Should Businesses Refuse Services To Protest LGBT Legislation?

The issue of transgender bathroom use has been a divisive topic recently. There’s a wealth of commentary on nearly every side of the issue. There are even some sympathetic, nuanced perspectives that I think are profitable.

I don’t have much to add the primary conversation, but one thing that struck me was the protest from businesses and individuals.

Bruce Springsteen, PayPal, Disney, and others have boycotted or threatened action in response to legislation concerning transgender bathroom use and other LGBT issues.

Not surprisingly, there was a public response to those actions. These businesses and individuals were met with praise and criticism alike. Public policy issues like this draw plenty of commentary, but it’s always a mixed bag. My concern is not with the quantity of commentary, but the quality.

There seems to be some inconsistency in the attacks and affirmations.

The same people that currently praise these businesses criticized others standing up for their convictions. Likewise, the same people that currently criticize these businesses praised others for doing the same.

I immediately thought of the Christian baker controversy of last year. These bakers didn’t want to bake a cake for a homosexual marriage, as motivated by their beliefs.

Generally speaking, social liberals called these bakers bigoted, while social conservatives praised their convictions. The roles seem to have been reversed this time. Social conservatives call PayPal and others bullies, while social liberals applaud their actions.

This is an incredibly hypocritical stance on both sides.

If Christian bakers should have the right to refuse service other businesses should too. Similarly, if the Christian bakers are bigots for refusing service then other businesses are too.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

It’s totally unfair to ostracize one business for acting on its convictions while admiring another for doing the exact same thing. Social liberals and social conservatives are both guilty of this.

I suppose you can argue that only businesses with your beliefs and convictions should be able to boycott or refuse services. That’s a biased position, but you can hold it.

You cannot, however, argue that it is a business’s right to do so. If so, then other businesses you don’t agree with have license to protest as well.

Sometimes we might have to grit our teeth through a protest or boycott, even if we don’t agree with the beliefs behind it. Our beliefs may motivate a boycott or protest in the future.

So should businesses refuse services for their beliefs?

That’s a complicated question that I cannot answer for you. However, regardless of your stance on that question, you should be consistent in your answer.

What are you thoughts?

7 Things You Learned After Your Freshman Year Of College

CONGRATULATIONS! YOU MADE IT THROUGH YOUR FRESHMAN YEAR!

You’re a big kid now. College wasn’t necessarily a picnic though, you learned some stuff. You’re now the wisest you’ve ever been thanks to college. Let’s recap just a few things you might’ve learned in your freshman year.

1. College ain’t no joke

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You heard everyone say college is hard, but you had no idea till you’re at your wits’ end and in the trenches. The difficulty of the work usually isn’t that intense, it’s the amount. Having to juggle assignments from your different classes is exhausting. You’ve mastered multitasking though. So that’s a plus.

2. High School was terrible

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Can you imagine staying in the same building for 8 hours? Eating lunch at the same crappy cafeteria every single day? That’s awful. Sure, you did it for four years, but now you’ve tasted freedom. You can eat lunch wherever you’d like and hammock outside between classes. Yay independence!

3. Sleep is for the weak

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You might not have had to last 3 days on 3 hours of sleep during finals, but you felt it. You probably pulled an all nighter. You might have only gone to bed before midnight like twice. That’s fine, that’s more than most.

4. Eating alone isn’t bad

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High school you would’ve dreaded sitting alone in a room full of people at lunch. No one eats lunch alone if they have a choice, right? Wrong. You realized it’s alright to sit in a hall with a few hundred other people socializing and be completely alone. In fact, it’s one of the most peaceful parts of your day.

5. Professors are people too

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You come into college imagining a strict old man that lectures fast and won’t answer questions. Don’t get me wrong, those guys are definitely out there, but you learned that most professors aren’t that bad. They’re real with you in a way that your high school teachers couldn’t be. They’ll talk about being hungover or about being a “horndog” in college. They’ll level with you. They’ll say they won’t grade your paper cause they’re watching football this weekend.  And biggest thing of all is that they cuss. In high school some teachers did, but it was always scandalous. Here, it’s commonplace.

6. Balancing free time and school

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The problem is that you have to do the vast majority of your work in your time outside of class. This might’ve been difficult for you, since there are literally hundreds of other things to do. You can take up cactus keeping, rock climbing, ultimate frisbee, start a band, join the ballroom dancing club, and so so so much more. You’ll eventually have to bite the bullet and do your school work, though. The key is to do it earlier than the hour it’s due.

7. College is only as fun as you make it

This is the big one. College is a world of opportunity where you can branch out and discover yourself. You can do all the things mentioned above and so much more. You can create friendships that’ll last a lifetime. You can unearth a passion you never knew you had. Or you could sit in your room and watch Netflix for 16 hours straight. You could’ve gotten out ahead of your work, or get swamped. You had a choice to make college awesome or awful. Which did you do?

That’s just scratching the surface of what you might’ve gotten out of your first year of college. Did I miss anything? Do you have a funny story? Let me know in the comments!

So this is my blog/website/cactus…

It’s 8:31pm in Birmingham, Alabama and I just started a blog… or is it a website?

Both?

We’ll see I guess.

I’m excited to be honest with you, ambiguous reader. I know this seed can grow into a beanstalk that not even Jack or the Giant could surmount. It can be an exchange of ideas so beautiful it could be known throughout the planet, becoming a household name.

But for now, this is just a seed.

 

And this is just a cactus.

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I recently received this cactus and the fishbowl as a gift.IMG_5139 I’m excited for my cactus to grow in size and eventually bloom flowers in the late Spring. I don’t know exactly what the flowers will be, they’ll be a cocktail of orange, yellow, or pink, but I can’t know. Until they bloom at least.  I have to be careful not to over-saturate or ignore my succulent to ensure this. My brother and my Dad actually have a bet on how soon it will die. (+1 for family support!) But I’m confident I’ll be showing you this same cactus in May with gorgeous flowers that’d wow even the greenest of thumbs.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love this cactus…but it’s been rough upfront. Repotting this thing with an oven mitt was a little less than ideal. There was a scream or two or three, and even while taking these pictures I pricked myself a few times. It’s difficult starting this plant for sure! But I know it’ll grow easier with time, and eventually I will see the fruits of my labors. It gets easier. I’ve found this fact to be true in most everything in life:

It takes the most energy to get started.

…and I’ve started! So the hard part is done!

Now I’ll be babying my cactus and this site… watering, checking, watching, sitting, waiting, wishing… And looking to see what they will become!