George Will should have been smarter.
Fielding a question from Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” about Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of a bill that would have allowed private businesses to turn away customers based on the business owners’ religious beliefs, Will responded by implying that religious views actually deserve some respect.
The public accommodations section of the Civil Rights Act requires businesses to serve all customers equally, Will acknowledged, as the courts have ruled in recent cases involving gay marriages.
“If you open your doors to business in the United States, you open it to everybody. That’s a settled issue,” Will said.
“That said, this too must be said: It’s a funny kind of winner in the gay rights movement that would say, ‘a photographer doesn’t want to photograph my wedding. I’ve got lots of other photographers I can go to, but I’m going to use the hammer of government to force them to do this.’
“It’s not neighborly and it’s not nice,” Will said. “The gay rights movement is winning. They should be, as I say, not sore winners.”
As smart as he is, Will is assuming far too much. The whole concept of “neighborly” – the implicit understanding that Americans in 2014 can respect the rights of their fellow citizens on their own steam, without the litigious hand of the state getting involved – isn’t much in vogue these days in Obama’s America.
It’s getting less in vogue with every passing case, whether it’s a baker in Oregon who has no right not to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding or a photographer in New Mexico who has to pay to settle a complaint about refusing to shoot a lesbian marriage.
The libs are already chortling at Will’s comment. The lefty website Raw Story is headlining its take on it: “George Will: It’s ‘not neighborly’ for LGBT people to ask for equal rights,” and it will be no surprise when the boringly predictable Bill Maher or The New York Times editorial page start making strained comparisons between borrowing cups of sugar and the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
The fact is, Obama liberals are using the hammer of government to pound away at religious liberty, whether it’s the Portland, Ore., bakers who lost their case, or the Little Sisters of the Poor, who are still waiting for the Supreme Court to hear theirs.
So Will really hit the nail on the head when he said they’re not nice and they’re not neighborly.
He just should have been smarter.