Commerce and discrimination

Those darned Republicans just can’t catch a break these days. In the latest cultural eruption, the Indiana legislature passed a bill which its governor signed into law. The bill allows places of business to refuse to serve persons if doing would conflict with their sincerely-held religious beliefs. An avalanche of public outcry has Indiana’s governor making a hasty retreat.

Charles Blow of the New York Times weighs in about how we should deal with the juxtaposition of free exercise of religious beliefs and discrimination:

“I would argue that when you enter the sphere of commerce in America — regardless of your ‘deeply held religious beliefs’ — you have entered a nondiscriminatory zone in which your personal beliefs are checked at the register, and each customer is treated equally.”

Indeed. You want to use the currency of an explicitly secular government to conduct your business? Then you can serve everyone who walks in your door. Maybe the best thing for these businesses to do is to refuse United States currency as payment, accepting only church scrip. That might clear things up.