Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Benhams do Niemoller for Stutzman

Benham Brothers
Dumb as two sacks of lint
We have all entertained unimaginably moronic arguments to support the notion that Barronelle Stutzman, the bigoted Washington State florist, has a legal right to discriminate against gay couples. Tuesday, Jason and David Benham push idiocy to its absolute limits.

They begin their polemic with the familiar Martin Niemoller prose.
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Niemoller, a Lutheran pastor who at first supported Hitler, became an anti-Nazi perhaps best known for the above quote. The ultimate subject of Niemoller's piece were Jews who constituted a very small minority in Nazi Germany.

To even even suggest that Stutzman is being persecuted is absurd. To liken the nonexistent persecution to something experienced by Jews in Nazi Germany is outrageously offensive to this Jew. It should be intellectually offensive to most sane, rational people. If anyone is being persecuted that would be Stutzman's victims — gay couples entitled to nondiscriminatory service by public accommodations according to a constitutionally valid law in a democracy enacted by democratically elected representatives of the citizenry. Furthermore, the last time I checked. Ms. Stutzman and the Benham idiots were part of the overwhelming majority in this country.

Contrast that to the Nazis who rounded up and ultimately murdered six million Jews — men, women and children (many of whom were tortured, starved or worked to death) for no reason other than the fact that they were of Jewish descent. There is no way that anyone should make this kind of comparison.

Speaking of stupid, the Benham Brothers go on to quote Michael Brown. I won't go there.

Then the Benhams ask some rhetorical questions:
This is tyranny, flat-out. And for those who say, "She discriminated!" we ask, "How so?"
  • Was it because she refused to employ gay people? No.
  • Was it because she refused service to a gay man? No.
  • Was it because she refused service to a gay couple? No.
  • She simply refused to participate in a "wedding" —an event and a celebration that was against her conscience. She was clearly within her God-given, constitutional rights.
Barronelle's employment practices are irrelevant as is the fact that she was willing to accept money from gay people if they were going to use her flowers in a way that she approved of. In point of fact she did refuse service to a gay couple. The idea that same-sex marriage discrimination is not anti-gay discrimination is utter nonsense. Stutzman was most certainly not within her constitutional rights to refuse service. At least not according to the ruling of the Supreme Court in Employment Division v. Smith (1990). We accept the fact (and have done so for over 200 years) that the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of the Constitution.
Now she's a "hater" as the highest court in Washington held that her floral arrangements do not constitute free speech. Yet fashion designers, who say their dresses represent their constitutional freedom of speech, are "heroes" for not making the first lady a dress.

Do you see the hypocrisy here? And when hypocrisy like this entrenches itself in a court of law, it becomes tyranny.
Hypocrisy? We expect people to obey the law. If nondiscrimination protections extended to Ms. Trump then designers are obligated (if they are considered a public accommodation). Furthermore, a one-of-a-kind dress might legitimately be a work of artistic expression provoking the question of who the designer was. No one who sees them really cares who sold the flower arrangements and no matter how they try these things are not works of artistic expression. Courts have refused to recognize wedding vendors as artists including bakers and a photographer, and now a florist. They have been consistent across the nation.
Religious freedom has nothing to do with not servicing people or groups of people. It has everything to do with not being forced by government to participate in activities, messages or events that individuals deem morally wrong.
  • A Muslim baker should not be forced to bake a gay "wedding" cake.
  • A Jewish sandwich shop should not be forced to serve pork.
  • A family-owned print shop should not be forced to print flyers for strip clubs.
  • A gay-owned catering company should not be forced to service a Westboro Baptist anti-gay rally.
Funny how we don't see American Muslims griping about nondiscrimination laws. As for the Jewish owned sandwich shop (a shop does not have a religion) I doubt that pork eaters are a protected class. The same is true for those strippers. As for the gay-owned caterer, that would depend upon the law and whether or not refusal of service constituted a refusal based upon religion (and no it is not comparable to gay marriage discrimination being anti-gay discrimination per se). It is perfectly possible that the gay-owned caterer would have to service Westboro Baptist. I find it odd that the Benham brothers seem not to consider themselves to be in the same category as WBC. There is not much difference in belief as far as gay people are concerned.

Me? I would serve Westboro without batting an eye. It is business. I reserve the right to inform those good Christians that I am donating the profits to the Human Rights Campaign but I am more than happy to take their money.
But those pushing this revolution don't want you to understand these crucial facts, which is why they cloud all clarity by saying religious freedom is a "license to discriminate" against people or individual communities of people.
That's right. It is a conspiracy of confusion. There is nothing ambiguous in Washington's law. Moreover, this was obviously a planned action on Stutzman's part. Frankly, I think that Alliance Defending Freedom put her up to it in advance, either directly or through her pastor. As a wedding vendor planning to discriminate she had an obligation to understand the case law. She took her chances and lost.
In fact, Americans have every right to discern (use their discrimination) as to which events or messages they will or won't service. The government has no right to force participation against our will.
That just invalidated every nondiscrimination law in the entire nation. Patently false.
If we don't speak up now, there may not be anyone left to speak up for us when the government steps into the comfort of our own world.Tyranny is on the rise, folks. Let's push back.
They keep losing in the courts. What the fuck do these nitwits propose to do? They can actually challenge Washington's law through a ballot initiative but realize that would be futile. And therein lies the outrageousness of all of this noise. The Christian majority electorate approved same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court made it legal nationally. Those same folks also elected the representatives who added sexual orientation to the Washington Law Against Discrimination.

So what this really boils down to is that the Benhams, and Stutzman, think that they should not have to obey a law they they don't personally like. They need some basic civics instruction because that is not how things work in our nation of laws.

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