Cake Wars: Is the Indiana RFRA Coverage Skirting The Difficult Questions Of Conflict Between Anti-Discrimination Law and Free Exercise?

Wedding_cake_with_pillar_supports,_2009This week, I appeared on the CNN special addressing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in Indiana. While I have been a long-standing supporter of same-sex marriage, I raised concerns over the dismissive treatment of religious concerns over the scope of anti-discrimination laws and how they may curtail free exercise of religion. I have previously written both columns and academic work on this collision between the two areas of law. In the program, I raised an example of the growing conflicts that we discussed earlier on this blog of a bakery that refused to make a cake deemed insulting to homosexuals while other bakers are objecting to symbols that they view as insulting to their religious views. This issue also came up with an advocate for LGBT rights on the show:

On the show, Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, appeared and gave an excellent case for those opposing this law. The HRC does very good legal work and has a distinguished history advocating LBGT rights. I however was most interested in one exchange with host Christ Cuomo:

Cuomo: Now, Sarah, you’re going to hear people flip this analogy on you and say, “Well, wait a minute, if this were a Jewish baker and some KKK couple came in and said, “We want you to make a cake.” If he said no, well than how would you feel about the situation?

Warbelow: Well, most of these business owners really are providing cakes across the board, but there are a select few who are choosing to discriminate. And there’s a huge difference between having to write something objectionable on a cake and being asked to provide a cake for a same sex couple.

The exchange was interesting between Warbelow seems to suggest that bakers should be able to refuse “something objectionable on a cake” but insists that bakers cannot refuse to make cakes that they find objectionable for same-sex couples. For some religious bakers, a cake with a same-sex image or language is objectionable.

My point is only that we are brushing aside a difficult and unresolved question of where to draw this line. We are all so eager to show (as I did above) that we support homosexual rights and/or same sex marriage, that there is little frank discussion of the obvious conflict with free exercise and free speech. There is also a limited discussion of the difference between certain forms of expressive arts like photography or baking as opposed to less expressions forms like diners or transportation businesses. For example, there does seem a meaningful distinction between serving a gay couple at a diner and a photographer who is asked to participate in a same-sex marriage and celebration in recording the event and arranging photo settings. That does not mean that we would not reach the same conclusion, but we are not having this debate.

I have struggled with this collision between anti-discrimination laws and free speech/free exercise for many years. I still remain uncertain on whether to draw this line between the two cakes that I described. We should have an answer for those citizens who are raising these concerns rather than dismiss them all as bigots. If the HRC is saying that bakers can refuse to make objectionable cakes, we should have a better understanding of when such objections are deemed legitimate and protected. Free speech and free exercise are rights that require bright line rules to avoid the chilling effect of possible criminal or civil liability. We need to be able to explain why the refusal to make one of these cakes is an unlawful form of bigotry and why the other is a permissible form of free speech.

What do you think?

622 thoughts on “Cake Wars: Is the Indiana RFRA Coverage Skirting The Difficult Questions Of Conflict Between Anti-Discrimination Law and Free Exercise?”

  1. Presbyterians and Catholics each from their view of marriage, have removed, not the bad, but rather what they each in turn consider the deficient good from their view of marriage, leaving only the Good. For if there were nothing of good there, nothing of deficient good could be removed. If the good were not deficient, there would be no bad. The Government may not enter into that realm, deciding which deficient good, which is good in a certain respect, is good for that never-the-less changes the entire message of the other to one of bad absolute . . .

    The attempt to impose a univocal action based upon marriage is that the contradiction imposed upon religious belief creates a deep controversy and divisiveness associated with the issue of same-sex marriage. An act which illustrates the consequence of the government entangling itself with a biblical term that it should not be using to regulate the unions of all couples.

    1. You would deny a 3-year-old a birthday cake with his name on it. Shame, shame, shame. As the article said, if the kid’s name was Jesus Christ no one would have dared throw a fit.

  2. @ happypappies

    “You spoke of scripture that had sacrifice of humans in it from God Almighty by the Jews –”

    I don’t recall writing anything about human sacrifice, so you may be thinking of another poster here who seemed to be alienated from his faith by God’s commanding Abraham to sacrifice his son.

    I was waiting for him to post again, so I could remind him that God’s angel stayed Abraham’s hand, and ask him if that didn’t make a big difference to him regarding his ethical evaluation of the incident, but then he suddenly quit posting. He’s an attorney, so he may be preparing for a trial or something.

    When he shows up again, I certainly plan to pursue the issue with him. I hate the thought of his losing his faith over one or more misinterpretations of Scripture. I’ve been there and done that, and I wasted a whole lot of time and energy before getting back into a conscious, working relationship with Him.

    What do you think of the “Old Testament Christianity” that I called attention to in my two friends?

    1. Ken Rogers

      No — You did not But the Bible does. Several times. It is inconsistent. This is what I pointed out to you.

      What if “God’s Angel” Stayed Abraham’s hand because maybe Abrahan was confused and he thought it was some other human sacrificing bloody god from back in those times.

      El — Canaanite god — A murderous tyrant who terrified all other gods. He took the throne away from his father, murdered his most beloved son, and beheaded one of his daughters.
      Asherah — Moabite goddess — A bloodthirsty goddess who could demand the murder of both men and women, and whose temple worship included prostitution and other vile sexuality.
      Molech — Phoenician god — Worship of Molech included child sacrifice by “passing the child through fire.” Often newborn babies were placed in the arms of a statue of Molech which was surrounded by fire and the babies were consumed as a burnt offering. Parents believed that sacrificing their firstborn to Molech might help increase their financial prosperity.
      Amon-Ra — Egyptian creator and sun god — along with his “son” Pharaoh, Ra had the ability to punish human beings on a massive scale if they mocked him or upset him in any way. The role of Pharaoh as Horus, or the son of Ra, elevated him to a god-like status which allowed him to get away with something as horrible as the mass killing of infant boys (Exodus 1:22).

      But that was not my point in my writings to you. this is my answer to your Isaac question.


      You will have to give me a starting point on the Christian Ethics of the Old Testament because most Christians do not understand life which is what Jesus came down to teach us about.

      Matthew 28:19 (ASV) Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:

      My point of bringing up the old Testament and the Sacrifice is I don’t think that the Ineffable one gave any such Commandment

  3. Thanks much, Darren.

    I see the one on African AIDS epidemiology in this thread.

    Did you post the other two in a different thread or threads?

  4. Darren,
    My last post seems to have disappeared into the etheric.
    Can you retrieve it?

    1. Ken, I retrieved three of your comments that went into the spam filter for some reason.

  5. @ Very Squeaky Fromm, Girl Epidemigollygist

    “And FWIW, where did all those higher loads in Africa come from??? Well, people like YOU were listened to by South African President Mbeki, and over 300,000 people died. Thus wiki notes under ‘AIDS denialism in South Africa’ ”

    I’d been trying to figure out why you’re so adamant in your refusal to examine the actual laboratory and epidemiological evidence against the HIV/AIDS hypothesis, rather than just accepting on faith the official story as you have, and then earlier today I remembered something you’d posted a few days ago, to wit:

    April 1, 2015 at 4:19 pm Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter
    @bam bam
    “Actually, every successful functioning society, including the heathen Chinese, is based on Biblical-like principles because what we call ‘biblical principles’ are really just the necessary prerequisites for a higher functioning society. You can’t manage to have large numbers of people in one place without some rules against lying, stealing, murdering, committing adultery, and disrespecting established authorities, etc.” (My emphasis)

    So “disrespecting established authorities” is, for you, right up there in reprehensibility with “stealing and murdering.” Perhaps that explains why you can’t bring yourself to question the “authorities” in so important a matter as what causes the multiple forms of AIDS. Make you too anxious? Wouldn’t be prudent?

    I’m willing to bet that you have a similar posture vis a vis the Warren and 9/11 Commission Reports. If so, is it just possible that you’ve contracted a case of authoritarian following? This would also, of course, account for your strident racism and homophobia. (See Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians

    Regarding the “AIDS epidemic” in Africa, however, I have long been familiar with the computer-modeled estimates of Chigwedere, which have been thoroughly discredited. Please read, with comprehension, the following:

    Duesberg and AIDS deaths in South Africa
    Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/03/31

    “The previous post noted that ‘the critique by Duesberg et al. of unfounded claims of huge numbers of AIDS deaths in South Africa’ had passed expert peer review for presentation at the Italian Conference on AIDS and Retroviruses held this month. The text of the abstract, published in the Springer journal Infection, is copied below, as is the actual poster exhibited at the meeting and some photographs of the poster displays. Here is a brief reminder of the substantive issue dealt with in Duesberg’s critique:

    “Chigwedere et al. had published in JAIDS (49 [2008] 410-5) the assertion that >300,000 South Africans had died annually of AIDS during 2000-5. That number originated in computer-modeled estimates that had already been thoroughly discredited by Rian Malan (“AIDS in Africa: In search of the truth”, Rolling Stone Magazine, 22 November 2001; “Africa isn’t dying of Aids”, The Spectator [London], 14 December 2003). Even more strikingly, those extraordinary assertions by Chigwedere et al. exceeded by a factor of about 20 the official counts of ~15,000 annual AIDS deaths published by Statistics South Africa. JAIDS refused to publish a corrective comment by Duesberg et al. (Emphasis added)

    An expanded version of that correction was accepted by Medical Hypotheses and published on-line in advance of print publication. AIDS vigilantes associated with protested to Elsevier, publisher of Medical Hypotheses, and asked the National Library of Medicine to stop abstracting Medical Hypotheses. The National Library snubbed the protesters, but Elsevier caved in and withdrew the article as ‘potentially damaging to global public health’ (PMID 19619953), without consulting the journal’s Editor, or its Editorial Board, or allowing the authors of the article to respond to the criticisms.

    “Elsevier went further, sacking the Editor and replacing him with someone so ignorant as to claim it feasible to ‘not to get into controversial subjects’ but still ‘publish radical new ideas’ (Martin Enserink, ‘New Medical Hypotheses Editor promises not to stir up controversy’, ScienceInsider, 25 June 2010).

    “Oddly enough, having sought to hide Duesberg’s critique from public view, the vigilantes have continued to draw attention to it by publishing responses, for instance in a journal edited by one of the leading vigilantes (Chigwedere & Essex, ‘AIDS Denialism and Public Health Practice’, AIDS and Behavior 14 [2010] 237-47) and in a social-science periodical (N. Nattrass, “Defending the boundaries of science: AIDS denialism, peer review and the Medical Hypotheses saga”, Sociology of Health & Illness, 2011 Feb 11. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2010.01312.x. [Epub ahead of print]).

    “The vigilantes’ obsession with the Duesberg critique is fully warranted, of course, because the critique is sound enough to withstand disinterested expert peer review, as illustrated by its recent acceptance at the Conference on AIDS and Retroviruses. Here is the text of the abstract:
    “PO 90
    P. H. Duesberg [1], D. Mandrioli [1], A. McCormack [1], J. M. Nicholson [ 2], C. Del Popolo* [3], D. Rasnick [4], C. Fiala [5], C. Koehnlein [6], H. H. Bauer [7]
    [1] University of California, Berkeley, USA; [2] Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA; [3] Department of Anatomy, Histology and Forensic Medicine, Florence, Italy; [4] Oakland, California, USA; [5] Gynmed Ambulatorium, Vienna, Austria; [6] Internistische Praxis, Kiel, Germany; [7] Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA

    “Since the discoveries of a presumably new AIDS virus in 1984 and of millions of asymptomatic carriers in subsequent years, no general AIDS epidemic has occurred in the U.S., Europe, South America and Asia by 2010. Recently, however, Chigwedere et al. ‘estimated’ that between the years 2000 and 2005, the new AIDS virus, now called Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), had killed 1.8 million South Africans at a steady rate of 300,000 per year, based on information from the World Health Organization (WHO) (J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr, 2008).

    Here we investigate the evidence for these claims in view of the paradoxes that (1) HIV would cause a huge epidemic in Africa, but not in any other continent despite global prevalence since 1985, and that (2) it would cause a steady rather than a classical bell-shaped epidemic, self- limited by immunity like all other new pathogenic viruses.

    “Surprisingly, we found that the WHO does not even list any South African AIDS cases from 1996 until 2007, and that Statistics South Africa attributed only about 10,000 deaths per year to HIV between 2000 and 2005, and thus 30-fold less than those reported by Chigwedere et al. (Emphasis added)

    “In a further effort to find independent evidence for the reportedly new AIDS epidemic, we searched for losses of lives in South African population growth curves. Surprisingly, we found that South Africa had increased by 3 million between 2000 and 2005 extending a steady growth rate of 500,000 per year, based on statistics from South Africa, the US and the World Bank.

    “This gain was an integral part of a monotonic growth trajectory from 29 million in 1980 before the AIDS era to 49 million in 2008. During the same time Uganda increased from 12 to 31 million, and Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole doubled from 400 to 800 million, despite high prevalence of antibodies against HIV [Based on HIV testing].

    “We deduce that the predicted epidemiological pattern of a new killing virus never showed up in Africa, and that HIV cannot be considered a killer virus from the demographic point of view.”

  6. In my last post, I referred to the psychoanalyst Dr. Alice Miller, who has written 12 books which have been translated into 30 languages. In her analytic practice, she discovered the lasting harm done to children by abusive parents, unless those children had someone who intervened on their behalf, either when they were still children or after they were grown.

    Her work is an important contribution to understanding just how damaging abusive parenting can be in terms of its effects on the psychology and social behavior of adults, including brutal dictators and their enthusiastic followers.

    The Essential Role of an Enlightened Witness in Society
    By Alice Miller, Ph.D.
    “Since adolescence I have always wondered why people take pleasure in humiliating others. Clearly the fact that some people are sensitive to the suffering of others proves that the destructive urge is not a universal aspect of human nature. So why do some tend to solve their problems by violence while others don’t?

    “Philosophy failed to answer my question, and the Freudian theory of the death wish has never convinced me. It was only by closely examining the childhood histories of murderers, especially mass murderers, that I began to comprehend the roots of good and evil: not in the genes, as commonly believed, but often in the earliest days of life.

    “Today, it is inconceivable to me that a child who comes into the world among attentive, loving and protective parents could become a predatory monster. And in the childhood of the murderers who later became dictators, I have always found a nightmarish horror, a record of continual lies and humiliation, which upon the attainment of adulthood, impelled them to acts of merciless revenge on society. (Emphasis added)

    “These vengeful acts were always garbed in hypocritical ideologies, purporting that the dictator’s exclusive and overriding wish was the happiness of his people. In this way, he unconsciously emulated his own parents who, in earlier days, had also insisted that their blows were inflicted on the child for his own good. This belief was extremely widespread a century ago, particularly in Germany.

    “I found it logical that a child beaten often would quickly pick up the language of violence. For him, this language became the only effective means of communication available. Yet what I found to be logical was apparently not so to most people.

    “When I began to illustrate my thesis by drawing on the examples of Hitler and Stalin, when I tried to expose the social consequences of child abuse, I encountered fierce resistance. Repeatedly I was told, ‘I, too, was a battered child, but that didn’t make me a criminal.’ When I asked for details about their childhood, I was always told of a person who loved them, but was unable to protect them. Yet through his or her presence, this person gave them a notion of trust, and of love.

    “I call these persons helping witnesses. Dostoyevsky, for instance, had a brutal father, but a loving mother. She wasn’t strong enough to protect him from his father, but she gave him a powerful conception of love, without which his novels would have been unimaginable. Many have also been lucky enough to find later both enlightened and courageous witnesses, people who helped them to recognize the injustices they suffered, to give vent to their feelings of rage, pain and indignation at what happened to them. People who found such witnesses never became criminals.”

  7. To follow up on my last post regarding my friends who are “Old Testament Christians,” here’s a thoughtful essay on appealing to the Old Testament as a guide for contemporary Christian ethics:

    The Old Testament and Contemporary Christian Ethics
    July 7, 2013 by Roger E. Olson

    “The background issue here, of this post, is the problem I see of appealing to the Old Testament, especially the Pentateuch and historical books, to establish Christian ethics.

    “One does not have to deny the divine inspiration of the entire Old Testament to argue that it cannot serve as a basis for contemporary Christian ethics. Jesus himself offered corrections to Old Testament ethics (e.g., divorce).

    “Early Christians, after the apostolic age (and some would argue during it—in some of Paul’s epistles), handled the tensions between Christian ethics (e.g., the Sermon on the Mount) and the Old Testament by means of allegorical hermeneutics. They based their ethics primarily on Jesus and the apostles and sometimes on Greek philosophy.

    “Today, for the most part, that avenue (allegorical interpretation) is closed off to us. We have to find new ways of handling the tensions and most Christians do. Those of us in the Anabaptist tradition (which includes many Baptists who were known as Anabaptists during their earliest years) do it by ‘reading the Bible backwards—the Old Testament in the light of the New. (Emphasis added) We freely and joyfully admit that much of the Old Testament, especially in the realm of ethics, must be relativized in light of the New.

    “Very few Christians take literally, as straightforwardly applicable to today, the entire body of God’s commandments to Israel in the Pentateuch and historical books.

    “This is true even of some of Jesus’ sayings which Christians have always interpreted non-literally (e.g., Matthew 5:29). For most Christians, both conservative and liberal, biblical principles override biblical rules when they conflict.

    “The demand to provide clear, straightforward, explicit proof texts of Scripture to justify all ethical norms is simply wrong headed. There are many behaviors virtually all Christians regard as unethical, even evil, for which no clear, straightforward, explicit ethical prohibitions can be found in Scripture (e.g., abortion as a means of birth control, torturing a person’s spouse to extract information from him or her, birthing humans with the sole purpose of harvesting organs, selling organs for profit, etc.).

    “There can be little doubt that the Old Testament represents God as commanding Israel to practice ethnic cleansing—including the slaughter of non-combatant women and children. (And it won’t do to argue that it wasn’t true “ethnic cleansing” because it was limited to a certain time and place. The same could be said of much contemporary ethnic cleansing such as took place in the Balkans in the 1980s and into the 1990s.) And yet, the vast majority of contemporary Christians would consider ethnic cleansing absolutely wrong and Christian support for it and participation in it heresy.

    “Here’s the rub for those who wish to jump to the Old Testament and things God commanded there to establish or support contemporary Christian ethics. That makes it impossible to say that every particular contemporary instance of holy war or ethnic cleansing is unequivocally evil. How could a person know that God did not command it?

    “The belief that holy war with ethnic cleansing (to be very specific with this case study) is always unequivocally evil must be based on a hermeneutic that bypasses and supersedes the Old Testament Pentateuch and historical books. The same could be said of many behaviors virtually all contemporary Christians condemn as evil: enforced racial segregation/apartheid, polygamy, slavery (one person owning another), totalitarian monarchy, etc.

    “(Side Bar: In at least one example I can think of we contemporary Christians almost all condemn as unequivocally evil, wrong, bad, condemnable, heretical something that at least some Christians (“King James Only”) think is commanded in Scripture and that nobody could argue is explicitly condemned in Scripture: snake handling as part of Christian worship.)

    “Just war theory, developed primarily by Christians (such as Augustine) borrowing elements from Greek and Roman sources, stands in direct conflict with holy war/ethnic cleansing as practiced according to divine commands by the Hebrews as recorded in the historical books of the Old Testament. It stands as an example of the evolution of Christian ethics beyond anything explicitly taught in Scripture.

    “And ‘Christians’ who practice holy war with ethnic cleansing can claim that their behavior is more consistent with Old Testament ethics, even divine commands recorded in the historical books, than is just war theory. Just war theory is a clear example of Christians developing ethics away from commands and rules found in Scripture on the basis of principles found in Scripture. (However, even those principles upon which just war theory is based have shaky biblical support.

    “Just war theory was clearly developed for a totally new situation not found in Scripture—Christian involvement in creating public policy.) I would even go so far as to suggest (these are my musings) that contemporary Christians need to take seriously philosopher Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative (one version of it) that ‘One ought always to treat other persons as ends in themselves and never as means to an end’ without embracing all of Kant’s philosophy.

    “Early Christians found much in Greek philosophy that was consistent with and even helpful for Christian ethics. Capital punishment clearly violates that principle, that imperative (to say nothing of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount).

    “The abolition of capital punishment is, I believe, an imperative now partly because it is never necessary. There may have been a time when it was necessary (e.g., to protect other life), but it is now never necessary.

    Read more:

  8. @ happypappies

    “All glory, laud, and honor
    To Thee, Redeemer, King,
    To whom the lips of children
    Made sweet hosannas ring.
    Thou art the King of Israel,
    Thou David’s royal Son,
    Who in the Lord’s name comest,
    The King and Blessed One.”


    “I seriously do not understand what is going on here. If one is Christ Centered and has Christ Consciousness, none of this would be an issue. It would be a non issue.”

    As someone who experiences His love on a daily basis in myriad ways, I wholeheartedly agree, and what you were inspired to say regarding Christ consciousness applies, of course, to a multitude of issues in addition to the one concerning the provision of business services to non-heterosexuals.

    Two friends of mine offer some insight (for me, at least) regarding why some people, even self-described Christians, are so hostile to people who are not exclusively heterosexual, a hostility that is not, however, limited to non-heterosexuals.

    I’ve had to come to think of the two as “Old Testament Christians,” that is, people who describe themselves as Christians, but who take virtually all their cues for relating with others from the Old Testament. One of them even said to me once, when I asked him how he squared some physical violence he was advocating with something Christ had said in the New Testament, “What’s important is what it says in the Old Testament.”

    Both of these friends have in common the following characteristics:
    1) Unabashed racial prejudice;
    2) Unabashed homophobia;
    3) Unabashed Islamophobia;
    4) Unqualified contempt for “liberals,” most of whom are “Democrats”;
    5) A firm belief that “might makes right”;
    6) A propensity for illogicality and literal-mindedness;
    7) A firm belief that the end justifies the means;
    8) A firm belief that “America” is the greatest nation in the history of the world and is “exceptional,” i.e., is not bound by international law or other ethical considerations, by virtue of its exceptional, super-power status;
    9) A belief that America is favored by God over other nations and their peoples, as was (and still is) Israel;
    10) Unqualified support of the Israeli government;
    11) Unreserved approval of the use of the US military against enemies of “America”;
    12) Unreserved approval of the presence of 100+ US military bases around the world;
    13) A firm belief that preventively invading and occupying other countries by the US military is perfectly legitimate if doing so will further “American interests”;
    14) Unqualified belief in the US government’s conspiracy theory regarding the attacks of 9/11/2001;
    15) Unqualified support of the Bush regime’s torture program;
    16) Unqualified support of law enforcement officers;
    17) Veneration of members of the US military, whom they view as “heroes,” no matter in what country they “served” and no matter what they did in those countries;
    18) A firm belief in the need for severe punishment of criminals;
    19) A firm belief in capital punishment;
    20) A firm belief that US culture is in a downward spiral, largely owing to the separation of church and state;
    21) A firm belief that warrantless surveillance of all US citizens is desirable and necessary in order to protect the “Homeland”; and
    22) A strong belief in the need to obey the dictates of “the authorities” (if they are “social conservatives”) in order to avoid social disorder and prevent effective threats against “National Security.”

    In both friends, these common characteristics are strongly rooted in their religiosity, which is greatly informed by their interpretation of the Old Testament, which they read and think about frequently.

    I don’t know about the childhood of one of them, but the other was verbally and physically abused by his father, who committed suicide when my friend was eleven.

    I mention the childhood abuse and the suicide of one of my friend’s father because of the published work of the Swiss psychoanalyst, Alice Miller, who persuasively connects childhood abuse and a propensity for authoritarianism in adult survivors of that abuse.

    Although I wasn’t abused as a child, myself, I have certainly experienced immeasurable comfort, solace, and a freedom from my former generalized anxiety and hostility as a result of my experience of Christ’s promises and His love, which he extends to every human being on Earth, such that He has said that as I do unto the least of my brothers and sisters on earth, I do unto Him.

    Happy Easter.

    1. Fascinating Ken Rogers

      Did this thread finally calm down. I have been playing in Bell Choir and in Choir and took My Husband, who is a Disabled Vet, to Lunch at Red Lobster and I am getting hungry enough for leftovers….

      You know that Kierkegaard said that anxiety was the shivers of freedom so I think that you are doing okay right now.

      I like what you wrote up there at first because I find it the height of arrogance to ask God to bless America the way that the Evangelicals mean it. Like the Pizza People that is. (lol) I am sorry but you cannot serve 2 masters. It can’t be done.

      You spoke of scripture that had sacrifice of humans in it from God Almighty by the Jews – “Moreover, there is also evidence in Scripture that child sacrifice was not only practiced in Israel, perhaps as late as 500 B.C.E., but that it may very well have been part of the official cultus rather than an alien, pagan intrusion. The most intriguing hint that such might indeed have been the case occurs in the words of the Prophet Ezekiel who depicts YHVH as mounting a crescendo of accusations against “Jerusalem” that culminates in the following condemnation:

      You even took the sons and daughters that you bore to Me and sacrificed them to those [images] as food.—as if your harlotries were not enough, you slaughtered My children and presented them as offerings to them. (Ezek 16:20-21.) ”,_Isaac_and_Jesus/

      there is more >>>>>> “Jews are reminded that the death of their ancestral patriarch’s first-born son was only averted as a result of the patriarch’s unconditional obedience to God’s terrible command. Thus, Scripture depicts an “angel of the Lord” telling Abraham: “Do not raise your hand against the boy, or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your favored one, from Me.” (Gen 22: 12) There follows a second angelic address. Abraham is told: “All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendents, because you have obeyed my command.” (Gen 22: 18) Not only has the sacrifice has been averted because of Abraham’s unconditional obedience, but God’s covenant has been bestowed on him and his descendants because of that same obedience.” Moreover, Abraham’s obedience was matched by that of his son. Scripture depicts Isaac as asking his father, “Here are the firestone and the wood; but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “God will see to the sheep for His burnt offering, my son.” Scripture then reports, “And the two of them walked on together.” (Gen 22: 7-8) indicating thereby their complete unity of resolve.[14]”

      Oh — there is more — >>> “At the first meeting of Jesus and John the Baptist, the Fourth Gospel depicts the Baptist as declaring: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn 1:29).

      And he always knew because of the terrible Paradox and the Entropy that we live in.

      God is ineffable and Unknowable without beginning or end and Christ is with us now and always and this nonsense about him coming back to judge the world and kill people and end it is absurd. He said he would be with us till the end of time.

  9. @Ken Rogers,

    Oh, I guess it is Easter, sooo maybe that is why suddenly all these rabbit holes are popping up. Or is it popping down??? Anyway, notice that little word tucked into the end of the sentence??? Let me BOLD it for you!

    “Indeed, heterosexual intercourse is now responsible for 70-80% of all HIV transmissions WORLDWIDE” Sooo, WORLDWIDE covers all the cases in Africa. If you actually read the paper, instead of finding ways to not read it while scanning it with your eyeballs, then you would notice what she she said about higher viral loads in Africa, and co-factors like malnutrition, contributing to immunity problems.

    In the United States however, (as opposed to Africa) HIV is a “males having sex with males” problem.

    And FWIW, where did all those higher loads in Africa come from??? Well, people like YOU were listened to by South African President Mbeki, and over 300,000 people died. Thus wiki notes under “AIDS denialism in South Africa”:

    In the following eight years of his presidency, Mbeki continued to express sympathy for HIV/AIDS denialism, and instituted policies denying antiretroviral drugs to AIDS patients.[1] Instead of providing these drugs, which he described as “poisons”,[2] shortly after he was elected to the presidency, he appointed Manto Tshabalala-Msimang as the country’s health minister, who promoted the use of unproven herbal remedies such as ubhejane, garlic, beetroot, and lemon juice to treat AIDS,[3][4] which led to her acquiring the nickname “Dr. Beetroot.”

    After Chigwedere et al.’s research estimating AIDS denialist policies in South Africa led to over 300,000 deaths was published,[7] Peter Singer cited it in support of his conclusion that “Mbeki, like Mandela, was active in the struggle against apartheid. Yet the Harvard study shows that he is responsible for the deaths of 5,000 times as many black South Africans as the white South African police who fired on the crowd at Sharpeville.”

    Gee, imagine that! Your ideas kill people! Whocuddanode???

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  10. @ happypappies

    “I seriously do not understand what is going on here. If one is Christ Centered and has Christ Consciousness, none of this would be an issue. It would be a non issue.”

    He is risen and is with us always.

    1. Ken Rogers

      All glory, laud, and honor
      To Thee, Redeemer, King,
      To whom the lips of children
      Made sweet hosannas ring.
      Thou art the King of Israel,
      Thou David’s royal Son,
      Who in the Lord’s name comest,
      The King and Blessed One.

  11. @ Sqeaky Fromm

    “For anybody who actually cares, there is this blurb, from a website which documents other misrepresentations put out by the HIV/AIDS Denialist camp. This is from Myth No.3: HIV is unquestionably transmitted through heterosexual intercourse. Indeed, heterosexual intercourse is now responsible for 70-80% of all HIV transmissions worldwide (2).”

    What happened to your “He was having heterosexual sex, and we already know that heterosexuals are not the population being clobbered by HIV.”?

    Just substitute “saliva” for “HIV” in what Padian has to say above to realize just how vacuous her essay is regarding the salient question of the pathogenicity of HIV.

    OK, Squeaky, you’ve convinced me that you’re not up to the task of evaluating the evidence for and against the HIV/AIDS hypothesis, but are focused instead on seeing how cleverly cute you can be.

    Either you can get your little ego out of the way long enough to watch the video I provided the link to in my last post so that you can discuss the etiology of AIDS intelligently, or you and I are done insofar as discussing AIDS is concerned.

    I’ll gladly explore the roots of your homophobia with you, in any event, but not what causes AIDS, as that’s apparently either too threatening to you emotionally or too much of a stretch for you intellectually.

  12. @ Dust Bunny Queen

    “First of all. No one is going to sit and watch a TWO hour documentary. You can give us the Cliff’s Notes. This topic and the cake wars has nothing to do with HIV.”

    You may be putting yourself at risk if you don’t watch it, and of course that’s your prerogative, but you hardly have to watch it all in one sitting.

    Here’s the post by “bam bam,” in this thread, that I felt obliged to respond to because of the concern it expressed, after which Squeeky Fromm, Girl Homophobe, jumped in, requiring additional responses on my part:

    “For the sake of argument, let’s just say that what Ingannie claims is true and that there is no genuine concern for the health of gay men by certain individuals. If it that is so, then how about arguing that the health risks, posed to ALL of us, by the rampant spread of AIDS, especially within the gay community, is cause for alarm, regardless of one’s sexual orientation. As a health professional, according to your description, you, Ingannie, should known this all too well. AIDS knows no bounds, and those who do not participate in a dangerous and promiscuous lifestyle are still capable to contracting this disease through various means. A failure to recognize the impact that certain lifestyles pose to ALL of us within society is necessary, since we all will pay the price.” (Emphasis added)

  13. Rcocean. Happy Easter to you and all here. Jesus raised from the dead to forgive ALL us sinners. Amen.

  14. happypappies – thanks for the intelligent response. I’m no theologian & don’t know who’s right when churches disagree. In any case, Happy Easter!

    1. rcocean

      You are quite welcome. I am not a theologian. I am just a thinker. Happy Easter to you too. Hallelujah! He is risen! 🙂

  15. @Ken Rogers

    For anybody who actually cares, there is this blurb, from a website which documents other misrepresentations put out by the HIV/AIDS Denialist camp. This is from Myth No.3:

    Heterosexual transmission of HIV – Nancy Padian, PhD

    HIV is unquestionably transmitted through heterosexual intercourse. Indeed, heterosexual intercourse is now responsible for 70-80% of all HIV transmissions worldwide (2). The current likelihood of male to female infection after a single exposure to HIV is 0.01-0.32% (2, 3), and the current likelihood of female to male infection after a single exposure is 0.01-0.1% (2). These estimates are mostly derived from studies in the developed world. However, a man or a woman can become HIV-positive after just one sexual contact. In developing countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, several factors (co-infection with other sexually transmitted diseases, circumcision practices, poor acceptance of condoms, patterns of sexual partner selection, locally circulating viral subtypes, high viral loads among those who are infected, etc.) can increase the likelihood of heterosexual transmission to 20% or even higher (4). Evidence that specifically documents the heterosexual transmission of HIV comes from studies of HIV-discordant couples (i.e., couples in a stable, monogamous relationship where one partner is infected and the other is not); over time, HIV transmission occurs (5). Other studies have traced the transmission of HIV through networks of sexual partners (6-9). Additional evidence comes from intervention studies that, for example, promote condom use or encourage reductions in the numbers of sexual partners: the documented success of these interventions is because they prevent the sexual transmission of HIV (1,10,11).

    In short, the evidence for the sexual transmission of HIV is well documented, conclusive, and based on the standard, uncontroversial methods and practices of medical science. Individuals who cite the 1997 Padian et al. publication (1) or data from other studies by our research group in an attempt to substantiate the myth that HIV is not transmitted sexually are ill informed, at best. Their misuse of these results is misleading, irresponsible, and potentially injurious to the public.

    It looks other of your mis-statements are covered there also. I reiterate my previous challenge to you. If you are currently HIV Negative, and believe that HIV infection does not lead to AIDS, then bend over, spread your cheeks, and take one (or a bunch more) for the team! I saw in that video, The Gift, that there are conversion parties where you can accomplish this. After you become infected, you should then eschew drug treatment of the condition. With Willner croaking a few months after his stunt, the world needs a new Willner! Think about it, YOU can become famous!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  16. Ken

    First of all. No one is going to sit and watch a TWO hour documentary. You can give us the Cliff’s Notes.

    This topic and the cake wars has nothing to do with HIV.

    As fun as it may be for some of you to visualize male homosexual sex practices (not me thanks) the topic is the religious objection of the Sacrament of Marriage being abrogated by the Gay community and the FORCED participation in the ceremony by unwilling providers of services.

    HIV/AIDS is/are horrific diseases.

    The poor people……well not really so poor now thanks to Go Fund Me…..with the pizza parlor had stated that they did not have any problems with serving gays or anyone else in their establishment. They just don’t want to be involved in a gay marriage.

    Just like the cake baker, the photographer, the florists etc etc etc, the objection is to the sacrament of marriage ,,,,NOT the gays in general

    The objection is deeply religious for some. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion and freedom of speech. THIS is the issue. Not HIV. Not AIDS.

    AND once again I have to put the disclaimer: since you probably have not bothered to read any of the previous comments. I do not have any problem personally with Gays getting married. I do have a problem with others who have religious objections being forced to participate and by that participation seem condone and actually aid in the committing of what THEY consider to be a sin.

    That you….and I….may not consider it sinful is not the point. The point is that THEY do and that they feel their religious freedom is being violated.

    This isn’t a Civil Rights, as in a Jim Crow sense, issue either. There are many other people more than willing to provide those specialized services aka wedding cake. There is not a systemic discrimination against gays as there was against blacks. No one knows you are gay unless you say so.

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