Thursday, July 9, 2015

Looking Down On or Looking Out For

Here is a post to help folks consider another perspective.

I had a born again Christian friend who told me that he was very very worried for his children.  Though overall they were good kids, they apparently were not attending Church and were somewhat sinful in their ways.  And he was truly worried that they would not get into Heaven, and would end up tormented in Hell...

Imagine what goes through the head of Religious Right person when they are asked to participate in an activity that they truly believe will doom a fellow human to ever lasting torment in Hell?

The LGBT supporters keep thinking that the Religious Right is looking down on the "Sinners".  Where as in reality many of them are likely very very worried for the souls of their fellow citizens and humans.  It is one of those things us Christians think about, especially the more devout ones.

If you "knew" that someone's action was going to doom them to eternal damnation, would you be  excited to help them? Would you resist helping them?

Or... Would you help drive someone so they could buy meth?  What if a law forced you to?  Would you resist?

Just a thought...

72 comments:

Sean said...

Plenty of slaveholders in the Confederacy though they were benevolent civilizers of savages, too. Doesn't mean that slavery was right.

Laurie said...

My sister-in-law is a somewhat conservative Christian who very likely believes my whole family is destined to hell, but thankfully does absolutely nothing to try to persuade or convert us to Christianity. I did have a 3rd grade student that googled images of hell fires to show me that as a person who eats pork that was my destiny.

I don't see that anybody has any more knowledge/insight than anyone else about the afterlife so all people should keep their views to themselves. I don't understand how people take it upon themselves to be an arbiter of God's will /judgement.

Laurie said...

"Would you help drive someone so they could buy meth?" I forgot to mention that is one of your dumber analogies/ questions.

As for conservative Christians objecting to gay marriage because they are trying to save souls they should remeber Luke 6:37: Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.

Aside from objecting to a few specific behaviors conservative Christians don't seem to purt much effort into saving the souls of the 30% of Americans who are nonchristain.

Sean said...

"Aside from objecting to a few specific behaviors conservative Christians don't seem to purt much effort into saving the souls of the 30% of Americans who are nonchristain."

They should worry about saving their own souls before they start picking on other folks.

Sean said...

Incidentally, telling somebody that they're going to hell and implying that they should adopt your moral code is most certainly "looking down on them".

John said...

Assuming you believe that living a life style of taking illegal highly addictive drugs regularly will lead to bad consequences for the addict. Even if that person is genetically or physiologically drawn to them.

So do you look down on someone who is addicted, living that life style and asks you to drive them to their dealer?

Or do you feel empathy for them, and a deep concern about the consequences of their behavior?

Would you drive them as they requested or do something else? If so, what?


It seems you want to think the worst of people who are concerned about the welfare of others. Maybe you would just drive the person to their dealer as they asked. Or?

John said...

"Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven."

Laurie,
Your whole argument is based on your perception of intent. You believe that these people feel superior and are "judging"... Are you judging if you decide to not take the person to their dealer?

Are you feeling superior to the "junky"? Thinking less of them as human?

Remember my favorite lessons: Always assume good intent.

And avoid stereotyping very large groups of people. You will never be correct.

Laurie said...

so you equate believing that meth has negative health effects for a user with believing that certain people are destined for hell. It seems to me the negative health effects of meth have lots more evidence. How meth destroys the body This may be your dumbest arguments/analogies.

I will have to comment more on why it is so dumb later, as I am leaving to go hear a band.

Laurie said...

My argument is based on people should keep their religious beliefs to themselves and don't impose them on me/others. Isn't there something in the constitution about religious freedom. Also, how did I stereotype very large groups of people?

While I still don't get the point of the question, I would not drive a neighbor to buy meth from his dealer. I would encourage him to seek treatment.

John said...

Oh come now.

"As for conservative Christians objecting to gay marriage because they are trying to save souls they should remember Luke 6:37: Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven."

This clearly shows you are stereotyping the Religious Right Christians as judgmental and condemning... Which brings us back to the unanswered questions...

Are you judging if you decide to not take the person to their dealer?
Are you feeling superior to the "junky"? Thinking less of them as human?
Or are you truly concerned about them and the consequences of their chosen behavior?

Please note that Sean and yourself are the ones throwing the judgement, superior, convert, telling somebody that they're going to hell, etc thoughts into this post. I proposed a very different picture that was about how a true believer may feel internally. And you folks took your stereotyping biases and twisted it around into a gay bashing exercise.

Here was the crux of the post.
"Imagine what goes through the head of a Religious Right person when they are asked to participate in an activity that they truly believe will doom a fellow human to ever lasting torment in Hell?"

Now Sean and yourself are religious in your belief that being LGBT is not a behavioral choice and that no harm can come from supporting it in our society. The far religious right people believe just as ardently that the LGBT folk's chosen lifestyle is going to end in them going into eternal torment, a fate far worse than addiction.

Sorry to say, but all of you are operating on faith at this time, and you could be wrong. And both of the groups ironically are showing concern for the LGBT folks in their own way.

However you have given me an idea for a future post. We are going to practice really looking out through someone else's eyes. It is a necessary exercise if you truly want to be empathetic.

John said...

Some old posts worth reviewing.
G2A Conflict and Collusion
G2A Break the Cycle
G2A Conflict with Heart

Laurie said...

"If you "knew" that someone's action was going to doom them to eternal damnation"

this sounds like judging and condemning to me. Doesn't the phrase "eternal damnation" imply going to hell? Weren't you the first one to use it? This is also from your post; "they truly believe will doom a fellow human to ever lasting torment in Hell?"

in answer to your question, If I decide not to drive my neighbor to his meth dealer that would be out of concern for his well being because, as I mentioned there is pretty widespread agreement based on medical evidence that meth is addictive and quite detrimental to one's health. When my young neighbor was abusing drugs I did not take it upon myself to counsel him, as I had the attitude that is was was not my business and I really don't feel like I am being judgemental.

I think you have missed my main point which is people should keep their religious beliefs to themselves and not impose them on others. (the point of your post seems to me to be justifying or rationalizing trying to impose one's religion on others.)

Anonymous said...

"The LGBT supporters keep thinking that the Religious Right is looking down on the "Sinners"."

I am sure they do, but LGBT and their supporters don't have any right not to be looked down upon. As opponents of LGBT rights are well aware, lots of people look down on them too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6PPk2NOQXs

" Where as in reality many of them are likely very very worried for the souls of their fellow citizens and humans. It is one of those things us Christians think about, especially the more devout ones."

I think that's great. They have every right to worry. I worry about lots of stuff too.

--Hiram

Anonymous said...

Religious people don't have a right for society not to challenge their beliefs and values, or not to be indifferent to them.

--Hiram

John said...

Hirams Video

John said...

Hiram,
And this is why we have society struggling with how to balance Religious and LGBT Rights.

Which is very healthy as long as we respect the views and beliefs of all, and not assume they have ill intent.

Liberals praise themselves as being empathetic, not stereotyping, and being non-judgmental, yet they seem to have a very hard time putting themselves in the shoes of those they disagree with.

Per the links, you do not have to change your goals when doing this. However it will help one to remember that your opponent is human with concerns that are just as real and important to them as your righteous cause.

John said...

A simple example... Do you need to vilify a poor performing worker in your mind before terminating their employment?

Or can you just see them as a good person who does not fit the current need?

How will this simple difference change the interaction during the termination?

John said...

Laurie,
You are pretty certain that drugs are going to doom another person to significant negative consequences. Many people believe pot will do the same.

Is your not wanting to drive them about you judging them, or you being concerned about them? I think that is a pretty important question.

The pro-drug folks would swear that you were being judgmental, condescending, incorrect, moral arbiters, etc. When in reality you are actually worried for them.

Sean said...

"Which is very healthy as long as we respect the views and beliefs of all, and not assume they have ill intent."

A couple of things here. I have "respect" for folks who disagree with the notion of LGBT persons having equal civil rights. They should be allowed to use their First Amendment rights to complain about that all they want. I'm not required to agree with them, or soothe their troubled hearts, though. I have a relative who goes to ridiculous lengths to hide any details of their personal life from their employer for fear of what would happen if it was found out they were in a same-sex relationship. People shouldn't have to live that way.

The second point is that intent is, for almost all purposes, irrelevant to the determination of whether or not something is discrimination. In the eyes of the Constitution, it matters not if you're a fervent gay-hater or just someone who concerned for their immortal soul. Even if you have the best of intention, if your actions have the impact of being discriminatory, then it's still discrimination (it's called disparate impact). So you can prattle on about intent until the cows come home. It doesn't matter.

Sean said...

"Please note that Sean and yourself are the ones throwing the judgement, superior, convert, telling somebody that they're going to hell, etc thoughts into this post. "

Give me a break, John.

This is what you said in your original post:

"Imagine what goes through the head of Religious Right person when they are asked to participate in an activity that they truly believe will doom a fellow human to ever lasting torment in Hell?"

Sean said...

"The far religious right people believe just as ardently that the LGBT folk's chosen lifestyle is going to end in them going into eternal torment, a fate far worse than addiction. Sorry to say, but all of you are operating on faith at this time, and you could be wrong."

I'm not making any judgment on what will happen to LGBT people in the afterlife. That's above my pay grade. We live in a society where we have freedom of religious belief, and we shouldn't make laws based on any one religion's belief.

Anonymous said...

And this is why we have society struggling with how to balance Religious and LGBT Rights.

I don't think we are struggling at least as a society. What we are seeing is something of a rearguard action from people who lost on the substantive issue to nibble away at the other side's victory. So we are asked to believe the weirdest thing, that for example, making wedding cakes is a religious act. People who go to the extraordinary lengths of searching out these issues are seeking confrontation, are spoiling for a fight. They want to irritate people and the best way of handling them is not to be irritated by them.

We know how mature adults behave. Mature adults simply choose to get along with their neighbors. If the guy next door thinks I am going to hell in a handbasket, thankfully he has the maturity to keep his opinion to himself.

--Hiram

Sean said...

"So we are asked to believe the weirdest thing, that for example, making wedding cakes is a religious act."

Yes, we bought the glass vases for our centerpieces at Michaels, so clearly they were endorsing Lutheran theology.

John said...

"So you can prattle on about intent until the cows come home. It doesn't matter."

"Assumed intent" though is incredibly important, it impacts and biases every conversation, perception and belief we have.

Sean said...

Sure, it matters in terms of how people feel. It matters not, though, in determining whether folks are being discriminated against.

Go back to the original example I posted in this thread. There were lots of Southern slaveholders who thought they were doing right by their salves -- civilizing them, even. But despite their thoughts, they were still engaged in a morally depraved practice.

jerrye92002 said...

Let me ask another question. Let us assume you would not drive somebody to a meth dealer, believing, reasonably so, that taking meth was "bad for them." Then what is the difference if you refuse to "cooperate" or "participate" in a gay wedding, on the quite reasonable belief that the gay lifestyle is bad for them in a similar, temporal, present-life way? Using Sean's definition, aren't BOTH of these acts "discrimination," and based on behavior rather than status? Aren't we allowed to "judge" or "discriminate" against child pornographers, rapists and tax cheats?

John said...

Yes, let's look at what I said.

"Imagine what goes through the head of Religious Right person when they are asked to participate in an activity that they truly believe will doom a fellow human to ever lasting torment in Hell?"

I asked you to give up your perception of reality and immerse yourself into someone else's reality. (ie look through their eyes) And you failed to accomplish the task. Instead of empathizing with the choice they need to make... Support people in activities that they truly believe will harm the individual, or refuse to support the activity and be vilified by the LGBT supporters.

Doing this does not have to weaken your resolve to change things, however it may open your eyes to different methods of accomplishing the goal. And for sure it will help prevent you from "dehumanizing" the person on the other side of the conflict.

I can not recommend reading the 2 books by the Arbinger Institute highly enough. They are story based, short, easy to read and incredibly powerful. However one really needs to be willing to consider their own thought processes to get the most out of them. (ie if you are scared of challenging you perception of reality, do not read them...)
G2A Book List

Just curious... Why do we let conscientious objectors avoid military service? If we are in a war, it is likely for the "good of our society", yet we choose to honor the beliefs of true pacifists. That is an interesting corollary.

John said...

Here is a new challenge based on the comments above that say "sinning" (whatever that means) is harmless with regard to the afterlife of the perpetrator of the sin.

Please prove in some way that "sinners" (whatever that means) will not go to hell.
Please prove in some way that the LGBT life style is not "sinful".

Sean said...

"I asked you to give up your perception of reality and immerse yourself into someone else's reality. (ie look through their eyes) And you failed to accomplish the task."

My "failure" was that I didn't adopt your view of the issue. I know there are folks who are legitimately agonized about this issue. My point is that it's irrelevant to the larger question.

Sean said...

" And for sure it will help prevent you from "dehumanizing" the person on the other side of the conflict."

Where has this perspective been for the hundreds of years that LGBT people have been subject to discrimination? When have you stepped in their shoes? When have you stood up for them against those forces of discrimination?

You're whining about people faced with the indignity of having to bake a cake when LGBT people have been unable to get a job or rent an apartment -- or worse, faced with violence just based on their sexual orientation. But please tell me again about the gut-wrenching agony of a hardware store owner has to sell some 2x4s to gay couple that holds hands in his store.

jerrye92002 said...

I agree with Sean in the rather convoluted thinking that says "Reality doesn't matter, it's how you look at things" and "In politics, perception is reality." The former statement appears to encapsulate the problem, with liberals looking at this as a case of "discrimination" regardless of intent and conservatives insisting that it is the rights of free expression and free association being trampled. And considering the latter, it's not reasonable to ask someone to alter their reality just for "understanding," is it? I may be a Radical Religious Right nutjob as far as you're concerned, but does that make me wrong?

Anonymous said...

Then what is the difference if you refuse to "cooperate" or "participate" in a gay wedding, on the quite reasonable belief that the gay lifestyle is bad for them in a similar, temporal, present-life way? Using Sean's definition, aren't BOTH of these acts "discrimination," and based on behavior rather than status? Aren't we allowed to "judge" or "discriminate" against child pornographers, rapists and tax cheats?

Let me do the dreadful thing and ask, have you ever been to a wedding you thought was a mistake? What did you do when you got the invitation? Did you write a nice note back saying thanks, but you won't be attending because you don't feel the two people aren't right for them? Do you call up the person performing the wedding, and share with him or her, your negative views? When the service comes to the part about does anyone know why these people shouldn't be wed, do you then step forward with a public and detailed analysis of just why this couple shouldn't get hitched? Are any of these things people do? Or do people mostly just keep their collective mouths shut and hope for the best?

--Hiram

John said...

Sean
Interesting... "people faced with the indignity of having to bake a cake" Again with the projecting negative intent, selfishness, etc on to those you disagree with. And minimizing the importance of the moral angst your fellow human is dealing with.

"My "failure" was that I didn't adopt your view of the issue." I was not asking you to adopt my view. I was asking you to adopt the view and feel the emotions of a religious person who truly believes the LGBT life style will harm the LGBT participants. One who is forced to make a decision to participate or abstain.

And yes the hardware guy put up the sign to make a point, however he also said he was happy to sell to everyone and that he would not inquire into the sexual preference of his customers.

The question is do you really want to operate at the same level of empathy, compassion, thought, stereotyping, etc as the people who challenge the freedoms of the LGBT folks... Or do you want to be more? This isn't about the past, others, etc. This about now and our individual decisions, biases, blind spots, beliefs, reactions, etc.

The Present was also an excellent book by one of my favorite authors.

John said...

Hiram,
If one very strongly believes the marriage is going to lead to terrible unhappiness for a participant, then the person will need to make the moral decision if they avoid the ceremony, or if they attend and remain silent. (ie lie by omission)

A highly moral person would probably mention their concerns. Most of us just gossip about the pending disaster...

Sean said...

Perhaps you haven't properly comprehended what I have read. As I have said, I have no illusions about the moral angst that some folks feel. I also have no illusions about what LGBT folks have encountered over hundreds of years.

"The question is do you really want to operate at the same level of empathy, compassion, thought, stereotyping, etc as the people who challenge the freedoms of the LGBT folks... Or do you want to be more?"

Your idea of "being more" is to still allow folks to use religion as a tool to discriminate. I don't agree that such an idea represents "being more".

"This about now and our individual decisions, biases, blind spots, beliefs, reactions, etc."

I'm sorry, but this is nonsense. You weren't talking about "blind spots" when your way was the law of the land. This is about trying to nullify something you don't like.

Laurie said...

if I was an Uber driver I would drive the meth addict to his dealer.

Are you looking for understanding for someone who has a harder time adjusting to pretty quick changes when it comes to accepting gay people in all facets of life or are you trying to justify/accept discrimination. Which forms of religious based discrimination would you allow? refusal to bake a cake, housing, employment?

Society is overflowing with sinners. Why the focus on this one particular sin? What about baking a cake for a bride and groom that have each been divorced, or a couple celebrating 10 years of living together (in sin)? How does one decide which sinners to discriminate against. What if a a group of atheists wants to buy some donuts to serve at their weekly meeting (that last one kind of describes my church).

We live in a pluralistic society and people need to adapt.

Laurie said...

"Please prove in some way that "sinners" (whatever that means) will not go to hell.
Please prove in some way that the LGBT life style is not "sinful"."

Of course their is no proof either way, which was my main point which you have failed to understand; people shouldn't impose their deeply held religious beliefs on others.

So I think the disagreement comes from whether you want people to understand that is is hard for some people to live in a changing, pluralistic society or do you want your readers to condone discrimination.

Anonymous said...

"If one very strongly believes the marriage is going to lead to terrible unhappiness for a participant, then the person will need to make the moral decision if they avoid the ceremony, or if they attend and remain silent."

I am a dedicated reader of advice columns in the newspaper, and one of the most common situations they deal with is where some individual wants to the use the occasion of a wedding to make some personal point or to demonstrate some personal grudge. What always astounds me is the ferocity of the narcissism combined with arrogance that displays. It seems to me, the point of weddings is to support the couple, and that anything beyond that is no one's business besides theirs.

--Hiram

jerrye92002 said...

"...people shouldn't impose their deeply held religious beliefs on others." -- Laurie

Then why should people who believe that gay marriage is perfectly OK and approved by the church they attend, want to force that religious view on those who do not?

I have been to a lot of weddings and a couple of them I believed were doomed from the start (later to be proven correct in both cases). But all I had were suspicions; nothing solid. But, take the case where I somehow, with perfect precognition, KNEW that, after ten years of marriage and two kids, the groom was going to "discover" he was gay? Would I not warn the bride in private, at least? Absent precognition but in the case where I KNOW both parties are gay, my warnings and objections would be rude, so the best alternative would be not to participate. Or are you saying I should be FORCED to participate?

Laurie said...

I don't think anyone should be forced to marry someone of their same gender nor perform a gay wedding ceremony, so I don't see how I support forcing my views on anyone.

I really don't believe many people oppose gay marriage because they are concerned participant's souls (unless it is their family member or close friend) or we would have much more proselytizing going on. As I mentioned in my first comment I don't appreciate concern from other people about the state of my soul, though I am polite and friendly when the Jehova Witness people show up at my door (I explain to them I have church already that I am content with.)


I think many people still are uncomfortable with gay marriage and it might seem ok to make some accommodation, like allow the photographer to turn down the job shooting the gay wedding, but the question then becomes how much discrimination to allow. Should it be legal to fire employees or evict tennents because they are gay?

jerrye92002 said...

Laurie, maybe I can help get us closer together in viewpoint. I agree that "concern for souls" isn't real high up on most Christians' agenda, but being offended by sin and avoiding it themselves tends to be, so I'll agree that "souls" is not a particularly common reason for avoiding gay weddings. There are others MORE common, I know, and I don't see any of them as "discrimination" in the sense that you mean, of being morally wrong. It is "discrimination" only in the sense of what we do everyday, of avoiding people or events that we do not prefer, for any reason at all-- the right of free association. It used to be a mark of intelligence and sophistication to have "discriminating taste."

If you support forcing the photographer or baker to participate in a gay wedding, you are forcing your religious belief that it is "OK" on to them. If you are willing to make an accommodation, we're in agreement.

Lastly, we keep confusing the matter of "status" and "behavior." Of course people should not be fired or evicted for being gay, or denied the sale of cakes or hardware (and how would you know their "status"?) But when your (possibly gay) employee shows up in a sequined red cocktail dress, high heels and a full beard, and tries to use the ladies room, can he be fired for his behavior? Similarly, when a couple comes into the bakery and demands a cake with two grooms and is offered a cake without them, then INSISTS on it under penalty of destruction of the business, is that "accommodating" behavior or bullying behavior?

Laurie said...

I still don't see the difference between refusing to bake a cake for a person, or refusing to rent an apartment or refusing to offer a job, but if the discrimination only appies to wedding services, I personally wouldn't make a big deal about it (although I still think it is wrong- the discrimination that is)

I have had a long time to get used to idea of gay marriage as the Unitarians have been performing it for over 30 years.

Anonymous said...


Then why should people who believe that gay marriage is perfectly OK and approved by the church they attend, want to force that religious view on those who do not?

Because gay people the things other people get. They need places to hold weddings, the need wedding cakes, for gosh sakes, They need equal benefits. They need to have the right to visit the spouses in the hospital when they are ill. They need exactly the same things straight people do when they get married.

Look I have my opinions, about marriage and many other things. But, for me, the virtually undeniable fact is that somebody's else's marriage is not my opinions, or about me. My religion says your marriage is none of my business. Or anyone else's.

--Hiram


John said...

Sean,
Sorry for the delayed response. "You weren't talking about "blind spots" when your way was the law of the land. This is about trying to nullify something you don't like."

Actually one of my very first posts was about blind spots. Just on a different equally divisive problem.

As for "something I don't like"... G2A Gay Marriage Amendment You are funny. :-)

Just think of me as Switzerland. I think a balance needs to be struck between the far right religious freedoms and the far left LGBT "religion" freedoms.

As soon as significant scientific proof exists that being LGBT is no different from being Male, Female, Black, White, etc. Then I will happily reverse this view and demand that the far right religious folks capitulate and suck it up. For right now, the science of sexual attraction is very weak.

Some people may be attracted to mountain climbing, however I am not going to force insurance companies to sell them life insurance policies. Some people may be more easily addicted, however I am not going to force people to support that behavior. Hopefully sooner than later, science and common social norms will sort this out.

As for "being more", that refers to a very personal decision. You can still fight for LGBT freedoms and rights, while respecting and giving a human face to your opponent. Or you can do what LGBT haters have been doing for millennium, view in general terms those that practice LGBT as a deviant threat to society. Thus totally ignoring the humanity of the issue and the people involved.

John said...

Laurie,
Given your very delightful "bleeding heart", I don't see you knowingly driving a person somewhere that they will do themselves harm.

The goal of this exercise was not to convince people of anything. The goal was to drive discussion and to help people consider their most ardently held beliefs and if they have blind spots that are contributing to undesired bias, feeling, behaviors, etc. Folks probably have seen it for so long and so often that they forget the purpose of this blog.

"Raising social involvement, self awareness and self improvement topics, because our communities are the sum of our personal beliefs, behaviors, action or inaction. Only "we" can improve our family, work place, school, city, country, etc."

Anonymous said...

For right now, the science of sexual attraction is very weak.

I sort of have this notion that the evidence that people are sexually attracted to each other is pretty strong. I would hope that at some point soon, science catches up with that. Possibly on a break from curing cancer.

--Hiram

Laurie said...

about "Given your very delightful "bleeding heart", I don't see you knowingly driving a person somewhere that they will do themselves harm.

a better example of an Uber fair I would not take is driving a teenage girl back to her pimp. I think I would be driving to the police station. Both of these examples are quite different than me imposing my religious beliefs on someone else, as both examples involve illegal activity.

John said...

Then... Taking drunk alcoholic to liquor store, or abused woman back to her abuser, or ...

John said...

Hiram,
Very funny. Thankfully I personally am indifferent as to when they prove if the LGBT or Religous Right belief system is correct.

Laurie said...

about imposing my values on others, I guess I would look out for the welfare of teenagers, but I'd take adults pretty much anywhere they wanted to go (unless they had a weapon and were on their way to shoot someone)

As this topic is clearly done I am going to suggest a post about the presidential field to check in on people's thinking at this point, as it seems to me 2016 election is getting much more early attention in the media than usual.

jerrye92002 said...

Ah, but you are making distinctions between the law, societal standards of moral behavior, and your personal moral standards. Suppose being gay or at least gay sex were illegal, as it is in some countries? Would you then "impose your morality" on someone by not baking them a wedding cake? Suppose prostitution were legal, would you still be driving her back to her pimp, or would you impose your personal moral standards on the transaction?

This is what I meant about our Constitution being "suited to a moral people and no other." We cannot possibly pass laws to prohibit all forms of immorality, nor enforce them if we did. We have to have personal moral standards and live by them, and expect others to live by something similar, or the country falls apart.

Laurie said...

My personal moral standard is mind my own business. The law or societal standards don't matter that much to me on many things, as long as someone's behavior isn't harming others. I guess that makes me a bit of a social libertarian.

John said...

That seems a little inconsistent with the insistence that a certain baker, florist, photographer, doctor, employer and/or landlord must work for a specific customer who behaves in a certain way?

I think it is a rare instance that anyone would be harmed by them saying no. There is always someone else who wants their business or their capabilities. And yes I remember that you were flexible about weddings.

Anonymous said...

I think it is a rare instance that anyone would be harmed by them saying no.

As a practical matter, I think this is probably the case. Indeed, what I hear from the anti gay community is that they themselves are afraid of discrimination, of becoming a hated minority, of being bullied. The underlying message of that commercial I linked to is basically please don't hurt us the way we hurt you. I think the message has some power.

--Hiram

Sean said...

"That seems a little inconsistent with the insistence that a certain baker, florist, photographer, doctor, employer and/or landlord must work for a specific customer who behaves in a certain way?

I think it is a rare instance that anyone would be harmed by them saying no. There is always someone else who wants their business or their capabilities. And yes I remember that you were flexible about weddings."

I think you downplay the trouble this can cause in a rural area. For instance, I know someone who works in rural Iowa who has had a difficult time getting a prescription for contraception from a local doctor (all of whom are part of a Catholic-affiliated health system). Having to drive nearly two hours to get a prescription for something so basic is a significant issue.

You need to stop telling folks that their problems are manageable when you don't have to deal with them on a day-to-day basis. That's the definition of privilege.

jerrye92002 said...

Sean, I have to ask, what is your solution? Do you wish to FORCE the doctor to violate his religious beliefs? Recant or be burned at the stake? Now, if you asked both sides to make a reasonable accommodation-- not saying what that might be-- I would agree with you. It is, after all, reasonable.

John said...

There are a lot of towns and pharmacies in rural Iowa, are you sure that 2 hours was not a bit of an exageration.

Anonymous said...

Now, if you asked both sides to make a reasonable accommodation-- not saying what that might be-- I would agree with you. It is, after all, reasonable.

Now that would be nice, and in fact, isn't that the solution most of come 99.9 percent of the time? But the problem, when it is a problem is when people who refuse services also work to prevent the reasonable accommodation which allows the services to be provided by others, and that's what's happening.

It's important not to allow policy to be driven by slippery slope arguments that always generate the most extreme case. The notion, for example, that people should be denied the lifelong benefits of marriage, because someone, somewhere, doesn't want to bake them a cake is absurd. But we must all consider that when we begin to talk about things that really matter, medical care and treatment being one such case, the equities of the argument change. One thing we need to think about is whether a doctor who seeks to deny the medical care and treatment his patient wants should really be a doctor.

==Hiram

jerrye92002 said...

"One thing we need to think about is whether a doctor who seeks to deny the medical care and treatment his patient wants should really be a doctor."

I suppose, if you frame the debate in the most extreme terms possible, you can make an argument for being completely unreasonable.

The same is true about arguing that somehow not baking a cake denies gays the ability (there is no "right") to marry. It is, as you say, absurd. So why are some people taking the absurd idea that the cake MUST be baked, under severe penalty of law?

Sean said...

"There are a lot of towns and pharmacies in rural Iowa, are you sure that 2 hours was not a bit of an exageration."

Well, no, I didn't run a Google Search for doctors in her area covered by her insurance and call all of them the see if they would offer her a birth control prescription.

jerrye92002 said...

I keep wondering what would happen if the baker said, "I will bake you the cake, contrary to my beliefs, but I will charge you $2500 for it, and $2200 of it will go to the local Baptist church."

jerrye92002 said...

By the same token, is two hours once a year or so a serious detriment to her health?

Anonymous said...

I keep wondering what would happen if the baker said, "I will bake you the cake, contrary to my beliefs, but I will charge you $2500 for it, and $2200 of it will go to the local Baptist church."

I have wondered much the same thing. When Hobby Lobby gave it's employees money to buy birth control, instead of insurance coverage that would pay for birth control, did they think that morally they were off the hook?

When I go to a Clint Eastwood movie, I know that he is going to use part of the money in ways that I might disagree with. I can't imagine why I should have a problem with that.

--Hiram

John said...

"When Hobby Lobby gave it's employees money to buy birth control, instead of insurance coverage that would pay for birth control, did they think that morally they were off the hook?"

The thing is that Hobby Lobby did not give the money for abortifacient birth control or arrange for it be a benefit within the healthcare plan that they help pay for, so yes it let's them morally of the hook from my view.

The employee is paid money for their skills, efforts, time, etc. What they do with the money once it is theirs is their business.

Anonymous said...


"The thing is that Hobby Lobby did not give the money for abortifacient birth control or arrange for it be a benefit within the healthcare plan that they help pay for, so yes it let's them morally of the hook from my view."

So as long as you can avoid direct knowledge of evil, you can avoid moral responsibility for evil. Such a comforting and convenient doctrine.

--Hiram

John said...

A strong belief in Property Rights and Free Will make this so.

There are many Liberals who think the Religous Right is too controlling of others as is just by refusing to contract for an insurance policy that contains things they do not support. And choosing not to support activities that go against their beliefs.

Anonymous said...

There are many Liberals who think the Religious Right is too controlling of others as is just by refusing to contract for an insurance policy that contains things they do not support.

This is true, I am perfectly willing to pay for things that I don't support and indeed, disagree with. In a secular society, that ends up part of the deal and I wouldn't have it any other way.

--Hiram

John said...

It sounds like you support this doctrine then...

"If society allows or forces it, you can avoid moral responsibility for evil."

I wonder how that worked out for the Germans and Jews during WWII?
Or the townspeople and "witches" in early America?

I think we have a secular government, not necessarily a secular society.


jerrye92002 said...

"This is true, I am perfectly willing to pay for things that I don't support and indeed, disagree with. In a secular society, that ends up part of the deal and I wouldn't have it any other way." --Hiram

I'm sorry, but you can't have it that way, either. If you disagree with something, you do not "willingly" pay for it. The only reason you do pay for it is that government forces it on you and you do not willingly want to go to jail. "Society's" problem, secular or otherwise, is that government has usurped too much power over it.

Anonymous said...

If you disagree with something, you do not "willingly" pay for it.

Hey I disagreed with the Iraq War, but still wrote out the checks for it.

--Hiram

John said...

You really do have a hard time with the concept of Private and Public Funds.

Your Private Money became the Publics money when it was collected via taxes.

Then the Public decided how to spend it's money.

I am pretty sure you did not write a personal check to the war effort from you Private funds.

jerrye92002 said...

"Hey I disagreed with the Iraq War, but still wrote out the checks for it." -- Hiram

Exactly. You did not "willingly" write those checks, but did so only under threat of jail time. Government has a monopoly on force, so the fewer decisions we cede to them the less likely they are to make those decisions in ways with which we must disagree, but must pay for regardless.