Friday, February 21, 2014

Gay rights and religious freedom

Suppose a member of PETA owns a private photography company. Further suppose that the owner of a local butcher shop asked the photographer to take pictures for an ad promoting the butcher shop.  The PETA member refuses saying that to promote butchering animals would violate his conscience. Should this PETA member be forced by law to choose between violating his conscience or going out of business?

Suppose a gay man owns a sign company and someone from an anti-gay group wants some signs made for a protest against gay marriage.  Should the gay man be forced by law to make signs promoting something that undermines his own beliefs and lifestyle?

Suppose an atheist owns a catering company and wants to refuse service to a local church because she can’t in good conscience support an activity that promotes belief in God. Should she be forced by law to do so?

Suppose a Muslim owns a local trucking company. A small liquor store wants to hire him to ship some wine from the warehouse to the store. Should the Muslim be forced by law to do so or go out of business?

The answer in all four cases is absolutely not! To force people to violate deeply held principles is not freedom, it is tyranny. To force people to violate religious convictions, as in the last example, is even worse because it is forcing people to disobey what they believe is the will of God!

For those who are too young to remember, gay activists (not all gays are gay activists and not all gay activists are gay), began their fight by appealing for tolerance. They just wanted tolerance for their views and lifestyle. Now that they are a powerful force in American culture they have turned out to be among the most intolerant people on the planet!

It is not enough for them to have a dozen photographers in town that would love to have their business—they want to sue the one photographer who cannot in good conscience support gay behavior. It is not enough for there to be a dozen bakers, or psychologists, or printers, or caterers, (or whatever), they want to sue the one who cannot in good conscience support gay behavior.

This is not freedom. It is intolerant and hateful—and if they succeed it will be tyranny.