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I have mixed feelings on the pharmacy debate. On the one hand, if they don't want to dispense legally prescribed medication, they should have chosen a different profession. However, unless the pharmacist happens to be the only one in town, the customer can vote with their dollars and go down the street. I don't see where the government should be involved, telling a business owner what products they should or should not carry. My local grocery chain doesn't carry Louis Rich Turkey Bologna, which is my favorite, but I don't think I'm going to win a lawsuit to force them to carry it. I can, however, drive to the next town over and buy all the turkey bologna my little heart desires. I get the product I want, and my local store loses out on a larger purchase, because I'll buy all my groceries at the store that carries the one I want.

In the case of this Mr. Elkhatib, I think DD would be perfectly fine in revoking his franchise for not carrying the full line, except for the part where they're only doing it because of his religion. According to the Fox News story I read (can't find the URL right now), there were several other franchises in his area that didn't carry the full product line, but were not having their franchises taken away from them. That being the case, I hope Mr. Elkhatib wins his suit, retains his franchise and receives a sizeable chunk of money from Donkun' Donuts.

I agree that if the owner of a pharmacy choses not to sell a particular drug, that is the owner's right and consumers should vote with their feet. The point of Pharmasist Rights is that a person who accepts employment at a pharmacy should be able to refuse to fulfill the policy of that pharmacy based on his or her religious convictions. Extended to other "professions," this makes possible a grocery store checker who refuses to ring-up meat because he is a vegetarian. That's nuts.

I just wanted to take this moment to say that I agree with you.

Now back to regular programming..

What's the contract say? There's your answer. Don't like it? Sue. Just like Aknad did. It's the American way -- even the completely unpersecuted American Muslim way.

PS Maybe I missed it in the linked story, but I didn't notice any "Republican politicians" quoted. Or any politicians at all quoted. Or really anything to support your hare-brained, tiresome idea that Republicans want protectionism of any sort for Christians, much less a theocracy. Maybe you can whip up a post supporting this standard left-lib lunacy, like you did about the authoritarian streak that exists in all Republicans. I'd be interested to see where you think the theocracy tipping point is, and how close we might be to it. I say it's impossible.

I understand, Scott, that unless all Republicans are doing something it's not fair for Democrats to say that Republicans are doing the things they're obviously doing. Republicans are not responsible for the misbehavior of Republicans unles sthere's 100% participation. Otherwise, it's Clinton's fault, I guess.

The legislation from state to state ensconsing Pharmacist Rights has uniformly been introduced by Republicans. The legislation making it mandatory for pharmacists to dispense drugs with which they have a moral disagreement has uniformly been introduced by Democrats.

The point of this is they're both wrong. This -- and the great Dunkin Donut controversy -- are private contractual matters not suited to government meddling. And I used the opportunity to take a stab at Republican hypocrisy, which is rampant, of late.

Again, I understand that not all Republicans believe anything. It is fair, however, to generalize about the parties when they do the same things over and over again. Much as I, a small government liberal, cringe at the phrase "tax and spend Democrats," taxing and spending is an urge the great mass of Democrats have trouble resisting. I live with the pain.

That the Republican Party under President Bush has indulged those who would use the state to enforce religion, that the party repeatedly advocates government meddling in private matters and scorns checks and balances in government is not something you can rationally challenge. It's obvious, and I've cited repeated examples of it on this blog.

I'm sorry if, as a libertarian Republican, you're offended that someone -- me -- might look at the Republican Party's powerful Christian conservative wing and generalize that Republicans are in favor of mingling religion and politics in an unseemely and un-American way. The unfortunate fact is that it's true, and whether you approve of it or not, that's your party.

The decision reversed an Illinois federal court judge's 2004 ruling that rejected Walid Elkhatib's argument that Dunkin' Donuts discriminated against him based on his race. . . .

How in the hell are they discriminating against him on the basis of his race? Islam isn't a race it's a religion. Plenty of Arabs aren't Muslim, plenty of Muslims aren't Arabs and, for that matter, plenty of Muslim Arabs sell pork. Plus, if Dunkin Donuts wants an Arab-free franchise network, you think they'd have balked when they saw the name "Walid Elkhatib" on the franchise application.

Jews don't eat pork either.

Jews have been in America much, much longer than Moslems.

Have any Jews ever made a fuss about pork the way Moslems do?

This example shows us, in a microcosm, the greater reality of Islam: it is incompatible with our culture.

Now's where you start wondering when crazy old Squidley, whom you might suspect of trying to ferret out the "Mexi-Moslem illegal terrorist aliens" in the dumpster behind the 7/11, all the while muttering to himself, will trot out his "deport them all!" rant.

I don't have to. A Moslem, Shi'ite writer Khudayr Taher, will do that for me:

Countries have the right to defend themselves and assure their citizens' safety from terrorism. Likewise, it is clear that the source of the terrorist crimes in Europe and America is the Muslims who live in these countries.

The security services cannot know people's intentions and sort out who is the noble immigrant and who is a terrorist criminal. [But] wherever there are Muslims, their presence has produced crimes of terrorism and murder.

Among those Muslims in Europe and America who do not practice terrorism, most of them do not have loyalty and sincere attachment to these countries that have offered them all of the means of life in dignity--housing, studies, work, and citizenship...

The legitimate question is this: Since the security services cannot sort out the good immigrant from the bad terrorist... why don't these countries deport all Muslims, of all races, from Europe and America, and [thus] find rest from the danger of terrorism, and protect their peoples?

I, as an Arab Muslim immigrant, sincerely call on the countries of Europe and America to deport all Muslims from their territories--including myself, despite my love and my sincere attachment to the U.S.

with links to the original there

Tom's analysis of this incident shows the folly of making "tolerance" and "anti-discrimination" the ultimate goods of a society. (In fact, it looks like something Wally would write, and, as much as I like him, that's not a compliment.)

As the great Milton Friedman put it,

A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.

Our society is putting equality first. Therein lies the problem. Islam is not equal to Christianity in our society. Neither is Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Atheism, Paganism, Shamanism, Animism, or any other -ism you can come up with. None of them should be treated with the same degree of respect as Christianity, for the simple reason that Christianity is an indispensible element in the formation and continuation of our society and culture. Judaism and some of the others can peacefully co-exist within our society and culture, and can be tolerated as long as they don't challenge the pre-eminent role that Christianity must play. On the other hand, Islam has shown, throughout its history, that it just can't play nicely with the other kids.

Consistency does not require anyone (except liberals bowing to the edifice of "equality" and "tolerance") to afford to a Moslem the same rights to exercise his "religion" as a Christian, for the simple fact that the tenets of Islam are incompatible with our Christianity-based culture.

Just for fun, let's follow the insane logic of "tolerance," shall we?

First, we give in to this Moslem and let him keep his franchise pork-free. Then, he and his ilk demand sharia law in other aspects of life, and we let Somali cabbies refuse passengers who are drunk or with seeing-eye dogs. This is completely consistent with "tolerance." Next, they demand sharia family courts, and, tolerant folk we are, we say OK. Next thing you know, Moslems are polygamizing, letting men divorce wives by chanting "I divorce thee" but not allowing women to divorce their husbands, and letting girls as young as 9 marry. Consistency requires that we go along with these things, too.

Then, Moslems decide to stone adulteresses, cut off the hands of theives, and sanction "honor killings." How can we say no? We need to be "tolerant"! We need to treat them "equally"!

"Tolerance" and "equality" cannot last as the central principles of any society, because tolerance is a procedure, not a value. There is no factor within tolerance to tell us when to draw the line. Similarly, no two people will ever be equal in all respects, and while all should be equal in the eyes of the law, none are equal in substance: skin tone, height, IQ, education, income, athletic ability, interest in cricket, desire to see Jessica Alba naked, etc.

Now, let's apply St. Milton's principles. Walid Elkhatib is free to refrain from serving pork products, and Dunkin' Donuts is free to yank his franchise. Everybody's happy.

But what about poor, poor Mr. Elkhatib? He knew the deal before he entered into it. He was free to choose other, pork-free business opportunities. Complaining about it now is the height of hypocrisy. In fact, his demand flies in the face of equality, because he is demanding that his beliefs be placed ahead of those of this society (and, no doubt, his contract).

So thanks for informing us of yet another Islamic attack on our culture. I'll pass on your liberal analysis, though.

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