Under the headline “Whatever Happened to Religious Freedom?” Roger Pilon of the Cato Institute opined, “When cake bakers and others are fined for adhering to their beliefs about same-sex marriage, a new kind of discrimination is upon us.”
The problem partly is that no one seems to practice tolerance any more. Old-fashioned tolerance was a “live and let live” thing. New tolerance is “you must endorse my opinion/life style” thing.
We may soon see cases making that of the Oregon bakers fined for discrimination to look mild. Some in the LGBT movement are already pressing for churches to lose their tax-exempt status if they do not perform same-sex marriages. On the other hand, some wish to deny now-mandatory government services (issuance of marriage licenses) based on the personal belief of whichever clerk happens to be at the window. Clearly, both are wrong.
Don’t look for help from the Supreme Court. They can tell us what’s legal, not what’s fair or equitable. It’s best if we work out what’s right in an open, un-coerced market place for ideas. Something America used to excel at.
No one likes being discriminated against, but also no one like being forced to abandon deeply held religious beliefs. If we cannot find an agreeable middle ground, we will soon have a situation no one likes.