Sunday, March 29, 2015

"Stop the Hate!! Don't Discriminate."

Does refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding constitute or imply hating homosexuals or hatred more generally?

This is a follow-up post to the previous one.

A commenter on Facebook writes:
You mention the example of the cake for a wedding, but might it be the case that individuals are afraid they might be refused service in a variety of ordinary situations? For example, an individual walks into a family-run sandwich shop and is refused service because they are gay? While I do believe that it is completely wrong to make a religious cake designer make a wedding cake for a gay couple, might it be the case that gays are more worried about the everyday interactions as opposed to the few special exceptions?
Yes, it might be the case that some individuals are afraid they might be refused services such as the ones mentioned.  It could also be that others are motivated by wanting to see business owners who, for example, discriminate against practicing homosexuals (or homosexual weddings), punished by the government or forced into acts they object to for other reasons (such as changing their beliefs.  Acts breed habits and habits sometimes change beliefs.  Belief formation is a grab-bag mysterious thing).  LGBTQETC... activists know full well that court decisions have the effect of shaping people's beliefs--since for better or worse people's moral beliefs are (in part) codified by state laws and court decisions.

Of course, those in favor of the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts not only have similar fears, but also fear the government fining and ultimately imprisoning them.  It seems to me that this is not an unreasonable fear (especially given the fact that religious objectors already, rarely win in court versus the government which can usually manufacture a "compelling interest" for what it does...except when it takes a moral interest as in Lawrence vs. Texas.).

Here is a good primer on Religious Freedom Restoration Acts.

Let me ask the readers this: would you have similar concerns if, for example, a baker is asked to bake a cake by a religious person with an anti-homosexual-sex message as was the woman pictured above?
If so, why in this case but not in the other?
In an email to WORLD, [the man asking for the cake] wrote that he requested two cakes in the shape of an open Bible. He asked that the first cake show on one page, “God hates sin—Psalm 45:7,” and on the facing page, “Homosexuality is a detestable sin—Leviticus 18:22.” He requested that the second cake have on one page, “God loves sinners,” and on the facing page, “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us—Romans 5:8.”
As for me, I think we are long past the time when many positive Civil Rights laws (i.e. laws which make it illegal for businesses or other groups to deal with whomever they see fit) have served their usefulness.  There is a such a plurality of races, religions, ideologies, etc. in the U.S. that one can find the necessary services for one's needs.  And as far as racism goes, we've come a long way.  I see many laws today as further polarizing people, while at the same time keeping lawyers gainfully employed as well as race and gender baiting politicians.  Instead of seeking the government to coerce people by fines and imprisonment to deal justly and fairly with others, I favor education and free association, compelling people with arguments rather than brute force.  (Still, I see reason for ordinances which would, say, ban the KKK from parading in black neighborhoods.  One should feel safe in one's homes, and banning organizations from using public places for demonstrations which have a history of violence and suppression makes sense.  This is the conservative in me, not the libertarian).

Moreover, there is a serious business interest to deal with as many people as possible.  In addition, "everyday transactions" (as the commenter above mentions) should not be as much of a worry to homosexuals as (e.g.) blacks, since one need not advertise what one does in one's bedroom with people who one does business with in most instances.  The slippery slope argument here is baseless.

Nonetheless, if one cares to sign a petition asking the Arkansas governor to veto HB 1228 (as I was recently asked to do by a colleague) one can do so here.  After all, it is a free country.  But I won't be signing that petition.  I neither hate nor discriminate.

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