The William Carey University YAL chapter organized a petition in support of the business owner’s freedom of conscience and free market principles. An overwhelming majority of the campus supported small government principles, and in one short lunch period, 72 signed the petition and 8 new students signed up to join YAL.
YAL members and others who visited the table have noticed the rampant media bias against first amendment rights and free markets, so we submitted our success story to 4 of the local newspapers as a press release. As our chapter president said in the press release, “The First Amendment does not require someone else’s approval to speak or practice religion. When government penalizes a business owner’s religious decision, it’s not only top-down discrimination against a particular religion but also anti-free market.”
While the vast majority of students approached on campus supported the petition, it wasn’t without opposition. Several respondents were concerned about the effect of allowing businesses to refuse customers on religious grounds. Taking these concerns under consideration, our YAL chapter is examining the possibility of organizing a student debate centered on the tension between religious freedom and discrimination.