James Dobson advocates for Christian Privilege

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Michael F. Haverluck, a propagandist for American Family Association, has written: New charges vs. Colo. Christian baker after his SCOTUS win. AFA is an anti-LGBT hate group which is reflected in Haverluck’s invective:

Renewed discrimination charges against Christian baker Jack Phillips have been waged in federal court – despite his victory in the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) this summer allowing him to decline making a pro-LGBT “wedding cake” – as the state of Colorado is now arguing that the replacement of members in its Civil Rights Commission gives it the right to resuscitate its attack.

Marriage equality has existed in Colorado since October 7, 2014. Putting wedding cake in quotes is Haverluck’s petty way of demonstrating his disapproval of same-sex marriage. We do not seek, and certainly do not require Haverluck’s or AFA’s approval. Furthermore, the Supreme Court left Colorado’s anti-discrimination law in place. It is in the same form with the same effect, as before Phillips’ case.

What the Court ruled is that the enforcement of the law was flawed because the state demonstrated hostility to religion. If Phillips discriminates again, in violation of the law, then the state is free to enforce the law in a neutral way.

AFA, headquartered in Mississippi, is the first to scream “states’ rights” when it suits them. Now, suddenly, they are asserting that the state does not have the right to enforce a perfectly valid law. What they are really claiming is Christian Privilege.

I would like to remind Mr. Haverluck and the rest of the dim bulbs at AFA of two other Supreme Court cases. The first of these is Employment Division v. Smith. Justice Scalia, for the majority, was clear that there are no religious exemptions to otherwise valid law:

The rule respondents favor would open the prospect of constitutionally required religious exemptions from civic obligations of almost every conceivable kind — ranging from compulsory military service to the payment of taxes to health and safety regulation such as manslaughter and child neglect laws, compulsory vaccination laws, drug laws, and traffic laws; to social welfare legislation such as minimum wage laws, child labor laws, animal cruelty laws, environmental protection laws, and laws providing for equality of opportunity for the races.

In response, Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which bring up the second case: City of Boerne v. Flores. In that case, the Court ruled that the RFRA does not apply to the states.

Getting back to Mr. Haverluck, he demonstrates a reliance on media with the credibility of Bernie Madoff:

“Now, the state is issuing new charges against Phillips for refusing to create a cake celebrating a ‘gender transition,’ ignoring evidence that Phillips accepts all customers while refusing to create messages that violate his religious beliefs,” WND reported. “Phillips has responded with a lawsuit contending his constitutional rights have been violated.”

It is really a noxious argument. Phillips has no way of knowing whether or not he is serving LGBT people unless or until they request something (like a wedding cake) identifying them as LGBT. Now knowing that someone is a member of a protected minority group, he declines service. The reason Phillips sued is because a) he has free lawyers in Alliance Defending Freedom (a hate group) and; b) ADF knows that they can raise considerable sums off of additional litigation.

Phillips is also spectacularly stupid. Once again a conservative Christian believes that his conduct, in effect, would be approval of something that he disapproves of. It is arrogance. In fact the very purpose of nondiscrimination laws is to remove approval from the marketplace.

Enter one of James Dobson’s trolls:

No – not again …

After its renewed challenge on Masterpiece Cakeshop’s owner, Dr. Dobson Family Policy Institute’s Jenna Ellis argued that CCRC is just proving that it should be dissolved once and for all so that it does not continue to overstep its authority in America’s court system.

“The Colorado Civil Rights Commission is not a court of law,” Ellis told CBN News in an interview. “This is not where you have a judge and a jury and actual due process.”

The Commission is authorized under valid state law to enforce Colorado’s anti-discrimination law. No one is shutting them down because the Commission made a ruling that Christians do not like. Many states have numerous commissions that have a quasi-judicial function as administrative law finders of fact. Its members — just like, say, a department of health — constitute a jury and Mr. Phillips enjoyed substantive due process.

Eventually this is headed back to the Supreme Court. Now it is true that the Supreme Court is not bound by precedence but it would risk invalidating every nondiscrimination ordinance and law in the country if it ruled in favor of Christian Privilege. Phillips knew that his business license was conditioned upon obeying state law. He does not get to pick and choose which laws he will obey. That is precisely what Scalia warned about in Smith (see above).

In an earlier plea, Dr. James Dobson himself demanded that CCRC should be held accountable and radically changed – if it is allowed to exist.

“The state’s second prosecution of Phillips prompted James Dobson – the noted Christian psychologist and founder of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute – to call for reform of the commission, decrying the new claim as ‘a continued attack on the First Amendment and religious freedom,’” WND noted.

James Dobson is a vile bigot and he is not much of a psychologist. He counsels parents, for example, to beat the hell out of their kids with a paddle until the child cries enough to satisfy the abuser. If the kid cries too much, he gets beaten again. Dobson is also not too bright. We have held for over 100 years that the First Amendment protects belief not conduct (Reynolds v. United States, 1879).

People like Daddy D. and ADF keep trying to push the envelope yet religious freedom is rarely anything other than the right to discriminate against LGBT people.

The next part is almost humorous:

More suspicion of CCRC’s recent problematic move abounds, as WND reports that a Colorado congressman recently called upon the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the state commission for its questionable behavior.

The additional intervention was requested by Rep. Dough Lamborn (R-Colo.), who asked U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to look into the matter with CCRC.

Even Sessions is unlikely to take that bait. Lindsey Graham, who looks like Sessions’ replacement, is a far more experienced lawyer than Sessions and he would be further unlikely to do so.

Mr. Phillips has received very fair treatment. I was shocked that the Supreme Court even agreed to hear this case. That did not give Phillips a free pass and he discriminated again. The conservative Christians suggest that the CCRC should not enforce Colorado law which is preposterous.

Dobson is in Colorado. He is free to lobby for ballot initiatives or legislative action. Unless he is successful in doing so, the state has a valid nondiscrimination law, essentially blessed by the Supreme Court of the United States. It was passed by the elected representatives of the citizens and signed into law by the governor who was also duly elected.

Every time I write one of these things I become agitated over the composition of the Supreme Court. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh have lifetime appointments because our people were too fucking lazy to vote. Don’t make the same mistake this November!

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.