Monday, March 30, 2015

Discrimination in Indiana: Private or Political?

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob,

I have a new article on the news and commentary website, “EpicTimes” on “Discrimination in Indiana: Private or Political?”

The issue of discrimination has once again risen to the political foreground because of recent legislation in Indiana concerning whether individuals may have the freedom in the marketplace to not associate with those whose sexual orientation they may disagree with or disapprove of on seriously held religious grounds.

I argue that this issue runs much deeper than merely Indiana’s legislation. It concerns the far more fundamental matter of an individual’s right of freedom of association, which includes not to associate.

The fact is that we all discriminate in everything we do, due to the fact that our time and resources are limited and our values and beliefs may differ from others society. Sometimes we consider the discriminating choices and attitudes of others reasonable, and other times we think of them as irrational, wrongheaded or even mean spirited.

The problem is, if these matters are not left up to the individuals in the private sectors of life, the only alternative are government-imposed coercive rules and commands concerning how, when and for what purposes people will be compelled to interaction and associate in their personal and commercial endeavors.

Friends of freedom, I suggest, should consider such government intervention to be morally wrong and often pragmatically counterproductive, even when we consider the reasons or rationales behind some people’s discriminatory choices to be ones we consider misplaced, wrongheaded, and mean-spirited.

In the longer-run, a truly tolerant and more respectful and reasonable society concerning the differences among people relating to sexual orientation is more likely to develop in a setting of individual rights of freedom of association and limited government involvement in human affairs.



  1. I just heard that Rick Perry is going to The Citadel to give a speech. Any chance we can get Ebeling to troll him after his speech, during a Q&A session? (if he's having one)

    Maybe Ebeling can ask him which/how many Federal departments he's planning on eliminating if he gets, or what he thinks of the Federal Reserve.

  2. The best argument i hear about discrimination laws is that it is wrong to discriminate against someone for something that they cannot change such as the color of their skin or their sexual orientation. However, i would argue that these laws really preserve such bigotry by insulating the bigots from the economic and social consequences of their bigoted ideas while giving them a scapegoat to place their anger against for making them associate with those they do not like. On top of that, there is no force or violence involved when someone refuses to bake you a cake because of your sexual orientation. There is force used when the government threatens a business with fines and arrest if they don't serve the gay couple. There is also discrimination, as the government has set one group as a class that the other group MUST serve. The popular solution, anti-discrimination laws, actually just represents more discrimination as well as legal inequality.

  3. It occurred to me while reading Ebeling's article that this quote from scripture applies: He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword. Those who use the sword of the State to accomplish the enforcement of their morality will undoubtedly also feel its sting.