Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Congratulations, GOP, on your success in Indiana and Arkansas!

I'm talking about, of course, the way you successfully capitulated to your opposition.

See, I was worried I'd have to eat some crow here. Passing a law to protect religious freedom? To make it so religious people do NOT have to service a gay wedding or other event they dislike, even if they will serve LGBT people? A bit gutsy, that. Writing it into law even in the face of opposition at the time? Bold stuff. And then another governor preparing to sign the bill into law, despite the mounting pressure on Indiana?

Why, that's the stuff of backbone. More than that - sincerity! It's showing you're willing to stand for principle even if the media is against you.

Which would make my views about the party and GOP leadership absolutely wrong, of course.

So it's to my great satisfaction to read that in Indiana, GOP members will be meeting with LGBT activists to try and rewrite the bill in a way they'll find acceptable. Because, after having supported the firing of people for past opposition to gay marriage, and fining businesses out of existence for refusing to provide service to a same-sex wedding even if they'd happily provide service to gays normally, you know that they won't just demand - and get - complete capitulation!

And of course there's the Arkansas governor going back on his commitment to sign the bill into law, sending it back for a rewrite to "find a nice balance" between "diversity" and "religious protections". Naturally we can expect the bill to be completely gutted and if anything make it so refusing to service a gay wedding will require intervention from the state to oversee if the refusal was maybe kinda offensive to LGBT activists. This is the only way fairness will be ensured!

It's really encouraging when long-held suspicions receive support: the GOP has no concern about religious freedom, social conservatives, or anything other than its business wing, complete with its "progressive" politics, and utter disgust with anything that so much as slightly smacks of non-secular religion.

19 comments:

Graham Esposito said...

Let me bounce something off you, because I don't think I'm crazy here, but who knows.

I think something really profound has happened here that not even an evil genius could have engineered. I think the left has stumbled into it's El Dorado and realized that this is the break they've been waiting for. I'm a photographer. Now, as far as I know, photography has been considered protected speech when it meets two criteria: It is created for a specific purpose/intent and it has an intended audience other than the photographer him/herself. That sounds kind of obvious, but there are some strange legal areas where, say, I was taking pictures of a government facility "just to have." I've been prevented from taking photos of and in front of the Chinese Embassy in DC by the secret service because of "security concerns" which I think is bullshit, but it's not the end of the world. (I was there shooting a prayer vigil in front of the embassy gates.)

ANYWAY, whether or not there are instances where creating a photo is RESTRICTED, given the broader 1st Amendment protections of photography as speech, I've never ever heard of a scenario where the creation of a photo has been COMPELLED. But, in the case of gay weddings, that's the law of the land.

I could imagine a bakery finding some kind of transactional compromise when it comes to a cake for a gay wedding. I'll bake you the cake, give you the frosting, and you can write Brian & Brian 4 Eva on it yourself. Whatever happens to the cake outside of this shop is your business. I can see why not making the cake could be seen as discrimination, and I can see why forcing someone to write a message on it is compelled speech.

No dice when it comes to photography. The dots on the paper are what they are and they mean what they mean and there's no way around it. Photoshop is good, but not that good.

The argument is, that my photography is just "a service." It isn't, exactly. I create and sell intellectual property on a commissioned basis. I'm now compelled to create intellectual property of specific content, because of some insane perception of there being "no difference" between an image of a man and a woman getting married, and a man and a man getting married. This all under some bizarre assumption that the only reason I wouldn't take a picture of a man and a man getting married is "because they are gay." Which is hilarious. I wouldn't take a picture of two straight men getting married either. (I actually wonder how many straight room mates will do that to fraudulently claim insurance and tax benefits while they live together.)

But, so, ok. I'll do that with a gun to my head, if that's what you want. I have to fucking eat. But it's not just ME that I'm worried about. I suppose I could find a new job, and die inside a little, because I really, really love my job.

IF the argument solely rests on the fact that I create speech for one "group" (which I don't) I now HAVE to create speech of specifically different content tailored to another group, what DOES the religious exemption even mean anymore? The protections of a religious school for having an honor code are just anachronistic and arbitrary in light of this kind of thing. If a wedding officiant says words over one wedding, why can't he also be compelled to say those words over ANY so-called-wedding? The religious exemption is hanging by a legal thread, with no cultural or philosophical basis.

I'm giving it five years before the first religious school faces losing accreditation or being forced to alter their behavior contracts to explicitly condone gay sex. Then three more years before a church loses tax-exempt status, before getting sued into oblivion, for not officiating a gay wedding.

Am I way off here?

Crude said...

Oh, I don't think what's going on here has anything to do with deep intellectual arguments or commitments. Nor do I think it's very complicated - the "progressives" have a near complete lock on the media and tech companies, which gives them a de facto lock on big business. Add all of those together and you have something people absolutely dread: a situation where they have to actually stand up against real concerted hostility to defend what they believe in, which most people will not do. Especially at the GOP level.

I think the end-game of this has been made clear: 'freedom of religion' has been redefined to mean 'you're free to believe whatever you want, in private, behind closed doors, and you can never act on it unless we approve'. And even that is going to quickly be redefined to mean 'but you can't bring up your child with your values, who has a RIGHT to mandatory public schooling specifically geared towards undermining your views'.

Oh, and while this is going on, the "progressive" Christians will cheer, and a good portion of the conservatives will urge calm, even revelry in it all, and agreeing-to-disagree while they give in completely.

So yeah, I think that's the end-game. Will it actually come to pass? And if it does, how long will it remain? That I'm less sure of.

Graham Esposito said...

I'm more and more temped to just let the whole damn thing burn to the ground. It feels like Isaiah 6.

"Make the heart of these people calloused, make their ears dull and close their eyes."

"How long Lord?"

"Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant."

ccmnxc said...

This reaction, though, has just been...amazing. I open up the internet and I might as well just see one big rage-face pop up.I'm finally beginning to see, Crude, what you have been saying for awhile. There is no reasoning that can be done with most of these people. None that will actually make a difference, anyways.

Crude said...

There is no reasoning that can be done with most of these people. None that will actually make a difference, anyways.

And there is no chance for honest dialog. See the headlines about the Pizzeria that said they'd happily serve gays, they just don't want to take part in a same-sex wedding. The headline says they'd refuse to serve gays, and immediately their Yelp entry is bombed with 1 stars and attacks.

To this, you have -Christians- defending all this behavior, because LGBT activists are regarded as having the mantle of victim - and that mantle means they can never do wrong.

ccmnxc said...

Ah well; these next few years are going to be interesting. As much as this sucks, I think the Church in the US (and elsewhere) has been too comfortable and complacent for awhile. Maybe we can get some good out of the shakeup. Maybe.

GoldRush Apple said...

An Indiana pizzeria was closed due it not wanting to serve gay weddings: http://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/indiana-pizzeria-closes-over-backlash-from-owner%E2%80%99s-anti-gay-remarks-to-media/ar-AAakqnD?ocid=ansWrap11

So a dream of opening a successful business has been crushed. People lost jobs. The owners are probably in further debt if they weren't already.

Cheat your conscious. After all, "it's a just marriage, a silly contract."

Crude said...

Yeah, I saw the pizzeria thing. At least they're getting a bit of financial support.

But hey, LGBT activists are -that- mentally fragile. And we live in a world where the more crazy and fragile a group is, the more politically powerful they are.

Graham Esposito said...

What a victory for the gay rights movement. This is truly their Selma moment; the Internet Titans of sacrifice and bravery harassed a pizza shop until it closed. The glory of it all. And thank God, the MILLIONS of gay-pizza-party weddings, a rich tradition if there ever was one, is now surely able to always have access to enough pizza for their voluntary extra-marital lovers, because what the fuck are we even talking about anymore?

And fuck that reporter, dude knew exactly what he was doing when he aired that shit.

Crude said...

Well, at least people can finally see - this was never about tolerance, or acceptance, and certainly not love. It's about total cultural domination, and always has been. Which makes people like me think we were absolutely stupid back when we thought that respecting other people's opinions, leaving other people alone, WAS the central issue, even if it was disagreed about where the line was drawn. I learned, perhaps a bit too late.

Graham Esposito said...

I mean, I was just talking to a "conservative" Christian who thinks that the public accommodation laws should trump religious liberty in the marketplace, because what I do, for one arrangement for a particular behavioral group, I need to do for another, regardless of the particulars of what it is that I actually do for a living. And so ok, good, yes, thank you, I'm sure.

I told him then I will allow him to explain to the mob why there should be any difference between laity and clergy, if that's the extent of the argument. If the gay couple, coupling being BEHAVIOR, has exactly the same moral worth as the straight couple, then giving clergy license to "discriminate against gays" is just as barbaric as the marketplace discrimination. Religious exemption is total gibberish now, culturally speaking.

And in light of the pizza shop, even IF the courts maintain that distinction now and forevermore, it wouldn't take much creativity for the mob to exact vengeance without their help: Simply find a church that won't wed a gay couple, learn the identities of a few of the congregants, who by virtue of attendance and tithing fund the discrimination against gays, and out them. Threaten their employers with social media campaigns and watch the fireworks.

Crude said...

There's no lack of "Christians" who are onboard with the idea that Christianity should be some thing that, if one practices it at all, is practiced entirely in a church, one hour per week, and how that's exactly what freedom of religion is. (Also, you can't bring your children - they must be educated by the state until they are age 18, so they can be properly inoculated against anything you may say.)

Either way, admittedly, the whole mob thing makes things difficult now. We're dealing with people who will try to ruin the lives of others however they can. It makes me wonder how shit like the Sad/Rabid Puppies with the Hugos is even going on. Then again, I've also heard it said that these groups don't hold nearly the power they pretend to. They're a minority (at least, the ones this rabid) but they are loud.

ccmnxc said...

I dunno, the ability to shut down a business and scare away the owners in a matter of hours seems like a pretty handy amount of power. They might be small, but their rabidness is what gives them their disproportionately large slice of power.

That aside, though, what are your thoughts on accomodation laws in general. I'm moderately sympathetic to the idea that non-essential businesses (thus hospitals, utilities, gas, etc. don't count) should be able to serve whomever they want, whenever they want, for pretty much any reason they might have. Thoughts?

Crude said...

I dunno, the ability to shut down a business and scare away the owners in a matter of hours seems like a pretty handy amount of power. They might be small, but their rabidness is what gives them their disproportionately large slice of power.

I just mean that it's a trick they can't call upon at will. I won't deny it is absolutely terrifying when they do it.

That aside, though, what are your thoughts on accomodation laws in general. I'm moderately sympathetic to the idea that non-essential businesses (thus hospitals, utilities, gas, etc. don't count) should be able to serve whomever they want, whenever they want, for pretty much any reason they might have. Thoughts?

I'm sympathetic, but I think internet provisions are needed, and it would need to be matched with breaking up media monopolies, and more aggressive policing of monopolies in general.

ccmnxc said...

Totally off-topic, but I noticed the "I Don't Give a Damn Apologetics" blog has been removed. Anyone know what happened with RD?

Graham Esposito said...

"I just mean that it's a trick they can't call upon at will."

This is true and an important point. The trick is, the media stars have to align with some kind of legal or, maybe, ecclesial controversy. I'm guessing that because most Americans don't know what the word "synod" means, the latter condition is a bit safer. I think if, by some miracle, a large gay-affirming church reversed it's position, that would be probably be met with some incredible press.

If Kentucky's arguments survive SCOTUS's rulings at the end of the month, not only will I develop the ability to bend metal with my mind, but the shit would really hit the fan.

For a realistic scenario, I think a religious school is going to have to really be challenged in court and win. If they lose... well...

The Deuce said...

Then again, I've also heard it said that these groups don't hold nearly the power they pretend to. They're a minority (at least, the ones this rabid) but they are loud.

That's exactly the case. All their power comes from people's fear of them. If the governors had just ignored them or told them to pound sand, this would be over pretty quickly and they'd move on to their next outrage when they realized they couldn't get what they wanted out of this one. A couple weeks at worst, and none of those businesses would actually forego Indiana revenue for long (if at all). They are paper tigers.

Crude said...

No idea, ccmnx. I haven't seen RD in a while, come to think of it. :(

I just watched, for the first time in a while, O'Reilly commenting about this. His view was that there was a lack of public religious leadership in the US - notice that there's all manner of anti-religious people attacking this bill, attacking religious people. Where's the leadership?

Frightened, it would seem.

Son of Ya'Kov said...

In order for evil to win it is necessary that good men do nothing.

I am beyond mad & I feel nothing but cold rage. Not so much against the leftist anti-Catholic & anti-religious trash that are pushing this Brown Shirt idea of "tolerance" but against the so called GOP CUNT-BAGS who bow down to them without a fight.

Crude knows me and can vouch for me.

If I was being interviewed by George Stephanopoulos I would have rhetorically pulled his heart out of his chest and ate in front of him.

Instead the governor pussy/Pence just bends over.

Yeh I am mad right now.

-BenYachov