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The New Religious Exception: Unionization

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….Sorry for not including the link, I wrote this before a long and horrible day of travel and so just saw I forgot it now. Here is the original link, for what it’s worth 20 hours later.

Among the many potential impacts of the Hobby Lobby decision is for employers to claim unionization of their workforce violates their religious beliefs. This is already percolating through the court system, most famously at Duquense University, when that Catholic institution of higher education used this argument (because all know the Pope hates unions or something).

By declaring that “closely held” corporations may hold religious beliefs, the court may have provided businesses with a new tool for crushing workplace unionization drives. In addition to declaring themselves exempt from contraception mandates and non-discrimination laws, religious employers may soon be able to argue for an exemption from collective bargaining laws.

“All you need is one employer saying, ‘My religious beliefs tell me I shouldn’t collectively bargain,’” said Alex Luchenitser, associate legal director for Americans United for Separation of Church and State. If an employer takes the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to court and uses that argument, it could set the table for a major court battle over the future of union rights in nominally religious workplaces.

Religious primary and secondary schools are already exempt from collective bargaining rules, thanks to the 1979 Supreme Court case NLRB v. Catholic Bishop of Chicago. In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled that the NLRB does not have jurisdiction over schools “operated by a church to teach both religious and secular subjects.” As a result, schools operated by the Catholic Bishop of Chicago were under no obligation to recognize employee unions, no matter the circumstances. Putting religious schools under the jurisdiction of the NLRB, the court reasoned, would present “a significant risk of infringement of Religion Clauses of the First Amendment.”

Other religious schools have seized on the decision over the years. Most recently, Perelman Jewish Day School in Philadelphia decided to stop recognizing its teachers’ union, citing NLRB v. Catholic Bishop of Chicago as legal justification. A March 28 article from the labor-friendly magazine In These Times suggested that the school’s actions may have earned it the title “the Hobby Lobby of Union-Busting.” But the Perelman case may wind up being less important than another legal fight brewing elsewhere in Pennsylvania. In 2012, adjunct professors at Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University requested the right to hold a union election, only to have the school claim a religious exemption. The crucial difference in this case is that Duquesne is a university, not a religious day school like Perelman or the Chicago Catholic schools.

The implication of Alito’s opinion in Hobby Lobby, if fully implemented, opens the door to employers using religious exemptions to avoid every law they don’t like, which I have no reason to believe reasonable moderate Sam Alito would oppose.

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  • libarbarian

    link?

    • J R in WV

      Now that you mention it, I recall the chapter of Thessalonians (Or was it Corinthians?) where Paul says the Lord God says “And if the workers of the fields and the shepherds of the flock should combine together to ask their owner for improvements to their lives, Ye Should strike their lights from their bodies, and render them into liquid fats for use in waterproofing thy cloaks!”

      How, in the face of a direct command like that from the Lord God, how can any good American do anything other than shoot anyone rousing up the rabble with their organizing work!

      Thanks for sharing your awesome knowledge with us lowly students.

  • fka AWS

    Duquesne is a religious institution anyway. I’m not surprised they are trying to qualify under the earlier decision, although I find it odious.

    You could have found a better case to make about the Hobby Lobby decision re: unionization.

    • Really, it doesn’t count if it’s a private, religious college or unversity?

      Your logic is sadly lacking here.

      • JustinV

        He is saying that Duquesne would probably be able to claim the exemption based on the prior case of NLRB v. Catholic Bishop of Chicago and not the Hobby Lobby decision. We have yet to see a secular for-profit corporation claim a religious exemption under the Hobby Lobby ruling. Though I suspect it won’t be long.

        • fka AWS

          That’s what I meant. Duquesne at least has a connection to the Chicago decision. Again, I’m not arguing that they should make the claim, but it’s a private, religious school, just higher ed instead of K-12.

          • If they want to put on record that “Catholic values” include opposition to unions, that would be interesting.

            • cpinva

              “If they want to put on record that “Catholic values” include opposition to unions, that would be interesting.”

              yeah, that was a new one on me. must be a Vatican 2 thing I missed.

              what’s to stop any employer from creating their very own “religion”, and then claim exemption from all fed/state/local laws and regulations?

              • Autonomous Coward

                Scalia having been apparently appointed Head Inquisitor with his “Well, of COURSE Blood Transfusions are covered!” opinion.

                • ericblair

                  Yep, the Supreme Court has firmly put itself in the Religion Approval business. We’re being roped into having an established official church of the United States (the right half of the Catholic Church, looks like) without any sort of legislative or executive controls. This does not freak out the snakehandlers, because the snakehandlers are stupid.

            • wjts

              If they want to put on record that “Catholic values” include opposition to unions, that would be interesting.

              They have.

              • joe from Lowell

                But they haven’t. They don’t in that story.

                Their religious argument isn’t about unions per se, but about NLRB jurisdiction:

                Duquesne is appealing results of the election conducted under the supervision of the National Labor Relations Board. It contends the church-operated school is outside NLRB jursidiction.

                • wjts

                  Duquesne’s president has said, using the issue of NLRB jurisdiction as a fig leaf, that allowing adjunct faculty to unionize would “be opening a path that could lead to the compromise or loss of our Catholic and Spiritan identity.” Saying, “We’re fine with faculty unions in principle, provided the NLRB doesn’t get involved” is, as I understand it, functionally exactly the same as opposing faculty unions.

                • joe from Lowell

                  That phrase “using the issue of NLRB jurisdiction as a fig leaf” sure is working overtime. I hope it has a strong union and is getting time-and-a-half, and I hope that “functionally exactly the same” signed the card as well.

                  The claim:

                  If they want to put on record that “Catholic values” include opposition to unions, that would be interesting.

                  They have.

                  No, they haven’t. From your second link: “We are not unmindful of the teachings of the Catholic Church on labor. The Church continues to support the right of working men and women to organize.”

                  “Put on record” does not mean “go on record stating the opposite of.”

                • joe from Lowell

                  Saying, “We’re fine with faculty unions in principle, provided the NLRB doesn’t get involved” is, as I understand it, functionally exactly the same as opposing faculty unions.

                  Your original claim was about unions, and Catholic values about unions, and what the President of Defrense said about Catholic values and unions.

                  And now, “unions” has become “faculty unions,” “Catholic values” has become “opinion of the President of a college about how best to achieve their mission.”

                  The college is still wrong, but you misrepresented their claim.

                • wjts

                  …I hope that “functionally exactly the same” signed the card as well.

                  Perhaps I’m wrong, but it’s my understanding that refusing to recognize the NLRB jurisdiction over a union vote is functionally equivalent to refusing to recognize the right to unionize. Or are there non-governmental, non-railroad/airtravel unions that aren’t under the jurisdiction of the NLRB?

                  And the President was pretty explicit that allowing Duqeuesne’s faculty to unionize has the potential to compromise the University’s ostensible religious mission. I happen to know some Duquesne adjuncts and full-time faculty members, and it would seem that hiring non-Catholic (and even non-Christian) teachers does not compromise Duquesne’s religious mission but allowing collective bargaining does. Pitt uses adjuncts, CMU uses adjuncts, Chatham uses adjuncts, every Pittsburgh-area college and university uses adjuncts and none of them want unionized adjuncts, but only Duquesne claims that recognizing the authority of the NLRB violates the University’s First Amendment rights. So, yeah: fig leaf.

                • joe from Lowell

                  I was talking about claims, not paths to union recognition. What aren’t “functionally the same” are the two arguments: “Unions violate Catholic values” and “Being required to recognize a faculty union might lead to interference with our mission.”

                  And the President was pretty explicit that allowing Duqeuesne’s faculty to unionize has the potential to compromise the University’s ostensible religious mission.

                  Yes, but this isn’t the same thing as claiming that unions violate Catholic values. If I am on a mission to vacuum the living room, and my son is playing with his trucks there, that interferes with my mission, but not because playing with trucks violates my values. It’s just in the way, making it more difficult for me to do what I want when I want it.

                  The argument, the claim, the university is making isn’t that unions or collective bargaining violate Catholic values, but that they limit the power of the management (in this case, the college administration) to run things there way, which could include negotiating for things that would make it more difficult for the management (administration) to do things its way, or that they object to on other (including but not limited to) religious grounds.

                  The argument the college is making isn’t about unions being against their beliefs, the way contraception violated the religious beliefs of Hobby Lobby’s owners. It’s more like the many cases we’ve seen of philosophically liberal, pro-union political groups, including some groups that have actually lent support to unions, oppositing the unionization of their own staff because it would interfere with their ability to control the organization’s operations. You know the argument – they’re such special snowflakes, the employees can’t be allowed to do anything that might be at odds with the leadership’s vision or goals.

                • wjts

                  You know the argument – they’re such special snowflakes, the employees can’t be allowed to do anything that might be at odds with the leadership’s vision or goals.

                  Right, but Duquesne’s administration is phrasing this argument in explicitly religious terms when they claim that recognizing NLRB jurisdiction would violate their First Amendment rights, citing Catholic Bishop v. NLRB, and that allowing adjunct unionization might “lead to the compromise or loss of our Catholic and Spiritan identity”. So, yeah, while the administration is willing to pay lip service to the Church’s teachings on labor, when push comes to shove, they claim that allowing the faculty to unionize is a violation of their religious principles.

            • Tyto

              It would also seem contrary to the new Pope’s professed concern regarding the problems of capitalism. I love the idea (though I know it will never happen) of an ex cathedra statement or Papal bull regarding workers’ rights, issued in the midst of this litigation.

              • Chris

                He doesn’t need an ex cathedra statement. Pope JP2 never did anything of the kind when cracking down on liberation theology proponents in Central and South America. That kind of campaign against Catholic In Name Only bishops in the U.S. who pay more attention to their Republican pals’ pronouncements than their own doctrine and Bible would be welcome, frankly.

                But I agree it’s not likely. Been curious since the Pope was selected to see whether there’d be real action to back up his social justice pronouncements (precisely in terms of things like this), or whether he was just saying nice soothing things while business went on as usual. The pronouncements are welcome in and of themselves, but I can’t say I’m seeing a hell of a lot of change behind them.

                And to be honest, I can’t say I blame him too much. Whatever his intentions really are, I think he’s probably very aware that the last Pope who was seen as too much of a reformer was found dead in his bed less than a month into his papacy.

                • joe from Lowell

                  If you aren’t seeing substantive changes, you aren’t looking.

                  Look at the Vatican bank. Look at the high offices in the Vatican. He’s been cleaning house at the highest levels.

                • Murc

                  Look at the Vatican bank. Look at the high offices in the Vatican. He’s been cleaning house at the highest levels.

                  I will believe that Francis is cleaning house when he excommunicates the massive array of criminals his Church has been and continues to shield, deports them from Vatican City, and calls on the secular authorities to prosecute them fully. This includes his immediate predecessor.

                  Anything else is not “cleaning house” but rather “cleaning up his image.”

                • joe from Lowell

                  “All right… all right… but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order… what have the Romans done for us?”

                • joe from Lowell

                  You should be more careful, Murc.

                  I remember back during the debate over Dodd-Frank, Bob McManus decided that the standard he was going to pick so he could make sure it was never going to be met, so he wouldn’t have to ever acknowledge something positive, was the Volker Rule.

                  “I’ll believe blah blah blah when they include the Volker Rule in the bill!”

                  Oops.

                • Aimai

                  I’d like to believe that Francis has the will and the power to do some serious house cleaning but I doubt it. I doubt he will force out any of the most egregious prelates and he certainly won’t return them to the local authorities for prosecution. (For one thing: he can’t). But I will happilly change my mind when Cardinal Law steps off the flight from Rome in chains.

                • Murc

                  You should be more careful, Murc.

                  I am unsure why it cannot be simultaneously true that Pope Francis has done good things, and indeed is quite a step up from Benedict, and that he also is fatally compromised and complicit in the ongoing cover-ups and fuckery endemic to the Catholic Church.

                  Those aren’t disjoint sets.

                • joe from Lowell

                  I’d like to believe that Francis has the will and the power to do some serious house cleaning but I doubt it. I doubt he will force out any of the most egregious prelates

                  Again: he already has. It is happening right now as we type, and has been going on for months.

                  But I will happilly change my mind when Cardinal Law steps off the flight from Rome in chains.

                  OK, so we’re not actually talking about changing personnel and cleaning house. Replacing department heads, changing procedures, putting in oversight – none of these things count unless you get a perp walk.

                  Well, I was actually talking about making changes in the Vatican.

                • joe from Lowell

                  And for my part, Murc, I don’t understand what your second comment has to do with either your first, or my reply.

                  This is one of those situations where what you actually say isn’t really the point, so my addressing what you say misses the point, isn’t it?

                • Aimai

                  People have different ideas about what counts. Yes. Thats true. I don’t really care whether Francis cleans house by sending one guy or the other to the minor leagues, or changing up some of the top board members. I’m not a Catholic and the internal and financial workings of the Church are of complete indifference to me. Actual crimes have been committed and covered up by very important prelates and those need to be punished by the countries i which those crimes were committed. The Vatican needs to stop letting itself be used as a part of the shuffling around of responsibility.

                  We are not having an argument about this. I mean, you might want to argue with me over this but I’m not arguing with you.

                • joe from Lowell

                  And sometimes, the same people have different ideas about what counts after just a few minutes.

                  I doubt he will force out any of the most egregious prelates…

                  Unless he is, at which point, it doesn’t matter.

                  I don’t really care whether Francis cleans house by sending one guy or the other to the minor leagues, or changing up some of the top board members.

                  Well, you should, because who holds the top positions, and who is shuffling papers and confessing nuns, makes a great deal of differences in how one of the most important institutions in the world affects humanity.

                  Let’s put it this way: if the “most egregious prelates” were being elevated from “the minor league” to the leadership positions – if the changes Francis is carrying out were being done in reverse – you’d be howling. And you’d be right to, because such a thing would be a hugely significant step backwards, likely to cause major harm.

      • Another Holocene Human

        Hell, I’m still trying to figure out why religiously affiliated teaching institutions should be exempt from US labor laws except for “tradition”.

        There was a math teacher or something fired for being gay and the church school argued with a straight face that she was a “minister”.

        This crap is really tiresome.

        And Koran-burner Dove World Outreach kicked-out-of-Germany Terry Jones & his wife were running a furniture business out of their church property (with unpaid labor of Germans on refugee visas, said Germans did not realize Florida is a slave state where you are allowed to “voluntarily” forgo compensation for your labor, so they sued to get paid min wage and lost) and not paying property tax … that is until they embarrassed the entire county with their antics and some student journalists at the Independent Florida Alligator documented their business on CL and elsewhere on the internet, leading eventually to the property being reassessed and Jones & co skedaddling further south.

        L. Ron Hubbard had it right: if you really want to make money in America, found a religion.

    • Chris

      Considering that Catholic teaching, on paper, is pretty strongly pro-union, the claim that this infringes on Duquesne’s religious beliefs is a fucking farce.

      Then again, the USCCB didn’t seem to raise too much noise about it. Once again confirming that I do well to not go to church anymore.

      • Anonymous

        The AFL-CIO supports sodomite “rights”. The Catholic church believes in morality.

        • toberdog

          To call this comment stupid would be an insult to stupid comments.

          • Anonymous

            The Catholic Church wouldn’t be opposed to unions if unions didn’t support immoral causes like sodomy and abortion.

            • joe from Lowell

              Apparently, toberdog, he read your comment as a dare.

              • toberdog

                Yeah. I think our trollish commenter actually exceeded himself on the second go-round.

              • advocatethis

                I think he believes he was clarifying and improving on his earlier remark

            • cpinva

              “The Catholic Church wouldn’t be opposed to unions if unions didn’t support immoral causes like sodomy and abortion.”

              could you please provide an official church cite for this? thanks. sounds like bullshit to me, but I’m a (semi) reasonable man.

        • Lee Rudolph

          The International Siblinghood of Sapphists and Sodomites is slavering over the opportunity to recruit you, dear. Keep up the good fight!

          • postmodulator

            I’m torn. I’m not qualified to join, but I absolutely want to go to those meetings.

          • Sodomite is Batmite’s friend, right?

        • JustinV

          I hear the AFL-CIO has not denounced the Pelagian heresy and comforts simoniacs!

          • Hogan

            And like Mal, they regard the filioque as an abomination.

            • Malaclypse

              It is, dammit. I will never forgive the Second Ecumenical Council their heresy.

              • sibusisodan

                I was this close to saying the filioque clause during the creed at an Orthodox church in Boston one time.

                Thankfully the part of my brain that watches out for situations in which I may accidentally enragen and annoy an entire room full of people shut my mouth just in time…

          • The Pale Scot

            Pelagius was one of the last christians that made any sense.

        • John (not McCain)

          Like you, the Catholic Church believes in raping children.

          • What else would you expect from a conservative on the government teat in Loundon County, VA?

  • politicalfootball

    Hobby Lobby had a pretty implausible connection to religious belief, but there is, at least, a genuine, existing religious opinion about various contraceptives. The Catholic Bishop of Chicago decision (obviously) didn’t rely on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Is there any known religious objection to unionization (as opposed to a Constitutional objection to the state interfering with religion)?

    But yeah, sure, Alito wouldn’t have any problem with finding an ad hoc religious objection to unionization.

    • Chris

      … should’ve read further before posting the above.

      No. Not only is there no religious objection to unions, Catholic doctrine is pretty strongly in favor of them.

      Here: http://www.usccb.org/upload/Primer-labor-Catholic-social-teaching.pdf. A few choice excerpts:

      “Catholic social teaching supports the right of workers to choose whether to organize, join a union, and bargain collectively, and to exercise these rights without reprisal…”

      “The most important of all [workplace associations and organizations] are workingmen’s unions”

      “No one may deny the right to organize without attacking human dignity itself.”

      But there’s theory, and then there’s practice, and on anything that doesn’t fall under “abortion,” “contraception” or “gayness,” the two are about as far apart as can be in American Catholicism. Funny that.

      • JustinV

        John Paul II’s Laborem Exercens affirms the right to organize, collectively bargain, and strike. Labor ought to be favored strongly over capital on moral grounds. Migrant workers ought to receive special protections and support, and distant corporations have a responsibility to the factory and agricultural workers in developing nations that are their suppliers which ought to be enforced by law. He also says that an individual worker should be paid enough to support his whole family so that a spouse and children do not need to work in order to survive. The patriarchical implications are a little troubling, I’ll grant, but it’s a strong statement about what is owed to labor in return for its contribution to society. Basically, after Communism, the Church is nominally most strongly committed to oppose laissez faire capitalism and globalization.

        The USCCB is a terrible organization that is not interested in much more than patriarchy. There are folks on the ground living a mission of charity and compassion, activism and engagement. But the princes of the Church act like, well, princes.

        • ericblair

          I strongly suspect that just because the Bible, the Catholic magisterium, and the Pope favor workers’ rights, that does not reflect the Really Totally True Apostolic and Catholic Church that exists exclusively in Alito’s head.

        • chris

          John Paul II’s Laborem Exercens affirms the right to organize, collectively bargain, and strike.

          This may well be, but I’m not sure it is or even should be relevant to this case.

          I’m not sure that I really want courts entertaining the argument that your claim to a religious exemption fails because you’re misinterpreting your religion’s doctrine. It just seems like a neverending can of worms. Wouldn’t it amount to asking the court to decide that your religious beliefs don’t deserve protection because they’re heretical? And then what happens if you respond by declaring a schism?

          The fact that *not* scrutinizing the content of religious beliefs makes them wide open to abuse in, well, *bad faith* is an excellent reason not to grant religions special privileges to disobey neutral laws of general applicability. (Laws maliciously targeting them for harassment are another matter.)

      • Anonymous

        Why do unions defend sodomites? Why are they pro abortion? Unions need to stop defending perverts if they want support from people of faith.

        • Malaclypse

          Revanchist concern troll is very concerned.

          • Hogan

            And vice versa. He swings both ways.

        • DrDick

          Because they are rational human beings who value human life? Your faith, BTW, does not ban abortion. The only (indirect) references to it in the Bible say that it is not a crime and actually require it for adulterous women.

        • advocatethis

          why are you too lazy to even come up with a nym? Sure, you’re instantly recognizable by the inanity and irrelevance of your comments, but you could even use your secret superhero persona name to distinguish yourself from those who really are anonymous.

        • MAJeff

          Go get laid and stop obsessing.

          • DrDick

            Do you honestly believe that there is any quasi-sentient creature that would fuck the sociopathic moron?

            • Malaclypse

              Jennie would be a good match for Dagney, should they ever both come out of their self-imposed closets.

              • Muy Mal

                It must be a reflex? And you’re still telling yourself that you are fighting the good fight by referencing the “trolls”. What percentage of your voluminous postings are “troll” related? Lie down with dogs… get up with…

                • sharculese

                  It’s not ‘fighting the good fight.’

                  It’s just making fun of you for being a maladjusted weiner.

                • DrDick

                  ;-)

        • The Pale Scot

          Because sodomy is fun and who wants kids around to interfere with time spent sodomying?

          • Malaclypse

            Because sodomy is fun

            Speaking as a liberal, I cannot tell you how much I fear the electoral appeal that will result from conservatives going all-out on sodomy bans.

            • DrDick

              Only if they plan on actually enforcing them.

        • Anonymous

          Why do unions defend sodomites? Why are they pro abortion?

          Unions are there for the benefit of its members. Whatever they perceive will benefit them, that’s what they do.

          • Aimai

            I find it helpful to replace words like “sodomite” with the word “people.” It works with black people and with women, too, by the way. Just substitute “people” for these categories and you instantly find that what was strange makes a lot of sense.

            Unions defend people.

    • ASV

      Does it matter? It seems like the one piece of Hobby Lobby consensus (a consensus I don’t join, FWIW) was that the government shouldn’t question the legitimacy of professed religious beliefs, or scrutinize the connection of those beliefs to religious doctrine.

      • Tyto

        In this case, though, Catholic SCOTUS justices might–might–be persuaded that an actual and specific ecclesiastical writing from JP II is fairly dispositive of Catholicism’s position on that issue.

        • Tyto

          Not that I’m holding my breath, of course….

  • joe from Lowell

    If I’m the government defending against such a lawsuit, I’m deposing Pope Francis on the legitimacy of the claim that unionization violates Catholic teaching.

    • Aimai

      What good would that do? Isn’t the Alito position that the facts on the ground don’t matter? They aren’t going to get into even calling “balls and strikes” w/r/t actual religious belief or dogma. And protestant or baptist groups may also claim the exemption. Not to mention the Jews. The only relief we will get is when the Muslims make a claim.

      • Manju

        They aren’t going to get into even calling “balls and strikes” w/r/t actual religious belief or dogma.

        Well, ideally they shouldn’t. That’s why Sherbert sucked and why Congress shouldn’t have tried to “override” Scalia & Co.

        Or course, they didn’t realize Scalia & co would turn around and apply reSerbertization to corporations. But even if scotus didn’t, Sherbert would still suck.

        Funneling most “free exercise” claims thru the “free speech” clause is the best way to reconcile the 1A….as Scotus was doing. Congress fucked up and Scalia & Co fucked them for it.

      • rea

        All these rights, together with the need for the workers themselves to secure them, give rise to yet another right: the right of association, that is to form associations for the purpose of defending the vital interests of those employed in the various professions. These associations are called labour or trade unions.–John Paul II, Laborum Exercens

        Protestant fundamentalists of the Dominionist stripe think the Bible forbids unions. But that’s not mainstream Catholic doctrine, and hasn’t been since the 19th Century.

        • Hogan

          But when the crunch comes, they’re more like Chris Doeblin or a lot of NYU faculty: unions are fine in other places, but I can’t be having with that in my house.

          • NonyNony

            Let’s also acknowledge that the word of the Pope is only law as much as the Bishops want to treat it as such and as much as a Pope can enforce it (which for the past few hundred years has been “not much”).

            I doubt that many US Bishops consider the right to organize to be a real human right. They might pay lip service to it because they aren’t supposed to be seen visibly defying Papal edicts, but that doesn’t mean that they have to actively support it either.

            • postmodulator

              There’s always excommunication. Sure, it wouldn’t accomplish much in the real world, but I have to think that’d be a PR hit.

            • Aimai

              Rod Dreher is very sad right now y’all because the current Pope isn’t as good as liberals think he is. Why–he hasn’t stepped in and solved the decades long Catholic Sex Abuse scandal by disciplining one Bishop in one region now that Rod has noticed how corrupt the guy is. Better get cracking, Francis!

              • Origami Isopod, Commisar [sic] of Ideology for the Bolsheviks

                Nuh-uh, ain’t goin’ over to Hairshirt Rod’s place and you can’t make me.

        • BigHank53

          Does mainstream Catholic doctrine include barring people who think abortion should be legal from partaking in communion while giving death-penalty advocates a pass?

      • Derelict

        Isn’t the Alito position that the facts on the ground don’t matter?

        Which is what leads to just great bits of jurisprudence as “Innocence is no bar to being executed if the defendant had some sort of trial beforehand.”

      • joe from Lowell

        Aimai,

        OT: What do you think of this ad?

        • gocart mozart

          Hard hitting ad. Do the facts back up the allegations?

          • joe from Lowell

            I was thinking about the “Prominent female politician putting her career ahead of the well-being of children” angle.

            • sharculese

              The Republicans will certainly try that line, but I seriously doubt they’ll pull it off, because they fundamentally don’t understand that line of reasoning.

              • joe from Lowell

                I hope you’re right. It’s a bit of a hanging curve.

                Nancy Pelosi could put that one in the cheap seats.

                • sharculese

                  I didn’t have time to expand earlier, but I think if the Republicans were 10% more savvy on issues of gender, someone would have to try and explain that it was, in fact, Nikki Haley’s job to look after the children and she fucked it up, and that’s a different thing than ‘her real job was to take care of her children,’ and I think it would be hard to get that message across.

                  As it stands, Haley’s competent enough that I suspect she knows it’s better to play it straight than to try the sexist angle and risk one of her team own-goaling in front of a camera, but if one of the professional shouters decides to run with it it’s more likely than not they end up saying something much more obviously sexist.

        • Aimai

          I don’t know what to make of that ad. In what way? Do you think its sexist? Do you think that matters? I don’t think it matters–appeals to the ideal of female politicians as really family oriented (or failing to be family oriented) really work. They especially work in the case of Nikki Haley who has a very rocky history of public infidelity (IIRC) and doesn’t have six kids like Nancy Pelosi. Nikki Haley markets one brand of feminine power (pistol packin’ mama, hot libertarian) and she can suffer from it not being sufficiently feminine enough for all of me.

          • joe from Lowell

            It seems a little dog-whistle-ish to me.

            “Prominent female politician puts her career ahead of the children.”

            This ad casts her as a careerist who puts her own selfish quest for power ahead of the well being of our children. It even features a “good” woman criticizing her, offering a contrast between a woman who quit her position out of concern for them, and the bad careerist.

            That’s a bit off-putting to me, even if it is Niki Haley.

            • The Dark Avenger

              If the situation outlined in the ad is true, why balk at using it? Politics isn’t something that can be won by the Marquis of Queensbury rules, especially if the other side wouldn’t hesitate breaking such rules if it meant getting a Republican in the governors chair in any state.

  • Todd

    To paraphrase Woody Allen through Max von Sydow: “If Jesus could come back to Earth and see what is being done in his name….he would never stop throwing up.”

    • Yeah, you’d think these people would read their own book a little more often. Pharaoh wasn’t keen on unions either.

    • Hogan

      Then the devil took him to a high mountain and showed him the kingdoms of the world and said that he would give them to him if he would fall down and worship him. But Jesus said: Get thee hence, Satan. That’s the end of the story according to the good simple Matthew. But it wasn’t. The devil was sly and he came to Jesus once more and said: If thou wilt accept shame and disgrace, scourging, a crown of thorns and death on the cross thou shalt save the human race, for greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Jesus fell. The devil laughed till his sides ached, for he knew the evil men would commit in the name of their redeemer.

      • Barry Freed

        That’s one of my favorite passages anywhere.

        • Hogan

          I’m just reading it for the first time. I don’t know why it took so long.

          • politicalfootball

            Hadn’t been familiar with Maugham’s interpretation, but Dostoevsky’s take had a lot in common.

      • DrS

        What’s this from?

        • Hogan

          Maugham, The Razor’s Edge.

          • BigHank53

            Going on the list. Thanks.

            • Aimai

              Okay, thanks. I’ve never read any Maugham. Guess its time.

              • The Ashenden stories are a good jumping-off point, along with “Cakes and Ale”, which is about the English writer Thomas Hardy and has this little gem about us Americans:

                “The Americans, who are the most efficient people on the earth, have carried this device [the use of “ready-made phrases”] to such a height of perfection and have invented so wide a range of pithy and hackneyed phrases that they can carry on an amusing and animated conversation without giving a moment’s reflection to what they are saying and so leave their minds free to consider the more important matters of big business and fornication.” (

      • Aimai

        What is this from, Hogan? It has a kind of vonnegutty feel to it. I’m in the middle of several things at once: One Hundred Years of Solitude, Bart Ehrmann’s new book “Fraud” (?) about forgery in the New Testament, a book called Portrait of the Brain which is rather twee and self regarding, and Ficciones which I’m wandering in and out of in a daze. But I could add something else to the pile.

  • Manju

    The implication of Alito’s opinion in Hobby Lobby, if fully implemented, opens the door to employers using religious exemptions to avoid every law they don’t like

    Well, not laws passed after the RFRA. The Obamacare (since it’s working, I think y’all should appropriate the RWing name for it) provision in question is a regulatory ruling. They are, I learnt from commentators here, trumped by earlier law.

    • DrDick

      We already established that you are incapable of learning anything.

      • Manju

        You’re linking to a piece showing that the South (based on the House of Reps) became majority republican 1994…which is in-line with what I’ve been saying.

        In contrast, it problematizes your claim that:

        “All of the hard line segregationists switched to the Republican Party in the 1970s”.

        Grated, it doesn’t directly address race, as the scholars I referenced do, but lying racist morons like yourself pull shit like this all the time.

        • DrS

          You’re a very silly person.

        • joe from Lowell

          Grated, it doesn’t directly address race, as the scholars I referenced do, but lying racist morons like yourself pull shit like this all the time.

          Watching a conservative trying to play a race card is like watching a monkey that’s gotten ahold of a field researcher’s cell phone.

          • Manju

            I base my judgment on the fact that DrDick repeatedly uses racially loaded terms:

            Keep fucking that walrus, boy.

            Emphasis mine.

            http://lawyersgunsmon.wpengine.com/2014/07/statutory-rights-luxury-good/comment-page-1#comment-1194835

            and repeatedly whitewashes racism from American History:

            “[Robert Byrd] voted for the 1968 Civil Rights Act and consistently voted for Civil Rights afterward. Reality is not your friend.”

            http://lawyersgunsmon.wpengine.com/2012/10/what-a-pathetic-operation-tucker-carlson-is-running/comment-page-1#comment-363897

            • joe from Lowell

              I base my judgment on the fact that DrDick repeatedly uses racially loaded terms:

              And the monkey bases his movements on the fact that the field researcher repeatedly presses buttons.

              He just doesn’t know what they mean, or what she’s doing with them. That’s what makes it so funny.

            • Manju, boy is also used in the South towards men who are of pale skin, but have shown their callow youth and lack of experience, as you do here on an almost daily basis. The fact of the matter is, DrDick is older than you, and like me, has lived in the South long enough to know that your vision of the politics of race there, past and present, is based on nothing but selective readings and citation of evidence on your part.

              Aside from the fact that we can’t tell if you’re ‘fair’, as your fellow countrymen/women term it(motes and beams, after all), I have not seen any bias from DrDick other than that engendered by your stupidity.

              So, lets sum it up: DrDick used an insult that is usually, but not always, used to insult African-American men, against you, an decidely non-African-American man, therefore, he is a racist.

              • joe from Lowell

                Manju, boy is also used in the South towards men who are of pale skin, but have shown their callow youth and lack of experience, as you do here on an almost daily basis.

                Bush goshdarnit, Dr. Dick used the word “boy,” and Manju has seen people – good, god fearing mean, friends of his! – called out as racists for using that word!

                It’s not fair! Liberals get to call people racists for using “boy” but conservatives don’t, and he can’t see a single reason why the situations are any difference, and it’s just NOT FAIR, OOH OOH AH AH AH!!!

                (Throws cell phone, scrambles up tree, sulks.)

                • Autonomous Coward

                  Lacks verisimilitude. Needs more shit-flinging.

              • DrDick

                I would add that I have repeatedly stated that it is/was based on my perception that he is in fact a not very bright 14 year old, based on his critical and analytical skills and abuse of sources. I even said that in the thread he cites to. This is a classic example of the standard conservative ploy of trying to say that liberals are the real racists to discredit them when the conservative is losing the actual argument.

                • Manju

                  Take for example this thread where you call me a “not very bright adolescent”. What could justify such vitrol?

                  In Manju’s world, only liberals can be racists. Yes he is that stupid and delusional.
                  -DrDick

                  So, for the sake of argument, lets assume the otherwise racially tinged rhetoric would be justified on these grounds.

                  But here is what is weird and creepy about you. In that very thread, I’m attacking a conservative racist:

                  Say what you will about Strom Thurmond but give him this: he never let what was better for his eldest child affect his political positions.

                  It’s possible that you just didn;t get it. But others (like Bijan) did. Yet you barrel forward with your strawman description of me.

                  It’s like you need to justify your unhinged racially-tinged rhetoric even though all the facts fly in the face of your justification.

                  http://lawyersgunsmon.wpengine.com/2013/03/well-if-it-affects-me-thats-different/comment-page-1#comment-478237

                • Aimai

                  Its not racially tinged. And repeating that it is only makes you look, well, young and stupid. Because its such a childish charge. Language doesn’t work the way you are insisting it works. Dr.Dick is a well known commenter here whose lack of racism is also well known. You need to stop digging. This is miles dumber than your usual shtick, which is bad enough in and of itself. You are like an autodidact parrot with tourettes on a subject which is manifestly beyond your poor capacity to tackle. Its embarrassing to read your posts, at this point. You need to take the hint, or the two by four, and go away and do some serious reading and thinking (if you are capable of it) or at least try to find some friends who are as dumb as you are and who can hold your hand and praise you the way you want to be praised. Its never going to happen here.

                • joe from Lowell

                  the otherwise racially tinged rhetoric

                  Ooh ooh ooh AH AH AH!

                  It’s just not fair, you guys!

                • joe from Lowell

                  Its not racially tinged. And repeating that it is only makes you look, well, young and stupid

                  How come when Chris Rock tells those jokes, everyone laughs, but when I tell them, it’s racist?

                  Is is because I’m white?

                  lol

                • Yes, Manju, you managed to make one joke about Strom Thurmonds hypocrisy while you wpuld pillory Robert Byrd time-and-time again, who AFAIK never fathered a child with an African-American woman.

                • Manju

                  You are like an autodidact parrot with tourettes on a subject which is manifestly beyond your poor capacity to tackle.

                  And yet I can falsify you.

                  Your response, name-calling and argument by assertion. You need to step back and look at the evidence. Ask yourself how you could be so dramitically wrong on the very data you cited.

                  If you decide to read up on the subject, you will find that much of what you believe has long been debunked by (left-leaning) scholars with pristine reputations.

                • Manju, perhaps people call you an idiot because you’re acting like an idiot. Taking a point about the electoral results in Southern elections and stretching it into how the Dewmocrats have hidden the roots of their racist past isn’t a good way to make friends and influence people around here.

                  But thanks for splaining what’s wrong about American racism without ever having lived her or set foot here in the first place.

                • Aimai

                  Manju, people are not “falsified.” Nothing you have ever said on any thread has ever “falsified” another person.

              • DrDick

                Boy is also quite widely used in the South to refer to adult males in a wide array of contexts, as in “good ol’ boys”. In particular, it is routinely used by older men to refer to substantially younger men or, as you point out, to refer to someone whose behavior is exceptionally immature and/or stupid.

          • It seems from the graph that the Democratic affiliation in the South had dropped significantly by 1974, so it would seem that whatever you say about the representation they had, the fact that the conversion of Southern Democrats into Southern Republicans began in earnest by the mid-70s.

            You’ll get it right in 20 years or so, Manju.

            • Aimai

              No. No, he really won’t.

              • Manju

                This coming from someone who claims; “We actually had an even bigger [than the GSS??!!] poll taken in 2008” that contradicts my narrative but supports hers.

                So, I pull the data and it turns out that the opposite is true.

                Yet you do not have the decency to retract. The data is not on your side.

                http://lawyersgunsmon.wpengine.com/2013/12/the-real-racist/comment-page-1#comment-807665

                • As for the Kevin Phillips quote–so what? Perhaps the Republicans were short sighted? Because they have continued to this day to weaken the voting rights act. They don’t care that blacks signed up in droves to vote democratic because they proposed to disenfranchise them again all over again. Which they are, in fact, doing. Why you think it matters that Kevin Phillips poked a little fun at some Republicans in 64 is beyond me.

                  I don’t find your statistics to be particularly compelling, sad to say. for a couple of reasons: one is that the democrats of the 21st century, for all their faults, are the ones who nominated and elected an african american president – and the other is the sight of today’s republican party, a much more conservative animal than the 1970 model, working day and night to make sure that doesn’t happen again any time soon

                  Conservatives/reactionaries are the same people who rule the South as they have always been. John Connolly referred to himself as a Democrat until Democrats became synonymous with liberal and then the favorite aide of the Liberal Lion, LBJ, became a Republican. He NEVER claimed to be anything but a conservative.

                  He exemplifies what is stupid about your analysis. Going back to Slave Power and then Reconstruction, the people who ran the South were conservatives, no matter what Party they claimed they belonged to.

                  If I had written that statement in relation to Aimai, I hope I would have had the presence of mind to amend it before posting to a straight factual statement, like ‘you claimed’. It sticks out like a douchey thumb.

                  Aside from that, it is unclear why several Democratic senators voting nay on the 1970 bill refutes the claim of certain things being party policy, which was of course what Aimai had the nerve to claim.

                  She was probably shrill about it, too.

                  What’s the point of that list? Are you implicitly claiming that only bills passed on straight party line votes can be considered party policy? If you’re not, I’m not sure how it rises to the level of refuting Aimai’s statement.

                  Literally every single post by you on this thread has been a pointed defense of the people responsible for 100% of the policies that you claim to oppose and an attack on the people responsible for 0% of them.
                  ‘Both sides do it’ is a defensive strategy to provide a rhetorical fig leaf for policies that you very obviously do support.
                  Because you’re a dick.

                  That doesn’t erase the stats I posted, as well as the ’08 Southern Strategy run by your party’s ’16 front-runner.

                  But this does:

                  http://bit.ly/IMbAKi

                  The quickest way to lose the Democratic vote here in the South in 2008 is to start throwing up racist dog-whistles. I have never lived north of the MD line and in all this time have never, ever met a single racist Democrat. Not even one. 100% of the racists I have met were conservative Republicans. 100% to 0%, yet again.

                  Also, go fuck yourself.

                  You should be able to make your points without whitewashing history of racism that you find inconvenient.

                  You, Otto and Deep Thought are the only ones on this thread defending the party responsible for 100% of the racist policies of the present day while attacking the party responsible for 0% of the racist policies of the present day. It’s just you three guys white-washing reality here.

                  You really don’t want people to read that thread, Manju. You don’t come out very well in the end.

                • Aimai

                  I did go back and read that thread, or at least the parts of it I could stomach,and I see that Manju thought then that “the poll” I was referring to was some actual poll and not the 2008 election. So he went off into a weird rant about who said what in a poll when I was talking about who did what in the election. The election proved that the modern Democrats were a multi racial, multi cultural party which included a rising majority of non white voters and a small rump of liberal white voters–Democrats were the party who would elect a black man to the presidency and Republicans were not.

                  As for white working class or upper class voters who stopped voting Democratic as soon as BO became the standard bearer for the party : they had been democratic voters previously on policy grounds (one assumes) or tribal identification. Those who moved over to vote for the Republican party or who sat on their hands did so for racist reasons–but they had to express their anti black racism by leaving the party.

                • Manju

                  I did go back and read that thread, or at least the parts of it I could stomach,and I see that Manju thought then that “the poll” I was referring to was some actual poll and not the 2008 election.

                  Yes, when you said “bigger poll taken in 2008” i thought you meant 2008 GSS poll asking whites whether they would vote for a black for President. I retract my demand that you retract.

                  As far as the rest of your comment goes, its very much in line with what I’m saying (referencing Michael Teslers work now). I’ll elaborate on that later if your interested.

                • Manju

                  You really don’t want people to read that thread, Manju.

                  Sure I do. I confronted someone there who was spewing this racsit dribble:

                  “…in the US it really is exclusively Republican conservatives who are bigots. It’s never a Democrat. Not once. Not ever. It actually is that cut and dry.”-

                  No racism to see here…keep moving?

                • Aimai

                  Are all Republicans white? In what sense is that comment racist? How is race even implicated by it? You are beginning to descend into gibberish.

                • Aimai

                  No, Manju, I’m not interested in your elaborating on anyone’s arguments, least of all your own. You are a profoundly uninteresting person and your elaborations are just long winded demonstrations of this fact.

                • sibusisodan

                  I confronted someone there who was spewing this racsit dribble:

                  You sure did!

                  Because if you won’t misunderstand hyperbole as racism, who will?

                • Manju

                  Are all Republicans white? In what sense is that comment racist? How is race even implicated by it? You are beginning to descend into gibberish.

                  The commentator is denying the existence of racism within a considerable part of the electorate, based on his anecdotals:

                  It’s never a Democrat. Not once. Not ever. It actually is that cut and dry.

                  The data does not back this up at all.

            • Manju

              Yeah, I know that already.

        • DrDick

          There is also this, based on the General Social Survey data. It actually come from a National Review writer, who is disingenuously arguing it has nothing to do with race, much like you do.

          I never said anything about the South becoming majority Republican in the 1970s (indeed, I said that the hardcore racists had become Republican by the early 1980s), so that point is totally irrelevant. What you see is exactly the trend I said occurred. You remain an idiot with no critical or analytical skills and maliciously slandering me in no way helps your case.

          • Manju

            I never said anything about the South becoming majority Republican in the 1970s (indeed, I said that the hardcore racists had become Republican by the early 1980s),

            I know. That’s why the data you linked to doesn’t help your case.

            • Yeah, don’t mention that according to the graph, Democrats peaked in 1976, Republican identifications started going way up in beginning in the 80s. What are you going to believe, your lying eyes or Manju?

              • Manju

                What are you going to believe, your lying eyes or Manju?

                Pull the quote from me that the National Review writer’s data falsifies.

            • DrDick

              And your evidence is what, other than a complete inability to read charts? Both of those charts support my position and reject yours and all you can to is whinge and equivocate.

              • joe from Lowell

                Having watched this debate play out so many times:

                The only point on which Manju has ever come close to refuting Dr. Dick is on the narrow question of whether individual segregationist officeholders changed parties. For the most part, they didn’t – Congressmen who were segregationist Democratic Congressmen in 1962 remained Democrats until they retired in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

                But that’s a ridiculously narrow reed on which to hang the claim that the segregationist wing of the Democratic Party did not move over to the Republicans. Party registration and voting patterns completely flipped, in exactly the way Dr. Dick describes. That some individual politicians chose to hold onto their political empires despite becoming oddballs in the party doesn’t tell us anything important.

                • Manju

                  The only point on which Manju has ever come close to refuting Dr. Dick is on the narrow question of whether individual segregationist officeholders changed parties. For the most part, they didn’t – Congressmen who were segregationist Democratic Congressmen in 1962 remained Democrats until they retired in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

                  Thank you. My claims are more than this, but this will do. Is this sooooooo hard?

                • Manju

                  But that’s a ridiculously narrow reed on which to hang the claim that the segregationist wing of the Democratic Party did not move over to the Republicans.

                  I disagree. There was a time when we were clearly discussing the “Strom Thurmond” phenomena.

                  When DrDick could no longer maintain this about Segregationist politicians, he switched to the electorate.

                  Be that as it may, I have been addressing the electorate, most recently a few days back. If you take his claims and apply them to the electorate they are still wildly inaccurate, tho not as wild as they are with politicians.

                • joe from Lowell

                  My claims are more than this, but this will do. Is this sooooooo hard?

                  Is it soooooo hard to limit your claims to what is actually true?

                  For you, apparently it is. You have to try to bootstrap the small point into a broad theory about overall partisan identification, against all available evidence.

                • joe from Lowell

                  If you take his claims and apply them to the electorate they are still wildly inaccurate, tho not as wild as they are with politicians.

                  Nope.

                  Speaking as the guy you just thanked for, correctly, noting where you were right: you are completely, totally full of shit here, and Dr. Dick is right.

                • I had to remind Manju of one of the Southern Senate Democrats who switched to being a Republican, so he wasn’t even precise in his data on this narrow point back then, either.

                • Hogan

                  That some individual politicians chose to hold onto their political empires despite becoming oddballs in the party doesn’t tell us anything important.

                  Well, it tells us that seniority in Congress is a really big deal and not to be given up lightly, but most of us already knew that.

                • Aimai

                  Hogan’s point is very important. But it won’t trouble Manju’s argument because Manju’s argument is about point scoring rather than understanding a complex, historical, phenomenon that unfolded over several decades. That it unfolded utterly predictably given the way the game was set up after the passing of the CRA is, apparently, not important to Manju.

                • Manju

                  Is it soooooo hard to limit your claims to what is actually true?

                  Pull the claim from me that is false, and I’ll retract. For instance:

                  As opposed to the late 60s, when the self-selection of pro- and anti-racists into one or the other party had pretty much cemented itself.
                  –Joe from Lowell

                  You should retract this.

                • Manju

                  I had to remind Manju of one of the Southern Senate Democrats who switched to being a Republican, so he wasn’t even precise in his data on this narrow point back then, either.

                  cite omitted.

                • Barry

                  “The only point on which Manju has ever come close to refuting Dr. Dick is on the narrow question of whether individual segregationist officeholders changed parties. For the most part, they didn’t – Congressmen who were segregationist Democratic Congressmen in 1962 remained Democrats until they retired in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.”

                  Please note that they didn’t *need* to switch. They could be Democrats, keep their seniority, and vote with the Republicans.

                • Manju

                  derstanding a complex, historical, phenomenon that unfolded over several decades.

                  I’m happy to have that discussion. But Hogan is offering up a reason as to why the famous segregationists by in large did not switch parties. I’m dealing with somone who says they did:

                  most [Dixiecrats] either shifted to the GOP or left politics after 1968.

                  “left politics”. So I provide a list and DrDick says:

                  What part of the word “most” do you not understand? The Dixiecrats represented over a dozen states and your list is not even long enough to cover all their senators, let alone the representatives.

                  “senators”, “representatives”.

                  it would be awfully stupid of him to ask for more segregationists senators and representatives if he knew that most of these politicians had not switched parties.

                  After I informed him of the truth, he moved the goalposts to the electorate, apparently unaware that elected officials represent an electorate.

                • DrS

                  Manju, what exactly is the point of your constant idiocy and monomaniacal focus on the minutia of the way racists in the south migrated from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party?

                  In any event, it’s either that you’re too much of an idiot to see that it just advances the case of a bunch of reactionary bigots or you know exactly what you’re doing by advancing the case of a bunch of reactionary bigots.

                • Manju

                  Manju, what exactly is the point of your constant idiocy and monomaniacal focus on the minutia of the way racists in the south migrated from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party?

                  1. DrDick bought it up here
                  2. Its a topic of major scholarly research and major revisionism.
                  3. It’s a topic that you guys reference a lot.
                  4. I simply love civil rights history and my views are much more mainstream among scholars and the civil rights community than you think they are.

                • Aimai

                  1. DrDick bought it up here
                  2. Its a topic of major scholarly research and major revisionism.
                  3. It’s a topic that you guys reference a lot.
                  4. I simply love civil rights history and my views are much more mainstream among scholars and the civil rights community than you think they are.

                  None of these are reasons for your “monomaniacal,” parrot like attempts to drag every thread to your masturbatory fantasy of being both a daring truth teller and an utterly mainstream regurgitator of right wing talking points. Yes: racism existed in the old Democratic Party and was its raison d’etre. Yes, there are still racists individuals in the Democratic party as voters or as individual politicians. No: the racist project of the early Democratic party has nothing to do with the multi-ethnic, centrist to progressive, Democratic party as it now exists. Neither the racism nor the race baiting of the Republican party has a home in the modern Democratic party in terms of policy or politics though it may occasionally rear its head in individual political races or regionally depending on the mix of the voting population.

                  In short: you are a dull, unimaginative, repetitive, repeater of Republican talking points which are themselves part of the ongoing attempt by conservatives, reactionaries, and the Republican party as a party to split the Democratic party along race lines by disaffecting minority voters just as they are on the verge of taking over the party as a whole.

                • joe from Lowell

                  If you take his claims and apply them to the electorate they are still wildly inaccurate

                  This is the false claim. You should retract it.

                  As opposed to the late 60s, when the self-selection of pro- and anti-racists into one or the other party had pretty much cemented itself.
                  –Joe from Lowell

                  This is not false, but an entirely accurate description of the electorate.

                • I simply love civil rights history and my views are much more mainstream among scholars and the civil rights community than you think they are.

                  Gotta citation, or even a link?

                • joe from Lowell

                  Barry writes, about “formerly” segregationist Democrats who remained in the party through the 70s and 80s:

                  Please note that they didn’t *need* to switch. They could be Democrats, keep their seniority, and vote with the Republicans.

                  Yes, back then, they could – and that’s because, in many cases, they were the party leadership.

                  As opposed to today, when no one in the party leadership holds such opinions, and anyone at any level found sympathizing with them would be a pariah.

                  And so, in short, the Democratic Party is far to the right of where it was during the party’s liberal golden age of the 1970s.

                • The Dark Avenger

                  You omitted Jesse Helms when you stated that no Southern Democrats switched to the Republican party, and I brought that to your attention. Unlike you, I don’t obsessively document my successes the way you do with your failures here.

                • Anonymous

                  As opposed to the late 60s, when the self-selection of pro- and anti-racists into one or the other party had pretty much cemented itself.
                  –Joe from Lowell

                  This is not false, but an entirely accurate description of the electorate.

                  Ok. Demonstrate that it is true.

                • Manju

                  You omitted Jesse Helms when you stated that no Southern Democrats switched to the Republican party, and I brought that to your attention.

                  Cite omitted.

                • Manju

                  In short: you are a dull, unimaginative, repetitive, repeater of Republican talking points

                  As a short cut to demonstrating this is false…please provede for me a citation from a RWing source claiming that Dems promoted two men to leadership positions in the Senate and the House in the 1980’s who opposed the 1964 cra.

                  This is a staple argument of mine. And most of my arguments come from either raw data, the civil rights community, historic experts like Maloclm X and John Lewis, or scholars like Micahael Tesler, Larry Bartels, Andrew Geleman…

                  Your blind assertions do not cut it.

                • DrDick

                  Your blind assertions do not cut it.

                  But yours do? Because that is all there is in that post. Cites omitted. You still have not provided any actual evidence that supports the idea that you have any idea what you are talking about. Quite the contrary, everything you post indicates you have no freaking clue.

                • The Dark Avenger

                  No specific papers or specific citations, and an appeal to authority of someone who died in 1965. Why am I not surprised?

                • Manju

                  and an appeal to authority of someone who died in 1965.

                  Malcom X is part of the civil rights cannon. Citing him as an authority is thus good form and does not constitute an appeal to authority fallacy. This doesn’t mean he has to be right. I can certainly think of instances where he was wrong (he misjudged LBJ). But it does mean his opinion carries weight.

                  In contrast, this is an appeal to authority fallacy:

                  The fact of the matter is, DrDick is older than you, and like me, has lived in the South long enough to know that your vision of the politics of race there, past and present, is based on nothing but selective readings and citation of evidence on your part.

                  The idea that 2 pusdo-anonymous commentators who happen to be southern white men get to play authority on issues of race ain’t exactly logical.

                • Manju

                  As opposed to the late 60s, when the self-selection of pro- and anti-racists into one or the other party had pretty much cemented itself.
                  –Joe from Lowell

                  This is not false, but an entirely accurate description of the electorate.–Joe from Lowell

                  Then you are at odds with DrDick, who claims “all of the hard line segregationists switched to the Republican Party in the 1970s”. Later he moved the date to the 80’s; “…the last of the hardliners left during the Reagan administration”. More recently, he’s been linking up to a graph that shows the South going majority Republican in the 90’s while saying “I may have been off on the timing a bit…”.

                  So I guess, its the 90’s now. But you have it pegged for the “late 60’s”. I mean, officeholders are a sign of where the electorate is and the only Governor from the 11 confederate states in 1968 and 1969 was Winthrop Rockefeller. And he was the only one of the group to publicly mourn the death of MLK.

                • Manju

                  Joe,

                  Back in 2012, Chris Hayes made a statement that’s similar to yours (about “the self-selection of pro- and anti-racists into one or the other party”) except he meant the contemporary parties:

                  “It is undeniably the case that racist Americans are almost entirely in one political coalition and not the other.”

                  Political Scientists proceeded to debunk him. Long/short:

                  Overall, Republicans are slightly more likely to assess blacks unfavorably on these dimensions. For example, 39% of Republicans place blacks on the “lazy” side of the scale, while 31% of Democrats do.

                  http://themonkeycage.org/2012/08/19/are-racists-only-in-one-political-party/#comment-30806

                  For your narrative to be squared with this data, we would have to conclude that racists have been leaving the republican party since the late 60’s (and even then it can’t be squared since we’d still have to drop the “cemented” part).

                • Manju

                  But yours do? Because that is all there is in that post. Cites omitted.

                  I linked to the Monkey Cage above, in my response to JFL. It’s an LGM approved site an where i generally keep abreast of the data driven scholarship on this matter. The scholars are afak all liberals and very sympathetic to the Liberal narrative here. Indeed, check this out:

                  This graph shows that identification with the Democratic Party tends to decline, and identification with the Republican party tends to increase, as attitudes toward black become less favorable—at least when attitudes are measured with two different racial stereotypes.

                  But this statement is backed by data. Chris Hayes’ (“It is undeniably the case that racist Americans are almost entirely in one political coalition and not the other.”) was not…and his narrative resembles yours (except the date is later and he doesn’t use the qualifier “hardcore”).

    • Grumpy

      I *think* you’re saying that all laws passed after RFRA cannot be objected to on RFRA grounds because any law passed after RFRA, being a later-in-time statute, implicitly repeals RFRA insofar as RFRA would have applied to the later-in-time law. Is that right?

      • Manju

        Yes, with 2 caveats:

        1. I gather that there’s a provision in the RFRA that says it trumps future laws…but I doubt its enforceable (tho, I have no strong opinion here).

        2. The RFRA still trumps future regulatory rulings.

        • Grumpy

          What makes you think number 2?

          • Derelict

            He’s number 1 at number 2?

          • Manju

            From commentators here:

            http://lawyersgunsmon.wpengine.com/2014/07/statutory-rights-luxury-good/comment-page-1#comment-1194835

            …so I could be wrong. Haven’t researched it myself other than a quick google back during the original thread.

          • Warren Terra

            Isn’t #2 obvious? Regulatory rulings implement law, they don’t change it. If the RFRA is law, bad law though it is, you can’t overcome the law by deciding not to implement the law in regulations, whatever the courts say the law is.

            • Manju

              you can’t overcome the law by deciding not to implement the law in regulations, whatever the courts say the law is.

              To be clear, the regulatory decision in question concerns the ACA, specifically requiring access to birth control. It is not one concerning the implementation of the RFRA.

              But since this ruling occurred after the RFRA was passed, I originally thought it would have priority. But apparently not.

    • sharculese

      So, I know I really have no ground to stand on when it comes to troll feeding, but given that Manju is not a troll but an earnest but delusional asshole who won’t stop bothering us with his pet theory, I wish we could maybe just not indulge him anymore.

      • Aimai

        I used to be willing to argue with Manju because, well, I don’t mind arguing. But this latest quirk of calling DrDick a racist tipped the whole thing over for me into something different. Manju can be plenty nasty when he wants to be, and he seems to want to be these days.

  • Typical Liberal

    Nuns need to be forced to join Unions against their will. the Democrat party needs money who do those nuns think they are freeloading like this.

    • Malaclypse

      That’s so cute the way you think that unions don’t always require elections. That’s some weapons-grade stupidity, that is.

      • Typical Liberal

        Unions keep losing elections that’s why we need to get rid of them and replace them with “card check” where mafia goons ask people to sign a card.

        • DrS

          Card check has been around since 1935, dumbass

        • JustinV

          Link to a single instance of this happening in the last 30 years outside of a movie or paperback.

        • joe from Lowell

          Employers have no power over employees, but union organizers – hoo, doggies, there’s some power!

          • Typical Liberal

            The mafia is a non-violent organization. Whitey Bulger must have been a great guy his brother was a powerful democrat. Unions have no connection to the Mafia anyway.

            • joe from Lowell

              Do you watch Mad Men and gape at how wonderful the future looks?

              • JustinV

                No. He watches Deadwood and roots for Hearst.

                • rea

                  To be fair, I watch Deadwood and root for Tȟašúŋke Witkó

        • DrDick

          replace them with “card check” where mafia goons ask people to sign a card.

          Yes, as opposed to the current system where company goons routinely intimidate workers into not voting or voting against the union for fear of being fired.

          • Hogan

            Yes, but those are for-profit goons, so it’s OK.

          • Butt Hurt

            Yes, as opposed to the current system where company goons routinely intimidate workers into not voting or voting against the union for fear of being fired.

            The current system is a secret ballot, is it not?

            Why would card check, where everyone knows your vote allow the worker to more easily vote his true feelings without intimidation from either side?

    • Typical Conservative troll

      Who cares that I can’t construct a Sentence or capitalize write. the right is the party of smart

    • Origami Isopod, Commisar [sic] of Ideology for the Bolsheviks

      Hey, Jennie, I think someone broke into your house. It made the news and all.

    • Socrets

      Proofreading improves your incoherent ramblings.

      • Origami Isopod, Commisar [sic] of Ideology for the Bolsheviks

        Assumes skillsets not in evidence.

        • Also: skillets not in evidence.

    • joe from Lowell

      Genuine hillbillly gibberish.

    • Aimai

      Are you under the impression that there are enough Nuns left to staff a school supply closet, let alone these schools? There aren’t. And unlike the Priests Nuns don’t get cushy retirement homes of their own or big pensions. The ones who are left could use a little organizing. And if the Nuns I’ve known are any example they would crush you like a bug.

      • Typical Liberal

        How dare those nuns take a vow of poverty; they should be mooching off taxpayers.

        • joe from Lowell

          What’s Latin for Derp?

          • Sly

            “Cato”

        • If they’re employed by the Catholic Church, they are getting tax-breaks already, like not having to pay into SS and getting government grants to do work their religion says they should be doing anyway.

          Just when we think you’ve come to the bottom of your stupidity, you dig another kilometer downwards to prove us wrong. Please keep it up, we need a laugh these days.

          • Davis X. Machina

            I worked for the Archdiocese of Boston and the New England Province of the Jesuits, and I paid SS each time….

            • joe from Lowell

              Yeah, the SS exemption is a lot narrower than ” employed by the Catholic Church.”

              Also, the people who don’t pay into SS also don’t receive SS, so that’s not much of a tax break.

              • I was speaking of the nuns employed by the Catholic Church, and not church employees in general. If that wasn’t apparent from the context, that’s the breaks, I guess.

                • Having a tax break of almost 8% isn’t trivial, IMHO.

                • joe from Lowell

                  I see – “they” is only nuns.

                  And not receiving Social Security – also not trivial. In fact, since SS payments are usually higher for an individual than SS taxes, being outside the system is a detriment, not a break.

                • Aimai

                  On the subject of the situation of the Nuns see here. And here.. The second case was, I believe, resolved in favor of the Nuns and their lay workers. But one reason they needed to withdraw from the Boston Archidocese’s pension plan was that it was being underfunded.

        • Aimai

          In re “vow of poverty” vs. “mooching off the taxpayer” this observation has it exactly backwards, of course. The nuns who “took a vow of poverty” and directed all their personal earnings to the church are being left high and dry with no serious money to fund their own nursing home care–they are thus going on Medicaid. Unfortunately there is no clawback provision for the money they gave to the church which went to paying the salaries of priests, the building of priestly homes, and the buyign of expensive robes rather than the care of these women in their later years.

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    Church of Calvinball, here we come!

  • Another Holocene Human

    All this rage against union card check is more revanchist rage over CRA. Union contracts typically enforce uniform pay and seniority, which means white males can’t waltz in and get what they “deserve”. Cue incoherent rage.

    • joe from Lowell

      I discovered something interesting about the Civil Rights Act: it lays out some protections for labor, but contains a clause specifying that those protections do not apply to members of the Communist Party.

      Using the logic of leftist critics of the Affordable Care Act, I can only conclude that the CRA was a conservative bill, since it* was originally proposed by Joe McCarthy.

      * where “it” is defined as “the particular detail that has my attention at this particular moment.”

      • sibusisodan

        contains a clause specifying that those protections do not apply to members of the Communist Party.

        I bet Joe thought he was being clever, there. After all, if you know that so many of the Democrats are secret Communists, daring them to vote against their interests is smart.

        It couldn’t possibly fail.

  • cpinva

    I have a question, and if it’s already been addressed elsewhere, a link would be nice.

    what’s to stop an employee from claiming that their deeply held religious beliefs are being violated by their employer’s deeply held religious beliefs? or does the employer’s deeply held religious beliefs have priority over the employee’s? I can see the potential for lots of litigation and counter-litigation over this.

    • Aimai

      I presume that the employee’s religious rights take a backseat to the employer’s on the grounds that the employee can “always find a job somewhere else” except in the case of Pharmacists and County Clerks who insist on their “Right to conscience” and sue their employers for forcing them to sell contraception or facilitate gay marriage.

      • ericblair

        Like concealed carry and Stand Your Ground, there will be two opposing sets of laws which can be selectively enforced to ensure the person of the superior class, sex, religion and/or race can come out on top no matter what the facts of the case.

        • BigHank53

          And look how well that’s worked for the Shi’a and Sunni sects.

  • Autonomous Coward

    For the USCCB, the Avignon Papacy was not a cautionary tale but an aspirational example.

    • Hogan

      Mister, we could use a man like Philip the Fair again.

      • Jacques de Molay

        perhaps not . . .

        • Malaclypse

          How many avengings go you need?

      • wjts

        Seeing heretics flogged and flayed
        In the Albigensian Crusade.
        Guys like us, we had it made.
        Those were the days!

        • Hogan

          That was Philip Augustus, you brazen article. For your penance you must say ten Dies Iraes, ten Te Deums, and a good Act of Self-Immolation.

          • Arnaud Amaury

            Just kill her. The Lord will know her if she is His.

          • wjts

            I know, and I’m sorry. I just couldn’t resist trying to rhyme “Albigensian Crusade” with “had it made”.

  • joe from Lowell

    The Duquense case doesn’t actually have very much to do with the Hobby Lobby decision. They aren’t claiming that collective bargaining violates their religious beliefs (as the Hobby Lobby plaintiffs claimed the preventive medicine rules violated their religious beliefs), and the significant holding in the Hobby Decision, extending the religious exemption to private corporations, has nothing to do with this religious college.

  • Butt Hurt Forever

    There is no balance in the liberals’ arguments when discussing HOBBY.

    I can understand that one might not agree with where the line is drawn balancing the rights of each side, but liberals’ arguments seem to give no rights at all to the religious freedom first amendment crowd.

    • Malaclypse

      Three distinct dumbprints, sweetie.

    • sharculese

      Says the dude who just today threw a temper tantrum because Erik said that maybe channeling our water supply directly to Nestle was a bad idea.

      No self awareness. Just none at all.

      • Butt Hurt Forever

        No, Erik has a solution for a non-existent problem.

        There was no problem. Water for everyone, including the bottling company. No one was doing without.

        Crazy talk

        • sharculese

          So we already went over in the other thread how this isn’t true and you proved a basic level of ignorance regarding current events, but it bears repeating here: this is earth shatteringly ignorant in a that ten seconds of reading could have fixed.

          • Butt Hurt

            And that’s the “CRAZY”

    • sibusisodan

      Where does the Hobby Lobby decision draw the line, and on what basis?

      • Butt Hurt

        Well I read the majority opinion which is really the only one that counts and they are saying that closely held (less than five owners) corporations are likely to have like-minded owners with like religious views so there is no reason to treat them differently.

        Next, they ruled that there actually IS a first amendment protection for people.

        • cpinva

          “Next, they ruled that there actually IS a first amendment protection for people.”

          and if Hobby Lobby were actually a person, that might be compelling. Hobby Lobby is a legal construct, existing solely on paper, not a human being. that being the case, this is far less than compelling. I am not whelmed.

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