Thought Catalog.com 27 February 2014
We critics of modern society tend to run into a problem very similar to the one you encounter when you go to a bar with 27 different beers on tap.
Sometimes, we just don’t know where to begin.
That’s how I feel when I read about the progressives working themselves into a lather over that religious freedom bill in Arizona. The legislation simply solidifies a business owner’s right to act according to his or her religious beliefs (I say “further solidifies” because the First Amendment already covers this ground pretty thoroughly). “News” outlets like CNN, engaging in blatant editorializing (surprise!), refer to it as ”the anti-gay bill,” because part of religious freedom is the right to not participate in activities which you find mortally sinful.
It’s not that business owners want to “refuse service” to gays simply because they’re gay; it’s that some business owners — particularly people who work in the wedding industry — don’t want to be forced to employ their talents in service of something that defies their deeply held religious convictions.
This shouldn’t be an issue, but it is, because some gays in some states have specifically and maliciously targeted religious florists, bakers, and photographers, so that they can put these innocent people in a compromising position, and then run to the media and the courts when — GASP! — Christians decide to follow the dictates of Christianity.
Yet, the cases that sparked this law are hardly discussed. The progressive mob claims that this legislation is about shoving gays to the back of the bus and making them drink out of separate fountains. George Takei echoed the sentiments of many when he likened the Arizona bill to “Jim Crow.”
And here we arrive at my quandary. There are so many lies being told about this bill; so many ridiculous and offensive exaggerations; so many untruths, half-truths, and truth-omissions; so many dishonest tactics at play, that I’m utterly overwhelmed by it all. The propagandists are shouting from all around me, and I can’t engage them from every side at once.
If I had the time, I’d specifically address the continued comparisons drawn between the historical plight of blacks in America and the imagined plight of gays in present day. I’d point out how this is much like comparing a stubbed toe to the Holocaust.
We should remember that blacks were in chains in this country. They were literally treated as less than human. They could be legally murdered and beaten and starved. They were set apart, cast aside, and violently and systematically oppressed.
Not only are gays in a better position than this, but the two scenarios are diametrically opposite. Unlike historical blacks, gays are afforded special legal protections. They are celebrated by the president, Hollywood, pop culture, the media, mainstream culture, and most major corporations. They are hoisted on a pedestal by only the most powerful and influential people in the country.
Black people ought to deliver a sound verbal smackdown to any historically illiterate gasbag who even attempts to paint the slightest equivalency between the suffering of blacks and gays.
But I could write several pages on this aspect alone, and maybe I will soon.
For now, I think I have to do the work that the media, and even many talking head ”conservatives,” won’t.
Left wingers are busily constructing fantastical narratives about restaurant owners who wish to prevent gays from eating at their establishments, and cab drivers who want nothing more than to drive right past the gay man hailing him on the sidewalk. Meanwhile, here in the Land of Things That Actually Happen, nobody is proposing, nor condoning, nor anticipating, nor hoping for, nor looking to specifically protect that sort of thing. That sort of thing isn’t happening, and it won’t happen. It’s not an issue. It’s not real. It’s a fantasy. A lie. A total fabrication.
Instead, some see it necessary and prudent to stop private citizens from using the courts to force other private citizens to actively participate in a particular act which they find morally objectionable. That’s all. And — unlike the handwringing about the mystical Denny’s manager who might try to use the Bible to justify not serving pancakes to a lesbian — this is a real thing that has occurred several times recently.