The government legislating when we are allowed to use, live by, and express our religious convictions and values is not religious freedom.
The real problem is that the fight against religious freedom in the public square has nothing to do with equality, but has everything to do with dismantling the very idea of God, and the idea that there is a higher power apart from the federal government. In the minds of progressives (liberals and most Democrats) there should be no ideology that conflicts with the highest form of providence – the federal government. Silencing any opposition to their agenda is their redefined definition of tolerance.
Sit down. Shut up. Comply, or face the consequences. This is their tolerance.
Since we now need to legislate issues that are already addressed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, there is a simple, logical, common sense approach to the current situation, but it requires us to all use common sense and be reasonable.
These three basic (and obviously informal) guidelines would be a large step in solving the current debate occurring largely between religious freedom in the public square and sexual deviancy.
1) No person should be forced to shop or spend their money at any business that they feel does not align with their lifestyle, moral convictions, sexual orientation, race, gender, height, or religious convictions.
2) Businesses should be required to serve all reasonable customers general goods and services. Reasonable, meaning that they are not disruptive or physically threatening to your business. General goods and services are all provisions required to live, or any product or service that does not require tailoring or customization (via artistic expression) to conform or comply with a specific lifestyle or ideology. This goes beyond religious freedom, and is more closely aligned with basic moral convictions, business strategy, and the ownership’s vision for their company than anything else.
3) Any product or service that requires tailoring by the individual or company in order to meet the specific lifestyle or ideological expectations of the customer should not be mandated by the government. Mandating that a business reject its own values is ridiculous. Offended customers are welcome to shop somewhere else. On the same note, interaction with customers that fall under the ‘approved for denial’ category would still be dealt with and communicated to in a respectful and professional manner.
Examples of approved customer “discrimination” would be:
• Website developers should not be required to build porn websites (or sites that require them to compromise their values)
• Marketing agencies should not be forced to work with organizations like the KKK
• Painters should not be forced into painting graphic murals
• Tattoo artists should be able to reject certain artwork, or artwork locations
• Wedding photographers should not be required to photograph nude individuals
• Pastors should not be required to perform contradictory weddings
• Clubs and shows should be able to enforce age limits above 18 (Dave and Busters already does this)
• Bakers should not be forced into baking cakes for ANY particular event that they feel contradicts their values
• Restaurants should be able to enforce dress attire, and discriminate against those who do not comply