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  1. #21
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    MT,

    I decided to make one argument regarding harm which covers multiple points of yours so I won't respond to those points individually.


    A well-functioning society develops ways for people to attain the goods and services that are offered within the society. In a purely communist/socialist society, the government would do it - it would assign the work that people need to do to produce what is needed and would then likewise take charge of distributing what is needed to the people. In a capitalist society, we primarily use the market to do that. A person sells his labor on the market and then takes what he earns to purchase goods and services from the market. And clearly if one is denied access to the market, then they are being denied use of the method that our society has set up to attain goods and services.

    So if we deny gays any access to the market whatsoever (which would happen if no stores would sell to them), they are clearly being harmed in several ways. But I'm going to focus on one kind of harm in particular as I think it will make my point the best. If gays were denied access to the marketplace entirely (this is a hypothetical - I am not arguing that this will happen), the money that they earn will be essentially worthless. If gays can't buy anything with the currency, then they in effect have no currency and therefore that would clearly economically disadvantage gays when compared to straights.

    But what if only half of the shops refused to sell to gays? Not as bad but still quite harmful. The currency that a gay person earns will effectively have 50% of the purchasing power that the money that straight people earn so it still puts gays at an economic disadvantage when compared to straights. Likewise their labor will be half as valuable (to them) as a straight persons.

    How about 10% of businesses refusing to sell? That leaves gays with 90% of the purchasing power that straights have. Not as bad as 50% but still unacceptable. So the question is what percentage is acceptable. How economically disadvantaged should we allow gays to be? 5% 2%? 1%? The correct answer is 0%. Any percentage higher than 0 causes some degree of economic disadvantage to gay couple and that is harmful to them. If you disagree then tell me what minimal percentage is acceptable and why.




    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    @ mican on the use of whim. Here because the gov changes it's mind about justification as often as it changes party, the nature of the gov is to be whimsical in it's given state. One day abortion was illegal in most states, the next.. legal. Yesterday weed was illegal, tomorrow it may be legal. Yesterday everyone understood that marriage was between a man and woman, today.. we are not sure what to put on the new Born's birth certificate in the "sex" column.
    That acceptable ONLY if one just says that every change is "whimsical". Roe v. Wade was about 45 years ago which means that while a change did happen, it has stuck. And by all indications all of the other changes you are referring are going to be sticking around for a long time. From all indications, the changes in gay marriage laws and weed law are going to be very long-term, probably permanent changes in our laws. Nor was the driving force of these changes sudden and unexpected. The change was primarily driven by people's changing attitudes towards these things and the government GRADUALLY fell in line with the will of the people. So if one was at all paying attention to how these changes happened, they would not think that the law has changed suddenly (one day this and the next day that) or in an unpredictable manner. The change was gradual in pace and predictable so none of this gives anyone a reason to think that the law changes unpredictably or whimsically. In fact, after several years of gradual change, marijuana is not fully legal so you still haven't woken up to see marijuana legalized everywhere. The day that it's fully legalized is at least a year away and the only guesswork is exactly when it's going to happen.




    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Well, that is either very ignorant, or naive to think that outlawing something that applies to religion (even if unseen consequence) is anything but outlawing that religious thought.
    Well, human sacrifice applies to religion but is outlawed because it qualifies as murder so by that logic outlawing murder is outlawing religious thought.

    And that's silly. A "thought" is something that one thinks so outlawing religious thought means that one is outlawing certain thoughts as in one is not allowed to think them. It's not ignorant nor naive to know what words actually mean.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Well, then much of my argument and points directly applies, because you appear to be blind to the effects laws can have on religion.
    And while you are using the language of legal vs illegal actions, laws generally shouldn't become hostile to religions without very, very good cause.

    For example, while the cause of prohibition had some merit, there absolutely should have been a religious exemption.
    Your stance is to say, well drinking was illegal, tough luck Catholics, your religion is stupid anyway.
    I didn't say that their religion is stupid so please don't put attribute such a position to me. Please don't resort to this kind of thing.

    And my stance is that Catholics SHOULD be allowed to have wine at Mass because there is no good reason to ban this. And that's because there is no good reason to ban alcohol.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Yea, the part that was to protect people from religious persecution by the state. on such things like prohibition being a great example of what the gov can do that could even accidentally abolish major religious practices.
    I am for abolishing religious practices when we have a good reason to outlaw them (like human sacrifice) and I'm against abolishing religious practices when we don't have a good reason to abolish them (like wine at Mass).

    You cannot attribute a position to me that I don't agree with. I am very much opposed to prohibiting wine at Catholic mass so you can't use that as an example of something that I would be for outlawing.




    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    1) Abortions as a practicing catholic DR.
    2) Birth control as a practicing catholic Dr.
    3) Right to refuse vaccines
    4) Prohibition (when it was a law).
    5) Right to refuse to swear on the bible in a court of law for atheists
    I was asking for examples of laws that you think only religious people should be allowed to break. And while this is a valid list of laws that religious people should be allowed to break, do you think that others should not be allowed to break them. Shouldn't any doctor be able to refuse an abortion? Should anyone be allowed to opt out of vaccines? Shouldn't any adult be able to decide whether he will consume alcohol? And so on. So I don't think these are examples of laws that religious people should get exemptions as they are all laws that everyone should be allowed to not follow. I'm assuming your position on this matter so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. But if I'm wrong, which law do you think that the irreligious must follow but the religious don't have to follow.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Well, lets take providing abortions from faith based health providers. So keep in mind that fully 1/3 of hospitals in some areas are owned and run by the catholic church.
    Now we have laws that say healthcare providers must provide contraception (some of which directly contradict catholic doctrine). This is not an area that was just made up by the church, but one that has been held by the church ,and who's past LEGAL actions are now being made "illegal".

    So, should they get an exemption? You would say no, per your argument.
    to me that is inexcusably calloused to the religious that are doing good social work, only to have their values forcibly violated. For.. a whim of the gov.

    Now I say whim, because the law could easily be something else. These are not written in stone.
    But as I understand it, the governmental restrictions are for receiving federal funding. So these establishments are free to do whatever they wish. It's akin to me offering to give you some money if you will do a certain task and you say "I can't do that as it's against my religion" so I say "well, then I guess we won't be hiring you then". You were never forced to do the task.




    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Yes it is true, the force is fines and legal judgments. The bakers were being forced ot bake a cake, and it was for someone.
    So bakers ended up making the cake? I'm pretty sure that they never made the cake. You can't say someone was forced to do something if they didn't actually do it.

    But if I'm wrong, please support that the baker did end up making the cake for the couple. Otherwise it's not supported that they were forced to do so.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Your making some irrelevant distinctions. Taking the tact that the gov can't force one to open a bakery, or once they have a bakery to bake wedding cakes.
    So then the gov isn't forcing anyone to do work.
    While those are true, it doesn't follow that the gov hasn't forced the bakery to bake a cake for people against their personal will.
    How so? You just said "those are true" in regards to the government isn't forcing anyone to do work so I don't see how it doesn't follow that the government hasn't forced someone to make a cake.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    You would do better to argue that it was justified action by the gov, as opposed to rejecting facts.
    Why? The bakers didn't make the cake. I can only go by the words of the arguments you are making and if someone is forced to do something that means that they did a certain something due to force. And integral part of being forced to bake a cake is actually baking a cake. If you mean something other than "forced to bake a cake" then you need to say something different.




    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I don't deny the possibility of harm, I deny that it is actually occuring.
    You do not support your case by supporting the existence of unlikely but possible harm.
    First off, something that hasn't happened yet obviously is not causing any harm so the fact that it isn't currently causing any harm is not support that it won't cause harm if it happens. My burden is to make the case that if it happens, it will cause harm. And I have done so (at the top)



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    it COULD work, because it isn't IMPOSSIBLE to work.
    I'm on equal footing with your ridiculous argument that they are harmed.
    I didn't raise the mere possibility that it could cause harm but explained how it will cause harm. So your rebuttal is invalid and therefore my argument stands until you do offer a valid rebuttal.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I said"Finally, no it does not forbid giving religion special treatment. It forbids "establishing" a state religion. That is two very different things."
    Actually, they aren't different. Giving religion special treatment is considered establishing that religions. In support:

    The "Establishment Clause" was intended to prevent any governmental endorsement or support of religion. While one might intuitively read this to mean that the clause was meant to preclude endorsement or support of some particular religion, it is important to note that the clause also prohibits the endorsement of religion generally over non-religion. As the Court noted in 1947, “A large proportion of the early settlers of this country came here from Europe to escape the bondage of laws which compelled them to support and attend government-favored churches.” Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1, 8 (1947). The Court went on to emphasize that “no one group throughout the Colonies can rightly be given entire credit for having aroused the sentiment that culminated in adoption of the Bill of Rights' provisions embracing religious liberty,” and that the principles were as apt at the time of the Court’s decision as they had been when the First Amendment was originally passed in 1792. Everson at 11.

    The Everson Court also provides a list of state actions which violate the Establishment Clause. Everson at 15-16. The Court does not present this list as comprehensive, but rather as a minimal list of activities prohibited by the First Amendment. These include:

    -setting up a state church

    -passing laws which specifically aid one religion or aid religions generally

    -forcing or otherwise influencing individuals to attend or not attend church

    -punishing people for ascribing to certain beliefs or disbeliefs or for attending or not
    attending church

    -taxes levied to support religious institutions or activities

    -governmental participation in religious organizations or participation by religious
    organizations in governmental activities


    https://nationalparalegal.edu/conLaw...gion&EstCl.asp

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_England




    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I am doing that where you are clear as to what specifically you are questioning. As far as I'm concerned I have supported all of my statements so far, unless you raise a specific point.
    Your statement ended with a conclusion. I am challenging the conclusion (last sentence).



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Yes, my rebuttal is that what you describe does not exist and would not likely exist, so the "harm" it could possibly create does nor would reasonably exist.
    And therefore that is your argument to support. Of course it doesn't exist but you will need to support that it will not likely exist in order to rebut my statement.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Further, you have not quantified the harm. you are arguing for an idea but there is no context to actually weigh. As far as I can tell you are calling an inconvenience "harm" and acting as though it is obvious.
    No, but I have supported that harm would occur. I'm not quantifying because I don't know how much harm would occur - one of the factors is how much bigotry there is out there. Of course if there is no bigotry, the harm would be zero. But of course bigotry still exists (this can easily be supported) so the harm won't be zero. That's all I need to support to support that harm would occur.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Just an FYI, some harm is necessary to some freedoms to exist.
    So far the harm you have described is so negligible that we should give preference to individual liberty vs state intervention.
    First off, support or retract that the harm will be negligible.

    And my primary argument against this isn't even harm-based. YOU are the one who is asking about harm. My argument is constitutional-based - that we can't let religious people break worthy laws that others have to follow because it gives Christians special treatment which violates the establishment clause.




    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Questions
    1) As the only grocer, do you have a burden to show availability or some sort of waste? Such that, white people need to purchase as well., so they have equal "need" for the service.
    2) Why is it the grocer that responsibility to provide food to anyone, such that denial of services is seen as HIM harming someone. Why not reality at large?
    I mean, what if he closes his store completely, isn't he then "harming" EVERYONE, and by your harm logic should thus be "FORCED" to serve them? Why is it o.k. to force service to some groups (here Blacks) but not others (society at large when only one grocer is available)?

    Just an FYI, one of the major questions the Supreme court asks is "what is the limiting principle". That is what I am asking for here.
    As I've said numerous times, questions are no arguments. But I see you are making some points here so I don't want to just blow this off either so instead I will reform your questions into arguments and then respond.

    I don't understand point 1 so I have no response. Point 2, in statement form is:

    The local grocer does not have the responsibility to provide food to anyone so denial of him selling someone food would not be considered harmful.

    But in the situation where he is the only grocer in town, it would be harmful to a person who can't buy good there and has no other options for food in town. And in a small town, there is a finite number of grocery stores that can be opened (the market will likely only support one grocery store) so it is in the public interest to make sure that such a store sells to the whole town and likewise the town has the legal right to ensure that it does. So legally and morally, this store has to sell to all races of people.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I mean, what if he closes his store completely, isn't he then "harming" EVERYONE, and by your harm logic should thus be "FORCED" to serve them?
    If he closes his store, it opens up the opportunity for someone else to open a store. And if there aren't enough people to support a grocery store, then it would stand to reason that the town doesn't really need one.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Would you deny me a similar assumption that you make?
    Further, you are missing my point. That guy does it now, in today's political climate, and it is true as far as I know that he is the only person around that is THAT racist, because there is an apparent lack of
    businesses doing that.
    The lack of businesses doing that is directly tied to the fact that businesses aren't allowed to do that, which will not necessarily be the case if you start allowing businesses to do that. If you can support that the percentage of businesses that would discriminate if allowed to would be below a certain number, then provide the support. Otherwise, it appears that your estimate is based on pure guesswork and wishful thinking. The fact is we don't know how many would do it if allowed to. We can guess that in cities with a significantly progressive population, like San Francisco, such discrimination would indeed be very small or non-existent due to social pressure. But what about a small town with a strong conservative evangelical bent? I don't think it's impossible that in such places, the social pressure would work the other way - as in business that do cater to gays would face social pressure to deny them.

    But the point is we don't know how much harm would be caused. We can guess but we can't know. And since I think no harm is better than even a little harm, I'm against allowing such harm to take place in any amount.
    Last edited by mican333; May 19th, 2017 at 02:29 PM.

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  3. #22
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    What are you talking about - a person who bakes Christians? The fact that someone is a Christian has nothing to do with baking cakes, in any rational sense. By referring to themselves as "a Christian baker", it's already clear there's going to be issues with that, and it's exactly what I mean by pushing their religion onto others. When we start attaching labels in this way we're only asking for trouble, which is why secularism is truly the best way to go, as it keeps everyone safe. That way you could never have a town full of Muslim or Jewish bakers - they're all just bakers, and their value to the public is in the baking they do, and nothing else.

    Bakers bake cakes. They don't evaluate messages or find things objectionable. If the Christian, having completed the duties of the baker, feels they will somehow benefit from evaluating cake messages according to non-baker standards and finding them objectionable, they can do that in their own private mind/home after they're no longer in the bakery serving people who have come into their shop because they thought the shop had bakers who baked. Again, there is no religious basis which justifies the baker's refusal to bake a cake for a gay wedding.

    Bottom line: it's unbelievable that people of faith still haven't learned the lesson taught by the countless times they've shot themselves in the foot with their attempts to push their religion into the public and/or political forum. It always makes me laugh when some religion whines that they can't do this or that and get some town council's permission to "share" their faith, only to be shocked and horrified to find out that the same permission also applies to other religions which they find blasphemous.

    If Trump's order actually ends up doing anything - and currently it looks like it won't really do anything at all - it'll just be one more lesson in why secularism is the only way to protect everyone's true religious freedom.

    You're right about the zombies starving - there aren't any brains they can feed on.
    You do acknowledge that a baker, like a person of any other profession, may have a particular religious persuasion? A person who is Christian, whether he is also a baker, is not really a question to be debated. We could have said Jewish baker. Should any baker be forced to put a message onto a cake with which he finds objectionable? May a baker, or any other professional, be allowed to choose not to provide service to another based on their association with a group or message that they find objectionable as it pertains to the transaction. Should a baker (any baker) be required to bake a cake in honor of Pol Pot's birthday should a Vietnamese man insist on it? How about Lenin's birthday? How about baking a May Day Socialist themed cake? How about a KKK cake? A cake celebrating the marriage of two young teens? Look, if a baker (any baker) feels that the cake they are being asked to make has an objectionable message, I'm of the belief, that they have the right to say no. I don't need a religious exception for this. However, and going back to Mican's original question, if laws forbid this type of freedom, but a compromise allows for certain religious exceptions, then I'm in favor of the compromise since it provides slightly more freedoms than was allowed under the original law. Ideally, the original law wouldn't exist and the exception wouldn't be needed. But, it is understood that laws, like man, are imperfect. And, sometimes, religious exceptions can make an imperfect law less imperfect.

    ---------- Post added at 10:44 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:41 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    You're right about the zombies starving - there aren't any brains they can feed on.
    Uhhh. Thanks Capt Obvious. That is kind of the gist of it.

    ---------- Post added at 10:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:44 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    That's an argument for having exemptions in general but it does not amount to a good reason for any specific exemption. In other words, to say that a SPECIFIC exemption is a good idea (like exempting religious bakers from making gay wedding cakes) one has to show that THAT specific exemption makes the law less imperfect.
    Agreed. So if law X inhibits individual freedom and an religious exception puts limitations on X, then freedom is enhanced, making the law less bad.



    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    No, it makes the law less.

    Many of the laws are quite good, such as the law against murder and I'm not for adding any more exemptions than we already have. So I don't agree that exemptions are necessarily better. It's a case-by-base basis and the default is certainly not that it's a good idea. In fact, most exemptions that one can think up are probably bad ideas (like I just thought up exempting left-handed people from murder laws).
    I never said all laws were equally bad nor that all exceptions were equally good. I specifically noted that laws which inhibit freedom were generally bad. Laws against murder do not inhibit freedom. On balance, they work to protect our freedom from those who would like to take it away. So, obviously, an exception for laws against murder have a different hurdle than exceptions for speech. However, if we took murder and made no exceptions, so ALL killing was murder; no manslaughter. no self defense. Kill a person = murder. Period. Now, today, we have all sorts of exceptions to this. Right? However, if there were NO exceptions and a compromise was for a religious exception such that self-defense on the way to church or worship would no longer be murder, we would say this was a good exception, albeit far from perfect as it changes murder to increase our freedom. Remember, we went from no exceptions to a single exception. Ideally, everyone would have the right to self-defense no matter where we were going. Again, we have to look at the law and the exception together and determine whether freedom is improved.



    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    But no baker is forced to bake a cake for gay weddings. All they have to do is refuse to bake wedding cakes for anyone and then they can't be accused of discrimination when they won't make a cake for a gay wedding.
    This is such a facetious argument. Why should a baker (or any other professional) be forced to apply an objectionable message to his work? The truth is, refusing to bake all wedding cakes isn't any less discriminatory. You've simply insisted that they discriminate against all weddings equally, even though they may not view all weddings the same. In other words, you've imposed your view of weddings on the baker, forcing him to choose between your view and his career. That isn't freedom.
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

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  5. #23
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Agreed. So if law X inhibits individual freedom and an religious exception puts limitations on X, then freedom is enhanced, making the law less bad.
    That depends now what law X is and what the limitations are.

    If the law in prohibiting murder and we say that Christians are exempt, Christians freedom to murder whoever they decide to kill is enhanced, but that doesn't make the law less bad. It makes a good law less good.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    I specifically noted that laws which inhibit freedom were generally bad. Laws against murder do not inhibit freedom. On balance, they work to protect our freedom from those who would like to take it away. So, obviously, an exception for laws against murder have a different hurdle than exceptions for speech. However, if we took murder and made no exceptions, so ALL killing was murder; no manslaughter. no self defense. Kill a person = murder. Period. Now, today, we have all sorts of exceptions to this. Right? However, if there were NO exceptions and a compromise was for a religious exception such that self-defense on the way to church or worship would no longer be murder, we would say this was a good exception, albeit far from perfect as it changes murder to increase our freedom. Remember, we went from no exceptions to a single exception. Ideally, everyone would have the right to self-defense no matter where we were going. Again, we have to look at the law and the exception together and determine whether freedom is improved.
    But we have to look at the exceptions on a case by case basis and the default position for a good law is that the exception is bad. In other words, if one forwarded that guys named Brian should be exempt for murder laws, we would ask "is there a good reason for this exemption?" Unless one can provide a good argument for that particular exemption, it's not a good exemption and therefore we are still for limiting Brian's freedom to murder. And the same process goes for all laws. So we need a rationale reason to exempt specifically Christians from anti-discrimination laws before we can say it's a good idea to do that.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    This is such a facetious argument. Why should a baker (or any other professional) be forced to apply an objectionable message to his work?
    Again, they aren't forced to do that. There are all kinds of policies that a baker can set to not have to do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    The truth is, refusing to bake all wedding cakes isn't any less discriminatory. You've simply insisted that they discriminate against all weddings equally, even though they may not view all weddings the same. In other words, you've imposed your view of weddings on the baker, forcing him to choose between your view and his career. That isn't freedom.
    I didn't impose anything. I'm just pointing out that they have the option of not making cakes for gay weddings and therefore you cannot say that they are forced to do that.

    And there are all kinds of rules that people must follow in order to run a business so in order to continue to run a business, you do limit your freedom. For one, you have to pay your employees at least minimum wage. You have to abide by safety standards. There are zoning requirements. And so on. So unless you are going to rail against any and all requirements for running a business, this complaint about lack of freedom doesn't really mean much.
    Last edited by mican333; May 17th, 2017 at 11:26 AM.

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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    You do acknowledge that a baker, like a person of any other profession, may have a particular religious persuasion? A person who is Christian, whether he is also a baker, is not really a question to be debated. We could have said Jewish baker. Should any baker be forced to put a message onto a cake with which he finds objectionable? May a baker, or any other professional, be allowed to choose not to provide service to another based on their association with a group or message that they find objectionable as it pertains to the transaction. Should a baker (any baker) be required to bake a cake in honor of Pol Pot's birthday should a Vietnamese man insist on it? How about Lenin's birthday? How about baking a May Day Socialist themed cake? How about a KKK cake? A cake celebrating the marriage of two young teens? Look, if a baker (any baker) feels that the cake they are being asked to make has an objectionable message, I'm of the belief, that they have the right to say no. I don't need a religious exception for this. However, and going back to Mican's original question, if laws forbid this type of freedom, but a compromise allows for certain religious exceptions, then I'm in favor of the compromise since it provides slightly more freedoms than was allowed under the original law. Ideally, the original law wouldn't exist and the exception wouldn't be needed. But, it is understood that laws, like man, are imperfect. And, sometimes, religious exceptions can make an imperfect law less imperfect.
    Here's one more example for your slippery-slope: a Muslim baker (whatever that means - pretty sure it's not a person who bakes Muslims, tho) refuses to serve a woman and yells her out of his shop on the basis that she is not presenting herself the way a woman should according to his beliefs.

    Honestly, a couple of your more specific examples made me laugh. Props to you for thinking of them, but if a baker can remember Pol Pot's birthday or has sufficient knowledge of any of the historical events you listed to recognize cakes themed with them, that person will definitely be intelligent-, mature-, and worldly-enough to not be offended and just bake it because he's got more interesting things to do than make up stuff to get offended by. The KKK one might have some issues with hate speech rules, tho, so it probably won't get past the Objectionable Cake Message Commission.

    There are things which our society as a whole tolerates, and that tolerance is enshrined in certain rules, since our tolerance is a large part of what we feel makes our society better than others.

    Giving people an option to break a rule on the basis that their religion requires it is one thing (eg: Conscientious Objectors). However, as I have repeatedly stated, the Gay Cake Tenet does not exist, and there is no religious basis for their refusal. If you think about it, they're actually breaking certain other Christian tenets with their intolerant behaviour. So what it comes down to is personal convictions of intolerance which they are trying to pass off as religious expression, and that's just BS and won't be tolerated.
    Last edited by futureboy; May 18th, 2017 at 06:04 AM.

  7. #25
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Here's one more example for your slippery-slope: a Muslim baker (whatever that means - pretty sure it's not a person who bakes Muslims, tho) refuses to serve a woman and yells her out of his shop on the basis that she is not presenting herself the way a woman should according to his beliefs.

    Honestly, a couple of your more specific examples made me laugh. Props to you for thinking of them, but if a baker can remember Pol Pot's birthday or has sufficient knowledge of any of the historical events you listed to recognize cakes themed with them, that person will definitely be intelligent-, mature-, and worldly-enough to not be offended and just bake it because he's got more interesting things to do than make up stuff to get offended by. The KKK one might have some issues with hate speech rules, tho, so it probably won't get past the Objectionable Cake Message Commission.

    There are things which our society as a whole tolerates, and that tolerance is enshrined in certain rules, since our tolerance is a large part of what we feel makes our society better than others.

    Giving people an option to break a rule on the basis that their religion requires it is one thing (eg: Conscientious Objectors). However, as I have repeatedly stated, the Gay Cake Tenet does not exist, and there is no religious basis for their refusal. If you think about it, they're actually breaking certain other Christian tenets with their intolerant behaviour. So what it comes down to is personal convictions of intolerance which they are trying to pass off as religious expression, and that's just BS and won't be tolerated.
    You may laugh, but what is the answer? Is a baker (or any other merchant) allowed to use discretion based on political/religious views when deciding what products to sell? How about a Christian Book Store? Should they be forced to sell non-Christian books? Would they be forced to apply Mican's logic and if they agree to order any book then they must order all books when requested to do so? Should a restaurant be forced to serve vegetarian dishes on request? I'm just trying to figure out where this line is that you and Mican has determined must exist. Where exactly do our free speech rights end and why?

    Let's be clear. I am not arguing that there is some special rule for bakers. I am suggesting two things. First, all people should be free to express their views which does not suddenly end because they own a business nor should it stop at the door of that business. Second, should a law be created which does impede on this right (or any other right), then any exception to that law which makes that law less inhibiting, is a good exception.
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  9. #26
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    You may laugh, but what is the answer? Is a baker (or any other merchant) allowed to use discretion based on political/religious views when deciding what products to sell? How about a Christian Book Store? Should they be forced to sell non-Christian books? Would they be forced to apply Mican's logic and if they agree to order any book then they must order all books when requested to do so? Should a restaurant be forced to serve vegetarian dishes on request? I'm just trying to figure out where this line is that you and Mican has determined must exist. Where exactly do our free speech rights end and why?
    The issue is not what they are allowed to sell. The issue is who they can refuse to serve.

    One cannot refuse to sell something to someone just because that person is of a certain race, religion, or sexual orientation. It doesn't matter what the thing is. Whether it's cake, a car, life insurance, etc. is not the issue. The issue is that one can't sell that product to only heterosexuals. If one really feels that they morally cannot sell X to homosexuals, they don't have to. They just don't sell the item at all and again, it doesn't matter what the item is.

    So there's the line. If you offer your product to straight people, you also must offer it to gay people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    I am not arguing that there is some special rule for bakers. I am suggesting two things. First, all people should be free to express their views which does not suddenly end because they own a business nor should it stop at the door of that business.
    Nor have I suggested that this should be the case. If a baker wants to say that he disagrees with gay marriage, he has every right to say that. He can even say that to gay people who are asking for him to make them a wedding cake. But regardless, if he bakes wedding cakes for straight couples, he can't refuse to make their cake.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Second, should a law be created which does impede on this right (or any other right), then any exception to that law which makes that law less inhibiting, is a good exception.
    But since his right is not being impeded (as in something that one has a constitutional right to do), there is no need for this kind of exception.
    Last edited by mican333; May 21st, 2017 at 03:53 PM.

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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    MT,

    I decided to make one argument regarding harm which covers multiple points of yours so I won't respond to those points individually.
    Thanks, sorry for delay in responses here. Been Busy as all get out, which is good for the pocket book, but not necissarily my sanity.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    A well-functioning society develops ways for people to attain the goods and services that are offered within the society. In a purely communist/socialist society, the government would do it - it would assign the work that people need to do to produce what is needed and would then likewise take charge of distributing what is needed to the people. In a capitalist society, we primarily use the market to do that. A person sells his labor on the market and then takes what he earns to purchase goods and services from the market. And clearly if one is denied access to the market, then they are being denied use of the method that our society has set up to attain goods and services.
    I think that is a horrible, horrible starting point. First of all, it seems to completly ignore liberty. Maybe that idea is tied up in the "capitalist society", but that is a huge reason we have capitalism and not communism.
    Also, capitalism exists as a consiquenc of liberty, not the cause of it, so perhapse that is why I see it as ignored in your starting point.

    Bottom line, a good society provides freedom to it's people. One could concivably have a "well functioning" society, and fail to be good. If it was like a successful (big assumption) communism.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    So if we deny gays any access to the market whatsoever (which would happen if no stores would sell to them), they are clearly being harmed in several ways. But I'm going to focus on one kind of harm in particular as I think it will make my point the best. If gays were denied access to the marketplace entirely (this is a hypothetical - I am not arguing that this will happen), the money that they earn will be essentially worthless. If gays can't buy anything with the currency, then they in effect have no currency and therefore that would clearly economically disadvantage gays when compared to straights.
    On this point, you actually understate the problem you are posing. Because a denial of access to the market place would mean they could not work as well. So, 100% no money for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    But what if only half of the shops refused to sell to gays? Not as bad but still quite harmful. The currency that a gay person earns will effectively have 50% of the purchasing power that the money that straight people earn so it still puts gays at an economic disadvantage when compared to straights. Likewise their labor will be half as valuable (to them) as a straight persons.
    This is actually false. Maybe because of the actual meaning of the term "purchasing power" vs how you are trying to use it.
    Purchasing power has to do with how much you can get with your money. So if I have to drive 500 miles to purchase goods, my dollar still has the same purchasing power once I get there vs down the street.
    $50 here, is $50 in New York (assuming the goods would be the same price at both locations).

    [QUOTE=MICAN] How about 10% of businesses refusing to sell? That leaves gays with 90% of the purchasing power that straights have. Not as bad as 50% but still unacceptable. So the question is what percentage is acceptable. How economically disadvantaged should we allow gays to be? 5% 2%? 1%? The correct answer is 0%. Any percentage higher than 0 causes some degree of economic disadvantage to gay couple and that is harmful to them. If you disagree then tell me what minimal percentage is acceptable and why.
    [QUOTE]
    Same error as above continued, so your question doesn't quite make sense as presented, or wrather it isn't reflective of reality.
    Now how it does apply is in regards to availablity of goods.

    So if there are two bakers, and one refuses servic, there is zero decrease in the availablity of the good, and thus zero harm done.
    At best all that can be established is inconvience.

    To the extent that we limit the discussion to instances that there is only one local provider, well I have already brought up the internet, and so this
    severly limits tihs approach to attacking the margins. We shouldn't make policy based on the margins of society.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    That acceptable ONLY if one just says that every change is "whimsical". Roe v. Wade was about 45 years ago which means that while a change did happen, it has stuck. And by all indications all of the other changes you are referring are going to be sticking around for a long time. From all indications, the changes in gay marriage laws and weed law are going to be very long-term, probably permanent changes in our laws. Nor was the driving force of these changes sudden and unexpected. The change was primarily driven by people's changing attitudes towards these things and the government GRADUALLY fell in line with the will of the people. So if one was at all paying attention to how these changes happened, they would not think that the law has changed suddenly (one day this and the next day that) or in an unpredictable manner. The change was gradual in pace and predictable so none of this gives anyone a reason to think that the law changes unpredictably or whimsically. In fact, after several years of gradual change, marijuana is not fully legal so you still haven't woken up to see marijuana legalized everywhere. The day that it's fully legalized is at least a year away and the only guesswork is exactly when it's going to happen.
    Actually Roe vs Wade is a great example of the whimsical nature of gov, because the laws were set over a long period of time, and that entire process was short circited by the whimsical nature of a 9 judnge panel.
    That is the very nature of a whimsical gov. Or do you deny that tomorrow the same court could (given the right judges) roll back the clock in an afternoon, and make all abortions illegal? I think, The point is furthered by Roe vs Wades actual lack of legal reasoning and justifications. But that is another discussion for another day.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    Well, human sacrifice applies to religion but is outlawed because it qualifies as murder so by that logic outlawing murder is outlawing religious thought.

    And that's silly. A "thought" is something that one thinks so outlawing religious thought means that one is outlawing certain thoughts as in one is not allowed to think them. It's not ignorant nor naive to know what words actually mean.
    your right, I'm really thinking about religious expression. But I guess since no act is inherently "religious" there is no such thing as a reliougous act at all.
    after all, murder isn't a religious act.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    I didn't say that their religion is stupid so please don't put attribute such a position to me. Please don't resort to this kind of thing.

    And my stance is that Catholics SHOULD be allowed to have wine at Mass because there is no good reason to ban this. And that's because there is no good reason to ban alcohol.
    stupid stuff withdrawn.

    That said, the example is how the law should be applied when it exists and why. I know I am appealing to a law that has been repealed for reasons.


    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    I am for abolishing religious practices when we have a good reason to outlaw them (like human sacrifice) and I'm against abolishing religious practices when we don't have a good reason to abolish them (like wine at Mass).

    You cannot attribute a position to me that I don't agree with. I am very much opposed to prohibiting wine at Catholic mass so you can't use that as an example of something that I would be for outlawing.
    It is just an example of what the gov can do by accident. an example that without the religous exemption you are arguing against, would have drastically effected common religious practices.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    I was asking for examples of laws that you think only religious people should be allowed to break. And while this is a valid list of laws that religious people should be allowed to break, do you think that others should not be allowed to break them. Shouldn't any doctor be able to refuse an abortion? Should anyone be allowed to opt out of vaccines? Shouldn't any adult be able to decide whether he will consume alcohol? And so on. So I don't think these are examples of laws that religious people should get exemptions as they are all laws that everyone should be allowed to not follow. I'm assuming your position on this matter so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. But if I'm wrong, which law do you think that the irreligious must follow but the religious don't have to follow.
    Yes, otherwise there wouldn't be a law.
    This is the compromise of protecting religous liberty while passing regulations.
    For example birth control. They can pass a law that says a dr must provide birth control, but catholics should be exempt. (IE allowed to break the law), because their objection is religious based in nature.
    To not allow the exemption would not be in the publics interest because there are so many catholic DR's that it could cause serious problems to the entire system if we make it so that they can't practice at all.
    This carries over to abortion as well.

    I'm not certain how the laws are worded, just familure with the general effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    But as I understand it, the governmental restrictions are for receiving federal funding. So these establishments are free to do whatever they wish. It's akin to me offering to give you some money if you will do a certain task and you say "I can't do that as it's against my religion" so I say "well, then I guess we won't be hiring you then". You were never forced to do the task.
    again, not sure how it is worded, but if hosptials are forced to take patience (which they are) then the gov refuses to fund (which they would) then their is a considerable amount of force being exerted on that hospital.
    Hospitals are forced to provide services, that is a fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    So bakers ended up making the cake? I'm pretty sure that they never made the cake. You can't say someone was forced to do something if they didn't actually do it.

    But if I'm wrong, please support that the baker did end up making the cake for the couple. Otherwise it's not supported that they were forced to do so.
    They paid damages and fines.
    I don't see how the distinction you are making is relevant.
    Can I fine you whatever I like and deny that I'm using force on you? I doubt it.
    And don't you think that if I fine you a bazzilion dollars and put you out of buisness I am exerting "force" on others in the same buisness?

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    How so? You just said "those are true" in regards to the government isn't forcing anyone to do work so I don't see how it doesn't follow that the government hasn't forced someone to make a cake.
    Well, that would be because it is an arbitrary line.
    I can't force you to be a painter.
    I can't force you to paint houses.
    But I can force you to paint houses with R value 10 paint.
    So if you choose to be a painter, and choose to paint houses, then you are FORCED to paint it with R value of 10 paint. (no such product exist, R value is an insulation code).

    just because the first two don't occur doesn't mean there is no forc involved inthe last one.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    Why? The bakers didn't make the cake. I can only go by the words of the arguments you are making and if someone is forced to do something that means that they did a certain something due to force. And integral part of being forced to bake a cake is actually baking a cake. If you mean something other than "forced to bake a cake" then you need to say something different.
    To those specifically they were forced out of buisness, to the industry as a whole they are forced to bake the cakes.
    given the ultimatum of do it or go out of buisness is a pretty clear use of force to do X.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    First off, something that hasn't happened yet obviously is not causing any harm so the fact that it isn't currently causing any harm is not support that it won't cause harm if it happens. My burden is to make the case that if it happens, it will cause harm. And I have done so (at the top)
    Well in the case of the baker, that denial did occure, and I may have missed how your harm applied there.
    Otherwise I agree and have addressed the argument above.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    I didn't raise the mere possibility that it could cause harm but explained how it will cause harm. So your rebuttal is invalid and therefore my argument stands until you do offer a valid rebuttal.
    See above

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    Actually, they aren't different. Giving religion special treatment is considered establishing that religions. In support:
    Religion can still be given special treatment without establishing it as your support stated.
    such as tax exemptions. That is special treatment. Or exemtions on prohibition, again special treatment without establishing religion.


    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    Your statement ended with a conclusion. I am challenging the conclusion (last sentence).
    ... umm.. I'm afraid you will have to requote it, I lost that train of thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    And therefore that is your argument to support. Of course it doesn't exist but you will need to support that it will not likely exist in order to rebut my statement.
    Done above.
    You have the first burden to argue what it is, then I will argue that it wouldn't likely exist.
    There is a lot of vagury coming from your side. your not arguing for a specific amount, just some amount of "harm".
    hard to argue against vaguness.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    No, but I have supported that harm would occur. I'm not quantifying because I don't know how much harm would occur - one of the factors is how much bigotry there is out there. Of course if there is no bigotry, the harm would be zero. But of course bigotry still exists (this can easily be supported) so the harm won't be zero. That's all I need to support to support that harm would occur.
    I would like to add, that your argument is not complete untill it weighs the loss of liberty side of the equation.
    Else we can dismiss it even if you do establish harm, because it lacks context.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    First off, support or retract that the harm will be negligible.
    First piece of evidence, your inabilty to quantify it. You can't because it is negligible at best.
    You have argued for instances where only one person provides a specific service, and those examples are negligible and on the frindges of our society as a whole.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    And my primary argument against this isn't even harm-based. YOU are the one who is asking about harm. My argument is constitutional-based - that we can't let religious people break worthy laws that others have to follow because it gives Christians special treatment which violates the establishment clause.
    I have shown how special treatment =/= establishing a religion, and the examples of exemptions given would hardly force anyone to go to church.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    As I've said numerous times, questions are no arguments. But I see you are making some points here so I don't want to just blow this off either so instead I will reform your questions into arguments and then respond.

    I don't understand point 1 so I have no response. Point 2, in statement form is:

    The local grocer does not have the responsibility to provide food to anyone so denial of him selling someone food would not be considered harmful.

    But in the situation where he is the only grocer in town, it would be harmful to a person who can't buy good there and has no other options for food in town. And in a small town, there is a finite number of grocery stores that can be opened (the market will likely only support one grocery store) so it is in the public interest to make sure that such a store sells to the whole town and likewise the town has the legal right to ensure that it does. So legally and morally, this store has to sell to all races of people.
    your refustal to answer direct questions is just uncool.
    Questions are a valid form of argumentation. It just forces the other side to think sometimes.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    If he closes his store, it opens up the opportunity for someone else to open a store. And if there aren't enough people to support a grocery store, then it would stand to reason that the town doesn't really need one.
    Circular reasoning.
    furhter, just because he closes his store, doesn't mean someone else is going to open one up, and certainly not the next day.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    The lack of businesses doing that is directly tied to the fact that businesses aren't allowed to do that, which will not necessarily be the case if you start allowing businesses to do that. If you can support that the percentage of businesses that would discriminate if allowed to would be below a certain number, then provide the support. Otherwise, it appears that your estimate is based on pure guesswork and wishful thinking. The fact is we don't know how many would do it if allowed to. We can guess that in cities with a significantly progressive population, like San Francisco, such discrimination would indeed be very small or non-existent due to social pressure. But what about a small town with a strong conservative evangelical bent? I don't think it's impossible that in such places, the social pressure would work the other way - as in business that do cater to gays would face social pressure to deny them.

    But the point is we don't know how much harm would be caused. We can guess but we can't know. And since I think no harm is better than even a little harm, I'm against allowing such harm to take place in any amount.
    If you can't supprot any specific amount of harm, then you are not suporting the actual existence (or potential for actual harm)
    So your just guessing, and that can be dismissed.
    Last edited by MindTrap028; Yesterday at 03:34 AM.
    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.

  11. #28
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    The issue is not what they are allowed to sell. The issue is who they can refuse to serve.

    One cannot refuse to sell something to someone just because that person is of a certain race, religion, or sexual orientation. It doesn't matter what the thing is. Whether it's cake, a car, life insurance, etc. is not the issue. The issue is that one can't sell that product to only heterosexuals. If one really feels that they morally cannot sell X to homosexuals, they don't have to. They just don't sell the item at all and again, it doesn't matter what the item is.
    For purposes of this debate, I'll concede this. A business owner should not be able to refuse to sell a cake to a person based on their race, gender, et al. However, this isn't what we are discussing. We are discussing whether a baker (or any other business person) has a free speech right to sell a specific cake for a specific purpose or that carries a specific message. If a man of unknown providence asked for a dozen chocolate cupcakes for some unstated purpose and the baker refused to sell to the man based on suspicion that the man was gay or straight or too tall, I'd see your point. However, if the man asked the baker to add a message to the cupcake, something like I HEART Big Boobs, then the baker has a right to refuse service. Even without knowing the true meaning of the message. Perhaps, the cupcakes are really for a hospital for women with breast cancer. I dunno. The point is, once the baker is asked to add meaning to the cupcakes, it becomes a message, not just a dessert. That man is no longer some random individual, but the carrier of a message. In our free society, just as free as the man is to convey his message, the baker or t-shirt maker, or whomever, is equally free to refuse to allow his craft to be used towards the purpose of carrying a message that is found objectionable. For some bakers or craftsman, same-sex marriage may be objectionable. For others, it may not. It is not my place, not society's place, to demand service when that service carries a social or political message. You'd like this to be about human rights, but you conveniently choose to forbid rights for the artist or craftsman, as though his skill and ability makes him subservient or undeserving of natural rights.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Nor have I suggested that this should be the case. If a baker wants to say that he disagrees with gay marriage, he has every right to say that. He can even say that to gay people who are asking for him to make them a wedding cake. But regardless, if he bakes wedding cakes for straight couples, he can't refuse to make their cake.
    If he cannot refuse to bake the cake, then he has no right to free speech. Or is everyone only allowed free speech within certain zones? This has such a totalitarian bent, it is almost funny.


    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    But since his right is not being impeded (as in something that one has a constitutional right to do), there is no need for this kind of exception.
    Glad you think so. You're wrong, but you are absolutely free to your opinion. Wonder if you can get that printed on a t-shirt...


    By the way, this debate has gone off the rails which is pretty much where I predicted it was intended to go in the first place. So, I'm going along with it because, whatever, I have time to kill.
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    Re: How is Religious Exemption Constitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    The point is, once the baker is asked to add meaning to the cupcakes, it becomes a message, not just a dessert. That man is no longer some random individual, but the carrier of a message. In our free society, just as free as the man is to convey his message, the baker or t-shirt maker, or whomever, is equally free to refuse to allow his craft to be used towards the purpose of carrying a message that is found objectionable. For some bakers or craftsman, same-sex marriage may be objectionable. For others, it may not. It is not my place, not society's place, to demand service when that service carries a social or political message. You'd like this to be about human rights, but you conveniently choose to forbid rights for the artist or craftsman, as though his skill and ability makes him subservient or undeserving of natural rights.
    I'm not sure this is relevant to the case at hand. I don't think the baker refused to sell the cake due to objecting to a message that was on the cake (if that was the case, he could just say that he'll bake the cake but won't put any messages on it). The baker refused to bake the cake because of the clientele.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    If he cannot refuse to bake the cake, then he has no right to free speech.
    But he can refuse to bake the cake. He just institutes a policy that he won't bake wedding cakes and applies it equally to gays and straights and he's free to refuse to bake cakes for gay couples with no legal consequences.

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