A small, but noteworthy victory: Memories Pizza, in Walkerton, Ind., reopened Thursday to large crowds and no problems. The small-town pizzeria was subjected to an online blitzkrieg when Crystal O’Connor, daughter of owner Kevin O’Connor, told a local news outlet her family would be unwilling to cater a same-sex wedding if asked, because of their religious beliefs.
Mr. O’Connor said the criticism hasn’t changed his beliefs. He said gays are welcome in his restaurant in the small, one-traffic-light town of Walkerton, 20 miles southwest of South Bend, but that he would decline to cater a same-sex wedding because it would conflict with his Christian beliefs.
“I’d do the same thing again. It’s my belief. It’s our belief. It’s what we grew up on,” he said. “I’m just sorry it comes to this because neither one of us dislike any of those people. I don’t hold any grudges.”
According to the Times, “within an hour, all eight tables were filled and six people were waiting for carryout orders,” and people came from several miles away to show their support.
In addition, an online crowd-funding campaign begun last week to support the O’Connors while their business was shut raised a final total of $842,442 dollars, thanks to donations by more than 29,000 donors across the country. The O’Connors plan to use the money to renovate the restaurant, and to support charity.
Of course, this reasonably happy ending obscures the fact that the O’Connors never should have had to shut down in the first place, and did so only because they were bullied — to the point of death threats — by LGBT-rights activists. Neither the money nor the support can compensate the O’Connors for the hatred to which they were subjected during the Indiana RFRA hysteria, and which will continue to trail them.
What the harassment of Memories Pizza revealed is not rampant “homophobia” or somesuch, but the extent to which the rights of religious conscience are under attack. Under the pretense of promoting “tolerance” and “love,” progressives seek to crush religious Americans who wish to live out their convictions. And if communities of faith and their allies do not resist, the bullies will win.