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Does religious freedom outweigh civil rights?

Asked by: ladiesman
  • Freedom before Equality

    Without freedom, there is no equality. Is it truly equality that a baker serves a homosexual a cake that he never wanted to make for him? Sounds like oppression... Cause it is. If it's someone's own business, that they put their time into, their money, and their effort into, they should have every right to do business with whom they chose, and not have the government tell them who. With freedom, freedom for all, equality will come in its own natural course, not by forcing it on others. By forcing equality on others you don't have true equality. By giving freedom to all, they will create their own equality.

  • This is getting out of hand.

    Let me start off by saying that this is not a precedent, almost 20 other states already have freedom of religion laws on the books of this nature. Secondly, this law in question says absolutely nothing in regards to gay people. The logic of "If you are for this law, then you are for the discrimination of gay people" is the ethical and philosophical equivalent to "If you support the 1st amendment, then you want people to run around screaming n***** at black people". Just because its possible for people to misuse a freedom, doesn't mean you should remove that right. If you think that this law will cause widespread discrimination of gays, then your idea of people in America is far from reality. Especially since other states already have laws like this, and it has yet to be a problem in those states.

    Back to the laws themselves....We do have laws against involuntary service (i.E. Slavery laws). Business/customer relations are a voluntary relationship between people where they agree that one will provide a good/service, and the other will provide money or a means of trade. If EITHER side does not agree to the terms, then there is no binding agreement. If someone wants to discriminate against gays, let them, let them suffer economically for being a nasty human being. This just opens opportunities for more gay friendly businesses to make money.

    For someone to bring the force of law/government behind them to (what is supposed to be) a voluntary agreement in order to force someone to provide a service to them against their will, that is involuntary servitude and that person is a fascist who is way nastier of a human being than the person who wanted to discriminate against them.

  • Not in all cases

    To clarify, a business has the absolute right to serve whomever they want. If a Christian bakery does not want to serve a gay wedding, then so be it. Of course, this concept needs to be applied consistently. That means if a bakery does not want to serve people of any group (racial, sexual, etc.), then it is their absolute right to do so. Likewise, the consumer has the right to boycott such businesses.

    However, if this question is supposed to ask if religious rulings should trump human rights, then absolutely not. To borrow another respondent's example, a Muslim should not have the right to take away another person's rights by killing them for cheating simply because it is an Islamic ruling to do so.

    And there's where we draw the line: individual rights. Forcing a business to serve a person violates their rights to direct their own business affairs in a way that satisfies them.

  • This is a biased question to begin with

    Receiving services from someone who does not want to serve you is not a civil right. The name of this opinion page should be, "Does religious freedom outweigh the desires of homosexuals?" In that case, I would answer yes. Religious freedom, the first amendment, is far more important than the desires of >1% of the population. If someone is highly offensive to another's religion, they should not have to support that person's endeavors. (i.E. Making a wedding cake for a homosexual wedding.) I hold the bill of rights to a higher regard than other privileges.

  • No no no

    First off the the question you are really asking us is does religious freedom outweigh what gays want? And then you are just provoking thoughts about the cake incident. Forcing someone to produce a product, in this case a gay wedding cake, endorsing something they do not support is not freedom! That is far from it my friend. Now serving a gay person food is different sure I'd sell them cupcake or something but not a cake designed for marriage (which should be between a man and a woman) of the gay couple because I do not endorse or support that act. I stand with Indiana

  • Everyone's Answer Should be "No!"

    "Why?," you ask? Because all of our freedoms in this country are predicated by our Founding Fathers' assumption that freedoms are endowed to us by a power higher than that of the government. I don't care if you are Christian, Muslim, Jew, atheist, or devout worshipper of the spaghetti monster, if you have half a brain you can see what can happen if power to endow freedoms is stripped from God and given to the government; the government becomes the highest power in the land, and hence define our freedoms according to whatever ideology is popular, I.E, the zeitgeist. This is how regimes like communist USSR, Nazi Germany, and communist N Korea control the freedoms of their people. The government is not accountable to anyone or anything, and so anything goes. To preserve our civil freedoms in the USA, we must first uphold religious freedom. Otherwise, we begin to slip down a slope that ends with freedoms - ALL freedoms - severely curtailed.

  • Discrimination isn't religious freedom

    First of all a business isn't a thing that you own such as your computer. You own your computer, you can control it, smash it, upgrade it whatever. It is your property. A business is an entity that directly deals with the public in that you have employees and customers. I do think that a business owner can generally do what they wish with their business as they are in control of it, however you have to take into account that it directly interacts with the rest of society and that society should have reasonable expectation to not be discriminated against with it. A business is not a discrimination tool. If you don't like dealing with people, don't open a business that deals with humanity.
    Also, it isn't "religious freedom" do be able to be nasty to people because you think your religion says you can. Religious freedom means you can practice your religion without others discriminating against you. For example, I don't think a business should be able to refuse service to Christians. THAT would be discriminating against Christians due to their religion. It is about your personal freedom, not your freedom to control other people because they don't follow the rules of your religion. When you expect others to comply to YOUR religion that is a violation of others personal rights. If you don't like gay people, don't BE gay. Let God worry about what people are sinning. Judge not lest ye be judged. Also read https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25:31-46 a verse in the bible where god explains that he is in everyone and you should treat them all as though they were Him. So, when you turn someone away from your business because they are gay, and you think that is what the bible wants you to do you are wrong. That verse specifically tells you to treat everyone as though they are Jesus in disguise. I'm not Christian, but thought I would point that out. Hating anyone just seems so un-jesus-like to me.
    If my religion says that I should throw eggs at everyone who isn't part of my religion, would it be fair for me to cry "it's discrimination against my freedom of religion to not allow me to throw eggs at people!!!" That is just ridiculous. As is saying you are the victim because you have to be nice to gay people. It doesn't hurt you to bake a gay wedding cake. Get real.

  • Not in all cases

    To clarify, a business has the absolute right to serve whomever they want. If a Christian bakery does not want to serve a gay wedding, then so be it. Of course, this concept needs to be applied consistently. That means if a bakery does not want to serve people of any group (racial, sexual, etc.), then it is their absolute right to do so. Likewise, the consumer has the right to boycott such businesses.

    However, if this question is supposed to ask if religious rulings should trump human rights, then absolutely not. To borrow another respondent's example, a Muslim should not have the right to take away another person's rights by killing them for cheating simply because it is an Islamic ruling to do so.

    And there's where we draw the line: individual rights. Forcing a business to serve a person violates their rights to direct their own business affairs in a way that satisfies them.

  • This question is phrased very poorly.

    Religious freedom IS a civil right. However, a PERSON'S religious beliefs end with them- their freedoms end with them. You do NOT have the right to impose your religious beliefs on other people by making laws based on them or denying services in a for-profit business open to the public because of them (which I'm assuming this entire question is about).

    This spate of dimwitted laws trying to allow religious people to discriminate in business dealings just because they CLAIM their religion doesn't like some of their customers has already been tried in this country before- like the old "separate but equal" nonsense and the attempt to be able to refuse service to blacks and deny interracial marriage.

  • Both are significant

    All these media stories about Indiana Senate Bill 101, aka Religious Freedom Restoration Act ignited a debate about religious liberty and civil rights. I think that overall, freedom of religion and civil rights are equally important values. But we cannot allow one to overrule the other, in this case religious freedom trampling on other people's civil rights.

  • Freedom of religion and freedom of speech don't give you the right to actively discriminate.

    To Jonnykelly - There is absolutely no bias in the above question at all. I think you need to look up and understand the definition of "bias" before you start blaming the question. You have religious freedom, you can pray and worship and read sacred texts, can you not?

    The first amendment of the american constitution gives you only the write to hold organised religion and gives freedom of speech. It doesn't give you the right to actively discriminate against a person through actions. Technically, you must serve the person, but you can be as verbally bigoted as you like while doing so. How states and law enforcement have interpreted that passage is subjective and media influenced.

    If you're able to refuse people in business based on any tiny, bigoted belief you personally hold, why don't you just exclude black people, women and anyone else you personally or as a christian feel is inferior.

  • Sharia law states

    That a Muslim man can kill his wife if he catches her cheating. If we were to put religious freedom above everyone else's rights, then technically any Muslim man can kill his wife for cheating and we wouldn't be able to arrest him for murder, since we'd be impeding on his religious freedom.

    If you think that seems too far fetched, think again. Some guy in Arizona already tried it.

  • Protection of both

    Is, obviously important. This is more a matter of concern of how far each should be allowed. The freedom of religion should be clarified to apply only to individuals in personal matters. We all already have the freedom to believe whatever we wish. We also have the freedom to worship as we desire. The issue of contention is that business choose whom they serve and what they serve. This is reasonable,say if the KKK wished to open a general store. They ought to be allowed to deny service to people of color because of their belief that they are inferior. They have a right to believe it even if it is a hateful belief. However if one member/employee was say a Jew. That person could not cite religious belief as reason to deny service to a Neo-nazi that comes to buy milk. They understood upon hiring that service was only denied to people of color and must serve in that capacity, quit or be fired for not doing the job they are hired to do. The organization can do this and the person being hired understands that. If you have a business that does not specify whom can be denied service then unless dealing with a customer that is causing a disturbance or presents a safety hazard you must provide service. You must completely discriminate against the group at all times not only for certain services. Now this means that if a white person who goes into this store and buys milk saying it is for their colored friend they cannot be denied. The intention of the customer is irrelevant to the business.

  • In this scenario, religious freedom is just an excuse

    Refusing to serve someone because they have different beliefs than you is complete and total bull. The only reason people are defending this is because christianity is being called out. If it was an islamic business refusing to serve christian based on this, it would get national news coverage. We are all people. Just be good to eachother.


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