Freedom to refuse must be defended
The brave new world is upon us. Freedom of thought, freedom of expression and freedom of speech are all under threat by the politically correct social justice warriors (SJW). Their modus operandi is to pressure businesses, both large and small, into conformity with their agenda.
We have myriad examples in recent years, like when the Greens party led the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Jewish businesses. The rainbow lobby have exerted their influence on our corporates to support and fund the homosexual marriage campaign. When one of our biggest companies, Telstra, withdrew their public support for the campaign they were targeted by the SJW and bullied back into acquiescence.
Rainbow lobbyists have also targeted small businesses in an attempt to stop them being involved with groups that have a different perspective on marriage or the Safe Schools Coalition program.
I personally experienced this when a speaking engagement was cancelled due to threats of violence by sections of the queer movement. It also happened a few weeks ago to the Marriage Alliance Forum when a conference had to be cancelled because of intimidation and threats to staff at the venue. No sensible person can support such behaviour.
However, there is a difference between that type of conduct and the non-coerced decision of an individual business to decide they don’t want your business – for whatever reason.
It happened last week to publishing company Connor Court. Their usual printer, McPherson’s, refused to print the book Stealing from a Child: the Injustice of ‘Marriage Equality’ due to the subject matter and content.
My guess is McPherson’s management only read the title and wouldn’t have a clue about the actual content, but the author Dr David van Gend defended their right to make the decision they did.
Van Gend said “…it is within their right as a private company to discriminate against people like me on ideological grounds …We are not like some people who would take anti-discrimination action. We do not think those sort of laws are worthy of a free society and we do not use them.”
Not everyone shares Dr van Gend’s views but in this instance he is right.
However, I cannot help but contrast the reaction if the boot was on the other foot, so to speak. If a printer refused to provide services to one of the sanctioned SJW causes I can only imagine all hell would break loose.
Complaints would be made, protests organised, owners named and shamed and legal action would be forthcoming.
We have seen as much happen to the Catholic Church in Tasmania for upholding Catholic doctrine. We have seen bakers fined in America for refusing to support homosexual weddings and we have seen a Christian baker in South Australia targeted for protests merely for saying they don’t support redefining marriage.
And yet, when commercial television networks or taxpayer-funded public broadcasters have refused to carry advertisements supporting traditional marriage there has been little comment.
These display a similar conscientious refusal but completely different responses.
And this is the essence of the dilemma we now face; is it okay for any business to say they simply don’t want your business for any or no reason? Personally I think it is, but that freedom has to be defended and protected so that it applies to any business, no matter what side of a debate they are on.