Thursday, December 20, 2018

On the Side of Reason and Science

In Canada, the courts ruled that protecting the wishes of LGBT people is more important than protecting the inalienable God-given right to religious freedom. 

Trinity Western University
image from here
It was about accreditation of a Christian university, Trinity Western University, which has students sign an honor code that they will not have sex outside of marriage. (The Christian university I attended, BYU, here in the US has that in its honor code.)  And they define marriage as between a man and a woman. So, homosexuals who aren’t married are treated the same as heterosexuals who aren’t married. It’s unclear whether any “married” same-sex couples wanted to attend the Christian school but felt excluded by that honor code.

Lower courts supported the school’s right to set its behavior code according to the religious beliefs of the institution. But the high court disagreed. Here’s how the high court stated its reasoning:
"The [law society of British Columbia, which denied the accreditation] has an overarching interest in protecting the values of equality and human rights in carrying out its functions. Approving or facilitating inequitable barriers to the profession could undermine public confidence in the (law society's) ability to regulate in the public interest."

Meanwhile, remember Jack Phillips, the cake baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, whose case went to the Supreme Court? Even though SCOTUS ruled in his favor, the state of Colorado is after him again. This time it’s for refusing to make a cake celebrating a person’s “transition” from male to female. 

Jack Phillips
screen shot from here

The first ruling was narrow—about the state’s stated prejudice against him for his religion, quite specifically. So, they’re at it again, and this time claiming it’s about him discriminating against a person. Granted, that’s what they said the last time. He didn’t actually discriminate against anyone; all comers could buy what he was willing to sell. But he was unwilling to make and sell a product that celebrated something against his religious beliefs. This was in character for him; he also refused to make Halloween-themed products and a variety of other messages he found offensive.

So, the Supreme Court spent an inordinate amount of time talking about what was a cake  and what was a message. It was twisting what he was doing to be about the people—whom he served in every other way—instead of about the message. A cake that celebrates a same-sex “wedding” is not the same thing as a cake that celebrates a traditional, real wedding. It was always about the event.

So how are things different this time? The Court says he’s discriminating against people. As First Assistant Attorney General LeeAnn Morrill said in court: "If you make product 1 for customer 1, you must make product 1 for customer 2."

But Jack Phillips didn’t refuse to serve the customer, who was transgendered; he would have sold any product on hand, or products for other purposes. He only refused the particular request for a cake that celebrated changing genders. Again, a cake celebrating a birthday or a graduation is not the same as a cake celebrating what can be seen, quite literally, as body mutilation.

In other words, the state is attacking Jack Phillips again for his religious beliefs. The only difference might be if they refrain more carefully from saying so.

In both of these cases, there’s an assumption being pushed on society, using the courts as well as media, to insist that religious freedom is a “license to discriminate.” 

But when you get the emotional hand-wringing out of the way, the discrimination is decidedly against religious people. And activists for the LGBT etc. group are not looking for equality; they are looking for special prominence, promotion, and power.

A few months back, Tucker Carlson interviewed a woman who was pressing for parents to stop having boy or girl babies, and just have “theybies,” non-gendered until the child is four years old or so when the child then decides what it is. Carlson says, “We acknowledge biology and nature as real. Right?” The woman doesn’t actually respond to reality; she just keeps insisting it’s irrelevant: “It’s just a little human.”

Tucker Carlson (left)
screenshot from here

Yes, it is a little human. But humans, as other species of mammals, come in two sexes, biologically determined. Maybe the reason (and let’s use that word in its full sense) the woman looks foolish is because she denies reality and claims that will make society better.

In all these cases, someone is denying science and nature. And the side recognizing the common sense of science and nature is being vilified as bigoted. Those claiming to ask for “fairness for all,” through SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) laws penalize people who believe in biology—and common sense.

And, let's be clear, religious believers are on the side of science and reason.

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