In reply to Eileen Barayasarra’s letter (May 7), there’s a very distinct difference between trying to force someone to join a church and saying that you should be allowed to discriminate against someone in the public realm. And that’s where operating businesses like bakeries or flower shops takes place — in the public realm. As a business, they are there to make money, not to (selectively) apply their religion. If, as a business, you are not willing to serve someone who is paying for your service, you should not be in business. You’re baking a cake or putting together flowers; you are not marrying them.
Remember, many forms of discrimination that we, as a collective society, have determined are unacceptable (e.g. refusing to serve African-Americans, or refusing to rent to non-Christians) were originally based on very narrow readings of a few, selected passages of the Bible. Sound familiar to the current debate? Or would you say it’s OK to refuse service to someone because they had trimmed their beard? (Lev. 19:27)
People have every right to practice their religion; they do not have the right to impose it on other people in the public realm.
Pete L’Orange, Boise
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