Friday, July 10, 2015

Couple Silenced, Forced to Pay $135K for Not Baking a Cake for a Lesbian Couple

The Free Thought Project

couple-silenced-forced-to-pay-135K-for-refusing-to-bake-cake While many celebrate the recent Supreme Court ruling requiring state governments in the U.S. to issue marriages licenses to same-sex couples, government power continues to be a source of strife and division. Politicians continue to exploit emotions and personal differences in order to pit groups of people against each other. This trick keeps working because of the unprincipled thinking of so many people.
For centuries, homosexuals have been brutally victimized – by individuals, by churches, and by governments. In many cases, the violence had the approval of the majority, who viewed homosexuality as perverted, sinful or unnatural, and, therefore, saw violence against homosexuals as being acceptable, or even righteous. Thankfully, in more recent times the idea that every individual owns his own life has gone a long way toward reducing the violent oppression of minorities. Luckily, more and more people now accept the idea that the rights of the individual do not depend upon majority approval or cultural norms. More and more people accept the idea that every individual has the right to do and say and they please, provided they are not hurting another person.
However, even today some people continue to demonstrate that they care about their own freedom, but not about the freedom of those with whom they disagree. Sadly, many who are now celebrating the victimization of their fellow human beings were themselves victims in the recent past. Rather than being for actual peace and justice, some people are just trying to have the injustice directed at someone other than themselves.
A prime example is the case of the “Sweetcakes by Melissa” bakery in Oregon, the owners of which are now in the process of being robbed of $135,000 for not making a cake. That’s right: they are being targeted by the power of government—not for threatening, defrauding, or robbing anyone—but for choosing NOT to trade with someone based on their beliefs, which they have also been court-ordered not to discuss. You read that correctly – the owners of the bakery have been ordered not to speak about their beliefs because they show “intent to discriminate.”
There is profound irony and hypocrisy in the fact that the lesbian couple trying to legally rob the bakery owners for not making them a cake cited “emotional damages” as the justification, as if someone NOT trading with them is more emotionally damaging than being forcibly robbed of $135,000. Anyone who is that eager to use the state to force their values and preferences onto others clearly has no regard for individual rights. Maybe someone should explain to that couple that it’s not okay to threaten or attack people just because you find their words, viewpoints and behaviors distasteful or offensive, but it’s a shame that anyone would need to.
The couple actually compared not getting their cake to being raped, as well as blaming the bakery for weight gain and their resumed smoking habit among other “symptoms.” The list of alleged mental, physical, and emotional damages submitted by the couple include
“acute loss of confidence,” “doubt,” “excessive sleep,” “felt mentally raped, dirty and shameful,” “high blood pressure,” “impaired digestion,” “loss of appetite,” “migraine headaches,” “pale and sick at home after work,” “resumption of smoking habit,” “shock” “stunned,” “surprise,” “uncertainty,” “weight gain” and “worry.”
It is supremely hypocritical to claim to love freedom of expression, diversity and tolerance, only to turn around and use the violence of government to intentionally injure someone else because they don’t see things the way you do. Of course, loving freedom does not mean that you have to agree with the opinions or decisions of others, and it does not mean you can’t criticize the words and actions of others. It does, however, mean that you have no right to force your will on them, on your own or by way of legislation.
If individual freedom is your goal, then you need to support and defend the freedom of everyone, including those people you view as short-sighted, ignorant, misguided, or even offensive. Anything short of that is not true tolerance – it’s blatant hypocrisy.


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