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The New Morality: Crying Over Served Cake

Religious warriors must pursue the power of the free market, lest they empower the government even more.

by
Susan L.M. Goldberg

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February 27, 2014 - 10:30 am
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In this day and age, why would you be stupid enough to use your religious beliefs as an excuse to deny someone services?

There are plenty of ways to avoid entering into a business transaction without having to appear discriminatory at all. When I worked for a private repair shop and encountered a client who seemed to be more trouble than they were worth for whatever reason, we used to simply say, “I am sorry, but we cannot provide service.” If people questioned why (which they did, very often and with plenty of attitude), we just kept repeating the same phrase: “I’m sorry, we cannot provide the service.” No one interpreted us as being discriminatory, or went as far as attempting legal action. We were simply annoying, so they moved onto a business that was willing to enter into the transaction. No harm, no foul.

That is the beauty of the free market: You have choices. If a bakery simply said “I am sorry, we can’t provide that service,” and left it at that, a gay couple denied service might interpret the owner’s choice as being discriminatory, but they wouldn’t have a leg to stand on in court. You can’t sue based on an inference. Progressives, however, rely on the courts to push their agenda because Big Government is their god. So the minute you breathe a hint of something that could be misconstrued as an opportunity for a lawsuit, they gain home-court advantage.

By simply saying, “I am sorry, we can’t provide that service,” you may be opening yourself up to some annoying picketing and internet memes, but what’s the worst that will do? Throw you in the same court as Chick fil-A? We all know how well that protest worked out. The bottom line is, you’re letting the free market decide your fate, not the courts.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Explain this "Christian Power" that is suddenly lost that you are referring to, as it is a totally foreign concept to me. I went to school in the 60s & 70s and I don't recall Christianity being celebrated in any fashion other than we held traditional Christian holiday celebrations, but other than mentioning G-d occasionally, they seemed completely secular.

Since the 70s, Christians have been consistently portrayed in the media, on TV and in movies as ignorant, bigoted, foolish, hateful hypocrites. You know how when someone coughs on a TV show or in a movie, that means the character is going to get sick and/or die? The same is true re: anybody wearing even a tiny crucifix - WARNING! WARNING! - that person is either a murderer, lunatic or a blatant hypocrite.

I'm a fallen Catholic, still a Christian, in my 50s and all I've seen in this country is condescension, ignorance and bigotry toward Christianity. My liberal friends (most of them unfortunately) never tire of talking about how we'd be so much if all religion was outlawed, how Christians are constantly trying to force their morality on everyone else, etc., etc., etc. These are people who grew up when I did, in Christian homes.

So I reject the idea that somehow us Powerful Christians are just realizing we're losing power (since I can't remember having any in my adult life) but rather it's the fear that, in my lifetime, we will not be able to practice our faith in public because it will be against the law.

Next up: Don't Make Waves, Christians! You Can Keep Your Church Services, Just Don't Mention Jesus Christ! (since he was a homophobe and The State is The One True Power).


41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
What Christians are having trouble with, as you say, is the government telling them that their religion is against the law.

You may have heard -- or maybe not, if you attended public schools -- this country was founded on religious freedom. It's why it was settled in the first place. If we lose it, we lose everything.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
"It is not currently illegal for a business to deny service to someone because they are gay. "

The Oregon baker was not refusing to bake the cake because the customers were gay. He had made cakes for them before and was willing to make a cake this time. He refused to add the decorations (two grooms) which he felt was a pro gay marriage messaging that he didn't want to affirm.

Why do even libertarian and conservative arguments for free association presume that the reason is bigotry and hatred? That is accepting the premise of the left.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (109)
All Comments   (109)
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"Quit whining" was a bit over the top, Goldberg, when owners are losing their businesses, and spending thousands of dollars (and thousands of hours) to simply maintain their freedom of religion in a country founded for that VERY REASON. And none of that even addresses what a world our grandchildren will be bequeathed, iif we were dumb enough to follow your advice and "quit whining".

But coupled with your OTHER (perhaps wise) advice, to not use the courts, and therefore empower the govt even more, I think I'll pass. That is exactly why the govt exists, and thatwould be even more self-defeatingly dangerous. Wow!

Of course we must buck up, admit the reality that we will be persecuted, make wise statements to the public, not run to the courts everytime our feelings get hurt, etc. Up to there, you gave good counsel and we were with you.

Then you told us to shut up personally, and not avail ourselves of our God-given, constitutionally-guaranteed rights. That's when you went WAY into the ditch, ma'am, because we would be gagged and hogtied and take whatever the left dishes out.

NOT. GONNA. HAPPEN.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
For those who have not had the experience, this is called "firing a customer". So many people have learned what they know about trade from Hollywood and idiotic truisms like "the customer is always right" that they think they can behave badly when they do business with someone. I guarantee you that these guys were being pains in the @ss as well as requesting a gay wedding cake. I will just bet that if they had been good customers without being irritating, the baker would have just let it slide and put two grooms on the cake.

I will bet that they were being a pain, and that this was the justification the annoyed business owner used to tell them to go away.

To be clear, since I am on record here being grateful Governor Brewer vetoed that stupid law which would have been the only issue reported in the 2014 general, I think the baker is well within his or her rights to turn these guys away for any reason. Once we have a conservative government reestablished, we need to dismantle the structure of "affirmative action" bigotry and repeal all the public accommodation laws.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
The writer does not understand how these suits come about. Housing discrimination can be proved by sending out identical fictious couples, except for the race of the couples. The same strategy can be used for gay wedding cakes, photographers, whatever. I am fortunate that the business in which I am engaged is pretty much irrelevant: there's no such thing as a gay telescope tripod. (And I bet it wouldn't work very well, if it existed.)

Make no mistake about this: the goal is not ending discrimination. The goal is shutting up anyone who does not approve.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
the religious aspect of this to me is beside the point, the point is a business owner owns their merchandize, it is their property, if what they sell is a service that doesn't change anything, the bottom line is; does a business owner have the same right as anyone else to do with their property what they please?

the reason for denial of service is irrelevant because private citizens have every right in the world to be as discriminatory as they choose, the Law can only forbid the government to act in a discriminatory manner, citizens are free to follow their own conscious, no matter how vile the rest of us may find the consciousness to be.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I had strong opinions on this topic even before reading all the postings to date. However, some interesting thoughts from a few of my fellow commenters out here in fly over country have helped me stay focused. The first paragraph of DavidWNicholas, though perhaps slightly overstated, was closer to the truth than I, as a Christian was prepared to admit. Many of us, on one side of an issue (any issue) seem to me anxious to jump at any opportunity to become a martyr for the cause.

There are multitudes of ways to deflect hurtful confrontation. I, for example am a photographer. Unrelated to photography, I also have pretty deeply held convictions on the issue of gay marriage. Rather than decline the job of photographing a gay ceremony because is was a "gay" ceremony, I would have simply said that my schedule was full. If that didn't work, donqpublic's suggestion surely will. Pricing way above market, almost always does the trick. I've done this several times with people I simply didn't want to work with because they were known jerks or had a reputation for late or no payment.

Having said that, let me make it clear that I mightily resist any effort by government (at any level) to compel me to accept or decline any customer/client for any reason. With the exception of essential products or services (example: medical service) no business or individual should be prodded, threatened or compelled by any government agency to engage in any relationship, business or personal, with anyone. Period. Oops. I forgot about our lovable friends at the IRS. Maybe there are other exceptions I've overlooked, but you get the picture. Government, stay out of my private life. Woody (lower right corner of my profile picture) feels the same. ThomasO
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry, lying, deceptive pricing, or deliberate sabotage of a product or service are NOT biblical responses, sir. Be honest, and live with the consequences, tell the gay (and DO it!) you will donate the profits to DOMA or somesuch, or simply give NO explanation.
No one says it's easy. But it's sad to hear these ideas (using salt instead of sugar) coming from conservatives and Christians. I EXPECT that kind of crap from the leftists. I don't like it here.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
If the gay couple comes into your bakery looking for a cake and you say no with no reason, they can still sue you and presumption you are refusing them over their orientation, and then you still have to go to court. You are still faced with defending yourself and explaining why you provide wedding cakes and couldn't for these two people.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
In that case they would have to sue as well, and that can be quite painful for them. Still, nuisance suits are always a risk, gays didn't invent them. When you are subject to one the process is the punishment.

My company got sued by an idiot who was totally in the wrong. He walked off one of our sites and then sued us to collect for work he didn't do. He thought we'd settle just to avoid the suit. We ignored him because the cost for him to enforce the default judgement from another state was high. Essentially, the pain works both ways...
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is it really improbable that the couple would find a lawyer to represent them in a suit based on their inference when no other reason is given for denial of service? Doesn't legal action often involve setting about to establish an offender's motive when it has not been explicitly stated?

Is it really inconceivable that a judge might conclude that sheer bigotry must have been the reason for denial of service when no other reason is stated? (I'm not saying the refusal would necessarily be bigoted -- only that judges might see it that way.)

Somehow I can't believe that keeping quiet about the reason would protect a business from lawsuits by an aggressive interest group, nor from an adverse judgment by left-leaning jurists.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh geez, just go to another damn bakery!
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
The goal isn't a gay wedding cake. The goal is an America where everyone smiles stupidly and pretends to approve.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are 100% correct. The key however is that the solution to this problem is not another law to protect Christians as the newest gimme group...
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Alan Dershowitz has repeatedly argued that certain rights must be used, must be exercised, or else you lose them. This is particularly true of the rights contained in the First Amendment. If you shut up for fear of giving offense -- have you not voluntarily abridged the right to free speech? By being silent you nullify Free Speech (maybe that's why there is such a push for Political Correctness from Leftists -- to make dissenters shut up). Ditto for religious freedoms.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you. The defense rests.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
How can a free market function if potential customers cannot make informed decisions about the companies they may want to transact business with?

What if an overweight couple wished to hire a photographer for an wedding? They approach a photographer who unbeknownst to them has a strong aversion to photographing fat people. Personally, I would want this information so that I could hire somebody else. I truly do not understand why anyone would not want honesty when hiring people for such an important event. Would this fat couple want to hire a caterer or baker who could not get past the thought they should lose weight?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
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