A Maine woman is refusing to serve customers who don’t agree with her beliefs and values system. And I support her.
I support her right to choose who she serves or doesn’t serve, and for what reasons, at her restaurant(s). It doesn’t matter if I believe her views are right or wrong, or think she’s ‘on the wrong side of history’. She worked hard to build her businesses, and she should have the freedom to operate them as she sees fit. Period.
This same freedom should be extended to bakers, florists, and photographers who don’t want to provide services for a gay wedding. It should be given to a print shop that doesn’t want to print posters for the Westboro Baptist Church. It should be given to doctors, nurses, and hospitals who don’t want to provide abortions. It should be given to Muslim catering companies who don’t want to serve pork or Jewish people who don’t want to work on the Sabbath.
This is freedom. Get outside the groupthink and apply some consistency.
Our politics have led us to a place of many divisions. Our social balance hangs, in many cases, upon a thread. People find offense at nearly every word spoken. Protests are held in abundance, around the clock, for any and every reason. Our world is a tinderbox, ready to catch on fire at the drop of a hat. We couldn’t get along if our very lives depended on it.
Perhaps the last thing that we all have in common is that we all want to be free.
We should all be willing to fight for others’ freedom of conscience, even if we disagree with their beliefs, and even if we think the Constitution should require them to serve us.
Losing freedom is a lot more expensive than being forced to go eat a meal somewhere else.
Zachary Freeman is the Communications Director for FPIW. You can follow Zachary on Twitter at @ZacharyGFreeman.