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.
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.
Source: If You Only News