I’ve heard and seen plenty on the Web about this whole religious freedom act recently passed in Indiana causing such an uproar so I figured I’d try and un pack this whole thing as best I can. So I can at least attempt to understand what is happening here beyond what NASCAR officially thinks about it or some has-been TV personality feels is happening.
I’ve heard this called a civil rights issue which I feel is a bit of a push, but let’s see if that’s a valid point.
I’d argue that most people would say civil rights have mostly to do with race and gender in recent years but, let’s say it also has to do with the right to not be violated in these three areas.
1. Your person
2. Your property
3. Your freedom
I think most would agree these cover most any civil rights issues, and if any or all of these were violated they would constitute civil rights violations, but I’m not an attorney and this isn’t a courtroom so work with me.
First: The argument I keep hearing is refusing to serve someone based on their gender identity or sexual orientation is the same as making Rosa Parks sit at the back of the bus. Which still has not happened as of yet, if I’m not mistaken. Yep, still no “straights only” signs in the Hoosier state.
Secondly: I despise all sorts of (bigotry) I think groups like the KKK, Neo Nazis, and the Black Panthers are an absolute embarrassment to humanity, and the epitome of (bigotry) which is a word that as of lately hardly has any real intrinsic value or meaning anymore the way it’s flippantly thrown around like the “N” word on a Ghetto Boys album.
Thirdly: I believe in freedom of association. Meaning I should be able to do business or refuse business with anyone that I please based on my particular moral standards whether they be of a religious or philosophical nature. I’ll explain using a few examples just for clarity what I mean.
As I’m an electrical contractor and routinely work with the public if somebody calls me with work and it requires me to violate my personal moral standards whether they be of religious nature or not I would refuse.
Let’s go with some hypotheticals here.
-A strip club owner calls me up and wants some new lights installed for their stage. I go to meet with them for an estimate not knowing this is the type of establishment that wants my services in advance, when I arrive there I realize I’d be capitalizing on a business that I have a moral objection to. If I did the work I wouldn’t be comfortable know I was contributing to this sort of exploitive (although perfectly legal) type of business . So I turn down the job based on my personal morals. Have I violated that owners person, property, or freedom? No.
So the “if you run a business working with the public you are compelled to serve everyone” argument should stop right here but let’s not.
-Let’s say I’m a photographer and I specialize in outdoor nature themes per my ad. I’m also an animal rights activist though. A couple of hunters want to hire me to come along with them and photograph a hunting trip so they can capture the memories of thier favorite past time complete with pictures of thier trophy bucks and them field dressing their kills. Let’s say I have a moral objection to hunting and refuse the job based on this. Have I violated their Person, property, or freedom? No.
-Let’s say I’m a photographer who specializes in weddings and a nudist couple wants me to photograph the event which, you guessed it will be a totally nude wedding, guests included. They personally feel this is a very natural and good way of life since we are all born naked and would like to celebrate this special day with some great photos. I refuse, because hey guess what I don’t really want to take pictures of a bunch of naked people, it would be awkward and weird. So I again refuse the job. Have I violated their Person, property, or freedom? No.
-Let’s say I’m a film producer and a ultra traditional hard line Muslim wants me to help him make some instructional videos on how to humanely and properly deliver corporal punishment to your wife. (Yes these actually exist check youtube if you don’t believe me) I object because I believe using your wife as a punching bag is immoral and don’t want to associate myself with this sort of thing even though this man’s religions is extremely important and sacred to him.
Have I violated his Person, property, or freedom? No.
Finally I am going to tell you what some are suggesting as of lately is the very definition of slavery.
“You own a business dealing with the public you must serve anybody and everybody regardless of your moral standards, you will have to check your religious beliefs at the door. ”
What do you call someone who is forced to provide the fruit of their labor to another party with threat of violence, punishment or legal action? Slaves were given food and shelter for the fruits of thier labor, so compensation doesn’t justify compulsion.
So there it is. If you feel so strongly about civil rights I would think you would allow people, anybody the freedom to associate with who they please. No matter how much you disagree with them. If I felt a particular business was discriminating against me or people I cared about for any reason the best thing I could do is hit them in the wallet and give my hard earned cash to someone who appreciates my business. No I don’t think refusing me service is a violation of my person, property, or freedom. I do think that forcing them to serve me against their conscience would be a violation of theirs. Why vote to have the government bully people into hiding who they are so they can take your money while secretly hating you? I personally feel boycotts and public shaming of deplorable behavior are at least as effective if not more so than the strong arm of legislated affirmation.
In saying all of this I can only see irony
and hypocrisy in the actions of a group of people who feel business owners should not have the right of freedom of association while simultaneously publicly supporting corporate boycotts of an entire state. Which to me sounds suspiciously like business owners practicing their right to freedom of association based on personal moral objections.