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Persecution of Christians in Idaho: A Test Case

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Akolouthos View Drop Down
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    Posted: 25 Oct 2014 at 03:19
So it looks like we have an interesting test case in the ongoing legal and cultural battle over so-called gay marriage in the United States.

From the moment this battle began, members of the Christian community have asserted that, were we to give in to the LGBT activist's demands and allow members of the same sex to marry civilly, the next step would be an attack by those same activists on the Churches -- in essence, Christians feared that the LGBT activists sought not so much to facilitate the acceptance of gay marriage in the eyes of the law, but to force it upon everyone, regardless of any religious objections to the contrary. Proponents of gay marriage and members of the LGBT activist community have always assured us that those who stated these fears were simply ignorant fear-mongers, and that such a situation would never occur.

Well, it has occurred.

Here is an article on the matter:

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/10/20/city-threatens-to-arrest-ministers-who-refuse-to-perform-same-sex-weddings/

I do have two rules for this thread.

First Rule: Everyone commenting must read the entire article and watch the entire video. I am completely uninterested in getting a lot of irrelevant and pompous opinions on the general subject of same-sex marriage. I would like to hear your analysis and opinions of the specific situation in Idaho as addressed in the article. And, quite frankly, many of the questions I can see being asked, and the comments I can see being made, are addressed in the video.

Second Rule: Please be civil. This is an issue, like most, on which reasonable people may disagree. One of the greatest proofs of our social ignorance is the fact that so many of us have bought into the polarizing idea that those who disagree with us are not only wrong, but inherently evil.

I look forward to hearing your responses.

-Akolouthos
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Windemere View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Windemere Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Oct 2014 at 20:14
Well, I read the entire article, although I couldn't listen to the video (my computer has no audio).

Apparently the town of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho has a city ordinance which prohibits discrimination based upon sexual-orientation, and this applies to housing, employment, and public-accomodations. I imagine a public-accomodation would be a business open to the public. A church or religious institution would most likely be a non-profit ,tax-exempt institution, and would be exempt from the city-ordinance.

The Hitching Post Chapel, which doesn't want to be required to perform same-sex marriages, is evidently registered with the city as a for-profit business, and not as a church. Thus the city claims that it must follow the city requirement for non-discrimination in public accomodations. To me, this seems reasonable. A for-profit business should be open to all members of the public, and shouldn't discriminate against gay people. There is a legal difference between a business and a religious institution. If a christian-owned business wants to refer to itself as a church or religious institution, it must still follow the legal rules set for businesses.

I don't see this as a case of activists attempting to force a church to marry them. Rather, it seems to be a case of a business being required to make its services (which include marriage ceremonies) available to all of the public, regardless of sexual-orientation.

This doesn't affect actual churches, which are non-profit institutions, and which are free to set their own rules regarding marriage.




Edited by Windemere - 26 Oct 2014 at 20:28
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Oct 2014 at 04:29
From Wiki
Quote The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.


I don't claim any particular expertise on the subject of the American Constitution, but reading the above extract from the article, it seems to me that the town of Coeur d'Alene is in breach of the 1st Amendment.

It's simple common knowledge that all churches need to extract payment from their congregations in order for their services, and by this mean in general terms, not specific church services, to continue. So, does the church mentioned need to be registered as a business? Are all other churches registered as businesses? And lastly, are all other churches complying with the town ordinance?

Do all other businesses have to obey this law, or can say, a hotelier refuse entrance on the grounds of a dress code?

I see this law as taking away peoples rights of Religious Freedom, Freedom of Association and Freedom of Speech.




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It's the Ireland that was born in me.
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Windemere View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Windemere Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Nov 2014 at 21:05
Toyomotor, thanks for your post above.
I'm not sure how the Coeur d'Alene city ordinance contradicts the First Amendment. It would be up to the Supreme Court to interpret that. I imagine the interpretation would hinge upon the determination of what is a religion, and what is a business. The First Amendment also permits freedom of speech, but in actual practice, the speech needs to be appropriate. Shouting 'fire" in a crowded cinema isn't permitted, nor is slander, threats, etc. There are limits on some constitutional rights.

It's true that all churches need to raise money to survive. But in order to qualify as a religious institution, they need to be non-profit institutions, and the money raised should be no more than necessary to carry on the maintenance of their missions. This is what makes them exempt from taxation. I think it's necessary to maintain the distinction between a church and a business, and I don't see how a profit-making institution could qualify as a church.

I'm sure that all the other businesses in Coeur d'Alene must also have to follow the ordinance making public accomodations accessible to all members of the public, regardless or race, ethnicity,religious-affiliation, or sexual-orientation. And I'm guessing that the other churches in town must be registered as non-profit institutions, making them exempt from the ordinance.

A hotelier would have to admit all members of the public to his hotel without regard to their race, ethnicity, religious-affiliation, or sexual-orientation. However, the hotelier would be free to enforce a dress-code for his public patrons, and for employees, because a dress-code isn't covered by the city-ordinance.

I do understand that it must be a difficult situation for the ministers who own the Hitching Post chapel, to have to deal with performing marriage ceremonies that they don't believe in. I imagine they started their business long before anyone imagined gay marriage being allowed. I do believe that the law preventing any form of public discrimination based upon sexual=orientation must be upheld. The courteous thing would be for gay couples to recognize the personal feelings of the two ministers, and to choose a different venue for their marriage ceremony, which I think that the vast majority would do. However, there will always be a small minority who will choose to assert their right to marry in any public business, and will disregard the personal beliefs of the business's owners. Perhaps the ministers could come to some compromise with such individuals by offering to perform some sort of blessing upon their union. Compromises are never popular, and they require sacrifices by both parties. The ministers would have to be willing to swallow their pride and perform a blessing ceremony for gay couples. The gay couple would also have to be willing to swallow their pride and accept a ceremony that wouldn't actually be a marriage. But such is life in a civilized society, which is a constant succession of compromises.

If no compromise is possible, then I see no alternative except  for the ministers to close down their business, or to bite the bullet and perform marriages for all members of the public, even if it contradicts their own personal beliefs.


Edited by Windemere - 02 Nov 2014 at 21:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Nov 2014 at 22:21
Windemere

Commenting on this only
Quote It's true that all churches need to raise money to survive. But in order to qualify as a religious institution, they need to be non-profit institutions, and the money raised should be no more than necessary to carry on the maintenance of their missions. This is what makes them exempt from taxation. I think it's necessary to maintain the distinction between a church and a business, and I don't see how a profit-making institution could qualify as a church.


I mention three words, Roman Catholic Church.

One of the wealthiest organisations in the world, among its wealth is listed untold fortunes on gold and silver ornamentation and real estate, in some cases Bishops and Cardinals have amassed personal fortunes.

The Bakkers-another example of religious money making.

Taking your comments in the light you intend means that the mainstream churches in America are all required to be businesses, or at least in Idaho State.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Nov 2014 at 17:04
I think the problem is this, is marriage a civil institution or a religious one?

That is if the pastor marries a couple does that marriage hold in a court of law as a legally binding document, a contract recognised by the state? 

If so that means that in case of marriage the pastor is nothing but a de jure Notary Public which means that the state can actually force him to consecrate the marriage. 

The only way to escape that is to make all marriages civil by law with religious marriages having no legal authority.

Now forcing people to make wedding cakes for gay weddings is a different issue altogether. Some people falsely claim that this is discrimination on the same par as Jim Crow. That is no true (in my opinion) and should have its own discussion.

Al-Jassas
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2014 at 03:39
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

I think the problem is this, is marriage a civil institution or a religious one?

That is if the pastor marries a couple does that marriage hold in a court of law as a legally binding document, a contract recognised by the state? 

If so that means that in case of marriage the pastor is nothing but a de jure Notary Public which means that the state can actually force him to consecrate the marriage. 

The only way to escape that is to make all marriages civil by law with religious marriages having no legal authority.


I think that's ultimately where we're headed. It's sad, but given the manipulation of traditional interpretations of the relationship between the Church and the State in America, I really don't see any other course that can be followed. Eventually, the militant LGBT community will come after normal parishes and church communities, and, quite frankly, I don't believe the courts will stop them. It's sad, but the fact that it is ridiculous doesn't make it any less of a reality.

There are two quotes that I think are particularly appropriate to contextualize the situation. The first points out where we have gone wrong in the recent past; the second points to where we are likely headed in the near future. As for the first:

But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candor, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world; because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. [-John Adams, the emphasis is mine]

And as for the second:

I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history. [Cardinal Francis George]

May God have mercy on us, for we have surely forgotten how to show mercy and charity to one another.

-Akolouthos

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2018 at 01:05
In Colorado recently there has been a baker who has been sued by a gay couple because he would not bake them a wedding cake.  I think there is a desire from GLBTQ to pick a fight when they could just go somewhere else.  
Now maybe the wedding chapel is the only *for profit* wedding institution for a great distance around the city.  But maybe there are also Unitarian Universalists or other liberal churches around.  Do GLBTQ believe that they're making friends by making people do what they want the to do?  Or do they feel like they are making "progress" instead of adversaries.
There is a prejudice of ignorance, and a prejudice of knowledge.  The first is when someone has not experienced the Other.  The second is when they have experienced the Other and that experience was characterized by a use of power against them, instead of a dialogue with them.
btw, lesbians are hostile towards the "patriarchy" (whatever that means). Queers are hostile towards the "hetero-normative paradigm."  They're not just trying to find their own place in the sun, they have an axe to grind, a chip on their shoulder.  Not all of course, some just want to live their life and let others live.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2018 at 01:52
Franciscosan

1. How did the baker know that the cake was for a same sex wedding?

They must have told him? Why? He has no need to know that.

By refusing to make the cake, he's discriminating against them on the basis of sexuality.

Quote Queers are hostile towards the "hetero-normative paradigm." 

What an insulting, bigoted and misinformed comment!

Quote They're not just trying to find their own place in the sun, they have an axe to grind, a chip on their shoulder.  Not all of course, some just want to live their life and let others live.

You've exposed yourself as a bigoted red-neck. Obviously you don't know anyone from the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual Transgender community.

Isn't everyone entitled to their own place in the sun, whatever, where ever it may be?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2018 at 03:08
Our church minister is squeamish about snakes and spiders.
Every year our church does a pet blessing.
Should I bring a snake to the pet blessing and make her (instead of the assistant minister) bless it?  Snakes are one of God's creatures and why should my pet get a second rate blessing from the assistant minister?  I know, I will insist that she do it!  And, I'll bring it up with the church governing body (and get dismissed)!  Of course, I should be dismissed!  
And whereas I think that maybe the gay couple is legally right, I think they are morally wrong to force someone to do what they want them to do.  If I was getting married, I wouldn't want the bad karma of forcing someone to make the cake who does not want to do it.  Of course, the cake maker could make the cake and mess with it without anyone being wiser.  And forcing the issue will not only give bad karma, but also bad will, which might come back to bite someone in the gay community in the future.  I mean, if you really believe that you are a persecuted minority, should you really go around antagonizing people about cakes?

There is a Peruvian bakery in Denver that has a pink outside, and very openly advertises that the make cakes for gay couples.  On the table in front they have issues of Out.  Others prejudices has been to their profit.  But, they are a Peruvian bakery and so I find their selection interesting and different.

I used to have a boss at a gas station who was a lesbian.  I got along with her fine.  She lived her life, and did not have an axe to grind.  She was boring, but fine.  In the National Review (old conservative magazine), they said that men are often squeamish about gay men, but when they meet them, they find them intelligent and articulate communicators and often like them.  On the other hand, men in the abstract sometimes find the idea of two women, getting hot and heavy together, as enticing.  But when men meet lesbian women the women are not interested in him, and since they are not interested in him, he finds them boring.  So like I said, I was courteous as a matter of course, and I recognized her as my boss, but she was boring.  She was not particularly political in terms of sexual politics, probably a little conservative in her outlook, not in the sense of Republican, but common sensical outlook.

Okay, the alphabet soup is g l b t q.  The q stands for "queer."  I am _not_ using it as a pejorative term, I am using it as a term that a group uses in order to self-identify.  "Queers" don't self-identify as masculine attracted to masculine, nor feminine attracted to feminine, nor attracted to both masculine and feminine, nor males who want to be feminine, nor females who want to be masculine, they identify as something other than masculine or feminine, a third possibility which is against either masculine or feminine, self-identified as queer.
So if you want to call me names toyomotor, you can.  But rather than uneducated or ignorant, I have been in the University, in college, quite a bit.  It is not a matter of ignorance that has shaped my views, it is a matter of knowledge, of specifically, political correctness, that has worked to shut down conversation in the name of protecting people from what they don't want to hear.  What has happened is the same radicals that took over the University in the '60s in the name of free speech, has moved, taken over, and nested in the 'Liberal Arts' and the 'social sciences.'  They didn't really believe in free speech, that was just a way to power.  And now that they have that, they are dug in.  Radical feminists want to "fix" the patriarchy, not really understanding how culture as a whole or the masculine works.  Queers are a group (that self identify as such) that reject the duality (heterogeny) of human sexuality.  Where that leaves them, I don't know.  But you should know that i am not making this up.  Look up queer in wikipedia if you doubt me.
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