Twenty years ago if you were unhappy with a business, let’s say a check out clerk was rude to you or you were served a rotten meal, you had some effective ways of getting back. Of course these methods still exist. You can never patronize that business again and tell your friends not to do so as well.
Last week a South Bend, Indiana television reporter ventured outside of her city and traveled to tiny Walkerton, a place she probably never heard of before, where she interviewed one of the owners of Memories Pizza, a family business, who told the reporter that because of their Christian beliefs they would not cater a gay wedding–if they were was asked. The reporter found the “gotcha” story in the sticks that she was seeking in regards to Indiana’s new Religious Restoration Freedom Act.
Then the militant left went on the attack. The owners went into hiding after receiving a death threat.
And then the online attacks poured in Actually they’re still coming. Memories’ Yelp page has been inundated with “reviews” from people who lives almost everywhere but northern Indiana. On the other hand, a high school coach from nearby Goshen took to Twitter to suggest that Memories be burned down. She has since been suspended. As I mentioned in my post here last week, Yelp’s CEO condemned Indiana’s RFRA, although just last month his firm opened an office in Illinois–which has a similar law.
Years ago I was at a concert where Elvis Costello answered a heckler who was shouting that he should play “Clubland,” by replying with something blues singer Little Willie John once said. “I remember the good old days,” Costello quipped, “they’re gone now. ”
True, very true.
But there is some good news. Supporters of Memories Pizza and religious freedom started a GoFundMe.com drive for the owners of the restaurant–and it has received $800,000.
The internet is a two-edged sword.
John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.