My Costanza compromise

I was thinking about our latest intramural debate. Namely, Is it discriminatory for a Christian baker to refuse a wedding cake to a homosexual couple? and/or Would Jesus bake a cake for a homosexual wedding? Initially, I had hoped to craft a hypothetical that would illustrate the Christian dilemma. It went something like this:

A new chapter of Planned Parenthood has reached a milestone–their 100th abortion. Having much to celebrate they come to a Christian-owned bakery to order a cake for the upcoming office party. The cake is to read “The babies say thank you.” Would Kirsten Powers, Jonathan Merritt (not me, the less famous one), Rachel Held Evans et al counsel the Christian to bake the cake? Is that what Jesus would do?

Yes, yes. I know–bad analogy, apples & oranges. Scripture explicitly forbids murder and abortion clearly falls under the murder prohibition (even though the procedure isn’t cited in Scripture nor does Jesus ever speak against it). Homosexual union, however, isn’t so cut and dry because Scripture uh…is largely ambiguous…ancient cultures were so different from ours…the biblical authors had nuanced definitions…I mean, the are obvious. That we would even argue about acts of love and grace illustrates how poorly we read & apply Scripture to modern society.

Acknowledging the gaping holes in the abortion cake analogy I began to look for a compromise. And then it hit me. I’m told that refusing a wedding cake (a service) is tantamount to discrimination (no service). But what if the baker declined one service while simultaneously offering another?  Henceforth I propose that if a homosexual couple orders a wedding cake for their nuptials from a Christian baker, the conscientious Christian may refuse the order but will offer to bake them another item–of their choosing, equal or lesser value–at 1/2 price. Accordingly, the Christian will maintain his conviction while also doing business with the couple thereby avoiding the appearance of discrimination.

Surely our egalitarian bothers & sisters would find this satisfactory.

 

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Author: Jonathan P. Merritt

Happily married father of six. Associate pastor for education at Edgewood Baptist Church (Columbus, GA). Good-natured contrarian and theological Luddite. A student of one book.

2 thoughts on “My Costanza compromise”

  1. Your distinction does not work. If the service is the service I want, refusing that service is the same as no service.

    Why not bake a cake which looks exactly like a wedding cake, and the couple can put two female figures holding hands on the top if they like? It’s a cake! By imagining that it means anything about his beliefs, the baker gives all his power to the mythical Gay Persecutor, on the prowl to sue innocent Christians for discrimination. He is a cake maker, not a priest.

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