AZCentral.com (“part of the USAToday network”), has published a propaganda piece entitled, “Phoenix artists sue rather than create art for same sex weddings.”
Brush & Nib is an upscale hand-painting, hand-lettering and calligraphy company that creates and sells customized art, including for weddings.
Brush & Nib reflects who Joanna and Breanna are and what they believe — only creating art consistent with their Christian beliefs.
And since the Bible very clearly states, “Thou Shalt Not produce hand-lettered invitations for gay couples announcing their impending wedding,” they should have a Constitutional right to discriminate against any potential clients who happen to be gay, amirite?
I’m sure by now we all know the schtick. The bigoted Christian business owners declare that their conscience forbids them from engaging in any conduct that acknowledges the existence and legality of gay marriage, and therefore the First Amendment gives them the right to practice open discrimination against gays. And of course, it’s all about “Free Speech.”
The pair willingly serve and will create art for anyone, but they cannot create art promoting certain messages and ideas. For example, Brush & Nib doesn’t create art that demeans others, promotes racism or objectifies the female body. They also do not create art that violates their Christian beliefs about marriage.
As usually, the bigots are overlooking an important point: violating someone’s civil rights is not “free speech.” This isn’t a case of government interference in some artist’s ability to freely express their own art. This is a business that accepts commissions to produce hand-lettered invitations, and therefore they have to respect the civil rights of their clients.
But of course, that’s entirely irrelevant to the goal of the bigots. It’s not a question of justice or fair business practices. This is all about the unending quest to find some way, any way, that they can still practice discrimination against gays and force gay marriages into a segregated social ghetto. They’re taking the shotgun approach, trying to find some court somewhere that will rule in their favor so they can claim a precedent.
And of course, no good propaganda piece would be complete without a couple quotes from, say, Martin Luther King, or maybe JFK.
No fair legal system requires citizens to go to jail before they can oppose injustice. If citizens had to do this, no one would challenge unconstitutional laws, and the government could pass these laws with impunity.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. noted, those “who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension” but “merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.”
John F. Kennedy framed it well: “If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.”
And never mind that JFK was referring to artists producing their own art, rather than to businesses trying to find some way to violate the civil rights of certain prospective clients. Do I even need to mention that this article was written by a staff member of the so-called “Alliance Defending Freedom” who is representing the two artists in their lawsuit against the city?