Published: Sunday, Feb. 9 2014 12:00 a.m. MST
The exact same arguments were used against civil rights for racial minorities.
Deficiencies in Mr. Boyack's argument:1. Anti-discrimination bills do
not require customers to patronize businesses owned by LGBT individuals, rent a
home from them or be employed by them. Reductio ad absurdum is a logical
fallacy.2. The government frequently regulates property rights. Zoning
laws, for example, limit the uses we make of our property,presumably to benefit
society. 3. It's not "that simple" because when two rights
collide, an accommodation must be reached.4. Does anyone's religion
teach that a baker should not make a wedding cake for a gay wedding? Some
churches oppose gay marriage. Do they also oppose providing services for those
weddings? Is it a sin to photograph a gay wedding?Nonetheless,if a bakery
didn't want to bake me a cake, I would find a different bakery. I would not
file an anti-discrimination complaint.
When people seek "special rights" to promote themselves, their way of
life, or their attitude about society, we end up with lawsuits. Read the Declaration of Independence, the document that gave the reason for
fighting a bloody war to win our independence from a King who tried to force us
to do what he wanted."We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit
of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among
Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"Rights come from God, not from government. Government is instituted to
protect us from government's usurpation of those rights. Government has no
inherent rights. Government is not authorized to determine who can buy from a
merchant. That is not a function of government. Read the Constitution, Article
1, Section 8. Government intervention in non-interstate commerce is not an
enumerated duty of government. The "right" to sell is left to the
people to determine, not to the government.
Not another "I don't want to play fair in the sandbox" rant!
Personally, my religious upbringing taught me to treat others better than I am
treated. You see, that's one step beyond "doing unto others." I
appreciate my parents for teaching that important principal to me. It has taught me that while I don't necessarily agree with the way other
people live, I have the responsibility to treat them with the dignity worthy of
every child of God. I have learned that kindness is more important than
convincing others that my beliefs are somehow better than theirs. My God will do
the judging of other people's choices, so I don't have to worry about
doing that. These ideas have lifted a very heavy burden off of my shoulders.
As I've noted before, all it's going to take to fix this up is a few
straight, religious people to be denied services or goods specifically because
they're straight and religious. It's legal, and someone should do it.
There is no such thing as property rights.There is no such thing as
business rights. Businessmen may own the complete set of assets,
land, buildings, etc., of a business operation but they do not own business.
All business operations must have the permission to operate their business that
is given on a temporary basis by the agent of society, its government, with the
expectation that the business operation will abide by all civil law. Society
owns the institution of business. Only people can have rights.
Those rights include only those rights granted to the members of society, by the
society. And secured by the government of that society. The notion of a God
given right to life, if it exists, is not secured and cannot be enforced. And is
not enforced even by God. Civil rights are those that society gives
and enforces. Voluntary participation in a society requires adherence to the
civil laws of that society. Even if those civil laws conflict with personal
views. You don't have to be an American, and abide by our rules, but we
expect to cease your participation if you wont abide by our rules.
@Roland,Yes, and those arguments were valid then as they are now.
Racism is despicable, and any form of discrimination is un-Christian at the very
least (not that that means much anymore), but it's not the place of the
government to try to control how people think. Businesses ought to be able to
serve and cater to whatever clientele they want, and refuse any clientele they
want, likewise. They lose money by doing so, but that is their choice as
business owners. If you don't like a particular business's policies,
go shop somewhere else. It is not the place of the state to tell people how to
run their private affairs. It's unfortunate that the LGBT
community, while demanding "equality", doesn't really seem to care
much about liberty. Or at least, if they do, they don't seem to understand
it very well, at all.
The writer of this article would opening a Pandora box. If someone is allowed to
discriminate against individuals just because of his religious convictions then
equal rights would have to go. What about rejecting Mormons who want
to rent a house? It could be against someones religion and therefore the
landlord could discriminate against the renters.The list could go on
This is a terrible opinion for a variety of reasons. A person, licensed by the
state to conduct business, operates under the constitutional precedents
governing businesses, not individuals. Per the constitution and many Supreme
Court decisions interpreting the constitution, Congress regulates essentially
all commerce, and congress has said it is not ok to discriminate against certain
classes of individuals as a business. Businesses already cannot legally
discriminate against gay people. Antidiscrimination legislation only makes this
explicit and proactively protective, where as of now, complaints would have to
make their way through the courts after the fact. Either way, the end result is
the same, as we've seen from myriad cases across the country. And lastly,
this opinion is terrible in that it essentially says "I think people should
be able to treat others like inhuman trash because Jesus". What a horrible
message that reflects badly, and yet often accurately, on a certain group of
people. Does that mean the group is horrible? You be the judge.
This letter comes with its own bucket of cold water, "While we may morally
object to his decision, and find it disappointing that he refuses to offer his
resources to a person because he’s black, short, smelly, gay, lazy or
Mormon, these concerns do not provide a basis for compulsion through the
law."This is why attempts to justify these laws fail. Setting aside
history and federal law for a minute. How many of you would honestly be alright
with such laws if you found yourself or others living or traveling In the south
and find you were banned from many businesses due to your religion (which many
in the south have very strong opinions about). How many of you are ready to face
signs that say "whites only," etc? Know let's go back to history,
we have been down this path as. A country and it was not only disatreious to
individuals but to our entire society which is why we have federal laws
prohibiting such dicrinination as they current laws propose.
This is one of those areas where many of us hold conflicting opinions without
realizing it. As an example, some pediatricians refuse children as patients if
their parents won't allow them to be vaccinated. My guess is that many of
the people who say that a baker shouldn't be able to refuse to make a cake
for a same-sex couple would turn right around and support the doctor in his
right to refuse a patient over their personal beliefs or actions.People who seek to erode the freedom of conscience in one area should take
note that their efforts may have many unintended consequences.
Roland,No, they didn't. Those who opposed civil
rights for blacks or example did so on the basis in their beliefs that blacks
were inferior and that was their justification. This opinion piece
does not use that as the argument; rather that it infringes on the rights of
others to not allow them to control their property Those are not the
We reach a point in legal oversight where the enforcement of one freedom
approaches slavery. How ironic when proponents of anti-discrimination use this
argument as a defense. The exact same arguments could never have been used to
promote civil rights because circumstances are NOT the "exact same".I do not agree with the premise presented in this article, but I can see
that the argument is relevant and compelling. We need to understand it, not
dismiss it with a comparison to racism.
Too many people are trying to reverse the role of government. They want
government to make their lives easier, no matter the consequences to others.
They want to be served, on their terms because they consider themselves to be
special. Hitler preyed on that mentality. He told the German people that they
were "special", that they deserved to rule the world, that property
rights had to be seen within the context of his predefined
"specialness". The German people bought into to that nonsense. They
forced Jews to leave their shops and homes because they were not part of those
that Hitler has selected as being "special".History is
repeating itself. Government is destroying unalienable rights because of
propaganda from those who want "special" rights. Government has seized
(in effect, if not in actuality) businesses for which they have not paid to
force their brand of political correctness on us. It is up to the owner of a
business to decide how he will run his business. If he chooses properly, he
will have customers; if not, he will lose his business. It is his decision and
Shallow reasoning. No one's property rights are absolute, especially a
business open for public accommodation. A business owner has no legal or moral
right to refuse service to anyone because of what the person IS. Of course the
business has every right to refuse service on account of a customer's
public behavior--that's why it's ok to say "no shoes, no
service" or "no smelly people." Please, Mr. Boyack, don't mix
up "smelly people" with "black, gay, or female people."
It's not the same thing.
In a supposed free society not only are we supposed to have property rights, but
we should also have freedom of association. A free market will allow consumers
to make choices which businesses deserve support and patronage.Also,
discrimination is not a bad thing. Everyone discriminates every day. I was
discriminating in the choice of which girls I chose to date, and I discriminated
against many girls when I chose a wife. I discriminate when I choose to buy a
sandwich at one shop over another.
The owner of the Vermont inn received tax benefits for making the property
available to the PUBLIC as, among other things, a wedding venue. The
photographer, the baker and the florist all had business licenses establishing
them as PUBLIC accommodations. That meant all of them had to serve the PUBLIC
-- all of the public, with no right to limit what part of the public they
served. They all were sanctioned when they breached their agreements with the
governmental authorities with whom they contracted, and when they declined to
serve part of the PUBLIC they had agreed, and were obligated, to serve. They
"made their beds" when they sought tax benefits and/or business
licenses; now they have to lie in them and pay the penalties they brought on
themselves when they decided to refuse to comply with the requirements of the
benefits/licenses they sought and obtained.
Each of us has obligation to the larger society first--if we are members of that
society, that is. If we disagree with what is being done in that larger
society, we have the ability to petition, vote, protest. We do not have the
right to decide whether to obey the law on our property or not. We obey the law
and petition, vote, protest to have it changed if we wish.
There's seriously a problem in the United States these days over individual
rights/liberty versus communal responsibilities and tolerance as established by
law locally and/or nationally. The end result of repeated conflicts with the
laws of a diverse society based on personal religious belief could be the
balkanizing of America--a real but unnecessary possibility. "Different
strokes for different folks" seems the wiser rule of thumb in any country
populated by more than 300,000,000 people. Just look at those countries ahead
of us in pupulation for proof. Careful what you ask for,
Boyack complains that a Mormon business owner couldn't fire an employee for
finding out he was gay on the basis of his religious beliefs, but I seemed to
have missed Boyack's complaint about a gay employer not being able to fire
a Mormon employee because they are already protected by non-discrimination
law.Why are religious folks content to accept their protections for
their choices (in violation of my property rights according to Boyack) but throw
a tantrum when others want those same protections?
"I want to be able to discriminate!" I'm sorry, that just
doesn't sound like a sentiment for diverse, pluralistic society like we
have under the U.S. Constitution. Do we adhere to those principles, or do we
want to tear our nation apart?
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