DESPERATELY SEEKING OFFENCE

What is it with homosexuals and bakeries, do they have a cake fetish? It is easy to get the impression that no sooner do they find a bakery run by a Christian than in they pop and request a ‘wedding’ cake for a homosexual couple, all the while longing for a refusal so that they can collapse in a miasma of hurt and rush to their lawyers and compliant media outlets. Perhaps we thought that this was just something those crazy Americans would do but, like reality TV, McDonalds and Kermit the Frog it has crossed the Atlantic, and to Belfast of all places.

Bert and Ernie Trailblzers in the Gay Confectionary Sector

Bert and Ernie
Trailblazers in the Gay Confectionary Sector

It is no closely guarded secret in Belfast that Ashers Bakery is run by committed Christians. Nevertheless, LGBT activist Gareth Lee popped in to a branch of Ashers bakery and asked for a cake featuring a picture of characters from the children’s programme Sesame Street and decorated with the slogan ‘Support Gay Marriage’.  At present homosexual marriage is not legal in Northern Ireland and there is a vigorous political campaign to bring the province down to the same level as the rest of the UK. After talking it over the staff decided that this would go against the company’s Christian ethos, turned down the order and refunded Mr Lee his money.

Rather than pop down the road to another bakery where he could purchase a cake with a political slogan asking for the promotion of something illegal Mr Lee, in high dudgeon had recourse to the Equalities Commission who thereupon informed Ashers Bakery that they had seven days to bake the cake or face court action. Ashers stuck to their guns and now face that action.

Daniel McArthur, general manager of Ashers, said: ‘I feel if we don’t take a stand on this here case, how can we stand up against it, further down the line?’ He added that it was not the first time his company had refused cake orders: ‘In the past, we’ve declined several orders which have contained pornographic images and offensive, foul language’.

Thus we have a situation where a company is being pursued by a governmental body for refusing to promote an action at present deemed illegal by the same government.

The homosexual lobby exhibits an intolerance which is staggering in its hypocrisy. The champions of diversity are quite unable to tolerate any diversity of opinion, all must agree. If, as a matter of conscience, you don’t support their cause you must then be forced by the state to take actions which support their cause. Unfortunately organs of the state are all too willing to enforce conformity.

Andrew Muir, Northern Ireland’s first openly homosexual mayor supported the LBGT activist saying: ‘Businesses should not be able to pick and choose who they serve’, adding that he would be supportive of legal action against the bakery.

This is not a civil rights issue. This is not a case of a homosexual being refused access to a service because of his sexuality. If Mr Lee had wanted half a dozen Bath buns he would have been served. If the same cake had been requested by a hetrosexual it would still have been refused. Ashers declined to bake the cake because it contained political propaganda for a cause with which they profoundly disagreed.

If a Jewish baker refused to serve a Muslim customer his half dozen Bath buns because the customer was a Muslim that would be discrimination on a number of grounds. If the same Jewish baker were to refuse to supply a cake decorated with a picture of a RPG and the slogan ‘Support Hamas’ would that be discrimination?

What would happen if a Christian were to go into a bakery run by homosexuals and request a cake decorated with ‘Homosexual activity is shameful – Romans 1:27’? Most reasonable people would support the bakers if they were to refuse to provide a cake containing a message with which they profoundly disagreed. It is to be doubted, however, that the rights jihadis who are ever ready to take up the cudgels in the cause of homosexual oriented cakes would support the Christian in the demand for a biblical cake. For too many toleration is a one way street.

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About Campbell

Now retired but once upon a time a parish minister in Glasgow, before that the South West and initially the Black Isle. Been a prison chaplain and lecturer. Still am constantly bemused by the weird world around me.
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11 Responses to DESPERATELY SEEKING OFFENCE

  1. Jon Gleason says:

    Heh. I didn’t include it in my article on this, but I had the same thought about a homosexual-run bakery (though I was thinking about a passage from Leviticus).

    But no Christian following Biblical principles would ever ask or expect a homosexual to provide such a cake. It wouldn’t be charitable or peaceable, would it? And if you went into a bakery, not knowing, and they refused because they disagreed with the message, whether they were homosexual or not, you’d just want to take your business elsewhere. You wouldn’t want to compel them by law.

    Someone could do it to prove a point, I suppose. But as we used to say to our kids, “That is being conflictual.” Not sure it is a word, but it makes the point.

    • Campbell says:

      It is difficult to imagine even the most vociferous of the brethren stomping around demanding that he should have his Leviticus/Romans cake and eat it.

      One of the beauties of market forces is that people can take their business elsewhere, if sufficient of their customer base are in disagreement with the stand Ashers have taken they will lose custom and be forced to close. That, however, is not good enough for our new totalitarians.

      The aim of this exercise is to force a Christian run company to either comply with their demands or be closed down. The complainant will have no legal costs because the case is being brought by the Equalities Commission on his behalf, thus we the taxpayers will foot the bill. Ashers meantime will have to pay the costs of fighting this action. Even if they lose the case the homosexual lobby can count it a win, other businesses will be chary of the cost of offending their tender sensibilities. And thus, bit by bit, freedom of conscience is eroded.

      • Jon Gleason says:

        Indeed. But it is more than freedom of conscience. It is political freedom, and even the freedom to remain silent on a political question. This is scary, far-reaching stuff.

  2. I’m gay but think Ashers’ are right in this instance, as they are discriminating about the message they refuse to print not the people they refuse to bake for. I’ll pray for them. I think however it’s quite obscene for Christians to complain when it is generally they who call for boycotts all the time; which one’s the latests? oh yeah, John Piper saying farewell to the Pride Whopper burger. There’s a Christian boycott every other week. The Christian Institute has elevated suing gay organisations to an art form. Why don’t you denounce them?

    • Campbell says:

      The Christian Institute has never sought out a homosexual organisation in order to sue it, instead they defend Christians from the attacks of those who seek to force Christians to conform to their particular worldview.

      Christians ‘call for boycotts all the time’. Really? Most of us are totally unaware of supposed calls for boycotts. Even if they did exist there is a world of difference between making the free choice not to shop at a particular outlet, for whatever reason, and using the force of law to compel an outlet to support your particular view of society. One response exercises the freedom of the individual to make their own choices, the other demands total conformity.

  3. And yes, gay bakers who’d refuse to bake for you simply on the ground that you were Christians should and would fall under the very same legal strictures.

    • Campbell says:

      Why should they? If a homosexual baker were forced by law to the point of being driven from the business because he refused to bake a cake emblazoned with Romans 1:27 it would be an infringement of his freedom of conscience, his political freedom. The homosexual baker should be perfectly free to accept or decline whatever trade he wishes.

      The undeniable fact is that we do not find Christians going around seeking causes of offence in order to drive homosexual business people out of business.

  4. John Allman says:

    This was an excellent post. I am almost sorry to take issue with what Campbell might consider to be one small point, but which I think goes to the heart of the matter.

    Many people who call themselves Christians, and many people who call themselves homosexuals, have something utterly remarkable in common. Members of both groups make ontological claims that are not scientifically testable hypotheses at all, but rather doctrines that are asserted emotively.

    A member of the population who self-identifies as a homosexual individual, typically claims that there exist people who were born with a biological characteristic that isn’t measurable empirically, which biological characteristic they call “being” homosexual. They claim that this characteristic determines their sexual behaviour – their *homosexual* behaviour. They claim that they themselves are one of the *special* people who were “born gay”. (Pace, dissenters. I overstate my case here only temporarily.)

    Not so much in contrast, but in direct comparison actually, a member of the population who self-identifies as a Christian individual, claims that there exist people who have been “born again”, and that this having been born again has changed their very nature, in all sorts of important and exciting ways. The Christian claims to be, or to hope that he is in reformed theology (where assurance of salvation is said not to be of the essence of salvation), one of these special people himself, somebody who has become different from other mortals.

    The comparison I am making isn’t perfect. Some of the less orthodox branches of Christian-like organised religion nowadays pay little heed to the core Christian doctrine of the new birth that is mentioned in John 3, or to the notion found often in the bible that being born again is so fundamental a change of who one is, that the biblical metaphor used in one passage of “passing from death into life” is apt.

    Meanwhile, some who promote the idea that sexual orientation exists as a real biological state of a human organism, not just a social construct fashionable today – a bandwagon to jump on when the sin of sodomy seems just too tempting (or “besetting”), admittedly distance themselves from the claim that the scientifically unprovable process postulated of becoming “gay” might not always happen to an individual before birth after all, though they still believe that there are “gay people”, whose special pleadings aren’t special pleadings at all, merely just pleadings for the same rights as everybody else, made by the special *people* they are.

    Romans 1 contains the Christian doctrine as to *how* people *become* practitioners of homosexuality. That doctrine makes no reference to the postulated biological characteristic of sexual orientation.

    The church invisible, as a linguistic construct of antiquity, consists of those who genuinely are born again, if indeed there is such a thing as being born again, which is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested. The church visible, on the other hand, consists of those who claim to be born again.

    On the internet, the anti-Christophobic argument that members of the church visible who (for example) commit vile atrocities cannot have been “real” Christians at all (i.e. members of the church invisible) is often slotted into discussions by dismayed Christians, and then ridiculed by their opponents, But I have come across arguments on the internet in which homosexualist debaters have suggested that there are some people who go through the motions of sodomy, without being “real” homosexuals. I have taken the opportunity to draw the apt comparison between their argument, and the ridiculed argument of the Christian apologists.

    My point, in brief, is that as long as Campbell and others concede that there exist real homosexual individuals, they are affording those who claim to be “real homosexual people” a courtesy that is certainly not usually afforded to Campbell, who genuinely believes that real born-again people exist.

    I think Campbell took a wrong turn in his thinking years ago, when he rejected the teaching of Romans 1 (about how people become attracted towards sinful same-sex erotic behaviours in the first place), in favour of buying into a modern myth that “real homosexual people” exist,. and have always existed, and we are entitled to reinterpret the wisdom of our forefathers with chronological snobbery.

    When Campbell stops believing in the existence of real homosexual people (e.g. the “homosexual bakers” he hypothesised), and starts thinking along evangelically-correct biblical lines – Romans 1 – thinking in terms of homosexual acts and habits, and the process of seduction into them that the apostle Paul describes, then, I hope, Campbell will become even more formidable a thinker than he is already, and perhaps start to receive persecution as severe as that which I have suffered.

  5. Peter Donoghue says:

    Jesus summed it up when speaking with his disciples: In this world you WILL have trouble. But don’t worry; I have overcome the world!
    This kind of illogical thinking and unreasonable behaviour is the result of hatred – Christophobia – pure and simple. They hate what we stand for since it puts them in the wrong, and they can’t bear it! Such a situation calls for patience, perseverance, and prayer… our real enemies are not flesh and blood…

  6. CAPTAIN JOHN S. COLMAN. says:

    iIN business we are wholly free to accept or not to accept an order. To make that refusal on grounds of faith is not sound.Refusal can be made without ever stating why. I have run a business and am aware of choices in acceptance or polite refusal.. Give no reason for refusal and avoid controversy. Nonetheless Christian witness is admirable and clearly invites fire and the law must be present to protect those who act according to their clear convictions.. God protect them and His witness in Ireland, North and South.

    • John Allman says:

      “Give no reason for refusal”

      You overlook the Equality Act 2010, s136(2), which says (potentially referring to discrimination on the grounds of a protected characteristic), “If there are facts from which the court could decide, in the absence of any other explanation, that a person (A) contravened the provision concerned, the court must hold that the contravention occurred.”

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