The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):


  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”


Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Intolerance?

Suppose we had someone who proclaimed, “God didn't intend the races to mix. That's why He put them on different continents” — an argument which I remember having been used to justify segregation half a century ago, and at least one Website is proclaiming the same as a justification for opposing interracial marriage even today. And suppose such a person were to use this belief as a basis for refusing to provide a professional service to an interracial couple. A photographer would refuse to photograph their wedding ceremony, or a baker would refuse to provide a cake, or a florist to provide the floral decorations. Such a person would rightly be described as racist, and despite their pleas that they are simply obeying God's laws, their business would be shut down for violation of antidiscrimination laws.

Thankfully, such people are rare today, despite my finding the Website I linked to. But we see the same arguments — God's laws being superior to man's — being used by anti-gay bigots who want to be able to withhold their professional services from same-sex marriages. They have even gotten some State legislatures to consider, and even pass, legislation which would legitimize their bigotry (the Governor of Arizona recently vetoed such an act!) under the name of religious freedom. And these bigots have the nerve to claim that people who want to condemn them for trying to obey their religiosly-motivated beliefs are being “intolerant”!

Discrimination is discrimination, even if religiously motivated. And to use religion as a reason to refuse to do business with someone because of who they are is contemptible.

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