On Baking Gay Cakes

In a recent news article, the proprietors of a bakery in Ireland, wanting to remain faithful to their conservative Christian values, refused service to a homosexual couple who wanted the words “Support Gay Marriage” inscribed onto a cake to be featured at their upcoming wedding ceremony.

The case is being thought of as a discrimination issue and was even brought before Prime Minister Cameron by a conservative member of the British parliament who wanted to defend the rights of religious individuals who aren’t comfortable with supporting something (in this case, homosexual marriage) that they don’t condone.

This is nothing new. Just last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against a wedding photographer in New Mexico who, on religious grounds, refused to use her camera to capture the festivities at a lesbian wedding. The decision was upheld this past April when the photographer’s appeal was rejected.

Where should Christians stand on these issues of service provision to those we don’t agree with?

When this kind of thing first popped up some years back in the media (and in thanks, no doubt, to some very outspoken proponents of gay rights), we were of the mindset that Christians rights and freedoms were being taken away and that we should all take a firm stand for every believer’s right to not compromise on their faith or faith’s tenets, regardless of whether such views fit with the mainstream ideas proliferating society.

But after thinking this through, we believe that ‘violations of freedom of speech and/or beliefs’ are indeed at stake, but in the reverse. If ANY proprietor (and in particular, a Christian one) refuses to provide ANYONE service and/or products when such services/products are an expected part of a business owner’s offerings, they are acting in a discriminatory manner and violating the core principle of Jesus’ teaching – namely, loving your neighbour as yourself.

Picture for a moment that you own and operate a clothing store in a small town where everyone knows everyone’s business – whether you want to or not. One day, into your shop walks ‘Roger the wife-abuser’ … a nasty dude. He comes in and cavalierly asks, “Hey, I’m here to pick up some more ‘wife-beater’ shirts! Whatcha got?” (Please don’t go bananas at this point thinking I’m comparing gay marriage proponents or homosexuals to wife-beaters. I am simply using this illustration to hold up for scrutiny the concept of ‘Christian tolerance’.)

We used to call 'em undershirts ...

We used to call ’em undershirts …

What are you gonna tell Roger, exactly? What will you say? Would you look at him disgustedly and repine, “I’m sorry, but since you referred to the shirts you want to purchase as ‘wife-beaters’ I refuse to sell any product to you”. Shouldn’t you, as a Christian, simply sell Roger the sleeveless shirts and try to open up a conversation with him in order to try and share with him the love of Jesus and set an example through your life, conduct and, if the opportunity arises, your beliefs?

If a gay couple comes into your bakery and wants to buy a cake and have you decorate it with the words, “Adam and Steve Forever”, why should you refuse to serve them? You have no say in what ANY customer is going to do with your products/services – including the icing sitting on your shelves that you are going to whip up and pipe onto the  top of a cake at your customer’s request.

By making, decorating and selling the cake, you’re not saying to the world, “I now support gay marriage”, just as you wouldn’t be in support of wife beating because you sell some unpleasant dude some sleeveless men’s shirts that have come to be associated with some (perceived or actual) evil.

You are not baking a ‘gay cake’.

A bakery is a place where the buying public has a reasonable expectation that the baker is there to whip up some eggs, flour and some sugar into a cake and then decorate it with words made out of icing and sell the entire package. You may not (or may) agree with gay marriage but your cake-making and associated script-writing on the cake does NOT represent your beliefs. If you feel you mustdo or say something, you might mention that you don’t necessarily agree with the words you had to squeeze onto a 12″ diameter dessert product. But if you do not provide the service that your industry promises to for the public at large, then you ARE most likely in violation of your country’s constitution and DEFINITELY acting in a discriminatory manner. And that is not very Christian at all, is it?

“But where should we draw the line?” you may ask.

Okay. Let’s say a person comes into your bakery and asks you to inscribe, in bright pink icing, “John Smith, owner of Smith’s bakery, supports gay marriage.” At this point, we have an issue. If you happen to be named John Smith and own the bakery that bears your name and this request is made of you, you may THEN invoke your withdrawal of service. If you don’t happen to support gay marriage, you shouldn’t be forced to say you do by the government or by anyone. Period.

Admittedly, the whole ‘separation of church and state’ conundrum surrounding gay marriage is a far more serious matter. Should a minister of a denomination that is wholly and only in support of traditional marriage be forced to officiate a gay wedding? No. Currently and generally speaking, the religious community does possess rights and freedoms associated with practicing their faith. And if by practicing their faith it means they don’t support the marriage of same-sex couples, then they should be allowed to carry on as they see fit. Would a minister be forced to marry anyone he didn’t want to in any other given situation? No. If the gay community doesn’t like ‘that denomination’ or ‘that minister’ for their lack of support, then simply don’t shop with them – just as a heterosexual male seeking a mate wouldn’t opt to spend money on dinner or drinks at a place called, “Dykes-R-Us Restaurant & Bar” .

As for your trade or profession, brothers and sisters in Christ, if your business is to provide a service, do so in full and don’t discriminate. By doing so, you will actually be fulfilling the law of Christ. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that ‘good Christian people’ thought they were fine and cultured for keeping ‘coloured folk’ from getting on white-only buses. And if that seems ultra-draconian in today’s light, what will baking cakes for gay couples seem like 50 years from now?

© Flagrant Regard 2014

“So no matter what your task is, work hard. Always do your best as the Lord’s servant, not as man’s, because you know your reward is the Lord’s inheritance. You serve the Lord, the Anointed One, and anyone who does wrong will be paid his due because He doesn’t play favorites.” Colossians 3:23-25 (The Voice Translation)

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Romans 12:18 (The Voice Translation)

“May we never tire of doing what is good and right before our Lord because in His season we shall bring in a great harvest if we can just persist. So seize any opportunity the Lord gives you to do good things and be a blessing to everyone, especially those within our faithful family.” Galatians 6:9-10 (The Voice Translation)

“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people — not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-10 (New International Version)

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Categories: Apologetics, Bible Knowledge, Christianity, Homosexuality, Religion, Theology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “On Baking Gay Cakes

  1. Anonymous

    You miss an important point. The making of a cake is in the domain of one’s spiritual (religious) beliefs because it connects to marriage which Christians view as a act of worship to God. So, when someone who is homosexual asks you to make a cake with that theme they are asking you to violate your devotion to God and to submit to their secular, ungodly view of God and marriage. The gay lobby is not interested in fairness but is working in organized fashion to destroy marriage as Christians see it and re-create it in their image. They are intruding into our life as believers in much the same way that the gay intruders use to invade churches and flout their lifestyle. Nothing was done when they were so disrespectful and nothing is being done now. The science is proving that homosexuality is not an immutatable genetic condition so it is merely a sexual proclivity not a civil right. Love has nothing to do with acceptance of sinful behavior. Jesus forgave the adulterous woman but said to her, “Go and sin no more.” He love her and set her free from her tendency to sin. We should do the same.

    • Bob

      The LGBT community does indeed have an agenda-and you’re right in saying that it’s ALL about destroying marriage and replacing it with their version. What “right” do they have in changing society as we know it to allow them to have it “their way”? As a Christian I am supposed to live life a certain way, and while I can certainly love the person, I am under no obligation to encourage and support behavior that I know is a sin. Once we allow anything that God calls a sin to be legislated into practice, we enter a slippery slope where anything goes. It’s pure and simple. If I owned a business-don’t I have the right to refuse service to smeone, or I just blindly serve everyone and not base my business choices on my religious beliefs? We used to live and work under the guise and guidelines of living life by the Bible. Now it’s anything goes-thumb your nose at God simply because “I’m gonna do what I wanna do.” And that seems to be the norm now rather than the exception. LBGT HAVE to HAVE it their way, and it’s ruining society as we know it. Jesus didn’t always put up with nonsense.

  2. Hi Bob:

    1. You do not ‘condone that which is unacceptable’ by serving the public – ALL the public (like you and I) has some sin in their life … sin that is unacceptable to God (like ALL of it is).

    Will you stop serving:

    a) a man who comes in wearing a Nazi tattoo on their arm and asks of your bakery, “Yeah, the birthday cake is for the Nazi leader in my hometown – could you make sure it says, Happy Birthday Hitler Lover on it in red and white?”

    b) a young, pregnant 14-year-old because she’s unwed and in a ‘state of sin’ with a fornication-made baby inside of her?

    c) a known liar and rip-off artist (Hey – if he paid you in advance, what does his sinful disposition do to your business? NOTHING.)

    Think carefully before you answer.

    2. Though with some homosexuals there may be an agenda to force ‘acceptance/enthusiastic reception’ into the lives of those whom they know are not predisposed to it because of religion, you must also take into deep consideration that there are simply so many souls in the world who know or have NOTHING in their lives of Christ or the message of the Gospel. Don’t be foolish enough to assume every gay person who wants to utilize your business is ‘out to get you’ … is this what Christ wants of us?

    3. By making a dress, a cake, or installing a hot-tub for a homosexual, do you really think you’re acting in a way that messages, “Yes, WE ACCEPT YOUR LIFESTYLE”? How narrow your mindset. Heck – make the dress, ice the cake and state, “Hey – just to let you know, we don’t subscribe to this whole thing you do” if you feel you must. But there is – as we suggested – better ways to share your faith than highlighting the sinful state of others.

    4. As for the ‘Right to Refuse Service’. That itself is a slippery slope. If someone in a bar has had a few too many, the bartender indeed (for the safety of other patrons and the public at large) have the right to refuse service on reasonable grounds – not due to some religious bias. When a Christian says, “I’m sorry, I can’t serve your kind here” are they not any better than a Catholic who refuses to sell to protestants or a Muslim who refuses to sell to Christians? What of the Good Samaritan? Think on that scenario. The man giving of his time and service was ‘one of THOSE people’ (persona non-grata in the eyes of Jews)… and yet he graciously went the extra mile for a soul who would normally have shunned him for his background and cult-like status. We should always ask of ourselves what Jesus asked his hearers, ‘And who is your neighbour?

    We were like you a while back. But as we read the Word, and explored the Pauline approaches to people, thought on/about Jesus’ way with strangers, my wife and I reach a very different conclusion without having to submit to the idea that ‘Gay is = to Normal’. We do not submit to that. We know that it is a deviant direction from God’s intent. Exercising basic logic, we can easily conclude that a population that could not be sustained by ANY ONE VICE becoming dominant proves that such vice is errant and not the default, naturalisticly speaking. And the Word simply holds that up.

    But the worldly of this earth don’t know any better! They are not into the Bible. They don’t have a foundation for morality.

    Jesus cried, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” Who was he shouting that about? The Jewish leaders who KNEW what they were doing by having Him arrested and crucified? Very doubtful. No, it was about the Romans nailing him to the cross, gambling for his murex-dyed robe and mocking him – uneducated peons acting on orders by their overlords.

    Please remember to keep forgiveness in your heart for the ignorant while at the same time, remembering what Jude said, “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold.They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

    But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

    Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”

    Can you understand a bit better now Bob? Thank you for listening, brother.

    FR

    • Anonymous

      I want to thank you for expounding on that truth. I’ve been taught for so long to shun homosexuals in church, but you helped me see it in a decoded rent light and now I see the error of my judgements. Thank u so much sir, I pray that now I can out what you taught into action

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