Tuesday, December 5, 2017

My search for the most intellectually dishonest polemic about the bigoted baker

Supreme Court of the United States
Arguments in favor of  the bigoted baker are apparently on sale at impressive discounts. Robert P. George and Sherif Girgis got to make their all too familiar case at the New York Times. They can certainly do better than:
Our point is not that forcing people to sell a product or service for an event always compels them to endorse the event. It’s that forcing them to create speech celebrating the event does. And it’s well-established that First Amendment “speech” includes creative work (“artistic speech”) ranging from paintings to video games.
These two manage to obscure their extreme religious views but we know better. Suffice it to say that neither a painter nor video game designer are public accommodations subject to nondiscrimination laws. Moreover, the idea that the baker is celebrating anything is objectionable nonsense.

Honorable mention and a Darwin go to Jeremiah Keenan in The Federalist. It left me asking: “Who is this nitwit?”
So, in Phillip’s case, for example, the key question is whether Phillips refused service to Craig and Mullins because he did not want to make a cake with a pair of amorous male figurines on top (or some other “objectionable” symbol), or because he did not want to do business with the pair of men in his shop.
Uh, no. That is not the key (or any) question in the case. In fact it is irrelevant. The Court is not in the business of reading minds — let alone doing so historically at the time of the incident. The questions before the Court are whether or not the discrimination is lawful due to a religious objection and whether or not this constitutes impermissible compelled speech.

The winner is …

No doubt about it. The most idiotic arguments are included in an unsigned email — a money-beg — from Alliance Defending Freedom. Were it not from a law firm it would be relegated to the absurdity of Mr. Keeanan (above). However ADF is a law firm (and a hate group). They know that their message is bullshit but presuppose that the gullible will be motivated to give them money:
The case centers on Jack Phillips, a cake artist from Colorado, who politely declined to design a cake for an event that conflicted with his religious beliefs. On that day, the event was a same-sex wedding. On any other day, it could have been a bachelor party cake, a cake celebrating a divorce, or even a Halloween cake.

Jack has declined cake orders for all of these events in the past. But this time, the government came after Jack.
As the folks at ADF presumably know bachelors, divorcees and Halloween celebrants are probably not protected classes in Colorado. In fact, there is little doubt that Phillips broke the law.

Presumably the justices of the Supreme Court are smarter than the average ADF supporter. At least we hope so. Perhaps I will be able to comment on the oral arguments sometime today.

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