A Promise and A Debt

November 17, 2011

According to today's Wall Street Journal, a homosexual activist named John Becker owes Marcus Bachmann's counseling practice $150 for failing to cancel two counseling appointments. Becker disputes this, asserting that he canceled the appointments on time and therefore owes nothing. As a result, Bachmann has told the gay rights organization "Truth Wins Out," under whose auspices Becker secretly filmed an interview session with a Bachmann counselor in an effort to get anti-homosexual comments on tape (Becker failed; the counselor was tasteful and helpful throughout) that he will turn the bill over to a collection agency unless it is paid forthwith.

Bachmann, whose wife is running for the presidency and is therefore a target of activists who oppose his views on traditional marriage, argues that "it's not the amount of money. For us, it's the principle." Imagine that: a business owner standing up for his staff and himself, using legal means to do so, and insisting that since Becker "signed a contract that stated he would pay for no-shows," that Becker be held to account.

All I know of the case is what the Journal reports. If Becker is telling the truth - that he canceled his meetings in an appropriate time-frame - let him prove it. If he's not, let him pay what he owes.

This is not a "petty and vindictive campaign of harassment and threats" against "Truth Wins Out," as the group's director, Wayne Besen, asserts. It's about responsibility, keeping one's word, and paying what is owed. "A promise made," wrote the poet Robert Service, "is a debt unpaid." Enough said.