Flat White

God is good but mammon pays the rent

15 August 2017

8:27 AM

15 August 2017

8:27 AM

I am a small business. Things are not exactly great and the world isn’t flush with funds and every dollar that comes through the front door is welcome. It helps pay the bills and allows me to have a little amusement along the way.

You can understand given that context that I am struggling to comprehend why any small business – any business at all – for that matter would say no to a legitimate dollar and why the religious freedoms debate in the context of same sex marriage is driving me nuts.

Try this exercise if I haven’t already put you off reading further. Put a gold coin in front of you. Ask yourself whether that dollar or two-dollar coin changes its value to you because of the sexual preference of the individual that gives it to you.

I can’t see how either coin is going to change its value to me as a small businessperson depending on whether the person giving it to me is gay or straight. I don’t care what the sexual preference of the clients I engage with is, as it does not matter. I only hope I do a good job for them and I get paid on time so that I can pay the bills and put food on the table.


It’s kind of funny when you listen to this business about the refusal of service in what people keep telling me is a tough economic environment. Their business acumen has got to be questioned because it is damn near non-existent.

Why should it matter to a baker that they have a potential order for a cake for a same sex marriage ceremony? The money received in return for providing a cake to customers is going to help pay the bills. The fare received from people who booked a limousine going to a same sex marriage celebration will help pay for fuel and the upkeep of a vehicle.

Just imagine the absurdity of a hypothetical conversation like the following

Bob: How is business Fred?

Fred: Business is tough and I am struggling to keep my head above water. I wish the five gay couples that came into the bakery wanting cakes for their ceremonies were straight so that I could pay the business loan this month.

If that does not illustrate the absurdity of the entire situation, nothing will. This argument about refusal of service should be treated as a straw man at the end of the day because it simply does not hold water that a businessperson with some nous will refuse service in a tight economic environment.

There is another truism that must be laid on the table in this discussion. The last time I looked the electricity, water, gas, telephone and internet bills did not have a deity’s name on the bill that wound up in the physical mail or my e-mail account.

Excuse my bluntness but the last time I looked my name was on the bill and some god did not pay anything. When some god decides to pay my bills, then that god can dictate whom I take money from for the purposes of running the business and putting food on the table.

I would bet $50 on that never happening but I can’t afford to do so. I’ve got a bill that needs to be paid.

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