I know...I know....I said I had posts and I do. I do. I've been just so tired lately and my house is so disastrous that the last thing I want to go do is research to fill in the missing pieces of my blog posts. Yesterday I forgot to do my Bible Study reading. So before bed I rushed through to be prepared only to discover that among other things I neglected to fill out some registration forms for HB's school. So I rushed around this morning doing that. Rushy Rushy. I hate it.
Anyways...this isn't one of those posts. This is one that I simply give some thoughts and observations to.
So I've been hanging out in the comboxes lately. There's been a lot of buzz lately over religious liberty. Between the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) hearing the Little Sisters of the Poor case and then asking for suggestions to hammer out the issue to the recent legislation (or not legislation) in several states including Mississippi, it's been a wild ride. And many people don't seem to understand the position people take when it comes to religious liberty. So I've spent a lot of time either explaining religious dogma or explaining the importantance of protecting ideological differences especially in business.
Most of my exchanges are cordial. Believe me when we talk I'm a gentle person. I don't tend to get all fired up. And I don't take it personally. If I get to that point, I walk away. I also don't like taking brow beatings so I usually tell the person if they can't actually address the issue but must resort to some form of name-calling then I'm shutting the conversation down.
The reason behind having these conversations at all is to inform people. In this great day and age we don't have to rely on media to disseminate the whole picture. Often times its bias and sometimes flat out wrong. In fact the piece I commented on was about the media bias on the Mississippi law. Of course some people refuse to listen, but there's nothing I can do about that. Lurkers, those who simply read the comments but never comment, are still getting the information themselves and can confirm it. That's equally as important if as religious people we want our voice heard.
One commenter basically said the reason why many religious adoption agencies shut down was because the government withheld funds over same-sex adoption grounds. That's not true. The problem was their license was essentially being revoked. They said so in a press statement. Adoption agencies can't operate in a state without a license and these two states refused to license the religious adoption agency because the religious adoption agency refused to place children in homes with same-sex couples. I wasn't made aware of this myself until it was pointed out in a combox where the person linked the press release. That's why it's important to tell people these things in comboxes. It's not getting out there.
Another commenter asked how I found out about a women being killed by a gay man because she told him religious views on same-sex relationships. I had said it didn't make the news. I heard about it on social media because the priest broke the story and continues to break the story about this hate crime.
All of this is important...but what has it to do with Black Masses and Same-sex weddings?
One of the most dominate arguments I've heard is that a wedding cake is just a wedding cake. That Christians are truly being discriminatory towards gay people.
There's two problems: 1) it's the ceremony that's at issue not the sexual orientation of the person. If it were two straight men getting married for tax purposes or immigration reasons (which is illegal to do), a Christian would still not bake the cake. Why? Because it's not about straight people versus gay people. It's because it's a same-sex ceremony and we recognize it differently. As I explained from a Catholic point of view there are only two types of weddings: 1) natural ones- like a Jewish wedding between a man and a woman and 2) sacramental ones- like between two baptized Christians. A same-sex wedding regardless of whether the word wedding is in it doesn't fall into this category. It's other. Which leads me to my next point...
2) A same-sex wedding cake is not like a regular wedding cake. Just as in the example of the birthday cake versus the retirement cake. They all have the same ingredients but if you sent a retirement cake to a child's birthday party....well that wouldn't fly. They are two different things. Likewise a Black Mass to a Catholic or a Christian is not the same thing as a regular Mass. They may have the word Mass in them, but they are definitely different. So I would think a baker could say "We don't do cakes for Black Masses." Just like I think they could say "We don't do same-sex weddings." It's not an issue of not serving atheists/satanists or gay people.
I said this to a person and he (or she) remarked that refusing to bake a cake for a Black Mass would be discrimination against a particular group. So we're already seeing the slippery slope thing going on here. He (or she) failed to see that the problem lies in what events a person serves.
When I asked about a gay person baking a cake for say an anti-gay marriage rally, he said the problem wasn't with the Christians themselves, it was with the message. In other words, the event is perfectly fine to refuse to serve as long as the message is out of line with social mores. Unfortunately that's not how it works. What is offensive to some may not be offensive to others. If we are going to force Christians to bake a cake offensive to them, then we are going to have to force others to bake things that are offensive to them.
So next time someone asks you about baking for a same-sex wedding, keep all this in mind. And you may want to bring up the fact that it's ridiculous to ask a devout Catholic to bake a cake for a Black Mass so why ask them to do so for a same-sex wedding.