The On-Going Battle Between Social Conservatives and the Rest of America

Gay Rights LawA lot of social conservatives and others on the far right of the Republican Party must feel as if they’re under siege once again now that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has vetoed a bill that would have allowed business owners to refuse service to gays on religious grounds.

According to the AP, “The bill was designed to give added protection from lawsuits to people who assert their religious beliefs in refusing service to gays or others who offend their beliefs. But opponents called it an open attack on gays that invited discrimination.”

When I wrote about similar attempts to refuse service to gays in other states I heard from many on the hard right essentially arguing that a business owner who risks his own money to open a business, ought to have the right to serve – or refuse to serve – anyone he or she wants.

Should business people be allowed, then, to refuse to serve customers because they’re black?  It used to be that way in parts of our country.   But we changed.  We said that’s not who we are as Americans.  But based on the mail I received, I have the feeling that more than a few on the right are nostalgic for those bad old days. I’m sure they would say they have nothing against black people, it’s just that a) the federal government had no business infringing on “state’s rights” and b) no government entity – local or federal – has the right to tell business people who they can or can’t do business with.

In any case, being gay isn’t the same as being black, they told me.  Being gay, some actually believe, is a choice – a “preference” is the way they put it. Let’s not waste anyone’s time with that argument.

Still, today we have a twist on the old argument:  We’re no longertalking about race; now it’s about religion and sexual orientation.  But it’s not really much of a twist.

The argument now is that if a conservative Christian who runs a bakery or a flower shop, for example, believes gay marriage is a sin, he shouldn’t have to make a wedding cake or a floral arrangement for the gay couple to celebrate their marriage.  Playing a role, even a minor one, in same sex-marriage, the argument goes, violates the business owners deeply held religious beliefs.  And there is something to this.

Should the government, with its immense power, force someone to violate deeply held convictions?  If I owned a catering business, I wouldn’t want to put food on the table for a neo-Nazi convention – or risk a hefty lawsuit if I didn’t.  (Maybe the Arizona law, instead of focusing on religious rights, should have dealt more generally with issues that violate our conscience — like being forced to cater a neo-Nazi function.  Maybe that kind of “conscientious objector” law would have been more acceptable to more people, even with its potential for abuse.)

But we all give up some rights when we join society and when we open a business on Main Street that purports to do business with the general public.

Should a baker be allowed to turn away a mixed race couple if he sincerely believes that interracial marriage is a sin?  Should a devout Muslim who owns a diner be allowed to turn away women who wear dresses that violate his religious sensibilities – or better yet, who don’t wear burqas?  The short answer is no, business owners have no such rights — not in America.

I heard Rush Limbaugh say that of all the bakeries and flower shops, why have some gays picked the ones run by conservative Christians to ask for cake or flowers?  Were they hoping they’d get turned away so they could make a case? Rush clearly believes they were just looking for trouble.  But maybe they didn’t know what they were getting into until they were refused service  – and then decided to fight back.  But even if they did know they were about to stir things up, so what?

Would Rush have argued against those four black college students in Greensboro, North Carolina, who in 1960 picked a Woolworth’s “whites-only” lunch counter for their protest.  They knew blacks were not allowed to eat at that lunch counter.  And that’s precisely why they picked Woolworth.  Before long, a few others joined them.  Then more.  Than more and more and more.  Non-violent protest spread.  It was a pivotal moment in the struggle against racism. What they did helped change America.

And this change in America, I suspect, is what really has social conservatives and radio talk show hosts in a tizzy.  The country is moving forward, this time on gay rights, and they’re left bellowing at the wind.  They’re on the wrong side of history – and they know it!  And that must be very unsettling for them.

*****

My friends:  Please leave a comment and let me know what you think — but do your best not to depress me.  (Joke)

Disagreement, as always, is fine.  But try to persuade … with interesting arguments.

 

 

 

 

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  • nkqx57a

    This article confuses immoralist with racism. The tragedies here are the choices that immoralists make; and if it’s not a choice…then a type of mental disorder is most likely.

    I am sure that Mr. Goldberg would agree with:

    (1) We…”love the sinner, yet hate the sin”…making choices has its consequences. So I lose the business…they go somewhere else.

    (2) “Some people are born gay”. Where is the evidence that people are born GAY? Just saying it does not make it so. Being GAY is a choice…has nothing to do with being born.

    (3) “Live and let live…sounds good to me”; however, Progressive Liberals (GLAAD) will not permit others to live without accepting immoral choices as normal moral choices.

    (4) Progressive Liberals (GLAAD) are caught in a “Catch 22″; if EVIL is GOOD, then GOOD is EVIL. That doesn’t compute very well, does it?

    I do not need GLAAD or anyone to tell me what RIGHT “IS” and what WRONG “IS”. I know the difference between RIGHT and WRONG…because I have a moral conscience, tolerance, and common sense.

    However, for GLAAD and Progressive Liberals there are no such things as RIGHT and WRONG or TACT; it’s only what feels good to them. They have no morals only feelings to guide them.

  • Chief Mojo

    You sound like a moronic, Viagara/Cialis dependent old has-been, trolling internet comments boards that expired weeks ago. The only thing worse than an internet comments troll is a has-been, late-to-the-party internet troll has-been. Perhaps you and Rosie could get a room or something, McVeenie…

  • mcveen

    Bernie, don’t you think everyone can see your cheap little trick?

  • Craig1748

    Good points Bernie!!

  • Independent Cuss

    I go to church. Don’t think we all believe the same tho even in the same church.

  • Rose

    D Parri, nothing causes people to get angry and take sides like religion.

  • D Parri

    Bernie, I think I told you about a week ago that this article would generate lots of comments. Obviously I was correct. The key? Religion or faith topic.

  • Rose

    Never in a million years did I think Prominent republicans would absolutely praise a thug like Putin. They love the guy! Is this wise? Is it patriotic? Palin even discussed hus “potency” as a bear-wrestler! *barf*. That conjures up a very ugly image!

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      Republicans love the guy? It wasn’t the Republicans who cancelled a missile defense system with two of our allies just to make Putin happy.

      • legal eagle

        Dear John,
        So lets get this straight. When Cuba installed a missile defense system in the 60’s the U.S. considered it an act of war. When the U.S. wanted to install a missile defense system in Poland you believe Russia should not have had the same reaction?

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          You think what was in Cuba was a missile defense system? lol. Wow.

          • legal eagle

            That was Cuba’s claim….about as much reality as Poland’s claim….read a little history…

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Hate to break this to you, but Cuba was lying. A nuke and an interceptor are two very different things.

            Poland’s only lie was about which country they were most concerned with needing interceptors to protect themselves against.

          • legal eagle

            Did you major in being simplistic….How do you know what Poland or Cuba is lying about? It’s called politics..

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            I see. I don’t know, but you do. lol. Fantastic.

          • Rose

            John is uncomfortable with the Putin worship at CPAC and attempting to deflect. I don’t blame him. I see CPAC as one long list of people who have about as much chance of being president as PeeWee German. Go Hillary!

          • Rose

            Or even PeeWee German! Ha! Hillary will devour any of them.

          • mcveen

            Nah, too much baggage.

          • legal eagle

            Hillary will win easily against any of these Republican clowns…

          • George Williams

            People are going to remember her “I don’t give a sh*t” line about the dead in Bengharzi. When she is challenged on her accomplishments in a debate, people are going to notice that her only accomplishment as SoS was getting four people killed in Benghazi, getting Fromer’s award for most travelled, her inability to coordinate the proper Russian name for “reset” for her reset button for Russia, setting up the scene for the Russians in Ukraine, chaos in Egypt and Libya. Get her in a public debate and people will see her for the empty suit she is. Obama’s goal was to get more respect for the U.S on the internatonal state, but all indications are that we are seen as a weak nation, no longer to be respected but to held in contempt. Getting her elected will get the people more of the disaster that Obama’s presidency has become. Hillary may win but it will mean continuation of the economic malaise and ultimately the discreditation of her party for years to come. And when push comes to shove, we’ll tie her attempt at Hillarycare as a prelude and template for Obamacare. By the next presidential election cycle, people will have a good bitter taste of Obamacare and the Democrats in Congress will be wearing wigs and Groucho Marx glasses and moustaches to disguise themselves. LOL!

            P.S. We’re going make Bill an isse. Right now Bill has had a free ride. We’re going to muckrake his past from now until election day, so much so that he’ll beg Hillary to get out of the race.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            That’s what everyone thought about her primary opponents in 2008.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            lol. You’re the one talking about CPAC and I’M the one deflecting? Stop spamming, Rose. The lengths you’ll go to avoid discussing the topic at hand is staggering.

          • legal eagle

            I wish you were defecting instead of deflecting…LOL

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Is that the comeback your DNC emails told you to use?

          • mcveen

            nice one

          • legal eagle

            This the CPAC theme song-

            “Isn’t it rich?
            Isn’t it queer?
            Losing my timing this late
            In my career?
            And where are the clowns?
            Quick, send in the clowns.
            Don’t bother – they’re here”

            Send In the Clowns
            Stephen Sondheim

          • mcveen

            Nice! I like that.

          • legal eagle

            Glad to hear you have good taste in music….

          • mcveen

            Wow beagle, you are really smart.

          • legal eagle

            The U.S. backed an invasion of Cuba….Did Russia ever invade Poland?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Not yet.

          • legal eagle

            Ever hear of the Bay of Pigs Invasion? Don’t you thing Castro was justified in believing that the U.S.was going to invade Cuba?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            SQUIRREL!

      • Rose

        Plain thinks he’s very manly and could probably shoot, kill, skin, eviscerate, and dress a moose. I think she finds him ” potent” and chest-thumping. He us, after all her neighbor.

    • Lenny Szubinski

      No he doesn’t Rose! Putin doesn’t put up with the queer crap or muslim crap either! I find his politically incorrect stances quite refreshing! It reminds me of America before PC took hold of so many indoctrinated minds!

  • Chief Mojo

    According to Bernie, we should all just give up on our beliefs and march along with moral decay like good little brain-washed soldiers. If not, he’ll be all too happy to tell you how you are on the WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY.

    P.S. to Bernie – When you’re doing your next little Fox News segment recapping the press in all its mindless, lock-stepping glory, don’t forget to include yourself and your “Wrong side of history” line. I guess it’s a bit more difficult to shake your old network news roots bias than I had imagined…

    • Dee

      What religion are you part of that advocates discrimination of any kind? Certainly none that’s based on Jesus’ teachings…he went out of his way to support the lepers, prostitutes and other ‘untouchables’ of his time.

      • Rose

        Lots of right wing politicians and talk radio nuts are totally in the sewer when it comes to moral decay.

        • Chief Mojo

          Yeah, and that sewer is mightily packed with all their lefty brethren trying to claw their way out alongside of them…

          • Rose

            The difference is the left does not pretend to be holier than thou or harp about moral decay all the time. The right often acts as if God has them on speed dial. Ha! They even imagine that God is a conservative Republican American.

          • Chief Mojo

            When you’re right, you’re right, my friend. The left does indeed seem perfectly content to be wallowing about in the filth of the sewer and happy that the whole world know about it. As a matter of fact, it might even be said that they are quite exasperated UNLESS the whole world is aware of their debauchery. Now… Be gone, Rose-Troll!

          • Rose

            Well, Chief, I happen know many on the left who lead pretty upright lives, including myself. I have been married to the same guy for a long time. I am a person of faith. I don’t drink or do drugs. I obey the law and have never been in the slammer. I just don’t enjoy setting myself up as a super-Christian or Super-Patriot. And I am suspicious of those who toot their moral horns too loudly. I also don’t sit in judgment of others when it comes to religion. We all struggle, and we will all be judged one day. I think it is funny how the right tries to get a monopoly on God and religion. He is there for all of us.

          • Chief Mojo

            Dear Rose Troll, I bet you were once a lot of fun.
            Like in the third grade.
            I remember your type: That little, somewhat chubby gal in pigtails that followed everyone around and couldn’t stop talking, always having to have the last word. Everyone else just wanting to have fun and be left alone but no… Here comes ole’ Rose again, yammering yammering yammering like a beehive in everyone’s head. I weep for your friends and family. If you have any. Again I say, “Be gone, Rose Troll, be gone!”

          • Rose

            Well, you seem to remember that little girl very clearly, but I doubt she remembers you. I am sure you did not marry a girl like her, if you have a wife. I suspect you like women you can dominate, which means someone plain and homely and easily beaten down. I have many intelligent friends who are not intimidated by strong women and my husband is a total hunk!

          • Chief Mojo

            Be a good girl now and go fetch my latte, TrollRosie Rose! Ta ta!

          • mcveen

            Up yours Guest. Get a handle ya’ punk.

          • mcveen

            Good one Rose. Put the little stunted intellect where he needs to be.

          • mcveen

            Cram it, guest. Why don’t you get an ID? You are too childish for this forum.

          • George Williams

            They say that if you wear skunkweed around your neck you can ward off trolls. Do we dare to make Rose disappear.

          • mcveen

            I may be a little naive for this discussion but it seems Guest is way beyond jaded.

          • mcveen

            Then why do you and your crowd preach debauchery and worthlessness? Your idol is done. Obama and his socialist regime are toast until 2024 at least. Hope our great country can recover. Not sure.

          • George Williams

            ” I have been married to the same guy for a long time.” May I know his name? I’ll nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Quickly now, we need to get it through before he needs a padded room.

          • Rose

            Oh, and Chief, I am not going anywhere. Bernie apparently is a fan of free speech. Maybe you are in the wrong place.

          • George Williams

            Yes, it’s ironic that you say this, because every blog run by your lefty friends has a full time censorship division.

          • mcveen

            Well yes, I do even imagine that God is a conservative Republican American.

      • Chief Mojo

        Um, newsflash “Dee”… I’m an atheist.
        Next moronic, irrelevant question please?

        • Rose

          Chief, I believe that an atheist is just as capable of morality as a Christian or any other religious person. But neither atheists or the religious can impose their ideas of right and wrong on others. You are free to think homosexuality is wrong and gay marriage is wrong but both may be fully constitutional.

          • Chief Mojo

            Um, I was talking to Dee.
            But please, feel free to but in on conversations that are not directed toward you because EVERYONE is just dying to hear the fresh, relevant, take that ole Rose Troll has on the matter…

          • Rose

            Maybe you and Dee should get a room. This is a public forum where all are free to participate, even those who think you are full of sitting bull, chief.

          • mcveen

            Don’t worry about it Rose. This guy is obviously a newbie to this forum. I don’t agree with anything you say, but I probably still like you. Just don’t piss me off, HA HA

          • George Williams

            You like her for what….her lies, brown eyes and acnied scarred complexion?

          • George Williams

            “full of sitting bull”…..Only rose could dream something like that up.

          • mcveen

            So what? It is still immoral and another cancer on our fragile society.

      • Bud Brota
        • Rose

          Jesus did not heal all lepers or raise everyone from the dead like Lazarus or make every blind person in the area see. He could have, if you believe God gave him powers, but he didn’t. He admonished sinners to sin no more but we do not know if the were able to refrain from sin. Even born again Christians do not keep from sinning.

  • AbdullahtheButcher

    >They’re on the wrong side of history – and they know it!

    I’m rather tired of hearing that line of nonsense-that “wrong side of history” drivel. What does that mean? As for selling a cake to two homosexuals who want to get married, I’d sell them the cake. After all, they’d get it from somewhere anyways, even if they make it themselves.

  • Rose

    Question for the religious right : how do you reconcile O’Reilly’s phone sex, Shepard Smith’s supposed homosexuality, and Rush Limbaugh’s OxyContin addiction and his and Newts infidelities and multiple marriages with your concerns about moral decay?

    • Rose

      *crickets*

      • Eric Maher

        Cold be a variety of reasons for people to ignore you.

        • Rose

          Could be they do not want to answer the question, too. Jim Ramsay did not care to address it.

          • jim ramsay

            After a while, it gets old. I don’t know you and you don’t know me but you’ve already made a lot of assumptions about me that are just plain wrong. But the most disturbing part about it is that it appears that you’re not really listening – just spouting.

    • jim ramsay

      Why do you assume that those on the religious right are only capable of seeing the sins of those in a different political party?

      • Rose

        Well, the people I named are leaders of the right and spokesmen for the right. There are people here who chastise Obama for admitting he once smoked a marijuana cigarette. Yet they excuse the OxyContin addict Limbaugh. They preach morals and family values, but look at these three. Are they moral?

        • jim ramsay

          You are still making a lot of assumptions. Among them are: 1. These three speak for all conservatives. 2. All conservatives are social conservatives. 3. They are unrepentant of their alleged sins. 4. They are condemning others for immoral behavior as opposed to encouraging moral behavior or decrying the negative consequences of immoral behavior. 5. That all conservatives condone and excuse any moral breach of these three. 6. That all conservatives even know about these alleged immoral infractions (the only one I knew about was Limbaugh’s addiction). 7. That Shepard Smith is actually gay. 8. That all social conservatives condemn Obama for admitting to smoking marijuana. 9. That conservatives are critical of Obama’s marijuana usage in the past as opposed to expressing regret and encouraging young people to avoid making the same wrong choices. I could probably go on but I hope you’re getting the point that making blanket accusations is not an effective way to win arguments.

          • Rose

            My questions were aimed at the religious right, not at social conservatives or all conservatives. I said that my question was specifically meant for the religious right. I cannot address every conservative on an individual basis. Maybe you should read a question before getting on your high horse.

          • jim ramsay

            Hmmm. I doubt you’d find many social conservatives who are not the religious right. And why do you always resort to name calling or belittling? You’ve already labeled me a “Christian Thug” and now I’m on a “high horse”. Why can’t we have a debate without resorting to non-productive tactics to win?

        • Rose

          No, I do not assume the three named men speak for all conservatives, but they darned sure don’t speak for any liberals. Nor do I assume all conservatives are social conservatives, and those who are not are certainly free to comment on the three examples I gave and on the conservative theme of moral rectitude. I have no way of knowing who repents of moral lapses. I just know that a number of people on these boards criticize Obama for smoking a joint and claim Rush was in pain. Oh, they have no qualms about condemning Obama and giving their conservative pals a pass for worse behavior. You see. To imagine that in order to raise a question, I should cover all the absolutes. Perhaps some ditto heads stopped listening to Rush because of his behavior. If so, they are free to say so. My question stands.

          • mcveen

            Rush is a smart guy but I stopped listening to him more than 10 years ago because of his boorish behavior on the radio.

        • mcveen

          Who excused Limbaugh for his drug addiction?

        • mcveen

          I don’t care if Obama smoked a joint. I wouldn’t be surprised if he and Holder had a smoke together everyday after lunch every day now. After all, that is the democrat way, right? Do who or what you want, when you want, as long as someone else pays. And to hell with anyone that doesn’t like it!

    • littlemoe44

      Nice shot! There are more than Social Conservatives against this goat rope. Gotta put a name to it though. Guess we need to issue cards–can’t vote on Goldberg without your Social Conservative card and two forms of picture I.d.

      • Rose

        I addressed the religious right, not just social conservatives.

    • AbdullahtheButcher

      With regard to Rush, maybe his OxyContin addiction came as a result of being in pain, and needing something to make it stop.

      • Rose

        Well, any excuse is better than none. Of course, people with good character and holiness endure pain without becoming addicts, and his enormous girth and insatiable appetite, the sin of gluttony, causes pain in the back, joints, etc. he brings pain on himself in that regard. His lifestyle of immorality might also contribute to bouts of depression and guilt. He is personally responsible for his choices and weaknesses just like anyone else.

    • Not Heterophobic

      Um, because they repent? Ask forgiveness from God? “Who am I to judge them,” to paraphrase an old illuminati in the news. You see, we are all sinners. “Whoever has no sin, throw the first stone,” is a trick demonstrative sentence…you see, no one can throw the stone. Man, you could stay up thinking all night and never get it quite that right. That is why He is God and we are stone droppers! They have to answer for their sins. I got my own. But does that mean I can’t comment on the moral decay. Well, if I am still embracing my sins as I do, I had better watch out, because there is a lot of mud out there waiting to be slung. These guys know it. That is the mantle they have taken up. Rush Limbaugh’s sin life is not the standard for human behavior; Christ is the model. It ain’t easy to follow Him. But with His help, we can do it. On our own, we get stuck in the mud. Last time I checked, they look like they are going and sinning no more. But who knows. I am trying to navigate my way to Paradise. I hope to bring a few with me – much more fun traveling with a group. I have a lot to say about the world at large, and am happy to say it so long as it is loving and meant to cure, not disfigure another person. We all sin. That is understandable. But it is when we say, “So what? Everyone is doing it?” that we all fall down. Not all of us are going to make it to Heaven. It ain’t easy being holy. But we are supposed to try. Hopefully, God will look at the whole of our lives and not just the messes we’ve made……we seem to be able to sling the messes around quite well, among ourselves.

      • Chief Mojo

        How DARE you bring GOD into the discussion, you hard-right religious zealot! You are on the WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY! Just ask Bernie. He’ll be happy to tell you what a has-been knuckle-dragging, mouth breather you are. Again, and again, and agin…

        • Not Heterophobic

          That is very funny.

        • Rose

          Bulletin! Lots of people on the left believe in God and go to church. I am a Christian, but I ain’t crazy!

          • Chief Mojo

            But you are interminably dull.
            And predictable. And that is FAR worse than being crazy.

          • Rose

            Gee, Chief, I seem to get a rise out of you every time. Now, I wonder why anyone would call you a knuckle-dragging mouth-breather. Maybe because none of us thinks you just got back from a Mensa meeting.

          • Chief Mojo

            There are a lot of things you might be able to “get” from me, my sweet, sweet RosieTroll, but a rise would most assuredly not be one of them if you know what I mean… On second thought, you probably don’t.

          • Rose

            Chief, your mojo does not seem to be working around here.

          • mcveen

            Really and truly?

      • Rose

        So, you can harp on the fact that Obama smoking a joint in his youth is a sign of moral decay, while giving a total pass to philanderers and drug addicts on your side? LOL. Seems to me it took Newt getting fat and old before he repented of his repeated infidelities. Ha! And the obese addict Rush condemns others for their drug use and sex caps des even with his track record. He will probably relapse on the OxyContin addiction just as Philip Seymour Hoffman did, if he has not already or move onto heroin. But if so, you can use atonement as an excuse to give him another pass. Obama is a saint compared to these people.

        • mcveen

          Rose honey, you reaching way too far now. Please try to make it credible.

  • Rose

    The Catholic Church is not just a religious institution. It is a business that runs schools, hospitals, charities, etc. and enjoys a tax-free status. It employs people of all faiths and no faith. It has no right to dictate to their employees on matters of birth control. The government is right! We the Taxpayers already subsidize religion itself and churches. Let the Catholics have fourteen kids each if they want. (However, they all practice birth control.) they should not tell others what to do.

    • Dee

      Churches are all businesses…amazing that in these tough times they still have tax-free status. Especially the ones who are clearly politically active.

      PS the pope lives in a castle

    • mcveen

      With no respect for individual thought and liberty, we become the plantation party of Jesse, Al, & Rev. Wright. Not for me!

  • Ed I

    The need for such a bill just show how the left continues their attack on the Bill of Rights, just like the requirement under the Affordable Care Act that the Catholic Church provide insurance with free birth control (and free abortions.) Direct onslaughts against the Bill of Rights by the left have failed so the game is slowly chipping away primarily through a most liberal and in some cases leftist court and a society that has financed the education of way to many trial lawyers. The bill would have prevent underworked lawyers making money for some perceived slight. The news coverage of the Arizona bill was at best biased and at worst a deliberate attempt to mislead Americans. As for those who continue to believe that this has never been a great nation I might ask them what other form of government in what country has been any better? We are still the freest nation in the history of the world. Our only risk to ending our liberty and freedoms is a federal government. A federal government, where both parties and all branches of government ignore the U.S. Constitution. Those that really believe some other place, government, people are so much better just goes to show what has happened to our education system. It is not longer an education system, once the greatest in the world, but an indoctrination system.

    • legal eagle

      Are you always this paranoid or did you just wake up on the wrong side of the bed?

      • Ed I

        Me, paranoid? Never! Question is who or what do you work for? You obviously are a devout lurker, may be even a paid lurker, someone believing your snide comments and attack ad hominem have some influence on those commenting. Sorry but I played the game at a much higher level than yours for decades. Or, since your “handle” is legal eagle are you just another underworked or want to be lawyer?

        • legal eagle

          I think you’ve “played the game” of Metathesiophobia for decades……Do you recognize the symptoms?

          A feeling of uncontrollable anxiety when you think about or are exposed to changes

          The feeling that you must do everything possible to avoid changes

          The inability to function normally because of your anxiety

          Often, the knowledge that your fears are unreasonable or exaggerated but feeling powerless to control them

          • Eric Maher

            >> A feeling of uncontrollable anxiety when you think
            about or are exposed to changes <<

            Of course, telling the debate opponent “Here’s what you think.” Classic fail. Your stance was defeated, so you went back to ad hominem personal attacks. Pleasing to the victor.

            Maybe I’ll take your advice and stop worrying about loss of freedom. Screw them Founding Fathers! LOL

      • Eric Maher

        LOL … Your stance doesn’t hold water, so you resort to ad hominem attack. Classic fail.

        Ironically, the freedom of speech protects you, too.

    • legal eagle

      Sounds like you favor a Bill of Rights for some, not others?

      • Eric Maher

        The Bill of Rights doesn’t just protect nice practices, pleasant beliefs, agreeable speech. You see that, right?

    • Rose

      When were our public or even private elementary and high schools the greatest on earth? In the fifties there was the famous magazine cover, Why Johnny can’t read. It is our Ivy League Schools and other special schools of medicine etc that are so great. We try to educate everyone at the k-12 level. Always have since kids here were required to attend school. Before that, we had huge rates of illiteracy. Plenty of other countries did just as good a job of educating their kids as we did. Same thing with our medical system. The grand specialty hospitals are fantastic and always have been, but ordinary medical here has always been spotty.

    • Rose

      Ed, this is the freest our country has ever been. Women and blacks and children and other minorities certainly were not free at the time of the writing of the Declaration of Independence, during the early years of the colonies, before the Civil War, before the Civil Rights Movement etc. you have a fantasy nation in your head.

      • Eric Maher

        You tell other people what they’re thinking, too. LOL

  • Len

    The Greensboro sit-in did indeed change America for the better, but note that it occurred before any legislation!

  • jim ramsay

    “But we all give up some rights when we join society and when we open a business on Main Street that purports to do business with the general public.” Mr. Goldberg, I was born (i.e. I did not join) into a society where homosexuality was considered a perversion and practicing it was punishable by law. Now I’m being told that I’m on the wrong side of history and that I need to shut up and act like I believe that a perversion of natural law is normal (BTW, I believe that people are born this way, but scientists have also found genes for criminal behavior). Homosexuality is not causing our once great nation to decline but it is certainly symptomatic of immorality that is the cancer killing it.

    • Rose

      I hear the term “once great nation” a lot. Just when was this a great nation? There have always been moral issues in our history. Just when was it so much greater and more moral than it is today?

      • jim ramsay

        “Once a great nation” was a reference to our ideals of freedom and opportunity as well as our power and influence, not our morals. Immorality is a condition that mankind has always struggled with, but I can’t imagine that anyone would argue that it isn’t progressively getting worse in this country considering the following observations. Where statesmen in the early years of this country viewed political office as a service not a career, today entrenched office holders make decisions based on increasing the likelihood they retain their positions rather than the benefit their votes provide to the country. Considering that large corporations did not exist in the eighteenth and most of the nineteenth centuries, corporatism was less of a temptation for most politicians than it is today where crony capitalism controls members of both major parties. Illicit sex has always been around, but with the advent first of the print media, then television and movies and now the internet which has more porn traffic than any other usage, marital commitment, sexual purity and innocence all seem like quaint notions from bygone eras. And, of course, we shouldn’t forget that Christianity itself, which has been the largest and most influential religion in America is now on trial, in the courts, in the media and even in the churches themselves. This does not mean that the “Christian” church itself hasn’t been largely responsible for bringing all of this on itself, but when the institutions that claimed responsibility for at least encouraging morality become centers of immorality then one can’t help but expect that morality no longer plays the role in our culture that it once did.

        • Rose

          Jim, people were held as slaves in this country, bought and sold like cattle. Is that your idea of Christian morality? Little children were forced to work in factories and fields. More of your Holy Rolling Righteousness? People who did not own property could not vote. You sound like a Christian thug to me, a Christian thug with no morals at all.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Rose, you’ve always been a big fan of slavery. Now, it’s up to you prove that you haven’t. #RoseLogic

          • Mrs. IHF

            nobody needs to prove anything to you dildo boy. how is your hatred thing going?

          • jim ramsay

            Rose – Wow. I just laid immorality at the feet of just about everyone, including the church, yet you still want to argue? Sounds like you’ve got a major beef with Christianity. Name calling is not an effective way to win an argument. If someone burned you in the church, then why don’t you go confront them or maybe even take it up with God for allowing it to happen.

  • scott autry

    I want to advise people on Mr. Goldberg’s side that there are perfectly good alternatives to dragging this issue over religion into the courts. Ironically enough, they could very well look into the history of the TV show Soap…

    With our hypothetical bakery case, they could go after his customer base or his suppliers. Fight the owner in the court of public opinion. Ruin his business. Don’t force the courts to make decisions in the area of religion – for one side or the other….

    Believe it or not, I don’t want to see the power of the US government say that homosexuality (in a largely Christian nation) can be viewed within the context of Christianity as so sinful, a large variety of owners can refuse to transact business with them. —- Meaning —- I don’t want the US government in the position of having to decide what Christianity is and isn’t – and what parts of it are and aren’t legal in the public/business areas….

    Because, like Mr. Goldberg said backward people like me fear, if the government does get in the habit of deciding religious issues, once his side does have enough of a majority, elements of it will go much further than he would like to see…..

    In Hollywood now, you had better watch what you say when it comes to religion and certain social issues. Same in the media. Same in higher education. I’m sure Mr. Goldberg still knows that is true.

    Does he really want the courts to give official sanction to the rulings concerning matters of religion? Does it not give him some pause? Does he not have any reasonable doubts about whether or not this will stop at an issue he things is so obviously clear cut? (Though some of us have been trying to point out even the gay issue is not as undebatable as he claims.)

    I don’t trust the government that much.

    The progressives believe we are obviously on the march to a bigger and better future for all mankind. I don’t trust human society that much no matter what…. But, I also recognize that for a certain percentage of the progressive movement (and I don’t know how big or small), the biggest impediment they see to progressing to that more Utopian society is – religion…

    So, yes, Mr. Goldberg, I’m not thrilled with the idea of seeing religion dragged into the courts, though I do concede there is probably no way to avoid it at all….

    • legal eagle

      I believe you, and many others who comment on this site, may be suffering from Metathesiophobia:

      A feeling of uncontrollable anxiety when you think about or are exposed to changes

      The feeling that you must do everything possible to avoid changes

      The inability to function normally because of your anxiety

      Often, the knowledge that your fears are unreasonable or exaggerated but feeling powerless to control them

      • scott autry

        Nope.

      • Eric Maher

        >> A feeling of uncontrollable anxiety when you think
        about or are exposed to changes <<

        LOL … Of course, telling the debate opponent “Here’s what you think.” Classic fail. Your stance was defeated, so you went back to ad hominem personal attacks. Pleasing to the victor.

        Maybe I’ll take your advice and stop worrying about loss of freedom. Screw them Founding Fathers! :-)

        • Rose

          He has a point, Eric. The good old days were not that great, especially for certain segments of society. You seem to have a very romanticized view of the past and to hate the present and fear the future.

          • Eric Maher

            Okay, you’re telling me how I “seem.”

            Oh well, just judge me by my words. If you can’t counter them …

          • jim ramsay

            Rose, can you identify for us one country, empire, kingdom, ever, that benefited everyone equally?

  • Darren Perkins

    I am conservative as much as anyone and way more conservative than Bernie but I fail to see how a business providing a product or a service to gays or anyone else can possibly violate their religious beliefs. You provide a service or product. You receive money in return. You don’t have to agree with a purchasers viewpoints, or take part in what they do beyond providing the service and/or goods they pay for. This particular law was worded without mentioning a particular group but we all know it was targeted at gays. As much as I disagree with a gay lifestyle, as I believe it to be sinful, I fail to see that any business has a right to discriminate against them because of the proprietor’s religious beliefs. The only reason to turn down business is a lack of capacity or legitimate safety concerns. It should not be a reason to turn down business because you feel uncomfortable around ‘those’ type of people. If religious beliefs were all so strictly held by these folks that would turn down business from gays then perhaps they shouldn’t want to serve single mothers, divorced people, people of other faiths than theirs or even Christians of different denominations. Why would these situations disturb them more than the sexual orientation of the purchaser. On the face of it, it is pure bullshit. Love the sinner and hate the sin is what I say. We will all die someday. We all suffer the same fate in the end. What we do down here is just a chasing after the wind so let Love rule your hearts instead of fear.

    • scott autry

      I agree with you that an owner of a business not servicing a homosexual is not right, and I’ll go a step further: I believe it is unChristian – that the owner is exercising judgment on a person that Jesus told me was His purview alone. — But, this is not the issue at hand.

      We aren’t debating the merits of the person’s views or his religion:

      “The whole point of religious freedom is that it’s extended to the people who are — from at least someone’s perspective — completely wrong.”

      The link someone else posted below is informative:

      http://thefederalist.com/2014/02/28/dumb-uneducated-and-eager-to-deceive-media-coverage-of-religious-liberty-in-a-nutshell/

      Anybody couldn’t exclude anyone for anything and claim it was based on any one religion: They’d have to prove their case in court and the system would work it out…

      (For that matter, the Governor vetoing the law passed by the elected representatives is part of that system working it out. Now, the voters will be pursued by the PR firms for this and that social group as they jockey for votes to oust or keep that Governor and his party…

      …I just wish even the likes of Bernard Goldberg would not preach that someone like me is a racist, homophobic bigot who favored lynching back in the day because I disagree with him on this issue…

      …and I wish the media, entertainment, and college institutions in American society pretty much didn’t shut people like me out based on my world view — which they make a caricature of in order to demonize me in order to win fence sitters over to their side on this or that hot button social issue….

      • Darren Perkins

        I don’t disagree with you on Goldberg’s tactics. My post was not an endorsement of his column but merely my own point of view. Just because I ‘fail to see’ does not necessarily invalidate others opinions but I give mine in the hopes that maybe some will give theirs a second thought. I haven’t read the bill but on the face of it, it does not seem to be intended so much to further religious freedom than it is meant to deny dignity and respect to people who happen to be gay.
        I personally think that Goldberg is becoming a little thin skinned because he takes so much flack for his opinions in regard to gay rights (marriage in particular) so he has taken the bait and is firing back. A more well reasoned argument would serve him (and his opinion) better.

        • scott autry

          I think the person at that link argued his point well: If someone does something in a business, and points to his religion as justification, it doesn’t matter if I agree with him or not.

          If he gets sued, it would be up to the courts to decide if he can be viewed as reasonably applying his religious rights vs the individual rights of the customer….And if community didn’t like what the courts decided, they would pressure elected officials to change the law of the land. And then those laws would be challenged, and so on, up and down the avenues of government.

          Our system of government isn’t pretty. It isn’t terribly efficient. But, it is so far the best system a creature as faulty as man has been able to devise…

          I’m just very disappointed in Mr. Goldberg after having enjoyed his books a good bit…

          • Eric Maher

            I’d still comment that we talk too much about what government will allow us to do. Gotta go to court, gotta get a new law, etc.

            The US Constitution protects the right of the people to freely assemble and picket any store we think is mean and bigoted. Leaves government out of it.

    • Guest

      (For the baker, I’d advise, instead of being too judgmental and boycotting gay customers, bring with you to the affair a load of pamphlets by Christian groups that focus on the homosexual community in an effort to win them over to the Biblical perspective as they see it. Use some frosting to write out the books, chapters, and verses in the Bible that you believe justify your position. — I understand there will be some Christians who say that just being a caterer at the ceremony is participation enough to cause them to look sinful in God’s eyes, but this idea might work for others thinking about turning away gay business… We have alternatives to dragging this into the courts….(But I’m pretty much the Little Dutch Boy here with my finger in the dike….I feel….)

      • scott autry

        This comment was meant to be made under my last just above it. I wrote it here by mistake….Sorry…

      • legal eagle

        The cake maker is at the wedding? I’ve never heard of that, have you?

        • Eric Maher

          It’d be like a printer not wanting to print announcements for a gay wedding.

          You actually knew the cake maker wasn’t at the wedding, and you just put up this straw man argument, right?

          :o)

      • Darren Perkins

        I agree there is no reason to burden our already over-burdened courts. The answer is to simply not discriminate against anyone. I also don’t feel it would be appropriate to proselytize to those who do not welcome it. If given permission then this would be fine but otherwise it would be a disruption. People do not pay for disruptions… they pay for goods and services. It would also serve no purpose as the message would not be received. Until someone is ready to receive the good news it will bear no fruit.

        • Eric Maher

          >> The answer is to simply not discriminate against anyone. <<

          Yes. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Welcome gay customers, just don't participate in a gay wedding if you don't want to.

      • Rose

        Oh, joy, as if Christians did not quote enough verses already.

        • Eric Maher

          Sorry you don’t like religious expression. You better get to work on amending the US Constitution.

    • Eric Maher

      The baker welcomed gay customers. But he didn’t want to participate in a gay wedding, which the baker considered a sin. There’s a difference.

      • Rose

        So he doesn’t think gay sex is a sin, just gay marriage? What a crock!

        • Eric Maher

          I’d assume he thinks gay sex is a sin. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t allow ANYBODY to have sex in his bakery. It still doesn’t mean you should use government to force him to sell you a cake.

          The Bill of Rights doesn’t just protect nice practices, pleasant beliefs, agreeable speech.

    • Rose

      Excellent reply, Darren. Guess some conservatives can reason things out on their own. Why stir up a hornet’s nest? I think some people see gay rights as a kind of last stand. Most people participate in all or some of the other things the Bible labels as sin, including divorce, adultery, fornication, bit if they are not gay, it is a convenient place to claim the Christian high ground.

      • legal eagle

        Gay rights is the last stand until the next “wedge” issue the Republican Party can invent to keep their base properly agitated….Don’t forget the Terry Schiavo “crisis” invented by the Republicans a few years ago…

        • Eric Maher

          Just write “People who disagree with me can’t be sincere, impossible!” Save everyone time. LOL

    • Ed I

      I agree Darren, but the issue is the government throughout the courts forcing one to do business with people they disagree with on a fundamental basis. The First Amendment is the first for well thought out and debated reasons. I suggest everyone who hasn’t or hasn’t recently go back and read the Federalists and Anti-Federalist papers. Our founding fathers were generally better educated and wiser than any politician in Washington, D.C. today. As an aside, all the human rights organizations except the UN and the US government list Christians as the most persecuted religion on earth today. Note that in all of the Islamic World and in Russia homosexuality is a far more severe crime than it has every been in this country. In several Islamic nations it is punishable by death. Again those believing we, the USA, is THE problem in the world need to study history, real history, not some fantasy presently taught in far left universities, like Harvard.

    • jim ramsay

      First, hypocrisy in the church is nothing new. There have been way too many Christians who have lived lives contrary to their professed beliefs. Adultery, sexual immorality, thievery, slander, drunkenness and swindling are all listed in the NT along with homosexuality as sins on an equal basis. Christians who have allowed any of those unrepented-of sins within themselves or their midst are guilty of hypocrisy if they are singling out homosexuality as somehow being worse. On the other hand, homosexuals who are now demanding that their lifestyle be considered normal have changed the debate from being accepted as our fellow humans with weaknesses like the rest of us to “I can do anything I want and no one should judge me!” Once that precedent is set then it doesn’t take a great imagination to see any number of other twisted lifestyles being advocated.

      • Darren Perkins

        No one but God should judge them as we cannot know what is in their heart even if they proclaim their homosexuality loudly and proudly and I personally do not look to the government to enforce or endorse discrimination against people who hurt no one but themselves.

        • jim ramsay

          Don’t you think that someone who “proclaim(s) their homosexuality loudly and proudly” is clearly telling us what is in their heart? As far as judging them is concerned, I believe I have already made it clear that the Bible doesn’t judge their behavior any differently than any other sin. Of course, you may not adhere to a biblical worldview so let’s just address your last two points. Up until 1973, the American Psychiatric Association listed homosexuality as a disorder. That year, an influential group of homosexual activists within that group convinced the Board of Trustees with a 58% majority to remove it as a disorder. Also, at that time, laws against sodomy could be found throughout the country (although rarely enforced). So up until 41 yrs ago, this behavior was considered abnormal and unhealthy, mentally and physically. Today, with the help of a concerted effort by people on many fronts, homosexuals are no longer the pariahs they once were, but not everyone is convinced that their behavior poses no threat to others. The American College of Pediatricians, although vilified by those who endorse the homosexual lifestyle, is one such group of physicians who warn of physical and mental health risks the behavior poses both to participants as well as those who might be lead to believe that experimenting with these behaviors exposes them to no serious risks. Another concern that I personally have that I don’t hear anyone else raising is the potential harm to children raised in a gay household. Most recognize that a male and female both model their respective roles and relate to and identify with their children as father & mother, husband and wife, male and female. A gay couple cannot possibly do this. Regarding discrimination, I’d be willing to bet that you would be ok with the government labeling “flashers” as sex offenders, i.e. it’s not a matter of whether or not the government should play a role in enforcing discrimination, it’s a matter of what we as a society deem as an acceptable behavior.

          • Darren Perkins

            Jim, I once proclaimed loudly and proudly that I was an atheist.. but God new that I wasn’t in my heart. I was just angry at God and I convinced myself that God did not exist. To all outward appearances I was an atheist and I would argue my point to the end with those that would disagree with me back then. I realize all of this now but then was a different story. My point is that God knows us better than we know ourselves. Moses didn’t think he could lead his people out of exile in Egypt but God did. If someone is proclaiming their homosexuality loudly and proudly we cannot know the heart of that person as God does. The heart of God’s law is mercy and judgement is his to make.

            In this world I can think of a lot worse situations than growing up with two gay parents who were caring, loving and nurturing and although it is certainly not ideal it would be a lot better than being sexually abused or beaten or simply neglected by heterosexual parents. In the realm of acceptable behavior obviously flashing people is not, nor is having sex in public either homosexual or heterosexual as this effects unwilling participants. Anything done in private is truly none of anyone’s business but the people involved.

            Consider if as a society it got to the point where atheism was the predominant belief and an amendment to the constitution was ratified by the states rescinding freedom of religion and instead substituted freedom from religion as the right. Would this be ok in your eyes? What if Christianity were deemed the unacceptable behavior. What if 58% of the states ratified this amendment. Would it make it any less wrong in your eyes? Just for a moment put yourself in a gay man’s shoes and ask yourself if you would want to be discriminated against based on a law passed by the government or by a popular vote. I don’t think that you would.

          • jim ramsay

            Darren, I don’t know you but I could tell when you stated in a previous post that you were an atheist there was more to your story. I haven’t personally gone down that path, but I know a number of people who have and they commonly come out of an abusive, legalistic church background that forced them to question their faith and God. “The church” which now numbers 41,000 denominations/groups and counting worldwide is accountable for the confusion that reigns in the hearts and minds of all of us at one time or another in our walk through life.

            I agree with you that “God knows us better than we know ourselves”. In fact, a little known psalm states, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book

            before one of them came to be.” If we accept this passage as truth, then the path of the homosexual as well as yours and mine were pre-ordained before our entrance into this world and every step we take and every thought we entertain was scripted for us to experience. I’m sharing this not because I expect anyone to accept it, but to give a background for the posts that I write.

            I don’t believe that homosexuals have a choice in their orientation. I could provide a number of scriptures as well as evidence outside of the Bible to support this belief, but the point I’m making is that when I label a behavior as immoral/sin, I am simply classifying and/or discouraging it, not condemning the person exhibiting it. As you stated, “the heart of God’s law is mercy and judgment is his to make.”

            Your point that there are worse situations than being raised by gay parents does not justify or lessen any potential harm that environment might inflict on a child’s psychological/emotional development. That’s like saying that cutting off a child’s arm is not as bad as cutting off their legs!

            I chose “flashing” as an example of a behavior that the government has criminalized because it involves unwilling participants but does not inflict a physical imposition on them just like what might happen to a child being raised in a less than optimum family arrangement. The gay marriage movement likes to point to “broken” families to justify their fitness as parents, saying that if a single mom or an aunt and uncle can raise a child, so can a gay couple. Anyone who has encountered individuals given up for adoption recognizes there is a “hole” that that person often seeks to fill.

            Are some of the public displays of affection that far off from the real thing? Haven’t we blurred the lines with portrayals of sex on TV and in the movies? Apparently not everyone believes that anything done is private is truly none of anyone else’s business; I heard Ashton Kucher on an ET commercial this morning describe how good sex is with Mila Kunis and frankly if every homosexual truly believed that their sex life if private then “coming out” would not be a daily or weekly news story.

            I’m really confused by your straw man argument about the reaction of a gay person to protecting religious business people from potential lawsuits for suggesting that gay couples take their business for matrimonial plans (which are not legal yet in AZ) elsewhere to the reaction of a religious person faced with the repealing of the First Amendment. Homosexuality, which reflects perhaps 3.5% of the population has been marginalized for thousands of years in almost every culture, religious or secular, because frankly it subverts natural law. Those who point to examples of “homosexual” behavior in nature ignore that except in the cases where the creatures are asexual, the behavior is an anomaly and not intended to further the species, meaning they cannot provide an example where this behavior is the norm providing an environment where the species flourishes.

            However, I don’t believe that the government can actually legislate against discrimination. If a business person really didn’t want to bake a cake for a gay marriage, he could screw up the recipe. If a photographer really didn’t to photograph a gay wedding, he could take all the shots off center or with incorrect lighting. It wouldn’t take very long before word got out to gay couples not to use those company’s services, but legally all they could recover would be their payment.

            This issue is really challenging whether a religious (primarily “Christian”) business person can practice his or her faith in a quickly changing culture that is being blinded to spiritual and natural laws. I really don’t see any positive outcome to this – if you look at history, you will find that these behaviors are merely symptoms of a declining culture and since this seems to be happening almost everywhere in the western world I have little hope that mankind is going to resolve it in a peaceful manner. My only hope is in God’s promises, and those promises include that at some point, God will be All in All.

          • Darren Perkins

            I appreciate you taking the time to write your post and give some background.

            Your statement:
            ‘Your point that there are worse situations than being raised by gay
            parents does not justify or lessen any potential harm that environment
            might inflict on a child’s psychological/emotional development.’

            My Reply:
            It’s not a perfect world and no one has perfect parents. I think we disagree on the severity of the harm in being raised by homosexual parents. I think that the type of people they are (outside of their sexual preferences) is more important than anything. There are no guarantees with whomever may adopt a child. Should homosexuality be a black ball. I personally sdon’t think so but that is a matter of opinion.

            Your Statement:
            ‘if every homosexual truly believed that their sex life if private then “coming out” would not be a daily or weekly news story’

            My reply:
            Sin should not be celebrated or glorified but putting myself in their shoes I think that ‘coming out’ is often less about celebration and more about not being ashamed of themselves as human beings. Sex is such an integral part of a person that to deny their orientation to their families, friends, coworkers is very damaging to leading a productive and happy life even if they never consummate a homosexual act. Why it makes the news is beyond me. Perhaps they decide to make their orientation public so that someone else struggling with the same issues won’t feel that they are all alone and to bring to light the injustice of being discriminated against for something that you readily admit is beyond their control. Just my thought.

            Your Statement:
            I’m really confused by your straw man argument about the reaction of a
            gay person to protecting religious business people from potential
            lawsuits for suggesting that gay couples take their business for
            matrimonial plans (which are not legal yet in AZ) elsewhere to the
            reaction of a religious person faced with the repealing of the First
            Amendment.

            My Reply:
            Perhaps not my greatest example of writing but basically what I am saying is simply being in a minority should not subject you to any different treatment by the community at large than anyone else. You should not be subjected to ‘freedom from religion’ anymore than a homosexual should be subjected to ‘freedom from gays’ as it were. We are all citizens of the United States and should be treated as such.

            Your statement:
            However, I don’t believe that the government can actually legislate
            against discrimination. If a business person really didn’t want to bake a
            cake for a gay marriage, he could screw up the recipe. If a
            photographer really didn’t to photograph a gay wedding, he could take
            all the shots off center or with incorrect lighting. It wouldn’t take
            very long before word got out to gay couples not to use those company’s
            services, but legally all they could recover would be their payment.

            My reply:
            You are wrong. The government can and has legislated against discrimination for African Americans as the most visible example. You cannot legislate morality but you can legislate against the act of discrimination. No one can control another persons mind to make him not want to discriminate but the act of discrimination can carry penalties if it meets the burden of proof in a court of law and this could carry punitive penalties beyond merely a refund.

            Your statement:
            This issue is really challenging whether a religious (primarily
            “Christian”) business person can practice his or her faith in a quickly
            changing culture that is being blinded to spiritual and natural laws.

            My reply:
            I do not believe that providing goods and services to homosexuals impinges on the owners practice of his or her faith. This is admittedly my opinion but even the practice of a person’s religion does not give impetus to break the law where such laws exist. (extreme example is people who worship Satan are not allowed to sacrifice virgins, less extreme Christians are not allowed to rely on God to heal their children instead of getting appropriate medical attention for them).

            Your Statement:
            I really don’t see any positive outcome to this – if you look at
            history, you will find that these behaviors are merely symptoms of a
            declining culture and since this seems to be happening almost everywhere
            in the western world I have little hope that mankind is going to
            resolve it in a peaceful manner. My only hope is in God’s promises, and
            those promises include that at some point, God will be All in All.

            My reply:
            There will NOT be a positive outcome. Our culture IS in decline IMO. There will not be a peaceful end in my world view. I do have faith that God is in control and we as Christians need to be examples of God’s love on earth. To me this includes admitting that we ALL deserve death and as such many out there who may bake cakes badly and take bad photographs etc. need to pull the plank out of their own eyes for as we judge so will we be judged.

          • jim ramsay

            Darren – I will only respond to two points in your post. You stated,

            “I do not believe that providing goods and services to homosexuals impinges on the owners practice of his or her faith.”

            A gay couple with 5 surrogate children want to force the Church of England to perform a wedding ceremony for them even though there is a law prohibiting this. This quote from http://www.religionnews.com/2013/08/06/gay-couple-may-sue-church-of-england-to-wed-in-church/ highlights what they want:

            “We need to convince the church that it is the right thing for our community for them to recognize us as practicing Christians,” said Drewitt-Barlow.

            “It upsets me because I want it so much — a big lavish ceremony, the whole works. I am a Christian — a practicing Christian — my children have all been brought up as Christians and are part of the local parish church in Danbury.”

            If a photographer and baker can be forced to do this – a photographer who refused to photograph a lesbian couple’s wedding was told by the New Mexico Supreme Court to pay the plaintiff’s legal fees of $6637 and that “this was the price for their citizenship in New Mexico” – then what makes anyone think that the laws won’t “evolve” to force the ministry to officiate such weddings with the threat that if they didn’t they would lose their tax exempt status or worse. Wouldn’t you agree that this would be an impingement on a minister’s practice his/her faith?There are so many people challenging the Constitution, nothing would surprise me anymore.

            You stated,

            “You are wrong. The government can and has legislated against discrimination for African Americans as the most visible example. You cannot legislate morality but you can legislate against the act of discrimination.”

            My wife works at a CPA firm here in the deep South. The firm serves a wealthy clientele and refuses to hire any blacks “because the clientele would not have it”. I work for the city’s fire dept. The city has ~53% black / 47% white population. The fire dept demographics are: Drivers & below – 20% black / 80% white. Captains & above – 60% black / 40% white. Pretty illuminating wouldn’t you say?

          • Darren Perkins

            I would not think that anyone could force a particular church to marry anyone that is not a member of their church and if they are members then they would be subject to the beliefs of that church or be denied membership. I don’t know what the situation is in England but here in the US we do still have freedom of religion and the slippery slope argument doesn’t pass muster. A church is not a public institution but a private one unlike a business that sells goods and services. As far as tax exempt status– I’m not so sure that churches should have this anyway. With the explosion of the mega-churches they are more like businesses than they are churches in my opinion. Also IMO ‘preachers’ the likes of Joel O’steen shouldn’t enjoy this governmental perk as he is just a glorified motivational speaker who doesn’t teach biblical truth anyway. We live in an age where a lot of ‘churches’ don’t preach the gospel so much as they preach God as a way to get things on earth (think Joyce Meyer who thinks it is a-ok for her to fly around in her private jet to her many speaking engagements and book signings telling people the good news- they can be rich too if they just buy her books and attend her speaking engagements). I don’t attend a church because I don’t want to be polluted. I was married by a justice of the peace for legal purposes but already married to my wife in the eyes of God as we pledged ourselves to each other in his sight. No ceremony and no guests and no church. Just me, her, and God. Religion has been used for evil throughout history and I have no use for what is called religion. True religion is following Christ and being led by his Holy Spirit and taking up your cross and bearing it daily.
            As for your other point about the law firm discriminating against blacks: Their are laws against this and should they be challenged in court and it can be proven that there is systemic discrimination then they should lose and pay the penalty. I don’t buy into the percentages argument as I don’t believe that proves anything. If a case can be made that discrimination has occurred then it can be taken to court. I am firmly against quota systems and affirmative action as this is nothing more than discrimination in itself. The most qualified should get the job regardless of race and this may very well mean that percentages of minority employees may not mirror the percentages of minorities in the population.

          • jim ramsay

            We agree on the problem with religion. I’m not for tax exemption either; I mentioned it only because it is one of several wedges that could be used by Progressives who have a problem with both the Constitution and religion. I don’t know about a slippery slope but I would never have believed 10 years ago that gay marriage would be legal in 17 states and some people I know have begun to tell me that they don’t see what the problem is with Communism. When people either ignore history or are fed revisions of it that portray our founding fathers as nothing more than white, elitist, slave-holding deists and that Russia & China’s glorious past has been distorted by right-wing capitalist, then it doesn’t seem a stretch to imagine a not-too-distant future where religion is banned and freedom is nothing more than a memory for some of us.

            I mentioned the two examples of discrimination only because the effectiveness of legislation on this issue is limited. And if you look at the history of this country, civil rights legislation was originally passed in the decade after the Civil War giving blacks the same rights as whites and integrating them into the federal government and military. When Woodrow Wilson was elected, he played “Birth of a Nation” in the White House and segregated both the federal government and the military. The Democratic party from Reconstruction on did everything it could to thwart Republican efforts to integrate blacks into American society until the 1964 Civil Rights Act was signed into law. The point I’m making is that legislation in this country has a checkered history and considering the number of people in academia and the media who are currently challenging the Constitution, capitalism and American exceptionalism, I wouldn’t be surprised if some day the First Amendment is known about only in the history books as an antiquated and failed ideal.

          • Darren Perkins

            The first amendment won’t mean squat when there is rioting in the streets because of economic collapse which unless we reverse course and soon is a near inevitability. The rubes who stick their heads up their posteriors until it happens are in for a very rude awakening when they find out that the USA is not too big to fail. Who will bail us out at that point: China? Russia? …. there will be no one to lend aid to us and we will descend into chaos as the rich flee to other countries having fleeced the middle class completely. Dire predictions aside: God Bless the USA. We can change course.

  • scott autry

    I want to repeat something I wrote earlier, because it is telling: Goldberg did exactly what he criticized the media for in two of his books: Consider his view on a social issue not just middle of the road but unquestionable. If you do dare question it, you are not just homophobic but probably a racist too (and are thus fair game).

    But, people like him will do this as they demand you agree with widely contradictory ideas: One the one hand, homosexuality is determined by Genetics every bit as much as race. If you deny that, you’re a fan of the KKK.

    But, when it comes to heterosexuality and bisexuality, it is a social construct much like your personality and is negotiable. Whatever elements of it are influenced by nature, it is fundamentally negotiable and up to the individual. If you disagree, your most likely a homophobe (and probably racist too).

    But when it come to transsexuals, they even demand you accept DNA got it wrong. That a woman can be trapped in the boy of a man. And they can get just as angry if you voice a differing opinion.

    (For myself, I believe give broad latitude for a person to be just about whatever they want to be. That doesn’t mean I agree with their choices. It doesn’t mean I don’t believe God is against them in their choices. It is not my place to judge. If they allow me to live my life as I see fit, I’ll be fine. )

  • kmkatt

    If I were fat, they could refuse to sell me pastry because it could offend their religion of body image or it sickens their beliefs against blond hair and flat butts!

    • scott autry

      “The whole point of religious freedom is that it’s extended to the people who are — from at least someone’s perspective — completely wrong.”

      • Eric Maher

        Scott, yes.

        The Bill of Rights doesn’t just protect nice practices, pleasant beliefs, agreeable speech.

  • Javier Diaz

    The “conscientious objector” status should be available to all citizens, when dealing with a Nazi function or when dealing with other functions or events that may offend convictions deeply felt.
    If a Muslim do not want to serve a woman because she is not wearing a burga is fine with me.
    A conscientious objector does not necessarily hate the person. Conscientious objectors during wars do not want to be put in a position they have to kill, and most likely they hate war, but they do not necessarily hate the people involved in the war

  • Calvin Freiburger

    So, does Mr. Goldberg intend to familiarize himself with the actual contents of the bill anytime soon? http://thefederalist.com/2014/02/28/dumb-uneducated-and-eager-to-deceive-media-coverage-of-religious-liberty-in-a-nutshell/

    • scott autry

      I think the best quotes in the linked post are:

      “But nothing in the amendment would say who wins in either of these cases. The person invoking RFRA would still have to prove that he had a sincere religious belief and that state or local government was imposing a substantial burden on his exercise of that religious belief. And the government, or the person on the other side of the lawsuit, could still show that compliance with the law was necessary to serve a compelling government interest. As a business gets bigger and more impersonal, courts will be come more skeptical about claims of substantial burden on the owner’s exercise of religion. And as a business gets bigger, the government’s claim of compelling interest will become stronger.”

      “The whole point of religious freedom is that it’s extended to the people who are — from at least someone’s perspective — completely wrong.”

      We all agree society must have laws and courts to make judgments on them. We prefer defusing power through checks and balances: Court decisions are by jury or judge, and judges are voted in or appointed, and some have term limits, some don’t…

      That is the overall social contract we (should have) generally accepted…whether or not we even agree with what the government or the courts do at this or that point in history.

      Unfortunately, government and courts are run by humans. We’re a highly fallible species.

      We praise the founding fathers of our government, because they did put in place a system that allowed the end of slavery, the gaining of the right to vote to non-property owners, and women, and minorities, and did end segregation, even though it didn’t allow those rights to those people at the beginning, and even created what we now consider abhorrent laws to make discrimination legal.

      What I find offensive — is that the media, entertainment industry, and perhaps education (especially higher education) — is overwhelmingly dominated by people like Mr. Goldberg —- people who state as matter of fact – that if I dare disagree with them concerning an issue like this, I’m a homophobe and probably a bigot too.

      Why?

      My guess is – they subconsciously don’t trust the courts with this issue, because some of them will occur in places with juries in places where their view isn’t in the vast majority, and even appeals might not come up in courts like the 9th Circuit, and only a non-existent God knows which side will be dominant on the Supreme Court when one of these cases eventually reaches it…

      No. Can’t risk allowing the system to flush this out….at this particular moment in history…

      …They have to do what they hate all those Southern Baptists for doing: Demonize their opposition….so that (hopefully)…given how they largely shut opposing voices out of the “mainstream” media, Hollywood, and many areas of higher education…more and more people will have to agree with them….(or at least keep their $#@# mouths shut)…..so that an overwhelming majority of the population will think like them, and they won’t have to worry about losing out in court.

      And I’m not even saying that is a bad thing…

      It worked well in the Civil Rights Era – when a vast majority of the people in many areas were more than fine with blacks not being able to exercise basic rights an overwhelming majority now agree should unquestionably given to all.

      That is why the Mr. Goldberg’s are framing this current item by using that Civil Rights Era. That is why they write about it as if even to question them about it is the most disgusting thing on Earth….

      If a Mr. Goldberg truly believes that sexuality is just as dependent on nature as a person’s ethnicity, and if he even feels correct in filling up with anger if someone dares disagree with him…..fine.

      But, I do get angry myself when people who don’t agree with him are dang hard to find voices that disagree with them in the “mainstream” media, the entertainment industry, and many departments (particularly in the humanities) in higher education.

      I would like to tell Bernard Goldberg personally – go back and read what you wrote about — the person who’s name escapes me — saying that, trapped in the cocoon of Manhattan, she could not fathom how Nixon won the election, because nobody she knew voted for him.

      Of course, the Mr. Goldbergs probably believe their position is so written in stone (pun intended) concerning sexuality — that it is EXACTLY the same as the institutionalized racism against blacks a few decades ago — it doesn’t matter if a majority of the people in many (“backwards”) parts of the country have some questions about it….

      Myself, I still wish Bernard Goldberg himself still believed what he wrote in Bias and Arrogance: That opposing views on even hot button social issues like this were not effectively shut out of key social institutions — institutions which have major influence on public/personal opinion…

      I am pretty much pro-life when it comes to abortion, but I don’t want to see the trend in the media reversed so that the overwhelming majority of people in the “mainstream” media only support my point of view. And here, I’m talking about what I consider the very life of an individual (the fetus’s right to life, as I see it).

      But, apparently, the Mr. Goldbergs believe that this issue is so clear cut and righteous, they consider the case closed. There is no room for reasonable debate. You are either with them — or you are one of the despised “them”.

      That makes me angry. Especially coming from someone who I thought got it…..when I read Bias and Arrogance…

      I don’t want him to agree with me. I only ask he not frame the debate in such a manner that I have to be tossed into a dark corner and shunned, because my beliefs are so evil – just like those guys who wore the white sheets back in the day and lynched blacks…

      I personally find that offensive….

      …..and I’m thankfully he still allows me the ability to say so in his comments section. (Unlike Commentary magazine, a conservative outlet that decided some time ago it would ironically no longer allow even moderated commentary at its website….)

  • Rose

    I agree with David. Even if the baker believes homosexuality and gay marriage are terrible sins, the sin is on the gays, not him and his baked goods. If I buy pita bread from a Muslim bakery, am I somehow supporting his religion and insulting my own? If the Muslim baker caters my Bible Study luncheon, is he supporting Christianity? No. When Jesus fed the multitudes the loaves and fishes, did he take a poll to see if their were homosexuals there?

    • Rose

      Sorry, should have been there, not their above.

    • Eric Maher

      They teach to hate the sin and love the sinner.

  • EdWalton

    The logical conclusion of MR. Bernard’s argument is: I have no right to refuse service to homosexual, nazis, nor kkk.

  • EdWalton

    There’s no moral equivalence between a peaceful protest, and being compelled by law to forfeit your rights of association.

  • david

    someone else’s since sin does not deny entrance to Heaven. Are you responsible for a neo-Nazi, drunkard, serial killer or out of control grandma driving a Chevy Impala thru a school yard full of grade schoolers deny you your salvation? Jesus taught to love all. Loving all does not mean from afar. Jesus never included himself in sin but he sure included himself to the sinner.

    • Eric Maher

      Don’t they teach hate the sin, love the sinner?

  • Randy Wanat

    It will be interesting to see, after his latest Fox News appearance, if a book about bias at Fox will be forthcoming, or if he’ll simply point everyone to Outfoxed. :)

  • David W. Hunter

    Where does the line exist between public and
    private organizations or businesses? If opening a business means you lose the
    right to discriminate against certain classes or types of citizens, shouldn’t
    all organizations require completely open enrollment or participation? This would
    eliminate all of the “National Organizations” that promote the welfare of
    certain races or women.

    • legal eagle

      “National Organizations” do not provide “public accommodations. Tour analogy has no relevance to the subject.

      • Eric Maher

        Why do we need protected classes in the law?

        I know why we seemed to need them 50 and hundred year ago, but …

        • legal eagle

          “protected class” is simply a legal tern determinative of who a certain law covers i.e.. seniors, children, woman in the workplace and minorities. The reason these and others may be a protected class is because, in the eyes of those who make the law i.e.. legislators and courts, they are vulnerable to abuse.

          • Eric Maher

            They WERE vulnerable to abuse. When society was different.

            So people decided government should be a nanny state, and government should control everything, and government should be bigger and bigger forever. I guess until we reach utopia, where there is no more pain, no more emotional distress, no more hurt feelings, no more bias, no more bad thoughts.

            I prefer freedom.

          • legal eagle

            Eric,
            You might look into this condition which you obviously suffer from:

            I believe you, and many others who comment on this site, may be suffering from Metathesiophobia:

            A feeling of uncontrollable anxiety when you think about or are exposed to changes

            The feeling that you must do everything possible to avoid changes

            The inability to function normally because of your anxiety

            Often, the knowledge that your fears are unreasonable or exaggerated but feeling powerless to control them

          • Eric Maher

            >> A feeling of uncontrollable anxiety when you think
            about or are exposed to changes <<

            Of course, telling the debate opponent “Here’s what you think.” Classic fail. Your stance was defeated, so you went back to ad hominem personal attacks. Pleasing to the victor.

            Maybe I’ll take your advice and stop worrying about loss of freedom. Screw them Founding Fathers! LOL

  • Guest

    Should a black owner of a printing company be forced to print flyers for a white supremacist group??

    • X Pat

      No one should be forced to participate in an act or expression of hatred

      • Eric Maher

        The Bill of Rights doesn’t just protect nice practices, pleasant beliefs, agreeable speech.

        We should keep the number of instances of people being forced to participate in ANYTHING to an absolute minimum.

        Pro-freedom.

        • X Pat

          So you are against the Civil Rights Act then?

          • Eric Maher

            I’m glad you asked instead of assuming.

            Such a wide-sweeping Act is bound to have some faulty parts, unintended consequences. Laws can always be tweaked.

            There’s a crucial difference between (1) “This is a good idea” and (2) “Everybody should be forced to do this.”

            Tolerance is good. Being forced by the law to obey an official definition of tolerance is very bad.

            Bigotry is bad. Being forced by the law to abandon personal principles is very bad.

            If a business or a store wants to refuse service, that business or store should have that freedom. If their stance means they don’t have very many customers
            (or means they have lots of protesters at their door) …

          • X Pat

            What you are proposing is certainly a slippery slope. What if everyone refuses you service then? Does this principle apply to states (“states rights”) as well? Your positions are easy ones to take when you are in the white straight majority (which I am guessing you are). Those of us not so fortunate might see things in a different light.

          • Eric Maher

            I appreciate your reasonable tone.

            If everyone refuses to serve me, then someone will see a chance for profit in serving me. That’s how the market works. Or else they’re right and I’m a jerk nobody wants to serve.

            >> Your positions are easy ones to take when you are in the white straight majority (which I am guessing you are). Those of us not so fortunate might see things in a different light. <<

            It's not so easy to stand up for liberty. I'm not a courageous hero, but still …

            Some people have obstacles that are not their fault, that other people don't have. That's not up to government to try to fix, either. It's why many minorities band together to help each other out. It's why many members of the straight white majority help people who need help, by banding together, too.

            Not government force.

          • X Pat

            Until the passage of the Civil Rights Act, blacks would fit your definition of “jerks no one wants to serve”. The Supreme Court upheld your concept in its “Separate But Equal” ruling, then reversed itself. In a perfect world there would be no hatred and the problem would solve itself. Unfortunately we live in a world filled with haters who have an inbred need for someone to hold inferior and persecute to brighten up their empty lives. As such we need government to hold their hatred in check and ensure Liberty And Justice For All

          • Eric Maher

            >> Until the passage of the Civil Rights Act, blacks would fit your definition of “jerks no one wants to serve”. <> The Supreme Court upheld your concept in its “Separate But Equal” ruling <> we live in a world filled with haters <<

            No, we don’t. Not in America. We did, 50 years ago. Not any more. Racism in no longer a major problem in America. Despite what Al Sharpton says.

            In many conversations with many people, I wait and wait for evidence that racism is such a major problem today.

          • X Pat

            Your concept being the right to refuse service to anyone at your sole discretion, the rationale being that someone of your “own kind” to serve you if no one else will. Yeah “black people still managed to buy things”, and presumably even found lunch counters to eat at, but after initially agreeing with your line of reasoning the SCOTUS eventually reversed itself. Racism not a problem? Not for you certainly. Evidence? Voter ID / suppression? Hello?

          • Eric Maher

            >> Your concept being the right to refuse service to anyone at your sole discretion <> Racism not a problem? <> Evidence? Voter ID / suppression <<

            LOL!! Oh, the kool-aid is strong with this one.

            http://www.nationalreview.com/article/368234/voter-fraud-weve-got-proof-its-easy-john-fund

            http://www.ajc.com/news/news/despite-voter-id-law-minority-turnout-up-in-georgi/nR2bx/

            Voter ID, because we know Democrats hate to give free stuff to poor people!

            So your evidence that racism is a serious problem is, first, assume racism is a serious problem …

          • X Pat

            There is no conscience in baking a cake What we have here is a sanctimonious individual who wants to inflict misery and torment on these gays for ego gratification and to brighten up his empty life. Haters have the right to hate but why rather than encouraging people to lose their hatred you are so adamant in your support of that hatred is beyond me. Like everything else it requires checks and balances and if it gets out of hand as in the Jim Crow South to the point where it becomes unlivable for some minority community, then yeah the government must step in and DICTATE.

            So some undercover agents were able to scam their way into the voting booth. Still there is no evidence that anyone actually cast an illegal vote. As for minority voter turnout in Georgia, you didn’t read the article carefully because it is decidedly mixed and does not draw the conclusion that voter ID has no effect. There are many prominent right wingers who (were dumb enough to) explicitly state the true nature of voter ID. One being the PA House Majority Leader Turzai who crowed that his Voter ID legislation would deliver the state of PA to Romney. And voter id is just the tip of the iceberg. Other voter suppression tactics (having nothing to do with voter fraud) include preventing voter registration drives, cutting down early voting, eliminating polling places in minority neighborhoods forcing voters to wait 7 hours or more to vote.

            So you and a bunch of other white people have discussed racism and you have all decided that it is no longer a problem. Rather sanctimonious of you don’t you think? Talk to some black people or your brother Bill.

          • Eric Maher

            isn’t it funny how a little while ago I complimented you on your reasonable tone? LOL

            >> There is no conscience in baking a cake <> What we have here is a sanctimonious individual who wants to inflict misery and torment on these gays for ego gratification <> Haters have the right to hate <> why rather than encouraging people to lose their hatred you are so adamant in your support of that hatred is beyond me. <> if it gets out of hand as in the Jim Crow South to the point where it becomes unlivable for some minority community, then yeah the government must step in and DICTATE. <> So some undercover agents were able to scam their way into the voting booth. Still there is no evidence that anyone actually cast an illegal vote. <> prominent right wingers … the PA House Majority Leader Turzai <> crowed that his Voter ID legislation would deliver the state of PA to Romney. <> preventing voter registration drives <> cutting down early voting <> you and a bunch of other white people <> have discussed racism and you have all decided that it is no longer a problem. <> Talk to some black people <<

            Because of Karl Marx’s dialectic, that there must be two Americas, divide and conquer, blacks and white, rich and poor, gay and straight, never the twain shall agree. That is not America.

            Hypothetically, what would indicate to YOU that racism was no longer a major problem? I’d really like to hear the answer to that.

          • X Pat

            Religion is faith. It is deeply personal. It cannot be proven or disproven. And it cannot be forced on others. If gay is against your religion/conscience then don’t be gay. Extending conscience to baking a cake for a gay couple is crossing the line into phony evangelism / Bible thumping.

            Defending the right to hate? But not what he does with it? What else would one do with the right to hate?

            Private discrimination is not Jim Crow? Who wrote that? Jim Crow?

            Illegitimate voter registration drives? Maybe. There are also legitimate voter registration drives. So your answer is to ban all of them? Similarly your answer to some hypothetical voter fraud is to disenfranchise thousands of legitimate voters?

            Racism no longer a problem? How would you or I know? We are fortunate enough that it is not a problem for us. If you are really interested in a black person’s viewpoint and not blowing smoke then read this:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/13/opinion/blow-thomas-speaks-blindly-about-race.html

          • Darren Perkins

            I believe what you say about racism is largely the case and in fact blacks discriminating against whites is just as prevalent as the other way around from my point of view. I would point out that because such a high percentage of blacks live in poverty as compared to whites that they do fair substantially worse in the criminal justice system due to not being able to hire a private lawyer and instead have to rely on public defenders who generally are less experienced and lack the resources to adequately defend their clients. It’s not what I would call fair but I don’t think I would necessarily call it racism.
            I think key to the whole thing is the liberal narrative that racism is a big problem is perpetrated upon blacks in an attempt to keep whites and blacks divided. Mentally and ideologically if not physically. We see time and again that when a black man is conservative he is ostracized for thinking independently. This is because they disprove the narrative. If they don’t knock down, discredit, and utterly demonize the black conservative then others might follow. Thank you Al Sharpton, NAACP, and MSNBC… (sarcasm)

          • guest

            Good food for thought…

        • legal eagle

          Pro-discrimination not pro-freedom….

          • Eric Maher

            The Bill of
            Rights doesn’t just protect nice practices, pleasant beliefs, agreeable speech. You see that right?

            Good luck amending the Constitution, bunky!

      • Darren Perkins

        The problem here is determining what constitutes an act or expression of hatred. To some printing the Holy Bible would fit the definition. No… I feel that there must be some proof that in providing the service or goods that your business produces would place you in danger or puts you in a coercive relationship in the transaction.

    • Darren Perkins

      Definitely not. This would create a hostile and potentially coercive relationship for the owner. White supremacist groups have been well documented to visit violence and coercion upon those they deem inferior. No one should have to do business with a group that they fear may want to harm them. This would be a legitimate reason to deny service.

      • guest

        So, if I fear extremist Muslims, whose holy book they take literally when it instructs them to either kill me or subject me to dimitude, and whose willingness to follow through has been well demonstrated in this country and around the world, does that mean I can deny them printing services…or a cake?

        • Darren Perkins

          If that Muslim is a known terrorist or it is known that they are being investigated for terrorism related crimes or espouses this opinion to you then yes. One cannot assume because they are Muslim that they are involved in terrorism any more than one can assume a Christian is involved in bombing abortion clinics or stoning adulterers. I think there must be a reasonable belief that you may be placing yourself in danger by conducting business with a particular customer.

      • Eric Maher

        >> This would be a legitimate reason to deny service. <<

        Just like religious freedom which is protected by the 1st Amendment, in the Bill of Rights.

        Also in the Bill of Rights is the right of folks to picket a store they think is mean and bigoted. Leaves government out of it.

  • Alice Martin

    I would rather a business owner turn me away, than give me a bad product, or lousey service. At the end of the day, would you really want someone to bake a cake for you that does not want your business? Guess they never heard about the spitting thing.

  • X Pat

    Anyone who would equate the rights of a gay couple wishing to unite in love with the rights of the KKK who are united in hatred is either trying to add insult to injury or is contemptibly miserable and stupid

    • ARJ127

      So true! Joining the Klan is a choice. Being gay isn’t.

    • Eric Maher

      But the Bill of Rights doesn’t just protect nice practices, pleasant beliefs, agreeable speech.

      We should keep the number of instances of people being forced to participate in ANYTHING to an absolute minimum.

      Pro-freedom.

  • JP

    Mr. Goldberg doesn’t seem to a realize there’s a difference between rejecting the customer versus rejecting the nature of the business the customer wants. A wedding cake is an art piece, and these customers requested an art piece depicting a gay marriage.–something they find morally objectionable. I rather doubt they would’ve rejected the business of a gay couple asking for a birthday cake.

    Let’s say a heterosexual couple goes to the bakery and requests a cake depicting a heterosexual sex act. Following Mr. Goldberg’s logic, they would be obligated to make it because they aren’t allowed to let their moral views influence the work they provide.

    What if you’re a photographer and a client asks you to take pictures of them having intercourse. Are you allowed to refuse? Mr. Goldberg would say you can’t because your business is taking pictures and therefore you have to take whatever pictures the customer wants.

    • legal eagle

      and who would want a wedding cake depicting a sex act? There is no such thing as a gay wedding cake…Where do you come up with this nonsense?

      • Eric Maher

        It’s the newest thing. They just now started putting little figurines of the couple getting married on top of the cake.

        Also, gay couples are free to go into bakeries as a couple! Such freedom, praise government! No more sneaking around, pretending “I’m getting married to a member of the opposite sex, no, really, I am, my spouse-to-be couldn’t come here to your bakery today, sorry, but we’re a heterosexual couple, don’t you worry!”

    • Tim Ned

      You have a right to refuse business when the request is outside of the scope of your business. A baker can refuse to make a pornographic cake.

  • Lenny Szubinski

    I am sick to death of so called “Conservative” commentators applauding and standing up for “gay” intrusions into every aspect of what’s left inside normal America! I am also sick of these commentators comparing “gays” (a definite choice) to the plight of black Americans (a non-choice)!
    Also, the real question that should be asked is why should Christians be discriminated against, (as if they aren’t already), by forcing them to accept a perverse and abnormal lifestyle that rubs completely against their faith and moral values! Why are people like you Bernie and Bill O’Reilly defending the perverse and profane, and making villains out of people trying to live a faithful, wholesome and normal lifestyle? Is there no end to this politically correct lunacy? As far as I’m concerned, as well as many others I’m sure, you and other pretenders are no different than the far left lunatics!

    • legal eagle

      Christians like yourself don’t have to accept anything…They also don’t have to marry people of their own sex and they can disown their gay relatives….

      • Eric Maher

        Don’t you want to prohibit all those things? LOL

        • legal eagle

          The only prohibition I want is prohibiting the Yankees from winning the World Series….LOL

  • Jerry Bierens

    Bernard I like the way you have told the story about what this really is about and pointed out the similarities to this (bad) law and the civil rights movement. I was 13 in 1964 and lived in a northern Michigan community that had some of the same arguments against civil rights as the ones I hear from the right wing extremists of today about this ignorant law. Thank you for a good article.

  • Rev. Joseph F. Andresen

    As an ordained minister in the Christian faith,
    I am not in agreement with gay marriage or the gay life stile in general.
    However, that does not mean that I should never have any interaction with
    gay people. How can I share my faith, and the hope that it brings if I
    alienate people? Yes, if a gay couple asks me to preform their wedding
    ceremony, I would respectfully decline. This does not mean that I have
    ill feelings towards these people, or that I am not concerned for their
    well-being. It is simply the way I conduct myself based on my deeply held
    beliefs. Which I might add; is my God given right, and backed up the
    Constitution of the United States. I am old enough to remember the civil
    rights struggle of the 60’s. This bill that Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed is a
    scary reminder of civil rights discrimination. Everyone should be treated
    with respect and dignity, regardless of color, race, creed, or religion.
    I have a culinary degree and work in a restaurant, which is considered a
    service industry. Why would I enter the service industry and then refuse
    to offer service? In the Declaration of Independence we read “We
    hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they
    are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these
    are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” In the Bible, in
    the book of Genesis chapter 1 and verse 27 we read “So God created man in
    his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created
    them.” Now, if we are all created equal and in the image of our
    creator, why would we treat anyone as if they were any less than we are?
    Our government should have learned its lesson with prohibition. You
    can not legislate morality; you can only legislate against immorality.
    Government should not try to mold the people’s lives into what it thinks
    is best. People should mold their government into what best serves the
    needs of the Nation. If I may, I would like to submit one more Bible
    verse in conclusion. Matthew 7:12 “So in everything, do to others
    what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the
    Prophets.” If we lived by this rule, we wouldn’t have the problems
    we have today.

    • Independent Cuss

      If everyone minded his own business we’d be better off too. Take the mote out of your eye first. Look out after your own soul. That’s a full time job.

      • Lenny Szubinski

        Hey I.C., I would love nothing better than to “mind my own business”, but their “in your face” tactics make that an impossibility! I don’t want to know about their abnormal and deviant lifestyle, but there they are flaunting it and parading it in front of the whole world! No you can’t flaunt this stuff, and then tell people to mind their own business when they disagree with you! You can’t have it both ways!

        • Rose

          Lenny, I think the world would be better off if everyone was the same—same politics, same religion, same sexual preferences, etc. but people are not all the same. We are very, very different.

          • Lenny Szubinski

            Rose, you’ve missed my point! They want to flaunt and indoctrinate people with this unnatural and deviant lifestyle, and then when someone criticizes them, they tell them to “mind your own business”! Don’t make it my business then; problem solved!

    • Rose

      Just what is a gay lifestyle or a heterosexual lifestyle? I am sure gays have different lifestyles just as we straights do. Some people are promiscuous, some faithful, some in a relationship and some not, some party people and some homebodies. There is no one lifestyle for gays any more than there is one lifestyle for straights.

      • Rev. Joseph F. Andresen

        Hello Rose.

        Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I understand the point you’re making, but I don’t think you understood mine. Perhaps I was not clear when making my original statement. I apologize. The lifestyle I was referring to is the kind relationship the disrupts the natural order of procreation. Men with men and women with women. I did state that I am a minister in the Christian faith, and I do believe and try to live by the teachings found in the Bible. In Leviticus chapter 18 and verse 22 we read “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” This is also addressed in Romans chapter 1 verses 26 to 28. Because of this I can not endorse, condone, or agree with that kind of lifestyle. Now; please understand I am in no way shape or form condemning or passing judgment on anyone. We are all responsible for our own actions, and we are all accountable to God, and God alone. I am no one’s judge.

        • Rose

          Thank you, Rev. The Bible says a lot of things about divorce, too, and churches used to forbid it or at least speak against it. Now most churches have weddings for those married three or four times and Sunday school classes for their divorced members. There isn’t as much talk about fornication from pulpits now because so many church people have sex before marriage. Adultery is still considered to be against God, but I cannot recall the last time I heard a sermon about it. While men and women are supposed to procreate and be fruitful, many couples choose not to have children or to have just one or two. Everyone picks and chooses from the Bible to some degree. Women are no longer considered unclean once a month and lepers are seen as sick, not unclean. We are not obligated to live as they did in Biblical times, old or New Testament. Adulterers are not stoned in Christianity and churches usually do not ostracize members for any sin. Times do change, even in churches. Gay-marriage is a kind of last stand for the right.

          • Rev. Joseph F. Andresen

            Hello Rose.

            It’s good to hear from you again.
            I don’t know what church you go to, but you should be receiving these teachings. The number of children a couple chooses to have is up to them. Some couples can’t have children and have to adopt. You need to understand that all I can do, as a minister, is teach the truth and share the love of God. I have no power to make people do anything. Every one has a free will, and you can’t make anyone do anything they don’t want to. Sadly, many pick and choose from the Bible, as you correctly stated. However, that is on them. I don’t think it’s right to say that gay-marriage is some kind of last stand for the right, as if their some kind of dying breed, or that gays are being unfairly targeted. Because that’s not the truth. As far as your statement about times changing, you must understand that the Bible is not suppose conform to society. Society is suppose to conform to the Bible. If they choose not to, that’s their choice. Even if people choose to live their lives in a way the opposes the teachings of the Bible, I will never stop reaching out to them with the love of God.
            Thank you for writing to me again.

            Joe.

    • The_Physeter

      Amen, friend, that is the kind of attitude more Christians should take. Don’t try to see “religious persecution” in everything. Stop thinking you can create a moral society by refusing to associate with certain people.

      Your comments remind me of 1 Cor. 9-10: “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.”

      • Rev. Joseph F. Andresen

        Hello Physeter.

        Thank you for your response to my thoughts.
        I am however concerned about your Biblical reference. 1 Corinthians 9:10 reads “Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.” That is not what you posted. I re-read chapters 9 and 10, and did not find anything like what you posted. You need to be very when quoting scripture my friend. By misrepresenting the word of God you could lead people astray. Cults have been started that way.

        • The_Physeter

          Lol…it’s hard to tell if you are kidding or not. I posted the wrong reference, it should be 1 Corinthians 5:9-10. If you click on the link in my post you’ll see it leads to 1 Cor 5:6-12, for a bit of context. But I will try to be more very in the future so as not to misrepresent anyone.

          • Rev. Joseph F. Andresen

            We all make mistakes. I know, I’m good at it. LOL! Thank you.

    • Lenny Szubinski

      Reverend Joe, you want to quote scripture? Why not start with Romans 1:6? That’s the problem with liberal PC pastors, they only pick and choose verses that support a PC agenda, and ignore the rest that strikes a blow at perversion and wickedness!

      • legal eagle

        Nice of you to represent the Church of Hate…

        • Eric Maher

          Are you insulting Lenny in order to help protect Rev. Andresen’s religious liberty?

          :-)

          • legal eagle

            I don’t believe Lenny can be insulted….LOL

          • Eric Maher

            But you do support the right to a person’s free exercise of religion, right?

          • legal eagle

            Define right to exercise religion? I believe one is free to exercise their religious beliefs unless it infringes upon the rights of others….Do you disagree?

          • Eric Maher

            That sounds fair.

            Do you have a right to my cake?

          • legal eagle

            Absolutely… If you are a retail bakery you must sell to everyone. If you are a wholesale bakery you can sell to whomever you please…If you are a retail bakery and don’t want to follow the law then sell the bakery….We live in a country where the rule of law is applicable if you’d like to do business. If you don’t want to follow the rule of law, sell the business. That’s your choice…I rest my case…

          • Eric Maher

            >> Absolutely … If you are a retail bakery you must sell
            to everyone. <> We live in a country where the rule of law is applicable if you’d like to do business. <<

            What about a law that violates your 1st Amendment rights?

          • legal eagle

            I believe we are done on this subject…You are spitting into the wind….I’m not sure what your point is but in Court you’d lose every time….Good luck ..

          • Eric Maher

            >> in Court you’d lose <<

            So you're saying the government wouldn't approve of my advocating freedom. I guess we agree!

      • Rev. Joseph F. Andresen

        Hello Lenny.

        Romans 1:6 reads “And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.” I am sorry if my opinion caused you to think that I am a “liberal PC pastor.” I am not. If you read my reply to Rose, you will see that I point out what God thinks on this matter. Jesus died for the sins of the world. That includes everyone in the world. You can catch more bees with honey than wither vinegar. You can take a self-righteous Pharisaical position if you like. I prefer to reach out to people with the love and compassion of Christ. Consider this verse of scripture, 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting ANYONE to perish, but EVERYONE to come to repentance.”

        Perhaps Lenny, you should try decaf.

    • legal eagle

      “You cannot legislate morality” is exactly the argument used by Southern Dixiecrats in the 50’s and early 60’s to oppose any federal civil rights legislation…In fact, you can legislate against certain behavior, which is what the Civil Right Act of 1964 successfully accomplished…

      • Rev. Joseph F. Andresen

        Hello Eagle.

        Excellent point sir. The point I was trying to make was one of morality. To mistreat a people because of the color of their skin is immoral, and therefor legislation against such behavior is proper and just. Drinking by itself, is not immoral and should not be legislated. Excessive drinking, leading to disorderly and lewd behavior is considered immoral and dangerous, therefor legislation against such behavior is proper and just.
        Thank you for talking with me. I look forward to our next conversation.

        • legal eagle

          Thank you Rev. Andresen…

        • Eric Maher

          >> To mistreat a people because of the color of their skin is immoral, and therefor legislation against such behavior is proper and just. <<

          Immorality should be illegal? That is not America.

          • Rev. Joseph F. Andresen

            Hello Eric.

            Let me ask you a question. murder, rape, robbery, and child abuse. All of these actions have been legislated against. Do you consider these actions to be moral or immoral?

            Exactly how do you see America?

          • Eric Maher

            >> murder, rape, robbery, and child abuse. All of these actions have been legislated against. Do you consider these actions to be moral or immoral? <> Exactly how do you see America? <<

            As the land of freedom. Freedom from government over-reach. That’s why we broke from England. That’s why we first tried the weak central government of the Articles of Confederation just after the Revolutionary War. And it’s why, when we needed to beef up the federal government with the Constitution, we included the Bill of Rights – ten amendments,
            each of which protect the people from government over-reach.

          • Rev. Joseph F. Andresen

            Hello Eric.

            I sorry but I don’t think I’m getting your point. In my discussion with Legal Eagle I said “Drinking by itself, is not immoral and should not be legislated. Excessive drinking, leading to disorderly and lewd behavior is considered immoral and dangerous, therefor legislation against such behavior is proper and just.” The immoral behavior that violates the rights of others is what I was talking about. What kind of immoral behavior are you saying should not be legislated against?

          • Eric Maher

            When you said “To mistreat a people because of the color of their skin is immoral, and therefor legislation against such behavior is proper and just,” it pretty much said it should be illegal BECAUSE it’s immoral.

            >> What kind of immoral behavior are you saying should not be legislated against? <<

            I've really never thought about it, but … adultery … coveting … gambling … drinking … maybe illicit drugs … hurting yourself … not an exclusive list, and not necessarily my belief they're immoral.

      • Eric Maher

        You seem to like prohibiting things. How much more than freedom?

        The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was perfect? Society hasn’t radically changed since the early 1960s?

        The Civil Rights Act of 1964 trumps the 1st Amendment protection of religious liberty?

        • legal eagle

          I’m not sure what you mean by perfect? The Civil Rights Act was ruled constitutional by the courts. The Courts will determine whether a particular religious argument is a “valid” defense in a particular case.

          Vague generalities about religious freedom, which is what you keep citing, don’t win court cases. Here is an example:

          Respondents argue that if they are compelled to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, then a black baker could not refuse to make a cake bearing a white-supremacist message for a member of the Aryan Nation; and an Islamic baker could not refuse to make a cake denigrating the Koran for the Westboro Baptist Church. However, neither of these fanciful hypothetical situations proves Respondents’ point. In both cases, it is the explicit, unmistakable, offensive message that the bakers are asked to put on the cake that gives rise to the bakers’ free speech right to refuse. That, however, is not the case here, where Respodnents refused to bake any cake for Complainants regardless of what was written on it or what it looked like. Respondents have no free speech right to refuse because they were only asked to bake a cake, not make a speech.

          • Eric Maher

            >> The Civil Rights Act was ruled constitutional by the courts. <> The Courts will determine whether a particular religious argument is a “valid” defense in a particular case. <> Vague generalities about religious freedom, which is what you keep citing, don’t win court cases. <> it is the explicit, unmistakable, offensive message that the bakers are asked to put on the cake that gives rise to the bakers’ free speech right to refuse. <> Respodnents refused to bake any cake for Complainants <> Respondents have no free speech right to refuse becaus e they were only asked to bake a cake, not make a speech. <<

            Okey-doke. Now how about the baker’s right to free exercise of religion? How about the government leaving them alone? How about the public exercising their right to picket the store, handing it that way?

            Pro-freedom.

            If you want to continue this conversation, please answer all these questions.

          • legal eagle

            So you believe the judiciary is part of the government? You don’t believe that courts often rule against the government? I’m not sure if you’re kidding or that you are so cynical that you trust no institution or judge to be fair?

          • Eric Maher

            Tut-tut, you forgot to answer a few questions:

            1. Eagle said: The Courts will determine whether a particular religious argument is a “valid” defense in a particular case. … Eric said: Everything it up to the government to decide? Government needs to constantly tell us what we can and cannot do? Why is this so often what we’re up against??

            2. Eagle said: Respodnents refused to bake any cake for Complainants … Eric said: And you want cake by force? You want to outlaw rudeness?

            3. Eagle said: Respondents have no free speech right to refuse becaus e they were only asked to bake a cake, not make a speech. … Eric said: Okey-doke. Now how about the baker’s right to free exercise of religion? How about the government leaving them alone? How about the public exercising their right to picket the store, handling it that way?

          • legal eagle

            1- “everything” is not up to the government. That’s an absurd statement.
            2. If the Respondents wanted to come up with an excuse why they didn’t want to bake the cake I’m sure they would have…I would assume that like some religious zealots they wanted to make a point and announce their reason for the refusal….
            3- Respondents use of a First Amendment defense was denied for the reasons stated, Free exercise of religion does not allow one to infringe upon the rights of others.
            4- I think suing them for violation of the law is much more effective than picketing….

          • Eric Maher

            >> 1. “everything” is not up to the government. That’s an absurd statement. <> 2. If the Respondents wanted to come up with an excuse why they didn’t want to bake the cake I’m sure they would have…I would assume that like some religious zealots they wanted to make a point and announce their reason for the refusal…. <> Free exercise of religion does not allow one to infringe upon the rights of others. <> 4- I think suing them for violation of the law is much more effective than picketing…. <<

            Shooting the baker would be quite effective, but it would violate the baker’s rights, correct?

  • Acu-Vue

    I have owned and operated a wedding and banquet facility for 15 years and I have absolutely no religious beliefs or preferences whatsoever. I have married whites, blacks, reds, greens, blues, and any other color or combination you can dream up. I also have no problem with what people do in the privacy of their own home and/or ‘bedroom’, but a wedding is somewhat of a public event and I can’t speak for the rest of you out there, but as for myself, it would be unacceptable and nauseating to watch 2 men French kiss as they cut and feed each other their wedding cake. — Sorry, it will never happen at this venue, I don’t care what law they pass.

    • Eric Eagle

      Perhaps society would be better off if some businesses don’t survive.

      • Acu-Vue

        You referring to the legal selling of pot? — Perhaps our society would be better off if some departments of our government don’t survive.

      • Eric Maher

        Yep. If the market decides. If the elites of government decide by diktat, that’s not such a good idea. In America, anyway. :-)

        • Eric Eagle

          Either way… If the market decides or you can’t obey the law.

          • Eric Maher

            It’s vital to know the difference.

    • Independent Cuss

      Never been to a gay wedding or seen people French kiss at regular weddings. Guess my friends don’t get that graphic on their wedding day. Might be different for others. My nephew’s gay but he’s real modest and doesn’t flaunt himself in any way, leads a quiet life low key.

  • John H

    Once again, Bernie misses it. This is NOT like discriminating against blacks. I know Bernie doesn’t like to hear it, but you have a choice to be gay. It’s not in your bloodstream. If it is, why doesn’t he post some scientific proof for that? It’s because it doesn’t exist!

    Having said that, I believe that Christians should serve homosexuals, and I have written about that. Many of my Christian friends disagree with me, and that’s okay. I’m looking at it from a biblical perspective, not the kind of nonsense Bernie is spouting.

    • IndependentCuss

      Christian here but not against science. Little children have feeling early for opposite sex or own sex. Did you decide to like girls or other boys? If it’s a choice, seems you could go either way. Most people just naturally prefer one or the other. Some people like blondes or redheads, some like dark hair. Not a choice. A preference. Hard to explain but we have leanings we don’t understand.

      • John H

        And the difference between a choice and a preference is? Nothing is the right answer.

        • IndependentCuss

          A preference is a strong leaning one way without reasoning it out. A choice is something that is made after considering the options. You could be bi-sexual which means you have no real preference for a woman or another man. Either is fine for you. You choose to go with a woman because you feel guilty or pressure from society.

          • IndependentCuss

            You may have a preference for other guys but never choose to be with another guy but the preference remains. Or you may not deny your preference and choose to be with a woman. I never had any stirrings for the opposite sex. In kindergarten I fell in love with a boy named Ronnie and sent him notes with Xs all over them.

          • Rose

            Choice requires an action.

            : the act of choosing : the act of picking or deciding between two or more possibilities

            : the opportunity or power to choose between two or more possibilities : the opportunity or power to make a decision

            : a range of things that can be chosen

            pref·er·ence noun ˈpre-fərn(t)s, ˈpre-f(ə-)rən(t)s
            : a feeling of liking or wanting one person or thing more than another person or thing

            : an advantage that is given to some people or things and not to others

            : something that is liked or wanted more than another thing : something that is preferred

        • Rose

          Cuss is right. See the definitions below. Choice requires an action to be complete. There must be two or more clear alternatives. You choose one of them. Choice is the act of choosing. Preference is more a feeling than an action. You can prefer one thing but never choose it.

          • Rose

            You can have a range of choices but not prefer one over the others. Or you can choose one thing without really wanting it. However, the thing you prefer is instinctive. You just like it and you may not even know why.

      • Guest

        @John H: Eagle is right here. If liking either men or women is a choice for YOU, that means you’re not straight. You are bisexual. You shouldn’t claim that everyone in the world shares your bisexual orientation.

        • John H

          I’m NOT a bisexual, you jackass! And preference is the same as choice. Look it up.

    • Eric Eagle

      Your religion is your choice… and it is protected.

    • Eric Maher

      The baker welcomed gay customers. But he didn’t want to participate in a gay wedding, which the baker considered a sin. There’s a difference.

    • The_Physeter

      @John H: IndependentCuss is right. If liking either men or women is a choice for YOU, that means you’re not straight. You are bisexual. You shouldn’t claim that everyone in the world shares your bisexual orientation.

  • Rose

    John Daly, I am glad that you finally admitted what many on these boards will not. There is no evidence whatsoever that poor people and other minorities voted for Obama in droves because of welfare, handouts, food stamps, obama phones or anything of that nature. Thank you for being honest. Poor people and minorities voted for Obama because of his policies and programs or for Romney for the same reason. Poor people love their country just as much as rich people do and are perfectly capable of sorting out issues in a rational, unselfish manner. Each individual votes after considering the candidates and making judgments about his character, credibility and policies. People are not duped or fooled or badgered into voting one way or the other. They make assessments, and voters are never wrong. Just because more voters voted for Obama does not mean more voters were wrong. Like the customer, the voter is always right. Any candidate or party that does not make his/her case to the voters does not deserve to win. And the voters whose candidate lost should accept the outcome. It is the American way. Sour grapes and sore losers are really very unAmerican. The Loyal Opposition has turned into the DisLoyal Obstructionists these days.

    • Independent Cuss

      Always support the president whether I voted for him or not so as to help the country. A house divided against itself can’t stand.

      • Eric Maher

        That assumes the president is helping the country.

        • Independent Cuss

          It’s a matter of opinion, I guess. If he’s elected, he’s the choice of voters and that’s respected by me. If you don’t want the guy with the most votes to win, you don’t want this election system. BO won popular vote, electoral vote, that sealed the deal. 2000 vote different as Gore won popular vote and W. Eked in by electorals. Really split. Lots of hard feelings. But the law was followed. I accepted it.

          • Eric Maher

            If you’re gonna say something like “Always support the president … so as to help the country,” you’re assuming the president is helping the country.

            Or are you saying that if you firmly believe the president is hurting the country, you should support the president anyway??

  • Not Heterophobic

    Mr. Goldberg,
    Love your work and persona and know this is a knotty issue. Here is my contribution – I am writing a more lengthy piece on this but the gist is simple; what confrontations like these are asking Catholics and Christians to do is to redefine sin. That may not be a pleasant word but that is what it is. It is not in our charter to redefine sin. We can’t. What we can do is walk the thin line between condemning the sin and not the sinner. Christ is the model for that. He did it perfectly. We, not so much.
    If I had a cake store and was asked to make a cake for two men or two women, I probably would have made it, shaking my head. For me, it is not an endorsement of their sin. If a married man came in and asked for a birthday cake for his female lover, would I be endorsing adultery if I made it for him?This is too theoretical and highly unlikely. Most adulterers don’t even know they are adulterers. Most sinners won’t divulge their private business. They appear to the rest of us to be sane, good, staid people interested in making a commercial transaction. In any event, if I kept this up, my customer base would narrow significantly yes? The only person left to sell to would be you and me. Well, at least that is two of us!
    The new evangelization asks us as Catholics to see such events as opportunities to present Christ. It ain’t easy. And yes, some on both side WILL suffer persecution. Many, many years ago, circa “Heather Has Two Mommies,” I heard a female philosophy professor apologize to my philosophy professor/mentor for her attack on him, when each was faced with a demand to “accept” homosexuals as partners in academia. She apologized because after the fact, after she had chided my philosophy professor for his negative stance on “acceptance” she realized she had been manipulated. “They weren’t interested in acceptance or equality,” she confessed.” They were nothing but Gender Fascists.”
    Those two words are the title of the piece I’m writing; Gender Fascism: Where Does it Go Next? So, where does it go? Bill Donahue of the Catholic League believes Church weddings are the next target. I fear he is correct. People will be made to suffer persecution. Churches will be closed. What else can be the end game here? I also am reminded of that powerful scene in “Cabaret” when the shopkeeper picks up the Krystallnacht stone from the stage floor and says,” These are just children….”
    Thank you for being a great contributor to the dialogue. Please find a television venue where we can hear you speak without being interrupted.

    • Drew Page

      I believe there is ample reason to be concerned about government interference in our private lives, especially with this current administration. The dictates of Obama Care, forcing religious groups to include coverage of abortion, birth control medications and devices and sterilizations in the health plans they offer their employees, lend a certain amount of credibility to your fears. This mandate is currently being challenged in court by the Little Sisters of the Poor. It will be interesting to learn of the court’s decision. If the court rules against the Little Sisters, it will go a long way toward validating your fears. Personally, I do not believe it will come to forcing the Catholic church to perform wedding ceremonies for gay couples. If it does, the Constitution isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. We will have to wait and see.

      • Not Heterophobic

        I agree Drew, but governments come and go. Persecutions too. In the end, its the ash heap of history for most despots. We are certainly living under a peculiar form of despotism. I for one am quite furious over my tax dollars paying for abortions and birth control devices through surrogate organizations like Planned Parenthood and AARP.
        I do believe we will see a challenge to the Catholic Church as Bill Donahue and others have described. The Gender Fascists do not want equality, they want control. Sad times. But God is Good and God will win out.

    • The_Physeter

      The Ku Klux Klan still exists, and is still allowed to meet, even though their views are reviled by mainstream Americans. There are still churches which preach that black people are not as good as white people, and churches where black and white people cannot intermarry, even though the Civil Rights Act passed 40 years ago. No “race fascists” from the government came into those churches, or into the Klan meetings, and forced them to close down because they hold unpopular views.

      If you continue to insist that homosexuality is a sin, that is your right. No one will shut down your church. No one will throw you in prison for speaking, unless you are deliberately provoking attacks on people. BUT–your numbers will dwindle. Your church will grow smaller and smaller, and become more and more isolated from the outside world. You’ll find yourself increasingly proclaiming that all other churches are wrong, that you are the only righteous ones. Meanwhile all other churches will have made peace with the gay, lesbian, and transgender Christians who love Jesus, and will increasingly see you as an anomaly.

      • Not Heterophobic

        Dear Physeter
        Homosexuality is not a sin. The” sin ” we are talking about is non-procreative sex, which heterosexuals and homosexuals alike can violate, along with promiscuity and the like. Empty Churches? Maybe. But we don’t get to Heaven by popular vote. You can also do more with less. I do not worry about the judgment of men, only of God.
        I do not proclaim any righteousness. Only God can proclaim righteousness. The Church teaching on non-procreative sex is consistent. It is also rational. Any act that removes from the sex act the one thing that gives it “dignity” is a sin. If it were not the case, then the only reason for sex would be pleasure. But pleasure is a by product of sex, not the end in itself. This aspect is the great divide in this issue.
        As I stated, this is a knotty issue and not a discussion easy to have without a rational understanding of Church teachings.

        • The_Physeter

          Oh. Non-procreative sex. Wow. It hadn’t even occurred to me that people ever thought that was a sin.

          Ah, well, you’ll just empty the churches that much faster, then. Or rather, you’ll continue to raise the number of people who go to your church but don’t follow its teachings.

          • Not Heterophobic

            Ha! You made me smile! Yes, see, we learn something every day! Yes, many people show up at houses of worship but live a life less then they are called to live. That includes me from time to time. I fall, and then I get up and try again. It would be nice, I suppose, for all the Churches to be filled every day of worship, but only for the right reasons. You are correct. It is very disheartening for me to see Christians in general and Catholics in particular who are poor witnesses for the Faith. St. Paul wrote, “It is because of people like you that the name of God is blasphemed among the pagans.” I have tried desperately not to be one of those people. With God’s help, I am actually at a point where I believe I have a decent shot at getting to heaven. I am over 60. It has taken me a lifetime to get to this point. I am very much at peace.

          • The_Physeter

            “With God’s help, I am actually at a point where I believe I have a decent shot at getting to heaven”

            Now to me, that seems a very odd thing to say, unless you were being facetious. I was raised in the protestant tradition, and we thought that you are saved by grace, not by anything you do. And, they said you can be assured of your salvation, if you genuinely believe in Jesus and are doing your best. To say you have a ‘decent shot’ would have been bad theology to them, because they would say you don’t have to guess; if you are saved, you can know it.

            I suppose to you it looks like your holy tradition is right, and all the people are wrong. I happen to think the people are right, and your tradition is wrong. I think people are going to church because they want the acceptance and comfort that comes from the ritual, but don’t want to go against their own conscience by condemning those who use birth control. Especially since there’s nothing in the Bible about birth control.

          • Not Heterophobic

            I understand that it seems odd. In the Catholic Faith, we believe that good works count. It is a difference between the reformation traditions that bear revisiting, since “Faith without good world is dead,” is Scripture based and all. But enough dueling Bibles!
            We cannot pray our away to Heaven, but we can pray our way out of Purgatory. I was very serious about a new sense of my worthiness. Recently I went through the Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary, a self-directed retreat of 34 days designed long ago by St. Louis. It had a powerful effect on me. I have a BA in Theology and taught Religion> I have been what I believe is a good pilgrim my whole life. I did not understand that aspect of my Faith. It as been a revelation, to say the least, proving you can teach old dogs old tricks! Also, it does not matter what things look like to “me.” My sense of piety or my sin life are not the standards. I do not pretend to know why people go to church. In fact, I have to remind myself constantly that this is none of my business. When I look around at church or on the street, the one challenge I have to keep in mind is simple; Jesus Christ lived and died for every single one of these people. Anything less than that is a lie. Again, I think you misunderstand. No one is condemning PEOPLE who use birth control; the sin is what is being condemned. The trick in Christian living is to be able to say, ” I love YOU but I HATE your sinful ways and what they are doing to you.” See, that is difficult for most people. And since my sinful ways are intricately caught up in me, it is difficult to separate when my sins are being criticized or when I am being criticized. And ritual is very comforting, but that is not its point. Its point is to draw closer to God. Scary to get close – it really is. God is Love and all, but, well, He’s God. He made everything. I don’t like getting too comfortable in ritual myself. It isn’t always supposed to be cozy. Sometimes it can be downright overwhelming. Again, I cannot speak for others and do all I can to avoid that. I study and think and pray about what I study. It is a long and very difficult road to navigate, this salvation road. But fear of sainthood is no excuse for stagnating.

          • The_Physeter

            No one is condemning PEOPLE who use birth control; the sin is what is being condemned.

            But it is people who use the birth control. There is not some disembodied entity called “sin” that people accidentally spill on themselves sometimes. If using birth control is a sin, and people use birth control, then those people are committing a sin. And you are condemning their actions. And to them, it probably seems as though you are condemning them, whether you like it or not.

            You say you can love the sin but hate the sinner–but I don’t think this is actually possible. Even if your intention is love, what the person will feel is hate. As you quoted before, “Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” I would paraphrase that: show me your love apart from your works, but I will show you either love or hate by what I do.

            I’m glad you are finding more of your own self-worth. I found that in a Christian study where I learned I was a beloved child of God. Now I’m seeking that confidence again as I learn I am a rational, reasonable being apart from any supernatural support.

          • Not Heterophobic

            I am not condemning. You have to trust my motives. I show them love first by telling them the truth, kindly, with empathy. “Is there no one left to accuse you? Then neither do I.” Is the model. Jesus didn’t say,” You know, adultery isn’t so bad. You’ll recover. Be discrete and then go on with your life.” He said, “Go. Sin no more.” Now, it was up to that incredibly lucky woman to go and do as He said. That’s the model of love. I get upset with public figures, especially with Catholics who communicate untruths about the Faith, so in my business ministry I created a process called Prayers for Prodigals, where we pray that Catholic leader who are astray will come home. That is another way we show love. We write them letters, good letters, asking them to consult their hearts and consider that they had an incredible platform to witness to the Power and Love of the Living God! And we tell them we are praying for them. God takes it from there.
            I can’t imagine doing any of this without supernatural support. It ain’t possible. I think you are setting yourself up for disappointment. At some point, we gotta’ let God in. We can’t outsmart the evil one. He has us make a god out of ourselves all the time. Tricky little devil….and he is little. Do you know he fears Our Blessed Mother more than anything else? Amazing Grace.

          • The_Physeter

            Do you know he (the devil) fears Our Blessed Mother more than anything else?

            No I did not know that, as I grew up in the protestant tradition. I didn’t have Catholic teachings to learn from, only the Bible, and the Bible says nothing about Mary being the mother of god or the queen of heaven or without sin or whatever else she’s supposed to be.

            I don’t really know what else to say. I am glad that you said (in your original comment) that you would not refuse to serve homosexuals or adulterers in your hypothetical cake shop. I’m glad you are trying to treat others with love. I’m glad you want to save people. I just don’t think your idea of love come across that way to the ‘sinners’.

            Homosexuality is how you are. It’s not a choice. I know you won’t believe me when I say that, but there you have it. It’s not moral to tell gay people they must stay celibate all their lives, must never ever fall in love, because your ancient book and your ancient traditions say so. It’s certainly not moral to try to force them to change thru questionable “therapy”–but I know that’s more of a Charismatic thing than Catholic.

  • Florida Jim

    “many on the hard right” sounds like a phrase form MSNBC. If someone comes to my home whom I do not want I ask them politely to leave. If they decide to start into some unwanted spiel I will ask them l to leave, in a harsh aggressive Chicago tone, they always leave. Why isn’t that the same with a business. As Shannon tried to say to Bernie, why doesn’t the unwanted person simply leave since it is the polite thing to do, do not stay where you are not wanted but also do not run to a sleazy lawyer to force your visits on those who may not want them. Is it the fault of the lawyers , the politicians or the unwanted person?

    • Eric Maher

      Legally, the “right to refuse service to anyone” ended with the Civil Rights laws of the mid-1960s, because they codified that if you open the doors of your store to the “general public,” then from now on, you can’t refuse service. Unfortunately.

      • Drew Page

        Businesses can legally refuse service to customers, just not on the basis of race, creed, color, gender or sexual orientation. If a restaurant requires a coat and tie and you aren’t wearing one they can refuse to seat you. If you are drunk, a bar or restaurant can refuse to serve you and ask you to leave. If you are acting in a rude or disruptive manner, they can ask you to leave. The same goes for smoking.

        • Eric Maher

          So businesses do NOT have the right to refuse service to anyone. Unfortunately.

          • Drew Page

            That is correct. I believe that we all have certain unalienable rights. I also believe that no right is absolute. We have the right to free speech, but not the right to lie under oath, nor the right to libel or slander, nor the right to incite a riot. My point is that though we have rights, they only go so far as they don’t impede the rights of others.

            I see the point of any business owner only wanting to do business with customers of his choice. On the other hand, I see how this could lead to illegal discrimination. At one time in the country blacks were denied service at many white owned businesses, restaurants, hotels, theaters, even laundromats. People, any law abiding people, shouldn’t be subjected to that. I’ve heard the argument that being gay is a choice, I don’t believe that. I believe gay people are born that way, they don’t choose to be gay. They are no more at fault for their sexual preferences than straight people are.

            I know that some will come up with exaggerated examples of behavior by gays that are objectionable to business people who don’t want to do business with them. I could counter those arguments with exaggerated examples of my own when doing business with straight people. If I ran a bakery, floral shop or photo studio and was asked to provide goods or services to a gay couple getting married and had religious convictions that made me feel uncomfortable doing so, I would express my reluctance and if the customer were insistent, I would lay out the terms and conditions under which I would provide such services. If the customer agreed to my terms, I would put those in a written contract for the customer to sign before going any further. Under these circumstances, I believe the customer would seek another more accommodating vendor.

            Some will say, “I shouldn’t have to go that far”. Some others might say something a lot worse. Fortunately, most business people do not have a problem providing goods and services to gay people.

          • Eric Maher

            Drew, you are very reasonable. And you really seem to understand how things work.

          • Drew Page

            Thanks Eric, I try to understand things from more than just one point of view.

    • legal eagle

      Katzenbach v. McClung, 379 U.S. 294 (1964), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that Congress acted within its power under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution in forbidding racial discrimination in restaurants as this was a burden to interstate commerce. The ruling was a 9–0 decision in favor of the plaintiff—the United States government.

      • Eric Maher

        The Commerce Clause, which was designed to stop the individual states from laying tariffs on each other.

        But eager big-government types think the Commerce Clause means “I know the design of the US Constitution is to limit government, but this little phrase is an exception — it means government has almost unlimited power to regulate almost all business transactions.” Yep, that makes sense.

        Lucky for us the Supreme Court is never wrong. (sarc)

  • kayakbob

    Trying to put myself in the shoes of someone that has just been refused a service. I would be annoyed. But I would get past it and think, “my money is no good here? Fine. I am sure it will be good somewhere else.” Frankly, it would not even enter my mind to haul some business into court in an attempt to force them to provide that service to me.

    As stated by other here before me: why would I want a product/service after the provider made crystal clear they were not interested in having me as a customer?

    Looking at it from another angle: I am self employed. I offer a service. I market to small business and get turned away. So what? Should I use the power of government to force businesses into a relationship with me?

    I think not.

    • Josh

      There was one of those little corner stores in my neighborhood as a kid, and the guy outright refused to allow some people into his store. It wasn’t about religion. He wasn’t very political or anything. Just an a-hole. I think we all know the type, store-owner or otherwise. Sometimes they’re welcoming, sometimes it’s “get the hell outta my face!”

      I was denied service. Not once did it cross my mind that I should sue him, that there oughta be a law, or that I was being discriminated against and someone should step in to right the injustice. I just walked across the street to 7-11.

      The store was only around for about two years before boards covered the windows and the building was eventually turned into a cab stand.

      Personally, I find it ridiculous for anyone in business to discriminate against someone, barring something like a murderer or a real criminal. But the idea of government policing it seems far worse to me.

      • legal eagle

        Because it’s been the law since 1964…WAKE UP

        Katzenbach v. McClung, 379 U.S. 294 (1964), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that Congress acted within its power under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution in forbidding racial discrimination in restaurants as this was a burden to interstate commerce. The ruling was a 9–0 decision in favor of the plaintiff—the United States government.

        • Eric Maher

          The Commerce Clause, which was designed to stop the individual states from laying tariffs on each other.

          But eager big-government types think the Commerce Clause means “I know the design of the US Constitution is to limit government, but this little phrase is an exception. It means government has almost unlimited power to regulate almost all business transactions.” Yep, that makes sense.

          Luckily for us the Supreme Court is never wrong. (sarc)

  • Roadmaster

    Anyone who is refused service, for any reason, has the right to go down the street and seek service elsewhere. But these venal, destructive children seek to destroy.

    And who in their right mind would eat the damn cake they (and the gubmint) FORCED someone to make?

    No, they aren’t after a cake – they’re out for religious people. That’s what Marxists do.

    • Josh

      If only it were the religious. These dictator-in-training schmucks go after everyone. In this instance in particular, however, the only people refusing service to and who have a problem with homosexuals are religious.

      If there’s someone out there who is against homosexuality and who isn’t religious, I’ve never met them or heard about them. Maybe they exist.

      But you can see and feel this Marxist influence well outside of the religious sphere. Just try to be a regular old attendee at a skeptic conference–religion’s opposite–and think you have freedom to speak your views, to set up alongside other vendors, or to explore on your own. Nope, nah, and hellz no. These little peons have gathered together to create a commission, overflowing with inane rules, confusing regulations, and spur-of-the-moment changes–possible evictions or worse–if you’re not ideologically identical. I mean, you can score 9 of 10 and still be considered the worst person in the world.

      It’s not the religion. It’s that the religious dare go against the new religion they’re trying desperately to create. To that end, many suffer.

  • Libertarian Ish

    Would a gay business owner refuse service to heterosexuals because they don’t adhere to their way of life? Of course not. So why would any Christian heterosexual refuse service to gays? You don’t have to adhere to someone’s lifestyle in order to do business with them. Everyone’s money is green, regardless of what they do in their personal life. And besides, anyone who believes that gays “choose” to be gay just don’t understand biology. All people are born with a multitude of markers, none of which they chose.

    • Eric Maher

      The baker welcomed gay customers. But he didn’t want to participate in a gay wedding, which the baker considered a sin. There’s a difference.

      • IndependentCuss

        Baker thinks it’s ok to have gay sex but not marry gay?

        • Eric Maher

          Nobody’s asking the baker’s opinion of gay sex. I doubt the baker would let anybody have sex in his shop.

  • Anthony Pacicca

    Many years gone by I remember on my first trip to Florida there were signs on restaurant windows that read—-No Blacks or Miners allowed and drinking fountains had signs that read—-Whites only—

    • Eric Maher

      “Private discrimination may be nasty and evil, but it is not and was not Jim Crow. Jim Crow laws mandated segregation in public areas. Here, for example, is Alabama’s Jim Crow law with regard to those ‘lunch counters':

      ” ‘It shall be unlawful to conduct a restaurant or other place for the serving of food in the cit­y, at which white and colored people are served in the same room, unless such white and colored persons are effectually
      separated by a solid partition extending from the floor upward to a distance of seven feet or higher, and unless a separate entrance from the street is provided for each compartment.’ ”

      Quite different from today’s question.

  • scott autry

    This will be my last comment. I’ve said more than enough already, but I recognized that my thinking has changed some since my first.

    Let’s say I’m back home, and I get a hankering for some biryani. I walk into a Saudi/Arab restaurant, and the owner forces me to leave, because I’m wearing a crucifix, and that is offensive to his religion (and probably for the majority of his customers). Would I be angry? Probably.

    Would I feel that the government should use its power by allowing me to sue him in civil court and then force him to pay me when I win??? Neh. Probably not… It is too easy for me to just go some place else….

    Even if I’m too pissed off at the guy, I’m not comfortable giving the government the power to interfere with a person’s, even a business owner’s, freedom to follow his religion as he sees fit. Does that mean I think a satanist should be allowed to sacrifice virgins at his alter? Nope, but let’s try to keep this reasonable…

    Now, if 80% of the restaurants in the area ALSO discriminated against people wearing religious emblems, I’d have enough of a problem with that that I’d want the government to step in, because that much discrimination against religion (or a specific religion), obviously sanctioned by the local community, is limiting individual freedom to the point the government needs to step in to counter it.

    So, to take up Mr. Goldberg’s example, what if a Muslim restaurant refused service to unaccompanied women?

    Well, since we allow females only gyms, and since the woman could toss a rock in any direction and hit a restaurant that would allow her to eat there, I don’t have much of a problem with allowing the Muslim owner to control his business in that manner. Don’t like the idea, but I’d rather not see the power of the government used to put him out of business or set aside his religous beliefs as he sees them….

    • scott autry

      I should also add, religion is a protected category in a few rights laws…..even though it doesn’t depend on DNA or biology…

  • Emerson_C

    You say “lets not waste time on whether homosexuality is a choice or a preference”. But that is precisely what is at issue and makes the race analogy false. If homosexuality is not an identity but a behavour it changes the whole question. Sexuality not race or any other factor is a t the base of all human society and human history. To dismiss this fact is very superficial thinking.

    • scott autry

      When I think about this from a non-religious point of view, Charles Darwin keeps popping up, and I can’t seem to get around it in order to find common ground with the Mr. Goldbergs… The keep pointing to science, but I’m not sure which part of it….

    • Roadmaster

      And that’s why so many blacks are thoroughly ticked at the minority of homosexuals claiming they have a “civil” right. It’s not apples and oranges, it is apples and “road apples.”

      I asked a gay acquaintance one time if he would like to hear my heterosexual exploits, non-stop, like he subjected me to with his continual prattle about his?

      He recoiled in horror, “EYOUUU!!! That would be GROSS!!!”

      “There ya go,” says I. “How do you think I feel, hearing about yours?”

      Everyone needs to keep their private lives private.

      • Eric Maher

        The need to be closeted?

  • scott autry

    I was thinking again, and this is what defeat looks like in American society:

    A win for gay rights activist is not simply reversing the culture of active animosity (reference Eddie Murphy’s Raw) that helps in some matter foment gay bashing (assault or even murder or attempted murder based on someone’s sexuality).

    A win isn’t getting pop culture to reverse itself on something like Raw by pretty much having Hollywood require one positive gay character in almost every movie or TV show.

    No. A win is only when you drive from the public sphere your opposition – of almost any variety.

    Whatever changes have come in the society for homosexuality, it clearly isn’t close to being enough…

    You might think I’m exaggerating, but it seems the only true win will likely come when the culture accepts as a given that the Christian Bible (and Jewish and Muslim sacred texts) contain Hate-Speech — speech that must be driven from the public sphere.

    After the Left successfully used the ideal of Free Speech to advance noble causes in the Civil Rights Movement, in part by also defending the same rights of even disgusting groups like the KKK, they turned in the 1990s, once their position had grown in strength, to a desire for laws giving the government power to silence speech defined as hateful….

    I’m happy homosexuals today don’t face the kind of wide-spread, open, active animosity in their day-to-day lives in their place of work, and peppered throughout popular culture, like existed in the not-so-distant past.

    But, we aren’t going to stop there…

    (I’m not so concerned about the more recent negative references in pop culture, because, being a conservative Christian from the South, I’ve gotten used to negative portrayals of me. I mean, when Hollywood can’t depict Muslim extremists as terrorists but use “right wing” white rednecks, I can’t get behind further efforts to improve the positions of gays in pop culture.)

    Hate-Speech is not the widespread law of the day, but it will be within a couple of decades.

    Right now, the power of the government is being used to force business owners to go against what they see as something connect to their religious faith.

    That is the future too…

    It isn’t enough that an actor or director who is caught saying something negative about homosexuals are toast in Hollywood… Now, individuals must either act as if they agree that homosexuality is a natural product of human existence AND that ANY THING, even “so called” sacred religious texts, that contain a contrary, negative view on homosexuality, are hateful and can’t be tolerated – or suffer the consequences.

    Your job. Your business. are no longer safe if you insist on disagreeing with them.

    Eventually, the church pulpit will no longer be free from attack, backed by the power of the government, in civil and criminal court…

    In the past, if you were openly gay – you had to pay a very steep price.

    Now, not so much so….not like in the past….

    In the future, most likely within most of our life times, if you dare express opposition to homosexuality, you’ll have to pay a steep price.

    It seems culture can’t help itself from swinging like a pendulum….

    • Rose

      Scott Autry, this is a very intelligent post. Thanks for the measured contribution. Moderation in all things is a good way to live. We never get everything we want. The pendulum swings keep us all off-balance. Extremes on either side are off-putting at best, dangerous at worst.

    • Sheila Warner

      “A win is only when you drive from the public sphere your opposition – of almost any variety.”

      And, only the Left does this? Have you listened to the Far Right?

  • malbec

    Short and sweet, Bernie….yup.

    • scott autry

      ” In any case, being gay isn’t the same as being black, they told me. Being gay, some actually believe, is a choice – a “preference” is the way they put it. Let’s not waste anyone’s time with that argument.

      Still, today we have a twist on the old argument: We’re no longertalking about race; now it’s about religion and sexual orientation. But it’s not really much of a twist.”

      Yup. Good nutshell:

      Agree with the Mr. Goldbergs, or your such a disgusting, racist, bleep, who we can be sure probably likes wearing white sheets, attending KKK rallies, and hates blacks and Jews and the like, you aren’t even worth listening too….

      ….I’ll thank that non-existent God when the government finally gets around to putting hateful people like you in their place, just like they had to do to you during the Civil Rights Movement when you were out lynching people,,,,Gay Basher!!!

      • malbec

        Certainly, a Juggernaut has taken control of your head which is doing itself in. And why do you hate the word “sweet”? Too many connotations?

      • legal eagle

        Discrimination is discrimination……On can try to rationalize it by making religion the reason but fortunately U.S. is a secular country…

        • scott autry

          Saying the US is a secular nation is just a typical dodge that moves us further away from real discussion than advances it.: The Constitution prohibits the state from establishing a national religion. Protection for religious freedom is also a core part of our law…

          …It is odd that someone who keeps tossing out “the law” – and in particular one quote on discrimination – keeps ignoring the fact religion is mentioned but sexuality isn’t…

          • legal eagle

            The Courts have decided that issue….

            Justice Kennedy wrote that the Defense of Marriage Act must fail because it denies same-sex couples the dignity that the states intended them to have and sets them apart in a way that violates the due process and equal protection principles guaranteed under the Constitution.

          • Eric Maher

            The irony of the Republican stance against gay marriage is that it assumes government should define marriage. I’m a Republican, and I don’t want the stupid government defining marriage. . . . Part of marriage is a legal contract, fine. So make all of those legal contracts “civil unions,” and do not discriminate between gay couples and straight couples. Equal justice under the law. The other part of marriage is religious. Let religions (and individual people) define marriage. Problem solved!

          • Josh

            Hear, hear. Finally someone else with whom my opinions on the matter match. It’s hard to find that in the “marriage” debate when you don’t take either extreme.

            One can’t claim marriage is holy, important and works only one way, and then hand it over to government to define and toy with endlessly. Once it’s public, it’s everyone’s.

            This is simply what happens when people start to believe that they can breach and blur a church-state separation because they have the numbers at the time.

        • Eric Maher

          Fortunately religious expression is protected by the 1st Amendment, in the Bill of Rights. You like the Bill or Rights, right?

  • Bernarr Stadius

    This is the most reasoned and articulate discussion I’ve ever seen on the internet. You have a good audience, Bernie. My contribution: To refuse to participate in some fashion in a same-sex marriage is a far different proposition from refusing service to blacks at a lunch counter. Marriage is an institution, which throughout its history has had, as its primary purpose, the generation, care and nurture of children. Though emotional attachment between the parties to the marriage is certainly involved, that in itself is not the distinguishing characteristic of the institution of marriage.

    Obviously a same sex couple cannot generate a child without a cooperating party of the other sex. (To raise the case of infertile couples is a simple distraction and does not invalidate the argument.) Thus, however fulfilling the same-sex relationship might be to the parties involved, it is not marriage as the institution has been construed through the generations. And those of us who object to same-sex marriage are only trying to protect the institution. There are ample legal protections available to same sex couples through civil unions.

  • Kiara Ashanti

    For anyone that cannot fathom how someone would choose to be gay, and it not be a natural thing. I suggest you all look at a show called my strange obession. You will see people doing all sorts of strange things that they just cannot stop that have no biological compenent. people do things, like them, and decide to keep doing it. its pretty basic.

    • Sheila Warner

      You watch “My Strange Obession”. That explains a lot.

  • Tim Ned

    Or should Muslim cab drivers refuse to carry passengers with dogs or wine from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport? Oh wait – they do!

  • Bud Brota

    They are called the “Culture WARS.” It’s a struggle for the soul of US culture. You know it’s not going well for social conservatives (and morality) when former hush-hush perversions are elevated to the level of a protected demographic category, equal to race, gender, age, marital status, national origin, etc. Now that the former perversions have been publicly vaunted (in Arizona) above religious rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, how long do you think it will be before the same adherents to the above-mentioned perversions are seeking to suppress religious teaching of all types on the basis of hate speech?? There are many who would file that suit in a heartbeat. Keep cheering for moral decline, Bernie. Who will help you when they come for you??

  • JASVN67

    The gays and lesbians have been around since the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. For all the atheists, and agnostic people reading this post I am sure it will be dismissed as rhetoric. God dealt severely with these people, they left him no choice! He is a loving God but He is also a just God. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow never changes. In God’s eyes sin is sin. He loves the sinner but abhors their sin. Now Jesus was either a Liar, a Lunatic or He is the Son of God. We have to live with the choice we make. Moral or immoral we will, according to Scripture, be judged for the choice we made in this life!

    • Sheila Warner

      Who says that homosexuality was the reason God burnt down the cities? Because a group of men wanted to have sex with the angels?Did that mean every man in those cities were gay?

      And, God told Abraham that he would spare the cities if there were 10 righteous people in it. So, who does God save? Lot, who offered his daughters to those men so they could rape them. Really righteous of Lot, huh? And the daughters? They made Lot drunk and had sex with him in order to become pregnant via incest.

      I don’t think referencing the story of Sodom & Gomorrah is such a go-to passage for the anti-gay crowd.

      I’ve always seen the whole S&G thing as people being cruel and hateful towards their neighbors. Which begs the issue: why save Lot?

      • JASVN67

        I, myself, would never presume to have total understanding for God’s written word. From Adam and Eve onward, people have tended to blame others, not themselves, for what goes wrong. Unless one first accepts responsibility for wrong behavior and stops blaming others, they’ll never get well. Do you approve of
        Licentious behavior? What does one do with these passages from the Book of Romans Ch. 1: 21-32 ? NIV version

  • Reds

    Dear Bernie,
    I saw you on Fox last night, and what you said reflected what you wrote above; an otherwise well-reasoned, intelligent man HAD to compare race and sexual orientation. While gays have often been mistreated in this country, they have never had to drink from separate fountains, eat at separate counters, face the wrath of lynch mobs, etc., the way blacks have. Thus, the comparison of the plight of gays to that of blacks is convenient, but invalid.
    In addition, how would business owners know upon seeing a customer, what his sexual orientation was? Would the owner be forced to ask nosy questions about whom the customer was attracted to, Eve, Steve, both, or neither?
    Oh, and while you were writing about Arizona, take a look at one of its neighbors, New Mexico, whose Supreme Court ruled a photography company had to photograph a same-sex wedding, even though the owners don’t agree with same-sex marriage. This doesn’t mean the owners don’t see gays as being created in the image and likeness of God; it means the biblical definition of marriage was being violated, meaning the owners, in good Christian conscience, did not want to photograph the event. Would you want them to be forced to photograph Jim, a married man, with his extramarital girlfriend Angela?
    Bernie, in plain English, the gay activists’ assault on Christians could not be clearer, it is tyrannical, and you, whom I consider to be a decent and honest man, have unfortunately decided to join the ranks of the tyrants.
    In conclusion, I wish you and yours all the best.
    Pax,
    Reds
    Whittier, CA

    • Paul Courtney

      I respect and admire Bernie, but I agree with you, your last sentence says it nicely. Can’t fathom how he fails to see it, possibly he’s seen the tyranny by social cons in the past (which is undeniable) and it shades his perspective on this. Agree with him often and respect him too much to let this dispute overwhelm that, but do wish an answer-if Jew can turn away neo-nazi customer, what’s the basis that doesn’t apply to Christian baker? Also my best to him and his.

    • Sheila Warner

      “Would you want them to be forced to photograph Jim, a married man, with his extramarital girlfriend Angela?”

      You don’t think that happens? When the father of the bride is living with a girlfriend, but not yet divorced?

      As to gays not being victims in the same way as blacks, there have been gays beaten and murdered for being gay. Gays used to be dragged out of gay bars and sent to jail for being gay. You should read your history.

      • Eric Maher

        And America hasn’t changed in 45 years?

        There is a horrible crisis that requires us to start curtailing people’s fundamental rights?

        I get the feeling you are opposing bigotry and hatred. Almost everybody opposes bigotry and hatred, but it’s not the issue here. The issue is, should government intervene and force a business-owner to behave according to government’s opinion?

        The Bill of Rights doesn’t just protect nice practices, pleasant beliefs, agreeable speech.

        If the business owner is a jerk, that doesn’t mean the force of government should crush him. Let people picket the store. Let the blogosphere constantly annoy him. Leave the government out of it.

        There’s a crucial difference between (1) “This is a good idea” and (2) “Everybody should be forced to do this.”

        Tolerance is good. Being forced by the law to obey an official definition of tolerance is very bad.

        Bigotry is bad. Being forced by the law to abandon personal principles is very bad.

        If a business or a store wants to refuse service, that business or store should have that freedom. If their stance means they don’t have very many customers (or means they have lots of protesters at their door) …

        Sheila, if you want government to stamp out rudeness, then you would be much more dangerous than the store-owner.

  • Mark Brickey

    1st, this was not about gays, it was about free speech, freedom of association & freedom of religion. Gays want it about them & because they happen to be the “PC offended of the month” they’re in the media.
    When a Jewish baker is requested to bake a cake from a Neonazi in shape of a Swastika or a Muslim butcher is requested to provide pork, this is the same thing. Where is the line going to be drawn?
    We are NOT a populist social democracy. We are a Constitutional Republic.
    We are a nation & people of laws & freedoms & respect. These militant gays aren’t after any of that, just as ANY progressive isn’t. They have no respect for laws for history. They do not learn from the past. Their only agenda is in the “now” not even looking to the future.

    • Sheila Warner

      “1st, this was not about gays, it was about free speech, freedom of association & freedom of religion”

      Now that’s funny! Of course it was about gays. The fact that your next sentence is referring to gays says it all. There would not have been this bill in the first place had it not been for the fact that a gay couple was denied a wedding cake. If it was only about speech, religion, and association, then why wasn’t there such a provision in place already?

      • Eric Maher

        >> The fact that your next sentence is referring to gays says it all. <<

        No, it doesn't. The Arizona law doesn't mention gays. Good people who want gays treated decently have made the conversation about gays. It's two different subjects.

        The Arizona law is about balancing between (1) the freedom of store-owners, and (2) how customers are treated.

  • Rose

    Yada yada yada. Just bake the friggin’ cake. Ha!

    • Eric Maher

      Just obey. Bow to the state. Don’t raise your eyes.

    • Paul Courtney

      Yada yada yada, bake your own damn cake. Ho, ho, ho.

  • Rose

    Sometimes people get tired of waiting for someone to give them their rights and they just start taking them.

    • George Williams

      Yes, so very true. You for example invoke your right of free speech to make a fool of yourself.

    • Sheila Warner

      No person can give anyone their rights. If they already have the right, of course they can use those rights. If not, then appeal can be made to the courts.

  • Jay

    Last nights interview with the substitute for Megan Kelly was a disgrace. She totally cut you off and you rolling your eyes said it all!

    • Monica Gfoeller

      I saw it too. You had our sympathy Bernie, she was a terrible host.

      • Jay

        get her off the air, where is Megan

    • Sheila Warner

      You don’t understand what a “hard break” is. The segment had run out of time. He would have been cut off by the commercial very shortly.

  • David in Virginia

    I see this as a possible issue: A neo-Nazi may, perhaps, have a legal right to shop for burger rolls and deli meat at a grocery store, and take it to their rally or meeting. Do we really want to say a catering company’s employees can be required to go to their meeting and serve the food? They would essentially be forced to “assemble” with, not just sell to, a group they profoundly disagree with. Their very presence at the event tends to make the neo-Nazi event appear more legitimate and larger than it would be otherwise, just because there are more bodies. Physical presence visually implies at least a minimal sort of agreement, unless the law allowed the catering employees to wear a large sign saying that they oppose Nazism. Likewise, I agree that a shop that makes wedding cakes probably ought to sell cakes to any couple. . . but requiring, say, a wedding photographer to go to, and essentially become part of the event – that seems to me to be a violation of one’s right of assembly (and therefore, the right not to assemble). In the neo-Nazi case, I might be able to bite my tongue and ring up a food sale to them in my shop, but I’d tell them to go to Hell before I would serve any of them at their meetings or a rally, or require any employee of mine to do so. (Mr. Goldberg, I would really be interested in your view of this question.)

    • George Williams

      So very true. Can you see a black caterer sued for refusing to serve a Kkk banquet? The Left fails to comprehend the unintende consequences of their case once again. As Rose would say, their real doofusses. LOL!

      • legal eagle

        The KKK Is not a protected class, under the law…This is the law..

        Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, or national origin in certain places of public accommodation, such as hotels, restaurants, and places of entertainment. The Department of Justice can bring a lawsuit under Title II when there is reason to believe that a person has engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination in violation of Title II. The Department can obtain injunctive, but not monetary, relief in such cases. Individuals can also file suit to enforce their rights under Title II and other federal and state statutes may also provide remedies for discrimination in places of public accommodation.

        • Tim Ned

          1978, Skokie, IL.

          • Sheila Warner

            You’re using a parade to prove your point? Even the Westboro folks have freedom of speech. The KKK had a right to speak, as well. Hateful speech needs to be met with better speech, not censorship.

          • Tim Ned

            I’m not arguing that. Review what my point was directed at.

        • George Williams

          Neither are gay people a protected class but Obama has invented his own Constitution, as have all your communist fellow travelers, refusing to respect the laws of the states. I wonder what would happen to the federal government is the states refused to support the DOJ. Since the feds don’t have nearly enough enforcement agents, it would become a sad shadow of itself.

        • scott autry

          Didn’t see homosexuality there, but regardless, I’d also point out the law once codified segregation and the Constitution said blacks were only 3/5ths a normal human – and didn’t give them (or women or non-property owning white males) the right to vote (among many other rights later made into law).

          • George Williams

            Blacks were only 3/5ths for the purpose of being counted when it came to establishing the number of representatives for each state. They were already slaves and couldn’t vote, so that was hardly a practical slight against black people.

          • Eric Maher

            The “3/5ths of a normal human” argument doesn’t hold water.

            When deciding how to apportion legislative representation, the Southerners said “We want our slaves counted, so we get more members of Congress.” The Northerners said “No, we’re not going to reward your ownership of slaves with more members of Congress, so you get none for them.” Eventually they compromised on 3/5ths.

        • Eric Maher

          Why do we need protected classes?

          Nanny state? Worship of government?

    • Eric Maher

      There’s a crucial difference between (1) “This is a good idea” and (2)
      “Everybody should be forced to do this.”

      Tolerance is good. Being forced by the law to obey an official definition of tolerance is very bad.

      Bigotry is bad. Being forced by the law to abandon personal principles is very bad.

      If a business or a store wants to refuse service, that business or store should have that freedom. If their stance means they don’t have very many customers (or means they have lots of protesters at their door) …

      • legal eagle

        Interesting concept.. Hotels, restaurants and public golf courses should be able to discriminate against whomever they please….Back to the good old days of the 1950’s….

        • Eric Maher

          Freedom is indeed an interesting concept. You seem to prefer force. Okey doke.

          It’s weird that you think society hasn’t changed since the 1950s, but, whatever.

          Here’s something from the 1850s for ya: “Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.” ― Frédéric Bastiat

          • legal eagle

            I’m not sure what “socialism” has to do with discrimination laws but if that is what you feel supports your position that’s fine with me…..In my opinion, discrimination is a concept that is an anathema to most reasonable Americans…If discrimination is acceptable to you all I can say is you would have made a fine Dixiecrat back in the 1960’s…Different times, same arguments used to support their position.

          • Eric Maher

            >> I’m not sure what “socialism” has to do with discrimination laws <<

            Did you not read that paragraph, past the word “socialism”?

            The point was, just because I want something to be legally allowed, doesn’t mean I think it’s a peachy idea.

            I’ll say this again: There's a crucial difference between (1) "This is a good idea" and (2) "Everybody should be forced to do this."

            Tolerance is good. Being forced by the law to obey an official definition of tolerance is very bad.

            Bigotry is bad. Being forced by the law to abandon personal principles is very bad.

            If a business or a store wants to refuse service, that business or store should have that freedom. If their stance means they don't have very many customers
            (or means they have lots of protesters at their door) …

            I know that the big-government crowd loves to prohibit what it doesn’t like (and make mandatory what it does like), but I don’t. I prefer freedom.

            I know that people who think America is rotten want lots of laws to control the people, but I don’t. I prefer freedom.

          • legal eagle

            The US tried that for the first 190 years of its existence. It doesn’t work…Do you want to fly into a city and be told at the hotel that “You are not welcome because your gay”?
            Don’t be absurd…You don’t like the law. You favor discrimination and bigotry based upon principal? I feel bad for you…

          • Josh

            In these examples, I only ever see people using gay, black, religion X. And, I suppose, the thinking there is that there should be protected classes. But fly into that same city and visit a hotel, what’s the deal here you’re envisioning? The hotel owner, by government mandate, has to allow everyone to stay? Or only those deemed as protected classes, while anyone else can get the boot?

            What if it’s someone with psoriasis and the owner thinks “Well, hell, I don’t want this crap on my sheets”? Or what if it happens to be a gay guy with it? Then it’s only the “gay” that’s seen when the story gets told. That’s what happens when you chuck people into labeled wagons thinking that it’s better for them. You just segment society into these little groups where the idea of “equality” is different for everyone and must be mandated from on high.

            What if the owner simply doesn’t trust the person and feels like they might not be worth the risk? Is profiling okay, as long as the person isn’t a minority of some sort?

            What say does the business owner actually have on who gets to stay and why?

            I know you answer questions at about the same rate Halley’s comes around, but I would really like to know what rights you believe the actual business owner has in deciding with whom he does or doesn’t conduct business.

          • legal eagle

            Obviously, the hotel owner can come up with a reason, if he doesn’t want a particular guest. That’s not the issue…The issue is when it’s systemic discrimination. If that’s the case and, as example, the hotel owner doesn’t want Jews or Muslims staying at his hotel, he is violating the law. If he doesn’t agree with the law he should sell the hotel…

          • Josh

            So, obviously, the hotel owner cannot come up with a reason if that particular reason is Jews or Muslims.

            Individual discrimination okay; group discrimination badderson.

            I take the logic, I’d just rather not have a government segment society into groups to enforce such nonsense. You can discriminate against X, but not Y, and for A, but not B, and you can say 1 to 2, but not 4 to 3. And let’s construct another department to monitor the department that’s monitoring the department that’s overseeing the department that enforces this to the department that reports to the department.

          • Eric Maher

            LOL! Bow down to the state! Worship big government! The force of law will crush anybody who is rude!

            Not fascistic at all, nope!

            Religion is stupid!

  • Allan

    E promises not to spill any wine on you.

    When a wedding cake is requested how does the owner know it is for a gay wedding? The owner is accustomed to making certain types of wedding cakes and that is where his expertise is. You don’t think the baker should be forced to make a new design for the gay couple, do you?

    • Rose

      Usually the happy couple comes into the bakery to choose a design for the cake and taste a variety of sample favors. If both are male, that would give it away. A request for two groom figures on the cake might be another clue.

      • Jay

        It was awful, just because she is a young blonde, she was rude to Bernie and doesn’t know what she is talking about, BTW, where is Megan?

        • legal eagle

          She’s just another of Fox News’ Barbie doll hosts….Makeup and hair are far more important than brains..

          • Tim Ned

            Now we can add another mark to your comments. Sexist!

          • guest

            Proof that behind all of the liberal earnestness and egalitarian posturing, lurks a sexist bully.

          • legal eagle

            Glad you’re keeping score….

          • George Williams

            Every one of Fox female hosts have law degrees, while your MSNBC hosts can barely read and write. Your misogynist talk shows us just how much a hater you are.

          • legal eagle

            I believe your statement is factually incorrect. I know the facts usually don’t mean much to you but everyone of Fox News’ female hosts do not have law degrees..ie. Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Gretchen Carlson…

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Primetime hosts anyway.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Says the guy who’s never even watched her show.

        • Sheila Warner

          Okay, let’s review. Shannon was coming up on a hard break. I’ve see Megyn Kelly cut people off all the time for the same thing. Get a grip!

  • jhoney

    Bernie, I gave up cable years ago for a variety of reasons but I used to relish your visits to O’Reilly. I generally side with O’Reilly but find his interview style annoying and disappointing – not letting guests finish thoughts by cutting them off or too narrowly scoping the discussion to preclude them making valid points. AND EVEN WHEN HE WOULD SAY, “OK, YOU GET THE FINAL WORD,” TO THE GUEST, HE WOULD STILL INTERRUPT OR COMMENT ON THEIR ‘FINAL WORD.’

    However, having said all that, in addition to enjoying your sensible thoughts (TRULY ‘fair and balanced’), O’Reilly always seemed to afford you more respect than his other guests. I always wondered if at some point you must have told him something like, “I am not going to come on your show and put up with that crap you pull on your other guests!”

    • legal eagle

      Not if Bernie wants to keep collecting a nice paycheck from Fox News…It would take at least three minutes for Roger Ailes to find a replacement for Bernie Goldberg…

      • Tim Ned

        Example of someone who spends their time on MSNBC and Moveon.org render an incoherent opinion lack of content or context pertaining to Fox News and this website.

      • George Williams

        All it would take to get rid of you from this blog is the movement of a few electrons and poof, Bernie no longer has to tolerate your insults.

        • Eric Maher

          Trolls are like flag-burners. They have no substantial point to make, and nobody listens, and they live in a world of misery (including hanging around the pages of people they hate!). It’s sad.

  • guest

    Bernie, I really think people object to the compulsion to participate in an ACTIVITY which poses a conscientious objection. Conscientious objector status is not a new concept in the military, and should be considered in commercial matters. The Commerce Clause allowed Congress to pass the laws it did to prohibit discrimination in commerce and people agree those laws are right. Our laws prohibit me from denying you business service because of race, color, creed, sex, national origin. Those are things about you that you did not choose (at least originally) and do not change, and I can’t deny you service in my business because of your mere status. All agree that I can’t refuse to sell you clothes because you’re perhaps black, serve you coffee because perhaps you’re a Canadian immigrant, or clean your teeth because perhaps you’re gay. But I don’t want to be compelled to participate in your activities to which I have a conscientious objection. Maybe my deeply held goddess-feminist beliefs will make me choose not to administer your sex selection abortion of your female fetus, though I will provide you other medical services. Perhaps my Muslim beliefs will preclude me from photographing your same-sex wedding CEREMONY, though I still should be required to photograph you for your portrait, gay or not. Perhaps my deeply held Christian beliefs preclude me from catering your Westboro Baptist Church’s picnic and serviceman funeral protest, though I might not be able to deny catering a member’s graduation party. It’s never going to be a perfect, but I believe people ought to have a legal opportunity to raise a legal defense of conscientious objection to the activity.

    • legal eagle

      There is no such defense as conscientious objection….One can make that claim to defend any violation of discrimination laws…One’s religious beliefs is not a defense for a violation of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964…

      • Eric Maher

        “Congress shall make no law respecting an
        establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

        Trumped.

  • Jake

    Where the hell in the Bible does it say you can’t serve gays? This is just a way for the far-right to discriminate legally if the law was upheld. I actually like the law because I prefer free markets, but to hide behind the bible for their bigotry is silly to even the simplest layman. Why not argue on the grounds of what is best for business?

    • legal eagle

      It’s discrimination and homophobia cloaked in the fake mantel of religious belief….What’s next, Arizona will pass a law allowing for discrimination against adulterers?

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        I love how Legal Eagle is condemning OTHERS for homophobia when he’s been engaging in homophobic rants for the past week now. lol.

        • legal eagle

          The crazies are back…

      • Eric Maher

        >> discrimination against adulterers? <<

        Why not? It's called freedom. Let the market take care of it.

        There's a crucial difference between (1) "This is a good idea" and (2) "Everybody should be forced to do this."

        Tolerance is good. Being forced by the law to obey an official definition of tolerance is very bad.

        Bigotry is bad. Being forced by the law to abandon personal principles is very bad.

        If a business or a store wants to refuse service, that business or store should have that freedom. If their stance means they don't have very many customers (or means they have lots of protesters at their door) …

      • Eric Maher

        >> the fake mantel of religious belief <<

        So, you're not so fond of the 1st Amendment protection of religious expression, huh?

        LOL

        Religion is stupid!!

    • Eric Maher

      The baker welcomed gay customers. But he didn’t want to participate in a gay wedding, which the baker considered a sin. There’s a difference.

  • JHS

    Someone may already have said this, but there are two similar refusals that come to mind. First, the sign on many stores reading, “No shirt. No shoes. No service.” And second, another sign on many doors, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”

    I see no problem with any of the three examples.

    • legal eagle

      People without shirts or shoes are not a protected class, neither are nudists…..LOL

      • Eric Maher

        Why do we need protected classes?

        Nanny state? Worship of big government?

    • Eric Maher

      Legally,
      the “right to refuse service to anyone” ended with the Civil Rights
      laws of the mid-1960s, because they codified that if you open the doors of your
      store to the “general public,” then from now on, you can’t refuse
      service. Unfortunately.

  • D Parri

    Bernie, any time you inject the faith/religion element into your article it will prove to be an active topic. This is not a new one, but it won’t be settled here. Good comments generator though.

  • Sam

    We are in the midst of a gay tidal wave. Anyone that gets in the way will surely be swept away. I do believe it’s a good thing and long over due.

    • D Parri

      Well I’ll make sure that I don’t get swept away by the tidal community then.

  • Rev. Chuck

    I’m a Jew who believes in Jesus, plus an ordained evangelical minister, so I understand perfectly Bernie’s thinking. He makes a logical, reasoned argument about how society’s evolution on gay rights is akin to the evolution of blacks and the civil right movement. However, he forgets one thing: It’s no sin to be black, but it’s a definite sin to be gay, in both Old and New Testaments. I hasten to add that if I ran a bakery, I would bake for everyone, including gays, leave the judging to God, and quietly pray that my gay customer(s) one day see the light. It’s impossible for a true, born-again believer to be gay.

    • sinz54

      Wasn’t there a time when some white Christians believed that it was sinful for a white person to marry a black person?

      • Eric Maher

        The Bill of Rights doesn’t just protect nice practices, pleasant beliefs, agreeable speech.

        There’s a crucial difference between (1) “This is a good idea” and (2) “Everybody should be forced to do this.”

        Tolerance is good. Being forced by the law to obey an official definition of tolerance is very bad.

        Bigotry is bad. Being forced by the law to abandon personal principles is very bad.

    • Rose

      You are really trying to cover all the bases, aren’t you, Chuck? Unfortunately people’s sexual preferences are set quite young in life. I doubt you can tell us the day and time you decided to be a heterosexual but you probably remember your first schoolyard crush on a little girl. Well, some people have their first playground crushes on someone of the same sex. And others just swing both ways from around six. But thanks for the tiresome old refrain about being truly born again. And enjoy your time at Westboro Baptist.

      • George Williams

        A you a female or male, Rose?

    • guest

      Rev Chuck, it is not a sin in the biblical tradition to “be” gay. It is a sin to engage in certain sexual conduct including same-sex sexual congress. Terms like “adulterer” and “homosexual” referred to those who engaged in such conduct, and not a concrete status. The recognition that there is something innately different about the nature of those with a homosexual inclination is more recent.

    • legal eagle

      It’s also a sin to be a Jew who believes in Jesus….

    • Sheila Warner

      “It’s impossible for a true, born-again believer to be gay.”

      Visit Gay Christian Network. You’ll find there are plenty of born-again Christians who are gay. And, I’d leave the judgment about who “true” Christians are, up to Jesus.

  • WMW

    So “…we all give up some rights when we join society and when we open a business on Main Street that purports to do business with the general public. ” THAT’S your argument? I guess the business owner didn’t build the street he’s on either. How about if I purport to do business with whomever I decide? For whatever reason(s) I decide. My business, my rules. Any objections? Do business elsewhere. Don’t like it? Protest. Organize. Boycott my establishment. Urge others to do the same. THAT is the risk I run. That and the loss of profit from conducting business with customers I deem undesirable. My way is free enterprise. Your way is not.

    From where I sit, Mr. Goldberg you are one of the brightest individuals in media. Thank you for your always insightful, intelligent and thought-provoking essays.

    Most sincerely,

    William M Walker MD

    • JMax

      All business that serve the public are subject to rules and regulations: safe work environment, safe building, access, work laws, taxes, signage, AND public accommodation. Your city’s business license, your city’s rules. Don’t like it? Choose another occupation, locale, or country.

      • Eric Maher

        Bow down to the government! Obey! Keep your stupid religion in the closet!!

        • JMax

          I know, right? I can’t tell you the number of churches I have seen boarded up by the authorities in my city.

          Waaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!

          • Eric Maher

            I know, right? Since inside a church is the only place one exercises religion.

            Hmm, telling people “they’re not boarding up your church,” is that like telling people “Quit whining about a wedding cake, they’re not lynching you!”?

          • JMax

            Free speech has limitations. Freedom of religion has limitations.

          • Eric Maher

            Yep. Some freedoms are more important than others.

    • sinz54

      IOW, you want to relitigate the black civil rights movement and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

      Good luck with that.

      • Eric Maher

        The 1964 Civil Rights Act was a perfect law? Every single paragraph of it? Never a need to tweak it? No unintended consequences?

        Oh, it’s the old “if you oppose anything about a concept, you OBVIOUSLY oppose the entire concept” argument. That doesn’t hold water.

    • legal eagle

      That’s been the law for the past 50 years….Are you not aware of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Coming from a doctor I find your statement to be incredible….You are making the same argument that Southern politicians made in opposition to the CRA…

      Katzenbach v. McClung, 379 U.S. 294 (1964), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that Congress acted within its power under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution in forbidding racial discrimination in restaurants as this was a burden to interstate commerce. The ruling was a 9–0 decision in favor of the plaintiff—the United States government.

      • Eric Maher

        The Commerce Clause, which was designed to stop the individual states from laying tariffs on each other.

        But eager big-government types think the Commerce Clause means “I know the design of the US Constitution is to limit government, but this little phrase is an exception — it means government has almost unlimited power to regulate almost all business transactions.” Yep, that makes sense.

        Lucky for us the Supreme Court is never wrong. (sarc)

  • Judge Walt

    Perhaps we’re a bit too taken with being on the right side of “new history”, you know the kind president Obama is constantly referring to as he keeps the ONLY promise he has made during his campaigns and governance, that he will “fundamentally transform” the United States by adopting an Imperial Presidency and cherry picking laws to enforce-or refuse t enforce. I consider myself a “fiscal Conservative”, but I think Gov. Brewer was correct in vetoing the commercial “freedom of choice” law.i oppose “discriminating” against gays; I also oppose Gay Marriage. Sleep with whom you please, as long as it’s “legal” (no children, disabled or anyone who simply says “no”. Our “old history” treated homosexual conduct as “abnormal”. Our “new history” embraces ever greater “tolerance”. That doesn’t mean the “old history”, embraced by the laws of many states, limits MARRIAGE as between opposite sexes. Just as multiple marriages, marriage between anyone and a person legally determined to be under a mental or age “disability”, or forced marriage is illegal, MARRIAGE, like speech, is not an “absolute right” and is, and should be subject to reasonable regulation. Marriage between members of the opposite sex is a fundamental value of Americn society that just doesn’t require “fundamental transformation”. Just my take.

  • PaulaR

    Bernie, The flaw in your argument is that your are not comparing apples to apples. Christians, like myself would serve anyone who came into my shop (bakery) and wanted to buy what was already prepared and on display. The issue is being asked to participate in their wedding. Making a wedding cake and or flower arrangements make you an active participant in that event. That’s the objection. Your argument about the four blacks at the lunch counter is a red herring because I know of no church or religious institution ever have in their doctrine, a tenant if you will, to discriminate on race or skin color. You know that it was the evangelical christian that urged the movement to abolish slavery. So your premise that not wanting the government to force you to violate your deeply held beliefs would be the same as not serving blacks at the lunch counter is off base. I have read your articles for a while and to tell you the truth, you seem to harbor alot of animosity towards evangelical Christians. I invite you to come to the church that I am a member of and we all would be glad to address your issues with us, and give us a chance to maybe change your perception of us. I attend El Portal Church of Christ, in Richmond, CA. All are welcome, especially you Bernie. If you come, I am sure that we can challenge you on your assumptions about us.

    • Sheila Warner

      “The issue is being asked to participate in their wedding. Making a wedding cake and or flower arrangements make you an active participant in that event.”

      No, they don’t. You participate in a wedding when you attend a wedding.

      • PaulaR

        Everyone who provides any service participates in the wedding, not just attendees. If I contribute, I am a part of it. If someone asks where did you get your cake, or who did the flower arrangements, you are involved. I am sure you know that participation takes many forms.

      • PaulaR

        Maybe you haven’t really thought about a wedding. There are stages that are parts of a wedding. Planning , procurement, set-up, vows, break-down. All people in each category participate. They all contribute to the event therefore, they all play a part to make the whole. You either don’t understand the concept of participation, or you just want an issue to argue.

  • Hankster

    Well, Bernie, I could add my own opinions, but just let me say that the responses I have read so far on this subject (below) are the most intelligent and well articulated opinions and observations you have received on your articles in months. Maybe it was your request for constructive dialogue, criticism and alternative ideas that motivated the responders. If this keeps up, I’ll have to follow your posts more thoroughly and regularly!

  • Dick Young

    This is just another distraction by the Democratic party. They don’t want us to focus on the real problem of this country THE ECONOMY! You must ask yourself “Are you better off then you were 5 years ago”? Do you have more money in your pocket than you used to have? Do you feel safer with the military reductions? Putin is just waiting to get his foot in the door of Eastern Europe and Obama will let him. Now all we need is for the Republican party to run another milk toast candidate in 2016 and we will have 8 more years of Obama in the form of Hillary Clinton.

    • legal eagle

      Better off than 5 years ago? Check the stock market…It is at an all time high…Nasdaq is at it’s highest levels in 13 years…Many Americans are far better off…

    • Sheila Warner

      So why don’t the ant-gay folks drop it, too, then, and focus on the economy. BTW, if that baker had baked the cake, his finances would have improved by the increased business from other gays.

  • bad sign good sign

    Am I allowed, as a sign shop owner, to refuse to do a sign that violates my personal beliefs? I always have. I don’t do signs for what we call around here “beer joints” because, in my experience, they are a peck of trouble, not because they serve beer. I grew up across the street from one and they were always harassing my family because we were Christians. Owners of such places often give you trouble when you try to collect for the work done. They think they run a lawless, wild west establishment and can do as they please. I won’t work for them. I don’t do signs with nudes or near-nudes of either gender on them because I find that lewd and I don’t want my name attached to such commercial “art.” If I refuse to do the sign work for a gay bar, that should be my right as a citizen. I wouldn’t be forced to make signs for the Klan or Nazis, so why do I have to do work for anything else I would find repulsive? Our only defense as a business is to price the work well above what we know the “standard” is. We price work well below the standard for people and organizations we like, so why can’t we do it the other way?

    • Eric Maher

      Legally, the “right to refuse service to anyone” ended with the Civil Rights laws of the mid-1960s, because they codified that if you open the doors of your store to the “general public,” then from now on, you can’t refuse service. Unfortunately.

  • cantonst

    I’m tired and I’m sleepy. So you might want to excuse this. “oh crap! Much ado about nothing!”

  • stmichrick

    Bernie; as a fan I’m asking you…will you draw the line when gays and liberals demand that the Catholic church, and any other religions who do not recognize or perform gay weddings, be officially labeled as hate groups?
    I think we’re getting closer to that day.

    • sinz54

      The only way that can happen,

      is if folks on both sides of this issue succeed in establishing that private businesses should be treated like churches.

      If you don’t want churches to suffer that fate, then stop insisting that private businesses should have the same religious freedoms as churches.

      Because that could be turned around: Churches should have no more religious freedom than private businesses.

      • stmichrick

        I don’t follow your logic sinz; you all won’t be satisfied wth this. The nature of ambition is to want it all. You don’t want to be judged by anyone, right?

      • guest

        Good points to ponder.

    • guest

      Stmichrick, what will happen is that these activists will pressure state governments to change our long traditions of civil recognition of a diversity of marriage ceremonies. Then state governments will withdraw civil recognition of marriages performed by ministers of these so-called” hate groups”, and reserve all civil marriage authority to civil officials and, perhaps, ministers of religions who agree to perform same sex weddings which conform to civil authority norms. The religious couples will then have an additional “religious” ceremony. This is done in some European countries.

      • stmichrick

        Thank you for expanding my point.

  • Ksp48

    I am almost completely in agreement with Bernie on this one. . . except, what about Lawyers for example, who can pick and chose their cases. If I don’t take a neo nazi as a client (even as a Prof. Dershowitz would), am I breaking the law? Maybe its like employment at will. Your employer can fire you for any reason or no reason , EXCEPT THAT HEOR SHE CANNOT FIRE YOU FOR CERTAIN SPECIFIED REASONS SUCH AS RACES, ETNICITY, RELIGION, RETALIATION.

    • TheOriginalDonald

      Exactly! What if the KKK were to sit down at a soul food place in Harlem-would the owners be forced to serve THEM?

      • legal eagle

        If the KKK had the balls to show up at restaurant in Harlem they probably would have to be served….However, the service might be a bit slow….LOL

        Katzenbach v. McClung, 379 U.S. 294 (1964), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that Congress acted within its power under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution in forbidding racial discrimination in restaurants as this was a burden to interstate commerce. The ruling was a 9–0 decision in favor of the plaintiff—the United States government.

        • Eric Maher

          The Commerce Clause, which was designed to stop the individual states from laying tariffs on each other.

          But eager big-government types think the Commerce Clause means “I know the design of the US Constitution is to limit government, but this little phrase is an exception — it means government has almost unlimited power to regulate almost all business transactions.” Yep, that makes sense.

          Lucky for us the Supreme Court is never wrong. (sarc)

          • legal eagle

            Guess it’s difficult for some to admit they are wrong…You must be getting your constitutional law advice from the well known firm of Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity…

          • Eric Maher

            If I couldn’t refute a person’s argument, I guess I’d resort to attacking them ad hominim. LOL

  • PAPUSA

    Bernie,

    I understand your concern. One can be certain that some people are not discriminating because of religious conviction but rather because they are just ignorant bigots. This is a disgusting characteristic but it is hardly new to the human condition.

    However, your argument that opening a business obligates an individual to serve anyone who walks in the door is flawed. All commerce implies contract. It is of the nature of contracts that they must be voluntary. If they are coerced, they are invalid and unenforceable. If your argument was an absolute then a lender could not refuse to loan money because of bad credit. This reality establishes the principle that discrimination is not always wrong. Granted it does not make the case for any particular incident or type of discrimination, but it does establish a principle: discrimination is sometimes the better part of wisdom.

    If your argument is always valid then colleges that serve exclusively black students would be illegal. Of course I don’t think they are or should be. They have chosen to cater to the needs of a particular clientele for their own reasons. In so doing they voluntarily cede the income that could be derived from serving students of other races.

    Furthermore you dismiss out of hand the argument that when it comes to civil rights, race and sexuality are different. For what it’s worth, there are black activists who would disagree with you. In fact, one cannot change or “hide” one’s race, but sexual orientation is essentially only knowable by someone else through behavior. We cannot read one another’s minds. I cannot know another’s sexual preferences or orientation, be it because of nature or nurture, other than by observing outward expression of that orientation. Race and sexuality are substantively different and I must reject your casual dismissal of that fact.

    What if a Christian book store refuses to promote an atheist’s books? What if a Catholic priest refuses to officiate at a ceremony where one of the partners is not a Catholic? And what if a Muslim caterer chooses not to cater a Christian event. So what? That’s what freedom is all about. It’s not always pretty but it is preferable to coercion.

    Your reference to the four black students at a lunch counter in the 60’s is incomplete. Race is unarguably a genetic characteristic. Sexual orientation is like climate change: under review. The real problem with the lunch counter example is that the black students were not dealing with one business owner’s discrimination. The problem is that they could not just leave the restaurant and walk into the one next door because the discrimination was not necessarily a matter of one person’s conscience, however warped it might have been. It is the fact that this disgusting behavior was institutionalized that made it so evil.

    Would I refuse service based on my own predilections? In some cases, yes. For example, I am a Christian minister. I will not perform marriage ceremonies for atheists. Why? Because I believe that marriage is a spiritual institution before it is civil. Neither would I perform a wedding ceremony for a man who had recently abandoned his wife and children to marry his lover, regardless of sexual orientation, even if he were a Christian. I would instead aim for reconciliation, or would invite the celebrants to seek a civil ceremony elsewhere. Nor would I perform a homosexual marriage ceremony. Is it bigotry to hold traditional religious views that have been established for thousands of years? I think not.

    Finally, there is another consideration. Let’s call it scarcity. If the product or service is available readily elsewhere, what is the advantage to society to deprive someone of their liberty using the coercive powers of government to satisfy someone else’s sensibilities? Violence is also evil and what you are suggesting is that coercion (threat of violence by government) should be routinely applied in matters that boil down to individual freedom.

    I do not abridge your freedom when I choose not to act on your behalf in situations where identical alternatives are abundant. The reason they are abundant is because in a free society, prosperity and opportunity flourish. The prosperity protects individual liberty in a far more acceptable way than does coercion because it ameliorates the impact of foolish or onerous individuals. In a prosperous and free society, alternatives are ubiquitous. In a free society it is actually difficult to deprive someone of the opportunity to procure necessary goods or services.

    The underlying presumptions of your argument are that coercion is not an inherently inferior solution, and that common sense is so ephemeral that we can never make reasonable determinations. I disagree.

    • sinz54

      One cannot choose one’s race,

      but one can certainly choose to marry someone of a different race.

      So by what logic is it OK to discriminate against a gay couple getting married, but not OK to discriminate against an interracial couple getting married?

      Anti-miscegenation laws were common in America as recently as the 1960s, with the rationale that God wanted separation of the races.

      • PAPUSA

        Strictly from a biological perspective, one couple can actually conceive another living human being, the other cannot. Only those who cannot suggest that the difference is insignificant.
        One relationship is essential to the continuity of the species, the other is not. If this truth offends people, don’t blame me. I’m not the Creator.

        As far as “discriminating against a gay couple,” anything done with an intent to be mean spirited is wrong. Christians that could care less about other spiritual dictum but would make a stink about serving a gay couple are hypocrites. But gays who seek out people with different religious convictions for the sole purpose of challenging their views so they can impose the gay agenda on others are no better. Neither has a clue as to the real meaning of liberty.

  • Marvin Katzen

    In Charleston we have many different funeral businesses. Some do business with predominately Catholic patrons, others mostly Protestant patrons and Black-operated funeral homes cater exclusively to the Black community. The Jewish and Greek communities of Charleston have traditionally done business with one of the Protestant run funeral services that deal with their specific needs in a very respectful way. It’s a very successful business model, because everyone gets the service they need where they feel the most comfortable. So, why can’t that model apply to the gay community. Why from their perspective does it require a ‘one size fits all’ liberal agenda. Surely there are plenty of florist and caterers to choose from. What gives the gay community the right to push their political agenda with the threat of a lawsuit on the rest of us? The business of America is business. That means businesses that will service all communities as they see fit and the patrons are free to use services with which they feel the most comfortable. This doesn’t rise to the level of persecution as it would for a bias against a particular religion. It has to do with lifestyle. A lot of people in America find the homosexual lifestyle abhorrent and offensive. Others don’t. Besides, in a marketplace unfettered by pseudo-liberal fascist agendas money talks and bullshit walks.

    • legal eagle

      This is what gives them the right….

      Katzenbach v. McClung, 379 U.S. 294 (1964), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that Congress acted within its power under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution in forbidding racial discrimination in restaurants as this was a burden to interstate commerce. The ruling was a 9–0 decision in favor of the plaintiff—the United States government.

      • Marvin Katzen

        That’s fine. Water seems its own level without all the legal bs.

      • Eric Maher

        The Commerce Clause, which was designed to stop the individual states from laying tariffs on each other.

        But eager big-government types think the Commerce Clause means “I know the design of the US Constitution is to limit government, but this little phrase is an exception — it means government has almost unlimited power to regulate almost all business transactions.” Yep, that makes sense.

        Lucky for us the Supreme Court is never wrong. (sarc)

    • Sheila Warner

      I’ll be happy when homosexuality isn’t referred to as a “lifestyle”. That word is not in the Bible.

      • Marvin Katzen

        You are right. The word ‘lifestyle’ is not in the Bible. The word used in the Bible is ‘abomination’. I was trying to be polite.

  • Shane

    Bernie you just don’t get it. It is wrong to force a believer to have to service a gay wedding, which they consider to be an abomination. This is not comparable to civil rights at all. Why do you want to force business owners to have to violate their religious beliefs to service a gay wedding when there are so many people out there who will service the gays?

  • Bryan

    Okay, I was raised as a Southern Baptist, which I have always stated is “the best way to produce an atheist that I know of”. I’m not exactly an atheist, but I pretty much believe that every single established religion in the world is equally full of guff.

    Having established the above, the reason why I couldn’t continue to live with established Christianity is that most of it’s practitioners will look at you with a straight face and state that every single word in the Bible is “THE WORD OF GOD!”, like there is supposed to be orchestra music accompanying the words. None of it is to be challenged!

    Well then you point out stuff like Leviticus 20:13: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

    Suddenly, the Bible is no longer the “WORD OF GOD” anymore. It instantly becomes a salad bar, where you pick what you like and leave the rest.

    Either the Bible is the Word of God, or it isn’t. If the prohibition of homosexuality clearly stated in Leviticus 20:13 is absolute an unchangeable (and since Leviticus is part of the Torah, I believe that this applies to Jews as well as Christians) or else it is not, whereupon every other word in the Bible instantly becomes worthless and about as valuable as newspapers in the recycling bin.

    So which is it? It has to be one or the other…..a binary solution set. And don’t give me that tired old B.S. about how you have to “be filled with the Spirit to properly understand God’s word” or “Satan is misleading you into misunderstanding”…….that’s worse than those emails from Nigeria trying to con you into giving up your bank account info.

    • Rose

      Amen, brother! I too was raised southern Baptist. The Bible also says that to marry a divorced woman is wrong, a sin. Yet many southern Baptists have Sunday school classes for divorced members. Are they promoting sin? Many also are on their third or fourth marriage. That part of Leviticus is discarded. My favorite line from Leviticus concerns the one about any man who “issues” bodily fluids in his sleep must burn his mattress. In various places the Bible describes cutting the hair, having or not having beards, tattoos, astrology, marrying or not marrying your brothers widow, dancing as sins
      or abominations. Nobody follows all the teachings of the Bible or even tries to.

      • stmichrick

        Are they biblical ‘teachings’ or story telling?

      • sinz54

        Hey, read the rest of Leviticus.

        It’s also a sin to wear clothing spun from two different kinds of fiber.

        I’m committing a sin right now by wearing a cotton/polyester blend shirt.

        • D Parri

          What was the basis for establishing that law? What were the conditions at that time. If you are a Bible scholar then you should know why the law was written in that day in that way.

          • Josh

            You ever going to enlighten anyone with the “why,” or just keep telling everyone that they don’t know what they’re talking about?

            I mean, I understand why some folks might not want to get into it here. About four or five people out of 400 are asking some really, really tough questions, like: “So why can some customs change and some laws change with the times but not homosexuality?”

            The tough ones!

            Obama’s asked harder questions by NBC at press briefings.

            But, I know…if I was a scholar or knew anything about the times, etc, etc, then I’d know. So, if I knew, I’d know. And since I don’t, then I won’t. But if I did, then…

            All bread, no meat.

          • D Parri

            Josh, you don’t have any interest in the answer. You’ve already affirmed your belief in the Bible, so any additional time I spend is just wasted except to provide you with additional fodder for your arguments.

            You make your choices to believe or not believe just like I do. It has always been that way and it will continue to be that way in the future.

            Just so you will understand that there is “meat” to the reasoning behind why the Levite ‘laws’ were written as they were, I researched the issue on the internet and found an answer which satisfied me within about five minutes, or less.

            The reasons for avoiding ‘mixed fabrics’ are practical when taken in context of the living conditions and lifestyles of the people during those days and time. It was not a spiritual admonition, other than the fact that God had given these instructions and the believers, thus, considered them to be holy, as they had come from God.

            Now, as I said, there were practical reasons for the instructions, and you can research them and find out why if you choose to. I could have copied the information and presented it to you here but I am quite aware of your disposition on the subject, so I will choose to let you argue the point with someone else.

            My only interest was to point out that your comment was totally uninformed and very misleading, especially to someone who may have a sincere interest in understanding, knowledge, and the truth.

            Good luck.

          • Josh

            What was uninformed and misleading? That I said the Bible promoted slavery?

            You can spin it in historical contexts until the cows come home, but many Christians would have the world believe that the Bible is the holiest of all books, the most divine moral code constructed. And not by man, of course, but by God, either directly or inspired. It is presented as a gauge for all humankind; the ultimate say-so that’s universal and indisputable.

            No forethought that slavery was immoral, huh? Hmm.

            So, you can accuse me of being bigoted against religion in a backhanded way. I’m very used to that. But the fact remains that modern Christians–most likely all Christians always–pick and choose which bits and pieces they want to abide and ignore what they want to ignore.

            If they want to eat shellfish and think it’s stupid that they can’t, then come the historical arguments, the “context” argument, and things like “Well, those laws are for the Jews.” And it’s not only nonbelievers who question the intent behind defining scripture to fit one’s own purposes. Many sects believe quite literally and refute modern medicine, blended fabrics, technology, etc. Other sects have other ways. Some sects are very lax.

            Nobody reinterprets the Bible more than believers.

            I bring that up to point out the argument you’re making to me isn’t an argument of Christian vs. non-Christian, or even believer vs. nonbeliever. The Bible is interpreted numerous ways by people who very much believe in it. You toss out there that there’s some great authority that the rest of us should be tapped into. Okay. For whose sect? A Catholic “scholar” sees it all differently than a scholar of another denomination, or another sect, or a little branch in a little town deciding to take things their own way.

            Each of the over 30,000 sects have proclaimed authorities who supposedly have answers, but what they have is just another way of interpreting text on their own. Who’s right?

            So you’re very much mistaken. I definitely want to know the answer. Why can some Christians live and let live, yet some can’t? Why can some things change with the time, yet others can’t?

            I’m not asking for Christianity in general. People worship so many different ways that it’s impossible to answer for an entire religion. I’m asking YOU. I’m asking Scott. I’m asking believers on this board. I’m asking people who would discriminate against homosexuals. Not every Christian would, and that’s obvious; I’m asking the ones who would and who do.

            Why the personal choice to abide part X but not part Y?

            You could have copied. And I could have read. Buy why am I interested in what other people have to say when I’m talking to people here? And if I were to go find an authority on the subject, whose authority do I find?

            One that promotes your specific way of thinking? There are many different takes on it. The only one that means something to me is the one presented all over this board right here. And people act insulted to even be asked.

            I highly doubt your interest was to do anything but box me in as a religion-hating bigot after reading about 1/4 of my comment. But that’s fine.

            There’s a reason one will never find anyone more defensive than a devout believer in religion.

        • Eric Maher

          Because religion is stupid?

      • Eric Maher

        Hate the sin, love the sinner.

        You’re assuming they’re haters. Such assumptions often appear as bigotry.

  • Kevin Hubble

    I want to try something to see how many honest liberals and/or True Believers are out there: Let’s say you own a store: A customer presents to your store: (1) Black (2) Female (3) Gay (4) Religious Minority (5) Blind (6) Illegal Immigrant. I hope I haven’t forgotten anything but, I hope you’re getting my point: What we have here is a Trial Lawyer’s dream client. As this woman prepares to enter your store every lawyer on the street stops and checks for two things: One, that she gets in lest you violate her Civil Rights. Two, that if she doesn’t he has enough business cards to distribute to everyone on the street. Under normal circumstances and in the America I once remembered this blind, gay woman would have been admitted to this store without question and the lawyer would be satisfied. But, not today! Today, this wretched poor soul is spurned, yea, turned away from this Public Accommodation because she is exercising her Second Amendment right and is CARRYING A GUN!! How do you like owning your own business now? Be honest.

  • Libertarian Republican

    Bernia it saddens me how far the GOP has fallen. Rand Paul is the only one trying to make the GOP inclusive.

    • Shane

      Not true. Blacks and Latinos are welcome to the GOP, but the Dems promise them so much more free stuff than Republicans are willing to give them. You simply cannot out-pander the Dems when it comes to women, blacks, and Latinos.

      • Rose

        As an independent woman who has made her own way in life without handouts, I resent your comment. The Democratic party wants me to have equal rights and opportunity, and assistance if I need it. I never needed it. The GOP wants my vote but not my opinions or freedom.

        • stmichrick

          Freedom of what, Rose? To kill an unborn child? The Republican Party is the closest thing to an advocate for equal opportunity (not outcomes) and free speech. Why are government agencies (Democrats) spending so much time trying to monitor free speech in news outlets?

          • guest

            Good heavens! Don’t jump all over her and assume she can’t wait to have an abortion!

          • stmichrick

            Well; maybe you can explain what freedoms the Democrat party stands for besides abortion, marijuana and more entitlements?

        • Jen

          Really Rose? If you are an independent woman who has not take hand outs then why would you support a Democratic party who takes hard working peoples money and redistributes it? The Democrats do not give equal rights. Handing out food stamps and welfare checks is not opportunity. Democrats do not support freedom either. So sad.

        • guest

          Rose! Republicans do want your opinions and want you, and all the rest of us, to maintain and enjoy our freedoms. They do want to help their neighbor when in need. Just join, and speak up really loud when you encounter a fellow Republican who you think doesn’t want your opinion, as you remind them that your opinion matters just as much as does theirs.

      • legal eagle

        Those Republicans don’t cater to those black and Latino freeloaders… You tell em..

  • GoodBusiness

    Bad story – Progressives and Catholics get along – why? The rift is manufactured by the median whipping up emotion and pushing the narrative of a internal fight.

    http://articlevprojecttorestoreliberty.com/article-v—group-overview-and-proposal.html

  • Nicholas344

    John Adams
    Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Second President of the United States

    [I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.

    (Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, 1854), Vol. IX, p. 401, to Zabdiel Adams on June 21, 1776.)

    [W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

    Bernie, you want government to take over the role of religion. Your attitude is dominant in society which assures the death of the great American experiment to create a free society.
    When a Christian is forced by government to cater an abortion house party or a Jew is forced by a government’s assertion of forced morality to cater a Nazi house party, it is all over. It apparently is what you want.

    • Shane

      This law’s purpose is to protect
      business owners from having to do something against their religious
      beliefs, such as, providing services for a gay wedding which they
      believe is an abomination. It is not about giving business owners the
      power to turn away gays or any other group except in rare instances,
      which they will have to document. Does Bernie really want to force people of faith to violate their religious beliefs?

    • Sheila Warner

      You are equating gays with abortionists and Nazis. Are you proud of that?

  • Eddie

    Why not just make a nice cake with ingreadients that taste horrible? This would be a win – win right?

    • guest

      No. You would be sued and some judge would fine you for your bad cake.

    • Sheila Warner

      And, doing that would DEFINITELY be oh, so Christian. rolling my eyes

  • sbuffalonative

    Google: Fistgate, massresistance

  • k962

    Bernie, I consider myself a social conservative but did not feel the law really served anything but a lot of hoopla! What I will fight tooth in nail when the government decrees that churches MUST marry gays! And I am expecting that soon!

    • legal eagle

      Don’t hold your breath for that government decree….If you’re expecting it, or hoping for it so you can get irate, you may be waiting a long time…LOL

      • Jffrantz

        I won’t come in the form of a government decree. It will come in the form of lawsuits that look to demonstrate that Pastors are committing hate crimes and/or speaking “politically”, the purpose being to cause them to lose tax exempt status and just harass. It’s slow death.

        • legal eagle

          That’s why the U.S. has the world’s best legal system…The Courts will ultimately decide….It’s the “lawsuits” that uncovered the issue of pedophilia in the Church…

          • map291

            Legal Eagle, that was a huge failure of the Church. It would have been better to have never happened to those kids. No legal action can fix that. I wouldn’t tout that as a victory for our legal system. Glad it was there though.

          • legal eagle

            The lawsuits uncovered the problem and will make it less likely they will be repeated…..I would tout that as a huge victory for all Americans…

          • map291

            “less likely they will be repeated…” Ha Ha Ha Ha… you really are naive. Let me put it another way for you. You want to shape people’s behavior with external controls. That’s fascism, and oh by the way, it doesn’t work.

          • Jffrantz

            Incorrect. The lawsuits prosecuted what had been revealed by a victim. Your point is abstruse and seems disconnected from my comment as if your agenda is to try to denigrate.
            Why should we believe that there are real moral values and duties? Hint: It ain’t the law and it ain’t majority opinion. Nothing about them makes morality real. There is one thing that does–that is the thing you are “kicking against the goads” about.

          • legal eagle

            OK…It’s the lawsuits that caused the Church to admit to wrongdoing…..Happy?

          • Jffrantz

            Your point is not on point. I painted a picture of what kind of abuse can and will come from our arbitrary modern notions of propriety vz “gay” rights, hate crimes etc. These are wedges which are designed to persecute the Christian church and to force Christian America to “behave” to the liking of the radical left. As I pointed out in my earlier comments, morality decoupled from the Christian deity is totally and utterly arbitrary. Secularists have to borrow my worldview in order to attain coherence on the subject of the morality of anything. Of course secularists can act morally. Of course priests can act immorally. That is the point. Without God their actions would be without meaning. Morality itself an artificial construct. Happy?

          • legal eagle

            Your morality is for you to decide. You live in a multicultural, multiethnic society with secular based laws…deal with it .

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Correct. In the case of legal eagle, he has decided that there is no such thing as a lie. Thus lying habitually is not immoral in his book. Yay morality!

          • Jffrantz

            If morality is for “you to decide” then it is not a morality but an opinion–like fashion. This leaves us with conclusions like “might makes right”.
            What is the foundation of the moral principle that murder is immoral? On what basis do we know that’s actually true?

          • legal eagle

            I believe there are some actions that are universally viewed as immoral ie. pedophilia…There are many other activities that are subject to one’s individual moral standards ie.greed, adultery

          • Jffrantz

            You “believe”? Apparently “universally” doesn’t apply to people who enjoy rape, murder, pedophilia, etc. Why would you believe that their point of view is immoral?
            Again, what are you basing your beliefs upon? What tells you that any act has some objective and true moral or ethical element to it?
            The white shark rapes its mate to procreate–no one considers it rape. Squirrels steal–no one considers it theft. Chimpanzees engage in infanticide–no one considers it really immoral. How in the world do you support your belief in real moral values and duties?

          • legal eagle

            My point is that I don’t judge others…..I’m against capital punishment…that’s a moral judgment on my part..
            Get it?
            Unlike Christian Conservatives I don’t really care what your morality is unless your actions infringe upon mine.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>My point is that I don’t judge others

            Oh sweet God.

          • legal eagle

            The subject was morality… I know context is irrelevant to your narrow minded thinking but………….

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Ah, now you’re preaching about context – the guy who takes EVERYTHING out of context. Love it!

          • legal eagle

            You’re boring me….go bother your wife or go back to watching porn…..LOL

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Copied and pasted from a DNC email?

          • Jffrantz

            Oh really? You “don’t judge others”.. Please. You judge all the time. You judge the priest if he is a pedophile–yet there’s absolutely nothing in your Darwinian, secularist worldview to show that he has in fact done anything wrong. And of course you have plenty of judgments about the “Christian conservatives”.
            (You have no idea what the implications of your own opinions are!)
            I hope it is slowly dawning on you that your presuppositions as to moral claims has shrunk from a former certainty to an inability in any of your replies to demonstrate just actually makes your beliefs objectively and really moral ones. By the way, what you’re doing is called–in most circles–hypocrisy .
            I would suggest that you really OUGHT to judge but more carefully and with much thought. You might want to ask yourself, for example, what your sense of moral values and duties are actually based upon. ? Here’s a hint: Plato, Socrates and Aristotle figured it out by using logic.
            And, as a matter of fact here’s another clue (if you’re prepared to open your mind and leave the comforts of pseudo-intellectual liberal “certainty”):
            What is logic?
            Invisible.
            Non corporeal.
            But real.
            What else is like that?

          • legal eagle

            My sense of moral values comes from my parents and the Jewish religion….

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            … and Jay Carney. Don’t forget Jay Carney.

          • legal eagle

            Possibly Art Carney…Jay is a paid spokesman just like Fox News hosts…

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Yet, you preach from the same Bible as Jay.

          • legal eagle

            At least I don’t have my tongue up O’Reilly’s butt like your buddy Bernie Goldberg. I watched him On O’Reilly’s show tonight parroting O’Reilly’s misinformation and propaganda…..What some old folks wont do for a pay check.. Goldberg is an embarrassment who has sold his soul to Roger Ailes. Wonder if Fox pays to keep Bernie’s pompadour well lit..

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            I love this. You come to this website each and every day as an unofficial mouthpiece for the Obama administration, parroting every single thing they say, defending every single thing they do, and blasting everyone who has a enough self-respect not to engage in the same shameless behavior.

            Then, you turn on O’Reilly’s show to catch Bernie’s segment (if you even really did; I have my doubts), listen to him point out something that no one with even an iota of objectivity could honestly refute, and then you whine and cry like an angry child about HIM being in the tank.

            Priceless.

            For hyper-partisan tools like yourself, it doesn’t matter how often Bernie disagrees with O’Reilly on his show and in his columns. It doesn’t matter how critical he’s been of Fox News both in his columns and also on the network itself. It doesn’t matter that he regularly expresses the problems he has with a lot of conservatives.

            All that matters is that you see two people in general agreement about a criticism of a man you adore to the level of pure deviancy. You can’t take it, so you lash out like a fussy, foul-mouthed, little child.

            Anyone can tell what’s really going on here. Your real problem with Bernie is that you know he’s right, you know he has integrity, and that makes him exactly what you’re not. I can only imagine how agonizing that must be for you.

          • legal eagle

            Bernie has selective integrity as do you….and you can have all the doubts you want….I don’t give a crap about your repetitious moronic statements about what I watch. I will tell you Bernie agreed with a straight out fabrication by O’Reilly…Deal with your own deviant behavior…….GFY…

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>Bernie has selective integrity as do you..

            lol. In other words. If we agree with you, we have integrity. If we don’t agree with you, we don’t have integrity. Got it!

            >>I don’t give a crap about your repetitious moronic statements about what I watch

            Because you know what I’m saying is true.

            >>I will tell you Bernie agreed with a straight out fabrication by O’Reilly.

            And what was that fabrication, exactly?

            >>Deal with your own deviant behavior

            Like replying to Internet trolls? You might have a point there.

            >>You are intellectually barren but perhaps that a genetic problem you’ve
            inherited….my condolences to you for a narrow minded cultist…..GFY

            Awwww… Did I hurt your feelings?

          • legal eagle

            O’Reilly said that the “MSM” did not cover Lois Lerner taking the Fifth….and Bernie agreed with him…Totally false…Bernie should be embarrassed…but I can only assume he doesn’t care anymore..

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            They were talking about the 2ND TIME it happened, just last week! Not the first time from a few months ago.

            Good lord.

          • legal eagle

            They never said the “second ” time and why was the “second” time newsworthy, other than embarrassing Idiot Issa who was on Fox News the previous day saying that she would testify…

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            You ARE joking, right? Even for an incessant, left-wing hack like yourself, this is embarrassing.

            O’Reilly was talking about Lerner’s most recent appearance throughout the ENTIRE PROGRAM, before Bernie even came on! And it was “time newsworthy” because it JUST HAPPENED the other day – not months ago which was when her first appearance was.

            You’re only confused because what O’Reilly and Goldberg were saying was absolutely correct. The MSM DIDN’T report on it, so you had no clue it had even happened.

            It was significant because there were several indicators that she WOULD testify, including emails from her lawyer. Whether you like it or not, the former head of the IRS again pleading the 5th just weeks after the President of the United States said there wasn’t a smidgen of corruption in the IRS is a news story.

            And now that YOU’VE been proven wrong about what you said about O’Reilly and Goldberg, why don’t you go ahead and admit it. Be a man.

          • legal eagle

            Don’t waste my time.. You wouldn’t admit I was right if I told you that Seattle won the Super Bowl….Lerner was never going to testify without a grant of immunity and just because you repeat Issa’s talking points doesn’t change the facts.
            Want to show me a transcript of O’Reilly and Goldberg’s dog and pony show on the subject?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Oh, you poor little crybaby.

            Maybe in your little world of left-wing group-think, people are supposed to tell you that you’re right when you’re not, just so you can feel better about yourself.

            I’m sorry, but that’s not how I approach things. When someone throws out a baseless assertion – especially a defamatory one – I call them out on it.

            You’re wrong so often because you couldn’t care less about researching what you’re talking about. You just repeat whatever you read in your far left emails, and hope that if you say something often enough, people will actually start buying it and not bother to challenge you.

            This thread is a perfect example of the point at hand. You got called out for saying something that wasn’t true and you can’t bring yourself to admit it. It’s comical.

            >>Lerner was never going to testify without a grant of immunity

            That’s your opinion. Not fact. And what exactly does she need immunity for if there wasn’t a smidgen of corruption, as both you and our president keep insisting? Why don’t you answer that question for once, instead of whining again about how I’m not charitable enough to tell you you’re right when you’re clearly not.

            >>Want to show me a transcript of O’Reilly and Goldberg’s dog and pony show on the subject?

            Why? You told me that you watched it. Were you lying again?

          • legal eagle

            “That’s your opinion. Not fact. And what exactly does she need immunity for if there wasn’t a smidgen of corruption, as both you and our president keep insisting? Why don’t you answer that question for once, instead of whining again about how I’m not charitable enough to tell you you’re right when you’re clearly not”
            You’re showing your true ignorance of the law as well as well as your lack of perspective…….If you’d like to know why she is pleading the fifth do a little research On Ollie North and the Iran Contra Senate hearings. It might enlighten you as to the reason any competent attorney would advise their client to take the fifth in this situation…

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>You’re showing your true ignorance of the law as well as well as your lack of perspective.

            Because I think there’s such a thing as a lie?

            >>.If you’d like to know why she is pleading the fifth do a little research On Ollie North and the Iran Contra Senate hearings. It might enlighten you as to the reason any competent attorney would advise their client to take the fifth in this situation.

            Exactly my point. Remind me again why Ollie took the 5th. Was it because there wasn’t a smidgen of corruption in Iran-Contra? Did he do nothing unlawful? Is that why?

          • Jeff Webb

            Now I’m curious, and thank goodness we have someone who knows about lawin’ stuff.
            LE, after making a declaration of her innocence just prior to questioning, does Lerner have the right to plead the 5th?

          • legal eagle

            That’s a toss up….I have to assume her lawyer did some research o the subject or he would have told her not to make the statement.
            All Issa can do is ask the House to find her in contempt of Congress…Whether she would be convicted in a Court of Law is, in my opinion, highly unlikely.
            The real question is why they haven’t granted her immunity? If she has so much to offer why doesn’t Issa call her bluff?. If granted immunity she must testify.
            Perhaps one day we’ll find out what Issa is really up to..

          • Jeff Webb

            >>Perhaps one day we’ll find out what Issa is really up to..<<

            We already know, it's called doing his job. If the IRS blatantly infringes on your Constitutional rights, you should hope somebody without a conflict of interest investigates it, and doesn't give up just because he encounters stonewalling.

          • legal eagle

            I’m never sure if you are willfully ignorant or just politically naïve……Hard to have a meaningful conversation with someone who has the inability to see past his nose…

          • Jeff Webb

            >>I’m never sure if you are willfully ignorant or just politically naïve.<>If granted immunity she must testify.<>Hard to have a meaningful conversation with someone who has the inability to see past his nose.<<

            Yeah, unlike the free-flowing dialogue you encourage with your incessant cliches, false accusations, and petty distractions, right?

            Tell you what, if my distaste for crooks who violate the Constitution upsets you that much, I'll go find you a tissue.

          • legal eagle

            You’re becoming increasingly annoying….
            1) I didn’t say Issa was on a witch hunt…but you always seem to know what I think?
            2) Ken Starr was much more dangerous from a legal standpoint than Darrell Issa….you analogy is absurd..
            3) You know zero about the law or about legal procedure but now you’re an expert because of Fox News?
            4) You’ve drawn your conclusions based upon no facts…lets hope you’re never on a jury…
            5) Your ideological rants about violation of the Constitution seem to be the same as religious zealots who believe the bible is to be taken literally….
            6) You don’t have the balls to argue the facts with someone smarter than yourself….stick to telling fairy tales to your kids and the angry old people who read the crap you write..

          • Jeff Webb

            1) Never said you did. As I said, it was based on a liberal meme. It’s not against the rules to include some background on one’s position, you know.
            2) Okay, absurd. Then you wouldn’t mind telling me, of the two examples in my comparison, which one never investigated a democrat, got obstructed, and was accused of conducted a witch hunt?
            3 & 4) Easy there, Drama. I indeed know very little in that field, but the committee members who revealed the info I posted are more than qualified. Don’t shoot the messenger.
            5) My apologies. I should’ve given you a little advance notice before bringing up the Constitution, so you’d have time to learn about it. Among other things, it tells politicians we have rights and they have to respect that. Scary, eh?
            6) Certainly feel free to have a smart person who argues facts take over for you, if you like. If you’re not sure how to identify one, look for someone who wouldn’t call Rep. Issa a car thief, incessantly play the race card, or make accusations against TV stations he doesn’t watch.

          • legal eagle

            If you’d like to respond to me please respond to my comments not assume I know of , or agree with every “liberal meme” you have ever heard…
            2) Ken Starr was supposedly a special prosecutor under Court and Department of Justice guidelines. He was not supposed to have a political agenda.
            Whether an investigation is a witch hunt or a search for the truth is a matter of opinion usually based upon which side of the fence you are on…He was named to investigate Whitewater which he believed gave him authority to veer from his mandate. He turned his investigation into a witch hunt and many legal scholars agree with me on that subject…
            3) The “Committee Members” ie. Trey Gowdy, have a political agenda and are stating an opinion…That’s why we have a judicial system..Congress cannot bring criminal charges against anyone..They can refer them to the DOJ who brings the charges to a judge..
            5) The Constitution is interpreted by the Courts…It is not The Ten Commandments… Constitutional law is complex and evolutionary…Do you believe you have a Constitutional right to bring a gun on an airplane? If you do then your opinion is not shared by the Supreme Court..
            6) If you’d like to question a fact I have no problem with that…You appear to have a problem differentiating between facts and opinions…You can keep questioning what I watch or read…It’s annoying when you repeat nonsense about whether I watch some shows on Fox News but if being incorrect is not a problem for you, then far be it for me to insist you stop..

          • Jeff Webb

            1) That’s a good policy. That means from now on, every comment you post in response to others will be directly on-topic, not a snide little dismissal, right? You can live by the expectations you have for others, of course.
            2) Whatever you think of Starr, I’m still waiting for you to explain which man, he or Rep. Issa, wasn’t investigating a dem, got obstructed, and was accused of conducting a witch hunt.
            3) You’ve said you’re all about facts, and you’re not in the speculation business. Savor the irony for a moment.
            5) Phrase it “there are absolutely no rights in the Constitution,” and that would land a little closer to the attitude this administration apparently has. It doesn’t take a Constitutional expert to figure out people’s rights have been violated.
            6) Once again, according to you, you’re all about facts, and you’re not in the speculation business. If YOU of all people are going to puff out your chest and declare that, don’t blame a guy who has both seen you proven wrong and personally done it call you out.
            Are you denying you’ve made statements with no basis in fact?

          • legal eagle

            Republicans always claim Dems are on a witch hunt and vice versa…what’s your point?

          • Jeff Webb

            My overall point is the Republican investigator is not behaving suspiciously here, the democrat clearly is, and dishonest partisans like you predictably point your finger at the Republican. If you were anything like the paragon of facts you say you are, you wouldn’t be pulling this crap.

          • legal eagle

            Once again, you are reading into my statement your ideological nonsense…I questioned why Lois Lerner was not granted immunity if Issa believed she had reliable information to offer? That was my question? I do not have the slightest idea as to the answer but maybe you can enlighten me? WHAT”S YOUR THEORY AS TO WHY THEY WON’T GRANT LERNER IMMUNITY?

          • Jeff Webb

            My theory: either all, most, or the most compelling evidence points to her. I’m not sure if the same logic applies to Congressional committees, but if a D.A.’s prosecutor agrees to grant full immunity to someone who turns out to be behind the whole crime, not merely a witness to it, I’m guessing that would qualify as a screw-up. If it’s done despite ample credible evidence against the grantee, I’d say a colossal screw-up.

            What’s not in dispute is conservative groups were improperly targeted, their approvals delayed well past the 2012 elections, Lerner falsely claimed the targeting was perpetrated entirely by officials in Cincinnati.

            And be it indisputable or circumstantial, the committee does have other evidence neither of us at least begging the questions.

          • legal eagle

            Republicans , as is the case with Democrats, are looking to make political points ..Therefore, Lois Lerner is not the target, it’s the White House that’s the target…Do you really think that anyone gives a damn about Lois Lerner? Prosecutors routinely grant immunity to get information which will help them “move up the ladder”.
            I would explain to you how the granting of immunity works but I doubt you’re interested in the details.
            I am not making any judgments, and laws may have been violated, but it’s a process and proof is needed.

          • Jeff Webb

            >>Lois Lerner is not the target, it’s the White House that’s the target…<>Prosecutors routinely grant immunity to get information which will help
            them “move up the ladder”.<>I would explain to you how the granting of immunity works but I doubt you’re interested in the details.<<

            If it applies to Congressional testimony, and you can cliffnotes it, I actually am interested.

          • legal eagle

            Before there is an agreement regarding immunity one must offer a “proffer”…The proffer states what information you have and what you’re going to testify about…If the proffer is accepted then immunity is granted…If the testimony does not “match” the proffer then the grant of immunity may be withdrawn…
            The question, at this point, is whether a proffer has been offered and whether it’s been rejected by Issa…
            I don’t want to argue with you but I don’t believe this House Committee is spending this type of time and effort to nab Lois Lerner…she’s a small fish and not even a political appointee…If you believe that then you are being politically naïve..

          • legal eagle

            Dishonest? What crime has Lois Lerner supposedly committed? Do you have a clue?

          • Dan Smith

            legal eagle? Try legal TURKEY!!!!

          • legal eagle

            Try Dan the Dickhead….It was probably you nickname in school..

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Serious question: Are you trying to get yourself blacklisted from this site?

            By now, you have to realize that it’s not what we want to do, but if you’re intent on impersonating our old buddy, IHF, you’ll be dealt the same measure.

          • legal eagle

            So the rules of your road are that your fellow ideologues can insult me but I have to be polite to them?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            I would never expect you not to insult people, legal. That’s pretty much all you do after all. I do expect you, however, to knock off the profanity.

          • Jffrantz

            What makes your “sense” of moral values valid? If what your saying is that these values stem from an accident of birth then why would they be necessarily better than Joseph Stalin’s moral values, or a kitten-torturer’s, or a male white shark’s when he has raped his mate, or a chimpanzee who has just killed and eaten another chimp’s infant?

            There is a reason why we can know that Judeo/Christian moral values and duties are objectively true, and it does not lie in politically correct/expedient and popular moral relativistic notions.

          • Jeff Webb

            Was it your mother, your father, or your rabbi who taught you bigotry and projection?

          • legal eagle

            I learned bigotry growing up on the mean streets of New York City…I probably learned projection in law school…LOL

          • Jffrantz

            So, according to your own previous statements, this means you believe in something that isn’t valid necessarily. It’s just culture.
            Moreover, if everyone’s moral claims are equally valid because in your words “we live in a multicultural society” then there is no such thing as objectively true moral values and duties. The moral beliefs of Joseph Stalin, or the White Shark that rapes its mate, or the chimpanzee that has killed and eaten a rivals baby chimp are the same as the moral claims of anyone.
            That’s what your worldview amounts to.
            When you decouple human culture from the truth claims of the Old and New Testament you are left with any moral action is equally valid.

          • legal eagle

            I believe my moral values should not be foisted upon you…The term moral values is too generic…What moral value(s) are you referring to?

          • Jffrantz

            You don’t get it. I’m talking the existence of ANY valid moral values and duties. Why should anyone have any faith in your determination that pedophiles are actually doing something WRONG? In your evolutionist world, in your world of “multicultural” value system what would necessarily be wrong or right? If we are just higher animals then why should we look down upon persons who do things like other animals?

          • legal eagle

            I’m a lawyer not a philosopher….I think you’re confusing me with someone who has an interest in whatever subject you are pontificating about..

          • Jffrantz

            Well if you call demonstrating over and over that your unexamined moral presuppositions which make no sense in light of your stated beliefs, then yes, I’m pontificating. Curious though; most lawyers I’ve known would have no trouble following the logic of what I’ve been presenting. And they would not be at a loss for words with which to examine the case I’ve made.
            Your “sense” of morality is hypocritical at best and meaningless at worst. You rail against Christian “sins” but present nothing more than a hunch to explain why anything would be in some objective way be right or wrong given the presumption of materialism–or to put it another way nature can be said to somehow account for itself. You don’t have to be a philosopher to follow this stuff bro. You just have to be open to examining the logic of your beliefs. I happen to know the logic, the “why”, of my moral system–do you? Shouldn’t you be able to explain it rather than just pass it on to another generation?
            You describe the “multicultural” country we live in urging me to concede that moral systems, like legion, are many and merely relative in a world of “diversity. This lazy mental affectation is of course absurd and cancels itself out. If everything is true then nothing is.

            This accounts for why persons of a certain pseudo-intellectual disposition will on the one hand rejoice when a Chris Christie (or just name the republican) is hounded and excoriated by the press and quickly investigated aggressively by the DOJ, which ironically shows only flaccid interest in examining the myriad contradictions of government reports about Benghazi, and who needs to really get to the bottom of IRS colluding against Tea Party groups to assist in the president’s reelection efforts. The self righteous left-wing gleefully click up their heels to see Christie riggle because–gasp–someone in his cabinet put up traffic cones on the GW bridge! But because it is politically expedient and follows the politically correct narrative the left will ignore the commonplace practice, in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, etc, called “boys night” when adult men openly seek young boys to do that which a relative handful of priests did. Leftists will expend any amount of money to protect evil in the world and condemn the same in the easy target: Catholicism. Shall we discuss NAMBLA?
            Your moral “sense” upon examination is an exercise in selective thinking, like a child grown used to free cookies thinks he’s found food. Nothing more than your political prejudices inform your moral belief and incoherent because there is nothing to base it upon but what one thinks is fashionable and in good taste. Liberals must be seen to be in “good taste” naturally.

            The Jesuits coined a phrase for those unwilling to examine their own truth claims: invincible ignorance.

          • legal eagle

            Why don’t you go bother a Jesuit? Whatever crap you’re selling I am not buying… Keep babbling to people who will listen to you…That probably excludes your friends and family members and it certainly excluded me !!

          • Jffrantz

            Ah yes, the response of the intellectually challenged. I am not peddling anything. I am actually teaching you ideas you will understand when you have matured–if you are lucky. Until then, good luck. You’re going to need it.

          • legal eagle

            If being a professor is your goal perhaps you should pursue that position at a university? This site is about politics not moral values or the basis of one’s morality. I had little interest in the subject 40 years ago when I took some courses in college and I have less interest today..

          • Jffrantz

            Look, legal baby, your moral worldview makes no sense. You deny the only realistic basis to make moral judgments. It’s really really simple. You should be able to grasp what I’m talking about. In fact I know that you do and you’re troubled by what I’ve raised. I’m not a college professor. Today the majority of that ilk indoctrinate children in not how to think but *what* to think. What I’ve been showing you is how to think about your biases. I came from the world of the grand liberal presupposition and over time, upon a lot of reflection, I realized that it made no sense for the most part.
            If all moral systems are true then none of them are. Simple.
            I’ve shown you further that there are invisible and non-corporeal things, like moral values and duties and like logic and math, which are nevertheless real. Here’s another clue: Information does not create itself and the proposition that nature’s laws account for themselves is absurd on its face. There is a reason why nature exists and why invisible and unembodied realities like morality and ethics are real and we intuit them. That reason is found initially in the books that Moses put together which bear witness to the creation of our race.
            I’m challenging you: If you look into the science of what I’m claiming you will be persuaded. If you just want to shut the door and close the mind that’s your choice.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            You have less interest in morality than you used to? Now there’s a shocker.

          • Jffrantz

            What I’m finding with you is that you really don’t know why it is you believe what you do. Your ideas are very firm, very loud and completely unexamined. This is typical of the liberal oriented person. They JUST believe that gay rights is now this important civil rights movement because they FEEL its so.
            The unexamined life is not worth living.

          • legal eagle

            I believe,from a legal viewpoint, gay rights is a civil rights issue. It’s not a feeling, it’s a legal issue….

          • Jffrantz

            Nope.
            It is not a legal issue really but rather a huge presumption. Because of your unexamined political beliefs, you are presuming that the last 6000 years of human civilization has just got it all wrong and now it’s urgently important to revise the definition of marriage to be the union of any group that can claim it feels it is being denied its civil rights. This is just absurd. It is nothing more than the outgrowth of our own wealth and decadence.
            What’s so laughable is that your own religion– Darwinism–would indicate that there is no advantage to be gained from gay couples marrying–because it produces no offspring–and there is NOTHING in the sociological, the psychological and the scientific literature that clearly and unequivocally endorses the gay lifestyle as being healthy for children or gay for adults, necessarily. Liberals and young people are quixotic and love some thing to be FOR and in an era as fat and sleek as ours they find gay rights as something to be for. The liberal media is in lock step: Every time studies come out showing that depression and suicide increase in the children of gay unions or that homosexuality itself is the more prevalent outcome in children of gay unions, these things are shouted down by the liberal press and the liberal academic machine. Liberal will never allow facts get in the way of their feelings about things.
            Really.
            Something as big as redefining marriage and what is advocated–the promotion of homosexuality–needs to be actually studied.
            Warm and fuzzy feelings I have for my gay friends but warm and fuzzy feelings are not sociological, psychological and biological facts.

        • Sheila Warner

          Personally, I think churches ought to give up their tax exempt status. Government dollars come with strings attached. If you don’t want the strings, then cut them off.

          • Jffrantz

            Your opinion that churches ought to give up tax exempt status doesn’t make sense in light of your assertion that government dollars come with strings attached. The taxes themselves are strings attached. The church, thankfully, is no strings attached with respect to government tax dollars.

      • k962

        They already started on encroaching on freedom of religion just ask the Little Sisters of the Poor !

        • legal eagle

          In your opinion…..and the Courts will decide the particular issue…

          • Eric Maher

            Yeah, that’s more important than what the people want. LOL

    • Rose

      Well, churches get that enormous handout, a tax/free status, from the government. Bet they would marry a crocodile and a giraffe to keep from having to pay those taxes!

      • stmichrick

        But we are getting close to the first man-horse union…I mean, hey, why not? This antiquated notion of one man, one woman is just…old fashioned, right?

        • Josh

          Dafuq did I just read?

    • legal eagle

      Who are you going to fight with? Your priest or your gay neighbor?

      • k962

        Very funny! You who are so ready to point out pedophilia of priests are among those who give pedophile public school teachers a pass and child rapists a break like the ones in Minnesota who raped a 7 year old for 5 years and got probation! The Amount of sexual predators in public schools dwarfs the amount of priests who have gone criminal!

  • Steve Bryant

    Bernie, of course you are right but still, there must be something available for those citizens who repeatedly see their preferences confirmed in state and nation wide referendums only to watch helplessly as an appointed single judge rules the law unconstitutional.
    I don’t know what this is called but democracy isn’t it.

    • legal eagle

      Do you really that referendums regarding civil rights have any standing?
      Have you heard of the theory of “tyranny of the majority”?

      • sbuffalonative

        What of tyranny of the minority?

        • map291

          That’s what lobbyists are for.

        • Sheila Warner

          What of it? Let’s face it, in any issue, the loser will use the word tyranny. But thank God we have an independent court system to arbitrate these things. I suppose you don’t see the courts as independent, though, do you?

    • The_Physeter

      It’s called “freedom”. It’s essential to democracy. The rights of the minority occasionally trump the will of the majority to discriminate against them.

    • Lknoll1603

      Because we are not and never were a democracy. We area constitutional republic.

    • Sheila Warner

      Yet when the courts affirm your position, then it’s all fine. Judicial activism depends on which side of an issue you support. It is the role of courts to judge whether laws which have been passed–and yes, those laws are passed by majority votes–are constitutional. Sometimes the majority view is the one that is being imposed on the minority. This nation is still mostly Christian, which means that gays are at risk for having their rights violated. Gays believe they are born gay, Christian gays believe that God made them gay. How is that religious view not at risk of being violated when denied service?

      • Steve Bryant

        Sheila, I am talking about the situation of when a single federal judge can overrule the will of a majority expressed in a free, open vote. Which “side” I’m on is irrelevant.

  • ArmyRadioman

    The Christian Dominionists refuse to see the difference that when a private business is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, that PUBLIC ACCESS laws apply. They can be “members only” like the many country clubs that do not admit blacks and Jews.

    • sinz54

      No, they see that.

      They don’t like it.

      Over on National Review Online, I’ve seen plenty of folks who say that the whole concept of “public accommodations” and the Civil Rights Act has outlived its usefulness.

      • legal eagle

        That’s because you can’t overturn discrimination laws unless you can “sell” the concept that there is no more discrimination and therefore the laws are unnecessary…This is the latest Republican tactic to overturn anti-discrimination laws passed in the last 50 years..

        • sinz54

          No, this is not coming from the Republican National Committee or any nationally known GOP politician, AFAIK.

          It’s just the view of many rank-and-file Republicans, who are furious at the GOP “establishment” for allegedly selling them out.

          • legal eagle

            AFAIK?

          • Eric Maher

            AFAIK = “as far as I know”

            >> you can’t overturn discrimination laws unless you can “sell” the concept that there is no more discrimination <<

            No, you can overturn them without that. And nobody says there is no more discrimination, so you're setting up a straw man argument there.

            Racism is not an important problem in America today. No evidence that it is. It's a scare tactic. Just because politicians say something is a crisis, doesn't make it a crisis. Or, it's people blindly believing that America is rotten.

          • legal eagle

            It’s not a problem to you…It is a problem to many poor minorities….

          • Eric Maher

            I repeat. Racism is not an important problem in America today. No evidence that it is. It’s a scare tactic. Just because politicians say something is a crisis, doesn’t make it a crisis. Or, it’s people blindly believing that America is rotten.

            Where am I wrong? Where’s your evidence, for spreading negativity?

          • legal eagle

            When you become a judge you decide what you believe is an “important “problem versus an “unimportant ” problem..You sound like an ideologue…You’re right at home with The Tea Party crazies…

  • Gabe Santiago

    The law initiative that was vetoed by Gov. Brewer (R-AZ) to my understanding did not mentioned Gays; I could be wrong. But are Conservative Gays in this country, like columnist Tammy Bruce, wrong, when she argues that “Gay Gestapos” should not be allowed to persecute people of faith, for what they believe, is a sincerely-held religious belief? You’re right, Mr. Goldberg, we all, in the real world, have to give up some extension of rights, in America; but the right to free exercise of religious beliefs, should not be one of them. Too many people, at the time of our country’s founding, and in defense of the Constitution, sacrificed blood & treasure, to just now say that…”It’s no big deal”!

    • sinz54

      But here’s the issue.

      Operating a profit-making business is not considered to be “the free exercise of religious beliefs.”

      The law of supply and demand doesn’t say anything about religion one way or the other.

      • Bud Brota

        “Operating a profit-making business is not considered to be “the free exercise of religious beliefs.” ”
        It is to a religiously-centered person. All human effort is done with an eye toward serving God in the doing of it. How is God served when a person is enabling an activity that is denominated by his religion’s Scriptures (and by extension, his God) as an abomination? Do you get it yet?

        “The law of supply and demand doesn’t say anything about religion one way or the other.” No, it doesn’t. But the laws under which these retailers are are being prosecuted are relatively new innovations to old anti-discrimination laws. They raise what was formerly a crime (sodomy/homosexuality) to the level of a protected demographic category, equal to race, gender, country of national origin, creed. In so doing, they invite the kinds of conflict of conscience which these cases represent. Gov. Brewer has just taken a jackhammer to the foundation of society in Arizona. Lamentably, her action will be heralded across the nation and used to justify other assaults on the free exercise of religion in this country.

    • legal eagle

      Tammy Bruce knows nothing about the law…She knows how to incite conflict…

  • Jffrantz

    Bernie, there are a number of points that your commentary does not take into consideration. One wonders if your private life with its entitlements and privileges prevents you from really thinking about this issue critically and thoroughly.
    Firstly morality is not something which is decided by majority vote. It either exists in the non corporeal world of logic, reason, math and ethics–aka spiritual values–or it doesn’t. We can debate the merits of one position or another but if you’re secular atheist or agnostic then you have no foundation to base your moral claims. This point needs to be considered more deeply. I feel you have the ability to grasp it. (Darwinism doesn’t make sense of the matter either. in fact it argues against it by implication)
    Secondly, so called “discrimination” against gays is NOT like that of blacks, women etc. There is no convincing biological evidence to suggest that folks are just born gay; and you can bet that all social science which points out the psychological problems with “gay” families, relationships are shouted down by the politically correct opinion power monolith of the media and academia.
    We deduce that pressure is placed upon anything that does not fit the pro gay narrative by these majority left wing institutions. Young people today are taught not how to think but what to think. The public’s opinion is shaped for them.
    As a person who has known and worked with homosexuals for 40plus years, my observation is that the representative “gay” rights movement is left wing politically and anti-christian in their worldview orientation. The movement is represented by (and perhaps only exists in the first place because of) a very well funded and aggressive organized movement which seeks not just to attain rights but to change the law to force society to obey its antichristian and social-sexual avante guarde disposition. It is as though the deeply disturbed A. Kinsey handed us this playbook (in a white lab coat of course) back in the fifties and our naitvete plus moral decline (remember “dumbing deviancy down”?) has descended finally to support Kinsey’s presupposed, rigged social science. The overton window indeed has moved.
    We now are being forced by social and, increasingly, legal pressure to discard the last 6000 years of moral teaching because somehow they just all got it wrong. So–whoopee–poof, change the definition of marriage, poof, add “thought laws” aka hate crimes to protect gays from the intentions of others, poof, train school children in the new, unscientific but–hallelujah!–politically correct mode. I think you might ask yourself how did this all really come to be? I would suggest you look outside of the flow of your own (and my own) 3 score and 10 or 4 score years on the planet for your answers. Requiring bakeries to bake cakes for people they feel certain are doing the wrong thing for the “right” reasons is totalitarian adn anti-thetical to our notions of liberty. I guarantee you the next will be ministers taken to court for denying gays their rights.
    The American public in my lifetime has very obviously grown less-educated despite record spending on education and a Dept of Education (where else but the government could you establish something which doesn’t work and it therefore goes on unimpeachable forever). We have become a chronically immature, self centered, pleasure seeking and decadent culture which has slowly succumbed to one shallow political trend after another sold by politicians pushing candy-land notions of public entitlement to win votes and retain power.
    The 1960’s beat philosophy and Johnson’s war on poverty has all but destroyed the nuclear family. We have at least 2 generations of children growing up without much parenting. We are churning out millions of people who are not fit to lead the world. The so called “gay” rights movement is one of the biggest shams in political history and will go down as a milestone in the decline of American democracy. We are ripe the picking and will fall prey to any movement that stirs up controversy.
    It will not end with “gay” rights (1-2% of the population, tops–the “tail” wagging the entire doped up dog)

    • Lknoll1603

      “We can debate the merits of one position or another but if you’re secular atheist or agnostic then you have no foundation to base your moral claims.”

      This is wildly offensive and more than a little untrue. How many atheists are in prison? Either religious folk have no morals, or they just really do NOT care about obeying the laws in our country.

      • Jffrantz

        If you are an atheist or an agnostic then you have nothing upon which to base your moral claims.
        Please tell me, how are there objectively true and valid moral values and duties in an agnostic or atheist’s world? Remember this is not about BEING moral it is about the existence of objective moral values and duties that we OUGHT to do.

        • Lknoll1603

          “If you are an atheist or an agnostic then you have nothing upon which to base your moral claims. ”

          Based upon what….?

          • Jffrantz

            Please tell me, how there are objective moral values
            and duties in an agnostic or atheist’s worldview? Remember this is not about
            BEING moral it is about the existence of objective moral values and
            duties to begin with.

  • Judy

    I wish we could say that every business has a right to serve or not serve potential customers, but let’s be honest here–this law was mean spirited and unnecessary. If a business owner doesn’t want to serve all of the public, they are stupid–or maybe just plain mean. I agree with you, Bernie. BTW, I live in AZ, and contrary to lib media reports, many of us Republicans petitioned the Governor to veto this bill.

    • sinz54

      Is a boycott equally stupid?

      In that case, consumers with strong opinions about a business’ conduct will refuse to buy from them, even if they have goods worth buying and even if they are reasonably priced.

      What this Christian baker wants is the right to do a boycott in reverse: He won’t *sell* to gays getting married.

  • Ginger Krueger

    I look forward to a future commentary titled “The On-Going Battle Between Social Liberals and the Rest of America. If you take an honest look at the polls that title rings truer than Social Conservatives vs. the Rest of America. You tend to base popular opinion on the East and West coast. Not realistic.

  • David M. Hunt

    Dear Bernie,

    Others have already stated the case for “would a gay baker
    be forced if…”

    Both Deroy Murdock and Jonah Goldberg made the same
    arguments this week over at National Review, as well as the corollary “would an
    African American owned business be forced to do business with the KKK.” So no
    need to beat those to death. (I prefer the larger argument that government,
    especially the Federal government has no business legislating thought).

    There is however a difference between being homosexual and
    being black – or any other racial minority for that matter. That being;

    No one’s 1st Amendment rights are infringed by preventing
    racial discrimination.

    I’m not aware of any religion, certainly no major religion,
    that bars membership based on race – so there can be no infringement of the
    establishment or free exercise clauses if a shop keeper is barred from
    discriminating against black patrons. On the other hand, antiquated as it may
    be, a person who’s religious “principles” include the belief that homosexuality
    is a sin has every right to not do business with a gay couple. To do so is to
    infringe on free exercise. To enact laws that force all people to do business
    with others even if it violates their religious beliefs is arguably a violation
    of the establishment clause.

    I would hope it goes without saying that this only goes as
    far as the entrance to that person’s place of business. I don’t think anyone is
    saying that you can actively seek out ways to discriminate against anyone, only
    that you can refuse to do business if the opportunity presents itself.

    Personally I find it incompatible with Christianity to
    refuse to provide a service to a fellow human being. See ‘Good Samaritan,
    parable of’ – we’re supposed to do unto others as we would have them do to unto
    us, even if they’re enemies, let alone merely sinners (full disclosure, I don’t
    consider homosexuality a sin). It is also poor business acumen to turn down
    sales, especially so when we are talking about what may be a once in a lifetime
    increase in business as many gay couples wed in a compressed amount of time.
    However, it is outside the limited role of government to A) dictate morality
    and B) dictate best business practices.

    Under all other clauses of the 1st Amendment,
    sexual identity (*See below) and racial background are equal – by which I mean they
    don’t or at least shouldn’t matter. Further, not only is the discriminator’s 1st
    Amendment rights not infringed – i.e. he or she would still have the right to
    express their racism either in word or print – but it is more likely those discriminated
    against are having their rights infringed – i.e. being prevented from free
    assembly at a lunch counter.

    ** Side note: with some very specific medical anomaly’s
    aside, gender is binary, this nonsense with picking a “gender” from a menu dozens
    of options long is pedantic silliness.

    • sinz54

      FYI, much of the opposition to interracial marriage in the past was religiously based.

      Many white Southerners believed that God Almighty had ordained separation of the races. Some even believed that black people were the descendants of Ham in the Bible, destined to be the hewers of wood and drawers of water for white folks.

      And that’s why I wrote my earlier post. I cannot see how one can dismiss religious objections to interracial marriage while simultaneously considering religious objections to gay marriage as compelling.

      • Eric Maher

        >> opposition to interracial marriage in the past was religiously based. <<

        I don't think that's true.

        There are harsh edicts against homosexuality in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Have we no third alternative after (1) "Let's ignore the Bible, it's unimportant," and (2) "You want the Bible to control all laws and all behavior, don't you!!" ?

      • Sheila Warner

        One of the best arguments on here! Well said!

  • LAPhil

    “They’re on the wrong side of history.” Surely is too intelligent to use that cliché which is getting old and tired really fast. It’s what liberals say to conservatives to show their supposed superiority. Tell you what Bernie, we’ll know who’s on the wrong side of history once history is in the past.

    • Sheila Warner

      History is being made every day. I think Bernie will be around to see it.

    • Steve Moran

      Yeah. We can make an intelligent guess now, though.

      • Sheila Warner

        You have no guarantee that you will live another day. Death isn’t only for the old.

  • David Gorton

    What is it with these people? Everyone from the wedding planner to the wedding party is either gay, or, has some connection to the gay community; but the baker has to be a straight, Christian. What about the caterer, the florist, etc.? Is there a shortage of gay bakers. This has nothing to do with Civil Rights in the traditional sense. It’s about a people that is not satisfied being free and able to define their own reality, unless or until, they can force others to accept it, also! Live and let live, or learn to bake!!

    • Sheila Warner

      And thus, you affirm what I believe–the baker is afraid that others will think he is gay, or that he approves of the gay wedding. Perfect love casts out fear. That’s in the Bible. Also “love your brother as yourself”. And, “do unto others as you would have them do to you.” If the baker loves Jesus and wants others to love Jesus, too, then he blew it big time. He should have baked the cake. He would have gained a regular customer, who could be persuaded to become a Christian too, by regularly engaging the “unsaved”. I wonder if he refuses to sell to nonbelievers, too. Or, to unmarried couples who are shacking up. I bet his convictions are very narrowly drawn.

      • LAPhil

        Please! I’ll use the example of a black baker again. How would it be if some white supremacist came in to a bakery owned by a black person and told him he wanted a cake depicting the words “N***ers die” or something to that effect? Should the baker have the right not to have to do so? Or better yet, what if the BAKER was gay, and the customer wanted a cake depicting some homophobic message? Again, would the baker be within his rights to refuse service? Just where do you draw the line?

        • Sheila Warner

          I’d bake the cake but not put the inscription on. Why? Because purposely throwing a slur in this country can be considered harassment, as in when vandals spraypaint a synagogue with anti-Semitic slurs. I wouldn’t want to be subject to the law with a slur on a cake.

      • David Gorton

        This is not about evangelism. It’s about an agenda. This gay couple should be so elated to have found someone they want to spend the rest of their life with that nothing can rob their joy. Besides, the weddings the easy part; the marriage is the hard part.

        • sinz54

          The divorce is the hardest part.

          • David Gorton

            Hard, harder, hardest, mmmm? “It’s cheaper to keep her.” But, with gay marriage those old axioms just don’t sound as humorous.

        • Sheila Warner

          I have no idea what your point is. Do you think that adverse events should not cause an engaged person any lack of absolute joy? Well, I guess under that mindset, it would be wrong for said couple to lose joy if a loved one dies, their house burns down, or a natural disaster strikes, or they find out the venue for the reception is double booked & they have to find a new venue, or a loved one is arrested…..and on and on and on? Your assertion seems very shallow. And, most definitely without any compassion at all.

          • David Gorton

            You’re all over the map. Get your bearings; what if this, or that, or the other??? If the proprietor does not want to serve a customer for a principled stand, so be it. That stuff about,”Do unto others”, “Love your brother”, go tell that to the proprietor. He, [I presume], is not interested in bringing these people to Christ, any more than he’s interested in baking them a cake. What are you going do, force him to bake the cake, and then force him to force them to accept Jesus??? Good grief.

            Muslim truck drivers won’t deliver pork products, or alcohol, some taxi drivers will not transport Jewish customers; but they keep their jobs in spite of their employers protestations. And you’re questioning my compassion!! Get a grip!!!

      • Rose

        Not everyone at a gay marriage would be gay. Both sets of parents and their siblings probably aren’t and many guests are not.

        • Sheila Warner

          You are assuming that parents and siblings attend gay weddings. Many gays are thrown out of the house by their parents after they come out, and many more are cut off from their families. Never assume that parents and/or siblings are always at gay weddings. You should start reading about what happens to gays after they come out. There are tons of heartbreaking stories out there.

      • guest

        I’ll bet his customer base is very narrowly drawn, too. But, if he wants a very few customers, I guess he has a good business plan. And absolutely I have had people not want my business because of my race (didn’t want a white customer) or creed. Accordingly, they have fewer customers than they could have had.

      • Eric Maher

        Or the baker means what he says. Doesn’t want to participate in a sin. Welcomes gay customers in general, though.

        • Sheila Warner

          Baking a cake is not participation, for goodness’ sake. It’s not like the baker has to attend the wedding. Attending is participating. And, in that case, a photographer has a stronger argument.

          • Eric Maher

            So you get to decide what is participating. You can’t leave it to the baker to decide? You need the elites in Big Government to tell us how to sell cakes? That is not America.

            I prefer freedom.

  • Sheila Warner

    The word “gay” is not in the bill. But we all know what this is about. Just as the blacks got sick and tired of being treated poorly, so gays are sick and tired of it, too. If you open a public business, unless a patron’s actions are breaking the law, suck it up and provide the service. I’ve worked with the public, and I worked as a nurse in a state prison, where I had to treat all kinds of criminals. As a nurse, I am not permitted to disrespect any individual patient, no matter how rude he might be.

    Christians are commanded to love God and love our neighbors. These Christians would be showing the love of Christ by engaging with gays. I know that I would have gladly baked the cake. I think the real reason these people refused to serve gays is because they are afraid that others might think they are gay, too. Just my opinion, I am not a mind reader.

    • LAPhil

      Now who’s being silly? You think the real reason these people refused to serve gays is because they are afraid that others might think they were gay too? Really! So their religious convictions weren’t likely a factor in your opinion.

    • guest

      You’re not permitted to disrespect any individual patient. But you are permitted to not participate in an activity to which you have a moral conscientious objection without going to jail or getting fined.

      • Sheila Warner

        But I could get fired. And, yes, I could be hit with a suit by an inmate for how I treat him. As for conscientious objection, I found it problematic to give vaccines that are made from the cells of aborted fetuses. As a nurse, refusing to give the vaccination could cost me my license. Nurses have to suck it up and just do what they don’t like to all the time.

    • Eric Maher

      Hate the sin, love the sinner.

      • Sheila Warner

        Well, then, I can expect you to have gay friends. If you “love” the sinner, that is. But there are plenty of us who are Christians who do not believe that being gay is a sin at all.

  • firststater

    This is a country that does not condone discrimination. I don’t know who is dumber here, the social conservatives who stake out these positions or the business man who would turn away business for such archaic reasons like this one

    • LAPhil

      Let me pose a question to you: What if the baker in Oregon who told the gay couple he couldn’t bake them a wedding cake was a black person?
      That might kind of be a game-changer, mightn’t it? He could claim he was being discriminated against because he was black and after all, what about his civil rights? He might even say their forcing him to perform a service was tantamount to slavery! Think about it.

      • Sheila Warner

        I thought about it and your hypothetical is completely silly. The skin color of the bakers does not change the fact that they refused to serve a gay couple. The baker could be black, brown, yellow, or purple with dots all over. I don’t see the skin color of the baker as germane to the issue at all.

        • LAPhil

          It could certainly be germaine if the black baker were to countersue for racial discrimination. He could claim that the couple was only picking on him because of his race and could just as easily have gone to another baker. Even if it weren’t true he might have a case in court. In any case, the gay couple might have thought twice about forcing the issue with a black person, as they forced the issue in this case.

          • Sheila Warner

            A gay couple would force a black baker to bake a cake because the baker is black? Are you nuts?

          • LAPhil

            That’s exactly my point! They wouldn’t! Are you nuts?

          • Sheila Warner

            They wouldn’t because race has nothing to do with what we are discussing. And, you say that the black baker would sue. Don’t you thing that the Christian baker can also sue? Your argument makes no sense.

          • LAPhil

            Your post makes no sense. The Christian baker obviously can’t sue, because the court decided that he violated the gay couple’s rights by refusing to bake them the cake. So what’s your point?

          • Sheila Warner

            After he sued and lost in court, at least in NM. But he sued. Anyone can sue if he believes he has had his rights violated. But if he lost in the lower courts, he can appeal to the Federal courts, including the Supreme Court. If he loses at the Supreme Court, then that’s that. No one is saying that a baker cannot sue. That’s simply not the case.

            Saying “the court decided” means that the baker did, in fact, sue. Your problem is with the court decision, not whether or not he was allowed to sue in the first place. Then, you move on to your argument about judicial activism. But if the court had sided with the baker, then that’s not activism. It’s hard to keep up with the thinking of the anti-gay folks.

          • LAPhil

            You assume that because I don’t take the side of the gay couple that I’m anti-gay. That’s an erroneous assumption. I’m on the side of freedom, which includes the right of any business to refuse to perform a service which violates something the business owner believes in. Gays are not a protected class, and it makes no difference what their sexual orientation is in this case except in the eyes of the state and public opinion. If the couple was heterosexual and requested something that was objectionable to most people, no one would argue that the owner did not have the right to refuse the service. Do you see the difference between conducting business in the form of selling an item in a store and having to perform a service? This is the bottom line here, and you and many others just keep refusing to get it. What the gay customers have done in the cases of the baker and the florist is tantamount to demanding involuntary servitude. I could go on, but rather than do that I’ll just refer you to this column which I think explains the whole concept of why this incident was an injustice and a violation of freedom:

            http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2014/03/01/5-reasons-christian-businesses-shouldnt-be-legally-forced-to-support-gay-weddings-n1802331/page/full

          • Sheila Warner

            First of all, the person who refuses service must somehow prove in a court of law that it is his deeply held religious beliefs that caused him to refuse. Secondly, forcing the issue with a black person still assumes the baker, who happens to be black, has an objection with gay marriage. A person’s race is neutral. Race doesn’t make any evaluations. It is the person within that chooses to do so. The race issue thusly falls apart. Do you see it, yet? “I object to baking you a cake because I am black” is even more ridiculous than “I refuse to bake a cake for you because I am a Christian.” He would be laughed out of court.

          • LAPhil

            I can’t explain this to you any better. Maybe if you read what this person has to say you’ll understand what’s at issue here:

            http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2014/03/01/5-reasons-christian-businesses-shouldnt-be-legally-forced-to-support-gay-weddings-n1802331/page/full

      • firststater

        I think he would be a dumb businessman and probably in the wrong line of work

        • Eric Maher

          But within his rights?

          • firststater

            I don’t believe as a business open to the public he does not have a right to deny his services to anyone seeking them.

    • Eric Maher

      There’s a crucial difference between (1) “This is a good idea” and (2)
      “Everybody should be forced to do this.”

      Tolerance is good. Being forced by the law to obey an official definition of tolerance is very bad.

      Bigotry is bad. Being forced by the law to abandon personal principles is very bad.

      If a business or a store wants to refuse service, that business or store should have that freedom. If their stance means they don’t have very many customers (or means they have lots of protesters at their door) …

      >> the social conservatives who stake out these positions <<

      Such as the authors of the 1st Amendment, in the Bill of Rights?

  • Mike

    I agree… I think. My question is – as Americans, who are also business owners, we must have the Right to maintain our own standards of behavior. If a Ladies Tea Shop is having their morning tea and a 300lb Tat’ed, loud mouth, stinky, bum, comes in, they should have a right not to cater to him, at least! I think the same goes in many other occasions similar to an establishment were men are conversing and a Flaming pair of Pervs comes into the establishment, the patrons and owner should have the Right not to be subjected to offensive behavior. The key word is Behavior. I believe standards of behavior ‘etiquette’ is not just reasonable but a necessity for a peaceful and healthy society.

    • Sheila Warner

      Behavior that would qualify as disorderly conduct would warrant refusing to serve a person. A gay couple showing affection is not that.

      • Eric Maher

        The baker welcomed gay customers. But he didn’t want to participate in a gay wedding, which the baker considered a sin. There’s a difference.

        • Sheila Warner

          “You are welcome to be my customer unless you do something that I believe is wrong”. Yea, I get that “love the sinner” thing. So heartwarming. rme

          • Eric Maher

            So you choose to believe the baker DOESN’T welcome gay customers. LOL

            Do you think religion is stupidity?

            Do you favor a federal regulation prohibiting meanness? Prohibiting rudeness? Prohibiting ickiness? Prohibiting all offense?

            Where does it stop with the pro-big-government crowd?

            I prefer freedom.

    • Steve Moran

      But that’s exactly the point. They shouldn’t be able to refuse to serve him just because he LOOKS like he MIGHT be a no-good, tattooed, loud mouth etc. If he then starts ACTING anti-socially, then they’ve every right to not serve him, under current legislation.

  • Alex

    Your criticism of the Arizona bill is based on individuals. The bill only gave businesses the right to not serve religiously objectionable events, not religiously objectionable individuals. This is a simple case of the Bill of Rights losing out to special interest groups.

    • Sheila Warner

      Events are filled with people. The individuals who are planning the event are people. So, I don’t see any difference in your comparison. People were turned away, not events.

      • Eric Maher

        Nope. The baker welcomed gay customers. But he didn’t want to participate in a gay wedding, which the baker considered a sin. There’s a difference.

    • MontanaMade

      and THAT my friend is exactly how we got here in the first place! Like water over a stone, the stone gets whittled down a bit every day- so that eventually it does not even resemble the stone it once was. Then people ask- “why do we even need the stone- it’s so small and insignificant!”

      We are at that point today with the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Special interest groups have made sure they are heard
      But here’s a real stickler: Can the Religious Freedom in the 1st Amendment survive and even exist over the current special interest groups- (or future groups- because we don’t know what will be next) and their wants/needs? One could easily argue that religious freedom cannot exist unless that freedom is contained by government (making it not so free at all), and stamped out each time someone says they are offended by it. Try the reverse argument (someone cries foul when their religious liberty is offended by a special interest group) and it doesn’t work- so religious freedom is now subservient to the special interest groups and I believe, soon will be successfully challenged in the courts as unconstitutional- even though it’s in the 1st Amendment!

      We have come to a tipping point in society that even our founding fathers foresaw: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”- John Adams
      Okay- my soapbox is gone…

      • Sheila Warner

        You believe that gays aren’t moral or religious? Have you ever heard of the Gay Christian Network? And, remember, our rights end where another’s rights begin. And, why wouldn’t a Christian not want to show the love of Jesus and just bake the cake, already? Doesn’t the baker want the gays to see the love of Christ within himself? I guess not.

        • MontanaMade

          First, I never said that (not sure how you got to that point…), but the fact they may or may identify as Christian (or any other religion for that matter) is irrelevant to this argument. It’s the lifestyle that MANY religions find objectionable.
          As to the second point- many people DO fall on that side of the argument- but many do not. It’s the similar to my above argument- there are two equal schools of thought- God said it is an abomination for a man to lie with another man- yet Jesus said to love thy fellow man- which is the greater law and whom do you follow? I have that very issue in my family (draw the conclusion) and we need to find a common ground where all views are equally shared and respected. We have, but society as a whole has not.

          • Eric Maher

            >> It’s the lifestyle that MANY religions find objectionable. <<

            Generalizing about religions. That's shaky ground.

            There are harsh edicts against homosexuality in both the New Testament and the Old Testament. Have we no third alternative after (1) "Let's ignore the Bible, it's unimportant," and (2) "You want the Bible to control all laws and all behavior, don't you!!" ?

          • MontanaMade

            it’s not a blanket statement- it’s a true statement of MANY people- not all. Many Christians say they object to the lifestyle based on their religious beliefs. I think that’s a pretty solid statement.
            I was merely pointing out that we have conflicting teachings in the Godhead as to how to deal with this. I guess it’s up to the individual- and how they deal with the judgment bar when that day comes.

          • Eric Maher

            Getting back to the point, “I guess it’s up to the individual” and others shouldn’t be able to use government force on the individual.

          • Sheila Warner

            “It’s the lifestyle that MANY religions find objectionable.”

            Well, lots of us don’t see being gay as a choice, but let’s leave that for now.

            I’d love to hear from these bakers, florists, and photographers that they don’t provide services for interfaith marriages, or for previously divorced couples, or for atheists (since marriage is a sacrament). I will bet you that they do. I don’t think they interrogate prospective straight couples on those issues. When Christians come out and say they are doing that, then I’ll believe they aren’t just singling out one group of people they dislike.

        • guest

          Yes, exactly. Their rights to engage in a same sex ceremony end where the baker’s right to not participate in an activity for which he has a religious or conscientious objection begins. Then the Gay Christian Network can show their brotherly love by respecting the baker’s conscientious beliefs and find another baker.

          • Sheila Warner

            You believe that gays are immoral. My reference to the Gay Christian Network was in response to your assertion about the immorality of gays.

            When the rights of people clash, it is the courts who sort it out. The Supreme Court held that the Westboro “church” had the right to picket at dead soldiers’ funerals. Their speech did not rise to the level of slander, libel, or inciting of violence, the three main restrictions on free speech.

            In a diverse society, civil rights and liberties will always clash at times between opposing groups. That’s why we turn to the courts. If the AZ citizens don’t like the veto, then the state legislators can overturn the veto. If that doesn’t happen, then Christian business owners can file suit and appeal directly to the courts.

        • Eric Maher

          Hate the sin, love the sinner.

          The baker welcomed gay customers. But he didn’t want to participate in a gay wedding, which the baker considered a sin. There’s a difference.

  • SkyCitizen

    Have you ever seen a sign in a Bar that says “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”. This came from the concept of Dram Shop Liability, originally about the servers responsibility to not pour alcohol to someone who has become intoxicated and might cause bodily injury to another. Of course now it is used mostly in under age drinking by revocating a liquor license and imposing fines or imprisonment. A business should always have the right to refuse service to anyone who would cause impediment to a constitutional right to a third party or themselves. Let’s imagine if the point of the legislation was brought about by businesses’ owned by Muslims, would Gov. Brewer still veto the legislation?

    • Sheila Warner

      Yes, she would.

    • Eric Maher

      Legally, the “right to refuse service to anyone” ended with the Civil Rights laws of the mid-1960s, because they codified that if you open the doors of your store to the “general public,” then from now on, you can’t refuse service. Unfortunately.

  • phillipcsmith

    Thus they are discriminating only against those who would like to have them order these books. Think about the issue more carefully

  • Doug

    Bernie, if a customer walked in to your bakery and asked for a cake celebrating Hitler’s birthday, would you like to be able to say: “Not in my bakery.”? I would refuse to patronize any business that discriminated against regular folks (blacks, gay, … Local civic groups should organize boycotts to put pressure on these businesses. When we delegate our social responsibilities to the government, don’t expect good outcomes.

    • Eric Maher

      Doug, thank you.

  • Robert Brown

    There’s more than a bit of sloppiness here on both sides of he issue.

    Selling a homosexual a car or shirt is not intrinsically linked to homosexual acts. On the other hand, selling a cake or taking pictures re a homosexual “wedding” is.

    Does anyone think that there is no difference between hiring a sign painter to paint one van to advertise a plumber and another to disparage a certain group of people?

    • legal eagle

      Who says there is a difference between the ‘acts” you describe? Certainly the courts do not….

      • Robert Brown

        Actually, the courts do, cf. libel.

    • Sheila Warner

      We’re talking about people who are turned away simply for being who they are. No disorderly conduct, no slurs or disparaging comments on the cake, or anything unethical. Your illustration doesn’t hold water.

      • Robert Brown

        Who they are can include Drug Dealers and White Supremacists.

        • Sheila Warner

          I’m not talking about choice, here, or criminals. Drug dealers are criminals, and white supremacists use violence to intimidate people of color, which is also a crime. Gays are born with their orientation. So, yes, that is who they are, it is part of their humanity. Just like being straight is who I am. I didn’t choose to be straight, I just am. A gay baker shouldn’t be allowed to deny me service because I am straight. All of these hypotheticals and suppositions, and “let’s pretend” examples are all fiction. What is happening to gays is reality.

          • Eric Maher

            You’re opposing bigotry, but this is not about bigotry. It’s about religious freedom, and it’s about government over-reach.

            The baker welcomed gay customers. But he didn’t want to participate in a gay wedding, which the baker considered a sin. There’s a difference.

          • Sheila Warner

            This is about the fourth time you’ve used that line, about the gay customers. I hope you find my reply to that nonsense pretty soon. It’s getting boring. Hint: gay customers are welcome as long as they do no “wrong”. And the baker gets to decide what is wrong.

          • Eric Maher

            Now you’re getting it. The baker gets to decide. “This I will do, this I will not do.” That’s the point. His shop, his freedom. You don’t have a right to his cake. And according to the 1st Amendment, in the Bill of Rights, he gets to express his religion.

            Pro-freedom.

            >> gay customers are welcome as long as they do no “wrong”. <<

            You're making up facts out of thin air. You're assuming something negative without evidence. The baker welcomed gay customers. But he didn't want to participate in a gay wedding, which the baker considered a sin. There's a difference. If you choose to believe the baker is a horrible bigot … stay away from his 1st Amendment rights anyway!

            The Bill of Rights doesn't just protect nice practices, pleasant beliefs, agreeable speech.

            Pro-freedom.

      • Eric Maher

        >> We’re talking about people who are turned away simply for being who they are. <<

        No, we're not.

        The baker welcomed gay customers. But he didn't want to participate in a gay wedding, which the baker considered a sin. There's a difference.

        You are opposing bigotry. But this is not about bigotry. It's about religious freedom. And about government over-reach.

    • len

      I agree. It is okay to shun the practice but not okay to shun the practitioner. For example, I would expect a Muslim art store owner to frame my painting of flowers, but not my painting of Mohamed.

  • Douglas Stevens

    The picture at the top of the article says it all. “Open for Business, For Everyone”. When you become an entrepreneur, get a business licnese and start an operation you are accepting the fact that you have to deal with obnoxious or smelly or loud talkers, etc. AND gays and Muslims and blacks. A restaurant or flower shop is NOT the place to draw a line in the sand. Our country affords many, MANY forums to protest your opinions in a peaceful, non-confrontational manner. As a citizen of the greatest country in the world, accept this as part of your contribution to that freedom. The last paragraph says it all, the winds of change are coming, you won’t like it all, but it is part of the fabric that makes us who we are.

    • Eric Maher

      The baker welcomed gay customers. But he didn’t want to participate in a gay wedding, which the baker considered a sin. There’s a difference.

    • Sheila Warner

      Maher is using that line ad nauseum, about gays are welcome but their weddings aren’t. I think he ran out of ideas.

  • map291

    It was only a matter of time before this situation presented itself. The situation that is “Where do we draw the line?” of what is socially acceptable. In my opinion, when it is difficult to “draw the line” or when there appears to be no good answer, something is fundamentally wrong with the approach. In these instances I turn back to the best example for overcoming impossible situations. When you observe the way Christ treated people, you realize the only folks that were subject to his wrath were those who were the religious elite. In fact, he dined with sinners and tax collectors. He was chastised for this of course. He didn’t make people change, but they were often compelled to turn and transform because of who he is. The way he shows his love for people doesn’t endorse their behavior or condone their actions. If I were a business owner and someone who’s lifestyle was an affront to my beliefs sought to patronize my establishment, what message am I sending if I refuse to offer them courteous service? It’s a reflection on who I am more than on who they are.

    • toddyo1935

      Well stated!
      And he said, “Go and sin no more…” He had some thoughts about millstones for those who would destroy the innocence of a child,

      • map291

        Yes, you’re exactly right.
        HE is the catalyst for transformation. We have never been held responsible for the result, just the impact. My job is to know HIM and be known by HIM. The work is HIS.

        In it not of it.

      • Sheila Warner

        The “go and sin no more” was said to the woman caught in adultery. What does that passage have to do with the destruction of children? You aren’t one of those who believe that gays are pedophiles, are you? If so, you are seriously misinformed.

      • Rose

        Plenty of Christians would happily have baked the cake. It is absurd to imagine that all Christians are intolerant.

        • Sheila Warner

          You are absolutely correct on this one!

    • Sheila Warner

      I agree completely. I’m a Christian, and I would have been glad to bake the cake. The gay couple would return if I am gracious, and engaging with them might make a difference in their lives. They might even become Christians, too. Of course, I believe you can be a Christian and gay at the same time, so when I say become Christian, I just mean that they will see the love of Jesus in the baker and want to have that love for Jesus, too.

      • Eric Maher

        Yet you deny the baker the freedom to pursue his religion. That’s a problem.

        Your’e free to disagree with the baker about what he sees as a sin (a gay wedding), but you sure don’t have the right to make him participate in it, by force of government.

        • Sheila Warner

          Do you really see baking a cake as participation in the wedding? Not sure if it’s you I asked about this earlier. If I have, sorry for the repeat. Does the baker refuse to bake wedding cakes for divorced people, or for the union of a believer & a nonbeliever, or to an atheist couple, or a couple that is getting married other than in a church? I doubt it. I believe he is a hypocrite.

          • Eric Maher

            Apparently the baker decided it’s participation. Who are you to tell him how to run his business??

            He’s should be free to be a hypocrite, he should be free to be a bigot, he should be free to exclude anybody he wants. And the public is free to picket his store all day long. Without government intruding.

            The Bill of Rights doesn’t just protect nice practices, pleasant beliefs, agreeable speech.

            Pro-freedom.

  • JohnKohos

    I understand where you’re coming from and agree that we need to move forward because we can’t stand still and the only other choice is moving backward.

    My problem isn’t with gay or black or any other particular trait. My problem is with rude and confrontational in an age when protest has become its own cause and its practitioners appropriate the legitimate causes of others to justify themselves at the expense of civility in general.

    There are ways to get people to your cause. But the protest and grievance industries choose intimidation and confrontation, trying to shove things down people’s throats without ever trying to win them over, doing more harm than good to the causes they have appropriated, while their leaders prosper at the expense of those they pretend to represent.

    That’s why we are more divided than we have ever been while the worst among us enjoy celebrity and have their own TV shows.

    • legal eagle

      “There are ways to get people to your cause. But the protest and grievance industries choose intimidation and confrontation, trying to shove things down people’s throats without ever trying to win them over, doing more harm than good to the causes they have approrpiated, while their leaders prosper at the expense of those they pretend to represent.”
      And legislation is generally passed only after they’ve won a majority over ie. gay rights, civil rights etc…The majority of Americans favor gay marriage, hence laws being passed legalizing it.

      • Jen

        The majority of Americans favor gay marriage, hence laws being passed legalizing it.

        WRONG!
        When put to a vote it fails almost every time.
        Remember your president and Mrs. Clinton were against gay marriage just a few short years ago. But when made a political issue, gay marriage is a goldmine for Libs.

        • Sheila Warner

          President Clinton wasn’t your President, too? Do you live in another country?

          • Jen

            No I am not from another country. Obama and Mrs. Clinton both were against gay marriage before they were for it.

          • Sheila Warner

            Nice dodge of my question. In your reply to another person on this forum, you said to this person “YOUR President”. I ask again, wasn’t he your President as well?

    • Sheila Warner

      What about the Christian baker? You don’t think he is trying to shove his beliefs on gays? He made it a point to point to his Christianity as the reason why he wouldn’t bake the cake. And, trust me, the leaders of the anti-gay organizations prosper as well. I’m a Christian, and I get mailings all the time from the religious right, asking for donations to help them fight against gay marriage. Some of them have radio programs, and others have tv shows. Christians need to show the love of Christ. Turning someone away is hardly loving.

      • Eric Maher

        >> You don’t think he is trying to shove his beliefs on gays? <<

        Nope. He wasn't preventing them from getting married, or even from getting a wedding cake. Just HIS cake. There's a difference.

      • John Kohos

        I didn’t see anything in the story about the baker trying to shove anything on anybody. Perhaps you saw something I didn’t. And while I understand the plight of people looking for acceptance, I don’t see how that is accomplished by shaming or harassing people into submission.

        It isn’t the cause that’s ugly. It’s the tactics.

        A woman booked a wedding at a Knights of Columbus Hall in BC. She called back the next day and announced that she would be marrying her lesbian lover. The hall explained that it would create a conflict for them. The BC Human Rights Tribunal made the hall pay $5,000 or $10,000 to the couple.

        It was a divisive, manufactured event, not a search for dignity. Did they always dream of being married in a Knights of Columbus Hall? Or did they go looking for a fight?

    • sinz54

      All these other minority groups began to copy the tactics of the black civil rights movement, and later the militant black power movement.

      They’re all using the same playbook: “Hey, hey, ho, ho, {fill in the blank} has got to go!”

      And you’re right, I’m sick and tired of chanting and clenched fists and protest demonstration for this or that.

      I’d like to see America have some peace and quiet for a change.
      And I do mean QUIET. Like in a public library.

  • docww

    Bernie–Once again you are right on target. We don’t need more social conservatism in this country–we need economic conservatism. Why the heck should anyone stick their noise in the private lives of others?

    • toddyo1935

      And the government is excused with its intrusion into at least four areas it has no worthwhile contribution – theology, health, education and welfare.

      Government has no capacity for love and should never violate subsidiarity. but only work to bring about solidarity.

  • batorsin

    To sum it all up, the business owner should do whatever he feels like doing and the government should not get involved. It’s the persons business. Why this couple didn’t just go elsewhere is because they wanted to make a statement. They did. So let’s stop giving the gays so much attention. Our country is in a mess, not only financially but morally. It’s disgusting and evil.

    • legal eagle

      Discrimination against a protected class in unconstitutional….get over it..

      • toddyo1935

        That would be those who are created in the image and likeness of God – even you. That makes us all equally a protected class. Anything less is tyranny. The founders had it tight in the Declaration of Independence.

      • Sheila Warner

        Legal, I noticed in another of your comments that laws are being passed to legalize gay marriage. You are correct. But it is also true that some of the bans on gay marriage in other states are overturned by judges. That’s how we got gay marriage in NJ. The court ruled the ban was unconstitutional, and Gov Christie chose not to appeal. A wise move, I believe.

        • legal eagle

          I agree… Legislatures often pass laws which are clearly constitutionally questionable and the Courts then uphold them or overrule them… In NJ there is no way Christie could sign a bill overturning a ban on gay marriage and hope to run for POTUS….Have they moved to appeal the Court ruling as they are doing in Texas?

          • Eric Maher

            >> Legislatures often pass laws which are clearly constitutionally questionable and the Courts then uphold them or overrule them. <<

            So, when does the "get over it" part start? When you say? :-)

          • legal eagle

            To make a sports analogy… the Courts are analogous to the refs in a sporting event…If the ref makes a call that costs you the game you’ve lost and you move on to the next game…Continuing to bitch about the refs is, in my experience, futile….
            You are bitching 50 years too late…

          • Sheila Warner

            You didn’t read my entire comment. At the end, I said that Christie opted not to appeal, and that I thought that decision was wise.

            Our state legislators are cowards. They passed a law allowing gay marriage, Christie vetoed it, then they never tried to override, successfully portraying Christie as an out of touch right winger.

            However, Christie knew the case was advancing through the courts, and knew the courts would throw out the ban. He’s pretty smart. He got the outcome he wanted without having to say he wanted it. Pretty slick.

      • Eric Maher

        As a dictator would say.

    • Sheila Warner

      The blacks who sat at the diner also could have gone elsewhere. Your argument is weak.

      • Eric Maher

        No, they coudn’t.

        Ben Shapiro wrote recently: “Private discrimination may be nasty and evil, but it is not and was not Jim Crow. Jim Crow
        laws mandated segregation in public areas. Here, for example, is Alabama’s Jim Crow law with regard to those ‘lunch counters':

        ” ‘It shall be unlawful to conduct a restaurant or other place for the serving of food in the cit­y, at which white and colored people are served in the same room, unless such white and colored persons are effectually separated by a solid partition extending from the floor upward to a distance of seven feet or higher, and unless a separate entrance from the street is provided for each compartment.’ ”

        It was a government-enforced attack on the freedoms of black people.

        • Sheila Warner

          The blacks could have gone to a black owned store. Just as you say the gay couple could have gone to another store. Just not the store of their choosing.

          • Eric Maher

            Yes, that’s the horrible price they pay for the 1st Amendment’s protection of religious expression, and the general freedom to refuse service.

            As I’ve mentioned, the public has the right to assemble and picket the stores whose policies they don’t like. Leave the government out of it.

  • Seattle Sam

    If I walked into a bakery run by a gay couple and asked for a cake that said Faggots Go to Hell, do you suppose government would require them to produce it for me?

    • LAPhil

      Exactly. You either have freedom for everyone or for no one. You can’t have it for some “protected class” while denying the same freedom to everyone else.

    • Sheila Warner

      The “F” word is a slur. Sometimes people who hurl slurs at others as a way of harassing them, can be hit with prosecution.

  • Paul Vasek

    Sounds like you are implying that Rush is racist…well I guess you have to ask Bo Snerdley. Also, there is a difference between sexual orientation and ones religious beliefs as the Coalition of African American Pastors have pointed out. Brewer made the decision that was best for her state but the bill did not mention homosexuality.

  • batorsin

    By the way, Bernie. When I know you are going to be on Fox News, I make a point of watching. I think you are brilliant and enjoy your comments. I mostly agree with them as well. Keep up the good work and please keep telling it the way it is.

  • Kevin Hubble

    As a private business owner, I have the right to violate an individual’s 2nd Amendment constitutional right by denying them entrance (thereby refusing to serve them) into my restaurant, shop, store and/or other public accommodation available to all other protected or unprotected classes of individuals who are unarmed. What we are now saying is it is easier and more permissible to violate and deny a person his CONSTITUTIONAL rights without penalty than it is to violate a person’s STATUTORY rights without penalty. Sad. Sad. Sad.

    • Sheila Warner

      The Supreme Court said the right to bear arms is not absolute. Gov’t has an obligation to protect the public’s safety. Not permitting a gun in a store or restaurant is a matter of safety. The gay couple was not dangerous.

      • Eric Maher

        Neither is the gun. The gay couple may have murdered him, theoretically. So it’s a bad comparison.

        Lots of people have a fear of heights. It’s a simple phobia, a neurosis. There’s no shame in that.

        And lots of people have a fear of guns. Do they acknowledge it?

        • Sheila Warner

          I was talking to Kevin Hubble, and his comment didn’t mention that it was the gay couple that had the gun. Re-read his comment.

          Yes, the gay couple could have gotten angry and murdered the baker. The baker could have gotten mad at the gay couple and killed them, too. The baker might be in a car accident and die. A plane might malfunction and fall out of the sky, crushing the baker’s business. The gay couple might be bitten in the AZ desert by scorpions and die.

          Are you really going to keep playing this “what if” game? You can’t stick to what actually happened? Your hypotheticals are lame.

    • Eric Maher

      The person with the gun still has his constitutional right to keep and bear arms, but not in my store. His 2nd Amendment rights have not been violated.

      Legally, the “right to refuse service to anyone” ended with the Civil Rights laws of the mid-1960s, because they codified that if you open the doors of your store to the “general public,” then from now on, you can’t refuse service. Unfortunately.

  • sinz54

    I don’t see how it can be OK for a business to discriminate against a gay couple getting married but not OK for it to discriminate against an interracial couple getting married.

    Both involve choices on the part of the customers: They chose their life partners and they chose to patronize that business. And both types of discrimination are being rationalized on religious grounds.

    In the case Loving v. Virginia (1967), a state judge had found the Lovings, an interracial couple, guilty of violating Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws. And he wrote:

    “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and He placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with His arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that He separated the races shows that He did not intend for the races to mix.”

    The Supreme Court didn’t buy the religious argument. It was a sweeping ruling that made two points:

    1. A business, as a “public accommodation,” cannot discriminate without violating the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

    2. All Americans have the basic constitutional right to marry the life partner of their choice.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia

    Given that, it seems like a small legalistic step from there to same-sex marriage.

    • Sheila Warner

      Excellent!

    • Eric Maher

      >> The Supreme Court didn’t buy the religious argument. <<

      One judge interjected his relgious opinion in that case. That's why the Supreme Court ruled against anti-biracial marriage? Wow, that's a stretch.

      Does it mean "no religious objections will be listened to, ever"? No.

      Anyway this is a case of a business-owner not being allowed to run his business how he wants. That Virginia case was a person not being allowed to get married. This is about needing to go to a second store for a wedding cake. Quite a difference in violation, right?

  • W

    AS a Christian, I do not approve of the homosexual life style, but if you open a business to the ‘public’ then that includes everyone. Selling your product does not equal approval. It’s just business.

    • Eric Maher

      >> if you open a business to the ‘public’ then that includes everyone. <<

      Why?

      I prefer the freedom to run your business however you want, even stupidly. And we still have the freedom to go to a competitor if someone doesn't want to PARTICIPATE in what he considers a sin.

  • http://solo4357.blogspot.com/ Solo4357
  • John Lewis

    Bernie, If not accepting gay public affection is Anti-American or not moving forward as you say. Consider me Anti-American. Put that car in reverse and step on that gas pedal

    • Sheila Warner

      Some people are born with a same sex orientation. It’s not a choice, and they ought to be free to be themselves. Get over it. Or, you can get in your car, drive backwards to a remote cabin somewhere and be happy in your inability to engage all kinds of people. Diversity is part of God’s plan, otherwise, why would he create gays?

      • John Lewis

        If it was part of God’s plan, he would have made it possible to reproduce and flourish. Go collect your unemployment check Sheila

  • batorsin

    I just wrote a whole diatribe on this and trying to get it on here is ridiculous. Anyway, as a Christian, I would sell flowers and cakes to a gay couple. I see no difference. However, I would not marry them. The bible is against homosexuality. Gay people need to turn to Jesus and the bible. They don’t have to be gay. I believe it is their choice. The world is evil and full of trash from Hollywood to Athletes and more. An athlete comes out of the closet (which he should have stayed in) and Obama sends congratulations. One of our dead heroes is denied the Medal of Honor. How crazy is that? Sorry, Bernie, but God is getting angry, i.e., floodings, tsunamis, earthquakes. This is not just happenstance. This is a message. Jesus is coming. Everyone better shape up and start reading and studying the bible if they want to go to heaven. Oh, yeah, Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again to see the kingdom of heaven.” That doesn’t mean being a good person or doing good things. It means accepting Jesus Christ as your savior. So the Christian people who don’t want to sell to gays are not being very Christian. I believe they are wrong in doing that. They should ask themselves, “What would Jesus do?” I know what he would do. We need to pray for those people. If a Muslim turned away a woman shopper because she didn’t have a veil on her head or across her face, the media would never pick it up except for Fox News. We need to pray for Muslims because they are so misguided. Allah is not and never will be a god. Jesus is the One and Only.

    • MontanaMade

      And that is the next step on the agenda- getting the churches to marry said couples- getting the government to force the issue on grounds of discrimination. MANY churches have publicly stated that they will not perform said ceremonies, but when will that be challenged?
      When the courts rule in favor of the LBGT community over the churches- you will know the Bill of Rights will be dead.

  • lark2

    Why is it that Liberals always choose to frame any debate they are losing as a “civil rights issue” and “use” Black people to play the race card? When will we stop playing that game. Many people .. perhaps a majority … may feel that homosexuality is a choice and in many cases it is. We have no way of telling the true % of those who make that “choice” because everyone thinks mischaracterizing their nature is the best path to acceptance. There are a great many in the Black community who have a very strong belief in the teachings of their God. They do not favor homosexuality as a matter of their faith and belief in God’s teachings and they would be very uncomfortable supporting the homosexual lifestyle by providing goods and services to support “marriage” between same sex couples. A Black merchant may prefer that same sex couples use vendors that are supportive of their lifestyle. The Liberals “use” Black people to support their belief in the “right” of same sex couples to “marry”. I applaud Bernie for “coming out of the closet”.

  • Debdeb

    You are using the technique of typecasting [note the title]. In typecasting a person or group is labeled in a negative and often inaccurate fashion. Often the typecaster doesn’t even believe what he says is true. The intent of typecasting is to get a response. The most effective response for typecasting is silence.

  • retsam369

    BG: Why waste time trying to convince you of anything. Once you’ve stated an opinion you will not change it. You’ve taught me not to be surprised at people using racist comments in order to win an argument. I just didn’t realize that you would be one of those people! Shame on you.

  • Drew Page

    I consider myself to be conservative and Christian. I support Jan Brewers veto of the bill that would have protected business owners from discrimination charges for failing to serve gay customers. If you open a business that serves the public, you have to serve all of the public. Should a restaurant, grocery store, clothing store, auto dealership, appliance store, etc. have the right to refuse service to people who are gay, because the owner/proprietor decides that their chosen lifestyle offends his/her religious sensibilities? What if these business owners were to claim the right to refuse service to other minorities on the basis of their “religious convictions” ?
    Requiring businesses open to the public to serve all of the public in no way robs the business owner from following the tenants of his faith. Gay couples who want a wedding cake with two men or two women figures on the cake, or who want wedding pictures taken, aren’t limiting the religious freedoms of the owner/proprietors who are in that business. The government doesn’t force such business people to adopt or even approve of the lifestyles of any customer.

    A Church, on the other hand, is not a public business and should not be forced to perform wedding ceremonies for gay people if they choose not to. I also believe that religious groups that provide health insurance to their employees should not be required by government to provide coverage of abortion, birth control medications and devices and sterilization if they believe this would
    against their religious principals.

    • Eric Maher

      >> If you open a business that serves the public, you have to serve all of the public. <<

      Why?

      I prefer the freedom to run your business however you want, even stupidly. And we still have the freedom to go to a competitor if someone doesn't want to PARTICIPATE in what he considers a sin.

  • Paul Jackson

    Well Bernie I do my best to actually believe you mean well and are trying to be fair. This is not about being forced to bake a cake for a two guys in love and want to make something permanent of it. For all they have to do is live PERMANENTLY and make some lawyer make some paperwork that makes it work.
    No this gay rights thing is a never ending demand for supremacy.
    For example, two kids – a boy and a girl openly being sexual in school are going to be in more hot water than a lobster recently flown in from Maine.
    Is a school teacher/administrator or counselor going to give two 15 year olld gay guys the bums rush? Not likely…not more than once any way.
    As a kid we had men who lived together. We called them two old bachelors or in the case of woman…two old maids…living together. Most knew what was going on but every body – including the men and women living together all held private those things that people used to hold private. They did not go around bragging they were holding each others privates.
    OK, I could not resist that one…but this new wave of demands from the now crowned LGBT crowd is down right rediculous and yet…there “ain’t a damn thing we can do about it!”
    Soooo, no matter what Rush or Bernie or that loud mouth with a guitar have to say about it….this is nor our America any more because we are not willing to shed blood anymore. Not that we should, could or will….at some future date. They gays will…and are!
    We live in a minority driven, left wing/socialist/communist dictatorship and anyone who does not see that is a blind fool.
    We are beaten and gutless at the same time. Still we want to shout Glory BE to God and rattle those Rosary Beads and wave the cross…but soon enough even that will be illegal and it will not be the evil left who is at fault.
    For the blame for a morally declining America rests in our cowardly laps.

  • JMax

    Bernie, this is a great column, and I applaud your easily understood reasoning. I would only quibble with the Neo-Nazi comparison in that Neo-Nazis are not a protected class and can therefore be refused service.

    • sinz54

      Right now, gays aren’t a protected class either.

      Some states have laws against discrimination, and some don’t.

      • legal eagle

        Federal law trumps state law…

        • George Williams

          No. Federal law only trumps state law when in the case of powers delegated to the federal government by the Constitution, else the 10 Amendment is moot. The 10th Amendment reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” If the federal government could always trump state powers (law), then the Tenth Amendment would mean nothing. The federal government’s powers are few and limited, the states powers are broad and many.

          • D Parri

            LE should have said that federal can trump state law under certain circumstances.

          • George Williams

            Yes, but that’s not what he actually believes. If federal law always trumped federal law, there is absolutely no reason why a Democratic congress couldn’t get it’s fondest wish and abolish state legislatures and governorships by enacting law and in the name of the Supremacy Clause. Or would they just invoke the Commerce Clause. That’s another way they’ve usurped powers from the states.

          • D Parri

            Knowledge is enlightening to the open-minded, but it is a hindrance to the ideologue. Guess we know where the Weasel falls.

          • legal eagle

            I deal in the real world..You have no clue what you are talking about…

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>I deal in the real world..

            Thank for the late-night comedy. You should have replaced Leno.

      • JMax

        All states have laws against discrimination. Some states don’t include sexual orientation. In those that do, gays are a protected class.

    • Eric Maher

      Why do we need protected classes?

      Who’s protecting the shop-owner?

      • JMax

        From what?

        • Eric Maher

          From the people denying him his 1st Amendment right to religious expression.

          • JMax

            He can express all he wants. He just can’t deny service. Tell them he doesn’t approve of their getting married due to his Christian beliefs and that they are going to hell. Then take their money and bake the cake.

          • Eric Maher

            So government forces him to participate in what he sees as a sin. Yay!

            So lip-service to religious conviction is protected. I’d never heard that interpretation.

          • JMax

            If he is not saying a vow, giving away the bride, bearing the rings, ushering, or declaring the couple married, he is not participating in anything. He is providing a service to fellow Americans, which is what he got a business license to do.

          • Eric Maher

            So you know better than he, what his participation is?

            Are you making this stuff up as you go along?

            Stupid baker!!

            The all-controlling government will permit certain things and prohibit many things. This is not America.

            He got a business licence because the government forces him to. We’d have to ask him why he opened his bakery.

          • JMax

            Pretty much, yes. A baker is not a participant in a wedding any more than a stationer is a participant in a wedding. Unless of course the baker is at the wedding for some other reason, but then the whole thing is moot, isn’t it?

            No, the “made up” part is that the baker, florist, or photographer is a “participant” in a wedding. The made up part is that accommodating gay customers would somehow be a sin.

            America has been permitting things and prohibiting things since at least the late 1780s. Usually a business license is required by your big bad city or county government.

          • Eric Maher

            >> A baker is not a participant in a wedding any more than a stationer is a participant in a wedding. <> The made up part is that accommodating gay customers would somehow be a sin. <> America has been permitting things and prohibiting things since at least the late 1780s. <<

            No noticeable increase in the rate of this permitting and prohibiting around the early 1900s? Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Barack Obama, those names ring a bell? Massive increases in government intervention? Massive increases in size of government? Hello?

          • JMax

            The size of the federal government has shrunk under Obama and is the lowest since the early 1960s. State and local governments have also shrunk. What “massive” increases in government intervention are you talking about?

            Why does the baker welcome gay customers? According to the Bible gay men should be put to death. Why isn’t the baker enforcing that law? If he knows customers are gay, surely it must be a sin to even allow them into his establishment except for the purpose of putting them to death?

          • Eric Maher

            >> The size of the federal government has shrunk under Obama and is the lowest since the early 1960s. <> What “massive” increases in government intervention are you talking about? <> According to the Bible gay men should be put to death. <<

            Doesn’t it also say hate the sin, love the sinner? Doesn’t it also say let God be the judge?

            Are you anti-religion?

            Regardless of if you hate religion, the 1st Amendment in the Bill of Rights protects religious expression. Are you working on changing that?

            Don't you hate how the Bill of Rights protects the people from government harm?

          • JMax

            Office of Personnel Management: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/data-analysis-documentation/federal-employment-reports/historical-tables/total-government-employment-since-1962/

            How do Social Security and Medicare equate to “huge increases in the size of government”? And are you suggesting that these two programs shouldn’t exist?

            The recession of 2007-2009 lasted 18 months, on the low side of the average. However, under Obama the recession lasted less that six months and ended within 4 months of the passage of the very successful Stimulus.

            The LAST thing that is holding back lending is regulation.

            “Arbitrarily announcing which laws will be ignored, which laws will be altered by a stroke of a pen”

            Ever hear of Bush’s so-called signing statements?

            If the President is a dictator, how is it that he can get little passed in Congress and what “dictator” voluntarily leaves office at the end of his term. Or do you think Obama won’t?

            “Doesn’t it also say hate the sin, love the sinner?”

            No it doesn’t. It’s from St. Augustine. But how do you love the sinner by denying him love? And if the baker serves his gay customer who he knows is sinning, what is it about a wedding that makes a difference? Leviticus talks about men laying with men, but can you tell me anywhere that the Bible says a same sex wedding is a sin? So why is a birthday cake OK to bake for a gay person and a wedding cake is not OK? You think gay people don’t have sex on their birthdays?

            If the Bible says “let God be the judge” then why is the baker judging?

            I am not anti-religion. I attend church regularly, read the Bible, and am a worship leader. Clearly I don’t hate religion.

            The 1st Amendment protects religious freedom of expression, but it doesn’t define it. There are limits to free speech and there are limits to free expression of religion. You can’t sacrifice animals as an expression of religion, and you can’t stone an adulterer. A teacher cannot lead a class in prayer in a public school.

            I love the Bill of Rights (mostly).

  • theFantom

    I’m I experiencing a deja vu or didn’t we do this exercise a few months ago? Do we need to have a continuous thread?

    There is a difference between government sponsored segregation and private businesses choosing not to serve someone. This is similar to First Amendment rights proscribing governmental actions against regulating speech but leaving private businesses to modulate speech as it sees fit.

    If someone wanted to open a Sharia-law compliant restaurant, I wouldn’t go. I might even tell my friends to tell their friends not to go.

    In the old south, where I grew up, Jews were not allowed to join country clubs. They opened their own (which were open to all, at least for the most part). The right to assemble is critical to any open society. Groups or clubs that restrict will gain some members and lose others.

    In some of these cases, the baker/photographer, etc. had worked with the customers before, so it wasn’t that they refused service to LGBTXYZ per se. It was only when a specific ritual was involved that they attempted to decline. That those former customers would sue and bring down the weight of government on their former friends, shows that for many, having (gay) rights will never be enough–forced acceptance will always follow.

    Those saying that eventually religious figures will be forced to officiate over same-sex or polygamous weddings are correct, in my view. Just wait as this unfolds. It is intolerance at those you cried out against intolerance for years.

    • sinz54

      Evidently you didn’t learn about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and about Martin Luther King Jr.’s goals.

      It wasn’t about Jim Crow laws.

      It was about even confronting discrimination in the North, which had no Jim Crow laws.

      And discrimination against blacks in the North was widespread. Realtors and landlords would steer blacks away from all-white neighborhoods, for example. As late as the 1950s, upscale hotels and country clubs in the North had explicit “No Blacks Allowed” policies. Etc.

      • theFantom

        You are correct. I was referring to Bernie’s use of the Woolworth’s segregated lunch counter and was not specific enough in my comments. The South had institutionalized segregation while the North had a more hidden and sub rosa form of discrimination.

        Having said that, I still believe using governmental force should be used sparingly. The growing number of protected classes is an example of what happens when this type of force is allowed to grow in the way that bureaucracies tend to grow in power and self-perpetuation.

        I still believe this is about forced acceptance and stand by my belief that eventually these LGBT rights will supersede all religious protections.

        • sinz54

          I agree.

          I don’t like the way liberals always choose Federal action as their method of first resort.

          And what concerns me the most is that historically, we have relied on faith-based organizations to do a lot of charity work that in other countries is done entirely by the welfare state.

          In MA where I live, Catholic Charities was forced to shut down its adoption service after a judge ruled that they could not refuse to place orphan children with gay foster parents. And yet CC’s adoption service had been the oldest and most successful such service in MA. No dice! Gone.

          I don’t want to see CC’s adoption service replaced by a bunch of government bureaucrats.

          I don’t want to see the Salvation Army’s winter kettles replaced by a bunch of Federal agents in trenchcoats collecting “donations.”

          But if we keep insisting that there is no alternative to the public-accommodation thing, then that is what will eventually happen.

  • VermontAmerican

    It seems as though discrimination is illegal when it’s Christians asserting their rights. In all other cases, government looks the other way. There is no parallel between the civil rights movement and the gay agenda. Christians believe the Bible as their rule of faith. Nothing in the New Testament would allow for discrimination based on ethnicity or race. However, the Bible does discriminate when it comes to sin and it labels homosexuality as sinful behavior. Thus, a store owner should not be compelled to participate or engage in practices he finds offensive to his beliefs. Our federal Constitution supports this view. Governments may not discriminate; private individuals may.

  • Jsebs

    Goldberg, I don’t think you’re getting this. Those business owners aren’t refusing to serve gays, THEY ARE ONLY REFUSING TO PARTICIPATE IN GAY WEDDINGS. This is nothing at all like refusing to serve blacks because of racism. I’m not sure what you mean with ‘social conservatives and others in the far right,’ but all conservatives I know have always been respectful of everybody, gay or not, and recognize that everyone has the right to live on his own terms, but not the right to force their terms on others.

    social conservatives and others on the far right
    social conservatives and others on the far right

  • allen goldberg

    Bernie: There are times when I would like to use a small, but effective ‘bat of words’ to beat you around the head and shoulders…once again you allow, the U.S. government, or State government to force, their secular non-religious beliefs on any and all….Rush is on target, when he says these two people were looking for and found a way to ‘gin’ up a problem, by forcing a baker to do something he declined to do. Would it have been so emotionally crushing for these two to merely go elsewhere? The LGBT alliance financed this entire episode, emotionally and economically…and once again got what they wanted….

    • leilaleis

      Would you have said the same about the civil rights demonstration at Woolworth’s lunch counter? Would it have been so emotionally crushing for blacks to merely go elsewhere?

      Religious objections have a checkered history. Not so long ago, anti-miscegenation laws were defended on the grounds of religiosity:

      “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and
      he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference
      with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The
      fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the
      races to mix.”–Judge Leon Bazile in Caroline County Court, 1958

      • allen goldberg

        Because someone has religious beliefs..you immediately equate…civil rights demonstrations that were justified as equal? I think a wrong analogy. But that does not matter anymore. The U.S. government, totally out of control, under the Tyrant in Chief, has the DOJ selectively ignoring laws and enforcing others. And the States are following the example. In this case, the baker must produce a product he feels violates his religious principles, but in your fantasy world that’s fine. Because he has no right at all. Muslims demand their religious rights now in our country justifying their actions under their religious laws and our libtard judges allow this..because Islam, a political movement disguised as a religion occupies favored status …Christians do not.

      • Eric Maher

        Passages in both the New Testament and the Old testament harshly criticizing homosexuality, and you compare that to one county judge’s little speech? Wow.

        Let’s pretend the Bible isn’t important to millions of people, and has been for thousands of years.

        • leilaleis

          Of course I can. The judge was using religion to justify the law. Any kind of religious justification, either based on the literal wording of the Bible or an interpretation, falls under the same rubric. You can’t do that. This nation is not a theocracy.

          Having said that, I would have more respect for various bakers and photographers if if their religious qualms were not limited to gays. Jesus, in case we forget, said plenty of things about divorce. Have any of these deeply Christian bakers and photographers refused to bake cakes/take photographs for couples where one or both were previously divorced?

          I don’t believe any of these people have a religious qualm that does not involve gays.

          • sinz54

            In fact, in surveys I’ve seen, something like 18% of (heterosexual) husbands admitted to having cheated on their wives at least once. And that dwarfs the total percentage of gays and lesbian adults in America, married or not.

            To me, cheating on your spouse is far worse than marrying a spouse of the same sex. It involves lying and breaking one’s word and violating a contract (which is what marriage is).

            I wouldn’t trust a serial adulterer to tell me the time of day.

          • leilaleis

            I agree. However, it’s not just cheating on your spouse, as there’s no way for a baker to tell before a marriage if one or both partners will be unfaithful. I just meant that people who have religious objections to baking cakes for same sex couples have no objections to baking cakes for couples where either the prospective groom or the bride has been divorced. Jesus, who could be vague, was anything but that when it comes to divorce. Divorce for reasons other than fornication is unacceptable. Remarriage after a divorce is adultery.

            When religious qualms come in ONLY when a same-sex couple enters the picture, then the religiosity of the bakers can be questioned, and the whole thing looks like what it probably is: bigots using religion as fig leaf.

          • sinz54

            I disagree.

            Even the Vatican has spent far more time fighting abortion and birth control than they have fighting spouses who cheat. So have the Catholic bishops here in America.

            Part of religious freedom is the right of each church to set its own moral priorities.

            If a church really is more morally affended by same-sex marriage than by serial adultery, then that is that.

            And from what I’ve observed of the Christian Church here in America, that has been the case. There has been no large-scale push against adultery. There has been a large-scale push against abortion and same-sex marriage.

            These bakers didn’t come up with this stand on their own, believe me. The Church itself has been more insistent that gay marriage, NOT adultery, is the biggest threat to the institution of marriage.

            Nobody should bake a cake for Bill Clinton or Newt Gingrich.

          • leilaleis

            lol true. I think it started as a convenient thing to hang religiosity on; it’s easy to forget how unpopular gays were, only recently. Things changed very quickly and unexpectedly, and what used to be a given turned difficult and unpopular.

            Re Bill and Newt: Happily I’m married to neither one of them. I guess if if they asked me to bake a cake for them, I would. I’ve attended weddings where everyone knew the result would be disaster, yet we all stood around, drank, and smiled politely, anyway.

          • sinz54

            I don’t drink.

          • leilaleis

            It helps :) otoh, it’s empty calories.

          • Eric Maher

            The baker in question welcomed gay customers. Just didn’t want to PARTICIPATE in a gay wedding. There is a difference.

            >> I would have more respect for various bakers and photographers if if their religious qualms were not limited to gays. <<

            You are an authority on what their qualms are? Sounds bigoted to me.

          • leilaleis
          • Eric Maher

            People who follow some Bible edicts, but not all, are scum, is that your point?

            If you think religion is stupid …

            Hard to argue with the exalted presence of the Willamette Weekly!!

          • leilaleis

            No. I believe that the Bible or the Koran have no place in our system of government. Having said that, I would have a bit more respect for these people themselves, as opposed to their legal issues, if they could prove that their stand was somewhat principled.

          • Eric Maher

            The Constitution says there will be no official religion from the government, and it also says the government cannot infringe the PEOPLE’S practice of religion. So this law was okay.

            Think about this — you’re commenting on a story of a baker wanting to decide how to run his own business, and you’re also talking about whether the government should be allowed to use the Bible. Any wiggle room in there for a CITIZEN to use the Bible?

            How often do we all see discussions of what the government allows the citizens to do? Too often. I prefer freedom.

    • Common Sense

      The United States has always been a secular government for a reason, we are not a theocracy.

      • allen goldberg

        NO one said it was. BUT, it says very clearly in our Constitution, we support and guarantee religious rights…not in this case…..no business owners is allowed to have religious convictions, their State and Federal government will force anything down anyone throat as long as it advances their agenda. Can they enforce the laws already? NO the POS in the WH is allowed to selectively PICK what he wants to enforce, with the support of the AG, another pile of excrement..but in this case…since the LGBT has favored status..they choose to enforce the law.

        • Douglas Stevens

          Practice of religion does NOT equal practice of business. They are two separate things. Baking a gay themed cake does not preclude you from practicing your religion. As a Christian I would not want to have Islam forced on me, and I would expect that I couldn’t force my beliefs on others.

        • legal eagle

          Are you referring to the pile of excrement between your ears?….LOL

          • allen goldberg

            Actually, describing YOU.

      • Eric Maher

        The Constitution says there will be no official religion from the government, and it also says the government cannot infringe the PEOPLE’S practice of religion. So this law was okay.

  • Jarob54

    As my uncle Hyman once said. “I will do busniess with anyone as long as its legal and they pay. But I don’t have to socialize with them.”
    And with few exceptions, that works for me.

    • Eric Maher

      There’s a crucial difference between (1) “This is a good idea” and (2)
      “Everybody should be forced to do this.”

      Tolerance is good. Being forced by the law to obey an official definition of tolerance is very bad.

      Bigotry is bad. Being forced by the law to abandon personal principles is very bad.

      If a business or a store wants to refuse service, that business or store should have that freedom. If their stance means they don’t have very many customers (or means they have lots of protesters at their door) …

      • Jarob54

        Trust me, I not big on big governemt. I’m not big on medium size government. I don’t like the notion of politicians telling me what to do. When many of these politicians are corrupt, lazy and some just incompetent.
        But my feeling is this. You’re gay, you’re gay. So be it. You’re strange when you’re a stranger, when you’re a stranger people are strange.

        • legal eagle

          “People are strange when you’re a stranger
          Faces look ugly when you’re alone
          Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted
          Streets are uneven when you’re down”
          The Doors

          • Jarob54

            I saw the Doors in concert at Birmingham’s Legion Field. They opened for the Monkeys. Go figure that one.

          • legal eagle

            I’ll bet Jim Morrison didn’t whip it out in Alabama?

          • Stimpy

            I can finally agree with something you wrote.

    • legal eagle

      Uncle Hymie was a wise man……LOL
      I bet who knew what the 11th Commandment was?

  • Bruce

    OK … How about this: Would a janitorial company run by a devout Catholic have to agree to clean an abortion clinic and dispose of aborted fetuses?

    • JMax

      No. An abortion clinic is not a protected class.

      • sinz54

        Right now, neither are gays.

        • legal eagle

          Not according to Anton Scalia,,,

        • JMax

          In many states they actually are.

    • Drew Page

      Mopping floors is one thing. Disposing of fetuses is quite another. If it were me, I would agree to handle routine cleaning, but would have nothing to do with disposing of fetuses. If it cost me the janitorial job, so be it.

  • toddyo1935

    Power hungry financial manipulators, administrations, unions and professors push useful idiots, planting the seeds of mass destruction. Screaming
    mobs do not make a great nation.

    Don’t we know how wonderfully and beautifully we are made – free will, sex
    drives and all? We must not let our hearts and consciences be ripped out by
    obsession with the evils found in the “progressive” culture – as so widely promoted by the masters of the media. You’d think Bernie would know better.

    Any obsession can be overcome by full awareness of our gifts and talents and
    to pursue them. This helps offset any unwanted urge – sexual or otherwise. Modern Relativism and job frustration are the fuel of despots.

    1 Corinthians 10:13 states: “No test has been sent you that does not come
    to all men. Besides, God keeps his promise. He will not let you be tested
    beyond your strength. Along with the test he will give you a way out so that
    you may be able to endure it.”
    So what’s our excuse?

  • phillipcsmith

    TO: Bernard Goldberg

    FROM: Phillip C. Smith

    SUBJECT: Non-discrimination in business

    DATE: February 28, 2014

    I have read and listened to you relative to the ongoing
    issue of whether or not businesses should be required to cater to customers
    whose requests are incompatible with the business owners or clerks beliefs. I
    wish the issue was clear cut, but I can see some problems.

    Two prominent cases in the news recently are, as you know,
    those of a photographer asked to photograph a same-sex wedding and the making
    of a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
    I can see both sides of this situation. First, as a Mormon I would be
    troubled by any business refusing to serve me because of my religion, or
    refusing to serve blacks because of their color. In this respect it seems to me
    that no business has the right to refuse service to others because of their
    color or beliefs.

    I have thought, however, of at least two situations where
    the issue of discrimination is problematic which I would appreciate you
    responding to:

    *A person walks into a bookstore owned and operated by a
    Jewish family. The customer asks the clerk, who happens also to be Jewish, if
    they order books for customers if the particular book is not in stock. The clerk
    says of course. Then the potential customer asks if the bookstore has a copy of
    ”The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.” as you know a rabidly
    anti-Semitic work. It can be presumed that the store does not carry copies of
    this book. What should the clerk do in this situation? What obligation should
    the business have to accede to the customer’s request?

    *Second, the same situation might occur if a person went
    into a bookstore owned and operated by the Muslim and, in the same context as
    above, asked if they would order for him or her a copy of Salmon Rushdie’s “The
    Satanic Verses.” What is the obligation in this situation?

    Is there a middle ground which accommodates the desires of
    both customers and owners? What is this possible accommodation?

    • JMax

      These examples are phony and irrelevant. The respective owners are not discriminating since they would not sell either book to ANY customer. No customer has the right to demand a good or service that the proprietor would not offer at all. A Ford dealer cannot be compelled to sell a customer a Chevy.

  • Buzzeroo

    Gay people seeking to buy a wedding cake from a law- coerced reluctant baker have to be nuts. They very well might force him to make the thing but they could never force him to permit them to watch him do so —and therein lies their problem. So, once they have achieved their desired equality and seen to it that he is obligated to serve them, they should avoid him like the plague and go where they are welcome–hence safe.If there isn’t such a place handy—they should opt for packaged cupcakes or something that could be purchased and safely eaten by anybody anytime.

    • http://www.lewrockwell.com/ Tuci78

      Gay people seeking to buy a wedding cake from a law-coerced reluctant baker have to be nuts. They very well might force him to make the thing but they could never force him to permit them to watch him do so — and therein lies their problem.

      Yep. I can picture the reception as the guests wonder to what extent that brown stuff between the layers is entirely chocolate.

      Anybody else reading here remember that old joke about the newly-hired trail drive cook and how the cowboys had finally quit playing practical jokes on him?

      “Y’mean you’re not gonna soak my bedroll in the river no more?”

      “No, Charlie.”

      “And you’re not gonna toss a tobacco sack fulla gunpowder in my cookfire no more?”

      “Absolutely not.”

      The old man thinks for a moment, then nods. “Okay. Then I’m gonna quit fillin’ the coffee pot with my pee.”

    • toddyo1935

      Reminds me of an old WW II story about a Chinese cook in the officers mess. They teased Wang mercilessly – tied his apron strings in knots, nailed his shoes to the floor, etc. Finally the men got a conscience and approached Wang, apologizing for their boorishness. Wang, having taken the assaults in stride, smiled and said, “Thas OK, Wang no pee pee in coffee no more!”

  • redrowan2000

    So Bernie a black ,gay person walks into a Jewish owned deli and he orders ,platters, sandwiches etc.,. Should the owner have the right to refuse this customer? Oh by the way this person is wearing a full Nazi uniform. Help me with this I am struggling.
    Thanks.
    red

    • leilaleis

      The law would have made it legal for anyone to discriminate against anyone else so long as they used their religion as fig leaf. This is highly unwise in a nation with a history of discrimination. Re the restaurant owner: if the dish the customer wants is on the menu, then the restaurant should serve him, but I’m not a lawyer. I guess hate speech legislation could come into play if the restaurant owner refused to serve the customer.

    • JMax

      I believe the deli owner could refuse service based on the offending attire alone.

  • http://www.lewrockwell.com/ Tuci78

    Should business people be allowed, then, to refuse to serve customers because they’re black? It used to be that way in parts of our country. But we changed. We said that’s not who we are as Americans. But based on the mail I received, I have the feeling that more than a few on the right are nostalgic for those bad old days. I’m sure they would say they have nothing against black people, it’s just that a) the federal government had no business infringing on “state’s rights” and b) no government entity – local or federal – has the right to tell business people who they can or can’t do business with.

    Like hell “we changed.” What “changed” was the ability of politicians – professional popularity contest winners – to perpetrate extortion against people conducting economic activities in the marketplace, exercising their unalienable absolutely essential individual human rights to use their property (and that includes their abilities and their efforts) voluntarily in peaceful interaction with other folks.

    That’s “voluntarily” as in “without government thugs pointing guns at them” to force politically correct compliance with somebody else’s pleasure.

    This was never a matter of “states rights” but rather a matter of the individual person’s right to choose how he’s supposed to peaceably live his life.

    This latest iteration of collectivist crapola is predicated on the proposition that the individual American owns nothing in the way of his life, his liberty, or his property that can’t be violated by government action.

    That there is no such thing as government limited by the rule of law in our republic, and Mr. Goldberg wants us all to give up and grovel in recognition of tyranny as the de facto ruling element in our lives.

    Screw you, Bernie.

  • delble

    Bernie’s analogy assumes that the basis for denying service to people whose lifestyle you disagree with is the same as denying service because of race. Black Pastors and others who are part of the civil rights movement have strenuously objected to this comparison. If we use Bernie’s comparison what if someone asked a wedding photographer to take pictures of their wedding to three people or for that matter, to their dog? If the photographer allowed to say “no?” It’s about condoning a lifestyle that you consider perverted behavior, not race.

    • JMax

      Would you deny service to someone whose lifestyle is a naturalist? Meth user? Alcoholic? Sado-masochist? Outside of the bedroom, what IS the “lifestyle” of a gay couple that you object to? And inside the bedroom, aren’t many of your “normal” customers engaging in the same “lifestyle”?

      • delble

        My objection is that “God made them male and female. . .” He didn’t make all male and all female for the purpose of marriage. It is abnormal for a man to marry a man. Period! Sorry, I didn’t make rule about this, someone much higher than me did.

        • JMax

          Some people don’t believe in God. Should they not be allowed to marry? You didn’t make the rules and God doesn’t make the rules in the United States.

          • IsabellaFord

            It’s shocking how many people don’t understand this fundamental point. The Constitution does not even mention god. Do people think this was a simple oversight?

          • Sheila Warner

            Neither did the Declaration of Independents, although the Christian Right would have you believe that “Creator” means the Christian God.

          • delble

            Eternal truths are eternal truths.

          • JMax

            Gravity, yes. Faith, not so much.

        • Sheila Warner

          So, it’s abnormal, in your eyes. So what? What harm does their marriage cause you? What harm will you be subjected to if you bake the cake?

          • delble

            We’re talking religious freedom here, dingbat! Read the constitution, the reason The USA is what it is. Can we please stay with that? – Ofcourse I can bake a cake for them, but if I don’t want to I want that right too! Simple!

    • sinz54

      The problem is that interracial marriage used to be considered perverted too.

      It’s true that you can’t control the race you were born as.

      But whom you marry is your choice.

      • delble

        You are using the exact same analogy Bernie did. “God made the male and female” He didn’t make all male and all female for the sake of marriage. Did you read my post? It’s not about race it’s about an abnormal lifestyle. Someone much higher than me made the rules about this.

  • mcweijun

    If I was a black man Bernie, I would be offended by having the discrimination against blacks compared to the LGBTs. What was done to blacks is different from a Christian business owner having to let his kids watch a couple of guys or a couple of girls playing suck-face in his store. “Why are those two men kissing each other daddy?” It’s perfectly normal Johnny. You might be one of those guys some day.

    • Drew Page

      Where are you getting this stuff? A Christian business owner having to let his kids watch a couple of guys making out in his place of business?
      No one is saying that a business owner has to tolerate public displays of affection (with or without his kids present) in his place of business and that goes for heterosexual couples deciding to “go at it” in someone’s place of business.

      How long do you think it would be before some business owners decided it was against their religion to serve Blacks, or Hispanics, or some other minority? Or don’t you care about that?

  • jonshepp

    Levin, in his speech this week, documents similar warnings from moderates about anyone who would dare consider electing a conservative for president that was out of touch “with reality” in America. Listen for yourself to the comments that were made back then that attacked conservative values, values that lead to a record landslide victory of Conservatives in The Republican Party over Democrats in the election of Ronald Reagan.

    http://www.mrctv.org/videos/levin-addressestea-party-patriots

    And another trip down memory lane:

    http://www.freedomisknowledge.com/emails/2012/07292012.html

  • Haaseline

    I am one of those conservative thinkers, but what it boils down to is “having to put a stake in the ground” . When these anti-whatever’s put a stake in the ground they open the door “for the ones who need attention” to have a stronghold. Personally taking the higher road leads to “maybe” having to equally serve a small part of the community and keep your peace and dignity in the world we live. I prefer not to be dragged into the club mentality regardless of the side I would choose. Staying focused on the main issues of my day and providing a valuable service of quality (love for us 70’s cats) speaks volumes of a world I would rather live in (or remember) .

    On the political side wouldn’t the conservatives be better equipped speaking to the features and benefits for jobs and economy. They can state their personal belief , but push a state by state people voting for these social issues. Instead they bash or get defected by other sides tactic’s. In Industry when selling a product , buyers are interested in the features and benefits that will growth the category or total store sales for them. They are not interested in you bashing your competition in order to just replace the sales of your competition. They want share growth… Maybe cooler heads will prevail when conservatives dig deep in their belief system and turn their cheeks delivering “good news ” thats for everybody!!

  • digitalPimple

    This is Bernie once again not understanding us law. Bernie’s on-going war with intelligence is showing again.

    You’re better than this Bernie.

    • JMax

      Your examples are flawed in every case. A kosher butcher would not provide the service of butchering a pig to ANYBODY and therefore is not discriminating when he refuses.

      A Muslim storekeeper would not provide such a T-shirt to ANY customer and there is not discriminating when he refuses.

      A doctor who refuses abortions is not discriminating based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or any protected class.

      • sinz54

        I used to live in a neighborhood where there was a kosher butcher who had a number of Christian customers. Some were black.

        They bought his meat, not because it was kosher, but because it was a better quality of meat than the usual stuff at the supermarket.

        But if this Orthodox Jewish butcher refused to sell his kosher meat to black Christians, then he would indeed be in violation of Federal civil rights laws.

        • JMax

          Yes and rightly so. But the example was a butcher being asked to provide a service that he doesn’t provide to anyone regardless of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. He has no legal obligation to provide a service that he doesn’t officer. You can’t compel a Ford dealer to sell you a Chevy.

      • digitalPimple

        Your assumption, and ‘legal flaw’ of course, is based on the belief the “discrimination” you claim is based on the customer being gay. The issue is the forced participation in any action, event or service that violates a persons legitimate and legally recognized religious conviction.

        You don’t have to be gay to marry the same sex and have it deemed a legal marriage (in some states) under law. And vice-versa.

        • Sheila Warner

          “The issue is the forced participation in any action, event or service that violates a persons legitimate and legally recognized religious conviction.”

          Except that baking a cake is not participation in that wedding. The baker doesn’t even attend such wedding, unless the baker is an invited guest who chooses to attend. Honestly, at no wedding I have ever attended in my life (I’m nearly 60) have I ever heard any invited guest refer to the baker as involved in the event.

          Let’s cede your point, though. Does the same Christian baker interrogate every engaged couple as to the circumstances of their wedding? Is one divorced? If so, was the divorce annulled or otherwise “Biblical”? Is one a Christian and the other one not, which would violate the unequal yoking Biblical admonition? I doubt it. It’s selective application of a religious tenet, pure and simple.

  • Jen

    2 questions:
    What about Spike Lee’s comments about not wanting white people moving into his neighborhood?

    Why are Muslim religious freedoms protected in the USA and not Christian religious freedoms?

    • toddyo1935

      When are we going to rent out the local mosque for a Bar Mitzvah?

      • JMax

        A Mosque does not provide services to the public at large. Bad example.

        • toddyo1935

          In more ways than one. That’s the venue of Christian, especially Catholic facilities, schools, hospitals, universities, elder care and disaster relief. Plus all the Jewish, other Christian – I was born at Lutheran Memorial – and fraternal facilities that cover the board of American culture.

      • Drew Page

        Once again, a church or a mosque is not a business. It is a place of worship for members of a specific faith. Therefore church groups should not be regulated the same as businesses open to the public.

    • Sheila Warner

      Not all Muslim’s religious practices are protected by the U.S. Constitution. Honor killing is murder, and is prosecuted as such. Beating women or denying them education is also prohibited, and is prosecuted. But American Muslims don’t, as a rule, commit those atrocities. When you say “muslims”, you are thinking about the terrorists overseas. American Muslims have been law abiding, tax paying, hard working, and good citizens for centuries.

  • Carl

    Money is money is money. It’s all green. Try paying the bills on religious conviction.

    • delble

      Maybe some things are bigger and more important than money?

      • Drew Page

        Then don’t charge anything for your goods and services.

        • delble

          A weak argument! Come up with a better one, please.

          • Drew Page

            When you enter into a business that is open to the public, the law says you can’t discriminate who you serve based on their color, creed, gender, age, or sexual orientation. If these rules are too tough to follow, then don’t go into (or get out of) a business that is supposed to be open to the public.

            No one is asking a business owner to participate in, or even condone, the lifestyle of his or her customers.

  • 12banjo

    Bernie–if you don’t see that this whole brouhaha is about making traditional Americans, and Christian Americans, bend the knee to a set of values that offend them deeply, then you having a slobbering love affair with Hollywood bullies.

    How about a Jewish Orthodox bakery? Do they have to cater gay “weddings”?

    And of course we never talk about how Muslim taxi drivers won’t allow service dogs in the taxis.

    Many Christians, not all of them, regard being forced to make nice and appear at a “wedding” which is not wedding at all to their religion…make nice? who knows what indignity will be done when the Christian is putting the final touches on the cake? Will some guy hop out of the cake? Will he be mocked and jeered by the resentful guests? Appearing at this kind of “ceremony” is not all that different from being forced to bow down to a foreign idol…or lose your business.

    Your take on this is FATUOUS, Bernie. And I’m a long time fan.

    • Drew Page

      Christians being forced to appear at a wedding of gay people? Are you kidding? When has a bakery owner been forced to appear at a wedding he delivered a cake? A wedding photographer is a different story, if the gay couple wants pictures or a video of the ceremony, that photographer would need to be present.
      Would people in their right mind want to force a vendor, under penalty of law, to deliver goods or services to them, just to prove that they could. I can promise you that those in receipt of such goods and/or services would be less than satisfied with the result. Thankfully, there are enough vendors available to provide goods and services to all people, regardless of their chosen lifestyles.

    • Stimpy

      The far right is going too far when they want government to sanction discrimination. It wasn’t about religious freedom, it was about religious intolerance.

      • 12banjo

        When you insist that Muslims cater Gay Pride parades, I’ll take you seriously. You just inflict your bigotry and hate on Christians because you know we won’t fight back. Coward.

  • jimg

    WhaT GOOD DOES TED NUGENT do? At the very least he has conservatives and liberals hating at each other,.The guy is a loudmouth who enjoys SAYING provocative comments. He doesn’t even have basic expect that everybody deserves. Ingnore him.. he will get louder and then go away if nobody notices him!

    • toddyo1935

      You are really talking about Bill Maher aren’t you?

  • Bob Williams

    The law is not necessary or even logical. Let’s say that I had a bakery and a potential customer wanted me to bake a cake for his or her gay wedding. Let’s also assume that my religion made me oppose this union (it doesn’t, and I have absolutely no problem with gays getting married. Let them suffer like the rest of us!)

    All I would have to do is to adjust my price to the point that the customer would not want to order a $200 cake from me that they could buy for $100 anywhere else. Problem solved, and nobody even got their feelings hurt.

    • Eric Maher

      And you violated your religious convictions.

      Perhaps you think religions is stupid?

    • JMax

      You have still illegally discriminated by making the price different. Bad example.

      • Bob Williams

        No – it’s a great example. I have my car serviced at a local repair shop, who charges $85 an hour for repair services. Because I have given them a good amount of business, however, they charge me only $75 an hour, Nothing illegal or illogical about that whatsoever. A business person in this country can (and do) set their own prices and policies. Ever seen the sign in a business that says “No shirt, no shoes, no service”? Perfectly legal.

        • JMax

          All of the above are, as you say, perfectly legal. However, charging a gay person more than every other person is not legal. So unless you are going to charge everyone $200, that’s a fail. In fact you may drive away everyone but the gays because everyone knows they have more money. :-)

          • Bob Williams

            I’m a realist. If I go to a store and they don’t want to serve me because of the color of my skin or my race, then I go somewhere else, because if I force them to do business with me, bad things can happen to the products I purchase. Who needs the aggravation just to make a point?

          • JMax

            That’s your prerogative. But many people refuse to be demeaned by being treated as a second class citizen and believe things won’t change if you simply ignore the problem.

  • 12banjo

    Love Jan Brewer. She had to make this decision, but as I said elsewhere on this situation, if the First Amendment is no longer operative to protect bakers from having to cater gay “weddings”– then no state law will help.

    What goes unsaid is that a baker runs a shop that serves all customers, but a wedding cake is an entirely different matter. This is obvious to anyone who has planned a traditional wedding. The cake must be assembled on site, decorated with coordination from the other caterers and decorators…

    Same with photographer.

    Go ask a Muslim baker to cater your gay “wedding”—

    • savage24

      And I’ll bet you that the Muslim baker will not hear another word about it. Christianity is under attack in this country today, and that is the root of the problem.

      • Drew Page

        Again, who in their right mind would want to force another to provide goods and services to them against the providers will?
        If you were Jewish, would you deliberately try and force a Muslim bakery to make a wedding cake for you if they didn’t want to?

    • Eric Maher

      Yes. And the original baker welcomed gay customers. Just objected to a gay wedding cake. There is a difference.

  • rbblum

    LIBERTARIANS as well as Tea Party Patriots understand and celebrate the differences between social laws and social mores.

    • Eric Maher

      Yes.

      There’s a crucial difference between (1) “This is a good idea” and (2)
      “Everybody should be forced to do this.”

      Tolerance is good. Being forced by the law to obey an official definition of tolerance is very bad.

      Bigotry is bad. Being forced by the law to abandon personal principles is very bad.

      If a business or a store wants to refuse service, that business or store should have that freedom. If their stance means they don’t have very many customers (or means they have lots of protesters at their door) …

  • jazzdrums

    a few years back muslin taxi drivers in wash dc were trying to refuse cab service to people carrying duty free bags in which they believed contained alcohol bottles. The taxi company and manager on sight told them service all people or leave the line and dont return to the airport.

  • Paul Courtney

    Bernie: Have you heard the one about the butch lesbian who walks into Muslim barbershop in Canada? You’ve set the table, Jew can refuse to serve neo nazi (on religious grounds?) but not so for Christian baker and gay marriage celebrant. What’s the principle, and how does it apply to the barber? We’re not talking about sharia laws that violate basic western human rights, just a law he touch no woman but his wife. I have no respect for some tenets of Islam, or the Westboro Baptists, but a gov’t that has the power to decide these matters of conscience can decide to fine the Jew for refusing service to the nazi. It can decide to fine you for writing (that’s your trade, like baking) something offensive. At this point, you appear to be right about the tide of history I strain against, but a turn of the tide, and you could face a fine for offending, say, Christians.
    As a society, we decided to make an exception to wide-open freedom; let the gov’t in to punish race discrimination in private commerce; the right once opposed even this, but history humbled us. For this I’m sorry, and sorrier for those saying we are free to refuse anyone service for any reason without punishment-that ship sailed, and good riddance. We are not free to refuse service based on race, religion. I advise against expanding the reach of the gov’t here, and hope to hell I’m right on that history.

  • DaveW

    Bernie, this issue is another example of why Republicans are losing support. It is the far right faction of the GOP that scares the majority of voters away. Even when a moderate Republican is up for election, voters remember the far right crazies in the party and don’t want them anywhere near power. Jan Brewer made the correct decision but people know where the idea came from. What gay person is going to vote Republican?

    • Eric Maher

      Gays don’t want freedom for all?

    • sinz54

      Oh, it’s worse than that.

      I’m seeing quite a few folks in the GOP base who believe that a private business has the right to discriminate against anyone, including blacks, and the government has no right to interfere.

      Try selling that one to black or Hispanic or Asian voters.

  • D Parri

    “…business owners have no such rights — not in America….”
    Bernie Goldberg

    Tell me, is there a requirement to turn out a good product? Or provide a good service? Is there legal standing to sue another when the customer is not happy with the goods or services?

    I would venture that any number of things could go wrong, accidentally, of course.

    • grainbirds

      I agree. I think he meant well, and the idea is that no one has a right to discriminate against another human being. But I agree with you that to actually legislate from that standpoint is a slippery slope, There are existing laws which protect people from civil rights abuses which should be looked at and used first before making a bunch of new regulations.

    • Lee Roggenburg

      Of course there is, which is why product liability laws exist. Would you want a car manufacturer to be able to sell cars they knew were shoddy? Of course not. As a business owner you won’t stay in business long if you decide to make products that are below acceptable standards what are, in many cases, based on PRIVATE ASSOCIATION STANDARDS, not just government edicts. As an example from my industry, would you really want your elderly parents churned in a brokerage account? There are plenty of examples where minimum standards are necessary.

      My biggest issue with the bill, as an opponent of same sex marriage AND this bill, was that it had big unintended consequences, with the most serious being it gives a BIG ROADMAP for Muslims to push for Sharia Law over our current legal system.

      • CharlieFromMass

        A very interesting perspective. Protecting freedom could inadvertently erode it. It’s a real possibility, I suppose, and one that shouldn’t be discounted.

      • legal eagle

        Sharia law? This is what concerns you?…..LOL

      • Drew Page

        I think it could go the other way for Muslims who want to push for Sharia law. If non-Muslim groups cannot use religious tolerance excuses to avoid complying with U.S. law, then so too would Muslim groups not be able to use religious tolerance excuses to avoid U.S. law.

    • Eric Maher

      Legally, the “right to refuse service to anyone” ended with the Civil Rights laws of the mid-1960s, because they codified that if you open the doors of your store to the “general public,” then from now on, you can’t refuse service. Unfortunately.

  • D Parri

    Hungry for some response comments, huh Bernie? I say that because you are well-aware that this article will probably be one of the most commented-on pieces that you’ve written in a while.

    Seems that the faith or religion topics are always big generators.

    • grainbirds

      I think he was quite sincere.

  • legal eagle

    The Christian Right Wing Ideologues are like all religious zealots…Nothing matter but their truth…Maybe Arizona can pass a law saying it’s lawful to kill someone if you have a “sincere” belief that God told you to do it….

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      Kind of sounds like the environmental left. lol: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/02/climate-change-murder-rape

      • legal eagle

        Good to see you read Mother Jones….

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          Only when they feature headlines as comical as that one.

    • George Williams

      The faithless secular Jewish man who has forsaken his God has spoken. This man goes to schul only because he views religion as the social thing to do. He’s a hypocritical pretend Jew. The problem with this idiot is that he’s forgotten the “Thou Shalt Not Kill” commandment dominates the faith of the religious, including those zealots he disparages. Do we see the Hassidim, a very faithful and zealous sect of Judaism that has strict belief in the Talmud and Torah killing sinners in the streets of New York in the name of God, in spite of references to God’s judgment? And he has absolutely no evidence that the religious right violates the law. On the contrary, they are of better character than the Godless secular part of the population that he advocates for. His side is so zealously anti-religiion that they spend tens of millions of dollars every year to erase every vestige of religion from society. This man wouldn’t attack his own religion (I hesitate to use faith because he has none) for zealotry, but easily attacks the Christians. Legal eagle is an anti-religious bigot.

    • grainbirds

      Do you have any idea how frightening your sweeping, bigoted accusations of a “Christian Right Wing ideologue zealot” menace seeking the eventual right to legally murder others is in itself? It’s the sort of angry mob-engendering rhetoric which the Constitution is meant to protect us all from.

      • scott autry

        “Do you have any idea how frightening your sweeping, bigoted accusations of a “Christian Right Wing ideologue zealot” menace seeking the eventual right to legally murder others is in itself?”

        That’s the heart of my primary point: We can’t deny that the tide in American society has turned against primarily traditional Christianity but by extension most any religion I can think of, and legal eagle and Goldberg are the face of the “more tolerant” future…

        Get your pocketbooks out for a day in the future when enough of them will be in control of the government to force you to pay fines for voicing your religious beliefs if they clash with what the new definitions of tolerable. Hate-speech laws are not too far down the road. I’m 43, and I would bet some money we’ll see it before I pass away in my 80s like my grandparents did.

        • legal eagle

          I hate to break it to you but the U.S. legal system is secular based not religious based…If “tolerance’ equals ” protecting the civil rights of others” then hopefully the nation always errs on the side of “tolerance”.

          • Eric Maher

            How’s it going on the “tolerate the religious tenets of the baker who doesn’t want to participate in a gay wedding” front? You getting all tolerant about that?

        • grainbirds

          I agree. I think in many cases, one group of people’s unshakable and intolerant conviction that they are the arbiters of all morality for all others, pave the road to hell.

    • Brian Fr Langley

      You’d be called the “hater” you are if you said that about Muslims or Jews?

      • legal eagle

        There are a small percentage of crazies in all religions….The difference is other religious groups don’t try to get laws passed which use their religion as an excuse to discriminate…

        • Brian Fr Langley

          Not my point. Substitute the word Muslim or Jew, in your hateful rate, and you’d be deleted. As for passing laws, religious elements in both Jewish and Muslim culture routinely lobby for laws that discriminate. (which of course you very well know.

          • legal eagle

            “As for passing laws, religious elements in both Jewish and Muslim culture routinely lobby for laws that discriminate”

            I don’t know that…Care to cite some examples?

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Well Muslims have been asking for Sharia law to have some jurisdiction in places throughout the U.S., and the rest of the world. And Muslims specifically and absolutely oppose gay marriage. And are you really suggesting all Jewish folks support gay marriage? I mean really? Many, many, “Observant” Jews oppose gay marriage in the same way the Muslims and Christians do. (and you know it), but you only single “Christians” out as “crazies” who try to change laws.

          • legal eagle

            Can you tell me where Muslim communities are “asking for Sharia law”? One can believe whatever they want in the U.S….The Jewish community does not lobby to legislate discrimination.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            When I stop laughing. Discrimination I guess is in the eye of the beholder. (or the legal eagle hypocrite) I’ve seen AIPAC put enormous pressure on U.S. administrations to support (what your commie friends) call discrimination against Palestinians? Hell they go so far as to suggest AIPAC supports a new apartheid? As for Muslim supporters of Sharia? Google it yourself.

          • legal eagle

            What “laws” can the U.S. pass “discriminating” against Palestinians? What are you talking about?
            Nice non-response on the Sharia law issue…

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Considering several U.S. states are currently hard at work blocking “Sharia”, I’m not sure how some one as astute as you missed this? As for elements of observant Jews lobbying against Gay marriage? Piles of them have commented on this very web site. As you well know.

          • legal eagle

            Several Republican state legislatures pass “wedge” issue legislation for political theater purposes….Gotta do something to run for reelection on…LOL
            There is a percentage of Jews who oppose gay marriage….Those who oppose gay marriage should not marry people of the same sex….LOL

          • Brian Fr Langley

            So you agree, your comments about Christians (that started this) were bigoted and hateful?

          • legal eagle

            Bigoted? What are you talking about? Calling out hater sis bigoted and hateful? I don’t think so..

          • Brian Fr Langley

            When you generalize, objectify, then demonize a whole recognisable group, you are a “bigot”.

          • Eric Maher

            >> Several Republican state legislatures pass “wedge” issue legislation for political theater purposes <> Those who oppose gay marriage should not marry people of the same sex. <<

            And they should not be forced by law to participate in a gay wedding, such as by providing the cake for one, right?

        • Eric Maher

          Everything should be “what does government allow the people to do?”?

          Wow, this country is in trouble.

          There’s a crucial difference between (1) “This is a good idea” and (2) “Everybody should be forced to do this.”

          Tolerance is good. Being forced by the law to obey an official definition of tolerance is very bad.

          Bigotry is bad. Being forced by the law to abandon personal principles is very bad.

          If a business or a store wants to refuse service, that business or store should have that freedom. If their stance means they don’t have very many customers
          (or means they have lots of protesters at their door) …

          The Bill of Rights doesn’t just protect nice practices, pleasant beliefs, agreeable speech.

          Do you even think about freedom, ever?

          • legal eagle

            You’re trying to relitigate the Civil right Act of 1964? Amazing how some things never change….

          • Eric Maher

            So that was a perfect law, in every respect, to every paragraph of it? To object to any paragraph means I hate civil rights? or means I hate black people? or means trout live in trees?

            Well-intentioned laws can’t have unintended negative consequences? Good laws can’t be improved?

          • legal eagle

            I’m not sure that any law can be deemed perfect nor can the U.S.Constitution…All laws can be changed but anti-discrimination laws are what makes the U.S. exceptional compared to other countries…..That, I contend, is a good thing…
            I didn’t say you hate civil rights or hate anyone in particular…I am saying that the CRA of 1964 is settled law and discrimination against groups is illegal…

          • Eric Maher

            >> anti-discrimination laws are what makes the U.S. exceptional compared to other countries <> the CRA of 1964 is settled law <<

            Unless it is found to violate the US Constitution in some way, some paragraph being faulty.

            By the way, when you find yourself using the phrase “settled law,” you’re gonna lose the debate. Even the US Constitution itself can be changed (by the amendment process).

            What makes America exceptional is that it was founded on fundamental ideas – among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Also exceptional is that America has codified its fundamental ideas into the US Constitution, the
            supreme law of the land. Including the Bill of Rights – ten amendments each of which protect the people from the government.

            Lastly, if a baker proclaims he hates gays, or hates black people, he might be in legal trouble. But if a baker wants to avoid participating in what he views as sin, that is none of the government’s business.

          • legal eagle

            The term “settled law” refers to a law that has been ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court…Congress passed it, The POTUS signed it and the Court rules it was constitutional…
            Expressing one’s prejudice is not illegal, discriminatory actions may be… You want to argue the constitutionality
            of a 50 year old law? What’s the legal basis of your argument? You keep citing some vague fundamental principle….These arguments have been made and found to be unpersuasive by the Courts on numerous occasions.

          • Eric Maher

            >> The term “settled law” refers to a law that has been ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court. <<

            Because the Supreme Court is never wrong?

            When they rule a law is constitutional, don't they just rule that the specific portion of the law, that portion brought before the court, is constitutional? Doesn't mean the entire law is constitutional, right?

            "Settled law" sounds like "settled science." LOL

          • legal eagle

            This is the law…..Sorry if you disagree with it…

            Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, or national origin in certain places of public accommodation, such as hotels, restaurants, and places of entertainment. The Department of Justice can bring a lawsuit under Title II when there is reason to believe that a person has engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination in violation of Title II. The Department can obtain injunctive, but not monetary, relief in such cases. Individuals can also file suit to enforce their rights under Title II and other federal and state statutes may also provide remedies for discrimination in places of public accommodation.

          • Eric Maher

            >> This is the law…..Sorry if you disagree with it…
            <<

            Gee, a dictator would say that. Not how it works in a Republic, though.

            If you thought a law was unconstitutional, would you just tell yourself, “Sorry, that’s the way it is”? Shame on you.

          • legal eagle

            What you are saying is that you have no respect for the U.S. form of government. You obviously have no regard for the rule of law….. You remind me of the guy whose team has lost the game but he claims they didn’t really lose, they just ran out of time….I rest my case..

          • Eric Maher

            >> What you are saying is you have no respect for the U.S. form of government. You obviously have no regard for the rule of law or democracy. <> You remind me of the guy whose team has lost a game but he claims they didn’t really lose <<

            This is a game to you? No reasoning, just your gang versus the other gang, whatever helps your gang is good. Shame on you.

            Show me where I’m wrong. You got nothing.

          • Sheila Warner

            OMG, I agree with you–again! What’s up with that?

          • legal eagle

            Just a phase you’re going through… you’ll get over it…LOL

    • PolkaDot

      You can find that out by following these 3 steps: a) moving to Arizona b) running for a legislative position there and c) introducing such law.
      BTW, have to commend you on improving your spelling skills. Did you pay your paralegal this time or its simply because you found out that there is a wonderful invention called “spell checker”?

    • Eric Maher

      So murder is the same as not getting a cake? LOL!!

    • Drew Page

      There you go again with the sweeping generalizations, lumping all of one group with all of another. I guess nothing exceeds like excess.

  • Chris K

    Mr. Goldberg, and I say this respectfully – but here is why your argument is fatally flawed. You cannot equate a person’s open lifestyle choice, display of behavior or request of acceptance of their lifestyle with the color of someone’s skin. Those who were racist in the ‘good old days’ were wrong – their racism was evil pure and simple. However, even if you believe that individuals are born homosexual, your argument still falls short because people are born with all kinds of tendencies toward things that are wrong or immoral. Some are born with a proclivity towards lying, stealing or many other things that could be named – that goes for every single person who has ever been born. This is called original sin (assuming you believe in that), and it manifests itself in all kinds of ways in different people. We don’t accept these other inborn tendencies in people and the behaviors that often grow from them, and make special protections for these behaviors in our society (lying, cheating, stealing etc.)

    From a Christian’s viewpoint (someone who holds to the Word of God in his/her belief and practice) all men need redemption – they need salvation and they need deliverance because they are born in this fallen condition. Born-again Christians believe that individuals can be delivered from anything that is sinful and displeasing to God, such as hatred, immorality, etc. – that doesn’t mean that these Christians are perfect and never fail themselves (of course not) – but the Grace of God is available to forgive sin AND also enable the person to grow in the Lord and live a life free from the bondage of these sins. What I have said is a fundamental belief that Christians have held for 2000 years and its not going away – and its been proven by millions of transformed lives throughout history.

    Having said all of that, you cannot force a business person to serve someone who comes into their establishment and either displays behavior that offends their religious beliefs or wants to be served in a way that forces the business owner to promote or accept their lifestyle on display.

    I often hear something to this effect “you who are conservative Christians are on the wrong side of history”. To that I say this – it doesn’t matter what men say about history and who they think is on the right side. One day God will make it clear as to the ‘right side of history’. A true Christian should love everyone and not refuse service to someone simply because of who they are as a person.. But when it comes to allowing behavior or something else obviously visible that violates the business owner’s conscience and/or religious conviction and that forces him/her to promote it in some way, they should NOT be forced to do that.

    Skin color has no moral connotation whatsoever, however, the forced promotion of lifestyle and behavior do – for instance a homosexual couple coming into a Christian-owned cafe or restaurant and displaying affection toward each other. What if that business owner doesn’t want the children of parents who come into his venue to observe that display of affection? He should not be forced to accept that. He should be very kind, but have the right to refuse service to that couple in the future. This is only one of probably hundreds examples that could be thought of. Skin color does not enter into this discussion and neither do mixed-race marriages – don’t try to mix that argument in – it’s not going to fly because there’s not a single Bible believing Christian I know who believes these people should be discriminated against – EVER. Also, there’s not a single Bible believing Christian I know who hates someone who is homosexual – we love them and offer them the Gospel with kindness, just like we do with everyone else.

    Religious freedom is precious and it is in danger of being lost ever so gradually in our nation. The marketplace will decide who is profitable or not – but religious freedom needs to be protected. Don’t force people of faith to swallow everything the culture has for them to swallow – don’t force them to violate their consciences regarding LEGITIMATE and deeply held religious beliefs. That’s not American and it’s not right.

    By the way, I am a born-again Christian and like millions of others like me, I’m not ‘unsettled’ as you somewhat infer in your concluding remarks. I have perfect peace in my soul, but am concerned about our nation. I respectfully would encourage you Mr. Goldberg to take more time and think even more carefully about your thoughts and opinions on this issue. These are very serious issues – they involve how we are going to treat people of faith, people who love God and trust Him with all of their heart. To your dismay, you may find out one day that you’re on the wrong side of history along with many, many others. And you don’t want to be in that position.

  • scott autry

    I want to nutshell what I meant in the long comment:

    The tide has turned against Christianity (and religion in general). It is increasingly being defined as intolerable (ironically enough based on the idea of its intolerance).

    It won’t be long before a Phil Robertson won’t be able to keep his job. Some time after that, we’ll reach a point where it is a given he’ll lose in a law suit. Some time after that, he’ll be fined by the government. It is hard for me to imagine a time in which he’ll have to go to jail, but hate-speech laws are the future…

    This is why Mr. Goldberg and title his post “The rest of America” against the ignorant conservative Christian bigots…

    They are the noble Us. We are the despicable Other.

    • Scott Gee

      Who are the intolerants? Those who have a first amendment right to practice their religion or those who dont’ want others to practice their religion? I think those who don’t want Christians to have a 1st Amendment right are the intolerant and bigoted ones.
      Scripture will never change.. Its written.. that even though everything on Earth and in the universe passes away.. Gods Word will remain.

      • scott autry

        Respectfully, you’re missing the tone and thrust of my view. We’re actually in agreement for the most part.

        I am saying — I recognize people with my personal beliefs are losing the cultural war. The champions of tolerance are successfully driving us out of the public sphere by defining us as intolerant (monsters)….

    • Josh

      From the outside of religion looking in, it’s not as if folks are reaching to define it as intolerant. “It” being religion; its believers and how they choose to conduct themselves is another matter entirely. That is to say, a Christian CAN suffer a witch a live, even though they’re not supposed to. So there’s a difference in the religion and the follower.

      In many discussions I’ve had with Christians about an anti-homosexual stance, the answer is relatively the same: The Bible proclaims it a sin.

      Though, if one is not a Christian, how is one supposed to view that book and little tidbits like that? Help non-Christians to understand what it is that we’re not supposed to take as backward, outdated, and inherently cruel in many areas.

      A book that makes it perfectly clear that slavery is okay. A book that denies women so many rights and even proposes a rape victim marry her rapist. A book that turns the stoning of a man into a celebrataory event. And on and on and on…

      There’s also a lot of love thy neighbor and suchlike, but unless you’re already a believer in it, how can you not see it as intolerance?

      My personal stance pertaining to this exact issue is that private businesspeople should be able to serve or deny whomsoever they choose. I don’t want government policing morality. But to your comment about the tide turning against religion, can you see why people outside of religion might be in a hurry to get away from it?

      This isn’t some nonbeliever trying to pick a religious fight. I’m seriously asking here: Help the nonreligious understand this whole “tolerance” issue. From a non-religious perspective, straight Jesus-believing male domination of society is the message that comes across.

      • scott autry

        ” it’s not as if folks are reaching to define it as intolerant. “It” being religion; its believers and how they choose to conduct themselves is another matter entirely.”

        I can’t imagine how that could work logically…

        “A book that makes it perfectly clear that slavery is okay. A book that denies women so many rights and even proposes a rape victim marry her rapist.”

        Where are those passages? I’ll need to see them – except for the stoning thing – which was one of the preferred capital punishment methods of the day.

        “How can you not see it as intolerance?”

        That’s not my position. There is intolerance in the Christian Bible (and Jewish sacred texts and of pretty much any religion I can think of off the top of my head).

        The Bible is intolerant in its position concerning homosexuality just as it is concerning premarital sex, adultery, and so on.

        And anyone can see that those views are not just fading away in American society, the opposition against them has grown to the point it can actively seek to silence them. When I was in college, I had damn well better not voice agreement with them in front of my professors and a significant segment of the student body.

        Eventually, I’ll have to pay a fine if I’m caught voicing them…

        This is not simply about tolerance vs intolerance. This is about defining what can and can’t be tolerated…and the side favoring religion is losing…

        (And one of the things I sarcastically love about this is – the unspoken view seems to be that – once religion is rightfully shoved into the closet – the world of man will be a much better, friendlier, tolerant place……..I don’t have that much faith in man…)

        • Josh

          Deuteronomy and Exodus contain passages about men who seduce virgins and seize women paying for them and marrying them. Exodus, Timothy, Ephesians and Leviticus speak about slavery.

          But instead of really fleshing that out, I’d like to get into something very telling that you said.

          “That’s not my position. There is intolerance in the Christian Bible…The Bible is intolerant in its position concerning homosexuality just as it is concerning premarital sex, adultery, and so on.”

          That’s the crux of the matter.

          Killing witches. Owning slaves. Forcing women to dress and act modestly. Etc. These are all things modern Christians can look past and say “That’s not me.”

          But not homosexuality. Why is that?

          My entire point here is how the nonbelievers and even the progressive religious in society can move society forward by pointing out that some things are immoral and intolerant. So why isn’t homosexuality one of those things yet? Why is that being clung to by a lot of religious people, whereas so many other things have been let go?

          A lot of atheists and progressive religious have their suspicions that most anti-homosexual Christians don’t even know what’s in the Bible at all. They pick a passage or two and ignore the rest. I’m not sure if I fall in with that way of thinking, even though when I cite the Bible I’m usually asked to also navigate through it for someone who supposedly knows it. But that’s irrelevant.

          I just wonder, sincerely, why believers can drop and leave behind so many other practices and principles thought today to be cruel and immoral, yet some are clung to.

          Men not lying with men is more important to believers than the right to own slaves or control women?

          Again, I’m looking for understanding, not an argument. It’s only the religious who have a problem with homosexuals. Everyone else seems okay with it.

          Now, to your point about speech police: Don’t flatter yourselves (and I mean that for all religious people).

          As a member of the skeptic community, I can assure you that these Marxist progressive thought police are infiltrating the ranks of all society. They police conferences and campuses, and it’s not just religious belief that suffers. It’s every dang thing that these people are against.

          If you’re a skeptic who isn’t a self-described feminist looking to solve America’s patriarchal problem, then you’re not allowed to speak. You’re not allowed to operate as a free vendor at these places without the approval of the Stalin-lite commission.

          These little totalitarians are a problem for everyone. It’s far more about their desire to control than it is about any religious beliefs.

          • scott autry

            “But not homosexuality. Why is that?”

            Because of something you also mention: They either fail to read the Christian Bible for fail in its application when it comes to man judging man.

            I used to engage in these arguments with some atheist friends of mine but gave that up long ago, because it can quickly become complicated, when both sides tend to want it to be cut and dried.

            For example, slavery. What happens if we use the term bond servant instead? Did Paul telling a slave to honor his master mean it was a direct statement by God that slavery was OK? Paul also told Christians of the day to obey the authority of Rome. Does that mean Paul was saying God condoned the actions and laws of the Rome? What kind of witch were we stoning? The type of person who makes love potions and reads palms or the type that put recently born babies on molten hot metal as a burnt offering to other gods? Were there provisions in the law concerning stoning offenses where the individual could atone for it by offering the sacrifice of a different kind of animal?

            I wasn’t around a few thousand years ago. I need to see the context of the passage in the Bible, but even there, after this much time has passed, we have little sense of how these laws were practiced or what the society of the day was truly like.

            There are also passages in the Bible like – divorce is sinful in the eyes of God, but He gave Moses rules regulating it due to the hardness of man’s heart.

            It would be nice if all these issues were black and white and we could confidently build upon one as a foundation, but I’ve found it isn’t so…

          • Josh

            So, in other words, it’s all up for interpretation, except when it’s not.

            Not to discount any thought you may have put into it, but that’s what I’m taking away. And at the end, I’m no more aware of the “why” than I was at the beginning.

          • scott autry

            “it’s all up for interpretation, except when it’s not.”

            Nope. This is, again, an example of the impulse to simplify everything done to a neat, tidy, black and white, issue we should all be able to agree on quickly.

            A line I used in another comment on this thread shows what I mean: A Muslim who claims Jesus is the son of God is not a Muslim, and it doesn’t matter one iota if he says he is and goes to the Mosque every Friday and prays toward Mecca five times a day.

            Does that mean there is no room for interpretation? Interpretation on both what the sacred text says about everything or how it was meant to be applied? Nope…

            A definition of Jesus is a cornerstone of both Christianity and Islam. The sacred texts of both religions is too clear on this definition to allow legitimate wiggle room. But, that does not mean everything in either sacred text is just as clear cut and above debate…

          • Josh

            I fail to see how that relates to interpreting homosexuality to be such a sin that one feels he or she must, as a matter of religion, refuse to do business with a homosexual person.

            Are you saying that someone who interprets homosexuality as a live-and-let-live, God-can-handle-it thing is the same as a Muslim who believes Jesus is the son of God; i.e. not a true Christian?

            That seems totally like interpretation, either black or white.

          • scott autry

            This is my last note here. I’ve stated my points about as clearly as I can and is needed. I’m not going to continue to repeat myself with different words in an effort to get those points across…

          • Josh

            I think I understand you at this point.

            I admit, it took me a while to grasp what you were driving at.

            After all, I’m clearly speaking about the fillers of faith, not the pillars of faith.

            So when you took my assertion that people follow how they choose and decided to add in a god-swap, I didn’t catch on. So, let me be clear in restating that I’m in no way talking about people deciding which god they want to worship in a religion; I’m talking about which laws people want to follow, which bits of text they decide they want to abide, etc, while still calling themselves Christians.

            And I have a feeling you know full well that’s what I was getting at, and also that that’s exactly how people treat religion. The proof is overwhelming. If you want to claim they’re wrong, that’s fine. But to take my points about slavery, witches, rapes, etc, and to shift them to the actual cornerstones of the faith to make a point, that’s just confusing, if I’m honest.

            It’s a point I get now but don’t take because I have no idea what it has to do with people still clinging to homosexuality being bad but letting go of other biblical lines once thought just as important.

          • D Parri

            And you won’t be either.

          • Josh

            My hope is that one day someone will actually choose to participate in a real conversation about these types of topics instead of flying directly into defense mode every time religion is on the table.

            Are you the right’s Legal Eagle? If you want to participate, put some thought into it and explain yourself.

            If you want to troll around with an attitude, it’s your cause that suffers.

          • scott autry

            And here I thought we were engaging in real conversation…

            Over at the facebook page of an atheist friend of mine, he and his like minded friends discussed a recent article about the Pope saying he is breaking with key components of Catholicism in an attempt to march the Church toward a more enlightened, humanist existence.

            One commenter noted something like how refreshing it was to be able to reach common ground with such a figure of religious faith, because too many of the loser idiots can’t check their religion at the door…so people can engage in real dialog…

            He spoke as if a person’s religion is a hat he can hang on a hook near the door, by which he inadvertently meant the only true dialog he is willing to have with Christians is one in which they deny their beliefs, or at least the ones he disagreed with.

            I’m not trolling. I’m stating my opinions. And I’ve done them in extended comments.

          • Josh

            Perhaps you missed that my comment was directed at D Parri, not scott autry.

            If you don’t think that’s just a trolling response, then we’re definitely going to disagree there.

            No worries, though; I troll with the best of ‘em. I won’t break balls. It would just be nice if someone would actually engage rather than giving the fly-by comments.

            Thus far this is relatively tame. On other boards I’ve been on, it would have been 20 vs. 1 already, with the former claiming victim status.

            But what I said still stands. I hope someone engages rather than just some fly-by chest-pop fodder.

        • Josh

          To a quick point I forgot to address when pointing out that believers and religion are two separate things:

          “I can’t imagine how that could work logically.”

          So what you’re saying is that there’s only a single way to worship per the book and the book and the believer have to be in synch? I don’t understand your sentence there. If that’s not what you’re saying, then please expand on that point.

          There are well over 30,000 different Christians sects, with thousands of different customs, and numerous translations and variations of texts.

          Religion in the world is quite literally what believers make it.

          If there’s any one interpretation that is correct, no one knows what it is. Every practicing religious person is an individual practicing their own way. Even people claiming to be fundamentalists, literalists, whatever — they’re still practicing their own way. And that’s how the rest of society judges religion. Not on the text, but how people interpret that text.

          Without anyone practicing it, it’s all words on paper.

          • scott autry

            “only a single way to worship”

            Nope. I was saying it sounds illogical to say you can condemn the stated beliefs, and actions based on those beliefs, without condemning their religion.

            Let’s say I want to stone a witch to death, and I tell you this is justified because of what a passage in the Bible says, and you agree with me that that is what the Bible says —- (and here that agreement on the text is the key, necessary element) — then there is no way you can condemn me for my beliefs without condemning the religion (or at least aspects of it).

            Religion is not literally what you make it.

            There are countless differences on interpretation, and you can debate and condemn interpretations you disagree with, and the actions by those believers, you can’t conclude from that that “Anything goes”, religions are whatever the individual says it is…

            A Muslim who claims Jesus is the son of God is not a Muslim – regardless of whether he considers himself one or not.

          • Josh

            To the last part first, you’re stretching semantics into golf balls and planets.

            It’s not “anything goes,” but what a religion is is only what its believers put forth.

            Despite what we know or don’t, people’s gods aren’t presenting themselves. Christianity only exists because of Christians who claim to believe and who practice. If they didn’t, the religion would disappear. See past religions as a prime example.

            And as the religion’s representatives, people and their actions dictate how that religion is viewed.

            To the witch example, I fail to see the point you’re getting at. The religious texts say what they say. As an individual, you can abide or ignore.

            There are multiple instances where you can abide or ignore, and it doesn’t get in the way of accepting Jesus Christ as your personal lord and savior. Hence thousands of sects and interpretations and customs.

            Since I’m assuming here that you’ve never stoned a witch, I wouldn’t condemn you but would still point out it’s bad that the texts state such. WTF is a witch anyway? Who qualifies? And if you did stone one, you would be condemned as a person. Your inspiration and your actions are different. The “rock music made me do it” defense only works in episodes of SVU.

            But the point is that, in this day and age in America, people don’t do that anymore. The interpretation of the religion has evolved with society.

            That’s true in numerous cases. Though not for homosexuality. Yet.

          • scott autry

            “t’s not “anything goes,” but what a religion is is only what its believers put forth.”

            No. For that individual, the religion might be what he says it is, but objectively speaking, this is not true. The example I gave is clear and solid. A person calling himself a Muslim who believes Jesus is the son of God and a part of the Trinity is not a Muslim. Period. No matter how much he wishes or believes it to be so.

            Religions are not as flexible as the practice.

            The definition of Jesus is not a grey area in the books that are the foundation of the two religions. It’s as plain as day.

          • Josh

            Then the Muslim claiming Jesus is the son of God creates a new religion.

            This is new to the world? How did we end up with so many different religions and sects in the first place?

            How were Mormonism and the JWs born of other denominations?

            But this really just amounts to quibbling. Seriously. I’m speaking about certain laws and decrees and statements, not absolute cornerstones of a faith. So you’re really stretching it to an extreme, and for no reason I can comprehend other than to quibble.

            The initial point I made was simple, and rather flattering to believers, if I don’t say so myself. I’ll say it again in a different way: The actions of the religious can come across as amenable to the rest of society; fair, just and non-intrusive. The religion itself, as in the finer points of scripture, can be booed and hissed to oblivion and back, but few are bothered by any religious person who just lives and let lives.

            In the end, we separate–all of us, the religious included–the religious from the religion and hold them to separate standards. I mean, do you personally like the Phelps’ or do you condemn them? Do you blame their religion or blame them personally?

            Christians in particular in 2014 aren’t killing witches, they aren’t marrying their daughters to rapists, they aren’t trying to stone people who don’t keep the Sabbath holy, they aren’t keeping slaves, etc.

            Believers have changed the way they’ve conducted themselves over time. The culture has changed. And while some are still clinging to the man lying with man bit, that’s also going to go the way of the dodo, and Christians in 2114 won’t feel any farther removed from God or Jesus for it.

            We’re not talking about the cornerstones of religion being followed or changed; we’re talking about random bits of text. And if they aren’t just random bits of text and were all cornerstones and requirements, they wouldn’t have changed anyway.

            The fact remains man follows religion the way man sees fit. And if one religion is supposed to be right out of the thousands upon thousands followed, man has probably messed that one up too.

          • legal eagle

            Beliefs and actions are two separate issues particularly in the legal world….In America beliefs are protected under the law…discrimination is not…

          • Eric Maher

            >> beliefs are protected under the law <<

            Right, so if your religious tenets say you shouldn't participate in a gay wedding, then the law should not force you to do so, don't you agree?

            Or does the law you give a religious person the right to his beliefs, but if he tries to act on them, the law can slap him down?

      • D Parri

        Do you understand that the Civil Rights Act had not been passed when the Bible was written? Why, heck, America didn’t even exist.

        But you do understand that slavery existed in that day and time, and it was neither promoted nor created by the Bible.

        BTW, do you have even an inkling of understanding about the societal structures and norms which existed in those days?

        I thought not.

        • Josh

          I fail to see your point.

          Maybe tone down the snark and expand on the particulars? Just a suggestion.

      • legal eagle

        The Christian Right picks and chooses their intolerance….Sort of like a buffet….They choose the issues which will bring in the greatest amount of contributions to their groups…After all, this is America and the universal religion is $$$$…

        • Eric Maher

          Religion is stupid!

          LOL

    • legal eagle

      Another victimization rant? Christian Conservatives are anything but ignorant…They know how to buy local politicians and exert influence in certain Congressional districts…The difference is that they have a political agenda in order to keep the contributions coming in from the zealots…

      • Eric Maher

        It’s amazing how only the Christian Conservatives are guilty of that. No other group.

        LOL

  • locosmom

    I am a grown woman, and I can choose whom I want to serve and whom I do not. If the govt. wants to treat me like a 10 year old then I can do that too. You want to force me against my will and beliefs to do something that I feel is wrong, then you will get a petulant 10year old doing a half-baked job…just like any child out there forced to do so ething they dont want to do. Treat me with respect and you get respect, otherwise, go elsewhere. I will provide you with names, addresses and phone numbers of quite a number of wedding personnel who do not feel the way that I do, please check them out and refer your friends.

  • Amejune

    I just thought That Shannon did a terrible job .. She didn’t appear to be listening to your views. She seemed to be trying way to hard and she did not allow you the courtesy to finish. The whole interaction was weird, I really enjoy listening to what you have to say, she was rude.

  • Wailin’ Dale

    Generally I am in agreement with the idea that a business should serve everyone. But let’s try this one on for size: Suppose a Jewish tattoo artist is requested to “adorn” the arm of a biker with a huge swastka . I say the artist should have the right to refuse. What say you?

  • Chad

    Also Bernie…. What was with the head shake at the end? Were you disgusted with not getting your point across? It seemed as though you were unhappy with the way the interview went…

    • D Parri

      Yes, I noticed that. I don’t think he was pleased.

  • Chad

    I think the whole point of the argument is being over looked.

    Our government, any government, has no business telling a private business or individual citizen how to run their business or their lives. The market and court of public opinion decides this. We have laws that regulate quality, pricing, and other general items of business. We do not need any others.

    Let’s look at the argument that Bernie is currently citing. The idea of the equality movement for Black Americans. Those brave men took the chance and sat at that counter for lunch..bravo for them and we see what has come from this. They pushed for what they deserved and won it. Many stood beside them and fought with them. And what happened to the businesses and their owners who were of the opposite ideals? The businesses that do not cater to the public, go under….

    Since Bernie believes that this fight is akin to the plight of Black Americans, he should also be okay with the Catholics being forced to supply birth control for their employees, aka Obamacare.

    There are many ways this can be spun from both sides.. But the freedoms we are giving up, no matter how small, are making us all slaves to our government, that is by us and for us… They have no right

    • NiCuCo

      “And what happened to the businesses and their owners who were of the opposite ideals?”

      Laws were passed to prohibit what they do. I think that Gov. Brewer’s veto is a better example of the power of the market.

  • srex

    Ok Bernie, I just saw your interview on the Kelly files and I want to correct you on your point. The Civil rights issue you sited , was in regard to Segregation…Not the right to refuse them service…They were refused service at the “Whites Only” lunch counter…and were asked to go to the “Colored” Lunch counter…which they refused to do…and the rest is history. Big difference between that and the facts of this law.
    Your analogy about the Muslim man who opens a restaurant in my neighborhood, and then refuses to serve a woman because she isn’t accompanied by a man, which violates his religious beliefs….would have been protected under the Arizona law just as a Christian restaurateur would have…So not sure what your point was there. It is his right to do so if he chooses.
    The bottom line is that as a business man, I have the right to refuse service to anyone. I own a Sporting goods store, and if a person comes into my store to purchase a Firearm, and doesn’t have the ability or experience to operate a firearms…I refuse to sell to them…If a sketchy 20 year old comes into my store and I don’t have a good feeling about them…I refuse to sell to them…That is my right. If a Obama supporter comes into my store, I refuse to sell to them as well, because they are to stupid to own a firearm.
    Now the Facts of the law was that a photographer in Arizona refused to take pictures of a gay wedding, because homosexuality is in the eyes of his religion, a sin. The couple sued him and won stating it was discrimination. That is why this law was created, to protect the Photographer, or any other business owner, from having to compromise their beliefs. There are,(and in this case was) other photographer’s willing to take the job. Just like there is another gun store in the next town who may be willing to sell the people in my example a gun. Its called the free market for a reason.

    • Lc Goodfellow

      I’d call this statement ” 4. oh! and Buffed up ”
      Worked with Enforcement for 30 years, there sure as hell are people who should not be sold a gun.
      “Shooting a Lawyer might be different”

    • Stimpy

      I believe the example you cite happened in California, not Arizona.

  • agnostic13

    Your argument on The Kelly Show is misguided.
    There is a difference between a refusal of service to somebody because of who he or she is, as was the case with racism, and a refusal to participate in what a person wants to do, such as getting homosexual “marriage”.
    You might be right that society moved on, but if so, it’s a move in the wrong direction.
    It’s a matter of fairness and decency to provide adequate legal protection and rights to homosexual couples.
    It is utter nonsense to re-define the meaning of marriage to include such an arrangement.
    For homosexuals to claim as a right to call their relationship marriage makes about as much sense as badminton players claiming the right to have their game called tennis. And just as re-defining the rules of tennis to accommodate badminton would mean the end of the game of tennis (badminton’s rule about the ball touching ground meaning a point), so the homosexual “marriage” will end the institution of marriage once all the implications of the re-definition are incorporated into family law. Among the most egregious is making the fact of biological parenthood legally irrelevant and making the status of a parent a privilege granted, and revocable, by the government. That’s not an idle or wild speculation – that’s what happened in Canada, and will quite inevitably happen in the US, as soon as the homosexual “marriage” is sufficiently entrenched to risk the backlash).

  • Starchecker

    It’s really saddening to see your take on this Bernie. First there is no proof that being gay is a genetic thing. Even so, some say that the minds of serial killers are wired differently and they may be predisposed to such action. So what? We have a choice in how we act. Homosexuality and gay weddings are both ACTS. Being black is a race. Nowhere in the bible is there ANY condemnation against ANY race or gender. There are however numerous verses about homosexuality as well as many other sins in the old and new testament.
    The constitution specifically spells out religious freedoms, that the government shall not pass any law to establish or prohibit the free exercise thereof. To tell Christians, that if you want to get involved in commerce(you know, to make a living and SURVIVE) you have to check your beliefs at the door is insane. Only non religious people would come up with such a specious argument. We have NO FREEDOMS if we can’t partake in normal daily functions AND exercise our religious beliefs. The first amendment means nothing if a business owner or worker can’t honor their religion in ALL aspects of their daily life.
    There is absolutely NO rights guaranteed in the constitution for homosexuals or homosexual behavior and yet the courts now say that these unmentioned rights supersede the religious rights specifically spelled out in the constitution.
    If you don’t think the gays will start demanding church’s marry them in the future you are sadly mistaken. If they can sue a business for not partaking in an activity not even authorized by the state AND is an affront to their God and specifically spelled out in the bible as such(no interpretation required), then what will happen when gay marriage IS declared legal in the state?

    Make no mistake the reason the public has so radically shifted it’s stance on gay marriage is a direct result of years of indoctrination in our public school systems by gay activists. We kicked God out of schools and brought the LGBT community in and wonder why the first amendment no longer is about religious freedom but gay freedom.

    You want us all to weep about gays having to go to the next bakery next door to get a wedding cake, but have no compunction about telling Christians they can’t open a business if they want to honor their religion. Can’t you see how deceived you have become?

  • Kiara Ashanti

    Bernie, until there is actual scientific proof that being gay is natural, its a choice.

    • leilaleis

      Bisexuals are pretty equally attracted to both genders, so if same gender, say, goes against your religious conscience, then you can choose to look for a mate among opposite sex people. Straights and gays, though, have no such freedom. For whatever reason, we are attracted to a single gender, and can’t choose. I admit that, compared to you guys, we are limited, but there it is.

    • Josh

      Define “proof.”

      Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I’m taking “proof” to mean that you personally need convincing. To that end, is there any such thing as “proof”?

      • Kiara Ashanti

        scientific proof. show me a changed gene, a different brain scan or chemistry. IF this is so natural as people think, given bex and the compulsion for it is really about the continuation of the species (biologically speaking) then it would be obvscous. No one has come even close to that. Or, look at something like Bald Eagles. They mate for life, just like humans, but with a better divorce rate. No eagles of the same sex mate for life together. That is because left to their own devices animals cannot break instrinct. the instinct for them when it comes to sex to make babies, not have fun at the end of a Sat. night date. Humans are different. We can break from instinct and its the primary reason we have taken over planet. But we also fool ourselves into thinking all sorts of things that are in fact not true. This is one of them to me. Now I understand gays dont want to admit that. Its much easier to get people to accept and celebrate your life choice if you frame it as something you have no control over. Its very easy to get people to think a person really was born into the “wrong” body-in case of these so-called transgender folk than to just look at the science of it. But that dont make it true, and its certainly well up for debate, despite what Bernie says about people who call it (accurately I believe) a prefence. Its easy to see why I’m black, or someone is female. there is no such parallel to gayness. And before someone says they know their truth. There was once a guy who knew his truth as well, that he was a cat man. Even had surgery to make himself look like one (sound similar to something else, hmmmm??) that dont make him a cat.

        • Josh

          We can break from instinct in certain areas. I agree.

          I’ll assume here that you’re a straight male. So what you’re saying by asserting homosexuality is a choice is that you can make that same choice.

          Just practically speaking, can you make yourself attracted to the same sex? I can’t. If I’m watching TV and something as innocuous as a male underwear ad comes on, I have to look away because my brain signals “Eww! I don’t wanna see that.” And when the Victoria’s Secret ad comes on, I can’t help but to look and imagine, even if the old lady is sitting right there with her scornful eyes.

          Scientifically speaking, take a look at the work being done in epigenetics regarding homosexuality.

          “Proof” is a vague thing in these types of debates, but the word “choice” is universal. If people choose to be gay, then logically we can all choose that.

    • NiCuCo

      until there is actual scientific proof that being gay is a choice, its natural.

      • Kiara Ashanti

        doesn’t work in reverse my friend. not when they only reason either of us is even here because man and WOMAN make babies. not man and man. its pretty obvious.

    • Common Sense

      Perhaps you should try to befriend someone who is gay and ask them if it is a choice or if it is as natural to them as your attraction is to the opposite sex.

      In the interim, you could start by reading this: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/male-homosexuality-influenced-by-genes-us-study-finds-9127683.html

      • Kiara Ashanti

        Why would I need to do that? Oh right because how they feel is better than biological proof? Right. ok whatever people. but hey I got some real good land to sell you in the everglades, come do business with me.

  • Steve Coleman

    I just caught the tail end of Bernie on The Kelly File discussing discrimination at places of business. Bernie was right on! The host, not Kelly tonight, was taking the most bizarre position. Bernie shaking his head in disgust at the close of the segment was priceless. Well done, Bernie!

  • superj

    Just got off listening to The Kelly Show – and, though I probably disagree with your opinions more than I agree with them, I believe your asessment of the Arizona religious bill was right on.
    One has to wonder why Shannon (spelling?) was taking her stance? This has nothing to do with religious freedom – particularly in a public business. I liked your example of the Muslim store owner – one could take this further to a Catholic store owner who would not serve someone if they were divorced – or a Jewish store owner who would not serve a Christian because they worked on Saturday. It would be a disaster. Anyway – WELL DONE.

  • scott autry

    Though I’m a fundamentalist Christian and conservative politically, I agree with Goldberg on this one. In terms of my social politics, I agree with his primary point: What the state legislature did was broadly legalize the segregation of the public market place – which is undemocratic. I don’t want the government to pass laws allowing businesses to refuse gays any more than I want the businesses of the future to refuse it to Christians.

    In terms of my religion, God has the authority to judge. Not me. I’m told not to, and I’m told every one of us falls short in His eyes. None of us are going to get into heaven based on how unsinful we are…

    However, I also recognize Bernie was right when he said “They’re on the wrong side of history.”

    Right you are. And, yes, it is unsettling to people like myself you so easily label the far right wing. All us misguided, bigoted, ignorant family values fascist types…

    It has become more and more common for people of influence within the public sphere to behave just like Goldberg: On the one hand, he can chide people for their idiocy for voicing outrage when it seemed Phil Robertson was going to be denied employment because he voiced his religious beliefs in an interview. And on the other had, ridicule the same type of person for supporting what the elected legislature in Arizona tried to do. — See, even the letter of the Equal Opportunity Act doesn’t mean diddly squat if you are attacking a protected class of people.

    And that is what the tide against Christianity looks like.

    To Mr. Goldberg, it is a glorious thing putting an end to centuries of bigotry, ignorance and hatred. To me, while I agree with him on the Arizona law, it is just another sad sign that prophesy is being fulfilled within my life-time. My religion told me I was going to be on the losing side in the end – (the end in terms of this Age).

    What Christians believe about homosexuality is no longer tolerable.

    Well, it might be tolerable among a sizable portion of the population, but it isn’t by the vast majority of individuals who control key social institutions – like the entertainment industry, the media, and education.

    It is only a matter of time before the mechanisms of government, and social prejudice, are used against us. It is already intolerable to speak your mind if it involves something negative about homosexuality. You can be fired, denied employment, and even hounded by members of the outraged class. In the future, it will be illegal to say such things.

    People in the public sphere like Mr. Goldberg will run to defend you if you are a member of a protected class. How dare anyone think they can get away with denying service to someone just because they are gay?! But, if it looks like you might be denied employment for saying something negative about gays?….Well, that’s a whole different story…..to people like him…

    The fact some shop owner, or actor on a TV show, will point to their religion, and to specific lines in what they consider a sacred texts, means diddly squat to them. They already believe you have to be a loon, or a relic of a dark past (that is thankfully being eradicated), if you are serious about your religion.

    They might be able to tolerate the type of Christian who has eliminated the idea of a Devil or a mythical place called Hell – a type of Christian who has taken white out and gotten rid of all those verses that only an ignorant bigot would believe could come from God (if there were such a thing as a god)…

    But, they can’t tolerate those far right, radical, neo-Nazi Christian types. What a Bill Ayers might call the “big c” type Christians….

    And as time passes, they will codify their intolerance in law (first in civil law and then even criminal too) as well as accepted social practice. In the not too distant future, if you want a job, say, in some place like Hollywood, or if you want to avoid law suits you are bound to lose, you should keep your mouth shut when it comes to your beliefs concerning homosexuality (and some other things) if you are dumb enough to be a believer in something like a Bible…

    The apostasy is well at hand.

    It’s been that way in Europe for over half a century. If we keep an eye on them, we’ll be able to see how they put the intolerance for Christianity and religion in general into action…

    The slope is slippery….

    Don’t expect people like Mr. Goldberg to come to your defense when even states like Arizona officially sanction the silencing the unprotected class of religious zealots…

    The tide of history has turned….

    • Scott Gee

      I don’t believe you can force a private business owner to serve anyone.. this is the essence of a free society. Socialism believes in forcing the business owner to do the bidding of the government.
      I am a Christian too but you said what Christians believe about homosexuals is no longer tolerable. Scripture doesn’t change with the times friend. Being gay isn’t a sin but homosexual sex acts are.. for example Sodom and Gomorroah.

      Anyway, this law wasn’t needed because the 1st amendment already protects everyone of every religion to practice their religion freely.

      • scott autry

        My primary point was that, unfortunately, Mr. Goldberg’s view that Christianity is losing the war is correct. We are losing. We are going to lose. They will continue chipping away at our position within society in part by successfully defining our beliefs as intolerable.

        And the other point I threw in was that this shouldn’t surprise Christians. We were told society would eventually move far away from God and believers would become persecuted again…

        • Scott Gee

          I see the truth in what you are saying but Christians also cannot allow the liberals and progressives to deny that which whats put as the 1st protection within the Bill of Rights.. which is freedom of religion.
          There are still many Christian symbols in and around Washington DC and in the Founders documents.. though they may chip away.. they can’t rewrite history.

          • scott autry

            I understand. I just don’t have the drive to fight against the tide. I don’t welcome it. I don’t mind other people fighting against it. I just gave up. Like Candide, my path through the world of man has led me to tending my own little garden…

  • Jerri

    I don’t believe any of the arguments presented on either side of this issue can ever lead to a peaceable resolution because the underlying issue is never addressed. The core disagreement lies in how the pro-gay vs conservatives define human sexuality. The Pro-Gay view of sexuality is that one’s sexual identity is defined along a continuum of sexual desire from being same sex attracted on one end to being opposite sex attracted on the other end with degrees of variation in the middle. The key word is “desire.”

    Social conservatives reject the whole framework of those definitions and instead define sexual identity on biology and the anatomically most efficient way to propagate the human race. They believe the infant human ideally has the best chance of understanding what it means to be human and develop relationship capacity for either gender in an environment where intimacy can be experienced with both male and female.

    They also believe that the most stable social structure for society is when the family is defined based on the principles in the second paragraph which is a more fixed and concrete framework than definition based on the fluid and flexible continuum of “desire.”

    So if we could have a discussion on this level, stripping away all the hot-button religious and politically correct language that ires those on the opposite side of the issue, we might be able to get somewhere. What way of defining human sexuality and thereby legitimizing families is best for society?

    Once this discussion is well under-way in the public square, then maybe we can have a meaningful way of talking about whether or not a baker or photographer should be compelled to participate in the celebration of a marriage in which he cannot with integrity legitimize. Comparisons to the discrimination which the civil rights movement challenged really don’t get to the core of this disagreement.

    • Eric Eagle

      How is your family legitimized or not by what other consenting adults do? What exactly is Pro-gay? I for one just don’t like haters enshrining their anti-(insert minority here) feelings into law.

    • Common Sense

      I appreciate your willingness to discuss things outside of the hot-button issue of religion.

      Not only do I have gay family members and friends I have known gay men & women all of my life. They are kind, compassionate, intelligent, funny, successful, giving, nurturing and they are also wonderful parents.

      As the aunt of a military veteran and his sister who is earning her PhD… I can assure you that they were raised in a wonderful, loving home by their two moms.

      It is my strong belief that in many ways, they are often better parents than heterosexual parents. They have a natural way of expressing empathy and actually want the children they conceive or adopt.

      One of the best lines from the movie Parenthood sums it up well, I’ll have to paraphrase from memory; “You need a license to drive a car, a license to own a dog, you even need a license to catch a fish but any a-hole can be a father.”

    • scott autry

      “Social conservatives reject the whole framework of those definitions and instead define sexual identity on biology and the anatomically most efficient way to propagate the human race.”

      I disagree. The side you call Pro-Gay fights to have it both ways depending on the discussion: They’ll define it just as you have above – that sexuality is a social construct which every individual navigates through, and they are against social pressures they say limit the freedom of the individual to define themselves sexually. That is all for when they are talking among themselves…

      But, they’ll also scream aghast if you are not a part of their group and try to co-opt their social construct idea. Suddenly, homosexuality is a genetic thing, and saying something negative about it is racism/bigorty. They get so angry about it, they won’t even tolerate a discussion of it….right? (To quote Mr. Goldberg, “Let’s not waste anyone’s time with that argument.”)

      I guess only heterosexuals (and maybe bisexuals) don’t have their sexuality genetically defined…

      • Jerri

        I agree the arguments are all over the place. But the genetic argument isn’t being talked about much anymore, I believe for 2 reasons; 1)research hasn’t proven it as admitted by gay scientists themselves and 2)if sexual orientation is genetic, then there is no reason to support transgenderism since the gender gene is on every DNA molecule in the body.

        • scott autry

          Exactly, but that is how one side argues. A clear case of asking to eat your cake and have it too.

          You don’t hear much about the genetic argument primarily because one side likes to portray it as clear, undeniable science. That is what Mr. Goldberg meant when he said it wasn’t even worth discussing.

          They will argue the social construct side if you say bad things about transsexuals, transvestites, bisexuals, and so on….but then throw the genetics argument at you if you say something against homosexuality…

          They don’t like being pinned down on this, but basically the net sum for them is: Sexuality is an optional thing you can define for yourself, unless your homosexual, in which case it is locked in your DNA.

    • scott autry

      “stripping away all the hot-button religious and politically correct language”

      Stripping away your religion is like stripping away your sexuality.

      • Jerri

        I don’t believe the search for words to use in order to find a basis for reasonable discussion is diminishing one’s religion or sexuality! Searching for ways to discuss something respectfully and meaningfully with people who come from very different views would be very helpful in toning down the divisiveness in our country! We used to be able to do this back in the 60’s. Now it seems the love of reason has been put to bed in favor of shutting down free speech and coercive, intolerant rhetoric.

        • scott autry

          My memories of the riots and protest marches in the 60s and 70s is somewhat different…

          The problem with what you said above is that much of the language that angers one side comes out of what the other considers a sacred text informing them of God’s view on the subject at hand… In effect, you are suggesting what they have to say is intolerable…

  • Scott Gee

    Bernie’s example of restaurants refusing service to Blacks during the Civil Rights era was outdated. We are a different America today. We are not segregated.. I have had friends of all races, my brother has friends of all races.. more White kids listen to rapp. So Bernie’s example doesn’t fly today.

    I can’t join all women’s gyms, I can’t join Hispanic or Black clubs, the NAACP won’t help me advance in the world… and I’m fine with that.. I don’t feel the need to protest. They own the business and the land and they can refuse service to me and I can go to the club around the corner where they will take my money. This is the free market where coercion and force shouldn’t be a part of our society.

    • legal eagle

      This is the law….Your premise has no legal basis…

      Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, or national origin in certain places of public accommodation, such as hotels, restaurants, and places of entertainment. The Department of Justice can bring a lawsuit under Title II when there is reason to believe that a person has engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination in violation of Title II. The Department can obtain injunctive, but not monetary, relief in such cases. Individuals can also file suit to enforce their rights under Title II and other federal and state statutes may also provide remedies for discrimination in places of public accommodation.

      • Eric Maher

        That trumps the right to religious expression, from the Bill of Rights?

  • IsabellaFord

    I felt your pain on The Kelly File this evening, Bernard. Instead of explaining why it’s ok to discriminate against gay and lesbian Americans but not black Americans, the woman you were debating spinelessly deflected to a nameless group of black civil rights leader, as if they speak for all black civil rights leaders. But I’m sure I saw a glimmer of fear in her eye when you explained how these proposed laws could open the door to Sharia law in the U.S.

    • Scott Gee

      The Arizona bill never mentions Lesbians or gays. I can’t join all women’s gyms, or all Hispanic or Black clubs.. and I’m fine with that.. why would I go where I’m not wanted.. I can’ spend my money at the club around the corner.

      • Common Sense

        You are correct, it doesn’t specifically mention LGBT. So who was it meant to protect and who was it meant to protect them from?

        The proponents of the bill cited LGBT discrimination lawsuits as their motivation but also admitted that not only could the bill be used to discriminate against gay people, but also unmarried women, divorced people or against different religious beliefs.

        • Scott Gee

          Do you remember when a Denny’s refused to serve a black family? They have suffered greatly financially for that. But if a private business owns the building, the land and the food/materials, I believe they should be able to refuse service to anyone, for any reason. They are the ones losing the money, they are the ones who will suffer boycotts.

          • Eric Eagle

            Luckily our society doesn’t agree with you and our historical embarrassment is over.

          • Scott Gee

            Are you living in a Socialist country where a private business owner has to do the bidding of the government? I’m in America where we believe that a free person can own a business and make free choices on the direction they wish to take with their business.

          • Eric Eagle

            Believe what you want… A lot of discrimination was outlawed 50 years ago. Maybe you miss the memo.

          • Eric Maher

            Did that trump the right to freedom of religious expression, from the Bill of Rights?

          • Eric Eagle

            Yes. Just like a law against murder restricts human sacrifice for the purpose of religious expression.

          • Eric Maher

            Wow, you think Congress trumped the 1st Amendment 50 years ago.

            Oddly, you also seem to think my not selling you a cake is the same as murdering you. LOL

          • Eric Eagle

            Only when your religious expression infringes on other’s rights.

          • Eric Maher

            You have a right to my cake?

          • Eric Maher

            And if “our society” says you don’t get your rights, that’s it!!

          • Eric Eagle

            That is typically how it works. In our country we have more protections than most.

          • Eric Maher

            Wow. What other rights can “society” dispose of?

          • Eric Eagle

            Really?

            In the hundreds of countries on the planet, through thousands of years of history societies have routinely disposed of human rights (for good or bad).

            Even in our country life and liberty are frequently taken in certain circumstances such as criminal justice.

          • Eric Maher

            So, society can take away your life or liberty if you commit a serious crime. Should it take away your right to religious expression because, um, you exercised that right?

          • Eric Eagle

            Only if it starts to effect other’s rights (i.e. discrimination)

          • Eric Maher

            You have a right to my cake?

          • Eric Eagle

            Like if you kill someone to make a human sacrifice in the name of religion? Then yes… yes it can.

          • Eric Maher

            Okay, murder is out. And not selling someone a wedding cake, is that a similar horror?

          • Eric Eagle

            Murder is perhaps the worst crime but not the only crime.

            It is absolutely a crime not to sell cake to a man because he is black. It is obvious you don’t like this but it is a law. It is an old, accepted, popular law that is unlikely to change but if the freedom to discriminate is that important to you then you have the right to work to change the law.

          • Eric Maher

            >> It is absolutely a crime not to sell cake to a man because he is black. >>

            Absolutely? LOL

            The anti-discrimination laws were put in when racism was a major problem in the US. So, when that premise is no longer true, are those laws going to go away? Because when a VERY intrusive law is in place with no good reason, that is bad government. It might end up violating people’s 1st Amendment rights. That would be wrong, don’t you agree?

            You do recognize those words, “bad government”? You’ve heard of it? You can imagine it? It doesn’t offend your government-worshiping religious exercise?

            >> It is obvious you don’t like this <> It is an old, accepted, popular law <> if the freedom to discriminate is that important to you <<

            Well, freedom is important to me. Not to you? Wow.

            The Bill of Rights doesn't just protect nice practices, pleasant beliefs, agreeable speech. Don’t you agree?

          • Eric Eagle

            “It is obvious you don’t like this” isn’t an argument.

            and

            “government-worshiping” you could have at least called me a statist… that’s the typical libertarian tactic.

            and

            extrapolates “freedom to discriminate” to “freedom isn’t important to me”. I believe that is a logical fallacy.

          • Eric Maher

            >> “It is obvious you don’t like this” isn’t an argument. <> “government-worshiping” you could have at least called me a statist… that’s the typical libertarian tactic.<> extrapolates “freedom to discriminate” to “freedom isn’t important to me”. I believe that is a logical fallacy. <<

            Not so much.

          • Common Sense

            I understand what you are saying and can agree to a certain extent but when you give a majority free license to discriminate against a minority it leads to horrific results. That is why the CRA was so very important. It’s why ENDA needs to be passed.

          • Scott Gee

            America has changed since the Civil Rights movement. We are no longer segregated.. Whites are no longer segregated from Blacks. I grew up with friends of all races and cultures. My brother grew up with friends of all races and cultures.
            If one place refuses to serve you or me for whatever reason… there are probably 30 more businesses in the area that will. Thanks for the debate.

          • legal eagle

            Restaurants are a “public accommodation” under the law. What you believe they should be able to do is irrelevant…

            Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, or national origin in certain places of public accommodation, such as hotels, restaurants, and places of entertainment. The Department of Justice can bring a lawsuit under Title II when there is reason to believe that a person has engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination in violation of Title II. The Department can obtain injunctive, but not monetary, relief in such cases. Individuals can also file suit to enforce their rights under Title II and other federal and state statutes may also provide remedies for discrimination in places of public accommodation.

          • Eric Maher

            Did that trump the right to freedom of religious expression, from the Bill of Rights?

    • grainbirds

      Her point was that some Christian black leaders don’t agree that the gay civil rights issue can be compared to the black civil rights issues. Because of the religious conscience component.

      I didn’t see fear in her eyes regarding Bernie’s point about the hypothetical Muslim restaurant refusing to serve women unaccompanied by men – she just seemed highly engaged in the argument, and about making her point that she would exercise her right not to patronize such a restaurant.

      • scott autry

        That’s interesting. I didn’t see the segment, but throwing up Sharia Law like that is an interesting smokescreen:

        What if you were from Saudi Arabia, an observant Muslim, and you owned a biryani restaurant. What if it had two sections: One for families and one for single men? What if people like who Mr. Goldberg label the far right nutty zealots were fighting to get the government to shut it down?

        Something makes me believe people like that wouldn’t rush to the side of the zealots (the non-Muslim ones)…

        I get the feeling this issue would suddenly be one about religious freedom and tolerance and the democratic rights of the owner…

        (The Sharia Law thing is a smokescreen because a small business owner isn’t the government. To bring up Sharia Law is just a BS way to silence conservative opposition by trying to co-opt one of their pet issues. A Muslim restaurant owner forcing single men to eat in one section and women and families in another would be the owner’s attempt to comply with his religion – not the government forcing all of us to do the same.)

        I wouldn’t have a problem with a Muslim owner of an Arab-themed restaurant segregating customers like that. It is the customer’s right to take his business elsewhere if he doesn’t like it…

        • grainbirds

          That’s an interesting point. I think regarding another country, the generally-accepted morality of the US, as reflected in our laws, would be moot, because of cultural perceptions differing. Just as the morality and mandates of other countries should have no bearing on ours.

          Some of fundamentalist Islam beliefs which prevail as law in some Muslim countries do cry out to many people as universal crimes against humanity, such as mutilation of little girls, execution of gays and the many abuses of women and unbelievers up to and including legally-sanctioned death, etc. I guess people have to choose where they feel it’s moral and just to intervene in the practices of others.

          I don’t think the Muslim restaurant example was a smokescreen, I think the Islam is often going to come up in such discussions because of the fact that Islam is so much a part of guiding the actions of Muslims, and to such varying degrees. From moderate interpretations all the way to fundamentalists. It’s not as secular as Western religions.

          • scott autry

            I was thinking of smokescreen along the lines of an effort by the government to impose Islamic law on everyone. If a Muslim restaurant owner decides to segregate single males from other customers, it isn’t an action based on religion by the state but by an individual…

          • grainbirds

            Oh! I thought you meant Bernie, how funny.

      • scott autry

        He got Sharia Law wrong. I currently live in Saudi Arabia, and what I see practiced (and backed by the government) is like I described in my previous comment. Women can go out without a male family member. Restaurants don’t turn them away. There are two sections for customers. One for single males and the other for everyone else.

        • grainbirds

          That’s interesting, thanks for the clarity. His point is still clear, but it sounds as if the example was factually flawed.

          • scott autry

            I didn’t see the segment, so I can only go on what little I’ve heard about it in this thread, but I doubt his point would work even if Sharia Law did prohibit women from eating in a restaurant alone without a male family member.

            Does he mean Sharia Law as in a code of ethics and morality based on the Koran that an individual seeks to practice in his daily life? Or, a legal code backed by the power of the government? Those are two different things.

            A small business owner seeking to conform to Islamic beliefs is a far cry from the government seeking to impose those beliefs on everyone, and that seems to be the heart of what most of the people here are objecting to:

            So, I would assume they’d have no problem with a Muslim restaurant owner denying service to this or that person based on his faith, just like they are arguing for a Christian one.

            So, it looks like his attempt should have backfired.

          • grainbirds

            “A small business owner seeking to conform to Islamic beliefs is a far cry from the government seeking to impose those beliefs on everyone, and that seems to be the heart of what most of the people here are objecting to…”

            I see your point.

      • IsabellaFord

        Because of the religious conscience component? Plenty of people objected to the civil rights movement for religious reasons. But we are a constitutional republic, not a theocracy, and religious freedom, includes freedom from being persecuted by the religious.

        And what point was she making? She didn̵