(Ed. note: the Catholic Blogger Reparative Therapy Review Board hasn’t reached consensus on whether I’m ready for full-time blogging. However, I was given permission to publish this post while my case remains under review.)
(That was a joke, btw. I’m actually in blogger rehab, and Sr Patricia smuggled me a laptop, wrapped in her labyrinth rug.)
As more states allow so-called same-sex marriages, either by vote or governmental fiat, more and more small businesses owned by committed Christians, such as this bakery in Oregon, will be pressured to act contrary to their religious beliefs, and be forced to close, or fined beyond their ability to pay.
However, it needn’t be that way. At all.
While I commend and applaud the bakery owners cited in the above story, and fully stand behind them and other business owners in the exercise of their 1st Amendment rights, it must be understood that the instigators aren’t being motivated by matters constitutional. These gay activists aren’t looking for justice under the law per se; their goal is the minimization and outright obliteration of any Christian influence within the marketplace. They detest the influence of Christian morals, and have found a means by which they can reduce said influence, under the agreeable guise of “equality”: filing discrimination lawsuits against small business owners.
And for now, it appears they are winning. Courts have been ruling in their favor – rightly or wrongly – and with each victory, the gay activists are becoming more emboldened, and momentum is on their side.
It’s time to put an end to that right now, and there’s a legal way to do it. A way that respects the religious beliefs of the small business owners. A way that eliminates the “rights vs rights” battle.
Let’s use the example of the Christian bakery owner. All he would need to do is enact a company policy stating that some level of the profit, up to and including 100%, from any wedding reception contract, will be donated to organizations and/or candidates who support traditional marriage as between one man and one woman. This policy would have to be publicly posted within his establishment so as to remove any doubt from any customer where he stands on the issue. Thus, gay activists who want to order their cake from that bakery would understand in clear and precise terms that they will be funding organizations and/or candidates who stand for traditional marriage. Furthermore, this policy would affect every and any customer wishing to order a cake – gay, straight, whomever. Every wedding cake. Every platter of cannolis. Every dessert cart. That would eliminate any charge of discrimination, because everyone’s order would be helping to fund, say, the Family Research Council, or NOM.
If you think about it, there is nothing new about this. Large corporations publicize who they support all the time, and people decide whether or not to patronize them. Boycotts have been waged against Target and Walmart and other companies, for instance. It’s a thing. What I’m proposing is a bit more assertive, especially for small businesses and proprietorship, but it might be the protection – or at least a stopgap measure – they need.
Imagine it – Michael and Justin enter a bakery wanting to order a cake from John 3:16 Baked Goods. The owner sits down with them as they look over his portfolio, and select cake #19.
“How much for #19?” they ask, fully expecting him to tell them he can’t in good conscience make cake #19 for their reception. Their lawyer’s phone number is on their iPhone’s speed dial, and they’re ready to hit send.
But the owner doesn’t go there. Instead he says, “Well, that cake goes for $1500. But let me remind you guys – John 3:16 Baked Goods’ policy is that 100% of wedding contract profits goes to NOM, and I make about 10% on #19. So you’d be donating $150 to NOM, for all intents and purposes. Just so you know.”
“B..but we don’t want our money going to NOM!” they exclaim.
“Well, guys, here’s the thing about business. I provide a service for which you pay me money. Once you give me a check, it’s no longer your money. It’s my money, and last time I checked, I have the right to spend my money any way I please. But I feel it’s fair to tell you the store policy when it comes to any and all wedding reception contracts.”
At which point, Michael and Justin leave the store in a huff, and John 3:16 Baked Goods isn’t dragged into court. Because let’s face it – no militant gay activist will ever do anything to support traditional marriage. Their goal is to destroy and dismantle, and the very thought of any money going to organizations and candidates opposed to them – especially money from a check they just wrote – would prevent them from signing a contract.
Mind you, this won’t prevent persecution, or bad press, or personal attacks. And the bakery risks losing other business because, unfortunately, a good number of Christians don’t see a problem with so-called same-sex marriage. But the baker stays in business – earning a lower profit, mind you, I understand that – in order to provide for his family and his employees. And he’s witnessing to his faith, and putting his money where his mouth is. And every Christian baker that stays in the marketplace is good for the faith, and ultimately the marketplace is better for it.
Such a policy can be used by any business that provides wedding services – florists, photographers, limousines, and the like. It takes the “rights vs rights” element off the table, and turns it into a financial/economic circumstance. No discrimination. No bias. Merely a public company policy, informing customers upfront where the money will be going.
And believe me – like-minded Christians and traditional marriage supporters will flock and rush to help these businesses. So any lost profits from the wedding side of their business would be compensated. I truly believe that.
Maybe this idea has been floated elsewhere on the Internet – I’ve not seen it or read about it, but if it has, I’ll gladly give credit to where credit’s due. I think the idea has merit, and Christian small-business owners ought to seriously consider it. They’re in a fight for their lives and existence as business owners. They have as much right to earn a living as the militant gay activist has a right to buy a wedding cake. But the fight has to be fought on economic terms, in order to preserve religious rights. The courts and legislatures and much of the culture has been turned against Christian values – to try and win this fight in the very arena where the game is rigged against us is futile. As long as it’s legal for a business to earn a profit, and as long as it’s legal for a business owner to spend their money as they choose, then perhaps the best way to fight back is to use those profits to their advantage.
So tell them their money will be funding pro-traditional marriage organizations and candidates. They do it all the time with the groups and people they support – groups and people opposed to Christian values. The Christian small business owner has to do it too. Now.