“I learned that very often the most intolerant and narrow-minded people are the ones who congratulate themselves on their tolerance and open-mindedness.”
— Christopher Hitchens
Let’s talk hypothetically for a moment. Let’s make it two moments as I give two hypothetical cases:
A) A gay couple go into a bakery and order a cake for their wedding. The owner refuses to serve them. A large ruckus results that includes people calling up the baker with death threats and boycotts. The baker tries to protest that he has the right to refuse service to anyone including those who do not live according to his beliefs. Eventually he is fined for discrimination. Justice has won the day according to most people.
B) A right wing politician whom many consider bordering on fascist enters a restaurant. The owner refuses to serve him. The restauranteur states that he has the right to refuse service to anyone including those who do not live according to his beliefs. The politician leaves followed by a crowd of people jeering at him and threatening violence in protest. Justice has won the day according to most people.
I have a serious problem reconciling the two ideas of justice portrayed in the two situations above and yet both situations resemble real world happenings.
This has little to do with my own political leanings except that either business owners have the right to refuse service at their discretion or they don’t.
I disagree with both restaurant owners and find their refusal in both cases to be ridiculously narrow-minded and shortsighted. Did the baker fear that the lord would strike down his bakery if he helped make something beautiful for two people in love. Did the restauranteur fear that if the politician started talking, people would immediately be spell-bound, put on jackboots and start walking down the street hitting minorities with truncheons? Then again I have never feared ideas or lifestyles that were different than my own and I detest the idea of letting fear control my actions.
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