Well-Earned But Wrong: The Parody Website And The Attack On Memories Pizza

Memoriespizza

It is difficult to work up much sympathy for Memories Pizza, the Indiana pizza place that rushed to be known as the first business to announce that it plans on refusing to serve gay customers under the cover of Indiana’s new and poorly thought-out religious freedom law.  Oh, I agree that it was thoughtful of the owners to help show that the law, regardless of the neutral words used, was intended to be a rallying point for anti-gay advocates who want to fight back against what they see as a frightening cultural shift that they don’t understand and can’t accept, but the owners are still, to be blunt, morons.

Announcing that the law would allow them to refuse to cater a gay wedding, they injected their biases into a debate they were neither legally, ethically, morally or intellectually equipped to participate in. Crystal O’Connor, whose family owns the small-town pizzeria, spouted off  that “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no,”  as the national debate over the law was heating up. Well, no, Crystal, you wouldn’t have to, and the law probably wouldn’t protect you if you did. Baking pizza is not the exercise of religion, and nothing in the Bible says “Thou shalt not send pizza to the reception of a wedding you disapprove of.

I just heard one of the law’s supporters from a “family values” group that spends much of its time, words and money attacking homosexuality swear to Chris Cuomo on CNN that the law has nothing whatsoever to do with Indiana embracing anti-gay bigots (and tricking them into thinking that stunts like Crystal’s are acceptable). “It’s about conscience, ” he intoned, without giggling. But the law says nothing about conscience either.It prevents the government from  substantially burdening the exercise of religion. Catering an event, religious or not, is not a religious act, nor is a wedding reception a religious ceremony. It is no more legitimate to say that your conscience forbids you from selling pizza to strangers than it is to say that your conscience forbids you from letting a transsexual into your cab. O’Connor, not surprisingly, doesn’t comprehend the law.

She also doesn’t comprehend marketing and public relations. Did she really think  proclaiming that her business is determined to treat gay couples as if they were blights on humanity and not worthy of the same service she would gladly extend to adulterers, racists, embezzlers and Kardashians wouldn’t bring a rain of anger and criticism down on her business?

Let’s see, what else don’t they understand? O’Connor claims that the company doesn’t discriminate. “We are a Christian establishment,” she explained. “We’re not discriminating against anyone, that’s just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything.” It’s still discrimination, Crystal. You don’t know what discrimination means, either.

The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree, it seems: her father weighed in, showing that he, and probably Chystal too, doesn’t understand those gays he objects to so much: “That lifestyle is something they choose. I choose to be heterosexual. They choose to be homosexual. Why should I be beat over the head to go along with something they choose?” This inexcusable ignorance about the origins of sexual orientation—he chose to be heterosexual?— may also explain why a pizza place would labor under the delusion that any same-sex couple would have their reception catered by a pizza joint.

Most of all, the pizza purveyors don’t understand that denigrating law-abiding citizens and refusing to give them the same courtesy and service that they give everyone else is being an utter  un-American jerk and wrong.

You know..morons.

Being morons, however, doesn’t  make it fair, acceptable or ethical for the owners to be subjected to hate messages, death threats, and boycotts, which they were to such an extent that they closed down the shop. The pro-gay marriage brigade’s response is just unethical tit-for-tat, you-hate-me-so-I’m-going-to-make-you-sorry conduct, and per se unethical. How refreshing it would have been if the response of the gay community and their supporters to the Memories Pizza idiocy was to flood the business with business, sending the message that the O’Connors can believe anything they want, but as long as their pizza is good and they treat their customers equally and fairly, their religion, politics or sexual practices are irrelevant—because they are. That would also be a Christian response, and one that might make the pizza-makers question their belief that gays are the spawn of Satan.

Do those attacking the O’Connors for their mere words and expressions of belief—note that they haven’t actually discriminated against anyone yet— and refusing to eat at their restaurant  understand that the counter-attack is hypocritical, and that they are refusing to participate in commerce with the Clueless O’Connors on the same flawed theory that motivates Memories Pizza to think it is right to mistreat gays?

Probably not. “You know..”

What this ugly no-holds-barred battle is leading the society to is a coercive commerce dystopia  where every business thrives or suffers not because of what it sells and how well it serves the public, but whether the political beliefs of its owners pass a cultural litmus test, and pharmacies, book stores and bars are segregated by party, religion and sexual orientation.

One of the more creative assaults on the poor pizza palace—compassionate people should always feel sorry for ordinary Americans who wander into the culture wars mine field and get their legs blown off—is a fake pr0-gay website that someone set up after appropriating the URL memoriespizza.com. It was a masterful job—obscene, but masterful—but also unethical to the bone. (It’s down now: what is left is this.) Funny or not, taking the domain name of anybody or any business for the purpose of misrepresenting and embarrassing them on the web is indefensible, and  is in this case. But the culture warriors are willing to lay waste to fairness, the Golden Rule, honesty and common decency in their righteous pursuit of thought-crime and enforced conformity. They really think this will lead to a more free and accepting society.

Morons.

_________________

Pointer: Fark

Source: If You Only News

66 thoughts on “Well-Earned But Wrong: The Parody Website And The Attack On Memories Pizza

  1. To coin a phrase, screw them all. This was brownshirting, plain and simple, and the folks who masterminded it will have no one but themselves to blame if it boomerangs and someone heaves a brick through the window of the Rainbow Sherbert Shop or there is a Charlie Hebdo-style attack on a gay magazine.

    • Which is exactly what DID happen. In fact, Memories Pizza got so many donations that they bequeathed a good chunk of it to Mrs. Stutzman in Washington State; the baker who was run out of business by the Bolshevik government there because she declined to bake a cake for a “gay wedding”. Then, just to keep a good thing going, Memories re-opened to an immense crowd and business is booming. The “Happy People” protestors just vanished like dust in the wind. Only in their case, no one threatened them with violence, nobody vilified them all over the lapdog press and no one sicced lawyers and politicians their way to make their lives miserable. It was just a matter of decent people exorcizing humanity’s dregs with their good example and by standing up for virtue. And- apparently- this long standing family business makes pretty good (and non-obscene) pizzas. I certainly hope we see more of this. The Gaystapo CAN be defeated.

      • Assholes helping assholes. It’s nice that they feel good about themselves. The episode illustrates the principle of backlash, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are embarrassing themselves and the culture, and making their religion, if that’s the genuine issue, which I increasingly doubt, look mean, petty, and dumb.

        You really need to see someone about this obsession of yours, SMP. I worry about you.

        • The problem is that bullying, thought control, intolerance, and coercion have become features of the push for gay marriage.

          If they were “bugs,” major figures in the LGBT rights community would have acted to halt what is going on, but so far…

          *crickets chirping*

        • No obsession, Jack. I just stand against depraved brutes and thugs trying to batter decent Americans into subjugation. It’s just that the perverted ones are particularly vile in their nature. Even Capone’s hoods didn’t want to turn children over to sodomites as a part of getting “a piece of the action”.

  2. You have been misinformed:
    They said they would serve gay customers, but would not cater a same-sex wedding.

    One source: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/04/01/after-indiana-pizzeria-said-they-wouldnt-cater-gay-weddings-the-backlash-was-so-extreme-it-may-not-be-safe-to-re-open/

    The local report’s only direct quote also bears that out:

    “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no,” says Crystal O’Connor of Memories Pizza.

    The O’Connor family told ABC 57 news that if a gay couple or a couple belonging to another religion came in to the restaurant to eat, they would never deny them service.

    The O’Connors say they just don’t agree with gay marriages and wouldn’t cater them if asked to.

    Source: http://www.abc57.com/story/28681598/rfra-first-business-to-publicly-deny-same-sex-service

    Please correct the post to reflect this.

    • The post does reflect this. I quoted her. I didn’t say she said she would throw gays out of the place. I wrote…
      “It is no more legitimate to say that your conscience forbids you from selling pizza to strangers than it is to say that your conscience forbids you from letting a transsexual into your cab. O’Connor, not surprisingly, doesn’t comprehend the law.”

      Saying that you will not cater a wedding because the customers are gay is, in fact, say that your conscience forbids you from selling pizza to strangers. There’s no way to spin this. It doesn’t matter that she says she won’t ALWAYS treat gays like shit on her shoe. Having conditions where she will is enough to gauge her respect and fairness, not to mention her education and intelligence.

      They said they would not cater a gay couple’s wedding. That’s not serving a customer because they are gay.

      • Only in the broadest sense. They said they wouldn’t provide one specific service to one specific gay function because it’s too close to active participation in an act they religiously oppose. Yet, there is a huge fight in Minneapolis in which Muslim cab drivers who refuse to transport customers who are carrying alcohol or have dogs with them are arguing they should not be punished. Wonder of wonders, the left is siding with the Muzzie cabbies. I believe, if I am reading the principles expressed here aright, that transporting a person also would not fall close enough to an exercise of religion to merit protection. Yet you don’t hear about people trying to brownshirt them or put them out of business, in fact people say “respect their culture.” I am sick of this double standard that says that you have to bend over eight ways to Sunday to accommodate all religions different than Christianity, but the minute Christianity says it has a problem, it gets attacked like Kristallnacht.

          • Well, that’s slightly beside the point, with respect. The cab drivers aren’t arguing that they should be allowed to turn down a fare who is of a different faith. I should have added the important fact that they are in this case mostly working the airport. Let’s say that I, a Catholic, am returning from a trip to Italy and I have some wine I picked up there with me in my luggage. Or let’s say my friend, who is legally blind, is travelling with his seeing-eye dog. They are arguing that they should be allowed to turn us away because wine and dogs are no-nos in Islam, and transporting either would violate their faith. No one’s saying they have to drink the wine or touch the dogs, nevertheless, they won’t provide service to anyone with either. The left is perfectly ok with this.

            On the other hand, a Christian baker is approached by a gay couple to provide a cake celebrating a gay wedding. No one’s insisting that he attend or bless the wedding, although maybe he’s being asked to write something on the cake. He thinks homosexuality is wrong and says no. The next thing you know the left is blowing up his phone and email with profanity and death threats and the couple want him fined some astronomical amount.

            Why is one of these ok and the other an unforgivable wrong, other than most of us on the right don’t get so insane about the views of others and most on the left get one whiff of Christianity asserting itself and go “My brother/uncle/friend is gay! HOW DARE THEY? BOYCOTT THEM! ARREST THEM! BURN THAT FUCKER DOWN!” ?

            • I think the transporting of liquor and a dog is a closer call—and how often does THAT occur?—but again, the position should still be that if you drive a cab, you take everybody, as in the rejection of the conscience clauses for druggists. Same with bakers: if you can’t sell cakes to everyone, then you can’t sell cakes.

              • At an airport? Quite a bit, I’d think, between service animals and people coming home from nations where alcohol is a common thing to bring home (Russia, Ireland, Scotland, France, Italy). I brought home some Belgian beer last summer for my dad, and previously I’d just laugh if some turbaned whacko told me “Allah forbids,” and take the next guy in line. But, since this seems to be such an issue, maybe if I run into it I’ll see about getting the guy’s medallion revoked and maybe have them check his immigration status while I’m at it.

    • I don’t see how this is materially different from what was reported. And if you don’t know that making a statement like that to a reporter is the equivalent of sending out a press release…well, moron. It was an ignorant statement, made to a reporter, in an inflammatory context. And what was the father shooting off his mouth for?

      • I don’t think I’m a moron. At least no one has ever called me that before.I see a lack of ethics on the part of the media here. I’m looking forward to them interviewing Muslim owned establishments now.. It was a hit piece plain and simple..

        • Hold it: I didn’t call you a moron…the use of the generic you (to indicate the owner) in “And if you don’t know that making a statement like that to a reporter is the equivalent of sending out a press release”…should have been clear—if it wasn’t, I apologize. SHE’s the one who made the statement to the press (and you didn’t), and she’s the one who made a stupid mistake. I guess that was ambiguous on my part. Sorry. Not my intended meaning.

          But she said what she said, and what she said was dumb, reckless, careless, and offensive.

      • Well, lots of people don’t have experience with the media and don’t expect full court treatment. Not moronic at all. “They plan on refusing to serve gay customers” is misleading to such an extent as to constitute a lie. “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” Now that they know they will be lied about (as you do), they should know better.

        • How exactly did I lie about this? The post, jerk, is about how the attacks on the pizza place were wrong, excessive and unfair. But if you tell a radio reporter that you will withhold service if asked to cater a gay wedding, you’re an idiot. What did she think would be the result of that? Moron is fair, even if there are lots and lots of people who would make the same stupid mistake.

          And there is no defense in reason, ethics, religion or law for the claim that a religion forbids a business owner from treating a gay couple like anyone else. I said I felt sorry for the owners; I said they have been excessively targeted. But they are bigoted fools.

    • And now the money raised to help these people who have been driven out of business by hatred a bit more pointed than ‘no pizza for you!’ will be used as further evidence that America is full of gay-hating Christians eager to spoil their harmless celebrations. ‘Christians hate gays’ is merely another ‘hands up, don’t shoot.’ Or before that, the 1%. Errr… rape culture on campus. republicans are racist? Global warming? The patriarchy? Whatever – Romney lost. What difference, at this point, does it make? THIS time, the outrage is real – and they didn’t even have to edit the tape to prove it!

      • It’s wrong, as I said, to set out to harm these people and their business.

        But the statement, to the press, was irresponsible and reckless. If they had made an anti-semitic comment, I doubt that anyone would be coming to their defense, or giving them money, or sympathizing with their plight. The fact is that a disturbing number of people think being anti-gay is swell, and justified. Now they want to use the over-reaction of gay activists and supporters in incidents like this to further justify it. Wrong.

        • I find the severe , hateful, and ugly anti-religious bias that’s being revealed on the other side to be deeply troubling. It seems that the other side has become what it claims to loathe. Now excuse me while I go find my Crusader flag. Make ready my horse, my armor, and my sword! Deus vult!

          • It can be VERY profitable too.
            The gofundme campaign has netted $850k and will soon be over a million.

            There’s big bucks in sticking it to the gays, as many have found. Even if you didn’t actually do that, it’s the appearance that counts.

            • I think the assumption that everyone giving to gofundme is anti-gay isn’t warranted or fair. Apparently the hate mail and attack Yelp comments really harmed the business…just because they foolishly expressed an unpopular opinion about a boycott and revenge-happy group. A lot of people might give simply because they agree, as they should, that a good family restaurant shouldn’t be destroyed by its ignorance about gay marriage and lack of media savvy.

              Besides, the place apparently has really good pizza, and there are never enough good pizza places. Priorities, priorities.

              This kind of search and destroy operation is very damaging to the gay community and the cause of gay acceptance. It’s gay terrorism, essentially. It won’t do them much good to be right—and they are– if their tactics convince a critical mass of fair-minded people that they will crush anyone who doesn’t agree with them immediately.

              • The SSM proponents already showed signs they would do that. Seriously, re-read the Heritage Foundation report, “The Price of Prop 8.” Between the pogrom against Prop 8 supporters (Which included death threats targeting my best friend’s wife), as well as the first stirrings of the Elane Photography case, I became adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage and gay rights.

                As someone who is Mormon, who has family who is more devout than I am… I am convinced that gay-rights proponents will accept nothing less than either my faith’s capitulation on their beliefs, or my faith’s destruction. First Amendment protections are about to become a dead letter – something given lip service in public, but ignored by the government in cases where they really count.

                Ross Douthat had some questions for gay-rights proponents at the New York Times (http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/30/questions-for-indianas-critics/?module=BlogPost-Title&version=Blog%20Main&contentCollection=Opinion&action=Click&pgtype=Blogs&region=Body) – I think it’s fair to ask them:
                1) Should religious colleges whose rules or honor codes or covenants explicitly ask students and/or teachers to refrain from sex outside of heterosexual wedlock eventually lose their accreditation unless they change the policy to accommodate gay relationships? At the very least, should they lose their tax-exempt status, as Bob Jones University did over its ban on interracial dating?

                2) What about the status of religious colleges and schools or non-profits that don’t have such official rules about student or teacher conduct, but nonetheless somehow instantiate or at least nod to a traditional view of marriage at some level — in the content of their curricula, the design of their benefit package, the rules for their wedding venues, their denominational affiliation? Should their tax-exempt status be reconsidered? Absent a change in their respective faith’s stance on homosexuality, for instance, should Catholic high schools or Classical Christian academies or Orthodox Jewish schools be eligible for 501(c)3 status at all?

                3) Have the various colleges and universities that have done so been correct to withdraw recognition from religious student groups that require their leaders to be chaste until (heterosexual) marriage? Should all of secular higher education take the same approach to religious conservatives? And then further, irrespective of leadership policies, do religious bodies that publicly endorse a traditional Judeo-Christian-Islamic view of sexual ethics deserve a place on secular campuses at all? Should the Harvard chaplaincy, for instance, admit ministers to its ranks whose churches or faiths do not allow them to perform same-sex marriages? Should the chaplaincy of a public university?

                4.) In the longer term, is there a place for anyone associated with the traditional Judeo-Christian-Islamic view of sexuality in our society’s elite level institutions? Was Mozilla correct in its handling of the Brendan Eich case? Is California correct to forbid its judges from participating in the Boy Scouts? What are the implications for other institutions? To return to the academic example: Should Princeton find a way to strip Robert George of his tenure over his public stances and activities? Would a public university be justified in denying tenure to a Orthodox Jewish religious studies professor who had stated support for Orthodox Judaism’s views on marriage?

                5) Should the state continue to recognize marriages performed by ministers, priests, rabbis, etc. who do not marry same-sex couples? Or should couples who marry before such a minister also be required to repeat the ceremony in front of a civil official who does not discriminate?

                6) Should churches that decline to bless same-sex unions have their tax-exempt status withdrawn? Note that I’m not asking if it would be politically or constitutionally possible: If it were possible, should it be done?

                7) In the light of contemporary debates about religious parenting and gay or transgender teenagers, should Wisconsin v. Yoder be revisited? What about Pierce v.Society of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary?
                —–
                When people of faith hear about a Navy chaplain from the Assemblies of God with 19 years of honorable service being targeted for removal from the service for giving counseling, when they hear of cases like Memories Pizza, when they see the LGBT community destroy small business owners who are standing by their beliefs… while the same people who give the LGBT couple legal assistance for their suits against bakers who decline to make cakes for a same-sex wedding give a pass to a LGBT-friendly baker who declines to put religious messages on a cake that they think are anti-gay, it’s hard to blame them for feeling angry. When they see someone demoted for signing a petition to put same-sex marriage on the ballot, or donors run out of jobs by massive protests… and then they’ve seen the amendments they voted for thrown out by federal judges… who they are relatively powerless to hold accountable. Can you blame them for feeling angry for feeling their voice is being silenced?

                Can you blame them? At some point, the LGBT community needs to live and let live, or they could find the backlash from pushing too hard could cost them many of the gains they have made.

                • “Between the pogrom against Prop 8 supporters (Which included death threats targeting my best friend’s wife), as well as the first stirrings of the Elane Photography case, I became adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage and gay rights.”

                  1. That’s pure cognitive dissonance for sure, but it’s emotional; it isn’t rational. Turning against an ethical movement because you don’t like the tactics of its supporters also stalled the women’s suffrage movement, anti-war movement in Vietnam (“Those protesters are sloppy and need a haircut!”) the civil rights movement and the women’s rights movement (“Bra-burners! Man-haters!”)

                  I’ll bite on those questions:

                  1) Should religious colleges whose rules or honor codes or covenants explicitly ask students and/or teachers to refrain from sex outside of heterosexual wedlock eventually lose their accreditation unless they change the policy to accommodate gay relationships? At the very least, should they lose their tax-exempt status, as Bob Jones University did over its ban on interracial dating?

                  No. If it called on its student to shun gays in everyday contact and transactions, taht would justify losing non-profit status.

                  2) What about the status of religious colleges and schools or non-profits that don’t have such official rules about student or teacher conduct, but nonetheless somehow instantiate or at least nod to a traditional view of marriage at some level — in the content of their curricula, the design of their benefit package, the rules for their wedding venues, their denominational affiliation? Should their tax-exempt status be reconsidered? Absent a change in their respective faith’s stance on homosexuality, for instance, should Catholic high schools or Classical Christian academies or Orthodox Jewish schools be eligible for 501(c)3 status at all?

                  Sure. Pure teaching. They can teach what they want, until they teach people to break the law.

                  3) a. Have the various colleges and universities that have done so been correct to withdraw recognition from religious student groups that require their leaders to be chaste until (heterosexual) marriage?

                  No. Student organizations should be permitted wide latitude as a matter of academic freedom. Short of ISIS clubs, of course.

                  b. Should all of secular higher education take the same approach to religious conservatives?

                  Sure. See above.

                  c. And then further, irrespective of leadership policies, do religious bodies that publicly endorse a traditional Judeo-Christian-Islamic view of sexual ethics deserve a place on secular campuses at all?

                  Again, sure.

                  Should the Harvard chaplaincy, for instance, admit ministers to its ranks whose churches or faiths do not allow them to perform same-sex marriages? Should the chaplaincy of a public university?

                  The chaplaincy needs to serve all students, regardless of sexual orientation. But as long as a such chaplain isn’t the only one there, there’s no harm in having him on the staff.

                  4.) In the longer term, is there a place for anyone associated with the traditional Judeo-Christian-Islamic view of sexuality in our society’s elite level institutions?

                  Well, what’s “associated”? Abortion is the pfficial religion of progressives, but nobody’s drummed Cuomo, Biden et al out of office for being (heh) “devout Catholics.” One’s religious affiliations should be irrelevant to one’s employment, unless the employee wants to proselytize.

                  Was Mozilla correct in its handling of the Brendan Eich case?

                  Absolutely not. As I wrote here.


                  Is California correct to forbid its judges from participating in the Boy Scouts?

                  Caligfornia’s not correct about much, but judges can’t be viewed as objective when they embrace organizations that espouse bias.

                  What are the implications for other institutions? To return to the academic example: Should Princeton find a way to strip Robert George of his tenure over his public stances and activities?

                  Is Douhat kidding? Of course not. There are Communists teaching economics at most Ivy League institutions. Universities need more intellectual diversity, not less.

                  Would a public university be justified in denying tenure to a Orthodox Jewish religious studies professor who had stated support for Orthodox Judaism’s views on marriage?

                  No.

                  5) Should the state continue to recognize marriages performed by ministers, priests, rabbis, etc. who do not marry same-sex couples?

                  What? Why would valid marriages not be valid because of the marriages not performed?

                  Or should couples who marry before such a minister also be required to repeat the ceremony in front of a civil official who does not discriminate?

                  A division between religious marriage and civil marriage would solve the specific problem, but would also be chaos. No.

                  6) Should churches that decline to bless same-sex unions have their tax-exempt status withdrawn? Note that I’m not asking if it would be politically or constitutionally possible: If it were possible, should it be done?

                  NONONONONONONONONO.

                  7) In the light of contemporary debates about religious parenting and gay or transgender teenagers, should Wisconsin v. Yoder be revisited?

                  I don’t see why. Since the state can’t be trusted to educate children at all, I’d expand Yoder, not overule it.

                  What about Pierce v.Society of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary?

                  Never. And it ain’t going to happen anyway.

                  All these issues will be immediately cleared up once religions stop being unethical, a.k.a stop acting like mean-spirited bigots, accept that it’s not 150 AD any more and that the Biblical and other holy book taboos against gays were based on contemporary fears and ignorance, not divine inspiration, get over their phobias, and treat all human beings with respect, fairness and compassion. If they don’t, then there just won’t be any mainstream religions in the US, and they will become like secular cults. Adapt or die.

                  • All these issues will be immediately cleared up once religions stop being unethical, a.k.a stop acting like mean-spirited bigots, accept that it’s not 150 AD any more and that the Biblical and other holy book taboos against gays were based on contemporary fears and ignorance, not divine inspiration, get over their phobias, and treat all human beings with respect, fairness and compassion. If they don’t, then there just won’t be any mainstream religions in the US, and they will become like secular cults. Adapt or die.

                    Wrong.

                    Their first duty is to obey the LORD their God.

                • I was with you until you said that one day there’d be no mainstream religions in the US. I think that flies in the face of 3,000 years of history and the countless attempts to snuff several religions out that failed. Faith thrives on persecution, and in the end I think attempts, or perceived attempts, to crush it will strengthen it, not weaken it. Faith fades when it gets complacent, not when it has to stay vigilant.

                  Actually the most atheistic country in the western world is probably Sweden, which, since oh, the days of Napoleon, hasn’t met a serious challenge or a serious diversity issue and has been dominated by liberal politicians and a fairly liberal Lutheran church. If life is good and your faith demands very little of you and does very little other than spiritualizing the ideas that are already mainstream, eventually you figure there’s no need to get up early on Sunday (the Czech republic is also very atheistic, but I think that’s more a question of faith failing to relaunch there post-Communism).

                  P.S. For its time, the Ten Commandments had incredible special effects, especially the parting of the Red Sea and the writing of the tablets.

              • Besides, the place apparently has really good pizza, and there are never enough good pizza places. Priorities, priorities.

                OK, I’ll concede that, granted.

                This kind of search and destroy operation is very damaging to the gay community and the cause of gay acceptance

                And that’s why I make a lousy “activist”.

                Because I’m more concerned about the possibility of innocents being hurt than I am about the effects on “The Cause”.

                If it’s wrong but effective, it’s still wrong.
                If it’s wrong and counterproductive, it’s stupid too. but more importantly still wrong.

                Here the jury’s out. There are reports that one of the people concerned arranged for the interview to get publicity. Such reports should be dismissed under “innocent until proven guilty” until and unless really well proven, and may well be completely without foundation and a malicious lie. Such things have been known to happen when Fanatics get involved.

                I’m a cynic though so am trying to contact the reporters involved directly.

                In fact I’m so cynical that I’d rather see the million bucks go to a clever con artist (let alone a genuine innocent) than be put into bribing legislators to pass obnoxious bills. US politicians are surprisingly inexpensive to rent.

                And if they give a substantial part of the money to a good cause – not a church, but a food bank etc – not only will I eat my words, I’ll phone in an order for pizzas myself to go to the nearest homeless shelter.

  3. Jack… at some point, the means can contaminate the ends. I think the LGBT rights movement has passed that point.

    The trend towards this thuggery… they’re giving Muslims in Europe a run for the “most intolerant” crown… doing everything but actually trying to kill those they disagree with.

    • I have concluded that discussing gay marriage and religious freedom with most liberals is the equivalent of playing chess with a pigeon. You may be a grand master, but no matter how good of a player you are, the pigeon is going to ignore the rules, knock over the pieces, shit on the board, and then strut around like it won.

  4. This is where the racial divide is going too, and for very similar reasons. “An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind”, according to Gandhi. I think Christians need to remember that Jesus loved, and surrounded himself with, misfits and outcasts. Saying he loved the sinners doesn’t tell the whole story, and it doesn’t evoke the true spirit of what he did. The essence of Christianity is to strive to see the underlying humanity in everyone, especially people who are easily marginalized by society. If you believe somebody is sinning, you have to see them as vulnerable, and in need of love and friendship. Our tendency to dehumanize has its origins in spiritual weakness and underdeveloped sense of boundaries. We’re afraid of becoming something we don’t understand if we get too close. We end up acting a lot more like the Pharisees than we do Jesus. I’m on the fence about forcing business to engage in commerce with anybody, but only because I’m becoming more of a libertarian puritan as a reaction to an increasingly parasitic government, and I sympathize with people who are legitimately alarmed by what is, without a doubt, a multi-fronted assault on our core value system. Still, I think it’s ill-advised to refuse to do business with people if you’re trying to win hearts and minds, and citing Christianity as a reason for doing so puts you in an even more indefensible position.

    “This inexcusable ignorance about the origins of sexual orientation—he chose to be heterosexual?— may also explain why a pizza place would labor under the delusion that any same-sex couple would have their reception catered by a pizza joint.”

    This sentence got me laughing to tears, by the way. I can just picture a couple of guys fighting over what tablecloth and silverware to use, and then ordering pizza.

  5. I have changed my stance on gay marriage, I look at it as a equality issue, you influenced that. I would and have argued that what causes homosexuality is not known but regardless personal freedom should be allowed to the fullest extent possible. The problem with this pizza joint incident is that the owners didn’t discriminate or have any intention of doing so, they may have voiced their beliefs but to punish them without acting on them is foul and will drive people who are neutral to oppose them. I think the way you have characterized the owners is unfair and unethical, I think your bias has influenced how you portrayed them. They did not seek to voice their opinion, they did not pass judgment or try to influence anyone, they had a reporter who went to them and wanted to make news, the reporter created this news. These folks have done nothing wrong, you may personally disagree with their views but you have gone well beyond anything they have done by not only voicing your disagreement with their solicited opinion but passing judgment on them, condemning them. You not only have proclaimed their opinion moronic but that that are moronic and unethical, I think you went too far.

  6. Just for future reference here is the template.

    If you are Christian, conservative, white, male, any one or all, you are automatically:
    wrong,
    offensive,
    raaaaacist,
    a hater, and
    an exploiter of women.
    This is not to say you not might actually be wrong, but that you will be made to suffer as if you were whether you are or not.

    In this particular case I think the market should determine whether this pizza place stays open or doesn’t. If you are a business that makes a point of telling people who you will NOT serve you might not be in business as long as you would wish.

    • Sounds about right. Why don’t they just put all the white conservative Christian, heterosexual men in a fenced-off Nebraska, where everyone else can keep an eye on them, and once a year dump all the white, conservative, heterosexual Christian males who reach the age of 18 on the other side of that fence? The perimeter would be guarded by rifle-wielding sharpshooters and patrolled by helicopters. Anyone crossing the perimeter would be shot. Within this area possession of weapons, money, personal computers, or cell phones would be absolutely prohibited, and there would be no landline access. No settlements or gatherings larger than 20 would be permitted, and food and medicine drops would occur weekly, clothing drops monthly. No inmate would be allowed to practice a profession, so any medical issue would need to be dealt with at a perimeter hospital, under close guard. Within two generations the population would probably be gone, and this nation would be free of racism, hared, exploitation and homophobia. Everyone happy?

      • There was a left-wing lunatic who said just that in the 70’s. He predicted that many of us would need reeducation camps, but about 25 million of us would be hopeless causes and would need to be disposed of. This was Bill Ayers, according to an FBI informant and former member of the Weather Underground. You can doubt the veracity of his claim, I suppose, in favor of a man that’s carried out over a dozen bombings.

  7. Could the state require pizzerias to cater events that include pledging allegiance to the American flag? After all, nothing in the Bible says, ““Thou shalt not send pizza to an event that includes pledging allegiance to the American flag.” Besides, it is not like there is anything religious about the American flag. How would it violate anyone’s rights to require them to cater such events if they offer catering to the general public? Hell, how would it violate anyone’s rights to require them to pledge allegiance to the flag?

    • Sure. The food provider isn’t a participant in the event.

      “How would it violate anyone’s rights to require them to cater such events if they offer catering to the general public? Hell, how would it violate anyone’s rights to require them to pledge allegiance to the flag?”

      Don’t get that,though. One is providing a product and service as a public accommodation, the other is forced expression. One works, the other doesn’t.

      And again, lets remember that the focus is ethics. Gratuitously making a wedding more difficult for anyone is just being a jerk. There’s no excuse for it, regardless of whether the law will allow it.

      • And that is the pivot for all this discussion. We accept that it is unethical to discriminate. But there’s a larger question: do the actions necessary to impose upon the market to stop this particular discrimination open a flood gate of other actions that could make the market & community even worse than the isolated instances of discrimination…in which case, though it be wrong for individuals to discriminate it would be worse overall to control the market in way to halt that discrimination.

        This is where Libertarians stop their support of denouncing discrimination. And lately, I’ve been rapidly leaning to the market side of the house.

      • Some people sincerely believe that it is immoral to pledge allegiance to the American flag. It follows therefore that they would consider planning, preparing, organizing, aiding, or abetting the pledge to also be immoral.

        the thing is, in some circumstances providing a product or service in connection with immoral conduct constitutes one or more of “planning, preparing, organizing, aiding, or abetting “. And there is significant debate on what those circumstances are.

  8. I find myself oddly sympathetic toward the Memories Pizza folks because of the media-fueled backlash against them. I don’t care for their attitude but they don’t deserve this.

    Back when I did volunteer reporting, I went to a community police meeting and afterwards I was chatting with one of the officers and he started grumbling about some commanders and the way they promoted friends over more qualified candidates. Now I had identified myself as a reporter and we hadn’t gone off the record, so I could easily have written the story: “Chicago 16th District Police Commander John Smith on numerous occasions promoted friends over other more qualified candidates, according to Patrol Officer Fred Jones….”

    I didn’t, though, because (1) it’s not fair to treat people who aren’t used to dealing with the media as if they were the White House Press Secretary, and (2) there really isn’t a lot of news value in reporting that some police officers don’t like their commanders’ decisions. “Man Strongly Disagrees With How His Boss Runs Things” is like some kind of Onion headline.

    This wasn’t quite that unfair — the owners pretty clearly knew they were being interviewed — but “Owner of Small Town Pizza Joint Says He Would Refuse To Cater Gay Weddings If Anyone Ever Asked Him To” isn’t very much of a story either. There must be thousands of people like that in Indiana alone. What’s next? We go trawl retirement communities until we find old people who still call black people “colored”?

    • There’s a FB page advocating dog safety. They shared someone’s photo of their dog ‘grimacing’ ( for lack of a better word) as their 2-year-old kissed it, the original post with the woman’s name included, and used it to make a point in a public service message to always watch your dog’s body language for family safety. Comments are already appearing regarding contacting the parents, what bad parents they are etc. I commented that it’s not up to random strangers to teach this family a lesson, and asked if this advocacy page was using the photo with permission. I got a tap-dancing answer about how if they copied it and posted it, it would be ‘using’ this woman’s photo, they were ‘sharing’ it. Heh. It’s a teaching moment! And it’s too bad I didn’t appreciate it! And, they didn’t put that woman’s name up there, she did (on her original FB post)!

      While it will not be as big as the pizza parlor flap, here is another instance of people being put out in public for judgement, and people jumping right on board. What is it? The resulting feelings of superiority? Of being ‘right’? Maybe the dog safety advocacy page can trawl FB for images of dog/ child interactions they think show potential problems and post about them, but it I don’t think it’s right.

      • It’s one thing to use these photos for education, but it’s different when you’re using it to insult people, especially since you could be wrong.

        I ran across a site called “Idiots with Guns” or something like that, which insults people who are mishandling guns in photos they’ve posted on their websites. Sometimes they had good points about safety violations, but they didn’t know much about photography, so they’d end up yelling at people for pointing their guns at the photographer because they apparently didn’t realize cameras can take pictures on a timer or under remote control. Other times they were yelling at people who were essentially models doing planned photo shoots, which is a very different situation than someone casually mishandling a firearm.

        And really, as you say, what’s the point of all the vitriol? It’s one thing to make fun of, say, a self-proclaimed expert who does something really stupid, but there’s something very unattractive about picking on ordinary folks, like your lady who just posted a nice picture of her child and dog.

        • They do it because they can. It creates a feeling of power and superiority for impotent and unimportant people. Web shaming mobs are the same phenomenon. It’s a troubling and ugly trend.

        • I love to take photographs and use an SLR still. I have years of experience as a hobby photographer, and am still sometimes surprised by an image I’ve captured…you can’t see in split-seconds, the mother in question most likely did not see the shot as she took it, but saw it afterwards on the display. The dog rolled it’s mouth back, some dogs ‘smile’ weirdly, and it could also be a sign of aggression, but we can’t know, and she surely didn’t plan the shot.

          The site’s defense of using the photo was so dishonest and hair-splitting that I decided to comment on it here. I knew people here would understand what I was saying.

          WindyPundit, I loved your comment above.

          • Exactly. I’m an amateur photographer, and that occurred to me too. If I take pictures of someone talking, I’ll often get shots of them making silly faces — eyes scrunched up, tongue dangling out, face distorted — which I did not see at all while I was there, because it’s just something that went by in an instant. I have pictures of my cats that look positively feral, yet I know they were just yawning.

    • Yeah, DSLR’s still can’t do what Kodachrome 64 or medium format can do. I have a Canon EOS-1D Mark IIN with a EF 24-70mm 2.8 L lens. It’s a bit dated, but still performs beyond the limits of my talent.

  9. They have stopped making film, if Imremember correctly. They closed their shops here about 4-5 years ago. You can still sometimes find Fujifilm, but you really have to search for it.

  10. Pingback: A Few Words About the Memories Pizza Story - Windypundit

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