The Watering Hole, Wednesday, April 29, 2015: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of the Right to Discriminate

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

One of the above passages is from the Declaration of Independence, the other is from the Constitution. Unfortunately, some lawmakers don’t know the difference. The pursuit of Happiness, for some, is the pursuit of the right to discriminate based on their “deeply held religious beliefs”. Based on those beliefs they seek to deny women’s reproductive health care, intervene between a woman and her doctor, force gestation, then leave the woman and child without healthcare, food, clothing and shelter once the child is born. Based on “deeply held religious beliefs” some people, in the name of Christ, want to discriminate against people who love people of the same gender. Make no mistake about it, this is a violent sect of Christianity. Its followers kill doctors who perform legal abortions. Its followers kill gays in some rather horrific ways. Its followers turn to the courts and have obtained the blessing of the highest court in the land to deprive women of healthcare. And now, they turn to the courts to establish the right to discriminate, based on their “deeply held religious beliefs”. This is their Pursuit of Happiness: To turn this country into a “Christian” Nation, according to their view of an authoritarian Christ who rules by the sword and condemns all who do not worship Him. Although this sect (some say cult) is relatively small, they have a disproportionate voice in government. Why? because they vote. The vast majority of eligible voters don’t bother. But this majority is like a sleeping genie. Once awakened, it will be most difficult to put back into the bottle.


What’s your pursuit of happiness?

39 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Wednesday, April 29, 2015: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of the Right to Discriminate

  1. What I see as the major problem with the recent religious freedom SCOTUS rulings, is that in the end, it really doesn’t have to be your true religious beliefs making you discriminate against certain groups of people, you only have to say it is.

    I think this is something that needs to be tested under oath. Anyone who wants to claim their religious beliefs are being violated by having to serve gay people should be forced, under oath, to say whether they have a problem serving any of the other people the Bible says should be stoned. For example, the Bible isn’t too high on menstruating women, saying they are “unclean.” So you should discriminate against women on their periods, shouldn’t you? If you don’t (assuming I got that right), then your discrimination against gay people isn’t based on your religious beliefs, it’s based on your asshole personality.

    • That’s just a symptom of stupid people who don’t understand what words mean. It’s not discriminating against you to say you can’t discriminate against others. By that reasoning, we aren’t free at all since there are laws preventing us from doing whatever the hell we want to do.

    • Fascinating – when you exercise your freedom in order to restrict someone else’s freedom – you are in the right?

      I wonder if a punch in the ‘happy sack’ will fix his problem here and at home … he obviously has not tied the two things together – his happy sack and the 19 kids he’s got. What a maroon.

      • Can I claim that punching him in his happy sack is just an exercise of my religious beliefs? According to my understanding of the SCALIA-tus decisions, what I claim are my religious beliefs do not have to in fact be m,y religious beliefs, or the religious beliefs of anyone else who claims to practice my religion. IOW, to say something is part of your religious beliefs can be an out-and-out lie and you still have the constitutional right to claim it. Which is why Scalia is full of shit.

        • I bet if you punched Scalia in the nuts… it would all come gushing out… ew.

          Isn’t c**kpunching dickheads just a ritual in one of the more obscure branches of Pastafarianism?

          • “Isn’t c**kpunching dickheads just a ritual in one of the more obscure branches of Pastafarianism?”

            sorry, no. Pastafarians are pastafists. They believe that the Flying Spaghetti Monster will dish out the proper punishment with his noodley appendages.

      • “What a maroon.”

        In an online comment elsewhere a few months I called someone a ‘maroon’ and he mockingly replied to me that I didn’t know how to spell. Confirmed.

    • My question for this tool (excuse the pun – this seems to be the only part of him that works really well) is “When did you first suspect you were a sociopath?”

  2. I always thought it would be fun to screw with rednecks if I were a doctor.
    I would perform some life saving procedure and then visit the recovering patient and explain to them that they required several blood transfusions during surgery.
    I would then tell them the only donors available with their blood type were black jazz musicians and they stepped up and donated blood.
    I would then tell the redneck that in the future he will have an uncontrollable desire to listen to Miles Davis and if he tries to listen Billy Ray Cyrus he will have a seizure or possibly worse.

  3. I have deeply held religious beliefs that require me to discriminate against those who discriminate. I am pursuing happiness by planting many tiny plants.

  4. I accept freedom of religion. I fully accept that each and every person has the right and the freedom to believe in whatever moves them. With one only restriction: shut the fuck up about it; don’t bore me with it and I won’t bore you. Pray only in your closet or don’t bother praying at all.

    Imagine a world where religion was only personal, where silence when amongst others was the inviolable rule. No preaching, no proselytizing, no public celebrations, nothing other than silent “communication” with whichever mythology turns you on. In a generation or two, most religions would disappear for lack of interest, lack of substance. No more Muslims, no more Christians, no more warmongering hate-filled god-based skirmishes; no unfair judgements; no crusades; no burning crosses. Might not even need guns anymore.

    Probably no more Republicans either — the greatest blessing imaginable.

    • Implicit in this argument is that sometime, around the time that we invented writing and beer (“a breakthrough in my opinion”) – we must also have ‘invented’ god or gods…..

      • I have long believed that Monotheism was a step backwards from Polytheism. To m, it makes much more sense to go from believing one god was responsible for all the good and bad, and then graduate to the belief (still wrong) that maybe different gods were responsible for different things.

        To go from believing that many gods were responsible for the miseries of humans to believing only one god was responsible is psychotic, and hardly worth believing.

    • Where I grew up we just considered “shutting the fuck up” about our religious beliefs good manners.

      • Likewise where I grew up. There was no proselytizing, no hate, no fear of others who saw things differently. People were kind, generous, and understanding of each other no matter one’s religious beliefs. Then came the fundies, and it’s been downhill ever since.

    • Whew, misread that as Butt-fronted owl…glad it’s not stuck with that moniker, which should be reserved for the Koch bros.

  5. Campaign Finance Reformers Just Won A Massive Victory At The Supreme Court

    The US Supreme Court has ruled, 5-4, that states can prevent judicial election candidates from soliciting campaign contributions.
    The case revolved around a candidate for a judge seat in Florida who sent out a mass mailing asking for campaign contributions and solicited donations on her website. She was fined for violating the state’s code of judicial conduct, so she sued, arguing that the restriction violated her right to free speech.
    But a majority of justices disagreed. “The State may conclude that judges, charged with exercising strict neutrality and independence, cannot supplicate campaign donors without diminishing public confidence in judicial integrity,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his majority opinion.
    Roberts was joined by the court’s four liberals. The other conservatives on the court, including sometime swing vote Anthony Kennedy, dissented, arguing that the restriction unfairly infringed judicial candidates’ right to free speech.

    How about making it illegal for judicial candidates to even know who gives them contributions?

    • How about no private money at all, ever, for any public office? Public financing only, distributed equally to all candidates for a given office? All private monies offered go into the same public account, so the Kochs could still give a billion if they wanted to.

    • “The State may conclude that judges, charged with exercising strict neutrality and independence, cannot supplicate campaign donors without diminishing public confidence in judicial integrity,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his majority opinion.

      Let’s see if that could be re-worded a bit:

      “The State may conclude that elected officials, charged with enacting and enforcing the law, cannot supplicate campaign donors without diminishing public confidence in governmental integrity,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his majority opinion.

      Yup, it works that way, too. Too bad the Supreme Court didn’t apply the same logic in Citizen’s United.

    • Perhaps he’s pulling a Bill O’dorous – having seen the ‘riot’ in the newspaper and thought he’d be able to place himself in the midst (giving him cred).

      (they do seem to forget we live in the time of instant communication)

  6. via C&L

    Police: Maybe Freddie Gray Severed His Own Spine!

    It never fails. As soon as one of these excessive force stories breaks, there’s always a cop ready to leak something suggesting that the victim did it to themselves, just like Victor White. In that case, the coroner and police department said he managed to shoot himself with a magic gun while his hands were cuffed behind his back.

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