I have not studied the recent Arizona bill enough to give its veto a full lament this today, but I do have a typical McDurmon caution for gung-ho supporters. I totally agree with the spirit of the bill: give people and businesses the freedom to act, or not act, according to their principles. But there are deeper unbiblical foundations beneath this issue which must be dealt with first. After all, if we try to build good law on top of unbiblical foundations, the whole will crumble in time. Something about houses built on sand?
The first foundational impediment is the larger umbrella of discrimination law in this country. I agree with Matt Walsh: the proper equitable solution to this problem is, “Let private businesses refuse service to anyone anytime for any reason.” But let’s face it: this solution will never be allowed to fly as long as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 remains in place as is. And let’s face it further: no matter how opposed to racism and sexism you may be, if you oppose one iota of that Act in any way, you will effectively be marginalized as a racist and a sexist.
Just ask Rand Paul. His debut into the public realm involved a fairly clear opposition to just one aspect of this law. All he did was say that the First Amendment and property rights ought in some cases be protected despite boorish and uncivilized behaviors, even including discrimination.
It did not take much pressure before Paul quickly switched his position and said that had he been there, he would have voted yes in favor of the 1964 Civil Rights Act because “there was an overriding problem in the south so big that it did require federal intervention.” So much for that one aspect of the law that forces private individuals and businesses in many cases to defy their religious principles and conscience. Apparently, Paul thinks that in some cases, that one aspect of coercive service is justified.
Well, it is exactly this aspect of this law which the homofascist lobby is leveraging to propagandize, “Gay is the new black.” And folks, I don’t care what you personally think about that slogan, the Supreme Court has already shown they will uphold it. The ringer in this case, Anthony Kennedy, has made this clear in his majority opinion Windsor v. U.S., striking down DOMA.
So let me be clear: as much I support the liberties and protections afforded by something like AZ’s 1062, I doubt it survive the current supreme court.
And I am not the only one. The recent cases you’ve heard of, in which bakers and photographers are sued by homosexual couples over refused service, are hardly random. In some cases, according to the Christian Science Monitor, they are “stings” by the ACLU. They seem to be hand-picked to fit criteria best suited for a Civil Rights Act, Fourteenth Amendment, “equal protections” –type case.
In my view (perhaps I can be corrected here), there’s nothing random in the fact that in the recent Colorado baker case, the plaintiffs were a gay couple from out of state. This would seem to make the case clearly one of “interstate commerce,” which falls explicitly under Title II of the Civil Rights Act.
In other cases, State law gives the needed protections, and where such law equals or exceeds the “protections” afforded by the federal law, the Supreme Court will uphold state law.
Of course, the whole charade is a joke in general, because the “protections” involved should also include First Amendment issues and private property issue, but these are obviously shoved to the back of the bus in favor of expanding “equal rights” for the so-called new blacks.
Now again, I agree with Matt Walsh’s excellent column on this matter. Whether he intended it or not, his is the view of the Constitutional framers, but is also the prototypical libertarian view: no one should be forced to provide services or enter a contract with anyone they don’t want to. Walsh is incredibly perceptive here:
Now, instead of making this an argument about “gay rights” or “religious freedom,” I think it’s time to shift the discussion towards the broader concept of property rights, freedom of association, and free speech. That conversation got bogged down by people attempting to determine whether or not the photographer, the baker, the t-shirt maker, and the florist were “homophobic” or “bigoted.” But that isn’t the question. I don’t think they are bigots, but it doesn’t matter. Bigotry is not illegal. Hatred is not illegal. Racism is not illegal. These are spiritual crimes — problems of the heart. The government is not omniscient. It cannot possibly legislate our thoughts and emotions.
We will never be free as long as it keeps trying.
So, rather than concentrate on one particular reason why certain particular businesses might wish to refuse certain particular services, let’s simplify things.
Let’s put it this way:
Business owners should have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason.
Now there’s a man with understanding. And what his point really means is that as long as the principle of coercive service is enshrined in law in the name of “equal rights,” we will never be free from some group leveraging that coercive arm of government to force another group to serve them on the state’s most expedient terms, even if it means oppressing a free individual’s religious principles.
And again let’s face it: if the by-far most libertarian member of either branch of Congress, Rand Paul, can be forced into a corner and flip-flop faster than Mitt Romney can say “47 percent,” you know we’ve got a losing case on our hands.
Yet there’s another, broader, even more sinister reason why this coercive power applies. The reason is this: virtually every business in the land is a corporation or some version of a corporation, company, or limited liability company or partnership. Virtually every single one of these entities is a creature of the state. As creatures of the state, they are subject to special, stricter sets of laws to which individuals are not.
This applies not only to those “big corporations” which we all like to criticize, but to every small one as well, including every incorporated church and 501(c)3. They are all creatures of the state, subject totally to its sovereignty according to its corporate law. These entities (virtually every business in America) have no rights outside of this code of law. And, this law is as interpreted by the state, not the individuals involved.
There is so much to say in this regard. I have no intention of even trying to unpack it here, nor am I yet equipped to do so. But the ramifications of this issue are tremendous, pervasive, and must be dealt with if we are ever to regain freedom in this land.
From a theological perspective, if business and commerce is essentially subjected to the actions of a creature of state, then we have to acknowledge that as a society, we have subjected the dominion mandate to the state prior to God. The dictates of men will judicially trump the dictates of God in the realm of business—that’s part of the “cost of doing business.”
And this is exactly why a perverse society will eventually assert the power to coerce businesses to violate their religious consciences: because the people have tolerated and profited from a system in which business is first a foremost a state agency rather than a religious one.
Here are two macro areas in which we must get right before God. And until we do, motions like AZ’s 1062 do not amount even to band-aids on the problem. They are more like flea bites to Leviathan.