Wednesday, February 07, 2007

It's dead, Jim. No, really, it's freakin' DEAD, OK?


What part of "No, that's illegal" do you just not understand?

Back here in the comments section, "Anonymous" just refuses to accept reality. Writing on the painfully clear-cut decision that state-sanctioned marriage commissioners have an obligation to perform all marriages that are legal in Canada, Anonymous writes:

Let me offer a contrary viewpoint: ...

I have a better idea -- let's not have you offer a contrary viewpoint, for the simple reason that you're wrong. Are we good with that? We can ignore your contrary viewpoint because it's crap. What will it take for that to sink in, Anonymous?

Anonymous will, of course, not be deterred (emphasis in original):

What this means, I believe, is that the government is required to perform same-sex marriages, individual government workers may not be, if they can show that these beliefs have a religious basis.

No.

Wrong.

How many different ways does one have to say "no" before it finally penetrates the intellectual permafrost there, Anonymous? As was explained in the Saskatchewan case, you're welcome to all of the wacky, zany, illogical religious beliefs you can memorize off the back of a cereal box but once you become a government employee in any capacity, you are now acting as an arm of the government and you have a legal obligation to uphold the laws of that government. Which one of those words is slowing you down and causing you such grief?

It doesn't matter what your religious beliefs are, you can't bring them onto the job with you to the point where they affect your performance of that job. Allowing a marriage commissioner to discriminate against gays is just as unacceptable as someone at the DMV refusing to renew drivers' licenses for blacks or Jews. There's absolutely no difference -- it's equally illegal. But that's not actually why we're here.

It's not these illogical, lame-brain, valueless arguments from Canada's wankers that are so thoroughly irritating. Rather, what's maddening is that the same people keep promoting the same valueless arguments week after week, month after month and year after year, regardless of how many times you explain to them the error of their ways.

One would have thought that that Saskatchewan decision should have been the last word on the topic. That decision was clear and unambiguous and yet, here we are, with yet another wanker popping up and beginning another ill-informed, right-wing diatribe with, "Well, you know, I believe ..."

Stop it. Just stop it. At this point, no one gives a flying fuck what you believe, because it's rubbish. I've seen this sort of thing before when I was more heavily involved in defending biological evolution. Some idiot would start off with, "Well, there's no real evidence for evolution ...", at which point said idiot would be swamped under a tidal wave of evidence and references, to which said idiot would pause, gather wits and respond, "Well, you know, I believe there's no evidence for biological evolution ..."

For people like this, absolutely nothing sinks in. Anonymous will have read my blog post, will have perused the relevant news articles and, despite all that, Anonymous will still try to resurrect a thoroughly dead issue.

How many different ways can I say this, Anonymous -- at this point, no one is interested in yet another "Well, this is what I believe" or "Well, here's my perspective on the subject" or "Well, let me be contrary with a dissenting opinion."

No one gives a rat's ass what your opinion is at this point, Anonymous. Really. The issue is closed, but you just know that Canada's wankers won't let it go. You'll turn around and run into yet another wanker with yet another, "Hey, what about if I phrase my argument this way?"

That's what's so infuriating about the entire population of Wankerville. It's not the meaningless, illogical arguments. It's that you hear those same meaningless, illogical arguments year after year, regardless of how many times you take them outside and beat them to death in the parking lot.

How simply and directly can someone state this, Anonymous? You're wrong. Learn to live with that and move on. We'll all be happier for it. Well, everyone except for you but, at this point, no one really gives a crap what you think.

21 comments:

pretty shaved ape said...

"What this means, I believe, is that the government is required to perform same-sex marriages, individual government workers may not be, if they can show that these beliefs have a religious basis."

what this means, i believe, is that the government is required to execute plans of war, individual government soldiers may not be, if they can show that these refusals have a religious basis. sorry, no attacks on sundays...jesus and all. excuse me colonel, jewish over here, can't do that saturday thing.

gosh. what else could believering excuse. anon and the squealing dramamamas are in league with the terrorists. their secret mission, to supersede civil law with religious law. we have a name for that. sharia. and it is no more attractive when it is threatened by white, western fanatics than it is in the hands of dark middle easterners.

Grog said...

So long as the citizen reqesting service from the government is able to obtain the service, there is no discrimination I can see.

In Anon's happy little world, it's apparently just fine to embarrass and humiliate someone who seeks a civil service from the government.

Fascinating.

I wonder what would happen if they went to register their car and the muslim clerk behind the desk refused to do so because they didn't believe that women should drive? (On the basis of their religion, ya know)

It's amazing to me how the religious continue to assert that their freedom of religion must include the right to embarrass, humiliate and refuse service to people they think are "sinners".

CC said...

You can draw a much more direct parallel here. Consider the number of rabidly devout who insist on posting copies of The Ten Commandments or erecting monstrous monuments of the same in public places like courthouses, and howl about religious persecution when they're told that's not appropriate.

Using Anon's logic, as long as they can put that stuff somewhere, then there's no problem, right? I mean, think hard ... where might be a more appropriate place than a courthouse to promote a particular religious dogma? Give it time ... it'll come to you.

This analogy will, of course, be entirely lost on Anon and his religiously-inclined brethren, logic never having been their strong suit.

Ti-Guy said...

The anons of the world think living in the world, the real one, is nothing but an endless intellectual exercise, where one has to carefully craft an argument to logically support what one *believes* is correct.

Meanwhile, a bunch of people just want a civil service they have the right to and don't need any shit from civil servants who should just mind their own business and shut up.

Now, on balance, which of these concerns should interest the rest of us?

Scotian said...

"gosh. what else could believering excuse. anon and the squealing dramamamas are in league with the terrorists. their secret mission, to supersede civil law with religious law. we have a name for that. sharia. and it is no more attractive when it is threatened by white, western fanatics than it is in the hands of dark middle easterners." PSA 8:30 AM

Hence why I refer to them as Talibangelists, their version of religious law is no more appealing to me and to most people I know than living under Sharia law is. One of the more (sourly) amusing elements of many of the religious opponents of Islam in our community is that they would impose their own religious strictures upon us while simultaneously denouncing the idea of Islamic religious law as being the spawn of Satan and something to be fought against at every turn. The mirror imaging going on there is pointed yet whever you point it out to them they claim there is no such resemblance and to say so means you hate their religion and are trying to smear it. Hence why I say zealots are zealots regardless of what their focus of belief is and zealots are dangerous, period.

Crabgrass said...

Scotian - why do you hate the Virgin Mary?

Adam C said...

Just to clarify your legal point, anonymous, you're correct that he has the right to refuse to perform the marriage ceremony. However, he has no right to his job if he refuses to perform his duties. And he is discriminating against gays when he tells them they have to go to a special JP because they're gay.

Niles said...

I'm just curious to know what this heyanonny believes the government consists of if not its employees? but in the name of 'contrariness', let's say the government does just what this noble contrarian demands. Provides alternate service for clients in case a government employee has a crisis of conscience because God told the pastor margarine eaters were scions of Satan and anyone who had transfat pass their lips should not be allowed to marry.

Would this be the same sort of heyanonny shrieking about government employees being overpaid, overpopulated in their departments and living off the taxpayer dime while blowing bubbles? Since, if the government is to provide substitute pitchers with lower moral standards for those the civil servants of conscience must avoid like the plague - that sounds like more hires in the department to me. At least it does, if Contrary Anonny agrees that morally icky people are still due those legal civil services.

Why, I'm sure it wouldn't take more than a few CCS (Circuit Civil Servants) to carve out territories to handle all the unclean Untouchables. Say, 13 to start. Don't want to blow the budget. The shunned peoples wouldn't mind waiting for someone with no morals to sign their papers. They should just show some gratitude they're getting this much recognition. Maybe there'd be a bonus to the job; spa time for spiritual cleansing after being in contact with the untermenschen!

You figure Heyanonny would go for that? Can we sign him/her up for a special tax to fund it?

Concern trolls. Feh.

Jason Hickman said...

Link to Sask decision you're referring to, if possible?

Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

[from: Anonymous I]

Well, for a point I made that no-one cares about it sure generated a lot of discussion.

CC says he doesn't care what I think but then goes on the generate several paragraphs of, I won't call it a proper rebuttal, ranting is the word.

grog said: In Anon's happy little world, it's apparently just fine to embarrass and humiliate someone who seeks a civil service from the government.


Well, it's equally humiliating to be forced to violate your deeply held religious beliefs and what seems to be lost in the whole discussion here is that religious beliefs are constitutionally protected both in s.2 and s.15 of the Charter.
The protection is there in black and white - go read it if you don't know this.

One test for a violation of a right is "are you forced to do something you don't want to do?" or "are you prevented from doing something you want to do?". Well the two gay partners got married, they were allowed to do what they wanted to do, but Mr. Nichols was forced to do something he did not want to do, his rights were violated.

As far as the issue being dead is concerned, well, it's never dead. All laws, including the Constitution, are mutable in perpetuity. They can be changed one way, then they can be changed back. It ain't over till the Sun starts burning up the inner solar system (about 4.5 Billion years from now unless we all find another solar system to go argue this point in).

Hiring a person under one set of rules and then changing the rules in a way that forces a person to resign is called constructive dismissal. In Mr. Nichols case the government should have been required to make an accomodation.

CC said: once you become a government employee in any capacity, you are now acting as an arm of the government and you have a legal obligation to uphold the laws of that government.

Individuals do not surrender their Charter rights and become non-human simply by virtue of being employed by the government. It was recognized by the authors of the Constitution that a large number of Canadians do have deeply held religious beliefs and that these beliefs needed protection from government action. That is why these beliefs and the expression of these beliefs are protected. If the government can fire you because you express a religious belief then this is a rights violation.

CC's argument: (someone) at the DMV refusing to renew drivers' licenses for blacks or Jews
I made a point about the assertion of spurious religious beliefs in my previous post. As far as I am aware there is no religion recognized under the laws of Canada (i.e via the Income Tax Act) that has these beliefs so this argument is irrelevant. BTW the Pope says it's OK for gays to have driver's licences (and yes I am being sarcastic about the quality of analogy being used in CC's argument).

Also, with regard to CC's stalking horse argument about evolution and religion, perhaps intended to imply that religious people don't get science or something, I would reply that I went to Catholic schools more than 30 years ago and was taught evolution and genetics so I don't know where he gets his information.

Niles said...

"assertion of spurious religious beliefs"

Who gets to decide what beliefs are spurious? What's spurious about refusing on basis of skin colour or religion, but not sexuality? Nice goal posts. Are those gymbal wheels?

Anonymous said...

Niles needs a reading course.

Anonymous said...

[from: Anonymous I]

for Niles benefit, my word on spurious religiuos beliefs:

Note that the courts do not accept simple declarations on the part of individuals that their beliefs have a religious basis, otherwise individuals could declare their homes to be temples and avoid property taxes, etc. So all arguments that say an individual would say "well I just won't serve this person because they are black, gay, disabled, muslim, or whatever because of my religion" fall by the wayside. There is a specific belief regarding the nature of marriage in most religions; on the basis of natural law, the creation of life, and the upbringing of children, most religions restrict marriage to one man and one woman. There is no restriction on most other other activities. The only other one I can think of would be birth certificates where, for reasons similar to those stated above, religious restrictions might come in to play.

CC said...

Anonymous:

One of my basic blog rules is that, if you plan on getting into an extended dialogue, you get a real handle. Simply being "Anonymous" for the long term doesn't cut it.

So either start using a name of some kind, or register with Blogger. But, either way, any further posts as "anonymous" will be deleted.

M@ said...

There is no restriction on most other other activities.

How about a Mormon who is hired as a bartender, and reveals on his first shift that he won't serve alcoholic drinks? Is that a good example? Or is a human rights complaint justified in this case? He should stay employed, slicing lemons and serving Diet Coke, because he never mentioned to the employer that he was Mormon?

You've got some mealy-mouthed stuff trying to justify homophobia in there based on weak reasoning similar to "nine our of ten religions agree". But you don't actually mention what, in your mind, qualifies as a valid religious requirement. Is it reference to a religious book? I'm pretty sure I can find a lot more about race discrimination than gay discrimination in the bible. Hell, I can find more about shrimp than about gay discrimination in the bible. So what'll it be? What qualifies as a religious belief that we can safely base discriminatory practices on?

And again, the rules haven't changed on this guy. The guy's duty is not to marry heterosexual couples, it's to marry anyone who qualifies. If his job description anywhere mentions that the people he marries have to be heterosexual, then I'll agree that he has a point.

pretty shaved ape said...

the lord sayeth that thine job description shalt not change. yea though the faithful are busy in their judgement of others, they cry their woe unto the press. their blessed rights besieged, they anoint their trousers fronts in mawkish display, so greatly affected. light of head and troubled with vapours, they clutch their pearls and cast themselves upon the divans of petty grief.

this is not a case of religious rights being infringed. the employee has every right to worship what ever and however he or she pleases. that is a personal right, enshrined in the constitution and protected by law. the job of the marriage commissioner is that of a minor legal functionary. the commissioner joins couples in marriage, providing that their paperwork is in order and they are legally free to marry in accordance to the law. the commissioner prevails at a brief ceremony and notarizes the appropriate documents on behalf of the government of the people. all the people.

the nature of the beliefs, race or age of the couples or the commissioners are not at issue. just which of god's laws is he willing to overlook? will he marry a wealthy older man to a hungry looking younger woman? even knowing she's hoping for a short honeymoon with a stop in the cardiac ward, then cartiers. what about those adulterous divorcees, tying their shameful knot. i mean really, isn't that in the commandments? adultery, covetting and all.

the truth is, that as a civil marriage commissioner you're job requires you to go along with all sorts of breaches of christian dogma and various other piles of dogma too. that is the point. look up the word civil, no here allow me, from my handy oxford paperback:

civil adj. 1. belonging to the citizens; civil liberty, liberty restricted only by those laws established for the good of the community. 2. of the general public, not the armed forces or the Church...civil marriage, with a civil ceremony not a religious one

and so on. see, the thing is, the commissioner's rights can't be breached on religious grounds in this instance. by definition and design, the commissioners is employed to administer ceremonies from which religion is explicitly excluded. the commissioner, acting as an agent of a democratically elected, secular government, simply executes and registers a civil contract between two people that has no religious interest.

Jose said...

Cynic you've elevated his comments by putting them on the front page of your blog. Stupidity doesn't warrant promotion.

And you can't rationaly argue with an ideologue. There's experimental evidence that indicates they don't use much of their cerberal cortex when evaluating such arguments. It's suspected that they use just enough cycles to identify which "side" your argument is on and then a part of their brain associated with emotional rewards kicks in. They get an emotional reward for reflexively agreeing to their side and disagreeing with the "other" side.

So you're essentialy arguing with someone who really isn't paying attention to anything your saying.

I like to kick the tires at SDA out of maschostic amusement. Ocassionaly I get someone come back with a counter argument (which is good I like to have my views rigorously challenged) but nine times out of ten it's simply "you're a dumbass" or somesuch (which is also good because it's an confirmation that they couldn't come up with a refutation).

So fire back if you're in the mood for pure scrapping but don't waste your time trying to corner someone into a rational debate because you can't force someone to fire up their cerebral cortex fully if they don't wanna.

M@ said...

I agree, Jose, but on the other hand there is some value in holding up idiotic comments for ridicule and, if necessary, debate. "UR A DUMASS!!!1!" is of course not the point, but CC's point -- that the argument is not only stupid, but thoroughly eviscerated long, long ago -- is well worth making.

Frankly, Anonymous reminds me of some of the people who appear on the feedback page on Talk Origins. Every week or so some fresh-faced creationist shows up, armed with their pastor's latest sermon, ready to take on the greater scientific community.

Good luck to them all.

Grog said...

Well, it's equally humiliating to be forced to violate your deeply held religious beliefs and what seems to be lost in the whole discussion here is that religious beliefs are constitutionally protected

Right - sure. When you can figure out what parts of scripture give a government functionary the right to deny a legal citizen access to legal government services, we can talk.

Until then, you're simply recycling a long dead talking point.

frizell said...

"Hence why I say zealots are zealots regardless of what their focus of belief is and zealots are dangerous, period."

The irony is thick in here.

Mes Amis said...

Dammit Jim, I'm a hedonopolypharmoideologist, not a malcognacontralinguist!

No Bones about it, a ten dollar sentence for M@ and nod of agreement with Jose.

Has anyone ever witnessed an admission of error and recanting of the faith based myths by these people?
A -'Golly gee, I guess I had it all wrong there. Is my face red.'- admission after you've turned your's blue fighting the same battles over and over?
The Ann Coulter, I've made up my mind, don't confuse me with facts, brick wall you beat your head against?

If you're so inclined, go ahead.

Craft convincing, irrefutable counters for every twisted belief.
Win every hair splitting, defining and hypothetical sidebar issue.
Type as loud as possible.
Swear by Odin's great hairy balls that you're correct.

It don't matter.

As tempting as it is to follow your mind's order to 'Engage', in a way you lose just by being drawn into their vortex of stupid.