The Diseasification of Christianity

One of the tricks that various Commie regime pulled in smashing the Church was to make the Faith into a form of mental illness requiring “Rehabilitation”.

Behold, all that is old is new again in our rapidly de-Christianizing culture.

We’ll see more of this.

  • Steve

    I’ve heard from my other Christian brothers and sisters a yearning for the next “Great Awakening” another revival of the Christian faith in America. “Who is going to be the next Billy Graham?” I’ve heard it asked.

    I think we’re beyond that. Sometimes God sent prophets to Israel. When they didn’t listen, He sent Philistines, Canaanites, and Babylonians. We’ve allowed divorce, contraception, and abortion for too long. Even our efforts to preserve the Man+Woman definition of marriage still cling to our love of these things.

    So here come the Babylonians, to bring us into exile.

  • Mike

    Chesterton, writing in 1907:

    “When the world next tries persecution seriously it will probably be
    under some new name or with some new excuse. There are many strictly
    modern things which could be used very easily as instruments for
    suppressing opinion. For instance- doctors. In these days we should not
    like to be so fanatical as to say that a man was wrong; but we should
    probably think nothing of saying that a man was mad, and treating him
    accordingly. If ever the Archbishop of Canterbury wishes to suppress
    General Booth, he will be very foolish if he used the cumbersome and
    antiquated language of intelligible philosophy or of historic
    Christianity. If he is wise he will take care to use, not the long words
    of Theology, but the long words of Science. He should not call him a
    Nestorian or Socinian; he should avoid all words in “ian”; he should
    pick carefully, if possible, words ending in “iac.” If he only called
    him a Nestoriac or a Sociniac, there would be something in the words
    that would make our scientific blood run cold. But it would be safer for
    him to say that General Booth was an advanced case of Soteritis (or
    diseased desire to save people), or that he was a pure case of
    Tympanomania (which means a morbid craving to walk behind a big drum.)
    Considering what a vast amount of solemn nonsense is talked in our time
    about the advance of psychology and mental experiment, and considering
    with what a ravenous simplicity it is all absorbed by the reading
    public, there seems no reason at all why this immense engine of
    pathological argument and medical coercion should not be put at the
    service of all the tyrants in the future. Instead of sending a man to
    prison for blasphemy, they will send him to the hospital for brain
    fever. If they want to put down Socialism, they will call it
    Irresponsible Promiscuity; if they want to put down individiualism, they
    will call it the malady of the Exaggerated Ego. This may be the new
    rule of Humanitarianism; and no tyranny like it has ever darkened the
    sky of men.”

    -March 30, 1907, Illustrated London News

    • kmk1916

      I will ask a dumb question: Who is General Booth?
      Great quote.

      • wlinden

        The founder and first General of the Salvation Army.

  • Vision_From_Afar

    So a single politician makes a bad word choice and suddenly we’re in Stalinist Russia? Putin’s doing a much better job than we are playing that particular game. Take the man in context. He doesn’t want to shut down a business because of their beliefs.

    • Dillon T. McCameron

      Just simply that they be cured of said beliefs?

      • Vision_From_Afar

        No one is saying what they can and cannot believe. If they want to operate solely for their friends, then they can do a home business under the table. If they want to operate in the 21st century in a public market, they have to be willing to serve any customer who walks in the door.

        • Dillon T. McCameron

          So the choice then is to violate their consciences or gtfo of the market?
          ***
          Why exactly would they have to serve any customer? Must we force people to provide service? A Jewish person to serve neo-Nazis? A black person to serve klansmen?

          Couldn’t the market decide whose lack-of-service was objectionable?

          • Vision_From_Afar

            Yes. Yes. Yes…. Hm,Yes. Aaaand Yes. – In that order.

            “Right to conscience” is a lovely, empty term that has no real power. Why should they not have to serve any customer? How in the world can we have a working marketplace where you might be prevented from buying anything at anytime because the person selling it “doesn’t want to”? You can’t, and that’s why they need to swallow their pride, say a prayer for the couple, and make the fripping cake.

            • TheodoreSeeber

              And should they also be required to perform any service the customer demands?

            • Dillon T. McCameron

              “”Right to conscience” is a lovely, empty term that has no real power.”

              All power, and therefore rights, flowing through the barrel of a gun; i.e., your freedom to do or not do is whatever the dispensers of force decide it to be.

              I agree.
              ***
              When did offering a service become compulsory?

            • Dave P.

              So if I go into a kosher deli and demand that they make for me BLT sandwiches with cheese and shrimp garnish because that’s what my pork-lovin’, shellfish-lovin’ lifestyle requires, the owner should swallow his pride, say a prayer for me, and make the fripping meal?

              • Vindhler

                Ah, but they don’t make a BLT for anyone. If they refused because you’re a pork-lovin’, shellfish-lovin’ fella, but served it to anyone else who asked? Then there would be a problem. You do cakes for anyone (and they do, even atheists and pagans, someone checked), you do it for everyone.

                • Dave P.

                  So if I go into a kosher deli in my SS uniform and demand that they serve a kosher meal to my Hitler’s Birthday celebration, should the owner swallow his pride, say a prayer for me, and make the fripping meal?

                  • Vindhler

                    It’s disgusting, deplorable, and offensive in the extreme, I agree.
                    Yes, he still must make the meal.

                    • Dave P.

                      I’ll give you credit for being consistent. More so, in fact, than the appeals judge, who, when given the analogy that this was like requiring a black-owned bakery to cater to a Klan rally, ruled that the KKK was not a protected class, but gays were. He would likely have said likewise about neo-Nazis.

                      Apparently, some animals are more equal than others.

                    • Vindhler

                      It annoys me that we have to designate “protected classes” at all. We’re all human. If it’s not counter-productively disruptive (wearing the SS uniform is not, reading Mein Kampf through a bullhorn would be), every human deserves equal treatment. Why is that so hard?

                    • Dave P.

                      Personally, I see no reason why the government has to sanction a sexual relationship at all, if it has no interest in maintaining the traditional family structure. I’m in favor of civil partnerships for any two consenting adults, including siblings, a parent and child, or two platonic friends. Especially as I’ve known more than a few instances of the first case who would have benefited from such a partnership.

                    • Vindhler

                      The gov’t doesn’t have to sanction a sexual relationship. It does have to give legal recognition to two consenting adults who have decided to combine their contribution to society into a cohesive whole, whatever that contribution is, be it paying taxes, running a business, or birthing and raising children.
                      It’s hard-line religious folk who insist on dragging biology and reproductive organs into the discussion at every turn. I…think we’re agreeing here. Are we agreeing? I hope we’re agreeing.

                  • Vindhler

                    Quick addendum: If he’s smart, he’ll make the sloppiest, most minimalist meal he can. No one says the service must be good, only that it must be done.

            • Paxton Reis

              “Right to conscience” is a lovely, empty term that has no real power.”

              That those in power who define the laws view it as an empty term will further erode personal rights and the condition of the most vulnerable among us.

              Yes, it is argued the pharmacist does not have the right of conscience when it comes to distributing birth control, etc., yet the end results are ignored by those disclaiming the right of conscience.

              In the example of contraception, we were told that access to it would strengthen marriages, end prostitution, and result in increase respect for women. None of that has come true, and modern, technologically advanced and savvy humankind has commoditized women’s sexuality in new and disturbing ways, with many women marginalized and used. Marriages are increasingly broken, far far too children and their mothers abused and left economically behind.

              Yet, many in the political elite thumb their noses to the “right of conscience.”

          • Sven2547

            Couldn’t the market decide whose lack-of-service was objectionable?

            Yeah, just like how the free market ended segregation.

            …oh wait…

            • TheodoreSeeber

              Near as I can tell, using the free market to end segregation wasn’t even tried.

              • Sven2547

                What do you mean by “it wasn’t even tried”? The free market was in effect the whole time. In the deep south, white customers overwhelmingly refused to be served alongside blacks. Businesses that segregated were more competitive.

                Far from ending segregation, the “free market” promoted it in much of the United States.

                • Dillon T. McCameron

                  Would blacks have had the same liberty to open businesses serving only blacks?

                  • Sven2547

                    Would that have made it okay if they could?
                    It’s shameful that there are still segregation apologists even today.

                    • Dillon T. McCameron

                      It’d have been…egalitarian.
                      My intention was to ask if civil laws existed that prohibited or stymied the opening of such places. In such a case, the market would not be free.

                      Otherwise, cultural influences would have made openly segregated establishments unpopular, no?

                    • Sven2547

                      My intention was to ask if civil laws existed that prohibited or stymied the opening of such places. In such a case, the market would not be free.

                      A fair point, although I hasten to point out that it was the free market principles of demand and competition that promoted segregation in white-owned businesses, completely regardless of the state of black-owned businesses. How would an abundance of black-owned businesses discourage segregation?

                      Otherwise, cultural influences would have made openly segregated establishments unpopular, no?

                      “Cultural influence” in the south is precisely what made open segregation popular.

                    • LFM

                      This comparison between racial segregation by businesses and discrimination based on sexual orientation (in the limited cases of marriage) by businesses is actually silly. You do not appear to know that racial segregation was IMPOSED BY LAW in many jurisdictions. In many places, a business could NOT refuse to segregate, even if its owners did not want to do so. Your Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of such laws repeatedly until 1954.

                      Of course, there is today plenty of de facto as opposed to de jure racial segregation in the US, and a serious attempt to root it out would be a mistake, leading to all kinds of petty and not-so-petty tyranny. Even the minorities most affected by it would oppose such compulsion by the law, I believe, if they gave it some thought.

                      When gay people and their supporters have calmed down a little, perhaps they will realize that they would like to retain the freedom to discriminate that we all once possessed. Do you really want to ban women’s colleges? Want to refuse lesbian bars the right not to admit male-to-female transsexuals?

                    • Sven2547

                      Do you really want to ban women’s colleges? Want to refuse lesbian bars the right not to admit male-to-female transsexuals?

                      Actually yes, I think it’s wrong for public-serving establishments to discriminate by sex. Does that idea scare you?

                    • LFM

                      I notice that your response ignores the fact that segregation was historically imposed from above, not demanded from below, although it was certainly popular in many locations, partly because of bitterness over the Civil War and reconstruction. It makes nonsense of your contention that “the free market was in effect the whole time.” It wasn’t.

                      If racial segregation had not been imposed by law in the South (and elsewhere), it is quite possible that the civil rights movement might have left whatever de facto segregation there was alone, because there would have been some businesses that did not want to turn away business on racial grounds, and persons of color would have felt no need to insist on it because they had enough options not to be troubled by it.

                      The idea that any person or group should have a right to INSIST that they be served by a business, regardless of the business owner’s preference or the business’s raison d’etre, is a road to petty tyranny, as I said. What’s more, it makes even the most reasonable forms of segregation (like the right to sex-segregated washrooms) impossible. Transsexuals are busy fighting that one tooth and claw, although in one case in Portland, they apparently were not “female” enough to p** sitting down, AND they left the toilet seats up, to add insult to injury. The bar owner in question has been fined $400,000.

                    • Sven2547

                      I notice that your response ignores the fact that segregation was historically imposed from above, not demanded from below

                      Yeah? Let’s talk about that. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 addresses discrimination by businesses, and it also has a separate provision dealing with businesses under the effect of segregationist law. In other words, discriminatory practices are illegal, whether they come from the business owners themselves, OR from the state.

                    • LFM

                      I’m afraid you have so completely misunderstood the issue I was attempting to take up with you that you’re not even wrong. I originally wrote that segregation was officially imposed BY LAW until 1954 (the year of Brown vs Board of Education), at which time such laws were declared to be unconstitutional. You, on the other hand, had originally argued that “the free market had been in force all along” with regard to segregation. I repeat: it had not. Perhaps you are too young to realize that “all along” does not mean “ever since 1964″?

                      Certainly informal segregation of various kinds continued in many jurisdictions after 1954 (and after 1964, too), but it had by then become something of a habit that was difficult to break. If segregation hadn’t been imposed by force of law in the first place, it’s quite possible that the extremely heavy-handed and freedom-limiting efforts to put an end to it would have been unnecessary.

                      Do you know anything about the busing controversy? “Desegregation busing” was a grotesque attempt, to impose the desegregation of schools by busing children (great distances in some cases) to schools that were all one color or another. It was one of the primary causes of “white flight” to the suburbs. Of course, once the better-off white people had moved far enough away from the city to feel safe from everyone but the most well-off and best-educated black people, they turned around and attacked working-class white people who objected to busing as racists.

                    • Faithr

                      The flaw in your argument is that they did not blanketedly deny the couple their product, did they? Did they kick them out of their store or anything like that? If it was somebody’s birthday or graduation or whatever, they would have provided the service. It was only in one particular circumstance that they did not want to provide the service and that was the one thing they felt they couldn’t do because of their religious beliefs. We can make narrow exceptions for things like this. You can’t force people to go against their conscience. This is not the same as the Civil Rights movement. There it was a blanket rejection based on the color of skin. Here it is a specific action that the bakers feel they can not support.

                    • Sven2547

                      Do you think the push to legalize interracial marriage had nothing to do with the civil rights movement? After all, it wasn’t a blanket ban on black people marrying, just a “specific action” that was opposed by many in the south.

                    • Faithr

                      But that had to do with laws banning the marriages right? Not a particular person not wanting to bake a cake for a interracial marriage. Maybe I’m ignorant. Did people sue bakeries for not baking the wedding cake for their interracial marriage? Is that how they got the laws changed? I am too tired think right now. My eyelids are closing of their own accord but it seems to me we are comparing apples and oranges. Interracial marriages were still between a man and woman and fit into the every day accepted definition of marriage. Two men or two women getting ‘married’ is nonsensical to a people of faith, like Christians, Muslims. etc. It is changing the very definition of marriage. Marriage is ordained by God and you can’t change it. That is why this becomes an issue of religious freedom and not a civil rights one.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          Home businesses done under the table are illegal in the United States.

          • Dillon T. McCameron

            ^^^
            This…this occurred to me as well. But that might have been intentional.

  • Sven2547

    So let me get this straight:
    They are deliberately NOT shutting down a discriminatory business, therefore Stalin.

    Is this what passes for commentary in the Catholic blogosphere?

    • Vision_From_Afar

      No, just a fairly normal drive-by-Shea. He means well, though.

      • chezami

        Always good to have a condescending pat on the head from totalitarians who advocate punishing people for failure to approve of the regime’s definitions of Thoughtcrime.

        • Sven2547

          Discouraging discrimination and promoting equality = “totalitarian”

          War is peace, ignorance is strength, and we have always been at war with Eastasia…

          • SteveP

            Don’t forget the one you are working on: homogeneity is diversity.

            • Sven2547

              Not quite sure what you’re talking about. Could you be more specific?

          • Paxton Reis

            “Discouraging discrimination and promoting equality”

            Why is believing marriage is between a man and woman discrimination? We see this form of marriage across cultures, religions, etc., now to believe in it is discriminatory?

            • Sven2547

              Why is believing marriage is between a man and woman discrimination?

              Believing a marriage is between a man and a woman is not discrimination. Refusing to do business with a person solely because of what that person is, now that’s discrimination.

              And supporting legislation to BAN them from marrying? That’s outright bigotry.

              • Dave

                I don’t think that the shop owner refused to do business with the woman because she was a lesbian. I’m sure she would have been able to buy a cake. The shop owner only declined to provide services for the “wedding.”

                BAN them from marrying? Do you support legislation to BAN a man from marrying his dog? You would rightly say that there is no way for a man to marry his dog, so you are not banning something that could ever be possible in the first place.

                Or how about – do you support legislation to BAN a math teacher from teaching that 2+2 = 5? I get that you won’t agree that my examples are analogous, but can you see where Christians are coming from?

                • Sven2547

                  BAN them from marrying? Do you support legislation to BAN a man from marrying his dog?

                  What is it with you people and not understanding the concept of informed consent?

                  Or how about – do you support legislation to BAN a math teacher from teaching that 2+2 = 5? I get that you won’t agree that my examples are analogous, but can you see where Christians are coming from?

                  Most Christians I know can tell the difference between a fact and an opinion. Incidentally, most Christians I know support marriage equality.

                  • Dave

                    We understand the concept of informed consent. Does that mean we have to agree with it?

                    To a traditional Christian, the statement that “marriage is limited to one man and one woman” *IS* a fact. Now do you get it?

                    • Sven2547

                      To a traditional Christian, the statement that “marriage is limited to one man and one woman” *IS* a fact. Now do you get it?

                      No. A religious opinion is still an opinion. It’s not special, and it doesn’t get to be treated as a “fact”.

                      Not everyone is a traditional Christian. So how about you do your thing, and leave other people alone? There are obvious downsides to teaching that 2+2=5. There are no downsides to letting two women marry.

                    • Dave

                      Whether something is a fact doesn’t depend on whether everyone believes it or not. To us, and to the majority of people in the world, it is a fact.

                      To us, there are also obvious downsides to letting two women marry (as if the negation of reality wasn’t enough of a downside on its own)

                      As to leaving other people alone, I don’t think we have a problem with that. But if someone comes into their business and asks for a service which goes against their conscience, “leaving them alone” is no longer an option.

                    • Sven2547

                      Whether something is a fact doesn’t depend on whether everyone believes it or not. To us, and to the majority of people in the world, it is a fact.

                      You’ve magnificently contradicted yourself in two sentences. You say that facts are independent of belief, and then you affirm your belief in this “fact”. When you preface a claim with “To us…” or “To me…”, that’s an opinion.

                      As to leaving other people alone, I don’t think we have a problem with that.

                      If by “we” you mean the “Religious Right” or the Catholic Church, you very clearly do have a problem with leaving other people alone when you push for banning same-sex marriage. But to you, I guess the “right” to treat other people as second-class citizens trumps the rights of Free Exercise, Equal Protection, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

                    • Dave

                      I see no contradiction. If someone who knows that the earth is round is in conflict with someone who says, “It is flat and it is merely an opinion that it is round.”, they might say to the incredulous flat-earther that “To us, it is a fact that the earth is round.” Obviously, to the flat-earther, they do not see it as a fact. But the question of whether it is a fact does not depend on whether the two can reach an agreement.

                      A man who wanted to marry his dog could use the same argument that he was being treated as a second class citizen and having his rights to Free Exercise, Equal Protection, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness abrogated by denying his wishes.

                    • Sven2547

                      The fact that the Earth is round wasn’t reached by debate, consensus, and a majority vote, it was established by factual things like circumnavigation, astronomy, and eventually spaceflight. It wasn’t reached by people saying “To us, it’s round”. But that’s all you’re saying for marriage here. “To us, it’s between a man and a woman.” The Earth’s roundness is supported by evidence. Where’s your evidence that marriage is between a man and a woman? How can you reconcile that position with the thousands of married gay couples in the United States?

                      A man who wanted to marry his dog…

                      What is it with you people and dogs? A dog is incapable of informed consent and cannot enter into any legal contract. That’s why this analogy is stupid. Stop using it, because it only makes you look silly, and you insult millions of Americans by comparing them to animals.

                    • Dave

                      The Earth’s roundness is supported by evidence, but the flat-earther may not submit to that evidence. That still does not make it an opinion rather than a fact.

                      My analogy is not about the dog, but about the man. He may claim that informed consent is not necessary to the contract. Or if you wish, substitute in a dolphin. Now, he could argue that the dolphin had in fact given him informed consent (some argue that dolphins are rational creatures)

                      I’m not sure what the magical thing is about “informed consent.” The vast majority of people agree that informed consent is necessary for a marriage, but the vast majority also agree that it is not sufficient (i.e. there are other conditions which may limit two people’s ability to marry)

                    • Sven2547

                      The vast majority of people agree that informed consent is necessary for a marriage, but the vast majority also agree that it is not sufficient (i.e. there are other conditions which may limit two people’s ability to marry)

                      And those other conditions are not arbitrary additions thrown in there because of dogma and superstition, those requirements are there to PROTECT people. The entire basis for American law, indeed the basis for American government itself, is to secure and protect the rights of the governed. Banning same-sex marriage protects no one. It serves no one. It aids no one. It abridges the freedoms of millions of Americans without any positive justification whatsoever, aside from fulfilling the superstitious desire of the far-right to impose their family template onto everyone else.

                      Your inability to differentiate between, opinion, fact, and factual incorrectness is an embarrassment.

                    • Dave

                      You speak as if religion were the only possible reason to deny same-sex marriage. But then why did every religion come up with the same basic idea? Could it be because the main purpose of marriage is to protect children and give them the loving, stable environment they deserve and need from their natural parents? It is basic biology that only a man/woman pair can produce a child, and therefore that’s how marriage was set up.

                    • Sven2547

                      But then why did every religion come up with the same basic idea?

                      Lots of religions are more-than-happy to perform same-sex marriages, including many branches of Christianity. Your entire premise is bogus.

                      The “protecting children” argument is deeply flawed in multiple ways and has been refuted a thousand times. Are you going to make me go through this exercise again? It’s so tiresome.

                    • Dave

                      “Lots of religions are more-than-happy to perform same-sex marriages”

                      Sure, within the last 20 years. How about significant cultures of the last 5000 years or so?

                      “Are you going to make me go through this exercise again?”

                      I guess so. I’ve never heard a good argument that the ideal for children is anything other than their natural parents. It seems that God Himself (or evolution, if you prefer) set it up that way.

                    • Sven2547

                      Sure, within the last 20 years.

                      Well it was only legal within the last 20 years. Do they not count?

                      I’ve never heard a good argument that the ideal for children is anything other than their natural parents.

                      Now you’re moving the goalposts. Originally you said that banning same-sex marriage “protects children”. If two women (or two men) marry, what child is harmed?
                      * If they are both childless, there aren’t any children in the equation whatsoever.
                      * If one (or both) of them have children, their number of parents increases from 1 to 2. Nothing is taken away. No harm is done.

                      “God” didn’t create marriage. The concept existed long before any currently-existing religion. It wasn’t even a religious concept until the classical era. Before then it was considered a property transfer. Evolution didn’t create marriage either: it exists nowhere in nature. It’s a purely artificial construct.

                    • Dave

                      All significant cultures and religions over recorded human history came up with the same basic structure for marriage. The main variation was between monogamy and polygamy.

                      “Originally you said that banning same-sex marriage ‘protects children’.”

                      You are putting words in my mouth. I actually said that the main purpose of marriage is to protect children. Same-sex marriage doesn’t directly harm children as long as it is childless, but by the same token, it also doesn’t provide the benefit to society that originally justified the benefits that were given to civil marriage by the state.

                      I didn’t say that God or evolution created marriage. I said that biological reality is that one man and one woman are the parents of a child.

                    • Sven2547

                      I actually said that the main purpose of marriage is to protect children. Same-sex marriage doesn’t directly harm children as long as it is childless, but by the same token, it also doesn’t provide the benefit to society that originally justified the benefits that were given to civil marriage by the state.

                      Interesting. Tell me: should we ban the marriage of infertile people? The post-reproductive elderly? After all, according to you, they “don’t provide the benefit to society”.

                      The United States has never made child-rearing a requirement of marriage. To claim that it’s the “primary purpose” of marriage is completely contrary to the facts.

                    • Dave

                      My claim is that the protection of children is the main reason societies, including ours, instituted marriage as a tradition or a civil reality in the first place. I also claim that it is the main reason that marriage was given civil benefits.

                      As far as the infertile argument, it is easier to just let a pair of people which are known to be reproductive to marry than to institute some sort of fertility police, which would be a greater cost to the state than any benefit it would provide. Besides, there are always surprises where fertility is concerned. There is generally no way to know for certain until they try.

                    • Sven2547

                      Really? Prohibitive enforcement costs are the main reason why we should let infertile people marry?

                      I pose an alternative position: banning infertile people from marrying would be authoritarian, unconstitutional, and evil. Did any of those reasons come to mind?

                      And as I have already made clear, there’s nothing about same-sex marriage that undermines the protection of children.

                    • Dave

                      You were the one who brought up the question of whether infertile people should be banned from marriage, not me. I don’t think it had even occurred to anyone to prior to the SSM debate to try to screen out infertile people, and there is no reason to do so.

                      There are plenty of ways that SSM could undermine the protection of children, even though it does not do so directly. However, I am on my way out for the weekend, and I don’t really think we will get anywhere, anyway. From my polnt of view, we are doing the equivalent of sitting on the Titanic deck chairs, debating whether the Titanic’s bow tilting upward is a good thing or a bad thing. It would be a better use of time for me to attempt to prepare a life raft.

                      Take care, and have a good weekend!

                    • Sven2547

                      I don’t think it had even occurred to anyone to prior to the SSM debate to try to screen out infertile people, and there is no reason to do so.

                      Which is exactly my point: a lack of child-rearing has NOT been a reason to ban marriages, until the Christian Right started using it as a flimsy excuse to ban same-sex marriages. You can’t claim it’s about child-raising, and then pick-and-choose which specific kinds of childless marriages to ban. It’s blatant hypocrisy.

                      There are plenty of ways that SSM could undermine the protection of children, even though it does not do so directly.

                      …none of which have ever been actually explained by the people who make this specious claim…

                      However, I am on my way out for the weekend, and I don’t really think we will get anywhere, anyway.

                      …and they never will. Always claiming it is bad for the children, but when pressed for specifics, it’s always the runaround.

                      Take care, and have a good weekend!

                      You too, take it easy.

                    • Dave

                      I had a slight delay before signing off, so I can make one last clarification: there is a difference between allowing marriage to couples that are ontologically fertile but likely or even certainly infertile because of some defect, and allowing marriage to couples that are ontologically infertile.

                      I do agree, however, that if one were to start from the assumption that children are not an essential part of marriage, then there would be no real reason to deny marriage to couples of the same sex, siblings, or even to a child and his mother or father, for that matter. Of course, once marriage has no restrictions, it doesn’t really mean anything (except perhaps whatever one wants it to mean), but that’s another issue.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      It is perfectly possible to make a secular case for privileging heterosexual monogamy with civil marriage above other arrangements which could be entered into.

                      The first question which needs to be answered is why have secular marriage at all. It’s a trickier question than most think at first glance.

                      The big reason is that we’ve made a lot of long-term bets that depend on society continuing on a sustainable trajectory and civil marriage helps maintain that trajectory rather than having the whole thing come apart and society collapse. This is important foundational work and usually we have the good sense to tinker only at the margins, not this time.

                      Polygamy vs monogamy is a subsidiary question absolutely essential to understanding why the institution is as it is. Bachelor herds are very bad business in the human species. Consanguinity both as a genetic problem and as a social mobility problem is a further big question to resolve. And when you’ve gotten all that sorted out (I haven’t mentioned them all btw) you can work on the marginal stuff like homosexual marriage and whether the net positive in reducing disease and social chaos inside that subculture is worth the negatives of introducing obscenities like “monogamish” to the general population which seems to be our first cultural import from homosexual marriage.

                      Frankly, we’ve been doing marriage wrong for decades and homosexual marriage is just the cherry on top of a lot of bad policy. It’s not the LGBTQ menagerie of gay marriage advocates who are at fault for those decades of bad policies but they’re making a bad situation marginally worse and that’s not appreciated.

                    • Sven2547

                      It is perfectly possible to make a secular case for privileging heterosexual monogamy with civil marriage above other arrangements which could be entered into.

                      So I keep hearing, but people keep on failing. Let’s see if you have anything new to offer, or if it’s the same bogus boilerplate.

                      The big reason is that we’ve made a lot of long-term bets that depend on society continuing on a sustainable trajectory and civil marriage helps maintain that trajectory rather than having the whole thing come apart and society collapse.

                      An impossibly vague explanation. The stability of society itself? That same dodgy argument could be (and WAS) used to defend slavery, segregation, and many other societal ills, because changing these institutions could (gasp!) destroy the very fabric of American society… whatever that is. If you’re going to infringe on millions of Americans’ rights so brazenly, you really must do better than murky proclamations of doom.

                      Polygamy vs monogamy is a subsidiary question absolutely essential to understanding why the institution is as it is. Bachelor herds are very bad business in the human species. Consanguinity both as a genetic problem and as a social mobility problem is a further big question to resolve. And when you’ve gotten all that sorted out (I haven’t mentioned them all btw) you can work on the marginal stuff like homosexual marriage…

                      Wait, so we can’t even address the issue of same-sex marriage unless we look at a pile of other “issues” first? Why? Who decided that? Polygamy was already looked at – and summarily thrown out because, as you said, “bachelor herds” are very bad. The fact that there are plenty of other societal and philosophical questions surrounding marriage doesn’t mean same-sex marriage is a non-issue, or an invalid issue, or an issue that should be shelved until-further-notice.

                      …and whether the net positive in reducing disease and social chaos inside that subculture…

                      Among many other benefits which are all great reasons NOT to ban it

                      …is worth the negatives of introducing obscenities like “monogamish” to the general population which seems to be our first cultural import from homosexual marriage.

                      What the heck does “monogamish” behavior have to do with same-sex marriage? Are you honestly suggesting one of these promotes the other? Utterly ridiculous. If you want to discourage promiscuity, encourage monogamy! By discouraging same-sex marriage, you also discourage fidelity and stability.

                      Frankly, we’ve been doing marriage wrong for decades and homosexual marriage is just the cherry on top of a lot of bad policy.

                      Yeah yeah ‘the whole world is going downhill’. Do you have any examples? I note that the divorce rate is LOWER in states that haven’t banned same-sex marriage. I fail to see how liberty and the pursuit of happiness is “bad policy”. There is no downside whatsoever to same-sex marriage.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      This format is really unsuitable to get into every detail. Necessarily it’s going to be somewhat vague because I don’t do this full time for pay. Deal.

                      The number of people who are interested in challenging monogamy vastly outnumbers the number of people who are interested in homosexual marriage. It’s a much bigger issue and one that we’ve been falling down on the job dealing with for decades. When a system has a backlog in processing, you sometimes have to wait. Is that fair? Do you cut in line at the supermarket for fairness reasons?

                      Perhaps you might google monogamish and the apparent increased propensity to cheat that homosexuals apparently are trying to bring to the party, insisting that this is normal? I certainly didn’t make up the word.

                      Influence is a two way street and if homosexuals (men mostly but certainly not exclusively) want to remake marriage to be more comfortable for their cultural norms of multiple partners, it’s certainly legitimate to say “in that case, get out and stay out” from a secular perspective. See: Utah statehood. Funny enough, that’s less of a legitimate reason from a religious perspective but you can’t pick and choose and you wanted secular this round. But picking and choosing is the heart of the problem isn’t it?

                    • Sven2547

                      The number of people who are interested in challenging monogamy vastly outnumbers the number of people who are interested in homosexual marriage. It’s a much bigger issue and one that we’ve been falling down on the job dealing with for decades. When a system has a backlog in processing, you sometimes have to wait. Is that fair? Do you cut in line at the supermarket for fairness reasons?

                      (Citation needed) on your “vastly outnumbers” claim. A majority of Americans favor marriage equality for homosexuals. It is the bigger issue, and it’s the one that has NO DOWNSIDE, unlike polygamy. Besides, it’s not like America can only handle one issue at a time. It’s not a “backlog” and it’s not a line. Polygamy, in a debate over same-sex marriage, is a red herring. An irrelevant distraction. Nothing more.

                      Perhaps you might google monogamish and the apparent increased propensity to cheat that homosexuals apparently are trying to bring to the party, insisting that this is normal? I certainly didn’t make up the word.

                      More irrelevance. I don’t care who made up the word. I don’t care much for your stereotyping homosexuals as promiscuous. As I already said: are you going to promote monogamy or discourage it? I intend to promote it. That’s what marriage is about.

                      Influence is a two way street and if homosexuals (men mostly but certainly not exclusively) want to remake marriage to be more comfortable for their cultural norms of multiple partners, it’s certainly legitimate to say “in that case, get out and stay out” from a secular perspective.

                      But letting them marry isn’t “remaking” marriage. Your marriage doesn’t get altered or reformatted just because two women down the road also get married.

                      See: Utah statehood. Funny enough, that’s less of a legitimate reason from a religious perspective but you can’t pick and choose and you wanted secular this round. But picking and choosing is the heart of the problem isn’t it?

                      I lost your meaning on “picking and choosing”. It seems that conservatives want to pick-and-choose what marriages are legal based on religious dogma, whereas liberals operate based on liberty and Constitutional principle.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      You really think that bed hopping heterosexuals who make a mockery of marriage might be outnumbered by homosexuals seeking marriage and want a citation. That’s good for a laugh. Go seek out adultery statistics on your own. They outnumber the entire homosexual population by a significant number.

                      Sorry, but virtually any issue affecting small minorities is small compared to one affecting big majorities. It’s just a numbers game to judge the size of an issue and there aren’t that many homosexuals and the number who care and are in favor of homosexual marriage makes it even smaller (some, in fact don’t favor it).

                      The idea that any privilege comes with no downside is just ludicrous and if you can’t see that, you need to grow up. All privileges come with downsides. Single people pay more in taxes, have to work longer hours, and undergo all sorts of extra annoyances to support any marriage whatsoever. We do secular marriage because it’s worth the costs, not because there are no downsides. This idea of free cake is typical of leftists in general and it’s no more true here than it is in any other area of social policy.

                      I am somewhat indifferent to you’re not caring for my trying to defend marriage. I don’t much care for your position either, nor how you go about asserting it. So where does that leave us?

                      Polygamists are explicitly gearing up to legalize their practice by imitating gay marriage. That makes it relevant because the arguments for gay marriage hollow out the institution and make it meaningless, just as a lot of social conservatives have been arguing for a long time. Generally when an objection your side dismisses as an unrealistic fantasy starts to come true, that’s relevant.

                      Your side was sloppy about its arguments and now we’ve got to go through the same argument on marriage with the polygamists. Your side claimed that homosexuals would become monogamist with marriage but now with monogamish we have a campaign to normalize adultery in ways that affect public health. You don’t just get to disclaim responsibility by declaration. You own these consequences.

                      All marriage adjustments remake marriage. This is a major reason why we generally tinker around the edges of marriage because major overhauls are traumatic for a lot of people.

                      In case you didn’t notice, I’m making entirely secular arguments in this thread. That means you don’t get to pull out the theocracy card because here, it’s not relevant.

                      Secular marriage licenses are a privilege that is granted by membership into certain classes (if you follow the gun debate in the US you should be familiar with shall issue legal regimes). The partners have to fit certain criteria based on public policy consideration. One of them is preserving a rough balance in the available marriage populations by sex. Gay marriage upsets that by definition. That alone is enough to exclude, though there are other reasons as well.

                    • Sven2547

                      (stereotyping homosexuals as promiscuous)

                      Utterly irrelevant, and frankly disgusting of you

                      Sorry, but virtually any issue affecting small minorities is small compared to one affecting big majorities. It’s just a numbers game to judge the size of an issue and there aren’t that many homosexuals and the number who care and are in favor of homosexual marriage makes it even smaller (some, in fact don’t favor it).

                      Again: irrelevant. Just because a percentage of the homosexual population is disinterested in marriage, that doesn’t invalidate the position that those who want to should be able to.

                      The idea that any privilege comes with no downside is just ludicrous and if you can’t see that, you need to grow up. All privileges come with downsides. Single people pay more in taxes, have to work longer hours, and undergo all sorts of extra annoyances to support any marriage whatsoever. We do secular marriage because it’s worth the costs, not because there are no downsides. This idea of free cake is typical of leftists in general and it’s no more true here than it is in any other area of social policy.

                      I said there are “no downsides” to mean that there are NO DOWNSIDES other than any so-called “downsides” that already exist in heterosexual marriage.

                      I am somewhat indifferent to you’re not caring for my trying to defend marriage.

                      You aren’t defending squat. Nobody’s attacking marriage here except you. Nobody’s trying to take your marriage away from you.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      Sorry, “ick” shaming is out. I just have a different lifestyle than you, hypocritical bigot.

                      People who support the idea that it is illegitimate to put into law disgust over anal sodomy don’t get to deploy disgust in their conversations on the subject. It’s hypocrisy of a very high order.

                      Your attempts at declaring uncomfortable points “irrelevant” without actually addressing them or demonstrating why they are irrelevant demonstrates how weak your arguments are. The original reason I brought it up is to bring the whole discussion into perspective, to demonstrate that this is just one small aspect of a larger dysfunction in civil marriage that must be addressed holistically if we’re to salvage the institution at all. It turns out that you’re the one obsessed by homosex. What an interesting revelation and role reversal of the conventional wisdom. It’s positively transgressive.

                      Nice backing and filling on your “no downsides” faux pas. It’s even got the virtue of being surface level plausible. Of course adding numbers to a privileged class increases the burdens on those not privileged so it doesn’t refute the argument, even if I were to grant that your claim is true. I don’t grant that of course because of the secular goals of promoting monogamy are impacted negatively by changing the available sex balance for heterosexual marriage and that’s a special downside for both homosexual marriage and polygamy.

                      And I see what you’re doing here in reversing the burden of proof. Everybody gets legal privileges just because they stamp their feet and demand them and it’s up to the nay sayers to justify it. Sorry, not the way the world works or generally how the law works.

                    • Sven2547

                      Your attempts at declaring uncomfortable points “irrelevant” without actually addressing them or demonstrating why they are irrelevant demonstrates how weak your arguments are.

                      I’m not declaring uncomfortable points irrelevant, I’m declaring irrelevant points irrelevant. The fact that you are turning this into an argument about child marriage, polygamy, and promiscuity illustrates how weak your arguments are. You are incapable of actually discussing same-sex marriage, your only route is to attack me personally, to try to paint me as a hypocrite.

                      Of course adding numbers to a privileged class increases the burdens on those not privileged so it doesn’t refute the argument, even if I were to grant that your claim is true.

                      So be granting EQUALITY to people, that places some kind of burden to society? You really have no idea what you’re talking about.

                      I don’t grant that of course because of the secular goals of promoting monogamy are impacted negatively by changing the available sex balance for heterosexual marriage and that’s a special downside for both homosexual marriage and polygamy.

                      On what grounds can you claim that same-sex marriage, the ultimate expression of monogamy within a same-sex couple, would have a “negative impact” on the goal of promoting monogamy?

                      Everybody gets legal privileges just because they stamp their feet and demand them and it’s up to the nay sayers to justify it. Sorry, not the way the world works or generally how the law works.

                      In a free society, actions are legal until they are made illegal. Thus, the burden of justifying a law, such as a *ban* on same-sex marriage, falls upon the people trying to enact it. The ones stamping their feet and throwing a fit are the Christian Right, who are freaking out about same-sex marriage for no good reason.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      Any civil marriage sets up a burden on those who are not married. That you do not seem to realize this is an indictment of those who should have taught you economics, logic, and politics. Ask for your money back.

                      For example, you get a different tax treatment if you are married than if you aren’t. Tax rates are, overall, higher to make up for it.

                      Your equality argument fails for the same reason that not everybody gets the EITC, only those with low incomes do. I hope you see the absurdity of Bill Gates and the Koch brothers getting the EITC.

                      As for same sex marriage being the ultimate expression of monogamy, it seems that the early numbers do not bear you out with civil marriage holding homosexuals reporting a higher level of cheating and a higher level of accepted cheating. The public health benefit for homosexual marriage seems to be much weaker than for heterosexual marriage.

                    • Sven2547

                      Any civil marriage sets up a burden on those who are not married…
                      For example, you get a different tax treatment if you are married than if you aren’t. Tax rates are, overall, higher to make up for it.

                      Okay, and? That’s not an argument against same-sex marriage, that’s an argument against the tax code.

                      As for same sex marriage being the ultimate expression of monogamy, it seems that the early numbers do not bear you out with civil marriage holding homosexuals reporting a higher level of cheating and a higher level of accepted cheating. The public health benefit for homosexual marriage seems to be much weaker than for heterosexual marriage.

                      Assuming that un-sourced piece of information is true, so what? The public health benefit of same-sex marriage is still POSITIVE, even if it is “weaker”, as you allege.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      You are simply not serious whatsoever about analyzing marriage. Goodbye.

                    • Sven2547

                      We’ve analyzed it plenty. Marriage is an expression of love, commitment, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You want to take it away from millions of Americans for no sensible reason.

                      I know you guys freak out about the b-word, but when your proposed public policy is to take people’s freedoms away based on prejudice, that is the very definition of bigotry.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      None of those are legitimate causes for state interference. If that were all that marriage is, then there should be no civil marriage.

                      No, not serious. Still, go away.

                    • Sven2547

                      The state’s entire purpose is the protection of rights like liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

                      Also: the state interference camp is the one that wants the state to BAN same-sex marriage. YOU are the one that needs to justify state interference, or get out of the way.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      The institution of civil marriage is state interference in marriage from top to bottom. I’ve already said this. You seem to be determined to ignore it and treat state involvement in marriage as a necessary feature of any general purpose government. This is simply not the case.

                      Are you slow?

                    • Sven2547

                      Your position is self-contradictory. Civil marriage is “state interference” (which is supposedly bad), yet you want the state to ban same-sex marriage? How can you reconcile this?

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      Marriage pre-exists the state. Perhaps a practical example would help. Somalia hasn’t had a government for a very long time. Do you imagine that the lack of a government means that there are no marriages?

                      Of course there are marriages.

                    • Sven2547

                      I never said that marriage couldn’t exist without the state. You’re arguing against a figment of your imagination.

                      Do you support a government ban of same-sex marriage, yes or no? If yes, how do you reconcile that with your blanket objection to “government interference” in marriage?

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      I support the idea of having civil marriages for legitimate civil purposes. Gay marriages generally don’t qualify. This is different than a ban on such marriages but most homosexual activists don’t see it that way.

                    • Sven2547

                      Gay marriages generally don’t qualify.

                      By “generally don’t”, do you mean they should be considered on a case-by-case basis (and if so, on what grounds?), or by “generally don’t”, do you mean “never” (which is a de facto ban)?

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      You still seem to be slow. Classes of people who can get civil marriages qualify and are included. The default is you don’t qualify because tax and other legal preferences are a privilege. Nobody defaults to getting them. That doesn’t seem to compute for you.

                      I’m tentative because I don’t think I know everything and generally leave a door open for new information.

                    • Sven2547

                      The default is you don’t qualify because tax and other legal preferences are a privilege. Nobody defaults to getting them.

                      I think this really covers the difference in our views.
                      See, I believe in a free country, where permissible actions and statuses (like marriage) are legal by default, and only illegal if they are shown to be harmful to someone else, or in violation of anyone’s rights.
                      You, in stark contrast, seem to advocate a society where liberty and the pursuit of happiness is a privilege granted only to certain worthy people, according to your (conveniently self-serving) criteria.

                      You’re right: that selfish, authoritarian, and bigoted position does not “compute” for me.

                      You’ve flipped your position AGAIN, by the way. You say the state has no business interfering in marriage, and then you say marriage is a privilege. A privilege granted by whom, I inquire?

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      Marriage in the free country sense has always permitted gay marriage because it was defined by the private institutions that conducted it. State marriage/secular marriage/civil marriage means tax status changes, legal changes, rights, obligations, and privilege changes and for that change to an unequal status, you have to justify it in all cases. The heterosexual, monogamous case is so obvious that nobody really bothers to do it but if you have the money to spare, you could file a lawsuit to invalidate that and they’d have to justify keeping it because the default is not to have a marriage registry and civil marriage. The default state is for the government not to get involved at all.

                    • Sven2547

                      Marriage in the free country sense has always permitted gay marriage because it was defined by the private institutions that conducted it.

                      In other words, churches and other private institutions should be allowed to conduct same-sex weddings.

                      State marriage/secular marriage/civil marriage means tax status changes, legal changes, rights, obligations, and privilege changes and for that change to an unequal status, you have to justify it in all cases. The heterosexual, monogamous case is so obvious that nobody really bothers to do it but if you have the money to spare, you could file a lawsuit to invalidate that and they’d have to justify keeping it because the default is not to have a marriage registry and civil marriage. The default state is for the government not to get involved at all.

                      Repeating your contradictory point doesn’t make it any less contradictory. You say that the privilege of heterosexual marriage is obvious as far as government is concerned, yet you also claim that the “default state” is a lack of government involvement. You can’t have it both ways, hypocrite. Again: it is an arbitrary, authoritarian, self-serving criteria of government-recognized marriage that you support.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      There have been private weddings of types not recognized by the state for as long as there has been a US. If you had done more than a cursory examination of the history of marriage here, you’d know that. Frontier marriages outran the paperwork by years in many instances and quite often probably by a lifetime.

                      The state gets involved in marriage because it wants something. That something has to be a legitimate function of the state or it’s a bad idea. When you start bringing out love and validation, those are deep psychological levers that I want the state nowhere near, period.

                      Encouraging properly raised kids who are productive members of society (a legitimate state aim) has led us to a school system that is very close to child abuse. The flip side of state marriage, state divorce, has tremendously damaged society during my lifetime. Now is the time to step back and evaluate the radical changes we’ve been doing for the past several decades and toss out the ones that were ill considered. Instead we’re doubling down on further change and little reflection on what went wrong the last few rounds. Interracial marriage seems to have worked out fine but easy divorce and the changing power balance between men and women seem to have created a boatload of problems.

                      So hey, let’s just add another variable to this social policy disaster! That’s what we do when situations are spiraling out of control, right?

                    • Sven2547

                      So hey, let’s just add another variable to this social policy disaster! That’s what we do when situations are spiraling out of control, right?

                      So now you’ve shifted to the stunningly lame claim that ‘Change is dangerous, let’s defend the status quo for the sake of defending the status quo’. That’s not even CLOSE to a valid reason to deny equality, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

                      By all means, keep it coming. If this is the best the anti-equality faction has, then the debate is already over.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      Yes, the debate is over. On that we agree.

                    • Sven2547

                      Polygamists are explicitly gearing up to legalize their practice by imitating gay marriage. That makes it relevant because the arguments for gay marriage hollow out the institution and make it meaningless

                      Utter bull. Arguments for same-sex marriage (stability, commitment, love) don’t make it “meaningless”. Arguments AGAINST same-sex marriage (“solely for reproduction”, for example), are the ones that trivialize it.

                      Your side was sloppy about its arguments and now we’ve got to go through the same argument on marriage with the polygamists.

                      Again with polygamists! You really have a one-track mind. As you already said: “bachelor herds” are bad. That’s the difference. Polygamy was already addressed a century ago, so stop taking out your hatred of polygamists on monogamous heterosexuals.

                      All marriage adjustments remake marriage. This is a major reason why we generally tinker around the edges of marriage because major overhauls are traumatic for a lot of people.

                      “Traumatic”? You think letting people marry is “traumatic”? BANNING people from marrying is what’s traumatic. Man, you’ll make up anything. Do you call this an argument? You’re basically saying “lots of people don’t like it, therefore it’s bad”. It’s childish to the extreme.

                      In case you didn’t notice, I’m making entirely secular arguments in this thread. That means you don’t get to pull out the theocracy card because here, it’s not relevant.

                      And you’re making some of the worst secular arguments I’ve ever seen! Jesus, even the theocratic ones were better than this parade of stupidity.

                      Secular marriage licenses are a privilege that is granted by membership into certain classes (if you follow the gun debate in the US you should be familiar with shall issue legal regimes). The partners have to fit certain criteria based on public policy consideration. One of them is preserving a rough balance in the available marriage populations by sex. Gay marriage upsets that by definition. That alone is enough to exclude, though there are other reasons as well.

                      Speaking of stupid arguments! As you are so fond of saying repeatedly, this is a very small segment of the US population. Same-sex marriage don’t destabilize anything whatsoever from a population perspective. What a silly claim. We should deny liberty and equality to millions of Americans to keep class membership sizes in check?!

                      By the way, most of your (lousy) arguments would apply to interracial marriage too. Just something to keep in mind: unless you’re against interracial marriage, you should exercise that space between your ears, and critically apply your arguments to that “issue” as well.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      Straw man much? I did not say that civil marriage is merely for reproduction. That’s a conversation you might be having with someone else. Keep it there. If you ask nicely, we can discuss that so long as you’re discussing it with me, and not the ghosts of some argument you’ve had with somebody else in the past.

                      I am amazed at your gall in dismissing the polygamy argument by an appeal to past tradition (“Polygamy was already addressed a century ago”). Past tradition offers more support for their position, not yours. I support neither of your claims but recognize that theirs is the tougher argument to beat. Your favored reforms are setting the precedents that will make it unlikely that we’re going to win a rematch of the polygamy/monogamy argument.

                      I see you’ve also retreated from the idea that I’m just offering “bogus boilerplate” and just going for insult after insult and trying to dismiss my arguments out of hand as “stupid”. Try demonstrating instead of declaring without much backup and you might get further.

                      None of my arguments apply to interracial marriage but you’re free to try to flip over and make the argument in a devil’s advocate way. I’ll be happy to correct you, demonstrating why they don’t apply to interracial marriages.

                      Now if we weren’t a common law country where policy decisions on gay marriage necessarily have precedential value regarding polygamy, your attempt at a firewall between the two might have a leg to stand on from a legal perspective (might not as well but I’m not well versed enough to be confident of my opinion). But the US is a common law tradition country and so the linkages are obvious to the marriage traditionalists and also obvious to the polygamists, among other groups who are already maneuvering to leverage the gay strategy to get their own class added.

                    • Sven2547

                      Straw man much? I did not say that civil marriage is merely for reproduction.

                      I never said you did. I said it was a (stupid) secular argument against it. You’re barely making any arguments at all, you’re really just spinning your wheels on polygamy and promiscuity.

                      I am amazed at your gall in dismissing the polygamy argument by an appeal to past tradition (“Polygamy was already addressed a century ago”).

                      I’m not making an “appeal to past tradition”. You’re arguing that polygamy must be addressed before same-sex marriage. It already was addressed before same-sex marriage. QED.

                      None of my arguments apply to interracial marriage but you’re free to try to flip over and make the argument in a devil’s advocate way. I’ll be happy to correct you, demonstrating why they don’t apply to interracial marriages.

                      The paragraph “All marriage adjustments remake marriage. This is a major reason why we generally tinker around the edges of marriage because major overhauls are traumatic for a lot of people.” is an argument against “changing” marriage. Ending bans on interracial marriage was such a change. Explain how it doesn’t apply.

                      (polygamy polygamy polygamy)

                      We have already gone over the obvious differences between same-sex marriage and polygamy. YOU YOURSELF said that “bachelor herds” are very bad. So why the continued effort to link the two? They are different questions with different outcomes. This is a blatant slippery-slope fallacy. It does not logically follow that polygamy would be legalized just because same-sex marriage isn’t banned. That question can be weighed according to its own merits on its own time (indeed, it already has). Trying to frame the downsides of polygamy as effects of same-sex marriage is the kind of brazen dishonesty I’ve come to expect from the Christian Right.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      Since you seem so tired of hearing about the polygamy disaster following on homosexual trail breaking, I’ll leave off beating you over the head with it any more.

                      Interracial marriage is a change around the edge because race is not an essential component of marriage. Blacks could marry. Whites could marry. The difference between a black man and a white man in terms of capability and equipment really is very minimal. Ditto for the women. Having a black marry a white is not essential to the institution and yet it still was a big deal because, like it or not, even minor changes are worrisome.

                      Sex is an essential component of marriage. It is a bigger deal to change the sexes of the participants.

                      Here is an example. I haven’t yet heard how the whole “getting permission to cash in a retirement account” is going to work for homosexual marriage. You see, right now the husband has to get permission from his wife. The wife does not have to get permission from her husband. So when there are two men and two women, what happens? Do the male homosexuals both have to get permission from their spouse? Do neither of the female homosexuals have to get permission? Or is the implicit to be made explicit and the higher earner needs to get permission? What if the two spouses trade places earnings wise?

                      The whole vasectomy/tubes tied business is another example of sex defined marriage roles but since homosexuals can’t at present get each other pregnant I’m guessing this doesn’t come up too much in the homosexual context.

                    • Sven2547

                      Since you seem so tired of hearing about the polygamy disaster following on homosexual trail breaking, I’ll leave off beating you over the head with it any more.

                      Good. I like it when people finally abandon lousy, fallacious arguments.

                      Sex is an essential component of marriage. It is a bigger deal to change the sexes of the participants.

                      Here is an example. I haven’t yet heard how the whole “getting permission to cash in a retirement account” is going to work for homosexual marriage. You see, right now the husband has to get permission from his wife. The wife does not have to get permission from her husband. So when there are two men and two women, what happens? Do the male homosexuals both have to get permission from their spouse? Do neither of the female homosexuals have to get permission? Or is the implicit to be made explicit and the higher earner needs to get permission? What if the two spouses trade places earnings wise?

                      In other words, the status quo is sexist. Rather than do away with the sexism, you’re actually using it as an excuse to perpetuate it. I am underwhelmed, to say the least.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      I am entirely underwhelmed by your line of arguments. Goodbye.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      It is likely that Sven2547 does not agree with a strict policy of informed consent either, or we’re about to have an interesting conversation about incest legalization (see above).

                      Update: Sven2547 just came out in favor of brother/sister incest.

              • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                Marriage in the secular sense is a licensed activity. If you do not qualify, you can’t do it. Brother and sister cannot marry. Do you agree? Why is any restriction not bigotry?

                • Sven2547

                  As screwed-up as sibling marriage is, I don’t think it’s the government’s place to step in and ban that. That’s because I’m not a brazen hypocrite.

                  • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                    Not a hypocrite? That’s yet to be determined for everybody. Hypocrisy is so sneaky that way.

                    So besides homosexuality, consanguine marriages are ok, got it. Minors have adults who are designated to give consent for them. In certain circumstances they can give consent to marriage at present but there are still age barriers. Do you support the age limits for minor marriage? Are the 90 year old marries a 9 year old unions to be included in the “it’s just bigotry” parade if the guardians are ok with it?

                    • Sven2547

                      Do you support the age limits for minor marriage? Are the 90 year old marries a 9 year old unions to be included in the “it’s just bigotry” parade if the guardians are ok with it?

                      Oh look, another conservative who doesn’t understand the concept of “informed consent”. At least you didn’t use the stupid dog analogy like most of them do.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      Oh look, another gay marriage advocate who can’t read. It’s a simple enough question. There are three options that I see for answering it.
                      1. You don’t believe that guardians should be able to give consent for marriage to minors as is legal under current law and that this exception should be eliminated.
                      2. You believe that guardians should be able to contract marriage without current limits.
                      3. You believe that current law is just fine and that public policy reasons may enlarge or reduce the details of this exception over time.

                      So which is it? If you have a fourth option I haven’t thought of, feel free to expand.

                      Still feeling secure that you’re not a hypocrite?

                    • Sven2547

                      Yes, I think there should be age limits, but the premise of your question is bogus when you claim marriage is some kind of exception.

                      “Parental consent” doesn’t magically make age limits disappear in many legal aspects, not just marriage, so this isn’t an “exception”. For example, a child is not allowed to get a drivers license at 12 regardless of what parental consent that kid may have. If a kid wants a loan, he needs more than just “consent”, he needs a co-signer.

                      As usual, conservatives are incapable of actually addressing same-sex marriage directly. That’s because there is nothing wrong with it. Instead, they desperately need to try to change the subject to things like polygamy, bestiality, and child-marriage. It’s both typical and dishonest.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      The real state of the law is that parental consent permitting minor civil marriage does exist. Funny enough, parental consent rule changes exist for drivers licenses too. My kids can get a license earlier if I consent than if I don’t, at least in the state I live in.

                      So why can you marry years earlier if you get parental consent and what is the principle that you use to find this acceptable? What is the limiting factor other than “ick”, something that we’ve been informed is no legitimate reason by the homosexual lobby? As you’ve come out in favor of incestuous marriages, which is pretty high up there on the ick factor, it’s a reasonable avenue of inquiry to find out whether you really believe that “ick” doesn’t count or that you just want your “ick” preferences to win over other people’s “ick” preferences.

                  • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                    I forgot to mention in my earlier response that one of the oldest effective methods of ensuring social mobility was to limit marriage pools so that you couldn’t just inbreed and keep the wealth in the family. This is one reason why the Church pushed the inbreeding taboo out to fourth cousins at one point. Eventually everybody in the elite is related to everybody else and you have to let in some people from the lower social strata.

                    Way to go fighting for the 1%.

                    • Sven2547

                      I’m not “fighting for” them you liar.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      Just because you’re too ignorant of the history and the effects of principles you never bothered to research to understand the inevitable consequences, doesn’t mean that you’re not objectively pro 1%.

                      It’s irrelevant to the public policy effect if you’re a useful idiot, a paid provocateur, or legitimately want the result. That’s what you’re doing. That you resort to name calling immediately upon being called on it doesn’t really clarify which of the three you are but I’m betting on the first.

    • Steve

      Just replace the word “rehabilitation” with “reeducation” and you might catch on.

      • Sven2547

        Okay then, let’s just skip the “rehabilitation” and shut down the business, would that be better?

        Would you describe the Civil Rights Act as tyranny?

        • Steve

          To answer your first question: Obviously the commissioner isn’t going to come out and say, “Yeah, we’re going to chase that s.o.b. down with legal fees until he either submits or closes shop.” So he says, “Of COURSE we don’t want to shut it down. We just want it to be… rehabilitated.” A little bit a reading between the lines is in order.

          Your second question is an interesting one. But perhaps a better question for this situation is: Can the powers granted to the State via Civil Rights Act be expanded and directed in ways that are tyrannical.

          To which my answer is: Sure, why not? Is the Civil Rights Act holy writ? Are the powers it grants the Government so holy and pure that it could never be overused? And I believe subsequent developments have indeed done this.

        • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

          Which civil rights act was it where you can pull a business license for not wanting to bake a wedding cake for lesbians? I wouldn’t want to judge without actually reading the legislation.

          • Sven2547

            No no, you misunderstand the point of my rhetorical question.

            The Civil Rights Act of 1967(?) mandated that business owners can’t go discriminating against black people. Segregationists called it tyranny. Do you agree? I ask, because I think there is a direct, blatantly-obvious parallel to be drawn between requiring business owners to serve blacks & whites equally, and requiring business owners to serve straights & gays equally.

            To say one is fair, and the other is tyranny, looks awfully hypocritical from where I’m sitting.

            • JM1001

              First of all, it’s the Civil Rights Act of *1964.*

              Second, what you’re talking about is Title II of the Act, which prohibits discrimination by private actors in public accommodations.

              Third, Title II was a deliberate attempt by Congress to dismantle a system of segregation in public accommodations that was created and enforced *by the state itself* (not just because private actors freely chose to discriminate). This is why even a libertarian case can be made for Title II:

              http://www.unitedliberty.org/articles/5900-contra-rand-paul-the-libertarian-and-constitutional-case-for-the-civil-rights-act-of-1

              There is no state-created system of discrimination against gays in public accommodations; no separate drinking fountains or diners or restaurants for gays and straights that is enforced by the state. (The only significant state-created discrimination against gays is within the institution of civil marriage, and that’s slowly being dismantled anyway.)

              But whatever discrimination against gays in public accommodations is wholly the result of private actors making their own decisions about whom they want to associate with, not because it’s imposed through the state by a “Jim Crow” law. Therefore, the moral urgency of dismantling a state-created system of discrimination (through Title II) in the 1960′s is not a situation that comparably exists for gays today.

              • Sven2547

                Title II covers both state-enforced and non-state-enforced discrimination. Section 201 draws no distinction between whether the discrimination was state-enforced or not. Section 202 is an added provision clarifying that people will be treated as equals despite any state-enforced segregation laws.

                • JM1001

                  “Section 201 draws no distinction between whether the discrimination was state-enforced or not.”

                  Which is why Title II is, unfortunately, flawed. (See the article I posted.)

                  However, the original point I made stands: the *intention* of the law was to dismantle a state-created system of racial discrimination in public accommodations. Title II accomplished this by infringing (perhaps justifiably so) on the legitimate rights to freedom of association that citizens possess.

                  Because Jim Crow was so deeply entrenched, the argument can be made that Title II was justified. But, once again, there is no gay equivalent to Jim Crow today. There is no state-sanctioned regime separating gays in public accommodations.

                  Therefore, I see no reason to, once again, infringe on people’s right to freedom of association to dismantle a system of state-created discrimination that doesn’t exist.

                  One of the things about freedom of association for private individuals is that it necessarily implies discrimination.

                  • Sven2547

                    Ahh, so now we’re disregarding the actual text of the Civil Rights Act and inventing an “intent” that conveniently disregards non-state-enforced discrimination.

                    One of the things about freedom of association for private individuals is that it necessarily implies discrimination.

                    The Act (which I suggest you read) specifically exempts private organizations and clubs. The freedom of association for private individuals is maintained. A business that serves the public is not “an association of private individuals”.

                    Ironically, the Religious Right’s campaign to ban same-sex marriage IS an attack on the right for private individuals to associate…

                    • JM1001

                      “The Act (which I suggest you read)…”

                      If I were you, I would be extremely careful about telling others to “read the law.” Remember, it was not too long ago that you, apparently, didn’t even know what year the Act was passed.

                      If I had made such a basic error, I would probably have just held my tongue for the duration of this thread, due to overwhelming embarrassment.

                      In any case, I am not disregarding the text of the law (which I have read, and also, know the year in which it was passed). I am talking about the moral urgency that propelled the law to be considered in the first place — the context in which such an extraordinary step as infringing on the freedom of association of business owners could even be considered.

                      That context was a system of state-created and sanctioned discrimination within public accommodations that had become such a moral outrage that it could no longer stand. That was the context in which Congress acted in the first place, and therefore *that* was their intention — to completely break the back of that system.

                      Now, it is true that the text of the law goes much further, making no distinction. And, once again, I believe Title II is flawed in that respect. But, given the context in which the law was passed, and what Congress was trying to achieve (completely destroying Jim Crow), it’s understandable that they went as far as they did.

                      Without that context, however, I do not think it can be maintained that business owners’ freedom of choice in whom they serve may be infringed upon. It was a unique situation in American history, one that, again, does not prevail today for gays.

            • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

              Since besides being a Catholic I’m also a libertarian, I’d much rather outcompete discriminatory businesses than use the force of law. The case of blacks is somewhat a special one with disenfranchisement and legal segregation working hand in hand with violent night raids and lynchings. Gays buying wedding cake just aren’t in the same league.

              After almost 50 years, you’d think that we’d be able to review the 1964 civil rights act (there were previous ones but that’s the most famous) and identify what worked and what didn’t and what eventually became outmoded but that’s not where we are. Instead we have litmus tests and clinging to past legislation beyond all reason. See also the vapors over the recent voting acts decision.

              The reason segregation was tyranny was because of the beatings and other violence that enforced it against both blacks and whites who did not want to participate in the system. The Church condemns those beatings, that violence, both in the case of segregation and in the case of anti-gay violence whenever it occurs. That’s been a consistent position over time.

              Economic association in the form of a cake baking contract is a different story.

              • Sven2547

                Yeah, another self-proclaimed “libertarian” who wants to ban abortion, ban same-sex marriage, and goodness-knows-what-else. Contraception? IUDs? The Rick Santorum school of huge-government “libertarianism”, the kind where businesses have “rights” that trump those of individuals.

                • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                  Libertarians have historically split on RTL issues specifically because libertarian arguments go back and forth on when to define the start of political protection for human life as well as when to end it.

                  As for business, businesses have a natural lifecycle of birth growth decay and death that is massively impacted by state intervention in favor of incumbent businesses. I’m against pretty much all of that and wish the law were neutral.

    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

      The purpose of the bureaucrat’s statement is intimidation. It is not legitimate to pull a business license based on this criteria but the guy is asserting that he can do it but won’t this time because he prefers to rehabilitate them into different behavior.

      Are you not seeing the intimidation factor or do you approve?

  • SteveP

    I do not think Brad Avakian understands the word “rehabilitate;” no one was harmed in the cake-ordering episode. Well, maybe a lesbian’s feeling were marred. Perhaps she can rehabilitate herself by donating the money she was going to spend on a cake, to celebrate herself, to a person who has not had enough to eat in the past few days.

    • Vision_From_Afar

      Fantastic idea. Let’s get rid of cakes and celebrations altogether!

      • SteveP

        Let’s do! I hear LGBT advocates telling Christians they ought to focus on import things like feeding the poor. This is the perfect opportunity for a lesbian to lead the way and show those durn doltish Christians what she means, wouldn’t you agree?

  • late

    Since Sven and VFA like to frame it in terms friendly to their slant, do they also believe all pharmacists should be required to provide abortion drugs? All OB’s should be required to perform abortions? All OB’s should be required to refer for abortions? Should a contractor be forced to build a new abortion center?

    • Vindhler

      Can’t speak for them, but:
      Pharmacists: yes
      OB’s: no and yes, then yes, it’s technically elective, unless life-threatening, so they should be able to if necessary to save the mother. It’s just courtesy if you won’t do something to be able to refer to someone who will.
      Contractor: If he bids on it, you betcha. If we’re talking a working Joe on the construction team, then he doesn’t have a choice, he builds what his boss tells him to, or he finds another job. I highly doubt finding a contractor who won’t build an abortion clinic is difficult.

      • late

        So you will violate a person’s religious liberty across the board. Mark’s Commie reference is more valid than most probably realize.

        • Vindhler

          So you would violate a person’s religious liberty across the board? Fascinating how you can label the witholder of something the violated, rather than the one being denied.

          • late

            Pleased to fascinate kind sir or ma’am. But you are ignoring that one’s religious liberty is being denied. Having a skill and then being forced to use it is quite totalitarian. Do you believe that there should be religious liberty? Or how about liberty minus the religion?

            • Vindhler

              So you would ignore the customer’s religious liberty in the sense that they are simply a citizen who does not wish to be held to religious statues of a religion they do not adhere to, in defense of a business owner’s right to enforce potentially arbitrary religious rules and dogma upon their customers?

              • late

                If you want to engage in sincere dialog please stay on course. I’m happy to answer your questions if you ask them with integrity while addressing my points. But that isn’t what we have here, is it? You seem to be arguing that positive liberty and negative liberty cannot coexist… but I will cease deciphering and let you disclose it yourself.

                • Vindhler

                  You know, this is the internet. You’re just coming off like a pompous twit. You’re not winning the high road, you’re just confusing the issue further and further until you can call me out for being defensive and thus “win”…something.
                  Positive and negative liberty? Seriously? What kind of Orwellian doublespeak are you peddling?

                  • late

                    Well, thank you for letting me know that this is the Internet, but I see no reason to sacrifice decorum because you feel indestructible behind your keyboard. I have nothing to “win”… you engaged me, and I was trying to dialog with you. But it seems you aren’t interested in anything but showing that you have an opinion and screw everyone else. Your opinion is only as useful as your asshole when you just want to show it off to people. And if you are you going to act like a prick you better be able to back it up with some intellectual heft. Do just 30 seconds of study on liberty and you can learn about the positive and negative forms. Best wishes, really.

              • Dillon T. McCameron

                “who does not wish to be held to religious statues of a religion they do not adhere to, in defense of a business owner’s right to enforce potentially arbitrary religious rules and dogma upon their customers?”

                Who the hell are we to force the devout Jew/Muslim to sell pork?

                The customer’s money doesn’t grant them the magic power to compromise a person’s values/convictions/beliefs/etc.

                Who except for slaves or the most pitiable prostitute must provide a service?

                • Vindhler

                  NO ONE IS FORCING JEWS TO SELL PORK, STOP MAKING THE ANALOGY.

                  The decision, however deeply held or acknowledged, to marginalize or exclude a segment of society based solely upon religious viewpoints does not grant a person the right to operate a business in the public sector based upon those views. This woman did not have a religious stigma against selling cakes, and was then asked by a couple to sell them a cake. She made cakes all the time. She simply refused to make one for this couple, based solely on religious grounds. The American system doesn’t work that way.
                  This would be much more like a Jewish or Muslim group refusing to sell goods to Christians, or Hindu, or immigrants.

                  • Dillon T. McCameron

                    “the right to operate a business in the public sector based upon those views.”

                    Business is private sector. It’s not a government owned or operated cake shop. Public funds are not used to distribute cakes to the people.

                    No one is owed one of their cakes.

                    If they want to trade cake for lucre, let them. If they do not, less money for them.

                    And more money for some other cake shop. Or, in this litigious society, more money for lawyers.
                    ***
                    “This would be much more like a Jewish or Muslim group refusing to sell goods to Christians, or Hindu, or immigrants.”

                    Has it been established that the couple maintains a, “Will not sell to Gays” policy, or is their opposition not to the persons, but to their purportedly intended activity?

                    I’ll repeat: Who except for slaves or the most pitiable prostitute must provide a service?

                    • Sven2547

                      Has it been established that the couple maintains a, “Will not sell to Gays” policy, or is their opposition not to the persons, but to their purportedly intended activity?

                      Well, given that they do not have a blanket policy of refusing weddings, I think it’s pretty clear that their problem was with the people.

                    • Dillon T. McCameron

                      Is there evidence that they have denied service to homosexuals before? That would be condemned, I think, under CCC 2358.

                      Refusing to participate in another’s rejection of reality, however, would likely not fall under “unjust discrimination.”

                    • Sven2547

                      What makes it a “rejection of reality” as opposed to a “wedding”?
                      The people involved. The only difference is the people involved.

            • Sven2547

              Having a skill and then being forced to use it is quite totalitarian.

              Being required to do your job is “totalitarian”? Have you ever worked a day in your life?

  • Dave

    Here’s a question for those who think one must serve all customers – should a gay bakery owner be forced to bake a cake for the Westboro Baptist Church for an anti-gay rally, the purpose of which is to present “evidence” for their new agenda that “Gays Are Subhuman”? The cake itself says only “G. A. S.”

    If so, then I will respect that you are consistent on your stand that conscience rights are unimportant.

    • SteveP

      Perhaps the scenario where a homosexual male “sex worker” refuses service to a heterosexual female client. Which sexual orientation would win the discrimination game and who would require rehabilitation?

      • Vindhler

        Wait…what?
        You’re throwing out illegal (in 49 states) acts as business discrimination?

        • SteveP

          Tough question, huh? Not too many years ago your retort could have been written: “You’re throwing out illegal . . . acts [of sodomy] as [marriage] discrimination?” I do admire your naiveté.

          • Vindhler

            Of course! Not too many years ago, we finally got Big Brother out of the bedroom. Why not invite him back in? A little security camera, some morality police, it’ll be a big party, Congress knows best!
            You want to play “let’s see how deep the rabbit hole goes” (see what I did there? ;)? Fine.
            No, he doesn’t. Wasn’t in his job description, wasn’t offered to other women beforehand, not discriminating against that woman. Completely irrational and unrelated analogy. Try again, though I do admire your diversionary tactics.

            • SteveP

              I see – a specific sexual orientation wins over public accommodation; public accommodation wins over conscience objection. That is a strange hierarchy as both sexual orientation and conscience objection are self-identified. I’ll take my lamp and continue to look for an honest man.

    • Vindhler

      :sigh: Again, yes. Again, if the owner had any sense they would do the sloppiest, shoddy-est job possible. No one says you have to do your best for them, no one says you can’t say, “I’ll do it, but you should probably go elsewhere, cuz you won’t like my work”, but you still have to do it.

      • Dave

        A Christian (or any moral person) would not really have the option of saying, “Sure, I’ll do it, but I’m going to do a crappy job of it on purpose because I strongly disagree with your cause.”

        • Vindhler

          You mean…*gasp, horror, squeal*…a Christian should…love his neighbor, turn the other cheek, and all that? Should take a moral high ground, express disagreement and then perhaps attempt to prove they’re a better person by rising above a disagreement like this?

          You’re right. Crazy talk. Scram, we don’t want your business.

  • Common Sense

    We live in a sick and twisted world. If you walked into any bar in America twenty years ago (even ten years ago in most places) and said you thought people of the same gender should be allowed to “marry” you would have been laughed out of the place (or people would have simply thought you were already intoxicated). Now we have this nonsense to deal with. We ultimately have our societal acceptance of contraception to thank for this. If contraception is okay then there is nothing that is morally impermissible or that won’t be forced on the people by a tyrannical government.

    • Vindhler

      We live in a sick and twisted world, indeed. If you had walked into any tavern in America two hundred years ago (even one hundred) and said you thought anyone not Christian deserved rights, you would have been laughed out the place (or people would find an excuse to get rid of you). Now we have this nonsense to deal with. We ultimately have our societal acceptance of non-Christians to thank for this. If non-Christians are okay then there is nothing that is religiously impermissible or that won’t be force on Christians by non-Christians.
      See? Go back far enough, eventually you’ll find your own little utopia.

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    Late to this thread:

    1. Because a person sets up shop to purvey a good or a service does not obligate said proprietor to accept or fulfil any order from any customer which he or she may be physically capable of fulfilling. The proprietorship of such a shop never used to obligate him/her legally (until recently) and it certainly does not obligate him/her morally. And a country whose laws state that he or she is so obligated is a society whose government is interfering in matters it shouldn’t.

    2. Purveyors of goods and services are not obligated to become soulless, robotic functionaries when they open their doors for business, nor should they be expected to behave as if they were robots, as some on this thread have implied. Men and women have souls and consciences; if a customer’s request offends the conscience of the proprietor, then the proprietor should refuse the business. And in a free and open society, the government will not attempt to punish or coerce the proprietor for refusing business on the basis of matters of conscience.

    3. There is a distinction to be drawn between purveyors of goods and services and public accomodations that fall under the category necessities of life and those services and accomodations which are discretionary and non-essential. In a free and open society the government – all levels – federal, state, and local – should refrain from interfering in the marketplace. However, during the 1960s, the country woke up to the fact that African-American citizens, many of whom had served honorably in our country’s military during WWII and the Korean conflict, were being denied equal access to housing, jobs for which they were qualified, access to public accomodations, access to public schools in their neighborhoods, and even, at times, the right to vote. These services which provided for the necessities of life, such as inexpensive meals in restaurants, rooms in hotels, seats on public transportation and in classrooms that were available to other Americans. And African-Americans were denied access to these across-the-board because of their ethnic appearance. This meant that African-Americans were inordinately burdened in their access to the necessities of life. The federal governement quite rightly did step in and correct these injustices.

    Other goods and services and public accomodations do not constitute the necessities of life. Event confections are not necessities of life. If you want a wedding cake, you make a few phone calls; you make your pitch; you get turned down a few times. Sooner or later, a sympathetic baker will make the required patisserement. This need not have become a big deal. In a truly free and open society the government will stay out of matters in which they need not become involved.

    4. Most groups deemed needing special protection from discrimination are persons, or classes of persons, who have tended to attract social antipathy from some quarters because of their race, ethnicity, age, appearance, or sex. Persons involved in same-sex relationships may also elicit discrimination based on another’s personal distaste for gay relationships, but other instances of discrimination may be of a different character: objections to their union may be based not on any superficial personal qualities of the members of the couple, but on the objectors’ moral conscience concerning such relationships in general.

    Had this lesbian couple applied to the bakery for a birthday cake for one of their children, or for a “Happy Retirement” cake for one of their co-workers, I doubt that the proprietor would have had a problem with their order. It was the impending celebration of a relationship which God’s law forbids that his conscience could not accept.

    5. If the service refused does not represent a necessity of life to the customer; if the proprietor refuses as a matter of conscience, and if the proprietor refusal is made in a reasonably discrete and respectful manner, then the government ought not to coerce or punish the proprietor.

    Not in a free and open society.


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