Politics

Liberals Finally Support the First Amendment and Religious Freedom

I hate to say this, but I am in complete support of The Red Hen Restaurant in Virginia kicking out the White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. In fact, I would be willing to celebrate in it; and not because I dislike the Press Secretary. In actuality, I think she is an amazingly articulate individual who has an equally impressive hold on her emotions. If I were in her shoes, I would skull drag half the reporters in any given press briefing. I celebrate it for two reasons actually. First, I believe that as an owner of a business, you should have the right to pick and choose the clientele you are going to serve. Second, this shows that the left has finally come to their senses (obviously a lie, the left has no discernable sense to speak of).

The background to the first story is this: Huckabee Sanders went to a restaurant with some of her staff for dinner on June 22, 2018. While there, one of the employees at the restaurant called the owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, to come down to the restaurant. After arriving, the manager had a brief meeting with her employees and they came to an agreement that they did not want to serve the Press Secretary. As reported in the Washington Post: “I’m not a huge fan of confrontation,” Wilkinson told the Post. “I have a business, and I want the business to thrive. This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals.”

The Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington, Virginia. (Credit: Facebook/The Red Hen Restaurant)

Huffington Post reporter Sara Boboltz wrote of Wilkinson: “She said the town largely opposed Trump and noted that several of her employees are gay. In her official capacity, Sanders has defended a wide array of the president’s controversial comments and actions, including his stance on LGBTQ issues. Wilkinson felt justified in her action because Sanders is a public official, not a regular customer with whose politics she disagreed.”

Showing a level of class that I could never emulate, Huckabee Sanders tweeted:

But such is the way of conservatives. When someone on the left disagrees with your opinion they kick you out of their restaurant. When the right disagrees, they simply agree to disagree and leave.

In our country, I believe in the absoluteness of the constitution. I even believe in the fact that our rights come from a higher power and are therefore outside the purview of government control. As such, no one has the right to tell Wilkinson who she must serve in her restaurant. She can decide for herself and face the consequences of her actions. Since Virginia tends to lean liberal, it is very likely that this stunt will actually lead to an increase in business, at least in the short term. However, if her actions backfire and she is forced to close her doors, then so be it. In either case, that is what living the American dream is. This dream is called freedom, and I believe it is absolute.

This is why I’m so thrilled that the liberals are actually embracing this view. See, we should all be free to believe and do whatever we want, as long as it does not directly infringe on others and does not involve those incapable of giving consent (such as children and those with cognitive conditions). For example, I personally don’t care what gender someone wants to pretend to be, or who/what they choose to marry (to include inanimate objects).

Since liberals are fairminded and clearly do not fall into the category of hypocrisy, I believe that we can finally agree on the case Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd., et al. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission et al. To summarize, a gay couple went into the Masterpiece Cakeshop to have a cake made. The owner told the couple that he could not make them such a cake as it violated his religious convictions. Instead of leaving the store and going to another cake shop to provide them with their business, the couple filed suit with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. After all, they are entitled to force the business owner to create the cake they wanted. Their rights not only superseded that of the shop owner, but they could force him to create a product to their specifications.

The couple won their case at the lower courts, but the shop owner appealed, and his case was eventually heard by the United States Supreme Court. The court overturned the ruling in a seven-to-two decision, although it was not exactly a win or loss for either side. Essentially, the court ruled that the commission was anti-religious in their decision-making process, which violated the First Amendment. It failed to answer the question of whether religious freedom can actually be used to discriminate against others. This question was left open, but no longer has any merit.

December 5, 2017: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission at the US Supreme Court, analyzing religious freedom. (Credit: Facebook/Jenna Browder)

With the broad support that the left has given the owner of The Red Hen Restaurant, clearly the religious question is mute. If we can use politics to discriminate against people, then clearly something as personally important as religion can be used as well. This is not simple hyperbole. I seriously believe this. You are either free or you are not, there is no in-between.

I support the skinheads’ right to have their speech and equally believe in the right of black nationalists as well. As long as they do not call for violence, which clearly infringes on the rights of the individual, say what you want. In fact, if either of these groups want to open a restaurant, bakery, or even floral shop, I would completely support their ability to discriminate. I would do so because they would quickly be shut down by the inability to generate enough business due to their insane beliefs.

People have a right to live their lives by their convictions. I would hate to live in a country where this was not so. The definition of fascism by the Merriam Webster Dictionary is, “a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.”

That is what we are talking about here: the enaction of fascism through the courts. Once that happens, we will be in a socialist empire. You will no longer be working for yourself (although an argument can be made that through over-taxation that is already true), the government will control what you will and won’t do. You will exist by their permission alone. How far removed is it for them to dictate how much you will be allowed to charge people for your services. Maybe the next step is to mandate discounts for certain protected classes.

This should scare people on both sides of the aisle. However, the left seems completely oblivious to the pitfalls of their actions. Trump is a reaction to years of their vitriol, even if the left is trying to rewrite history, but that is for a future article.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Matthew Wadler

Matthew Wadler is a U.S. Army veteran. Matt served in the Army for 20 years as both enlisted and officer before retiring. His service includes time as Military Police, Field Artillery, Adjutant General, and Recruiting. His deployments include Somalia and two tours to Afghanistan. His formal education includes a master’s degree in HR Management. He is a strong supporter of the constitution and advocate for the military and veteran communities. Follow Matthew on Twitter @MatthewWadler.

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