What Can’t Be Said

I’ve been mulling over the recent case of the Colorado baker refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. It has led me to finally understand how this kind of case differs from, say, Woolworths refusing to serve black people in the South in the 1960s. This has been an unanswered question for me, because the Woolworth’s example has been the way that people attacking the baker have framed the case—as a civil rights question about access to public services, the same as denying black people food and coffee in Woolworths in 1963.

And from the other side, it has been framed as an issue of religious freedom, of the right of a person to follow their deeply-held religious beliefs.

what he said 2.png

But it turns out that neither one of those is what is happening here.

Let me prefix my explanation by saying that I will be using “forbidden” words in this post. I’m doing so in order to emphasize a point. They are hurtful words that I would never use in my daily life; they are words that my beloved grandmother would have washed my mouth out with soap for saying; but they are words that are critically important to understanding the point I’m making.

Now, the issue in these cases has been, should a baker be forced by the government to make a special cake for something that offends the baker’s deeply held beliefs? In order to clarify the issues involved in this matter, let me ask the following two hypothetical questions, remembering that I am using forbidden words for effect. Here are the questions:

Should a Jewish baker be forced by the government to bake someone a special cake that says “Hitler was right to turn the kikes into soap!”?

… and …

Should a black baker be forced by the Government to bake someone a special cake that says “The KKK should hang every nigger that they can find!”?

That’s it for the banned words, they leave a bad taste in my mouth, but they make the point very clear. For me, the answer to both these questions is, Hell no, they shouldn’t be forced to do that!

And that highlights what I see as the difference between the Colorado baker case and the  Woolworths case.

The difference is, in the baker’s case the Government is forcing one person to carry a message for another person. This is NOT what was going on at Woolworths. This is not about refusing service, religion, civil rights, or gay rights.

It is about refusing to be a messenger for words we disagree with, which is a very different thing.

So let me propose a two-pronged test to differentiate the baker’s case from the Woolworths case. I would say that anyone is entitled to refuse a request to create something for someone IF:

1) The item in question is a special, one-off item and not a standard, off-the-shelf item,

and

2) The item is required to carry a message, either expressed or implied, in support of some cause or idea with which the maker does not agree.

Using this two-pronged test, neither the Jewish baker, the black baker, or the Colorado baker could be forced to create a special item containing a message that is odious to them.

This two-pronged test makes it clear that it’s not a religious issue. It’s not a civil rights issue. It’s not a gay rights issue. It’s not an issue of refusing service.

Instead, it is an issue of Freedom of Speech, or more to the point, an issue of Freedom NOT to Speak. I see nothing in the Constitution saying that the Government can force its citizens to say things that they object to, regardless of whether the objection is racial, religious, or for any other reason large or small.

And that’s what I learned from the story of the Colorado baker …


My best to all on a peaceful evening, clear on the land here with a low mist over the ocean … what a miraculous planet we inhabit.

w.

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237 thoughts on “What Can’t Be Said

  1. Yesterday I commented rather similarly on FB about this story. I think you’re right.

    https://www.dailysignal.com/2017/09/17/im-a-t-shirt-maker-with-gay-customers-and-gay-employees-i-still-was-sued/

    If I had a T-shirt business, I would certainly not print many messages: racist, sexist and anti-gay ones to start with. I wouldn’t print pro-Hamas or anti-Israel ones either. I think this guy is perfectly reasonable, as is the baker who refused to make a cake for a gay wedding: that couple could easily have found another baker, rather than legally harassing him for six years.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Willis

    Your argument is entirely valid however I would frame it a little differently. To me the baker is an artist. How does the Govt get to compel any artist to do anything? Can I demand that an author write something I want? I am thinking of Isaac Asimov (and zillions of others) who was frequently paid to create a chapter for a textbook. Somehow I dont’t think that those who demand their ‘rights’ to a cake would demand that Issac should be required to write a poem for me.

    I know, I know, I’m old…RIP

    Best

    Jack

    Liked by 3 people

    • I view it in that same framework – a request for a custom product by an artist or artisan. Framing it as issues of religion or freedom of speech muddies the water.

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  3. Yes it is speech, but also association. Association with the speech and ideas that violate ones freedom of conscience if forced to convey. Also association with the person or persons using force to compel the person to convey that message. Think about the Skokie case. A lawyer represents nazis seeking to march in Skokie. The lawyer is associated by the public with the nazis despite him not being a Nazi. Now, the lawyer can be compelled to represent the nazis in court because the lawyer is sworn as an officer of the court to represent all clients fairly and be a strong advocate for their case no matter how reprehensible it might be. Same for lawyers representing serial killers, mass murders, and child rapists.
    Cake bakers are not legally compelled like a lawyer to provide service to all. You cannot make a valid argument how doing so serves a valid public purpose that the market can provide simply by picking another baker.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. artist — that’s it exactly, what the artist does is a statement by the artist. The artist may be a musician and doesn’t want his/her song associated with certain politicians. The artist may be an actor and refuses to take parts of characters he/she doesn’t like. The artist gets to choose his/her art. The artist may refuse to make anything red for that matter, but forcing words into an artist’s mouth simply can’t be allowed to fly.

    Neither should gay couples be allowed to target Christians, knowing that they would refuse, knowing that they could bankrupt them and destroy their businesses and their lives. It’s getting to be commonplace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agree on the “not targeting Christians” thing. I’m surprised and disappointed to not hear voices from the LGBTQ+ community condemning the disproportionate response of the gay couple to being turned down – one of the two said that it made him cry in front of his mother, so his response was to attempt to destroy the livelihood of the baker and his employees. Not a good move, if you’re really interested in understanding and tolerance.

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      • Thanks, Pops. It’s been one of my recurrent questions as these things happen over and over … do these folks not understand that they are unnecessarily and wrongly making people hate members of the LGBTWTF community? Seriously, I have lots of gay relatives that I love dearly, and this nasty vicious suing of bakers pisses ME off … so what is it doing to the folks that are (were) undecided or ambivalent on the subject?

        w.

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        • I’m the same age now as Israel, the state created with enormous international sympathy and support for Jewish people after the horrific treatment meted out to them in the leadup and during WW2.
          But now consider the contempt that many “enlightened” people hold for Israel and its citizens, because they believe Israel has pushed beyond the threshold of empathy for their situation.
          My prediction is that in time, the gay rights agitators will arrive at the same point of public disdain as the Israelis suffer at present, because people will conclude that they’ve over-baked the push for sympathy and “rights”.

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  5. Thank you Willis, and all previous commenters, for putting so succinctly what the real response to this put-up-job should be.

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  6. There is much of your point about a “message” in the event, but there also is more. There IS the aspect of religion.

    To the true believer, the Bible clearly states that homosexuality is a mortal sin. Endorsement of sin is itself sinful. So, in essence, a compulsion to make a cake (or deliver flowers – less ‘message’ in flowers but the same legal case) is a compulsion to endorse the sin. I would assert it is closer to demanding that a Jewish butcher carve up and package your hog for you just as they would custom cut a sheep. Despite that it would render his whole shop non-kosher.

    To leave out that aspect is to diminish the issue.

    Similarly, ministers have been sued for not performing ceremonies. In many Christian sects, marriage is seen as a “3 way” of man, woman, and God “in holy matrimony”. To that point of view, a joining of two in mortal sin with God is a horrific thing to do. Compelling it is fundamentally saying that the religion is to be trashed. Again, not an issue of compelled speech so much as compelled action in sin.

    Now I’m not strongly Christian (more Buddhist in leanings) but I was raised in it. I know a lot of folks who truly do believe that were they to “endorse the sin” and participate in the process they would be damning their souls to hell. I find the notion of compelling them into that state repugnant. No forced communication needed.

    Then there is just the secular point that if you can compel me to provide service, I am no different from a slave. We all ought to be free to associate as we desire and to work as we desire. If I offend a large part of the potential customer base by my choices, I’ll feel it in an empty cash register soon enough. Freedom need not be free of consequences, but it ought to be free of lawfare…

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    • Mmm … thanks for your thoughts, E.M. I’m somewhere in the middle on this one. I do NOT think that people should be free to refuse to serve black people, for example.

      But on the other hand, I do think that no one should be forced to carry another man’s water, or their message for that matter.

      As to the question of making a special floral arrangement for a gay wedding, I would point to my two-pronged test—it is a special item, and it carries an implicit message (that gay marriage is something to celebrate, a message which is odious to certain religious folks), so nobody should be forced to do that.

      w.

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      • Can’t really go with you on this one. I think your two prong argument makes a distinction without a difference. In a government by and of the people then yes “equal” (all parties) under the law. In the private/economic sector I should be free to discriminate based on anything I believe. Usually economics levels it’s own field. There will be bakeries more than willing to cater to LBQT and whatever. And yes, I believe the bakery case was using the courts as targeting an agenda. (Same as climate lawsuits). I think Starbucks is committing suicide in their open door no purchase policy in areas where there are a lot of people that will take advantage of the policy. I also believe that Duncan Doughnuts (so far) is going to be delighted with the Starbucks policies.

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      • Well, you’re making me smile with a memory anyway. In the 80’s college/fraternity we were hosting a party. Very Animal Houseish; One of the girls had a little too much. Being so gallant, we figured maybe to let her sober up a little bit before taking her home. The Black Student Counsel was having a dance in the cafeteria so we figured (naively) we hang there for a little. We were the only white people there. The DJ was calling us out as unwelcome. So we had the “can we dance with you dates” moment. Actually we didn’t leave any troops behind but wow.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Taz. The problem lies in something called “The Tyranny of the Majority”. When I was a kid there were still states where white people and black people could not marry. How does that fit with “all men are created equal”?

        Power, particularly in a democracy, should never be absolute. Otherwise, the tyranny of the majority can deprive any minority of their rights under the Constitution.

        w.

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        • Tyranny of the majority; 100% with you there. Look to Hans Hermann Hoppe. Democracy the God that failed. Makes an interesting case that Monarchies are better suited rulers than democratically elected. The king has a vested interest in keeping and increasing the value of his property.

          I’ve thought about it a long time and never come up with a good answer. Maybe it’s the human family structure but humans seem to always want to construct some type of government structure. Any government beyond the kin circle seems to become both abusive and unstable.

          It’s like the United States current foreign policy (bombs away) War seems to be in human nature. Probably when the crops died then raiding made sense. Now we have a global economy where most all war is counter productive to cooperation. Tulip mania I don’t know.

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          • You can tell me if this Wikipedia article is fair or not, but in any case Hans Hermann Hoppe definitely looks controversial and provocative.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans-Hermann_Hoppe

            “a German-born American Austrian School economist, and paleolibertarian anarcho-capitalist philosopher”
            That’s an unusual combination of adjectives.

            “Hoppe writes that towns and villages could have warning signs saying “no beggars, bums, or homeless, but also no homosexuals, drug users, Jews, Moslems, Germans, or Zulus”.”

            Does that mean he would also say that towns and villages could have warning signs saying “only beggars, bums, homeless, homosexuals, drug users, Jews, Moslems, Germans, and Zulus”?
            The answer is probably yes:
            “As for homosexuality, it is entirely possible that some areas of the country, parts of Gotham and San Francisco for example, will require this practice, and ban, entirely, heterosexuality. If this is done through contract, private property rights, restrictive covenants, it will be entirely compatible with the libertarian legal code.”

            * * *

            Back to The Tyranny of the Majority, democracy has not failed just because it’s not perfect, it’s still better than the available alternatives. Someone could argue that a benevolent dictator, or an enlightened king, or a perfect version of communism might be better … if only human nature permitted them to exist outside of the imagination. One of democracy’s less known advantages is that it gives hope to the losing side. There will be another election and another chance to win. This usually has a calming effect because it’s much easier convince people to vote than it is to convince them to have a revolution. So it avoids some revolutions.

            But democracy is misunderstood. People think it is about voting. It is not ONLY about voting; the most important part is the discussion, the exchange of ideas, the trying to convince others of the good and bad effects of any action. To keep it short, just one example: slavery was not abolished because the slaves voted against it.

            Democracy as we know it is has had a long, hard evolution, mostly by the English, but the American Founding Fathers, after serious deliberations, improved it further. The catch is, it still relies on good will. It has checks and balances against human nature, although imperfect.

            These are trying times. The list of “what can’t be said” is long and growing. The attack on free speech, justified by the attack on hate speech, is an attack right to the heart of democracy. No free discussion, no democracy. Period.

            https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/06/facebook-twitter-censorship-unfair-and-unequal/

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          • The Wikipedia article was way more fair than I expected on a somewhat controversial topic. Particularly these days with SJWs gaining way more traction than they should. I think Mark Twain said something to: giving us the full benefit of their inexperience. Substitute cannibal for Nazi in an argument, one you may be able to live next to the other maybe not but it’s the individuals decision. Freedom to associate also provides the freedom to not associate.

            Libertarian principle is based in the Non Aggression Principle (NAP) You are not allowed to initiate violence on another individual or group. It’s why Hans’ arguments about excluding individuals and groups with covenants and agreements fits libertarianism. Stay where you’re wanted and don’t go where not and you end up reducing conflict. btw using government to initiate violence is also not acceptable as I guess was the case in the “baker” lawsuit. NAP is the cornerstone to preventing tyranny of the majority.

            Maybe I shouldn’t be on this blog because I hate Willis because he’s both smarter and a better writer than I am; which I really hate; and he has a good blog and he plays guitar !@#$%

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    • Religious freedom is not supposed to be just for certain Christian denominations, but for all faiths.

      Get ready for Catholic checkout operators refusing to swipe condoms in supermarkets, Hindu checkout operators refusing to swipe beef, Jewish checkout operators refusing to swipe bacon, Muslim checkout operators refusing to swipe alcohol or pork or music CD’s or to serve unveiled women or women unaccompanied by their husbands and so on. There will have to be special aisles for each religion and employers will be powerless to fire employees who refuse to do the job they’re paid to.

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      • Derek, to me the issue is forcing an artist to create a special object for something he disagrees with. In the Colorado case, the baker was clear that they could buy anything off-the-shelf … which totally negates your argument about checkout operators. Nobody in this thread has held that people can refuse regular transactions, just the creation of special objects.

        We’re discussing people who are forced to create special objects containing things or in support of things that they object to, whether on religious or other grounds. It’s not necessarily religious. I don’t think furniture makers should be compelled to put ugly legs on a special table if they object to doing so.

        w.

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        • I don’t think anyone should be forced to sign their name to a message they disagree with either, but so far as I know, the objection certain religious people have to providing goods and services to gay people is that by doing so, they’re “condoning sin”, i.e. *other people* sinning. That applies with equal force to checkout operators swiping condoms, pork, beef and beer through the scanner. They’re “facilitating sin” just as much as an innkeeper who lets a room to a gay couple.

          As for wedding cakes, they’re not even part of the marriage process, they’re for the after-party, i.e. the Reception and as such, the creator of the cake doesn’t ‘participate’ in the wedding any more than the cleaners do.

          Central to my calling out the protagonists for certain religious sects is hypocrisy, a sin condemned by the founder of the Christian religion, none other than Jesus Christ himself, and judging others without cleaning up your own house first. Jesus never uttered a word against LGBT minorities, and nor do the Ten Commandments. But he condemned remarriage after a no-fault divorce as adultery, a mortal sin condemned in both Testaments of the Bible as warranting burning for trillions of years in a lake of scalding sulphur.

          Why don’t they practise what they preach? Many, including the notorious Kentucky Town Clerk Kim Davis are into their 3rd or 4th marriages, and are knowingly and wantonly committing adultery on a daily basis. Yet we never hear of bakers refusing them a cake, nor to overweight people, even though Gluttony is a listed sin.

          I agree this is doing the LGBT cause harm, and I’m prepared to draw the line at writing messages of support for same-sex marriage. No-one should be compelled to write anything with which they disagree, but the real reason LGBT people are being singled out for refusal of service is that they want to stick it to us. We picked the wrong battle with the wedding cakes in my view, but the fight isn’t over. In 76 countries it’s still a crime for gay people to have a relationship with another gay person, and in 10 of those, the death penalty exists, all under Islamic jurisprudence.

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  7. All of these gay discrimination cases are false. In each one the “gay” couple sought out businesses which they knew beforehand did not support their life choice. Yes, choice. Each was intended to drag people into court and bankrupt them in order to push forward the leftist political agenda. IN the Colorado case both of the denied marriage participants were on multiple national “news” shows and admitted they targeted this business because they wanted to force him to make a product he did not want to produce. Political coercion, with a big dose of stealing other people’s money. Well past time for these “activists” to be prosecuted.

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    • 2hotel9, I wouldn’t say that they should be prosecuted, but they certainly should not be able to sue, and they should be called out loud and clear by responsible gay people. The silence of the larger gay community on this question is a mystery to me, since it has occasioned such bad feeling against gays in general.

      w.

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      • Yes, prosecuted. They are using the US judicial system to attack people based on political ideology. They should also pay all the legal costs inflicted on their targets and the public. And yes, our tax dollars are being stolen for this crap and we damned well should get every penny back. People are getting angry about this all this and a backlash is building. It ain’t gonna be pretty and the wrong people will end up hurt.

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    • Years ago, when the ‘legalisation’ of homosexuality was being debated in the English Parliament, one female MP is supposed to have said “As long as they don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses”. Now, it seems that the LGBwhatever activists are actively TRYING to frighten the horses!

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      • Acceptance was never the goal, forced compliance with the leftist political agenda has always been the goal. Civil unions have always been available for people who wish to co-habitat, and yet that was never good enough. A better idea is to remove government from “marriage” period. THAT will not be accepted by the lgbtwtf crowd, forced compliance with their agenda is all they settle for. Just as the palestinians will never accept a 2 state solution, the eradication of all jews is the only answer they will agree to. And once all jews are dead they will move on to all infidels. Same “thinking” in the leftist lgbtwtf, acceptance is not good enough.

        The backlash is growing, it will not be pretty when it comes and all the wrong people will be hurt by it.

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    • Unless you are me, you cannot know for certain whether being gay is a decision I made or not. Your sexuality is something you discover at puberty, not a ‘lifestyle’ you choose like living near the beach or buying a fashionable new pair of shoes. No heterosexual I know could choose to be gay because they find the very idea repugnant. But if you think being gay is a choice made by heterosexuals then it must be a choice you think you could make.

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      • Derek, I can’t speak for anyone else, but on my planet there are few things LESS important than whether for you or anyone being gay is a choice or not. I’ve got a stack of gay relatives, it’s not an issue to any of us. That’s who they are, none of us cares how they got there.

        I do care, however, when gay people, or any other group, tries to force people to create special things for them that they don’t want to create, and then they threaten the people with financial ruin if they refuse to knuckle under to the demands.

        For me, it’s bozo-simple. If a baker doesn’t want to bake some special message cake that I want, I go to another baker. If an artist doesn’t want to paint what I want her to paint, I find another artist. Life is too short to do otherwise. But here’s the thing …

        I don’t think that my gay relatives and friends realize just how much this vicious attacking of bakers and the like is hurting the acceptance of gays into society. You see it as fighting for your rights. We see it as y’all being vicious, vindictive jerks, and that has exactly zero to do with your sexual orientation. We’d say the same about a Christian trying to force a Muslim artist to draw a cartoon of Mohammed … FFS, if you want cartoons of Mohammed, go find another artist.

        You may not have noticed, but gay people are storing up a ton of ill-will by their unconsidered and inconsiderate actions in these cases. And all of your attempts to justify these kinds of actions are making folks like gay people even less … from this side of the aisle, it looks like you think you are special snowflakes who want special treatment instead of doing what everyone else does in that situation …

        FIND ANOTHER FRICKEN’ BAKER, AND DON’T WHINE ABOUT BEING OPPRESSED!!

        Please be clear that I say this because I’d like to see the day when gay people in general and my gay relatives in particular are treated just like everyone else … but to get there, you’ve got to follow the same social rules as everyone else, and that doesn’t include heartlessly driving bakers into bankruptcy …

        Best regards,

        w.

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        • I agree with you it’s wrong to force anyone to write a message they disagree with, and I also agree that this case and others like it are bringing the LGBT cause into disrepute.

          I have other issues with the motivation of certain religious sects refusing service such as hotel accommodations et al to gay couples. These issues are outlined at length in my responses to other commenters in this thread, so I shan’t type it all again (with iPhone thumbs!) and instead invite you to read and respond as you see fit.

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  8. It’s the same as ‘compelled speech’ that Jordan Peterson has spoken about in the context of transgenders. It’s becoming forbidden to hold an opinion that is regarded as politically incorrect. You can’t even joke about it. In London a guy observed to a mounted policeman that his horse was gay. He was immediately surrounded by police officers, handcuffed and put in the slammer. He was fined £80.

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  9. It’s not a civil rights issue. […]

    Instead, it is an issue of Freedom of Speech, or more to the point, an issue of Freedom NOT to Speak

    In the US, the freedom of speech is considered a civil right. The first amendment also protects us against compelled speech.

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    • Thanks, Lucia, always good to hear from you. I agree with you, but despite that the Oregon bakers were put out of business because they refused to let their speech be compelled …

      Best to you and yours,

      w.

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    • We’ve never really had unfettered “freedom of speech”. Last time I looked, it wasn’t legal to commit perjury, defame someone, incite crime, swear a false document or commit forgery.

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      • Really? During the last 5 days we have had several senior members of Congress publicly inciting violence against their political opponents, one of them scream the “God is on OUR side!” and none of them are in jail, so clearly “unfettered free-speech” does exist. For certain people, of course. And spare me the lame “its political speech” lie, inciting to violence is inciting to violence. Period. Full stop.

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        • In the 1969 Supreme Court Brandenburg v. Ohio decision, the court ruled that incitement of events in the indefinite future was protected free speech, however, encouragement of “imminent” illegal acts such as those you refer to, is not protected. If these statements were made as you describe them, then all it takes is a complaint from a civic-minded denizen, perhaps yourself, to kick off a prosecution.

          Incitement to riot is a felony under U.S. federal law.

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  10. “It’s not an issue of refusing service.”

    There used to be signs everywhere “No shirt, no shoes, no service”. Clearly intended to discriminate. There are restaurants where you are required to dress appropriately, some even require a tie. Obvious discrimination. But a reasonable case for it can be made. Any law overriding the individuals’ judgements, rational or not, should be considered very carefully.

    Say I am considering picking up a hitchhiker. If the way he dresses makes me nervous, I don’t stop. It’s my risk, so it’s my decision. Same thing if I am renting an apartment. If there needs to be more “equality”, the solution is not force. Try education or “building awareness”. Most “victims” automatically assume they were denied service because of their preferred identity choice; bad assumption, but a good one for getting media attention.

    “No shirt, no shoes, no service — not even if you are gay, not even if you are not white, and so on.”

    The groups targeting Christian bakers should try it on Muslim bakers… then we can bet on whether gay rights or religious beliefs prevail.

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    • There are already being laws passed in the progressive cities that forbid you to inquire about a person’s criminal past or refuse to rent to them for their looks.

      Oh, it’s all right for protected groups to discriminate. At least if they’re discriminating against (non LBGTQ) whites or asians and doubly so if their Christians or Jews. You know, the “oppressors”.

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    • Since muslims routinely crucify gays, by throwing them from building tops, setting them on fire, stoning or simply shooting them, we all know why gays don’t pull their scams on muslims.

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  11. Some irony here in that legalizing same sex marriages was sold on the idea that extending marriage to these unions did not take anything away from other people. Now we see the attempt to take away from others their right to disagree.

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    • Similar things were said during the Civil Rights bill passage. We were assured that there wouldn’t be quota’s for example and of course there are just that they’re couched in terms that obfuscate the fact.

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  12. Your right except that for progressives your rights and beliefs don’t count if they conflict with what they’ve decided are the rights of a protected class. IIRC the baker in question had no problem selling his cakes to gays, just not wedding cakes for gay weddings. Of course that’s not deemed acceptable to those progressives and it seems that acts that they would condemn if they were perpetrated against one of the own are perfectly acceptable if they’re inflicted on someone they deem pariahs. Imagine the reverse where a Christian came into a t-shirt shop owned by a gay or progressive and asked for a shirt that said “marriage is between a man and a woman” and the owner refused. Do you think that the civil rights commission of Colorado would condemn the owner?

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    • I get it about writing the message, but what about cakes for mixed-race weddings? Miscegenation is against the deeply held religious beliefs of many who opposed overturning the Jim Crowe laws of the 1960’s, and remains so today.

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      • Derek, thanks for the question about mixed-race marriage. For me it’s not a gay issue or a religious issue or a mixed-race issue. The problem is forcing someone to create a special work that they don’t want to create.

        It is immaterial whether it is a Christian wanting a Muslim artist to draw cartoons of Mohammed, or a gay couple wanting a Christian baker to bake a special wedding cake, or a white man wanting a black T-shirt maker to make him a T-shirt saying “The KKK should have killed them all”, or a cabinetmaker being asked to put claw-foot legs on a Swedish modern cabinet, or a mixed-race couple wanting a racist baker to bake them a cake with half black frosting and half white frosting. Here’s the issue:

        Artists and craftsmen should not be forced to accede to the whims of potential clients.

        They can if they wish, but they should not be forced to do so. Should Picasso be forced by the government to paint in a realist style just because someone is willing to pay him to do so?

        Note that this does NOT apply to off-the-shelf items, as was made clear in the Colorado baker case. The baker said that anyone is free to come in and buy whatever they wish off his shelves … but he did not want to be forced to make something special against his beliefs.

        My best regards to you,

        w.

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        • OK, as I said before, I agree no-one should be forced to write a message they disagree with, but if serving black people were against his beliefs, that would apply just the same as when serving gay people goes against his beliefs. If a person’s religious beliefs are allowed to permit refusal of service to gay people, then they must likewise be permitted to allow refusal of service to black people, or on any other grounds whatsoever. And by the way, I don’t know any people, gay or otherwise, for whom the ceremony of marriage is a “whim”.

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          • Derek, you’re missing my point, likely my lack of clarity. The issue is not religious or racial or sexual. Here’s a question for you:

            If a couple like realistic paintings for their wedding, should the government force Pablo Picasso to paint a picture for them in the realistic style the couple demands?

            Once you answer that I think you’ll see that we’re not talking about black people, gay people, or any subgroup. We’re talking about the creation of a special item and whether the government should force any artist or craftsman to work to the (often bizarre) specifications of anyone who walks in the door.

            Best regards, and thanks for your participation,

            w.

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          • As I have acknowledged elsewhere, no-one should be forced to write a message they don’t agree with, nor to paint a work of art outwith their sphere of expertise. But as I also mentioned in a response I made just now to another comment, the reason for the refusal in your example is fairly based on the painter’s unwillingness or inability to work in the field requested by the client. Again, in your example, the painter would refuse this to ANY customer, whether they be gay, straight, Jewish, Gentile, male, female, etc. However, if he would do a custom painting for a white person but not a black person then that is discrimination. If he would do the custom painting for Gentile but not a Jew, then that is discrimination. If he would do the painting for a straight person, but not an LGBT person, then that too is discrimination.

            The Halal bakery serves everyone, even though the vast majority of their client base will undoubtedly be Muslim, as does the Kosher bakery. I can go into a Halal or Kosher delicatessen any time, and I won’t be refused, even though I am a member of their disliked class. Nor can I demand that either of these stores serve me bacon, because they don’t serve that to ANYBODY. The same applies to the wedding cake. The solution for the Christian baker is to create products he can sell to anybody.

            Liked by 1 person

  13. Should a sail maker be forced to make a sail that carries an “odious message”, and a reference to the maker of the sail, possibly in smaller print.
    Where does it stop ??

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  14. There is an important element of the argument you are missing.

    The CCRC held contemporaneously that THREE different bakers were justified in NOT serving a fellow named Jack who wanted baked goods that contained an “anti-gay” message. The bakers did not want to participate in a message they disagreed with.

    In the subject case, the governments own approval and disapproval of the message was the defining difference. If that isn’t a First Amendment issue, what is?

    Government approval of the message as key to the CCRC decision was the argument of the Thomas/Gorsuch concurring opinion. The tragedy was only those two put there name to the opinion.

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  15. What can’t be said. Here’s a classic Mark Steyn article on that.
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2013/12/age-intolerance-mark-steyn/

    Here are two jokes one can no longer tell on American television. But you can still find them in the archives, out on the edge of town, in Sub-Basement Level 12 of the ever-expanding Smithsonian Mausoleum of the Unsayable. First, Bob Hope, touring the world in the year or so after the passage of the 1975 Consenting Adult Sex Bill: “I’ve just flown in from California, where they’ve made homosexuality legal. I thought I’d get out before they make it compulsory.”

    I’ll let you look up the other one. “As Christian bakers ordered to provide wedding cakes for gay nuptials and many others well understand, America’s much-vaunted “freedom of religion” is dwindling down to something you can exercise behind closed doors in the privacy of your own abode or at a specialist venue for those of such tastes for an hour or so on Sunday morning, but when you enter the public square you have to leave your faith back home hanging in the closet.” (The closet is empty now after the gays have come out)

    I suspect the gay cake warriors are angry at all Christians, having been told the what the Bible says about it too many times, yet the cold blooded revenge makes one wish for a more Christian attitude.

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    • We are not “angry at all Christians”, although I suspect Jesus himself might be angry with those refusing service to us.

      Not all Christians are against LGBT people having the same rights they enjoy. Take as an example the fact that over 80% of America declares itself to be Christian, yet over 70% of America supports LGBT equality, with over 50% in favour of same-sex marriage. You can find this corrorated by numerous polls. This can only mean one thing: the vast majority of Christians support LGBT people having equal rights.

      There is a website “Not All Like That” to support such Christians, and I can name any number of Christian denominations who welcome LGBT parishioners with full sacraments including ordination to the clergy and same-sex marriage. For example, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Quaker, Unitarian, Metropolitan Community Church and quite a few Jewish synagogues as well. Why should their deeply held religious belief not be respected every bit as much as yours?

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      • Reading your comments you certainly appear to be angry with christians. Any anger for lgbtwft who are forcing their leftist political ideology on everyone else? Any for muslims forcing thier political ideology on other people? Just curious.

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        • I already explained that the majority of US Christians support LGBT equality, so how could I be angry with them? Moreover, Barack Obama is self-declared Christian, and did more than any president in US history to advance LGBT equality. Not only am I not angry with him, I admire him, not only for that, but for his attempts, although unsuccessful, to provide universal healthcare to all Americans.

          Can you please be more specific as to what you mean by “leftist political ideology”, and what I wrote that gives you the impression I am “angry with Christians”?

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          • You keep pointing to christians discriminating against lgbtwtf, mixed race people, mixed race couples. Yet you appear to have no problem with lgbtwtf activists pushing their leftist political ideology on everyone else. You have multiple posts detailing how awful it is that christians refuse to do XYZ for lgbtwtf individuals and couples, and you have nothing to say about lgbtwtf individuals singling out and targeting businesses for their sweet little judicial payday scams. It is not about equality, it is about getting a payout and bankrupting people, all based on ideology, not gender or sex or civil rights. It always comes down to pushing a political agenda and getting a payday by stealing from people they politically disagree with. If lgbtwtf want products or services they should simply go out into the market place and get them. That is not what they are doing, they are using the judicial system to attack their perceived political opponents. This has been a favored tactic of the political left in their global warming scam and is being used in many other fields of endeavor. Funny, we on the “right” don’t do this. Perhaps it is time we started.

            You are surrounded by trees because you are in the middle of a forest. Thank god America has enough properly thinking jurists on the Supreme Court that we can bring some of this leftist crap to a halt. Civil Rights apply to ALL Americans, singling out one “group” over another is anti-American and is balkanizing our country, which is precisely what the political left has been doing since at least the 1920s.

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          • I’m still not sure what exactly you mean by “leftist political ideology”, but in the absence of a clear definition from you, perhaps could you articulate what it is that you used to be able to do, that you can no longer do because of LGBT equality?

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          • The fact you refuse to even acknowledge the fact that leftist political ideology is the driving force behind these attacks against American citizens tells me all I need to know about you. None of these attacks are based in civil rights, they are 100% a tactic to ruin the lives of any person the political left labels as enemy. Good luck with that. It is not going to end well for those doing it, or those defending them.

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  16. Your second question is unnecessary. Should a furniture maker be required to put Regency claw feet legs on an Art Deco table? No. An artisan has a right to refuse a one-off contract. The baker doesn’t have the right to refuse sale of a standard item, but does have the right to refuse any one-off adaption that a customer might request.

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    • Gary, I still think it is a question of freedom of speech. Remember that the Supremes have already ruled (in the flag-burning case) that symbolic speech is speech, and art is definitely symbolic speech.

      Interesting question, though …

      w.

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      • Context. It’s a shop, not a public arena. Two people enter the room where one person wants to purchase something, the other wants to sell something. Transactions should comply with contract law and common practice. Flag burning is a single person expressing an opinion in a public space. Context.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Your illustration of refusal to put Regency claw feet on Art Deco table falls to the type of service offered, not to exclusion of a disliked class such as LGBT people from receiving the same service you would ordinarily provide to types of people you personally like, such as white heterosexual people. If you would provide the claw footed table to a heterosexual couple but refuse it to a gay couple, then that is discrimination.

      In the case of baking the wedding cake, that is a service the baker ordinarily provides to heterosexual people, but refuses to gay people. If you argue that his religious belief allows this, then by identical reasoning he can likewise refuse it to a mixed race couple on the grounds of his deeply held religious belief. Writing a message falls to freedom of speech, and I don’t think anyone should be compelled to write and sign their name to a message they disagree with.

      Like

  17. I make stuff out of wood, portraits, signs, stuff. You want a standard item off the shelf, have at it. You want me to make something special for you, I may or may not be interested.

    Now, make a federal case out of that. Do I need a reason to not make your special item, or is it simply enough that it does not interest me? Say I have fishing theme items, and you want tennis. Can you enlist the Government to compel me to make your special item?

    One need not include sex or religion or any other factor. Can you be compelled to make things on demand?

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      • Thanks, Derek, but again you miss the point. The issue is, can the government force an artist or a craftsman to do any wacky special thing that some random customer demands?

        Note that this involves only SPECIAL requests. So no, public accommodation has nothing to do with it—that is a standard, off-the-shelf item.

        w.

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        • Will, I have replied in detail to this point in another post a few moments ago, but in brief, no , I agree the government shouldn’t force anyone to create anything a random customer wants, so long as he refuses this to EVERYBODY, and not just members of the disliked class, such as African Americans, Jews, LGBT people, Muslims and so forth. If he will only make his products for white heterosexual Gentiles for example, then that is discrimination.

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          • Again you miss the point … Picasso wouldn’t paint for the “disliked class”, which was those who wanted realism. You agree he shouldn’t have to … yet you think that you, yourself, are in some special class to which the rules that apply to Picasso’s clients shouldn’t apply to you.

            You think that you can go anywhere, demand that any artist do anything, and if they refuse you play the Gay Card and demand that they accede to your whims.

            I’m sorry, but if a guy doesn’t want to produce a special painting celebrating either the NAACP or the KKK, that is his right, even if it is totally racist …

            w.

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          • No I don’t argue that at all. I specifically don’t think someone should be forced to create a work of art or write a message they don’t want to write, so long as they refuse it to everybody. Are you arguing for the right of an artist to put up a sign that says “no blacks, Jews or gays”?

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          • Derek Williams June 28, 2018 at 10:53 am

            No I don’t argue that at all. I specifically don’t think someone should be forced to create a work of art or write a message they don’t want to write, so long as they refuse it to everybody. Are you arguing for the right of an artist to put up a sign that says “no blacks, Jews or gays”?

            Absolutely I am arguing for that right. An artist should be free to refuse to create special works for anyone for any reason.

            Note that I also say that an artist does NOT have the right to refuse to sell a FINISHED PAINTING to “blacks, Jews, or gays”. That is protected by law, and rightly so. The critical issue is the difference between off-the-shelf, on-the-menu, standard items, and one-off specialty items.

            You have no right, for example, to demand that I draw a specific cartoon in a specific manner, NO MATTER WHAT MY REASON FOR REFUSING MIGHT BE! Maybe I woke up cranky. Maybe I don’t like you personally. Maybe I hate all white people. Doesn’t matter. I’ll refuse anyone’s artistic demands on me that I damn well please, and I don’t have to provide you with reasons.

            w.

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          • If you want people to be able to refuse a custom service to blacks, because they’re black, then the 1964 Civil Rights Act will have to be repealed. And on that, we shall have to agree to disagree.

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          • Derek Williams June 28, 2018 at 12:26 pm

            If you want people to be able to refuse a custom service to blacks, because they’re black, then the 1964 Civil Rights Act will have to be repealed. And on that, we shall have to agree to disagree.

            I’m sorry, but I find NOTHING in the 1964 Civil Rights Act that says an artist can be compelled to draw some particular subject or in some particular manner, for any reason or for no reason at all.

            If you think such a provision exists, please give us the Title, Section, and Paragraph of the part of the 1964 act that you claim would force artists to do so. [e.g. TITLE VII, SEC. 701 (c) ].

            Look, suppose a white guy goes into a shop with a black baker and wants a special cake honoring the KKK … but the baker says “A white KKK mob lynched my grandfather, I’m upset about that, so I’m sorry but I won’t make your cake. However, you’re welcome to buy anything on the shelves” …

            According to you, the government should force the guy to bake the cake … me, not so much …

            w.

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          • Derek Williams June 28, 2018 at 1:39 pm

            And here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Colorado#Discrimination

            “In Colorado, it has been illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and credit since the category “sexual orientation” was added to the state’s Public Accommodations Law in 2008.”

            Thanks, Derek. My response to that is best expressed by Charles Dickens:

            “If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, “the law is a ass — a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is, that his eye may be opened by experience — by experience.”

            I fear that it is the vagueness of these laws that has led to things like the Colorado baker being sued. I find the following on LegalZoom:

            In the first case, the baker refused service to a customer who wanted her to bake a cake with anti-gay Bible verses on it. The customer argued that he was discriminated against because of his religious beliefs. But the court ruled that this was not discrimination because the baker had a consistent policy of refusing to create cakes that used derogatory language or imagery.

            I fail to see how the Oregon couple could be sued under the same law for “having a consistent policy of refusing to create cakes that used anti-Christian language or imagery”, since they believe that gay marriage is anti-Christian. One rule for gay people, one rule for straight people, I guess …

            Mostly, though, I’m arguing in favor of gay people being good neighbors, which sadly has far too often not been the case. Driving the young Oregon couple into bankruptcy just because they wouldn’t make a gay wedding cake has caused huge damage to the general acceptance of gay people … why would straight people want to accept gay people or do any business with gay people after seeing the gay couple cheered and feted by the gay establishment figures for their actions?

            Finally, I still say an artist or craftsman should NOT be forced by the government to create any special object for someone, no matter their reasons. If that’s against some law somewhere, then, well, “the law is an ass.” As a cartoonist myself, I don’t care if you are black or gay or some other “protected group”, you still can’t tell me what I must or must not draw. Not gonna happen, and I don’t have to give a reason.

            w.

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          • Again and again I keep saying no-one should be forced to draw anything, or bake anything against their will, so you are preaching to the converted, no matter how many times you hit me with the straw man. No-one should be forced to write anything they don’t want to write, or paint anything they don’t want to paint, or bake anything they don’t want to bake. But under federal law, they can’t refuse to make something for a customer because he is black, if they will make it for a white customer. Under Colorado state law, they can’t refuse to build something for a gay customer just because he is gay, if they will build it for a heterosexual customer. All the baker needs to do is to refuse the message writing service to everyone and make cakes that can anyone can buy.

            A Halal baker can’t be compelled to sell bacon, and he doesn’t, not to Muslims, not to anyone. Likewise a Kosher Deli. No-one is compelling them to create pork pies, nor anything else that violates their religious belief. Everything that is in their Halal or Kosher store they sell to everybody. Unlike the Christian baker, they only stock products they can sell to everybody.

            Far from the gay couple making an example of the Christian baker, I suggest it is the other way round. The Christian baker had been itching for a chance to show gays a lesson, and one day a gay couple walked right into his shop, making him an overnight celebrity, like Kim Davis, Memories Pizza and the florist who refused to serve gay couples. Their rivers-of-gold GoFundMe accounts mean they never have have to work again, along with the pile they’re making out of doing promotional book tours:
            https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/kim-davis-homosexuals-book_us_5a9583f4e4b0bef79e305b69?guccounter=1

            Baking a cake for a gay couple isn’t even part of the wedding ceremony, it’s for the after party. The baker isn’t ‘participating’ in it any more than the cleaners are. If the baker is trying to prevent the gay couple from ‘sinning’, then why doesn’t he refuse adulterers remarrying? If he believes miscegenation is also sinful, then he can refuse to serve interracial couples as well, yet we don’t see this. Why not ? Because they don’t really care about “sin” at all, they want to stick it to gay people. When it comes to refusal of public accommodations, replace the word “gay” with “Jew” and you get a whiff of where this is heading.

            Here’s the rub. Jesus never condemned homosexuals, and nor do the Ten Commandments, but he railed against adultery and hypocrisy. And what do we see these ‘Christians’ doing? Dripping with hypocrisy, Kim Davis is into her 4th marriage and so is an unrepentant adulterer. According to her own religious belief, she shouldn’t even be giving herself a marriage licence. Likewise with the baker, there is no record of his ever refusing to serve anyone except gay couples. Gluttony and adultery are suddenly “OK sins” when it’s themselves committing them. They want to stick it to gay people, and they’ll get their way once Trump replaces Kennedy on the Supreme Court, and Obergefell will be reversed.

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          • “Again and again I keep saying no-one should be forced” , and then you quote and link laws that FORCE people to do what they do not want to do. Round and round and round. Don’t you get dizzy?

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          • There is no law forcing anyone to make a flower arrangement or bake a cake. There are however laws preventing refusal of service to one group that you’d ordinarily provide another on the grounds of race. Good luck if you want the Civil Rights Act repealed.

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          • Derek Williams June 28, 2018 at 5:48 pm

            Again and again I keep saying no-one should be forced to draw anything, or bake anything against their will, so you are preaching to the converted, no matter how many times you hit me with the straw man.

            Huh? I’m not following that. As I recall you’ve said over and over that the baker should be forced to make a special cake for the gay couple. Did I misunderstand that?

            Me, I’ve said over and over that nobody should be forced to make SPECIAL ITEMS against their will, including the Colorado baker. I’m OK with hotels being forced to serve any and everybody. I’m not OK with someone telling me as a cartoonist what I have to draw.

            But you seem to think the baker SHOULD be forced to bake a special cake … that’s what I don’t get.

            w.

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          • No, as I keep saying, I don’t think he should be forced to bake anything or write anything he doesn’t want to, and nor should you as an artist, and nor should I as a musician.

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          • Just in case anything got “lost in translation” in my last response, a specialist cabinet maker can’t say to a black man, “you can buy my off-the-shelf cheap cabinet, but I don’t make the nice cabinets for blacks, only for whites”.

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          • Derek Williams June 28, 2018 at 7:41 pm

            Just in case anything got “lost in translation” in my last response, a specialist cabinet maker can’t say to a black man, “you can buy my off-the-shelf cheap cabinet, but I don’t make the nice cabinets for blacks, only for whites”.

            Can Picasso say to a realist “You can buy anything I’ve painted, but I only take commissions from people who appreciate abstract art”? And if so, how does that differ, not in law, but in morality from your example?

            I must say, I dislike the entire idea of “protected classes”. If one person deserves to be protected, we all deserve to be protected. For example, it is legal to say “I’ll serve Republicans in my restaurant, but I won’t serve Democrats”, but you can’t say “I’ll serve Jews but not Hindus in my restaurant”. You can’t be prejudiced against a young black woman, but you can be prejudiced against an old black man … and boy, lot’s of folks are …

            Good talking with you, you make me dig deep into what I do believe …

            w.

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          • Your other point about “protected classes” goes to the vulnerability of minorities, especially disliked minorities like Blacks, Jews and Gays. That’s why the 14th Amendment was necessary, to protect from what President John Adams called “tyranny of the majority”.

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          • Derek, I’m a cartoonist. Muslims say that folks like me should be killed for drawing pictures of Mohammed. So you’ll excuse me if I’m somewhat prickly on this issue. You say:

            “You can choose to be a Democrat but you can’t choose to be white.”

            Muslims are a protected group. So are Christians. You can choose to be either one. So … why are they “protected groups” while Republicans are not?

            Your other point about “protected classes” goes to the vulnerability of minorities, especially disliked minorities like Blacks, Jews and Gays. That’s why the 14th Amendment was necessary, to protect from what President John Adams called “tyranny of the majority”.

            What if some Christian (a protected group) comes to a cartoonist and insists that they draw cartoons of Mohammed? (another protected group)? What if a black man comes to a gay baker and insists that the baker bake a cake with an anti-gay message?

            Me, I think the issue is simple, and it has nothing to do with any protected group. I think that any artist or craftsman should be able to turn down any client’s request for a special item for any reason, or for no reason at all. Seriously. If you ask me to draw something I don’t want to draw, I should not have to justify my choice.

            Finally, since I think this should only apply to specially created objects, I don’t see this as an onerous burden. It has been pointed out that to get from their home to the Colorado baker whose life they tried to ruin, the couple had to pass five other bakeries. Which lets me know that they were acting out of spite, rather than because they had been deprived of something essential … if someone won’t make something special for you, there are lots of other fish in the sea …

            w.

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          • How do you know they didn’t walk past the five other bakers to go to the one with the best reputation? Remember, they had shopped there before, and were probably loyal to him – a respect not reciprocated by the baker. I’ll walk across town, past any number of other restaurants, to go to one with a great reputation, or one where I’m a regular.

            Let’s say, you want to get your portrait painted by the best artist in town, but he says he doesn’t paint black people. Or you want to have a hot rod built for your race gymkhana by the best car builder in the business, but he doesn’t do it for blacks, only for whites. Then, you go to the best restaurant in town, because you have heard of their degustation menu, but find out they don’t serve their Spécialité du Jour to blacks, only to whites. You want to have a private education, tailor made for your child of a particular ability, but again, they don’t serve blacks.

            Despite doing everything that society asked of you, working hard at school to get an education, paying your taxes and not breaking the law, the colour of your skin means you can never be respected and never order the best in the house. This is a daily reality for large numbers of blacks in the USA. It isn’t actually even legal, but it’s what you’re advocating that all the above businesses I cited as examples should be allowed to do, that an artist should be able to refuse clients on racial grounds, because of an atttribute they cannot change, the colour of their skin. They can’t ever get your best product because of racial prejudice. That’s discrimination, pure and simple.

            The reason that Jews, LGBT and African Americans have protected status under the Equal Protection provisions of the 14th Amendment is that they’re disliked minorities, whose rights can be obliterated by Tyranny of the Majority. The sad fact is that blacks have the greatest number of hate crimes perpetrated against them, with hate based homicides well over 13,000 annually, often by trigger-happy police who should be sworn to protect them. Next highest, also in the thousands, come LGBT whose murder rate is nearly double that of number of Jews murdered because they were Jews. And that’s in America, a high-income, first-world country. Some stats can be viewed here:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_crime

            A white man who sees the KKK marching through the street has nothing to fear, because he is white, but a black man knows they want to kill him, and will hunt him down. From that moment onwards the terror never leaves him. This is the reason for the passing of Equal Protection provisions of the 14th Amendment, because he and his ilk are only 14% of the US population, always subject to the whim of the majority. Should blacks have only 14% of the civil rights enjoyed by all other Americans, or should they have equal rights to everyone else and be able to dine, study, and commission works of art anywhere they damn well please if they can afford it?

            When did you ever see murder by the thousand of Republicans, just for being Republican, or heterosexuals, just for being heterosexual? Based on their stastical superiority, their murder rate should be 20 times higher than that of LGBT, Jews and Blacks, but we know that’s not the case. And yet there are still malfeasants who want “straight pride” parades, to stick it to ‘them gays’.

            Refusal of service to gays isn’t anything to do with religion and sin. If it was, then the baker, the butcher and the candlestick maker would be refusing service to adulterers and gluttons, but not only are adulterers and gluttons welcomed by these Pharisees, most of whom are themselves adulterers and gluttons, they’ve shamelessly elected one as President. Doesn’t it perplex you that the one and only “sin” they discriminate against, which by the way they’re not even being pressured into committing, is a gay person having a relationship with another gay person? No other “sin” bothers them but a gay person forming a relationship. They think if they make our lives unpleasant enough, gay men will see the error of our ways and start dating women. I don’t know about you, but none of my heterosexual friends had to be mistreated to start liking the opposite sex, attraction just happened spontaneously for them. The baker is forcing his religion on others who don’t belong to his church by refusing public accommodation. Actually, I would like to order a cake from the best in the business without getting a sermon from the baker about my sin. His religion is his private business, and no-one is saying he can’t believe whatever he likes, just don’t force religious belief on me.

            What exactly are the gay couple forcing on him? Are they telling him to marry the same sex? To perform the wedding ceremony? It’s a goddam cake, for the after party, not an orgy at the local sauna. if he doesn’t want to write the message, then he can hand them the icing gun and tell them to do it. Yes, as I said several times, he shouldn’t be forced to bake the cake, anymore than a Halal or Kosher butcher should be forced to stock bacon, but whatever he DOES bake should be available to everyone who is willing to pay for it. Just like the Halal and Kosher butcher serve everybody, without prejudice.

            I am for now assuming you’re white and heterosexual, and therefore don’t know first hand what it feels like for the black man facing refusal, or worse, on the grounds of his race, or the gay person being fired, evicted, shunned, disinherited, because of the way he was born, and cannot change. But unless the Civil Rights Act is repealed, or Obergefell is struck down by SCOTUS, along with various antidiscrimination ordinances in several states, refusals of service such as those I have outlined will remain illegal for the time being.

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          • Willis, I wish to correct a misquote that a friend has pointed out I made from the Wikipedia site on Hate Crime. In my hasty research, I mistook the 13,000 hate crimes documented against LGBT individuals to be homicides. A closer re-reading of the table has shown this to be incorrect. The statistic given doesn’t state how many of these against LGBT or the others in the table relating to Jews and African Americans are homicides. If I can locate that information, I’ll post it, but I apologise for my error on this citation.

            I’m still confident that Republicans aren’t a minority group that need state protection from hate crime, but if it turns out they are, now or in the future, then rest assured I’d support that equally, regardless of the fact that they are the political foes of LGBT equal rights.

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        • Willis, let me make it clear once again, I do NOT think the government should force the guy to bake the cake. No-one should be forced to bake a cake if they don’t want to. But refusal of service on the grounds of race is currently illegal nationwide. If he doesn’t want to sell cakes to black people, then he can’t sell them to white people either. To change that would require a repeal of the Civil Rights Act 1964.

          This link may be of assistance:
          https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/the-right-to-refuse-service-can-a-business-refuse-service-to-someone-because-of-appearance

          Anti-gay discrimination is currently legislated against only at the state level, not federally, despite many efforts to get ENDA up and running. Moreover, the new “religious freedom” acts springing up across America under Republican administrations now give employers the explicit right to fire gay people because they’re gay, landlords the right to evict gay tenants, insurance companies the right to refuse policies, schools and universities the right to expel gay students because they’re gay, doctors and hospitals the right to refuse treatment to gay people and so forth. It only has to be for a sincerely held religious reason.

          In the current case of the Colorado baker, the case made it to SCOTUS because freedom of speech and freedom of religion are both federal matters relying on the Constitution. The Court sided with Phillips, because his religious belief had not been respected, not because they thought he had a right to refuse his custom service to gay people. That is up to the laws of the state in which they reside.

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  18. Willis,

    You make a very good argument but have it contained within a narrow window to be valid. The real issue is Political Correctness in general and flourishes cloaked in freedom of speech, freedom of religion, civil rights, etc.

    Seems that if one can slide in under one or more of these constructs of freedom or rights and pacify the Thought Police, it becomes a new standard that other standards will be built on. Soon the standard standards will be no standards at all, just accommodation of the most far reaching of the newly protected class.

    There has become a mindset among left-wing activists that all things must change.

    Will restaurants be required to make special order vegan spaghetti sauce? Will a defendant face an accuser in a burka in court? We already have nameless accusers in court with fictitious/redacted names in rape charges. No background checks or past history allowed with regards to the accuser.

    The past 20 – 30 years of “women’s rights” have scared a lot of men from the institution of marriage, me included. If she gets mad and goes for a restraining order because you took the credit card away and yelled at her, well you’re moved out of your home, your guns instantly impounded, and you may be jailed until court proceedings. Oh yeah, now you have a criminal/court record.
    But the sad but funny pert is when a previously ‘militant feminist’ mother’s son is charged by law under the PC regulations/changes she advocated for. Or her daughter fails to find a mate to father and raise her children. Apples don’t fall far from the tree. But the best part is when the current activist fails to find a mate as a result of their present activism and attitude. I’ll bake them that cake and they can have it and eat it too.

    I have lived through the era of “quotas” and faced it in job opportunities, SBA lending and related as well as having to put up with being captive in all of it and needing to keep my mouth shut.

    Anyway, the Political Correctness Brigade is marching onward and getting real change through court action but for no other reason than just change based on a perversion of “rights”.

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  19. You don’t need to use the nazi or kkk examples. Just go to a gay baker and ask for a cake to be made with the following scripture on it: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” Leviticus, Chapter 18 verse 22

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    • Yep. And when they refuse sue the hell out of them and start a nationwide hate campaign to destroy them personally. Use the tactics of your enemy to defeat them.

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    • Selective citation. The same book of Leviticus (chapter 20 verse 9) commands that disobedient children be excecuted. It also commands that a married couple be both put to death for having intercourse during the woman’s menstrual cycle (chapter 18, verse 9). Try putting that on a wedding cake. More to the point, why are they allowed to get away with cherry picking the bits of the Bible it suits them to obey, while forcing their religious belief on others by denial of service?

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  20. I have an idea. Political strength is in numbers in the US (dollars included). A minority group organizes to promote their ‘religion’. They are persecuted and not given the respect they demand. They march and protest for their rights. The MSM acknowledges their rights and repression and calls for diversity. Traditional norms call bullshit but diversity is a Politically Correct goal and the actions of a few are not proof of those of the entire group. We just need to be more tolerant of others with different views and opinions. They are given protected status and must now be revered by all least you be jailed. We become a more diverse society, what’s not to like. You shall not judge a book of group by it’s cover or appearance. After all change is on the menu. You will be labeled a bigot if you don’t agree. That group is MS-13 and diversity requires you to embrace their ideology.

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  21. How about that incident over the weekend where a guy, going to dinner with his minister, was denied entrance/service at a restaurant in Indianapolis because the cross on his necklace violated the “Dress Code”?

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  22. …Instead, it is an issue of Freedom of Speech, or more to the point, an issue of Freedom NOT to Speak. I see nothing in the Constitution saying that the Government can force its citizens to say things that they object to, regardless of whether the objection is racial, religious, or for any other reason large or small….

    How does that fundamentally differ from being forced to serve a person if you object to that person’s race? I might feel very strongly that some races are sub-human and ought to be extermnated – and certainly should not be let into my coffee-shop. Simply letting them walk down the street without harrassment could, to my eyes, be equivalent to admitting that they have a right to exist (a statement I greatly object to).

    It seems to me that, as with so many imponderable questions (like abortion) we are faced here with an issue which has infinitesimal graduations, and we are trying to find a point at which is is logical to divide it. In this case there is a gradation of acceptable attitude – much like the ‘taking the knee’ controversy. And attitude can be inferred from words, actions or even facial expressions, while the law has to pick some dividing point where a grimace may be acceptable while a hand gesture is not…. The Greeks used the Sorites paradox to describe this situation, and the failure of philosophers to solve it satisfactorily probably indicates that it is not able to be resolved…

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Your “How does that fundamentally differ” paragraph isn’t so hypothetical. That is more or less exactly the Muslim extremist’s view, supported buy the Koran. Jihad. Not only do non-Muslims (and homosexuals) have no right to exist, they must be killed.

    Your last paragraph “as with so many imponderable questions” is almost the very definition of “politics”. If there is no consensus, then it’s political.

    “and the failure of philosophers to solve it satisfactorily probably indicates that it is not able to be resolved…”

    Liked by 1 person

  24. One of the problems I saw was the courts getting off on the “art” angle rather than the “speech” angle. Your hypotheticals are exactly right. There also is a religious angle: gay activists are gunning to force all churches to perform gay weddings under the same “cake” logic–it is just a service.

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  25. While I have some sympathy for a baker who doesn’t want to write an antisemitic or racist message on a cake, or to write something that suggests he supports same-sex marriage when he doesn’t, we also have to deal with the right this victory intrinsically grants to refuse service to a mixed race couple, which some religions oppose on scriptural grounds. Would the Supreme Court side with a baker who refused to bake a cake for a mixed race wedding?

    The thing that most irks me about this particular case and others like it, is the arrant hypocrisy involved. Jesus never spoke against same-sex relationships or LGBT people (and nor do the Ten Commandments), but he did preach against remarriage after divorce, and he condemned hypocrisy. The Bible clearly states that it is a mortal sin to remarry after a no-fault divorce, classified by Jesus as adultery. So why do we never hear about bakers refusing to bake cakes for their weddings? The answer is, they want to stick it to gay people. They don’t care about the serial adulterer in the White House, and half of them are already into their 2nd, 3rd or 4th marriages, so adultery for them is obviously an “OK sin”.

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  26. Willis – maybe there’s some more muddying of the waters with the Sarah Huckabee Sanders incident at the Red Hen restaurant (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44588939 ) where political reasons can be enough to refuse someone service. Of course, it may turn out to be bad for business to annoy half your customer base, but I don’t see that Ms. Sanders intended to take any legal action. She simply left when requested. The next thing was to make the knowledge of that public….

    Now there’s also Maxine Waters exhorting everyone to do much the same (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44608999 ) which seems to me to be fomenting Civil War. A slippery slope. Somewhat unpatriotic and undemocratic, too.

    Meanwhile, the Bible quotes here encouraged me to look them up to check veracity, and I find I’m committing a sin by wearing poly-cotton trousers (Leviticus 19:19 about a garment made of two sorts of thread mixed together). The same quote would stop mules being bred, as well as Ligers and Tyons (or at least it’s a sin to do so).

    Finding the right place to draw the line where some service may be refused and where it cannot be is a task fraught with difficulty. We live in a time where culture is changing very rapidly, and the ways we grew up with (and worked) may not be adequate to deal with the new conditions. Up until around age 13 I’d never encountered a black person until one came to our school to explain racial problems. It’s maybe worth saying that “survival of the fittest” applies to cultures too, and that the social rules in a culture have either evolved to enable people to get along without to much friction or the culture dies because it can’t cope. It seems to me that there’s a certain rate of change of culture that can be assimilated, and that trying to force it to change faster will cause problems – you have to wait for the older people to die off since they will mostly hold on to their traditional ways that may be totally against the new necessities.

    For the cake that we started with, there seems to have been no problem with actually buying a cake, but simply with the personalised message that they customer wanted. Simple fix for the happy couple, therefore – buy the cake, get some icing-pens, and write your own message on the cake. Everyone is happy. The legal prosecution seems to me to be simply revenge, and it should have been seen as that and dismissed (thus this can be seen as a failure of the legal process). If you want a non-Christian message written on a cake, don’t go to a Christian baker. This really ought to be be obvious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Simon, you say:

      “Finding the right place to draw the line where some service may be refused and where it cannot be is a task fraught with difficulty.”

      I disagree. There’s a bright line between an “off-the-shelf” item and a special item. If I order scrambled eggs off the menu, I should get it.

      But if I say “Could you add a half cup of milk to the eggs and scramble the yolks separately”, that’s a special item and the cook should be (and is) able to say “No, we don’t do special orders”.

      And this should be true regardless of the reason for the objection—religious, personal, pro-something, anti-something, doesn’t matter. As I said above, should a die-hard realist be able to force Picasso against his wishes to paint a realistic picture for his wedding?

      I say absolutely not.

      Finally, you say:

      The legal prosecution seems to me to be simply revenge, and it should have been seen as that and dismissed (thus this can be seen as a failure of the legal process). If you want a non-Christian message written on a cake, don’t go to a Christian baker. This really ought to be obvious.

      True ‘dat.

      Welcome to the blog,

      w.

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      • The problem here is that while the “off the shelf” is for everyone, the custom made item is only for people who aren’t a member of the disliked class, e.g. gays/Jews/African Americans etc. If you would make the custom item for a white couple but not for a mixed race couple, then that’s discrimination. If you would make it for a Gentile but not for a Jew, then that’s discrimination. If you would make it for a straight couple but not for a gay couple, then that too is discrimination. The specialisation of the product is artfully and I believe disingenuously designed to exclude people who are members of the disliked class. What is being sought by certain Christians is the right to serve everyone except LGBT people, hence the narrow ruling of SCOTUS, and hence why people aren’t yet noticing the end result of legalising discrimination against this or that disliked minority, since it’s oniy gays impacted, *so far*.

        The slippery slope here is the sheer volume of conflicting religious belief, which perforce includes a Muslim baker’s righ to refuse to serve Christians, Jews, atheists, females without their husband present, or who aren’t dressed in Islamic attire. There is literally nothing that cannot be justified on the basis of religious belief.

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        • Derek, you say:

          “As I have acknowledged elsewhere, no-one should be forced to write a message they don’t agree with, nor to paint a work of art outwith their sphere of expertise. But as I also mentioned in a response I made just now to another comment, the reason for the refusal in your example is fairly based on the painter’s unwillingness or inability to work in the field requested by the client.”

          Picasso could paint in a totally realistic manner … he simply didn’t want to, for whatever reason.

          So as you have admitted, it’s OK for Picasso to be unwilling to do a special item in the manner requested by the client, NO MATTER WHAT HIS REASON WAS …

          Why, then, is it NOT OK for a baker to be unwilling to do a special item in the manner requested by a client, no matter what his reason is? …

          w.

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          • Yes, so long as he refuses to do this for EVERYBODY. But if he will do the custom painting for a white person, but refuses a black person then that is discrimination. Same goes for all the other disliked minorities I mentioned.

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          • Derek Williams June 28, 2018 at 10:48 am

            Yes, so long as he refuses to do this for EVERYBODY. But if he will do the custom painting for a white person, but refuses a black person then that is discrimination. Same goes for all the other disliked minorities I mentioned.

            Nope. Here’s why.

            Suppose a white KKK member comes into a specialty T-shirt shop. He doesn’t want something off the rack, he wants a special T-shirt that says “The KKK should have lynched them all when they had the chance!”, with a picture of a lynching.

            Then a black Louis Farrakhan supporter comes in right behind him and wants a special T-shirt that says “The KKK should have all been lynched long ago!”, with a picture of a lynching.

            According to you, the T-shirt artist should be FORCED to make BOTH shirts, because to refuse either one would be RACIST!!! The Horror!

            Me, I think the T-shirt artist should be free to do both, to refuse both, or to do one but not the other. You should not be able to force an artist or a craftsman to do what you want, that’s inherent in the nature of arts and crafts. They are personal statements.

            And as a person who has drawn cartoons of Mohammed with all that implies in terms of pressure to not draw them, I take your kind of oppression very seriously … so no, Derek, you do NOT get to tell me who or what to draw, regardless of whether you are gay, straight, white, black, Christian, or Muslim. That’s the point of America, we’re the “Land of the Free” …

            Liberals and liberalism were supposed to be all about freedom … so why do so many like you want to use the government to bend people to your every whim by screaming RACIST!!! SEXIST!!! ANTI-GAY!!! and the like at every opportunity?

            As I said before, the gay couples that have sued bakers, in one case into bankruptcy? Their childish, selfish actions have stored up immense ill-will against the gay community … and in part, that’s how we got Trump … so why on earth would you argue for more of that? Call me crazy, but I want LESS ill-will against gays, not more ill-will as you are advocating for …

            Like I said, the answer is simple: if you want a special cake for your special day and your baker won’t bake it, FIND ANOTHER BAKER!

            w.

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          • No, I don’t think the T-shirt artist should be forced to make either T-shirt if he doesn’t want to, and to refuse both or either would not be racist because he objects to the message, regardless of the person ordering it.

            If someone comes in and orders a T-shirt he should be free to make it or not make it as he pleases, so long as he doesn’t refuse someone because of their race, gender or sexual orientation, while allowing it to others because of their race, gender or sexual orientation – all of which are innate attributes, not chosen.

            If he makes KKK T-shirts, then both whites and blacks should be free to buy them, however if he says, “I only make KKK T-shirts for white people”, then that is discrimination.

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          • Derek Williams June 28, 2018 at 12:14 pm Edit

            No, I don’t think the T-shirt artist should be forced to make either T-shirt if he doesn’t want to, and to refuse both or either would not be racist because he objects to the message, regardless of the person ordering it.

            So you would agree that in the Colorado case, you don’t think the baker should be forced to make the cake if he doesn’t want to, and to refuse would not be anti-gay because he objects to the message, regardless of the person ordering it? Because that’s the essence of what you just said …

            w.

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          • That’s right. I don’t think the baker should be forced to bake anything he doesn’t want to, so long as he refuses it to everybody. The Christian baker could easily settle his problem by making products he can sell to anybody, without discrimination. For example, he could set up a stall where people choose their own message and a machine does it, or he could sell through his church, since religions are exempt from anti-discrimination ordinances, and from paying tax.

            Otherwise, racial discrimination is currently illegal federally, and other types under certain state laws under public accommodation provisions, so it really doesn’t matter what I think anyway. But to repeal the Civil Rights Act is a major step and I don’t know how much support there’d be for that.

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      • Willis – you said “I disagree. There’s a bright line between an “off-the-shelf” item and a special item. If I order scrambled eggs off the menu, I should get it.”

        I was thinking (when I wrote this) of whether you’d sell a large cooking knife to a man dressed in combat fatigues, a full beard and looking somewhat wild. There certain situations where it would be unreasonable to treat everyone exactly the same.

        The question to ask is “what would a reasonable person do?”, but that begs the question of what is reasonable in your culture. I wouldn’t hand a weapon to someone who appeared to be at risk of hurting someone with it. There are however soldiers in my extended family that have done some serious damage to others to stop them doing damage to innocents, so I’m happy that they have their weapons. They are good people. Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam IIRC) used to be a peaceful guy, but when he was asked about whether Salman Rushdie deserved the death sentence, stated that that’s what the book said so yes he did deserve it and it was right. An illustration of the differences in culture, and that what is reasonable in one culture may be unreasonable in another.

        As such, I am perennially uncertain of what is reasonable in the culture I’m living in since it is changing. Heisenberg Syndrome…. I do what seems reasonable to me at the time. I’d serve anybody anything unless it seemed risky to do so. Note that in discussing things over the net, I don’t know if the other person is black, white, yellow or blue, what sex they are, or indeed anything other than their words and the way they put them together. It also doesn’t make any difference face-to-face.

        Funnily enough Picasso learnt his craft doing some very realistic paintings, and I doubt that he lost that skill. He might have done a realistic painting if you’d asked him nicely (and paid him enough). Compulsion would however be wrong.

        Though I absolutely agree with the drift of your argument and the points raised, I still see difficulties in drawing that line in every situation. My preference is for zero discrimination – neither positive nor negative. Equality of opportunity as far as possible. You can’t however decree equality of outcomes – life is inherently unfair and we need to accept that.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks for your thoughts, Simon. I agree that we are required morally (although not legally) to try to prevent harm to others, so I agree with your example about selling the knives.

          Regarding your heartfelt call for “zero discrimination”, however, as a cartoonist myself, there are certain things and people that I wouldn’t do cartoons of, and others that you can’t stop me from drawing. So I’m sorry, but I’m gonna discriminate.

          For example, I’ve drawn cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. They’re here at the end of the post … usual caveats apply, if cartoons of the Prophet would offend you then DON’T CLICK THE LINK, DUH …

          So you can see why I take this pressuring of artists to do what either an individual person or some group or the society as a whole demands as anathema …

          w.

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          • Willis – the “zero discrimination” plea is because I’m an Old White Guy, against whom it seems to be totally politically correct to discriminate. Still, I want my doctor or dentist to be able to actually do the job well, and the designer of the car or aircraft I’m in to be competent, and not hired because the quota for diversity needed filling.

            I saw the Prophet cartoons a while back – I’ve been lurking for quite a time. Sad to live in a prophet-oriented society….

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        • “life is inherently unfair and we need to accept that.” Bingo! The refusal to accept this simple fact is at the root of many of our society’s problems. Far too many people “believe” that equality of outcome can be forced. You win the internet for the day!

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          • Are you really claiming that if you’re treated unfairly, you’ll just lie down and accept it? The vehemence of your rhetoric on the alleged unfairness of the treatment of the florist by the state suggests otherwise.

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          • When someone asks me to leave their place of business because they don’t want to serve me you can bet your ass I will leave. Clearly you would make a scene and then sue. Now we understand each other.

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          • The reply system on this blog somehow puts them out of sequence. My reply above I’ll try copying below:

            If it’s ok to treat people unfairly then why don’t you accept what you consider the unfair treatment of the florist but the state?

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          • Because the “law” specifically forbids the “state” to do so, pinhead. Or do you only use “law” to attack you political enemies? Certainly appears so from your comments.

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    • The Red Hen restaurant situation is a perfect example. Mrs Sanders was asked to leave so she and her husband left and went home, the rest of their party left and went to another establishment. A number of people from Red Hen followed them and harassed them publicly. THAT is where this all goes off the rails. When asked to leave an American says OK and goes. Leftists refuse to leave, escalate the situation and then sue.

      To make this all even worse we have cases like that of Barronelle Stutzman in Washington. She politely refused to do floral arrangements for a friend’s gay wedding, he was fine with it, they are still friends and sometimes even work together. The Washington state Attorney General is prosecuting her for refusing to make floral arrangements for a gay wedding. Not the gay couple, the AG. The same AG who publicly refuses to enforce US immigration laws and has directed his state’s law enforcement agencies to block ICE and BP from enforcing US immigration laws. This insanity is what leftist ideology has led us to, and Americans have had about enough of it.

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  27. Derek Williams June 29, 2018 at 3:38 am

    How do you know they didn’t walk past the five other bakers to go to the one with the best reputation? Remember, they had shopped there before, and were probably loyal to him – a respect not reciprocated by the baker. I’ll walk across town, past any number of other restaurants, to go to one with a great reputation, or one where I’m a regular.

    Let’s say, you want to get your portrait painted by the best artist in town, but he says he doesn’t paint black people. Or you want to have a hot rod built for your race gymkhana by the best car builder in the business, but he doesn’t do it for blacks, only for whites. Then, you go to the best restaurant in town, because you have heard of their degustation menu, but find out they don’t serve their Spécialité du Jour to blacks, only to whites. You want to have a private education, tailor made for your child of a particular ability, but again, they don’t serve blacks.

    Despite doing everything that society asked of you, working hard at school to get an education, paying your taxes and not breaking the law, the colour of your skin means you can never be respected and never order the best in the house. This is a daily reality for large numbers of blacks in the USA.

    No, that WAS the daily reality for black people. It hasn’t been that way for decades.

    Now, suppose you want to get your portrait painted by the best artist in town, but he says he doesn’t paint black people. So you sue him in Federal Court, and there are two possible outcomes:

    He paints a really crappy picture of you because he hates you, OR he refuses to paint it and he goes bankrupt.

    I’m not seeing any winners here. If an artist hates black people, that will shine through the painting … so why on earth would a black person want him to do their portrait?

    The same with the cake baker and the gay couple. Even if they could have used the power of the state to force him to bake them a cake, again only two outcomes:

    Either they force him to act against his deep religious beliefs and they get a crappy cake because now he actually hates them as individuals regardless of their sexual orientation, or they drive him into bankruptcy.

    Again, where are the winners in that deal?

    That’s the thing about artists and craftsmen, and their specialty items—if you piss the makers off, you’re sure to get an inferior product made for you.

    That’s why I differentiate between things that are on the menu, like the Specialite Du Jour (which despite your example actually is on the menu), and things that aren’t on the menu. For things that are on the menu, like employment, housing, and service in public establishments, I have no problem with the Civil Rights Act. But not when it comes to special requests.

    For example, if a black man goes into a restaurant and says “I don’t want anything on the menu, I want something special just for me”, your interpretation of the law provides no choice for the cook. He can’t say “No, I’m too busy”, because when he wasn’t busy he did it for another customer. According to you, he either has to accede to special requests for anything from anyone at any time … or he has to refuse them all. Otherwise, the black guy could say “You are refusing to serve me because you don’t like black people” and sue him into bankruptcy.

    Look, I understand your issues better than you might think. I lived for 17 years in black-majority countries where white people sometimes do get discriminated against, and it’s no picnic. I know that sinking feeling all too well.

    But I think that far too often these days, the remedy is worse than the disease … I say again, if an artist doesn’t want to paint your picture or a baker doesn’t want to bake your cake, you’d be a fool to force them to do so. You are sure to get an inferior product, and it engenders bad feelings for the group you represent.

    You still don’t seem to have grasped the nettle—gay people suing bakers has turned lots of folks who were neutral into people who now reflexively dislike and oppose the acceptance of gay people as just another part of life’s rich pageant … and to me, that’s a huge tragedy, in part from issues of fundamental fairness and in part because it affects my relatives.

    Thanks as always for your thoughtful and measured replies, such a discussion is rare in today’s far-too-polarized world.

    w.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never been a fan of “do nothing”, and spent my life fighting injustice in one form or another, to the extent of my ability to do so.

      I wonder, would LGBT people, women and blacks have the rights they do, had we not marched and annoyed people at some point? Creating incidents like sitting down in the middle of London traffic, stopping cars, annoys the hell out of motorists, but it gets you a unique opportunity to grab the megaphone and argue your case on TV, radio and in newspapers.

      The marches we undertook in the 70’s got many of us arrested, spat on and bashed, but now I can marry the same man I could once have been imprisoned for loving. That all happened within my lifetime over the past 40 years. Activism works, so long as the cause is just, your arguments are reasonable, not unfair on others, and you work with allies. Minorities as tiny as the ones we have been discussing cannot do very much at all because of Tyranny of the Majority, and so straight allies have alwasy been crucial to our cause.

      I can therefore only agree with you, that forcing people to provide products and services to people they actively hate doesn’t sound smart, they may even poop in the cake for all I know, but sometimes courts fly ahead of the country. At the time of the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, when SCOTUS declared the Jim Crow laws unconstitutional, around 90% of the population opposed full equality for African Americans including miscegenation with whites. Now, the tables have turned, more or less full circle (if I may mix metaphors). The same has happened for LGBT equal rights, which were much harder to sell and we’re still nowhere near full equality. But in a similar way as for African Americans, courts flew ahead of the country, e.g. the Obergefell decision, even though that looks now likely to be reversed along with Roe v Wade with the new Republican majority SCOTUS.

      Unfortunately, as a result of the wedding cake debacle, we now have self-appointed champions of ‘religious freedom’, a collection of Pharisees if ever I saw them, fighting for the right to deny rights to LGBT minorities, that they nevertheless claim all too readily for themselves. I agree it’s been a cock-up from the getgo and as I said a day or two ago, I think we picked the wrong battle. That said, I don’t resile from a single word I have written on your blog, because these modern-day Pharisees’ self-righteous behaviour stinks to high heaven of hypocrisy and is about as un-Christian as you can get. I have come to think of Trump as the anti-Christ.

      Would Jesus have refused to bake a gay couple a cake? I very much doubt it. I think he’d have invited the couple in and held their hands as it got iced with a message of love. Nothing about the behaviour of Trump, the Republican Party, the Tea Party nor the Christian Right impresses me as remotely Christ-like. They are neither Christian, nor Right.

      I didn’t mention this yet, that the majority of my friends are practising Christians, as are most of my family. I was raised in the Christian tradition. Has a single friend of mine or a solitary member of my family ever shunned me , disinherited me or denied me happiness? Hell no. I have been fully supported throughout my entire life – by Christians mostly.

      I have never personally suffered rejection, or dismissal from employment, and the church most of my friends belong to, the Scottish Episcopal Church, not only welcomes LGBT parishioners with open arms, open hearts, open minds, and full sacraments, they ordain LGBT clergy and perform same-sex marriage.

      Jesus commanded us to love one another. If you are truly motivated by love, would you do half the things the current malefactors are engaged in?

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      • I don’t think the intention of the law protecting disliked minorities from discrimination is to force you to love them. You are legally free to love or hate whomever you want, and it is impossible to force you to feel otherwise, even at gun point, just as it is impossible to force a gay man to love a straight woman by punishing him.

        However I agree it can sometimes be difficult to determine whether the putative discriminatory denial of service to a member of a disliked minority is due solely to that dislike. It could be due to other factors, such as running out of raw materials, someone finishing a shift, or a decision to cease providing the service that unhappily coincides with the request for that service by a member of the disliked minority at that moment. One would expect that courts would throw out such unprovable cases, or better that they wouldn’t reach a court in the first place.

        I read the article you adduced about how the florist and her “friend” (I use quotation marks since we don’t have his side of the story in the article) whom she refused service to in the grounds that he is gay. I know that sounds provocative, since she previously sold him flowers, knowing he was gay, but had he been straight, she says she’d have sold him the flowers for his wedding. In this, she believes her role in the commercial transaction is facilitating ‘sin’, rather analogous to suing the owner of a gun shop for all the murderers committed using the products he sells.

        It’s probably the legally enforceable duty of the gun shop owner to refuse to sell a gun to someone, in the knowledge of its intended use to commit murder, but is it the legally enforceable duty or even the right of the business owner to prevent others from sinning? I go to my earlier example of Catholic checkout operators being allowed to refuseto swipe condoms, since without question, their intended use can only be sinful according to the Catholic teaching. If that’s their right, then so too is it the right of Muslim checkout operators to refuse to swipe beer, pork and seafood products. Unquestionably, these products will be used to commit sin according to Islam. Then we can go to Hindus refusing to swipe beef products, and so forth. There is literally nothing that a religion somewhere doesn’t justify.

        Now let’s turn to the question of interracial marriage, still regarded by large numbers of devout believers as grievously sinful. Can the florist or the baker refuse to design something for their wedding? Article below:
        https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2011/june/opposition-to-interracial-marriage-lingers-among.html

        The ‘Christian’ service providers don’t refuse service to adulterous marriages or to sell cakes to gluttons, or any of my other examples above; they just want to deny service to homosexuals. They’ll get their way from the Republican-owned Supreme Court, but once you allow refusal of service based on religious belief, you open a can of worms.

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        • Derek – religious questions are difficult to deal with since the Books are written with words that can be interpreted in several ways. For example the Koran (meaning “recitation”) was written without vowels in the oldest versions, so the 40 virgins could have been read as 40 raisins. Maybe a shock to a martyr…. As I noted earlier, according to the Bible wearing poly-cotton trousers is a sin because it’s two different threads. However, such beliefs can produce extreme violence if you try to force someone to go against them. This even spreads into science, with some extreme sanctions applied to people who question the standard theories (noticeable largely as regards to Global Warming, but also applies to other heresies as well).

          Christianity has made some adjustments over the centuries, from accepting that the Earth moves around the Sun to having openly gay bishops, but of course not all sections have gone at the same pace. Cultural changes take a while, since in general people accept as truth that which they were taught when young (and yes, that applies to science too). Things progress funeral by funeral. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s been a lot of kerfuffle recently with paedophile priests, and they are finally being publicised and jailed. Irish comedians have been pointing out the problem for many years, and everyone knew about it but the Church just moved such people elsewhere. Dave Allen used to do some close-to-the-bone pieces on that, and got death threats pretty often because of that. “Life of Brian” caused various religious people to go apopletic and call for it to be banned. Maybe the best film ever…. Comedy is the art of saying the truth in a way that that makes people realise the ludicrous side of it, and can lead to changes in society and culture because of that.

          Cultural changes thus take generations to achieve peacefully. Trying to accelerate them will lead to push-back from the people who retain the attitudes and beliefs they grew up with, though of course a percentage of the old people will be sufficiently flexible to think for themselves as to what is acceptable and what is not.

          You obviously doubt the florist’s account that Bob was her friend for 10 years. I’d accept that as the reality, and note that it wasn’t Bob who complained or started the legal proceedings. He simply went somewhere else for the service he wanted. A friend wouldn’t try to force someone to go against their principles, after all.

          The angry people who want their way of life to be accepted seem to forget that laughter is their best tool. Point out the things that are wrong and make people laugh at it, and it will change. Maybe slower than you’d like, but there’s that inertia in social change that makes such things a generational change rather than quick. Look up Alf Garnett (UK TV program when I was young – my dad didn’t allow it on since his attitudes were much like Alf’s), where the standard racial attitudes of the British working man were mercilessly lampooned. That probably had more effect on attitudes than a raft of laws about racial equality. Be less like Alf….

          It happens I have gays in the family, interracial marriage in the family, Jewish and Muslim friends who go back a very long way, and I don’t even know my own racial background since my dad was adopted. It’s however a fair bet that I’d have black ancestry since most Europeans do – people have been getting into each others’ pants for a very long time, and sailors are notorious for sexual exploits (and race wasn’t any barrier to joining a ship). Very few people can claim to be a pure racial type, and those that do are probably unaware of the truth.

          It’s maybe unwise to quote statistics at Willis. He’ll look up the figures and do the maths. Still, you may find it worth reading https://rosebyanyothernameblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/two-decades-of-diminishing-hatred/ to see that the standard apprehension that violence is increasing isn’t backed by the figures. You just hear about it more. Some statistics are skewed by non-reporting of incidents (see Sweden and Germany as a case) but the chances of being a victim do seem to be generally reducing. In Europe and the USA, at least. Mexico is looking a bit dangerous for politicians who want to strengthen the rule of law.

          Still, if you can make people laugh at some attitude, it seems to me you have a better chance of changing that attitude. Telling them they are wrong simply leads to a push-back where they will hold their beliefs more strongly because they feel persecuted. If instead they see their attitudes as laughable then they will change them.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Great point about humour, and a few chuckles along the way, thanks! I’ll take ‘40 raisins’ all the way to the bank to sit alongside “every sperm is sacred”.

            Even when we force naughty kids to apologise and shake hands, we know it’s not heartfelt at that moment. In my years as a schoolteacher, I’d sometimes mimic the way two bickering kids were yelling at each other, which usually had the desired effect of making them laugh at themselves (and at me). They’d say, “oh, Sir, you’re not supposed to talk like us!” Nevertheless, our hope is that the engagement process between sworn enemies, albeit forced, will change their attitude over time, just as engagement with Jews has taught us they’re not really intent on ‘eating Christian babies’, and LGBT people coming out has shown they’re part of our community and no threat to anyone. Likewise, England has been recently playing football in Russia.

            Re statistics, I already retracted a misquote I made, as I too am normally meticulous when it comes to adduced research. I also read the blog you linked me too and was very much encouraged by it, though it dealt primarily with race-based and not LGBT incidents.

            Pushing a cat towards the very saucer of milk it would ordinarily want might make it recoil and push back, whereas trying to drag it back by the tail will make it scrape claw marks on your best lino in its struggle to reach the selfsame milk.

            Humans aren’t entirely driven by logic, and do irrational yet predictable, and sometimes wonderful things, based on emotional stimuli. It’s difficult to engage on two dimensional iPhone screens in a way that direct, eye-to-eye discourse does, but one does one’s best.

            Liked by 1 person

  28. What is discrimination? I don’t think anyone should be beat up because they are gay. Laws against that are fine with me. I don’t think anyone who is not gay should be beat up because someone thinks they are gay. Nor should any non-gay be beat up because he is not gay. You can make laws for this.

    I don’t think a black person or a gay person or a woman or a Jewish person should be denied employment solely because of this fact. And in the case of the non-gay person or the non-Jewish person, neither should they be denied employment because someone thinks they are gay or Jewish. You cannot write good laws for this. Simply because you can never know what the real reasons were. The stated reasons may not be true. The “victim” doesn’t know, he can only suspect. The legal system can’t know on individual cases either. Statistically, they may be able to prove something in general. For example Harvard discriminates against Chinese students.

    There are almost a thousand murders in Chicago each year, and many more shot.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-homicides-data-tracker-htmlstory.html
    This I can care about. They should make a law against it.

    But a cake? Give me a break! It’s all symbolic and rather pointless. Gays can marry, if they want to, fine. Marriage is really a business contract. Why does everybody think it’s just about sex? But this isn’t about marriage is it? It’s about forcing people to treat gays with a smile and love them. Force me to love you? That doesn’t work, except for Stockholm syndrome.

    Don’t bother arguing with me, argue with this woman, a florist in Washington state who the state has gone after with vengeance. The florist and the customer are friends and treated each other decently. But the Washington Attorney General is not a friend; and not a friend I would want to have.

    Because I believe that all people are made in the very image of God, I serve everyone who enters my shop and treat them with dignity and respect.

    But this doesn’t mean that I can agree to every request. If people ask for custom arrangements to celebrate events or express messages that run up against my religious beliefs, I have to say ‘no.’ (This is particularly true for events like weddings that I personally attend.) Even then, I’ll gladly create something else for them, or sell them any of my ready-to-purchase items.

    The florist’s eloquent statement is here:
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/06/29/washington-state-florist-my-life-has-been-turned-upside-down-because-my-religious-beliefs.html

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Derek Williams: “I don’t think the intention of the law protecting disliked minorities from discrimination is to force you to love them.”

    No, I don’t think that was the intention either, and it would not be possible anyway. The intention may just have been to protect disliked minorities from discrimination. The real question is whether the laws worked or not, and whether those laws are still appropriate since the situation has changed.

    The situation of African Americans in the 1960s was both unjust and untenable. On the one hand, civil-rights activists argued that the project of more closely integrating African Americans into the nation’s social, economic, and political life could not be left up to the states (the Democratic political machines controlling the South were built on segregation) and further that it should not be left up to the states, being a problem that was genuinely national in character. Critics of the 1964 legislation, including Republicans such as Senator Barry Goldwater who had supported earlier civil-rights reforms, argued that the proposed legislation went too far, that the expansive “public accommodations” doctrine would insert politics into what had been private life, politicizing the conduct of business and inviting the federal snout into places where it did not belong. The tragedy was, and is, that both sides were right.

    I’m skipping the section on homosexuals and transgenders to avoid quoting the whole article.

    Phillips serves customers of all sorts, including homosexual customers. What he declines to do is to make cakes for certain events, participation in which, even as a vendor, would violate his conscience. As he put it: “I serve everybody. It’s just that I don’t create cakes for every occasion.”

    Phillips has been prosecuted under a civil-rights law, but this is not really a case about civil rights: It is a case about compulsion.

    After winning his case at the Supreme Court, Phillips was again targeted by Colorado activists, one of whom asked him to make a cake to celebrate coming out as transgender. Phillips declined, and was ordered to the state to compulsory mediation. He is countersuing.

    By Derek’s logic, Philips should be a free man. He does not make custom cakes with pro-gay messages, neither for gays nor for straights, neither for Christians nor for Muslims.

    Why compel Jack Phillips to knuckle under? Because you can, and because you hate him. Hate is an inescapable part of tribalism, and hate is now the single most important organizing principle of the American Left.

    That’s not quite right. The hate is not against the individual, it’s against a meme. And hate comes in milder and stronger forms, so ‘hate’ is not a useful word either.

    All quotes are from
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/08/masterpiece-cakeshop-case-about-compulsion-not-civil-rights/
    “The Compulsory Society”

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    • “That’s not quite right. The hate is not against the individual,” Actually that is right, as is their hatred of a “meme”. People on the left focus their hatred on individuals, often without the least idea what those individuals actually believe or support. Their hatred for “memes”, as people now call it, is simply regurgitation of their own “memes” that often have no basis in facts or reality. Just look at their repeated screeching about DJT being a racist. The man hires people of all ethnicities, and pays them based on performance, not what color they are or what gender they are. Prior to June ’16 many prominent black community and Democrat Party members loved Trump, Sharpton and Jackson routinely were seen with him at events and praised his actions in support of minorities. June ’16 came a total flipflop and ALL leftists immediately started calling him a racist. Leftists always focus hate on individuals, that is what Alinsky told them to do and they are, collectively, too stupid to think for themselves.

      Like

    • “By Derek’s logic, Philips should be a free man. He does not make custom cakes with pro-gay messages, neither for gays nor for straights, neither for Christians nor for Muslims.”

      Hold on there a second, Philips would make “pro straight” cakes only for straight couples, he wouldn’t be baking “pro gay” cakes for straight couples as you suppose. The latter he would make for gay couples, if he made them at all. However he wasn’t being asked to advocate for same-sex weddings or to perform them or to even attend them, merely to bake a cake.

      Conveniently, it’s only same-sex weddings he takes exception to, which are specifically NOT condemned by Jesus, but he doesn’t refuse remarriages of divorcees, which ARE condemned by Jesus as adultery. He also is not on record as refusing cakes for obese customers, despite Gluttony being a listed sin.

      Like

      • Derek, whether his objections are logical or not is not the point. Someone should NOT be forced to make a special item that they don’t want to make. Otherwise, you end up in the ludicrous position of being able to force Picasso to draw something he doesn’t want to draw.

        Me, I’m a cartoonist. I oppose Muslims telling me what I can’t draw, and I would equally oppose someone telling me what I have to draw.

        Someday, I suppose, someone will open a second bakery in Colorado where these vindictive people could go and get their cake with a representation of Satan licking a dildo … until then we should not force Jack to make such a thing.

        And make no mistake … someone has already DEMANDED that he make just exactly that.

        w.

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        • I agree about Picasso, and about being forced to write a message you disagree with but where do you draw the line? If a doctor doesn’t like blacks and maybe he is the only doctor in a small town, should he be permitted to refuse to treat a black patient?

          Should a hotel be permitted to refuse to rent a room to a gay couple?

          Should a school be permitted to expel LGBT students?

          Should a Catholic checkout operator be permitted to swipe only items that comport with his religion, e.g. by refusing to swipe condoms, i.e. is it is right to prevent others from sinning?

          Should a Muslim checkout operator be permitted to refuse to serve women with an intact clitoris, or who are not wearing a burqa, or who drove to the supermarket without their husband’s permission?

          Bottom line is, the baker is trying to prevent sin, not by himself, but by others, despite the fact they don’t belong to his religion. And it’s pretty clear, there is only one sin that bothers him, and that is same-sex relationships.

          It all comes back to public accommodation.

          Like

          • These are good questions. There used to be places where unmarried couples were not allowed. Now, most places don’t care. What changed? There were no laws passed to prevent this discrimination that I know of. The culture changed. That’s how you do it. Doing it with laws is doing it by force, by compulsion, what we would call the Nazi way, although the real Nazis were far worse.

            “Bottom line is, the baker is trying to prevent sin, not by himself, but by others” — maybe, but more likely he has drawn his own line of how far he allows himself to be involved in promoting that “sin”. He does express a live and let live attitude which his persecutors do not.

            Part of the obligations of being a Muslim is to prevent sin in others, even in non-Muslims. This is a serious problem. Other religions only try to prevent sin by their own followers, I think. Christians have something about the mote in your own eye. If gay Christians are upset by the baker, the proper Christian response would be to ignore him and go elsewhere. Gays have won the battle for acceptance, there is no need to crush and humiliate the remaining pockets of resistance.

            So the answer to most of your good questions is not yes or no, but to first use a soft approach to try to work things out before calling in the police or the thought police.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks, Derek. For me the key is “special items”. I would say you cannot refuse to sell things off the shelf to anyone, but you can refuse to make (create) some kind of special item for them. And the baker is not refusing to deal with gay people, he’s willing to sell them anything in his shop off the shelf. What he is not willing to do is to follow their instructions to create something special and unique for them.

            w.

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          • OK, well l guess we have come full circle to the baker’s response to the customer who asks for a custom item: “I don’t serve Blacks” or “I don’t serve Jews” or “I don’t serve LGBT+ people”. If however the LGBT person or the Jew lied to the baker and said they were straight or a Gentile, they’d be deemed worthy of his best products.

            We need to bear in mind that the reason the baker refuses service is that he is trying to prevent others from sinning, even though they do not belong to his religion. There isn’t any other rationale I can come up with to support the refusal, unless they were asking him to write on their cake, “I, Jack Phillips, support same-sex marriage.” Of course, he has the unquestionable right to refuse to write such a message.

            If it were an anniversary cake, he would write “Happy Anniversary to Bill and Jane,” yet would refuse to write “Happy Anniversary to Bill and Ben.” But who is wishing whom “Happy Anniversary” here? Is it the purchaser of the cake, or the baker himself? I would be frankly astonished if the recipients of the well-wishing cake felt an obligation to phone the baker of said cake to thank him for his kind wishes.

            I take all the points about freedom to refuse to write a message and so forth, but allowing refusal of service in a public store on the basis of someone’s race, gender or sexual orientation in order to try to prevent them from sinning is fraught with consequences, both intended and unintended. I think in a public store, one has to be prepared to serve everyone who comes in, with obvious reasonable exceptions such as drunkenness or not abiding by a safety dress code.

            Like

          • Your obsession with other people’s skin color is a sickness, you should really let it go.

            Businesses have the right to refuse service and they do not have to give a reason. Period. Full stop. You leftists trying to force compliance with your sick racist crap is what is causing all the problems. Martin Luther King Jr would spit in your face.

            Like

          • Name calling, calling me a “leftist”, isn’t rebutting anything. I don’t even know what a “leftist” is, so it’s water off a duck’s back so far as I am concerned, however I’d be more than happy to read your definition.

            From point of fact, I mentioned three innate characteristics of race, gender and sexual orientation, with more or less equivalent balance, so I don’t see how you can justify calling “other people’s skin colour” my “obsession”.

            Contrary to your assertion, businesses actually don’t have the legal right to refuse service on the grounds of skin colour or gender, but they currently do have the right to refuse service to LGBT+ people, for any reason or no reason. Whereas they don’t have the legal right to refuse employment, housing, insurance, education, healthcare et al. to people on the grounds of their race or gender, they currently can refuse all of these and more to LGBT people. Whether these services and amenities are routinely refused to LGBT people or not, the fact remains it is legal to do so.

            Now if you’d accused me of having an “obsession” with the exclusion of service to LGBT people then you’d have been right on the money.

            Like

  30. Paragraph 1. Derek’s hypothetical (?) baker says “I don’t serve LGBT+ people” — but he (Phillips) does. He serves everyone. It’s the message, not the customer.

    From his website, (masterpiececakes.com):
    “Masterpiece Cakeshop will happily create custom cakes for anyone. But like many cake artists, Jack cannot create all custom cakes. He cannot create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events that conflict with his religious beliefs.”

    “A wedding is an inherently religious event, and the cake is definitely a specific message,” Phillips said.
    Phillips thinks a wedding is religious; others don’t.

    quote from time.com:
    The baker told Today that he also refuses to make Halloween cakes because of his religious beliefs. He said he would refuse to bake anti-American cakes and even cakes that would be “disparaging to the LGBTQ community.”

    quote from catholicnewsagency.com:
    He said he has also declined to make a number of other types of cakes, including cakes for Halloween, bachelor parties, divorce, cakes with alcohol in the ingredients, and cakes with atheist messages.

    from https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/12/04/supreme-court-masterpiece-why-jack-phillips-wont-custom-design-cakes-same-sex-weddings-column/917631001/

    In this case, I couldn’t. What a cake celebrating this event would communicate was a message that contradicts my deepest religious convictions, and as an artist, that’s just not something I’m able to do, so I politely declined.

    But this wasn’t just a business decision. More than anything else, it was a reflection of my commitment to my faith. My religious convictions on this are grounded in the biblical teaching that God designed marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

    Obviously, not everyone shares those convictions. I don’t expect them to. Each of us makes our own choices; each of us decides how closely we will hold to, defend and live out those choices.

    The two men who came into my shop that day were living out their beliefs. All I did was attempt to live out mine. I respect their right to choose and hoped they would respect mine.

    They did not. And, considering all of the hate mail, obscene calls and death threats my family has received since I was sued, a lot of other people don’t see tolerance as a two-way street, either.

    Paragraph 2. “the reason the baker refuses service is that he is trying to prevent others from sinning”.
    No, Phillips denies that claim. “There isn’t any other rationale I can come up with to support the refusal”. If you don’t believe him, I can come up with quite a few rationales. He was abused by a priest as a child, or abused by a sports coach, or by a relative. Not all gays are pedophiles of course, but if you were in that situation, you could be excused the generalization. Or maybe he was always hit on by gays. You do not know why he thinks as he does and he is not likely to reveal any secrets.

    Paragraph 3. “would refuse to write “Happy Anniversary to Bill and Ben.”’ Good question. An anniversary is not a directly religious event. Maybe he wouldn’t refuse that. Or “Happy Anniversary Chris and Chris”, that’s ambiguous.

    Paragraph 4. “refusal of service in a public store on the basis of someone’s race, gender or sexual orientation”. What about “because I don’t like you”, that’s pretty common. Or “because I don’t like Trump”, that’s been reported. Or “because you don’t dress like you have money”. How deeply do you want the government to go? Life isn’t fair.

    I would bet that there are more gay owned bakeries than ones which would refuse to bake a cake for gays.

    Like

    • “Paragraph 1. Derek’s hypothetical (?) baker says “I don’t serve LGBT+ people” — but he (Phillips) does. He serves everyone. It’s the message, not the customer.”

      I should clarify, I meant Phillips is in effect saying, “I don’t serve my premium custom-made products to LGBT+ people”. I was, and am aware, that he sells bog standard stuff off the shelf to everyone, even to Blacks/Gays/Jews.

      He has the right to refuse to write a message, but not to refuse the product, but Phillips won’t supply a custom wedding cake to same-sex couples regardless of whether he is required to write any message on the cake or not. As above, except under certain local ordinances (as in the Phillips case), no-one is compelled to serve gays a damn thing anyway, since discrimination against LGBT people is legal in most of the country, so it’s essentially the moral “right” under discussion here.

      Phillips’s rationale for refusing gays but not straights is that he doesn’t support their sinful union, and believes that by doing so, he is condoning sin. I can’t read that as anything other than that he has deemed their relationship sinful, and believes he is somehow participating in it. He doesn’t bake for divorce ceremonies, yet he does bake them for divorced people remarrying, which is adultery according to the Bible, a listed sin warranting being boiled alive in a lake of scalding sulphur for trillions of years. And I haven’t read of him refusing service to morbidly obese people either, despite gluttony also being a listed sin.

      So far as your distinction between an anniversary cake and a wedding cake goes, if the anniversary cake isn’t associated with a religious event or the memorialisation thereof, then nor is the wedding cake, since neither is part of the marriage ceremony. The wedding cake is for the after-party, aka the reception and plays no part in the ceremony. I am not aware that the gay couple’s ceremony was religious in the first place, it was a standard civil ceremony with no religious connotations. The baker is trying to invest religious character into a civil ceremony. That said, there are dozens of churches nowadays and quite a few synagogues, that DO perform same-sex marraiges.

      I agree that using the heavy arm of the law to try and force people to be nice to each other doesn’t sound workable in such simplistic terms, but should there never have been a 1964 Civil Rights Act? In that instance, the courts were flying well ahead of the country.

      Like

      • Leftism, it is a disease and one of its symptoms is racism, a deranged obsession about the color of other people’s skin. Another symptom is repeated efforts to force those around you to obey your commands no matter how nonsensical or asinine. That you pretend to be upset by being labeled what you are is comical.

        And yes, ALL Americans have the right to refuse service and there is no law requiring a reason be given. Individual freedom, something you hate and despise and Americans love and embrace. And spare me your crocodile tears over lgbwtf, leftists are using gays as another tool, you care no more for them than you do for people who are a different skin tone from you.

        Seen Elmer Gantrys like you all my life, I see right through you like a well polished pane of glass. The ’64 Civil Rights Act did not make any minority’s lives better, it simply codified a separate class of “citizen” based on skin color, and then created generations of embittered, angry people who do not believe in ANY legal or moral code they must accept. Now you see lgbwtf as another tool you can use to deconstruct American society. To tear down what actually works and replace it with chaos. You have a disease.

        Like

        • “Obsession about the color of other people’s skin” was codified into US jurisprudence until the passage of the Civil Rights Act 1964. Moreover, until 1967, when the Jim Crow anti-miscegenation laws were overturned, it was illegal for blacks to marry whites and vice versa. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, it was America that was obsessed with the colour of people’s skin. Why, there were even “separate but equal” toilets, schools, and buses that blacks could sit at the back of, sit that is, until a white person came on to a full bus and forced the black passenger to stand. Until the voting Rights Act of 1965, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, there were legal barriers that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote under the 15th Amendment.

          So, fie on your allegations of “racism”. You don’t even know me, nor do you know anything about my family or friends, and you clearly don’t understand racism or discrimination. And please, read the history of your country before commenting further.

          So-called ‘Religious Freedom’ is nothing more than the freedom to refuse to have anything to do with LGBT+ people, one of the least ‘Christian’ manifestations I can think of, considering that the founder of your religion, none other than Jesus Christ himself, associated with everybody, leaving his strongest condemnation for hypocrisy and judgmentalism. Until LGBT+ people started getting the same rights you do, there was no mention of Religious Freedom.

          For your information, I have not the least interest in “deconstructing American society”, nor do I have the capacity to even if I wanted to. But as an onlooker, I am appalled by the reversion of civility, ethics and moral probity in your country, paradoxically under the flag of the “Christian Right”, who in my opinion, are neither Christian, nor right. The election of the monstrosity that rules America, the antithesis of Christianity if ever there was one, the obsession with ‘Reality TV’, the nationwide addiction to gun violence alongside the mean-spirited denial of healthcare to the poor is doing a perfectly good job of deconstructing America all by itself. I am far from alone in this view. I have many American friends on both sides of the political divide who abhor the current political catastrophe with equal passion.

          Like

          • Wow, your cards add up to 19 and you smile and tell the dealer “Hit me!”. Your ideology has made the lives of minorities worse and you demand more of the same. You have a disease.

            Like

  31. Derek: “He doesn’t bake for divorce ceremonies, yet he does bake them for divorced people remarrying, which is adultery according to the Bible, a listed sin warranting being boiled alive in a lake of scalding sulphur for trillions of years.”

    Yikes! It’s a good thing Christians can pick and choose the parts of the Bible they like and ignore the rest! Although not everyone chooses wisely…

    BTW, I should have added that Masterpiece Cakeshop no longer bakes custom wedding cakes for anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Derek Williams August 20, 2018 at 7:24 am

    OK, well l guess we have come full circle to the baker’s response to the customer who asks for a custom item: “I don’t serve Blacks” or “I don’t serve Jews” or “I don’t serve LGBT+ people”. If however the LGBT person or the Jew lied to the baker and said they were straight or a Gentile, they’d be deemed worthy of his best products.

    He is NOT refusing to serve them. He is refusing to make special shit to their specifications.

    We need to bear in mind that the reason the baker refuses service is that he is trying to prevent others from sinning, even though they do not belong to his religion. There isn’t any other rationale I can come up with to support the refusal, unless they were asking him to write on their cake, “I, Jack Phillips, support same-sex marriage.” Of course, he has the unquestionable right to refuse to write such a message.

    I don’t think he is trying to keep others from sinning. I think the baker feels like he would be sinning himself if he supports something against his wishes.

    However, it seems you are still missing the point. You are still insisting that the government has the right to force Picasso to paint a particular subject.

    It has nothing to do with race, nothing to do with sex. It has to do with forcing someone to create something special against their will. I truly don’t see how you can support that.

    Please note that the baker does NOT refuse to sell things to blacks, LGBT folks, or anyone else. He simply, and justifiably in my view, refuses to create special items that he disagrees with.

    I pointed out above that someone wanted to force Jack to bake a cake with a statuette of Satan licking a dildo … I suppose you think he should be forced to do that as well.

    And if you do NOT think he should be forced to make a cake with Satan licking a dildo … then you should assuredly apply that same logic across the board.

    w.

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    • Willis – rather than “Satan licking a dildo”, it might be more apposite to go into any any cake-maker and ask for a cake with the Isis flag and a picture of someone being decapitated. I’m pretty sure that would be refused (in the USA, anyway), and that everyone would be pleased that such a request was refused as well.

      The person who wanted that particular message would however be free to buy an undecorated cake and put on whatever message he/she wanted. “To Bobby and Sam, on their wedding”. Note that I know women named Bobby and Sam….

      I’m an engineer. Let’s say someone asks me to produce an undetectable weapon that could pass through airport scanners. Sure, I could make that, but I’d refuse. Should I be forced to make it because someone asked me to? Would it make any difference whether the person asking was black, gay, female or disabled? It’s against what I am willing to do.

      Derek’s point is that he’s annoyed at being treated differently. I’d say that if you want something that no-one will supply you, then you need to make it yourself. If someone makes a point of being against the current conventions, though, there is always a price to pay because civilisation really depends on a group of people with shared ethics and conventions, who therefore have a good idea of whether any transaction will be satisfactory. If the conventions of the society are that everyone robs anyone else, for example, then conditions will be different from where the convention is to give a proportion of what you have to anyone who needs it. Move until you find a society where you fit in, though (again that price to pay) that may mean you start a new one of your own.

      Societal change will take generations, and it always has done because it takes time for the people with older attitudes to die off. Some grudges are borne for centuries, too, a long time after the people who did bad stuff have died. If you don’t like the way society is, then you either make the best you can of what’s available or go make your own new one. If you want the upsides of the society you’re in but want some things changed, then it will take a long time and you may not see those changes more than started in your lifetime. Building a society involves patrimony, since it’s simply too big a task for such a thing to be built in one lifetime. You take what you’ve currently got, improve it a bit, and pass it to your descendants to further improve things. You want more doctors? Best you started 10 years ago training them, then, and better 10 years earlier than that to train the teachers to train the doctors. You want them Now? Tough….

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      • Thanks, Simon, well thought out and well said. Welcome to the blog …

        Part of the problem is the idea that this joker is the only baker in Colorado … how hard can it be to find one who has no problem with what the guys wanted? I wouldn’t go to an Islamic baker to get a cake showing Mohammed porking the pooch … live and let live.

        w.

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        • They could always go to Walmart or Sam’s Club, they will make pretty much whatever you ask for. I understand that would not advance the agenda, oh well.

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        • I don’t see how “Satan licking a dildo” or an ISIS icon remotely resembles a couple getting married. These analogies are contemptuous and say a lot more about the person adducing them than about the hapless gay couple. If a gay couple can drive 140 miles to the next one-horse town, then so can a mixed-race couple. Check: the only sin the baker is interested in preventing is same-sex relationships between gay people.

          This refusal by the baker is discriminatory. He refuses a gay couple the same service he provdies a straight couple. He is careful to avoid refusing service to a mixed race couple, despite miscegenation being condemned in the bible, as is remarriage after no-fault divorces. “Religious freedom” is being touted for one reason, and one reason only, to stick to gay people.

          No-one is forcing this guy to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding, or to write something on a cake he doesn’t agree with, any more than anyone is trying to force halal or kosher butchers to sell pork.

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          • Derek – the discussion is not about marriage as such, it’s about whether it is reasonable to force someone to write something they disagree with or make something that is against their personal principles. To make it personal, so that you can really see it, if I asked you to make a signboard saying “All gays should be thrown off the top of the highest building nearby” and parade that through town, would you refuse?

            The really nasty thing about that example is that there are places (for example Saudi Arabia) where people would not only parade the sign but actually do the murder because that’s the way it is.

            I don’t really give a damn what the Bible or any other holy book says is wrong. However, some people live by words that were written millennia ago, and it’s unlikely that you will convince them otherwise with logic because belief is not logical. There is of course a good reason why eating pork in a hot country before refrigeration was available was not a good idea, and could be fatal. It seems likely that most religious decrees on how people should live had a solid reason at the time they were made, and that a community that obeyed those rules had a better chance of surviving. Those that didn’t obey them died off. We thus end up with the rules that worked for the times, but with modern conveniences such as refrigeration and much better medical services are no longer necessary. If a couple are monogamous and don’t sleep around, then they won’t pick up sexually-transmitted diseases that could make a woman infertile – no kids then that family dies off, and if everyone in the village does the same, then the village dies out too.

            The modern law tries to stop any discrimination. It can’t however prescribe what people believe, because that is not amenable to laws. The baker in this case would sell the gay couple a cake without any problems. What he refused to do was to decorate a cake with pro-gay writing. That went against his convictions, so he should have been within the law as it stands. They could have bought an undecorated cake from him and a pack of icing-writing pens and put on any message they desired. The fact that they didn’t take this option, but instead took the baker to court, really says that the gay couple were intolerant of other people’s religion. They were not in the right, but vindictive.

            You say “No-one is forcing this guy to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding, or to write something on a cake he doesn’t agree with, any more than anyone is trying to force halal or kosher butchers to sell pork.”

            However, the gay couple did in fact try to force the baker to write something on the cake he didn’t agree with. That’s the whole point of this. They sued him, after all. They had other options than claiming discrimination, and were themselves intolerant of the baker’s religion. That is why they were wrong.

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          • The essence of discrimination is refusal of a service to a disliked minority, such as to Jews, Women, Gays and Blacks, that the service provider otherwise provides to Gentiles, Males, Straights and Whites, not because of what they do, but because of what they are.

            No-one forces the Kosher deli owner to sell non-Kosher products, but he would be discriminating if he sold only to Jews and refused service to Gentiles, because that would be discrimination. This baker set up a business with the intention of discriminating against a disliked class, in this case, homosexuals. If this is permissible, then it’s a green light for refusal of other services to other disliked classes, such as mentioned above. Of course they don’t care about the other classes because they only want to stick it to gay people. Hell, they elected Trump, so that’s as high as their standards go.

            If you agree with discrimination as being morally justifiable, and by extrapolation, legally justifiable, then you support refusal of supply to any minority the supplier doesn’t like. The baker sells cakes off the shelf to whites, blacks, gays, straights, males, females, Jews and Gentiles, and presumably Muslims as well, perhaps even atheists. But he provides his custom services only to heterosexuals.

            If the baker can’t provide his service to everybody, then he should withdraw it and sell cakes off the shelf, which I believe is what has happened in this case anyway. I repeat, no-one is forcing him to write a message he doesn’t want to.However it appears he DOES want to write these messages, but only for heterosexuals. He put himself wantonly in this position by setting a cake decorating business that he knew would be for only for heterosexuals.

            Examples like ISIS are red herrings. Islamic fundamentalism is a choice people make. Being gay, Jewish, female, black etc is not.

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          • Simon Derricutt: “The modern law tries to stop any discrimination. It can’t however prescribe what people believe, because that is not amenable to laws.”

            Exactly! The law tries to stop discrimination, but it can’t. The law alone is not enough.
            Extremists do want laws to prescribe what people think and believe. That might even be a definition of ‘extremist’. It’s not amenable to laws that we should accept.

            Simon Derricutt: “It seems likely that most religious decrees on how people should live had a solid reason at the time they were made, and that a community that obeyed those rules had a better chance of surviving.”

            Yes. Simon might be familiar with the child’s game Simon Says.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Says
            Substitute ‘God’ for ‘Simon’ and you’ve got it. If I say something, you can believe me or not. If I say God says so, everyone will believe me. Well, it used to work.

            I don’t know what the old cultures had against homosexuality, but given that they considered menstruating unclean you can guess what they thought of anal sex.

            Derek regards this case as discrimination. I regard this case as symbolic. The wedding cake is just a symbol — to both sides — it’s just a cake. Cake or no cake, no harm was done. Not physically or emotionally. Offense was taken, but some people are like that. Their problem.

            Gays are winning. They are doing this by winning over public sentiment by showing themselves to be nice, fun people with good taste, displacing the pedophile image. I don’t think persecuting cake bakers is a winning strategy; it’s a setback.

            Derek Williams: “Islamic fundamentalism is a choice people make. Being gay, Jewish, female, black etc is not.”

            Being Muslim is not a free choice for most Muslims. Being fundamentalist Muslim may appear to be a choice, but not according to the Koran. (That’s a whole debate in itself).

            Being female is a choice these days, in mind and/or body, according to some. I’m not buying that; some do.

            Being Jewish or gay… no, I’m not going there.

            Being black. That’s an interesting topic too. There’s black as in skin color, and there’s black as an attitude.
            It’s the whites who do not have a choice. Almost all of the blacks in the U.S.ofA. are part white. The choice is not your skin color. The choice is whether you believe skin color is irrelevant to who you really are or whether you believe skin color defines who you are. Racists on both sides believe the latter, that skin color matters. Obviously the choice isn’t black or white.

            Liked by 1 person

  33. Derek – it seems you’re not listening. The baker would have sold them a cake. They were on the shelf. He refused to write on it the words they wanted him to write. They could have bought a cake and written on any message they desired.

    Also note that being an Islamic fundamentalist is not necessarily a choice. If that is the culture you’re born into, there really isn’t a choice, since apostasy is punished by death.

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    • I don’t believe he was being asked to write a specific message, since he is claiming that the cake itself is the “message”. He states, ““This cake is a specific cake, a wedding cake is an inherently religious event and the cake is definitely a specific message.”

      He is refusing a service to homosexuals that he provides to heterosexuals. This is clearly distinct from refusing to write Nazi or ISIS messages, because such a refusal isn’t discriminatory.

      All that said, the cake is for the after-party, not the wedding. The baker plays no greater a part in the actual marriage ceremony than the cleaners do.

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      • Derek – quotes from https colon slash slash www dot denverpost.com/2018/06/06/masterpiece-cakeshop-religious-freedom-discrimination-legal-experts/ (usable link in Willis’ article)
        *****************
        Alan Chen, a professor at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, said if he were Phillips’ lawyer, he would “certainly think twice before advising him to return to his practice of turning away gay and lesbian couples who want to hire him to design a wedding cake.”

        “Phillips should fare well in the court if he holds to the same practice consistently — sells to everyone, makes cakes for everyone, gay or straight, but not to celebrate gay marriage,” Henry said.
        *******************
        He’s refusing to design a special cake. This really is on a par with asking (targeting) a Jewish deli owner to decorate your sandwich with pork sausage slices, and then suing him when he refuses. Some people take their religion and its taboos very seriously, and you personally are being intolerant if you don’t allow for that.

        Having said that, a Jewish friend of mine at college (a very long time ago) refused the offer of roast pork, and I asked him why. He said ” It’s not a patch on the way my mum bakes it”. The point here is that people vary on how seriously they regard the proscriptions and prescriptions of their religion.

        I would be against forcing church ministers to perform a gay marriage if they say it is against their principles. There is a perfectly good legal version of marriage that is available for gay couples, that does not involve religion. As it happens, it’s not available for straight couples in the UK, so there is discrimination against such straight (but non-religious) couples in the law in the UK. The solution to this is to simply live together without getting married. For the cake, buy the cake and decorate it with the message you want. There are ways round. If you react to intolerance by more intolerance then it becomes a battle and there will be casualties.

        Society changes over generations. Back in my mum’s youth, girls sometimes just disappeared and were never talked of again because they got pregnant outside marriage. These days unmarried mothers are nothing out of the ordinary and don’t get discriminated against.

        I’ll continue to refuse to do things that are against my own principles. I’ll also not try to force anyone else to do anything against their own principles, whether I agree with those principles or not. That way, we can all get along. If I’m invited to a Jewish ceremony that involves wearing a yarmulka, I’ll wear it since that really doesn’t matter to me but means something to my hosts. If I want a wedding cake, I’d learn to bake one. Forcing someone else to do the decoration I want may after all be a bit risky – that chocolate-coloured icing may be Ex-Lax.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Derek – we’re all mixed race. We’re even mixed species, if you regard Neanderthals as a different species as most palaeontologists seem to think, and you probably have around 1-3% Neanderthal genes. More if you’re red-headed. Still, I expect the baker could legally refuse to decorate a cake celebrating such a marriage, even though we can see it’s not logical. He’d have a problem if he refused to sell a cake that was already made and decorated.

            Maybe you just can’t see that you are promoting intolerance here. You can’t legislate what people believe.

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          • “Whites” who are ideologically and religiously opposed to interbreeding of the races obviously don’t agree that “we’re all mixed race”, singling out marriages between African Americans and Whites. How would the baker fare in court, arguing that his religious belief teaches that god punished Africans by turning their skin black? As you’ll no doubt be aware, that is a widely enough held belief. We’ve still not travelled down the patch of certain Islamic beliefs, that include child marriage, and forced removal of the woman’s clitoris, forced marriage and all that connotes.

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          • Derek – whether people agree with that or not, it’s a provable fact. See for example genetic maps going back in time. IIRC, in Asia, 5% of the genetic material comes from Ghengis Khan – he was prolific.

            I hadn’t heard of the idea of God punishing the Africans by turning them black. Again, it’s pretty certain that if white people went to live in Africa and black people in northern Europe, then after around 100,000 years the whites would be black and the blacks white. We adjust to our environment. How would the baker fare if he argued that? If it was a matter of putting the writing on a cake specially, then he’d go free. If he refused to sell a cake off the shelf, then he’d be punished. It’s not hard to see the difference.

            I’m not defending religious practices. However, at the time they were first promulgated they had survival value. This is pretty obvious because they have survived and others didn’t. They may no longer be valid for today’s circumstances, but the cohesion they give to a particular subset of people (with that religion) does make such a religion still a powerful force as regards survival of the society. If you don’t like the mores of the society you’re in, you can either try to change them (a generational task) or move somewhere else where they don’t apply. That is the reality, whether it’s desirable or not – life just is what it is.

            At the moment, it seems to me that if you want a gay-friendly culture you’re going to need to move to the city. If you move to the country areas or small towns, then you’ll encounter old attitudes and have problems. This reminds me of the city couple who retired to a nice cottage in the country, and then complained of the smells from the farm next door and the cries of the cows during the night after their calves had been sold off. If you’re anywhere intelligent, you’ll choose the environment you move to based on more than just what it looks like.

            You may feel entitled to ignore other peoples’ beliefs and complain if they don’t accept your way of life, but likewise they will feel you are not accepting theirs. I drink alcohol, and the local tipple is Armagnac. Nice stuff. However, it would be crazy to set up a home distillery in Saudi Arabia and claim that they need to accept me as I am. How long do you think I’d last there?

            The original gay couple had a simple recourse for their problem without using legal processes. That simply seems vindictive to me. They wanted the change right now, not at the pace it actually happens. And yes, they were intolerant themselves, but don’t recognise it.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Simon, regarding race, I’m afraid that’s what some people believe, and while I agree with your reasoning, it falls on ears just as deaf as those who believe gays will burn in Hell. It is the devoutly, sincerely, and deeply held belief of large numbers of Americans, that miscegenation is sinful, and bakers belonging to that religion would refuse to bake a cake for a mixed-race couple. Is it right for this couple to be turned away because of the religious belief of the bakery that miscegenation is sinful, or does there come a point where we just call “bollocks”, like we do with flat-earthers?

            I agree with most of your other points, especially on the subject of generational change, and especially Armagnac! But change, generational or otherwise, doesn’t occur without struggle, if you think back to what the suffragettes endured to get their plight on to the front page. War is war, and people get hurt in wars. However, when it’s a minority as small as Jews or African Americans or LGBT+ fighting nationalised prejudice, they’re screwed unless they can engage majority support, and I can only agree, this cake business has not been well argued by the LGBT side, as the lengthy discussion on this page makes obvious, and it has done significant damage to our cause, alienating much needed support.

            When it comes to the case in point however, the baker is treating the cake as though it is a religious object, HIS religion, he seeks to impose on his customers whether they like it or not, yet the gay couple are getting wed in a secular civil marriage where there is likely no mention of God. This cake is not a religious object for the gay couple ordering it. Moreover, I very much doubt whether Phillips’ heterosexual customers come to his bakery in the expectation of buying a religious cake. It’s just cake. No-one at the reception cares what views the baker has of marriage. Phillips is injecting his religious beliefs into this ceremony that is disassembled from religion, yet he doesn’t refuse any other class of customer, so long as they’re of the right sexual orientation to fit his religious beliefs.

            If he wants to bake religious cakes, then he can and should sell them through his church, to those who share his beliefs about the inferiority of LGBT people. By winning the right to turn away LGBT customers, he is opening a Pandora’s Box of refusals to other disliked minorities. Has anyone thought about the deeply held religious beliefs of the Church of Satan? Wahabbe Islam? You can’t allow one religion to block a commercial transaction without in the process allowing them all.

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          • Derek – It seems we agree that this has been handled badly. The baker is placing far too much weight on what he thinks is the significance of the cake, and the gay couple wanted to make a point so sued him, which caused far more damage to the cause than was needed. As you say, it will alienate support.

            I do have personal knowledge of both sides of this. My brother is fundamentalist Christian and pisses me off with his attitudes as regards what is sinful, and my daughter is somewhat flexible on gay/straight. Not good to have them visiting at the same time. Of course I’ve done a lot of things that are frowned on by religions too, apart from being divorced twice as well as enjoying the odd glass of Armagnac. I’m not about to tell anyone what they can’t do, unless it’s going to harm me or mine.

            It’s a veritable storm in a teacup, but then religious problems often are from outside. Logically, since Judaism, Christianity and Islam share quite a few books and all say there is one god, then it’s the same god. All you’re arguing about is details. Then again Catholics and Protestants are even closer, yet still kill each other over the details. Those details are however the identity of the adherents, and they will resist changing a single word. As it happens, I do know a Satanist, who isn’t depraved at all but an example of probity and clean living. I only found out in a discussion of the entropy of Hell.

            As such, don’t expect that the baker will change his views. The Orthodox Russian church was banned in Russia for a long time, yet survived. The changes you want will take generations to occur, and will be led in the cities and slowly percolate out to the countryside. What you want is for gays to be seen as assets to their society, not as people who’ll sue you at the drop of a teacup.

            I don’t see this as opening a Pandora’s box to other discriminations. Most people will regard the baker as over-religious, but will recognise that such religious exceptions must be allowed because to not do that would open a Pandora’s box of persecution for religion or for “wrong thinking”, which is way more dangerous.

            Liked by 1 person

  34. Derek, let me return to my head post, where I said:

    Here are the questions:

    Should a Jewish baker be forced by the government to bake someone a special cake that says “Hitler was right to turn the kikes into soap!”?

    … and …

    Should a black baker be forced by the Government to bake someone a special cake that says “The KKK should hang every nigger that they can find!”?

    After you answer those, I think the issues will be clearer. The issue to me is that regardless of the message, no one should be forced to put forth a message that they disagree with for any reason.

    Thanks,

    w.

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    • The answer to both your questions is of course not, on the grounds that these messages incite hatred and are themselves discriminatory, and in neither case would refusal be discriminatory because they are not being refused on the basis of an innate human attribute of gender, race or sexual orientation. The Jewish baker would refuse to write those messages no matter whether they were brought to him by Gentiles or Jews, or Whites or Blacks.

      And I agree that no-one should be forced into writing something with which they disagree, so long as they refuse this to everybody. The baker will write the message (i.e. bake the cake, which he deems to be the “message”) for straight people but not for gay people.

      The baker mistakenly believes that baking a cake shows his support for same-sex marriage, but I’ll guarantee you that no-one phones bakers to thank them for supporting heterosexual marriage. I have played piano for literally hundreds of wedding receptions, nearly all heterosexual of course, and I can assure you that no-one EVER thanked the baker for his support of opposite-sex marriage, and the same applies to gay weddings. No-one cares what the baker thinks about marriage, unless and until he denies service to a disliked class.

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  35. Derek Williams August 24, 2018 at 8:56 am Edit

    The answer to both your questions is of course not, on the grounds that these messages incite hatred and are themselves discriminatory, and in neither case would refusal be discriminatory because they are not being refused on the basis of an innate human attribute of gender, race or sexual orientation.

    So you are OK with discriminating against blacks, and refusing to write things for them.

    And you are OK with refusing messages based on what the message is.

    Got it. You sure you are good with those? Because that’s what you said.

    The Jewish baker would refuse to write those messages no matter whether they were brought to him by Gentiles or Jews, or Whites or Blacks.

    Yes, and the Colorado baker would refuse to make a gay wedding cake whether the request was brought to him by straights, gays, or LGBTWTFs …

    Derek, your arguments are internally massively inconsistent.

    w.

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    • Not what I said at all. Specifically, I said “in neither case would refusal be discriminatory because they are not being refused on the basis of an innate human attribute of gender, race or sexual orientation”.

      The refusal to write the racist message hasn’t anything to do with the race of the writer of the message. The Jewish baker isn’t refusing because of their race, and so isn’t discriminating against anyone on the grounds of race. On the contrary, as I also stated clear, the message itself is racist.

      The baker is different. He is refusing to bake a cake (which for him is tantamount to writing a message) for gay people that he bakes for straight people. There is no other difference. He can refuse to bake the cake if he wishes, but then he has to refuse it to everybody, otherwise he is discriminating. I recall in earlier comment that you support discrimination, i.e. the right of a painter to refuse to paint Africans for example. Is that still the case? If people are allowed to turn away disliked minorities and refuse them service, then we’re back where we started.

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  36. Derek Williams August 24, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Simon, regarding race, I’m afraid that’s what some people believe, and while I agree with your reasoning, it falls on ears just as deaf as those who believe gays will burn in Hell. It is the devoutly, sincerely, and deeply held belief of large numbers of Americans, that miscegenation is sinful, and bakers belonging to that religion would refuse to bake a cake for a mixed-race couple. Is it right for this couple to be turned away because of the religious belief of the bakery that miscegenation is sinful, or does there come a point where we just call “bollocks”, like we do with flat-earthers?

    You are still missing the point. It is NOT about LGBTWTF, or race, or sin.

    You think that if someone comes in and asks Picasso to paint a certain subject in a certain style, he should damn well do it, and if not, the government should either force him to do it or hound him out of business.

    That is absolutely the nonsense you’ve been putting out here, and it won’t fly. If it is wrong to force Picasso to paint according to my very personal desires, how is it OK to force a baker to do the same?

    w.

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    • The painter can choose the subjects he paints, and if he only has expertise in portraits, it’s wrong to try to force him to paint landscapes, unless he wants to. But if a white customer comes along for his portrait to be painted, and Picasso paints it, then he can’t refuse a black customer who comes along and asks for exactly the same service. Unless of course you support the right of people to refuse service to disliked minorities, because of their inherent attribute or race, gender or sexual orientation.

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      • PS being gay isn’t a “very personal desire”, it is the way I was born, and I can’t change it, no matter whether the baker refuses me a cake or not. If I were straight, he would bake a cake for my wedding.

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        • Derek Williams August 24, 2018 at 4:53 pm Edit

          PS being gay isn’t a “very personal desire”, it is the way I was born, and I can’t change it, no matter whether the baker refuses me a cake or not. If I were straight, he would bake a cake for my wedding.

          Indeed, and that is his right. You, along with many gay folks, think that your sexual orientation entitles you to special treatment. Not on my planet, you get the same treatment as anyone.

          If I go to a gay baker and ask him to bake me a cake that says “Sucking Dicks Is A Sickness And A Crime That Deserves The Death Penalty”, should he be forced to do it? I say no, no one should be forced to carry my message. You say yes, he should be forced to make that cake …

          w.

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          • Special treatment? How is getting exactly the same service as everybody else “special”? No-one is asking the baker to do anything for gay folks that he doesn’t already do for straight folks. What is “special” about that?

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      • Say what? You are still saying that if Picasso ever takes a single commission to paint a picture, he has to take ALL commissions to paint a picture from anyone, no matter the subject, no matter the person.

        That is exactly what you are saying and it is just more of the usual liberal totalitarian BS … why is it that liberals want to force people to carry other people’s messages?

        w.

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        • No, you’re engaging in a hefty dose of straw man here. Let’s just stick with the actual things I say. he can choose to paint no-one at all if he likes, but he cannot refuse on the grounds of race. We could turn my example around the other way, and have him refuse the black customer, because he is black, but accept the white customer the next day, because he is white. Is that fair?

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          • Derek, that is NOT a straw man. You said if he makes a special cake for one person he has to make a special cake for anyone.

            This is IDENTICAL to saying that if Picasson takes a commission from one person, he has to take a commission from anyone.

            So no, you cannot wave that away as a “straw man”, it is nothing of the sort.

            w.

            PS—You do realize that this kind of crap is setting back the fight for gay equality by decades, I hope. Reasonable people like myself, who support gay equality, look at a baker being driven out of business by gay intolerance and say “Wait, what?” … and for those undecided, this crap will decide it for them in a way you really, really won’t like …

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          • Any business can choose their clients, on the basis of the work, personal convenience, whim, whatever, but cannot refuse on the basis of their race, gender or sexual orientation. “I don’t serve blacks, but I do serve whites,” doesn’t wash. PIcasso doesn’t have to take commissions from anyone, but if he refuses, it can’t be because “I don’t serve blacks.”

            The baker drove himself out of business by refusing a service to gay people that he provides to straight people. Gays aren’t getting “special treatment” when they get *exactly the same product* that straight people are getting.

            And yes, your statements “So you are OK with discriminating against blacks, and refusing to write things for them.” and “if Picasso ever takes a single commission to paint a picture, he has to take ALL commissions to paint a picture from anyone, no matter the subject, no matter the person,” are very much straw man. You are putting words into my mouth. Likewise, your OTT examples of “Sucking Dicks Is A Sickness And A Crime That Deserves The Death Penalty” are messages that no-one would write, or ask anyone to write, but in the hugely unlikely event that they did, it would be reasonable to refuse, *because refusal is not based on innate characteristics of gender, race or sexual orientation.*

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          • I teach piano privately. I might refuse a student who was too young, because I don’t have expertise in that area of educating 4 year old infants, and if I took it on, it would be bad for my reputation to do a bad job of it. That is a reasonable reason for refusing on the basis of a temporary innate characteristic. But I would NEVER refuse a student because they were black, or because of their gender or LGBT orientation.

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          • If you refuse because they are too young, that is ageist …

            Regarding the request to write “Sucking Dicks” etc., you say it is OK to refuse because of the message … but that is exactly what the baker is doing.

            He has clearly said that he is happy to sell to gay people, and the complainants had bought from him before. So he is NOT REFUSING BECAUSE THEY ARE GAY. We know that because he has served them previously.

            He is refusing because of the MESSAGE, and you’ve already admitted that’s OK.

            Finally, I say again, this is the wrong battle for gay people to fight. Go find another damn baker. If you want to be thought of as good neighbors, STOP BEING BAD NEIGHBORS.

            Why is this so hard for y’all to understand? You’re dying on the wrong hill here. Act like good people and you’ll get treated as such. Drive Christian bakers out of business by being officious petty jerks and you’ll get treated as such … and then you’ll wander around wondering why some people hate you.

            This is why …

            w.

            PS—I fixed your typo. I hate typos, and WordPress has no preview … so I’m the designated fixer.

            Like

          • He IS refusing because they are gay. He bakes custom cakes for straight customers, but refuses to bake them for gay customers. According to his testimony, the “message” is the cake itself, not anything he was asked to write on the cake. He thinks the cake is a religious object. Well it isn’t. And he wasn’t asked to write “I, Jack Phillips support gay marriage”. Other racist and homophobic messages you have mentioned could reasonably be refused because they are not refused on the basis of the gender, race or sexual orientation of the person requesting them. This one is.

            Some religious folk believe that mixed race marriages are sinful. Should they be allowed to force this belief on to a mixed race couple who don’t belong to their religion? The current scenario is just a cake, but it can be extended to ALL other goods and services if the baker is allowed to refuse a class of person he dislikes.

            A case in point is Kim Davis, who refuses to sign marriage certificates for same sex couples on identical grounds to Phillips, that she is “condoning sin” by doing so. She is careful to avoid refusing to sign mixed race marriage certificates. She is also into her fourth, adulterous marriage, and like Phillips, is winning the court of public opinion, because it’s gays they’re sticking it to. If your religious belief prevents you from doing your job, you could find another job.

            I shop at the local Tescos, where a Muslim girl regularly serves me. She swipes my beer and wine through the checkout, knowing that I am going to be sinning according to her Islamic faith, and burning in the hellfire because of it. Yet she still serves me. That is her job.

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          • Re the piano students, I have never had a parent insist I teach a child I am incompetent to teach. That makes no sense. The Bible teaches that usury is a sin. Do no Christians work for banks?

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  37. Derek, I give up. You are not seeming to understand what I’m saying.

    If you think that you insisting that a Christian baker should be driven out of business is advancing the cause of gay rights, nothing could be further from the truth. You and the others arguing that it is right and proper to force a man to say what you want him to say is hugely destructive to gay rights.

    Truly, is this hill worth dying on?

    Look, I’m not even a Christian, and I would never go to a Muslim baker and insist that he put a statue of Christ defeating Mohammed on it, and then when he refuses (as he would), whine that he’s violating my religious rights and scream about DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF RELIGION!, and then sue him for thousands of $$$ and drive him out of business!!!

    Do you think that would engender sympathy for Christians or for Muslims?

    Muslims, hands down. But CHRISTIANS DON’T DO THAT! MUSLIMS DON’T DO THAT! ONLY GAY SLIMEBALLS DO THAT!

    Nope. If I want a cake like that, I’d go to a baker that is willing to bake such a cake. And that’s what I suggest that those gay dorks do, FIND ANOTHER BAKER! You may be right and all, you can debate that all day … but driving a man out of business will NOT make people want to be nice to you and treat you as an equal.

    Me, if I ever met you, I’d treat you as an obnoxious jerkwagon who thinks his sexual proclivities entitle him to boss people around. You’re lucky that I know lots of great gay folks, so it wouldn’t affect my judgment of the group, just of you. I came into this thinking you were OK. Now I know you are willing to grind people into the ground if they won’t say what you want them to say, and that puts you down at the bottom of my list. Not all gay people. You, and people doing that.

    But for those without my experience, gay couples driving Christian bakers into the poorhouse to prove that they are equal doesn’t make gay people equal—it makes gay people despised, and deservedly so. How about y’all show a little compassion for the small businessman, for heaven’s sake. Go to another baker and STFU, and people will respect you. Keep this crap up, and you will NEVER get the equality you desire.

    My best to you, and dear heavens, there are lots of bakers on this planet … you are fighting the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time, and you can be sure that people are noticing that … and I’m very sad to say it, but you have assuredly lost my respect in the process.

    w.

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    • “I would never go to a Muslim baker and insist that he put a statue of Christ defeating Mohammed on it” and nor would I. The same as I would not insist that a Halal or Kosher del sell pork or alcohol. The same as I do not offer services I have no expertise in, like teaching 4 year old infants.

      That is not what is happening here, and nor are any other absurdities of KKK or Nazis you adduced. Throughout this entire discussion you have completely misunderstood me. “A cake like that”? A cake like what exactly? Phillips brought this on himself by defining a cake as a religious object in a public store, and then refusing this religious object to people who are not members of his religion. He bakes custom cakes for straight people but refuses them to gay people. If he wants to do that, he could run an online business for Christians who share his beliefs. He could have spared the gay couple the embarrassment by at least putting up a sign declaring that his custom cakes are sacred, and only for sale to heterosexuals. Other bakers might put up signs that say “we don’t supply services to mixed race weddings for religious reaons”. This baker sought to humiliate them, with disparagement and sanctimony, just as Kim Davis sent the gay couple packing in the Kentucky Town Clerk’s office.

      I don’t understand people signing up for a job, knowing that the execution of that job violates their religious beliefs. Instead of expecting blacks, gays and Jews or [insert disliked minority] to drive 140 miles to another one horse town to find a baker that sells custom cakes to blacks gays and Jews or [insert disliked minority] , how about he sets up his store as a Christian enterprise through his church and then he can sell his sacred custom cakes only to people who share his beliefs?

      Phillips chose to martyr himself by creating this scenario. But since he has won at the Supreme Court, and given the way the country is flying Republican flags everywhere, it’s likely the florists, the photographers, the printers will all win back the right to refuse to supply their products to gay customers. Then it could be Jews next, and God knows what other disliked minorities may follow. Religious Freedom only became an issue when gays started wanting to be treated equally, not “specially”. Equally. There’s nothing “special” about it. Equal rights are not special rights.

      When you dismiss sexual orientation as mere “proclivities” it shows you believe that it’s a choice to be gay, and on that we will have to agree to disagree. I will leave this forum, never to return, you’ll be relieved to know, but with thanks to you for allowing me to have my say. We haven’t changed each others’ minds but at least we got what we wanted to say off our chest. It helped me clarify my thinking on the issue.

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      • Derek, the dictionary defines “proclivity” as

        “an inclination or predisposition toward a particular thing”

        So I am inclined and predisposed towards sex with women, and you are inclined and predisposed towards sex with men.

        So what? Why does my saying that cause you to make incorrect conclusions about my POV? Damn, you’re hyper-sensitive, taking offense when none is intended …

        My own mother, after four marriages, came to the conclusion she was gay. She went and lived with a woman for four years … and then gave up on sex with women and went back to sex with just men.

        Another close relative, on the other hand, has been gay since birth, never interested in men.

        So please, don’t lecture me about “proclivities”. Humans are far from being as simple as you’d like us to believe.

        Next, you announce that you are leaving, never to return. Are we supposed to care? Get over it! IT’S NOT ABOUt YOU. We’re having a discussion. If you want to run for the door as fast as your legs can carry you, leaving questions unanswered and avenues unexplored, OK, fine, but don’t try to make it some big deal.

        However, I’m not “relieved” to know you are leaving the blog. I’m disappointed and sad. I’d thought more of you than that. I thought you’d fight for your beliefs … but I see that when people disagree with you, you walk away. How noble of you.

        In closing, I note that despite my repeatedly bringing it up, you have not said one word about the immense damage it has done to the gay cause when some of y’all drive Christian bakers into bankruptcy. You are winning the battles and losing the war, and you won’t deal with that at all … then you’re all surprised when people don’t like you. Why should we? Inter alia, you’ve harassed and driven people into destitution … not a good look for people who are supposed to be about caring and compassion.

        I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by that … but I am saddened by that.

        w.

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        • Again Will, you look for bad motives, or assume them. In your previous post, did you not say, “Derek, I give up” along with some pretty unflattering remarks? Well so do I. We have reached an impasse, so I am not throwing in the towel like the petulant child you liken me to, I’m handing it back to you, and l with better grace. There is nothing more I can contribute. Neither of us can change the other’s mind, but perhaps we understand each ofher’s reasoning a little better, despite the hostility. I’ll assume good faith on your part, but I don’t assume it in the case of the baker, the photographer, the florist or the printer, all of whom are connected to a push to reverse civil rights gains by LGBT minorities. They baulked when we asked not to be fired from our jobs, or evicted from our homes, but for them, marriage equality was the last straw and Open War was declared with the establishment of NOM and “Protection of Marriage”. The American public have heeded their rallying cry by voting the Republican Party into control of all three branches of US governance along with the majority of state legislatures and governorships, AND command of the US Military, with Trump as their elected spokesman for “family values”. They’re not going away, far from it. But whichever side wins, it will be a Pyrrhic Victory.

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          • Derek: “I’ll assume good faith on your part, but I don’t assume it in the case of the baker, the photographer, the florist or the printer, all of whom are connected to a push to reverse civil rights gains by LGBT minorities.”

            It’s so rare that anybody asks themselves “what if I’m wrong?”. It’s usually “God is on my side”, even if they don’t have a God. Here’s a good opinion piece on making assumptions.
            http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/08/25/next-time-get-annoyed-with-someone-remember-this.html

            “I know exactly who you’re talking about, sir, and I’ll just say this: You never know what people are going through.”

            She was right. I didn’t have any idea, yet I’m still prone to give myself permission to read people’s minds, project motives and make assumptions with very little information.

            James 1:19 says, “You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” But in moments when we’re convinced we’re right, we do just the opposite: We’re slow to listen, quick to speak and quick to get angry. And when we do that, it says a lot more about us than the person we’re judging.

            We apparently think we don’t need to slow down and check our assumptions. We’re so wise and knowledgeable that we’re unwilling to give the thing we need: a little bit of grace, which people need regardless of whether our assumptions are right.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Derek, a final note. You keep insisting that the issue is that the customer is gay. It has nothing to do with that.

          If that same customer came in and wanted a birthday cake, or a Fourth of July cake, or any one of a host of cakes, the Colorado baker would have gladly made it. In the same way, that customer had bought standard items from the baker in the past.

          As a result, we know for a fact that the baker is more than happy to serve gay people. As I’ve said over and over, it’s not the customer, it is the MESSAGE.

          A Muslim baker would be happy to make me a cake that said “Happy Birthday, Willis”. But he would most likely refuse to make a cake that said “Mohammed Had Sex With Dogs”, and rightly so. It is against his beliefs to do so.

          And I would be cruel and heartless if I were to take him to court over that issue … just as the gay couples have been cruel and heartless to take the Christian bakers to court. Not a good look, my friend, not a good look at all …

          So no, this is NOT about refusing to serve a customer as you keep claiming. It is about refusing to put out a message that the artist disagrees with, and I think that is the artist’s absolute right regardless of the race, religion, or sexual nature of the customer.

          Best regards to you and yours,

          w.

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  38. There used to be a thing called ‘entrapment’, probably also used against gays. I assume you know what that is and why it’s a bad thing. Now consider the run of cases against bakers who won’t sell a gay wedding cake.

    If you’re gay and planning to get married, congratulations, here’s how you get a free luxury wedding. Go around to all the bakers and ask if they will bake a cake for you. If they say yes, decline it and go looking for the next baker. When you hit the jackpot and find someone who refuses, sue for damages, charge them with a crime, and party on! Discrimination? Hardly.

    Derek knows what he believes and he is sticking to it. Just like Jack Phillips, master cake baker.
    You have got to admire people who stand up for what they believe, even to the point of martyring themselves.
    It might not be the perfect role model though. As Willis says, you want to choose your hill to die on carefully.

    In real life, things work better when you acknowledge that it’s not all black and white. There is a gray area and that is a Good Thing. Save us from the purists, whether Nazis, Puritans, or greenies.

    And when the claim is “he intended to humiliate gays”, that is not a sure thing, it’s as gray as it gets.

    Religions (all of them) have done lots of evil things, but after centuries of religious wars, all you can conclude is that (a) having one religion too dominant is very bad, and (2) having no religion can be just as bad, and (3) fighting about it doesn’t work either.

    Go (or stay) and live in peace. Don’t offend and don’t take offence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I drive across town to go the best restaurant or to one I’m loyal to after years of great service. This couple drove across town to the baker with the best products, where they’d shopped before and had no reason to suspect Phillips would refuse the most important order of their lives. They didn’t “entrap” him, and if anything, the converse could be argued. Did Phillips dream that one day his gay customers would walk in to his store to order a wedding cake, so he could show them a lesson in The Lord’s truth and lead then away from their sinning ways? Such folk think you can “pray away the gay” and run camps where LGBT teenagers are put through ‘conversion therapy’. This fraudulent nonsense has been outlawed as tantamount to torture in a number of US states, ‘religious freedom’ notwithstanding.

      Kentucky Town Clerk and triple divorcee adulteress Kim Davis knew when she took the oath that she would soon be required to sign same-sex marriage certificates. Why she take a job that she knew would force her to act against her religious beliefs? She has made a pile out her book tour, and kept her job.

      Phillips recovered all his costs and more from a GoFundMe fundraiser and just wait till his book is published. There’ll be a book tour and international speaking engagements at Fundamentalist Christian rallies. Follow the money.

      Make no mistake, these are evangelical hucksters, not ‘Christians’. Christ never told them to do any of these things to LGBT people.

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  39. I’m somewhat sad that Derek hasn’t understood what’s at stake here. Free speech is essential to a pleasant and advancing society where people are not at risk of punishment for having the “wrong” thoughts. As such, allowing the baker (or whoever) to have a free choice of what he writes or draws is the lesser evil. At the moment, there is a creeping evil of needing to make sure your speech is Politically Correct, and gives no possibility of offence to anyone from any minority. There are of course politicians and organisations/lawyers who will take offence when the people themselves weren’t bothered. We’re getting into the realm of the Thought Police. People are losing their jobs over saying the wrong thing.

    Watch some young kids playing (but be careful in case you’re accused of being a paedophile). You’ll see that a few are popular, a few are unpopular and don’t fit in. That rejection of “other” is built in to human responses. Most of us will find we’re in a minority one way or another. Me, I’m a geek. Generally a minority with few (but good) friends, but treated differently at parties. Not popular…. Also not a choice. As also an Old White Guy, when it comes to any special dispensation for a specific minority (young, black, female, disabled, etc.) I’m not on the list. Positive discrimination looks to me as if I’m discriminated against, every time. When it comes down to it, though, everyone is in a minority of one.

    Where is the current wave of intolerance leading? To me, it looks like the dystopian vision of George Orwell. IT companies such as Facebook and Twitter are either banning, shadow-banning or demonetising speech they disagree with. Videos from scientists who disagree (on good grounds) with the hypothesis that CO2 will cause the End Of The World in the next 20 years are getting riders attached pointing at the Wikipedia arguments that The Science Is Settled and that this is a non-PC denialist propaganda piece. You’re only allowed to think the official thoughts, even though anyone can see that those thoughts have changed as time progresses and predictions have proved to be wrong. Never mind that, put it in the memory slot and learn this alternative truth….

    As Willis stated, the gay couple had bought cakes from Philips before, and it was just the wedding cake he refused to design especially for their marriage. This is a Free Speech issue, and though I disagree with what Philips thinks I’ll defend his right to think that. The couple could have bought a cake from Philips, but not one specifically intended and specially designed as a wedding cake for their wedding.

    Countries without Free Speech are not good places to live. Trump’s non-PC description was “shithole countries”, and considering how many people try to get out of them and come to some free place like the USA or Europe, you may not like the description but it’s accurate. If you can’t say things as they are, you’re condemned to live a lie. A lot of religions have intolerance of other religions as part of their prescribed attitudes. It is after all a survival characteristic for the religion/meme. We have to allow for that and accept it because the alternative is an oppressive and totalitarian state. A nice example may be North Korea, where anything other than obvious and total adherence to the rules is punished. My daughter has a friend who escaped from NK to (in the end) the USA and the risk paid off.

    What it comes down to is either crush Philips for his views and take a further step towards the totalitarian state, or defend his right to be bigoted if that’s his belief and buy a non-wedding cake from him and decorate the cake yourself. After all, he didn’t refuse to sell them a cake, he only refused to decorate it as a wedding cake. Must be a pretty fine baker, though, if they couldn’t find any alternatives.

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    • Actually, I understand perfectly well. Freedom of speech is quintessential for academic thought, and social discourse. The rage against ‘political correctness’ is fair enough if it applies to being punished for thinking outside the box, and for your information, totalitarian regimes like that of Stalin, and increasingly that of Putin, criminalise homosexuality, so I am the last person to support such regimes. But how many of those who rail against PC are not-so-secretly racists harking back to the Good Old Days?

      The Christian baker is free to say whatever he likes, but within limits. He can’t defame people, and he can’t lie under oath in a court – those are both offences punishable at law, one as libel, and the other as perjury. He likewise can’t commit fraud or swear a false affidavit. No-one can. It’s also illegal to incite crime or to incite a riot. Freedom of Speech is therefore not entirely untrammeled. There are consequences, criminal in some cases.

      This “intolerance” accusation is a bit rich when it comes to my presumed intolerance of religion. The fact of the matter is that I am being asked to be tolerant of an institution, one of whose aims is to rid the world of me and all who are like me, either by praying away my gay, or conversion therapy, or by execution or by imprisonment, or by more subtle means, such as refusal of supply of goods and services to wear us down until we realise the error of our ways and become straight.

      Religion always makes the first move, and then somehow tricks others into believing the gay guy did when he responds defensively. Religion is intolerant of my very existence. It is behind persecution of LGBT minorities in virtually every country on Earth, most notably under Islam, but also Christianity in Africa. Russia, and many other Slavic countries. With very few exceptions, Religion is the curse of the homosexual.

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      • Derek, you say you understand, and then come out with reasons against Free Speech. The point is that we need to tolerate the baker’s bigotry because the alternative is worse. In this case, the baker did not refuse to sell them a cake. He refused to design them a special one. A close equivalent would be going to a devout Muslim mint tea vendor and asking for a “special” one with a shot of vodka in it. Sure, he’ll sell you a normal mint tea, but not with the stuff he considers immoral. If you want this, carry a hip flask and top up the glass out of sight.

        The only way we can resolve this is for each to compromise. The baker will sell cakes to the gays, and the gays won’t try to force him to supply something he considers wrong. Respect each other and things will work out, but unwonted intolerance from either side will often result in a breakdown.

        Instead, we have battle lines drawn, because people looked only at their rights and not at their responsibilities. Fundamentalist Christians will now be more against gays rather than tolerant, and gays will thus feel more persecuted because they will be, but in ways the persecutors can’t be arraigned for. Is that extra Mozzarella on my pizza or did someone blow their nose onto it? Do you always have to wait longer to be served in a busy restaurant than seems reasonable? Push, and you can expect a bigger push back again.

        Have you noticed that people join clubs where there are others who have the same interests or characteristics? Women’s table-tennis clubs, Black police federations, working men’s clubs, wheeltappers and shunters clubs, Hell’s Angels, etc.? It’s normal for people to be with people like themselves. Gay clubs, too. Birds of a feather flock together…. If you want less intolerance, move to where there are a fair number of people who are like you, and not a one-horse town in the Bible belt. It’s less stress, and as the people around who “hark back to the good old days” die off, then you can expect tolerance further away from home turf. As I’ve said, it won’t happen quickly, so the people who try to push it faster will end up as casualties. Someone who tries to claim Gay Rights in Saudi Arabia or Chechnya likely won’t live long. In places like that, gays who want to survive keep a low profile. It may be a century before that changes – old religions change slowly. In Ireland, there’s only just been a vote to allow gay marriage and abortions for women, and despite the exposed paedophilia in the Catholic church there’s still a majority who call themselves Christians. Things change, but slowly.

        You said “This “intolerance” accusation is a bit rich when it comes to my presumed intolerance of religion.”

        I’m not asking you to be tolerant of a religion. I’m asking you to be tolerant of someone who has that religion. Show tolerance and a willingness to allow for their beliefs, and often you’ll get more tolerance back. These sorts of things change person by person, and if they see you as a person rather than a non-person gay, then the attitudes soften over time. Won’t happen with some people, of course. Avoid them.

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        • Your analogy of demanding a Muslim to put Vodka in your ‘special tea’ is like asking a Halal or Kosher butcher to supply you with pork. In neither case is this a service provided by either vendor. The “devout Muslim tea vendor” would have to go out and buy Vodka, since it’s not on his menu. The Halal or Kosher butcher would have to go out and buy pork, since it’s not something they stock. You may as well ask Ford to supply you with a Rolls-Royce.

          None of these analogies fit the cake vendor situation, because none of them are discriminatory. The Muslim vendor will happily sell his tea to non-Muslims and Muslims alike, and the Halal and Kosher butchers will sell their produce to whoever walks into their store.

          But if the devout Muslim tea vendor WERE to put vodka in his tea for whites but refuse to do exactly the same thing for blacks, then that would be discrimination. Whatever he sells, he cannot refuse it to someone on the grounds of their race, or their gender or (in some states) their sexual orientation.

          Now, back to the baker. He will build custom wedding cakes for straight couples but not for gay couples. He can dress it up as “a message” or as a “sacred cake” however he likes, but in the end, it’s discrimination. If we would build custom wedding cakes for white customers but not for black customers, then that would be discrimination also.

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          • Halal and Kosher butchers will supply you pork, halal or kosher pork. As for why your comments keep going in spam folder, perhaps because they are long, rambling, disjointed and circular diatribes that don’t say anything. All the “gay couples” in all this contrived lawsuits SOUGHT OUT businesses to target for their little lawfare attacks, they are promoting an agenda. You support them abusing the judicial system to attack people who do not accept their leftist political ideology. Now, type out another 6-8 paragraphs of gobbledygook that means nothing beyond you want leftist political ideology to be forced on the vast majority of Americans who refuse to accept it. Its all you got.

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          • Bakers can’t stop anyone from getting married, liar. You and your leftist ilk are using the judicial system to attack anyone who refuses to accept your leftists ideology, and you are failing. Every time you do this shit more Americans hate you and fight you.

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          • Your ad hominem isn’t helping you get your point across. Moreover, I read through all my posts and couldn’t find anywhere that I said bakers could stop people getting married. Can you please quote what I wrote that makes you think I believe that?

            How is being gay and wanting to get married “leftist political ideology”?

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        • The problem with this entire blog is that no-one seems to understand that the baker’s conduct is discriminatory. He is running a business serving the public, but restricting his custom cake services to heterosexuals. If he were to restrict his custom cake services only to whites, then it would be easier to get the point across.I agree with your other points about generational change and compromise, and as I have said more than once, I believe this cake issue has been a disaster from start to finish for all concerned. The LGBT side didn’t have their arguments clear, and the anti-LGBT side are also flailing. And, as I have already said, it will have been a Pyrrhic Victory for whichever side “wins”.

          If we could do it over again, I’d prefer an outcome along the lines of “case proven but no conviction recorded”, such as is used for juvenile criminal misdemeanours. By that I mean, that the Colorado baker’s refusal to bake custom cakes for LGBT people receives widespread media coverage, such that knows he is wantonly breaking the law, and this information is promulgated along with it, while the gay couple publicly state that they are not exercising their legal right to sue.

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        • The problem with this entire blog is that no-one seems to understand that the baker’s conduct is discriminatory. He is running a business serving the public, but restricting his custom cake services to heterosexuals. If he were to restrict his custom cake services only to whites, then it would be easier to get the point across.

          I agree with your other points about generational change and compromise, and as I have said more than once, I believe this cake issue has been a disaster from start to finish for all concerned. The LGBT side didn’t have their arguments clear, and the anti-LGBT side are also flailing. And, as I have already said, it will have been a Pyrrhic Victory for whichever side “wins”.

          If we could do it over again, I’d prefer an outcome along the lines of “case proven but no conviction recorded”, such as is used for juvenile criminal misdemeanours. By that I mean, that the Colorado baker’s refusal to bake custom cakes for LGBT people receives widespread media coverage, such that knows he is wantonly breaking the law, and this information is promulgated along with it, while the gay couple publicly state that they are not exercising their legal right to sue.

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      • Derek Williams August 25, 2018 at 5:30 am

        With very few exceptions, Religion is the curse of the homosexual

        Derek, my profound thanks for your comment above. I had never considered the antipathy between religion and the gay community in that particular light. An interesting and valuable insight.

        I would suggest, however, that in this case the issue is not the customer being gay. They were previous customers of the Colorado baker, and that proves he is obviously happy to serve gay people.

        However, he is not happy to promote their ideas. This is not about sex or any aspect of the customer. It is about a man’s right to refuse to carry another man’s message.

        It is not like the Woolworth’s situation of my youth. There, the issue was indeed the race of the customer. Woolworth’s refused to have them as customers, and would not serve them any off-the-shelf item, because they were black. That’s not the case here.

        I suppose the modern Woolworths is Starbucks or the like. A constant parade of customers of all races, ages, sexual orientation, religion. That’s a good thing. In some of these businesses, the baristas can write messages in the foam on the coffee. In some, for a price you can ask them to write your own custom message in the foam, they are artists.

        Now, suppose a black guy who is a regular customer comes in to such a little coffee shop. Except this time, he asks for the message on his coffee to be “Fuck Whitey”. The white barista who owns the shop and has served the black guy before says “Sorry, man, in good conscience I can’t send that message out into the world, you’re harshing the vibe”.

        The black guy goes “RACISM! YOU HATE ME BECAUSE I’M BLACK!”. Then he goes to his lawyer, sues the poor white shop owner, convinces the judicial system it’s all about race, and drives the owner out of business.

        Questions:

        1. Can the barista legally refuse to write such a message?

        2. Is it racism to refuse?

        3. Will the black man’s actions improve racial relations, or damage them?

        4. Is this imaginary black man a good guy or not?

        Important questions, my friend.

        My best to you,

        w.

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        • Willis, gay couples aren’t trying to “promote an idea”, any more than a straight couple are promoting an idea when they get married. The issue in the Colorado case IS with their being gay, because there is no other distinction between their marriage and that of a straight couple. I honestly never heard of a couple getting married to promote the idea of marriage. It is a deeply solemn and significant occasion for the couple, their family and closest friends, and it’s only gay couples who are being asked to shop around until they can find a store that will serve them. Straight couples are never refused on the grounds of their heterosexuality.

          What’s more, straight customers who walk into Phillips’s cake shop aren’t going there to buy a sacred object or to promote the idea of heterosexual marriage, they just want something to slice up and feed their guests at the reception. Phillips is claiming the cake itself is “the message”, however the cake he is claiming to be ‘religious’ will soon enough be digested, turned into feces and will hit the ocean within the next 48 hours. Sacred it is not. Religious it is not. Phillips is trying to force his religious belief on to his customers by claiming they are buying a religious cake from him. Until they ask him to make one, they’d have not the slightest idea they were being a religious emblem of his religion.

          If Phillips is intent on his cake being of religious significance, that isn’t evident from the layout of his store. He could at least name it more appropriately, perhaps “Holy Cakes for Heterosexual Weddings”, so atheists and homosexuals know not to go into his store and suffer the humiliation of refusal in front of all the other customers in the store, because of what they are. If they were straight, he would make their custom cake.

          The religion that Phillips is following do not consider homosexuals worthy of marriage. They teach that homosexuals are broken and only their Lord and Saviour can fix them. If you have any doubt about how far they’ll go and how soon they start, please check out this article:
          https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/people-joking-gay-cure-therapy-reality/#gs.RKdLPnU

          “Raymond Buys was starved and tortured and even forced to eat his own feces. Severely malnourished, dehydrated, with burns and wounds all over his body, he lay in intensive care for four weeks until he died. He was just 15.”

          There are countless stories like this, and I have documented dozens of teen suicides resulting, from ages as young as 11 years old. They’re all to do with the religion their parents are following. Gay conversion therapy is a multi-million dollar industry, with endless repeat customers. Endless, because gay people are always born into straight families, and the “cure” doesn’t work, unless that is, the intention is that LGBT children should take their own lives, in which case it is super effective. With a perennially self-renewing market of likely around 375 million gays (5% of 7.5 billion global population) whose parents pay thousands apiece to have their gay children “repaired”, it’s no wonder they resist attempts to outlaw this cruel and inhumane practice. Refusing service of quality products to gay people is a milder version of this aversion therapy idea. If you make like difficult enough for gay men, they will start desiring women. Well, go figure, I obviously need to suffer more.

          Now to your barista example:

          1. Can the barista legally refuse to write such a message? Yes. It is racist.

          2. Is it racism to refuse? No, because the message itself is racist.

          3. Will the black man’s actions improve racial relations, or damage them? The imaginary black man will get nowhere because the refusal isn’t based on his race. However, had the barista accepted the equivalent order from a white customer but refused the identical order from a black customer, then yes, the imaginary black customer will have grounds to sue.

          4. Is this imaginary black man a good guy or not? The imaginary black man is clearly a troublemaker, but I couldn’t say whether he is a good guy or not on the information provided. He certainly sounds highly troubled, since he wants the barista to write racist messages on his coffee. A court adjudicating such a case, if it even made it to court, wouldn’t care whether he was a good guy or a bad guy, only whether his discrimination case could be proven. In this example, the black guy is the racist and unless the barista allowed a white customer the equivalent message, his case is dead in the water.

          Gay couples seeking to have a quality cake built by a custom cake builder are doing so to make a nice display at the reception, not to make trouble, or to “promote an idea”. People keep saying, “Shop around until you find a place that bakes cakes for gay weddings”, but honestly, why should they be subjected to this humiliation? Heterosexual couples aren’t put to this inconvenience, and made to feel unworthy of the best quality that their money can buy. You may as well say to Rosa Parks, “find a bus company that will allow you to sit in the front of the bus, or walk or get a cab”.

          Like

          • Derek Williams said:

            Now to your barista example:

            1. Can the barista legally refuse to write such a message? Yes. It is racist.

            OK, but you miss the point. The barista should be free to refuse ANY message he disagrees with, racist or not. In part, this is because it is IMPOSSIBLE to set up a category called “racist messages”. Is it racist to say that black people commit more crimes per capita than white people? Is it pro-white racist, as some now insist, to express sympathy for the white farmers in South Africa? The accusation “racist” is applied to just about everything, including me, which is a crock … but as far as I know, there is no legal category called “racist speech” which is treated, as you facilely claim, different from other speech.

            And without the existence of such a legal category, it cannot be used to exclude speech.

            2. Is it racism to refuse? No, because the message itself is racist.

            Same objection. is it racist to say that black people in the US have a lower IQ than Asian people? Could be … but then it’s true. Can a true statement be racist?

            3. Will the black man’s actions improve racial relations, or damage them? The imaginary black man will get nowhere because the refusal isn’t based on his race. However, had the barista accepted the equivalent order from a white customer but refused the identical order from a black customer, then yes, the imaginary black customer will have grounds to sue.

            Dear heavens, I sincerely hope nobody ever makes you a judge. You haven’t answered the question. If the black man sues for this and wins, it will very obviously exacerbate racial problems … just as driving Christian bakers into bankruptcy makes people angry at gay folks. Might be unfair, but that’s how the world works. Once again, you’ve refused to deal with a very central issue—YOU ARE DAMAGING YOUR OWN CAUSE BY YOUR ARGUMENTS.

            Seriously, Derek, do you think this kind of accusatory suit-happy behavior makes businessmen want to deal with gay customers? Of course not.

            4. Is this imaginary black man a good guy or not? The imaginary black man is clearly a troublemaker, but I couldn’t say whether he is a good guy or not on the information provided. He certainly sounds highly troubled, since he wants the barista to write racist messages on his coffee. A court adjudicating such a case, if it even made it to court, wouldn’t care whether he was a good guy or a bad guy, only whether his discrimination case could be proven. In this example, the black guy is the racist and unless the barista allowed a white customer the equivalent message, his case is dead in the water.

            First off, how are you going to decide what is an “equivalent message”? Someone has demanded that the Colorado baker bake a cake of Satan licking a dildo. So tell me, Derek, what is an “equivalent message” to that one?

            Again, you are insisting that if Picasso accepts one commission, he has to accept all commissions. But now, you’ve limited it to “equivalent commissions”, which is a vague and meaningless category.

            I still don’t get why you want to force a man to write a message he opposes for whatever personal reasons when there are plenty of other people more than happy to write your message. And ANYONE who sues a businessman over this kind of trivial shit, instead of just finding another baker, is definitely NOT a good guy.

            w.

            PS—Can a Christian demand that a Muslim baker bake a cake depicting Mohammed porking a pooch? Dogs are extremely unclean in Islam … but according to you, the Muslim baker refusing to bake it is committing a crime, and deserves to be sued into bankruptcy.

            On the other hand, I think his right to refuse to make a SPECIAL OBJECT for any reason or for no reason at all.

            Me, I’m a cartoonist. I won’t stand for anyone telling me what to draw or what not to draw. Muslims insist cartoonists must not draw Mohammed. So I drew twelve cartoons of Mohammed. You gay guys are putting yourselves on the level of the Muslims, demanding that you be given authority over what an artist like myself does or doesn’t draw … and I can assure you, we artists rightly see that as a personal attack on our freedom, and we spit on and despise those who try to do it or who defend doing it.

            Including, sadly, you … nothing personal, nothing against gays, as I’ve said over and over, this is not an issue of race, sex, or religion. It is an issue of pricks trying to force artists to knuckle under and carry their messages, or to defend that nasty practice, and I fear you have placed yourself firmly in that group.

            Like

          • I’ve been unable to ascertain whether the gay couple actually asked Phillips to write a message on their wedding cake, but what I can find suggests they didn’t and just wanted a custom cake built. Regardless of whether anything was to be actually written on the cake in support of same-sex marriage, Phillips states that the wedding cake itself is religious, and that IT is “the message”. Phillips mistakenly believes his cakes are religious, and in his conceit he mistakenly believes that it is HE who is well-wishing the newlyweds. Neither is true, except in his mind. But if that’s what he believes then it isn’t right to withhold that he withholds that information until someone comes in to order a cake. At the very least, he should have a sign that says he doesn’t provide custom services for same-sex couples.

            You may think discrimination is right or wrong, but this is a clear case of discrimination:
            1. Phillips does custom cakes for straight couples getting married
            2. Phillips refuses custom cakes for gay couples getting married

            If we insert “White” in place of “Straight” and “Black” in place of “Gay” for points 1 and 2, then it should be clearer. All other things being equal, if you believe that a bakery or a tailor should be able to refuse its bespoke services to black couples that they would otherwise provide to white couples, then you support the racism of the service provider. The so-called “message” is double-speak. The real reason behind refusal is to stick it to gay people.

            Re your Mohammed cartoons, if these weren’t commissioned from you by a client, then you can draw whatever you like. But if you were drawing them on order for a white customer, and then a black customer comes in and asks for exactly the same thing you did for the white customer, and your refusal is solely because of his race then it’s discrimination.

            Like

          • Willis: “because it is IMPOSSIBLE to set up a category called “racist messages””
            Underline that. Put it in big bold print. It’s impossible because it is subjective, not objective.
            It comes down to “it’s racist because I think it’s racist” even though not everybody thinks so.
            For racist, you can also substitute sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, and a lot more things, including just plain ugly. There ought to be a law against making laws against things which cannot be precisely defined.

            It is racist/whatever because I am offended. That doesn’t cut it in any world that I would want to live in. As we see again and again, some are easily offended, often the same ones who offend others.

            Derek: “Phillips is claiming the cake itself is “the message””.
            Sometimes messages do not have any words attached. It’s a symbol.
            To Phillips it is a symbol of marriage. Probably a symbol of marriage to those getting married too.
            To Derek it is a symbol of discrimination.

            Marriage is a symbol too (not saying it’s not also a contract). In the hetero world, it’s a symbol in decline, but it’s a very important symbol in the gay world because it was previously denied. To the religious, it’s a blessing from God, or at least from society or the community. To the gays, it’s a symbol of “we want everything you guys have”.
            Sounds silly to me, but it’s very serious for others. And (see above) I do not get to decide what others value.

            This cake is the message. This cake is not just a cake, it has “baked by Phillips” written all over it, or so it seems, because that’s what it is all about, isn’t it?

            Like

          • “Racist” exists in jurisprudence as the adjective for “racism”, below:
            1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.
            2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
            3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

            According to the above, it is possible to write a message that could be regarded as racist, just as one could write a message that a reasonable person could perceive as not being racist.

            Regarding the denial of services to gay people getting married, when those identical services would be provided to straight people getting married, this surely applies only to a religious marriage. Phillips can declare civil marriage to be religious if he likes, but it simply is not. Atheists can get married in a civil ceremony, and by the way, he would custom build a cake for them.

            Why should gay couples have to drive all round town looking for a baker, a florist, a photographer, and a printer who will serve them, when straight people can walk into any store they like?

            Would you agree with putting black people through all that, if there were refused wedding services because of their race?

            Like

        • Willis, I posted a lengthy reply but it didn’t appear. When I tried again, it said “duplicate comment detected”. Not sure what happened there. There are html tags in there, which I revised when the first post failed, and then I tried twice more with different tags.

          Like

  40. Derek Williams June 29
    “I’ve never been a fan of “do nothing”, and spent my life fighting injustice in one form or another, to the extent of my ability to do so.”

    Fair enough. The problem with SJW (social justice warriors), other than that they take the fight and warrior metaphors too far, is that their fight against some injustice invariably creates some other injustice.

    eyesonu June 9, 2018
    “There has become a mindset among left-wing activists that all things must change.”

    Too true. The progressive wants change. The conservative wants the status quo.
    It never occurs to many in each group that both are right and both are wrong.
    There are things that need change. There are things that do not need change.
    Fix the things that are broken. Keep the things that work. Use TLC, not a bigger hammer.
    OK, enough bumper stickers.

    Do not confuse ‘should’ and ‘must’.
    The tendency is to make every ‘should’ into a ‘must’. In particular, my should becomes your must.
    And then I wonder where my freedom went.

    “You should never drink and drive.”
    
”You should always wear a seat belt.”
    Those shoulds have become musts; there are laws.

    “Motorcyclists should always wear a helmet.”
    That should has become a must in some states.


    “You should brush your teeth every day.”
    
”You should exercise more often.”
    “You should turn the other cheek.”
    “There should be a law against that.”
    “You should be careful what you wish for.”

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

    The jocular saying is that, in England, “everything which is not forbidden is allowed”, while, in Germany, the opposite applies, so “everything which is not allowed is forbidden”. This may be extended to France—”everything is allowed even if it is forbidden”—and Russia where “everything is forbidden, even that which is expressly allowed”.

    Nanny state, Big Brother, …

    Like

  41. Derek Williams August 26, 2018 at 9:02 am

    “Racist” exists in jurisprudence as the adjective for “racism”, below:
    1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.
    2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
    3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

    Derek, I can make what you call “racist” statements all day long. It’s called “freedom of speech”. You seem unaware of it. Look it up.

    As a result, your claim that the barista can refuse to write what the customer asks because it is “racist” is a joke. There is no prohibition against racist speech, no matter how much you might imagine one.

    It is also a measure of how liberals like you would like to take away our freedoms, by bringing in European-style laws against “hate speech”. Fortunately, the founders of the country saw people like you coming, and they protected us against your nasty impulses to censor speech that you don’t like, by making freedom of speech the very first of the Bill of Rights. And that includes the freedom to not let people force us to speak.

    Again I say, are you totally oblivious to the huge damage that the actions of you and your gay comrades-in-arms are doing to the cause of gay rights? Do you really think that the gay couple driving that poor husband-and-wife team of Oregon bakers into bankruptcy made people say “Gosh, what a noble act! Wow, I want that gay couple of freedom fighters for my neighbors”?

    Really?

    You wonder why gay people are despised in some circles? LOOK IN THE MIRROR! You, Derek, you are the face of gay intolerance of religion. I understand the reasons, but fighting it this way is shooting yourself, not in the foot, but in the nuts.

    FIND ANOTHER FARKING BAKER! How tough can it be? There are literally thousands and thousands of bakers who would make gay wedding cakes all day long. But nooooo, that’s not good enough for you. You want EVERYONE to bow to your sexual orientation, no exceptions, the Colorado baker has to burn at the stake to slake your bloodlust … sorry, amigo, but all that does is make people like myself, who normally strongly support gay rights, to shake our heads at your monumental suicidal stupidity … after years of progress since Stonewall, you are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

    You are setting the cause of gay rights back by decades by your vicious actions, cheering and high-fiving as you are driving Christians out of business, and don’t think that there is no price to be paid for that nastiness …

    w.

    Like

    • Willis: Why should gay couples have to drive all round the town looking for a baker, a florist, a printer and a photographer that will serve them, when straight couples can walk into any store they like?

      Would you say the same to a black couple, if they were refused service because of their colour? Or to Rosa Parks, “Stop whining and find a bus company that will allow you to sit in the front of the bus, or just walk or take a cab”?

      And why should I be “tolerant of religion” when it teaches its followers that I will burn in eternal hellfire, and instructs them to refuse me service? Religion made the first move, by outlawing me, when I did nothing wrong. I merely exist and I did everything society asked of me, except for one thing, I refuse to marry a woman I have no feelings for.

      I saw your article on Islam. You don’t sound very “tolerant” of Islam. I saw your cartoons. They don’t offend me, but you rail against asking bakers to bake cakes for gay weddings, because of the massive offence this causes them. Yet aren’t you deliberately and provocatively causing massive offence to Muslims?

      And no, I don’t want people to “bow to my sexual orientation”! I just want the same treatment as everyone else. How does having the same rights you happily claim for yourself in any sense mean I want to be “bowed to”?

      Like

  42. Derek: “Why should gay couples have to drive all round town looking for a baker, a florist, a photographer, and a printer who will serve them, when straight people can walk into any store they like?”

    I wish you would find a higher moral principle to base this crusade on than jealousy or inconvenience.
    It sounds like “Daddy always liked you best.”

    But on a positive note, Judith Curry has a link she found this week which is absolutely fantastic. Which means I like the way it was written and I like what it says. Good to the last period. Who me, biased? It’s a rare combination of fun read and important message. It’s a must read.

    View story at Medium.com
    “The Ideological Turing Test: How to Be Less Wrong” by Charles Chu.

    Lots of stuff to quote there. Here is just one, which he is in turn quoting from a book.

    “Across practices, across cultures, and throughout historical periods, when people support and engage in violence, their primary motivations are moral. By ‘moral’, I mean that people are violent because they feel they must be; because they feel that their violence is obligatory. They know that they are harming fully human beings. Nonetheless, they believe they should. Violence does not stem from a psychopathic lack of morality. Quite the reverse: it comes from the exercise of perceived moral rights and obligations.”

    Like

    • YMMV: There is a lot more to my “crusade” than mere “inconvenience and jealousy”. That petty comment trivializes the larger picture of the damage caused by wrongful discrimination, and goes nowhere near acknowledging the issues I have voluminously raised in this blog. You may as well say to the Black man, “Be White, and then you’ll get service”, or to the Jew, “Be a Gentile and stop whining”. As for me, to remove the inconvenience and avoid your accusations of “jealousy”, I just need to find a woman to marry. A little Christian Conversion Therapy should do the trick, to make me a full citizen.

      Disliked minorities are always at the mercy of the majority, but that doesn’t justify wrongful discrimination. The 14th Amendment in part addresses what President John Adams termed “Tyranny of the Majority”, and it was under its provisions that Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade and Obergefell were heard by the Supreme Court, finding for the plaintiff in each case.

      Refusal of service based on an a harmless innate characteristic over which the individual has no say and no control is the basis for state anti-discrimination legislation, such as was in force in Colorado when Phillips refused a custom cake to a gay couple on the grounds of their innate sexual orientation. If you disapprove of such legislation, then we can just agree to disagree and like you, I am not sure it’s always effective anyway, considering the baker can always urinate, spit or defecate in the cake, and the Jew / Black / Gay he was obliged to serve may never find out. But the law can nevertheless lead the way over time to an amelioration in attitudes, otherwise no state would entertain the idea, especially if it was going to make matters worse.

      When homosexuality was illegal, people in two minds could always point to the law and say, “Well, it’s not legal, is it?” to justify refusal of service to gays. Laws can change pubic opinion as well as respond to it, but they only work if the majority obey them, as I believe you already observed in another post. If we don’t have agreed codes of conduct that reflect our values, i.e. laws, then we’re back to the law of the jungle, or no civil order at all.

      Thank you for your link, which will take me a while to read. Meanwhile, you may enjoy this:

      Like

  43. Derek Williams August 26, 2018 at 8:33 am said:

    The problem with this entire blog is that no-one seems to understand that the baker’s conduct is discriminatory. He is running a business serving the public, but restricting his custom cake services to heterosexuals. If he were to restrict his custom cake services only to whites, then it would be easier to get the point across

    Not true. He is NOT ‘restricting his cake services to heterosexuals”. He is not making a choice based on the CUSTOMER. He is making a choice based on the MESSAGE, which is a very different thing. He has demonstrated he is happy to both sell off-the-shelf items and to make custom cakes for gay people … just not cakes celebrating the gay lifestyle. Not a choice I’d make myself, but I strongly defend his decision to make it.

    No one should be made to carry another man’s message. Period.

    You want to force him to carry your message. That is tyranny. I’m sorry, but you do NOT get to decide what messages I will put out into the world. It’s called “freedom of speech”, and it frees me to not have to promote someone’s racist or sexist or nationalist or religious or any other kind of message. I can refuse to paint a sign (one of my many money-making activities) for a black man who wants it to say “Support the KKK!”. It’s not the man, it’s the message. I don’t need to explain my reasons for refusing to advance that message. That is my freedom as an artist, and y’all are abhorrent for bankrupting people who refuse to sign on to spread to your particular parochial message. I say again:

    FIND ANOTHER FARKING BAKER! What, like the world is short of people who will happily take their money to bake their dream wedding cake? Find another baker and we can all live in peace. You do that, and I’ll tell you what.

    I promise I won’t sue to force a gay baker to bake a cake with a virulent, vicious anti-gay motto on top …

    w.

    Like

    • Being gay isn’t a “lifestyle”, like living near the beach or buying a fashionable new pair of shoes, it is the way I was born, and I can’t change it. Calling it a “lifestyle” is a trivialisation used exclusively against LGBT people. No-one calls a heterosexual orientation a “straight lifestyle”, because that is the way they were born, and they can’t change it either.

      The gay couple aren’t buying a message, or even intending to transmit one, and they don’t belong to the baker’s religion, whose rules he is forcing on his customers. They just want to be treated the same as everyone else. Only gay people are expected to drive around the city hunting for businesses that accept gay customers. Not straight people.

      If the baker wants to run his business as a religion, then he should redefine it as a church or run it from within one. A black couple should be able to have their wedding garments designed by a tailor, and so should a gay couple. In public accommodation, people should be able freely to buy any products they like without being lectured on their sinfulness. The providers have every right to their religious belief, but keep it in the church and in the home. Don’t force it on me. Denying me products and services that heterosexuals are allowed to buy is evangelising.

      Demanding a message supporting the KKK is nowhere near the ball park of two people solemnising their relationship, and nor is putting a virulent anti-gay message on the top of a cake. You would get nowhere forcing a baker to write such a message, and if he refused, it would be because of the offensive message itself. You would only get to sue the baker if he refused you because you are straight, or because you are white, or because you are male. You can’t sue for refusing to write an arbitrary message such as you keep adducing. Phillips on the other hand is refusing the cake because the couple are gay. A straight couple gets whatever cake they want.

      As for bankrupting him, that’s highly unlikely. Churches have deep pockets, and there’s a GoFundMe account running that’s already raised over $57,000: https://www.gofundme.com/masterpiece-cakeshop

      Sweet Cakes likewise raised over $100,000 on GoFundMe, and the likes of Kim Davis have rivers-of-gold publishing deals and book tours around the Fundamentalist Christian rallies.

      This is a civil marriage, not a religious one. The idea that the cake is religious is in the baker’s head, but it’s wrong. When you put yourself in the public marketplace, you have to serve everybody without wrongful discrimination. The baker knowingly put himself in this position by creating a service he knew he wouldn’t offer to gay people. The day the couple walked into his store and ordered their cake came his big chance to teach gays a lesson about their sinful relationships. It has got him international fame and a publishing deal is a certainty. He will do very nicely out of this.

      Do you realise that by defending the supremacy of religion over secular commerce, you’re opening the gates for Islamic beliefs as well?

      Like

  44. Pingback: A Plea To My Many Gay Etc. Relatives, In-Laws, and Outlaws | Skating Under The Ice

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