Bakeries, wedding cakes, Christians, and gay people. What do these have in common? They’re all involved in a pissing match over legal reasons to decline someone the service that you offer through your business.
I brought this up in one of my early articles, where I supported the rights of both sides. Of course I also think it is pointless and kind of mean to deny service to someone solely because you don’t like how they live their life. But the ethics of denying service can wait for another time.
Today I learned that some Christians decided to prove that gay people are just as intolerant by asking gay bakers to make a cake with the words gay marriage is wrong on it.
They start the article by claiming that Christian bakers throughout America are being persecuted for refusing to make cakes for same-sex weddings. This premise is flawed; the only two cases I can find do not involve any persecution. But not surprising; see my recent article The Persecution Complex.
One of the cases of bakery discrimination was in Oregon, where the lesbian couple filed a civil rights suit based on an actual business law in the state. Remember, these are the laws that also protect Christians from being discriminated against solely because of their religion. The owners of the bakery closed of their own accord, even after stating that publicity from the case brought them more business, not less. They haven’t yet been fined, but they might be since they actually did break the law…and in case they are, a gay man is fundraising to help them avoid bankruptcy. Of course, this is something people like Theodore Shoebat want to hide from you, because it doesn’t help them paint all gay people as vicious bigots.
The other case in Colorado is similar; the baker was ruled to be acting in violation of civil rights law, and stopped making wedding cakes altogether in protest, rather than follow the ruling. His business is booming, apparently thanks to the publicity and a lot of people who want to support him because they agree with him.
Wow, so much persecution!
So what about the experiment itself? Well, a gay person asking for a simple cake is a bit different than asking someone to make you a cake with a written message that specifically condemns themselves. The experiment should have had a straight Christian couple go into the gay bakery and ask for a normal wedding cake. Perhaps they could wear cross necklaces, make it obvious that they are Christian without actually making a big deal out of it. Then see if the gay baker denies them service solely because they are straight and/or Christian.
The fatal flaw of the experiment is that it set out to antagonize people. This wasn’t an honest effort to see if gay people are willing to make cakes for Christians. They say in the article: We recorded all of this in a video that will stun the American people as to how militant and intolerant the homosexual agenda is.
I hardly think acting militant and intolerant is a good way to prove to “the American people” that the other side is bad because they’re militant and intolerant. You’re just shooting yourself in the foot or some other body part at that point.
The message for the cake was chosen to insult and provoke the bakers. Somehow I doubt the gay couples turned away by Christian bakers were requesting Christians are evil or traditional marriage is wrong to be written on their wedding cakes. What’s interesting is that several of the bakeries didn’t actually deny Mr. Shoebat service, they said they’d make him a cake and give him icing and he could write whatever he wants on it. That is not militant or intolerant. That’s actually quite gracious to someone who is deliberately going after them with an insincere request, wasting their time, and inciting argument by accusing them of not supporting some nebulous concept of “equality”.
In a pathetic attempt to actually tie the experiment to what has happened in America, they referenced a case where the gay people actually did ask for a cake with a message…in Ireland. But even that instance is different, aside from having nothing to do with the bakers being “persecuted throughout America”, because the gay people in Ireland asked for the message support gay marriage, which is a positive for their own side, not a negative against the other side.
I’m thinking that someone should run a better experiment. Look up some bakers who are gay or pro-gay and ask them two things. First, ask for a typical wedding cake, subtly work into the conversation that you’re a Christian and it’s a heterosexual marriage, and leave it at that. Then, if you’re not denied service because of being Christian or straight, ask if they’d be willing to make a cake for a church potluck and write Jesus is awesome on it.
I bet they’ll have no problem with such requests.