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August 04, 2015

Chris Christie: I Would Not Permit Businesses to "Discriminate" Against Gay People, But Would Make Exemptions for Religious Organizations Only

If Politco's reporting is to be believed as accurate -- a dubious proposition -- that is what Christie supposedly said today.

Commenter tommylotto points out that I am trusting Politico's paraphrase of Christie's remarks for this post, which he claims is unwise and unfair, especially given the point I'm making about Politico (that they simply do not understand conservative beliefs or arguments).

That is a good point.

I am leaving this post up, but with this caveat: You can't trust a progressive to paraphrase a conservative's words.

If this report turns out to be ill-founded, I'll retract prominently, and ding Politico again.

For the moment, I'm just assuming -- provisionally, and a bit optimistically -- that someone at Politico understands the very basics of their job.


I personally would not permit businesses to discriminate against gay people for being gay -- but I sure would permit them to "discriminate," or just refuse, to be a part of ceremony they find contrary to their religion.

The distinction I make is between simply selling a stock in trade (donuts off a shelf) or being asked to personally use one's skill and experience to tailor-make something for a gay wedding. There is necessarily an intimacy and direct contact with the object-to rite in that instance which outweighs the would-be customer's purported right to buy anything from anyone he chooses.*

Chris Christie apparently disagrees.

He also says he's used birth control, but... sure, of course Politico finds that to be the big news here. Because they're trivial and childish. They're Buzzfeed for Over 40s.

Town hall meetings like the one in Manchester offer an opportunity for Christie to meet voters, show off his personality and crack jokes. On Tuesday morning, he made brief opening remarks before opening the floor to questions, deftly maneuvering across queries about whether he would allow business owners to discriminate against gay couples (no, but he would make exceptions for religious organizations) and Tom Brady (Christie cannot help him).

So the birth control thing is that he was talking about the separation of church and state and somehow got into the business of the Catholic Church's prohibition on artificial birth control; he says he's used it, and "not just the rhythm method." Then he said he doesn't think that makes him a bad Catholic.

Who gives a shit.

The important thing is that he does not support any kind of liberty of conscience in people's lives except for those working for expressly religious institutions. All other people must forfeit their liberty of conscience in order to achieve the allegedly-imperative social goal of no one disagreeing publicly with anyone else and no one ever feeling the discomfort of ideological conflict.

Except in church. Only churches get to "discriminate" like that.

* Some will object that my formulation is itself a compromise of perfect liberty of conscience and perfect freedom of association. It is that. I can't deny that.

On the other hand, I think actively agitating for a perfect and complete right to discriminate against whoever you like is a surefire loser position, which will result in the public opting for the progressive position (no freedom of conscience at all).

digg this
posted by Ace at 02:07 PM

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