Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Daniel2

  1. I think counterfeit forms of love are those that are ultimately self-serving, abusive, parasitic, confusing lust with love, etc. I believe that whatever "evil spirit(s)" that exist(s) are those that possesses us--whether external influencers or the 'darker' reflections of our own spiritual selves--to seek out love that consumes others, or abuses others, or uses others, or misdirects love that is life-affirming, relationship-affirming, selflessness-affirming, service-affirming, etc. 'True' love (if I can speak of absolute 'Truth,' in this sense) seeks to put others', and romantically-speaking, another's, needs and happiness before our own. When we convince ourselves into deception otherwise, it would count as "loving as we should not love." And I think we all are susceptible to that type of pitfall, regardless of the gender(s) of the object(s) of our affection. Taking Nelson's comments in the best possible light, I really like what he said, and I truly agree with him, even though he and I would likely disagree in how and in which scenarios his comments are applicable.
  2. I saw several FB posts about this on my social media feed this morning, and after reading more in context, I'm surprised anyone would think there's anything new or surprising in in what President Nelson is saying. It doesn't strike me as Elder Nelson singling out or criticizing same-sex relationships in a greater manner or moreso than any other sexual behaviors or relationships that the Church considers to be inappropriate. It seems to me that if you're a devout straight LDS young adult, you can (and most likely would) interpret Nelson's words as applying entirely to your straight predilections, and if you're a devout gay LDS young adult, you can (and mostly likely would) interpret Nelson's words as applying entirely to your gay predilections. It's a shame that those that are over blowing this are focusing ONLY on the "love" part of Nelson's words. I think it's also important that he spoke of food consumption and overeating. While LDS culture/belief/practice does a great job emphasizing abstaining from alcohol and all forms of premarital sex, I think many Latter-day Saints (and I include myself as a former one in that designation) don't pay enough attention (or haven't historically) to the health advice about gluttony, abstaining from overeating, or reducing the consumption of meat. Overall, from my perspective, any attempt to imply this talk is about any sort of "condemnation/indictment of gays and/or same-sex relationships" seems like a great over-exaggeration/distortion of Nelson's words. While some critics may see value in trying to read mal-intent into every utterance from the new prophet's words, I don't find that helpful at all, and think it's best to avoid misrepresenting what's been said and focus instead on actual issues.
  3. As has been anticipated by many, the battle ground over religious freedoms vs. civil rights related to sexual orientation isn't over. The next issue seems to be public accomodations, as well as the ongoing issue of taxation of churches engaged in anti-LGBT civil rights initiatives (conservatives are likely to prefer the term "pro-religious liberty" or "defending the First Amendment" instead of being 'anti-LGBT'). Two recent issues in the press, unfortunately, illustrate these issues.
  4. Yes, I'm familiar with Hurley, but thank you for posting it again here, as I think it's always helpful to remind others that may not be as familiar with previous court precedent. As I've said before, it's very possible the court will rule in favor of the bakery on the grounds of freedom of speech (and, as you note, freedom from unjust compelled speech), if it finds that the creation of custom wedding cakes is a First-Amendment-protected expression of such. Through their questioning in Oral Arguments, it seems likely the judges were really grappling with trying to find where the line should be drawn and hoping to tailor any ruling they make as narrowly as possible. And as I've said before, should the court so-rule, I will respect the decision, so long as the same logic is employed as all other protected classes.
  5. Time will tell whether that faith bears fruit or not. I actually agree about the absurdity of and did roll my eyes at the term "equality in sexual reproduction." Nature doesn't "discriminate"--it selects biological processes it's capable of enabling, even when they're limited by the bounds of nature itself and not by the medical advances explored and discovered through science. To suggest otherwise would be a bit much, even for me. ha! I don't think the evolutionary adaptations resulting in procreative processes can credibly be labeled "unequal," since I think, in these types of discussions, our Constitution uses the term "equal" and "equality" from a philosophical/social/political standpoint, even when it clearly doesn't apply to biological characteristics or processes. When the Constitution says "all men are created equal," it isn't contemplating that physical differences and levels of abilities between individuals, genders, races, etc. aren't all "the same." It means that the law will regard them with the same regard, even in the face of such differences. That being said, I can surmise that perhaps the author's invocation of "equality" was still meant in the social/political realm as a pre-emptive strike against those who would deny same-sex couples the same rights that barren opposite-sex couples may be granted, if this technology will ultimately actually become a common practice.
  6. Not one child ever will be born to a same-sex couple.... until children start being born to same-sex couples... As the saying goes, 'never say never.' Get Ready for Embryos From Two Men or Two Women http://time.com/3748019/same-sex-couples-biological-children/ By Dr. Guy Ringler March 18, 2015 Dr. Guy Ringler is a board certified physician in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He is a partner with California Fertility Partners. I’ve helped many same-sex couples over the years have children of their own through assisted reproductive procedures. Egg donation and surrogacy allow two gay men to have children genetically related to one partner and the egg donor, but not to both. It’s the same dynamic for lesbians and sperm donors. I’ve been asked many times by countless same-sex couples over the years: “can we make a baby that’s a combination of both of us?” It’s a question that I’ve considered from a scientific and medical perspective for a long time. Advances in genetic research keep getting us closer to the day when the answer to that question is “yes.” Throughout history, a child has come from a man and a woman. It’s been one of the tenets of anti-gay activists for decades: “Two men can’t have a biological child, and two women can’t have one either.” For some anti-gay people, that seems to make these relationships somehow wrong, as though any relationship that can’t result in a child should somehow be forbidden. They deem it unnatural in the eyes of God. However, science is advancing and may ultimately change all of that. Stem cell research has demonstrated that human skin cells and fibroblasts (a different kind of adult cell) can be turned into embryonic stem cells. Now, researchers at Cambridge University and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel have shown that embryonic stem cells can be programmed to form primordial germ cells. These are the stem cells that can go on to form either eggs or sperm. If scientists can figure out how to turn a primordial germ cell that originated from the skin of a man into an egg, could it be fertilized with his partner’s sperm? Research using primordial germ cells in mice has shown that these cells can be turned into eggs and sperm capable of forming pups (baby mice). Many experiments were required, but tremendous knowledge was gained. The upshot: There likely will be a time when reproductive science could create an embryo from the cells of two men or two women. Anti-gay forces will not want to hear this news, but science will continue to explore it in an attempt to explain biology. This is the role of science in our society: to improve the quality of life of all of us and to advance human equality. Scientific breakthroughs that can help two people who are committed to having children together—regardless of their sex—are inspiring developments. Just like straight couples, many gay men and lesbians are eager to have a genetic relationship with their children. At times, I’ve taken sperm from one gay man and matched it with the eggs of his partner’s sister to create a stronger genetic bond between the couple and their child. But these new scientific developments could bring that process full-circle. There are various scientific obstacles to reaching the point where the cells of two men or two women could make a baby. There will also be ethical debates. Religious and conservative leaders around the world still vehemently oppose same sex marriage and homosexual acts, let alone a gay couple having a child of their own. But no one’s identity—be it race, gender, or sexual orientation—should ever play into the advancement of medicine. What’s important here is that we bring children into this world from a desire to love and provide a happy and healthy environment for their growth. These ingredients can be as powerfully provided by a same-sex couple as they can by heterosexuals. Studies have shown this, and I have seen it first hand in the hundreds of gay families from around the world who I’ve helped to conceive. Medical science has transformed our society for the better in so many ways. It has helped the deaf to hear. It has cured many diseases and is pioneering the genetic targeting of agents to cure cancer. It has lengthened our lives and made them more fulfilling. And it has helped people—gay and straight, black and white, Christian, Jews, and Buddhists—to become parents. When the time comes for two men or two women to have a biological child together, we should embrace it as another positive advancement to a happier world of fulfilled lives. Medical Science has already allowed same-sex parents to biologically reproduce in mice. While there will clearly be ongoing debates about the morality of using stem cells from humans to reproduce for those that are otherwise unable to have children (those who were born unable to have children, developed infertility due to disease or damage, or for same-sex couples), it appears the scientific medicine is close to making that a reality. From a UK news source last month: Same-sex couples could soon be biological parents after a huge scientific breakthrough http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/01/02/same-sex-couples-could-soon-be-biological-parents-after-a-huge-scientific-breakthrough/ 2 January, 2018 by Finn Oldfield UK Pink News A groundbreaking scientific development means same-sex couples may soon be able to be biological parents. Last month, scientists in Britain announced a major breakthrough that means it may one day be possible to artificially produce sperm and eggs from human cells. A milestone has been passed on the way to producing sperm in a laboratory, according to University of Cambridge’s developmental biologist Azim Surani, who was speaking at the Progress Educational Trust annual conference in December. If further steps are made so same-sex couples can use their DNA to produce the sperm or egg, it could make the law less discriminatory. For example, a Mississippi judge ruled last month that a same-sex divorcee did not have legal rights to the child she helped to raise because she wasn’t the biological mother. This could all change with improved technology. Recent tests with stem cells have produced working mice sperm. Other scientists have injected human cells into the testicles of mice that produced cells that looked like sperm, but could not fertilise eggs. The natural process of creating sperm and eggs is known as meoisis. This process only takes 13 days with mice, but can take up to eight weeks with humans. Surani said the cells he and his colleagues have tested have undergone parts of this process, The Guardian has reported. While Surani has not set a date for when artificial sperm and eggs will be available for human use, he has said it is important to get each step right. “If this was ever going to be used in a clinical setting we have to be sure that it has gone through all the right stages – all of these steps are incredibly important,” said Surani. “You can make an egg that looks like an egg, but it might not be the right cell in molecular detail. You could get a lot of problems with that. “You don’t want something that’s going to grow into some kind of abnormal structure,” he added. Helen O’Neill, who directs the reproductive science and women’s health programme at University College London, said human trials were not on the current agenda. “Much of the ambition to recreate reproductive processes in the lab is to further our understanding of these processes,” she said. “It is surprising how little we understand about the fundamental dynamics of the beginnings of life.” While the science isn’t finalised yet, this latest breakthrough represents a major step towards equality in sexual reproduction.
  7. Yes, laws are created by Congress and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land by which Congress's created laws are measured--that's another way of restating what I said, and I agree with both my original statement and your clarification--your statement simply added more specifics. No, I do not consider myself to be an "innocent victim," as I haven't experienced anyone unlawfully denying me goods or services. Those that have been unlawfully denied goods and services that contradict public accommodation laws are victims. Exercising one's right to due processes of law when asking the judicial system to review both the constitutionality of the laws made by Congress, and/or as asking the appellate court system to review lower court's rulings is NOT an example of "bad behavior." I don't believe Mr. Phillips' efforts to seek redress of the rulings against him are "bad behavior," and I've never said his efforts in doing so are what's "bad behavior." If we feel the laws have treated us unfairly, we all are absolutely within our legal right to ask the courts to review the law and the rulings against ourselves in cases like these. You've suggested I have said that attempting to defend one's constitutional rights is "bad behavior," but I have not. You've said that I "don't understand the law," but didn't explain how you believe I do, other than saying that Masterpiece represents two competing First Amendment rights vs. a discrimination law. With respect, Masterpiece isn't being argued as a matter of freedom of religion. If it were, it's unlikely it would be at SCOTUS. Rather, Masterpiece is arguing it's case not on the basis of protecting Mr. Phillips' religious freedom, but as a function of protecting Mr. Phillips' freedom of speech. Masterpiece made their case that, from their view, the law should rule that the act of commercially creating a custom wedding cake should be considered as a First Amendment-protected freedom of speech. While religion informs Mr. Phillips beliefs about why he wishes to decline, First Amendment freedoms of religion aren't being employed by his lawyers as the basis upon which they are seeking SCOTUS to rule in their favor. So, really, this case isn't about religious freedom at all, but about how far the freedom of speech extends and how public accommodation laws should be applied to certain acts of behavior (in this case, creating a custom wedding cake). I am fairly confident I "understand the law" and this case fairly well, given the amount of attention I've devoted to it. Regarding all your nonsense about me "calling Mr. Phillip's behavior 'bad' and you 'calling me on it," I really don't see how you think that's important to the discussion at all. As I've said, we're ALL free to define for ourselves what constitutes 'bad' behavior vs. 'good' behavior. We aren't all free to define for ourselves what constitutes 'legal' behavior vs. 'illegal' behavior. We're all free to seek equal due process of law when we feel we've been wronged. Prior to Obergefell, only opposite-sex couples were free to choose to legally marry one another. Whether or not it was legal to marry someone of the same sex didn't make it 'bad' or 'good' in many peoples' views--and now that it is legal, it still doesn't affect many people's views of whether or not same-sex relationships are legal. Since Obergefell, same-gender couples are now free to legally marry one another on the same grounds as our straight counterparts. Mr. Phillips believes it's 'good behavior' to refuse to create a wedding cake for the marriage of a same-gender couple. I believe it's 'bad behavior' for Mr. Phillips to refuse to create a wedding cake for a same-gender couple, not only from an ethical standpoint, but it was also illegal for him to do so (and every court who's weighed in on the case thus far agrees, which is where the law currently stands and will continue to stand up until and unless SCOTUS rules otherwise). I don't believe it's 'bad behavior' for Mr. Phillips to ask the court to consider the constitutionality of the laws about the creation of wedding cakes; that's his right. What would be 'bad behavior' would be for either Mr. Phillips or I to refuse to comply with however SCOTUS rules on the matter. Mr. Phillips believes it's bad behavior for me to engage in same-sex behaviors and marriage between same-sex couples. Up until Lawrence and later Obergefell, the law agreed with him; in the wake of both rulings, the law agrees with me. Those rulings clearly don't matter to Mr. Phillips; he still believes same-sex behavior and marriage are sinful, and just as I am free to consider his refusal to server others in the name of Jesus as 'bad behavior,' regardless of it's legality, he's likewise also entirely justified in believing same-sex behaviors are sinful, regardless of what the law says. What he and I are both free to believe what we like, when it comes to the law, we have to obey the law after seeking redress up to the highest levels of the judicial system and our defense is still rejected. In all of the above I've said in this paragraph, I find no hypocrisy. This is the last I intend to speak about that. D
  8. I’m curious as to how active Mormons vs. in/non/never-Mormons May perceive if/how religion has been used as a justification for discrimination throughout history. Please feel free to elaborate discuss on you’re views after taking the poll in the comments below.
  9. Huh....?? Each of us is empowered to define for ourselves what we view as "bad behavior." Just as Mr. Phillips (and anyone else) is is free to view any given type of sexual relationship(s) as "bad behavior," I am free to view using his religious beliefs to deny goods and services to someone else as "bad behavior." You don't have to agree with me, just as I don't have to agree with you or Mr. Phillips. The law, however, is not based on any one individual's decision about what constitutes "bad behavior"--including me, or you, or Mr. Phillips. Laws are created by the government and weighed by the government against the Constitution. In America, only those laws deemed to be Constitutional are those that endure. In fact, when it comes to "bad behavior" and legislation, I'd guess that there are likely many behaviors which most of us would consider "bad" which are still entirely legal. The law distinguishes between legal behavior and illegal behavior. I'd wager that most of us would agree that not everything that's legal is "good," and not everything that's illegal is "bad." I haven't made any sweeping pronouncements about "bad behavior" vs "good behavior" in any of my comments, except in response to others' employment of the terms. Candidly, I'm confused about your line of questioning and what your point really is... If you'd care to clarify, I'm happy to try to understand your point. If you cannot show I'm a hypocrite, I'd ask that you please stop accusing me of such. D
  10. No, I haven't moved any goal posts. I continue to assert that Mr. Phillips IS engaging in a bad behavior that I am NOT engaging in. Mr. Phillips is seeking to refuse goods and services to a same-sex couple based on the nature of their wedding. That is bad behavior. I don't seek to refuse goods and services based on people's religion, gender, or sexual orientation. There are no circumstances in which I would propose that I should be exempt from providing the same services to everyone as I would based on any protected classifications. Mr. Phillips and I obviously have different opinions on what constitutes bad behavior and what doesn't. And it appears you and I do, as well. Not sure where hypocrisy comes into it at all. D
  11. Hi, Anijen, I think you're missing much of my point. If were to answer your questions literally as you've asked them, here's what I'd say: The First Amendment, which preserves freedom of speech and freedom of religious belief, is what "makes it OK" (at least, from a civil-rights-based and/or legal perspective) for any of us to call other individuals' behaviors "bad," according to a) our own personal belief system and b) according to our freedom of speech. That means it is the First Amendment that allows that Jack Phillips and Christians or Latter-day Saints in general can call my relationship sinful, can call engaging in homosexual relationships "bad behavior," and can excommunicate married homosexuals from your churches based on your view that our behavior is "bad." In a similar fashion, as a Unitarian Universalist who believes it's "bad behavior" to refuse to serve someone in the name of God and/or Religion, and also believes it's "bad behavior" for anyone to assert that one's religion exempts themselves from public accommodation laws, the First Amendment allows me to speak of Mr. Phillips behavior as "bad. What any of us view to be examples of "perfectly honest faithful" depends on our belief system. For example, you feel that Mr. Phillips is an example of "perfect honesty and faith," and view me to be "behaving badly" by engaging in same-sex behavior within a committed, faithful, and honest marriage with a member of my own gender. My belief is that Mr. Phillips' refusal to serve customers based on the type of marriage they're choosing is reprehensible and has no place in American society not only because it dishonors American ideals of equality under the law, but it also undermines religious freedom by elevating any given business owners' "deeply-held religious beliefs" over those of their customers'. For over 50 years, America has accepted the Civil Rights Act as the law which governs our society, including the requirements it establishes and the sanctions/punishments which it enacts upon those that break the law. You suggest I am a hypocrite if I seek to "persecute" someone by expecting the law to be equally administered to all. Are you saying that The Civil Rights Act and Public Accommodation Laws are forms of "persecution"? Do you believe atheist shop owners would accurately be classified as "persecuted" if said atheist owners had to face legal sanctions if they refused to bake cakes for LDS customers who are getting married in the temple? I am not suggesting that business owners who deny services based on religious beliefs should be "persecuted" in the name of some imaginary belief that I've personally been "persecuted." I'm asking that the law be equally applied to us all, which is the antithesis of hypocrisy, not a demonstration of it. Perhaps you didn't read the article I quoted about tolerance, which itself said that in order to workably preserve the greatest amount of tolerance in a civil society, there ultimately must be a limit to tolerance, lest the intolerant minority eventually over throw the tolerant majority. I think I've explained what Jack Phillips' "bad behavior is" (see answers 1 & 2). I don't follow what you mean by "instead of mea culpa it is excuses." With all of the above being said, though, Anijen, from my perspective, I simply claim the same legal rights and civil consideration and entitlement that Mr. Phillips, his religion, his views, and his actions receive--no more, no less. If baking a custom wedding cake is considered First Amendment-protected Freedom of Speech, I will accept that ruling as lawful and binding, as long as that's true for ALL custom wedding cake bakers; that means anyone can refuse a custom wedding cake to anyone at any time. That is the requirement of Due Process and Equal Application of the Law. If the law or the impending ruling singles out same-sex weddings as the only exception, but requires custom wedding cakes to be baked for customers regardless of religion, race, veteran status, etc., then it will be an unjust and unconstitutional ruling which I expect would eventually be successfully challenged in court. D
  12. Hey, Erik and Kiwi, Thanks for respecting the Mod's request to avoid personal insults and stay on topic going forward. D
  13. I realize you didn't explicitly say it's a joint decision, but if posters only read the title of the article and your words, it would be easy to make the mistake of assuming that neither political party has come to a consensus of how civil rights should be implemented in the public square. While simultaneously claiming that Democrats are being political over this issue, you now assert it's disingenuous to suggest Republicans are playing politics. The evidence you post on this is Republicans explanations of why they couldn't continue funding, and you expect us to take those words at face value. In my view, actions speak louder than words. While I originally typed a lot more, I decided to delete it all and I ask that we all cease discussing this tangent--it's beyond the scope of this thread, is against board rules, and would likely get the thread closed.
  14. The bolded portion above really tells me/us all we really need to know about where you're coming from and the foundation upon which your views are based. It's clear that even after our government has recognized my equal civil right of marriage, you continue to deny that right, despite it being written into law and ruled upon at every level up to it's highest. So long as you refuse to view my marriage as "authentic" from a civil standpoint, despite our government's designation of it as such, there's little point in engaging with you in discussion about whether or not the government and our nation's laws should treat it equally to interracial marriage, religious marriage, mixed-religious marriage, non-religious marriage, etc.
  15. Did you read the updated version of the article you posted....? This wasn't the result of a "joint" decision--the Democrats voted to continue the funding, the Republicans refused, and their inaction resulted in the failure of future funding. The Republican decision to defund the Colorado State Civil Rights division is seen as a purely political bully tactic. You see, the Colorado State Civil Rights division is the agency that found against Masterpiece Cakes--the case currently before SCOTUS. And with the Republican majority's current stance that religious shop owners should be allowed to discriminate, their recent vote to defund the Civil Rights Commission has been described as both payback and a way to impede the commission from upholding existing civil rights laws. From the article:
  16. Once again, that simply is NOT true. The type of discrimination prohibited by the Civil Rights Act and public accommodation laws prevents instances of "bad behavior" (as I've used it and in the context of your accusation, 'discriminating against someone based on the wedding event encompassing their choice of spouse or choice of wedding venue or choice of religious/non-religious ceremony, etc.') of ANY kind and has been subject to punishment up to and potentially including financial obliteration based on ANY protected class, including: Race. Color. Religion or creed. National origin or ancestry. Sex. Age. Physical or mental disability. Veteran status. It's just that all 'bad behavior' (of discriminating against one's customers based on the above list) are already matters of settled law... yet you keep omitting these protected classes and only direct your outrage at gay and lesbian Americans asking for the same (equal) treatments and protections.
  17. The analogy isn't flawed, because both examples rely upon the very same legal principles, precedent, and application, even as the details always very from any case to another. Piggy Park Enterprises never said he hated black people or didn't want to serve them; he cited his religious belief objecting to the ACT of integrating whites and blacks together in the same space. Further, you know as well as I that public accommodation aspects of anti-discrimination law prohibit and prevent business owners to refuse to provide goods or services to the following ACTIONS/EVENTS: Interracial marriages (were it not so, business owners could claim that they aren't denying service based on RACE, just on the EVENT of a mixed-race MARRIAGE, which is an action/event, not the people's race, even if he were HAPPY to bake interracial couples cakes for ANY other occasion). Religious marriages of ANY creed--or for those with no Faith at all (were it not so, business owners could claim that they aren't denying service based on RELIGION, just on the EVENT of a Mormon/Jewish/Catholic/Atheist MARRIAGE, which is an action/event, not the people's religion, even if he were HAPPY to bake Mormon/Jewish/Catholic/Athiest couples cakes for ANY other occasion). Intergenerational marriages (were it not so, business owners could claim that they aren't denying service based on AGE, just on the EVENT of an intergenerational MARRIAGE, which is an action/event, not the people's ages, even if he were HAPPY to bake intergenerational couples cakes for ANY other occasion). Mixed-ability marriages (were it not so, business owners could claim that they aren't denying service based on disability status, just on the EVENT of a mixed-ability MARRIAGE, which is an action/event, not the people's ableness, even if he were HAPPY to bake mixed-ability couples cakes for ANY other occasion). Military weddings for those in active duty or retired veterans (were it not so, business owners could claim that they aren't denying service based on the couples' military service, just on the EVENT of a military-related MARRIAGE, which is an action/event, not the people's status as active/retired military, even if he were HAPPY to bake veteran couples cakes for ANY other occasion). Kiwi, it seems like you want to make this current round of application all about gays wanting to destroy the family-businesses of anyone who disagrees with them. Yet you seemingly ignore the reality that the ACTIONS/WEDDINGS of those of other classes are protected from discrimination in the very same way you're loudly decrying the alledged "entitlement" that I am supposedly feeling. Wanting to be treated the SAME way as everyone else is NOT "entitlement"--it's EQUALITY. When the law protects EVERYONE else's CHOICE religion (or the chosen EVENT of their religious-based wedding), or when the law protects EVERYONE else's race (or the chosen EVENT to marry someone of another race), or when the law protects EVERYONE"s military service (or the CHOSEN event to have a military wedding), or when the law protects EVERYONE else's gender---then the Constitution--------NOT my sense of entitlement----states that ALL of us are created and are to be treated equally. In my case and under current public accommodations law, that means that for I and those like me, the law must treat our choice to marry someone of the same gender the same as it does everyone else. If I am entitled, it is because I expect my government to honor the contract it proclaims to make with each of us as citizens. No, I am not entitled--I am GRATEFUL to be a citizen where I can share in the dream of equality for all, while rolling up my sleeves and joining the hard work to make us "a more perfect union." Now... when it comes right down to it, I acknowledge and understand that you think the whole public accommodation law system should be done away with. As such, I really don't see that attempting to convince you that gays should be free from discrimination on the same terms as everyone else is going to be fruitful, since you don't buy into the entire notion of anti-discrimination law. You want businesses to be free to be as intolerant as they wish. Since you reject the principles upon which the entire system depends, it's pointless to try to convince you that gays should have it, so I intend to stop trying to convince you otherwise. While I think you're tilting at windmills to try to throw out public accommodation law, go for it--it's a free country. What I will continue to defend against, however, is any ongoing insinuations or efforts by you or anyone else demean, belittle, or mischaracterize gay and lesbian Americans as overly-entitled, snowflake individuals who expect any type of special rights that are irrational, unjust, outlandish, and/or horrific that don't already equally apply to all the rest of American citizens, up to and including the ability to destroy 'family owned' businesses who attempt to discriminate against their fellow American citizens based on events related to any status of protected classifications, even when attempting to invoke their 'deeply-held religious beliefs.' Best to you, D
  18. I might just as easily ask, "Committing to the love of my life and uniting ourselves as a family, as husbands, fathers, grandfathers, lovemates, lifemates, and caregivers, to have and to hold, for richer or poorer, in sickness or in health, through a sacred covenant of marriage is considered 'bad behavior'...?" As beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, as one man's trash is another man's treasure, as one father's 'birthright' is another father's 'mess of pottage,' what some call "bad behavior" is another's "following one's religious beliefs." My Unitarian Universalist Faith holds marriage between a man and a woman, or between two women, or between to women as sacred celebrations in which the entire congregation rejoices, celebrates, supports, and blesses. In the LDS Faith, marriage between two women or two men is apostasy and likely results in excommunication. Refusing to bake a cake for someone who doesn't share one's religious beliefs may be a respected act of 'following one's religious beliefs' in your neck of the woods. In mine, it's bad behavior in the vein of that corrosive sin of Sodom, inhospitality. Perspective makes all the difference. Regardless of what we each may feel, soon we'll all see if our nation's government considers a business baking a custom wedding cake as First-Amendment-protected freedom of speech.
  19. Yes, I think we are agreed. You may have noticed that in my former comments I even avoided using the politically-charged term of "hate speech." I did so because I didn't want to use that term, which, as you noted, can so easily be misconstrued, misunderstood, or misapplied in conversations like these.
  20. Let's not dance around the issues and both be clear and candid about what we're both proposing about intolerance: I am absolutely transparent that I am intolerant of discrimination in the public sphere based on race, color, religion, national origin, and disability---even if it means 'family-owned' businesses face financial sanctions, whether or not they lead up to the closure of said businesses. Are you? Or do you support doing away with public accommodation laws prohibiting discrimination? Instead of hiding behind Bible-based, religiously-wordy hypotheticals like "depriving" family-owned businesses from "earning their daily bread." let's look at an actual historical case: Newman vs. Piggy Park Enterprises is a good example of the principles we're discussing, including the financial punishments imposed. I believe that the final rulings imposing financial sanctions against the religiously-devout Baptist "family man" and his "family-owned" restaurants were decided correctly and resulted in the preferred outcome. Once again, do you? Or d you believe Mr. Bessinger should have been allowed to continue refusing service based on his deeply-held religious beliefs (and/or his status as 'family-owned,' which seems to be significant to you, though I'm not sure the law views it that way)?
  21. Somehow I missed this post earlier and just saw it now. I appreciate the acknowledgements at the beginning, and am happy to not take anything you wrote previously as a personal affront. Additionally, I hope it's clear that when it comes to speech, I highly value reasoned and respectful debate from all sides of the issue, because I think we all benefit when opposing views aren't silenced or censured. The only speech that becomes questionable is that which is intended to provoke to unnecessary violence. When 'the intolerant' began to call for violence upon those professing tolerance, for example, said speech crosses into uncomfortable territory. That's how I read the comments I quoted from, and about which I'm still learning and pondering, myself.
  22. It's definitely true that politicians and judges--human as we all are--don't always get it 'right' the first time. But as I've said before, I agree with Dr. King's oft-expressed sentiment that "the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice." And like Dr. King, I consider public accommodation laws to be examples of law bending toward that very justice to which he was referring.
  23. I entirely agree. And that truth cuts both ways, regardless of where any of us may be on the spectrum. That perfectly illustrates how I don't feel contempt for Jack Phillips, despite his bad behavior, nor are my feelings on anti-discrimination law based on contempt for him or even the religion he espouses.
  24. I'm not sure why that's a "huge problem," unless one's life is ruled solely by slogan-based methodology. After all, lots of ideas can be boiled down to slogans. Thankfully, the law doesn't rely on slogans, nor does it rely on ANY given individual's assertion of what/whom should be tolerated or what/whom shouldn't be--not even by the one occupying the most powerful leadership position in our nation. Instead, laws are measured against the Constitution, and if challenged, go through a complex process--passing through multiple courtrooms before multiple judges at multiple levels establishing reams of legal precedent--precedent that relies on methodical examination, measurement, judgement, and decision based on the merits of the evidence--not by the trite reduction of any slogan-based idea or self-imposed ideology of any given individual.
  25. And our good friend Wikipedia offers some additional food for thought under the entry "The Paradox of Tolerance": He concluded that we are warranted in refusing to tolerate intolerance: "We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant." In 1971, philosopher John Rawls concludes in A Theory of Justice that a just society must tolerate the intolerant, for otherwise, the society would then itself be intolerant, and thus unjust. However, Rawls also insists, like Popper, that society has a reasonable right of self-preservation that supersedes the principle of tolerance: "While an intolerant sect does not itself have title to complain of intolerance, its freedom should be restricted only when the tolerant sincerely and with reason believe that their own security and that of the institutions of liberty are in danger."[2][3] In a 1997 work, Michael Walzer asked "Should we tolerate the intolerant?" He notes that most minority religious groups who are the beneficiaries of tolerance are themselves intolerant, at least in some respects. In a tolerant regime, such people may learn to tolerate, or at least to behave "as if they possessed this virtue".[4] Thomas Jefferson had already addressed the notion of a tolerant society in his first inaugural speech, concerning those who might destabilise the country and its unity, saying, "...let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it."[5] Tolerance and freedom of speech[edit] The paradox of tolerance is important in the discussion of what, if any, boundaries are to be set on freedom of speech. Popper asserted that to allow freedom of speech to those who would use it to eliminate the very principle upon which they rely is paradoxical.[6] Rosenfeld states "it seems contradictory to extend freedom of speech to extremists who... if successful, ruthlessly suppress the speech of those with whom they disagree," and points out that the Western European Democracies and the United States have opposite approaches to the question of tolerance of hate speech.[7] Others argue that intolerant speech, which is merely a signalling of exclusionary attitude, ought to be subject to a different standard of justification than violent or repressive (direct) action based on exclusionary attitude. “Violent action on the basis of ‘my’ dogma justifies violence everywhere, on the basis of everyone’s dogma.”[8] Criticism of violent intolerance against instances of intolerant speech is also characteristic of Discourse Ethics developed by Jürgen Habermas[9] and Karl-Otto Apel[10] . "The means of reaching agreement are repeatedly thrust aside by the instruments of force." (Ibid. Habermas) Homophily and intolerance[edit] The relation between homophily (a preference for interacting with those with similar traits) and intolerance is manifested when a tolerant person is faced with the dilemma of choosing between establishing a positive relationship with a tolerant individual of a dissimilar group, or establishing a positive relationship with an intolerant group member. In the first case, the intolerant in-group member disapproves the established link with an other-group individual, leading necessarily to a negative relationship with his tolerant equal; while in the second case, the negative relationship toward the other-group individual is endorsed by the intolerant in-group member and promotes a positive relationship between them.