Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Normal Bakery vs Art Bakery

There is such a thing as a wedding cake case in US.

Supreme Court just gave favourable decision to bakers.

It seems Mark Shea* missed this (or is referring to other Christian bakers who are not art bakers, but simply bakers) and a Jewish Christian friend of mine missed this too, since he had worked in a normal bakery and said they should have delivered the cake, but could have refused the decoration.

As Mark Shea very rightly observes, a Jewish baker may very well have to deliver cakes to a KKK feast, but he is not required to decorate it with (Mark Shea's brilliant comparison):

“Mazeltov on your promotion to Imperial Grand Dragon of the Biloxi KKK!”

Supposing, of course, the bakery is primarily a bakery and what you order is primarily cakes and art work is an occasional extra.

However, the bakery in question was an art bakery. Requiring a wedding cake of it is like requiring a decorated wedding cake. They have as much a right to refuse a particular cake as a tattoo shop has a right to refuse a swastika tattoo on someone's forehead.

They were willing to provide any other baked product to the gay couple, including, I presume perhaps even, a cake of same type, but not decorated by them, and therefore not labelled wedding cake.

Why do I say this? I failed to contact him and ask him. However, I could check wiki:


It cited his petition as:

Whether applying Colorado's public accommodations law to compel Phillips to create expression that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage violates the Free Speech or Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.

As I checked footnote 9, I came to a pdf for the writ to Supreme court - Petition for a Writ of Certiorari (PDF). - and this is a clause clearly shown (click to enlarge and read):

This means, what was being denied was not sponge cake and frosting, what was being denied was precisely a specific decoration celebrating a specific thing, where Jack Phillips is also refusing to decorate Halloween cakes.

I wouldn't do that, but I would limit Halloween cake decorations to "don't forget to pray for the dear departed" and to things consistent with this. Not to things opposing it. So, let a gay couple buy as much bakery products as bakery products as it wants, but don't let them require a decoration inconsistent with the beliefs of the one decorating.

Precisely as I am a writer and cannot be required to blog pro-gay-marriage or anything like that.

Now, Mark Shea is also making a very much less candid comparison:

He shows a meme I have never seen, a text "Bake My Damned Cake" over a black profile with a cross around neck and a pistol to the neck with rainbow colouring to both pistol and hand.

Now, he continues to describe this meme as typical, here are his words:

It is a fairly typical specimen of conservative Christian self-pity from a nation of conservative Christians, acutely aware of the real sufferings of real martyrs throughout history and around the world today and hungry to pretend that their trivial problems are equal to that.

They aren’t. That’s not to say that there is not a real issue here that needs to be addressed. But the hype (which, I confess with chagrin, I used to buy and repeat) about gays coming to destroy us all is just that: hype. Nobody is putting guns to anybody’s heads. And if we are smart Christians we will stop playing the martyr card and start exercising the virtue of Prudence.

Now, persecution is not always made by pistols to the head. In Communist tyranny from 1917 to 1990 or from 1945 to 1990 (depending on country of the East Block), the pistol to the head was in fact not standard procedure to standard Christian (though Jack Phillips is somewhat beyond standard), it was more on Communists deciding on who could teach and ... here is the point : who could do business.

What happened after 2012 was in the immediate a kind of campaign to close down the cake shop over this refusal.

"And that no man might buy or sell, but he that hath the character, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 13:17]

There is perhaps upcoming a literal physical character, but there is also a question (including in the taking of such a physical character) of taking on a moral character contrary to commandments or of downplaying the moral character that is consistent with them.

In fact, the other guy who was against the supreme court decision was worried least a "discrimination allowed as per conscience" should be a precedent to discriminate against Christians. A worry I could relate to, but there is an answer : you do not force an Atheist florist to decorate a Marian festival at a Catholic Church - nor should you. There are Catholic florists who are willing to do that art work. There are also pro-gay bakers who are willing to do a wedding cake for a gay "marriage". In Lakewood Colorado, there would not have been too much of a problem finding one.

I have heard the argument that opposing gay marriage would be like a medical doctor refusing to treat someone because he was gay. More, if you like comparing to medicine, refusing to give the opposite to the correct treatment according to irrational preference of patient. If a constipated person wants to take another full helping of white rice, no sauce, and unsugared tea, he can at least not ask a doctor to prescribe that. And if a patient with diarrhaea wants to indulge in eating pizza with alcohol, then adding a sugary flan and a few prunes for desser, he should also not ask a doctor to prescribe that. The measures are counterindicated.

In a moral "medicine" called moral theology also there are counterindications. Such and such being considered or even considering himself a homosexual is not one to marriage. But wanting to marry someone of the same sex very much is a counterindication to that "marriage". So much for marriage as a sacrament.

As to secular society, matrimony is privileged as an institution for procreating and raising children - traditionally, that is. Extending the same privileges to "couples" who will contribute no children to society and who may even want to raise children taken away from their real parents is a horror:

  • like abortion and contraception, because it contributes to an "age pyramid" looking like a top hat, to too many old in relation to the young who should support them, something which may be palliated by importing young from countries which do not have these measures, but only for so long, since people from those countries, if they get numerous while we decrease, are likely to more and more despise our "ethnic suicide" and its contraceptive measures (and perhaps even the pro-immigration part as to immigrants of other convictions or backgrounds);

  • because gay couples on the waiting list for adoption or foster home placements are likely to lob for extending the reasons on which children may be taken away from parents.

Therefore, secular society too should have continued not discriminating against homosexual persons, but not calling homosexual "couples" a thing like "married". Unfortunately, this point of view was not explicitated in the campaigns either in US or France, despite my trying to, and this try has been a reason some discriminate against my blogs (yes, you are free to discriminate about whom you chose to read). (No, you are not morally free to see how sth exposes the hypocrisy of your opponent, but to still not use it because you share some of your opponent's modern superstitions, like in this case the inaptitude of a homosexual, automatically as such, to make a normal heterosexual marriage).

There are other ways of making war on Christians than by gun - like by putting them out of business, therefore into the charity or social responsibility of non-Christians or less fervent ones, into margins where they are less likely to found a family. It is not quite trivial. Mark Shea's applause for the Catholic Church in Poland is not quite unmerited, but not unproblematic:

  • Catholics in Poland have not stayed Catholic on all accounts, it seems Maciej Giertych is a minority on opposing evolution (there was even a Polish "Pope" promoting it, I have heard);

  • Catholics are not to accept quietly to get Catholicism (and I mean fullfledged Catholicism, not whatever Vatican II Sect choses to be content with in the latest compromise) reduced to a mere survival mode, like the Propaganda congregation asking the Jesuits of Gefle on reading of few converts "what have you been doing?" and getting as answer (in German, since the priests were from Germany) "wir haben durchgehalten" (we have persevered). Mark Shea has a tendency to oppose "Christianists" whereever a Christian wants more than himself leading a Christian life by taking up his cross in an adverse society. This is not correct, just as promoting universal refusal to carry arms in defense of one's country is not correctly motivated by saying "if we are invaded, we can make a guerilla warfare or resistance movement".

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St John of St Facundus

PS, this is an example of commenting on the work of others, a thing which a proposed § 13 would make difficult, perhaps impossible:

Delete paragraph 13

* Noodling the Cake Controversy
June 9, 2018 by Mark Shea

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