Cakes Made With… Bigotry?

cake

Hello Everyone!

I know I’ve been absent for a while, but with finals at school and the holidays I haven’t had much time to write anything serious.  But I’m back (at least for the moment…) and decided to write an entry on one subject that I’ve been watching, and that is the story about Masterpiece Cakeshop.  I’ll go ahead and give a little background on this first… Two men (I’m not sure of their names) liked the cakes that Masterpiece Cakeshop made, so they decided to purchase one for their wedding.  When the owner, Jack Phillips, found out that it was for a same-sex marriage, he refused to make the cake for them.  The couple filed a complaint, and the state brought a case against the Cakeshop based on Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws.  The Colorado court, upheld their laws and informed the Cakeshop that they would be required to follow the anti-discrimination laws and (go figure) not discriminate against people based on their sexuality.  I’m going to address a few of the things Phillips has said, as well as some comments I’ve read regarding the issue.  In a Huffington Post article, Phillips is quoted as saying:

“I don’t plan on giving up my religious beliefs…”  

racist business

First off… No one is asking Phillips to “give up his religious beliefs.”  I’m not sure if Phillips realizes, but when you apply for a Business License, you are agreeing to follow all State and Federal laws regarding businesses.  Those include all anti-discrimination laws from the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to whatever legislation concerning equal rights and fair treatment that have come along since.  In other words, if you open a business that serves the public, you agree to serve the public! We saw this type of discrimination during the civil rights movement, where racist restaurant owners would refuse to serve African American’s, or interracial couples.

One of the comments that I see quite often is:

“Why don’t they just go to another bakery?”  

While this is a good question, it ignores the question:

“Where does it stop?” 

How far are we willing to go with this?  Sure, this time it was a simple cake… What if there ARE no other convenient businesses nearby that offer a specific service? What if the nearest business offering the service you need is 3 to 4 hours a way? Is it fair to say that, say, an African American has to travel 3 to 4 hours simply because a racist white person doesn’t want to serve them?  Why should it be different for a gay person? What if tomorrow a Catholic Hospital decides they don’t want to perform life saving techniques on a gay person and they are forced to go to a hospital 2 hours away, by which time they would be dead? Are we going to start allowing segregation of schools, towns, and neighborhoods again?  In spite of how simple it would be to simply say “Just go somewhere else” anti-discrimination laws exist for a reason, reverting back to how it was before the civil rights movement would be a massive devolution of our society.

Another quote that irked me a bit was:

“Although I support same-sex marriages, I believe that Mr. Phillips is, in effect, being persecuted because of his religious convictions.”

First off… I don’t think that Mr. Phillips has any idea what true “persecution” is.  As I stated before, Mr. Phillips applied for a Business License and agreed to follow all State and Federal laws, including those regarding anti-discrimination.  Persecution would be for government officials to grab him off the streets and say “bake cakes for these gay couples or else!” Persecution would be for angry mobs of people to storm his church and burn it to the ground.  Persecution would be for the government to make reading the Bible or praying a crime punishable by law.  Requiring someone to follow all state and Federal business laws that they agreed to when they applied for their business license is not persecution, in any way, shape, or form.

“So you want to set up a system that masks bigotry instead of allowing it to be in the open so one can avoid that particular business. Ok as long as you want to keep it going…”

discriminateHaving read a few of this persons comments, his opinion seems to be that anti-discrimination laws do nothing but allow racists / bigots to hide in the shadows, and implies that we should just do nothing because apparently the “free market” will take care of the problem.  Unfortunately, as we have seen with examples like Chick-Fil-A and Barilla Pasta, when their owners make blatantly homophobic statements that make the LGBT community and their allies want to boycott them, the other bigots come out of the woodwork and flock to protect these businesses.  Look how many supposed “Christians” rushed to Chick-Fil-A to support them when a boycott was even thought of by the LGBT community! The “free market” doesn’t do anything to change the way these people act or run their business, in fact it helps to keep it going.  Just like during the Civil Rights movement, these things only change when there is legislation against discrimination.  People who become victims of discrimination have to have legal means backing them up.  People with ingrained bigotry aren’t just going to change because they wake up one day and decide “you know what? I’ll stop hating those people!”  Societies perception has to be changed through civil discourse and finally legislation.  It takes time, it takes strong, vocal people, it takes peaceful protests, and people willing to see it through, but things will change.  Unfortunately, that’s just how things work.

Civil Rightsgay rights

 

 
By: James Garcia (12/11/13)

10 thoughts on “Cakes Made With… Bigotry?

  1. shinobiswordsman

    One could argue that the government officials are persecuting him by forcing him to do something that disagrees with his religious beliefs. People on both sides hold what they believe very dearly, or else this would not be an issue. Admittedly, Mr. Phillips could have handled this issue differently, but he didn’t. I would suggest that the LGBT community ignore people like this, rather than giving them business.

    1. I don’t believe ignoring these things fixes anything or makes them go away. It was a dearly held religious belief to deny service to black people and then to people marrying interracially. Practice your religion in your home, in your church, even out on a street corner, but if you apply for a business license you are agreeing to follow anti-discrimination laws. You can’t say later “oh well I don’t like that law” and choose to disregard it because it supposedly goes against your religion. No one is forcing him to be gay, but if he runs a business that is open to the public then he is required to serve the public.

      1. shinobiswordsman

        This is true. However, I would suggest that the two men getting married could have not used this bakery, told all their friends about the way they were treated, and made the man lose money that way. Boycotts, as the Civil Rights Movement demonstrated, can be quite effective. Because they made a big deal about this, Christians from around the country will order cakes from him to show support.

      2. They did choose someone else. They didn’t set out to try and buy a cake from this guy because they knew he’d deny them, they didn’t know. When the guy refused to serve them they filed a complaint like anyone else would. It is my opinion that because of social media boycotts simply aren’t as affective as they were during the civil rights movement. Now, people can have it out in a second that someone is boycotting someone else and then the nutjobs come out of the woodworks to support them, just like with Chick-Fil-A, just like with Barilla Pasta. IN those cases you had people that probably never set foot in a chick-fil-a in their lives rushing to support them, simply because they discriminated against homosexuals, making the planned boycott ineffective. Racism and bigotry should not be ignored, and we should be able to depend on the laws that exist when things like this happen. The bakery owner wasn’t the victim here, the people he discriminated against were.

      3. shinobiswordsman

        True, they were discriminated against. I just wonder if the same reaction would have occurred had the roles been reversed. I’d like to believe it wouldn’t, but people are people regardless of gender, ethnicity, or anything else that separates us.

      4. I’m not sure what you mean… Do you mean if it was a gay couple that refused to serve Christians? I personally don’t think it would happen, but if it did I’m sure there would be an uproar from the right-wing.

      5. shinobiswordsman

        Yes, I am suggesting that a gay individual can discriminate against Christians. I agree that we wouldn’t hear about such an incident except inflamed by the right wing. But that’s the response the left wing seems to be having as well though. My apologies for taking so long to respond, but finals kinda got in the way

      6. I’m sure there are gay individuals that would discriminate against straight people, it’s wrong either way. The difference between this story, and the few that we don’t hear about on the other side, is that it’s generally the right wing that is doing the discrimination. It’s on the news every day because, simply put, it’s HAPPENING every day. It’s happening around the world, down to the smallest town here in America. In the United States at least, Christians aren’t being persecuted. Those who call themselves such (even though they don’t follow the tenants) do hateful things, then when there is backlash, they rave about “persecution,” but like I said in my article, they wouldn’t know the first thing about what real persecution is. Let them be beaten in the street simply for wearing a cross (like gay people are being beaten or killed in places like Russia, and India). Let them have laws written that threaten to take their children away, then let them complain about persecution. Yes, there are places in the world where Christians are being persecuted, but it’s not here in the US. In fact, here in the US it’s generally the “Christians” that are doing the persecuting.

  2. chialphagirl

    Here is what I don’t understand (and let me just say up front that I support gay marriage) why could this guy not come up with a non bigoted way to say “I’m not gonna make the cake” like “sorry we are booked already.” Straight couples have to change venues and services all the time because I’d that reason. Then the whole stupid issue doesn’t have to come up. But since he brought it up he opened himself up to this kind of legal response.

    1. I am more than sure that sort of thing goes on a lot more than we realize. But I think you’re absolutely right. He COULD have made up some excuse, but he had to make a point out of it… I think a lot of these issues that keep popping up are possibly to generate business? Some people believe that any publicity is good, even if it’s not.

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