Problem solved: let private businesses refuse service to anyone anytime for any reason

Alright, let’s make this simple.

The simple answers are often the best. But there’s a problem with simplicity: it doesn’t give you room to grant a thousand exemptions, exceptions, and caveats to satisfy every lobby, satiate every interest group, heal every hurt feeling, and grease every squeaky wheel.

Simple is fair, simple is just, simple is consistent, but fewer and fewer people are interested in what is fair and just and consistent. That’s why our laws are so long and confusing and convoluted these days (see: Obamacare). Legislation is not written for the sake of justice; it’s written for the sake of pay-offs and power grabs.

Yesterday I wrote about the (now vetoed) Arizona religious freedom bill. I said that religious business owners — be they bakers or photographers or anything else — shouldn’t be forced to participate in gay weddings. They should have the right to choose who they provide services to, and how they provide those services.

Despite the expected influx of some of the most vile, violent, hate-filled (and super tolerant!) emails, Tweets, and Facebook messages I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, I still stand by every point I made in that post.

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.

I realize that now, legally, that right has been stripped, and it erodes more every day. That’s why I’m saying they “should,” not that they “do.”

Business owners should have the right to run their businesses as they see fit.

The discussion about the cases that led to the Arizona bill — the photographer who wouldn’t photograph a gay wedding, the baker who wouldn’t bake a cake for a gay wedding, the t-shirt maker who wouldn’t print a shirt for a gay pride festival, etc — only further highlights the urgent need to reinforce the basic concept of individual liberty.

I’ve seen people confidently proclaiming that a man who bakes cakes “should bake cakes for all occasions.” A company that make shirts “should make shirts for everyone,” they insist. A florist “should provide flowers for any event,” they assert.

Conspicuously absent from these declarations is any explanation as to how or why they get to set rules for another person’s private business. Can they decide on the hours of operation? Do they get a vote on the inventory? Do they have a say on what colors the walls are painted?

Ah, but these are “public businesses,” I’m told. Public businesses ought to be open to the whole public.

Yes, but there is one problem: a public business would be a business run by the State. These are private businesses.

Let private businesses serve who they wish to serve, however they wish to serve them. If they aren’t doing harm to others, or cheating, or scamming, or stealing, there is no need for government involvement. Most importantly: there is nothing in the constitution giving the government the right to get involved.

This is the simple answer. This is the fair answer. This would negate any need for that Arizona law, or any like it.

Don’t worry, I’ve heard every outrageous hypothetical.

What if a business goes back to refusing to serve black people?

So what if they do? I find this extraordinarily unlikely, but it doesn’t scare me away from my steadfast support of private property rights, private business rights, and the rights to free association. Obviously I wouldn’t condone or approve of any company that would put a “no blacks allowed” sign out front, but it isn’t up to me to make that call. If a business owner is racist and suicidal — willing to sacrifice his business for the sake of living out his bigoted fantasies — so be it. The market will punish him. He’ll be closed by next Wednesday. Problem solved.

In fact, if there is a business owner out there so filled with bigotry and racism, wouldn’t you like to know? If your local grocery store is actually under the management of the Klan, isn’t this a fact you’d prefer they make public?

What if they decide they don’t want to serve you?

Fine then. They have every right. Or they should, at least.

But if you think business owners should be allowed to refuse service to anyone, does that mean you’re opposed to the Civil Rights Act?

Yes. Parts of it, anyway. To be clear: I am not opposed to civil rights — just certain facets of a piece of legislation dubbed “the Civil Rights Act.” I’m also very much in favor of using secure forms of transportation, yet I oppose that thing called “The Transportation Security Administration.”

It’s possible to be in favor of a concept while being against a law or government agency bearing its name.

Of course I fully support any and all civil rights laws that repealed, abolished, and prohibited government mandated discrimination and segregation. One forgets that under Jim Crow, discrimination wasn’t simply allowed — it was, in some circumstances, required.

All the government had to do to help the civil rights movement was end its practice of actively infringing upon civil rights. The rest was already being taken care of by private individuals.

The social movement — not any bureaucratic decree — is what heralded in the era of racial equality. The lunch counters at Woolworths weren’t desegregated by law; they were desegregated in 1960 when courageous young black Americans staged a sit-in. The Montgomery Bus Boycott marked the beginning of the end of segregation on busses, and that had nothing to do with any law or governmental initiative.

Society gave us civil rights. People. Private individuals. Marches. Protests. Sit-ins. Civil disobedience. The tide was turned by free people; the government simply rode the wave. And, in so doing, they caused more problems than they solved. As usual.

In fact, I really detest this modern practice of conflating the Civil Rights Act with the Civil Rights Movement. I know I will be the easy target for blaspheming a legislative Sacred Cow, but the people who give all the credit to the government are the ones desecrating the heroic deeds of our country’s civil rights pioneers.

We live now in a society that simply would not tolerate a business that attempted to institute truly racist and genuinely bigoted policies. But there are still a thousand other reasons — outside bigotry and hatred — why a business owner might wish to tailor his or her service towards a certain group. There are even more reasons why a company might wish to put rules in place dictating who they serve and in what context they provide that service.

If freedom of association and property rights are to mean anything at all, private enterprises have to retain the right to make those judgment calls.

The irony is impossible to overlook when gay rights activists use freedom of association to argue their cause, and then, three seconds later, insist that bakers should be legally forced to make desserts for gay weddings.

Listen, friends, if you have the freedom to associate with each other, a business owner has the freedom to decline an association with you.

The fact that he’s a business “open to the public” is irrelevant to the principle. You are people who also exist “in the public,” are you not? We are all “in the public” to one degree or another. But we get to decide how we interact with the public, and who in the public we will engage and not engage.

This is why I wish everyone would stop calling this a “democratic society.”

It isn’t.

Politically, we are supposed to be a Constitutional Republic. Societally and culturally, we are neither a republic or a democracy.

If you have kids, your home (I would hope) is not a democracy.  Junior doesn’t get a vote or an “equal say” in everything. Bedtime is bedtime. Dinner is dinner. Eat what we serve you. Do as I say.

Similarly, businesses are not democracies. In many cases, there is one person in charge. They delegate, they make decisions, they cut the checks. They may listen to opinions (hopefully) but they likely don’t weigh all opinions the same. They hire you. They fire you.

The government — with its phantom “democratic principles” — exercises too much authority in this area already. It’s outrageous that they also get to decide who your customers must be, and how you must serve them.

We have a choice: we can have the government continue to peer inside our hearts and souls and attempt to prohibit and punish what it interprets to be “discrimination” and “bigotry,” or we can be a free nation where private property, freedom of association, and private enterprise are all respected and protected. We can sacrifice control and power to the State in hopes that it will stamp out hatred and racism across the land, or we can battle these evils ourselves, as a free and vigilant people.

This is not a false dichotomy. This is truly the choice before us.

Personally, I’d prefer the latter.

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794 Responses to Problem solved: let private businesses refuse service to anyone anytime for any reason

  1. Cocoabean says:

    This is at root a violation of the (coercively imposed) state’s role as guarantor of privately-held property (in lieu of being able to ourselves defend – and thereby retain – our own property).

    Not even really a question of free speech, free choice or free expression at all.

  2. michaelacummings says:

    Reblogged this on Cummings America and commented:
    Remember the old days when “We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service To Anyone” was actually upheld?

    • Wynema Gonzagowski says:

      It is still upheld… One needs to use some common sense. Simply say, I am sorry, I cannot help you! When a person goes into detail about WHY they cannot or will not serve someone is when they get themselves into trouble. Apply a bit of common sense and all is fine.

      • Boffo97 says:

        I’ve seen this reply (or one like it) made often in this article. It sounds great in theory but would never work in practice.

        You’re a baker. A gay couple comes in and says they want you to make their wedding cake. You decline without giving a reason why.

        THE first thing they say is “It’s because we’re gay, isn’t it?” (Remember, liberals love playing the victim/pity card), and they still go and sue you.

        So, yes, legal protection IS needed so that someone isn’t forced by the law to be an active participant in something they feel morally uncomfortable with just because they work in a certain profession and had the bad luck to have those of a different lifestyle walk through their door.

        The drawback of a lawsuit for these professionals far outweighs the drawback of simply having to find another provider for those of a different lifestyle.

        • Wynema Gonzagowski says:

          EVERYONE, not just liberals love playing PPFO (pity party for one) it is inherent in humankind… If they ask if it is because of their being ‘whatever’ the simple answer is to point to the sign or to say I’m just not available… BTW, it is not a ‘lifestyle’ it is their LIFE…

        • OR you say, you have to may engagements to take on their order.

        • Boffo97 says:

          “BTW, it is not a ‘lifestyle’ it is their LIFE…”

          Sorry. I don’t reduce someone to their sexuality. THEY are more than that.

          It’s a lifestyle.

        • Me says:

          Nice scenario you came up with, but how many times has that actually happened and the owner was sued? Coming from a family of lawyers, if you’re not an idiot, in court you would just say I’m excising my rights as a business owner. As long as you weren’t a total asshole to the customers it would never hold up in court. When you’re creating laws you have to base them around actual facts and logic, not just the make-believe stories you come up with.

      • Jill says:

        That’s what was done in at least one of those cases taken to court. It was the lesbian couple that pushed for a reason until it was given. But you are right, just decline service.

        • B.Hill says:

          What you say is, too simple for most people to accept. People are very, very sensitive these days to their own lifestyles. They long to be accepted by ‘everyone.” They probably never learned to accept the word; NO!
          My guess is that these people live in an adult body but still have the same childish tendencies that they had when they were a youngster. Many still live at home with their parents these days and on their health insurance. Never grew up!

          If a gay person wanted me to bake a cake for them, I would do it. But, if they wanted me to do any decoration on the cake then they would be on their own. No way would I put two men or two women figurines on the cake or write the names of two men or two women on the cake.
          Call me what you will but I find the homosexual lifestyle an abomination. I don’t hate the people engaging in these practices as their sin is just like mine. It’s just the practice of homosexuality has greater negative consequences.

  3. This reminds me of something my dad said when they passed the “no talking on cell phones” law (except with a hands-free device). He preferred that people hold their phones so he would know which drivers were distracted by their conversations and could better avoid them.

    If a business owner refuses to serve someone, he doesn’t have to give a reason. As soon as a reason is given, that is where the trouble begins. But if the reason is known, and you disagree with that person’s philosophy, then you know who not to be giving your money to.

    You are right, Matt. Too simple to be grasped.

    • TheApostlePaul says:

      *This reminds me of something my dad said when they passed the “no talking on cell phones” law (except with a hands-free device). He preferred that people hold their phones so he would know which drivers were distracted by their conversations and could better avoid them.*


      This makes perfect sense unless the person rear-ends you at 50 mph (happened to my wife at an intersection-she walked away, thank God), or flies through a stop sign or red light and T-bones you, or sideswipes you on the freeway when they fly out of your blind spot.

      Your dad either doesn’t think things through or isn’t much of a driver.

      Like I’ve said, one of the primary traits of a “conservative” is the belief that complex problems have simple solutions. Actually, banning hand-held phones while driving IS a simple solution, but “conservatives” also subscribe to the belief that ANYONE who intrudes on their “right” to be a jackass is a communist.

      • Myra Robb says:

        Said the jackass…

        Why does a good argument always turn into a “us vs them” or “conservative vs liberal” thing? You and your wife, as am I, and everyone else who has access to a car (notice I didn’t say driver’s license or insurance) have been given the free-will to drive a car on public roads and assume any risk that may present itself while doing so. It is what it is. If you don’t want to take the risk, don’t drive or at least stay out of cars.

        Your comment, “(happened to my wife at an intersection-she walked away, thank God),” is very accurate. Thank God! If you truly have faith and believe in Him, you’ll know He’s the only one that has control over our destiny, not the person using their cell phone on the road. What’s next? “All radios in cars should be banned because people might decide to change the station while driving and cause a rear-end accident or t-bone another in an intersection or fly through a stop sign.” Do you think auto accidents were created when people started using cell phones in their cars? No.

        Once you let go of trying to control everything, you’ll stop referring to others that take the opposite side of your argument as a “conservative” and will stop believing that you heard someone you disagree with call you a “communist.”

        Yours truly,
        The Conservative Communist

      • Jen says:

        OK… and when someone talking on the phone hits your car what happens? They have to pay to repair what they broke. Simple. This is why we carry car insurance. If they don’t have the legal insurance then they have to pay the state a fine and you can sue the driver for your money to repair your car. Freedom.

        As consumers we already have the power, why does anyone in their right mind want to turn that power over to the government? And the biggest question is if a business has already said they do not want to do business with you do you really want to have the government force them to give you service? Seriously? I know I would not want the poor service that I would receive. I would much rather shop around for a business that is happy to have me come in and spend my money there. Remember what kind of effort you put out when you are forced to do something you really do not want to do.

        I am so tired of whiny, lazy people who just want someone to do things for them because they cannot bring themselves to get off their butt and do it.

      • ChicagoRefugee says:

        Says someone from the side of the fence that thinks “free birth control or you hate women!” is a complex and nuanced stance ….

        • Jen says:

          And how does what you say makes sense? There is free birth control and used to be free clinics all over poorer areas. How in the hell is that complex?

  4. So…Matt Walsh for President?

    • TheApostlePaul says:

      Yes, Matt Walsh for President….because complex problems have simple solutions.

      • Jen says:

        There is a simple solution. Leave the businesses be. If you do not like their freedom to choose their clientele then do not spend your money there. It IS that simple. If enough people stop spending their money there then they go out of business. Hmmm! I know I have seen this somewhere in history before. Oh yeah! It was a boycott and drummed a lot of things wrinkles out. It is great to keep the power in the hands of the free,

        • Wynema Gonzagowski says:

          When the free know the facts then you are right… But do you think a business owner is going to post their prejudices for all to see so they can make a decision, the answer is most likely not! I do not want to do business with people who refuse to serve someone who is by all rights equal to myself and the business owner. I do not want to spend my money at anti-black, anti-homosexual, anti-Jewish, anti-etc establishments but my rights not to spend my money there will be usurped by people who say the business owner should not have to publicly say who they will and will not serve…

        • Jen says:

          @Wynema G. So, let’s think of all reasons to refuse service to someone. Rude, caustic, fowl-mouthed, belligerent, destructive, disrespectful, etc. The list could go on. Do I believe the business owner has to reveal why they refuse service? No more than a consumer has to tell us why they shop here and not there. I believe that even those people are equal to me, but it doesn’t mean we are the same. The beautiful thing about freedom of choice is also we have the freedom of opinion. I will personally not shop in an establishment that refuses someone for their religion, sex, skin color, or sexual preference. But I still believe the government doesn’t need to help us make the choice by forcing businesses to serve all types of people. I feel we should reserve the rights to makes our own choices. Believe me when I say word of mouth on a horrible establishment will spread like wild fire. Seriously, would you not tell all your friends and everyone you meet of your experience?

        • @Wynema Gonzagowski They don’t have to “post their prejudices”. That’s what social media, smartphone apps, and word-of-mouth is for. Locals will know to avoid by community ostracisation, and others will know by negative comments on impartial sites. Just like we now can find out when a business has horrible customer service, bad policies, or prices that are too high for the value received.

      • Many complex problems DO have a very simple solution for the major part of the problem, that then allows the other bits to be sorted out.

        Getting government out of the equation solves a lot of major problem-parts, letting the free market and the public to vote with their feet, write bad reviews, and protest their disagreements to solve problems.

      • B. Hill says:

        When a person doesn’t have the money to spend….they DON’T spend money. Now, that is a SIMPLE solution TheApostlePaul That is what Matt Walsh is talking about. Maybe you should rename yourself; TheOverlyComplexPaul

    • TheApostlePaul says:

      Yes, welcome to Matt Walsh’s America, where business would be 100% unregulated, and morality would be 100% regulated.

      Of course, anybody who’s actually READ history understands this would result in excesses that would make Nazi Germany pale in comparison, but most of Matt’s audience sticks either to books published by Rupert Murdoch or websites with the word “truth” in the URL.

      • Welcome to Pauls posts where any hyperbole applies to his opponents position and they are the spawn of Satan incarnate. Well, I guess nowadays you call your opponent Nazis, same diff really.

      • Of all the idiotic statements I have read of yours, this may be the most idiotic. Granted, I am a new reader to this blog. But I have yet to see anything like 100% unregulated business and 100% regulated morality being endorsed. In fact, I have seen no regulation of morality being endorsed. This proposed law doesn’t regulate morality; in fact, quite the contrary, ir unregulates it. It stops imposing a particuar moral stance on business people, and allows them each to use their own morality.

        • TheApostlePaul says:

          Except for the blanket criminalization of abortion. Oh, and what else are we to surmise from saying a “business should be free to refuse service to whomever it wants?” Sounds like deregulation to me.

          The argument here is that “freedom” means “freedom to discriminate”…I know you guys LOVE bringing up Orwell-if this isn’t “newspeak,” I don’t know what is.

        • Has Matt endorsed a blanket criminalization of abortion? I don’t recall. I recall a discussion about it, but no specifics. However, very, very few pro-lifers, comparatively speaking, want blanket criminalization.

          As for deregulation, yes, on this issue. But I’ve seen nothing to indicate that he eants complete deregulation.

          As for freedom to discriminate, how is that doublespeak? Because you don’lt like it?

        • TheApostlePaul says:

          Oh, and stoning gays to death. Anybody who thinks Matt Walsh’s America wouldn’t be indistinguishable from Iran under the Taliban doesn’t do much reading.

        • And he has advocated stoning gays to death… when? Please post a direct link, if possible.

          BTW, let’ls clear up a quick Biblical myth right here: simply “being gay” is not a sin. Engaging in homosexual sex is. As for the stoning, in order for the death penalty to be meted out, there would have to have been three witnesses to the same sex act. And since unauthorized entrance into another’s home is forbidden (done at night, you could be killed by those living there), the only way anyone was going to get executed for gay sex was if they were doing it in a public place, probably in the middle of the day. Seems a lot less horrific now, doesn’t it? Add in the reluctance to actually use the death penalty (it was said that a Sanhedrin that meted out death more than once a century was a bloodthirsty Sanhedrin) and this whole “stone the gays”; in the Bible thing becomes less and less likely. 

        • Wynema Gonzagowski says:

          It would have been a step backwards…..

        • Paul, can you construct a reply in such a way that it shows evidence that you understand what is being discussed and what peoples positions actually are?

          As it is you’re just trying to associate this point with whatever extreme and horrible point your mind can come up with, without making any real effort to address what his points actually are or put together a cogent reason to do differently.

        • It’s not Newspeak; it’s recognizing that there are multiple definitions to the word discriminate, and it doesn’t have to be a dirty word. You discriminate on a daily basis, when you pick this business over that one, ‘recognizing a distinction’, that one offers better prices, has better customer service, has a better product, etc. The shift of the word toward a definition of it only meaning ‘an unfair treatment’ ignores that it is self-regulating. It can protect a bigot, but it can also protect from a bigot. This way, it’s a two-way street, TheApostlePaul. You seem to ignore this also allows the gay man (or woman) to refuse to serve those he feels are treating him poorly, or with whom disagree with things he holds dear, as well.

        • TheApostlePaul says:

          *BTW, let’ls clear up a quick Biblical myth right here: simply “being gay” is not a sin. Engaging in homosexual sex is. *

          This is what we call a “distinction without a difference.” And, since every other column Stubbles The Clown writes is about how the gay rights movement is harming straight white people, it’s not a stretch to assume that if someone with his stated beliefs attained a real position of power in this country, they would have great difficulty putting the Constitution first and their personal religious beliefs second (of course, since evangelicals are doing their best to re-write American history to paint the Founding Fathers as born-again Christians, somebody with Matt’s limited education might not understand the difference between the two).

          The discussion (since I’m being accused of somehow being all over the map here) is whether or not Matt (or someone with a similar platform) belongs in the White House. Like I said, it’s a moot point: every once in awhile a freak makes it into the Senate or the House, but Stubbles would get absolutely shredded during the first round of debates. If Ron Paul, Rand Paul, or Rick Santorum are never going to see the Presidency, neither is Matt Walsh, praise Jesus.

        • ColdCase Fanatic says:

          That is what all you nuts WANT, not what actually IS, thankfully. ApostlePaul is right in that this Libertarian view of all or nothing is both dangerous and in most cases, patently unfair.

        • Wynema Gonzagowski says:

          Ummm dear alla… The Apostle Paul (2 words not 1) had no inkling what a Libertarian was 🙂 Your comment is patently nonsensical,,,

        • Wynema Gonzagowski says:

          Apologies on one thing… I wanted to delete my Apostle Paul comment and would have but had no access to do so… I misunderstood your posting due to the fact that when responding to one of these dang things that pop up in my mailbox it simply takes me to response and not the actual thread…

      • TheApostlePaul says:

        It’s actually a moot point, because America (thank God) has a pretty good track record of keeping evangelical nutcases out of the White House (although we dodged a bullet with Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin).

        The only way Matt Walsh will ever see the inside of the Oval Office is if, while appeasing every right-wing fantasy about minorities and abortion and gay rights, he puts on his knee-pads, grabs Goldman Sachs’ schween in one hand and Monsanto’s in the other, and blows his way to freedom. And, even THEN, he’d be a complete basket case as a President unless he ignored months’ worth of pleadings from the intelligence community about an imminent terrorist attack in the United States, and then his puppet-masters took the reigns. But….that couldn’t happen here, could it?

        • Miriam says:

          I don’t understand your point with your crude reference to Goldman Sachs and Monsanto. Are you saying they call the shots in the White House? If that’s what it takes to get a place in the Democrat run White House, then maybe you should think a bit more before you mock so-called ” right wingers”

        • Jen says:

          Paul we got the polar opposite in the White House and now we are all headed to broke. A welfare recipient makes more annually than my son’s teacher. NO joke!

        • Would you in fact be capable of passing a Turing test Paul?

          Miriam, it’s unsafe to assume there is a point to be made.

        • TheApostlePaul says:

          *I don’t understand your point with your crude reference to Goldman Sachs and Monsanto. Are you saying they call the shots in the White House?*

          It was actually a reference to the Bush Crime Family’s reign of terror during the 2000s. Anybody who accuses Obama of being a corporate puppet has a very short memory.

          Democratic Presidents, unfortunately, have to make a deal with the Devil at some point (for instance, when Bill Clinton deregulated the telecommunications industry and signed NAFTA). Republican Presidents, on the other hand, give the Devil the keys to the Lincoln Bedroom.

        • TheApostlePaul says:

          *Would you in fact be capable of passing a Turing test Paul?*

          ?? I don’t know, but I’d high-tail it out of Milgram’s Experiment 18 pretty quickly. Of course, I’m better at questioning authority that most of the people who will read this.

        • With that reply I’d say you’ve confirmed yourself to be an AI script that cites random conspiracy related things related too “Blogownername”.

          I’ve seen better 😀

        • Jen says:

          @TheApostlePaul…. Oh my how short a memory we have. You want to bring the Clinton’s into this. Lest we forget the selling of secrets to our enemy and letting them sleep in the Lincoln bedroom. That was not the Bush crew. No, that was not. Or what seemed to happen to all of the employee connected to their scandal? No President is perfect, but it is how bad they hurt America that is the problem. The current administration is just as guilty as any others or worse. Right now the government has its hand in too many facets of our personal lives now and you want to give them the blessing to tell you who you have to do business with. I want to spend my money where I would like. I look at the reviews of a business before going in and I leave a review on Google or Yelp when I have gone somewhere. Whether positive or negative you can find reviews for just about any business, thus giving the consumer the power.

  5. cynque says:

    Spot on!

  6. Doug McGee says:

    This article hass too much common sense. The government could never grasp this concept. Where does it stop. Would a black owned catering business be forced to cater a KKK rally? It is called supply and demand. If someone does not want to service you, then just find someone who does. Why would you want to force someone to cater, photograph, etc.. an event. You are probably going to get sub-standard service.

  7. Keith R says:

    For those who think that private businesses should serve everyone: Do you believe that a teenage babysitter should be legally required to go babysit for any house that requests her services? Or does she, as a private citizen, have the right to screen her clients?

  8. sandy says:

    I think that Word Press and all other blog servers should refuse to allow men your age that look and talk like you to blog……how’s that sound?

    • Ann says:

      If you owned a blog server and refused to publish Matt’s blog, do you think he should be able to sue you for being bigoted and get a judge to force you to carry it? Or should he just find another blog server?

    • Terrible, you don’t own those servers. If they wanted to refuse service it would be their prerogative as its their business. What you think doesn’t matter at all in that transaction. You’re just a typical control freak overreaching, the kind of person that creates these problems in the first place.

    • Jen says:

      I think if you do not like the blog then stop reading it. That simple. If you do not like the way an establishment does business then go somewhere else. It IS that simple.

      • Jason D says:

        I couldn’t agree more, I need more friends like you!! 🙂

        • If you’re in the wedding business, get out of it if gay people upset you that much. Wow, isn’t that easy?

        • So, government has the power to decide what businesses a person can and cannot be in, based on their religious views? I’ve rechecked the Constitution, and I don’t see that anywhere.

        • Government isn’t deciding anything. Just as you can easily dictate to a gay couple to go find another baker, why can’t we just as easily dictate to the baker to go find another business if gay people upset him so much?

  9. Occam's Chainsaw says:

    I said this on the other post, but I’m pretty sure Jesus’s main message was “love thy neighbor,” which I take to mean that good, true Christians should be happy to serve all people, no matter their sexual orientation. In other words, please stop using Jesus’s name to be a dick to people.

    • Silenceisbliss says:

      Mr Walsh is not using God or Jesus in this or the previous blog. He shouldn’t if he wanted to get a point across to all kinds of people which applies to all people. (Atheists, christians, budhists, etc..)

      But even if it was about loving your neighbor, doing good (love) to people does’t mean to do everything people ask you to. Your point doesn’t stand.

    • Kels says:

      You’re right- Jesus did say that. But loving your neighbor doesn’t mean you have to agree with them or participate in whatever they think is right. You have to love them no matter their sexual orientation, but that does not mean that a business that believes homosexuality to be a sin (like it says in the Bible) has to help them celebrate an event that obviously goes against their morals.

      • Occam's Chainsaw says:

        What, then, is your definition of love? Mine is support and respect for your fellow man, no matter who they are. Not treating them like second-class citizens simply because you don’t agree with who they are.

        The Bible says very, very many things are sins, and yet those sinners I’m sure get served no problem. I don’t think you’d see too many vendors turning away couples on their second or third marriages (divorcees), unwed mothers, people who enjoy a nice shrimp cocktail every now and then, or couples who want to wear polyester during their nuptials. I cannot stand, above all else, hypocrisy, and this would-be law reeks of it.

        • You should read this:

        • And you would, in turn, be free to refuse service to those you think are hypocrites, if you chose to do so. You can start a men’s or women’s only gym. You can refuse to bake a cake for Westboro fake church that says they hate gays. When people tout ‘discrimination’, they usually mean to protect certain groups of people, ones they obviously discriminated are unable to protect themselves. If a baker doesn’t want to make you a cake because you are gay, find a different baker. If you don’t want to cut the hair of someone you think is a gay-bigot, make them find a different hairdresser. See how that works, how it is equally applied?

        • If you repent of engaging in homosexual acts, you are forgiven and free to come to my church. But repentance means acknowledging that you are wrong and working to change your life to not include such acts. Yes, we have alcoholics who relapse, but none who don’t think it’s wrong to be a drunk. We have people who are divorced, but non who haven’t sought forgiveness for their sin. I’m sure almost every Christian has skeletons in the closet that he would not be proud of, me included. I still ask for forgiveness for those sins as well. In the mean time, I certainly don’t brag about them. I keep them IN THE CLOSET so that I don’t offend people. I will respect your privacy as long as it’s private. I will respect your right to freedom as long as you respect my right not to watch what you are doing.
          And finally, God is the final judge. If there are truly some hypocrites in the church who really aren’t sorry, really don’t think they are wrong, only God knows who they are. But God is the final judge, not me. We speak to people of spiritual danger. We warn. We don’t force people to believe the danger or to heed the warnings.

      • Wow, what arrogance. So you know how God feels about homosexuality, but gays do not and gays need to start listening to you, right? Sorry, God does not condemn homosexuality and no matter how many times you parrot the opposite, your whining won’t become true.

        • Ed says:

          Conjugal love is given by GOD to husband and wife. Brotherly AND sisterly love is given by GOD for man and man and woman and woman and even man and woman. Paul, the apostle, loved Timothy as a brother, not as a mate. JESUS LOVES us all with agape love, which is the greatest love of all.
          We are not to judge one and other, but judge the sin. JESUS SAID, I DIDN’T COME INTO THE WORLD TO JUDGE BUT TO SAVE SINNERS. When JESUS stopped the crowd from stoning the adultress, HE asked her, where are your accusers, there were none there and HE said, neither do I accuse you, go and sin no more.
          We need to live and preach the Gospel of JESUS, HIS last COMMAND, to bring others into the kingdom, just as JESUS did. This is the way to defeat Satan.

        • Tony says:

          Actually, I would submit that nobody on earth actually knows how God feels on the topic. You could argue against that, but you don’t actually have any evidence to the contrary, so it’s a useless argument.

          So given that I’m right and nobody on earth knows God’s mind, it is therefore unknown whether he is accepting or not accepting of homosexuality.

          Since we don’t know for sure which way it is, the only thing we have is our beliefs. Some believe that he is not accepting, some believe that he is accepting, but both are just that, beliefs.

          I agree, the side saying homosexuality is bad needs to stop worrying about making the other side agree with them. However, the opposite is just as true, the people saying homosexuality is good needs to stop trying to get the other side to agree with them as well.

          It is possible to have legal equality without accepting the other side’s point of view. Just agree to disagree.

        • Problem is homosexuality is neither good nor bad much like heterosexuality is neither good nor bad, right-handedness is neither good nor bad, and left-handedness is neither good nor bad. Sometimes, things just are and then people come along and make things good or bad over the stupidest of reasons.

        • In YOUR opinion. But the government cannot involve itself in such opinions, of the First Amendment’s religious clauses mean precisely ZERO.

        • No, not an opinion, but an interpretation of facts as we know them. Sexual orientation and handedness are neither good nor bad traits. Some people are Hell bent on assigning those qualities of good and bad without any logical justification other than that’s what they were taught ever since they were kids.

        • Tony says:

          “Problem is homosexuality is neither good nor bad much like heterosexuality is neither good nor bad”,

          Yes, you’re entitled to your belief as is anyone else. Your statement is not fact, it’s a belief.

          “right-handedness is neither good nor bad, and left-handedness is neither good nor bad.”

          only difference here is that people are actually born left or right handed, scientists have found that humans have absolutely no difference in the brains of people who later become straight or gay, which at that point do have differences. So if you use logic and reason and science, homsexuality is learned not born. So not your best argument.

          “Sometimes, things just are and then people come along and make things good or bad over the stupidest of reasons.”

          Some people are sociopaths, is it okay for them to murder people? Maybe just because you are something doesn’t mean it’s okay for you to do something? Actually the Catholic Church has nothing against homosexuals, they only ask everyone not to do homosexual acts. There’s a difference between having urges and following through with them.

        • No, researchers have found significant differences between gay and straight brains.

          See? Saying there are no differences doesn’t make your stance true.

        • Felipe says:

          “But researchers say many questions remain about all this research. And there are as many differences within groups individuals of the same sexual orientation as between those of different orientation. Moreover, the new work involved adults, meaning there is no way to know with certainty when the structures and connections formed and why.”

          Literal from your “research paper”

          So let me come back at you with your own statement: saying there are differences doesn’t make your stance true.

        • No, the research clearly states there are differences between gay and straight brains so your statement that there are no differences is clearly false. The questions arise in interpreting what those differences mean and how they arose. That is what science does – makes an observation and then begins to answer the questions.

          The real question for purposes of this debate is are you going to continue to maintain that there are no differences between gay and straight brains (clearly a false statement) or are you going to look at the research in the last six years since this paper was published that may address some of the questions presented?

        • Felipe says:

          I think you didn’t read the quote carefully enough, particulalrly this part: “And there are as many differences within groups individuals of the same sexual orientation as between those of different orientation” so the (implied) fact that differences exist “only” between heterosexual and homosexual brains is (let me use one of your phrases again) “clearly a false statement”. What your -far from conclusive- research suggests (putting huffpost´s heading aside) is merely the existence of certain differences among the brains that were tested. The rest is pure activist speculation. Lobbies have unsuccessfuly been trying to state that there is science to back your point for decades my friend…

        • Ok, since you are either too lazy or two homophobic to do the research, here’s more current research that builds on the 2008 research. Again, the research doesn’t answer all the questions (research rarely does), but does get us closer to being able to affirm that there is a genetic component to sexual orientation. So now your declaration that “activists” have been trying to “back your point for decades” is clearly another false statement in addition to your declaration that there is no differences between a gay and straight brain. One more false statement, and you’re out.

          Oh, this time we used National Geographic instead of Huffington. National Geographic thoroughly vets their writers whereas Huffington will let anyone write. Heck, they’ve published Matt so that should tell you something.

      • Yeah, we like to think that “love” and “tolerance” are the same thing. We don’t like to read the part of Ezekiel where God tells Ezekiel that, if he refuses to tell his neighbor that he is off track and the neighbor gets condemned by God, that God will also condemn Ezekiel for keeping his mouth shut–tolerance, in other words. Tolerance is a funny thing, too, because it’s oh so necessary in one instance and intolerable in another. When I refuse to accept your beliefs, you must respect my right to disagree. But when you refuse to accept my beliefs, which “everyone knows to be correct”, then I absolutely cannot tolerate your intolerance!

        Because I love my child, I do not tolerate him playing in a busy street. Because I love my child, I do not tolerate him playing with matches or knives in the kitchen. Because I love my child, I do not tolerate him watching porn that turns women into sex objects. Because I love my country, I speak out against things that are bad for society. Because I love my neighbor, I speak to him when I believe his actions are dangerous. When I don’t love someone, I am tolerant. I keep my mouth shut, let him do as he pleases. It’s not my problem if he gets hurt.

        • Occam's Chainsaw says:

          And you seem to not like to read Exodus 21:7. When, exactly, are you going to sell your child into slavery, as the Bible says is cool? You seem to not like to read Exodus 35:2. When was the last time you killed a worker who served you on a Sunday, as is decreed by the Bible? Never? That’s what I thought. You seem to not like to read Deuternonomy 22:11 or 19:19. I’m willing to bet you have several nice polyblends in your closet. At this very moment.

          Here’s the thing: If you’re going to keep going back to ancient texts in order to belittle people and be cruel to them in today’s world, then you must follow all these ancient texts. ALL OF THEM, and follow them to the letter in today’s world. If you don’t, you’re a coward, and worse, a hypocrite. What’s that you say? Slavery is against the law? Murder on a Sunday is against the law (just as it is every other day)? That should tell you something. Welcome to the 21st century.

        • Thank you for your interest in the civil codes of ancient Israel. While I agree that our society would probably be better if we followed some of them, the fact is that America is not ancient Israel and has its own civil codes. As for what is said in Ezekiel, that is a prophetic writing and deals with a spiritual situation of accountability to God in the next life, having, once again, no bearing on a person in this life. Since, however, Christians believe in a next life, it only makes sense to follow spiritual directives which have a bearing on it.

        • Occam's Chainsaw says:

          Also, how exactly is being homosexual dangerous? Really, I need to know. I need to know exactly what to tell all my gay friends. My gay friends who are very healthy (they’re all in better shape than me), very happy (they’re all in fulfilling relationships – more so than my straight friends), and frankly, very fabulous. Tell me, exactly, how who they are is akin to playing in a busy street – without using some hellfire and brimstone BS. Please, I’d love to know.

        • Cancer cells are very robust, multiply quickly, seem like non-cancerous cells in a lot of cases, yet they will kill the body if allowed to take over. We always have some cancer cells in the body, as they seem to have a temporary function. Usually, because they are abnormal, they die off by themselves, and no harm is done.
          If you chose to believe there is nothing wrong with being homosexual, that is your right. It is also my right to believe that abnormal relationships endanger the sanctity of the normal family unit. And I would challenge you to prove to me that they are all so happy, or that their misery is all the result of discrimination. Many is the one that has hit on me despite me politely telling them I am not gay and have no desire to try it because I might like it. Having them hit on me makes me quite uncomfortable. It’s quite rude and offends me and my religious beliefs. Should I then be taking them to court for harassment? Maybe.

        • ed says:

          Conjugal marriage is made by GOD for husband and wife. Fonication, adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, beastiality, are perversions of this. Man and woman can have brotherly or sisterly love towards one and other, just as normal brothers and sisters do, but they don’t marry. You say you don’t want any B.S. about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, those who don’t learn from history, are destined to repeat it.
          If you truly care for your homosexual friends, seek the truth. JESUS IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE, no one can come to THE FATHER BUT BY HIM. Repent and follow JESUS, that you may share eternal life WITH HIM IN HEAVEN.

    • charlie says:

      What the bible says is irrelevant here. I think we would agree that we are not to force Christian laws into our countries laws. However this is a matter of personal freedoms. So the question is this: Which allows more freedom, forcing business to serve everyone or allowing business to deny service to anyone?
      That is the issue to be discussed here, not what would Jesus do.

    • womanintheshoe says:

      Another message Jesus taught was to go and sin no more. He never condoned sin, he never supported it. He called sin for what it was. He loved sinners yet didn’t accept the sin. Standing up for one’s beliefs/faith is not being a d*ck to people. Screaming hateful things, holding signs with hateful messages, yes. But not quietly saying that one does not want to provide a service for an event one finds morally disagreeable.

    • BikerDad says:

      No, Jesus’s main message was NOT “love thy neighbor.” His main message was “love thy God”. Love your neighbor is #2. Not #1. While this isn’t directly relevant to Matt’s argument, your letting loose the hounds of distraction and distortion must be corrected.

    • Melanie says:

      “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore them gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted”. Galatians 6:1

  10. Bob Fuller says:

    Thanks for the thoughtful and informative comments.

  11. Gary Carter says:

    Wow, just might be the wisest article I’ve ever read on this topic. Puts my thought into words perfectly. Our government treats its citizens like we are stupid, and makes laws that are not really necessary.

    • Pam says:

      I’m sure those who would be refused service if Matt’s proposals were adopted would just love being made pariahs. And you’re utterly delusional if you don’t think that would happen. Even if someone is only refused once on the basis of race, sexuality, or having slightly too long hair, that is an insult to the person’s sense of self It says that society doesn’t care. I’m guessing your (and Matt’s) reaction would be to say “who cares?”.
      I will never understand why libertarians are so proud of not caring about their fellow human beings.

      • Jen says:

        Pam, do you really want the government to tell you where to buy your pants, or your undergarments. I would certainly hope to think not. If we as consumers have the right (and want to keep it) then we should be allowed as business owners to have a choice who we sell our products too. We as consumers have the power to control whether or not a business stays open by whether or not we put money into their pocket. If you do not like the practice of a business then stop shopping there. Keep the power in your hands and NOT the government’s. And if I personally go into a place of business and it makes me feel insulted well guess what, I never go back. No more of my hard earned money will go there. There has been plenty of places I have done this and some thrive and some don’t. I know by myself it is not the deciding factor but if everyone woke up and did the same thing then you would see the power at work. If the government forces them to serve all of us, then they will petition the government to force us to patron all of them. It would be the next logical step.

      • Tony says:

        Why are you so proud of not being able to make your own decisions?

        Libertarians are the only ones who truly care about ALL fellow human beings in my mind. They absolutely have no discriminatory beliefs against any group, they want everyone to be able to live free and make their own choices (even if they are bad choices, and bad choices have consequences).

      • And where is it written or even assumed that one’s “sense of self” is legally immune to insults or the uncaring attitudes of their fellow man? You cannot codify “feelings” and you cannot legislate morality. To use your own concept in a completely absurd way (like you do with the idea of freedom), wouldn’t it be completely illegal and immoral for a gay person to not to purchase a product from a business that hates gays? Could a gay person be compelled to purchase a product from the only place offering that product, even if the merchant were a member of say, the KKK? And don’t say that a person can’t be compelled to do anything when we both know that isn’t true. This sword cuts both ways sweetie.

  12. Pingback: Can’t We All Just Eat Cake? » The Write Side of My Brain

  13. Thorton says:

    I find it interesting that the same people who are apposed to the allowing business to server (or not server) whomever they wish, had no problem with (and even praised) A&E when they banned Phil Robertson from the Duck Dynasty show.

    • Jen says:

      I find it highly wrong that they did that to Phil. I may not have agreed with all of his statements, but it was his show and was given freedom of speech. If they shut him down and threw him off it only made part of the viewers happy. The media running with the story drew in more viewers to see what it was all about. If ya did not like what he was about you did not have to watch his show. You have the freedom and the power to change the channel. Unfortunately, A&E is in the business of drama TV and if they do not sell their channel they go out of business, Boom! The drama got attention to their channel and here they still are. It is quite possible it was a dramatic retirement plan Phil drummed up with A&E for a win win. Who knows and who cares…. It is their business, which is the point of the whole article of Matt’s. So, if we consumers are not buying the business is not selling. There is the power.

    • You are confused. Free market included, nay thrives, on the inclusion of the freedom to boycott and the freedom to protest.

      Did you not read this in the article: “If a business owner is racist and suicidal — willing to sacrifice his business for the sake of living out his bigoted fantasies — so be it. The market will punish him. He’ll be closed by next Wednesday. Problem solved”?

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  15. Jen says:

    Agreed! A step further here, if we allow the government to force us to serve all patrons, the next step is the government forcing us to patron all establishments. I do not know about you, but do not want the government to tell me where I have to shop. Part of free business is that we also have free choice in where we spend our money. If the business owners refuse service to any particular customers then it is their right. As a consumer it is your right to refuse to shop there. So, as a business owner they should be able to refuse your service. Restaurants and bars have the privilege and no one is upset with that. I have not seen the drunks protesting in the streets. Nope they just mosey on down the street to the next place until they find a place that will serve them.

  16. The haters who are so “offended” need to recognize it is a two-way street. Following your suggestions here also allow gays to avoid doing business with people they view as bigots, as in

    • Boffo97 says:

      I think most people in favor of this suggestion would be perfectly fine with that.

      The rejected customers are going to be free to spread the word to not even bother to go to this hairdresser, so that might turn around and bite him though.

  17. Pingback: Home-Owner-Ism v Freedom of Association (or how Matt Walsh’s ‘Problem Solved’ solves nothing) | This is my chaos

  18. To me this is such a political/religious Rorschach test: one side sees religious freedom and the other sees a violation of civil rights. Here’s my take on what the Bible says on the matter:

  19. Brandy says:

    Someone sent me your blog several months ago and I signed up to receive your blogs via email. I have enjoyed reading the lively discussions that you have had. I must say that I was a bit surprised to read this article although I should have not been surprised because you usually talk about the ‘hot topics’ that are in the news. I have never really chimed in but I am going to on this. I think that allowing a company to NOT service others is discrimination. I have a son with Autism and the thought of someone not serving him because of this is horrible. I also run an organization for people living with epilepsy and to have someone not serve them because of their epilepsy is horrible as well. I think that if we say that it is okay to not serve people based on any reason is horrible. Where is the LOVE in that? Where is JESUS in that? What if someone’s parents were gay and their child needed services for their Autism or Epilepsy, then is it acceptable to say we will not serve them? I think we need to look at the BIGGER picture here. People did not serve the African American population because the color of their skin and that was wrong! I think your views are going backwards instead of forward. If you had a child or family member that needed or wanted something and was denied because of sex, origin, disease,etc. how would you feel Matt? Just something that you need to ponder.

    • Tony says:

      Let’s say you own your own flower shop.

      Should you be allowed to close your shop at 5 PM? If you do you’re discriminating against everyone who works until 5 PM.

      Should you be allowed to prepare special Easter Holiday packages, but you don’t have other religious holiday packages because you don’t know about them. So do you think you should be forced to learn about other religions and offer packages for their holidays? If you don’t, you’re discriminating against other religions by not offering these services.

      Should you be allowed to not have delivery services? There are people who don’t own their own vehicle or have to work 3 jobs and don’t have the time to get to your establishment to pick them up, you’re discriminating against both those groups.

      Should you be allowed to refuse service to someone who wants to place an order that is going to to take your staff so long to prepare that they will have to come in on Saturday to finish, Saturday happens to be a religious holiday for them. Are you going to discriminate against the person who wants to purchase a large quantity or are you going to force you and your staff to work a holiday?

      I could go on for a very very long time. The moral of the story is that there are many reasons why service may not be provided to someone, so why try to force laws to make businesses provide service. The more just approach is to let businesses make up their own minds on where and when they refuse service. If they make a poor choice (as in a choice that is obviously racist or sexist or otherwise discriminatory), the social media will more than take care of those people. Look at the media attention this one baker got for refusing service to a gay couple for their wedding. I guarantee the drop in buisiness is going to be a far harsher punishment than anything the courts could have done.

    • Jarom says:

      Yes, it would be horrible. That would be a terrible thing to do, and their business wouldn’t last long, because nobody else would want to go to them if they found out they turned away people because of autism, race, gender etc. In the mean time, you would go to someone else and all would be well.

      Nobody (especially Matt) is making the argument that it’s OK to discriminate. The point is that it is the kind of moral thing that the government CANNOT effectively and should not try to enforce.

      You can’t force people to be kind. You can’t force people to love. You can not force people to be good. But governments can cause (and have caused) a lot of damage by trying to do essentially that.

      As for your reference to the civil rights issues – read the blog post over again. That was a key point in Matt’s argument – that most of what was gained in the Civil Rights movement was due to the people, including activists and leaders at the time. It’s a dishonor to them to attribute all the change to the governemts actions. It was necessary for the govt. to end discrimination by govt. institutions/employees or in law – but that was all. The rest of the change had to, and must continue to come from society itself.

    • Cindy says:

      Private business is just that- private. If you own property and it’s your private property everyone knows what that means. It means it’s yours and no one else has a right to be on it or do anything to it. No one questions that. Why should a private business be any different? I’m not saying I agree with the reason behind the denial of service but I believe that a private business has the right to do whatever it wants in terms of who it chooses to do business with. Lets say I don’t want to paint your house because I don’t like your dog. You can’t force me to paint your house for you. And why would you want to? If you did, I’m sure I’d do a crappy job just because….

      On the flip side, lets say there is a family-run bakery in town that depends on the citizens patronizing it to stay in business. They make terrible bread. But that family will suffer if the citizens don’t shop at that bakery and buy that bread. Does that mean the citizens should be forced to shop there to keep that bakery in business? Of course not, private citizens have rights. Private citizens can’t be forced to shop in a specific place, regardless of the reason. Private-is the key word here. You have to look at it from both sides.
      Others are correct in saying that the displeasure of the public, especially in this day of social media, in the form of a denial of dollars, will take care of any punishment that those people think needs to happen.
      It is also the right of the people, to not patronize a private business whose business practices they don’t agree with.

  20. Jason D says:

    Matt I wanted to thank you for your excellent and very informative blog. I couldn’t agree with you more on this. I have read endless posts online from people going crazy about that baker in Colorado who refused to make a cake for a gay wedding. People were calling him a bigot, and other not nearly as clean words. Honestly, I don’t think the man is doing a single thing wrong. Despite his religious beliefs (which personally I agree with), this is a man that owns a business and as a private business owner as you stated he has the right (or definitely SHOULD have the right) to deny service to anyone, for any reason, at anytime. The government doesn’t not have the right to tell him who he can or cannot do business with. This is freedom of association as you perfectly explained, you can choose NOT to associate with people should you choose. And if you decide not to do business with people for discriminatory reasons then you deserve all the consequences of that decision. Again, like you said, we live in a day and age where a business like that would not remain open very long.

    The problem with this only exists with the fact that most of the public seem to believe that any refused service is discrimination, and it simply isn’t the case. The case in point of the baker, like me is a man of Christian beliefs, but has no problems with gay people. I do not own a business, but if I did, I would certainly do business with all races, cultures, and people regardless of sexual orientation. As long as they are in my store to buy my product, I would definitely not discriminate. With that said, I would not sell a product for use in a gay wedding because of my religious beliefs. This is NOT to be confused with discrimination. I have nothing against gay people, as I believe this Colorado man does not. But Christian beliefs are that marriage is a union that is made under God between a man and a woman. Therefore, I understand perfectly that this man feels that selling these people a cake to use in that service, in which he feels is immoral, is against his religious beliefs. Some people can’t seem to understand this isn’t a bigoted decision, it’s simply a religious thing. But I know that will never be understood because people just assume if Christians see this as immoral then we must hate gays, simply not the case.

    Anyway, like I said earlier, despite his motives, as a private business owner he can refuse business to anyone he likes. Very well said Matt.

  21. HypnoticGuy says:

    You wrote: “We live now in a society that simply would not tolerate a business that attempted to institute truly racist and genuinely bigoted policies.”

    You are very naive, and obviously you have never lived in the south.

  22. Tony says:

    To all those arguing against Matt —

    Let’s assume we have a racist or sexist or whatever-ist business owner. Which of the following would be more just in your mind:

    A: The business owner is allowed (by law) to be racist or sexist or whatever.

    B: The business owner is not allowed (by law) to be racist or sexist or whatever.

    Think carefully now, what really happens when you make the laws in each scenario?

    A: Business owner discriminates, pissing off customers, customers go to social media to showcase his discriminations, customers stop going to his store in direct proportion to how bad his discrimination is. Eventual store closure due to his own discrimination.

    B: Business owner is forced to serve people that he is racist, sexist, whatever against. People who would normally not have supported his lifestyle choices are now frequenting his establishment and giving him their hard earned money to support him.

    If you knew someone was racist or sexist or whatever against you for whatever reason, would you rather be part of the social media that helped to close his establishment, or would you rather give him money week after week to keep him in business? Are you really okay keeping him in business just because you don’t know that he’s racist or sexist?

  23. Jacob Adair says:

    Here is a real world example of what I asked about earlier. For those upset with Matt’s position, why shouldn’t the NM Governor sue the hair dresser? According to your logic she should and she would win.

  24. jamm says:

    What happens when a hospital denies services to someone for any reason they want? The majority of hospitals are private businesses – NOT public businesses. In places where there is a scarcity of medical services, how is that going to work for a minority that is denied medical services?

    • It’s a violation of federal law to withhold needed medical services for ANY reason, so this objection is moot.

      • Bikerdad says:

        Adam, you are begging off on jamm’s question. Under Matt’s solution, the Federal laws you reference would be moot, not jamm’s objection.

        And what would happen is that the minority in question would almost invariably be serviced by the existing medical providers. The underlying assumption by jamm that some people WILL ALWAYS BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST is spurious, bigoted and should be called out. In the rare instances of discrimination, the minorities will spin up their own medical services, they would relocate, someone else will enter the market, or they would go without.

        Medical services are no different from any other service, FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE PROVIDER. Either the provider is the slave of the consumer, or the provider is free to serve who they choose.

        • Incorrect. The Supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution makes jamm’s objection moot. In a conflict between state and federal law, federal law wins. Period.

          If you’re going to debate Constitutional matters, you should probably KNOW the Constitution…

        • johnsrobertson says:

          Tell that to the family of Charles Drew, the man who invented the process for separating red blood cells from plasma, who was refused treatment at the nearest “whites only” hospital.

  25. steve says:

    what happens if your car needs gas as your passing through a small town. a town with one gas station, one place to eat or get food, one public bathroom etc.and this town dont like your type.

    • Bikerdad says:

      Gee, exactly what happens now, you don’t get gas. Except for the bathroom. If it’s a public bathroom, as opposed to a bathroom open to the public, then you can use it, legally. As a practical matter, maybe not. Otherwise, you don’t get to use it. Too bad, so sad, move on. Take a dump on the gas station’s front step.

      You DO NOT have a right to force other people to serve you. Even if they are nimrods who make the KKK look like a kumbayah circle.

    • charlie says:

      That is actually a very good question. I think the question to be asked in this and any bill is this: what option gives the most freedom to the people.
      The issue is will we give the consumers all the freedom here or do we split the freedom with the consumers and the business owners.

      Your scenario is something to be looked at because if that would be something that could happen on a halfway or even quarter way regular bases then it would take away any freedom of choice from too many people and that is not a good thing at all.

      However I think when we stop and realize that there are very very few towns that small and out of all the towns like that there is far far fewer that are that racist and bigoted. But lets say there is a few like that, then how far away is the next town with more businesses that they would have the freedom to go to and shop?

      Before we make laws restricting thousands of business owners freedom based off a scenario we need to check into it and see if the likelihood of it happening is large enough to restrict thousands of other peoples freedom.

      Does that make sense? Please write back with what you think because I do think that is an important question to ask.

  26. Blaximus says:

    Just… wow.

    So let’s go back to the ” colored only ” signage also.

    The nature of people is such that laws are needed to prevent them from doing outrageous things. All the supporters must have never faced discrimination… sure sounds like it. Businesses that are on the tops of mountains or in the middle of deserts can serve who they please. Businesses do not stand alon because they are PRIVATE, unless they don’t use and PUBLIC utilities, IMHO. Using electicity and gas and sanitation and streets-sidewalks? Serve the PUBLIC.

    Sheesh, Christain much?

    Lemme ask you, WWJD?

    …. fake Christian.

    • The key phrase being “as well.” Beliefs are intensely personal, and the Framers knew this, which is, at least in part, why the anti-establishment clause exists. The government cannot get itself into the business of adjudicating what is “proper” dogma and doctrine for religions. If they can decide what is acceptable religious perspective for Christians in re: serving activities that may or may not violate their consciences, who is to say where that stops?

  27. Blaximus says:

    Precisely. I am constantly amazed at how mean-spirited supposedly ” christian ” people can be. And even boastful and proud of it in public.

    I would ask that Christians go ( back? ) and re-read the New Testament. You must be reading a different book than I have read to come to the conclusions you have about how you should conduct yourselves.

    Loving everyone is one of the hardest things you will ever try to do. We all will fall short in modern society. But as high and mighty and judgemental as you can be, it doesn’t change the fact that ALL have fallen short of the glory of God, and ALL are in sin.

  28. Jason Brewer says:

    Best read I have had in a long time! Couldn’t agree more!

  29. Reblogged this on sweetclementation and commented:
    Thank you Matt Walsh for another perfect & to the point blog post!

  30. johnsrobertson says:

    Completely agree with the libertarian ideal; but let’s take the other step with it. While we’re legalizing discrimination and hoping that people will be moral enough not to discriminate; let’s simultaneously compel government and government agents to act with impartiality and equity by requiring they recognize all civil unions formed between two or more individuals giving informed consent to the union. Furthermore, criminalize any partial or discriminatory behavior on the part of government agents, mandating loss of government employment and forfeiture of all government benefits related to that job including medical benefits, and retirement accounts and pensions.

    Do that and I promise not to sue anyone when I encounter the inevitable racial prejudice directed toward myself and my fiance for being in an interracial relationship, and still try to be kind and not discriminate against those who engage in discrimination against my openly homosexual friends, my obviously “non-white skinned” family and friends. Remember, discrimination against people because they engage in homosexual behavior is fundamentally no different than discrimination against people based on their religious behavior. Discriminating against homosexual couples only when they’re wanting to get married or celebrate their commitment is no different than discriminating against interracial couples for wanting to get married, or jewish people for wanting to celebrate their unions, Before you do, consider how you would feel if someone through a wet blanket on your celebratory plans simply because they believed, for whatever reason, that your special union was an abomination and so unlike every other time, they refused to help you celebrate one of the most memorable days of your life. Then tell me, in all sincerity, that you’re following Jesus’ example to “do unto others as you’d have others do unto you”.

  31. momlakes says:

    I posted an open letter to you on my blog in response to this post. I initially loved it, but then I started thinking…

  32. Blaximus says:

    Enjoyed your post momlakes. You make my points better than I did.

    People can be mean and nasty. Some say it’s their ” nature “, but I’m not sure. I do know that there are a small and vocal minority of angry, nasty, mean-spirited and ignorant folks that can only be moderately held in check by LAW. You can’t change what they ” think or feel “, but you can slow their bullheaded impact on others through legislation. I’m surprised Matt doesn’t get this. His optimistic outlook that society can handle ills is not bourne out by history.

  33. BikerDad says:

    “Incorrect. The Supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution makes jamm’s objection moot. In a conflict between state and federal law, federal law wins. Period.

    If you’re going to debate Constitutional matters, you should probably KNOW the Constitution…”

    Uhh, Federalism isn’t the issue here. The issue is whether or not we actually respect the principle of free association (guaranteed by the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution), or carve out a bazillion exceptions to it. Matt says “respect it, apply it”, doing so would make the Federal laws jamm refers to moot.

    • Freedom of association meant one was free to associate (or not) with any group one desired, like, trade unions, political groups, religious groups or whatever group may come along. Only libertarians could convolute the freedom of association clause to mean individualized associations.

      • Jen says:

        I would not point the finger at the libertarians. I would say the politicians with the deepest pockets are the ones making this a scary thing. They will be the ones to lose the most of they do not divide us up.

      • BikerDad says:

        Wrong. I’m not a libertarian. Second, it is, in point of fact, individuals that MAKE groups, so by definition all assocation is individualized.

  34. vls says:

    “In fact, I really detest this modern practice of conflating the Civil Rights Act with the Civil Rights Movement.” Couldn’t agree more. Let’s not forget, LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 primarily because he wanted to ensure the large contingency of African Americans in the south would vote for him in the election that happened in Nov. of 1964. He had to postpone the inclusion of Voting Rights, ie the part of the legislation that was actually meaningful to stop the active disenfranchisement of African Americans, in order to satisfy members of the Southern Democratic party.

    This political maneuvering is distinctly different than the Civil Rights Movement led by private citizens of the United States like MLK, Bob Moses, and Fannie Lou Hammer. It sought to correct the still perversely and commonly held notion that African Americans were somehow lesser humans and reinforce the biblical notion of agape love and passive resistance.

  35. Frank says:

    Some the tax preparers I am in contact with said they would never prepare taxes for a gay or lesbian married couple. I had to tell them I would do it as quick as I would for the adulterers that are my clients. I think it gives me an opportunity to share the love of Christ with them. Remember that God loves sinners, God hate sin.

  36. As a Gay Christian I have to say I AGREE WITH YOU. I will be getting married in late May or Early June back home in Iowa. Guess what. If a business doesn’t wish to do my wedding cake, or catering, or anything else I will accept it, thank them for their time and move on. I don’t know why so many in the LGBT community get so bent out of shape over it and wish to sue and pretty much try to force the business to serve them. I wouldn’t want someone who did not wish to serve me to serve me against their will or belief. There are plenty of OTHER businesses that do not have objections who would gladly service LGBT weddings. So often members of my community scream for acceptance and tolerance but do not show it in kind. Such a shame. Thank you for this post!

  37. Pingback: IMAO » Blog Archive » Link of the Day: Live and Let Shop Elsewhere

  38. Logic Ninja says:

    This is an interesting post, but I think it could use few modifications. First, certain private businesses, I think we can agree, out to be allowed less freedom than others. The electric company, for instance. Or the doctor. Further–and I realize I’m leaving the realm of the observed for the purely hypothetical, but bear with me–what if, as a movement, our society abandoned all Christian morals and turned its back on those who hold them, condemning Christians as a group? And what if hundreds of thousands of businesses across America refused to serve any Christian, for any reason? Like hospitals. Should we allow businesses to discriminate with THAT much elbow-room? Again, I don’t think these modifications detract from your overall point. But your headline might be reworded: “Problem Solved: Let any business refuse service to anyone anytime, for any reason–as long as that refusal does not significantly and quantifiably damage that person’s standard of living.”

  39. John Anderson says:

    On the topic of “Business going back to refusing to serve blacks.” there’s one thing we must not overlook. It was government, via Jim Crows laws, which forced private business into segregation in the first place. Throughout the segregated south, it was UNLAWFUL to operate an integrated business.

  40. Blaximus says:

    John…. Um, that wasn’t the federal gov’t that instituted Jim Crow laws. It was local and state gov’t in southern states/cities. Having seen the segregated South firsthand, believe me when I say that it wasn’t so much the LAW as it was attitudes and tradition that held Jim Crow in place. People weren’t being ” forced ” to segregate by law as much as your statement would lead to believe. Segregation came well before the law. Mean, ignorant and racist people put the law in place later.

  41. k23mt says:

    Um, that’s already how things are in this country. You are so lucky to have so many uneducated people to read your crap.

  42. Joe Zamora says:

    So what if a Klan group or a Neo-Nazi group wanted you to make a cake for Hitler’s birthday? Should you be able to refuse them? What about a NAMBLA cake? Should the government force people to support them too?

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