In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network this weekend, possibly official GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush argued that it should be totally chill for Americans to discriminate against people who do things that conflict with their religion.
"It's not just that people of faith can have their views," Bush said to host David Brody. "It's that they need the space to act on their conscience. That is what faith is about."
Brody asked Bush about "the bakers and the florists" who have received widespread criticism for refusing to serve same-sex couples.
"This is not about serving a cupcake to someone who's gay, of course you have to do that, obviously" said Brody. "This is more about the vendor issue, as it relates to do they want to provide a service for same-sex weddings. Are you okay if they don't provide those type of services? Is that okay?"
"Absolutely, if it's based on a religious belief. The best example is the florist in Washington state who may lose her business because of this and who has lost a lot because of the cost of all of this," Bush answered. "She had a regular customer who would come in and she would provide flowers to him and he was going to marry his significant other, asked her to participate as a friend in the wedding, to help organize it and she said to him, 'Look, I love you as a friend, but I can't participate. It goes against my conscience.'"
Actually, the man in question, Robert Ingersoll just wanted to buy flowers for his small wedding. And florist Barronelle Stutzman refused to sell them to him. Following her principled example, I am going to start a toilet paper business-- because that is something everyone needs --and then refuse to sell to Stutzman because the name Barronelle is against my religion. So, Barronelle, get ready for diaper rash.
"A big country, a tolerant country ought to be able to figure out the difference between discriminating against someone because of their sexual orientation, and not forcing someone to participate in a wedding that they find goes against their moral beliefs," Bush concluded.
Ladies and gentlemen, your Republican frontrunner: