Money For Nothin'

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Memo to Wingnut Donaters: I REALIZE MATH ISN'T YOUR STRONG SUIT, BUT...

So, last week, I discussed the Indiana pizzeria who caught national media shit just because they said they'd be sure to use Indiana's new religious freedom law to refuse to cater gay weddings, and how wingnuts crowdfunded over a hundred thousand dollars for them to make up for the brief disruption to their business caused by coming out of the bigot closet.

Well, that story has now been promoted to full column status, because over the weekend, the grand total of the fundraiser ended up being $828,000.

And, in what bears a striking resemblance to a trend, a florist in Washington state who was fined $1,000 for refusing to serve a gay couple has had $85,000 raised for them through crowdsourcing.

Now, these cases have raised ridiculous questions and comparisons around what constitutes providing a service and what constitutes "participation" in a wedding. These questions, like most public debates, are stupid, because they attempt to split the difference between smart and very stupid. But we're not going to address those stupid questions today. Maybe some other time.

No, I want to instead address the mindset, such as it is, of a wingnut who hears about a campaign to raise money for someone who lost $1,000 for "their religious beliefs" or "breaking the law" or whatever. You decide this person was unjustly fined. You decide to help them out. You go to the site. You see that the $1,000 for the fine has already been raised. Yet you donate anyway. WHY?

You know what? I'll be generous. I'll let it get to $3,000. That'll pay for the fine and the next two fines on the off chance the florist gets the chance to illegally discriminate against two more gay couples. But planning for the next 84 gay couples to visit her florist shop is just overkill.

Similarly, the pizza place doesn't need $850,000. Yes, they got some bad Yelp reviews, some nasty phone calls, and some unwanted media attention. That kind of thing, if not stoked by fresh news stories about, say, bigoted pizza place owners becoming instant near-millionaires, lasts about a week. If that pizza place nets $850,000 a year, I'd be shocked.

I get it, wrong people. You sympathize with other wrong people who encounter difficulty in life due to being wrong. You identify with them. You'd like to think that the bigot community would also rush to support you to an obscene degree should you get into trouble for your wrong-headed views. But control yourselves.

I mean, you're part of a conservative community who thinks it's wrong to accept a handout when your decisions run you afoul of capitalism. You're part of a community that wields the phrase "moral hazard" like a club at people below the subsistence level. Martyrdom is fine. Taking a stand is important, even when your stand is wrong. But it's not something anyone should be turning a profit on. Kind of defeats the purpose.