Thursday, March 2, 2017

Ryan T. Anderson's brain-tape is on an endless loop

Ryan T. Anderson
Ryan T. Anderson seems to embrace the proposition that, with repetition, his esoteric (and intellectually dishonest) drivel will become more logical and pragmatic. On Wednesday at Heritage Foundation's blog Anderson writes: “Just Because Liberals Call Something ‘Discrimination’ Doesn’t Mean It Actually Is.” That offering has a distinct similarity to “Don't believe your lying eyes.” Anderson writes in code that is easy to decipher. As a Defender of the Faith what he really means is that just because something constitutes discrimination doesn't mean it is discrimination if the Catholic Church or a Christian is the apparent discriminator.

In his post Anderson cites a position paper at Heritage Foundation that he authored on February 13. Anderson's Magnum Opus is titled: How to Think About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Policies and Religious Freedom. It comprises a feeble attempt to pretentiously intellectualize permission for religion-based discrimination. The premise that Anderson can instruct people how to think is exceeded in absurdity by the claim therein that LGBT nondiscrimination laws are unjustified even as he proposes discrimination.

Returning to Wednesday's polemic:
The problem is that liberals are calling anything they dislike “discrimination.” But liberals are getting it wrong. To illustrate this, consider several different cases of putative “discrimination.” The law must be nuanced enough to capture the important differences in these cases.
Really? Anderson fails to disclose who those culpable liberals are or what they have done. The illustrative cases that Anderson cites involve racial and sex discrimination. This sets up the impotent effort to establish that discrimination against LGBT people is somehow different from discrimination based on race, religion, sex and so on. It is not.

For Anderson LGBT discrimination is different because the Church does not approve of gay people and essentially teaches that transgender people do not exist. Therefore, LGBT people are second-class people per se according to the dogma that he voluntarily subscribes to. His aim is to transfer that disapproval to public policy to effectively make LGBT people legally second class citizens. In order to do so he needs to try to establish that refusing to serve a black person is different than refusing to serve a gay person. If Anderson is unable to establish this difference then all nondiscrimination laws are unjust.

Which is why, for example, we get this:
Racially segregated water fountains were one form of discrimination that took race into consideration—in a context where it was completely irrelevant—and then treated blacks as second-class citizens precisely because they were black. The entire point was to classify on the basis of race in order to treat blacks as socially inferior.
Goods and services that are only available to heterosexual cisgender patrons accomplishes pretty much the same thing. The entire point is to classify on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in order to treat LGBT people as socially inferior. Often the case an assertion that same-sex marriages are inferior to opposite-sex marriages giving the proprietor an opportunity to effect his disapproval.

Missing from Anderson's diatribe is any reference to discrimination on the basis of religion. This is replaced with the artificial construct of victimization on the basis of religion. The reason that Anderson avoids religion-based discrimination is because of the Church's historical treatment of Jews on the basis of religious disapproval. It was very much the way that Anderson presumes to treat LGBT people (for the same reason).

The next decrepit enterprise is Anderson's attempt to establish distinction in contrast to discrimination:
Appropriate and Rightly Lawful Distinctions That Are Not Classified as Discrimination

When Title IX was enacted in 1972 and its implementing regulations were promulgated in 1975, the law made clear that sex-specific housing, bathrooms, and locker rooms were not unlawful discrimination. Such policies take sex into consideration, but they do not treat women as inferior to men or men as inferior to women. They treat both sexes equally because they take sex into consideration (they “discriminate”—in the nonpejorative sense of “distinguish”—on the basis of sex) precisely in a way that matters: by appreciating the bodily sexual difference of men and women in things such as housing, bathroom, and locker room policy.

Would we really be treating men and women equally in anything but an artificial way if we forced men and women, boys and girls, to undress in front of each other?
Let's first get the nomenclature correct. At issue is not men and boys using women's facilities. It is transgender women and girls using women's facilities. Let's also appreciate the scale of what we are talking about since this is relevant for around only a half-percent of the population. But we need to scale it even further because, for the most part, trans adults use gender appropriate facilities (and have done so for decades) largely unnoticed. The real issue concerns very fragile trans children attending public schools. Gender affirmation is necessary in order that these kids not be stigmatized or marginalized. What seems to be the case is that classmates get it. Some parents do not get it. What they get is anxiety and disproportionately upset.

This all has absolutely nothing to do with religious freedom. Rather this is the infliction of religious opprobrium on vulnerable children. Anderson is not the least bit embarrassed. He should be.

In the interest of brevity, and because addressing Anderson's intellectual shortcomings require more space than his assertions, I have skipped over much material. Somehow, Anderson concludes that the underlying elements of the following have been establish when they have not:
Thus, we can identify three different types of cases:
  • Cases of invidious discrimination, in which an irrelevant factor is taken into consideration in order to treat people poorly based on that factor, as with racially segregated water fountains;
  • Cases of distinctions without unlawful discrimination, in which a factor is taken into consideration precisely because it is relevant to the underlying policy and people are not treated poorly, as with sex-specific intimate facilities; and
  • Cases with neither distinctions nor discrimination, in which a particular factor simply does not enter into consideration, as with pro-life doctors.
Of course Anderson dishonestly proposes that discrimination against LGBT people is not based on an irrelevant factor and is not designed to treat LGBT people with less dignity than everyone else (I don't know what “treat[ing] people poorly” means). The second bullet is not about the characteristics of the person being discriminated against. Rather it relates to the characteristics of the people who do not suffer discrimination.

Trying to turn religious dogma into public policy based on supposedly secular reasoning causes people like Anderson to become logic contortionists. Religious dogma is inherently illogical. It is based upon the unproven belief that there is an all-powerful, all-knowing deity who exercises his power arbitrarily and that one can curry favor with the deity by following rules that were established thousands of years ago by unknown people. We take the word “worship” casually but it suggest that we are required to appeal to the deity's ego. Why would an all-powerful deity require ego stroking? I don't subscribe to the belief that people of faith are stupid. The point that I am trying to make is that faith (which has many different flavors) is not suitable as a paradigm for public policy. I choose to ignore Anderson's third bullet point.
SOGI Discrimination: Real and Imagined

Consider a florist who refused to serve all customers who identify as LGBT simply because they identified as LGBT. That would be a case of invidious discrimination because the mere knowledge that they identify as LGBT should have no impact whatsoever on the act of the florist selling flowers, because there is no rational connection between the two.
You know what's coming next:
Now consider Baronelle Stutzman, the 71-year-old grandmother who served one particular gay customer for nearly a decade but declined to do the wedding flowers for his same-sex wedding ceremony.

The customer’s sexual orientation did not play any role in Stutzman’s decision. Her belief that marriage is a union of sexually complementary spouses does not spring from any convictions about people who identify as LGBT. When she says she can do wedding flowers only for true weddings, she makes no distinctions based on sexual orientation at all.
Stutzman's age and the prowess of her children to crank out children themselves is irrelevant as is a record of prior service. These people keep trying to incompetently claim that refusing to serve a same-sex wedding is not discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Nine Washington Supreme Court justices unanimously disagree. Notice how Anderson gets in the Catholic teaching bullshit about “true weddings.” He cannot help himself.

What Anderson is really saying is that a proprietor has the right to approve or disapprove of where his or her flowers will be used. That flies in the face of the nondiscrimination law which explicitly removes that right — which isn't a right at all.

Consider the case of a white-owned restaurant that routinely serves black people. One day a regular customer walks in holding the hand of a white woman and the restaurant refuses to serve the couple. We can reasonably infer that the discrimination is based on racial bias. In his defense, the owner of the establishment claims that it is his sincere religious belief that the races should not mix. Would anyone accept that as a viable defense against a charge of racial discrimination? Would Mr. Anderson? How on earth does that differ from refusing to serve a gay wedding?
This is seen most clearly in the case of Catholic Charities adoption agencies. They decline to place the children entrusted to their care with same-sex couples not because of their sexual orientation, but because of the conviction that children deserve both a mother and a father.
And that “conviction” is based on the Church's disapproval of gay people. This is just so fabulously dishonest of Anderson. Adoption agencies do the work of the state at taxpayers' expense. As citizens we have every right to demand that the work of the state not be biased. By the way, in Boston the agency was quietly placing children with gay couples. Then the bishops found out about it and caused the agency to opt out of providing adoptions entirely. This was, at least in part, a deliberate stratagem to create victims of same-sex marriage to forestall nationwide approval. Meanwhile Catholic Charities continues to receive many billions of dollars for other endeavors, most of which are quite worthwhile.
My new Heritage report argues that any justified government policy must not penalize valid forms of action and interaction or burden the rights of conscience, religion, and speech. We can see this principle in action.
In other words people have the right to discriminate for religious reasons. Well, they do not have that right. I know that I am repeating other posts but Justice Scalia settled that issue in his opinion for the majority in Employment Division v. Smith. There are no religious exemptions to otherwise valid law.

More importantly this is all about self-righteous, self-absorbed arrogance. There is no logical reason that a conservative Christian cannot service a same-sex marriage — even if he thinks that the participants are bound for Hell. He is not approving of anything other than a business transaction; the exchange of goods or services for money. Furthermore, if his deity is omniscient as they claim then the deity knows that the person is not going against his faith but complying with the law which is an obligation.

Anderson seems determined to prove that he is a pompous ass:
In sum, because the justification for laws against sex-based discrimination was weaker than the justification for laws against race-based discrimination, the legal response was more modest: It covered less terrain, defined discrimination more narrowly, and provided greater protection for religious liberty.
Anderson posits what is clearly false as proved true (proved by him of course). The justification is exactly the same; a minority being oppressed by the majority. Anderson is supposedly a celibate virgin. Perhaps he should go off to a monastery or join the priesthood. That would permit him to write pretentious Thomistic treatises as a form of masturbation because that is all this is.

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