Thursday, February 27, 2014

Should Businesses Have the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone?

I want to share a link to a blog that I think hits the nail on the head!  I keep seeing even Christians going on about the bills regarding refusing service to someone based on a conflict with our religious beliefs and how we are discriminating and Jesus is love, etc., but this article nails it--it isn't at all about discrimination.  We don't judge the person but we should have the right to refuse to participate in a practice that we disagree with.  I love his examples of the lawsuits where the people had no problem with the people themselves and had served them previously, but just declined to take part in the events they disagreed with.  And he gives examples of how you would never expect others to be forced to do something against their beliefs.  He is so on-target with this being absolutely nothing like the discrimination humanity has witnessed and perpetrated against blacks or Jews, etc.--how dare anyone compare an inconvenience to being beaten and tortured and killed.

And before you tell me that it's not a choice, it's how you were born, let me say that I disagree.  God wouldn't say in His Word that it is sin if you couldn't help it.  I think people can be born with certain temptation toward certain sin, such as alcoholism.  But, you can overcome it--I personally know one woman who has and you can read about another here:

As a photographer, I completely understand the concerns.  While I don't do weddings at all, what happens if I refuse to take engagement photos?  When I was working for the national company that does newborn photos in the hospital, I once had a lesbian couple that I had to photograph.  It was uncomfortable for me, but they weren't forcing their lifestyle on me and I didn't try to force my beliefs on them.  It put me in the position when I had to consider, in my own business, what would I do in this situation?  As I was merely an employee in a large company, I didn't even entertain the idea of refusing to do it.  And I think in my own photography business, I would still do newborn pictures for a gay couple.  However, I wouldn't do engagement photos or family pictures, I don't think.  Because when I take pictures, I am putting my name on them and that connotes acceptance and condoning.  So, am I discriminating against the gay person?  No, I am not against THEM personally, I disagree with their lifestyle and I shouldn't be forced to participate when I believe it is wrong.

Do not mistake me.  I have friends and (ex-) family members who are gay.  I do not hate them, I love them.  I do not beat them over the head with judgment.  Their conduct is between them and God.  Yes, I believe the Bible says that is wrong, just as any sin identified by God is wrong.  Lying is a sin, adultery is a sin, stealing is a sin and I won't condone any of those.  I'm not perfect and I sin, but I am constantly striving towards being Christ-like and have requested and continue to request forgiveness from God.  The first step for any sinner, regardless of their sin (because God is no respecter of persons and he doesn't categorize sin like we try to sometimes, that one is worse than another), is faith.  Deciding to follow Christ and have a relationship with him.  Conviction for your sin and changing your life is a job between the person and the Holy Spirit.  Now, once someone becomes a Christian, their brothers and sisters in Christ have an obligation to exhort them to deal with any sin and lovingly encourage them in their pursuit of holiness.  But, until someone is a Christ-follower, you cannot expect them to live under the same convictions that we do.  Likewise, non-Christians should not expect us to live under their beliefs.  It's amazing how shocking it is when Christians behave according to their Christian beliefs!  But, the thing that I find shocking is how many people who say they are Christians are saying that Jesus is love and we shouldn't discriminate, etc.  Yes, Jesus is love and yes, we don't judge, but sin is still sin--God's Word has not changed and His expectation hasn't changed.  What part does light have with darkness?  We are called to be holy, which means set apart.  We should be different than the world.  We are supposed to be.  No, we're not the cool kids' club that sits around pointing fingers at everyone.  Here's the long and short of it: we are followers of Christ that walk in agreement to the beliefs that we have according to the Word of God.  We desire everyone, regardless of their sin, to come to Christ and join our family.  We have open arms to everyone, and like God, are not willing that any would go to hell.  But, if you decline that invitation, while we will still love you and won't beat you over the head with it and won't shun you, don't expect us to lower our standards or participate in the life you have chosen.  We will continue to live as we are told and continue to invite you to join us.

As for my photography business, the kicker is that I have declined doing pictures because the client wants a style that doesn't line up with what I do.  So, I decline even people that I don't disagree with their lifestyle.  But, if I were to decline a gay couple, could I be forced to compromise my beliefs and forced to conform my art and style against my will?  Would I be forced to put my name on something I disagree with?  If I got a call from one of those families on TLC who believe in plural marriage, I would refuse to photograph their family.  If a married man wanted me to take pictures of him and his girlfriend, I would refuse.  If a drug dealer wanted me to take pictures of his thugs, I would refuse.  I would refuse anything that I find morally wrong, whether it's homosexuality or any other of a myriad of things I disagree with.  If I did do weddings, I probably wouldn't photograph a Hindu wedding, or a Mormon wedding, or a Buddhist wedding.  And that should be my right to run my PRIVATE business the way I want.  Matt Walsh has a great blog about that too:

My question is, where will it end?  My daughter recently had a friend who confided that she is bisexual.  She had a birthday slumber party that she requested my daughter come to.  I said no.  I have nothing against that little girl.  In fact, my heart breaks for her because she has had a horrible life and has so many emotional problems.  But, I am not going to put my daughter in a position of compromise.  In 5th grade, she had a few friends who had a slumber party that descended in them "experimenting" with each other.  I am not going to expose her to a lifestyle I disagree with.  When my daughter was 4, a lesbian couple that we knew invited her over and I politely declined.  I will not send my child over to any home unsupervised when she she might be exposed to anything I disagree with, whether it's an inappropriate family member, a cheating dad, a drug dealer, an alcoholic parent, or a gay couple.  How long before someone forces me to send my daughter to someone's house because refusing to is discrimination?  How long before a lawsuit on a church because they refuse to perform a gay marriage?  Oh, wait, I heard that's already happening.  What if the reverse were true?  What if a church forced someone to go to their church?  What happened to freedom of speech, freedom of religion?

I guess it's all a moot point since the bill in Arizona was vetoed, but it shouldn't matter.  The bill of rights covers this.  There's still the Kansas bill, which is apparently very different, as I read here.  I guess my response is that if there's a chance I will be forced to photograph something that I find morally wrong, I will close it down and stop being a photographer altogether.  It'll go back to being my hobby not my business.

And here's the blog I wanted to share with you:

No comments: