Although I hold disagreements with him in some areas, I admire John Stossel as a libertarian and reporter. His strange stance on NSA surveillance notwithstanding, it takes guts to make the arguments he does, even when he does not agree with the people he defends. To do so when everyone else around you conforms to only the most carefully Approved Social Thoughts requires some fortitude.
In a recent column of his, he correctly separates morality from legality within the context of the Indiana law debacle. He’s alarmed, as anyone should be, that people actually think they have a right to force someone to serve them or face state violence.
He also raises a question that begs to be asked.
Why force someone who disapproves of your actions to bake you a cake? Lots of other bakers would love the business. This debate has moved from inclusion to demanding that everyone adopt your values.
Indeed. Why financially support a business owner whose values you detest? Why not let them openly state their moral beliefs without hindrance or fear, so you know which ones to avoid and in doing so send them a clear message? What person actively seeks out businesses that are outright opposed to their values?
Because the intent is to humiliate one’s enemies by flaunting one’s dominant position over them. It is very much akin to a victorious army demonstrating their superiority over the conquered foe. When the United States military ran up the Stars and Stripes in Mexico City during the Mexican-American War, it wasn’t done for practical reasons, but to humiliate the native population in defeat. Likewise, when Hitler forced the French in 1940 to surrender in the same railroad car Germany had to them in 1918, it wasn’t because there was plenty of room in there.
The debate is not about civil rights or discrimination. It is an ideological war, and the presumed conquerors are attempting to coerce people who they know hold separate values, into a submissive role. It is an attempt to impose social and sexual morals on other people via state violence.
Just as people want to use state marriage licenses or even tax credits to control social behavior, these activists are not interested in protecting rights but harassing those who do not subscribe to their particular beliefs. One way to do this is by forcing them to participate, however indirectly, in the very activity they do not condone.
And as the eternally astute Tom Woods once remarked, “Only a thug brings in the State when someone refuses to bake you a cake.”
Note: Having written on this topic repeatedly, I think I’ll put it to rest here, but I thought this was a good note on which to conclude.