Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Michael's Story: the logic of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

Michael runs a restaurant. Michael is a pro-life Catholic who has been very active in the pro-life movement. He makes a good living, loves what he does and has become very successful in his neighborhood. Michael decides he's going to no longer be silent about the holocaust that is going on, and posts pro-life signs and puts pro-life literature, displaying them clearly and
prominently in his establishment.
Many customers tell Michael they are behind him, some give him a few unfriendly looks but say nothing. Business remains largely unchanged, except for a new crowd that begins to come in daily. They seem friendly, well educated and pleasant. It's always good to have new customers, Michael thinks.
This goes on for a few weeks, and when he is leaving one evening he notices the building down the street is still open despite the late hour. He then remembered that building was closed down and abandoned in 2006 as part of the economic downturn. Odd, he thinks. There must be a new company that has moved in. So, he gets in his car and drives down to see what's going on. To his shock he finds an abortion center has opened up and he can see young girls entering and leaving the building even though it is past 9 pm. What's worse he sees Planned Parenthood has moved in just across the street in the old mom and pop hardware store that closed last year.
The next day, in the middle of lunch time rush he makes the connection: the new crowd that has been coming in are workers in both these groups--They're on lunch break from destroying nascent human life and making money from contraception and advising young girls to destroy their babies.
Michael is sickened---and here is he with a plate of roast beef and potatoes in his hand to serve to the man who appears to be the head of the clinic.
He feels horrible. He is feeding killers---but it's legal. He notices they see the anti-abortion material but no one says anything.
The following days Michael goes to work, but he's just going through the motions. The joy he once had is gone. All he can think about is that he is feeding murderers. The money they give him is blood money. He has trouble sleeping and become sullen and withdrawn at home. The customers notice the change in him and in the once friendly, homey atmosphere of the restaurant.
To make matters worse, at the end of the week two people, a man and a woman, very well dressed and looking very official, come to the check out counter and ask to speak to the owner. Michael comes forward and they ask if they can speak privately. He leads them to his little office and asks them to sit down.
They refuse and remain standing. The smartly dressed young lady smiles politely and hands him a document. It says the government has received many complaints from patrons about the offensive nature of the literature Michael is displaying, literature that speaks against an act that is legal and protected by the Constitution.
They make him aware of a law forbidding private business owners from placing "controversial" literature in their establishments. They point out the penalty for doing so is a huge fine and even incarceration upon repeat offenses.
Michael is furious. He says it's HIS restaurant! He built it. He's a tax payer! Has he no rights?
Yes, they say. You have rights--but not in your business. Take the stuff away...or else. With that they walk out.
Angrily, Michael removes the literature.
The next day the abortion crew comes in and some of them glance at the spots where the pro-life literature had been on display. They nod among each other with approving glances and snigger and laugh.
Their laughter continues and their talk gets louder. Finally, one in the group orders special drinks. When the drinks arrive he stands and proposes a toast to the owner of the abortion clinic and wishes him a great two week Hawaiian vacation he and his family are about to take. Next, a young woman proposes a toast to the clinic, the success of which is paying for that vacation. Finally, they call Michael over and toast him, and thank him for such great food and tell him how glad they are that such a great restaurant is near by their work.
Michael is speechless. He wishes he could disappear, standing in the restaurant he once loved he wishes he were anywhere but there. He feels like he is dying inside.
Suddenly, he loses it. He bursts out screaming in a barely controlled rage, calling them parasites and murderers. He pushes one man over in his chair and then tries to turn the table over.
Everyone scatters.
Get out, Michael screams, Get out! He can feel his face turning red and his veins bulging out from his forehead and neck. Shaking his fists at them he yells, I don't serve murderers–––killers. Get out!
Two men begin to aggressively move toward Michael but the boss calls them off. The abortion/planned parenthood crew stand shocked in the hostile atmosphere of the restaurant. Michael too is in shock. He notices several other customers get up and begin leaving. Even some supportive of the pro-life position leave because they did not come there to see a violent confrontation but just to have a quiet lunch.
Michael sits with his head in his hands at a table for a long time. He looks up to see only a handful of customers still sitting at tables and the ceiling fans slowing turning.
Michael returns home, and though he is exhausted he sleeps only little, tossing and turning. The next morning he drags himself to work.
Waiting for him at the restaurant door is a policemen and the government man and woman with him.
Michael learns he is guilty of breaking local and federal law, both rooted in the 1964 civil rights law or extensions of it. He learns his restaurant is in danger of getting shut down and he is in danger of going to prison.
Michael is crushed...then becomes furious. He decides he'll fight and does. He hires the best lawyer he can. But when he gets to court he finds that every liberal fascist group there is has poured tons of money into PR, the press, TV broadcasts and the best lawyers in the country. The whole thing is getting national attention.
Michael appears on the O'Reilly factor, but the employees of the abortion clinic exaggerate Michael's outburst in the restaurant. O'Reilly shows a segment of video one of the women took during Michael's outburst in the restaurant. This causes Michael to show his temper and he looks like a hot head to O'Reilly's national audience.
The next day the press paints Michael as a hater, compares him to fanatics who murder abortion doctors. They even drag up and distort events in his past to make him look like a person with deep seated emotion and psychological problems. It seems the local paper found some very old court records where Michael was accused of domestic violence in his first marriage. The press fails to mention that his ex-wife had lied about the violence just to harass him and the charges were dropped and not brought to trial.
Public opinion goes against him.
His outburst in the restaurant is further exaggerated by the press, the video the abortion worker secretly took in the restaurant is showed over and over again on both local and national news, and he is branded as potentially violent---the press insinuates he may even be armed, even though he has never owned a gun. The abortion clinic makes a show of it, hiring armed guards as protection against a possible violent attack by Michael. Clinic workers are interviewed on the local news about how they fear Michael and remember his violent outburst. One woman breaks down crying as she recounts the event.
Michael closes his restaurant and soon exhausts in legal fees what little he has been able to save from the time his restaurant was successful.
Various liberal groups now routinely picket his home, shouting insults and name calling.
In Court Michael tries to argue that there is a great moral difference in not serving someone because of their race and not serving someone because they are a killer. He says those who passed the civil rights act in 1964 has no idea that abortion would ever be legal let alone be conflated with the right of citizens of all races to be served in restaurants.
The state counters that Michael can't know the minds of the legislators in 1964 and what he calls murder out of religious bias the state calls a woman's civil right and protects as legal. As for his "moral" argument, it makes no sense in a court of civil law. The court must keep church and state separate. His moral view is just his subjective bias based upon religious prejudice and of no legal weight. The judge agrees. He loses.
The very next day after the decision several of the abortion and Planned Parenthood employees sue Michael. A week later he is indicted by a grand jury and arrested. He uses the little money he has left to cover his bail.
He loses his house.
Broke, Michael finds life in the town he once loved unbearable. He loses most of his friends. His wife, who is a doctor, has no income because she has been forbidden from practicing, It seem an extension of the 1964 law now requires doctors to not only recommend but even participate in abortion on demand. This is because a recent court decision using the 1964 Civil Rights law concerning private businesses as precedent. The court concluded that no person can bring their private religious and moral views into their jobs, whether it be their private practice or as an employee of a hospital. Abortion, is after all, the law of the land and an approved medical procedure and it must, therefore, be performed on demand--or else.
There is no room for private views, religious or otherwise, in public businesses and services, so the same law that forces the racially biased individual to serve people of all races, religions and cultures in his business, also forces people who hold personal religious views to set them aside and perform what the government has determined to be lawful procedures. The court says at home one can do whatever he or she chooses–––for now. But in public one cannot choose according to his or her personal biases or refuse to act due to issues of personal conscience. If you refuse you have the state to deal with.
Subsequently, Michael is convicted on several counts of battery and the breaking of three different civil rights laws and is sentenced to prison. He appeals the decision but the higher court refuses to hear it. With luck Michael will be out in 2015.
Welcome to the logical conclusion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act––welcome to Facist America!

1 comment:

  1. Tom,
    I have had conversations like this in the past several weeks over the "Rand Paul affair", and how dangerous it is to grant "rights" to persons, other than our God given rights. As a physician, the "right" to medical care is a big issue with many of the same ramifications that you describe. We must fight then regime with all means available, and then be ready to resist with our lives and our sacred honor.