DALLAS, December, 14, 2011 ― Just as Lowes Home Improvement has pulled ads from a TLC show, “An American Muslim,” due to pressure from Florida based family values group, a few months ago, Paypal caved to pressure from the homosexual activist group, All Out, and shut down the accounts of several prominent bloggers who speak out against the homosexual lifestyle.
While it can be argued that the termination of these accounts was not handled in an ethical or honest manner due to Paypal’s suspension of the individuals’ private funds, the internet giant had every right to shut down the accounts. Whether you agree with Paypal’s decision or not, remember that the right of businesses to refuse service to absolutely anyone is a fundamental of free trade.
There is a popular myth circulating about this concept of allowing businesses to choose whether or not to serve customers based on personal convictions. The myth is that such an allowance will foster attitudes of intolerance and promote so-called “haters.” But this is a laughable fallacy, because, as a general rule, legislation is not what shapes a culture. It is popular opinion that shapes both culture and legislation, and popular opinion in the United States is shaped by our education system and the media.
Think about it. The bills that are passed – even the bills that are considered and rejected – by the U.S. Congress are bills that some elected official feels are necessary. The official is influenced by his own culture, and by his knowledge of his constituents’ culture. He will probably hesitate to propose a bill that he knows will be unpopular with the overwhelming majority of his electorate.
Thus, the most effective way to combat a society’s mode of thinking with regards to discrimination is not to make laws that prohibit them from doing what they want, but to convince them to want something else. Passing laws that force businesses to perform actions that are against their convictions doesn’t serve to change the minds of business owners. It only serves to promote division and to stifle individuals’ freedom of expression. Unless businesses are engaging in activities that harm others, such methods to control them are totalitarian and should not be endured by a free and thinking public.
So yes, Paypal was well within their rights. But that doesn’t mean that we have to support their actions. Quite the contrary. And just as the business has the right to refuse service, so you and I, as individuals and customers or potential customers, have the right to refuse to patronize the company; to boycott, protest, and vehemently complain about their decision.
It’s called free trade, and it’s how civilized adults handle their differences.
Sadly, some homosexual activist groups don’t seem to understand how to play fair. In a recent case that is just one of several others like it, a Christian business owner is being threatened with legal action for refusing service to a homosexual couple. In an interview Tuesday with KCCI 8 Des Moines, Victoria Childress, who runs a cake-baking business out of her home, described what happened when a lesbian couple came to make arrangements for a wedding cake.
“They came in and she introduced herself, and I said, ‘Is this your sister?’ She said, ‘No, this is my partner.’ I said, ‘OK,’ and I asked them to sit down and I said, ‘We need to talk.’ I said, ‘I’ll tell you I’m a Christian, and I do have convictions.’ And I said, ‘I’m sorry to tell you, but I’m not going to be able to do your cake.’ “
Childress explained further,
“I didn’t do the cake because of my convictions for their lifestyle. It is my right as a business owner. It is my right, and it’s not to discriminate against them. It’s not so much to do with them, it’s to do with me and my walk with God and what I will answer (to) him for. They thanked me for being honest with them, and they were very pleasant. I did not belittle them, speak rudely to them. There were no condescending remarks made, nothing.”
The lesbian couple, Trina Vodraska and Janelle Sievers, also implied by their remarks during the interview that the conversation was cordial. Now, however, they say they are contemplating filing a civil rights complaint.
“It was degrading, you know, it was like she chastised us for wanting to do business with her,” said Vodraska.
Do Vodraska and Sievers support Paypal’s recent decision to cut off the accounts of bloggers who verbally oppose the homosexual lifestyle? Of course, we have no way of knowing the answer to this question; but if they were watching from the sidelines and enthusiastically cheering Paypal in September, they should pause right now and ask themselves if their system of values is really consistent. Or are they insisting on having their cake and eating it too (no pun intended)?
This attack on conscience rights is highly alarming. Surely, if Paypal has the right to refuse service to individuals who fundamentally disagree with the homosexual lifestyle, Christian business owners should have the right to refuse service to homosexual couples – especially in situations as ceremonial and spiritually significant as weddings.
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