Vail Daily column: No shirt, no shoes, no service
April 6, 2015
The headline was a standard sign across the nation for decades, only now it reads "No whatever-I-happen-to-disagree-with, no service."
The problem of course is that if your business is for the general public, then you sell to all of the general public. Otherwise the "we don't serve your kind here" is plain and simple discrimination, and American courtrooms have consistently found that providing equal access to accommodate the general public is of great interest to a democratically-elected government and its citizens.
Sure, there are plenty of gray areas when it comes specifically to religious liberty, many more than we publicly like to acknowledge, but the amount of people who still believe that legislated discrimination is acceptable is to me in itself unacceptable.
If you deny a service to a specific group, and that service is normally available to the general public, then you are exercising religious freedom, but if that specific group publicly boycotts your service, then they are hateful liberals hell-bent on oppressing your ideology while simultaneously indoctrinating your children to become pot-smoking members of the LGBT community?
Give me a break.
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Put simpler, if you discriminate against or criticize me it's called "religious freedom," but if I do the same to you it's called "religious persecution"
People matter, beliefs do not.
Your religious liberties are being violated if you are not allowed to attend a religious service of your choice, privately pray, marry the person you love, purchase and read religious books and movies, or teach your children at home whatever creation stories you wish them to believe. Or if you are forced to use birth control.
Your religious liberties are not being violated if your neighbor chooses not to attend a religious service or pray, marries the person they love, has access to books and movies you do not like, teaches their children science and also has it taught in a publicly funded school, or uses whatever form of birth control they wish.
Other than that, please shut the hell up.
Yet I agree business owners should be legally allowed to say, "No, thank you" to business they do not want without fear of being sued, as simply disagreeing with someone's lifestyle and then standing your ground on personal beliefs does not equate to hate.
Well, most of the time but not always.
But if you think making laws to discriminate against a group of people proves your morals, then please forgive me but … you have no true morals.
Hell, I have a firmly-held belief to not support bigots, period, and if we all followed my lead we could just sit back and let the secular marketplace do its thing (duh, of course it's secular, otherwise it wouldn't be a free market).
Anyway, what if Vail Resorts said no more gays allowed to ski on Vail Mountain?
Ignoring the fact that members of the LGBT community do not wear scarlet "G's" on their forehead, from where would the outrage commence?
Think it through and then look in a mirror, you just might be surprised at the reflection.
If not, then get over yourself and let's move on, as our nation has much bigger problems to tackle for the time being.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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