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Watching the headlines #2

I think this is way out of hand.

CNN ATTACKS Duke basketball coach for NOT speaking out against new Indiana Religious Freedom law

CNN’s Carol Costello ATTACKED Duke head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski for refusing to weigh in on the new religious freedom law in Indiana. I’m not kidding. Krzyzewski didn’t come down one way or the other on the law, he simply refused to address it. But because he didn’t fall in line, I guess, with other sports figures condemning the law, CNN does a whole segment attacking him…

Everybody's Lost Their Goddamn Mind Over Religious Freedom

Nobody should be forced to do something they don’t want to do, whether it’s bake cakes for gay weddings or decorate cakes with anti-gay slurs. To me, whether a person’s or a business’s decision is based in religion is immaterial.

Whatever you may think of Jack Phillips’s refusal to bake a wedding cake for gay customers, there’s something as or more disturbing about the court ruling against the owner of Lakewood, Colorado’s Masterpiece Cakeshop. Not only was the baker forced to change his store policy, he and his staff were required to attend sensitivity training. That sounds like something out of China during the Cultural Revolution. It doesn’t help that Phillips offered to make the original complainants any sort of item but a wedding cake.

Most Americans don’t agree with Phillips’s beliefs in this case, but such disagreements are one of the prices we pay for living in a free society, in which we seriously recognize and respect that different people have different value systems. It’s worth noting that in the segregated South, very different rules applied. It was common, for instance, that local and state governments and laws actively prevented businesses from treating customers equally. When laws were not openly racist, “citizen’s councils” and terror groups such as the Ku Klux Klan enforced a de facto standard against businesses that treated all customers equally. This is not the case today with regards to gays and lesbians.

By the same token, any individuals or businesses that exclude certain sorts of business can’t exactly bitch and moan when people decide to publicize such policies and organize boycotts, as is happening to the entire state of Indiana now.

Oh, and speaking of Apple and Tim Cook.

The overblown hypocrisy of Tim Cook's business boycott of Indiana

Now, there would be an argument to deny business owners even this little space to live by their spiritual sensibilities if the discriminated individuals couldn't obtain the services they needed elsewhere — as was the case with blacks in the Jim Crow South prior to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. But discrimination isn't as institutionalized now as it was then, especially against gays, who have gained rapid acceptance in recent years. If one establishment refuses to service gay customers, there are myriad others that will, imposing no severe hardship on them. To insist on being served by the few people whose beliefs would be violated seems more like a projection of power rather than a plea to secure legitimate rights.

Furthermore, if Cook merely boycotted Christian businesses whose beliefs he found abhorrent, it would be one thing. But what's truly obnoxious about his campaign is that he is using his right not to do business with Indiana, because it's doing something he disagrees with, to obtain a law that would deny Indiana businesses the same right not to do business with folks who they don’t agree with. This is simply intolerance masquerading as a crusade for justice and equality — a naked use of brute market power to legislate his views.

Doug Powers may have gone a little overboard with the “snark setting,” but he makes a pretty good point about Tim Cook and Apple too.

Sounds like Apple’s CEO needs to disable the ‘hypocrite’ app on his iPhone

Hey, if a theocratic Islamic monarchy can show Indiana how to do religious freedom and gay rights correctly, Apple’s CEO is hot-to-trot for that particular business deal.

Here’s the thing.

Americans have the right to discriminate. The right of the people “peaceably to assemble” also means that you don’t have to associate with people you don’t like. If the government doesn’t have the power to force you to attend church, they don’t have the power to keep someone from practicing their religion as they choose so long as it doesn’t injure another. Neither help nor hinder.

If your neighbor doesn’t have the power to control your actions by his beliefs, you don’t have that power either. It’s the parity test again.

I said it before in my True Believer Rant.

In other words, inflict government on someone today, and you shouldn't be surprised if someone inflicts government on you tomorrow.

All these are examples of what I call True Believer Syndrome. The idea is not original with me, heck, Isaac Bonewits spends most of his Cult Danger Evaluation Frame defining exactly what makes a True Believer, and in several of his other essays he details why they can be so dangerous.

But the one thing that I have found in all True Believers is an absolute belief that their particular book, method, faith, interpretation, or silly hat is The Only Acceptable Choice. They will ignore anything that anyone else does if it doesn't adhere totally to The True Way. Worse, they will overlook mistakes and abuses made by the people on the correct side, even as they violate the principles they hold central to their belief.

Or as the old Genesis song goes, "Do as I say, don't do as I do."

I often call True Believers fundies because it gets the point across. At least, to most people.

Lately I've seen a disturbing trend. Both the "right" and "left" have their extremists, but it seems that the leadership on the left is made up mostly of extremists. Most moderates and conservatives seem to be willing to sit down and talk over differences, but that doesn't seem to be true on the "progressive" side. It's a lousy observation to make, but by golly, that is what I see. The "leadership" of the "left" wants to exclude any other possibilities.

The people making the loudest noises about "diversity" are the very ones who want to take it away.

Ten years later, and it’s the same thing only with the volume turned up.
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