When Rights Collide

How would you like the courts/government taking sides and dictating what you can say, do, or who you associate with? How would you like to have one group have their rights valued more than yours? We have the right to NOT be discriminated against based on age, national or ethnic origin, color, sex, religion, mental or physical disability, or sexual orientation. But what do we do when one group’s rights are being attacked by another group? What are the courts/tribunals, governments and societies’ responsibilities in this matter?

Recently Indiana passed the state’s version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) which is based on the federal version signed by former President Bill Clinton in 1993. To say that the left and a few libertarians lost their marbles would be putting it mildly. To many of these people, it is perfectly fine to attack Christians for their beliefs – whether it be prayers in school, Ten Commandments in courtrooms, changing Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays or other ways to deny Christians their right to practice their faith. It is okay for them to discriminate against Christians but, Christians must not do the same.

In recent years it has been someone from the LGBT community going after someone who is Christian and has refused service, use of facilitation, etc. because of their religious beliefs. In Canada, there was one case of a lesbian suing a Muslim barbershop for refusing service due to religious reasons, which basically ended in a tie. Unfortunately it has been Christians who have been charged with Human Rights violations, even though “religion” is covered under the discrimination laws. Many of these people/businesses have lost in the courts/tribunals and have faced stiff fines, loss of business or their freedoms restricted.

These businesses have been targeted to cause them financial or personal harm. Why, other than as a form of punishment, would one pursue this avenue? It would be one thing if they were the only business in town that offered a service, etc., but there are many businesses that would love the business. Why ignore them? Why choose to use a location or service from someone whose heart wouldn’t be in it? If you don’t like a business or service because of their religious beliefs, then don’t go there or use their service. That is your right. If a business loses too much business then they will shut down or change their policy.

When people like Tim Cook the CEO of Apple puts down Indiana for this bill, and yet opens stores in Muslim controlled countries where LGBT people are murdered just for being, it leaves one believing that they really don’t care about the matter, but are just jumping on the bandwagon. Abusing a right to get people to accept your agenda makes one wonder if you truly care about your cause or just bullying people to make people accept your point of view. Why bully someone to cater a same sex wedding? Why not in this tough economy, take your business to those who would love your business? Why aren’t these people protesting/not doing business with those countries that truly deny human rights to those who are LGBT? If you want people to take you seriously, you need to stop the games and start protecting all those in the LGBT community, no matter where they live in the world.

Are we prepared for the courts taking one side over the other? Are we prepared to have the government dictate how a business conducts their business? Do we really want a bakery owned by a black person to have to bake a specialized cake for the KKK? Do we want an atheist who performs marriages to have to perform a religious wedding? The cases that have been presented in the news are ones where a specific “activity” would not be provided. Nowhere was it stated that the business would NOT serve someone i.e. bake a birthday cake, or have a birthday party, reunion, etc. They were just not prepared, for religious reasons, to do a specific activity i.e. bake a wedding cake or have a wedding on their premise for a same sex couple. The more we allow government to dictate what we are allowed to do or not do, who we must associate with, what activities we can engage in, the more we lose our rights and freedoms. You may have no problem with what is happening now, but how are you going to feel when this is happening to you?