Archive for Thursday, April 26, 2012

Protesters say bill would allow discrimination against gays, lesbians

April 26, 2012


— About 70 people on Thursday protested legislation that they said would allow people to cite religious beliefs to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

"It's legislative abuse, it's legislative bullying, it's legislative dictatorship and it should not be permitted," said civil rights attorney Pedro Irigonegaray.

C.J. Brune of Lawrence protested at the Capitol on Thursday against a bill that she said would allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

C.J. Brune of Lawrence protested at the Capitol on Thursday against a bill that she said would allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Senate Bill 142 is called the Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act. Supporters say it is needed to prevent government from forcing a person to violate their religious beliefs. It was approved last month by the House on a 91-33 vote and is pending before the Senate.

Opponents of the bill say it will invite discrimination and invalidate a Lawrence anti-discrimination ordinance that includes sexual orientation.

"The city of Lawrence stands as a shining example that we can do better," Irigonegaray said.

The rally was put together by the Kansas Equality Coalition. Thomas Witt, executive director of the coalition, urged those at the rally to get involved in the August primaries to help candidates who oppose such proposals.

C.J. Brune of Lawrence attended the rally, and said, "I can't imagine living in a worse world where someone's religion would impact my rights."

Taylor Harris of Hutchinson said, "They're trying to make it legal to discriminate."

Holly Weatherford, with the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri, said, "We cannot allow the use of religion to discriminate and call it religious freedom. We must push back."

The bill would prohibit state and local governments from substantially burdening a person’s religious beliefs unless the government can prove that the burden is advancing a compelling government interest and is the least restrictive way of advancing that interest.

The measure is supported by Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration, the Kansas Catholic Conference and Concerned Women for America of Kansas. It was opposed by Lawrence officials, the Kansas Equality Coalition and the state chapter of the National Organization for Women.


Timothy Eugene 5 years, 11 months ago

C.J. Brune of Lawrence attended the rally, and said, "I can't imagine living in a worse world where someone's religion would impact my rights."

Last time I looked, Freedom of Religion was promised in the First Amendment of the Constitution. Atheists and gays/lesbians think their "right to be different" trump the Constitution. I think not.

Eddie Muñoz 5 years, 11 months ago

Freedom of religion is different than using your religion to impose on someone else's civil rights.

sourpuss 5 years, 11 months ago

You can worship whatever god you want. You can't cite a religious need for human sacrifice to murder people.

gudpoynt 5 years, 11 months ago

Protection from discrimination in housing markets (e.g. rentals, home loans, etc) is codified in the Fair Housing part of the Civil Rights act.

One of the fears protesters are hubbubbing about, is the ability for a landlord to refuse to approve rental applications to homosexuals based solely on said landlord's religious beliefs that homosexuality is a sin.

Thus... "freedom of religion" granted by the state law is imposing on "someone else's civil rights" protected by the federal law, as murphy points out.

Tink1227 5 years, 11 months ago

This was a well written response, and it really helped me to see why others were opposed. I don't consider myself to be stupid, and yet I didn't immediately see why they were so worried. This really clarified the point. Thank you.

aryastark1984 5 years, 11 months ago

Fred Phelps would be so proud of your logic

jimmyjms 5 years, 11 months ago

It's amazing you rushed to comment on this given how totally ignorant you apparently are of the First Amendment. The amendment guarantees freedom to and from religion. The "right to be different" is called the pursuit of liberty.

You should stick to football.

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Freedom of religion means that people are allowed to obey God and His Word which in Rom chapter 1 and elsewhere declares homosexual act perversion and sinful. Christians love the sinner but hate the sin.

Ragingbear 5 years, 11 months ago

The book of "I hate stupid people" says that all men are free to hate stupid people but that those who don't should be drown in a vat of fecal matter and corn. Stupidity is a sin, it's in the holy book of "I hate stupid people".

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

"Freedom...means that people are allowed to obey".


Freedom - obey.

frankwiles 5 years, 11 months ago

Then I suggest you obey:

"28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[b] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[c] There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31

Armored_One 5 years, 11 months ago

So do you adhere to the ENTIRE Bible, or do you just pick and choose which sections you like that happen to support your current stance?

DeckDoctors 5 years, 11 months ago

Another agenda tainted, one sided article by Scott Rothschild. Pathetic, Scott your Liberal views are not even slightly hidden behind the phoney 'I'm an objective journalist badge'.

DeckDoctors 5 years, 11 months ago

Please show me where in the article is ONE quote from a person in support of this Bill? Oh you can't? Well then Mom concentrate on teaching your children to read with objectivity and not swallowing whole Liberal propaganda fed you by Scott Rothschild.

deec 5 years, 11 months ago

Why would there be a quote from a supporter in an article about the opponents? That's like asking a vegetarian what their favorite cut of steak is.

DeckDoctors 5 years, 11 months ago

Oh I see how you Liberals view things now. It's 'an article about the opponents', and here I thought I was reading a NEWS story that effects ALL the CITIZENS of the State of Kansas. Do I really have to get that basic with you deek? If it is ONE sided it belongs on the Opinion Page not in the NEWS. You Libs are so silly at times.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 11 months ago

What happened to the hundreds of people who were expected?

Fossick 5 years, 11 months ago

They'll be in the followup press release.

Mark Zwahl 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm pretty sure it allows discrimination in the marketplace - retail stores, hiring, rental property. Then it seems it is beyond a freedom to "practice" religion, and more of a freedom to "impose" religion - i.e. discriminate...

Greg Cooper 5 years, 11 months ago

You're damned right, Lateralis, being gay isn't a right but a fact of life, just as is being biologically female or male, or being black of red or yellow, and all those things are protected by law, as well as common sense. I don't give a hoot what your church says about discriminating, it's against the law and will be protected against.

Your straw man argument about church grounds is inappropriate. The fact of non-discrimination will, in our lifetimes, be the way it is and you and your religious beliefs will have to come to terms with it.

blogme 5 years, 11 months ago

I can't wait until being bald is a protected class so I can proudly come out of the hat "closet" and start sticking it to those that discriminate against me. I mean, why shouldn't I use the legal system instead of, I don't know, just go on with my life when someone throws sticks and stones? Seems like such a waste of my energy to just have self esteem, dust myself off and move on to better things. Those people that made up that nursery rhyme obviously weren't g/l/b/t and don't know a thing about being discriminated against. Oh nooooooooo

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Really? That's what you want to say?

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

The "compelling interest" would be equality of rights under the law for gay/lesbian/etc. people, and anti-discrimination laws are the only way to ensure those.

MarcoPogo 5 years, 11 months ago

So you would have no problem with a grocery store that didn't allow Christians in to shop? Interesting.

gudpoynt 5 years, 11 months ago

An individual doesn't have the right to express their sexuality how they choose? Pretty sure they do there buddy.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 11 months ago

Everyone has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of, yeah, to be gay is a right.

Mike1949 5 years, 11 months ago

Here is my problem. Yes, you have a religious right to practice your religion as none as long as you do not infringe on anyone else's rights. It is in the constitution of this country. But does not a person who chooses to be gay have a right to be so? Where in the constitution of the United States does it say different? It does say that religion will be separate from government though, now doesn't it?

So the way I see it, religion is trying to circumvent the Constitution of The United States by interfering with a person who chooses to be gay. I have been scratching my head for years why religion tries to circumvent the very document that is the bases of our government here in the United States. Is not every man, women and child have equal rights? Not according to some churches. The churches that have a problem with gays have a right to tell a gay person we don't want you. That is their right. isn't that good enough without trying to change the very bases of our freedoms?

It amazes me that religion is discriminatory, but that is their choice, but they (the church) is wrong to infringe on a given freedom in our constitution. It is that plain and simple!

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Yes, but of course that's not what people are arguing about.

Nobody's trying to force churches to "accept" homosexuals in that way.

They're trying to stop landlords from refusing to rent to them, based on religious beliefs.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 11 months ago

Sez one of it's biggest SS stormtroopers! "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 11 months ago

Balony(sic) Keep being subordinate, dear. It fits you.

ltownatrain 5 years, 11 months ago

no however, if you are a landlord and refuse to rent to them because of LGBT status then it is.

ltownatrain 5 years, 11 months ago

once again the US government Fair Housing law says otherwise. So if they tried have fun in federal court

Brock Masters 5 years, 11 months ago

You're right. Just because there is a law doesn't make it right. Laws that dictate to whom I have to rent my property are wrong. Private property rights are at the heart of our rights and forcing me to rent to certain groups of people infringes upon my rights

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 11 months ago

And why do you think that your rights shouldn't be allowed to be "infringed" upon???

Did someone die and make you the center of the universe? A universe where now your rights are more important than anyone else's? Where your rights are matter how much they infringe on anyone else's rights???

Sorry, Fred...but it doesn't work that way. You simply don't have absolute rights...not even property rights...that take precedence over everyone else's.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

If you don't want to abide by the appropriate regulations for operating a business, you shouldn't operate one.

Property rights are not, in fact at the heart of our rights - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are, in my view.

And, property rights aren't absolute either.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

When you choose to operate a business, you are then subject to all local, state and federal guidelines for those.

It's not at all the same thing as whether or not you want somebody in your house.

aryastark1984 5 years, 11 months ago

So, it would be OK with you if a landlord refused to rent to an African American? No-the tortured logic goes. Racial bias is wrong because race is not a choice. Homosexuality IS a choice.

Ok. We will accept that specious premise for now. Now, how about renting to a bi-racial couple? Maybe your religion tells you it is wrong to marry outside race. As far as I know there is no "I am only attracted to other races" gene. So, that is a choice, right? So that would be ok?

What about renting to couples of mixed faith? Atheists? Catholics (oh and to be very, very clear, many fundamentalist Christians don't see that much space between Catholics and Athiets-To quote my cousin "Catholics aren't Christians, they are idol worshipers.

As for the whole private property argument. The law doesn't end on your front porch. There are many things that you cannot do because they violate the law and would harm the community. For instance, you cannot rent a single bedroom home to an entire fraternity. You cannot serve alcohol to your neighbor's kid. You cannot cook meth or run a crack house. You cannot beat your spouse or children. You cannot hold a "religious" ceremony where you torture your neighbors cat.

This is NOT an issue of ONE civil liberty (religious freedom). It is an issue of COMPETING civil liberties. Religious freedom DOES NOT trump every other right in the constitution.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Actually, libertarians seem to think it's fine to not rent to anybody, for any reason.

ltownatrain 5 years, 11 months ago

Just for the record I don't think the problem here is gays saying they have a right to be on church property as that is up to the church. The thing that many are afraid of is that people could use this to discriminate against the LGBTQI community. For example if this passes which it probably will a landlord could hypothetically refuse to rent to a some one within the LGBT community by stating it violates their religious beliefs or a business could hypothetically refuse to hire someone for the same reason and according to the state they could get away with it. This is the problem that I have read about recently with this, however, the biggest problem that I see here is that it's going to make the state look like a bunch of idiots because we all know what will happen is someone will use this law to discriminate and someone with a really good lawyer will challenge it all the way to the federal courts if they have to which could invalidate the law anyway meaning the state legislature wasted their time on it.

Also to those clamoring freedom of religion you have to remember that the constitution and courts have stated before that our rights and freedoms are only protected until they infringe on someone else's rights and freedoms.

ltownatrain 5 years, 11 months ago

Actually it's called Fair Housing Laws in the US so yes it does matter.

ltownatrain 5 years, 11 months ago

I bet you would be best friends with JC Nichols if he were still alive.

ltownatrain 5 years, 11 months ago

And yet people can't apply this same rationale to the LGBT community. Fascinating how that works.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

" I don't associate with racists and bigots."

But you clearly are one.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 11 months ago

Is the government's use of eminent domain violate property rights? It happens every day.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 11 months ago

Does the government's use of eminent domain violate property rights? It happens every day.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 11 months ago

Why on earth do you believe "property rights" are inviolate?

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

They're operating a business, so it does matter.

sourpuss 5 years, 11 months ago

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

So for those of you that can't read, this says that Congress cannot establish ANY official religion by law. It can't privilege one religion over another. It can't authorize one or more religions as a basis for law. Period.

The second part is the one everyone likes to lean on, but it says that the government (Congress) cannot pass a law that PROHIBITS religious observance. It COULD ban Kosher food in supermarkets, but it CAN'T stop someone from cooking a Kosher meal. It COULD ban the importation of rock crystal from Ireland, it CAN'T prevent a Wiccan from observing the solstice. Congress can pass such laws that effectively impede religious observance, but it can't ban the religion itself.

Ways in which Congress (or any given state) has interfered with religion: No human sacrifice, no polygamy, no cannibalism, no underage sex. Congress has never said that you can't BELIEVE in a religions that requires you to sacrifice your brother on midsummer and consummate a marriage with your younger twin sisters, but you can't actually perform that religious observance. You might sit there and think that we all agree these are "bad things" but that opinion is not universal, as much as you want to think it is. Religion is all subjective and by privileging one or more religions, those then become "state" religions because they are sanctioned (upheld) by the government. By allowing religious organizations to operate outside the law, the government is de facto establishing them by saying that those organizations, as long as they are acting "religiously," do not have to adhere to social custom. So no, just because you have a certain set of "beliefs" doesn't allow you or your group to do anything you want. You can't hide behind a curtain of religion that allows for anti-social behavior. Yes, you have to cover all legal drugs, no you can't marry more than one person, yes your building must conform to fire code even if it makes your fire god angry.

Religion is not a pass to break the law and neither I nor the government are in the business of protecting your particular, arbitrary set of beliefs against modernity. Frankly, allowing religions to be tax exempt is already establishing them too much.

sourpuss 5 years, 11 months ago

Federal law says discrimination is illegal, and yet people are citing religious grounds to do just that. This is only a difference of degree.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 11 months ago

It's already been explained, and lateralis chooses to ignore that.

KSManimal 5 years, 11 months ago

You can belong to whatever fist-swinging religion you want; but your right to practice ends where someone else's nose begins.

I sincerely hope that, when the idiot bigots who legislate and govern this state enact this as law, EVERY GLBT landlord immediately evicts EVERY Christian tenant. Likewise, EVERY GLBT employer immediately fires EVERY Christian employee. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera......

All on the basis of religious freedom, of course. Can't make me rent to Christians. Or employ them. Or serve them in my restaurant. Or my retail store,......

ltownatrain 5 years, 11 months ago

Technically it would have to go both ways. And if they claim that you aren't doing it based on religion just say you practice the Force (hey it's a registered religion in the US)

ltownatrain 5 years, 11 months ago

"Before you speak to me about your religion, first show it to me in how you treat other people; before you tell me how much you love your God, show me in how much you love all His children; before you preach to me of your passion for your faith, teach me about it through your compassion for your neighbors. In the end, I'm not as interested in what you have to tell or sell as in how you choose to live and give." - Cory Booker

If only all Christians could think this way then maybe nonsense like this bill would be a mute point.

booyalab 5 years, 11 months ago

That is a good quote. It shows the high standards of behavior people expect from Christians. I don't know if he meant it, but I can't think of a better commendation of the religion.

question4u 5 years, 11 months ago

Kansas will be a much better place if Quaker landlords have the right to refuse to rent apartments to veterans and active military personnel. We'll all be better off if Muslem landlords have the right to refuse to rent to anyone who might eat ham. Things will be great if Jehova's Witnesses have the right to evict anyone who celebrates Christmas. When Hindus have the right to discriminate against anyone who raises beef for consumption, we'll all be able to sleep better at night.

Thank goodness that our Kansas state representatives are finally willing to let people discriminate against veterans, people who eat ham or beef, and anyone who puts up a Christmas tree in an apartment. No more will Kansans be forced to tolerate people who are different from themselves so long as they have a religious reason for discrimination. Kansas government will ensure that religious rights trump civil rights. That's what the Founding Fathers wanted when put that part about subordinating the state to the church in the Constitution.

bd 5 years, 11 months ago

I call the LJW the funny papers! LOL!

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 11 months ago

It's the government's property, not yours. Try to stop paying you property taxes. If the government wants your land they'll take it using eminent domain. Get a clue!

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 11 months ago

No one would be "making" you rent to anyone. Why are you having such a hard time understanding this?

And why are you having such a difficult time in understanding that you also do NOT have a right "to operate my private property as I wish"?

I mean, do you seriously believe that a certain trailer park in North Lawrence should have simply been left alone...with raw sewage spewing on the ground...because, hey, it's the landlord's private property and he should be able to operate it as he wishes?

I don't understand why people like you continue to hold this really bizarre idea that your "property rights" are absolute. They aren't. And why? Because the rest of us have rights, too. And yours aren't any more important than ours.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

You're not operating your private property, you're operating a business.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

But it's a business.

You're operating a business, not operating your property.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

And, unless you don't have customers, etc. your business involves interacting with others, ie the public.

As soon as you operate a business like that, you're obligated by various local, state and federal guidelines.

JayhawksandHerd 5 years, 11 months ago

Care to explain? I'm unfamiliar with the "oddballs."

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 11 months ago

Please define "oddballs". Then please enumerate what specific rights they have that you don't.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 11 months ago

Invoking the absolute right of private property owners is misguided and simplistic.

The state is very active in the regulation of use of private property, particularly when it comes to rental housing. In theory, a private property owner should be able to rent to as many families under one roof that they desire, but the state says no. The state also has minimum standards for rental occupancy.

The Jim Crow south is a shining example of what can happen if rentals are not subject to civil protections.

No one is forcing you to use your private property as a rental. If you don't want to rent to gays or blacks or xtians or muslims or frick-all, don't put your property up for rental.

Simple, and your freedom is preserved.

kansanbygrace 5 years, 11 months ago

Bigotry and prejudice are not Christian. Forgiveness and forbearance are. If the Christian really has something to offer, it will be obvious. If it's not obvious that they are more forgiving, more forbearing, and living an exemplary life, they would better work on their own sin rather than judging someone else.

The "sin" of homosexuality is not identified as such in the Bible. It is called "abomination". That is exactly the descriptor for divorce, as well. Gonna keep all the "abominators" out or just the gay ones?

ltownatrain 5 years, 11 months ago

Don't forget: Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight. If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.

although if we remember them that basically mean we have to call most politicians abominations.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 11 months ago

Let's play! The bible says that shrimp are an abomination and figs are too. Can I stone you to death the next time I see you eating shrimp?

kansanbygrace 5 years, 11 months ago

Not really, Larry. Shrimp are just not food for observing Jews.
Jesus, you know, that guy that Christianity is about, said "Let the one of you who is sinless cast the first stone," though I'm pretty sure he said it in another language.
Point is...Forgiveness, not capital punishment. That's Jesus' take on it. But not too many of these fundamentalists care so much about his take on things. They're too busy running other people's lives.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 11 months ago

It's in the bible and it's the word of god. Do Jews and Christians worship the same god? Things that make you go, hmm. It seems that religions pick and choose which of god's words to obey. I guess they think they know better than their perfect god.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 11 months ago

Sorry, but freedom of speech isn't absolute, either. And, nope..."Fred Phelps, NAMBLA, and the Black Panthers" do NOT have "absolute rights" of free speech.

You might want to actually try reading the Constitution some time. It obviously doesn't say what you "think" it says.

jimmyjms 5 years, 11 months ago

Lateralis, what exactly is the difference between not renting to someone who is gay and not renting to someone that is black? Or married to a race other than their own?

You really should brush up on the laws of this country before you ramble your bigoted views.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

That's lovely, and it's what the gay community is fighting for, the right to be seen as people, and not be denied housing etc. because of their sexuality.

Brock Masters 5 years, 11 months ago

Lateralis - I get you. I would rent to the very best tenant I could regardless of race gender sexual preference etc. but it should be my choice and not forced upon me by the government. It is my property and the government should not tell me to whom I must rent. No one has a right to my property so I do not infringe upon a right by not renting to them.

If my property becomes a nuisance or unsafe then it may infringe upon the rights of others so the government may have a limited right to intervene.

Yes we have the civil right act and it is the law that must be observed but that doesn't mean it is right or can't change it.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 11 months ago

What part of the fact that the government is NOT telling you what individual you have to rent NOT forcing you to rent to...are you missing???

They are simply telling you what CLASSES of people you cannot refuse to rent to. You still are perfectly free to not rent to individuals within those classes...but you can't make that choice based simply on their class.

It's not a hard concept, Fred. It really isn't. So why are you and lateralis struggling so much with it?

Brock Masters 5 years, 11 months ago

No one is struggling with it. Just don't agree with it. Yes it is the law but don't agree with it.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 11 months ago

Wouldn't the world be a better place without all the bigots? We should all get together and stone them to death.

Armstrong 5 years, 11 months ago

From the party of care and understanding

MarcoPogo 5 years, 11 months ago

Where did FHNC even try to spell "redneck"?

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

A church isn't a business, like the others on your list.

That explains the rather few churches around that accept homosexuality.

deec 5 years, 11 months ago

Unfortunately most churches are businesses that are constitutionally allowed to peddle their wares tax-free.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

They're not businesses, they're non-profit charitable organizations, as far as I know.

I'm not saying I think they should be tax-exempt - I'm not sure about that one.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 11 months ago

Think you better do some research. When churches pay taxes, we can talk again.

gudpoynt 5 years, 11 months ago

Suppose the law goes into effect, and it is indeed possible for a landlord, operating a private rental company, to refuse rental applications from homosexuals.

Then, suppose a homosexual successfully hides his or her sexuality from the landlord (without committing fraud on the rental application). Does the landlord then have the right to evict the homosexual tenant?

And after that, having learned his lesson, can the landlord now put a question on the rental application asking if you are gay?

tylerray13 5 years, 11 months ago

This isn't surprising in the least bit...Kansas is one of the least progressive, slowest growing states in the country. The only attention it gets nationally is when some religious idiots do things like ban the teaching of evolution, gun down an abortion doctor, or protest soldiers funerals. It's quite embarrassing when traveling to other parts of the country.

It's funny how republicans talk about limiting government while at the same time impose their religious views on things such as education, women's health, and LGBT families. If religious organizations don't want to abide by the laws, then they shouldn't get any public funding or tax breaks.

gudpoynt 5 years, 11 months ago

And why stop with homosexuality? Let's see what other provisions of the Civil Right act we can now violate under the guise of religious freedom ... "You are Jewish? Oooooh.. I'm sorry, but you can't shop here in my Jesus store. After all, your people did crucify the one true Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and this is after all, a private business in the great state of Kansas. Jesus and God forgive you, but I'm afraid, as a sinner ever seeking the grace of God through Christ, I am yet unable. Peace be with you. Now please leave." ... "I'm sorry Mr. Hassan but we cannot review your home loan application. Well, it's because you're a Muslim. I'm sorry, but our charter explicitly forbids assisting those who make war on the sons of David. According to the bank's founders who wrote the charter, this includes all followers of Islam. I realize it is unfortunate, but that's just the way it is here in the great state of Kansas." ... "Yes ma'am, I agree your daughter is simply delightful, and quite advanced for a 6-year-old, but we simply cannot admit her to our school. Our charter follows a strict and literal interpretation of the Koran, and as the charter says right here, admission to females of her age is forbidden. I know it's disappointing for you. But praise Allah for the great state of Kansas, that we may do business as He intended. Begging your pardon, but do you happen to have a son?" ... "Before we talk about your raise, let me first congratulate you on your pregnancy! I bet your husband is excited! What? You're not married? Ooooohhh.. I'm sorry, but we'll have to let you go. Hey, I know your upset, but losing your job isn't nearly as bad as losing your soul, which for you is long gone I'm afraid. On the bright side, before spending an eternity in Hell, you might be able to transfer to one of our branches that is... you know... outside of the great state of Kansas" ... "Hey man! Did I just see you just kiss that guy? Get outta my deli! This is a private establishment in the great state of Kansas, and I don't have to compromise my religious beliefs by condoning your hedonistic exhibitions. No soup for you!" ... And last but not least... "Yes Mr. DeBagg, we received your application to the Chamber of Commerce, and as the owner of DeBagg Property Management Inc, you meet most of our qualifications. However, it has come to our attention that you routinely deny applications for homosexuals, citing the Kansas law that protects your religious freedom. Right, well it is the Chamber's policy, based on our core religious principles, to deny admission to all Deebag's, without exception. And yes, as you may have guessed, we just made that religion up, pulling is straight from the darkest corners of our nether regions, for the sole purpose of keeping DeBagg's like you as far away from us as possible.

"But please... don't mention that last part to the great state of Kansas ;-)

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 11 months ago

You may want them and you may want it to be so, but absolute property rights simply do not exist.

You cannot do whatever you wish with your property, or do whatever you wish on your property. This is reality.

You can rage all you want about absolute property rights, but they do not exist nor have they ever.

To guarantee your freedom, the best solution is to not rent out your property if you do not want gays or whites or libertarians or republicans to rent from you.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Citation from the constitution that guarantees absolute property rights?

The only phrase I'm familiar with there is that people can't be deprived of their property "without due process" - hardly an absolute right.

gudpoynt 5 years, 11 months ago

Constitutions are written to act as a axioms to a body of laws that are intended to protect the rights that we, as a society, feel are inalienable.

Without a constitution, laws are difficult to enforce. Without the protection of the law, whose to say the natural rights exist at all?

Natural rights are a concept. An idea. Without laws to protect them, they remain just that, and nothing more.

Has Libertarianism become your religion? Are you saying that the fundamental right to own property, that sacred right that trumps all others, (and that seems to apply only to our species), has substance without the law? What are the consequences of violating one's "natural" property rights in the absence of law and/or a societal consensus to abide by them and yield to enforcement thereof?

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

It has seemed to me for some time that libertarianism does function much like a religion for LO.

He doesn't like that characterization, of course.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Ok - I say that we all have a right to a Cadillac, then, as a basic human right.

Or the right to health care.

Or the right to a job.

Or the right...


Your belief in absolute property rights as some sort of basic inalienable right is just that - you're welcome to it.

But our country is founded on the constitution, and operates accordingly.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

I don't believe as you suggest - I question pretty much everything myself.

Your arguments re: natural rights and libertarianism appear to me to function much as religious belief does for believers.

In order to maintain it, you have to ignore and deny evidence and facts that challenge it, and when that happens, you often get very upset and emotional, and attack those who challenge your beliefs.

You're very skeptical about the government, that's true.

But, many religious believers are very skeptical about other religions, while being very convinced that their own is correct.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

From my perspective, it's not an "accusation" - just an observation.

Religious belief is fine with me - people can believe what they like.

If right wing Christians want to believe that gay people will go to hell when they die, that's their business.

I'm very opposed to any sort of "thought police" ideas, that people must believe/think a certain way.

So, it's not a problem to me if you want to believe in natural rights, or absolute property rights, or anything of the sort. You can believe what you like.

It just doesn't look like any sort of fact, or proven truth, to me, that's all.

The problem seems to be that you very much dislike the idea that these are beliefs, and want to convince me (and others) that they're truths, or facts, or something like that.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Religious belief is not simply based on those things - you have an overly simplistic version of that.

As a religious studies major, and somebody who's been interested in religion and spirituality for my entire adult life, I can tell you that it's more complex than that.

Some of your beliefs are based on logic (of some sort), and some of your logic is based on beliefs.

Why is this so important to you, that you be seen as logical? Are you the new Spock?

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

You're the one who's being insulting, by assuming that you somehow know more about religion than I do, despite my degree and lifelong interest.

You're just wrong about it, in the same way that somebody who said Libertarians are anarchists would be wrong - there's a subset of libertarians who are anarchists, but many who are not.

You didn't make up your libertarianism yourself - you read others, and liked what you read. That's as much "received wisdom" as anything else.

The sky is, in fact, not blue, but we perceive it to be, according to science. So if you believe it's blue, you're incorrect.

Why is this so important to you? Do you really believe that you're a wholly logical person, and that all of your opinions and beliefs are clearly demonstrable as if they were mathematical equations?

If so, I'm pretty sure that most people who've read your posts on here would disagree pretty strongly.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

I've given you several counter examples to your rather simplistic view of religion, and you just ignore those, preferring to maintain a rather superficial and dismissive attitude.

I may not understand how you're using that term - in my studies, it hasn't been one that's been used - what do you mean by it?

I see things the way I see them, and from my viewpoint, your beliefs and the way you maintain/defend them have a lot in common with religious believers.

Since you simplistically dismiss religion in a way that doesn't seem right to me, I'm not basing my view on yours, if that makes sense. Many religious believers are also intelligent, questioning, etc. Einstein, Jefferson, Socrates, etc. all believed in God (or in Gods).

My dictionary defines faith as "firm belief in something for which there is no proof".

Your belief in "natural rights" seems to fit that definition quite well to me.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm going to stop responding after this comment.

Having read many of your posts over the years, I have yet to see any proof of many of your beliefs, including the one in natural rights. So, from my perspective, they fit that definition of faith.

I didn't say that Libertarianism is a religion just like Christianity - I said that it looks to me as though your beliefs are often faith based, and similar to religious beliefs in the way they function.

It's unfortunate that you take it as an insult, since I have great respect for religion, and a lifelong interest in it.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Well, that's an interesting question.

I imagine that constitutional amendments can't violate basic protected constitutional rights, otherwise your suggestion would be possible.

In other words, you can't make an amendment that takes away rights granted in the bill of rights.

There's no need for "natural rights" arguments.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

You must have missed the part of my post that said "I imagine" - I wasn't presenting that as fact.

I'd have to do more research to know for sure.

Your understanding of religious belief is flawed, as I've previously discovered - you have a rather simplistic and authority-based version of it.

And, in our previous conversations, it's become quite clear that your philosophy is based on certain assumptions, then followed with some sort of logic (although if it's flawed, is it really logical?).

Interesting that you use the word "doctrine" about Libertarianism, since that's often a word used to describe religious belief as well.

I'm sorry you find it insulting - that's not my intention. From my perspective, human beings are a combination of rational and irrational aspects. That means a combination of reason/logic, and also emotion/belief. You seem to place a much higher validity on the first than the second, which is probably why you have this reaction.

I'm not sure why that's the case - what's wrong with belief? I believe many things, and wouldn't need to claim them as factual or proven true, etc.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Well, I did a little research - according to the sources I found, none of which seem particularly definitive, any of the amendments can in fact be repealed.

So, it's possible to repeal the bill of rights.

But, a belief in natural rights isn't necessary to find that problematic - one can simply believe that those are rights which should be protected.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Not as you've presented it before.

I don't believe that human beings have any inherent rights simply by virtue of being human.

And, I don't need to believe that, to believe that we should remain true to our foundational principles, and the bill of rights.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Because I think people shouldn't kill each other, generally speaking.

That doesn't mean I believe in "natural rights" as you've described it.

Why do you always leave out the central part of that phrase - that all men are created equal, and endowed by their creator...?

The belief in inherent rights and the self-evidence of them is based in our D of I on faith, not reason, and not on your libertarian philosophy.

That's because there's really no good argument to convince skeptics that there are such things as "natural rights", so they just had to say it's self-evident, and base it on faith.

Do you believe that we are created equal, and thus endowed with those rights by a creator god?

I seriously doubt it.

So you pick and choose, focusing on one part of the sentence, while ignoring the ground of the belief.

gudpoynt 5 years, 11 months ago

"Because I think people shouldn't kill each other." -- But why not? Seriously, why not?

Probably, because our society condemns it, and that's just the way you, and a vast majority of other living humans on the planet, has been brought up, right?

But why do most societies condemn murder? Probably because "thou shalt not kill" is a social concept that is -- literally -- as old as Moses.

Even older. Surely as soon as we evolved into a social species, when the survival of the individual became dependent on the survival of the social unit, is when murder within the group became an action for which there were potentially disastrous consequences -- i.e. a natural law.

Move forward into human evolution, and our social units grow larger, denser, and more sophisticated. The interdependency between individuals is lessened, and so the natural consequence of murder is diminished -- i.e. you can kill your neighbor without jeopardizing the survival of your social unit, and subsequently yourself.

Nevertheless, it is still in each individual's best interest, and subsequently in the best interest of the society as a whole, to be protected from murder. So suppose condemnation against murder as a basic tenet of ancient religions was an effort to impose the idea of consequences, on the metaphysical level, to make up for the natural consequence that had been reduced as a result of advancements in socialization.

So maybe the idea of a natural right to to be killed, it's codification in our laws, and the justice we impose on each other as a result of violating this idea, can be seen as just the latest (and perhaps most advanced) iteration of an evolutionary trait that is expressed by all living things -- that of self preservation.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago


Or maybe it's some sort of intuition that God wants us to live in peace.

Or just socialization.

I don't really know why.

But, I do know that people have been killing one another (and animals) for a long time, and that the reality of human existence is that we do kill one another.

So, the idea that we "shouldn't" isn't garnered from the reality of our experience in any direct way, it's imposed on it from somewhere else.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

You're just wrong again - I don't believe in "natural" rights as you've described the belief.

I don't believe that being human confers inherent rights simply by virtue of being born human.

I believe that rights are conferred and protected through societies, and that different societies have different views of what rights people should have.

Wow - what a tortured way to try to avoid the obvious faith based nature of the founders' statements.

The truths that they held to be self evident involved the creation of human beings by a creator, which conferred the inalienable rights.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, and endowed by their creator with the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

They didn't say what you're saying at all.

There's nothing at all self evident about your argument, just as it's not self evident that the founders were right - it's just a way of trying to maintain a belief without having to justify it.

gudpoynt 5 years, 11 months ago

If there is no consequence to the violation of one's right, natural or legal, does the right actually exist?

gudpoynt 5 years, 11 months ago

"So if a man rapes a woman and gets away with it, then she had no right to her body, is that what you are saying?"

Not exactly. I'm asking how can a natural right exist if nobody recognizes or enforces its protection?

In a broader sense, I'm saying that if you believe that natural rights supersede human laws, as well as general social consensus, then where are those natural rights enumerated? And where would such a list have originated?

Our concept of natural rights has changed over time. For instance murder has long been recognized as a violation of the natural right to life -- in ancient societies, religions, and eventually written law.

However, property ownership -- as we recognize it in the U.S. today -- was not included in the list until relatively recently.

Still other rights that were once considered as natural as God himself, have recently lost favor. The right for a King to rule a country by birth right, for instance.

So does that mean natural rights are malleable and subject to societal changes? If so, then they how can they be axiomatic, since self-evident truths are not subject to change?

On the other hand, to say that natural rights are self-evident truths is to say they do not change. You don't "prove" an axiom, nor is it affected by external variables. It just is.

So if property ownership is a self-evident natural right, then the fact that it was not recognized as such for tens of thousands of years during the course of human social evolution suggests that it was lying under the surface of society, waiting to eventually be discovered once our philosophical capacities were keen enough to recognize it.

Personally, I find it more palatable to consider the human concept of "natural rights" as merely evolutionary traits of human society, 40 millenia in the making. These traits, which are quite beneficial to us as a species, continue to evolve as we do. That does not invalidate them. On the contrary, it makes them as natural as our opposable thumbs.

gudpoynt 5 years, 11 months ago

First of all, where is the authoritative list of natural rights?

Secondly, no they haven't. What you say is simply not true. The modern day version of property rights did not exist in many tribes where the numbers were small and the resources shared. The idea of property ownership to these tribes was either entirely foreign, or an extremely limited version of what we know of it today in our present day culture.

Hence my argument that our concept of property ownership as a natural right is subject to evolutionary forces.

gudpoynt 5 years, 11 months ago

"Life, liberty, and property"

Oh? Where is that written? And who gives the document(s) their power?

"That simply is not true."

It most certainly is true, for some societies, not all. You have a bad habit of assigning absolutist meaning to other's qualified statements.

Regardless, whatever was the view of property ownership among early humans, our concept of it as a natural right has undeniably evolved over time. That's all I'm saying. Our concept of natural rights change. Thus, if they are self evident, then only in a qualified social context.

Granted, the right to life and liberty have been recognized in social contexts for tens of thousands of years. Property ownership, particularly Locke's view on it, has not.

You brought up rape before, which is another interesting case. What we recognize today, as a woman's natural right to her body, is even newer than the concept that we have the natural right to own natural resources by investing our labor into them.

Today, if a wife is raped by her husband, we consider that to be a violation of the woman's natural rights. How far back do you have to go before that wasn't the case? Not too far.

At what point did we conclude that a woman's natural right to her body applies also in her marriage? At some point we did. Ergo, social evolution has worked her magic on "natural rights".

But again, I don't see why it matters if our idea of "natural rights" is a purely human invention that has evolved over time. It seems important to some, to you, that they exist outside of ourselves somewhere.

I suppose you have to renounce moral relativism if you intend to announce moral authority.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm going to stop responding after this - it's getting tiresome to come back to this thread over and over again and find these comments.

I said that I believe people generally shouldn't kill one another - that's a moral belief that I have. It's not, in fact, based on a concept of natural rights, but on other things, mostly leading back to concepts like the Golden Rule, and spiritual/religious ideas.

So, you clearly agree then, that it's self evident that we were all created equal, and endowed by that creator with these rights - that's interesting, I thought you were an atheist.

Yes, that's what they meant - the rights exist, and are inalienable, regardless of societies - but they come from a creator God, not from "natural rights".

It's debatable how much Jefferson was influenced by Locke - different historians say different things about that.

If the religious part wasn't significant, they would have just left it out, and said what you like to say - but they didn't do that.

I'm not the one taking things out of context - that's abundantly clear - I present the phrase in it's entirety, while you select out the parts you like, and ignore the ones you dislike.

You seem to think that the only basis for any moral values is a belief in "natural rights" - that's clearly untrue.

Anthony Mall 5 years, 11 months ago

If people would focus on the 4 things in life every human must do, the world would be a better place... NUMBER 1. Wake up and do your business.... NUMBER 2. Go to work.... NUMBER 3. Pay taxes.... NUMBER 4. Leave people the heck alone.... I dont care if your gay, straight, or fart skittles if you can go to work and pay taxes without breaking the law the your good in my book... If we can protest, can we protest the waste of tax dollars and time spent arguing petty issues... May of gotten off point but oh well, maybe they can pass legislation to have their heads removed from their uhhhhh yeah that spot.... Have a wonderful evening...

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 11 months ago

Actually, you mean federal "income" taxes. And this was actually an anomaly created by the "Great Recession".

But you know what gets me the most when people bitch about this?

It's that the people bitching also tend to be the people who want lower taxes!! Which means that they want more people not paying federal income taxes!

So why the heck do they complain when the folks who suddenly didn't have to pay them were actually in higher income brackets, and not just "poor people"???

I mean...isn't that what you want? Or are those desired "lower taxes" something that only you should benefit from???

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 11 months ago

Anybody else having flashbacks to the miscegenation, segregation and apartheid laws of the 1940's -1950's?

gudpoynt 5 years, 11 months ago

You know how when somebody tells a joke that is not at all funny? And then when nobody laughs, the joker thinks it's because nobody understood him, when in fact everybody understood him, but his joke just wasn't funny? But then the joker, too dense to pick up on social cues, keeps trying to force the funny out of the joke by telling it over and over again? And then people start to feel really embarrassed for the joker, because he so clearly wants to be funny, but with every additional attempt, he just ends up looking that much more sad?


Kendall Simmons 5 years, 11 months ago

Uh...a poorly worded comment made 2 frickin' years ago. A comment that you apparently completely missed at the time. And you're getting all worked up about it now...why???

That's one big problem with folks who try to be funny, but aren't. Lousy timing.

Jimo 5 years, 11 months ago

Commerce is not the exercise of anyone's religion.

Just how much poorer and more backward are Kansans willing to take this state? The only reason Kansas hasn't fallen behind Mississippi is because they're swimming even harder.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 11 months ago

+1. But there is still hope we can catch up with them.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for your direct and clear expression of your attitude.

It's always good to know where people are coming from.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

By the way, if "love it or leave it" is your motto, why haven't you emigrated to another country, given your oft repeated dislike of Obama?

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Then so can those of us who don't like what Governor Brownback is doing to KS.

And, I wouldn't be so sure of the outcome of the next election - what if Obama wins again?

The point is clear - when "love it or leave it" is invoked, it never applies to the one invoking it.

Jason Bowers-Chaika 5 years, 11 months ago

It should be noted that Lawrence's exercise of home rule is at stake. Proponents of smaller, local government should oppose SB142. It would erode Lawrence's ability to govern itself as those locally elected officials who directly answer to the voters in Lawrence see fit.

In addition, the person who although heterosexual who fits someone else's stereotype of what a gay person looks like will be at risk for being fired, not hired, evicted because someone thinks they are gay. Don't poo poo this one as there is a documented case of a heterosexual teacher being canned because his homophobic Bible wacker administrator thought he was gay. This type of discrimination harms the community as a whole. A whole segment of the population is shunned out of the prospective employee pool. The town get's the reputation of that of an intolerant environment for those that don't conform. One of the factors leading to Lawrence's success is it's tolerant reputation. Discrimination is bad for business and economic development. Opposing SB142 just makes sense. Religious freedoms are already protected.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

"C.J. Brune of Lawrence protested at the Capitol on Thursday against a bill that she said would allow discrimination against gays and lesbians."

It's always encouraging to see citizens exercising their rights to question congressional authority by exercising the right to protest. Thank you C.J. Brune.

Government wanting to legalize discrimination is obviously a government that citizens should not trust. Of course it's the the New GOP party sponsored by ALEC.

ALEC currently claims more than 250 corporations and special interest groups as private sector members. While the organization refuses to make a complete list of these private members available to the public, some known members include:

  • Wal-Mart
  • Exxon Mobil
  • the Corrections Corporation of America
  • AT&T
  • Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
  • Time Warner Cable
  • Comcast
  • Verizon
  • Phillip Morris International
  • Koch Industries
  • along with a host of right-wing think tanks and foundations.

Abdu Omar 5 years, 11 months ago

No matter how you look at this bill, it is not good for the people of Kansas or anyother state, period.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

Worship of the God Property Rights is also a religion.

Joe Hyde 5 years, 11 months ago

Senate Bill 142 goes far beyond allowing discrimination; if enacted it will guarantee discrimination. The bill pretends to "protect religion" but really is an effort to legalize hate crime.

Clara Westphal 5 years, 11 months ago

I will be glad when being 'gay' isn't the in thing anymore.

Armored_One 5 years, 11 months ago

It's easily summed up.

At what point does an American citizen lose the given rights that they were given at birth?

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

This is just a rather long way of saying you want property rights to be more absolute than they are.


But there's no particular justification for that that you offer, other than your opinion/belief.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

None of our rights are absolute.

If you'd prefer to have none, that's your right - I'm fine with the idea of limited rights, given the complexities of life in America.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

The list is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - property isn't even on the list.

All of those can be taken away after "due process' - therefore, they're not "absolute".

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Sorry - life, liberty and property can be taken away after due process.

So, property isn't even on the original list of inalienable rights, and it can be taken away after due process.

It's hardly an absolute right, by any means.

aryastark1984 5 years, 11 months ago

NO. Your rights end where someone else's rights begin.

aryastark1984 5 years, 11 months ago

I am formally proposing that we rename senate bill 142 the Westborough Baptist Church endorsement law. This law codifies the bizarre rationale of this fringe group namely "Our religion entitles us to be as discriminatory and disruptive as we want because we have a really good reason."

So, if you think this is a really good idea than I suggest you stop and think about how it feels to share a logic system with Fred Phelps.

aryastark1984 5 years, 11 months ago

You have the right to refuse to rent/serve to an individual because he/she would be disruptive. BUT, you cannot refuse service to a class of people. In other words, I think that I could feel pretty safe in refusing to serve Fred if he walked in carrying his crazy signs or shouting at other patrons. I could even probably refuse to serve him because I don't like HIM. But, I could not refuse to serve him because he is (or claims to be) a Baptist/Christian. Nor could I have a written or unwritten policy not to serve Baptists. Although this bill would certainly entitle me to do that.

aryastark1984 5 years, 11 months ago

So, the law ends on your front door step? You cannot turn your kitchen into a meth lab. You cannot rent a single bedroom apartment to 10 people. You cannot torture your neighbors cat in the name of religious expression. Property rights are important but they do not allow you to use your property in such a way that it would be harmful to the community.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

What about the fact that we've decided that being able to rent an apartment, or get a job, without being denied on the basis of race, gender, etc. is a right do you not get?

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

We've decided you're wrong about this one - but keep fighting an already lost battle if you like.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

The constitution protects individual rights, that's true, but our system is also one that grants majorities a certain amount of power to make decisions.

In this case, that majority has decided to grant certain rights that you disagree with to people.

The SC seems to have concluded that doing so doesn't violate your property rights, which aren't absolute.

But keep fighting if you like.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

That seems rather irrelevant to the question at hand.

Each member of a group is an individual - each gay person who is denied employment because of their sexuality is an individual.

aryastark1984 5 years, 11 months ago

And what do YOU not get about the fact that refusing to do business with someone based on your religious beliefs INFRINGES ON THEIR RIGHTS!!!!!!!

aryastark1984 5 years, 11 months ago

Their right to patronize a business; eat, sleep, live where you want.

This is exactly parallel to the whites only sections of businesses (lunch counters) and neighborhood segregation laws. In the abstract for our house, it states that the neighborhood covenants prevented selling the property to or letting "non-whites" live on the property (unless they were domestic help).

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

And you "want" to be able to deny service to anybody you want.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

I think it's an interesting belief, one that's grounded in religious belief in our tradition - we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and endowed by their creator with the inalienable rights of...

You should note that property is not on that list, by the way, the rights enumerated as inalienable are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Different people believe differently about these things.

Do you share the founders' faith that their inalienable rights were based on? If not, what grounds your beliefs?

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Then it's quite surprising they didn't include it in their list, isn't it?

And, again, do you share their faith? If not, what do you base your belief in inalienable rights on?

Paul R Getto 5 years, 11 months ago

You know it occurred to me, if this passes, it could become part of the effort to make America healthy again and we could fold it into the health plans. Gluttony is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Devout Christians might refuse to serve fatties at the burger joints because it's against their religion. Might just work, and increase salad sales for the Arch Club. It's a thought. Discussion?

Armored_One 5 years, 11 months ago

I remember, when I was younger, watching footage of the riots and assaults that accompanied the Civil Rights Movement. I openly admit that it was an incredibly diverse and complicated subject, but a quick summary could easily be:

"A great number of people, for a very long time, were denied the rights and privledges that were accorded people born in the same country, for reasons that were not only subjective, but also biased against something that they had no true control over in the first place."

Or, the shorter version:

"Those that were not black refused to give the rights that they had to those that were black, simply because they were black."

Much the same thing could be said of the Equal Rights Amendment, although that wasn't based on color, but instead was based on the principle of inequality between men and women, or at least that was the perception back then.

Here we are now, the marches continue.

The prejudice continues.

The refusal to acknowledge simple, human rights continues.

Using religion as a shield to defend yourself from accusations of inhumanity is about as cowardly as any other atrocity committed int eh history of humanity when it comes to the basic principle of whether or not people are equal.

Yes, there are some people that are smarter than the vast majority. Stronger. Faster.

The inverse is just as true.

All men are created equal.

Either we are equal, or the people that wrote those words, and fought for the right to put them down on paper, so to speak, are wrong. But if they are wrong, then none of our rights are rights so much as they are given privledges that are subject to the whims and wishes of the masses that surround us.

The mob may commit murder with impunity. The mob can rape at will.

The individual must supercede those things, and there are no larger mobs anywhere in this world than those that insist on forcing archaic religious dogma down our proverbial throats.

Freedon of religion has to come with freedom from religion, otherwise, it simply becomes a breeding ground for hatred hiding behind a book.

booyalab 5 years, 11 months ago

"They're trying to make it legal to discriminate."

It's funny how this is seen as a "gotcha" statement. I think liberals believe they have latched on to some secret agenda when ever they catch a glimmer of truth. The concept of not hiding motivation is foreign to them. And do you want to know some other secrets? We believe that the law discriminates all the time. We believe in the dictionary definition of discrimination, not the "being mean to special people" definition. We also believe that homosexuality is not like race. So there you have it, our massive conspiracy revealed!

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

"We also believe that homosexuality is not like race."

What if you're wrong?

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 11 months ago

I find this appropriate here. "“In ‘The Maypole of Merry Mount,’ ” I said, “some people having a fun party in the woods are disrupted by the Puritans, who consider them immoral. Both groups have come to America in search of ‘freedom.’ The Merry Mounters interpret ‘freedom’ as sexual and individual freedom, the Puritans as freedom to practice their own religion while outlawing the behavior of others. This fight is still going on in America: the same issues come up in every election. In my novel ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ ” I added modestly, “I’ve included them as ‘freedom to’ and ‘freedom from.’ ” "

This is an article in the New York Times by Margaret Atwood, the author of "The Handmaid's Tale", which was short listed for the Booker Prize. Trust me, you should read it. The "Maypole of Merry Mount" is a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorn. I realize there will be slack jawed mouth breathers on this board that have never read Hawthorn and will refuse to do so. That's ok. Their loss.

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