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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 17,131 posts (17,930 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 6 aliases.


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BlingerBunny wrote:

Also, I imagine a Wizard would be a good choice for this, but there's also Arcanist, and could an Alchemist even benefit from the feats?

And going back to the original post: An alchemist couldn't, which is kind of a shame, since the flavor goes nicely with alchemy, but Alchemists don't get any Metamagic. They're not casting spells.

Buri Reborn wrote:

Oh, I agree it's a stupid feat. :D

The hoops is makes you do rather than just calling for a check do not give it any favors whatsoever. It's because of that which would require me to see your work. Yes, I realize how teacher-y that makes me sound. It's a teacher-y feat. It sounds exactly like one of those rote things a math teacher would do.

The point with showing your work is that GMs have a crazy amount of stuff going on in their head. Forcing them to put that on hold to look at your rolls and double work your math (which you're already required to do) passes a line for me. Break it down, treat me like I'm dumb (with respect to that feat), or no, it's doesn't work because f that feat.

Yeah, I've got no problem with breaking it down for you. I just don't see the difference between showing the dice and explaining it verbally and writing it all down in enough detail. Other than that the 2nd will waste even more time.

And to some extent, unless you require a calculator, you're still going to have to double work the math or trust me. And with the calculator, you're still going to have to check that all the numbers are actually right from the dice or trust me. And frankly, that's the easiest way to screw up and the main reason I like to work directly with the dice.

magnuskn wrote:

About three hours with some music in the background, three calculators open at the same time and including having to do a little table for spells per school per levels for all the spellbooks. :)

And I always calculate that the party sells everything, hence the actual WBL is still a bit higher, because everybody will keep certain items.

But they'll also probably miss some of it, so it all roughly evens out. At least that's the theory.

Buri Reborn wrote:
thejeff wrote:
It is incumbent on you, as a player, to prove your character is doing what it's allowed. Given the obtuse nature of that feat, yes, you need to show me how it works given it's wholly based on your unique combination of the rolls and is contingent on the player using their own intelligence that's not abstracted by the game. Simply rolling and claiming it works is grossly insufficient. Grouping die and saying something like "multiply these, add these, subtract those" is also insufficient.

I really don't understand the objection.

Are you really just requiring a calculator to show the math is right?

Because me showing you the dice (6,4,4) and saying these multiply to 96, really isn't any different than me writing on paper 6x4x4=96.
I suppose I could write out 6x4 = 24 x 4 = 96, but I'm not sure that helps much. And I could do the same with the dice.
Being able to pair up and subtract 2 dice with the same number and use that to cancel "the rest" also saves a bunch of data entry time, so I hope you'd at least allow that rather than require every number to be written out neatly with all the work that cancels to zero shown.

Mind you, I'd also be perfectly happy with just banning the feat because it's stupid and broken. :)

Buri Reborn wrote:
As a GM, I'm not going to sit there and read your dice. That's your job. I only care if you're claiming a natural 20 when that's clearly a 2. I'm also not going to read your dice AND do math. Again, that's your job as it's your character and you took the feat.

But you'll make me write the same numbers that are on the dice down and then you'll check that?

That'll slow things down more. I'd be perfectly happy to walk you through it, it's just the copying the dice onto paper and showing the work that seems silly to me. Basically, I'd be showing you the work with the dice, not the paper. Also makes it easier to say "and this pile cancels out".

Example: 15 ranks, 8th level spell, target =83, 89, 97
15d6 ⇒ (4, 2, 4, 4, 3, 3, 3, 6, 4, 2, 6, 6, 2, 1, 2) = 52

6x4x4+1 + (3-3)*(2+4+3+4+2+6+6+2+1+2)=97

I'd pull the first 3 out and say "These multiply to 96", bring out the 1, "Add 1 to get my target 97", then the two 3s "Subtract these to get zero", pointing at the rest of the pile "Which you multiply the sum of all of those by to cancel them out."

Has the big advantage of making sure I don't screw up copying onto the paper or use one number twice or something simple and easy to do like that.

To be honest for Sacred Geometry, once you figure out the tricks, it's faster to just do it by grouping the dice rather than writing it out or using one of the calculators.
Multiply dice together until you're in the proper range. Add or subtract until you reach the number. For the dice you've got left over, take 2 of the same value, subtract them to reach 0 and multiply the rest by that.

BTW, how is that chart calculated? Does it use the calculators and thus ignore parentheses? If so, I suspect it's even more reliable than that.

Edit: If you do take Calculating Mind, make sure you have enough d8s for it. :)

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DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:

I think this is incredibly subjective if you aren't using a published setting that explains these issues. I personally think raising undead should be a very bad thing because flavor, so I added in a logical reason for it to be bad since I don't use alignment and don't have a bunch of gods dictating morality. It is bad because I decided the flesh, blood, or organs of a human sacrificial victim is a necessary spell component for raising undead in my setting. It is a flavorful and logical explanation for why it would be a very bad thing to do. I also reclassified healing magic as Necromancy, because Necromancy is simply the magic of life and death. Raising undead is very bad, yes, but there are more benign forms of Necromancy, and healing is one of those.

In Golarion, it's bad because good and evil are tangible forces with actual definitions, rather than subjective social constructs. No real reason aside from it being evil is really necessary when evil itself has actual power in the world.

The Zoroastrians believed the dead were unclean and evil. Zoroastrianism has also influenced many religions that came after it with its idea of a titanic struggle between the forces of good - light, and evil - darkness. It is great to find where ideas come from, by all means check it up. Golarion seems to have gone to Zoroastrian conclusions where the living dead are evil because dead is what they are. That often repeated descriptor of "unnatural" is starting to sound like propaganda.

Zoroastrianism or pretty much every Western depiction of the undead from Medieval legends up until we started playing with trope reversals in the modern era.

James Martin wrote:

So in a real world situation, a guy breaks into a house to steal valuables. The house bursts into flame, at which point he notices a sleeping 2 year old child. He grabs the child (and the loot) and flees. In the end he has saved the child, but he has also bettered his situation. Is he evil? He didn't set the fire. He did break in. He did see and save the child.

I would argue he's purely Neutral. He did a bad thing and a good thing. It balances.

Did he have anything to do with the house bursting into flames?

In general though, unless he put himself at more risk, or at least had to drop some of the loot, to rescue the kid, he doesn't get a lot of Good points for doing so. Not leaving a toddler to burn to death is a pretty low bar to clear.

Or more to the larger point, whatever his moral status, the guy who sent him to rob the house isn't any better of a person because it happened to turn out this way.

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Coriat wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
"Sissyl wrote:
There has to my knowledge not been bread queues in the US.
Well, there haven't been bread queues for 80 years. We have had them, just not recently, and I doubt anyone who frequents the boards is old enough to have experienced them.

As an aside, some iconic photos.

You Europeans and your stereotypes of the amber fields of grain. :p We've certainly had bread lines in this country.

However, there may be a distinction here between bread shortages (as is more characteristic of the collapsing USSR) and bread lines caused by sheer poverty (as is more characteristic over here). The former has not been as commonplace, what with said amber fields of grain and all.

Still happened, though.
More than once.
Recurrent in my Boston up through the early 1800s.
Bread lines became endemic in major American cities during the Gilded Age.

I'm not going to drown you in links, but there's enough to fill a book, not a post.

As bad as the USSR? Nope.

And those were all back in the glory days of American Capitalism, before we succumbed to the socialist lure and decided that government should actually try to do something about hunger and poverty.

wraithstrike wrote:
thejeff wrote:
knightnday wrote:

While I can respect that there are people that wouldn't mind a mechanics-only game, I'd be run out of the house if I ran a game like that. My wife has a degree in mathematics and she looked at this and told me that if I left out the story and descriptive elements she'd do unspeakable things to me, things that I cannot put on the message boards without a ban.

The fluff and rules are both important. The story is what we are playing for, I'd hope. The rules are how we get there. You need both otherwise you have results with no meaning, and a story with no decision-making ability.

Absolutely agreed. It's just a thought experiment prompted by claims that "You can play a game of Pathfinder without any fluff whatsoever and it will still be a game of Pathfinder."

And I still want to know what he thinks that would look like.

I think the argument should have been that you can play with almost any fluff, and it will still be Pathfinder as long as you use the Pathfinder ruleset.

Certain stories could not be pulled off accurately without changing the rules which is why certain systems are better for certain things.
Of course you can homebrew some and it will still be the same system as I said earlier.

But how much can you refluff and still have it be the same? If you change all the classes and monsters and gear to be different fluff, without changing the mechanics (or with minimal houserules as you say), is it really PF? If it's all high tech knights with nanotech "magic", following the same rules, is it really the same game?

But it's mostly semantics at that point. What do you actually mean when you say "I'm running Pathfinder."? If someone suggested a PF game, I certainly wouldn't expect an entirely reskinned game. Any more than I'd expect a hugely houseruled one. A few things reskinned to be something more appropriate and it wouldn't surprise me, but giving the whole game a facelift seems out of line. It's like houserules. Changing a few things leaves the basic game in place, but at some point you've changed enough that you're not meeting expectations.

knightnday wrote:

While I can respect that there are people that wouldn't mind a mechanics-only game, I'd be run out of the house if I ran a game like that. My wife has a degree in mathematics and she looked at this and told me that if I left out the story and descriptive elements she'd do unspeakable things to me, things that I cannot put on the message boards without a ban.

The fluff and rules are both important. The story is what we are playing for, I'd hope. The rules are how we get there. You need both otherwise you have results with no meaning, and a story with no decision-making ability.

Absolutely agreed. It's just a thought experiment prompted by claims that "You can play a game of Pathfinder without any fluff whatsoever and it will still be a game of Pathfinder."

And I still want to know what he thinks that would look like.

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Irontruth wrote:

Well, there haven't been bread queues for 80 years. We have had them, just not recently, and I doubt anyone who frequents the boards is old enough to have experienced them.

I'd also say the reason we don't have bread queues isn't so much the better food production technology, but food stamps and other safety net programs. Capitalism didn't magically make food cheap enough for everyone to buy, we have give those who couldn't afford it enough money to buy it anyway.

Of course maybe if we stopped such socialistic programs, capitalism would finally work its magic and food prices would drop to the point where even the poorest could buy bread with whatever cash they could scrape together.

Sissyl wrote:
Thejeff: Google and wikipedia are your friends.

I know who Lysenko is. I even know his connection with famine.

I suppose in your mind that proves conclusively that capitalism will always resolve shortages by lowering production costs and prices so that everyone has abundance.

Communism's failures do not prove capitalism is infallible.

Sissyl wrote:
Thejeff: Yes, yes. I see you have heard and learned well the story of Trofim Lysenko, top name in American biology and agriculture.

I have no idea what you mean.

Sissyl wrote:

Well, what can I say... He sure hates capitalism. I wouldn't say that the link he tries to paint between modern day porn and exploitation of Philippino women in 1898 is as clear as he thinks it is. It sounds more like "porn is bad so let's call it capitalist and imperialist. Many, many, many times."

A) If he heard a sex worker claim that she liked doing what she did, would he listen to her, or is she then a brainwashed tool of the capitalist, evil, imperialist, capitalist and capitalist world capitalism?

No idea what he would say, but it's pretty obvious to me that one example doesn't disprove a pattern. Anecdotes aren't evidence.

I'm in fact sure that there are plenty of sex workers who like what they do, particularly in the higher end of the industry. There are also a lot who are desperate, trafficked, addicted or otherwise miserable with it and see no way out.

Sissyl wrote:
Thoroughly debunked, let me guess, by a foaming plethora of anticapitalist think tanks? Colour me not impressed. For starters, you have no clue how bad it would have been with a market that did not self-correct. Such as... The old soviet union. Capitalism has many flaws, but if bread grows too expensive, someone will produce it cheaper and outcompete the previous companies. There has to my knowledge not been bread queues in the US. Consider yourself blessed that you did not grow up in the old eastern bloc, my friend.

Capitalism has many flaws, but if bread grows too expensive, people will starve, reducing the population until the demand for bread shrinks and the price falls to a level everyone can afford.

See the market self-corrects.

Obviously an extreme example, but theoretically correct. There's no magic in capitalism that guarantees cheaper stuff as the answer to every problem.

Dustin Ashe wrote:

I think he's of the opinion that it and prostitution are the tip of the iceberg of the myriad problems of our predatory, capitalist, violent society.

The capitalism point is well taken. Currently, those with the most money can purchase the most sex. And the poor/unskilled/uneducated are the most incentivized to sell sex. If porn and prostitution went away the rich would have to, I don't know, rely on their innate charm/appearance/decency instead.

I'm not sure about the "tip", but both porn and even more prostitution are definitely linked to both direct exploitation and some damn creepy attitudes towards (usually) women.

Which isn't to say they create such attitudes or exploitation in general or that all porn, or even prostitution, is necessarily creepy or exploitative. There's definitely a correlation though.

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Claxon wrote:
Don't do anything about this in game. Tell the player that loot is meant to be equally distributed and if they cannot play well with the rest of the group then they are not welcome.

Exactly. This is a meta-game problem. The player was breaking the group's social contract, at first apparently in ignorance. He's been informed. If he continues to do so, talk to the player. If that doesn't work, boot him.

Assuming that is the group social contract and not just yours. If others are okay with it and in particular if the GM is okay with it, then maybe it's you who have to adapt or leave.

Kthulhu wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
There is an objective answer. You can play a game of Pathfinder without any fluff whatsoever and it will still be a game of Pathfinder.
I'm still curious what this game of Pathfinder with no fluff whatsoever looks like.
You obviously have to exclude races, classes, and monsters. I'm not really sure what's left.

And any description. No "There's a door at the end of the corridor with some light coming from underneath it. What do you do?"

That's all fluff. No plot. No roleplaying. No anything but mechanics.

I think you could have races, classes, and monsters, but there would be no names or description. Just bundles of stats.

voideternal wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I'm still curious what this game of Pathfinder with no fluff whatsoever looks like.

I imagine it to look like the Core Rulebook with every fluff-description of any kind of game mechanic keyword replaced with variable names.

Instead of "Class" you would say "X1"
Instead of "Attack roll", you would say "Y3"
Instead of "AC", you would say, "B5"

Here's an example of a game:
GM: A, C3, C1, D4, P0 Q3?
A: Y3 15 *rolls d20* 28 O4.
GM: *rolls d20* M T13.
C3: Q8 *rolls d20* I5 D1. *rolls d6*

I would not call the above game Pathfinder. Heck, I would not call it a game, because there's no clear win state. Would you?

I could see, barely, running combats like that. I couldn't see running a game like that. There's stuff in between the combats - even if it's just dressing to set up the fights, but that's all fluff.

Edit: That's actually a little farther than I'd go. "Attack roll" and "AC" are mechanics terms. Those would be okay. But you wouldn't be wielding any particular kind of weapon or wearing any specific armor - though it would still have AC bonus, check penalty, weight and all the other mechanics definitions.

Perhaps, but I think it's bigger than that. Undead being evil is a Core Rules thing, not a Golarion specific thing. (Obviously, you can house rule it).

Alignments appear to be a feature of the rules. They are detectable and manipulateable. I don't think there's any evidence they're a creation of the gods. That doesn't really make much sense in world anyway - Did the various gods get together and decide "You're Evil and I'm Good"? In most real-world religions, even historical polytheistic ones, there's a creator or ruler god who sets those rules, even if he doesn't always follow them. There doesn't seem to be an equivalent in PF.

Also, do they renegotiate these definitions from time to time? Like when new gods appear or old ones die or change drastically? Or was it all set back in the dim depths of the past, by some previous set of gods, many of whom might not be around anymore?

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Anzyr wrote:

There is an objective answer. You can play a game of Pathfinder without any fluff whatsoever and it will still be a game of Pathfinder.

You can play a game of monopoly with a Pathfinder fluff (theme) and it will still be a game of Monopoly.

So no, you cannot be playing a game of Pathfinder (defined as the Pathfinder RPG) if you are playing Monopoly (defined as the Monopoly board game).

Therefore, because you can play a game of Pathfinder without fluff, while the opposite is not true, rules (mechanics) are more important than fluff for playing Pathfinder.

Full stop.

I'm still curious what this game of Pathfinder with no fluff whatsoever looks like.

DM Barcas wrote:
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
True, but it's gay marriage that's brought this to a head. Abortion and contraception has had a slow but steady movement in favor of the right wingers. Gay marriage has had the opposite, especially in the last few years.
The recent push of the last few years has been because of a few corner cases that were well-publicized as the government being willing to destroy one's livelihood for unpopular opinion. One would think that twenty years of RFRA laws being enacted with minimal issues would have provided guidance for how to write and pass such a law, and how to respond to it.

Are you actually suggesting there is no wide scale opposition to same-sex marriage (or in fact civil unions or pretty much any gay rights in general)? Or that such movements aren't supporting these new laws?

That this entire thing is about worries over a few cases of government overreach?

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Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
True, but it's gay marriage that's brought this to a head. Abortion and contraception has had a slow but steady movement in favor of the right wingers. Gay marriage has had the opposite, especially in the last few years.

Well, Hobby Lobby was an abortion case. (Really birth control not abortion, but that's what they claimed.)

But it's all part of the larger movement. The whole "America is a Christian nation" thing, which is really just part of the backlash to the 60s and the unholy alliance of the Republican party and the religious right.

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Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:

DM Barcas, I get what you're arguing -- that the actual legal effect of the law is determined by its language and that it is difficult to find where in the law it actually gives permission to discriminate.

On the other hand, I think it's become pretty clear from the way people have been championing these laws and laws like them that they are intended to appear as if they are protecting those who would like to discriminate against LGBT people. It may be that the lawmakers who are putting these laws to paper are writing laws that don't actually do that, but are giving their supporters the appearance of protection if they choose to discriminate.

After all, there's a reason why all these laws have been proposed in the last couple years. That reason is marriage equality and the success we've had in bringing it through legislation, judicial decisions, and via popular referenda. That isn't a coincidence. To propose that these laws have nothing to do with a reaction against the LGBT civil rights movement's success requires that one explain why all these laws are being pushed for now.

Those concerned about the laws in the legislatures that passed them tried to add amendments that would prevent the laws from overriding local anti-discrimination ordinances, add specific anti-discrimination wording to the laws, or define protecting children as a compelling government interest. These amendments were defeated. What would be the point in this, if the purpose of the law were not (or at least, was not meant to appear as) to override local anti-discrimination ordinances, to allow discrimination, to prevent protecting children when it would conflict with religious views, and so forth? (Citation)

When asked whether the law would make it legal for a business to refuse to serve gay customers, the governor who signed it refused to answer six times. If it wasn't intended to make this legal, why...

It's not just gay marriage though. There's also the whole birth control and abortion thing. And more generally the line that Christians are being persecuted and need more legal protections in this country has been growing for awhile now. See the "War on Christmas" for a particularly silly angle, but generally the right wing Christians see their ideas losing influence and are fighting back. They perceive not being in charge as being persecuted. If they can't keep using the government to attack, they can at least keep it from protecting their targets.

Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
The Fox wrote:
Our founding fathers would be pleased indeed.
Well, I don't know about that. A lot of them probably would think we were b$#@#%& for allowing women and black people to vote, much less elect one president.

Not to mention Indians.

And peasants too - laborers and menials and the like.

Doomed Hero wrote:
The Fox wrote:
There is no comparing the U.S. of 1776 (or even of 1787, when the Constitution was ratified) with the U.S. of today. Our founding fathers would be pleased indeed.

Except for the whole central banking system thing. I think most of them would be appalled at how our economy works.

Except Hamilton. He'd be doing ecstatic backflips.

Actually I expect all of them would just be flabbergasted. Complete culture shock with no ability to comprehend how our economy or culture works. Not that they're dumb, but the world is such a different place. I suspect the smart ones would be smart enough to realize they couldn't judge.

I also suspect (and this is really just my theory) that they'd be shocked we were still trying to use their Constitution to run the country in such a different world and probably offended by the reverence we have for it and them.

Readerbreeder wrote:

I think of Ulysses as the ultimate "form over function" novel. Joyce was cramming a lot of literary stuff into that book (symbolism, allegory, stylistics), and if you are into the style it is written in (as literateurs and literature professors generally are), then you'll love it. If not, it will wear on you pretty quickly. The thing is, it's the professors and such who make the "great books" lists, and that's why Ulysses keeps topping these lists, in spite of (or perhaps because of) the fact that it isn't as accessible as it might be.

If you really want Joyce to throw you for a loop, try Finnegan's Wake sometime. Just don't expect to "get it"; I'm not sure anyone ever has.

It's certainly not accessible. You're not really supposed to read it, you're supposed to study it. That's not a bad thing, there's a lot of amazing stuff going on in both of those, but it takes a lot of work to access it.

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Well, it doesn't speak to the Indiana law directly, but Democrats in Georgia appear to have killed (or at least stalled) a similar bill by adding an amendment stating that it doesn't allow "citing religious liberty as a reason to subvert state non-discrimination laws."

This led the bill's sponsors to table the bill saying "that amendment would completely undercut the purpose of the bill."

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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
DM Barcas wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
DM Barcas wrote:
Looks like predictions of "Obama winning the round" were premature. I'm just glad Bergdahl didn't sign the letter. The administration might claim that that he didn't serve with honor and distinction.
Do you not see a difference between writing a letter to the president and writing a letter to a foreign head of state undermining the president?
The audience was the same for both letters: the American public, seeking to put pressure on the administration.
I'll take that as a "no," I guess.

He's right though. In the sense that it's all internal politics. It's not even so much putting pressure on the administration to make a better deal with Iran as painting the administration as soft on Iran.

There was a time when this kind of domestic politics stopped at the water's edge.

Tels wrote:

Based off this letter does that mean Gen Con's threat to withdraw was nothing more than a bluff? If so, I'm highly disappointed in Gen Con for not going through with their threat. I understand that Gen Con is under contract with the city (likely meaning they can't just up and move), but I would have appreciated some statement of their intentions to move Gen Con when the contract expires if they plan on going through with their threat.

As it is, right now it feels like Gen Con was only voicing an uncommitted protest. That, as much as they may verbally disagree, they aren't willing to actual back up their statements or beliefs.

If Gen Con isn't willing to actually back up their statements, then I for one want nothing to do with Gen Con. I was actually planning on attending next year, but not if the people in charge have no conviction to back up their statements.

The "bluff" in the original letter
Legislation that could allow for refusal of service or discrimination against our attendees will have a direct negative impact on the state's economy, and will factor into our decision-making on hosting the convention in the state of Indiana in future years.

They never said they'd be canceling this year's convention, just that the law would affect their future plans.

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pres man wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
littlehewy wrote:
Aranna wrote:

Religion is at least as deserving of protection as skin color is.

This statement is as false as it is repugnant. I don't think there's any point in me continuing to discuss this particular topic with someone that holds this view, no offence intended Aranna.

I don't think that it is repugnant to suggest that we shouldn't have Jew and Gentile water-fountains, or "No Christians Allowed" lunch counters, or parts of the city where Muslims are forbidden from living.

But it is also true that this law was not passed to prevent such injustices, because religious people are not currently being persecuted in Indiana.

Given that these laws in the Feds and other states have been used to protect people like Native Americans wanting to smoke peyote or a Muslim prisoner wanting to grow out their beard. Cases that don't tend to get a lot of big press, I find it a bit ludicrous to claim that there is absolutely 100% certainty that there is no religious people currently being persecuted in Indiana. There may not be, but without knowing 100% about all the states interactions with every single individual, I personally wouldn't feel comfortable making that claim. Christian bakers being asked to make same-sex marriage wedding cakes are not likely to be the people this law would protect.

Maybe. Laws often have unintended consequences. The people pushing for this law aren't looking to protect Muslims and Native Americans. They're looking to protect Christians who they claim are being persecuted by liberals and gays. They're playing to an ignorant, bigoted political base.

That said, the original Religious Freedom Restoration laws did protect minority religions and were twisted to do things like protect companies' rights to not cover birth control. It's quite possible this will also be reversed and used to protect the actual right to practice religion rather than the right to discriminate on religious grounds.

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Cyrad wrote:
This entire controversy rests on false pretenses. The law doesn't protect business owners that discriminate people. It just says a government entity can't burden a person or organization's right to exercise religious freedom. It explicitly says this law operates to protect rights granted by the First Amendment. Discrimination is not protected under the First Amendment because it infringes on the rights of others--that's absolutely clear. Finally, a violation of this law requires an individual to prove the violation caused a significant loss or stress. Even if a private business got fined for refusing service to a gay couple and tried to weaponize that law, they'd have to conclusively prove the government was unjustified in the court of law and they wouldn't be able to sue the gay couple for the fine since the law explicitly says they'd have to sue the government entity.

But when the person being discriminated against sues the business under the existing local non-discrimination law, the business invokes this law to claim the local non-discrimination law isn't valid.

Sure, the gay couple doesn't get sued, but they also get discriminated against with no redress.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:
Can any one think of even one example of a "religious exemption" to a law or social policy that is actually a good thing?
Conscientious objector to many of our foreign acts of conquest?

Exemptions to the drug laws for the use of peyote as a sacrament in Native American religions.

More generally though, that's something of a trick question. It depends largely on your opinion of the law in question. If you're opposed to birth control, religious exemptions permitting pharmacists to refuse to sell it may seem like a great idea. Banning its sale entirely may also seem like a great idea. If you think birth control is a basic part of healthcare, allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill a valid prescription seems insane.

Aranna wrote:
This is why I think you are overreacting to the Law. It is just a push back against all the protections being given to everything BUT religion. A LOT of people just want assurances religion isn't going to become the big legal target for anyone with an issue and this helps protect them. Religion is at least as deserving of protection as skin color is. All you out there waving flags saying a new wave of runaway discrimination is sweeping the land are ignoring many many facts to reach that conclusion. Look at the lists of states and communities where this is already law, is there any more discrimination than before? Nope. So since this REALLY isn't about stopping a new surge of discrimination what is this about? Maybe this is really about wanting religion torn down.

Thinking more about this: There isn't a "new surge of discrimination". What there is, is old discrimination. Long established prejudice and discrimination being challenged by new laws, often in more urban, liberal enclaves, to protect LGBTQ rights. Those protections are now imperiled by this new interpretation of religious freedom.

Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
This is all the argument I need against allowing businesses to discriminate. I'm perfectly happy letting people's ability to know they can shop as they desire regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or nationality override the freedom of businesses to decide not to sell to certain groups.

But that was 50 years ago. We're now a post racial country. There's no housing discrimination today.

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Aranna wrote:

This is why I think you are overreacting to the Law. It is just a push back against all the protections being given to everything BUT religion. A LOT of people just want assurances religion isn't going to become the big legal target for anyone with an issue and this helps protect them. Religion is at least as deserving of protection as skin color is. All you out there waving flags saying a new wave of runaway discrimination is sweeping the land are ignoring many many facts to reach that conclusion. Look at the lists of states and communities where this is already law, is there any more discrimination than before? Nope. So since this REALLY isn't about stopping a new surge of discrimination what is this about? Maybe this is really about wanting religion torn down.

Christianity isn't under attack in the US. Other than not being allowed to set the rules as much as they used to.

I know it's fashionable for Christians to think they're persecuted, but it's also nonsense. Christians are still easily the dominant religion in the country. If anything, they're on the advance.

Or, from another angle, So that's why the Disciples of Christ are protesting the law, they want to tear down religion.

Matthew Morris wrote:
I'm just amazed in the number of non-US citizens posting here. I mean the law compliments a 20+ year old federal law, so to be consistent, I'd guess all the people who oppose the law can't be in the US, right?

Compliments, but isn't exactly the same. And that law recently got a new interpretation in a Supreme Court ruling, which also took a lot of flak here.

It's disingenuous to pretend it's nothing new.

On the other side, some of people in favor of it are in favor of it on grounds that would invalidate 60 years of civil rights law (businesses should always be allowed to discriminate, as long as the actual law doesn't). I suppose they can't possibly be in the US either.

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Aranna wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
And once again I ask... Why should this particular rule be allowed to go against the law? There are many examples of acts condoned by the bible that would not only be ilegal, but also considered hedious by any sane person in thos age...
Are you picking and choosing your Laws? This IS now the law in many areas. I suppose if one law is in conflict with another law it is up to the high courts to decide the issue. Although I can't imagine any judge taking racism seriously.

But it's easy to image a judge taking homophobia seriously. Because that's how he interprets the Bible.

And that's the basic problem with this approach to religious freedom laws. Originally the federal version and other state versions were used to keep the government from banning religious practices - keeping people from practicing their religion.

Now they're being abused to permit people to use religion to discriminate.

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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Race is protected from discrimination on the federal level. Sexual orientation is not.

I know. Isn't it horrible how the Federal Government oppresses people for their religious beliefs?

Aranna wrote:
Fortunately for the poor legal system I know of no religion that counts your race as sinful.

Christian Identity

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Aranna wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Aranna wrote:
littlehewy wrote:
Why should it be illegal to discriminate against someone of a different skin colour, but legal to do the same on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identification?
The religious reasoning is obvious. Nowhere in the Bible does it say being black (or any other race) is being sinful against God. It does actually say that about Gays. I am not saying I agree with refusing gays service. But one of the core principles of the nation is freedom to practice your religion. All this law does is keep that ideal safe. It is a good law. Let public outrage work against the tiny few who would take advantage of the law to actually discriminate. I trust that good will win in the end.
You realize there are other religions than Christianity, right?

There are several denominations of Christianity who believe the Bible does not say LGBT relations are a sin. Even Roman Catholicism doesn't believe being LGBT is a sin (only acting on it).


Roman Catholicism believes that only an annulment or the death of your spouse ends a marriage. So, outside of a Roman Catholic religious ceremony, why should Roman Catholics who own businesses be allowed to refuse people services or goods for being divorced?

Oook? Why would anyone who is from a denomination OR religion that doesn't believe LGBT is sinful have any reason to deny a gay service?! As for Roman Catholics denying service to divorced people... ok that is their right. But considering how many marriages end in divorce they may be turning away a lot of customers. If they can stay in business then whatever... it doesn't hurt anyone. If I ever get divorced I will shop elsewhere no big deal (other than the brief annoyance at having to go to a better competitor). Heck my b+#@~ing about it to just my friends would probably cost them 8 more customers (based on a Pepsi Co. study) and possibly many many more if I take it to social media.

Obviously they wouldn't. The point was "It says so in the Bible" is disputed. There are sects that believe blacks are a lesser race and purer races shouldn't marry them. There are sects that believe women should never be in a position of authority over men. All of them think it "says so in the Bible". And that's just looking at Christianity. Other religions have their own texts and dogmas and schisms and theological disputes.

Personally, I think it's all nonsense. What I don't want and what the religious shouldn't want is for the courts to be determining what is valid religious doctrine and what isn't.

As for the Catholics, you may not have a choice but to do business with them. Roman Catholic hospitals are common and in an emergency you might wind up at one unintentionally. They already try to claim exemptions from rules about offering "morning after" pills to rape victims, for example.

Arturius Fischer wrote:
Not seeing how pointing out how the government works is an illegal transgression or how attempting to call it out as something else is a 'punishment'.

There is a difference between "pointing out how government works" and promising not to honor any agreement the government makes.

As the Iranian foreign minister* pointed out in his response, an awful lot of diplomacy takes place below the formal treaty level. While that may make it legal for the next government to annul the deal, it still does serious damage to the country's credibility.

Leaving aside questions of legality, it's horribly irresponsible.

*I believe that's who wrote the response.

LazarX wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
That honestly wasn't even my point. I was saying just because Christianity didn't consider being black as sinful, what if other religions did? Should they be able to discriminate against black people under the guise of freedom of religion? Are you only allowed to discriminate against gays or are Christians the only ones allowed freedom of religion?
This is where they bring up the "America is a Christian Nation" thing.

This is where we bring up "Do you really want the courts to decide what is a Christian belief and what isn't?"

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Aranna wrote:
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:

The purpose of the law is twofold: to override and eliminate the laws passed by individual counties and municipalities in Indiana that have added sexual orientation as a protected class on which basis it is illegal to discriminate; and to make a political statement that gays are bad mmmkay.

All these people arguing that businesses should have the right to discriminate: I'm guessing you've never been discriminated against for your race, sexual orientation, or religion. It's not just a matter of "oh well, whatever". It's really dehumanizing.

That is not the purpose of the law, someone already explained the history of the law, stop trying to be trollish.

And since you asked I face sexism all the time, and occasionally attacks on my religion as well. If you want to factionalize the country into protected groups fine but don't complain when religion gets protected as well.

Religion has long been protected (more or less and sometimes in name only).

This is different. This isn't protecting the right to practice your religion, which we all agree needs protection. That's what the federal law was intended to do and was until recently used for.
This is protecting the right of the majority to discriminate against others in the name of religion. I'm a lot less happy about that.

Aranna wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
Aranna wrote:
Berinor mocking IS how they feel about people acting openly gay in their place of business. God created marriage as a sacred joining of a man and a woman forever for the purpose of raising a strong righteous family. Many things have eroded that institution Gay marriage just being the latest "attack"as they see it on this sacred ceremony. What we really need are two separate ceremonies with the same weight under law that join a couple. Marriage can remain sacred while the new ceremony can be anything the couple wants. However it IS important that the new ceremony grant you the same status in the governments eyes as real marriage, that you have all the same rights as a traditionally married couple.

"Mocking" is a strong word and implies intentionality. "Acting openly gay" is unlikely to be intended as a slight to someone else. Someone who feels *mocked* by that is over-reacting.

Your proposed separation of marriage into religious and civil components is also problematic. My marriage is also sacred, and it took place in a chapel I helped build, presided over by my minister of many years. To me, the most toxic part of this debate is that it assumes that those who are pro-gay marriage are anti-religious. My religion is very important to me, but I don't feel any need to have it "protected" by over-reaching laws like this.

Wow. I had it all figured out and you had to go deflate my bubble by making sense. You are right of course that religious gays are completely overlooked in my split. I guess in light of this it makes little sense at all to divide marriage. But that still doesn't solve anything. I guess maybe I am over complicating it. You know maybe the answer is right there, why not marry gays in a chapel where being gay isn't a thing. All fixed. Service with a smile.

We're essentially there now. In states that allow same-sex marriage, anyway.

You can get married by a Justice of the Peace or by the religious official of your choice. That religious official can choose not to marry you if you don't qualify under the tenets of his or her religion - whether that's because the couple is the same sex, divorced, different religions, whatever.
The case of for-profit chapels that aren't actually religious entities, but just businesses that do marriages for all comers is something of a gray area.

None of this satisfies many of those opposed to marriage equality. They want the laws to reflect their religious beliefs. They don't just want to not have to participate. This is easily seen if you look back at the opposition to civil unions.

John Lance wrote:

Being a PFS rules lawyer, I figured I better read the laws driving this brouhaha. For the record, Indiana SB 101 is a cut-and-paste copy of the federal RFRA legislation that was sponsored by Chuck Shumer (D-NY) and signed into law by Pres. Clinton in 1993. The federal statute was driven by a number of cases, including the punishment of Native Americans who were using peyote and mescaline in religious ceremonies. However, the federal RFPA can't be used to enforce or overturn state law. Therefore, 19 other states have passed similar laws since then so that their state laws mirror the federal law with respect to religion (this includes Rhode Island and Connecticut, by the way). I highly recommend everyone taking 5 minutes to read the federal law and the state law that IA just passed. They're practically identical (and very short, each one runs about three pages, double-spaced):

This state law means that, just like federal law, the state of Indiana must have a compelling reason for placing a burden on someone's practice of religion. That's it. This whole controversy is an internet mountain conjured from a legal mole-hill.

Believe me, if I thought this was some unjust state law that threatened current legal protections for any group of Americans, I would be the first one to blast it in public. This is not that big of a deal, it truly isn't. Definitely not worth relocating a convention for.

I really wish GENCON had waited before throwing the gauntlet down over this, because I think people are going to be underwhelmed when they actually sit down and read the law and the history behind it.

It's really not quite that simple. The recent Hobby Lobby case changed the practical definition of person used in such cases. The federal law had been, prior to that, used to defend individuals and religions from government action - laws against peyote interfering with Native religious ceremonies as you say. The intent of this law is to keep local laws from stopping businesses from discriminating against individuals.

Admittedly the federal law can now be used for the same purposes and I think you'll find that the same people concerned about this law had similar concerns about the Hobby Lobby ruling.

We'll see how it plays out. The backlash has already been significant. We won't really know how things work out until cases start making their way through the courts. I predict quite a few of them. If nothing else, it'll likely embolden those looking for an excuse to discriminate, even if some of those will eventually lose in the courts. There is now far more uncertainty over what the law really is - which protections will survive challenge.

Sissyl wrote:
There are two ways out of this situation. Either the definition of marriage changes to accomodate other constellations than one man and one woman, or, marriage is stripped of legal meaning and the legal importance is moved to a legal process. Making another separate but equal ceremony is like solving the problem of benches only for whites by making an equal number of benches only for blacks. Like it or not, the end result will be one of the two options above.

The first solution is in progress. Much as the definition of marriage has changed so often in the past.

When it comes to selling flowers and wedding cakes, stripping marriage of legal meaning won't have any effect anyway. People will still want ceremonies. Many religions will oblige them, making them "marriages". Other people will still object to that and not be willing to contribute.

pres man wrote:
thejeff wrote:
pres man wrote:
The forcing clergy thing is probably a reference to a wedding chapel that had been doing all kinds of secular and religious weddings, as long as the definition of marriage was legally one man and one woman. When it changed, they refused to accept the new definition and there were/are legal challenges.
If that's the case I'm thinking of it still wasn't clergy being required to do anything. They were renting the space out for weddings and refused to do the same for a gay couple. Who were bringing their own official to perform the ceremony.

The situation was much more grey than that. Here is an article with a good timeline of events.

While I obviously don't know the exact motivations of the individuals involved, I am going to try to extrapolate a possible position for them.

The individuals who were involved were "ordained", whether that makes them "clergy" I would say is an issue for debate, but I think one could claim they do fall into that area (barely). They didn't "rent" out their wedding chapel, they were the only ones they allowed to perform ceremonies there, so that were not just not supportive of their religious beliefs (i.e. secular ceremonies) but were in opposition to it were not allowed there (e.g wiccan wedding ceremonies). So the options were secular wedding or Christian wedding, either one performed by them. Their "ministry" as they saw it was to try to help people leave their sinful relationships and enter into a god accepted one.

Therefore they were able to operated entirely within the secular workspace and fulfill this mission as long as marriage was defined as one man and one woman. Marrying two heterosexual atheist while not as desirable as marrying two heterosexual Christians, still it was better than having them "living in sin" out of wedlock (i.e. the total sinfulness of the individuals was...

Different case than the one I was thinking of.

Still, no actual lawsuit or legal challenge, despite some very dubious claims.

Aranna wrote:

People please keep it calm.

Let's break down the issue because the Gay rights crowd is inflaming the issue, and maybe they are right to do so, we need to talk about these things. But if we can't at some point stop and rationally discuss this then there really isn't any discussion.

First regardless of any outside considerations do merchants have the right to not sell to anyone for any reason? Of course they do, a man tossed from a bar for being drunk or a man tossed from a restaurant for smoking do not have the right to claim any loss due to being denied service. Clearly they were discriminated against as people who didn't follow the merchants rules of behavior.

So then the real issue here is whether or not practicing an activity that mocks a certain religion's beliefs is the same as not following the rules of that merchant for doing business. It would be no different than if a Christian went into an LGBT owned place and told the people there they were going to hell, yet still expecting service from that establishment and even threatening legal action if they tossed him out.

Can you see the other side now? All this law does is affirms the merchant right to determine the rules of behavior in their place of business.

You don't see anything different between "We're gay and going to get married" and "You're going to Hell"? One is someone actively attacking others. The other is just people trying to go about their lives.

Beyond that, there's a good deal of established law limiting those absolute rights "not to do business with anyone for any reason". Federal law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion or gender, for example. Some state and local laws add orientation. Similar laws prohibit discriminating against customers for similar reasons.
There are no absolute rights here. Government is attempting to balance the rights of businesses to conduct business as they choose with the rights of individuals to go about their lives.

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