Discrimination and the Constitution

“Nowhere does the Constitution allow businesses to discriminate against others for religious reasons” ~ The Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie

Today being Constitution Day means that any educational institution receiving federal funds must hold an educational program about the Constitution on this day. As a libertarian, I see it as the perfect day, not to pledge to, swear allegiance to, or honor the Constitution, but to point out some of the latest nonsense that is being said about the Constitution.

September 17th has been designated Constitution Day because it is the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. The Constitution was written by delegates from twelve states to a convention held in Philadelphia from May 25 to September 17, 1787. The Constitution was sent to the states for ratification on September 28, 1787. On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution. The ninth state needed for ratification was obtained on June 21, 1788, when New Hampshire ratified. After Virginia (June 25, 1788) and New York (July 26, 1788) ratified the Constitution, the Confederation Congress passed a resolution on September 13, The Making of the King... Laurence M. Vance Best Price: $8.89 Buy New $5.53 (as of 06:45 EST - Details) 1788, to put the new Constitution into effect on March 4, 1789.

I have previously pointed out (here and here) how the Constitution was flawed from the very beginning, that conservatives don’t follow the Constitution, that being a constitutionalist is not enough, that constitutionalists don’t even follow the Constitution, what the worst part of the Constitution is, that a new constitutional convention is unnecessary, how the Constitution is against the executive branch departments, that a constitutionalist shouldn’t support the drug war, that it is better to be a libertarian than a constitutional conservative, that Democrats and Republicans are enemies of the Constitution, and that our current government is about as far removed from the Constitution as it could ever be.

The Constitution is not a libertarian document. However, if the government would just follow its own Constitution, we would certainly be much better off than we are now. There would be no welfare, no drug war, no TSA, no ATF, no Social Security, no Medicare, no Medicaid, no federal laboratories, no farm subsidies, no foreign aid, no Pell grants, no federal restrictions on home brewing of beer, and no Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Homeland Security.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have people and groups who claim that the Constitution provides the right to engage in some activity or use a product or service—like the supposed constitutional rights to abortion, birth control, pornography, sodomy, welfare, health care, and same-sex marriage—or proscribes, by virtue of the fact that it doesn’t provide it, the right to undertake some action, like discrimination.

That the Constitution doesn’t allow businesses to discriminate is the latest nonsense that is being said about the Constitution.

What prompted someone to utter such nonsense was a recent development in the case of the well-known refusal of an Oregon bakery to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. Back in 2013, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a bakery in the Portland area—owned by Aaron and Melissa Klein—refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple—Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer—because doing so would violate the religious convictions of the bakery’s owners. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), which enforces some of Oregon’s civil rights laws, recently ruled that because “businesses cannot discriminate or refuse service based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot turn customers away because of race, sex, disability, age or religion,” Sweet Cakes by Melissa must pay $135,000 in damages to the lesbian couple “for emotional suffering stemming directly from unlawful discrimination.”

War, Empire, and the M... Laurence M. Vance Best Price: $16.00 Buy New $9.95 (as of 06:45 EST - Details) Writing in the Huffington Post, the Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie, a United Church of Christ minister, and the Director of the Center for Peace and Spirituality and University Chaplain at Pacific University, says “the decision was, in fact, perfectly appropriate.” The civil rights of the lesbian couple were “violated” and therefore they were “entitled to appropriate compensation after being denied service at the bakery because of their sexual orientation.” Currie finds “discrimination against gays and lesbians intolerable.” He applauds a recent resolution adopted by the General Synod of the United Church of Christ that “called on our local churches to fight new discriminatory laws that target the LGBTQ community with the intent of robbing any ‘persons of any sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression of the security that they will not be denied services, employment or even a place to live on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or marital relationship.’” Curry maintains that “no business owners have any right to use faith as a legal excuse for discrimination.” Why? Because “nowhere does the Constitution allow businesses to discriminate against others for religious reasons.”

Baloney. Nonsense. Gibberish. Gobbledygook.

Like the typical Republican and conservative, Currie (the quintessential liberal Democrat), is about as ignorant of the Constitution as the typical public high school student (or teacher). Not only does the Constitution not prohibit businesses from discriminating against others for religious reasons, it doesn’t prohibit businesses from discriminating against others for sex, race, color, gender identify, sexual orientation, national origin, age, pregnancy, martial status, disability, birthplace, ancestry, culture, political affiliation, physical appearance, or any other reason. One can search the Constitution morning, noon, and night with an electron microscope, x-ray vision, and night-vision goggles and not even find the word discrimination. How does the Constitution prohibit businesses from discriminating if it doesn’t even contain the word? Not to mention that there is nothing the Constitution allows or doesn’t allow businesses to do. That is the role of federal, state, and local regulations, all of which shouldn’t exist, of course, but that is the subject of another article. The Constitution provides a framework for the federal government to operate and sets limits (mostly ignored) on its power. The Constitution does not provide a framework for Sweet Cakes by Melissa or any other business to operate, and neither does it set limits on what a business can or cannot do.

The Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie is a stark, raving lunatic.

War, Christianity, and... Laurence M. Vance Best Price: $4.99 Buy New $9.95 (as of 06:45 EST - Details) And so is former Pennsylvania senator and bottom-of-the-pack Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. After the Colorado Court of Appeals recently ruled that Masterpiece Cakeshop in the Denver suburbs could not refuse to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding, Santorum explained to CBS’s “Fact the Nation” that there has to be a distinction between “discrimination of the person because of who they are” and “unwillingness to participate in actions that are inconsistent with your religious beliefs.”

But no such distinction is necessary. As I have pointed out in my many articles on discrimination:

  • Discrimination is neither a dirty word nor an evil deed.
  • There is no right to service.
  • Discriminating against someone is not aggressing against him.
  • To outlaw discrimination is to outlaw freedom of thought and freedom of association.
  • A free society is not free of discrimination, but a free society is free of discrimination laws.
  • A free society must include the freedom to discriminate against any individual or group, on any basis, for any reason.

The Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie is not only an enemy of a free society, he is also an enemy of the Constitution.