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« Amazing Grace: A New Musical about John Newton | Main | How Were the Books of the Bible Compiled? »

July 05, 2015

Comments

So, business owners may discriminate in providing good and services, but only when their discrimination has "sound basis in the Bible or in Christian history?" Try that one in federal court.

Also strange that you proclaim that "[t]he bigots were the exception in Christianity, not the rule" right after retweeting Douglas Wilson saying that same-sex marriage is worse than slavery.

Phil, try responding to what the post actually says over reading into it what's not there.

Phil: Wilson was cordially answering a question posed to him, unjust as the question was. The topic of slavery and same sex marriage have little business in the same conversation. The two topics are as emotionally charged as they are opposite in their human relational dynamic, making them seem like an easy pairing for social activism, yet unhelpful to the the critical thinker. I think you may find Wilson to be insightful in his responses to Vines questions if you can excuse slavery from the conversation. Respectfully, Jud

The country is obviously in massive disarray.
The constitution was established by the founding fathers, representing the 13 states, to limit government and by all means prevent the establishment of any tyranny. The religious person was meant to be free to be 100% religious-an anology would liken the person to having a much larger sphere in the country's life than the government. Government would have it's own, smaller sphere, not to establish a religion but NOT TO PREVENT THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF.
Today, we have a government that is in every area RATHER than government. It rules our schools, healthcare, commerce, etc. The citizen has much less freedom to PRACTICE THEIR RELIGION FREE FROM COERCION, (ex Hobby Lobby, etc). Freedom of Religion is so misunderstood and abused right now our own military will court marshall a chaplain for teaching the bible or any soldier that would dare to display a bible verse.
Not only that, we have ONE judge, Anthony Kennedy, overturning the marriage tradition of thousands of years. Yeah, right! The Supreme Court is a joke!That precedent was not based on science or legal reasoning. It was political! And I concur; this "discrimination" is to not be forced to participate in a ceremony-ceremonies that weren't even the law of the land until 6/26.
We have freedom of religion in this land; not like China which is only free to worship. And this encroachment is into the churches, with challenges of discrimination to conduct these ceremonies, employment, etc underway. I submit that the Supreme Courts decision did violate the Freedom of Religion and should be contested as invalid on those grounds by all of the states.
And one more tidbit concerning that disarray; CNS news just reported the country has just completed it's 7th year in a row with a child born to unwed mothers rate above 40%. And we wonder why the kids are angry..

The Christian Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. was, fortunately, well educated and hence was well aware of the long established and factual statements which Christ and Scripture declare of all men everywhere.


Those long established and factual statements were obviously a part of why he served Christ with such intensity, defending Scripture's definitions and truths with his life. Hence, asserting that Jim Crow laws are Scriptural obviously doesn't stand up to more sophisticated eyes.


How are we to treat one another?


A few examples:


The right of physicians, and other citizens, to refrain from participating in state executions, and, from participating in elective abortions (as opposed to measures in saving the mother's life, Etc.), and, from participating in a military which conflicts with their moral conscience were and are a legal safe-house. That non-participation is legally housed in two nuances. First, it is a right of conscience arena. Second, its focus is on non-participation, not on refusal, and the law recognizes that there is a difference.


In these cases no harm can be claimed, as another can (reasonably) provide said service.


One citizen has the right to abort, and, another citizen has the right to refrain from participation in an act which the state has declared legal. The state has the right to execute someone, and the citizen is given legal margin which provides him with the wherewithal to refrain from participating in an act which the state has declared legal. And so too with military service.


The law recognizes possible harm and addresses it, and, compulsion is found unwarranted, and so on.


There are well established ways in a genuinely pluralistic society for all parties involved to grant one another due respect, and all while avoiding any unilaterally suffered injury.


As a Christian, God does not afford me the luxury to take an Atheist's livelihood away from him, and his family, if he cannot make me a banner saying "Ultimate Reality Is Love", or what have you, for this or that event. There, as in abortion and state executions, the tangible connection between participation and conscience is both immediate upon contact and recognizable by average onlookers.


As a Citizen, however, I may be able to obtain that right. Only, that won't satisfy God should I employ such.


There is plenty of legal precedent in all of this. The heat of emotion in 2015-16 will for now likely drive some to inflict as much verbal damage and/or legal damage as possible. Etc. However, ultimately the londstanding legalities surrounding non-participation will resurface as said emotion recedes and cooler heads prevail on all sides.


C.S. Lewis noted that it is not necessarily new information that is needed, but merely the reminder of information one has already gone over. Non-participation precedent is one example.


The OP is another good example of Lewis' point, as our Christian Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. reminds both them and us not of misinformation spoken in emotion's heat, intending to do harm, but, rather, of the long established and factual statements which Christ and Scripture declare of all men everywhere, spoken by said Christian to heal, not to hurt, and at great cost to himself.

It doesn't matter how many times and in how many ways we explain that this offensive comparison of same-sex "marriage" and interracial marriage is not the same thing.

They continue and continue and CONTINUE to repeat this same lie! It's beyond maddening. I cannot tell you how many times I've had this discussion online with people.

I haven't read the comments here, but I bet it will be the same thing. It always is.

The Christian church has itself to blame for this kind of persucution and it's willingness to "go along to get along". Pseudo theology rooted in Premillenial Dispensationalism has neutered the Church in the United States to the point where modern evangelicalism as a body doesn't know the difference between **** and shinola....cant distinguish right and wrong and neither do they want to....they want to participate in the world with gusto, while sporting a superficial Christian title proved by bumper stickers/jewelery/ and other paraphenalia.

The civil magistrate is not free from God's mandate and it is most proper for the Church to demand that the state be the state....and for God's people to force compliance. Sitting idly by in the midst of a modern holocaust has laid the groundwork for this rampant assault on the right and good currently being waged against God and his Church.

As ministers for good, the civil magistrate cannot fulfill its divine mandate without hearing from the Church and also have Christians being active participants in the process. [Dont misunderstand me, I am not saying the Church should be the state...the Church should be the Church and the state should be the state.] As I see it right now, neither currently are.

If only the Church would act like a Church, the state would be under tight rein...as it is, the state thinks it is God, sitting in the place of God, claiming ownership of the people and their produce from cradle to grave. Until we Christians take a stand and are willing to suffer for it, we can expect this to continue.

An OP elsewhere commented on the common mistake of asserting that Jim Crow laws and Segregation laws are “Scriptural” and of asserting, thereby, a misinformed comparison to the issue of today.

The Christian Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. was, fortunately, well-educated and hence was well aware of the long established and factual statements which Christ and Scripture declare of all men everywhere, of mankind.

Those long established and factual statements were obviously a part of why he served Christ with such intensity, defending Scripture’s definitions and truths with his life. Hence, asserting that Jim Crow laws and segregation laws, and so on, are “Scriptural” obviously doesn’t stand up to more sophisticated eyes.

On the topic of the inherent value of Every-Man vis-à-vis Christ and Scripture, we can look at the Christian Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. and at history and we can, for a moment, zoom the lens out and gain factual perspective. History, groaning in pain, finds the Truth of God's love compelling Mankind towards His Instantiation on the world stage and on the individual's stage. Both stages, of course, internally struggling between said Truths of Scripture (on the one hand) and deeply embedded mindsets in need of renewal (on the other hand). Such are but a few of several obvious reasons why Scripture compels us to define reality by God’s love in and by Christ rather than by the disciple or by the non-disciple.

The lens zoomed out finds, coming into focus, not the misguidedness of those who, seeking to harm, to damage, make the uninformed step of equating Jim Crow laws and Segregation Laws to “Scripture”. Rather, we re-discover, with the lens zoomed out, the power of Christ's Grace to change a man's heart and mind, bit by bit, little by little, and, thereby, to change many hearts and many minds, bit by bit, little by little, and, thereby, to change a nation's heart and mind, bit by bit, little by little, as the God Who is love pressing in upon Man comes into view.

How are we to treat one another?

A few examples:

The right of physicians, and other citizens, to refrain from participating in state executions, and, from participating in elective abortions (as opposed to measures in saving the mother’s life, Etc.), and, from participating in a military action which conflicts with their moral conscience were and are a legal safe-house.

That non-participation is legally housed in two nuances. First, it is a right of conscience arena. Second, its focus is on non-participation, not on refusal, and the law recognizes that there is a difference. In these cases no harm can be claimed, as another can (reasonably) provide said service.

One citizen has the right to abort, and, another citizen has the right to refrain from participation in an act which the state has declared legal. The state has the right to execute someone, and the citizen is given legal margin which provides him with the wherewithal to refrain from participating in an act which the state has declared legal. And so too with any compulsion to participate in a military activity which one’s conscience cannot affirm.

The law recognizes possible harm and addresses it, and, compulsion is found unwarranted, and so on.

There are well established ways in a genuinely pluralistic society for all parties involved to grant one another due respect, and all while avoiding any unilaterally suffered injury.

As a Christian, God does not afford me the moral latitude to take an Atheist’s livelihood away from him, and his family, if he will not make me a banner saying “Ultimate Reality Is Love”, or what have you, for this or that event. There, as in abortion and state executions and military conflicts one opposes on point of conscience, the tangible connection between his (the Athiest’s) participation and his conscience is both immediate upon contact and recognizable by average onlookers. And, also, the tangible connection between my own participation in that bit of selfishness inside of me which would strip him and his children of their livelihood (on the one hand) and my conscience vis-à-vis Christ’s prompting (on the other hand) is immediately clear to me upon contact and easily recognizable for what it is. And, that is especially clear to me given God’s clear command to me as His disciple, and, especially given our Nation’s longstanding non-participation laws which grant him the safe harbor and right of non-participation.

As a citizen, perhaps, I may be able to obtain the right to attempt to strip him and his family of some or all of his livelihood. Only, that won’t satisfy God should I employ that right, and so, even then, I’m unable to feed that bit of selfishness inside. Instead, I follow Christ’s leading.

There is plenty of legal precedent in all of this. The heat of emotion in 2015-16 will for now likely drive some to inflict as much verbal damage and/or legal damage as possible. Etc. However, ultimately the longstanding legalities surrounding non-participation will resurface as said emotion recedes and cooler heads prevail on all sides.

C.S. Lewis noted that it is not necessarily new information that is needed, but merely the reminder of information one has already gone over. Non-participation precedent is (perhaps) one example.

The OP mentioned earlier (Segregation laws and Jim Crow laws are “Scriptural” etc….) is another good example of Lewis’ point, as our Christian Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. reminds both them and us not of such misinformation spoken in emotion’s heat, intending to harm, but, rather, of the long established and factual statements which Christ and Scripture declare of all men everywhere, spoken by our noted Christian Pastor to heal, not to hurt, and at great cost to himself.

Jim Crow laws weren't laws that merely allowed businesses to discriminate. They were laws that told businesses who they could and could not do business with, and under what circumstances.

Modern laws that tell bakers, photographers and flower arrangers whom the MUST do business with are more akin to Jim Crow than laws that allow them freedom of conscience.

To sum up Melinda's argument:

- The principal value of the United States from the beginning of the colonies was religious freedom.
- There is ample tradition, teaching, and empirical evidence from scripture that to condone certain behaviors in public is against the religion of Christianity.
- There was not ample evidence, tradition, or teaching from scripture that slavery or racial discrimination was a good thing. In fact, arguments against slavery and racial discrimination originated from Biblical teaching, evidence, and tradition.
- To force Christians to condone certain behaviors or to silence their voice publicly clearly violates the principal value which is the foundation of the United States.

Thus I would add:

- To deny Christians a place to practice their faith in the public sphere is like a Jim Crow law towards Christians.
- To say that Christians are not allowed to practice their faith publicly is to deny that Christians practice the religion, because Christianity is a public and political religion.

Christian bakers and photographers have a right to follow their religious conscience in their businesses.

So, apply this to a member of the KKK. Such an individual has a deeply held religious belief that white people are superior to black people (whether that belief has been universally held by the church is legally irrelevant).

I do not see any way to escape the conclusion that this logic should absolutely allow white KKK members from discriminating against black people in the public square. Here, the belief is so pervasive that it doesn't apply to just a single event, but with association broadly.

Plausible scenarios would thus be: If a KKK member owned a grocery store, he could refuse to sell food to black people. If a KKK member owned a gas station... If a KKK member were a landlord...

Other examples more related to the homosexuality question:

Should car sales people be legally allowed to refuse to sell transportation to gay families?
Should doctors be legally allowed to withhold service from a gay individual who contracted an illness as a direct result of homosexual activity?
Should a government-funded social worker be legally allowed to refuse service to a gay family because of a religious belief?

The list could go on, obviously, but my point being:

Personally, I would rather live in a society that protects minority groups, such as homosexuals and black people, from discrimination than the alternative. The only alternative I see allows for all forms of discrimination, because there's no logical reason to stop it in any of these instances after you've allowed it in yours.

Furthermore, baking a cake for a wedding doesn't mean one endorses the wedding; it's purely a business transaction. I've also always wondered if these bakers and photographers would photograph a wedding in which one of the individuals was divorced, or if the couple were having sex before marriage. I would suspect...not.


Brgulker:
You are either new to this sockal discussion or you are morally obtuse. I'll say it again for you: The bakers, florists, etc DO NOT REFUSE SERVICE TO CUSTOMERS BECAUSE THEY ARE HOMOSEXUAL. Therefore your whole KKK and other scenarios above are moot. None of the accused businesses in these public cases ever said to their customer: "I won't sell to you, get out of my store..." In fact, they had long-standing relationshps with their customers, even friendships, they even helped the customers by referring them to someone else. They simply refused to participate in an event that violated their conscience. They would have sold them a birthday cake, cupcakes for a business meeting, etc.

Why is this so hard for you (and 5 justices) to understand?

You end with "Furthermore, baking a cake for a wedding doesn't mean one endorses the wedding; it's purely a business transaction." Not to these bakers. The service they provide for weddings IS an endorsement of the event. That's how they do business, and that's how they feel.

You also say, "I've also always wondered if these bakers and photographers would photograph a wedding in which one of the individuals was divorced, or if the couple were having sex before marriage. I would suspect...not." This is an irrelevant question. First of all, your suspicions are irrelevent because you don't know the parties involved. You are just sharing your own biases/bigotry against faith-motivated businesses.
Second, The examples you give (divorce and pre-marital sex) are different: in one, the person who was divorced wouldn't necessarily share that with the baker. The baker wouldn't likely ask, and if they did, they wouldn't be asked to do something that violates their conscience. They would be asked to bake a cake for a man/woman marriage. If the divorcee was to say, "Hey I just left my wife to marry my babysitter and I want to celebrate it" The baker, I believe, may have some serious hesitations in baking that cake. In the other scenario, if the baker even KNEW the couple's sexual activity before marriage, he/she would probably be thrilled that the couple was making the relationsihp 'legitimate' and would gladly want to be a part of that.
The bakers/florists/wedding planners don't refuse the service necessarily because of the moral disagreements with the customers. They disagree with endorsing a nonmarriage as a real marriage. They would likely refuse service to two straight people coming in and ordering the same-sex marriage cake. The morals of the people ordering the cake are not what's in play here.

BTW...I agree with you, it is better to live in a society that protects people from discrimination. In the cases we're discussing here, the only ones being discriminated against were the businesses. Do you support protecting them from discrimination? or are you selective in your principles?

I also agree with you: the best solution, I believe, is to let private parties discriminate based on personal convictions if they want to. If a KKK baker won't serve blacks, Fine. I guarantee Someone will likely open a bakery next door welcoming blacks and the KKK bakery will go out of business. The market place would be a tremendous, and unbiased, corrective.
It's government that should not be able to discriminate.

Phil, you wrote, "So, business owners may discriminate in providing good and services, but only when their discrimination has "sound basis in the Bible or in Christian history?" Try that one in federal court." -

That's not what was argued here or in any of these cases. Businesses didn't discriminate by withhold services from a customer. They declined to participate in a particular event against their conscience. They offered alternative services to the customer.
Also, they didn't make the argument that it's 'only for Bible ...." Any business should have the right to opt out of an activity if it violates their conscience. The pagan vegan photographer should be allowed to withhold their services at the Grand opening at the Cow butchering plant.
IT's about Conscience, not about a religion.

If I may, the idea that this discussion is simply about baking a cake, taking some pictures or providing floral arrangements for a wedding is incorrect. I have spent close to 20 years working in the wedding industry, and believe me when I tell you this: it doesn't matter if you are providing a wedding cake, floral arrangement, photo or video services, DJ services, reception hall, catering, etc., you are intimately involved in the planning, preparation and execution of the wedding celebration. Anyone that cannot acknowledge the difference between participating in a wedding celebration and selling a random cupcake to someone that walks in off of the street is being obtuse, perhaps even deliberately so.

"They disagree with endorsing a nonmarriage as a real marriage. They would likely refuse service to two straight people coming in and ordering the same-sex marriage cakes"

Bingo, that is exactly how it is.

That said, I believe this was pointed out in the Elane Photography case, that they would not have photographed a two straight women "wedding" either as part of their defense. The judges took it as additional proof they had discriminated against the women because they identify as gay.

A little further here:


Corporations have the right to refuse to carry, say, clothing lines of this or that designer if said designer offends the conscience of said corporation. “We’ll no longer be carrying X’s line of clothing” emerges as fully justified here and for obvious reasons which the law factually recognizes. The right of physicians, and other citizens, to refrain from participating in state executions, and, from participating in elective abortions (as opposed to measures in saving the mother’s life, Etc.), and, from participating in a military action which conflicts with their moral conscience were and are a legal safe-house.

There are, in all of these, illegitimate thresholds, such as a person’s color, religion, sex, or orientation (“CRSO”). This or that person’s CRSO, and, the fact that an event is declared legal, fail to emerge as germane for obvious reasons and that is important as the focus of the law fully acknowledges that there can be illegitimate non-participation (either the person or the person’s CRSO) and forces the would-be non-participant to factually qualify legitimate non-participation vis-à-vis both an intended context and an immediate context of a specific event.

Non-participation is legally housed in two nuances. First, it is a right of conscience arena. Second, its focus is on non-participation, not on refusal to interact, and the law recognizes that there is a difference. In these cases no harm can be claimed, as another can (reasonably) provide said service, and, further, the color, religion, sex, and orientation (CRSO) of the state prisoner, of the mother-to-be, or of the military’s target, or the fact of the legal status of all such events, are all viewed as immaterial, for, it is not the person nor the CRSO nor the fact that the event is legal, but, rather, it is the nature of the intended context and of the immediate context of a specific event which the law is addressing vis-à-vis conscience. The law is responsible to all parties involved by first acknowledging that there can be illegitimate reasons, such as this or that person’s CRSO, being used as the basis on which to avoid transactions with said person, and, then, acknowledges that both the person’s CRSO and the factual legal status of said event all fail to emerge as germane given that it is the intended context and the immediate context of a specific event which is factually isolated by the conscience. The physician cannot refuse to see the mother-to-be in his office and provide services, for example, for nothing there carries the intended context or the immediate context of that which his conscience opposes. In the same way, the electrician cannot refuse to work on the state prison’s lunchroom lights, for example, because the intended context and immediate context of the event in question fails to be either intended or immediate.

We find here an interesting and important compulsion by the law upon all citizens to otherwise interact with every person regardless of the person's CRSO, and, indeed, the Christian is commanded to love every person, and, the non-participation language surrounding conscience laws allows the Christian to remain faithful to that fundamental obligation.

Moving a little further with these laws and their precedents, one citizen has the right to abort, and, another citizen has the right to refrain from participation in an act which the state has declared legal, as once the facts carry us inside of the intended context and of the immediate context of a specific event neither the person’s CRSO nor the fact that said event is granted full legal status by the law emerges as germane. Similarly the state has the right to execute someone, and the citizen is given legal margin which provides him with the wherewithal to refrain from participating in an act which the state has declared legal, as once the facts carry us inside of the intended context and of the immediate context of a specific event neither the person’s (the prisoner’s or the state’s embrace of this or that CRSO) nor the fact that said event is granted full legal status by the law emerges as germane. And so too with any compulsion to participate in a military activity which one’s conscience cannot affirm.

The law’s precedent clearly recognizes possible harm and addresses it, and, compulsion is found unwarranted vis-à-vis, not person, not CRSO, and not the fact that said event is fully legal, but specifically the intended context and the immediate context of a specific event. This or that person’s CRSO, and, the fact that an event is declared legal, fail to emerge as germane for obvious reasons and that is important as the focus of the law fully acknowledges that there can be illegitimate non-participation (either the person or the person’s CRSO) and forces the would-be non-participant to factually qualify legitimate non-participation vis-à-vis both an intended context and the immediate context of a specific event.

All citizens are found compelled by the law to interact with every person regardless of their CRSO, all the while providing citizens the wherewithal to refrain from participating in an event which violates their conscience, as we clearly see in the physician, the electrician, the nurse, the custodian, the manufacturer of syringes, and so on.

These laws are both peculiar and longstanding and we find all citizens (such as the Atheist who abstains from serving clearly religious goals of events) who for reasons of conscience choose non-participation informed that there is in fact an interesting and important compulsion by the law upon all citizens to otherwise interact with every person regardless of the persons’ CRSO, and, also, there is in fact an interesting compulsion by the law which forces the would-be non-participant to factually qualify legitimate non-participation vis-à-vis both an intended context and an immediate context of a specific event. Interestingly, as noted already, the Christian is commanded to love every person and the non-participation language surrounding conscience laws allows the Christian to remain faithful to that fundamental obligation.

There are well established ways in a genuinely pluralistic society for all parties involved to grant one another due respect, and all the while avoiding discrimination based on either a person or a person’s CRSO.

As a Christian, God does not afford me the moral latitude to take an Atheist’s livelihood away from him, and his family, if he will not make me a banner saying “Ultimate Reality Is Love”, or what have you, for this or that event. There, as in abortion and state executions and military conflicts one opposes on point of conscience, the tangible connection between his (the Atheist’s) participation and his conscience is both immediate upon contact and recognizable by average onlookers. And, also, the tangible connection between my own participation in that bit of selfishness inside of me which would strip him and his children of their livelihood (on the one hand) and my conscience vis-à-vis Christ’s prompting (on the other hand) is immediately clear to me upon contact and easily recognizable for what it is. And, that is especially clear to me given God’s clear command to me as His disciple to love those who would harm me or – simply – to love all people period. It is also especially clear to me that I must grant him his room, not merely to avoid that bit of selfishness inside of me which would strip him and his family of his livelihood, but, also, our Nation’s longstanding non-participation laws which grant him the safe harbor and right of non-participation emerge as fully applicable.

As a citizen, perhaps, I may be able to obtain the right to attempt to strip him and his family of some or all of his livelihood. Only, that won’t satisfy God should I employ that right, and so, even then, I’m unable to feed that bit of selfishness inside. Instead, I follow Christ’s leading.

Brgulker,

There you are!

All that KKK talk reminded me….can I direct you back to the “Advice from Chesterton: Don’t Take Down the Fence until You Know Why It’s There” thread?

Still waiting for your answer.

KWM

Your comment jerked a laugh right out of me! You, berating someone for not answering a question? You?

Pot, meet Kettle!

Brad B.

We don't agree on much. But, your comment above was spot on, and I appreciate you taking the time to post it.

This is our fault. If the Church is acting like it should, none of this happens.

(Now don't any of you get the wrong idea. I don't want a Theocracy. Don't want people getting executed for Theological disagreements. Cough. John Calvin.)

Goat Head 5,

I answered it. Check back.

If you don't think I did, please rephrase.

I'd definitely like to clear that up for you.

Goat Head 5,

That's kind of what I thought.

KWM

Hilarious!

Post after post trying to get you to answer.....

Not going down that rabbit hole again.

Nice try.

Goat Head 5,

That's what I thought. Rationalize away.

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