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Rights and choice as supreme standards

Crisis Magazine has something I wrote on the topic.



For most issues, choice is supreme for liberals. However, for some issues, what is perceived as inborn nature is supreme. Ignoring liberal contradictions for the moment, in your article the baker who does not want to make a wedding cake for a homosexual marriage is making a mere “choice” while the homosexuals are following their nature, which trumps mere choices. Thus, religious belief is subordinated as mere choice, which is NOT supreme.

Of course, an entire book could be written on the contradictions and hypocrisies on this topic within liberalism.

Even so, liberalism is strongly against the idea of things having a nature. So it’s not their “nature” the homosexuals are appealing to but their “identity,” which is understood as entirely subjective, It’s the integrating principle or at least one major integrating principle of their self-understanding. As such it’s something made so by thinking.

So what’s happening, it seems to me, is that the homosexuals are trying to express their identity and the baker is as well. The baker’s chosen identity though involves denial of equal respect to the homosexuals’ identity, so it contains “hate” as a necessary element. It is therefore intrinsically antisocial and deserves eradication rather than respect.

Other reasons the homosexuals win:

1. What they are doing has to do with celebrations and with domestic life, which people see as particularly suitable places to express identity.

2. The baker is engaging in commerce, which is seen as a less suitable place to express identity and where there is is strong principle of consumer sovereignty.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

One quibble here is that many liberals have carried over the claim that homosexuals are born that way to all issues of “gender identity.” Here is a quote I just came across in an online discussion at the Heritage Foundation:

“Yes, that is true, you must surrender your religion to take a place within the overall community of people, the ¨United¨ States of America. I support your choice to believe in a religion but I do not support that choice having a negative effect on the public. See, sexual identity is immutable, but religion is a choice.”

The commenter was evidently arguing with an American conservative, so he appealed to “born that way” essentialism, and to religion as personal commitment.

In other settings people take other positions. Facebook gives you 58 gender options, for example, so they evidently view sexual identity as a matter of sexual self-understanding, and saying harsh things about Islam is routinely called racist, which takes it out of the “personal choice” category.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.