Monday, November 6, 2017

No Mr. Perkins - Equality is not a popularity contest

Tony Perkins
According to Hate Group Leader Tony Perkins: “Two-Thirds of Americans Believe Bakers Should Be Able to Refuse to Make Cakes for Same-Sex Weddings.” At least that is what he is claiming at Heritage Foundation's blog. If, by the way, Heritage gives a platform to a hate group leader then that makes Heritage complicit in the persecution and discrimination that Perkins champions.

Perkins ambles on:

With so much political tension across the country, it would probably help to sit down and have an open conversation. There’s just one problem. According to 71 percent of America, political correctness is silencing the discussions we need to have.

That’s just one of the fascinating nuggets from Cato Institute’s 2017 Free Speech and Tolerance Survey, which points out the incredible differences between Republicans and Democrats on a host of issues. Issues, ironically, that more and more conservatives don’t feel comfortable talking about.
The Cato survey is far more complex. Moreover, political correctness might be politeness or just common sense. Liberals, according to the survey, are more willing to engage in discussions over contentious issues than conservatives. Perhaps that is because they are less likely to insult minorities. Perkins is a common boor incapable of due self-censorship. He believes or claims that his views are the word of his god. His Family Research Council is designated a hate group for its routine disparagement of LGBT people on behalf of Jesus.
Unlike Democrats, who don’t feel the need to “self-censor,” the report explains, “strong majorities of Republicans (73 percent) and independents (58 percent) say they keep some political beliefs to themselves.” That’s no surprise—most conservatives probably think they’ll be punished for them.

Just ask America’s Christians. Dozens of them have been hauled before human rights commissions, boards of directors, and school administrators for voicing their values or worse—gasp!—living by them.
Perkins is assuming that fear causes restraint. That's not necessarily correct. It is also not necessarily a bad thing. If someone thinks that gays are “objectively disordered” or that Jews control the banks and media it might just be common sense to fear the diminished respect of others. Then Perkins reverts to his most treasured meme: The Christian majority is so terribly persecuted. In point of fact, people get into trouble when they assert rights that do not exist and then frustrate the very real rights of others.

Perkins' baker is a perfect example. He has the right to free exercise of religion. He can pray to, and ritualize worship of, shredded wheat for all anyone cares. He does not have the right to disobey state nondiscrimination laws. At least not according to precedent and I expect the Supreme Court to rule accordingly. On the other hand, if protected by local law, gays have a reasonable expectation of being served free of discrimination. It is their well defined right under law. However, Perkins is a Christian supremacist. Others have comparatively diminished rights.

The quest by Perkins for Christians to be able to “live their values” is rather nonsensical. Some conservative Christians, for example, believe that blacks and Jews are inferior. Some believe that gay males are obsessed with “recruiting” young boys into homosexuality. Society is not obligated to tolerate every fetish; every moronic ideology.
Even in this survey, 32 percent [of] Democrats told these same pollsters that business executives who believe homosexuality is a sin should be fired. Not “say” it’s a sin or bring the topic up in an office setting. A third of Democrats actually think Americans should lose their jobs just for believing what the Bible says about sexuality.
I do not know how scientifically rigorous Cato was but let us assume those numbers are a reasonable estimate of the climate. They are irrelevant because executives are not terminated for their beliefs. Managers get canned for things like exposing their employer to litigation or creating a toxic work environment (I have created one or two myself). Most often, however, managers get fired for poor performance. Perkins is creating a tableau of non-existent persecution.
What happened to tolerance, the supposed calling card of the liberal movement? Apparently, it went the way of Mozilla’s Brendan Eich. Like Craig James, Angela McCaskill, the Benham Brothers, Chaplain Wes Modder, and too many others, Eich was the living proof that believing in something as fundamental as natural marriage can cost you your job. Despite never bringing up the subject at work, he was sacked for exercising his rights as a public citizen on the state’s marriage amendment.
Oh the victims and non-victims who like feeling that they are being persecuted. Feeling persecuted is the conservative Christian masochistic fetish. Eich, by the way, was not forced to resign for “believing” anything. He was a manager in the open source community which covets equality and probably has a disproportionate gay presence. Eich was forced to resign because he donated money to the California Proposition 8 campaign which was uniquely ugly, divisive and homophobic. Gays were portrayed as predators of children. Eich's actions were incompatible with his professional group.
Most Americans want to be “counted out” of the left’s conform-or-be-punished crusade, too, refusing to believe that Phillips, Aaron and Melissa Klein, or Barronelle Stutzman should have to surrender their views as “the price of doing business.” Each one showed the ultimate professionalism and courtesy to the same-sex couples in their shops—offering to sell them anything but a customized wedding bouquet or cake.
There is a great deal of “we vs. them” in Perkins' hyperbole. What is expected of people is that they will obey laws enacted through the democratic process. We all contribute to public accommodations. We all pay for the roads and public transportation that bring customers to the business. We all pay for the police and fire departments that protect the business. We all pay for the infrastructure that makes the business possible. And so on. Business owners take advantage of our collective contribution. We expect them, in return, to obey applicable laws.
In the end, it wasn’t their services the couples were after—but their surrender. …

No schmuck. They simply wanted to be served.
Fortunately, a majority of Americans are sympathetic. In polling even higher than June’s Rasmussen Report, 68 percent of Americans don’t agree with the left that a baker should be forced to “provide a special-order wedding cake for a same-sex wedding if doing so violates their religious convictions.”
Actually it was 57%. It is irrelevant. In fact it cuts both ways. Nondiscrimination laws are necessary because a group is in the minority. This confirms the fact that such laws might be required.
In December, the only opinion that will matter, however, is the U.S. Supreme Court’s. That’s when the justices will hear Phillip’s case and decide—not just his fate, but the fate of every American to live and work according to their beliefs. Let’s hope their reasoning is in line with most of the country’s, who thinks everyone deserves tolerance.
As if hate monger Tony Perkins believes in tolerance. “Live and work according to their beliefs” is not only cliched and not constitutionally obliged but unworkable in a diverse society where people have many different beliefs. Holy Xenu!

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