The Great (Not!) Indiana Boycott

Prior to the passage of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the polling company- Marist- released results of a poll they conducted on the issue from February 25th to March 1st.  In that poll, 54% of respondents agreed with the idea of a RFRA with 65% of respondents stating that no one should be fined or imprisoned if they have religious objections that conflict with secular laws.  Even Democrats in this poll supported RFRA 47% to 45%.  Between then and now, something went awry given the current uproar.

The primary culprit is the media in this instance fanning the fires and tending to side with the LGBT community’s “the sky is falling” predictions.  There is the case from Indiana of a pizzeria in a small town (population 2300) outside South Bend whose owners are clearly Christian.  A reporter walked into the shop and began talking to the owners.  Mind you- these owners had never turned down any customer- ever.  When asked if they would cater a gay wedding, the owners politely noted that they probably would not since homosexuality violated their religious beliefs.  This story was then blown completely out of proportion.  A Christian couple trying to run a pizzeria in a town of 2,300 were somehow made into the face  of alleged discrimination against a hypothetical gay couple.  I am not quite sure how many gay couples there are in this town of 2,300 or even if any couple, let alone gay couple, look to the local pizzeria to cater a reception.  In fact, the pizzeria in question had never catered a heterosexual wedding.  Within days of the airing of the report, a Facebook page which largely had great reviews of this pizzeria, were filled with over 36,000 messages denouncing the store’s owners and threats of a boycott.

And this is how the media works in conjunction with the gay Mafia (Bill Maher’s characterization, not mine) to exact concessions.  By creating the hypothetical bogeyman, they then portray that as the norm as if the hypothetical actually happened.  There is a phrase for this- mental disease.  And if anything, the overreaction to a law that has not gone into effect yet and whose opposition is based on a series of hypothetical scenarios being portrayed as reality is exposing this as a media-driven non-controversy.  Further proof is the George Stephanopoulos interview with Governor Mike Pence.  Although working for ABC, that interview (or snippets of it) were carried by every major news outlet.  The “competitor,” to these outlets, got the scoop and it is so important, they had to run with it, even if it was ABC.  In their minds, a bungled television appearance by the Indiana Governor (he should have just answered “No”) is proof that the RFRA is a discriminatory law.

I have no problem with the free market dictating choice, but when a group like the LGBT community distorts the facts and there is no moderating voice to explain the facts, the falsity becomes the fact.  In that case, it is not truly a free market solution.  Furthermore, most of the reaction is for the media which further drives the story.

Protests in the streets look great.  They make for great television.  Throw in a spiffy chant like “No hate in our state” and you may even get the lead story on the national news.  And that is perfectly fine for opponents to march from Monument Square to the State House in Indiana with every major news outlet following them and their bullhorns.  It is a Constitutional right enshrined in the First Amendment and it is one of the many things that makes this country great.  But when those protests become the story, the entire meme somehow morphs into something else.  We saw the same phenomena on the streets of Madison, Wisconsin in a few years back.  Fortunately then, we did not have a Governor calling for “clarifying legislation” or caving into the irrational voices of the Left.  If you call someone a bigot loud enough and long enough without some moderating voice to filter the message (I doubt Mike Pence or the Indiana legislature is filled with “bigots”), you effectively have suppression of the truth.

In fact, most of the boycotts proposed against the state Indiana are “for show” boycotts.  San Francisco, Seattle, New York and Connecticut have “banned” non-essential state-business travel to Indiana to show their support for the LGBT community.  One has to question how often and to what extent officials of New York, Connecticut, San Francisco and Seattle actually travel to Indiana on official state business.  Angie’s List has apparently decided against a $40 million expansion of their headquarters in Indianapolis costing that city 1,000 projected jobs.  Does this hurt Indiana, or does it hurt a potential 1,000 job applicants?  Is this law allowing Angie’s List to discriminate against gays in hiring?  Wouldn’t a greater show of support for the LGBT community be to hire 1,000 unemployed gay residents of Indianapolis?

The children over at Dailykos listed some everyday products one could boycott which are produced in Indiana.  They are Clabber Girl Baking Powder, Nestle, Red Gold canned tomato products, Bar Keepers Friend, Vera Bradley and Eli Lilly.  Many people are signing onto this boycott.  But like many of the people who sign onto boycotts, its a hollow effort since they likely do not use these products anyway.  Even still, there are the exceptions.  Notice how the proponents of this boycott are more or less exempting Eli Lilly since they released a statement saying they do not discriminate in hiring based on sexual orientation.  OK- they get the exemption, but the more likely explanation is that the boycotter’s child needs a product made by Eli Lilly.

The problem with boycotts against individual businesses in states which are the targets is that innocent businesses are usually the real victims, not the state.  A similar effort was made against Arizona because of their then refusal to recognize Martin Luther King’s birthday as a holiday.  Eventually, that changed but not because of pressure from a boycott, but because of changes in attitudes and the legislative process.

Furthermore, the LGBT community is misinterpreting opposition to same sex marriage as being equivalent to opposition to gay rights in general which then follows that discrimination against gays is fine and dandy.  I once bluntly asked a gay person on another website whether being opposed to SSM is the same as opposition to gay rights and received an emphatic “Yes!”  That is the problem with the Left- they tend to mingle two different things into one.  One can be for hiring gays, allowing them to live where they want and enjoy all the other things in life that the general population takes for granted while still opposing same sex marriage.  You can oppose SSM, yet be for gay rights, but not to the LGBT community.  The mere mention of anything deemed insensitive to what the LGBT community says or wants will unleash a wrath against that disagreement and bring down charges of hatred or bigotry against you.  If anything, the Christian is more loving and accepting of all humans, including homosexuals, than homosexuals are of the Christian community (at least the “official” voices of the LGBT community and their Leftist supporters).

From my standpoint, the worst thing happening right now is the lack of push back against the Left.  The only instance I could find was the past uproar against Chick-Fil-A and them standing their ground.  Obviously, liberals have more time to organize boycotts and street protests being that they generally live off the dime of conservatives, many of them Christian.  In effect, these “for show” statements, boycotts and protests are simply an example of the Left showcasing their alleged moral superiority.  They are likewise showing their disdain for Christianity and religion in general.

Which is very strange considering the genesis of RFRA laws.  When Native American were denied their religious liberty in the peyote case that led to the passage of the federal RFRA sponsored by a Democrat and signed into law by a Democrat to great fanfare, why were there no Leftist boycotts in favor of the Native Americans?  Hypocrisy perhaps?  Or maybe it was because there was no Native American Mafia?

The simple fact is that traditional religions like Christianity face discrimination from the LGBT community and their Leftist followers.  In essence, one form of actual bigotry is substituted for the hypothetical bigotry of another.  By any other name, this is projection of something negative in themselves onto something not existent in the target of that projection.  And that, my friends, could land you on the psychiatrist’s couch.