March 31, 2015

Pence Folds

By In Blogs, C.Jay Engel

Well that was fast. The Politically Correct Lobby stared down Governor Pence, motivating him to issue a clarification and urge a new bill.

220px-Mike_Pence-_official_portrait-_112th_CongressWall Street Journal:

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said Tuesday he wants a bill by the end of this week clarifying that the state’s new religious freedom law doesn’t allow businesses to deny services to gays and lesbians.

In other words, he wants a clarification that the law doesn’t really protect anything at all.  In other words, he wants to be very clear this time: the government will punish those who do not abide by the will of the cultural elite.  The law, apparently “doesn’t allow business” to make decisions and judgements with their own property. It is market decisions by government fiat, which means it is not a market decision.

Mr. Pence, a Republican, was asked on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday in seven different ways whether the law would allow business owners to discriminate against gays by citing their religious beliefs.

As I stated previously, this mischaracterizes the root of the problem.  And as Ron Paul recently said on this issue, this law is a result of too many laws previous. There should be no law needed at all because the presumption should be that a business owner as the legal authority to make these decisions; no customer has a “right” to the goods and services of another.  Ron Paul states that it is misleading when the Left calls them rights at all. Rather, they should be called “demands.”  They law “allows” business owners to discriminate (a controversy-loaded word which should actually just be “choose”) based on their religious beliefs.  This makes the issue appear as if the great battle is between “religious views” and the LGBT community.

In reality, the principle on which this law stands should encourage a much broader admittance of the rights of business owners.  In other words, the principle is not that religious beliefs should allow one to choose his own customers, but instead the principle is that private property should allow one to choose his own customers based on anything he wants, including religion, political ideology, etc.  Indeed, the business owner should have the right to deny service to 23 year olds because the sky is blue and it is Tuesday.  It really doesn’t matter his rationale because he owns the property! Chris Rossini makes an excellent point on this subject:

One company that has a problem with the law is Angie’s List, and to show its dissatisfaction, the company is nixing plans to build a $40 million headquarters in Indianapolis.

Isn’t that interesting….

…and isn’t that discrimination?

Apparently Angie’s List has the “freedom” to notassociate with a state (and its inhabitants) that it doesn’t want to associate with. It will instead choose to associate with another state (and its inhabitants). Their discriminatory act will cost many jobs, and is a vengeful move to hurt individuals financially?

Where are all the chants against Angie’s List?

States Pence, from the WSJ article:

“We do have language that we’re working on. I’m frankly working with members of the business community and civic leaders of a variety of groups to be sure the language we’re working on everyone can stand together and say, ‘Yes, this does the job,’” he said. “I think it is critical we make a crystal clear fix to the bill that just absolutely answers the question it does not allow discrimination.”

“It does not allow discrimination.”

That is to say, it does not allow business owners to make decisions. Rather, upon threat of government coercion, the business will Do As They Are Told. Or else.

Written by C.Jay Engel

Editor and creator of The Reformed Libertarian. Living in Northern California with his wife, he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. You can send an email to
  • ttpog

    I have often thought the same thing, ‘…the principle is that private property should allow one to choose his own customers based on anything he wants, including religion, political ideology, etc. Indeed, the business owner should have the right to deny service to 23 year olds because the sky is blue and it is Tuesday.’ I couldn’t agree more! So, at the risk of sounding ‘racist’, let me clarify at the onset. There is an important distinction between an innate trait (such as skin color) and a behavior (such as homosexuality), and in spite of colored contacts, eye color is an innate trait as well. I don’t even believe in ‘race’; we are all part of the human race, and skin color is nothing more than the amount of melanin in the skin to me. I am the farthest thing from a ‘racist’.

    All of that to say, I have often wondered if the plight of black people in this country to be ‘served, or else’ didn’t pave the way for homosexuals who demand to be ‘served’ today. Or else. I personally believe it is a travesty that anyone would refuse service to someone because a person’s skin color doesn’t meet their standards. However, had the issue of serving black people been left to the individual business owners to decide, I wonder if society at large would have responded and eventually marginalized those ‘whites only’ establishments on their own? If I walk into establishment A and the owner deems me too ugly to serve, that is their right, or should be. I can’t change ugly, but I can go to establishment B where they value service to customers above the looks of customers. In doing so, I am casting a vote of sorts against establishment A. That establishment might soon garner a reputation that is repugnant to many who may decide to take their business to a more ‘tolerant of ugly’, establishment, thereby possibly putting establishment A out of business entirely, or at the least, cause them to change their position to turn away ugly people. Sure, some would survive, but they probably wouldn’t thrive. Do you think this same thing could have happened with black people? I tend to believe it might could have, but it isn’t usually a subject that is broached for reasons that are obvious. Now, instead of ‘race card’, it is becoming ‘homo card’. What demands for the ‘right’ to be served will we see next and from whom? It only stands to reason that this has opened the door. Wide.