The kicking and screaming of the anti-gay marriage bitter-enders is becoming a national embarrassment, especially since some of the Republican Presidential candidates can’t seem to resist pandering to them. The social contract in a democracy involves accepting where the system decides to go and following along to the extent the law requires. If we don’t like a law, or a war or a government program, we are free to complain and to try to get them changed, or to pay the price for defying the law as part of the contract. We may not unilaterally declare that the law doesn’t apply to us. No, not even if we think God agrees. He’s not a party to the contract.
This is straightforward and clear. The ethics of citizenship requires it. Two current situations that have had significant developments in recent days illustrate the principle in the breach of it.
Jack Phillips, who is yet another Christian cake baker, lost an appeal that asserted that he had a First Amendment right to refuse to provide a cake for a gay couple to celebrate their wedding. Continue reading
Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Citizenship, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, Religion and Philosophy, Rights, Workplace
I really thought that nothing could be as cynical and divisive as the President’s attempt to exploit the Charleston massacre for political objectives.
Why do I always underestimate the crass stupidity of Republicans?
“You just can’t think that things like this can happen in America. It’s obviously a crime of hate,” GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum told radio host Joe Piscopo yesterday—yes, that’s what Joe is doing now. Rick waxed on…
“Again, we don’t know the rationale, but what other rationale could there be? You’re sort of lost that somebody could walk into a Bible study in a church and indiscriminately kill people. It’s something that, again, you think we’re beyond that in America and it’s sad to see. All you can do is pray for those and pray for our country This is one of those situations where you just have to take a step back and say we — you know, you talk about the importance of prayer in this time and we’re now seeing assaults on our religious liberty we’ve never seen before. It’s a time for deeper reflection beyond this horrible situation.”
Now here is Lindsey Graham, also running for President: “It’s 2015. There are people out there looking for Christians to kill them.” Sen. Rand Paul, a reliable dolt, also weighed in with the same theme:
“What kind of person goes into church and shoots nine people? There’s a sickness in our country, there’s something terribly wrong, but it isn’t going to be fixed by your government. It’s people straying away, it’s people not understanding where salvation comes from.”
This is shameless, shameful, and stupid beyond all understanding. Gee, guys, did you notice any other common characteristics of the people attacked? Does that seem like just a coincidence to you? Did you detect any special feature about the killer that might suggest another motivation other than infringing on freedom of worship? Continue reading
I know, I know…it’s mean to use the mug shot. Good.
I am grateful to ex-Republican House Leader and former Texas Rep. Tom Delay for putting himself back in the news with a quote remarkable for its ignorance, hatefulness, and corrupting potential. There are many reasons:
1. It provides a little perspective for Republicans who are excessively smug about the unethical depths to which the Democratic leaders, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, will sink. Yes, they are ethically atrocious. DeLay, however, was as powerful as either of them for a very long time and was a major power in causing the Bush years to collapse in a smelly pile of corruption. The fact that the Republican Party would follow such a man is easily as damning as Democrats tolerating Reid and Pelosi.
2. It gives me the opportunity to name Tom Ethics Alarms’ second Ethics Dunce Emeritus. The first was Bill Clinton. Tom Delay makes Bill Clinton look like Atticus Finch. Think about that.
3. I miss pointing out how despicable Tom DeLay is. On Ethics Alarm’s predecessor, The Ethics Scoreboard, he was worth a post on a regular basis.
4. His statement is so ridiculous that it is bound to make thoughtful people wonder if they should be agreeing with the man, and reexamine their current anti-gay positions critically.
Here is what DeLay said, discussing the various religious rights protection measures and the controversy surrounding them, on an interview with Newsmax, with some restrained commentary by me in bold: Continue reading
1. As we now know, Governor Brewer vetoed AZ SB1062, the so-called “religious freedom” bill that was widely (and accurately) interpreted as support for discrimination against gays. In the previous post, I suggested that her delay in doing so sent a message that was as hostile to gays as the law itself: if she felt the law was ethically wrong, then she should have and would have announced that she would not sign the bill long ago. Instead, she waited to see how much economic damage the law would do to the state, and then vetoed it, not because this was the right ting to do, but because it was the pragmatic thing to do. (As the satiric Borowitz Report put it, “The state of Arizona found itself in the middle of a conundrum today as it awoke to the awkward realization that gay people have money and buy stuff.”) USA Today noted that, to the contrary,”Some political insiders believe Brewer has allowed furor over the legislation to build to thwart social conservatives’ attempts to push a similar bill later.” I doubt it, but if so, Brewer allowed her state and her fellow Republicans to be represented nationally as homophobic for as long as possible to spare herself the inconvenience of vetoing a second bill.
2. Despite the extravagant debate over the bill, almost no commentators actually published the bill’s text in the commentary. The reason appears to be that since the bill is really an amendment of an existing law, it takes a modicum of intelligence to figure out what’s going on. Here it is (the original law is in black; the new text is in blue; what has been removed in the amended version is struck through): Continue reading
Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Citizenship, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Religion and Philosophy, Rights, Romance and Relationships, U.S. Society
[The quote that follows is from the concurring opinion in the just-decided case of Elaine Photography v. Willock, which challenged the proposition, discussed and endorsed on Ethics Alarms in several posts, that a business could not and ethically should not refuse service to same-sex couples.]
“On a larger scale, this case provokes reflection on what this nation is all about, its promise of fairness, liberty, equality of opportunity, and justice. At its heart, this case teaches that at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others. A multicultural, pluralistic society, one of our nation’s strengths, demands no less. The Huguenins are free to think, to say, to believe, as they wish; they may pray to the God of their choice and follow those commandments in their personal lives wherever they lead. The Constitution protects the Huguenins in that respect and much more. But there is a price, one that we all have to pay somewhere in our civic life.
“In the smaller, more focused world of the marketplace, of commerce, of public accommodation, the Huguenins have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different. That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us as a people. That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world.”
——- New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Bossun, concurring with opinion in Elaine Photography v. Willock, which rejected the claim that legally requiring a photography shop to take photographs of a same-sex marriage was a violation of the First Amendment.
You can read the Volokh Conspiracy take on the case here, and here; Ken White has his usual trenchant observations at Popehat.
From an ethics perspective, however, Justice Bossuns’s words need no enhancement. I could not agree more, nor say it better.
Graphic: Illinois Family
Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Citizenship, Ethics Quotes, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Love, Religion and Philosophy, Rights, Romance and Relationships, U.S. Society