By Greg Smith
If you support allowing government to force fundamentalist Christian bakers to bake cakes for gay weddings then it is hypocritical to complain when the government orders your company to hack the iPhone of a mass murderer.
Last year Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly opposed so-called religious objections laws, which would have allowed Americans, generally business owners, to claim anti-discrimination laws compromise their religious beliefs. Cook went so far as to say religious objections laws are “very dangerous.”
Proposed religious objections laws gained traction in the wake of incidents like Christian bakers in Oregon being fined $135,000 for deciding against providing a cake for a gay wedding.
These types of proposed laws were poorly thought out and named because freedom of association should have nothing to do with religion. If an atheistic caterer doesn’t want to serve a church picnic simply if he or she does not like religious people, government should have zero right to interfere. If a gay cab driver doesn’t want to lug around members of the Westboro Baptist Church, should not he or she have that right?
Still, religious objection laws would at least be a first step in beating back the silken fascism that squelches such a fundamental liberty as freedom of association, which also inherently means the right to not associate.
What does that have to do with hacking an iPhone? Enter the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, stage left. The Commerce Clause supposedly gives the government the legal right to intervene almost at will whenever anyone is trying to make a living. Doesn’t matter if you’re selling cakes or smart phones, your constitutional rights essentially disappear simply because you are trying to earn money.
In supporting laws that ban discrimination, Tim Cook is saying use of the Commerce Clause to force others into actions they would rather avoid is acceptable, and to do otherwise is actually “very dangerous.” That very same Commerce Clause is what gives government the right to force Apple or any other tech company to make their products less secure.
Cook wants to force all to dine at the smorgasbord of big government so long as he plans the menu. Now he has a piece of the Commerce Clause lodged in his throat.
Choke on it, Tim, choke on it. ©
Greg Smith is a freelance writer and political consultant who lives in Bantam, CT. His blog is found at www.betterfatthanfascist.com.