In Northern Ireland, a judge ruled a bakery owner was guilty of a crime because the owner refused to put a pro-gay marriage statement on a wedding cake.
On a pragmatic level, I think this was a mistake by the owner.There’s no upside to deny business to a willing customer.
And even if I was on the side of Christians who hold some definition of marriage as sacred, I’d think discrimination is wrong-headed.
It boils down to this…
“Earn all you can, give all you can, save all you can”
Discrimination defeats that purpose. It make you lose money for no apparent reason and is counter-productive to whatever statement Christians wants to make.
After all, discrimination…
- Is not a loving act; it defies the baseline of Christianity, which as I understand it is charity (good will) toward others.
- Goes against one’s basic self-interest: why make others dislike you?
So, discrimination seems wrong to me, whether the reason is sex, sexual orientation, skin color, nationality, religion, or what have you.
But on the other hand…
It seems to me that it’s worse to fine or throw someone in prison just because they want to discriminate.
That’s because bigotry is a vice, but not a crime. As Lysnader Spooner said…
Vices are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property. Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another.
For a government to declare a vice to be a crime, and to punish it as such, is an attempt to falsify the very nature of things”
At worst, bigotry wastes other people’s time, But it doesn't hurt people the ways violence and theft do.
Criminal wrongdoing, however, is a a crime. People are hurt. Measurable damage is done to people and/or their property, without their consent.
Bigotry doesn't damage other people the same way.
Just like other victimless "crimes" like prostitution or drug addiction, bigots harm themselves..
Bigotry hurts the bigot more than the target of bigotry.
Bigotry is its own punishment.
And it's not a crime.