Bake for them Two

Bake for them Two April 5, 2015


An updating of Matthew 5:41 by Jessica Kantrowitz. Click through to her blog to read her further thoughts about that text against the background of its original context, and its application today.


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  • Yes, I’d say that Jessica understands the teachings of Jesus far better than the religious right.

  • otrotierra

    Thank you for sharing this post by Jessica Kantrowitz. It’s inspiring to hear someone actually prioritize Jesus in Indiana’s sad “gay cake” debate.

    • leuver68

      It’s inspiring to hear anyone, on the left or right, prioritize Jesus. I would say to my fellow conservative Christians if those on the left point to the bible as having authority to say anything about anything, it’s a good sign.

  • Dale

    But the question remains as to whether someone is right to force you to bake the first one.

  • Michael Wilson

    This might be applicable in a situation where Christians are forced to bake cakes for gay weddings, in Indiana, though, they weren’t. It has always bern legal to deny service to gays there. Further the issue was a law that would potentially allow Christians, or other religions of like belief, not bake. Following the logic of the meme Christians should not vote to pass laws to end oppression, like making someone carry a colonialists’ bags, ending unfair buisness practice or bake a cake for what they think is an immoral celebration. I’m not sure that many progressive Christians would ask their fellows to note vote to raise the minimum wage but just work twice as hard.

    • I don’t think that Jesus’ teaching about protesting in a non-democratic context means that one should not vote or otherwise advocate change in a democratic one.

      • Michael Wilson

        So then the Chistians of Indiana are not wrong to seek to protect them selves with the democratic process. If Galileans could vote to bar Soldiers from for ring people to carry their packs you think Jesus would approve. What then if the memes argument? The real issue is whether homosexuality is wrong to begin with. I think we agree that Christians shouldn’t feel compelled to arrange immoral events, like a cross burning or black mass just because their asked

        • If one could simply settle the matter of what is right and wrong to everyone’s satisfaction in advance, presumably issues like this would not come up. But we can’t, and so this debate cannot be solved with the approach you suggest.

          • Michael Wilson

            I understand that everyone will not agree on what is right and wrong, but can the issue be solved with fake advice or strawmen? It is utterly hypocritical to suggest that these fundamentalist should heed Matthew when in simular circumstances liberal Christians would reject this advice for themselves. Do you think fundamentalist will be fooled into facilitating events they hold immoral by this? I think part of why this sort of argument on loving enemies regarding gays is the acceptance as truth of progresives own straw man, that RFRA is about businesses establishing “straights” only shops, and so it is hateful to turn away sinners from common services. None of the cases though that have come out are of that nature though, and not even in Indiana even though it is legal, even before RFRA to say no gays served here. Rather than posting flawed and pointless arguments we need to find real arguments and criticism and engage what fundamentalist really believe and do and not strawmen made to make us feel morally superior.

          • I don’t think that it is hypocritical to point out when those who claim to follow and apply the Bible consistently fail to do so, even if one does not do so oneself, provided one is honest about that point.

          • Michael Wilson

            Jessica’s post doesn’t make that argument. She argues that when the law requires Christians to violate their ethics, they should do so with gusto. But you argue, and I’m inclined to agree, that in a democracy Christians can petition the state to not force the violation of Christian ethics. That is what conservative evangelicals think they did in Indiana. Further, I think it could be argued that even if the law required that Christians make anti-Christian messages, that Christians should choose to take the punishment. Early Christians frequently refused to worship the state when required or recant their faith. It may be that Jesus’s go the extra mile is inconsistent with his other teachings, but I think it is hard to use this meme to make the argument that anti-gay Christians are falsely claiming to consistently follow the bible. I think it is better to try and make the case that Christians should support homosexuality as legitimate and Godly.

          • I didn’t understand her approach to necessarily involve eschewing involvement in the political process, but to offer a vision of how Christians should respond when legislation is not what some believe it should be.

            I agree that the most important focus is changing how people view same-sex relations and sexual orientation, and that does seem to be changing even among Evangelicals.

          • Michael Wilson

            Yes, it is good that evangelicals are embracing the legitimacy of various queer identities. But I think you need to look at this from the perspective of those that believe homosexual acts are contray to christian ethics, on par with stealing or fraud. If a law demanded you make a message that condoned what you was oppression would you give 20% effort?

            Personally I’m perlexed by Jesus’ statements on force and resistance and wouldnt mind discussing those or researching Christian opinions or scholarly on it

  • MaryB435

    How about this? I’ll bake a cake for you, but it will say “Happy Birthday”. I will serve you, but I will not ratify your incorrect understanding of what marriage IS. I will treat you with kindness and respect, but I will not act as if I think that an arrangement of institutionalized sodomy is equal to the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony. Kindness does NOT require me to agree with everything you say.

    The truth is that God teaches very clearly that homosexual activity is a mortal sin. (Don’t use the phony argument about eating shellfish; the moral law and the ceremonial law are two different things entirely.)

    There are so many people who agree with you. Why don’t you ask one of them to bake your cake?

    Why don’t you stop to ask Christians WHY we don’t want to be forced to cooperate with counterfeit marriage? Why don’t you ask WHY every civilization in the history of the world has ALWAYS understood marriage to be the union of a man and a woman? It’s not easy to tell people what they don’t want to hear. Sodomy has always existed, but never on a par with REAL marriage. I know that makes some people FEEL bad, but it is the truth none the less.

    The gay “rights” lobby apparently doesn’t want the answer to these questions, but here it is anyway: Same-sex attraction is a disordered attraction, a temptation. Same-sex ACTIVITY is sinful. We shouldn’t enshrine something wrong into law. It isn’t a sin to be tempted, as long as you don’t give in to the temptation. We are all sinners, and we all have temptations to sinful activity, though not all temptations are of the same type. I understand that people DON’T WANT TO FEEL LEFT OUT, but it requires a fundamental dishonesty to pretend that sodomy is the same thing as the institution of genuine marriage.

    We must treat those afflicted with same-sex attraction with much kindness, understanding that THIS TEMPTATION SO OFTEN COMES FROM A HEART DEEPLY WOUNDED BY REJECTION AND ABUSE, which in our society is becoming much more frequent. Whenever a society rejects Godly standards, people lose the ability to tell right from wrong. We must also understand that this has to be personal. Treat the PERSON with respect and love. Real love means wanting the other’s GOOD. We do people NO good if we cowardly tell them the sugar-coated lies they want to hear. When politics gets involved, as it inevitably does, there’s a lot of yelling, ranting, and threats, but very little reasoning.

    Our society doesn’t want to admit that there IS such a thing as right and wrong, but that’s an impossible principle to uphold. People who think there are no moral absolutes inevitably think that it’s WRONG for (and they want to see punished) anyone who disagrees with them.

    • Your attempt to say that there are your morals which are correct, and people who reject morals altogether, is not only unpersuasive, but it is precisely the rhetoric used by conservative Christians in the past when arguing against those who claimed that, despite the Bible leaving the institution in place, slavery was wrong. I would encourage you to actually get to know some gays and lesbians, or at least read something other than propaganda about your fellow human beings.

      • MaryB435

        Let’s stop talking PAST each other. You make several incorrect assumptions:

        1–You refer to what I wrote as “your” morals. 2–You assume that “conservative” Christians are in favor of slavery. 3–You assume I don’t know any gays and lesbians. 4–You assume I don’t read much. Why do you assume these things? Is it that you can’t imagine someone actually understanding the issue, yet coming to a different conclusion?

        1–What I said was: “…God teaches very clearly that homosexual activity is a mortal sin.” This is not something I made up.

        2–Anyone claiming to agree with slavery is simply WRONG. Slavery itself is wrong — because God has created us in His image and likeness. It isn’t right, or even possible to actually “own” another person. Those who treat people AS IF they are property are simply WRONG. This isn’t a liberal vs. conservative issue; it’s good vs. evil. Perhaps it is because our culture is so used to seeing things within these categories, that it’s hard to see that morality is bigger than that.

        A TRUE Christian is someone who follows the teachings of Christ. Obedience to Christ’s teaching does NOT mean I get to sift it through the filter of “conservative vs. liberal”, keeping doctrines I like, mentally filing them under MY label, while discarding what I reject under the OTHER guy’s label.

        Obedience to Christ means accepting what is TRUE, not what is comfortable. But, growing in virtue does have the effect of making us more comfortable with the truth.

        3–You assume I don’t know any gays or lesbians. Incorrect again. I do have friends and family members who self-identify as gay. I love them enough to want what is best for them. That does not require me to agree with everything they believe and do. And it is precisely because of these friendships that I care about and understand more clearly what is at stake here.

        One co-worker who is a lesbian helped me to understand some things. I remember when she told me that years ago, as a child, her stepfather frequently molested her. She grew to hate men. SHE TOLD ME this is why she is the way she is. I didn’t make that up. OF COURSE I treated her kindly, but I could do nothing to erase her years of pain. Pretending that everything is OK only encourages further abuse. Read the life stories of famous people who self-identify as gay or lesbian. A history of being a victim of sexual abuse is far too common.

        When I worked in the hospital, doctors from the ER had many stories of having to–I’ll be vague so as not to offend–remove various foreign objects which were inserted into and dangerously lodged in bodily openings. Not coincidentally, this activity was linked with a certain disordered sexual desire. You don’t have to be a genius to know that anyone who would do these self-destructive actions has serious problems. Surely this is not God’s will for these patients. Pretending that everything’s OK just leaves people in their misery.

        God’s will for us is goodness, truth, and beauty. We need to follow God’s standards, not make up our own.

        4–Yes, I do read, and while reading your reply, I noticed that you didn’t answer any of the questions.

        • I did not say that most conservative Christians today support slavery. Most reject it – while using the exact same approach to the Bible that conservative Christian supporters of slavery used in the 19th century. Using the same approach in relation to a new topic will not get you better results.

          Taking an anecdotal instance and treating it as normative is abhorrent. You must know this – if someone said, “I know someone who is a Christian because they were brainwashed as a child,” you would, I presume, rightly object to their assumption that that case is normative.

          Perhaps you would consider treating the worldview of others the way you want yours to be treated, and the experience of others the way you want your own to be treated? That seems like an appropriate application of the Golden Rule.

          Out of curiosity, where do you think that God says that same-sex relations are a “mortal sin,” and where do you think God introduces the category of “mortal sin”?

  • leuver68

    What if you’re not forced? What if you’re just asked? Are you free to decline if it goes against your religious conviction? If it violates your conscience to do so? The context of the scripture verse cited is about not resisting an evil person. That’s not what’s going on. They are not resisting because THOSE people are evil. (No one would get a cake if that was the case). They are resisting because they believe God meant marriage to be between a man and a woman.

    • If it violates your conscience to do certain things, then you should not go into a business that provides such services. If you are not willing to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to someone on religious grounds, do not become an EMT or a lifeguard. If you think that people with different skin colors should not marry, and you live in a society that grants people the right to do so, then you should not be in the wedding business and then expect the government to protect your right to discriminate.

      • leuver68

        I’m sure they didn’t think they’d ever be in this position when they went into business. It may be that many will close their businesses if forced by law to violate their own religious beliefs. RFRA laws allow a religious defense when being sued. Those examples you gave would not be considered valid in court as a religious defense. Actually I think those laws are unnecessary anyway. We already have freedom of religion protected by the 1st amendment.

  • Cedric Marc Klein

    And if Caesar demands you burn a pinch of incense, burn for him two!

    • It is shameful when Christians try to get out of loving their neighbors, or even their enemies, by arbitrarily pretending that anything they don’t want to do is the equivalent of emperor worship. Shame, shame, shame!