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Pusillanimous Pence defends Trump’s pro-LGBT actions

When Donald Trump selected Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana to be his vice president, even Conservatives not named Laura Ingraham considered the pick to be proof-positive that America would be spared from The Donald’s extensive history as a NY Liberal.…

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Advice for Taxpayers: If You Can’t Move to Hong Kong or the Cayman Islands, Move to Florida or Indiana

One (hopefully endearing) trait of being a policy wonk is that I have a weakness for jurisdictional rankings. At least if they’re methodologically sound. This is why I was so happy a couple of weeks ago when I got to peruse and analyze the 2016 version of Economic Freedom of the World (even if the […]

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In the Rear View Mirror (Redux)

Speaking of the UChicago and such things always makes me a bit nostalgic for the Region, and I’m just going to go with it today. It seems we run this article every once in a while, and I like it. As Mary Hopkins sang long ago, “Those were the Days”. Well, it’s been an interesting […]

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Spring Cleaning

Time to do a bit of spring cleaning. I keep finding far more things that would make good posts than I ever have time to write about, so here are some of them. You and your monkey brain. Our friend, and our enemy: Time, itself. Why is productivity so low? Why Apple is so annoying. […]

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2016 Indiana High School Basketball State Tournament Mega Preview

Wherever we go, and no matter how long we’re gone, one thing persists in Hoosiers, expatriate or otherwise. The love of high school basketball. Only back home would a school with ~250 students in high school, have a gym seating 2500, which was sold out for six years straight. And so in the original home […]

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How We Got There: US 30 in Fort Wayne

A couple of weeks ago, I promised a little post about the history of transportation in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I haven’t forgotten. The Fort was founded in 1797, to guard against Indian attacks, remember that this was disputed territory after the revolution, and would remain so until after the War of 1812. The fort, and […]

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In the Rear View Mirror (Redux)

Yesterday was nice around here, a post wich turned into pretty much nostalgia amongst friends, although with some lessons. We will be referring to some of the comments later, but for today let’s stay in the past a bit longer. They were good days, and we deserve to remember them, and learns some lessons from […]

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Why on Earth do You Want to Farm 2.0 | Gardens, Combines, and Memories

This gentleman, who I have just found thanks to Lafayetteangel, who earned her screen name this time, is like me a refugee from Indiana, who has found a home out here on the Nebraska prairie. He’s had many of the same experiences, and in fact, I suspect he lives less than twenty miles from me, […]

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Gay Mafia whacks another victim

Following the uproar over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that passed in Indiana—and was subsequently retracted—I wrote a piece about a group that Bill Maher once referred to as the “Gay Mafia.” In that piece, we learned about the hit man tactics used by homosexual-extremists to snuff-out anyone who opposed their radical agenda, especially when that objection was based on religious freedom. A few days later, I wrote another piece about how the bullying tactics used by the Gay Mafia had successfully intimidated Republican governors across America from passing that law in their states. Well, it looks like the Gay Mafia has chalked up another victim. In the wake of an excessively punitive judgement, former bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein were ordered by a judge to pay $135,000 in fines to a lesbian couple because the Kleins refused to bake a wedding cake for the homosexual couple due to their personal religious beliefs. Following the news of the ruling, supporters of the Klein family set up a GoFundMe page to help them pay the fine, and within eight hours, the campaign reached over $100,000. But then, suddenly and without notice, the account was closed. In a statement regarding their decision […]

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Jared Polis wants to outlaw “so-called” religious freedom

After radical homosexuals succeeded in using mafia-styled intimidation tactics against the Republican cowards in Indiana following passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, forcing them to reverse the law while providing special rights for homosexuals, the gay mob kicked the machine into overdrive. And, just like a true organized crime family, the gay mafia have a few politicians in their back pockets doing their bidding. In a new move intended to provide special rights for homosexuals while denying constitutional rights for anyone who disagrees with them, Jared Polis (D-CO) has joined in leading a push to pass a Federal LGBT Resolution Opposing Discrimination in opposition to “so-called” religious freedom. An idea that clearly violates the 1st Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…. Joined by Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), the proposal wold force Christians to provide their services for homosexual events, even if it violates their faith. Carson said it’s “long past time” for Congress to set in stone bans on such decisions based on religion. He asserted “all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity,” need to know they are “valued members of our society.” He concludes with a bit of irony, […]

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Conservative Comedy 4/10/15

It’s Conservative Comedy time at the Strident Conservative. As I do every Friday, I bring you some of the best conservative political and religious comedy, jokes, and satire on the internet, sure to provide a good laugh to begin your weekend. The Conservative Comic at Hope n’ Change says we should forget Iran’s nuke-seeking mullahs. The real fireworks in this week’s political scene happened when Dick Cheney went nuclear on Barack Obama’s well-deserving keister. Appearing on a radio interview with host Hugh Hewitt, the former Vice-President was asked to assess Barry’s (ahem) “vision” for the policies he’s executing in the Middle East. To which Mr. Cheney replied, “I think his actions are constituted in my mind as those of the worst president we’ve ever had.” Jodi Miller at Newsbusted takes us into the weekend with these headlines: Democrats want a new face in the 2016 presidential race, a mother gives marijuana brownies to her 13-year-old daughter, and Mitt Romney prepares to box Evander Holyfield. Additional stories include: Obama blaming George W. Bush for ISIS, NASA’s plans for a new rocket, and Good Morning America’s Lara Spencer gets a divorce. She wraps up her show with a story about the reason a female high school teacher […]

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The War Against Freedom

In recent days we have looked at various things, The War Against Academic Freedom, The New Intolerance, the likely outcome of forcing Americans to do much of anything, and today we’re going to look at the intolerance shown in the opposition to the RFRA in Indiana. We’ll start that with some background provided by Richard A. […]

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On the Indiana Religious Freedom Law

Last week the news cycle was absolutely dominated by the state of Indiana’s newly passed Religious Freedom Act. There’s been panic on both sides of the argument based on whatever news story their source of choice (which generally complies with their personal leaning, whether right or left) instead of — and I know this is crazy — actually reading the law.

Before I continue, I’m just going to leave this link here:

                             Here it is: The text of Indiana’s ‘religious freedom’ law

Please don’t continue until you take the necessary five minutes (at most) to read the law.

Did you read it? No? GO BACK AND READ IT.

Do it now.

I’m serious.

OK did you FINALLY read the law?

Good. Now we can continue.

Like many of you, I’ve spent the past few week in deep discussion with friends on both sides of the issue. Some see it as a necessary protection for us Christians and other people of faith.  On the other side, I’ve heard more than a few people attempt to compare this law to Jim Crow in the segregated South.  A quick aside about that:

No person has been denied service in general from any business because of their sexual orientation, nor does the law allow that to occur. Rather it presents a scenario where a business can decline to participate in an event (in this case the wedding ceremony of two same-sex partners) because of a moral objection — which still to me seems like a reasonable choice that a person should have the right to make without being forced to either a) participate against their morals or b) close down their business.

I’m going to give an example which is admittedly a far more extreme scenario — chosen specifically because I want to craft a scenario that all reasonable people, liberal and conservative, can understand how they personally would react — to help people understand the thinking of someone refusing an event (so please skip the comments calling me a bigot for comparing homosexuals to Nazis):

A photographer being asked to be the photographer at the big Ku Klux Klan rally or a baker being asked to bake a Swastika shaped cake for the Illinois Nazi Bridge Rally. (Look that last part up kids so you can see how clever I am.) If I were that photographer I would absolutely, unequivocally say no to photographing the Klan rally and if I was that baker I would decline to bake the Swastika cake because I am morally opposed to the actions of both the Ku Klux Klan and the National Socialist Party (that’s “Nazis” for those of you from Palm Beach County, FL).

Frankly nobody would call me a bigot for that — mostly because it’s acceptable to 99.9% of Americans (at least) to find the Klan and the Nazis immoral. Now if Joe the Nazi or Bubba the Klansman want to come in and buy a birthday cake or a dozen chocolate chip cookies from my display case, I’d sell them those things without question because their money is green and I’m in business to sell those things. What’s the difference? One is turning participation in a specific event. The other is refusing to sell to a person because of who they are.

Nobody would get mad if I refused those jobs. But if you really boil it down, it’s not much different than saying no to being the baker, florist or photographer at a same-sex wedding. It’s an event. It involves some level a direct participation in an event. One should be allowed to say no to being part of an event if they morally feel they should.

More importantly, when you read the law, (you know, that link above that you promised to read?) it states that a business may use religious objects as a defense in court. It doesn’t say it will be accepted.  I liken it to a claim of self defense when someone is on trail for murder. It can be argued, but you have to prove it for it to be accepted.  The reality is that people may initially try to use this law as an excuse to discriminate — but ultimately the certain high level of failure of this defense will ensure that this claim is used only when appropriate.

Thankfully I’m lucky that I have a couple of politically informed friends who are able to discuss such issues in a rhetorical manner in an effort to discover the truth behind the talking points. A few legitimate issues did come up, such as:

 
  • What is the line between refusing an event and refusing to serve a person?
  • What is an event? Is a gay couple going out to dinner an event?
  • Can we make an accommodation only for small Mom and Pop businesses?
  • What about larger businesses? Can a major grocery store chain refuse to be the wedding cake provider because the CEO or some member of the board has a moral objection?
  • Is there room for reasonable accommodations to be made for individual employees at a major business like we offer for workers with disabilities, so that the consumer can still purchase the item/service they desire but the individual with the objection can be excused from participation?
  • What are the limits of these accommodations? Can a devout Catholic refuse to complete a customer’s check out at the grocery store because he is a box of condoms? Can a devout Vegan refuse to complete checkout of a customer because he has a box of steaks?
  • How to we ensure these protections for businesses aren’t allowed to turn into legitimate segregation?

With these in mind, I suggest the following proposal for a religious liberty protection law.

1. It is prohibited for any business, regardless of size, that is open to the general public, to refuse sale to any person normal day to day service or product within the confines of the business’ location based on their race, age, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, religion, etc.
A. Day to day business is defined as any normal service or product available at that store as a stock item, menu item, or standardized service offered within the location.

B. Open to the general public is defined as a business available to all people, or all people who have attained a certain age (such as bars and casinos), or to all people who meet a singular criteria of membership as set out by said organization (such as an athletic club for women or a fraternal organization for men).

C. Non-profit organizations, certified religious organizations, and private membership organizations such as fraternal organizations are exempted from the above, regardless of size, as required by law.

2. It is prohibited for any business with ten or more employees to refuse any standard off-site service (such as catering, decoration, etc.) that they would otherwise provide to any person or group based on their race, age, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, etc.

3. Businesses under ten employees may refuse to take part in an off-site event (such as catering, decorating, etc.) based on personal objections to such event including but not limited to religious beliefs, political beliefs, or secular moral beliefs.

4. Businesses with under ten employees may refuse to incorporate certain symbols, images, uniforms, etc. into the design of products or on images that they are contracted to create — but may not refuse to serve said person because of the customer’s race, age, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, religion, etc.

A. For example, a photographer may refuse to photograph an individual wearing their Ku Klux Klan robe and a baker may refuse to put a Swastika on a cake. However, the same photographer may not refuse to photograph said individual wearing clothing other than the objectionable uniform. Likewise, the baker must still bake the customer a cake that lacks the objectionable symbol.

5. Businesses with ten or more employees shall, to the best of their ability, provide reasonable accommodations to individual employees on a case by case basis to employees who offer personal objections to a task or assignment.

A. Reasonable accommodations is defined by accommodating the employee in a way that does not interfere with the moment to moment service received by customers. For example, a reasonable accommodation would be a Vegan employee requesting to not be station at the grocery store deli counter and instead requesting to be stationed elsewhere.  An unreasonable request would be a Vegan cashier refusing to cash out a customer purchasing steaks and requesting that a new cashier be called in to complete that customer’s order.

Nice and simple. Takes up less than one page. Replete with reasonable compromises and accommodations to protect the rights of EVERYONE, not just select interest groups. Nobody is getting everything they want — but everyone’s rights are protected.

Nobody is stopping that same-sex couple from having a wedding with a cake and a photographer — but Mom and Pop bakery (owned by people of faith) can have the right to not be a part of that wedding. That said, the aforementioned same-sex couple is still welcome to come into the bakery and purchase some delicious goodies on display in the case and order their friend’s birthday cake without being refused service. 

Joe the Vegan and Fred the Hindu can both ask not to be stationed in the deli at the big supermarket chain while customers can order their honey roasted ham and smoked turkey breast without any delay and also have their purchase checked out by a cashier as normal.

Yes, somebody may still find their feelings are hurt, and in short, that’s too bad. The Constitution exists to protect the rights of all — not the feelings of all — even if the person exercises said rights to be politically incorrect.

As a country, we must be sure to tread the oh-so thin line between personal freedom and discrimination. I believe the above law does just that.

What do you think? Do we need to add a detail or two? Did something get missed? Discussion is always welcome in the comments or on the Biblical Conservatism Facebook Page.

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Gay Mafia II: The Sequel

Just like the Godfather movie franchise, the Gay Mafia will have a sequel or two, as we see today in Gay Mafia II. Following the successful bullying of the spineless RINOs in Indiana, the Gay Mafia is making an impact on the GOP—which really does stand for Gutless On Principles—across the country. After witnessing the mafia-styled thuggery unleashed on lawmakers in Indiana when they passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, at least three RINO governors—North Dakota, Michigan, and Arkansas—made the decision to pay the homosexual extortionists instead of defending the First Amendment. The message to their fellow lawmakers was loud and clear: We need more laws protecting homosexuals. In North Dakota, the legislature recently voted against a bill that added protection for “gays” in housing and employment. This move angered Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who issued a terse memo to the legislature: “Discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation is not acceptable,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said in a statement issued after the North Dakota Legislature killed the proposal. Governor Rick Snyder issued a warning to Michigan lawmakers, letting them know in no uncertain terms that he wouldn’t accept any type of religious freedom bill that fails to include specific special protections for homosexuals. Citing […]

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Fighting Against the Gay-Atheist Left Soros/Alinsky Style

  Christian apologetics is a field of Christian theology which presents reasoned bases for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections. At the rate things are going, we may soon find ourselcves defending the faith with body armor. The sadness that is the capitulation in both Indiana and ArkansasRead More

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RFRA, Religious Liberty, Republicans, and Kristallnacht

I suppose I should write a bit about the furore in Indiana and Arkansas about their state Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The whole mass is distasteful, grotesque, reminiscent of fascism and several other -ism’s, not to mention despicable. But rather than tell you all about it, I’m simply going to give you a few excerpts of […]

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When Shall We Three Meet Again?

  When the hurley burley’s done, When the Battle’s lost and won—MacBeth, Act 1, Scene 1 Three women walk into a bakery and ask for a two-tiered wedding cake. The owner pulls out a catalogue of designs, and they select one and ask for icing designs of a pentagram. When the ownerRead More

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Reflections on a Train Trip

[This was the very first post on Nebraska Energy Observer, and I doubt many have seen it. So I thought for the third anniversary of the blog, which is today, I would bring it back. I hope you enjoy it, because I still think it speaks to some important things.] I recently had an opportunity to travel […]

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All Aboard

One of my favorite writers and bloggers, Rachel Charmley of Changing Skin and other stories ( you should follow her blog, if you like good fiction) asked me the other day what it is like to travel on American trains. Rachel is British and so lives in a land that has nothing but what we would call […]

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In the Rear View Mirror

Well, it’s been an interesting week, hasn’t it. But it’s Saturday and we’re going to forget about it for now. Remember back when we were in school, and the closest we came to paying attention was hearing that somebody’s older brother had been drafted and hoping they wouldn’t be off for the Nam? Pretty good […] . . . → Read More: In the Rear View Mirror . . . → Read More: In the Rear View Mirror