I’ve often said I am not particularly religious, but I was raised Catholic and some things just never completely leave you. This weekend the Christian and Jewish faithful are celebrating Easter and Passover, respectively. I’ve always liked this time of year, and I want to wish everyone a joyous Easter and a peaceful, fulfilling Passover. Picture courtesy of my wonderful cousin Carol!
Yesterday, Good Friday, it was warmer but raining. I grew up feeling it should always be raining on Good Friday, so I enjoyed the weather. Today it is sunny and dry, but quite a bit colder, and very windy. Typical spring up and down weather.
I just reviewed my last entry. I still want to implement the plan I described, but I haven’t been able to do so yet. The past two weeks have been full of car repairs, appointments, surgery (my husband’s, not mine), etc. Weighed yesterday. I’m holding my own, but since the new plan has not really had a chance to work I am going to try to follow it over the next couple of weeks and see what happens.
In keeping with the religious theme of this weekend, I’d like to comment on the currently raging controversy over these new “religious freedom” laws passed by a couple of states – Arkansas and Indiana I think? First let me say I don’t understand the need for these laws in the first place. We have freedom from government imposed religion in the Constitution. What makes the legislators in these states think they need to improve on what has been working for this country for over 200 years?
Second, from a purely economic perspective, why would a small business owner refuse to serve LGBT customers? Serving those customers does not mean the business owner approves of their lifestyle. It just means the business offers a service and the customer is willing to pay for it. That’s it.
Third, is boycotting these states the answer? I don’t think so. As soon as the Indiana bill was signed into law there was a reaction calling for a boycott of the state. However, at the same time, many businesses in Indiana were displaying stickers proclaiming “We serve everyone”. The consumer possesses the best weapon against those who would refuse to serve specific groups of people – the almighty dollar. Boycotting hurts the businesses that serve everyone as well as those that don’t. The solution is to go to these states and be sure to spend only in businesses that do not discriminate. The normal forces of economics take over from there. Businesses that consumers intentionally avoid cannot last for long. I know I certainly would avoid any business that refused to serve people based on sexual orientation.
It boils down to: 1. Anyone, including business owners, has the right to his/her religious beliefs and to their opinions regarding the beliefs/lifestyles of others. 2. All consumers have the right to spend their money where they want, and to avoid businesses with policies that make them uncomfortable. 3. Smart business owners do not allow personal religious beliefs to interfere with conducting legitimate business, as far as possible.
If state governments realized how all this really works, maybe they would figure out that these “religious freedom” laws are completely unnecessary.
Until next week….