Well, not cake apparently. Before I start, I should warn you that this post may be a little bit contentious so if you’re not in that kind of mood, give it a miss. Anyway, I don’t know if you’ve seen the report in the news today that the UK supreme court has backed the Christian owners of a bakery who refused to make a cake, for a gay activist, which read ‘Support Gay Marriage’? What surprises me is not that the Christians won but that the case went on for over 4 years and cost more than £250,000. Did it not occur to either side that either making the cake or placing an order with another bakery would be considerably less stressful and expensive?
What makes people cling onto their beliefs with such vigour I wonder? Do the Christians really believe that their God will condemn them for baking a cake? Is it that they fear some kind of retribution in this life or in the after life? Apparently the Bible doesn’t really have a massive amount to say about homosexuality other than it’s an abomination, that gays should be put to death and excluded from the Kingdom of Heaven. However, in terms of being excluded, they will be keeping company with the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers to name but a few.
These people will all be grouped together under the heading ‘Sinner’ and, according to parts of the Bible, if they don’t sort themselves out and change their ways, lots of nasty things will befall them. However, and here’s the rub, the Bible also says:
“Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins” and also:
“Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, Cruel, with fury and burning anger, To make the land a desolation; And He will exterminate its sinners from it.”
So, whichever way you look at, we’re all damned….quite literally apparently. None of us is without sin so we’re all going to be exterminated. Except, we’re not, well maybe we are, to be honest it depends which bit of the Bible you read, for instance:
“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
If we take this last quote as gospel (pardon the pun) God won’t care if people are gay or not because we all fall under the heading ‘sinner’ and we are all equally loved by Him. I’m not a great one for religion to be honest but I do have to believe that, if there is a God, He’s likely to be the benevolent and tolerant kind rather than the smiting and exterminating kind. Why? Well because if I didn’t believe that I’d think that people might as well worship a dalek (who were also big on extermination) or some other cruel and intolerant being. For me, the whole point of God is to remind people to be nice to each other; it’s a little ironic that His name is so often used as an excuse to do quite the opposite but anyway….
So that’s my opinion of the Christian side of the argument. To sum up, God probably wouldn’t care if you baked a cake with some words on it.
Now, for the Gay activist. Again, cards on the table, I don’t have a massive amount of time for ‘activists’ in any shape or form, not because I don’t believe that we should all be free to live our lives as we see fit, but more because I’m not keen on being force fed the beliefs of others. However, in my mind, as long as what people do doesn’t hurt others, have at it. We all want to love and be loved and what better way is there to live life?
What I do find slightly troublesome is when acceptance is not asked for but demanded as appears to have happened in this case. The man who ordered the cake has the right to live as he pleases, if he loves another man and is loved in return, who are we to criticise; it has no effect on us so what’s the problem? However, is his lifestyle in any way diminished because a baker refused to bake a cake? Was he told that he could not be gay or that he should be condemned for being so? No. He was merely told that he could not impose his will on others but only by this court; two others told him that he did, in fact, have such a right.
That’s what all this ultimately comes down to: people’s rights. Personally, I can’t help feeling that Jonathan Sacks was on the money when he said:
“True freedom requires the rule of law and justice, and a judicial system in which the rights of some are not secured by the denial of rights to others”
In this case, either the rights of the baker or the rights of the gay man would have to be denied in order to settle the case once and for all; wouldn’t it have been far easier, all round, for the case to be dismissed right at the start?
What do you think? I’d love to hear from you….