WWJD?

…to a rich man: command him to give away everything to the poor.

…to bankers: flog them, vandalize their offices, and chase them away.

…to powerful biblical teachers: condemn their hypocrisy.

… about taxes: pay them.

…to sinners: party with them. Wash their feet. Die for them.

I’m not giving you the verses. You’ve known this stuff for years. If you truly believe you can judge others’ sins based on your Christian religion, you’re ignoring every precept taught by the man you claim to love with all your heart.

Turn no one away.

Turn no one away.

Some religions endorse unequal treatment of certain groups. Christianity is not one of them. Accurate “free exercise” of Christianity would make discrimination illegal everywhere, in every situation. Choosing whom to shun is not a mark of the Christ, but of the Anti-Christ.

Don’t take my word for it. Look it up in that book that everyone recites, but nobody reads. You owe it to your soul.

Indiana and Hobby Lobby, I’m not specifically looking at you, but you’ve both worked hard to become examples of all that is condemned by Jesus: pride, judgment, contempt, self-righteousness. If you’re lucky (and it can, indeed, be better to be lucky than good – or perhaps none of us would be saved from our ill graces), Jesus won’t return in all His power and glory and direct you to work off your proud sanctimony at a bathhouse, administering pedicures to diseased rent boys.

Frankly, what you’ve done to the lowest of humanity, you have done to the Christ. You’re every bit the sinner they are. Put your stones down, walk away, and sin no more.

open for business

Comments

  1. http://stanley%20farquy says

    In a few minutes I will enjoy a few kronenbourg beers. This beer is very tasty. Also,I just put a pro 2nd ammendment bumper sticker on the back of a prius w/a coexist sticker. funny stuff. I hope the cars owner doesnt see it right away.

    • We have a pro-2A sticker on our own Toyota… right next to the Obama and rainbow stickers, near the “Iraq vet” logo.

      Kronenbourg is Kinderwasser. Around here, we drink Arrogant Bastard.

  2. http://Joe%20Hutton says

    Wow, the first item I receive from you after signing up is this? You do realize that companies have been cited and sued out of business by gay couples who demand a baker bake a wedding cake or a florist make the arraignments despite the business owners’ religious feelings. That when there are perfectly acceptable businesses that would welcome those sales. No, for some gay couples being vindictive is the order of the day.

    Would it also be acceptable for me to demand that a Pakistani deli to sell me ham, prosciutto or bacon despite pork being strictly against the Muslim faith? If not, why not. And if so would it be acceptable for people to vilify me for demanding such. It would be a very easy thing to do to bankrupt and close every single Arabic food store in America if some people decided to act as those gay litigants have. Is that not analogous? And is either action justified?

    I have more than a few gay friends and support them in whatever they decide except vigilant Christian hatred. Just as I dislike skinheads and the New Black Panthers for their hate filled militancy, so to does the actions of a few militant gay folk serve to turn my stomach. What you neglect to take into account is that the law in Indiana protects Muslim as well as Christians alike yet you chose to focus on Christianity alone. I get it, hating on Jews and Christians is in vogue right now. And because you chose to join in I’m out. Goodbye Jack. And I’ll be dropping my Motorcyclist subscription. I didn’t sign up for militant social planning.

    • You’re going to stop reading Motorcyclist because you don’t like my personal blog? Odd choice. In the magazine, I stick to motorcycling. Here, I write on broader topics. I don’t push content; if you like what you see here, feel free to participate. If you don’t, have a nice day.

      Let’s take a moment to address your response, point by point:

      There’s no “religious feeling” associated with baking a cake, Joe. And if there were a Christian component to baking, wouldn’t a decent Christian find outreach to his or her fellow sinners to be more important than shunning? Show me, anywhere in the New Testament, where Jesus told his followers to shun, judge, or punish sinners. IT ISN’T THERE. He commanded you to do the reverse. There’s your “militant social planning,” friend. If pointing out the clear teachings of Christ is a hateful act, it’s no wonder the Romans crucified Him.

      If you — or anyone else — want to discriminate against some given broad swathe of your fellow Americans, using (in your case) arguments that were broadly discredited half a century ago — then have the guts to admit that you simply don’t care for “those people.” Quit pinning your bigotry on Jesus Christ. His role is to forgive your sins, not validate your hatred. Own your prejudices and quit blaming the godhead.

      As for your example of a Pakistani deli, the answer is not as mysterious or complicated as you imply. If there’s pork in their case, for sale to the public, you have the same civil right as any other law-abiding customer to buy that pork. If they don’t sell pork, maybe you’re in the wrong deli. Do you demand that motorcycle shops put tires on your truck? No…?

      Jews don’t eat pork, either, but they don’t try to claim that no pork eaters may enter the premises of a good Brooklyn deli. Come to think of it, Jesus was Jewish, too — but He did put up with Gentiles like us. Lucky us!

      So verily, I say unto you, don’t use poor examples.

      • http://Joe%20Hutton says

        Poor examples? Only when one is looking for ways to partake of hypocrisy, perhaps. I get that you fear angering Islamists, most people do. But my argument was not a call to arms against Islam, I’m half Lebanese as is half of my family. But if an angry gay person can drive a baker or photographer out of business when there are many suitable alternatives in the area then it is only vindictive. And I missed the part in the bible where Jesus commanded bakers to bake cakes they felt compelled not to bake.

        My offense at your piece came from your calling upon Christ’s words to denigrate his followers. We are not perfect and freely admit that. But for you to heap your version of sins on people who are expressing their faith their was just plain belligerent and counter-productive. And rather mean-spirited as well. But I guess that was the point. And for you to say, “Quit pinning your bigotry on Jesus Christ” is ridicules, you accuse me of being a bigot which is beyond the pale. And a claim my friends would laugh at. I have friends on both sides of this fence, sport.

        In the baker’s case it occurred in Denver, CO. Any idea how many businesses bake wedding cakes in Denver? In fact, that baker had baked other items for the gay couple previously but tried to explain his feelings, to no avail. In the instance of the photographer, it occurred in Albuquerque, NM. Again, there is no dearth of wedding photographers in the Albuquerque area. But in both instances the offended parties chose to punish the businesses rather than moving on.

        To quote Charles Krauthammer, “no body likes a sore winner.” Yet gay folks seem determined to punish people who don’t toe the line. Doesn’t sound like they practice the tolerance they seek, now does it?

        • In the original post, Joe, you referenced “baker” and “florist” not “photographer”.
          http://www.jaxworx.com/politics/wwjd/#comment-169080

          So what are the facts about the photographer in NM?

          Again, the steps are like those of the bakers (OR, CO) and florist (WA).

          The vendor says “not gonna do it – you’re gay – my religion is the reason I won’t perform my service for you.”

          The couple-to-be files a complaint with the state.

          The state looks at its anti-discrimination law and says “you can’t discriminate based on your claim of a religious objection.”

          THE VENDOR CHOSES TO GO TO COURT TO CHALLENGE THE STATE’S RULING — long after said event has past:

          The court’s decision – upheld indirectly because the SCOTUS refused to hear an appeal, summarized: “in New Mexico, most businesses may not refuse service to gay and lesbian couples on the basis of either the First Amendment freedom of expression or the First Amendment freedom of religion, even if the business at issue involves an expressive component, and even though the people who own or operate the business might harbor religious objections to same-sex relationships.”

          https://verdict.justia.com/2013/09/04/new-mexico-supreme-court-anti-discrimination-law-to-wedding-photographer

        • With all due respect to Dr. Krauthammer, not all Christians consider his political philosophies to outweigh those of Jesus.

          Some, on the other hand, do.

    • Dear Joe. Please check your claims.

      In Oregon, one bakery refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple in 2013. The STATE of Oregon’s Bureau of Labor determined that the company had violated the late.

      “Oregon’s law does allow exceptions for religious institutions, the Bureau’s spokesman Charlie Burr said, but ‘[t]he bakery is not a religious institution under the law’.”

      This is no different than refusing to make a wedding cake for a mixed race couple (when you think marriages should be reserved for “pure” races) or for a Catholic (when you’re Jewish) or for native Spanish speakers (when you’re a Hispanic bigot).

      All equally illegal.

      http://blogs.findlaw.com/free_enterprise/2015/02/in-gay-couples-wedding-cake-lawsuit-ore-bakery-loses-again.html

      • http://Joe%20Hutton says

        Poor examples? Only when one is looking for ways to partake of hypocrisy, perhaps. I get that you fear angering Islamists, most people do. But my argument was not a call to arms against Islam, I’m half Lebanese as is half of my family. But if an angry gay person can drive a baker or photographer out of business when there are many suitable alternatives in the area then it is only vindictive. And I missed the part in the bible where Jesus commanded bakers to bake cakes they felt compelled not to bake.

        My offense at your piece came from your calling upon Christ’s words to denigrate his followers. We are not perfect and freely admit that. But for you to heap your version of sins on people who are expressing their faith their was just plain belligerent and counter-productive. And rather mean-spirited as well. But I guess that was the point. And for you to say, “Quit pinning your bigotry on Jesus Christ” is ridicules, you accuse me of being a bigot which is beyond the pale. And a claim my friends would laugh at. I have friends on both sides of this fence, sport.

        In the baker’s case it occurred in Denver, CO. Any idea how many businesses bake wedding cakes in Denver? In fact, that baker had baked other items for the gay couple previously but tried to explain his feelings, to no avail. In the instance of the photographer, it occurred in Albuquerque, NM. Again, there is no dearth of wedding photographers in the Albuquerque area. But in both instances the offended parties chose to punish the businesses rather than moving on.

        To quote Charles Krauthammer, “no body likes a sore winner.” Yet gay folks seem determined to punish people who don’t toe the line. Doesn’t sound like they practice the tolerance they seek, now does it?

      • http://Joe%20Hutton says

        Actually Cathy, you’re wrong. The case I was referring to happened in Colorado. But don’t let the facts get in the way.

        • It’s Kathy, not Cathy. 🙂

          And Joe, how am I supposed to know you’re talking about Colorado when your claim is a sweeping generalization?

          • http://Joe%20Hutton says

            Sorry Kathy with a K. But why should I care what you know, you speak in sweeping generalities as well. And you call anyone with an opposing view a bigot which is a bigoted statement on its face. I’ll try this one more time; why do you demand tolerance from Christians and absolve gay folks for having none?

          • Dear Joe.

            (1) No where have I called you a bigot. I am growing tired of the accusation.

            (2) Why should ANYONE — white/black/purple/male/female/bi/straight/gay — Just GO ALONG when facing discrimination?

            That is not being tolerant.

            That’s being a doormat.

            As Shasta pointed out, that issue was laid to rest due to brave actions on the part of a lot of people in my native south. Of course, it’s still going on — that’s why we have laws.

            But in each of the instances you’ve cited, your “victims” CHOSE TO FIGHT THE STATE’S DECISION BY APPEALING IN COURT. Long after the weddings took place, these businesses chose to go to court. Repeat: chose to go to court.

            The true victims, those who faced illegal discrimination, followed established due process and filed a complaint, which was upheld in a ruling.

        • Here are the facts about A Colorado case. I do not know if it is THE Colorado case you are referencing because you’ve given no details.

          Your comment, reproduced below, is false, based upon the CO case that I found:
          “sued out of business by gay couples who demand a baker bake a wedding cake”

          The STATE of Colorado determined the the bakery had broken the law. The two men filed a complaint, not a lawsuit.

          “Mullins and Craig filed complaints with the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD) contending that Masterpiece had violated this law. The CCRD ruled that Phillips illegally discriminated against Mullins and Craig. In December 2013, Administrative Judge Robert Spencer of the Colorado Office of Administrative Courts issued a decision confirming that finding. Masterpiece Cakeshop appealed Spencer’s ruling to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The Commission discussed the matter at a public hearing on May 30, and issued a decision at a public hearing on May 30, 2014.”

          http://aclu-co.org/court-cases/masterpiece-cakeshop/

          • http://Joe%20Hutton says

            And thus the need for a similar law. You demand that business owners deny their faith and do something they feel is wrong. That same baker had provided service to the couple previously but his faith made him decide to draw the line at a wedding cake. Once again, Kathy with a K, why do you demand tolerance of people with beliefs other than your own but don’t expect the same from liberals and gay people?

            Makes you seem like a hypocrite, dear.

          • Joe, I’m not your dear and I’m not asking for tolerance.

            I’m asking for businesses to abide by the law.

            The argument you have put forward is no different from those made to support preventing blacks from eating at the same counter as whites. Putting blacks at the back of the bus. Keeping blacks out of classrooms with whites. Prohibiting women from going into public bars. Keeping women from playing golf at a public course.

            Those actions reflected institutionalized discrimination blessed by some churches all across this nation — and not very far in the past, either.

          • http://Joe%20Hutton says

            Actually the baker in Colorado is not the party that initiated the action, that was the gay couple. THEY PRESSED CHARGES when they could have chosen one from the literally hundreds of bakers in the Denver metro area. They chose to make the court fine the baker thousands of dollars and that amount increases for every day he doesn’t submit to something he feels violates his First Amendment rights. You speak of laws yet none should be made that violate our Bill of Rights. If only parts of that amendment offend you then you should work to amend the Constitution but beware of cheering on activist judges, you may not like the next decision.

    • Dear Joe, Take 2:

      Here’s the case of the woman in Washington who refused to sell flowers for a gay wedding (when she had been selling flowers to one-half of that couple for nine years). Again – the state (this time, Washington) filed suit.

      The analogies are the same as those I cited above.

      I’m 99.9% certain that many folks in the South refused to serve blacks in the days between 1865 and the Civil Rights Act because their preachers told them that they didn’t have to. They were wrong, too.

      http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/state-sues-florist-over-refusing-service-for-gay-wedding/

      • http://Joe%20Hutton says

        Why Kathy is tolerance the exclusive domain of liberals? Everyone should be tolerant except liberals and gay folk? If there are alternatives then people should take their business elsewhere. Unless the consumer is gay, right? Seems hypocritical to me.

        • Joe, I don’t understand your comment/objection.

          Refusing service based on color/creed/religion/gender is bigotry. And illegal in this country. It’s the same reason that cities can’t prohibit white supremacists or motorcyclists or -insertYourFavoriteMinorityHere- from having parades, if they meet all other legal requirements.

          • http://Joe%20Hutton says

            What is not to understand? Liberals expect undying tolerance yet practice none. If a devout Christian feels he or she is dishonoring their faith then you expect them to ignore that feeling and if they don’t you expect them to loose their livelihood.

            So I’ll make this simple for you, should a black or Jewish baker be forced to bake cupcakes with swastikas and black epithets on them? If he chose not to should he loose his business over it. Doesn’t seem tolerant of another’s values, now does it?

            Why do you insist on calling anyone who disagrees with you on this a bigot? That seems rather bigoted and intolerant on your part. No?

    • http://Eli says

      I respect that people have feelings, but there is a matter of religious truth here (or ethical if one would rather). What would Jesus Christ in fact be doing if he were alive; would he be working for the freedom to refuse wedding cakes to gay people? Our feelings don’t in the end decide what is Christlike. Our human feelings often make it hard to be Christlike!

      Say Jesus is a cake baker in Indiana today. Let’s assume for discussion that Jesus does consider homosexuality to be a sin. Would He refuse service to two men getting married? Let’s run that again: would Jesus… refuse service? would He? or would Jesus serve even a sinner?

      Focus on that mental picture, if you would.

      And you know what else, nobody said you can’t serve in love and also speak about sin. It may not be strictly professional, and it might not make people happy — it would piss me off, frankly, but that’s not your issue — but it’s legal for a baker to do. And again, when Jesus stands against a sin, does he close his door and let the sinner walk with a closed heart to the next baker, or does he open his door?

      When you love someone, do you try your best for them, even if it means putting yourself in contact with people who sin (but no, not participating)? Even if it’s uncomfortable, and it could lead people who don’t know you to misjudge you? Because in the end it’s not about you, it’s about those you love.

      I know it’s hard to be like this, and I’m not judging someone who slips while trying to do it.

  3. Dear Joe, take 3.

    I know that Jack has addressed this, but I think you need to hear it from two people.

    Your next argument is fallacious on so many levels that it’s clear you musta flunked logic if you took that class.

    “Would it also be acceptable for me to demand that a Pakistani deli to sell me ham, prosciutto or bacon despite pork being strictly against the Muslim faith? ”

    If a deli doesn’t stock an item, no one has a right to demand that they stock it. Jack’s post says nothing like this. Neither do the laws in OR or WA cited above.

    What the deli owner cannot do is say “I won’t serve YOU this item that I sell everyone else because You Are .”

    And if you can’t see that distinction, then there are issues in critical reasoning that transcend bigotry.

    • http://Joe%20Hutton says

      A deli sells meat. And pork IS meat. Without laws such as these every single deli owned by a Muslim can be targeted just as Christians are now.

      The question should be; why aren’t people suing Arabic delis they way they are florists, photographers and bakeries? Simple, we’re more tolerant and choose not to destroy a family’s business and future if there are alternatives present.

      Funny that you claim that someone who doesn’t believe as you do is a bigot. You know nothing of me nor who are my friends and family. But your mores simply won’t allow you to think someone who is for protective laws like these can also be 100% tolerant of gay people. In cases such as this I would think that the bigotry is on your part.

      • Hi, Joe.

        No one can force a retailer to stock something that they do not want to stock. No matter how many times you assert that the the law allows this, you’ll still be incorrect.

        A government entity can force a retailer to stock something that they are required to stock by law. But that’s not the case you’re arguing.

      • “Funny that you claim that someone who doesn’t believe as you do is a bigot.”

        Please show me where I have made this claim.

        Because I have not.

  4. Hi Joe,

    It’s obvious you feel very strongly about this. I’d be curious to know what you see there as an attack on Christians — I didn’t read it that way.

    I could see disagreeing with his conclusions about what it means to be a good Christian if you think that Christianity argues you have a responsibility to censure sinners, but I think of that as more the context of my people’s book (the Torah or ‘Old Testament’). I thought Christianity argued that the New Testament supersedes it.

    Why did you see this as an attack on Christians?

    • http://Joe%20Hutton says

      The law Jack is disgruntled about is one in Indiana that seeks to protect business owners from being sued because they choose not to provide goods or services based on their religious beliefs. My example was of an Arabic deli that refuses to sell pork despite the fact that they sell all other forms of meat. Without laws like this every deli that chooses not to sell pork based on religious in is danger as well.

      The attacks on Christians isn’t by Jack, per se. No, it’s his demand that people should be free to destroy businesses because they don’t agree with them and their faith.

      • Well, I don’t think that holds… the argument is that if you sell something, you should sell it to any customer, not that you’re required to sell a given product. In other words, you can’t refuse to sell me your beef because you don’t want dirty Jews in your meat shop, but you CAN decide what kind of meat to sell to whoever walks in.

        I do agree that there are some areas where it gets dicey. I looked up the Colorado case you mentioned, and it was like the ones Kathy mentioned: the state intervened and ordered the store to stop doing it.

        However I found this really interesting case in the process: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/01/22/this-colorado-baker-refused-to-put-an-anti-gay-message-on-cakes-now-she-is-facing-a-civil-rights-complaint/

        It’s a fellow who tried to buy a cake with a message on it. Since the store sells cakes with messages, the question becomes whether they can refuse a -particular- message. It seems to me they can refuse messages in a blanket category (otherwise I could make them write dirty things on my cake, and I’m pretty sure I can’t expect that.)

        So maybe a business could have a policy about types of speech (and putting two grooms on the cake would fall under this)…except then we get into questions of very personal judgement, and the law doesn’t handle those well. Who decides what is too obscene? If I want “You’re really sexy” on the cake and they write that, are they obligated to also write something I wouldn’t type here?

        And if his later claim that what he asked for were references to biblical passages, then I think she clearly violated the law. She can’t choose to print some biblical references and not others, and it sounds like she does in fact print other biblical references.

        I don’t see “I won’t serve your kind” as a particularly interesting question — that one was resolved 50 years ago at the lunch counters of the deep South — but the question of just exactly what I’m required to produce as work product IS interesting.

        • http://Joe%20Hutton says

          The baker in Colorado had previously baked goods for the couple and both parties seemingly were happy. You cannot claim this person is bigoted in some way when he only drew the line at a wedding cake. For some reason none of that matters to the folks here. Tolerance should be a two way street and come from mutual respect but is apparently only expected of Christians and conservatives.

  5. http://JamesL says

    In order for a law to be enforced, it needs to be enforced consistently. Business owners do not want to serve gays in their establishment because the bible says homosexuality is wrong. In fact Leviticus 20:13 says “If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.” – New International Version
    However, in order for the law to be applied consistently then the business owner must enforce Leviticus:19:19 “Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.” – New International Version. So, the business owner has to refuse to serve any farmer who grows two kinds or crops and anyone wearing a blended fabric piece of clothing. Lots of Spandex/cotton blends.
    19:26 “Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it.” – New International Version. Ok, I hope no one orders a steak rare in a Christian restaurant or else they’ll have to leave.
    19:27 “Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.” – New International version. Clean shaven, crew cut people cannot be served.
    19:28 “‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.” – New International Version. Anyone with a tattoo, get out!
    19:13 ” Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight.” – New International Version. They better be paying their staff on a nightly basis. None of the bi-weekly paycheck crap!

    So, my point is, if you are going to use “religious beliefs” as a way to discriminate, then you have to refuse service to anyone the bible deems unworthy. Otherwise if you are picking and choosing which “sin” you are going to disagree with or not, it is plain discrimination and not a “religious belief”. What happens to your customer base then?
    Stop using religion as an excuse to be a bigot. If you are going to be a bigot, just be a bigot, don’t hide behind something.
    Start using religion as it should be: a belief in something larger than you, give yourself hope and strength, build a sense of community… not a reason to cast people out of that community.

    • Nice examples.

    • http://JamesL says

      Let me reply to my own statement and apologize to Joe. In re-reading this, it can easily be taken that when I make a statement such as “If you are going to be a bigot, just be a bigot, don’t hide behind something.” I’m calling Joe a bigot. Joe, I’m sorry. I’m not calling you a bigot. I do not know you. I was trying to use “you” in a general sense. My remark was cut and pasted from a discussion I was having with a family member in 2014 who lives in Arizona when they were considering a similar law. I should have been a better editor.

  6. Oh, also, this is the most interesting discussion in a while. I hope you stick around Joe.

    • http://Joe%20Hutton says

      Thanks but I’ve been called a bigot by two of the four people engaging in this conversation. That despite the fact that I’m the only person I know who has protested one of Fred Phelps protests. A person’s sexuality is not a target for me. But apparently a person’s faith is the last acceptable target of bigotry.

      Tangentially, I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when Fred Phelps had to explain his actions to God!

      • Well, you’re definitely not the only person here who has. 😉 My question is always “before or after Phelps went after veterans?” Most people only took notice after that (which is why he did it of course — it was never really about protest, and always about attention.)

        I disagree with you about the interpretation of the law, in that I think it’s pretty clearly NOT requiring anyone to sell a particular product. That is, if you don’t bake wedding cakes at all, refusing to sell one to a gay couple is fine. That’s what the pork analogy comes to — no butcher shop is required to have every meat and every cut. I’m quite sure most of them don’t stock wild venison which I consider ethically superior to farm raised meat…but obviously there are good business reasons they don’t that have nothing to do with discrimination.

        But if you have a product you sell, I don’t think you can decide not to sell it to a particular customer because of who they are or how they’ll use it. If you feed the meat to your dog, it’s really none of my business once you pay me for it.

        There’s a case before the Supremes now, trying to force Texas to put the confederate flag on custom plates: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/supreme_court_dispatches/2015/03/confederate_flag_on_texas_license_plates_supreme_court_considers_free_speech.html

        It seems ridiculous to me — can I have pictures of fetuses on my plates if I want to protest abortion? Where’s the line? How can you argue that because they put some images on plates, they should put ANY image on plates?!

        So can a baker say “no I won’t put two grooms on top” while still NOT being permitted to refuse to bake the generic wedding cake in the first place? That seems like the right line to me… that I can refuse to build a web site to promote Neo-Nazi anti-semitism, because I’m not prepared to build that product for anyone, but I cannot refuse to build a legal web site for a lawyer just because I find out he hates Jews.

        • http://Joe%20Hutton says

          Hi Shasta, I did so long before the protests at our hero’s funerals. Before the war even started. They came to a local university to protest that school’s admission of gay students (as if anyone benefitted for having uneducated gay folks). I first took notice during the trial of the people who murdered Matthew Shepard. Also, Melissa Etheridge’s song Scarecrow resonated with me so I cherished the opportunity to return the favor to the WBC. Unfortunately, many equate all Christians with those supposed christians.

          There are often when companies might feel uncomfortable about selling certain items or providing certain services. In a city the size of Denver, where there are many alternatives to that one bakery, it was intolerant for the couple to demand something the baker felt was against his morals. I’d like to point out that this baker had quite amicable business dealings with this couple in the past, he simply didn’t agree with this one single request.

          I don’t agree with his thought pattern but I hold dear his right to have it. Additionally, one of the Amendments to our Constitution that Jack here fought to defend was the First Amendment. Yet here he seems bent on calling people with such beliefs bigots. My point in ALL of this was to show how little tolerance some people practice despite demanding such from others.

      • I’m pretty sure that I’m one of the people Joe thinks has called him a bigot since I’m one of the other two people who had chimed in when he typed type.

        I have not done so.

        I have talked about bigotry. I have given examples of bigotry. I may have said that an argument reflected bigotry (but I don’t think that I did).

        But I have not said that Joe is a bigot.

      • Oh. But Joe came awfully close to calling me a bigot.

        “Funny that you claim that someone who doesn’t believe as you do is a bigot…. In cases such as this I would think that the bigotry is on your part.”

        http://www.jaxworx.com/politics/wwjd/#comment-169159

        • http://Joe%20Hutton says

          I call you a bigot, Kathy because I felt you called me one. Hard to understand that point? Seemed rather simple to me. If you didn’t then my apologies.

  7. http://Lyle%20Gunderson says

    What Would Jack Do?

    What his conscience tells him to do.

    • Couple of things, folks:

      First, thank you all for the discussion, and for general civility.

      To that point, a reminder: personal insults are to be STRENUOUSLY avoided. Joe’s right that two people here (myself included) have implied that he, personally, is a bigot. We can — and will, by the edict of the Blog Guy — do better than that.

      Secondly, please do not put words in the mouths of others, or state someone else’s convictions for them (e.g. “I get that you are/believe _______”). This troll tactic is STRONGLY discouraged.

      Weak logic, aggressive fallacy, hypocrisy, invidious comparisons… these are entirely fair game. Lay on, MacDuff!

      • http://Joe%20Hutton says

        Jack, you’ve had more than one opportunity to protest the Westboro Baptist Church, they get up your way a bit. Have you ever protested them about their views on gay people? How about at the funerals of your brothers and sisters in arms, they’ve protested a few there. They’ve been to my community ONCE to protest our local college for accepting gay students. I invited a few gay friends to protest their protest but no one picked up the gauntlet so packed up my then 8 year old son and we did so alone. Well, except for a few strangers who also saw the flyer. For you to claim or assume I had an issue with gay people (or any other people) because I feel that companies should not be forced out of business was closed-minded. We all have our own beliefs and tolerance implies that MUTUAL respect should be the norm.

        • Well, I have to say some of your comments here are less than respectful — especially to Kathy. I’d agree that mutual respect should be the norm, and I’d also agree that you weren’t initial met with that either, but we can all try again, eh?

          The argument you’re receiving is that you’re not understanding what the law actually requires. It doesn’t require anyone to carry products they wouldn’t normally carry — it just prevents them from refusing service based on who the customer is.

          You could make the argument that the same cake becomes a different product depending on the end use – I’d disagree, but you could make the argument.

          It seems instead that you’re arguing that a business should be able to refuse service based on who the customer is, and that’s settled law from before I was born. I don’t think that bell is going to get unrung. Calling it religious discrimination doesn’t change that, particularly since that WAS one of the claims used to argue against desegregation and it was rejected by the courts.

          By the same token, it’s hard to imagine that a person has the right to force the state to put any graphic they want on a license plate, simply because some graphics are available.

          So where’s the line? To me that’s the interesting question, and I’d really love to see this conversation focus on those nuances, instead of who has the best anti-bigotry credentials. (And btw, thanks for being an early Phelps protester. I’m horrified by how many people have protested them but have never even heard of Matthew Shepard.

          Hard to believe “homosexual panic” was considered a reasonable court defense in my own lifetime. Times are changing fast.

          • http://Joe%20Hutton says

            What is misunderstood in this dialog is what the Indiana law does. It only provides an avenue of appeal should law enforcement or courts fine a business for acting on their beliefs of religious freedom. It does NOT provide an avenue for anyone, so inclined, to deny ANYTHING to gay people.

            But my question now is why was I assumed to be a bigot for simply voicing my opinion that Christians are as deserving as gay people of protection? Those two sides are not mutually exclusive. In fact, in my earlier church hopping days I’ve attended services WITH gay friends.

            My opinion on the gay issue as it’s addressed in the bible is that there many more sins listed there and if gay people are destined for hell then so am I because I’ve pretty much commited the rest that are listed. If God has a problem with gay people it is up to Him alone to deal with it, none of my business.

            But others have differing views about what their faith commands they do. And those people have every right to protection under our Constitution as anyone else.

          • It may be correct that there is a misunderstanding of the law, but I think it may be you who has the misunderstanding, Joe.

            It was written specifically to protect businesses against individuals. In that it is UNIQUE in the country.

            That is, it privileges businesses of any type — not closely held business run by sincere owners, but any business at all — from having to respect even the civil rights of individual persons.

            Here’s an explanation better than I can make: http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2015/03/30/3640374/big-lie-media-tells-indianas-new-religious-freedom-law/

            Also, you’re not the only person who was called a bigot, and I think all parties have more or less apologized at this point. Maybe let that one rest and consider that your first post got the over-the-top response it appeared intended to create?

  8. Law professors have trod this ground as recently as … 2012 when Arizona’s governor pulled out the veto pen.

    I didn’t realize that some southern leaders and preachers called god the first segregationist.

    [excerpt]
    At first, our merchants wanted a general exemption from serving, selling to, employing, or renting apartments to black people. But their state supreme court has recently struck down the state ban on interracial marriage.[9] Now, our merchants are confronted with something more troubling to their consciences: a married or marrying interracial couple. The issue was simple: they wanted an exemption in the commercial sphere for general, and religiously inspired race discrimination. Is the issue now different because marriage is involved? Must the restaurateur serve an interracial couple, the landlord rent them an apartment on the same terms as whites, and the employer hire a well-qualified spouse of an interracial couple? Must the baker bake a wedding cake or the hotel owner, who regularly rents out space for wedding receptions, rent space for the interracial wedding? Must the florist provide flowers? When one of the employer’s white employees marries an American of African descent, may the employer discharge her for that reason?

    For our merchants, interracial marriage is a grave sin, a violation of God’s word. They do not want to be involved in the sin in any way at all. Still, the law applies. The Constitution does not protect their religiously motivated right to discriminate based on race. On principle these merchants oppose all integration, and they would like a blanket exemption. But as a matter of tactics, they decide to limit their claim initially to interracial marriage—they seek an exemption from facilitating interracial marriage. Interracial marriage strikes them as the most unpopular form of integration, so it seems a good place to start their effort to achieve more general exemptions for race discrimination. So they go to the legislature and seek an exemption for religiously and morally motivated discriminators, at least in the case of any connection with interracial marriage. Should they get one?
    [/excerpt]

    http://wakeforestlawreview.com/2012/04/a-unique-religious-exemption-from-antidiscrimination-laws-in-the-case-of-gays-putting-the-call-for-exemptions-for-those-who-discriminate-against-married-or-marrying-gays-in-context/

    • The trial judge who upheld Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute in the 1967 case of Loving v. Virginia cited the fact that God had put the races on separate continents as proof “that he did not intend for the races to mix.”[73]

    • A professor at Mississippi’s leading Baptist institution announced, “[O]ur Southern segregation way is the Christian way . . . . [God] wast the original segregationist.”[81] A writer in the Baptist Standardagreed: “God created and established the color line . . . .”[82]

  9. http://Brian says

    WWJD? He would not party with sinners and say “rock on”. He would minister to them, explain that they are loved, but their action is sinful, then tell them they are forgiven, go forth and sin no more. That same message is repeated in multiple places and is actually the method for maintaining the standard of the church beliefs.

    Unless you’re morman, Jesus didn’t show himself to unbelievers after his ressurection, he showed himself to those who believed – perhaps doubted, but believed. Why? Because his concern is for the flock. If one of the shepherd’s sheep is injured or lost, the shepherd doesn’t go tend someone else’s flock. He doesn’t care for some else’s sheep, his concern is for his own.

    Concerning the law – what we have is a disagreement of beliefs, secular humanism on one hand vs traditional Christianity on the other. Yes, there ARE other religions, but I’m not going to be that verbose. Both beliefs are just fine for their flocks, within their flocks. But we have people trying to use the law to push a belief onto one religion…and that’s a violation of Establisment of religion, the government cannot prefer a religious belief over an “irreligious” belief and vice versa. To pick one establishes that belief as the official belief and suppresses the other.

    There is room for tolerance and inclusion of we just start with respect in our hearts.

  10. http://Dave%20Gomes says

    I just want to say thank you to Jack for initiating the discussion and thank you to everyone who’s participated to this point. You’ve all helped me THINK about something that surely deserved some grey matter chemistry. I can say without a doubt that I now understand my own position on this matter differently and more fully than I did before and that is thanks to all of you. For that I think Jesus would say, “Bless you all.”

  11. http://Steve says

    Hey Jack-

    Cycle Parts down here no longer sells Triumphs. The word is that Triumph wanted Rob to turn his store into a Triumph boutique and he said no. And thanks for the tip on The Jail. Have lived here 32 years and your column in Motorcyclist was the first I’d heard about it. #5 hot with cabbage baby…

    regards

    Steve in Eugene

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