Gay Rights vs. The Rights of the Faithful

IntoleranceA Christian florist in Richland, Washington is sued by the state attorney general and by the ACLU because she wouldn’t do a flower arrangement for a gay couple about to be married.

A Christian couple that owns a bakery in Gresham, Oregon shut down their business after the state began an investigation into their religious objections to catering same-sex union celebrations.

In New Mexico, the state Supreme Court ruled that a Christian couple who owned a photography studio violated the state’s Human Rights Act by refusing to photograph a “commitment ceremony” of two gay women.  The shop owners were fined $6,637.

I learned of these things in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that ran under the headline “Gay Marriage Collides With Religious Liberty.”  The column was written by Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, who clearly is on the side of the Christians.

“It wasn’t supposed to be this way,” she writes.  “Voters were assured that legalizing gay marriage wouldn’t undermine religious freedom – after all, the public was assured that religious institutions would be free to act as they always had.  But what about religious individuals?  The effects of this new legal regime on private citizens have largely been ignored.”

So let’s not ignore them.  Let me offer my succinct analysis of the plight of these put-upon Christian small business owners who find gay unions a sin frowned upon by God Himself:  Too bad!  Believe whatever you want inside your church, but when you set up shop on Main Street you have to play by America’s rules – not the church’s.

People of faith, of course, will not buy this argument.  They believe God’s rules — or their interpretation of those rules — trumps anything civil society might come up with.  They’re wrong, of course, so let’s try to help them see the light.  Let’s imagine that a Muslim owns a flower shop somewhere in America, and because of his religious beliefs he won’t sell flowers to those he considers infidels, say, Christians, who want to be married by a minister who will read scripture praising Jesus as lord and savior.  This the Muslim shop owner finds offensive. So he refuses to provide flower arrangements for the wedding.

Or let’s imagine a Christian couple that thinks interracial marriage is a sin, so refuses to cater a marriage between a black man and a white woman.

Or imagine a gay couple that run a food store and won’t put up with what they see as religious bigotry, so they refuse to sell groceries to born again Christians.

Decent people everywhere would condemn such intolerance.  But somehow when Christians put gays in their cross-hairs, it’s not only okay, it’s somehow admirable – because they know there will be consequences yet they stick by their religious principles anyway.

As the florist in Washington State put it:  ““You have to make a stand somewhere in your life on what you believe and what you don’t believe.”

Anyone is free to think whatever he or she wants about anything, including gay marriage.  And if you’re a priest or minister, you have absolutely no obligation to perform same-sex marriage.  You can even condemn the practice week in and week out from the pulpit and suffer no legal consequences.  That’s how it should be.  But if you run a business, open to the public, you are not free to discriminate against gays – (anymore than you’d be free to discriminate against blacks or Jews or atheists) –simply because your faith tells you that the only acceptable marriage is between one man and one woman.  That’s fine in church.  It’s not fine on Main Street.

In the New Mexico case, where the photography studio owners were fined more than $6,000 for violating the state’s Human Rights Act, the judge who upheld the fine said being “compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives” is “the price of citizenship.”

Understandably, that won’t sit well with those who believe gay marriage is a sin.  But it’s a wise decision nonetheless.

“It’s not just religious-minded business owners who need to worry,” the author of the op-ed tells us.  “County recorders, magistrates and judges in Iowa as well as justices of the peace in Massachusetts and town clerks in New York have been told that refusing to perform services for same-sex couples will result in criminal prosecutions.  Faced with choosing between their jobs and their religious beliefs, many have resigned, including a dozen Massachusetts justices of the peace.”

They made the right decision.  If officers of the law can’t uphold the law, they should resign.

The irony in all of this is that many Christians who are told they may not legally discriminate against gays are the ones who feel oppressed.  They’re the ones who think they’re victims of government and gay intolerance.  What they don’t seem to understand is that America is not a theocracy, no matter how much some of them wish it were.  What they also don’t understand is that refusing to do business with people, simply because your church doesn’t approve of their actions, is not only closed-minded – it’s also un-American.

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  • flyingfox88

    Your religious and ethical beliefs are part of who you are. You can’t have one set of beliefs in church and another in business. Goldberg is dead wrong on this.

  • Mark

    Thank you for this critique of Ms. Hemingway’s article (re: frothy hyperbole), and for alluding to her typical tone of condescension. Its so very long overdue. There simply needs to be more exposure of her, and her ilk’s, journalistic hackery. If you read pretty much anything she writes, you’ll find glaring intellectual dishonesty, smugness, mis-guided righteousness, and on and on. The irony of her self-proclaimed role of media and social critic is that she routinely makes precisely the same errors in investigation and conclusion she accuses others of. Evidently, anyone can gather together fellow hacks and start a blog (i.e “The Federalist”, “GetReligion…), call themselves a “Senior Editor”, and spew wretched half-truths, blatant hypocrisy, and really malicious judgment. Mollie Ziegler Hemingway represents much that is vile about religious bloggers, and really should be held accountable for the damage she so willfully and recklessly inflicts upon others with her opinions.

  • George Penwell

    I am not a proponent of same sex marriage but if States want to sanction it then it’s fine with me. And as far as equal rights I believe in them whole heartedly however the once underdogs as the Blacks, non-Christians, Atheists, LGBTs and others do not desire equality. They seek to become the new Overdogs. They don’t want an even playing field but are positioning themselves to own the field. The once oppressed aspire to be the oppressors. And that is what I’m having a problem with.

  • Damian

    Where is justice for me?
    My faith requires me to go shoeless and shirtless. Yet, many businesses refuse service to me for that.
    And before someone brings up the issue of health and sanitation, be aware that the majority of germs reside on the hands. Because of that, I always wear gloves and a speedo when I go dining.

  • Helland

    I disagree, but then I’ve been called a curmudgeon before too. I still maintain that for any mainstreet business, their knowledge, their investment, their insurance, their loans, their wages to pay, their responsibility, their rules!

  • Kelly Schuman

    Lame Bernie. Most Christians use the very principles that guide their faith to also guide their lives. We are not just Christians in church. If providing a service to individuals equals endorsement of something that violates their conscience they should not be obligated to do it. There are plenty of photographers, bakers, florists in town willing and ready to step up and take the business. This is tyranny of the minority and political correctness where we are in effect persecuting Christians and not only publicly disparaging them but effectively trying to destroy their ability to earn a living and provide for their families.

  • concerned

    Come on, please. The liberal left has always believed that everyone has a right to their (meaning left liberal) opinion, but opposing opinions or opposing beliefs will never be tolerated or accepted as human. Opposing leftist agenda or beliefs will result in jail time or lawsuits.

    • luvcats13

      A “leftist” florist who does business with the public cannot refuse to do business with a born again evangelical. And the reverse applies as well. How can you not “get” that? As Bernie Goldberg points out, America is not a theocracy. It is not part of a “liberal, left” agenda for the secular law to require non-discrimination. It is an American agenda.

      • George Penwell

        Maybe your right but I don’t feel that it should be that way. if a gay person or an atheist has worked hard and owns their own business and do not feel it is in their conscience to do business with some one for whatever reason I think they should have the right to refuse. Just as a Christian, Muslim or any other business owner should have the right to refuse service. It’s your business and you should be able to run it with out government control.

        • luvcats13

          My argument is constitutional. The Civil Rights Acts made it illegal for an establishment doing business with the public to discriminate based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc. And the Supreme Court of the United States ruled these laws as legal under the US Constitution.

          If someone absolutely feels there is a segment of American society they hate so much they could not do business with them, then they are not forced to operate a business that deals with the public. They can choose to do farming, or work for an employer or move to Somalia where there is no government to tell them they can not discriminate against others while operating a business open to the public.

          America is better for demanding a non-discriminatory society AND it allows us to stand head and shoulders above other countries in the world by how we demand ALL our citizens be treated with dignity and equality. It’s the American way – protect the rights of all.

  • lestye

    Discrimination/denial of service to tax-paying Americans is a big deal because every business receives government benefits that have been paid for…provided by…all tax-payers.

  • NwsJnky

    Mr. Goldberg,

    I believe you make some good points (and I always enjoy reading your writings, whether I agree with them or not).

    But isn’t this (what the Christian business owners are doing) just another principle of capitalism and free enterprise? If I do/do not like the manner in which someone runs their business – whether I believe I’ve been discriminated against or not – I’m free to patronize their or someone else’s business.

    What’s the big deal? People – both individuals and organizations form boycotts all the time over such things as these and, e.g., 2A issues, whether scientific testing has been performed on animals, whether “green” technology has been involved, etc.

    I would believe similarly as you if the ~government~ did it as they are run by
    taxpayers’ dollars and, I believe, should therefore be held accountable to
    policies endorsed by our laws. But private enterprises? I still don’t see it.
    The consumer can walk on down the road and patronize someone else’s
    business.

    Where am I going wrong?

    • luvcats13

      Violating civil rights has been determined to be unconstitutional. Live with it. This is America. If you want to live in a country where religious beliefs trumps secular law, go live in Iran. Not only would you not be required to do business with “the gays”, you could watch them be stoned.

  • Barry Jones

    what happened to ‘we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone’ ?

    • ARJ127

      It went out with civil rights legislation in the 1960s. Do you support civil rights for all? Maybe not.

  • http://sevensentences.com/ Geoff Talbot

    What would we think about a Muslim restaurant in Karachi that refused to serve Christians dinner? We would call that persecution right?

    Yet when the roles are reversed, we call this an abomination against our individual human rights, that we should be able to discriminate?

    We’re not interested in religious freedom, instead we are radically pursuing and enforcing the Christian faith and trying impose it upon others who chose to live by a different standard.

    • Damian

      What does religion have to do with the natural repulsion of sexual perversion?

  • ARJ127

    Good for Bernie! Let’s see the anti-gay bigotry for what it is. It’s based in some biblical teachings. Other teachings can be interpreted to ban mixed racial marriages, and so on. I prefer the libertarian viewpoint that the best government is the least government. The corollary is that no government should be foisting any religious doctrine on the people.

    • Damian

      Libertarian?
      A libertarian prefers NOT to have the government foisting its sexual doctrine on the individual whether the majority considers that doctrine commendable or not.

  • Martin Monti

    If they just said, “we are booked” or “Im just to busy to handle your order” would it still be a problem?

    • Damian

      Apparently the “government” will decide the issue.

  • Josh

    It’s very tricky to navigate the progressive totalitarian world. I understand that many on the right, and many who are people or faith, do view these ridiculous intrusions as attacks against faith. But if you folks knew more about this progressive world, you would see that they’re just mini Stalins on a wide variety of issues.

    Did you know that these types of progressives create long and detailed manuals for atheist and skeptic conferences where free speech is not allowed? They won’t allow you to sell jewelry on location if they consider it “fake.” WTF is “fake” jewelry, and who gets to preside over that panel where venders have to submit their jewelry for testing?

    They also have strict dress codes. And if you ask a woman out on a date, they will flat-out call it rape. And, no, I’m not being the least bit hyperbolic, unfortunately. It’s just that crazy of a damn world.

    This particular nutty fringe of progressives is attempting to control the world the same way religion used to some years ago, and the way religion does in other parts of the world. They’re the most oppressive people you will ever run across.

    These progressives literally campaign to have the video game industry shut down, because they say it’s sexist and puts females in a negative light, but they excuse the behavior of radical Islamists by simply stating that they have “a different culture” and thus we have no place to say anything.

    These progressives have created speech codes on campus, where you are literally not allowed to have ANY idea or speak of ANYTHING that goes against their beliefs.

    These progressives have built an entire Internet community via social media where they actually promote the practice of banning and blocking people for simply disagreeing. And not only that, but at the highest levels of progressive “tolerance” websites and committees, they will outright ban you if they even THINK that you may, in the future(!), disagree with them!

    I’m not making any of this stuff up. It’s all on record.

    So, Christians, don’t worry about it too much. These progressives not only attempt to impose on your rights as free people to practice what you believe, but they do it to their likeminded brethren if there’s even the slightest hint of disagreement.

    It’s the epitome of un-American. But it’s not anti-religious. It’s anti-everything-they’re-against-at-the-moment. It’s the height of white guilt as well. They address no issues in any community or sector that they do not consider “white.”

  • Brian Fr Langley

    Adam’s the man for that Eve,
    thankfully, not such for that Steve,
    that you can say,
    about being gay,
    no babies behind do they leave.
    .
    Our culture is confusing modern marriage with base goals of self fullfillment, and physical gratification. Marriage was (is) a sacred community duty and obligation. It wasn’t about you. It was about your contribution, to your community. So self absorbed (and selfish) have we become, that we have really come to believe, it’s all about me. Humans alone have the ability to transcend instinct. Being hungry ourselves we can share our food. Or being thirsty, share the last few precious drops of water. We can be ennobled by selflessness or ignobled by selfishness. Marrying and raising a family is among our most selfless acts. It’s not just for ourselves, it’s for our spouses, our children, our community and even our Nation. In order to accomplish this feat, we typically need to subvert our most basic desires. We need to remain monagamous, go to work, and meet the needs of several people (our children) we never even met before. Care for them, raise them, educate them. Can the same really be said for same gender marriage? Is it really about “what they can do for their country” as JFK once put it? Or is more about getting than giving? I’ve been to wedding ceremonies, and seen gay pride parades, I can still tell the difference between noble and ignoble, can you?

    • lestye

      Brian…you write “Marrying and raising a family is among our most selfless acts. It’s not
      just for ourselves, it’s for our spouses, our children, our community
      and even our Nation. In order to accomplish this feat, we typically need
      to subvert our most basic desires. We need to remain monagamous, go to
      work, and meet the needs of several people (our children) we never even
      met before. Care for them, raise them, educate them.”

      And who are you to deny a committed same-sex couple, who believe as you do, the right to participate?

      Personally, I disagree that marriage has ever been a sacred community duty and obligation, but there are some, including gays, who believe as you do…probably around the same percentage of traditional male/female couples who believe it.

      • Brian Fr Langley

        They have found marriage compacts dating as far back as Sumer. (2500-3000 BC) The whole point of the compact was an oath of fidelity. That is the two marriage partners entered a community enforceable compact to devote their sole resources to their progeny. And the community would proscribe them if they didn’t. This way villages would not be over run with abandoned children. (Unlike today where some 50% of American children are being abandoned by their fathers, up to 73% in some communities) Why on earth would Gays require community proscriptions to remain monogamous? As for your disagreement as it being a sacred community obligation??? Perhaps you need to read a little more history. Virtually all peoples whether religious or pagan are aware of the need to replenish their communities. We do this by pro-creating. Marriage is really about the rights of children to be raised by both their own two parents, as long as both remain alive. Anything less is barbarism. Community rituals (marriage) that pretend they’re about sex rather than progeny undermine this aforementioned right.

        • lestye

          OK…I don’t see same sex couples preventing “traditional” couples from procreating…that’s not going to happen. And many same-sex couples are interested in adopting those
          abandoned children, devoting their sole resources to them, and raising
          them to be responsible, productive members of the community.

          And are you saying a “traditional” marriage that doesn’t…won’t/can’t…produce children is barbaric? That’s just dumb. And I won’t even get into the atrocities done to married women throughout history… and still today…when they were/are unable to have a child.

          Having a sense of the historical context of marriage and community traditions is fine, but a community, these days, benefits from an inclusive, diverse population.

          Is it always “comfortable” to live around people who might not look like us, worship like us, or have the same traditions as us?? NO! But life is not about being “comfortable”. It’s about learning and growing spiritually, as individuals, challenging our prejudices, and finding common ground…because aren’t we all children of God?

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Frankly I find your response bordering on insanity. What kind of solution to 73% of black children being abandoned by their fathers, is handing them over to gay unions? First Gay unions couldn’t absorb 1% of them. Second, what about the rights of the children? Do they have no say in who their parents should be? Gay strangers vs mom and dad? My point on the history was that communities would NOT ALLOW couples to engage in intercourse without swearing an enforceable oath, (a marriage contract) that both parties would care for their progeny. That’s why even today, so many folks considered sex outside of marriage IMMORAL. Because it is. The reason we have today, so many children being abandoned by their fathers (leading to jail, poverty, early pregnancy, and all manner of social ills), is the kind of insane thinking folks like you promulgate. That sex is not about responsibility, it’s only about my own personal pleasure.

          • lestye

            Read my response again, Brian. Did I say a “solution” to abandoned black children is “handing them over” to gay unions? No.
            You also make an incorrect assumption that I promote sex without responsibility. That’s not the case.
            You write…
            “My point on the history was that communities would NOT ALLOW couples to engage in intercourse without swearing an enforceable oath, (a marriage
            contract) that both parties would care for their progeny.”

            And those same communities…and churches…, Brian, as they continue to today, turned a blind eye to the men of the community spending their seeds in adultery, prostitutes, rape and incest. almost always trying to place the blame on the wife, prostitute, rape victim or child.

            Look Brian…it’s obvious we have very different convictions, without much chance of changing the other’s mind. I wish you well.

          • Damian

            Your last sentence is a lie of which you are well aware, lestye.
            The rest of your lies are self-delusional and nobody should hold you responsible for being a victim of the modern day, a-go-go philosophy of instant carnal gratification.

  • Snellville bob

    I agree, its like forcing a Jewish Deli to make ham sandwiches.

    • Uncle Dave

      What happened to the sign you used to see sometimes, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”?

  • PaulNepote

    As Christians we have the right to distance ourselves and our family members from those who participate in unnatural sex acts, or have a sexual attraction for those of the “Same Sex”. No matter what the gay activist press tries to feed us in an effort to convince us that homosexuality is a sexual orientation, there is no doubt in anyone with common sense that Cristian or not, homosexuals or any other combination of non male and female sexual behavior is at odds with nature and her unquestionable sexual design. Weather it’s called Gay, or Pedophilia the sexual deviancy is so closely associated that their is really no difference in 80 percent of the cases. Homosexuals are to be pitted, for the lifestyle they have chosen is so dangerous and frightening that for many young people who are afflicted, that cannot deal with the future knowing that no one living a normal sexual life will ever accept homosexuality no mater how many times gay activist’s pass so called Equality Legislation.

    • Joesy

      Yes, you are free to express such hate in your own family. You are not free however to push your hate-group nonsense on everyone else.

      Amen

    • legal eagle

      If you don’t like equality for all the I suggest you move to a theocratic country like Italy…

      • AbdullahtheButcher

        Uh, Italy is a secular country, last I looked.

    • legal eagle

      You might enjoy gay sex……

    • Uncle Dave

      It seems like (I don’t have numbers to back it up) Homosexuals/Gays/Lesbians/Bisexuals/Transgender have a rather high incidence of mental issues/stress; often seek counseling and/or a higher rate of suicide.

      • PaulNepote

        You are correct, if the American Mental Health Groups had not been bullied, and had left gender identity disorder on the list of mental illnesses homosexuals would now have more opportunities for being treated for the issues you mention.

      • Fran Brunson

        I can definitely provide some anecdotal evidence on that score, my niece is a public health nurse, works with a lot of men with AIDS, she says drug abuse and alcoholism are pretty much taken for granted in that subculture, that the “couples” have higher rates of domestic abuse than straight couples, plus the usual constellation of diseases like hepatitis B, herpes, syphilis. My niece is very liberal on many issues, but I think her exposure to the dark underbelly of gay life has changed her somewhat, since she’s aware that young people who may be questioning their orientation are not getting the full story of what sort of life they may be entering if they decide they were “born gay.” From what she has told us, I think even an atheist who had no moral qualms about being gay would at least have some misgivings about the lifestyle’s effect on mental and physical health.

  • Rev Dr J Bateau

    I really like the way that you have laid out your argument. I am really impressed by the end, though. What amazes me is that these Christians should feel oppressed or discriminated against just because they now have to accept the equality of people who have had to accept being second class citizenship (or less) for their whole lives. For me, being biracial, I remember the days when I was a child when stores still had signs in their windows that read “No Dogs or Indians Allowed”. Even dogs had higher billing than we did, and honestly, they were treated better than we were. My white grandparents were not at all happy that their daughter chose to marry a Red man, and they took it out on us, as well. So I had fine, outstanding Christians in our community stealing our money, they stole our native grandparents land, and treated us as less than dog droppings because of something their Bible told them. I know all about being mistreated because of religious intolerance. Believe me, you are in NO WAY being discriminated against, just because you now have to treat a group of AMERICAN PEOPLE like they are actually AMERICAN PEOPLE, in a fair and equal way. So just get used to it. Every one should be equal. And when you go home, and close your door at night, you can tell all the jokes that you want, calling all of us by all of the rude and disgusting names that you want to, and cite all of the chapters and verses in the Bible that you can find, and praise that good book about how it delivered you from all of us people, if that is what helps you get through the next day of treating us as equal when you come back out your door. But just remember this: Your Bible has almost 6 times as many references to the evils sins of heterosexuality, and calls for stoning and setting fire to heterosexuals, and yet none of us have taken it seriously and started doing it. but if things get bad enough, we can always start implementing these scriptures and start a true Holy War that cites these most glorious scriptures if that is what it takes to make you see that treating us as equal isn’t so bad after all.

  • GlenFS

    What you don’t seem to realize is that in America Americans should be free to disagree with your and my ideal of what is or isn’t un-American. The market should be the only sanction for a vendor’s poor customer service, not the government.

    • Joesy

      We tried that for hundreds of years, it does not work.

      We created the government specifically to protect us from international corporations who have, and will exploit our citizens if we allow it.

      • AbdullahtheButcher

        Uh, I don’t think that international corporations existed back in the 18th Century.

    • legal eagle

      The legal system enforces the law not the free market….If that was the case we’d still have segregated restaurants in the South…

  • Mark McComas

    I am a sign professional. I won’t do signs for cult “churches” (Mormons or JW’s) or for what we call “beer joints” because I am a born-again Christian. I have been cussed at by people who want to open a “booby bar” and I won’t make the signs. I calmly direct them to other shops that have no such qualms. I am 60 years old and have been a Christian for 44 years and you won’t change me. I’ll go out of business and drive a school bus for a living before you do that. I feel I am honoring God, and eternity is more important than time or money. I have never beaten anybody up or screamed at them from street corner about their lifestyle. I just don’t want anything to do with it. If someone tells me they won’t do business with me because I am a Christian, I just calmly walk out and say to the Lord, “Thank You for letting me suffer as you did as I try to identify myself with you.” Scripture says “All those Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

    • Rev Dr J Bateau

      I can understand this and even respect this, very much. But as a sign professional, you are also a printer, essentially, just of a different sort. But if you were printing other things, such as invitations, are you saying then that you would also refuse to do wedding invitations for a Gay or Lesbian couple because you are identifying yourself as Christian? Even the Pope of the Catholic church has come out with saying that Gay people who seek God are not such bad people, and who is he to judge them. After all, you must understand the difference. Being Gay is not a lifestyle. Being a leather biker or a flaming Queen is a lifestyle, but not being Gay. Being Gay is more of a biological determinant, something that happens to about 10 per cent of every generation, It just is. Whether you are Greek, Italian, Arab, British, Irish, Polish, Romanian, Czech, First Nations (native), Eskimo, Japanese, whatever, 10 per cent will be Gay. How they choose to live their life will be their lifestyle. So I am asking, would you refuse to print their wedding invitations just because they are Gay?

    • Joesy

      Rejecting service based on hateful beliefs that have nothing to do with Jesus Christ is the issue here. God will not reward Christians for hating gays or blacks or muslims. Neither will America. Amen.

      • concerned

        Joesy, get a life. You hate Christians and seem to be comfortable with that. Just because a person disagrees with a homosexual lifestyle doesn’t mean e hates the homosexual. As Muslims, they everyone, especially homosexuals.

  • 633

    Does freedom of association include freedom of commercial association? I abstractly agree with Goldberg that a vendor should serve any reasonable clients. But that’s a cultural not a legal preference. The concept that a government may legally coerce/instruct a public business on whom it must serve has always been constitutionally dubious, but it was enshrined in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.At that time intent was to override Jim Crow state laws which essentially prohibited fair service to people of color and in effect forced the whole culture to discriminate.This situation is considerably different, in the sense individuals are making personal decisions, and the availability of service on a broad nondiscriminatory basis is the norm and readily available. One suspects these are deliberate test cases and are a prelude to legal actions which will include church and church related subsidiaries: Catholic adoption agencies are already being legally disqualified in some states because they will not place with gay couples. And Bernie should clearly be faulted for the following: how and in what context these actions took place are significant in evaluating the decisions. (Prima facie historical example: the Scopes case which was an ACLU/Darrow phony creation from start to finish.)

    • legal eagle

      Discrimination is discrimination…..

      • PaulNepote

        Yes and there is a place for discrimination, and it starts with Traverse City, Michigan. Traverse City, a once wonderful family values area has been overrun with LGBTQ activist’s. The progressive city officials have been falling over each other to be the standout gay suck-up in the game called “pull your children’s pants down,” after all we wouldn’t want to make our precious gay community expend all their energy chasing our children. In other words our City Officials want to assist our gay citizens by offering up our young people, we all know, the number one goal is to take a child for a walk on the dark side, in an effort to show the kids first hand that it is “OK” to be gay. Now how’s that for a city being inclusive?

  • USMC69

    You’re wrong on this one Bernie. Why is the court even weighing in on this? And why in the world would anyone want something made for them, by anyone that doesn’t want to make it? This was all about money, either for individuals or the government. If you don’t like someone’s business idea, don’t do business with them. The government intrusion and control of our very lives has gone way beyond “reasonableness”.

  • Floyd Hillman

    Next the religious will be the same for all those that believe in God, condemned and imprisoned because they believe. I will cling too my guns and bible rather than follow foolish those that set themselves above God. I will not bow my head or kneel before anyone other than the Almighty.
    Hard right conservative I maybe, and those of us that also believe in that which “we” know is the correct path stay on it never doing that which I feel would
    dis-honor myself and the principles I have always lived by.

    The rights of those who deny anyone service is a first amendment right to do so.
    Respectfully,
    F. B. Hillman III

    • Jane Bunkle

      Get a dictionary and grammar book before posting, maybe next time you won’t embarrass yourself and your comment could begin to be taken seriously.
      Jane Bunkle

      • Mark McComas

        Not everyone is a grammar expert, but we all have a right to express ourselves. That was a cheap shot. Would you have been so haughty about Hillman’s grammar if he agreed with you? Ahhhh! There’s the rub.

      • Josh

        Well, adding a period and rearranging the comma wouldn’t have hurt anything there. Unless, of course, a comment can be embarrassed.

  • fedupwithdiversitydivas

    Hey Bern, just because you think gay is a born in thing, don’t care about thousands of years of tradition in secular societies and religious ones that frowned upon and outlawed such activity does not mean that it is going to be accepted in society anymore than other crimes against people and crimes against nature. Sexual deviation is not a right it is a mental and physical illness that can be treated.

    • Peter Eng

      Thousands of years of tradition say that slavery is acceptable. Clearly, tradition is not exactly a perfect guide.

      • legal eagle

        Don’t forget about thousands of years of tradition that said a women’s place is in the home……..being barefoot and pregnant…

    • legal eagle

      Thank you for your bigotry Archie Bunker…

  • Royalsfan67

    You are wrong Bernie. I have no problem with gay marriage but businesses should be allowed to business with whoever it wants. If a business chooses to not do business with a certain group of people, others will pick up that business. Competition in a free market society will determine if they stay in business or not. An enterprising person should start a business catering exclusively to gay marriage.

    • Seattle Sam

      You lost that right in 1964

    • legal eagle

      So if a hotel refuses to rent rooms to blacks, Muslims and Jews that’s OK because other hotels will? What a bunch of nonsense…What happened to equal rights?

      • Josh

        No. It’s not “okay.” But who gets to swoop in to stop it? It’s the fact that government set the precedent by intruding in the free market that they can continue to do so now. And while I might agree that stopping racial and sexual discrimination are noble causes, the precedent is there for government to step in on damn near anything that people support.

        So while I wouldn’t give my business to a hotel that refused to give rooms to people simply based on skin color or religion, I still see it as dangerous to have some authority figure step in to force it not to happen.

        We rely too much on an authority to set right the things we feel are wrong.

        Now, if it’s a public thing, I’m all for it. But if it’s private, giving government the go-ahead for the things you’re against will eventually lead to them intruding in the things you’re not against.

        • legal eagle

          The courts enforce the laws…The country debated this situation years ago and passed the civil rights act of 1964…The act applies to public businesses not private business or private property…..Why are you arguing about equal access for all? Were things so great in America during the 40’s and 50’s?

        • legal eagle

          It’s a question of morality…The “free market” is why we had slavery…

    • Uncle Dave

      This brings up another question; If I “choose” (and what scientific study says LGBT is not a choice?) to carry my licensed concealed weapon and there is a sign on the sign on the door, “No Guns or Gays allowed”, the gays can sue for entry? While I’m stuck out in the parking lot??
      Things that make you go, “Hmmm..?”

      • D Parri

        I’m afraid that it’s the proverbial ‘writing on the wall’ under this administration and the Democratic Party ideology.

        Stand Your Ground!

  • j0hnc0rs0n

    As an Evangelical (read Conservative, but not Fundamentalist) Christian Pastor, I am on record, as is my church, that there will be no same-sex wedding ceremonies in our facilities or on our property, neither will I officiate at a same-sex marriage. It’s not that we are prejudiced against gay couples. I will not officiate in, nor will my church host a wedding between heterosexual couples who were previously married and divorced just because each got “tired” of living with their first spouse. It’s a matter of what we believe the Bible says about the grounds for divorce and the results of a “non-Scriptural” marriage.

    Now the real issue will not be that the gay community will come after churches and pastors for civil rights violations, discrimination and hate-crimes. Although I have personally spoken with several gays and lesbians who believe the church should host and pastors ought to perform these ceremonies. Many, although not all, would file civil suits against churches, synagogues, and clergy for civil rights violations. We hear in the media that this won’t happen but a friend of mine who is an attorney with LAMBDA Legal, the LGBT legal organization, says that it will happen and there are many in the gay community “itching” to get the ball rolling in suits against traditional religions.

    Now I, for one, do not believe pastors will be put in jail, or sued back to the stone age, but I so see a day when religious marriages will no longer be deemed legal. And that clergy will no longer be allowed to sign wedding licenses. Legal marriages will become the purview of the state alone.
    As for the use of religious buildings, as long as the church/synagogue does not “rent” (i.e. engage in commerce), I believe there would be no civil or criminal case upon which the gay community can stand.

    • Brian Fr Langley

      “Conservative not fundemental”??? Um, typically fundamentalism means a belief that scriptures are God’s (inspired) word, and they wish to apply it to their lives? Does this mean conservatives don’t? And if not, why the stand on the marriage issue? And if so, why try to duck it? Has the media (and other liberal types) got you too scared to admit a literal Biblical interpretation? As for your comments on what’s coming? If this process continues to it’s logical conclusion, Pastor’s will indeed be jailed (or worse) as well as get sued back to the stone age. And “itching” to get the ball rolling, is grossly understated. While not widely reported, several Western democracies have Human Rights Tribunals (with the power of high Courts) that have already ruled against Pastors. Many of these Tribunals, do not even require an aggrieved party to bring forward a case. And non aggrieved third parties, are allowed to bring cases forward (at tax payer expense) on the grounds of simple societal interest. The defendant on the other hand, is asked to hire legal counsel and defend the action, (at their own cost). If (when) the defendant capitulates, (most do, due to cost) the case also now sets precedent. Whereupon only the highest courts have any further standing. And third party actions on behalf of defendants is not allowed. So some of the more egregious decisions may take years to get overturned, if at all.

      • j0hnc0rs0n

        Fundamentalism is most often identified with a particular view of ecclesiology and eschatology. By ecclesiology, I mean how the church is run and often in fundamentalist doctrine the Pastor “calls the shots.” His view of Scripture is accepted as gospel, so to speak. He is the main leader in the church, appoints all the workers to the various committees and boards and selects the elders and deacons. By eschatology I mean that fundamentalists center the future events of mankind and the world around one entity: Israel. This type of Fundamentalism became popular starting in the 1820’s and has since become known as Dispensational Premillenialism. I won’t go into details as this could take hundreds of paragraphs.

        So it is possible to be conservative (traditional) and Evangelical (meaning to tell others about God and His Word) without being Fundamental. As crude as this may sound, think of it like the difference between Conservatism and Far-right out-of-mind radicalism.

        Back to the subject of pastors being “forced” to perform gay weddings. In Belgium, The Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Norway, France and soon Spain (I’m sure just about all of socialists Europe will follow as well), clergy are not allowed to solemnize marriages. Church weddings are only ceremonial and have no value.

        Since our President is a Gramsci-Marxist and follows the trends of European Socialism to a tee, why should we expect different from what other countries practice? Should this country follow as you perceive might happen, I would simply turn in my bond (in Virginia a clergy member goes before a Circuit court with his ordination credentials and he is bonded to solemnize marriages) and stop doing them. They can’t force someone to perform a marriage that the state no longer deems as “clergy.”

        • Brian Fr Langley

          I appreciate your answer, but do disagree with what you call fundamentalism. While we may apply terms to ourselves we’re more comfortable with, even a modicum of research, reveals the broader (secular) community, considers a belief in a literal Biblical interpretation, along with inspired and thus presumed inerrancy, to be what constitutes fundamentalism. On a sadder note, I’m currently aware of dozens of Christian folks who believe their Church will be going underground in less than a decade. They are already looking into house Churches, dropping tax exemptions, and selling off Church properties.

        • Brian Fr Langley

          PS: These days when a Church applies for tax exempt status, many Governments also now require they send their constitution and bylaws. If a complaint is made to a Human Rights Tribunal on an issue specifically NOT addressed by the Church’s constitution and bylaws, secular law applies. For example, if your constitution and bylaws doesn’t specifically mention, your Church doesn’t approve of same gender marriage, or practising homosexuals as clergy, they WILL rule there is no violation of your rights to religious freedom, as defined by the Higher Courts

      • Mark McComas

        Fundamentalism has come to mean a sect within Bible-believing churches that is even stricter than they have to be, to be Biblical. They are hung up on what they call “standards” of behavior which they have delineated as “don’t cross that line.” Sometimes they are so independent that they leave God out of their decisions. It is primarily confined to the southern USA. They are a clique-y bunch of pastors who want to think that their little group is the elite bunch in the Evangelical community. They need to repent of some of this attitude.

        • Brian Fr Langley

          See below, my reply to John would be the same for you. Thank you for taking the time to write me your answer.

  • John H

    Bernie is way off-base here. In addition to his grammatical errors (Or let’s imagine a Christian couple that thinks interracial marriage is a sin, so refuses to cater a marriage between a black man and a white woman .), he fails to understand what the Constitution is all about. The Constitution gives us choices about our lives and our personal property. So what if a Muslim florist refuses to serve me? There are other florists. I can go somewhere else. And he can continue to refuse service to Christians. Those are choices. Now, if we’re talking about Christian grace, I would take Bernie’s side. I know Bernie isn’t a Christian, so I’ll make this simple. When Jesus defended the woman caught in adultery in John 8, she had not repented of her sin. In fact, when Jesus finished with her, he told her, “Go now and leave your life of sin” (v. 11, NIV). He showed grace to her even before she repented. And that’s what Christians need to do. To reach a lost and dying world, we need to serve even those we find disgusting. We need to show grace to them. That will help them see the God of grace.

    • Mark McComas

      A simple AMEN will suffice here.

  • Drew Page

    Are Muslim butcher shops going to be fined or shut down by the government if they don’t sell me pork chops, bacon or ham? Will Muslim florists and photo studios be fined or shut down if they don’t provide services to openly gay couples? What about openly Christian couples? If not, the ACLU should be up the government’s ass with a blowtorch.

    • Jim Maxedon

      Not if they don’t sell those things to anyone else either. Muslims are subject to the same laws of public accommodation as any other business. You can bet the ACLU would be on them like white on rice.

      • Mark McComas

        It’s not the product so much as what it says in a sign shop “Happy Anniversary Jim and Bill” sets a Christian’s teeth on edge.

  • Brian Fr Langley

    Gay folks and their life don’t disparage,
    what’s it to me if they pairage,
    since kids they don’t make,
    they have naught at stake,
    so why should we give them in marriage?
    .
    Really, they need a community enforceable (monagamous) compact?? That my business must participate in, Otherwise it’s discrimination that violates their rights? Traditional marriage gives (inalienable) rights to women and children. To women, the right to be supported by their husband (it’s tough making and raising babies without one) and to children, the (inalienable) right to be raised by both parents. (assuming they live).

    • legal eagle

      Well then we should outlaw divorce, death of a parent or prison for parents…

      • Brian Fr Langley

        Like bugs bunny says “what a maroon”. (I’ve had to say that one to you in another discussion). If you can’t see, that these liberal laws, that violate the (inaliable) rights of women and children, are wrecking the place, You can’t be helped. But then again, I’m not trying to help you, I’m trying to help them.

        • D Parri

          Be careful Brian. Illegal Beagle will always restate, quote, or otherwise try to represent what you say untruthfully.

          • Jane Buckle

            Hey Brain, Maybe you should get a dictionary and grammar book before you want anyone to consider taking your posts seriously

          • D Parri

            Hey there Jane! I’ve not been a Brain in many a claim.

            If I’m not the chosen, then my heart would be quite frozen, so allow me a chance to avoid going down the proverbial drain!

            That is, unless you meant . . . Brian. I actually think my spelling is fairly good, and my grammar ain’t too bad either. ;)

          • Brian Fr Langley

            I think my is fine as well, although she may have noted that much of my spelling is Canadian. Most of our words like harbor, behavior etc. are spelled with O,U,R, rather than O,R. Anyway that’s her ignorance not mine. The Canadian spelling is the same as the English, the actual name we give to our mutual language. Nice Limerick.

          • D Parri

            Thanks.

        • D Parri

          illegal beagle thrives on being an antagonist–it gets him off.

          • legal eagle

            Yes…….reading your nonsense gives me a four hour erection…

          • D Parri

            I could always tell you were a pervert. Thanks for admitting it.

          • AbdullahtheButcher

            Oh, was that what it was? I thought it was just a stiff public hair. :-)

        • legal eagle

          Liberal laws? Equal protection under the law…that pesky Constitution….very liberal….What a hypocrite you are?

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Your not just a maroon, but insane if you really believe the framers would have agreed with same gender marriage? Anti-traditional liberal media, liberal academia, and liberal dupes, (like you) are directly the cause, of the vast numbers of orphans, (fatherless) fomenting chaos in our society. Whether incarceration rates, single parent families, welfare, poverty, drug addiction, teenage pregnancy, and abortion, all these ills and more, reside in the modern anti-traditional (you call it progressive, like Lenin did) putsch of the past 50-60 years. Unhappily the worst is yet to come.

          • legal eagle

            Oh for the good old gays when gays stayed in the closet….

          • Brian Fr Langley

            As Prime Minister Trudeau (a flaming liberal) once said, “the State has no reason to be in the bedrooms of the Nation” Yes they could just as easily keep their gender preferences to themselves. I don’t run around town, screaming to the skies, I’m a hetero? If you want to feed your ignominious base deeds, whether addiction, porn, adultery, or s&m, why tell me? Why do I need to know? Keep your base behaviours to yourself, where it belongs. In fact I don’t even want to know about the personal gratifications of my own married friends and neighbors. (ugh) It’s personal, between myself and my spouse, Although I agree it’s ennobled by the necessity of procreation. So when you’re expecting I’m happy to know about it, otherwise keep it to yourself.

          • Mark McComas

            Equal protection: If you want to be a Gay Couple, I won’t stop you, but I don’t have to be forced to promote it in any way.

      • D Parri

        Now, I think you would have a hard time with that one!

  • Ed

    All walks of life (Man and animal mind you), all over the world, in the
    deepest darkest jungles, everywhere…understand and appreciate the
    unity of a Male and a Female

    (They know what the 2 different shapes are
    for).

    Even animals have a method of ceremony in some cases. Do they ALL
    call it “Marriage”? Of course not, most don’t even speak English and the
    animals don’t even speak. So I ask you, if the WHOLE world can join in
    on this ceremony, and not use the word “Marriage”, without feeling they
    are “Missing Something”,

    why can’t Gay people partake in their union
    without forcing people to change the meaning of the word “Marriage”? I
    will tell you why, it’s called-…. ulterior motive.

    • Jim Maxedon

      When the government grants benefits and the law provides protections for people who are LEGALLY married, the 14th Amendment requires that all people have a right to those benefits and protections under due process and equal protection under the law. That is THE “ulterior motive.”

      • D Parri

        illegal beagle is a bigot of the highest order…just follow his comments

    • legal eagle

      Because your a bigot?

  • JewishWorldReview.com Editor

    As an Orthodox –- i.e. practicing –- Jew, my knowledge of Christianity is, admittedly, limited. But I’ll tell you this much, if two homosexuals would come into a kosher bakery and want an “Adam and Steve” cake, you can be certain there’s no way the store would make the sale.

    Haters that are Hebrews? Minority members insensitive to the socially vulnerable? Hardly.

    Mr. Goldberg takes issue with the church. But it’s the Torah –- not the Christian bible -– that first put the taboo on sodomy.

    In Judaism one is not permitted to be a conduit to immoral behavior. Like every legal system, there may be an “out” in an unusual circumstance. But to help mainstream –- or make kosher – behavior that most of he world still regards as immoral is hard to justify. Scratch that. It’s an impossibility.

    This Jew agrees with the Christian Mrs. Hemmingway. Religious folks in this country are given the protection to practice one’s faith without government meddling. Being faithful and observant is not akin to wearing a white hood. Actually, making that claim as so many do, is downing offensive in and of itself.

    Once upon a time in America those who adhered to values at personal cost –- in this case literally through the lack of a sale -– were respected. It showed fortitude.

    How sad that Goldberg’s thinking is slowly replacing that notion.

    • Brian Fr Langley

      Cowardism was once regarded as moral turpitude, along with lying, cheating and stealing. Today (as your comment expresses) we’re turning it into a virtue? Because in the end, I suspect, that’s all most (conservative) anti-traditionalist’s are. Cowards. In matters of conscience, “Going along to get along” is shamefully immoral.

    • Brian Fr Langley

      PS: There is no doubt, but that the Torah’s ancient take on sodomy, informs Evangelicals. In fact, the Torah informs all of modern Evangelical thinking. (Further, this has not escaped the attention of the “pink” agenda). With the aforementioned, coupled to their virtual unanimous support for Israel, Evangelicals are provoking a hatred so deep, it’s akin to blind anti-Semitism. Unhappily, whether Hebrew or Christian, our ancient (civilizing) traditions, (informed by the Torah) are under incessant attack. An Adam and Steve kosher cake? Well let’s just say, what we’re seeing is a beginning, not an ending.

      • legal eagle

        I will discuss it with my gay Jewish friends….Fortunately, the vast majority of Jewish people believe in equal rights for all unlike the bigoted evangelicals….The Jewish community appreciates the support of evangelicals even if they believe that only Christians can be saved…

        • D Parri

          You really are amazing. Now you have assumed the role of being an expert on Jewish culture and society. Amazing!

          • legal eagle

            I am not an expert…I am experienced regarding Jewish culture and society based upon education and upbringing…

        • Brian Fr Langley

          You’re hilarious. You may be an ethnic Hebrew, but I certainly question as whether or not, you and your gay friends are practising (the Torah belief, the world knows as) Judaism. As to your’s (and their’s) salvation, I’ll leave that to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Having said that, why should the evangelical position on salvation (if you don’t believe it) bother you in the slightest? Or anyone else for that matter? Damnation if it’s true, doesn’t even happen in this life? So what possible threat does it pose to non believers?

          • legal eagle

            An ethnic Hebrew? What does that mean or should I ask my rabbi?

          • Brian Fr Langley

            It means you’re more secular than religious.

          • legal eagle

            You mean observant, not religious…90% of Jews are not observant…doesn’t change their faith or their religious beliefs….The evangelical position on salvation is in direct contradiction to the Jewish faith….

          • Brian Fr Langley

            So now you’re on expert on the Evangelical position on salvation? As to whether or not 90% of the non observant are faithful? What you’re suggesting is that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob gave a book to their kin, claiming creator status, complete with commandants, that are A ok to disregard? I dunno, if you ask me some of those commands also came with dire consequences for disobediance? Perhaps take that up with your Rabbi? As to Evangelicals directly contradicting Judaism? The real contradiction you see, is that your own personal political ideology is collectivist, while most Evangelicals are free enterprise. Which by the way is quite in keeping with the Torah.

          • legal eagle

            The fact that you are Christian violates one of the Ten Commandments….beware of the dire consequences…

          • Brian Fr Langley

            The God of your Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob be our Judge.

    • legal eagle

      Thank you bigot…. Fortunately few in the Jewish community are as homophobic as you are….

      • Berkeley Transplant in AVL

        EXACTLY MY THINKING as a Jew who follows Torah of today

        • legal eagle

          Sad to see such hatred in the Jewish community although it’s become quite prevalent among Chasidim…

    • D Parri

      illegal beagle doesn’t represent anyone but himself…they call that narcissism.

    • Berkeley Transplant in AVL

      I , as a Jew, grew up with tolerant views of all people Black,Christian, Yellow, Brown and Homosexuals
      I find that you, as a Jew, orthodox or reformed, my notion that being a Jew
      believed in liberal values(not many Jewish Republicans) except the most hated Jew in America- Eric Cantor,
      I have worked , in the 80’s and 90’s in Aids social service organizations, in San Francisco and what I found is that the amount(not proportionate to the population) of Jewish Gays and Lesbians
      Suffice to say, contrary to your bigoted and pathetic statements Jews are are an inclusive religion
      SHAME ON YOU

      • JewishWorldReview.com Editor

        And how exactly am I bigoted? You call names but offer no proof.

        Is my — your — Torah bigoted? (Do you literally need chapter and verse?) Is unadulterated Christianity and Islam bigoted? Is Buddhism? Or just about any other ancient faith?

        I could — but won’t — go into detail about the decline and ultimate self-destruction of societies that embraced buggery as normative.

        The “SHAME”, my friend, is you appear either ignorant of your heritage or world history — or both.

        One can feel the pain of the the ill even if their disease was had after a bad risk-gain choice.

        Being compassionate is one thing; accepting immoral behavior is quite another. Judaism has core values. Like every faith system it also has stigma. Non-normative behavior is not deemed kosher not in the behavioral sense and not in the bakery sense. It certainly isn’t to be rewarded and sanctified.

  • Ed

    May I suggest that we change the definition of a Home-Run to include a grounds rule double? as the ball ends up in the same place.

    • Jim Maxedon

      Knock yourself out. See if the league will go for it.

      • Ed

        Why am i not shocked that you are for it? …You Progressive crazy fella!

        • Jim Maxedon

          I didn’t say I was for it. I said you should go ahead and see if you can get MLB to go for it.

          • Ed

            Thats right Jim! what do YOU care? I forgot about what you said before.

            if it doesn’t effect you or your “friends” today, then you couldn’t care less, I forgot.

            What a Manly man you are Jim.

            Personally…I would prefer that you not spawn any children.

          • Jim Maxedon

            Too late.

            Again, I challenge you to provide any specific examples of traditional marriages being obliterated because of legalized same sex marriage.

          • Ed

            Jim, keep the blinders on, tighten the ear plugs, and just keep asking your same questions over and over and over until you make people walk away and you get your way. That’s the way to go about all problems in the world, The Liberal method.

          • Jim Maxedon

            Answer the question. It should be simple. Otherwise you are making claims you can’t back up. The Conservative method.

  • Andy Trimble

    Bernie, you have lost your faith, and hence, the moral compass of God. Many people stood AGAINST these same sex marriage laws, and the laws were defeated, and then overturned by judges. What recourse do they have now? Their votes don’t count, their values don’t count.

    I am done listening to a word you say. When you come on O’Reilly, I will turn down the sound. And I will unsubscribe to your buffonish newsletter.

    • Ed

      Hello??? Bernie never had it, he admittly doesn’t believe in God, so his life , like all others that believe there is no “creator” is that of selfishness.

      • legal eagle

        The haters and bigots are out today…..

        • D Parri

          Yes you are.

      • D Parri

        if anyone knows bigotry…his moniker is legal eagle (illegal beggar)

  • Ed

    Voting for a President because he has Black skin is just as bad as not voting for him because he has Black skin. Electing a woman because she IS a woman, or putting a Latina on the Supreme court BECAUSE she is a Latina (or NOT doing it because of their sexual orientation or Race) or both terribly “Wrong”. Being Pro-Gay CAN be just as bad as being Anti-Gay if you think about how you may adversely effect others with your….”Laws”.

  • Randall

    What about those signs that read “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service”? What about golf courses that require that you wear a shirt that has a collar to play on their course? It seems to me that there is a difference between a business where a customer walks in, grabs something from a shelf, pays and leaves, versus a business like a cake bakery, or caterer, or florist who’s service is a sort of participation in the event. Weddings are events that are scheduled far in advance for a certain time. If a vendor happens to be booked up for that date, will they have to bear the cost of defending themselves in court against a charge of discrimination every time they have to turn down a gay couple? In a free market there is always competition. Someone will fill the need.

    • Drew Page

      Exactly so. Those who sued the florist or the bakery didn’t do so because there was no where else they could go for flowers or a cake. They sued to prove a point. Their point was, “You have to do as I say, or I”ll have the court make you.” Had I been the shop owner, I probably would have had no problem with providing the flowers or the cake. However, If I really didn’t want to do it, I wouldn’t have refused, I would have just not been able to get to it in time.

  • Brian Fr Langley

    Collectivize they thought all the rabble,
    In our politics they much more than dabble,
    so now our elite,
    have become so effete,
    they’re leading us straight back to Babel.
    .
    .
    The goal was never same gender marriage. Collectivists have been working hard at building a statist collective, since they first set up shop on the plains of Shinar. (Babel). Marx was (is) clear in his manifesto. Families. MUST GO. Collectivist’s have long eschewed the bonds and loyalties of family. Even Hitler understood. Pry the family apart and what you get is first loyalty to the State. Two things are an integral threat to the collective. PRIVATE PROPERTY rights and tight FAMILY units. Nothing is new here, other than, more Americans than ever, are being duped. WAKE UP, before it’s too late. The media, the schools, the university’s are all in thrall to collectivism and the collectivists.

    • Jim Maxedon

      Except that gays want to marry to create and HAVE a family, many with children, and property rights. How does same sex marriage pry the family apart.

      Your thesis fails.

      • Brian Fr Langley

        You must be one of the low information voters I keep hearing about? Do just a modicum of research. Family is NOT the goal. Although I do admit there may be 1 or 2 individual exceptions. The real goal behind this collectivist agenda is to destroy the traditional family, and replace it, with, you know, Utopia? So far this idea has only murdered several hundred million folks, so hey, why would they stop now?

        • Jim Maxedon

          I’m one of the most informed voters you will ever find.

          Can you explain how a gay marriage destroys a traditional family?

          • Ed

            Jim, you didnt just laugh at your own question right there? you have got to be kidding! that is one of the funniest things I ever saw!! HAHA

          • Jim Maxedon

            I’m glad you are so easily amused. Answer the question.

          • Ed

            Jim…Jim….Jim…… thats like saying can you tell me how draining a pond destroys traditional fishing. Once 2 men or woman are married, the “Tradition” is obliterated at that moment. But you know this Jim….come on, you know this. Be happy that I played Lou Costello to your Bud Abbott.

          • Jim Maxedon

            Same sex marriage recently became legal in my state. I asked my wife and all my neighbors if any of our traditional marriages had been obliterated, and everyone said, “No.”

          • Brian Fr Langley

            They said No????? Some 50% of all children being born in America today are being abandoned by their fathers? There will be nearly 1 million abortions this year? The divorce rate is nearly 50%. What planet do you live on? Some 73% of black babies are now being born to single parent mothers. The State now must support vast millions of fatherless children. and your wife and neighbors all said NO??????

          • Jim Maxedon

            And any of this has what exactly to do with same sex marriage? Are you suggesting that 50% of traditional marriages end in divorce because of same sex marriage?

          • Brian Fr Langley

            I’m suggesting that same gender marriage is all part of the wider collectivist agenda to destroy the traditional family unit. And with help from dupes like you, (Lenin called you folks “useful idiots”) it’s working. As I said, I answered in more detail earlier, but it got sent to “mediation” One of my words must have triggered the censors. However I’m sure you’ll get it in a day or two?

          • Ed

            I cant speak for what the Black people are doing, that’s all bizarre and i cannot fit THAT crap into my equation. That being said, I assure you the Gay people are JUST as bizarre but in a different way. What makes all you Pro Gay people so sure that Families with sex sex parents are so perfect in every way? GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!

          • Jim Maxedon

            Who said they are more or less perfect than any other families? Another straw man.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here????

          • Ed

            So what you are saying in actuality is…. as long as something doesn’t effect you or your “friends”…today…then….Alrighty then!

            Gotcha!

            Spoken like a true self absorbed liberal.

          • Ed

            And if you think I believe for one moment that you actually had that conversation with your Wife and friends, then you are even sillier than I expect

          • Jim Maxedon

            No, I’m saying that I have yet to find a single person who will claim that their “traditional” marriage has been “obliterated” by same sex marriage.

            Do you know of any? Gotcha!

          • Bob Hadley

            “…..thats like saying can you tell me how draining a pond destroys traditional fishing.”
            That’s an inapt analogy. A closer analogy would be to add a different kind of fish to a fish pond that had been inhabited by only a few types of fishes. :)
            Redefining marriage to include gays, makes marriage more inclusive. It doesn’t destroy the traditional FAMILY, which is what the question regarded.
            There have been families headed by gay couples for decades. This has not threatened families headed by straight couples.

          • Ed

            With all due respect, you and Jim are being dicks. Draining the pond will not kill any fish that were already caught in it. As usual, Liberal dirt cares not to have any foresight, you are only concerned with the your life in the here and now, and maybe your fore-SKIN.

          • Bob Hadley

            “Draining the pond will not kill any fish that were already caught in it.”

            Have you lost it mun?

            You appear to look at traditional fishing from the perspective of the fish. Fishing–traditional and otherwise–is a sport or vocation practiced by humans, NOT fish. DUH!!!!

            In addition, draining the pond would end fishing–traditional or otherwise–for all. Redefining marriage to include gays increases, NOT diminishes, the pool of the marriageable. DUH!!!!

            It was your analogy. I just tried to make it more apt or less inapt.

            Redefining marriage to include gays only threatens the mental construct of marriage in minds of some.

            BTW, nice invective Eddie boy! It’s a tribute to your character.

          • Ed

            No idea what a “Mun” is, but I know what a 1st rate assshole is.

          • Bob Hadley

            Spoken a like a true, blue juvenile. I bet your Mama’s proud.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            I did provide an explanation, but I think it got sent to the censors? I don’t think anything I said warranted that, but means my response to you might not show up for a day or two???

      • Ed

        Create? how do they “Create”?

        Would you like to change the definition of a Home-Run to include a grounds rule double? as the ball ends up in the same place…right?.

        • Jim Maxedon

          In California and 12 other states (so far) they can join together in marriage. Two married people with one or more children from a previous “straight” marriage are a family. Two married people who adopt children are also a family (having possibly saved a fetus from abortion in the meantime). Two married people who have a child through artificial insemination or similar means are a family. This means the couple has created a family and they AND THEIR CHILDREN have all the legal protections granted “traditional” families making it a stronger, more stable, legally safer family unit. No ground rule doubles involved.

          • Guest

            Garbage

          • Jim Maxedon

            Great answer!

  • Paul Revere

    When we, as property owners, first lost the right to decide whom we would do business with or sell our home to, we also lost our property rights. Tolerance at the point of a gun is not tolerance at all.

    A business that discriminates will not succeed, so we should have just let the free market do its magic. Instead, we gave up our rights as property owners.

    • JeffreyRO55

      Nah, you can still own your property. You just can’t conduct business in a discriminatory fashion, in places that have anti-discrimination statutes. Plenty of places don’t have anti-discrimination statutes, and you would fit in well in, say, Alabama, I’m sure.

      • Paul Revere

        Of course you can still own property. But you no longer have the right to decide whom you will sell to or do business with. We used to have that right, but government took it away. We should be able to discriminate and refuse service to anyone on our own property, and let the free market decide. Instead, we let government dictate terms. It’s about freedom. Think about it.

        • JeffreyRO55

          You make it sound like it’s important to control who buys your product or service. Why?

          You make a mockery of freedom when you fight for the right to discriminate based on irrelevant characteristics of the buyer. How do you suffer if a black man buys your product or service, or if a Christian buys your product or service?

          • Ed

            What if a “black person” steals your product? do you have the right to be nervous about the next black person that comes in your door? what about a Muslim? Middle Eastern man between 25-40?, what if Business man comes in and tips you incredibly high? do you have the right to try and cater to other businessmen? what if you sell bikini bathing suits? do you have the right to advertise to skinny people? or should you be required by law to have a fat chick in your ads as well? i can go on but why?…Freedom to sell to whoever you want, unless you are a government institution. PERIOD.

          • JeffreyRO55

            You just want to nurture your personal prejudices and use them against people.

            Nope, if you operate in the public sphere, you can’t discriminate, if there is an anti-discrimination law. Freedom doesn’t mean being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want and in any circumstance you want. Unless you’re a child.

          • Jim Maxedon

            None of that applies. It’s all a red herring. You can be nervous or target your marketing. You just can’t deny a service to one person that you would provide to another based on race, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.

          • Paul Revere

            You’re missing the point. I’m not suggesting that we ought to refuse service to anyone, but that as part of our property rights, we should be able to refuse service.

            I would serve anyone or sell to anyone, but while I might not approve of my neighbor’s decision to refuse someone, I would respect his right as a property owner to do so.

          • JeffreyRO55

            And I disagree. There’s no rational reason, other than personal prejudice, to refuse service on the basis of irrelevant personal characteristics, such as race or religion. Allowing it merely creates legitimacy around personal prejudice, and promotes social divisiveness. That is antithetical to a cohesive society, especially one composed of a great variety of different kinds of people.

            Should businesses also be allowed discriminate in hiring? “No blacks hired here!” businesses?

  • Neal from PA

    WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO AMERICA? The leftist thinking dominates American society…from pre-school through ALL levels of education and in virtually all the print and electronic news media. It’s about values; the moral values that founded this great nation and allowed it to prosper and grow into the most free, progressive and powerful nation on earth. America has and is incrementally and systematically rejecting the moral principals upon which she was founded. As a result, our nation is experiencing unparalleled moral decay. National immorality flourishes when the heart and soul of a nation’s citizens reject these principles; decline in national morality leads to moral, political, educational, and economic decay!

    Conservatives are honorable, but being honorable does not mean they should ignore Leftist Liberal faults. Leftist Liberals have without doubt dishonored themselves; yet the majority of “We the People” have ignored this. WHY…have we lost the values needed to even recognize what “Leftist Liberals” have done. GOD, help us!

    • Brian Fr Langley

      Marxist thought has infiltrated all journalism schools. So most journalist actually believe their hard left views are moderate. Lenin (and Stalin) always had a plan to collectivize the west. They may be dead but their work continues apace.

  • Shane

    The government has NO constitutional authority to tell business owners who they must take as customers. A business owner should be free to reject any customer for any reason.

  • Paul Courtney

    We can see legal arguments bounce off our lefty friends, who suddenly love Bernie for the worst column ever. One last time, Free Exercise clause places religious at the top of list of protected classes with press and people speaking their mind. Nothing re: exercise of sex practices. If fed or state law makes gay a protected class, it’s trumped by 1st Amendment, if conflicting. Simple minded arguments of some lefty laywers who post here is, shirtless not protected class, gays are. So if gay has bakery, can refuse service to religious? You fools can’t seem to put the shoe on the other foot, I’d pity your clients except Courts seem to follow nonsense instead of written docs. By the way, there is no conflict here, who is saying they can’t be gay, or refusing to serve customer because he or she is gay? Refusal to take part in celebration of gayness, yes, but our right to that is free exercise of religion, and opposing right is? Are Baker or Florist telling them they can’t be gay? Opposing right that Bernie finds compelling is right to get cake, flowers where they choose. This is not close call, but A. Kennedy is no more able to see it than Bernie. And Kennedy’s “column” has effect, we’re about to see all states with Const.prohibition of same sex marriage be mowed down. Is there a way back to rule of law?

    • Neal from PA

      Unfortunately, “The Rule of Law” seems to be whatever an individual says it is. We no longer live under the rule of law, only what feels good to me.

  • ivannavi

    So, does this mean that everyone in business should be all things to everyone as respects providing the goods or services they offer and do whatever anyone asks you to do as respects providing those goods and services regardless of what they ask you to do.

    In short, I believe this is pure crap!

  • Dan

    So Bernie, does that mean that Chick Fil-A should have to adhere to “America’s
    rules” also and open their doors on Sundays, just because most other American business owners do it? Chick Fil-A is on “mainstreet” too. They choose to not serve anyone on Sundays.

  • Otto Maddock

    Just curious—Are there any states where same-sex marriage became legal as the result of a vote by the people? Massachusetts maybe? Or is every situation only because some judge said so?

  • genann59

    Bernie, you have lost me on this one. so sorry but I do think people should have the right to serve those they wish to serve. Agree with you on most things, but just really believe a business should not be forced to provide services to people they disagree with.

  • Mutt

    Whatever happened to all he businesses with signs that said “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”? Oh, right…that was back when our country was the United States of America.

    • Seattle Sam

      Before 1964

    • Bob Hadley

      Oh, they still have them. When I hitchhiked across country many years back (decades after 1964), I often saw those sign in cafes and coffee shops.
      There’s nothing unconstitutional about displaying those signs, as far as I know. But it is unconstitutional to put those words into practice against certain classes of people

  • legal eagle

    You’re cutting your ties? Bernie will be crushed….

  • VermontAmerican

    Bernie, it’s more complex than how you present it. As free Americans, nobody should be compelled to invest time, money, talent and skill to provide a service which they find morally repugnant and reprehensible. Should a pro-life builder be charged for failing to build an abortion clinic? There are plenty of service providers willing to do the job. Let the market decide. If society frowns upon their bigotry, they’ll be out of business soon enough. But we don’t need Big Brother forcing political correctness on us.

    • forrest

      There is no mention of Civil rights for those who want to shrink heads as part of their lifestyle so why all of a sudden does the constitution of the united states become the Gay Bill Of Rights? It never gave rights to any sexual orientation on the basis of sex and it is not even implied. Some say that Christians are refusing to obey our laws when they refuse to cater to (strangers) but I say how can they pass these kinds of civil laws without first repealing the original sodomy laws that were on the books? How can the Gay Legal Experts bypass all previous declarations? Even the supreme court only overturned DOMA by one vote and for that reason it tells me it was sympathy not rationalism that won that day. It was certainly not the letter of the Law because plenty voted for DOMA. It goes way beyond ignorant and certainly beyond reasonable but it is certainly an incentive for christians to see how beneficial a theocracy would become if one were to flower upon this continent. Maybe Christians can learn from this new facism and build from it something that will serve truth and not deception?

      • legal eagle

        I hate to inform you of this but if Christians want to live in a theocracy they should move to Italy….The owners of the bake shop should comply with the law o close their business…

        • ivannavi

          You’re on a roll with silly, and now bigoted, comments. You need to go back into you hovel, cave, or wherever you reside.

        • Shane

          We want to freely practice our religion, which governement does not let us do. No business owner should be forced to serve any customer.

    • legal eagle

      Abortion clinics are not a protected class under the law…You’re analogy is nonsensical…

      • ivannavi

        Such a silly comment from [someone] who wants to show how smart they are.

        • legal eagle

          Silly? Why?

    • Ed

      Bernie and his ilk do not like to scrutinize the complexities, as they feel if they simply propose something in a simplistic fashion (keep it shallow… don’t go to deep) , the simpletons will not take any time to have a vision, foresight if you will, into the repercussions of what they are presenting. This is an appeal to the idiot masses. Though Bernie will suggest the opposite I’m guessing.

  • Ed

    “On Friday night, transgender teen Cassidy Lynn Campbell was crowned homecoming queen at a California high school.
    Campbell, a 16-year-old student at Marina High School in Huntington Beach,
    She is the first transgender homecoming queen at Marina High School and hopes that her win echoes outside her town.”
    ——————————————————–
    I cant wait for the first Gay, Lesbian, Bi or Transgendered President!….this is Sooo exciting!!!! :o) LETS ALL BE GAY! ITS SO MUCH FUN!…..and….. it IS normal you know!…..it is…..it really is!…..so be nice.

    • legal eagle

      Amazing how hateful and paranoid some people are…

      • Shane

        Yes anyone who does not agree with liberal dogman is hateful and paranoid.

      • Ed

        Did you REEEEEAD what she/he said??-

        The article didnt say- The first transgender homecoming queen in the World, or in the USA, or even in California! NO! it said- “the first transgender homecoming queen at Marina High School”!, you do not read the way I do apparently, I take things literally, the way they are designed by those who wrote it TOO be taken.

        she said that she ” hopes that her win echoes outside her town.” Do you realize what she said? She hopes MORE transgendered people are elected Homecoming Queen….WTF is wrong with you people?…..complacency IS the problem.

  • conernedarizonan

    What about “no shirt, no shoes, no service”
    What about Starbucks “no guns”
    What about “we have the right to refuse service…….”

    • Jim Maxedon

      Shirts, etc. is not discrimination based on race, creed, national origin, or sexual orientation.
      Starbucks: guns are not banned, nor are gun toters. It was a request.
      Right to refuse service: Not because of race, creed, national origin, or sexual orientation.

      • Ed

        Those laws were designed for Government. Anyone can walk into a Catholic church at any time, but just try going into a Mosque and asking them- “I am open minded and want to understand and maybe see what you are all about” and you will not get past the front door. I know from experience.

        • Jim Maxedon

          Really? Tell me more about that experience.

          • Ed

            Well, I feel you are being disingenuous but, ill play. Once in a while we get a client in our office that we “hit it off” with, and they sit and we engage in conversation a bit longer than we do with others. We had a Muslim client, a young fella, who was very nice, who, when in our office, we engaged in discussion about religion with. My Brother (Who attends Roman Catholic Mass weekly) said to him- “is there a way, that i can go with you to your Mosque sometime? I would like to keep an open mind and actually attend a service so I can (i am paraphrasing here) get a personal look into your world?”. He said (in a VERY sincere and firm manner and a bit of a smirk of dead seriousness) – “Oh….no….no no no. We do not allow non Muslims to enter the Mosque. You would have to BE Muslim or go in with a desire to convert”. Which absolutely blew us away, as we informed him that in our Faith (Christianity) you can enter and be welcomed into ANY church. He said “It’s not that way with us”. ….and Christianity is deemed the most intolerant? There are FAR more Muslims that walk the Earth.

  • Stephen17

    So if Westboro Baptist demanded that a homosexual-run business cater their latest anti-homosexual rally?

    • nickshaw

      I don’t know but, I sure wouldn’t eat the food! ;-)

    • Jim Maxedon

      WBC would not fall into a protected class.

  • nickshaw

    I’m with you, Bernie.
    When the first stories started popping up of business concerns refusing to serve gays I thought, “Thanks a lot, you’re simply succeeding in giving lib’ruls the examples they need to make us all look like bigots!” when nothing could be further from the truth.
    If your business is to serve the public, shove a cork in it, hold your nose or close your eyes. Whatever it takes.
    Unless they are committing some sort of crime ( a real one, not one in the eyes of the Lord!) they still deserve the respect any customer would get.

    • Shane

      BS! Business owners should have the freedom to refect any customer for any reason. That is freedom. If customers don’t like it, then they can take their business elsewhere. Let the market decide.

  • lemonfemale

    I have to agree with Bernie. “Religious beliefs” cover a broad spectrum of belief. Picture a Muslim who will not promote a woman over men. A conservative Christian who will not hire a woman since women are homemakers. Fred Phelps. In the secular realm, if you are in business you are open to everybody. It may be your beliefs bar you from certain jobs. A soldier in the Salvation Army would not work in a bar. But that is the price you pay for your conscience. But America also has morals- and some of them trump peoples’ religions. So just as we can take an infant away from a Christian Scientist and treat her for a disease, we can require a business to serve everyone. If the bakery refused to do weddings, they would be OK. Let them do that if their beliefs demand it.

    • Seattle Sam

      Prior to 50 years ago, you actually could picture a Muslin that promoted a man over a woman. Or an employer who didn’t hire women. Because your business was considered your property rather than the state’s. It’s actually a Fifth Amendment takings violation (not that anyone pays strict attention to the Constitution anymore) because a business that is restricted in various ways is likely worth less than one that is not.

      • Asemodeus

        The government has the absolute right to regulate business under the Commerce Clause.

      • legal eagle

        You are so right… Why should these businesses have to serve those colored folks? Why should private colleges have to admit those Mexicans? Thanks for sharing your appreciation for the good old days….

        • Mutt

          So if a potential client shows up and wants you to represent him in a suit against, say, a school district for promoting Islam but not allowing any mention of Christianity, you’re required to take him on? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

        • Shane

          Yes, I agree with you, though I know you are being sarcastic. If the private college receives no public money, then they should have the right to choose their students. Let blacks and Mexicans build their own businesses and serve whoever they want.

  • sycamore10

    They sure don’t appear to be Christian-like people the way they are acting. Very judgmental!

    • Shane

      Christians are judgmental, as are any religious people.

      • sycamore10

        Not really religious then.

  • bobjr4freedom

    I think that whole affair could have been avoided if they just made them the cake.I don’t always agree with gay marriage,but they are customers.You only make your money by serving people and you cannot be close to God if your not serving others and Christ did not pick out certain people not to serve.We have to figure out a way to live in tolerance and not in judgement.Judgement belongs to God not man.Your faith is to trust in God in all we do.And love people as God taught us too.Not serving people because they are gay does not help your business and it does not get them to see Christ thru you.Serving Christ is to serve others no matter who they are and it is actions of love that can make people see differently.Judgement of others does not.I respect them standing by God’s Word.But we all have to approach people the right way and without judgement or hate.The eyes of the blind,the deaf were not healed by Jesus thru anger and refusal because they sinned.Jesus healed them thru touching their hearts to see,so they can hear and then believe.I do think the fine was outrageous.Thanks for listening.

    • Ed

      Ahhhhh….”just make the cake”….”Just walk into the Gas chamber”…. take your lumps…..Ya know….California just crowned a Transgendered 15 year old …Human…. this weekend. I didnt read the article to find out of it WAS a boy? or WAS a girl? and I dont care, but you cannot tell me there isnt a much bigger agenda here with all of this bizarre sexual garbage. and i dont mean that act of getting the sex change…go date Chaz Bono for all I care!. but the act of crowning the person for political purposes. If anyone tells me that selection wasn’t done for political purposes……. is a complete idiot, or a liar.

      • Ed

        This speaks VOLUMES_- “She is the first transgender homecoming queen at Marina High School and hopes that her win echoes outside her town”. THE FIRST ONE??? WOW!…and hopes OTHERS FOLLOW? ….politics, as I said. Now i KNOW all you Pro Gay folks are going to read me the riot act for putting TG’s in with Gays but , i dont care, its all tied together, even THEy say so (i.e. LGBTG.)

  • Ed

    I still want to know the gay people in Bernie’s family. Son? Daughter? Come clean (No pun intended) Bernie, Come clean! EVERYONE i know that feels the way you do has a close family member that is gay and have altered their values and “beliefs” (yes, that’s in quotes) just for them. Dick Cheney… that other congressman that admitted he changed his beliefs when he found out his Son was gay….come on….tell us, WHO is it that you are REALLY fighting for? because this is Sooooooo typical and phoney. BTW- Are the Yankees “OK” to ban the “Jeter Swallows” shirts at Yankee Stadium? was that within THEIR rights to do so?, just wondering.

    • Ed

      Go kiss Muslim ass like everyone else. SCREW the Christians as always. BTW- Are Muslims exempt from Obama care? The Amish? Anyone else?… I wasnt sure.

      • Jim Maxedon

        Muslims are not exempt from Obamacare.

        • Ed

          Ah….. I know that was on the table at one point. There were many “On the Table” at one time.

          • Jim Maxedon

            It was never on the table. Religious groups may apply for a conscientious objection-type exemption, but they have to have a verifiable record of rejecting insurance on religious grounds. Muslims don’t have such a record so they would not qualify.

          • Ed

            It absolutely WAS on the table. You just stated why they were not able to get exempt. In politics, anytime a trial balloon is floated, or even a mere oral thought! (i.e. John Kerry recently), it has potential. We disagree on the definition of “On the table”. ANYTHING that is floated out there IS “On the table” in politics. In the early stages, MANY people and groups were trying to get exempt status. Some were even told they could and the rug was ripped put from under them. Didnt pay enough to the campaign I suppose. But public opinion on Muslims getting it……well, it was really pissing people off.

          • Jim Maxedon

            Can you cite anything anywhere that at any time Muslims specifically were considered by anyone for exemption expressly because they were Muslim? If by “on the table” you mean that Michelle Bachmann claimed it to be true, then I’ll concede you the point.

          • Ed

            I think my point was clear, I see no need to carry on and on ad nauseam . If you search Muslims and Exempt status you will get MANY hits. If you search OJ and Murder, you will get many hits as well, but i was told he didn’t kill 2 people. These “stories” (like ALL stories) started somewhere. It doesn’t matter whether or not they got the status, which they didnt,

            (to quote the liberal mantra: “It’s Not Nature of Evidence, but the Seriousness of the Charge”)

            the point was- if Liberals could have found a way to exempt them….they would have. If they could have found a way to defecate and urinate on Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary…they would….oh wait….that WAS done, sorry, bad analogy. Would you care to discuss ALL the people exempt from Obama care? I dont, too long of a list and we would be hijacking this thread.

          • Jim Maxedon

            “if Liberals could have found a way to exempt them….they would have.”

            With all due respect, that’s simply horse manure.

            “I dont, too long of a list”. Yeah, sure.

          • Ed

            BTW! there are MANY people that are exempt and have nor right to be! so law really doesn’t matter.

          • Jim Maxedon

            Many people? Who.

    • lemonfemale

      I do not have anyone gay in my family that I know of. And, as indicated above I agree with Bernie.

      • Ed

        And???……first of all, you are a woman, and a woman thinks with their heart and ignores the common sense of the brain. And really, that is all besides the point. I asked BERNIE!. Your opinion means nothing to me.

      • Ed

        Another thing….Personally? I couldn’t give a crap what Gay people do, My reasons for not changing definitions of words that are thousands of years old are strictly NON religious. I am tired of small groups trying to manipulate the masses, Gay people have a LONG history of acting disrespectful and vulgar in public, just to shock people, yet they cry out when THEY aren’t getting respected themselves. Civil Union is unaccpetable to them (OK for me!) because they clearly have an agenda that you haven’t accepted yet. That is why YOU are “OK” with it all. Because YOU think with your heart, and have blinders on, when others can see what is coming done the road. :Let a clear thinking Man make the big decisions….please…. that is why there has never in History been a Female President. Though our country is so off track now, that will happen soon. Because we are the most racist, and sexist people here in the USA. We put people in high positions now based on skin color and sexual orientation.

        • legal eagle

          Thank you Archie Bunker for reminding us what’s coming down the road….LOL

  • John

    Bernie, you’re my favorite political commentator, but how can you miss this important point?! That is, shop owners take all the risk to have their own business and can refuse service to anyone they want. THEY miss the income by rejecting some customers, so it’s their choice if they want these customers or not. Most businesses want all the customers they can get, but if they don’t want some, they’re willing to make less money, and that’s up to them.

    • nickshaw

      Do you really want to set a precedent and have businesses refuse service based on any whim or idea they might have?
      Sure, they would lose business and, in truth, it would be no skin off the gays nose if he or she wasn’t served. There are others that will serve them.
      The real problem here is that some concerns are targeted for the express purpose of litigation. That, and some people have skin that is much too thin.
      I blame lawyers. ;-)

      • Ashland Fadeley

        Nick shaw We aren’t talking about any whim here. If you are a bible beliving Christian you are commanded to abstain from all apbeerances of evil. The bible states clearly that their actions are an abomination in the face of god. If this doesn’t meet the definition of evil what does? As long as Christians turn the other cheek which they are admonished to do they will continue to be held up to public screwing. As for me I think we should start kicking ass and taking names. Maybe we should start carrying the fight to their front door literally. This means judges and other public officials. Starting putting burs under their butts. If this isn’t a time for action maybe you should look in the mirrow to see what color your back is.

        • Otto Maddock

          Whatever happened to that Catholic hospital that was told they could not refuse to perform abortions? Did they finally win that one?

  • Randy

    There is very little left to interpretation regarding this matter. Abomination leaves little to the imagination.

    • Jim Maxedon

      Well, we know what’s on YOUR mind.

  • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/ DavidHart

    Bernie and I are both old enough to remember “restricted” hotels. I’ll leave it to Scalia to explain.

    Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, observed that the
    Court has never held that an individual’s religious beliefs excuse him
    from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that
    government is free to regulate. Allowing exceptions to every state law
    or regulation affecting religion “would open the prospect of constitutionally required exemptions from civic obligations of almost every conceivable kind.” Scalia cited as examples compulsory military service, payment of taxes, vaccination requirements, and child-neglect laws.

    The case is Employment Division v. Smith – 1989

    • Ed

      Then let us treat the Christians as nice as we treat the Muslims and alike…..fat chance though

  • D Parri

    In spite of Bernie’s comment that sticking up for one’s religious rights is “admirable”, I’m afraid that he interjected an element of disingenuousness by stating that it would be “somehow” admirable.

    Unfortunately, he missed a very important point that should be imbued in the religious fabric of any person of faith. The practice of one’s faith and the dedication placed in it IS admirable, and it should be expected that their practice of faith will come with some sacrifice–i.e., there will be consequences. However, this is not a notion exclusive to the Christian religions.

  • D Parri

    Bernie, I’m afraid that this is about as wrong as you can posit on the subject. As Christians, we are taught to hold firm to the notion that we are not “of the world”, but rather in the world, and Jesus prayed for his followers that God would protect them but not remove them from the world. This is an affirmation that to follow Christ’s teaching would most assuredly result in experiencing hate from the world and a temptation to do evil.

    • Patrick Murphy

      Because Bernie obviously has a part-time faith, he cannot understand the Christian faith is a 24/7 lifetime belief. It doesn’t start and stop on Sunday. Jesus said, “I am THE way, THE truth AND THE life.”

      I don’t understand why these people who sue just don’t go somewhere else? The baker and photographer can’t be the only ones in town. But it’s more than that. They WANT to jam their beliefs down our throats, just as people accuse Christians of doing.

      • D Parri

        I’m afraid that theirs is more a motivation to promote the same-sex marriages, interracial marriages, etc., rather than safeguarding their protection against discrimination. Just remember, if ever caught within this trap of court-mandated civil rights protection it is well within the purview of the merchant or service provider to experience any kind of unfortunate ‘mistake’ necessary to ensure that this type of client would not choose to return. Luckily, erroneous errors are not a libelous offense.

      • Jim Maxedon

        So you are an anti-semite.

      • legal eagle

        They want you to follow the law…is that a difficult concept for you to understand?

      • Otto Maddock

        It sure didn’t hurt Chick-fil-A.

  • metheoldsarge

    I wonder what would happen if a Muslim family owned that business.

    • JanelleHumbert

      That is a very interesting question.

    • Jim Maxedon

      They would be subject to the exact same laws of public accommodation.

    • legal eagle

      A Muslim family would take your money and say thank you and refer your friends to us…

      • metheoldsarge

        Not in Dearborn, Michigan.

  • Bob Hadley

    Many of the posters here are saying that any business owner should have the right to turn away any customer for any reason. In broad theory, this sounds good. But this makes room for the invidious racial discrimination that much of the civil rights laws and court decisions (which are also a part of the law).
    Some of the posters, however, have distinguished between racial discrimination and discrimination against gays or discrimination against commercial acts associated with activities by individual members of the gay community – e.g. making decorations for a marriage ceremony of two gay individuals.
    I support legislatures enacting laws guaranteeing civil rights for gays and for commercial acts associated with activities by individual members of the gay community – e.g. making decorations for a marriage ceremony of two gay members. I support this for the reasons Bernie stated.
    I think we should let the state courts decide whether gays and commercial acts associated with activities by individual members of the gay community are categories protected by the respective state constitutions. In some cases, state courts have apparently already decided this. We should also let the SCOTUS decide whether these are categories protected by the COTUS.

    • tim ned

      Bob,

      Hell just froze over. I agree with your post.

    • legal eagle

      You are far too logical to be commenting on this website….LOL

      • Bob Hadley

        How can I be logical? I’m told that I’m a liberal and I keep hearing that liberals think with their emotions! :) LOL

  • delble

    Bernie is wrong. This is exactly what happens when we start from the false premise that gay marriage is on the same par as racial discrimination. It is Not! Homosexual activity is abnormal and condemned by God. Being black, brown, or whatever is not. Sorry, liberals, but that’s the truth.

    • nickshaw

      Why do you think selling them a cake or charging them for photographs condones their lifestyle.
      It’s business. It may creep the shop owner out but, he’s there to make money.
      And, just in case you think so, I am in no way, shape or form a lib’rul!

  • Stuart Waugh

    Bernard, I agree with the courts on this. A business is not a place of worship. When you open for the general public you are subject to the Laws of the land. You cannot deny service to anyone who is a fair customer for any reason.

    You cannot put up a sign that says, “no service for ” and then have a White Supremacist say “blacks” nor have a Nazi or Islamist say “Jews” nor a Christian say “Gays.” It is clear racism.

    As a business the logical move is to hire somebody on staff who can handle cases you feel violate your beliefs. But if you are an owner, you have to sacrifice that when no such is around, to satisfy the Law.

    I feel very differently about places of worship. They should be allowed stipulate who they allow or not allow to use their facilities. However they need to be very careful how they word that. (Get a lawyer.) In these cases I have more sympathy. It is reasonable for a Church, Mosque, Temple, or Synagogue to state that they will only marry people who agree to some creed or statement of faith, which may include stipulation for membership. But when they open services up to the non-member public they are in a grey zone, and since its for money they may well fall into the category of a public business.

    • Seattle Sam

      You cannot deny service to anyone who is a fair customer for any reason? Nonsense. You can deny service to a white heterosexual man who isn’t wearing a shirt. Just not a homosexual man or a black man or a Lesbian.

      • Roman D.

        No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service.

        We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.

        The owner of this establishment will decide if they want you as a customer.

        A few signs I’ve read at business I frequent. There is no law stating you have to provide services. I was at a Chilis and a customer wanted a “black and blue” steak. They refused to serve it. Businesses have the right to provide service to who they choose when they choose.

        Discrimination, could I go to a bar-b-que eatery and file a discrimination case because I’m a vegetarian? Gays/lesbians enjoy flaunting what they are because they know it makes others uncomfortable. They want acceptance and yet hide in closets and the media makes a big deal when the ‘first’ gay/lesbian athlete/singer/actor/actress/politician/whatever comes out of hiding.

        If they want to be treated normally, maybe they should stop trying to act so special and bringing attention to themselves.

        • Jim Maxedon

          Your logic is like a bouquet of dead flowers that smells bad.

      • legal eagle

        Spoken like a true idiot…

  • Bob Olden

    As I understand “free enterprise”, an individual should be able to participate in the marketplace without excessive interference from government. In fact, the role of government is to stay out of the way as much as possible and just make sure that rules of fair trade are enforced. Let a thousand businesses flourish, and let people make their own choices about what to sell, how much to charge, where to locate, etc. One of the freedoms you need in free enterprise is the freedom to choose who is your “target market”. In order to compete, you don’t normally want to limit who can be your customer, but in a free market, you should have the right to do it. It only creates more opportunity!

    Almost everyone has probably had the experience of trying to do business with a particular vendor and it doesn’t work out. We can write them a letter complaining about it but we can’t force them to change. Most people don’t bother to write a letter, they just go elsewhere. The Internet has opened up millions of options to “go elsewhere”!

    So why make a big deal about it if you can’t get what you want from a particular place? It can only be because of a political agenda that seeks to place more constraints on the free marketplace.

    • Asemodeus

      Nope. We decided as a society that business discrimination against minorities was wrong and set about laws to curtail that practice. That was 50 years ago and so far the only reason why this is even an issue again is that gays are enjoying the same rights in a few states.

      • Seattle Sam

        That’s not true. Blondes are a minority and I know of no prohibition against blonde discrimination. Discrimination is only a crime when the discriminee has obtained protected status politically. Sp far blondes haven’t been able to do that, although if they promised to vote Democrat 90% of the time they might get it.

        • Asemodeus

          “Discrimination is only a crime when the discriminee has obtained protected status politically.”

          Which is based on previous history of animus towards that group. Which is why your blond analogy fails, since there hasn’t been a wide spread cultural push to equate blonds with the devil and to have them sterilized.

    • Patrick Murphy

      Exactly! It’s not as if these bakers and photographers have such a highly specialized business that they are the only ones in town. It’s why people boycott business, to speak with their feet.

      • Asemodeus

        So it is okay to discriminate as long as the discrimination isn’t inconvenient?

        Can a catholic hospital refuse service to a jew with a knife wound then? After all, it isn’t the only hospital in town.

    • legal eagle

      Did you finish the sixth grade? No adult can be so naïve as to believe that free enterprise means you can commit unlawful acts…Amazing how strange some people are…

  • JimnJan

    I am sorry to be this way, but as someone who respects Bernard Goldberg, I must say this is the most illogical thing I have ever read from his keyboard. Two points:

    1. It has not now, nor has it ever been, the teaching of orthodox Christianity that race is a moral issue. I could cite numerous Scriptures, as could countless other people here, but I am guessing that would not matter to Mr. Goldberg.

    2. Read the Constitution, then reflect upon the religious beliefs of the founders of our nation. Contrary to a lot of Christians, I contend that many of them were not orthodox Christians, and I would point to the Jefferson Bible as just one example. However, when you read the establishment and free exercise clauses of the Constitution, what does it say? “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” So, here are the Founders, of varying levels of commitment to Christianity, yet educated men who were well aware of its teachings. In dealing with religion, of which Christianity was at the forefront, they protected its free practice from the intrusion of the government. Public, often secular, leaders were a danger to Christianity in their eyes, and not the other way around.

    And so here we have practicing, orthodox Christians refusing to take part in endorsing an act that violates orthodox Christianity. No Constitutional rights of gay people are being violated here. Yet Mr. Goldberg concludes that it is OK to sanction them anyway.

    Ridiculous, illogical, and terribly disappointing.

    • Asemodeus

      “And so here we have practicing, orthodox Christians refusing to take
      part in endorsing an act that violates orthodox Christianity.”

      A business doesn’t have religious freedom. Stop pretending otherwise.

      • keithiepoo

        Then no one outside of their homes or churches or what-have-you has any ideological rights outside their respective institutions or homes. That includes you. Keep your beliefs, your conscience, to yourself. Your personal beliefs now take a back seat to the State. According to Mr. Goldberg, the State now gets to dictate how we behave and believe — but only in public.

        Bernie Goldberg is desperately wrong on this and his editorial both angered and frightened me simultaneously. It’s attitudes like his that are starting to usher in an age of bonafide Christian persecution within the United States. No, we’re not China or even ancient Rome, but if anything resembling his attitude approaches any other group, they’re up in arms.

        Mr. Goldberg, I doubt that you read these comments since you never respond, but tell me: if/when the State decides that “intergenerational intimacy” (a.k.a. adult-child sex) is a legitimate lifestyle, will you still have the same attitude? What happens when the State decides on a matter contrary to how you may passionately feel about it? Since when is the State God? That’s called “fascism”, oh arrogant one.

        JimNJan, son of a gun you nailed it. Thank you.

        • Asemodeus

          “Then no one outside of their homes or churches or what-have-you has any
          ideological rights outside their respective institutions or homes.”

          Again, a business doesn’t have religious freedom. You cannot use your religion in your business to discriminate against gays, jews, or blacks in this country. If you have a problem with that, elect racists and bigots into high office to have them amend the laws. But until then, you are arguing against the law and legal precedent.

          “According to Mr. Goldberg, the State now gets to dictate how we behave and believe — but only in public.”

          You are aware what a business contract is, right?

          ” It’s attitudes like his that are starting to usher in an age of bonafide Christian persecution within the United States.”

          That’s one of the most stupid arguments that has ever been made in this country. It’s just a excuse for christians to discriminate against people they hate, and that is against the law.

          “Mr. Goldberg, I doubt that you read these comments since you never
          respond, but tell me: if/when the State decides that “intergenerational
          intimacy” (a.k.a. adult-child sex) is a legitimate lifestyle, will you
          still have the same attitude?”

          Children are unable to consent and thus are unable to enter contracts or relationships of a sexual nature. This is established case law since basically forever. How this has to be pointed out to you is, however, shocking.

    • kenny

      You have hit the nail on the head unlike Mr. Bernie. My personal feeling is that if a particular group wants to then protest or perhaps convince others not to use this business, then that is the cost of doing business. The religious right can then step up to the plate. But either way, keep the government out of it!!!

    • Jim Maxedon

      So Christians in this country never had a moral problem with interracial marriage? Is that your position?

      Conducting commerce is not exercising religion.

  • sandbeachprofessor

    At first I thought you were being sarcastic but then it was clear you actually believe this. Seems to me there is a difference between not serving Jews or Blacks and not serving a situation such as marriage. I don’t think these people would refuse to sell flowers or cake to a gay person, but to ask them to do something against their doctrine, that is wrong. Selling a cake vs catering a gay marriage is not the same thing, at least to me.
    By the way, the real issue here is in your face activism. I am sure there are many places that would welcome a gays business, so why force someone to go against their religion. Because they can that is why………. as an aside I am not religious but think this movement to force them to do this stinks.

  • Joel

    Really Bernie? I am disappointed.

    The state had no business forcing people to do this. It would similarly have no business forcing a Jewish bakery to make a cake for devout Nazis. It would have no business forcing a Muslim market to deal in pork rinds. It would have no business forcing a Evangelical book store to carry Darwin’s book.

    We all know the truth though. From the National Endowment of the Arts apparently to the Washington and New Mexico governments, it’s just fine to infringe on the rights of Christians. They’re not a minority, so they have no protections. They are, to turn Orwell’s phrase, “less equal.”

    Many of us predicted that the “right to marry” would become a cudgel to enforce the duty to submit to others’ demands. I don’t know of anyone who predicted that you’d take the side that you just have. It’s disappointing.

  • D Parri

    It appears to me that the banner-carrier in this article is the party who is choosing to oppress the religious-minded people who have decided to simply stand firm in their beliefs. Nowhere has the rights of an individual been restricted other than in carrying out a business arrangement with the person following their conscience.

    This is strikingly similar to the mandate to purchase health insurance–whether wanted or not. This makes it a tax, as stated by SC Justice John Roberts. What makes this unconstitutional is that it is an unfair tax based upon the discriminatory practices of the President in granting waivers to various groups simply on the basis of political preference. It will ultimately be ruled unconstitutional because of the riddled application bases which have followed since the original Supreme Court ruling.

    Therefore, the religious intolerance of the court systems have followed suit with the Supreme Court ruling…a trend which will eventually be reversed.

  • D Parri

    Bernie, do you really believe that inside the church is the only place that we should be allowed to practice our faith? What would happen to the billions of dollars worth of charity work that is carried on outside the church. Since you are obviously well-educated in the bible, you must understand that Jesus did not seek to compel his followers to come into the church to practice their faith but rather, go out and tell others outside of the church. You also know that it is ok to practice it, and it is ok to preach it, but it is far more compelling to practice what you preach. Religious tolerance includes the right of individuals to not participate in activities that are in opposition to their religious beliefs.

  • D Parri

    Ok, Bernie, let’s allow you the point on requiring people who do business in the public market to be mandated to do business with anyone. Does that mandate also imply that the service they deliver be of a certain ‘level’? For example, if the baker inadvertently forgot to put sugar in the wedding cake…could they be sued in civil court? On what basis? Perhaps the camera used by the photographer failed at the last moment and there were no recoverable photos. Could they be facing criminal charges and a civil liability for discrimination?

    There are many forms of protest that can be taken by people who are forced to do something that either goes against their personal beliefs or is perhaps something that they just do not want to do. Passive resistance will always be around, and to eliminate that right as an individual is not where we want to go.

  • floridahank

    How about if companies were to consider themselves a private company where they offered “memberships” to customers who wanted to do business with them.
    What would be the legal machinations to set up private organizations, businesses, agencies, etc. If they don’t accept Fed $$$, can they deal with “members” only?

  • Adrien Nash

    Freedom includes the unalienable right of free association, non-association, and voluntary interaction. The religiously pious have an absolute right to not associate with hedonists, adulterers, thieves, gangsters, prostitutes, drug dealers, and those who offend their conscience. They all have the right to remain apart, just like the Amish and the Muslims.

    Discrimination is the most fundamental element of life. By it we don’t eat or drink what is offensive to the taste buds, -don’t touch what is too hot, don’t wear what is uncomfortable, don’t play with others we wish to avoid, don’t seek romance from others we find offensive or unattractive to us. Our association choices are all voluntary, and that is Liberty.
    My grandmother owned a rental, and didn’t want to rent to Blacks, but anti-discrimination laws made her preference null and void, so I rented it to a nice young single Black mother. That did not involve association on my part. It involved allowance, not service. There is a world of difference between the two, just as there’s a world of difference between necessity and non-necessity.

    Humans must eat. They must sleep in a sheltered bed, (motel, hotel) and so businesses that meet human needs are different from businesses that meet no need whatsoever. Photography and catered weddings are not necessities in anyone’s view and therefore it is completely asinine to pretend that they absolutely must be treated the same as businesses that provide necessities.

    THAT is where the line exists and where it should be drawn. Anything beyond it is tyranny. Why? Because of the nature of Freedom. Behavior that is forced under threat of major negative consequences is behavior that is INVOLUNTARY. Wherever and whenever behavior is forced and involuntary, that is where Freedom has been crushed and tyranny enthroned.

    That is the road we are on and have been on for far too long. It may not be reversed but may accelerate in many jurisdictions, even nationwide (when the traitors on the Supreme Court impose their personal preferences on everyone else). Otherwise, in other jurisdictions, push-back is coming and hopefully it will accelerate until the difference between countries & States that defend freedom, and those who don’t becomes as stark as the difference between democratic Big City & State governments and their finances, and Conservative cities & States and theirs.

  • Donna E Turner

    Sorry Bernard. You are wrong. Freedom goes both ways. You are free to be gay and we are free to disapprove and not service your gayness.

    • Joel

      Agreed. One person’s freedom ends where another’s begins.

      Freedom should be about allowing gays to marry. Not about allowing gays to force others to repudiate their belief systems or validate those of groups with whom they do not agree.

  • Paul Vasek

    Although I wouldn’t deny a gay couple a cake, I certainly wouldn’t want to be forced to marry them. I can’t help but think the left and some gays are loving this all out assault on God and those who choose to follow HIm.

  • lbye

    Bernie,
    I am a Christian and have followed you on FOX news and your blog for a long time, but your anti-Christian bias is getting old. You appear to have enough INtolerance against Christians to circle the earth.

    Your personal definition of tolerance appears to be a one-way street: as long as it’s serving the desires of gays and lesbians, that’s fine. But Christians should just shut their mouths and do what the culture tells them, even if it contradicts their core values and beliefs. Isn’t that what you’re saying?

    In other words, Christians should just be “Sunday” Christians. Once outside the halls of Church, abandon or ignore their Christian principles or beliefs until the following Sunday. This is not religious freedom nor is it tolerance. Furthermore, that type of thinking makes for a completely anemic faith, but maybe that’s what people like yourself really desire to see?

    The gay couples mentioned in the situations above were not harmed by the Christian’s refusal to bake their wedding cake, or create their wedding day floral arrangements. There are plenty of bakers / florists who would gladly accommodate the gay couples’ requests. They were also turned away with a dignified refusal. It is mere bullying and politics by the gay couples to force these Christian business owners to betray their beliefs, or risk losing their business and / or pay substantial fines. How is that tolerant?

    In regards to Muslims refusing services to Christians based on their beliefs, as a Christian, I say that is their perogative. I would not force a Muslim to bake my wedding cake, or to design a floral arrangement for me if that was not his or her desire. In fact, I wouldn’t have asked a Muslim to perform these services in the first place. Why would a gay / lesbian couple want a Christian to perform these services if they find us so intolerant / abhorrent? Perhaps this has more to do with politics and silencing Christians then it does any perceived harm.

    As far as interracial marriages go, you really don’t know your Bible, Bernie. No where does the Bible forbid men and women of different ethnicities, nationalities, etc. to marry or form families. The specific prohibition is on believers marrying unbelievers, but even then, the believing spouse is to stay married to the unbelieving spouse in hopes that in time they do become believers of the same faith.

    Interracial marriage is also something I have first-hand knowledge of, as my dear sister is married to a (gasp!) Black man. And yes, they have three mixed-race children (another loud gasp!). And yes, they are both Christians, and believe homosexuality is wrong (all quiet – wait for more loud gasps!). I know, I know. Christians are supposed to hate everyone different from them. (Cue sarcasm)…..

    Neither my sister nor her husband, nor I hate homosexuals. In fact, I think the reverse is often true. Homosexuals and straight, pro-homosexuals like yourself often appear to hate practicing Christians. And why? Because the Christian faith is the last hold-out in our culture with any influence on public opinion, and it opposes the act of homosexuality.

    So, Bernie, if you want to have a debate, have at it, but don’t think that all of us Christians are just going to sit around mute while you and your like slander us and our faith.

  • davewin

    So! I run a business and I cannot decide who I want for a client?

    And you claim to be the torch bearer for World Freedom!

    Give me strength!

  • w

    I disagree with this article. JFK became the first modern President to separate what he believed from his role as a civil servant and America has been on a down hill slide ever sense. As a Christian, I cannot, and will not separate what I believe from who I am, and that includes being a citizen. If civil law violate my Faith I am bound to choose God’s Law over civil law. Sodomy has become the latest cause to celebrate and proclaim. The early Christians refused to burn incense to the emperor because it violated their conscience, modern Christians are bound by the same belief. Sodomy is still a sin, and civil law not with standing, and no person or government has the right to force me to co-operate with evil. Aristotle once said: “Tolerance is the last virtue of a dying civilization.” He was right then, and he is right today.

  • legal eagle

    No wonder the Republicans do so poorly with minorities….%0 years after its passage most people on this site still don’t agree with the Civil Rights Act…How sad that so much bigotry still exists in the United States…

  • TheGoodDoctor

    Legal eagle: You failed to comprehend the context — perhaps also the content — of what I wrote: it is distinctly not a whine but a laying claim to my choice as one person. Read again.

  • TheGoodDoctor

    Jim M: You may be right about Starbucks. What I know is that my integrity will be intact; I will yet contribute what is right to the economy of the nation; and that I will not suck my thumb or the national teat by feeing publicly sorry for my mistreated self.

  • Adrien Nash

    Is it April 1st already? Is this an exercise is saying the opposite of what one believes in order to provoke a heated defend of what one actually believes? Or is Bernie deceased and someone else has taken over his writing position?

    “refusing to do business with people, simply because your church doesn’t approve of their actions, is not only closed-minded – it’s also un-American.”

    Those words reveal three gigantic errors of thinking. “your church”… Are you really so ignorant of your own ancestry that you don’t know that the death penalty for sodomy was one created to keep the Hebrew nation pure from the vile practices of neighboring peoples?
    Are you ignorant that it was Hebrew Law established by Moses on behalf of a pure and holy God? Do you cling to a faith that Moses never existed? Then you must also cling to a faith that God does not exist, and thus nothing “unnatural” exists either. Why would you embrace such a faith? Our own nature tells us that many things are simply unacceptably repugnant, disgusting, and offensive.

    In Bernie’s world, all 500 lb. obese naturalists (nudists) have the right to be served at Bernie’s Restaurant in their full disgusting glory. And any patron of a pant-less persuasion would also have his rights protected. In other words, no disgusting behavior is allowed to be judged by our innate, involuntary, human revulsion response, including defecating in public. Nothing would be allowed to be offensive, -not to human nature nor to spiritual nature. And the command of God must carry zero weight in human society

    Next you will be defending the right of the Muslim Brotherhood to commission writers like yourself to author works supporting their belief that Jews are descendents of monkeys. In your Bizarro world, you wouldn’t have the right to refuse their desire for your service.

    As for “un-American”; your editorial is the most anti-American thing I’ve read in ages, if not ever. The Christian faithful who risked all to escape the very same sort of religious bigotry in Europe by attempting to create a new homeland in America shared an over-riding faithfulness to God instead of to man and his established, government dictated commands regarding matters of Holy Scripture and conscience.

    They came to America for Freedom. Now you are putting yourself and the government above the unalienable right of conscience in order to foster intolerance of the intolerance of the unacceptable.
    But in Bernie’s world, if I am of the no-bathing, (ever) persuasion, and you can smell me coming from 20 feet away, you must serve me in your restaurant because otherwise you are being intolerant or “bigoted” toward me and my kind. How dare you! What gives you the right! Nature doesn’t matter, -repugnance doesn’t matter, -conscience doesn’t matter, freedom of choice doesn’t matter, they’re banned and replaced by the iron-fist of big government and its Statist courts packed with atheists, homosexuals, socialists, secular humanists, etc…
    This is how tyranny is slowly imposed, -in the name of tolerance, the common good, the best intentions, end results, and to get to where the Statists want to take us, Freedom must be sacrificed on the alter of political correctness.

  • jlbrown7

    Well said, Bernie Goldberg! You used my arguments exactly.

    • Juan Motie

      Yes, Bernie did use your arguments exactly! All you bigoted Christian haters use the same infantile arguments, exactly, 100% of the time! Nothing original with you on the left – all hate and anger all the time, and if that doesn’t work y’all throw temper tantrums when you don’t get your way!

  • hope

    I though Americna prided herself on being the most tolerant and best nation on earth – or is it, only when people believe How I Believe????

    • legal eagle

      Bernie’s using the same argument of those who opposed the civil rights act….same old 45 year old garbage by the same old haters…

      • Jeff Webb

        Democrat haters, which you conveniently forgot.

        • Juan Motie

          Yes, the irrational and regressive leftist always forget to mention regarding the Civil Rights Act that it was the Democrats filibustering that legislation, and it was the Republicans working with LBJ, fighting to break the left’s filibuster that finally saw passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. So when they say it’s the same old haters, you are correct to say it’s the same old leftist haters.

          • Asemodeus

            Another historical revisionist. It wasn’t the democrats that filibustered it, it was Dixiecrats. Since, after all, it was a democratic president that signed the 1964 CRA into law.

          • Jeff Webb

            Are you aware of what Johnson said regarding signing the CRA? Did you know that a higher % of Republicans voted for it than democrats, and we’re not talking fringe democrats?

          • Asemodeus

            Again, it was the Dixiecrats, not the democrats. You are aware that there were more than two political parties back then.

  • rbblum

    Would a petite prostitute in Nevada not have the personal ‘right’ to deny services to a 666 pound patron . . . . because she fears the Beast ?

  • Proudly from Tennessee

    The problem is as Christians we do NOT leave our beliefs at the church doorstep! It is part of our being and our everyday life value system. We cannot in good conscience set those beliefs aside to do what we know is wrong. Sorry, if you see it as discrimination or bigotry but in our heart and mind it is not. That does not mean we are not kind to others who we disagree with, but we should not have to stuff our beliefs behind closed doors either!! I certainly agree with those shop owners who felt they could not deny their conscience in these matters. You are so wrong in your view and frankly I was shocked by it. There seems to be freedom of religion for everyone these days except the Christian. It was not very long ago that as a nation most were opposed to homosexual behavior because it is considered an abomination by God. But then again, we are fast becoming a godless nation!

    • hope

      whose value sysem are your talking about – are we not supposed to treat mankind kindly – is not that the golden rule – why don’t we keep religion in the many many religious institutions that abound in our country and not try to ensure tha everyone else believes as you believe?

      • Juan Motie

        Perhaps you can explain how refusing services to homosexual sodomites is making those homosexual sodomites “believe as you believe”! Refusing services because of deeply held religious, moral, and /or principled beliefs is not being unkind, nor does it violate the principles of the Golden rule.

        The value system being referred to is the individual who holds the value, whatever that value may be. Now, I know that the irrational illiberal regressive left feels their value system, what little of it there is, trumps all other belief systems in the universe. If we don’t bow down to the great God of irrational illiberal regressive leftism and according to people like you and Bernie we should be excommunicated from the human race!

    • legal eagle

      It is pure and simple bigotry….Explain any way you want but discrimination is discrimination…..

      • Helland

        I discriminate every day in my choices, of clothing to buy, where I shop for groceries, which route I take to another town, which people with whom I choose to associate, which restaurant I will patronize, and more. Discrimination does not imply immorality but freedom of choice.
        Your dislike of my freedom of choice…..that is bigotry.

    • Missouri

      Very well said. Obama believed marriage was between a man and a women until he “evolved”. Just because he changed his viewpoint and now condones it doesn’t mean the rest of us should be forced to follow his lead.

  • STEVE B

    WHEN I AM UNCOMFORTABLE IN ANY STORE, OR DON’T LIKE THEIR BELIEFS, I GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. THERE ARE PLENTY OF PHOTOGRAPHERS AND BAKERIES THAT THE GAYS COULD HAVE GONE TO. THEY TOOK THIS OPPORTUNITY TO STICK THEIR DEGENERATE WAYS IN THE FACES OF PEOPLE WHO DON’T AGREE WITH THEM.

  • JBubs

    Bernie, this is a failed attempt at satire, yes?
    If not, you are then guilty of conflating behavior (marriage) with genetics (race). More to the essential point, you have agreed to the absurdity of redefining a LEGAL concept (marriage) a concept rooted NOT in religion, but in biology: If humans were hermaphrodites, as many species are, the legal concept of marriage, which is the union between the 2 complimentary sexes established IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF THE OFFSPRING, would not exist.
    Bernie, I am giving you a chance to consider 1) the validity of my argument (and the other excellent arguments on this page) and 2) to reconsider the paucity of your argument, or it is good-bye.

    • Jim Maxedon

      Laws of public accommodation include religion which is also a behavior, not genetics.

      • JBubs

        Read my post again, please. That is not what I argued. Besides, public accommodation laws (the Civil Rights Act) state that no one can be discriminated against to access and enjoy a public place on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin. Since a business is (first) a private entity that (second) serves the public, the only way to accept your statement is to juxtapose the definition of “private entity” with “public place” so it means both things at the same time, just like what happened to “marriage”. Then it can be regulated and litigated against, just like “marriage”. Even so, I don’t see how “marriage” (same-sex or otherwise) can be grounded in “race, color, religion, or national origin”. I argued that real marriage evolved from human biology, which is science, which is reality. Hey, if some goof-balls want to engage in fantasy, fine. But the moment they start passing laws to force others with more rational views to PARTICIPATE in said fantasy, we have got a big problem. Don’t think so? Be patient.

        • Asemodeus

          “Read my post again, please. That is not what I argued.”

          That is exactly what you argued. Civil rights in this country are not limited to immutable biological traits, no matter how hard you pretend otherwise.

  • somewhiteguyintexas

    As usual, Mr. Goldberg, I agree with what you are saying, but this time for a different reason. I think we are going down the right path because generating anger and hatred against gays is a GREAT thing. There is no question in my mind that we need to return to the days when gays were very scared of admitting to even the closest of their friends that they were gay, and this path of divisiveness being forced on our society is an ingenious way to do it. Really, the end game is that gays need to be taught a lesson and our courts are making that happen. Bravo to you for cheering them on!

  • Red fox 45

    There isn’t a Muslim alive that would photograph a Christian ceremony. And compelling him to do so would be unjust. A business is a private enterprise, at least it used to be when this was the land of the free.

    • Jim Maxedon

      “There isn’t a Muslim alive that would photograph a Christian ceremony.”

      Bulls**t. Private enterprises must obey all laws. Once it provides services to the public at large, it is subject to laws of accommodation.

    • JimnJan

      Whether this is a true statement or not, I certainly would not force a Muslim to photograph a Christian wedding if he or she deemed it to be a violation of the Muslim beliefs. I am quite certain as well that we would struggle to find any Christian who would want to force such an act. Your point is well taken.

  • TheGoodDoctor

    And by the way…I am a gun owner and practice carrying from time to time as I see fit: Starbucks now suggests they will not prohibit me from buying their coffee (get that? BUY their coffee) but they would prefer I arrive unarmed when on my way to (e.g.) the bank or wherever else I consider being armed a measure of good sense. I take my business elsewhere — minus $5.00 for Starbucks, +$2.50 for someone else with coffee not one iota less tasty. Both homosexual persons and gun owners can do “friends” a good turn by shopping at their places of business and not where we are not wanted.

    • Jim Maxedon

      I imagine Starbucks will easily make up for your lost business with people who agree with them.

      • Jeff Webb

        The same could be said for bakeries opposed to same-sex marriage, right?

        • Jim Maxedon

          I don’t see the comparison. Gun owners are not banned.

          • Juan Motie

            Of course you wouldn’t see the comparison! You are an irrational illiberal regressive leftist! Reason enough for you not to see the comparison!

    • legal eagle

      Starbucks did not prohibit anything….stop with the whining…

  • theFantom

    Let’s wrinkle this up a bit. Does it matter if the vendor sells generic potato chips and off-the-shelf cakes versus one that has more of an artistic bent? Do people really want unique services that have been coerced?

    Say the wedding photographer accepts the same-sex wedding and does a lousy job. Lawsuit? The baker makes a cake but uses yellow frosting instead of blue. Lawsuit?

    Do people in a once-in-a-lifetime event (don’t laugh!) really want to trust people who have been coerced into action? Would anyone want the services of someone they know aren’t 100 percent on-board? I wouldn’t.

    Rann Paul got into a mess early on when he was asked about right-to-service laws. From his Constitutional understanding, the answer was that people do have a right to refuse service. However, with our history of institutional racism at the time, this was found to be intolerable. Perhaps the difference is that back then, no one would serve blacks. Today, many people would gladly bake the cake.

    I don’t know if that is enough for a legal status but it might pass the common sense test.

    • Asemodeus

      “Do people really want unique services that have been coerced?”

      How do you coerce people into a business contract?

      • theFantom

        Isn’t that the point we’ve been discussing? A baker who didn’t want to bake for a same-sex wedding was forced out of business. A wedding photographer who didn’t want to shoot a same-sex wedding was fined $6000 by the State for refusing to work for the (un)happy couple.

        • Asemodeus

          ” A baker who didn’t want to bake for a same-sex wedding was forced out of business.”

          Again, how do you coerce someone into a business contract.

          In case you were unaware, you need a business contract to run a business. Within that contract they were well aware of the anti-discrimination laws and how they would apply to them.

          What you are basically advocating is that Christians are allowed to break contracts, that they signed into willingly, without repercussions.

  • TheGoodDoctor

    There are other flower shops, there are other photographers who would serve those homosexuals (etc.) who fel they are in need of such services. So what if one commercial enterprise of another will not serve such a person or couple. Hurt feelings? Let them turn that into feeling superior if they would: take your business elsewhere: e.g, there are thousands of restaurants and bars across the USA that will not serve shirtless or shoeless men or women: no one complains about that for more than an instant, and then turns on the heel and marches to another establishment that will serve them. NO policeman on the beat will defend the would-be patron (I know, I’ve tried several times on both coasts and in fly-over country.) What makes being homosexual different? Sex practices. One such practice is pretending deep and abiding emotional offense when someone will not cater to them. So what? Make others richer by just so much money by taking dollars to their shops. Problem solved. Everyone happy. But…Nope! “We the homosexuals and other practitioners of a different set of practices)…” must be elevated to pre-eminence in the society. Hogwash.

  • Walt

    A business owner should have the right to refuse anyone he or she so wishes. If a drunk walks into a bar and demands a drink, the bartender has the right to refuse that person for being intoxicated and a risk to others. If a business owner refuses service to a minority, they may be protecting their business from others who don’t agree with state laws and risk retaliation and destruction…

    • legal eagle

      Thank you Mr. Bigot…..

      • Celsius1939a

        You know, I was going to thank you, but I cannot think of an adequate word to describe you. I do know that calling other people names is the mark of an ignorant fool.

  • Jim Pell

    Legislating with a very slim majority, and employing corrupt tactics insulting to opponents, as with ObamaCare, is the cause of the grave political polarity and gridlock that we see today. The government prosecutes these christian individuals because they easily can do so; a corrupt government is far more reluctant to prosecute, say, a secretary of state, or a black panther, or a Chicago gangster, because it can easily avoid these unpleasantries. A self-governing society ought to respect its individual members and their mores, not seek to crush them by brute force. These are clearly examples of “the tyranny of the majority.”

    • legal eagle

      Black Panther? LOL

  • Helland

    In the case of a micro-business(i.e. family-owned or owner-operated) their investment, their labor, their risks, their responsibility, their taxes…….their morals, and rules are appropriate..

    • legal eagle

      This is America….you cannot discriminate against gays, Jews, Muslims Hindus or anyone else….If you feel you have to then you will be sued or prosecuted…Those are the rules…If you don’t like the rules then close your bigoted business…

      • Jeff Webb

        Damn straight! Equal treatment for all, except for rich people and conservatives, that is.

        • legal eagle

          Oh those poor oppressed conservatives….victimized at every turn…

          • Jeff Webb

            Nice defense of discrimination, Hatred-boy.

      • Helland

        And should someone enter a business stinking and dirty from work or wearing dungarees when formal attire is more appropriate?

  • http://unseenmoon.wordpress.com/ Felipe Zapata

    If your business does not receive tax money, you should be able to decide with whom you do business. And that goes for Mohammedans who don’t want to do business with Christians too. It should apply to everyone. Government, more and more, should butt out.

    • legal eagle

      That’s not the law…..

      • http://unseenmoon.wordpress.com/ Felipe Zapata

        Of course, it is not, which is why they are bad laws.

  • sjangers

    Disagreements like this could benefit from a little more tolerance and a little less sense of entitlement on both sides. If I’m a business owner and really am not comfortable serving customers in specific situations, why should I be compelled to do so if the customer can reasonably get the product or service they desire somewhere else? On the other hand, if I’ve chosen to go into business as a caterer, or florist, or mechanic, why should it make any difference to whom who I sell my food, flowers or skills? A little tolerance on both sides could go a long way toward preventing ridiculous disputes and the need for government interference in what should be essentially private transactions.

    If I want to marry a person of the same sex, why should it matter if a specific florist, caterer, etc. doesn’t want to work my wedding, so long as I can reasonably get the same products and services elsewhere? I can go to someone else who does want to do business with me. Then I can tell all my friends and family, or take out a full-page ad in the newspaper if I want, letting everyone know that such-and-such a businessperson refused to do business with me on account of my beliefs, sexual orientation or whatever, and that another business person was very accommodating and did a great job with their service. Let the community sort it out and help the businessperson decided whether or not his sort of discrimination is good business practice. The only circumstances that might involve the power of the state should be enforcement of existing contracts or situations where the discriminatory behavior causes a legitimate harm or hardship.

    Once the government starts getting involved in enforcing how a businessman, or any citizen, must behavior in semi-public interactions, it opens the door for all sorts of spurious injustices. If my partner and I want a baker to make us a wedding cake in the shape of a same-sex couple engaged in a sexual act (with a tasteful fig leaf to avoid any violation of decency laws) and the baker refuses the business due to the nature of the product, have I been discriminated against and should the baker be punished? If a boutique butcher shop is run by Muslims and they refuse to sell pork, can an artificially outraged customer claim that they are being discriminated against because their butcher won’t sell them a meat that is available in most butcher shops? If I’m a marketing specialist, can a prospective customer enlist the power of the state to force me to design an advertising campaign for something I really don’t believe in? If I’m a gay worker (and why should a person selling their labor in the public market be treated any different from a business owner in regard to discrimination) and my company suddenly decides they are going to produce products that are critical of the gay lifestyle, should I be compelled to continue to sell my labor to my company and help produce something that offends my sensibilities?

    Except in instances where behavior is doing fairly clear and direct harm to others, and where the proposed mitigation of that harm doesn’t result in even greater harm to some or all of the public, let the government stay out of the marketplace and let the marketplace regulate itself. There will be instances of injustice, to be sure, but nothing to compare with the injustice of powerful government compelling rather specific behaviors on private citizens that contravene their personal beliefs and values.

    Please rethink your position on this issue, Bernie. It doesn’t happen often, but this time you got it wrong.

    • Ivals

      Very good and thought provoking comments. Your comments highlight the fact that any private business owner could be easily setup for a potential lawsuit or harassment as a minimum. I agree the purpose of government is to protect individuals from physical or financial harm but to force a business to provide precisely what an individual may want is in itself intolerance. Refer to the caption at the top of the article: Intolerance will not be tolerated. The country has too many laws and too many lawyers!

      • legal eagle

        The Civil Rights Act id almost 50 years old….stop whining…

        • Ivals

          Bias must be in play because you missed my point.

    • Jim Maxedon

      Yes, don’t we all want to live in a country where certain people are second-class citizens who can be turned away on the whim of a vendor. Jim Crow, good times. America the beautiful!

      • sjangers

        Read my entire post and then think a little bit, Jim. That’s not what I’m advocating at all. I am suggesting that the balance has swung too far in the direction of government involvement in regulating the private and semi-private behaviors of citizens, and that more harm than good is often done in the way we reach to identify new classes of victims and the victimizing behaviors of others.

        A little common sense seems in order. We aren’t living in the Sixties any more; or the Seventies and Eighties, for those concerned about gay rights. We are living in a very diverse culture where the beliefs and behaviors of some make others very uncomfortable. Why force those who are uncomfortable to either bend to the will of others or stay completely out of the marketplace? Particularly when so many other options are usually available today to people of all races, creeds, value systems, and behaviors.

        • Jim Maxedon

          The balance was OK when it was blacks, Jews, or Italians, but once it included gays it went too far? To discriminate against anyone because of who they are makes them a second-class citizen.

          • sjangers

            There are people who discriminate against me because I’m male, white, over fifty, wear glasses, am overweight, and advocate moderate political and social positions, Jim. I don’t feel like that makes me a second-class citizen and I don’t feel entitled to government assistance in those circumstances. I am able to get what I need to survive, be relatively free, and pursue my version of happiness despite any discriminatory interactions with some in the community.

            If discrimination did me any real harm, harm that I couldn’t mitigate any other way, then I might ask the government for support. But I can get what I need out of life despite those who won’t hire me, serve me, work for me, lend me money, or who sneer at me and don’t want to interact with me for any of the reasons listed above. And I think that’s true for most people in our country today. So I don’t see any need to involve the coercive power of government to bring about more favorable circumstances for me. I know that power will be used as a blunt instrument and will inevitably harm others in the process, and it really isn’t necessary for me to live my life in a manner that’s satisfactory to me.

          • Jim Maxedon

            “There are people who discriminate against me because I’m male, white,
            over fifty, wear glasses, am overweight, and advocate moderate political
            and social positions, Jim.”

            Do they provide goods and services to the public but not you? Because unless that’s the case, that is irrelevant to this discussion.

            Isn’t it curious that nobody really had any serious problem with laws of public accommodation until it started applying to homosexuals? Now it’s fine to discriminate against blacks, Jews, Italians, AND gays.

          • sjangers

            I can’t say that I’ve ever been prevented from receiving goods or services due to discrimination, although there have been occasions when access has been made more difficult. On the other hand, I have been in situations where I haven’t been hired for one or more of these reasons. Why do you think it’s okay to discriminate in hiring but not when providing goods and services. I think both are relevant to any discussion about stereotyping, discrimination, and the harm it does to individuals and society.

            As someone who grew up in the Sixties and Seventies, I can tell you that there was once a lot of opposition to laws requiring public accommodation of all races, ethnicities and genders. It isn’t much in evidence today because attitudes in our society have evolved, but it was once a serious problem.

            The issues with LGBT people are a little more complex for a number of reasons that we don’t have room to address here. But attitudes are evolving. I’m just concerned that pushing too hard for protections, particularly in a punitive way and when the necessity for protection isn’t clear to many people, runs the risk of creating backlash and possibly some backward movement in public attitudes. That’s one reason I’d strongly encourage any individual or group that feels discriminated against to question first whether or not there’s a real need to invoke the coercive power of government or if the problem can be adequately resolved by other means. The heavy-handed use of government power, especially if many people are questioning the necessity, could end up doing more harm than good.

          • Jim Maxedon

            It is NOT OK nor legal to discriminate in hiring. If you were not hired because you were white, you have a case.

            It may also not be much in evidence today because people have come to understand and value of public accommodation laws that protect minorities against inequality and harm.

            Requiring that businesses treat minorities equally is not punitive any more than requiring a restaurant to maintain a clean kitchen is punitive.

            Apparently many constituents at the state and local level have already told their legislators that there is a real need to protect gays against discrimination, and sexual orientation has been added to the list. How is that heavy-handed?

            And that’s good preventing harm.

          • sjangers

            We can talk about discriminatory business practices that may or may not be handled best by government response or by the marketplace, but that would probably turn into a pretty lengthy conversation, Jim. I tend to look at what does the least harm, aware that coercion will always cause at least some harm and that the power of government seems particularly susceptible to the law of unintended consequences.

            If there were clear evidence that members of the LGBT community were being harmed by discrimination, and that the problem couldn’t be adequately resolved by other means, then I see a role for government. I simply don’t see it in the part of the country where I live. And based on what I knew about the cases cited in Bernie’s column, it seems that there are instances where government intervention might more intrusive and harmful than the circumstances warrant.

            Maybe you or others have evidence that there are more than isolated instances in the country where discrimination against LGBT people is doing real harm that can’t be prevented without government involvement. I’d listen to that evidence. I only know that I haven’t seen the need where I live or in general reporting from around the country.

            I do see more than a few instances where protected status is being used like a club to punish those who don’t share the same set of values, as well as some stirrings of resentment against excessive use of government power. That could lead to harm much greater than whatever is presently being prevented by existing laws. I think a thorough and open-minded discussion about what’s really necessary (as opposed to what some would like) to adequately protect the fundamental rights of minority groups might be in order.

          • Jim Maxedon

            If I were black and I was denied service at Denny’s because I was black, I would be embarrassed, humiliated, and angry. I would feel like a second-class citizen. I would be mentally harmed and a nation that believes in “justice for all” would be harmed by the injustice of such discrimination.

            Why wouldn’t a gay person denied a service because they are gay feel the same way? And why wouldn’t the harm be just as unjust?

            Based on what I’m reading in these comments, a lot of people would have no problem with denying people service for reasons of race, religion, national origin or sexual orientation. Therefore, it seems clear to me that the civil laws (not heavy handed) barring discrimination are as necessary today as they ever were.

          • sjangers

            To be honest with you, Jim, I don’t think the government needs to be involved just because I feel bad. The same goes for anyone else. We all experience similar feelings at various times throughout our lives, often for reasons that have nothing to do with discrimination, and we need to learn how to cope with that kind of emotional stress without expecting the police or court system to come to our rescue. Behavior that deliberately offends and causes emotional distress is another matter, or behavior that denies individuals access to things that are necessary for a reasonable life, but we all feel bad about being rejected at times. We have to handle that on our own or through family, friends, and the community. Our government isn’t intended to guarantee us happiness, just the opportunity to pursue it.

            Your second point, in my opinion, is more valid. When individuals act, and are treated, in ways that undermine our nation’s core values there is real harm. I’m not sure that harm rises to a level that requires government intervention, and I’m not sure the value expressed necessarily extends, or is intended to extend, to all interactions among individuals in our society. But it is a legitimate concern and something I wouldn’t dismiss. It’s food for thought.

            I’m not certain I’m reaching the same conclusions as you about the comments here from others. I don’t think most commenters are saying they would deny people service for the reasons expressed, only that they believe they should have the freedom to do so. There’s a difference. While there are always a few outliers in every group, most of the people who share their opinions here tend to be decent and fair-minded individuals. Many just believe that they should have the freedom to regulate their own behavior in all but extreme circumstances, without government interference.

          • Jim Maxedon

            Maybe not all interactions among individuals in our society, but certainly commercial interactions at a business that serves the general public.

            You don’t think that being turned away from a restaurant because one is black is not deliberate, offensive, and causes emotional distress?

            There is a difference between rejection and discrimination.

            Commercial activity is regulated by many factors outside the proprietor’s personal choice. Clean kitchens, accurate money exchange, safe working conditions, alcohol service, are just a few examples. All these things are regulated by “government interference”.

          • sjangers

            I understand that our government does have broader powers to regulate commerce than most other kinds of interactions among individuals in our society. But I also understand that the definition of commerce has expanded a great deal since the early years of the republic.

            Without going off on an extended rant, I will just ask if you’re aware of exactly how intrusive government is today in the process through which even sole proprietors do business. The range of regulations one must know and obey, and the consequences for disobedience, are enough to keep most sane people from ever wanting to open their own business. We really do need to get out of the way much more than we do today and let people with a good commercial idea have some latitude within which to bring their ideas to the market. We need to recognize that in our ambition to alleviate all harm in the marketplace we end up doing the much greater harm of choking the life out of what has been historically a principal engine of progress for our society.

            So while I agree that requiring restaurants to maintain certain standards of cleanliness, fair exchange of currency, and safe working conditions are important and necessary areas for government involvement (because setting standards in these areas has been proven to prevent much greater harm), I do think we need to give more thought to how we educate business owners around meeting those standards. We need to turn the regulatory process into a collaboration that benefits all except those business that deliberately seek to be predatory or indifferent to the safety of their workers and customers.

            Treatment of social minorities is actually an unwanted stepchild of the commercial regulatory process. It isn’t necessarily the natural area in which to engage in social engineering. It was just convenient because government already had the ability to extend its influence in this area. So government took advantage of its broader powers to regulate commerce to enforce its will on citizens who engage in business. Now, in addition to all their other concerns, most business owners have to worry about whether or not they might offend a customer who belongs to a protected group. And some members of protected groups realize that they have a lot of leverage in dealing with businesses because of their special status. Unethical behaviors exist in all walks of life. And in this particular area most of the power is in the hands of certain customers because they know they have the full force of the government behind them. It’s an unequal and harmful situation as long as the scope of governmental power in this area remains so broad and unbalanced.

            Finally, not to hammer too hard at a point I’ve already made, many things cause people emotional distress. I sympathize with a person of color, or with a disability, or with a different belief system, who is made to feel like their difference causes others to view them as inferior. But I know that we all have similar bad feelings in many situations in our lives. We have to find a way to manage that stress through our own resources. Government is involved enough in our lives without having a SWAT Team show up to help us every time we feel bad.

          • Jim Maxedon

            Commerce is buying and selling goods or services. It was that way in the 1780s and it is the same now.

            Businesses seem to do pretty well these days. In fact when surveyed about a year ago their number one concern wasn’t “uncertainty” or “regulations”. It was lack of demand.

            I see no evidence that businesses are in danger of having the life choked out of them due to laws of accommodation. All they have to do to eliminate any danger is simply serve the public. What could be simpler?

            Government doesn’t “enforce its will” on anybody. It enforces the will of the people.

            Businesses should have no worries about offending anybody as long as they treat everyone the same. How simple is that?

            Do you have any evidence that “some members” of protected groups have abused their protected status? Have they done any more than legitimately seek redress when discriminated against?

            People can believe that others are inferior. That by itself is bigotry, not discrimination. But the effect of discrimination is more than a “bad feeling” or stress. It’s injustice. The Pledge of Allegiance ends with “justice for all”. That’s an American value that should be embraced.

          • sjangers

            Actually, Jim, the Commerce Clause of the Constitution has been used repeatedly during the course of our history to broaden the scope of federal power. It isn’t so much a matter of what commerce “is”- as you point out, with the exception of increased technology, that really hasn’t changed much in over two hundred years- it’s a question of what “commerce” is interpreted to mean in relationship to the involvement of the federal government in private affairs. That has changed dramatically in two hundred years.

            I won’t debate the impact of regulation- all regulation, as I stated in my previous post, not just laws of accommodation- on the health of American enterprise. We don’t have enough time or space available for one of us to bring the other around to another point of view. Let’s just agree that for every survey or study you can find that supports your point of view, I can find another that supports mine. I’m afraid that’s just surveys and the mutable nature of opinion, as well as the way the questions are asked and answers are interpreted.

            What I can tell you, as someone who has owned his own business, helped others manage their businesses, and worked many years in a field that was heavily regulated by the government (they were paying for a lot of the work we were doing), is that regulatory efforts to manage outcomes, while frequently ensuring against “bad” outcomes, usually comes at the cost of achieving few “good” outcomes as well as a great deal of wasted time and effort on regulatory processes. The documented decline of American competitiveness in the global marketplace over the past fifty years can be attributed to many factors. The expanding reach of government involvement in private sector business activities is certainly one of them.

            I don’t even know where to begin to address your naïve assumption that all government activity is explicitly endorsed by the people. Let’s just enjoy a good chuckle about that one. That way I won’t be laughing at you, I’ll be laughing with you.

            Your statement about how businesses should treat customers is also a little naïve. It’s commendable in principle, but all customers aren’t treated the same because customers don’t want to be treated the same. Each customer has their own expectation for what the business interaction will do for them. Sometimes customers are very reasonable and business owners are unreasonable. Sometimes customers are very unreasonable, despite the best efforts of a business to accommodate them.

            To fall back on examples similar to the ones mentioned in Bernie’s column, sometimes a business owner says “I just refuse to serve homosexuals” (or words to that effect). Sometimes the business owner is willing to serve the customer until confronted with a demand for a wedding cake in the shape of a same-sex couple engaging in sexual activity or that all hired help at the wedding will wear tutus (sorry about the stereotype). A smart business owner knows how to deflect this sort of business without exposing himself or herself to discrimination lawsuits, but not all business owners are experienced with that sort of situation. This is where the government effort to regulate and treat all businesses and all customers the same inevitably falls apart. All people aren’t the same. Neither are all situations. Trying to treat them all the same inevitably results in unfairness, confusion, and wasted time and money. That’s part of the reason I prefer not to see government involvement unless there is a specific need, the stakes are high, and there is no other way to resolve the problem.

            I’m going to turn your next question on you before I answer. Do you have any evidence that no member of a civil rights protected group has ever abused their status? Human nature is human nature. People are trying to bend the rules for their own benefit all the time. Are you certain this never happens with protected groups?

            And to answer your question: Yes. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve overheard and been a part of conversations (sometimes letters and e-mail) in which individuals have discussed using protected status to “trap” organizations and individuals in “violations” of civil rights. I won’t say that some of these organizations and individuals didn’t deserve the treatment, but I’m also not comfortable in saying that the behavior of the protected individuals or their advocates was completely ethical.

            Your final paragraph makes some good emotional arguments. Something to keep in mind is that the Pledge of Allegiance, while advocating justice for all, may not intend that advocacy beyond the relationship of the government to the people. I’m not sure the sentiment was intended to cover all interaction between private citizens, or else the government would step in and insure perfect justice. That very Pledge contains the source of potential conflict within itself, in adjacent clauses. Because the pursuit of justice for all, if interpreted too broadly, could interfere with the equal promise of that “nation, under God” of liberty for all. You embrace one value too firmly and you find yourself undermining an equally important value promised by that nation.

            We need to remain aware of the need to balance competing interests and values. My solution is to limit government’s involvement to those circumstances where its absolutely necessary.

          • Jim Maxedon

            A commercial transaction available to the public at large is not a “private affair”.

            The health of American enterprise seems pretty good considering the stock market.

            The decline of American competitiveness could just as well be attributed to the fact that China, India, Brazil and other countries have become more competitive as their societies modernize and their markets expand.

            Your two paragraphs about customers’ proclivities or expectations is simply a red herring. The point of accommodation is providing the same service to one customer that it would provide to any other. Nobody can invoke an accommodation law because a restaurant only serves one flavor of ice cream.

            Nobody can prove a negative, so your turning my question around is illogical.

            How can anyone trap a vendor into a violation?

            The pledge refers to “the Republic”. Republicanism includes the concept that the government is accountable to the law and citizens are also accountable to the law. Thus, “justice for all” is not limited to the government.

            “Under God” was not originally in the Pledge.

            The Constitution requires that the government provide for and promote the general welfare by which accommodation laws would clearly qualify.

          • sjangers

            So correct me if I’m wrong, Jim, but you seem to be suggesting that anything that happens in our society that potentially can happen again involving one of the original parties and a new party is, by definition, susceptible to government involvement, and that there doesn’t need to be any compelling reason for involvement beyond the desire of some parties to utilize the power of government to influence outcomes.

            I don’t agree with your interpretation of what is public versus private, and certainly not with your contention that any public interest in influencing outcomes is sufficient to trigger government involvement. I’ve already discussed in previous posts the unfortunate consequences of that level of government engagement.
            Health of the American economy won’t be adequately measured by one factor. Look at things like employment rate and balance of trade. Those indicators suggest cause for concern.

            Some valid examples of reasons for decline of American competitiveness. I’ve already acknowledged that the expanding reach of government involvement in private business isn’t the sole reason we are less competitive than we were fifty years ago. But it is one of them.

            I’m afraid I won’t engage on your argument about customer motivations and behaviors. There just isn’t enough time and space to offer the examples that would make the case. You either get it or you don’t. If you see all commercial transactions the same then I guess you have no problem with the government ensuring that there are no aberrations. If you’ve lived in the real world a while, and have seen that this isn’t the case, you might have some insight into why a government using its power to ensure that all transactions are the same might cause some problems.

            Sorry about asking you to prove a negative, but you seemed to be asking a pretty unreasonable question. Do you seriously believe that civil rights protections have never been used for other than their intended purpose? I wasn’t going to do the research on that one, only to have you find some other reason to dismiss my argument. I did offer you examples from my personal experience and you still weren’t willing to accept the point. You might as well have called me a liar. Had I anticipated that, I’d have asked you to disprove three negatives.

            One idea of the “trap” is to take advantage of situational overload (e.g., perceived conflicts among a variety of factors) in the hope that the business or target loses track of, or perhaps never be aware of, the critical factor: that they’re dealing with a person in a protected class. If they fail to make sufficient accommodation they can find themselves in a very vulnerable position.

            The rest of your post, about the Pledge of Allegiance, only makes vague and very loosely connected points so, uh, yeah…. although I am curious about exactly how far you think the government should go to promote the general welfare. Who decides what constitutes the general welfare? What remedies are available when “the general welfare” has a significant negative impact on my welfare? Or, more importantly, on yours? Exactly how much power do you want to put in the hands of the federal government? How would you feel about that question if Rick Santorum becomes our next president and Tea Party Republicans gain solid control over both houses of Congress?

          • Jim Maxedon

            I’m correcting you. You are wrong. In fact, I don’t even understand what you think it is that I’m suggesting?

            I don’t have a definition of what is public vs. private that I made up. Federal, state, and local governments define these terms and I have cited them.

            I don’t understand what you think the health of the American economy has to do with this subject.

            If I conceded that the US economy was less competitive because of regulation, I would then ask you if safer consumers, safer workers, and safer and cleaner environments aren’t a worthy trade off.

            I never said every that every business transaction was the same. That’s yet another straw man. I said that every customer should be provided the same goods and services as any other customer assuming they are wearing shirts and shoes.

            I can’t say that laws of accommodation have never been used for other than their intended purpose. But unless you can show that the unintended uses are more than a very small fraction of a percent of all of the cases, then your claim carries no weight. Should we not protect 99 people if one person abuses that protection?

            The people’s representatives decide what constitutes the general welfare and the Supreme Court decides how far they can go.

            If Santorum and the Tea Party took power, I would thank God that Obama has been able to appoint justices to the Supreme Court.

          • sjangers

            Don’t worry about it, Jim. I also have no idea what you’re suggesting. You seemed to be taking a pretty broad view of what constitutes “commerce” and “public”, hence permitting government involvement. I was just looking for some clarification around exactly where you think the boundary might exist between “public” and “private”, and where the prospect for government involvement might be decreased.

            You were trying to impose a technical definition of “public” versus “private” that confused an earlier point I had been making. For the sake of my discussion, and it’s a fairly common distinction in political science, I was using “private” to describe activities among private citizens and non-government entities. You were apparently trying to tie “public” to anything that wasn’t strictly between two individuals, perhaps in the privacy of their own home, and that usage distorted my argument and the points I was trying to make.

            Health of the American economy was something I brought into the discussion much earlier to make the point that public accommodation and laws requiring special treatment for protected classes do come with social costs. It’s part of the calculus involved in determining whether or not the good done by laws or regulations is worth the cost. You felt the need to correct me on some of my assertions, I corrected you back, you corrected me some more, etc. And that’s how the American economy became a part of the discussion. Aren’t you glad you asked?

            Your next question is exactly my point in bringing the economy into the picture in the first place. The both is a cost and a benefit with most regulation, or at least there’s the perception that there will be a benefit. One of my points has been that it’s worth examining, and re-examining at a later date, what is the benefit and has it been worth the cost.

            The next point could get very complicated if we tried to follow it to its conclusion. Let’s not. But you did imply that however transactions might not be the same was a distinction without a difference. My point is that sometimes the distinction makes a big difference. Reasonable people may differ. But if you or I are ever in a position where we’re making decisions about law and regulation that could affect people’s lives, it would probably be a responsible thing if we took a much closer look at this issue and didn’t just casually dismiss different perspectives. But because I really can’t let this point go completely, I’ll note that not every customer wants exactly what other customers want. A business that tries to provide cookie cutter goods or services is going to find its market limited. And if it begins to offer goods and services that are somewhat different, in order to meet customer demands, that’s where trying to define exactly what’s going on becomes very difficult, and trying to offer a government one-size-fits-all solution can become rather unfair.

            I don’t need to show that any significant portion of those who take advantage of civil rights laws do so for other than their intended purpose. What I need to demonstrate is that it happens and that its cost outweighs the benefits of the laws and regulations that lead to the cost. If many businesses or private individuals in the country have a reasonable concern that they may be harmed by specious civil rights claims, and that the cost of protecting themselves against the perceived threat is X, then X is part of the cost of the laws and regulations. It doesn’t matter how many people may be abusing the process. What matters is the societal cost of the abuse.

            We may have some minor disagreement about the completeness of the two points you make in your seventh paragraph, but not bad! Certainly close enough for government work.

            The point in your final paragraph might provide some reassurance, but it doesn’t really answer my question. You appear to be comfortable entrusting a lot of power to impact the lives of private citizens in the hands of our government. Are you really that confident? What might happen if President Obama hadn’t been able to appoint his justices? What would happen if two terms of Santorum were followed by a two-term Genghis Khan presidency? You’re comfortable with the amount of power that government wields today, presumably because your comfortable with the philosophical direction of that government. But government occasionally endure dramatic and prolonged shifts in control, for a variety of reasons. It might not always work out to your satisfaction. Do you see the benefits of government power today as so great that they outweigh the cost if people who don’t share your philosophy gain control of the reigns of power for any extended period of time?

          • Jim Maxedon

            It’s not broad at all. Commerce is buying and selling goods and services. Public means the general public as opposed to members of a club or church. A bar or restaurant at a restricted membership golf club would be private. A book store that sells only to members of a church is private. Both are not subject to laws of public accommodation because they don’t serve the public at large. Any business, privately-owned, owned by stockholders, or run by the government that DOES serve the public at large is NOT a private business and is subject to laws of public accommodation. This has nothing to do with private interactions between two people. It has to do with businesses and who they serve.

            Laws of public accommodation DO NOT require special treatment for protected classes or for anyone else. They require, and the whole point is, that protected classes are treated the same as anyone else. There should be no cost to this.

            Laws of accommodation have been examined and re-examined for at least fifty years. From the comments on this thread it is clear that a lot of people today think it’s perfectly fine for businesses to discriminate against people on the basis of race, creed, national origin, and sexual orientation as long as there is someplace else to go. I think this proves the laws are still relevant and necessary.

            The particulars of what one customer or another wants in a transaction are of no consequence. It doesn’t make a difference if someone wants vanilla and another wants chopped nuts. That’s not accommodation. It only matters that the ice creamery sells what whatever it has to whoever wants it and has the coin to buy it (and a shirt and shoes). That is accommodation. This idea of cookie cutter goods, customer demands, and one size fits all is completely irrelevant and beside the point to accommodation. It’s completely off track.

            How can you determine that the costs outweigh the benefits if you don’t know the incidence of abuse? How could you say that any business’s concern is reasonable?

            Laws of accommodation only impact “private citizens” who are unjustly discriminated against.

            I don’t fear the government. I’ve been around for decades, and I haven’t ever feared the government. I lived through Nixon, Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43. I didn’t like any of them and I didn’t like most of the justices they picked. But I never questioned their legitimacy, nor tried to get them out of office by other than electoral means. I always new that there would be an election and that the pendulum would eventually swing my way. If people fear the government, they must think the Constitution is feckless.

            I don’t believe our nation would elect Genghis Khan. And if they did, I don’t believe his hordes would populate the Capitol. Regardless, if the Constitution is worth the paper it’s written on, Khan would be out of office in eight years or less.

            Elections have consequences. I didn’t like the results of some of them, but I never doubted that a president has the right to try to move his agenda whatever it was and whether I liked it or not. People who don’t accept this don’t believe in Democracy and are unAmerican.

            I have no qualms about the power of government today. I don’t see it as any greater or less than it was before January 20, 2009.

          • sjangers

            I have a different perspective on a number of the issues we have discussed, Jim, but we probably won’t find the time to work them through to a conclusion. Reasonable people can have different perspectives, although I’ve always suspected that those who disagree with me aren’t entirely reasonable. I’m sure others have felt the same way about me from time-to-time.

            Because none of the areas of disagreement is understood in a vacuum, there are a lot of inter-related elements that make it very difficult to completely explore and fully understand another point of view to achieve agreement. I think you’re concept of public versus private is unduly broad, or at least fails to take into account nuances in circumstance among what you consider public entities that I think create enough distinction to justify differences in the way the law regulates their activities. It’s hard for us to come close to any understanding, let alone agreement, when we have such different ways of looking at elements of this discussion. I guess the best we can do is agree to disagree… until next time.

            As someone who worked intimately with laws of public accommodation, most specifically the ADA, I recognize the benefit they can offer our society. But I also see the cost. And I’ve seen them abused, to the point where they’ve led to consequences that I’m reasonably certain no one involved with the drafting and passage of the original legislation ever intended. I see a need to reconsider the role these laws play in our society, and probably for their replacement with statutes that are more in tune with the needs of our society today. Reasonable people may disagree.

            But just to offer a sense of the concerns of people on the opposite side of the discussion from you, if you aren’t already aware, I’ll suggest a few topics for consideration. They’re just a starting point and I can offer more if you’re interested. To consider the direction in which public accommodation may be heading, or at least a direction in which some are concerned it may be heading, review “Boy Scouts of America v. Dale” (the BSA being what I think would qualify as a private organization under the terms you offered in you last post) . To further understanding of the chilling influence public accommodation may have on businesses, research the 2010 lawsuit filed by the Southern California ACLU against the Alpine Village Inn. To understand why some libertarians are concerned about the expansion of government power and insufficient Constitutional protections for individuals and private institutions, consider how the Affordable Care Act is being interpreted to compel charitable institutions founded on religious values to provide birth control services to employees when there are other ways to achieve the intent of the law without compelling the institutions to violate their principles. There are many examples that support the concerns I’ve addressed in our correspondence. These are just a few of them.

            I disagree strongly with you about the growth of government power in our lifetimes. I’ve seen broad expansion of the scope of government influence and the power to enforce the will of government on individuals since the 1960s. I think that expansion has increased every decade during that period. The federal government that I grew to know in the ’60s and ’70s as a somewhat remote servant of the people often feels very close today, and hardly feels like a servant. Again, perceptions may differ. But I can make a pretty strong case for the accuracy of my perceptions if given the time and space to do so. And that’s really all I need to convince me that I’m right.

            Sadly, I do sometimes fear my government today. I know the examples aren’t rampant, but I can think of a solid handful of cases over the past decade or two in which the power of government was used irresponsibly, had a dramatic impact on the lives of some citizens, and no one was held particularly accountable. It’s kind of ironic to think back on some of the leftist concerns about the power of government in the ’60s and ’70s being expressed today by conservatives about a government that is now operating so much more in tune with liberal philosophy of government. I’m sure there’s some deep insight to be found in that observation but it’s getting late and the work week starts in less than eight hours.

            I don’t agree that our nation would never elect Genghis Khan… or Joe Stalin. I agree it’s unlikely, but I know that the further we move toward any extreme the more likely it becomes that we could move even further in that direction. I doubt many Germans ever anticipated how the Weimar Republic would fall, but things happen. That’s part of the understanding that drives my personal and political philosophy towards moderation. Best not to get too close to any extremes lest we lost focus for a moment or two and suddenly find ourselves teetering on the edge of a precipice.

            Anyway, that’s enough long-winded blather. Work starts soon. It has been fun. Last word is yours if you want it.

          • Jim Maxedon

            First let me say that is a pleasure to have such a discussion as this without ad hominem attacks and generalizations about liberals, etc. Thank you for that.

            Broad or not, my interpretation of “public” and “private” vis-a-vis public accommodation is based strictly on the law and can be found in multiple sources. We can agree to disagree on whether the law is good or correct, but the legal definitions are clear.

            I agree that you have valid concerns about the costs of accommodation as far as the ADA is concerned. There is no doubt that compliance can be expensive, and I am aware of instances where the accommodation requests were nonsensical and even abusive. However, my mother was confined to a wheel chair due to polio for 50 years and I remember the difficulties we had when traveling, dining, or shopping before handicap parking, handicap restrooms, and ramps. My brother has been in a wheel chair for over 35 years from MS and he can do many things independently because there are ramps, etc to accommodate his motorized chair. I’m glad for him and millions of others who have not been limited in the facilities they can access because a few people have abused the system.

            That said, accommodations for race, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation have no such costs.

            I read BSA v. Dale. The court affirmed that the BSA is a private organization and held that they were not required to rehire the assistant scout master that was fired. So I don’t see how this makes your case.

            As to Alpine Village Inn and the Nazis, I can find only one source for this and and that is a web page called the Volokh Conspiracy which is linked to from most of the other pages that mention it. The author writes: “Here’s the story.” He links to nothing, cites no case law, and provides no concrete evidence that it ever happened. I searched the ACLU websites and there was nothing. So I have to conclude that it’s possible this happened, but there is scant evidence of it. I agree the ACLU has taken some weird cases, but in general their mission is protect the Bill of Rights and that’s one of the reasons I donate to them.

            Employer provided subsidized health care insurance is clearly a form of compensation for the labor of the employee, the same as salaries, vacation, discounts, 401k contributions, etc. It benefits employers to provide the health care benefit because it compensates the employee for their labor and yet requires neither the employee nor the employer to pay payroll taxes (or in most cases income taxes) on that compensation. It is the employee who decides how and when to use that compensation: when to get a hip replacement or obtain birth control, where to go on vacation and whether to buy alcoholic beverages or pork with their salary. Should an employer not offer vacation because an employee might care to make a pilgrimage to Mecca? Or not offer salary because the employee might buy pork with some of it?

            If an employer demands that they not be required to provide insurance that includes birth control and the employee then chooses to purchase birth control with their salary, what has the employer gained? Nothing! In both either case it is the employee who makes the moral choice whether or not to use birth control obtained through the fruits of their own labor. This is simple and clear. The religious beliefs of the employer have no bearing on the eventual outcome nor should they.

            I would be interested in reading some of the examples of the expanded scope of government influence and the power to enforce the government’s will on you and other individuals.

            Apparently you believe somehow that we are currently moving towards an extreme. I don’t believe that’s the case any more than gaining 5 pounds is moving towards an extreme. The current administration is actually pretty moderate if viewed from a non-partisan perspective.

          • Jim Maxedon

            I wrote a really long reply but it’s not here. The first thing it said was thanks for the civil discussion.

          • Jim Maxedon

            Copied:

            First let me say that it is a pleasure to have such a discussion as this without ad hominem attacks and generalizations about liberals, etc. Thank you for that.

            Broad or not, my interpretation of “public” and “private” vis-a-vis public accommodation is based strictly on the law and can be found in multiple sources. We can agree to disagree on whether the law is good or
            correct, but the legal definitions are clear.

            I agree that you have valid concerns about the costs of accommodation as far as the ADA is concerned. There is no doubt that compliance can be expensive, and I am aware of instances where the accommodation
            requests were nonsensical and even abusive. However, my mother was confined to a wheel chair due to polio for 50 years and I remember the difficulties we had when traveling, dining, or shopping before handicap parking, handicap restrooms, and ramps. My brother has been in a wheel chair for over 35 years from MS and he can do many things independently
            because there are ramps, etc to accommodate his motorized chair. I’m glad for him and millions of others who have not been limited in the facilities they can access because a few people have abused the system.

            That said, accommodations for race, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation have no such costs.

            I read BSA v. Dale. The court affirmed that the BSA is a private organization and held that they were not required to rehire the assistant scout master that was fired. So I don’t see how this makes your case.

            As to Alpine Village Inn and the Nazis, I can find only one source for this and and that is a web page called the Volokh Conspiracy which is linked to from most of the other pages that mention it. The author writes: “Here’s the story.” He links to nothing, cites no case law, and provides no concrete evidence that it ever happened. I searched the ACLU websites and there was nothing. So I have to conclude that it’s
            possible this happened, but there is scant evidence of it. I agree the ACLU has taken some weird cases, but in general their mission is protect the Bill of Rights and that’s one of the reasons I donate to them.

            Employer provided subsidized health care insurance is clearly a form of compensation for the labor of the employee, the same as salaries, vacation, discounts, 401k contributions, etc. It benefits employers to
            provide the health care benefit because it compensates the employee for their labor and yet requires neither the employee nor the employer to
            pay payroll taxes (or in most cases income taxes) on that compensation. It is the employee who decides how and when to use that compensation: when to get a hip replacement or obtain birth control, where to go on
            vacation and whether to buy alcoholic beverages or pork with their salary. Should an employer not offer vacation because an employee might care to make a pilgrimage to Mecca? Or not offer salary because the
            employee might buy pork with some of it?

            If an employer demands that they not be required to provide insurance that includes birth control and the employee then chooses to purchase birth control with their salary, what has the employer gained? Nothing!
            In either case it is the employee who makes the moral choice whether or not to use birth control obtained through the compensation which is the fruits of their own labor. This is simple and clear. The religious beliefs of the employer have no bearing on the eventual outcome nor should they.

            I would be interested in reading some of the examples of the expanded scope of government influence and the power to enforce the government’s will on you and other individuals. Not a comprehensive list; just a few
            examples.

            Apparently you believe somehow that we are currently moving towards an extreme. I don’t believe that’s the case any more than gaining 5 pounds is moving towards an extreme. The current administration is
            actually pretty moderate if viewed from a non-partisan perspective.

            Anyway, thanks for the civil discussion. I hope you have the time to continue.

          • sjangers

            I did see your original post, Jim, although now it and your re-post appear to be missing. I’m not sure why this happens, but it isn’t the first time Disqus has screwed up postings to the comment boards they help manage (like right now they have identified these posts, that I know took place on Sunday, as four days old).

            I haven’t responded to your Monday post yet, although I do plan to do so, because it’s lengthy, thoughtful, and deserves more than the cursory reply that I might have time for during the week. I hope to be able to respond in more depth toward the weekend.

            I didn’t miss your post and I’m not ignoring you. I’m just a little too busy (or lazy) to give it the attention it deserves right now.

          • Jim Maxedon

            Cool! I don’t know why some of my posts are not showing up. I’m thinking of posting it on my blog and inviting you to continue the discussion there.

          • sjangers

            Disqus forums screw up quite a bit, Jim. I’ve had comments appear and disappear, comments that are held for “moderation” that never appear, and I’ve never received an explanation from Disqus or the owner(s) of the website(s). This whole exchange between you and I is now completely visible but has detached from the rest of the thread I started at Bernie’s site. I can’t figure it out.

            I might be interested in continuing the conversation in your blog. My only concern is the possibility that I might over-commit and leave you hanging. But I usually enjoy a good political discussion. You and I seem far enough apart in our views to keep it interesting but civil enough in our approach to ensure there’ll be no need for moderation- or police involvement.

            Feel free to contact me directly if you’d like. I’m sjangers and my mail provider is comcast dot net.

    • legal eagle

      Have you ever heard of the Civil Rights Act? It’s been the law for almost 50 years….

      • sjangers

        Well if it’s been around for almost fifty years then I guess no one should be questioning any part of it. I’m sure, if I recall correctly, that you’ve been equally opposed to any consideration of restrictions on Second Amendment rights. After all, that law has been around for 222 years.

        Instead of engaging in phony outrage, consider the nuance of the language in my previous post. I stated that there are instances where government has a legitimate role in setting standards for marketplace behaviors.

        In 1964, certainly, there were entire communities that engaged in discrimination against broad classes of easily-identifiable citizens, to the clear detriment of those citizens and the national community. Today the need to protect that community of citizens isn’t as clear or immediate and the harm that is mitigated by civil rights (and associated) laws is often exceeded by the harm that’s done by overly strict enforcement of those legal provisions and over-reach in attempts to identify and protect new classes of citizens whose need for government intervention is less clear and immediate. In the process greater harm is often done to the rights of individuals to live according to their own beliefs and values.

        But in instances where there is clear harm or hardship that can’t be remediated by any reasonable means other than government involvement, I support government involvement. I said as much in my previous post. Identifying those concepts is a simple matter of reading beyond the first sentence or two before your focus shifts to figuring out how you’re going to be outraged by my remarks and how you’re going to put me in my place.

        • Asemodeus

          This is the same argument racist have against the VRA. The VRA has done a lot of good in dealing with racist politicians, so good that the racists today are arguing that it isn’t needed anymore, in hopes of bringing back jim crow.

          • sjangers

            Thanks so much for exposing my hidden agenda, Asemodeus. I had been hoping to keep that on the qt.

            Just because a form of argument may or may not have been used in one instance for less-than-honorable purposes doesn’t mean it isn’t valid in other circumstances. Consider the merits of the argument, not the reasons other people may have used a similar argument.

            And frankly, if you really think that repeal of the VRA would bring back Jim Crow, or even result in significant abuses of voting rights for minority groups, I really don’t think you’ve been paying much attention to the mood of the country for the past thirty years.

            We need to ask whether or not aggressive, and occasionally excessive, use of the coercive power of government to compel complete public acceptance of self-identified minority groups is really alleviating more harm- that couldn’t otherwise be remedied without government involvement- than the harm that is being caused by the limiting of freedoms of individuals engaged in commerce and the public frustration with individuals and groups that may appear to be seeking advantage or attention through special government-recognized status and attendant privileges. I think we’ve reached the point where we’re doing more harm than good. You’re apparently still worried about Jim Crow.

          • Asemodeus

            “And frankly, if you really think that repeal of the VRA would bring back
            Jim Crow, or even result in significant abuses of voting rights for
            minority groups, I really don’t think you’ve been paying much attention
            to the mood of the country for the past thirty years.”

            You haven’t been paying attention to red states after that supreme court ruling destroying the VRA. States like Texas went straight into minority suppression tactics they were were barred from doing previously.

          • sjangers

            I don’t live in Texas, so my view of activities there isn’t first-hand. Are you a resident? What sort of voter suppression activities are you talking about?

        • legal eagle

          The Civil Rights Act is the law of the land….The law covers public business not private facilities. The immediate harm may not be as obvious but until the law is changed discrimination is still against the law be it in employment or in public businesses.
          If you want the law changed then vote for more right wing nut jobs..They’d be happy to accommodate your wishes

          • sjangers

            I’m a little lost by your line of argument, Eagle. My original post addressed philosophical concerns with some of our laws today and the way the intent of those laws has occasionally, in my estimation, been twisted to the point where much more harm is being done than good.

            You advise me that the Civil Rights Act is the law of our land.

            I respond that I understand the status of the Civil Right Act, but that doesn’t shield it from criticism and advocacy for change.

            You’ve offered a bit of unnecessary clarification – I already get that- and suggest that I vote for more right-wing nut jobs. Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of voting for right-wing or left-wing nut jobs, but on your recommendation I will at least take a closer look at voting for right-wing nuts.

          • legal eagle

            Exactly what change would you propose to the Civil Rights Act? What discriminatory practices should be allowed and against whom?

          • sjangers

            What I’d suggest today is that remedies under the Civil Rights Act be limited to those situations where real harm is done to individuals (i.e., some reasonable standard beyond “it made me feel bad” or “they didn’t do what I wanted them to do”). I haven’t ever considered drafting legislation to rewrite existing civil rights laws, so I really can’t be much more specific than that now, but I’d be looking for something consistent with the philosophy I’ve expressed several times here that the proscribed action causes significant real harm to protected individuals or society and can’t be effectively remedied other than through government involvement.

          • legal eagle

            It can be remedied by the courts…Hard to have a statute that is as vague as “significant real harm to protected individuals or society”….
            I can agree with your view philosophically but not legally..

          • sjangers

            And that’s not how a statute would likely read. I suggest a concept to address what I see as shortcomings in current law and application of the law. Someone else can draft the proposed statute.

            I took some Con Law in college and thought about going into law, but that’s as far as my interest in the field went. My background is more political science and history.

            Ideas interest me. The technical process of translating those ideas into a system of laws that achieve the desired effect without unleashing unintended and unwelcome consequences doesn’t hold my interest, in part because I eventually realized how futile that process really is. Hundreds of thousands of pages of law, millions of pages of regulations, tens of thousands of people trying to manipulate understanding of existing legislation to achieve their desired outcomes, and a small number of people sitting on the bench who had become all too willing to stretch interpretation of existing law to accomplish their desired social objectives. Even thirty years ago it had clearly become a quagmire in which it was almost impossible to make real progress.

            The distinction between a philosophically acceptable proposal and a legally unacceptable proposal is largely one of semantics. When you get right down to it, much of the practice of law today involves increasingly esoteric efforts to parse the meaning of language toward a desired end. “Significant real harm” is less precise language than appears in most law (although certainly not in all cases, as you must know), but the interpretation will still be dependent on the cleverness of the advocates and the prejudices of the judge. “Significant real harm” just leaves a little more latitude within which the advocates can play. We desire something more precise in a statute, but in the end it’s probably still an exercise in futility if your goal is specific and predictable outcomes,

        • legal eagle

          The Civil Rights Act is not an amendment it is a statute….In can be altered by the federal courts or the Supreme Court. The Second Amendment does not permit unrestricted gun rights. If so you’d be able to carry your AR on a plane..
          Do you think the instance of the bakery could have been remediated? Probably so, but I don’t know all the facts.
          My point is that a little discrimination is like being a little pregnant…

          • sjangers

            I get the distinction between statutes and Constitutionally-guaranteed rights. I also understand that all rights are not absolute and that there are reasonable limitations (e.g., Justice Holmes’ example regarding shouting “fire” in a crowded theater not being protected by the First Amendment). Mostly, I understand that all rights, responsibilities, liberties, the exercise thereof, and the limitation of their exercise is a balancing act. Eventually, the boundaries of all will rub against and restrict each other. Living in a free and civil society requires some level of accommodation among the competing rights and responsibilities of individuals. Hence, my recommendation that we consider the possibility that some individuals’ exercise of legal protections may go so far that they impinge unreasonably and unnecessarily on the rights of others.

            Your point about “a little discrimination”, despite its distinguished legal provenance, is a little narrow-minded; or at least relies on narrow-minded definitions. Once person’s discrimination is another’s free exercise of individual rights. The limitation of those rights may, in some instances, be another form of discrimination. Unfortunately, we all discriminate on a regular basis. The question is whether or not its legally-recognized (i.e., ‘prohibited’) discrimination. Adhering to a narrow (i.e., “legal”) interpretation of “discrimination” may allow us to make value judgments, but only in a limited venue. It fails to take into consideration the feelings and natural rights of many when they are not recognized by law, but it doesn’t change the social tensions that are created when those sentiments aren’t taken into consideration.

  • Guest

    I have liked Bernie’s pieces on O’ Reilly but have found a number of articles too far left, as I have also found with O’ Reilly. I believe in the freedoms “outlined” in the Constitution, not granted. Laws forcing individuals and businesses to act against their beliefs or desires create irreparable harm to society and, as I learned many years ago, if a law is contrary to the Constitution it is illegal and is not to be obeyed unless you choose to. That does not mean it will not cost you to fight it. As one commenter said, if the refusal to do business is a bad choice it will come back on the one that made it. By allowing the government to choose who you cannot refuse to do business with you are allowing them to choose who you must refuse. I now will discontinue my subscription to Bernie’s column as I have turned my television when Bill O’ Reilly airs (my choice of what to hear and read). Thank you.

  • Craig1748

    I don’t believe in discriminating against gays, even on the marriage issue. But, I have a big problem when governments, Federal, State, County,. City, etc., pass laws where business owners have to go against their own beliefs (not just their church’s views) but their own beliefs and provide services such as described in your article Bernie. It is not right and it just is not acceptable that these business owners should end up being discriminated against by others. And that is what it amounts to. If they choose to give up the revenue from selling their product or services that is their business. And personally I would not want to do business with someone who did not want to provide me with their product or services due to my religious beliefs or sexual orientation or ethnicity, or political affilication or whatever……..the heck with them, I would spend my hard earned money where it was appreciated.

    • Jim Maxedon

      If it is against one’s faith to marry a person of the same gender, they shouldn’t. What makes them think THEIR faith dictates the way someone else should live?

    • legal eagle

      The Civil Right Act is almost 50 years old….you believe that a business owner who discriminates is being persecuted? What world do you live in?

  • Dale

    You know, Bernie, I’m generally in agreement with you on many things, but I think you’re wrong here. The simple fact is that business owners have rights too.

    If you want to open a business that caters specifically to Christians (like a Christian singles site) or if you want to open a club that is only for gay members, or a restaurant that hires only female waitresses, then those business owners are perfectly within their rights. (Despite what some judge may think.)

    Businesses really can behave like the Soup Nazi and refuse to do business with *anyone* for *any* reason. Even if 99% of us find that reason despicable. A business does not have to cater to a gay couple, a Christian couple, a Nazi, a member of the Westboro Baptist church, etc. if they don’t want to. It’s the government that is not allowed to make that type of discrimination. So if you’re working for a government office and you have to perform a
    public service for someone you don’t care for, *then*, Bernie, you can say “too
    bad” because you’re obligated to serve anyone who walks in the door. Outside of that you’re not obligated to serve anyone.

    We’re supposed to all have *individual* rights. And you don’t give up those rights just because you decide to open a business.

    • legal eagle

      The Soup Nazi is fictional…Are you aware of that?

      • Jeff Webb

        It is possible to behave like a fictional character…Are you aware of that?

  • Don777

    Good-bye Bernie. Very disappointed in you. I can get this crap anywhere if I wanted it.

    • someangrywhiteguyintexas

      I understand where you are coming from, but one misstep does not make a man evil. I believe that Mr. Goldberg is a voice of reason and has been for decades. I too strongly disagree with him on this issue, but think that if anyone has earned the right to make a slipup and not be lynched because of it, it’s him.

  • ginger

    If the business owner doesn’t want to serve someone..go elsewhere…it is that simple…cannot tell me that only That bakery can make a cake. Good grief!!! And florists are all over the place…if they insist on flowers from THAT one , specific florist then too bad…cannot MAKE everyone do your bidding.

    • Seattle Sam

      The government says you can’t choose with whom you want to do business IF that person is black, homosexual or a number of other protected classes. Feel free to turn away business from whichever white person you choose. Oops. Unless they’re white and homosexual.

    • legal eagle

      Yeah and if the business owner doesn’t want to serve blacks, Hispanics, Jews or Muslims that’s against the law….

  • Don777

    If we just say that we believe that marriage is between a man and a woman we are hateful and are “shoving our religion down their throats”. However, they can threaten, say awful things about us, destroy our businesses and our reputations and display the most vile things in their so-called “pride parades” and that’s OK? Can we not say “I told you so”? “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions…….men with men committing that which is shameful”.

  • gbandy

    What ever happened to the rights of the business owners to “We reserve the right to serve whom we please”??? Seems the PC bull has gone way past the tipping point and things really have to change.

    • Seattle Sam

      It was abolished starting in 1964

    • legal eagle

      Business owner’s do not have the right to serve whomever they please….Are you from Alabama or Mississippi?

  • Nicholas344

    Bernie, if an Islamic terrorist group had a party in honor of the their efforts during 9/11 and a private business didn’t want to cater it since it was against their beliefs, you would hold them in contempt. That’s you – not me.

    • legal eagle

      How would you know if it was an Islamic terrorist group? Think they put on that on their business cards? Amazingly stupid analogy…

  • Jessica Densmore

    Any privately owned business has a right to deny someone service. C’mon Bernie.

  • happel

    A business owner has the right to do business with whomever they decide. They easier solution for the ‘offended’ customers is simple: go elsewhere. Competitive, free markets permit business to flow where it is wanted and/or needed. If the gay couple are refused services/products from the Christian business owner, they can easily shop elsewhere. While I am usually in agreement with many of Bernie’s commentary, I completely disagree about fines being levied against businesses for refusal to serve a customer. It is their business, their right. Let gay people be gay; let Christians be themselves, too. I am a Libertarian minded person and would like to see less government and judges poking their noses in everything we do. The irrationality of these offended patrons is beyond my comprehension. If you want flowers from a business who doesn’t want your business, go around the corner. Easiest problem I’ve ever solved. Ta-DA!!

    • MontanaMade

      Unfortunately- it’s not that simple- though I wish it was. In older days, a business could refuse service to pretty much anyone (though sometimes it was disgusting and vile). Today- everyone is a protected class and are entitled to service wherever they want to go- regardless, except straight white males between 18-64.

  • Tom

    What happened to “We reserve the right to refuse to do business with anyone”. Goldberg, you are advocating the loss of freedom. You do not give up your rights of conscience simply because you own a business. All of those examples you gave may illustrate intolerance and may bring criticism, but it is their right to refuse service to anyone. People then can choose whether to do business with someone who is intolerant of others. How about the intolerance of Christian values today? The people who preach “tolerance” are the least tolerant among us. You say business owners must follow the law. How is it that we have a law that protects a right of sexual preference? Where in hell did that come from? Is it discrimination to refuse to do business with a bisexual…someone who is “HALF” gay? What about someone who is “recreational-ly” gay? What if someone lies about their sexuality to generate a controversy? What if a restaurant owner ejects a rowdy customer and the customer is gay?…lawsuit over discrimination! What if a business owner fires an employee, but the employee happens to be gay?…lawsuit! If we ever have a gay President and people criticize him/her, they will be accused of hating the President because he’s gay…the NEW racism! If a business owner is forced to violate his conscience in order to keep his business or avoid jail, how good of a job do you think he will do? Do you think he will not retaliate in some way by doing a poor job, being late, not showing up, possibly even spitting in the food or something worse? Did you ever see “The Help”? Wasn’t slavery and involuntary servitude all about being forced to perform work under threat of punishment? You crossed the line into moron land. Give me a minute while I go unsubscribe from your email list.

  • Mike Vazquez

    Bernie, I always agree with you. Not this time. I have an open door business and I sell to whoever I want as much as the people have the right to take their business elsewhere.

  • sean1

    So if a neo-nazi group wants a Jewish florist to do the corsages for an “Up With Aryans” dance, that florist is legally obliged to do them? Didn’t think so.

    • Seattle Sam

      Neo-Nazis are not an approved protected group. Homosexuals are. You can send away for a catalog of these “good” and “bad” groups. I know it’s a bit confusing, but Bernie’s friends in the media are glad to help.

  • Buzg

    Whatever happened to; “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason.”?.
    So much for “free” enterprise.

    • Seattle Sam

      It was abolished in 1964

    • ginger

      Free is over…someone forgot to tell Bernie.

  • retsam369

    Bernie: I love ya! But surely this column is just a joke, right?

  • Chris Matthewson

    Absolutely spot on, Bernie. Now let’s see how many of your outraged readers reveal their bigotry, closed-mindedness and intolerance in these comments.

    • sean1

      Because disagreeing with Bernie makes one a bigot!

  • Seattle Sam

    So let me see if I get this right. I have the right to NOT BUY flowers from a homosexual florist, but he doesn’t have the right to not NOT SELL them to me. That really makes sense to you, Bernie?

  • Hugh Petersen

    This time I totally disagree with you, Bernie. Enough said.

  • LAPhil

    Bernie, you’re completely wrong here. If a business refuses to cater to a gay couple’s wedding it’s their right and they agree to whatever consequences may occur as to how it affects their business. The gay couple also has the right to take their business elsewhere. If the business finds it’s cutting off its nose to spite its face, then maybe it will reconsider its discriminatory policy, but in the meantime it’s not the government’s business to tell a private entity who they can and can’t cater to. If we keep passing these enough of these anti-discrimination laws eventually the free market will no longer be free.

  • Seattle Sam

    In the 1930s, the Nazi’s made it illegal to do certain business with Jews. “Too bad!”

    Too bad!
    Too bad!
    Too bad!

  • Seattle Sam

    First of all, not a chance in the world any judge would stop a Muslim from not selling flowers to Infidels. He’d be too afraid.
    Second, in a land of supposed freedom, I should be able to operate a business that only sold flowers to left-handed blondes if I choose.

  • Justaflyontheall

    Not sure about your reasoning here. The entire gay marriage issue flies in the face of 2,000 years of civilization. I think Civilization got it right.

  • Thewryobservator

    The entire argument of this article is based on premises that equate race with behavior, like being black is a preference. The issue as prosecuted by homosexuals has been done on on a civil rights basis that equates a lifestyle, one that some people enter, and some people leave, with an immutable condition. And it largely denies the concept that some sexual behaviors can be preferred though aberrant, and enjoyed. So this opinion is, in some measure, an exercise in equivocation. And there are other points about it that could be addressed. Suffice it to say that it’s not true that Christians, or other of the “faithful” think their views trump every civil law, nor is the regulation of marriage an undertaking that is exclusively one of a theocracy, or even the evidence of that one is desired. On this issue, I find Mr. Goldberg to be more than a little confused. He is aiding and abetting a progressive cause which has been oppressive in it’s impact, one that has had genuinely negative consequence for civil society and republican freedom. In my opinion, he is relatively unaware of the fact; it is a genuine blind spot for him.

    • Paul Courtney

      Agreed, solid post. Bernie, I have expressed admiration and still do, but you lose me here. Don’t people have the right to go shirtless, shoeless, just like right to be gay? Yet Main St restaurants have right to refuse service, no? My faith is not blurring my vision here, competing rights must be balanced whether its Main st. business or my basement (no, can’t do mushrooms for religious practice even in my basement). Ordering Christian business to serve blacks or jews ok because Const. expresses no discrimination for race or religion, where does it protect gay marriage? Even A. Kennedy and R. Ginsburg can’t answer that, but they conclude it regardless. Did they order you to write this? Maybe if they tried it, order you to write column supporting religious Main St business, your vision would clear. You’d know, without any legal training, that 1stAm protects press and speech, and competing rights of business owner is distant 2d.

  • DonaldYoungsRevenge

    I have never been able to figure out why homosexuals call themselves gay. Given the statistics that surround this perverted lifestyle such as very shortened life span, numerous sexually transmitted diseases and severe damage to parts of the human anatomy it is hard to see any “gayness” in that lifestyle. When folks begin to accept a lifestyle where people sexually stimulate themsleves by placing their sexual organ into a place nature says it doesn’t belong we have begun to devolve not evolve. Taking a stand against a perversion that the One who designed us deemed an abomination is not bigotry. We as a civilized society are always taking stands against other forms of sin and that is not considered bigotry but when one takes a stand against an abomination folks cry “your a bigot.” I contend those that are saying that are completely and utterly illogical and their opinions are useless in any debate.

  • Rob phelan

    If a shop owner refused me service for any reason, I would take my business elsewhere. That’s it.

    • Hector Mariscal

      That would be the sensible thing to do. Unfortunately, it is always about how much drama one can drum up. That whole issue could have been handled much differently had there been adults involved.

    • MontanaMade

      But they won’t- the LBGT gang WANT to disrupt society as much as possible! They WANT to go find that Christian bakery or wedding planner- with the express task of pissing them off!

      They COULD go somewhere else, but they won’t- They WANT to see the Christian business go under- either by choice or pressure- because it’s Christian based. They want to seen as normal- and if it means destroying someones dreams- so be it!

  • JeffreyRO55

    Clearly, the religionists are fighting a losing battle in their efforts to win legal and social approval for their religion-permitting discrimination. It’s one more nail in the coffin of organized religion I guess. Whoever said that systems are destroyed from without, not by an external enemy, captured an amazing insight!

  • DOOM161

    No business owner discriminated against anyone. They offered the homosexuals every service they provide. The homosexuals want to force them to provide products that they don’t. It’s like sitting down a Burger King because they refuse to sell me a Big Mac.

    • JeffreyRO55

      Gay people aren’t asking for a service you can’t provide. They’re asking for the same service you provide to straight people.

  • Brian Fr Langley

    I think Bernie you’ve missed the point. The point is not discriminating against folks for their gender desires. Rather the point is about participating in a historically peculiar marriage. Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right? Would I have to bake a cake, for a man marrying his daughter? Or a brother marrying his sister? Or a woman marrying three men? Or a man marrying five women? If a marriage is not about the (procreating) union of one man to one woman, why should anybody who wants to be married, be prevented? Just because it’s historically peculiar, shouldn’t mean folks shouldn’t be allowed to do it? They were peculiar for a reason. Society eschewed the unhealthy consequences (deformed babies) from the wrong couples pro-creating. But since marriage, is now only about love, why shouldn’t any (number of) consenting adults be allowed to enter community enforceable compacts? (which is what marriage actually is).
    The slope is slippery and we’re well on our way down it’s sides. MARRIAGE in the end, is really about the societal rights of children, to be raised by both their own (unless dead) natural parents. Stealing (and or diluting) these (natural) rights could NOT, be more immoral. Which is what the religious (and their scriptures) are clearly sensitive to.

    • JeffreyRO55

      The florist or photographer is not a participant or in any way endorsing the same-sex marriage or commitment ceremony. That’s a major flaw in your argument. This is business, not association.

      • Brian Fr Langley

        Decorating a cake with topped with same gender figures would make most people feel like they were participating and endorsing. As for a private commitment ceremony, who cares. But a societal enforceable compact? Children of Pro-creators need that, not same gender sexual relations.

        • JeffreyRO55

          Nah, making a cake is just making a cake. Besides, religionist cake makers don’t mind making cakes for fornicators and adulterers, so it’s kinda dumb to complain about gay couples (about whom the bible is silent).

          Many straight couples don’t have children, so I guess they don’t need marriage either? Huh??

          • Brian Fr Langley

            these arguements are nonsensical??? And as for Biblical silence on same gender sexual unions???? We still use the Biblical word Sodom, to describe these unions???

          • JeffreyRO55

            Sodom was a story of same-sex committed relationships? What fake bible to you read?!

          • Brian Fr Langley

            So now your pretending the Gay lifestyle is really about commitment?? Well that explains why VD is now epidemic in that community. If they want sex with each other (monagamous other wise), what ever. But diluting an ancient tradition, protecting the rights of children, for a base sexual expression, is patently immoral.

          • JeffreyRO55

            You have a lot of hatred towards gay people. Why?

            Marriage will help gay people be more stable and less promiscuous. Thank you for mentioning yet another benefit to society of same-sex marriage!

            Extending the marriage tradition to gay people doesn’t “dilute” it, whatever that means. What rights to children have that are compromised when same-sex marriage is legal?

            Don’t children have the right to safety and security, the kind that comes from having married parents?

            Marriage is not about sex, it’s about commitment and exclusivity. Any married person will tell you that the sex is rare in marriage!

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Talk about “pea brained” In traditional western civilization, marriage is ONLY about sex. In fact it defines the relationship. Sex with any person (other than a spouse) was (is) called adultery, fornication or other expletives I can’t say. As humans, we have relations galore, Mothers, fathers, sisters, aunts, etc. etc. etc. We may love them one and all, BUT we don’t have sex with them. Sex was (is) reserved for our spouse. Within marriage, a base human desire is enobled by the prospect of progeny. Thus benefitting society in enumerable ways, (not least in replentishing our numbers) Outside these bounds it is ignobled, to only the fullfillment of a personal gratification. If, as a society, we agree sex is actually only for pleasure, our streets will be over run with abandoned children. Which of course if you check the stats, is exactly what’s happening. Nearly 50% of all babies born in the U.S. are already abandoned by their fathers. And all you call for is more of the same.

          • JeffreyRO55

            I’m sorry that you have a loveless marriage and that it’s only about sex. That’s sad. Even if marriage IS about sex, then that works for same-sex couples, too, since they usually have sex.

            No one said sex is only for pleasure. But pleasure, recreation, expressing love and affection, these are all legitimate reasons to have sex. In fact most sex is AVOIDING creating a baby!

          • Ben Welliver

            LOL
            Brainless t*rd

          • JeffreyRO55

            Leave the discussion to the grownups, Benji. Go play video games, or something.

      • Celsius1939a

        Does this mean that I cannot give away money to non gays and not give away money to gays? No money transferred. Therefore, no business.

        • JeffreyRO55

          Huh?

          • Celsius1939a

            It was clear from your first post that you are really limited.

      • Bib Bad Jack

        “If officers of the law can’t uphold the law, they should resign.” I agree, and await the resignation of Mssrs. Obama and /Holder. I won’t hold my breath waithig for your agreement, of course.

        • JeffreyRO55

          What laws aren’t they upholding?

  • Ed

    Come on, Bernie. If a shop owner doesn’t want to serve someone for whatever reason he or she chooses, that is their right. Let the customer find another shop owner who has no qualms about who is served. The gay/multiracial/infidels/non-believers will soon find out who wants their business, and who doesn’t. Then it becomes a question of whether that business can survive with its limited (by choice) client base.

    • JeffreyRO55

      No shop owner serving the public has the right to turn away a class of customers if he operates in a state with an anti-discrimination statute. While I suspect you only want gay people to be discriminated against, you do realize that what you’re asking for also means that blacks can be discriminated against, as well as christians, jews, muslims, women, etc.

      • Celsius1939a

        Yes, and I can be discriminated against if someone wants to. I have been and it was of no import. I went elsewhere.

        • ginger

          I am an older woman and have been discriminated against on many occasions..if the people in a business don’t want my money…I go elsewhere. Simple. but those who throw fits get the attention…and freebies..:enough said.

          • JeffreyRO55

            Old people aren’t usually included in anti-discrimination statutes. Perhaps they should be. Generally in America we obey laws, such as anti-discrimination statutes.

            You’re right, this photographer didn’t have to throw a fit. She could have done her job, like a professional. But the religionists got a hold of her, and forced her to be an example of “religious persecution.” Yes, it’s laughable. No, it didn’t work and it cost her her business.

          • ginger

            I support the right of each business to serve or not , anyone they want…drunks, rude people, anyone for any reason.

          • JeffreyRO55

            I don’t. That’s a terrible policy. No one should be turned away because of the color of their skin, their religion, their gender or their sexual orientation. Bad behavior is different, and remains unprotected from discrimination statutes.

            As xtians become more and more unpopular, they, too, might find themselves facing discrimination from businesses. So be careful what you wish for!

          • ginger

            Most people do not go into a business saying..I am a Christian, I am heterosexual, I am a witch, I am a Jew, I am whatever..And , in case you haven;t noticed, Christians ARE discriminated against by our government , the media and lots of others here and around the world.

          • JeffreyRO55

            What if someone where’s a cross or religious symbol? What if the owner asks someone’s religion? As I said earlier, xtians don’t like anti-discrimination statutes, because as of today, they don’t suffer discrimination. That could change with the passage of time.

            I’ve never seen an instance of someone being denied a service, by business or government, for being a xtian.

          • MontanaMade

            what the heck is an “xtian” and a “religionist”??

            To use an “X” instead of His name is offensive to CHRISTIANS everywhere.

            I thought you were the tolerant one here? Seems you only disagree with discrimination unless it’s against CHRISTIANS…

          • JeffreyRO55

            No, I’m not particularly tolerant of a religion of hate and fear. Christies get a lot of protection, and how do they thank normal people? By being aggressively discriminatory towards gays, obnoxiously intolerant of Muslims, and unbelievably selectively in their beliefs (gay marriage? Must be illegal! Fornication? Adultery? Divorce? Well we can’t make THOSE things illegal, I might want to do them!).

          • Jeff Webb

            To you, it’s okay to be intolerant of a Christian, because it’s a religion of hate & fear, but you then say it’s wrong to be intolerant of Muslims?

            You wouldn’t happen to be the comedian who appears on the Comedy Central Roasts, would you?

          • MontanaMade

            Christians that actually follow the word of God do believe that homosexuality is wrong, as is sex outside of marriage.

            Now- on the same hand, believers should also follow the admonition that we love the sinner- hate the sin. Not tolerating the sinner is a sin of itself. Unfortunately- most do not… they become self-righteous and intolerant of those that Christ tried to help the most- the sinner.

            Something I was taught a long time ago- religion is not for perfect people- but for the sinner who is looking for a hand up. I’m pretty sure that means all of us.

            That being said- I really don’t care if the shop owner wants to do business with the gay community or not- or vice-versa. I have no dog in this fight. If a person doesn’t like a service from a business- move along- don’t pitch a fit. I just find the hypocrisy on both sides really bothersome. Who is better than who? neither…

          • JeffreyRO55

            The bible is silent about homosexuality, since no one knew it existed until recently.

            Distinguishing between gay people and gay sex is a superficial distinction, unless you think that it is moral and normal to expect a person (straight or gay) to refrain from sexual expression. We don’t ask straight people to refrain from sex so there’s no reason to expect gay people to.

            Were black people who were denied service from southern restaurants just being whiners when they complained? Shouldn’t they have just “moved along” as you say? In this case, it has been the “Christian” business person that’s pitched a fit, whining that their religious freedom has been infringed. Christians get a lot of bad press when they make a big deal about not serving gay people (particularly since they don’t mind serving other “sinners”).

          • Celsius1939a

            Well said.

      • retsam369

        Have you come out of the closet yet?

        • JeffreyRO55

          Idiot.

        • Terri Kinney

          Actually, this crackpot trolls on a lot of Christian and conservative forums, claims to be straight with several children. I doubt there are very many wives who would tolerate a husband being on the Internet 24/7 posting pro-gay nonsense and spewing hate against Christians and conservatives. Ignore him and he moves on.

      • Tom

        What about discrimination of white people? Is that okay? Happens every day…

        • JeffreyRO55

          It does? Give me some examples please.

  • Phil

    Have to disagree, Bernie. Nobody has a constitutional right to get their flower arrangements from that business or have their wedding photos taken by that photographer. A PRIVATE business has the right to refuse anyone it chooses. Of course, the free market will eventually produce businesses that will cater to anyone and everyone – as it should. Personally, I don’t care if Adam marries Steve. But I do believe a private business has the right to serve – and reject – whoever it chooses for whatever reason. Let the marketplace decide.

  • Norman Dostal

    silly-christian bigots were promised…wrong, they were never promised that after gay equality won the day they could break anti-discrimination laws-thats absurd-what next? dont serve the black man because he “bears the mark of Cain”??

    • Hector Mariscal

      Norman you are showing your true “colors” BLUE!!!
      You do not add to the discussion, you simply insult people and religion.
      I would love to see you defend gay rights in a country like, I don’t know, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, or maybe Iran. I am sure they would be just as tolerant, if not more so than Christians.
      However, I can grantee you will not, why? BECAUSE YOU AND YOUR ILK ARE COWARDS!!!!
      You only attack those you know can’t or won’t attack you.

      You are pathetic!

    • Wheels55

      Chill out Norman. How many Gay Pride parades do you see in Russia, Iran, Iraq, etc? Be thankful that this country was founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs.

  • gold7406

    As Bernie spoke about “Indiscriminate Tolerance” on O’ Reilly a few weeks ago.
    The left wants us to accept any type of behavior before us as a-okay.

    This type of “tolerance” led to maj. hasan and aaron alexis.

  • Tim Ned

    You had me Bernie until you brought up the situation of the Muslim flower shop who refuses to do the flowers for a Christian wedding and let me say “White” Christian wedding. I’m not a lawyer but I have run my own business for over 30 years. There are no laws that I am aware of that provides these types of rights to white males. I’m no lawyer but I’m betting the state or ACLU wouldn’t look twice at your scenario.

    • Jim Maxedon

      Laws of accommodation do indeed provide these rights to anyone regardless of religion, race, and in most cases gender. Hence, a business cannot discriminate against a white person because they are white, nor against a Christian because they are Christian.

      • Tim Ned

        Thanks Jim for the clarification.

        • Hector Mariscal

          Those Christians were discriminated against for there beliefs. How is that fair?

  • batfink

    Religious practice is specifically protected in the US Constitution. Sexual choices are not.

    • Norman Dostal

      not in public accomodations-and sexual orientation is protected-see 14th amendment

      • Paul Courtney

        Both wrong-Look @ 1stAm.- Free EXERCISE. Both businesses exercising Religious belief. Looking at 14th, see sex nowhere. Yes, some society values will trump Free exercise, but the fact that 1stAm says what it says (unlike gays, nothing said in Const until Anthony Kennedy amended it}, those limits on free exercise supposed to be compelling for society. By misreadings and inventing constitution clauses, Cts have set bar much lower than compelling for its pet issues. Forget morals and Christians, this is all wrong on a rule of law basis. Cts have gone so far off, can’t even recognize our written contract with gov’t anymore, and Norm can say 14th amendment says whatever he wants it to say.

    • MikeS

      Religious BELIEF is protected. Religious PRACTICE is not. (Don’t believe me? Found a religion that claims its sacraments include animal sacrifice and sex with children, and see how much protection those practices get!

      • G. Daylan

        Mike you should read the first amendment before you write here. What part of “the free exercise thereof” don’t you understand?

  • Wayne

    When you have a president who lies about all the un-American things he wants passed, why would he not lie about the consequences of the “gay” agenda. I agree with the post by Hector Mariscal

    • Norman Dostal

      no consequences-religion NEVER overrides civil rights-sorry bigot

      • Wayne

        Did we hit a nerve Norman? Just stating the facts of this country’s foundation, Judeo-Christian beliefs. The founders arrived at the great Constitution, which is being shredded by O, through much prayer and standing on those beliefs. Sorry if they won’t line up for you, though they can.

        • JeffreyRO55

          How can a country that is supposedly founded on “judeo-christian” (whatever that is!) beliefs not outlaw violations of the Ten Commandments?

          • Hector Mariscal

            Jeff, if you want to see the difference between our values, I.e. Judeo-Christian and other countries, visit a Muslim country and scream at them about how bigoted they are for the easy they treat gays. I cannot wait to your face on Al Jerezza (however its spelled) TV begging for you life while your being decapitated. That is the power of “tolerance” in other countries.

          • JeffreyRO55

            I reject your moral relativism. Christian hatred and violence is only contained because we’re a secular country that doesn’t allow religionists to murder people.

          • Jeff Webb

            It was the PC cowardice of secular people that allowed Hasan to commit his murders in Ft. Hood.

      • Paul Courtney

        Norm: Never occurs to you that free exercise of religion IS civil right?

  • Robert Byers

    Seems to me a private biz should have the right to serve those they want not others. Their choice in a free society. Some like blue over green color too.

    • Norman Dostal

      nope-hasnt been true for decades-you must serve jews, women and blacks and-in 21 states-gays in PUBLIC shops-sorry bud

    • Jim Maxedon

      A “private biz” would be a country club or other business strictly affiliated with a members-only policy. Once it provides goods and services to the public at large, it is no longer a “private biz” and must adhere to the laws of public accommodation.

      • Robert Byers

        Yeah, I know, but I said “should” not could. Anyway, I really don’t care if gays or jews or blacks shop at any store, but I am growing weary of hearing about all their grievances these days. Lord knows that this nation and the entire world has far greater problems that need resolve before I worry about things that really do pale in comparison to WMD, Terrorists, war, the economy, breakdown of the family unit, etc….

        • Jim Maxedon

          In this case it is the business owners who claim to have grievances.

          • Hector Mariscal

            Jim,
            Being forced to close your business down because drama queens couldn’t be adults and had to sue for being “discriminated” against, instead of merely taking there business elsewhere, is not right either.

          • Jim Maxedon

            So the blacks in the sixties should have taken their business elsewhere instead of being “drama queens”?

            Nobody is forced to close their business. They can always take their business elsewhere to a country that allows discrimination instead of being drama queens.

          • Hector

            Jim, because this happened year, lets keep it in the proper the time period. In today’s day and age the gay couple could have ordered things online, or could have gone to another florist. Just as an example. Instead they chose to destroy someone else’s hard work because they disagreed with their lifestyle.
            BTW stop comparing black civil rights struggle with gay “rights”snuggle struggle. See my post below on I see that as intellectually dishonest.

          • Jim Maxedon

            And blacks could go to another restaurant. Nobody’s business was ever “destroyed” unless they chose to abandon it to avoid following the law. Those who did so apparently chose to “go to another” occupation.

            Civil rights are civil rights. In order to accept that comparing black civil rights struggles with gay rights struggles is intellectually dishonest one must accept that the harm of being refused service at a diner is worse than the harm of being refused service at a bakery. I reject that.

          • Jim Maxedon

            And blacks could go to another restaurant. Nobody’s business was ever “destroyed” unless they chose to abandon it to avoid following the law. Those who did so apparently chose to “go to another” occupation.

            Civil rights are civil rights. In order to accept that comparing black civil rights struggles with gay rights struggles is intellectually dishonest one must accept that the harm of being refused service at a diner is worse than the harm of being refused service at a bakery. I
            reject that.

      • Celsius1939a

        It is clear that the public laws of accommodation violate the exercise of religion. The scotus does not know what it is doing.

        • Jim Maxedon

          Isn’t it curious that laws of public accommodation were just fine until it applied to homosexuals? Now it’s not only fine to discriminate against gays but blacks, Jews, and Italians should find another restaurant or baker, too.

          • Celsius1939a

            The laws of public accommodation were never fine. I have been around a long time and have been discriminated against many times. So what? There are so many people and places, that I can always find someone or some place to do business or find people to deal with. I am not religious, but I am a pragmatist. But we must always remember that the constitution protects the free EXERCISE of religion. It does not protect me or you from discrimination.

          • Jim Maxedon

            Providing goods and services to the public is not exercising religion.

          • Celsius1939a

            One is allowed to exercise religion while conducting business.

          • Jim Maxedon

            Maybe, but the business itself is not an exercise of religion. It is an exercise of commerce.

          • Celsius1939a

            Ah – the famous commerce clause. Remember, commerce is regulated in the constitution between states and not within states.

          • Jim Maxedon

            Remember that most businesses are regulated by their state and local public accommodation laws with the powers granted them by Amendment X of the Constitution.

          • Celsius1939a

            I think you have it a bit backwards. The 10th just says that if it is not specified in the constitution, it is under the control of the states. Nothing is granted. But, you do make a point that it cannot be the civil rights law that controls all of this. Therefore, forward-looking states can modify any public accommodation laws to be realistic and not just pretend that all are equal.

          • Jim Maxedon

            “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” I’d say reserving powers to the States is “granting” them those powers.

            If states “pretend” that all are equal, does that mean that all are NOT equal?

          • Celsius1939a

            Equal is not what we are. We have equal opportunity. It says nothing about outcomes. This is a common error on the left.

          • Jim Maxedon

            This is a common straw man on the right. Equal in the eyes of the law is not the same as equal in fortune. No serious person on the left has EVER suggested that all outcomes be equal. It’s a fantasy of the right.

          • Celsius1939a

            I am glad to see that you have a sense of humor. EVER? Sorry, I am not in to fantasies.

          • Jim Maxedon

            Never? Provide and example. I’m not into fantasies either.

          • Celsius1939a

            Sorry, but I have wasted enough time with you. We will probably never agree on anything. It has become tiresome.

          • Jim Maxedon

            Time to make a claim but no time to back it up. Common. And tiresome.

  • Hector Mariscal

    Bernie,

    I have to disagree with you completely on this. It is one thing for gays (by the way, when you have gay men and women being sprayed with fire hoses and chased by attack dogs, then I will equate it with the black civil rights movement) to be together and live peaceful lives, it is another thing for them to impose their view on others. You and I are both Jewish, I may see the Torah as absolute and perfect, that means among other things, no working, or watching television on “Shabbat” (Friday night-Saturday) as well as a strict dietary code. You may disagree and have Pork chops and go into the office on Saturday, instead of being at Shul. We may disagree, but I may not force my views on you, you shouldn’t force your views on me.

    As far as public business is concerned that argument falls flat because those gay couples could easily go to another florist, baker, photographer for their needs. All they had to say is “thank you” and take their business somewhere else.

    This is what Denis Prager means in one of his articles, to paraphrase “it is not enough to be tolerant towards gays and other sexually ambiguous people, you MUST celebrate it and embrace it”.

    It has become gay Americans and their leftist allies who have created a type of “Gay fascism”. By which I mean if you don’t agree with and my point of view, you must be a Fascist, racist, anti-gay, homophobic bigot that must be brought to justice and prosecuted and lynched!
    As I stated earlier, I am not a Christian, but I see they are being persecuted by an increasingly atheist society that seems them as “out of touch, in the dark and ‘clinging to their Bibles and Guns'”. Who does that last part remind you of?
    If we want to be more “tolerant” (which to me is a farce, we should be understanding) society, we need to let Christians (and Orthodox Jews) practice
    in peace and not attack them because they disagree with popular culture.

    Remember what Thomas Jefferson said, “what is popular is not always right. What is right is not always popular”.

    Finally, to use your scenarios, If a Muslim (who have permission from the Koran to stone Homosexuals, among other people), refuses to sell flowers, take pictures, and bake cakes to gay couples, because it is a violation of their faith, what do you think would happen to him/her? My guess, a light half-hearted protest, then silence.

    • Norman Dostal

      Hector, youre a silly bigot, How about 10,000 gays gassed in WW2? Is that enough to equate with otehr civil rights struggles? your bigotry blinds you

      • Hector Mariscal

        I figured someone would say that I am a bigot, because I disagreed with their Gay agenda.
        1) I am not against gays living a peaceful life, just don’t force it down my throat, and then tell me that it’s “natural”. It is the opposite of natural by definition. Is biology bigoted too?

        What I want is to live my life peacefully, but given the track record of leftist, that would not be the case. Notice how you went to insult me first instead of asking me to clarify my position. You no doubt want people not to accept this lifestyle choice, but to celebrate it as the next phase in evolution.

        2) Jews were the primary target of the holocaust (and by the way I know holocaust survivors, so don’t give me your moral equivalency rant, I am not buying it.) 6 Million (does that compared to 10K seems like small potatoes?) of them were killed and another 1 Million in displacement and most of the world didn’t care, until they started to get bombed by the Germans or their allies.
        We get Israel and all of a sudden the hatred starts again. Now we are “oppressors” of the “innocent” Palestinians, that don’t contribute nearly as much as Israel.
        Furthermore, Black Americans wish they had millionaires and billionaire amongst their ranks, they could have only dreamed of having movies, TV shows, Media stars and entertainers that glorify and carry the amount of influence that today’s “oppressed” gays enjoy.
        So all that said, I think it is your ideological world view that blinds you! I am not a bigot, it is sad that name calling is what you resorted to first.

    • Berkeley Transplant in AVL

      Hector, as another Jew, I find your remarks so repulsive– you bigot
      and so anti-Jewish in values and sentiment. In fact, In my 68+ years NEVER heard a Jew utter such CRAP
      You have no concept that Jews, in the not too distant past, were treated just like Blacks and Gays.
      You are a disgrace to your past and history
      You probably would have supported Hitler in the elimination of 6 million of us
      Bernie , we don’t agree on much BUT
      I am proud of your stance on Gay Rights and same sex marriage
      Keep it up

      • Hector Mariscal

        Berkeley,
        What emotional drivel passed off as intellectual discussion.
        Your first mistake is to call me a “bigot” without even knowing me, a clear sign that you are part of the problem, not the solution.
        One of the biggest Jewish values is to “be fruitful and multiply” even the most secular Jew knows that one. Please tell me how gays can do that together naturally?
        Point to where I said “We should gather all dem gays, hog tie them and burn for there sins” in my OP. What I have said is that I want to live in peace, but as I said in my OP it is not enough to tolerate gays and other sexually ambiguous people, you must celebrate it or else!
        Jews are still treated by the Left “black mark” ( let me guess, “that’s racist”) the world, what planet are you living on? Israel is usually portrayed as an aggressor, by an overwhelmingly Left wing media and you Coward generation is to blame.
        It was you baby boomers that destroyed the family unit, one that your parents gave you. It was your generation that decided to have less kids, and pushed your leftist world view on us. Now Social security is broke, in part because of a lower birth rate in your gen, and in part because of you picking politicians based on you “feelings” and then you have the gall to blame my gen?
        Your gen was one of the worst when it came to parenting among other things, and you look at your children and shake your head. Where do you think we got it from?
        For you to say that “in your 68 years you have never heard something so anti-jewish values (???)” Points to the fact you lived in one the hippy left-wing seminary capitals of the US and didn’t engage in any debate with someone who didn’t agree with you already.
        In short, you are almost 70 years old quit acting like a drama queen!