serious problems for religious freedom (and cakes)
There are some serious problems going on in our world today. Our rights are being eroded before our very eyes and one day soon we may be unable to make our own decisions about even the simplest matters. I have read that some cake makers (here and here) are afraid the day has come when they can no longer reject customers on the basis of their race, religion, age or sexual orientation. Let us explore the plight of the cake makers in an unbiased way to understand the immense difficulties Christians face trying to practice their benevolent religion.
pondering parallel restrictions of religious freedom in history
Let’s imagine you are a good Christian landowner from years gone by. You have purchased some slaves to toil on your land. There is talk of abolition of slavery. Heathens! It is your god God-given right to own slaves. It says so clearly in the Bible and all church leaders support this. It goes without saying that if slavery is abolished, you would lose your right to freely practice your religion!
asserting religious freedom in a consistent manner
Let’s imagine you are a good Christian cake baker. Obviously you only want to bake cakes for people who aren’t sinners. Your god God doesn’t want you profit from sin. For ALL wedding cakes you need to draw up a questionnaire for your customers to check they have never had sex with another living person. Because otherwise, the union is sinful. You put a notice on your window, “No wedding cakes for first time non-virgins or remarriages without death certificates“.
choosing the correct interpretation for your religious freedom
Let’s imagine you are a good Christian cake baker. A Christian homosexual couple come into your shop and ask for wedding cake to help them celebrate their upcoming nuptials. You tell them it’s against your religion: you are sure your god God thinks their union is sinful. They tell you this is impossible because they are of the same religion and the god God has assured them their union is not sinful. They ask you to point to the passage in the Bible that declares homosexual marriage is a sin. You ramble about the god God creating man and woman, and quote some passages relating to promiscuity. You concede that that Bible mentions nothing about homosexual marriage, but remain hopeful that the interpretation you follow is correct.
moral of the stories
There are always ignorant people who are quick to judge and delighted to discriminate against their fellow human beings, all too often in the name of invisible gods who ‘revealed’ themselves only in their culture. Before you choose to become one of those silly people, reflect on whether there are any lessons from history about religious perspective on issues with Biblical coverage; reflect on whether you are being truly consistent with your brand of discrimination against perceived immorality (or just picking on the one historically vilified section of society currently receiving publicity); and please check that your same religious instruction book isn’t open to any other thoughts on the matter. And if none of that means anything to you, please remember that unless someone is forcing you into a homosexual marriage against your will and beliefs, your own freedom of religious expression is not actually affected.
Thanks to Clare Flourish for the inspiring post.
You’re still dancing around that hopeless bigot, Tom Quiner’s blog?
OK, i couldn’t resist either…. The guy is a living abomination to the human species.
The Quiner blog is positively frightening. I don’t think I’ve even approaching being anything but horrified by a single post. It’s weird to think that someone can have the opposite view from you on EVERYTHING. However, I have to give them credit for being clear on why they hold every one of their wonky beliefs, and also for being open enough to discuss everything. Maybe one day they’ll see the light. 🙂
Nah, he only thing that’s going to rid the world of the likes of someone so far gone as him is death. Stupid that deep, that pervasive just has to die off. There’s no cure
The Catholic cake-maker got round the issue of remarriages by saying that only second marriages of people originally married in a Catholic church counted. I would reverse that: if only the Catholic church counts as properly blessing a union made in Heaven, then she should only celebrate those unions. The first marriages of two virgins in an Anglican church are obviously depraved, so she should have no part with them. Perhaps a business making monks’ habits would be sufficiently Godly. Thank you for the shout-out.
Yeah, I don’t think the cake maker got round anything. She realised that she wasn’t being consistent with her wedding morality judgements and really made no sense with her rambling assessment of valid marriage cake scenarios. There’s no way she questions her heterosexual marriage cake customers!
Maybe they could start a new business 😛 or better still they can bake the cakes for free if they don’t want to make money from things they consider sinful. My only problem I find with the two fellows is they ignore something in the good book where it says don’t judge lest you be judged. I think this means the power to judge is vested in someone else other than the believer and if I remember correctly they are asked to welcome the sinners or something close.
Exactly! But again, it’s all a question of interpretation. I’ve argued the judgement issue with Christians before and they just pull another quote out the bag to justify their sin-branding ways.
For a book that is open to as many interpretations as christians, forget about winning. The best you can hope for it to show there is a contradiction in the good book
Such hypocrisy these religious lot have, do they not?
That Quiner bloke is a real silly person. His style of engagement reminds me of Physics but with a bit less grey matter.
It’s sort of like the empathy switch in his brain is off. I think it’s typical US Republican thoughts – I don’t understand how they all fall hook, line and sinker for it.
It’s so nice to have you back! 🙂 Is it taking a while to get into the swing of things? You’re certainly not posting as much as before. And where are the sun bird photos?
I reckon there must also be a fault ‘rational switch’ in his brain. And he, like many of the religiously warped conveys an underlying tone of condescension that makes me gag.
Yes, it is taking a while to find my old self…maybe I should try a different angle?
I am also trying to focus more on getting my books published. I’m having corresponding with my SA publisher re other material and various methods of marketing, which is the key to sales, obviously.
The sunbirds have been very scarce this year, I am sad to say. I have only seen one species so far, the Black Sunbird, and what with one thing and another photo opportunities have been few and far between. I have captured two shots but they are very poor.
But they are still around for a month or two so maybe Emily or I will get lucky.
I will post new photos within a week, I hope. Got some smashing new ones of bees feeding on the flowers of a creeping cacti we shot a few weeks ago.
Dammit! I have nothing to compete with bees on creeping cacti!
”I’m having corresponding”
Er..I am corresponding, obviously.
Maybe it is because of the way I structure my sentences that I am not selling as many books as I would like! 🙂
You know someone is irrational when they won’t sell a cake that someone wants to buy. Notice, I’m not talking about selling a gun, or a secret recipe, or anything particularly powerful. A cake. And it’s not like they can’t buy one somewhere else. Why pass up money? Is gay money different from straight money? There are lots of people I don’t like, but if they want to give me their money I don’t think I have many objections!
I find the irrational part that they judge some people and not others! If you’re going to turn money down at least do it in a consistent manner. By the way, really enjoying the huge variety of posts on your non-blog – you dig up some great stuff! Do you ever post anything personally?
Thank you very much! It means a lot to me that people are getting some value from what I post. Please see my About page, though – no personal posts, all external content. It’s sort of a special project.
HOWEVER, I have very recently started a second blog at http://www.tiffanysopinions.wordpress.com where I share some of my own opinions – complete with snark and overdramatic tendencies. I don’t share much from my personal life (what do you expect from a holdout who won’t use Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or pretty much anything lol), but I think you might enjoy the new blog 🙂
Thanks again for the kind words!
I have to admire your willingness to spend time reading those kind of blogs. I wouldn’t make it past two sentences before starting to foam at the mouth.
I know what you mean, but I find them fascinating and want to know why they hold beliefs that are so illogical.
The jolly good thing about gods is that they are all equally indistinguishable from dead novelists, in the sense, that they are never appear anywhere to explain what their own interpretation of their own books would be.
The female bishop of Helsinki Lutheran church just sanctified a gay couple for missionary work in Malaysia. There was some protests against her decision and she got both supportive and genuine hate mail as a result. Her god obviously shares her values. Just as surely as the god of her opponents within the Finnish Lutheran church (many of whom do not even accept that she as a woman could be a priest – never mind a bishop of the biggest parish in the country) shares their values.
Gods seem to have no impact on moral values people hold. None what so ever. The adherents of the same god, the same religion and even within the same sect may hold completely opposite moral values and be sincerely convinced that their god holds the very same moral values they themselves happen to have.
But it is questionable to base ones moral on gods and their holy books because, that is indistinguishable from divorcing oneself from taking responsibility of making conscious moral choises as an adult.
Whose interpretation about the will of gods, their existance and about what religion and sect might be the one true one is the correct one? What would be the method to find out, and what is the fate of all those people who just simply made a sincere evaluation and interpretation, but happened to be wrong?
It’s such a good point Raut, Christians are willfully blind to analysing all this. An atheist’s decisions are based on logic and evidence, while their decisions are based on their understanding of words written two thousand years ago. Even assuming logic and evidence enter the arena for them, the core of their decision making process is deeply flawed.