It’s strange that some people would not want to at least know why Christians are so serious about their religion in regard to baking wedding cakes. It’s kind of important to the history of the world, since our dating system is in fact a memorial to the death of Jesus Christ, a carpenter who claimed to be God and to have died for the sins of the world.
Yet, instead of seeking to understand and be sensitive to that religious devotion and expression, we see the opposite happening. People at the American Civil Liberties Union are more than willing to lend a hand. David Cole, ACLU legal director, was one of the co-counsels representing two men who were not able to buy a wedding cake of their preferred design from Jack Phillips at Masterpiece Cakes in Colorado.
Cole wrote a column, “Let Them Buy Cake,” that appeared in the New York Review of Books, although it’s obviously not a review of a book. The column is also located on the aclu.org web site.
What we can clearly see from the title is that it is inaccurate, since Jack Phillips was willing to sell the two men, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, a wedding cake. Phillips was not able to create a cake specifically for their wedding because he is a Christian.
Refer to the two scriptures for why he was not able to do this. It’s the phrase “be united to his wife” not his husband that is important.
It’s also inaccurate because the two were able to buy a designed wedding cake for their ceremony from other bake shops as well. They could have one designed and they could eat the wedding cake. So they did buy and eat cake.
It does not seem to be enough to have that need met, even if it is not from Masterpiece Bzkeshop. The two, the State of Colorado, want to teach Christians a lesson for not conforming to our culture, for sticking out, for adhering to a code of conduct that does not allow Christians to accept a different definition of marriage.
Here is Cole attempting to explain this to his readers:
“Phillips claims that because he objects to same-sex unions on religious grounds . . . “
He doesn’t just claim that he objects to same-sex unions on religious grounds, the Bible objects to same-sex unions on religious grounds. It’s not Phillips particular religious grounds, it’s the grounds of scripture found in the Bible that millions of other Christians in America believe as well.
The State of Colorado’s public accommodation law applies to allowing people of all kinds, religions, races to be served at businesses. Likewise, a Jewish bakery is not going to make something that honors Nazi Germany or anything related to it. This kind of exception should be honored by other people in society. Is this discrimination? It’s not unusual for this to happen. It’s that way with a number of religions in the U.S., including Muslims. Accommodation for these religions are even made by local, state and federal officials and governments.
Yet, that accommodation does not seem to apply to people who take Christianity seriously.
The Bible does have something to say about weddings, since the church is considered the bride of Christ. And Jesus talks about marriage in some of the gospels.
Scripture from the Bible talks about a man leaving his father and mother, and being united to his wife. They become one flesh.
Genesis: 2:24: That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
In Matthew, when the teachers of the law asked about divorce, Jesus quoted the same passage from Genesis:
“Jesus answered, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ 5and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”…
Why not seek to understand instead of attacking Christians who want to practice their religion in their life and work, in this case, baking wedding cakes? Attacking Christians for their devotion to their God is precisely what has happened in a number of liberal states that want Christians to conform to the prevailing culture.
Here is another example for the ACLU. Some churches or even denominations don’t allow their church buildings to be used for gay or lesbian weddings. It’s that simple. They don’t believe in a wedding between two men or two women and won’t perform the wedding or allow the church building to be used for that purpose.
In this situation, who should accommodate who? If other venues are available, why should a couple insist on having their ceremony at a church that does not honor that wedding ceremony or want to perform it? There are many examples that prove this point.. Christians or and Muslims don’t seek to use synagogues for weddings. It would be insensitive and disrespectful.
Should anyone who in normal circumstances is not allowed to use a facility because of its normal use restrictions or purpose be able to force their will on that facility, thus trampling on the rights of the owners?
Public accommodation rights do not exist simply for the purpose of taking punitive measures against people who are different than them any more than a women’s tea party should expect a biker bar to accommodate their need for serenity and well made tea.
Yet, an organization like the ACLU makes this course of action seem normal for the simple reason that if they do, they might just get their way. Cole is not interested in the Christian religion and is probably Jewish or atheist. Is it fair to make that assumption? In this case, it is, since it seems that liberal states like Colorado, Oregon, Washington, California and Illinois are more than willings to ignore Christian expression in favor of progressive, liberal, atheist or pagan ideals.
Cole This conflates like this:
“Could a bakery refuse to make a birthday cake for a black family because its owner objects to celebrating black lives?”
It’s a ridiculous suggestion, but this is where we are. Since Christians take the Bible so seriously, they are apt to hate people of different races. That’s Coles suggestion.
But since there is no attempt to understand why a Christian baker would not want to do this, the ACLU is more than willing to plant the idea that this will lead to turning back the clock on other rights. And Cole does precisely that: A court case the ’60s, when a South Carolina restaurant chain did not want to serve black customers. It just might happen, he suggests.
This case is not about the exclusion or segregation of a group of people.
Religious exemptions, or the need for people to respect other people’s beliefs are as common and accepted as finding a great hamburger at nearly any town. It’s part of every day life in big cities and small towns. Furthermore, measuring whether religious beliefs are sincere and should be respected is like asking if Billy Graham was sincere in his faith or if it was important for him to be viewed in the capital rotunda in Washington, D.C. People who say they have no way to know if religious beliefs are legitimate are not really interested in knowing if they are.
In this case, the ACLU typically takes the side of the pagan, non-Christian and opposes Christians. For this reason, the organization is often called “Anti-Christian Liberty Union,” because of the groups sincere effort to use the courts to trample on the rights of Christians.
Here are some other ACLU ideas:
* Photographs are undeniably expressive, so a commercial photography studio could post a sign saying it takes pictures only of men if it objected to depicting women.
* A sign-painting business whose owner objects to immigration could refuse to provide signs to Latino-owned businesses.
In fact, Christians in these situations don’t post signs like this because people of all kinds of beliefs are welcome to buy all kinds of products there. There is no exclusion for buying products, except those used expressly in opposition to their beliefs.
Cole brings up a case that actually proves the rule that should be accepted. The annual St. Patrick’s Day parade organizers were private, but they also reflected a historical Christian observance. It’s Saint Patrick, who was a Christian. The court should have ruled that, while the parade is public, people who join the parade should respect the beliefs of the reason for the parade in the first place. The gay contingent would alter the parade in more than one way.
The exception for the Christian baker is not general and not based on a general feeling associated with the customer. It is quite specific. It’s based on religious belief. It’s not about an alignment of feeling about the event. A cake could be created for any number of occasions that Masterpiece Bakeshop may have incongruent feelings about. It’s not important. And it does not provide for general discrimination either, since the exception does not depend on race or sex or really any other grounds.
If the State of Colorado respects the religious expression of Christians who bake wedding cakes as well as other religions, it should be able to provide an exception simply for that reason. The fact that it has not, and has taken punitive steps against the business means there needs to be some significant steps taken in the state in regard to respecting and acknowledging the rights of Christians in the same way that it does for people of a variety of other backgrounds.
States are not allowed to discriminate against races of people or creeds, which it would seem should include Christians. The fact that this group of people makes up a majority of people in the U.S. should make no difference.
It would seem that he is more concerned about the use of peyote by Native Americans than the religious expression of the Bible by a majority religion like Christianity in the U.S. The fact that there are millions of Christians in the U.S. who adhere to a similar religious expression of the owners of Masterpiece Bakeshop should not mean that they are any less or any more important.
Equal treatment for all works only when equal protection for religious expression for religions like Christianity are protected and respected. In this case, Christianity seems to be an afterthought or an idea that needs to be shut down by the ACLU. Let’s hope that these groups see the light of the need to protect all religions, all religious expression to protect states from trampling the specific right for them to practice their religion in a way that honors their faith in the same way that officials of all religious beliefs offer up prayers for people in the name of Christianity and Jesus Christ.
© 2018 Larry Ingram
Based in St Louis,
Larry Ingram writes about the news media, movies and culture, as well as topics like race, privilege, Christianity, religious expression and tolerance.
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