Penn Jillette: I'm in favor of many kinds of sex; everyone has different preferences and that's okay
He says that people have a right to be stupid, but what's so wrong with selling cake to gay people?
Editor’s Note: Penn Jillette, a writer, television host and frequent guest on a wide range of shows, is half of the Emmy Award-winning magic act duo Penn & Teller. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
I’m an atheist, a libertarian and I’m in favor of many, many, many kinds of sex. This puts me in an awkward position with all this chitter chatter about that goofy Indiana law. People want the right to not serve people because their well-established loving religion demands that to get into heaven they not make cake for people who are gay.
I’ve read the Bible cover to cover, and I’ve never seen that in there, but, I’m an atheist, so I may have scales over my eyes while I read – what do I know?
I was listening to some whack job (I should say some other whack job, because I was on the same TV panel) talk about how some Christians might not think gay sex was right and needed the legal right to act on that belief.
It’s OK to not like some forms of sex. I’m sure there’s some form of sex that I don’t like, I just haven’t encountered it yet. If anyone invites me to a kind of sex I don’t want – I will say no … at least after I’ve tried it a couple times.
My job is doing a Vegas magic show. I bet if I really researched all the people in our audiences, I would find people in our crowds who I had fundamental disagreements with. I would still want to do the show for them. That’s my job. I’m trying to sell about a quarter of a million tickets a year to Penn & Teller, and that ain’t easy.
I might not agree with Scientologists or chiropractors, but I want them to come to my show. Who knows, just being around us, might wise them up, or even better, might wise me up. I like to change my mind and it’s good business to be in business with people you don’t agree with.
All that being said, as a libertarian, I believe that people have the right to be stupid and run their businesses in a stupid way. And then the big old invisible hand gets visible and the stupid businesses go out of business. It doesn’t always work, but it often does.
I don’t think we need a special law that says certain people get to be rude to other people because they think God is on their side, but I also don’t want a law that says I have to do business with people I disagree with if I’m a really stupid business person.
If it seems my position is confusing, it’s because I’m contradicting myself. I think refusing service to anyone for a theoretical disagreement is stupid, stupid, stupid. And I also think that if we make stupid illegal, everyone goes to prison.
So, I want everyone to be treated equally and I want as much freedom to be stupid as possible.
I’m OK with holding those contrary beliefs and not really deciding, because … it’s not going to be a problem for long. The acceptance of LGBT lifestyle is moving so fast that soon some of these backwards people are going to be worried that they’ll need a law to get cake for themselves.
So, yeah, my whole position on this is … let them eat cake.