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Patrick Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
24 Oct 2014
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When this writer was 3 years old, the Empire of Japan devastated Battleship Row of the U.S. Pacific Fleet at … Read More.

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17 Oct 2014
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Growing up in Washington in the 1930s and '40s, our home was, several times, put under quarantine. A poster … Read More.

How Freedom Dies

Comment

"Religious Right Cheers a Bill Allowing Refusal to Serve Gays."

Thus did the New York Times' headline, leaving no doubt as to who the black hats are, describe the proposed Arizona law to permit businesses, on religious grounds, to deny service to same-sex couples.

Examples of intolerance provided by the Times:

"In New Mexico, a photographer declined to take pictures of a lesbian couple's commitment ceremony. In Washington State, a florist would not provide flowers for a same-sex wedding. And in Colorado, a baker refused to make a cake for a party celebrating the wedding of two men."

The question Gov. Jan Brewer faces?

Should Christians, Muslims, Mormons who refuse, on religious grounds, to serve same-sex couples — that photographer, that florist, that baker, for example — be treated as criminals?

Or should Arizona leave them alone?

"Religious freedom," said Daniel Mach of the ACLU to the Times, is "not a blank check to ... impose our faith on our neighbors."

True. But who is imposing whose beliefs here?

The baker who says he's not making your wedding cake? Or those who want Arizona law to declare that either he provides that wedding cake and those flowers for that same-sex ceremony, or we see to it that he is arrested, prosecuted and put out of business?

Who is imposing his views and values here?

What we are seeing in Arizona in microcosm is what we have witnessed in America for half a century: the growing intolerance of those who preach tolerance and the corruption of the concept of civil rights.

We have seen the progression before.

In 1954, the Supreme Court declared that segregation in public schools was wrong and every black child must be allowed to attend his or her neighborhood school. By 1968, the court was demanding that white children be forcibly bussed across entire cities to insure an arbitrary racial balance.

Under the civil rights acts of the 1960s, businesses were told that in hiring, promotion, pay, and benefits, black and white, men and women must be treated alike. Equality of opportunity.

But, soon, that was no longer enough. We needed equality of result.

Corporations were ordered to maintain extensive records of the race, gender, ethnicity and sexual preferences of their entire work force to prove they were not guilty of discrimination.

And if your work force is insufficiently diverse today, you are a citizen under suspicion in a country we used to call the Land of the Free.

Consider how far we have come.

Virtually all decisions to hire, fire, promote or punish employees, to oversee the sale and rental of housing, to ensure that all minorities have access to all restaurants, hotels and motels, are under the jurisdiction of these minions who are right out of Orwell's "1984."

Scores of thousands of bureaucrats — academic, corporate, government — are on watch, overseeing our economy, patrolling our society, monitoring our behavior.

A radical idea: Suppose we repealed the civil rights laws and fired all the bureaucrats enforcing these laws.

Does anyone think hotels, motels and restaurants across Dixie, from D.C. to Texas, would stop serving black customers? Does anyone think there would again be signs sprouting up reading "whites" and "colored" on drinking foundations and restrooms?

Does anyone think restrictive covenants against Jews would be rewritten into contracts on houses? Does anything think that bars and hotels would stop serving blacks and Hispanics?

In his indictment of George III, Jefferson wrote of the king: "He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance."

Is that not what we have today in spades?

Why do we need this vast army of bureaucrats?

They exist to validate the slander that America is a racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic country which would revert to massive discrimination were it not for heroic progressives standing guard.

And, indeed, some bigots might revert to type. But so what?

Cannot a free people deal with social misconduct with social sanctions?

And isn't this what freedom is all about? The freedom of others to say things we disagree with, to publish ideas we disbelieve in, even to engage in behavior we dislike?

As for the Christians of Arizona and same-sex unions in Arizona, if they don't like each other, can they not just avoid each other? After all, it's a big state.

Why will we not see the lapsing or repeal of civil rights laws whose work is done? That would mean cracking the rice bowls of hundreds of thousands of diversicrats who would then have to apply for jobs from folks they have spent their lives harassing.

Last year, the Supreme Court struck down the preclearance provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Yet, somehow, Mississippi still has more black elected officials than any other state.

If the conditions that called for the laws of the 1960s have ceased to exist, why do those laws still exist?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at www.creators.com.

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Comments

3 Comments | Post Comment
We really do live in a screwed up country. We can't even see that forcing someone to conduct business against their wishes is wrong. I don't understand why someone would even want to patronize a business that outright refuses them. For every florist or baker that refuses services to a particular group, there are thousands who would gladly take their money for services rendered. I just don't understand this at all.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:34 AM
Re: Chris McCoy;... And Ladies and Germans, here comes Chris McCoy making once again the argument for segregation, and the refusal of equal services to black people, only now, to the Gays...
Consider this situation clearly: If you have a business offering services you have already submitted forms and applied for licences to do so, and what is more, you have limited competition, and have perhaps have used influence and statute to do so... If you are the only one on the block, and the only one in town offering that particular service as an ideal situation, and you are allowed to refuse services to anyone invested with the same equal civil rights as yourself, then equality is meaningless, or rights are meaningless...
People with fixed businesses are not in any sense in the same situation as those who may frequent their business... As a business they have certain privilages, and for those privilages it is okay to demand a certain level of social behavior... Who is to say that the good Christian restaurant owner will not spit in the food of any Gay or Lesbian couple... Let such animals spit up all the bile treasured in their empty hearts... Such freedom is perfectly understandable not as liberty, but as licence... You cannot stop people from expressing their prejudice; but a society should neither encourage such anti social behavior, nor legalize it... Religious liberty is not a right, but is a privilage that is taken out of our store of civil rights that we find already too few to enjoy...
What do the religious pay for their privilages???... When they are among their own, no one tells them what garbage or hate to preach, and no one taxes them in their temples...
Do they do anything of a redeeming social value to make up for their evasion of taxes??? No; and instead, they deny that it is this society which allows them their privilages, and teach instead that God alone grants religious liberty... Why then has it ever been necessary for unbelievers to defend the rights of believers on every battle field Americans have died upon???...
What God grants, God can defend... If the religious -who sympathize with the exploited while they stand for the privilages of the exploiters were to get on one side or the other of every issue, they would stand against all liberty as they have since the beginning of this country... The religious- because of their organization and the credulity of their subjects are a potent political force against freedom in this country... It is time for religious liberty to be taken as a simple right, and rights can only be rights so long as they do not cause wrong or injury to others...Religious privilage must end...If people read their history they would understand that religious liberty was meant only as protection from other denominations in control of the government... This was never meant to be a privilage used as the weapon against all civil rights that it has become...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #2
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:24 AM
Sir;... The people of this land, a majority in fact are beginning to understand what those who benefit from the privilages granted by the constitution to the religious are doing with their so called liberty... These people have only rarely stood for any sort of liberty, and now they have become the sworn enemy of our civil rights... They may see that just as we could not live half free and half slave, that we must now choose between privilages for a handful, or freedom for everyone...
You write propaganda... I get that, and for that purpose to call black white, and white, black fully serves your purpose... You will not unteach the lessons the churches are teaching America about the point of privilage... They demand their privilage as a right, and with that privilage they attack all rights; but the very beginning of that attack is the general acceptence that they have the right... They do not have the right to do a fraction of what they do...
No one has the right to attack rights from a position of rights... It is something the privilaged do from their privilaged position; and it is stupid, but that never stops them...They have something we all would enjoy... We have in rights something we cannot live without... They have some, and naturally want all rights, which are honestly political powers, so that they can be our masters... These people are not our friends, and not our equals, and to do ourselves justice, we would have to chuck them into the ocean...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #3
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:36 AM
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