The Death of Freedom of Association that no one seems willing to talk about

As I have said before I have no real problem with Gay Marriage. No, I do not think we will ever see a constitutional amendment defining marriage, and that is, to me for the best. The definition of marriage ought to be left to the states, and there ought to be a federal statute preventing suits that seek to force states to recognize same sex marriages. To me, it is highly probable that most same sex couples, like most Heterosexual couples really do not wish to force their weddings, or marriages on to anyone else. they wish to be happy, and I hope they are. Are you shocked by this? Does it surprise you that a Conservative would utter such beliefs? If so it should not. After all, I am just not a very good “Social” Conservative where public policy and laws are concerned. Outside of abortion, which is a barbaric procedure that destroys an innocent human life, I really want the government, on all levels, OUT of issues many “Social” Conservatives wish it to be in. Face it folks, once government is in, well, they stay in. That is nothing anyone who loves liberty should hope for.

To me, the real threat from Gay marriage is from a small minority of Gay activists who will never be sated unless they force, yes force, through governmental powers, everyone to kneel before them and praise them. The stories of bakeries, wedding planners, florists, wedding photographers, etc. who refuse to do business with same sex weddings are a warning sign to all of us who love liberty. Surely you have heard and read these stories, and surely you have heard those business owners who are being persecuted by activists and their willing partners in Statism in government claim that their inherent right to freedom of religion is under assault. And, yes, they are correct, their freedom of religion IS being attacked. But, we never seem to hear anyone say that the equally basic right of freedom of association is being attacked do we? This bothers me.

Take this story for instance. A florist is being sued because, well, she dared to take a stand for her beliefs

A Washington florist who was sued after refusing to provide services for a gay wedding rejected Friday the state attorney general’s offer to settle the case against her, saying the deal requires her to give up her religious freedom.

Barronelle Stutzman, the 70-year-old owner of Arlene’s Flowers, said she has turned down the settlement agreement offered by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, which requires her to pay $2,001 and agree to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies by creating floral arrangements and providing other services.

“Your offer reveals that you don’t really understand me or what this conflict is all about,” Ms. Stutzman said in a letter to Mr. Ferguson. “It’s about freedom, not money. I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important.”

Mr. Ferguson’s offer came after a Benton County Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday against Ms. Stutzman, saying she had violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act by declining service for a same-sex wedding ceremony in 2013.

Hmmm, what type of law, in a free nation, based upon individual liberty, would seek to force a business owner to do business with someone they chose not to? Is that liberty? No, that is not. Yes, yes, I know, right now people are reading this and saying “but discrimination is bad”. To that I would say SOME discrimination is bad, some is not, it depends. It is like the time I broke off a relationship because the young lady I was dating vandalized the car of female co-worker of mine. She got jealous because she saw us talking in the store parking lot. Did I not discriminate in my decision? Certainly, I chose to stop associating with a nut case who was extremely jealous. So, I discriminated, maybe she should have been able to sue me, to force me to continue sleeping with her? That would be ludicrous you say?

Well, what if I owned a business and refused to sell my products, or perform a service for her based on her actions? Would that be illegal? Should I be forced to allow her in my store, or to conduct a business transaction with her? Most would answer of course not in such a case. But, choosing not to do business with someone based on their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation is different. How exactly? If I open a business, should I not, as a business owner have the same right to freedom of association? Should a Homosexual florist have a right to do business with ONLY same-sex couples? Should such a florist be allowed to offer services to ONLY Lesbian couples? Yes, absolutely they should. Should they be allowed to refuse service to Christians? Yes, they should. It is THEIR business.

I know, I know, we have been conditioned to think discrimination is bad, and in many cases it is. But, the government should not hold such power as to dictate against freedom of association. That is the rub here folks. Personally, If I was that florist in the story I referenced, I would do business with pretty much anyone with money to pay for services. But,what if someone wanted flowers for a Satanic Church function? I would tell them to pound sand. Could I be forced to sell them flowers? Would I be forced to lose my business, maybe go to jail, pay huge fines or sell a Satanist flowers?

Yes, I know, I know, many will argue that I am comparing apples and oranges, but I am not. I am arguing a principle here. Principles are bigger than issues. Far bigger frankly. Is discrimination against people based on who they sleep with wrong? As long as we are talking about people of age then yes, I believe it is. But, what if I own a business and I am also dating a 17-year-old girl? She is of age, but it would disgust most people that a guy in his forties would date a teenage girl. Should they NOT have a right to say “I would never buy anything from that scumbag!” Absolutely! Freedom of association. Now, what if those same people owned a business and decided that I should not be welcome in their store? Should they NOT hold a right to tell me to piss off and not come back? Does freedom of association not work both ways? Should a business be forced to do transactions with a forty something guy, or woman, who is banging a 17-year-old? No, because freedom of association.

Now, I know some will say that I am conflating issues and giving extreme examples to prove a point. No, again, this is about principle! Either we have a right to associate with whom we choose or we do not! That is no different from saying either we have a right to speak unless someone is offended! The fact is our right to speak is the same no matter how many we offend. The same is true of the right to freedom of association is it not? Think about that question folks.

 

Is America on the verge of Facism?

When the government can FORCE businesses to provide goods or services AGAINST the wishes of the business owners…………

The city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is taking a step many opponents of same-sex marriage feared would come – forcing those with religious objections to perform same-sex marriages or risk facing prosecution for violating non-discrimination laws.

Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers who oppose gay marriage, own the Hitching Post wedding chapel in Coeur d’Alene. Early in 2014, a federal judge in Idaho ruled that the same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional, but the ruling was put on hold while the case was appealed. When the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, the ruling stood and went into effect.

The city of Coeur d’Alene has an ordinance that prohibits discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation, in public accommodations. It does have a religious exemption, but the Hitching Post is a for-profit company, not technically a religious organization, in spite of the Knapp’s deeply held personal beliefs.

Clearly this is also a case of the freedom of association being trampled as well as the common sense American principle that businesses reserve a right to refuse service, but, that is not what Totalitarian leftists say

“On Friday, a same-sex couple asked to be married by the Knapps, and the Knapps politely declined. The Knapps now face a 180-day jail term and $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding.” Note that jail time and the fine is per day, not per offense, The Daily Signal reports.

So, there you are folks, the death of personal liberty, religious freedom, and yes, the freedom to associate with whom we please is dead if this stands! This is where the road that “banning discrimination” leads to.  This is what it ends in, giving a government the power to ban “discrimination” means giving government the power to trample essential liberties.

Oh drat! The Rainbow Shirts have their panties in a bunch, AGAIN!!

The Left likes to claim free speech as their issue, until someone dares disagree with them, or dares say something they disapprove of. Matt at Conservative Hideout has the latest outrageous outrage the Rainbow Shirts AKA Gay Mafia is flipping their lids over

The forces of tolerance are once again on the offensive.  Focus on the family has a movie coming out with the topic of traditional marriage.  The gay mafia doesn’t like it, so they have decided that no one is allowed to see it.  You know, tolerance!

The Christian organization Focus on the Family is releasing a movie in theaters May 6 called “Irreplaceable” about the value of traditional families, the importance of fathers being engaged in their children’s lives and the healing power of forgiveness.

But apparently to some advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, community, that’s a cardinal sin.

LGBT advocates have launched an effort to disparage themovie onlinepetition against it and work to make sure“Irreplaceable” isn’t seen in your local theater.

Focus President Jim Daly reports in a blog post that some of the more than 700 theaters nationwide scheduled to showthe film in a one-night-only event are starting to back out, intimidated by homosexual activists.

“Some of those who disagree with us are calling ‘Irreplaceable’ ‘anti-gay propaganda,’” Daly writes, “and demanding that theaters refuse to show the film.”

Efforts to shut down the movie are being coordinated through Facebook, Twitter and a Change.org petition begun by Shalom Rosenberg, a homosexual middle school teacher from Belmont, Calif.

The rise of the Rainbow Shirts?

Rainbow Shirts? Hmmm, I guess someone has to coin a name for the Gay Gestapo

According to Oregon Live, a farmer who is opening a store in Sellwood, had the unmitigated gall to twice post her personal opposition to gay marriage on her private, personal FaceBook page.  That means the Gay and Tolerance Gestapo have to spring into action to make sure the store owner knows she is being watched, and she might not find this tolerant community so welcoming. No kidding. Here’s a quote from the story from a Disingenuous White Progressive:

“They’re choosing to open a business in a very open-minded neighborhood,” said Tom Brown, owner of Brown Properties and president of the Sellwood Moreland Business Alliance. “I think their personal views are going to hurt.”

Open-minded? Sure, and tolerant too. Well, as long as you toe the line and express only thoughts that are pre-approved by the “open-minded”. Donald Douglas has more

Now get this, the neighborhood homosexual Torquemada Sean O’Riordan made a seven-minute YouTube clip attacking Ms. Childs for her opinions, in what essentially worked as a shakedown racket. He removed the video once Ms. Chauncy made her contribution to the homosexual foundation. At KGW Portland, “Man takes down video that sparked gay rights controversy.”

O’Riordan’s statement is here.

And here’s Ms. Childs’ confession and apology for her thought crimes, “A MESSAGE FROM THE OWNERS OF THE MORELAND FARMERS PANTRY“:

You may be aware that the media has been asking questions about the personal opinions of the owners regarding gay marriage and freedom of expression. We understand that this is a sensitive topic for many. We would like to reiterate our position that we will not discriminate against anyone in any form. We support diversity and anti-discrimination in all business practices. As a gesture of goodwill we donated $1,000 to the LGBTQ Youth program of the Equity Foundation in Portland. This program supports safe communities for LGBTQ individuals where sexual orientation and gender identity should not be the basis for social alienation or legal discrimination. We encourage others to make additional donations to this worthy cause at: Equity Foundation…

I hope this lady is smart enough to realize she can not buy respect for her right to have a view different from the Rainbow Shirts. So, what exactly did this lady say on Facebook? Here you go

From the Oregonian‘s story yesterday:

Childs said she is religious and has a libertarian view that government should not be allowed to dictate whom a business does or doesn’t serve.

“We’re not going to refuse to serve anybody,” she said. “But we believe a private business should have the right to live their conscience.”

Predictably, this set off calls to boycott the soon-to-be-opened market. It’s also inspired an interesting discussion about how much a business owner’s personal beliefs should affect how we patronize them.

Perhaps the most-vociferous voice in the “business owners are allowed to think how they want” camp: Local restaurateur Nick Zukin, owner of Mi Mero Mole and co-owner co-founder of Kenny and Zuke’s.

 

And now: Maybe the ol’ Portland Boycott Train is swinging in Zukin’s direction? Conversation has been lively on Facebook today, after local culture maven Byron Beck took issue with the restaurateur’s response. That led to Zukin defending himself in a still-going comment thread, asking individual people why they’ll now be boycotting his eateries, and accusing the lot of Portlanders of being no better than Childs if we’d seek to ruin her for not having the same views.

Yep, it is all about enforcing conformity now isn’t it?. The Rainbow Shirts are proving that with the Left, all “rights” are totally self-centered. Again, conform or be targeted by the Rainbow Shirts. But, in the end, the “Gay Rights” folks are dooming their own cause. People who might support Gay marriage are seeing exactly how militant these self-proclaimed champions of equality are. Matt Walsh predicts a big fat L for these miscreants

Dear gay rights militants, dear progressive tyrants, dear liberal fascists, dear haters of free speech, dear crusaders for ideological conformity, dear left wing bullies:

You will lose.

I know you’ve got legions of sycophants kowtowing to you these days, and the rest you’ve set out to destroy — but you will lose.

So, you’ve tracked another dissident and skinned him alive. You’ve made an example ofBrendan Eich, and now you dance joyously around his disemboweled carcass. You have his head on a spike, and you consider this a conquest in your eternal crusade to eradicate diversity and punish differing opinions. You launched your millionth campaign of intimidation, and now another good man has been dragged through the mud, to the sounds of taunting and jeering and death threats.

You found out that the CEO of Mozilla gave a few dollars to support a pro-traditional marriage ballot measure several years ago, and you proceeded to publicly tar and feather him until he was forced to ‘resign’ in disgrace.

You again chose to forgo debate, in favor of coercion and bullying.

You again attempted to end the ‘gay rights’ argument by defrocking your opponent.

Hey, good for you.

Enjoy the spoils of your cowardice.

It won’t last.

Go read it all

I do not often agree with Andrew Sullivan, but…………

….he is right in what he says about the Mozilla CEO dust up

Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.

Sullivan is correct here. Persecuting people for speaking their minds, or for supporting a ballot measure is despicable. If Gay activists demand tolerance, let them practice some tolerance of their own.

You might also read some of the comments Sullivan has received on this, and read his retorts, including this gem

When people’s lives and careers are subject to litmus tests, and fired if they do not publicly renounce what may well be their sincere conviction, we have crossed a line. This is McCarthyism applied by civil actors. This is the definition of intolerance. If a socially conservative private entity fired someone because they discovered he had donated against Prop 8, how would you feel? It’s staggering to me that a minority long persecuted for holding unpopular views can now turn around and persecute others for the exact same reason. If we cannot live and work alongside people with whom we deeply disagree, we are finished as a liberal society.

Bravo!

The cold hard truth about the hijacking of the St. Patricks Day Parade

First some background from Donald Douglas

And at the New York Times, “Guinness Withdraws Sponsorship of St. Patrick’s Day Parade“: 

Guinness USA has dropped its sponsorship of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York, joining protests of a ban on public expression of gay pride.

“Guinness has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all,” the brewer, based in Norwalk, Conn., said on Sunday in a statement.

“We were hopeful that the policy of exclusion would be reversed for this year’s parade. As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation. We will continue to work with community leaders to ensure that future parades have an inclusionary policy.”

The parade is expected to proceed as planned along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on Monday despite the withdrawals of major sponsors like Guinness, the Dublin brewer known for its stout, and of city leaders, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, over the issue of inclusiveness.

Organizers of the annual parade have said gay groups could march in the procession but could not carry signs or identify their sexuality. Organizers could not be immediately reached by telephone Sunday night.

Guinness’s decision was applauded by gay rights groups that had threatened to boycott its products. The Stonewall Inn, widely regarded as the birthplace of the gay rights movement, canceled plans to cease selling Guinness starting on Monday.

More at Memeorandum.

Basically, you’re going to support LGBT “equality,” and you’re going to like it — or else.

Douglas nails it. It is not about tolerance. It is, rather about forced acceptance. The fact is any Homosexual can march in that parade, the organizers likely care little. BUT, it is a St. Patrick’s Day parade, not a Gay parade, or anything else. The problem is not that Homosexuals are not welcome, it is the way those that are trying to force their way into the parade act. And the Irish, like me, would have the very SAME issue with any group, or any person that dressed, or acted in some explicit fashion. In short, if you wish to take part in some one ELSE’s parade, then you need to RESPECT their rules of conduct! If you cannot, then YOU are the problem!

Why does Gay marriage mean I have to celebrate a Gay wedding?

The debate over Gay marriage is fairly simple, or should be fairly simple. But, the activists, no matter what issue, tend to screw up any chance at compromise, and in this case the Gay activists are using Gay marriage, and “equality” as tools not to achieve a better society, or to bring more understanding. Instead, they are using the issue to push THEIR agenda, which serves THEIR purpose. And what is that purpose you might ask. Well, to put it bluntly, I believe that the ultimate goal is much like the goal of any Leftist activist. To hijack the “equality for Homosexuals” cause, and use that issue to push the country farther Left.

Think of it like this, the Left has a history of hijacking causes and then twisting them into attacks on Capitalism, individual liberty, the Constitutional principles that made America great. The Left has hijacked the civil rights movement. They hijacked the women’s suffrage movement. They hijacked the anti-slavery movement to destroy State sovereignty. The labor movement? Yep, they hijacked that too to form powerful unions that are nothing more than Communist cells. Name an issue the Left has embraced and championed and observe how they use that issue to further their Marxist agenda. Ans so it is with Gay marriage. Stacy McCain, has it right

Betsy Childs at First Things:

In a column called “Conservative Christians Selectively Apply Biblical Teachings in the Same-Sex Marriage Debate,” Kirsten Powers and Jonathan Merritt accuse Christians who refuse to provide goods and services for gay weddings of being hypocritical cherry pickers. According to their argument, consistency dictates that vendors who refuse to bake cakes for gay weddings should also boycott “unbiblical” heterosexual weddings. . . .

The fact is this, every business owner should have the right to NOT do business with anyone. You or I may disagree with the reasons a business gives for refusing service. We might even ourselves choose not to shop at that business any more. Freedom of association does cut both ways after all. But, something is very wrong with the idea of a government, be it local, state or federal forcing businesses to buy from, or sell to anyone, or any other company they would rather not be involved with. To be very specific, if a Gay couple owns a bakery and chooses to ONLY cater to Gay couples, that is their perfect right.

A same-sex wedding is the ceremonial blessing of behavior the Bible condemns. Affirmation of homosexual practice is intrinsic to gay nuptials. There is no need to ask the history of the couple or their reasons for marrying in order to figure out whether or not the marriage is one that God would approve. In contrast, while two heterosexuals wishing to marry may or may not be obeying God’s commands, the institution itself is one that God has affirmed.

Let me add here that if said bakery chose not to bake a cake for a couple whose behavior and morals offended them, that ought to be their right. Believe it or not, in a free country, there is freedom of association, and ought to be a right for a business to refuse service based on whatever they choose.

Of course, I can hear the Liberals, and some Conservatives now. What if a business refuses to serve people based on race, or religion, or gender? What then? Well, in those cases I would say that  if you run a business that ought to be your choice. Of course it would be terrible business management, and most people would avoid your store after word got out that you were such a bigot. And, frankly, I would never darken the door to your business if you had such policies. In short the marketplace would decide your fate, and I doubt you would be in business very long. Now back to the piece

Things that are obvious from a common-sense perspective — if somebody’s asking for two grooms on a wedding cake, this is not a “marriage” that any Bible-believer could be expected to endorse — are obscure to those blinded by ideological abstractions. Chief among these is the Left’s idolatrous devotion to Equality:

Gay activists do not construe their “rights” in terms of liberty, but in terms of radical and absolute equality. They insist that same-sex relationships are identical to — entirely analogous to and fungible with — traditional marriage.
Common sense resists this assertion, perceiving something fundamentally false in the gay marriage argument. Yet it seems common-sense resistance can only be justified by resort to religious faith, through the understanding that men are “endowed by their Creator” with rights. Eliminate the Creator from discussion, and it becomes impossible to refute the activists’ indignant demand for equality.

In closing, I must say the religious nature of the opposition to Gay marriage is not one I tend to get into. I am more concerned with the Homosexual activists that are pushing to take choice AWAY from individuals and business owners. The writing on that wall is very clear. If left unchecked this activism will result in churches being forced to host Gay weddings. Again, if a church wants to, fine with me, it is about liberty and free choice to me. But, I can scarcely think of a more egregious violation of liberty than to force one person, or business, or church, to associate with, or do business with someone they do not wish to. Yes, such exclusions might result in hurt feelings, and bruised egos. And it might not fit the Left’s perverse definition of equality. But that happens sometimes when we have liberty. And let me say, I will take liberty over some government forced “equality” any day!