There has been a lot of media hype lately since laws in the U.S. were passed protecting individuals rights to refused service that go against their religious belief. This seems like the prime time to present my thoughts on the issue.
Discrimination based on ones gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic background, abilities etc… is in no way a good or a positive thing in any society. That being said however freedom of association and religion is also of paramount importance. This seems to be an issues that is in a great amount of dispute as of late. Where does our religious convictions end and the rights of other start?
There are many good christian people whose livelihoods are being destroyed through court actions and lawsuits because they do not wish to provide a service for certain events. The cry of discrimination runs rampant. You can’t refuse service to any minority, most especially a gay person or gay couple. There are numerous cases of christian florist, photographers, wedding planners and even some churches that have been sued for not providing services for gay weddings. This act has been labelled as discriminatory practice and should not be permitted by any business. I would argue however that this act is not discrimination any more than a church open to the public won’t perform gay marriage within its halls or anywhere on their property is.
Essentially 100% of the cases I have read about the owner of said business did not refuse to provide services all together. Only the one service. In every case they were willing to do any other service or provide any other product other than catering a gay wedding. This act of so-called discrimination had nothing to do with them personally. It had nothing to do with the personal sexual orientation of the person asking. Every refusal was about not doing something that they felt was not in harmony with their personal beliefs. These business owners did not feel they could provide service for that event because of their beliefs. Not one case has been made public where the business owner refused to serve someone because they were gay. Not one. Every refusal was the event and services not them personally. Every case the ones refused were told we will sell you anything you want, and even referred in many cases to a business that would perform the service asked. (please someone explain to me how that is discrimination) No one has been prevented from getting married or even having the product or service they were asking for. Every case there were other businesses willing to provide said service nearby. No one has been denied because they were gay. How can anyone say that they are refused over sexual orientation when providing them with any product in store or any other service not related to a gay wedding was made available to them? At no point has it ever been implied or stated “I won’t serve you because your gay.” If anyone know’s of any cases and can provide the links or information of a case where someone has been refused a product or service where it was beyond doubt that it was refused because of their sexual orientation, as in all service was refused and they were kicked out of the business and told explicitly that they will not be served because of their sexual orientation, or any other clear and obvious actions or words, then I will happily support your stance that person was in fact wrong. In fact I will even join you in publicly condemning such a business, and Boycotting it as well.
The hypothetical situation that has been used to argue this insanity that I have heard most often is what if that was the only shop in a small town and no one within several hundred miles could provide said service as they are the only business that does? My response is how does that change anything? How does that give you the right to force a business owner to not only do business with you but to do so in a specific way and service? It does not.
Under the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms and the US is very similar it states
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.
Is refusing service not freedom of association? Every one of these freedoms listed effectively gives everyone the right to discriminate. If I don’t want to attend the gay pride parade or provide services for the gay pride parade that is not discrimination. If I speak out against it that is my freedom of expression and belief. If I organize a protest against the gay pride parade that is my freedom of peaceful assembly. If I refuse to provide service to a gay person at my business which I own that is freedom of association. All of these freedoms hinge on my freedom of conscience and religion. Yet despite this in Canada and the US where there are similar freedoms guaranteed you can still be prosecuted and sued for refusing to provide the service and found guilty. Essentially we have these rights, but it would seem that is only so long as our exercising them fall in line with current public opinion and state ideology.
Why are only Christians being targeted. Muslims won’t bake you a gay wedding cake either but there is no out cry for that. Is it because he has his religious freedom. If that is the reason, do Christians not deserve their religious freedom as well? or is Christians refusing service some how worse? or is it because Muslim are a protected special interest group?
watch this video hear of a Muslim baker refusing to cater a gay wedding.
The right to discriminate is essential to a free society. We discriminate every day in everything that we do. Every action is choosing one thing over another. One person over another for one reason or another. Discrimination is a healthy part of any civilized society. The only thing that changes is our reason for doing so. The only thing that seems to define what is right and wrong is what is socially acceptable. For example it is not consider OK for a christian baker to refuse a gay wedding, but it is acceptable for a gay baker to refuse a straight christian wedding. Or a Muslim baker to refuse a gay wedding. Why is this acceptable. Many will say well it’s not. But would there be a public outcry over the straight wedding refused. Or a gay wedding refused by a Muslim baker? How may Muslims have been sued for discrimination against LGBTQ successfully. Taking an educated guess I would say 0. Why is this? It is because only Christians refusing is not consider socially acceptable. Is this not also discrimination where one religion can refuse and the other cannot? They would likely be told to just suck it up and go to another bakery. The only reason is one is socially acceptable and the other is not.
When all is said and done, cases like this situation have become so rampant that it is not longer about real discrimination but public spectacle and get rich quick all in an effort to eliminates ones ability to express their religious convictions in favor of the LGBTQ community. It’s the flavor of the week. And these prosecution even if not successful still serve to punish those who refuse to comply with the LGBTQ communities wishes and whims. The ones who brought the case forward face no consequences for their actions and are considered perfectly innocent in the whole matter. Their motives are never questions by the courts. What these LGBTQ people seem to forget so quickly is that the rights you take from someone else can be just as easily taken from them. It is short-sighted with no forethought. It is worse than discrimination to vindictively target good people for your personal gain. The courts and human rights commissions of North American cannot be trusted to use reason and logic to effectively judge such cases. When such a case is brought before the courts the victim (meaning the one who refused service and is being prosecuted) has already effectively been judged as guilty and the courts are just a formality. With near perfect prosecution rates it has become a system designed to serve the interests of special interest groups rather than the public it was meant to serve. To voice an opinion contrary to socially acceptable flavors of the day has essentially become a crime. And this travesty of justice must stop.
And that is the gospel according to Andrew