This kind logic can be applied to the religious liberty debates going on right now. If refusing to sell goods & services for a same-sex marriage celebration because of one’s personal beliefs should be illegal, then other similar “refusals” to other similar “events” should also be illegal.
THIS ARTICLE from National Review does a good job of presenting some relevant comparisons. Here are a few of my favorites:
We may not know whether or not the photographer hates the people in the club or loves them, she just does not want her business to be associated with this specific kind of event. Should she be punished?
- Do we respect a black jazz band’s choice not to perform at a Ku Klux Klan chapter’s “Negro Minstrel Show”?
Here again, the band members may not hate white people at all. They just do not want to be part of this performance in any way. Should they be punished?
- Do we respect a pro–gun control photographer’s right to choose not to snap pictures at a “Sharpshooter of the Year” banquet organized by the local chapter of the National Rifle Association?
It’s not that the photographer will never take any pictures of any NRA members at any event. It’s the meaning behind this particular event that is the concern.
- Do we respect a Jewish calligrapher’s right to choose not to produce hand-written invitations for a Hitler Day brunch organized by a local neo-Nazi group?
The following would be a dissimilar comparison:
- A restaurant owner refuses to serve gay people because he personally believes all gay people are evil.
So what is distinctive between the first four examples and the last one? The focus of attention with the first ones is some event or celebration and the ideology behind it, not the actual person(s) involved. In other words, it’s about the principle, not the person. The difference is vast.
The more our society accepts transcendent things, like right vs. wrong, as only opinions, the more we will accept a kind of soft tyranny where the government takes on the role of “moral compass". They will tell us which way is just and which way is unjust, fair or unfair and you will obey or be punished. Religious liberty is a founding principle of the U.S. and watching its own citizens leading the charge against people of faith into this oppression may be the saddest part of the whole mess.
|You will obey or be punished!|