It came to light that a business had taken a hardline position on a hot potato political issue. The story went viral in the social media. Soon, something that had been around for a while, perhaps even years, was on the top of Google News and the blogosphere leapt into the fray and whipped things up to a nice frothy frenzy.
The reaction was fierce but equally split. About fifty percent of the response from vocal net denizens was to grab pitchforks and torches and take up cries of, “Boycott! Boycott!” The remaining half, however, rallied round, filling caldrons with hot burning lead and chanting, “Defense! Defense!” and holding impromptu bake sales to support their newfound friends.
Alas, it wasn’t merely a rousing and violent game of football.
Meanwhile, a lone solitary figure stood far to the side waving a flag that read, “United We Stand.”
Methinks it must be our manifest destiny to be as divided as second generation stem cells in a petri dish. Disgusting.
Maybe the pilgrims and the Quakers and other peeps used to deny each other holy communion based on the personal beliefs of the participants? I don’t know. I wasn’t there.
The first instance of a pro-choice politician being censured via denial of communion was in 1989. During a special election for the California Senate, pro-choice Catholic Lucy Killea was barred from communion by Leo Thomas Maher, the bishop of San Diego. She received communion in Sacramento with the consent of Bishop Francis Quinn. The incident brought publicity to Killea’s candidacy and gained her the voters’ sympathy, helping her to win the election.
In 1984, Cardinal John Joseph O’Connor, then archbishop of New York, considered excommunicating New York Governor Mario Cuomo. He also condemned Cuomo’s statements that support for abortion rights did not contradict Catholic teaching, but did not suggest that Cuomo should stop receiving communion.
In January 2003, Bishop William Weigand of Sacramento said Governor of California Gray Davis, a Catholic who supported abortion rights, should stop taking communion.
In 2004, Archbishop Burke said he would not give communion to 2004 presidential candidate and Senator John Kerry, in part because of his position on abortion. According to religion experts, such a denial of communion would have been unprecedented. Kerry’s own Archbishop Sean O’Malley refused to specify the applicability of his earlier statement that such Catholics are in a state of grave sin and cannot properly receive communion. The issue led to comparisons between Kerry’s presidential campaign and that of John F. Kennedy in 1960. While Kennedy had to demonstrate his independence from the Roman Catholic Church due to public fear that a Catholic president would make decisions based on the Holy See agenda, it seemed that Kerry, in contrast, had to show obedience to Catholic authorities in order to win votes. According to Margaret Ross Sammons, Kerry’s campaign was sufficiently damaged by the threat to withhold communion that it may have cost him the election. Sammons argues that President George W. Bush was able to win 53% of the Catholic vote because he appealed to “traditional” Catholics.
In February 2007, as emerged two and a half years later, Bishop Thomas Tobin asked Representative Patrick Kennedy not to take communion because of his position on abortion. Kennedy told the Providence Journal that Tobin also instructed priests in the diocese not to give him communion; Tobin denied this. In 2007, Burke said that he would deny communion to 2008 Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani because of his views on abortion, and that Giuliani should not seek the sacrament. In May 2008, Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann said that Kathleen Sebelius should stop receiving communion because of her support for abortion rights, and that she should not again take it unless she publicly stated that she opposed abortion rights.
After Joe Biden, a pro-choice Catholic, was nominated as a vice presidential candidate in the 2008 presidential election, Bishop Joseph Francis Martino of Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, said Biden would be refused communion in that diocese because of his support for abortion rights. Biden was not refused communion in his then-parish of Wilmington, Delaware.
Or how about when they not let them not have cake? Not. It’s happening. Again.
The Cake Wars
Who among us is righteous enough to eat of the sacred buttercream Bible-beating Oregon bakers have denied gays?
Full story: Willamette Weekly
Previous Abyss Coverage: Let Them Not Eat Cake
Most of us, but not quite all, sadly, agree that sort of thing is goddamned heinous when based on quintessential traits like ethnicity, race, gender, religion, etc. Sadly, there’s even less agreement when it involves something “controversial” like sexual orientation.
I’ve heard of people being hassled by apartment building management because of a symbol on a bumper sticker on their vehicle, like a Confederate Flag.
We’re Americans. We have the rights of freedom and free speech. But, by extension, we seem to have another belief we cling to almost as tightly: The right to shit on each other after the free exercise of said beliefs.
You had an actual opinion of your very own? How dare you, sir! En garde!
Being a curious sort, of course, it got me to wondering. How far can we possibly take this? I say, “In for a fucking penny in for the fucking pound.” So let’s go! We’ve all got our rights, for God’s sake! What good are they if we don’t exercise them every possible minute of the day?
- Dentists refusing to clean the teeth of smokers and people who drink soda and eat hard candy.
- SWAT teams given the right of refusal to rescue hostages who voted in favor of gun control.
- A mail carrier can opt-out of delivering your letters if he doesn’t like a message on the label.
- Getting fired for your beliefs about global warming.
- Atheists refusing to exchange currency with religious folk.
- Religious folk forcibly ejecting godless atheists from the country and/or burning them at the stake.
- Getting all the fornicators and masturbators out of town. Eunuchs like to live alone.
- Non-vegetarians can’t own pets. Lacto-ovo vegetarians can’t have chickens as pets.
- Those in favor of the death penalty must receive twice as many parking tickets.
- People who like designated hitters relocated to the East Coast, the remainder of cool people on the West Coast.
- The grocery store clerk can prohibit you from buying food if you are dressed immodestly.
- The pharmacist can refuse to fill your birth control prescription based on religious or personal beliefs.
- A website that posts pictures, real names and home addresses of anyone trying to purchase the devil spirits like beer.
- No driver’s licenses for people missing their front teeth.
See? This is fun. I say we see how far we can take it. Society? Fuck that. Let’s keep this up until every single organism in the United States is forced to singlehandedly fend for himself for every personal need of every kind. You want a 42″ LCD television? Who doesn’t? But you better figure out a way to build it yourself, and only then after clubbing all of your neighbors in the head for the necessary component parts.
Personally I find the cake store owner so I’m going to get the ACLU to co-sponsor a lawsuit deny them the right to City water. I feel that is fair. And they shouldn’t be able to get the water anywhere else, either. In fact, I don’t think they should be allowed to breath the same atmosphere as me. Let’s put ’em in one of those Stephen King bubble things and let them enjoy their own rights in there. Yeah. Once in extreme isolation you can refuse all the customers you want.
After all, it’s your right. Use ’em if ya got ’em!
By the way, if you don’t like this post I say, “Good for you!” I feel you should have the right to burn my house down. Get on it!
United We Stand. At least in theory.