Tuesday, March 31, 2015
WHEN IS IT APPROPRIATE TO BE DESCRIMINATING? IS INDIANA LEADING THE WAY OR LEADING THE WAY TOWARDS A CLARIFICATION????
Therefore when someone opens a public, secular business, no matter how religious the owners are, they must sell what they have or provide services to those in the public who come to them.
Therefore the owner of a hotel can't discriminate against those who want to register there according to their race, belief or marital status or lack thereof.
A business that caters to the public cannot discriminate against those they feel are living immoral lives.
However, I have seen signs in businesses which say, "No shoes, no shirt, no service." Is this discrimination?"
Certainly a Jewish Deli and a Muslim Deli need not provide pork to those who demand it. But these are technically secular businesses catering to a particular class of customer. But anyone can buy what is provided. One doesn't have to be a Muslim or Jew.
Can a cake decorator refuse to place a gay couple plastic couple on top of the cake or write an obscene word on a cake?
And what about a florist or caterer who is asked to cater the reception of a satanic wedding? Can a business owner object?
The more serious question has to do with houses of worship who must discriminate when making their facilities available to others outside their religion. Are there legal protections for houses of worship.
For example, my parish has a large gym facility that we could rent out to make money for our school. We could rent it our for wedding receptions, banquets and sports to others. However, what if a gay couple who got married elsewhere wanted to rent our facility? What if a Catholic who has an impediment to being married in the Catholic Church, marries elsewhere and then wants to rent our facility for their reception, or have their illicit wedding performed by some other official in our facility?
I allowed a Lutheran who went to our Catholic high school to have a Lutheran wedding in our church as an ecumenical outreach as their Lutheran Church building was too small. I made sure there were no impediments from the Catholic point of view for this couple to be married even in a Lutheran ceremony in our church building.
Can I do that now that some Christian Churches also allow same sex marriages? In our city of Macon there are two male Episcopal priests who are gay and living with one another and it is accepted by their bishop and congregation. Can I allow an that Episcopal Church to have weddings at St. Joseph Church?
So is there a difference between a Christian who owns a secular business and the Church which might try to make money with its facilities? Can either discriminate under secular law?