Social networking, a show of support and our changing values

Posted By on April 3, 2015

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No matter which side of the political tug-of-war you are on when debating “marriage,” there is something distasteful about using ordinary people as political fodder. Crystal O’Connor was one such naive pawn used for divisive purposes as Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence tiptoed around modifying the Religious Freedom Restoration Act know as Senate Bill 568. The national media and LGBT activists highlighted O’Connor’s Christian opinions regarding “providing pizzas for a gay wedding” as the nation debated the freedom of religion, an individuals’ rights and what is discrimination when religious convictions clash with changing societal views.

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O’Connor, the small town co-owner of Memories Pizza in Walkertown, Indiana was an easy target for a reporter working an angle as the RFRA debates flames were being fanned. With Christian crosses on her storefront windows and likely traditional small town values concerning marriage (which only a few years ago were shared by the overwhelming majority in America including President Obama), a reporter published O’Connors comments. The story as they say … grew legs … and a politically left leaning media salivated over O’Connor’s answer to the hypothetical question.

“We are a Christian establishment,” says O’Connor, “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no.” 

I assume most journalists and news organization who reported on this story did not intend to hurt her or the  small town Memories Pizza business, but instead saw one more divisive news story — and perhaps as a way to advance a liberal cause (my wrong assumption)???  Unfortunately, Memories Pizza and O’Connor became more than just an ink-on-paper story and took an ugly turn with some targeting the pizza shop and owners.  Like it or not, the little pizza shop became the front line and something to shut down … or burned down if some are to be believed.

For those who practice their Christian faith and live these values in their lives beyond the four church walls on Sunday, the Indiana debate and Memories Pizza story became a line that should not be crossed. Conservatives took to social media and rallied support when they heard just how rattled this small town proprietor was after threats were hurled at her. A crowd-funded GoFundMe site was set up by Lawrence Jones III and supported by national talk show host Dana Loesch after Memories Pizza closed their doors … the support was/is amazing. As a Twitter friend Ted Skibinski commented to my TweetIMAGINE THAT >Leave it to Christian’s to HELP others & turn BAD into Great!

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Comments

  • As Yakov Smirnoff use to say, “What a country!” … $842,387

  • I read Kirsten Powers write up in USAToday and wanted to include at least the link here.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/04/07/indiana-gay-protection-memories-pizza-eich-column/25373045/
    _____

    The only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner.

    After decades of fighting for gay rights, those who should be guzzling the bubbly are muzzling the vanquished.

    It’s hard for the people who call themselves liberals (while acting like anything but) to top their past bullying and intolerance of those who won’t fall in line with their worldview. Yet, with the Indiana religious freedom bill, they pulled it off. After Memories Pizza owner Crystal O’Connor told an Indiana reporter that she would not cater a gay wedding because it would conflict with her religious beliefs, the world exploded.

    A girls golf coach at an Indiana high school tweeted, “Who’s going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me?” The pizzeria outside South Bend received death threats and harassment and felt forced to shut down the shop. It’s Yelp page was vandalized with obscene and homo-erotic pictures. The owners have said they don’t know if it will be safe to re-open.

    How many gay people had asked to have their wedding catered by this small-town pizza joint? None. What number of gay people had been denied a slice by O’Connor? Zero. In fact, the owners told the reporter that they would never refuse to serve a gay customer who came to the restaurant to eat. The wrath of gay rights supporters rained down on Memories Pizza because O’Connor committed a thought crime. She discriminated against nobody, but thinks the “wrong” thing about same-sex marriage and she said it out loud.

    Here’s the thing: I didn’t support the original Indiana law. I am both a Christian who doesn’t believe the Bible prohibits serving a same-sex wedding and a vocal LGBT rights supporter who has blasted laws similar to Indiana’s for fear that they could provide legal protection to those who discriminate against gay people.

    But I’m starting to wonder: who needs the protection here?

    What happened in Indiana is reminiscent of the bullying that led to the ouster of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich exactly this time last year. Eich was harangued for a six-year-old donation supporting an anti-gay marriage ballot initiative, but ultimately purged for refusing to recant his beliefs about marriage.

    Last week, Hampton Catlin — a computer programmer and gay rights advocate — started taunting Eich on Twitter. Catlin tweeted, “…couple weeks since I’d gotten some sort of @BrendanEich related hate mail. How things going over there on your side, Brendan? Eich responded, “You demanded I be ‘completely removed from any day to day activities at Mozilla’ & got your wish. I’m still unemployed. How’re you?” Catlin continued to gloat.

    Yes, both Catlin and Eich got hate mail, but only one lost his livelihood. Is this really what winning looks like?

    Kirsten Powers writes weekly for USA TODAY and is the author of the upcoming The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.