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Nathair/|\

The State Vs. Religious Freedom.

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This Patheos column argues that our governments are using the tax code to penalize people for exercising their religious liberty. She also argues that forcing business owners to host events that are against their religion is a violation of religious liberty. She uses ssm as an example to illustrate her point, but the point she is making is significantly broader than that. Personally, it disturbs me whenever personal liberty is violated, unless the actions are a violation of someone elses personal rights (eg. nonvoluntary human sacrifice.)

What do you think?

Yours under the liberty loving oaks,

Nathair /|\

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This Patheos column argues that our governments are using the tax code to penalize people for exercising their religious liberty. She also argues that forcing business owners to host events that are against their religion is a violation of religious liberty. She uses ssm as an example to illustrate her point, but the point she is making is significantly broader than that. Personally, it disturbs me whenever personal liberty is violated, unless the actions are a violation of someone elses personal rights (eg. nonvoluntary human sacrifice.)

What do you think?

Yours under the liberty loving oaks,

Nathair /|\

I am in agreement with you on this. There are sufficient sources for goods and services that a business should not be coerced to provide that which is contary to their moral standards. I'm all for letting the marketplace solve the problem. You know the supply and demand thing.

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The issue is really complex. The US normally doesn't get involved in resolving moral issues such as who can get married where. By the same token it does have public accomodations laws.

I don't know the answer to this one.

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http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=42142

The article addresses two stories that point to a foreboding trend as the Homosexual Equivalency Activists use recent legislative and judicial actions to advance their cultural revolution.

Story one

"When Cuomo was recently asked about the right of clerks, invoking their religious rights, not to issue marriage licenses to gays, he said, "The law is the law. You enforce the law as is; you don't get to pick and choose those laws." (Ironically, this could be read as an indictment of President Obama: he is under oath to enforce federal legislation, yet he manifestly refuses to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act.)

"Rice is even bolder. She has put clerks on notice: either grant homosexuals marriage licenses or else. In a letter she wrote to municipal clerks, she warned that not complying "may constitute official misconduct, a Class A misdemeanor."

IMO, I don't believe the clerks have any maneuvering room in this case and I personally would find another job if I was in their shoes

Story two

Next, the Associated Press reported the use of anti-discrimination legislation against Catholic Innkeepers in a story entitled "Lesbian couple: Vt. resort barred reception." The ACLU represents the lesbian couple who have sued two Catholic Innkeepers who would not host their wedding reception.

The innkeepers noted "We have never refused rooms or dining or employment to gays or lesbians.Many of our guests have been same-sex couples. We welcome and treat all people with respect and dignity. We do not however, feel that we can offer our personal services wholeheartedly to celebrate the marriage between same-sex couples because it goes against everything that we as Catholics believe in."

In the past I warned of the "Two Step" of the New Censors. The effort seeks to exclude our positions from being heard in the public square or from influencing the positive/civil law. Those who oppose our positions on matters such as the Right to Life for every human being from conception to natural death and the normative nature of the two parent, marriage bound family seek first to relegate our truth claims to being "religious positions." Then they take the next step, they require that these truth claims be confined to expression only within our Church Walls - or else we will face the Police power of the State.

I'm curious what the result of this particular case will be since I believe same-sex couples will desire to sue vendors that don't wish to offer the same services that are offered to straight couples. I wouldn't want to be in these innkeepers shoes. It's a brave new world. :sorry:

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Didn't businesses used to be able to post a sign like "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" or " No shirt,no shoes - no service" If a business is open to the public do the laws now require that they serve anyone? Is a bank required to serve a man who wants to bring in a weapon? Is an airline required to accomodate a 600 lb woman? Is a restaurant required to serve a 'typhoid Mary' ? No. They can establish restrictions. Now,that said, they cannot discriminate because of race,religion etc.

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Didn't businesses used to be able to post a sign like "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" or " No shirt,no shoes - no service" If a business is open to the public do the laws now require that they serve anyone? Is a bank required to serve a man who wants to bring in a weapon? Is an airline required to accomodate a 600 lb woman? Is a restaurant required to serve a 'typhoid Mary' ? No. They can establish restrictions. Now,that said, they cannot discriminate because of race,religion etc.

Why not?

What business is it of the state's if a businessman choses to forego income from certain people, based on any criteria he decides are good for him? Why is the businessman denied the right to choose those with whom he associates, when no one else is required to get along without that right?

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers

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each quote from separate sources

The ACLU has file suit against a Vermont inn over the decision of its Catholic proprietors not to host a lesbian wedding. The suit is filed under Vermont's Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act, which predated the state legislature's approval of same-sex marriage in 2009. The issues in the suit are not as clear-cut as they might seem: the Fair Housing and Public Accommodations statute prohibits inns from denying goods or services based on sexual orientation.
“After our conversation,” the e-mail reads, according to the lawsuit, “I checked with my innkeepers and unfortunately due to their personal feelings, they do not host gay receptions at our facility.”
The Wildflower Inn is owned by a “devout, practicing Catholic family who believes in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman,”

So a "christian" makes a oath/covenant/contract with the State and the People, but now the upstanding "christian" will not keep the oath/covenant/contract with the State or the People. The public accommodations law in Vermont predate ssm in Vermont, these inn keepers must have been living under a rock to not realize that public accommodation laws have been used against others. They agreed to public accommodations and they have refused to honor the law.

I would also add that the pathos author is seemingly just fine with forcing religion on everyone; which is counter to her entire premise of freedom.

Edited by frankenstein

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So a "christian" makes a oath/covenant/contract with the State and the People,

CFR that the "christian [sic]" made an oath or a covenant, or even a contract (they are not the same thing, though you appear to have treated them as if they were) with any one.

Just because the state rams a law down our throats does not mean we have entered into such an agreement. Why does the innkeeper lose his right to freedom of association merely because he chooses to engage in a form of human activity the state (falsely*) assumes is in its purview?

* But as the state has more guns, bigger guns, and better guns than any of us, it is always right, as might makes right, doncha know?

Lehi

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Just because the state rams a law down our throats does not mean we have entered into such an agreement. Why does the innkeeper lose his right to freedom of association merely because he chooses to engage in a form of human activity the state (falsely*) assumes is in its purview?

* But as the state has more guns, bigger guns, and better guns than any of us, it is always right, as might makes right, doncha know?

Lehi

He doesn't lose his right to freedom of association. That is just you, engaging in hyperbole.

As a business owner, he must comply with federal, state and local laws, governing his business operations. This is just another such law.

BTW, I thought Mormons believed in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, and in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

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CFR that the "christian [sic]" made an oath or a covenant, or even a contract (they are not the same thing, though you appear to have treated them as if they were) with any one.

Lehi

see my original post in this thread and you will find the reference you seek, also, see the pathos article and you will find the reference you seek

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BTW, I thought Mormons believed in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, and in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

Ugh, we do Jaybear, no one suggested otherwise. Lehi is not advocating for anarchy.

I think some of these laws are "misguided". To use one of Honest Obe's favorite words.

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He doesn't lose his right to freedom of association. That is just you, engaging in hyperbole.

If the law threatens him with loss of life, limb, or property because he chooses not to associate with people the law requires he does, then how has he not lost the right of association?

As a business owner, he must comply with federal, state and local laws, governing his business operations. This is just another such law.

It is another such law, but the question is, how is this a just law? The fact of its legality is not the issue. It is its morality.

I thought Mormons believed in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, and in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

What's that have to do with anything?

We can uphold the law without recognizing it as a moral law. We can object to the law, we can even act in civil disobedience, as we did 140 years ago. That does not mean we do not sustain, honor and obey legitimate laws.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers

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see my original post in this thread and you will find the reference you seek, also, see the pathos article and you will find the reference you seek

Not seeing it. Please spell it out, as I am obviously inferior to you.

There's nothing there showing how the "christian [sic]" entered in to a covenant, made an oath, or signed a contract.

Lehi

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Not seeing it. Please spell it out, as I am obviously inferior to you.

There's nothing there showing how the "christian [sic]" entered in to a covenant, made an oath, or signed a contract.

Lehi

the cfr you want is self evident, and there is no need to "spell it out", you have made similar denials concerning very similar situations. your denials, and the denials of many others, of the "christian" business duty to honor the law have been noted in other threads and so there is no reason to rehash. and for the CFR of your denials please see just about any thread wherein you and I comment on the New Jersey Church which did not want to follow the law; but rather sought to have it cake and eat it too.

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I see the municipal clerk/license issue fundamentally different than that of a pharmacist who doesn't want to dispense RU486 or an obgyn who refuses to do abortions or a florist who doesn't want to arrange for a same sex marriage ---- the arm of the state requires that those who administer such duties do it without consideration of their personal feelings about the law. Not so when we are talking about private people who should not be slaves to other's notions of propriety. But we have accepted that because for a long time people discriminated based on race or sex or national origin or disabilities --- things that those people had no personal power to change. Now the LGBT community wants the world to consider same sex families and marriages and relationships in the same category (and there is some evidence that some ss feelings ARE at least biologically influenced in some cases).

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the cfr you want is self evident, and there is no need to "spell it out", you have made similar denials concerning very similar situations. your denials, and the denials of many others, of the "christian" business duty to honor the law have been noted in other threads and so there is no reason to rehash. and for the CFR of your denials please see just about any thread wherein you and I comment on the New Jersey Church which did not want to follow the law; but rather sought to have it cake and eat it too.

Which cake did they have and which did they eat?

No, you have not given me anything to work with. Where did the "christian [sic]" make a covenant? He did not.

You assert he did. I want to see it. And, when you think you have found it, please recall that the right of association is just as much an unalienable one as life or the pursuit of happiness. The government can compel you to forgo it, but it is still yours, and the state is wrong for taking it from you.

The question is, "who owns you?" If it is anyone other than "yourself" (or, in LDS parlance, if you are not steward of yourself, then who is?), then you are a slave to whoever that other entity is.

Lehi

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Which cake did they have and which did they eat? No, you have not given me anything to work with. Where did the "christian [sic]" make a covenant? He did not. You assert he did. I want to see it. And, when you think you have found it, please recall that the right of association is just as much an unalienable one as life or the pursuit of happiness. The government can compel you to forgo it, but it is still yours, and the state is wrong for taking it from you. The question is, "who owns you?" If it is anyone other than "yourself" (or, in LDS parlance, if you are not steward of yourself, then who is?), then you are a slave to whoever that other entity is.

Lehi

the board has been well versed concerning the truth of the New Jersey Church, and you have your interpretation. I am fine with that. I am not sure about Vermont, or many other State Constitution, but it is my impression that State Constitutions are modeled after the US Constitution, and the respective legislatures have power over commerce, thus I tend to agree with the public accommodations law.

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it is my impression that State Constitutions are modeled after the US Constitution, and the respective legislatures have power over commerce, thus I tend to agree with the public accommodations law.

The fact that a constitution gives the state the power to do something does not mean that thing is moral. No legitimate state power can abrogate an unalienable right.

The fact that the state forces a man to give up his right to freedom of association in order to exercise his right to earn a living is, ipso facto, immoral.

Immoral laws are, by their nature, not to be observed, although the bigger, better, and more numerous guns of the state make transgressing these immoral laws inadvisable.

Lehi

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I am in agreement with you on this. There are sufficient sources for goods and services that a business should not be coerced to provide that which is contary to their moral standards. I'm all for letting the marketplace solve the problem. You know the supply and demand thing.

Are you actually saying that the government has no business forcing the LDS Church to perform gay marriage ceremonies in their temples? Preposterous! (tic)

Perhaps such a thing will be forced upon us some day. It might just count as the "abomination of desolation."

Edited by Fig-bearing Thistle

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Didn't businesses used to be able to post a sign like "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" or " No shirt,no shoes - no service" If a business is open to the public do the laws now require that they serve anyone? Is a bank required to serve a man who wants to bring in a weapon? Is an airline required to accomodate a 600 lb woman? Is a restaurant required to serve a 'typhoid Mary' ? No. They can establish restrictions. Now,that said, they cannot discriminate because of race,religion etc.

Hi Blackstrap,

I understand your caveat towards race, religion and so forth.

But you don't have to go back that far in time to a point when "Whites Only" or "No Women Allowed" signs were in usage.

In regards to discrimination on religious grounds, as it pertains to the topic, the owners of the place in Nathair's cited article were Catholic and were discriminating on what I think would conceivably be religious grounds.

Is a sign that says "No Gay/Lesbian Weddings" that much different than a sign that seeks to exclude any other group? We are talking about a business that operates publicly and is a for profit company. Unless we are talking about 600lb., typhoid ridden, armed lesbians then I don't think your hyperbole applies.

I am with TSS on the issue. It's complicated.

I don't think the government is a good method of arbitrating the issue. If "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is the end goal.. then the govt. would have to arbitrarily decide who's happiness is the most/least infringed and judge accordingly. Regardless, the government is the best thing we have got for such. God help us.

Regards,

Mudcat

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You assert he did. I want to see it. And, when you think you have found it, please recall that the right of association is just as much an unalienable one as life or the pursuit of happiness. The government can compel you to forgo it, but it is still yours, and the state is wrong for taking it from you.

I think you are confusing freedom of association, which is actually not found in the constitution, but derived by "activist judges" from the other enumerated first amendment rights, with a right that does not exist ... the right not to serve people you don't like or I suppose freedom FROM association.

Even then, no one is forcing the couple to operate a hotel in Vermont. By doing so, they are obligated to follow the rules and regulation that govern all similarly situated hotels.

Interesting that of all the rules that hotel owners are forced to abide by, the one rule that you find to be "immoral" is the one that says they can't discriminate. You and I obviously have a fundamental disagreement over what conduct is immoral.

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I think you are confusing freedom of association, which is actually not found in the constitution, but derived by "activist judges" from the other enumerated first amendment rights, with a right that does not exist ... the right not to serve people you don't like or I suppose freedom FROM association.

The freedom to associate with those one chooses is found in the Constitution ("the right of the people to peaceably assemble": Art of Amendment I; "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." Art of Amendment IX)

Even then, no one is forcing the couple to operate a hotel in Vermont. By doing so, they are obligated to follow the rules and regulation that govern all similarly situated hotels.

While true, it is wholly immaterial. One does force them to earn a living somehow, and their rightful choice of operating a hotel (a truly public accommodation) does not require that they, except in the face of (the threat of) lethal force, give up their right to freedom of association.

That other hostellers are similarly constrained in their freedom does not make a case that he must follow an inherently immoral law. The others should not be forced, either.

Interesting that of all the rules that hotel owners are forced to abide by, the one rule that you find to be "immoral" is the one that says they can't discriminate. You and I obviously have a fundamental disagreement over what conduct is immoral.

Immoral conduct is conduct that harms another person. It does not harm anyone if I, as a businessman, choose to deny service to those who have no prior right to that service. The state's telling me that people have a legal (not a moral) right to my service is to make me a slave.

The right to my services arises solely from an agreement I reach freely with the second party or which, by my actions toward him, comes about because I have harmed him earlier. No one has a right to make me serve him absent one or the other of these conditions.

The offering of my services to others does not create an obligation to serve all people. If I choose to deny myself the benefits of that person’s money in exchange for my services, I have harmed no one but myself.

If I were travelling through Nevada, and a tire on my car blew out, the only local (nine miles away) tire dealer has no obligation to repair my tire, even though I have rolled it the entire distance. He can refuse me service based on his hatred of "Mormons", or the fact that I am left handed, or wear glasses, or I'm taller than him. It's his tire, not mine. It's his store, not mine, his equipment, his business. I have no right to his service. He's an idiot, perhaps, because my money is just as valuable as anyone else's, but his setting up a tire store does not create a right in me to receive his services. He can throw me out of the store, and unless he assaults me or harms me in another way, I'll have to find a different solution to my problem.

Lehi

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Hope all is well in your life, Mudcat. Good to have you back.

I don't think the government is a good method of arbitrating the issue. If "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is the end goal.. then the govt. would have to arbitrarily decide who's happiness is the most/least infringed and judge accordingly. Regardless, the government is the best thing we have got for such. God help us.

You are right that government is a lousy arbiter of these things. You are wrong, however, when saying that it's all we have.

We have a much better tool, and it works every time any one tries it, however rare that may be. It's the marketplace.

If a lesbian couple wants to make a fortune in Vermont, they should set up a hotel that caters to lesbians. Or, if anonther person wants to make that fortune, he should do the same. There is no legitimate reason to force any one who does not want to provide a service into doing so. Alternatives always exist, although they may not be immediately available. Making others slaves to accommodate third parties is still making them slaves.

Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
I teach [the Saints] correct principles and they govern themselves.

Lehi

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He doesn't lose his right to freedom of association. That is just you, engaging in hyperbole.

As a business owner, he must comply with federal, state and local laws, governing his business operations. This is just another such law.

BTW, I thought Mormons believed in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, and in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

I bet you were a great advocate of 1930's Russia

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If I were travelling through Nevada, and a tire on my car blew out, the only local (nine miles away) tire dealer has no obligation to repair my tire, even though I have rolled it the entire distance. He can refuse me service based on his hatred of "Mormons", or the fact that I am left handed, or wear glasses, or I'm taller than him. It's his tire, not mine. It's his store, not mine, his equipment, his business. I have no right to his service. He's an idiot, perhaps, because my money is just as valuable as anyone else's, but his setting up a tire store does not create a right in me to receive his services. He can throw me out of the store, and unless he assaults me or harms me in another way, I'll have to find a different solution to my problem.

Lehi

You are 100% correct. The state is setting up a law that requires you to offer services were you should have the choice because you own the business, the government does not own it but they pretend they do.

let's say I set up a hair cutting business. And I will only cut people's hair that resides in my neighborhood. Do I have a right to do that? Or do I need to accept people out side of my neighborhood? If not why, if I do why?

Edited by Mola Ram Suda Ram

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