Talk about your nail in the religious liberty argument.

I can’t think of a better rebuttal to those anti-gay bills being considered in certain portions of the country than this.

Former television college football analyst Craig James is complaining to the state that his firing by Fox Sports Southwest was an act of religious discrimination.

In a statement issued Tuesday by the Plano, Texas-based Liberty Institute, James alleges a national Fox Sports spokesman told The Dallas Morning News that James was terminated from Fox Sports Southwest for religious beliefs against same-sex marriage.

I didn’t know that being a consummate asshole was a religious preference.

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281 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery, The Honorable Craig James

281 responses to “Talk about your nail in the religious liberty argument.

  1. Bulldawg165

    1) I support gay marriage (I’ll be attending my sister’s gay wedding in two months)
    2) Private business owners should be able to deny service to whoever they want
    3) given the power of social media, this will most likely be financial suicide for the business owners who are ignorant enough to actually do it
    4) and no, this is nothing like the civil rights movement so don’t even go there
    5) does this bill not stem from a wedding cake bakery refusing to make a cake with two grooms or two brides or something? I’m pretty sure if a homosexual owned a T-shirt business they would deny service to someone wanting a shirt supporting “traditional marriage,” so crying about it is pure hypocrisy

    • 2) The Supreme Court disagrees (thankfully).

      • Comin' Down The Track

        Civil Rights Act of 1964
        TITLE II–INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AGAINST DISCRIMINATION IN PLACES OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION
        SEC. 201. (a) All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination…
        (2) any restaurant, cafeteria, lunchroom, lunch counter, soda fountain, or other facility principally engaged in selling food for consumption on the premises, including, but not limited to, any such facility located on the
        premises of any retail establishment; or any gasoline station;

        • Bulldawg165

          I know what the law is; I just think it’s outdated.

          • UnionJack

            Outdated??? Seriously?

            • Bulldawg165

              I think we’ve progressed enough that social media and the free market will take care of bigots without government intervention.

              • wnc dawg

                I live in a rural area. If the gas station wanted to refuse service to me b/c they thought I was gay, I would have very limited options. With the costs/barriers to entry for opening a gas station coupled with the prevailing views in my area, how could the free market combat that? I wouldn’t be able to buy gas to get to work b/c I was suspected of being gay (or any other “sin” deemed important enough by the owner of the gas station. Hell, if this hypothetical gas station owner was a practicing catholic, he could refuse me service if he suspected I was divorced).

                • That’s the real problem with these kinds of laws. Especially when you’re talking about the town’s only pharmacist.

                • Bulldawg165

                  fair points. I guess because I’ve lived in the city for so long I just assumed everyone could go down the street to get a substitute product whenever they were denied service

                  • Spence

                    No pharmacist in any city would label themselves the anti-gay pharmacist because their business would get protested and shut down. I wonder how many pharmacists in small towns where they’re the only one will be willing to be labeled the pro-gay pharmacist.

                    • PatinDC

                      Really? They get away with being anti-women by not selling contraceptives. How is this any different? Many women need them for medical reasons. Not just the sex ya know.

                • Cosmic Dawg

                  Unless you live in the desert, I doubt you are that far from a gas station. At any rate…

                  Recall that Jim Crow laws were LAWS – not social norms – that PREVENTED business owners from serving blacks. So that was not the market at work – that was government at work. Without them, there’s a great chance competition would have bled down in a horizontal line from the north, forcing change as it went, had there not been artificial barriers to competition.

                  Are there laws on the books right now that prohibit your gas station from refusing service to gays? So why do you assume these prohibitions would suddenly spring up overnight in a culture where openly gay relationships are on ABC (your rural area also has the internets, exposing people to much different norms than in 1964) and every other television network and bullying of any person is out of vogue? Haven’t gays shopped and bought gasoline in the south before this subject came up?

                  From what I learned in my uber liberal UGA history class, after the Civil Rights Act, most white southerners were not as vehemently opposed to integration as the vocal minority of protesters suggested on the TV news. The reason there wasn’t a widespread race war after the act was passed is because the vast majority of business owners and parents preferred peace and a return to normalcy overwhelmingly more than they valued segregation. Remove the 10% lunatic fringe and white opposition to segregation was just a lot of talk.

                  A simple bus boycott isn’t enough to truly cripple any city hell-bent on keeping segregation. They worked because deep down the majority of moderate whites didn’t care enough about segregation to overcome (with money) the fairly mild hurdles required to find alternatives to the boycotts.

                  So back to your gas station – what prevents that gas station owner from charging $10 a gallon for gas in an area with no competition? I bet his prices are pretty close to everywhere else. So, going by the current price of his gas, don’t we assume he already faces – or fears – competition and would face more if he started alienating customers?

                  Although the market may not put him out of business, it would probably punish him in a number of ways. The market will reallocate some mismanaged resources into better hands, but sometimes the guy who uses a hand saw instead of a chainsaw can still get by. it’s not always the nuclear solution we’d find personally satisfying. Being a bigot may only be one way that the man is mismanaging his resources, and he may indeed stay in business and be of service to his community otherwise. Is that worse for society than if he was, say, a nice guy who forgot to set aside money for taxes and goes bankrupt, leaving your neighborhood without a gas station? I don’t know.

                  But there’s no law that says the gas station owner can’t hang a big sign out front that reads “I hate gay people” or carry t-shirts that say “no gays”, right? Which would effectively do the same thing as refusing to serve gays, except make it more public.

                  So – some ways the market would punish him:

                  You can’t hide creepy. People like me and Bulldawg165 would think the gas station was a hateful place and tend to feel comfortable shopping elsewhere. Would anyone go out of their way to shop there because it was anti-gay? Well…maybe…but it seems to me that when you see a business refusing paying customers through bigotry you are already seeing the market at work – it is allocating gay dollars to another gas station that is almost certainly NOT losing straight customers because it serves gays and straight people. People aren’t going to drive out of their way to support the anti-gay gas station, and many people who perhaps even oppose homosexual behavior on religious grounds oppose hatefulness even more.
                  If that was the prevailing view in your area, your area would see economic pressure to change or industry would pass it by – this absolutely was going on in the south in the 1960’s, and the social changes were afoot – albeit slowly – long before the Civil Rights Act was passed, and many of those changes were led by “New South” business leaders.
                  If you lived in an area that was truly hostile to gays, you might decide to take your talents and money to another town that would benefit from them, just as Atlanta has benefitted from being friendly to gays. Do you not see that as a market force driving change?!?
                  Finally, the point behind individual economic liberty is the same point as behind the right to free speech, however odious it can be at times. It has to be trusted to fools and wise people alike, because if we leap to pass a law every time some areas lag behind social norms, we’re going to chip away at the basic right of a person to use their property (nonviolently) in a way they see fit, a right that we want to protect for future generations of both gay and straight people.

                  • Bulldawg165

                    this is a very logical, informative, well-reasoned and thought out post. Thank you sir!

                  • From what I learned in my uber liberal UGA history class, after the Civil Rights Act, most white southerners were not as vehemently opposed to integration as the vocal minority of protesters suggested on the TV news.

                    The results of the 1964 presidential election would strongly suggest otherwise.

                    • 81Dog

                      now I’m confused. Didn’t LBJ get elected? Wasn’t the big issue whether Goldwater was a nutjob/unstable psycho who would plunge us all into nuclear war with the USSR?

                      Most folks I know in the South are pretty reasonable about getting along with everyone. They just get tired of being accused of being vile, intolerant bigots if they don’t immediately and enthusiastically toe whatever line the enlightened folks who have never been south of Battery Park in Manhattan deem appropriate. I don’t think 99% of us ignorant hicks care who’s gay or not gay. If it matters to the 1%, I still don’t think any of them are following anyone home to peek in their windows. If they want to make a stupid business decision, let the market work it out. It’s not like anyone is refusing to serve gay people until they establish their heterosexuality. I don’t know about you, but I can’t tell by looking at people (except maybe near Piedmont Park on Gay Pride Day), and I don’t care or consider it my business. If it’s your private life, try keeping it private.

                    • 1964 marked the birth of the Southern strategy.

                      In the 1964 presidential campaign, Goldwater ran a conservative campaign which broadly opposed strong action by the federal government. Although he had supported all previous federal civil rights legislation, Goldwater made the decision to oppose the Civil Rights Act of 1964. His stance was based on his view that the act was an intrusion of the federal government into the affairs of states and, second, that the Act interfered with the rights of private persons to do business, or not, with whomever they chose, even if the choice is based on racial discrimination.

                      All this appealed to white Southern Democrats, and Goldwater was the first Republican to win the electoral votes of the Deep South states (Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina) since Reconstruction. However, Goldwater’s vote on the Civil Rights Act proved devastating to his campaign everywhere outside the South (other than the South, Goldwater only won in Arizona, his home state), contributing to his landslide defeat in 1964.

                      LBJ said he knew at the time that he risked the Democrats permanently losing the South over passage of the CRA. He was right.

                    • Cosmic Dawg

                      There is a BIG difference between the people who shouted obscenities in the streets and the ones who merely voted their “preference” that segregation continue. Many southerners surely voted for Goldwater, a great man who earnestly believed in states rights and the Constitution, for the wrong reasons, but you can hardly explain 100% of his support in the south as racist.

                      Additionally, I think the whole election was skewed – Goldwater would have had greater support throughout the country in a fair fight – he was fighting the ghost of JFK and LBJ’s dirtbag “daisy” ad, as 81Dog alludes to.

                    • Hackerdog

                      1964 was also the birth of the “vote for the big government candidate, or you’re a racist” meme. And it’s still going strong.

                    • Cosmic Dawg

                      Briefly, then I’m done – this is exhausting.

                      From your post below: “Although he had supported all previous federal civil rights legislation”

                      This makes it sound like Goldwater was changing his stance for crass politicking. I actually think all previous federal civil rights legislation was constitutional in his point of view. I believe 90% of the 1964 bill dealt with equal treatment by the federal govt, which is something we can all agree with. It’s the 10th point – that point that dealt with private business. So I think a lot of argument “against” the Civil Rights Act was solely hung up over that single point. Rachael Maddow used this in a gotcha moment with Rand Paul.

                      Also, with the Goldwater vote – even though he carried the deep south, his margin of victory was less than 20% in every southern state he carried save Mississippi. That is hardly a society-wide commitment to “massive resistance”, and we’re also excluding a number of segregated southern states that went for Johnson. In Georgia, Goldwater’s margin was less than 10%.

                      What is strange to me is why they didn’t just go for the constitutional amendment. That would have made Goldwater happy and it would have diffused the bogus states rights claims that were truly solely about segregation. I would personally support a constitutional amendment right now that guaranteed every single adult the same rights and protection as every other adult, regardless of sexual orientation.

                    • … even though he carried the deep south…

                      You make that sound like such a modest accomplishment.

                    • Cosmic Dawg

                      Fair enough, given that it was so strongly Democratic. Still, you have to admit the popular vote, excepting Mississippi, isn’t indicating what I would call solid southern support for segregation vs all the other issues.

                      We also probably have to subtract the black vote to get a good number, though, eh? That will certainly throw some percentages over to your side of the argument, I’d be curious how many.

                    • This is probably a good point to recommend a fabulous book on the subject – Before the Storm. It’s one of the best books on politics, particularly the nuts and bolts aspect of campaign strategy, that I’ve ever read.

              • Always Someone Else's Fault

                Doesn’t that position assume that bigotry is only harmful in the marketplace? And further that all such bigotry will receive media attention significant enough to motivate wide-spread economic responses?

                • Bulldawg165

                  If there was a “no gays allowed” sign hanging on the window of a restaurant you can rest assured that a TON of people will know about it within a day or two. Just take a pic, upload it to facebook and let folks “share” it away

                  • Always Someone Else's Fault

                    This is the sort of social pressure that you believe will eliminate discrimination even if the law makes it legal?

                    • Hackerdog

                      As far as I know, that kind of discrimination is already legal. Homosexuals aren’t a protected class in Georgia. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a sign in front of a business. The closest thing might be a generic, “We reserve the right to refuse anyone.”

                  • adam

                    Or, in the right area, it could be a big noon for their business. Look at the response to Chick-Fil-A being outed for donating to horribly homophobic groups. They received a huge well of support from white evangelicals (arguably the most homophobic, anti-gay demographic of any significance in this country).

                    • adam

                      Boon*

                      Thanks, autocorrect.

                    • JonDawg

                      What i don’t understand/agree with, is why is someone who doesn’t approve of gay “marriage” is automatically a bigot, because they don’t choose to believe the same as you/others in society. You can love the sinner and hate the sin, my friend. It’s not an easy endeavor, but I can assure you, some of those “white evangelicals (arguably the most homophobic, anti-gay demographic of any significance in this country)” would be the first to help you if they found you on the side of the road, or in some other situation of need, gay or not. Wouldn’t matter. Wh is our country becoming such absolutionists about some things ( homosexuality), while half the country can be divided over such things as the legality of Marijuana, and that’s okay? I, personally, don’t think pot harms (ok, maybe our football team… eh..) anyone more than cigarettes and alchohol (it absolutely doesn’t) but that doesn’t mean I can/or even should push my “anti alchohol or tabacco” agenda on other free citizens.

              • History has proven repeatedly that this theory fails when put to reality.

                • Hackerdog

                  It may fail. It may not. I simply don’t want the government interfering in the lives of its citizens. And interference doesn’t get much more intrusive than forcing a citizen to behave contrary to the tenets of his religion.

                  • Spence

                    Tell me where in the bible it says a pharmacist shouldn’t do his job and fill a birth control prescription?

                    Maybe a better question is: If you think your religion prevents you from doing a job, why would you pick that job?

                    • Cosmic Dawg

                      Who said you get to interpret the Bible for others? What if my religion is whatever my dog tells me, and I’m not actively trying to hurt or defraud you – can’t I listen to my dog?

                      In fact, this is why we shouldn’t make this a religious argument at all, but an argument about individual liberty.

                      As a pharmacist, I am forced to serve you simply because I chose a certain profession? Are you my boss, now? Does that mean if we see a “need” not being met in society, we can force people into certain lines of work, according to what the majority thinks they should do as careers?

                    • Hackerdog

                      I think there’s a much firmer ground for Biblical prohibitions against abortion or birth control than there is for a Constitutional basis that the government can tell a private businessman exactly how he must conduct his business.

                    • PatinDC

                      Thank you for this.

                • Cosmic Dawg

                  I’m all ears to learn some new history. Can you give us some examples of real market economies where all people are free to move about and purchase wherever they choose, and this has failed?

                  • Derek

                    You could look at the 1890’s up to the New Deal. The days of economic substantive due process were less than ideal for a great many Americans and was as laissez faire as the earth as ever seen.

                    Child labor laws, work condition laws, minimum wage, etc… are things that most people want. I’ve always wanted the Republicans to nominate someone who told the truth:
                    They are opposed to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the minimum wage, a progressive tax structure, etc…. Let them get your vote and finish with what maybe 7% of the vote and then we can be done with this retrograde nonsense that passes for a political party. Most people want and need government. They do often oppose what they don’t want government doing, but aren’t opposed to government generally.
                    The idea that people in the their 40’s and 50’s ought to be trying to figure out how to take care of their elderly parents while putting their kids through college without government subsidizing college and medical care is just nonsense and it certainly isn’t progress. Let’s say you join this supposed free market nirvana and you are 52, your mother is 85 with Alzheimer’s, your father is wheel chair bound and you have 2 in college and 1 about to go, you end up in bankruptcy with two parents who die in misery and 3 uneducated kids. Please just shut up how independent we can all be. Its a stupid pipe dream that doesn’t withstand a moment of scrutiny.

                    Be grateful that some asshole drunk driver didn’t put you in a wheelchair at 17 yo and the only thing you can do is slobber and get $500 a month in SSI and some food stamps. That could be anyone. You. Your brother. Your neighbor. What’s the “invisible hand of the market” going to do for them?

                    • Cosmic Dawg

                      “Let’s say you join this supposed free market nirvana and you are 52, your mother is 85 with Alzheimer’s, your father is wheel chair bound and you have 2 in college and 1 about to go, you end up in bankruptcy with two parents who die in misery and 3 uneducated kids. Please just shut up how independent we can all be.”

                      So let’s pretend that we’re actually in a free market – which is disputable.

                      In your story, the mother and father had no opportunities to save or otherwise prepare for old age, the earner was forced at gunpoint to sire three children (who, of course, must go to college to survive), and the government is the only social vehicle capable of delivering charity. Because people aren’t charitable, only the government can be charitable – uh, once we subtract for the transactional costs, waste, fraud, and principal-agent issues associated with forced charity.

                      Be grateful that some asshole drunk driver didn’t put you in a wheelchair at 17 yo and the only thing you can do is slobber and get $500 a month in SSI and some food stamps. That could be anyone. You. Your brother. Your neighbor. What’s the “invisible hand of the market” going to do for them?

                      The invisible hand “only” created the very jaw dropping advances in industry, health care, food, housing, etc and a standard of living that allows enough affordable goods (and enough excess of wealth for charity at all) so that even poor people in wheelchairs can be warm at night and eat every day and probably have a phone and a computer, too, instead of being in some pestilential subsistence condition dragging a wood skiff around dirt roads. Or, to use your child labor illustration, the market saved those children from walking barefoot in the fecal matter of oxen six days a week on the farm and living at the mercy of droughts, cannibalism, and plagues. They would not have moved to the factories if it wasn’t a better life, and as their great-great grandchildren we can be damned thankful they did.

                      The industrial revolution didn’t just “happen” as some by product of the slow evolution of mankind – the “progress” of inventions was crawling at some ridiculous .00 something or other rate until the 1700’s. But when trade, private property rights, economic liberty, the end of the guilds, quasi-sound money, etc – all the hallmarks of the free market were introduced – the standard of living for everyone was propelled forward like a rocket.

                      Think of it – plows in the 1600’s were not much better than plows in 1,000 B.C. But suddenly, with the right environment, plows are going from wood to metal to powered by gas, doing the work of hundreds of horses at a fraction of the cost and with less harm to the farmer and driving the cost of food down for everyone – all in the span of a few decades.

                      Yes, in the span of a couple hundred years the invisible hand of the markets that you’re mocking have not equalized the fate of all people. But the advances in healthcare, food, housing, transportation, etc – have saved untold millions and improved the lives of even the poorest among us. Governments had very, very little to do with that except keeping people from stealing each other’s stuff – there was even popular private coinage in Britain and private roads and canals, too.

                      So yes, frankly, it is an awful lot like magic, and I’m sick of hearing it abused. We kill the goose that laid the golden egg at our peril.

                    • Derek

                      Because there isn’t a “reply” link below, I’m replying here:

                      It isn’t all or nothing. We can have both. The existence of government does not eliminate progress. We reached and have maintained our position on this planet while the New Deal and the Great Society were in place. I would argue we got there in large measure because of and not in spite of those programs. The elderly were the poorest segment of this country prior to LBJ. Now they are the wealthiest. You can “imagine” a world where everyone is free and responsible and thus it is morally fine for everyone to rise or perish, but acknowledge that it is a most a dream, no different from any concocted Utopia. The truth of the matter is that unbridled free market capitalism will fail for the same reason that communism failed: it doesn’t respect the human condition as we find it. People aren’t willing to work for you for nothing and they aren’t interested in living in a world where they have to write a check for a kidney or die while you stand over them criticizing their poor financial planning.

                      Promoting free market as a means to economic growth is a sound argument. Suggesting that NO government is the solution to any problem, including economic ones, is simply infantile. We have to reward success and we should also reward, at least to some degree, the average. Otherwise, you end up with most people having no hope and nothing to gain by participating. We aren’t all made to be wealthy and some don’t even care to try. A lot of people just want food on the table and roof over their head and the hope that there kids can do better than they did. 30 plus years of trickle down idiocy and all we’ve done is push the middle class to the brink. You and Faux News can tell them its the people behind them that are holding them back, but the reality is that its the people on top of them who are causing the problem by buying politicians who are all too willing to sell out the majority to promote the interests of a few at the top.

                    • Cosmic Dawg

                      I haven’t been advocating for an all-or-nothing, here, by the way. I am a constitutionalist, which allows for either an amendment for a social safety net by the federal govt or social safety nets set up by individual states, and I would support either – within limits.

                      It’s critical for me to point out that it is precisely because I care about the poor and middle class that I am so skeptical of government. It is because of my twin love for efficiency and my fellow man that I hope to see things change, because we’re not fighting poverty and stagnation with the most powerful tools available to us.

                      It is far too simplistic comparing communism and capitalism as equivalent dueling gods, both sporting equally wrongheaded ideologies. Communism doesn’t provide the engine of growth that capitalism does – capitalism destroyed subsistence existence in the western world, I’d say that’s a moral outcome. The rules for capitalism allow for personal and economic liberty, promoting rather than prohibiting an environment where charity is an option, and its very excesses make more charity possible. Capitalism promotes trade, the very action of which breaks down barriers between people – (check out Matt Ridley’s book The Rational Optimist for an amazing discussion of this).

                      In fact, competition tends to make things better – there’s an excellent argument that the poor would be better taken care of if the govt got out of that business altogether, but I’m not necessarily advocating for that. But assuming that charity would stop if the government didn’t do it is not realistic – we’re still the same charitable people who support the existing programs. We’d simply be more careful where and how we spent our charitable dollars, which tends to lead to better outcomes. The people spending your tax dollars on charity right now have no skin in the game – they’re just shuffling papers.

                      “People aren’t willing to work for you for nothing and they aren’t interested in living in a world where they have to write a check for a kidney or die while you stand over them criticizing their poor financial planning.”

                      Who’s asking people to work for nothing? And do you think the average person with my point of view is a monster, and less charitable, less kind, less moral, than people who prefer government solutions? Did we let people die in the streets before the federal government added these programs? No, we did not.

                      “Suggesting that NO government is the solution to any problem, including economic ones, is simply infantile.”

                      You’re exaggerating my point, greatly, but I’m amazed at how much faith people put in the government. We pour trillions down this huge funnel, get lousy results – lousy – and a system riddled with corruption run by dirtbags. But despite the fact that I’m certainly middle class and paying – literally – about 45%-50% of my income in taxes and see very little progress in the war on poverty, education, etc it’s always the beleaguered market that’s causing all the problems? Seriously?

                      The stagnation you’re feeling is the effect of a system that’s been rigged by special interests and choked with waste, not “market failure” or (seriously) “30 years of trickle down economics” – did we have trickle down economics in the moribund 1970’s, too? I agree with you that our system is screwed up by special interests – not just the “evil” Koch brothers, btw, the corn lobby, big pharma, teachers’ unions, big banks, community organizations, whoever – buying access to the government.

                      But until you limit the functions and scope of what you ask the federal government to do, those lobbyists are going to follow the money, and the government will continue to act as a giant pass-through trading favors for votes. Limit its function and you limit the corruption. Move more power back to the states and you will at least have competition for your tax dollars.

                      If the federal government was an efficient, fair, lean, mean, fighting machine, I’d be all for its expansion, but it’s not. If it was a kind, caring organization with a passion for really attending to the needs of our most needy, I’d go work for it myself, but it’s not. It’s a big hole down which we throw half the productivity of the country for the pleasure of throwing up our arms and saying “I pay my taxes – not my problem”.

                      Have you considered just how amazing society might be if we actually took on the responsibility for our communities and social problems again? If we attacked these problems as groups of individuals instead of going on autopilot, trusting the federal government to continue the same old tired, retread solutions that don’t work? How many people would come up with creative solutions, find their life’s purpose, invent new systems?

                      The older folks in this country are rich in spite of the new deal and great society, not because of them. The new deal was a disaster, a lost decade and hit the poor worst of all – LBJ bankrupted us between Vietnam and his social programs, and with what result, really? He himself was frustrated at the results. You may, however, decide that part of the reason the elderly are so wealthy is that they’ve received the most benefit of the national debt and perhaps much of our individual debt, much of which will be perhaps be paid by their kids and grandkids.

          • Comin' Down The Track

            Your arm’s off!

            No, it isn’t!

        • Ellis

          Its no different than no shoes no shirt no service. If a business doesn’t want to serve people who choose to be nude they don’t have too. Why should a business be forced to serve those who choose to be gay?

          To compare this debate to the civil rights movement is a disgrace and really quite demeaning to blacks and their actual struggles for freedom.

      • Normaltown Mike

        Really? I didn’t think that they had ruled “who you fuck” receives heightened scrutiny on the burden of proof for substantive due process.

        If they have, I’d like to be enlightened.

        • Loving v. Virginia: The court ruled that Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute violated both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

          • 81Dog

            that was a racial case, not a sexual preference case. Not the same thing. Just sayin’…..

            • I’m aware of that. Go back and read the comment I was responding to.

              • 81Dog

                I did read it. While the original comment was crude and uncalled for, Loving was literally not about that issue. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not endorsing the original comment. It’s your blog, so you call the topics, and those of us who wish they’d have skipped this one and didn’t are free to rue their bad choice at our leisure.

                • Well, in my defense, the topic was supposed to be about Craig James being an ass. All the rest is commentary. ;)

                  • 81Dog

                    I think that, unlike most other topics, the central point of your thesis is probably universally lauded by everyone else commenting on this thread. Maybe even by Mrs. James, who possibly feels some empathy for the dead hookers. :-)

                  • Vindex

                    And speaking as a gay man as well as a Dawg, I am simply delighted that one of CFB’s most universally despised assclowns is stepping up to be the poster boy for this kind of “legislation.” Tickled pink, I could say. He has plenty of baggage from his broadcasting career in addition to the odious statements he made in his ludicrous run for the Senate. Not to mention being on the take in his heyday as SMU’s Mustang Sally. And, of course, those interesting results that pop up when you google his name, alluded to below….couldn’t be tagged to a more deserving jackass. To anyone who goes to sleep at night with their Bible opened to Leviticus – take him, he’s all yours.

          • Gravidy

            And we all know (fer SHURE!) that in all cases, how a court rules is in perfect harmony with the letter (and original intent) of the law in question. Always. End of story. No matter what court issued the ruling. No matter when said court issued it. No matter who elected or appointed the judge, justice, or justices. Always.

            • Are you saying that Loving is bad law? If so, on what basis?

              • Gravidy

                No, I’m not. Honestly, I’d never heard of it. But I can name lots of cases which are pure horse shit. I’m sure you can as well.

                The point I was making is a general one: “Because a court said so” absolutely does not equal “the court came to the proper decision based on the law in question”.

                So, no, I’m not prepared to debate you on the merits of the specific case you cited. But forgive me if I reflexively cringe any time someone says (in effect) “Hey! I’ve found a court decision which agrees with my world outlook, therefore you must stop debating me.”

                • No offense, but you ought to learn about the decision before knee-jerking about it.

                  • Gravidy

                    No offense, but what you say is true only if I was making a point about “it”. I was not. As I quite plainly stated in my explanation, I didn’t mean to say anything specifically about “it” – of a knee-jerk nature or otherwise. However, I realize my original comment didn’t make that clear. That was an error on my part. I’ll try to be more specific in the future.

                    If you are prepared to debate my broader point, I’ll try my best to participate. Of course, I’m not an attorney. I don’t even play one on the internet, so my ability to debate you might be limited to saying a particular case sux. You’ve been warned. ;-)

                    • “Law is an imperfect profession in which success can rarely be achieved without some sacrifice of principle. Thus all practicing lawyers — and most others in the profession — will necessarily be imperfect, especially in the eyes of young idealists. There is no perfect justice, just as there is no absolute in ethics. But there is perfect injustice, and we know it when we see it.”

              • Normaltown Mike

                If loving you is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

          • Normaltown Mike

            I’m aware of that. Go back and read the post and subsequent thread I was responding to.

      • Bulldawg165

        Let’s see… gay people were never, ever denied the right to vote, own property, attend public schools, receive public services, etc. etc. etc..

        That’s how I’m sure of this.

        • wnc dawg

          Ask your sister to list the rights you have/could have through marriage she doesn’t- financial, social, health care, property, etc., and see if you are still so sure.

          This is not a forum for debate on this subject so let’s not belabor it, but to say gay people are afforded the full rights of all citizens is not factually accurate.

          • Bulldawg165

            I’m a CPA so I know pretty well the federal benefits afforded to people through marriage. Most employers, including mine, already cover same-sex domestic partners for health insurance, and didn’t the supreme court just rule that gays can file MFJ on their federal tax returns? Not that it matters, because MFJ just means dual earning households pay more taxes, and the whole gift/estate tax really only matters to people who have several million dollars in the bank, which is probably less than .1% of the population, including homosexuals. I agree that these minute details should be fixed, but this is hardly the same thing as what african americans went through in the years leading up to the civil rights movement and if you disagree then there really isn’t anything I can do to help you understand.

            And yes, given the topic of the post, this is an appropriate place to debate.

            • Spence

              Yes, the repeal of DOMA lets same-sex marriages have federal benefits, but only if they’re married by a state that recognizes it. I know several gay couples that have had “marriages”- aka ceremonies without formal validation by the state – in Georgia and NC but are waiting for the state they live in to recognize it. You may ask: why not go to New York or one of the other states that permit gay marriage to get theirs formally recognized? From what I gather, they’d prefer the state where their home rests in the soil to recognize their marriage, and I understand that desire to not feel like an outsider. My gay friends are real people and are now facing potential new laws aimed at permitting discrimination against them just because they are gay in ultra-conservative states.

              It may or may not be true that the gay civil rights movement is dealing with challenges of some greater or lesser significance that what African-Americans faced back in the day, but I don’t know how you could tell them that their cause is less important than MLK’s. Why the quantification matters is unclear to me, frankly. If there’s discrimination, is it justified if it’s not as severe as some past injustice? To put it to an exaggerated example, should MLK have backed down because the holocaust was much worse?

          • Normaltown Mike

            There is no “right” to most of the things you list.

            Sorry to be the one to tell you this.

            Where are gay people being denied the right to worship, speak, carry an AR15 or being subject to illegal search and seizure, self incrimination or quartering soldiers?

            • Gravidy

              You know good and well “right” has come to mean “whatever the hell I want the government to force others at the point of a gun to provide to me free of charge”. What are you thinking, sir?

            • wnc dawg

              Equal rights as citizens goes beyond the first 10 amendments. Not having the same financial benefits, default property ownership rights of a spouse, next of kin health decisions, ability to receive survivor benefits, etc, etc. is limiting the rights of full citizenship afforded others.

          • 81Dog

            The right to vote, own property, etc. are all fundamental constitutional rights. Gay people have never been denied those rights, unlike people of African descent. The right to claim a tax exemption because you’re married isn’t a fundamental constitutional right; the government could take it away from you just as fast as they gave it to you. It’s not the same thing.

        • UnionJack

          Are you sure? There have been states that will not allow them to adopt. Even if they do adopt, because they are not allowed to legally marry, partners can only list one of them as a parent.

          They are not treated the same as married partners when it comes to estate transfers, heath care policy, etc.

          Usually because of the same logic that banned interracial marriage.

          • Bulldawg165

            I’ve already addressed most of the things you mentioned. With regards to adoption, I agree that it’s BS and they are being treated unfairly.

            However, you are either understating the oppression of AA’s pre-civil rights movement or you are overstating oppression of homosexuals. The levels between the two aren’t even close.

            • Spence

              I’ll say it again: Why does it matter if it’s more or less? If people are being denied rights based upon their inherent characteristics, isn’t that a civil rights violation? Is there a scale of violations? If so, do we only care about major ones? Who sets the bar for when we should care? You?

              • Bulldawg165

                I was mostly trying to nip in the bud any ridiculous comparisons is all, really. I never said it wasn’t a civil rights issue, I said it wasn’t comparable to the civil rights movement. There’s a difference ;)

                • Spence

                  A significant part of what blacks fought for was the right to marry who they wanted and to not be excluded from everyday commerce. Seems relevant here.

                  I don’t really think it’s ridiculous, but I guess we’ll just disagree.

                  • Normaltown Mike

                    Comparing the inability to get on your “significant others” health ins or 401K to the de jure segregation that was enforced by Democrats during the Jim Crow era is asinine.

                    • Except it seems that’s exactly the type of discrimination these laws are hoping to allow, hoping the fact that sexual preference not being a “protected class” ala race or color keeps it on the books instead of being a constitutional violation like Jim Crow laws.

                    • adam

                      Nice dig at Democrats – the conservative party that was very popular in the South at the time. A popularity that was aided greatly by being so incredibly racist.

                    • Spence

                      Marrying who you want to isn’t just about health insurance. Maybe it’s easier for you to stomach denying gay rights if you think about this as a money play by gays to rob Uncle Sam, but I can assure you at least some of them actually love each other and want to pledge their lives to one another in a manner recognized by the state.

                      Wanting to be able to eat at a restaurant of your choice without worrying about if your race/sexual orientation will prohibit it is a civil rights issue. Why it matters if this is comparable to the Jim Crow South is not clear to me unless you’re trying to minimize the injustice to disqualify their grievance. You’re not suggesting gays shouldn’t be able to eat at the restaurant of their choice are you? What if I owned a restaurant and my religion somehow sincerely dictated that I not serve blacks. Is it ok if I refuse service? What if it held that suburban white people in camouflage are unholy and I shouldn’t serve them?

                    • PatinDC

                      So it is OK to discriminate as long as it is subtle? Not obvious like a big ole sign.

                • wnc dawg

                  Fair enough. But you are also minimizing the rights not bestowed. They are not minute, imo. Of course a gay person in 2014 America does not live in a state comparable to Jim Crow America. However, that really has nothing to do with if it’s a violation of someone’s rights or if they are afforded equal rights.

                  • Normaltown Mike

                    States reserve the right to define criteria for a license or permit, provided the rules don’t violate equal protection of certain groups that receive enhanced scrutiny. SCOTUS hasn’t designated sexual preference as a privileged group (to my knowledge, at least).

                    A marriage license is just that.. a license.

            • UnionJack

              No – but the same logic is being applied by the opponents. AA were banned from certain rights and activities using the same logic and arguments that are being used to deny rights to homosexuals.

        • Spence

          They cannot own marital property in many states. Until recently they were ineligible for federal benefits afforded to opposite sex couples, and still are denies state benefits. Those are property and public service. They can attend public schools.

    • PTC DAWG

      Are they hot?

  2. JAX

    I don’t agree with AZ nor GA’s bill. Seems silly to me. If you want to refuse service to a jerk or hostile customer then fine, but not some guy who just “looks” gay. Or a jew, as Bookman retorts.

    BUt if Fox indeed terminated James for his views on gay-marriage, then I think this is equally wrong and Fox should be held accountable. At least this would help eliminate the double standard.

    • wnc dawg

      They could legally fire him if he was gay. They can’t fire him on the basis of his religious beliefs (opposing full citizenship rights for all citizens). Is that the double standard you mean?

    • mdcgtp

      I am not a lawyer, but if his views on gay marriage affect the audience’s opinion of him, can’t they fire him for that?

      I know the right of free speech and a free press is protected by our constitution, but I would be surprised if those rights prevent a private employer from placing restrictions on what their employees can and can not say.

      Most jobs that I have had in my lifetime included some type of employee handbook that included a code of conduct.

  3. The guy gets a pass on the dead hookers, gets shit-canned for being a bigot.

  4. Adam West

    I’m no lawyer, but if honest lawyers believe that those bills’ language are too broad then so be it. The reason they were written in the first place was because bakers and florists are being sued because they’d like to refuse to participate in a gay “wedding.” These same bakers and florists were happily serving ALL people with that one exception. Talk about being stabbed in the back. You serve someone for years and then politely decline to take part in something you don’t believe in, and then get sued out to wazoo.

    • Always Someone Else's Fault

      I think we’re way beyond cupcakes here.

      From the link:
      “It would create a strong new affirmative for criminal defendants charged with drug-related crimes, sexual assault or rapes of spouses or children, or child endangerment.
      It would allow law enforcement to refuse assignments that they find religiously offensive such assisting or guarding a religious institution of a different faith, a pharmacy that sells prescription contraception, a liquor store, a butcher shop selling pork or beef, or a casino.
      It would allow public hospital employees including physicians, nurses, or administrators to refuse to assist patients, even on an emergency basis, or process any paper work that they find to be religiously offensive such as in-vitro fertilization, blood transfusions or psychiatric care.
      It would allow any public employee adhering to an extremist religion, including Nation of Islam, Christian Identity, or Odinism to refuse providing service to an Asian, White, Black, Jewish or Hispanic person.”

      • Bulldawg165

        If this is true then it just may change my perspective. I previously didn’t care about the law because I significantly doubted the “snowball” argument I heard other people making.

      • Hackerdog

        Your objection uses a false dilemma to avoid addressing the intention of the laws. The laws are intended to allow private florist shops to decline to participate in gay weddings. If the only two options available are that the government must either compel private individuals to behave in ways that violate their religious beliefs, or the government must mistreat certain groups of people, then I agree that the first choice is better.

        However, I reject those two choices. I think that the government can serve all groups of people and still allow for the free exercise of religion for its citizens. But, I’m pretty radical.

        • Always Someone Else's Fault

          A law’s intention can only be judged by its language, not what anecdote supposedly inspired the drafting. As a result, I do not think that I am not the one avoiding intention here.

          I am also not proposing an either/or binary of competing oppressions so that we can put them on a scale. If a law intended to protect the religious sensibilities of the providers of orchids and cupcakes is written so poorly and so broadly that it allows a host unintended consequences (the link provides a compelling laundry list of possibilities), then we’re missing the mark you outlined: a government which serves all people and still allows for the free exercise of religion for its citizens.

          • Hackerdog

            If your position is that a bill meant to protect the free exercise of religion CAN be overly vague and lead to government abuse, then I agree. If your position is that any and all bills so intended MUST lead to government abuse, then I disagree.

            The law must be written broadly enough so as to not protect ONLY photographers and bakers, yet written narrowly enough so as to compel government agencies to treat all citizens fairly.

            • Always Someone Else's Fault

              My position is that encoding real discrimination so as to protect some Christians from feeling icky when they deal with people Jesus would have no problem dealing with is beyond stupid, totally political, and exactly the sort of hatchet-fly cure conservatives have been lampooning from liberal circles for 4 decades.

              But my point is the law as written is way too broad.

              • Hackerdog

                The bill may well be too broad. All I’ve read of it are excerpts from the editorial that would obviously selectively quote the portions that make it appear too broad. I haven’t read the entire bill to make my own opinion.

                However, I disagree that, if the government takes no position on private parties discriminating, it has somehow endorsed discrimination. If I walk past two men arguing and I don’t get involved, I fail to see how I have chosen sides, or why I should be required to.

                As for whether Jesus would, or wouldn’t, support gay marriage, I think you’re beyond speculation to suggest that he would. However, that is neither here, nor there when discussing how much power the government should have to interfere in people’s private affairs.

                • Always Someone Else's Fault

                  Where did I suggest Jesus would endorse gay marriage? I said he would deal with gay people, which isn’t even remotely the same thing as endorsing gay marriage. Of course it’s neither here nor there in the debate of governmental limits. It’s also irrelevant to the price of tea in China. I wasn’t discussing either one of them.

                  If the government knows that I refused to sell you a house because you are black and then opts to ignore my behavior, then the government has in many ways endorsed my behavior. On the flip side, lots of discriminatory behavior is completely legal because it’s largely benign. The trick is determining where that line rests. We could go on all day, couldn’t we, testing boundaries, definitions, limits, and precedents? 2,500 years of deliberative rhetoric still hasn’t arrived at conclusive determinations on these issues. It’s all under constant review, which is actually a good thing, IMO.

                  • Hackerdog

                    I disagree that inaction equals endorsement. That’s only true if one accepts the premise that the government is supposed to oversee our daily lives, which I reject.

                    Yes, there is a difference between discrimination and unfair discrimination. Teenagers pay more for car insurance than adults for good reason. But, as you point out, having the government determining which discrimination is unfair is a never-ending task that pits groups of people against others, has classes of people lobbying for the government’s imprimatur of being a protected class, defines more and more groups as protected minorities, and results in less freedom for everyone.

                    • Dave

                      You sure are committed to an either/or perspective on this, aren’t you? Yes, there are dangers in government overreach. There are also dangers inherent in neglect. It’s a balancing act, and assuming that people will just work it out on their own better than a government ever could is a perspective I just don’t share based on perspectives rooted both in theory and practice. We disagree.

    • cube

      So if someone doesn’t “believe” in interracial marriage, they should be able to politely decline to serve them too?

    • UnionJack

      No – the reason these laws are being written is because conservative state legislators see the writing on the wall and marriage equality will eventually become legal in all 50 states. There isn’t anything they really can do about it – so to show their constituents that they have fought against it – they are crafting laws that they think will skirt legal loopholes under the guise of “religious freedom.” When the time comes to run for re-election, they can point to their support of bill that was against the “destruction of our conservative values”.

      As you have noted, some of the laws have been so haphazardly written, the unintended consequence would be for anyone to deny service to anyone else based on a “religious basis.” I would love to see the reaction of these bill supporter when someone kicks them out of an establishment for wearing a Christmas sweater.

      • Hackerdog

        So, you think allowing a conservative Christian florist to decline to participate in a gay marriage can render that marriage illegal? I had no idea that florists wielded so much power.

        • UnionJack

          No – conservative lawmakers are making a grandstand play to energize their political base. With rulings against gay marriage bans happening in courts all across the country, gay marriage will be legal.

          There is not much that those lawmakers who oppose gay marriage can do about it. However, they can appeal to their political base by claiming they do not support it and have supported laws like SB1062 which “protect the religious freedom” of those not in favor of gay marriage.

    • Dog in Fla

      “IANAL- I am not a lawyer. Almost always followed by a mistaken interpretation of law.”

      http://www.balloon-juice.com/balloon-juice-lexicon-i-p/

    • Rp

      Thanks for bringing this back to the original reason for the law. There was also a case in AZ where a photographer declined to shoot a gay couples wedding. She was willing to do portraits of the couple and anything else they wanted other than the actual ceremony and expressed that in very gracious and respectful terms. The couple did the only logical thing they could think of and filed a lawsuit against her. They could have hired one of 100 other photograhers in the area. Instead, they took it upon themselves to punish the woman through the legal system because she had differing beliefs from them. I have a hard time seeing the photographer as the bigot in that scenario.
      I think these state law proposals, if crafted carefully, are just and fair laws. There’s a country mile between a restaurant with a “No gays allowed” sign and the photographer in this case. I really have a problem with a state government compelling this photographer to shoot that wedding under threat of legal action. If the current AZ law stands as is, then the bigots are the folks who would force this photographer to violate her conscious under threat of legal action just because they disagree with her viewpoint.

      • Dawgfan Will

        I find it interesting that the photographer is willing to take their money for anything else except the actual ceremony. I don’t really see the point. So she’s offended by the ceremony, but not enough that she won’t take pictures of those who participated in the ceremony. I’m having trouble finding consistency in her religious convictions.

      • UnionJack

        The case was not in AZ but in NM – which has a Human Rights law on the books. Basically it says that as a business you cannot deny service to someone based on their race, creed, sexuality, religion etc. What got her into trouble in the first place was the her “accomodation” that she would take their money for some services but not the service that they requested.

        They did not sue her but filed a complaint and the photographer was fined.

        The laws are not fair and just – they are morally repugnant.

  5. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Can I fire someone who attends a gay wedding?

  6. Bulldawg165

    Does anyone here believe a gay T-shirt designer should be forced to produce shirts that say “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve?”

    If you think a gay business owner has a right to refuse this, how can you possibly think that the reverse should be banned?

    I’ll wait.

    • Adam West

      There is no principle involved here. It’s unabashed celebration or “BIGOT!”

    • Always Someone Else's Fault

      Under the law, I could fire you for attending your sister’s wedding. That’s way beyond cupcakes, isn’t it?

      • Bulldawg165

        lol. If you don’t have a logical rebuttal, make up a ridiculous situation that everyone knows won’t happen.

        I’m still waiting for you to answer my question.

        • Comin' Down The Track

          You mean like printing a ridiculous slogan on a hypothetical t-shirt?

          • Bulldawg165

            it’s an apt comparison. Do you think it is wrong for gays to demand services from the very people they would deny them to? That’s all I’m asking.

            I will assume you don’t have a logical rebuttal because you know you’ve been caught in your hypocrisy.

            • Comin' Down The Track

              It is not. I have not refused to sell you a t-shirt. I have not asked you to leave the premises. “Hypocrisy?” I don’t think I understand where that entered the conversation. Furthermore,applying labels is the entire reason for this kerfuffle.

              • Bulldawg165

                so you won’t answer the question?

                • Comin' Down The Track

                  I can’t answer the word jumble because it does not follow logically from premise to query. No one has said gays would deny service to anyone. You have invented a scenario that is A. hypothetical and B. a false equivalency. There actually is no question to answer.

                  • Comin' Down The Track

                    Furthermore, when I henceforth discontinue comment on your sophomoric debate tactics, please, do not confuse that for having successfully made some kind of point. Good day.

                • Gravidy

                  I think that qualifies as not answering your question.

        • Always Someone Else's Fault

          Whether you think the scenario is “ridiculous” or not, it’s allowable under the law as written. The reasonableness of refusing to bake a cake is no test at all for the language of the law and what that language allows. You seem to be arguing that (A) cake decorators should be allowed to pick their clients (reasonable) and that (B) it doesn’t really matter how broad the language is because no one would ever abuse such broad discriminatory powers. Maybe I misread you.

          But, if not, then… First of all, (A) has nothing to do with (B). Second, I think you’re completely wrong on (B).

      • Bulldawg165

        nice red herring, though ;)

    • First off, I doubt such a situation ever arises (unless somebody’s deliberately trying to provoke something), but if it did, yeah, I don’t think the owner can turn the business away.

      Sauce for the goose and all that…

      • pantslesspatdye

        Provocation is likely the root of this whole issue. The New Mexico photographer and the Oregon baker were sued and lost over not delivering their services for a gay wedding. Why would anyone want to use a hostile photographer or baker? If forced by law to do something I didn’t want to do, I would do a really bad job.

        • Adam West

          Exactly. In none of these situations was anyone mistreated. I’d hope that each owner who declined in a spirit of love. But because they do not approve of a certain lifestyle based on religious conviction, they are now being bullied. “Celebrate or be crushed.”

          • adam

            “A certain lifestyle”? Do you not realize that homosexuality is not a lifestyle choice? Religion is a choice, sexual orientation is not.

            • Dawgfan Will

              But people mistakenly believe it is a choice simply because some homosexuals accept their own orientation early in life, while others accept it later. Some are “loud and proud” from an early age, and other have to become comfortable enough with themselves and their family and friends’ reactions to come out of the closet.

      • wnc dawg

        I am not a lawyer, but I deal with regulations regarding to discrimination type stuff, and I believe the owner can turn down the business. He is not dealing with a protected class. Now if they refused to print a t-shirt b/c it had a certain religious symbol on it or whatnot, then yeah, there could be trouble.

        Discrimination and refusal of service(s) are really complicated issues. You can come up with all sorts of hypotheticals that are real puzzlers (which is why lawyers on both sides of these cases make truck loads of money). The real issue about these laws is that they are created to target gays/gay marriage, but they can’t name that b/c it would never hold up in court. So they have to be written so broadly that it creates way too much leeway for potential abuse.

    • wnc dawg

      That straw man you’ve built is blocking out my sun.

      Refusing to serve someone food/services is in no way related to being forced to create something you disagree with on religious terms. A t-shirt designer doesn’t have to print any shirt they don’t want to make. But to say I’m not selling YOU a shirt because I think you are going to wear this shirt in a gay wedding is really stretching the concept of religious liberty.

      • Bulldawg165

        printing a t shirt that says “adam and eve not adam and steve” is not significantly different than a wedding cake with two brides or two grooms. YOU are the one making straw men.

        • Rival

          That’s why this law is so stupid. Businesses can already say no to contracting for specific services or products because they think it’s a stupid f**king idea and don’t need a reason, religious or otherwise.

          Lots of folks like to laugh at “liberals” who are “politically correct” and get offended at the drop of a hat. Well, that’s equally true of “conservatives” that wet their pants any time their religion is questioned.

          Use your brain and don’t bring your brand of religion or politics into EVERYTHING and you’ll likely find that everyone isn’t out to get you.

        • adam

          “Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve” can easily be called hate speech and could be refused as “offensive” even without any religious undertones. People who make shirts and signs are not obligated to make offensive material for their clients. That could easily be refused.

    • D.N. Nation

      This assumes that queerness is on the same level as bigotry against such.

      “Tonight, on CNN Crossfire. MLK and the KKK. Both make good points!”

    • PTC DAWG

      Has this happened?

      • Rp

        So, with the JHC departure what do we think Pruitt’s plans are at the strong safety position in spring practice?………Wait, am i in the right place?

    • PatinDC

      Sure if he says that he doesn’t print t-shirts for evangelicals. That would be his religous belief right?

  7. Wow. And I’m just happy Craig James is still off the air. Can he take Musburger with him?

  8. Cousin Eddie

    I thought if James got fired because of his religious beliefs it would be because he thought he was GOD.

  9. AG

    Marriage is not an institution of the U.S. government. The U.S. government did not ordain marriage, God did and by the way God defined it. Gay people should have equal rights, and they do. They should have the right to partake of the institution of marriage, just so long as they enter into it within the boundaries of the of the One who created it and defined it. The U.S. government is not bigger than God. Let gay people create and define their own institution and grant it the same rights as marriage but don’t call it marriage, because when you do that you have pretty much on a national scale thumbed your nose at God, who by the way, has been pretty good to this country.
    Should a basketball player be granted equal rights and allowed to participate in the NFL players association?

  10. 3rdandGrantham

    Relating to the Arizona gay bill and such, am I the only one hoping that Gov. Brewer doesn’t veto the bill by Saturday’s deadline? No, I’m certainly not in favor of such a myopic law—I just want to sit back and enjoy the political backlash and ultimate harm to Arizona that would result from this.

    Arizona has a Super Bowl coming up next year, and you can be assured that Goddell will yank it away from them if this bill passes. Hence, I’m guessing cities like Tampa, Miami, N.O., and such also are rooting for the bill to pass.

    • 202dawg

      Some blogger basically wrote the same thing. Let’s give these wingnuts enough rope to hang themselves, then sit back and watch the show…

      • 3rdandGrantham

        I have absolutely no connection to Arizona whatsoever (other than visiting Scottsdale a few times), so the warped side of me truly wants this thing to go through as a form of selfish entertainment. Frankly, unless the Gov. is a total idiot, this thing isn’t going to pass.

        By the way, you would have thought Arizona would have learned from the MLK mess 20 or so years ago…obviously they haven’t.

  11. Prosticutor

    And here I thought this was a blog about football.

  12. Wally Butts

    Let’s see, the damn Confederate flag one day and gay marriage the next. Must be a sport around somewhere that could be discussed. I don’t care who or what gender you sleep with or who you marry. I am, however, sick of hearing about it.

    • cube

      Who cares what you’re sick of?

      By the way, both of the Senator’s posts that you’re referring to are about college football.

    • BTC

      I understand that you want to read about sports on a sports blog. I do. I am, however, sick of hearing this sentiment. I’m glad you are tolerant of gay people and gay marriage and I know that if it doesn’t directly concern you it may seem like there is undue media attention paid to the issue, but this is an incredibly important issue and it is a pivotal moment in gay rights. I hope that you continue to hear about it daily until everyone is treated fairly.

  13. DawgPhan

    ser. lets make with the sports…isnt Pruitt doing something awesome? How about a little roundball talk.

    just kidding…sorta.

  14. Wally Butts

    Good point. I’m sure nobody cares what I think. Now what you think, that’s an entirely different matter, right?

    • cube

      Absolutely not. However, when you talk about how you don’t care about what the person who runs this blog is posting about, as well as what a lot of people are commenting on, is it the least bit inappropriate for someone to respond that they don’t care that you don’t care? You see, opinions are a two-way street. You can give them…and people can critique them.

      By the way, both posts are still about college football. Feel free to correct your comment whenever you’d like.

      • Wally Butts

        This is crazy. I read the Ole Miss post and the Craig James post. No problem with that. What was getting tiring was the comments sections, including mine :0

  15. Wally Butts

    “I didn’t know that being a consummate asshole was a religious preference.”

    Gee, I thought Cube was an atheist.

  16. Always Someone Else's Fault

    If football is a religion, then this does open up a host of intriguing possibilities for game-day tail-gating civil disobedience…..

    • adam

      “I refused to perform CPR on the Auburn fan because Alabama football is my religion.” – some idiot, next year.

  17. It’s official. Offseason has arrived.

  18. Rebar

    I’m about tired of this “offending my religous principles” crap. Leave your religion in your home and place of worship, not in the market place. Even Jesus said “render unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar’s” or something like that. Interstate Commerce trumps religion everytime.

    • Dog in Fla

      As a matter of fact, many interstate commerce businesses are oppositing it

      “Delta Joins Apple in Oppositing Arizona Anti-Gay Law Plan”

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-26/delta-joining-apple-in-opposition-to-anti-gay-legislation.html

    • Turd Ferguson

      I love the suggestion that someone’s religion is something that he can just keep in a determinate location, like a pet or a stamp collection. That’s not asinine at all.

      And it’s perfectly reasonable for someone’s sexual preferences to be among his defining characteristics as a person, but certainly not his religious beliefs. Nope, those should be no more important to a person — no more essentially public — than his DVR settings.

      Try reading books. I’ve found that helps.

      • Rebar

        I’ve read lots of books and I believe in religous freedom in America; that is, you are free to practice and worship whatever you want. But your religion can not be used to discriminate in the marketplace, or used as an excuse for your bigotry.

      • adam

        You can change your religion on a whim and it is still considered an important, protected part of who you are.

        Your sexual orientation does not change and yet it is not protected. If you believe that people choose to be gay, you are dead wrong.

    • JAX

      Your handle should be FUBAR, not Rebar.

      • Rebar

        Oh Gee, I must have offended you. Bless your heart, but I spent many years tying steel and rebar is my handle. Sorry you don’t approve.

        • JAX doesn’t mean any harm. But I’ve tied some steel. Not my choice but my uncle was a developer that hired me out of college. He demanded that I learn everything that was being done on a project. He built houses, condos and apartments. I spent a month with the layout crew and toted rebar and learned to tie it. Had my own reel on my hip and hook. Hard work but I learned a lot about foundations and point loads. And it beat the hell out of toting shingles up a ladder I promise you that. At any rate he told my mom he was gonna run the college boy off or make a builder out of him. I’m still building. ;-)

          • Rebar

            Your uncle was a smart man! I had to quit ironwork back in ’92 as I ruined my left knee up in Baltimore on a high rise and then had to have several discs fused in my neck back in Savannah in ’94. The best builders were the ones that knew EVERYTHING about the job, not just their trade. Like I said, your uncle was a smart man!

    • JG Shellnutt

      Apparently, 2 ways to interpret Jesus’s words there:

      Pay your taxes.
      Stop believing what you believe anytime someone from the government says that you have to stop believing what you believe.

      Yeah, that seems like He was probably saying both of those things when He said to pay Ceasar what is due Ceasar.

    • Hackerdog

      I agree. Just who the hell does God think he is?

  19. cube

    I agree to an extent. A lot of religious indoctrination is imbedded so deep that it’s near impossible for the indoctrinated to think independently of the nonsense they’ve been brainwashed with. However, a lot of religious indoctrination ISN’T imbedded deep enough to have that sort of effect on the person.

    Try thinking that maybe you’ve believed a bunch of made up nonsense all these years. I found that helped me. Seriously.

    • cube

      This was meant for Turd Ferguson’s reply to Rebar at 1:24pm.

    • Turd Ferguson

      “Try thinking that maybe you’ve believed a bunch of made up nonsense all these years. I found that helped me. Seriously.”

      Oh, I have no doubt that you think this is a responsible way to go about the task of thinking critically. Seriously.

      Others of us prefer books. I’d rather my religious beliefs be based upon things like reasons and arguments than upon speculative counterfactuals like the one you mention.

      • cube

        So you’ve interpreted that to mean that I think that’s the only way someone can begin to think critically. I don’t think that’s the only way…but I did notice that you already said you read books and that obviously isn’t working for you, so an alternative method seemed appropriate.

    • Dawgoned

      Insulting a person’s perceived beliefs isn’t a very good way to show your tolerance and acceptance of all mankind.

      • cube

        At no point in that comment was I trying to show tolerance and acceptance for all mankind.

      • Hackerdog

        As cube said. He’s not interested in tolerance. He’s only interested in ensuring that his preferred brand of bigotry is the kind that wins government sanction. It’s a high stakes contest.

        • cube

          Incorrect. Crying “you’re intolerant of my intolerance” won’t win you this argument. Your logic is flawed.

          • Hackerdog

            Absolutely. Allowing people to be tolerant, or intolerant, as they see fit is too much to ask. I think crying, “I’m only intolerant of the wrong kinds of people,” is a much better argument.

            • cube

              Wow, you’re absolutely right. Allowing people to be tolerant, or intolerant, of civil rights as they see fit IS too much to ask. Glad we agree :)

              • Hackerdog

                Good. Since we’re both right-thinking people who insist that people can’t be left alone to live their own lives and must have the opinions and judgments of others forced upon them, the only thing we have to decide is, what those opinions should be and who gets the final say in how each of us live our lives? The President? The Supreme Court? Your local mayor? The United Nations? Roger Goodell?

                • cube

                  Whoa, you really have me rethinking my position. Maybe restaurants should be able to go back to serving whites only. Hmm…I need time to think this over.

                  LOL, absolutely incredible.

                  • Hackerdog

                    I know, right? The nerve of some people to want to make their own decisions never ceases to amaze. Luckily, our wise and benevolent overlords in Atlanta and Washington are eager to relieve us of that burden.

                    • cube

                      So you think the Civil Rights Act is a bad thing?

                      If you say no, that will contradict your other statements.

                    • Hackerdog

                      Well, if I were someone who was against government intrusion into citizen’s private lives, I would be.

                      I might think more can be done to encourage understanding and conciliation by shows like The Cosby Show, and Will and Grace, and by hip hop and blues music (and show tunes), than by a government bureaucrat mandating that all citizens must behave the way he wants them to, or else it’s jail time.

                      But, of course, if I were someone who thought that my opinions should be forced on everyone else, and the government looked like it shared my opinions (at least, for now), then I would probably take the opposite position. I would probably think that all laws giving the government power over the private lives of its citizens would be just great.

                    • cube

                      Yes, if only that lone single bureaucrat in a silo had just waited on the Cosby Show to come along instead of putting into place the Civil Rights Act, everyone would be much better off.

                    • Hackerdog

                      We can’t say they would have been better off. Sometimes authoritarianism is just what the doctor ordered. But they would have been more free.

  20. Russ

    Wow 160 comments by lunch. Well done Senator! Maybe next week we can tackle abortion and football players. Sure to generate lots of hits as well.

    Come ooooonnn, spring game!

  21. TomReagan

    I am not immersed in this topic, but I do believe that there is a pretty critical distinction to be made between the wedding cake thing and discrimination against gays or any other particular group, in general.

    That is that the objection is to being made to provide something to be used in a ritual that the business objects to. That is a far cry from being allowed not to serve gays just because they are gay.

    Having said that, and it’s been pointed out above, I thought that businesses were already allowed to refuse to make things they objected to. Since we’re talking about cakes, you can get those made shaped like all sorts of dirty stuff — but you can’t get those cakes from Kroger. That’s not to say gay marriage is comparable to smut, but if there’s a religious objection to the use then I don’t see why the baker has to make it.

    Although, I agree with Jon Stewart on this — what gay wedding has a cake made by a grocery store? Well, a lesbian wedding, I suppose.

  22. Cosmic Dawg

    I’m curious which of you would embrace the libertarian solution to all of the mess above – namely, maximum freedom for the individual.

    The government can’t stop two free, sane adults from entering into any kind of contract they want – marriage, inheritance, etc.

    At the same time, the government can’t force a sane adult to use his personal property for any action or non-action he doesn’t choose.

    The state should be “religion-neutral” your religious preferences shouldn’t come into it at all. You are free to pursue or not pursue, to sell or not to sell, to buy or not to buy, whatever you choose to whomever you choose. You leave me to follow my own lights, and you are free to do the same.

    The state can certainly make public-run institutions and contracts as democratic as it wishes.

    • Normaltown Mike

      “The government can’t stop two sane adults”

      If 3 people want to marry, who are you to stop them? And if a man wants to marry a girl, or a boy for that matter, who are you to judge?

      Take your bigotry to Arizona Cosmic!
      ;)

      • Cosmic Dawg

        “Adults” is a really, really, really important word in my argument, btw. :)

        But yeah, let three adults enter into a contract – as the others above, I’m not interested in govt “sanctioning” marriage. At the same time, an insurance company or your local bank is free to define marriage however they want, and the federal govt offers no deductions or incentives to marry, so it doesn’t matter.

  23. Reservoir Dawg

    I guess gay money is like Bitcoin, huh? Doesn’t spend well for some folks…

  24. Man it is the off season. TO date: we have waded in on racism,confederate flag, under age sex and gay rights. With good click count I might add (h/t Bluto). So I thought I might throw this out there for a possible click count tomorrow. Hold the line sports fans. Bluto? what say you? Enquiring minds want to know! ;-)

    “http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2014/01/woman-claims-star-football-player-pressuring-her-to-have-an-abortion/#.Uw5L1IWhbhc”

  25. OhioDawg

    So Christian business owners want to be able deny services to homosexuals on the grounds of religious liberty? Regardless of what you think the legal rights of a private business owner should be, as a Christian myself, and from what I believe is the proper Christian perspective, the hypocrisy of this is embarrassing. Yes, they bible says that homosexuality is a sin. It also says that pride, lust, and envy are sin. Are they going to start denying services to the prideful, lustful, and envious next? Why do they feel the need to discriminate against only that one sin? These Christians are the hypocrites who give the rest of us a bad name. Do I think homosexuality is a sin? Yes, but it is no worse than any of the other multitude of things the bible calls sin. I wouldn’t want someone discriminating against me because of whatever sin I committed on a particular day. The problem with these Christians is that they fail to see that they violate their religious guidlines just as much as any homosexual does.
    I realize that not everyone holds the biblical view that homosexuality is wrong, and I can only hope that others realize that not all Christians are bigots. I wish I owned my own business just so I could discriminate against these prideful, hypocritical, idiotic Christians.

    • Hackerdog

      Well, to be a bit of a devil’s advocate (see what I did there?), the Bible calls homosexual sex an abomination. So I think it’s reasonable to rank it worse than pride, or lust.

      Also, it’s fairly rare for a sinfully prideful person to insist that pride isn’t, and shouldn’t be, considered a sin. Most of those people will recognize that they’re sinners. Some will repent. However, the same isn’t true for homosexuals. And a homosexual wedding really can’t be reconciled with Christianity. It’s an activity in open rebellion against God.

      Now, if that’s what floats their boats, it’s OK with me. But I don’t see anything hypocritical about serving one person who at least nominally shares a sense of religious morality with the businessman and refusing to serve another person who flouts the businessman’s religious and moral principles.

      • adam

        When you quote Leviticus, you weaken your argument.

        By that same token, these people should be turning away anyone who has ever had a divorce, any unwed mothers, any promiscuous women, anyone who wears clothing made from a blend of fibres, anyone who eats shellfish, etc. Are those all worse than pride or lust? Or murder for that matter? It’s spoken of in the same manner as pride, envy, lust, gluttony, etc. So, if gay sex is worse than murder, surely divorce is too? Or do we just pick and choose which parts of Leviticus and Deuteronomy actually apply to modern life? And on whose authority?

        If you’re going to be a fundamentalist (and a literalist) go all the way. Don’t half ass it and just choose to hate gay people because some Jews wrote it down 3000 years ago. Hate all of those other groups just as much. Otherwise you’re just a bigot twisting religious texts to your will.

        • Hackerdog

          Boy, it’s a good thing for your argument that Leviticus is the only place in the Bible where homosexual sex is mentioned. WAIT A MINUTE!!! I almost forgot. It’s mentioned in several other places, including the New Testament. And nowhere in the Bible does it state, “Hey forget all about that ‘Don’t have sex with dudes nonsense. God was just kidding.'”

          Anyway, as others have stated. This really is more about liberty and less about one’s interpretation of religious texts. There are religions less tolerant of homosexuality than Christianity. There are religions more tolerant. And I think people who practice all of those religions, and even people who don’t practice them, should be free to live their lives without a government bureaucrat telling them to be nice to this guy, or that guy, like some kind of kindergarten teacher with SWAT teams at his disposal.

          • adam

            A few short things:

            Jesus never talks about homosexuality.

            The Bible also never says to ignore the other crazy things in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Those are still fair game. Unless you want to say they some parts of the Bible don’t apply to modern life. In which case I would contend that the homophobic parts are silly and outdated as well.

            The Catholic Church was explicitly anti-Semitic for a long time, blaming Jews for “murdering the savior”. This contributed to the antisemitism of Germany, Austria, Poland, and much of the rest of Europe that justified antisemitic policies and laws and eventually grew to Germany’s “Final Solution”. Racism in the US was supported by evangelical preachers and churches were explicitly against interracial marriage. Hate preached from the pulpit is very powerful stuff.

            The Biblical argument against homosexuality is very weak because Christians already ignore SO MUCH of the Bible. Citing a couple specific passages to justify this kind of bigotry is laughable. The Bible also says that God sent a bunch of bears down to attack some children for laughing at a bald man for being bald.

            • Hackerdog

              If you want to limit the Bible to the words of Jesus, then it will be a much shorter book. I certainly give the words of Jesus supremacy, but I see no reason to ignore the teachings of others like Paul.

              As I mentioned above, the notion that homosexuality is sinful isn’t based solely on some obscure statement in the Old Testament. It’s also mentioned in the New Testament. So it’s perfectly reasonable for Christians to conclude that some of the old laws, like not getting it on with dudes, apply to Gentiles as well as Jews.

              But, again, this is simply a justification for why some Christians believe that homosexuality is sinful. Put simply, they believe it because the Bible tells them it is. But that has nothing to do with whether enlightened thinkers, such as yourself, should have the right to tell others which of their beliefs they will be allowed to keep and which of their beliefs they must abandon at the altar of the almighty State.

          • 202dawg

            Slavery is also mentioned in the New Testament, in Luke, Ephesians and Timothy. In fairly glowing terms, too. How many do you own?

            • Hackerdog

              None. Do you have the impression that the Bible requires believers to own slaves? Please quote the passage where failing to own slaves is referred to as an abomination.

    • Bulldawg165

      the hypocrisy that you point out of these alleged “Christians” has always amused me as well

  26. 81Dog

    Michael Carvell is jealous of the Finebauming going on here. :-)

  27. ScoutDawg

    Jeebus. WGAF? How many days to G-Day?

    • I always chuckle when I see comments like this in the midst of a 200+ comment thread.

      • Russ

        Senator, I’m told the AJC has similarly long comment sections, but I don’t visit that cesspool because I like reasonable discussions on sports. I’d venture that less than 10% of these comments have anything to do with sports. I realize it’s your site and you can run it however you like, but posts like this and like the Confederate flag issue seem like too much trolling for blog hits. That’s one thing I’ve never really seen you do, and one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed this place. But, I’d honestly rather you blather on about 40 times at the combine than endure another one of these topics.

        But, I can’t quit you, so I’ll be back tomorrow.

        • Not trying to sound pompous here, but I really don’t make an effort to troll for blog hits. And I’d also say, given readership sizes, 200+ comments means a lot more here than at the AJ-C.

          If I post something, it’s because I have some interest in the topic at some level. That’s it.

  28. Dawgoned

    Can’t we all just get along, and get a couple of three-and-outs?

  29. Anon

    So it would seem that law debate, rather than piped in music, is what will keep people’s attention.

  30. Dawgfan Will

    This is an amazingly good-humored and reasonable discussion of this topic, especially compared to some others I’ve perused on non-sports blogs and websites.