Friday, March 27, 2015

That Indiana Religious Freedom Law

Those of you who pay attention to such things have probably heard the Governor of Indiana signed a law the other day protecting businesses from being forced to serve folks of gay and lesbian persuasion should they have religious objections for doing so. The problem as I saw it wasn't what some might expect, although it should be no surprise to readers here I support the right of non- association as well as association.

My problem with the law is it doesn't go far enough. One's religious beliefs are certainly an adequate reason to not get involved in business with someone, but there might be other reasons, as well. The law shouldn't be limited to just religion. My internet buddy, Tom Knapp, agrees.

I read a few comments yesterday from folks calling the move "bigoted" and so on. Some even seemed to think it was the same as saying LGBT folks aren't allowed to be served in Indiana. The law did no such thing and it wasn't bigoted. It simply provided protection for those who might object to serving LGBT folks for religious reasons. 

It did NOT force anyone to serve or not serve those same people, unlike the wishes of some within the LGBT community, many of whom who think businesses should be forced to serve them. It simply allowed religious folks to opt out of doing business with certain people.

Back in the day those signs that read, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" were fairly common, although I can't think of anyone ever taking advantage of them. We need to reaffirm that right for everyone again, but not only for religious folks. All people should be able to do business, or not, with whomever they choose.
Just as an aside, the only place I can remember seeing one of those signs in recent memory is the Bluebird Cafe in Hopland,CA. We stopped by there once years ago and I pointed out the sign, asking the waitress if they've ever refused service to anyone. She said they hadn't. 

I couldn't let that go and suggested maybe they should. Perhaps snag every tenth customer that comes through the door and tell them they won't be served, pointing to the sign for justification. After all, what's the point in having a sign like that if you're not really using it?

She didn't like my idea.


At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, it shouldn't apply to just religious beliefs. If I'm worried that a suspicious Muslim will harm me or my customers, I should reserve the right to refuse service. If a negro walks in, I should be able to refuse service if he seems more focused on the cash teller than the menu.

At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if safeway decides it doesn't want the dirty Catholics to shop there?

At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a reaction, i think that all atheist business owners should boycott evangelicals. Don't serve those beasts.

At 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worship hot women. Therefore, my religion does not allow for fat or ugly women in my business.

At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a sign maker. Need a sign that says " No Fat Chicks Allowed!!!"? This could be really fun. I'm not making signs for ANY jews though. I hate those people

At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A sign on the wall" is meaningless if it breaks the law or runs afoul of the Constitution.

Religious people just pick on gays and lesbians to distract us from the fact that they cannot even follow the 10 Commandments.

I used to think that we shouldn't allow the 10 Commandments to be displayed in public. But it seems that the warmongering, adulterous and blasphemous Christians in this country need a constant reminder. I would suggest adding pictures, considering the intellect of this crowd. SMH.

At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they're going to allow discrimination for one class of people, discrimination should be legal for all classes of people.

No serving black people.

No serving white people.

No serving women.

No serving women who wear a dress falling above the knee.

No children allowed in the store.

And so on.

The question is, is that the type of society you want to live in? I don't.

Indiana is alreasy seeing a backlash. One tech giant has said it will curtail development in the state (to the tune of billions of dollars). The NCAA is raising red flags as well. I wouldn't be surprised if the NCAA headquarters move out of the state.

At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we should take it one step further and use this as precident to use religious freedom to BREAK LAWS. Just like they are using it to break laws regarding discrimination.

My religion states that meth use is sacred. I can therefore buy and sell meth.

My religion states that sodomy is the way. Even though it is illegal in many states. I should be able to ass fuck my gf in public.

At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 9:41 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

9:37 is getting way carried away and off topic. To the other(s), you should be able to run your business (and your life) as you see fit. Yep, you shouldn't have to serve me if you're uncomfortable with it.

"The question is, is that the type of society you want to live in? I don't.".

In other words, you want to live in a society where people are forced to associate with each other.

At 9:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The question is, is that the type of society you want to live in? I don't.

They won't admit it, but they actually do want a divided world. Makes for better drama. Many US citizens have become nothing more than simple minded TV watchers.

At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is using religious freedom to break laws off topic? That is exactly what they are doing in indiana. You should think of consequences of these policies that you support. You act like it's some kind of joke, when people's lives are actually affected.

Go back to watching your TV now....

At 9:49 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

"How is using religious freedom to break laws off topic?"

What laws are they breaking? People should have a right to do business with whomever they want.

At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a flipside here. A number of businesses and sport entities have indicated that it against their belief system to do business with Indiana. That's their right too.

You didn't mention that Gov Pence (whatever) of Indiana signed this "law" in a private room with an unknown number of supporters only with no press in attendance. Gee, if they are so firmly convinced of their religious righteousness, why the secrecy?

Wouldn't wearing white pointy headed sheets have worked just as well in an open ceremony?

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

"A number of businesses and sport entities have indicated that it against their belief system to do business with Indiana. That's their right too."

Yep. Do you have a problem with that?

And the signing was hardly a secret. It was on the national news. Low key? Perhaps, but maybe that intent was minimizing the crap they'd get from certain people, as we see here.

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right. I was assuming that it was illegal to discriminate against gays. Only in the workplace is that true. Sad. Bet it won't be like that for long.

At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right. I was assuming that it was illegal to discriminate against gays. Only in the workplace is that true. Sad. Bet it won't be like that for long.

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's easy to say that and also be a "I've got mine, now you get yours" Libertarian, when you're a white-privileged male, Fred.
Spare me the anecdotal story of a white man being discriminated against... That's called Karma!

At 12:12 PM, Blogger MOLA:42 said...


What is being advocated here is Jim Crow, just aimed at a different crowd.

Actually, it is worse than Jim Crow because in that case there was an attempt (in fantasy) of "Separate but Equal."

If a business person wants to kick someone out because that person does not behave, I have no problem with that.

But to do the same simply because of who that person is... is wrong; whether because that person is Black, Irish, Muslim, Catholic or Gay.

It's all the same Evil Mr. Mangles. I'm sorry you can't see that.

At 1:06 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I have the right, or should have, the right to do business, or not, with whomever I choose. Just as you should have that right. I'm sorry to see you want to give away that right.

At 1:13 PM, Blogger MOLA:42 said...


Ah... I see.

Then the folks requesting service at the Woolworth's lunch counters during the Civil Right's movement were in the wrong... and the segregationists refusing them service were in the right.

I never saw it that way before. Thank you for the education.

At 1:17 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

You're full of crap on this one, Mola. This is a different time and different era. If this was the 60s or earlier I might feel differently, but it isn't. The vast majority of businesses wouldn't even consider refusing service to pretty much anyone anymore.

As far as private businesses being considered public accommodations nowadays, I do think that's a bunch of crap. Most businesses don't mind, but it shouldn't be forced upon them.

At 1:39 PM, Blogger MOLA:42 said...


I did not know Civil Rights was time specific. Or for that matter, person specific.

I somehow have this silly notion that Civil Rights applied to everyone and that the Government (in this case the State of Indiana) was in the wrong to support denial of Civil Rights to anyone.

Of course the good people of Indiana could do what the folks in the South did when Segregation was declared illegal... turn their businesses into private clubs (who's membership was surprisingly all white).

But you are right... What were we thinking when we imposed our values on those poor southerners? Didn't they have the right not to be associated in their businesses with all those black people?

Again Mr. Mangles... I am receiving a priceless education here. Thank You.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

It's infuriating to me that the average person thinks a person should be forced to do business with someone they may not want to do business with.

To equate a couple that want to force someone into baking a cake for them with people being refused access to a restaurant or store seems a stretch to me. Such incidences seem to be so few and far between they actually make national news when it happens.

I'll admit to being livid over this issue, if only because you- and God knows how many others- are telling me I HAVE to do business with people I may not like for one reason or another. I wouldn't force that on someone else. I don't like it being forced on me.

As far as turning businesses into private clubs, I've felt for some time we should do a lot more of that. If nothing else, it could nullify government interference in both business and relationships.

I first came up with that idea when our very own state assemblygal, Virginia Strom- Martin, managed to get a bill passed requiring service stations to provide free compressed air for filling tires. Some may notice Renner Petroleum still charges 50 cents to get air. That's because they're a membership organization- a club.

I don't know why more businesses don't do that. But, I think it makes my point that your insistence that we need to force people to do business with everyone is bogus.

The vast majority of service stations (I can't think of one exception, actually- Renner has always been private)went ahead with the free air mandate because they didn't want to be a private club. They wanted the entire public- black, white or LGBT- to do business with them. They wanted the entire public to come to them, without exception as far as I can tell.

I still think they should consider switching to private clubs, especially bars and such. You could make the membership super easy and cheap, maybe 50 cents a year. Then you could probably avoid many of the bs government mandates that are required of so called "public accomodations".

At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the people at the Woolworth cafe were in the wrong and Woolworth should have just morphed itself into a whites only organization?

You know that you are wrong on this topic. You just like pretending to have no morals in order to get a rise from people. Hardy Har Har

At 5:01 PM, Blogger MOLA:42 said...


I'm pretty sure the only membership requirements for those restaurants and bars (I mean "clubs") in the South was you had to be white. I don't think they asked for dues.

I guess this is where the argument sputters out. You have one vision for society, I have another. We are both entitled to have those differing visions so let's let it go at that.

Thank you for the dialog (except for the "you're full of crap" stuff, that was tacky).

At 6:18 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

" You just like pretending to have no morals in order to get a rise from people."

Not at all. As I already wrote, that was a different time, different era, and you are FULL OF SHIT, if you can't understand that.

"Thank you for the dialog (except for the "you're full of crap" stuff, that was tacky)."

Tacky, maybe, but I'm livid over this issue, as I've already explained. Hey, at least I didn't tell you you were full of shit as I just did the other commentator. I'll give you the last word.

At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are "livid" over not being able to discriminate? You are either a drama queen or you are faking outrage. Either way, being a bigot is ugly.

At 7:44 PM, Blogger MOLA:42 said...


Final Word?

Have a nice weekend.

Although, now that I think on it... What would the difference be between being "full of shit" and "full of crap"?

Just one of those imponderables I suppose.

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading this thread, as Fred cornered himself with each new comment

It's pretty amazing how much Fred and the fundamentalidt tea parties have in common

At 7:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is all well and good to hope that people will choose dollars for their business over discriminating against people, however you are naive if you think that that will happen. given the option and legal protection many will choose to not serve people whose beliefs/actions they do not agree with. again, maybe that's not a big deal for your and everyone else's example of the wedding cake bakers (btw everyone realizes that there are thousands of other types of businesses out there right?) because you can find someone else to bake a cake and at the end of the day it's not that big of a deal. but how about the only gas station in town or mechanic or doctor or supermarket? someone should have get towed, die/recieve worse care, or starve/shop at a mini mart because of it? and yes that will happen, if you don't think so then you aren't a very good student of human thought/actions...

At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

New era? Fred, have you been to the south lately? Open racism is alive and well.Its exactly because of the history of discrimination in this country that we need to keep discrimination in any form at bay. If you don't like it, move somewhere else. Our society has decided that discrimination is unacceptable and that your rights do not preempt the greater good. What if it were the other way around? Empathy Fred, try it sometimes its a valuable tool.
What if say a gay couple were crossing rural Indiana and they had car trouble. They call a tow truck and the tow truck driver pulls up and sees the "just married" sign and determines it would be against his religious beliefs to serve the gay couple. There are no tow companies elsewhere that either service that area or serve gay people. Is this fair? Is this the kind of country we want to live in? Someone's discomfort at serving someone or doing business with someone is simply not the ERA we live in. Society made a choice in the 60s. Get over it. Nothing terrible has happened as a result of some people losing their right to discriminate. There is no compelling interests, including religious beliefs, that justifies discrimination.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

That's bs. Point me to one instance of that happening. As was pointed out here yesterday, those Religious freedom laws have never been used to refuse service to any LGBT folks.

At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its not if, its when. This law is not the same as other laws.


Post a Comment

<< Home