Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Into the Christian Closet

This may not be the America gay rights advocates wanted, but this is the America they have created

Listen to that monster Christian woman in the news clip above, an employee at a family-owned, small-town Indiana pizza shop. She just spews venom™ all over gays and lesbians.

Well, they and their allies sure showed them:



It’s coming. TMZ reports this afternoon that the Social Justice Warriors have forced the closing of the pizza parlor. A pizza parlor that has never refused a gay customer, and that has never been asked to cater a gay wedding, but would decline the wedding invite if they were ever asked. Which they almost certainly never would be. Who, gay or straight, hires a pizza parlor to cater their wedding? The TV reporter had to go trolling for a business to feature on her story.

Good job, Social Justice Warriors. You have destroyed a man’s business.

Says Allahpundit, who supports gay marriage:

“This is not the Indiana I remember as a kid,” said David Letterman last night about the new RFRA. This is a guy born in 1947, old enough to have already been in elementary school before Brown v. Board of Education was decided, who was well into his 40s before the first gay-marriage blip appeared on a state’s judicial radar. But that’s the way most people on my side of this issue roll these days. Culturally we’re in the midst of a great forgetting, where those who were themselves agnostic about SSM or even opposed to it 15 minutes ago simply cannot imagine a mindset that would be agnostic about, or opposed to, the practice. Either Letterman’s memory has wiped clean his own decades-long tacit complicity in traditional marriage as the only legitimate form or he hasn’t realized yet that the reason he doesn’t remember stuff like this happening when he was a kid is because gay Hoosiers had little choice at the time but to stay deep, deep, deep in the closet. The suggestion that Indiana is less accommodating to gays now, when reporters have to go door to door in small towns to find even one business willing to deny service to them, than it was in the 1950s is revisionism so egregious that gay-rights activists should be in his face about it, insisting that he recognize what America used to be like for them.

Instead they’re in the face of some pizzeria owner from a small town, who’ll almost certainly never be asked to cater a gay wedding — except maybe now as a pretext to coax her formal refusal and trigger a lawsuit — and who, like every other Christian business owner who’s run up against antidiscrimination laws thus far, isn’t refusing service to gays as a rule. She’s refusing compulsory participation in a wedding ceremony that violates what her religion tells her is permissible. And she’s getting destroyed for it on Yelp. Watch the clip, then read the Yelp comments and ask yourself on which side the malice in this debate, which is supposed to be about hatred and prejudice, truly lies. There’s no Internet mob these days quite as nasty as a mob of pro-gay social-justice warriors competing to win the outrage Olympics.

If you have a strong stomach, check out what the SJW crowd is saying on the restaurant’s Yelp site. Seriously, do. And here is an obscene fake Memories Pizza website someone has put up, using an image of the young woman behind the counter. Twenty-four hours ago, nobody had ever heard of these people. Now, their business may have been destroyed. An Indiana girls golf coach has been suspended after sending this tweet, and her case turned over to the DA for possible intimidation and threat charges:


All in the name of love and compassion and tolerance.

Get used to it.

Andrew Sullivan said, of Brendan Eich being hounded out of the company he helped found, “If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.” Sure wish Andrew was still blogging right now. Fortunately, we do have Conor Friedersdorf blogging, and he speaks out against the insane mob mentality that has overtaken the pro-SSM crowd, and that has led them to make Indiana — where gays can marry — into a pariah state. Conor, by the way, was an early and consistent gay marriage supporter (and a sometime substitute for Andrew when he was on vacation). Excerpt:

When 13 states prohibit gay-marriage outright, what sense does it make for gay-rights supporters to boycott a different state where gay marriage is legal?

Being barred from marriage puts a significant burden on gay couples—a burden many orders of magnitude greater than the relatively small possibility of being refused by an atypically religious photographer or baker in the course of planning a same-sex wedding (the outcome the law’s opponents assert to be its true purpose). And there is no reason to think this law would allow a hotel or a restaurant to exclude gay customers, or that any hotels or restaurants are interested in doing so.

So why is Indiana public enemy number one?

The talented band Wilco has cancelled its May 7 show in Indianapolis, commenting that the law “feels like a thinly disguised legal discrimination.” But Wilco is playing two April shows in Texas, a state that doesn’t yet issue marriage licenses to gays. That is, Texas engages in not-at-all-disguised discrimination. Wilco also has upcoming shows in Missouri, Ohio, and Kentucky, other states that don’t grant marriage licenses to gays at all despite court rulings (which are presently stayed) declaring that its existing policy constitutes unconstitutional discrimination. Indianapolis, by contrast, actually has a municipal statute that bans anti-gay discrimination!

Because they don’t care. Because the progressive id is lit up like the Fourth of July by all this. Because this is what mobs do. This is how bullies roll.

Conor points out that only two years ago, Hillary Clinton was saying that she changed her mind on SSM, but that “people of good will” could disagree with her. Now she’s saying that those same people of good will are sad bigots, and how on earth are troglodytes like that still around in 2015? Conor, bless him, says that when it might have cost them something to stand for gay marriage rights, many, many politicians and celebrities did not do so. Now, when America is on the verge of having SSM everywhere, people like Hillary Clinton were always for gay rights. More Conor:

Now that public opinion has thankfully shifted, marriage traditionalists have thankfully been routed, gay marriage in all 50 states is thankfully inevitable, and its opponents are a waning minority incapable of imposing any cost on political opponents, elites who support gay marriage are suddenly very self-righteous and assertive. Now that those who would discriminate against gays are a powerless cultural minority that focuses its objectionable behavior in a tiny niche of the economy, elites have suddenly decided that using state power to punish them is a moral imperative. The timing suggests that this has as much to do with opportunism, tribalism, humanity’s love of bandwagons, and political positioning as it does with advancing gay rights, which have advanced thanks to persuasion, not coercion.

Here’s what any traditional Christian business owner or employee with a brain in his or her head must do now: keep your mouth shut. 

Do not talk to the media. You will almost certainly not get a fair shake, and even if you do, it’s not going to matter. The SJW mob will do what it can to destroy you. Do not talk to anybody about your thoughts or opinions unless you know you can trust them not to out you.

Never, ever deny your faith, but do not give them any more information than you absolutely have to. It can and will be used against you. Unless you are already out, stay in the closet. This is where we are in this country. You think I’m exaggerating? You think I’m being alarmist? Ask the O’Connor family of Memories Pizza how quickly your livelihood can be taken from you in the cause of Social Justice™.

If you have a better idea, let’s hear it.

This may not be the America the gay rights movement and its allies, especially in the media, wanted. But this is the America they have created. And it’s just starting.

UPDATE:  PJ Media’s Scott Ott puts together how this story was manufactured by the TV news reporter:

ABC-57 reporter Alyssa Marino’s editor sends her on a half-hour drive southwest of their South Bend studio, to the small town of Walkerton (Pop. ~2,300). According to Alyssa’s own account on Twitter, she “just walked into their shop [Memories Pizza] and asked how they feel” about Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Owner Crystal O’Connor says she’s in favor of it, noting that while anyone can eat in her family restaurant, if the business were asked to cater a gay wedding, they would not do it. It conflicts with their biblical beliefs. Alyssa’s tweet mentions that the O’Connors have “never been asked to cater a same-sex wedding.”

What we have here is — as we called in journalism school jargon — “no story.” Nothing happened. Nothing was about to happen.

If I were forced to mark out a story line, it would be this: A nice lady in a small town tries to be helpful and polite to a lovely young reporter from “the big city.”

In other words, Memories Pizza didn’t blast out a news release. They didn’t contact the media, nor make a stink on Twitter or Facebook. They didn’t even post a sign in the window rejecting gay-wedding catering jobs. They merely answered questions from a novice reporter who strolled into their restaurant one day – who was sent on a mission by an irresponsible news organization.

To be fair, nobody made the O’Connors talk to the TV news. But Alyssa Marino and her news director knew what they were doing. Surely setting off a mob that drove a mom and pop pizza shop in a tiny, relatively poor town out of business was what Alyssa Marino went to journalism school to do.

God, I hate the media.