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Last week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case stems from the refusal of Masterpiece Cakeshop, a bakery, to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The bakery was found guilty of a civil rights violation and ordered to stop refusing to bake and design cakes because they are for same-sex weddings. The bakery was also required to file reports on the steps it takes to comply and whether it turns down any prospective customers.

The decision to force the bakery to change its business practices reflects a mistaken concept of rights. Those who support government intervention in this case view rights as a gift from government. Therefore, they think politicians and bureaucrats can and should distribute and redistribute rights. This view holds it is completely legitimate to use government force to make bakeries bake cakes for same-sex weddings since the government-created right to a cake outweighs the rights of property and contract.

This view turns the proper concept of rights on its head. Rights are not gifts from government, so the government cannot restrict them unless we engage in force or fraud. The bakery did not use force to stop any same-sex couple from getting a wedding cake. It simply exercised its right to decide who it would accept as a customer. No one would support private individuals forcing bakery employees to bake a cake at gunpoint, so why is it right for the government to do it?

Some people claim that forcing the bakery to bake the cake is consistent with libertarianism. The reason they make this claim is they view the bakery’s actions as rooted in bigotry toward homosexuals. But even if this were true, it would not justify government intervention. Bigots and others with distasteful views have the right to use their property as they choose. The way to combat bigotry is through boycotts and other means of peaceful persuasion.

Instead of considering whether Colorado has violated the bakery’s rights of property and contract, the Supreme Court is considering whether Colorado’s actions violate the bakery’s religious liberty. The argument for a religious liberty violation is based on the fact that the bakery owner’s refusal to bake the cake was rooted in his religious objection to same-sex marriage. Looking just at this argument means that a victory for the bakery would implicitly accept the legitimacy of laws dictating to whom private businesses must provide services, as long as an exemption is made for those with religious objections. This reduces property and contract rights to special privileges held by business owners with “sincere religious convictions.” It also allows judges, bureaucrats, and politicians to determine who is really acting on sincere religious convictions.

Just as business owners have the right to decide who to do business with, individuals have the right to form any arrangement they wish as long as they do not engage in force or fraud. This includes entering into what many consider unconventional or even immoral marriage contracts. What no individual has the right to do is use government to force others to accept his definition of marriage.

Even if the bakery wins in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, its victory will only protect those businesses acting on a “sincere religious conviction.” Those who oppose forcing bakers to bake cakes and who support private business owners’ right to decide who to accept as customers should work to restore respect for everyone’s rights.

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• 类别: 思想 •标签: 宪政理论, 政治上的正确 
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  1. Somewhat coincidentally, Dr. Paul and Mr. Steve Sailer have opined on this topic on the same day here at unz. I am a reader and active commenter of/on iSteve, and you might say a fan. This very topic, though shows the difference between a how a man of Constitutional principles like Dr. Paul writes to defend our rights vs. others on this site – writers and commenters.

    It’s true that Mr. Sailer is in agreement with Dr. Paul, and has been consistent about this too. I don’t know if I’ve read about “freedom of association” from Steve, but I definitely have from some of the commenters*. Fine. However, most of the crowd on unz still disparages anyone who really stands up for the US Constitution. Yes, I know, it’s been about shredded already, and yes, just having a the Constitution around with a completely different population (that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about it) is useless. I GET THAT! (/Tucker) My point is that, if you don’t have any principles to back up what you say it indeed just becomes a matter of “who? whom?”, in one of the iSteve-o-sphere’s favorite expressions. That doesn’t work out so well when you get overwhelmed in numbers.

    I’m sick of the badmouthing of people (“muh constitution”) who do understand and defend the principles of the US Constitution, whether they are being followed right now or not. What else have you got to back up your defense of these bakers, and the God-given rights of the rest of us, to boot?

    * and John Derbyshire

    • 回复: @Achmed E. Newman
    , @Issac
  2. @Achmed E. Newman

    I see now that Steve Sailer’s specific post today is not about cake baking, but stealing of wine. My points still stand though.

  3. Issac 说:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    “My point is that, if you don’t have any principles to back up what you say it indeed just becomes a matter of “who? whom?””

    It is already who/whom. The point of Sailorites is, correctly, that should you be overwhelmed there will be no document capable of saving you.

    “What else have you got to back up your defense of these bakers, and the God-given rights of the rest of us, to boot?”

    The only thing backing what’s left of your rights is a ruling class fear of white rebellion, the threat of which declines every year that demographics continue to trend as they have since 1965.

  4. The point of Sailorites is, correctly, that should you be overwhelmed there will be no document capable of saving you.

    I agree completely with this and have made this point before, as something libertarians, including Dr. Paul here, should learn from conservatives (the REAL ones, that is).

    I really don’t disagree with what you wrote here, Issac, but it’s the neglect of defending our freedom with the rights defined in the Constitution that got us into this “who, whom” business. Think about it, do you think a limited government as defined in that document would created the welfare state we have? It is part of the reason we have a big chunk of dysfunctional people. Do you think that, if we had real control of the Feral Gov’t (before Amendments 16 and 17) Americans would have let an abomination like the 1965 immigration act get passed?

    One of our biggest problems is that our kids are being brainwashed with the multi-cultural and globalist crap for 13-18 years straight! Yet, try starting your own school to do it your way and see how far you get, Issac, before you have 20 government agencies all over your ass. Now, that goes back to Jimmy Carter’s Federal Dept. of Education. Did anyone listen to the libertarians and constitutionalists then? I guess not. That was fairly long ago, but this stuff keeps coming – the shredder is still plugged in and working night and day.

    How ’bout this bakery business (getting back to Ron Paul’s post)? Were this type of stupidity defended daily by regular Americans, citing US Const. chapter and verse, we wouldn’t be putting up with it. Things would not have gone this far.

    I hope that helps you understand my view on this. Have a good night. Good night to the great Dr. Paul too, just in case you ever click on unz.

    • 回复: @Issac
  5. Issac 说:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    “I really don’t disagree with what you wrote here, Issac, but it’s the neglect of defending our freedom with the rights defined in the Constitution that got us into this “who, whom” business.”

    The key to this sentence is that it should be past-tense. Americans neglected to defend their rights. Now they are in a situation where only minorities have those rights.

    “One of our biggest problems is that our kids are being brainwashed with the multi-cultural and globalist crap for 13-18 years straight! Yet, try starting your own school to do it your way and see how far you get, Issac, before you have 20 government agencies all over your ass.”

    Do you honestly believe a Muslim homeschooling family would be subjected to that? How about an African American one? Who/whom.

    “How ’bout this bakery business (getting back to Ron Paul’s post)? Were this type of stupidity defended daily by regular Americans, citing US Const. chapter and verse, we wouldn’t be putting up with it.”

    Again, this COULD be happening to one of a million bakeries. Why do you think it is a white Christian baker and not a Muslim? Why not a black Christian baker? Who/whom. The “regular Americans,” were overwhelmed in the 1960s. They lost. Those people. The ones who could quote the Constitution? They are a minority now and they will be a lot smaller minority soon.

    You constitutional principles can still be revived, of that I have no doubt, but you won’t do it relying on the proven anti-libertarian peoples you have allowed to overwhelm you in your own country and you certainly won’t do it by extending constitutional liberties unto the very people who are presently doing everything in their power to deny them to you and yours.

    Welcome to the tribal world.

  6. Escher 说:

    Again, this COULD be happening to one of a million bakeries. Why do you think it is a white Christian baker and not a Muslim? Why not a black Christian baker?

    These same-sex couples would not dare to go to a Muslim or black owned bakery and demand they bake them a wedding cake.

  7. Ben Frank 说:

    当他们提出一些疯狂的新计划时,比如男人嫁给男人或男人冒充女人时,他们一遍又一遍地说“这不会影响其他任何人”。 然后每次它成为一种新的正统观念,任何质疑都会在法庭上受到惩罚。

    推动这些进步的人不太关心帮助同性恋者或帮助性别焦虑的人。 他们想要的是摧毁家庭,摧毁教堂,摧毁美国。

  8. Of course the government should leave the bakers alone. Also pot smokers and Yemen.

    The constitution is no longer in force. Ours is a government of men not laws. It’s important to acknowledge this and work for the restoration of the rule of law. I believe that nullification and secession will be the means to that end.

    教你的孩子
    可以是白色的。

  9. bjondo 说:

    the govt is jew
    the media is jew
    the legal system is jew
    占主导地位。

    jew leave bakers alone.
    and
    洗手间。

  10. Cortes 说:

    Contracts are made voluntarily. By turning them into involuntary obligations, Government makes a nonsense of private law. In case of dispute, where does one turn for remedy? To the civil court process? Or maybe call the Rights Squad at the local police station?

    “Officer, these bakers made our cake and it wasn’t gay enough.”

    I suspect that commercial law lobbyists will be whispering in learned ears to concentrate on upholding rights under private law.

  11. It hadn’t occurred to me that one could defend the baker’s right without invoking religious liberty. That reminds me of the degree to which we internalize the other side’s prejudices. Because the left has conditioned us to think that a defense of the liberty to do something requires a defense of the moral blamelessness of the act, I overlooked that one could grant the possible bigotry of an action and yet defend the right to do it. If we must always find an innocent reason why one might do something that someone else objects to we will put all our rights in limbo. The broader principle is that not everything that is wrong should be illegal. Maybe I ungratefully failed to write a thank-you note to my cousin, and should be scolded for that, but it’s not properly the government’s concern.

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