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Monday, October 24, 2016


With the latest controversy over a “Religious Freedom” bill being proposed in Arkansas, the lead sponsor still seems to have trouble with the basic question here: Would the legislation authorize a florist or baker to refuse to serve a gay couple’s wedding?

Watch as Jake Tapper grilled Republican state Representative Bart Hester — whose answers were something along the lines of no, yes, no, yes, maybe, and yes — then share this video!

Video via CNNn.

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  • Angel Perea

    KEEPING IT THOUGHTFULLY HONEST: Just another example of Govenment over reach by the extreme right wing republicans to legislate a Religious Freedom Restoration Act to legally allow service providers a legal defense for refusing to provide services, goods, facilities or accommodations has back fired. It is important to note that these shameless and radical Pence and Hutchinson come from that right wing club in the House of Representatives that did nothing obstructed as well as make attempts to legislate their extreme political views.
    Main stream Americans are getting sick and tired of these political clowns that are dangerous and threaten to our U.S. Constitution and Bil Rights.

    • rvn_sgt6768

      They actually threaten some people’s very existence with their misguided hatred.

      When a company can fire a person for being different rather than because they can not do the job then there is something terribly wrong with the system and the law.

  • Alvin Harrison

    Double talk…Just own up to the stupidity of this law and lets move on …you gave up under the fear the economic sanctions that would be brought to bear if you pass it……nothing to see here…move on please.

  • William Manners

    has happened in this situation is the Gay community has become the bully they
    are protesting about. The gay community is behaving like a terrorist
    organization and should be labeled as one! They threaten anyone who opposes
    their plan to force everyone to accept their perverse lifestyle with violence
    or financial ruin. This tactic became evident when Californians voted for
    Proposition 8. The gay community became violent against anyone who was for what
    the majority of Californians voted to uphold! They destroyed property and
    physically attacked people campaigning for Prop.8. And here again the Gay
    community has attacked this Pizza Parlor attempting to cause them financial
    damage. They did the same thing with Duck Dynasty. They tried to have their
    show shut down and taken off the air causing them financial damage.

    • Bren Frowick

      The Supreme Court struck down Prop 8. Deal with it.

      • William Manners

        Hooray for the bullies, right?

        • Bren Frowick

          If Prop 8 were on the ballot today it would lose by a landslide. Using the referendum process to pass an unconstitutional law in no way makes it acceptable. A majority of the CONSERVATIVE Supreme Court quite rightly struck it down. Again: Deal. With. It.

          • William Manners

            So, how many years do you want to beat this dead horse? The issue today is the RFRA laws in 19 States.

            Just for Curiosity what was your answer when the survey asked you? They didn’t eve ask me and I guarantee I vote every chance I get so I am not a likely voter, I am a guaranteed voter! I usually work the polls and at my precinct it would pass. Are you positive it wouldn’t pass today? There is a lot of diuscussion about it and I bet the people who took that survey didn’t ask these people!

          • Bren Frowick

            I already posted the link to polls showing favorability towards gay marriage today. Your refusal to accept it only demonstrates willful ignorance. I wasn’t asked either, and I never miss a vote, either, and I guarantee it would NOT pass in any precinct nearby. So the real question is: how many years do YOU want to beat that dead horse? If there are “bullies” involved, it is the bigots trying to institutionalize their hatred towards those who do not share their beliefs, while trying to turn the world upside down by accusing people who simply wish to live and let live of discriminating towards the bigots by…well, by existing, as far as can be figured out.

            As to RFRA, having the same name hardly means they are all the same law, and it rather amusing watching Republicans backpedal as they discover how horrendously unpopular these discriminatory, anti-American laws are, even towards large numbers in their own party. Half of them insist the laws were never meant to allow discrimination, while the other half… including you, apparently… insist that yes, those laws certainly ARE designed to allow them to indulge in discrimination. Good luck untangling THAT hopeless knot.

          • William Manners

            Yes you posted the link. And I told you that surveys are flawed but seem to want to ignore that fact “Your refusal to accept it only demonstrates willful ignorance.” “So the real question is: how many years do YOU want to beat that dead horse?”

            I have already shown you that there are real bullies involved and they are the Gay Community! No Christians have tried to force anyone from the LGBT community to Participate in their activities or sued them for not participating. Which is
            why the RFRA laws, like the one Bill Clinton signed into law when he was President, are needed. And you apparently have trouble reading or maybe it is that you have trouble understanding the English language because these laws are not designed to allow discrimination! They simply allow people the FREEDOM to live their lives without the threat of persecution by those who would dictate to them what activities they must participate in.

            Here is a quote I read this morning;

            “Let’s be clear about one thing: This debate isn’t over the legality of same-sex marriage. Those are now legal in most states, and I suspect it won’t be long before the Supreme Court makes them legal in all 50 states.

            It is not really about discrimination against gay people. There are already plenty of laws and court rulings that prohibit discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals.

            No, the question isn’t whether gays can get married. It’s whether men and women of faith can be forced to participate in their weddings, even if it violates their faith.”

            Deal with it!

          • Bren Frowick

            You sound like a bitter loser, whining at having lost your freedom to discriminate. Once again: half the people defending these discriminatory laws do so precisely BECAUSE they allow discrimination, and you yourself seem incapable of comprehending that your entire argument is built around that premise, that you want to be able to discriminate. That you are incapable of recognizing such a basic reality makes it clear that this is no longer worth wasting time on.

          • William Manners

            You really incapable of understanding the English language aren’t you? Or maybe you just don’t know what discrimination is. I wish you could just experience discrimination once in your life, then you would understand the subject you profess to be well versed on. Read the law and show me where it condones discrimination!

            Dear Public,

            We are disappointed by the misleading and inflammatory nature of many people’s comments in reaction to recent events surrounding Indiana’s religious freedom law. Such
            language presents an obstacle to the important issue of achieving equality in our culture and in the marketplace. Our multicultural and pluralistic society highly values diversity, and extols respect and tolerance, even for those who hold differing viewpoints. As a nation, we must progress toward a
            solution that works for everyone.

            As Christians, Faith Driven Consumers and faith-friendly business owners, God calls us to love everyone. We are not called to embrace all beliefs or actions, especially those in conflict with our values and convictions. We love our fellow citizens without reservation, even when, as Christian business owners, we decline to participate in the celebration of activities that violate our deeply held religious beliefs and conscience. And, we should have the freedom to do so without fear of prosecution and persecution—just like those who currently enjoy such protections are able to opt out of Christian activities.

            Our goal is not exclusion, but rather inclusion. We seek to build a culture where everyone is afforded a safe place in the marketplace. Corporate America has led the charge demanding equality for our LGBT citizens—expanding the definition of diversity to many groups in recent years. We now call upon them, alongside our elected leaders, to seize this incredible opportunity to advocate for a new paradigm of
            equality. By pursuing equal protections for everyone —respecting that those with differing viewpoints can coexist while retaining the right to exercise and express their convictions—we can create an environment where the needs of all consumers are met. Everyone deserves to be treated with fairness and dignity, including people of faith.

            And as Christians, Faith Driven Consumers and faith-friendly business owners, we object to the intolerance directed toward us by politicians, celebrities, and companies such as Apple’s Tim Cook, Angie’s List’s Bill Oesterie, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and others.Our religious freedom shouldn’t stop the moment we become business owners. For these reasons, we stand with states like Indiana that protect our religious freedoms, and ask that consumers and owners alike acknowledge that now is the time for Faith Driven Consumers to be fairly added to the marketplace’s rich
            rainbow of diversity.

            Faith Friendly Business Owners

          • Bren Frowick

            You just keep on violating the First Law of Holes. As well as demonstrating how little you are able to comprehend what discrimination is. Fortunately, your viewpoint is demonstrably in the minority, and you will not be permitted to impose your Christian version of Sharia on the United States.

          • William Manners

            You should seek psychiatric help to overcome your delusions. And take a course in English while you are at it because it is obvious that it is you who do not know the meaning of so many words, “discrimination” is the one in point at this moment. And it is fortunate that it is your viewpoint that is in the minority since you do not know the meaning of the words that you are arguing
            about. And if you actually knew anything about what you are arguing about you would know that Sharia laws have nothing to do with Christian values. When you get an education write back so we can have an intelligent discussion.

        • Bren Frowick

          PPIC’s (Public Policy Institute of California) September 2013 statewide survey found that a record high 61% of Californians and 64% of likely voters favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry (34% of adults and 32% of likely voters oppose). Solid majorities of Californians (59%) and likely voters (63%) approve of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to let stand a lower court ruling on Proposition 8 that allows gay marriage in California.

      • William Manners

        The people voted and passed prop 8 and it was the law when the gay activist judge proved that his will was more important that the will of the people because he sat on the bench. He also proved that this country is not for the people or by the people as the Constitution would have us believe!

        • rvn_sgt6768

          So your argument is that whatever the “people” (by whatever % of the population that voted) vote on, however unconstitutional, should be allowed to do what they want regardless of how it treats others. SCOTUS struck prop 8 down, not some random gay judge. If all you have time to do in life is to worry about who is marrying who then that is a pretty pathetic life you have. Explain how to me the marriage of any gay couple affects you directly please. I don’t want to hear what you think about it I want to know how it affects you. It is similar to hating anyone who wears red because you have been taught and believe wearing red is wrong. It is about you and not them and time for you people to get your noses out of other peoples lives and try taking care of your own.

          • William Manners

            In the first place people have to collect enough signatures
            to get a ballot initiative on the ballot for all the people to vote on. That shows that the issue is important enough to let the people to rule on it. And yes, in a democracy, which is what we have in America, the majority of the people choose the laws that govern our morality!

            Second, it would never have gotten to SCOTUS if a Gay
            Activist judge in California had not struck it down in the first place!

            I do not worry about who is marrying who, that is none of my
            business, and I do not hate anyone. I am angry that a few people can change the language we speak because they want it to mean something it does not. And the word “Marriage” means the Holy union of a man and a woman by the power of God! It does not mean any two people can now have sex and pretend that they are normal! What is being done is a perversion of religion and an insult to God! That is how it affects me!!! Do not pervert my religion! Especially not because you want to have perverted sex!!! So get your interference out of my Church, don’t try to redefine the words in my Bible to make it say something it does not and
            let me get on with my life.

            Marriage is for a man and a Woman. Civil Unions are for

          • rvn_sgt6768

            Dear William, no one I know is interfering with your religion or trying to re-define it for you. It is you and your church who are trying to define for others what they do not believe and claiming that only you and those who think like you know the truth. First off I am not gay or transexual or anything but a person who believes in one truth. But I understand that what I believe is for me and me alone. It does not give me the right to try to foster those beliefs unto anyone else especially to those who do not believe what I do. That is how you and I differ. You want laws to box in others and I beleive and have fought for a thing called “FREEDOM”. Now understand freedom has no limits. If it is free for you it is also free for everyone else WITH NO LIMITS. I am angry that people who think and believe as you do want to try to imprison anyone who thinks and acts differently than yourself. Don’t worry about anyone else but yourself. I think when you meet your “god” you will be horribly shocked by what you find. You do not have a right to decide anything for someone other than yourself. Keep you laws to yourself and live them if that is what you want. NOBODY else cares what or how you live nor will they have to stand up for you at your final moment. I think if you try to stand there and say “well god I couldn’t love my neighbor because they were gay and I was so obsessed at how they lived and the thought of them kissing and making love just drove me crazy” even your god would tell you that you missed the reason for your existence. You wasted your life.

          • William Manners

            Dear rvn,

            First of all, anyone who redefines the words used in the Bible, and “Marriage” is such a word, is interfering with my religion, because they are redefining the message of our
            “book of bylaws”, the Bible. My Church is following the established definition that has existed for “Marriage” since the word was created, to wit “Marriage is the holy union of a Man and a Woman by the power of God.” Hence the phrase “Let no man put asunder what God hath joined together.” Neither I nor my Church created this definition. Therefore it IS you and those like you who are trying to redefine the words and change the meaning. This is not a matter of belief; it is a matter of definition. No one is trying to define your beliefs!

            Secondly, you and I do not differ in that we believe that what we, as individuals, believe is for us and us alone. I am not trying to force my beliefs on anyone else, and I refuse to let others force their beliefs on me! I give everyone the opportunity to show me the reason behind their beliefs and they may find that I believe the same or am willing to change my thinking to allow for another point of view, which is what I try to do. I happen to be a dues paying member of a club that was established for the LGBT community. They accept me the way I am and I accept them they way they are. We exchange our points of view, agree on some things and disagree on others. And we enjoy each other’s company. My Church teaches me to love all, even my enemies, and I do! You can ask my neighbors and the members of the clubs I am a member of if you don’t believe me!!!

            I happen to know, because I talk frequently to many diverse groups about this issue, that I speak for many others when I reiterate these sentiments. I also know that not everyone agrees with my point of view. I am not trying to “BOX IN” or “imprison” anyone! And don’t put those words in my mouth! And get over your anger because you are wrong! I am simply trying to preserve the established definition of a word that is central to the “bylaws” of my organization, my Church! Don’t come along in the 21st century and try to change something that has been established and accepted for several thousand years!

            I am not infringing upon anyone’s “FREEDOM”! And I am angry that you try to twist the words I say to fit your own agenda so you can attack me!!! YOU need to believe what you say and allow EVERYONE FREEDOM! Everyone has the right and freedom to do, say and believe as they please as long as everyone involved agrees. My Church and all
            Christians do not agree to allow the words in our “book of bylaws” to be redefined! That is where your freedom ends.

            And now you are God? You must be if you know what he would tell me. I believe he would tell me “you have been a good and faithful servant”, because my Bible tells me that I must be on the watchtower and warn all when our society goes astray. That is what I am doing, and that is why I am a good and faithful servant!

            A great many people care about this issue that we are entangled in at this moment. If you do not see that then you must be living in a cave or something because it is in the
            news almost daily and laws are being passed on the issue, which is what started this discussion. You might want to think about that before you go blasting people who do care!

            The RFRA laws simply allow business to opt out of participating in an event that supports the new alternate definition of “Marriage” on the grounds that it is objectionable to their religious beliefs. They should have the “FREEDOM” to do that!

            Some of your writing shows that you are a thinking person and some of it shows that you have a closed mind and cannot see another’s point of view. Please be careful to not impose your interpretation of another’s words on them as you have done to me.

      • Joe Martin

        Fine. Suppose William Manners does “Deal with it”? Isn’t there something in his comment that you failed to “deal with” but should?

        Your comment does not deal with what he said went on in the time leading to the vote: “The gay community became violent against anyone who was for [the proposition]! They destroyed property and
        physically attacked people campaigning for Prop.8.”

        How do you deal with their actions? Is that what you mean by “freedom’?

        What do you make of my comment and two replies (above)? Are you willing to consider a different take on the Arkansas legislator than just he is a “bigot . . trying to have it both ways”?

        How do you react to my pleas for a different way to discuss issues with people with whom we disagree? [in the above three contributions]

  • Bren Frowick

    Of course he can’t answer the question. The bigots are trying to have it both ways, claiming on the one hand that it is not a discrimination bill, while at the very same time claiming they should have the right to discriminate, and this law protects that “right”.

    • William Manners

      The federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in housing and public accommodations based upon race, gender, religion, beliefs or national origin, and quite properly permits no religious-based defense.

      In Business any seller of goods or services has the right to refuse service to anyone!

      In business the customer is asking to employ the business selling goods or services. The Business is not asking the customer to employ them. The business owner should have the right to choose the job he applies for.

  • Joe Martin

    Do people have no imagination? Can they not see the difference between refusing to sell something standard to a person because he/she is gay and choosing not to provide a personalized product or service for an event requires involvement in and implicit approval?

    There is a difference between refusing to sell an off-the -shelf standard type of cake to someone who is gay (discrimination) and refusing to bake a custom cake that involves in its design explicit approval of “gay marriage (free exercise of religious convictions not to participate in a way that implies agreement with a different view)? Or the difference between refusing to sell flowers to a gay person (discrimination), and refusal to go and arrange the flowers they sell for a gay wedding (free exercise of religious convictions)? Or between a photographer refusing to rent a camera to a gay person (discrimination), and refusing to come and take the photographs at a gay wedding (free exercise of religious convictions)?

    Refusal to provide a standard article or product, such as a standard non-themed cake, an order of flowers, or a rental camera to a gay person equally with non-gay persons is discrimination. Their intention to consume/decorate/record an event that is a gay marriage, a KKK rally, or a Westboro Baptist Church supper is irrelevant: refusal to sell to a person because they are gay, or bigoted, or racist is discrimination.

    The refusal to provide a personalised service for an event to which a person has conscientious religious objections (e.g. a gay wedding, anti-gay rally, racial supremacist rally, pro-life or pro-choice fund-raising event involves the free exercise of religious convictions.

    Selling to a person and providing a service for an event are distinguishable activities that should not be confused. COULD THIS EXPLAIN THE ARKANSAS LEGISLATOR’SEEMINGLY CONFUSED ANSWERS OF YES AND NO? I think that it probably does,

    As a matter of principle, I always try to make sense out of someone ‘s answers rather than immediately assuming that they are stupid. (That is the way I want people to treat me.)

    • rvn_sgt6768

      One possible clarifying thought perhaps, how many service providers really care about this “implied agreement” one second after the bill is paid? I think what you are alluding to is if someone else in their circle were to give them grief about serving or assisting some one they didn’t like and therefore they really are afraid of this act of being bullied by bigots who claim to be their friends.

      • Joe Martin

        What you suggest is certainly possible but there are four problems with your suggested clarification:

        1) You ask “how many care . . . after the bill is paid?” The answer to your question might be “very few.” The law is designed to protect any who do care whether few or many.

        2) Your suggestion clearly presupposes that some people are opposed to providing the service for an event under question. It is illogical to presume that these are never the service provider themselves, but always only “someone else in their circle . . . to give them grief”.

        3) It is dangerous to try to judge someone’s inner motivation and then to use that guess at motive as a basis for assessing a law. (Do you want people to treat you according to their guesses at your inner motivation?)

        4) Most important, however, is this: you do not say whether or not you agree with my distinction between a) selling a product to a person and b) providing a service as part of an event. From the fact that your suggested clarification deals only with “service providers”, I imagine that you may well accept the distinction. Without your saying so, I am left to guessing, but my guess could confuse our discussion.

        If you do accept it, then do you also accept my suggestion that it is unfair to accuse the Arkansas legislator either of stupidity or of bad motivation (whether insincerity or bigotry)? THAT was my other main point. You have a choice: a) laugh at him or b) try to interpret him with charity.

        Our discussion of issues in society will have a better chance of progress if we make understanding those with whom we disagree an initial goal. In order to do this, may I suggest that we all keep in mind two words: CLARITY (in exposition – our own words) and CHARITY (in interpretation – the other persons’s words). Charity will require that we ask questions in order to clarify the other’s meaning rather than immediately attacking them as an oaf or a bigot.

        I say “initial goal”. Our final goal, of course, is to be able to live together in a better way – interacting with mutual care and integrity, while not demanding perfect harmony. BUT how can we get to that place without making mutual understanding an essential stage along the way?

  • OooSillyMe

    The arguments that these people use are based on some nebulous “religious rights” and “strongly held religious beliefs”…..I want those “beliefs” strictly defined so that those “religious rights” whiners have to live up to every single one of those standards that they are pretending to “believe” in when it is convenient for them……..

    • Joe Martin

      The issue is that the First Amendment prohibition of the “establishment of a religion” has a corresponding prohibition of “forbidding the free exercise thereof”. If your question is sincere and not merely rhetorical, why don’t you find one of the “these people” or “those ‘religious rights’ whiners” whom you refer to and ask them to explain to you personally what their beliefs are. That would be better, I suggest, than accusing them of pretence and hypocrisy without trying to understand them. [See also my reply to rvn_sgt6768 below.]

      You do not have to agree with a belief in order to understand it. They may tell you that they are opposed to gay marriage because they believe that marriage has meaning as instituted by God only between a man & a woman, especially as picturing the contrasting relationship between Christ and his bride, the Church. You may not believe in God. The Bible’s teaching may hold no authority for you (either on this question or even at all). Your agreement with their belief is not required. There is a relevant question here, but it does not concern your agreement with their belief.

      “Free exercise” means that the law cannot assess the VALIDITY of a religious belief, although its COGENCY concerning the action – is it logically derived from the belief – may well be questioned and require demonstration when questioned.

      You do raise an important point about living consistently with one’s professed beliefs. But whether someone is merely “pretending to ‘believe'” is to be established by evidence when an action is challenged, not merely asserted as a general accusation.

      The issue is the protection of the “free exercise” of religion in the public square (not merely private “worship”). The possibility of hypocrisy is not a valid argument against the passing of a law by a legislature. That possibility is properly considered by the courts when the law is used as a defence of an action.

      “Free speech”, “free exercise”, and freedom from religious coercion (“establishment”) would not be needed if we all agreed on everything. It is because we do disagree that we need their protection. Those freedoms joined with a positive effort to understand one another are essential to the hope of living together in a civil society, How much more are they needed to produce a caring one!

      OooSillyMe, do you believe in BOTH non-establishment AND free exercise? I hope so, because unless we all are free to live with integrity, we all will struggle to live with care for our neighbours with whom we disagree.