Judge rules that Christians should be persecuted if they disagree with gays


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Fascists: A judge in Washington state ruled Wednesday that a florist should be “personally ruined” because her Christian faith prevented her from promoting same-sex marriage.

“The message of these rulings is unmistakable: The government will bring about your personal and professional ruin if you don’t help celebrate same-sex marriage,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner. “The two men had no problem getting the flowers they wanted,” she said. “They received several offers for free flowers, and the marketplace gives them plenty of options. Laws that are supposed to prohibit discrimination might sound good, but the government has begun to use these laws to hurt people – to force them to conform and to silence and punish them if they don’t violate their religious beliefs on marriage.”

Once again, the issue here was not the oppression of gays, since these two men were not prevented by anyone from getting married, were not denied flowers or wedding cakes or any options for celebrating their wedding. All they were denied was the ability to force someone who disagreed with them about same-sex marriage to participate in their same-sex wedding. For that thought crime, they — and the government of Washington — have decided to destroy someone.

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46 comments

  • Chris Kirkendall

    If someone had told me about this & some of the other recent Court rulings 15 or 20 years ago, I would have said that’s impossible – would NEVER happen in this country. How is it that Judges can make rulings that are so clearly contradictory to the U.S. Constitution, which should be the cornerstone of our laws?? They just routinely ignore Law & make stuff up according to their own warped biases…

  • Jake V

    Yet another example of the intolerance of the Left.

  • Cotour

    These are the two key elements of this case:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/19/us-usa-washington-gaymarriage-idUSKBN0LN0B520150219

    1. “The pair were longtime customers of Stutzman’s Richland business, Arlene’s Flowers, and asked her to provide decorations for their wedding following the state’s legalization of same-sex marriage.”

    And

    2. “We respect everyone’s beliefs, but businesses that are open to the public have an obligation to serve everyone,” they added.”

    At the moment that the proprietor introduces HER religious beliefs into this open to the public business situation she (and I have made this point several times before) has chosen to discriminate based on her beliefs and deny these people the freedom of legally buying what they please from an open to the public business, and she was happy to do business with them previously. The state, and like it or not the state is involved in this situation and if pressed a judge who is guided by duly passed laws focused on keeping the business environment equal for all will have to make a decision like this. Its a no brainer.

    Could they have gotten free flowers from else where? Apparently yes. Could they have found another florist that would have been happy to sell them / supply them with flowers from their open to the public business? Yes. That is not relevant in this situation at all, the proprietor has chosen to be the ultimate arbitor of who she will and will not do business with in her open to the public business that operates under sanction of the state within which it operates. This goes from a personal religious beliefs issue of the proprietor to an issue of who can and can not walk into a public venue and purchase what they please.

    I have said previously that its best IMO in general to leave ones religion at home when you venture out into the public arena and when you choose to bring it with you to your business you run the risk of being taken down by those beliefs in the context of this self caused situation. This woman, and I have compassion for her, has made a bad decision in this case based on HER religious beliefs and has chosen to judge those two gay people who were just looking to do business with whom they had done business with in the past.

    And in addition this is not about her free speech either, the facts that she has chosen to create have trumped that. The Libertarian purists among you will only see that the woman’s rights to HER free speech and HER religious beliefs have been violated, unfortunately for her (and those purists among us) live in an idealized world that does not correlate to the reality of existing and doing business in the real world. And that is why Libertarian beliefs are more tailored to the ideal internal conversation and is not to be trotted out and attempted to be applied outside the cranium.

  • Cotour

    This is the extension of peoples “rights” to judge others in the context of business.

    http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2015/02/19/detroit-area-pediatrician-refuses-to-care-for-lesbian-couples-baby/

    Do you believe that this is “fair” in this context? Should a gay couples child be denied healthcare because its parents are gay? Under your logic, in this context, the answer is yes.

    Now who’s rights are being denied, the parents? The doctors? Or the childs? Who’s interests are primary here?

  • Jake V

    A command to leave one’s religion at home is a rejection of freedom of religion.

  • Cotour

    Not in this context. Personally, bring your religion with you where ever you choose, but in the context of doing business with the public its best to check it lest you create a situation of your own making where you confuse you “rights” as being paramount over all others.

    Freedom of religion is not absolute, especially in the context of this real world example playing itself out in a real world court and not in the idealized atmosphere of ones own mind.

  • Jake V

    “I have said previously that its best IMO in general to leave ones religion at home….”

    That sums up the Left. Freedom for those who profess the religion of liberalism. Bankruptcy and jail for any and all who hold other faiths.

  • Cotour

    That is an interesting absolute interpretation you choose. I pointed out that its my personal opinion in a general context, I did not suggest it be adhered to under penalty of any kind, and my point of view on this point of civil law subject is strictly in the context of an individual doing business with the public.

    You fail to make any distinction between an individuals own personal beliefs and their conduct in the public arena. Without making the distinction your logic suggests that your religious beliefs trump anyone else’s in any context. Your position is the position of the left and others like Boko Haram, Al Quida, ISIS etc.

    Your religious beliefs are not absolute as applied to others who might not see reality a religion in the same way as you freely choose to see it.

  • We have discussed this repeatedly, and will have to disagree. But from my perspective, and most of my readers, your position is that, once a person starts a business, they are now a second class citizen, a dhimmi (to use an Islamic term), and must sacrifice their beliefs in favor of those of their customers. And since many of their customers today are liberal fascists, eagerly looking for any opportunity to destroy those beliefs and the people who believe in them, that business person will soon find they either have to give up their beliefs or face destruction.

    I instead say that in a free society, the customers would respect the business person’s beliefs, out of good will and a desire to promote freedom, and take their business elsewhere. Any other action is that of a fascist.

  • Cotour

    You misstate and / or miss understand my position. The business owners are not second class citizens, no, they are operating a business open to the general public and therefore being the proprietor are more equal and superior in the context of being open to the general public and having a “power” to say who can make a purchase and who can not in their establishment.

    If I were to open a business and you came in and when you attempted to pay for your items and I looked at your credit card and saw the name Zimmerman and told you that because of my religion I was choosing not to allow you to make that purchase, that would be discrimination in the context of an open to the public business and I would be wrong and you would be correct in seeking some kind of remedy in this country, in any state.

    Your and many of your readers choose to see that, “well the customers can go to another business, whats the big deal?” It is a big deal in America. Your perspective is from the strict Libertarian point of view where everyone is “free” and can do as they please as long as they do not infringe on another’s rights, everyone is equal. Only in these situation in general the proprietor who is open for business to the entire population, not only people who are not gay, or people who are only white, or people who are not Jews or dwarfs. Open to the public means open to the public and the woman in this example shot herself in her own foot by insinuating HER religious beliefs on her, what used to be good customers. In addition the state and the states fiduciary responsibility in regard to duly passed law attempting to eliminate discrimination and the fact that the business operates within it and as an extension of the state does not help her case. The state / government does have a function in the context of this example. One of its few actual functions.

    In past conversations I have strongly supported my position in order to inject the reality of the issue into the conversation. Your position seems to suggest that your and some of your readers have an absolute right to do as you please when ever you please. There are no or few absolutes, and this instance is not one of them. I strongly suggest that you reconsider your position.

    And further, there are going to be instances where someone will insist that a business owner might have to participate in the activities of their customers and that is where a line may certainly be drawn. A customer can not insist that a business owner participate in their human sacrifice ritual if that is what they were endeavoring to do, but they can certainly reasonably supply flowers to their good customers for their wedding without going off the religious infringement deep end.

  • Cotour

    “I instead say that in a free society, the customers would respect the business person’s beliefs, out of good will and a desire to promote freedom, and take their business elsewhere. Any other action is that of a fascist.”

    Be careful, your utopian, Libertarian idealism is showing. Your wishes for an ideal and “free society” does not exist, it can never exist, we live in the real world, in the real America. You really have to reconsider your thinking here in the context of this particular issue. IMO of course.

  • “Your wishes for an ideal and “free society” does not exist, it can never exist,”

    Excuse me, but the world I describe did exist, for the first 150 years of the United States. We once respected the idea of freedom of association, and only made it illegal with the 1964 Civil Rights Act (which by the way was actually unnecessary at the time because the ugly bigoted discrimination against blacks and Jews was at that time already fading, due to public pressure).

    Freedom carries risks, including bigoted discrimination. Freedom also carries responsibilities, which means you fight such things, as our free society did during the 1950s. Using the law to do it, however, means you have sacrificed freedom, which is exactly what we did in the 1960s.

    You might prefer the regulated increasingly unfree country we live in today, but I still prefer true freedom, as understood and lived during the first century and a half of the United States’s existence, based on the Constitution as written.

  • Edward

    Yes, in this context. Once again, Cotour, you believe that the rights that you want are to be implemented in this country, not the rights that are fair to everyone. Religious freedoms are the basic foundations of this country (remember the Pilgrims?), not gay freedoms.

    According to your statement, “businesses that are open to the public have an obligation to serve everyone,” a bank would be required to give out a loan to someone regardless of their ability to repay, otherwise they would not be serving everyone.

    You still cling to your claim of “rights for me, but not for thee.” That the businessman must check his religious rights at the business license window of town hall. Or as you state it, at his front door. In your America, a person must be areligious (my attempt to coin a term meaning “without religion”) once outside his home. No prayer rugs, no religious symbols or jewelry, no religious words or actions. Nothing that would make that person seem different. Where is the right in that?

    It is just like those people who would deny businessmen their Constitutional right to free speech, merely because they run a business. Welcome to America: land of the free, unless you have a business, in which case you have no rights, no freedoms, and must do only as the tyrant wants. And make no mistake, a judge who summarily rules without a trial is nothing less. Where is the right in that?

    This country was not founded so that we only practiced our religions at home. To require us to do so would be to make this country an unfree country. A tyranny of the agnostic (as atheists would likewise be required to not deny god outside of the home). A land devoid of religion in any way shape or form, outside of the home.

    Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc. would all have to be completely ignored in all businesses, communications, entertainments, arts, … everything that exists outside of the home. There goes Santa Clause and Christmas sales. What a dull, dreary, tyrannical place you would transform this country into.

    The judge’s ruling would have people not only to acknowledge differences, but to promote those differences, even participate in them, whether or not they conform to their beliefs.

    But why is this participation required to go only one way? Why were the gay customers not likewise required to promote and participate in the shopkeeper’s religion, hobbies, industry, political party, and other beliefs and activities? Why weren’t the gay couple required to respect the differences of the shopkeeper’s religion, as the judge required of the shopkeeper? Why is only the gay couple allowed to have differences, but the shopkeeper not? Where is the right in that?

    It was not the gay couple being discriminated against, it was the Christian shopkeeper. No one wanted to deny the couple from getting married, but the judge, and you, Cotour, want to deny the shopkeeper from practicing her religion. Further, the gay couple employed the government to perform the discrimination. Where is the right in that?

    And, yes, that makes the shopkeeper a second class citizen. It was not as simple as the shopkeeper not selling flowers to the couple. She did. It was the couple’s insistence that the shopkeeper violate her religion by *participating in* the wedding. The couple has all the rights, the shopkeeper none. Where is the right in that?

    Once again, according to you, the rights should only go in one direction. So much for *equal* rights.

    “‘We respect everyone’s beliefs, but …” meaning that they really don’t.

    Rights are not absolute, they end when they will do harm (although you and the judge give absolute rights to the couple). Not selling flowers to a gay couple (which the shopkeeper actually did) harms them how? They still get to exercise their right to get married, as flowers are not a requirement for marriage. But the violation of religious beliefs is *actual* harm to the person’s soul and religious freedom. A person could even be excommunicated for certain violations. How is requiring someone to violate his religion right?

    What if the bank did not give the couple a loan in order to pay for the flowers or the wedding rings (due to lack of ability to repay the loan); would the bank be closed down, too?

    And why can’t I sue my bank for not giving me a loan to buy back my ancestral family farm (I didn’t have gainful employment, at the time it was on the market, and I *did* go to the bank and got turned down flat, despite enough money in my IRA to buy it outright)? Why was *I* not discriminated against? Why don’t *I* have the right to own my grandfather’s farm?

    Why are the rights only for thee, Cotour, but not for me?

  • Chris L

    This isn’t about who gets to sit at the lunch counter and who doesn’t. This is about forcing the cook to cater your birthday party. The former involves the issue of public accomedation, the later the issue of involuntary servitude.

    If a white supremist demanded that the black baker bake him a cake for his clan reunion party, I would expect (and support) the baker to tell the guy to take a flying leap. In my view, the baker is under no obligation to take money from someone who wants him dead.

  • Cotour

    All the tyrant wants is for individuals to be treated in an equal and reasonable fashion. Do you like when you are treated in a reasonable and equal way? Your bank loan analogy is ridiculous and you misstate and twist many other elements of this situation. You can not understand this if you are unable to actually keep the facts in an understandable and relevant order. You seem to pick and choose the facts that you like to make your point.

    And Mr. Zimmerman apparently pines for the good old days when water fountains were marked, by the business owners who owned them because it was an expression of their freedom of association, “white only”. Sorry that’s not for me, things like that have been left in the past where they belong. And in regards to the 1964 civil rights act the only person I associate with related to it is Teddy Kennedy and if he was involved in it it is something that injurious to our country.

    Freedom to be or feel insulted, wronged and offended based only on ones own subjective perspective is not absolute, it may be justified in your internal conversation but not in reality, in the real world. The Constitution guarantees no such luxury, it was not designed and does not exist in an un changing vacuum. To live ones life longing for what was and not attempting to move positively into the future applying what has been learned is to become no longer relevant to the conversation.

    Dinosaurs used to be, Mitt Romney used to be, lets make Jeb Bush used to be.

  • “And Mr. Zimmerman apparently pines for the good old days when water fountains were marked, by the business owners who owned them because it was an expression of their freedom of association, ‘white only’.”

    This is an ad hominen attack and beneath you. To say that I “pine” for discrimination and bigotry is to purposely misinterpret my comment, to purposely ignore its very words. I specifically stated that this type of bigotry and discrimination was a bad component of freedom before 1960.

    What I also noted, which you ignore, is that the free society of the U.S. was ridding itself of this behavior long before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was even conceived.

    You have the right to insult me, but you know that I also have a very low toleration for the use of insult as a form of debate on my website. I expect an apology.

    Moreover, what does Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush have to do with this? Nothing. It is a non sequitur. It seems to me that you are implying that my position on this specific issue makes me a supporter of these politicians. I am quite baffled by this.

  • Max

    Good point, I would add it would be wrong to Force a Hindu to serve sacred cow or a Muslim to serve a pork sandwich. A Buddhist to kill anything or a Christian to serve human flesh and blood for others to eat… Wait a minute, most Christian churches serve Christ flesh and blood every Sunday. Perhaps that’s what she did, offered them to participate in their human sacrifice ritual by asking them to come to church and give up their sinful evil ways?after all even religious conservatives care.
    I think we would’ve handled it differently, cotour was right that she should’ve kept her thoughts in her head instead of insulting her customers and ruining their wedding plans. She could have made the arrangements then sublet it to a contractor to cut and deliver the flowers. Washed her hands of the actual involvement. A true Christian would have asked themselves “is this what Christ would do”, would he have cast the first stone?
    He actually preferred the company of sinners whores and publicans to that of the righteous or the rich. We are told to be careful when judging others for we will be judged in like manner. To twist a scripture I would say “who sined that this man was born blind” (or gay?) what better test to see if a Christian truly has the light of Christ in them…
    The punishment does not fit the crime, especially when it’s a thought crime of newly enacted legislation to shape and mold the politically incorrect. (without trial and the deliberation of the jury) This is punishment and retribution, not justice.
    Cotour should have taken his own advice about keeping thoughts in, instead of insulting our host then in the next paragraph saying we do not have a constitutional right to do so.
    Everyone has the freedom of speech, but no one has the right to be heard. For that you must pay advertising costs and be responsible for what you say. Robert is right to ask for an apology, had the judge in this matter also insisted on an apology from the woman all of this could’ve been avoided.
    Religion on the other hand cannot be kept at home, it is with you wherever you go and you can tell a person’s religion by the way they conduct themselves. “by their fruits you shall know them” honest and productive working relationship is often reflective of a person’s religion. As my father would say “a person with no values is valueless”.
    The problem I have with other religions is when they try to force me to live to their values. (i’m thinking of the global warming religion of course)
    I can’t help but think about the outcome of this case had it been seen by a Obama appointed Islamic judge. The gay men would have been stoned or thrown from a tall building just for showing up, the woman would have been whipped for showing her face and hands in public. Then she would have been given to a Muslim man as a slave wife to convert her in the Islamic fashion. If she resists him perhaps an honor killing is necessary.

  • Cotour

    Dear Robert (may I call you Robert?),

    I apologize for what to you appeared to be an insult, slight or disruptive related to our discussion. I certainly do not consider you racist or a bigot, but to me the extension of your thinking on the subject of the level of freedom in America today and you pointing out “how much better it used to be in America” tends IMO to be more of a negative than a positive. I appreciate your perspective and your point but I do not see looking backwards and what appears to be longing for days gone by as the answers to the problems in our country and the world in general.

    In my discussion I can tend to use sarcasm and different levels of observational humor, both dark and light and veiled insult to challenge those who I am at times at odds with in order to contrast their or my thinking, that is my style. So again, I apologize for riding the line of decorum on the site and will endeavor to sharpen my discussion.

    Explaining my failed point:

    ” To live ones life longing for what was and not attempting to move positively into the future applying what has been learned is to become no longer relevant to the conversation. Dinosaurs used to be, Mitt Romney used to be, lets make Jeb Bush used to be.”

    The term “no longer relevant” referred to being dinosaur like, extinct. Mitt Romney is a American dinosaur and has been dismissed because he is stuck in yesterday (and his daddy is not George Bush), Jeb Bush is a bit younger but is the same, a dinosaur, and is the next step in his fathers un American One World Government agenda. I was not implying that you supported either of them, I was implying that you were thinking in the same stagnant manner as they were and IMO the future of America is not located in this kind of thinking it lies in the direction of positively thinking next gen, Constitutionally based thinking.

    I hope this apology and explanation is sufficient.

    All the best, Cotour.

  • Apology accepted. Your use of sarcasm is very often a failure, so you should review your use of it very carefully.

    As I have said before, we will have to agree to disagree about this issue, on a very fundamental level.

  • Edward

    > All the tyrant wants is for individuals to be treated in an equal and reasonable fashion.

    Except, of course, for those who have religious beliefs or run companies. Those people are less equal than the others.

    > Your bank loan analogy is ridiculous and you misstate and twist many other elements of this situation.

    It is only ridiculous to you because it shows an exception to your rule. I *have* been discriminated against due to being differently incomed.

    > You seem to pick and choose the facts that you like to make your point.

    No, if one group must be served, then why not all groups? Where is the right in serving only the groups that *you* like? Indeed, you definitely *are* ignoring or belittling facts that disprove your point, perhaps because these facts so easily disprove your point. You want it one way in one case, then you want it a different way in another, similar, case. Plus, you believe that mere feelings trump Constitutionally protected rights. Where is the right in that?

    > Freedom to be or feel insulted, wronged and offended based only on ones own subjective perspective is not absolute …

    And yet, the judge and you favor those who feel offended over the person whose actual, Constitutionally guaranteed right has been violated by the very government whose responsibility it is to protect that right. Where is the right in that?

    > it may be justified in your internal conversation but not in reality, in the real world. … The Constitution guarantees no such luxury

    Perhaps it is not justified in *your* internal conversation, but the Constitution guarantees the right to (among other enumerated and implied items) freely practice religion, speak one’s mind, associate with those of one’s choosing (meaning that one must also be guaranteed to not associate with those of one’s choosing), publish, and petition government for redress of grievances (which the summary judgement denied the shopkeeper). It does not guarantee that a gay couple will not feel offended because someone else gets to practice his religion. Show me where I am wrong.

    > To live ones life longing for what was and not attempting to move positively into the future applying what has been learned is to become no longer relevant to the conversation.

    And thus you make my argument. You tyrannically decree what is and is not relevant to the conversation. The future you advocate is of tyranny (complete with summary judgements made by judges whose duty is to weigh both sides of a dispute), the past I long for (a mere decade ago) is freedom. How is that not relevant to a conversation about freedoms, rights, tyrannies, and offenses?

  • Cotour

    The result of your brand of “freedom”, enjoy, not my cup of tea. A doctor who has to pray over whether he will take care of an infant seems a bit too religious for me. But thats just me.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/02/18/doctor-discrimination-baby/23642091/

    And your bank analogy is still ridiculous and totally self serving in a non connected to the discussion way. At what point does someone go into a bank and without any other qualifications other than walking in the bank demand funds of any amount? Oh wait, I do remember something called the Community Reinvestment Act and something about too big to fail, you might be right.

    I don’t have time today to dissect every one of your examples, I stand by my well fleshed out position.

  • Edward

    Cotour wrote, “But thats just me.”

    Which is why it is nice that there are 300 million people in the country. You have your choice of doctors, and that doctor didn’t have to be told how to practice medicine.

    Why do you think that it was so important that Obama reassure us that if we liked our doctor we could keep our doctor? It is because *that* is what my kind of freedom is all about. *I* am free to make my own choice, and *you* are free to make yours. That is what Americans want and expect, freedom. We recognize that freedom is *not* being forced to submit to somebody else’s choice — even if that somebody else is a benign government — or to lose our choices altogether (e.g. every doctor must practice exactly the same, and each doctor must be equal to all others — he cannot be better at an examination or treatment than any other by choosing to perform procedures or medications adapted to each patient — and yes, this is beginning to happen under our tyrannical medical system).

    What if I have a religious objection to working in military space (I don’t, but what if that changes in the future?), but that is the only place with work, during my time of unemployment. Must I be forced to work on a rocket or spacecraft that I feel will be used for immoral purposes (isn’t this just what you want to do to the unfortunate shopkeeper)?

    What if someone’s opinion or even political contributions resulted in his employer forcing him out of his employ? This is a real life example of your position.

    When you tell me that I must make the same choice as you, then freedom is gone and tyranny is here.

    Cotour wrote, “I stand by my well fleshed out position.”

    Which was so easily countered. As I and others have been telling you, your position is that of tyranny, where everyone must think, say, and do as you would have them do, not as they should be free to do. Our position is that:

    “[I]n a free society, the customers would respect the business person’s beliefs, out of good will and a desire to promote freedom, and take their business elsewhere. Any other action is that of a fascist.” — Robert (from above)

    (BTW, Treating everyone who comes to him can get a doctor into trouble. Just ask Samuel Mudd, the doctor who cared for the injured John Wilkes Booth.) Thus to force someone into going against his better judgement is an unfair act.

    You may be willing to accept America as it is, not as it was, but just remember that with each passing week, now, the country is transformed further into tyranny. Is your position to accept the tyranny, no matter how bad it gets, or is there a point at which you will also pine for the freedoms of last week (or last decade)? For the rest of us, we have already passed that point, preferring the freedoms of our youths over the tyranny we live in today.

    Robert may be willing to agree to disagree, but I think that you really believe in freedom and are having a difficult time distinguishing between a free country and a tyranny that looks like it treats everyone equally (but some are “more equal” than others).

    I think that you are confused, that you actually believe in America, not that you merely live here.

  • Edward

    It has been my experience that it is all too easy to lose sight of freedom.

    Day after day, in high school, my brother would come home excited about what he had learned about Alexis de Tocqueville. This is the Frenchman who was so astonished to discover the freedoms that Americans enjoyed. Today, my brother thinks more like Cotour than he does like de Tocqueville. I have asked him when, where, and why he changed, but he does not think that he has (although, I think that I have him thinking about it).

    It is easy to see a group that has felt discriminated against “come out of the closet” and want them to experience additional freedoms. However, it is also easy to forget that giving them their freedom can lead to them expressing anger by stepping on the freedoms of others, even to the point of having the new discriminatees take their differences into the closet, or not taking them outside of their front door. All you have done, in that case, is given absolute freedom to the one group and removed freedom from the other group. There is no right in that.

    I say that this is easy to do, because even the learned, thoughtful Supreme Court fell for this. In upholding Affirmative Action, they declared that, in order to right a past wrong, it was OK to discriminate against a group that used to discriminate — this is “reverse discrimination.” The court assumed that two wrongs make a right, that revenge is a dish that *should* be served (cold or not).

    Another problem is that such reverse discrimination is so broad-based, in its attempt to be “fair” or “equal,” that even people who never discriminated (indeed, who had long advocated for the end of discrimination) are caught up in this “web of wrong,” including the innocent children and grandchildren of both the discriminators and the non-discriminators. (Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to reverse discriminate.) This case of revenge has become so harsh, that we have recently heard such biased declarations as *all* people in the group being reverse-discriminated against are guilty, whether they know it or not (even those who never discriminated and those who advocated for the end of discrimination). The question becomes: when and how do these reverse-discriminations and recriminations end? How can they end when the innocent are summarily declared as guilty as the dwindling group of the actual guilty? [I know, that’s two questions.] Thus the reason for revenge cannot end, as long as such biased myths propagate.

    Now that this pandora’s box of wrongs has been opened and officially approved, another group has taken government-approved revenge to a new level. A level that had not previously been approved, but that the courts are now approving.

    With the case under consideration in this post, the flower shopkeeper, and other related cases, we have discovered that, once again, the government is advocating and practicing another form of reverse discrimination. The flower shopkeeper has had a summary judgement placed against her, without being given a chance to defend herself. The government and its justices are propagating injustice. A new group has been given the right to reverse-discriminate — to take revenge. And they are exercising this right with impunity, even adversely affecting the rights of those who advocate for and participate with them.

    In related cases, Brendan Eich was drummed out of his position as CEO because he exercised his right to engage in political activities that a discrimiator-group didn’t like. Other proprietors of wedding services have likewise had their rights violated for reasons similar to the flower shopkeeper. Careless court rulings can overflow into other areas of business and religion that were not intended to be affected, for just as those who never racially discriminated are subject to reverse discrimination, innocent shopkeepers may be required to do business with groups that they disagree with to the core of their being, such as the KKK. How can a business be required to do business with everybody without being required to do business with everybody?

    Summary judgements, jobs lost, businesses ruined, and gays get preference always. Constitutionally guaranteed rights no longer apply to those who disagree to participate in, advocate for, or accept the gay lifestyle (or any combination thereof). All the rights are given to the gay community in preference over all other viewpoints. (“I may disagree with what you say, but I defend the right for you to say it” is no longer in effect, among the gay community. “Agree with me or shut up” is in effect.)

    It was so easy to forget the rights of others, that now the gay community enjoys more rights than religious communities — the very communities who founded this great nation for the specific purpose of having these rights, because they had been actively discriminated against in their own countries, and the governments of those countries encouraged and enforced this discrimination. The real problem was that the religious groups had no recourse. They could not merely go to another shop that provided the services that they wanted (as gay couples are free to do). It was not service that they wanted but freedom.

    Now that the gay community has the freedom it always had, they are taking revenge upon those that they disagree with. You see, marriage is a religious requirement for starting a family. It is not a civil requirement.

    For all of history, at least in America, there was nothing stopping a gay man or woman from having all the babies that they wanted, dividing up the brood in a manner agreed to by both parents, and setting up house with another gay man or woman of their choosing. There were no laws to violate in doing so, and they didn’t even legally have to get married in order to create or raise the children.

    In fact, the discrimination that gay couples think that they experience and the “equal treatment” that they demand are not related to religious institutions but to government institutions.

    Government-created tax law made governmental acknowledgement of marriage desirable. Requirements for other government supplied benefits also made such acknowledgement desirable. Privacy laws prevented unrelated people from freely visiting those in hospitals without prior consent of the patient. These government-imposed requirements were mistaken by the gay community as discrimination by organizations run by religious people or institutions, not as discrimination imposed by the government. The government successfully hid its guilt behind the “skirts” of religion.

    The revenge that gays are taking out against religion and the pious is proof that they never before desired the (religious) institution of marriage, because they disagree with these religions. If they were interested in belonging to these religions, they would not be taking revenge on them. It is not religion, only the government-imposed obstacles that come with not being married, that makes them desire marriage.

    With one notable exception, religions did not discriminate, nor do they now, but their practitioners are the ones whose rights are now being abridged for the sins of the government that is supposed to protect their religious, speech, political, and judiciary rights. And now it is American governments that are encouraging and enforcing the discrimination against religious communities.

    As happened in the movie “Superman Returns,” The American Way has been lost. It was easy to lose. Good men did nothing, because it was too easy to fail to see the evil revenge coming.

  • Cotour

    Open to the public in general means……OPEN……..TO…….THE……. PUBLIC.

    Not open to those who are not gay, or open to those who are not white, or not Muslim, or not Jewish, or not what ever the race creed, religion or color a person may be. In general if a person desires to make a purchase in such an establishment they should be able to do so. The extension of the logic of people who operate open to the public businesses who are able to disfavor people based on being able to choose or not choose to do business with any of the above listed categories and others is by definition discriminating ( = freedom?). I suppose that to be able to discriminate is also a synonym for a kind freedom but do you really mean it in that way? What kind of freedom is that?

    I am going to spend a few moments here and point out on one element of your argument the failure at its foundation.

    ““[I]n a free society, the customers would respect the business person’s beliefs, out of good will and a desire to promote freedom, and take their business elsewhere. Any other action is that of a fascist.” — Robert (from above) ”

    This statement above pre assumes that the people who are potential customers are required to have a pre knowledge of how an open to the public business might choose to operate. Agreed? Is a potential customer first to ask a business owner what his beliefs are so as not assault his freedoms before entering the establishment? really? Its a very narrow, biased and unworkable way of seeing the multiple ways business is done. That is the perspective of the above statement related specifically to the flower sellers situation.

    “Out of good will and a desire to promote freedom”. What if out of good will and to promote freedom there is no other venue to purchase what may indeed be an essential or life sustaining item? Statements like that indicate a further narrow and naive interpretation of how things really are or really should be or were.

    So given actual reality, if say a random person from out of town walked in the door of the business and had no knowledge of the owners beliefs or arbitrary rules of sales, chooses some items and requests that they be delivered to the local Shul and goes to the counter to check out and upon the sales person seeing their name, Goldberg, and proceeds to inform them, in the nicest way of course, that they were sorry but upon praying and based on the rules of their religion they would not be able to make that sale to them because it would be akin to promoting that religion, please leave. That is what you are endorsing? That is what you are endorsing, that is un American.

    That is in reality the model of operation you are endorsing, an open ended ability to arbitrarily discriminate and call it “freedom”, just like “the old days”. The Constitution in no way endorses, intimates or promotes such behavior by individuals or government or any body.

    You and those who choose to see this in this narrow, preconceived, pre structured and pre loaded way would not want to be or have any member of their family be on the receiving end of that kind of “freedom”.

    “Further more, “Cotour wrote, “I stand by my well fleshed out position.” Which was so easily countered. ”

    You countered nothing because you have come to your conclusion in such a narrow and preconceived manner the above statement can not be true and is a false conclusion. I remain solidly by my opinion on this matter.

  • Rene Borbon

    Too much philosophizing about nothing. We Americans live in the land of the fee which includes the right to refuse service to those whose morals we don’t agree with. End.

  • Cotour

    Yes, in the high flying country of Bourbonia where king Rene rules with his velvet glove covered iron fist, but not in America!

    In Iran? Yes. In Syria? Yes. Within ISIS? Yes. Within the Taliban? Yes. In any country OTHER than a solid democracy where equality of all of the people’s rights to participate in commerce are paramount its possible, but not in America. (sorry to inform you, but to live within a Democracy is to live under a “liberal” philosophy of operation)

    Your one sentence may be the one sentence that summarizes how far off the mark this, what I must assume is an extreme Libertarian point of view has taken some people on this board and at some level within the country. Your one sentence illustrates why any reasonably thinking person in the country would never even consider voting for a Republican, never mind a Conservative. Being unreasonable and highly judgmental and and willing to enforce your biase which you interpret as being highly principled is the undoing of our country and repels reasonable people who might otherwise be willing to gladly shift power more often instead of just short of financial and political armageddon. That kind of thinking scares the hell out of people and I am very surprised that any Jew reading this discussion board would ever agree with you.

    In any public venue when one individual is able to be subjectively judged by another individual and apply some degree of power over that person then by definition that is discrimination. The Nazi’s did it all the time, with the best of intentions of course as I’m sure you have under the banner of your “freedom”.

    Everything is fine until someone judges YOU, just because they believe that you are “immoral” judged by their standards. There certainly are lines that are crossed and yes the government can and has gone over board as is governments nature but as a general rule any individual in America has the right to purchase what ever they desire in any open to the public venue.

  • Edward

    So, Cotour, does that mean that you think I should be required to sell the rope to the guy who will lynch me? Or lynch anybody?

    Personally, I would rather someone else sell that rope. And I certainly do not want to be required to do so. Do you?

  • Edward

    Cotour wrote: “Everything is fine until someone judges YOU, just because they believe that you are “immoral” judged by their standards.”

    You have judged not only Rene but also everyone in the Republican Party. According to your words, you are “Being unreasonable and highly judgmental and and willing to enforce your bias”.

    And once again, you expect all the rights to be on your side but no rights to be on any side that opposes your point of view. You are the classic example of the Democratic double standard. A double standard that is standard for those who are left of center. A standard of “rights for me but not for thee.”

    I keep hoping that you will see this in yourself and realize just how wrong this is and convert to the thinking that rights are for everybody, not just for the favored.*

    As you wrote, “The Nazi’s did it all the time, with the best of intentions of course”. They believed that certain rights applied to one set of citizen, and fewer or different rights applied to other people. In a free country, such as America used to be a mere decade ago, shopkeepers have the same rights as their customers, not fewer or different rights.

    We should learn from those NAZIs** some important lessons of what is wrong to do, such as cronyism. When rights apply to only the favored people, then we live in a country of men, not laws. A country of men is where some people are favored over others. America looked like that during the time of slavery. A country of laws is where laws, rules, regulations, and rights apply evenly, no matter who you are. America looked like that after slavery (until the Democrats passed the Jim Crow laws), and with the current administration, cronyism has taken root once again in America. A country of laws is what Republicans and Libertarians advocate. The former is what Democrats advocate, and so do you, Cotour.

    * Yes, Cotour, in the America that I long for, existing not so many years ago — after the Republicans passed the Civil Rights Act — even Democrats believed that rights were for everybody. Or so I thought. Was I wrong?

    ** NAZI stands for National Socialist German Worker’s Party. Those who think that the NAZIs were right wing leaning are people who are even farther to the left than these socialists were/are.

  • Cotour

    “Judge rules that Christians should be persecuted if they disagree with gays”

    The headline should have read:

    Washington State judge forced to rule against a woman running an open to the general public flower store who refused to sell wedding flowers to her long time customers because they are gay, she felt her freedoms were being trod upon even though 50 years ago her actions were not given a second thought.

    A little wordy but it better communicates the facts of the case.

    And I don’t know who is after you (Edward) but do you really think they care were they acquire the rope?

  • Edward

    You misunderstand the question, and the comment noted that the killer would likely go to another shop to acquire a rope.

    You advocate that I *must* sell to anyone who comes into my hypothetical store, and that I should not have the right to not sell so someone whose morals I disagree with.

    So, a clearer, harder to intentionally misunderstand question is: do you think that the government should require that I — or you — sell the instrument of my — or your, or anyone’s — destruction, knowing that the customer will use it for said destruction?

    I think that you are having great difficulty supporting your position, explaining why you do not answer my questions.

  • Cotour

    What is your obsession with someone attempting to kill you? And if they did finally catch up with you and kill you with say a banana, what would be the difference be where they purchased the banana? Is that a question you would require to be asked of a potential customer as they walked into your shop?

    Shop owner: Will you be attempting to kill me with any of the items that you are about to purchase here?

    Customer: I don’t know but let me spend some time with you and we will see where this whole thing might go, you may be able to convince me that killing you with this banana is appropriate just based on you asking me that question.

    And I am having no problem at all with any of this, your questions as is your perspective is only mind numbingly narrowly supportable and to support it you would have to be some kind of Nazi / American hybrid. What does morality have to do with any person going into an open to the public venue and making any purchase? And who is the arbiter of that morality? How does one determine this? What if the flower lady sold something to a satin worshiper and then later found out that they were a satin worshiper? Would she be within her rights to refuse them the next time they attempted to make a purchase? You see where all of this judging people goes, don’t you?

    If you don’t want to sell to the public then my suggestion is that you operate a private, closed door operation where people have to apply to be your customer after filling out an extensive questionair. Or better yet you only deal with those people who are of the same religion as you and / or orientation and you develop your customers from organizations / churches that you belong to.

    This is not how a civilization operates.

    PS: Next time you have a banana split or even look at a banana, you think of me ;)

  • Edward

    > And I am having no problem at all with any of this, your questions as is your perspective is only mind numbingly narrowly supportable and to support it you would have to be some kind of Nazi / American hybrid.

    I have had no problem supporting my perspective without being a NAZI, but you have been unable to support your perspective at all, except for calling people immoral, NAZI, and the like, but I do not consider name calling to be support of a perspective, just a frustration that you are unable to support a perspective.

    If I want to sell to the public, then my suggestion is that all shopkeepers have the same rights as all the rest of the citizens in the country. You have yet to suggest why they *should* have fewer or no rights, you merely suggest that since they *do* have fewer rights (by court decree by unelected tyrannical justices, not by carefully thought out statute law, passed and signed by elected representatives of We the People) then that is the correct way to run a country.

    In case you didn’t read the article, the gays were not turned away from the store, were sold flowers, and even offered free flowers. The only problem was that the gay couple insisted that the shopkeeper PARTICIPATE in the wedding. The court decided that the shopkeeper did not have the right to refuse to participate.

    The shopkeeper did not attempt to impose her beliefs, religion or lifestyle upon the gay couple, but the couple wanted to impose their lifestyle upon her, if only for an hour or so. You still have been unable or unwilling to explain the right in that. Instead you advocate that rights belong only to your side of the argument, and that pious people are to be denied their rights specifically because they are pious.

    I advocate freedom, but you are satisfied with tyranny. You claim that I advocate for “an open ended ability to arbitrarily discriminate and call it ‘freedom’, just like ‘the old days’.” But your form of tyranny is just like the discrimination of the “old country.” Religions and the pious are to be discriminated against. And that is your entire argument.

    Why is it OK to discriminate against religion, especially since it is a paramount right protected by the Constitution?

    Why is it OK that shopkeepers have fewer or no rights than the customer?

    Why do you believe that this should be a country of men rather than a country of laws, that it is OK for some people to be “more equal” than others?

    Let me repeat an important question to you:
    “Is your position to accept the tyranny, no matter how bad it gets, or is there a point at which you will also pine for the freedoms of last week (or last decade)?”

  • Edward

    > This statement above pre assumes that the people who are potential customers are required to have a pre knowledge of how an open to the public business might choose to operate. Agreed?

    No. Most places of business have their policies posted inside their shops or on the backs of their receipts. A customer need not know all these to enter the store or to be a customer.

    The model of business that I advocate is the one that worked ever so well for centuries in America and for millennia before that.

    You advocate for a new model, one that is new only this decade and is untried, untested, and unconstitutional.

  • Cotour

    Find where I called anyone immoral. “except for calling people immoral,”

    I have asked, who are you to be the judge of what morality is and who it is that is moral or is not moral, in the context of the flower lady story and her business practices. This is one of the many examples of how there are two incongruent conversations going on caused by your constant misinterpretation. I called no one immoral.

    Nazi like in your subjective ability to determine what is “moral” yes, but I called no one immoral.

    Because of this tendency to have this built in glitch this conversation could go on for months, years with no resolution in sight. We will have to agree to disagree.

  • Rene Borbon

    Cotour, I am not a republican but a Paleoconservative constitutionalist who has faced the Taliban in person during my service in Afghanistan. I know totalitarianism and freedom well. Your ad hominem a track on me was unwarranted. Freedom is freedom, without excessive philosophizing. In my purchases and business I set the example for my moral code. It is up to others to follow or reject my worldview. Those choices I’m comfortable with, knowing where I come from and what I stand for. Respectfully.

  • Cotour

    Dear Rene,

    I may use hyperbole or sarcasm to make my point, I mean no disrespect to you or anyone else on this board. I further wish to extend my gratitude to you and the many, many other Americans who have put themselves in the line of danger in order to ensure our American way of life and our Constitution. Thank you for your service to us all, I sincerely mean that.

    That being said let me also reveal that the Constitution when everything is boiled down is to me the most important document that has ever been devised by human beings and I take what it says and its intent extremely seriously, its a kind of religion to me personally.

    Let me take a moment and point out a few distinctions that must be made related to what you wrote in the context of this Flower shop story. When you say ” We Americans live in the land of the fee which includes the right to refuse service to those whose morals we don’t agree with. “. Yes, we Americans live in the land of the free but that does not mean that a business owner who operates an open to the general public business can pick and choose who they would prefer to do business with based on their subjective judgement about who they believe to be “moral” and who they believe to be “Immoral”. And the context of that statement is related to a general store, a flower store, a grocery store, a pharmacy, a diner, a restaurant etc., in general any business that provides service to the general public where you enter the establishment and have an expectation of being served just like everyone else that walks in.

    Now if you were an engineer or a carpenter or a machinist etc, these are other kinds of businesses where an owner has an absolute choice in who they want to enter into a contract with or not, these are not the kinds of businesses that we are discussing here. The government can not force any individual to enter into any contract with anyone else in this context. There is no expectation of being treated equally to anyone else like in the example of someone entering a bank and demanding to be given a loan. This is a different kind of business and there are normal and reasonable expectations of certain criteria to be met to obtain a loan. Open to the public? Yes. But its a different kind of business.

    An individual private citizen has the right to not patronize a particular business because THEY may judge the operator to be “immoral” or for what ever reason they choose. They can do that because they are free to do business with and patronize whom ever they please. However, the business owner / operator does not as a general rule while operating those open to the general public types of businesses that we are talking about have that luxury of “freedom” your sentence indicates that they do. Now if someone comes in to an open to the public venue and is disruptive or in some way and is acting counter to the general rules of decorum in such an open to the public venue then by all means the operator has the right to ask the individual to leave their business, with police escort if necessary.

    Another example would be if the government mandated that the public patronize or make a certain purchase from a particular business that would be IMO a form of rackteering and is un Constitutional, the government does not have the right under our Constitution to mandate that the public buy anything (Obamacare for that reason is un Constitutional).

    In addition when you say ” Freedom is freedom, without excessive philosophizing.”. I am not philosophizing here, I understand what the Constitution says and what its intent is and when you say “freedom is freedom” what that actually means is that everyone gets to do as they please and that at some point in time will be expressed in “freedom” chaos. The Constitution structures how the government will work, the mechanics of who can do what and when, in addition it lays out very clearly the absolute rights of the people and states what the government may never do.

    I want to tell you that I operate an open to the public business where there are pretty high expectations for how people conduct themselves as a general rule. You know who the boss is when you come into my establishment and anyone who dares attempt to operate outside of the general and normal expectations for such an establishment is ejected and in some instances is banned from reentering, and no one argues with me. I know very well what I am talking about.

    In summary I hope this note helps to better explain my point of view and the distinctions that I probably should have made earlier about these different kinds of businesses and the public’s reasonable expectations of being treated equally in those open to the public businesses that we are discussing here.

    I again thank you for your service and hope that this note finds you happy, healthy and free to do as you please.

    Cotour.

  • Edward

    > Because of this tendency to have this built in glitch this conversation could go on for months, years with no resolution in sight. We will have to agree to disagree.

    I still think that you can be saved from a life of tyranny to a life of liberty. Let me rephrase the question to a multiple choice, easy to answer question:

    Would you prefer to live in (or believe in) a country that has the tyrannical qualities of fascism, socialism, communism, or has the free qualities of free markets?

    Fascism is where the government lets people own their businesses, but the government tells them how to run their companies:
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fascism?s=t

    socialism is where the government owns the businesses:
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/socialism?s=t

    Capitalism is where the government owns and centrally controls the businesses:
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/communism?s=t

    Free markets are where the people own and run their businesses with minor government oversight, mainly to prevent monopolies:
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/free%20market?s=t

  • Edward

    Rene,

    Thank you so much for your service. You learned about liberty vs. tyranny much faster than many of us. Many of us missed the creeping tyranny until it was upon us. I wish you freedom and success in your business dealings.

    Cotour,

    How do you miss the hypocritical, un-First-Amendment, and tyrannical nature of your position?

    You proudly brag that you refuse service to those whose behavior you disagree with, yet you deny that same right to a flower shop keeper – who didn’t even deny service to those whose behavior she disagreed with. What you insist she do is far beyond what you allow yourself to deny, mere behavior, but that she *participate* in activities and behaviors that violate her Constitutional rights to practice her religion (remember, the same Constitution you said, “is to me the most important document that has ever been devised by human beings and I take what it says and its intent extremely seriously, its a kind of religion to me personally.”) You exercise behavior that you *should* think is much more egregious than that of the persecuted shopkeeper, yet you practice your behavior and condemn hers.

    Or am I missing more of your sarcasm?

    Equal protection means that if you may deny service to your own customers, then she should be able to do the same, and definitely be able to protect her right to freely practice, without violation, her religion.

    If you believe that the Constitution is so important, why do you insist that the First and Fourteenth Amendments be ignored or violated?

    I am not asking rhetorical questions, Cotour. I really want to know how you justify your untenable position.

    As I said, earlier, “it is all too easy to lose sight of freedom.” I think this has happened to you, just as it happened to my brother, and I hope that you move away from the dark — tyrannical — side and come back to the light — Constitution — side.

  • Cotour

    There is a difference between someones behavior and their beliefs and established, reasonable law in this context. Law that you and several others apparently do not like, which is very curious to me.

    If someone comes into an open to the public store of the variety that I have described and behaves outside of what “normal” behavior would be reasonably and responsibly and respectfully judged by the proprietor or manager, management has the right to ask them to leave the premises. No one has judged anyone on any other criteria than behavior.

    If someone comes into an open to the public store of the variety that I have described and is judged to be someone that the proprietor is not going to do business with because of what that customer believes, or their race etc. then that proprietor is making an arbitrary and discriminatory judgement about that person and under our legal system can be challenged to share with a court their reasoning for the refusal. People in America have the right to their beliefs and they have a right to freely engage in commerce as per our Constitution, it is essential to freedom that people be able to freely participate in the economy.

    In the first example an individual has disqualified themselves from being served due to their own bad actions. In the second example a person who is operating a business who freely serves the public has chosen to single out an individual from the public because they judge them to be someone who does not believe the same as the proprietor. Remember the First Amendment? It applies to everyone equally.

    Your free to believe as you please and so is everyone else without being judged or penalized for that belief and that includes you being arbitrarily excluded from commerce because of your beliefs. That kind of judgement and “freedom” is a bridge too far in the context of this particular story and our individual Constitutional rights, in our country, in 2015, and it is unreasonable, not to mention its down right un friendly.

    Now the Flower woman might have said that she would not have the flowers that her customers wanted at that time, or she might have said that she was going on vacation, or was going to have a bunion operation and would not be able to participate in supplying their flowers or some other way of respectfully sidestepping what made her uncomfortable, their gay wedding. The key word here is respectfully. Her problem stems from her honesty in telling her customers that she would refuse them service because they were gay. She arbitrarily chose to judge them based on her belief system / sexual orientation and not on their actions.

    Now I know you are a reasonable and respectful person and expect to be treated in kind wherever you go, what is so outrageous about a fellow human being also expecting to be treated in a reasonable and respectful way by a store owner who is serving the public? Even if they are gay.

    And yes they could have gone to another store, but they chose not to, they chose to make an example of the flower lady due to her not handling a particular situation in a proper and respectful way. And I am sure she is a very nice, descent and respectful person who also expects to be treated in kind.

    Government is not forcing or persecuting a Christian to participate in a gay wedding, the government is ensuring that all Americans are treated equally related to their beliefs and their being able to participate in commerce as spelled out in everyone’s Constitution.

  • Edward

    > There is a difference between someones behavior and their beliefs and established, reasonable law in this context.

    Correct. Their beliefs are supposed to be protected by the government, but their customers’ behaviors are not, just as your customers’ behaviors are not protected from your own arbitrary and judgmental refusal to do business with some of your customers.

    > People in America have the right to their beliefs and they have a right to freely engage in commerce as per our Constitution.

    Except, according to you, they lose their right to their beliefs once they run an open-to-the-public business. You have failed to explain how you allow for both free commerce and free religion. Your position remains that when someone runs a business, their beliefs go out the window, or should be left in his home. You still have a problem with rectifying your opinion of violating the First and Fourteenth Amendments with the right to run a business.

    > Her problem stems from her honesty

    And now you advocate deceit. Is that your idea of reasonable, responsible, and respectful behavior? Since when was the proper way to do business to be dishonest, and if dishonesty is OK in this case, what cases is it not OK in? If it is OK to be dishonest in business dealings (shouldn’t that be frowned upon by the court?), then what other aspects of life do you consider dishonesty to be OK? Politics? Insurance applications?

    I am appalled at how far down the dark side you have fallen.

    > they chose to make an example of the flower lady.

    This behavior, as you describe the customers, is not respectful. Once again, you advocate that the customer has more rights than the shopkeeper. You allow them to hijack the purpose of the courts in order to exact revenge for a religion with which they disagree, and the court follows right along, violating the very freedoms you think should be violated, even as you tell us that you believe in the Constitution that explicitly states they should not be violated.

    I am beginning to worry that you are too far gone. That you may be incapable of redemption.

    > Government is not forcing or persecuting a Christian to participate in a gay wedding …

    Well, actually, that was precisely the summary judgement of the court, that if she didn’t participate, then her business could be ruined. From the article: “A judge in Washington state on Wednesday authorized the “personal ruin” of a florist whose Christian faith prevented her from promoting a same-sex wedding … The judge ordered that the state and the homosexual plaintiffs, each of whom filed lawsuits, could collect damages and attorneys’ fees”

    So, since, as you have admitted, the couple could have gone to another florist, there really couldn’t have been any real damages in the first place, at least none that weren’t self-imposed by the couple. (It is kind of like that lady who is now allowed to sue herself over her own negligent killing of her husband. [Rhetorical Question Alert] Where is this country going, with these insane court rulings?)

    > … the government is ensuring that all Americans are treated equally related to their beliefs and their being able to participate in commerce as spelled out in everyone’s Constitution.

    Well, all Americans who do not start up businesses might be treated equally. Once they start their businesses, you would have them lose equal treatment. Being able to participate in commerce is not spelled out in the US Constitution (I don’t know which constitution you refer to), but freedom to practice religion is the first and second protection that the Bill of Rights explicitly spells out in as being protected. Where is the freedom to participate in commerce spelled out (especially as it trumps freedom of religion)?

    All references that I find in the US Constitution to commerce have to do with interstate and international commerce, not interpersonal (or even intrastate) commerce. It looks to me that interpersonal commerce is supposed to be free for the two interested parties to work out without government interference.

  • Cotour

    “Correct. Their beliefs are supposed to be protected by the government, but their customers’ behaviors are not, just as your customers’ behaviors are not protected from your own arbitrary and judgmental refusal to do business with some of your customers.”

    The woman who is in business dealing with the public has chosen to put herself in a superior position where she says whether she will or will not do business based, in this case, upon HER religious beliefs. She is superior related to being equal and has a higher responsibility.

    My judgement whether someone must leave my store is not arbitrary as you state it is based on reasonable and established criteria for behavior in that particular venue. I begin all transactions with respect, I even will bend to accommodate my customers. But only within reason, there can be plenty of gray as opposed to just black and white.

    Her religion does not go out the window because she is in business but because she is in the superior position she must be able to be flexible and not so hard and fast. The public in reality is made up of every kind of wacky belief system, rigidity is not your friend if you have set yourself up to deal with them and expect serenity at work.

    ” Her problem stems from her honesty”

    Have you ever told your wife that she looks great even thought what ever she was wearing was not quite the best style for her? Don’t bother answering, I know the answer and I do not consider you to be a dishonest person for doing so.(my regards to your wife if you are currently married)

    My point here is that brutal black and white honesty has its place but only when finesse, diplomacy, and common sense strategy has failed, specifically while dealing with the public in this case. And as a personal note I do not promote lying and I do not live under that philosophy, its just bad for ones self respect and karma.

    “I am appalled at how far down the dark side you have fallen.”

    I deal with real people in the real world in the real America there is no hypothetical here.

    “You allow them to hijack the purpose of the courts ”

    The purpose of the courts is to in this case arbitrate an equal rights case where a proprietor has chosen to refuse service to her customers only because they are gay and she considers her providing her flowers for their wedding to be forcing her to participate in their, from her religious point of view abomination. The government is not forcing her to do anything other than reasonably treat these people equally as she treats anyone else who wants to order wedding flowers. She knowingly has chosen her black and white position and is free to do so, I support her decision. However her decision is going to come with some degree of cost.

    “So, since, as you have admitted, the couple could have gone to another florist, there really couldn’t have been any real damages in the first place, at least none that weren’t self-imposed by the couple.”

    My wish is that they make their point and do not pursue any kind of damages over and above court costs and allow the woman to do her business and live to retire in comfort.

    From the article “personal ruin”. That is the opinion of the person writing the article not the statement of the court.

    “Well, all Americans who do not start up businesses might be treated equally.”

    Again, the shop owner is in a superior position to the general public in this situation related to anyone’s freedom to purchase what they like in an open to the public business.

    “All references that I find in the US Constitution to commerce have to do with interstate and international commerce,”

    All businesses operate under the state laws within in which they find themselves, which are is a direct extension of the Constitution and there is no state in our country who is able, under the duly passed, yes ever more liberal laws, allow a business who deals with the public in the manner that I have previously stated in such a blatantly biased way. Even if it is a very nice, religious lady who needs to learn how to navigate our ever growing in complexity civilization.

    Let me also say that Rene identifying himself as a Paleoconservative was very enlightening to me. I better understand now why we can not quite come to terms on this issue. The nature of a democracy is by nature to become more and more liberal to the point of tyranny, I very well understand that and now I better understand your point of view the question is how do we remedy this natural evolution in our civilization. I think the answer is to have discussions like this and continue to push back against it and when an opportunity presents itself to change what must be changed we do it.

    Unfortunately the lure of easy money and liberal happy talk BS has its sway with the public.

  • t-dub

    What ever happened to the signs on stores that said “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone?” Or “No shirt, no shoes, no service” Just because you own a business that is open to the public does not mean anyone can FORCE you to do anything. Its absolutely ridiculous. If I refuse service to someone then I take the risk of losing their money and everyone they talk to. But it is MY business to lose if I wish. Whats next? Force doctors to work for free so ObamaCare will be financially viable?

  • Edward

    > My judgement …

    is only judgment. She has rights. So, now you are saying that judgment trumps rights.

    > … whether someone must leave my store is not arbitrary as you state it is based on reasonable and established criteria for behavior in that particular venue.

    And that is different for this shopkeeper … how? You still refuse to allow her her Constitutional rights. How are you missing that? Have you read the Constitution? [Rhetorical question. I suspect you haven’t since grade school. This one has “footnotes” to help understand the language and concepts presented in the Constitution, which my own grade school teacher wasn’t good at: http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html I found the “footnotes” enlightening]

    The mere fact that the couple could have gone to another shop confirms the unjust nature of the ruling against the shopkeeper. It is not as though she could retain her beliefs and values by likewise going to another religion. It is not as though she could retain her values by violating them by participating in the couple’s wedding.

    > Don’t bother answering, I know the answer

    Actually, you don’t. You only presume to know the answer. There are several reasons why you could easily be wrong, but that isn’t the point of this discussion, so let’s skip it and move on.

    > From the article “personal ruin”. That is the opinion of the person writing the article not the statement of the court.

    Actually, the summary judgment resulted in a lien on her home, business, and other assets. The loss of all those things sounds to me like personal ruin. What is your definition of personal ruin? [Rhetorical question, I really don’t care.] Oh, and while the judgment and lien are in place, she is severely limited in her ability to finance and operate her business. She cannot sell these assets, nor can she use them to secure loans. She could end up going out of business while she waits for the appeal — oh, that’s right, the summary judgment *was* the appeal.

    > The woman who is in business dealing with the public has chosen to put herself in a superior position where she says whether she will or will not do business based, in this case, upon HER religious beliefs. She is superior related to being equal and has a higher responsibility.

    And your behavior-based criterion at your company does not violate you being in a “superior” position to your customers?

    There was no requirement that they buy flowers from her, or that they buy flowers at all. She is definitely *not* in a position to make demands. They could have bought from any other flower shop, as you have noted.

    If you mean that her rights to free religion is superior to their being offended, well, if she can’t exercise her rights, then her rights aren’t as superior as you think. If that is not what you meant:

    She is *not* in a superior position, as the public chooses to enter her establishment, she does not get to drag then in and make them become her customers.

    Further, even the court’s summary judgment has placed the customer in the superior position, the position of her customers being able to require her to violate her religion, values, and beliefs, just for the sake of retaining her business, yet she has absolutely no way to require them to violate their own. By supporting the summary judgment, you even put the customer in the superior position. The tradition of “the customer is always right” even puts the customer in the superior position. The ability of the customer to walk out of the shop without making a purchase keeps the customer in the superior position. The economics of owning a business – the requirement to make sales – puts the customer in the superior position, as she absolutely must make sales from someone, and every customer turned away is lost business.

    And you would deny her her Constitutional rights and even the right to discriminate based upon behavior (which you keep for yourself, and she has not exercised), which were the only things that gave her equality in her position. Once she is forced to deal with *all* customers, she is inferior in *all* ways.

    You keep arguing as though she discriminated against them because they were gay. She did not. They were not new customers, she knew they were gay as she served them before, and she had served them even in this instance. She merely refused to go one step further and violate her own right to freely practice her religion. There is absolutely, positively no Constitutional clause, law, regulation, commerce code, government rule, or other requirement that she violate her religious practices and participate in someone else’s ritual in order to own or operate a business. You have failed to show one, but instead insist that it is there only because you say so.

    > All businesses operate under the state laws within in which they find themselves

    Except that this is not a state law, it is a brand new, untried, untested, unconstitutional court summary-judgment. At best, it is “case law,” which bypasses the American system of checks and balances, which explains the unconstitutional nature of this non-law. What we call case law is nothing more than (mis)interpretations of existing law.

    Not all laws are just. Don’t bother arguing as though just because there is a law then it is just and must be followed. Some laws should be overturned. Jim Crow laws and slavery (lawful before emancipation) are examples of unjust laws. They should have been and were argued against. They should have been and were overturned. This unjust summary-judgment non-law should likewise be overturned in favor of upholding the US Constitution and the freedoms it protects.

    There are plenty of unconstitutional laws, which are not direct extensions of the US Constitution. The ACA, which determines how we are to spend our own hard-earned money, was even (mis)interpreted by the US Supreme Court to be Constitutional instead of being overturned; you have already expressed your disapproval of that law. Thus, please do not treat all laws, such as this non-law, as just.

    But instead of recognizing the unjust, unconstitutional, and illegal nature of this summary judgment, you defend it tooth and nail.

    > The purpose of the courts is to in this case arbitrate an equal rights case

    No, the purpose of the courts in *all* cases is to arbitrate *genuine* disputes, not “to make an example of the flower lady.” When the government is employed to exact revenge (even on a religion) then its purpose, fairness, and indifference have been compromised. It has taken sides and is actively persecuting people of religious beliefs, against the very foundations of this great nation and the Constitution of the United States of America. That you not only fail but refuse to see this is further evidence of just how far you have fallen down the hole of tyranny.

    Follow the light. Climb back out of this evil hole. Come back to the land of the free. I am begging you to make the effort, overcome the obstacles, and avoid the easy path back into the darkness. If you fall again, try again. I am here to catch you, if you fall. I am offering a “rope” here to help you climb out and back to the light of freedom. Please grab hold and climb. Climb for your rights and your liberty.

    It may look like candy, down below, but the hole you have fallen down leads to no good. We have been warned many times about this hole. It is lined with good intentions. We have seen it many times in history, even recent history (have you seen Venezuela recently?), and we must learn from that history about this hole. Going down, with gravity, is the easier path than going up, against gravity, and back to freedom, but up is the right way to go.

    Join the defense of — not the attack on — the US Constitution. Washington state, its Attorney General, and one of its judges are on the attack, yet you defend them – the evil ones – instead of defending the Constitution and freedom.

    To help understand the spot that you are in, please read this poem out loud (in paraphrase of Niemöller):

    First the totalitarians came for the 1%ers, but I didn’t speak out, because I wasn’t a 1%er.
    Then they came for the religious, but I didn’t speak out, because I wasn’t religious.
    Then the DHS came for the veterans,* but I didn’t speak out, because I wasn’t a veteran.
    Then they came for the Republicans, but I didn’t speak out, because I disagreed with the Republicans.
    Then they came for the Libertarians, but I didn’t speak out, because I disagreed with the Libertarians.
    Then they came for me, but there wasn’t anyone left brave enough to speak out.

    Or maybe this one will help:
    First the totalitarians took ownership of the auto industry, but I didn’t speak out, because I didn’t run an auto company.
    Then they took control of the financial industry, but I didn’t speak out, because I didn’t run a financial company.
    Then they took control of the medical industry, but I didn’t speak out, because I didn’t run a medical company.
    Then they took control of the food industry, but I didn’t speak out, because I didn’t run a food company.
    Then they took control of the wedding industry, but I didn’t speak out, because I didn’t run a wedding company.
    Then they took control of the internet industry, but I didn’t speak out, because I didn’t run an internet company.
    Then they came for my company, but there wasn’t anyone left to speak out.

    * per Janet Napolitano’s 2009 report

  • Cotour

    “What ever happened to the signs on stores that said “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone?”

    http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/restaurants-right-to-refuse-service.html

    Again we are dealing with real people in real businesses in the real America, there is a general and reasonable expectation for people to be able to avail themselves of the kind of open to the public business services and products offered as long as the person comports themselves in a reasonable way and is not a walking health hazard. If you are drunk you do not go into a liquor store, if you are rowdy and creating a dangerous situation you can not bring that where ever you want, if you have no shirt or shoes you are considered a threat to others heath in a food service environment, you can be turned away because the owner had cause.

    Do these reasonable general rules really offend you? If your child needed a specific medicine and the local pharmacy did not want to sell you the antibiotic that your child needed because you had long hair and it was 2AM and the next pharmacy was 200 miles away, what would you do? He does not like you, you can not buy what you must have.

    We are all individually equal under the law, under the Constitution and the local and state laws we all live under.
    If an individual freely chooses to endeavor to open a kind of open to the public business where people can walk in to the venue and select or order what ever the business sells and acts in a reasonable way what does someones religion or their sexual orientation or hair length have to do with whether or not you will serve them?

    In addition the person who as an individual is equal to all others under the law opens that business and by doing that becomes the ultimate judge of what is reasonable and what is not reasonable behavior, they have made themselves superior in equality to everyone who might enter their venue and that becomes a responsibility.

    The issue on the board is that the Constitution ensures the peoples individual freedoms, and for the most part the people are generally equal until someone makes themselves more equal and attains the power to refuse another their right to reasonably and freely participate in commerce.

    While the evolution of civilization marches on the other problem is that it is more and more marching to the beat of the lefts drum which is the nature of a democracy and this I agree is a real problem but recreating the past where you are refused your child’s medicine because of some arbitrary rule is not where we all really want to wind up.

  • Edward

    > there is a general and reasonable expectation for people to be able to avail themselves

    Yet you think that it is perfectly acceptable that we no longer have a reasonable expectation to avial ourselves of the right to freedom of religion. Somehow, expectations (reasonable or not) must now trump the Constitutionally protected freedom to practice religion. The list of things that you want to trump the Constitution grows continually. Are you sure that you consider this an important document, because it seems to go out the window, for you, with great ease.

    > Do these reasonable general rules really offend you?

    Who cares? We are not protected from offence, otherwise unreasonable positions, like yours, Cotour, would have been outlawed about the time that Evelyn Beatrice Hall coined the phrase, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” *This* Is the value of liberty. You see, back then, the Constitution and liberty were important, in this country, and you would have been required to conform to them — if it had been Constitutional to control your thoughts and speech. But instead, liberty and the First Amendment trump the offence that your position gives to people who believe in liberty and the First Amendment.

    If we are not free to have opposing views, then you *must* believe as I do. Instead, I only *request* that you believe in freedom, too, and I hope to coax you into a position of freedom for all, not tyranny. I do not go to the courts to force you to believe in liberty. You have the right to offend me with your unreasonable viewpoint and your straw man arguments that fail to address the shopkeeper’s rights. Straw man arguments that suggest that she refused to serve them because of their behavior, not because she did not want to violate her religion by participation in their behavior.

    This is a very, very different matter, which you have completely failed to address, and apparently which you have failed to accept as the case under discussion. She did not refuse to serve, she refused to participate, to violate her religion.

    But, wait; I reject your assertion that the loss of our Constitutionally protected rights is reasonable. How do you defend that it is reasonable for the shopkeeper to lose her Constitutionally protected rights?

    > for the most part the people are generally equal until someone makes themselves more equal and attains the power to refuse another their right to reasonably and freely participate in commerce.

    This is precisely what the gay couple did when they hijacked the power of the government to remove the flower shop girl’s rights from her. Now the state demands that she no longer freely participate in commerce, that the price she must pay is the loss of her values, of her right to freely practice her religion.

    No matter how you try to explain it, your position is unfair.

    How do you not see this?

    > If your child needed a specific medicine and the local pharmacy did not want to sell you the antibiotic that your child needed because you had long hair and it was 2AM and the next pharmacy was 200 miles away, what would you do?

    Straw man argument. You, allow yourself to refuse service to those whose behavior you disagree with (apparently it is that only *you* are reasonable). Yet for the actual case under discussion, someone protecting their own Constitutional rights (which is far, far beyond the case your straw man presents, a mere “oh, I don’t like your hair” case), you insist that some minor bad feeling or minor inconvenience trumps the most important of Constitutionally guaranteed rights. According to you, the Constitution applies only when it is convenient for it to apply, as though the First Amendment says “freedom unless someone is mildly inconvenienced or feels offended, then you are SOL.”

    (You have said that rights are not absolute, yet you imply that the pharmacy customer’s rights *are* absolute. So, does that mean that the pharmacy must supply the medicine even if it is out of stock?)

    This is NOT a case of refusal of service because the shopkeeper didn’t like something or anything about the customer. It is not a case of mere inconvenience to the customer. This IS a case of refusal to violate herself by participating against her values. Religion and business are not mutually exclusive, yet that is how you would have it. It is a case of respecting Constitutionally protected rights over someone being ever so mildly inconvenienced by having to walk down the street to another florist.

    *sigh*

    I know that it is dark down that hole, so if you can’t see the light anymore, follow the sound of my voice, Cotour. Return to a position of freedom from tyranny.

  • Cotour

    If I make myself superior to you we are no longer equal. What happened to your right to freely participate in commerce? My religious beliefs should not be used to judge and limit you in a situation where I have made myself superior to you.

    If we were able to question the founders about how they imagined their social experiment would evolve I am certain that they would be disappointed if their intent of individual freedom would have resulted in people using their freedom to limit their fellow Americans freedoms.

    Its the end of the page, we will continue this conversation in the future.

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