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Indiana: The Holy War of the Left

Today’s Indianapolis Star front page uses the headline approach usually reserved for war. Because that’s what this is: culture war, and the mainstream media, as a vital part of the progressive movement, is waging total war for a cause they believe is holy. I’m not exaggerating. To most of the media, there is no other side in the gay marriage debate, or on anything to do with gay rights. There is only Good and Evil. And so we have the spectacle of a moral panic that makes a party that is a chief beneficiary of the First Amendment — a newspaper — taking unprecedented steps to suppress a party that is the other chief beneficiary of the First Amendment: religious dissenters. In my experience, it is impossible to overstate how sacred this cause is to American elites, especially journalists.

If you thought this was ever about fairness, justice, tolerance, or reason, you now ought to have had your eyes opened.

The spirit of jihad has so overtaken the left that the Democratic governor of Connecticut has forbidden his state government [1] to travel to Indiana on state business. Has that ever happened in America? Back when there was actual segregation, did states do that to each other? And get this: Gov. Dan Malloy is such a crusading idiot that he doesn’t even realize that his own state has a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act [2] that it passed in 1993!

Malloy’s act, like the Indy Star‘s, are characteristic of liberalism’s unhinged reaction to Indiana’s law. If you are not watching this and seeing the future of religious liberty in this country, if you are not observing and taking note of the power the Establishment — political, media, big business — is deploying to crush a law that even a pro-gay liberal like Boston University’s Stephen Prothero says [3] is a fair and necessary measure to support a fundamental liberal value (religious freedom), and if you are not thinking about the Supreme Court and the next presidential election — if you are not watching and learning, you are a fool.

Ross Douthat is watching, and as he wrote a while back, all that’s left is to negotiate the terms of our surrender. We now see that the left is not content to win the culture war; they’re going to shoot the prisoners and bounce the rubble. In a blog post, he puts some questions to liberals [4], to clarify where they’re planning to take this thing next. Among them:

1) Should religious colleges whose rules or honor codes [5] orcovenants [6] explicitly ask students and/or teachers to refrain from sex outside of heterosexual wedlock eventually lose their accreditation [7] unless they change the policy to accommodate gay relationships? At the very least, should they lose their tax-exempt status, as Bob Jones University did [8] over its ban on interracial dating?

2) What about the status of religious colleges and schools or non-profits that don’t have such official rules about student or teacher conduct, but nonetheless somehow instantiate or at least nod to a traditional view of marriage at some level — in the content of their curricula, the design of their benefit package, the rules for their wedding venues, their denominational affiliation? Should their tax-exempt status be reconsidered? Absent a change in their respective faith’s stance on homosexuality, for instance, should Catholic high schools or Classical Christian academies or Orthodox Jewish schools be eligible for 501(c)3 status at all?

Ross further says:

One of the difficulties in this discussion, from a conservative perspective, is that the definition of “common sense” and “compromise” on these issues has shifted so rapidly in such a short time: Positions taken by, say, the president of the United States and most Democratic politicians a few short years ago are now deemed the purest atavism, the definition of bigotry gets more and more elastic, and developments that social liberals would have described as right-wing scare stories in 2002 or so are now treated as just the most natural extensions of basic American principles. (Rod Dreher calls this the “law of merited impossibility,” [9] in which various follow-on effects of same-sex marriage are dismissed as impossible until they happen, at which point it’s explained that of course they were absolutely necessary.)

Understand the propaganda war here: things that were supported the day before yesterday by many on the mainstream left have now become “hate,” and their former positions have gone down the memory hole, shamelessly. It is by now clear that nothing is impossible with the left on this issue, because they have adopted the kind of scorched-earth attitude that scared so many of them when Barry Goldwater voiced it in 1964. The left’s version: “Extremism in defense of gay rights is no vice.”

Religious and social conservatives had better wake up and recognize the stakes playing out in Indiana right now. The people who hate us don’t want compromise. They want total victory, no matter how it tears this country up, and no matter how it eviscerates what was once a sacred value in this country: freedom of religion.

And watch the Republican Party’s presidential candidates. Jeb Bush and others have, thankfully, come out in defense of Indiana’s law. But nine Indiana CEOs have issued a letter [10] to Gov. Mike Pence demanding that he change the RFRA. This is a time of testing of GOP leadership mettle, as the party’s business wing and its social-values wing clash. The Republican Party has got to stand firm for an American value as fundamental as religious liberty against the left’s witch-hunting hysteria.

184 Comments (Open | Close)

184 Comments To "Indiana: The Holy War of the Left"

#1 Comment By Michael Guarino On March 31, 2015 @ 6:35 pm

We NOW have other members of protected classes (sex, religion, national origin, etc.) but it all started with public accommodation law.

As said, I’m surprised that all you conservatives are so eager to trash something that is very, very traditional.

I genuinely thought it might have been a typo.

Still, even if you could find a long history of public accomodation law, it is a huge stretch to convince a conservative should never sacrifice religious conscience (which is thousands of years older by the way, if you absolutely need a numerical comparison) to our current, very broad conception of public accomodation. You know that, so cut the bullcrap.

#2 Comment By Rob G On March 31, 2015 @ 6:56 pm

“We will force them to be good, by golly!”

“And, oh yeah. Did we tell you we get to define ‘good’?”

“A few centuries ago people like you would have been out there trying to prosecute adulterers and homosexuals.”

Indeed. Heirs of the Puritans, they’ve done a 180 regarding God and Puritan morality, and the joyless self-righteousness and intrusive do-goodism have only gotten worse as a result.

#3 Comment By Noah172 On March 31, 2015 @ 7:33 pm

Darth,

There is a lot more to American history than the South and Jim Crow. Moreover, I was not advocating mandatory racial segregation, but rather voluntary exclusionary policies by private actors on whatever basis they see fit: don’t want to serve people wearing glasses (like me), don’t; don’t want to serve men (like me), don’t; don’t want to serve people not dressed a certain way (which businesses can do now legally anyway), don’t; and so forth.

Moreover, you should know that politics follows culture: as an example, as smoking has become less socially respectable and popular, it has become more legally restricted. In today’s culture, if anti-discrimination laws disappeared tomorrow, most businesses, large and small, would not want to adopt exclusionary practices — other than, as I noted in my previous comment, the use of money (high prices) to exclude riffraff, which is so pervasive in society that it is taken for granted, even (especially) by pious progressives. Nevertheless, there is a market for businesses which affirm certain preferences (such as, apropos of this comment thread, wedding services which refuse to participate in homosexual ceremonies), and those markets should be allowed to function.

When actively pining for these bygone days of yore, you would be advised to consider that, right now, you are in an America of 70% not-conservative-Christians

So that leaves 30% who are — about 100 million folks, hardly any of them dirt-poor sharecroppers similar to those of the pre-60s South. Somebody will always want our patronage.

I repeat, I am talking about private, voluntary practices, on whatever basis a private actor sees fit.

#4 Comment By Anna Duarte On March 31, 2015 @ 8:41 pm


“If the law is enforced as written, rather than enforced as a special Christians-only privilege, then traditionalist Muslim cabbies will be able to refuse service to women traveling alone or to men carrying liquor.”

Only if a court declares it so. All the law does is give these people recourse to a hearing.
SamM I fear is wrong here. The Muslim cabbie can refuse rides to women and if the woman sues him for discrimination, can use the RFRA to argue a defense. He’ll probably lose eventually. Which is cold comfort to the many women who would have been left on the roadside at night and not been able to sue. Oh—and every individual cab driver can have his own day in court. The court can’t rule once and be done with the arguement.

#5 Comment By Another Matt On March 31, 2015 @ 8:47 pm

Moreover, you should know that politics follows culture: as an example, as smoking has become less socially respectable and popular, it has become more legally restricted.

For a long time it took no-smoking signs to make this happen. I think it’s the humiliation of being turned away that has spurred some of the lawsuits. If you’re not going to serve people with glasses (like me, too), you really need to have a sign up so that I don’t walk in unawares, especially if your patrons are unlikely to take kindly to my kind showing up.

#6 Comment By John On March 31, 2015 @ 8:47 pm

Well, if this is a war, it is one that is welcomed by the extremists on both sides. Governor Pence didn’t have to push for the law as written. There was nothing stopping the governor and Indiana’s lawmaking body from crafting legislation narrowly tailored to address the legitimate First Amendment rights of those who oppose homosexuality.

Pence however, decided to sign the bill as is, and worse, surrounded himself with people who have opposed gay rights across the board (no discrimination laws, hate crime laws, privacy rights, etc) -people, in other words, who do not believe that gay people have a liberty right to be gay without being forced out of the public square.

They insist on having this war as much as those gay couples who insist on buying their wedding cakes from those who don’t like them.

And there was nothing stopping Gay rights supporters from crafting and submitting to the press, their own counter proposal and there was nothing stopping them from telling wedding couples they can and should look elsewhere.

I still think there is a way out of this for those of us who are not interested in a war. Governor Pence and the gay rights supporters who opposed this law could pass an amendment that bars sexual orientation-based discrimination in employment, public housing and access to public goods while upholding the right of small businesses (say those with 25 employees or less) a right to refuse those services which would be construed as an endorsement of what they deem sinful. This would cover the legitimate religious-based exceptions which Rod seeks while protecting gays from invidious, across-the-board discrimination.

I agree with the distinction Siarly Jenkins raised on prior occasions. When a business sells products to the public, it must sell them to everybody without discrimination but it does not have to sell products which it deems immoral.

Sexual orientation-based discrimination should be treated like religious-based discrimination. For the most part that discrimination should be outlawed. Exceptions, however, are made for religious organizations and for the sale/distribution of services that conflict with established religious practices of a small business owner.

#7 Comment By W. Nelson On March 31, 2015 @ 8:54 pm

Anyone remember the Don’t force your religion down my throat!! arguments from college?

#8 Comment By Chris On March 31, 2015 @ 9:03 pm

I am a consistent critic of your doom and gloom and very pro-gay rights. But in the case of religious colleges and universities, the handwriting is on the wall. Attempts will be made to revoke accreditation of colleges that have honor codes that condemn homoexuality. Whether those attempts will prevail in the courts is another manner. There was a movement in my profession to have the APA (American Psychological Association) revoke accreditation of psychology programs whose schools forbade homosexual conduct. It withered on the vine due to concerns about the legality of such a move. This was 20 years ago. I expect to see such a movement be revived in the near future.

#9 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 31, 2015 @ 9:16 pm

You know, Michael Guarino, the duty of the innkeeper to serve all who travel the road, also the blacksmith, and sundry others, has very ancient roots. It may even pre-date Judaism, and certainly dates back to societies in which homosexuality was a rather normal thing for married men to engage in, while keeping their wives pregnant with legitimate heirs.

(I think I’ve offended everyone with strong views on this subject in a mere two sentences. So many false premises wiped out in less than a minute.)

A man goes into a bakery owned by a gay man, and asks for a cake with writing, and wants it to be Leviticus 20:13, “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

Is the gay man allowed to refuse service based on the requestor’s religious beliefs?

Yes, but not because it is lawful for a business owner to discriminate against convervative Christians. Rather, the baker, even in his capacity running a business, may not be compelled to participate in expressive speech he finds abhorrent. That’s as true for a gay baker as for a southern Baptist. (And must I remind everyone once again that there are gay Baptist and Pentecostal churches, altar calls and all?)

#10 Comment By stef On March 31, 2015 @ 10:03 pm

@TomO: When I was married I never even met the person who baked our cake. My wife did. We had a standard 3 tier white cake that was dropped off at the reception (or we may have picked it up) prior to the event. The baker certainly did not attend the ceremony, reception, or have anything to do with the event.

It’s becoming more common now to have a 3-tier “display cake” out on the table, and sheet cakes in the back which are actually served to the bulk of the guests. Sometimes the caterers distribute the cake; sometimes the bakers actually show up at the reception, set the cake up, and handle the cake distribution.

This is done because very large weddings (200-300 people) have a demand for cake that a “typical” wedding cake can’t meet, given the “architecture” of cake, how big a single cake would have to be, etc.

So yes, it’s conceivable that depending upon the size of the wedding and the style of the cake, the baker *might* be involved in setting up and distributing cake at the reception.

#11 Comment By jamie On March 31, 2015 @ 10:09 pm

I repeat, I am talking about private, voluntary practices, on whatever basis a private actor sees fit.

Prepare for boycotts and pickets.

#12 Comment By John On March 31, 2015 @ 10:16 pm

“I sure hope that they’ve had this religion for more than two weeks.”

Why? Maybe their God chose to make his revelation concerning pot this week?

Last I checked government, federal, state, and local officials can’t use their judgement to determine a religion’s authenticity.

#13 Comment By native new yorker On March 31, 2015 @ 10:59 pm

Can I ask an honestly non-snarky question about the endless debated “gay wedding cake” – what makes it gay?

The visual of two plastic grooms is useful for a magazine illustration but I’ve never seen and actual wedding cake with little figures on top in any combination – didn’t that go out of style in the 70’s?

The same with “writing the grooms names” – has anybody ever been at a wedding where the cake had any kind of writing on it?

Modern wedding cakes tend to be smooth, fairly plain, and decorated with flowers – how is it “coerced speech” to bake this standard cake for a gay couple vs a straight couple?

I’m not a robot and I’ve been to plenty of weddings.

#14 Comment By Michael Guarino On March 31, 2015 @ 11:21 pm

You know, Michael Guarino, the duty of the innkeeper to serve all who travel the road, also the blacksmith, and sundry others, has very ancient roots. It may even pre-date Judaism, and certainly dates back to societies in which homosexuality was a rather normal thing for married men to engage in, while keeping their wives pregnant with legitimate heirs.

The Greeks recognized a broad duty around hospitality, with a number of myths depicting divine visitations that were rebuffed at the mortal’s peril. There are definitely old roots there, but grumpy realist’s analysis was superficial (Hey look, this is old! Conservatives must love it even in this instance.). The issue is negotiating the conflict between religious conscience and that duty.

If anything noticing that being accommodating in providing services is old and widespread underlines the point that this will only really happen in rare, tough-to-call cases, or when there are structural issues in the society (like Jim Crow) which really are not an issue for the foreseeable future.

And ultimately, to think that an RFRA will yield a significant amount of invidious discrimination is fundamentally uncharitable to religious people in America, so I also think this conflict is heavily overblown for political effect.

#15 Comment By BillWAF On April 1, 2015 @ 12:31 am

Rod,

As amusing as I find your hysterical whining, you made a statement that should be challenged: “Gov. Dan Malloy is such a crusading idiot that he doesn’t even realize that his own state has a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that it passed in 1993!”

The Connecticut RFRA is substantially different from the Indiana statute. First, to quote Garrett Epps: “the Indiana law explicitly allows any for-profit business to assert a right to ‘the free exercise of religion.’ The federal RFRA doesn’t contain such language, and neither does any of the state RFRAs except South Carolina’s; in fact, Louisiana and Pennsylvania, explicitly exclude for-profit businesses from the protection of their RFRAs.”

Epps article provides a second difference: “The new Indiana statute also contains this odd language: ‘A person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a violation of this chapter may assert the violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding, regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding.’…Neither the federal RFRA, nor 18 of the 19 state statutes cited by the Post, says anything like this; only the Texas RFRA, passed in 1999, contains similar language.”

At least one comment to one of your earlier blog posts pointed the Epps article out, giving the web citation. If you had bothered to do your research, you would have known that the Connecticut statute is substantially different from that of Indiana.

I also feel that I am being generous in not assuming that you chose to write a misleading post. I am certainly more generous to you than you were to Governor Malloy.

#16 Comment By Chris 1 On April 1, 2015 @ 1:02 am

I thought I had posted this earlier…apparently not.

This entire thing is a case of identity politics, not policy.

Just as the very conservatives who created Obamacare and first enacted it and then trumpeted its success now find it to be mortally offensive because Obama promoted it, so now the very liberals who created RFRAs and who first enacted it and then trumpeted its success now find it to be mortally offensive because conservatives are promoting it.

What’s really going on? The policy itself is the flippin’ same policy.

It’s easy to understand if you view the world through a partisan lens: Anything the other guy is for must be bad for me.

So conservatives denounce Obamacare, and liberals denounce RFRAs. Congratulations, partisans! You’ve rendered reality irrelevant to your political machinations.

#17 Comment By M_Young On April 1, 2015 @ 1:04 am

Could someone please point me to these ‘historical’, pre-Jim crow public accommodation laws? After all, the 19th Century Supreme Courts (correctly) threw out the Radical Republicans ‘Civil Rights’ laws, precisely because they interfered with the rights of free association and contract, and those guys were much more in touch with the historical legacy of Anglo-Saxon law than even the ‘conservative’ justices on the supreme court.

#18 Comment By EngineerScotty On April 1, 2015 @ 1:26 am

To be honest, I can’t remember what was on my wedding cake. (Don’t tell my wife).

#19 Comment By Gretchen On April 1, 2015 @ 1:48 am

Native New Yorker: excellent point. I was married in the 70’s and my wedding cake had neither names nor plastic figurines. It was transgressive, however: under that thick white icing the cake was chocolate, which, at that time, simply wasn’t done, my dear.

#20 Comment By Darth Thulhu On April 1, 2015 @ 2:04 am

Noah172 wrote:

don’t want to serve men, don’t

How about: Don’t want to serve those strictly (o)rthodox Christians in Indiana who’d like to discriminate against gays outside of Church, don’t?

Because that is literally what Rod is presently (and quite understandably) flipping his wig about. Gaming nerd conventioneers and tech geeks and NASCAR officials and coastal gazillionaires and non-coastal Koch gazillionaires all loudly saying they Will Refuse To Economically Abide Such People, because Turnabout Is Fair Play.

Be careful what you wish for. Wishes come true, not free.

So that leaves 30% who are — about 100 million folks

30% is exceedingly generous, and you know it.

For your purposes of strong racial solidarity, the actual number is more likely around 20% after deleting the relevant Blacks and Hispanics, with the really really (o)rthodox Whites being somewhere between 5% and 10%. Smaller than the total Black population, and equally vulnerable to majority whims in your hypothetical world where the courts all look the other way.

hardly any of them dirt-poor sharecroppers similar to those of the pre-60s South.

Tell that to the Black rural conservative Christians. Tell it to the Amish. Tell it to rural White Appalachia. Tell it to east Oregon, central California, and most of the non-urban West. Your (o)rthodox peeps are a lot more fragmented, and a lot poorer, and a lot more politically exposed, than they’d ever enjoy in a hostile country lacking the 1st and 14th Amendments and the ACLU.

Somebody will always want our patronage.

That bromide isn’t establishing what you wish it was establishing. After all: Somebody always wanted the patronage of black people in 1920, too, and you most likely wouldn’t voluntarily exchange life circumstances with one of them for anything.

I repeat, I am talking about private, voluntary practices, on whatever basis a private actor sees fit.

And I repeat: Apparently active religious discrimination on the basis of strict (o)rthodoxy would be, to you, fair game for all private employers? Including Wal-Mart, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, every private broadcaster, every Private University, every Chamber of Commerce, and every single corporation on the planet? Because I guarantee you, right now the truly (o)rthodox 5% among you would be quite tiresomely in the way of Mammon’s eternal worship of the Almighty Bottom Line.

You and yours should be exceedingly grateful that this particular wish of yours is unlikely to ever be granted unto you, no matter how eagerly you keep trying to enshrine it into new State laws.

#21 Comment By Darth Thulhu On April 1, 2015 @ 2:25 am

Noah172 wrote:

There is a lot more to American history than the South and Jim Crow.

In the few years just prior to the Civil Rights Act? Hardly.

The main things going on outside the South and the worst of de jure Jim Crow … were charming little horrors like Japanese internment, sundown towns, anti-miscegnation laws, anti-Asian housing coventants in the West, active racist redlining in the Old North, and other outright fraudulent housing schemes designed to deliberately impoverish, exclude, and immiserate non-majority citizens.

Jim Crow was having a truly grand ole time in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s … and in most areas outside the South, circumstances were marginally better. Entrenched “private sector” bigotries bloomed like ten thousand rancid flowers, each of which is quite thoroughly documented.

That is what pervaded this country “just before these laws were created”. That is the specific historical Era that you are championing and yearning for.

Again: thanks for your forthright honesty.

#22 Comment By Michael Powe On April 1, 2015 @ 8:42 am

The governor of Indiana signed into law a bill allowing individuals and companies to refuse to serve as customers any group of individuals on the basis of “sincerely held religious beliefs.” At the signing ceremony, the governor was surrounded by representatives of anti-gay groups, some of whom reportedly helped draft the law.

The state prosecuted Richard and me, and after we were found guilty, the judge declared: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” (Mildred Loving)

In the case of Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967), anti-miscegenation laws were ruled unconstitutional. The legislation passed by the Indiana legislature, and signed by the governor, empowers any individual and any business to refuse to engage with Mildred Loving as a customer, because of “sincerely held religious belief” that interracial marriage is against God’s will.

There’s no such creature as a “Christian business.” The New Testament contains not a single line alluding to such a thing. A business cannot accept Jesus as its savior, nor can it profess the word of God.

In the case Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, Inc. 390 U.S. 400 (1968), the segregated restaurant chain, Piggie Park, was enjoined against refusing service to blacks. Defendant Maurice Bessinger claimed the First Amendment right of “sincerely held religious beliefs” protected his decision to refuse service to blacks. His attorney argued before the court that “his religious beliefs compel him to oppose any integration of the races whatever.”

The legislation just passed in Indiana legitimizes Bessinger’s claims and actions.

NO. NO. God’s word is not a weapon, to be used to oppress any individuals or groups that we don’t like. God’s word is a refuge. The message of Jesus is that all are welcome in his Father’s house. All. Jesus welcomed all. He shared table with prostitutes, lepers, and the outcasts of society. He washed the feet of the man who would betray him. He stopped the execution of an adulteress. The notion that Jesus in any way condones the turning away of anyone for “sincerely held religious belief,” openly mocks God and ignores the plain teaching of the Bible.

The boycotts and public condemnation are correct and proper responses to an openly bigoted act. Governor Pence has directly ruled out protecting gays from discrimination of the type legalized in this new law. Doing so would nullify the purpose of this law! The individual actions of the governor in this matter are not founded in Christian belief. Neither are the actions of the bill’s authors, supporters, and apologists.

Notably absent from Dreher’s apologia, and all others, is any consideration of the effects of this law on its intended targets. I guess their “sincerely held religious belief” is that Jesus will take care of the people they turn away. They’re right. But I don’t think that is exactly what they want. “Whatever you didn’t do unto the least of these, who are members of my family, you didn’t do to me.”

#23 Comment By Joseph Dooley On April 1, 2015 @ 8:43 am

The crusades were at least for a good cause. Call this is a jihad.

#24 Comment By Carlo On April 1, 2015 @ 9:00 am

Darth Thulu:

“The main things going on outside the South and the worst of de jure Jim Crow … were charming little horrors like Japanese internment, sundown towns, anti-miscgenation laws, anti-Asian housing covenants in the West, active racist redlining in the Old North, and other outright fraudulent housing schemes designed to deliberately impoverish, exclude, and immiserate non-majority citizens.”

Darn… who taught you US history? St. Augustine on a day he had stomach cramps? Nothing else going on? Really? Nothing good? No good people ever?

#25 Comment By JS85 On April 1, 2015 @ 10:36 am

@BillWAF

“At least one comment to one of your earlier blog posts pointed the Epps article out, giving the web citation. If you had bothered to do your research, you would have known that the Connecticut statute is substantially different from that of Indiana.”

I cited the Epps article in a comment on this blog post (March 31 @ 11:47am) to dispute it. The upshot of my comment was this: Epps is right in that, on its face, the Indiana statute is different from the federal RFRA and other states’ RFRAs. But as interpreted by the courts, the issue is a lot murkier. The Supreme Court held in Hobby Lobby that RFRA applies to for-profit closely held corporations, which means the federal RFRA applies at least to those for-profit businesses and would probably be extended to others. Also, four circuit courts have held that the federal RFRA can be raised in a suit involving only non-governmental entities. I also pointed out that a state court decision in Connecticut seems to assume that Connecticut’s RFRA would apply in a suit against a state entity. The point is that Epps is either ignorant of how the law actually works or did an extremely lazy job researching his piece. Either way, it is not a reliable article by any stretch of the imagination.

The really funny thing about Connecticut is that the language contained in the statute is much broader than Indiana’s in an important way. Indiana’s law requires a person to show that his exercise of religion has been “substantially burdened.” Not so under Connecticut’s. Connecticut prohibits any “burden” on a person’s free exercise. The burden doesn’t even need to be a substantial one. So yes, it is entirely accurate to call Connecticut’s governor a blustering fool.

#26 Comment By M_Young On April 1, 2015 @ 11:10 am

“The main things going on outside the South and the worst of de jure Jim Crow … were charming little horrors like Japanese internment, sundown towns, anti-miscegnation laws, anti-Asian housing coventants in the West, active racist redlining in the Old North, and other outright fraudulent housing schemes designed to deliberately impoverish, exclude, and immiserate non-majority citizens.”

This is why whites need a political voice as whites. For people like Darth Thlulu, whites are the historic enemy whose only, really only, accomplishment — or even activity — was oppressing minorities. And he fabricates or distorts history (much as our current history textbooks do) for his whites and kulaks narrative.

All of the things he (I’m guessing) mentions are hardly the main current of American history, precisely because the populations involved were relatively small minorities. Most of what he mentions are exaggerations.

I mean, it’s too bad that Japanese Americans were ordered away from the Pacific Coast (they were free, if they could, to go elsewhere in the country) but when the first thing your co-ethnics do when given the opportunity is to help the enemy (see the Niihau incident), you’re lucky that you live among a relatively easy going ethnic group so that you aren’t actually attacked by vigilantes.

It’s too bad that whites tried to maintain the quality of their neighborhoods, but the alternative was (and now is) Detroit or Ferguson. It’s too bad that white business owners could choose their customers without the totalitarian interference of the government, but that of course just left a huge opening for black business owners to serve their own population. The country that was characterized by such ‘rancid flowers’ expanded across a continent (and alas beyond), contributed mightily to the winning of two world wars, created a giant working middle class, had livable cities, put a man on the moon, and created the most prosperous subSaharan black population the world had ever seen (yes, even during Jim Crow and freedom of association) .

Darth Thlulus America has given us Detroit* and HIV/AIDS and US-American astronauts needed to [11] with the much hated Russians.

*Though things are looking up now that a few whites have trickled back in — but even that is a [12]from the usual hucksters.

#27 Comment By Another Matt On April 1, 2015 @ 12:46 pm

I designed our wedding cake and wrote music to go around each of the layers. The cake baker was amazing.

#28 Comment By Rusty On April 1, 2015 @ 2:58 pm

The Greeks recognized a broad duty around hospitality, with a number of myths depicting divine visitations that were rebuffed at the mortal’s peril … The issue is negotiating the conflict between religious conscience and that duty.

Pretty sure that in a Venn diagram of True & Right Christian Practice™, ”that duty” is contained entirely within “religious conscience.”

There really ought to be no conflict.

#29 Comment By Elaine On April 1, 2015 @ 3:30 pm

Raphael Hythloday:

I know many devout Christians. It was a devout Christian whom I quoted. The question was about whether such scenarios were possible under the new law. The fact that they may not be *likely* is irrelevant.

#30 Comment By Another Matt On April 1, 2015 @ 6:50 pm

The question was about whether such scenarios were possible under the new law. The fact that they may not be *likely* is irrelevant.

One of my all-time favorite webcomics addresses this:

[13]

#31 Comment By Embryo Parson On April 1, 2015 @ 7:15 pm

“Terms of surrender?” There will be no surrender. “Nuts!”, IOW.

#32 Comment By Michael Guarino On April 1, 2015 @ 7:22 pm

Pretty sure that in a Venn diagram of True & Right Christian Practice™, ”that duty” is contained entirely within “religious conscience.”

There really ought to be no conflict.

You don’t decide that, Rusty.

#33 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 1, 2015 @ 11:29 pm

This is why whites need a political voice as whites.

Sure, M_Young, as long as its understood that the relevant defintion of “whites” is “all those who signed M_Young’s nomination papers.” Its going to be a MINORITY party.

The crusades were at least for a good cause.

Nonsense. The Crusades WERE a jihad — and killed far more Jews than ISIS has come close to doing, as well as doing so much damage to Byzantium as to set up the eventual conquest by the Ottomans. (To be fair, that is NOT what the Popes had in mind, but it is what happened.)

The legislation passed by the Indiana legislature, and signed by the governor, empowers any individual and any business to refuse to engage with Mildred Loving as a customer, because of “sincerely held religious belief” that interracial marriage is against God’s will.

No… it would probably allow a business owner to refuse to cater their wedding, but not to refuse to sell them a week’s worth of groceries.

There’s no such creature as a “Christian business.

True. But businesses are run by people. And people have religious and nonreligious beliefs and principles. Not even public accommodations law can compel the speech of those people, put words in their mouth, or require them to promote an expressive message they do not wish to promote.

Could someone please point me to these ‘historical’, pre-Jim crow public accommodation laws?

A good place to start would be The Laws of Innkeepers: For Hotels, Motels, Restaurants, and Clubs, Chapter 3, “The Innkeepers Public Duty at Common Law.”

Here is another quick reference: “Precursors to common carriage go back to the Roman Empire and the legal obligations of shipowners, innkeepers and stable keepers.5 In England early common law placed certain duties on businesses which were considered “public callings.” Common or public occupations included those of bakers, brewers, cab drivers, ferrymen, innkeepers, millers, smiths, surgeons, tailors and wharfingers.6 “Common” in that context meant “open to serving the general public” or “general”.

“In 1701, an English Court found that “If a man takes upon him a public employment, he is bound to serve the public as far as the employment extends; and for refusal an action lies, as against a farrier refusing to shoe a horse…Against an innkeeper refusing a guest when he has room…Against a carrier refusing to carry goods when he has convenience, his wagon not being full.”

The Supreme Court showed an acrobatic capacity to entirely overlook the plain meaning of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments for nearly a century, simply because a majority of the justices really didn’t want to admit they meant what they said. Justice Scalia could have set them straight on that point.

Incidentally, one reason the Pearl Harbor attack was as damaging as it was, is that some idiot in the military command decided the most serious threat in Hawaii was “sabotage” by the large ethnically Japanese population… and therefore all the planes were parked wingtip to wingtip in plain sight out in the middle of the runways, rather than being under camoflague and scattered, in position for individual take-off on short noice.

#34 Comment By Darth Thulhu On April 2, 2015 @ 6:09 am

Carlo wrote:

Darn… who taught you US history? St. Augustine on a day he had stomach cramps?

The Mesa Public Schools. Mormon-dominated. At the time of my attendance, routinely ranking with honors as one of the Top Ten public school systems in the country, year after year.

Nothing else going on? Really?

In relation to the actual topic that Noah172 brought up (“What was going on in private discrimination law before “these Civil Rights Laws” were passed”): no, not much else was going on. Rampant and fathomless Legalized Ostracism in the willful service of white supremacism was the order of the day, from sea to shining sea, with very few exceptions.

Nothing good? No good people ever?

The people who helped guide the early NAACP and ADL and ACLU were mostly decent sorts trying to make the obvious staggering injustices somewhat less grotesque.

But lets not pretend they were anything other than a tiny 10% minority. Somewhere around 30% of people, in all regions, were proud and unrepentant White Supremacists, and were more than happy to proudly gush about the fact. Another 50% weren’t quite that far gone, but they weren’t all that opposed, and were far too deeply compromised and dependent to actually do anything about the white supremacism, instead focusing on the “good” of their own well-being and tribal interests.