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Guest Column

"Basic Instinct"
By Patrick J. Fornari
Apr 2, 2015 - 7:57:09 PM

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Over the years I've have learned to trust my gut. A person's inner gut feeling is an aggregate of knowledge, life experience, survival instinct and common sense.

My gut tells me we are right smack dab in the middle of another episode of manufactured outrage regarding the controversy concerning Indiana.

Alexis De Tocqueville once said,"Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom."

My interpretation of this is; "Americans are obsessed with fairness."

The usual scenario as applied to Indiana's current situation is that a same sex couple may be denied service by a baker, photographer, or florist... because of an individual's religious belief. Even the most ardent conservative will pause to consider the "fairness" of such a viewpoint. These incidents of so-called discrimination seem to be rare at best. More often than not I suspect that individuals take advantage of potential conflict to garner support from national activist and the media who hammer home the stereotypical political narrative of a gay couple pitted against a Christian business owner.

Let's consider a hypothetical situation since the baking, floral, or photography business communities aren't typically recognized as anti-gay.

A Muslim baker, a baker who practices the "religion of peace" denies service to an engaged same sex couple, as a Christian baker might. Neither will participate in the same sex marriage ceremony by providing products or services, not at a public retail location, but for a specific event at a different venue. You can take that one all the way to the Supreme Court and I guarantee you, the Muslim baker will win that case, as should the Christian, but probably wouldn't.

The sensitivities or perception of unfairness by the same sex couple denied service does not trump the first amendment. There is a huge gulf between constitutional law and expedient political correctness.

Let's say for example a same sex married couple owns a wedding photography business. They are also faithful, devout members of a Christian based church that allows same sex marriages within their church. An opposite sex soon to be married couple shows up at their place of business. There's a problem though, the couple who are both attorneys and work in the State Attorney's Office, are well known for their high profile public opposition to gay marriage.

Does my gut instinct tell me the Gay photographers should be "Forced" by the government to photograph the heterosexual wedding ceremony? No of course not, neither my gut, nor the US. Constitution justifies such a conclusion on my part. The perceived discrimination by the opposite sex couple does not trump the first amendment rights of the gay business owners. In America, we have people that will disagree and we must respect those disagreements in a truly free society. The opposite sex couple must accept the Christian, gay, business owning couples decision. They must show tolerance, respect and common sense by moving on to another vendor confident in our constitution and the realization that if the tables were turned they would also enjoy the protection the first amendment affords them.

The recent Indiana law seems ill-conceived, badly timed, and poorly defined. This is what the pursuit of a progressive agenda, by either party, yields. This is why I contend the ham handed, ham headed GOP be completely eliminated and replaced by constitutional conservatives and Tea Party advocates. Ambiguity in regard to our constitution, leads to chaos. For example, I haven't heard a Constitutional argument against same-sex marriage that holds up; therefore my personal, political, religious, or societal opinions really don't matter unless I have an opportunity to vote on the issue, preferably on a state ballot, not a national one. I certainly am not so selfish as to demand the constitution be amended to accommodate what my personal beliefs may or may not be. I'm willing to play by the rules since America is not a theocracy, or a democracy, it's a Constitutional Republic. However, this also holds true in application of the first amendment concerning an individual's religious beliefs in that it conversely presents a solid constitutional case.

If Indiana for some reason was compelled to pass yet another law, the only law that should have been passed was a monetary law that severely limits the extent of damages allowed against a business for standing up for their first amendment rights. That would take the big money political grandstanders on both sides of the issue out of the debate leaving the local community and marketplace to decide the fate of the business. Predictably, angry, closed minded, intolerant activists will no doubt attempt to destroy any enterprise they deem discriminatory, through ceaseless street protest, which is their right, again, according to the Constitution.

In short, the government should not force an individual to bake, arrange flowers or take photographs for an individual in a free market system full of other options for the same service. A Colorado baker has already been forced to bake "Gay wedding cakes," undergo sensitivity training and was subjected to government monitoring. If it becomes common practice to use government force to require one individual to submit to involuntary labor on behalf of another individual, we will lose America.

It's certainly worth asking, "Who is being intolerant?"

It's just not fair, that's my gut feeling, my "Basic Instinct."

Patrick J. Fornari
Author of "Commoner Sense"

"Beware the Ides of March"
Patrick J Fornari
Mar 17, 2015

Hillary Clinton proudly defines herself as a "Modern American Progressive." This is akin to shouting from the rooftops, "I'm a liar and I want everyone to know it!" I don't feel that writing phrases such as "less than forthright" or "disingenuous at best" as substitutes for the word lying demonstrate tolerance or civility. Use of those phrases can only denote intentional ignorance on my part. Let's dismiss the happy talk and embrace the reality of our present situation. You must listen to your own gut, because I can scarcely think of a politician or pundit that has the average working Americans best interest at heart. Happy talk just won't cut it.

America's "Big Bang"
by Patrick J. Fornari
Mar 11, 2015

Progressivism's self-declared mission is one of distancing America from the nature of its founding. Our founders did something that is as simple as it is brilliant. For the first time in history; they eliminated the middleman. An individual's rights were no longer granted or stolen by others claiming to be representatives of god or actual gods. Individuals would now enjoy a direct relationship with the guarantor of their rights through divine and organic provenance. "This is how unique America really is." However, our uniqueness, inalienable Rights and Constitution have not gone unchallenged. The Progressive movement and progressive intrusion into our Constitutional journey has been profound.

Other Article Published at Magic City:

Patrick J. Fornari was born and raised in Indiana, and spent the first half of his three plus decade construction career working in the Midwest and Western United States, including Illinois, Wyoming, Washington, Colorado, California and Arizona. For the second half of his career, he worked construction on several Caribbean islands, giving him a unique perspective on his home country. Fornari currently lives in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

"Commoner Sense"
By Patrick J. Fornari
iUniverse Press
Published 3/7/2014
ISBN: 978-1-4917-2273-2
156 pages
Softcover $16
E-book $4

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