Drama in Walkertucky
Posted by Bob Barcus on April 2nd, 2015
Earlier this week, a family run pizza shop in the small town of Walkerton was visited by a reporter from a local news station. Apparently, the owners of the restaurant didn’t realize that their words would soon be resonating across the Internet. Feeling their proud Christian convictions swelling up within them, they made a number of statements in regards to the recently passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
I choose to believe that reporter randomly selected the pizza shop for the interview. I doubt that she had been casing the joint for weeks, watching and waiting for the owners to decry their true feelings. In fact, I’m certain that there are probably many restaurants in small towns that would prefer not to cater a gay wedding. Whether or not they say that in front of a television camera is another story.
Now this good Christian family must live in fear and isolation as words of hatred stream towards them from across the interwebs. Perhaps they have even been forced seek shelter in a Christian safehouse somewhere in the backwoods of rural Indiana. No one knows where they might be hiding, except for the cohorts of Glenn Beck.
Yesterday, The Blaze’s Dana Loesch interviewed Crystal O’Connor, co-owner of Memories Pizza in Walkerton after the story aired on ABC57. During the interview, O’Connor seemed timid and distressed over the situation. She said, “The news just took it totally out of proportion. They lied about it.”
However, it was pretty clear from what was aired on ABC57 Tuesday night what her belief was and I don’t believe there was any misrepresentation. O’Connor said, “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no.”
ABC57 reporter Alyssa Marino even went on to clarify at the end of the news story that, “The O’Connor family tells me that if a gay couple or couple belonging to another religion stepped into their restaurant to eat, they would never deny them service. They only say that they would not cater their wedding.”
I’m not sure how many gay weddings there are in Walkerton nor if any gay couples would actually have pizza catered to their wedding. “We’re a Christian establishment,” she continued. “We're not discriminating against anyone, that's just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything,” she said. I’m not sure what part the news lied about, but it definitely stirred some emotions.
Loesch continued her conversation with O’Connor and seemed sympathetic with her family’s plight. Loesch said, “…it’s 2015 and I can’t believe that… we would be dealing with such persecution like this just because someone says that they want to stand up for a tenet of their faith. It’s awful to see.” Yes, isn’t it tragic that in 2015 there would be so much bigotry and hatred against a particular group of people? Being born Christian in this country has so many negative connotations associated with it. Wait, what?!?
Then Loesch made a big announcement that was even more shocking. The Blaze program setup a GoFundMe account to help out the beleaguered O’Connor family through this tragic time. So far, they’ve raised more than $200,000 and I couldn’t be more disgusted. They are being rewarded for their bigotry.
I can’t condone what many of the critics have said about the O’Connor family, but I can’t believe that their supporters couldn’t find something better to do with their money. Just a few clicks on GoFundMe and you will see a whole slew of people in need of money to battle cancer, bury a loved one or simply to feed themselves. It would seem to me that the money could be better used to fight an actual cause.
The O’Connor family has made a bunch a choices; some of them more questionable than others. In the ABC57 interview, Crystal’s father Kevin O’Connor said, “That’s a lifestyle that you choose. I choose to be heterosexual, they choose to be homosexual.” Aside from the biological imperfections of this statement, his choice has had some serious ramifications.
They chose to do the interview with ABC57 and they chose to express their beliefs to a very broad audience. However wrong they may have been in their assessment of the situation, it was their Constitutional right to express their opinion and they should not be damned for it. But, they forgot one of the big rules associated with opening your mouth – there can be consequences. They chose to ignore that rule and now others have entered the debate with enthusiastic contempt for the O’Connors. It really wasn’t surprising.
They have also made the choice to temporarily close their restaurant with them supposedly entertaining the idea that they may have to move, even out of state. A steadfast Christian family wouldn’t allow “the gays” to shutter their doors. But the threat of gay violence must be too much for them. Isn’t that how it always goes? The gays come into town and everything goes to Hell.