My question - In general, how do you feel about the right to religious freedom being used in this specific Supreme Court decision? Does one have the right to discriminate due to a religious belief?
The Supreme Court ruled today in favor of a Colorado cake baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
In a 7-2 decision, the justices set aside a Colorado court ruling against the baker. Just stopping short of deciding the broader issue of whether a business owner can refuse to serve gay or lesbian people. The opinion was penned by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is often the swing justice in tight cases.
The ruling focused on what the court described as anti-religious bias on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when it ruled against baker Jack Phillips.
"The Commission’s hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion," Judge Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion.
The five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
Freedom of Religion.
Freedom of Speech.
Freedom of the Press.
Freedom to Assemble Peaceably.
Freedom to Petition the Government for a Redress of Grievances.
Sherlee, letme ask you where does it end, does it mean that a proprietor can refuse to serve gay or lesbian people or for that matter blacks or Hispanics? All this because they are so directed in a form of bigotry disguised as faith?
So where do we draw the line?
You have asked for my opinion. In my opinion, the 1st Amendment in no way covers protection against racism. IT was written in 1791 when racism was ignored, and by most not viewed as a problem. History proves that many of our leaders had slaves... The First Amendment covers freedom of religion; speech; press; Freedom to assemble peaceably; freedom to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
As it stands, a citizen has the right by law to stand on religious convictions, and refuse to provide a service that is in conflict with their personal religious belief.
It would seem to me in 2018 may have a "grievance". Is it time to approach Government with the problem of discrimination.of sexual preference? The 1st amendment does provide that right. "freedom to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"
It certainly would cause an uproar due to religious and moral rights. In my opinion, we should at this point in history be able to balance our religious beliefs without discriminating against anyone. Discrimination has already long proved it can only lead to disruption of our society.
Yes, I did ask for your opinion, thank you for responding. The 1st amendment, freedom of the press, speech, peaceable assembly and religion, has nothing to do with racism per se.
That clashes with the idea of public accommodation which has differing requirements. So, I could be in “conflict” with someone’s religious convictions simply because I am a man of color with dreadlocks or a woman comes in for service wearing a burka? There are plenty of ‘religions’ that have racism as part of their fundamental core, there are plenty of sects and interpretations of Judeo Christianity as just one of them. So, where do I go to eat, do I need to find establishments that feature “Coloreds to the Rear’? Are you running a business or pasturing a church?
If these problems persist, homosexuality may well have to become a “protected class”. I am sure that in many parts of the country it already is. I don’t necessarily subscribe to all of these groups, but as for their right to have access to the same accommodations as anyone else, I will defend that to the death.
Your religious beliefs are not being challenged unless you want to run a public accommodation and use it to discriminate against patrons for no other basis outside of the fact that you do not like their religion, race, or appearance.
Being a public accommodation introduces a new set of rules in of itself. You can always stay personal and private and behave as you wish.
"Sherlee, letme ask you where does it end, does it mean that a proprietor can refuse to serve gay or lesbian people or for that matter blacks or Hispanics? All this because they are so directed in a form of bigotry disguised as faith?'
The Supreme Court has set a precedence with this "baker's case". However, just because this decision was made in this particular case does not mean it is written in stone. It does send the message to business owners that they can refuse service to anyone that they feel impedes them from following the ideology of their religion.
" All this because they are so directed in a form of bigotry disguised as faith?'"
Not sure I agree with this statement. To argue the point. Most religions do find homosexuality a form of sin. Is this a form of bigotry? Not in the eyes of those that believe it is a sin. It's apart of their religious ideology. Now in the matter of discrimination against a race or nationality. I know of no religion that discriminates on the bases of race or nationality. So to me, the right to follow one's religious beliefs does take precedence, and should not be considered a form of discrimination.
I am a Christian but have a problem with seeing any form of discrimination as justified. So addressing your question where will it end? I do not see any form of a solution at this point in our history.
"Is this a form of bigotry? Not in the eyes of those that believe it is a sin."
True. But who views their own bigotry as bigotry? There is always an excuse for bigotry, whether it is religious or not. Whether God said it, it is "common sense" or "demonstrable fact", there is always a solid reason. To the bigot.
Of course the baker, a private business owner, has the right to refuse to serve anyone for faith-based reasons–this is America. If people in a community do not agree with a private business owner's belief they do not have to do business with him and if they do not he/she will go out of business soon enough–this is America. If people in a community want to support such a business owner he/she will do well in the business–this is America. I like my right, whether I exercise it or not, to do business with those I agree with on any issue and to not do business with those I disagree with on the same issues. It is a great privilege to live in such a country.
Some things that are important to remember in order to have a fair discussion of the issues involved include:
• Comparing alternative lifestyle people to blacks and hispanics is a behavior that many, many in those races say is extremely offensive to them.
• Owning the statement "where does it end" is something the Supreme Court decision is requiring of everyone on both sides in the issue.
• Not understanding and/or refusing to try to understand a person's faith's perspective is allowable. Demanding that they deny their faith's perspective is what our Constitution and the Supreme Court says is not allowable.
• Demanding change in people's faith-based life perspective for any private, public, or business purpose is to bully religious people. It's important to remember how that allowed, in just one example, Nazis to do what they did.
• To attack a person's faith because we do not agree with it is childish at its best and savage at its worst degree. The range in between is truly stunning, ignorance being a part of every degree of the attack, preventing mature discussions about and between all sorts of people, including those of different faiths.
• Not all religious people agree on this issue so honesty is needed about exactly which religious people are being condemned.
• None of these points is protection for any religious person/group if they break this country's laws no matter how often that idea is used to abuse or attack religious people.
• The realities of any movement that says hurting people's feelings should be against the law must be examined. Different people are sensitive to different degrees about the exact same things. The equivocation that would be involved in trying to establish law based on feelings boggles the mind.
• The truth of Judge Kennedy's statement is crucial to an honest discussion. It contains critical points that must be honestly acknowledged, ...the hostility of the Commission...the First Amendment's guarantee.
There are even more considerations to be studied if we are to give a grown-up look at the issues surrounding this case. If we refuse to step back, take a breath, and maturely examine all the angles of today's issues then what John Adams said of all democracies will be true of us...suicide is their end. The hope on that note is in the fact that we are a Republic, not a democracy, but as Ben Franklin commented when queried about what kind of country had been established as he left the 1787 Constitutional Convention, "You have a republic, if you can keep it."
Why a republic? Perhaps the most important reason is that a defensive screening was and is needed between the passions of our changeable feelings and our governmental body of laws. We should carefully value our constitution and its amendments because dismissing wisdom always has consequences that rebound with destructive power. We need to value our right to agree or to disagree.
I agree with anyone's choosing to worship any invisible god they like. I'm a Stoogist myself, and my god Moe doesn't like Xtians. Too judgmental! Woop, woop, woop, my brothers!
No, the business owner does not have the right to refuse service as a public accommodation.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is federal civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination in numerous settings including: employment, education, voting, and public accommodations. See FindLaw's codes section for the entire Civil Rights Act of 1964. Specifically, Title II prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin in places of public accommodations and provides injunctive relief for such violations. See the entire Title II text below.
SEC. 201. (a) All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.
In regards to this topic, this is the only LAW that I am interested in.
Your freedom to operate a business as a public accommodation is not absolute, you must pay taxes, comply with municipal and state regulations as to how you operate, etcetera. So, you are not just free to do just anything that you want, yes?
As a member of ONE of Those RACES, I know a slippery slope when I see one. The same law that is designed to protect me, protects Jews, Muslims gays and anyone else that a business owner just happens to wish to denigrate in their places of business just because they do not look like or agree with them. With your perspective, WE just as well all take our seats in the 'back of the bus'?
If the business owner wants the option to practice bigotry, then they can cease being a public accommodation and take their attitudes and biases to their homes or private clubs.
So, Yes indeed, THIS IS AMERICA.
Answer one question for us all honestly ; What real gay couple would actually WANT to have this baker bake them a cake for a wedding ?
I know that you in particular won't answer this .
You know what, I am answering it.
During the Civil Rights Era, many Blacks went to visit known hostile businesses just to see if they were in compliance with the CRA of 1964.
So, your question is irrelevant, a gay couple, real or pretend, should have been served at the public accommodation.
You can rest assured that we have not heard the last of this matter.
Show me one gay couple who would be so hurt that no cake would come on wedding day from this guy that they felt a need for suing the baker :
I'll show you two major hypocrites ! Why ?
This isn't about a gay couple asking for a cake , this is about liberal academia activists looking for media cause to push ALL activism into the supreme courts ! A gay couple would find , more than likely , a gay baker , you and I both know this .
This is activist and media sensationalizing . pure and simple.
Ahorseback, I don't know any gay couples, it not about "hurt", it about being denied a service from a merchant based solely on your beliefs and appearance. There is an overriding principle involved, media or no media. I can see situations of non-service or substandard service offered to me as a basis for kicking up dust.
I love the courts as the break on rightwing attitudes and prerogatives. While this decision was not what I wished for, it did not provide discriminating businesses an "out" for treating people differently without any basis. I could always find a restaurant that served blacks, but is that the way this society should be allowed to run?
I support and understand completely the need and purpose for such a law. But I also think it can't operate in isolation.
Laws are meant to protect the rights of all people. Some rights are roughly equal to others and some rights are more important than others.
My right to life is more important than your right to a gun. A baker's right to freedom of religion, which is expressed in the Constitution, may or may not be more important than the protections in the Civil Rights Act.
I'm not saying one side or law is better than the other. I'm just saying this issue is not limited just to discrimination.
I think you're absolutely right - "rights" are always relative, not an absolute.
In this matter that "relative" has to include consideration to harm done by discrimination, and it is my opinion that we've seen too much of the results of that - it is not something we can tolerate any longer, regardless of any religious right to behave that way. Therefore the Baker (and SCOTUS) was wrong from the standpoint of harm/danger to the country.
I don't know that it ever has to come down to a situation that gun ownership directly correlates with death or injury for others. If the correlation was direct, of course, no one would be allowed to have a gun. None of the Bill of Rights are absolute, that he been established time again by the courts.
Pursuit of rights for one cannot infringe on the right of the other, so there can be no absolutes. It is all relative and we leave it to the courts to decide, which portions of law conflict and how they are to be untangled. CRA 1964 is just an example of the idea of there being no absolutes in regards to the 1st amendment, nor any of the others.
I have to be alive to own a gun, as obvious as that may sound. But that means life precedes gun ownership, therefore a right to life is more important than a right to a gun.
That's what I'm trying to say about some rights being more important than others.
Problem is , "If I don't own a gun I can't shoot someone " only applies to liberal politics , 99.99999 percent of legal gun owners don't ever pull a gun on another human being !
I'm not surprised you however can't trust yourself . Perhaps there lies the problem .
While I have to agree that some rights are more important than others, I'm not sure that older rights take priority. I'm older than you, so my right to swing my fist doesn't end at the tip of your nose? Or have I misunderstood (again!)?
I'm not implying that older rights are more important. I'm only saying that some rights are more important because they are the basis for other rights.
I think it's largely the basis for the conservative argument on this court case. (And not the narrow SCOTUS ruling). That the Constitutional right to religious freedom outweighs the anti-discrimination law.
Thanks for trying to understand me.
Will always try to understand in a rational discussion. It can be difficult with only written posts sometimes hours apart, and I often fail, but I try.
Absolutely some rights are more important - we certainly agree there. But I do think, given our history of death, despair and hurt directly caused by discrimination, that forbidding that bigoted practice takes priority over people believing religious myths are true.
That's a pretty slanted way of putting it, but I do it for a reason; to drive home that religious beliefs are just that: belief, not necessarily factual reality, and not a single person out of the billions on this earth can prove that their beliefs actually represent reality. Those beliefs, all of them, are equal in value then...and that includes the belief that gays can (morally) marry.
(I also get that SCOTUS is at least supposed to rule based on law, and that they presumably did so in this case. That doesn't make the law morally right or even the smart thing to do, for "The law is an ass".)
In what way was the gay couple harmed? If they were not harmed -- other than hurt feelings -- I'm struggling to understand why someone has to be punished for refusing to serve them.
When I'm treated badly by a business or discriminated against, I take my money elsewhere. I don't see the need to file lawsuits.
Great point. Very much common sense oriented. I can see my question is eliciting many different views. I m a woman that has lived my life using common sense. Your view hits the nail on the head.
Thanks, Sharlee. I'm sure some others will disagree.
Harm or "standing" is one issue that one must prove in order to have their case heard. however, even if one proves harm they can still lose the case. Harm, in its legal sense does not relay on physical harm and can actual involve FEELINGS or emotional trauma or discrimination. It is like saying if I refuse to serve a black person in my restaurant why are they complaining, just go to another restaurant. Or if I refuse to let a white person sit in a certain section of the theater and say, well they could sit in the back and still see the show. Or how about if I say, the Mexican can eat in my restaurant but they have to enter from the back with the loading dock guys and sit behind a curtain so others don't see them. They are still eating in my restaurant. Or maybe, women can come into my gym only after the men have used it during the prime using hours, but I charge women the same price. Funny thing is, all of these things happened here in the U.S. and someone sued because their feelings were hurt due to the discriminatory treatment. It is more than just about "Well why don't they just go somewhere else if they want to be treated like a human being with rights and dignity." It is about being treated like a human being with rights and dignity everywhere in a public place or a private business which avails itself to the PUBLIC RIGHTS to do business.
That was spot on. Thanks....
Well said, but I stand by my point.
Any form of discrimination is immoral including behavior that is not harmful. But I simply don't believe that harming someone emotionally because of discrimination does not belong in the courts for the reason I mentioned.
I respectfully disagree it's an issue about public rights. Public rights regarding discrimination do not exist in the Constitution or Bill of Rights, bend in different directions according to public will and have been subject to wildly inconsistent court rulings over the last 200+ years.
Greetings, Promisem, you and I had touched on this topic before.
I am always harmed when I am refused service for no valid reason because if it happens at one place it could happen at another and at one time it always did. I am never really confident that all the past demons within this society have been properly expunged.
Believe me, I am never going to let such violations or violators off easily.
Greetings in return, Credence. You have always given me reason to rethink my positions on various topics including this one. I am trying to keep an open mind and will change my position on non-harmful discrimination if I see the light.
I agree that all past demons haven't been properly expunged, and I also believe we have new ones rising. For me at least, it's always about where we draw the line and whether we go too far or not far enough.
I worry when the court pendulum may swing a bit too far in the other direction in order to make up for past demons. As a result, we risk weakening other rights such as the ones in this court case.
And I certainly don't expect you to let off violations easily!
"You have always given me reason to rethink my positions on various topics including this one."
I try to listen and and understand those from the Right of center as well.
"I agree that all past demons haven't been properly expunged, and I also believe we have new ones rising. For me at least, it's always about where we draw the line and whether we go too far or not far enough"
This is true, our debates are on the very topic of where the lines are to be drawn
Was Rosa Parks "harmed" by sitting in the back of the bus?
My opinion only, but I think we've seen far too much of discriminatory actions by bigots, religious or not. Consider that it is already illegal to refuse to rent based on religious beliefs, and that it is illegal to refuse to trade money for labor based on religious beliefs. Why should trading product for money be any different?
Because of economic harm, which is objective, provable and measurable. Emotional harm is not.
Promisem, you can question that, what economic harm? She got to ride on the bus with everyone else. Where she was seated did not matter, really.
Seems to have mattered a great deal to her. With the long term (years and decades) result of riots, murders and other objectively, proven and measurable harm.
My point, exactly. "Harm" does not necessarily have to be measured solely from the standpoint of dollars and cents.
Just to be clear, I did not limit my point to economic harm. It also includes physical harm.
Proof is required in a court of law. How do you prove harm in something that "seems to have mattered a great deal to her"?
Should I file lawsuits against companies that won't hire me because of my age?
It matters morally, but not economically, unless she refuses to take the bus anymore and spend her money elsewhere.
Then it's a question of whether our society should legislate morals, which is what it is doing in this case.
If you want morality legislated, then so be it.
Promisem, I cannot control how people think or their beliefs but I can enforce law that requires that all people be treated equally. I am the last one for legislating morality. But equal treatment before the law and in public accommodation should be something that we all have a right to expect. As a once said, none of us operate as an island and no one is objectively independent, really. It is all relative. My taxes contribute to the subsidies many "greasy spoons" enjoy. All the costs incurred by municipalities paying bureaucrats to insure that it remains a safe place to eat, comes from my dime.Mile High Stadium in Denver which was built and cost a fortune, did not benefit me because I don't follow football. So, even the proprietor has to comply with higher authoritie when operating his business.
I'm not following. A renter turned down because of skin color can rent elsewhere. A worker turned down because of religious can also work elsewhere. A buyer can be turned down but can buy elsewhere.
All three have the same result; the same result can be had elsewhere and there is no provable, measurable harm, so what's the difference?
If a renter is turned down because of skin color and has to rent for more money elsewhere, he or she is harmed economically.
Likewise, being forced to rent a place farther from work is a transportation cost and another example of economic harm.
Ending up on the street and getting killed because no one will rent or rent at an affordable price is not only a form of economic harm but physical harm as well.
If that renter can find a cheaper, larger place closer to work, the law still prohibits rental discrimination. It is both immoral and illegal to discriminate.
So why is it illegal to discriminate by refusing to sell (or rent) a house, but not illegal to discriminate by refusing to sell a cake?
It is my stance that such discrimination has, and will again, lead to massive problems in our society; problems that we neither want or can afford. If we are to live together in peace discrimination of any kind, religious or not, must be prohibited in public places. If we could (effectively) prohibit it in the home we should do that as well. It is that important to our society, to our (stated) culture and to our well-being.
The fact that laws making all discrimination in all forms illegal doesn't mean they are right. As a gun advocate, how often do you and others complain about the 20,000 gun laws that don't stop shootings?
Laws preventing rental discrimination exist because not having them guarantees the potential for economic harm to victims. Discriminatory cake selling has no such potential.
That said, I agree with your final paragraph. But legislating morality according to someone's personal preferences is not the answer.
"Emotional harm" can have measurable effects:
"Racism and racial discrimination adversely affect mental health, producing depression, anxiety, and heightened psychological stress in those who experience it...
Chronic emotional stress is known to have negative physical and mental health effects. Racism and racial discrimination create a unique environment of pervasive, additional stress for people of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. These repeated traumatic interactions can result in reduced self-esteem and internalized hatred as they’re forced into conservative and apologetic thinking.
In legal terms, harm can be defined as:
"...any injury, loss or damage."(2)
Definitions of "injury" vary by jurisdiction, but "emotional pain" is a recognized element of that legal concept. One definition of injury is:
"Injury generally refers to a harm suffered, which may be physical or emotional pain and suffering, damage to reputation or dignity, loss of a legal right, breach of contract, or damage to real or personal property"(3)
So the concepts of "emotional pain and suffering" and "damage to . . . dignity" are established concepts in jurisprudence.
And if someone's "emotional pain and suffering" manifests in the form of anxiety, depression etc, then you should also be able to calculate an economic cost.
But more importantly (in my opinion) is the fact that the human cost, and the societal cost, of having entire groups of people living under "heightened psychological stress" due to discrimination is almost incalculable.
(1) https://www.psychiatry.org/news-room/ap … tal-health
I agree with your analysis 100% Emotional harm is harm.
But I AM concerned with the growing propensity to actively search for reasons to be offended, to try and find that we are being harmed emotionally rather than trying to work through it. As a people we are carrying an ever larger chip on our shoulder, just waiting for someone to knock it off. It makes it difficult to be realistic and caring about emotional harm, though it can and does cause even more harm than physical damage in many cases.
Respectfully, I don't think you understand my point. Discrimination of course has an emotional and painful impact, which is why I think it's immoral, but it is certainly not measurable and objective and it's very hard to prove in court.
Mental illness and emotional distress are not the same thing in this debate. I have no doubt that system-wide discrimination in all forms can lead to mental illness. But being told in a single store that I can't buy a cake does not.
Even if it causes pain, the question is whether the pain leads to a physical or economic harm to the individual in terms of medical costs, therapeutic care, loss of work, etc. That also has an impact on society as a whole. For discrimination at that level, yes, it should be illegal, which fits one of your comments.
The fact that I was refused service in a black-owned McDonalds along with other white customers doesn't mean I was harmed. I was mad, but I didn't suffer, file a lawsuit, descend into mental illness or demand a change to the laws. Still, it was clearly discrimination.
I believe you guys are mixing two definitions of "harm". They are not one and the same.
And for the record, the fact that a law exists doesn't make it right.
I think you're right, I'm not clear on a number of things you are saying.
Are you saying someone needs to be discriminated against more than once for it to be considered harmful in the way you think is important? If so what is the minimum number of times someone needs to be discriminated against? 2, 5, 10, more? And how is that number determined?
And is that what you mean by "system-wide discrimination", i.e. the number of times it happens? If not, how are you defining "system-wide discrimination"?
Of (emotional) pain you say ". . . the question is whether the pain leads to a physical or economic harm to the individual . . ." Is that the only relevant question? If so, why is it?
Ultimately, are you saying that you think only behaviour which causes physical and/or economic harm should be illegal?
I think it's amazing the double standards on the left. A Christian baker won't provide a specialized cake for a gay wedding because it's against his religious beliefs. BUT, a bar owner in New York City can throw out a President Trump supporter from his business and refuse service because he wore a MAGA hat AND the left is silent. What a bunch of hypocrites.
https://nypost.com/2018/04/25/judge-bar … upporters/
Hypocrisy , pretty simple . Yet ask them to admit hypocrisy and they get get all instantly "outraged " ?
No ahorseback, liberals would be concerned with "Hypocrite Rights" and start yelling how the Constitution protects a person's right to be a hypocrite. They may protest, stop traffic on freeways and disrespect the National Anthem because this "Hypocrite-phobic" country is prejudiced against hypocrites. Then, of course they'll point out the disparity between hypocrites of different races, sexual orientations and more. Yes and put on your seat belt for the liberal marches against hypocrite discrimination in the United States. I'm sure it will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mike, I am not silent, what the owner did was against the law. I am not defending him either.
Credence, should a Jewish deli be required to sell me pork products? They sell all sorts of meats, why should I not get pork from them simply because I'm a Christian? Not to far from me is a business that sells Muslim religious items. Should I demand he make a cross for me? Am I being discriminated against because I'm a Christian?
Guess what I'm going to do? I'm going to avoid the Jewish deli and go to a place that is comfortable selling pork products. I'm also going to go to a place that is comfortable making a cross. I won't file a lawsuit or claim discrimination. Why? I respect people's religious beliefs.
When certain members of the gay community are able to give the same level of respect they demand from others, they will have fewer problems.
"Always trying to be a victim to something is no way to go through life." Milo Yiannopoulos
Credence, should a Jewish deli be required to sell me pork products? They sell all sorts of meats, why should I not get pork from them simply because I'm a Christian? Not to far from me is a business that sells Muslim religious items. Should I demand he make a cross for me? Am I being discriminated
Mike, there is a difference. Let me explain. I don't go to McDonalds and expect to be served filet mignon or a Chinese rice bowl. That is not on the menu. But the Chinese person and the food aficionado can all go to McDonalds and expect to be served equally as long as they take what is on the menu. The baker bakes cakes, I did not ask for a pie. The only reason this baker did not bake this cake had nothing to do with the availability of the service but specifically an issue with the gender orientation of the customer. That is a world of difference for me. I am not eating at the Jewish restaurant because they refuse to serve me, I am not eating there because they don't serve ham and eggs and that is what I want to eat at the moment.
I'm with you here, Credence. I haven't seen the design specs for that cake, but assume it was identical with other cakes made there. The asked for something "on the menu" and were denied - the Baker refused to sell a product to them that he had sold thousands of times to others.
If SCOTUS says that's legal, because the Baker didn't like them or didn't approve of the use of that cake, then SCOTUS erred, and badly.
Credence, there is one key element you forgot in your rebuttal that is key to this discussion. Religious freedom. A better analogy would be if I went into a Sikh restaurant. Their religion requires them to be vegetarians. I demand they make meat for me because I'm a Christian. Would they be right in not serving me what I want because in doing so they would violate their religious beliefs? If it was explained to me it is against their religious beliefs, I would order what was on the their menu OR leave and go to a restaurant that accommodated me. No lawsuit necessary. Respect for a business owner's religious belief and all is well with the world.
Credence, there is one key element you forgot in your rebuttal that is key to this discussion. Religious freedom. A better analogy would be if I went into a Sikh restaurant. Their religion requires them to
So, Mike, I presume that all that is on the menu at the Sikh restaurant is vegetarian. But, being Judeo-Christian, they will still serve me as long as I eat what is available on the menu. They did not just kick me out merely because I was Christian. Why should they serve you a meat pie? No one that comes to the restaurants can order a meat pie, Sikh or otherwise, because that is not on the menu for anyone. I am not asking anyone to violate their religious beliefs (or any other reason) why they can't give what I want if it is not on the menu.
So, I do what you do, either eat what is on the menu or go to another restaurant, it is far more simple than concepts of religious freedom and all that. It could simply come down to fact that you can't get a lobster roll at Burger King
But that's not the comparison being made. If you go to the Sikh restaurant and order from their menu but they refuse to serve because you're Buddhist - that's the proper comparison.
The men ordered a cake, a cake just like thousands of others made there. And were refused because they didn't follow the same religious tenets of the baker. The baker refused to sell them what they ordered because of their religious beliefs - that their beliefs did not match the baker's was reason enough to refuse them service.
I disagree. Gay is not a religion. The baker refused to go against HIS religious beliefs. He didn't believe in gay marriage. He also didn't bake cakes for Halloween and more.
"The baker told Today that he also refuses to make Halloween cakes because of his religious beliefs. He said he would refuse to bake anti-American cakes and even cakes that would be “disparaging to the LGBTQ community.”
The baker never refused them any of his other products.
"In this case, he said he offered to make Mullins and Craig other desserts for their wedding, but refused design a wedding cake due to his religious beliefs."
http://time.com/5301461/colorado-baker- … iage-cake/
So, again, it is like saying a Sikh restaurant is discriminating against me as a person who is an omnivore because they won't make me a meat dish. I was born this way. I've always wanted to eat meat since I was young. Why should a Sikh restaurant be able to discriminate against me because of their religion? I would not file a discrimination lawsuit against a Sikh restaurant in this case.
Agree with Credence that it’s a slippery slope. Religion is based on subjective emotion, so do we let other subjective and emotional beliefs dictate who we serve? What if I said “I’m not going to serve this Trump supporter because I don’t agree with Trump’s policies”?
As far as I’m concerned unless someone is asking you to do something illegal or is being incredibly difficult you should get over yourself and do your job without projecting your personal beliefs onto other people.
I would have to say that the SCOTUS erred; that being "neutral toward religion" does not mean that a business can require you to meet their religious tenets before selling to you.
A baker can practice all the religion he wants to...in private. When he enters the public sector, selling to the public, he shall not infringe on other's rights to believe as they wish.
I agree, Dan. On the reverse side, someone refusing to serve Xtians would be wrong as well.
Oh, I don't know about that - it is a well established fact that the human species is the master of the universe, it is the reason the universe was created, and it shall rule over all the universe. All other species are inferior (except the pyramid builders and the ET's that created crop circles and the diagrams in Peru).
This is a tough one. I will say, I don't agree with the Supreme Court decision. It was a simple request of 'sell me a cake' so refusal makes no sense. If there were specific inclusions which made the cake uniquely designed in order to ensure there was no doubt it was for a same sex marriage, then I would get it, although I would disagree with the baker's stand.
Thank you for your response. I appreciate it. I hoped to see how others felt about the Supreme Courts decision. I agree this is a tough one.
Setting aside the legality issue for a moment, I disagree that it is a tough question. We've seen the results of racial discrimination in this country and we've seen religious discrimination in the past. We see the results of religious discrimination all over the world today.
It is not a path we wish (or should wish) to follow. People must be treated as people, not some god-defined evil to be ignored, or worse, if we are to live together in peace and harmony.
A few years ago, not far from where I live, a man was drug down the highway on a rope behind a car, and then tied to a barbed wire fence on the prairie and left to die. The result of religious discrimination and hate.
Your question re how others feel about this issue is important for several reasons, yet we need to be able to align our feelings with the fact that others may feel differently than we do. The responses in this post may turn out to be general proof of how people feel that only their feelings count.
If a discussion is about feelings then we need to work at focusing on facts involved so our feelings do not run rabidly, angrily, viciously among the populace. Stereotyping all religious people because of the illegal and immoral behavior of a few who call themselves religious isn't illegal (because hurting other people's feelings is not illegal), but it is not useful to any side of any discussion.
Declaring that a baker cannot live out his faith within his private business but that others can force their way of life on him is not legal in this country. To put it in the terms of our society's focus on feelings, the feelings of those who want him to bake their cake do not trump the feelings of the baker.
On that same note, the feelings of blacks or hispanics who agree with alternate lifestyle people do not eclipse the feelings of blacks or hispanics who do agree with a private business owner who cannot conscientiously support alternate lifestyle people.
Valuing the legal right we have to agree or to disagree on issues is crucial to holding on to all the freedoms we enjoy. No doubt, this is not the last of this issue, but the baker was not the bully in this matter. He simply expressed that he could not support what they were doing by blessing it with his artistry. History proves that pulling the rug from under the right of people to not participate in what they disagree with undermines all freedoms.
I really think your statement "Valuing the legal right we have to agree or to disagree on issues is crucial to holding on to all the freedoms we enjoy. " says it all...
That we live in a country with laws that protect our right to agree or disagree is an amazing thing–it is a protection from unlimited government that is provided by our government's legislation. It is far more than what people who get their feelings hurt when told no can grasp.
The willingness of founders who often disagreed on issues to establish this protection was fundamental to the freedoms we enjoy today. That willingness led to abolishing slavery in this country, it gave women legal standing, and more.
Letting the protection of our right to agree or disagree slip through our fingers for any reason would be the suicide mentioned in my first post in this discussion.
Does that go for American sports figures who disagree with standing for the anthem in protest?
That's a good question, Randy,
I will be waiting with baited breath for the answer.
In an important way it's exactly the same as for the private business owner. If his perspective is not accepted by his community he will go out of business. If his community supports him he will do well in his business.
If the community that does not agree with the athletes who oppose the national anthem stop buying tickets because they disagree with their behavior they will go out of business. If the community supports the behaviors then the athletes will do well in the business.
One crucial difference is that the private business owner does not work for others. He gets to make his own choices for his business. The athletes are employees and have a responsibility to abide by their employers rules and regulations, just like every other employee in every other business.
All the more reason that for liberal logic and the economic ramifications of the resulting player protests , that we should make the NFL players and teams government employees -To protect them from those unsightly popular opinions and income loss . That way they are protected , tenured , and can voice their hatred of America at will , no consequences .....;-}
Maybe not, I don't want to give them any ideas.
OK, RT you made an exception to the right of freedom of expression here it is:
"One crucial difference is that the private business owner does not work for others. He gets to make his own choices for his business. The athletes are employees and have a responsibility to abide by their employers rules and regulations, just like every other employee in every other business."
Perhaps you remember this case synopsized below, would the exception you took for the right of NFL players relative to their employer apply here? After all, is she not employed by the State of Kentucky to issue marriage lcenses and keep her own personal and private views to herself?
Kimberly Jean Davis (née Bailey; born September 17, 1965) is the county clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky. Davis gained international attention in August 2015 when she defied a U.S. federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, following the June 26, 2015, U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. Her defiance led to her being jailed, while both supporters and detractors hotly debated her stance in the national media. Marriage licenses in Rowan County are now being issued to all citizens as required by law.
Yes, I'm aware of the case and wrote about it at the time. The article is on my profile page, and the title begins with Think Before... I would put a link here but it's not allowable to promote one's own work in the forums. I hope it's okay to mention it since you asked about the case.
Seriously, RT, this Davis lady defied federal law (court order) as a state employee. Just who does she think she is? Reading your article gave me the impressions that you were more supportive and minimized the magnitude of her violation.
"Citing religious opposition to same-sex marriage, Davis stated that she was acting "under God's authority"
Why is it not OK for football players to do things contrary to wishes of their employers, yet it is OK for her? Is her "conscience" any more significant than that of NFL players?
It sounds to me that you are advocating from a position of a politically Right ideologue, while referencing the Constitution to lend credibility to your discussion points. So, it's political expediency over any real principle that could be properly applied to either side? I believe that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
So, again, do you acknowledge a difference in the circumstances of the football players relative to that of Kim Davis regarding their each claiming the right to defy employers and even the law itself based solely on their conscience?
If so, why?
As explained in my response to your comment in the article's page there are details in every case that count towards an opinion. Not knowing all of the details surrounding her case, nor all of her motivations, much less all of the influences on her, I can't say who she thinks she is. It would be unwise to guess at all of those unknowns for either side of the issue.
I explained that I do not think she had a right to do anything contrary to the wishes of her employer, though I could possibly find it understandable that she would resist if the rules were changed after she became an employee. That is not saying I would agree with her refusing to follow her employer's direction.
She, and the athletes, can get other jobs if they don't like the rules in ones they have, but the issue is not really that simple. The question of whether she has a right to her opinion on any controversial issue is important. We need to value our protected right to agree with each other and/or to disagree with each other. Her right to her opinion is protected.
The issue of the fact that she was not a private business owner, but an employee with a responsibility to follow the rules/regulations of her employer whether she agreed or not is the difference between this case and the baker. All employees are bound by the rules/regulations of their employer. As a private business owner he has a right to conduct business as he sees fit, just as mentioned above re a Sikh restaurant owner.
The facts of his case were barely reported...he does not create other cake designs for the same reason he did not want to create the one in the case, and we should want his right to do that to be protected.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.ph … d=10007392
The decision by the justices to overturn the decision of the Colorado Commission stemmed from the fact that (1) one of the jurists on the Colorado commission was openly bias against the religious beliefs of the baker; (2) Colorado at the time of this incident did NOT recognize gay marriage & in fact the Supreme Court did NOT recognize gay marriage at the time of this incident in 2012; and (3) the Commission had in fact ruled on similar cases in the past regarding bakers and individuals who wanted designed inscription for their gay marriages—and in the prior 4 cases sided with the bakers as they ruled the previous parties wanted “offensive language” included on their cakes.
The court felt (1) that any person who is subject to adjudication whether it be by a commission, agency, court, etc is subject to a fair, equitable and objective determination regardless of the charge. In this case, regardless of whether you agree with the baker’s actions or not, he did not get this. Second, in the majority opinion it was stated the baker had a legitimate argument more along the lines that he had the right not to inscribe a cake supporting a status which was not recognized by the state itself. In essence, it was hypocritical to punish someone for not supporting gay marriage when the state did not support gay marriage itself at the time. Third, while the court was NOT impressed with the previous Colorado Commission’s rationale for their findings for the previous bakers, they were at least based on some sort of equitable stance, even if not wholly sound as “offensive language” was neither defined specifically or test made for it. That being said, the state actually could pass additional laws to make this action illegal (laws not currently on the book). The decision was narrowly tailored because the premise of the argument is that the baker freely admits he should have the right to discriminate and violate state law based on his religious beliefs. This is a slippery slope and why the court narrowly tailored the decision as the Constitution is NOT supposed to grant special privileges to deny the right to others by shielding those who wish to discriminate behind the Constitution.
This was a tough decision for the Supreme Court, and while morally I disagree with the baker, legally the Supreme Court nailed this decision. They were correct in that they had to throw out all claims of the baker which went to the heart of his case, because before you can get to the merits you must make sure the adjudication procedures are correct. Yes, the baker won on procedural grounds but it was still correct; and Colorado should not punish a person for not recognizing gay marriage when at the time the state did not even want to touch the issue to recognize it.
Nice summary, thanks
The opinion of the court was based on positional and procedural circumstances. If Gay or Lesbian individuals were considered a “protected class” would the outcome have been different? If the issue were involving Hispanics or Muslims, would the outcome had been different? I don’t think that this ruling supports the idea that a proprietor’s religious beliefs could be used as a basis to discriminate against others generally as an interpretation of 1st Amendment rights, while operating a public accommodation.
You are correct. The finding of the court also said that Colorado could clarify its laws, and that it "could" potentially still pass legal/Constitutional muster which could prevent this discrimination. However, the S. Ct had to look to the law at the time of the grievance as to punish someone for a law not in place at the time would also be unjust. The thing that I think will irk many is why didn't the other members of the Colorado Commission ask for the offending jurist to recuse himself or vacate their earlier decision and redo the hearing. The baker may still have won, as again at the time gay marriage was not legal in the state. However, this was not done. In addition, the commission needs to do a better job of fully explaining the rationale behind its decisions. Too many times commission members are appointed or if elected the officials are elected because they have the money. Where I live we have a town planning committee in charge of variances for properties. If you know the members personally then getting a variance to build your home within 10ft of another's property used to be a given, but if the committee did not know you then they would enforce the 10 foot rule. Or if you wanted to build on certain types of property they would in one instance deem a cranberry bog to be wet lands and in another dry land (as you can only build on dry land). Their reasoning's were all over them place. In one case to not deem a bog a wet land put too much "undue stress" on a family trying to expand a home for their third child; however, they denied a similar request to a man who wanted to build an office so he could work from home as his father (who did not live with him) was sick and he did not want to commute far away. Finally someone sued the town and the court said, "undue stress" is not a legal measure however "undue financial/economic burden was" - but they needed to define it, etc.
Thank you for taking the time to add your comment. It is non-bias, and very helpful with clearly putting the problem into perspective.
Religious Freedom should never be questioned or compromised. A business owner has a right to refuse customers at his or her discretion.
A moral right or legal right? Moral yes, legal only maybe.
Is there a moral right to refuse to sell a candy bar to a customer because they have dark skin? Is female? Has only one leg or other deformity?
Because a book written 2,000 years ago says they are evil?
It's moral within the context of their religion. I will quote you:
"I think you're absolutely right - "rights" are always relative, not an absolute."
If morality is relative, then I don't see how we can legislate morality as a society if we also claim to respect freedom of religion, because each religion has somewhat different moral philosophies.
As a fierce individualist and libertarian, you are surprising me with your defense of government interference in morality.
Right are indeed relative, and no two people will agree everywhere. You are free to do as you think is "right"...until it impacts someone else.
The legislation you refer to says only that what others consider "right" is as important as your own concepts - that you must accept them as much "right" as your own when dealing publicly. In the privacy of your home you are free to ignore what others believe (to a point - human sacrifice is forbidden there, too), but when you enter the public arena your beliefs and concepts carry no more weight than anyone else's. You do not have the right to impose your religious beliefs onto others.
I'm wording that poorly, but hopefully you get the gist of it. Respect other's beliefs when dealing with the public, do as you wish when private.
The baker refused to bake a cake due to the couples sexual preference due to his religious belief that homosexuality is a sin. Which is condemned by most religions. It can't be compared to discrimination on race or gender. I don't believe there is any religion that teaches one to discriminate on bases of gender or race? Perhaps the Muslim religion has some discriminatory views when it comes to women. Religous beliefs must be looked at differently than discrimination of race or gender. Our laws well cover discrimination on the bases of gender and race, the baker would have lost his case in the lower courts if he were openly discriminating on bases of race or gender.
Just my opinion, I believe in religious freedom, I also believe no human being should be discriminated against due to race or gender. In regards to homosexuality, I can't ask or expect anyone to go against their religious teachings. I believe in the innate kindness of most people. I believe most people can find a way to be tolerant.
"I don't believe there is any religion that teaches one to discriminate on bases of gender or race?"
Religious beliefs (commands from God) were once used to promote slavery. Muslim law treats people of other religious beliefs differently. Religion is used to shun people; to drive them from the neighborhood or city. It has been used (and still is when it can be hidden) to refuse to hire the "unfaithful" as workers.
How many times have you seen something like "This nation was found on Christian principles so everyone must behave as I think Christians should!"? Most religions use discrimination, in one form or another, to "encourage" conversion to the common, local belief.
Wilderness, I find it hard to debate religion. I am Catholic, and I brought up my children Catholic. Religion has brought much to my life. I have relied on my religious teaching to bring me through many hardships. I find comfort, joy and a peace of mind in my beliefs. My Christain teachings instructed me to be kind even to those that may be unkind. To humble, and grateful for what comes my way. To give to others less fortunate. To be respectful of another's beliefs. I myself have never felt due to my religious beliefs I had the right to discriminate against another human being for anything.
To sum it up, my faith is an anchor of sorts. It anchors me to a community of people that share my values, and my belief in God. Although I stand corrected, some religions do shun, and I did mention the Muslim religion does show great discrimination against women. My religion teaches forgiveness for all.
"I myself have never felt due to my religious beliefs I had the right to discriminate against another human being for anything. "
You don't, but others most certainly do. Whether you have done it or not, whether you have even seen it or not, religion has most definitely been used and is still used as a club to regulate behavior of non-believers and believers of a different faith.
Islamic discrimination, for instance, goes far beyond that shown to women. "Jizya or jizyah (Arabic: جزية ǧizya IPA: [d͡ʒɪzjæ]; Ottoman Turkish: جزيه cizye) is a per capita yearly tax historically levied on non-Muslim subjects, called the dhimma, permanently residing in Muslim lands governed by Islamic law.["
We have laws against religious discrimination in the workplace, not because it never happened but because it was all too common. In my area of the country Mormons used to be known for the practice, and it still happens to a lesser degree. Nor does it stop with discrimination of workers - San Francisco airport was forced to build special prayer rooms and foot bath stations to accommodate Muslim taxi drivers and they aren't alone in giving special privileges to Islamic believers that insist their religion be followed at someone else's cost. Christians all over the country have erected monuments to their god at public expense and some areas are still fighting to have their beliefs taught as factual in science classes to young children.
In none of these things would the faithful tolerate other religions dong the same thing. There are no crosses in Muslim institutions and no satanic symbols on public land. There aren't even any pagan spells being taught in elementary schools.
That you choose to practice your faith without insisting everyone else join in puts you in the minority. Kudos to you for doing that.
But why do they have to be treated differently? Does religious freedom trump everyone else’s rights? What if there was a religion that stated being black or being a woman was a sin? Would you be defending the discrimination against them then? If whether discrimination is okay or not hinges solely on what religion says about it then you’re suggesting that discrimination itself is pretty arbitrary.
I don’t understand why baking a homosexual couple a cake goes against anyone’s religious beliefs regardless. Unless they were offering to pay him with anal penetration then he’s not partaking in the homosexuality himself.
Aime, I appreciate your comment. It is very hard to explain individual's religious beliefs. Religions vary vastly, and most have evolved over the years. Changed scripture to suit today's values and morals. You ask why do they have to be treated differently? The baker's response was not to bake a cake for a marriage between two men. He claimed he could not make the cake because it was would go against his religious belief. This man was not known to discriminate against making any other baked good for homosexuals. Only wedding cakes. You ask "Does religious freedom trump everyone else’s rights?" You have almost answered your own question. Does a homosexual have the right to demand someone bake his cake?
IT's a stalemate. Although is a cake as important as someone's religious beliefs?
In regard to "I don’t understand why baking a homosexual couple a cake goes against anyone’s religious beliefs regardless.' I don't know of any religion that condones homosexuality. This baker clearly do did not want to participate in the wedding. Perhaps by preparing the cake made him feel he was in some way condoning the marriage? I did not defend or condemn the baker. I had hoped to open a conversation on the subject to promote thought and discussion on the subject. Because this kind of problem will occur again and again if more of us don't have a hard look at it. I am Catholic, and in recent years the religion has become much more tolerant and understanding about homosexuality. I have always taken the best of my religion and adapted it to remain non-judgemental. I think it more Godly to be kind, and tolerant.
Did the janitor at their venue "participate in a homosexual wedding"? The person that watered the flowers they used? The crew that laid the road they drove on to get there?
I would say "No". They participated no more than the baker that baked a cake for two men. If that baker presented the cake at the wedding with great fanfare, ala some TV show, then he would have "participated" in the wedding. He didn't - his sole "contribution" was to bake a cake no different than thousands of others he had made. What those two men did with that cake is their business, not that of the baker's. It is akin to a Muslim car salesman refusing to sell a car to a woman because he doesn't think women should drive a car even though it is now quite legal for them to do so.
The problem is that one can squirm and spin their way to deciding that anything they won't do themselves is something that no one else should do, either...it's call "discrimination" when that decision is carried out into action. As I see it.
You all realize you're not even on the right argument. SCOTUS didn't really uphold the baker's right to refuse service. They determined that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was antagonistic toward the baker because of his religion, so they determined he wasn't treated fairly. It was a very narrow decision.
There was a nice summary earlier in the thread that pointed that out. It had to be something like that, you wouldn't get so many left leaning jurors to have concurred with this decision, otherwise.
I believe the debate is more related to this part of the OP:
Does one have the right to discriminate due to a religious belief?
And can businesses not serve Xtians because the owners don't believe in invisible gods?
No. Without a god to give the orders that gays are evil they cannot refuse to serve. Perhaps the FSM could give those orders?
So, it begins, some Tennessee hillbilly has already misinterpreted the significance of the recent court ruling. A hardware store? This is insane.... check out this story can Right wing merchants and advocates really be this obtuse about everything?
So, I guess this crowd will see two men or two women together and ASSume that they are homosexual?
https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/no-gays … 18831.html
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