A Piece of the Indiana Pizzeria Story You Might Have Missed. Hint: It’s the Part the Media Doesn’t Want You to See
There has been an overwhelming amount of commentary on the Indiana Religious Freedom bill (RFRA) and the pizzeria that made news for the owner’s position on the subject. I will commend those articles to you. (Click here for a good Q&A on the bill) But there is one part of the story you might not have heard about, it’s the absolute best part. This single part of the pizzeria story is worth every spare minute you have to read this article.
Just for the sake of clarity, let’s make sure we are all on the same page about what transpired this week.
Indiana passed a RFRA bill, essentially the same bill signed into federal law by President Bill Clinton a couple decades ago. It’s virtually the same law on the books in many states, Indiana was simply joining those states.
What the law DOES do: protect the religious convictions and consciences of individuals from being harmed or threatened by government action. In other words, it allows people to live each day according to their religious convictions.
What the law does NOT do: allow people to discriminate based on sexual orientation. In other words, a person cannot refuse service to another person simply because they are gay.
This is a common sense bill that should be on the books in every state. As we’ve seen, the federal government is eager to prosecute religious individuals simply for living according to their convictions; while ignoring the same behavior by other groups. So the law makes sense.
The media became obsessed with a small pizzeria in Indiana that was asked if they render their services to a gay wedding. Now, first of all, I’m not sure what kind of wedding serves pizza, but I smell a set-up. I don’t want to claim that the local news intentionally searched for a Christian business owner because they knew it would cause a controversy, but, it does seem probable.
The owner of the pizzeria answered the question honestly, saying that they would not serve the wedding in order to live by their convictions. I won’t comment on that right now, maybe in another post. What happened next is nothing short of thug/mafia tactics.
As you might expect, the news story went viral and LGBT groups immediately began harassing the owners of the pizzeria. Death threats were issued, hashtags were created, and it became a mob scene as LGBT activists smeared the owners and their shop mercilessly. Two mayors of town in western states prohibited employees from traveling to Indiana for business purposes. Apple announced it was seeking to relocate company employees out of Indiana (even though they are just fine doing business with “gay-hating” Saudi Arabia; irony at its finest).
You get the picture. The level of absurdity over someone’s honest answer to a question rose to new heights.
Click here to read some of the not-so-tolerant comments made by people lacking information about the RFRA; including the high school coach that threatened to burn the pizzeria down. H/T to Todd Starnes for his article carrying these comments.
Something amazing happened.
A GoFundMe page was set up to help support the pizzeria. That’s not too extraordinary except some of the people making donations are…gay!
I bet you didn’t hear much about this in the news. But this is too amazing to ignore. One of the people that made a donation is a gay woman named Courtney Hoffman. Along with her donation she wrote this message:
“As a member of the gay community, I would like to apologize for the mean spirited attacks on you and your business. I know many gay individuals who fully support your right to stand up for your beliefs and run your business according to those beliefs. We are outraged at the level of hate and intolerance that has been directed at you and I sincerely hope that you are able to rebuild.”
Sadly, I see more humble tolerance in this woman’s words and gesture than I’ve seen in a long time. What an absolutely brilliant display of genuine compassion for people that she disagrees with. And yet, that’s the literal definition of tolerance. To disagree with someone and do so civilly, with respect. That’s tolerance. This idea that the only way to be tolerant is to agree and support the views of others is rubbish. Ms. Hoffman has displayed true tolerance in a way that makes it easy to respect her.
People immediately showed their support for Hoffman’s gesture with tweets like these:
— KaliseN (@Kalisen_D) April 2, 2015
— darthsparticus (@sithschnauzer) April 2, 2015
— #HandsOffMyGun (@CHOWSTL) April 2, 2015
The tolerance and kindness didn’t stop there. Another self-identified gay man named Buzz Smith donated to the GoFundMe page with this message:
“My partner and I have been together almost 27 years. The Democratic Leadership hi-jacked the Gay community many years ago and continue to spew the intolerance of religion as they promote the tolerance of their choices. This is one big community organized ploy with the media to do harm to people with religious convictions, conservatives, capitalism, on and on. Love Peace and Happiness to the Family!”
My goodness. This is the real story. People like me have been saying for years that the gay community has been hi-jacked and is being used as pawns. But we’re ignored because we are white and straight males. But here we have a gay male saying the same thing. This is the information the liberal media is desperate to keep quite. They don’t want you to know that gay people like this exist. They want you to believe that every gay person is angry and offended by anyone that doesn’t agree with them.
While the comments of a few private citizens might never reach the light of day thanks to a liberal media, comments by openly gay radio host Tammy Bruce have made quite an impression. Bruce made it clear that the behavior by LGBT activists against the pizzeria and its owners is wrong, especially in light of where homosexuals came from:
“For me, as a gay woman, it remains shocking. You sit back and watch this frenzy, like a wolf pack, going after survivors in a way … a pizza shop. And if there’s anyone in the world who should understand the vulnerability of being a minority, of being somebody that maybe others don’t understand or relate to, the vulnerability about work and jobs, being able to live your life as you see fit, it’s the gay community….For me to turn around in the 21st century and see that this is what we were fighting for, so we could condemn people who are different, and with whom we disagree — it is the antithesis of what every civil rights movement was about.”
Watch the video of Tammy Bruce below.
Bruce wasn’t done there. She likened this behavior to the same behavior exhibited by LGBT supporters opposing Chick-Fil-A a couple of years ago, and called them bullies:
“I think that when you see a mob operating, there’s fear and you tend to retreat. We saw this with Chick-fil-A. Everybody came to Chick-fil-A’s defense when they were under attack by fascists, by bullies … the gay liberals have turned into bullies, when our work is to stop that kind of behavior.”
It’s true that not every gay person is as intolerant and bigoted as the news media makes them out to be. Then again, not every Christian is as intolerant and bigoted as the news media wishes they were. Sometimes I get the funny feeling the world would be a better place without the news media.
The bottom line is that every person should have the right to live according to their beliefs. If that means not shopping at a store because of their corporate policies or the owner’s beliefs, so be it. If that means supporting another local business because of where they stand, great. To spend our money at places that we support is the very idea of freedom. To believe that a business doesn’t deserve to exist simply because you disagree with their beliefs is the very ideal of fascism. It’s entirely un-American.
I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen and believe this pizzeria will survive. It is my hope that more gay people will support it and teach true tolerance to their not-so-tolerant fellow homosexuals. I also hope the owners of this shop, who have never turned a single customer away, will reach out to the gay people that have showed such incredible support and build a bridge with them. I can think of nothing more tolerant to do.