The PJ Tatler

I'm Only Going to Do Business in States That Support the First Amendment From Now On

This protest movement against Indiana’s Religious-Freedom Restoration Act has gotten completely out of hand. The outrage is based on lies, misinformation, and propaganda about things that are not even in the law.

Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote in a Washington Post editorial that the new law says “individuals can cite their personal religious beliefs to refuse service to a customer or resist a state nondiscrimination law.” That’s a complete fabrication and the Washington Post allowed him to get away with it.

You will not find one word in the law that allows someone to refuse service to a customer. All it says is that the government must show a compelling interest if it’s going to force people to violate their religious beliefs and if people believe the government has done so, they are allowed to raise religious liberty as a defense in a court case. That’s all. Not one word about gay lunch counters and no separate drinking fountains, despite the hyperbole comparing the RFRA to Jim Crow laws.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence told George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that an “avalanche of intolerance” has been poured out on his state and the media coverage has been “shameless and reckless.” To read media reports, half the country is boycotting the state, taking their business to neighboring states, half of which have practically the exact same law. Even the NBA weighed in, bothering fans who wanted nothing more than to enjoy a basketball game by self-righteously declaring that they’re not anything like those bigots in Indiana.

There is a powerful, vocal minority of activists in this country that despises the First Amendment. Oh, they like it just fine if it protects pornography or the rights of children to receive explicit sex instruction in schools, but if it’s speech they don’t agree with — like someone having a deeply held religious belief that homosexuality is sinful — it’s considered hate speech and it needs to be banned.  They don’t mind religious liberty if it means that native Americans can smoke peyote, but the minute that Hobby Lobby objects to paying for abortion pills, all bets are off. They don’t want tolerance, they want complete compliance with their moral hegemony.


In case you’re interested, here are the states with laws in place protecting religious liberty, in case you want to consult it when you’re deciding where to do business (from the Washington Post):