New Survey Reveals How Conflicted Americans Are Over Religious Freedoms

More and more Americans think businesses should have the right to reject people because of their sexual orientation.

A new survey was released by the Public Religion Research Institute. The institute asked 2,008 people questions about their religious beliefs between June 27 and July 8 of this year.

According to the Huffington Post, the results found that nearly half of respondents (46 percent) agreed that owners of businesses should have the right to refuse service to LGBTQ people based on their religious beliefs. Of course, that means that a slight majority (48 percent) disagreed with that sentiment.

These results come just a few months after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of religious freedom and business owners’ right to choose. In June, the Supreme Court decided on the Masterpeice Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The Supreme Court eventually decided to vote in favor of Colorado baker Jack Phillips.

It seems that many are following the Supreme Court’s example, as past surveys by the PRRI show that this support of religious freedoms has increased since the past year. A 2017 survey showed only 41 percent of Americans supporting wedding-based businesses refusing service to same-sex couples.

That said, respondents also showed support for gay marriage. It seems that outside of the religious freedoms of business owners, most respondents were supportive of same-sex couples, same-sex marriage, and gay rights. About 64 percent of respondents were in agreement with this.

“While support for same-sex marriage and broad rights for LGBT people continue to increase, opinions are less settled in specific areas such as religiously-based service refusals, especially in the context of wedding service providers,” PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones said in a statement. “Given the court’s narrow decision in the case involving the Colorado baker, the Supreme Court will likely have another say on this and other related issues, and Judge Kavanaugh, if confirmed, could end up being the deciding vote.”

h/t: HuffPost

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My guess is that people respond to surveys about the so-called freedom to not sell to someone based on religious beliefs as applying to small, mom-and-pop businesses. If they were polling about larger companies, such as Chik-a-Fil with its homophobe owners, I'd think that the results would be different and be overwhelmingly in support of providing the service or selling the products in question.

Since I think of religion as based on fantasy, I consider people who'd refuse me service as being deranged in how far they have allowed their fantasy to take over their reality. I wouldn't want to do business with them anyway.

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I think a great deal depends on how you view the issue. Denying marriage is viewed as a civil rights issue by many, but refusing to bake the cake? Most people would see that in terms of personal liberty. Why should you have to do business with someone you don’t want to do business with? It’s ultimately your loss. Most people view a business as a private enterprise, not a public service. People’s decisions are more nuanced than people realize.

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