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Now, I realize that modern society has invented, in many states, precisely these “rights.” But I’m saying that both the constitution and the philosophy at its foundation do not grant them.

I’m saying that when someone chooses not to host, fund, condone, or otherwise participate in a gay wedding, they are not taking anything away from you. They are not interfering in your life. They are not persecuting you. They are not stealing something from you. They are not infringing on your rights. They are simply choosing to remain uninvolved. I thought that’s what you wanted.

“Just let us love each other.” Isn’t that your battle cry?

Well the Giffords didn’t stop anyone from loving anyone. They didn’t come banging on your door demanding that you cease your activities at once. They didn’t track you down in a public place and scream obscenities at you. They didn’t do anything to you.

Yes, but their farm is a “public accommodation,” you say.

So what?

And also, not really.

It isn’t some nondescript facility that generically “accommodates” the public. It’s a private entity — one where, in this case, the Giffords also live — that sometimes enters into contracts with other private citizens for certain, specific services. The Giffords, being the party which owns the private property, get to decide the terms for these contracts. No business in the world operates on a principle that, if one customer is accommodated, all customers must be accommodated no matter what. Let me ask you: if you invite 100 people into your home for a party, does that mean you lose the right to refuse entry to the 101st person? Do you lose the legal ability to decide who enters, and for how long, and for what purpose? If you throw a party on Tuesday does that mean that you are now legally obligated to throw a party every other day, whenever I show up and demand one? If you decide to throw a toga party can I arrive and insist that we change it to a cowboys and Indians theme? If you are having a Tupperware party can I knock on your door and complain that my freedoms are under attack because I have no interest in Tupperware?

But that’s different, you say, because you are not a business. Sure, and this is what sane people used to call a “distinction without a difference.” If I live in a place and also sometimes use it to engage in commerce and enter into contracts, why, exactly, should that mean that I lose my God given constitutional rights and authorities over my own property?

And why, and how, do you have a right to enter my property and participate in activities on my property, just because I allowed a small selection of other human beings to do the same? How could these lesbians have a right to a wedding ceremony at that particular farm in Albany?

Here’s a better way to put it: if I open a lemonade stand, at what point in the process does the rest of society suddenly develop a right to the lemonade I’m producing? Did they have a right to the lemonade before I even made it? Was I destined in the stars to make lemonade in order to distribute it to my neighbors who, unbeknownst to me, have been entitled to my lemonade long before I ever conceived of selling it? If everyone has a right to my lemonade — meaning that I can’t refuse lemonade to anyone — does that mean that even the price I attach to it is also, in some respects, an infringement on your rights? After all, the price is a barrier to entry. So is the rather specific and finite location of my operation. If I have one lemonade stand am I now obligated to have a dozen lemonade stands, and does the lemonade have to be free? Can I shut down my lemonade stand? If you all have a right to it, wouldn’t I be infringing on that right when I close up shop for the evening? If I never opened this lemonade stand, you would probably go about your day without the lemonade, or else you’d procure your lemonade through some other means. Why can’t you do that even with my lemonade stand open, should I decide to decline to enter into a cash-for-lemonade contract with you?

And before you start throwing terms like “Jim Crow Laws” at me, please take a moment to research the matter. (Here’s a helpful Wikipedia article). You see, in the case of Jim Crow, the government mandated that business and accommodation segregate and discriminate based on race. The government didn’t say to lemonade stands “you may discriminate against blacks,” it said, “you must discriminate against blacks.” This is a very different scenario, and completely and totally unrelated to anything we’re discussing here today.

So we’re back to square one, and I’m still trying to figure out how anyone’s “human rights” could be violated just because another private citizen chose not to enter into a contract with them.

But I guess I know the answer to my question. Our understanding of “rights” has devolved into madness over time. We used to believe that you had a right to that which is fundamental to your human nature and that which is required to retain your human dignity. Therefore, you had a right to express your ideas, to practice your faith, to defend yourself and your home, to sovereignty over your home and your family, to freedom from government persecution, to justice, to a fair hearing in court, to the presumption of innocence, to self-determination, to due process, to freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, to the pursuit of fulfillment and prosperity. These were our human rights. They were never perfectly realized in this country.

Now we have written over these deep and profound laws, and replaced them with a haphazard, contradictory, juvenile, idiotic, unfair, unjust, inconsistent assemblage of entitlements and privileges, all of which require the government to stomp on our actual rights for the sake of providing some entitlement to some member of some politically protected class.

It would seem, in the end, that all of our constitutional liberties have been erased or saddled with exceptions and prerequisites, leaving only one solid, undefiled, and wholly invented right: the right to unhurt feelings.

Of course, only certain people have this right, and only when their feelings are hurt by certain other people, but the penalty is swift and severe should those certain people infringe on the feelings of those other certain people.

Because that’s all that’s at stake here. When one florist in a thousand, or one wedding lodge in a hundred, or one photographer in a billion decides to conduct their business based on the tenets of their faith, or the tenets of their own personal principles, the only harm they’re causing to anyone is a damaged ego. No physical harm has been caused, no constitutional rights have been violated. Nothing has been stolen, nothing has been destroyed. The only risk — the only risk —  in letting the Giffords decide who they do business with is that somewhere along the line, at some point, a couple of lesbians might get their feelings hurt. That’s it. There is not a single other tangible consequence.

What we are saying now, as a society, is that the Giffords do not have a right to hurt the feelings of homosexuals.

This is insanity. It’s disgraceful. It’s an insult. It’s an embarrassment. We are the laughing stock of the world because of inanity like this.

It also completely undermines the “gay rights” fight.

You once spoke of universal notions of love and liberty, but now you’ve abandoned that rhetoric and donned your Thought Police uniforms.

And all over hurt feelings. Nothing more.

What a shame.

I realize, of course, that this post might also hurt some feelings.

Luckily I still have that right, which is an oversight that I’m sure you’ll soon remedy.