Donald Trump and wife, Melania (Photo: Twitter)

Donald Trump and wife, Melania (Photo: Twitter)

Have you noticed how Democrats like the idea of freedom of association for themselves but not for those who disagree with them politically, those who have a different worldview, especially those who are guided by religious moral principles?

For instance, they reject the idea that American citizens can opt out of participation in “same-sex marriages,” or can refuse to dispense contraceptives they believe are harmful to the woman or actually work as abortifacients, or should have the right not to participate in funding abortion. Instead, they advocate using the force of government to compel people in those situations, and many others, to do what they deem to be immoral and even sinful.

But what happens when the shoe is on the other foot?

Let’s take fashion icon Andre Leon Talley, for instance. Prior to the 2016 presidential election, Talley accompanied Melania Trump to find her wedding gown for a story with Vogue. After the feature, they developed a friendship, and he even attended her wedding. During the campaign, Talley was a firm supporter of Hillary Clinton, but given his history with Melania, he sent well wishes to the soon-to-be first lady once her husband was elected.

Then he got pushback from his friends in the fashion industry. How, they wondered, could he maintain his professional association with the Trump? Just like that, Andre released a statement distancing himself from the Trumps. He told the New York Times he will no longer be a supporter of Melania and will likely never style her. “You make the choice to be in Trumpland or you make the choice to eject yourself from the horror of Trumpland. I’ve made my choice not to be part of Trumpland,” he said.

That’s convenient for Talley. He doesn’t need the business. It’s clear his association with Melania had begun to hurt his business and reputation in his industry. And, of course, those of us who believe in the right of free association could never argue that he should be compelled to work with Melania Trump or anyone else. It would be wrong, immoral, government coercion.

Yet that is just what Democrats insist on doing to those who don’t think like them – photographers, videographers, bakers, caterers who prefer not to participate in “same-sex weddings,” for instance. Some of them have been financially ruined by tyrannical governments that fine them and force them to shutter their meager businesses if they follow the dictates of their consciences – like Talley did, without any legal repercussions.

Talley’s not alone, by the way. At least two other fashion designers, Sophie Theallet and Marc Jacobs, announced that they will refuse to dress Melania, out of revulsion for her husband.

Again, so be it. The Dems applaud such “heroism” and “principle” – even though there is no cost to pay for the designers. In fact, it’s not a stretch to suggest that in the world of fashion the monetary and reputation cost would be higher to work for the Trumps.

Yet you won’t find anyone among principled conservatives and libertarians who would suggest those fashion icons should be compelled by government to serve anyone and everyone without regard to the nature of the event or the character of the client. You only see that argument made when the Democrats want to punish those who have a different standard of morality than them – almost always Christians. They would be happy to send them to the lions, if they didn’t have more regard for the rights of animals.

How about the Rockettes?

Lately, there’s been a controversy about some members of the dance troupe not wishing to perform at Trump’s presidential inauguration. Again, I would support the right of anyone to opt out of working at a presidential inauguration. I would certainly exercise that right if asked to make my famous chicken cacciatore recipe for the guest of honor. But why the double standard by liberal Dems?

Isn’t what’s good for the liberal goose good for the Christian gander?

Last but not least, there’s the case of the restaurant in Hawaii that is almost as famous for its Italian stir fry as I am for my chicken cacciatore or my eggplant parmigiana. Called creatively “Honolulu’s Café,” the establishment has posted a sign out front that reads: “If you voted for Trump you cannot eat here! No Nazis.”

In my world, such idiocy is worth nothing more than a good laugh.

But try to image what would happen if a restaurant refused to cater a “same-sex wedding” reception.

Well, we don’t have to imagine.

It has happened more than once. And all hell broke loose. It was portrayed in the media as homophobic “discrimination” by the “open-minded,” liberal Democrats who saw no problem in using government force to punish people merely exercising what should be their God-given American right to practice free association according to the dictates of their consciences – just like the fashion Nazis, the political science majors in the Rockettes and the misguided restaurateurs in Hawaii who don’t understand real Italians don’t do stir fry.

Get Joseph Farah’s new book, “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians, and the End of the Age,” and learn about the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith and your future in God’s Kingdom

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