Religion vs. Reality

WingNutDaily has a story out of Washington about a woman who has made a very poor career choice.

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson recently sued a Richland florist, Barronelle Stutzman, for alleged violations of state law authorizing same-sex “marriage,” but now he is finding himself a defendant for allegedly trying to violate the state and federal constitutions’ religious freedom provisions.

Bit of advice: If you don’t want to be around gay people, DON’T BECOME A FUCKING FLORIST.

But how exactly did she violate the “state law authorizing same-sex marriage”? How is that even possible? Here’s what voters in Washington voted on:

The ballot title reads as follows:[4]

The legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6239 concerning marriage for same-sex couples, modified domestic-partnership law, and religious freedom, and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill.This bill would allow same-sex couples to marry, preserve domestic partnerships only for seniors, and preserve the right of clergy or religious organizations to refuse to perform, recognize, or accommodate any marriage ceremony.

Should this bill be:

Approved [ ]

Rejected [ ]

The ballot measure is accompanied by the following summary:

This bill allows same-sex couples to marry, applies marriage laws without regard to gender, and specifies that laws using gender-specific terms like husband and wife include same-sex spouses. After 2014, existing domestic partnerships are converted to marriages, except for seniors. It preserves the right of clergy or religious organizations to refuse to perform or recognize any marriage or accommodate wedding ceremonies. The bill does not affect licensing of religious organizations providing adoption, foster-care, or child-placement.

There’s nothing in there to break. There are no penalties mentioned. How could anyone “violate” this law?

Stutzman has served homosexual clientele with a wide range of floral products over many years, and also has employed those who portray themselves as homosexual, with no issue. But she decided she could not, without violating her faith, give the appearance of endorsing same-sex “marriage” by creating special services for such an event, according to legal documents in her case.

A few things here.

  • The same sex marriage law in Washington says nothing about fucking floral arrangements, so WND is clearly misrepresenting which law she’s alleged to be in violation of.
  • They’re likely doing this on purpose in order to create the illusion that legalizing gay marriage somehow harmed someone.
  • So if you provide floral arrangements, that means you endorse said wedding? Who made that fucking rule? If a serial killer eats a McRib, does that make Ronald McDonald a proponent of axe-murder?
  • There’s that word “special” that we see again and again from the dumbass wingnuts who want gays to be second class citizens. If a florist provides THE EXACT SAME SERVICE that a straight person gets to a gay person, that service suddenly becomes “special”.
  • She has Gay Friends. So it’s not like she hates gays. It’s all about Jeeeeeebus.
  • And you just gotta love the way WND insists on putting scare quotes around “marriage” whenever it’s a gay doing it. Note that this is not an opinion piece. They do this even in their articles which are supposed to be straight news. (See what I did there?)

Moving on, what in the great gobblin’ shitbuckets is this countersuit based on?

The countersuit asks for a declaration that Ferguson’s actions are “unlawful” and to enjoin similar future actions, reasonable attorneys’ fees and litigation costs and “such other relief that the court deems just and equitable.”

The countersuit was filed by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys on behalf of Stutzman, whom they already were defending from the attorney general’s complaint.

If there were a Bad Legal Advice Hall of Fame, this countersuit would have its own wing. I’ve already pointed out that there’s nothing in the law legalizing gay marriage that has anything to do with fucking flowers.  The law she actually violated is this one:

RCW 49.60.030

Freedom from discrimination — Declaration of civil rights.

(1) The right to be free from discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability is recognized as and declared to be a civil right. This right shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) The right to obtain and hold employment without discrimination;

(b) The right to the full enjoyment of any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, or privileges of any place of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, or amusement;

That’s right. Washington prohibits businesses from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. News articles about this issue clearly state this:

“Because she refused to sell flowers to Mr. Ingersoll and Mr. Freed for their wedding,” the ACLU’s website states, “defendant Barronelle Stutzman aided Arlene’s Flowers in violating the Washington Law Against Discrimination by discriminating against the Plaintiffs on the basis of their sexual orientation.”

Maybe the ADF and WND should have paid a little more attention. And by a little more I mean any at all. She clearly broke the law. This countersuit has no hope of succeeding whatsoever, and is only going to be a big waste of money for them. Oh, and get this:

“He said he decided to get married, and before he got through I grabbed his hand and said, ‘I am sorry. I can’t do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ,’” Stutzman told KEPRTV News.

How does a sentence like that even exist? How could anyone possibly utter something so nonsensical and imbecilic without her brain giving up, shutting down, and putting her body into a permanent catatonic state?

“Everyone knows that plenty of florists are willing to assist in same-sex ceremonies, so the state has no reason to force Barronelle to violate her deeply held beliefs,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt.

Do these guys really think that argument is going to fly? I’d love to see them try that in court.

“Your honor, I hearby submit that it is okay for me to break the law because there are other people who don’t break it.”

*Lawyer permanently enters catatonic state. He is placed on the courthouse lawn as a warning to others. He is later murdered by Mayor McCheese, who is exonerated on the basis that there are other people who wouldn’t have murdered him.*

“In America, the government is supposed to protect freedom, not use its intolerance for certain viewpoints to intimidate citizens into acting contrary to their faith convictions. Family business owners are constitutionally guaranteed the freedom to live and work according to their beliefs. It is this very freedom that gives America its cherished diversity and protects citizens from state-mandated conformity.”

Boiler, meet plate.

It’s especially amusing that they refer to our “cherished diversity” while defending a woman against a discrimination charge. Cherished by whom, exactly? Certainly not by any of the god-humpers. But they do have a worrying penchant for heaping praise the very things they fight against. The praise freedom while fighting to restrict it. They insist on the importance of equal rights while doing everything in their power to preserve inequality.  They babble about how much god loves women while carefully inserting as much government as they can into every vagina that walks the land. They love the Constitution, but try to violate it every chance they get. Jesus loves the poor and sick so much that he wants them to stay that way! It’s more to love, right?

Dumbshits.

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Gullibility to Galilee

Le pompe des enterrements regarde plus las vanité des vivants que l’honneur des morts.

–François de la Rochefoucauld, Maximes et Réflexions diverses

“The pomp of funerals is more for the vanity of the living, than for the honor of the dead.” Some might fault de la Rochefoucauld’s typically French cynicism and snideness (I can’t even read the French text without adding a sneer to the voice), but like many cynical assholes, he’s right. Generally speaking, when people call you a cynical asshole, they’re accusing you of saying too many true things. Funerals really are more about tamping down our existential dread in the face of inevitable death rather than “honoring” whatever poor sap just kicked the bucket.

This is why we spend a bazillion dollars on tacky, pointless caskets, flowers, headstones, and needlessly funnel billions of dollars into America’s lucrative funeral industry. Grief is easy to exploit. If you’re interested in just how much it gets exploited in this country, I recommend the excellent Bullshit! episode called Death, Inc. Grief makes people stupid. The funeral industry knows how to make money off this grief-induced stupidity.

And as with any industry, they only strengthen their brand when they combine it Jeebus.

Want your ashes spread where Jesus walked?

By Sara Sidner, CNN

No.

Nobody should.

A new business called Holy Land Ash Scattering is targeting U.S. Christians as customers.

They may or may not be atheist moles trying to prove just how gullible Christians can be…

Company president Larry Deverett says he has found the perfect spot for people of the Christian faith to have their own or their loved ones cremated remains scattered.

The spot is located in a small garden in an orchard on a hill above the Sea of Galilee, the area where the New Testament says Jesus prayed, taught and performed many miracles including walking on water.

“I researched the market and found that there is a strong need and demand for this type of service and the No. 1 location on the planet, when you are talking about spirituality, is the Holy Land,” Deverett said.

Translation: I saw all these televangelists scamming their Christian sheep and thought, “Fuck, I could do that!”

Deverett knows there will always be potential clients. The funeral industry will always have a source of clients since we all have to go sometime, and many of us will likely have a funeral of some sort.

Kinda funny how “spirituality” and “crass, exploitative capitalism that doesn’t actually create any useful product or service” always seem to go hand in hand.

One reason for an upswing in cremations may be economics. Simply put, cremation is cheaper than a burial.

So let’s make it expensive again by adding “Transportation to fucking Jerusalem” to the package.

For $750 after cremation, you can have your ashes shipped and scattered near the “Jesus Trail,” where a bearded man resembling a person right out of the Bible performs a ceremony. It is all put on a DVD and sent to the family.

The Jesus Trail is much like the Treasure Trail. They’re both hairy and have a dick at the end.

And seriously, Christians. If you wonder why I don’t take you seriously when you speak of the profundity of “spirituality”, it’s because to you guys it includes watching a cheap DVD of some guy dressed as Moses poor your grandpappy’s ashes out in a spot that might have come into contact with Jesus’ foot fungus.

The company is looking into trying to do a live feed over the Internet so you can watch it in real time.

Can’t you people just watch porn like normal humans?

“It’s a great privilege to be able to do this act of loving kindness for our Christian brothers and sisters, ” said Benzion Lehrer, who says the prayer and scatters the ashes.

Translation: I’m rich, bitches!

Deverett is hoping to draw business from far and wide.

Sadly, he might actually pull that off.

But the President of Holy Land Ash Scattering can’t use the service for himself or his family. He is Jewish and adheres to the traditional belief that his faith forbids cremation.

So his company has even less integrity than Hair Club for Men.

One more thing: Shame on you, CNN. This is not a news article. It’s a fucking puff piece. I would not be shocked at all if Holy Land Ash Scattering paid for it. The only interviews are with people from the company, nothing but nice things are said, and not a hint of skepticism is expressed. I expect this kind of “advertizing masquerading as news” horseshit from WingNutDaily, but CNN is supposed to be an actual news outlet.

The thing is, I know why WND takes so many obvious scams and writes them up as “news”. It’s because they know their audience. The average WND reader is a daft, gullible, bigoted, paranoid, ignorant nincompoop with a severely restricted stream of incoming information. They fall for shit like this, and WND can profit from their credulity, so they do it. The obvious question we should ask now is: What does CNN believe about it’s own audience?