City: You Can’t Sell Blueberries Unless You Affirm Gay Marriage

Steve and Bridget Tennes

By Todd Starnes Published on June 1, 2017

The Tennes family has been farming in Michigan for generations.

They grow all sorts of crops at the Country Mill Farm — organic apples, blueberries, pumpkins, sweet corn.

And for the past seven years, Steve Tennes and his family have sold their produce at the farmer’s market owned by the city of East Lansing.

But this year city officials told the devout Catholic family that their blueberries and sweet corn were not welcome at the farmer’s market — and neither were they.

Last year, someone posted a message on Country Mill’s Facebook page inquiring about whether they hosted same-sex weddings at the farm. Tennes told the individual they did not permit same-sex marriages on the farm because of the family’s Catholic belief that marriage is a sacramental union between one man and one woman.

City officials later discovered the Facebook posting and began immediate action to remove Country Mill from the Farmer’s Market — alleging the family had violated the city’s discrimination ordinance.

“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 his prohibited by the City’s Farmer’s Market Vendor Guidelines,” read a letter the city sent to the family.

It also did not seem to matter to city leaders that the farm is located 22 miles outside the city limits — and had absolutely nothing to do with the business of selling blueberries at the farmer’s market.

“We were surprised and we were shocked,” Steve told me. “My wife and I both volunteered to serve in the military — to protect freedom now we come home and the freedom that we worked to protect — we have to defend in our own backyard.”

I reached out to city leaders but they did not return my calls seeking comment.

“Whether you are a Jew, Muslim or Christian — people of faith should not be eradicated from the marketplace simply because they don’t share the same thoughts and ideas that the government is choosing to promote,” Steve told me.

So they have decided to fight for their constitutional rights.

Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday alleging East Lansing violated the constitutional rights of the Tennes family.

“All Steve wants to do is sell his food to anyone who wants to buy it, but the city isn’t letting him,” said ADF Legal Counsel Kate Anderson. “People of faith, like the Tennes family, should be free to live and work according to their deeply held beliefs without fear of losing their livelihood. If the government can shut down a family farmer just because of the religious views he expresses on Facebook — by denying him a license to do business and serve fresh produce to all people — then no American is free.”

I warned you about this kind of attack in my new book, The Deplorables’ Guide to Making America Great Again. The attacks on religious liberty did not end just because a Republican is in the White House.

There is a concerted effort by the Left to silence free speech and eradicate Christianity from the public marketplace. The only course of action is to stand and fight.

I commend the Tennes famly and Alliance Defending Freedom for filing a lawsuit. Don’t let up until every last kernel of sweet corn has been restored to its rightful place in the farmer’s market.

Shuck it to the cob, America!

Marching Orders

  1. Contact the City of East Lansing and the Farmer’s Market. Be sure to let them know what you think of their unconstitutional behavior.
  2. Contact the Country Mill Farm on Facebook. Be sure to leave them an encouraging message and thank them for standing firm in the faith.
  3. Pray for the Tennes family and their attorneys.

 

Todd Starnes is the host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations around the nation. He is the author of The Deplorables’ Guide to Making America Great Again.

Originally appeared at ToddStarnes.com. Republished with permission.

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  • Timothy Horton

    Another hatchet job on the truth by the homophobic bigot supporters.

    Country Mill rents out their farm for profit for hetero couples to hold weddings. County Mills has refused to provide the same function for same sex couples in the past based solely on the couples’ sexual orientation. That is a clear cut case of discrimination based on sexual orientation and is prohibited under Michigan law. The same sex couples turned away have not filed suit yet but hopefully someone will soon.

    Participation in the Farmers Market is a privilege granted by the City of East Lansing, not a right owed to the Tennes family . The City has the legal authority and many would say the moral responsibility to deny a permit to a business who willfully violates anti-discrimination laws. That was in the City Code and the Farmers Market Guidelines before the Tennes case came along. Tennes was denied a permit not for his thoughts or beliefs but for his actions in actively discriminating against a minority.

    • DR84

      No, it’s not sexual orientation discrimination. People of all orientations​ can same sex “marry”. Yes, even three brothers can same sex marry each other. So callled same sex marriage can also be celebrated apart from a same sex “wedding”. For example, people could celebrate the anniversary of Obergefell.

    • Jump

      Nope. No discrimination here based on sexual orientation. Homosexuals have been able to marry each other from time immemorial. As long as two people are of the opposite sex, they can marry, regardless of sexual orientation.

      • Timothy Horton

        Just like interracial couples could always marry – each could marry someone of their own race. They just couldn’t marry each other.

        Do you really think dumb rhetorical arguments like the one you just offered add anything to the discussion?

        • Jump

          Yes, this reply is THE mic drop moment in the discussion, in fact. What it shows is that it’s not about homosexuality at all–it’s about the nature of marriage. No one’s prohibiting homosexuals from doing anything, and they never have. That’s what this point demonstrates.

          Incidentally, do you really think the interracial marriage comparison holds any water? It’s a total disanalogy–marriage is a gendered institution; it’s not a race-specific institution. Dr. King would roll over in his grave at this comparison.

          • Timothy Horton

            No one’s prohibiting homosexuals from doing anything, and they never have.

            Don’t be a moron. Same sex couples have been prohibited from marrying the partner they love and are willing to make a lifetime commitment to. The argument “a gay man isn’t being discriminated against because he could always marry a woman” is beyond stupid and into disgustingly homophobic.

          • Jump

            “Don’t be a moron. Same sex couples have been prohibited from marrying the partner they love and are willing to make a lifetime commitment to. The argument “a gay man isn’t being discriminated against because he could always marry a woman” is beyond stupid and into disgustingly homophobic.”

            ” Same sex couples have been prohibited from marrying the partner they love and are willing to make a lifetime commitment to.”

            Nope. Nothing phobic about it. And one notes that “beyond stupid” is an insult, not an argument, and thus, can safely be ignored. My argument is a sound one. Moreover, same sex couples, properly speaking, aren’t *prohibited* from marrying; it’s rather a logical incoherency. It’s that they cannot be married; logically cannot. It’s identical to the case of bachelors. They cannot be married in the same way bachelors cannot be married. Yet no one is going around complaining that bachelors are deprived of the ability to marry–a person who is a bachelor can be married–just not qua bachelor. And the same goes with same-sex couples. They can be married, just not qua same-sex couple. Thus, no injustice done. And THIS, friend, is why the issue is over the definition of marriage, and not over homosexuality, which is a tangential issue.

  • Cynthia Cantrell

    So a couple of Catholics didn’t want so sell the use of their facility for a gay wedding. Now they are complaining because the city doesn’t​ want to sell them space in their market.

    Seems fair.

    Religious people seem to think they have some constitutional right to discriminate against any group they don’t like with impunity. But when they are treated in a similar fashion because of that behavior, all of the sudden, it’s A HUGE problem. For some reason it’s ok for these Catholics to discriminate, but not the city.

    Double standard much?

    • Gary

      The laws protect people from discrimination by the government on religious grounds. Plus, the city has no legal authority to dictate what people do outside the city limits.

      • Cynthia Cantrell

        It didn’t dictate what they do outside the city limits. It looks like they are still free to deny gay people the use of their facility. The have just been dis-invited from the market within the city.

        Discrimination laws are designed to keep people from doing things like making a Whites Only lunch counter, or denying Catholics service or jobs at the Jewish Deli.

        If a Muslim owns a wedding reception facility in most parts of this country, they can’t deny a Jewish couple from using it, even if he doesn’t like Jews or consider their faith or marriage to be valid.

        These laws help everyone participate on a level playing field.

        Our own history has shown that keeping citizens in a second class status is a bad idea for everyone.

    • DR84

      Anyone can celebrate so called same sex marriage and everyone can same sex “marry”. There is no group.

      • Cynthia Cantrell

        Not sure what you are trying to say, but the Catholics denied a gay couple the use of their wedding facility – because they were gay.

        • Jump

          They were denied because they were a same-sex couple thinking they could get married. Their homosexuality would not have been relevant in the assessment.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            Except for the obvious – that for them to be a same-sex couple, they would have had to be homosexuals. Two straight guys simply aren’t going to try for a gay marriage, unless perhaps they were totally​ drunk and it was on a dare.

            If you don’t want to get married to someone of the same sex, don’t worry; nobody can force you to. Don’t hang out in gay bars and you’ll probably never even show up on their radar.

            Oh, and you may want to avoid Bette Middler movies and certain Broadway musicals.

          • Jump

            Right. But that’s PRECISELY the point. The objection has nothing to do with sexual orientation and therefore, a fortiori, isn’t discrimination based on sexual orientation. (I like how you immediately go back to talking about sexual orientation after admitting it’s not relevant to the issue). But look, if you don’t want to get a cake baked by a baker who thinks same-sex marriage is incoherent, don’t worry, no one will force you to. There are plenty of bakers out there who will. Don’t go into their shops and you’ll probably never show up on their radar.

          • Timothy Horton

            Sorry, when a baker is granted a business license by the state he agrees to follow all the laws and regulations the state places on the business including anti-discrimination laws. You don’t get to later change your mind and discriminate against eligible customers because your religion teaches you to be intolerant of them. Every court case to date has confirmed the idea your religious “freedom” to hate minorities doesn’t trump anti-discrimination laws,

          • Jump

            You sound awfully hateful and phobic, Timothy Horton (that knife cuts both ways). No, the Constitution enshrines the ability not to violate one’s conscience. They can always go elsewhere Calling the freedom of conscience “discrimination” is a tool of the Bolsheviks. It is a way to put a boot on the neck of people. I, for one, do not wish to see the day that a homosexual bakery owner is forced under pain of breaking the law to bake a cake for the Fred Phelps Cult–or the day when a Jewish photographer is forced under pain of breaking the law to photograph a neo-Nazi celebration of the Holocaust. That’s not ok in my book.

    • Jump

      “Religious people seem to think they have some constitutional right to discriminate against any group they don’t like with impunity. ”

      No. The marriage debate isn’t a religious issue; religious and secular folk alike base it in natural law–a thoroughgoing religiously/secularly neutral account of morality.

      • Cynthia Cantrell

        “Natural Law” is a set of concepts you have collected together to try and justify your position. The fact of the matter is that the only real “Natural Laws” are in the form of equations, like F = ma, and E = mc^2. Nobody has to enforce them – they simply can’t be avoided. They are found through careful study.

        Religious people argued that it went against natural law (or similar concepts) for the races to inter-marry. Afterall, God had put them on separate continents to keep them from mixing.

        • Jump

          “”Natural Law” is a set of concepts you have collected together to try and justify your position.”

          Nope. Natural law is grounded in the natures, i.e., essences, of things–of natural kinds.

          “The fact of the matter is that the only real “Natural Laws” are in the form of equations, like F = ma, and E = mc^2. ”

          No, that sounds like nothing more than an expression of scientism. No one should believe in scientism; it’s self-refuting or self-defeating. Certainly, those equations are expressions of natural laws, but they’re not the only ones. But your equations comment is right in that natural laws express truths. F = ma is a truth about the world. Torturing infants for fun is a truth about the world. Marriage is a relation between two and only two people of the opposite sex.

          “Nobody has to enforce them – they simply can’t be avoided. They are found through careful study.”

          Yes! Natural moral law is no different–keep in mind careful study can be empirical (which your F = ma example (sort of) is); or it can be rational (as in the examples of moral, logical, mathematical truths, metaphysical truths.) There’s nothing magical here. It’s just metaphysics.

          “Religious people argued that it went against natural law (or similar concepts) for the races to inter-marry. Afterall, God had put them on separate continents to keep them from mixing.”

          You’re just affirming the consequent here. That’s a fallacy. How does this undermine the point I’m making?

      • Timothy Horton

        I don’t know what planet you live on but in this country virtually 100% of the opposition to SSM comes from religious organizations.

        • Jump

          1. That’s irrelevant, since it’s a trivial sociological–the issue is the rationale, not who endorses it. That’s just the genetic fallacy.
          2. It’s false. There are a good many non-religious folk who oppose it. Interestingly, there are a good number of homosexuals who oppose it. The only reason you think it’s limited to religious folk is, I suspect, because you aren’t familiar with the views of the opposition.

  • Gary

    It would be interesting to know if there are any churches in E. Lansing that oppose homosexuals, and if the city is denying them police and fire protection and denying them the use of city streets, water, sewer, etc..

    • Cynthia Cantrell

      Probably not. They sill provide churches all those public resources even though they don’t pay taxes.

      I need to figure out how to decalre myself a church and get in on those tax breaks.

      • Gary

        The people who attend the churches pay taxes.

        • Cynthia Cantrell

          So do I, but the church doesn’t pay taxes on the money (income) it gets, like most other businesses do.

          • Gary

            A lot of the money a church gets goes to the salaries of the pastor and other employees. They all pay taxes on their income.

          • Jump

            The church doesn’t turn a profit; there is no equity distributed to shareholders, investors, or owners–there are no such things in a church. That is why churches, and more generally, non-profits, do not, and should not, pay taxes.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            The Mormon and Catholic churches have collected fortunes. The church leaders are the owners and get to do what they like with that profit. Companies aren’t required to have investors or shareholders, in fact, many small companies never do.

            Churches have a product to sell, whether you call it “salvation” or something else. People give them money for it, and the ones that are still in business are the ones that have been able to make a profit.

            They have been involved in politics for decades and they should be taxed to pay for the things that support them, like roads to their churches, public lighting, fire and police protection.

          • Jump

            First, you’re confusing income with profit. Non-profits have to function, sometimes need to pay people salaries, etc. Income is not necessarily profit. Profits are the value created by that business that is in turn held by equity holders in that business. In a non-profit, you don’t have that.

            Second, “salvation” isn’t a product (I challenge you to find a type of interest it fits under! Equity? Mineral rights? Leasehold?)

            “They have been involved in politics for decades and they should be taxed to pay for the things that support them”

            “Involved in politics” to the degree that they have had a voice in the public square to argue for the *causes* they think are right. However, they are not “involved in politics” if you mean advocating specific candidates (indeed, on pain of losing tax exempt status). This is well and good. There are no grounds to tax them for having a voice. It’s not like they should shut up because they aren’t paying taxes they don’t owe in the first place.

        • Cynthia Cantrell

          Nobody said they didn’t. Your point?

      • Jump

        “I need to figure out how to decalre myself a church and get in on those tax breaks.”

        Easy. You might not be able to declare yourself a church, but you could create a non-profit. Just submit your 501(c)(3) application to the IRS.

        • Cynthia Cantrell

          My step father legally created a church back in the seventies so he could purchase big ticket items without paying taxes.

          I always though that was a bit sleazy.

          • Jump

            That is sleazy. But from the fact that someone uses something to do something sleazy, it doesn’t follow that all uses of that thing are thereby sleazy.

  • Gary

    Michigan does not protect homosexuals from discrimination. East Lansing does, but its laws only apply within city limits, so the city has no authority to punish anyone for what E. Lansing thinks is discrimination that occurs outside its city limits. The city is violating federal law that prohibits discrimination because of religion.

    • Timothy Horton

      Christians aren’t being denied permits at the Market. Someone who practices discrimination against minorities is being denied a permit for his actions, not his religious beliefs.

      • Gary

        The city has no authority to deny a permit for discrimination that occurs outside city limits.

        • Timothy Horton

          A permit for the Market is a privilege granted by the City, not a right for someone who doesn’t even live in Lansing. The City can legally deny you a permit for violating any of the things on their requirements list.

          • Gary

            No, they can’t. They are required by federal law to not discriminate based on religion, which is what they are doing. Now, if there was some reason for denying them access to the Farmer’s Market that did not violate federal or state law, then they could do that.

          • Timothy Horton

            They’re not discriminating due to religion. They’re discriminating because of behavior. Most people are smart enough to know the difference even if you aren’t.

          • Gary

            The behavior in question did not occur inside city limits. That means no city law has been broken. The city is discriminating against them for their belief that ssm is immoral, not for anything they have actually done within the city.

          • Timothy Horton

            Their history of their discriminatory behavior is enough to get them denied a permit. If I own a bar I can legally deny a rowdy drunk access before he gets in and wrecks the establishment. I am not required to let him in and only toss him after the damage is done.

          • Gary

            You should have said you as a bar owner can deny someone access to your bar for something they did at a bar in another town. That would have been a better example. I have seen no evidence that the farmers ever broke a discrimination law in East Lansing. It is obvious that East Lansing is discriminating against them because they disagree with their opposition to ssm, which is the farmer’s religious belief.

          • Timothy Horton

            You keep making the same dumb and false claim. No one is denying them anything because of their beliefs. They were denied because of their history of discriminatory actions.

            As I already pointed out, an atheist farmer with the same history would be denied a permit for the same reason. Are you going to argue the atheist was denied because of his religious beliefs?

          • Gary

            BS. They have never committed illegal, discriminatory actions in E. Lansing.

          • Timothy Horton

            Doesn’t matter. Their history of such behavior elsewhere is enough to get them denied access.

          • Gary

            I assume there is a speed limit in E. Lansing. If someone has had a few speeding tickets in another state, can E. Lansing legally prevent him from doing business in E. Lansing because he might break the speed limit while he is there? Probably not.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            If his business is driving an ambulance, I think that would be an important consideration.

          • Kevin Quillen

            Gary my brother….you are casting pearls. God will deal justly with Timmy at the appropriate time.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            But they WERE allowed access to the market. It was only after the city got wind of their discriminatory behavior that they were denied. There own anti-discrimination laws keep them from discriminating based on religion, and I’m sure the Catholics will try to sue if they believe they were, but it doesn’t look like they have much of a case.

          • Gary

            Since no city law has been broken, then they probably have a great case to sue the city for illegal discrimination.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            I’m sure they’ll try. But the facts of the case make it pretty clear they were denied market space not because they were Catholics, but because of their history of discriminatory behavior, which is not allowed in their city.

            Sort of like not hiring a dude because he has a history of stealing from his former employer. He may happen to be Catholic, but that’s not why he was denied. He wouldn’t have much of a discrimination case unless the city’s anti-discrimination laws include hiring protection clauses for felons.

          • Gary

            But they don’t have a history of discriminatory behavior at the Farmer’s Market, or anywhere in East Lansing. East Lansing is trying to punish them for breaking an East Lansing law when they didn’t break it.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            Just because a sexual predator doesn’t have a record of raping people in Reno, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to register as a sex offender when he moves there from Las Vegas.

            If a cop gets disharged for bad behavior in Chicago, he shouldn’t be surprised if the police force in Indianapolis doesn’t​ want to hire him because of his work record.. it doesn’t matter where he bhaved badly, it’s the fact that he did is the problem.

          • Gary

            Refusing to allow a bunch of perverts on your property for a ssm isn’t behaving badly. The city of East Lansing is the one behaving badly.

          • Timothy Horton

            There are hundreds of vendors at the Farmers Market. Almost certainly some of them are devout Christians who strongly oppose SSM. Yet they still have their permits. Why? Because they never acted on their intolerance and discriminated against a minority in their business.

            That alone destroys your “the Tennes are being denied for their religious beliefs” claim.

          • Gary

            Their religious beliefs forbade them from hosting a ssm. That’s why they refused. The US Constitution is supposed to protect people from being forced to do things that are against their religion.

          • Timothy Horton

            Why they refused isn’t the issue. it’s the fact they committed discrimination against a minority.

          • Jim Walker

            To Cynthia and Tim,
            Do you accept pedophilia ?
            Will you host a pedophile marriage (your little daughter and someone your age) in your premises when it become legal ?
            And hey, if you believe in evolution, this will happen, and soon, more people will marry their pet dogs, cats, cockroaches, legally. Because they are all born that way same as LGBTQ.

          • Timothy Horton

            Are you racing Gary to the bottom of the stupid pit? With comments like that you’re giving him a run.

          • Jim Walker

            Just answer me.

          • Timothy Horton

            There’s no point in answering stupid loaded questions from homophobic bigots trying to deflect from their bigotry. I’ll just point out how asinine such loaded questions make you look.

          • Jump

            “homophobic”

            Why do people use this term? For one, the same-sex marriage debate has nothing to do with one’s stance on homosexuality (as I pointed out elsewhere, there is a sizable population of homosexuals who oppose SSM). Second, those of us who recognize there is no such thing as SSM (just as there is no such thing as a married bachelor) do so not out of phobias or fear. This is just strawmanning a view so that one doesn’t have to interact with it.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            No, I do not accept pedophile marriage. I will take this opportunity to point out that straight pedophiles have been allowed to marry in this country for years. I have never seen Christians complain about pedophiles actually getting married the way they have complained about gays getting married.

            Mary Kay Fualaau married the student she molested when he was 12. She got pregnant when she was released and under a “no contact” order with him. She went back to prison for that, and after she was released the second time, she married him and had another child. At least he was an adult then.

            Warren Jeffs, the fundamentalist Mormon prophet, is serving time for trying to marry off two underage girls to men MUCH older.

            But everyone knows they had been doing that for years, as part of their polygamous religious culture.

            So your argument about not letting pedophiles marry doesn’t hold any water, because it’s been allowed for years – but only for straight couples, triples, or whatever.

            “And hey, if you believe in evolution, this will happen, and soon, more people will marry their pet dogs, cats, cockroaches, legally. ”

            Yes, I do believe in evolution. But this ridiculous conservative talking point neglects basic reality. Persons marrying have to both reach the AGE OF CONSENT” and sign the marriage certificate of their own free will. It’s probably going to take a few billion more years of evolution for that to happen.

            Chris Sevier tried to make your childish point in a Utah court last year by demanding to marry his 2011 laptop. He was summarily dismissed and laughed out of court, someone noting his laptop wasn’t 15 yet.

            Anymore stupid questions?

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            No, I do not accept pedophile marriage. I will take this opportunity to point out that straight pedophiles have been allowed to marry in this country for years. I have never seen Christians complain about pedophiles actually getting married the way they have complained about gays getting married.

            Mary Kay Fualaau married the student she molested when he was 12. She got pregnant when she was released and under a “no contact” order with him. She went back to prison for that, and after she was released the second time, she married him and had another child. At least he was an adult then.

            Warren Jeffs, the fundamentalist Mormon prophet, is serving time for trying to marry off two underage girls to men MUCH older.

            But everyone knows they had been doing that for years, as part of their polygamous religious culture.

            So your argument about not letting pedophiles marry doesn’t hold any water, because it’s been allowed for years – but only for straight couples, triples, or whatever.

            Yes, I do believe in evolution. But this ridiculous conservative talking point neglects basic reality. Persons marrying have to both reach the “age of consent” and sign the marriage certificate of their own free will. It’s probably going to take a few billion more years of evolution before cockroaches start signing contracts.

            Chris Sevier tried to make your childish point in a Utah court last year by demanding to marry his 2011 laptop. He was summarily dismissed and laughed out of court, someone noting his laptop wasn’t 15 yet.

            Try thinking things through a little more next time.

          • Jim Walker

            Thanks. However if you believe in evolution, you cannot reject any kind of human relationships/behaviour towards babies, animals, none living things as evolution has no master plan, no design, it’s all at random.
            In fact you are evolving as we speak, am I correct to say?

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            Just because one believes in evolution, it simply does not follow that we cannot reject certain relationships or behaviors because it has no master plan. That is a conclusion you have drawn for yourself.

            As humans, we have the ability to think, record or history, and learn from it.

            In all likelihood, war has had a significant impact on our development as a human species. That doesn’t mean we can’t​ articulate cases against​ going to war, or even refuse to go to war when the opportunity for yet another one occurs.

            In many cases, the costs of a war may easily exceed any forseeable benefits of removing lots of random people from the gene pool.

            We have also learned that adults having sex with children can lead to long term harm for those children. Believing in evolution simply doesn’t preclude one from concluding that we should put systems in place to minimize the chances of adults harming children in this manner.

            “Evolve” has two different meanings, and we should be careful to distinguish between the two of them. In the first part of your post you refer to evolution in terms of biology. In that context, something “evolves” when it gets genes from its parents, some of which may be mutated. These can lead to either advantageous, or disadvantageous traits. In the biological sense, evolution only occurs during reproduction.

            If we are “evolving as we speak,” then this has an entirely different meaning and context. It does not involve DANA, genes, or heritable triats. It simply conotes the changing of ideas, viewpoints, and assumptions in one’s mind. This may be due to learning a new skill, or given one’s life experiences, or discussions, changing long-held viewpoints on a topic.

          • Jump

            “Why they refused isn’t the issue. It’s the fact they committed discrimination against a minority which is why they were turned down.”

            But when you say they committed discrimination, whether something turns out to be discrimination (or, properly speaking, illegal discrimination) is all and only a function of why they refused! It’s not like you can consider the one without the other. What makes an act fall under the act-type it falls under is a function of the intentions one had–the reasons one had–for doing that act. If you do not understand such a basic issue–I mean SUCH a basic issue– you have no business opining on this matter.

          • Jump

            “Why? Because they never acted on their intolerance and discriminated against a minority in their business.”

            So, a State penalizes someone unless they violate their consciences, and you take that to be a GOOD thing? This is a remarkably illiberal view.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            And there we have it – Perverts.

            This is precisely why LGBT people have been working so hard over the last few decades to carve out a better place in our society.

            They are PEOPLE Gary, just people.

          • Jason Todd

            People who have chosen to identify and define themselves solely and specifically by their sexual behavior.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            No Jason, you have chosen to identify them that way. I know a number of them, and most of the people I know just refer to them as “people.”

          • Jason Todd

            And I know you are full of it.

            Go peddle that nonsense elsewhere.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            There are a number of gay people at my church. We typically identify them by their names. If we expand on that we might mention things like “she is a teacher,” “he is a retired respiratory therapist, ” or “they have two teenage kids.”

            It is entirely possible to deal with them as something other than objects of constant derision.

            It isn’t even that hard.

          • Jason Todd

            Which means what?

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            Simply that they are NOT “People who have chosen to identify and define themselves solely and specifically by their sexual behavior.”

          • Jason Todd

            Right.

            Back in the 1990s, we had several people serving in the military suing over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The issue was not over them merely serving, but rather they believed everyone should know they were homosexuals. In other words, their sexuality was more important than serving.

            This all by itself (we will not even talk about “pride” month and events) shows you to be either a liar or a moron. Regardless, you need to sit down and shut up.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            No. They sued because it takes a tremendous amount of effort to hide all of the little things that people harass and even assault LGBT for. Even children in grade school have been bullied to the point of suicide because they were perceived as “faggots.” Gay people don’t have to tell people they are gay – for many of them, just their voice or hand movements are enough to set off straight bullies and subject them to harassment.

            Of course, you couldn’t even leave a picture of your​ boyfriend or girlfriend out where someone might see it – then they would know you were gay and kick you out. Of course you had to pretend to be straight too, so you wouldn’t arouse suspicion.

            Imagine pretending (convincingly!) that you’re gay with everyone you work with for years on end to avoid losing your job. I’m sure you would find it absolutely unbearable. THAT is why they wanted to serve openly.

            As for pride events, you’d want them for yourself if gays made up 95 percent of the population and treated straight people as badly as straights treat gay people.

            When I was a child, I had to run fast to avoid being beat up by young Christians hell-bent on catching me to beat me up. I stopped running years ago. And now I’m saying “enough is enough.”

            I’m simply not going to do as you ordered just because yet another bully doesn’t like what I have to say.

          • Timothy Horton

            There’s a few obnoxious loud mouthed bigots here who only know how to throw insults. They’re too stupid to make any sort of intellectual argument. Jason Todd and Gary tend to be among the worst. Sadly if you keep posting about equality for the non-hetero minority you’ll meet the rest of them too.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            I’m sure I will. They like to make themselves known. So far, their imagination in name calling has been rather pathetic. Once you’ve been called a name so many times you need exponential notation to keep track of it, it’s impossible to take it seriously.

            It does however serve to illustrate their obsessive obnoxiousness.

          • Jason Todd

            Stop.

            You have no idea what you are talking about. Not even a clue. Your defense of homosexuals and homosexuality are so blind you are coming off like a complete moron in front of everyone.

            You are even wrong about shutting up. You see, last year Disqus gave us this really cool function that allows users to block the retarded (like you) so we never have to see another exercise in gross stupidity from them ever again.

            I am using it on you.

            Bye-bye.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            I can understand it might be completely alien for you to view events from the perspective of an LGBT person. But that doesn’t mean that they are untrue or that I am a moron.

            I will simply point out that you really haven’t addressed core points of my argument, but rather fell back on ad-hominem attacks and upon failing to shut me up, refused to listen.

            I am forced to conclude you are not here to “Disqus” but merely to blindly promote an anti-gay agenda.

            Have a nice day.

          • Jump

            “There are a number of gay people at my church.”

            Out of curiosity, what is a “gay person”. I have become increasingly puzzled at what this refers to. My puzzlement isn’t whether there are persons who have same-sex attractions, or even act on it. But what is “gay person” if not just a trivial description of something they like–for instance is a person who likes chocolate ice cream a “chocolate ice cream person.” Certainly, the strength of desires might be different, but that’s a difference of degree, not kind. So what do people mean when they use this term?

            “It is entirely possible to deal with them as something other than objects of constant derision.”

            I agree, we shouldn’t deride people. We can say of a person that they’re doing something wrong, but it doesn’t follow merely from that that one is thereby deriding them.

          • Jeremy L

            I don’t know if I should do this at risk of getting hit with hostile comments (not by you, but by some others), but I want to help Cynthia out with the question you pose here, since I don’t think she answers it. THis is coming from someone who has several gay friends. When we say “gay person”, we refer to someone who is exclusively attracted to the same sex. We don’t refer to behavior in the defintion. In other words, we would say someone attracted to the same sex but dating the opposite sex out of peer pressure (not sexual/romantic interest) is gay. We would say a virgin attracted to only the same sex is gay. From what I observe, their interest in the same sex is analogous to one’s interest in the opposite sex. It is ingrained in their bodies and minds and, yes, it is stronger than a liking for chocolate ice cream. I would say “gay” is significant because it differentiates the person from what is typical in terms of sexual interest. It isn’t meant to be self-aggrandizing. It also is significant because it helps one express who they prefer as a partner, which is more significant that which ice cream you prefer. A person is not like ice cream. And plenty of gay folks wants relationships that are based on love and life-long companionship and aren’t entirely sex-focused. Their hearts just happen to be captured by people of the same sex. A same sex relationship is not merely a hedonistic indulgence, but rather can be an expression of love as any opposite sex relationship is. As such, we would consider it derision for someone to criticize a same-sex relationship that any fair person would be able to judge to be just as loving as your typical opposite sex relationship.

          • Jump

            Jeremy L, Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I appreciate this.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            Maybe they don’t have a history of doing it in East Lansing, but why take that risk when there are better businesses out there to rent to?

          • Jump

            “which is not allowed in their city.”

            The City has no grounds on which to “not allow” their activity. What you call discrimination is in fact freedom to decide what one will participate in and what one won’t. There are few more sacred rights we possess than that.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            People also argued that they should have the “freedom” to serve only white people at their lunch counter. Eventually, most people have come to regard that as a dark page of discrimination in our county, not an unconstitutional assault on our “freedoms.”

            What do you think it is?

          • Jump

            Actually, I think this is a good idea to allow. Do we want to force a black baker to bake a cake to serve at a KKK rally? A Jewish business owner to service a neo-Nazi ceremony? A homosexual business owner to bake a cake for an event at the Fred Phelps church? See how this knife cuts all sorts of ways? I don’t want to have the law penalize these people for acting in accordance with their conscience. But your view would allow just that. Freedom of conscience, of speech, etc., isn’t just for those views we agree with; it has to be given even to those we don’t agree with–that’s what it is to be tolerant. Tolerance means nothing if it’s only granted toward those views you already agree with.

            As to the white lunch counter, I don’t think you need to worry about that. For one, here’s what’d happen–I’d open a restaurant right across the street from that place (as would anyone in their right mind) and say, “All welcome here.” Turning down potential customers incentivizes those potential customers to patronize other businesses. And it incentivizes the creation of new businesses to serve those customers. It’s beautiful. The white lunch counter can do their thing–and you and I can start a business directly across the street, making money hand over fist as we welcome our new clientele to our restaurant.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            But for all intents and purposes, that never happened in the south. The Jim Crow laws were so strict that you couldn’t mix people around I restaurants or even buses if you wanted to. You HAD to keep everyone separate. It became what is called “the tyranny of majority.”

            Your idea might work in some large cities, where there are enough minorities around to build up viable communities. Much of the country though has a low population density. It is unlikely the would find a place that would serve them.

            Some right winger went into a gay-friendly bakery and ordered a cake with a hateful message. They offered to sell him the cake and the icing – they just wouldn’t put the message on.

            If a Christian baking company has a problem with gay marriage, they should still sell the cake. If they don’t want to put brides and grooms on top, just sell them separately. Problem solved.

          • Jump

            Actually, such market corrections DID happen all over the place in the South! Why didn’t this fix the problem though? Because the problem in the South was something far bigger than a market correction could fix–it was that rule of law, informed by a proper view of the human person (as we have enshrined in the Constitution), was often not present. The law often intentionally failed to protect the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It often intentionally disregarded the fact (and the Constitutional recognition) that all people were created equal and thus, have equal intrinsic moral value. That’s where the fix had to happen–mere market corrections wouldn’t be sufficient in that case (the morality of a market-corrections solution presupposes that you have rule of law and a proper recognition of the value of human persons–without that, all bets are off). And ironically, a breakdown of rule of law is precisely what’s happened in East Lansing, and why it must be rectified in the present case, as the present news piece argues. You see, Cynthia, just as the law often did in the South, the City of East Lansing is likewise ad hoc intentionally disregarding those guarantees found in the Bill of Rights–rights guaranteed to all and not just a select group. Once rule of law is fixed, market solutions then will generally do the trick. Both are important.

            You mention tyranny of the majority–I agree wholeheartedly with you about this being a serious concern, but I don’t think you realize the implications for the present issue: tyranny of the majority (or equivalently, of the unaccountably powerful) is precisely what happens in cases where the State gets to show favoritism, as is happening in the City of East Lansing–it’s a corollary of my warnings against embracing Progressivism. Concern over tyranny of the majority is also why our country eschewed being a pure democracy.

            As to low population density rendering a market solution nugatory, you merely assert that it won’t work. The problem is that history shows otherwise in spades–this is just Econ 101. Suppose the population of some small town has no options to meet some need (this is often the case irrespective of the present emotionally-loaded issues). Well, in that case, someone could open a business to meet an unmet need or serve the underserved population. There are both financial and non-financial incentives in doing so, generally, even in small towns. And, of course, people are free to move if there’s no market for their business; people do so all the time because there are better opportunities elsewhere. And what about those that cannot start a business or move (which would be rarer than you might be tempted to think)? Nothing in this view implies there can’t be a “safety net” to catch the rare outlier. On the whole and in the aggregate, however, the market (i.e., you, me, and everyone else) adjusts to accounts for population density variations.

            It’s interesting, BTW, to contrast this example with the failure of rule of law in the City of Chicago a few years ago–which was threatening (I don’t recall the outcome) not to give Chick-Fil-A a business license. The city itself was showing favoritism against a private entity. What the what?

            As to the “Christian baking company” having the problem with same-sex marriage (they need have no problem with “gay marriage”, even if they’re confused themselves about the term, since, as I’ve clarified many times, sexual orientation is irrelevant)–as to the baking company, actually they all HAVE offered to sell the cake on the terms you just described–they’ll sell the cake to a gay couple qua gay couple. They just don’t want to sell it as part of solemnizing a same-sex joining ceremony (nevermind that the gay couple can go to a zillion other bakeries who will do it). And as to “selling the little figurines separately” do you honestly think that this will remain an unpunishable offense? If you can punish the couple for what they’re doing now, on what non-ad hoc principle can one keep them from being punished later by not selling the little bride and groom? There isn’t one. And thus, the bar of what we can do to punish conscientious objectors will be moved; it’s only a matter of time. Why does the gay baker who refuses (and rightly so) to write a message on a cake for the Fred Phelps cult get a pass while the couple who will sell a cake to a gay couple (just not if it’s to be used to solemnize a same-sex joining celebration) doesn’t? There is no substantive difference. Moreover, your reply completely fails to address the problem cases I’ve mentioned elsewhere–the Jewish photographer who is asked by a neo-Nazi clientele to photograph a Kristallnacht celebration? The black-owned print shop who is demanded to print up flyers for a KKK rally? The gay caterer who is asked to serve food at an anti-gay rally hosted by Fred Phelps? I want to PROTECT the freedom of conscience for these people. Don’t you. You say problem solved. I have made a decent case that it is anything but.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            “As to low population density rendering a market solution nugatory, you merely assert that it won’t work.”

            I assert that it won’t work based on the life experiences of many of my LGBT friends, and others that have written about what they have suffered. Free Market Forces are simply not the solution that many on the right religiously believe they are.

            In many small towns there simply isn’t a large enough population of the disaffected minority to maintain a viable business, especially when majority forces collude to make it difficult for that business. In many places, if a teacher was seen visiting that establishment, they would be assumed to be gay and fired from their job. It is the reason so many gay people had to hide their private lives for so many years.

            For years, the only safe spot for LGBT people to be openly out was San Fancisco. People from small towns all over the country heard about it, slowly collected the means to move there, and went to avoid constant persecution. Today, thankfully, many big cities are known to host gay friendly neighborhoods.

            I’m sure you’ll find this acceptable as part of the “free market solution.”

            But I would argue that if you TRULY believe in “protect(ing) the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” these people shouldn’t have to move in the first place. I say this from the perspective of a person who has an LGBT friend who was stopped by the police at gunpoint and told “Why don’t you just move out of here?!”. Her response was “If I could afford to I would have already!”. The free market simply can’t address this effectively.

            As for your examples, neo-Nazis aren’t going to go looking for a Jewish photographer unless they are trying to set up a case for an anti-discrimination lawsuit against the aforementioned Jewish photographer, which they might just win.

            The KKK might also win against the black printer if he refused to print their literature, if they can convince a judge or jury that the printer discriminated against them because of their religion. It depends on the exact circumstances of what happened, and the wording of the laws governing that locality.

            Discrimination, wether enforced by the US over indigenous tribes, black slaves, Chinese railroad workers, or Japanese internment camps, or just by ignorant bigots against immigrants and LGBT people has always been antithetical to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. American history is full of examples, and it is clear that if we don’t make an effort to combat it, history, as always, will repeat itself.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            I’m guessing the city lawyers vetted this decision before they released it. I suspect they made sure they had a defensible argument to refer to. Everyone knows Christians get their knickers in a twist when things like this happen and they use it to try and promote their persecution meme.

          • Jump

            “Persecution meme”.

            Well, whatever you call it, it’s wrong what the City did, and that’s the important point. But it arguably is persecution. Progressivism hates all authority outside the State. The State alone gives and the State alone takes away; THIS is the vision of Progressivism. Call it a meme if you wish–in any case, it is true. Now, there are worse modes of persecution which we have yet to experience (witness what’s happened to Christians in the Middle East). And Christians are not the only ones persecuted by the East Lansing City rationale; you see, the Progressive view persecutes all those who love liberty.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            Your summary simplifications of the “progressive” viewpoint are convenient for framing your arguments in a negative light for progressives, but they simply aren’t true.

            At the risk of sounding like I’m speaking for all Progressives (I’m not), I will say progressives love liberty too, and more of it. Muslims should be free to wear their hijabs if they feel it is appropriate for their faith, or not, if they see it as an unnecessary throwback to more oppressive times. People should respect them either way.

            Progressives aren’t comfortable with the Christian right KKK movement, but if we are to live up to our ideals of “freedom of religion,” we must draw some appropriate boundaries. I don’t remember which court it was that came down with this decision, but I think it was a good one. The KKK has the right to burn crosses on their own lawns. When they start trying to burn them on somebody else’s lawn though, THEN there’s a problem.

          • Jump

            Cynthia, my claims are grounded firmly in history. They aren’t fanciful ways of tarring and feathering someone. Read up on Lenin. On Stalin. On Hitler (note that fascism is Leftist, and was always regarded as such. Leftists praised it internationally in the first half of the 20th century. It was only when Hitler’s and Mussolini’s deeds became known that those Leftist folk sought to distance themselves from fascism by starting to label it a view of the “right”–but it’s no less Leftist, and this because it’s a form of Statism). I challenge you to read Frederic Bastiat’s little book The Law for a succinct reply to Statism.

            Now, I’m sure people who call themselves Progressives also believe they love liberty. I have many friends who consider themselves both. But insofar as they both affirm Progressivism and value liberty, their views are inconsistent–they simply aren’t aware of the inconsistency, and thankfully, have yet to follow the implications of Progressivism to their logical conclusions. The most intolerant, bloody regimes in history have been Statist/Progressive. I’ve lived in countries that are a product of Progressivism–they are brutal regimes. (I’m pleased to report that a good many Progressives through history, upon seeing the logical conclusions of Progressivism, have abandoned the view–it’s totalitarian).

            Interestingly, the KKK movement was a phenomenon of the U.S. Democratic party. They were its staunchest political allies. Nothing about the KKK pertains to what we’re talking about, it seems to me. However, it is interesting to note that the Progressive view of the State and the Law offers no non-arbitrary rationale for protecting people from the persecution the KKK (or worse, the NKVD or the Gestapo, etc.) subjected people to. This is because Progressivism (not necessarily all Progressives, but the worldview of Progressivism) is ultimately is about will-to-power.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            Your views of progressives and liberalism seem to be defined, or at least tainted by the like of Ayn Rand.

            My views are firmly grounded in history as well. Many on the far right like to blame leftists for Hitler, but fascism is at the far right of the political spectrum.

            Lots of people supported Hitler in the ’30s because in the midst of a global depression, and economic stagnation imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, he promised to put Germany first, get rid of immigrants that were casuing it harm, and basically, return Germany to its fomer glory. These was an appealing message to many, many people.

            The vast majority of these people had no idea what his ultimate plans were, or the means he was willing to use to reach his goals. It is no surprise that leftists abandoned him after they found out he truth because his ultimate goals and especially his means we’re absolutely antithetical to leftist ideals.

            As for Statism, you seem to assume it is a euphemism for, or at least a stepping stone towards, inevitable totalitarianism. You also seem to argue that Progressivism “logically concludes” with totalitarianism.

            I would argue that this is because your definitions of these terms are uselessly simplistic, and already include totalitarianism in your definitions.

            Without some minimum Statism, you are either living on an island by yourself, or you live in anarchy. (That is admittedly a bit exaggerated, but I do that to make my point.). Even the founding fathers of the US believed in Statism, or they wouldn’t have bothered spending the time to write up a Constitution.

            Progressives are concerned with using man’s knowledge, institutions, history, and technology to improve the lives of all people. There is nothing inherently totalitarian about that.

            Throughout history, despots have twisted political ideas from all sides of the spectrum to gain, keep, and assert their power.

          • Jump

            “The City can legally deny you a permit for violating any of the things on their requirements list.”

            …unless either (1) something on the requirements list is itself unjust, and thus, not legally enforceable the first place; or (2) the instance in question (namely, the family’s stance on marriage and how it informs their lives) doesn’t in fact violate the requirement in the first place. The City blatantly runs afoul of (2)–the family isn’t engaging in problematic discrimination. The City probably runs afoul of (1), too, but that’s another talk for another time.

    • Cynthia Cantrell

      They didn’t deny them access because they were Catholic – they had been renting to them before this episode. They denied them access because of their behavior toward a minority. The Catholics are still free to think anything they like about gay marriage, and the government can’t stop them from making their beliefs known. But if you own a business, the you’d probably better inform yourself of the anti-discrimination laws of the area, and treat customers accordingly.

      • Gary

        Behavior that occurred outside of East Lansing. The city’s jurisdiction stops at the city limits.

        • Cynthia Cantrell

          The city’s market is within the city limits. The Catholics can still do what they like at their farm.

        • Timothy Horton

          The City isn’t trying to prosecute them for the discrimination outside city limits. Its just making sure that discrimination isn’t allowed inside its own borders which it has every legal right to do.

          • Gary

            The city can require that they not discriminate if they are inside city limits. But I doubt they can deny them anything that others have based on the possibility they MIGHT violate city law.

      • Jason Todd

        They denied them access because of their behavior toward a minority.

        What minority?

  • Gary

    This case is why there should be no laws against discrimination by private citizens. It is now to the point where you can be punished by a government for breaking one of their laws when you didn’t actually break their law. If East Lansing is allowed to punish people for breaking East Lansing laws when they were somewhere else, eventually any city or state will be able to hold you accountable for their laws that you broke outside of their jurisdiction. I know that’s crazy, but that is what is going on here.

    • Cynthia Cantrell

      If some famous athlete beats the crap out of a woman, Nike doesn’t ask whether he did it while wearing Nike shoes. They just drop him.

      If a teacher has an affair with a 17 year old student in a state where that is legal, other states where the age of consent is 18 is under no obligation to hire him just because it was legal there – and that’s not a discrimination case.

    • Timothy Horton

      That’s not what is going on here and you know it.

      If a company is hiring delivery drivers and a requirement of the job is a clean driving record, if you have multiple DUIs they can reject you. It doesn’t matter if the DUIs were from another state or another company, you don’t meet the requirements.

      One of the stated requirements for a permit from East Lansing was your company practices have to follow EL’s anti-discrimination laws. That means everywhere, not just EL. If your company fails it doesn’t matter if the failure was outside EL’s borders, you don’t meet the requirements.

      • Gary

        So East Lansing requires everyone doing business in city limits to support homosexuality and ssm. If anyone does not, they have to keep it a secret from the city of E. Lansing, or they can’t do business in E. Lansing. Well, if that is the choice, then I would not do business in East Lansing. Or, I might and just find a way to discriminate without being caught.

        • Timothy Horton

          So East Lansing requires everyone doing business in city limits to support homosexuality and ssm.

          Nope. East Lansing requires everyone doing business in city limits to not illegally discriminate against homosexuality and ssm. What you believe in private is your own business, but how you act in public venues is their business.

          • Gary

            Their law elevates homosexuality over Christianity. Christians MUST oppose both homosexuality and ssm, or violate the tenets of Christianity.

          • Timothy Horton

            No, it elevates equality under law above religiously motivated bigotry. Christian bigots are on the way out and they know it.

          • Gary

            Anti-discrimination laws violate the US Constitution. And worse than that, they are immoral. God requires Christians to discriminate against homosexuals. And we do. And we will. You will find that getting rid of us will be extremely difficult. And it might be dangerous.

          • Billy Chickens

            Tim, Tim, Tim. Give up for crying out loud. You’re making yourself look foolish, bigoted and ignorant. Gary has you beat by a mile and normally I don’t agree with Gary but this time I do.

          • Timothy Horton

            LOL! Whatever you say Clucky. When it comes to astute observations you’re about as sharp as a bowling ball. 🙂

          • Jim Walker

            I voted you up for the first time because this was too funny. hahahaa at least you have a sense of humour.

          • Billy Chickens

            You are bigoted against chickens! You called me a bad name and made despicable references to my fowl brain! You are deplorable.

          • Jump

            “but how you act in public venues is their business.”

            How you act in public venues is the State’s business ONLY to a very limited extent–namely, insofar as it must protect life and private property rights. That’s it. Anything more is tyranny by another name.

  • Patmos

    This is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

    Secular progressives are not looking for justice, they are looking to shut down any belief outside theirs. Why else would they take this aggressive and vengeful action in response to something separate?

    • Gary

      They are pagans who hate Christianity. That is why they promote homosexuality and try to restrict Christian actions.

      • Cynthia Cantrell

        Interesting. The term “pagans” was often used by Christians against Native Americans and other ethnic minorities before and during the Christian campaigns to eliminate and/or subjugate them. This was frequently accompanied by accusations of “godlessness” and “heathenism.”

        Somehow it never seemed to end up that the Christians were the most restricted when the dust settled.

    • Cynthia Cantrell

      When people try to keep Christians from getting married, then “vengeful” might be a an appropriate adjective. Until then, you’re just feeding your own persecution complex.

      • Jump

        “Until then, you’re just feeding your own persecution complex.”

        Persecution complex? Are you kidding? Have you read the history of the progressive/regressive movement?

  • Gary

    The God of the Bible is as intolerant of homosexuality as He is of idol worship. And since the God of the Bible is the God of Christians, it follows that Christians cannot tolerate homosexuality either. Christians cannot accept homosexual behavior, including same-sex marriage, as being legitimate.

    Certain governments, like California, NY, and East Lansing, Michigan, have endorsed homosexuality. And in doing so have declared that they are intolerant of Christianity and those who follow it. It is time everyone faced the truth. Those who endorse homosexuality are the enemies of Christ, and the enemies of Christians. Any Christian who lives under a government that endorses homosexuality should expect that government to try to restrict their freedom of religion. We are seeing more and more examples of that. Christians need to consider that when they are deciding where to live.

    • Cynthia Cantrell

      I know plenty of Christians that are fine with gay marriage. I hate to burst your omnipotent bubble, but you simply don’t speak for all Christians.

      • Jump

        “I know plenty of Christians that are fine with gay marriage. I hate to burst your omnipotent bubble, but you simply don’t speak for all Christians.”

        Call it “same-sex marriage.” No one has a problem with “gay marriage.” There may not be many instances of gay marriage, but that’s neither here nor there.

        • Cynthia Cantrell

          Now you’re just playing semantic games.

          A few years ago, a right wing news site exposed itself as just a gay-bashing bot that found articles on the web with the word “gay” in them and reposted them after automatically replacing “gay” with “homosexual. This was done in order to force homosexuality and its long history of negative connotations into people’s mind when they read the articles.

          This worked fine until a famous athlete named Tyson Gay made a splash in the news. All of the sudden, Tyson Homosexual was winning all sorts of races.

          We all know what we are talking about with gay marriage. If people really had no “problem” with it, Gary and many others wouldn’t be railing against it.

          • Jump

            No semantic games being played. A good many Christians are confused about it too–so much the worse for them. Arguments are sound or unsound irrespective of the motives of people.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            A semantic game is still a semantic game, irrespective of your motive for claiming it’s not.

          • Jump

            That’s true. But how is this a semantic game? Homosexuality and same-gendered relationships are two entirely different things. Our semantics reflects reality.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            Not all same-gendered relationships are the same, nor do they necessarily only involve gay people. Straight guys hang out in friendship with their “buddies” or “Bros” or “guy friends.” Gay guys do the same.

            But some of them develop far closer and more intimate relationships with another man. They make commitments to each other for mutual support and security. Essentially the same commitments that are made in a marriage. For these particular relationships, for legal reasons, (namely that “civil unions” never provided the necessary protection) we may as well go ahead and call it that.

          • Jump

            Yes! But this makes my point, Cynthia, rather than contradicting it, for it shows that homosexual relationships and same-gendered relationships come apart. I.e., they’re non-identical. Recall that the marriage proponent objects to same-sex marriage not because it’s gay men (or “bros” or “guy friends”) wishing to marry one another, but because, in each of the above, it’s two people of the same gender. Marriage isn’t that sort of thing. It’s for exactly the reason you give that the pro-marriage folks (at least the best-informed ones), point out that we oppose “same-sex marriage,” and not “gay marriage.” And it’s for this reason–and by sheer force of logical entailment–that such opposition is not discrimination against homosexuals (or “bros” or “guy friends”).

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            No, I did not make your point for you. You are reading that into it.

            You have a different argument predicated on the assumption that straight marriages are inherently superior, or at the very least, two different sexes are necessary for a “real” marriage to occur.

            I disagree.

            Also when people refer to “gay marriage,” everyone knows we are referring to two same-sex people entering into a marriage agreement. I’m sure you’re glad to claim that it’s not really “discrimination” against gay people, but what your semantics conviently ignores is that your opposition really only affects gay people – namely gay people that want to marry each other. Not anyone else.

            I suppose your view conveniently ameliorates any negative consequences your conscience might have to endure if it thought it actually promoted discrimination. But it simply doesn’t minimize any of the damage done to the LGBT people who have fought so hard to earn their marriage rights.

          • Jump

            I’m not reading into anything. I’m pointing out logical entailment. One is psychological, the other is logical. You rightly noted that opposition to redefining marriage (i.e., favoring new structures, like same-sex marriage), did not entail discrimination against homosexuals.

            Re: the term “gay marriage”, of COURSE, people *use the term* “gay marriage” to refer to marriages of two people of the same gender. But so what? I’m talking about the thing itself; not the term used for it. Just because someone uses “gay marriage” to refer to a marriage of two people doesn’t magically make the opposition to marriage redefinition count as an injustice to homosexuals. No more than calling it “bro marriage” would entail that a denial of such a redefinition embodies an injustice toward bros or men by any other name. Sure, it *affects* gay people, but from the fact that a law carries implications for the desires or intentions of some group, it hardly follows that that’s discrimination against that group. I mean, there’s some subset of the population that are affected in SOME way by SOME laws more than OTHER laws. It hardly follows that an injustice has been done.

            Your talk of “earned marriage rights” presupposes that rights have been deprived a group of people. But that just assumes the very thing you need to prove! This is especially problematic when I’ve offered reason to think your argument fails. It is up to you to fix your argument because right now, your desired conclusion doesn’t yet follow.

            As to hurting people’s feelings, I can’t control how people feel. I might sympathize, listen, refer them to a good therapist, etc. But we shouldn’t legislate based merely on emotion–that’s an exceeedingly dangerous precedent. Moreover, your knife cuts both ways–I can point out the harm your rationale does to lovers of liberty, like the Catholic family in East Lansing. Except the difference is one can go beyond pointing to their emotional state and offer a reason as to why they, unlike the same-sex couple, has been wronged here.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            Your application of logical entailment is superficial, selective, and inappropriate.

            First, your a priori assumption is “Marriage isn’t that sort of thing,” i.e. not for same sex partners. Of course, if that is your starting definition, then only the definition itself is sufficient to deny same-sex couples “marriage.” I wish the right would limit themselves to this kind of argument, but they haven’t. Opposition to gay marriage has included gratuitous slander of LGBT people, conflating them with pedophiles, and generally screaming that society itself will crumble and fall apart if gay people are allowed to marry. None of that of course has happened.

            Second, for someone who keeps bringing up logical entailment, you far too easily dismiss the obvious logical consequences of denying gay people marriage simply by your definition. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is fundamental to our American society. Marriage is a huge part of that formula for many people’s lives. Marriage and family (biological, adopted, foster, informal or otherwise) give meaning, joy, companionship, and raison d’etre to our existence. Denying anyone these opportunities to fully engaged in our society (including marriage) is fundamentally cruel.

            Third, human beings are emotional creatures, not Vulcans or computation engines. Logic alone can not explain all of our experience, nor should it attempt to control all of it. I am an electrical engineer, so I am well aquainted with the utility of diligently applied logic, and I use it gratuitously.

            But how many marriages have you seen (straight or otherwise) been entered into solely – or even mostly – on the basis of logic? Historically, marriage was often a matter of securing property, which certainly has some logic to it, but these days young couples usually get married because they “love” each other and feel committed to each other going forward. They typically have not done a careful genetic analysis to see if their offspring are likely​ to inherit a debilitating disease and logically, choose a different marriage partner if that risk is too high. Logically, they should also carfully analyse their spending habits, hobbies, political and religious interests to insure they are most likely to succeed in having a “good” marriage. If they did, perhaps we wouldn’t be dealing with a divorce rate that is chronically near 50%.

            Our emotions dictate much of our lives. I wanted to be an engineer since the 5th grade. Other children want to grow up and be doctors, firemen, and teachers, among other things. This isn’t logic, it is a dream fueled by consistent desire, and brought to fruition by a sometimes irrational fixation on achieving one’s goal no matter the obstacles. I know. I lived it.

            It is our emotions that give each of us our personality, our political views, and attracts or pushes off a variety of important people in our lives. We are simply not machines, and logic, for both good and bad, is not the main driver of our lives.

            Fourth, logic shows that gay (same-sex) marriages have already occured all over the planet. Granted, you are of the opinion that they are not “real” marriages, but for all secular legal purposes they are. They involve all of the same rights and responsibilities that straight marriages do.

            So your presumption that same-sex marriages don’t fit the “definition” of marriage is again, just a semantics game. Logical entailment requires that if I drop a big rock in the planet’s gravity, it will necessarily fall down. Of course if I let go of a helium balloon, it may drop or it may rise, depending on temperature, the boyancy of the atmosphere, the mass off the balloon, and the amount of helium.

            Logical entailment simply does not require us to never redefine or expand the definitions of words or concepts that we have previously defined. There is no law anywhere that says that. The people writing dictionaries might complain, or they may enjoy the job security, but the definitions of words change all the time, and new ones are added too.

            Technically, man doesn’t fly. Birds fly. Humans build machines that take advantage of shapes, engineering technology, and the principles of aerodynamics to lift his mass into the atmosphere. But that’s a rather clunky description for something we all understand​ and simply refer to as “manned flight.”

          • Jump

            @disqus_CDOzuqEj5h:disqus
            Your most recent post (the lengthiest one so far) seems to have disappeared. I went to reply to it, but when I posted, it was denied, saying your post was no longer available. Not sure if that was on purpose. Was looking forward to continuing our friendly discussion. Cheers in any case.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            DisQus seems to filter out many of my !ong posts. Short ones seem to do better. In one case, the person I responded to found it in his “Notifications” inbox and was able to repost it for me. It stayed up for him.

            My two latest posts to you were categorized as spam. They still show up in the my list if I click on my blue name. I don’t know if you can see them there or not.

            It makes it hard to move a discussion along if many of one’s posts get automatically spamulated.

          • Jump

            Right. This makes me wonder how many of mine have been filtered out. I see them in my list. They have no label on them indicating they are pending or spam, etc.

      • Irene Neuner

        A Christian who is fine with gay marriage is a Christian in a bubble. We, as a nation, have become moral fools.

        • Cynthia Cantrell

          I disagree. My last post to Gary, currently immediately above this one from you, explains in more detail.

      • Gary

        You don’t know ANY Christians who are fine with gay marriage. You know people who claim to be Christians, but are not. You might be one of them.

        • Cynthia Cantrell

          Funny, some of them argue that the extreme intolerance and belligerence towards gay people that some Christians harbor is very un-Christ-like, thus making them the ones who aren’t “real” Christians.

          The Mormons I know claim they are Christians, and point out that Jesus Christ is even in the formal name for their Church. Other Christians claim that their views are so different from their own, that they are not really Christians at all. But ultimately, no one we can contact here on Earth is the final arbiter deciding which ones are Christians and which ones aren’t.

          Anyone can decide to call themselves a Christian, and the last few hunrded years have been a process of peeling off different flavors of Christianity from the main trunk, very often modifying parts of the Bible to emphasize their own philosophy.

          If there is an ultimate authority on who is a “real” Christian and who isn’t, it is unlikely that we will encounter it before we are dead.

          • Gary

            Real Christians believe the Bible. Everything the Bible says about homosexuals is condemning. Real Christians won’t support something God condemns.

    • Cynthia Cantrell

      Lev: For anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood is upon him.

      Deut: If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or his mother, and when they chastise him, he will not even listen to them, then his father and mother shall seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his home town. And they shall say to the elders of his city, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death; so you shall remove the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear of it and fear.

      God doesn’t like rebellious children either. Somehow I don’t think you’re applying the same literalism you do to homosexuals that you do to Christian children.

      What gives?

      • Gary

        How do you know I’m not? We know that you disagree with what God said. And because of that, you should not expect anyone to believe that you believe any of the Bible.

        • DR84

          Its amusing how in these type of cases always involve accusations that the “discriminator” is both hypocritical, biblically illiterate, and then none of it matters because religion is not an excuse to flout “secular” law anyway.

          So the talk about their alleged hypocrisy and biblical illiteracy is just a distraction.

        • Cynthia Cantrell

          How do I know you’re not what? That doesn’t seem to be an answer to the question I asked. We’re you trying to answer someone else’s post?

          I would just like to know why I keep hearing about gays being punished, but there is only one instance I recall recently of a Christian woman killing her kids because of their bad behavior​.

          It seems to me that if you’re​ going to call yourself a “real” Christian, you have to follow all of its dictates, not just the ones that are easy for you.

          • Gary

            I don’t have the authority, on my own, to execute people. Even homosexuals. If I did, there would be many corpses.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            I’m sure there would be. This is the vibe that I get from a lot of Christians. Left to there own devices, without the limitations of a secular government, they would be just as bad as the Muslim terrorists they claim they are so much better than.

            You just have to look back through Christian history to find many examples of them killing off people they didn’t like. Now they like to claim they’re popular because they have such a great religion. They neglect to point out that over the centuries, they’ve killed off millions that didn’t agree with them.

            You’ve shown us better than I can why the public needs protection from Christians like yourself.

            Have a nice day.

  • Jump

    The Progressive moment fancies itself as protector of people, when in fact, it’s just totalitarianism. When the State takes over power to define things that are logically prior to the State (such human persons, the family, marriage) and when they deprive people of inalienable rights (such as the ability to decide whom to enter into business contracts with), it’s tyranny incarnate. The State then becomes the arbiter of right and wrong. This is how Lenin and the Progressive movement since have operated. God help us.

    • DR84

      Indeed, this is alarming. Do you think East Lansing will ultimately prevail in this lawsuit and if so what legal implications may follow from this?

      • Jump

        The likely outcome of legal cases I’m not informed enough about to weigh in on. However, I do hold a general skepticism that the courts will rule the correct way–namely, in favor of the family. I’m a skeptic because the law and the basis for decisions lately is starting to get completely ad hoc and unprincipled. This is not a surprising outcome. In a society in which people are increasingly skeptical of moral knowledge–that is, in a society in which people have become moral fools–tyranny is all that’s left. And when tyranny is the order of the day, it’s all up to the whim of the tyrant. I suppose this indicates I believe the legal implications are not especially good for those who love liberty. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more stuff labeled as “hate speech”, such as a garden-variety sermon, and jailtime resulting from it, as has happened in Canada.

        • DR84

          I share your skepticism about the outcome. It also seems to me that one way or another laws will negatively impact even churches that don’t affirm lgbt activist ideology. These could mean hate speech laws you mention. I think even more likely it will be employment anti discrimination law.

          As for this case, it seems that it might hinge on how far the right to discriminate against “discrimantors” goes. Granted, the Tennes are not truly discrimantors…but the “law” says they are and that “law” is about as established as “law” gets considering every wedding vendor who declined to help celebrate same sex “marriage” has lost.

          I think what could happen here is that we will see a shift from “discrimantors” can be discriminated against to “discriminators” *must* be discriminated against.

  • Citizen sTans

    Leave it to sodomites to ruin everything. Shoppers robbed of purchasing delicious blueberries, sweet corn, pumpkins and apples all because the feelings of a few perverts were hurt. SMH.

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