a [personal] philosophy that upholds individual liberty, especially freedom of expression and action. (I substituted the word 'personal' for Wikipedia's 'political')Which is as good a definition as any, I suppose. As I understand it, as it relates to my way of thinking, it involves radical individual rights, individual freedom of choice and individual freedom of conscience.
Let me start by saying then, for example, that if I owned a bed and breakfast, even though I consider myself a fairly fundamentalist Christian, if a gay couple wanted to stay overnight, I would welcome them. I would not turn them away. It just so happens that that would be my choice. But if someone else wishes to operate their own business, according to the dictates of their own conscience, I believe they have that right. Or if a person of faith (any faith) who owns a printing business feels uncomfortable in printing invitations for a gay wedding, I believe they have the right to decline that business. I understand that this is not the law as it stands, but I think the law as it stands is wrong in this area.
If someone wants to open a business and offer their services only to albino midgets over the age of 60, I believe they have that right.
If a group of Native Canadians want to form a Native Healing Society, and restrict membership only to First-Nations people, I believe they have that right. Heck, if they want to restrict it to exclusively male Native Canadians, or exclusively female, I believe they have that right.
If a women's fitness club doesn't want to admit male members I believe they have a right to deny them.
And if a Muslim wants to open a barber shop and tell his customers that because of his religious beliefs he cannot cut women's hair, I believe he has that right. And I think any reasonable person should respect that religious perspective and travel another block or two to another barber shop. I believe that anyone with the attitude that would force someone to contravene genuinely held religious beliefs for his or her convenience demonstrates a high degree of intolerance, self-centeredness and sense of entitlement.
And I believe that only such an intolerant, self-centered busybody would launch a suit against him.
And, as I say, I wonder if that suit would even be launched if the complainant had to fund it him or herself.
PS: In my next post I will attempt to address how I can reconcile this personal philosophy with my Christian faith.