We don’t need “religious freedom”, we simply need freedom

In the United States there currently is much excitement over the fact that the Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, has signed into a law a bill that has the purpose of “restoring religious freedom”.

The new law is a reaction to a tsunami of frivolous and malevolent lawsuits through which openly avowed homosexuals, invoking “equality” laws, are trying to humiliate perceived opponents, mostly practising Christians or Muslims, by compelling them to commit acts that are contrary to their consciences as they might be understood as an endorsement of public celebrations of sodomy and other sexual aberrances. This type of litigation, typically directed against small shop-owners and service providers (e.g. bakers, photographers, florists, or B&B owners), is by now also making its first appearances in Europe – but in the United States it has been going on for years.

With the new law, Indiana legislators want to provide relief to the gay lobby’s favourite targets, people with religious convictions.

Of course, as was predictable, the measure has made the “gay rights” lobby mad with rage, mobilizing its usual mouthpieces in politics and media. Among the reactions, some show a definite lack of good manners…

miley cyrus

… while others are just silly:

 Hillary C

But predictable as they are, the “shitstorms” orchestrated by Hollywood, Hillary and HuffPost are by now lacking the surprise element they once had, and will probably not impress anyone who has given serious consideration to the matter.

On the other hand, we too, are critical of the new statute.

In our view, people with religious views are not the only ones who deserve protection against bullying and harassment, and “religious freedom is not the only freedom that should be protected. What is required is not a law to restore “religious freedom” but a law that restores freedom at large.

In a society based on democracy, individual freedoms, and market economy, it would appear the most normal thing in the world that anyone must be free to decide whether or not he wants to conclude a contract that is proposed to him. Exceptions to this fundamental principle can be acceptable when they are the only way in which access to essential goods and services cannot be guaranteed in other way, such as in the case of a (local) monopoly. But, given that people can survive  without wedding cakes, photographs, and flower arrangements, these goods are certainly not “essential”, and the persons providing them usually have no monopolies. If one baker doesn’t bake a wedding cake for you because it’s for a same-sex ceremony, get over it. You’ll survive it. Look for another baker.

In our view, freedom must include the freedom of not selling cakes to homosexuals. Indeed, it must include the freedom of not selling your goods to anyone whose face you don’t like. It costs you some business and, perhaps, some reputation – but it is your right. It is called “contractual freedom”.

I want that freedom for myself, just as I want it for anyone else.

Next to the freedom of speech, contractual freedom is one of the most important civic freedoms. Everyone should enjoy it, not only those invoking religious belief.

Those politicians who (like Hillary Clinton in the US, or the European Commission in the EU) want to restrict or abolish contractual freedom usually come from the Marxist camp, and have a general loathing for economic freedom. In their view, it would be best if people were not allowed to make free decisions with whom they want to do business, or what they do business; instead, all must be controlled and supervised by the state, i.e., by themselves. “Equality” and “inclusiveness” are just pretexts, but the essence of their policy is that they cannot accept the free decisions of free citizens.

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