In a rush to out-virtue signal their competitors, businesses are cutting ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA) right and left. Well, really, just left and left. In the most egregious example, late last week the First National Bank of Omaha tweeted, “Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA. As a result, First National Bank of Omaha will not renew its contract with the National Rifle Association to issue the NRA Visa Card.”
Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA. As a result, First National Bank of Omaha will not renew its contract with the National Rifle Association to issue the NRA Visa Card.
— First National Bank of Omaha (@fnbo) February 22, 2018
In a sane world, that’s fine. A business owner should be free to conduct his business as he sees fit, including with whom he wants his business to be associated with. Likewise, customers are free to determine whether or not they want to spend their money with the business based on the ways in which the business owner chooses to conduct his business. However, we no longer live in a sane world.
Under the new rules, business owners have to conduct their business according to the ever-shifting ideology of SJWs. For example, if an individual feels like he is a labradoodle and wants to kennel himself at your pet hotel, then you’d better kennel him (and with my pronoun usage I’m assuming that he feels himself to be a male labradoodle) or you run the risk of finding yourself standing in front of the Supreme Court wondering how you’re going to pay all of your legal bills.
Business owners who are conservative Christians and who desire to operate their business in a way that honors the God of the Bible have found out the hard way that they are not allowed to do that. Examples abound of bakery owners who have lost their business because they couldn’t, in good conscience, bake a cake for a gay wedding.
Keep in mind, the business owners are discriminating against an event, not a person. As far as I know, all of the bakers sued out of business have graciously and even happily baked cakes for LGBTQ individuals for things like birthday parties, graduations, etc.
No matter, though, because the thought police have concluded that Christians should submit their faith and religious beliefs to the doctrines of the sexual revolution. Christians must participate in events that violate their beliefs. Sadly, I’m fairly confident that at some point in the near future, a Christian baker is going to be dragged into court for failing to bake a cake celebrating an abortion.
One of the sticking points is that progressives refuse to acknowledge the difference between discriminating against an event and discriminating against a person.
In a New York Times article published last fall, philosophy professor John Corvino pooh-poohed the notion that refusing to provide a service for an event was different from refusing service to an individual. Corvino then concluded, “Freedom of speech and freedom of religion do not exempt business owners from public accommodations laws, which require them to serve customers equally.”
In other words, if someone wanted a Muslim baker to bake a cake with the intended purpose of helping to celebrate a Koran burning service, then based on Corvino’s conclusion, the Muslim baker should be forced to bake the cake.
I’m adamantly opposed to forcing the Muslim baker to bake a cake in that scenario. Likewise, I’m adamantly opposed to forcing a homosexual baker to bake a cake for an anti-gay marriage party. But, as a conservative Christian, I’m not allowed to write the rules. So let’s play by the progressives’ rules.
Playing by their rules brings into sharp relief the hypocrisy of businesses refusing to do business with the NRA.
And this brings me back to the First National Bank of Omaha.
The bank isn’t simply pulling sponsorships or refusing the NRA’s ad dollars. This is an American business denying the NRA access to their services over differences in political ideology. As I stated at the top, while I may disagree with their political ideology, I support the bank’s right to do this. However, as clearly argued by John Corvino in the NYT and codified by the courts that have punished Christian bakers for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding, the rules of progressivism don’t allow for this.
I normally shy away from this kind of activism, but at some point conservatives need to begin pushing back. To that end, here’s what I encourage:
An NRA member needs to find the most progressive bakery he can, and then request an AR-15-shaped cake for a Second Amendment celebration. Walk into the store wearing an NRA shirt and hat. Openly carry a gun if you’re legally allowed. Ask for the top of the cake to be decorated with words like “In celebration of the NRA.”
When the mortified SJW baker refuses, sue her.
In doing so, you may run up against the argument that being a gun owner isn’t an identity. Hogwash! If you feel like being a gun owner and an NRA member is central to your identity, no one has the right to deny you that identity.
Instead of trying to fight progressives’ absurdities with logic and common sense, maybe it’s time to start turning the absurdity back onto progressives.