There was a time, not too long ago, when Mark Edward Noonan of Blogs For Victory infamy, saw himself as a potential candidate for public office. I believe we here at The Dis Brimstone-Daily Pitchfork were a bit too harsh on him and for reasons which have never quite become clear he bowed out aborting his campaign before it could be brought forth to the political world. That event likely saved many of you who read this blog a virtual smörgåsbord of gaffes, missteps and other laughable events on Mr Noonan’s part.
This brings me to the most recent attempt on the part of the GOP in a state legislature to turn 2015 back into 1915. Indiana has passed and Governor Mike pence has signed the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This bill is very similar to the federal version which was passed and signed in 1993. The main difference between the Indiana law and the other 19 state religious freedom laws is the point of standing. In most states where these laws exist, which the exception of Texas, the government has to be a party to any claim of an undue burden on a person [corporation or religious organization’s] religious beliefs which are deeply held. So this means a person can simply to refuse to serve someone because their beliefs would consider that service a sin.
Now Mark Noonan attempts to clarify matters by saying that this law will discriminate against no one for a very simple reason and i will use his own words here:
“It would not allow me, if I were a baker, to refuse to serve homosexual customers – it does excuse me from participating in a same-sex wedding by making the cake which will be consumed at that wedding. If I were a baker – and being that I am Catholic – you could get just about anything you want form me…but you couldn’t get a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding. There are other sorts of confections you couldn’t get from me, as well…I probably would not want to bake a cake which, say, proclaimed some dogma of Christian Science. You just want a cake – you got it; you want a cake which requires me to sin: it ain’t happening.
And that is all RFRA does – it allows me to not do something for you. If I am not doing something for you then I am also not doing anything to you. I am not violating your rights by not providing a service. In fact, if you were able to compel me to do something for you, then not only would you likely be violating my religious beliefs, but you’d also be forcing me into involuntary servitude…and slavery is explicitly prohibited in our Constitution.”
It’s necessary to dissect what Noonan says here line by line so that his depth of misunderstanding can fully be understood. Noonan states he wouldn’t be allowed to refuse homosexual customers, but then he pivots to the fact that he wouldn’t bake a cake [still a cake keep in mind] if that cake was to be consumed in celebration of a same sex wedding. That in Noonan’s deeply held religious belief is a sin and no law can force him to sin. Okay, that does sound like a deeply held religious belief but it is also de fact discrimination. All other people celebrating legal weddings recognized by the state of Indiana can come right in to his bakery and order a cake but this other group cannot. Noonan has create a second class of citizens who are committing no crime under the law but now he, with the aid of Indiana’s RFRA, can discriminate with extreme prejudice.
His next argument is that if he’s doing nothing to you then he isn’t violating your rights. I disagree. Segregated lunch counters refused to do anything to black customers throughout the first seven decades of the 20th Century, yet those people’s civil rights were clearly violated. Noonan feels that Jim Crow in its modern incarnation when applied to the LGBT community is a farce. he’s dead wrong. What this law will do is commingle commerce with religion. At best these are awful bedfellows as was seen in the Hobby Lobby decision. You are violating the rights of a couple who wants to buy a wedding cake and yes this is a first world problem but it is also essential to having a free society, governed by laws not by religious feelings or beliefs.
Despite the dogmatic epic fails previous cited Noonan takes the full cannonball into the stupid pool with the last argument in which he says having to bake a cake for a gay or lesbian wedding would force him into involuntary servitude and that slavery is explicitly prohibited by the Constitution. He’s right that slavery is patently unconstitutional but engaging in a legal commercial contract to provide a product or service for pay is not slavery. Involuntary servitude is a different matter. The pay exchange is not the issue with involuntary servitude because one can be held in involuntary servitude and receive wages. The issue is with force. The legal definition states that their must be proof that the couple wanting the cake for their same sex wedding, “knowingly and willfully took action, by way of force, threats, intimidation or other form of coercion, causing the victim to reasonably believe that he had no way to avoid continued service, that he was confronted by the existence of a superior and overpowering authority, constantly threatening to the extent that his will was completely subjugated.” A broad interpretation such as Noonan’s would cast America into a legal tailspin in regard to where a person’s religious beliefs, on a litany of matters, come into to direct conflict with secular law.
Qu’ul cuda praedex nihil!
Sarah Bloch, D.S.V.J., J.F., O.Q.H [Jur.]
Amici Bax Demvolu Comnu
Politics & Culture Wars Managing Editor
The Dis Brimstone-Daily Pitchfork
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