Opinion

Considering the cake case: Is religious freedom bent beyond repair in this country?

In this March 10, 2014, photo, Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips decorates a cake inside his store in Lakewood, Colo. Phillips is appealing a ruling against him in a legal complaint filed with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission by a gay couple he refused to make a wedding cake for, based on his religious beliefs. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

(RNS) — Is religious freedom in the U.S. broken beyond repair?

If you’re secular or a progressive religious person, you might be thinking “yes”—especially in view of a high-profile case that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday (Dec. 5). Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission pits the anti-gay-marriage beliefs of a cake baker against the rights of a same-sex couple to live and marry free of discrimination.

It rightly irritates liberals to witness a conservative Christian merchant seeking exemption from laws prohibiting businesses from discriminating against gay people. But even though this and other recent invocations of religious freedom taste bad in progressive mouths, the long view — backward and forward — suggests that religious freedom still has much to recommend it, regardless of how the high court rules on the Colorado baker.

Technically, free speech is the issue in the baker’s case. But there’s no separating Jack Phillips’ anti-homosexuality religious views from the heart of this matter. Indeed, it’s his religious belief that motivated Phillips to say “no” to a gay couple who sought to employ his services for their wedding cake, putting the legal wheels in motion.

To liberal sensibilities, Phillips seems the epitome of an unsympathetic character. The religious group he’s part of — conservative Christians — remains the segment of the population most outside of society’s growing and commendable acceptance of same-sex relationships. Moreover, Phillips is part of a religious demographic that wields outsized power in politics and aligns most closely with a president who is every liberal’s nightmare.

It seems ridiculous to think that this evangelical baker in Colorado is somehow beleaguered and oppressed, in need of constitutional protection if he’s to continue living and believing — and discriminating — as he sees fit. Really, isn’t he the one who’s oppressing?

There’s something valid in this sentiment. It’s true that over the course of our history, vulnerable religious minorities — including nonbelievers — have often been the ones seeking protection under religious freedom and the principle that all citizens should be free to believe, or not, in accordance with their own consciences. Several landmark Supreme Court cases follow this storyline, from Amish people appealing for exemption from mandatory school attendance to conscientious objectors seeking to avoid military combat.

Juxtaposed with these scenarios, refusing to provide for-pay service to a gay couple seems like an abuse of religious freedom. So do other recent legal appeals to religious freedom, including the successful petition by a Christian-owned business, Hobby Lobby, to be exempt from a law requiring employers to provide contraceptive coverage as part of their employees’ health care.

David Sehat, for one, says that if this is what religious freedom has come to mean, maybe we are better off without it. Sehat, a history professor at Georgia State University and the author of “The Myth of American Religious Freedom,” suggests it’s time for a system that holds religious people accountable to the laws of the land, with no regard for how it affects their religious practice.

Speaking on his “MindPop” podcast earlier this year, Sehat said, “Now that white Christians are making these religious freedom claims, the cleanest way of moving forward is dispensing with those claims entirely, and saying instead … you don’t get to be exempt from otherwise-required responsibilities of citizenship.”

Is this the point we’ve reached? Is it time for Americans to elect politicians and shape a judiciary with a much more limited conception of religious freedom?

No.

The fact that defenders of slavery and segregation also appealed to religious freedom disgusts us, but it provides a measure of perspective, too. The constitutional principle survived that nefarious use — and can probably survive others that progressives detest today.

Bear in mind, too, that the Colorado baker’s religious demographic is something of a besieged minority when it comes to LGBT rights. Now that a majority of the public and much of corporate America support gay marriage, anti-gay holdouts pay a price for speaking and acting on their beliefs. Fair-minded people ought to concede this even if we think conservative Christians are completely wrong on this issue.

To the larger point, it would be shortsighted indeed to forfeit an important constitutional principle that has served progressives and their allies in the past — and likely will again.

American history shows us that religious freedom “gets used and defined in all kinds of ways, by all kinds of people,” says Tisa Wenger, a professor of religious history at Yale Divinity School and author of the new book “Religious Freedom: The Contested History of an American Ideal.”

“Instead of ceding the territory to conservatives,” Wenger says, “they need to reclaim religious freedom and define it themselves.”

Yes, they do, because the principle sheltering religious conservatives today could provide safe harbor for racial, sexual and religious minorities tomorrow. Given the direction of the nation’s politics, that “tomorrow” might come soon.

(Tom Krattenmaker is a writer specializing in religion in public life and is communications director at Yale Divinity School. He is the author of the award-winning book “Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower.” The views expressed in this opinion piece do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)

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Tom Krattenmaker

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  • It seems to me this issue comes down to one of distinction between a “product” for sale in a business versus a personal “commission” for a product. It this baker has a cake for sale in his shop window, for instance, then, anyone is entitled to walk in an buy that cake, regardless of sexual orientation or any other classification. However, it seems to me that a logical argument can be made that a “custom” cake falls within the classification of “art” and therefore as a commissioned piece of art becomes subject to the rights of the artist to either accept the commission or reject the commission, for any reason whatsoever.

    It seems illogical to me that you could compel a black artist, for instance, to produce a custom, commissioned piece of art for the meeting hall of a KKK chapter. Or, a Jewish baker to produce a custom, commissioned cake in the shape of a swastika. If, however, the black artist had his art for sale at a public art fair, or, the Jewish baker happened to have a cake in the shape of a swastika already baked and for sale in his shop window (admittedly highly unlikely), then, one could argue that both are compelled to sell their wares to a willing buyer without discrimination.

    Where that line is drawn is the difficult question. A restaurant owner, for example, with a standard, published menu who claims that each entree served is a work of “art” thereby entitling him to discriminate based upon race, I think many would agree would be overstepping the line. On the other hand, if a person wishes to engage a sculptor to make a sculpture that the artist finds patently offensive, for whatever reason, it seems that most would support the sculptor’s clear right to refuse the commission.

    So, “art” or “commodity” appears to me to be the distinguishing point. You cannot compel someone to exercise their artistic talents to any end for which they disagree. I think that needs to be the distinction that the SCOTUS must define more clearly. It will be interesting to see how they navigate this difficult issue.

  • If I have time later, I will write about this.
    For now, I will say this much: religious freedom is bent beyond repair precisely because of opinions that declare that discrimination on the basis of religious belief, outlawed at every level of government since 1964, is an issue of religious freedom.

  • I agree, that is largely the issue. But swastika cakes have little to do with the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. This baker is claiming that all his cakes are works of art, and that to compel him to make the cake for the gay couple is therefore a violation of the First Amendment. But the facts of the case establish that the couple simply asked for a cake for their wedding. They did not ask the baker to create any specific cake design. Once he realized they were a gay couple, he refused to make the wedding cake. Furthermore, the cakeshop was located in a strip mall. This was not some kind of artist you had to specially contact and commission. He held himself out as a public accommodation.

  • Here’s the shortcut to your argument.

    It’s not a matter of the product being sold, but a matter of who the seller refuses to sell it to. If the jewish baker normally make swastika cakes, but refuses to sell them to a certain protected class of person, then discrimination might well be the issue.

    But that’s not what is going on. Art or commodity is not the issue. Having been to 1000 weddings in my career, about 50 of them gay weddings, I can assure that there is no difference between a straight wedding cake and a gay one.Discrimination on the basis of religious belief and on the basis of sexual orientation is.

    it’s one thing to demand an expression from a particular baker. If Philips refuses to make a rainbow wedding cake, I think he is within his rights. If he makes rainbow wedding cakes, but refuses to sell them to gay couples on the basis of his religious beliefs, that is quite another.

  • BTW, it is HIGHLY TELLING that the only place this issue seems to come up is when Christians of a certain sort are required to treat gay people as they would like to be treated themselves– decently, amicably, without animus or judgment. But it’s even more than that, because they will claim that it is about gay wedding and not about gay people. Nonsense. A gay wedding says that gay people are that so-called Christian’s moral, religious, social, cultural, legal, sexual, marital, and familial equals.
    And THAT is really the issue.

  • If the plaintiffs in the case were members of a different minority, one which historically experiences discrimination, would the argument remain the same? Would we even see this case so elevated to the USSC? Or would it have been quashed at a lower level court?

    What if it had been an African American couple, or Hispanic or, OMG, a mixed race couple; one white and one black? What if Mr Masterpiece Cakeshop was a member of the White Arian Christian Chuch, which abhors all of those couples? The first two as lower forms of human and the white member of the third couple a race traitor. Would he be allowed to claim a religious exemption for his strongly held religious belief? Would/should he be allowed to discriminate against any of those couples requesting that he bake and sell them a wedding cake?

    What if the couple requesting a cake included a handicapped person? Handicapped to the point that they would never be able to reproduce. And Mr Masterpiece Cakeshop was a fundamentalist Roman Catholic who subscribe that marriage requires the ability to produce children. Would/should he be allowed to discriminate against this couple because of his strongly held religious belief?

    At what point do you draw the line as to who can be legally discriminated against for strongly held religious beliefs and public accomodation laws? Only LGBTQ folks because, I don’t even want that image in my mind, what they might do is so yucky?

  • We were likely working on our thoughts similtaneously. Plus, I’m multitasking and it sometimes takes me 40 minutes to an hour to get my comments finished!

  • Thanks Arbustin for your reply. I dabble in acrylic painting (not commercially) and that is why this article peaked my interest. I readily admit that I do not know all the particulars of this case, but, was posing questions that came to my mind from the article as it was written. If the particulars are as you describe I would agree with your assertion that as a public accommodation he had a duty to supply the cake requested. However, if I may, I’d like to pose an additional question because I think it is germane to the discussion. If the couple in question requested a specific message be inscribed on the cake that the cake maker had a fundamental disagreement with, do you think it would be within his rights to make the cake requested but refuse to create the message? Is there a distinction?

  • There is no difference between a straight wedding cake and a gay one.

    Sometimes the cake topper is different! 🙂

  • Cake toppers in my 1000-wedding experience were the exception, not the rule. And a lot of people would just put them on themselves.

  • Ben thanks for your thoughts. I do agree with the assertion you make in your final paragraph. I posed this additional question to Arbustin below. Let us say that the cake maker does indeed sell rainbow cakes as a matter of practice and, is therefore legally bound to sell the rainbow cake to a gay couple. However, does that same cake maker retain any right to accept or refuse any further requested modification of that cake, say, in terms of an additional inscribed message that he/she may have a problem with? Does that cake then move from what I would call a commodity to an item of artistic expression?

  • Yes, there is. A message would be an expression of belief, and as such, he would be within his rights. It wouldn’t be the same cake he sells to everyone else. But as a wedding photographer with around 1000 weddings under my belt, I can assure you, I saw only ONE wedding cake with writing on it.

  • The trouble with even a limited “sheltering” or accommodation is that it empowers any gatekeeper to cite religion in denying goods and services — and not just in private business. There’s the county clerk in Kentucky who cited God’s authority in denying a marriage license otherwise permitted by current law — or there’s the hospital in Florida that denied a woman access to her dying domestic partner.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janice_Langbehn

    So, it’s not just an exemption; it’s the ability to inflict one’s religious belief on other parties, be it customers, clients, patients, tenants, employees or whomever happens to be under a gatekeeper’s power. And then it’s a question of it’s limited to one religious view vs. one disfavored minority, or if religious belief becomes an arbitrary power, against anybody.

  • Okay, then I believe we agree that there can be a line where expression can not be forced and the devil in these situations is in the details. Thanks for your thoughts. They are appreciated.

  • Yes, there is a constitutional distinction. The baker could have refused to make any specific message requested by the couple.

  • RBG flagged this in her Hobby Lobby dissent, in which she pointed out that a business, unlike a religious organization, is not a place of a single faith but involved third parties — this in a case that involved a business, not a one-person shop (which raises the question of whether a corporation is not just a person but a Person of Faith). It’s also a question of how the Free Exercise of Religious right, to give it its 1st Am. wording, balances with the ban on an Establishment of religion. No accident that the two phrases are side-by-side in the 1st Amendment.

  • What about the fact that the Masterpiece Cakeshop proprietor was also unwilling to sell them an unmarked cake? As opposed to one where he would have written a message (i.e., compelled speech) or simply done it as sale-specific artistry? The distinction is important both as speech and, from a Contracts law perspective, as specially-made goods as opposed to generic, off-the-shelf.

    Was it that the proprietor didn’t want to make a cake, or simply didn’t want to sell to these particular customers? It’s an important point; a Con. Law professor would press the point and so, on argument, would certain Justices on Dec. 5.

  • I didn’t know that about Ginsberg’s dissent. Thanks for that. I would make that same argument myself. A cake is not worship and does not occur within the context of faith.

  • Religious Freedom. I have not seen a religionists been deprived of their civil rights. But I see that religionists have more than one enemy. They disapprove of certain people because their holy book has a line in Lebiticus disparaging the way that some people have sex. Now for a body of Christ, churches want to deprive certain people who have sex in such a way that they dislike (why can’t they keep their collective noses out of other folks private matters). Seems to me that it is not the Christian that is begrudged freedom , but. ..well we know the rest.

  • Here’s the wikipedia article on Hobby Lobby, with summaries. Wikipedia pages on legal cases are usually well-footnoted and include at least one link to the verbatim ruling.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burwell_v._Hobby_Lobby_Stores,_Inc.

    It’s not a cake as worship but whether it’s a public accommodation. You’re going to hear more about the Piggie Park ruling, which, perhaps too abruptly, dismissed a religious-freedom argument in a racial discrimination case.

  • I agree coram nobis that the points you make are important. As I indicated to another poster here, I am not familiar with all the details of the case as you and others are. As a producer of creative material myself I am interested in the outcome.

  • He was willing to sell them any other item in the store, including cakes. The media has often falsely claimed that he would not serve them at all.

  • Indeed, because the court may make some technical distinctions between art, specially-made products, merchandise in general, and services (e.g., photographers, caterers, etc.) which may trigger something on employment law. Can you compel an employment gig in the same way you might compel general service (e.g., restaurants or hotels) or sales?

  • “It’s true that over the course of our history, vulnerable religious minorities…” The truth is over most of our history there were no religions. They were all made up in the last few millennia in our never ending tries to “fill the void”. This essay is just another contribution to the conflict over make-believe. It is completely insane and ultimately self-destructive, by the sound of it, in the not too distant future. For the sake of humanity, get smart! https://thelastwhy.ca/poems/2015/6/25/life-a-reaction-to-the-void

  • I would give this “artist” a little more thought if he also made sure he did not bake cakes for the divorced, single mothers, murderers, child molesters, people who eat shellfish, etc., etc. But two people in love?! That’s the cherry you are picking?

  • I support Mr. Phillips’ right to hold his beliefs even though I do not share his view that he should be allowed to refuse service to LGBT customers. If he’s engaged in business with the public, he should be required to do business with everyone, regardless. If he decides to ignore federal and state laws, let him suffer the consequences — even going out of business if such should happen! I remember a trainer telling us years ago that when his two kids were little, he’d hear them complain from time to time, “Daddy, that’s not fair!”, and he’d reply, “Of course life is not fair. A fair is a fancy country picnic.” I hope SCOTUS upholds Colorado’s decision. If it does so, Mr. Phillips can comply or refuse to do so. If the latter, he will most certainly suffer the consequences. It’s called “taking responsibility for one’s actions”, that is, behaving as an adult.

    One possible compromise (if the baker is so willing): Bake and decorate the cake, but require the wedding party to pick it up at the store. In this way, he does not have to be present at the wedding or reception venues. Likewise with photographers, florists, et al: If they cannot in good faith support same-sex marriage, require them to do what they can *away from* the wedding venues. If a photographer, for example, can get someone to take the pictures and return them to the studio for processing, so be it. The demarcation line in these examples is (a) enforcing a couple’s right to be served by a business and/but (b) not requiring an objecting business owner to be present at the wedding and reception.

    Compromise.

  • So you still want to force someone to take your money?

    Definition of fascism

    1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

    2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

    early instances of army fascism and brutality —J. W. Aldridge

    1 Thessalonians 5:22King James Version (KJV)

    22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
    that is the reason a Christian will not participate.

  • If you have a business open to the public you have a duty to serve the public. If you are so overcome with bigotry that you can’t follow that rule, that is not anyone else’s problem. Tough crap. Figure out how to do business in closed commerce. Word of mouth, membership clubs, limited venues.

    Just remember Sandi, the Bible supports fascism, autocracy and slavery. What is the government of God? Its not the Parliament of Heaven, its the Kingdom of Heaven. An absolute dictatorship with a single centralized head.

  • America has always been a nation that has expanded rights and protections to formerly discriminated against people, however imperfectly it was applied. Over time we have gradually but surely moved forward on rights and protections for people, not backward. It will be interesting to see if the Justices move us forward or backward. Given the GOP majority on the Supreme Court, I won’t be shocked if they move backward on civil rights for gay Americans, and allow legal discrimination to continue and even expand.

    If the Supreme Court rules that religious belief overrules anti-discrimination laws, then the Civil Rights Act is under threat. All a business owner has to say is their religious beliefs forbid them from serving or selling to black people, and it trumps the Civil Rights Act. We should think of allowing discrimination against gay people as the “canary in the mine”. If it’s allowed, then all minorities are under threat of losing their protection from discrimination. You don’t have to approve of everyone to recognize that discrimination against one group of people opens the door for discrimination against other people, including (cough! cough!) conservative Christians.

    Lastly what the owner of the bakery and his supporters are asking for is the right to mistreat gay people and deny them access to the marketplace. If the Supreme Court allows discrimination in the marketplace, then cities and states should pass a law requiring businesses to prominently display a sign on their business (and online) that says “This business does not service or sell to gay people”. Don’t humiliate gay people and their families, by waiting until after they’ve entered your business to tell them “We don’t serve your kind in here” and throw them out.

    If you’re a business owner that doesn’t sell or service gay people, be proud of your discrimination and “own” it. People should know about it so they can make up their mind if they want to give you their hard-earned money. I know there’s no way I’d go through the door of a business that discriminates against a member of my family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers.

  • A more honest example, closer to the facts of the case, and not the complete and utter BS analogy being employed by people who want religious rights to attack people would be:

    A known KKK member goes into a shop and asks for a cake which says: “Happy Birthday Bob”. The shop refuses the business because of what he knows of the customer.

    The line is really really simple. Reasonable requests by customers have a reasonable expectation of service. The class of the customer is always irrelevant. If your religious beliefs prevent following such rules, that is your problem. Face the consequences of such divine incivility at your own risk.

  • Kennedy, Mr. Swing vote, is the progenitor of SCOTUS jurisprudence on gay rights going back to Romer v. Evans in 1996. I don’t see him ruling against his prior decisions or his strong support for individual civil rights.

  • It wasn’t SCOTUS job to approve of gay marriage other than civil unions for civil reasons. Now the world must pay the price of extinction. Global warming will not stop because of public acceptance of the anti-life choices. Both, abortion and public acceptance of homosexual pseudo- legal rights are anti-life and God is responding already by letting the planet die.

    The people of the world have the right to know, why the Earth is dying. It looks like it was the LGBT’s CHOICE whether or not the world would continue to be habitable. They thought they had all their bases covered but there is a fly in the ointment.

    “commendable acceptance by society” is not commendable to God, Mr. Krattenmaker.

  • Thanks for your reply Spuddie. I accept your example and agree with it. I would like to point out that I was simply attempting to hear some various viewpoints on the issue and no where in my posts or my questions did I express any religious beliefs one way or another. If you interpreted my remarks as attack of any sort, I am sorry that you were left with that impression.

  • “If you interpreted my remarks as attack of any sort, I am sorry that you were left with that impression.”

    Not at all. I understood your point. I was describing the inherent position posed by the analogy employed.

    If I came off a bit harsh, I apologize.

  • What??? The Earth isn’t dying. Life has continued through ice ages, volcanic eruptions, meteorite hits and other natural phenomena. Global warming will cause problems but our ecosystem will recover and adapt until the next upheaval. I’m no climate scientist but I’m pretty sure gays are not responsible. You’re letting that Bronze Age book of myths warp your thinking.

  • That must be it. Everything is always the fault of Teh Geyz!!!

    Be afraid, be very afraid. Please share my obsession over all things gay..

    Geyz! Geyz! Geyz!

    It couldn’t perhaps have a thing to do with irresponsible, unchecked reproduction by the vast heterosexual majority, and the opposition to family planning, birth control, and sex education by religious conservatives everywhere!

    Nope.

    It’s Teh Geyz!!

    Keep drinking the kult-aid, honey. It’s all you have.

  • God is not a bronze age myth, He is older than dirt. Scientists are now shortening the period of habitability on this planet at an increasing rate. You see, all those that have cried ” the sky is falling” were only wrong about when the sky falls.

    Who would have guessed that this issue is the abomination of desolation that spreads around the world, making the world the plain of Armageddon.

    No, I have this correct; the fly in the ointment is the apothecary.

  • If the court rules against the baker, then Constitutional freedom of religion, and in my opinion the Constitution itself, becomes meaningless. It will only be about what the people who currently hold power can impose on others.

  • In like manner the counter side is the ability to inflict one’s desires upon another and force them to act in way contrary to their religious beliefs.

  • If it were just a regular cake I’d say some of these arguments hold water. But it is a wedding cake. Some religions see marriage as between a man and woman and this is a core value. To force someone to faciliate a rite that goes against such a core value would be a travesty in the destruction it would do to Constitutional freedoms for everyone. You can’t toss, erode, or argue away religious freedom (because you don’t like it) without setting the precedence for the erosion of them all.

  • What you don’t understand is it is not bigotry Spud. There is no “bigotry” in following the teachings of the One who created you and knows what is best for you.

  • agreed. To add to your comment one thing:

    Colossians 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

  • Well, yes, although if it’s restraining them from sacrificing babies in a flaming idol, or marrying off 12-year-olds, or subjecting girls to genital mutilation, to name some extreme examples, it does come into play. No constitutional right is unlimited, to include the Free Exercise clause, any more than the right of free speech would include a right to defamation.

    There’s also the question of where a 1st Am. right might conflict, say, with the 14th Am. right to equal protection under the law. Checks and balances is at play, and it’s worth remembering that quoting constitutional clauses out of context — which includes case law as well as constitutional text in toto — is much like quoting Bible verses out of context. That’s how Con. Law works and what you’ll see when it’s argued Dec. 5.

    One thing that will come up, and it’s directly on point and still valid case law, is Justice Scalia’s majority opinion in Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990) where he spells out where the Free Exercise clause might run up against laws of general applicability. Worth reading.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/494/872

  • OK, so should business be required to list OPENLY the types of sins that they will not bake for, i.e Gays, Prostitutes, remarried folks, inter-racial couples? Or just gays?

  • I can understand not forcing clergy who belong to non-gay-marriage-accepting-sects to marry gays. They’d be pressed into participating in a rite which isn’t in line with their beliefs. I might disagree with such clergy (and I do), but can’t see any good reason to force them to perform gay marriages. 

    But … 

    Cakes are not used in wedding rites, per se. They’re eaten at receptions, which are — effectively — wedding after-parties. There’s nothing sacred about them. They’re not used in the wedding ceremony. They don’t make a wedding happen, or not. The wedding rite will already have taken place, before the cake is even presented to guests (and the couple being married). 

    Thus, it’s hard to see how bakers can possibly be “damaged” by having to bake wedding cakes for marriages they disapprove of. Doing so doesn’t involve them in the marriage rite, and doesn’t make the couple married (or not). 

    Furthermore, consider a scenario in which a gay couple gets married but — with the help of a confederate of the opposite sex — they present themselves to the baker as a hetero couple, and order a cake which doesn’t overtly show that it has anything to do with a gay marriage. Yes, the couple will have commissioned the cake under false pretenses (and I don’t necessarily approve of such a move), but if they do so, and if the gay couple then has this cake at their reception, what harm will have befallen the baker? 

    None that I can see, other than s/he was lied to about who, exactly, was buying the cake. If, in this scenario, no identifiable “damage” to the baker can be discerned, then I can’t see how a baker could be damaged by baking a cake for a couple s/he knew to be gay. I simply don’t see it. 

  • Bruce, take a moment and listen to yourself. When the courts decided that same sex couples had the right to marry, it was also debated (for years) if same sex couples were good parents or should be allowed to raise children. This was one of the main arguments against that “your side” said it would cause children to deteriorate. The court determined that not only are gay people as good as opposite sex parents, but in some instances, better. There were many factors considered, not just “can we marry”. Also, the planet is dying because of global warming. It’s a real thing.

  • So I come in, buy a plain cake, something in the window (and not tell him it’s for my Gay wedding, but use it for my big gay wedding – it gets photographed, put on my facebook – I tag his cake shop), then at some point, he finds out.. can he then sue me? See what is happening here?

  • No, your interpretations of someone else’s interpretations or Christ. Christ never penned anything himself. Many Christian religions have different views. Yours is just one of many.

  • I would be much happier with this piece if I knew the author had some in-depth knowledge of constitutional law and the history of same.

  • “the Bible supports fascism, autocracy, and slavery”?

    You gotta be kidding me. The atheism virus is eating your brain alive, just like in those late-night zombie movies.

    You gotta let go of it. You gotta get yourself some good Medicine that will fix the fixin’s for you. It’s time for you to go see the Doctor.

    Meanwhile, Christian businessman Jack Phillips will either win or lose next month. And every Christian, Jew, Muslim, and even Atheist, will win or lose with him.

    Constitutional religious freedom for ALL of us, is on the line, (in fact it’s on the brink), in December.

  • Kingdom of heaven. Those are the words of you guys. Every kingdom on earth is an autocratic dictatorship no different from fascism. That is your model for God’s domain.

  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17English Standard Version (ESV)

    16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[a] may be complete, equipped for every good work.

  • I have no “side” I am fulfilling a fiduciary role only. I know you can be as good a parent and or better parent. I already said that global warming is a “real thing”

    Again, I am merely performing my legal duty as a fiduciary. By the way, this is what SCOTUS failed to do.They put you in harms way but did not inform you.

    You are my witness that I have done my duty. If you stand before God in judgement, you will be found in contempt if you tell the Judge: you did not know.

    Thank you for calling and sharing.

  • ” To force someone to faciliate a rite that goes against such a core value would be a travesty in the destruction it would do to Constitutional freedoms for everyone.”

    There are two fallacies present in your reasoning.

    The cake is made for the party, not for marriage. It may not even be a “rite” if the couple is not-religious.

    no one wants to force them to do anything. I certainly don’t wish to give my money to people who detest me and think that my marriage is an offense to god and society. But there are plenty of perfectly legal ways not to do business with people you despise, without being a rude obnoxious and self righteous a-hole, and without claiming that your religious beliefs entitle you to ignore courtesy, non-discrimination laws, and good business practices.

    Starting with, “I’m booked. Please call so-and-so.”

  • “If the court rules FOR the baker, then Constitutional freedom of religion, and in my opinion the Constitution itself, becomes meaningless. It will only be about what the people who currently hold power can impose on others.”
    he has the right to worship and believe whatever he wishes. He does not have the right to involve a third party in his religious beliefs. He does not have the right to discriminate against people on the basis of religious belief.
    And in any case, the religious reich already broke that concept when they insisted that they could pass laws against gay marriage, and thereby imposed their beliefs on the many individuals, religious or not, rabbis, ministers, priests, churches, synagogues, and entire denominations the forcefully disagree that their gay parishioners ought to be legally and religiously married

  • You didn’t care about religious freedom when you were busy demonizing gay people and passiung laws forbidding legal gay marriage.

  • Thanks for your thought. But, I’m not completely sure Dean to be honest. On what grounds do you envision the cake shop owner suing? Once the cake has been purchased it is no longer the property of the cake shop owner. Are you thinking perhaps suing for lost business or loss of reputation?

  • As you know, no officiant can be forced to marry anyone. Catholic priests don’t have to marry divorced people or non-catholics. Rabbis are free to reject performing atheists wedding. That whole idea that “ministers/rabbis will be forced to…” was yet another right-wing scare tactic that they knew had absolutely no basis in reality. But it did work scaring the rubes.

  • The reception is part of the wedding – typically – especially if someone wants a wedding cake for it.
    Christ taught that Christians are to avoid the appearance of evil. An immoral event, celebrating immorality is evil.

  • No the defendant is a fictitious entity licensed by the State of Colorado, subject to the licensing authority’s laws and regulations.

    Just look at the title of the court case and you will see the defendant is an LLC.

  • “it’s time for a system that holds religious people accountable to the laws of the land, with no regard for how it affects their religious practice.”

    Agree 100%

    I get that if you own a business you tend to think you can reserve the right to choose your customers.

    But…regardless of what one thinks…the current state of constitutional law states that a business engaged in interstate commerce cannot discriminate based on Title (?? can’t remember the #) definitions.

    That means a lunch counter cannot refuse to serve a black person nor can a baker refuse to make a cute for a gay person that they would otherwise would bake for a non-gay person. It is the law. Anyone can be against this…but until that law were to change..it is the law.

    For me..that pretty much solves the issue.

    My preference would be that people would not use their religion to justify their bigotry. It’s pretty clear that Christianity as a whole is not united on the status of LGBT or gay sex. (regardless of what any person may say the Bible “clearly” teaches). Christians universally agree on certain things: Jesus is God’s son…etc. The fact that so many Christians have so many ideas about LGBT should inform a Christian that maybe this issue is not such a huge deal and there is room for doubt.

  • But the only action that is being requested is to make a cake….how would who will be eating it in any way have a religious implication ?

  • However, it’s not part of the marriage ceremony and I would presume to a devout Christian that’s the only important part (since they think god is involved).

    “An immoral event,” hmm

    ” When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?””

  • “headed by a dictatorial leader”

    Your analogy falls apart. The US is made up of democratically elected officials who in turn advise and consent on SCOTUS picks..who in turn decided the law in this case

    Democracy all the way through. Also, I thought Christians were looking forward to the day when Jesus rules as a dictatorial leader?

  • The Bible does indeed support autocracy — see Yahweh blessing the Davidic monarchy.

    The Bible does indeed condone slavery….both the buying and owning of non-Hebrew slaves (not indentured servants as is often claimed) as there property with or without the slaves consent. Such slaves could be legally beaten and could be passed down as an inheritance.

    I’m not saying this because I am an atheist…I am simply pointing out what the Bible objectively says.

    Fascism? NO..because fascism (despite our modern over use of it) was a specific system that applied specifically to Mussolini’s regime. As far as I can tell no govt since has met that precise criteria. (close maybe but not precise)

  • But the premise that this one exists who knows best has not been demonstrated as true by evidence.

  • You do realize this was written before the councils even decided what scripture was canonical? When it was written, churches still considered Clement and the Didache to be Scripture. Many scholars say the scripture mentioned in Timothy was just the OT

  • “Some religions see marriage as between a man and woman and this is a core value.”

    But they are not blessing the marriage or not..they are just making a cake that has no impact on the covenant. I mean, you don’t see champagne manufacturers insisting not one bottle be uncorked at a gay wedding reception..right?

    Baking a cake is not facilitating the rite..it’s just feeding folks.

  • You are fighting a label, but not really doing it effectively. Not showing why it is inappropriate or incorrect.

  • Not really because the decision will be the result of due process.

    If you do not like what is decided, you can seek to elect reps who will share your dislike who in turn can band together and only pick judges who share your view..then the laws will change.

    That’s how democracy works. You elect the officials..the officials select judges..the judges decide how to adjudicate constitutional questions. Sometimes your views will win..sometimes not.

  • ” When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

  • He won’t hear you because you are an unrepentant sinner, Spud. Repent and be saved, and He will hear you.

  • “It wasn’t SCOTUS job to approve of gay marriage other than civil unions for civil reasons. ”

    Actually, yes..their job is to determine if a judicial or legislative action is constitutional….and they did it. You just don;t like it. Fine. I also do not like other rulings.

    How in the world you think global warming, LGBT and abortion are somehow linked is beyond me.

    “”””commendable acceptance by society” is not commendable to God, Mr. Krattenmaker.””

    And yet even Christians are divided on the issue.

  • Re: “The reception is part of the wedding …” 

    No, it’s not. Props used in a wedding include wedding rings, but not cake. No one eats the cake during the wedding rite. No one! For you to say they do is just laughable and shows the absurdity you and your ilk are willing to leap to, in order to rationalize controlling everyone else’s lives. 

    Re: “An immoral event, celebrating immorality is evil.” 

    Intolerance is even more evil. 

    Oh, and BTW you never responded to my hypothetical scenario. If a baker were to be swindled into baking a cake for a gay wedding — unknown to him/her — would s/he still be harmed by having done so? If so, by what mechanism? If not, why does it matter whether the baker knows it’s for a gay marriage? 

    You really need to explain the mechanics of all this, if you expect me to buy into any of your tripe. 

  • None of it holds water.

    What religious beliefs the vendor holds has no bearing on how customers should be treated, who are purchasing goods and services normally provided by them to the general public.

    If the vendor didn’t want to be “forced to facilitate a rite…” then they should not have been keeping a store open to the general public for anyone to walk in. They should have found an accommodation with the law for their religious inspired bigotry and incivility. Doing business in closed commerce (word of mouth, exclusive membership, limited access venues…). Nobody else has to be bound or by their beliefs.

    Your notion of religious freedom is nonsense. You are not talking about the free exercise of religion, you are talking about privilege of your faith over the rights of others. To establish your faith as above the laws affecting everyone. Your religious freedom to discriminate in open commerce is the same as your right to commit ritual sacrifice, burn crosses on other people’s property or forcibly convert them to your faith, none at all.

  • ” Scientists are now shortening the period of habitability on this planet at an increasing rate. ”

    [citation needed]

  • yeah… that’s the ticket…telling a baker he can’t legally discriminate against gays would render the Constitution of the United States of America completely meaningless… yeah, either that or the creative attempt to find a loophole in the public accommodation laws might get told no.

    Stop being so melodramatic. The fate of America does not hinge on this case

  • I think we’re losing sight of one fact:

    IT’S A F*CKING CAKE!!”

    the baker’s argument is as ridiculous as if a fry cook said…I don;t want women to eat my omelets.

  • Again, it is NOT. It’s an after-party. What part of this do you not comprehend? 

    Oh, and thanks for refusing to respond to my questions, especially for not providing any mechanism by which this harm is inflicted on Chrishun bakers. Without that information I must assume you’re and your ilk are just making stuff up and have no idea what you’re even talking about. 

    Which, to be honest, wouldn’t be new for any of you. Fundagelicality is really just a cover for infantilism and ignorance. 

  • Only if you think the Constitution applies solely to your faith and nobody else. A view not shared by at least 5 out of 9 justices on SCOTUS.

    “It will only be about what the people who currently hold power can impose on others.”

    Um, you are seeking to impose sectarian religious beliefs on customers of a business in open commerce.

  • “This baker is claiming that all his cakes are works of art”

    Here’s a clue..if you can order pretty much the same thing at “the Wal-Marts” –it ain’t art.

  • So? If a person’s religion makes them feel compelled to break non-discrimination laws, why should we bend over backwards to let them? We wouldn’t grant a religious exemption to anti-discrimination laws if the person’s religious belief was that interracial marriage is immoral. If you can do a job, get out of the business.

  • wow. The world is going to end because of gays and abortion. Impressive psychotic break there, buddy.

    Wait a second… don’t those cancel each other out? We should mandate more people be gay, fewer abortions that way!

  • congratulations. You did your made-up job. well done! you did such a good job, so proud of you.

    Now go craw back into your hole, the adults are talking here.

  • “Checks and balances is at play,”

    oh, stop with your high-fluet’n educated talk’n and logic and stuff. there ain’t no place for that there stuff in ‘merica.

  • “Ain’t you the Adolf Menjou of Mayberry…Boy!” — Andy Griffith to a dapper Barney Fife.

  • “If the plaintiffs in the case were members of a different minority, one
    which historically experiences discrimination, would the argument remain
    the same?”

    We have record of gays being discriminated against, literally back to before Christ. Not sure there if there is a group that has more of a history of being discriminated against.

    Oh. wait… yes, we do.. the jews. and now that I think about it, women. But beyond those two, are there others?

  • And I will blame your dryer. The things are monsters who eat socks. The ones that aren’t white are the worst!

  • I thought we established in another thread that there is a difference between straight cake and gay cake?

    The gay cake is better put together and more accepting of different kinds of frosting.

  • Oh come on Ben… there are plenty of people out there with crappy taste, I am sure there are more than one who would do something crass like put writing on wedding cake. Sure, most people wouldn’t do such a thing, but it isn’t entirely unheard of.

  • Romans 1:28 – And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
    Your comment exemplifies this.

  • I’m sure as well. But in my 1000 weddings, I saw it only once. To be fair, there was one grooms cake— a Texas thing- that had writing on it.

  • He goes into great detail in the Supreme Court filings about how being a “cake artist” is his life’s work and how each cake is a piece de resistance. There are pictures.

  • Really, are you just making stuff up?

    The Court listed four distinct reasons why the fundamental right to
    marry applies to same-sex couples. First, “the right to personal choice
    regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy.”[116]
    Second, “the right to marry is fundamental because it supports a
    two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed
    individuals”, a principle applying equally to same-sex couples.[117]
    Third, the fundamental right to marry “safeguards children and families
    and thus draws meaning from related rights of childrearing,
    procreation, and education”; as same-sex couples have children and
    families, they are deserving of this safeguard—though the right to marry
    in the United States has never been conditioned on procreation.[118]
    Fourth, and lastly, “marriage is a keystone of our social order”, and
    “[t]here is no difference between same- and opposite-sex couples with
    respect to this principle”; consequently, preventing same-sex couples
    from marrying puts them at odds with society, denies them countless
    benefits of marriage, and introduces instability into their
    relationships for no justifiable reason.[119]

  • AND:

    Additionally, the Court rejected the notion that allowing same-sex
    couples to marry harms the institution of marriage, leading to fewer
    opposite-sex marriages through a severing of the link between
    procreation and marriage, calling the notion “counterintuitive” and
    “unrealistic”.[126] Instead, the Court stated that married same-sex couples “would pose no risk of harm to themselves or third parties”.[127] The majority also stressed that the First Amendment protects those who disagree with same-sex marriage.[127]

  • “It wasn’t SCOTUS job to approve of gay marriage other than civil unions for civil reasons.”
    And that is precisely what they did. CIVIL MARRIAGE. No religion required. and no special category for them uppity figs. Why should I accept what you would not accept for yourself?

  • That’s perverted. Dryers and washers. The next thing you know, llamas and platypuses.

    But if its a good dryer, it sounds hot.

  • Actually, your usual commentary, and your attack on Tuesday, exemplify this. But as always, there is never a mirror when YOU need one.

  • Absolutely none of that states that same-sex parents ( or more appropriately, same-sex stepparents) are as good as or better than opposite sex parents.

  • It never fails. RNS postings involving gay people bring out the largest flood of comments by
    Fiercely Abhorrent Christian Trash . . . and that’s a FACT.

  • If you know the baker had religious beliefs then go somewhere else. No need to sue to pay for the wedding. LGBT seem to want to keep equil rights and freedom of speech and for themselves. They screamed for tolerance but will not show tolerance to those outside their community. Coexistance works both ways.

  • Proposition 8 was very much about religious freedom.

    Especially after all those angry gay activists went buck-wild against Mormon and Christian churches after the voters approved the Proposition.

  • You don’t even experience true freedom on Earth, until (and unless) you get hooked up with the kingdom of Heaven. Ain’t no fascism when Christ is your Ruler.

  • And you still don’t care about lying and slandering, or the religious freedom of all the people your side was denying to others.

  • But they didn’t know the baker has what he called religious beliefs. Or that he only applied them to gay people. And they did go elsewhere.

    But meanwhile. Since religious conservatives have sponsored every single piece of antigay propaganda and legislation since Anita Bryant, I would suggest you find a mirror about intolerance.

    And take a good long look.

  • ROTFL. Sandi, you are hiding from the truth that your religion is all fiction all the time. It’s great fun to watch its decline and watch you fumble. ROTFL, and a huge TAGPOE stamped on your forehead with it!

    ROTFL!

  • But just say sorry nice and he’ll “forgive” you -always your disgusting faith trying it’s get out of jail free card.

    Fock off, Sandi, you disgustingly fat old bigot.

  • Bruce, your god is a myth. He is not dirt, although the bigoted and murderous acts ascribed to him in your book of Christian tales would make him more like pure excrement than dirt; dirt is too good a description for the vengeful murderous bastard “god” that your bible describes.

  • Most times what I do is quote scripture. Ben if you consider that a lie, and I understand that you do, does not mean that the scripture is wrong.

  • And hey, washer dryer cohabitation is the norm. And sometimes you can find one mounted on top of the other. Intimate stuff for sure, but it’s what goes on inside that really matters.

  • Well, you gave me a good laugh Henry. Once one becomes a Christian, all of their sins are forgiven – not that we try to sin and abuse grace. And, it’s more than a get out of jail free card. It’s the reality of spending a lifetime with Christ and His blessings while here also. Blessings Henry.

  • except, of course, none of this happened. They didn’t know he had these “religious” beliefs and they didn’t sue him. They (and LGBT in general) have not done or said anything about keeping rights for themselves at the expense of other’s rights.

    And frankly, there is zero reason to show tolerance to those who would discriminate against you… why the hell should anyone be tolerant of people abusing them? That’s just moronic.

  • “Your notion of religious freedom is nonsense. You are not talking about the free exercise of religion, you are talking about privilege of your faith over the rights of others. To establish your faith as above the laws affecting everyone. Your religious freedom to discriminate in open commerce is the same as your right to commit ritual sacrifice, burn crosses on other people’s property or forcibly convert them to your faith, none at all.”

    That one paragraph really sums it up succinctly. My late partner, who also had a way with words the rest of us would envy, would have given you a gold star.

  • lol. it is even more fun with her blocked. All I see is strings of “this user is blocked” then an eviscerating response. it is quite entertaining. Though, a little disheartening to realize I knew exactly who was posting based on the responses even before you mentioned the name.

  • “Constitutional religious freedom for ALL of us, is on the line, (in fact it’s on the brink), in December.”

    bull. Even if this case had any baring on freedom of religion, which it doesn’t, whatever the decision ends up being, it does nothing more than clarify a definitional point. There is nothing “on the brink” about this… at worst, we get a little more clarity on the relationship between artistic freedom and other parts of the constitution.

    He already lost the religious freedom argument in the first case, this second case is nothing more than a creative attempt to use artistic freedom to find a loophole in the public accommodations case law.

  • All kinds of claims go into amicus briefs. If the court didn’t cite it, then they didn’t state it or “side” with it. It’s baloney anyway, because it does not distinguish between bio parents and stepparents. We have known for a generation now, since long before SSM was ever a thing, that stepfamilies on average are not as beneficial for children as their own married biological parents. Families headed by same-sex parents are by definition stepfamilies. I am extremely skeptical of any claims that would indicate that homosexuality magically changes stepfamilies into the equivalent of biological families.

  • If you own a business and do not, for religious reasons, want to sell your goods or services to a same-sex couple in a pluralistic society, so be it. Be prepared to deal with the legal consequences. The purpose of a non-discrimination law is neither to promote nor to prohibit living by one’s religious beliefs. Instead, the law in this context is intended to assure equal treatment of persons, regardless of their backgrounds. In a different scenario, if a male refuses to be drafted into the military for religious reasons, he must be prepared to deal with the legal consequences. In both cases (commerce and military), the government will force the individual to take responsibility for his decision. The law itself is neutral in intent so as to assure equal treatment of all persons in a pluralistic society.

  • Actually, it’s VERY possible to have a wedding, but not a reception. Ever hear of “elopement”? Oh wait, obviously you haven’t! Also, have you never heard of people being married but having a reception or other after-party much later? Yep, it happens. More often than you think. 

  • Again, and to repeat, because you’re too childish and thick to comprehend it: A “reception” is not a “wedding.” Jesus never said “receptions” were sacred. Not once — ever — and his supposed Cana miracle cannot and will never magically change that. 

  • “On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”” John 2:1-3.

    You get even funnier.

  • Again, and to repeat … because you’re too childish and thick to comprehend it: A “reception” is not a “wedding.” Jesus never said “receptions” were sacred. Not once — ever — and his supposed Cana miracle cannot and will never magically change that. 

    This is both important, and obvious, but for some reason you raging fundagelicals can’t understand it. So I will repeat it for you, again: 

    A “reception” is not a “wedding.” Jesus never said “receptions” were sacred. Not once — ever — and his supposed Cana miracle cannot and will never magically change that. 

    Let me know when this fact has finally sunk into your laughably and childishly thick skull. I’m happy to repeat it to you as many times as are needed for you finally to grow up and absorb it. 

  • Can’t fix the lack of breeding, but you could definitely use a little reading comprehension help. Try your local Sylvan Learning Center.

  • A “reception” is not a “wedding.” 

    That is a fact which you cannot plausibly deny. Nevertheless … and for some reason … you do. 

  • I know some bartenders who think their cocktails are works of art.

    I guess the entire Wal Mart bakery department is an artist’s commune.

    As Holly Hunter said in that awful Batman v. Superman:

    “You can call it whatever you like. Take a bucket of piss and call it Granny’s Peach Tea– You won’t fool a fly or me. I’m not gonna drink it.”

  • I’ll say it slower for you, and a little differently – no wedding reception without a wedding.

  • John says that the wine ran out at the WEDDING, Einstein. The collecting of he bride and the consummation and the feast that often went on for days was all part of the same thing. We see it again in Revelation, too.

    So the event at Cana, where Jesus was present, was a reception/after-party.

    But Jesus knew nothing about receptions/after-parties, even though He was at one.

    Which one of your statements was the lie?

  • Not all sins are equal. Your comment reflects dichotomous thinking, i.e., the idea that life is black-and-white. It’s not, your apparent preference notwithstanding. Ironically, your belief points to authoritarian governance in matters of church and state. Ultimately such thinking is rooted in FEAR in both leader and followers. Not healthy.

  • Re: “John says that the wine ran out at the WEDDING, Einstein.” 

    So now you contend the “reception” and the “wedding” are the same thing, Einstein? Bzzzzt! That’s a lie! They are not the same. 

    Remember: A “reception” is not a “wedding.” 

    What is wrong with you, that makes you not comprehend this very simple truth? Why are you lying to me, and everyone else, about this? Get back on your meds. 

    Re: So the event at Cana, where Jesus was present, was a reception/after-party. 

    Either it was a wedding, or it was a reception. It cannot have been both, because: A “reception” is not a “wedding.” 

  • What part of “A ‘reception’ is not a ‘wedding'” do you not understand? Why are you lying, and trying to tell me they’re one and the same? They are not. Usually, in fact, they’re held in separate places. Receptions are never held in churches, but weddings sometimes are. 

    Take your meds and stop trying to force me to accept your delusions &mdash: I absolutely refuse to abide by them. No matter how many times you pitch fits and stamp your feet and insist otherwise. 

  • Re: “Lastly what the owner of the bakery and his supporters are asking for is the right to mistreat gay people and deny them access to the marketplace.” 

    Well, yeah. Of course! The whole idea is to relegate them to a kind of second class. Sort of like the “Jim Crow” laws did to blacks, in the South. It’s really the same impulse — obviously so. 

  • But you said he never knew of receptions.

    So it must have been a wedding.

    Or one of your assertions must have been a lie.

    Which one?

    ?

  • Proposition 8 was a fundraiser for groups that profit off of the rubes.

    Mormons got what they deserved for participating in it.

  • No, Sandi you disgusting and deluded old bigot, recent RNS articles even show that your cult is in decline. And that’s great news.

  • No, Sandi you disgusting and deluded old bigot. You weren’t given a blessing, from me or from your vengeful sky asswipe.

  • No, Sandi you disgusting and deluded old bigot. Your scripture spewing actually also demonstrates that what you have is bibliolatry, not sincere belief. That wrathful god of yours is gonna burn your fat ass for that…

  • Sandi you disgusting and deluded old bigot, again and again you demonstrate in your quotes from your storybook that your sky asswipe “god” isn’t loving, and actually has quite the violent wrath problem.

  • There you go, using facts and verifiable sources for assertions to argue with someone who not only makes crap up, but Gish gallops like she’s at the Kentucky Derby.

    How dare you! 🙂

  • Nobody has to tolerate being discriminated against and attacked. You are a whiny snowflake lamenting why you can’t harm others with impunity and without consequences.

    You know nothing of tolerance. You want special privilege. To hell with that. You are legitimately a terrible person.

  • Poor snowflake is annoyed people won’t let him harm others with impunity. Your intolerance is obvious, harmful and seeks color of law.

  • Usual nearly content-free response from Sandi the bigot. Sandi, the god described in your bible stories is evil and would not be worthy of worship if it existed. Glad to see you acknowledging that point.

  • Your insincerity is offensive. Good to see you acknowledging, though, that your “god” of your bible stories has quite the violent wrath problem. That’s a step forward for you, Sandi, you disgusting and deluded old bigot.

  • Up to 189 gallons worth after the wine ran out. And quality wine to boot, contrary to the apparent practice of providing poor quality wine later. That is one heck of a lot of wine to top up what had already been consumed. No commentary on drunkenness but an act to support the host.

  • Stepfamilies are a totally different kettle of fish. Generally they are also blended families that can include a number of issues to navigate including two sets of children,part-time siblings,, existing biological parents that children still have an active relationship with, different parenting styles and methods of discipline and child support with it’s ensuing impact on the new stepfamily’s income.

  • No, Sandi, you foul, deluded, and disgusting old bigot. Your god does not exist to influence anything, but it’s great fun to watch your awful cult of bigotry in its dying days now.

    ROTFL at you, and you get another huge TAGPOE stapled on your dense forehead.

  • ROTFL. You liar. You’ve repeatedly passed judgement on people here, you disgusting, bigoted old liar. So,….

    TAGPOE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ROTFL. You are a frequent abuser and bigot. I reject your worthless “blessing”.

    Sandi, you are merely a disgusting, deluded, evil old bigot.

  • When the average cost of a wedding int the US exceeds $35,000 and a wedding cake costs over $500 and up, it seems to me any baker who is Christian who thinks they will be supporting gay marriage by baking a cake should not be baking a cake for any wedding given the display of self-indulgence etc for an 8 hour event and the likely inappropriate behavior of at least some of the wedding guests.

  • That’s because you have taste, as do we. Those things are ridiculous, ugly, and were the last things we wanted on a cake. Our was a gift, made by a friend and former caterer, didn’t say a thing.

  • The amici briefs at the Supreme Court included 79 studies that show that stable same sex couples kids fair as well or sometimes better than stable straight couples children. I gave you three articles that link to the science that I am sure you don’t care to read, or believe. They were presented with one study that said straight parents were better and it was laughed out of court as it compared kids in stable straight relationships, with kids brought up by single parents who had had as few as one gay experience. Even Regnerus, who wrote the study, admitted it did not prove what they were trying to say it did. His university disavowed his work, and the journal that published his study, then debunked it and apologized for not checking his methodology before publication.
    So my brother is his son’s step father as he is sterile and he and his wife used artificial insemination to have a child? Adopted parents are step parents? You are very confused about the difference in procreation and parenting. There are plenty of people who have procreated who are terrible parents. Biology has nothing to do with good effective parenting.
    My wife is an unwanted only child of two unwanted only children. Biological family in your terms. Christian family. No love, no care, no time spent together, nothing. She would have preferred to have been adopted by anyone, gay or straight, who loved and cared for her at least as much as they cared about themselves. Biological parents aren’t inherently better that non biological parents. Or we wouldn’t have so many parents killing their own kids.

    Overview: We identified 79 scholarly studies that met our criteria for adding to knowledge about the wellbeing of children with gay or lesbian parents. Of those studies, 75 concluded that children of gay or lesbian parents fare no worse than other children. While many of the sample sizes were small, and some studies lacked a control group, researchers regard such studies as providing the best available knowledge about child adjustment, and do not view large, representative samples as essential. We identified four studies concluding that children of gay or lesbian parents face added disadvantages. Since all four took their samples from children who endured family break-ups, a cohort known to face added risks, these studies have been criticized by many scholars as unreliable assessments of the wellbeing of LGB-headed households. Taken together, this research forms an overwhelming scholarly consensus, based on over three decades of peer-reviewed research, that having a gay or lesbian parent does not harm children.

    http://whatweknow.law.columbia.edu/topics/lgbt-equality/what-does-the-scholarly-research-say-about-the-wellbeing-of-children-with-gay-or-lesbian-parents/

  • ROTFL. Sandi, you vile and disgusting old bigot. You’ve repeatedly passed judgement on people here, you disgusting, bigoted old liar. So,….

    TAGPOE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Same-sex headed families are by definition stepfamilies – there is no such thing as same-sex biological parents.

  • Like most people who argue about this, you are not grasping the statistical nature of these claims. Of course there are bad biological parents. But ON AVERAGE, children are safer, healthier, and experience better outcomes when raised by their own married, biological parents. ON AVERAGE they are advantaged over children raised by stepchildren, and even adopted children — despite adoptive parents’ usually greater financial resources. Now if the claim were that children with LGBT stepparents were no worse off on average than similarly-situated children with heterosexual stepparents, that might actually be true. However, that is not how these claims are usually presented.

    Spare me your complaints about Regenerus. I care absolutely nothing about his studies one way or another — since the facts about biological families vs. stepfamilies have been well known for many years.

  • I have to agree with you wholeheartely there. It is time for Christians to return to simple and solemn ceremonies befitting the seriousness of the covenant, in their own churches or in the home, like weddings used to be. Leave the gaudy extravagance and waste to others.

  • We aren’t “stepfamilies.” We aren’t always made up of divorced people with children by any stretch of the imagination. One of my brothers offered sperm for my wife, so our offspring would in fact be biologically ours, since my brother and I carry the same DNA. Stable two parent families raise the most successful kids. I am beginning to think you didn’t read the articles at all, as they said exactly what you said you would agree with:
    “Gay Parents As Good As Straight Ones”

    “The best study so far, Siegel tells BU Today, is the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, begun in 1986. The study has followed 154 lesbian mothers and recently checked in on 78 adolescent children, comparing the mothers’ and kids’ self-reported status against national standardized samples.
    The lesbian mothers’ reports of their children “indicated that they had high levels of social, school/academic, and total competence and fewer social problems, rule-breaking, and aggressive and externalizing behavior compared with their age-matched counterparts,” Siegel and Perrin write. If you might expect parents to say that, consider their kids’ testimony: “The self-reported quality of life of the adolescents in this sample was similar to that reported by a comparable sample of adolescents with heterosexual parents.”
    I would like to see you cite were adored children to stable couples are disadvantaged. I know many adoptees who would take you to task for implying their family was any less real than your “biological families.”

  • Actually I believe they are increasingly falling under the label of adoptive families or biological families through surrogacyAI etc. ,That is unless you consider heterosexual couples using surrogacy, or artificial insemination as step families as well.

    Step families by standard definition include at least one previously marred partner (divorced/widowed) and biological children of at least one partner. There are fewer SSM that include one parent with a child from a previous marriage – aka step family – as well as fewer SSM in general with kids. If they move to being a family unit, more likely through infant adoption of surrogacy etc). It is believed this trend has to do with ‘coming out’ earlier, increased social acceptability of ‘gayness’ and the ability to marry a SS partner. As opposed to single parent families (previously referred to as unwed mothers) or cohabiting families..

  • ” Romans 1:28 – And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God… ”

    Romans 1:28 and onward is Paul’s understanding. There are other understandings about this matter.

    If you go down the very long list of things he doesn’t like (who would) starting from Rom 1:28 to Rom 1:31 you’ll soon realize that LGBT folks should never be placed there.

    Here’s the list — depraved mind, filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, depravity, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobey their parents, no understanding, no fidelity, no love and no mercy.

    Some of those characteristics can be found in anyone, even Christians (immature). But LGBT’s don’t deserve to be in that list and they don’t deserve to be characterized accordingly.

    Why is that so? Here’s why —

    Paul, who authored most of the NT and most of the negativity about homosexuality, describes here the nature of his own knowledge and understanding —
    1. …our (my) knowledge is partial and incomplete…
    2. …we (I) see things imperfectly…
    3. All that I know now is partial and incomplete…
    (1 Corinthians 13:9,12)

    Especially no. 2….I see things imperfectly.
    He sure does.
    ———————-
    Also, as far as unbelievers are concerned or anyone who isn’t interested in acknowledging God, that atheists or unbelievers are far better and far smarter than Christians realize. Here’s the Biblical proof of that fact —

    And it is true that unbelievers in the world are smarter and wiser in dealing with the world around them than are believers……..Luke 16:8

    That’s a compliment.

  • It would be easier for the baker to simplify his attitudes according to what is written —

    1. Everyone must submit to governing authorities [and the laws they pass]. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority [and the laws they pass] have been placed there by God.

    2. So anyone who rebels against authority [and the laws they pass] is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.

    3. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you.

    4. The authorities [and the laws they pass] are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong [by ignoring those laws for personal reasons], of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong.

    5. So you must submit to them [and the laws they pass], not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.
    Romans 13:1-5
    [brackets mine]

    What are those laws? —

    No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy
    June 26, 2015

  • The most common way for lgbts to gain parental status wrt children not their own is still through adoption of a partner’s biological children. A previous marriage is not necessary for a stepfamily.

    Yes, though some might disagree with me I do consider heteros using surrogacy or AI to be stepparents. At least one parent can not be biological in these instances. Surrogacy, in particular, is only a hop skip and a jump from human trafficking and ought to be banned, as it is in many countries because of the many abuses it has generated. And adoptive children, though better provided-for on average financially, are at twice the risk of mental illness, behavior disorders and learning disabilities as children raised by their own natural parents. These results are as true of heterosexuals as they are of homosexuals. Any “expert” who asserts that homosexuality magically makes these statistical differences disappear is, unfortunately, not to be taken seriously. Although to be fair, the dishonesty is less in the research itself as in the way agenda zealots misrepresent it.

  • Even children adopted in infancy are at double the risk of mental illness, behavior disorders and learning disabilities as children raised by their own natural parents. This despite usually having more financial resources and more parental effort put into their upbringing.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4475346/#__ffn_sectitle

    My husband has two sisters as well. And hardly a thing in common with either of them. The idea of removing him from his kids and substituting one of them is outrageous. An aunt/uncle relationship is not equivalent to a parental one.

    It’s one thing to offer a home to kids who find themselves without parents due to unfortunate circumstances. It’s quite another to create children for the express purpose of removing them from one or both of their parents. Most of rest of the world understands the importance of identity to children — not sure why the US does not, unless it’s our greed and materialism, willing to buy and sell pretty much anything, that’s to blame.

  • Irrelevant. A “reception” still is not, and never will be, a “wedding.” No matter how often you insist they are the same thing — they are not, and repeating that they are cannot and will never magically make that so. Only infants and crybabies think repeatedly intoning something over and over again can magically make it come true … so grow up, fercryinoutloud. 

  • First,y our study doesn’t say what you say it does. “Adoptees scored only moderately higher than non-adoptees on quantitative measures of mental health.” All it says is adopted kids are twice as likely to speak with a mental health professional in the course of their lives. Which makes perfectly good sense, as they reconcile what adoption means to them. Some feel rejected by both parents, other don’t. This is true of all adopted kids and adoptive parents usually plan for it.

    There are many ways to make families, and love and care are the main requirements. And I said nothing about removing anyone from their “parents.” My brother, who offered, had no desire to have children, and never did have children. He had no use for his sperm, my wife and I did, although we never took him up on it as I become to disabled to be a parent.

    And I am now done with someone who can not see love and care and good parenting where it exists, in both straight, gay and adoptive families, and insists we give up the good in search of the perfect, depriving many people of the love, companionship, and joy of raising children, because their families don’t fit your criteria. You have every right to raise your kids in the kind of family you chose to be in. The rest of us know how dysfunctional our culture and most all families are, regardless of the biological ties, and are working on changing that, not who gets to be parents according to a nebulous ideal.

  • The comment is not strictly about LGBT Billy but heretics (of which homosexuals are in company) but about anyone who chooses to go against Christ and refuse the truth He teaches. Homosexuals, for example, chose to go their own way, follow their lusts, adopted an idol who would tell them their lusts as appropriate, so the Lord turned them over to a reprobate mind to do that which is not good – as with adulterers, thieves, drunkards, swindlers and on and on.
    Those character traits are examples of everyone who rejects the Lord.
    Paul was taught by Jesus through revelation for 3 years while in Arabia (Gal 1:11-18). He was a Pharisee of Pharisees taught by Gamaliel. He knew His scripture and was taught by the best.
    Paul, with homosexuality as an example, did not come up with this on his own. I refer you to Genesis 18-19, Leviticus 18 and Leviticus 20…..and other scripture about men having sex with men. It is always an abomination/sin/worthy of death.
    A quick lesson for you…..Christians are not of this world. We are only in it until the Lord returns..Blessings

  • Even so, the reception is not the wedding. I get that you don’t like that — but too bad so sad for you, you have no vote in the matter. Fact is fact, and you repeatedly lying about it cannot, and will never, magically make it untrue. 

    Waaaah wah waah, little baby. Waaah wah. 

  • Yes you did. You said the cake being used at the reception makes it sacred. The sacred part of the ceremony is the wedding. Ergo, you’re saying the reception is the wedding. 

    Look, I’m just going by what you said. If you meant to say something else, you ought to have said something else, and not what you actually did say. Don’t whine at me if you don’t like it — take responsibility for your own words. 

  • I never said it was sacred. Quote me, if you can.
    You’re really reaching for straws her Psi….lol

  • You said your Chrishun bakers can avoid selling cakes to be used at receptions because it’d go against their religious beliefs for one of their cakes to be used in one. But, if the reception isn’t sacred, there can’t be any religious grounds for objecting to that. 

    Thank you, crybaby whiner, for screwing your own argument! Thanks for playing. It’s been fun — but as usual, fundagelicals like yourself always lose, when logic is the game being played. 

    QED. 

  • Baking a cake is not an “endorsement” of anything. It’s baking a cake — nothing more, nothing less. Lots of people bake and sell cakes, all the time, all around the country … and not a singe damned one of them constitutes any kind of “endorsement” of anything. 

    Actually, you have a better case for Christian bakers refusing to bake birthday cakes for people, not cakes for receptions. Birthdays, you see, are unChristian. Celebrating them is a distinctly pagan practice that Christians should never participate in. See e.g. St Augustine’s De doctrina christiana (II.21) and this article by a Christian sect, among many others. 

    Also, there’s nothing “evil” about getting married. Happens all the time, all around the world, every single day. It’s a normal social function. 

  • Of course Jesus did not lie. I’m not lying, either. Not all sins are equal. For example, the Church of Rome notes a distinction between venial sins and mortal sins. The Church also distinguishes between sins that are inherently evil and others that are not so.

    For example (in question form): If an adult steals a tool, will he go to hell if he decides not to return it? If an adult commits adultery, will he go to hell if he decides not to repent?

    Therefore, contrary to your ill-informed view, it is not true that “the only thing that sin is equal to is sin.”

  • Where did Christ teach that Christians are to avoid the appearance of evil? Please cite the Gospel passage.

    Furthermore, 1 Thessalonians 5:22 also reads, “Refrain from every kind of evil.” Most other translations likewise focus on the *action*, not on any *appearance*.

    And, finally, if we accept your preferred translation, you must acknowledge that Jesus himself scandalized contemporaries when he talked with prostitutes, tax collectors, et al. Indeed, see Luke 5:30; 15:2, and 19:7 where people complain that Jesus is consorting with undesirables. Their rule “back in the day” apparently was, “Show us whom you visit and dine with, and we’ll tell you what you are.”

    Jesus, in short, did not “avoid the appearance of evil.” He also, of course, did not do evil.

  • Because elaborately-decorated cakes are fun, perhaps? Ya think? 

    Seriously … why are you trying to work “endorsements” into things? Where does that kind of delusional thinking even come from? 

  • Right. Neither are sacred. Therefore there can never, logically, be any religious objection to making one. See how that works? 

    I’m guessing you won’t — because you’re psychopathologically incapable of it, due to your religionism having infantilized you. Oh well, too bad so sad for you … that’s just how it is. Either you’re too childish to admit it, or you can keep acting like a brat and whining about it. 

  • Actually, my delusional little infantile friend, you absolutely CAN have a reception without a cake. You can have a reception without anything … if you want to. Maybe no one would come, but it’s VERY possible to do, nonetheless. 

  • … but it IS possible, nonetheless, no matter how rare. 

    People who elope frequently do NOT have receptions or cakes. Yet they remain every bit as married as those who had both. 

    Receptions do not matter. Cakes matter even less. Grow up and deal with it already. 

  • I just enjoy our discourse. It’s quite humorous to watch a childish mentality trying to converse……wedding receptions have wedding cakes.

  • Re: “I just enjoy our discourse.” 

    As do I. It’s terrific getting a repeated reminder of what’s wrong with fundagelicalism and why I’m so happy to have left that behind. 

    Re: “It’s quite humorous to watch a childish mentality trying to converse …” 

    The only childishness in our exchange has come solely from you. Don’t get me wrong … I quite understand why. It’s your fundagelicality. You can’t grow up, because you’ve been infantilized. And you’re afraid to leave it behind. So you double down on your childishness. 

    Re: “… wedding receptions have wedding cakes.” 

    Some do. In fact, most do. But it’s hardly a mandate. I mean, if a couple gets married and has a reception without one, what’s going to happen to them … ? Do you plan to have them arrested or something? Even so, people have cakes at lots of other occasions too. Birthdays, retirements, promotions, births, etc. The possibilities are endless. And cakes are fun. I have no idea why you and your fundagelical ilk want to use them to bludgeon the rest of the world into submission to your dour metaphysics, but clearly you do, and it seems to be oh-so-very-important to you. 

    Because you’ve been infantilized. 

    Anyway, I’d like to thank you for having done such a marvelous job of proving me right and you wrong. I couldn’t have asked for more! 

  • Actually it’s you who reveals your immaturity with every statement. And the thing about wedding receptions requiring cakes — as though it were some kind of law — is just so absurd as to be beyond description. 

    Not to mention your initial insistences that weddings=receptions. Laughable. Just laughable! 

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