The original post here.
Jason, I appreciate the response, there is much to deconstruct here. Additionally, I believe a level set is due on some of the ideas and terms. This may appear as I am questioning every point you made, partly because I am. This is in hopes to better understand your position. The following is intended to create a respectful discourse by and between us. It is NOT intended to be disrespectful. I believe our history and friendship will allow for this discourse.
J: As I see social media platforms blow up with rainbows celebrating a newly won “right” and redefining of a word, I just can’t get into the same celebratory mood.
How do you define “right”, meaning what is a right? You claim it has been redefined, please help me understand how so.
J: Look, I really don’t have a problem that Chris & Chris, as a couple, now have the same legal protections & benefits as a traditionally married couple.
Ok, I assume this includes protection from discrimination? If not, please explain how you see if differently.
J: I tend to believe government should be out of the marriage business anyway.
On this we agree.
J: However, when this debate started gaining steam what, 8-10 years ago, I remember a gay rights activist on tv rejecting the idea of a civil union or legal partnership in favor of pushing a new definition of marriage because, in his words, “…the end goal is to destroy the old Christian idea of a traditional family”.
I am not sure what to make of this statement and how it fits into your argument. There is not enough context and reference here for me to account for this beyond conjecture. My pure opinion and reaction to this is, if it is indeed an accurate quotation, I find it unfortunate as it likely does not align with the disposition of the majority of homosexuals.
J: Then we see businesses in the wedding industry getting sued and put out of business because they have reservations serving Chris & Chris based on religious grounds.
This is a broad and unspecific claim. You may be spot on, but understand the breadth and depth of this problem is key to the conversation. Where these business sued before legislation was in place to prohibit discrimination? If no, then it is a moral challenge. If yes, then it is a legal challenge. I get you are trying to make a point, so I am only concerned about the aforementioned statement insofar as it related to better understand your specific concern.
J: I can’t help but believe this whole thing isn’t about Chris & Chris’s individual freedom and happiness, but an overall means to use PC mindset to hammer & bludgeon those with different & maybe opposing beliefs.
Again, I get where you want to go with this, I am unsure how it is substantiated. You are speculating on the intent of an large group of people (i.e an overall means to use PC mindset to hammer and bludgeon those with a different & maybe opposing beliefs). I believe you and I both agree that dissenting opinions and beliefs exist on this topic. However, I feel as though we may be at odds regarding how they are exercised.
Chris & Chris (the use of androgynous names here kicks ass!) have a right to individual freedom and happiness, in this you are correct. Transversely is has been decided that religious beliefs are not justification for discrimination. Put another way, an individuals
J: As a result has overall liberty really increased?
A bit of a red herring. My answer, to your fundamentally rhetorical inquiry, is I don’t know.
J: Finally, now that the slippery slope is good & greased up, how long is it before we are litigating rights to multiple spouses or marrying a sister or marrying a pet?
This is interesting as it presents what is inherently speculation as an imminent result. Seems you were after some shock value here. Ironically, it is religion(s) that promote and discourage polygamy on moral grounds. The new testament, 1 Timothy discouraged church leaders from taking more than one wife. However, the torah appears to allow and promote polygamy (Exodus 21:10: “If he take another wife for himself; her food, her clothing, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish”). So this in mind, I believe the “slipper slope” belongs to those with, at best inconsistent religious doctrine.
It would appear that the foundation for the argument that legalization of gay marriage is somehow the first step to decent into moral disrepair is wholly based upon faulty premise. This is substantiation for my claim that the argument from religion is lost on me.
J: On the religious front, we do still have a supposed free exercise thereof so I don’t understand how this argument is lost on you scholars.
While a entertaining inflammatory remark, it has already been deemed that the free exercise of religion is limited. It is limited insofar as, forgive me for not citing the numerous examples, religious beliefs and freedoms make not usurp or undermine the law of the land. Simply put, an individuals right to freedom of religion does not legal justify their discrimination.
I am not an expert on constitutional law or procedure so I can only speak to it at the most basic level. Here are some of the references I used to form my position:
J: It isn’t a problem of a clouded mind or misunderstanding or an emotional response.
Whose mind? I am not sure there is anything wrong with an emotional response, this is a topic bursting with emotion:)
J: It is the distinct possibility that the religious will be prohibited their exercise by government,…
Yes, we agree here. The difference is whether or not we perceive this as a negative or positive.
J: …because it has already happened: bakers and photographers and facilities forced to serve same-sex ceremonies when they claim it goes against their beliefs.
Again, specific instances would be helpful. I am not denying your claim, just asking for examples to wrap my head around.
J: So it’s not that businesses are denying service & dealing with boycotts or bad press, they are dealing with the government ruling that catering to same-sex services trumps their free expression of religion and enforcing fines, shuttering businesses, directing business owners to attend sensitivity training.
See the previous statement.
J: I’ll try to answer both your questions. 1. No – obviously I’m not too keen about ISIS beheading “infidels”; and 2. No – this is a different situation entirely.
Please elaborate on my 1. position.
Regarding 2., it is only different in it’s stimulus (challenge to beliefs) but identical in it’s response (discrimination of an attribute of a human being).
J: I didn’t choose to be a white male, but yet here I am, so color & gender are characteristics you are born with and had no say in choosing (much to the chagrin of Michael Jackson, Bruce Jenner & Rachel Dolezal!). Whomever I marry constitutes a lifestyle choice and that’s the difference: discriminating against an innate characteristic or a lifestyle choice.
Before I tackle this one, are you stating that marriage or homosexuality is a choice, or both?
J: As an aside, the Obergefell v. Hodges did not grant “equal rights” to gays, it granted an additional right to everyone. Previously, every one of us had the right to marry another provided they met certain conditions. None of us had the right to marry another of the same sex. The court case now says we can do just that; we have an extra condition of people who are eligible for marriage.
This is an aside. I would need to read the decision referenced in Obergefell v. Hodges. However, if you believe this to be vital to the conversation I will comment later.
J: As for the business owners, they didn’t turn the customers away because they were gay. In fact, they were offered alternatives. As an example, the farm owners who were fined $13k & ordered to attend re-education training offered to host the couple’s reception but not the actual ceremony. Same with the baker – they offered to make them cakes & cookies, but refused when the clients wanted a specific message. So they didn’t simply refuse service because the clients were gay, they refused the specificity of their request
I would like to hear the specifics on this instance.
J: I’m so tempted just to reply that your response was simply your experience and didn’t gain any insight…
Not sure how to respond here.
J: I don’t see this as a freedom of speech issue & totally agree with the notion that we all have to deal with the consequences of our freedoms. Again, as I said in reply to Tony, these businesses did not discriminate based on a person’s characteristics, such as skin color, but on their ideas – quite a difference from the instances that you bring up.
They did in fact discriminate on a person’s characteristics. The couple’s sexual orientation is in fact a characteristic their relationship and individualism. You are claiming that because it is not “innate”, which is highly debated and debatable. There is significant research suggesting homosexuality is in fact NOT a choice and is linked to a portion of the X Chromosome referred to as Xq28. I submit the following as an indicator and not an exhaustive view into the aforementioned position:
To note, my expertise is not in genetics or the study of the biological basis for sexuality. These are just a few of the resources I found that provide perspectives on the topic.
J: Look how easy, and possibly natural, it is for someone to accuse me of being a bigot, or condoning bigotry, when I’m basing my opinions on religious grounds.
Are you basing your opinions on religious grounds? If no, then what are you basing them on. If yes, then we have the makings for our next wonderful and lengthy discussion:)
J: If I don’t APPROVE of same-sex marriage, then I’m a bigot. I know, you didn’t accuse me of such, but I was rambling & couldn’t stop.
Neither John or I have accused you of being a bigot. I certainly don’t believe you to be a bigot. In actuality your comments don’t support even the basic definition:
: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices;especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
The question remains, do you or do you not approve of gay marriage? I ask because some of your first comments stated your indifference for Chris and Chris and their union.