Legal or Moral?

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Dear visionaries,

In response to Randall, I fully understand that the current legal situation makes a distinction between speech and restaurant management. I want to know why. How come? By what standard? What is so magical about speech? Why is the First Amendment first misunderstood and then absolutized? Why is the Tenth Amendment ignored? Give me an argument, not a court decision. I know about the court decisions, because the court decisions are causing the problem I am resisting. If behavioral patterns have the same protections on someone else’s private property as does race, then where do we stop? Remember the basic question, which is by what standard?

In my restaurant, do I have to serve neo-Nazis? homosexuals? heterosexuals? Congressmen? quilters? kleptomaniacs? smokers? Masons? barefoot teenagers? topless women? men with Tourette’s syndrome? tree-huggers?

Susannah asks us to remember to be as civil as we can be in our exchanges — which I am certainly happy to do. Remember, my use of “jerk” was applied to the hypothetical racist, the one that some folks on this list like to assume resides a millimeter beneath my argument, and my skin. So please remember that civility includes refusing to rush to the facile equation (for progressives) of theological conservatism with hate speech, racism, and so on.


Douglas Wilson

“Apologetics in the Void” are repostings from an on-going electronic discussion and debate I had some time ago with members of our local community, whose names I have changed. The list serve is called Vision 20/20, and hence the name “visionaries.” Reading just these posts probably feels like listening to one half of a phone conversation, but I don’t feel at liberty to publish what others have written. But I have been editing these posts (lightly) with intelligibility in mind.

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