My kingdom for a cup of bold coffee right now! Had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine last night. It had to do with the owners of a bakery in Oregon who refused service to a same-sex couple because of their religious beliefs. Here’s the story in case you missed it. If you know about it, skip to the next paragraph.
In January of this year, the Oregon Bureau of Labor, pursued charges against the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa. An investigation of the bureau found the bakery owners of violating the state’s public accommodation law by denying the same-sex couple full and equal access to their bakery, which the state considers a place of public accommodation and fined them $135,000. There were outcries from Christians all over America defending the bakery owner’s actions and a fund was set up to defend them. The bakery owners say that same-sex marriage violates their religious beliefs and apparently thought their beliefs trumped state laws on discrimination?
It’s interesting to note how Jesus never says anything about homosexuality or gay marriage in his teachings. However, he does make explicit statements about divorce and adultery. It appears that these supporters are picking-and-choosing certain laws of God and tossing aside the others. Allow me to give a simple example to illustrate my point.
Jesus’ teachings prohibit divorce (Mark 10:11-12, Matthew 5:32, Luke 16:18). Let’s say I own a bakery and I am passionately opposed to divorced people because that’s the religious belief that I have chosen for myself. If a couple comes in to order one of my fine wedding cakes and I find out through casual conversation that either the bride or the groom was married previously, then I will refuse to bake them a cake. Even though I know that I am violating the state law on public accommodation I still choose to discriminate on the grounds of my strong religious beliefs. I am still breaking state law.
Let’s look at another example. Another one of God’s laws – his ban on tattoos (Leviticus 19:28). Let’s use the same scenario only I see the bride’s tattoo on her ankle. I immediately refuse service to them because of my religious beliefs against tattoos. I am, again, breaking the law. Shall I go on, or do you get my drift? I think you do.
To simplify my discriminatory practices, maybe I should create a list of God’s law(s) that I feel highly convicted to. Or maybe I should list all of God’s 613 laws or easier yet, just his Top Ten. That might be a good reason to display the Ten Commandments inside my bakery – so that potential customers can see if they’ve violated any of God’s rules before ordering a wedding cake. I can’t see how that would be good for business but this isn’t about business, is it? It’s about religious freedom and how many think that it gives them the license to do whatever they feel like doing – without consequences.
Do these scenarios sound ridiculous to you – or is it just me? Time for another cup!