Consider the following: A woman walks into a Christian bakery called Immaculate Risings, named in double entendre to Jesus’ resurrection and the nature of dough rising when in an oven. The woman proceeds to the counter to make her order. After the baker comes out to greet and serve the potential customer, the woman requests a cake made to commemorate her college-aged daughter’s first abortion. The baker apologizes and says he cannot bake such a cake because it violates his sincerely held religious convictions to consciously help celebrate what he feels is murder, citing the Sixth Commandment and the implications about the unborn found in Jeremiah 1:5. Furious, the woman threatens legal action for what she deems as sexist prejudice and storms out of the bakery.
Is this scenario unjust discrimination? Did this baker plausibly deny service to this woman solely because of the sex of her daughter and presumably the animus he holds against women? Can it be reasonably inferred this baker has a problem serving women simply because they’re female?
I hope it’s obvious that the answers to all these questions are no, and any other charge of sexism can be swiftly dismissed as absurd. To stay in business, the baker must clearly serve women all the time. The refusal to bake the hypothetical abortion cake is such a specialized order in a highly particular case, it can’t be concluded that the baker’s customer service, both singularly or comprehensively, is inclined to not cater to women on the basis of their sex. In the word of its loudest advocates, an abortion is a choice after all — a choice distinct from the chooser’s personhood regardless if the act is only biologically possible for one sex. Logically speaking, I don’t find femininity, in every sense of the word, as purely identical to the decisions made involving feminine reproductive biology in a similar way playing football isn’t purely identical to throwing the pigskin. Though, I do concede that both seeking procedures for feminine reproductive organs and throwing a football are strongly associated with being a woman and playing football.
Metaphysics and or logical relationships aside, I think it’s safe to claim that there is nothing we could consider here as discriminatory with the case of the abortion cake. Permitting the baker to refuse the order for his religious reasons is not giving a carte blanche for further discrimination. It’s actually an apt example of “tolerance” in a culturally diverse society. I therefore submit the much publicized instances of bakers, florists, photographers or innkeepers not providing service to a same-sex wedding for a gay couple is very much the same thing.
There is no meaningful difference between them. Both pertain to declining to support a decision freely acted upon that is separate from personhood. It’s the act the Christian objects to endorse and not the people themselves, whether they be gay or female. Choosing to have an abortion is not equivalent to being a woman, and deciding to marry is not equivalent to being gay. Therefore, the alleged slippery slope of allowing a foothold for future discrimination is greatly unlikely. Apart from making the critical distinction between a person and a choice a person makes, they’re cases so particular that they cannot be applied as representative of every commercial interaction a Christian baker, florist and the like knowingly has with a gay individual. There too is scriptural basis, like Genesis 2:18-24, among many other passages, as to why a Christian would feel like he or she would violate his religious and ethical conscious if he or she was asked to provide a cake, bouquet, pictures or venue for a same-sex marriage.
So I earnestly ask: If the Christian is not guilty of discrimination in the case of the abortion cake, why does the scenarios with same-sex marriages, cakes, bouquets, etc., are instances of bigotry like Jim Crow laws? I’m sure there are those who will become cross at the notion that a same-sex wedding is comparable to a murder, but the moral severity of the acts isn’t what’s at issue. In the Christian’s mind, they both are conscious decisions to defy God’s will, and to celebrate sin is, in its own right, a grave sin. Also, to suppose the LGBTQ community is more susceptible to discrimination because women make up about generally half of a business owner’s customer base is a political dead end and a bit of a stretch. According to the Left’s own narrative of victimhood, both are woefully oppressed classes of people with large swaths of America predisposed against them for being what and who they are. For the Left to claim one group of victims is less discriminated than another, especially when women roughly account for 50.8 percent of the population and the LGBTQ approximately is less than 3 percent, is political capital it won’t waste. Plus, the effort required to actually nuance its arguments and rhetoric for the national conversation just seems so out of character when defamation and oversimplification has worked wonders for its agenda. I don’t see the average progressive social justice crusader changing his or her tune here to be that the supposed irrational, prejudicial Christian conservative business owner rationally selects not to discriminate against women while figuring that Adam and Steve is fair game because of some shrewd economic calculus. It just seems even a little too farfetched even by Leftist fairytale standards.
Anywho, I’m merely arguing for the ideal of religious liberty the first Americans had in mind when they came to these shores. You know, the negative liberty to live one’s faith without having the state forcing one to violate the ‘ole religiously influenced, moral conscious. What good is religious freedom if it’s relegated to a place of worship for one hour a week and to the privacy of one’s own domicile? Reasonably speaking, if a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist and whoever else can’t apply their faith-based tenets to every aspect of their existence like their personal business, it hardly seems like they’re dwelling in the land of the free.
Isn’t what I’m describing the sacred “tolerance” of the Left? Or is “tolerance” affirming one worldview to dominate at the expense of others? According to the dictionary and I, it’s the former; for many of today’s liberals, it’s unfortunately the latter. It makes one wonder where did all the good, classical liberals go, like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and company?
They’ve been dead for a very long time,