A reader ponders the article on the Cake Controversy

A reader ponders the article on the Cake Controversy July 23, 2018

She writes:

I read your noodling the cake article this morning and thought it was one of the best pieces you’ve recently written. Your gift of teaching was out in full bloom.


I am still confused about one point. Touring an empty frame in Poland is one thing, but if someone orders a cake, I thought you had to sell what the customer wants written on it. How is the baker supposed to either leave it blank or write something other than what is ordered? Doing so seems to me pretty much the same thing as refusing service.

Speech can be neither forbidden nor compelled. Making a cake is one thing. Forcing somebody to speak or create art in violation of their conscience is another. Customers have a right to free commerce. They do not have the right to compel speech. The local College Republicans cannot force a Jewish artist to decorate their posters with swastikas.

And, as I note, a creative artist could find ways to comply with the customers wishes that would not violate his conscience.

I stopped followng this issue closely for awhile, so maybe it’s already been solved. But it always made me wonder why erotic bakeries existed if one couldn’t order the same cake from just any bakery. I never understood how this current issue differed, so I clearly am not connecting the dots.

I’m not up on what erotic bakeries do. But I think you are right that it shouldn’t be all that difficult to connect with an baker or artist who is willing to meet whatever needs a customer might have.

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