Has new tolerance become new tyranny?

Advertisement

When Washington debated its gay marriage law, there were ample warnings that it would prove destructive of religious liberty. Individual liberties are inevitably sacrificed when the state bestows special rights upon favored classes.

Recently, Arlene’s Flowers of Richland conscientiously declined the opportunity to provide floral service for a homosexual wedding. In response, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the ACLU have pounced on the small business owner.

Individuals must make choices in nearly everything they do: Purchasing, hiring and employment, who they marry and associate with, the leaders they elect, the charities they support, the God they worship. Religion, culture, politics and ethics frequently (and unavoidably) factor into private social and economic decisions. Freedom of choice and conscience are the heart of freedom of enterprise, speech, association and religion.

As an outspoken Christian business owner, I would not expect homosexual activists, socialists or atheists to patronize my business. They may prefer to support business philosophies more closely aligned with their belief systems. Likewise, minorities (by race, nationality, or religion) may favor minority-owned businesses.

The right to “vote with one’s pocketbook” is universal and unalienable.

Should I cry discrimination and devise a law forcing dissenting individuals to purchase my products against their will? Or seek damages if they don’t? Obviously not. Commerce in a free state is a two-way street requiring consent from both parties.

For government-backed special interests to tyrannize a small-business owner for exercising the same fundamental right to decline business is discriminatory, outrageous and un-American.

Whatever happened to live and let live? Can adults no longer just agree to disagree? Has the new tolerance become the new tyranny? What damages were incurred by the offended party-turned-litigant? Hurt feelings? Are they now unable to marry? Perhaps the litigants could simply behave responsibly and demonstrate the tolerance and respect due others in a free and diverse society.

Faith is as inseparable from the individual as a small business from its owner. The imagined right not to be discriminated against in private enterprise is an impossible concept.

It exists only in the warped, socialistic mindset that elevates spurious government-created group rights, such as the right to homosexual marriage and freedom from hurt feelings, above unalienable Creator-endowed individual rights such as enterprise, religion, association and conscience.

The ACLU and attorney general are not interested in protecting basic rights, but in advancing the collectivist ideology of the new state religion.

Lorne Blackman

Walla Walla

Comments

Kevconpat 12 months ago

Right Lorne, What did happen to live and let live? How quickly you stray from your own written words. You are quite hostile towards everyone who has a different view point and as always, you espouse your all knowing attitude and to heck with everyone's else when you speak of God and the Bible. You know there are others (including myself) who respect your differences with me and all Gays and their families, but I will never hurl vitriol at you or your family. By the way I too know God, as I am one of his children. Sigh- You should search within your heart to find why you have such anger. Calling the 'State of WA.' and all the people who support same sex marriage a warped , socialistic mindset.........remember you have a right to your opinion as did the voting public. The majority chose to move forward and distance itself from intolerance and embrace marriage equality. I'm sorry you are so disturbed by this democratic process. I suggest you embrace tolerance and embrace everyone's right to the pursuit of happiness.

4

namvet60 12 months ago

I'm baffled at the WA Atty Gen entering into this debate even with the ACLU? The Federal laws supersede the state laws unless the state law is more strict on those issues. When the Federal law has not embraced same sex marriage as legal how can the state call discrimination on a private business that has the right to post "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service"? That business should be able to enjoy the ability to refuse service to any or all without being put on the chopping block for discrimination. This country is going down a deep dark hole and in a hand basket.

3

campbell_rd 12 months ago

Not to mention the law was passed before it was voted on, and when put on the ballot it was confusing. The flood gates are open, this special interest group now has gained extra privilege. Since when did respectfully refusing service become a discrimination case? This is insane. I think I should sue the state to be able to have three wives now and the State should pay for their support.

The will of a few over populated counties in the West have completely taken over this state. What ever happened to our Republic where the will of the people are truly respected we were not intended to complete democratic democracy! With a pure democracy a majority wins, that was not the intent of the Constitution.

1

MyFamNews 11 months, 4 weeks ago

By your logic with regard to the over populated Western counties, there should be some provision that gives those of us on the East side a larger voice. What happened to each person's vote counting equally, which creates the majority will of the people?

1

fatherof5 12 months ago

Not too long ago, if you were an African-American family from Texas who wanted to take a family vacation to Florida, you had to think hard about the logistics of your trip. Where would you stay along the way? Where would you eat? Where could you use a restroom? Most motels and restaurants along that route were owned by whites and wouldn't serve them. Those of us who are white can hardly fathom what that must have been like to even have to think about such considerations.

It became clear at that time in our history that when someone opens a business to "the public" - and takes advantage of the public roads and signs and police protection and other publicly paid for services - that those business owners have an obligation to open their businesses to the whole public. We can't say "No Jews" or "No Negroes." Today, a majority of WA citizens believe we can no longer say "No Gays" either.

Yes, absolutely, it IS your business and you get to make 99% of the important decisions about your business because you earned that right when you created it. But you still have to obey the law, which includes not discriminating against whole groups of people who have been protected by law.

Do I equate Arlene in Richland with the segregated cafes of the old south? Not exactly. I understand that for the older generation of Americans, they grew up when the American Psychiatric Association still listed homosexuality as an illness, and for many, this new acceptance of homosexuality seems to be coming way too fast. But Southerners also grew up thinking God ordained a separation between the races, so what are you going to do? It has to stop somewhere. I do sympathize with Arlene, but people need to be treated fairly under the law.

4

namvet60 12 months ago

Your going apples to oranges - the segregation was a federal law and now your discussing the diffences between State and Federal laws and until time that the Federal laws are changed then it might fall under discrimination if that was the wording. There's also religious rights that are being trampled on and it doesn't seem to enter the picture as such. In reality, who is being discrimated against, the flower shop or the customers? There are other flower shops to get wedding bouquets at and was this particular flower shop targeted as such?

1

fatherof5 12 months ago

namvet, I will admit this situation is more cloudy for me, but there are parallels.

1

ImJustSayin 11 months, 4 weeks ago

So why comment on something that is "cloudy" to you?

0

fatherof5 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Because I think there is a legitimate perspective that wasn't being represented by the comments. I don't see everything in black and white. I think the law should protect groups from discrimination, but at the same time I know people like Arlene, for whom I understand how difficult this issue might be.

Is it wrong to be able to see both sides?

0

lgbfishing 12 months ago

We are moving close and closer to becoming a dictatorship, A business should have the right to serve who they please.

1

Kevconpat 12 months ago

Fine. Very Interesting....So next time I go hunting, (Oh) and I fish too, I better not go with my Partner or mention him since we're married. If I go to an independent small business owners to purchase ammo , supplies or our yearly licenses for hunting or fishing the owners should have the right to refuse service , sale or accommodation to us; remember we're a same sex couple. Guy's, this is a bit ridiculous. Here me out, please. BTW The Gay couple were long term clients to 'Arlene's Flowers'. There was a real friendly relationship, until she played her consciences card. Honestly I have empathy for Arlene, however- I believe She and everyone is entitled to freedom of worship and choice, yet She has chosen to serve and accommodate the public. Straights and Gays are the public. This is where she is discriminating. That law has been on the books since 2006. The marriage equality that passed has nothing to do with this law which was on the books for everyone's treatment of equality in public commerce and accommodation. Would it be right to discriminate against color, gender, religion, handicap, how about a Veteran? Can you imagine someone saying I refuse service to this Vet on grounds I'm a Christian Pacifist. There's a lot of haters and idiots and just plain old folks who don't like anyone unless they're exactly like them... Just Sayn'

1

namvet60 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Trust me - if I was told a company or store wouldn't serve me or sell me items in that business I would walk out the door and go find a store that would. Also, I would never go back to that business and I would explain to my friends what there choices were.

0

namvet60 11 months, 4 weeks ago

I also failed to add that most don't have a clue about discrimination. Back when troops were coming back stateside from VietNam they were not being welcomed with open arms. There was not this giant call for wooshin and crying about it - there may have been a few black eyes and bloody noses(which always made my eyes water) - but the times were dealt with as part of life.

0

ImJustSayin 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Because someone has a religious view where they don't agree with your lifestyle does not make them "haters" and "idiots". You have now discriminated against them for what they stand for.

1

PearlY 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Our society will function more peaceably if we tolerate each other's peaceful differences, including in what we each believe is right and moral.

Tolerance doesn't mean approval, but requires us to be sparing in our use of the law to force people to do things they don't agree with.

In other words, we have to distinguish between what we think is 'right' or 'moral' and what we think should be backed up by the force of law.

I happen to believe it is not right or moral to discriminate against people based on race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or even, much as they offend me, bad grammar choices, but that doesn't mean I think it should be illegal. (Heck, I don't have to get to the morality of it; it's enough for me that it's irrational. I try not to be stupid in my decisions and it's usually easier for me to figure out what's stupid than what's moral.)

Here's the key:

Nobody has a RIGHT to the benefits of anyone else's existence.

Claiming you have such a right is little more than treating other people as chattel (possessions).

I ask myself: Am I any worse off by someone else's action toward me (other than hurt feelings) than I would be if that person didn't exist?

So in your example of being discriminated against in buying your hunting gear, you are not harmed (other than hurt feelings) by someone who chooses not to sell you supplies, because if that person didn't exist, you still wouldn't be buying that stuff from them. That person's existence or non-existence doesn't interfere with your ability to buy your products elsewhere.

I'm not sure about the licenses. If the state grants the right to sell licenses to anyone who wants to sell them, then the same rule applies. If the state limits the right to sell, then you ARE worse off than if the seller didn't exist, because that licensing right would have been given to someone else who might not have discriminated against you. That's why it should be highly illegal for government or government agents to discriminate.

The gay couple who wanted to buy flowers from Arlene but couldn't, wouldn't have been able to buy them from her if she didn't exist, either. By insisting she must sell to them, they are trying to get the benefits of Arlene's existence while rejecting her right to define herself as she chooses. In this case, she obviously defines herself as a businesswoman who runs her business in conformity with her religious scruples. This is no different than if she chose to close her business on her chosen day of worship. It should be her right.

Granted, by this standard, stupid people would be free to discriminate on irrational grounds against any number of people without legal penalty. In the long run, stupidity usually carries its own penalties, but even if it doesn't, stupid people have a right to exist and live their lives peacefully engaging in their chosen stupidities. It should not be illegal to be stupid.

0

Kevconpat 11 months, 4 weeks ago

To 'ImJustSayin'... I never said nor do I ever say any person with a religious view is a hater or idiot, I did say, however that some people don't like anyone unless they are exactly like them,(as in a mind set)...... In our society, however there are haters and idiots, wouldn't you agree that for example The Green River Killer was one? Another would be Timothy Mc Vey, Oklahoma Bomber and mass murderer. I explicitly stated that I empathize with Arlene, the lady in Kennewick with the flower shop. Namvet60 I support you totally even as we often spar in opinion; as a Vet you have my gratitude for your service as do all Vets. Americas owes it heart and soul to it's fighting heroes which are ALL of us, male, female, gay and straight. It's not so cut and dry, now is it. So you see , different opinions, experiences in life; yet we are all American citizens and as such deserve equal treatment and to be treated with dignity. My core belief. My opinion. As this pending case moves further along, perhaps to our state supreme court we will see together what happens.

1

paco1234 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Lorne, I find your comments endorsing ideas such as "minorities favoring minority businesses" reminicent of the "separate but equal" racist slogan of yore. This is un- American! Yes, you are an ouspoken lady, and you are very frank about your disdain for others who are not of your "class". By your comments it can be deducted that you are emblematic of the "new conservativism" which is turning the GOP into a shrinking tent. No liberals allowed! As an "outspoken Christian business owner" we, the growing minority members of this community expect this "brave lady" to reveal the name of her business so we can avoid it like a plague.

0

MyFamNews 11 months, 4 weeks ago

The major problem with this situation, is that the customers patronage and money was quite acceptable to the shop, up to and until they ordered wedding flowers. The fact remains that they were discriminated against, apparently, because of the owner's religious beliefs. So does that mean that those who do not 'believe' can also be denied service? Can a sign be posted to indicate that you will not serve a segment of the population that you have philosophical differences with on any subject? The answer is 'no'. Our rights, under the law, reach only as far as to not infringe on the rights of others.

0

PearlY 11 months, 4 weeks ago

There is currently no law against discriminating against someone because they are Aristotelian rather than Platonic.

Discrimination on the basis of philosophical differences, shoe color, lipstick color, music preferences, past criminal behavior, having an annoying personality, using bad grammar, and many other personal qualities are all perfectly legal, as long as they are not pretenses to justify discrimination on the few illegal grounds.

We don't have an absolute right to have other people like us, and it's not an infringement on our rights for someone to refuse to sell to us because they just don't like us.

0

Kevconpat 11 months, 4 weeks ago

FYI, 'Lorne' Is very much a man and has a thriving business, the very public Walla Walla Nursery... His staff were always cordial to us, Mark- my Husband and I. I know He knew we were a couple... Lorne often asked me if I wrote editorials into the UB newspaper; I simply said, "Oh yes", from time to time...just like you. Mark and I have always been open since our arrival into town in 2006. We used to buy from him, yes my Partner and I as a 'married Gay couple'. This shows the stupidity about how He has expressed how Gays cause ruin and , well everything negative, you all know the same old tired lines........... as his business has never suffered nor his marriage,( I presume.) from us. We've sent many of our friends to his business, straight and gay. You see, I don't discriminate, but nor do I take crap from anyone! Those friends we sent can make their minds up whether to do commerce with him. They're all big girls and boys. Sigh, - sometimes this just gets so absurd. The more some people say, the clearer and less relevant they become. Like Lorne- his tyrants', though I support his freedom of expression.

I have faith that in time this nation will put to rest it's intolerance of 'What Ever's' and move forward fixing problems like jobs, income equality and health care to name only a few. FOR ALL AMERICANS Geez.........

1

paco1234 11 months, 4 weeks ago

It is ironic that a man with such mentality "welcomes" all these "liberals" to his Walla Walla Nursery when in fact he wishes they should be shopping somewhere else, with people of their own class. I've noticed that the overwhelming majority of his staff are migrant workers which is positive. One only hope he is paying them a decent (minimun) salary and grants them proper health care benefits.

0

Kevconpat 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Of course, most immigrants work hard and do work most settled Americans wouldn't do. I only stopped going to his business BTW Cause my Husband and I have not renewed our nursery license. We now grow our own hostas on our property.

0

namvet60 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Yep those illegal immigrants are hard workers making bombs and setting them off in crowded areas. Yep I can't wait until they have amnesty to fall back on!

0

campbell_rd 11 months, 4 weeks ago

I would hope that the flower shop sues the State of Washington for infringement of Constitutional protected religious rights.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This is a guarantee that the government shall not limit religion. In this case religion is being specifically being discriminated, homosexual rights (special rights) are not explicitly spelled out in the Constitution! Not yet at least.

The flower shop was expressing a religious belief (legal right). They have the right to refuse service to people if they so choose. Comparing this right to blacks (racism) is like comparing apples to Mars. One is skin color one is a "chosen" lifestyle.

Why is it that homosexuals (gays) scream bias and phobias, yet they are themselves more bias than most. I don't care to know anyone's private life and if I the individuals don't scream their private life, no one knows.

I know some gay couples that don't make it an issue and I have no issue with them. Love the sinners (we are all sinners) hate the sins!

Gay marriage is a farce but the people voted it in, but that does not preclude religious rights in any way.

0

Kevconpat 11 months, 3 weeks ago

namvet60...... Immigrants, not 'illegal immigrants' is was I was speaking of! BTW if they, (legal immigrants) set off bombs in crowded places they should go to hell! Though I enjoy your input in this 'blog' sometimes you're so eager to put a hit back on those you are uncomfortable with, (like me, I guess) you say some stupid stuff. Why? Read carefully before you post a comment. BTW, Timothy McVeigh was a home grown terrorist, a good 'Ol 'Oklahoman' and former Marine, yikes! What do you say about him!? He most definitely was a home-grown terrorist! As far as I'm concerned they should all burn in hell if they do harm to Americans/ Canadians! Get your bigotry straightened out before you pounce. Legal immigrants, what made AMERICA and still are- are mostly proud hard working folks. There are losers amongst all of us, whether we're born here, immigrate or are naturalized citizens. I'm a Red White and Blue American w/ Canadian mixed in and love our way of life. It's hard to reason with you, bud.

0

namvet60 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Just for drill I'm not uncomfortable with anybody with exception of people trying to rub my nose into something that I don't believe in - as in taking away the freedoms of people just to make a point. As far as my posts are sometimes taken out of context and may make them sound ridiculous (I find stupid offensive)(which that doesn't happen very often) but put in the proper context makes my point. I also have responded on the home grown terrorist in the past and described them in the mentally challenged area. If the mentally challenged were given medical attention as quickly as somebody running around suing for discrimination or wanting undue benefits we probably would not have the the problems we are currently experiencing. I'm not hard to reason with - have a nice day.

0

Kevconpat 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Campbell_rd. You have your opinions and even as I support your right to them as freedom of expression, you are so wrong. Some of your 'facts' are simply self serving. Same sex marriage is not a farce, but now a through democratic practices, legislative or citizen vote. A gay person is not a chosen lifestyle. Come on now you're showing your ignorance. Really, I'm a bit embarrassed for you. Finally you can rant all you want....go ahead, I'm waiting. You have the right- to rant. Still, First I'm a Christian, then an American/Canadian, a Grandfather, (2 grandchildren) Dad, (married to my Partner, Mark) Brother- friend.... hardworking tax paying fishing & hunting enthusiast, concrete artist, carpenter and sometimes beer drinking guy, oh yeah and gay. Big deal. Oh yeah my sexuality has nothing to do with my private life only my private. And you care? Get over it and grow up! I could care less about your private life. What gives?

0

Kevconpat 11 months, 3 weeks ago

'Morning namvet60. I totally agree with you. Our great country sadly brushes under the collective table our mentally ill, instead of having in place resources needed to assist them. I have a very much loved mentally ill sibling; she fights me tooth and nail, and well anyway, it's very complicated... As for those, anyone- I too see citizens often along with lawyers biting at the chop to sue, sue, sue! Maybe were not so far off in what we believe to be shared values after all. Differences are healthy and they come from upbringing as in family and ones personal experiences. You too have a nice day.

0

Sign in to comment

4 free views left!