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Arizona Bill 1062: The Right to Discriminate for religious reasons

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Let me state, for the record, that everyone should have the right to discriminate for any reason whatsoever. When the Christianistas present me with a bill that allows this, I will support them enthusiastically. 

 

Those acting for government in the capacity of government (and the government as such) cannot should not discriminate.  Otherwise I would agree with you.  Unfortunately we are living under an immoral mixed system where government FAR exceeds its proper role.

 

It's a fallacy and an inversion of the concept "rights" to say a policeman has "a right" not to protect a "gay" man's rights because of the policeman's religious views.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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It's a fallacy and an inversion of the concept "rights" to say a policeman has "a right" not to protect a "gay" man's rights because of the policeman's religious views.

Yes. And, according to this Reason magazine op-ed, this law would not  allow a government employee to discriminate in this way. He concludes this because this law mirrors the language in Federal and other law. 

 

In addition, compared to the Arizona law, this Indiana law seems to say that a private employee cannot choose to discriminate if his employer does not wish to do so. So, that's an important protection against (say) a pharmacist who says they won't dispense contraceptives, or a strict Muslim cashier who refuses to check out customers buying liquor.

 

All in all, I think Reason's bottom-line is right: nothing to see here. This law will not have much real-world impact, but will be a feel-good law for Christianistas. And, on the other side, there is no way this law will lead to some more broad freedom to discriminate. So, not bad enough to lose sleep over, and not good either.

Edited by softwareNerd

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Referring to "Christians as some monolithic group is the same sort of floating abstraction as "society". Saying Christians do this or that is equivalent to saying society does this or that and is absurd.

Nonsense. "Christians" is a valid concept that refers to a group of people which share a common characteristic. It is in no way a floating abstraction.

Your hatred of "Christians", which is itself a form of otherism, permits you to behave in a unprincipled way concerning related issues.

You're the one supporting people who are acting in an unprincipled way. The Republican leadership of Indiana is supporting the anti-discrimination laws. Clearly. They hold all the political power they would need to get rid of those laws if they didn't support them. And yet, you believe they are doing the right thing by keeping those laws in place while exempting themselves.

 

That is the definition of unprincipled: holding yourself to a different standard than others. That is precisely what Republicans have done in Indiana, and it's what you are doing by supporting their actions.

Edited by Nicky

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Nonsense. "Christians" is a valid concept that refers to a group of people which share a common characteristic. It is in no way a floating abstraction.

...

That is the definition of unprincipled: holding yourself to a different standard than others. That is precisely what Republicans have done in Indiana, and it's what you are doing by supporting their actions.

 

I guess the Republicans in Indiana are very powerful if they can overturn the Civil Rights acts of the 1960's that were instituted by the federal government. I didn't know that Indiana had that sort of clout.

 

So Nicky, do you live by permission? Are all rights by permission? Do people need permission to sell or not sell? I pity you.

 

The way that "Christians" was used above was as a monolithic actor. Such a body does not exist. Its use was equivalent to how socialists use Society as a monolithic actor. It too does not exist.

 

What is more, I am not supporting any group. Rather, I am advocating for the view that rights are inalienable. We do not need permission to use our own judgment. If you wish to change someone's mind, you should not do it at the barrel of a gun but by persuasion. I am an advocate of persuasion while you, through mere ignorance I am sure, are the advocate of guns.

 

I support the free exercise of one's conscience. Freedom means the freedom to do things that are not in one's own best interests, are disagreeable, or unpopular. I support this freedom while you advocate coercion. You advocate sticking your nose into my business while I say, "Get the hell out of my way!"

Edited by aleph_1

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I support this freedom while you [Nicky] advocate coercion. You advocate sticking your nose into my business while I say, "Get the hell out of my way!"

As one longtime user to another, I doubt you believe this. Was it better to go on about it at length, than to try to parse the misunderstanding?

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I guess the Republicans in Indiana are very powerful if they can overturn the Civil Rights acts of the 1960's that were instituted by the federal government. I didn't know that Indiana had that sort of clout.

I was referring to Indiana's anti-discrimination laws, not federal law. Did you really misunderstand me, or are you trying to evade the point I made?

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I support the free exercise of one's conscience. Freedom means the freedom to do things that are not in one's own best interests, are disagreeable, or unpopular. I support this freedom while you advocate coercion. You advocate sticking your nose into my business while I say, "Get the hell out of my way!"

Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you for so clearly illustrating the difference between a principled and an unprincipled approach to the issue.

 

Indeed, your idea of freedom is "get the hell out of my way". And this is precisely what you're supporting here: Christians in Indiana making the argument "In the name of freedom, get out of my way".

 

That is the unprincipled approach, excellently illustrated in a compact, seven word sentence. Thank you, couldn't have phrased it better myself.

 

The principled approach, on the other hand, would be: "let's get the hell out of each others' way". That is the difference between true advocacy for freedom (by pro-capitalists on the, for lack of a better term, "libertarian" side), and the populist/demagogic/religious right's idea of freedom.

 

I will take the political right seriously in their attempts to fight for freedom when their bills will contain equal parts freedom for Christians from gays, and for gays from Christians. Not before. Until then, I will call out Christian politicians for what they are: demagogues hijacking capitalist ideas to advance their religion.

Edited by Nicky

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The way that "Christians" was used above was as a monolithic actor. Such a body does not exist. Its use was equivalent to how socialists use Society as a monolithic actor. It too does not exist.

The politicians behind this bill are all Christians. Every last one of them. That is why "Christians" was used to describe them: because that's the characteristic that unites them.

 

Everything else is just you building a straw man. No one in this thread suggested that "Christians" is a monolithic actor. Whatever the hell that is.

Edited by Nicky

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I'll say this though: the various CEOs etc. who are threatening to boycott Indiana over this bill are wrong too. They're wrong in wanting the law to stop people from discriminating. And, they've completely lost perspective on how non-serious this particular bill is. The same for Connecticut's governor, who is signing an order saying disallowing state-funded trips to Indiana. The problem with this lot is not that they're unprincipled, but that they support the wrong principle.

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I'll say this though: the various CEOs etc. who are threatening to boycott Indiana over this bill are wrong too. They're wrong in wanting the law to stop people from discriminating. And, they've completely lost perspective on how non-serious this particular bill is. The same for Connecticut's governor, who is signing an order saying disallowing state-funded trips to Indiana. The problem with this lot is not that they're unprincipled, but that they support the wrong principle.

Democrats are even bigger demagogues than Republicans. Doesn't change the fact that all this is demagogy and nothing more. We should reject both sides' arguments, for the same reason: they're dishonest to the core. It's not even a question of degrees, like when it comes to economic issues. In economic matters, at least Republicans are in favor of a little more freedom, in general. In this, they're not. They're for more power for themselves (yes, some having the right to behave a certain way, and others not, is not freedom, it's power), and less freedom for everyone else.

Let me ask aleph_1 this: how does he think Republican lawmakers would respond, if someone opened a business and put up a "No Christians Allowed" sign. Would they want anti-discrimination laws enforced or would they be cool with it? (I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure Indiana law forbids a business from discriminating against people of a given religion).

That's the standard to apply when determining if someone's for freedom: whether they're in favor of people being free to engage in behavior they don't like. Not whether they are in favor of people engaging in behavior they approve of. I'll look at Indiana Republicans as freedom fighters when they amend this law to protect both religious beliefs and anti-religious beliefs equally. Just change the language of the law: wherever it says "religious beliefs", replace it with "religious or anti-religious beliefs", and I'll believe that the law is meant to protect freedom rather than Christianity.

Rah, rah, let's all be free to do this specific list of things my religion just so happens to prescribe is not freedom fighting, it's religious moralizing under the guise of freedom fighting. And I'm against it, without any qualifications. I'm just against it, period.

Edited by Nicky

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A right to service contradicts a right to be left alone; you can't have it both ways.  Either you are free to pursue your own happiness, or you are free to demand others provide it for you.  The Arizona Bill fails as a half measure, correctly acknowledging the former view while tacitly maintaining the latter view.

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... while tacitly maintaining the latter view.

The governor isn't tacit about it. He very explicitly says that the bill is not meant to allow people to discriminate. As a governor, I doubt he is extremely Christianista. Rather, he seems so intellectually cowed down that he has given up the vocabulary, no longer daring to acknowledge that moral, rational people must be discriminating. 

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The good govenor is reassuring everyone that justice for all doesn't discriminate, but the tacit support I'm referring to is more troubling.  We can take the point of this Bill is to maintain a form of conscientious objection in the marketplace, e.g., a baker whose religious view is opposed to gay marriage ought not be forced to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple.  The troubling part for me is that such a distinction of a general right to refuse service is even necessary.

 

Looking at the Bill:

 

Sec.2, A:  Free exercise of religion is a fundamental right that applies in this state even if laws, rules or other government actions are facially neutral.

 

This is supported by the 1st Amendment in the U.S. Constitution

 

Sec. 2, E1:  That the person's action of refusal to act is motivated by a religious belief.

 

This is an express voilation of Title 2 of the Civil Rights Act 0f 1964 in which,

 

“[a]ll persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation ... without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

http://racism.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1581:publicaccommodations02&catid=59&Itemid=182&showall=&limitstart=2

 

The presumption of a right to refuse service in the market place is fundamental to the freeness of a proprietor to select customers, and has been under assault for some time as limiting the freedom of customers to select (demand) service.  So the problem isn't that the govenor is misrepresenting the intent of this Bill, which is a political placebo at best, it's that she et all are actually presuming and securing freedoms to demand others provide service tacitly, from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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"Thank you Governor Brewer," they said. "Arizona is open for business to everyone!"

http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/26/politics/arizona-brewer-bill/

 

Another victory for the right to be served which furthers the entitlement of the needy.

 

"Like many issues involving constitutional law, the law against discrimination in public accommodations is in a constant state of change. Some argue that anti-discrimination laws in matters of public accommodations create a conflict between the ideal of equality and individual rights. Does the guaranteed right to public access mean the business owner's private right to refuse service violated? For the most part, courts have decided that the constitutional interest in providing equal access to public accommodations outweighs the individual liberties involved."

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/the-right-to-refuse-service-can-a-business-refuse-service-to-someone-because-of-appearance

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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"Thank you Governor Brewer," they said. "Arizona is open for business to everyone!"

As mentioned in the OP, the Arizona bill was lousy because it did not make clear that a person qua employee could not claim protection from his employer on the basis of religion. The people behind these bills are well aware of all the nuances involved. When they leave things out or add in a little clause -- when compared to the Federal law or the laws other states - -it is not oversight: it is deliberate. 

 

Relative to Arizona, the Indiana bill was benign; almost "nothing-to-see-here". Still, the governor did not stand up and defend the right to discriminate. When pressed, he said he wanted his legislature to send him a bill that would clarify that the religious freedom could not be used to discriminate. It's a bit pathetic to see that he cannot even stand by his own religious principles, in the face of the over-the-top assault by the pro-gay lobbies: almost makes me feel sorry for him.

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...  The troubling part for me is that such a distinction of a general right to refuse service is even necessary.

 

"'A sale,' said Rearden slowly, 'requires the seller's consent.'" -Atlas Shrugged, p. 366

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