INDIANAPOLIS, April 2, 2015 — Ryan McMaken at Mises.org makes several strong points in support of the moral and private-property-rights arguments championed in Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which has come under vicious attack in the past week.
Though his arguments are devastating to the hypocritical CEOs of Apple and Salesforce, I’d like to add three points to the broader argument:
First, the RFRA was enacted because of the systematic shakedowns of specific businesses, targeted for destruction and group financing by LGBT groups and their lawyers.
They search “Christian Business” directories for small businesses, make a demand for service and sue them out of business. Gays aren’t worried about not being able to find a baker for their wedding cake; there are plenty of bakers who will make anything, to order. It’s just an extortion racket and an acceptable venue to channel self-righteous bigots’ hatred, in the best tradition of the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton. This act puts sticks in the wheels of those actions; that is all it’s designed to do.
Second, the left’s “surprise” reaction to Indiana’s law is gaining traction largely because this is a chance to take down Mike Pence, Indiana’s governor, in case he is considering a presidential run. There has been no parallel reaction against any of the other governors of both parties in the several states where similar laws have been on the books, many for some time.
Pence is a second-tier contender, but they’re not taking chances.
Third, there is an easy illustrative counter-argument to make, at least to the cadre of Hollywood types who are lambasting business owners’ choices. Let us suppose you’re an actor with an adamantly pro-left-agenda, and you are offered an acting part in a major movie where your character is, as you see him, a despicable, stereotypical, badass bigot.
The movie producers want you to star in their movie, which celebrates the qualities of the character, because you are the best actor in Hollywood, just like Sarah’s Cake House creates the best cakes in Indiana.
But you have an issue with that: The film and character are completely at odds with your personal values.
The movie character thinks that abortion should be outlawed. The movie character feels that marriage should be between a man and a woman. The movie character is a conservative heartland Christian who owns a string of chicken restaurants, and you are an atheist and a vegetarian.
You as an actor don’t want to play this character. You simply do not want to support this project with your talents. You don’t care if another actor takes the role, you would never say that the project should not go forward or that anyone should boycott the movie once released, but you don’t want to be a part of the project.
It is your right to refuse the role simply because it does not agree with your personal convictions and you want to work for another project being done by Michael Moore. You get to choose who you work for and what projects you work on.
If it is to stand up to legal scrutiny, a Religious Freedom Restoration Act must not be worded to allow discrimination, but must still protect our rights as individuals to decide how we want to live our lives.
Using the logic being employed against the RFRA, you would be forced to take the movie part you didn’t want or be branded anti-something or other. And you could be sued into bankruptcy for refusing to play the part.
The RFRA becomes discriminatory when it says that Sam has no right to buy a wedding cake, not when it gives Sarah the right to not create Sam’s wedding cake. Likewise, Sarah could decline to bake a wedding cake because Sam wants royal icing and Sarah works only in chocolate fondant.
Part of the reason that the hysterical reaction has grown so quickly is that people won’t discuss what’s behind the orchestration of that reaction; a lot of sincerely concerned people but naïve or ignorant people are being swept away by the manipulative leftist puppet masters.