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Christians Again Forced To Do Artwork For LGBT

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4 hours ago, Calm said:

Using calligraphy instead of standard fonts doesn't seem to qualify automatically as art to me anymore than using cursive rather than block/print letters.

There is no universal definition of art. 

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14 hours ago, provoman said:

Should governments be permitted to violate the rights of individuals?

Does the government have the right to limit or take away the rights of it’s citizens?

Sometimes, yes. 

The phrase, “My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins" refers to the boundary where one can act but has to stop when it approaches the boundary or rights of another. It is about the demarcation of liberties of an individual to the next individual. We each have our own personal space and there is a boundary.  

Rights are not “unlimited,” and in fact, boundaries are what actually maintain rights and freedoms.

Does the government have the right to take away the rights of parents who want to raise their children according to their religious beliefs? In most cases, no.... but yes, the government can take away parents’ access to their own children if the parents’ religious beliefs are negligent or abusive to their child (i.e. denying life-saving/sustaining medical care due to rejecting modern medicine in favor of Faith healing).

Can the government interfere with Churches’ religious rights to maintain or discipline their own adherents? In most cases, no.... but it can, if the Church either seeks to stone those that violate it’s laws (sabbath-breakers, blasphemers, sorcerers/witches, adulterers, sodomites, rebellious children, etc), or even privacy rights for those adherents who have left the Faith (such as being compelled to cease excommunication actions and remove members names upon written request). 

Can the government remove the Constitutionally-protected personal property rights of its citizens? In most cases, no.... but it did when it forceable dissolved the property rights of slave-owners...  or dissolved the legal ownership of wives previously held to be the property of their husbands... or the seizure of land governed by eminent domain.... some feel taxation falls into this category... and even today, citizens who violate laws are subject to search and seizure, etc.

Can the government compel speech or artistic speech, violating citizens’ freedoms of speech or belief...? In most cases where speech or art is personal, no, it can’t.... but the government can regulate businesses and enforce non-discrimination ordinances for those that choose to pursue any given line of work in the commercial realm. 

The concept of “rights” as initially and poetically but paradoxically listed in our Constitution as “inalienable” and “endowed upon us by our Creator” are neither fixed nor finite.  Even the creators of the Constitution itself failed to recognize or protect the subsequently established rights of women, children, slaves, Native Americans, African-Americans, immigrants, individuals with disabilities, and many other minorities that we all take for granted and none of us find controversial or unfounded today.  

As equal rights are recognized and granted on the basis of newly recognized protected classifications on the basis of Constitutional-mandated equality, the law changes and often requires new boundaries to be drawn.  These new boundaries equally applied to newly recognized classes can feel unfair to those who’ve been traditionally used to being able to discriminate, but are now forced to treat the newly recognized rights the same as they treat everyone else.

So goes the saying, “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”  Your comment above mirrors the feeling of that loss of that privilege, as public businesses are forced to treat same-sex couples the same as they do same-race couples, [fill in the blank]-religious couples, atheist couples, interracial couples, intergenerational couples, inter-Faith couples, divorcee couples getting remarried, disabled couples, barren couples, elderly couples, etc. 

But the loss of your privilege is not the government “taking away” rights—it’s expanding the same equal rights you enjoy to those that have been previously denied them (in this case, to those of us who are gay and lesbian).

Edited by Daniel2
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28 minutes ago, provoman said:

 

There is no universal definition of art. 

That is why I said "to me".

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22 hours ago, Anijen said:

The owners of a wedding invitation design business...

The wedding invitation design business is not a religion. It's a business.

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Sorry to all for the obnoxiously large text size on my last post!—I wasn’t meaning to shout or get more attending... lol... I cut and pasted that from my iNotes on my phone, and my phone won’t let me resize it on the board. I’ll shrink it once I get to a computer..... 

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The thing about art is the artist can decide whatever the art is.  So the artist can simply put on their artwork "Marriage is man and woman".  That is one way to deal with this.

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1 hour ago, Daniel2 said:

Does the government have the right to limit or take away the rights of it’s citizens?

Sometimes, yes. 

The phrase, “My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins" refers to the boundary where one can act but has to stop when it approaches the boundary or rights of another. It is about the demarcation of liberties of an individual to the next individual. We each have our own personal space and there is a boundary.  

Rights are not “unlimited,” and in fact, boundaries are what actually maintain rights and freedoms.

Does the government have the right to take away the rights of parents who want to raise their children according to their religious beliefs? In most cases, no.... but yes, the government can take away parents’ access to their own children if the parents’ religious beliefs are negligent or abusive to their child (i.e. denying life-saving/sustaining medical care due to rejecting modern medicine in favor of Faith healing).

Can the government interfere with Churches’ religious rights to maintain or discipline their own adherents? In most cases, no.... but it can, if the Church either seeks to stone those that violate it’s laws (sabbath-breakers, blasphemers, sorcerers/witches, adulterers, sodomites, rebellious children, etc), or even privacy rights for those adherents who have left the Faith (such as being compelled to cease excommunication actions and remove members names upon written request). 

Can the government remove the Constitutionally-protected personal property rights of its citizens? In most cases, no.... but it did when it forceable dissolved the property rights of slave-owners...  or dissolved the legal ownership of wives previously held to be the property of their husbands... or the seizure of land governed by eminent domain.... some feel taxation falls into this category... and even today, citizens who violate laws are subject to search and seizure, etc.

Can the government compel speech or artistic speech, violating citizens’ freedoms of speech or belief...? In most cases where speech or art is personal, no, it can’t.... but the government can regulate businesses and enforce non-discrimination ordinances for those that choose to pursue any given line of work in the commercial realm. 

The concept of “rights” as initially and poetically but paradoxically listed in our Constitution as “inalienable” and “endowed upon us by our Creator” are neither fixed nor finite.  Even the creators of the Constitution itself failed to recognize or protect the subsequently established rights of women, children, slaves, Native Americans, African-Americans, immigrants, individuals with disabilities, and many other minorities that we all take for granted and none of us find controversial or unfounded today.  

As equal rights are recognized and granted on the basis of newly recognized protected classifications on the basis of Constitutional-mandated equality, the law changes and often requires new boundaries to be drawn.  These new boundaries equally applied to newly recognized classes can feel unfair to those who’ve been traditionally used to being able to discriminate, but are now forced to treat the newly recognized rights the same as they treat everyone else.

So goes the saying, “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”  Your comment above mirrors the feeling of that loss of that privilege, as public businesses are forced to treat same-sex couples the same as they do same-race couples, [fill in the blank]-religious couples, atheist couples, interracial couples, intergenerational couples, inter-Faith couples, divorcee couples getting remarried, disabled couples, barren couples, elderly couples, etc. 

But the loss of your privilege is not the government “taking away” rights—it’s expanding the same equal rights you enjoy to those that have been previously denied them (in this case, to those of us who are gay and lesbian).

It may surprise you, but I largely agree with you on this. I do think there is room for disagreement and discussion about the particulars of how competing rights are negotiated. For example, I seem to remember that you didn't have any problem with the Colorado Civil Rights Commissioner making the comments about Phillip's religion and generally defended him. I think targeting him, especially recently, goes too far beyond attempting to prevent discrimination. 

I think there are lots better ways for someone who may conscientiously object to participating in a particular behavior to act than simply refuse service.  But just like draft laws have exceptions for conscientious objectors, and the Amish don't have to pay Social Security Taxes, I just think that we can also find ways to accommodate sincere religious beliefs without compromising principles of non-discrimination.  

I admit I haven't done much research into the Missouri case, but my feeling is that even if the Court technically interpreted the law correctly, such discrimination should be illegal. 

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has any read the Az State laws being used to defend the business owners?

Edited by provoman

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2 hours ago, provoman said:

has any read the Az State laws being used to defend the business owners?

The business owners are the aggressors not the defenders.

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21 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

The business owners are the aggressors not the defenders.

The business owners have cited State Law or  Az State Constitution as the basis that that the Phoenix city ordinance violates the business owners rights.

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On 1/24/2019 at 6:56 PM, Benjamin McGuire said:

We know that the court doesn't agree with you when it comes to the issue of employees versus employers. That is, religious activity in the context of one's employment against the wishes of the employer isn't protected. 

Employer v. Employee is not the issue in this topic. I said nothing of employee verse employers and I agree with SCOTUS in the example you gave. I do not see how the Court disagrees with me when I am speaking of a state agency (e.g. Colorado Commission) v. a private citizen. A high school coach who worked for a public school system (a state agency) is a state employee and is mandated by the rules of his employer. A coach who is employed by a private school (not a state agency) can pray without being fired. In fact, SCOTUS does agree with me because my argument comes almost directly from the decision.

 

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And in connection with this, we know that the government can in fact compel speech (contrary to Provoman's assertion). While this is particularly true in the case of individuals who are employed as civil servants whose personal beliefs are largely irrelevant to the job they are required to perform, it is also true of corporations (who are regularly compelled to create speech). For example, the Surgeon General warnings on tobacco products are a recognized form of compelled speech. Teachers in particular, are considered by the courts as "speech for hire" which means that their students have considerably more free speech rights than they do within the formal context of their employment. This is well established in case law.

The government cannot compel speech of a private person, they quasi can for a state or federal employee. The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech. It limits the government from punishing a person for his speech, it also prevents the government from punishing a person for refusing to articulate, advocate, or adhere to the government's approved messages. Your examples of are employees of a government agency (i.e. Civil Service) not of private citizens. Furthermore, your example of tobacco products fall under commercial speech in which there are more limitations and governmental regulations which require disclosures.

Instead of a public school employee (coach getting fired for praying as you posted), let's use a public school student. The government cannot compel the speech of the student by requiring them to salute the flag. A student does not have to risk expulsion or criminal truancy if they do not salute the flag (stand and hold their hand to their heart). This protection is while the student is in a state run public school. Citizens have even stronger constitutional protections in a private entity.

Another example; we all have a fundamental right to travel (here in the US), what happens when a Jehovah Witness needs to drive everyday but the state slogan on his licence plates offends his religious beliefs? So, the Jehovah Witness takes tin snips and cuts out the state logo off his licence plate. He is then ticket multiple times for either the obstruction or covering the slogan. In Wooley v. Maynard, the Supreme Court ruled for the Jehovah Witness, declaring the First Amendment protected individuals against compelled speech.

Justice Jackson in a famous SCOTUS decision said; "If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to say by word or act their faith therein." Emphasis mine.

The Supreme Court has further expanded the scope of protection against compelled speech in Hurley v. Irish American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston. It ruled that no government officials could not force parade organizers to accept gay and lesbian group and its message as part of its event. To do so would infringe on the private groups autonomy and right to disseminate its own messages. When Phillips said he would sell the gay couple any other pastry, but not the wedding cake he was protected (via the Hurley decision) because it would go against his beliefs and the message could not be forced.   

 

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Likewise, at a wedding (or even for the recipients of a wedding invitation), no one who gets one, or goes to the wedding, cares at all about any speech that might be coming from the artist who designs the cake, or the invitation. It isn't recognized by anyone else as speech on the part of the creator. It is a speech by the person who has purchased it. This is the issue with speech for hire.

I agree, but here, you are coming from the perspective of the person receiving the cake, the person who was  given the invitation, the person who purchased it etc.. However, the courts look at the person saying it, writing it, baking it etc. and the courts have over and over again ruled that no government or its  agent can compel that speech. Even if, as you wrote if the person receiving the product does not recognize it as speech.

 

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We can see the normalcy in this, perhaps, from that well known painting that was requested by the LDS Church, where the Church required the artists to go back and remove all the angel wings. Was the Church refusing to let the artist's speech stand? Or was the painting really a speech act produced by the Church, employing the artist in the process?

Again, this is a contract between non-state actors, one a church the other an artist.

 

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The wedding cake case in Colorado simply avoided this question. SCOTUS made a very narrow ruling that had little to do with the question of what constituted speech.

SCOTUS, in the Masterpiece decision, did not avoid the question of what constituted speech because it did not need to. What constitutes speech has been decided in many prior cases mainly Hurley and others.  You are looking for judicial dictum, not needed.

 

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Telescope Media Group vs Kevin Lindsey (the Minnesota case with the wedding video producer) tackles this head on - since part of the original decision involved this specific issue. And this makes it much more likely to become an issue for SCOTUS should it decide to eventually take the case on appeal.

It will be interesting for certain. The reason I started this topic was to see what others thought if this was the new trend, that being, to fight religious beliefs in this manner by using city discrimination ordinances against 1st Amendment right against compelled speech (IOW one constitutional protection v. another constitutional protection). The main issue I am addressing is the government or its agent can they compel speech?  I know many on this board have opinions on "but it is just a cake, just an invitation," etc., The Court is not going to decide on what is art. However, they have ruled that compelled speech (does not matter if one thinks it is art or not), it is a constitutional violation.

 

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The original decision clearly identified the video as speech-for-hire. Here are a few statements from the original District Court decision which is currently being appealed:

If it goes to the Supreme Court they will look at the case de novo (with fresh eyes), starting new and the lower court will receive its deference, but will not influence the SCOTUS decision.

 

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In other words, if the product is speech-for-hire, then the producer or the "conduit" cannot themselves claim that it is protected - that can only be done by the client who purchased it.

Movie producers, authors,  song writers might disagree with you, but I see your point and it will digress from this discussion on compelled speech. 

 

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It is clear (at least to me) that the religious right is looking for a way to create a new application of free speech principles - not to to use an existing and long-standing principle to defend themselves. They want to create a new right to discriminate.

Once again you are looking at it from only one perspective. There have always been a right for limited discrimination decided by the Supreme Court (e.g. age, alien legality, race for diverse purposes, etc.). There have been cases were a black businessman did not have to serve a white customer, schools can discriminate against asians and whites (for a more diverse student body),   all upheld by SCOTUS. It has never been about "a new right to discriminate." Although that is the narrative being used currently. It has ALWAYS been about religious beliefs and a government compelling their speech. the phrase; "a new right to discriminate" is a low down, dirty trick to change the focus from a compelled speech issue to a racial one. This tactic is ugly because it implies prejudice on its face, not too mention its probative value, not only confuses the issue, but will turn others against the defendant (it is highly prejudicial in its effect). It is much more complicated than that. Besides in all the cases of this nature that I have studied, they [defendants] all would do business with their customers, what they would not do is be forced to do something they feel goes against their beliefs. Besides if one uses "a new right to discriminate" argument, one could say it is the gay men who have found a new way/right to discriminate against a Christians First Amendment right to worship how they want. 

 

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This question of speech-for-hire is absolutely essential. Because it becomes the core of this argument.

I disagree. It is your opinion and desire to make it the core of the argument. The gateway issue is compelled speech.

 

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Taken from a religious perspective, I know of no religion that makes it a sin to bake a cake for a gay wedding, or to produce a marriage invitation to a gay wedding.

I agree

 

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There is a certain amount of absurdity in the idea that somehow, this forces people to act in a way that is contrary to their religious beliefs.

It is not the idea that forces, but a government regulation that criminalizes a person if they do not act in a prescribed manner, a manner (even if viewed absurd) is forced upon them. I find it a little absurd as well.  I cannot condone the forced requirement to make a person give service that they do not want to give (no matter how absurd one may feel their religious belief is). I find that a person who brings up slavery as an argument ironic that they are alright with forced services of another human.

 

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And to carry this further, think of the implication of making videographers, and wedding invitations the speech of the artist. They then become liable for any suits arising from the message,

This is not new. people have always been liable for their speech. Defamation suits have grounded rules, which the elements have been around for a long time.

 

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and they release the client who purchased it from any liability rising from the message. That too is an absolute absurdity.

This is not entirely correct. You are assuming there is a legal a release from the client. Generally, the client is usually released of liability (think of false news story), people are generally not liable. However, depending on the type of speech (e.g. false light) or how the information was obtained and if maliciously used they can be liable.

 

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I expect that the courts will eventually define things like the cake, and the wedding invitation as speech for hire, and this will have an impact on the decision to define this as not protected.

I agree that the Court will eventually define the issues with greater clarity.  However. if they decide toward identifying it as speech for hire then they have to have a really good reason to force people by mandating action (giving service) they do not want to do. I believe the country will see that as too close to slavery. I tend to think the issue will be decided not on commercial speech (speech for hire) but on the issue of compelled speech.

Ben, thank you very much for your erudite, civil dialogue with me. Thank you for increasing my perspective and thank you for being you.

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