by Other Staff~
Mostly of the political type, are claiming that their religious freedom is being stifled by anti-discrimination laws. The government is preventing them from freely practicing their religion by mandating that they cannot refuse service to “sinners”, because they would surely be guilty by association if they baked a cake or a few pizzas for a gay couple’s wedding.
No matter that they probably serve all kinds of “sinners” all the time—adulterers, couples living out of wedlock, divorced folks. I’m not passing judgement on the above mentioned populations, I would serve any and all of them if I were in the hospitality industry, because, far as I can tell, we’re all sinners, and we’re all God’s children, and I really don’t recall in that story about Jesus feeding 5000 souls with the loaves and fishes, that anyone was turned away because of their sexual history or lifestyle.
I think I have an easy answer, if there is one, for the conflicted Christian business folks out there who don’t want to appear to condone behavior that their particular belief system finds unacceptable, or sinful to coin a technical term. Ask yourself “What would Jesus do?” I’m sure you’re probably familiar with that concept. You may even have a WWJD bumper sticker or fridge magnet, perhaps a t-shirt or two.
What would Jesus do if a gay couple walked into his bakery, so excited about their impending wedding, so in love, just wanting a nice cake to include in the celebration of their joyful day? Hmmm, maybe he would look at them gravely, and say “I’m sorry, I can’t bake your beautiful cake, because you’re gay, and you’re living in sin, and I couldn’t possibly do anything to bless your wedding day. It would be wrong.”
The problem with the WWJD scenario is that we don’t have Jesus here today to tell us what he would do. But we do have scripture, so we can follow the example of Jesus by studying what he said and did as revealed in the stories of his life. Are there similar examples we can look at for insight into the mind of a savior? Well, he stopped the public stoning of a prostitute pretty effectively by reminding her accusers that each of them were guilty of their own sins. He spent time with publicans and sinners, and the only time he got pissed off at anyone was when he found the holy temple had been defiled and was being used as a place of commerce. He did not like that at all.
So, WWJD for the gay couple’s wedding? I can’t say for sure, but judging from what I have read of the man, and I have read of him, he would probably bake them the most beautiful cake he possibly could. He would exude love and peace and joy all over them. He would, indeed, love them…and bless them…and send them on their way. And if he was at all concerned about the lifestyle they were living he might share a little truth with them, some food for thought, in a completely non judgemental and loving manner.
So, my advice to conflicted Christians on the question of whether to serve or not to serve is this. Bake the damn cake. Make the pizzas, with a little extra pepperoni. Make them the best thing you ever made for anyone. And if you must make a proclamation of your beliefs in order to freely practice your religion, make it a proclamation of love, with maybe a little smiley face on the box inscribed with the words “Jesus Loves You”. There’s no law against that.