Last week, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Christian baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay wedding, and while I’m not a lawyer (which is only part of the reason that I am such a boon to society), I have a few thoughts.
First, this is the worst possible case for the “let’s force businesses to agree with our positions” advocates. The gay couple in question seemed to have gone out of their way to find a baker who would turn down their request, and come across as obnoxious activists looking for a legal fight. That doesn’t make their argument wrong, but it also doesn’t make them look good.
The baker, on the other hand, comes across as a decent person who was just trying to follow his religious beliefs. He’s not an angry homophobe, screaming at the gays to get out of his business and burn in hell! He had apparently made cakes for gay people before, and did his best not to offend anyone, while at the same time sticking to his religious beliefs.
The Colorado commission who initially ruled against the baker were angry, condescending leftist hacks right out of central casting. They made no effort to hide their disdain for the baker’s Christian beliefs, comparing his thinking to the kind of worldview that led to the Holocaust. In fact, the reason that 2 of the leftists on the SC joined the opinion of the 5 intermittently sane SC justices was that even they couldn’t overlook the transparently prejudiced ruling of the Colorado commission. (Which begs the question: What would a far-left lower court have to do to get Methuselah Ginsberg and Kid Latina Sotomayor to rule against them? The smart money is on “not possible, under any circumstances.”)
While I’m a Christian, I’m pretty libertarian in my politics, and I’d like nothing more than for the government to back way off on almost every front. In fact, I think a lot of our current problems stem from the fact that there’s one aspect of English Common Law – maybe it was in the Magna Carta? (did I mention that I’m not a lawyer?) – that we have tragically lost in recent decades. I’m referring, of course, to the bedrock principle of “Mind Your Own Business, You Totalitarian Jerks.” (MYOBYTJ, as it appears in Black’s Law Dictionary.)
“How would MYOBYTJ apply to this situation, Dr. Simpson?” you may ask. “Also, how it is pronounced?”
It’s pronounced just like it’s spelled, of course. And here is how it would be applied in the case of “Angry Gay Activists v. Baker Who’s Never Hurt Anyone:”
Two Christophobe gay guys walk into a bakery. (I know – sounds like the start of a good joke, though sadly, it is not.) (Also, yes, I called them “Christophobes.” Because “homophobe” is a linguistic pet peeve of mine. “Phobe” comes from “phobia,” which is a fear, and makes no sense in this context. People who aren’t thrilled with gay people don’t fear them. No one has ever heard two suspiciously well-groomed males discussing musicals and suddenly shrieked and passed out like a tarantula just descended from the ceiling and landed in their lobster bisque. On the other hand, plenty of lefty activists have come across a 10 commandments plaque or a Nativity scene and immediately pulled their unisex dresses over their gender-binary heads, and ran around shrieking and hyperventilating and fumbling in their transgender wallet/purse/biodegradable bag to find their cell so they could speed dial the ACLU number to make the scary Christian inanimate objects stop torturing them.) (So yeah. “Christophobes.”)
Where was I? Oh, yeah.
Two gay guys with nothing better to do go into a bakery and ask the baker to make a fabulous cake for their gay wedding. He respectfully declines, stating that doing so would violate his religious convictions. The two hair-trigger Christophobes become outraged, and call the local Sheriff, their Congressman and Senators, the Governor, and the Colorado Commission on Very Important Issues. They explain the situation to each of them in turn.
And each time, the official on the other end of the phone should have said something to the effect of, “So why don’t you just find a more gay-friendly baker to make your cake? Or maybe boycott that baker, and tell your gay friends not to use him for their weddings or Oscar parties or gay-mitzvahs or whatever.”
And when the busybodies reply, “Don’t you understand? This baker thinks differently than we do! He should be forced to run his business in a way that doesn’t offend us!” each and every official should respond, “Mind your own business, you totalitarian jerks!”
I’m serious about this. I’d like to see business owners free to operate how they’d like, and let the market and a free society handle that. And not just about issues that I have a rooting interest in:
- If a Jewish deli doesn’t want to serve pork, anybody insisting on a pork chop wrapped in bacon should be told MYOBYTJ!
- If a Muslim baker doesn’t want to bake Christmas cookies and some boneheads object? MYOBYTJ!
And I wouldn’t just apply it to religion, either. For example, I dislike smoking; it’s expensive, and makes your clothes stink, and it caused the deaths of my mother-in-law and a favorite aunt in the last 6 months. If someone wanted to open a bar or restaurant in my town that allowed smoking, I wouldn’t go there.
But you know what else I’d do? I’d mind my own freaking business! If a smallish town has 6 bars, why couldn’t one of them allow smoking? No one who objected would have to work there, or eat there, or drink there, and most people wouldn’t. If enough people voted with their dollars and stayed away, the bar would close. But not because some crybullies forced them out of business.
I know that smoking is not good for you, but that’s not the point.
You know what else isn’t good for you? Ice cream. Riding a motorcycle. Women half your age. Many other women. Many men, too. Playing the lottery. Cocaine. Red meat. Electing delusional white ladies to the Senate from Massachusetts. (#wemustneverstopmockingher) Really loud music. Stepping in to defend a weak person against a bully who’s much larger and stronger than you are.
Half the juice in life is negotiating your way around and through those things. For example, I once had a good meal at a steakhouse with a woman who wasn’t good for me (despite a cuteness of almost Nikki Haley-esque proportions), and then took her back to her apartment on my motorcycle, where she fed me some ice cream.
But just when I was about to do some things that would have left me with terrible regret (and possibly some soft-tissue injury) she pulled out some cocaine and said, “Let’s snort this, and then buy a lottery ticket and vote for Elizabeth Warren.”
Of course, I jumped up in righteous outrage and tossed some clothes at her and said, “Put your clothes on and get out of my apartment!”
And she said, “Those are your clothes, and this is my apartment!”
To which I wittily replied, “Oh, yeah.” The next thing you know, I’m making a dignified (if pantsless) retreat, while she is screaming from the second floor landing like a crazy person, “Elizabeth Warren is a Native American role model!”
And I’m screaming back at her, “She’s as Indian as Ingemar Johanssen!”
“Who is that?”
“Google him!” I yelled.
“You better stop mocking Elizabeth Warren, and I mean it!”
“NEVER!” I screamed, as I roared away into the night, having learned a valuable lesson.
Where was I? Oh, yeah. Minding my own business.
I think most rap music sounds like racist and misogynistic cats mating inside a metal garbage can in a concrete parking garage. I think vegan food tastes like a cruel experiment concocted by misanthropes with defective taste buds. I think that leftist policies are destructive to all I hold dear.
But if someone wants to open a socialist vegan restaurant that features rap music all day, God bless them. Not my cup of tea, and I would not think highly of anyone patronizing that establishment. But I would not in a million years walk in there in a MAGA hat, and insist that they play some Hank Williams while making me a hamburger.
Because I know how to mind my own business.
Of course, there is a political element to this. While all of us are fallen and imperfect and prone to want to impose our wills on others, the vast majority of totalitarian bullying today comes from the left. Who is imposing speech codes and shouting down speakers they disagree with? Who knows better than I do what kind of lightbulb I should be able to buy, and how many gallons of water my toilet should hold, and how big of a soft drink I should be able to buy? Not the political right.
(And to anticipate one mistaken to objection from the left, we don’t want to dictate what any women do with their bodies. That’s why you’ve never heard of any conservative legislative pushes to ban piercing, or tattooing, or appendectomies, or surgeries that make you look like a duck-billed platypus with cartoonishly large breasts. When we try to prevent abortion, it’s not because we want to control women’s bodies. It’s because we took biology in school, and recognize that something that has different brain waves, and a separate heartbeat and DNA is not, technically speaking, “part of your body.”)
In conclusion, the Supreme Court got it right this time. Don’t force an African-American baker to make a stars-and-bars cake to celebrate Jefferson Davis’ birthday. Don’t force a white baker to make a Malcolm X “Kill Whitey” cake. Don’t force a socialist baker to bake a “Trump 2020” cake. Don’t force a sane baker to make a “Hillary 2020” cake.
Mind your own business, you totalitarian jerks!