Part of why I am so disappointed in the Gary Johnson campaign is that his remarks on the wedding cake controversy lead Scott Sumner to say this: “Sorry, but bigots having their feelings hurt is not high on my list of problems…”
I eventually realized that my critics on this thread truly had no idea what the standard libertarian view on business issues is, and they had even less understanding of the gay wedding stuff. So here were two of my comments, one snarky and one pretty straightforward.
The snarky one, explaining why it is incorrect to say that Christian bakers want to “refuse to serve gays”:
…Last thing, for the record, for those who are lurking: It is completely inaccurate to say the wedding cake thing is about “denying sales to gay people.” Have any of you ever in your life been in a bakery, seen a guy trying to buy a pastry, and heard the cashier ask, “Just double-checking: You like girls, right?”
Of course not. There are Bible-believing Christians who sincerely believe (and you can think they’re nuts if you want) that marriage, by definition, is between a man and a woman.
Look, suppose a brother and a sister have for years been buying pastries from a bakery. Then one day they say, “We are marrying each other, and want you to bake a cake for us to celebrate the event.” The owner says, “Yikes, uh, sorry I just am not comfortable doing that, please ask someone else to do this.”
According to Benny Lava, this baker refuses to sell to siblings, and any…commenter who supported this anti-sibling stance would be described as racist. (Really, go look above at his comments, that is how he has been handling himself on this discussion.)
I understand most people reading this don’t agree with my conclusions, but I hope you can at least appreciate that it has been difficult for me to argue with Scott and Benny Lava, when they apparently have no interest in even correctly framing my position.
And now theless snarky comment that spells things out from scratch:
OK this needs to be my last post.
Benny Lava, let me apologize. (You weren’t expecting THAT, I bet.) I now see that you really didn’t know what the standard libertarian position was on matters like this, and so my earlier interactions with you were unhelpful. I was not trying to be evasive, I honestly thought everybody knew what the default libertarian view on this type of thing was.
OK watch this and (I hope) you will see how I am being perfectly coherent. You might think it’s a horrendous type of coherence, to be sure, but let’s at least make sure you see the logic behind it:
(1) The standard libertarian position says, “Hey, I may not personally endorse using heroin, but a heroin user isn’t violating anybody’s property rights and so it would be wrong to imprison or fine someone for heroin use.”
(2) The standard libertarian position says, “Hey, I may not personally like racists, but if they want to print literature talking about white supremacy, that isn’t violating anybody’s property rights and so it would be wrong to imprison or fine someone for publishing white supremacy literature.”
(3) The standard libertarian position says, “Hey, I may not personally like pacifists, but if they don’t want to volunteer for the Army even if we’re being invaded, it would be wrong to institute a draft and force them to fight against their will. The draft is tantamount to slavery. Slavery isn’t OK just because you endorse the ends to which it is put.”
And pertinent to our discussion this week:
(4) The standard libertarian position says, “Hey, I may not personally like evangelical Christians who think marriage is between a man and a woman, but it would be wrong to force them to participate in such ceremonies against their will. If bakers refrain from baking a cake for a lesbian couple, that is certainly not violating anybody’s property rights and so it is absurd to fine the bakers $135,000 for exercising discretion over their own labor and materials. To force people to bake a cake against their will is forced servitude, even if we approve of the end.”
I’m not expecting you to agree with the above positions, but I hope you can admit that they are consistent.