T Nation

Left's Hierarchy of 'Rights'

I thought this article deserved its own thread:

Unless youâ??ve been sleeping under a rock, youâ??ve noticed the growing clash between religious freedom and issues like same-sex marriage and forced-funding of abortion.

Last week, the Supreme Court heard a landmark case on whether the federal government can compel a business to fund abortion drugs in defiance of the religious beliefs of the business owner. Itâ??s merely one such case amid a flurry of lawsuits that even includes the Little Sisters of the Poor. Or, consider these situations involving gay marriage:

In Oregon, a couple that owns a bakery, the Kleins, are being sued and called before the state for not making a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony. The Kleins note that being forced to make such a cake against their will would violate their Christian beliefs and freedom of conscience.

In Colorado, another bakery owner, Jack Phillips, awaits a possible jail sentence for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple.

In Washington State,a florist is being prosecuted by the stateâ??s attorney general for declining to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding.

In Ocean Grove, N.J., a Methodist camp meeting association lost its tax-exempt status for declining its wedding pavilion to two lesbians for a same-sex ceremony.

In New Mexico, the state Supreme Court ruled against the owners of Elane Photography, judging that they violated the stateâ??s Human Rights Act by refusing to take pictures for a same-sex ceremony. The ACLU opposed Elane Photography, as did one of the justices, who recognized that the ruling violated Elaneâ??s religious freedom but argued that such is the price of â??citizenshipâ?? in America today.

In Massachusetts and Illinois, Catholic Charities, one of the oldest and most established private adoption agencies in America, has been forced to cease services because it will not provide adoptive children to gay couples.

And then thereâ??s any number of figures demonized, boycotted, picketed, pressured, or fired for expressing their opposition to gay marriage: the president of Chick-fil-A, the owner of Barilla pasta, Craig James of Fox Sports, or Arizonaâ??s governor.

These are merely a few of innumerable examples. All involve religious believers invoking their sacred First Amendment rights, only to have those rights rejected by those describing themselves as â??liberalâ?? and professing â??diversityâ?? and â??tolerance.â?? In truth, you are not free to disagree with liberals on this issue. They wonâ??t let you. They will compel you. They will see you in court, in bankruptcy, maybe even in jail.

Liberals tolerate only what they agree with.

But whatâ??s really going on here? Whatâ??s the bigger picture? Well, these actions of liberals/progressives arenâ??t a surprise when you delve deeper into the logic of their ideology. Consider:

Liberals/progressives have a hierarchy of rights. They donâ??t look at competing rights in a pluralist system in the typical way that weâ??ve long been accustomed to in America. For instance, Americans typicallyâ??through the political and judicial processâ??have carefully sought to balance competing rights: property rights, civil rights, religious liberty, freedom of conscience, speech, press, federal rights, state rights, the right to life, and so forth. Picture these rights laid out in a line, with each prudently considered among the others, and with respect to the others.

Unfortunately, that is not how liberals/progressives operate. They act according to a hierarchy of rights thatâ??consistent with progressivismâ??is always progressing, or changing, or evolving. Right now, for liberals/progressives, sitting atop the totem pole in this hierarchy are so-called â??marriage rightsâ?? and â??abortion rights.â?? In the past, they called these things not rights but â??gay marriageâ?? or â??freedom of choice.â?? Quite shrewdly, however, theyâ??ve framed these â??freedomsâ?? as â??rights,â?? along the lines of â??civil rights.â?? Equally shrewd, they push them forward under the mantra of â??tolerance.â?? Itâ??s a brilliant move thatâ??s working extremely effectively with millions of Americans.

But hereâ??s the main point: for todayâ??s liberals/progressives, the likes of â??marriage rightsâ?? and â??abortion rightsâ?? rise superior to other rights, certainly above religious rights and property rights. We see this in the gay marriage examples listed above. It also applies to the Obama Health and Human Services mandate requiring religious believers to fund abortion drugs.

In all these cases, thereâ??s one commonality: liberals/progressives totally disregard the religious rights and property rights that they are steamrolling in the name of gay marriage and abortion. Religious rights and property rights are subjugated to a kind of liberal/progressive gulag. They are deemed bottom-of-the-barrel, and in no way nearly as important or worthy of consideration.

Again, the startling irony is that these same people fancy themselves champions of tolerance, diversity, and â??equal rights.â?? That has never been accurate, and they are proving it now with special uncompromising rigidity. They are pursuing what theyâ??ve always pursued: selective tolerance, selective diversity, and selective equal rights. Religious rights are not among their select.

A quotation that sums up this thinking comes from gay activist, law professor, and EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum. When asked about the conflict between gay rights and religious rights, Feldblum said, â??Iâ??m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.â??

Thatâ??s very clear. An attorney colleague of mine says of Feldblum: â??Supposedly a Constitutional Law scholar, she holds that view despite the fact that religious freedom is actually in the Constitution!â??

Yes, but to liberals/progressives it doesnâ??t matter. They have a hierarchy of rights, one thatâ??s always changing. And now, religious rights are their bottom-dwellers. For religious believers who disagree with them, too bad. Theyâ??ll see them in court.

Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His latest book is 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative.

I don’t understand how this gets so disconnected.

This is a rights issue… It would be wrong for a business to deny you service because you were of a certain denomination, or because you were a certain race.

Why is it different for sexuality? If a cakemaker or flower arranger would do business with a Christian couple looking to be married, but you wouldn’t provide the same service for a gay married couple, that’s pretty clearly discrimination based on nothing but sexual orientation. It’s a business right? They have the right to refuse business to people for lots of reasons, just not reasons that are in violation of people’s human rights.

You see the difference right?

It would be no different than say Mormons refusing to serve dark skinned people just a few years ago because their scripture said that dark skin was a mark of evil. It would still be a violation if they refused to serve people of dark skin… Even if the reasons were religious. Still a violation of a persons civil rights.

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[quote]Severiano wrote:
I don’t understand how this gets so disconnected.

This is a rights issue… It would be wrong for a business to deny you service because you were of a certain denomination, or because you were a certain race.

Why is it different for sexuality? If a cakemaker or flower arranger would do business with a Christian couple looking to be married, but you wouldn’t provide the same service for a gay married couple, that’s pretty clearly discrimination based on nothing but sexual orientation. It’s a business right? They have the right to refuse business to people for lots of reasons, just not reasons that are in violation of people’s human rights.

You see the difference right?

It would be no different than say Mormons refusing to serve dark skinned people just a few years ago because their scripture said that dark skin was a mark of evil. It would still be a violation if they refused to serve people of dark skin… Even if the reasons were religious. Still a violation of a persons civil rights.

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Gay Obama supporter and internet blogger Andrew Sullivan says ‘that the liberals are guilty of "trying to use easy remedies for a problem that knows no easy remedies; using the language of rights in an area where it is impossible to avoid the language of goods…’

No it’s not the same. And your argument could (and has) been used to argue for the normalisation of polygamy, incest, bestiality and pedophilia. So where does one draw the line? Consenting adults not harming anyone else? Like a father and his adult daughter? No. It harms society and therefore the individuals that society comprises. Not to mention the Constitutional rights being infringed upon. Of this you seem to be dimly aware. Putting someone in prison because they refuse to take part in a gay wedding? That smacks of impeding the right to freedom of religion to me.

[quote]Severiano wrote:
…reasons that are in violation of people’s human rights.

[/quote]

It is not a ‘human right’ to be allowed to marry someone of the same sex. To give ground on gay marriage is to place oneself in a precarious position where one’s own rights - real rights enshrined in the bill of rights - are infringed upon and the judicial branch is elevated to activist status. The end result can only be loss of liberty and the debasement of the civil society.

The Pedophile thing is a silly comparison, and seems like an attempt at comparing what pedophiles do to what gays do. It’s illegal for adults to have sex with children… If you ask me that’s a mental disorder, some sort of sickness. Just like we don’t allow psychopaths to exercise their civil right to murder people… It’s really that simple. Some people consider homosexuality an illness, but the key difference here is there are no victims in a homosexual marriage. I mean it’s gross, but they aren’t hurting anybody or violating any children.

If it’s okay to violate people’s civil rights because of religion, then why not simply invent new religions that suit the ends of those particular people? I mean, why then wouldn’t pedophiles create a church where they violate children and are protected by civil rights?

Do you see the difference? There are no victims. If they would do arrangements for straight people having a civil marriage then they should also serve gay people having a civil marriage. Otherwise it’s clearly discrimination.

[quote]Severiano wrote:
The Pedophile thing is a silly comparison, and seems like an attempt at comparing what pedophiles do to what gays do. It’s illegal for adults to have sex with children… If you ask me that’s a mental disorder, some sort of sickness.

[/quote]

They would argue otherwise. You’re disregarding their human rights. Besides why cherry pick? The example I gave was a man and his adult daughter who want to marry each other. By your logic that should be perfectly fine. Hell we should imprison florists who refuse to send flowers to their wedding right?

It’s not a human right to murder people.

So you’re good with the guy marrying his adult daughter then right?

I don’t think you know what civil rights are. It is not a ‘civil right’ to be able to marry someone of the same sex and force businesses and their employees to collaborate with you.

But you’re okay with a guy marrying his adult daughter right?

Only too well.

And the guy marrying his adult daughter. Florists who don’t want to be involved should be imprisoned right?

Pedophiles violate children… Pretty simple due to laws about minors and consenting adults. There are groups of pedophiles who run things like underground child sex slave rings and other such abominations. Children are victimized, it’s clearly a crime.

The thing with incest… I don’t know that there are these big rings of incest groups of fathers trying to marry their of age daughters. I mean I’m sure there are a couple examples, but I’m also pretty sure you will find those daughters were victims of incest from a young age. I don’t know that it’s a convention in any culture for fathers to fuck their of age daughters… It’s just a weird thing… I don’t see that anyone is being hurt if it’s really two adults, father and daughter getting married… But I also don’t think it’s at all common. Maybe in the bible belt a hundred years ago? I’d still wager that the adult daughters were violated when they were children. What daughter literally want’s to marry her father? I was curious about this, in just about every country in the world this is illegal.

As for punishments. They should mirror whatever punishments are in place if say you refuse to serve a person because of their skin color. It’s the same thing. All of a sudden you chose to not serve someone because they are sinners as a Christian? That’s some bullshit, everyone’s a sinner.

From what I have read there are incest laws having to do with how closely you are related to the other party. It seems to have to do with prevention of inbreeding and disease, but there are also some conventions where it’s illegal for two to marry even when one child was adopted and has no blood relation. So the laws vary… It’s still friggin weird imo to compare incest to homosexuality.

[quote]Severiano wrote:
Pedophiles violate children… Pretty simple due to laws about minors and consenting adults. There are groups of pedophiles who run things like underground child sex slave rings and other such abominations. Children are victimized, it’s clearly a crime.

The thing with incest… I don’t know that there are these big rings of incest groups of fathers trying to marry their of age daughters. I mean I’m sure there are a couple examples, but I’m also pretty sure you will find those daughters were victims of incest from a young age.

[/quote]

I didn’t ask any of that. I just asked if you’re okay with a man marrying his adult daughter by mutual consent.

No one suggested it was a convention.

So that’s the criteria. Anything that anyone wants, so long as you can’t see any harm, becomes a human right that must be imposed via the judiciary.

Yes ‘father and daughter gays’ must be protected. Just like the civil rights of black people.

No one suggested they should be dehumanised.

There was no Bible Belt a hundred years ago. Everywhere was the Bible Belt. Nice jab at Christianity though.

[quote]
I’d still wager that the adult daughters were violated when they were children. What daughter literally want’s to marry her father? I was curious about this, in just about every country in the world this is illegal.

As for punishments. They should mirror whatever punishments are in place if say you refuse to serve a person because of their skin color. It’s the same thing. All of a sudden you chose to not serve someone because they are sinners as a Christian? That’s some bullshit, everyone’s a sinner. [/quote]

You’re all over the place in this last paragraph. What punishments? You’ve already said you condone it. And that’s not why people object to being forced to send flowers to gay weddings.

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

[quote]Severiano wrote:
Pedophiles violate children… Pretty simple due to laws about minors and consenting adults. There are groups of pedophiles who run things like underground child sex slave rings and other such abominations. Children are victimized, it’s clearly a crime.

The thing with incest… I don’t know that there are these big rings of incest groups of fathers trying to marry their of age daughters. I mean I’m sure there are a couple examples, but I’m also pretty sure you will find those daughters were victims of incest from a young age.

[/quote]

I didn’t ask any of that. I just asked if you’re okay with a man marrying his adult daughter by mutual consent.

No one suggested it was a convention.

So that’s the criteria. Anything that anyone wants, so long as you can’t see any harm, becomes a human right that must be imposed via the judiciary.

Yes ‘father and daughter gays’ must be protected. Just like the civil rights of black people.

No one suggested they should be dehumanised.

There was no Bible Belt a hundred years ago. Everywhere was the Bible Belt. Nice jab at Christianity though.

[quote]
I’d still wager that the adult daughters were violated when they were children. What daughter literally want’s to marry her father? I was curious about this, in just about every country in the world this is illegal.

As for punishments. They should mirror whatever punishments are in place if say you refuse to serve a person because of their skin color. It’s the same thing. All of a sudden you chose to not serve someone because they are sinners as a Christian? That’s some bullshit, everyone’s a sinner. [/quote]

You’re all over the place in this last paragraph. What punishments? You’ve already said you condone it. And that’s not why people object to being forced to send flowers to gay weddings.[/quote]

I’m all over the place? You’re the one comparing gay marriage to incest and Pedophelia. I had to do a little reading before I was comfortable responding, because they are some weird ass comparisons that I wasn’t even familiar with until just reading them. I don’t know shit about incest, but it is pretty interesting seeing how the became convention and then law.

I only see it as a right that consenting people should have.

Laws have a lot to do with cultural convention and tradition. It’s the reason I decided not to become a lawyer; because U.S. Law as well as U.K. laws which our laws basically copy follow no theory of justice with any consistency. It’s just a bunch of shit on paper, precedent, tradition, and dollar signs.

The thing about civil rights, it’s one of the few things we got right in this country, and imo one of the few things worth fighting for.

I’ll simply point back to the Mormon analogy I made. It would be wrong for them to deny me service in Utah because I have dark skin. I think most people would agree with this. Your religious beliefs aren’t an excuse to violate civil rights. Gays getting married, that’s a civil right. If John and Marry have a flower, or cake shop. They wouldn’t be able to deny service to people because they were black or white, they shoudln’t be able to deny service whether they are gay or straight either. Both are civil rights… I get that you believe gays laying with one another is evil.

But, what about standing up? I mean, it’s the people who are super interested in what gays do behind doors that made anti sodomy laws and persecuted gays for the last 100 or so years on those violations of rights. I think that’s more disgusting.

[quote]Severiano wrote:

I’m all over the place? You’re the one comparing gay marriage to incest and Pedophelia

[/quote]

I made no such comparison. I was just trying to understand exactly how you define what a right is. So far all I’ve got is that a human right appears to be something an adult desires that is also an adult and doesn’t harm other people or something like that.

It’s the common law system based on English common law as opposed to the Roman civil system in place in much of the rest of the world.

It’s the civil system that produces less consistency in outcomes.

One of the few things? Gee you’re really making the case for American exceptionalism there.

No it’s not a civil right. And it’s not marriage as understood in our culture either. It’s a radical social and cultural change that a minority of people are attempting to impose upon the rest of us.

Then you get wrong. I don’t believe gays are inherently evil and I don’t know anyone who does.

[quote]

But, what about standing up? I mean, it’s the people who are super interested in what gays do behind doors that made anti sodomy laws and persecuted gays for the last 100 or so years on those violations of rights. I think that’s more disgusting. [/quote]

Well good for you. But I think this discussion is going around in circles. You think it’s a ‘civil right’ to force florists to send flowers to gay weddings and I think otherwise.

I don’t really believe in American superiority or anything like that. We aren’t necessarily the most moral or noble society, but I know damned well I’m fortunate to have been born here. It basically guarantees that in the big picture I’m a rich mofo. But at the same time I know we are a shady nation who does what it needs to do to maintain power. Whether it’s exploiting other nations for their resources, spying on it’s own citizens via NSA, whatever…

We aren’t as free as we think, and there are other 1st world nations that are better than us, that enjoy more freedoms, that have the peoples interests in mind moreso than the banks… Just keeping it real, I love this nation enough to have served it, and I’d have taken a bullet if I had to. I know that in the big picture, considering the populace of the world I’m a 1%er, living fat and happy up on top of the hill. I enjoy my life, I love the food, being able to lift, have running water, education, great beer, great pot. But that doesn’t make us perfect and we should make things even better.

I studied a bit of U.K. Law as well as U.S. law, as well as theories of justice, especially in punishment. I’m more than confident when I say our laws don’t follow any coherent theory of justice with any consistency. It’s more a mix mash, hodge podge of different justice ideals here and there with dashes and splashes of convention and precedent. These days it’s just a bunch of banksters in office writing law for the companies they work for, and politicians asking those same companies for money so they can run for office or stay in office. It’s like FUBU from back in the day, but its for the elite, by the elite; FEBE.

We won’t see this eye to eye… I see refusal of service to gays based on the fact they are gay as the same as refusal of service to whites because they are white, or blacks because they are black… It’s a violation of civil rights. Pretty plain and simple.

Also, YOU brought up Pedo’s and incest into the discussion.

[quote]Severiano wrote:

Also, YOU brought up Pedo’s and incest into the discussion.

[/quote]

But not to ‘compare’ them to gays. I was extending your argument to try to get an understanding of exactly what you believe a human right is.

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

[quote]Severiano wrote:

Also, YOU brought up Pedo’s and incest into the discussion.

[/quote]

But not to ‘compare’ them to gays. I was extending your argument to try to get an understanding of exactly what you believe a human right is.[/quote]

Well, rights can be seen as things that should be afforded to people, that they would naturally do in a state of nature if you want to get into Lockean principles.

Those are where people like Pedophiles and Psychopaths might argue from. In that they have a natural proclivity to have sex with little kids, or in the psychopaths case it might be to manipulate people to their ends and only seem capable of regarding their own ends and desires.

End of the day Lockean principals don’t work unless there are unlimited resources of all sorts. Problem is American’s in general don’t seem to understand this. Especially guys like the Koch brothers.

[quote]Severiano wrote:

Well, rights can be seen as things that should be afforded to people, that they would naturally do in a state of nature if you want to get into Lockean principles.

Those are where people like Pedophiles and Psychopaths might argue from. In that they have a natural proclivity to have sex with little kids, or in the psychopaths case it might be to manipulate people to their ends and only seem capable of regarding their own ends and desires.

End of the day Lockean principals don’t work unless there are unlimited resources of all sorts. Problem is American’s in general don’t seem to understand this. Especially guys like the Koch brothers.
[/quote]

So a right = a desire. Got it now.

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

[quote]Severiano wrote:

Well, rights can be seen as things that should be afforded to people, that they would naturally do in a state of nature if you want to get into Lockean principles.

Those are where people like Pedophiles and Psychopaths might argue from. In that they have a natural proclivity to have sex with little kids, or in the psychopaths case it might be to manipulate people to their ends and only seem capable of regarding their own ends and desires.

End of the day Lockean principals don’t work unless there are unlimited resources of all sorts. Problem is American’s in general don’t seem to understand this. Especially guys like the Koch brothers.
[/quote]

So a right = a desire. Got it now. [/quote]

Rights are supposed to have to do with convention. You don’t know the groundwork, so I’ll break it down quickly.

Why would one give up the rights they have in a state of nature, where they SELF GOVERN? They give up those rights from nature when they come together and form a society. That society’s comes up with rights initially that are conventions, things that the majority of the people do or did in the first place.

I was coming from the state of nature to explain why a psychopath or pedo might believe they have natural rights. In a state of nature the pedo and psycho are going to treat those impulses as natural rights if they were self governing. That’s where I was coming from with those.

Like I said, when considering Lockean ideas, you know from John Locke… The guy who inspired what freedom means to our nation considered freedoms from the state of nature, and that we give up certain freedoms for the benefits of society.

So, freedoms of the psychopath and pedo could be inspired from Locke, and it seems the arguments from Pedo’s actually are inspired by the state of nature.

[quote]Severiano wrote:

Rights are supposed to have to do with convention. You don’t know the groundwork, so I’ll break it down quickly.

Why would one give up the rights they have in a state of nature, where they SELF GOVERN? They give up those rights from nature when they come together and form a society. That society’s comes up towith rights initially that are conventions, things that the majority of the people do or did in the first place.

[/quote]

You mean things like marrying people of the opposite sex as opposed to people of the same sex? Things like that?

Social contract theory.

[quote]
So, freedoms of the psychopath and pedo could be inspired from Locke, and it seems the arguments from Pedo’s actually are inspired by the state of nature. [/quote]

Yes it is. But for the good of society we don’t legally allow those things - they’re not what we would call human rights.

A right means something that people can’t do to you or prevent you from doing. It is negative by definition. You cannot have the right to have someone else bake you a cake. You do, however, have the right not to bake a cake and not have someone force you to bake a cake.

If your “right” involves coercion and threats of violence against someone else to make them do something you are completely full of shit and lack even a basic understanding of what liberty and natural rights are.

All of this was easily predictable at the first mention of interracial marriage in the debate. That should have told one everything one needed to know about how this would go down. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

“No, no, I’m not racist. Honestly, I wish racial minority-x happy lives. I just don’t think the races should intermarry.” Think of how a holder of such a viewpoint would be driven out of classrooms, jobs, government…Any and all public (tax exemptions taken away) and private (put on “don’t do business with” lists) pressure and action taken today against such a person as above is, and will increasingly be, turned against anyone that doesn’t agree with SSM. Or, that views homosexuality as in any way different from heterosexuality.