A very nicely dressed man walks into a small, Muslim family-owned, printing firm. The company offers only printing services. That man, in his crisp voice, asks if he can have at least several thousand copies of this image and points out to a caricature of the Muslim prophet, Muhammad.
Another well-dressed person walks into the office of a small, old-fashioned printing firm that happens to be owned by many generations of Jewish people. The person orders a service, '500 copies of this publication,' and directs his finger to a copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion - an infamous hoax about Jews of the world which contributed to the rise of anti-Semitism across the globe.
I begin with these two invented stories for a very good reason. Under the idea of progressivism, no business - a collective of people - should be able to differentiate anyone. In fact, in most countries, in both situations businesses would have to obey to the customer's demands, no matter how personally distasteful they are.
The state of Indiana in the US is about to pass a bill expanding the freedom of religion. The law would allow people to refuse to serve if that is against their consciousness and beliefs. Many states already have similar laws in place, yet they passed them a bit before political correctness usurped decision-making. The law, however, wouldn't license anyone to discriminate without approval, as every exemption from other existing laws on the basis of religion would need to be put forward in court before actually and legally employing some practice.
There are stories around the internet that with the enactment of the law in Indiana, not serving gay couples in restaurants will become possible - yet most of them would fail to make a case how the teachings of Jesus prohibits them from feeding people. This is, however, a different matter when it comes to gay marriage - the religion is very settled on this question and would most likely allow refusing services for that celebration. For many people the debate on gay marriage is over, it's a form of love and neglecting the urge the couples have is unnecessary. But it seems rather arrogant to ignore the portion of population that disagrees with the view, a great deal of which doesn't care whether someone is in same-sex marriage - as long as that doesn't force them to actively celebrate it.
The overwhelming majority of influential class denounced the law as a license to discriminate against gays and lesbians. Some on the left even pushed a little further and assumed that this is a repeat of Jim Crow laws that segregated the US for decades, implying that religion could be justified in order to discriminate against people of colour. Even though completely missing the point how such laws actually work.
This begs a question, why liberal-minded people are fighting against the expansion of freedom of consciousness? It is mostly left-leaning apparatchiks who always cry that freedom of expression comes with a responsibility, therefore, we all must respect the beliefs of others. It is also mostly them who fight wrathfully to uphold the notion of separation of church and state, which lately became some-sort of parody itself where a government is indeed detached from faith, while religion is subjected to the goodwill of a government. But when some law could somehow interfere with the progressive ideals, instantly, it becomes acceptable to lampoon the beliefs of others, twist and spin the meaning of the law and denounce it as 'homophobic.' This is an infantile reaction, also known as, 'I'm angry because I'm not getting my way completely.'
The sad irony is that a true warrior of equality and democracy should welcome laws like one in Indiana. Gay marriage legislation is swooping not only the United States, where such marriages are legal in 37 out of 50 states, but in other countries across the Atlantic as well. However, gay marriage, after all, is still a religious ceremony. In Britain, gay marriage was legalised in 2014, but due to the government's commitment of not interfering into religious matters, the decision of whether to conduct such marriages was left to religious institutions rather than forcefully mandating that. But if the law ensuring religious freedom fails in Indiana, this would break two the most important agreements of modern Western society: tolerance towards other beliefs and separation of church and state.
It seems rather obvious that laws ensuring religious freedom could do lots of good to the cause of gay marriage. The importance of traditional marriage for straight couples is somewhere between 'decreasing,' 'dying' and 'dead.' Same-sex couples, on the other hand, want marriage and ready to fight for it. Less and less people are attending churches, thus shunning people who are embracing the faith seems a bit unproductive. Similarly, if certain bakeries aren't going to bake gay wedding cakes, they are just missing out on the great marriage boom by the people who still want to get wed.
Yet liberal-minded don't care about religious freedom because they aren't really keen on other dissenting views. For them, it's more important to assert the superiority of their beliefs and label anyone who don't share the same attitude as bigoted and prejudiced. Allowing other people to express their views would mean equating and neglecting the supposed supremacy of their views. This is that typical 'I know better' capriciousness that is currently the main force behind the campaign of demonization against the state of Indiana. It must be put to an end.