Thursday, August 28, 2014

Intolerance on Its Head

A judge says to a New York couple, “Open up your home to provide a gay wedding or face $10,000 in fines plus $3,000 in damages.” Not kidding. 

There must be more to the story. Yes, a bit. But this is the basic truth of it. (Read more here and here.)
Photo originally screen capture from website,
found in this story
The New York couple, Robert and Cynthia Gifford, own a family farm. As you might imagine, making a living from a family farm is tenuous. But the location is rustically scenic. So they do additional business by allowing events there. These include various kinds of events: business parties, school events, birthday parties, and sometimes weddings and receptions.
The main covered venue is a large barn, above which is the couple’s living space, where they are raising their two children. When the Giffords consent to do a wedding, they do the decorating, the food, the setup…. Some events they are less involved in, including receptions elsewhere on the property. But a wedding, in their home—their rustic barn home—is something they take on as a partnership with the couple being married.
You can imagine they can’t take on that kind of event every day. They have to want to celebrate with the couple. After all, this is in their home, and it’s taking up their life and livelihood for some significant amount of time.
So, along comes a lesbian couple who want their wedding in the barn/home. The Giffords are religious Christians. They are not comfortable putting their heart and soul into something that goes against their belief in traditional marriage. So they suggest lesser services, such as a reception on the grounds. Not good enough. The lesbians insist they want the whole shebang or nothing. So the farm owners shrug their shoulders and say they’re sorry they can’t help.
What would a tolerant engaged couple do? Respect the kindly and respectfully offered decision, and go find another venue. Not this couple. They insist it is their right to force this farm family to open their home and give them the full-service wedding. Or else! And the or else was a lawsuit. With a liberal judge, who thinks it’s OK to enslave someone into servitude, not just in their own business but, in this case, in their own home. He gets away with this travesty by claiming the lesbian couple is “suffering” intolerance from the farm owners.
The entire exchange happened in a “recorded” three-minute phonecall.
I have handled wedding events for all three of my children, with receptions in Texas and out of state. These required a lot of phonecalls, plus some in-person visits. I never once considered recording a phonecall. Why would I? If service couldn’t (or wouldn’t) be rendered by a particular vendor, I’d simply go elsewhere. And if there were details that needed to be remembered, I wrote notes, followed up with emails, or called again to clarify. I think that’s normal.
There was a business that turned us away, with prejudice. This was some months before daughter Social Sphere’s wedding. Just a couple of weeks afterward was the wedding of my daughter-in-law’s sister, who has long been a friend of Social Sphere. So the girls all got together, over Christmas break, to do some wedding exploration. Between our houses (about 40 miles apart) there’s a business we see from the freeway that does wedding-related business. We hadn’t ever been inside, so I wasn’t sure if they did dresses, had a reception venue, provided decorations for your venue, or a variety of other services. So I suggested the girls stop in and find out what they offered. They had granddaughter Little Political Sphere with them, at age 2 ½. She can be a handful, but at the time was clean and fed and under control. I think an older sister, with babe in arms, was also helping. The proprietor came up to these girls—two of them wearing engagement rings and ready to explore all kinds of wedding spending—and sent them out of the place because they had children with them. Talk about prejudice. We think that the proprietor didn’t believe the girls were seriously shopping. But the message was clear: people like you (people who have the nerve to bring a child with them) are not welcome here.
So, Weddings by Debbie, in Katy, Texas, gets no recommendation or business from us. Ever. In fact, after knowing how strongly they preferred not to do business with us, I wouldn’t want their services. The idea of forcing them to do something for us, through the courts, never came up.
The fact that it came up for Jenny McCarthy and Melissa Erwin, after a brief—recorded—phonecall, leads me to believe they were seeking a chance for a lawsuit more than then were seeking a lovely, rustic wedding venue.
What we don’t know is how many venues they contacted before they could find one that would offend them suitably for a lawsuit.
The fines might not put the Giffords out of business, but that is a risk. And in their case, losing the business could mean losing their home. Their options are to appeal to the state Supreme Court, or to countersue for violation of their religious freedoms. Either of those options requires money, which they may not have access to. Another consideration is hiring an event planner to separate them from participating in any event they might not want to be involved in. This would also cost them.
None of their options—for living their lives according to valid religious beliefs, in their business and in their home—is easy or inexpensive.
But it’s better than being beheaded, right? Yes. ISIS is moving through the Middle East, summarily executing anyone who holds religious beliefs not meeting ISIS approval. They don’t tolerate dissent.
Neither do the lesbian couple and the New York Judge. If execution were an optional punishment for failure to agree with the homosexual agenda, would they seek it? I don’t know. I hope not. But enslaving someone into service in their own home—because of the pain and anguish you suffered from a three-minute phonecall in which they said they were willing to serve you in other ways—is pretty spiteful. It is not, by any stretch, tolerant.
In the Spherical Model world, honoring family and living according to the Ten Commandments are two components necessary for freedom, prosperity, and civilization, found in the northern hemisphere. Tolerance where there is disagreement, and respect toward all people is part of civilization. Forcing someone to violate their religion is southern hemisphere savagery. ISIS is clearly savage. The difference between their intolerance and that of the Giffords’ opponents is a matter of degree. The more savagery is tolerated, the more civilization deteriorates into more severe savagery. There is no civilization to be found going in that direction.

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