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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Q: How Public To Make Those "Deeply Held" Religious Beliefs

Category: Gay Rights
Posted: 04/09/15 13:46, Edited: 04/09/15 13:47

by Dave Mindeman

A blogger that MinnPost featured today talked about the North Dakota vote against adding LGBT to the list of protected classes in the state.

The writer, Nancy Edmonds Hanson, put forward an interesting proposal:

To save time and reduce the awkwardness of making moral judgments on a customer-by-customer basis, here's a modest marketing proposal. Let's streamline the process. Business owners who feel their personal "sincerely held religious beliefs" permit them to deny service to the wrong sort of customers could take the bold first step today ... while the state of North Dakota still offers absolutely no legal impediment.

Come out of the closet. Why not post "No LGBTQ" signs on your businesses right now? Thousands of us are curious. That includes not only the folks whom you'd prefer to forfeit to your competition, but the broad, growing and determined coalition who support the notion that every person deserves dignity, respect and a fancy layer cake with their choice of fondant or butter cream frosting.

I wonder how many businesses would post that sign. If that truly is their religious belief, shouldn't they just proclaim it - don't hide it under a bushel? Announce to the world that this is your religious statement. After all, isn't God on your side?

Would these business owners, who serve the "general" public, be vocal and public about their beliefs? After all, they can save gay couples the embarrassment of being refused service if they see a clearly stated message that gives them a heads up.

But then I guess these businesses would also be subject to a decision from the general public. Would this drive customers away who support the LBGT community? Is that something they are willing to contemplate in regards to their "strongly held" Christian beliefs?

How far would they take this type of "religious freedom"?
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Time To End This Discriminatory Drama

Category: Gay Rights
Posted: 04/03/15 10:50

by Dave Mindeman

As Indiana Governor Mike Pence proclaims that the law is "fixed", I think the statement from Indiana based business CEO Bill Oesterle of Angie's List raises the most valid point....

"Our position is that this 'fix' is insufficient. There was not a repeal of RFRA and no end to discrimination of homosexuals in Indiana. Employers in most of the state of Indiana can fire a person simply for being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning. That's just not right and that's the real issue here."

Indiana is one of a number of states that do not recognize LGBT persons as a protected class. And that means that a gay person can be fired for the very reason that they are gay.

We have an anti-discrimination law in this country, but it specifically lists the protected classes....and being gay is not one of them.

A protected class isn't singled out because of minority status. It is listed as protected because there is a history of discrimination against that class.

How is it that the LGBT community does not qualify?

Throw out all of this religious hogwash. Christians are not harmed by doing business with a gay couple. That's a ridiculous smokescreen that extreme Christians want to use to promote a bigoted mentality.

It isn't your religion that is at stake when you bake a cake for a gay wedding, it is your own discriminatory tendencies.

It is way past time that we end this exercise in futility and political posturing and simply outlaw gay discrimination via Federal statute. Most of the rest of the country, where states have added a gay clause to their anti-discrimination statute, get along just fine without any religious outcry.

The coming generation doesn't understand why the current generation deems it so important to single out gay people as somehow "unclean" or "too different". Younger people look at discriminatory policy as stupid and archaic.

It is time that this country moves beyond such foolishness; put this sentiment into law and save us all the ridiculous drama.
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Here Is What Matters With The Indiana Law

Category: Gay Rights
Posted: 03/31/15 22:56

by Dave Mindeman

Bryan Fischer is the former Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association. He hosts the talk radio program Focal Point on American Family Radio. Bryan Fischer asked an interesting question on twitter:

When the fix to the Indiana law is written, the only question that will matter is, "What happens to the Christian baker"?

An interesting question. Assuming that you don't care about anything or anyone else other than the Christian point of view on this.

But let's talk about the "question".

What does happen to the Christian baker? I assume that what is at stake here is that the Christian baker has refused to bake a cake that is involved in the catering of a gay wedding. And Mr. Fischer is concerned that the poor Christian baker may be looking down the summons of a law suit.

But I think Mr. Fischer may be asking the wrong question. A more to the point question would be, "Why is the Christian baker refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding'?

The answer Mr. Fischer would give would probably go along the lines of ...the Christian baker believes that a gay wedding is against his Christian beliefs and therefore he cannot be a part of it.

But why is that?

Is the Christian baker marrying a same sex partner? No, I assume not. Is baking a cake a sin? Nope. Will the wedding not happen if the cake is not baked? I assume it will continue. Will God condemn the baker for baking that cake since it is what he is being paid to do? I doubt it.

If you get down to the root of the issue, the Christian baker is not doing something against his own beliefs - he is judging someone else who does not happen to agree with his beliefs.

The baker may not like the venue, but his role is only ancillary to the event itself and he should stop trying to increase the importance of his participation.

So I think Mr. Fischer has lost sight of what religious "freedom" really is. It is about being able to practice your own individual religion in the manner that pertains to you personally. I doubt that God has expanded that definition to include judging others.

If the Christian baker was taking Matthew 7:1 to heart, I think he might be looking at a little different spin on the situation....or Luke 6:41...or what Jesus said in John 8:7...or Paul in Romans 2:1.

But Mr. Fischer knows all about those verses. He just chooses to ignore them.

When Christians use their religion to promote discrimination, they only condemn themselves.

That's what matters Mr. Fischer....that is all that matters.
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