Christian Bakers and Gay Weddings

With the recent Supreme Court Ruling in regards to the Christian baker and the gay wedding cake, I have to admit it has roused in me a number of conflicting emotions.  This is one of the few instances where my emotional mind and my rational mind clash.  

As a Christian myself and as an Ordained Minister, my personal position would be to have made the cake.  Now, that is just my personal opinion and I know the Bible well enough to know a case could be made for either position the baker had decided to go with on this matter. 

That said, should the baker have the ability to refuse to make a cake for an “activity” he doesn’t approve of its use in?  Assuming he’s willing to serve everyone equally, regardless of their race, religion, orientation, gender, etc, which appears to be the case, at what point should a private business owner legally be able to discriminate in regards to the service they provide?  It was argued that it wasn’t the orientation of the couple for which he was refusing to make the cake but the activity for which it was to be used.  

With this in mind, proponents of the position that the baker should not have been able to deny service should be leery of the foundation a ruling in their favor would lay for if this baker can be forced to provide a service for an activity in which he doesn’t approve, then the stage becomes set for the same rules to be applied to an entire nation.  

Sometimes we should be careful what we ask for as we just might get it.  For had this legislation passed, then any gay owned bakery or business may also be put in a position where they too may lose the ability to refuse to provide a service for something they don’t believe in.  If the Westboro Baptist Church were to stroll into a gay owned bakery and begin asking for cakes to be made for an event they wanted to hold that was defamatory to gays, the business would not be able to refuse that service either.  The same would go for any other group that would seek to harass those who possess opposing values.  The KKK asking for racist slogan T-shirts from a minority-owned print shop for instance.

In a nation like ours we must always remember when we demand laws or rules against those with whom we disagree, those laws and rules are double edged swords that can come back to haunt us as well.  For if a government can make one group have to compromise their values it can certainly do the same to others.  Remember, this was not a government owned bakery, but a private business.  

But where is the balance?  Had the government not intervened, we might still have segregation and businesses might still be able to refuse service to people due to their ethnicity.  It was too much “liberty” by business owners that lead to the oppression of others in past generations, but as the government intervened, the pendulum swung.  The key to pendulums is they don’t keep going on forever in the same direction, should they go too far in one direction, the need will arise for a correction to the opposite direction until they settle into a comfortable middle ground.

If businesses adhere to the anti-discrimination rules currently in place and don’t discriminate based on the current criteria, then they are unable to shift too far to one side, creating hostility to certain customers of their choosing.  But to say a business is not able to refuse service for certain activities or beliefs is also dangerous as it can swing the pendulum to the opposite extreme to where certain customers can harass and create hostility for the business owners.  

We are all people, both business owners and customers alike and as such, both need a middle ground to protect the rights and interests of each side in a balance of tension that allows for a functioning free society.  To agree or disagree with the bakers decision is one thing, but to force him to act would have created a dangerous setting for all business owners of every persuasion.  


Popular Posts