Another Religious Freedom vs. Gay Rights Ethics Clash: The Country Mill Farms Farms Affair

Steve Tennes (above) and his devout Catholic family own  Country Mill Farms, Winery, Orchard and Cider Mill. in Charlotte, Michigan. The picturesque locale makes additional income by renting out the venue for weddings and events.

Last August, a visitor to Country Mill’s Facebook page asked if they hosted gay weddings at the farm. Tennes answered in the negative, explaining that his Catholic family believes marriage should be between a man and woman. The Tennes family sells its products at an East Lansing  farmers market, and that city’s officials were notified of their “no gay weddings” policy. A city ordinance  requires that participants in the market, even those not located within East Lansing city limits, have to agree with its non-discrimination ordinance.  “I think it’s a very strong principle that you should not be discriminating against somebody elsewhere and then come here and want to participate in our market,” East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas told the news media.

Lansing  officials urged (threatened?)  Tennes to comply with its ordinance, so the farm stopped hosting weddings of any kind for a while. Then Tennes decided to defy the order and announced on Facebook that the farm would resume hosting weddings, but only those involving a man and a women. In turn, the city told Tennes that his farm would not be welcome at the farmer’s market for the 2017 season.

“It was brought to our attention that The Country Mill’s general business practices do not comply with East Lansing’s Civil Rights ordinances and public policy against discrimination as set forth in Chapter 22 of the City Code and outlined in the 2017 Market Vendor Guidelines, as such, The Country Mill’s presence as a vendor is prohibited by the City’s Farmer’s Market Vendor Guidelines,” the city said in a letter to the family. Just coincidentally I’m sure,  East Lansing recently updated its civil rights ordinance to include discrimination at “all business practices” for participants the city’s farmers market. City Mayor Mark Meadows said the farm’s exclusion is based on the Tennes family’s “business decision” to exclude same-sex weddings. (Since the limitations on the weddings performed undoubtedly forfeits business, I have my doubts about whether the city can win the claim that it is a business decision and not a religious one.)

Now the farm is suing East Lansing. “Our faith and beliefs on marriage and hosting weddings at our home and in our backyard of our farm have nothing to do with the city of East Lansing,” Tennes said at a press conference last week “Nor does it have anything to do with the produce that we sell to the people that attend the farmers markets who are from all backgrounds and all beliefs.”

The suit asks the court to restore Country Mill Farms’ freedoms, stop East Lansing’s “discriminatory policy,” and award damages. The city claims its policy is in line with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling eliminating a ban on same-sex marriage.

My first comment: Yechhh. I’ll sure be clad when society is accustomed enough to same-sex couples that people stop treating them like they are viruses and other people stop bullying those who are slow to accept the cultural shift into submission.

I think East Lansing loses this lawsuit, or at least should.

At first it reminded me of this case, from 2014, where a family-run chapel was initially told by Coeur d’Alene, Idaho that it had to hold same-sex weddings. The city backed down, but the decisive issue in that case was that the chapel’s minister would be forced to do a ceremony that his religious beliefs didn’t permit. Forced speech is as unconstitutional as restricted speech, so the city eventually said, “Never mind!”

I wrote in part,

What’s next, legally requiring citizens to accept invitations to gay weddings? Make sure they get a nice gift? …It appears not to even occur to dedicated gay marriage rights activists that Americans can’t be forced to say what the good people think they should say, or support what the right people insist they should support. I happen to believe that same-sex marriages are good, and that legalizing them is right. Nonetheless, if you tell me I have to officiate at one of them or be fined, we have a problem. This kind of fascism from the left—and that’s what it is— forfeits the support of the fair, the moderate and the sane…Any advance in ethics can become a slippery slope to the unethical, and this is a good example. Personal autonomy still matters; freedom of belief is still an important right to respect and protect. Slippery slopes need sand, and this is an excellent example of why.

The ethics issue here is related, but different. This one reminds me more of the Chic-Fil-A controversy, when various mayors were announcing that because the company’s owner was a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, his business wasn’t welcome in their cities. I wrote (in part) about that ethics train wreck:

This, my friends, is why the ends do not justify the means.

I have read misguided blog post after misguided blog post and endured self-righteous commenters who are beyond idiotic who endorse the disgraceful comments of Menino, Emanuel, and the other anti-democratic bullying mayors, councilmen and aldermen because “they are standing up for what is right.” Maybe…but in doing so by mounting what amounts to an official attack on a private business and citizens, they are embracing what is undeniably wrong, according to this country’s values: government and its officials telling the public, not what they should do, which is a proper role of the government, but what they must say and believe, which is what the Constitution decrees that government  must never do.

What does this clear abuse of power accomplish? As with any time unethical methods are applied to seek “good” ends, it forces both advocates and opponents to either accept unacceptable conduct, or to ally themselves with those who oppose what they believe is right, in order to reject a wrongful means of accomplishing it.  And the results of this is inevitable corruption. Everybody is sullied….Put the blame squarely on the political correctness dictators for turning this into an ethics train wreck.

Again, however, this isn’t quite the same thing. Steve Tennes attracted the attention of East Lansing pro-gay marriage activists by what he said (Was he targeted and set up? Is there any doubt?), but he was also acting on his beliefs by not allowing gay couples to use his property. In that, he is unethical, and maybe violating the law. Michigan law prohibits discrimination in public accommodations based on “religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, or marital status’—but not sexual orientation. A public accommodation is defined as “a business, or an educational, refreshment, entertainment, recreation, health, or transportation facility, or institution of any kind, whether licensed or not, whose goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations are extended, offered, sold, or otherwise made available to the public.” In any event, Country Mill Orchard and Cider Mill is subject to Michigan law and Charlotte ordinances, but Tennes only is obligated to obey the laws of East Lansing when he is physically in East Lansing.

The city’s anti-discrimination law is absurd over-reach as applied: it justifies punishing Tennes for his conduct outside of its jurisdiction, and worse than that, punishes him for his beliefs that he has not even brought to bear on anyone within the East Lansing city limits, except that East Lansing doesn’t agree with those beliefs.  Well, neither do I, and the city has no more justification for blocking his legal business enterprises—selling his products at the farmers market—than I do.

No, this isn’t like the minister  that a a city wanted to force to perform gay marriages, and it isn’t exactly like the mayors blathering that someone who holds opinions they don’t like isn’t welcome. What East Lansing is doing is another disturbing example of  those who are convinced of the unquestionable virtue of their own beliefs attempting to cast out those who do not conform, segregating American society across the political, ideological and social divides.  This is the gym kicking out the white nationalist, and the heating oil supplier who tells Trump voters to but their oil elsewhere, but expanded to a whole city, requiring the abuse of its power. Because Steve Tennes doesn’t support same sex marriage as his religion teaches him, then he is no longer fit to sell his fruit with the decent people who believe what the laws in East Lansing say they must.

The government can’t punish someone for his beliefs, only for his actions, and Tennes’s conduct while he is in East Lansing is legal and inoffensive. How he runs his business when he is home and out of the city is none of the city’s concern.

47 Comments

Filed under Business & Commercial, Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement

47 responses to “Another Religious Freedom vs. Gay Rights Ethics Clash: The Country Mill Farms Farms Affair

  1. Now I’m wondering if it is legal to have a policy of only renting a space for specific purposes pertaining to tradition. For example, a movie theater for a specific genre of movie, or a church that only allows people to use it for weddings in a certain religious tradition. It seems to me that the law should allow people to put traditional restrictions onto their property and services, but tradition can certainly put unethical restrictions on people, and it’s unclear where the distinction is that indicates what can be enforced. Ideally, traditions can be updated to be more socially healthy.

    This particular space can be reserved for weddings in the Catholic tradition, and possibly other traditions that are in accordance with Catholic tradition, and so it can be used by any heterosexual couple and perhaps even people of very different religious or spiritual beliefs. However, what would happen to a space reserved for weddings in a tradition that defines a marriage as between a man and a woman of the same ethnic group? While ethically identical to discrimination against same sex couples, it seems much more difficult to defend from a legal standpoint. At what point can the law say, “you’re not allowed to deny these people service even if it’s part of your religion?

    A religion can include literally any belief about right and wrong, and many religions have such beliefs that conflict with each other. People make laws based on what they believe is right and wrong, and those laws apply to all people, even when their religion tells them the law is wrong, and even though they are free to express that belief. Someone’s normative beliefs will ultimately be imposed on everyone else, including those who disagree. That’s why we need to have a method for everyone getting on the same page about ethics. There’s no simple principle like “freedom of religion” or “rule of law” that can solve the problem of people disagreeing on the right thing to do.

    • Really good comment EC.

      Gotta think about this…..

    • Someone’s normative beliefs will ultimately be imposed on everyone else, including those who disagree. That’s why we need to have a method for everyone getting on the same page about ethics. There’s no simple principle like “freedom of religion” or “rule of law” that can solve the problem of people disagreeing on the right thing to do”

      Not necessarily. In some instances it’s best to leave it to the free market to work things out. In which cases no one’s normative beliefs are imposed by law.

      • If something is not made illegal, then the normative belief that people have a right to do it, even if it is unethical, is by default imposed by law. There’s no way around this. Everything the law requires, prohibits, or leaves to individual discretion will reflect the normative beliefs that have “won”. Some people feel that others should not get to choose certain things for themselves that the law currently allows, and those people have “lost” for the time being.

    • Extradimensional Cephalopod,
      Shouldn’t this really boil down to the question; is it appropriate for the Constitutional rights of one individual to legally override the Constitutional rights of another individual and force that individual to perform some kind of service that they morally disagree with?

      What happens when the Constitutional rights of one individual literally clash with the Constitutional rights of another individual?

      Are their limitations to our individual Constitutional rights as related to the individual Constitutional rights of others; and if so, how should those limitations be defined?

      In my example below; “If my friend allows me to have my wedding in his gorgeous botanical garden backyard this week does that mean that he’s opening himself up to being sued for not allowing a gay marriage from taking place there next week because he doesn’t approve of gay marriage?”

      Where is the dividing line were the individual Constitutional rights of one person becomes “more important” than the individual Constitutional rights of another person?

      If this comment went off on a tangent that is perceived as a deflection, feel free to ignore it.

      • Due to the Ethics Incompleteness Theorem, any set of “rights” can result in interpersonal conflicts that cannot be resolved merely by following the laws that created them. The problem will likely have to be resolved by fiat or, ideally, by the parties involved working out something or just backing off.

        I coined the phrase “noise war” to describe such a scenario. The idea is that one person can annoy another by doing something they have a right to do (such as playing a certain type of music within legal volume limits), and the other person can passive-aggressively retaliate within their rights (playing a different type of music), and the situation escalates until life becomes intolerable for both of them even though nobody has done anything illegal. Rules cannot prevent such situations, but promoting empathy skills can do a decent job of it.

        I’m wondering at what point “doing favors for money” turns into a business that can be regulated. Both can be taxed, but if you only want to work for people you know and trust, what’s the line between that and a public-facing (but privately owned) business?

    • Chris

      E.C.

      For example, a movie theater for a specific genre of movie, or a church that only allows people to use it for weddings in a certain religious tradition.

      So…most churches, then? Yes, that is of course legal.

      . However, what would happen to a space reserved for weddings in a tradition that defines a marriage as between a man and a woman of the same ethnic group?

      If the space is a church, nothing would happen; that is already legal. If it’s a public accommodation, they have to abide by anti-discrimination law.

      • Do you mean “public” as in “paid for by tax dollars”? See also my response to Zoltar Speaks above, third paragraph.

        At what point can we force people to treat each other as people? Maybe they just want to pick and choose their clients and what services they provide them. Is there anything wrong with that?

        I suppose the question I should be asking is, would it have been realistic to expect discrimination on the basis of race, sex, et cetera to be abolished through force of empathy rather than through force of law? I think the force of law may be hitting diminishing marginal net returns as far as promoting equality is concerned.

        • This is kind of what God did. Old Testament was law. New Testament was Grace, or Empathy, if you will. Random thought of a sleep deprived brain.

        • Chris

          Do you mean “public” as in “paid for by tax dollars”?

          No, I mean public as in “public accommodation,” which is what I said. If you don’t know what that is, you’re unfamiliar with the basics of civil rights law.

          • Yes, I am unfamiliar with the basics of civil rights law. That’s what I’m asking about. After checking on Wikipedia, it seems that “public accommodation” is defined rather arbitrarily, with no functional definition drawing a boundary between examples and nonexamples (so you have to decide arbitrarily whether or not each individual establishment is in one of the designated categories), and with no quid pro quo allowing people to get certain benefits by being a public accommodation, thereby incentivizing compliance with civil rights laws.

            I’m all for civil rights, but I also want to make sure the mechanism we’re using to enforce them doesn’t create bad incentives or have any other unknown side effects. If a person wants to start a restaurant or hotel that is not a public accommodation, is that possible? I get the feeling that if people could hack the system, we’d have seen it before, but I’d like to see how the system works for myself. Maybe the other people out there arguing about things like this should also educate themselves on such points of law.

    • Mrs. Q

      ” Ideally, traditions can be updated to be more socially healthy.”

      Attempting to change a religion to whatever is determined to be “socially healthy” at a given time may have unintended consequences, especially when each era, region, and culture has their own ideas about “socially healthy.” Personally I’m not entirely sure we live in a “socially healthy” time, though it is nice we no longer sacrifice children to Moloch. Though one could say we certainly sacrifice kids in utero quite a bit for all kinds of dastardly reasons.

      • Just about everything has unexpected consequences, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to improve them. You’re right though; people are too hasty about removing limitations and policies. I get the feeling that the world right now is caught in a conflict with people who will stick to traditions whether they are helpful or harmful versus people who will abolish traditions whether they are helpful or harmful. It’s difficult for people to tell what sort of “order” is actually needed.

  2. Steve-O-in-NJ

    This isn’t a slippery slope issue – this is a slipping mask issue. Time and again on this page I have argued, with factual support, that the left isn’t out to help anyone, or promote any good cause, it’s out to get in power, stay in power, and control as much of as many people’s lives as it can. This is just the smiling mask slipping to show the evil looking skull face underneath.

    • joed68

      I agree, and also think it’s more about the appearance of helping than actually helping in any meaningful way.

  3. Spartan

    This really is more like the “gay wedding cake” controversy. The cider mill is not required to allow weddings but, if it does, then it has to allow gay weddings too. I also don’t see it as overreach on the part of East Lansing. Chik-fil-A was overbroad because the restaurant chain actually wasn’t discriminating against anyone — the owner was engaged in pure political speech. Here, the cider mill owners were engaging in active discrimination.

    I predict the city will win. We enforce laws all the time that don’t take place within our borders. An easy one that comes to mind is the FCPA, but there are many others.

  4. I’m not an attorney, that said…

    I don’t think the City of East Lansing has the legal jurisdiction to impose their municipal ordinance upon any business in any neighboring community for activities that are completely unrelated to doing business within their city limits; I think the city is abusing its authority.

    Although I disapprove of the winery’s opinion on gay marriage and denying service for a gay marriage, I think what they did is well within their individual rights and they were honest about it up front; this property is literally their home. If my friend allows me to have my wedding in his gorgeous botanical garden backyard this week does that mean that he’s opening himself up to being sued for not allowing a gay marriage from taking place there next week because he doesn’t approve of gay marriage? I think this ordinance is likely violating individual rights. I think the Tennes family has a reasonable case against the city of East Lansing. Do I think the City of East Lansing is discriminating against the Tennes family based on religious beliefs, not sure but probably not; however, I think they City of East Lansing is illegally trying to enforce it’s ordinance outside its jurisdiction and if they are allowed to abuse their power in this manner it will likely set a terrible prescient that will be used to set jurisdiction against jurisdiction and be used to justify further abuse of power, this case has the potential to end up in their state Supreme Court and maybe beyond.

    As for the claim the city made “its policy is in line with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling eliminating a ban on same-sex marriage”, not being able to perform a wedding at a chosen non-public location is not the equivalent to banning a wedding from taking place; their argument is ridiculous.

    If the Country Mill Farms, Winery, Orchard and Cider Mill are allowed back at the City of East Lansing farmers market, whatcha wanna bet it will spark picketing and a protest. This family business will probably be stalked by protesters at any public place they are doing business for the foreseeable future. Choices have consequences.

    Jack wrote, “I’ll sure be clad when society is accustomed enough to same-sex couples that people stop treating them like they are viruses and other people stop bullying those who are slow to accept the cultural shift into submission.”

    My sentiment exactly Jack.

    • Free speech does not mean you can say anything and be protected from the consequences (unless you are a journalist or late night TV host, and even then things can go sideways.)

      If I were a doctor, and I loudly advocated for euthanasia at the doctor’s sole and total discretion, regardless of patient age, life expectancy, or condition (think death for a hang nail, to go to an extreme,) I may lose my ability to practice medicine, at least in any sane world. Either I lose my license through legal deliberations, or word of mouth deprives me of patients, and rightly so.

      I had a first amendment right to my opinion, but there are consequences to stating it in public. It violated the social contract doctors must have with the public.

    • Chris

      . If my friend allows me to have my wedding in his gorgeous botanical garden backyard this week does that mean that he’s opening himself up to being sued for not allowing a gay marriage from taking place there next week because he doesn’t approve of gay marriage?

      If your friend rents his backyard out as a business and advertises to the public that he hosts weddings there, then yes. If he’s just doing a favor for a friend, then no.

  5. I think in some ways this comes down to whether a city is allowed to restrict business access to a person, or business, based on their activities, whether it occurs within their boundaries or not. I don’t know the answer to that. Outside of ordinances, can any business move into a city and setup shop? Or can a city say, if your business does “X” in any location, we will not allow you to conduct business here. To me, I don’t see them being restricted or discriminated based on their religion. In this case that’s a not factor. The city is not saying they can’t follow a religion or it’s practices, or even do things it doesn’t agree with at another location. They’re saying that if they do “X” (no matter the cause of it), you’re not welcome to do business there.

    The other question then is, are they residents of East Lansing. It seems they’re not, so can the city then restrict them based on the fact that they’re not members of that city?

    If the city cannot restrict them, does that mean anyone can come to the city and setup shop if they feel like it and sell produce there? Can Satanists? How about a KKK chapter? Michael Vick? ISIS? (Yes, ridiculously extreme, and would be blocked with the reason being a safety issue like a sex offender would be, but that means there are restrictions). Or are there groups that are restricted, even if they only do their activities outside of the city limits?

  6. I can’t find the article where you discussed the barcode app that tells you the politics of the company you buy from, I was gonna drop this there:

    http://conservativemove.com

  7. Chrissy-Boy

    What is the point of a civil right if it can be trumped by a personal religious belief? Are you cool with anyone who would not want to host an inter-racial marriage or an inter-faith marriage? If not, then you are tiering my rights below the rights of other people, and I am Rock Hudson and you are the bigot throwing the “right to refuse service” sign on him after kicking the shit out of him. In Giant.

  8. Sue Dunim

    I see the Texas legislature has before it a bill that would prevent any city or county government from entering into contracts with abortion providers and affiliates.

    Part of a special session called to consider legislation of urgent, crucial importance.

    https://www.texastribune.org/2017/06/06/abbott-special-session-announcement

    • Texas is incredibly creative in getting around the right to abortion.

      • Jack said this, but this is a general comment and not directed at Jack. Reader’s mileage may vary under the ‘shoe fitting’ rule…

        Texas is incredibly creative in getting around the right to abortion.

        Just like 30 plus other states are incredibly creative circumventing Federal Law in order to use my tax money to fund abortion. Or give illegals sanctuary. Or allow illegal drug use. Or… you get the picture.

        I am not 100% supportive of Texas abortion politics, but I resent that if they were going the other way it would be allowed and encouraged by progressives with their ‘the ends justify the means’ hypocrisy. Abortion advocates (murder supporters, in other words, before and after the fact) had to fight HARD to find a ‘victim’ of the 2013/2015 abortion restrictions. If a person wanted an abortion, the service was still available from responsible providers, just not as convenient to everyone. You might have to travel a ways to murder your child, and that trip can give one second thoughts. We must rush the mother to be into an emotional decision, or she might change her mind, you know. It seems that asking a surgical center to protect women’s lives (like any other inpatient surgery center does) is too great a price when we are worshiping Moloch for money.

        Progressives shop courts for federal lawsuits that impact MY state. This is wrong, but they get away with it. Why can’t conservatives court shop? Oh yeah, that pesky little thing about ‘principles, morals, and ethics’ gets in the way. It must be nice to not have any personal integrity, so you can embrace whatever whim the Left chooses to advance on any particular day. Not to worry, though: many conservatives are awakening to the rigged game, and starting to use the same tactics to fight back… much to our shame: Read about ‘Operation Fight Fire with Fire http://www.melaniemorgan.com/3479-stop-the-scalpings.html

        Progressives do not have to think about their positions (although many who post here do so, and very well) but conservatives have been under fire their entire lives. They had to choose to resist, and learn to articulate why (even if it was just to themselves.) This makes them dangerous when the self restraint is lifted… dangerous to progressives. People who think critically and regularly will outsmart those who cannot.

        Another example: Texas cannot identify who votes with a photo ID, despite other states having near identical laws. Somehow this is racism. Opponents had to work HARD to bring a lady to DC to testify that she could not get an ID. Oh yeah, she boarded a COMMERCIAL airlines with a photo ID to get to DC! The progressive narrative here seems to be “minorities can get a free ID from the state just by asking, but it is too much to expect them to do so, or to remember to bring the one they have to vote.” What condescending tripe! You cannot have a bank account, and EBT card, hold a legitimate job, or drive a car without photo ID. Saying that minorities are too stupid to do these things is not only insulting, but patently untrue. Minorities do all of those things routinely. Yet progressive maintain that very stance for votes, money and power.

        The wind is changing. I smell the hint of smoke. Citizen apathy is the reason progressives have made such inroads into our culture, and they depend on it to succeed. Progressives know their greatest weakness: the uneducated supporters who cannot think for themselves, groomed in left wing indoctrination centers to be so, will not support them once the pendulum swings the other way. They are out numbered nationally, and they know it. The screeching of the past six months is based on these facts.

        Someone pass the popcorn. The fight is just beginning

        • Touchy touchy! Boy, Texans…

          The two things are not remotely equivalent. Since abortion is a right, there is nothing unconstitutional about the government facilitating access to that right. Figuring out devious ways to make abortion—a right, remember—harder to access is, in fact, unconstitutional, and thus unethical.

          Voter IDs are not intended to take away a right, but to ensure the integrity of the franchise, and that the rights of legal voters will not be watered down by illegal ones. “You criticize us for things we should do, so when you criticize us for doing things we shouldn’t do it must mean that’s something we should do too!”

          Come on.

          • “This belief stems from the Biblical passage Exodus 20:4, which mandates that ‘You shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth,’ as well as the Christian belief in humility.”

            So if I understand this correctly, not only are the Amish be prohibited from having their picture taken, but they are forbidden from using pictures, images, illustrations, or visually representative art of any kind? I appreciate that they like to avoid the mindless distractions of the modern world, but a religion that prohibits art is not merely backwards, but inside out. It’s funny that many of not most Abrahamic religious sects don’t actually care about that verse.

            Besides, if you never use your picture for anything other than official business, anyone would be hard-pressed to call it vanity. Somehow millions of people manage to be humble despite having mirrors and photographs.

            I’m sorely tempted to suggest we need a Pastafarian stunt to sort this matter out. We could get someone with a “deeply held religious belief” that not only should believers should be photographed with colanders on their heads (which is already a thing), but they should also have no details whatsoever on their photo ID other than the photograph itself.

            Seriously, we have to have minimum standards for participation in society. Religion is not an excuse. After all, what happens when we run into a religion that advocates killing those outside the religion? Oh, wait…

      • Almost as creative as New Jersey getting around the 2nd Amendment.

  9. Time to dance, Jack 🙂 Remember, I love ya like a brother…

    The two things are not remotely equivalent.
    Nor did I say they were. I am giving examples of progressive bull pertaining to Texas. Allow me to explain.

    Since abortion is a right, there is nothing unconstitutional about the government facilitating access to that right.
    Where in the Constitution do you see the government has the ability to take my money and give it to unproductive couch potatoes? Is that ethical? The government does a LOT of unconstitutional things (most of what it does is unconstitutional, in fact)

    What about the unborn? They have no rights? They beg to differ! How do we know? Some have survived the process, and we can speak to them. The spin on abortion has evolved over my lifetime, but still does not pass the common sense sniff test. Be responsible for your behavior, and don’t expect me to pay for your mistakes, especially if you want to kill a baby. You have that right… but you make me a part of the atrocity when I have to pay for it.

    Slavery was a right (property right) for many more years than abortion has been. Government (mostly states, but feds too) facilitated that right, passing laws about escaped slaves for example. It was not ethical, but it was permissible under the understanding of the times. It was overturned, eventually. My point is that these are NOT an inalienable right, it is a government ‘permission.’ When the winds blow different, things change. Texas is trying to swing the wind, in effect. Progressives work for years to change the law, and once they are changed, act as if it is treason to change them back.

    Figuring out devious ways to make abortion—a right, remember—harder to access is, in fact, unconstitutional, and thus unethical.
    So the Underground Railroad was unconstitutional and unethical? Gotcha. Let me know how that theory play out at your next dinner party. 🙂

    Voter IDs are not intended to take away a right, but to ensure the integrity of the franchise, and that the rights of legal voters will not be watered down by illegal ones.
    ….and who opposes them? Who twists themselves into pretzels trying to redeem a position that is nonredeemable? More progressive hypocritical bull. This was not meant to be equivalent to the abortion discussion, just an example of how the left is inconsistent with their own logic, and will take Texas to court to stop Texan rights to pass their own laws as other states do, even when the laws are the same as other states, in order to promote a progressive agenda. (that sentence is too long. It bothers me, but not enough to fix. oh well)

    You criticize us for things we should do, so when you criticize us for doing things we shouldn’t do it must mean that’s something we should do too!

    Not what I said, and I should have been more clear. I hope this helps.

    You did not touch on the third rail of my post: that the pendulum is swinging the other direction, and part of the reason it is doing so is the unethical response of formerly principled conservative who have just had enough. Since the unethical media will not report on it, it is simmering out there, getting hotter as we speak.

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