Monday, January 27, 2014

Ernie Otten Fail at Defending SB 67

Senator Otten gets into a bit of a back and forth on his Facebook page over SB67, the bill that would make it okay to discriminate against a person because you think your religion encourages it.  The discussion starts off in an uncivil manner and Mr. Otten responds in a more civil manner that allows for an actual back and forth.  I won't put the first comment, but do want to share the rest of the discussion.

    • Ernie Otten for South Dakota I’m not forcing or imposing an agenda on anyone. What it does do, however, is protect any South Dakotan from anyone trying to impose his or her radical views upon them by way of strong-arm tactics using legal & financial threats.
    • Dennis Lyons You sidestepped the point. What are you going to do when someone denies you or someone you know a service based on their religious beliefs?
    • Ernie Otten for South Dakota I'm free to go elsewhere.
    • Dennis Lyons You are okay with, say, Hobby Lobby suddenly demanding that all their employees take an oath to some Protestant church and then firing any Catholic or atheist that doesn't? And what makes a religious belief so special? Do you support someone's right to deny services based on racial beliefs? What if someone used their religious beliefs to justify racism? This isn't a hypothetical question. Religions (including Christianity) have used or misused their texts to justify segregation, subjugation and slavery based on race or creed rather regularly.
    • Ernie Otten for South Dakota You set up strawman arguments to mislead.
      You are okay with the extremist radical activists & Progressive activist judges in other states punishing those Christians who hold a deeply-held Biblical belief, thereby forcing them into financial ruin rather
       than allowing them to live in peace with their moral convictions. It’s become a way for the extremists on the left to push their radical agenda of intolerance of someone else's conscience.
    • Dennis Lyons What straw man? There is an undeniable historical precedent and the language of your bill leaves this as a wide open possibility.

While I appreciate the reference to the strawman fallacy, and the argument does move into the strawman area, there is still a valid question that Mr. Otten fails to address.  The bill does allow for me to deny service based on my religious beliefs which will open the door to all sorts of blatant bigotry.  If you look at the bill, section 3 makes discrimination acceptable.  
Section 3. No person or any personal business may be required to provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization, formation, or celebration of any marriage, or treat any marriage as valid for any purpose if such action would cause any such person or personal business to violate the person's sincerely held religious beliefs.
Despite calling out the other person's strawman with his own strawman.  This just goes to show the thinking pattern of this Senator.  I do not think that the Supreme Court of the United States radical and activist judges.  The other person was correct is saying that I could hold a deeply-held biblical belief that Christians should not be served in my store since I am Hindu or Muslim.  If that happened, I am sure Ernie Otten and his Tea Party would be up in arms.  Lines like, "It’s become a way for the extremists on the left to push their radical agenda of intolerance of someone else's conscience." makes the intentions clear:  It is okay for me to push my views on someone, but not okay for them to have an extreme opposing view.

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