Conscience vs. Cake and Pizza

By Tamzin A Rosenwasser, M.D.

Discrimination, against black people, and against homosexuals, has been promulgated through actual laws. Jim Crow laws were laws, not individual choices.

Marriage between people with dark pigment, ancestrally African, and people who were ancestrally European, as well as sexual relations between those of the same gender, were both matters of law. Those things were forbidden by the law.

In the matter of public accommodations in restaurants, swimming pools, hotels, and so on, the laws preventing anyone from extending the same hospitality to “black” people as to “white” people were in force from the end of the Civil War until 1965.

What an obscenity!

Before the Civil War, slavery was legal in the United States. What an obscenity!

True, slavery has been a feature of human life since at least the dawn of history. It is still a feature of Islam, although in a formal sense, Saudi Arabia renounced slavery in 1962, Oman and Yemen did so in 1970, and Mauritania in 1981.

In America, slavery was first attacked and renounced by Mennonites in 1688, and by Quakers in 1693. Alexander Hamilton and John Laurens, both aides de camp of General Washington, were ardent Abolitionists. Washington was born into a slave-holding family, but obviously reflected upon his situation, as he manumitted his slaves in his will, and provided for his estate to care for those over a certain age, and to teach a trade to those younger.

In 1787, the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade was formed. William Wilberforce had to work hard to push through the 1807 Slave Trade Act through Parliament, working against the inertia of government to do so.

St John Chrysostom noted that “Slavery is the fruit of covetousness, of extravagance, of insatiable greediness.”

Conscience had something to do with the abolition of slavery. Conscience is the inner awareness of our right and wrong actions; of adherence to honesty, good ethics, the Ten Commandments. Each of us can have only one conscience; our own. We cannot share ours with anyone; nor can anyone share theirs with us. A conscience cannot be replaced with anything else.

Recently, Alyssa Marino, a reporter for ABC 57 News in Michiana, Indiana, asked the owners of a pizza restaurant whether they would be willing to cater a ceremony celebrating the union of a homosexual couple. They said they would not. The owners have now received death threats, are accused of illegal discrimination, and have closed their business and gone into hiding.

The owners of the restaurant have been bullied and harassed, simply for answering a hypothetical question. They have been deprived of their right of free association by so-called “anti-discrimination” laws. They would be forced by the same government force that at one time deprived black people of their rights, to violate their consciences or to feel the full force of law. They would be forced to work for people against their will, certainly a form of slavery—slavery approved by government, just as government law approved another form of slavery in the past.

The First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Therefore, the right of people to follow their religious convictions stands above all other laws.

Just as a few posts do not make a fence, the refusal of a proprietor of a business to fulfill the wishes of an individual customer do not constitute “discrimination.” There are thousands of places to buy pizza, and cake, a plethora of people willing to sell cake and pizza without scruples of conscience.

Quite the opposite, the discrimination is against people whose conscience prohibits them from taking part in certain activities. To go to someone who does not agree with you, demand they humor you, and throw tantrums, issue death threats, destroy them and their family business, and throw the force of government at them is childish narcissism and shameful bullying.

What an obscenity!

Dr. Tamzin RosenwasserDr. Tamzin Rosenwasser earned her MD from Washington University in St Louis.  She is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Dermatology and has practiced Emergency Medicine and Dermatology.  Dr. Rosenwasser served as President of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) in 2007-2008 and is currently on the Board of Directors.  She also serves as the chair of the Research Advisory Committee of the Newfoundland Club of America.

As a life-long dog lover and trainer, she realizes that her dogs have better access to medical care and more medical privacy than she has, and her veterinarians are paid more than physicians in the United States for exactly the same types of surgery.


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