WHEN GOVERNMENT BECOMES THE PROBLEM

Crassus crucified 6,000 of Spartacus's followers on the road between Rome and Capua. 1878 painting by Fedor Andreevich Bronnikov
Crassus crucified 6,000 of Spartacus‘s followers on the road between Rome and Capua. 1878 painting by Fedor Andreevich Bronnikov (from here)

Slavery is an old and recurring bane of mankind. Even as we imagine we have grown out of it, some of us still try to put down and control others. Hence some people have almost turned our republic upside down. Sadly, many people don’t even realize the extent to which they have lost the freedoms Americans once enjoyed.

Therefore, when tildeb left this comment at this post, DISCRIMINATION BY GOVERNMENT, I decided to use it illustrate the point.

tildeb says:
April 1, 2015 at 1:22 pm

The principle remains the same about selling in the public domain: you cannot discriminate on private domain reasons. This was the heart of the case whereby white restauranteurs refused service to black customers. All the rest of your comment about the Left neither addresses the principle at stake nor why protecting arbitrary discrimination by law is harmful. This issue isn’t about Left and Right, Democrat and Conservative differences of philosophy and politics; to steer it in that direction is a diversion. The issue is about the principle of equality law and either maintaining it in practice or subverting it under the guise of ‘religious freedom’ in this particular case.

‘s comment ended a string of four, the best of which was Keith DeHavelle‘s (here). In fact, ‘s comment may be better than this post. Please read it.

Now think what it means to operate a private business.  If you own the business, you get to decide how to run that business. You get to decide who you serve and how you will serve the people you serve. Isn’t that the whole point of owning your own business?

If customers are happy with your choices, they pay you. Otherwise, those customers discriminate against you, and they don’t use your business. That’s the risk you take.

But what if we take ‘s comment to the logical extreme? Discrimination is wrong, right? What gives customers the right to discriminate? Well, don’t worry. With Obamacare, our government has now established a huge precedent. Our wiser than the rest of us politicians can now tell us how to discriminate in our purchasing choices.  Gosh! Don’t they already tell us what kind of light bulbs, toilets, and cars we can buy?

Seriously. Discrimination is not evil. Every time we make a decision, we discriminate between the options presented us. Discrimination becomes a serious issue when people discriminate for the wrong reasons. However, when as a private citizens we discriminate stupidly, we lose customers or we waste our money. As individuals or as private companies, we cannot force someone else to pay the price of our stupid decisions.

When is discriminating stupidly a real problem? That happens when the government discriminates. Government can force one group of people to pay the price of another group’s stupid decisions.  Slavery, for example — the tyranny of one group people over another — is government sponsored discrimination. When busybody politicians insist upon being our consciences, punishing private citizens just for disagreeing with their beliefs, that is the first step in enslavement. When we are forced to follow the dictates of someone else’s conscience, they have enslaved us. Unless we are prepared to accept being punished, we must do what those busybodies want us to do.

So what about those Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) laws that states have been passing, the topic of DISCRIMINATION BY GOVERNMENT? Are they all about discriminating against homosexuals?  No.

So far the Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never worked as a defense for Christian bakers embroiled in lawsuits over gay weddings, but for a handful of Apache, Muslim and Sikh plaintiffs, it’s been a godsend.

Critics of Indiana’s newly signed RFRA — joined Tuesday by the Arkansas legislature’s passage of a similar bill — have warned that the law provides a “license to discriminate” against gay and transgender people, although that hasn’t been the case in the 22 years since President Bill Clinton signed the federal RFRA in 1993 or in 19 states that passed similar laws before Indiana.

Instead, the federal law allowed Abdul Muhammad, a Muslim prisoner in Arkansas, to grow a half-inch beard. Thanks to the Texas RFRA, Adriel Arocha, a Lipan Apache kindergartner, was permitted to wear his hair long. Kawal Tagore won her case against the Internal Revenue Service after being fired for carrying a kirpan, a small knife worn to remind Sikhs of their commitment to justice. (continued here)

Nevertheless, same-sex “marriage” is a device homosexuals use to punish people who disapprove of their perverse sex activity. These people apparently believe that only they have the right to decide how the rest of us should discriminate in our choices, and they are hysterically afraid some baker, florist, or caterer might refuse to endorse their perversions. Hence, to protect their “rights” to practice their sexual perversions, they would deny everyone their first amendment rights.

44 thoughts on “WHEN GOVERNMENT BECOMES THE PROBLEM

  1. I find that last paragraph extremely strange, Tom. You state that homosexual marriage is a device to punish folks who disapprove of homosexual activity. How does that work? If a gay couple commits to a monogamous relationship, how does that “punish” me? It doesn’t throw me in prison, put me to hard labour, tear out my fingernails. I don’t even know these guys and what they do is of no relevance to my life. They require nothing of me. These relationships have been going on for years now, and not one of them has ever impinged on my liberty interests or in any way interfered with any of my constitutional rights. I imagine that is true for the rest of the population also. I have never heard anything to the contrary.

    Byt the way,while I’m at it, what’s with this “endorsement of perversions”? Is there some sort of document that people are required to sign? I don’t think that’s a real world phenomenon.

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    1. “It doesn’t throw me in prison, put me to hard labour, tear out my fingernails.”

      There’s a woman right now facing huge fines and a potential jail sentence for refusing to sell flowers for a gay wedding.

      “These relationships have been going on for years now, and not one of them has ever impinged on my liberty interests or in any way interfered with any of my constitutional rights..’

      We’ve never had gay marriage before. Do gays have the right to force churches to marry them? Businesses to serve them? Landlords to rent to them? Do they have a right to get people fired who don’t approve of them? Do they have the right to shut your business down as was done in Oregon? Yes to all these things. That is precisely what is happening all over the country.

      Taking all morality out of the picture, these are still dangerous legal precedents to wade into.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I think insanitybytes22 explains the legal issues well enough.

      Same-sex “marriage” is not marriage. If it does not bother you to pretend same-sex “marriage” is marriage, that is your problem, but not everyone wants to pretend that it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tom
    Welcome to 14th amendment citizenship in the collectivist states of america.
    Not what the founders had in mind at all.
    -michael

    Liked by 1 person

  3. in my opinion, government should get out of the marriage business. If a couple wants to marry and take a vow to God, let them take their vows in their church . Let the government only licence a lawyer to draw up the marriage contract.

    This problem is taking up too much lawmakers time in our nation at a time when there are a lot more problems that need attention. Who really cares anymore who a person marries if they are of legal age?. Only their parents and family need be concerned. and care. Let them resolve their own differences of opinion, morals, etc. not the whole nation.

    If a business won’t service my marriage ceremony because of who I want to marry? I cannot answer. That is a different issue than marriage and is only being swollen our of proportion because government is involved in marriage..

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

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    1. Family law is a gigantic area of law practice, and involves everything from divorce to adoption to child support to alimony to property transfers to estate distribution through probates, trusts, and family corporations. In addition, other areas from healthcare to employment to insurance (of many kinds) to various other benefits and resources are connected to and shared by families. All of that is affected by marriage, and much of this law has built-in assumptions about the gender of the participants.

      There is, currently, massive re-writing of family law going on and new precedents being set every day. It is not possible to take this huge area of law practice and just say “lawyers stay out!” And the (unintended?) consequences of the current changes will resound through this area for a long time.

      Nor will it be settled law anytime soon; already, some are pushing for polygamy even before same-sex marriage has stabilized.

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I sympathize with the notion of the government getting out of the marriage business, but I think you are missing Keith’s point. If government is to fulfill its function, then family law must remain part of the government’s business.

      Consider why you would even consider getting government out of the marriage business. That is because government is making a mess of what it is suppose to do. Is government messing up because government is in the marriage business? No. Because the people we have elected to run our government are so corrupt, government cannot properly define marriage.

      My point is that the problem is that our government is corrupt. Because government is corrupt, it cannot properly fulfill its responsibilities with respect to family law. To fix the problem, we must elect good people. We don’t have another option.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Problem is that once a law is passed, good or bad, it very seldom is repealed. Kieth is right about family law being now so complicated and even convoluted in my opinion in regards to what next will be lawful in regards to marriage, and the result of marriage which is family. No one will believe or follow laws anymore because they may believe the laws are not moral. Heck of a way to run a country.

        In the same spirit of “Give to Cesar what is Cesar’s and give to God what is God’s”:……..make a vow to God in marriage, and make an contract agreement with a lawyer to resolve family issues that are the result of a person not fulfilling their marriage vows, or contracts..

        Regards and goodwill blogging.

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        1. @scatterwisdom

          Messes of the sort we are in take decades to develop and decades to undo.

          Think about how we got into this mess. Generations of Americans let the government educate their children. We let government redistribute our wealth. We stop keeping the government our of our economy. Now the crony capitalism has gotten so bad the news media has grown more concerned about manipulating public opinion than it is about making a profit.

          All we can do is commit ourselves to fixing the problem as best we can. We begin by fixing ourselves and committing our lives to Jesus Christ.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. hmmmm I find this issue complicated with both sides not considering the consequences of each others actions.

    I always find it interesting people’s opposition to the 14th amendment which was created to protect those who were freed from bondage de jure from states creating de facto slavery. Those same folks are most likely also against the civil rights act of 1866, applauded its defeat within the courts and cursed the day LBJ signed another bill in 1964. If one wants to view the diminishment of state’s right at least be honest and accept the cause and effect was created by a more complicated geopolitical nature within the 19th century. The Southern attempting to expand Slavery 1850s, Dred Scott, The seizing of federal post offices, banks, and forts in the south, the violation of Social Contract law in regards to secession, the Davis orders to fire on Ft. Pickens at will, the shot fired on Sumter, Jim Crow laws, etc.

    Regardless, there must be a protection of religious freedom; however, does same-sex marriage threaten people’s ability to worship? What religious person has lost the ability to worship their God? Is this freedom not inherent in our first amendment rights? Are gays fighting the same fight as those who protested at Lunch counters? Should those businesses have been shutdown?

    An action, that any citizen chooses, so long as it does not harm any other individual should coincide with the principles of liberty. One may be disgusted; however, there are no special ‘rights’ for those who could be offended. This is an issue that the progressive has a problem with articulating, it’s vastly concerned with making others adjust to their offense being taken, yet when they offend others, it’s too bad.

    This generates, in my opinion, the real conflict. The progressive is too partisan to see it.

    Just thoughts to add a log to the fire.

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  5. Tom, I will also give you a chance to clarify yourself here, because I see on your other post that there’s an effort to claim the Indiana law has nothing to do with discrimination of services.

    Now if that’s true, why are you attempting to justify that, “Discrimination is not evil.”

    I think one could argue that your analogy of choosing to purchase preferred products over other is discrimination is a play on words. Discrimination, in the definition carries the connotation of being ‘unjust’, because it deals with interactions with human beings. Preferring to buy a coke over a pepsi, is not the same as you’re choosing over inanimate objects.

    Again, perhaps you can clarify.

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    1. @phadde2

      Amendment I

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      What the First Amendment is about is preventing the Federal Government from interfering with some of our rights, including the right to exercise our religious beliefs. The 14th Amendment extended that protection. The 14th Amendment prevents state governments from abridging the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.

      Nowhere does the Constitution give government the power to be our conscience. Instead, the Constitution exists to prevent us from interfering with each others rights.

      Put the problem in perspective. If someone walks into a store without shoes or a shirt, the storekeeper can refuse service. If that same someone walks into a store, and he wants the owner to cater a same-sex marriage, the owner can’t refuse? Why not? Whose life depends on a particular guy catering their wedding?

      We survive by discriminating properly. That includes discriminating about such things as the food we eat, the company we keep, and what we consider ethical. The First Amendment prohibits the Federal Government and 14th Amendment prohibits the states from interfering the People’s right practice their religious beliefs and to choose the company they keep (the right of the people peaceably to assemble).

      If it violates someone’s religious beliefs to support a same-sex marriage, it is also thoroughly idiotic to make them do so. What person in their right mind would want their wedding reception catered by someone who detests their wedding? Do they want everyone poisoned? What fool would insist upon the presence of a photographer who detests their wedding? Is that guy is going to be pleasant and take pictures anyone would want to keep?

      When people make a big huge fuss about being refused service for their wedding, they don’t care about their wedding. What they want is vengeance. What they want to do is to violate the rights of people who believe what they are doing is sinful.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Note the RFRAs have not been successfully used to defend business people who have refused homosexuals services for their “marriages”? These laws have been used successfully other ways, but not that way. We have too many Liberal judges, and homosexual activists apparent worry the pendulum will eventually start swinging the other way. I hope so.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I read an opinion in the Chicago Tribune today that makes sense to me about any business that does not want to cater to someone or something for religious reasons. It stated an Oklahoma law that requires any business to post on their web sights, promotional materials, or entrance who they who they they will deny service to for religious freedom.. This will spare each party from humiliation of being denied when they search for a service. This equalizes the equation, both get an opportunity to discriminate from each other for their own morals or religious beliefs.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

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    1. @scatterwisdom

      Thank you for the comment. That is an interesting idea, and I don’t think it is a particularly bad one. Nonetheless, I think it skates around the problem.

      What is the problem? When none is needed, we have way too much government involvement.

      The government exists to protect our rights, not to protect our feelings. Yet we have jackasses screaming discrimination and trying to shut down businesses just because they were politely refused service.

      Imagine walking into a place of business. The owner does not share your religious beliefs. You don’t know the owner, but you have looked at some of his work, and you are impressed. He is a photographer, and you want him to take some pictures for a book you are writing to promote your religion. He refuses, and his refusal hurts your feelings. What are you going to do, sue him? Of course not. You will just keep looking.

      Some of our disputes just don’t require government involvement. When a business refuses service, even if it hurts somebody’s feelings, do a bunch of lawyers need to get involved? No.

      When a business refuses to provide service, unless the person refused can show both that they had a legitimate expectation of service (a contract) and that the absence of that service caused them real harm, why does the government has to be involved? When government involvement is more likely to cause strife than not, why would we want the government involved?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right about too much government involvement.
        Marriage issues have evolved into a civil rights law violations rather than a vow of commitment of love between two consenting adults. If marriage was a tort matter, and the gay couple pressed the lawsuit under tort law, the judge would award them an amount of the damage they lost when they were denied services of a florist or photographer. So how much monetary damage did the gay couple suffer and be awarded for hurt feelings?
        But because government has declared gay marriage as a civil rights matter, the whole matter changed from hurt feelings into a national travesty and a government threat to shut down the businesses by bankrupting them with heavy penalty fines and monetary awards to the gay couple. The Supreme Court is even now involved in a marriage controversy.
        The national news is mesmerized with the subject, laws and opinions are causing divisiveness and marching in the streets. Religious rights activists are enraged, gays are enraged, and the news mass media is pounding war drums around the nation. A national travesty in my opinion, all because the government is entangled in the marriage business and not doing a very good job when you consider the high rate of divorces occurring in the USA. i
        Nothing in the Constitution states government should be involved in marriage, so I say let us dissolve government out the marriage business and let everyone deal with their own personal matters of who they want to marry.

        Regards and goodwill blogging.

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        1. Well, I will admit that what our government is doing with respect to marriage right now, is almost worst than useless. So I cannot fault either your persistence or your good intentions.

          Thanks for commenting.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I do not understand why my Christian brothers and sisters are making an issue out of serving homosexual couples, or whomever for that matter. Why? What is more important? Conscience or preaching the Gospel of Christ? Last I checked, the Word of God declares that all people are sinners and deserve Hell. The remedy? The Gospel of Christ. I, personally, would lay aside my conscience and minister the Gospel. Hypothetically speaking, if I owned a bakery and a homosexual couple requested to have a wedding cake, I would not deny the homosexual couple service. I would fulfill the request and preach the Gospel of Christ. Amendment I protects offensive speech, and the Gospel of Christ is offensive to some, so I would take the opportunity to preach the Gospel. What would the homosexual couple do to me? Sue me for preaching the Gospel? Amendment I does not protect positive speech; instead, it was installed to protect offensive speech. That is what I would do if I owned a bakery and a homosexual couple requested a cake — preach to the Gospel of Christ. Just my two cents.

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    1. @Matthew

      That’s not an entirely unreasonable proposal, but I don’t think it solves the basic problem. What you are getting at, I think, is why such choices should be personal choices. The Apostle Paul addresses this issue a couple of places in the Bible. If it offends our conscience to do something (or not to do something), and we offend our conscience, we sin.

      If your conscience did not trouble you when you provide support for a same-sex “wedding” (because you preached the Gospel), then I suppose you would not have sinned. And I must admit I think I might find it amusing if a caterer managed to provide services for a same-sex “wedding” reception in such a manner as to make it clear the participants were sinning. However, our actions should be in accord with our words. So I suspect that when a business owner received a check for his services his conscience would trouble him.

      Let’s carry the matter a step further. You are a doctor. You deliver babies, and you oppose abortion. What if a woman comes to you and demands an abortion? What are you going to do? Will you give her the abortion she wants while you preach the Gospel to her? Of course not. You will refuse, but she may still sue claiming you have no right to refuse her legitimate medical services.

      Does that sound farfetched? With the fanatics we have running the government these days, it is only a matter of time. Soon judges will ignore any doctor’s claim that providing someone an abortion (or even certain contraceptive drugs) violates their conscience. When the only conscience that matters is Big Brother’s, exercising one’s own conscience makes one an enemy of the people.

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    2. Once again, I find myself in complete agreement with Matthew. Christians attach no particular religious significance to selling cake. It is not a religious activity. If one wants to testify against same sex marriage, nothing in America stops one from doing so. We do have restrictions, however, on denying people commerce. But sell the cake, and testify for true doctrine if you are so inclined.

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      1. We have restrictions on denying the sale of cake to people? Where is that in the Constitution?

        What people attach religious significance to depends upon what those people believe, not what someone else thinks they ought to believe. One of the ceremonies of Christian churches is based upon bread and wine. No one attaches religious significance to either bread or wine? I understand judges even allowed some Indians to attach religious significance to eagle feathers. And there is almost always cake at a wedding and bit of ceremony about sharing that first slice.

        More to the point, however, is that marriage is a religious act. Much of the ceremony that surrounds the act of marriage is affirmation that the community gives to a marriage. When bakers, caterers, photographers, florists, and so forth refuse commerce with those seeking affirmation for a same-sex “marriage”, these people refuse to give their affirmation. That is what upset the homosexual activists, and you may as well stop pretending about that too.

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        1. Tom – I would like to assume that when you absurdly distort things I say that you do it because you have trouble thinking clearly, not because you intentionally exaggerate. The former condition is beyond your control. The latter can only be explained through a deliberate unwillingness to engage substantively in discussions that you start with your posts.

          Cake-selling is not a religious exercise (at least not in any religion of which I am aware). Matthew’s point, which I thought was quite sound, was that the correct religious response for a merchant who feels compelled by religious principles to oppose integration, or same-sex marriages, or left-handedness or women who don’t wear burkas, or women who do wear burkas or whatever thing it is that appears to be contrary to the merchant’s religious doctrine, is to witness and have a word with the misguided soul.

          Merchants who sell paper napkins, cakes, flowers, whatever to people who use them at weddings are not engaged in religious acts or in any way “blessing” the marriage. Heaven knows that there are despicably bad heterosexual marriages taking place all the time that merchants don’t decline to provide products for.

          By the way, as a practicing Christian, I was more than a little aware of the bread and wine sacraments. You needn’t have brought that to my attention. It has no relevance to our discussion in this thread.

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        2. I asked a simple question.

          We have restrictions on denying the sale of cake to people? Where is that in the Constitution?

          Predictably, you were non-responsive. It seems you want the power to impose your beliefs on others, but that power does not exist in the Constitution. However, that does not stop you from simply assuming the government has a power we have no good reason to give it.

          Since you did not answer that question, I will ask another. How do two people of the same sex consummate their “marriage”? What kind of exaggeration does it require to say that two people of the same sex can consummate their “marriage”?

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        3. Happy Easter, scout.

          You recently railed against Citizen Tom for using the phrase “feeble minded” — although you misunderstood his reference. But before, and after, and as recently as this comment, you constantly impugn the intelligence of Citizen Tom and others as a rhetorical technique.

          I know you pretty well, or at least the image you have abundantly demonstrated through hundreds of comments here and on other sites. I know your techniques, your style, and your habits. Clearly, you do not actually believe that Citizen Tom has “trouble thinking clearly,” you’re just using this to, as usual, cloud the issues with a puff of foul-smelling ink. Nor do you believe that he has mental defects “beyond [his] control” as you’ve stated above and alluded to on dozens of previous occasions.

          It is, in my opinion, an asinine and ill-considered argumentative approach.

          Just address the issues. Don’t use insults to intelligence to avoid the issues or dance around them. I’d suggest that you use the occasion of Easter to apologize for these insults and commit to avoiding this technique in the future. Make a fresh start. I’m not suggesting that you must change your opinions, of course; it is useful to have someone here presenting the progressive Left’s take on things in an articulate way. But you lose the value of your articulation by using it to impugn, malign, and distract instead of answer. If you don’t like an answer by Citizen Tom, or me, or anyone else, simply say so, and tell why. Don’t pretend to assume that they are mentally challenged. Don’t pretend to mental challenges or confusion yourself. Strike these standard tricks from your repertoire.

          To the issue at hand: You’ve stated flatly that “[c]ake-selling is not a religious exercise.” But it is not for you to make such flat pronouncements, and there is legal precedent that disagrees with you. And for good reason: What you describe as “cake-selling” involves more than that; it requires preparing and decorating what will become the central piece of a ceremony that the preparer might explicitly object to. You may not have a problem with it, but your sensibilities and beliefs are not at issue here.

          Should every person who voiced objection to the Memories Pizza folks’ practice be required to buy a pie from them, on the notion that private enterprise is now subject to government control and people may not themselves choose who to decide not to do business with? It is not so absurd. Note that even the Memories Pizza folks did not refuse to do business with gays; they freely offered to sell to gays as to any others. It was catering of a specific event, when they object to the event itself, that was the issue, not avoiding commerce with any persons or class of person.

          The commentary and legislative proposals in reaction to such doings are troubling. It appears that legislators have decided that homosexuals are a protected class of persons, homosexual marriage is a protected event, but religious practitioners and their events evidently no longer enjoy Constitutional protection.

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Thank you for the comment.

          Memories Pizza. Think about that name. If our creep towards Socialism continues, government will be running the pizza parlors. An good pizza will soon only be a distant memory. But I suppose such is the desire of those who pay any price for equality.

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        5. It is intriguing that gay supporters, having finally achieved the end of sometimes violent bigotry, hatred, and forced compliance with tradition, have decided that violent bigotry and forced compliance is to be their new style of approach to Christians. And it is also intriguing that “gay supporters” in this case include the media and the instrumentalities of government, with rare exception.

          Tolerance — allowing people to believe what they wish and do business or not based upon their own beliefs — is not at all a concept supported by the Left. Tolerance seems exclusively a conservative notion in the US in practice, despite the frequent (and hollow) usage of the word by the Left.

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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        6. I prefer the word “forbearance” to “tolerance.” Here is the reason. When we tolerate something, like cold weather, no moral question is suggested. Forbearance, on the other hand, suggest a real disagreement. Yet the one who forbears concedes the right of the other to have it his own way.

          Of course, it is that very forbearance the homosexuals detest. They would deny Christians even the right to forbear with their sexual perversions. No. In the name of equality, we must all celebrate diversity.
          🙄

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  8. I know I sound like a broken record but, in my mind this whole issue wouldn’t have come into existance if the gvt still followed the principles of God’s Word. In spite of Matthew Vine’s perversion of the Scriptures, homosexuality is clearly recognized as a sin, actually an abomination, in the Scriptures.

    Our gvt has chosen to no longer follow the priniciples of Biblical morality in their lawmaking… this is where the whole problem begins. If the gvt would recognize that homosexuality is an unlawful union (just as adultery, fornication, incest, and beastiality) that should not be accepted in society we would not have gotten to this point in history. But sadly this is where we are at.

    We are a nation that has turned from God’s Word, beginning to feel the chastening hand of God, and yet surprised at all the moral confusion that is taking place around us. It is sad indeed. .

    All of these current events are simply a symptom of rebelling against Christ, and in doing so, has placed our nation on a steep downhill descent. History has shown us that other nations who have turned there backs on the Lord end in utter ruin. This is where our nation is headed.

    May we all be in prayer that the Lord might graciously intervene and grant our nation repentance. I believe it is our only hope.

    Lord bless you Tom. Have a blessed Easter weekend

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Rob Barkman

      What follows is a little background for your comment.

      Matthew Vines someone who calls himself a “gay” Christian, and he has written a book. I see no point in reading it, but I think we each need to know something about heresies we face => http://www.matthewvines.com/.

      Here is an article where someone refutes Vines’ arguments => https://carm.org/matthew-vines

      Is Vines having some success? Yes. He is having some success for the same reason some Christians think there is nothing wrong with abortion.
      1. We tend to believe what we want to believe.
      2. Many of us are ignorant of scripture. We don’t bother to read the Bible.
      3. Many do not believe the Bible is the Word of God. Even when someone tells us what the Bible says, we don’t consider it important.

      Note that I have had well educated people tell me that scripture does not say there is anything wrong with homosexuality. So I pointed out the passages that condemn homosexuality, and they had no response. They still approved of homosexuality, however. Why? They don’t really believe what the Bible says. Apparently, these people like the feel of Christianity, but they don’t care enough about Jesus to carefully read the Bible. That’s like enjoying the smell of good food, but never taking the time to eat it. Without proper nourishment, we die.

      Thank you for your comment. Happy Easter to you and yours!

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      1. Thanks for adding the info on Vines..

        I agree with you 100% There are many people (including many of our gvt leaders) who do not know and do not care about what the Bible says, nor do they see the need to submit to its teachings. That is the big issue that overrides all of these smaller issues we see taking place in today’s world.

        Lord bless you Tom and have a wonderful Easter weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. In regards to Tom’s statement about nourishment, there is another old saying. “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make the horse drink it.”

        Gotta somehow make ’em want to drink it when they get sick, even though it, water (truth) is sometimes a hard thing to swallow .

        Happy Easter, Regards and goodwill blogging.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Keith – perhaps Tom’s logic leaps make more sense to you than they do to me, but having witnessed many of them in response to some of my comments, I have come to the firm conclusion that he distorts purposefully to distract from the substance of what I have just said, or, alternatively and perhaps more forgivably, his emotions and ideological enchainments interfere with the clarity of his thought process. That’s a long way from his calling some unidentified person or persons “feeble-minded” and then avoiding queries about whom he was referring to. Tom leapt from my cake-selling observation to bread and wine at communion (Tom is or should be aware of the sacramental differences). That’s hardly a jump that can be explained rationally.

    But, in this particular case, I was making what I think is an objective, rational point that selling cakes (or, by extension, selling pizzas or Milk Duds, or hotel rooms or dining services at a restaurant) is not a religious activity. You and I are both old enough to have direct memories of opposition to integration in the South in the 1950s and 60s when a memorable battle cry was that integration was against religious principles and that Government could not force people to violate their profoundly held religious beliefs by forcing them to do business with African American citizens. The conclusion we came to as a Nation was that one’s religious beliefs are inviolate, but , when one elects to conduct commercial activities, one accepts the condition that one will serve all people indifferently. If one’s religion does not allow for that equality of commercial traffic, then one is free to abstain from entering commerce. One can also remain in that commercial stream and sell services and merchandise without discrimination, all the while believing that the Bible teaches that the races should remain separate. That philosophy, originally set forth in federal laws based on participation in interstate commerce, has been picked up at state and local levels across the country in similar anti-discrimination laws. (BTW, Tom asked where “cake-selling” is mentioned in the Constitution. As I have patiently tried to explain to him several times previously in many contexts, the Founders used general terms to describe the activities that they apportioned to the federal government. They wisely avoided particulars, and we can be very grateful that they would use a term like “commerce” as opposed to phone-book sized lists of occupations, objects, activities. They also used general terms referring to religious activities and beliefs instead of listing such items as “praying”, “genuflecting”, “preaching”, “baptising”, etc. etc. etc. If Tom thinks this issue swings on an explicit mention of “selling cakes” or “selling flowers” in the Constitution, then my concern about the clarity of his thought seems particularly well-founded. But I don’t think he really believes that, and that he is more intelligent than that – hence I assess that recurring gimmick as being a deliberate tactic).

    Back to the topic raised in the post: If Christians were being required by Government to marry same sex partners, to enter into same sex romantic relationships, officiate as clergymen at same-sex religious weddings, pledge fealty to the Pope in Rome, etc., then we’d have a true religious liberty issue. Of course these things have not happened, and cannot happen under our Constitution. If the owner of Memory Pizza were being required to enter a same-sex marriage, I’d say he merited our support (in point of fact, he’s not even being required to provide the pizzas for a same sex wedding, he just worries that he might be and has pre-emptively announced that he’s not about to do that). But he’s just selling pizza.

    Matthew offered a refreshing point seldom seen in these discussions – if your religion compels you to abjure same-sex relationships, when customers come to your commercial establishment, witness for your beliefs by talking to the customer about your concerns for their mortal souls. Whether done lovingly, as one expects of members of our Faith, or harshly, that speech is very much protected both as speech and religious expression and cannot be controlled by the State. (Good luck on getting the next gay customer to be the target of subsequent witness, but that’s just a commercial issue).

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    1. @scout

      Google “Christian work perspective”. When a Christian works he should be working as if he is working for God. When we work, we should be trying to do his will.

      Here is an example of what you can find.
      http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-171/gods-perspective-on-work

      For some reason, given what the Bible says about homosexuality, I don’t think God would think providing support for a same-sex “wedding” would be doing His will.

      If the people we have elected did not agree with you, what you have to say about the Constitution would be laughable.

      The conclusion we came to as a Nation was that one’s religious beliefs are inviolate, but , when one elects to conduct commercial activities, one accepts the condition that one will serve all people indifferently.

      That is not in the Constitution either. It is just something judges made up, and that is not what the Constitution authorizes them to do.

      Of course these things have not happened, and cannot happen under our Constitution.

      Why not? Because of abominable logic such as yours, legalistic as anything the Pharisees could have imagined, we are turning our republic into a bureaucratic tyranny. In time, instead of being able to do anything that does not violate our neighbor’s rights, we will each have to get permission from a bureaucrat to do anything. And how will we get there? Instead of understanding the government only has the right to do what the Constitution says it can do, we will have swallowed the lie that the government can do anything that the Constitution does not specifically say it cannot do. And, of course, the wise men and women who sit on Supreme Court seem less and less able to find anything the government cannot do. They just ignore the plain language of that document, and We the People don’t know what to do. We have been so well bought we don’t know to protest our own enslavement.

      Laugh, but remember what goes around comes around. Those legal shenanigans you gloat about using against others can just as easily be used against you.

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  10. I take it, then, Tom, you oppose the Civil Rights legislation of the 1960s and believe that a Christian (however misguided he may be about what his faith requires), should be allowed to decline to serve an African American at his lunch counter, or provide accommodations at his motel, or permit a black child to attend schools with white children, because he acts from a sincere religious impulse. The position you express in your last comment is indistinguishable from the position expressed in opposition to 1960s federal legislation by opponents invoking religious justifications to oppose civil rights legislation. Your position seems to be that every work-related activity that we engage in as Christians has religious, doctrinal, theological implications and thus is inviolate from regulation. I don’t see where you draw a line legally or consitutionally between those discredited anti-Civil rights positions and the idea that a cake seller can refuse to sell a cake because he doesn’t approve, for religious reasons, of his customer’s lifestyle.

    The constitutionality of federal measures requiring non-discrimination in the provision of accommodations has been well established for decades. They are not “enslavement” of any citizen, but a liberation of arbitrarily oppressed classes of citizens. That oppression sapped our national commercial strength and was morally wrong. I acknowledge your point that constitutional challenges are decided by the federal courts, but that’s how we do things around this country. My “pharisaical” , “abominable” logic is simply what we put in place centuries ago to make our Constitution work.

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    1. scout, you fuzz the issue as usual by making assertions and comparisons that are not true.

      First, you assert that religious freedom was the argument or an important argument against integration. Specifically, that someone would “decline to serve an African American at his lunch counter … because he acts from a sincere religious impulse.”

      But this was not the argument. The forced integration/civil rights movement opposition was not based upon religious freedom, it was cast as a federal versus state power issue. In other words, it was based upon “States’ Rights”; the famous Democrat Strom Thurmond’s 1948 speech against integration was also called the “States Rights Americans” speech.

      Secondly, you assert that the the issue raised to decline to cater a same-sex marriage is merely because “he doesn’t approve, for religious reasons, of his customer’s lifestyle.” But that is NOT the issue. Note, for example, the famous Memories Pizza case where they had no problem serving pizza to gay customers, who presumably were practicing their homosexual “lifestyle” (whatever you might conceive that term to mean) in their daily lives. Instead, the issue was being forced to participate in and enable a specific event that they objected to because their forced participation was offensive to their own practice of religion.

      By making the civil rights opposition seem to be religiously based, you attempt to tar the “overly religious” people that you regularly disdain as being the cause of mistreatment of blacks. And by making forced participation in ceremonies and events and acts that some find offensive mandatory, you try to recast the objections as merely being against someone’s “lifestyle.” So you busily argue against points that do not represent the issues at hand, while using the opportunity to make clear, one again, your sneering condescension toward those of deep faith.

      I have long been wryly amused that I, a lifelong atheist, demonstrably have more respect for those of deep faith than you do, who claim to be religious yourself. But of course, you also claim to be a conservative, and it doesn’t take long to see you demonstrate the abject falsehood in that claim.

      Speaking of famous Democrats, would you also insist that the owner of a printing press who happened to be gay should be forced to print signs for Fred Phelps’ group that proclaim “God Hates Fags”? Such a print shop owner would not even have a religious objection; merely one of lifestyle. What say you to this forced customer service?

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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    2. @scout

      Keith is correct in saying that you are fuzzing the issue. I suppose someone could claim a religious objection to serving blacks, but that is not the excuse people used.

      Nevertheless, when the government forces people to serve customers they don’t want to serve, there is a first amendment issue and a 13th amendment issue.

      The first amendment issue is that we have the right to associate with the people we want to associate with. When a private business does not to serve customers, that should be their choice. Unless the government is pressuring them to do it, how many private businesses are going to want to turn away paying customers? Not many.

      The 14th amendment issue is involuntary servitude. When government can force businesses to serve people they don’t want to serve, they are enslaving the people who own those businesses. Except when the public’s safety is involved, there is very little reason to do that.

      So what about the civil rights legislation in the 60’s? I think Federal Government had a good reason to stop state and local governments from discriminating based upon race. I don’t think the Constitution gives Congress any power to sanction private businesses that discriminate based upon race. At best that is a weird interpretation of the interstate commerce clause, and as I said, private businesses don’t have much reason to turn away paying customers. Their competition will just fill the gap, and that is punishment enough.

      In retrospect, I think Congress overstepped its authority. That has been happening a lot lately.

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