Category Archives: Freedom of Religion

The Colorado Cake Case: Why Such Cruelty To A Christian?

Christianity, Freedom of Religion, Gender, Homosexuality, Individual Rights, Paleolibertarianism, Private Property

Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips is a deeply religious Christian. Why would a gay couple want to compel him to decorate a cake with words his faith rejects? What kind of craven cruelty would compel such coercion? Why, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, would you proceed with force against a private property owner? What’s wrong with you?

A crude reductio ad absurdum should help:

A retail store selling Nazi memorabilia opens its doors in my neighborhood. I enter in search of the yellow Star of David Jews were forced to wear during the Third Reich. The proprietor, decked out in Nazi insignia and regalia, says, “I’m sorry, we don’t serve Jews.” “Don’t be like that,” I say. “Where else can I find a pair of clip-on swastika earrings?” The Nazi sympathizer is polite but persistent: “Ma’am, I mean no disrespect, but back in the Old Country, Jews murdered my great grandfather’s cousin and used his blood in the leavening of the Passover matzah.” “Yeah,” I reply. “I’m familiar with that blood libel. I assure you my own mother’s matzo balls were free of the blood of brats, gentile or Jewish. No matter. I can see where you’re coming from. I’m sorry for your loss. Good luck.”

There! Did that hurt?

Did I rush off to rat out my Nazi neighbor to the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice? Not on your life. A principled Jewish libertarian (with a sense of humor)—who believes in absolute freedom of association and the rights of private property—would doff his Kippah and walk out.

Live and let live.

Writes Joseph Wright, in the Denver Post:

A devout Muslim with a wonderful singing voice runs a small music business featuring his CDs. A Christian couple asks this Muslim to record a song for the wedding. The song includes the words: “Jesus, resurrected from the grave and God incarnate.” The Muslim man declines, saying his sincere religious beliefs prevent him from recording the song. Would the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) take action against him and inflict financial penalties for abiding by his convictions?

A non-religious couple asks a Jewish kosher deli with fantastic food to cater their wedding reception, but demand that ham be included on the menu. The deli refuses. Would the CCRC take action against this deli for its religious convictions?

One more question: Would legal action be taken only against Christians practicing their sincerely held beliefs or against people of all beliefs?

All strength, Jack Phillips.

Should A Vocal, Veteran Critic Of Islam ‘Conference’ In Turkey?

Free Speech, Freedom of Religion, Ilana Mercer, Islam, libertarianism, Liberty, Private Property

First, in order of importance, forgive the verbing of the noun “conference.” Bad form.

Next: Young Keir Martland, of The Libertarian Alliance (my British home, and where you can find my weekly column), describes an exhilarating conference at the Property & Freedom Society, hosted by the fabulous Hans-Hermann Hoppe whom I know and admire, and his wife, Dr. Guelcin Imre Hoppe.

Place: The majestic Hotel Karia Princess in Bodrum, Turkey.

In the past, Dr. Hoppe had graciously extended an invitation to me. But let’s be frank. Turkey is not safe for anyone with a long and known record as a vocal critic of the religion of peace—and I here finesse my stance on Islam. Nor have I been a wallflower about the campaign waged by the Turkish government against Kurdish separatists. I don’t see how libertarians can countenance the Turks in this dispute.

It’s true that the US is also unsafe for critics of Islam (read my analysis of the attempt on the life of free-speech Jewish activist Pamela Geller), but Turkey even less so. The last is not a point of debate. “Bad things could happen anywhere, these days” won’t wash to dismiss the illiberal political and religious direction taken by the Turkish State.

In the US, we still have more rights to defend our prime real estate—OURSELVES—than elsewhere in the world (although I’m eyeing Hungary and Poland, which don’t admit refugees). The rest of the world is slowly becoming Dar al-Islam (House of Islam). In other words, it’s being made safe for Islam, but not its critics.

A whimsical, “Oh, plenty Jews attended and were safe at the Property & Freedom Society is also bogus, as none, as far as I know, has beat up on Islam systematically, in writing, for a very long time.

If anything, “Those Cartoons: A Reply To Walter Block,” critiqued attendee Dr. Block for asserting, in 2006, “under the rubric of a libertarian analysis, that libertarians would view [Muhammad-mocking] cartoons as immoral and that ‘from the libertarian perspective, both sets of acts—’drawing [forbidden] pictures of Muhammad’ and offending ‘western sensibilities’—are ‘improper.” I wrote:

… If a radical proponent of freedom such as Dr. Block can dub mild satire immoral, inadvertently tainting innocent, non-aggressive satirists, then it’s imperative to address the substance of the speech being debated, lest innocent polemicists and illustrators be maligned. What is Dr. Block’s premise for asserting these things are immoral? Other than that they offend Muslims, I see none. And to give offense is not always immoral. It is certainly not immoral to lampoon the connection between Muhammad, author of Islam, and the savagery and atavism that grip the Muslim world today. …

Nah. I don’t think Turkey is the place for my opinion, although Dr. Block is safe with his.

Dr. Block’s original article was removed. In a corrected version of “Those Cartoons: A Libertarian Analysis linked here, Walter said he offered some correction to his original apologia. I couldn’t see it (which could be my shortfall).

In any event, my point obtains. As a longtime, public critic of Islam, I would not “conference” in Turkey, not even for Hans Hoppe.

Perhaps I should have titled the post, “The Islam In the Room.”

Turkey:

 

Gary Johnson Conjures The Very Old SCOTUS Definition Of Pornography

Donald Trump, Elections, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Religion, Hillary Clinton, libertarianism, Welfare

Gary Johnson: A Free-Trade Bernie Sanders?
By Myron Pauli

I’ve never limited myself to Republican and Democratic nominees since I cast my first presidential vote writing in Barry Goldwater in 1972. No regrets on rejecting the decent but too-leftist George McGovern or reelecting “the president!” that imposed wage and price controls, killed the gold Standard, increased domestic spending, installed OSHA and the DEA, expanded the war in Indochina, etc.

Trump, Cruz, Sanders and Clinton all have their bad points to me but the first three occasionally say things I agree with. Trump has the best understanding of national identity, Cruz had the most detailed domestic spending cuts, and Sanders may be best on foreign/military restraint.

As for Hillary: Like the old Supreme Court definition of pornography, I find her “utterly without redeeming social value.” I am not “in the tank” for anyone, so I listened with interest to the person I supported in 2012, Gary Johnson, at the Libertarian Party Debate on the Fox Business Network. Keeping in mind that the Libertarian Party’s own website says, “The Party of Principle: Minimum Government Maximum Freedom.”

So imagine my consternation when I heard Johnson say about the welfare state: “I want to support those truly in need.” Now, I have met libertarians who wanted to cold turkey everything immediately – stop Social Security checks to 85 year-olds tomorrow! OK, maybe too drastic to people who paid into the system. Others would phase out the Nanny State over 50 years. But I’ve never heard an answer in favor of the Welfare State from a “Libertarian” until now. And I heard Governor Johnson talk about states running Medicare/Medicaid as if he were Governor Kasich advocating a “more efficient” Welfare State.

Where’s the “Principle”?

Then came the old “force people to bake Lesbian-Nazi wedding cakes” issue. Certainly, one could distinguish between the Park Service, Amtrak, the utility company, or even an internationally held corporation like Starwood Hotels having less “freedom of association” than an individual – but Gary Johnson did not. He would apparently call up the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force, FBI, CIA, DEA, INS, and TSA to make sure you made that floral arrangement! OK – not the most cosmologically important issue, but where is the “Minimum Government Maximum Freedom”?

When John Stossel quoted Milton Friedman that open borders were not compatible with a Welfare State, all that Johnson had were platitudes about Mexico’s best coming here to do jobs that “Americans won’t do.”

Dear Gary – if we really had no Welfare State -– e.g. “Live Free of Die” — is there not a wage at which whereby Americans would “do” the work? I was almost tempted to ask whether one has to actually cross the border to be a citizen since libertarians are net-savvy, can’t we have Chinese, Pakistanis, Congolese, etc. just apply “on-line” to be a citizen and vote in our elections? If Trump goes overboard on “drug dealing rapists” or “terrorists,” Gary Johnson seems to think the rest of the world are all angels completely compatible with “American citizenship.” ZERO admission criteria other than “no criminal record” into a Welfare State Democracy.

Not only must the Bears admit Goldilocks but also house her, feed her, and bake her Nazi-Lesbo wedding cake! In fact, Gary Johnson said that the candidate he was closest to was Bernie Sanders and was pressing to get the disaffected Bernie voters when Hillary wins the Democratic nomination. That may be fine – but are these angry Bernie voters “libertarians,” or just a bunch of social-leftists protesting crony capitalism? From Gary Johnson’s website, there is nearly nothing on programs to cut compared with Cruz, and virtually zero for “socially conservative libertarians.” Johnson emphasizes more a “dope smoking abortion-lovers for free trade” than a more consistent Ron-Paul type libertarianism.

All in all, I still have my personal dilemma: Who to vote for on November 8th? I have a choice of rather flawed candidates and, if I do vote Libertarian, is that to be interpreted as a disgruntled Sanders-independent opposition to Madame Defarge? Do I go with the demagogic braggart Donald “Believe Me” Trump or Carpetbombing Cruz? Muddled Gary? Do I write-in Jim Webb or Ron Paul? Do I just oversleep and forget to vote?

**************

Barely a Blog (BAB) contributor Myron Pauli grew up in Sunnyside Queens, went off to college in Cleveland and then spent time in a mental institution in Cambridge MA (MIT) with Benjamin Netanyahu (did not know him), and others until he was released with the “hostages” and Jimmy Carter on January 20, 1981, having defended his dissertation in nuclear physics. Most of the time since, he has worked on infrared sensors, mainly at Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. He was NOT named after Ron Paul but is distantly related to physicist Wolftgang Pauli; unfortunately, only the “good looks” were handed down and not the brains. He writes assorted song lyrics and essays reflecting his cynicism and classical liberalism. Click on the “BAB’s A List” category to access the Pauli archive.

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What Do Paris Hilton And A-Jad Have In Common?

Foreign Policy, Free Speech, Freedom of Religion, Homosexuality, Iran, Islam, Israel, Judaism & Jews, Left-Liberalism, Media, Political Correctness

The following is from the current column, “What Do Paris Hilton And A-Jad Have In Common?”, now on WND:

“Gay Paree” refers to Paris, the capital of France, after which socialite Paris Hilton must have been named—that is, unless her parents are even more provincial (and pretentious) than they appear, and named their ditz of a daughter for the Texas city, northeast of Dallas–Fort Worth.

A-Jad is American English—and the perfect nickname—for Ahmadinejad, first name: Mahmoud. Residence: Iran. Occupation: Iranian president, alleged dictator, and general fall guy for the West.

What do Paris Hilton and A-Jad have in common?

OMG! Don’t tell me that Paris too has disrespected Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar—a dissing that has hardened into a handy political tool with which to whip any enemy of the neoconservative political faith.

Baying for the blood of Iran, the warbots are now bouncing off the walls. Why? Because the UN—whose moral and intellectual heft is on par with Hillary Clinton’s and that of Hollywood’s Idiocracy—invited A-Jad to speak on a day sacred to 13.4 million (count this writer among them) of the world’s population.

One tenet of the Jacobin orthodoxy concerns Iranian nuclear installations. These must be hit, and now. The neoconservative faction is unperturbed by the fact that Iran has been crippled economically. Consider, for example, its SWIFT eviction from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. Consequently—and since Barack Obama’s reign of terror abroad began—the Iranian currency had lost 65 percent of its value.

But no. American men and matériel should be allowed to reach all corners of the world, so move in for the kill we must.

Mon ami’ Mahmoud is not. But neither does this (Jewish) writer imagine that the seven billion (minus 13.4 million) people of the planet are obliged to respect Yom Kippur. Such an impossible standard would damn many a Jew to eternal punishment.

Back to the original question. The insufferably pompous Piers Morgan would have no problem answering it. Both Paris and A-Jad have been caught in flagrante delicto. …

Read on. The complete column, “What Do Paris Hilton And A-Jad Have In Common?”, is now on WND.COM.

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