It is illegal for Christians to ‘discriminate’ against gays even though it violates their religious beliefs, but it is perfectly alright and legal for a gay to refuse to serve a Christian based on their beliefs. Don’t worry, I have real life examples to prove my case. So what gives?
Last week, the internet and media was on fire with Arizona’s Religious Freedom bill. With no one actually reading the bill itself or taking the time to understand what it actually said, and with the words ‘gay, homosexual, etc.’ never even being used in the actual legislation, the media and left somehow twisted it into not a religious-freedom bill, but an anti-gay/homophobic/jim-crow for gays law.
Most of you have probably heard about the recent cases where a Christian business owner (baker, florist, photographer) politely declined to work for a gay wedding. In every instance, the courts and government ruled in favor of the gays saying the Christians discriminated by not complying, even though the Christians stated they have no problem serving gay customers, it’s only when it’s a gay wedding that there is an issue, because their deeply-held religious beliefs say that a wedding is something special and significant designed by God. In Matt Walsh’s blog, he nicely summarized each of the more recent and significant cases:
Hands On Originals. The Christian owner of a local t-shirt company declined to produce shirts advertising Lexington’s annual Gay Pride Festival. Hands On Originals had likely made shirts for many gay people in the past. As far as I know, they never asked anyone to fill out a questionnaire about their sexual proclivities before ordering their apparel. In this case, however, the company was being asked to advertise for a gay pride festival. He politely turned down the business and even pointed the organizers to other manufacturers that would make the shirts at the same or better rates. Nobody’s rights were infringed upon. Nobody was victimized. Nobody was even inconvenienced.
But the bullies at Kentucky’s Gay and Lesbian Services Organization smelled an opportunity. They dragged Hands On before the “Human Rights Commission” and accused them of “human rights violations.” The HRC sided with the gay bullies. So did Lexington’s mayor. Lexington’s mayor is openly gay, by the way. But I’m sure that had nothing to do with his opinion on the matter.
Masterpiece Cake Shop. The Christian owner of a Colorado bakery has been forced by a judge to bake cakes for gay weddings, after declining the business 0f two gay men who wanted him to make a cake for their same sex nuptials. The baker didn’t refuse them “because they’re gay.” In fact, he specifically said: “I’ll make you birthday cakes, shower cakes, sell you cookies and brownies, I just don’t make cakes for same-sex weddings.”
He had a problem with the activity itself, not the people participating in it. But the gay couple, instead of respecting the man’s beliefs, decided to whine to the ACLU. Eventually a lawsuit was filed, and the couple complained in court of being “dehumanized.”
DEHUMANIZED. Because some guy wouldn’t make a cake for their wedding. Dehumanized.
Unborn babies butchered in abortion mills? Sorry, not dehumanizing. One bakery in the entire country decides not to make dessert for a gay wedding? DEHUMANIZING.
Makes sense, right?
Elane Photography. A New Mexico judge ruled that a small photography company in the state is not allowed to decide which weddings they will photograph and which weddings they won’t photograph. He compelled the Christian photographers who own the business to work gay weddings, despite their religious convictions.
This ruling came after Elane Huguenin politely declined to photograph a lesbian wedding back in 2006. As Huguenin explained: they will “gladly serve gays and lesbians—by, for example, providing them with portrait photography—whenever doing so would not require them to create expression conveying messages that conflict with their religious beliefs.”
But this wasn’t good enough. Even though the lesbian customers promptly found a different photographer who charged better rates, they still took the matter to the courts.
Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts. A florist in Washington state was sued after she decided not to provide flowers for a gay wedding. In this case, even the customers admit that the business owner had served them many times over ten years. If she wanted to “refuse service to gays,” she would have already. But it wasn’t the gay men she had a problem with — it was the gay wedding. Of course this explanation, reasonable as it might be, wasn’t sufficient.
She was dragged to court. The lawsuit, I believe, is still ongoing.
In none of these cases did the business owner forgo service to a gay person out of some kind of disgust or animosity towards gays. They simply wished to take no part in a gaywedding. To call this discrimination against gays is to make no distinction between the person of a homosexual and the activity of a homosexual.
It’s absolutely nonsensical. It also, again, makes any comparison to “Jim Crow laws” seem insane. Blacks were denied basic services because they were black — not because of their activity.
The gay people in these cases are asking Christians to specifically participate in a morally objectionable act. You can tell me that gay weddings are not morally objectionable, but that isn’t up to you. That’s your belief. This is their belief. In America, we are supposed to be free to live according to our convictions. We can only be stopped from living our convictions if our convictions call us to do harm to another. Were any of these gay couples “harmed” by having to go back to Google and find any of a thousand other options?
Perhaps their feelings were hurt. Fine. Are we saying that we have no right to do something if it might hurt someone’s feelings? Are we prepared to take that logic to its fullest extent?
Put differently, to tell a Christian that they must provide services to a gay wedding because that’s what a gay person wants, is to say that one must condone the actions of a gay person in order to affirm the dignity and inherent human worth of a gay person. Now we have, yet once more, provided special legal accommodations to this protected class.
And it’s true. Being a homosexual really is a protected, and celebrated, class. No other group in the nation is afforded such privileges. What do you think would happen if a Christian specifically went up to a gay business owner of a printing company, and asked him to print 1,000 “Homosexuality is a Sin” banners? Does the gay business man have the right to refuse to print those banners? Isn’t he ‘discriminating’ against the Christian if he refuses? Isn’t it dehumanizing to the Christian if he doesn’t comply? In fact, the gay owner would probably sue the Christian, and even win in court. That’s what it is when someone doesn’t give a militant gay on a vendetta everything they want anyway.
How come I can’t go to a Jewish deli, and force them to provide me with non-kosher meat?
Can I force a Muslim catering company to provide me with pork for my party?
If I approach Planned Parenthood and ask them to run my Christian ads on their website because they are purchasing ad space, can they turn me down?
Simply put, I cant force private citizens to violate their personal beliefs and mandate that they partake in something they find abhorrent or disagreeable. And you know what? Just about everyone else wouldn’t even try to do so. Businesses should have the right to provide service to whomever they please, and in just about every case, they do have that right. It’s only when a Christian is involved that the courts have ruled discrimination.
A baker doesn’t want to serve me for my wedding, but kindly refers me to others that would. What are my options?
- Move on to the next baker several miles away like every other sensible citizen in America.
- Make a personal vendetta to make sure the baker loses in court on grounds of discrimination, has to pay out thousands of dollars, and is at risk of losing his entire business and home.
Clearly, Option 1 is the sensible common-sense solution, but Option 2 is the one that these militant activists have been choosing lately, and they’ve been winning. It was because of these cases where gay rights trumped religious rights, that Arizona even brought up their religious freedom bill in the first place.
But fine, let’s say that we do in fact live in Liberal Tolerance Fairy Tale Land, where no one anywhere is allowed to discriminate for any reason. Tolerate everybody!
Only there’s a slight problem…
This gay hairstylist refused to cut the hair of New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez based on her anti-gay marriage views.
Darden told a local news station that he cut the governor’s hair three times, but won’t do it again as long as she continues to oppose gay marriage.
“The governor’s aides called not too long ago, wanting another appointment to come in,” he told KOB-TV. “Because of her stances and her views on this, I told her aides no.
And then we have this example where a conservative business owner was refused service by a gay photographer, because the photographer didn’t like the conservative’s views on gay marriage.
Six months ago, a Southern California photographer turned him down flat when he asked her to take a Christmas card photo of his family, explaining in an email, “I oppose the goals and objectives of your organization and have no interest in working on its behalf.”
That was fine with Mr. Sears, CEO and general counsel of the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom, who is leading the legal battle on behalf of photographers, florists, cake decorators and others sued for refusing to create products for same-sex weddings.
But wait a minute… according to the gay activists…isn’t it discrimination to refuse to serve someone because of your views on marriage? Isn’t it dehumanizing if you don’t comply? We are after all talking about gays here, who are always crying out for TOLERANCE. Why is it only discrimination when a Christian doesn’t want to serve a gay wedding (not even gay people themselves, just the activity of a wedding), but when a Christian is refused service by a gay, it’s okay?
So how come Mr. Sears didn’t in turn cry discrimination to the courts and sue the gay photographer? Because he is a decent human being and feels it is morally reprehensible to force someone else to do something that they find abhorrent.
“We’re talking about human dignity. It violates someone’s dignity to require them to create images that violate their core beliefs,” Mr. Sears said. “I think I’m a pretty nice guy, and my family are kind folks, but to require this woman to portray me in a loving, family-centered way that is contrary to her views and her conscience, I think it would be an act of violence against her dignity.”
Hmm…we didn’t get that kind of a response from the gays who were dehumanized, did we?
Businesses should have the right to refuse service to anyone. There are a few common arguments that are heard though when someone says that. Here are two of them:
- Claim #1 – Businesses are public. If you want to be a public business, you should have to serve anyone who comes your way.Actually, businesses created and run by a private citizen are just that; private. The only ‘businesses’ in this country that are truly public and have to serve everyone equally (supposed to anyway) are government entities. i.e. Post Office, IRS, Public Schools, etc.
- Claim #2 – If businesses are allowed to refuse service to anyone, what happens when a racist business owner goes back to refusing service to blacks?In my view, they should have that right to do so. Besides, if there really was a business-owner that racist that he puts a sign on his window saying, “NO BLACKS ALLOWED”, wouldn’t you want to know that? So you yourself don’t contribute financially to such a morally reprehensible person?
What it comes down to is this; if enough people feel strongly enough in agreement against said business owner, they will take their business elsewhere. He will feel it in the pockets. If he loses that much business, he has two options. 1. Lose his business. 2. Change his views and try to win back some customers. Either way, we should always let the free market work.
It’s the same thing that happened with Chick-fil-A and Duck Dynasty. Both organizations stated they believed in marriage as it was designed by God. The gays were furious. They cried homophobia, discrimination, and hate. And they boycotted. And they had every right to do so. In these two particular cases though, there were a lot more people on the other side that sided with Chick-fil-A and Duck Dynasty, and nothing significant happened.
If you don’t like the way a business does business, take your business elsewhere. You have every right to boycott and tell others not to use their products either. When you start forcing a baker who is so religious that he won’t even bake Halloween cookies, to forcibly violate his deeply-held religious beliefs or lose his business and home, there is a problem.
For a group of people who gained their ground on the basis of “freedom of association,” gay people certainly don’t apply that principle evenly. They believe they should have the right to marry based on freedom of association. And then go and force a baker, photographer, and florist to not have the right to freely associate with whom they choose.
Of course all gay people are not like this. Many just want to live their lives in peace and that’s great. But to those who go out of their way on a personal vendetta to try and tear down another person’s life just for the sake of doing so, you had better watch out. You may find out this militant strategy may backfire on you eventually.
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