Class Warfare Blog

February 12, 2017

Why Are We Still Legislating Religion?

The talking heads crowd is predicting that we will shortly see new legislation that will expand “religious freedom” in the U.S. This is shocking to say the least since we have had religious freedom for quite some time. Apparently “religious freedom” doesn’t mean what the words say. (Not quite equally shocking is that there will be legislation and not just executive orders.)

My guess is that the “new” legislation will expand the “right” of religious people to discriminate against people who they are doing business with. The highlighted case so far that has become an iconic example is the poor baker who didn’t want to make wedding cakes for gay couples getting married.

I can understand churches refusing to host gay marriages and I respect their right to do that, but a bakery? It seems now that many “Christians” are claiming that they are running “Christian businesses.” This is a smokescreen at best. I suggest to you that all businesses are secular in nature, that they have nothing to do with religion. And in this I include stores that sell religious artifacts and books, e.g. Christian bookstores, etc. They are not religious activities, they are commercial activities. They offer goods and services for sale in simple commercial exchanges. I have gone into religious bookstores and purchased items. As an avowed atheist, shouldn’t they have refused me service? Actually, the law prevents them from even asking me if I am an atheist, ironically under the religious freedom provisions of our laws, so I suspect they are ignorant to this day that they served a raving atheist. (It is hard to tell us apart from “true Christians,” is it not? They even elected one of us President.)

Any business claiming to be a Christian business had better show me they really mean it. In their incorporation by-laws I expect to see policies like “all debts will be forgiven on New year’s day” and “if we are robbed, we will turn the other cheek,” and “when it comes to paying our business taxes, we will render unto Caesar, that which is Caesars.”

If they can show that their business is truly linked to their religion, then the laws protecting religious activities should be triggered. Otherwise they are just selling cupcakes like every other baker.

It looks, though, that the current administration is seeking to sell indulgences, in this case a get out of jail free card for denying service to customers you do not approve of religiously. This is fascinating in that one of the core causes that resulted in the Protestant Reformation (which was a precursor to the formation of Evangelical Christianity) was the abhorrence for the corruption in the Catholic Church, including the selling of indulgences. The Catholics were selling “get out of purgatory” cards and “get into heaven” cards, which makes the current suggested sale of indulgences seem almost trivial, but it does seem as if we have come full circle.

 

Advertisements

28 Comments »

  1. They even elected one of us President.

    Scuse my ignorance of US history (I’m a Brit), but which one was that?

    Like

    Comment by realthog — February 12, 2017 @ 10:57 am | Reply

    • Donald J. Trump. he proved it by quoting from “two Corinthians.”

      On Sun, Feb 12, 2017 at 10:57 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — February 12, 2017 @ 11:00 am | Reply

      • Sorry, I’m not following.

        (Oddly, when you made your original remark, I didn’t think of Trump. I guess a part of me still refuses to believe our Toddler-in-Chief actually made it to the White House.)

        Like

        Comment by realthog — February 12, 2017 @ 11:20 am | Reply

        • Many people accused Thomas Jefferson of being an atheist. he might have been, but I am doubtful. I tend to think of him as a big picture theist.

          I do not think Trump was or is religious. As for other candidates, since it is a requirement to be elected into office (except in Trump’s case) and politicians went to college to study posturing, it is hard to say if they are religious or not. Even the Pences and his ilk doesn’t seem to be all that religious. He only seems to be when his religion and hos conservative wold view align, other than that … meh.

          On Sun, Feb 12, 2017 at 11:20 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

          >

          Like

          Comment by Steve Ruis — February 12, 2017 @ 12:02 pm | Reply

        • Maybe I missed your “not following” … I was referring to Trump quoting from “Second Corinthians” as “Two Corinthians” indicating his quite complete ignorance of the Christian Bible.

          On Sun, Feb 12, 2017 at 11:20 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

          >

          Like

          Comment by Steve Ruis — February 12, 2017 @ 12:03 pm | Reply

          • That was indeed what was puzzling me. According to Wikipedia, “2 Corinthians” is accepted usage..

            Like

            Comment by realthog — February 12, 2017 @ 12:13 pm | Reply

            • In writing. Vocally it is almost always referred to as “Second Corinthians”. Nobody I have ever heard refers to One Peter, Two Peter, or One Kings, Two Kings. Always written with the number, spoken with the word.

              On Sun, Feb 12, 2017 at 12:13 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

              >

              Like

              Comment by Steve Ruis — February 12, 2017 @ 12:25 pm | Reply

              • Ah! Thanks for the explanation. Shows how much I know about these things. 🙂

                Like

                Comment by realthog — February 12, 2017 @ 12:35 pm | Reply

                • You probably didn’t mis-spend your youth. I spent many hours watching TV evangelists along with more than a few hours in pews.

                  On Sun, Feb 12, 2017 at 12:35 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

                  >

                  Like

                  Comment by Steve Ruis — February 12, 2017 @ 12:46 pm | Reply

  2. Theocracy anyone?

    Like

    Comment by john zande — February 12, 2017 @ 2:16 pm | Reply

  3. You mustn’t forget the City Clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

    As I was reading about you going into the store that sold Christian artifacts, books, etc., I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if you’d “casually” mentioned as you were handing them your money that you were an atheist … or better yet, bi-sexual or transgender.

    Like

    Comment by Nan — February 12, 2017 @ 4:11 pm | Reply

    • You lookin’ to get me shot? For Jesus, of course …

      On Sun, Feb 12, 2017 at 4:11 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — February 12, 2017 @ 9:08 pm | Reply

  4. I’m not really sure that gay wedding vs. Christian baker thing is really a religious freedom thing. If I’m running a bakery and I get an order to bake a cake with “Happy Birthday, KKK!”, I’d like to be able to be free to say “no”, and there’s nothing religious about that, obviously.

    Like

    Comment by List of X — February 12, 2017 @ 8:47 pm | Reply

    • Would that be a religion-based refusal or just a general policy not to serve assholes? I don’t think the law requires assholes to be served.

      On Sun, Feb 12, 2017 at 8:47 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — February 12, 2017 @ 9:10 pm | Reply

      • I don’t think of it as a policy of not serving assholes, more like a policy of not providing a service specifically for a cause I reject.

        Like

        Comment by List of X — February 12, 2017 @ 9:23 pm | Reply

    • It’s just a cake. It doesn’t mean you support the cause — no more than the bakers who tefused the gay couple. I say again– it’s just a cake!

      Like

      Comment by Nan — February 12, 2017 @ 9:14 pm | Reply

      • Yeah, but they eat babies. My Pastor told me so!

        On Sun, Feb 12, 2017 at 9:14 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

        >

        Like

        Comment by Steve Ruis — February 12, 2017 @ 9:16 pm | Reply

      • It doesn’t mean that I support the cause if a KKK member dropped in to the shop and bought some pastries from the menu. But making the cake to order and actually writing out the congratulations, that’s near the line or already going across. Would you make a Happy Birthday KKK cake?

        Like

        Comment by List of X — February 12, 2017 @ 9:20 pm | Reply

        • I don’t think anyone should have to do work that is in bad taste. There is a fine line in declining such work and exhibiting prejudice.

          On Sun, Feb 12, 2017 at 9:20 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

          >

          Like

          Comment by Steve Ruis — February 13, 2017 @ 9:06 am | Reply

          • What’s bad taste about a “Happy Birthday, KKK!” cake? They specifically requested a very tasteful one. 🙂

            Like

            Comment by List of X — February 13, 2017 @ 11:31 am | Reply

            • Maybe he should bake a cake with real bad taste built in. This is how cooks have traditionally expressed displeasure (pissing in the soup).

              On Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 11:31 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

              >

              Like

              Comment by Steve Ruis — February 13, 2017 @ 2:03 pm | Reply

              • Make a cake but piss in it – well, that sounds like a sensible compromise. 🙂

                Like

                Comment by List of X — February 13, 2017 @ 10:16 pm | Reply

                • There is along history of cooks “doctoring” their dishes. ;o)

                  We could come up with cute names for that cake “Kidney Pie … Not” or “You’re Another Cake”

                  On Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 10:16 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

                  >

                  Like

                  Comment by Steve Ruis — February 14, 2017 @ 8:17 am | Reply

  5. It’s about the free practice of one’s religion. No Christian should be forced to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Note, that is not saying that they should be able to not bake a cake for gays in general, just not for a gay function.

    A similar but less publicized case was the tee-shirt printer who wouldn’t print gay pride tee-shirts but did print tee-shirts for gay people, just not ones for pro-Gay events.

    And yes, if you as one of the Godless refused to actively participate in a Religious event, e.g., a cake with a cross for a church function, catering a Bar Mitzvah, or other such thing, I’d be on your side too. Your religion – yes, under the law Atheism is protected as a religion, i.e., strongly held belief – is Atheism and you have the right to the free practice thereof for the most part.

    Like

    Comment by jonolan — February 13, 2017 @ 9:03 am | Reply

    • So, if someone is in business as, say, a cobbler, they should be able to refuse to serve Black people because they bear the Mark of Cain? That kind of closely held belief?

      I suggest that if a Black person came in and wanted to have “Fuck White People” stitched on his shoes, that work could be declined, but if he just wanted a loose heel fixed, that work could not be. If you are open for business, you should be open for business.

      On Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 9:03 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — February 13, 2017 @ 9:10 am | Reply

      • No, I wouldn’t go so far as the Mark of Cain or Ham (the latter being the one actually used for a long time against Blacks). That’s a simple prejudice despite being religiously founded.

        I, personally, differentiate between supporting a function or idea and denying services to a group based upon simple, immutable characteristics, e.g., (though not religious) refusing to serve Blacks (Bad), refusing to Serve Black Panthers (A-OK).

        Like

        Comment by jonolan — February 13, 2017 @ 9:19 am | Reply

        • Interesting. Possibly not a model for a successful business, especially in that it is not easy to determine what groups your customers are associated with (especially cobblers ;o). And, obviously, exclude too many customers leaves one dealing with the “no enough customers” syndrome.

          Cheers!

          On Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 9:19 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

          >

          Like

          Comment by Steve Ruis — February 13, 2017 @ 9:23 am | Reply

          • Yeah, I’m solely talking about not using lawfare to force people to do things, not whether or not their faith and its expression will demand sacrifice from them.

            If it does, fine. That’s part of faith or, at least, most faiths – not sure about prosperity doctrine. 😉

            Like

            Comment by jonolan — February 13, 2017 @ 9:26 am | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: