Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, March 27, 2015

Free to Be a Bigot in Indiana

Does anyone not get that Indiana's "Religious Freedom Law" has very little to do with religion and almost everything to do with bigotry? Am I now supposed to ask in businesses, at least ones that don't display signs or stickers welcoming everyone, if they will serve my kind?

After all, Easter is coming up. Some hard-line Christians still have hard feelings for my people because we arguably had a hand in whacking their Dear and Fluffy Lord about 1,980 years ago.[1]

Can you imagine what fun the segregationists would have had with such a law? After all, they adamantly argued that their religious beliefs permitted them to discriminate on the basis of race, an argument that Bob Jones University took all the way to the Supreme Court.[2]

If your business is open to the public, then to the public it should be open.[3] If you can't bring yourself to do that, then you need to find another line of work, such as wielding a bolt gun in a slaughterhouse.
[1] We at least sold the hardware and timber to the Second Italian Cohort.
[2] Only Rehnquist bought that.
[3] Notwithstanding limitations such as age restrictions or Dram Shop laws, that is.


D. said...


I had some things to say about that myself, but 1) I begin to think that some strains of religion require hypocrisy, and 2) too bad the Satanists don't seem to have a dog in this fight.

Anonymous said...

The market will punish bigotry far more efficiently and effectively than government. While I can see why some are worried, do you realm want bureaucracy getting involved? Government compelling people to act against their wishes is weaponized bureaucracy.

Deadstick said...

Yeah, I remember that when I was living in Georgia in the Fifties. Just say "nigger" and the market would go upside your head right smart.

Sevesteen said...

I really like this solution:

There was a time we needed anti-segregation laws. We no longer do--if we allow unlimited bigotry, some tiny fraction of a percent of businesses will be unavailable to one minority or another. I'd rather allow them to be bigots as long as it is pre-announced to all--While I'm straight and white, I don't want to do business with anyone who only serves minorities because it is required by law.

CenterPuke88 said...

I like the idea of:

1) You may choose to deny service to anyone, if you have a sign, government issued, posted on all entries to your business advising customers of such. Such signs shall be available for a $500 fee, per group to be denied service, per issuance (up to 5 identical signs will be provided at the time of payment).

2) The business will not be permitted to ask any individual if they fall into a category to whom you deny service. You must obviously be able to tell by looking at them. Any business asking a customer about their standing in or out of a prohibited group shall be fined $5000 per violation. The person reporting the inquiry shall be paid a $2500 reward.

3) If the business serves a person who is in a group which you list as not to be served, that individual may file a complaint with the State and be compensated with $500 from the $1000 fine the State will levee on the business owner, not the business. Additionally, the business shall surrender the all the signs prohibiting the group involved, and must repurchase them.

4) If the business denies service to an individual who is not in a posted group, that individual may file a complaint with the State and be compensated with $5000 from the $10000 fine the State will levee on the business owner.

5) Any business that accumulates 10 or more verified complaints in a 12 month period, shall be fined $100000.

Anonymous said...

Every human has a right to be an asshole so long as doing so does not infringe the rights of others or cause them actual harm. All commerce should be voluntary, choose to engage in it, or not, for any reason you want.

The alternative is that government may compel you to do anything and everything, and that you require permissions from your masters. You have no rights, but don't worry, government will protect you, because your a special snowflake.

Eck! said...

I figure that someone will actually read the law and find a way to apply it in a situation it was never meant for. Then the fun begins.

No two ways around it its going to be either shut down by the courts
and likely only after it backfires on everyone.


Comrade Misfit said...

Amazing, in this day and age, the number of people who would defend Jim Crow. For make no mistake, that's what the Anons are doing.

If your business is open to the public, then it should serve the public. You don't want to sell to blacks or Irish or Jews or gays, then go get a job where your bigotries won't matter.

And if you ever need medical care or anything like that, please do inquire as to the sexual orientation or ethnicity of your medical team. I'm sure they'll be happy to accommodate your bigotry.

Sevesteen said...

There's a big difference between Jim Crow government enforced racism and the government not getting involved in someone else's bigotry.

Yeah, the motives of the people pushing for this aren't pure--but realistically almost nobody will use this law, and the ones that do aren't likely to survive. I'd rather the market cure bigotry than the government.

Anonymous said...

I am convinced a great many would use this law to refuse medical services to people who don't meet their approval, refuse to fill prescriptions for medications and illnesses not meeting their approval, refuse hotel rooms and food service to those who do not meet their approval, refuse to rent or sell houses to those who don't meet their approval. Why would I think otherwise when I have seen it thus?

Jay in N.C.

Victor said...

Sevesteen and Anons,

Are you done with all that neo-Feudalist twaddle you're posting? Great, now please come live in the real world, where the Almighty Market doesn't fix problems because there's plenty of folks who will still patronize business that hate and business owners will lie about damned near anything. The government is not out to get you, and the government isn't putting guns to anyone's heads and telling them what to believe, and nobody here is trying to make swarms of black-clad government agents force business to serve people, no matter what your Ayndroid friends tell you.

The market didn't fix Jim Crow, and it's not going to fix this.

Anonymous said...

I would prefer government not get involved in peoples' business than government getting involved in peoples' business whenever someone "feels" offended or discriminated against. Seriously, this is Social Justice Warrior kind of stuff. The law sets a line that government won't cross to coerce people to act and everyone freaks out. Frankly, we need more things that government won't get involved in. People are tired of overreaching authority, but get upset when authority reigns itself in. Statist slaves. Liberty means freedom to act as you choose and responsibility for your actions. If you want big brother to come in to protect you when someone does something you don't like but causes no actual harm, you grant tacit approval for government to do the same to you. Get your head straight. Don't like that certain religious groups support this, fine. Feel free to not engage in commerce with them. Humanity is messy. No one said that everyone has to be all nice-nice to each other. That's for kindergarteners. Time to grow up.

dinthebeast said...

From what I understand, the government in Somalia doesn't interfere with the people's lives much. As a result of that the social justice warriors there have a lot of bombs and AKs.
Also, I imagine the anons here would have a different take on the law if it allowed discrimination against them.

-Doug in Oakland

Eck! said...

A touch of reality on this social experiment.

Unlike Jim Crow we have 49 states where this legal malfeasance does not exist.

WE (the collective we) can watch from a distance to see what happens. Likely being the 'net there will be much posturing and much more of the "its in the net it must be true.". So We will have to sort the signal from the noise. And just as likely some that will ignore one side or the other as it disfavors their view.

So rather than picking bad and good guys I get to watch and see who will pick up the black hats and announce themselves.

There is one truth so far. While assholes are not the norm they will be conspicuous by their actions. If people suffer injury and not just hurt feelings by these actions there are laws that will certainly be in effect. The civil courts are not limited by this law.

Have fun kids.


Infidel753 said...

Wow, real infestation of libertarian trolls you got here.

whenever someone "feels" offended or discriminated against

Notice the dishonest conflation of two different things. No one is claiming a right not to be offended (well, some of the religionists want to ban things that offend them). Being discriminated against is a completely different thing from being offended. And when somebody who would make a wedding cake for a straight couple refuses to make one for a gay couple, they don't just "feel" discriminated against, they have been discriminated against, as a plain fact.

The alternative is that government may compel you to do anything and everything, and that you require permissions from your masters.

Oh, nonsense. Antidiscrimination laws have been the status quo for half a century, at least as far as race is concerned, and we haven't all become "statist slaves".

As others have pointed out, the historical record is that the market does not fix things like this -- certainly not in the case of bigotries that are still fairly widespread. Not that libertarians ever much care for empirical data from the rather messy and intractable real world.

What fascinates me is that Christians are so fixated on defending their "right" to exclude and shun and make pariahs of people. They never get this worked up about defending the right to, say, help the homeless (which has also been challenged in some cases). No, the right to reject gays is the hill they've chosen to die on. That's the face American Christianity presents to the world. It's no wonder more and more people are turning away from it.

B said...

Why would you insist that a (ferinstance) Christian bakery produce a cake for your gay wedding if not to cause change and to make them uncomfortable.....Why not take your business where it was welcome? While I understand the concept you folks are trying to make, and actually agree, this whole case was one of 'We're here, we're queer, get used to us". THis law is a (clumsy) attempt to prevent the Social Change folks from forcing their views on others. Bigotry aside, a private business SHOULD be allowed to discriminate....by race, color, religion, gender or whatever else they choose to discriminate upon. The State should have no say.

But you SJW types have to try and make it great and safe and comfortable and non-judgemental for everyone...

What if they were avowed Child Molesters....or members of NAMBLA and wanted a cake?

BadTux said...

Jesus Christ was a homeless street preacher who possessed only what he could carry on his back, and hung out with prostitutes, tax collectors, Samaritans, lepers, and other despised populations. Somehow I doubt he would have agreed with what these "Christians" are doing in his name.

As for this Indiana law, I see no difference between signs saying "no gays" and signs saying "no Jews", "no niggers", "no spics", or any other group that a business owner doesn't like. It's already established law that if you're open to the public, you're open to the public, even to members of the public you don't personally like. You can hate black people all you want, but you can't hang a "no niggers allowed" sign in the front window, and if a black person comes into your shop, you must serve him, even if your religion holds that black people are evil and satanic. Yet apparently someone being gay makes a difference here?

dinthebeast said...

Apparently neighboring states have similar laws, but unlike Indiana, they are balanced with anti-discrimination laws. As a result of the bad publicity, Pence is now said to be considering one of those as well. We'll see what he actually ends up doing...

-Doug in Oakland

Sevesteen said...

"New Orleans has too much rain"

"So you should start a farm in Death Valley, see how you like it then"

The Somalia argument might be appropriate if you're arguing with a full anarchist, but we do need some government, just a lot less than we have now.

By the time it is possible to pass non discrimination laws, the market has already taken care of the overwhelming majority of the problem--the law can at best clean up a few remaining loose ends, often at a cost that exceeds the benefit.

Passing the law now was stupid from a PR standpoint--but it parallels federal law passed in the 90's, voted for by a number of still serving Democrats. It parallels laws on the books in about 40% of the US.

Gay marriage should be legal. The law should not require a business owner's participation in gay marriage, (or Westboro Baptist marriage) even as small a participation as baking a cake--but the law should also allow a business owner to discipline employees who refuse to serve gays, work on Sundays or handle alcohol if it is a significant part of the job.

BadTux said...

Sevesteen, I don't know what country you live in, but it isn't the American South that I grew up in. Bigotry against blacks in that American South was *not* on the way out when anti-discrimination laws were passed. Crap, it isn't even on the way out *now*, my property manager back in Louisiana called me upset because a biracial couple wanted to move into my rental property, because "that ain't right". I told him rent the thing to them, already. It was the law, regardless of what he felt wasn't right.

Same deal with bigotry against gays. There is no — zero — moral justification for me to refuse to photograph the wedding of a gay couple — even if my own religion says that gay marriage is evil. Because they aren’t demanding that I gay marry anybody. They’re just demanding that I do my job as a photographer, a job which in no way violates my religious beliefs, because it doesn’t require that I gay marry anybody, it doesn’t require that I have gay sex with anybody, all it requires is that I press the button when the bride kisses the bride. And as far as I know, no religion, anywhere, says that pushing the shutter button on a camera is anathema when a bride kisses the bride.

My religion is about *my* behavior. Not about the behavior of people who aren't part of my religion. There is no moral justification in any Christian holy scripture that allows me to impose my morality upon people who are not of my own religion. It doesn't matter how many times Christian holy literature says gay sex is wrong, there's no justification in that literature to treat gay people in any way other than the way Jesus said to treat them in the so-called "Golden Rule" -- i.e., treat them the way I want them to treat me.

Using holy literature to justify bigotry is just hiding behind a Bible to justify bigotry, in the end. And I have no reason to support bigotry, nor codify it in law, nor defend it when it hurts someone. And bigotry *does* hurt people, and we have a whole tort law built up around what to do when something hurts people. Which is the biggest problem with this Indiana law -- it interferes with obtaining damages when a bigot harms you. And when rule of law isn't an option, that's always a problem, because the alternative to rule of law is rule of gun... which never has a good ending.

Green Eagle said...

Anonymous and Sevesteen,
I have not noticed that Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-a have gone out of business because of their attitudes. The notion that "the market will fix it" is just as much a pack of nonsense in this case as it is every other time it is cited.

Ahab said...

Indiana has joined the ranks of several other states with such laws, which worries me. Supporters of Indiana's new law seem to think that "religious freedom" trumps other people's rights.

CenterPuke88 said...

Ahab, you missed the memo....it's Western, Christian religious freedom, except maybe those Catholics, and maybe the Mormons, and....

Sevesteen said...

BadTux--you may be right in regards to the south--I've lived most of my life in small town Ohio.

For me the main issue is what sort of things are worthy of sanctioning the use of government force to accomplish. In most cases housing equality is worth using force--especially since there is so much riding on the location of your home. I'm not willing to sanction use of force so people can get a particular custom wedding cake or photographer. I also see a difference between custom ordered goods like wedding cakes where in theory at least there is supposed to be artisanship, and a pre-baked cake.

I've donated probably a couple thousand dollars over decades to Planned Parenthood. Despite that, I'm not willing to use force so a Hobby Lobby employee doesn't have to pay for a particular method of birth control out of their own pocket. I'm not willing to use force to prevent Chick Fil A's management from financially supporting causes I oppose.

BadTux said...

Sevesteen, one of the most fundamental roles of government is to provide a forum for remedying the problem of one person harming another person, and enforcing the judgements of said forum. We call it a civil court. What you are basically saying is that government should not be doing one of the most fundamental things that government is charged with doing -- i.e., solving the problem of one person harming another person.

Under our system, you don't get to decide on what set of harms are sufficient to justify recourse to civil court. That is for the law and the courts themselves to decide. Which is why this law is so damaging -- it removes recourse to the courts when someone claims they have a religious right to harm others by discriminating against them. It short-circuits one of the most fundamental duties of government -- the provision of a forum for redress of harms -- in favor of bigotry and hatred.

What next? Are the religious bigots going to use their holy scripture to say it's okay to stone to death a divorcee who remarries? Hey, we already are setting a precedent that it's okay to use your religion as an excuse to harm another person, what's one more step down that slope, anyhow? If you insist that it's not the job of government to keep one citizen from harming another, why should we have laws against rape and murder, for that matter? Once you decide that a fundamental purpose of government isn't a fundamental purpose of government anymore, what's to stop religious bigots from killing Jews and Muslims and claiming it's just what their Christian duty says to do and so the State should not step in?

Yeah, slippery slope arguments are a slippery slope, but my point remains. The provision of a forum for redress of harms is one of the fundamental roles of government, and stating that a particular set of harms cannot be subject to said forum because of religion is to reject one of the most fundamental roles of government, without which government has no purpose to begin with.

Anonymous said...

You have a right to engage in commerce, which is voluntary between two or more interested parties. Rights are all voluntary by nature. If you can compel another to do something they don't want to do, you are violating their rights.

This is the principle issue with the Affordable Care Act. It requires people to engage in commerce they might not wish to partake in for whatever reason or face penalties such as fines or punitive taxes.

Likewise, it is the principle issue with gun control, that because some people have caused others physical harm, or have used weapons to intimidate and coerce others, some people are fearful enough that your rights to own property (weapons, also tools) and defend yourself must be curtailed. Once again, rights are voluntary and are possessed entirely by the individual. Ideally, they are not subject to anyone else's wants or needs.

No one is suggesting that this law gives anyone the right to kill or harm another. Doing so would clearly be a violation of their human and constitutional rights. It has been said before that your right to swing your fist ends at the end of my nose. This is true because it is premised on both parties having equal rights. Applied to commerce, your right to my goods or services ends at my decision to sell it at an agreed upon price. If I don't wish to sell, for any reason, you have no right to compel me to, just as I have no power to compel you to buy what I sell, regardless if you want it or not.

Sevesteen said...

BadTux, I am under no obligation to take wedding pictures for anyone. I've done it a couple of times years ago, but that doesn't mean I have to keep doing it. My refusal isn't a harm that should have legal consequences even if it means you have to get a photographer that charges more or does a worse job. The reason I refuse is irrelevant.

If I rape, murder or stone I am harming someone--and except for defense against violence my reasons don't matter here either. They now have the right to defend with violence, and I should be jailed.

The thoughts in my head, or someone's guess at the thoughts in my head should not turn something legal into a crime.

Replace Gay with Westboro Baptist. Should businesses be allowed to refuse service to the God Hates Fags idiots?

(The right answer is yes)

BadTux said...

So let me get this straight. If 80% of the businesses in town put up signs that say "no niggers, kikes, faggots, spics, or redskins allowed", you're saying that no harm is being done to those people?

Because that's what the reality was before non-discrimination laws were passed. People who had done nothing wrong other than be born into a particular ethnic group were singled out and denied services, not because they had done anything obnoxious (as with the God Hates Fags morons), not because they had shoplifted or otherwise violated the basic rules of commerce, but because they'd been born. The end result is that they ended up paying higher prices for goods and services from the few who would serve them. For no reason other than that they'd been born.

That's called economic harm. It's not on the same level as murder or rape, but it's still harm, and it is still one of the most fundamental duties of government to provide a forum (i.e., courts) for redress of said harms. You might hop skip and dance and play the anarchist tune of "we don't need no government", but I already seen the end game of that, whether it was the aforementioned signs on the vast majority of stores in town, or the situation in Somalia and Afghanistan where it is he who has the most guns who makes the rules.

BTW, one of the biggest advocates of the civil rights laws against discrimination were large national store and hotel chains. They had to put those "no niggers allowed" signs on their stores in the South because otherwise their stores would have been boycotted by the white majority. But they darn well wanted those black dollars, and having government laws outlawing discrimination gave them the excuse to take down those signs.

Whenever the majority is bigots, the power of the marketplace simply cannot eliminate bigotry. Period.

Sevesteen said...

We aren't talking about 80%, we are talking about 0.1%. If it gets to 5 or 10%, I'm likely to change my mind. That's not going to happen, there are a lot fewer people now who are more bigoted than they are greedy.

And while we are talking about the scope of government, remember that not long before the Civil Rights Act, the federal government was one of the larger violators of minority rights--Segregated military and racist mortgage regulations, for example. Government is like salt-We must have a small amount, but too much is harmful.

BadTux said...

I must profess to be utterly baffled by your argument, Sevesteen. Your argument appears to be that without this law, gays are a special government-protected class in Indiana. That is not true -- gays have never been a government-protected class in Indiana. I pointed out that this law removes access to civil court for an entire class of people if the person breaching contract or causing harm claims they did so for religious reasons, and you act as if I'm talking about some strange new innovation that was just invented, rather than about a fundamental part of our English common law based system of civil jurisprudence which has been present since over 500 years before the founding of our nation.

All I can figure is that you don't know what a civil court is or what it does. A civil court, to which access is guaranteed by most state constitutions, is a place where a person who feels they have been harmed either directly or via breach of contract can petition for redress of harms. The civil lawsuit is then heard either by a judge or by a jury of the defendant's peers to determine whether harm in fact occurred and, if such harm occurred, what its monetary value was.

Civil courts are a fundamental requirement of capitalism. Without civil courts to enforce contracts, you have chaos, as people violate contracts without repercussion and make commerce beyond simple barter and immediate shop purchases impossible. I am baffled by your insistence that civil courts are Big Government forcing laws upon people. They are not. They operate on common law principles, not Big Government principles.

My objection to this Indiana law is not that it removes government protections from gay people. My objection is that it removes access to civil courts from gay people. It allows people to shut down access to civil courts for enforcement of contracts and redress of harms by simply saying "my religion required me to breach that contract."

Do note that in most states, there is an implied contract in many cases enforced by law for all businesses open to the public. That contract is that if a customer enters and comports with posted behavioral requirements and state and local laws, there is an implied contract that you will sell him the goods posted for sale at the posted price or lower. In fact, the posted prices themselves are a implied contract and can be enforced in civil court like any other contract.

Unless, apparently, someone claims that selling for the posted price violates his religious beliefs. Which is why this Indiana law is so ludicrous -- it basically states that *any* contract can be violated by saying that it violates your religious beliefs. That isn't religious freedom. That is chaos, and it will be impossible to conduct business in Indiana under such conditions where anybody can violate any contract at any time by claiming "religious beliefs".