Sometimes I think we’d all be better off if we declared a moratorium on hate. Not on hating itself, but on the use of the concept of “hate” to browbeat and bully our moral, cultural, and political opponents into submission.
Consider a recent example:
Back in 2013, a Christian-owned bakery in Oregon named Sweet Cakes by Melissa declined to provide a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony. The lesbian couple that had been turned down might have done what ex-blogger and long-time same-sex marriage advocate Andrew Sullivan has suggested: “If you find someone who’s genuinely conflicted about doing something for your wedding, let them be. Find someone else.”
But no. The lesbian couple complained to the authorities, a judge determined last January that the bakery violated Oregon’s anti-discrimination laws, and this past Friday the state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries proposed an award of damages to the couple of $135,000 (for “emotional suffering stemming directly from unlawful discrimination”) — this despite the fact that the bakery has since gone out of business and its owners (who have five children) are already struggling to pay the bills.