The difference between discrimination and belief


Evan Fox


Lately, it seems as if America has become a nation of lines instead of the melting pot it was originally meant to be. When I say lines, I mean people are being separated by different issues. Opinions are becoming actions and those who wish to stay neutral are being forced to a side.

The nation was founded as a place where people can be free from persecution. Originally it was in order to practice religion freely. It soon became about personal freedoms and equal rights for all individuals. Granted, America has fallen short of those ideals and has had to recover from major pitfalls.

Great orators and their quieter counterparts once brought great change and won many victories. The Civil Rights Movement is the most recent one that comes to mind. People were not afraid to strive for change and let their voice be heard. It was a glorious time.

The sad part is, those times seem to be fading.

People are being told what to do. They are forced to put aside their beliefs because individuals take offense. I read an article recently where a man sued his ex-wife because she took her 11-year-old daughter to a “Pink” concert, claiming abuse of parental discretion. The judge threw it out and in his decision mentioned how divorced parents are increasingly using the courts to “referee divorced parents.”

I also read an article about a bakery and florist in two separate areas that were fined for not providing services to homosexual wedding ceremonies, claiming it infringed on the plaintiffs’ basic human rights.

To my knowledge, “Pink” isn’t a horrendous influence and the owners of the shops weren’t on a warpath. What was reported was that they provided normal services to homosexuals, but refused to work the ceremonies as it went against their religious views. It was not a Westboro situation. They were calm and apologized, yet now their businesses are in danger due to lawsuits brought against them.

The point I am trying to make is the fact that America has become a nation that sprints straight to the court system when any offense is perceived. What happened to people coming to terms with each other? Where is the discussion?

I am not condoning discrimination in any way, but there is a line between discrimination and standing up for your own beliefs. As long as there was not hate-filled speech or an ulterior motive, can a business not refuse service? Will a no shoes, no shirt policy become harassment one day?

All I’m asking for is that people take the time to discuss the issue. Just because a person does not do something does not mean they are automatically bigots or purposefully infringing on someone’s rights.

Take the time to see where a person is coming from and the reasoning behind their actions. Besides, we live in America, the land of capitalism. Where one business refuses, there’s a host of them perfectly willing to serve.

Stand up for what you believe in, but remember that others are simply doing the same.