- Gratuity omitted
- Gratuity omitted
- Gratuity mostly omitted
- Gary Johnson talks like a stoner
- The Never Happened Button
Here was a little more commentary on the two political conventions. Go read Michael Brendan Dougherty if you’re interested.
Here was a little more commentary on the two political conventions, but with a journalistic angle. Go read Bobby Ross, Jr. if you’re interested.
Here was some substantial anti-Trump commentary in response to a fairly prominent Evangelical, Wayne Grudem, who argued in a relatively long TownHall piece that voting for Donald Trump is a morally good choice. A high school chum — himself of high integrity — shared it on Facebook.
Suffice that I disagreed vigorously with two of Grudem’s three premises:
- Donald Trump is a good candidate with flaws.
- Donald Trump will likely do in office what he has promised to do.
- Hillary Clinton will likely do in office what she has promised to do and it will be terrible.
You probably can guess which two I disagreed with.
Update: John Mark N. Reynolds calls out Grudem powerfully for “airbrushing” Trump, calling on Grudem to retract or forever forfeit his credibility.
It’s not a very probing or well-informed interview, but the Washington Examiner, by interviewing Gary Johnson, has fortified my resolve not to vote for the Libertarian ticket:
Do you think New Mexico was right to fine the photographer for not photographing the gay wedding?
“Look. Here’s the issue. You’ve narrowly defined this. But if we allow for discrimination — if we pass a law that allows for discrimination on the basis of religion — literally, we’re gonna open up a can of worms when it come stop discrimination of all forms, starting with Muslims … who knows. You’re narrowly looking at a situation where if you broaden that, I just tell you — on the basis of religious freedom, being able to discriminate — something that is currently not allowed — discrimination will exist in places we never dreamed of.”
Can the current federal RFRA be applied to protect things like the wedding photographer and the Little Sisters of the Poor?
“The problem is I don’t think you can cut out a little chunk there. I think what you’re going to end up doing is open up a plethora of discrimination that you never believed could exist. And it’ll start with Muslims.”
In a year when conservatives are being turned off by Donald Trump, do you worry that you’re turning off conservatives who might come to the Libertarian Party?
“It’s the right message, and I’m sideways with the Libertarian Party on this. My crystal ball is that you are going to get discriminated against by somebody because it’s against their religion. Somehow you have offended their religion because you’ve walked in and you’re denied service. You.”
You think it’s the federal government‘s job to prevent—
In all cases?
“Yes, yes, in all cases. Yes. And you’re using an example that seems to go outside the bounds of common sense. But man, now you’re back to public policy. And it’s kind of like the death penalty. Do I favor the death penalty. Theoretically I do, but when you realize that there’s a 4 percent error rate, you end up putting guilty people to death. I think this is analogous to hate crime. Convict me on the act of throwing a rock through somebody’s window. But if you’re going to convict me on my motivation for doing that, now you’re back to religious freedom. I mean under the guise of religious freedom, anybody can do anything. Back to Mormonism. Why shouldn’t somebody be able to shoot somebody else because their freedom of religion says that God has spoken to them and that they can shoot somebody dead.”
That doesn’t seem like the distinction that a libertarian typically makes. Shooting is an initiation of force, versus deciding what ceremonies to participate in.
“Well, they bring out this issue, which I realize it has happened. But the objective here is to say that discrimination is not allowed for by business …”
“I just see religious freedom, as a category, of just being a black hole.“
(Underlining added, bold and italics in original)
I don’t like personalizing issues normally, but this cannabis entrepreneur talks like a stoner. He either has not studied the issue, or he is an enemy of our first freedom.
I understand that the existing constitutional precedents allow a neutral law of general applicability law to restrict religious freedom. That has been more or less true (less by far under Wisconsin v. Yoder) since we refused to allow Mormons to practice polygamy. I know it became more so under Employment Division v. Smith, which I still regard as Justice Scalia’s nadir. I understand that most anti-discrimination laws are of general applicability and would probably be viewed as neutral, too (though I personally question that when mere dignitary interests of some are elevated over the religious dignity of others, just because the “some” had a better P.R. campaign).
But for Johnson to brush away compelled expression with a bunch of hand-waving and talk of “black holes” exposes him as a thoughtless enemy of freedom, and his endorsement of the federal government‘s responsibility to prevent discrimination in all cases betrays ignorance of federalism and of libertarianism.
Not to mention that RFRA does not by any means allow blanket discrimination based on religion (though state RFRAs of late have sometimes tried clumsy “improvements”).
That’s an unacceptable level of idiocy.
The indecision continued for hours and the only progress lay in feeling more conflicted.
I felt like I was trying to arbitrate over two equally compelling, passionate, and reasonable parties, both of whom just happened to be me.
Then, like the wisdom of Solomon, an answer came to me seemingly out of nowhere:
“If you had a magic button that could go back in time and make it so that this person never offered you work in the first place, would you press the button?”
Yes. O God, yes I would press the button.
And in that moment I knew my answer.
(Zak Alstin, The ‘it never happened’ button) Hmmm. I’m afraid it doesn’t work for 2016, the year I kinda wish had “never happened.”
* * * * *
I shall now post this and try to move on to more important things than politics.
* * * * *
“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)