Category Archives: It Can’t Happen Here

Fascism, that is.

Religious Liberty

This is going to be long. But it has to be. It’s not something that fits on a bumper sticker, and it is very important to get this straight.

I realize I risk being called a racist and a homophobe … but … ho-hum. By now I’m about numb to baseless accusations hurled thoughtlessly to avoid serious discussion.  They don’t know me.  Nor do they care if they are wrong.

Morgan points out that we’re all tired of arguing about gay people and we should be talking about other things instead, and I understand what he’s saying. But the reason we’re arguing over them is some of them (not all) and their advocates are pushing into areas that severely threaten religious freedom. When American culture gains a foothold in foreign countries, the Left wails about “hegemony”. “America” pushing her beliefs and culture on people who don’t want it.  But they apparently have no compunction over doing it here.

Certainly there are other, larger problems our country currently faces – but this one actually has something to do with who we are.

Because it’s not really about gay people.  It’s about religious liberty.

I’ve been reading the flame wars between people on both sides of the issue, and I’ve noticed that in general, we’re arguing about the wrong things.

People concerned with religious freedom are arguing what the Bible says and what it means (which even Christians have many disagreements about) with atheists and agnostics who don’t care (except to use Old Testament passages to beat Christians over the head with). And the pro-prosecution side calls up images of Jim Crow laws and the Negro Motorist Green Book, and lecturing Christians on what they “really” believe. I even read one person arguing that religious liberty ends at the Church door!  (Isn’t that pretty much what the Soviet Union said?)

So What’s This All About?

At this point, it’s pretty clear that a top-down state re-definition of “marriage” is coming. I believe this is wrong — because marriage doesn’t come from the state. But that ship has sailed. So today the fight is over religious liberty — specifically, the right to practice one’s religion without interference from the state.

The First Amendment states, among other things:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

That’s pretty clear. It’s even more clear when you realize that the first Colonists came over to secure religious freedom. There were state religions in Europe – that is certain Christian Churches had unelected official positions in government, and if you happened not to belong to that denomination, you could be required to support it or subject to rules made because of denomination’s official position. There was actually state-sponsored persecution of people of certain denominations because of their beliefs and practices. They came here to get away from that.

Today, there are at least four or five cases in different states where vendors have declined to provide their services for events which contradicted their religious beliefs. They were subsequently sued and lost for not providing equal accommodation to same-sex couples that they provide for heterosexual couples. They cite civil rights laws that compel businesses not to discriminate based on race or gender. The argument is that sexual orientation is in the same category as race or gender.

Civil Rights

Inevitably, when we find ourselves in the odd position of having to argue for religious freedom in a nation that has its roots deep in it and is based on liberty — the plight of blacks in the South gets brought up as an illustration why we can’t allow businesses to discriminate because of religious belief. It is the first civil right protected under the Bill of Rights.

It is said that the religious liberty argument was used to justify many white businesses not serving black would-be patrons. That argument was dismissed in the 1960’s, and therefore it is argued that such protests should be likewise dismissed today against participating in a same-sex wedding.

What we’re overlooking, here, is that the argument was dismissed because the protest was found to be lacking. Jim Crow laws and sitting blacks in the back of the bus and segregating drinking fountains and lunch counters were clearly more about spite and hate than anything else. Few, if any real religious convictions lay behind it. It does not follow that the same is true for same-sex marriages.

There is this logic “short circuit” that afflicts too many people when it comes to reasoning, and it’s been introduced mainly by those who seek to manipulate us by stopping us from thinking very deeply, or sometimes at all, about certain things. An example is the States Rights argument.  Slave states used the States Rights argument to argue that they had a right to keep their own slavery laws – that the Constitution didn’t give the Federal Government the authority to abolish slavery within their borders. They lost that argument. And today, hucksters have implanted the idea is that States Rights is an argument for slavery, and any use of the argument is clearly racist and should be dismissed.

But Wisconsin used the States Rights argument to nullify the Fugitive Slave Act, as they refused to deport runaway slaves back to their owners in slave states.  They were in violation of Federal Law in doing so.  But nothing could be more anti-slavery and non-racist than this act which used the same argument.  Few would say that Wisconsin was wrong.  And yet if you say “states’ rights” you’ll hear “racist!” before the last “s” is out of your mouth.

Regardless of what you think of it, it is absolutely no secret that Christianity and Islam, among other religions, have long-standing widespread beliefs that homosexuality is wrong. When a Christian declines to involve herself in an event she considers immoral, it’s no stretch at all that she’s not making it up, no matter what other Christians may think of it.

Jim Crow and the Plight of Southern Blacks

There is no disputing that the horrors blacks went through, especially in the south – were terrible and inexcusable. Quite a bit of the problem was fallout from a known birth defect our nation inherited from the European colonialism that spawned her. Our founders were well aware of the contradictions between a nation founded on Man’s inalienable rights and the slavery that existed long before and certainly at the time of the founding. Our founders included abolitionists, some of whom were actually slave holders themselves, born into it — and southern states whose economies were heavily based on it needed to be brought into the union in order to be strong enough to win the War of Independence. Still, it is clear in our founding documents that the desire was there in the 1780’s to end the practice, and while some effort was put into weakening the slave states’ positions, some of the compromises made it messy and it took 72 years and a bloody civil war to finally end it.

The scars are still with us today, but they are most likely better than they would have been had anti-discrimination laws Republicans had long sought had not been enacted in the 1960’s.

But just as the imperfect compromise in the beginning, the solution was also imperfect. There probably was no perfect solution. It essentially created a protected class, and in addition, infringed on our basic right to free association, and created the concept of a “public accommodation” — which was relatively well-defined but has basically been interpreted in later years by many as any business that is open to the public.

Laws are often imperfect and more often than not have unintended consequences. Though many of its cultural intentions were fulfilled, unintentional cultural fallout has created a class dependent on government aid and the political carpetbaggers who have taken advantage of this have fostered a culture of entitlement, resentment, and separatism. Several modern black leaders cite this as having much more to do with what is holding most blacks back today than actual racial discrimination. The left often argues that the Constitution is outdated. But they’ll never consider that the Civil Rights Act might be outdated or at least in need of some refinement.

But I Thought We Were Talking About Religious Liberty

Indeed, we are. We are because the Civil Rights Act is being used to argue against religious liberty, and to prosecute those who try to exercise it. That should raise some big red flags. And it does, in people who are serious about religious liberty.

The Civil Rights Act was an extreme move that used restriction of liberty to address an extreme problem.

Here’s the kinds of things blacks faced:

Racist laws, discriminatory social codes and segregated commercial facilities made road journeys a minefield of constant uncertainty and risk. The difficulties of travel for black Americans were such that, as Lester B. Granger of the National Urban League puts it, “so far as travel is concerned, Negroes are America’s last pioneers.” Businesses across the United States refused to serve African-Americans. Black travelers often had to carry buckets or portable toilets in the trunks of their cars because they were usually barred from bathrooms and rest areas in service stations and roadside stops. Diners and restaurants also rejected blacks, and even travel essentials such as gasoline could be unavailable because of discrimination at gas stations. To avoid such problems on long trips, African-Americans often packed meals and even containers of gasoline in their cars.The civil rights leader John Lewis has recalled how his family prepared for a trip in 1951:

There would be no restaurant for us to stop at until we were well out of the South, so we took our restaurant right in the car with us… Stopping for gas and to use the bathroom took careful planning. Uncle Otis had made this trip before, and he knew which places along the way offered “colored” bathrooms and which were better just to pass on by. Our map was marked and our route was planned that way, by the distances between service stations where it would be safe for us to stop.”

Finding accommodation was one of the greatest challenges faced by black travelers. Not only did many hotels, motels and boarding houses refuse to serve black customers, but thousands of towns across America declared themselves “sundown towns” which all non-whites had to leave by sunset.

If you’re going to force people to violate their consciences, you’d better at least demonstrate a compelling need — like on the scale of the one above.  What extreme hardship is placed on gays by protecting the religious liberty of a Christian or Muslim when they’re asked to engage in something they find to be morally wrong? Where are there laws that literally prohibit straights from serving gays? Where are gays being run out of shops, told to stand at lunch counters, run to the backs of buses simply because they are gay? Gays have many, many options for accommodation. The situation isn’t even close to the same. And subsequently, extreme measures that trample people’s right to practice their religion in their everyday lives are not needed, and shouldn’t be used. If current law makes it necessary to trample religious liberty, then the law needs to be modified.

Slavishness to bad precedence is being used today to trump one of our most sacred founding principles.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

The “Public Accommodation” clause in the 1964 Civil Rights Act spelled out the following:

  • hotels
  • motels
  • restaurants
  • movie theaters
  • stadiums
  • concert halls.

Now it’s being argued that any business “serving the public” is a “public accommodation”, so the Christian photographer and the Muslim Barber as one of the people I recently argued with are just “out of luck”. Because as a condition of their business license, they can’t discriminate.  The argument is “you chose serve the public”. Check your religious liberty at your front door.  If you photograph nude women, you have to photograph nude men. If you photograph heterosexual unions, you have to photograph homosexual unions.  If you cut mens’ hair, you must cut womens’ hair.

But here’s the rub. People don’t go into business to serve the public.  They go into business to make a living, in pursuit of happiness – as the term is properly understood. If you are required by law to get a business license to open a business, and that license requires that you, at times, must violate your religious beliefs, then it is a law that “prohibits the free exercise thereof”.

That says Unconstitutional to me.  If who we are is rooted in liberty, something needs to change.

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Blowing Off ACA Steam

Read this on HKB, AKA Facebook, the Hello Kitty of Bloggin’ (Morgan’s designation).

“… the government also regulates the airline industry. It tells airlines how many exits the planes must have, maximum weights the planes can carry, minimum traning for crew, minimum crew size, maximum pilot age, aisle widths, seatbelts, redundant systems, maintenance schedules, etc.

No, the closest to government owned and operated is something like the VA in which all aspects of health care are controlled by the government. The ACA is not that.”

After I cleaned the blood that shot out of my eyes onto my computer monitors, and recalling the call to verbal arms our friend Mr. Bill Whittle made yesterday ….

See www.billwhittle.com for more

I had to blow off a little steam.

The ACA is, in the words of its own designers, a gateway to single-payer, government run health care.

It was sold on promises that were too good to be real — because they were outright lies. It was extremely unpopular and is *more* unpopular now, not less as we again were assured it would become. The Democrats shoved it through as a part of the Obama Admin’s “Fundamental Transformation” (that’s Saul Alinsky for “Revolution” — no kiddin’, read his book). The only bipartisan element in the whole thing was the opposition. Everyone who voted for it was a Democrat. Not everyone who voted against it was a Republican. But it never really mattered. They weren’t after wide support, they were after getting it passed, which they did using a highly inappropriate parliamentary gimmick –espcially for such an unpopular, far-reaching gargantuan piece of lesgislation that none of them read — not least because it would have been impossible to read. It had (and still has) huge gaps of [insert regulations here] left open for future regulations written by unelected beaurocrats- again, they didn’t care. This is the basket they put all their eggs in. Put it in place and hold it there long enough for it to metastisize. Then it doesn’t matter who gets elected after that. That’s been the whole plan all along.

The ACA mandates insurance you don’t need and that contains provisions that may very well violate your conscience (first amendment protected, supposedly) and forces you to buy it or peanalize you. It is unprecedented in its audacity of scope, and its contrarian nature with respect to the ideals that made America the place every frustrated world citizen with an ounce of ambition wants to come.

It WILL Medicaid-ize the entire health care industry. It will eventually determine how much will be paid for what, eliminating any remaining market forces that drive costs down and throttling new innovations. In turn, medical lobbyists will put constant pressure on Congress to add more benefits to cover their products and services and at guaranteed prices for the lobbyists’ clients.

Cost up. Quality down. Another lever of power for lobbyists to leverage. Giant pools of money to attract corrupt politicians toward. Outside of it’s unconstitutionality, it’s also just a bad idea all around.

The only hope of saving America from spiralling down into the depths of Marxism is for this thing to go down fast, without us, and good riddance to it.

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Shutnado

There’s a meme out there I’m lovin’.   “Shutnado”.

A couple of months ago, the SciFi channel put out a wonderfully cheesey, hyper-hyped myparkbit of “disaster” theater that was so ungodly unbelievable that it was actually entertainingly hilarious to watch.

Today, our Community Organizer In Chief has been a catalyst in hyper-radicalizing the Democratic party with a blanket application of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.

What you saw during the sequester, you’re seeing turned up to eleven.   Barricading national monuments that are so low maintenance …. they’re pretty much things you walk by and look at … to threatening to arrest chaplains who even voluntarily minister on bases.  Petulant.  Spiteful.  “We’re in control.”  “You do what we let you do and nothing more.”

We The People pay people to tweet for Michelle Obama.  Really?

Things are being exposed that … frankly need to be exposed and … thought about.

The administration is trying to inflict pain on We the People so that we will demand they turn all these things back on, and thus pressure our representatives to … cave  That’s the plan.  It’s all layed out in Rules for Radicals. (update: 10/7/2013 – no, this is really what they’re doing.  And they’re saying as much. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can,” an unnamed park ranger told the Washington Times. “It’s disgusting.”)

This is #Shutnado.

This is cheesey political disaster theater.

The first day, Vets pushed the barricades aside.  Today they’ve wired them together and put guards up.  Guards.  To keep people who came to pay respect to their fallen brothers by looking at a monument that is not dangerous, does not require any day to day maintenance – costs nothing for people to look at. But the same government branch that is trying to highlight that it doesn’t have the money to pay the people who, day to day, need to do nothing but maybe give direction and pick up trash — oddly does have the money to put up barricades and pay guards to keep people out.  For.  What?????

And it’s been offered the money by the GOP controlled House … which ultimately has the Constitutional authority to fund … to keep those monuments and park staffed, but that offer has been rejected to protect the biggest government power grab in the history of this country, the ACA … under which my daughter-in-law and grandson’s health insurance is going up 30 to 40%.  (These are not wealthy people with Cadillac plans, either)

This is NOT America.

This should backfire on them.  Big time.

What might help is for a few 90 year old WWII Vets to engage in a little civil disobedience .. and get arrested.

Oh yes.  The Administration fears this.

And if it doesn’t, it’s reached the point of dangerous, arogant cockiness.

#Shutnado.  Tweet it. Comment it.  Always with some example of the ridiculous political theater that is …. #Shutnado.

 

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