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Author Topic: Gen Con is threatening to leave Indiana over a religious "protection" law.  (Read 4132 times)

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Offline Oniya

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The NCAA and the NFL are also making grumbly noises about it.  I'll track down the links after I bring the little Oni home from school.  (Mr. Oniya told me from his talking heads.)

Offline KujeTopic starter

I posted the link yesterday, over on page one... :)

The NCAA and the NFL are also making grumbly noises about it.  I'll track down the links after I bring the little Oni home from school.  (Mr. Oniya told me from his talking heads.)

Offline Iuris

As someone who works in the tech industry myself, I'm thrilled to see people from our largest companies (Apple, Yelp, SalesForce) standing up against this law.

Ditto this!

Offline HannibalBarca

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This is the kind of reaction that, in my mind, spells the slow decline and disappearance of religion in general--at least the corrosive kind that teaches their followers to see other humans as...less than human.  What with the uptick in non-religious spiritual people, non-Christian religions, and nonbelievers, the writing seems to be on the wall.  Looking at Europe, which seems to lead social trends that eventually become the norm in the US, religion is very much on the decline.

This is a desperate attempt by the followers of hypocrisy and hatred to grab onto the shrinking control they have over other people's lives.  It's a despicable law, but I think, like gay marriage bans, it will go the way of the dinosaur.  The question is, how much misery is it going to cause in the meantime?

Offline Joel

Let me play devil's advocate for a minute and say that: this has nothing to do with religion.

I mean if you really think about it, this issue is better explained by a rural versus urban divide; a middle class versus a working class; and a traditionalist versus global culture.

Anti-homosexuality is just a flag to rally behind and no surprise that the governor has got his eye on the presidential ticket right?

Everyone knows that this law won't stand long.  Same way that conservatives will never get rid of abortion (throws the grenade run away).  It's political theater to rally their base.

----

@ HannibalBarca "This is the kind of reaction that, in my mind, spells the slow decline and disappearance of religion in general--at least the corrosive kind that teaches their followers to see other humans as...less than human."

Ha nice caveat there.  SO I guess I'm not disagreeing with you by saying that I think people are becoming more spiritual, and I hazard that if organized religions adjust to meet the new mindset, then people would be more 'religious' too.  We are totally seeing pretty radical course changes in recent years yeah?  And in other news there's more interest in understanding the stuff that makes spiritual experience, or looking for the meaning in the experiences themselves.  Namely, people are dusting off the old research on psychedelics.  John Hopkins for example is running a study... like omfg.

Offline Oniya

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And in other news there's more interest in understanding the stuff that makes spiritual experience, or looking for the meaning in the experiences themselves.  Namely, people are dusting off the old research on psychedelics.  John Hopkins for example is running a study... like omfg.

Psychedelics aren't necessary for spiritual experiences.  ???

Offline Dimir

It's not just Gen Con threatening to leave, either...Sales Force is pulling out despite having 3,000 employees in Indiana. As someone who works in the tech industry myself, I'm thrilled to see people from our largest companies (Apple, Yelp, SalesForce) standing up against this law.

You can read a bit more about who is making a move against the law here.

Not so much an opinion so much as I wanted to laud all the people and companies who are standing firm against this law.

Wonderful move Governor, caring more about one type of religious belief over businesses pulling out of a part of the struggling rust belt because of your decision. What will those 3000 employees (the ones who don't get placed elsewhere) think about your government, even those who are Republicans. As the Governor you are supposed to make your state attractive for companies. Religious beliefs aren't going to help your state move forward economically, skilled employment is one of the things that would.

Offline Joel

Psychedelics aren't necessary for spiritual experiences.  ???

sorry totally going off on a tangent here

@Oniya: nope they aren't. but let me link you a couple of articles.  One in the New Yorker and just one today in the New York Times. 

"The Trip Treatment" -- The New Yorker, 2/9/2015

"In Brazil, Some Inmates Get Therapy With Hallucinogenic Tea" -- NY Times 3/28/15


Offline Oniya

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It was your use of the word 'namely' that made it look as though investigating spiritual experiences was intrinsically tied to investigating the effects of psychedelics.[/hijack]

Back on track, there is a much more relaxed attitude towards religion that is gaining popularity, especially (but not exclusively) among the 20-30-somethings.  There's a recognition that we're all stuck here on one planet together, and we're going to have to deal with each other. 

Offline Kythia

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Let me play devil's advocate for a minute and say that: this has nothing to do with religion.

I mean if you really think about it, this issue is better explained by a rural versus urban divide; a middle class versus a working class; and a traditionalist versus global culture.

Anti-homosexuality is just a flag to rally behind and no surprise that the governor has got his eye on the presidential ticket right?

Everyone knows that this law won't stand long.  Same way that conservatives will never get rid of abortion (throws the grenade run away).  It's political theater to rally their base.

I think there's a problem with arguments of this form - its essentially, if I read you right, the same one as claiming ISIS aren't motivated by Islam.  Sure, there are other factors.  Rural v urban, class issues, group identity, etc etc etc.  But the fact that those other aspects exist doesn't mean that the religious one doesn't.  It means the religious one isn't the wole cause, certainly - it's not sufficient and in some cases not necessary - but it doesn't remove it.

But that argument removes a possible method of attack against problems like thi by seeking to remove the influence and arguments of people of the appropriate religion - Christianity here, Islam for ISIS, etc.  If we accept that the Governor of Indiana is at least in part motivated by Christianity - whether his own or that of what he perceives as that of his electorate, it doesn't really matter - then we have to accept the possibility that conversations with Pastors (assuming he's some sort of protestant, which seems reasonable) are capable of removing that factor.  We believe, inherently, that there's a worth to pointing out what is wrong with arguments  criticising a position on economic, social, moral, etc grounds when those decisions are motivated by economics, society, morals, etc.  It follows that there's a worth in criticising on religious grounds when those decisions are motivated by religion.

Attempting to claim that it isn't is not only incorrect but, I believe, counter productive.  If the dominant narrative becomes that the...errr...extremes of religion are actually irreligious and merely symptoms of something else and if that is not true (as I believe it isn't) it removes a possible avenue of attack for no net benefit.

Offline Dice

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Whatever happened to; Make no law respecting an establishment of religion?

Offline Kythia

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Whatever happened to; Make no law respecting an establishment of religion?

Is that relevant here?  If the law only applied to Christians (Jews/Muslims/Pastafarians/whatever) then sure, but it doesn't.  I dunno, on the Venn Diagram of "Americans" and "Lawyers" I'm in neither circle not both, but it doesn't seem to be the issue at hand.

Offline Dice

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I feel that if you're making a law with the express intent of granting people of religion the freedom to discriminate, yes I think the spirit of "Make no law respecting an establishment of religion" applies.

Offline Kythia

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I feel that if you're making a law with the express intent of granting people of religion the freedom to discriminate, yes I think the spirit of "Make no law respecting an establishment of religion" applies.

Sorry, I don't think I follow.  Could you expand on that?

Offline Joel

@ONIYA "Back on track, there is a much more relaxed attitude towards religion that is gaining popularity, especially (but not exclusively) among the 20-30-somethings."

-- I love that shit.  But then again I'm from the California Bay Area where Alan Watts was very much a big deal.

@KYTHIA 
"Sure, there are other factors.  Rural v urban, class issues, group identity, etc etc etc.  But the fact that those other aspects exist doesn't mean that the religious one doesn't"

"Attempting to claim that it isn't is not only incorrect but, I believe, counter productive.  If the dominant narrative becomes that the...errr...extremes of religion are actually irreligious and merely symptoms of something else and if that is not true (as I believe it isn't) it removes a possible avenue of attack for no net benefit."

-- Don't take this personally but I strongly disagree.  Let me start by addressing your central argument.  There are other factors and religion is one of them, true.  These factors including religion are contributing significantly to the discussion or issue, true.  HOWEVER!  This is a major error that people make when looking at multiple factors/variables in predicting an outcome.  Are these factors related and does change in one change in the other -- specifically are they collinear.  So in the case of religion versus the other factors, the fact might be that removing religion will not prevent the outcome because religious opinion is not causally related to the outcome.  In other words religious views on the matter and the issue itself are both symptoms of another higher order factor?  if that makes any sense at all.

-- Lastly, undermining anyone's views is polemic and I think it's no accident that the discussion circles around religious views.  You will affect no change by antagonizing people.  This whole thing is totally the conservatives baiting the liberals so that the conservative base can vilify the urban elites more.  That's my perspective on it.

Offline Kythia

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Didn't take it personally at all.  And I hope you don't that I, yanno, disagree.

As I mention, I don't believe religious belief actually is necessary, I think its perfectly possible to hold those views without it.  So I don't actually think they are strictly colinear.  I do think, though, that religion is one of the legs supporting his argument in a less formalised sense - that out of the professed reasons for his decision one of them is religion.  Even if that leg isn't load bearing, attacking and removing it does weaken the argument as a whole: it prevents that being used as a fallback position for one and it divides support for two.

Offline Caehlim

I have to admit, I'm confused by the whole situation.

I don't know what this law does, or how it's meant to work. I've read it. To me it just looks like a copy of the federal law to apply to state legislature. I listened to the verbal briefs from the supreme court's hobby lobby case where they were using RFRA and nothing seemed unreasonable about it. Also to my best knowledge of American law, these state laws can't undermine any constitutional rights or federal laws (though they could cause a lot of local grief while appeals move up the chain into the federal or supreme courts if the state authorities are behind the law).

However you've got so many people saying that there's something wrong with these laws and the people trying to get it passed haven't come out and explained why they're wrong.

I don't get it.

Offline Joel

@KYTHIA

"I think its perfectly possible to hold those views without it.  So I don't actually think they are strictly colinear."

-- clarification here.  yes I agree I don't think religious beliefs is a necessary factor to explain why groups in Indiana are anti-gay.  but 'anti-gay' here would be the outcome and you wouldn't say that religious beliefs, a factor or argument, is 'collinear' with the outcome.  rather, when I brought that up I was asserting that religious beliefs is likely collinear with socio/economic factors.... and my point was that you can ignore the religious aspect and draw a pretty strong association between socio/economic factors and anti-gay sentiment...

"...religion is one of the legs supporting his argument "

-- religion absolutely is the only leg supporting his argument and it's a completely unassailable front.  you cannot logically argue something that is completely emotional in basis.  how would you even begin?  by attacking the relevance of religion in people's lives?  you would already be wrong the moment you brought it up. 

Offline Kythia

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-- religion absolutely is the only leg supporting his argument and it's a completely unassailable front.  you cannot logically argue something that is completely emotional in basis.  how would you even begin?  by attacking the relevance of religion in people's lives?  you would already be wrong the moment you brought it up.

Sorry, I'm not ignoring the other bit, I'm just intrigued by this bit.  Are you claiming that no arguments can shake a religious inspired belief?  Because that's not true.  People convert, people's beliefs change and develop, people are radicalised and...de-radicalised? Hell, I'm kinda sorta in the process of changing my mind about the Trinity at the moment.   All as a result of conversation.  Or are you claiming that his particular religious beliefs are, unlike other people's immune to logical argument.  Because that's a pretty big statement to make.

As to the other bit...eh.  Let me check I've got you right.  You say:  This anti-gay sentiment directly correlates to a particular grabbag of socio-economic factors.  Those same factors correlate with a particular brand of Christianity.  As a result, religion is incidental to the sentiment and there's no point bringing it to the forefront.

Have I understood you right there?  If so, I don't understand how you're getting to the second bit - that religion is the only leg supporting his argument. 

Offline Joel

@KYTHIA

"As a result, religion is incidental to the sentiment and there's no point bringing it to the forefront. "

-- precisely

"If so, I don't understand how you're getting to the second bit - that religion is the only leg supporting his argument"

-- if you make an argument to try and change anti-gay sentiment then you would direct your effort on the cause of the issue right?  if that 'cause' is not the actual cause of the issue then all of your arguments against the issue become incorrect.  this whole thing is very strategic.  also I don't think the actual issue is anti-gay sentiments at all, but for the sake of argument lets just stick with that.

so to say it another way... I don't think the governor is making an argument in favor of the legislation in good faith.  He is not positing religious views as a reason why the legislation is valid.  He is using the argument to manipulate a larger discussion in order to accomplish other things that have nothing to do with the legislation.  Do you see what I'm saying?  He's baiting you.

" Are you claiming that no arguments can shake a religious inspired belief"

-- of course not.  There's plenty of theologians that arise at very profound understandings on religious and spiritual beliefs through reasoning and logic.  But what's actually going through people's heads when they are saying they want to protect their religious freedom through this legislation... I don't think has anything to do with religion.  It's an emotional argument.  Okay i realize ive' contradicted myself and it's because I haven't defined things well.  Mostly it's because you moved it into a different area, lol.  Lets distinguish a theologian's view on religion from the very political definition of religion.  I think the governor (and maniacs like ISIL/S) is using the political definition of religion and not the theological definition of it.  One is emotional.  The other is rational.

Offline Kythia

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Lets distinguish a theologian's view on religion from the very political definition of religion.  I think the governor (and maniacs like ISIL/S) is using the political definition of religion and not the theological definition of it.  One is emotional.  The other is rational.

OK, that makes sense, I think I get you now.  Thanks

-- if you make an argument to try and change anti-gay sentiment then you would direct your effort on the cause of the issue right?  if that 'cause' is not the actual cause of the issue then all of your arguments against the issue become incorrect.  this whole thing is very strategic.  also I don't think the actual issue is anti-gay sentiments at all, but for the sake of argument lets just stick with that.

I don't think this can be as neatly divided into what is the "cause" and what a side effect as your statement seems to imply.  We agree that religion is a major component in the public-facing arguments in favour of this (in fact, you go further and say its the only one).  Attacking that facet has a value, even if it only attacks the PR and presentation aspects of the argument.  Saying religion isn't a root cause of his argument may well be correct, I suppose, but undermining and nullifying it still has a value.  And one that is lost if we take the religious aspects of his argument off the table.

Offline consortium11

I have to admit, I'm confused by the whole situation.

I don't know what this law does, or how it's meant to work. I've read it. To me it just looks like a copy of the federal law to apply to state legislature. I listened to the verbal briefs from the supreme court's hobby lobby case where they were using RFRA and nothing seemed unreasonable about it.

That's it; as far as I can tell it's pretty much word for word the federal RFRA transcribed to state level, with the exact same effects; the (in this case state) government cannot substantially burden someone's freedom to exercise their religion unless there is a compelling government interest and no less restrictive way of doing so.

I feel that if you're making a law with the express intent of granting people of religion the freedom to discriminate, yes I think the spirit of "Make no law respecting an establishment of religion" applies.

I don't really follow; the establishment clause is about preventing one religion being elevated over the others. RFRA type laws don't do that; they view all religions equally. In fact, until Hobby Lobby, most of the notable federal RFRA cases and successes related to Native American's asserting their free exercise of religion was being substantially burdened.

Likewise one should also pay attention to the establishment clauses' partner, the free exercise clause. RFRA type laws are designed expressly to support that; to prevent the government from prohibiting or interfering with the free exercise of religion.

Offline Joel

@KYTHIA

"but undermining and nullifying it still has a value.  And one that is lost if we take the religious aspects of his argument off the table"

-- I agree, which is why when people of like mind, like us, look at this we can both say unequivocally that the argument is wrong because using religion in that way is incorrect.  But you'll notice that any politician worth their salt would never engage directly on religion in arguing against the law.  If you want to swing this other side's position then you'd have to be more strategic about it.

@CAEHLIM

"I don't know what this law does, or how it's meant to work."

-- which pretty much gets to the crux of it.  What's the point of this really?  I think it's a political maneuver (wasting tax payer dollars) to make a statement without any actual change or improvement to the system at all.  The legislation is patently unconstitutional.  I mean... just replace 'gays' with 'blacks' and the whole thing falls apart.  Or... put it another way and ask:

1) can a business deny service to Christians because they simply don't like Christians

2) can a business deny service to Christians because they have a religious obligation to not serve Christians

3) can a business deny service to blacks because they have a religious obligation to not serve blacks.

Does having a religious obligation make it correct versus not having one at all.  Does targeting a group based on belief differ from targeting a group based on race.  And for the record orientation is not a belief or a choice, which I think (?) is something pretty well underscored by all the court cases against the defense of marriage act.

Offline Cycle

However you've got so many people saying that there's something wrong with these laws and the people trying to get it passed haven't come out and explained why they're wrong.

I don't get it.

Bear in mind that the Federal law was passed over 20 years ago.  Now, consider how social attitudes have changed over that amount of time.  Some things tolerated or even encouraged back then are not so acceptable today.  Hence, the difference in public response.


Offline Oniya

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Angie's List has also joined the list of those backing out of Indiana.