So what about that small minority known as the Catholic business owner? I ask every Catholic reading this blog post to take in hand their Sunday bulletin picked up at yesterday's mass and look at the back cover. There you will see, for the most part, advertising from Catholic-owned and operated businesses. [...]As Charlotte then points out, it is insane to think that one's Catholic identity must legally be confined to one's place of worship on Sunday mornings. Faith is meant to be lived, and if the living of that faith means that some Jewish deli owners don't sell ham or bacon and that some Muslim taxi drivers refuse to drive inebriated passengers and some Catholic business owners refuse to host fake gay "weddings," then our historic national appreciation of religious freedom should allow all of those things to be possible for people of faith.
Next, let's say that word gets out on the local level that Catholic Business X did a gay wedding. What would your reaction be? I know mine, and it's automatically imbued with sin. I'm going to mention it to fellow Catholic friends: "Did you hear that Catholic Business X catered a big gay wedding and reception?" And then they tell a friend, who tells someone they see at some business meeting, and they tell another, and then someone tells the priest, and on down the line it goes.
And then for next year's parish festival, Catholic Business X doesn't get a bid opportunity to rent out beer tents from the festival planning committee. Or maybe the owner of Catholic Business X notices that some parishioners at mass just aren't as friendly to him as they used to be.
See where I'm going with this?
I believe that a business is entitled to not have their reputation tarnished by laws demanding that services be provided which violate their religious beliefs. I believe that Catholics, whether corporately or privately, have a reasonable right to maintain reputation as a Catholic in good standing, which ultimately means that they should be able to exercise judgments and actions that are in line with the teachings of the Catholic faith.
With reference to the Catholic inn keepers in Vermont, it is being said that they have a free-standing Catholic chapel on their property, as well as a history of renting out their facilities to various Catholic groups. Knowing this, if they voluntarily agreed to host every gay wedding that walked through the door, what effect might that have on the stream of Catholic-based business that they already have? Likely, it would have a very negative effect simply because word gets around.
Worse, what if they were forced - by law - to accept every gay wedding that was requested? Some might answer, "Well, it wouldn't matter because we'd all understand that they had to do it. I wouldn't discriminate against that business/owner because they're just complying with the law."
Oh really? What if you booked a Catholic seminar at that inn one weekend, and once you and all the other Catholic attendees arrived, discovered that out on the grounds of the inn there was a gay wedding taking place? And what if the gay couple from the wedding were having professional photographs taken inside the little Catholic chapel on the premises? What if there were drag queens as guests at that wedding and some older folks attending the Catholic seminar were very uncomfortable with what they were seeing? For that matter, what if you had a teenager with you at that Catholic seminar, and during a break, your son or daughter caught sight of gay couples kissing each other?
You'd never book another event at that inn, ever. Period. [...]
So I ask this: WHY should these inn owners - or any Catholic-owned business - have to risk ruining their good business and/or Catholic reputation because the gay community insists that whatever they ask for must be provided?
Why do I say "some" religious believers will refuse to do certain things? Because, let's face it: there will always be plenty of unobservant or functionally irreligious people of various faiths who will take a childlike delight in turning against the actual practitioners. There may well be some Jewish people who argue in favor of selling ham, some Muslim people who argue in favor of giving rides to drunks, some Catholic people who think gay "weddings" are terrific, even some Buddhist people who would have no moral qualms about owning and running a slaughterhouse. But such people rarely speak for their faiths; in fact, they seem to enjoy speaking against them.
The truth is, such people are not usually the ones advertising in church bulletins (or the like, for other faiths) and trying to attract business among their fellow worshipers. So Charlotte's question still stands: why should Catholic business owners lose all of their Catholic business just because homosexuals insist that Catholics must accept and celebrate homosexual behavior to the point of participating in a "wedding" that the Catholics know fully well is a complete lie according to the Church?
I would like to see some answers to Charlotte's question. Do religious business owners have any right at all to act according to the dictates of their faith and consciences in the business sphere--or must everyone be forced to live as though secularism were our only faith, and religion a mere hobby to take part in on weekends, which is how militant atheistic secularism sees it?