So the owners of a small-town pizzeria in Indiana responded to a question by saying they would not cater a gay wedding because of their Christian beliefs. Bigoted and small-minded? Lots of people think so. But worthy of arson threats, death threats, and merciless, unrelenting online harassment? Apparently so, according to Internet vigilantes who have forced Memories Pizza to shut down at least temporarily. Two writers today plead for some perspective:
- Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post: "It’s exhausting, honestly: This cycle of asymmetric outrage and retribution repeats so frequently, so blindly, on the Internet that it almost doesn’t seem worth discussing again." If the owners' views made you angry, well, "that makes sense," writes Dewey. "But join a boycott. Write a letter. Sign a petition." Go after the law itself, which is actually constructive. Just don't sit at a keyboard and destroy a stranger's life in the name of self-righteous morality.
- Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon: The thing is, these attacks have turned the pizzeria owners into victims. "So now these clowns get to spin a narrative of persecution—because if you’re harassing and threatening people, you literally are persecuting them. Not your finest moment, confused arbiters of tolerance." Want a better way? Follow the example of this guy, who bought lots of pizza at a competing shop and made his point peacefully.
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