I’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.
This 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!”