Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Modest Proposal That Should Allow Businesses To Refuse Service To Anyone

I thought we were through with religious freedom/we don't want gay customers legislation after it met defeat in Kansas and South Dakota, but PNR brought up the issue yesterday and Cory responded. More importantly, Arizona is waiting for Governor Jan Brewer to decide what to do with Arizona's version of the bill*, so I guess this post is still timely.

First, let me say that I feel a bit sorry for my conservative businessperson friends. They spend their lives preaching the doctrine of self-reliance, but when a few gay people want to use their services or shop at their stores, they have no recourse but to beg for government assistance in order to refuse service. I can't imagine the angst that this conundrum must cause.

I, therefore, offer a modest proposal to ease the emotional distress: create your own religion. For example, one could establish the First Church of The Wedding Photographer and Baker. Some bakers might have problems with traditional Christianity. Jesus multiplied those loaves and Elijah helped the widow with the oil and flour. Neither miracle could have been good for the local bakers' bottom line. Photographers have, from time to time, had to deal with those folks who contend that photographs are nothing more than two-dimensional graven images.

Appropriately, there is a business set up to provide ordination credentials. Doctrines also exist that should serve these businesschurches: the concept of moral therapeutic deism should work well for most businessclergypersons. (That title might need a bit of work but being a blergyperson just doesn't have a good ring to it.) The doctrine's chief tenets are pretty straightforward.
1. A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.
2. God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
3. The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
4. God does not need to be particularly involved in one's life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.
5. Good people go to heaven when they die.
Given that the term was first used in Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers  published in 2005, these businesschurches should be a hit with the coveted 18-29 demographic. Businesslogians (or is it theonessians) will have the thorny problem of determining whether coveting a demographic breaks the 10th commandment, but I doubt those concerns will affect their advertising campaigns adversely. More importantly, it doesn't seem to differ much from the discounted grace preached by megachurch luminaries like Joel Osteen.

This is too short of a post to deal with the tax issue, but I'm sure bureaucrats can work it out fairly quickly. Once that issue is solved, each businesschurch (I suppose they could be called busurches) can set up its own membership criteria and provide services to members only. As long as they don't get stupid and make everyone wear those jackets from the 90s, no one should complain.

*the post originally called the legislation a law, but Governor Brewer has not signed it. I should have been more careful.

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