Homosexuals and Muslims Can Refuse Service to People and No One Cares
In the wake of Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of an Arizona bill that would have protected Christian business owners from being forced to provide services supporting homosexual weddings, a remarkable headline is once again making rounds. And I am betting you haven’t even heard the story.
While liberals, homosexuals, and other scream that it is nothing but angry, hate-filled discrimination for a Christian to refuse to serve a gay wedding, a gay hairstylist has refused to offer services to a woman simply because she supports traditional marriage!
First we have to understand that the bill in Arizona was for the purpose of preventing Christian business owners who believe homosexual “marriage” is a sin from being prosecuted simply for living according to their beliefs. For anyone that is unsure of whether this is a good idea, consider whether a Jewish person should have to serve a communist or Nazi group. Consider whether an atheist person should be forced to serve a Christian group. Consider whether a black person should be forced to serve the Klu Klux Klan.
At the heart of this discussion is not whether it is morally or biblically appropriate for a Christian to refuse to serve a homosexual wedding. At the heart of this discussion is whether that Christian should be forced, under threat of government action, to violate his or her religious convictions. There is a big difference and that distinction matters.
With the ensuing media frenzy and mischaracterization of the bill that eventually led to a veto you’d think that people in general, but especially homosexuals would be eager to “live and let live.” We know such is not the case and a story from 2012 reminds us of that fact. The story involves a gay hairstylist in Santa Fe, New Mexico that refused to cut Gov. Susana Martinez’ hair because she opposes same-sex “marriage.
According to one article the gay hairstylist told reporters:
“The governor’s aides called not too long ago, wanting another appointment to come in. Because of her [Martinez] stances and her views on this, I told her aides no. They called the next day, asking if I’d changed my mind about taking the governor in and I said no.”
Let me see if I got this straight. A gay hairstylist is seeking acceptance for same-sex “marriage” and an end to what he calls “discrimination” in New Mexico. So he is seeking “equality” and “dignity” for everyone and tolerance for his lifestyle. And in order to accomplish those goals he is being intolerant by disrespecting the views of others and refusing to give equality and dignity to those who disagree with his view.
This isn’t the first time a homosexual has refused to provide services to those that disagree with their views.
Last year Alan Sears, president of Alliance Defending Freedom, called a photographer about taking a family photo for their family Christmas card. (Read the story here)The photographer promptly refused to do the photo saying that he simply disagreed with Sears’ position on social issues. In other words the photographer refused to provide services because Alan Sears believes in traditional marriage. Sears showed incredible grace by simply saying “OK” and finding another photographer. That grace is also known as tolerance; something that those screaming loudly for evidently don’t’ know how to give.
Another incident happened in 2012 when a lesbian asked a Muslim barber for a haircut. The barber, following Shariah Law, refused on the basis of his religious convictions that he not touch any woman except his own wife. So of course the Muslim was castigated publicly and told her must comply or be fined or worse. Right? Wrong. According to an article on the case “gay rights activists have met their match in Muslim barbers.”
Why exactly are the religious rights of Muslims more protected than those of Christians. When a Muslim barber says he wants to live by his convictions and refuses to cut someone’s hair, the world nods in agreement. When a Christian baker wants to live by his convictions and refuses to bake a cake for a gay wedding the world screams angrily. In what society of reason, logic, and tolerance does this make any sense at all?
To look at one group of religious people and declare that their religious convictions should be protected while the convictions of another are denied or abused is absurdity and hypocrisy at its best.
Matt Walsh has written an excellent article on this topic with some sound, common sense reasonsing that is hard to find inside Washington, D.C. In the article “Problem Solved: Let private businesses refuse service to anyone anytime for any reason” Walsh says:
“Let private businesses serve who they wish to serve, however they wish to serve them. If they aren’t doing harm to others, or cheating, or scamming, or stealing, there is no need for government involvement. Most importantly: there is nothing in the constitution giving the government the right to get involved. This is the simple answer. This is the fair answer. This would negate any need for that Arizona law, or any like it…If freedom of association and property rights are to mean anything at all, private enterprises have to retain the right to make those judgment calls. The irony is impossible to overlook when gay rights activists use freedom of association to argue their cause, and then, three seconds later, insist that bakers should be legally forced to make desserts for gay weddings. Listen, friends, if you have the freedom to associate with each other, a business owner has the freedom to decline an association with you…We have a choice: we can have the government continue to peer inside our hearts and souls and attempt to prohibit and punish what it interprets to be “discrimination” and “bigotry,” or we can be a free nation where private property, freedom of association, and private enterprise are all respected and protected. We can sacrifice control and power to the State in hopes that it will stamp out hatred and racism across the land, or we can battle these evils ourselves, as a free and vigilant people.”
The fact is, this is not a simple issue. It’s not so black and white that you can say a Christian business owner that refuses to serve a homosexual wedding is a bigot. Neither can you say protecting the religious convictions of a Muslim is important while you simultaneously violate those of a Christian. The hard truth is that there is no possible scenario or outcome that ensures everyone will be happy. If Christians are happy there is a good chance homosexuals will not be happy. If the Klu Klux Klan is happy many blacks will be unhappy. If Jewish people are happy the communists and Nazi’s are likely to be irritated.
A world of ideological differences means that not everyone will be happy all the time. But that divergence of thought and views is what exercising true tolerance is all about. I’m in no way advocating for racism, segregation, or anything else that infringes on a person’s civil rights. I am advocating for a return to a proper understanding of tolerance and our Constitution that ensures we are able to live, peacefully, according to our worldview and convictions.
Furthermore, the idea that government is the solution to ideological difference is patently false and absurd. As Matt Walsh points out in his blog, it was people, not government that brought an end to segregation in America. What government did not do, and indeed cannot do, is bring an end to racism. Racism is not something to be legislated away, it is a heart issue. Tolerance too is the ability of the heart to respect the divergent view of another, which is why the government cannot legislate tolerance either.