Michael D. Dean
Michael Dean, an attorney who litigates in defense of Christian liberties.
I'm a Gentile. I like a good club sandwich. Even a BLT once in a while.
No doubt there are Orthodox and Islamic folks who think that's sinful. But until recently, it never occurred to me to call a Kosher deli or a Halal butcher and order a ham on rye. Or find something they actually do sell and ask them to cater it to a baptism or Easter service or first communion or some other place or time they find offensive.
Orthodox and Moslem vendors discriminate. And in one way or another, so do most other people for whom religion (or anything else) still actually means something.
But in a free country, you live and let live. Because calling out the equal rights police and the torch and pitchfork media to burn a religious dissenter in the public square is stupid, mean, and vicious.
Then a few months ago I saw an interview with the Indiana woman who'd gone into hiding after Pizza-Nacht, now trying to put back together her life and business shredded by the Brownshirts that pass for main stream media.
Assuming there really was a ceremony and not just another polemic media stunt, the special couple apparently decided to celebrate the most meaningful day of their lives with take-out. Then somehow managed to find the one pizza joint in the entire Western hemisphere that had a problem delivering double pepperoni to a same-sex celebration.
In a rational live and let live world, when I find out a deli is kosher, I say OK, and order my ham on rye some place else. And when the decent 99 percent of gays in America find out a pizza parlor is Christian, they say OK, and order a veggie supreme from one of the 50,000 stores in Indiana that don't care.
But live and let live isn't what destroying the pizza lady was about. It wasn't even about whether she would serve gays - my guess is she's served hundreds over the years and never thought twice about it.
No, a gay ceremony is an expressive event, and demanding that a Christian cater it is about making her personally participate in, ever so slightly, something that violates her conscience. It's about forcing her to help express and implicitly endorse, even incidentally, an idea she disagrees with.
And forcing those they disagree with to violate conscience by endorsing and participating in something abhorrent is what the left is always about.
Abortion zealots have been at it for years. Co-opt police and regulators to force a pro-life pharmacist or company to sell or pay for an abortifacient. Force a pro-life nurse or doctor to help kill a human being in utero.
It doesn't matter that drugs and abortions are easily available from someone else. Force that Christian to drop just the tiniest pinch of incense on Caesar's altar. And if she refuses, turn the lions loose.
The left has never been about tolerance. That's just a mantra for the gullible until they run things. Once they're in charge, the "right of privacy" between a woman and her doctor to kill a human being becomes the right to violate someone else's privacy and force someone else's doctor to kill a human being. Once they're in charge, it's no longer about forcing government to tolerate and recognize "gay marriage" - it's about forcing every last private individual in the country to do so too. Or be destroyed.
Left-wing zealots know - as fascists have always known - that if they can make a Christian not just tolerate something abhorrent, but affirmatively endorse or participate in it - then she's violated her conscience, and they have her.
The baiters and knee-jerk media obsess that pizza lady is like white restaurants refusing to serve blacks. Not even close.
Besides the fact that race and same-gender sex aren't remotely the same (in bearing and raising children, race doesn't matter, gender obviously does), there's a world of difference between selling someone the same thing you sell everyone else, and being forced to sell it in a way that makes you endorse and participate in expression and ideas that violate your conscience.
Of course it's a double standard. Think about the lying, never-knew-the-Ray-Rice-elevator-video-existed-but-now-I'm-really-really-shocked commissioner of the misogynistic NFL, that brave behemoth that threatened to pull the Super Bowl from Arizona if the governor signed legislation protecting bakers and photographers from being forced to create and sell messages that violated their consciences - mom and pop businesses that wanted nothing more than the same protection demanded by the NFL's 32 multi-billion dollar franchises, every last one of which reserves the absolute right to control and censor the images, messages and advertising fans and customers bring into their publicly-funded places of business. (Think you'll ever see John 3:16 in an end zone again?)
If you think I'm wrong, do you really want Orthodox and Muslims forced to butcher and sell pork as the price of earning a living? Do you really want Black Muslim and Planned Parenthood bookstores forced to sell and deliver New Testaments and pro-life pamphlets? Do you really want gay ad agencies forced to design and execute Christian ad campaigns? Or vice versa?
And if you still think I'm wrong, call Roger Goodell. The NFL could use someone with your talent. *