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  1. #81
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    No, your #1 says "laws that should be enforced for EVERYONE. That is a blanket statement with no room for exemptions what so ever.
    I have not offered a straw-man, rather a logical conclusion and implication of your #1.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    I'm just observing the law as it is. I'm aware of no current laws that the religious don't have to follow but the atheists do.
    I posted some. The oath one was pretty religious specific. Also here "atheist" in the religious sense supports my position. Atheist in the secular sense would be the only case where it would contradict my position.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    No, they aren't. In both instances, they are enforced on atheists and the religious equally. Both an atheist and a theist can attain conscientious objector status and they both swear in a fashion consistent with their deistic beliefs.
    They do so under the religious exemption reasoning. Here the atheism is treated by the courts as a religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    You do realize that one does not have to be religious to have conscientious objector status, right? That's been the law for decades now. So there is no religious exemption here. One can object in a secular fashion.
    No, it is done under the court reasoning of "sincerely held beliefs", which is legaleez for "religious". The wording doesn't change what they are talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    No that is NOT the question. A law does not have to be in place before the issue of religious exemptions come into play. In fact, assuming that one agrees that a particular religious exemption should be instituted, the appropriate time to do is while the law is being written, not AFTER it's being enforce.
    That is hardly an abjection to the point being made.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    I don't recall claiming that you have given such examples so this question seems to be a straw-man. My point is that you have not provided any valid rationale for favoring religious over secularism. As far as I can tell, your position is based on your opinion that it should be.
    Your opinion is noted.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    And I showed that courts ruled that the FEC protects ideas and speech but not action.
    I rebutted that. I have addressed that court ruling probably 3xs now.
    This is an instance where you are just repeating your points without addressing or taking into account the responses made to them.
    Further, the irony is all the objections you have made to my appeals to court rulings apply to this statement, yet you have offered nothing like the support you are demanding of me.

    o.k.. I'm done.
    I appreciate your input, but I want to leave this on a as cordial a footing as I can.
    I feel I have abundantly supported the how, and why.

    If I could boil it down to one difference, it is that you don't value religion so as to specifically protect it, where as our country has a long history of expressing that exact desire. Both in the const and in laws (which I referenced in my posts).

    your more than welcome to the last word.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  2. #82
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    No, your #1 says "laws that should be enforced for EVERYONE. That is a blanket statement with no room for exemptions what so ever.
    I have not offered a straw-man, rather a logical conclusion and implication of your #1.
    Yes you have offered a straw-man. #1 is, BY INTENTION, offering no exemptions. Line #2 is where RELIGIOUS exemptions to line 1 is forwarded (so 1&2 combined do potentially justify religious exemptions). There is no lines regarding other kinds of exemptions because those other exemptions are completely irrelevant to my argument. I never addressed the issue of whether we should have exemptions for things other than religions and therefore pretending that I was saying that we should not offer other kinds of exemptions is a straw-man argument.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I posted some. The oath one was pretty religious specific. Also here "atheist" in the religious sense supports my position. Atheist in the secular sense would be the only case where it would contradict my position.
    I disagree. When an atheist swears an oath, he is in no way addressing God or not-God (as in affirming that God does not exist), he is just making a pledge to tell the truth - likely on himself or to the state. If you are going to argue that the pledge is inherently religious, you will need to support this.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    They do so under the religious exemption reasoning. Here the atheism is treated by the courts as a religion.
    SUPPORT OR RETRACT this assertion.

    And even if you did support it, I disagree with the reasoning. If we are treating atheism as a religion in this instance, then one would have to say "My belief that there is no God leads me to hold that killing is always wrong so I will not kill." But one does not need to do that to have a non-religious objector status. One does not need to address their belief or lack of belief in God to attain CO status so saying that it is based on religion, even if a courts says it, is wrong.

    So if you are going to rebut this, you will need to provide a counter-argument. A court ruling is only relevant if their reasoning provides this argument. Just showing that they think otherwise is not enough.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    No, it is done under the court reasoning of "sincerely held beliefs", which is legaleez for "religious".
    SUPPORT OR RETRACT that "sincerely held belief" means "religious" in the court's eyes. I'm pretty sure the opposite is true, as in "sincerely held beliefs' is legalese for "beliefs that are not necessarily religious".



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    That is hardly an abjection to the point being made.
    Yes it is. Your point 1 refers only to laws that currently exist and that is an invalid distinction for proposed laws are just as, probably even more, relevant. Since your point 1 is invalid, your whole argument is invalid.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Your opinion is noted.
    That does not change the fact that you will need to provide some valid rationale before I will accept your argument that a distinction is warranted.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I rebutted that. I have addressed that court ruling probably 3xs now.
    This is an instance where you are just repeating your points without addressing or taking into account the responses made to them.
    You pointed out that exceptions have been made. But in general, the FEC DOES NOT protect actions. So the statement that actions are protected is GENERALLY false and therefore your statement that actions are protected is incorrect.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Further, the irony is all the objections you have made to my appeals to court rulings apply to this statement, yet you have offered nothing like the support you are demanding of me.
    I disagree. The kind of support I'm offering is based on my own reason and logic instead of just telling you what some court has said. And I would like you to do the same as I do. So I am offering the kind of support that I would like you to offer.

    When I ask for rationale, I would like to hear YOUR reasoning for the differentiation. It's okay to base your reasoning on what a court has said - as in you agree with their rationale and want to use it for your own argument. But again, I'm not obliged to agree with that reasoning just because some court forwarded, just like you aren't obliged to agree with Roe v. Wade.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    o.k.. I'm done.
    I appreciate your input, but I want to leave this on a as cordial a footing as I can.
    Cool.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I feel I have abundantly supported the how, and why.
    Your opinion is noted. But I will point out that many of my arguments have been left unaddressed - even before your most recent post.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    If I could boil it down to one difference, it is that you don't value religion so as to specifically protect it, where as our country has a long history of expressing that exact desire. Both in the const and in laws (which I referenced in my posts).
    What I value is FREEDOM OF RELIGIONS, which is what the constitution protects.

    I would say the difference between you and I is that I respect the right to be religious as the right to not be religious an want both of these rights protected equally, which is the essence of Freedom of Religion. You apparently respect the right to be religious more than you respect the right to be not religious and therefore your views are unconstitutional.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    your more than welcome to the last word.
    Okay. I think I will make a summary argument, then.

    Your argument seemed to ignore, and even dodge, the issue of whether a law should be enforced at all. You specifically ignored the argument in my last post that forwarded this. A religious exemption would indicate that the law should be enforced on everyone but the religious should not have to follow it. So a law does need to justifiable in general before the case for exemption is valid. If it's not your belief that the irreligious should follow the law but the religious should not, then you are arguing for a religious exemption just because they are religious, not because there's something about specific about the religious practice that should give it special consideration when it comes to whether the law should be followed.

    But anyway, overall a good debate. Until next time...

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  4. #83
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Then your rebuttal does not coherently counter my point.

    My argument is that since the baker's "speech" did not effect why he was punished, he was not punished for his speech. Saying that there are two competing interests does not in any way invalidate this argument.

    And I'll even identify the competing interests. Of course since I'm the one doing it, you are going to see what I think the competing interest are.

    1. The government's interest is in consistently enforcing anti-discrimination laws.
    2. The baker's interest is in having the freedom to discriminate against gay marriage when it comes to providing cakes.

    Of course both interests go a bit deeper than that but at this point I believe I've heeded your request for identifying the two competing interests. If you want to say that the competing interests are something other than what I've forwarded, then you will need to identify what you think the interests are. But now you have my answer and there's nothing in it that rebuts my argument.





    And unless you are arguing that that is what is happening with the baker (using arrest for breaking a law as an excuse to punish one for speaking out), you will need to support this assertion.

    If you can't or won't support it, then your dictator scenario is irrelevant to what happened to the baker.

    You are not explaining the interests of the government nor the baker. You are providing an opinion as to their motivations. By interest, I mean which laws are competing. I'll identify the competing laws here.

    The baker is exercising his rights to free speech and freedom of association. The government is exercising an anti-discrimination law. It comes down, very simply, to free speech v. preventing discrimination.

    In the movie, you have tried to claim that the murderer is somehow exercising free speech, but is being punished for something else. Murder isn't speech. And in two competing interests (protecting the right to life of some people v the right to free speech of another), the right to life clearly wins out. This is no different than making it illegal to yell fire in a movie theater. Rights are not absolute, but it is incumbent upon the government to explain the right being defended. In this case, the case of the baker, you have hung your hat on this idea of anti-discrimination towards a type of wedding. Hardly the equivalent of beheading someone or starting a stampede.

    However, you are acknowledging what could be problematic in the relationship between the government and the baker as you comment about a sort of dictator scenario. Unless you can explain the right being protected by the government which is greater than the right to free speech, then we have no other way to explain the government's action other than it is acting as a tyrant. Look, I can accept that you may believe that there is some competing right which trumps the baker's first amendment right. if you cannot explain what such a right could be, then where does this leave us?
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  6. #84
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    You are not explaining the interests of the government nor the baker. You are providing an opinion as to their motivations. By interest, I mean which laws are competing. I'll identify the competing laws here.

    The baker is exercising his rights to free speech and freedom of association. The government is exercising an anti-discrimination law. It comes down, very simply, to free speech v. preventing discrimination.
    You are just re-stating the argument that I've already rebutted. He was not punished for what he was saying. He was punished for discirminating against a gay couple. What he was communicating had nothing to do with his punishment and therefore it cannot be reasonably asserted that his right to speak was infringed upon.

    And logically, when it comes to competing interest regarding violating the law, the crux is "breaking the law" vs. "enforcing the law" and therefore "the law" in question is the same law for both the breaker and the enforcer.

    In "Seven" the law that the conflict was over was murder, not speaking (he was being chased because he was killing people - why he was killing made no difference to whether he was pursued). And in the baker case, the law is "discrimination", not free speech. When one is prosecuted for speaking is when the conflict is over free speech.

    Since the baker was not prosecuted for what he was "saying", his right to free speech was not violated.
    Last edited by mican333; June 16th, 2017 at 08:36 AM.

  7. #85
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    You are just re-stating the argument that I've already rebutted. He was not punished for what he was saying. He was punished for discirminating against a gay couple. What he was communicating had nothing to do with his punishment and therefore it cannot be reasonably asserted that his right to speak was infringed upon.

    And logically, when it comes to competing interest regarding violating the law, the crux is "breaking the law" vs. "enforcing the law" and therefore "the law" in question is the same law for both the breaker and the enforcer.

    In "Seven" the law that the conflict was over was murder, not speaking (he was being chased because he was killing people - why he was killing made no difference to whether he was pursued). And in the baker case, the law is "discrimination", not free speech. When one is prosecuted for speaking is when the conflict is over free speech.

    Since the baker was not prosecuted for what he was "saying", his right to free speech was not violated.
    Again, you keep saying this claim, but you are going in circles. You have not rebutted my argument. You've just danced around it.
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  8. #86
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Again, you keep saying this claim, but you are going in circles. You have not rebutted my argument. You've just danced around it.
    SUPPORT OR RETRACT that I have not rebutted your argument. As far as I can tell, I've responded to everything you've said so even if it's true that I didn't rebut your argument, you do need to show me which argument of yours was not rebutted. I assume your argument is that the baker's free speech rights were violated and I've definitely offered a rebuttal to that (the rebuttal is bolded below). So basically just saying that I didn't rebut your argument without even identifying that arguments says nothing that can be responded to and therefore is pretty much saying nothing at all. So I will ignore this claim until you at least provide the argument that I supposedly did not rebut.

    So I'll just forward the content of my last post and bold the section that does rebut what I assume is your argument.

    You are just re-stating the argument that I've already rebutted. He was not punished for what he was saying. He was punished for discirminating against a gay couple. What he was communicating had nothing to do with his punishment and therefore it cannot be reasonably asserted that his right to speak was infringed upon.

    And logically, when it comes to competing interest regarding violating the law, the crux is "breaking the law" vs. "enforcing the law" and therefore "the law" in question is the same law for both the breaker and the enforcer.

    In "Seven" the law that the conflict was over was murder, not speaking (he was being chased because he was killing people - why he was killing made no difference to whether he was pursued). And in the baker case, the law is "discrimination", not free speech. When one is prosecuted for speaking is when the conflict is over free speech.

    Since the baker was not prosecuted for what he was "saying", his right to free speech was not violated.
    Last edited by mican333; June 17th, 2017 at 06:36 AM.

  9. #87
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    SUPPORT OR RETRACT that I have not rebutted your argument. As far as I can tell, I've responded to everything you've said so even if it's true that I didn't rebut your argument, you do need to show me which argument of yours was not rebutted. I assume your argument is that the baker's free speech rights were violated and I've definitely offered a rebuttal to that (the rebuttal is bolded below). So basically just saying that I didn't rebut your argument without even identifying that arguments says nothing that can be responded to and therefore is pretty much saying nothing at all. So I will ignore this claim until you at least provide the argument that I supposedly did not rebut.

    So I'll just forward the content of my last post and bold the section that does rebut what I assume is your argument.

    You are just re-stating the argument that I've already rebutted. He was not punished for what he was saying. He was punished for discirminating against a gay couple. What he was communicating had nothing to do with his punishment and therefore it cannot be reasonably asserted that his right to speak was infringed upon.

    And logically, when it comes to competing interest regarding violating the law, the crux is "breaking the law" vs. "enforcing the law" and therefore "the law" in question is the same law for both the breaker and the enforcer.

    In "Seven" the law that the conflict was over was murder, not speaking (he was being chased because he was killing people - why he was killing made no difference to whether he was pursued). And in the baker case, the law is "discrimination", not free speech. When one is prosecuted for speaking is when the conflict is over free speech.

    Since the baker was not prosecuted for what he was "saying", his right to free speech was not violated.
    Support or retract that you didn't do something??? You've responded, but that is not equivalent to a rebuttal. You just are repeating the same claim over and over again. That isn't a rebuttal. You offer some analogy to a movie which I countered and, in response, your just regurgitated your claims.

    A baker, artist, et al get commissioned to perform some sort of service from would-be customers. The services are all contingent upon the upon the willingness of the tradesperson to do the job and the willingness of the customer to pay. Should a Kinko's employee be forced to create posters for a Skinhead convention? Should an atheist artist be forced to do a portrait of a Catholic priest? Discrimination is not some magical incantation which overrules free will and free speech. It is an interest that the government has decided is important enough to create laws to mitigate. However, such laws don't simply wash away all other potentially competing laws. The baker, in this case, was not discriminating against gay people. He was perfectly willing to sell cakes to gay people. The baker, however, was discriminating against same-sex weddings, in that he was choosing not to use his time/labor towards an event that he believes is illegitimate based on his own personal/religious beliefs. So, is the state's interest in promoting same-sex weddings greater than the state's interest in maintaining free speech? That's the question. You are free to take either side, but denying that freedom of speech is a competing interest is simply absurd and a non-starter here. You can continue to make the rather absurd argument that the baker is not exercising his freedom of speech/association by refusing to sell the cake, but you have no basis to do so. Saying the baker is acting in a discriminatory manner is not a rebuttal here. It is quite possible that both conditions may be true. The baker may be acting in a discriminatory fashion AND the baker is exercising his 1st amendment rights.

    Finally, you make this reductionist argument whereby you propose that the baker was not prosecuted for his speech, but due to discrimination. However, these two are not mutually exclusive. Claiming the prosecution is based on discrimination does not mean that free speech is not impacted. Per your explanation, the government can eliminate free speech so long as the laws have another motive. Again, your argument is convoluted and somewhat absurd. Let use the 2nd amendment to demonstrate. Let's suppose the government, in its interest to protect the environment, bans the sell of gun powder. An individual is caught and convicted for buying bullets for his gun. You'd claim his 2nd amendment rights haven't been infringed upon since he was convicted for violating an environmental law. However, the net effect is not only the environmental impact from the law, but also its impact on the 2nd amendment rights of gun owners. Now, it is fine to make the argument that upholding the environmental aspect of the law is of greater interest than the 2nd amendment, but it simply makes no sense to argue that the individual's 2nd amendment rights have not been restricted/reduced.
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  10. #88
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Support or retract that you didn't do something???
    Right. You are claiming that I didn't rebut your argument which means that there is an argument that you made that I didn't rebut. So if you are correct about this, somewhere on this thread is an argument that you made followed by either no response from me or a response that didn't actually rebut your argument.

    I mean do you want me to offer a rebuttal to that argument? If so, show me that argument so I can rebut it. If not, then stop complaining that I didn't rebut one of your arguments.

    So SUPPORT OR RETRACT that you've made an argument that I haven't rebutted. Either show me the argument or drop the claim that such an argument exists.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    A baker, artist, et al get commissioned to perform some sort of service from would-be customers. The services are all contingent upon the upon the willingness of the tradesperson to do the job and the willingness of the customer to pay. Should a Kinko's employee be forced to create posters for a Skinhead convention? Should an atheist artist be forced to do a portrait of a Catholic priest? Discrimination is not some magical incantation which overrules free will and free speech. It is an interest that the government has decided is important enough to create laws to mitigate. However, such laws don't simply wash away all other potentially competing laws. The baker, in this case, was not discriminating against gay people. He was perfectly willing to sell cakes to gay people. The baker, however, was discriminating against same-sex weddings, in that he was choosing not to use his time/labor towards an event that he believes is illegitimate based on his own personal/religious beliefs. So, is the state's interest in promoting same-sex weddings greater than the state's interest in maintaining free speech? That's the question.
    No. The question is "Was the baker's right to free speech violated?". And you have not made the case that it was and therefore I do not agree that it is a conflict of discrimination versus free speech. You've shown no evidence that the baker was punished because of what he was saying.

    More on this below


    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    You are free to take either side, but denying that freedom of speech is a competing interest is simply absurd and a non-starter here. You can continue to make the rather absurd argument that the baker is not exercising his freedom of speech/association by refusing to sell the cake, but you have no basis to do so.
    Actually, I do. Earlier in the debate you conceded that not selling cake is not necessarily an act of free speech. So the act of selling a cake does not have to be viewed as an act of speech.

    Someone can consider a non-speech action to qualify as speech but I'm under no obligation to agree with that person. A kid can say that he considers cleaning his room to be a "pro-clean" statement and doesn't want to be forced to "make such a statement" and to me, that doesn't decrease his responsibility to clean his room one iota (which wouldn't be the case if I accepted that a claim of free speech is indeed free speech). One is not obliged to agree with another's opinions on these matters.

    And I haven't brought this up before because I want to keep things more general (so I suppose you can ignore this point if you want) but from what I can tell, the baker never claimed that refusing to bake the cake was a free speech issue. So in this instance, I'm pretty sure the baker isn't saying that the cake equals speech. But again, I'm fine arguing in a more general sense so we can accept that the baker does think that it's free speech as a hypothetical even if it's not the reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Finally, you make this reductionist argument whereby you propose that the baker was not prosecuted for his speech, but due to discrimination. However, these two are not mutually exclusive. Claiming the prosecution is based on discrimination does not mean that free speech is not impacted. Per your explanation, the government can eliminate free speech so long as the laws have another motive. Again, your argument is convoluted and somewhat absurd. Let use the 2nd amendment to demonstrate. Let's suppose the government, in its interest to protect the environment, bans the sell of gun powder. An individual is caught and convicted for buying bullets for his gun. You'd claim his 2nd amendment rights haven't been infringed upon since he was convicted for violating an environmental law. However, the net effect is not only the environmental impact from the law, but also its impact on the 2nd amendment rights of gun owners. Now, it is fine to make the argument that upholding the environmental aspect of the law is of greater interest than the 2nd amendment, but it simply makes no sense to argue that the individual's 2nd amendment rights have not been restricted/reduced.
    I agree that a law that can have the effect of restricting one's rights without having the purpose of doing that. But if one wants to claim that an action is speech because he feels that it is, then one can argue that ANY enforcement of the law is an infringement of free speech. For example, one can say that he drives as fast as he can all of the time to send everyone a message that he is for cars driving very fast and then when he gets pulled over and punished for violating the speed limit, his right to express his views about driving fast have been violated.

    So whether one's rights have been restricted is not just if they think it's happened. It has to be clear to an outside observer that one's rights are being violated. In your 2nd amendment example, when an outside observer sees that someone cannot buy bullets, that is objective evidence that his ability to buy bullets is being restricted. But when I see a baker being punished for not selling a gay couple a cake, I do not see a clear example of an infringement on this right to speak. If he says that he thinks it's an infringement because he thinks that selling a cake is a speech issue, I have no more reason to agree with that than I have reason to agree that the speeding motorist is engaging in a "pro-speed speech" when he's breaking the speed limit. So there has to be an external indication that a right is being violated before such a thing is reasonable to forward, not just someone's unproven opinion that he thinks his right to free speech is violated.
    Last edited by mican333; June 30th, 2017 at 01:07 PM.

  11. #89
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Right. You are claiming that I didn't rebut your argument which means that there is an argument that you made that I didn't rebut. So if you are correct about this, somewhere on this thread is an argument that you made followed by either no response from me or a response that didn't actually rebut your argument.

    I mean do you want me to offer a rebuttal to that argument? If so, show me that argument so I can rebut it. If not, then stop complaining that I didn't rebut one of your arguments.

    So SUPPORT OR RETRACT that you've made an argument that I haven't rebutted. Either show me the argument or drop the claim that such an argument exists.




    No. The question is "Was the baker's right to free speech violated?". And you have not made the case that it was and therefore I do not agree that it is a conflict of discrimination versus free speech. You've shown no evidence that the baker was punished because of what he was saying.

    More on this below




    Actually, I do. Earlier in the debate you conceded that not selling cake is not necessarily an act of free speech. So the act of selling a cake does not have to be viewed as an act of speech.

    Someone can consider a non-speech action to qualify as speech but I'm under no obligation to agree with that person. A kid can say that he considers cleaning his room to be a "pro-clean" statement and doesn't want to be forced to "make such a statement" and to me, that doesn't decrease his responsibility to clean his room one iota (which wouldn't be the case if I accepted that a claim of free speech is indeed free speech). One is not obliged to agree with another's opinions on these matters.

    And I haven't brought this up before because I want to keep things more general (so I suppose you can ignore this point if you want) but from what I can tell, the baker never claimed that refusing to bake the cake was a free speech issue. So in this instance, I'm pretty sure the baker isn't saying that the cake equals speech. But again, I'm fine arguing in a more general sense so we can accept that the baker does think that it's free speech as a hypothetical even if it's not the reality.



    I agree that a law that can have the effect of restricting one's rights without having the purpose of doing that. But if one wants to claim that an action is speech because he feels that it is, then one can argue that ANY enforcement of the law is an infringement of free speech. For example, one can say that he drives as fast as he can all of the time to send everyone a message that he is for cars driving very fast and then when he gets pulled over and punished for violating the speed limit, his right to express his views about driving fast have been violated.

    So whether one's rights have been restricted is not just if they think it's happened. It has to be clear to an outside observer that one's rights are being violated. In your 2nd amendment example, when an outside observer sees that someone cannot buy bullets, that is objective evidence that his ability to buy bullets is being restricted. But when I see a baker being punished for not selling a gay couple a cake, I do not see a clear example of an infringement on this right to speak. If he says that he thinks it's an infringement because he thinks that selling a cake is a speech issue, I have no more reason to agree with that than I have reason to agree that the speeding motorist is engaging in a "pro-speed speech" when he's breaking the speed limit. So there has to be an external indication that a right is being violated before such a thing is reasonable to forward, not just someone's unproven opinion that he thinks his right to free speech is violated.
    Of course we can make this determination and we do it all the time. If I wish to protest by racing through downtown L.A., I am certainly exercising my free speech rights. However, they compete with the government's duty to protect the safety and rights of others. As such, I'd be convicted for any number of moving violations which would, of course, limit my 1st amendment rights. The law prevents me from yelling fire in a crowded theater. Again, it isn't that the law does not abridge my free speech rights. Rather, the law has chosen that enforcement of a particular law outweighs my right to free speech.


    Just because a cake can be made without the intention of speech, does not mean it is always the case, which is something you've presumed. However, the baker has clearly indicated that he refused to bake the cake because he didn't approve of the message. Again, would you force an atheist artist to accept a job painting a portrait for a Catholic bishop? Now, while the government may get to decide how it will weigh competing interests, it cannot merely dismiss the claim. It cannot just decide some speech does not exist in order to avoid the conflict. Just imagine how chilling that'd be to free speech in general. The government would then have the right to criminalize any expression carte blanche on the basis of denying that it is expression at all.
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Of course we can make this determination and we do it all the time. If I wish to protest by racing through downtown L.A., I am certainly exercising my free speech rights. However, they compete with the government's duty to protect the safety and rights of others. As such, I'd be convicted for any number of moving violations which would, of course, limit my 1st amendment rights. The law prevents me from yelling fire in a crowded theater. Again, it isn't that the law does not abridge my free speech rights. Rather, the law has chosen that enforcement of a particular law outweighs my right to free speech.
    But yelling "Fire" IS speech. You are actually speaking when you yell "fire". Driving a car fast is NOT speech. The act in and of itself does not communicate anything in particular.

    So you are basically arguing that an activity that is not speech becomes speech if one is attempting to communicate something by taking the action. While one is free to hold that opinion, it is not covered under the legal principle of the right to free speech. There is no legal difference between a person who is driving too fast to "send a message" and someone who is driving too fast because he is late for work.

    In fact, in regards to free speech the driver who is "saying something" by driving too fast is no different than the driver who is not trying to "say something". The right to free speech equally covers the right to say something and not say something so one has as much right to NOT say "I can't drive 55" as they have the right to say it. So if giving the guy who is communicating something a speeding ticket is an infringement on his right to free speech, then so is giving a speeding ticket to the guy who is not communicating something for their activities are the exactly the same in regards to exercising free speech.

    So by your logic, any violation of the law, regardless of whether one intends to say something or not is an infringement on free speech which must be weighed against the necessity of the law.

    But here's my take on when free speech is being infringed upon (and I'm quite sure it's how the law as it stands today sees it). It's when the person is being punished BECAUSE they were speaking (or not speaking). If they were engaging in the illegal action with the purpose of communicating something but are only punished for engaging in the illegal activity, then their right to free speech was not infringed and likewise if they were engaging in the illegal activity without the purpose of communicating something and are punished for engaging in the illegal activity only, then their right to free speech was not infringed.

    So unless someone is punished FOR saying something or they are punished FOR NOT saying something is when there is an infringement of their right to free speech.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Just because a cake can be made without the intention of speech, does not mean it is always the case, which is something you've presumed. However, the baker has clearly indicated that he refused to bake the cake because he didn't approve of the message. Again, would you force an atheist artist to accept a job painting a portrait for a Catholic bishop? Now, while the government may get to decide how it will weigh competing interests, it cannot merely dismiss the claim.
    Yes it can dismiss it. Before the government can weigh the competing interests in discrimination vs. free speech, there has to be some level of infringement on free speech involved which means that what is happening has to LEGALLY qualify for an infringement on free speech. If one is not being punished for speaking, then there is no infringement on his right to speak. And the baker is not being punished for engaging in speech - what he was "saying" had absolutely no bearing on his punishment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    It cannot just decide some speech does not exist in order to avoid the conflict. Just imagine how chilling that'd be to free speech in general. The government would then have the right to criminalize any expression carte blanche on the basis of denying that it is expression at all.
    We can just stick with the principles that we already have. A person cannot be punished for an act of communication (barring very specific limitations such as libel and such). If the act itself is not an act of communication (like driving a car or baking a cake), then it does not automatically have the protection of the right to free speech. If someone breaks the law as a symbolic statement and therefore are communicating something when they break the law, they cannot receive additional punishment because of the communication but they are still to be held responsible for breaking the law.

    So that's it. If the baker received additional punishment for saying something (or not saying something), then his right to free speech was infringed upon. If he did not receive additional punishment for saying something (or not), then his right to free speech was not infringed upon.
    Last edited by mican333; July 1st, 2017 at 10:42 AM.

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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I don't know if I'm going to hear from anyone who actually agrees with the religious exemption law but I'd at least be interested in hearing a rationale for how it is constitutionally valid.
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." (Emphasis mine.)

    The First Amendment doesn't protect a right to religious belief only, but also the right to act (or remain inactive) in accordance with those beliefs. So a baker has a Constitutional right to not prepare or sell a cake with a message in conflict with his religious beliefs. In contrast, there is no Constitutional right to buy a cake. So the the baker's Constitutional right is stronger than the purchaser's nonexistent right.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    But allowing a law to stay on the book and give waivers ONLY to those who wish to violate it for religious reasons is clearly giving religious people a legal benefit that is not given to non-religious people and therefore is a clear violation of the 1st amendment.
    The above case is not violating the First Amendment, but clearly upholding it.

    For the baker's Constitutional right to be denied, the state would have to demonstrate an overriding compelling interest. Otherwise, the baker should be exempt from a law that would compel him to prepare and sell the cake.

    Q. Should those who for moral but non-religious reasons claim to be "conscientious objectors" be excused from combat duty during times of war? If you say "yes", then explain your reasoning.
    Last edited by evensaul; July 5th, 2017 at 07:54 PM.
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    The First Amendment doesn't protect a right to religious belief only, but also the right to act (or remain inactive) in accordance with those beliefs. So a baker has a Constitutional right to not prepare or sell a cake with a message in conflict with his religious beliefs.
    The free exercise of religion does not cover breaking any law that you want to break just because you are doing it for religious reasons. If religious motivation was a cover for breaking civil law, then we could not outlaw religious human sacrifice.

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    In contrast, there is no Constitutional right to buy a cake.
    But there is a right to not be discriminated against when purchasing items from a business.

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    So the the baker's Constitutional right is stronger than the purchaser's nonexistent right.
    Their rights are equal. But only the purchaser had his rights violated.



    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    For the baker's Constitutional right to be denied, the state would have to demonstrate an overriding compelling interest. Otherwise, the baker should be exempt from a law that would compel him to prepare and sell the cake.
    Actually, first one would have to make a good case that the baker's constitutional rights were violated. I haven't seen that yet.


    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Q. Should those who for moral but non-religious reasons claim to be "conscientious objectors" be excused from combat duty during times of war? If you say "yes", then explain your reasoning.
    First off, non-religiouis conscientious objector have been excused from serving in war since the 60s.

    As far as why, I agree that those who truly object to killing on moral grounds should not be forced to kill. That is my reasoning for allowing conscientious objectors in general. If you disagree with my reasoning, then why do you think that people should be allowed to object? If you don't think anyone should, then you should be for disallowing CO status in general. If you do think that CO status should be allowed, then on what basis do you support it?

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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Just on the following claim, for now:
    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    But there is a right to not be discriminated against when purchasing items from a business.
    Support the above. From where does that right originate? Show me the text.
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Just on the following claim, for now:

    Support the above. From where does that right originate? Show me the text.
    That'd be the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which derives its powers from the Commerce Clause, though those powers could also come from the 13th and 14th Amendments.
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    The free exercise of religion does not cover breaking any law that you want to break just because you are doing it for religious reasons. If religious motivation was a cover for breaking civil law, then we could not outlaw religious human sacrifice.
    Sorry, don't really mean to jump back into this.. but
    The free exercise is about limiting the gov. So,it is exactly the point to "cover breaking a law" because it is the measure to be used in determining if the law is illegal.. not the activity.
    basically, people don't have to first justify their religious acts the gov has the burden to justify preventing them.

    Not that there isn't a case, and you have offered some arguments to that effect. Just stating that this approach is backwards. There is no legal reason why religious acts can receive exemptions, and still outlaw human sacrifices, so that conclusion doesn't follow, especially given the standard offered up by law right now.

    Basically free exercise clause is a const exception from the lany law that fails the test.
    Last edited by MindTrap028; July 6th, 2017 at 06:21 AM.
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    That'd be the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which derives its powers from the Commerce Clause, though those powers could also come from the 13th and 14th Amendments.
    Yep. That's pretty much the answer that I was going to give.

    ---------- Post added at 10:23 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:19 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Sorry, don't really mean to jump back into this
    No need to apologize. That's fine with me.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    The free exercise is about limiting the gov. So,it is exactly the point to "cover breaking a law" because it is the measure to be used in determining if the law is illegal.. not the activity.
    basically, people don't have to first justify their religious acts the gov has the burden to justify preventing them.
    Not that there isn't a case, and you have offered some arguments to that effect. Just stating that this approach is backwards. There is no legal reason why religious acts receive exemptions, and still outlaw human sacrifices, so that conclusion doesn't follow, especially given the standard offered up by law right now.

    Basically free exercise clause is a const exception from the lany law that fails the test.
    Any law that fails the test is not a legitimate law and should be removed so no one, religious or irreligious, should have to follow it.

    The fact that a law exists shows that it passes the test (under current legal reasoning anyway).

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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Yep. That's pretty much the answer that I was going to give.
    None of those include coverage for sexual orientation, which is why state and local governments have passed their own laws on the issue.
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    None of those include coverage for sexual orientation, which is why state and local governments have passed their own laws on the issue.
    Just because not all of the courts recognizes a gay person's right to equal protection under the law doesn't mean that gay people don't have that right.

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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Just because not all of the courts recognizes a gay person's right to equal protection under the law doesn't mean that gay people don't have that right.
    Well, I'm sure you believe that is or should be true, but it isn't settled law until the Supreme Court rules next term. I'm just giving you the argument and reasoning you requested in the op.
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican
    Any law that fails the test is not a legitimate law and should be removed so no one, religious or irreligious, should have to follow it.

    The fact that a law exists shows that it passes the test (under current legal reasoning anyway).
    however, how the gov does deal with it is by adding exemptions. also remember that the test is specifically religious in nature.
    hence the middle ground in regards to drafting conscientious objectors.
    the line you are drawing is a black or white test, and that isn't how low works, ie at least our law
    exceptions are the rule everywhere we look in law in one way or another.

    i would even agree that in many cases, you are right that it is just a bad law, like our common ground on drinking. however, this is just a fail safe to limit the gov power.
    so, if our gov doesn't like drinking, or 2k people drinking out of the same glass, or some other unforseen or even mallicious infringment on religion (no secular) practices, we have a limitation in the gov.
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