@Ranch 6:48, RE: "We should never tolerate bigotry"...
--- Remember the definition of "Bigotry". It may not be what you
think. Google "Bigotry definition"...
"bigÂ·otÂ·ry Intolerance toward those who hold
different opinions from oneself"...That's the
definition.So saying, "group/opinion X should never be
tolerated"... fits the definition.Obviously we tolerate your
comments and opinions. You have a right to your own opinion (even if I
disagree).The guy who won't bake the cake is a bigot. But so is
somebody who says certain opinions or people, "must never be
tolerated".That is the very definition of "bigotry".The lesson is... tolerate all views, even if they are different than
your own.Disagree with them all you want. But when you say,
"They must not be tolerated", that's bigotry (by definition).
It is funny to see the liberals cling onto their mantra that this is about
discrimination against gay people. If you read the history of this case, it is
not about discrimination against gay people. Nor can it lead to anything like
the racial discrimination that we had prior to the Civil Rights Act.All that is being asked is for people to not be compelled to service events
that they disagree with.The test is simple, you have 2 questions to
ask.1. Is a custom item being created or is attendance at an event
required?2. Does the event go against the business owner's
beliefs?If you say yes to both, then you cannot compel the owner to
service your event.To put it into perspective. Would you force a
gay caterer to service an event where they are speaking out against gays?
Ranch wrote:"@Jacob_Z; By your logic the sandwich maker at
Woolworths was an 'artisan' and could deny to serve his art to black
customers."Huh? That's the opposite of what "my
logic" dictates. Read my post again. Artisans, by definition, aren't
artists, therefore, they don't create art.
"Not only does pushing out unpopular perspectives diminish the free exchange
of ideas — which is vital to the republic — but it’s also
antithetical to progressive ideals often espoused by the same people who seem
eager to squeeze conservative Christian perspectives from the public
square"The marketplace ideas should not be an
everybody-gets-a-trophy safe-zone. In the market analogy, the best ideas rise
relative to other ideas through competition. Sometimes "unpopular
perspectives" are "unpopular" for a reason...they have been tried
and found wanting. Other unpopular ideas are unpopular because they are new,
unfamiliar, or confusing...but will prove themselves over time as more people
learn about them. The column also implies we should be immune from
the consequences of expressing unpopular beliefs, such as the former tennis pro
being shunned by her local club. Colin Kaepernick knows how she feels. So too
most adults who have spoken up against the prevailing opinion, at work or within
families.It is hard. The risks and costs can be great. But such
sacrifice can elevate unpopular ideas to a position where more people take
notice and begin to believe.
Woohoo says:"There's many here commenting trying to suggest
that if the baker wins that it's going to be a slippery slope back to the
civil rights era. "--- If religion is a valid reason to
discriminate against LGBT customers, then why not blacks, women or others?
Which religious beliefs are going to be legitimate enough to qualify and which
not? Who will decide? This is why you can't allow religious beliefs to be
used to discriminate; if you do, then *anyone's* religious beliefs ought to
be given the same legitimacy in discriminate as anyone else's. Otherwise
you end up with "preferred" religious beliefs, which becomes suspect
under the 1st Amendment.@Jacob_Z;By your logic the
sandwich maker at Woolworths was an 'artisan' and could deny to serve
his art to black customers.@Common sense conservative;How is ordering a wedding cake any different than ordering a birthday cake?
The baker is NOT involved except to bake a stupid cake.@2bits;We should never tolerate bigotry.
CSC: “The problem is that a wedding cake is a centerpiece and an integral
part of a wedding, just like a ring ceremony or a dress.”But
they are not. Wedding cakes are generally featured and consumed at a reception
that is often far removed in space and time from the wedding ceremony. While
wedding cakes are wrapped up in tradition, it would be a stretch to construe
either the cake or reception as “centerpiece and integral” to the
wedding. In the particular Colorado case, the reception was days after the
wedding in another state over 1500 miles away. The cake had no role in the
wedding. The couple would still have been married with or without the reception
or cake. The reception had no secular legal nor spiritual or sectarian
function, it carried no religious significance. The reception was not the
Eucharist or a seder. It was a party and the cake was merely dessert.
@Common sense conservative: I highly recommend reading the court rulings on
these cases. Courts have repeatedly addressed the issues you're raising.
The legal reasoning has to do with the fact that straight people
don't marry people of their own gender. The conduct is so closely tied to
identity as to be indistinguishable. There's a legal staying "a tax on
yarmulkes is a tax on Jews." Anyone can buy a yarmulke but the instances in
which gentiles purchase yarmulkes are so few and far between as to be
meaningless.There is also the question of "compelled"
speech; can someone be forced to say something they don't believe? Courts
have held that in the case of a wedding, a reasonable observer would conclude
that any message belonged to the couple being married, not the person who baked
the cake, took the photos or arranged the flowers.You're right;
it's not about the cake. It's about being treated fairly by businesses
open to the public. Why should one class of persons, in this case lgbt persons,
be forced to search far and wide for a business willing to provide them the same
service they gladly provide everyone else?
This statement struck a cord with me..."Not only does pushing
out unpopular perspectives diminish the free exchange of ideas — which is
vital to the republic — but it’s also antithetical to progressive
ideals often espoused by the same people who seem eager to squeeze conservative
Christian perspectives from the public square"...It is.It is "antithetical' to the definition of "Progressive" to
want to crush people for having diverse ideas, or belief systems."Progressive" is all about diversity (not only in race , but also in
ideas and ideals).This recent trend by some in politics to crush any
ideas that are not in line with our political ideals... is bogus IMO. And I
would think it would be totally disgusting to any "Progressive". And
yet... they applaud it today.Progressives seem to be the new
Conservatives and "Religious Right" of the 1980s. They act the same.
With intolerance of anything other than their beliefs.What has
become of Liberals? And their tolerance (even of ideas that are way out there)?
Where are the Liberals of my youth? They seem to have been co-opted by an
intolerant bunch. That only wants THEIR ideas in the public square.
@Woohoo"As recently as a couple weeks ago a survey was done asking
college students whether hate speech is protected speech. Only 39% responded
correctly. 44% responded that it's not protected. I am thinking that a lot
of respondents here would've fallen into the group that got it
wrong."Protected is kinda relative, the government can't
infringe on it but you sure can't say that kind of stuff at an elementary
school and a business can kick you out for it. I think some of the 44% were
thinking of those kinds of situations.
How is this any different than not wanting to let a black person sit at my lunch
counter? What if my religion doesnt think black people should be able to sit
with white people?This isnt about diversity of thought, this is
about public accommodation. Bakers who want to take this silly 'stand'
should form a private club where they let us ALL know just who they wont bake a
cake for. /I also find it silly that the baker thinks of themselves
as an 'artist' but at least that is debatable.
The picture of "refusing to serve someone because of sexual orientation"
is a straw man. Of course that would be discrimination and repulsive. Has anyone
ever heard a news story of a gay person who simply ordered a birthday cake and
was refused because the bakery didn't like gay people? Nope! The problem is
that a wedding cake is a centerpiece and an integral part of a wedding, just
like a ring ceremony or a dress. It forces the bakery to be involved to a degree
they aren't comfortable with in something that violates their conscience.
If a liberal cake shop owner was asked to make a cake for something they felt
deeply opposed to, say a Donald trump inauguration party, should we force them
to? Shouldn't they be allowed to politely refuse? For gay couples,
it's not about the cake. They can easily go to any other cake shop down the
road that will happily bake their cake, and everyone goes home happy. But they
want the publicity and something to be angry about.
@ Deadalus, Steven,I probably should have clarified my point
further. I was speaking of business owners stating their religious preferences
in advance in some fashion (such as the letters "LDS" or a
"fish" symbol for Christians). If a same-sex couple comes to that
business, the business would be legally obligated to serve them -- non
discrimination. Knowing the business owner's religious preference in
advance, however the couple could decide for themselves whether to patronize
that business or go elsewhere. The couple would be making the decision, not the
@sashabill's idea for "business owners to state...religious preferences
[and consumers] decide for themselves...to patronize that business...."This is a practical solution if SCOTUS grants Masterpiece the half-baked
theological loophole they seek, allowing any vendor to conjure any sort of
religious basis for refusing service to a protected class listed under a state
public accommodations law.The Secretary of State office could add
another online business record form, with check-boxes corresponding to protected
classes. The owner can indicate which ones it will refuse to serve, for
religious reasons. With that data made public, the market would
take of itself. Likely some boycotts, mixed with some counter-boycotts
(consumers who patronize a store -because- of who they refuse to serve).But here is the rub: part of the twisted appeal of discrimination at
the retail level is the power to humiliate those who the business owner
disfavors, without warning: an unsuspecting customer walks in, and is told
"we don't serve your type here" loud enough for the other customers
to hear.This system would eliminate that power, and will be resisted
for that reason alone.
I have mixed feelings about this matter. I sympathize with the baker in
Colorado. Yet if we take this out to its logical, conclusion, wouldn't we
end up with a "free for all" where any business owner of any religious
persuasion (or no religion ) could discriminate in products or services against
anybody of another religion (or non-religion) that they disapprove of?Devout Protestants, for example, could refuse to serve Catholic weddings (or
vice-versa). Christians, of any denomination, could refuse to serve non-
Christian weddings, and vice versa. Atheists and agnostics could refuse
products or services to religious weddings. I could very well imagine
fundamentalist Protestant business owners refusing to serve Mormon weddings.Perhaps one approach to this matter would be for business owners to
state (in advertising or by word of mouth) what their religious preferences are,
and if they contribute to efforts in support of traditional marriage. Same sex
couples could then decide for themselves if they want to patronize that
business or go elsewhere.
Thanks Daedalus, Stephen for an articulate, factual, reasoned response in a
debate filled with bias, prejudice, and ignorance. What I submitted was rejected
by the moderator. I'm happy that yours made the grade.
Re: "Since when is a cake maker an 'artisan'?"I
suppose you could say they are artisans, because they are skilled at a trade, or
because they make their cakes by hand in relatively small numbers.According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, an artisan is "a worker
who practices a trade or handicraft: craftsperson."The American
Heritage Dictionary says that an artisan is "a person skilled in making a
product by hand."As applied to food, artisan means "made in
a traditional or non-mechanized way using high-quality ingredients" - Oxford
Dictionaries online.At any rate, "artisan" and
"artist" don't mean the same thing. Artisans aren't
artists:"artist ... B. And /artisan/. Although these terms were
once synonymous, they have undergone DIFFERENTIATION: an /artist/ is someone
skilled in any of the fine arts (such as painting), while an /artisan/ is a
crafter or one skilled at a trade.... Yet /artist/ has degenerated to the point
where many people use it in reference to anyone with a talent." -
Garner's Modern English Usage, Fourth Edition, Oxford University Press,
There is a difference between seeking freedom from religious oppression and
seeking freedom to be the religious oppressor. The Colorado Baker was asked to
do what he does, bake a wedding cake, in exchange for the thing that everybody
else provides for a wedding cake, money. He was not asked to create any sort of
gay variant of what he had done thousands of times before. The offered money
was just as legitimate as any other pain customer's. The only difference
was the sexual orientation of the people willing to pay him money. For the marketplace of ideas to thrive and ensure great ideas rise to the top,
bad ideas must not be insulated from criticism. The baker's decision, the
Church's amicus brief, and this editorial are rotten apples in the bottom
of the marketplace barrel.
No @Woohoo, not a slipperly slope, this will be a vertical cliff. A
small, petty and temporary cliff that will completely erode within a generation.
But binary step-down that will give bigotry a day-pass, so it would not be
without pain or consequence. Which is the whole point, isn't it?Under the specific facts of the Masterpiece case, for the baker to prevail,
SCOTUS must create a weirdly specific loophole to its existing precedent under
Empl.Div. v. Smith, that only applies to those states that added LGBT as a
protected class to their public accommodations laws, and did not pass a
mini-RFRA.The basis for such a request is the theological equivalent
of a unicorn: a religious sect that regards it a sin for a merchant to bake a
generic wedding cake for a reception that occurs well after and 1000 miles away
from where a same-sex couple received a valid marriage license.Granted, relatively few bakers (or artisan plumbers, etc) will be foolish
enough to concoct equally absurd reasons to discriminate against citizens whose
hard won civil rights are more established (race, gender) but LGBT are still
easy targets for tiny tantrums over being on the losing side of Obergefell.
I'll bet the legal question comes down to this: Were the customers asking
for an explicit message on the cake or just a generic wedding cake?If a message, then the court will probably say the baker has the right to
refuse. If no message, then the court will probably say the baker has no right
to refuse. At that point it becomes a 1st Amendment issue.
@Woohoo, writes,"This is silly seeing as back then the
government had laws forbidding whites from serving blacks and vice versa. The
government can't forbid a business from doing business with anyone.
"Check your history book. There was never a law that forbade
white Woolworth employees from serving blacks at their lunch counter. It was
the policy of that particular [white] Woolworth manager.
I have mixed feelings about this issue. I sympathize with the baker in
Colorado -- yet, if we take this out to its logical conclusion, wouldn't
we end up with a virtual "free for all" where anybody of any religion
(or no religion) could discriminate in selling products or services toward
anybody of any religion (or non-religion) that they happen to disapprove of?Devout Protestants could refuse to serve Catholic weddings (or vice
versa); Christians of any denomination could refuse to serve non-Christian
weddings, and vice-versa. Atheists and agnostics could refuse to serve any kind
of religious weddings. I could very well imagine fundamentalist Protestant
business owners refusing to serve Mormon weddings (Since Mormons are a
"cult," they believe that Christ and Lucifer are "brothers," and
yadda yadda.)Perhaps one approach to this problem would be for
religious business owners to let it be known (through advertising or word of
mouth) what their religious affiliation or preferences are. Same sex couples
could then decide if they want to patronize that business or go elsewhere.
Either way, it would be the couple making the decision, not the business owners.
As recently as a couple weeks ago a survey was done asking college students
whether hate speech is protected speech. Only 39% responded correctly. 44%
responded that it's not protected. I am thinking that a lot of respondents
here would've fallen into the group that got it wrong.There's many here commenting trying to suggest that if the baker wins
that it's going to be a slippery slope back to the civil rights era. This is silly seeing as back then the government had laws forbidding
whites from serving blacks and vice versa. The government can't forbid a
business from doing business with anyone. At the same time the
government shouldn't force anyone to conduct business with anyone
either.The baker served LGBT people but was unwilling to use his
artistic talents to celebrate their wedding by baking a cake for them. There's plenty of people that support SSM in this country. It has grown
continually over the last decade or so. This seems more or less like the
couple trying to force their beliefs on others that don't think like them.
As several Supreme Courts have ruled over the years, marriage is a fundamental
right. Under federal law, marriage is a civil right. And the Supreme Court has
ruled this right extends to people who are LGBT. Religious people are free to
be married in the church they prefer according to the laws in their state. No
church is required to perform marriage rites for anybody. And it will remain
so.The question is, when I apply for a business license should I be
allowed to discriminate against classes of people, based on race, age, sex,
sexual orientation, disability etc? Where do we draw the line? If I work at a grocery store can I refuse to sell alcoholic beverages
which are against my beliefs and as such I will be condoning sin? As a waiter
or waitress in a restaurant can I refuse to serve coffee/tea/alcoholic
beverages? Will the LDS Church sign join an amicus brief on the
side of religions which believe in polygamy? If not, why not?
You're not protecting (or defending) an "unpopular opionion". The
baker may maintain whatever opinion he wants. What he cannot do is discriminate
as a business owner against a small, despised, subset of the population. How
hard is that for you to grasp?"Among them is religious freedom
and free speech."--- Neither of which grants the right to
discriminate against someone, nor, I might add, to VOTE on whether or not they
should be allowed to enjoy the same rights you enjoy."...but, as
an artist, he would not produce a gay-wedding cake because of religious-based
objections...The problem here is that emerging LGBT rights are coming into
conflict with established First Amendment rights such as religious liberty and
the freedom of speech. "--- His business makes wedding cakes.
His business is NOT him and it has NO religion or religious beliefs as a for
profit business. The problem here is that a Business Owner is refusing to sell
to SOME customers the very product he will sell to EVERY other customer who
walks through his door. He doesn't ask *any* of them if they're
"worthy" of his products.
@What in Tucket: "Personally I would be glad to bake a cake for a same sex
couple if I knew how to bake one."Good news! The
recipe you use to bake a cake for an opposite sex couple should work just fine.
Why was this opinion written DesNews? Perhaps the authors can clarify if they
are adding value or simply adding noise to the discussion.
Thank goodness this is your opinion and not actual fact. If you own a business
it is your obligation to serve anyone who walks through your door, anything less
A few decades ago it was pretty common (even today a poll found that 16% of
people support a ban on interracial marriage) for people to have religious views
in opposition to interracial marriage. Should those bakers be able
to refuse to bake cakes for interracial weddings? If you say yes,
are you only saying yes because that sort of belief is uncommon enough these
days that doing so would likely just need to financial ruin for their business
based on public will? What if racism was still very common to the point that
about half the country opposed interracial marriage and this bakery and many
others would have no problem refusing to bake a cake for an interracial couple?
Does discrimination become acceptable only when it becomes uncommon?
Seldom Seen Smith "Our country has no cultural norms"Of
course we do..all men are created equal therefore you can't discriminate
against someone with your beliefs because of who they "are" (Black,
White, Gay, Straight etc.).
Our country has no cultural norms, no glue to hold it together, America is
A baker should be allowed to refuse service to anyone they wish. Personally I
would be glad to bake a cake for a same sex couple if I knew how to bake one.
The Colorado baker was asked to make a wedding cake, not a gay wedding cake. He
never discussed design ideas with the couple, he simply refused them service
when he realized they were gay. It is illegal to discriminate against LGBT
people in Colorado. The question in this case is whether he should be allowed
an exemption to that law based on religious beliefs.If the couple
had asked for a cake with a message supporting same sex marriage then he would
have been allowed to refuse the order and this wouldn’t have ended up
going so far in court. It is not his belief that is being attacked
here, no one would tell him he can’t have his own beliefs. The problem
that is being addressed here is his action based on his belief
This editorial contains a factual error which will no doubt confuse the
discussion. The baker was not asked to bake a rainbow cake; read the various
rulings and you'll learn that there was no discussion whatsoever of the
design of the cake.The various court rulings on this and similar
cases make for educational reading. The courts have done their best to inquire
into the questions about religious freedom and again and again reach similar
conclusions - a reasonable observer will not conclude that the person baking the
cake or arranging the flowers or taking the photos believes any specific thing
about the wedding taking place; they are being paid for and providing a
This is not really about cake, and it is disingenuous to ask us to abide by your
argument. And it is certainly not about "artistry" as the businesses
in question make, (arguably) craft to specifications and sell a product.The discussion is not about the free exercise of any particular
religious belief, no one is going to tell the religious how to conduct their
services or edit their holy texts or define their member acceptance policies.The discussion is not about free speech, as the right to speak
one's mind on the subject is not being questioned.The
discussion is the conduct of ones business affairs in the public sector. And
you are asking the public to accept the notion that in the conduct of public
business an individual can cite some vague religious belief to discriminate
against a minority. I thought we settled this argument in the
'60's, over 50 years ago, when we passed laws outlawing
discrimination. We started with racial minorities, and expanded that right to
live in peace to others unjustly denied full participation in American
society.Shame on the DN for putting forth an opinion that turns back
"Liberalism has always insisted it is the duty of the majority to fight for
the minority, whether or not it suits one’s own private interests.
Evidently, for some, this duty stops with religious perspectives."Perhaps there is a fundamental difficulty with the "religious
perspective" when, instead of letting it rule our own lives, we insist that
everyone else must be bound by it, too. This becomes particularly problematical
because "religious perspectives" are inevitably driven by someone's
understanding, not in terms of what makes for good public policy after long
study, not in terms of academic research about the issue, not in terms of what
works as a matter of simple pragmatism, but always in terms of what "God
wants." To whatever extent people govern their own lives -- and not mine --
by what they view as what "God wants," there can be no objection. The really frustrating thing about all this is that, the moment anyone
tells me what "God wants," they're also immediately foreclosing any
further discussion of the issue. No dissenting opinions are permitted once we
believe we know what God has decided for us.
"but it’s also antithetical to progressive ideals often espoused by
the same people who seem eager to squeeze conservative Christian perspectives
from the public square."Good point.Just because
someone says that they believe in a position, doesn't mean that they do.
We should stop deluding ourselves that if someone claims to be progressive and
is advancing right wing views on suppressing the first amendment and rights of
conscience that they really are progressive.
"An artisan baker in Colorado refused to make a rainbow cake for a gay
wedding. "Since when is a cake maker an "artisan"? How
many of you have ever said Boy, it's Mary's birthday Friday,
let's go see the artisan to get her a cake"?"Is a house
painter an artisan? How about a landscaper? A dressmaker/tailor? How about a
hairstylist? Can they discriminate against certain people because of religious
issues? How about christians that don't recognize mormons as christians?
Can they discriminate due to their religious views? Nobody's asking the
baker to officiate at a gay wedding. Just make your goods for all customers.
" Evidently, for some, this duty stops with religious perspectives."If your "religious perspective" includes refusing to serve
Blacks, gays, muslims, jews, are any other segment of American society,
that's not perspective, that bigotry. And that's against the law.