Farah: Why Don’t Gay People Pick on Muslims?

Joseph Farah has a very important question: Why don’t gay people demand that Muslim-owned companies provide flower arrangements, bridal gowns or cakes for their weddings? Why are they always picking on those poor Christians? It’s a conspiracy, of course, probably designed to distract attention from Benghazi. But first, he wants you to know that it’s a violation of human rights to prevent a Christian from discriminating against gay people.

Forgive me, but I can’t stop thinking about Robert and Cynthia Gifford, the New York couple hit with a $13,000 fine by the state’s division of human rights for politely declining, as a matter of religious conviction, to host a same-sex wedding celebration.

I know there are many injustices to write about. I know the world is on fire. But if we can’t get something this simple right, I don’t see how we’re going to deal with ISIS or the flood of illegal aliens streaming across the border or anything else for that matter.

Well sure. If we don’t let Christians discriminate against gay people, ISIS will overrun us. And then, ironically, they’ll institute Sharia law and kill gay people.

The Giffords are small family farmers who allowed their beautiful property to be used for special events and occasions – weddings, bar mitzvahs, anniversaries. The Giffords enjoyed being a part of these celebrations, providing all the decorations and catering the parties.

One day, they were approached about hosting a same-sex marriage at their facility. They explained they wouldn’t be comfortable doing that for religious reasons. In other words, they were conscientious objectors looking for a way out. They didn’t violate anyone’s human rights. They didn’t commit any “hate crimes.” They didn’t call anyone names. They didn’t try to hurt anyone’s feelings. They just simply preferred to opt out of working on this event because their heart wouldn’t be in it.

As a result of this perfectly reasonable decision, a bureaucracy that supposedly guards people’s “human rights” zapped the Giffords with a $13,000 fine.

Have we lost our minds? Have we lost all common sense? Have we lost even the concept of “human rights”?

The Giffords are the victims of a human rights abuse, not the perpetrators. And they are hardly alone.

And if they wanted to discriminate against black people, or against Christians for that matter, would it still violate their human rights to prevent them from doing so? Because that and many other forms of discrimination have been illegal for 50 years now. OMG! We’ve been violating everyone’s human rights!

You will notice that in all cases, they chose to put Christian businesses on the spot. Why? Because state agencies and judges don’t have any problem with punishing Christians for the free exercise of their faith.

But I can’t help but wonder what would happen if and when photographers, caterers, cake makers and florists of the Islamic faith were approached for similar opportunities.

I wonder why they haven’t been approached yet.

Actually, I don’t wonder at all. I think I know the reason.

Oh, of course you do. But let’s try some basic math. Muslims make up about 1% of the population and only a very tiny percentage of them will run businesses even vaguely related to weddings. Gee, ya think that might have something to do with it? Math, how the fuck does that work?

Follow Us!
POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • jasonfailes

    This is at least the third article I’ve read that has stressed how “politely” they decided to discriminate against the couple, as if that matters.

    Dearest sirs, this establishment does not cater to gentlemen of your pigmentation. Could you please leave the premises with all due haste?

  • dugglebogey

    Yes, it was within their right to yell “GO AWAY FAGGOTS!” as they rejected their business based on their being different , but they were too polite to do so.

  • John Pieret

    Muslims make up about 1% of the population

    That can’t be right! … After all, they’re hiding under everyones’ bed!

  • StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    1% in total maybe, sure – but there will be areas eg. Dearborn, Lakemba where that percentage is much higher so, yeah, valid question for those places.

  • StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Oh & there are no Muslims hiding under my bed! I check every night!

    (I don’t actually but I’m sure some will believe it.) Anyhow a dog sleeps on my bed too & I know how the Muslims feel about Canis domestica.

  • Kevin Kehres

    Maybe they did, and the Muslims didn’t care…

  • vmanis1

    Just a point of (unnecessary) clarification. The complaint against these `farmers’ was not that they were Christians, but that they denied a service. In other words, it wasn’t a complaint on who they where, but rather on what they did (or didn’t). Their religion didn’t enter into it, except insofar as they used it as a justification for their behavior. (`Officer, I worship Zeus, and therefore that NO PARKING sign doesn’t apply to me.’)

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    vmanins1

    Sadly, with fundies, what you have is a distinction without a difference. In their minds, the proposition goes something like this:

    1) I am a Christian

    2) My Christianity requires me to refuse services to gays

    3) I am being prosecuted for refusing services to gays

    Ergo: I am being prosecuted for being Christian

    They’re complete unable to separate their Christianity from their bigotry. If they’re called out on their bigotry, it’s because they are Christians.

  • cptdoom

    You will notice that in all cases, they chose to put Christian businesses on the spot. Why? Because state agencies and judges don’t have any problem with punishing Christians for the free exercise of their faith.

    Ah, good ole’ Joe, still fighting the good fight. Here he’s referencing the growing anti-gay meme that same-sex couples are now on the prowl for innocent “Christian” businesses to target specifically because of the owners’ religious beliefs, so we can sue them all out of business. Apparently it has never occurred to Farah or his ilk that same-sex couples might know the work these vendors have done in the past and want the same quality/amenities that straight couples get.

    Oh, and yes Joe, if a Muslim business owner were to try this kind of discrimination, I am very sure they would face the same kind of sanctions. Perhaps Muslim business owners have learned that when one is not of the dominant religion in this country, one can’t pick and choose customers quite the same way.

  • A Masked Avenger

    They’re complete unable to separate their Christianity from their bigotry. If they’re called out on their bigotry, it’s because they are Christians.

    If Christianity is inseparable from bigotry, then they have a point. For example, if a Neo-Nazi were prosecuted for antisemitism, he would have a reasonable basis to say, “I’m being persecuted because I’m a Neo-Nazi.”

    Whether that’s applicable to Christianity or not, well, I’d have to refer the question to them.

  • arakasi

    I’m fairly sure that most, if not all, Muslims who run businesses that provide wedding services are quite used to supporting weddings from traditions that they personally disagree with. If they can’t bring themselves to smile and say “May you have a wonderful life together”, then they would already be out of business.

    I do wonder, though, if a business specializes in a particular religious tradition, such as a hallal or kosher caterer, can they turn away someone from a different tradition on the grounds that they specialize in a particular tradition and so are not equipped to serve a Catholic wedding? Or would they be expected to cater the wedding, though with their typical menus?

  • moarscienceplz

    Even for those wedding shops that are Muslim-owned, how many of them sell western-style stuff? last I heard, multi-tiered cakes and white poofy dresses with long veils are not too common at Muslim weddings. I suspect the number of tandoori restaurants that are owned by Brazilians is also pretty small.

  • http://chillireception.blogspot.com/ Avenel

    arakasi, my experience as a caterer is that you have a first amendment right of expression to decide what kind of food you make, but you cannot decide who you feed it to.

    So, if a Catholic couple were to ask a hallal caterer to service their reception, they cannot refuse based on the religion of the couple. They can refuse to work on Fridays, they can refuse to make non-hallal food, they cannot refuse to service non-muslims. At least that is the case in California, to the best of my understanding.

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    @ A Masked Avenger

    Yes. I would love to see what happens if they’re asked, point-blank if their bigotry is inseparable from their Christianity. “Yes, I’m a Christian, and Christ commands me to be a bigot.”

  • eric

    The Giffords are small family farmers who allowed their beautiful property to be used for special events and occasions – weddings, bar mitzvahs, anniversaries. The Giffords enjoyed being a part of these celebrations, providing all the decorations and catering the parties.

    They didn’t simply “allow” it, they collected a fee for it. They ran a public accommodation, which is regulated by government.

    IANAL but AIU the law, if the Giffords stop operating as a business and just allow people to use their property for weddings without charging any money for it, then yeah, they can legally discriminate on who they allow to do that. The crux of the matter here is that they run a public business, and that business cannot discriminate. The Giffords can in their private lives and private conduct, but GiffordCo can’t.

  • https://www.facebook.com/norman.murphy.12 Norman Murphy

    The Koran calls for the punishment of lesbians. Male homosexuals can go through a purification ritual and return to Mosque. Lesbians could be forever locked away. While Sunnis appear to follow the Koran, Shiites have adopted an extreme form of punishment for homosexuals. The first such punishment was to throw homosexuals from minarets. This distasteful practice has been replaced with hangings, beatings, being thrown from cliffs using Shariah, a strict code of law derived from “hadith, ijma, and qiyas” not found in the writings of Mohammed.

  • reddiaperbaby1942

    I noticed that they also cater for bar mitzvahs. Well, isn’t that broadminded of them: to serve these Christian-babies’-blood-drinking Christ-killers. Any self-respecting “Christian” should be excommunicated for this!

    In fact, I don’t see that anyone’s religious convictions, or any other opinions, should have anything to do with what they do as operators of a business. One is private, the other public. You can believe anything you damn well please, but don’t bring it into the public sphere.

    And while we’re about it, could we stop using the word “believe” in referring to someone’s opinions? Consider the following three statements, which are commonly encountered (though the second and third more often in the negative):

    1) I believe in a god

    2) I believe in evolution

    3) I believe in gay marriage

    Obviously the three are epistemologically quite different :

    1) I think a certain entity exists

    2) in the positive form, “I think a certain fact-based description of how things work in the world is accurate”; in the negative, “I dislike a certain way of thinking about how things work in the world”

    3) I like/ dislike a certain way of thinking or behaving.

  • dingojack

    Ed –

    According to this* about 0.6% of the American adult population is Muslim and 78.7%** are Christian. The chance of coming across a Christian owned business is about one hundred and thirty one and one sixth times more likely than a Muslim owned business***.

    As you said Ed: ‘Maths — how the fuck does it work?!?’

    Dingo

    ———

    * the data could be out of date (AFAIK it’s from 2013)

    ** using the broadest definition of ‘Christian’

    *** assuming that the two groups are equally likely to own businesses

  • Dave Maier

    Gifford: “I am required by my Christian convictions to act in an un-Christian manner towards gays.”