Memories Pizza in Indiana has come under fire from irate liberals after the owners said they would refuse to cater for a gay wedding.
It’s the first test of Indiana’s largely symbolic Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which prohibits state laws that “substantially burden” the right of a person, a religious institution or a business to follow their religious beliefs. Other states have laws which force businesses not to discriminate against people based on race, sexuality or gender.
The entire issue surrounding Memories Pizza has been completely mischaracterized amidst the deluge of vitriol and outrage.
Memories Pizza never said they would refuse to serve gay people. In fact the owner said the opposite, that they would be happy to serve gays and lesbians in their restaurant, just that they wouldn’t cater for a gay wedding because it conflicts with their beliefs.
That prompted one high school coach to post a tweet which tried to recruit others to “burn down” Memories Pizza, another example of peaceful liberal tolerance.
To be clear, any business owner that refuses to serve gay people because it conflicts with their “religious beliefs” clearly deserves to go out of business off the back of their own stupidity alone. Selling a cake to a gay person is not the same as being forced into having gay sex with them. Treat others as you wish to be treated. Jesus Christ hung around with prostitutes and criminals. Fraternizing or doing business with people who have lifestyles with which you disagree is not the same as condoning those lifestyles.
So it would be monumentally idiotic for any business to refuse service to gay people, because of the reputation they’d accrue, but also because their reason for doing so makes no sense at all.
But does that then mean the government should have the right under law to force businesses to serve gay people?
If you believe in a concept called ‘individual freedom’, the answer is clearly no.
No one should have the right to invoke the power of the state to force anyone to provide a good or service. The same goes for forcing people into NOT providing a good or service. This is merely the mirror image of the Jim Crow laws. The government gun should not be involved in voluntary private transactions.
The market itself solves the problem of discrimination. If you refuse to serve a gay person, a hundred other businesses are happy to serve them. They get the money, you go out of business. There’s no need for government involvement.
What’s the bigger danger? Giving the government the power to enforce behavior and conduct, at the point of a gun, within people’s own private property, or a tiny percentage of gays not being served in restaurants?
And if anyone, it’s gay people who should understand how dangerous it is to give government the power to enforce societal standards, given that those same powers were once used to oppress them when homosexuality was illegal in the United States.
They’re essentially saying the government should have the power to discriminate against religious Christians and force them into behaviors which they don’t wish to do.
How far will this go? Will wedding photographers be labeled intolerant and fined for refusing to work at a gay wedding? Will conservative maids who refuse to work in gay households be hit with hate crime charges? Will parents be thrown in jail for not wanting to hire a gay babysitter or a private tutor?
This is clearly another example of leftists getting irate about a scenario that will never happen on any significant basis, while relying on bullying and intimidation tactics to threaten and shame any business that dares to assert its right of individual choice and freedom – whether you think that choice is silly or not.
It also provides us with yet another insight into rampant leftist hypocrisy. Apple CEO Tim Cook decried the Indiana law as being discriminatory against gays while simultaneously putting the final touches on a deal to open the biggest Apple store ever in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a country that executes gay people. Cook’s righteous indignation over the treatment of gays wasn’t so evident last year either, when he signed off on a deal to get Apple products sold in Saudi Arabia, a country that beheads homosexuals.
I don’t support businesses who refuse to serve gay people, and gay people are free to organize peaceful boycotts against those businesses, which they should.
But tolerance cannot be enforced at the barrel of a gun, because at that point it becomes tyranny. As Ben Shapiro writes, to the modern American left, freedom now means only the freedom to do “whatever the government allows you to do”.
“You do not have a right to my services,” writes Shapiro. “I have a right to provide my services to whomever I choose. If you believe that your interpretation of public good enables you to bring a gun to the party, you are a bully and a tyrant.”
This is the scenario. You are free to do what we tell you, and if you don’t like it, we’ll put you out of business and if necessary, men with guns will throw you in a cage.
To me, that’s a far more chilling scenario than a handful of gays across the country not getting pizza at their wedding.