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Old 02-07-2019, 03:57 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
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Grand Inquisitor Cory Booker

Cory Booker brings in the Inquisition on a judicial nominee, giving her a religious test in direct violation of Article VI of the US Constitution.

What is he trying to prove?

I also thought the way he handled the Kavanaugh questioning was pure showmanship, and inappropriate showmanship at that.

The guy is an ignorant, self-aggrandizing windbag if you ask me.
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:32 PM
Thing Fish Thing Fish is online now
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Well, I guess he's lost your vote, then?

And of course the Constitution doesn't say that Senators can't vote against a nominee because the nominee is a religious zealot, any more than it says that citizens can't take a candidate's religion into account when choosing who to vote for. The "no religious test" just means that the government can't pass laws requiring all candidates/nominees for office to subscribe to a particular religion.

Stupid right-wing talking point of the day debunked.
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:35 PM
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...giving her a religious test in direct violation of Article VI of the US Constitution...
"Do you personally believe that X is immoral" is not a religious test, and is in no way a violation of law.
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:45 PM
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The guy is an ignorant, self-aggrandizing windbag if you ask me.
Nah. Too easy.
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:54 PM
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Well, I guess he's lost your vote, then?

And of course the Constitution doesn't say that Senators can't vote against a nominee because the nominee is a religious zealot, any more than it says that citizens can't take a candidate's religion into account when choosing who to vote for. The "no religious test" just means that the government can't pass laws requiring all candidates/nominees for office to subscribe to a particular religion.

Stupid right-wing talking point of the day debunked.
I'm not entirely opposed to what you are saying, but it is a bit different. Booker is a senator and an agent of the United States government, not Farmer John voting for someone.

I can see the beginnings of an argument that as a senator if you will not vote for a judicial nominee because of his religion, then that is a religious test. But does the opinion of one senator make a violation of the Constitution? What about 51?

What if 51 senators agreed to never confirm a judicial nominee who adhered to the Second Presbylutheran Church, Reformation of 1958? It seems that there is now a religious test for any judicial office.
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:58 PM
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I'm sorry, I must have missed where any senator said they would not vote to confirm any nominee because of that nominee's religion.
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:59 PM
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"Do you personally believe that X is immoral" is not a religious test, and is in no way a violation of law.
It absolutely could be. Many sects of Christianity believe that homosexuality is immoral. You cannot game the system that way. You might as well say that any Muslim can hold political office so long as he eats pork or believes that Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel.

If A and B is what makes up C, you cannot get around discriminating against C by "merely" discriminating against A. By definition you have discriminated against C.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:00 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
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And of course the Constitution doesn't say that Senators can't vote against a nominee because the nominee is a religious zealot, any more than it says that citizens can't take a candidate's religion into account when choosing who to vote for. The "no religious test" just means that the government can't pass laws requiring all candidates/nominees for office to subscribe to a particular religion.
I realize that the judicial nomination process is distinct from both elections and typical employee hiring.

It would be very difficult to prove that Booker is breaking any laws, but I just think his line of questioning, combined with his past performances (and yes, they are performances) reveals a lot about his character (lacking) and his priorities (self promotion).

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Stupid right-wing talking point of the day debunked.
Just because the one being criticized is a Democrat does not mean that the one doing the criticizing is a right-winger.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:01 PM
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I'm sorry, I must have missed where any senator said they would not vote to confirm any nominee because of that nominee's religion.
Just speculation of course, but I wonder what the Senate's reaction would have been if the nominee had stated "yes, I believe that gay sex is immoral".

What should the Senate's reaction be to an answer like that?
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:03 PM
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he is trying to appeal to the far left . With this many people running to the left I wonder if whoever is the nominee this year they may make Sanders look like a John Bircher
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:07 PM
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It absolutely could be. Many sects of Christianity believe that homosexuality is immoral. You cannot game the system that way. You might as well say that any Muslim can hold political office so long as he eats pork or believes that Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel.

If A and B is what makes up C, you cannot get around discriminating against C by "merely" discriminating against A. By definition you have discriminated against C.
I get that one might choose to think the worst of Booker for many reasons, but you're assuming discrimination where there is none.

Again, asking a question about personal morals is not a violation of the Constitution.


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Just speculation of course, but I wonder what the Senate's reaction would have been if the nominee had stated "yes, I believe that gay sex is immoral".

What should the Senate's reaction be to an answer like that?
"What steps have you taken in the past, and if your nomination is approved what steps will you take in the future, to ensure that those personal beliefs do not interfere with your judicial decision making?"
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:07 PM
UltraVires UltraVires is offline
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Just speculation of course, but I wonder what the Senate's reaction would have been if the nominee had stated "yes, I believe that gay sex is immoral".

What should the Senate's reaction be to an answer like that?
Right. It is an unusual and irrelevant question. If I am a judge, my job is to apply the law and apply precedent faithfully. If Alabama passes a gay marriage license fee of $500, but it is only $50 for a heterosexual couple, I have to look at Obergefell and strike that law down regardless of my own personal belief in the morality of gay sex or gay marriage.

It seems that Booker and his ilk believe that law is exactly that: judges applying personal preferences to cases.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:08 PM
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I'm not entirely opposed to what you are saying, but it is a bit different. Booker is a senator and an agent of the United States government, not Farmer John voting for someone.

I can see the beginnings of an argument that as a senator if you will not vote for a judicial nominee because of his religion, then that is a religious test. But does the opinion of one senator make a violation of the Constitution? What about 51?

What if 51 senators agreed to never confirm a judicial nominee who adhered to the Second Presbylutheran Church, Reformation of 1958? It seems that there is now a religious test for any judicial office.
I'm not entirely sure, but I see no problem with 51 Senators who wouldn't want to confirm a judge who thinks gay marriage is a sin.

There are (I hope) already 51 Senators who would reject a nominee that believed interracial marriage was a sin. If one particular sect held that view, then members of that religion would be out of luck. I don't see a Constitutional violation.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:10 PM
Thing Fish Thing Fish is online now
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I'm not entirely opposed to what you are saying, but it is a bit different. Booker is a senator and an agent of the United States government, not Farmer John voting for someone.

I can see the beginnings of an argument that as a senator if you will not vote for a judicial nominee because of his religion, then that is a religious test. But does the opinion of one senator make a violation of the Constitution? What about 51?

What if 51 senators agreed to never confirm a judicial nominee who adhered to the Second Presbylutheran Church, Reformation of 1958? It seems that there is now a religious test for any judicial office.
That would be completely permissible. If the public disapproved of this discrimination against Presbylutherans, they could vote those Senators out of office. What is forbidden is to actually pass a law saying that Presbylutherans are ineligible for office.

Also, this candidate isn't being discriminated against because of her religion, she's being discriminated against because she (purportedly) believes that homosexuality is immoral. I agree that people who hold that repugnant view have no place in public office, and I don't care if her justification is religious or not, and if it is, I don't care which particular religion it is.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:12 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
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I agree that people who hold that repugnant view have no place in public office, and I don't care if her justification is religious or not, and if it is, I don't care which particular religion it is.
Thank you for your response.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:13 PM
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Right. It is an unusual and irrelevant question. If I am a judge, my job is to apply the law and apply precedent faithfully. If Alabama passes a gay marriage license fee of $500, but it is only $50 for a heterosexual couple, I have to look at Obergefell and strike that law down regardless of my own personal belief in the morality of gay sex or gay marriage.

It seems that Booker and his ilk believe that law is exactly that: judges applying personal preferences to cases.
Can you understand why gay people might feel more comfortable with a judge who wouldn't have to overcome any personal prejudices in order to follow the law?
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:15 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
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Can you understand why gay people might feel more comfortable with a judge who wouldn't have to overcome any personal prejudices in order to follow the law?
Adhering to a moral code ≠ having a personal prejudice.

ETA: Nor does it have anything to do with following the law

Last edited by EscAlaMike; 02-07-2019 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:17 PM
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That would be completely permissible. If the public disapproved of this discrimination against Presbylutherans, they could vote those Senators out of office. What is forbidden is to actually pass a law saying that Presbylutherans are ineligible for office.

Also, this candidate isn't being discriminated against because of her religion, she's being discriminated against because she (purportedly) believes that homosexuality is immoral. I agree that people who hold that repugnant view have no place in public office, and I don't care if her justification is religious or not, and if it is, I don't care which particular religion it is.
But this is bootstrapping. You have created a religious test.

It is no different than those in the Jim Crow south saying that blacks are PERFECTLY allowed to vote, so long as their grandfathers were eligible to vote. See, it isn't a racial test, it is a grandfather vote test!

You are getting in the backdoor what you cannot get in the front.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:17 PM
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Adhering to a moral code ≠ having a personal prejudice.
What if the particular moral code is based on prejudice?
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:18 PM
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For decades the Senate refused to confirm judges if they didn't think homosexuality was a sin. Does that mean that all those nominations were invalid and all decisions moot?

Amazing how the world changes.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:19 PM
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For decades the Senate refused to confirm judges if they didn't think homosexuality was a sin.
Cite?
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:20 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
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What if the particular moral code is based on prejudice?
You would still have to show how that prejudice relates to following the law.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:23 PM
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Can you understand why gay people might feel more comfortable with a judge who wouldn't have to overcome any personal prejudices in order to follow the law?
Judges do that all of the time. I'm sure that every judge that has ever been confirmed is "personally prejudiced" against rape and murder, but they have to judge the validity of search warrants that may set a murderer and rapist free. You don't think that they get a fair shake in the judicial process?
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:23 PM
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You would still have to show how that prejudice relates to following the law.
Why?

If I'm a Senator I don't have to give my reasons. Hell, we don't even have to have a vote.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:25 PM
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It absolutely could be. Many sects of Christianity believe that homosexuality is immoral. You cannot game the system that way. You might as well say that any Muslim can hold political office so long as he eats pork or believes that Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel.

If A and B is what makes up C, you cannot get around discriminating against C by "merely" discriminating against A. By definition you have discriminated against C.
But what if a pig farmer says they will only vote for people who eat pork? In your view, is that person practicing religious discrimination against Muslims? As long as that person wouldn't object to voting for a nonobservant Muslim, I don't think he is, despite the fact that his litmus test would exclude the vast majority of Muslims and Jews, and hardly anyone else (although it would exclude Cory Booker!).

Many sects of Christianity do hold that belief, and many others don't. All sects contain individuals who differ from their church's "official" stance. What would be really discriminatory would be to ask someone what church they attend, and assume based on their answer that you know their opinions on homosexuality (or anything else). Booker acted correctly, in that he was asking about the nominee's personal beliefs, not her denominational affiliation.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:25 PM
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Why?

If I'm a Senator I don't have to give my reasons. Hell, we don't even have to have a vote.
Sure, you can play that game.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:33 PM
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Booker acted correctly, in that he was asking about the nominee's personal beliefs, not her denominational affiliation.
Right. In that way, you can use your personal prejudice against those who hold to traditional morality without breaking the law, regardless of whether or not the person in question would adhere to the law in his or her rulings.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:33 PM
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Judges do that all of the time. I'm sure that every judge that has ever been confirmed is "personally prejudiced" against rape and murder, but they have to judge the validity of search warrants that may set a murderer and rapist free. You don't think that they get a fair shake in the judicial process?
Human nature being what it is, I'm sure that there are times when judges err on the side of permitting evidence that will allow the alleged rapist/murderer to be locked up, due to their revulsion at the nature of the crime. Sure, they're not supposed to do that but, yeah, I'm sure it happens.

I don't see any way to help the accused rapists and murderers out, because indeed, pretty much everybody is prejudiced against those groups, and for good reason.

But there are also groups in society who are frequently discriminated against for NO good reason, but purely based on bigotry. They have the right to know that, should they be on trial, their judge will not be a bigot.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:39 PM
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Right. In that way, you can use your personal prejudice against those who hold to traditional morality without breaking the law, regardless of whether or not the person in question would adhere to the law in his or her rulings.
Again, dude, he wouldn't be breaking the law if he asked her what church she attended.

And if it were established that she was a bigot, it would then become relevant to examine her record to see if that bigotry had manifested itself in her rulings. Establishing whether or not she is, in fact, a bigot is the first step in that process. If she had a long-established record of ruling in accordance with the law, I personally wouldn't refuse to seat her based solely on her personal religious beliefs. But again, if someone did take the position that her beliefs alone are enough to disqualify her, that person would not be violating the law by taking that position.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:39 PM
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Well I support Cory Booker for President, and I applaud the questions he asked in the hearing. As for his views on religion, I found this article very enlightening.

I have no problem at all with a litmus test for the Supreme Court that includes not being prejudiced against LGBT+ individuals, any more than I would have a problem with a litmus test that includes not being prejudiced against black people.

If your religion makes you prejudiced, then that is your problem.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:45 PM
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And of course the Constitution doesn't say that Senators can't vote against a nominee because the nominee is a religious zealot, any more than it says that citizens can't take a candidate's religion into account when choosing who to vote for.
I agree. Booker's behavior is dumb, but not unconstitutional. He does this kind of !%$& all the time at confirmation hearings, and also at the Ford/Kavanaugh testimony. Kamala Harris does so too. I guess when the primaries roll around, we'll learn whether it's what Democratic voters want.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:48 PM
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Gay rights good, sexual assault bad? I personally don't think I need to wait for the primaries to form an opinion on how Democratic voters feel about those issues.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:49 PM
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Adhering to a moral code ≠ having a personal prejudice.
Prejudice against gay people isn't a "moral code." It's not a moral anything - it's bigotry, and should not be something that's countenanced in our judicial system.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:49 PM
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But what if a pig farmer says they will only vote for people who eat pork? In your view, is that person practicing religious discrimination against Muslims? As long as that person wouldn't object to voting for a nonobservant Muslim, I don't think he is, despite the fact that his litmus test would exclude the vast majority of Muslims and Jews, and hardly anyone else (although it would exclude Cory Booker!).
First, the pig farmer is allowed to be as discriminatory as he wants. He is not an agent of the government. He can declare, before entering the polls, that he will never vote for a Muslim, and he can go in and cast his vote and it counts the same as yours or mine.

If a government farmer did the same thing, I could see it being a "disparate impact" case. It is similar to the voter ID cases. Everyone, black or white, must have an ID to vote, but if it is shown that the policy, neutral on its face hurts others because of a protected class, then it is unlawful.

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Many sects of Christianity do hold that belief, and many others don't. All sects contain individuals who differ from their church's "official" stance. What would be really discriminatory would be to ask someone what church they attend, and assume based on their answer that you know their opinions on homosexuality (or anything else). Booker acted correctly, in that he was asking about the nominee's personal beliefs, not her denominational affiliation.
What you are saying is that you can belong to any religion or sect that you want so long as you disavow what is part of what that sect believes is an important part of its faith.

From your comments, I think you would agree that if a law was passed saying that no Southern Baptists could hold office, you would strike that down. But you readily encourage barring people from office who believe that homosexuality is immoral.

Those lines are almost parallel. Sure, there may be some Southern Baptists that buck the church doctrine, but then your argument boils down to something along the lines of that you can belong to any religious group you want and can hold public office so long as you do not follow the tenets of your religion.

Frankly, that is the furthest thing from religious freedom imaginable. You can be a Jew so long as you celebrate Easter or you can be an atheist so long as you tithe to any local church.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:51 PM
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Prejudice against gay people isn't a "moral code." It's not a moral anything - it's bigotry, and should not be something that's countenanced in our judicial system.
Believing that gay sex is immoral is not prejudice against gay people.

Prejudice against gay people would be believing that they should be treated differently from straight people under the law.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:53 PM
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Cory Booker brings in the Inquisition on a judicial nominee, giving her a religious test in direct violation of Article VI of the US Constitution.

What is he trying to prove?

I also thought the way he handled the Kavanaugh questioning was pure showmanship, and inappropriate showmanship at that.

The guy is an ignorant, self-aggrandizing windbag if you ask me.
Iím glad we can count on your support for appointing more members of the Nation of Islam to the bench.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:54 PM
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Prejudice against gay people isn't a "moral code." It's not a moral anything - it's bigotry, and should not be something that's countenanced in our judicial system.
You have created a religious test. Hundreds of followers of traditional Christian sects are barred from government service. Newspeak has arrived.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:55 PM
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Believing that gay sex is immoral is not prejudice against gay people.
Yes it is -- that's a prejudiced belief. Prejudiced beliefs are legal to have, and it's entirely legal and reasonable for others to point out those prejudiced beliefs.

Just as the very common belief (in the mid 20th century) that interracial sex and marriage was immoral is/was a prejudiced belief.

Quote:
Prejudice against gay people would be believing that they should be treated differently from straight people under the law.
That would be belief that prejudiced action should be taking place.

If your religion tells you that black people or Jews are inferior, then your religion is telling you to have a prejudiced belief. If your religion is telling you that gay people having sex is immoral, then your religion is telling you to have a prejudiced belief.

You might be a perfectly nice person, but if you have this belief, then you have a prejudiced belief.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:56 PM
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You have created a religious test. Hundreds of followers of traditional Christian sects are barred from government service. Newspeak has arrived.
Unless you'd believe the same thing about someone insisting that their religion tells them black people are inferior, then this isn't a religious test. It's a test of principles. Plenty of Christians of all sorts of sects, traditional and otherwise, do not have this belief.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:30 PM
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First, the pig farmer is allowed to be as discriminatory as he wants. He is not an agent of the government. He can declare, before entering the polls, that he will never vote for a Muslim, and he can go in and cast his vote and it counts the same as yours or mine.

If a government farmer did the same thing, I could see it being a "disparate impact" case. It is similar to the voter ID cases. Everyone, black or white, must have an ID to vote, but if it is shown that the policy, neutral on its face hurts others because of a protected class, then it is unlawful.



What you are saying is that you can belong to any religion or sect that you want so long as you disavow what is part of what that sect believes is an important part of its faith.

From your comments, I think you would agree that if a law was passed saying that no Southern Baptists could hold office, you would strike that down. But you readily encourage barring people from office who believe that homosexuality is immoral.

Those lines are almost parallel. Sure, there may be some Southern Baptists that buck the church doctrine, but then your argument boils down to something along the lines of that you can belong to any religious group you want and can hold public office so long as you do not follow the tenets of your religion.

Frankly, that is the furthest thing from religious freedom imaginable. You can be a Jew so long as you celebrate Easter or you can be an atheist so long as you tithe to any local church.
Religious freedom has nothing to do with it. People have the right to believe whatever they want. They don't have a right to hold public office. That's a privilege.

With regard to the pig farmer, I didn't ask you whether he has the legal right to only vote for pork-eaters. Everyone agrees that he does. I asked you if you would consider him to be practicing religious discrimination.

How about a Muslim jihadist who believes that all non-Muslims ought to be killed or forced to convert? Do you think it would be appropriate for such a person to be seated on a Federal court, as long as they promised not to let their beliefs affect their judicial decisions? Do you think it would be reasonable to say that someone who objected to that appointment was practicing illegitimate religious discrimination?
  #41  
Old 02-07-2019, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
It absolutely could be. Many sects of Christianity believe that homosexuality is immoral.
You seem to be implying that only Christianity has this issue; are you implying that?
  #42  
Old 02-07-2019, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by EscAlaMike View Post
...
What is he trying to prove?
...
OK, I got this one. Easy easy easy. He's trying to prove what the nominee thinks about gay people.
  #43  
Old 02-07-2019, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
What you are saying is that you can belong to any religion or sect that you want so long as you disavow what is part of what that sect believes is an important part of its faith.
Are you really saying that those whose religious beliefs would engender prejudice (or worse) against those of a different religion, should be allowed to do so?
  #44  
Old 02-07-2019, 07:44 PM
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Are you really saying that those whose religious beliefs would engender prejudice (or worse) against those of a different religion, should be allowed to do so?
It's the classic "tolerance of intolerance" argument.
  #45  
Old 02-07-2019, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by EscAlaMike View Post
Believing that gay sex is immoral is not prejudice against gay people.
Wrong.

Quote:
Prejudice against gay people would be believing that they should be treated differently from straight people under the law.
Such as, for example, thinking gay people shouldn't be allowed to get married?

Cool. That's all Booker was asking her, after all. Why are you complaining about Booker trying to make sure a candidate for a judgeship isn't prejudiced?
  #46  
Old 02-07-2019, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
It absolutely could be. Many sects of Christianity believe that homosexuality is immoral. You cannot game the system that way.
Imagine a judicial applicant who had in the past participated in virulently racist demonstrations. Would you be okay with asking this applicant, "Do you believe that nonwhite people should be murdered and that the United States should grant rights only to white people?"

Because that's a religious position held by the World Church of the Creator--indeed, it's just about their only position. And courts have held it to be a religiously-protected position.

Game the system indeed. If someone has a fucked up belief, I don't give a shit what supernatural reason they give for holding the fucked up belief. They shouldn't have power over others.
  #47  
Old 02-07-2019, 08:43 PM
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Yawn, it's the old "You're bigoted against bigoted people!" thing again.

Never mind that Republicans are really actually doing the things you're pretending Democrats do.
  #48  
Old 02-07-2019, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
... Many sects of Christianity believe that homosexuality is immoral. You cannot game the system that way. You might as well say that any Muslim can hold political office so long as he eats pork or believes that Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel.

..
Ok, so lets say that Republicans nomiate a Muslim to the court, and then...
alright, even I couldn't keep a straight face for that one. Nevermind.
  #49  
Old 02-07-2019, 09:15 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
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Such as, for example, thinking gay people shouldn't be allowed to get married?
Of course gay people should be allowed to get married. They are human beings, and are thereby entitled to human rights.

The issue is "what is marriage?"
  #50  
Old 02-07-2019, 09:21 PM
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Yeah, so of course what is it?
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