Ross Douthat - Interview with a Christian

Saw this interesting item over at the New York Times.

The premise of the essay is what would happen if Ross Douthat were interviewed by a typical reporter in regards to religious freedom.

He tackles the question of whether discrimination is ever permissible.

Excerpt:
Seriously? Shouldn’t businesses have to serve all comers? 

I think they should be able to decline service for various reasons, religious scruples included. A liberal printer shouldn’t be forced to print tracts for a right-wing cause. A Jewish deli shouldn’t be required to cater events for the Nation of Islam.
He goes on to address most criticisms raised in the same-sex marriage vs. religious freedom debate.

Read the whole thing.

On a related note, I heard that the Oregon bakery that refused to provide services for a same-sex wedding has been fined $150,000 essentially putting that baker nearly out-of-business.

My gut feeling is (1) is the discrimination in this particular case truly illegal and (2) if so, does the punishment fit the crime?

For instance, suppose someone declines to provide services on a clear cases of discrimination: the customer is of racial group X. How much should they be fined?

In this Oregon bakery case, the discrimination is not against a person but a refusal to participate in an event involving that person. Thus, one can't cite animus against a person if one will provide services for that person when that person is purchasing services as an individual.

Other examples where one can ask is this illegal discrimination or not?

A pro-environmentalist caterer is asked to provide food for a trade association meeting of oil drilling equipment manufacturers. Can they legally refuse to provide this service without being charged with illegal discrimination?

A pro-Palastine photographer is asked to photograph the red-carpet guests at a pro-Israel film. Can they legally refuse to provide this service without being charged with illegal discrimination?

A pro-abortion videographer is asked to produce a 2 minute commercial for a pro-life non-profit organization. Can they legally refuse to provide this service without being charged with illegal discrimination?

A Jewish artist is asked to produce posters for a movie that promotes the Blood Libel. Can they legally refuse to provide this service without being charged with illegal discrimination?


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