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viewpoint

Response to a recent disturbing column

| Sunday, February 23, 2014

I, like most Notre Dame students, am a busy person with deadlines to meet. That being said, on Thursday, I read a Viewpoint article that compelled me to drop pressing issues and write a response to Raymond Michuda’s article “You can’t make me sell a cake.” Throughout, Mr. Michuda defends the right of businesses to refuse services to gay people because of “religious objections.” He makes the dangerous claim that nothing is unreasonable about a business refusing services if they believe gay people are sinners. “I don’t see why the gay couple’s desire for a wedding cake should supersede someone’s religious beliefs,” asserts Mr. Michuda. If you need help understanding how truly disturbing this statement is, replace gay with interracial. Many of the people supporting these new discrimination laws would have had the same stance during the civil rights movement, though they will deny this fact. It is true, however, that the people who enacted and supported Jim Crow laws were very Christian, and more often than not their Christian faith reinforced their racist convictions.

Next, for some reason, Mr. Michuda rants about property rights and how, if you’re not hurting anybody, you can decide to refuse services to anyone. Just read paragraphs five and six. It’s really quite impressive. Having already justified discrimination against homosexuals, Mr. Michuda seamlessly proceeds to make the case for discrimination against anybody in the name of freedom. Essentially, the government has no right telling us who we can and cannot discriminate against. The implications of this inherently backwards method of thinking are grim. It sets us back 60 years.

Yet we return to the homophobic Christian baker. Mr. Michuda, because of people like you there are places in this country where the baker can refuse a gay cake. My question to you is, can a banker refuse a gay bank account? Can a diner refuse an interracial couple dinner? Can a university refuse a gay student? The only answer here is no, they cannot. It is irresponsible and embarrassing for you to claim otherwise.

The title of the article, “You can’t make me sell a cake,” is indicative of the level of maturity of his argument. Where does common human decency fit into the equation? More importantly for you, Mr. Michuda, when does shame come into play?

I am not gay. I can only imagine what it is like to be gay on this campus, especially when people like Raymond Michuda are vomiting up articles like this in our school newspaper. I found it appropriate that the article beside Mr. Michuda’s was written by a Mexican-American student lamenting the discriminatory predilections of her pupils here at Notre Dame. Students like Mr. Michuda will be talking about the “Notre Dame family” for the rest of their lives. The people they advocated discrimination against most likely won’t.

Peace and love.

Tim Galano
fourth year
off campus
Feb. 22

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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