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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Pence signed it: Add Indiana to the list of states with "religious freedom" laws on: March 28, 2015, 09:48:51 pm
Some of the proposed versions of RFRA laws are not good, like the one you cited introduced in  SD, which is why like in SD they tend not to get very far even in conservative states. There's nothing like that prohibition on bringing a suit in the IN law. The RFRA laws are generally about allowing possible line of defense in cases of a suit, not barring the suit to begin with, and don't deal specifically with sexual orientation.   

I don't know where you get the idea I am trying to act above it all, whatever that means. I guess because I defend the rights of people to live out their faith in ways I wouldn't? I do that because my own beliefs are important to me, I want to be able to live them out, and I wouldn't want the government to come in and tell me I couldn't so long as I wasn't actively aggressing on someone.  Ultimately being confident I can live according t the convictions of my conscience is a more important issue to me than the possibility offended or excluded by someone.  So if you are going to limit religious freedom, you'd better have a rock solid reason for doing so as far as I'm concerned.
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Pence signed it: Add Indiana to the list of states with "religious freedom" laws on: March 28, 2015, 08:54:57 pm
I support conscience rights for those who act on religious grounds. I support conscience rights for those who act on nonreligious grounds. The fact that the latter do not have a stronger legal tradition behind them is no reason to me that I should not support conscience rights where I can. If you do not support the either anyway, then why is it so particularly vexing to you that these cases might be handled differently?

It is very strange that you say religious freedom laws give greater protection to religious belief than to a person. Who do you think these laws are for the benefit of if not for people?

What weaponizes one group over another is when disagreements over belief are taken to the realm of force, when the state says "you offended this person with your belief, now pay us a huge sum and/or go out of business."  You think that is a recipe for peace and cooperation between different groups of people?

Itís pretty clear you have no idea what youíre talking about, but then again from your posting history itís pretty clear you have no idea what youíre talking about when it comes to anything outside of your narrow, ideological point of view.

You donít seem to understand the difference between religious thought, religious speech, and religious action (or thought, speech, and action in general)

The protections pertaining to your right to belief is absolute. You believe that homosexuality and abortion are immoral and go against your religion-based beliefs? Thatís fine. No problem.

Your rights to speech are almost universally protected, only restricted in the time/manner/place sense and any legally-sanctioned restriction for government interest, among other things. You wanna give a speech about how abortion and homosexuality is wrong? Fine. People may disagree with you, using their freedom of speech, but the government cannot restrict you unless there is a time/manner/place issue, or if you do something like incite violence.

Your rights to action, however, are not universally protected.

Therein lies the problem with this bill.
 
The government is not going to fine someone or shut down their business because someone else complained about their beliefs. Thatís a completely fabricated strawman you cooked up that conflates restrictions on action with a restriction on beliefs.

It is about beliefs, not just the action (or more accurately the lack of action).  If someone couldn't photoshoot a gay wedding because they already had that date booked, no one would think of bringing a case against them. 

Hobby Lobby was not without precedent and does not create a blanket allowance for anything, much less discrimination.  Have you read the actual decision?  And why do you assume the impetus for these laws are primarily about gay marriage rather than things like contraception and abortion?   Do you believe all the RFRA laws should be repealed because of your hypothetical concerns?

Please don't call me "straight." I don't give you permission to define my sexual identity for me.  Nor should you assume that all LGBT people agree with you on this. 
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Pence signed it: Add Indiana to the list of states with "religious freedom" laws on: March 28, 2015, 08:29:32 pm
By the way, Religious Freedom Restoration Acts are the law in 19 states now, with some of these laws being 2 decades old, in addition to the Federal version of the statute. Can anyone point to a single case where any of these laws have been successfully used to uphold people throwing gay people, or anyone, out of an establishment? 

This isn't really an valid argument that deserves any consideration. You're basically saying that any law is fine as long as it's not put in practice.

No, these laws have been put in practice as they are the basis for numerous court cases against state and federal government, some of them successful.  I'm saying that those who claim that what these laws are really about is allowing discrimination against homosexuals need to put forward some actual legal evidence. 

I guess its just one big coincidence that these laws are coming about during a time when the ssm bans are getting overturned one after the other.....

You think it is a coincidence I take it that these laws are coming about right after the Hobby Lobby case which was decided on this law?   

An interesting radio interview here with a business owner:

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/03/28/listen-indiana-restaurant-owner-pledges-to-refuse-service-to-gays/

He's proud of the law and lying to gay people so they leave his restaurant but not proud enough to openly say which restaurant it is. That should be part of these laws; they need to advertise who they won't serve, if not serving certain people is that important to them.

This is ridiculous. The point of the law is to prevent people from being forced from being involved in things they consider immoral, not a blanket pass for discrimination. Gay people eating wouldn't count, I think.

Exactly. But of course that bigot believes the media hype over this law like everyone else.
4  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: Mideast Assembly Thread on: March 28, 2015, 08:16:13 pm
I will support New Canadaland for Speaker.
5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hillary Clinton vs. Gov. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) on: March 28, 2015, 08:04:51 pm
Hillary Clinton is a gay icon though, so no one really cares what her husband, who isn't even running for office, did back in 1993 that he has since stated that he regrets doing.

When did Clinton say he regretted signing RFRA, a bill whose only dissenting votes in the Senate were Jesse Helms, Robert Byrd and Harlan Matthews?
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hillary Clinton vs. Gov. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) on: March 28, 2015, 07:51:32 pm

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton/New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich-317 EV
Indiana Governor Mike Pence/South Dakota Senator John Thune-221 EV
If Pence runs for president, and wins the nomination, the question over the Religious Freedom bill he signed into law will be on the headlines for a while, but this would be the map if that was the issue for the Pence/Clinton election. If Pence can discuss economic issues or have a good message, he can beat Clinton.

Hillary Clinton will have a hard time pounding him on that issue since her husband signed the federal version of that law in 1993.
7  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Did Obama receive >25% of white vote in any Mississippi or Alabama counties? on: March 28, 2015, 07:46:53 pm
The exit polls generally count Hispanic as a separate category from White. This would lead to a difference of a few points versus the census figures in AL and MS, and a larger difference in GA, wouldn't it?
8  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Are Arabs White? on: March 28, 2015, 07:23:37 pm
I'd guess it depends a lot on how long ago they or their ancestors arrived in whichever country in which this a relevant question.
9  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: "2016 brawl" on Senate floor on: March 28, 2015, 01:02:29 am

a McCain perhaps?
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Reid Endorsed Schumer for Senate Dem Leader: Good News for Hillary? on: March 28, 2015, 01:00:09 am
No.  Why would this matter?
11  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What is the above posters username? on: March 28, 2015, 12:57:24 am
Buzzyfigboot
12  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Noam Chomsky on: March 28, 2015, 12:54:43 am
My problem is that he's a devil's advocate against America and the forces of so-called "neo-liberalism."  Everything is the fault of America and/or neo-liberalism.  I think that's ridiculous, and it leads him to white-wash the crimes of non-American/non-neo-liberals, misinterpret the world and just build up these unfair arguments based on shoddy evidence. 

he has stated in response to this line of argument that it's not his position to criticize or organize against power systems he has no capacity to influence.  it's not his job to criticize, say, Vladimir Putin's crackdown on Russian civil society, just as it wasn't the job of Soviet dissidents to organize against the Vietnam War.

It's an interesting argument, but the idea that we leave protest to those in a position to influence it begs the question whether those people actually have a comparable voice in their society as we do in ours. Meaning that, we have a level freedom to speak out in our society, as imperfect as it may be, which is not found as much in much of the world.  So if we speak only on the faults of our own nation, and do not at least offer our moral support to those who are being persecuted for speaking out against the crimes of their nations, we result in a condemnation of our own nation while giving the impression through silence that other nations are blameless and meet with our approval.
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Should the House of Representatives be increased in size? on: March 28, 2015, 12:37:26 am
No. There are already enough seats to be gerrymandered, there is no need to add even more.

That's...a really weird argument. Overall size doesn't inherently affect malapportionment or gerrymandering, which are issues involving relative size and strengths of parties.

Smaller districts would tend to force greater compactness in terms of real distance. The shapes may not be any less atrocious, but gerrymandering would be less likely to result in a community far removed from the home community of its representative. That in itself is an argument for increasing the number of representatives.  Also I would think that due to the scale at which the parties are distributed geographically, to result in the level of partisan gerrymandering of some states would require increasingly absurd geometries in order to pull off as the size of the districts get smaller.
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Pence signed it: Add Indiana to the list of states with "religious freedom" laws on: March 28, 2015, 12:09:21 am
You're also someone who is not discriminated against in any way. 

that's a pretty huge assumption to make about someone you only know from online conversation.

Ah, you're right.  He's not someone who is unfairly discriminated against in any way.

You say this how?  Because he's not on your short list of approved discriminated against identities so therefore he must never have experienced any prejudice? That's incredibly small minded.

And what is this that some discrimination against people is fair? It's okay if its groups of people you don't like?

He's a straight white Christian man in America.  Ergo, not discriminated against.

And, yes, I differentiate between the two major definitions of "discrimination."  One is unfair discrimination, IE unfairly treating a person on account of race, gender, sexual orientation.  The other is distinguishing two things.  

So, perhaps people treat you differently if you're a pedantic weirdo.  You may know the sting of that discrimination.  But, it's totally fair.  People can treat you differently based on how you act, or your character.  That's fair.  Get it?  

So "weird" stuff people do is okay to discriminate against - So if people thought of gay sex as being weird is that okay to discriminate against?  Or is it just what you think is weird?

I'm guessing people with disabilities or health issues or just look or talk kinda funny are also ok to discriminate against because that doesn't fall into your race/religion/gender/sexual orientation classification.
15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Pence signed it: Add Indiana to the list of states with "religious freedom" laws on: March 27, 2015, 11:47:46 pm
You're also someone who is not discriminated against in any way. 

that's a pretty huge assumption to make about someone you only know from online conversation.

Ah, you're right.  He's not someone who is unfairly discriminated against in any way.

You say this how?  Because he's not on your short list of approved discriminated against identities so therefore he must never have experienced any prejudice? That's incredibly small minded.

And what is this that some discrimination against people is fair? It's okay if its groups of people you don't like?
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Pence signed it: Add Indiana to the list of states with "religious freedom" laws on: March 27, 2015, 11:41:55 pm
You're also someone who is not discriminated against in any way.  

that's a pretty huge assumption to make about someone you only know from online conversation.
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Australian electorate maps - by poll/locality/postcode on: March 27, 2015, 11:39:33 pm
what a beauty.

the Australian electoral community map is almost fractal.
18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What is the above posters username? on: March 27, 2015, 11:29:05 pm
Rutudutu
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Pence signed it: Add Indiana to the list of states with "religious freedom" laws on: March 27, 2015, 11:26:19 pm
If you mean that the level of discrimination would be so minor as to make such laws on private businesses unnecessary, then maybe.  The homogenization of American society along with the franchizification of American commerce mean that the public accommodation laws aren't strongly needed,  Shame and boycotts can probably deal with that area of commerce.  Housing and employment are areas where a stronger case can be made, certainly strong enough that I see no reason to repeal such laws, and a partial repeal for just public accommodations would be more trouble than it would be worth.

I think that's an incredibly naive way of thinking. Yes, there are many parts of the country where actively discriminating against gay people in the name of "religious freedom" would drive a company out of business. But there are plenty of regions where that's not the case. A town in rural Texas could easily have a supermarket, doctor's office, drug store and restaurants that proudly flaunt their "religious freedom," and because they live in a town that may oppose gay marriage by 80% or more, face little consequence. Quite the opposite -- there are many scenarios where a conservative Christian community would come together to protect such a business from harm.

Don't think this will happen? There are a stunning number of towns and communities that are actively working to skirt federal discrimination laws to keep black people out. This is not about protecting people's feelings. This is about protecting people from real financial harm in the name of a perversely twisted religious freedom to discriminate.

What does religious objection to gay marriage have to do with a drug store or a supermarket?
20  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Political Quiz List. Are you a Quiz Whiz? on: March 27, 2015, 11:00:05 pm
http://www.politest.fr/

"You stand on the left.

Sorry, the test does not locate any party that fits your ideas."   

boo


took the test again, slightly different answers:


"You stand on the left.

But left no party really fits your opinions.
Suddenly, the party of which you are the less distant:

UDI
but you are more open on issues related to changing mores."

21  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Lyndon LaRouche on: March 27, 2015, 09:26:36 pm
Lyndon LaRouche wasn't a KKK member. He actually claimed the KKK is part of the vast British conspiracy and has only worked with them when he thought it was beneficial to the political advancement of his organization.  He has no problem with vile racial attacks but he's also actively sought the support of blacks.
22  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Do you think Republicans today accept John Fremont? on: March 27, 2015, 09:08:12 pm
He was a war criminal, so probably.
23  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Paul LePage for VP? on: March 27, 2015, 08:14:22 pm
He could be Christie's VP. Together they can bring back the Northeast Rockefeller Republicans and also bring in white ethnic Reagan Democrats.
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Pence signed it: Add Indiana to the list of states with "religious freedom" laws on: March 27, 2015, 08:05:17 pm
By the way, Religious Freedom Restoration Acts are the law in 19 states now, with some of these laws being 2 decades old, in addition to the Federal version of the statute. Can anyone point to a single case where any of these laws have been successfully used to uphold people throwing gay people, or anyone, out of an establishment? 

This isn't really an valid argument that deserves any consideration. You're basically saying that any law is fine as long as it's not put in practice.

No, these laws have been put in practice as they are the basis for numerous court cases against state and federal government, some of them successful.  I'm saying that those who claim that what these laws are really about is allowing discrimination against homosexuals need to put forward some actual legal evidence. 
25  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Pence signed it: Add Indiana to the list of states with "religious freedom" laws on: March 27, 2015, 07:32:11 pm
Do you understand that people of the same religion or denomination can have different religious convictions? 

Yes. I also understand that such convictions, while sincerely held for periods of time are fluid. People can change their understanding of one religion, move into a new one or drop it all together and in doing so adjust their 'conscience' or re-prioritise what is important to them. As a result of that, under the guise of religious freedom of conscience they can conscientiously object to anything and then cease to object to it the next day.

Which we can all do, but we don't all have access to legal 'rights' to discriminate in our views against subsets of people. One would surely expect that if other people had access to the same rights as religious people do over matters of conscience, then if one had a deep and personal objection on the basis of conscience to miscegenation for example that such laws would reflect this. If such laws were fair. Indeed, one of the issues I have with laws like this, is that it gives religious people disproportionate legal protection over matters of conscience.

It seems rational to protect people who have an essential innate trait such as the colour of their skin their gender, their sexual orientation and so on from disproportionate and irrational 'ire' at them being who they are from a powerful majority. Instead we offer protection to a particular religious subset of personal conscience which is subject to alteration, change and complete reversal in order to allow them to disregard civility when dealing with an outsider. Furthermore it cheapens religious faith and traditional religious exemptions by equating the refusal to house, serve, assist and hire people you consider objectionable to the act of worship.

Freedom of worship is a poor substitute for freedom of religion, circumscribing it within a narrow sphere to try to manage it and keep it devoid of social power. The USSR conspicuously kept the former in their Constitution but not the latter.

What bearing should the fluidity of belief systems have on whether people should be allowed to live according to those beliefs?  Just because these views can change does not mean the state should be in the business of reeducating people whose beliefs it does not like.  Nor can they so easily control these beliefs.  Religion has often not rendered unto Caesar when Caesar has demanded more than a coin, and it has its venerated martyrs because of it.  If you want to reason with religious people about their faith you can do it, but not if you try to force them to act against it, for then you have ruined all credibility because you have shown just how much you truly despise and hate those trying to live faithfully according to their religion as they understand it.

I really have no idea what point you are trying to make at this stage, other than using flowery language to essentially suggest that somehow there’s something ‘anti-religious’ in opposing exclusively religiously motivated opt outs in how people can treat an out group with respect to law. Indeed if anything it is a case of special pleading; that religious personal motivation is worthy of a greater protection in law than non-religious personal motivation. It is suggesting that conscience is only important if it dovetails with the divine and therefore offers religious beliefs greater protection than non-religious beliefs. Indeed it gives a personal religious belief system which you admit can be fluid and entirely arbitrary a greater protection than a person. It protects how a person treats another person more how the other person is treated. And it will always do that if it’s an exclusive privilege given to one particular group. There is no corresponding law that allows an LGBT person to say to a person of faith ‘you think x, you act x and you undermine my safety so I want nothing to do with you based on my conscience and I want legal protection to that effect’. I wouldn’t actually want a corresponding law of course, but these religious opt out laws weaponise one group over another.

I support conscience rights for those who act on religious grounds. I support conscience rights for those who act on nonreligious grounds. The fact that the latter do not have a stronger legal tradition behind them is no reason to me that I should not support conscience rights where I can. If you do not support the either anyway, then why is it so particularly vexing to you that these cases might be handled differently?

It is very strange that you say religious freedom laws give greater protection to religious belief than to a person. Who do you think these laws are for the benefit of if not for people?

What weaponizes one group over another is when disagreements over belief are taken to the realm of force, when the state says "you offended this person with your belief, now pay us a huge sum and/or go out of business."  You think that is a recipe for peace and cooperation between different groups of people?

By the way, Religious Freedom Restoration Acts are the law in 19 states now, with some of these laws being 2 decades old, in addition to the Federal version of the statute. Can anyone point to a single case where any of these laws have been successfully used to uphold people throwing gay people, or anyone, out of an establishment? 
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