A couple of weeks ago, news came out of England that “Muslim staff at a Bradford Council-run care home stopped patients eating pork pies and bacon sandwiches because of their religious beliefs, a report found.” Most of the people denied their pork pies and bacon sandwiches had no recourse: “Wagtail Close has a respite care facility and is home to people living with physical disabilities, sensory loss, brain injury or learning disabilities.” This is not a population with a great deal of market mobility.
I linked to the story on my real-me Facebook page, and one of my gay friends had a predictable response: “This sounds just like public servants who refuse to issue wedding licenses, bakers who won’t bake wedding cakes, photographers who won’t do gay marriages, and venues that won’t rent to gay weddings. And they all do in the name of religion and religious freedom.”
Can you spot what’s wrong with my friend’s argument? I spotted it immediately and have been meaning to write about it for days, although life kept intervening. In the first situation, religious fanatics impose their belief on a helpless population that lacks any ability to avoid the fanaticism. In the second situation, religious fanatics also impose their belief on a helpless population that lacks any ability to avoid the fanaticism.
But . . . you have to have a very careful scorecard to understand that, in the second situation, the religious fanatics aren’t the ones the Leftists would have us believe are trying to impose their doctrine on others.