Indiana law

Some say that the Indiana religious freedom law is just like a Federal one Senator Obama supported in 1993, neglecting to mention it was held unconstitutional in 1997. Some say Indiana’s is like that in 19 other states, though it defines exercise of religion exceptionally widely:

“exercise of religion” includes any exercise of religion, whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief.

So it encourages antisocial behaviour if the actor imagines s/he might attempt a defence of it using that law.

Other such laws give a defence to litigation by the State, but in Indiana it applies to litigation by any legal person. So this law encourages speculative and frivolous defences to court action. Thanks to Benjamin Studebaker, who had done the work already. The law protects the religious acts of businesses as well as individuals, though only in America could a business have religious beliefs. That Atlantic article points out that quite recently, Americans were pretending race discrimination was a religious issue. It is, but those Americans had it the wrong way round.

I wanted to know why any Christian would want to discriminate against gay people. The lobbyist behind the bill, Eric Miller of Advance America, said Churches, Christian businesses and individuals deserve protection from those who support homosexual marriages and those who support government recognition and approval of gender identity (men who dress as women).  SB 101 will help provide the protection! Ew. But, why? I got that quote from Pragmatic Mystery, who points out that Jesus dined with prostitutes and thieves, and those of us who follow him should see the image of God reflected in all people, and reach out in friendship to them.

I thought of St Paul, and found this quote from Proverbs in Romans: To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Jesus said, Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.

So I asked bloggers appearing sympathetic to the Act. Susan Bea Good, whose aunt is a trans woman ostracised by Susan’s mother for transitioning, says that baking a cake for a gay marriage is encouraging the sin of homosexuality, which is not loving. MT Hayes uses the word “Condoning”, but has another point: I believe the exaggerated response to sexual sin is a matter of psychology, not Scripture. We’re afraid of the powerful temptations of sex and so fixate on those sins in fear. Mmm. I can get uncomfortable seeing PDAs. The unashamed gay person is a symbol of sexual freedom, which torments the sexually unfree.

Black3Actual alludes to 1Cor 8. Even those Christians who know they may associate with queers, if they tell that to those who believe otherwise, they may wrongfully harm their faith. So a refusal to associate with queers should be respected, even if not truly Christian. And bad company ruins good morals. But for him, it is chiefly a freedom thing. That if enough ostracised them, gays could be driven out of a place, which would hurt the straights too, carries no weight with him. Though I have some respect for his contrariness: we explain to him, and he refuses to be told what to do. It is what made America great. Appalachian philosopher goes further: forcing the Christian to bake that cake is “akin to rape”.

For The Grey Enigma, his right to freedom is absolute. The right of free association is the right to refuse to associate; the right to free speech is the right to say nothing. Both derive from the right to freely think, deduce, infer and judge. Collectivists cannot accept these facts as they know that their desired stances are incapable of being derived from these freedoms. Indeed. They derive from the fact that we are a social species. The bell tolls for thee.

Earlham college, of Indiana YM, an Orthodox YM affiliated to FUM which had a schism over homosexuality, opposes the law.

Manet, copy after Delacroix- Bark of Dante

72 thoughts on “Indiana law

  1. Clair,

    To whom does this refer?

    “But for him, it is chiefly a freedom thing. That if enough ostracised them, gays could be driven out of a place, which would hurt the straights too, carries no weight with him. Though I have some respect for his contrariness: we explain to him, and he refuses to be told what to do. It is what made America great. Appalachian philosopher goes further: forcing the Christian to bake that cake is “akin to rape”.

    I’ll reserve further comment until you can clarify this for me. Thanks.

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    • Welcome, and thank you for commenting.

      Actually, I meant you. I will go back and look at your post and the comments, and consider whether that was justified. You liked what The Grey Enigma said. I would be glad if you commented further.

      There are two moral positions. Grey’s Freedom position, that it is a matter of free speech and free association deriving from freedom of thought. Mine, that discrimination against a group for a group characteristic oppresses that group and is therefore bad for the whole community. Both can be argued in some detail, for example, are we really “born that way”? There are also questions which may need to be resolved empirically: does refusal of a wedding cake by one business lead to refusal of every-day services, as broken windows are said to lead to more serious anti-social behaviour?

      Between the moral positions there is the messy middle: we have to live together.

      Added: I went back to your blog, and read this:
      There is no Natural Right to be free from offense, therefore, insult is not and can not be an injury. The notion of mental anguish or pain is a fiction. That does not mean people may not have their feelings hurt, but if me not selling you a cupcake hurts you to the point where you cannot function, then your real problem is internal — not with me. Seek counseling, but do not think you suddenly have a right to use the government to make me do your bidding. That is a real injury as it violates my free will… They are the one trying to use government to force others to do what they want. But they are also trying to re-engineer our society: to ‘fundamentally transform America.’ In short: they are tyrants and the enemy of individual rights and liberty.

      So if someone is being driven out of his community, and the last bar and grocer are refusing to serve him because he is gay, you will still say the law helping him is tyranny. The free market will fix this, you say airily, though it did not fix racism. Discrimination law began to reverse the effects of racism.

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      • Clare,

        The individual has to be left free to discriminate. Now, please do not think I am trying to condone or defend discrimination. I am not. I simply recognize that this is a matter of free will, and to use the law to control it is as wrong as discrimination. Suppose we took your position. Where do we stop? Because, the moment you use the law to force someone to associate and do business with those they find objectionable, you are discriminating. Only, this time, you are using the whole force of society to do so. That is a violation of Natural and God’s laws. It is the perfect illustration of how two wrongs do not make a right.

        Now, as to the notion that my refusal to serve someone will drive them from the community: that is a fallacious assertion — especially in this nation. Could someone chose a lifestyle that will lead to a tough life for them? Yes. But can they still live that life without having to use government force on others, especially the majority? Again, the answer is yes. History proves this, and it proves it in matters of religion and law. the history of this nation is the history of discrimination.

        As to the matter of racism: that was a heart issue, and we fought a war to resolve it. The Constitution was actually written to guarantee that we would have to face and resolve the issue of slavery. that is what the 3/5th Clause was actually all about, and in that respect, it was genius. But setting that aside, note that the law did help resolve the issue of slavery: but it was the same appeal to a Higher authority that our founders used to found the nation. The North started out wrong in trying to force its will on the South, and the South seceded. The North lost every battle after that — until Lincoln recognized God and the North’s need to appeal to Him for resolution. We have forgotten this part, but Lincoln made it clear that it was the return to God and God’s principles that saved the Union, and the North never lost again after the North did so.

        The point: when we follow God’s laws, things go better. Are they perfect? No, because humans are not perfect: we are sinners. Still, should Christians or — even Muslims for that matter — be forced to do something against their will? No. Appalachian is correct:at the heart of that action, it is slavery. Any time we force one person to live for another, it is slavery. But does this mean Christians are justified in the way many of them are treating homosexuals? Nope, not at all. Scripture is clear on that matter. But it is also clear that believers are not to treat those who insist on walking in sin equally. That passage you quoted about treating the least of these as you have Me does not refer to any person, it refers to Christ’s brothers — to those who follow Him. And Paul tells us that even believers who refuse to repent should be put out of the congregation and given over to Satan, even to death. So I do not see your justification that Christians are commanded to accept an unrepentant sinner in their close relations. Christ didn’t, or do you forget just how hard He was on the Pharisees?

        To end this — at least on my part: I am against forcing anyone to do anything against there will — unless they are actively casing tangible harm. I also oppose the mental gymnastics of the “if this, then that and if the stars then align, maybe this will happen,” games so many play — including Christians. All I know is I am commanded to have an AGAPE love for the lost, and I do. But I am also told not to have them as close associates, because they will lead me astray. Again, from personal experience, I can tell you this is true. So I do my best to live my faith as it is actually written, not as I wish it were written.

        Thanks for letting me speak my mind. May the Lord be with you.

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        • And also with you.

          I want to balance interests. Free speech and thought only has value if it encourages diversity and new thinking, rather than conformism. Society can enforce conformity. To grow, we need to hear opinions which challenge us to keep thinking.

          Though forbidden from discriminating against the gay person in the supply of goods and services or in employment, the Evangelical would still be able to state his opinion about the Bible or about the morality of gay lovemaking. That preserves diversity in the community.

          However where people show solidarity with each other by discriminating against gay people, we can be driven out. That reduces diversity in the community and encourages stagnation and group-think, on this issue at least.

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          • Well, we disagree here — on most every point. ‘Diversity’ — as it is commonly used today — is a code word for “you need to conform to/accomodate the way I want to live.’ I know that is not what the words say, but it is what the actions prove. Besides, by definition, ‘diversity’ is akin to social decay. This nation became great because people conformed to a general set of principles and ideals. that is why it was called the melting pot. But then the Progressives came and along with them came the hyphenated people. That is diversity, but the effect has been balkanization and social decay.

            That is the next point. If I do not have the right to act on my beliefs, then I am not free to believe as I wish. So telling me I can say what I want, but must do as you say is not free speech or freedom of conscience. If you think it is, then I say to you that you are free to say you want to live the way you do, but I am going to use the law to force you to live the way I want you to live. The true test is found when we turn things around and answer — honestly — “Am I willing to accept the policies I advance if they are turned around and applied to me?” And by that, I do not mean the words; I mean am I willing to accept the manifestation of those words in action. I propose you would not be so willing to do so, and I draw that conclusion based on your support for the argument in the opposite direction. You advocate for the normalization and formalized legalization of homosexuality as a protected group, but you oppose the same thing when heterosexual believers push back and defend their rights. If you oppose them doing it to you, but are alright with doing the same thing to them, then there is no principle here — only the use of force to achieve a desire.

            In that sense, the majority has the right to define the culture of their society. If you disagree, then defend the pedophile who claims he was born that way and is asking the laws force child day care centers to hire him and let him live his life openly.

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            • Well, I hope you would agree that Matt McLaughlin should not act on his apparent beliefs.

              Law restricts people, to protect others from harm. There are federal laws about working hours. What is the moral line between laws against assault, and against discrimination against gay people? What do you say to a Klansman who believes that black people are a threat to the White race and wishes to protect his family?

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            • While I recognize it as sin, yes, I agree: I would not file that petition. However, this does not mean a society should not be able to vote on it if they wish. This is why he should still be allowed to file it. Our founders had anti-sodomy laws, so we know that they are perfectly inside the confines of the Constitution. They are also inside the limits of Natural Law. They are connected to the right of association and to contract. BUT AGAIN: me — personally — I would not push this.

              As doe laws protecting us from harm. I disagree with you here. they exist — or should — to punish transgression, not to prevent. To prevent is ALWAYS thought crime. You are reading the future and restricting liberty based on what you ‘think’ might happen. Please be careful with that, it can be used against your own cause. 🙂

              Labor laws limit the right to contract, so I oppose them. They are not necessary. The only reason they were thought necessary 9or still are) is because the law is allowed to be perverted. If business is allowed to dominate the laws for their favor, then the worker will have no redress. But if the law favors the worker — as it does now — the business owner looses control of his business. the law is supposed to be neutral and reactive. The moment it favors a particular party based on Party, THEN we have the type of discrimination we should oppose (i.e. Institutional). Also, the moment the law seeks to prevent harm, it looses its way and ceases to be law. Instead, it becomes tyranny.

              Finally, your example of the KKK. That is a good example of perversion of Natural Law. Natural Law holds that all humans are to be held equal because they are all a reflection of the Creator. This is why God is necessary. Once he is removed, then the case can and will be made that “some pigs are more equal than others” (hope you’ll recognize the reference). If the laws had been kept honest, in line with Natural Law, then they would never have allowed slavery or institutional racism. HOWEVER, they would have left the individual free to destroy themselves by being a bigot.

              Freedom is easy. Everything dealing with right and wrong is easy. It is the living with the right thing to do that is difficult. And no, there is no gray in matters of right and wrong. When we start seeing gray, it is a good indication that we are on the wrong side of right. 😦

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            • Clare,

              Why are you being the hater here? 🙂

              If you give everything I wrote a fair reading, you will not find one thing I have said that even suggests I would want to kill someone with whom I disagree. that is what Secular Humanists and Socialists do — not Christians. So I have to wonder what you true motivations are that you would even suggest — by the implication in this comment — that I would want to kill you when, if you bother to look, I have been defending your right to live the life you want to live. All i ask is that you NOT do so by forcing others to accommodate you. The moment you start forcing people to do things your way, you cede the moral high ground and become that which you ‘claim’ to oppose.

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            • Well, I know you do not want to kill me, but when Matt McLaughlin says people should, you say there should be a vote on it. Forgive me, but I find that uncomfortably lukewarm in my defence.

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            • It is not lukewarm: it is being dedicated to a principle, not a desire. Society has a right to set moral standards. If not, then why have any law at all? So, if a society wants to set standards with which you disagree, then move. This is one of the reasons the founders argued for government as close to the community as possible: so each community could govern itself in those matters which are not global. Now, this does not mean the majority makes right: it is usually just the opposite. But it places the light on the real issue here. What is being demanded is not equal rights, but forcing others to accept and accommodate the way a small part of the population wants to live regardless of what the majority thinks about the morality of that lifestyle.

              I noticed you have avoided my example of the pedophile, but it is an excellent example. You are defending a pedophile’s claim to be allowed to work in a child care center. The principle is exactly the same. And every argument the gay community has made in demanding society bend to them can and is actually now being used to advance similar demands by pedophiles.

              Give it enough time and — eventually — you will have no way to object when the murderer says he was born that way and must be given legal protection to murder. Oh, I understand the immediate objection is that, in the case of murder, someone is definitely harmed. But you will not be able to make that case. The murderer will simply reply that they are doing their victims a service, and that the victim even wanted to be killed. When God and Natural Law are removed, you have nothing but ‘force-makes-right’ to counter such arguments — which is exactly what is being used here against religious liberty. The problem with force is, if the majority finally decides to turn on the minority, they have no moral objection. The majority will just be doing exactly what the militant minority had been doing to them. It would be ‘fair.’

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            • A pedophile will argue the child is a willing participant. You can be bored, but that is because you are down to picking and choosing what you think should be allowed and what should not. That is the law of man, and the law of man is not law at all. it is injustice.

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            • I am bored because either you have no integrity or you have no ability to argue. You accuse me of picking and choosing after saying if a society wants to set standards with which you disagree, then move.

              Discrimination is a wrong which harms a whole society by harming the weakest. Most of the US agrees. You want to pick and choose. You have no insight or self-knowledge.

              You have this weird idea that “natural law” is above the human debate, that your position is the one pure philosophy. You throw around wild insults and refer to “tyranny”. You have no understanding. You bore me. Grow up. Go away.

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  2. Clair you may have an added difficulty in understanding the intense desire for freedom that lies in the hearts of Americans. We do not like to be told what to do! It is therefore to be expected that we will fight against anyone, but especially government, telling us who to associate with. Homosexuals are free here to have sex any way that they want, they are just not free to force me to participate. That’s the way it is in the US.

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    • Welcome Susan. I think you are a lovely person. That comes over to me in your writing. I was not being sarcastic when I said this “made America great”, and I too resent being told what to do. I don’t think that making a wedding cake is participating in the wedding, though, leave alone in the sex after.

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    • “Homosexuals are free here to have sex any way that they want, they are just not free to force me to participate.”
      Is this a tongue in cheek comment? Heterosexual are free to have sex any way they want but they can’t force me as a fellow heterosexual to participate. I would make flowers for their marriage though.

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  3. On a more basic level, one would imagine that the law in Indiana and other US states is little different from it is here, that any business owner retains the right to refuse service. Therefore there really is no need to enforce definitive legislaton specifically targeting the LGBTQI community, or any other group within society.

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    • xandrad,

      I agree with you in principle, but history has proven otherwise. Essentially, you are on the side of the Federalists at the time of the founding. they said the same thing: since the Constitution did not give affirmative authority to the federal government to do certain things, there was no need for the Bill of Rights. had the federalists won, this whole discussion would not be taking place as we would have lost our civil liberties long ago.

      That said, and in spite of what I sense our host believes, I do not believe there is a just cause not to serve someone, but I also believe we should all — even the GLBT community — all defend the right of others to exercise their conscience. If one store does not want to make you a cake, go to the next. To attack that store and bring the force of government down on it instead is a true transgression, whereas refusing service is just an insult. They are world apart, but our society treats them as equivalent. This is where I would tend to sympathize with Appalachian Philosophers analogy — because it holds.

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      • Excuse me, dear, where did I say I was on anyone’s side? I am merely stating a fact – no business owner can be forced to serve anyone.

        What I am saying is the right to refuse is one thing, to impose legislation giving the right to refuse service on someone’s individual traits is quite another. It is not too long ago several states in the USA could quite legally refuse service to African-Americans, while in Europe it was equally not too long ago that some countries instituted laws discriminating against Jews. Right here in the UK in my lifetime alone, guest house landladies used to, quite legally, put up signs saying “No dogs, Blacks, or Irish.” When one reflects on that history, the RFRA can only ever be seen as retrograde and every bit as discriminatory.

        If a store does not want to bake a cake, go to the next one. Fair enough. But what if the next one won’t serve you? And the next one, and the next one? And all because they are bigoted against your sexuality – and state law actually protects them? That is not conscience, it is discrimination, and I would argue that any store which does not serve on grounds of discrimination deserves to be boycotted and driven out of business. Society would not put up with a business treating anyone like this because of race or ethnicity. Sexuality and gender identity should be no different.

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        • 🙂 OK, fair enough.

          One, it is NOT a ‘fact’ that a business owner cannot be forced to serve someone against their will. It is a matter of Natural law that it should not be done, but recent events prove that it can and has been done. So that is not a ‘fact.’

          As for the rest of your last:… Well, since you do not like figures of speech, then I’ll just say that you have correctly stated the fundamental assertions found in Romans 1 and 2: the same assertions upon which this nation was founded.

          I would also note that you refuted yourself when you cited the old laws that made slavery and racial discrimination legal. Both of those are against Natural Law and should NOT be done, but — as you point out — they have been done. So you might want to check the definition of ‘fact,.’ as I do not think it means what you think it means — sweetheart 🙂

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          • “One, it is NOT a ‘fact’ that a business owner cannot be forced to serve someone against their will.”

            I think you’ll find you are wrong, dearie. Are you seriously trying to suggest that if a business owner takes an instant dislike to someone, or someone is behaving in a manner they do not like, they have to serve them?

            Oh here we go with the claims from John Bancroft that by “law of nature”, the founding fathers meant God, that they were influenced by God, and that the Declaration was based upon Romans 1 and 2.

            Firstly, Bancroft was a historian, and a rather biased Christian one at that. His claims that Calvin and Romans 1 and 2 did not take into account other influences. Scotland’s Declaration of Arbroath of 1320 inspired parts of the US Declaration of Independence, and Scotland’s Solemn League and Covenant of 1638, which called for religious freedom, inspired the First Amendment of the US constitution. Are we to gather from those that the USA is Scottish? You may as well claim that if you are going to claim that the USA is Christian because of a few words in the Declaration of Independence.

            Bancroft asserted that the term “Law of Nature” meant God’s law, as it was a common law term in English law. But he took that from Blackstone’s Commentaries on English Law, and gave no other supporting evidence to back up his assertion. But even assuming he was right, which God? The Judeo-Christian God? Strangely enough the Declaration of Independence does not say that. It states “by their creator”, which frankly could mean ANY god.

            And that of course is enshrined in the more important document, the US Constitution, which ensures religious freedom and a wall between church and state.

            You maintain that slavery was against the “law of nature”, i.e. God’s law? Yet many of those who practised slavery, and more recently segregation, claimed it was Biblical and they were with in their rights under “God’s law”, pointing to Genesis 9:25 in some Bibles stating “Blacked is Caanan”, and that he and his descendants should be servants forever more. Of course it’s misinterpretation, but that is what basing laws upon theology can lead to.

            But then, if you think that the common law mentioned is the “natural” law of God, then consider what Thomas Jefferson had to say about that;

            “For we know that the common law is that system of law which was introduced by the Saxons on their settlement in England, and altered from time to time by proper legislative authority from that time to the date of Magna Charta, which terminates the period of the common law. . . This settlement took place about the middle of the fifth century. But Christianity was not introduced till the seventh century; the conversion of the first christian king of the Heptarchy having taken place about the year 598, and that of the last about 686. Here then, was a space of two hundred years, during which the common law was in existence, and Christianity no part of it.” (Letter to Thomas Cooper, 1814)

            Finally, if the businesses in Indiana refuse to serve the LGBTQI community, I want to know if they are likewise going to refuse to serve anyone wearing clothes of mixed fibres, refuse to serve shellfish, pork, or other “unclean” meats, or refuse to serve women wearing trousers (except that women wore trousers before that was written, when the men who wrote it were wearing robes), all of which are equally mentioned in the Book of Leviticus as the claim that homosexuality is an “abominiation”? And will they close from Friday evening until Saturday evening, the true Sabbath, as commanded in Leviticus 23:2-3, and the Sabbath which Jesus and the apostles recognised? Or are they just going to cherry pick the bits they want to support their own homophobia and dress it up as religion?

            Finally, dearie, if you still think the USA was based upon Christianity, I leave the last word to Joel Barlow, and the Treaty of Tripoli of 1796; “”As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion” The Treaty was ratified by all members of Senate on 10 June 1797.

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            • ‘Dearie,’

              I never have had much use for people who speak on things about which they have no knowledge. In this case, you should try to read what the men actually said and not what those with opposing agendas claim they have said:

              The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations … This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.

              The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.

              We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

              –John Adams

              Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?

              The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.

              –John Quincy Adams

              We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.

              –Samuel Adams, upon the signing of the Declaration of Independence

              [Why] should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the Sacred Book that is thus early impressed lasts long; and probably if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind.”

              …we have a dangerous trend beginning to take place in our education….We’ve become accustomed of late to putting little books in the hands of children containing fables with moral lessons. We are spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principle text in our schools. The Bible states these great moral lessons better than any other man made book.

              – Fisher Ames, author of the final wording for the First Amendment

              Let us enter on this important business under the idea that we are Christians on whom the eyes of the world are now turned… [L]et us earnestly call and beseech Him, for Christ’s sake, to preside in our councils. . . . We can only depend on the all powerful influence of the Spirit of God, Whose Divine aid and assistance it becomes us as a Christian people most devoutly to implore. Therefore I move that some minister of the Gospel be requested to attend this Congress every morning . . . in order to open the meeting with prayer.

              – Elias Boudinot, Served as President of Congress, signed the Peace Treaty of Paris to end the War for Independence, framer of the Bill of Rights, and respondent to Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason with The Age of Revelation

              Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure, which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.

              – Charles Carroll, signer of the Declaration and member of Continental Congress

              [Governments] could not give the rights essential to happiness… We claim them from a higher source: from the King of kings, and Lord of all the earth.

              –John Dickinson, Penman of the Revolution and delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and chosen because of how it supports Jefferson’s reference to “The King of Kings”

              I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth–that God Governs the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?

              –Benjamin Franklin

              Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is impossible that a nation of infidels or idolaters [Atheists and pagans] should be a nation of freemen. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.

              –Patrick Henry

              I think the Christian religion is a divine institution and I pray to God that I may never forget the precepts of His religion or suffer the appearance of an inconsistency in my principles and practice.

              –James Iredell, US Supreme Court Justice under Washington

              I have long been of the opinion that the evidence of the truth of Christianity requires only to be carefully examined to produce conviction in candid minds, and I think they who undertake that task will derived advantages. . . . As to The Age of Reason, it never appeared to me to have been written from a disinterested love of truth or of mankind.

              –John Jay, co-author of the Federalist Papers and the original Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, was comforted by the fact that Christianity would prevail despite Paine’s attack

              By conveying the Bible to people thus circumstanced, we certainly do them a most interesting kindness. We thereby enable them to learn that man was originally created and placed in a state of happiness, but, becoming disobedient, was subjected to the degradation and evils which he and his posterity have since experienced.

              The Bible will also inform them that our gracious Creator has provided for us a Redeemer, in whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; that this Redeemer has made atonement “for the sins of the whole world,” and thereby reconciling the Divine justice with the Divine mercy has opened a way for our redemption and salvation; and that these inestimable benefits are of the free gift and grace of God, not of our deserving, nor in our power to deserve.

              –John Jay, continued

              The precepts of philosophy, and of the Hebrew code, laid hold of actions only. {Jesus} pushed his scrutinizes into the heart of man, erecting his tribunal in the region of his thoughts, and purified the waters at the fountain head.

              –Thomas Jefferson

              It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it [the Constitution] a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution.

              –James Madison, Federalist No. 37, January 11, 1788

              The American population is entirely Christian, and with us Christianity and religion are identified. It would be strange indeed, if such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it.

              –John Marshal, 4th Chief Justice of the United States and argue by some to be our greatest Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

              When we view the blessings with which our country has been favored, those which we now enjoy, and the means which we possess of handing them down unimpaired to our latest posterity, our attention is irresistibly drawn to the source from whence they flow. Let us then, unite in offering our most grateful acknowledgments for these blessings to the Divine Author of All Good.

              –James Monroe, 5th President of the United States

              Religion is the solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man toward God.

              –Gouverneur Morris, delegate to the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention, head of the committee which created the final wording of the Constitution and the most active speaker, US Senator, Minister to France appointed by Washington

              Blasphemy against the Almighty is denying his being or providence, or uttering contumelious reproaches on our Savior Christ. It is punished, at common law by fine and imprisonment, for Christianity is part of the laws of the land.

              –Charles Pinckney, Signer of the U.S. Constitution

              [T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be aid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind.

              We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government, that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible. For this Divine Book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and those sober and frugal virtues, which constitute the soul of republicanism.

              Surely future generations wouldn’t try to take the Bible out of schools. In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, if we were to remove the Bible from schools, I lament that we could be wasting so much time and money in punishing crime and would be taking so little pains to prevent them.

              –Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, gratifier of the U.S. Constitution, Father of American medicine, founder of 5 universities and – at the time – one of the three men the Colonists considered most influential and important to the Revolution

              You are further to declare that we hold sacred the rights of conscience, and may promise to the whole people, solemnly in our name, the free and undisturbed exercise of their religion. And…that all civil rights and the right to hold office were extended to persons of any Christian denomination.

              –Roger Sherman, only founder to sign the Continental Association, the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation and U.S. Constitution, and clearly states here that the founders’ goal was to equate all forms of Christianity and not all religion in general

              Our ancestors established their system of government on morality and religious sentiment. Moral habits, they believed, cannot safely be trusted on any other foundation than religious principle, not any government secure which is not supported by moral habits…. Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.

              If we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.

              ~Daniel Webster, Early American Jurist and Senator

              In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate — look at his character. It is alleged by men of loose principles, or defective views of the subject, that religion and morality are not necessary or important qualifications for political stations. But the scriptures teach a different doctrine. They direct that rulers should be men who rule in the fear of God, men of truth, hating covetousness. It is to the neglect of this rule that we must ascribe the multiplied frauds, breaches of trust, speculations and embezzlements of public property which astonish even ourselves; which tarnish the character of our country and which disgrace our government. When a citizen gives his vote to a man of known immorality, he abuses his civic responsibility; he not only sacrifices his own responsibility; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor; he betrays the interest of his country.

              –Noah Webster, father of American education

              Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other. The divine law, as discovered by reason and the moral sense, forms an essential part of both.

              –James Wilson, signer of the Declaration of Independence

              Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.

              – Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U. S. House,

              To promote true religion is the best and most effectual way of making a virtuous and regular people. Love to God and love to man is the subtance of religion; when these prevail, civil laws will have little to do. … The magistrate (or ruling part of any society) ought to encourage piety … [and] make it an object of public esteem. Those who are vested with civil authority ought … to promote religion and good morals among all their government.

              Shun, as a contagious pestilence, … those especially whom you perceive to be infected with the principles of infidelity [Atheism] or enemies to the power of religion. Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not [do not hesitate] to call him an enemy to his country.

              –John Witherspoon, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Clergyman and President of Princeton University and mentor of many founding fathers

              I could continue — for a while, at that — but to what good. The truth is not in you. Yours is the father of lies and deception, only, sadly, you do not seem to recognize that fact.

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      • It may have many uses, Clare. If pot smokers claiming sacrament can be protected under this law, then it opens the door for many other unorthadox religious beliefs. I think I’ll contact my friends who are Christian Nudists – believing that God made the human body to be worshipped – and tell them I may have found a new home for them. 😉

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  4. First I would like to say that you have a really gorgeous blog and you’re a very good writer. Having said that, I did make a comment that forcing someone to perform a service that disturbed them to their core against their will was akin to spiritual rape; even though I agree that there is no legitimate reason to refuse to “bake that cake”. I just would have liked to have that expounded a little. Again, this is a fantastic blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your compliments.

      Perhaps I should have quoted you in full: I feel like forcing someone to perform a service that makes them feel like they have sinned against God is akin to mental and spiritual rape. I don’t like rape analogies. Imagine being penetrated, used and humiliated. Afterwards, victims often cannot bear the touch of another human.

      You also wrote, I don’t care that you don’t like that someone has a problem with your sex life. I really don’t care how you feel. What I care about is having the freedom to have an opinion. I care about the freedom to make choices, even if I don’t agree with the choices people make. It is not just a problem with the way we have sex, but the way we love, and the way we relate to other people. LGBT face hostility, even when we are celibate, because of our natural ways of responding.

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  5. I’ve never heard the term ‘spiritual rape’ before. What an odd bunch you’ve collected here! Lovely post. I read a post by a Christian that seemed quite sensible on this topic, pointing out that they couldn’t discriminate service giving for every form of perceived sin, so they couldn’t for homosexuals either. I was just about to Like it and congratulation the blogger, when I noticed in the comments he clarified that they shouldn’t have to provide flowers for a gay wedding, and that’s not discrimination …

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        • Rape is not limited to women. And, at its heart, rape is motivated by the need to dominate — to control. In this sense, Appalachian’s illustration holds. You are simply trying to reformulate it so as to escape the inevitable conclusion.

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          • Indeed. Men can be raped.

            We disagree about the depth of harm. Barronelle Stutzman v Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed: who should win?

            The gay couple find themselves unable to use the services of a particular business. The florist finds herself punished by a $1000 fine, plus $1 for court costs and fees. She loses nothing by performing her service for yet more sinners, just like the second-marriage adulterers, or the fornicate before marriage couple, that she did the flower arrangement for the previous week. This is not rape.

            But we find ourselves in a tis/tisn’t argument. I do see that you feel she has been badly hurt. I find her un-Christian, and whining about nothing. I doubt we will agree.

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            • She looses nothing by being forced to act against her will?

              Fine, i accept. Now get in line and live as a straight person. You will lose nothing. it will cost you $0 to do so. You will suffer no more harm to live the way society keeps voting for you to live than the florist suffers (under your scenario, that is). Now, see how easy that was? All you have to do is give in to the florists desires.

              Now, I trust you realize I am illustrating a point here and not actually advancing it. But the point stands. You are assuming YOU have the ‘right’ to decide what it does or does not cost her to bend on her beliefs. Spiritually, that lands you right in the middle of Paul’s message in Corinthians. As for the case of Natural law, it puts you in a position of violating her will be deciding you know better and have authority to force your will on her when — in truth — she is NOT causing the homosexual any harm. there are other shops and other ways to get flowers, so they are NOT denied anything. They are making a false argument for the sake of forcing their will on others — which places them in the wrong — not the florist.

              And no, we will not agree on this, but I thank and respect you for holding a civil conversation. You are a refreshing change from what I have grown accustomed to when dealing with such issues 🙂

              Like

  6. What do you think of this quote?
    “Religious liberty is the terms of surrender the Right is requesting in the culture war. It is conservative America saying to the cultural and political elites, you have your gay marriage, your no-fault divorce, your obscene music and television, your indoctrinating public schools and your abortion-on-demand. May we please be allowed to not participate in these? But no. Tolerance isn’t the goal. Religious conservatives must atone for their heretical views with acts of contrition: Bake me a cake, photograph my wedding, pay for my abortion and my contraception.”

    Like

    • Mmm. Billionaire Philip Anschutz’s ridiculous conservative rag whines again.

      Do you want people to be able to get healthcare? The British socialist model is the way to go. Yes, it provides abortion and contraception, as well as angina treatments and chemotherapy. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence authorised payment for treatment on the basis of Quality-Adjusted Life Years procured by that treatment: if one QALY cost under £30,000 it was worth paying for. We all benefit from the health of our neighbour.

      Why should a baker not bake a cake, when someone wants it? What is the Biblical justification for the refusal? Christ came to save sinners.

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      • The source of the quote, the problem of private v public healthcare, and biblical justifications are all besides the point. I might ask on what moral or Biblical grounds should bakers and florists be sued into fiscal ruin.
        It is the nature of the modern state that people are sometimes forced to participate in things they find repugnant: a pacifist who refuses to pay taxes which fund a war will quickly find himself in jail. That is the nature of war and taxes in the modern world.
        I think the question is how far the state should be willing to go with its powers of coercion, and for what kinds of causes. To what point must conformity be enforced?

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        • You see, I find the source of the quote relevant. It is a hodge-podge of old whines and new, about Obama care and the Indiana Act, and it asserts something which the link I gave argued with evidence was untrue.

          Where’s the harm? As broken windows lead to worse, so refusing a gay couple flowers for their wedding, or a bed for the night, leads to them being driven from their communities, to the detriment of those communities, a wrong which is still happening. Britain is far better, now that homophobia has changed from more or less normal, in the 1980s, to repugnant now. Law has played a part in that change.

          Does BS have to pay more than $1001?

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          • So essentially you are worried about a “slippery slope” effect.
            I can understand the fear, but what is usually happening in a slippery slope situation is that somewhere the legal principles changed. I don’t see that happening, but then I’m not an expert.
            In your opinion, is this just a war? One side or the other wins: in the end, either little grandmotherly bakers face the choice of violating their conscience or being sued into penury, or gays get driven out of town? One tribe or the other will be bullied into submission, so it may as well be yours?
            And by asking these questions I’m not trying to lead you anywhere, I don’t have any settled opinion on these matters, I only discovered it was “a thing” this morning.

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            • No. It is not a war.

              If I win, the thoughtlessly homophobic and unChristian florist wins. Diversity increases, and conformity enforced by society reduces. She can be more herself. If she wins, I die. I cannot be myself. I recall a middle-class Indian on the telly once. She was trans. As a male, she could go to university and get a professional job. As a hijra, her job choices were beggar or prostitute. She still wanted to transition.

              It is not a Christian principle that sinners or non-Christians should be prevented from marrying.

              I don’t think it is a war, but those homeless young people look like casualties. So no, it is not slippery slope: they are homeless already.

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            • You are just saying the baker gets sued into penury for her own good. Small comfort to the baker.
              I’d LIKE to think accommodations can be made, even if it means accommodating an occasional asshole.

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            • Well, ideally, she obeys the law. And not every similar florist gets asked for a floral arrangement for a gay couple. Often there is an accommodation made; but when both sides go to law, the law has to come down on one side.

              I have not seen you compare gays to paedophiles like others do, but here is a real paedophile. So there are people in America who think that abusing his children is a father’s right, based on the Bible. You disagree. You would not think you were being oppressive there.

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            • I can see somebody making a vague analogy between pedos and gays based on the concept of an involuntary sexual orientation, but the analogy is needlessly insulting: pedos are generally highly manipulative sociopaths, gays generally are not.
              But you are making an analogy between someone who wants to opt out of a financial transaction because he thinks it is participation in a sin, and a child raper. Sure you want to do that?

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            • Perhaps the analogy says more about me than the ridiculous florist.

              However, I find her use of religion as false as his. She has her knee-jerk reaction, that she would not provide flowers for the wedding, and then she rationalises. It must be Christian, she thinks. But no twisting of Christianity can possibly justify her stance. And she asserts that she will not “participate” in the wedding, but even wedding-guests do not participate in the wedding.

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            • “I’d LIKE to think accommodations can be made, even if it means accommodating an occasional asshole.”
              Oh yes, I’d like to think we can accommodate people to refuse service to any minority group they judge to be less ‘good’ than themselves. Definitely what the character Jesus was fighting for.

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            • “I don’t see what Jesus has to do with this.”
              Is it not Christians who are pushing for this right to discriminate? Is trying to be like Jesus not part of a Christian’s life?

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      • Clare,

        Socialism is slavery by another name. Hitler said there is no need to take over business when you can simply nationalize the people. That is all Socialism is: a few people seizing control of an entire nation by seizing control of the government to force their will on others. Socialized medicine is nothing but a manifestation of this slavery.

        I wish you would look at these issues morally rather than through the fog of self-deceptive desire. I have no doubt you think you are being moral, and that you even believe you have good intentions. But everything I have seen you argue for is an extension of forcing one’s will onto the whole of society. Morality is derived from the way individuals treat each other, not the collective. And on an individual basis, socialize health care, labor laws, even anti-discrimination laws are all forms of tyranny. You are simply shifting the ownership of the slave from an individual tot he State, but you are still advancing slavery. 😦

        Like

        • Excuse me for lurking and interrupting but this intrigues me:
          “And on an individual basis, socialize health care, labor laws, even anti-discrimination laws are all forms of tyranny.”
          Have you ever lived in a country with universal healthcare?

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          • Do you need to live in a concentration camp to realize it is wrong?

            The answer is yes: America. And it does not matter. The fact stands: ALL socialism is tyranny as it forces people to work for the benefit of others.

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            • Are you serious or just being silly? America doesn’t have universal healthcare.

              What’s tyrannical about contributing a small portion of your earnings to help those around you and to provide a safety net for yourself should you ever need it? I think it’s sad you are so ignorant you’d compare a society that shares and cares to a concentration camp.

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            • I am serious. We most certainly do have socialized medicine. When you are forced to buy something like health insurance, it is socialized. It’s just that, since most people still have to pay directly, they are actually seeing the cost, so most people do not recognize it as socialism. In countries where socialism is more open, the government pays for the healthcare — AFTER it has extracted the money from the people. This hides the cost, so people believe it is free. In reality, it is ignorance. They are being forced to pay for something that will benefit others, and that is socialism, and it is also why ALL socialism is slavery. It’s just that the master is hidden. rather than living in a plantation mansion, the master lives in the White House (or whatever state building houses the head of State).

              When you remember that form and function define, and not the word, this becomes easier to understand.

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            • What do you think of taxes for road-building? Is that Slavery?

              When you remember that form and function define, and not the word, this becomes easier to understand. The only difficulty I have in understanding is, how did you get trapped into such an obsessive, closed system of thought, unrelated to reality, and unable to follow common sense? It is not slavery, but society. That is what people do: we work together for the common good. It is more efficient that way.

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            • Common sense — as you use the word — means rationalizing anything and everything you want while denying the same ‘right’ to do so to others.

              My system is not closed, it is consistent. This is why you have so much trouble with it. You are following the materialist ideal, which says “ends justifies the means.’

              And taxes CAN be perfectly in line with Natural law, so I have no problem with them. But mandatory taxation for something that does NOT benefit the whole is not in line with Natural Law. Sadly, you have demonstrated you do not see or understand why this is true, so you will always advocate a system where you will over the rights of others can be justified. In short, you have a spirit of tyranny in you and I do not agree with it.

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            • Look up Gödel’s incompleteness theorems, and see what I think of your “consistency”. You are projecting.

              My comment policy is “Don’t bore me”. My spirit of tyranny may go so far as to delete your comments, if you get any sillier.

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            • Since I am totally ignorant on this issue, I have no opinion, sorry. I know what I believe if it is exactly as you say, but I would have to look into it to confirm that is the case before I would offer any comment. It may well be that this is perfectly in live with the Natural Right to Contract.

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            • Government subsidies for Torah students. That is a fascinating article.

              Ultra-Orthodoxy is a subculture whose members live by a stringent version of Jewish religious law and belief and who seek to keep surrounding society at arm’s length. The means of being a people apart include dressing distinctively, living in self-segregated neighbourhoods and maintaining separate schools, where sacred texts are the main subject of study. Today’s Ultra-Orthodox Jews, or haredim, marry early and have many children. In Israel, where the military draft is universal for other Jewish men and most Jewish women, the ultra-Orthodox have been largely exempt.

              This summer the issue of everyone bearing an “equal burden” for national defence has boiled over in Israeli politics. Yet the conscription argument may be a diversion from the real economic and political crisis. The haredi community is overwhelmingly poor, underemployed, and dependent on the rest of Israel. It is also growing rapidly, creating an ever-larger weight for wider society to carry. Unless ultra-Orthodox education changes and haredim are integrated into the workplace, the Israeli economy could collapse. “We could lose the country,” as a leading Israeli economist, Dan Ben-David, warns.

              At the margins of ultra-Orthodox society itself, a sense of impending economic disaster is growing. Yet a change of direction is fraught with challenges. It requires haredi society to brave integration. It requires the state to spend more money, not less, on the ultra-Orthodox in the near term. The longer the change is delayed, the more politically difficult it will be to carry out.

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            • Did what? Taxed the Native peoples as well as steal their land? Do remember I am British. I considered an arcane point of the law of Indiana because it was unusually ridiculous and wicked, not because it affected me directly.

              And those Muslims, who stayed when their country was invaded and their co-religionists were driven away into refugee camps by terror? So now they pay taxes to the occupying power, and the money is used to support ultra-Orthodox people who do nothing except teach each other their understanding of the Torah, and breed? Is that “Slavery”, and if not why not? Should Muslims pay for Obsessive-compulsive Torah freaks, and if so why?

              No really. What are you saying your founding fathers did?

              And (without looking at Wikipedia) can you tell me anything about the Declaration of Arbroath?

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            • You are British? How ironic. I have been trying to help you see that you are violating the law. In this case, several laws. Now you are forgetting that the Colonies were just appealing to God because the king had violated his charters with the Colonies and then allowed the Parliament to violate their authority by stepping into the fray. Britain was acting lawlessly. The Colonies had every right to secede.

              As int he case of Israel, they were driven out by the Muslims first. But you are going to violate that law, too.

              You see, I said I needed to research this before I commented for a reason — this reason — that you are twisting history, truth and the laws which govern them.

              Honestly, though, I am not surprised. Nor will I be surprised if you accuse my consistent devotion to principle as being too ‘rigid’ or ‘lacking common sense.’ You want what you want and you will rape logic and reason to justify it.

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            • Oh, you are “researching”? Really? When you look up Projection you will see what you are doing, accusing me of twisting. You still haven’t answered about taxing those Muslim citizens- there are more and more of them, by the way, the Apartheid state of Israel is going to fall- or the Declaration of Arbroath.

              The British defended the colonies from the cruel tyrant Louis. The colonies did not want to pay their share.

              See how good I am to you? If you think about what I write, you may gain understanding of history, and even perhaps mental health!

              Like

            • Clare,

              I do not have to accuse you of twisting. It is a matter of definition. I need only look up the definition, look at what you say and then compare the two. the ‘twisting’ then becomes self-evident.

              As for allowing you to insert another argument into this one: nice try. I do not fall for those tricks. they are fallacious in natyure and almost ALWAYS indicate which side of an argument has lost. The one who has to insert a diversion is admitting they have lost the argument at hand by seeking to re-frame things in a manner they believe favorable to them. In fact, this is loosing on two accounts: both on the merit of the argument, and the fidelity to the truth.

              Finally, as for my understanding of history; I will stay with my understanding. It has not been tainted by my desires — as has yours. Case in point: you speak of ‘fairness.’ There is no such thing where justice is concerned. ‘Fairness’ is the tool of a tyrant, and it is the word you choose to use. Therefore, you have testified against and convicted yourself. I had no part in that but to point it out for all those reading along.

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            • You are a “trained philosopher“? You’re having us on! Surely no philosopher could think as poorly as you do. Did you go to Bob Jones “University” or somewhere like that? Or was it a mail-order certificate?

              You still haven’t answered about the taxation of those Muslims. It seems you can’t.

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            • You use ad hominem to ‘prove’ to those following along that I am a poor philosopher? Thank you for making me smile. It is always helpful when your opponents tells everyone you are the idiot, then demonstrates they are actually the ignorant party in the debate.

              Yes, I suppose there are many who would consider FSU to be a cracker-jacks school, especially its philosophy department.

              And I am not going to answer your question because it is a fallacious attempt to divert from the argument you have already lost. In fact, you have been trying to obfuscate this whole time. As you told me on your blog, this bores me. I have no interest in trying to reason with someone who has renounced the use of reason.

              Now, I am going to stay on point. So, if and when you want to start demonstrating where I am wrong on the points of the actual argument at hand, then we can continue our discussion — but not until then.

              Oh, and before you start with the proclomations that I am being a coward, or avoiding you because I can’t answer, know I lost or any other false assertion, please don’t. Those are very well known tactics,and they always come from the side who has nothing to stand on but the use of force. Which, incidentally, IS part of the point in my original post.

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            • “Former Soviet Union”? Have you gone completely batty? Or are you using an abbreviation many Americans would not recognise? My alma mater predated Roanoke.

              Let me spell it out for you. You claimed in relation to health care paid for by taxation, They are being forced to pay for something that will benefit others, and that is socialism, and it is also why ALL socialism is slavery.

              Observing the star of david on your gravatar, I asked you about an example in Israel, and asked what you thought of the taxation of the Muslim minority in Israel to pay for the Ultra-Orthodox to study the Torah. I linked to an article, so you could read about it if you wished. In fact, the Palestinian citizens are taxed more than the Jews- p25 of this report, p14 of the pdf.

              You see it is oppression, yet you weasel out of answering. You have no integrity. Yet you make the ridiculous claim about our health-care, which is following our Christian heritage.

              You stand revealed as being unable either to refute or to answer my analogy. Used by you, the strong words you parrot- “slavery”, “perversion”- become meaningless boo-words applied to things you do not like. Yet for precisely analogous situations you might support, you have no words at all. Your vaunted “consistency” is a sham. I have no idea whether you are a coward, but you are clearly a fool.

              Like

  7. Pingback: all socialism is slavery | violetwisp

  8. I agree that Christians should look to their sources of authority to try to find common ground. But I don’t think Judges can or should do that.

    Legally I would draw a distinction between refusing service based on peoples decisions and refusing service based on things others have no control over. I don’t think any reasonable case can be made to justify refusing service to someone based on race gender disability or sexual orientation.

    Notice I am leaving out religion. That is generally a decision. So I can see that as a valid ground to refuse service. If someone were to tell me they wanted me to sell razors so that they could then use them for FGM I would refuse. Yes I realize that it may be part of their religion. So to some extent I would be discriminating against their religion. But I think in a free country I should be able to not cooperate in that.

    So what about working for a gay marriage? I think getting married is a decision. So others should not be required to participate in that. If a Catholic thinks a person should not get remarried after they divorce I don’t think they should be required to participate in the marriage. Should a wedding singer be required to sing in a marriage they don’t agree with? If they typically let the people choose religious songs do they need to perform them for any wedding?

    As a Catholic I realize that my church has many strict rules regarding sexual activity. I am fine with the law ignoring these rules – I often do myself. But I am very uncomfortable with the state requiring people to directly cooperate in the violations of these rules.

    The problem I have with these cases is homosexuals have been discriminated against for things they have no decision over. So there is more sting in these sorts of denials of service than if a Catholic decides not to participate in a divorced and remarried persons wedding. But I think if we are to find a disciplined balance to the competing values I would draw it there.

    I agree we are also a society and that is important. But I think laws like the first amendment that basically say people don’t need to do things that prevent the free exercise of their religion is good for society. The US is not a place where we force people to abandon their genuinely held religious beliefs – even if we think they are mistaken. Doing that very much cuts against our traditional policies.

    Businesses are really just people doing things for money. Its not like a business has religious rights, but the people should.

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    • That would make more sense if there were any cases of bakers/ florists/ photographers etc refusing to serve second marriages. Now such refusals might not get reported so widely, because they would not involve court action. But they should be reported, because they might indicate that the soi-disant “Christians” were not merely bigoted, homophobic hypocrites.

      It is good to see you here again, Joe. I am glad you popped over from Violet’s.

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      • Thanks Clare.

        Yes there are plenty of hypocrites in Catholic pews. Some get upset if gay people take communion. It’s as if they don’t realize the vast majority of Catholics should not be taking communion if they truly followed the rules.

        Deliberately thinking lustful thoughts (let alone actually doing anything physical) is a mortal sin that should prevent you from taking communion until you go to confession.

        Same with missing Church on Sunday without a good excuse. Yet just this last Easter there were plenty of new faces in the communion line.

        I don’t always agree with everything, but Catholics who know the teachings likely have enough of their own sins to worry about without having to waste energy on other people’s sins.

        Matthew 7:5

        Like

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