My friend is a member of the LGBTQ community, and it was not my intention to offend her. But it is an example of how people rarely think before they speak or act regarding sensitive subjects. But what God said to me what that we, as a people, need to start respecting each other in all things.
As I said to my friend, I see arguments on both sides that are valid. In fact, God showed me that there are many such dilemmas where a valid argument can be made on both sides of a sensitive situation.
Matt is not necessarily against the LGBTQ community, rather he is against applying freedom restrictions unfairly. He was correct in his statements about freedom of association and expression, but he neglected to remember that respect would say we should not refuse service to reasonable people, despite our personal views.
My friend also had a valid viewpoint that refusing to serve a member of the LGBTQ community is akin to refusing to serve an African-American or a Jew. That situation would surely cause lawsuits, and be supported by even Christians nation-wide. But these lawsuits and arrests simply polarize the sides.
Our country is divided enough already.
What happened to treating all people with respect? Is suing and having a judge force a baker to cater a gay couple’s wedding really respecting his religious views? And if you were this gay couple, would you really want this baker making YOUR cake? Just go find another baker. Or look at the t-shirt company that referred a gay pride parade to another printer that could print for them, because of his religious beliefs? The t-shirt company was being respectful of the gay’s right to march, so would it have hurt to show respect for the t-shirt company’s right to their religious beliefs? Or was it better to sue?
People used to vote with their feet, much like was done to the florist in Washington. People simply quit going there. They patronized other businesses, and the florist went out of business very quickly.
Businesses are said to have the right to refuse service to anyone. It is obvious that is not true. If it was, businesses could refuse service to African Americans, or Catholics, or gun owners, or women.
Yes, I snuck gun free zones in there. It is not the same thing, you say? What about “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service?” Or “We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service for Any Reason?” How about a handicapped person bringing a dog to a restaurant? Believe me, I have done that with my Service Animal, and you might be surprised how many people (including business owners) think that is “unreasonable” and hassle me.
Where do we draw the line? Who gets their rights and beliefs respected, and who does not?
We have double standards in our country.
An example: My wife worked in a retail environment for a while. One of the employees she worked with came from a country where the women were not allowed to view a man in underwear. As such, she could not put packages of underwear on the shelves. The (considerable) extra work fell to my wife, who did it quietly. Could we say my wife respected the rights of this co-worker? Could we also say that the co-worker was disrespectful, by taking a job where stocking shelves was a job requirement (and the job description called out stocking shelves) and refusing to do it?
How about another example? Two people were working at a nursing home, where the job requirement was to do ADLs (activities of daily living) with seniors, including helping them bathe. But one employee called out “religious beliefs” as a reason not to help seniors bathe. Instead of having to bathe 7 seniors a shift, the other employee was left to bathe 14 people. I’m curious how somebody gets offered and accepts a job at a retirement home and then refuses to do a major part of the work. Never mind this same person would smoke, and drink at bars, both of which were against this persons religion. Respectful?
The country seems to have gotten into the realm of Lil Kim in the song “Money, Power, Respect,” where she says first comes money, then power, then people respect you. It is time to let go of the power we desire over others, and go straight to respect.
I guess my point is that we as a people need to learn to respect others in all we do.
Shop where people treat you well. Sell to anyone who can afford your product. Remember that others may be having a bad day. Treat all people the same. Respect cultural differences (yes, not everyone is American, nor understands our culture). Ignore other people’s sexual preference. Keep your sexual preferences to yourself. It is a two way street in everything.
Let’s get back to being united, and working together.