October 19, 2015
Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire, noted that the governors of Arkansas and Indiana both caved recently to pressures from gay rights groups and other “piggy back” activists, and quickly amended their recently signed, nearly identical laws which ostensibly reinforced freedom of religious expression as protected by our Constitution. The laws have been interpreted by many to license discrimination under the guise of religious principles. Specifically, opponents of the laws fear that a restaurant owner, for example, whose religion does not acknowledge or condone gay marriage, could be justified and legally protected, in refusing to serve a gay couple.
There is no evidence that such discriminatory practices would actually happen, or that they have occurred in the many states that have had similar laws on the books for many years. While such a practice would be decidedly repulsive and perhaps shocking in today’s progressive society, the legitimate question remains, should folks be forced to deny or at least compromise their religious beliefs? Can we insist that business owners not discriminate on any grounds? Does the Civil Rights Act deny entrepreneurs the right to choose their clients based on their own religious criteria and personal beliefs (right or wrong)? A restaurant is hardly a “public good” that is to be cherished and protected for access by all humanity, isn’t it?
The controversy over these laws appears to be much ado about nothing. The enactment of the laws in these two states would have gone unnoticed if not for the hypersensitized environment we live in, one that has cried ‘racism’ and ‘discrimination’ at the slightest provocation (usually committed by a white individual), and totally ignores blatantly racist, sexist and discriminatory actions of its minority population.