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Religious Freedom Restoration Act

180 posts in this topic

I'd like to ask a question.

Christian bookstores are allowed to sell only books with Christian messages. Should a Christian bakery similarly be allowed to sell only cakes with Christian messages? Suppose the messages were predetermined and the bakery offered ten different Christian quotes with no customization. The bakery is Christian themed and sells pretzels and unleavened bread and other traditional items.

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Christian bookstores are allowed to sell only books with Christian messages. Should a Christian bakery similarly be allowed to sell only cakes with Christian messages? Suppose the messages were predetermined and the bakery offered ten different Christian quotes with no customization. The bakery is Christian themed and sells pretzels and unleavened bread and other traditional items.

 

I believe so, yes. My understanding is that freedom of speech prevents customers from pressing storeowners into writing particular messages on the cakes. So, if a bakery owned by a Christian sells a cake that looks like this:

 

wedding-cake-roses-2013-08-31-bomibilly-

 

Then they have to sell that cake to every couple that comes in: gay, interracial, atheist, whatever. But if they've never sold a cake that looks like this:

 

939788d50149030e3c0ac787964c81e0.jpg

 

Then they cannot be forced to produce a cake that looks like that. This is also why you see anti-gay Christians loosing in court against gay bakers when the gay bakers refuse to write anti-gay messages on their cakes. The court cases really aren't equivalent at all. The equivalent example for your hypothetical bookstore would be: a Muslim can't walk into the Christian bookstore and force them to order a copy of the Quran for her. However, if that bookstore already stocks the Quran, but refuses to sell it to the Muslim customer because she's wearing a hijab, while they would sell that same book to someone wearing a crucifix: that is where the discrimination lawsuit comes in.

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939788d50149030e3c0ac787964c81e0.jpg

 

Then they cannot be forced to produce a cake that looks like that. 

 

What if you're a baker who often makes that kind of cake, and a guy from the Westboro Baptists comes in and asks for one to use as a prop in one of their gay marriage protests (e.g. to destroy it in front of a crowd to make a statement)? If you refuse to make the cake for him, then you're refusing him a product you'd make for a different person, because you don't want to participate in that event. You're not discriminating against the customer himself, but you don't want to take part in an event you find morally objectionable.

 

What if a straight person orders a cake for a same-sex wedding, and they refuse to make that? There it's obvious that they're not refusing service based on the customer's sexual orientation. The same goes for the opposite, a gay person ordering a cake for an opposite-sex wedding. If they make the product for them, then again, it proves they're not discriminating based on the customer's sexual orientation.

 

You can't even argue, "Well, you might not be refusing service based on the sexual orientation of the customer, but you're refusing to participate in the wedding of someone based on their sexual orientation." That's not true. It doesn't matter whether the marriage is between two gay men or two straight men. You're objecting to the idea of a marriage between two men, and their sexual orientation isn't relevant to you.

 

Actually, imagine if you were a baker who was fine with same-sex marriage, but when two men come to you for a wedding cake, they let slip that they're just doing it for the tax benefits they'll get, and they're actually both straight. If you refuse to make them the cake, are you discriminating against them because they're straight? No - you object to the idea that someone is using marriage in such a way when you believe it should be about love.

 

This blog-post is really good (not sure if I've posted it before):

 

http://www.catholic.com/blog/trent-horn/conscience-and-the-right-to-refuse-service

 

xxx

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What if you're a baker who often makes that kind of cake, and a guy from the Westboro Baptists comes in and asks for one to use as a prop in one of their gay marriage protests (e.g. to destroy it in front of a crowd to make a statement)? If you refuse to make the cake for him, then you're refusing him a product you'd make for a different person, because you don't want to participate in that event. You're not discriminating against the customer himself, but you don't want to take part in an event you find morally objectionable.

 

I can see both sides of the argument (they should have to make the cake, they should not have to make the cake), and it's one of those things I can actually agree to disagree on.  :D My post was meant to address spirit's specific concern (could a bakery be forced to sell a cake they've never sold before with a design that violates their personal beliefs), as well as explain why some Christians have lost lawsuits against gay bakers, but gay patrons have won court cases against Christian bakers (the former is almost always a case of them asking the baker to write something specific on the cake, while the later is almost always a case of the bakery flat-out refusing to serve the gay client), since I've seen that discussed on this site a few times.

 

Personally I lean on the side of the baker having to make the cake, because the US South's history of segregation makes me wary of allowing businesses to discriminate against their customers for nearly any reason. But like I said, I can see both sides of the argument, and since we've gone for 9 pages now on this topic, I'm pretty burned out on arguing about it.  :lol:

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Not about cake, but I read a gun shop owner whose a christian said he refuses to sell a gun to Muslims because they're terrorists. 😑

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