Refusing Service on Religious Grounds

There have been several threads lately about Christian business owners refusing service to same sex couples based on their religious convictions. There seems to be a lot of support for this concept.

This led me to think of something I had read about in the news, about Muslim cab drivers refusing to take passengers who carry alcohol with them on the grounds that they will be punished in the afterlife for transporting alcohol. (This is from 2006/7, but I think is a good comparison. Links here, here, and here)

My question is, if you support the right of Christians to refuse service to same sex couples on the basis of religious objections, would you also support the right of Muslim taxi drivers to refuse to take passengers who are transporting alcohol on the basis of religious objections? If not, why?

The issue with refusing same sex couples service is that you are engaging in discrimination against a class of people. While SSA is disordered, it is not itself a sin, and even if it were we are still supposed to love the sinner. Further the Church teaches that discrimination is objectively morally wrong. I would not have a problem with a hotel owner saying that someone could not have homosexual relations in their hotel (though I am not sure how this could be enforced) since that is a sin. I am less comfortable with the same hotel owner saying that a homosexual couple can’t stay there.

In the same vain I think I would be ok with a muslim refusing service to someone drinking alcohol (the sin in their religion). I would be less comfortable with them refusing service to someone merely possessing alcohol.

Actually, I wouldn’t have much of a problem with a Muslim taxi driver who refuses to transport alchohol. Of course, he may not be aware that a passenger is carrying it. And presumably other taxis are available. We have so many non-discrimination categories now that freedom of association is adversely affected.

Yes, with some stipulations. For example, if the cab wants to be on the list for a hotel to call, it needs to accept any passenger the hotel is referring. Or if it wants to be in the line at the airport. If I want a cab, I have to take the next one in line; I can’t pick and choose - likewise a cab in the line should take the next waiting passenger, not pick and choose. But if it is on the road and you flag it down, I think the driver should be able to refuse if you want to get in with your six-pack of beer.

Also, it is different if the cab is owned by the driver or if the cab is owned by a cab company which hires drivers. In the latter case, the cab company should set the standards.

Religious freedom does have some rational limits. In employment, an employer can’t be expected to hire or maintain workers who can’t or won’t fulfill the basic duties of their jobs. For instance, a beer manufacturer would not have to keep paying a Muslim employee wages who refused to do any work at a job he considered immoral. Or a religion teacher in a Catholic school might be let go because she converted to another religion and said teaching Catholicism now violated her conscience.

Obviously where to draw the line is hard to say. In the case of a cab driver, I could not see allowing them to refuse passengers (or, rather, not keeping them as drivers if they refused) if this were a taxi service such as exists here in the boonies, where the passenger calls a company on the phone and then waits however long to be picked up. The passenger may have no other transportation options, or at the very least would have wasted a considerable amount of time waiting to be picked up by a taxi that then refused them.

On the other hand, in places like Manhattan where whole fleets of cabs are constantly roaming the streets ready to pick up anyone who “hails” them, I could see allowing a conscience exemption for Muslim cab drivers since it would presumably only cause a minor annoyance and delay for the passenger who is refused.

If you are going to refuse SS couples a cake, flowers, etc, then you should also refuse the couple who didn’t get an annulment, or who is going to the court house, etc. :shrug:

I have no problem with refusing people based upon their choice to live sinful lives. But you do have to draw a line somewhere, since at a point, you’d end up not serving anyone at all lol. I assume a business owner would draw that line where they and their pocketbook saw fit.

I would also have no problem whatsoever hailing another cab if the driver was Muslim and I had alcohol with me. I think a big part of people’s problem with the recent cases of same-sex couple suing cake makers and the like is that the government is forcing people to serve other people according to a false belief that there is absolute proof that sexual orientation is on the same level as race and gender.

How about this example: as a wedding photographer, could you take as a client a man who cheated on his wife and then abandoned his wife and family? How could you stand as a witness to such a marriage? Would you be a photographer for the marriage of some sort of s and m (am I saying that right?) couple in which one was the slave and one was the master? With them dressed in whatever they dress in? If you can’t be forced to do that, then you can’t be forced to take a client who chooses to live any sort of sexually disordered life period.

How would the owner know? Unless the.couple mentioned it, then I would definitely refuse services to them.

But if they dont mention it, we wont know. With SS couples its obvious.

If i were the owner, id sell a cake to a gay couple for their birthday party, sure. But certainly not for a a wedding or a housewarming party.

No it isn’t. My husband wasn’t there for the cake tasting or when I went to the florists. He was half way around the world. No one asked me what he looked like or if he was a he. If someone comes in and says they need a cake, would you ask them if they were gay?

Some wouldn’t mind taking pictures of S&M or the of the wedding of the man who abandoned his first family, but would mind taking pictures of the gay couple.
Maybe people should have menus of what they will and will not do, kind of like at restaurants. That way everyone will know what the business offers and if they don’t find what the like they go to the next one. :thumbsup:

I think a business should be able to decide how to conduct their own business. If they do not wish to serve a patron due to religious differences, it is within their right. Matters not to me if it’s a Catholic, a Muslim, a Buddhist or even an atheist. Their business will rise or fall based on their decisions. We have plenty of choices here. Why spend time trying to force round pegs into square holes when you can go where the services you require can be obtained? Seems to be a lot of litigiousness and greed behind much of what is going on. Going so far as to seek out the place where you know you will be denied, then hiring an attorney and going on TV so you can wail and complain about your rights being violated with big dollar signs in their eyes.

Yes. Freedom of conscience always applies to things that are not fundamental basic needs.

We have a group and there is one single muslim in the group. He strongly opposes using group money to buy alcohol. And he wins.

Not everything is discrimation. The Church herself doesn’t employ gay teachers etc

Yes. Freedom of conscience always applies to things that are not fundamental basic needs.

We have a group and there is one single muslim in the group. He strongly opposes using group money to buy alcohol. And he wins.

Not everything is discrimation. The Church herself doesn’t employ gay teachers etc


I don’t know why that is so confusing. If a Catholic business owner is going to tell a gay couple that they aren’t going to provide them service because it goes against their religion, then they should do the same to people who are doing other things that goes against church teaching. Period. If you are going to provide a service for the person that isn’t going to have a valid marrige in the church, but NOT provide a service to the gay couple you are being a bigot. Stand firm in all the the teachings or none at all. I don’t have a problem with people saying that they don’t want to provide certain services, just don’t pick and choose.

No, but was that the case?

Did they come in as a couple and specified it was for their wedding?

Did one of them go in alone came up that it was for a gay wedding?

Even if I asked what kind.of wedding this was for, that wouldnt be unreasonable.

I have every right to practice my religion and not limit it to worship on sundays.

good question…:thumbsup:

A hetero couple comes into your establishment…they are living together, leading sinful lives…do you serve them? If a man comes into your establishment to have dinner, buy clothes, a hammer or whatever, and he “seems” effeminate to “YOU”, do you serve him? A woman comes into your establishment, with short hair, wearing a baseball shirt, cap and shorts, she is obviously a softball player, very athletic,…you think she is “butch”, do you serve her?

Just how many crystal balls are looked into in the name of steadfastness to one’s faith?:shrug:

Sure, I agree with you to the extent that it involves the wedding. But in most of these cases that have been in the news the same-sex couple alredy knew about the business owners religious convictions and just wanted to push them.

The difference is that having dinner, buying clothes or a hammer or “whatever” doesn’t involve participating in a “wedding”. The wedding photographer, the cake decorator and the minister are all participating in the “wedding”. It’s not about whether the individuals are sinners, we are all sinnners. It’s not wanting to pariticipate in the immoral activity.

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