Heads up! Reactions to my post about destruction of Christian businesses still rolling in.

15_04_26_WSJ_article_01Reactions to my post When they come to destroy your business because you are pro-traditional family are still rolling in. It was cited quite a few news outlets and blogs.

Today, Sunday, there is a piece in the local paper where I am, Madison, which features it. HERE

The article isn’t entirely hostile, although it ends decidedly on a pro-“gay” note. I suspect the combox there will quickly turn into Lord of the Flies.

This is a perfect storm for a secular MSM outlet’s combox: homosexuals, the Catholic Church, a priest, current events in a über-liberal city.

So, this is a heads-up.

Should any of you readers sense a need to get involved in that combox discussion, as it develops, I ask only that you think before posting, review and proof your comments, and maintain an even-headed, polite and rational tone regardless of the invective and absurdities you read.

There is an a “Report Abuse” button by each posted comment.

Review the rules for posting there.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Biased Media Coverage, Liberals, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Religious Liberty, Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. robtbrown says:

    In such arguments I think it’s useful to make reference to the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. It is a part of the Constitution that liberals never mention: Evidently, they think it will go away if it’s ignored.

  2. Ryan.Beggy says:

    Bravo Father.

    Also, I know you’ve mentioned it in the past, but I would enjoy a revisit to the leftist notion of equating our opposition of same sex marriage to racism.


  3. xraytango says:

    It’s hard to read that article and not want to immediately comment on all the errors that are presented there. At what point is commenting on such articles defending the faith? Or is it all just banging your head against a wall?

    Keeping you in our prayers while they drag your name through the mud.

  4. The Astronomer says:

    Father Z, keep your powder dry and head for the tall grass.

    This will only intensify once the weak-spined SCOTUS gets into the act…

  5. wanda says:

    Put on your whole armor, Fr. Z. You are in my prayers.

  6. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I am now picturing Fr. Z hanging out with Althouse. Heh!

    More seriously, I’m sure that the original anchoress From the Anchor Hold is probably supporting you with prayers from the hereafter.

  7. Reconverted Idiot says:

    Even before returning to the faith, while still wholly imbued with the spirit of the age, the fact that progressives had apparently abandoned all notion of freedom of conscience was not lost on me. It was one issue I could never agree with. While I was happy to argue for ‘gay rights’ and all other senseless notions, the idea of forcing someone to do something against their conscience – whether or not I agreed with them – always struck me as a most heinous authoritarianism.

    Even then though I was well aware, as a ‘good little Freudian’, that totalitarianism is liberalism’s own illegitimate offspring. That is one conclusion that I have not abandoned in my subsequent disavowal of the things I previously believed.

  8. Elizabeth D says:

    At least Doug Erickson is branching out to seek comment from someplace other than his favorite Call to Action/Holy Wisdom Monastery sources, which made for a better article.

    Doug came up to me at a recent event and said “I knew you’d be here!” It was funny. I will say he has always been nice when I have dealt with him. I don’t know what exactly to make of him, which is probably intentional.

  9. Sonshine135 says:

    Father Z,
    Vaya Lio!

  10. mysticalrose says:

    Thanks for taking one for the team, Father.

  11. Tantum Ergo says:

    “Catholics were born for combat” (Pope Leo XIII)
    Put on the armor of God and kick some tail.

  12. frjim4321 says:

    So if I walked into my favorite cigar store on the way home from a burial, attired in clerical collar, and the clerk says, “Sorry, we are atheists and we don’t serve clergy,” I would have no recourse under the law?

  13. Scott W. says:

    So if I walked into my favorite cigar store on the way home from a burial, attired in clerical collar, and the clerk says, “Sorry, we are atheists and we don’t serve clergy,” I would have no recourse under the law?

    As we’ve said numerous times, Catholics and most Christians are not in favor of denying regular service to homosexuals. Rather it is about not being punished for refusing to take on specific jobs that offend God. A caterer shouldn’t be compelled to cater a Klan rally, a photographer shouldn’t be forced to shoot pornography, and a baker shouldn’t by forced to bake a cake celebrating a barren mutual-masturbation arrangement given a legal rubberstamp by a system at war with reality.

  14. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Father Jim,

    Would you willingly spend money at an establishment which intended to mistreat women, as you understood the mistreatment of women?

    On the other hand, would you intentionally make a point of being refused service so that you might claim discrimination, and force the business owner to comply with your beliefs? I don’t know if you would (because, aside from this forum, we don’t know each other) but those who intend to force societal development in certain ways do just that.

  15. robtbrown says:

    Father Jim 4321,

    When I lived in Kansas City 30 years ago, one day I went to a small shoe repair shop to have new heels put on a pair of cowboy boots. As soon as I saw the owner, I knew where I was–I had seen an article on him in the Kansas City Star.

    The man had numbers tattooed on his forearm. He had survived Auschwitz because he could make boots.

    What if I had been a neo Nazi with a swastika armband and had come in the shop to have my Junior Gestapo boots, complete with embossed Swastika, repaired?

    Should the law have forced him to do business with me?

  16. jflare says:

    From reading the article, I find I must either cry or laugh at the comments by the law and religion instructor at UW and those by the Outreach director. One complains that people with differing ideologies can’t authentically listen to each other, the latter calls Fr Z’s suggestion “mean-spirited”.

    Never mind that we have been authentically listening to the drumbeat of gay activism for at least 20 years. We have endured many a mean-spirited assault on our character when we remember that homosexual acts are sinful.

    Perhaps the best we can do right now is pray that God give them cause to repent of their attitudes before death?

  17. jflare says:

    “What if I had been a neo Nazi with a swastika armband and had come in the shop to have my Junior Gestapo boots, complete with embossed Swastika, repaired? ”

    I don’t think that’s necessarily a helpful example, Rob. Neo-Nazis who intend to remain neo-Nazis may be motivated by hateful ideals, but they’d also be inclined toward, um, discretion. Unless a person would be inclined toward potential physical altercations with little cause, they would be more likely to seek services from someone who could be trusted with their Nazi attitudes.

  18. Reconverted Idiot says:

    Fr Jim, would you insist especially that they decorate your cigar with the words “Christ is Lord”?

    Moreover, would you not ask them why, and if they said “my conscience forbids it” would you then insist that they override their conscience? Or, would you rather – despite your own feelings and thoughts about the matter – respect their conscience and go elsewhere?

    Or, would you rather drag them before the courts for offending your “right” to buy a cigar from wherever you like?

  19. Allan S. says:

    Reconverted Idiot = Strawman Slayer. Most concise eviceration of a spurious argument ever. Well, ever this year anyway.

  20. Grumpy Beggar says:

    From the Wisconsin State Journal article quoting Fr, Z :

    “That said, I also wasn’t bluffing,” he wrote. “Christians have a right to have businesses and also to maintain their beliefs, which harm nobody. Someone who intends to put a Christian business owner in an awkward position by asking for something that is clearly contrary to that business owner’s closely-held beliefs, and then subject them to legal harassment, is a bully.”

    Bullies should not be tolerated, Zuhlsdorf said. “My post was serious, in the sense that Christians shouldn’t be expected simply to let people target their businesses for destruction and drive them into financial ruin.”

    So very well said. It’s as plain as day that these guys are bullies : You have to wonder whether the general public hasn’t been bullied to the point of believing they aren’t, or something. Maybe we should try to make that name bullies stick – beginning with when we’re posting on this topic in the combox. If enough of the general public read it, maybe it’ll start sinking in.

    Most bullies have one or two cerebral or emotional screws which usually aren’t torqued down all the way to specifications, but what makes this brand of bully unique is that – a): they have legislation allowing them to be bullies, and b): they suffer from a pre-existing psychiatric disorder to begin with (speaking here of the gay militants who are bullies – not those who struggle with SSA, homosexual tendencies, or even active homosexuals who believe in live and let live).
    Just because militant homosexuals intimidated the American Psychiatric Association into removing homosexuality from its list of disorders , doesn’t make it any less of disorder.

    While on the subject of disorders, the Church in her keen vision, also confirms through the CCC lust , to be”a disordered desire for inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure” ; fornication to be “gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered” ; and masturbation to be “an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.” So we all have work to do , to get ourselves in “order” on a personal level. Yet, one surmises, that difficulty would be encountered were we to seek any group of non- Catholic psychiatrists who might be willing to classify those aforementioned italicized actions as “disorders”. Today in our world there is a convenient grey area existing between what we call “natural” and what we call “common”, rather than a nice solid defining line.

    So a psychiatrically-recognized disorder becomes, basically, the state religion – enacted via legislation and enforced by conniving, intolerant, heartless fanatics (the gay militant bullies) . And though the majority are not adamant believers, they still adhere/kowtow through fear , thus participating in the creation of an illusion – a type of social psychosis producing among its side-effects, a veritable heap of politicians and judges currently suffering from Pontius Pilate Syndrome ( job security).

    I bet that even Sigmund Freud and St. Thomas Aquinas would blow a couple of fuses and that smoke would come billowing out of their ears were they living in our current time – even before they ever learned about what abortion is doing to our world today.

    . . . the condition is ripe for, and in need of much prayer.

  21. the article calls the display of faith ‘harrassment’.
    it’s lost on them that targeting a Christian business and taking it down is harrasment to the nth degree.
    Gofundme has closed down a site taking funds for a Christian business that was targeted and fined.
    They are bound and determined to make so called gay marriage a civil right that the rest of us(they think)will eventually accept.

    . . . the condition is ripe for, and in need of much prayer.

    Yep then the battle is on.

  22. Pingback: Heads up! Reactions to my post about destruction of Christian businesses still rolling in. | therasberrypalace

  23. SKAY says:

    Would a florist who is Christian and even more to the point a Catholic be forced by the
    government to sell flowers to a customer who wanted them for a satanic “black mass”?

    I am now convinced that there are activists who are against Christianity and the Catholic Church in particular because of it’s biblical teachings they do not like and who will follow this same templet if not stopped..
    There is a lot of anti Christian money behind the ACLU and everyday people with small businesses
    do not have the money to fight them. It has become about winning in court because even if it is voted on by the people –a law suit is filed and the liberal judge(because they judge shop) goes against how the people voted. I think there is a lesson to be learned here for Christians-or we will lose our first amendment right of freedom of religion — and it is NOT freedom from religion
    as they would have us believe. This is also not about selling flowers to homosexuals –but it is about being forced by government to participate in a particular event in order to own a particular
    business. Will they be forced to participate somewhere else where they do not feel safe?
    All they had to do was walk in and order the flowers they wanted and pick them up from the
    florist with no problem. It is not like race.


  24. OlderCatholic says:

    I am unsure where we are drawing lines.

    When my daughter got married, now over 20 years ago (when, obviously, this kind of thing was not an issue) I went to the (Catholic) baker with one of the younger children and we sampled maybe five different kinds of wedding cake: with raspberries, without raspberries, with a chocolate layer, etc etc, and selected one variety. The marrying daughter viewed little figures of brides and grooms as tacky, so the decorations were rows of flowers or something.

    The baker did not view herself as “participating” in the wedding, and we didn’t view her that way either. I thought we were just buying a cake. My daughter’s intended could have been a previously divorced man, and the whole thing in flagrant violation of what Jesus taught about adultery…but no one asked. And I didn’t think the baker had the right to ask. She was engaged to make a cake, not to function as a priest, a wedding consultant or a counsellor. She did not attend the wedding. She was not invited. One of the wedding party, one of the seemingly innumerable young people involved as wedding attendants, picked up the cake on The Day.

    Is this the kind of situation we are discussing here? What we are talking about would seem to be a huge expansion of the previous role of bakers of wedding cakes (who I thought baked cakes, period) into “participants” in the ceremony. So that a Catholic baker now views herself as being “forced” to participate in the ceremony, and is obligated in conscience to object, to refuse to bake, if the marriage does not meet Catholic standards, if the participants are of the same gender, if one has been previously divorced, if the parties are within forbidden consanguinity, if one is underage, and so forth.

    I just never before viewed bakers as all that involved in the marriage. When my daughter got married I thought I was just buying a cake, not a whole moral evaluation. (And if the bakery had been engaged in promoting some political or religious agenda, with posters and music and bakers in costume and whatever, that would have been ok too. I didn’t spend that much time there, and as I say, they weren’t invited to the wedding.)

  25. Grumpy Beggar says:

    . . . Several items just to confirm that cakes are far from being the only things on the table concerning this issue , and that this isn’t something new :

    “Leaders of the Church of England have accused Britain’s judges of being prejudiced against Christians and Christianity, after a string of rulings against people of faith, including a nurse who was banned from hospital wards for wearing a crucifix.
    She lost her case in a country where Christianity is the official state religion.

    In today’s Britain, Christians who take their faith into the public square risk being ostracized, demoted, or fired. There has also been a steady push to criminalize Christian speech and practice.”
    British Christians Targets of Discrimination

    Here’s what happens when the psychiatric disorder is given the power of the law:

    “Peter and Hazelmary Bull are Christians who own a bed and breakfast in Cornwall, England. British courts have fined them almost $6,000 because they would not rent a room to a homosexual couple.

    Now they’re fighting one last time for their religious rights. . .
    ‘The case of Mrs. Wilkinson who owned a bed and breakfast and refused two men to share a double room,’ he [their lawyer] said. ‘This case is not about homosexuality or sexual orientation, but about sexual practices outside of marriage’ . . .

    Since they were sued, the Bulls have faced death threats. They’ve also endured vandalism, including having their website hacked and replaced with pornography. Now the couple has been forced to put their business up for sale.”
    UK Court Hears Bed and Breakfast Case

    Catholic Adoption Agency Loses Gay Adoption Fight

    Just one more to demonstrate the illusion or social psychosis that results in a typical media-employed participant:

    . . . But they will not be at all happy about the charity commission’s rejection of Leeds-based Catholic Care’s application to restrict adoption to heterosexual couples. Lesbian and gay Catholics and many other members of the church will be delighted that this attempt to institutionalise discrimination has been defeated.

    . . . The Roman Catholic caucus of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement has pointed out consistently that the church’s teaching on homosexuality is officially recognised as third level in the doctrinal hierarchy of truths. It does not touch upon the primary beliefs that define a Catholic, and while requiring from Catholics “religious respect – obsequium religiosum”, it may nevertheless be open to conscientious dissent.”
    Catholic Gay Adoption Ruling is a Victory for Vulnerable Children ;
    Martin Pendergast

    Talk about misrepresentation: A ruling in favour of homosexual adotion is , um, heralded as a “victory for vulnerable children” – Lord, Please save us ! And now they’re calling Catholic sponsored adoption by a husband and wife institutionalised discrimination ; and the ” Roman Catholic caucus of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement says that the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality is open to conscientious dissent”. What a huge leap of un-faith : They might be a caucus and they might call themselves Christian, but there is nothing Catholic about them whatsoever according to their claim.

    These are all humongous lies guys . . . Can the father of lies be far behind ?

    How can people write or claim such bizarre cr** unless they are truly sick in their reasoning ? How can someone read it and believe it unless they are equally sick in their reasoning ?

  26. VeritasVereVincet says:

    “a Catholic baker….is obligated in conscience to object, to refuse to bake, if the marriage does not meet Catholic standards, if the participants are of the same gender, if one has been previously divorced, if the parties are within forbidden consanguinity, if one is underage, and so forth.”

    These examples are not equivalent, though. A baker cannot know, without specifically asking, most of the things you mention. Marriage between first cousins is legal in many places. In quite a few states, minors may marry with parental and sometimes judicial consent. We may not punish what we do not know. Moreover, the rules of specifically-Catholic marriage do not apply to natural marriage, and a baker cannot know that either without asking.

    But when two men or two women declare their intention to “marry”, their intent is clear to all. “One man, one woman” is not a “Catholic standard”, it is both a natural and a God-given law, and it applies to every person on the face of the Earth. We are therefore bound to avoid any action which may give the appearance of approval, even in today’s politically charged climate of hatred for all those who profess truth.

    If someone came into a shop to buy a gun, and the owner knew–absolutely, unequivocally knew–they would use it to kill someone, would he still be required to sell them one?

  27. Imrahil says:

    a Catholic baker….is obligated in conscience to object, to refuse

    I wonder. He’s certainly permitted in conscience (whatever the state says) to object and refuse. It is certainly (generally) laudable that he does so, and so on.

    However, I don’t think it is so trivial to see that there is no room for “obeying under protest”, “surrendering to force” and so on here. It’s not like offering a grain of incense to an idol. It’s more like – I mean by comparison – selling incense to others who are going to offer it to an idol.

    Ah, complicated situation*! we need a casuist!

    [* I feel more safe repeating: what is complicated is not that homosexuality is wrong, that homosexual marriage is if that be possible even wronger, but the quite distinct question whether a baker who doesn’t support homosexuality, but who doesn’t feel like going to jail and be fined out of economic existence for not baking the cake in question, and therefore bakes it, would sin (and, as I take it implied, mortally so).]

    Too bad casuists have a bad name nowadays.

    That being said, Older Catholic has a point in any case: if somebody doesn’t actually in intention support a thing, where do we draw the line at which either surrender to force, or “just normally following economic practice?” Sure, this will be a whole lot of loophole-seeking and ethical-minimum-searching, and thus out of fashion with the modern theologians who are in that respect quite high-minded. But people out there in the world, we may need to know what is the minimum we have to – and even now set out to – die rather than run below it, and what is above it, so that we may, perhaps, compromise with it. Ah, give us the old casuistry!

  28. robtbrown says:


    What you say about Neo Nazis acting with discretion in certain business matters now is as true as it was for homosexuals 15 years ago.

  29. OlderCatholic says:

    “That being said, Older Catholic has a point in any case: if somebody doesn’t actually in intention support a thing, where do we draw the line at which either surrender to force, or ‘just normally following economic practice?’ ”

    Well also I’m wondering who-all is included here. Cake bakers? Flower sellers? Caterers? How about the guy who sells wine? (At retail? At wholesale?) Rents furniture for the reception? Washes the windows in the hall where there is to be the reception? Maintains the wiring? The janitorial service which cleans the hall before and after? Renting limousines? Selling gas to fuel the limousines?

    I take it that somewhere in here, somewhere between the pastor who presides and the guy who fills potholes in the street outside, there is a line, beyond which tradespeople are not “participating” in the wedding but just going about their normal business. I ask because I never before viewed the cake baker as a “participant” in anything. I though we were just buying cake.

  30. The Masked Chicken says:


    What you are talking about is called, “remote participation,” and, yes, in some cases, it mitigates against sin. In the case of scalpel makers, without direct knowledge of whether or not their scalpels will be used to cut out a tumor or cut out a baby, the scalpel maker is morally harmless due to lack of knowledge. One is not required to stop selling scalpels on the mere possibility that they may be used for an abortion.

    It is different with bakers, because the participation is more direct. The baker, in many cases, has direct knowledge of the situation, either because of cake-baking instructions from the purchaser or conversations that might happen during the purchase. Baking the cake, with the knowledge of where and how it will be used, could be considered a form of tacit consent, which would make the act immoral. Bakers are not separated by enough degrees of knowledge or involvement, these days, to make a strong remote participation argument. Their involvement is, probably, proximate.

    The Chicken

  31. The Masked Chicken says:

    There is a lively discussion about Fr. Z’s suggestion over at What’s Wrong with the World.


    The Chicken

  32. Imrahil says:

    What about – Cardinal Mindszenty’s story comes to mind – baking a cake and finding some place for the abbreviation c. f. on it? (“coactus feci”)

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