Ever since the Supreme Court ruled that the baker was within his rights to refuse to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, I have been seeing memes and photos like these:
Actually, you don’t even have to have religious beliefs against Trump. A court ruled last month that political beliefs were enough for a bar to deny service to a man wearing a Make America Great Again hat.
As for the bakery denying divorcees… sure, go right ahead. That’s the point. You are free to run your business as you see fit, which includes denying certain customers you do not wish to serve. Although I’m not sure if that sign will help business…
That’s also the point. Businesses can refuse service, and customers can act accordingly. No one is forcing you to shop there, and no one should be forced to serve you.
But the most hilarious part of these displays to me is the reaction of the intended audience. Everywhere I saw these, the person posting was attempting to trigger Trump supporters or anyone who agrees with the recent ruling in favor of the baker and freedom of expression.
But the overwhelming response was, “Yep. What’s your point?”
And thus the OP’s (original poster’s) strawman fell apart. This just proves that those against the ruling–who think the baker should have been forced to bake the cake–do not at all understand the other side’s argument.
Hardly anyone arguing in favor of the baker’s rights to refuse service holds that position because they are anti-gay. The point is freedom of association.
The only total monopoly in the United States is the U.S. government, which we are forced to patronize, fund, and accept its “services.” (Though the government does help create many almost-monopolies by giving them special treatment, or targeting their competition with regulations.)
Otherwise, you can go somewhere else. And you should go somewhere else. And you should want to go somewhere else.
If you don’t want my business, I don’t want to give it to you
Why on earth would that gay couple want to give their business to someone who doesn’t want to serve them? That is who they want to support with their hard-earned dollars? They want to transfer their economic power to someone whose beliefs and actions do not align with their own?
If I walk past a cafe that advertises higher prices for male patrons, I will be grateful that they warned me against giving my money to nutcase feminists.
If I am refused access to a spiritual retreat because I am white, I will be happy that they prevented me from supporting a racist business.
I would love to be denied service for any reason because it means my dollars will not go to support someone who hates me. Thanks for the heads up!
It doesn’t matter because customers already have complete freedom to discriminate against any business they want (unless you consider government agencies businesses).
Remember when the head of Chick-Fil-A said that he didn’t support gay marriage? Many gay people decided to boycott the business. And that is exactly what a responsible consumer should do when they disapprove of a business–not try to force them to make more money!
As it happens, the boycott likely boosted Chick-Fil-A’s sales due to a religious counter-protest which brought crowds to the fast-food chain.
And that is fine too.
It’s okay that people who disagree with you still exist. It is okay that people you find reprehensible are not forced to conform to your beliefs. You all are free to go your separate ways. And that freedom to disassociate creates peace. Forcing everyone to conform to some subjective worldview creates strife and conflict. Let it go.
Were these truly sincerely held religious beliefs? Is the baker consistent in denying other customers whose baked goods celebrate something “sinful” like a baby shower for an unwed mother? Were the customers denied because they were gay, or because the cake was for a gay wedding?
These questions are irrelevant.
Most will find that discrimination is not good for business.
I certainly wouldn’t patronize anyone who was openly hostile towards people because of their sexual orientation, religion, race, gender, or nationality.
But if they don’t have the freedom to deny people they don’t like, then I may accidentally lend my support, my money, to someone with views I find reprehensible.
Let them wear their bigotry on their sleeves and let us see how the market responds. The mark of a civilized person is to see something they disagree with and be able to simply walk away. The world is a big place, and we are all capable of finding a community–a bakery, fast food joint, town, bar, or church–which accepts us with open arms.
And it is better that way. Your life will be more enjoyable when you surround yourself with supportive people who share your interests. You don’t have to antagonize people who are different, and you don’t have to allow them to antagonize you.
When everyone has that freedom of association, your actions help influence the market. Not just the literal market economy, but the market for ideas and values. Actions speak louder than words. Be the bigger person and walk away from people who spurn you, rather than trying to force your views on them, right or wrong.