Are we free? Are we free to choose to associate with some people and not with others? I met some people last night, and at some point I’ll make a decision to associate with them in the future or not. They will do the same. I’ll also determine what my level of association will be. They will do the same. Is that a bad thing?
Forget my posts on the Hobby Lobby case. Let’s look at the big picture.
Let’s be clear from the start … I’m speaking to our choice to associate. I’m not talking about making active attempts to hurt someone personally or financially, nor am I writing about forcing your opinion down the throat of someone. If one does not like another’s personal attributes, attitude, sexual orientation, political ideas, habits, religion, theology, race, or color of skin one can simply choose not to associate with that person. Am I right? Will I get into trouble for even bringing this subject up?
Freedom to associate comes with the understanding there are downstream impacts. People may choose to not associate with you because you choose to not associate with someone else. In a business environment an owner may choose to not to associate with liberal Democrat customers or employees. That decision may certainly have negative consequences for the business and the owner, but does he have the freedom to do what he or she wants to do?
As a prospective employee, why would you want to associate with an employer or boss who has no interest in associating with you unless forced by government? Why would you want to be in that situation? Do you think government involvement will equal the playing field for you? The person may be a total idiot and a bigot, but true freedom and freedom of association allows him or her to be a self-destructive idiot does it not?
My writing this morning is associated with the Hobby Lobby case, but it’s also connected to multiple “make-a-cake-for-my-gay-wedding-case-or-I’ll-sue-you” cases and others like it. There were plenty of other very good, local bakers who would happily made a cake for those gay couples. But instead, they created a firestorm of hate and started legal action against people who simply chose not to associate. I don’t think that’s right.
When one goes to work for Hobby Lobby, one knows Hobby Lobby will not provide abortifacients in their health care coverage. Maybe they – as a business – would choose to not provide dental or vision coverage. In my opinion it should be their choice to make. If you don’t like the pay or benefits, you too can choose to not associate with Hobby Lobby. It’s called Freedom.
When one goes to work for – or buys a chicken sandwich from – Chick-fil-A, one knows about the companies Christian values. As an employee, you won’t be working Sundays and the business is built on a foundation of Christian values. As a customer, I’ll occasionally be disappointed I can’t pick up a Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich on Sunday. I won’t picket a location, file suite or launch a DDOS attack on their website because they won’t serve me on Sunday afternoon.
As I wonder if I should hit the Publish button on this post this morning, I’m remembering a very relevant post I wrote … and then I forgot what it was. So instead I thought of our friend, Walter Williams. I figured this would be a topic he would enjoy and wondered if he wrote about it. Sure enough, head over and read his full post.
What is the true test of one’s commitment to freedom of association? Is it when people permit others to freely associate in ways of which they approve? Or is it when they permit others to freely associate in ways they deem despicable?
Freedom and freedom of association has been torn apart by the government in the past. My emphasis.
Much of the racial discrimination in our history was a result of legal or extralegal measures to prevent freedom of association. That was the essence of Jim Crow laws, which often prevented blacks from being served in restaurants, admitted into theaters, allowed on public conveyances and given certain employment. Whenever one sees laws or other measures taken to prevent economic transactions, you have to guess that the reason there’s a law is that if there were no law, not everyone would behave according to the specifications of the law.
Something to think about, share and discuss? Or should I just delete this post?