It’s not fair to deny me of the cross I bear that you gave to me

Lev from Library Grape has a good piece up about the right’s new way of framing its opposition to marriage equality, summarized as:

whine a lot about how your religious freedoms are being trampled upon because not everyone is doing what you tell them to

The right is of course obsessed with the tactics of the left; that’s why, for example, they talk about Saul Alinksy constantly, whereas most liberals don’t know who Saul Alinksy is (I first heard the name in a Free Republic comments thread, and I thought at first he was a fellow conservative they admired, since they were so impressed with his tactics). Thus, it’s only natural in some sense that their response to gay rights is to say “what our about right to oppress gays”?

Elias Isquith explains why this is an ineffectual argument:

The logic of inherent dignity and rights is too powerful, and its implications too easily understood, to be overcome by the right’s desperate contortions. The religious liberty argument largely appeals to the kind of people who were once receptive to more straightforward, traditionalist arguments against homosexuality. As their numbers dwindle through the passage of time, and as generation after generation is raised in a culture that takes LGBT people’s humanity for granted, the religious liberty argument will be seen as the bizarre last gasp of fading order that it is.

It reminds me of nothing so much as that cliché of modern politics, “If you’re explaining, you’re losing.”

Indeed, the argument is pure Harvard dining hall bullshit, more a Slate pitch than something you can put on a bumper sticker. It’s just a particularly complicated strain of Libtards Are The Real Fascists, a meme that consumes at least 50% of “intellectual conservatives'” time. Maybe Andrew Sullivan could have fun debating himself about it, but I don’t except the Bush-Paul ticket to make it a cornerstone of their ’16 campaign.

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76 replies
  1. 1
    different-church-lady says:

    Would some FP’er kindly clean up the toxic troll sludge in aisle Late Night Open Thread?

    I know Cole is reluctant to ban, but this one is over several lines and a wall.

  2. 2
    DougJ says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Can you link the comment?

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    I don’t except the Bush-Paul ticket to make it a cornerstone of their ’16 campaign.

    But I expect a five-justice majority on the Supreme Court to think it’s the greatest principle since sliced bread…

    Unless Roberts comes to his political senses again and realizes that he doesn’t want to saddle the Republicans with this issue in the election.

  4. 4
    Tommy says:

    Let me see if I can explain myself. And this is something many others have said as the demographics of this nation change. My brother and I were raised in a religious family. We are both Athiest. I don’t have any children myself, but a wonderful niece. She was not baptised. Her parents don’t go to church. My brother married into a large family with a lot of kids 18-30. None of them go to church.

    Now I clearly realize my situation may be different then others. Clearly a lot of people still go to church. But I just see the Republicans using this line of debate to be a loser. Sure it works with their base, but the larger population I just don’t see it working, or working for much longer.

    Tides are changing in this country.

  5. 5
    Brian R. says:

    You know, when the civil rights movement was ruffling the feathers of the same sorts of conservatives, they too tried to find refuge in the parts of the Bible that had been used historically to justify segregation and discrimination — the curse of Ham, etc.

    But Congress and the courts told those folks to pound sand. I don’t see why this should be any different, but given how much the religious right has reshaped things, maybe it will be.

    If so, somebody let the Klan know they have a new way to keep blacks out of their businesses. Just point to the Bible and say it’s religious discrimination if they don’t let you hate to your heart’s content. It’s what Jesus would’ve wanted, of course.

  6. 6
    different-church-lady says:

    I told a gay friend of mine about eight years ago, “It’s going to happen, it’s just a question of waiting for all the dominoes to fall.”

    Some of them aren’t going to fall right away, but they’re going to keep getting swatted by those pesky constitution thingies, whether national or state-level.

  7. 7
    Mnemosyne says:

    @DougJ:

    Search for NARAL on that thread.

    ETA: Sorry, that reference is for Very Late Night Open Thread where he attacks Betty.

  8. 8
    different-church-lady says:

    @DougJ: I’d rather not give it any more spotlight than I have to, but it’s very obvious to find. A response to a front pager at the first multiple of 9, and then another later.

    Also, if you decide to remove those comments, feel free to remove my two here so it doesn’t become a thread hijack. Thanks.

  9. 9
    KG says:

    One man’s heratic is another man’s saint. Which, of course, is why we have two whole clauses in the first amendment – the first two! – that say we can’t impose religious beliefs on each other

  10. 10
    DougJ says:

    @different-church-lady:

    That was awful. I’ve deleted the comments and blacklisted the commenter.

    Sometimes a blacklist causes lots of people to fall into the spam filter. I’ll try to keep an eye for that.

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @DougJ:

    Clearly, you don’t care about the religious liberty of trollists.

  12. 12
    different-church-lady says:

    @DougJ: Thanks. Sorry to have brought it up here and to have caused extra work for you folks.

  13. 13
    Amir Khalid says:

    @DougJ:
    Meanwhile, T&H has been up to his old tricks again in the past few days. This time he’s going on about the dog that killed Tunch. I know he’s John Cole’s favourite artist and all, but can’t something be done about him?

  14. 14
    Another Holocene Human says:

    I first heard about Saul Alinsky from a labor consultant named Paul McCarthy from South Boston, but he was kind of a jerk, so I didn’t care.

    Then he became Glenn Beck’s favorite person.

    I want Barack Obama’s community organizing manual. Stop writing about your feelings meeting your half sister in Kenya and give me some news I can use (just kidding, loved your book, dahlink).

  15. 15
    DougJ says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Thanks for letting me know so I could take care of it.

  16. 16
    Bex says:

    @different-church-lady: I’m with you. It’s time to get the broom and beat the thing with it. Update–it’s done. Thanks Doug.

  17. 17
    Another Holocene Human says:

    I think these laws to allow legal discrimination in public accommodations are an attempt to over turn the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The people who sat down at those lunch counters are elderly and starting to die. People are starting to forget why they had to pass a law to FORCE businesses to serve people. The religious right has been attempting to roll this back for years with “conscience clauses” for pharmacists, denying hotel rooms or leases to “unrelated adults”, and now it’s the gay wedding cake law bullshit.

    The real goal is EXACTLY WHAT RAND PAUL SAID. Boy ran his mouth. To get rid of Title II and re-enact Jim Crow.

  18. 18
    different-church-lady says:

    @Amir Khalid: Please, this is why I was worried about threadjacking. The T&H situation is well known, and I have to assume Cole has made a decision about it, and there’s no need to jack Doug’s thread about it right now.

    I only thought it was necessary in this one situation to have a front pager consider it promptly, which is why I brought it up here in this way. I really don’t want to rip the entire top off the can of worms.

  19. 19
    Alexandra says:

    Bush-Paul ticket

    Horrific, but frighteningly plausible.

  20. 20
    Redshift says:

    There was a great statement from some federal official in the past few days (don’t have a link handy, unfortunately) explaining that “freedom of religion is a shield, not a sword,” which I thought was an excellent metaphor.

  21. 21
    MattR says:

    It is pretty amazing to see Republicans so interested in bringing Sharia Law into our country.

  22. 22
    Another Holocene Human says:

    The revanchist hit list (no wonder they love Putin–massive revanchism, look at his alliance with the church in his country and their massive corruption as a result, priests wearing $3K blingy watches and so on–that’s why Pussy Riot targeted the church and went to prison):

    CRA Title II
    VRA, pretty much all of it
    Roe vs. Wade
    Griswold
    13th Amendment
    17th Amendment
    19th Amendment
    16th Amendment
    Equal protection
    Guarantee of a republican form of government
    1st Amendment

    We’re in an ugly place right now.

  23. 23
    Hawes says:

    Jeff Flake is hoping that Brewer vetoes the Hate on Gays bill in Arizona.

    Given that it stands 0% chance of withstanding constitutional scrutiny and only makes the GOP look like bigots, I can only say,

    “Please proceed, Governor.”

  24. 24
    kc says:

    @DougJ:

    Damn, now I won’t get to read them.

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    @Alexandra:

    I can’t see the grifting opportunities for Paul in that situation.

  26. 26
    slippytoad says:

    @Tommy:

    I’ve raised 4 kids, two of my own and two from my second wife. Both ex and current wife were and are believers. None of the kids go to church, and they don’t seem to have any real interest in it.

    I don’t see the churches surviving this. My kids’ ability to function socially as atheists is very different than my experience 30 years ago. It is just not a thing the younger generation is going to embrace, or sustain. The wingers know it too, I’m sure. It is probably a big part of the current freakout.

  27. 27
    Tommy says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I don’t think a lot of folks realize this, but military bases can actually ban businesses that practice discrimination. It is against the code of conduct to frequent them. There are a few of them by me and everybody knows it. We don’t go there. Now maybe that would work in rural Kansas or someplace else, but thinking most businesses wouldn’t want to be added to a list folks follow.

  28. 28
    kc says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    While we’re at it, I have a short list of commenters I’d like to see banned. [unfurls long scroll]

  29. 29
    cthulhu says:

    @Brian R.:

    You know, when the civil rights movement was ruffling the feathers of the same sorts of conservatives, they too tried to find refuge in the parts of the Bible that had been used historically to justify segregation and discrimination — the curse of Ham, etc.

    That’s why I think this gambit will fail fairly quickly – the connection to a rather odious line of argument from the early civil rights era. While the Bible doesn’t say all that much about teh gays I can see some people being briefly convinced in trying to strike a “balance” between the rights of two “competing” groups. But pointing out these same people basically used the same argument against teh negros very much undercuts their power.

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kc:

    Frankly, there was nothing to read, unless you were dying to read variations of Fuck you all you all sukk.

  31. 31
    Another Holocene Human says:

    DougJ, I’ve been moderated for using a certain punk band’s name in toto, let’s call them Kitty Bedlam. Please help, I was kind of proud of that comment.

  32. 32
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’ve been advised here that the new laws allowing anti-gay discrimination under colour of religious freedom are plainly unconstitutional and wouldn’t survive a challenge in the courts, just like the bans on same-sex marriage in certain states that the state attorneys-general have elected not to defend. I wonder, how were the laws passed in the first place? In particular, do state AGs advise legislatures on the constitutionality of proposed laws?

  33. 33
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Tommy: I did not realize this. That’s pretty cool.

  34. 34
    Comrade Jake says:

    Anyone catch Erick Son of Erick’s latest post along these lines? The shorter version is: yes Jesus would bake a cake for a gay person, but there’s no way in hell he’d make one for their wedding.

  35. 35
    kc says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Okay, thanks for the summary. Was it a regular?

  36. 36
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Amir Khalid: Hahahahaha, don’t you remember Ken Cuccinelli? We have a-hole religious right Republican AG’s who cheer these wastes of taxpayer dollars on. Sure, let’s sue over Obamacare! Let’s enact illegal statutes! Let’s try to prosecute innocent people for “sodomy” again!

  37. 37
    Tommy says:

    @slippytoad: The churches by me that seem to be popular tend to be maybe non-traditonal. Or more progressive. Heck one of them a friend goes to openly says they welcome the LGBT community.

  38. 38
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Fuck it, reposting. Comments about Ross-i-ya removed.

    The revanchist hit list:

    CRA Title II
    VRA, pretty much all of it
    Roe vs. Wade
    Griswold
    13th Amendment
    17th Amendment
    19th Amendment
    16th Amendment
    Equal protection
    Guarantee of a republican form of government
    1st Amendment

    We’re in an ugly place right now.

  39. 39
    gene108 says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    The strange thing about Jim Crow (the way I understand it) is that if you wanted to serve blacks, you could not because the law enforced separation.

    I think the Right has learned from those “mistakes” and wants to craft laws that allow discrimination, but does not make it a requirement.

    More than reinstating Jim Crow, I think there’s also a desire to go back to the all male WASP country clubs that had to open their doors to blacks and women. back in the 1980’s via several law suits or some right-wing Christian fundie version.

  40. 40
    Amir Khalid says:

    @kc:
    New nym. Had a Vonnegut-ish sound to it.

  41. 41
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    The shorter version is: yes Jesus would bake a cake for a gay person for a Negro, but there’s no way in hell he’d make one for their wedding invite those niggers into his plate glass downtown show counter. Don’t they know to ring at the back alley door?!?

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kc:

    Not a regular, just some random a-hole that surfaced in the past couple of days who decided to post abuse.

  43. 43
    MattR says:

    @Another Holocene Human: And obviously any Democratic AG can be ignored as a liberal socialist heathen while any Republican AG who raises questions is a RINO.

    I have little doubt these laws would be overturned by the courts eventually, but I don’t have a ton of faith that there would be an immediate injunction against them while the case winds it way through the judicial system.

    @Another Holocene Human: My hitlist would be the 2nd, the 10th. (And I would want to alter the 1st to allow for campaign finance reform)

  44. 44
    Another Holocene Human says:

    I don’t really give a shit if they discriminate against me. I have white privilege. I can go patronize another business. For example I’ve been buying Panda jelly beans instead of Jelly Belly. They taste better anyway.

    But my eyes are shooting laser beams right now over their transparent attempt to reconstruct a justification for Title II discrimination. They’ve always, always, ALWAYS hated being knuckled under on that.

    Sad, and pathetic, but if we don’t fight this off, they WILL take us back.

    Never forget. (scroll down a little)

  45. 45
    kc says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I just skimmed that thread and got an idea, even with the comments deleted. Good riddance to that asshole.

  46. 46
    KG says:

    @Amir Khalid: the role of AGs can vary by state. Some can give opinions to the legislature, if asked, others can only advise the governor. Legislatures also have staff attorneys that are supposed to advise on this sort of thing. They could be hacks, or Yoo-esque in their approach. Or the legislature can just say “fuck it” and pass the bill

  47. 47
    Tommy says:

    @gene108: Don’t folks like Rand Paul argue it is a property rights issue (see that interview with Rachel Maddow). They’ll start by saying the state should not be allowed to ban smoking in your bar. But then you walk the argument to its logical conclusion (as Rachel did) things get pretty darn ugly.

  48. 48
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @KG: They could be BJU or Regents University grads.

  49. 49
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @gene108: What are you talking about? I thought the people who brought those suits lost. They’re private clubs under the law and can’t be compelled to make someone a member. Didn’t that one club in Georgia just add a woman CEO as a member, for the first time? Doesn’t “The Country Club” in Brookline, MA still decline to admit Jews?

  50. 50
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Right. Erickson claims it’s only a slippery slope if you imagine all kinds of hypothetical situations, which is of course the whole point. Gosh what an asshole that guy is.

  51. 51
    Yatsuno says:

    @Another Holocene Human: You fergot Loving vs Virginia. And the only amendments they want are the 2nd and the 10th. Everything else has to go.

  52. 52
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @different-church-lady:
    @DougJ:

    Same troll attacked Raven in this morning’s Garden thread. As long as you’re deleting all trace of this slug, you might want to erase those comments too.

    (Although Raven’s response was brilliant.)

  53. 53
    slippytoad says:

    @cthulhu:

    I really see it is time to assert a much simpler principle, regarding all activities of a cultural, personal, or otherwise not-actually-interacting-with-someone-else nature.

    And that is, if it isn’t personally involving you, someone else’s beliefs, customs, practices, or habits are simply not up for public discussion, period. I think we used to kind of get that idea, but really when conservatives try this line of argument I don’t need to refer to prior eras where it has been rejected: it’s a shitty argument.

    So, with that in mind, what I’d like to start asking these conservatives is very detailed, personal questions about what they did last night with their wives, or by themselves. I think just a few probing questions like did you orgasm last night,maybe directed at someone with a particularly large stick in the ass, how did your wife do? Did she get off? That kind of thing might start help to illustrate how breathtakingly presumptuous these so-called Christians are, in having the gall to poke around someone else’s personal sex life.

    So, do right-wing Christians bleach their assholes? Do they shave? We should ask them, instead of talking about gay marriage or abortion or anything, we should just start BURYING these assholes in questions about . . . their assholes. And act like it is the height of social faux pas to withhold this information.

    I don’t know if the fucking point would get through, but it certainly would be a major disruption to their usual blathering, waste-of-everyone’s-time narrative. We the civilized world do not need to explain this concept to them . . . they already know and don’t care. It would be so fun to just let them experience it in reverse for awhile. The completely arrogant intrusion into their personal business that they are so glib about perpetrating on everyone else.

    Assholes.

  54. 54
    Baud says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    The typical distinction is whether the establishment is selling goods and services in commerce, in which case it can’t engage in prohibited discrimination in terms of who it deals with, or if it’s a private club or organization, in which case it can.

  55. 55
    Tommy says:

    @slippytoad: I’ve been saying something like that for years. That if you put a camera in every bedroom in America you might not like what you find. So I tend to think it is none of my business. I really don’t get why this concept seems to be so hard for many folks to grasp.

  56. 56
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @kc:

    While we’re at it, I have a short list of commenters I’d like to see banned. [unfurls long scroll]

    Is this yours?

  57. 57
    different-church-lady says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Personally, I think any activity that leads to Gilbert and Sullivan should be punishable by no less than 20 years imprisonment…

  58. 58
    gene108 says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    What are you talking about?

    What I could find on Google. Some more recent than I thought.

    In a similar court case from New York, Mill River Country Club was sued by the State Division of Human Rights for alleged religious discrimination in its admissions process. Before determining whether the club violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws, a decision had to be reached regarding the club’s private status.

    The Commissioner of the Division of Human Rights decided that the club was a place of public accommodation and stripped the club’s private status protection. Naturally, the club appealed this decision. In a ruling handed down on February 10, 2009, the New York Appellate Court determined that the use of the club by nonmembers and the revenue generated for the club by those nonmembers caused the club to be a place of public accommodation and not a private facility. The club appealed this decision to the state’s highest court. On June 9, 2009, the New York Court of Appeals dismissed the club’s appeal and the Commissioner’s ruling was sustained.

    http://www.tucsoncountryclubdi.....legal.html

    Wiki-link about pressure / lawsuits brought for country clubs to open up membersihip.

  59. 59
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Here we disagree. I adore G&S.

  60. 60
    WereBear says:

    @Amir Khalid: In particular, do state AGs advise legislatures on the constitutionality of proposed laws?

    They can, but we all know how well Wingnuts listen.

  61. 61
    WereBear says:

    Thing about wingnut arguments are that if you aren’t a wingnut, they make no sense at all!

  62. 62
    WaterGirl says:

    @Redshift:

    “Religious freedom is a shield, not a sword,” Nick Worner of the Ohio ACLU said, paraphrasing George H.W. Bush appointed federal Judge Carol Jackson. “It’s not religious freedom when you’re using it to hurt someone else.”

  63. 63
    Tommy says:

    @gene108: I think this is more common then most of us know. I think it was 1995 and the PGA Championship was supposed to be at a CC in St. Louis, When it came out they had no African American members the PGA said they needed to change this or lose the event. They said fine, host it someplace else.

    I’ve not followed it to find out if they changed, but wouldn’t surprise me if they never did.

  64. 64
    different-church-lady says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Well, it’s a good thing Cole goes light on the banhammer…

  65. 65
  66. 66
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I’m assuming you’ve seen Topsy-Turvy? It can be hard to find sometimes.

  67. 67
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Yatsuno: You’re right, although that’s only a minority of the revanchists and not the most shouty ones. (A majority in Mississippi, though!)

    I live in a corner of the South where freestyle fucking got instituted in the 1970s and everybody’s got a “mixed” grandchild and you see multi-racial couples everywhere so I kind of forget the whole US is not like that.

    Must have been all that Gainesville Green and Micanopy Madness.

  68. 68
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @gene108: All right, thanks.

    But it looks like that private club thing is still the law. The ones you cited lost because they were relying on the general public for revenue to operate. A golf course where you go and pay greens fees but where you can ‘join’ like a gym membership is a bit different from a private club where you have to be a member or guest to even get on the property; and those are definitely still allowed to carry on discrimination like the “Gentleman’s Agreement” days.

  69. 69
    cthulhu says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I think though, in the end, all they will end up doing is having SCOTUS rule that sexual orientation needs to be a protected class, maybe sooner rather than later (or not at all). I don’t think this is an argument that will serve them well in the long run.

  70. 70
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Of course! One of my favourite films. In fact, I have the DVD in front of me.

    I actually have strong feelings for Gilbert & Sullivan. My parents met doing an amateur performance of H.M.S. Pinafore, my mother singing the soprano lead role and my father conducting his very first orchestra. So I quite literally would not be here if it weren’t for G&S, and I’ve made something of a specialty of them throughout my life.

    When I worked in public radio, I put together a 46-week series on their entire canon. I was proud that a couple of the stand-alone episodes were broadcast nationwide on NPR.

    But I get that not everyone shares my passion, and I still like different-church-lady.

  71. 71
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @cthulhu: Agreed, I think the writing is on the wall on that.

    However, I am really, really scared by their rhetoric. Remember, they’ve gotten their nutjobs in the federal judiciary before. Even at the highest levels. And even though it is declasse these days to hate on gays (trans* is still open season) among rich waspy types, screwing African Americans out of their civil rights is like a SCOTUS sport. I am not feeling complaisant about this.

  72. 72
    JoyfulA says:

    @Amir Khalid: Such laws, which were legal when they were created, won’t be sustained by the courts because of recent SCOTUS rulings.

    PA AG Kane (independently elected Dem) declined to defend the PA anti-gay-marriage law against several civil suits because she said it’s now clearly federally illegal per SCOTUS. GOP Gov. Corbett huffed and puffed and has had his legal staff (or hired an outside attorney to) defend the law from 10 or 20 years ago. (She has defended laws she doesn’t agree with, such as an assisted suicide case, when federal law is unclear.)

  73. 73
    Kyle says:

    @slippytoad:

    I don’t see the churches surviving this. My kids’ ability to function socially as atheists is very different than my experience 30 years ago. It is just not a thing the younger generation is going to embrace, or sustain.

    Closely aligning with ugly right-wing politics for the past three decades certainly hasn’t helped churches in the blue states. Turning church into a conservative Republican social club tends to limit your appeal to the large majority of nonwingnuts in the younger generation.

  74. 74
    Gex says:

    The saddest thing for me is what these conservative Christians are admitting to.

    If the argument is that conducting a professional or business transaction with a gay person is a violation of their religious beliefs and is tantamount to forcing them to endorse of or approve of the sin of homosexuality, then they are admitting that they endorse or approve of EVERY OTHER SIN their straight customers commit. Including murder, rape, theft, etc.

    Personally, I would be too embarrassed to admit to the world that the only sin that I object to is a harmless, victimless one that centers around love while being A-OK with horrible things like murder or torture. But then, I am not a conservative Christian.

  75. 75
    jefft452 says:

    @kc: As some days may happen that a victim must be found
    I’ve got a little list, I’ve got a little list
    Of society offenders who might well be underground
    And never would be missed, they’d none on them be missed

  76. 76
    Thymezone says:

    I thought Saul Alinksy was the fellow who invented Pepto Bismol?

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