Indiana's New Law
Debate Rounds (5)
Reading through this text I have found that one doesn't need a religion behind their statements as long as they claim them to be indeed religious.
"Sec. 5. As used in this chapter, "exercise of religion" includes
any exercise of religion, whether or not compelled by, or central to,
a system of religious belief.(1)"
That means that you can interpret a text or religion to discriminate against groups that you just don't like, and that you don't even really have to back it up. I can declare that, though it had nothing to do with the bible, I can refuse service to Mexicans, and use the bible as my reasoning. This means that instead of being a law passed for religious freedom, this is a bill allowing and even promoting bigots to do as they wish using the guise of religion, which should offend the religious people in Indiana and around the world.
1: The Religious Freedom Restoration Act
Let me just point out the quote my opponent poster is simply saying in fancy terms that a system of values and core religious beliefs can dictate what a person does on a daily basis. So for example, if you are Anglican, but you don't feel right photographing a gay wedding, they can't just say "well, Anglicanism says that is ok, so we'll hold you to it as ok". It just specifies that a person is allowed to live his or her life through their set of values, which is something we have. And by the way, we can't misinterpret the bible. That is not part of it at all. See paragraph 3 for this.
The first amendment clearly states : "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech...".
Now, let's first consider that this is the FIRST amendment and clearly was on the founding fathers minds during the consitutional convention. No law in the United states is allowed to contradict this amendment unless we should overturn it. It CLEARLY states here that, while the government can recognize no religion, it is not allowed to prohibit the free exercise thereof. Also, every person is entitled to free speech with what they say.
Considering that, let's also note that your example is incorrect. We have laws in this country that prohibit discrimination against race. So if you were to refuse to serve a Mexican man, he could easily file a lawsuit and win, as that is protected. You couldn't justify it by misinterpreting the bible also. You have to understand all it is saying is that if it requires you to do something that goes against essentially your ethics, you don't have to do it. Again, races are protected.
Now lets clarify about what this allows people in Indiana to do. You cannot refuse someone service because they look different than you. The best example I can think of now is if you are gay and go to a photography company to photograph your wedding, they aren't forced to do it. We have seen this before, where the company usually loses and is either forced to do it or given sensitivity training or something meant to indoctrinate them and weed out beliefs considered "inferior". And also, if you're a gay person in a store. If you act and dress normal, no one will think anything of you, no matter what their beliefs are. Two gay guys making out in a chickfila (for example) should, in my opinion, expect to be kicked out.
This is NOT A LAW THAT ALLOWS DISCRIMINATION. That is the underlying tone. All it really means is you can live your life with your own beliefs. Gay right activists are pushing to force america and all people to accept their information no matter what you believe, and if you don't you're a bigot who doesn't accept anyone. People, we are becoming the Soviet Union, where you could have a religion and worship, but not display it in any way in public. This is our right as people of a free country not to be indoctrinated and forced to accept information we don't accept. So trying to stifle and put down out 200+ year old liberty is not only oppressively limiting the rights our consitution clearly says we have, but also forcing a certain belief upon a society that wants to decide for itself.
Pro has twisted my words a little here. This is very clearly saying that the Angelican in this example wouldn't be forced to view it as O.K. and would be allowed to refuse the person service. That is made very clear by, "whether or not compelled by, or central to a system of religious belief." "Whether or not," is the operative phrase here.
C-1: Pro seems to misunderstand the first amendment. The law just passed is very obviously respecting religion. It is respecting it over those who are not religious. And plenty of laws do contradict that amendment. People are regularly arrested for threats of terrorism. "Making a terrorist threat is one such form of speech that is prohibited.(3)" "A terroristic threat is when a person threatens to commit any crime of violence against another person with the intent to terrorize.(1)" These arrests can be done over something as simple as a line of emojis(2). Sarcastic comments with no backing made in a chat during a game are enough to get you arrested(4). From that it is easy to see that exceptions can be made to the first amendment.
C-2: Federal laws against discrimination are regularly defied by the states. Atheists aren't allowed to run for public office in several states(5). This is the thirty seventh article in Maryland's constitution, "Art. 37. That no religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God; nor shall the Legislature prescribe any other oath of office than the oath prescribed by this Constitution.(6)" While it is in accordance with other laws on the issue of not administering a religious text, but it says that one must declare their belief in the existence of a God. This is a respect of religion over a lack of religion. There are several other states with similar articles in their constitutions. Laws against discrimination are occasionally worked around by those who wish strongly enough to discriminate.
C-3: You most definitely can refuse service to people based upon race if their race is against your religion. The books of Nephi in the book of Mormon are horribly racist. "The Native Americans are the descendants of those "who dwindled in unbelief." As a punishment for their disbelief, their skin was darkened and they became "a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.(7)" Are you suggesting that a Mormon couldn't use this quote to refuse to serve people of Native American heritage? "The Lamanites were once "a delightsome people", but God made them a dark-skinned, "filthy and loathsome people, led about by Satan" because of their unbelief and idolatry.(7)" The mentioned Lamanites are viewed as the forefathers of Native Americans in Mormonism. If you believed these things, you could almost definitely refuse to even allow people of Native American descent into your establishment according to this law.
C-4: There is also a valid case to be made about misunderstandings. Let us say that you suspect a man in your establishment to be a homosexual or transsexual and are extremely against it. He has extremely effeminate mannerisms. Do you have the right to refuse him service? "The remnant of the sodomites who remained in the days of his father Asa, he expelled from the land.(8)" "The term "sodomite" is taken from the city of Sodom. The word refers to anyone who engages in homosexual or lesbian acts. Sin of Sodom. There is a document at this site entitled "Same Sex Patterns of Life." It provides a biblical understanding of what happened at Sodom and the nature of the sin. The sin was homosexuality. The sin was males with males. Then later in the New Testament God includes females with females.(9)" According to this they would even be allowed to remove them from their property if the Law is about people expressing their religious freedom within their own property. Would the man be able to sue if it turned out he was straight? And how would one go about proving or disproving that statement in court?
C-5: So much worse can happen than a gay couple being refused wedding services. A private hospital could now refuse services to people suffering from AIDS. The medical community still blames homosexuality for contracting the disease(10). There was also once an instance in Ireland where a woman was suffering from a miscarriage due to natural causes. An abortion could have saved her, but her and her baby both died. Catholicism was cited as the reason by the hospital(11). That is also an example of freedom from religion, because the couple was Hindu(12). This means that she was oppressed and killed by a religion that was not her own. What would stop private hospitals from doing things like this?
6: Constitution of Maryland
7: Book of Mormon
Not for the rebuttals
All I'm trying to show by that example was that it allows people to live their lives using their moral values. The quote you copied was irrelevant because they couldn't consitute the law to only specific rekigions, they need to include all religions and ideologies.
You misunderstand what I'm getting at
1. I understand that some laws contradict freedom of speech. I am not saying laws don't contradict it, I know there are laws out there that don't follow rule #1. What I AM saying is that the laws shouldn't contradict it. The constitution is there supposedly as the central root of the American government. It should outline what our government needs to do on a basic level. Therefore, unless you want to blatantly go against the constitution or overturn it, you must respect the laws. Which include our right to free speech and religion. To counter your point about religion over non religion, I would argue that that statement makes little sense, due to generalizing an entire group of people. Yes, one side is religious. But that DOES NOT mean the other side is non religious or athiest. In fact, there is no "other side". There is only one side. The law is meant to be for religious people, not against anyone else. And the reason it's pro religious is because the religious are the ones with their rights being stifled by social conformity.
And about terrorism, the governments main job is to protect the American public, and that was something that was recognized by the founding fathers as well. This allows for a seizure of a person committinh terroristic threats, as they are a threat to society. So that argument is invalid, and again my point here is to reinforce what our consitution states.
2. Con here misunderstands "discrimination" laws. There is no laws protecting an idea. There are laws protecting someone for something visible that they cannot help, such as race. There aren't laws protecting ideas, again, because that is impossible to define. Now, we also need to see that states have individual and seperate constitutions, that they established long ago on core values. That means it isn't breaking any law or violating any code when states such as Maryland or Texas make people declare a belief in God. So con's entire point here is not valid, because the laws are entirely under the law and consitutional. Anyway, this point has little to do with the law anyway. This is government, whereas the law deals in the private sector.
3. This statement is utterly false and not considering any law. Yes, the Book of Mormon may say natives were bad people, and yes, a Mormon could refuse a native serve. But what would happen after? The native would file a lawsuit and easily win. Because there are non discrimination laws that were enacted in the LBJ era not just for blacks, but for all people. As I stated in point 2, you cannot deny someone something due to race. This law trumps the state law, and it applies everywhere.
Con also clearly does not understand the law. All it states is that the government may only restrict a person"s "exercise of religion" ONLY "in the furtherance of a compelling government interest" and must use "the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling government interest." The law is based off a federal law from 1993. And since the federal law was established, not a single person has used it to win a case in court over discrimination. The law only means the government cannot restrict religious activity unless it is really compelling to do so.
4. No, again the law has little to do with discrimination. The gay person could take a shipowner to court and win easily. The law is referring to religious activity and practices and letting it operate in your life in public. Quoting scriptural books and saying you could use that to justify discrimination does not apply. The reason of the backlash is due to gay rights lobbyists not wanting a religious agenda being allowed, and also the fact that some people have misinterpreted the law as explicitly allowing discrimination.
5. Your statement that the medical community blames homosexuality for contracting aids is backed up by a meaningless source. All it states is the fact that gay men have a much higher risk of STDs and therefore should not donate blood. Not hard to understand. And a gay couple being refused wedding services is something that I have no problem with personally and do not consider discrimination, but I'm not an expert on the topic.
Your claim about the woman in Ireland is attending reality and really just false. I am catholic and went to catholic school, and I can tell you the only instance where the church allows abortions is if it endangers the woman's life. So if her life was in danger, catholic doctrine would allow the abortion. That situation was an error on a local level. I find you saying she was oppressed and killed by a religion to be extremely disrespectful and blatently stupid, as you clearly don't understand the teaching behind it. It would make more sense to blame it on the nurses, because Irish law even states that if the woman's life is in danger, the baby may be aborted. So again, this entire point is not valid and also irrelevant.
C 1: The constitution isn't some perfect document that cannot be gone against or changed. It was written to be a living document that changes to conform to the always changing country(2). And the amendments are up to interpretation and change(2). Religious people are not having their rights stifled by social conformity. Christians are an overwhelming majority in America(3). Churches and similar religious organizations are still tax exempt(4). If you start a company where you make things for weddings, and your state has same sex marriage, then you are expected to make things for them. If you don't like that then you should go into a different trade.
Your statement about security doesn't in any way invalidate my argument. If anything it supports it. The government could say that it is protecting the rights of minorities, just like the anti-terrorism exceptions to the amendment protect all Americans' rights to safety.
C 2- Con has in no way misunderstood discrimination. There are indeed laws protecting ideas; religions are not concrete things. They are abstract. The first amendment specifically says that the government can respect no establishment of religion(5). This has been taken by the government to mean that Atheists or Secular Humanists cannot be discriminated against due to the first amendment(6). The point of my argument is that if two laws contradict then you cannot always know which one will win over in the courts. And if a law allows some form of discrimination then it can go to the courts and possibly win against those that deny discrimination.
C 3: How can Pro suggest to know what would happen after a Native American was denied service under this new law? If the Mormon in question had a good lawyer then they could defend themselves with this law. Federal law doesn't always beat state law. Cannabis is illegal by federal law(7). It is still allowed in some states(8). States' Rights are a very big issue, so he could use that to his advantage.
C 4: Pro is simply wrong about the nature of this law. A Republican from Indiana has even stated the law as it was would allow businesses to put up signs barring homosexuals(9). And what would gay rights lobbyists care about the law if it didn't have some discrimination in it? While I agree that people have made it too much about homosexuality, the law does allow discrimination(9).
C 5: Whether I should have used the word "blame," or not, it doesn't effect the fact that there is a link drawn between homosexuality and AIDS. I also admit that after the recent changes to the law that this could not happen(1). The story of the woman dying is definitely a relevant one. Private hospitals could start denying people certain things. Catholic doctrine may say that the abortion is allowed if the woman's life is in danger, but they are not the only religious group who have an opinion on abortions. There are also other religious beliefs in the medical world. Let us not forget about the Jehova's Witnesses. Jehova's Witnesses are against blood transfusions(10). In a private hospital this could be a very real problem.
1. No, the consitution is not a perfect document. But it is the source of our governmnent with the basic necessities we must have in order to run the country. A consitution is a pillar of the government, and if you remove a pillar, the building will fall. As will the government. Maybe not a literal change of regime, but if the consitution no longer constitutes the basis government, it is no longer the consitution. Now, you here have misinterpreted what it means to be a "living document". First of all, the consitution was written by Thomas Jefferson, who was an extremely strict interpreter of it (again, he wrote it), and thought of it as it was: the first building block of the country. The premise of being a living document is that it can be added to or edited, and the new edits become the new law, and that is where we get the updated consitution. But, now let's recognize that the consitution has in no way barred anyone from freedom of speech or expression or press, and the 14th amendment even clafies this, saying "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." . And as you can also notice from the constitution, no person anywhere has the right to be served or to purchase anything.
And yes, religious people are having their rights stifled. But it's a slow process that involves changing culture. Society is becoming extremely secular, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for religions to express themselves in the public square. And as for tax exemption, that is a privilege, not a right, and many organizations have that priveledge. The government is getting very involved in religious activity, trying to limit it to private places only (specifically christianity). Let's not lie to ourselves here and pretend that it isn't becoming harder to discuss religion in public, and obviously in schools. This last comment about cakes is absolutely ridiculous. A christain baker DOES NOT have to bake the cake. Or let me say, should not. Again, no where in the law does it ever say that anyone has the right to be served or to entitled servitude. This idea fully expresses the problem with our society: we are willing to throw away the law to adhere to a social doctrine that is aimed at hurting the free market for some idea that everyone is entitled to whatever they want. Let me give you this scenario: say you work at a local bakery, and man walks in. You and him proceed to get into an argument, and you kick him out. He demands you serve him. Do you have to serve him? No, you can kick him out, no problem. He'll complain, but he will most likely leave swearing. This is only to show that you don't have to serve anyone under any circumstance. By your logic, because he has broken no laws, I must serve him. And the wedding example is worse. If Americans really come to believe that a private business owner should be forced to serve a gay wedding, even though he doesn't want to, then we will have gone under, as Ronald Reagan would say. Let's also consider that this is the first time in history that people are being forced to not discriminate against an idea, not even an outward sign or color. Just something that is not visible, only mental.
And about the security, what about the rights of the majority? Or of a religion? In this country it has become minority rules, and everyone is supposed to receive equal protection under he consitution. So instead of protecting a small group of people, how about protect everyone as a whole. But also, there were no exemptions. The law was still the law. And these discrimination things arent threatening a gay persons safety physically, because getting rejected trying to order a cake for a gay wedding is not going to hurt you physically.
2. Yes but religion is specifically mentioned. It is right there to see, and as you can see it does not mention any other ideas. Religion also could be argued to be half physical also. You also cited one example of a local judge deciding secular humanism is a religion. But the article itself even debates whether it is or not, showing that it is not a fact. It is up for interpretation. Atheism is definitely not a religion, and secular humanism is more of a philosophy. One local liberal judge saying it is a religion doesn't mean anything. The government as a whole has also never taken any steps to back secular humanism and atheism as religions, because they are so individual that they cannot be regulated. And those state laws only rely on theism, which is not a religion. They don't force you to be Christian or Jewish or anything, just theistic.
3. Because in the fourteenth amendment, again, everyone is guaranteed equal protection under the laws. And federal laws prohibit discrimination against anyone for race, color, gender, religion, or national origin . And this law is enforced by the EEOC, and is a law that no states can oppose. Did you ever wonder why the NAACP wasn't mad about the law? What you're saying could suggest that I could discriminate against someone who is black in Indiana. But they weren't mad, as the gay rights activists were, because you can't discriminate against a black man like that
4. Sorry, I should have clarified in the last round. I mean real discrimination. Not wanting to let a homosexual use your photo company for his/her wedding is not discrimination, it is expression of religion or values. If a gay person is really discriminated against, and denied something vital or beat up etc, then that would be discrimination. You can't discriminate against an idea, as long as you don't know the idea at least. This entire point depends on where you determine discrimination to be.
5. Of course there is a link. Gay men are almost the entire reason it spead around. And the hospital one is first of all in Ireland and the other one ignores the idea that we are all guaranteed life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The first one is life, and that's the key here. Hospitals are not allowed to deny or kill patients at all due to this. You cannot deny someone life. So if they need a blood transfusion, and you don't give it to them, then you just commited a major crime. The religion doesn't matter here.
C2: Pro misunderstands my point as well as that of the local, "liberal" judge. This is not to declare that atheism is a religion, but to say that those without religion should be protected in their lack of religion under the first amendment. There is a very real difference between the two statements. I also feel that I should explain what a secular view and atheism are. Atheism is a lack of belief in any deity(2). Something that is secular is just something that is connected to no religion(3). These laws force a person to be religious, which goes against an individual's right to not be religious. There are also polytheistic religions. Couldn't this be viewed as discriminatory against those whose religions don't include a supreme being? Jains often don't believe in any supreme being and their religion doesn't demand that they do(4). Are you now defending the oppression of religions that aren't similar to your own?
C3: The NAACP, in fact, was upset about the passing of the law. The NAACP president has spoken out against it publicly(5). Supporters of gay rights have been speaking out against it the loudest because they believe that they have been targeted specifically. It is believed by many that the law was tailored to target them. With the new updates to the law, one could argue that the law can do very little.
C4: You definitely can deny a person life if you are running a private hospital. A hospital ran by the state wouldn't be allowed to turn anybody away because of this, but private hospitals have to push people away or not provide them specific treatments for economic reasons all the time. Not all hospitals are obligated to help all patients(6).
C5: To tackle Pro's bakery scenario, I would say that the baker should serve the man if the argument was not bad enough for the police to need to remove him. I actually work in the food service industry and the customer always being right is not a stereotype or a joke. It is the key to being respected in the industry.
C6: It is not becoming more difficult to express your beliefs in public square as long as you do so in a nonviolent or threatening way. It is not harder to discuss religion in schools at all. I am a senior in high school and I hear people talking about Christianity in a good way all the time. Some schools even have religious clubs, which I support fully. The idea that Christianity has less representation is just a sign that there are more non-Christians now than there have been in the past. Those people still deserve equal representation, so Christianity should have less representation than it did before. Being secular doesn't stop a religion from expressing itself in any way. It stops religions from oppressing one another and keeps the representation fair. When you speak out against a secular society, are you saying we should have a theocracy? A secular democracy is about equality of religions, not of putting any below or above others(7). It isn't atheism, and it is good for everybody.
Please, vote for Con!
2. No, I did not misunderstand your point, you just ignored what I said. First lets understand that these state constitutions are seperate from the federal government, but must follow the federal laws and rules for it to count. So these state laws that declare you must be theistic to be in office are NOT breaking any laws or violating the constitution. The first amendment, again, says "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.". It says that the government cannot recognize the establishment of a religion, prohibit the exercise of a religion, or abridge freedom of speech and press and so on. Nowhere to be found is a defense of secularism. No "right to not be religious" specifically is found, that is just something that is covered by other rights. No one has a right to not be discriminated against based on lack of religion. So now that we should understand that this is not a protected right, we can see that it is not a violation of anything for a state to declare this. Again, if you would like to change it, then go for it, but as of now, it can stand. And Jainism, like buddhism, is more of a philosophy than a religion. A religion is, according to dictionary.com, "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.". Here we can also see that Jainism does not fit under this definition of a religion, and therefore does not mean discrimination is happening. This is why many people are, for example, Buddhist and catholic, or other combinations of philosophical beliefs.
3. Of course they were upset, because they're almost 100% filled with liberal socialists, who have an extremely strong bias to the left. But the weren't in an absolute uproar, they were simply upset becausethey believe don't the law allowed discrimination. It is a fact that you cannot be discriminated against for your color, as I stated in the last round, so they aren't mad for themselves. The first part of this point is undebatable. But also, the law was not tailored to attack gays. Many states already have similar laws, and the reaction of the politicians who passed it was utter astonishment when the protests began. They didn't expect such an uproar, because to them it was just restoring the right of a person to not be controlled by the government.
4. Here I was talking about a public hospital earlier, but also if you ran a private hospital, you are running it on your own time as a benefit to the public, so it only makes sense that you could have options. But you seem to be missing one of the points that being gay is not a physical feature of trait, it's something that is developed through your mind, and can exist only to you in some cases. So a gay man can not be rejected from a private hospital simply because he is gay, assuming they don't know. It would have to be for other reasons. And we both know if a private hospital ever rejected a gay man for his condition, there would be an insane public uproar, and legislation may even be passed. Anyway though, public hospitals can still not turn them away under any circumstance. The reason I cited life liberty and the pursuit of happiness is because I meant that is something the government must allow. It is not on me to allow you to have those 3 things, so it doesn't have to be on a private hospital either.
5. That is a fair answer, but it doesn't prove anything because the line between what the baker CAN do and what he SHOULD do are very blurry. All it was meant to do was show that you do not have to serve anyone. The customer is always right is a great strategy, but it is not a law. I work in food service also, and I'll tell you that while we are generally respectful to customers, if someone is causing a situation and disrupting the flow, we do not have to serve him, which in most cases here would be fixing an order after it was consumed.
6. It definitely is in a cultural way. Yes, the percentage of religious is lower, but some laws do limit expression of religion in a smaller way, but in our culture it is becoming difficult to be very religious. If you pray, cite God, or genuinely follow religious teachings (sports are the exemption here- all athletes talk about God for one reason or another) you are picked on as either dumb or outdated. I know no cop will arrest you for religion, but it is becoming harder to express religious ideas in our world.
And here, a theocracy is technically rule by God, and that is just ridiculous. Also, I should have used slightly different terminology. Secularism, by itself, is not great for society. But obviously they can mix slightly. HereI'm talking about a society that doesn't value a religion or moral values, and demeans religious ideals. Secularism doesn't just mean "earthy", it implies areligion and not basic anything on religious grounds. Yes, basing a decision on earthly logic is good, but societal secularism is the takeover of non religious and immoral ideas, and that is simply what I expressed distaste over.
To sum things up, I will take a quick step back to see the overview. Indiana's law, which has now been changed, originally still did not encourage or empower discriminatory attitudes. It was to restore religious freedom, and the ability for the average American to live his or her life based on a religious philosophy without being stomped on by our Orwellian government. It fits into our laws and constitution, being that we still cannot bar people of other colors or religions or nationality from using the facility. The problem was simply that LGBT activists assumed the law was aimed at them and took aim, soon misinterpreting the law for millions to see. This bullying policy that isolates and embarrasses so called "bigots" is an undemocratic and unconstitutional way of manipulating our country, and that is why I don't relate to it. I see a law that gives religious people their freedom back, and that does not contradict any previous law or doctrine in the US.
No votes have been placed for this debate.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.