So we’ve been hearing a lot lately about
the freedom to live and work according to your beliefs. From the fashion
designer in New York City to the small town florist in Washington, everyone
seems to have an opinion. So we visited the University of Wisconsin in Madison
to hear what people have to say. So there was a dress designer that turned down Melania
Trump to designer dress, she opted out. Do you think that she has the right to do
that? Yeah. Yeah, why not. Do you think it’s okay
for her to do that? Yeah. You should be able to control your business in that
regard. Yeah. I mean that’s like I guess it’s the company’s choice, right? I mean,
it’s a free market. That’s what most conservatives want anyway. So do you think
that she has the right to do that? The dress designer? Absolutely. So you have
the right to opt out of business that you might not want to associate yourself
with? Yes. So if you were, let’s say, a Muslim singer here in Madison and a
church approached you for Easter service for you to sing, do you have the right to
opt out of that? Yes. Yeah. I mean you have to give the right to opt out of doing
whatever you want. I think yeah. Yeah. I think I guess so.
That seems like such an unusual circumstance that they would want them,
like that the Christian Church would want to force a Muslim singer to sing at
their church if they didn’t want to. I would feel like if I was Muslim, I would,
it would be hard to work with someone. Yeah, if that goes against your religious
views, I feel like you have the right to turn that down. There’s actually a city ordinance that
would allow those groups to sue you by opting out, by turning down their
requests. Do you think that’s a good law? Probably not. So, the laws thing what now?
That the Muslim singer can opt out? They can’t opt out.
Oh yeah. Well that’s what the law says? Yeah. Do you think that’s an okay law?
I don’t believe so. No. No, not at all. I feel like that goes against people’s rights. So
pretty much, do you think that a law should exist that would force somebody
to do the work? Absolutely not. Absolutely not.
So let’s say you’re a Christian photographer, here in Madison,
and someone approached you to do a same-sex wedding. Would that be
hateful or discriminatory to opt out of that? I don’t know. Do you have the right
to do that? In that situation, probably not because that would bring up some
legal issues I would suspect. Like that city ordinance, right? Yes. Yeah. The one that you
didn’t agree with? Yeah. Yeah. If it was switch to like Christian views or
something they wouldn’t be able to do that and also, I don’t know, I just think
it should be like fair all around. I think it’s very difficult to determine
what reason it is that you make that decision unless you’re very steadfast in
your religion saying no this was wrong. In which case, yes you’re a jerk for
doing that. So your political views, your ideas, and kind of world view is okay to
say no to business but your religious views aren’t? No? That’s such a sticky
issue. Everyone agreed that a creative professional should have the
foundational freedom to decline work that conflicts with their conscience and
beliefs. But, when faced with a situation that conflicts with current cultural
expectations, like a Christian photographer declining to promote a
same-sex wedding, the gears start grinding. If a law that forces someone to
promote something that’s against their beliefs is so laughable, so
unimaginable, then why is it so difficult to extend that same freedom to a
Christian creative professional?