I was a huge Parks and Recreation fan.
And is it just me, or do the fictional citizens of Pawnee, Indiana seem a little bit less fictional and more drawn from life lately? Seriously, the fickle voters of Pawnee could always be counted on to harass Leslie with even the most inane of complaints. “I didn’t say I wanted all the slugs gone, just some of them!” is probably my favorite line of the entire series.
Lately, Indiana has been receiving plenty of completely deserved attention for finally making a stand for all of their persecuted Christians. Pizza shop owners seem to be especially grateful for their newly protected freedom to refuse service to LGBT customers.
Because serving someone pizza is obviously an endorsement of a customer’s lifestyle.
Can we all admit that Christianity, at least in America is getting worse?
This is what Christians do not understand about religious freedom.
You Can Discriminate All You Want
Like most controversies in the Christian culture, this one smacks of predictability and a profound misunderstanding of what it means to be free in America…and what it means to be a Christian in America. I could not have written a more predictable script: Christian owners of Memories Pizza get on TV and declares his right to refuse service. Bunch of Christians donate almost $900 grand to persecuted (American) Christians.
What no one seems to understand is that if you own a pizza shop, a car wash or any other business, you have the absolute right to discriminate, to refuse service, to reserve your business for just the people you want to serve.
It’s called a non-profit.
You don’t have to serve anyone you don’t want to…if you don’t want to make a profit. But we have all agreed that if you want to have a business in America, you are not allowed to make judgments on the strangers who come through your door.
If you want to discriminate because it makes you feel more free, you can make all the non-profit pizza you want.
The Hypothetical ‘Gay Wedding’ Boogeyman
I want to ask a question of all the people who donated to the poor pizzeria:
What do you think your dollars are doing?
Did they cure cancer? No.
Did they help the victims of a natural disaster? No.
How much business do you think Memories Pizza actually lost before they closed?
I don’t think it could have been very much. After all, is it not absurd that the whole argument was based on a hypothetical.
“If a gay couple wanted us to cater their wedding, we would have to refuse…”
Which, by the way, means they never actually were compelled to cater a gay wedding.
When did gay wedding become the hypothetical boogeyman of choice? How many of us are ever going to have the opportunity (or obligation) to photograph, cater, dress or style a gay wedding? For that matter, I sincerely doubt any gay couple, even in Indiana has ever said, “You know what we should serve at the reception? Pizza.” If I think I know one thing about gay weddings, it’s that they probably don’t serve pizza.
If you feel that bad about making money from a gay couple, then donate the profits of the sale to charity. But you know, if the Pope can get down on his knees and wash the feet of some pretty scandalous people, I think you can man up and serve some pepperoni to a gay couple.
Is Your Pizza Making the World Better?
I was recently looking at Harry’s shaving supplies because the ads keep popping up in my browser. One of the founders also founded Warby Parker, an eyeglass company. No statement of faith or anything like that.
Guess what? Warby Parker does the same thing that Toms does: donates a pair of glasses for each one sold. Harry’s donates time and profit to local charities.
Why? Because they say “business should make the world a better place.”
Jesus told his followers that if someone demands your coat, to also give them your shirt.
Let me ask you: is your pizza making the world a better place? It doesn’t look like it.
Are you giving more than people demand? (That’s a rhetorical question. We know what the answer is.)
Once again, I can look across the pasture so to speak, and see greener grass. I see people doing what we are supposed to be doing, better than us. The law of love is written on their hearts. Meanwhile, we are stuck with people who whine and complain and then get a hundred thousand dollars donated to them by knee-jerk, martyr complex Christians.
If you want me, I’ll be starting a lemonade stand. Anyone can buy my lemonade.