I got myself into a little bit of trouble recently.
shocker, I know.
I inserted myself into a conversation about the several states considering laws similar to the one Arizona recently vetoed regarding whether businesses may or may not refuse a customer on religious ground.
And though I agree with Governor Brewer vetoing Senate Bill 1062, I stated that I also disagreed with the supreme court ruling that a baker must bake a wedding cake for a gay couple though he is religiously opposed to gay marriage. In fact, the moment I read about the case of the 'cake nazi' so dubbed by many blog enthusiasts, I knew that if he loses his case, surely there will be a pushback.
The Arizona law and laws like it are precisely that pushback. Where do the freedom and control of the customer end and the freedom and control of the business begin? But these are things that have been debated ad nauseam so, instead of further blathering on about it, I'd just like to say what I wish had happened in the baker case.
We're going to call the couple inquiring about the cake Joe & Joe so I don't have to determine which of them is talking in the following imaginary conversation, since it doesn't really matter. The part of the baker will be played by 'Baker.'
Joe: Hi! You make beautiful cakes! We'd love to look at some options for our wedding.
Baker: Sure... wait, is it for you two?
Baker: Well, gosh. Let me pray on it a moment. Nope, I'm sorry, I can not make you a wedding cake. I can make you any other kind of cake, just not a wedding one. Can I interest you in a scone or a fruitcake? I mean, cupcake... sorry that just kind of slipped.
Joe: Well, I have to tell you, I'm real disappointed to hear that. And though I'm sure your cupcakes are fabulous, we were here specifically for a wedding cake. I can see you clearly have your convictions, but since I'm feeling kind of embarrassed and frustrated in front of my fiance here, I hope you'll do me the solid of hearing me out for just a moment.
Baker: well.. I'm not going to change my mind but go on ahead.
Joe: Thanks. You see, I'm a Christian as well. And though I understand you may not accept my particular brand of Christianity, that's ok, you can probably guess that I have a hard time accepting yours. You see, I've heard a lot of genuine concern regarding Sodom and God's destruction of the town and how that was pretty clearly related to Sodomy. Except when I read the passage about Lot protecting the two visiting angels by saying, "please guys, don't rape the angels, I have two virgin daughters, I'll bring them out here for you... rape them, not the angels." Well, I have a hard time thinking that consensual penis penetration was the real sin there... you know? I kind of stumble over the raping of angels and a dad offering his daughters to a pack of rapists.
And I know there are some other places that condemn homosexuality... but there were a lot of rules on how to live back then in order to continue the species. And they probably figured out that 'man laying with man as he does with woman' doesn't produce babies, so if populous is what they want, it makes sense to make heterosexual sex the law of the land for the time.
And also, Jesus kind of came along and said in his sermon on the mount to kind of toss what we thought we knew out the window and focus on loving one another and kindness. At least that's what I took out of the 'love your neighbor as yourself,' thing.
Last, let's say that, as I've heard argued... you agree that 'being gay' isn't a sin, but 'having gay sex,' is a sin. Well, from all I've heard from my married friends, your sex life diminishes rapidly after marriage so... shouldn't Christians trying to save us from ourselves encourage us to all marry one another? If the anecdotal evidence holds up... as gay marriage increases, gay sex will decrease!
Really though, I want you to know that I love this man standing beside me fully, purely and truly. He makes me happy and he makes me a better man. Joe and I can feel, bring and share more joy with this world together than we possibly could apart. Couldn't this world use a little more joy?
I'm sorry you will not bake our cake as you are a beautiful artist which is what brought us here in the first place, but I respect your strong beliefs.
And I hope that you remember Joe and me and how we respected your right to run your business as you wish if you ever find yourself in the place of casting a vote determining whether you should determine how I run my life.
*respectful handshakes all around*