Christians and Wedding Cakes Still Confuse Me

Sweet Cakes by Melissa Pimping at the 2014 Values Voters SummitI’ve been trying to get my head around the issue of wedding cakes and same sex weddings. And part of my problem is that it is all so silly. On the Christian side, it doesn’t make any sense at all. The Bible — the old testament anyway — is kind of down on same sex relations. But it doesn’t actually say anything about marriage. This is just the same old modern Christian nonsense, “This is the literal word of God and I know that because my pastor told me it was!” It is so insulting to religion itself. What incredibly weak theology.

Just the same, why would same sex couples want to do business with such vile people? I understand if there is only one bakery in town. But this most recent case was in Gresham, OR. That’s right next to Portland. There are a lot of bakeries in that area. The only reason I can see a problem here — and it does apply — is because the couple didn’t know that this was a bakery that reserves the right to discriminate against same sex couples. Overall, it is hard for me to get too upset about this. There are total jerks in the world, and a lot of them have always called themselves Christians.

The case in Oregon is very clear as a matter of law. The state has a non-discrimination law. Sweet Cakes by Melissa very clearly broke the law. A same sex couple sued them. The owners lost. Boo hoo. This is what happens when you decide your business should be used for moral grandstanding instead of making money. You lose. Check the law the next time you decide to do something like this. Above all, stop whining. See that picture of Melissa crying to all the true believers at the 2014 Values Voters Summit? This is what happens when you let your husband be a bigot behind the counter.

Of course, the bakery owners — like the Indiana pizza store owners — have seen donations following in from like minded Christians from across the country. But these things are only going to last so long. These are not customers chipping in to keep a well loved store afloat, like we saw with Borderlands Books. The donations will last only as long as Fox News is pimping the story. This is a thing, but it is not going to keep the bigot bakery industry afloat past next Thanksgiving. A better solution needs to be found.

The End Is NighThis is where the push for all these “religious liberty” laws are coming from. But even they have a short self life. In a place like Portland, I suspect the problem could be solved simply by letting people like Melissa discriminate but require that she put up a sign that says, “We don’t serve same sex weddings.” I think that would put a pretty quick end of Sweet Cakes by Melissa. But that’s just it. I suspect Melissa and her husband would be upset at having to post such a sign. They would see it as persecution — like the Nazis making the Jews wear arm bands. It wouldn’t be. It would just be truth in advertising. They should be grateful that the sign didn’t read, “Warning: we are bigots.”

So the sign wouldn’t solve the problems in Oregon, much less rural Mississippi. But given that this isn’t a question of basic needs — food and lodging — I would like to find a free market solution to it. Maybe I’m just being naive, but I really don’t think this kind of prejudice is going to survive the cold light of day. I want to watch as places like Sweet Cakes by Melissa get wiped out as only the most hardcore bigots are willing to do business with them. But like I said, I’m still struggling with the issue. But one thing should be clear, “Christians: the end is nigh!”

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

5 thoughts on “Christians and Wedding Cakes Still Confuse Me

  1. Pingback: Court Take Middle Ground on Marriage Equality? | Frankly Curious

  2. I read, and I can’t remember where or I would link it, an explanation that the discrimination disclosure labels would take all the fun out of it. If Those people know not to walk in your door in the first place you are deprived of the pleasure of informing Them that we don’t serve Your kind here. I do not doubt this is true for some people. I also suspect there are already “friendly” business registries available online for both sides. I usually find slippery slope arguments tedious. But given the plentitude of activist cranks with the time and resources to litigate, I don’t see how tollerating any of this would not undo just about all public accommodations laws. From the text of the proposed Louisiana Mairriage and Concience Act: “A. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, this state shall not take any adverse action against a person, wholly or partially, on the basis that such person acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction about the institution of marriage.”
    Specified elswhere in the text is that it refers to taxation and financial penalties. Because my first thought was that it indemnified people for violence. Still, it’s a pretty broad license for any kind of discrimination against anybody. They either don’t realize it could be used agianst them, or don’t care because they have the majority. We just cant have this going on.

    • I think the ostentatious display of religiosity is what it is all about. It is sad that they can’t show it the way that Hester Prynne did. But there you go.

      I agree that the public accommodations issue is critical. My position is based upon an evil desire to see bigots embarrass themselves. But the easiest and most just position is for the courts to decide that LGBT is a protected class. But that isn’t going to stop people like Sweet Melissa from continuing to discriminate, break the law, and then scream “Persecution!” when held accountable.

    • Theoretically, under that Louisiana law, one could refuse service to interracial couples (religious objections to interracial marriage were a big deal in 1970 or so.) Or Muslims, since they weren’t married in your church. It’s nonsense.

      • Of course, they are always quick to point out that there is a difference. But what it really comes down to is Ambrose Bierce’s definition of radicalism: “the conservatism of tomorrow injected into the affairs of today.”

        I do wonder about the idea of inter-faith marriages. Why aren’t they against that? And isn’t it a perfect analogy?

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