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Featured "Is Religious Freedom in the U.S. Broken Beyond Repair?"

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Skwim, Nov 29, 2017.

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  1. The Cake Baker

    46.2%
  2. The Gays

    53.8%
  1. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    "If you’re secular or a progressive religious person, you might be thinking “yes”—especially in view of a high-profile case that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday (Dec. 5). Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission pits the anti-gay-marriage beliefs of a cake baker against the rights of a same-sex couple to live and marry free of discrimination.

    [​IMG]
    It rightly irritates liberals to witness a conservative Christian merchant seeking exemption from laws prohibiting businesses from discriminating against gay people. But even though this and other recent invocations of religious freedom taste bad in progressive mouths, the long view — backward and forward — suggests that religious freedom still has much to recommend it, regardless of how the high court rules on the Colorado baker.

    Technically, free speech is the issue in the baker’s case. But there’s no separating Jack Phillips’ anti-homosexuality religious views from the heart of this matter. Indeed, it’s his religious belief that motivated Phillips to say “no” to a gay couple who sought to employ his services for their wedding cake, putting the legal wheels in motion.

    To liberal sensibilities, Phillips seems the epitome of an unsympathetic character. The religious group he’s part of — conservative Christians — remains the segment of the population most outside of society’s growing and commendable acceptance of same-sex relationships. Moreover, Phillips is part of a religious demographic that wields outsized power in politics and aligns most closely with a president who is every liberal’s nightmare.

    It seems ridiculous to think that this evangelical baker in Colorado is somehow beleaguered and oppressed, in need of constitutional protection if he’s to continue living and believing — and discriminating — as he sees fit. Really, isn’t he the one who’s oppressing?

    There’s something valid in this sentiment. It’s true that over the course of our history, vulnerable religious minorities — including nonbelievers — have often been the ones seeking protection under religious freedom and the principle that all citizens should be free to believe, or not, in accordance with their own consciences. Several landmark Supreme Court cases follow this storyline, from Amish people appealing for exemption from mandatory school attendance to conscientious objectors seeking to avoid military combat."
    source
    Place your bets on the Supreme Court's ruling, and let's hear your reason.
     
  2. Misunderstood

    Misunderstood Active Member

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    On this topic I voted in favor of the baker. The reason I feel this way is that I feel it is not as much about discrimination as it is about forcing someone to manufacture something they do not feel right about. Example, someone comes into the store and wants to buy a dozen donuts and he refuses because he does not serve whatever group they happen to be. That would be a clear case of discrimination. I feel if the couple would have bought something he offered he would have sold it to them. They wanted something he did not offer because of his beliefs.

    This would be like a person going into a book store and asking for pornography, the store owner says we do not sell that here. Is he discriminating because the store owner does not order it for him. I feel a store owner should have the right to sell what ever offering they want to carry. I know this is a bit different because he can make the cake an does make cakes complicating the matter. But in this case I think the basis of the suit is, if I remember correctly is that what is being asked is for him to artistically make something he feels is wrong. Can he be made to use his artistic talents to produce something he does not believe in. In this case being more lake a portrait photographer being asked to do a nude photo shot when they do not feel comfortable doing that.
     
  3. The Ragin Pagan

    The Ragin Pagan A.K.A. The Kilted Heathen

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    Good gods, this crap again? (The social issue, not your post)
     
  4. Nous

    Nous Well-Known Member
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    I see no reason to get one's panties in a wad about this case. This case doesn't justify expressions of animus toward religion, Christians or the Free Exercise Clause. In recent years, there have been a number of such cases in which business-owners (photographers, florists, venue-owners, bakers) claimed a First Amendment right to refuse service to same-sex couples in violation of public accommodations laws. None of the business-owners have prevailed.

    Everyone interested in the issue has known that these cases have come before courts, and that one such case will and should come before the Supreme Court. There's nothing “broken” about that. It's exactly what should happen. I recommend that everyone read the opinion below by Colorado Court of Appeals. It sets out the arguments in very clear terms.

    I started a thread on Masterpiece Cakeshop a few months ago: Do Public Accommodations Laws Violate Free Speech and Free Exercise Rights?

    I would be highly interested in hearing from those here who believe that the Court will rule for Masterpiece Cakeshop on what grounds? I wonder if you are familiar with the Court's decisions in cases relating to LGBT people during the past couple of decades. Why the hell would anyone think that Justice Kennedy will decide in favor of the baker?


    BTW, if any gay or lesbian business-owner discriminates against someone in violation of some law, does that mean that some kind of "freedom" is "broken beyond repair"? How juvenile. Ask me for those cases where gay business-owners have been found to have unlawfully discriminated.
     
  5. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    This line has been drawn a number of times in different places such as banning discrimination on the basis of race and even slavery. And bad decisions, "separate but equal" has been overturned at a later date. Things have also moved in the other direction. Long term discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation will be outlawed but it might take a generation or even two.
     
  6. Nous

    Nous Well-Known Member
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    Jack Phillips did and does offer wedding cakes, and Craig and Mullins sought to purchase one. He refused them, in violation of Colorado's public accommodations law (as every court so far has held). Thus this case.
     
  7. Misunderstood

    Misunderstood Active Member

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    Yes, I agree that they do offer wedding cakes and I assume he is talented enough to make any type someone would want.

    Let me try to explain slightly differently. Say you go into a card shop they have wedding cards, some for heterosexual couples most with no indication of the couples preference at all. If the card shop does not have a card that indicates a homosexual couple should they be made to include a section on it? And if so, how about for Christians, Muslims, Jewish and all other groups that are identified.

    As I said I think the case is about making someone use an artistic talent to make something they would have not normally make because of their beliefs.

    But in the long run it is not up to me, the court will most likely decide, unless they send the case back.
     
  8. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    I think this case is way too iffy to warrant the alarmist OP title: "Is Religious Freedom in the U.S. Broken Beyond Repair?"
     
  9. Labourwave

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    Religious people don't have the freedom to discriminate, oh no!
     
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  10. Notanumber

    Notanumber A Free Man

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    What would have happened if he had done it but not to their satisfaction?

    Where do you draw the line artistically?

    Would they have just refused to pay him for what he did?
     
  11. NewGuyOnTheBlock

    NewGuyOnTheBlock Cult Survivor

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    To me, its a mixed bag.

    NO, I don't think its against one's 1st amendment right to say to a business owner, "You are not permitted to pick and choose who you sell your products to". That's discrimination. Freedom of Religion is NOT Freedom to Discriminate; nor is it Freedom to Do As You Will; nor is it Freedom to Make Your Own Rules. Should we now provide questionairres and third degrees for other mundane products we buy to make sure those products sold are to be used in accordance to the seller's religious beliefs? Make sure bananas are actually gong to be eaten and not inserted somewhere? The TV being sold won't be used for porn? The lubricant to be used for medical purposes rather than sexual purposes? To heck with all those bakers. No, its not discrimination to say, "We don't sell pornography"; but it is certainly discrimiation to say, "We won't sell this certain item to YOU because we don't agree with YOU." Likewise, however, that same cake maker should not be permitted to refuse to bake a bake for an event or group who resists same-sex marriage, etc (I've seen a YouTube video where a guy tried to do that and was systematically refused. It shouldn't be a one-sided rule).

    YES, I am concerned about this: The photographer. Here, the photographer is compelled to physically attend an event that the photographer is uncomfortable with. This, to me, is nothing short of legalized kidnapping; because no one has the right to compel an individual to be at a place where they do not want to be (within reason, of course).
     
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  12. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    As a business owner, the cake owner should have the freedom to provide or not provide services to whom he wishes at the time of his choosing. While this might not be the best business decision from a profitability standpoint, it's not for the government to say who he has to serve or when.

    If I only have a taste for a fried chicken sandwich on a buttery roll with pickles only on Sundays, and my lifestyle as a vegetarian allows me to eat chicken only on Sundays, can I demand the Chik-Fil-A open their doors on Sundays?
     
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  13. NewGuyOnTheBlock

    NewGuyOnTheBlock Cult Survivor

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    By your sentiment, then, I may withhold goods and services from others based on their race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, etc. So I must wholeheartedly disagree.

    The "pornography" and "Chik Fil A must serve me on Sundays" stretches beyond the scope of the issue, as no one is compelling a business owner to do something that they would not ordinarily do or sell something that they would not ordinarily sell. Bakers sell cakes and florists sell flowers. What I do with those cakes and flowers is none of your damned business, provided the intended use is legal. Once I have purchased them, they are no longer your property.

    Your business, when open to the public, is not a stage from whence you may discriminate based on your religious beliefs. Conducting business is not a religious rite. Bake the cake, deliver the effing flowers, then picket the wedding. Do that once, and you will probably never have to deal with gay couples requesting your services again. Express your beliefs within the confines of the law; and the U.S. constitution gives you plentiful avenues to do that. But these poor, downtrodden theists are so persecuted in this nation, because we don't permit you to persecute or discriminate against others based on your religious convictions.

    As an atheist who despises religion, assuming I ran a catering business, I feel that I have no right to refuse to provide catered meals to a Faith Healing service; however, I do not feel that you have the right (as in the photographer) to compel me to personally attend that service to serve the meals.
     
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  14. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    If you wish to limit your audience and limit your profitability, that's your decision, not the government's.

    And restaurants sell chicken. And what I do with the chicken sandwich, is no one's business once it becomes my property. I don't see where you're making the distinction here.

    Would those flowers be from Effingham, IL? Then why not buy them and the cake elsewhere? Why is it so important to give this cake owner money and not just let him go out of business on his own accord? Why defer to Big Brother to intervene?

    Any you have every right to feel that way. And the government can't tell you otherwise. :)
     
  15. Apologes

    Apologes Active Member

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    I side with the baker. I do not think it is morally right to force a man to do something that he considers morally wrong. Besides, there are a lot of cakeshops the couple could've gone to so I'm pretty sure this was just to irritate and use the baker (and if someone were to come into your store to irritate you, you have a right to tell them to leave).
     
  16. allright

    allright Active Member

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    Should a Jewish bakery have to decorate a cake celebrating Hitlers birthday
     
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  17. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Not banned yet.
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    When weighing 2 competing types of civil liberty, there must be give &/or
    compromise. Someone will lose. This is especially so when neither liberty
    is clearly expressed in the Constitution.

    I voted in favor of the baker, not because I know how the USSC will rule,
    but because I find the requirement to put an offensive (to the baker)
    message on a cake to be wrong.
    1) It forces unwanted speech upon the baker.
    2) It has too little benefit to the customer to justify #1.
    3) The baker isn't refusing to do business with the customer,
    just limiting the service performed in a very narrow way.

    In this day & age, the hardship imposed by forcing the baker to
    create an offensive work is greater than the hardship of the customer
    having to find another baker. Moreover, the general philosophy here
    is that non-commercial speech can be forced because it's a commercial
    enterprise. Wrong I say.
     
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  18. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    Yes it would be. "I sell donuts, but not to Asians." That's discrimination.

    But he sells wedding cakes. They wanted a wedding cake. He refused to sell his products to them based on the fact they were gay. That's no different than refusing to sell donuts to Asians, when he sells them already to Whites.

    But the guy sells cakes. Nobody is that much of a moron to sue him because they wanted a bicycle and he refused because he sells baked goods instead. You think it would hit the Supreme Court because some idiot doesn't understand he's not in the right store for the product they're asking for? :)

    So, I'm not sure why you think your argument stands here?

    So, he feels it's artistically wrong to make donuts for Asians?

    Yes. If he sells decorated cakes to the public, he's can't say "Whites Only" on his door, just because his religious notions he may hold considers others as subhumans. That is what is at issue here. If he doesn't want to risk "polluting" himself with the public who may come to his door, then he needs to not sell to the public.

    No it is not like that at all. It's like saying "I shoot nudes, but not if you're black."
     
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  19. Apologes

    Apologes Active Member

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    Agreed, in my opinion it may not be problematic for the baker to just bake the cake without asking him to put any offensive imagery on it (such as "God is gay too" or "Gay marriage for the win!") as it is clear that if the baker is a Christian, he will get offended by this and consider it disrespectful.
     
  20. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    You consider two men as a couple offense then? What if it were a black man and a white woman? Offensive too?
     
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