William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Status Of Christianity (And Pizza Parlours)

Crucifixion

On this day of ultimate sacrifice it’s well to ponder the state of our ancient religion. We’ll come to no firm conclusions—not in 750 words—but we have to start somewhere.

Muslims yesterday in Kenya ventured south into a school and asked students whether they were Christian. Those that affirmed were murdered, those that were Muslim were unmolested. Maybe 147 dead, more wounded. The Islamic State, claiming to be true Muslims, have been slaughtering (in the best Halal fashion), crucifying (a pun?), enslaving, torturing, and raping Christians throughout the Mideast and Nigeria. Nigeria? Boko Haram threw their lot in with ISIS a couple of weeks back.

When Western commentators can bring themselves to speak of these Muslims at all, they lean towards brief, sanitized recapitulations of the latest horrors, mostly leaving out religion, and by only sometimes calling the Muslims terrorists. Curiously, when one Western reporter discovers another has leaned on the Muslim trope too heavily, that first reporter will label the second “Islamaphobic.”

Kenyan security forces chased yesterday’s Muslim murderers and caught and killed a few. Soldiers from Chad and Niger shot a handful of Boko Haramites. ISIS is moving from triumph to triumph, though they’re meeting resistance here and there.

The Pope no longer commanding soldiers, and all of the world now citizens of States (excepting these new Muslim groups), and subject to strict control of these entities, Christians cannot fight as a group against its enemies. There will be no new Crusade. And the West, comprised of States which are rapidly becoming post-Christian, has decided there is no higher god than the State. They will not fight.

There is more. John Allen, not known for panicking, wrote the book The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution:

Underlying the global war on Christians is the demographic reality that more than two-thirds of the world’s 2.3 billion Christians now live outside the West, often as a beleaguered minority up against a hostile majority– whether it’s Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia, Hindu radicalism in India, or state-imposed atheism in China and North Korea. In Europe and North America, Christians face political and legal challenges to religious freedom.

Forcing Christians to participate in pretend same-sex “marriages” is the latest consuming cause. Post-Christians in the West have convinced themselves that if a private individual refuses to make pizzas for a same-sex gmarriage, the world would end. That sounds preposterous, but how else to explain the explosive unhinged insane reaction to Indiana?

In the name of Tolerance, progressives, like pea-brained sharks in a feeding frenzy, descended on a Christian-owned pizzeria threatening death—death—fire bombs, financial ruin, and more. These progressives pretend that if these four Christians were allowed their freedom, then the State would start writing laws that allowed “discrimination”. Elite progressives kept silent about these attacks, making them complicit.

Incidentally, the happy ending to Memories Pizza is that Christians have donated nearly half a million (and rising) to its owners.

The problem is the State. It is all there is to progressives. The State decides not only what is legal and illegal, but also right and wrong. It is the State which grants “rights”, not individuals who are endowed with freedom. The State is mother, the State is father. For post-Christians, there is no higher entity than the State. Individuals cannot be allowed to settle questions among themselves. That power belongs only to the State. The State is a religion, a god. And this must be so in the absence of any real god. The State is filling the seats vacated by Christianity.

The State is a jealous god. In Indiana, it looked as though the State would not get to decide what a pizzeria could or couldn’t do. That kind of freedom—autonomy from the State—is anathema to progressives, an affront against their religion. That is why progressives launched their offensive: carpet screech-bombing.

Yes, Screech Bombs. Whenever something happens which displeases progressives, or better, whenever something which they believe happens but actually doesn’t, out come the screech bombs. These are nothing but temper tantrums, which is to say, events of no force. Yet they are strangely effective. Explode a screen bomb in the face of a Republican and his reaction will be more comical than a cheerleader sighting a mouse.

Authentic Christianity, by design and by force and by the welcoming of sin, is withering in the West, while its warped simulacrum (progressivism) grows. Authentic Christianity is thriving in southern Africa and other areas in which there is more to pay for belief than money.

55 Comments

  1. There are at least three lines of thinking (“thinking” rather than “reasoning”) that a progressive has toward Muslims.

    First is the belief that defending Muslims and decrying Islamophobia is a two-way street—and that somehow, somewhere, someplace that Muslims will show that they are grateful for the cover and will repay them back when the political winds demand it.

    Second, and they would be loathe to admit it, progressives and Muslims have a common enemy in Christianity. (Why such a muted reaction to the atrocities in Kenya?)

    Third, progressives are blind to the fact that certain traits and actions that they endorse would not find favor with Allah. They are able to intellectually wriggle out of that one and suppress any horror they might feel at the stonings, dismemberments, and beheadings that are common punishments for things that in the West are no longer considered criminal (and in some circles, celebrated).

  2. The purpose of this argument is just to clarify and understand. I think both sides have good points and I’m trying to find the real crux of the issue.

    My argument:

    If it is illegal for a theater to refuse to sell tickets to a white person, then the dispute about whether it should be legal to refuse to sell pizzas to a gay person is not about freedom, but about whether or not gayness is a choice. If it isn’t, it’s like whiteness, and discrimination based on gayness ought be illegal just like whiteness. If gayness is a choice, it could in the eyes of religious people be akin to crime or degeneracy, and perhaps may be discriminated against for moral reasons.

    Facts that hopefully we can agree upon:

    – Whiteness isn’t a choice
    – Whiteness does not have anything to do with tickets.
    – It is illegal for a theater to refuse to sell tickets to a white person.
    – It is okay to discriminate if there is some kind of necessary conflict between the kind of person you are and the service you’re requesting. For example, there may be a necessary conflict for a theater to let a white person play a black character, or for a Catholic Church to let a non-Catholic couple have their marriage ceremony inside.
    – There is no such necessary connection between whiteness and tickets, nor gayness and pizza.

    Based on these facts, if gayness is not a choice, I see no difference between refusing to serve gays pizza, and refusing to sell a white person a theater ticket.

    This is why I think the question of whether or not gay is a choice is the crux of the issue.

  3. Mike Elias,
    I think you’re missing the point. It is illegal to refuse to serve pizza to someone based on their sexual preference and the new Indiana law doesn’t change that. What it does, is give someone the right to opt out of participating in something for which they have strong religious objections. In this example, the pizzeria does not want to cater a hypothetical gay wedding claiming they would be participating in contradiction to their strongly held religious beliefs. This is very similar to the recent court action that upheld the Hobby Lobby objection to having to pay for abortion insurance coverage. There is a fine line here that makes clear the difference between participation and simple transactions. And the point Briggs makes is that, among other things, the coercion evinced by the screeching left is clearly intolerance for beliefs that run contrary to their own.

  4. Mike (well thought out – it’s interesting that you use the word “crux”)

    The question is NOT whether someone can legally refuse to sell a pizza to a LGBT person. Legally and morally this would be wrong regardless if “gayness” is a choice.

    The question is whether someone can legally refuse to CATER an EVENT which someone feel is morally wrong, and in effect become a PARTICIPANT in that EVENT.

    Progressives are happy to note that Jesus supped with Tax Collectors, Pulicans (read sinners) and prostitutes. However Jesus also bet the #### out of “people in power and the know” for cheating people in the temple.

    Jesus also said “Render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s and to God that which is God’s”.

    So the question to the professing Christian, is participating in a GAY WEDDING (by CATERING it) the equivalent of Jesus supping with sinners? Or is like participating in money changing at the temple.

    As for the Caesar question, most Christians would say marriage comes from God. However, Caesar entered into the “business” of marriage by granting married people rights, privileges and protections. I wonder how many people would seek the blessings of God by marrying in the Church, WITHOUT seeking the blessings of Caesar by getting a marriage license.

  5. that was BEAT the ####

  6. I used to think that atheistic regimes would be the agent for ushering in the prophesies recorded by John the Apostle. However, it looks more like the progeny of Abraham, the result of his lack of trust in the Promise, will be the ones. And somewhat sooner than later.

  7. No shirt, no shoes, no service—–is this discrimination? There are some restaurants that even to this day that will not seat a man not wearing a suit jacket/blazer and tie.

  8. Sander van der Wak

    April 3, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Some Christians in the Netherlands see Muslims as their friends against the Liberal State, with Liberal in its European meaning, not the US one. Muslims are a kind of Super Calvinists, as far as these Calvinists are concerned.

    Regarding the fighting, that is what you get if a big country (the USA, indeed) is stupid enough to start a war that was very much not worth fighting, the Second Irak War. A war mongered by the Conservatists. How on Earth is it possible these people are as stupid as they are, given that the historical Conservatists were so clever (if all the quotes are to be believed)?

  9. Sander van der Wak

    April 3, 2015 at 11:49 am

    As an aside, the Chinese are not atheists. They are Confucionist, Taoist or Buddhist (apparently it depends on the time of day), and very much not happy with their own Muslims in the Far West. Time to make some new friends there, I would say.

  10. Mike Ellis said
    “Whiteness isn’t a choice”
    Well, then how do you explain Michael Jackson?

  11. @Ray

    “Well, then how do you explain Michael Jackson?”

    He suffered from a rare disease that bleached his skin. It was hardly a choice.

  12. it must be so hard for Chistian in the USA. Image you are losing the right to discriminate. How horrible that a free country dies not accept the right to discriminate.

    It’s very pathetic to see that Christians are such whiners, that is until you realize that they are worst sinners than those they condemn. #notruechristans

  13. Katie,

    You can easily where shoes an shirt so no it is not discrimination. It is hygiene. Restaurant asking for ties and jacket usually have some at the door. That can be borrowed.

  14. There’s another issue for Christian caterers.

    Do they cater Weddings where one or both parties were previously married?

    This would especially have moral implications for Catholics but even “Bible believing” Christians have to take seriously Christ’s words about remarriage and adultery seriously.

    If I were refused catering service at MY Same-Sex-Attraction wedding event, I would want to see the documentation of other events that were accepted or turned down based on such Biblical criteria such as NOT endorsing adultery by professing (or even maybe non-professing) Christian participants in the nuptials.

  15. MattS,
    Didn’t know that. Should have googled before posting.

    I find all this anti discrimination outrage amusing because it is selective. Anyone can discriminate against straight white males anytime they like and nobody cares . Straight white males cannot discriminate against anyone ever or the mob will be out rioting in the streets.

  16. Do they cater Weddings where one or both parties were previously married?

    As if Christianity was a monolithic religion. If it is, why are there Catholics, Anglicans, Baptists, etc? IIRC, one of the reasons the Anglicans ceded from the Catholic church was over divorce. So what’s this: “Bible believing” Christians have to take seriously Christ’s words about remarriage and adultery seriously. stuff?

    Is everything black and white? Does it make sense to ask how can you say heroin is bad when you smoked pot? The argument about remarriage is similar in that it assumes there aren’t shades of morality and belief.

  17. Ray,

    The discrimination is indeed selective but far from amusing. It is the very meaning of “tolerance” in the left’s Orwellian doublespeak that seduces many without the intellectual wherewithal to realize it for what it is.

  18. How is it moral or Constitutional for the government to force a private individual to provide service or product?

  19. DAV

    My point exactly. (Monolithic? There are over 34,000 Christian denominations in the world)

    The “assumption” is that we are talking about what is going on in Cleveland is revolving around fairly fundamental Christians (read right wing) and/or Catholics (also read right wing – cafeteria Catholics who are sympathetic to Pro-Choice are likely sympathetic to the GLBT.).

    The people who take the their Bible literally OR Catechism seriously are who the law is seeking to protect. I think you’ll find the Anglican Church and the Episcopal Church (at least in England and North America) fairly liberal and I doubt that most members are not availing (or going to avail) themselves of the law. The Bishop of New Hampshire is openly gay. The gay candidate for Bishop in England withdrew.

    If any Episcopal/Anglican would take advantage of the law, I stand corrected. But I think you’ll agree that people can be fairly selective about their moral choices (I certainly am), if you’re going to pass a law about allowing them to “discriminate” based on their moral choices, I’d be interested in the moral choices they are NOT making or are adhering to.

    If I were suing them on the basis of discrimination and there moral choices, I’d be interested in all of their choices.

    It’s supposed to be why Jesus came; to live “Qualifying” moral choices, and to die for our inability to be consistent in our moral choices.

  20. Robbie,
    I have asked that same question. The federal courts have ruled that the 13th amendment (antislavery amendment) prohibits all forced labor. They have ruled you can’t force someone to work for you or penalize them for refusing to work for you. So, how can the state force a Christian to bake a cake for a homosexual or fine them if they refuse?

  21. John B(),

    You are making the same mistake the left and its media have been making.

    The Indiana statute is explicitly stating how the other 19 statues have been interpreted. And specifically, it is explicitly stating that a person has a right to not be forced to act against personal morals. It also provides that protection to a business if that business is effectively an extension of a person or persons with a common belief. It provides that the beliefs of those persons can be used as a defense in court. The statue should never have been necessary at all. Stating otherwise is expressing total ignorance. Speculation on how the court may proceed or what it should consider in what can only be hypothetical cases is pointless.

    Strangely, Indiana permits same sex marriage. The LGBT proponents would be be better focused on those states which don’t. What’s going on now could very well give those states pause to wonder is SSM is the camel’s nose poking under the tent.

  22. The problem I see with the Indiana statute is its general vagueness. It might open up the possibility of defending general discrimination against sexual preference. Its vagueness might not protect religious people in the way they are hoping. I can’t see how either party can be happy with that’s been written there. However, I’m not a legislator so maybe this was intentional.

    If the statute is going include the rights of private individuals I would prefer if it was more explicit. For example, that private individuals are exempt from anti-discrimination laws in situations where they might be compelled to engage in rituals that may conflict with their established religious doctrine. Still vague, but at least a lot stronger than what is there now. Also it is important that there be at least an attempt at an objective measure. This has to be stronger than merely having a religious belief or conviction. The belief or conviction must be plausibly consistent with religious doctrine.

  23. “The federal courts have ruled that the 13th amendment (antislavery amendment) prohibits all forced labor. They have ruled you can’t force someone to work for you or penalize them for refusing to work for you. So, how can the state force a Christian to bake a cake for a homosexual or fine them if they refuse?”

    It’s not forced labour if you’re being reasonably compensated. Apple can’t refuse to sell a black person their latest iPad model and then use an anti-slavery law as their defense.

  24. Doesn’t seem any more vague than “probable cause” or the requirements for obtaining a search warrant. The statute is not a license to discriminate. The problem with an “objective” test is that it would invariably be restrictive. It’s left to the courts to decide on a case by case basis just as it was left to the courts to determine if sufficient reason exists for issuing a search warrant. Why would this bother anyone?

  25. “Probable cause” means the officer must provide a plausible objective reason for why he, say, conducted a search. For example, he smelt marijuana, or saw a bulge in the suspects pants that looked like the outline of a gun, and so on. If the Court then determined that the officer did not find drugs, or, say, weapons, whatever was actually found might not stick as the search might be deemed illegal.

    This is different from an officer searching a suspect because, in his opinion, people who dress a certain way, have a certain hairstyle, etc., are more likely to commit crimes than other types of people.

  26. IOW probable cause is vague and open to dismissal in court.

  27. What is your point DAV?

    Let me put the question to you this way. Would you rather have probable cause as a rule of law or do feel it is so vague that it can be dispensed with entirely? If that’s your point are you suggesting that it is preferable that police officers enter your property or do a body search based on their personal opinions that you may be a criminal? Or would you rather the probable cause principle be retained?

  28. I’m trying to figure out what your point is, Will.

    You seem to think most laws are specific when they are really vague. You list an “objective” test for probable cause which amounts to a cop saying he believed he saw something (or maybe even lied about it) . None of that bothers you but the fact that someone might claim a belief of morals that somehow bothers your.

  29. Yawrate,

    First you say that it is illegal to refuse to serve pizza to a gay, and go on to say that with this law a person can opt out and refuse to sell a pizza to a gay because it is for a wedding..

    This is exactly why that law is discriminatory.

    If you have a place of business and that someone comes in and want to buy something that is in the catalog or menu, has the money to buy it and the products is not a control substance or product, then you can’t refuse to sell.

    You cannot refuse to sell to someone because the money has legal value, and refusing to sell is the equivalent as saying that this person money doesn’t carry the same value as someone else’s money. It means that this business owner doesn’t believe in capitalism.

    In the US Irish, catholics, blacks, asian, jews, german, french, latino, muslim. women have all been largely discriminated upon at some point in the past, which led to anti-discrimination laws.

  30. DAV,

    Please re-read what I wrote because you’re arguing against strawmen.

  31. Sylvain,

    Your argument sounds a little childish, but if that is your position why not come out of closet so to speak, and advocate for the abolition of religion entirely?

  32. “In the US Irish, catholics, blacks, asian, jews, german, french, latino, muslim. women have all been largely discriminated upon at some point in the past, which led to anti-discrimination laws.”

    North America was settled by peoples fleeing religious prosecution in other parts of the world. For example, the Pilgrims and Puritans fled to the US not because it was highly discriminatory against religious peoples, but because these religious peoples were fleeing prosecution and discrimination in other parts of the world. The principle of the separation of church and state was not established so that secularists could escape persecution and discrimination by the religious, but so that the state could not mandate preferential treatment for one religion over another. (It is highly unlikely that the Morman Church could have established itself where it did without such laws.)

    I’m pointing this out to you not as a religious person or as an American (since I am neither), but merely as an educated person.

  33. Will,

    That someone was discriminated upon in the past doesn’t gives them the right to discriminate in the present or the future.

    Just like the Jewish genocide doesn’t gives Israel the right to commit one.

    People came to America for many different reason. Puritan fled persecution, Irish fled famine caused by the potato decease,

    Japenese American were place in detention camp during WW2, while German American where free to join the army, while black could not hold a gun. In 1939, Jewish fleeing Germany were sent back to Germany by Canada and the USA because they were undesirable.

    Last summer Cliven Bundy described himself as a patriot with is American flag while denying the existence of its government???

    There are many contradiction in the USA and there are always people that defend the right to discriminate against others. But are raising hell if they are denied.

    The USA was once a leader in tolerance and integration, but it has move backward so much that they can now be compared to worst country in human rights in the world.

    No developped countries offers has bad working conditions than the USA does. They are not even paid vacation for all employees. Only in communism could you find such poor working condition.

    By the way, I’m pro individual liberties which includes religious liberties. But it is tiresome at some point to hear people complain of losing the right to mistreat others, justified by pseudo-religious beliefs

  34. @Mike Elias

    Let’s play a game 🙂

    “The purpose of this argument is just to clarify and understand. I think both sides have good points and I’m trying to find the real crux of the issue.

    My argument:

    If it is illegal for a theater to refuse to sell tickets to a white person, then the dispute about whether it should be legal to refuse to sell pizzas to a racist person is not about freedom, but about whether or not racism is a choice. If it isn’t, it’s like whiteness, and discrimination based on racism ought be illegal just like whiteness. If racism is a choice, it could in the eyes of religious people be akin to crime or degeneracy, and perhaps may be discriminated against for moral reasons.

    Facts that hopefully we can agree upon:

    – Whiteness isn’t a choice
    – Whiteness does not have anything to do with tickets.
    – It is illegal for a theater to refuse to sell tickets to a white person.
    – It is okay to discriminate if there is some kind of necessary conflict between the kind of person you are and the service you’re requesting. For example, there may be a necessary conflict for a theater to let a white person play a black character, or for a Catholic Church to let a non-Catholic couple have their marriage ceremony inside.
    – There is no such necessary connection between whiteness and tickets, nor racism and pizza.

    Based on these facts, if racism is not a choice, I see no difference between refusing to serve racist pizza, and refusing to sell a white person a theater ticket.

    This is why I think the question of whether or not racism is a choice is the crux of the issue.”

    So put it this way, would you say you have the right to deny Pizza service to a KKK party? or to a Hitler Memorial ceremony? Events that I believe are legal in the USA and yet you probably strongly disagree with their live style.

    Disclaimer: Not a Christian here.

  35. You’ve got the general idea, Fran. The issue here is whether someone should be forced to participate directly or indirectly in a wedding which is an action of choice. People aren’t born married.

    People came to America for many different reason.

    A foundation of the United States is religious freedom. In fact, it is guaranteed in the first amendment along with freedom of speech and freedom of the press. It should trump any law that says otherwise unless there is a compelling reason for it such as safety. There is no compelling reason to force anyone to bake a cake for any wedding or otherwise participate in any celebration.

    Japenese American … Clive Bundy …

    Total departure from topic and completely pointless rambling. You should avoid ranting like this, Heck you should avoid ranting period. You are making it difficult to not see DEEBEE’s analysis of you a few days ago as incorrect.

  36. I see the GoFundMe support of Memories Pizza has been closed by the organizer at $842,637. They should give part of this to the Oregon bakers whose rights have been trampled upon.

  37. Sylvain,

    The United States has a population of over 320 million people. It doesn’t require any intelligence at all to try to find examples of people doing things you don’t like. I’m sure we’d find lots of people who believe the moon is made of green cheese there, if one bothered to look.

    You claimed anti-discrimination laws were introduced into the US because religious people were being discriminated against. Do you have any basis for such a claim other than (a) your feelings and (b) the existence of such laws? Note: The existence of a law is not evidence that there was a problem that required addressing or that the law was effective in addressing that anyway. Such laws are typically introduced for political purposes, e.g., to appeal to the obsessions of special interest groups and garner votes in key demographics. Laws forcing people to be nice to other people at best suppress outright bigotry, but don’t change people’s opinions. People change people’s opinions. And TV shows such as ‘Modern Family’ do more for changing peoples perceptions of gay relationships than anything politically motivated legislation could have achieved.

  38. Fran,

    If Apple decides it won’t sell iPad’s to black people, following your argument, this is fine, because it’s the ‘choice’ of a black person to buy or not buy an iPad. Therefore, it’s fine to refuse to sell to black people. Their Apple preference, versus, say, an Android preference, is after all, a choice.

    This is a very very silly argument, even if you’re not Christian. The fact of the matter is that the law recognises (like it or not) the special rights of ‘protected classes’. Protected classes include certain races, those of homosexual preference, and religions, for example. It is generally against the law to refuse service on an ‘arbitrary’ basis. You normally can’t refuse to sell your services to the KKK on moral grounds, for example, unless you have a legitimate business reason for doing so. For example, if your selling to the KKK will cause your business to be threatened by other groups opposed to the KKK, then you have a legitimate reason to refuse to serve the KKK. This may sound a little strange to you, but a business can’t automatically refuse service on the basis of the moral beliefs of the business owners. Remember, religion has a special status. Your personal beliefs do not.

  39. What should you do when a ground stewardess refuses to handle your pigskin suitcases for religious reasons? Suggest her to find another job that doesn’t conflict with her religion?

  40. I doubt that’s a problem unless you’re also asking her to eat them. Likewise I don’t think the Muslim stewardess will have a problem stowing your bottle of scotch, unless you insist she take a swig before stowing it away.

  41. Therefore, it’s fine to refuse to sell to black people. Their Apple preference, versus, say, an Android preference, is after all, a choice

    I think you missed the point Fran was making. Perhaps even inverted it.

  42. There was a rather interesting discussion on Red Eye tonight about how this issue is being treated. Unusual in that actual discussion is not a common element on Red Eye. Since it’s the Fri/Sat version it will likely be repeated.

    There was also mention of the Tom Nelson affair with Twitter that’s receiving a few mentions over at WUWT which segued into Climate Change in general.

  43. Will, thats not an answer, i am talking about staff that refuse work for religious reasons. The majority of christians also thinks that you should bake a cake for a gay wedding, if your job is baking cakes.

  44. @Will Nitschke

    If Apple decides it won’t sell iPad’s to black people, following your argument, this is fine, because it’s the ‘choice’ of a black person to buy or not buy an iPad. Therefore, it’s fine to refuse to sell to black people. Their Apple preference, versus, say, an Android preference, is after all, a choice.

    Not my argument, absolutely not! to the point that I am not sure if you actually read my post at all and you were replying to me.

    This is a very very silly argument, even if you’re not Christian.

    Oh, so you were actually talking to me. One question, so if they guy making a point is a Christian that makes his point sillier? You didn’t mean that, right?

    The fact of the matter is that the law recognises (like it or not) the special rights of ‘protected classes’. … You normally can’t refuse to sell your services to the KKK on moral grounds… This may sound a little strange to you, but a business can’t automatically refuse service on the basis of the moral beliefs of the business owners.

    So the law can force a black family owning a Pizza Parlor, and whose son has been murdered by a Nazi squad, to deliver pizzas to KKK festivities… Yeah, you’re right, it sounds a little strange to me, though, correct me if I am wrong, you seem to be fine with it? right? No service can be denied on moral or belief grounds, right? Not strange for you.

    My main point, if I have any because I will admit that in this kind of issues I have more questions than answers, is that we need tolerate each other as much as we socially can. Than means that, as a general guideline, you don’t ban or force people into anything unless you have a gigantic reason to do so. I usually summarize this guideline into “live and let live“.

    For example, I would not force my hypothetical black family to deliver Pizzas to the KKK parties, but if instead a Pizza Parlor the black family owns the only hospital in 200 miles I would request from them to deliver medical aid to any party in the area (KKK or not).

    Erhm… yeah, that’s it. Have a nice day.

  45. Fran, all caps use is interpreted as shouting on blogs.

  46. Fran, KKK festivities are illegal in Holland, so delivering pizza’s would be a criminal act.

  47. @Hans

    All caps use is interpreted as shouting on blogs.

    Well, I recommend you to contact the guy that implemented the cite HTML attribute in this blog.

    KKK festivities are illegal in Holland, so delivering pizza’s would be a criminal act.

    And you can celebrate you laws smoking pot… Congrats for that.

  48. Will N. says “I doubt that’s a problem….”

    The argument of personal incredulity, you gotta love it. What would Rene Decartes say? It is an especially risky tactic in the age of goggle since a quick search will show many examples to dispel your doubts.

  49. Hey fran, no need to invoke ad homs in a civil dispute.

    So back on topic: in certain orthodox protestant circles catholicism is considered as idolatry. Can an orthodox protestant cake shop refuse to bake a cake for a catholic convention?

  50. As to the flight attendant question, she doesn’t own the airline. She’s a representative, not the owner. If her job requires her to touch dead animal skin and that’s against her religion but the people who employ her demand it then she has no just grounds to refuse. She should just quit.
    But if you are the owner of a private business you should be allowed to refuse service for whatever reason you like! I’m a Christian and if I walk into a store privately owned by an anti-theist and he doesn’t wish to serve me I think that’s his right and I’d fight and argue to ensure him that right. (I also reserve the right to not eat there and publicly encourage others not to eat there; just not legally mandate they serve me).
    Notice my view doesn’t apply to businesses that have gone public nor to employees.
    I also think the ‘offering legal tender demands you sell despite your values’ is stupid beyond belief. Should I have to sell my phone to someone offering money even if I’m still using my phone and have no intention of selling? What if I wanted to sell it to a friend and that friend alone? What if someone offered you legal tender for a sexual service? Legal tender just means that you can use it instead of something with actual value; not that you’re forced to accept it and provide what they want.

  51. Will,

    Anti-discrimination law appeared after WWII and that the people realized what the German had done. The holocaust usually associated to the killing of Jewish forget that Slaves, Gays, handicapped were killed in greater number than the latter.

    In the early 1950s Eleanor Roosevely championed the declaration of human rights which included protection for sex, religion, political, sexual orientation and handicap..

    Since then most developped counties passed anti-discrimination law Canada going the farthest in incorporating the laws in the constitution.

    Freedom is accorded to individual, not to group (except very few exeptions like autochtone and maybe Union). Of course, freedom cannot be unlimited and the limit is set where the freedom of the other person begins.

    In the case of religion, your belief are personal, every person is free to join , or quit, a group that share or shared the same beliefs. This is in the area of private space like you home or church. For example, the government cannot tell any church that they have to celebrate gay marriage, or ordain women as priest.

    The crust of the problem with catering and florist and bakery lies in definition of participation in something proscribed.

    I think that we can all agree that the bible is not against marriage. So participating in a marriage is not against the bible or any religion.

    The same way, no where in the bible does it say that you cannot associate with some practising a sin it only states what the individual cannot do, like have sex for fun, getting drunk,steal, not pay your taxes..

    So the only way that someone could consider participating a gay wedding as morally wrong, was if the person was having gay sex during the ceremony.

    A place of business is not a place of worship, it is not part of the private domain, but the public domain. This is where the freedom of one conflict with the freedom of someone else. And in this arena the freedom from discrimination precedes the freedom to discriminate.

  52. Hey fran, no need to invoke ad homs in a civil dispute.

    There is no need in any case, do you see any invocation?

    So back on topic: in certain orthodox protestant circles catholicism is considered as idolatry. Can an orthodox protestant cake shop refuse to bake a cake for a catholic convention?

    Well, again, and as a general guideline, unless the service provided is essential (health, etc…) I would not force anyone into anything.

    Would you force my hypothetical black family to cook for the KKK?

  53. Sylvain,

    There are many issues here which you’re failing to understand. If you want to object to a position at least understand it. Arguing that the issue is over discrimination is pointless as everyone understands this already. With regard to discrimination the issue is whether discriminating against religious belief trumps discrimination against sexual preference. Or in other words, which form of discrimination is superior? The religious advocates appear to be arguing that neither is superior, therefore one cannot trump the other.

    The second problem with your argument is that it’s not up to you to adjudicate on religious doctrinal interpretation. I know you want to do this, but it’s not your call. The “I believe religious people should believe this or that” is not something you can do. Yet your argument requires you to do this. The Roman Catholic Church is not ambiguous on this issue. In their view, homosexuality is a moral evil. You cannot expect the followers of this religion to take actions that facilitate such activity or, again in the view of the Church, corrupts one of their most sacred rituals.

    Therefore:

    “So the only way that someone could consider participating a gay wedding as morally wrong, was if the person was having gay sex during the ceremony.”

    Let’s consider another moral evil of the Catholic Church: murder. Your argument is that someone who merely “participates” in murder is not committing evil. Clearly your argument is ridiculous the way you’ve stated it. Participation in a moral evil is the actual definition of committing evil.

  54. Sylvain,

    I think I have to flesh the last half of my argument out as in an effort to compress it as much as possible I’ve probably gone too far. Let’s say you own a gun and someone you know who intends to murder someone else, wants to buy that gun from you. Your argument is that participating in the sale of the gun exonerates you from an immoral act. This is because you merely participated/facilitated the act of murder. The sale of the gun did not mean you were in a position to have to witness its use.

  55. Fran,

    “So the law can force a black family owning a Pizza Parlor, and whose son has been murdered by a Nazi squad, to deliver pizzas to KKK festivities… Yeah, you’re right, it sounds a little strange to me, though, correct me if I am wrong, you seem to be fine with it? right? No service can be denied on moral or belief grounds, right? Not strange for you.”

    You’re mixing up the law with what I may think of such laws. Since I didn’t offer an opinion on my view of such laws, you shouldn’t leap to conclusions. The black family will never be prosecuted by the law because I don’t see the ACLU getting behind a defense of the KKK. In the real world, such laws are and always will be applied selectively.

    The problem I see with your “live and let live” argument is that if a restaurant owner puts up a sign on his door, “no blacks allowed” there is a problem right away I can see. Maybe the restaurant owners don’t like blacks and would prefer not to serve them. Should they be permitted to “live and let live” in this case? Or in other words, there are situations where “live and let live” is no doubt reasonable, just as there are cases where it is not.

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