Indiana: Saying What Needs to Be Said

 

shutterstock_158203232From the recent open letter, “Now is the Time to Talk About Religious Liberty,” an unapologetic statement of simple political, religious, and legal sanity:

In recent days we have heard claims that a belief central to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam — that we are created male and female, and that marriage unites these two basic expressions of humanity in a unique covenant — amounts to a form of bigotry. Such arguments only increase public confusion on a vitally important issue. When basic moral convictions and historic religious wisdom rooted in experience are deemed “discrimination,” our ability to achieve civic harmony, or even to reason clearly, is impossible.

America was founded on the idea that religious liberty matters because religious belief matters in a uniquely life-giving and powerful way. We need to take that birthright seriously, or we become a people alien to our own founding principles. Religious liberty is precisely what allows a pluralistic society to live together in peace.

Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Philadelphia

Robert P. George
McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence
Princeton University

William E. Lori Roman
Catholic Archbishop of Baltimore

Albert Mohler, Jr., President
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Russell Moore, President
Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission Southern Baptist Convention

Have we reached the point at which issuing such a statement requires courage? We have indeed. All five signatories deserve our gratitude–but I despair, I confess, that they include only two–two out of more than 400–Catholic bishops.

There are 77 comments.

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  1. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    Still early for the letter. Perhaps more will sign on in the days and weeks ahead.

    We have reached the point where issuing such a statement requires courage. Acting on such a statement is going to require more.

    • #1
  2. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    What is this courage?  They are saying no more than is said on this site every day.  Is there some gulag for dissenters in this country I don’t know about?  Or is what they risk merely criticism and public disdain?  It is deeply concerning that so many on the right have now lost sight of the difference (the left lost it long ago) and come to regard having their views rejected and criticized as some sort of persecution.

    • #2
  3. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Cato Rand:What is this courage? They are saying no more than is said on this site every day. Is there some gulag for dissenters in this country I don’t know about? Or is what they risk merely criticism and public disdain? It is deeply concerning that so many on the right have now lost sight of the difference (the left lost it long ago) and come to regard having their views rejected and criticized as some sort of persecution.

    This all escalated when a pizzeria was asked a hypothetical about catering a gay wedding and they were descended upon by a digital mob that apparently got bad enough they thought it best to close the family business, their only source of income. This rises a little above “mere criticism and public disdain” doesn’t it? While these men who sign the letter won’t likely get the same treatment on a personal level, a significant number who disagree with them seem to be all for persecutorial consequences if they can get away with it.

    (edited to make less accusatory)

    • #3
  4. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Seems a little over the top for an idea held by all people of all faiths (or none at all) over all time–an idea fundamental to actual continuance of the species in a civil society rather than a Hobbesian war of all against all–to suddenly be labeled as bigotry and discrimination just so we can talk in flowery, celebratory terms about homosexual acts. To quote Mark Levin…there, I said it.

    • #4
  5. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @Manny

    If a gay person walked in and asked for a birthday cake, he wouldn’t be denied one. It’s only when it’s coupled with a sinful act such as gay marriage that the baker would have to abstain. People have the right to a free conscience.  The gay lobby is nothing but a bunch of bullies looking to shove their sins down our throats.  What Liberals ultimately want is for Christians to reject the Bible and eat their theology.

    • #5
  6. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    lesserson:

    Cato Rand:What is this courage? They are saying no more than is said on this site every day. Is there some gulag for dissenters in this country I don’t know about? Or is what they risk merely criticism and public disdain? It is deeply concerning that so many on the right have now lost sight of the difference (the left lost it long ago) and come to regard having their views rejected and criticized as some sort of persecution.

    This all escalated when a pizzeria was asked a hypothetical about catering a gay wedding and they were descended upon by a digital mob that apparently got bad enough they thought it best to close the family business, their only source of income. This rises a little above “mere criticism and public disdain” doesn’t it? While these men who sign the letter won’t likely get the same treatment on a personal level, those who disagree with them seem to be all for persecutorial consequences if they can get away with it.

    That happens to everyone in this age of electronic narcissism.  Someone finds a quote from something you said years ago, and the flash mob forms.  Look at Trevor Noah.  And he’s a lefty!  Red Eye gives nightly examples of the manufactured outrage industry, on all sorts of subjects other than SSM.

    I offer two simple rules.  First, if you don’t want to be dragged into emotionally charged controversies, don’t opine publicly on the subject.  Second, cancel your twitter account.  Right now.  Cancel it.  Nothing good has ever come from a tweet.

    • #6
  7. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    somehow a duplicated comment…

    • #7
  8. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Larry3435:

    lesserson:

    Cato Rand:What is this courage? They are saying no more than is said on this site every day. Is there some gulag for dissenters in this country I don’t know about? Or is what they risk merely criticism and public disdain? It is deeply concerning that so many on the right have now lost sight of the difference (the left lost it long ago) and come to regard having their views rejected and criticized as some sort of persecution.

    This all escalated when a pizzeria was asked a hypothetical about catering a gay wedding and they were descended upon by a digital mob that apparently got bad enough they thought it best to close the family business, their only source of income. This rises a little above “mere criticism and public disdain” doesn’t it? While these men who sign the letter won’t likely get the same treatment on a personal level, those who disagree with them seem to be all for persecutorial consequences if they can get away with it.

    That happens to everyone in this age of electronic narcissism. Someone finds a quote from something you said years ago, and the flash mob forms. Look at Trevor Noah. And he’s a lefty! Red Eye gives nightly examples of the manufactured outrage industry, on all sorts of subjects other than SSM.

    I offer two simple rules. First, if you don’t want to be dragged into emotionally charged controversies, don’t opine publicly on the subject. Second, cancel your twitter account. Right now. Cancel it. Nothing good has ever come from a tweet.

    I hear you, but other than a website (which as far as I know, didn’t have anything remotely controversial on it – and even it was hacked by someone and turned into a porno parody) and an email account,  I don’t know of anything else “digital” these people had. The statements they made were in person answering a hypothetical question to a journalist with an axe to grind. God help us when it’s not hypothetical. These are real people, with real lives that are being upended for having opinions that were publicly shared by none other than Barack Obama (sincere or not) just a couple of years ago.

    • #8
  9. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Manny:If a gay person walked in and asked for a birthday cake, he wouldn’t be denied one. It’s only when it’s coupled with a sinful act such as gay marriage that the baker would have to abstain. People have the right to a free conscience. The gay lobby is nothing but a bunch of bullies looking to shove their sins down our throats. What Liberals ultimately want is for Christians to reject the Bible and eat their theology.

    So, birthday cake is okay, but wedding cake is not.  What about an anniversary cake?  There seem to be a lot of angels is this discussion, dancing on the heads of a lot of pins.  Personally, I think your argument is a lot stronger when it comes to Catholic adoption agencies, but nobody ever seems to mention those.  But if you really want to see public outrage in support of your argument, wait until some activist tries to force a Christian minister or priest to perform a gay marriage ceremony against his or her religious beliefs.  Then you will really have an argument, and I think public opinion will be with you – overwhelmingly.  But a cake?  Meh, that doesn’t seem like much of a religious conviction to me.

    By the way, ascribing evil motives to people who disagree with you is no less objectionable when you do it than when the lefties do it.  Not everyone who supports SSM is a lefty, and not all of us are intolerant of Christians.

    • #9
  10. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    lesserson:

    Larry3435:

    lesserson:

    Cato Rand:What is this courage? They are saying no more than is said on this site every day. Is there some gulag for dissenters in this country I don’t know about? Or is what they risk merely criticism and public disdain? It is deeply concerning that so many on the right have now lost sight of the difference (the left lost it long ago) and come to regard having their views rejected and criticized as some sort of persecution.

    This all escalated when a pizzeria was asked a hypothetical about catering a gay wedding and they were descended upon by a digital mob that apparently got bad enough they thought it best to close the family business, their only source of income. This rises a little above “mere criticism and public disdain” doesn’t it? While these men who sign the letter won’t likely get the same treatment on a personal level, those who disagree with them seem to be all for persecutorial consequences if they can get away with it.

    That happens to everyone in this age of electronic narcissism. Someone finds a quote from something you said years ago, and the flash mob forms. Look at Trevor Noah. And he’s a lefty! Red Eye gives nightly examples of the manufactured outrage industry, on all sorts of subjects other than SSM.

    I offer two simple rules. First, if you don’t want to be dragged into emotionally charged controversies, don’t opine publicly on the subject. Second, cancel your twitter account. Right now. Cancel it. Nothing good has ever come from a tweet.

    I hear you, but other than a website (which as far as I know, didn’t have anything remotely controversial on it – and even it was hacked by someone and turned into a porno parody) and an email account, I don’t know of anything else “digital” these people had. The statements they made were in person answering a hypothetical question to a journalist with an axe to grind. God help us when it’s not hypothetical. These are real people, with real lives that are being upended for having opinions that were publicly shared by none other than Barack Obama (sincere or not) just a couple of years ago.

    When talking to a “journalist,” you have to assume that they have an axe to grind.  See my Rule #1.  Talking to a “journalist” is even worse than tweeting.

    • #10
  11. Illiniguy Member
    Illiniguy
    @Illiniguy

    Cato Rand:Is there some gulag for dissenters in this country I don’t know about? Or is what they risk merely criticism and public disdain? It is deeply concerning that so many on the right have now lost sight of the difference (the left lost it long ago) and come to regard having their views rejected and criticized as some sort of persecution.

    It’s a gulag that’s hidden in plain sight. The easiest way to drive cattle is to keep them from seeing that there’s only one way in and no way out. We’re being cowed into accepting an agenda by those whose cultural impact is completely disproportionate to their numbers, and once we accept that agenda and its consequences, we’re not going to go back. Jonah Goldberg made the point last week that those who drove us to accepting gay marriage have won the battle, now they’re walking the battlefield and shooting the wounded. Our only way out is to understand that we aren’t just risking criticism and public disdain by resisting, but we are in danger of losing the entire fabric of our culture.

    • #11
  12. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Cato Rand:What is this courage? They are saying no more than is said on this site every day. Is there some gulag for dissenters in this country I don’t know about? Or is what they risk merely criticism and public disdain? It is deeply concerning that so many on the right have now lost sight of the difference (the left lost it long ago) and come to regard having their views rejected and criticized as some sort of persecution.

    Oh, you’re a peach. You should do sketch comedy, you offering this kind of advice to whathisface, Mr. Brandon Eich. Trust me, you want to get in on this early–because this latest game of political correctness is just getting started.

    • #12
  13. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    The pizza folks were ambushed.  There’s no denying it and no justifying it.

    There’s also no justification for taking this outlier anecdote and making it the central narrative used to make marriage, religious freedom, or anti-discrimination law.

    And if it makes you feel any better, their GoFundMe lottery winnings are now approaching $850K.  I’m going to wager that’s a lot more than that pizza parlor in small town Indiana was going to be worth in the next ten lifetimes.  That doesn’t justify what happened to them.  But you can stop feeling sorry for them.

    • #13
  14. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Larry3435:

    lesserson:

    Larry3435:

    lesserson:

    Cato Rand:What is this courage? They are saying no more than is said on this site every day. Is there some gulag for dissenters in this country I don’t know about? Or is what they risk merely criticism and public disdain? It is deeply concerning that so many on the right have now lost sight of the difference (the left lost it long ago) and come to regard having their views rejected and criticized as some sort of persecution.

    This all escalated when a pizzeria was asked a hypothetical about catering a gay wedding and they were descended upon by a digital mob that apparently got bad enough they thought it best to close the family business, their only source of income. This rises a little above “mere criticism and public disdain” doesn’t it? While these men who sign the letter won’t likely get the same treatment on a personal level, those who disagree with them seem to be all for persecutorial consequences if they can get away with it.

    That happens to everyone in this age of electronic narcissism. Someone finds a quote from something you said years ago, and the flash mob forms. Look at Trevor Noah. And he’s a lefty! Red Eye gives nightly examples of the manufactured outrage industry, on all sorts of subjects other than SSM.

    I offer two simple rules. First, if you don’t want to be dragged into emotionally charged controversies, don’t opine publicly on the subject. Second, cancel your twitter account. Right now. Cancel it. Nothing good has ever come from a tweet.

    I hear you, but other than a website (which as far as I know, didn’t have anything remotely controversial on it – and even it was hacked by someone and turned into a porno parody) and an email account, I don’t know of anything else “digital” these people had. The statements they made were in person answering a hypothetical question to a journalist with an axe to grind. God help us when it’s not hypothetical. These are real people, with real lives that are being upended for having opinions that were publicly shared by none other than Barack Obama (sincere or not) just a couple of years ago.

    When talking to a “journalist,” you have to assume that they have an axe to grind. See my Rule #1. Talking to a “journalist” is even worse than tweeting.

    Larry, you’re preaching to the choir on that one, but ultimately what you’re saying is; “Hey, you know that religious view that you hold that was considered regular and normal by your culture up until 5-ish minutes ago? Yeah, keep that to yourself and it’ll all be fine.”  I appreciate that you don’t share the same views on this, but it seems like those on our side of the political spectrum that don’t share them seem not to care because it doesn’t affect them. If this were a personal issue for you, would you accept that response?

    (edited for a double negative that makes me think I need a second cup of coffee)

    • #14
  15. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    Illiniguy:

    Cato Rand:Is there some gulag for dissenters in this country I don’t know about? Or is what they risk merely criticism and public disdain? It is deeply concerning that so many on the right have now lost sight of the difference (the left lost it long ago) and come to regard having their views rejected and criticized as some sort of persecution.

    It’s a gulag that’s hidden in plain sight. The easiest way to drive cattle is to keep them from seeing that there’s only one way in and no way out. We’re being cowed into accepting an agenda by those whose cultural impact is completely disproportionate to their numbers, and once we accept that agenda and its consequences, we’re not going to go back. Jonah Goldberg made the point last week that those who drove us to accepting gay marriage have won the battle, now they’re walking the battlefield and shooting the wounded. Our only way out is to understand that we aren’t just risking criticism and public disdain by resisting, but we are in danger of losing the entire fabric of our culture.

    Ooooh.  Scarey.  That’s us.  A small, omnipotent minority with an agenda.  Do you use that in fundraising letters?

    • #15
  16. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    I can’t remember where I read it now, but it can be argued that the left is pushing on another clause of the 1st Amendment. They are dangerously close to having the state establish a religion, one in which beliefs and actions concerning spiritual matters are defined, adherence to which are enforced by the power of the state.

    • #16
  17. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    lesserson:Larry, you’re preaching to the choir on that one, but ultimately what you’re saying is; “Hey, you know that religious view that you hold that was considered regular and normal by your culture up until 5-ish minutes ago? Yeah, keep that to yourself and it’ll all be fine.”

    Yeah, the problem is that less & less speech is permissible in public. One is expected, more & more, to learn not to speak one’s mind or to conceal one’s principles, even as hysterical talk about individual freedom floods the public space.

    • #17
  18. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Cato Rand:The pizza folks were ambushed. There’s no denying it and no justifying it.

    There’s also no justification for taking this outlier anecdote and making it the central narrative used to make marriage, religious freedom, or anti-discrimination law.

    And if it makes you feel any better, their GoFundMe lottery winnings are now approaching $850K. I’m going to wager that’s a lot more than that pizza parlor in small town Indiana was going to be worth in the next ten lifetimes. That doesn’t justify what happened to them. But you can stop feeling sorry for them.

    This is a disgusting thing to say, but let’s not stand on principle here. Let us have no moral qualms. Let us hope every victim of every indignity has the chance to sell dignity at whatever rate you find attractive. Let us hope you will be there to offer them the trade.

    • #18
  19. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Cato Rand:The pizza folks were ambushed. There’s no denying it and no justifying it.

    There’s also no justification for taking this outlier anecdote and making it the central narrative used to make marriage, religious freedom, or anti-discrimination law.

    And if it makes you feel any better, their GoFundMe lottery winnings are now approaching $850K. I’m going to wager that’s a lot more than that pizza parlor in small town Indiana was going to be worth in the next ten lifetimes. That doesn’t justify what happened to them. But you can stop feeling sorry for them.

    Cato, you’re a good guy, and I know from other conversations that I’ve read over this kind of thing that it’s a really personal issue for you so I ask this in all sincerity and with no malice. What is the threshold for you? When does it become endemic in your mind and you go “hey, wait a second…”.   I agree with you 100% that one instance doesn’t make a movement, but surely you can see that those of us on the other side of this issue look at the trend line and think… “I’m going to have to decide sometime in the near future whether or not to keep my mouth shut or not say something in public because that could be my business, that could be my family.”

    As for that family, I’m glad some folks got together and pooled some cash for them, but you honestly think that it just makes it all better? Their store still isn’t open as far as I know. No one would accept, “Hey you know that time when you and your family were vilified in national news, and your business had to shut down, and you and your family were getting death threats and stuff? It’s all good! I have a check!”

    I feel sorry for them that answering a hypothetical question that they answered in a way that essentially said they would serve anyone who came into their store but would prefer to decline participating in a gay wedding literally made them go into hiding.

    • #19
  20. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @Manny

    Larry3435

    Manny:If a gay person walked in and asked for a birthday cake, he wouldn’t be denied one. It’s only when it’s coupled with a sinful act such as gay marriage that the baker would have to abstain. People have the right to a free conscience. The gay lobby is nothing but a bunch of bullies looking to shove their sins down our throats. What Liberals ultimately want is for Christians to reject the Bible and eat their theology.

    So, birthday cake is okay, but wedding cake is not. What about an anniversary cake? There seem to be a lot of angels is this discussion, dancing on the heads of a lot of pins. Personally, I think your argument is a lot stronger when it comes to Catholic adoption agencies, but nobody ever seems to mention those. But if you really want to see public outrage in support of your argument, wait until some activist tries to force a Christian minister or priest to perform a gay marriage ceremony against his or her religious beliefs. Then you will really have an argument, and I think public opinion will be with you – overwhelmingly. But a cake? Meh, that doesn’t seem like much of a religious conviction to me.

    By the way, ascribing evil motives to people who disagree with you is no less objectionable when you do it than when the lefties do it. Not everyone who supports SSM is a lefty, and not all of us are intolerant of Christians.

    Yes, there is most definitely a distinction between a birthday cake and a wedding (and I’ll include an anniversery cake too) cake.  If you don’t see it, then you don’t understand Judeo-Christian (and I should include Islam here too) religious understanding of homosexuality.

    As to ascribing “evil motives” if you haven’t seen the gay lobby scouring the country for issues to slam Christians (the whole Obama re-election campaign was run by dividing on social issues) with then you’re not looking very hard.  Peruse this:

    http://americansfortruth.com/issues/gay-activist-hate-against-christians/

    • #20
  21. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    lesserson:Larry, you’re preaching to the choir on that one, but ultimately what you’re saying is; “Hey, you know that religious view that you hold that was considered regular and normal by your culture up until 5-ish minutes ago? Yeah, keep that to yourself and it’ll all be fine.” I appreciate that you don’t share the same views on this, but it seems like those on our side of the political spectrum that don’t seem not to care because it doesn’t affect them. If this were a personal issue for you, would you accept that response?

    I have spent my entire adult life as a conservative in California.  In Los Angeles.  Believe me, there are lots of things I believe, about which I keep my mouth shut.  I have clients who would probably fire me if I got into a political conversation with them.  I can’t even put a Republican bumper sticker on my car, because it would be keyed if I did.  So yeah, I accept that.  I don’t like it, but I accept it.

    • #21
  22. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Manny:As to ascribing “evil motives” if you haven’t seen the gay lobby scouring the country for issues to slam Christians (the whole Obama re-election campaign was run by dividing on social issues) with then you’re not looking very hard. Peruse this:

    http://americansfortruth.com/issues/gay-activist-hate-against-christians/

    I don’t deny that there are leftist activists who try to vilify anyone who disagrees with them, and not just on SSM.  Harry Reid takes to the Senate Floor almost daily to vilify the Koch brothers.  (Coward that he is, Reid uses a forum where he is immune from libel laws.)  Indeed, according to the left, every Republican politician is a racist, homophobic, neanderthal, stupid, evil, monster who wants to drown kittens and throw grandma into the street to starve.  It’s all straight out of the Alinsky playbook – vilify, demonize, attack.  Of course that’s what they are doing.  It’s what they do.  I’m just saying it isn’t any better if our side does it.

    • #22
  23. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    lesserson:

    Cato Rand:The pizza folks were ambushed. There’s no denying it and no justifying it.

    There’s also no justification for taking this outlier anecdote and making it the central narrative used to make marriage, religious freedom, or anti-discrimination law.

    And if it makes you feel any better, their GoFundMe lottery winnings are now approaching $850K. I’m going to wager that’s a lot more than that pizza parlor in small town Indiana was going to be worth in the next ten lifetimes. That doesn’t justify what happened to them. But you can stop feeling sorry for them.

    Cato, you’re a good guy, and I know from other conversations that I’ve read over this kind of thing that it’s a really personal issue for you so I ask this in all sincerity and with no malice. What is the threshold for you? When does it become endemic in your mind and you go “hey, wait a second…”. I agree with you 100% that one instance doesn’t make a movement, but surely you can see that those of us on the other side of this issue look at the trend line and think… “I’m going to have to decide sometime in the near future whether or not to keep my mouth shut or not in public because that could be my business, that could be my family.”

    As for that family, I’m glad some folks got together and pooled some cash for them, but you honestly think that it just makes it all better? They’re store still isn’t open as far as I know. No one would accept, “Hey you know that time when you and your family were vilified in national news, and your business had to shut down, and you and your family were getting death threats and stuff? It’s all good! I have a check!”

    I feel sorry for them that answering a hypothetical question that they answered in a way that essentially said they would serve anyone who came into their store but would prefer to decline participating in a gay wedding literally made them go into hiding.

    1) I said in my my comment that the money didn’t make it all better (see highlight).

    2) As far as trend lines goes — I see two:

    The Base Case:  Christians have been used — since time immemorial — to being able to demean, discriminate against and often legally sanction millions of homosexuals with impunity.  Homosexuals have been defenseless, both legally and in the court of opinion, to do anything about it.

    Trendline 1:  The Christians have lost a good deal of that power, at least in urban centers, because somewhere between one half and two thirds of the population of the country has decided that such mistreatment of a harmless and involuntary minority is wrong.

    Trendline 2:  In something of a backlash, a number of Christians — up from zero but probably countable on both hands — have suffered either legal sanctions or threats or violence for their insistence on continuing to discriminate against gay people.

    I can see why Christians look at those two trends and don’t like the direction in which they’re going, but a) except where legal sanctions, threats or violence are involved, I think Trendline 1 is salutory, not objectionable; and b) while Trendline 2 is objectionable and needs to be opposed and cut off, to date the magnitude of the damage done to Christians by Trendline 2, when compared to that done to homosexuals by the Base Case, is literally invisible.  In aggregate harm terms — real lives destroyed, if the Base Case is an elephant, Trendline 2 is at this point a microbe that you merely fear will grow into an elephant.  I think it’s important to keep that in perspective.

    • #23
  24. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Larry3435:

    I have clients who would probably fire me if I got into a political conversation with them. I can’t even put a Republican bumper sticker on my car, because it would be keyed if I did. So yeah, I accept that. I don’t like it, but I accept it.

    Larry, I’m afraid this is the difference. I spent some time living in Seattle, so I understand what you mean in keeping my mouth shut about politics, but we’re ultimately not talking about politics here. I don’t know where you stand on religious matters so please don’t take offense. To its core this is about people who are having to look at a matter and decide if they want to do what they feel is correct between them and God (who they perceive to be a real and have a personal relationship with) and a changing norm in a culture that up until very, very recently agreed with them. If 5 years ago this had been proposed I doubt that we would be having this very conversation because it would be assumed that allowing someone to decline participating in something for religious reasons would be considered ok, even if one didn’t agree with it. That’s not where we are now. Now it’s a choice between one or the other. I have no doubt that even if this bakery had refused to comment they’d have been put in the same position.

    • #24
  25. raycon and lindacon Inactive
    raycon and lindacon
    @rayconandlindacon

    Cato Rand:What is this courage? They are saying no more than is said on this site every day. Is there some gulag for dissenters in this country I don’t know about? Or is what they risk merely criticism and public disdain? It is deeply concerning that so many on the right have now lost sight of the difference (the left lost it long ago) and come to regard having their views rejected and criticized as some sort of persecution.

    Perhaps having businesses and careers destroyed as in California over Prop. 8, or having your pizza business become the subject of death threats, counts as more than public disdain.

    It is the gulag for those guilty of challenging the left.

    • #25
  26. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Cato Rand:

    lesserson:

    Cato Rand:The pizza folks were ambushed. There’s no denying it and no justifying it.

    There’s also no justification for taking this outlier anecdote and making it the central narrative used to make marriage, religious freedom, or anti-discrimination law.

    And if it makes you feel any better, their GoFundMe lottery winnings are now approaching $850K. I’m going to wager that’s a lot more than that pizza parlor in small town Indiana was going to be worth in the next ten lifetimes. That doesn’t justify what happened to them. But you can stop feeling sorry for them.

    Cato, you’re a good guy, and I know from other conversations that I’ve read over this kind of thing that it’s a really personal issue for you so I ask this in all sincerity and with no malice. What is the threshold for you? When does it become endemic in your mind and you go “hey, wait a second…”. I agree with you 100% that one instance doesn’t make a movement, but surely you can see that those of us on the other side of this issue look at the trend line and think… “I’m going to have to decide sometime in the near future whether or not to keep my mouth shut or not in public because that could be my business, that could be my family.”

    As for that family, I’m glad some folks got together and pooled some cash for them, but you honestly think that it just makes it all better? They’re store still isn’t open as far as I know. No one would accept, “Hey you know that time when you and your family were vilified in national news, and your business had to shut down, and you and your family were getting death threats and stuff? It’s all good! I have a check!”

    I feel sorry for them that answering a hypothetical question that they answered in a way that essentially said they would serve anyone who came into their store but would prefer to decline participating in a gay wedding literally made them go into hiding.

    1) I said in my my comment that the money didn’t make it all better (see highlight).

    2) As far as trend lines goes — I see two:

    The Base Case: Christians have been used — since time immemorial — to being able to demean, discriminate against and often legally sanction millions of homosexuals with impunity. Homosexuals have been defenseless, both legally and in the court of opinion, to do anything about it.

    Trendline 1: The Christians have lost a good deal of that power, at least in urban centers, because somewhere between one half and two thirds of the population of the country has decided that such mistreatment of a harmless and involuntary minority is wrong.

    Trendline 2: In something of a backlash, a number of Christians — up from zero but probably countable on both hands — have suffered either legal sanctions or threats or violence for their insistence on continuing to discriminate against gay people.

    I can see why Christians look at those two trends and don’t like the direction in which they’re going, but a) except where legal sanctions, threats or violence are involved, I think Trendline 1 is salutory, not objectionable; and b) while Trendline 2 is objectionable and needs to be opposed and cut off, to date the magnitude of the damage done to Christians by Trendline 2, when compared to that done to homosexuals by the Base Case, is literally invisible. In aggregate harm terms — real lives destroyed, if the Base Case is an elephant, Trendline 2 is at this point a microbe that you merely fear will grow into an elephant. I think it’s important to keep that in perspective.

    Cato, I don’t want a screaming match. I know that this is personal and I’m trying my best to frame things politely and in deference. I guess it does come down to this. Are you personally ok with someone (especially someone whom you disagree with) to either be forced into participating (and there is a difference) in something they disagree with religiously or be shut out of public life? This is where that legal trend line ends.

    • #26
  27. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    lesserson:

    Larry3435:

    I have clients who would probably fire me if I got into a political conversation with them. I can’t even put a Republican bumper sticker on my car, because it would be keyed if I did. So yeah, I accept that. I don’t like it, but I accept it.

    Larry, I’m afraid this is the difference. I spent some time living in Seattle, so I understand what you mean in keeping my mouth shut about politics, but we’re ultimately not talking about politics here. I don’t know where you stand on religious matters so please don’t take offense. To it’s core this is about people who are having to look at a matter and decide if they want to do what they feel is correct between them and God (who they perceive to be a real and have a personal relationship with) and a changing norm in a culture that up until very, very recently agreed with them. If 5 years ago this had been proposed I doubt that we would be having this very conversation because it would be assumed that allowing someone to decline participating in something for religious reasons would be considered ok, even if one didn’t agree with it. That’s not where we are now. Now it’s a choice between one or the other. I have no doubt that even if this bakery had refused to comment they’d have been put in the same position.

    I think you’re mistaken there.  Conflicts between religious beliefs and civil laws are as old as time.  The original federal RFRA was adopted in response to a holding that Native Americans were not protected in their use of peyote for religious purposes.  That was back in 1993.  Conscientious objector controversies abounded during the Vietnam War.  Mormons were required to change their belief in polygamy as a condition for statehood for Utah.  This is nothing new.

    • #27
  28. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    raycon and lindacon:

    Cato Rand:What is this courage? They are saying no more than is said on this site every day. Is there some gulag for dissenters in this country I don’t know about? Or is what they risk merely criticism and public disdain? It is deeply concerning that so many on the right have now lost sight of the difference (the left lost it long ago) and come to regard having their views rejected and criticized as some sort of persecution.

    Perhaps having businesses and careers destroyed as in California over Prop. 8, or having your pizza business become the subject of death threats, counts as more than public disdain.

    It is the gulag for those guilty of challenging the left.

    Millions of voters in California voted for Prop 8, and suffered no consequences.   Hundreds of public officials supported Prop 8, and suffered no consequences.  One cowardly business fired an executive, rather than face a boycott.  (That firing was probably illegal under California law, by the way.)  It is not legitimate to proclaim that a tidal wave has arrived when someone splashes some water in your direction.

    • #28
  29. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Larry3435:

    lesserson:

    Larry3435:

    I have clients who would probably fire me if I got into a political conversation with them. I can’t even put a Republican bumper sticker on my car, because it would be keyed if I did. So yeah, I accept that. I don’t like it, but I accept it.

    Larry, I’m afraid this is the difference. I spent some time living in Seattle, so I understand what you mean in keeping my mouth shut about politics, but we’re ultimately not talking about politics here. I don’t know where you stand on religious matters so please don’t take offense. To it’s core this is about people who are having to look at a matter and decide if they want to do what they feel is correct between them and God (who they perceive to be a real and have a personal relationship with) and a changing norm in a culture that up until very, very recently agreed with them. If 5 years ago this had been proposed I doubt that we would be having this very conversation because it would be assumed that allowing someone to decline participating in something for religious reasons would be considered ok, even if one didn’t agree with it. That’s not where we are now. Now it’s a choice between one or the other. I have no doubt that even if this bakery had refused to comment they’d have been put in the same position.

    I think you’re mistaken there. Conflicts between religious beliefs and civil laws are as old as time. The original federal RFRA was adopted in response to a holding that Native Americans were not protected in their use of peyote for religious purposes. That was back in 1993. Conscientious objector controversies abounded during the Vietnam War. Mormons were required to change their belief in polygamy as a condition for statehood for Utah. This is nothing new.

    I guess the difference in this particular case is one of scope. There aren’t that many people using peyote and there weren’t that many practicing polygamy. There are, however, a fairly large number of people who disagree in this particular matter. In principle I agree that numbers shouldn’t matter. In the practical sense though, this issue is going to be butting a LOT more heads against one another in our broader culture.

    • #29
  30. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Larry3435:

    raycon and lindacon:

    Cato Rand:What is this courage? They are saying no more than is said on this site every day. Is there some gulag for dissenters in this country I don’t know about? Or is what they risk merely criticism and public disdain? It is deeply concerning that so many on the right have now lost sight of the difference (the left lost it long ago) and come to regard having their views rejected and criticized as some sort of persecution.

    Perhaps having businesses and careers destroyed as in California over Prop. 8, or having your pizza business become the subject of death threats, counts as more than public disdain.

    It is the gulag for those guilty of challenging the left.

    Millions of voters in California voted for Prop 8, and suffered no consequences. Hundreds of public officials supported Prop 8, and suffered no consequences. One cowardly business fired an executive, rather than face a boycott. (That firing was probably illegal under California law, by the way.) It is not legitimate to proclaim that a tidal wave has arrived when someone splashes some water in your direction.

    But what we are finding is that when someone does find themselves in the cross hairs, they lose. So now we have to decide if we’re willing to accept it in practice so long as it’s only a few here and there (and not us…)

    • #30
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