Friedersdorf’s Challenge to SSM Supporters

 

1931_Frankenstein_img28Conor Friedersdorf has a long piece challenging Same-Sex Marriage proponents to answer whether they think the uproar over Memories Pizza is justified:

The question I’d ask those who want to use non-state means to punish mom-and-pop businesses that decline to cater gay weddings is what, exactly, their notion of a fair punishment is.. If their Yelp rating goes down by a star does the punishment fit the “crime”? Is there a financial loss at which social pressure goes from appropriate to too much? How about putting them out of business? Digital mobs insulting them and their children? Email and phone threats from anonymous Internet users? If you think that any of those go too far have you spoken up against the people using those tactics?

He adds this zinger at the end:

I’d be fascinated to how many grandparents of mob participants oppose gay marriage and what degree of social stigma they would want directed toward them.

A functioning small-l liberal society requires both that people have a bit of a thick skin, and that they generally offer their fellow citizens some grace and decency when they disagree; life-ruining social remonstrance and disgrace of the kind we’ve seen in the last week should be reserved only for the most reprobate and hateful behavior.

No matter one’s opinion on SSM, declining to cater a hypothetical gay wedding — but not gay people otherwise — does not rise to that level; dare I say, it cannot be rationally defended. No one was harmed by their answer and, even if the hypothetical had been real, the harm would still have been minuscule.

I’d like to encourage everyone to post the piece on Facebook and to — politely — ask their liberal friends for their response. If you get anything good, let us know about it.

There are 48 comments.

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  1. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    He makes good points – and, as you know, I don’t always agree with Conor.  :)

    I will say, though… I have friends who are violently (for lack of a better word) pro-SSM, and I don’t have much doubt that some are perfectly content to socially stigmatize their own parents and grandparents in the same way.

    • #1
  2. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Naïve. Disapproval of another’s quest for sexual gratification is “the most reprobate and hateful behavior” known to humanity, at least according to the left.

    I read the article because it was posted on Facebook by a very left-leaning friend. She posted it saying merely that it was worth considering. Her own side tore her to shreds in the comments because she dared have pause, however momentarily, over the most fundamental right of liberty: sexual activity.

    • #2
  3. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    The guy in the flared jodhpurs looks a bit like Rob.

    • #3
  4. user_331141 Inactive
    user_331141
    @JamieLockett

    Conor’s piece is superb.

    • #4
  5. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Would the same piece be taken seriously if written by someone who personally opposed SSM? I’m doubtful.

    • #5
  6. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    The King Prawn:Would the same piece be taken seriously if written by someone who personally opposed SSM? I’m doubtful.

    Probs not, which is lamentable. Regardless, that’s part of the reason I think it’s so important.

    • #6
  7. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    It’s not the solutions he presents which are acceptable, only the presenter.

    • #7
  8. user_331141 Inactive
    user_331141
    @JamieLockett

    What the heck does that mean?

    • #8
  9. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    I see you’re already receiving pushback on facebook over the Friedersdorf article, albeit rather polite pushback. Holding the traditional view of marriage is no longer tolerable in our society, and I think reaction to this article shows how close we are to it being intolerable to even entertain the possibility that those who hold it could do so for a reason other than animus.

    • #9
  10. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    The way I see it, social opprobrium is legitimate, even to the extent that it ruins a business. Conversely, threats and general abuse are never justified, regardless of the repugnance* of a business owner’s beliefs.

    *I would like to emphasize that I do not consider the belief in question here to be repugnant.

    • #10
  11. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Salvatore Padula: The way I see it, social opprobrium is legitimate, even to the extent that it ruins a business.

    Sure, but the difference between a mob trying to destroy your reputation & social opprobrium, as obvious as it is to an man of sense, is not something you can police or manage in some peaceable way in a democracy, certainly not when the harm can be done online, technologically, anonymously.

    • #11
  12. user_331141 Inactive
    user_331141
    @JamieLockett

    While I agree with Sal in general on this – social Opprobrium being the legitimate way to protest views you don’t agree with – in this case it went much too far and what business do people who do not interact with this business have waging digital war on them?

    • #12
  13. 1967mustangman Inactive
    1967mustangman
    @1967mustangman

    Ryan M:He makes good points – and, as you know, I don’t always agree with Conor. :)

    I will say, though… I have friends who are violently (for lack of a better word) pro-SSM, and I don’t have much doubt that some are perfectly content to socially stigmatize their own parents and grandparents in the same way.

    To this I would say they may socially stigmatize them, but most wouldn’t level death threats

    • #13
  14. No Caesar Thatcher
    No Caesar
    @NoCaesar

    I blame the die-out (no pun intended) of dueling.  It’s amazing how much more polite people can be when they are at risk of physical harm if they shoot their mouth off.

    The Wild West was actually a pretty polite place.  What with all that open carry…

    • #14
  15. No Caesar Thatcher
    No Caesar
    @NoCaesar

    Salvatore Padula:The way I see it, social opprobrium is legitimate, even to the extent that it ruins a business. Conversely, threats and general abuse are never justified, regardless of the repugnance* of a business owner’s beliefs.

    *I would like to emphasize that I do not consider the belief in question here to be repugnant.

    I agree.  What’s sad is how un-American America’s loudest voices are right now.

    • #15
  16. user_656019 Coolidge
    user_656019
    @RayKujawa

    Am I out of it? People order pizza for a wedding?

    There is a lot of competition in the pizza business. Owners generally don’t make a lot of money. There are usually other businesses available. Maybe they had their hearts set on this business because they really liked the pizza. I don’t really know the story. Was the business singled out?

    • #16
  17. captainpower Member
    captainpower
    @captainpower

    Ray Kujawa:I don’t really know the story. Was the business singled out?

    TV Reporter asked a small town pizza shop if they would serve gay people and they said yes but not cater a gay wedding. Death threats ensued.

    Others have remarked similarly, who caters a wedding with pizza?

    • #17
  18. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    captainpower:

    Ray Kujawa:I don’t really know the story. Was the business singled out?

    TV Reporter asked a small town pizza shop if they would serve gay people and they said yes but not cater a gay wedding. Death threats ensued.

    Others have remarked similarly, who caters a wedding with pizza?

    Also, this was an expedition to find someone to use to arouse outrage.

    • #18
  19. gts109 Member
    gts109
    @gts109

    I like Conor’s piece, and I think he raises very good questions about the types of penalties that should attend social shaming over private individual’s views on social issues like gay marriage. I will say, however, that there is currently over $842,000 in Memories Pizza’s Go Fund Me Account (which I think is now closed). That has got to be a lifetime’s worth of profits for a small town pizzeria owner. I don’t begrudge them that money, but it’s a windfall profit. This story is, by far, the best thing that ever happened to these people.

    • #19
  20. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    gts109

    “I like Conor’s piece, and I think he raises very good questions about the types of penalties that should attend social shaming over private individual’s views on social issues like gay marriage. I will say, however, that there is currently over $842,000 in Memories Pizza’s Go Fund Me Account (which I think is now closed). That has got to be a lifetime’s worth of profits for a small town pizzeria owner. I don’t begrudge them that money, but it’s a windfall profit. This story is, by far, the best thing that ever happened to these people”

    Except for the death threats, Yelp trolling, and website hacking, of course.

    • #20
  21. gts109 Member
    gts109
    @gts109

    Well, they got almost a million dollars out of it. I’d suffer some bad yelp reviews, etc. for that amount, but maybe I’m just a greedy person.

    • #21
  22. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    gts109:I like Conor’s piece, and I think he raises very good questions about the types of penalties that should attend social shaming over private individual’s views on social issues like gay marriage. I will say, however, that there is currently over $842,000 in Memories Pizza’s Go Fund Me Account (which I think is now closed). That has got to be a lifetime’s worth of profits for a small town pizzeria owner. I don’t begrudge them that money, but it’s a windfall profit. This story is, by far, the best thing that ever happened to these people.

    Not at all.  I imagine they would prefer to have been left alone.  That amount of money is not a lifetime’s worth of profits for a pizza place, and if they do go out of business, I imagine there are quite a few people out a job.  It also sets a precedent that is not acceptable in any free society.

    • #22
  23. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Ryan M:

    and if they do go out of business, I imagine there are quite a few people out a job.

    Oh, as if the left cares about jobs. Sheesh. Ryan, you dreamer!

    • #23
  24. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    @gts109

    So death threats and website hacking are relegated to “etc”?

    • #24
  25. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Basil- I’ve been to Walkerton and eaten at Memories. Nobody anywhere near the place is among those making threats. I personally would be willing to incur the wrath of the Internet, including anonymous death threats, for $800k. Now that doesn’t mean the threats are okay, they aren’t, but the owners of Memories are not exactly suffering from this brouhaha.

    • #25
  26. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Ryan- I’d be willing to bet you that $800k is far in excess of the present value of Memories’ future earnings.

    • #26
  27. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    @salvatore
    25

    And they know this how?

    • #27
  28. 1967mustangman Inactive
    1967mustangman
    @1967mustangman

    Salvatore Padula:Ryan- I’d be willing to bet you that $800k is far in excess of the present value of Memories’ future earnings.

    I bet if you asked the owners of Memories Pizza they would say they want their old life back and that they want the ability to live their lives, sink or swim, in the quiet obscurity most people enjoy running their business, making good pizza, and being left alone.

    • #28
  29. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Basil- Know what?

    • #29
  30. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Mustangman- That’s probably true, but I honestly see no reason that the could not reopen once this simmers down. They didn’t lose business over this. If anything it has made them more popular in northwest Indiana. I’m not condoning what happened to them, but if this is an example of martyrdom I may have to rethink my own lack of belief.

    • #30

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