Rights Go Both Ways

By Lorana Hoopes

I’m so tired of watching the news lately because it seems all anyone does is accuse someone else of doing something they didn’t do. No one bothers to fact check anymore. Snopes.com was invented to try and stop the spread of lies, but evidently, everyone is too lazy to use it. They’d rather just hit share and spread the lies.

It was one such lie that got me all fired up today.

I have a very liberal friend on Facebook who posted about the Hamilton play issue. Her issue was actually with Trump, which we agreed about. Trump had no business calling out the actors, but my response was that it wasn’t the right venue to address Pence either. It wasn’t like he was there campaigning. He had bought tickets, and he was there with his daughter and grandkids. Not only did the crowd boo him as he entered, but then he got singled out as he tried to leave. I found this rude, and I stated thus.

Then another person, I’ll call him Bob, jumped in the discussion ranting about Pence and his “gay conversion therapy” and claiming the actors had every right to do what they did because he was threatening their rights. So I snoped it. Here’s a little fact: Pence never said he was for “gay conversion therapy.” He never said he was for shock treatment either. That was somebody twisting his words and turning it into a huge debacle. Now, I don’t know exactly what he meant with the statement he did say because it’s kind of vague, and I would absolutely disagree with him if he were in support of forced conversion therapy. Freedom of speech does indeed give the actors the right to say what they did. It also gives Trump the right to say what he did. But just because it’s a right doesn’t make it the “right” thing to do. Trump needs to rise above petty retaliation, and the actors should make their case known at a time when Pence is not paying and attending their show as a civilian. That was my point.

So then Bob jumps in with Trump wanting to support the First Amendment and allow religious organizations to not comply with laws they feel are unjust – like the Little Sisters of the Poor being forced to pay for abortions and Bob equates this to discriminating against gay people wanting to buy a pizza, which again is not the same thing at all. Bob says ” When your ideals encroach on the rights of others then those aren’t “your” rights.” To which I mostly agree. I continue to ask Bob about the rights of the Little Sisters. Isn’t forcing them to fund abortion against their rights? Bob is silent.

Or how about the baker or the florist who are being sued for not performing services for a gay wedding? Not just any service, mind you, only the wedding. The baker and the florist performed every other service, but couldn’t support the wedding and offered referrals and they are being sued. Would we be so angry if it were a Holocaust survivor refusing to create a Nazi cake that praised the Holocaust? Or would we say that forcing them to do something immoral to them would go against their rights and as long as they offer referrals, it’s okay?

See rights have to go both ways. If you want the freedom of speech, you have to be okay with what anyone might say. You can be offended, but you can’t sue them over it.

Martin Luther King Jr said there are just laws and unjust laws. Unjust laws are ones that force people to go against what is morally wrong to them. I think forcing nuns to fund abortions would qualify here, but so would forcing organizations to service a union they disagree with. Now let me be clear, there is a difference between not serving people and not servicing a union. It is never okay to discriminate against people, but forcing a religious person or organization to provide a service that is morally wrong to them is just as wrong. If we are to protect the rights of one, then we should protect the rights of all.

I don’t know much about Mike Pence, but he was pressed on Fox News about the Hamilton issue and he remained classy. He praised the show and the actors and recommended people go see it. Maybe he doesn’t see eye to eye with LGBT community, but I don’t feel he has any hate in his heart towards them either. And I think that bears remembering.

Lorana Hoopes is a Christian author who focuses on the inspirational with a touch of romance.Her books are available at Amazon.

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