This is what Joe La Rue, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom told The Christian Post, Friday in an interview. La Rue first asked the question:
“Should a baker be required to bake a cake for Westboro Baptist Church with icing that reads. ‘God Hates F*gs,’ if it violates their religious conscience to do so?”
According to La Rue, this question makes the issue concerning whether or not government should be able to force business owners to ‘violate’ their religious beliefs by serving same-sex weddings, or be forced to shut down, easier and more clear to understand.
“Imagine that you are a baker. In your hometown there is the funeral of a soldier who lost their life in defense of the nation. As they often do, Westboro Baptist Church arrives to picket the funeral. In celebration of their protest, they go to your bakery and ask you to make a cake with the words "God Hates F*gs" written on it with icing. Would you like the option of being able to decline them service? Should the government have the ability to force you to make that cake?” La Rue shares, Friday in an interview with The Christian Post.
"If I were that baker," La Rue said in the interview "I would want to be able to refuse to bake that cake because that actually violates my religious belief about God. I don't think that God hates people that are disobedient to Him. I think that's why Jesus died for us, because God loves people who disobey Him and God wants people to be saved. So I wouldn't want to bake that cake. And, frankly, it would offend my dignity to force me to bake that cake." La Rue shared.
Is La Rue’s question, however, relevant to the issue at hand? Being forced by government to write ‘God Hates F*gs’ on a cake, especially for the Phelp’s family, could be a violation to most peoples conscious; regardless of spiritual belief. La Rue’s scenario, however, attempts to show that one being forced to use their professional skill to create ‘hate content’, is the same as expecting a business to employ their professional skills to create something that the business, already, normally creates for a customer. - Source: The Christian Post
Kirsten Powers and Jonathan Merritt, The Daily Beast, in an article published Friday argued that a bill which allows homosexuals to be discriminated against when it comes to baking cakes, arranging flowers, or shooting photos, if passed, could certainly lead to discrimination at hotels restaurants, and “...pretty much anyone else that can tie their discrimination to a religious belief.”
“Many on the left and right can agree that nobody should be unnecessarily forced to violate their conscience,” said Powers and Merritt. “But in order to violate a Christian’s conscience, the government would have to force them to affirm something in which they don’t believe. This is why the first line of analysis here has to be whether society really believes that baking a wedding cake or arranging flowers or taking pictures (or providing any other service) is an affirmation. This case simply has not been made, nor can it be, because it defies logic. If you lined up 100 married couples and asked them if their florist ‘affirmed’ their wedding, they would be baffled by the question.” - Source:The Daily Beast
The dilemma has caused many Christians to draw lines in the sand over the definition of what marriage is or is not, and whether Christians should serve homosexuals or not. Recent arguments from those who maintain that discrimination towards homosexuals have no biblical merit at all, like Powers and Merritt, and others like Russell Moore, who argue that same-sex marriage cannot, in reality, even be defined marriage , have become the most recent hot topics, dividing even the Christian community itself.
There’s been no response to Joe La Rue’s question: “Should a baker be required to bake a cake for Westboro Baptist Church with icing that reads. ‘God Hates F*gs,’ if it violates their religious conscience to do so?”. Is that because his question isn't relevant to the discussion of serving the GLBT community or making wedding cakes for same-sex weddings?
What do you think:
- Is Joe La Rue’s question relevant for the purpose of which he asks it?
- What do you believe constitutes a ‘violation of religious belief’?
- What religious beliefs do you believe would be violated by serving same-sex weddings?
- Should business owners be able to refuse someone service, without providing evidence of the religious offence?
- Is the legal definition of ‘faith’, ‘religious belief’, and ‘religious freedom or rights’ too broad or not broad enough?
- ‘Should a baker be required to bake Westboro a cake…’ -The Christian Post
- ‘Should a Christian photographer work at a same sex wedding ceremony’ -The Gospel Coalition
- ‘Russell Moore responds to critics who say Christians are hypocrites...’ -The Christian Post
- ‘Conservative Christians selectively apply biblical teachings in the same sex marriage debate’ -The Daily Beast