Browse By

Nazi Buttons and Klan Shirts

Imagine you run a button-making business and someone comes to you and requests a button with the Nazi swastika on it.  Should you have the right to refuse to make that button?

Imagine you make wedding apparel and someone comes to you, requesting that you make hoods and robes for a Klan-themed wedding. Should you have the right to refuse to make that attire?

Imagine that you don’t like children and someone comes into your bakery and asks you to make a cake with the words “Love All Children” on it.  Should you have the right to refuse to make that cake?

Imagine that you are a baker and someone comes in asking you to make a wedding cake with two grooms on the top.  Should you have the right to refuse to make the cake?

Four questions.  What are your answers?

8 thoughts on “Nazi Buttons and Klan Shirts”

  1. ella says:

    Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

    Freedom and freedom of enterprise are not any different. There is a freedom to be whatever you wish. There is a freedom to not be something that someone else is. And there is a freedom of opinion. It may not be good business, but then the individuals or groups who wish to do something a what that another does not, have a choice don’t they? They can go somewhere else to do business. There will be shops opening that cater to only homosexuals, or only transgenders. There already are shops that cater to children only. It is good for society to have diversity in business as well. There are clothiers that may specialty clothing when others will not make certain apparel. It is built into our society, why ruin it?

  2. Stephen Kent Gray says:

    No. No. No. No.

    The first nationally televised Libertarian Party presidential debate was hosted by Fox Business Network on John Stossel’s show “Stossel”. The two-hour debate was divided into two one hour segments which were televised on April 1 and 8 at 9:00 Eastern Time. The debate featured the three highest-polling candidates, as measured by the Libertarian Party’s own online poll. The candidates featured in the debate were former Republican Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson, ‘The Libertarian Republic’ founder Austin Petersen and anti-virus software developer John McAfee; John Stossel moderated the debate which featured questions from himself, Fox media personalities (second part) and people who submitted their questions on social media. All three candidates were afforded about the same amount of time to speak at the debate.

    In the first hour of the debate, the main focus was on religious liberty and discrimination. Johnson said: “I think that if you discriminate on the basis of religion, I think that is a black hole. I think you should be able to discriminate for stink or you’re not wearing shoes or whatever. If we discriminate on the basis of religion, to me, that’s doing harm to a big class of people.” Petersen then asked whether a Jewish baker should be required to bake a Nazi-themed wedding cake, to which Johnson replied: “That would be my contention, yes.” However, McAfee said: “If you’re the only baker in town, it may be a problem. But no one is forcing you to buy anything or to choose one person over another. So why should I be forced to do anything if I am not harming you? It’s my choice to sell, your choice to buy.” Petersen’s responded to Johnson’s statement in saying: “This portrays a fundamental lack of understanding of the free market. You have to allow the marketplace to work. The government cannot stamp out bigotry. The government is not supposed to make us into better people—that’s not what the United States was founded on.”

    Another topic was foreign policy, specifically the United States’ role in military intervention. Johnson said we should go to war only “when attacked;” Petersen said we should cut “every penny” of foreign aid; and McAfee questioned why we need to go to war and told Stossel that he is running for president “because our bodies and our minds belong to ourselves.” On the issue of marijuana, Johnson advocated for the legalization of marijuana, saying that it “will lead to less overall substance abuse.” Furthermore, he noted that he is the highest official to advocate for the legalization of marijuana. On the contrary, Petersen said that “the federal government should have absolutely no role [in determining the legality of drugs]” and that it should be left to the states. On the issue of social security, Petersen said that “the government stole our money in the first place and they should give it back” and even proposed an option to “let young people opt out of social security.”

    Other topics discussed during the first hour were abortion, Social Security, gender-pay equality and the national debt. While there was some disagreement over abortion, Social Security and gender-pay equality, all of the candidates on the stage agreed on the need to balance the federal budget in order to reduce the national debt. Towards the end of the debate, Stossel grilled the candidates on their past. For Johnson, Stossel noted that he is the CEO of a marijuana company and that in 2012 he only got 1% of the vote as the Libertarian Party nominee. Johnson responded by citing that marijuana is soon going to be legalized nationwide and that he received the most votes of any Libertarian Party candidate in the history of their party (1.2 million). For McAfee, Stossel made him clarify what happened when his property was raided in Belize. McAfee explained that the government wanted him to pay extra money and that they were the ones that raided his home. McAfee also had to clarify that his DUI was self-inflicted and that he took all responsibility for his actions. Petersen was asked how he is only 35 years old and would be the youngest president ever elected. Petersen responded by noting the ages of the Founding Fathers at the Constitutional Convention and how they were all in their twenties or thirties.

    All of the candidates then expressed their strengths. Petersen said: “I believe I am the only candidate who can build a coalition of disaffected conservatives, reasonable Democrats, and independents, because I am the only pro-life and pro constitutional LP candidate running. I may be the youngest candidate in the race, but younger men than I founded this country, and it will be young people’s responsibility to save it;” Johnson — who has enjoyed rising poll numbers and mainstream media appearances — said: I intend to offer Americans the alternative they seek. Liberty and the freedom to succeed are the real American values, and I’m running for president to restore those values, make America genuinely safe, and put an end to a tired status quo;” McAfee said: “One of the few constitutionally sanctioned duties of the federal government is to provide for the national defense, and our government, in addition to being corrupt to the core, is woefully unprepared to defend our nation from the very real threat of cyberwar. And yet, at the same time, this criminal enterprise masquerading as a government encroaches on our personal freedoms at every turn, and that’s why I’m running for president as a Libertarian.”

    On Twitter, Stossel polled users on who they thought had won the debate and what the candidates best lines were. Out of the 1,704 votes Petersen won with 49% saying that he performed the best, he was followed by Johnson at 29% and McAfee at 22%. A similar poll was conducted by the Libertarian Party on their website showing similar results. Johnson received high marks when he said: “I advocated for legalizing marijuana, I’m the highest official to do that.” Petersen’s best line was that “all humans deserve the same right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” McAfee’s stand out line came when talking about cyber security “we are 20 years behind the Chinese in cyber security…we’ll be speaking Chinese in 5 years.”.

    Part two of the debate was broadcast on April 8 at 21:00 EST on the Fox Business Network. Social media responses were similar in the hours after the debate. During the second hour of the debate, candidates took questions about immigration, free trade, jobs, using phones to prevent violent attacks (specifically the Apple iPhone case in regards the 2016 San Bernardino attack), environmental issues such as the Keystone XL pipeline, eminent domain, drug legalization and addiction, prostitution, protecting the constitution, where they agreed almost identically. The only debate came during a discussion about gun rights when Johnson raised the question about taking guns away from the mentally ill, Petersen then responded in opposition by defending the second amendment of the constitution and McAfee agreed by questioning how you can determine who is “mentally ill”. Petersen also questioned Johnson on his stance on background checks, who replied by talking about his record as Governor of New Mexico where he passed concealed carry laws. However, Johnson failed to come up with a way to address how someone is “mentally ill.”

    Back to me, I agree with Gary Johnson. I think business are to sell goods and services without making judgment calls about the goods or services they provide. It’s fraud for a business to say it will make all types of buttons, apparel, bakery goods, or whatever, but then refuse to make things they say they make because they think the particular buttons, apparel, bakery goods, or whatever are immoral. A business’s purpose is to make goods and services for customers. Refusing to do so on grounds of morality is fraud and hypocritical to the purpose of business.

    I do get the Ella, John McAfee, and Austin Petersen view, even if I do disagree with it. A business person offers goods and services for money. It’s stupid for a business person to dsicriminate for whatever reason. It’s also dishonest and hypocritical to do so. Business run on the motto of the customer being in the right.

    1. ella says:

      “I do get the Ella, John McAfee, and Austin Petersen view, even if I do disagree with it. A business person offers goods and services for money. It’s stupid for a business person to discriminate for whatever reason. It’s also dishonest and hypocritical to do so. Business run on the motto of the customer being in the right.” Stephen Kent Gray

      It was that way when customers did not flaunt their personal lives in public. There was a time when people did have personal lives and enjoyed the privacy that provided. Today the various aberrations of cultural society are on the street for public view. This does allow for those differences to be accepted and recognized as subcultures which every society has. The fact is that, for instance, female homosexuals prefer to socialize with others who have their particular lifestyle. Naturally. Why should they not have a place in the new economy? If there are businesses who wish to state they have social preferences for their clientele, then fine. They should state so publicly, and make no other show of it.
      Manufacturing is already divided in what they produce, and as I said before there are already industries that cater to specialties, socially outside the norm, requests. Why should a Catholic nun, for instance, by forced to go to a business that makes NAZI buttons, to buy pearl buttons?

  3. Dave says:

    I was born with the right to say “yes” to all questions. To trade what I have for what I want is my own business and validating the belief systems of others is not my business. Stephen Kent Gray, your coercive totalitarianism is amazing. I have the right to refuse to bake a cake, especially if it is for my own shotgun wedding.

    Oh, and a plaque by the door of a local restaurant says “No, the customer is not always right.” I don’t go there much because the lines are so long.

  4. Al Hopfmann says:

    All four questions are essentially the same , and the same fundamental issue as “is charity by government legitimate?” or “”Should people be mandated to have health insurance?” or ” Is a military draft or compulsory public service moral?” or “Should any government have any right to classify people by race?”
    As posed by the author, the only valid answer to each of his four questions is “Yes”. That is because individuals have naturally existing rights. Anyone who denies those rights is either foolish or evil. But governments do not have naturally existing rights, especially if governments’ actions deny the rights of individuals. So the questions posed by me should all be answered “No”.
    Anyone who answers differently to these questions doesn’t understand the basic principles of liberty, and needs to do further study, or maybe stop voting in political elections.

    1. Dave says:

      Actually, Al, one question is different from the others. The courts figure that gay people are “born that way” much like (name the ethnicity or sex) are born that way. All the other customers mentioned have chosen their politics. Freedom of association is extremely important to the questions posed, but I, like you, see it as a liberty issue. One of the reasons for the acrimonious social situation in the U.S. these days is that people are only allowed to form government approved relationships.

      If I go to a gay baker for a wedding cake and he/she/ze refuses to bake hetero cakes I have the liberty to go where I can do business. If they’re the only baker in town, I’ll find a town where I fit. Same goes for that KKK guy.

      1. Al Hopfmann says:

        Well, Dave, while we seem to agree almost completely on the fundamental philosophical issue, I disagree about one of the questions being “different from the others”. While you assert (perhaps correctly) that the courts “figure” that people with real or perceived homosexual proclivities are “born that way”, multitudes of personal histories, anecdotes, confessions, life styies, etc show that this is not even close to universally true. It might be true in a substantial number of cases, but is also clearly not true in a substantial number of cases. For many, the proclivity is clearly a choice. In any case, whether people have homosexual proclivities or heterosexual proclivities, they should all have equal rights. But that does not mean special rights. When government “manufactures” special rights for any group, liberty, decency, and equal protection by the law all suffer.

      2. ella says:

        So beautifully said, Dave. We are a multi-ethnicity society and each does have a niche in which we live. And yet we can live with each other if we only stop trying to be the only way of life there is. Accept being a unique individual, a group that associates with similar ideas and customs, and look at someone who has different uniqueness and social customs, as just that. Go where you feel comfortable and so will I. Isn’t it wonderful to live somewhere that is possible?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Psst... what kind of person doesn't support pacifism?

Fight the Republican beast!