Let us undertake, shall we, a study in contrasts. What I would like to do is compare the conservative desire to refrain from violating conscience in certain business transactions and the progressive desire (progressive, progressive . . . where were we going again?) to refrain from the same.
As you may recall—it was quite a few months ago now—there were a number of causes célèbres involving evangelical bakers, florists, and photographers, who objected to being dragooned into celebrations of occasions that they did not want to celebrate. As I argued a number of times, the issue was not living in the same society with those we believed to be living immorally, or even doing business with them. The issue was doing the kind of business that required celebratory participation. In other words, the reason the controversies tended to surround the celebratory professions is that celebration is the point where evangelicals balked.
Put another way, the baker was happy to make a birthday cake for the homosexual customer because helping to celebrate a birthday is not problematic. There is no issue of conscience when homosexuals have birthdays. The sticking point came when it was demanded that people of conscience celebrate the sin itself. In all the cases I know of, when it came to that sticking point, the person involved begged off politely. They simply demurred and found themselves in the world of lawyers.Their feelings have been pampered, fêted, flattered, and fed peeled grapes for several decades now. And we’ve got the tantrums to prove it.
Now fast forward to what we are dealing with now. For reasons having mostly to do with divine providence, the shoe is on the other foot and progressives are freaking out. Notice that all the qualifications that evangelicals used to make are simply wadded up and thrown into an emotional blast furnace. Progressives are having themselves a hissy fit for the ages, and they do object to living in the same society with people who crossed them in any way. And it is not a matter of violating their consciences, which were cauterized a long time ago, but rather a matter of violating their feelings. Their feelings have not been cauterized. Their feelings have been pampered, fêted, flattered, and fed peeled grapes for several decades now. And we’ve got the tantrums to prove it.
They have absolutely no commitment to the rights of those who differ with them. They want to ostracize, to banish, to shut down, or humiliate anyone who gets in the way of their agenda. Whether it is Ivanka’s clothing line, or the NFL threatening Texas with no more Super Bowls if they don’t fix their normal bathrooms pronto, or rioters at Berkeley, or fashion designers saying that they will not adorn Melania, or Airbnb insisting that its customers conform to their sexual ideology, or the GrubHub CEO who threatened to fire any workers who voted for Trump, we are faced with hostility across the board. They don’t distinguish between the wedding cake and the birthday cake. They simply want you gone.
But even so, on our end, this whole thing is a matter of principle, not partisan politics. Apart from using the state to impose penalties related to their disinclinations, they should be absolute free to knock themselves out. If they don’t want to decorate the First Lady, they shouldn’t have to. If they don’t want to bake me any kind of cake, then I should wish them a cheery good morning and be on my way. If they especially don’t want to bake me a birthday cake, for that would presuppose my continued existence, they should be free to embrace that sentiment.
I mean, shoot, it presupposes future blog posts. Think of that.