Anti-Discrimination Laws Don’t Work for Anyone

Statists take choices away from everyone when they create anti-discrimination laws, including the people they claim to want to help.

It’s pretty clear Jeffrey Tucker and I have some significant differences, rooted in our understanding of the purpose of life. But he and I have nearly full agreement on his subject matter here at the website of the Foundation for Economic Education in an essay entitled, “Gays Need the Freedom to Associate.”

He is right: Anti-discrimination laws are counter-productive to the desired goals, and corrosive and ultimately destructive of the liberty which benefits all.

Here is a potent clip:

“The best hope for promoting universal rights and a culture of tolerance is the market economy. The market is the greatest weapon ever devised against bigotry — but, in order to work properly, the market needs to signaling systems rooted in individuals’ freedom of choice to act on their values.

“And, to be sure, the market can also provide an outlet for people who desire to push back for a different set of values, perhaps rooted in traditional religious concerns. Hobby Lobby, Chick-Fil-A, In-and-Out Burger, among many others, openly push their religious mission alongside their business, and their customer base is drawn to them for this reason. This is also a good thing. It is far better for these struggles to take place in the market (where choice rules) rather than through politics (where force does).”

Humanists are “legalists” when it comes to civic policy. They demonstrate an obvious faith in ‘salvation by legislation’—a belief that passing more laws, and futilely seeking to force people to obey them, can produce a society where John Lennon’s “Imagine” becomes a daily experience.

The human problem, however, is not one of structures and laws—it is… well… a human problem.

As God said, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick” [Jeremiah 17:9], and the answer to that illness cannot be found in laws enforced from without, but only by a gracious and free work of God to transform those hearts from within.

Secular Progressivism is utopian. It will never succeed because of its woeful sociology and the naive desire to produce a perfect world without reference to the Creator.

The best system—what was historically called “Liberal” (totally antithetical to almost everything flying under that banner today!)—recognizes man’s deep flaws, and seeks to bridle selfishness in service to one’s neighbor. It works by open persuasion and discussion, rather than an appeal to brute force, as we’re seeing today in the Supreme Court and in the persecution of florists, photographers, and bakers.

The problem with using politics to solve every problem is that the same compulsion can be turned against you, once you lose an election. Why is politics becoming “everything” in modern America? Because too many people on all sides have turned away from gracious liberty, and embraced civic legalism.

Until we reject that course, the conflicts will only get worse.