Of Cakes and Christians

Jesus was accused by the Pharisees of being a friend to sinners and to drunkards and to despised tax collectors. He made gallons of wine at a wedding. He treated women of ill-repute with respect. He made a Samaritan–a member of the neighboring race and sworn enemies of the Jews–the hero of one of his most profound parables. He praised a Gentile Roman Centurion–part of the occupying imperial force–for having great faith. He touched lepers. He spoke forgiveness and grace to those who beat and crucified him.

His followers continued the trend: Philip baptized an Ethiopian eunuch who was barred from Jewish temple worship. Peter participated in a religious revival among the Samaritans and then a Holy Ghost outpouring in the home of a Roman Centurion. Paul poured out his life traveling the highways and byways of the Roman Empire with a vision of Jews and pagan Gentiles together becoming the people of God; his fellow countrymen tried repeatedly to kill him because of it.

Last week I heard about two separate instances of Christian bakers–one in Oregon and one in Colorado–refusing to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples. In both cases, the bakers had turned away gay customers more than once, citing their Christian faith as the reason (the baker in Colorado will, however, happily make a cake for a dog wedding). In both cases, the actions of the cake-bakers brought public disapproval and official anti-discrimination investigations upon them. In both cases, the bakers and their supporters responded by claiming that they were being persecuted for their faith.

Here’s the thing: If your Christian faith is causing you to be unkind to people, then it is time to reevaluate your understanding of what it means to be a Christian. Some misguided and misinformed Christians have, in times past, persecuted Jews, supported slavery, denied access to facilities for non-whites and opposed mix-race marriages. They are looked back upon by most Christians today with embarrassment. Those misguided and misinformed Christians not only missed the examples of Jesus and Philip and Peter and Paul but somehow managed to become their antithesis: They became Pharisees.

Would Jesus bake a cake for a same-sex couple? Yes.


The above was written by guest poster Danny Coleman, a Quaker living in Seattle, WA. Mr. Coleman blogs here. He recently made a video for The NALT Christians Project, which you can view … well, right here:

  • R Vogel

    Lovely. This should be the last word. Well done!

  • http://jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com/ jesuswithoutbaggage

    Well said!

    I really like the way you captured the entire issue: “If your Christian faith is causing you to be unkind to people, then it is time to reevaluate your understanding of what it means to be a Christian.”
    However, I am not sure how I feel about dog weddings :-)

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      I doubt dog’s think much of them either.

      I do really like that statement too. To me Christianity is more about how we should be treating others.

  • carmen33

    i can’t say i love this article. it’s pretty shallow, which is normal for such a short article, but it fails to recognize there are more elements to consider. for example- who are we to judge the cake bakers??

    we have no way of knowing what their decision making process was and their life experience and the things they are learning in their own life journey and struggle to figure out what is most important and right and true and good. we don’t know how the Spirit guided them or how pure their hearts are. we don’t know what their own understanding is and if they are living in accordance to that understanding to the best of their ability.

    if anyone can say well- who are we judge a same sex couple- live and let live and let’s just love them for who they are- then to be true to that they MUST say the same for the couple who chose not to participate in the wedding by providing a cake. in fact, wouldn’t it be powerful if the COUPLE who was refused the cake led the charge to be tolerant and forgiving of those who did not want to be part of their wedding. couldn’t that same sex couple, in fact, do more good than anyone else in the situation by coming to the defense of the bakers and telling everyone that we need to respect their decision to live according to their own beliefs and desires, just like they are hoping people will respect for their own choices.
    about a minute ago · Like

    • AtalantaBethulia

      RE: “if anyone can say well- who are we judge a same sex couple- live and let live and let’s just love them for who they are- then to be true to that they MUST say the same for the couple who chose not to participate in the wedding by providing a cake.”

      Here’s the problem with that logic:

      Two people living their lives together as a family – is not infringing on the rights of anyone else.

      A public business that discriminates against specific customers by refusing to service them based on something innate to the customer – is infringing on people’s rights and is illegal according to Title II of the Civil Rights Amendment.

      The two situations are not analogous.

      While it would be up to this couple to choose how to respond to how they were treated, and while a compassionate response is one choice in this situation, as a POLICY matter nationwide, this is not tenable.

      Would you ask slaves to respond in the same way to their slave owners? Would you ask the same of African Americans in the American South to respond this way – as a matter of course and policy – to the lunch counters that refused to serve them, the housing managers who refused to rent to them, the bankers who refused to lend to them, and to society who refused to see them as equal?

      Would it be ok for a Jewish business owner to refuse to serve Christians?
      Would it be ok for a male business owner to refuse to serve women?

      These are analogous situations.
      You are asking gay people to say to a public business and a segment of scoiety: It’s ok if you discriminate against me and other people like me. That’s your choice.

      As members of a society that values Equality and “Liberty and Justice for all” – separate is not equal.

      • Guest

        Good questions. I would not presume to know what to tell a slave to do. I would want them to figure out the best possible option of all their options that would result in the best possible situation for them to be in. According to what they personally wanted to acheive.

        • AtalantaBethulia

          This isn’t about telling a slave what to do. This is about speaking up for social change in order to form “a more perfect Union.”

          • carmen33

            Groups are simply many individuals. It’s always about the individual. Putting people together doesn’t make them less individual. It just makes connects them to other individuals.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            True, groups are many individuals. That’s just schematics however. When people are placed in groups, by someone with negative boundaries…say a religious group that’s not in line with theirs, or a gender group, (not theirs), or a group decided they are deviant (how dare they??), or a group that is considered sinful, (the sluts, the freaks, the boozer, the druggie, the gay), or lazy (the poor), or mooches. (the person on government assistance)….then you got a problem. The person in that preconceived group is already judged, and often condemned, for being placed in that group, without their knowledge or permission.

          • carmen33

            i agree with you allegro that it’s very unfortunate that we tend to group others in negative ways according to our own understanding of what is good and bad.

            i have learned that i do it, too, however.

            so when i want to judge the judgers- i find myself realizing- i;m a judger, too.

            how am i any better than they are?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Jesus criticized the behavior of the Pharisees, and he didn’t do it nicely. Neither did the Prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures. And because of that, they were killed. Speaking truth to power to affect social change can be dangerous. But our moral leaders have shown us by example that it is a righteous and just thing to do.

            I’m all for being compassionate. We can very compassionately help people who discriminate against others understand that their behavior is hurtful. They have the freedom to maintain whatever belief they see fit, yet, if they are unwilling to change their behavior – our society has decided that it is reasonable to enact certain consequences.

          • carmen33

            what evidence do you have that he didn’t do it nicely? are you referring to the money changers?

            the question is this- what gets people from unwilling to change to willing to change? what is it that helps them cross that line? does forcefulness change hearts and minds?

            do we try a little and then say oh well- let’s just force because they won’t change. do we try a lot? do we never stop trying?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Matthew 23

            New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

            Jesus Denounces Scribes and Pharisees

            23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; 3 therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,[a] and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. 5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. 6 They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, 7 and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. 8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students.[b] 9 And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah.[c]11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.

            13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. For you do not go in yourselves, and when others are going in, you stop them.[d] 15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cross sea and land to make a single convert, and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell[e]as yourselves.

            16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the sanctuary is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gold of the sanctuary is bound by the oath.’ 17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the sanctuary that has made the gold sacred? 18 And you say, ‘Whoever swears by the altar is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gift that is on the altar is bound by the oath.’ 19 How blind you are! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 So whoever swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it; 21 and whoever swears by the sanctuary, swears by it and by the one who dwells in it; 22 and whoever swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by the one who is seated upon it.

            23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!

            25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup,[f]so that the outside also may become clean.

            27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. 28 So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

            29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, 30 and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors.33 You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell?[g] 34 Therefore I send you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, 35 so that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come upon this generation.

          • carmen33

            he called them out honestly.

            i don’t think he was being unkind. i think he was warning them of the consequences of their choices so they could see that they needed to choose a better path. he love dthem and wanted them to choose a better path.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Scripture says he called them hypocrites, blind guides and a brood of vipers who traveled over land and sea to make a single convert and when they did they made them twice the sons of hell that they were.

            That’s not kind.

            Scripture says they were offended.

            And so, in the tradition of the One whom we follow, we speak with a prophetic voice to warn people like the bakery owner of the consequences of their choices so that they can see they need to choose a better path, and all the while, we love them still.

          • carmen33

            but who is to say WE aren’t the hypocrites if we go around condemning people. i don’t assume to know what’s in people’s hearts the way God does. so i can’t treat them like i know. because people are deep.

            i’m sure the pharisees thought they were quite justified in their condemnation of others. we can all justify our condemnation of others by showing why the others are “bad” and we are “good.” i don’t think God intends us to go around pointing fingers and condemning. then we become what we claim we are against

          • AtalantaBethulia

            So, Dr. King was a hypocrite? And Jesus?

            Jesus never endorses treating people badly. It’s the whole point of the Greatest Commandments. If what Jesus did to the Pharisees is what you call “calling someone out honestly” – then that’s what we are doing. Saying discrimination is wrong is calling people out honestly.

          • carmen33

            the best way to show people the better path is to walk it. if we don’t want them condemning others- we show them what it looks like to live without condemning others. if we simply justify our own version of what they are doing we are only contributing to the culture of condemnation.

            dr. king understood this principle very well when it came to violence. and because of that he changed the world.

          • carmen33

            BE THE CHANGE. :)

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Re: “the best way to show people the better path is to walk it. if we don’t want them condemning others- we show them what it looks like to live without condemning others. if we simply justify our own version of what they are doing we are only contributing to the culture of condemnation.”

            This ignores all of the verses I just listed where Jesus criticizes them – or “calls them out honestly” as you phrased it.

            Dr. King expressed how he understood his detractors in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. He was non-violent, yes, but he spoke out against racism and called it wrong, he agreed with marches and sit ins and boycotts to draw attention to the problem and his fellow clergy condemned his approach not calling it loving at all to “hurt businesses in this way.”

            Non-violent, yes.
            Silent, no.
            Inactive, no.
            Compelling, yes.

            The result: He got the laws changed. People did not stop discriminating and lynching people and harassing people VOLUNTARILY. They were forced by a changing of the laws.

          • carmen33

            Well, as I said before, I do not pretend to have insight into the individual human heart that Jesus did. If I had perfect knowledge and understanding of the depths of every person – as He does- I might be more comfortable calling people out in direct and forthright ways. But I do not. I choose to listen to the behavior he condemned and try to avoid it and to listen to what He taught was good and try to live it. But I don’t make myself judge of others the way I believe God is judge of us. How can I?

            Every person has so much in their heart that we simply do not know.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            People can be well-intended and kind hearted while still causing harm. We (society) don’t limit thoughts and feelings, we set limits on actions.

          • carmen33

            How much right do we have to set limits on the actions of another?

            Is that not the guiding principle of slavery?

            I believe the ONLY justified limit we can impose on the actions of another is to stop violence.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Alright, Carmen, I see we have reached – finally – the crux of your argument: Freedom should be absolute, without restriction.

            Is that a fair assessment?

            If so, we fundamentally disagree. And our conversation can end.

            Re: “I believe the ONLY justified limit we can impose on the actions of another is to stop violence.”

            Except there are precursors to violence which we have learned lead to violence and we can prevent harm by limiting precursors to violence and other types of harm.

            You seem to want the freedom to discriminate. Why?

          • carmen33

            I do not feel a desire to descriminate. But I also don’t feel a desire to control those who do. I want to change their hearts and minds. I do not want to force them to perform actions they don’t feel a desire to do. I believe social change must start with a change of belief and feeling. That is best accomplished in an atmosphere of freedom. And freedom means being free to be wrong.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            You have made your position clear. Thank you for being direct.

          • carmen33

            sorry. i have ADD really, really, really bad. today is a little more of a lucid day and maybe that’s why you are happier with my interaction. :)

          • carmen33

            thank YOU for the conversation. :) truly.

          • carmen33

            it has been most helpful to me.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            There is something called: The Greater Good. Do you believe in it? Fundamental to the structure of our society is that individual liberties are not absolute and when the expression of individual liberty causes harm to another individual or the Common Good, the State has a compelling interest to place as minimal a restriction as possible on the individual’s liberty in order for this harm to be thwarted. (See: John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty”)

            Like it or not – this is a foundational principle of our form of government and social construct.

            It is not religious persecution to make a cake or supply flowers for someone with whom you have a political, moral, or religious disagreement. It may be uncomfortable. Some may not like it. It IS an opportunity for maturity, self-examination, and spiritual growth, but it is not a form of de facto endorsement of the thing which one may find disagreeable. It is doing one’s job. It is not an aspect of practicing one’s faith, and as this OP posits: If one’s Christian faith is causing one to be unkind to people, then it is time to reevaluate one’s understanding of what it means to be a Christian.

            Blessings on your journey, Carmen.

          • carmen33

            I do believe in the “greater good” and the “greatest good” meaning the circustances that are overall best for the most amount of people. i just don’t see eye to eye on the best way to acheive that.

          • carmen33

            I do not believe freedom should be without restriction. It can’t be. We are restricted by circumstances at very point. I do believe we should restrict the choices of others with one exception. Acts of violence.

            That is the conclusion I have reached after reading the thoughts of people like Dr. King, and Jesus and Ghandi and Mother Theresa and pondering it in great depth.

          • carmen33

            sorry- should NOT restrict the freedoms of others.

            only in acts of violence. i do not believe any other force of a human being is truly moral.

          • carmen33

            He got laws changed by changing the hearts and minds of the people who worked for those laws. Politicians only do what the people will support.

            They worked within the context of democracy- of sharing ideas and spreading conviction. They did not storm the castle with guns and demand the laws they desired.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Luke 11: 37-54 (NRSV)

            37 While he was speaking, a Pharisee invited him to dine with him; so he went in and took his place at the table. 38 The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not first wash before dinner. 39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41 So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you.

            42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practiced, without neglecting the others. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love to have the seat of honor in the synagogues and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces. 44 Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without realizing it.”

            45 One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us too.” 46 And he said, “Woe also to you lawyers! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not lift a finger to ease them. 47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. 48 So you are witnesses and approve of the deeds of your ancestors; for they killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’50 so that this generation may be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against this generation.52 Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.”

            53 When he went outside, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile toward him and to cross-examine him about many things, 54 lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Matthew 15:1-20

            New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

            The Tradition of the Elders

            15 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.” 3 He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?4 For God said,[a] ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ 5 But you say that whoever tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is given to God,’[b] then that person need not honor the father.[c] 6 So, for the sake of your tradition, you make void the word[d]of God. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied rightly about you when he said:

            8 ‘This people honors me with their lips,
            but their hearts are far from me;
            9 in vain do they worship me,
            teaching human precepts as doctrines.’”

            Things That Defile

            10 Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, “Listen and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.” 12 Then the disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?” 13 He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.[e] And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.” 15 But Peter said to him, “Explain this parable to us.” 16 Then he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. 19 For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”

          • carmen33

            and atalanta why did you keep erasing my response to your question about carrying to term? that was kind of an odd thing to do. you didn’t even read them before you deleted them it seemed

          • AtalantaBethulia

            I have erased none of your messages.

          • carmen33

            what moderator would erase my responses? that’s the only time it’s ever happened. it was very odd.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            I have no idea. I have checked the deleted file and there is nothing in it from you.

          • carmen33

            it wasn’t really deleted. it was moderated away instantly. it was very weird.

          • carmen33

            and i did delete a comment. so there should be at least one in there from me

          • carmen33

            why did that comment get deleted. i don’t get what’s going on.

          • carmen33

            i said- i did delete one comment. so there should be something in that file at least

          • carmen33

            do you find there is a group of people you feel negatively towards?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Yes…racists, rapists, abusers of women and child molesters.

          • carmen33

            are the groups limited to that? or are there also more?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            nope, pretty much it. I have negative feelings towards people who willingly hurt other people, or who encourage or condone such things. Everyone else, I am cool with.

          • carmen33

            amost everyone hurts other people though.

            so are they all in the bad group?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            no. I limit my negative list to those who willingly do violent harm.

          • carmen33

            is having ideas or holding a belief in your mind willingly doing violent harm? or do you mean physically exerting your force upon another person to harm them.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            physically exerting force upon another..is what I mean by violent harm…seconded by excusing or condoning such actions. I abhor such things.

            I am the consummate pacifist.

          • carmen33

            can you see that words are not the same as that? even really mean words?

          • carmen33

            if you saw someone being mean- would they enter into your group of people you dislike?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Not liking someone personally, doesn’t mean I automatically discriminate against them. I’ve worked with people I didn’t like. I’ve sat in classes with, helped on a service project with, people I didn’t like.

            And being mean…exactly how?

          • carmen33

            Do you think it’s different morally to dislike an individual as opposed to a group? That one is better or worse than the other? Or are htey the same

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            different. There are people I personally dislike, and those reasons are personal. We of course all dislike certain groups, but again, its for personal reasons. Its what we do about that dislike that matters.

          • carmen33

            do you believe people can learn to love? that they can learn to see the beauty in other people and themselves?

          • carmen33

            I was responding to your question of what I would “ask a slave to do.”

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Carmen, that was a rhetorical device…

            You suggest that the gay couple should be compassionate and understanding toward the bakery who discriminated against them and that this would show good will on their part toward the baker who violated their civil rights…so I am asking you: would you say the same thing to a slave? Would you tell a slave to be compassionate and understanding of their slave owner for violating them, because the slave owner believes very strongly that he has the right to do that since slaves aren’t fully human?

          • carmen33

            no not should. that is what i really want to be able to explain.
            i am recognizing and option they have they can take or not. i am seeing what some of the possible consequences are if they take it. but i don’t believe in choosing for others. so there is no should. the couple needs to decide for themselves how to respond and handle the situation according to what they want to accomplish.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            And what of the State’s attorney general? His job is to right injustices. Which is what a law suit does.

          • carmen33

            ok. thats’ another conversation it seems like. or another angle maybe.

          • carmen33

            and i have to tell you again about the slave- i would not presume to know what the slave should or should not do.

            again- what if i told them something and it got them killed? or cost them freedom? it’s not up to me to make a choice for them that THEY will have to live with the consequences.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            The point is, Carmen, that slaves have limited freedom, which means they have limited choices because their rights are being violated.

          • carmen33

            i do know that books that touch me very deeply like the hiding place or man’s search for meaning touch on this very topic. forgiving those who seem to deserve no forgiveness. have you read either of those books? i hope to be a person like that some day.

          • carmen33

            What would you ask a slave to do?

      • carmen33

        Good questions. I would not presume to know what to tell a slave to do. I would want them to figure out the best possible option of all their options that would result in the best possible situation for them to be in. According to what they personally wanted to acheive.

        But I wouldn’t tell them to do anything. What if I told them to run and they got killed? What if I told them to stay put and they always wondered what would have happened if they had run? I would free them if I could, if that’s what they wanted, but if I couldn’t I would help them make the best decision for themselves. But I wouldn’t make it for them. I don’t believe in that.

        • AtalantaBethulia

          You are looking at this as an individual isolated event, rather than as a social issue with a much broader scope.

          This is not a personal situation between two parties, this is about Discrimination in society at large and how people and society work to change injustice by working for social change.

          That’s what the Abolition Movement and the Civil Rights Movements and the Suffrage Movement and the Women’s Rights Movement and the Labor Movement and now the Gay Rights Movement is all about: righting the wrongs of social injustice.

          • carmen33

            “You are looking at this as an individual isolated event, rather than as a social issue with a much broader scope.”

            I believe it’s very important we learn to look at things from all angles. You are right- I am choosing, in this moment, to look at it more from the indlvidual’s choice. That is my interest.

            I can also look at if from other angles. I don’t think there is one right angle. I think different angles are very helpful.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Then please acknowledge how this is analogous to discrimination of Blacks in the US under Jim Crow and prior to the Civil Rights Movement.

          • carmen33

            How what exactly is analogous to that?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            How a baker denying service to a gay couple is the same as a lunch counter in the 1950′s denying service to Black people.

          • carmen33

            You are saying it is the same, right?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Yes.

          • carmen33

            And what exactly is your question for me about it?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            I’m asking you to acknowledge that the discrimination is the same and therefore denying gay people service because they are gay is not simply a tolerable choice, as you suggest, it is discrimination and should therefore be illegal.

          • carmen33

            Ok. You have a lot of assumptions built into that statement that I don’t necesarily share so it’s not possible for me to simply agree.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            I’m open to you breaking it down for me.

          • carmen33

            i don’t believe in forcefulness.

            your statement has an assumption built in that if something is morally correct we should force peopel to do it.

          • carmen33

            I’m willing to try. I’m just not sure exactly what you’re asking.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            It is exactly the same, as refusing service to a black man, or telling a black woman she must sit at the back of a bus, or telling women they cant get a medical degree. When someone tries to deny someone something they give themselves full and clear access to with no barriers, especially when it is something that should have no barriers, like getting lunch, or that seat close to the door, or a cake for a wedding, THAT’s discrimination.

          • carmen33

            Ok allegro. So for the purposes of definition- refusing to serve someone- to engage in trade? or business?- for any reason is discriminating and is wrong. Or are there good reasons and bad reasons? And who gets to decide what is good and what is bad?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            The Supreme court decided what those reasons are and inherent character traits are not a good reason.

            You are being intentionally evasive.

          • carmen33

            no i am not evasive. i am a very exact person when it comes to words. that’s the way i think and understand things.

            what do i seem to be evading?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            You are evading, or better yet, trying to push us into a corner, Like I said, I’ve been a business owner. Its not that hard to understand.

          • carmen33

            i don’t feel i’m trying to push you anywhere. truly.

            i, also, am a business owner. i beleive all things should be voluntary in business. otherwise it’s a form of slavery.

            no one should be forced to take my business. and i should not be forced to give anyone my business. everyone should agree and want to engage. if not- that’s not freedom.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Do you oppose the Civil Rights Act?

          • carmen33

            that is an excellent question atalanta. :)

            i can look at it through different lenses and see different things.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            So, not too keen on social justice then either?

          • carmen33

            depends upon what you mean by that. i am passionate about justice. i am passionate about making this world the best place it can be. i am passioinate about teaching people to understand themsevles and each other. i am passionate about love.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            You have a business, because you have customers. Without those customers, you have nothing. If you treat your customers with dignity and respect, then you have a better chance at success, if you don’t, well, you just totally restricted your customer base and hindered future growth

          • carmen33

            Yes. That is very true.

            Though at some point you do have to make choices and can’t take all opportunities. Apple is a great example of a complany that excells at saying no to almost all ideas and opportunities and just happens to say yes to the very few good ones.

            That is very, very hard to acheive though. I’m trying to learn about it.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Its simple, treat every customer that walks through your door, as you would want to be treated if you walked into their business.

          • carmen33

            as smart business or the morally correct way to be or both?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Should it matter? Of course both!

          • carmen33

            so in your mind does smart business = morally correct and vice versa?

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            You don’t understand the difference between selling different products and refusing to serve members of certain minority groups?

          • carmen33

            i don’t find forcefulness to be the most effective way to go about establishing change. i find it to be counterproductive in most ways.

            there are some steps of progress that can be made with force. but in the long run i do not believe it is the wisest way to go.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Forcefulness can be a good thing if applied correctly. I can vote, hold a wide variety of jobs, get a loan, buy a house or a car, choose whether or not I want to have children, travel freely, worship where and how that I please, because people before me used a variety of force, to ensure I would have that ability. If my predecessors had not applied force, usually through the courts and through the right of protest, it is quite possible, that I’d be able to do few of those things today.

          • carmen33

            protest is not force. it is speech. speech is not force.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            yes it is.

            It is a form of making people change either their minds or their behaviour on something. It come in various format, but it is generally a means of enacting thought or action that one would otherwise do differently….

            For example…somewhat different. we all pay sales taxes…we are forced to, because we cannot buy most things without that sales tax attached to the item. There is a benefit to that force, in the form of firefighters, libraries, schools, roads, etc. if we could opt out, of paying sales tax, how many would? So we are instead forced to.

            Protests, is what got the women’s suffrage movement to see success, and many women were jailed and beaten to accomplish that right. How many people died to see the civil rights movement to fruition? Who tried to resist the force being put upon them by the civil rights movement?

          • carmen33

            It will be hard to talk more about this because we disagree fundamentally on a foundational belief.

            I do not believe ideas are force. I believe force is force.

            Words are simply ideas that travel to someone else who can accept or reject them.

            That is why I truly believe the pen is mightier than the sword. Changing someone’s beliefs has a far greater impact on the world than jailing them or forcing them to do something.

            The only way to change someone’s beliefs is to convince them. The only way to convince them is to invite them to consider new ideas. It is their choice to believe or not.

            Which is EXACTLY why it is so powerful. Because once someone truly believes something- force is not needed.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            The phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword” is from a play apparently uttered by Cardinal Richileu, who was hardly known in history for his non-violence.

          • carmen33

            exactly.

          • carmen33

            he saw first hand the influence of violence. and he must have recognized its great limitations,

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            He was a military man, an ally of the Medicis, and served as chief minister of France during the reign of Louis XIII.

          • carmen33

            who better to see the limitations of violence?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Yet, he had no qualms in applying violence. History is so fascinating.

          • carmen33

            and it just keeps repeating.

            again and again.

          • carmen33

            that was the world he was in. that was what he knew. that was what people expected of him.

            not so different than a lost teenager in a gang today.

            or a young man in iraq who has lost half his family to american drones.

            or a kid we stick in a military uniform and say go kill and you will be a hero.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Except Richileu would have been the gang leader, the guy over the drone program, or the government leader authorizing war.

          • carmen33

            he didn’t start out that way. they all started out as children.

          • carmen33

            lost and scared and not sure what to make of their world.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            And some people never change their mind nor their actions, and so, as part of a civil society, in order to reduce injustice, we make laws. This too is not force, this is encouragement. This says: Your actions have consequences – but it is still your choice to follow the law or not. No force.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Do you approve of Dr. King’s methods? of marches, and sit ins and boycotts and speaking truth to power?

          • carmen33

            YES. i very, very much approve of dr. king’s methods of practicing non violent ways to share ideas and speaking truth to power, as you say. i am in awe of his determination to avoid all violence even when violence is being practiced upon you and just weep for the sacrifices made by many who took that to heart and showed the nation what love can truly accomplish.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            And his love and action truly accomplished motivating Lyndon B. Johnson to legislatively end systematic segregation and discrimination and shift the hearts and minds of (most of) a country to accepting these laws and this social change.

          • carmen33

            you really downvoted my my love and awe for MLK?

            i don’t understand. i think you are so against me you are not considering my ideas as valuable. or not seeing them in an open light. or something.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            It wasn’t me.

          • carmen33

            oh, ok. :)

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Then you would have been opposed to the civil war? And if the US was divided into two countries that would simply be what might have been.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            If they can’t pay for the service, you can refuse service, if they are of the wrong age for the service, such as getting piercings or tattoos, or buying cigarettes, or booze, you can refuse service. If you discover you cannot provide the goods or service, due to lack of inventory, over-bookings, technical or mechanical issues, you can refuse service, but its a good idea to make some accommodations. If you are short staffed, you can refuse service. If they are asking for something you cannot provide, or would be totally inappropriate for that person, such as a man asking a massage therapist for a “happy ending”, at a occupational Therapist’s office. You are not going to give a seven year old a haircut, without a guardian there.

            None of those are discriminatory, none of those refuse service, except in clearly defined cases, and only one has a limitation,….age, and even there there are guidelines to follow.

          • carmen33

            are you talking legally or morally speaking?

          • carmen33

            what if you wanted to sell your car and then found out the guy who was going to buy it was going to use it to do something legal but that you really really were morally opposed to. wouldn’t you rather sell your car to someone else? should you have that right?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            If he had the money for the car, I’d sell the car. I don’t do a background check on people who want to buy my old cars…the last of which I sold to a guy who showed up at my house and offered 280 to take the thing off my hands. It was an EPA disaster, and he saved me a trip to the crusher

          • carmen33

            and that would totally be your choice to do so. because it’s your car.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            And I wouldn’t care about who bought the damn thing. I want to sell it, first offer with cash in hand, gets the car.

          • carmen33

            yes, because that is what is important to YOU. so that is the choice you would naturally make.

            makes sense according to what you are trying to accomplish- get rid of the car and get money.

            some people have other motivations mixed in and would make different choices.

            not good or bad. just is.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Its a fucking car…A drug dealer could buy the thing, and I wouldn’t know it, because I’m not going to ask him, as he’s counting out the cash…”So do you deal meth or heroine?”

          • carmen33

            i have no problem with your choice. do i seem to disapprove? i don’t. at all.

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            Refusing service to someone because she is part of a minority group you hate falls under “bad.”

            Stop pretending you don’t know what discrimination is. Why are you trying to look stupid?

          • carmen33

            pat you misunderstand me.

        • carmen33

          “You are asking gay people to say to a public business: It’s ok if you discriminate against me and other people like me. That’s your choice.”

          See, this is a common misunderstanding. I am actually not asking them to do anything. They can do what they choose and I have no need to direct them in what to do. What I *AM* saying is that they do have an opportunity. An interesting opportunity that no one else seems to recognize.

          But they know what they want to accomplish. They know what’s important to them. They feel they can achieve more by calling out the couple and encouraging people to shun them and boycott their business.

          To me, that just looks like more of the behavior they say they are against. But to them- it must look like something different.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Please see my other comments about civil rights.

            I hear what you are saying about this on a personal level, and I’m talking about this on a national level. I’m talking about Discrimination and Justice.

          • carmen33

            I understand.

            I have come to believe that the only real power we have is what we personally as one individual choose. That’s why I am more interested in the individual angle- as you call it.

            Then, when many align in their individual choices- a lot more power is gained.

            But it starts with one. So, I try to look first there. And then expand my vision outward from there.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Dr. King believed that too. And so he organized a bunch of other individuals who felt the same way who called for social change.

          • carmen33

            Yes. Dr. King was very good at recognizing the importance of the individual and the consequences that the choices of the one can have on the many. He had amazing vision of that.

          • carmen33

            yes. and that is where we have a little of a different foundation.

          • carmen33

            i do not believe anything can truly change on a national level until it changes in the hearts and minds of people- one person at a time.

          • carmen33

            laws do not change hearts. the allow us to control and force each other. but they do not change hearts/.

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            The victims have an opportunity to be nice to their persecutors!

            And the persecutors had every opportunity not to persecute. I see which you choose to focus on, and I question why.

          • carmen33

            i was asked about the victims. no one asked me about the persecutors. that’s why i responded that way.

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            Yours is the first post in the thread. What’s the point of that kind of dishonesty? Did you think I couldn’t scroll up?

          • carmen33

            i thought you were referring to my answering the question about slaves.

          • carmen33

            what would be the purpose of being dishonest? that doesn’t make any sense.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Carmen, it’s called being open and disarming. You are avoiding engaging fully in a forthright way.

          • carmen33

            but you see i am not. i am a very open and honest person. too open, i think. i don’t know what you mean. please help me understand. truly.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Be direct with people.

          • carmen33

            i am. ask me anything.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            It would be helpful if at some point in this exchange you would acknowledge that discrimination is wrong and address what your suggestions are for solving a societal problem like discrimination would be.

          • carmen33

            see i find that to be a rather manipulative comment.

          • carmen33

            i do not like violence. i do not like hatred. i do not like anger. these things make me very, very sad.

          • carmen33

            i feel a very strong sense of mission to teach people there is a better way. i do not believe in force. i do not believe that it changes hearts. and i believe that changing peoples hearts and minds is the ONLY way to change the world in any real way.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            This works great for religion. Not so great for law and order.

          • carmen33

            Dr. King disagrees with you

          • AtalantaBethulia

            You seem to think that making laws is force?

          • carmen33

            no. i think enforcing laws is force. by it’s very nature. by gun point.

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            But you’re fine with the victims of those lawbreakers being treated with force? Force that, unlike the lawbreakers, they did nothing to earn?

          • carmen33

            of course not. i do not believe ANYONE should be forced unless it is to forcibly remove them because they are causing violence to people or property.

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            So you didn’t just say: “no. i think enforcing laws is force. by its very nature. by gun point.”

          • carmen33

            the word enforce contains the word force. because to enforce something is not to invite. it is to force. by it’s very nature. by definition. right?

          • carmen33

            oh i get your question now. yes. i did say that. and then read my reply. the only good use of force in my mind is to forcibly remove someone who is violent. i see no other use for it.

          • carmen33

            pat- my goal is to make this world a place of less force and more freedom. i hate violence. i can’t even watch it on tv or movies. it makes my body hurt. it makes my spirit hurt.

          • Guest

            dr. king disagrees with that.

          • carmen33

            people teach their children what they believe. when we change people’s hearts and minds we change future generations. THAT is what changes the world.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            I get that. I’m a huge proponent of Golden Rule teaching and living as well. Not everyone is on board. In the mean time, how then do we have a Just and equitable society?

          • carmen33

            we cannot have a perfect world. it’s impossible.

          • carmen33

            all we can do is make the BEST we possibly can and trust God to carry the rest of it.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            And the best includes rules and consequences so people are not oppressed.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            And making the best of what we possibly can involves limits on our liberty.

            Good people got together and made a plan to organize a society. It allows for certain liberties it restricts others. This is reality.

          • carmen33

            we cannot force people to love. LOVE does not work that way. love cannot be forced. it can only be taught by invitation.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            I agree.

          • carmen33

            i have come to believe that LOVE is the only real power to change any heart or mind.

          • carmen33

            and i have come to believe the only way to change the world in a true way is one person at a time.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            And this is what I call: Ole Jim is stuck out back while Mark Twain writes 3 chapters on how Huck is going to break him free.

            The oppressed don’t have the luxury of waiting around for privileged folks to have an awakening and give up their privilege out of the goodness of their hearts.

            That’s why God sent prophets to convict the hearts and minds of the Nation. And then the legislators listen and as the representatives of the people, they enact legislation to guide and direct out paths.

            For God sakes, Carmen, even God gave us ten laws to follow.

          • carmen33

            “That’s why God sent prophets to convict the hearts and minds of the
            Nation. And then the legislators listen and as the representatives of
            the people enact legislation to guide and direct out paths.”

            YES! we must change our own minds and hearts first. then help each other. THEN our leaders follow. they do whatever they want unless we believe enough to apply pressure.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Carmen, again… this is tedious.

            People changed their minds and hearts about discrimination, then they helped their friends and neighbors see how it was wrong, so they elected leaders and officials who agreed that discrimination is wrong and they went to work and enacted laws that say discrimination is illegal and enforced them. And here we are.

            But you seem to be missing the last step: Congress enacts laws.

            If everyone is supposed to figure out how be nice to each other on their own without pesky laws forcing them to do the right thing, then are you making the argument that we really don’t need any government at all? No Congress, no President, no police, or lawyers, or judges. No firemen. No teachers.

            One at a time, people will learn to do the right thing whenever the moment presents itself? Stop a thief, put out a fire, teach a child…

          • carmen33

            I do not believe the purpose of government is to teach morality. That is a philosophy that many hold. It is one way of looking at the purpose of government. I do not believe Gov’t should be a secular church, preaching and enforcing it’s own morals upon the people. Many people do believe this. This is a fundamental difference in how we approach many things regarding politics, policies, education, and war.

          • carmen33

            did He atalanta?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            What kind of a question is this?

          • carmen33

            pat- EVERYbody has the same opportunity to forgive those who hurt them. some forgiving requires a lot more than other forgiving does. we all have opportunities every single to day to forgive and to be forgiven.

          • carmen33

            also- i don’t see people as victims. i think they can be victims of a crime. but i don’t see them as inherently a victim. i do not see them as slaves. i want them to be free.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            People who are discriminated against are the victim of a crime.

          • carmen33

            are they a slave to that experience?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            CArmen, you said people can be victims of a crime. And I have explained that discrimination is a crime. This isn’t about slaves.

          • carmen33

            yes. a victim of a crime is a circumstance. it was an event. it doesn’t define them as a person. thus they are not a slave to that. they are not trapped by it.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            That’s not the point. This is where you aren’t being direct. You are playing semantics games.

          • carmen33

            show me where. you say semantics. but to me the words mean something. they mean what i think. it might not be the way you think. but it’s the way i think.

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            I asked you why you judged the victims and not the persecutors.

            You said something about setting children free.
            I don’t think the problem is that other people don’t understand the meanings of your words.

          • carmen33

            i wasn’t responding to you when i said that. the forum here is difficult to read. that was part of a conversation with atalanda i think.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Here is Pat’s original comment to which Pat is referring. Will you address it now?

            “The victims have an opportunity to be nice to their persecutors!And the persecutors had every opportunity not to persecute. I see which you choose to focus on, and I question why.”

          • carmen33

            yes. and i thought his reference to my focus on victims was when i answered your question about what i would tell a slave. this forum makes following threads a little difficult. i have no reason to lie or misdirect. i LOVE exchanging thoughts. its’ just not easy with more than one person adn they all appear on the same line

          • AtalantaBethulia

            I agree. Will you address it now that you know what we are all talking about?

          • carmen33

            sorry. i am super ADD. jumping around is hard for me. we are taking on several angles at once and it’s hard for me to stay in a straight line. that’s why words are really important to me. so i don’t get confused.

            we are tlaking about several things. you mean the morality of refusing service to someone?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Pat is being critical of your very first post in which, as Pat says you point out how “The victims have an opportunity to be nice to their persecutors!” (He’s talking about the gay couple and the store owner.)

            Yet, he makes the point that “And the persecutors had every opportunity not to persecute. I see which you choose to focus on, and I question why.”

            He is asking why you seemingly choose to sympathize with the bakery owner despite their discrimination.

          • carmen33

            i sympathize with all people. however, i have a fascination for people who have unique opportunities to do surprising things that can bring about a lot of good. everyone talked about the opportunity of the bakers. i was very interested in the opportunity of the couple. because i think they are in the position to make the most difference.

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            Congratulations. You have successfully defeated a nonsensical argument that nobody ever made.

          • carmen33

            have they been captured forever? or can we help set them free?

          • carmen33

            someone downvoted setting people free?

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            Yes. Exactly that. Well done.

          • carmen33

            i know you are putting me down. but i don’t know exactly why my ideas are so offensive to you. it’s ok with me if you believe differently. i LOVE talking to people who don’t agree with me. i love seeing different ways of looking at things.

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            And yet you typed “someone downvoted setting people free?”

            Sounds like a sincere desire for conversation to me.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Let’s try to keep this on topic. By that I mean about the topic, no personal attacks.

          • carmen33

            i am trying to keep up with multiple people asking me different things. i am simply responding to you all at this point.

          • carmen33

            in other words- if you want the freedom to engage in “free” commerce you must follow these rules are you will lose that freedom.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            There are consequences for not playing by the rules.

          • carmen33

            i believe in freedom. i believe in it with all my heart. if someone doens’t like me for any reason and doesn’t want to do business with me fine. i don’t want to give them my money anyway. i only wnat to give my money to people who DESIRE to engage with me. that is a personal preference on my part.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            This is seemingly of little consequence if you have a choice not to engage with them. But it can be of dire consequence to those who do not have a choice or who are or become oppressed by this discrimination. It is an argument of privilege.

            The Freedom to Discriminate is not what is protected in the Constitution.

          • carmen33

            so we are only free to do good things? we are not free to do anythign bad?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Not without consequence.

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            You aren’t free to harm other people. Of course you’re not.

            But nobody was talking about freedom anyway. That something is allowed does not change whether it is bad.

          • carmen33

            is that what freedom is for? so people will do what we want them to do?

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            You do not have the freedom to restrict others’ freedom.

            And there is a vast difference between someone who doesn’t want to engage with you because you’re a jerk and someone who refused to treat me like a person because I’m gay.

          • carmen33

            am i not free to be a jerk? as free as you are to be anything you want to be? are people not free to be bad as well as good?

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            One is free to be a jerk.
            One is not free to nobody else having the freedom to recognize that.

          • carmen33

            i believe everyone is free to be a jerk.

          • carmen33

            otherwise- what is freedom?

          • carmen33

            pat- do you believe people should be free to BELIEVE anything they want? not act. but believe.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Believing and acting are not the same thing.

          • carmen33

            right. do you believe people should be free to beleive anytying? anything at all?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            No one can control what you believe (except in cultish, brainwashing situations with which I am sadly familiar). Freedom of thought is a fundamental freedom.

          • carmen33

            even freedom to hate?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Please get to the point.

          • carmen33

            when we give people freedom to believe what they want we are giving them freedom to hate.

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            I suppose.
            They are not entitled to freedom from others’ freedoms, however.

          • carmen33

            TRUE. so are we entitled to be free from others freedoms to hate us?

          • carmen33

            or to believe we are “bad”

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            …no?

            But that is still objectionable. And when they harm others, that is very much immoral–and often, rightfully, illegal.

          • carmen33

            it sounds like you only want freedom for those with whom you agree.

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            Harming others is not disagreeing with me.

          • carmen33

            can i force you to take swimming lessons from me?

          • carmen33

            should i be allowed to sue you if you don’t want to take swimming lessons from me?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            No. How is this relevant?

          • carmen33

            because freedom means being to choose how you spend your time and money. it means no one is forcing you to do something you don’t want to do.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Freedom has its limits.

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            No, but if you offer a swimming lesson services to the public you can’t refuse it to customers on the basis of their race.

          • carmen33

            i don’t offer them to the public. i offer them to people i choose to work with who choose to pay me. we both have to want to engage. i cna’t force them. they can’t force me. thats what freedom IS.

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            “Victims” is not some crazy new type of people.

            There were bad actions. These bad actions were done to somebody. Those people were the victims.
            Those are facts.

          • carmen33

            i see people as a victim in particular circumstances that were limited by time. once they move through it THEY are not a victim. the crime HAPPENED to them. it did not enslave them.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Dandy. Let’s talk about how the crime was wrong.

          • carmen33

            the crime of discrimination by saying no to to the request to make the cake. ok.

          • carmen33

            by wrong you mean morally wrong or illegal? those are not the same thigns to me.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Let’s talk about both and why you choose to parse them out.

          • carmen33

            ok- GOOD.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            re: “there are laws on our books- federal laws and state laws that force people to engage in business if they want to be able to legally practice business.”

            I think I can anticipate where you are going with this, and if you are going where I think you are going, I disagree. You are choosing to see this this way. I do not think it is an objective view of reality.

            A person chooses to be a business person and engage in business. No one forces them to do this.

            A person chooses where to shop (mostly, there are exceptions based on situations of extremely limited choices due to cost and location which do in fact restrict choice and can, at times, dictate where one must shop).

            There are laws protecting consumers from arbitrary discrimination, defective products, deception, etc. There are laws protecting business owners from abuses by customers and the public (theft, vandalism, harassment, libel, slander, etc.)

            These are the rules of doing business legally. Yes. There are limits.

            I’m not allowed to sell meth.
            I’m not allowed to buy cough medicine in large quantities to sell to a guy who makes meth.
            I’m not allowed to sell cupcakes that have rat feces in them.
            I’m not allowed to sell cupcakes that say they are gluten and dairy and egg free if they have gluten, dairy, and egg in them.
            I’m not allowed to advertise that my cupcakes are X size and quantity for X price and then offer only much smaller cupcakes for the same price.
            I’m not allowed to lie about my products.
            I’m not allowed to deceive my customers or harm them with my products either by mal-intent or neglect.

            There are limits. Liberty is not limitless.

          • carmen33

            illegal. there are laws on our books- federal laws and state laws that force people to engage in business if they want to be able to legally practice business. right?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            No. No one is forced to engage in business.

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            A request to do something that the business does all the time.
            A request that was refused because these particular potential customers were part of a hated minority group.

            That is illegal.
            That is immoral.
            They are not the same thing, but both clearly apply here.

            Stop pretending not to understand. It is not complicated.

          • carmen33

            what if the members of the KKK wanted me to teach their kids swimming lessons?

            how would you feel about me saying- i do not feel comfortable but here are some numbers of other swimming lesson providers.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Why wouldn’t you want children to learn how to be safe in the water and not drown?

          • carmen33

            atalanta!! that is an amazing question. :) i LOVE IT

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            You do not see the difference between prejudice and responding to people’s actual behavior?
            They are literally the opposite. It is not possible for two things to be more different than those two things. They are the differentest it is possible for two things to be.

          • carmen33

            everything outside of thought is behavior. glaring is behavior. should we make it illegal? does my freedom mean i can control someone’s facial expressions so i won’t be glared at?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Glaring does not infringe on another person’s rights. Behavior that infringes on other people’s rights and/or causes harm is the red line.

            Honestly, Carmen. This is tedious. If you have a point, please make it.

            I understand that you have an ideal of how you believe it would be best for people to learn to be and do good. That’s lovely. But it isn’t practical in application unless the society in which you live shares those values and agrees to live by them. In order to have justice and safety and relative peace, we have laws, that we enforce. When things don’t work or we find areas of need that are unaddressed, we amend or change our laws. This is what it means to live in a civil society. Liberty is not without it’s limits. It is not absolute.

          • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

            And what’s your objection to the KKK anyway? They’re just expressing their freedom!

          • carmen33

            aren’t they though? aren’t they free to believe whatever they want and to share those beliefs?

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      When a business enters an agreement to provide a good or service, and then rescinds based only on an opinion of the customer, that’s lousy business practice. If someone had done that to me, then I’d be telling everyone I know not to do business with them and why. THAT is the real power.

      Sure the bakery owners were fully entitled to their opinions, and to hold them. Sure we can respect that there are people in the world, who prefer to marginalize or diminish the worth of another person or people group, because they are different. But we don’t have to condoning it, especially when those opinions are played out in actions that we consider hurtful. We also don’t have to recommend a business to others who’s business practices are poor, instead letting others know that a unfriendly customer environment exists….as one of the bakeries has already closed thanks to their shoddy business practice, that is exactly what happened..

      The bakery owners were unapologetic and quite vocal, trying to play the persecution card. They were the ones in the press, repeatedly, not the customers who cried foul, and made it known that the bakery owners were not in compliance with the law.

      Of course businesses don’t put out signs in their windows, that state, “we don’t serve ______, because we think they are evil in the sight of God. That’s illegal. Making it known by their customers how a business treats their customers…all of them, can make or break a business.

      • carmen33

        So are you talking about what makes a good business practice? Or what is morally correct or incorrect? Or are they the same to you?

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          It is the same to me. A customer is a customer…AND they are a human being,

          I’ve been self employed, in the service sector. If I can provide the service they are asked for, and if it fits my job description, I have done my best to provide it. Trust me, when I did hair, I got a few odd requests. If I couldn’t do the job, if I felt uncomfortable, with my skill set, or if it was a service my salon didn’t perform, I always recommended another salon, or another stylist. I had clients from a variety of races, occupations, incomes, cultures, religions, nationalities and sexual orientation. It was my purpose to provide what they were paying for to the best of my ability, and to hopefully help them feel important and respected.

    • Peter

      The only people Jesus criticised were the self-appointed self-righteous judges of others who thought they were obeying God’s laws and therefore earning His approval but had forgotten about love. In criticising the actions of the bakers we are following Jesus’s example precisely.

      • carmen33

        Wouldn’t that make us self appointed judges of others who think we are obeying God’s laws but are forgetting about love? Do the bakers need less love than other people?

        • Peter

          Did Jesus love the Pharisees? Yes but he was pretty critical of their attitude – far more than this article is of the bakers!

          • carmen33

            i believe Jesus loved the Pharisees. i believe he also loves me and i am hopelessly imperfect. :) i have so many flaws. but he loves me anyway. and i am so grateful for that and hope to be able to extend that same love to the best of my small ability.

          • carmen33

            i love how someone downvoted this. :)

        • AtalantaBethulia

          It’s not about not loving them. It’s about the law. They broke the law.

          • carmen33

            well the legal angle is one angle.

            love is another angle.

            there are many ways to look at everything. i do not think one way is right and another wrong.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            The legal angle, is the crux of the issue. The bakeries broke the law. We can feel bad for the owners, who’s businesses were hurt by the fall out of their illegal actions, and we can hope and pray they can start over, and have a healthier business model the next time.

          • carmen33

            I don’t think we need to feel bad for them.

            they had a situation. they made their choice. what happened happened and i’m sure they are learning new things and hopefully will move forward in good ways.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Somehow, I doubt they learned their lesson. And I find that sad. Meanwhile , the couples that were refused service, found another baker, got married, and have moved on with their new lives.

          • carmen33

            exactly. it was a cake. not that hard to find another baker. :)

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            It still was a horrible thing to do to those couples. Bakers are often booked weeks or even months in advance for wedding cakes. They are complicated, and take hours to make, then assemble. The couple was forced to find one on short notice. and they may have had to pay a premium for a short notice job….IF they found one, and didn’t have to ask a friend to just get them a sheet cake and try to make it look pretty.

          • carmen33

            i bet the new people made it for free. just a guess. and they were probably honored and thrilled to do so.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            If they did, then they still got loads of new business, all thanks to the bad customer service of the old bakery.

          • carmen33

            eXACTly! this is the power of the free market and social media. MUCH more effective than forcefulness.

          • carmen33

            were you the one who asked about carrying to term? the moderators wouldn’t let me asnwer you.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            carrying what to term? Whatever the question was, It wasn’t me.

          • carmen33

            k. no matter what i wrote the moderators erased it. instantly. it was really weird.

          • carmen33

            i mean- we CAN feel bad for them. but i don’t think that’s really helpful to them. :)

  • carmen33

    i think the same sex couple is missing a huge opportunity to teach tolerance and love and forgiveness. they are in a position to be a living example of what they say is so important to them- tolerance towards those with differing beliefs.

    • JeffreyRO55

      And why should anyone tolerate being discriminated against? Are blacks just being whiny, when they don’t get jobs or get red-lined out of nice neighborhoods? You have a stilted view of tolerance. Consider tolerance as accommodating not just a difference of opinion but as accommodating a difference of opinion that doesn’t harm people.

      • carmen33

        is not tolerance allowing everyone to believe and practice what they want? is someone NOT acting- not making a cake for example- an act of violence against another?

        • AtalantaBethulia

          Carmen, there are limits to Freedom. The founders and philosophers discussed this. Many books have been written. Freedom is not without limits.

          Your freedom ends where my freedom begins. This is the essence of liberty as we understand and practice it in America.

          You are free to drive on the highway as fast as you want – but not without consequence.

          When your actions infringe on the rights of others, this is where liberty has limits.

          • carmen33

            i am not legally free to drive as fast as i want to.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            You are not legally free to discriminate against customers based on race.

          • carmen33

            that is true. it is against the laws of our land.

          • carmen33

            i believe allowing people the freedom to be racist is a step towards teaching them a better way.

          • carmen33

            you can replace racist with any form of beliefs in that phrase. i believe letting people be free to believe things that are erroneous is the first step to helping them to see things more clearly.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Free to believe and Free to do are two very importantly different things.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            This is a convenient position to take if one is not part of the oppressed minority.

          • carmen33

            i’ve been a minority before.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            I didn’t say you weren’t. However, being a minority and being oppressed are not one in the same.

          • carmen33

            i believe giving people the freedom to hate me- and not hating them back- is the best way i can start to invite them to love me

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Or we could teach society that hating is wrong.

          • carmen33

            that is what i believe is ESSENTIAL to teaching them it is wrong.

          • carmen33

            absolutely!

          • carmen33

            i am OFTEN a minority.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            I’m very precise with my words too. One is not you.

          • carmen33

            :)

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Do you believe allowing people to drive on the highway as fast as they want is a step toward teaching them a better way?

            Is allowing people to kill someone a step toward teaching them a better way?

            Sure, allowing people to learn this way might be one way, but for a safe and functioning society, we’ve decided it’s not the best way.

          • carmen33

            i separate beliefs from actions that could be described as violence- like very high risk speeding. i do not believe controlling people’s thoughts or beliefs will lead them to truth

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Who is trying to control someone’s thoughts?

          • carmen33

            when we enact laws that criminalize beliefs we are trying to control thoughts. we can say it’s because they are wrong and our laws should teach what is right. but when the thought and the belief becomes the crime- we are on dangerous territory.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            No. Now we are getting to the heart of your disagreement.

            We criminalize behavior. Thoughts are thoughts. Actions are actions. Everyone is free to think what they choose. Limits are placed on actions.

          • carmen33

            Can you see the danger in placing a certain group of people in power to determine the actions of an entire people?

            That is what slavery is. You are comfortable with it because you think they will only impose the morality you hold. But once a power structure is in place they can impose any morality they choose. And they can enforce it with violence.

            When you make government the morality police you are simply inviting the day when corruption takes over and the people become slaves with no freedom to choose to live their lives as they see fit.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            I heard this line of brainwashing from my Fundamentalist upbringing. And I have come to see things differently. It’s why we have checks and balances and a representative form of government.

            We need government or else there would be anarchy.

          • carmen33

            it is the opposite of brainwashing.

            it is inviting people to think and consider but to arrive at any conclusion they desire and to give them that right and freedom.

          • carmen33

            brainwashing is what happens when one group wants to control the beliefs of others in forceful ways. they do not accept conclusions that are not their own.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Exactly like fundamentalist, patriarchal religion.

            No one is abridging your freedom to disagree with marriage equality.

            Jesus never gives us permission to treat people we disagree with differently than the next person. This is the Golden Rule.

          • carmen33

            no one can control my thoughts. they can try. :) but i’m free of their influence. so it really doesn’t bother me. they can tell me anything they like. i own my own mind and i’m not afraid to hear ideas.

          • carmen33

            I do not believe that *not making a cake* for some one is committing and act of violence against them. i really don’t care why they don’t want to do it. I have no right to force my beliefs upon them and to force them engage in an action they are not comfortable with. If they choose to refrain- I strongly believe I should honor their choice. Their beliefs are their business.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Discrimination comes in many forms. Discrimination is a form of harm.

            The bakery owner’s religious belief has no basis in the preparation of a baked good in exchange for money. Nothing prevents them from worshipping God in the way they see fit, nor in practicing their faith by making a cake. The two are not connected in any way.

            Freedom from discomfort – which was the same excuse used for denying blacks admission to restaurants and sharing water fountains and bathrooms – has been determined by our laws and our society to not be a compelling enough reason to supersede someone’s civil rights.

          • carmen33

            How do you know what it means to them to worship God in the way they see fit? It sounds like you are saying YOU know the way they should worship God. But they might choose to worship Him by refraining from things they don’t believe are right. That might be worship to them. We cannot impose our own idea of worship on other people

          • AtalantaBethulia

            But it’s not.

            And you know that.

          • carmen33

            i know what? i know what worshipping means to THEM?

            no. i don’t. i know what it means to ME. and that’s what I will do.

            but they are free to live the life they belief is best. even if they are wrong.

          • carmen33

            i do not believe it is my civil right to force you to provide me with anything. time, goods, services. i do not have a right to force you to serve me. you have the freedom to choose. and that’s what freedom is.

            people will make choices you are not comfortable with when they are free. when we give people freedom that is what we have to accept. otherwise they are not free

          • AtalantaBethulia

            If you are still there, I wonder if you will allow me to test the limits of your desire for absolute freedom?

            How about public nudity. Would you be ok with public nudity?

          • carmen33

            great question!! hmm. not my OWN public nudity. haha!

            i think i would put that in the realm of local communities to decide. i think that would be a local ordinance and then if there are enough people in a town who want that freedom on public land they can go through the process and vote it in.

            if a store like trader joe’s decided to allow nudity i’d say fine. it’s there property. they can do what they want. and then people who don’t mind naked people can shop there and people who mind don’t have to. :)

          • AtalantaBethulia

            But we were never talking about your ideas of liberty in the framework of local government. It was always in the context of absolute liberty, and you said, I believe, that you thought the only right government should have to limit a person’s individual liberty was to prevent injury to person or property. Do I understand your position correctly?

            So, I’m trying to frame this within your original parameters. This isn’t about a business or a community having the right to decide what rules will govern themselves – but rather the concept you put forward: absolute liberty shall not be infringed by force or threat of force save for preventing physical injury to person or property.

            So, again. Nudity. Under your parameters, people should have the right to be naked anywhere, anytime. They should also be free to have public sex anywhere, anytime, etc.

            My point is: Societies used to operate this way and were found not to function optimally. This is why we, as a society, for the sake of law, order, and decency have framed our system of governing to include limits on personal liberty.

          • carmen33

            Yes, you are absolutely correct. From a purely philosophical point of view people should be able to walk around naked unless they are on private land where the owners get to say.

            The problem is this- who owns the public land in a city? The government does. Who owns the government? The people do. So, who owns the land? The people do.

            In this dilemma- there are different levels of government that can control land. I firmly believe that local government is the best because that’s the only true governement BY the people and FOR the people. If someone who lives somewhere else is making laws for YOUR little town that YOU live in- that is not a people’s government.

            It comes down to a question of private land rights and the complications of what public land means for the logistics of determining laws.

          • carmen33

            But no- not any where at any time. Whomever owns the land can determine what happens and they have the right to ask anyone they want to leave. If someone starts taking their clothese off in my house- I have the right to ask them to leave and if they don’t that is trespassing. They can do that on their own land or on the land of anybody who would allow them to.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            I’m speaking of public land.

          • carmen33

            And who owns public land?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            You said, “Is not tolerance allowing everyone to believe and practice what they want?”

            Absolute liberty – which you have been advocating -means we should also decriminalize the use and sale of drugs. Right? And be free to be naked and have public sex in public places if we would like to.

            You said that we should have the right to make bad choices, to hurt people’s feelings, to offend people. And you would, of course, hope that they might learn to freely choose to make good choices based on how the offended people show them love and kindness in response to their bad choices or else we are slaves. If I believe that worshipping God, or being healthy, includes being naked and having sex in public, then in a society based on absolute liberty no one should have any right to infringe on my belief and the practices that naturally extend from that belief. That’s what you said about the bakery owner: laws that prevent discrimination infringe on his/her beliefs.

            It’s not about local govt. We were always talking in the philosophical.

            But what happened in America in the 1960′s is what you are now recommending on a local scale: enough people believed that discrimination was bad for society and they convinced elected officials – by the people – of the United States of America to enact non-descimination laws in order to carry out the work of the people: establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense, promoting the general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity (Preamble to the US Constitution). This is how our country works.

          • carmen33

            Yes. I do believe in decriminalizing drugs, taxing them and using the taxes for rehabilitation instead of incarceration.

            I guess if walking around naked and having public sex is a Constitutionally guaranteed right then yes- we have no right to limit it. I’m not sure it’s a Constitutionally guaranteed right.

            And if it’s not, then the people who own the public land- the community- can go through the democratic process to establish their own laws on the matter.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Civil rights are Constitutionally guaranteed rights.

            A lot of people are uncomfortable with gay people. But I and the US Government have come to the conclusion that the harm caused by selective discrimination in the sale/exchange of goods and services is far more serious than the comfort of people who disagree with homosexuality.

          • carmen33

            What are civil rights? Who grants them? Who decides what they are? What if people disagree? Is everyone right? How do we know who is right?

            To me forcing people to conduct business is taking control of their property. It’s theirs. They should be able to do whatever they want with it. Even if we don’t like it.

            Giving the g[v’t control over the people’s property is not something I am willing to do. And that includes yours. I would not presume to take control of your property and tell you what to do with it. My desire is for YOU to have that freedom. And I will work very hard to protect that freedom of yours.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            And I will work very hard for the recognition of the equality of all people and their right to live free from discrimination and prejudice in how they are treated.

          • carmen33

            As well you should. :) Work for what you truly believe in. That is beautiful!

          • carmen33

            I also believe that government should be by the people and I realize that most people will never be comfortable with giving others the kind of liberty that I would give them. That leads to social unrest which leads to eventual violence between factions.

            So, I am willing to give up some of my freedoms so that others feel more comfortable and we can maintain the peace. Some of my freedoms I am NOT willing to give up and so I work to protect those.

            A lot of people are very uncomfortable with decriminalizing marijuana. But I have come to the conclusion that the harm caused by our current situation is far more serious than the comfort of people who are afraid of weed (but totally fine with alcohol- a far more dangerous drug.)

          • carmen33

            there is life freedom and there is legal freedom. very different.

          • carmen33

            “When your actions infringe on the rights of others, this is where liberty has limits.” i whole heartedly agree with the intent of this statement.

      • carmen33

        why should anyone tolerate being discriminate against?

        i don’t know. i do not pretend to know what someone who is discri,inmated against shoudl or shoudl not do in that situation. that is up to THEM. they know their life. they know the consequemnces and risks and costs. they need to weigh out their goals and make the best choice for them.

        • AtalantaBethulia

          Alright. I’m done.

          • carmen33

            this is my main message. i cannot choose for other people what they should do. we all have choices. we all have injustices and we all have to decide what to do about them. i cna’t make your choices and you can’ tmake mine.

          • carmen33

            like right now. you are free to leave. i wish you wouldn’t. because i like you. i like your ideas. but i cna’t force you.

            ideas don’t work like that.

    • ASkrub

      I think you are missing the point Ms. Carmen this article is less about an opportunity to teach tolerance and more about one of the two most important commandments we are supposed to uphold as “Christians.” Love thy neighbor!

      • carmen33

        ASkrub- thanks for the thought. I don’t think I’m missing the point. I was pointing out that Love they neighbor can work both ways. Some people use words like tolerance,- which is pretty passive- some people say love thy neighbor- which is more active- but whatever principle you espouse- the best way to teach it is to BE it.

        and any opportunity we have to surprise people by living the example when we are “justified” with not living it- what a blessing! we can change hearts and mind and change the world! :) if that’s what you’re looking to do.

        • ASkrub

          There is a difference between being tolerant of an adverse opinion, and being upset because someone has blatantly discriminated against you. It is okay for the cake company to not agree with my lifestyle, but why can you not make my cake? It doesn’t mean that you condone my choices, it simply means that you love me in spite of…

          • carmen33

            we might not agree with them not making the cake but why can’t we allow them their own choices and love them in spite of it… ? it goes both ways is my point. if we want to bring love to the world and make a real difference we need to give when it’s not given back.

          • ASkrub

            Obviously they are allowed their choice, and it is because I love them, that I tell them they are wrong.

          • carmen33

            i can’t say they are wrong. they make choices based on their own understanding and relationship with God. just as we all do. they have to choose according to THEIR understanding and beliefs, not yours and not mine.

            no one is going to act with YOUR conscience. they act with their own. and that’s how it should be.

          • carmen33

            if you want to teach them principles that you believe in- go for it. and if you want them to listen with open hearts- teach them with love and respect. otherwise they won’t listen. and nothing will change.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    This message is beautiful in its sheer simplicity. It is a portrait of contrasts, how Jesus tended to ignore social boundaries and taboos, and willingly interacted with people, from all walks of life, in comparison to a couple of examples of people making their personal social boundaries and taboos, a part of their business practice.
    Scripture tells us that people went out of their way to find Jesus, in fact there are times he had trouble finding privacy because of the people seeking him out. The example of the bakery owners, tells us that how they acted because of their personal religious beliefs great harm was caused to their businesses and reputations.
    So we are left with the question. Which is better, love, compassion and companionship, or religious belief?

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    Hello I would like to participate in NALT, post the video also on my blog and interact with other people.

    How could I do that?

    Friendly greetings from Europe.

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son

    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com

    • AtalantaBethulia

      Hi Lothar. Thank you for your question.

      You can learn more about NALT and how to make a NALT video if you follow this link:

      http://notalllikethat.org/submit/

  • kcthomas

    Christ did .not ask the woman to continue her prostitution. He loves all including homosexuals, but He says ” sin no more”

    • AtalantaBethulia

      And before that he counseled the religious leaders holding rocks in their hands – at the ready – that if they were without sin, they could throw the first stone.

      The essence of this disagreement is based on biblical interpretation.

      Those within the faith who take the position that homosexuality is a sin do so in a universal way: All sexual contact between two people of the same gender – no matter the circumstance – is a sin. We get that this is their position, and we understand how it is based on how they are interpreting scripture.

      In contrast, those within the faith who take the position that homosexuality is not a sin do so in a nuanced way, also based on scriptural interpretation: being an LGBT person or two consenting adults of the same gender in a mutually loving, monogamous committed relationship (marriage) is not innately sinful.

      What these people of faith see in thoughtful and prayerful and diligent scriptural study is that the six verses commonly used by Christians against homosexuals speak of rape, sexual slavery, pederastery, prostitution, orgies, promiscuity, and sexual activity in temple worship, all of which are examples of oppression and/or exploitation of another person, but never reference a loving committed relationship.

      We employ this nuance for thou shalt not kill – making exceptions for self-defense, accidents, and participation in a just war.

      We employ this nuance for thou shalt not bear false witness – making exceptions for a just cause that requires deception such as hiding oppressed people like Jews and Rwandans (but not to besmirch someone’s character for our own gain). It is less about lying and more about deceiving in order to cause harm or for personal gain.

      To say that the verses in scripture are against homosexuality in a universal way would be like saying a verse against rape (of which scripture has a poor track record) should be interpreted to mean that all heterosexual sex – in all circumstances – is a sin.

      We surely affirm your right to hold your religious views, however based on biblical scholarship, historical and cultural context, the overarching themes in the teachings of Jesus, scientific research, reason and the ineffable workings of the Holy Spirit, Christians who find no evidence in scripture to condemn loving, committed relationships simply disagree.

      • kcthomas

        I have understood the principle of Atlanta Bethulia now. It seems that People like him think that “:Love ” means sexual pleasures. Sanctity, chastity, control, sublime etc are not in their dictionary. That is why some in Europe and America ( which proudly claim as developed countries) want incest and beastiality to be legal. Eating and mating are their sole purpose of life. We live in a free world and they have freedom to say and act as they wish. Those who believe in religion, may follow their teachings on morality. However no one should force anyone against the will.
        If there is no condition attached for sale of cake by the bakery, they may have to manufacture cakes for any one, be he homosexual or athesit or Evangelical. But the Bakery has freedom to announce a condition ” purpose of celebration will not be written on the cake” OR ” Cakes for celebration of birthday or marriage will not be sold ” and regulate their business as per their wishes. No one has a right to force or humiliate the Baker.

  • Ballet Mom

    “Remember: Sin, even if legalized by man is STILL sin in the eyes of God.” We are to always be kind, but we should never celebrate sin… What I see is the world including this site is doing the harassing of business owners trying to live their lives by their beliefs and all those intentionally traveling to these shops knowing full well what those beliefs are, are really making a mockery of marriage and harrassing those business owners to make a spectacle and further scare anyone else brave enough to stand up and live by their conscience. It is a sad day when Evil is thought as good and good is thought as evil…


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