Can She Bake a Cherry (Picked) Cake, Billy Boy, Billy Boy?

Can She Bake a Cherry (Picked) Cake, Billy Boy, Billy Boy? September 3, 2013

I’m still working on my fun post-DragonCon post but had to drop this in here. It’s just too funny, infuriating, sad, and weird not to mention.

Once upon a time, there was a Christian couple who opened a cake shop called Sweet Cakes. They made, among other things, special-order cakes for people for special occasions like weddings. Not long ago they got into a lot of trouble for refusing to provide a cake for a gay wedding, citing their belief in the Bible for their refusal and couching this refusal in their “rights” as Christian business owners to discriminate. Well, they just decided to close shop. They are claiming that their state is infringing upon their “religious freedom,” because just like Hobby Lobby’s toxic-Christian owners can’t have religious freedom without giving their employees a restricted range of health insurance options, Sweet Cakes can’t have religious freedom without treating the people they think are subhumans like, well, subhumans.

Now, we could talk all day about how immoral it is to use religion to justify dehumanizing and discriminating against people. We could talk about how if we dropped the word “black” in here in place of “gay,” their actions become far more obvious and disgusting. We could mention their sign saying that they can’t practice their faith without discrimination. We could note that their state specifically forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation, so by opening a business in that state, they have explicitly agreed to follow that law, and if they had trouble with it, they should not have opened their business. We could talk about how their “love the sinner, hate the sin” attitude looks an awful lot like just skipping the messy intermediate step and going straight to the hating-the-sinner part that this cruel saying feels like to those people these Christians afflict with that treatment. We could even speculate about what about these people is so nasty and broken that they can treat people this hatefully and still think of themselves as good little Christians. We could. And people online are. But instead I’m going to leave this here:

Apparently gay people are the only group these fine, morally upstanding Christians with their big ole Jesus smiles and their big ole Jesus hate-hard-ons think aren’t worth treating with love, respect, and dignity. When a local paper decided to prank them a little, this exact same shop was perfectly happy to make cakes for these occasions (the links are to pages condemning each of these situations):

* A baby shower for a child born out of wedlock.

* A divorce-celebration party.

* A party for a stem-cell researcher.

* A barbecue featuring decidedly non-kosher foods like lobster and pork.

* A pagan solstice party (as a bonus, the caller actually asked them for a green pentagram to be drawn on the cake, and the shop’s clerk didn’t even bat an eye).

It’s very telling to me that in the wake of this story, the shop’s owners are, instead of fessing up to their blatant cherry-picking, claiming “entrapment” and blaming the newspaper for doing this social experiment in the first place.

I guess it shouldn’t shock me that a pair of Christians were totally fine with making cakes for all those other equally-pressing and equally-condemned practices, but oh no, not one for a gay person wanting to commit to a lifetime of love, honor, and cherishing of another person. It shouldn’t shock me that a Christian couple has decided that their hatred and fear of gay people should be enshrined by law and protected. It shouldn’t shock me that yet another pair of Christians has decided that in order to practice their faith, they should be–and must be–allowed to mistreat and dehumanize others and that they think that treating these people the same as other people would be tantamount to expressing “approval” of their “lifestyle,” and yet they’re totally fine with expressing “approval” of these other “lifestyles” which are condemned just as strongly and in the same terms (why, sometimes even the same group of verses) as what they think condemns homosexuality.

Why, it’s almost as if their bigotry was a culturally-derived sense of discomfort and a need for superiority and dominion, rather than a genuine desire to follow the Bible and what it teaches Christians to act like. I know, that’s just crazy, right? But wow, wouldn’t that just be wild if they were totally wrong about this gay thing and just using a few cherry-picked verses and misunderstood ideas to treat other people like crap and get away with it?

Bonus awesomeness: Here’s a young man who gave a very nice speech about how the Bible has been misused to discriminate against gay people. It’s kind of long, but I think it’s really very good so if you have a little free time, this isn’t a bad use of it.

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