Dan Popp
About your "right" to my service...
By Dan Popp
February 26, 2014

Today the conservative talkers are jawing about the supposed "balance" between a person's right not to be discriminated against, and a business owner's rights of conscience. But the problem, you see, is that the first thing is not a right. I don't have a right to force people to like me. Or to hire me. Or to sell something to me.

Someone will say that I do indeed have those rights, as created by the Courts or the Congress or Eric Holder (Fleas Be Upon Him). But the government cannot create rights. Only God can grant rights. And a government that does not protect God-given rights (including and especially the right to property) is not a legitimate government.

Further, a government that does not follow the rules we set for it has no authority to make rules for us. The current regime will not even obey its own laws, much less the laws of God or the Constitution.

There is no "balance" between a "right to be served" and a right to do as I please with what is mine. As a boy I saw signs in diners and other establishments reading, "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone." I'm not sure what they were pre-empting. This was in the middle of farm country; there were no black people to exclude. I always assumed that the owners were giving notice to patrons who might disturb other customers with rowdy behavior. Or perhaps their in-laws. It was none of my business, so I never asked.

Would you say that obnoxious patrons have a "right" to be served? Or does the owner have the right to kick them out? What about drunks – must they be served more alcohol? After all, they have a "disease;" and we surely may not discriminate against sick people?!?

Even today I see signs reading, "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service." Doesn't this discriminate against the poor? And the overheated? Must my "right" to a reasonably sanitary dining environment be "balanced" against someone else's "right" to be served naked if he so demands? What if the would-be customer cannot pay? May the owner discriminate against him because he is "underprivileged?"

This is all nonsense.

Of course I have the right – even if I don't have permission from the lawless lawmakers – to discriminate against anyone for any reason, or no reason. Now that's usually a bad idea. I'm against it. But if a business owner does not have the right to hire and to serve whom he wishes, his enterprise is not really his. He has lost his freedom of association as well as his right of conscience and his property rights. Why? How did he lose those rights? Did he commit a crime?

Yes, he opened a business.

The issue is not your rights against his. The issue is one of imaginary, man-made, feel-good rights versus real rights. People who insist that one person has a right to compel another to serve him are properly called slavers. And slavers have always felt morally superior. The Civil War and the 13th Amendment didn't stop them; they're going to force you to work for them.

We want America to be an "inclusive" country, say the talk show hosts and guests. Well, of course. But we don't want it to be a police state, where people are mere puppets of the perverse and powerful.

Why is it that so few are outraged by government discrimination – against the rich, against conservatives, against business owners, against oil companies, against whomever doesn't pay a bribe to play the game – but so many are in a tizzy about private discrimination? Government discrimination is unlawful and evil. Private discrimination may be good (such as hiring your nephew), or bad, or neither. In any case, the coercive "cure" for private discrimination is violation of real rights.

This, and not a "balance" of real versus fake rights, should be the conservative argument.

© Dan Popp


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