Thursday, July 30, 2015

Same-sex Weddings

Whether we agree or not, the courts have ruled that same-sex marriage is allowed. The next question is, “are citizens to be forced, as a condition of employment, to enable same-sex marriage?”

This battle started long before the latest Supreme Court decision. Photographers have been fined for refusing to photograph same-sex ceremonies, and in Oregon a bakery was ordered to pay $135,000 for refusing to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. In Indiana, a homosexual group searched for a business that would not cater same-sex weddings and finally found a small-town pizzeria that would refuse such business. After threatening phone calls, the establishment temporarily closed its doors.

Are such refusals illegal discrimination or are they protected by the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution? That amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...” And the 14th amendment is understood to extend that prohibition to the states. Note that this is a “one-way” restriction, it prohibits government action but places no restrictions on citizens or churches. And it protects more than the right to worship; it protects the right to free exercise of religion. Exercise means action. Citizens may act according to their religious beliefs, unless such action harms others.

But what of the discrimination aspect? Does the Constitution protect discrimination? That is not as simple as it first appears, and there are two issues involved:

First, action vs. inaction. While the law can prohibit discriminatory action, refusal to act is another matter. Give race-based preference in hiring or promotion? That is not only illegal but unethical. Give directions to a white man but refuse the same help to a black man? You can do that, even though you are a jerk if you discriminate in that manner. The law does not mandate action, even helpful action.

Second, there is a difference between discrimination based on what people are vs that based on what they do. People are born black, white, brown etc. and may be born with same-sex attraction*. That is what they are, discriminatory action based on that can be outlawed. Those people have no control over what they are (though there is some question about that for those with same-sex attraction**). Discriminate on the basis of what people do? We do that all the time. Lock up the thief, refuse banking services to the meth dealer, even deny legal advice to the businessman who wants to do something legal but unethical? No problem, if we fail to discriminate on the basis of actions, we will not have an orderly society.

Both issues affect businesses that refuse to support same-sex marriage. First, they are not merely being asked to refrain from harmful actions, they are being asked to take a specific action. Second, such weddings are a celebration, not of what people are, but of actions that many regard as sinful. The same-sex wedding celebrates homosexual actions, something all three major religions in this country condemn.

Though we should not discriminate on the basis of what people are, we must discriminate on the basis of what they do. Indeed the Indiana pizzeria does that. Homosexuals are welcome to partake of their pizza in the course of normal business. However, the owners refuse to join in or support a same-sex wedding which is a celebration of homosexual actions. That kind of discrimination should be allowed.

*The question of what causes same-sex attraction remains unanswered. However, the one thing that cannot be the cause is pure genetics. There may be a genetic component, but if it were purely genetic that trait would be naturally selected out in a few generations.

**The question of if same-sex attraction is inherent or can be changed is likewise unanswered. For example, Glasser in his book, Reality Therapy, describes one homosexual who changed and became a normal heterosexual man. Nor is that the only example. The homosexual lobby would claim that people who change were never real homosexuals but there is no way to verify that.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Announcing My New Book

(I posted this before but Blogspot was running everything together. I'll post it again now that the problem is apparently fixed and readers will have an easier time with it.)

My new book, Freedom or Serfdom? The Case for Limited, Constitutional Government and Against Statism is now available. 396 pages plus an extensive index. Available at Amazon or at https://www.createspace.com/5514728.

 This book, is in my opinion, the most comprehensive book available in support of freedom (and of course I'm completely unbiased, right). It not only references many sources but includes many of my own contributions, including: Emphasis on statism vs freedom to get away from the unproductive use of terms such as liberal, conservative, socialist, etc. Ideas discussed include:

Freedom is an aberration, very unusual in our world. It is an unstable state and we will lose it unless we fight to keep it.

Government exists because we delegate to government some of our rights. We cannot delegate rights we do not have. We have no right to enslave others, to take from some and give to others etc. Therefore we cannot delegate those non-existent rights to government.

Too many people ignore information and go along with groupthink, to the detriment of freedom.

How tunnel vision allows statism to increase.

We must learn to ignore the mud-slinging and pay attention to the important, but at the same time recognize real lack of integrity and reject politicians who lack integrity.

The worst tend to rise to the top in any statist government. (Included in Hayek’s bookm The Road to Serfdom, but as far as I know, not in any current literature aimed at the citizens.) Political leaders are not special, they are selected from among the imperfect people actually available in this world. Worse, they are selected from the extroverts rather than the wise.

Statism and totalitarianism can happen here unless we fight it. (Included in Hayek’s book but, as far as I know, not in any current literature aimed at the citizens.)

The book discusses several other topics as well. It's objective is not only to convince people to support freedom but to arm them with facts and sound logic to help in that battle.

Test Post

OK, this is just a test.

I want to see if they have fixed the software so that line breaks etc. show up.

I hope they have done that.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Announcing My Book

This blog is intended to serve two purposes: 1. Test the Blogspot software to see if they have fixed the problem of running everything together, and 2. Announce the publication of my new book, Freedom or Serfdom? The Case for Limited, Constitutional Government and Against Statism. 396 pages plus an extensive index, available at Amazon or at https://www.createspace.com/5514728. This book, is in my opinion, the most comprehensive book available in support of freedom. It not only references many sources but includes many of my own contributions, including: Emphasis on statism vs freedom to get away from the unproductive use of terms such as liberal, conservative, socialist, etc. Freedom is an aberration, very unusual in our world. It is an unstable state and we will lose it unless we fight to keep it. Government exists because we delegate to government some of our rights. We cannot delegate rights we do not have. We have no right to enslave others, to take from some and give to others etc. Therefore we cannot delegate those non-existent rights to government. We have a right to an important nothing, negative vs positive rights. Too many people ignore information and go along with groupthink, to the detriment of freedom. How tunnel vision allows statism to increase. We must learn to ignore the mud-slinging and pay attention to the important, but at the same time recognize real lack of integrity and reject politicians who lack integrity. The worst tend to rise in any statist government. (Included in Hayek’s bookm The Road to Serfdom, but as far as I know, not in any current literature aimed at the citizens.) Political leaders are not special, they are selected from among the imperfect people actually available in this world. Worse, they are selected from the extroverts rather than the wise. Statism and totalitarianism can happen here unless we fight it. (Included in Hayek’s book but, as far as I know, not in any current literature aimed at the citizens.) Proposed constitutional amendment to require senators and representatives to work in jobs having nothing to do with government for three years to be able to serve. Constitutional amendment to rein in bureaucratic rule. Constitutional amendment forcing sunset of laws unless approved by a supermajority of Congress. Constitutional amendment giving courts the task of reviewing lawsuits for validity and allowing for countersuits when appropriate. World government will almost certainly be taken over by tyrants. If there are any readers still out there for this blog I think you will enjoy the book. And if this comes through in readable form, I'll start posting blogs again.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Test of Blogspot Software

This is just a test to see if they have fixed their software at Blogger so it doesn't run everything together. Monday, October 20, 2014 Software problems Well my experiment with hard returns didn't work, the blogger.com software still runs everything together. Therefore I am forced to stop posting here until such time as I can figure out how to fix that. Such a format is way too obnoxious to readers. Posted by Hal Lillywhite at 11:31 AM No comments: (OK, let's try again. The blogger.com software seems to be dropping all hard returns and running everything together when I past from another document. Maybe if I put in those returns manually it will work, I hope.) Theory without empirical evidence is mere speculation. Empirical evidence without theory is simply a collection of facts. Theory supported by empirical evidence is science. How is this for an opportunity? You want to move to a new country but there is a ten to twenty year wait to get a visa. Or you can reach that country by taking an dangerous and unpleasant trip, across rivers and deserts, guided by unsavory characters who will probably demand extra money at the end of the trip, and who think part of their fee is the right to rape any women they are guiding. What is at the end of your journey? Why a country that many claim is not as good as where you are now. Yet millions make that trip. They wait years for visas, or make that dangerous trip, to enter the United States. If our country is so terrible, why do so many want to move here? I have friends who risked everything to reach the United States. Yet many of our so-called elites denigrate our country. They claim that we should copy Europe or other systems. Those elitists want a statist system, similar to what my friends fled. Even some who flee to this country want to make us into a copy of the tyrannies they left. Why? Almost certainly because they accept the nice theories and ignore the evidence. They never ask what makes this country so attractive that people risk their lives to get here. To the credit of my immigrant friends, I've never known even one who would not change his mind when I pointed out his inconsistency. Our native statists, on the other hand, seem immune to such reasoning. They reject the limited government our founders gave us, the standard of freedom that was widely accepted only a few decades ago. Why the difference? The immigrants have seen statism in action. The natives, on the other hand, have only a theoretical view.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Software problems

Well my experiment with hard returns didn't work, the blogger.com software still runs everything together. Therefore I am forced to stop posting here until such time as I can figure out how to fix that. Such a format is way too obnoxious to readers.
(OK, let's try again. The blogger.com software seems to be dropping all hard returns and running everything together when I past from another document. Maybe if I put in those returns manually it will work, I hope.) Theory without empirical evidence is mere speculation. Empirical evidence without theory is simply a collection of facts. Theory supported by empirical evidence is science. How is this for an opportunity? You want to move to a new country but there is a ten to twenty year wait to get a visa. Or you can reach that country by taking an dangerous and unpleasant trip, across rivers and deserts, guided by unsavory characters who will probably demand extra money at the end of the trip, and who think part of their fee is the right to rape any women they are guiding. What is at the end of your journey? Why a country that many claim is not as good as where you are now. Yet millions make that trip. They wait years for visas, or make that dangerous trip, to enter the United States. If our country is so terrible, why do so many want to move here? I have friends who risked everything to reach the United States. Yet many of our so-called elites denigrate our country. They claim that we should copy Europe or other systems. Those elitists want a statist system, similar to what my friends fled. Even some who flee to this country want to make us into a copy of the tyrannies they left. Why? Almost certainly because they accept the nice theories and ignore the evidence. They never ask what makes this country so attractive that people risk their lives to get here. To the credit of my immigrant friends, I've never known even one who would not change his mind when I pointed out his inconsistency. Our native statists, on the other hand, seem immune to such reasoning. They reject the limited government our founders gave us, the standard of freedom that was widely accepted only a few decades ago. Why the difference? The immigrants have seen statism in action. The natives, on the other hand, have only a theoretical idea of what it is like. They pay attention to words, not results. Contrary information bounces off them like a ball off a wall. One notable exception was Eldridge Cleaver who metamorphosed from violent socialist to conservative Republican. He spent time in Cuba, saw what it was really like, then rejected the statist ideology. Of course he realized that the U.S. is not perfect, but he also found that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. Not so most native-born statists. They reject freedom, preferring the restrictions of statism, even desiring to strengthen those restrictions. How can people, often smart people, be so blind to the evidence? I attribute it to three factors, three kinds of immunity to information: First, such people seldom see information contrary to their preconceived belief. They get their news only from sources that support the statist ideology. I have friends who refuse to even open a book or web site if they think it will present a viewpoint contrary to their belief system. In this the news media is complicit. Second, when presented with evidence of collectivism's problems, those people deny that it can be that bad. For example, they become justifiably angry about Hitler's atrocities, yet they refuse to believe the truth about Cuba under Castro or Venezuela under Chavez. The information ball bounces off their wall of preconceptions. Third, many fall for a “grass is greener” syndrome. They see the problems we have and assume that other systems will be better. I even had a friend claim that our slums were the world's worst. Anyone who has seen the slums in other countries knows better. Yes we have problems; nobody in his right mind would deny that. However that does not mean that other systems are better. Our salvation, if it comes at all, will come from people who look at results, not just nice-sounding theories. Next time, unless something intervenes, I plan to discuss the biggest pseudo-scientific system of all. (Based on Chapter 4 of my upcoming book, Twenty First Century Serfdom)