Open Letter: When Businesses Refuse Service
A post on Facebook caught my attention just now:
A Jewish Deli wouldn’t
lose their business
for refusing to serve you
a ham & cheese sandwich.
A Muslim caterer wouldn’t
lose their business for refusing to
serve a tenderloin lunch
at a Pork Producers Convention.
An Atheist baker wouldn’t
lose their business
for refusing to provide a
Christmas cake decorated
with the nativity scene.
Yet Christian businesses
are being forced
to throw away
their religious beliefs
I couldn't help but point out the flaw in the argument, and, ultimately start a fight. Bad Stefani. I told myself I wasn't going to give in to social media arguments, but I just couldn't help myself.
See, there's a difference between not offering a service and refusing service. A Kosher Deli wouldn't have ham and cheese on the menu. For anyone. Period. A Muslim caterer wouldn't offer pork as an entree option... for any business using their service. Therefore they are not refusing to serve it to customers, it is simply something they do not provide. Would you claim discrimination if Taco Bell didn't serve you spaghetti? No, because you understand that's not what Taco Bell does. As for the "atheist baker" example... well, aside from some REALLY jackass atheist writers, 99% of atheists aren't consumed by anti-religious conviction. If an atheist baker turned away anything that was even remotely religious, they wouldn't have a business. Weddings are religious ceremonies, after all, and cakes, cookies, and breads (leavened and unleavened) have been part of weekly religious ceremonies for thousands of years. Any baker going in to the business will know and understand this.
"Yet Christian businesses are being forced to throw away their religious beliefs" - no... what is being asked is that if you bake cakes, you bake cakes for everyone. If you repair domestic cars, you repair domestic cars for everyone. If you own a Christian bookstore, you don't refuse a sale to non-Christians. No one is asking said bookstore to start carrying the Torah or the Quran - now that would be forcing someone to throw away their religious beliefs.
I believe that it's every business's right to refuse service. I do. But every business owner must understand there is risk involved when a business takes a religious or political stance. Yes, there will be people who stand beside that business, but there will be blow back, too. People will picket. Groups will push to boycott. Other people will simply choose to spend their money elsewhere. Losing business because you are refusing service doesn't mean anyone is forcing you to throw away your religious beliefs. Just like you want the ability to freely refuse service, customers are free to refuse patronage.