Don’t strong arm others, overanalyze transactions

So much confusion continues over whether people should be punished for not doing business in certain ways that violate their religious convictions. Shame on citizens who go around trying to find people who feel violated so they can mock and pressure them. How childish.

On the other hand, what in the world are business people thinking when they say their religious convictions would be violated by participating in sin? They’re not really in the habit of making their convictions a basis for deciding who to do business with.

We’ve heard all about the same-sex aspect. Let’s look from other angles. If you believe the Bible teaches that sex outside of marriage is wrong, are you going to refuse to cater pizza to an overnight party attended by would-be customers who can’t wait to turn out the lights and get in bed together?

Do you even want to analyze the situation and weigh the possibilities — I mean, the certainty — that you will be adding dining pleasure to sinful delights?

I agree the Bible is clear on the morality, but I’m not going to move a muscle to evaluate the pizza order. It’s completely irrelevant to my convictions about morality.

And now look who’s coming through the door — the owner of the car wash and the grocery story in the next town who sold out to the mafia 25 years ago. He’s in so tight with them you’ll never spend a dime there that isn’t helping to fund the underworld.

Do you want to know whether what I’m saying is true? Probably not, but the man himself will imply the evidence if you really want to know.

So, when he comes into your pizza parlor asking for 15 extra-large pizzas and 20 hot subs for a big business party, are you going to vet him or give him a pass? This is a very real scenario, one which I have no interest in evaluating. I would serve the pizza.

Here comes another customer you might want to think about. She lives with the factory worker down the road who kicked his wife and kids out and told them he’d make their lives miserable if they made a peep about the way he’s living.

This family-wrecking woman wants a hot pizza pie and a 2-liter so she and the adulterer can snuggle together while watching the movie they’re going to rent from the machine in your store. What are you going to do? Will you refuse them the pizza, the pop and the movie on the basis of the Bible? It says God hates adultery — ranks it up there with the worst of the worst.

If it’s any comfort, I believe the Bible is God’s unflinching word to modern civilization. I’ve studied the old book from many perspectives and have come to revere it as a severe and fabulous collection of truth with eternal consequences.

Some cases have been reported in which same-sex couples agitated pastors and others who didn’t want to officiate or photograph their weddings. This is much more intimate involvement than selling a pizza, and no couple wanting to celebrate should involve people who don’t share the mood.

Everyone needs to respect comfort levels. Sell pizza to everyone who enters your store, and don’t bother evaluating whether selling the pizza means you’re in bed with sin. Don’t try to force the pizza maker to cater your wedding. There are other ways to get pizza, cake or someone to officiate whatever you’re doing. Live in peace with differences. They are here to stay.

Max T. Russell writes for the international business intelligence community. You can contact him via his website, maxtrussell.com.