Stephen Measure

How Anti-Discrimination Laws Are Used to Discriminate Against Religion
May 21, 2016

Imagine if "shopping day preference" was added to anti-discrimination law. That's innocuous, right? I mean, who would want to discriminate against someone just because of their shopping day preference? And then the following Sunday, Andrew, who fancies himself a Sunday Shopper, strolls down Main Street, visiting store after store, as is his habit, when he comes across a door that won't open and a sign that says "Closed". Furious, Andrew calls his lawyer and a lawsuit is filed claiming discrimination against Andrew on the basis of shopping day preference. Andrew, you see, claims to be a Sunday Shopper.

The store-owner is confused. She has nothing against Andrew. She'd be happy to serve him on Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Thursday, or Friday, or Saturday. But Sunday, for her, is different. Her religion calls it the Sabbath, and she doesn't want to work on that day. She's not trying to discriminate against Andrew. If he wants to shop on Sunday, then that's his business; but she doesn't want to be involved, not on a Sunday. She wants the freedom to live her life as she sees fit, and to not be involved with activities—such as shopping on Sunday—that she considers to be wrong.

Then Andrew erupts in anger. How dare the store-owner suggest he shop on Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Thursday, or Friday, or Saturday. He's a Sunday Shopper! That's who he is! He can't shop on some other day—he's a Sunday Shopper! He was born that way. Sunday is the only day he can shop. The law says she cannot discriminate against him based on shopping day preference, and that means the store has to be open on Sunday because he is a Sunday Shopper. Her business is a public accommodation, and that means she has to follow the law. If that violates her religion, then too bad. She can't use her religion as an excuse for discriminating against him and his fellow Sunday Shoppers. Her store must be open on Sundays because that is the only day that Sunday Shoppers can shop!

In other words, adding "shopping day preference" to the anti-discrimination law has nothing to do with protecting individuals such as Andrew, who the store-owner would be happy to serve on Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Thursday, or Friday, or Saturday. The law isn't protecting him. The law is protecting his behavior: shopping on Sunday. The law claims we cannot accommodate him in the absence of that behavior; therefore, it is the behavior, shopping on Sunday, that the law is protecting, not the individual. It's all about behavior. It's all about shopping on Sunday.

And how do you protect a behavior? You protect it by discriminating against the belief that that behavior is wrong. We treat wrong behavior different from right behavior (according to our own definition of right and wrong). Every one of us does. Do you treat lying the same as telling the truth? Do you treat cheating the same as being faithful? Do you treat bullying the same as being kind? Of course not. If you think a behavior is wrong, then you will treat that behavior like it is wrong. Unless, that is, anti-discrimination law steps in and forbids you from doing so. Put simply: An anti-discrimination law that protects behavior is an anti-discrimination law that discriminates against the belief that that behavior is wrong.

Same-Sex Sexuality
The analogy to same-sex sexuality should be obvious. Imagine if Andrew, instead of claiming to be a Sunday Shopper, calls himself gay instead. He goes to a baker and demands they bake him a cake for his same-sex wedding. But the baker believes that same-sex sexuality is wrong, and she doesn't want to be involved in the celebration of a life-long commitment to it. So Andrew takes her to court. This baker has no problem serving Andrew. She'd be happy to bake him a wedding cake so long as that wedding didn't represent a commitment to a behavior she disagrees with. And she'd be happy to bake him a cake for any other reason: for his birthday, his graduation, his retirement, his May the Fourth Be With You party. But if an anti-discrimination law includes sexual orientation, then what it really includes is same-sex sexuality. It doesn't matter that the baker is perfectly willing to serve Andrew in different circumstances. The law has nothing to do with Andrew. It's all about his behavior. It's all about same-sex sexuality. The law claims the baker cannot accommodate Andrew in the absence of that behavior; therefore, it is the behavior, same-sex sexuality, that the law is protecting, not the individual. And if the baker's religious beliefs get in the way, then too bad. The law has been written to protect the behavior of same-sex sexuality, and it does so by discriminating against the belief that same-sex sexuality is wrong.

Identity Shells Corrupt Anti-Discrimination Law
Why does this happen? How is it that a law that was supposedly written to protect a group of people ends up discriminating against the religious beliefs of others instead? It happens because we are creating groups of people who aren't just people anymore—they are people inseparably tied to a behavior. Sunday Shoppers are people who can only shop on Sunday. Shopping on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday is impossible to them. They are Sunday Shoppers! And gays are people who can only engage in same-sex sexuality, who can only enter into same-sex marriages. Choosing otherwise is impossible to them. Marrying a member of the opposite sex is impossible to them. That is the claim. And so, if you object to same-sex sexuality, the claim is made that you are objecting to the individual themselves, because that individual has been inseparably tied to that behavior.

Sunday Shopper. Gay. Transgender. These concepts are man-made. They are identity shells—artificial labels used to manipulate you into accepting a behavior. And when identity shells are added to anti-discrimination law, they corrupt that law. No longer is it a law about protecting individuals. Now it is a law about protecting behavior—because an identity shell is a person tied inseparably to a behavior. And the way you protect a behavior is by discriminating against the belief that that behavior is wrong.

By including behavior in anti-discrimination law, governments are enforcing a moral imperative to accept that behavior. They are saying we aren't allowed to discriminate against that behavior, meaning that we aren't allowed to treat that behavior any different than we would treat a moral behavior, meaning that we effectively aren't allowed to consider that behavior to be a sin, or at least we aren't allowed to treat it like one.

And that's been the goal all along. The only reason why sexual orientation has been added to anti-discrimination laws is to force the acceptance of same-sex sexuality, and the way you force the acceptance of same-sex sexuality is by discriminating against the religious belief that same-sex sexuality is wrong. It's about behavior. It's all about behavior. If you doubt this, try changing the words "sexual orientation" in anti-discrimination law to say "sexual attraction but not behavior" instead, then watch the fireworks erupt in opposition to that change. It's about behavior. It's all about behavior.

Yet behavior is the realm of religion. Is a behavior right? Is a behavior wrong? When an anti-discrimination law protects a behavior, it is taking a religious stance on that question. It is declaring that any religious beliefs that disagree are out of bounds. It is establishing a state-enforced limit on religious beliefs. Can't you see? We are lying to ourselves. We claim our anti-discrimination laws prohibit discrimination against religion, but then we throw in one huge caveat—expect for the belief that protected behaviors are wrong. Those beliefs are out of bounds, and the government itself will discriminate against them. It is religious tyranny. Government sponsored, government enforced, religious tyranny. And it should never, ever be done. Yet it's happening. It's happening, and it won't stop until we make it stop.

This Could Be Done to Any Behavior
And it won't end here either. Already the push to force the acceptance of same-sex sexuality has expanded to force the acceptance of a different behavior: claiming to be a gender you biologically aren't. Sexual orientation, gender identity, these phrases are being added to anti-discrimination laws, but they aren't being added to protect people. They are being added to protect identity shells, to protect the behavior hidden within that identity shell. And that same trick could be applied to any behavior. Just say that a person is that behavior. Just say that a person has no choice to do anything other than that behavior. Then, if someone disapproves of that behavior, they are disapproving of that person as well—and you can unleash the dogs of war.

Why stop with same-sex sexuality or with claiming to be a gender you biologically aren't? Surely there are other religious beliefs you'd like to ban as well? Are you sick of people preaching about the Ten Commandments? Well, the solution is simple: Just translate the behavior into identity shells, insert them into anti-discrimination law, and then sit back while the government squashes any belief in the Ten Commandments in favor of a new government-mandated single commandment: Thou shalt not discriminate against idolaters, against blasphemers, against Sabbath-breakers, against parent-dishonorers, against murderers, against adulterers, against thieves, against liars, or against coveters.

Perhaps you don't care now because the behaviors being protected are ones you don't think are wrong. But what happens when anti-discrimination law moves forward and suddenly starts protecting behaviors you yourself consider to be wrong? How would you like to be legally forbidden from reacting to a wrong behavior? How would you feel if you were told you cannot treat lying different from telling the truth, if you were told you cannot treat cheating different from being faithful, if you were told you cannot treat bullying different from being kind? It's about behavior. It's all about behavior. And you cannot protect behavior without discriminating against belief. The self-righteous activists who are pushing to include behavior in anti-discrimination law claim they oppose discrimination, yet they are designing the law specifically to discriminate against those they disagree with. They are hypocrites. They are tyrants. And they shouldn't be allowed to get away with it.

Neither sexual orientation nor gender identity should ever appear in anti-discrimination laws or policies. Those phrases are used to protect behaviors, not people—to protect man-made, manipulative identity shells. And they do that by discriminating against religion. That's the whole reason why those phrases are being added: to discriminate against religion. They have no place in anti-discrimination laws.

Open Your Eyes
You are being manipulated. The trick should be obvious, once it's been pointed out to you: By claiming that a person is inseparable from their behavior—by bundling person and behavior together into an identity shell—you can place that behavior off limits for disapproval; you can force everyone to accept it. Gay. Transgender. Sunday Shopper. Those are identity shells. Those are man-made labels designed to manipulate you into accepting a behavior. "Gay rights", "transgender rights", "LGBT rights"—pure manipulation. "Anti-gay", "anti-transgender", "anti-LGBT"—more manipulation. Open your eyes. How much louder do I have to shout? You are being manipulated.

Freedom Means People Will Do Things You Don't Like
Everyone treats wrong behavior different from right behavior (according to their own definition of right and wrong). You do that. I do that. Everyone does that. And there's nothing wrong with that. You can't prohibit others from discriminating against behavior without discriminating yourself. When you try, you're just replacing one type of discrimination with another—the private discrimination of individuals, based on their beliefs about morality, with the government discrimination against individuals, based on their beliefs about morality. And you claim that is a good thing? It is not.

You can either allow individuals the freedom to disapprove of behavior they disagree with, or you can instruct the government to discriminate against religious beliefs you disagree with. Choose one or the other. But if you choose the latter, understand this: You are a religious tyrant, and you—yes you—you are discriminating against those who believe differently.


Related essays:
The War Between Identity and Behavior
Identity Shells and How They Are Used Against You

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