I am nearing on almost a half-century of life on this planet, and I have heard those four sentences above used more in public conversations on political issues in the last six years than I have in the previous forty. Not necessarily directed towards me, but just shouted from the rooftops from people who are simply not willing to accept that people have a differing opinion than themselves. They know that these sentences are “red-flags” and will cause people to hesitate, guilty or not, on any discussion on the issues of the day. In other words, the overuse of these sentences has taken away their meaning.
This has been another interesting week in our country’s battle towards one social perspective over another. We had a state create a law that was supposed to allow people to have the right to go to court to fight over whether or not they’ve been asked to violate their religious beliefs or not. It’s the same law that is enacted in nineteen other states and is a federal law as well – one signed by President Bill Clinton. Some famous people – including one I admire, George Takei from Star Trek – have argued it’s not the same law. I’ve read their arguments and I simply don’t agree.
So for a week, the left freaked out. There were boycotts, bans being put into place by other states to prevent government travel to this state and other various activities. And it appeared to have worked. The state changed their law.
My opinion on the law is complicated. I believe wholeheartedly that a person of any faith should have the right to not be forced to participate in an activity they have religious objections to. This includes not being forced to provide an insurance benefit that violates your religious faith. It includes not being forced to open up your home for a reception for a same sex marriage – even if you do so for heterosexual marriage events. And it includes not baking a cake for a same sex marriage too.
But on the flip side, I think you’re a hypocrite if you do this and don’t follow that through completely with all aspects of your faith. If you believe same sex marriage is a sin and don’t want to participate in the marriage with your business, fine. But if you then make a cake for a couple who are in their second or third marriage – you’re a hypocrite. If you make a cake for a couple who had sex before marriage – you’re a hypocrite. If you don’t want to provide contraception for your business because it violates your beliefs – great. But if you then personally use any form of birth control for your family planning activities with your spouse – then you are a hypocrite.
Here’s the thing though – YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO BE A HYPOCRITE. I may not like it, I may not do business with you, but you can be hypocritical to your hearts content. We should not be passing laws to prevent you from being this way.
And that’s where I have my issues with the left. The left don’t just want the businesses to make the cakes or provide the reception hall or the birth control. The left want you to believe EXACTLY AS THEY DO. You are no longer allowed to have a religious belief that goes against what they believe. Everything is open, everything is ok and you, my friends, are no longer allowed to be otherwise.
Or else, we’ll call you those names up above. We’ll show you. That’s how they think.
I used to think the issue of abortion will someday divide this country. And it may, it’s still a pretty sensitive subject. This issue though, I now firmly believe it will split this country in two. There’s simply no way to resolve this and keep the peace. A majority of the right want to go back fifty years where people who were gay hid in the shadows. The majority of the left want everyone to not have any religious objections to anything they do and they want to force those who do believe otherwise to either change their minds, or be the ones who hide in the shadows.
And I, as a newly Independent person politically, who is leaning more and more Libertarian everyday is sitting here thinking, “Is there no middle ground? Is there no way for everyone to exist and believe what they want and live their lives as they want? Must everyone conform, either left or right, to a set of beliefs? Is that the country we really want?”
This really struck a cord for me this week, when a reporter went out of her way to find that ONE business who would openly say they wouldn’t cater a same-sex marriage. The business was a pizza business – and I’m sure they get tons of requests to cater weddings, because a wedding isn’t a wedding without pepperoni stains on your wedding dress.
Let’s not even stop and think about the fact that this reporter only focused on Christian owners. Let’s not consider that there are reports of Muslim businesses who do provide service for marriage events but won’t for same-sex marriage. Let’s not focus on businesses, like one’s in Colorado who refused to bake a cake that had anti-gay tones to it. All that is ok, right? Let’s only spew our hate towards Christians…right?
Imagine this reporter’s elation when she found this one business who said this. “Finally! I can show the world how racist, bigoted, transphobic, homophobic Canadian bacon is on a slice, once and for all!” I can almost imagine her rubbing her hands in glee over this.
And it had what I am sure was her desired effect. A business that did NOTHING wrong, received so many death threats they had to shut down their business in one day. Woohoo! Way to go liberals! Are you proud? You brought down the livelihood of a family because they don’t conform to the way of the left! Good for you!
Well, no, that didn’t appear to happen, after all. A growing majority of people who have simply just had enough of this nonsense, donated to a fund-raising effort started for this business and gave them over $800,000 dollars in just a few days. I donated too, only $10, but I wanted to make a stand against what I truly believe is evil behavior on the behalf of those who feel anyone who disagrees with them must be destroyed.
If I owned a business, I would provide birth control for my employees. If I owned a business that made cakes, I’d make a cake for a same-sex wedding – even though my religious beliefs teach that it is a sin. There’s a lot of sin in the world, and taking a stand in this way, makes no sense to me. If homosexuality is a sin, it’s not up to me to do anything about it. God will handle it. I have enough sin of my own to deal with.
That is me, though. If a business owner has a religious belief that prevents them from serving me, I’m ok with that. I will take my business elsewhere.
You cannot build enough laws in the world to prevent hypocrisy. You cannot build enough laws in the world to force conformity. And why do you wish to? Are you that sure that everything those in power believe is what you believe? Do we want a country of automatons? Just marching around with the same thoughts and belief systems?
My country made me sad this weekend. Both sides made me sad. I expect better.