A funny thing happened on the way to the Donald Trump inauguration — liberals suddenly became champions of people being allowed to decline participating in something if it violated their conscience.
Surprising, indeed, after years of Christian bakers and pizza parlors being targeted for destruction by the gay left for refusing to participate in something because it opposed their conscience and faith.
Then came the Radio City Rockettes, the world-famous dancers who with one swift move, seem to have illuminated the hypocrisy of some liberals, albeit rather unintentionally.
It had been announced the Radio City Rockettes, you see, would be performing at the Donald Trump Inaugural. One Rockette vented her distress on Instagram, writing that she was “embarrassed and disappointed,” and that Mr. Trump “stands for everything we’re against.”
That post was quickly deleted, but ultimately, a media frenzy ensued over an allegation that the dancers would have to perform at the inauguration, whether they liked it or not, or lose their jobs.
That ended up being fake news promoted by one woman on Facebook, not associated with anyone involved, and unaware of the fact that Rockette participation in the inaugural event is completely voluntary. Moreover, they had more dancers volunteering than available slots for the Inaugural gig, so no one will be dancing “with tears in their eyes,” as the one gloomy Rockette dramatically predicted on her Instagram.
During the brief hubbub, actors and other performers understandably came out in support of the dancers’ right to refuse to perform if an event violated their conscience. I also believe there should be an escape clause in cases such as this allowing a performer flexibility. After all, who wants anyone to be forced to do something against their conscience?
Yet it’s fair to say the same liberals who support the Rockettes’ right to not perform are the same people who have no problem with Christian businesses being attacked for declining to participate in something that violates their conscience and faith. In their cases, the refusal to cater or bake a cake for a gay wedding.
While the environments may be completely different, the larger principle is exactly the same: Why should one type of person be supported for refusing to participate in something antithetical to her values while another is not and even organized and legislated against?
This is the conundrum liberals have created by setting a standard that says Christians should not allowed to decline work due to their values but a liberal dancer should be. The question for liberals now is: Do we want Americans to accept the notion that some people are more equal than others, and deserve more protection and support than those who refuse to conform?
Considering the gay, black and women’s civil rights movements were founded on rejecting that very idea, we should be ashamed it’s even an issue, and certainly shouldn’t be struggling with the answer.
Perhaps now with Mr. Trump’s election, some are viewing an all-powerful government a bit less romantically.
Arguably, Donald Trump’s ascendancy is the result of eight years of liberals punishing those who are not protected groups of the left or who do not pay allegiance to that point of view. It’s understandable liberals presumed the Rockettes were going to be forced to do something with which they were opposed, because that’s what the liberal establishment has been doing to everyone else. I’m glad they were wrong, and many conservatives would have come to the defense of the performers had it been a genuine issue.
In the Twitter debate, I noticed some conservatives arguing that the Rockettes should be forced to perform; after all, they’re ‘just’ employees and if they don’t want to do the job they should quit.
If that’s the answer, what if Obamacare had successfully moved us into the scourge of nationalized healthcare where arguably every doctor and nurse would be a federal employee and inevitably have to perform abortions, as an example, regardless of their own conscientious objection?
What about the Little Sisters of the Poor nuns, who were being forced by the Obama administration to violate their conscience via Obamacare until the U.S. Supreme Court saved them from that unconstitutional fate?
All of this is the result of social engineering displacing the American sensibility of ‘live and let live.’ For far too long, facilitated by hate crimes legislation, political correctness and a big stupid bully government, we are living in a world where, as George Orwell would note, some people are working very, very hard to be more equal than others.
We know the Rockettes and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will be performing at the Inaugural. More entertainers will join the roster, but others have declined. Broadway star Idina Menzel mused to Vanity Fair that the difficulty getting mega-stars for the event was “karma,” adding, “I mean, look: All the artists in the world got up and tried to get our girl [Hillary Clinton] elected, and it still didn’t happen, so we’re all still trying to recover from that.”
It’s not karma, it’s performers choosing to not participate in an event because it either hurts their feelings, violates their values or is punishment for the guy who defeated their “girl.” And they have every right to refuse to be a part of something with which they disagree.
Isn’t that nice for them?
• Tammy Bruce, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk show host.