Opponents of gay marriage gathered Wednesday in Springfield for “Defend Marriage Lobby Day.”
So these two Catholics walk into my bakery — Steinberg Bagels & Bialeys, a side business of mine — and want to order a few trays of assorted cookies and sweet rolls for their daughter’s christening. And I just laugh, and say, “A christening? Fuggetaboutit. We don’t do no christenings here. Drag your Rome-ish backsides right out the door, and don’t come back until you’re having a bat mitzvah.”
That would be wrong, right? Tell me you see that would be wrong, before I even point out that, OK, I don’t really have a bakery, and I of course don’t dislike Catholics. They have a beautiful religion that should be practiced freely and with gusto by anybody so inclined.
But let’s say I felt that way, truly, sincerely. In my heart. Let’s say that my religion prompted me to sneer at, oh, to pick another group, Buddhists. That I honestly felt that a man should not wear a saffron robe, so much that I wouldn’t let Buddhist monks into my taxi cab — Steinberg Taxi and Cartage, another sideline. You would want that to be illegal, right, because if it weren’t, then anybody who operated any kind of business that dealt with the public could express whatever personal prejudice or contempt that he felt like expressing, under the fig leaf of religious scruple. Society would crumble.
As obvious as that might be, we saw this supposed right being promoted Wednesday at “Defend Marriage Lobby Day” in Springfield. People who hate and fear gays, conjuring up the specter of florists and caterers, bakeries and photographers, being forced to violate their supposed consciences by providing services to gay weddings of which they don’t approve.
They are demanding that they be allowed to enjoy a right — to reject people trying to use commerce based on their own supposed faith — that they would decry if turned around and applied to themselves. It’s the worst form of hypocrisy, mingled with an almost organic inability to grasp that they are not the kings of society, not the only people here, but part of a broad spectrum of opinion and belief, and an ever-dwindling segment at that. It’s not belief, it’s strategy. One that is not working. Why? Because the bigotry that they claim is endorsed by God is scorned by more and more people, as it has long been rejected — the Lord has personally informed me — by God Himself.
Hey, if they can claim to speak for Him, so can I, or you, or anybody.