Should a Pro-Abortion Printer be Forced to Print “Abortion is Murder” Signs and Shirts?

Godfather 25 February 2014
The courts have kicked a legal hornet’s nest by redefining marriage and forcing people to agree with their decision under threat of fines and possible imprisonment.

Now states are trying to project business owners that do not agree with the redefinition of marriage by passing laws allowing them to refuse service to people of the same sex who want to get married. Consider Arizona’s governor Jan Brewer:

“She must decide if she is going to sign into law legislation that would allow business owners, as long as they assert their religious beliefs, to deny service to gay and lesbian customers.”

These new legal attempts to fix what the courts broke are getting a lot of attention. They are being portrayed as pro-discrimination laws. Some have described them as similar in kind to ‘Jim Crow’ laws. Being black is not a behavior or a belief.

Business owners (religious or not) should be able to make their own decisions about who they want to do business with.

Sometimes the best way to explain to people the nature of something is to put the shoe on the other foot. Here are some “what ifs.”

  • What if a print-shop owner holds to a “pro-choice” view on abortion and a pro-life group comes in and wants shirts and signs made that read “Babies are Murdered Here” to use in front of an abortion clinic? Should the owner of the shop be forced to make the shirts and signs?
  • What if a print-shop owner who is homosexual gets an order for shirts and signs that are to read “God Hates Fags”? Should the owner be forced to fill the order under penalty of law?
  • Should a supporter of PETA who owns a print shop be forced to make signs and shirts that read “PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals”?
  • Should a baker be forced to supply cakes to a KKK-themed wedding or birthday party?
  • Should an atheist who owns a print shop be forced to print signs and shirts that read “All Atheists are Going to Hell”?
  • Should a printer be forced to print shirts and signs that read “Hitler Was Right”?
  • Should a photographer be forced to film and photograph a wedding that has a “White Power” or KKK theme?

I suspect that the vast majority of people in America would sympathize with these business owners who were asked to do something contrary to their beliefs that is an advocacy position against those beliefs.

This is quite different from a rabid racist who buys a cake from a baker or wants business cards made for his son’s new business venture. In the majority of cases, people who operate businesses don’t know the personal views or sexual habits of their customers, and in most cases they don’t want to know.

But when someone comes in to advocate for a view that has moral meaning for them, that’s a different story.

We may not like the advocacy of this group or that group, but what we should like even less is the government saying how we should advocate for our beliefs.

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