of being "married".

  • R C Dean||

    Yeah, I think so.

    Why, is that a problem for you?

  • John||

    The worries about polygamy are overblown for a lot of reasons, not the least of which very few people would actually do it. Mostly they are overblown because the only reason the court ruled for the gays is because gays are fashionable and it liked them. I seriously doubt polygamists are going to be fashionable anytime soon. And no way in hell are gays going to expend any political or social capital making them such. They got theirs and that is enough.

  • John||

    And you would have a point. As idiotic as the decision was, if it turns out to be such a private decision to give the gays what they want and the court had no intention of applying it equally, that would I think make it even worse.

  • Tony||

    For the hundredth time, why are gays responsible for advocating for polygamists?

  • Frankjasper1||

    I thought they had advocated for equality of everyone?

  • TimothyLane||

    Ultimately, the Kleins are being punished because of their disapproval of homosexual marriage. It's a grossly fascist act, but then one expects such things in a state run totally by the Democrats (who should now be called the Fascist Party).

  • Win Bear||

    Ultimately, the Kleins are being punished because of their disapproval of homosexual marriage.

    Yes, and I'd get punished if I let my disapproval of Catholicism decide who I rent to or who I do business with. That's the law of the land.

    It's a grossly fascist act,

    It's no different than forcing atheists to cater to, and support, Christians, something that is widely practiced. And let's not forget that Hitler proclaimed fascism a "Christian movement".

  • TimothyLane||

    Hitler was an atheist, as were his top leaders. Some were even homosexual (e.g., Ernst Roehm and Walter Funk). He was willing to say many things to win votes, most of which he didn't mean. (For example, at times the Nazis would claim that their hostility to Jews was to immigrants from the old Russian Pale, and not the assimilated Jews of Germany. The latter learned better, to their great cost.)

    Note too that the Kleins didn't refuse to serve homosexuals in general, merely to take part in a homosexual marriage. And can you explain -- other than by your own chirstophobia -- why they were fined $135.000?

  • Win Bear||

    Hitler was an atheist, as were his top leaders.

    No, Hitler and his top leaders were Christians: they were official, tithing members of the Christian churches. Furthermore, the Catholic church was instrumental in bringing him to power, both through the Enabling Act and the Concordat, and priests in Germany swore a holy oath to the Nazi government. By any objective measure, they were Christians. You simply don't like that they didn't seem to behave the way you want Christians to behave, but antisemitism, genocides and war have a two thousand year history in Christianity, so they behaved like Christians too.

    Some were even homosexual (e.g., Ernst Roehm and Walter Funk).

    So is probably half of the Catholic church hierarchy. What's your point?

    He was willing to say many things to win votes, most of which he didn't mean.

    Again, that's your belief, with no basis in fact. Even if true, how would that be any different from most Christian church leaders or most politicians?

  • ant1sthenes||

    They won't let an employer of one faith send an employee to a parareligious ceremony as a condition of employment, but I bet they would require a self-employed photographer to attend a parareligious ceremoney or lose her ass. It appears the only principle they have is fucking over business owners.

  • R C Dean||

    You're a step behind. They actually did require a business owner to provide services for a parareligious ceremony or lose their ass. When the owner didn't do it, they lost their ass.

    In my book, attending a ceremony is less of an imposition than actually having to do work for the ceremony.

  • ant1sthenes||

    I was thinking that some would use the extra degree of separation (by not actually attending) to move the goalposts.

  • Win Bear||

    As I have said before, as long as we have bullshit restrictions on freedom of association, I think letting religions feel the full brunt of those restrictions is a good thing. People have been able to use religion as a special excuse to be exempted from government regulations they themselves like to impose on others for far too long. Freedom of association based on religion is no more valuable than freedom of association based on any other criteria.

    Let's get rid of all laws restricting freedom of association. Until we do that, let's get rid of as many exemptions to those laws as possible, because that's the best way to get people to pull together and recognize that these laws are a bad idea.

  • Tony||

    there is no widespread threat of anti-gay discrimination.

    There wasn't until the Christians started openly declaring they were gonna start doing it as their last desperate move in the culture war they are losing. It is not outlandish to think that, in some places in the country, Christian resentment will actually lead to discrimination on a noticeable scale. States are even trying to pass laws guaranteeing it as a right.

  • Frankjasper1||

    What would be considered a noticeable scale and what states are trying to pass laws specifically saying there is a right to discriminate against gays?

  • OldMexican||

    Jesus H Christ, Tony. Everybody already moved on and you come here to spew your mendacity? What a coward you are.

    Christian resentment will actually lead to discrimination on a noticeable scale.


    "Discrimination is bad because I want what they have."

    I imagine there is no grater pleasure than not to have to dwell too much in the superficiality of your principles, despite the fact that they stem from the basest of emotions: envy and jealousy.

  • Tony||

    I'm charmed to know that you'd be on George Wallace's side. It allows me to treat you with your deserved seriousness.

  • Pulseguy||

    I've already heard people saying 'gays are all about attacking others for their beliefs'. I respond 'activist gays, not gays, and only some activist gays'. They are 'huh, oh yeah, I'm sure most are okay.'

    The damage is being done.

  • Igor||

    And of course, if those activists have little ability to actually fuck up the lives of the people they're attacking, that's very different from the case where they can railroad a whole nation into some very unjust 'legislation' thru' a coordinated program of intimidation.

    This is where I have *some* sympathy for the anti-islamic hawks that demand that if your "movement" has a bunch of hotheads in it that the "moderates" should either rein them in, or STFU, own the problem and stop complaining about blowback.

    Let's sit back and watch the polyamory team's experience with the 'activist gay' movement.

    Popcorn. I'm lovin' it.

  • Igor||

    You mean the way *some people* attack Christians, middle aged white heteros, breeders, constitutionalists?

    Yeah. That happens.

  • Tony||

    A majority of white people in America believe that whites suffer more from racism than blacks. That happens too.

  • Robert||

    What about the teaching fx of the law? The way that works is, "If people feel strongly enough this way that they're willing to use the force of law for it, that probably means it's the right thing to do."

  • Robert||

    It's somewhat related to trial by combat. That is, if A is right, then the gods will favor hir in fighting vs. B. A beat B, so A was probably right.

  • Igor||

    Not sure that 'might being right' is a very fair way of organizing a society.

    How about instead, encouraging everyone to stop interfering in everyone else's business? Radical idea, huh?

  • JayWye||

    the REAL question is;does a person have any right to the labors or property of another person or business if that other party doesn't freely consent to it? No.
    Does a person lose their Constitutional rights (First,5th,and 13th amendments) when they open a business? No.
    If one goes by the Constitution,"public accommodation" laws are unconstitutional,they force people into slavery,indentured servitude.
    It's anti-freedom. it's fascism.
    Private property rights should always trump your feelings being hurt or your desire to do business somewhere.

  • Rockabilly||

    A gay multi-cultural white supremacist who just had a sex change wants into an Oregon bakery shop that only makes vegan cakes and says.

    I'm getting married to a shemale and I want a nice wedding cake with all kinds of symbols on it with lots of butter and eggs too.

  • ||

    If I were in the shoes of the Kleins, I would run a 52 week ad in the largest state newspaper and would speak my mind...

  • Issue Ninja||

    Maybe the fascists' gag order would allow that, maybe not. Guess wrong and you go to prison.

  • ant1sthenes||

    But maybe you could take the time in prison to write a book about your struggle.

  • Kevin Sorbos Manful Locks||

    And wouldn't that be the icing on the cake?

  • OzarkAggie||

    I wonder how many bakeries this couple approached before finding one that refused, because it really smacks of of a set up. And a fine of $135,000? Outrageous.

  • XM||

    If Oregon punishes these bakers, I sincerely hope someone goes to Muslim bakery and demand a wedding cake for gays. Or even a anti mohammed cake.

    Like this guy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgWIhYAtan4

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    You are allowed to say "Yes, Master!"

  • Vincent Milburn||

    Just put laxative in the cake. It will make things awkward when they go to "consummate."

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