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Anijen

Christians Again Forced To Do Artwork For LGBT

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5 minutes ago, provoman said:

Should governments be permitted to violate the rights of individuals?

No, but if the hill they choose to die on is the right to discriminate I am going to mock them for it.

Edited by The Nehor
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So Anijen, here is the question for you -

When is something personal art and personal expression, and when is it merely speech for hire?

Ben McGuire

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12 hours ago, Anijen said:

Will members of the  LDS church be the next targets?

The owners of a wedding invitation design business goes against a city ordinance that protect's LGBTQ couples from discrimination, currently on the Arizona Supreme Court docket, (see here).  It appears the new way to fight First Amendment religious freedom rights is to have a city ordinance that fights discrimination.This new legal warfare is just the beginning. What are your thoughts? Do you feel that it is legally justified to diminish one constitutional right (First Amendment on religion and freedom of speech) to show a preference to another constitutional right (allowing religious discrimination)? 

I believe that much of the gay rights movement have become legal bullies and over time and experience they are finding ways to diminish long held First Amendment rights of religion and rights of freedom of speech, which protects against compelled speech too. One of the Colorado Commissioners described Christianity (our faith) as; “one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use.” 

I have written about this in the past here on these boards and was lambasted, implicated that I am a racist, homophobe, and bigot. I was even compared to a privileged white man who probably wishes there still was slavery. Additionally it took less than one page before I was by implication compared to hitler and the holocaust. Which, ironically, that same Colorado Commissioner said about Phillips in his Masterpiece Cake business when he compared Phillips’ "invocation of his sincerely held religious beliefs to defenses of slavery and the Holocaust.”

 

Tick...tick...tick...

Hey you forgot sexist. That's the one I get which always causes my wife and 3 adult daughters endless merriment. 

Sigh. 

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Whelp, I kinda saw this coming.  Should have just let them have their marriage rights, things like prop 8 just galvanized them.  Also, considering how many millenials have just bailed on Christianity in general this mess just gave the LGBT people even more allies, ye olde enemy of my enemy is my friend.  Take a hint from the Catholic Church in Germany, keep out of marriage unless it's within your own religion,  Argue marriage is between a man and a woman all you like, unless you have the teeth to fight a lot of very angry people this is what will likely continue.  Not trying to be mean here, just going off what I know of human nature.  You poke the bear enough, sooner or later the bear gets mad and like an angry bear, angry people do not care and go into full destroy the enemy mode.  Will give the LDS church this, they've done a lot to protect the LGBT folk in Utah, can't say the same for the rest of Christiandom in the states. 

FYI, always wondered if the Mormons in CA were tossed to the wolves, my understanding of prop 8 was it wasn't just them, it was the Catholic church and everyone else.  Anymore I kind of feel like you guys were tossed under the bus over all this.

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2 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I wish I was told this years ago. My elementary school teachers told me I had to draw things as part of my schooling. I did not realize my rights were being violated. Can I sue for this?

I’m surprised to see you missed the glaringly obvious weakness in this statement. An elementary school student does indeed have the right to refuse to draw things, but he must realize that by failing to comply with the teachers request there will be consequences, such as the receipt of poor grades.

Now one may counter my point by saying the recalcitrant pupil could be compelled to comply by making threats of severe corporeal punishment, the deprivation of human contact, or the withholding of life-sustaining food and drink. But as the Doctrine & Covenants so gravely warns, the employment of such unrighteous compulsory means to gain compliance will leave those individuals who utilize such means with the greater sin.

In a society that holds inviolate freedom of religion and conscience, the just consequences for the baker who refuses to violate his closely held religious beliefs would be a potential loss of income and negative reviews that might have an undesirable impact on his bottom line. And if there are enough of those who disagree with the man’s moral stance to put him out of business, I’m fairly sure he’d be at peace with that because it was a calculated risk he was willing to take.

 

 

Edited by teddyaware
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Baffles me.  The thing is that no one is getting hurt really...no one has to change their beliefs...but to have rights it has to be rights for all  I just don't get it  Being good citizens is a win for all.  For heaven's sakes..it is wonderful for businesses and business has nothing to do with religion. 

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16 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

Baffles me.  The thing is that no one is getting hurt really...no one has to change their beliefs...but to have rights it has to be rights for all  I just don't get it  Being good citizens is a win for all.  For heaven's sakes..it is wonderful for businesses and business has nothing to do with religion. 

It is called ostentatious piety.

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The more "christians" embrace discrimination as a "christian" principle, the more people will walk away from organized religion.  What the courts rule is really immaterial.  What should be condemned by Christians is anyone refusing service to someone because of who they are or what sins they might have committed.  It is a perversion of the very core of Christ's teachings.  Serving others, no matter who they are, whether they are your enemy or your oppressors or a sinner or in prison, the gospel of Jesus Christ compels those that follow His teachings to willingly serve and in fact do more than is asked of them in that service.

Christians should be less concerned with how the law will come down on this issue and be more concerned with how Christ will view this kind of refusal to serve others and using His name to justify their behavior.  

Millions are walking away from organized religion.  A whole generation is walking away from organized religion.  Perhaps it is time for more of the followers of Christ to loudly condemn these kinds of antics rather than support them.  Christians are not going to win this next generation over by using discrimination and exclusion as their mantra.  

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6 hours ago, Daniel2 said:

ts unusual to me that several posts here imply how many of these “threats” are actually occurring,

Do you mean on the board in general or this thread?

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6 hours ago, Daniel2 said:

Contrast the handwringing by Brush and Nib with what some LGBT’s are ACTUALLY facing, this just in from NBC News klast week:

 

 

It seems to me the judge ruled correctly, that it wasn't sex (since two men married would have been treated the same) but sexual orientation.

I take it there wasn't the option to sue for discrimination based on sexual orientation in Missouri?  

Imo, since the purpose of the retirement home is to provide a place to live and services needed due to medical needs as one ages (both necessities of life), they should not be allowed to discriminate on orientation.

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5 hours ago, Daniel2 said:

Again, CFR on how many actual cases like this that there are, as well as how many there are in relation to the official estimate of how many same-sex couples there are in the United States. 

Rather than painstakingly research all the states cases, I withdraw my my statement on "There are many cases out there and IMO many more to come."  

My point is; do people here on this MDDB site think using one constitutional protection against another constitutional protection is a growing trend? is it justified?

 

5 hours ago, Daniel2 said:

Even more ironic is that you omitted that the Supreme Court actually ruled in FAVOR of Masterpiece Cakes because they ruled that the Colorado Commission showed anti-religious bias towards Phillips and his beliefs on the very basis of the type of rhetoric you quoted, thereby unjustly singling him out. So.... yep, he won, which is what many had predicted on all sides of the issue.  

I think you are trying to find my issue at fault. I am very much aware of the Masterpiece Cake decision by the Supreme Court.  I did not unjustly single him out. Justice Kennedy used the exact same words in his decision that I used, unless you think Justice Kennedy also unjustly singled him out. 

My point is; do people here on this MDDB site think using one constitutional protection against another constitutional protection is a growing trend? is it justified?

 

5 hours ago, Gray said:

Luke 6:29

Luke 6:31

 

5 hours ago, The Nehor said:

If a gay couple compels you to bake a cake give them brownies also.

Yes, but in this case, brownies with sprinkles.

 

5 hours ago, Gray said:

Sounds like the OP is an even mix of disinformation and anti-gay animus.

People read what they want to read. Just an FYI I am not animus towards gay people.

My point is; do people here on this MDDB site think using one constitutional protection against another constitutional protection is a growing trend? is it justified?

 

4 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I thought this whole thing was about how soon everyone will be fined for not baking cakes or doing calligraphy for people. 

Yes, that is basically the point of this thread. My point is is using one constitutional protection against another constitutional protection is the new trend

 

4 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I wish I was told this years ago. My elementary school teachers told me I had to draw things as part of my schooling. I did not realize my rights were being violated. Can I sue for this?

Well the statute of limitations will probably ban your suit. However, yes, that is the gist. If your public school teacher says you have to draw a picture of Christ as God and you are Muslim, then you are being compelled to do something against your religion. Compelled speech is a violation of the First Amendment. If a city ordinance says you have to make a wedding cake for two gay men, then that is compelled expression of speech. 

I own four business franchises (one in Utah). I neither limit my customers for religious reasons nor do I  ban customers who are against my religion. Having said that, my business has nothing to do with art or an expression of speech. If on the other hand, I made custom wedding cakes and I hold the religious belief that marriage is only between a man and a woman then I might not want my designs to show acceptance to a way of life that I am religiously opposed to. If I am forced to do so that is compelled speech.

 

 

Reason for this topic: I want to know is this the new legal trend? Is using a constitutionally protected issue against another constitutionally protected issue the new trend?

Please keep the bigot remarks, the slavery remarks out of the discussion that is not the point of this thread. I do not want to be a nanny to the moderators because people can't help themselves implying I am a racist, bigot, homophobe etc. It might make you feel better that you called me that, but it is far from the truth and does nothing to add to the discussion.

 

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5 hours ago, provoman said:

In the United States of America, governments are forbidden to compel speech, forcing an artist to “art” is to compel speech.

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.

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18 minutes ago, Anijen said:

Reason for this topic: I want to know is this the new legal trend? Is using a constitutionally protected issue against another constitutionally protected issue the new trend?

Do you mean are more Christians engaging in law suits these days?  Or city ordinances for anti discrimination?  Or something else?  Or all of the above?

I think you need to collect numbers if you want an intelligent response rather than a gut one.

Edited by Calm
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5 hours ago, provoman said:

Should governments be permitted to violate the rights of individuals?

They do all the time, even democracies.  Eminent domain, for example.  The question is how much violation is acceptable to the community.

Edited by Calm

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5 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

So Anijen, here is the question for you -

When is something personal art and personal expression, and when is it merely speech for hire?

Ben McGuire

This is the fundamental issue, imo.

I understand that artists need to eat as well, but if they do their art for the sole purpose of being paid, it seems to me to fall into a very different category than art created for art's sake (which should be protected and artists should be able to choose in those cases who they want their patrons to be, imo).

A wedding cake would not be created unless someone paid for it, same thing with an invitation.  The transaction that occurs is business in that case, rather than art, imo.

Edited by Calm

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25 minutes ago, Anijen said:

 

Please keep the bigot remarks, the slavery remarks out of the discussion that is not the point of this thread. I do not want to be a nanny to the moderators because people can't help themselves implying I am a racist, bigot, homophobe etc. It might make you feel better that you called me that, but it is far from the truth and does nothing to add to the discussion.

 

 

Do you also want to keep the religious implications of such actions out of the discussion as well?  For me, that seems more relevant than how others interpretation of the constitution.  

I would like to know how any member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could support this kind of discrimination and have that match with the teachings of the Savior.  

Edited by california boy

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32 minutes ago, Anijen said:

Luke 6:31 

 

Exodus 23:1

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5 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

So Anijen, here is the question for you -

When is something personal art and personal expression, and when is it merely speech for hire?

Ben McGuire

Benjamin McGuire, that is an excellent question and a complex answer.  I think both personal or in business one maintains their religious rights.

I believe any art piece I make is personal, the piece itself is an expression of my artistic talent.  (Disclaimer; I am not at all talented in art). However, the lumpy clay ashtray I made for my mom in kindergarten was given to her because I love her. I knew nothing of the dangers of smoking. If I had known what I do now about the dangers of carcinogens etc., I probably would choose to make something that did not encourage her to smoke or a gift that could have expressed my approval of her smoking. My mom died of lung cancer on Mothers Day in 1990. Smoking to me is not a religious issue but a health issue. Now, if the government (my public school teacher) told me I had to make that ashtray or else I fail the class, then that would be compelling me to make an ashtray, a violation of freedom of speech (here a freedom from compelled speech). 

If I owned a cake shop and the cake shop was the main source of my income. I excelled in wedding cakes, and I thought that each wedding cake were my masterpieces above all other baked pastries, breads, etc. I considered my custom designed wedding cakes as a personal expression and a means to provide for my family. I also held the religious belief that marriage is solely between a man and a woman. I would not make a cake that could show my acceptance to a lifestyle that I am religiously opposed to.  If I own a bakery then my baking is for hire. However, I could not bake something that would be an expression that would go against my religious beliefs. I think other solutions are available. Instead of compelling me to bake a SSM cake, get another bakery to do the cake, but I could bake all the other goodies that are not an expression of SSM.

Instead of city ordinances that compels speech, how about shopping for a different baker who will bake that wedding cake. Why be so litigious?

Other Solutions in History:

Instead of jailing those who oppose for religious reasons the orders to kill during war, a Conscientious Objector policy was put in place. It both satisfied the religious belief against killing and satisfied the draft rules. In many areas in our military today conscientious objectors could still be drafted, but are placed in service area where they do not have to kill or are deferred altogether. 

The Amish legally do not have to pay social security taxes. They have been given the exemption for religious purposes. The solution being they do not have to pay social security taxes, but they cannot collect social security, welfare, or unemployment.

Because of treaties between Native Americans and Colonial America, Native Americans tribes (a sovereign entity) are not compelled to pay federal taxes on any income derived from government benefits. tribes are exempt from collecting taxes imposed at the state level, just as they are exempt from paying taxes to the IRS. This enables them to sell tobacco and gas much cheaper than convenience stores outside the borders of the reservations. 

 

i believe other solutions should be sought after, rather than making laws that violate other laws.

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4 hours ago, Jeanne said:

Baffles me.  The thing is that no one is getting hurt really...no one has to change their beliefs...but to have rights it has to be rights for all  I just don't get it  Being good citizens is a win for all.  For heaven's sakes..it is wonderful for businesses and business has nothing to do with religion. 

Emphasis mine. That might be many peoples thoughts too, that no one is really getting hurt. Tell that to Mr. Phillips about the outrageous fines, lawyer fees, random but mandatory checks, and all of his employees being compelled to take group therapy...

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29 minutes ago, Anijen said:

The Amish legally do not have to pay social security taxes. They have been given the exemption for religious purposes. The solution being they do not have to pay social security taxes, but they cannot collect social security, welfare, or unemployment.

 

It seems to me that if a baker or someone else wished to have the right to refuse business based on discrimination that is normally protected by law, if they were to sign a waiver removing themselves from any protection from discrimination for themselves, I might find that acceptable (as long as the business was not a necessity such as providing homes, necessary food, medical care, etc).  I need to think about it for a bit.

I wonder how many protesting the right to discriminate would be willing to go to that extent.

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2 hours ago, california boy said:

The more "christians" embrace discrimination as a "christian" principle, the more people will walk away from organized religion.  What the courts rule is really immaterial.  What should be condemned by Christians is anyone refusing service to someone because of who they are or what sins they might have committed.  It is a perversion of the very core of Christ's teachings.  Serving others, no matter who they are, whether they are your enemy or your oppressors or a sinner or in prison, the gospel of Jesus Christ compels those that follow His teachings to willingly serve and in fact do more than is asked of them in that service.

Christians should be less concerned with how the law will come down on this issue and be more concerned with how Christ will view this kind of refusal to serve others and using His name to justify their behavior.  

Millions are walking away from organized religion.  A whole generation is walking away from organized religion.  Perhaps it is time for more of the followers of Christ to loudly condemn these kinds of antics rather than support them.  Christians are not going to win this next generation over by using discrimination and exclusion as their mantra.  

I dunno, if Christians would focus more on charity and helping the least of these, maybe.  Entitlement, privilege and bigotry?  Yeah that will sink em. 

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Anijen writes:

Benjamin

McGuire, that is an excellent question and a complex answer.  I think both personal or in business one maintains their religious rights.

You didn't answer my question.

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. And in this context, an employee of a company that makes these invitations or that bakes cakes can be fired (without recourse) for their discrimination if it runs contrary to the employers policies. This was reiterated as recently as this past Tuesday by SCOTUS in their decision not to accept the petition in Kennedy vs Bremerton School District (where the employee was fired from his coaching job for praying on the field following games). The distinction that is made is that employers cannot regulate private speech (as opposed to public speech) in contexts where free speech is an issue. And it could be debated (but not in this case) that an action is private as opposed to public.

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 issue though, is that in this distinction (which you seem to be failing to recognize) between speech and speech for hire, is that there is no assumption in speech for hire of the idea that the person who is creating that speech is demonstrating their own personal beliefs. When I worked for the Daily Herald many decades ago, I routinely produced advertisements for grocery stores. No one looks at a grocery store ad, and assumes from the images that are put there for the sale on beer, that the person making that ad is endorsing the consumption of alcohol. We all recognize that the ad reflects the intentions of the grocery store who purchased the advertising (to sell alcohol). 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.

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? This is recognized in a number of court proceedings that are working their way through the appeals process.

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. 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. 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:

The Court recognizes there is an argument that while the wedding videos are entitled to First Amendment protection, the customer, as opposed to the videographer, is the "speaker" whose speech rights are implicated.

First, speech-for-hire is commonly understood to reflect the views of the customer. Weddings are expressive events showcasing the messages and preferences of the people getting married and attendees, who do things like speak, dress, and decorate in certain ways. A video of a wedding depicts this expressive event, and while videographers may exercise creative license to fashion such a video, the videographer is a "conduit" for communication of the speech and expression taking place at the wedding. Turner, 512 U.S. at 628-29 (noting that while cable operators do engage in and transmit speech, and thus are "entitled to the protection of the speech and press provisions of the First Amendment," when a cable operator selects channels to carry, they "function[], in essence as a conduit for the speech of [those who produce television programs and sell or license them to cable operators]"). Thus, when a person views a wedding video, there is little danger that they would naturally attribute the video's message to the videographer. Matter of Gifford v. McCarthey, 137 A.D.3d 30, 42 (N.Y. App. Div. 2016) ("[R]easonable observers would not perceive ... provision of a venue and services for a same-sex wedding ceremony as an endorsement of same-sex marriage.").

In the foot notes, the decision notes at this point that:

The Larsens have not provided any caselaw in which a court applied the compelled speech doctrine to a business selling speech-for-hire, and the Court is unaware of any such cases. "The cases in which the United States Supreme Court found that the government unconstitutionally required a speaker to host or accomodate another speaker's message are distinctly different because they involve direct government interference with the speaker's own message, as opposed to a message-for-hire." Elane Photography, 309 P.3d at 66.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

Ben McGuire

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