Monday, September 14, 2015
Over the past few months, there have been several cases of Christian small business owners complaining about having to serve gay customers. Apparently, they believe that not allowing them to discriminate against a particular group of people is itself a form of discrimination. Here's why it's not.
Let's imagine a couple of different scenarios to make the point clear. I'll use a baker for my example, but it could be a pizza maker, a mechanic, a florist or anyone else.
Scenario one: A couple comes into the bakery, looks around at the display cases and tells the baker, "I'd like a cake shaped like a penis for my wedding."
The baker says, "I'm sorry, I don't make those kinds of cakes, but you're welcome to choose something from the catalogue."
The customer insists that he wants a penis cake, and the baker replies, "look, I just don't make penis cakes. I won't make one for you or for anyone else, but like I said, if you pick a different cake, I'll be happy to make it for you."
Scenario two: A couple comes into the bakery, looks around at the display cases and tells the baker, "I'd like a cake exactly like that one for my wedding."
The baker says, "I'm sorry, but I won't make that cake for you. In fact, I won't make any cake for you."
See the difference? In the first case, the baker is refusing to make a particular cake. It could be because he has strong beliefs against it or because he simply doesn't know how to make a cake shaped like the Eiffel Tower. Either way, he's perfectly within his rights to tell the customer, "Hey, just what you see in the display cases, OK?"
In the second case, the baker is willing to make that exact same cake for other people, he just won't make it for the person in front of him. That is the definition of discrimination. And it isn't persecuting Christians to call them out on it.