Go and Learn What this Means: “Cognitive Dissonance”

Go and Learn What this Means: “Cognitive Dissonance” March 4, 2014

So, you know all this brouhaha, all these hysterics about how bakers, and photographers, and other service-providers who routinely work for gay clientele (but draw a line at serving gay weddings because they feel it imperils their souls) are horrible people?

And you know the whole “if you think that way, then you’re a bigot,” thing, because governments and pundits have taken it into their heads that it is their job to define “sin” to another person?

And you know that whole, “refusing to serve someone because they think differently than you is all Jim Crow-y and immoral?”

Yeah, well…so much for that.

A gay stylist in Santa Fe refused to cut New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez’s hair due to her stance on same-sex marriage. KOB-TV’s Stuart Dyson reports.

A Santa Fe hairdresser is waging his own boycott of sorts: He is denying service to the governor of New Mexico because she opposes gay marriage.

Antonio Darden, who has been with his partner for 15 years, said he made his views clear the last time Gov. Susana Martinez’s office called to make an appointment.

“The governor’s aides called not too long ago wanting another appointment to come in,” Darden told KOB.com. “Because of her stances and her views on this, I told her aides, ‘no.’ They called the next day asking if I’d changed my mind about taking the governor in, and I said ‘no’ again.”

Martinez has said marriage should be between a man and a woman. Darden, who said he has cut the governor’s hair three times, said he won’t serve her unless she changes her mind about gay marriage.

Darden apparently feels that it would go against his own personal moral code — his individual conscience — to cut the governor’s hair. He does not see this decision as an act of “intolerance.” In his mind, he believes that to cut her hair would be to co-operate with evil — a kind of sin, if not against God, then against his own reason and beliefs. He may fear that serving to the governor could be misconstrued as an affirmation of her views.

And no one in the press is arguing differently on the governor’s behalf. No one is suggesting that, by refusing to cut the hair of a person whose position is in alignment with the law, Mr. Darden is denying her a basic civil-right. Quite the opposite; many on social media are saying he is within his rights to refuse her.

I concur. If he is, though, then so are the Christians refusing to serve gay weddings. You can’t have it both ways.

Were Darden smart — and had he really wished to heap hot coals on the heads of every Christian who annoys him — he’d have served up his own “WWJD” moment. He’d have given Governor Martinez the haircut of her life and then pronounced for the cameras, “and that, friends and neighbors, is called turning the other cheek, and walking the extra mile. Her views are abhorrent to me, but the whole person is more than her views on this one issue, and so I gave her my best service.”

If you don’t think that would have been a signal moment of evangelization for his own beliefs, you’re wrong. It would have been staggeringly powerful, the way a punch to the solar plexus buckles the knees.

But he couldn’t bring himself to do that, you see, because he couldn’t violate his own conscience.

It’s worth noting that the governor, upon hearing that Darden would not cut her hair, did not go to a lawyer and file a suit against him, to compel his tolerance. She just found another stylist.

Because that’s actually what people who respect other people’s right to their opinions do. They tolerate that person’s opinion, shake the dust off their feet, and find someone else to cut their hair or bake their cake. Life goes on.

So, all the fuss and botheration of the past few weeks, all the high drama that has pitted some Christians against other Christians and has encouraged this sort of egregious overreach? That’s that’s been a giant waste of time. Seems the people on whose behalf so much ink was spilt, don’t really believe that business owners have no right to refuse service to anyone, after all.

Rebecca Hamilton has more thoughts

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