The people in my country are fighting again over who has rights and who does not. I keep asking myself why it is that when most people push for what they call “equal rights,” they usually mean that they want to get things all their own way, even though it means stomping all over someone else’s rights. Freedom is a two-way street, and any man or woman who wants to have the “right” to live his life in the lifestyle he chooses SHOULD also want every other man and woman to have that same freedom.
Not so these days. As many of my national and international readers know, we are in a battle over whether our government can force a private business owner to do business with every single person who comes to him, even if he has reasons of good conscience for refusing to do business with some people.
It seems very simple to me. Anyone who owns a business should be able to decide whom he does — and does not — do business with. And why should I, as a potential customer, want to do business with some guy who doesn’t want my business anyway? Why should I want to make him money?
But I digress into whimsy. Let me get back onto what I really have to say. This post is simply my way of speaking my own mind and trying to look at the issue sanely. My readers are welcome to read and comment — as long as comments are mature and kindly-spoken. Or if you are the kind of reader who would rather not get into the heavier stuff, just breeze on by and look around the site for some of the lighter offerings.
FREEDOM IN DOING BUSINESS
So … What Is This Thing Called Freedom?
I have my own personal tutoring/editing business. And when I, as a tutor/editor, do not have the right to choose to work with one person and not another — for any reason I deem important to me — then MY freedom has been taken away. And quite frankly, if I am put in that position, I will most likely move to another country where I can still have that freedom. There are still some places in the world where they know the meaning of the words ‘freedom’ and ‘personal rights’ even if the United States seems to have forgotten the definitions.
I do not require other people to live the way I live. They can choose to live any lifestyle they want. But I should also be free to live any lifestyle I choose, and if I choose a lifestyle that includes quietly not interacting with some people — for whatever reason — then I have as much right to live my choice of lifestyle as anybody else.
And unless my business is connected to the U. S. government, I am the one — the only one — who has invested my money, my time, my blood, sweat, and tears into building that business and making it prosper. None of these other people have done one thing to assist my business. Therefore, morally, I am the only one who should have the right to decide with whom I do that business.
True freedom is a TWO-WAY street. but I’ve noticed over the past decade that our government seems to think that only gays, lesbians, and Muslims have rights worth fighting for. Certainly, they do have rights, but so do the rest of us. Where are the government interventions and legal battles on behalf of numerous Christians who have been robbed of their rights? It’s past time we started seeing a little fairness in our society. In fact, I’d just like to see a return to a little sanity period.
Let’s look at this situation more concretely. I once had an author request my editing services for his book. As I read the manuscript, I realized that his story was promoting, in depth, a demonic religion. The man actually had talent as a writer, and he was not offensive to me. However, as a committed Christian who tries to live every part of my life so that it agrees with and pleases Jesus Christ, I could not, in good conscience, devote my God-given talent, time, and energy to helping him polish and publish a piece of literature that I believe is a slap in the face of Jesus Christ — and that will lead other people into deception and possibly a life of demonic practices that will take them into an eternity without God.
As kindly as I knew how, I explained to him what was in my heart and told him I just could not agree to do the work for him. I did not try to pressure him into believing what I believe, and I did not demean him in any way. He also acted in a manner befitting someone who wants equal rights for everyone. He did not take offense. He has his own beliefs, to which he is equally committed, and he willingly allowed me to have mine without trying to beat me into submitting to his beliefs. He simply found a different editor who did not have a problem with doing his book.
I also have a friend who is a lesbian and a very creative writer. I have done editing for her a number of times, but she knows that I cannot work on material that promotes lesbianism because of what is in my own conscience. Does she take offense at that or run off to find a lawyer to take me to court to try to force me to edit her pieces that include lesbian subject matter? Absolutely not. And why not? Because this person cares as much about me and MY individual rights as she does about her own. So I work with her gladly whenever I can, and she understands that her works that cover subject matter I’m uncomfortable with will need to be dealt with by someone else.
Now those two transactions are from my real life. So let’s take a look at a transaction that has not happened in my own life, but which represents some transactions that have come to light during this political battle. Let’s take a Muslim baker. Suppose I go into his bakery and order a cake for a special event, and I order these words for the top of the cake. “Jesus Christ is Lord! Mohammed is a Fake!” Should that Muslim baker be forced by the U. S. government to bake that cake and write those words on the top of it? They go against everything he believes and lives for, and must, undoubtedly, grieve his own soul. Of course he should not be forced by anyone to bake that cake and write those words. He should not be forced to do business with me.
But here’s the real issue. I, as a person who genuinely cares about everyone’s individual rights, would never even think of asking that Muslim baker to do such a thing. I have more respect for him than that.
And my point is that he — and all gays and lesbians — and all illegal immigrants — and all other groups who keep shouting for “equal rights” — should also have the same respect for me — and all other private business owners as well.
These two real-life transactions — and the imaginary one with the baker — are perfect examples of enactments of true freedom — not the hyped-up liberal, bulldozer kind of legislation that we’re seeing coming out of Washington, D.C. today.
It’s time to get back to the original concept of “equal rights” in this nation and to get on with the job of safeguarding true freedom the way we were intended to do it.
11 thoughts on “Doing Business in a “Free” Nation”
And very well put Sandra.
Thank you, Dennis. I appreciate the support.
Couldn’t have said it better. Will be reposting this one. Lord Bless.
Thanks a lot, Lee, for reposting. So many people just don’t really THINK about all of this stuff. I hope just stopping to think from this angle will help some people.
I agree fully, Sandra,.. it matters not your reasons for refusing just that you have the right. This country is going through real dilemmas, especially with immigration and this terrorist threat… eg: muslims keep moaning about their rights, but they do not want to be part of the British life,, they want everyone else to change while they remain solid in their ways.. As you have said two way traffic,, there is a shop nearby and is owned by Polish people, and they are refusing entry let alone selling anything to anyone that is not Polish.. In this country there is a right to refuse law, but this is discrimination,,of course this develops into hatred…. They have a right but so do everyone else,,, what happens when other shops start banning Polish….just a thought… nice points..
That’s similar to what’s going on here. Some business people do not want to do business with certain other people — for various reasons — but the only thing causing a problem is when Christian business owners refuse to do business with gays and lesbians because it forces the business owner to do something against his conscience. For example a Christian baker gets into trouble because he says to a gay couple that he will not bake their wedding cake and put two men on the top looking like they are in wedded bliss. His own conscience won’t allow him to do it, and — the way I see it — the government should not take away his right to refuse to go against his conscience. What our government is saying is that gays and lesbians have a right to demand that any business must serve them. No, they do not have that right. I don’t have that right. Nobody has that right. That business owner, who has put all his own money and work into his business is the only one who has the right to say whom he will serve.
Here’s how I look at it. That gay couple has a right to get married according to law. And they have a right to have a wedding cake with two men on top. But they DO NOT have the right to force that Christian baker to be the one to bake the cake and put the two men on top. The baker is not forcing them to do anything by not baking their cake. They can go to scores of bakers who will gladly do it. But if the law forces that baker to do the cake against his own conscience and religious beliefs, then it is HIS rights that are being destroyed.
If I were in England and went into the store you mentioned and was told that unless I was Polish, they would not do business with me, I would simply say, “Okay, that’s your right,” and leave, peacefully and in good conscience. I do not have a RIGHT to tromp all over that business owner’s right to run his business the way he sees fit.
And, frankly, I still can’t figure out why anyone in his right mind would even want to do business where he is not welcome. Why give that business his money? But they do it because — at least in the U. S. — it’s not really about equal rights at all — it’s about control.
And it’s all about control with the Muslims. They have absolutely no intention of becoming real citizens of any democratic country. I have heard several former Muslims explain the plan Muslims have for moving into U. S. communities — and, no doubt English communities as well — and gradually pushing the limits until things get changed to suit them and their own religion. And the instructions to those groups are that if peaceful pressure doesn’t do the job, then they are to resort to violence. I hope our governments wake up soon — before it’s too late.
Thank you for commenting so freely and opening up the discussion.
Yes the right of these people is not the problem, but they shout racist or whatever when they are refused for the same reasons.. Just recently a survey was done with Muslims, they were asked if they had to fight for England/UK in a war, not specifically a religious one, would they do so. Many said they were British,….. born in England and all that rubbish, but when pushed they were asked to support one or the other, they nearly all said Muslim… I try to respect these people but they make it very hard for equality in this country… Indigenous to the UK people are getting a little tired of one way arguments and our governments are frightened of upsetting someone….I know we all have our rights as do others but equality comes with this as well…it is something one could go on for ages… I could probably say things that would upset people… A stage the world is our stage…
Amen. Preach it, Brother.
I don’t think the idea behind those homosexuals was to get equal rights. I think it was to persecute a Christian business. If they had gone to a Muslim business and demanded the same thing, they would have been refused and there would be nothing more said in the media. And the Muslim business would not have come to court and been fined. That is a fact, not a rant.
I think you’re forgetting about the racism that was practiced in this country before the Civil Rights movement. African Americans were denied service at restaurants. They were refused admission to hospitals and hotels. The baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple was guilty of discrimination. He was not a ‘persecuted Christian business’.
I’m not forgetting about discrimination at all. I have lived through years of serious discrimination in this nation — not only against black people. The worst discrimination ever practiced in this country — and still being practiced — was and is against my own race — the Native Americans. But that does not cause me to want to force some hard-working private business owner to do work for me against his own conscience. If I did that, I would be as guilty of trying to rob someone of his rights as all those other people who discriminated against me and my race in the past.
It’s an old adage, but still very true: Two wrongs DO NOT make anything right.
If we take the stand you’re suggesting, I have to assume you’re saying that my black friends who are bakers will have to bake cakes for the Ku Klux Klan if they insist on it. And if the Klan wants to prove a point, they WILL go to a black baker and insist on a cake that has a message on top that supports the Klan’s beliefs — just the way the gay couples go to Christian bakers and insist that they put the gay message on the wedding cakes in the form of two male statues (or two female statues) on top of the cake.
Isn’t that a little ridiculous, when the Klan can easily get any one of scores of other bakers to bake their cake, and the gay couple can get any one of scores of other bakers to do their wedding cake?
My point is that anyone who knows a person has beliefs that differ from his own — yet who FORCES that person with different beliefs to do something FOR HIM against those beliefs — is the person who is being totally selfish, mean, and hateful. There is no other explanation for that kind of action. The person forcing another to do something he does not believe in is the one at fault and is THE ONLY ONLY who is actually robbing another human being of his rights.
Kindness and GENUINE CONCERN FOR EVERYONE’S RIGHTS would allow the Christian baker to opt out of baking a gay wedding cake just the same way that kindness and genuine concern for everyone’s rights would allow the black baker to opt out of baking a cake for the Ku Klux Klan and allow the Muslim baker to opt out of baking a cake for a Christian who wants praise to Jesus printed on the top.
People can try to sugar-coat the picture all they want, but the fact remains that any gay couple who bypasses scores of bakers who would willingly bake them a cake and goes to court to FORCE a Christian baker to do the cake instead is NOT acting out of kindness and genuine concern for EVERYONE’S equal rights. They just want their own way, no matter who gets hurt.