ashers-bakery-2
Freedom of Religion

Ashers Bakery ‘gay cake’ appeal judgment: 11% of Evangelical Christians haven’t got a clue about religious liberty

It was very tempting to go with the affirmatory ‘89% of Evangelical Christians support freedom of religion’, which would have been the wholesome, encouraging, Christian thing to do, right? But the five per cent who do not is actually rather disappointing. And the further six per cent who don’t give a damn either way is disturbing. It makes one wonder if they are Evangelicals at all, or whether they grasp the fundamental imperative of freedom of religion which is the fons et origo of all our liberties. What sort of Christian opposes or doesn’t care about the freedom to proclaim the gospel or walk in spirit and in truth?

The context is an Evangelical Alliance survey ahead of the judgment today in the case of Gareth Lee vs Ashers Bakery – the notorious case of the ‘gay cake‘ and previous court judgment which constituted ‘equality tyranny‘ – which was duly and necessarily appealed on the basis of freedom of religion and freedom of political expression, not to say common-sense and natural justice.

By way of background, the McArthur family, who own Ashers Bakery, run a successful family business. They make lots of nice cakes. Gareth Lee, a gay rights activist, asked Ashers Bakery to make him a cake with the slogan ‘Support Gay Marriage’ iced on it. Ashers were happy to sell Mr Lee a cake, but not to promote a view contrary to their firmly-held religious beliefs (not to mention contrary to the law of the land). When they ultimately declined his order, Mr Lee went to the Equality Commission who supported his claim alleging discrimination. At first hearing in the County Court, Ashers Bakery was found to have discriminated against Mr Lee on all three grounds of the claim – sexual orientation, religious belief and political opinion. The Attorney General intervened in the Appeal case, raising issues about the ECHR compatibility of the very legislation on which the initial findings were made. The judgment from the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal is due today.

If it goes against Ashers Bakery, the bell tolls for freedom of religion. The loss of any liberty diminishes us because it is the essence of liberal democracy. But the loss of the freedom to exercise the religious conscience is particularly apocalyptic. Ashers did not decline to sell Mr Lee a cake on the grounds of his sexuality; they declined to make a cake with a slogan which sinned against their conscience, seared by the Holy Spirit. They would have refused to make this cake if the customer had been heterosexual, bisexual, pansexual or asexual. Mr Lee’s sexuality was irrelevant to Ashers: it was the religio-political slogan which, they felt, crossed that threshold between moral orthodoxy and heresy, and so Mr Lee’s order, in all conscience, had to be declined.

Problems with beliefs and disputes about doctrine have existed since the beginning of divine revelation. Questions and uncertainties abound in St Paul’s writings: he urges believers time and again to hold fast to the traditions which he taught them, and stresses the importance of what he says in his letters to the extent that those who do not accept his teachings should be solemnly warned and disciplined. There were false teachings by false prophets who were teaching doctrinal error with appeals to Paul’s own authority. The confusion and misapprehension then was a battle between Judaisers and Gnostics: now it is between Bible-believing Christians and Post-Christian Truthers; between forms of moral truth and autonomous freedom.

Should a Christian printer not be free to refuse an order to produce flyers with the slogan ‘Abolish the Gay Age of Consent’? Should he not be free to decline to print posters declaring ‘Abortion is cool’ or ‘Jesus is a Myth’? Should a gay printer be forced to produce flyers with the slogan ‘Homosexuality is an abomination’? Should the Muslim printer not be free to refuse an order to produce posters declaring ‘Mohammed is a False Prophet’? Should the Sikh cake-maker not be free to refuse to bake a cake saying ‘Langar food is shit: come to the mosque and eat halal’? How can the law possibly oblige the faithful religious believer to become complicit in pederasty, blasphemy or the propagation of evil? How can the state justify coercing the transgression of conscience? If your Christian brothers and sisters counsel you to avoid the way of the wicked and, indeed, warn you of the inevitable consequences of continuing in it, are you not then more guilty if you persist in your rebellion?

The Evangelical Alliance is the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million Evangelical Christians. They carried out their survey during August and September (of 1,208 Evangelicals as part of a regular series on the beliefs and actions of Evangelical Christians) in which they found overwhelming support for Ashers Bakery; that Christians who run businesses should be able to choose what they print, publish or put on a cake. In this survey, they were asked whether: “A business should have the right to refuse to print, publish (or write in icing on a cake) a message with which it does not agree.”

89 per cent of Evangelical respondents agreed, with 56 per cent agreeing strongly. But six per cent opted for the fence-sitting neither agree nor disagree, and five per cent disagreed.

So 133 out of the 1,208 surveyed believe that Christians should be forced by law to act against their consciences or don’t care. Extrapolate that to the entire Evangelical representation: 220,000 of the UK’s two million Evangelical Christians believe that Joseph & Son Carpentry in first-century Nazareth should be obliged by Herodian statute to produce a wooden sign saying ‘All paths lead to God’ or ‘Temple Mount: money-changers welcome’.

Former barrister Peter Lynas, director of Evangelical Alliance Northern Ireland, said: “Ashers Bakery would not have made this cake for anyone, gay or straight. And yet they are being accused of treating one group of people differently than another. A law that was originally designed to protect a minority is being used by the new majority to force their views onto others. What was at first presented as being about protecting the LGBT community against state discrimination, is now seeking to use state power to punish those who refuse to support same sex marriage. This is plainly wrong.”

And wrong it most certainly is. Bible-believing Evangelical Christians are locked in a battle. It is not a friendly discussion over a nice cup of tea, but a life and death conflict between truth and lies; freedom and oppression; salvation and damnation. Between those who follow Christ faithfully, and those who claim the name of Christ to perpetuate their own truth and reality. If a Christian may no longer sustain a Christian ethos in his own company, he may no longer walk in spirit and in truth. As William Tyndale noted in 1525:

Evangelion (that we call the gospel) is a Greek word; and signifieth good, merry, glad and joyful tidings, that maketh a man’s heart glad, and maketh him sing, dance and leap for joy.

It is hard to dance and leap for joy if the state coerces everyone to orthodox utterances and rigid bodily movements. The ‘gospellers’ or early evangelicals based their faith on ancient creeds and traditional confessions, and were effusive about their life of faith. True Evangelicals still are: it is a shared mission in which Christ is victor and doctrinal fidelity is the supreme value. Together they contend against the secular spirit and resist the tidal wave of modern sentiment or zeitgeist.

We cannot subject the Bible to state orthodoxy, or the Christian conscience to perpetual cries for ‘tolerance’. That 11 per cent of Evangelicals believe that we should so or do not care is testimony to the abysmal lack of discernment in some churches, and the woeful teaching from some pulpits. They may yet be Christians, but genuine Christianity is about living in love and unity, and that demands acceptance of diversity. If 11 per cent of Evangelicals don’t accept that a Christian baker ought to be free to refuse to participate in evil or to propagate that which they consider wrong or bad, what on earth do they gasp of sin, grace or salvation?

  • Anton

    Plenty of people call themselves Christians in the national census (the majority in the nation, as I recall) but clearly aren’t (they go to church for weddings, funerals and maybe Christmas and they live secular). Now the same problem applies – albeit less acutely – to the description “evangelical Christian”. That 11% are evanjellycal Christians.

  • Anton

    In these comments by His Grace we see a problem yet also the solution. Nobody is going to self-identify as a Christian (of any sort) if it means persecution. And persecution is coming. The bride of Christ will be made clean for her wedding.

    • jsampson45

      Nobody? Where do you get that idea?

      • Anton

        Agh – I missed out the all-important word “insincere”. Now corrected. Thank you!

  • len

    Onto the threshing floor to separate the wheat from the Chaff.

  • The Explorer

    Mark Steyn cites the case of the Toronto labiaplasty cosmetic surgeon. He specialised in tidying up female genitalia. Then he was visited by two transsexuals unhappy with the aesthetic results of their operations. The surgeon said he lacked the experience/expertise to deal with their particular situation, and refused to treat them in case things went wrong and they sued him. So they sued him for discrimination against transsexuals.

    So the problem of being sued for failure to provide services has become wider than religion. The provider of any goods/services appears to have no right of refusal.

    • Merchantman

      So why don’t Christians start placing Ads in Gay News and see what happens?

      • The Explorer

        That is probably the way ahead. Book two families with kids into a gay b&b. Hire a gay bar for a hetero wedding reception. And so on.

        • Anton

          I’d rather give the custom to – and thereby support – Christian outfits.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Try advertising some good Christian books in Gay News. I’d bet (if I did bet) that the ads wouldn’t get accepted.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            they would of course

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          gays aren’t bigots so we’ll be fine

    • Anton

      That is the key point in all of this. A business should have the option of who to deal with, under the presumption that it prefers to do business (or else why exist) and that if it turns down business then it is its loss. Anything else is the government sticking its nose into private contracting.

  • jsampson45

    “Seared by the Holy Spirit” – is this a misprint?

    • John Rollins

      No

  • While I understand the response to people being undecided on the issue, I can suggest 1 possible alternative way to interpret it.
    Religious freedom is not something that we are called to as Christians if we are not in positions where we make the law of the land. We are called to worship God in all situations, whether or not we have the civil liberty to do so. Whilst we can say that religious freedom is a good thing, particularly if it means we don’t go to jail for practicing our faith, the state making laws about it either way should make no difference to our response to God. Therefore, not having an opinion, as such, in this poll does not simply mean that people don’t care whether they must stop doing things because the law says so, but rather could be taken as saying that they don’t care what the law says, they will do what God says regardless.

  • DP111

    Famous Actors – Thanks

    http://biasedbbc.org/blog/2016/10/23/reminions/#comment-785403

    Must watch, and spread it around.

  • Orwell Ian

    Democracy in this nation is anything but liberal. All political parties pander to the spirit of the age resulting in state orthodoxy where truth is pliable and justice perverted to the advantage of favoured minorities. All in the cause of upholding so-called equal rights of course. We all know that the same law which has been misused to condemn a Christian bakery would be interpreted in a way that would acquit a Muslim one. Fat chance of upholding religious liberty when playing fields are uneven and goalposts so easily moved. The political cartel has democracy in its pocket. Anyone advocating return to traditional morality, pro-life, pro-heterosexual marriage etc is vilified as dangerously extremist or potty. So much for liberal democracy.

    • Merchantman

      Quite. All my postings are seemingly being monitored and my internet mysteriously fails if I visit too many rigorously Christian sites.

      • Oisín mac Fionn

        Is your apartment bugged and do they put tranquillisers in your water supply too?

        Paranoia is a treatable psychological disorder, you know. I suggest you seek medical advice. It may transform your life.

        Unless of course your doctor is in on the plot…

  • Anton

    They just lost. So did freedom.

    • Merchantman

      surprise, surprise.

      • Anton

        “the judges said that it did not follow that icing a message meant you supported that message.”

        Which is not the point.

        We speak about the law here, but let nobody suppose that the personal views of judges are irrelevant.

        Someday they too will be judged in a higher court.

        • Bernard from Bucks

          “the judges said that it did not follow that icing a message meant you supported that message.”
          So let’s all bake cakes with an icing message –
          ‘The judge is an ass’

          • Anton

            Surely, in that case, “the judge is not an ass”?

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          it actually is the point and the bigoted leprechaun claimed it was the point

          • Anton

            To whom do you refer, Sir?

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      if your god is really bothered, im sure it will do something about it

      • Anton

        You may be sure of that – but in his time, not yours or mine.

  • Merchantman

    Two can play at this game. Just ask your local supermarket butcher to supply non Halal meat.

  • The Explorer

    If you are selling your house and are offered full price, you are not allowed to decline the buyer on the basis of age, gender, race, religion sexual orientation etc. This attempt to create diversity through legislation seems to me misguided, and as likely to generate festering resentment as as social harmony.

    • Royinsouthwest

      By what stretch of the imagination could selling a house be compared to baking a cake with an explicit political message? Where is the propaganda in a house sale?

      • The Explorer

        My point was about right of refusal. You cannot refuse to provide the cake. You cannot refuse to sell the house to someone of whom you personally disapprove.

        • Royinsouthwest

          You are deliberately evading the point. The bakers were willing to provide a cake to the couple but they disapproved of the slogan. London Transport has banned slogans that it disapproves of.

          • The Explorer

            I’m not evading the point. My point was that you have now, compared with the past, lost the right to determine who you sell your house to.

          • Dominic Stockford

            You may simply remove it from the market. Then the next day put it back n the market. No-one can stop you doing that – happens all the time.

    • Anton

      Isn’t that an anti-gazumping law rather than social engineering?

      • The Explorer

        Gazumping too. But haven’t they added transgenders to the list of who you are not allowed to refuse? And consider the new developments that must have a quota of affordable housing. Enforced social integration going on there.

  • None of the above

    Go into a bakery run by gays and order a cake iced with the message “Abolish Gay Marriage”. I wonder how that would work out?

    • The Explorer

      They would refuse, and you would be prosecuted for a hate crime.

      • None of the above

        Thought so. Nice to know there’s equality under the law. In fact isn’t it that, more perhaps than religious liberty, which is at stake here?

        • The Explorer

          Exactly so. The guiding principle of PC law seems to be whether or not you have victim status. If you haven’t, you will automatically lose.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            said the fat straight white guy!

          • The Explorer

            Which of those gave him victim status?

      • Politically__Incorrect

        Sadly, I think you are right. However, a subtle change of wording might help. For example, “Support Heterosexual Marriage” would be harder to challenge legally because it has no negative connotations. I sometimes wonder if it’s also time to have “Hetero Pride” rallies?

        • The Explorer

          Yes, very good. If you requested ‘Ban the BNP’ would that constitute a hate crime because it expresses hatred of a particular group? Or would the argument go that because the group is itself a hate group the wish to be rid of it is not a hate crime?

          • Anton

            Please leave the term “hate crime” to secular people. What some call hate speech I call “being rude”. And sometimes it isn’t even that.

          • Dominic Stockford

            And we’ll carry on saying that all the way into the cell…

          • Bernard from Bucks

            I remember reading some while back that Postmen/women were refusing to deliver the free election mailshots for the BNP?
            I don’t know the outcome, but they argued that “they didn’t agree with the message” and refused to deliver them.

        • IanCad

          We could also stop using the word “Gay.”
          In the OP, HG paired it with “Straight.” The more appropriate opposite, or comparative should logically be bent, twisted, crooked, or the like.
          To maintain civility only Homo or Hetero should be used.

        • Dominic Stockford

          That had a ‘White lives matter’ protest in Gravesend or Margate last weekend. You can imagine the names they were called, and the few who were prepare to turn up and endure them.

          When we pray protest outside Parliament during key moments of ungodly bills the abuse we get ‘from the other side’ keeps numbers down, and I can understand why people won’t join us.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      itd be refused and itd be legal to refuse it

  • bluedog

    One suspects that this ruling will be the catalyst for the long overdue back-lash to political correctness by the same group of deplorables who voted for Brexit. Whither the CofE though? Based on its past flexibility, can the CofE happily live with court rulings that discriminate against Christianity? Or will even the most progressive prelates realise that they now face mutually exclusive positions and even worse, must make a choice.

    • Anton

      How could that backlash legally gain traction? It would have been the obvious Next Cause for UKIP, but St Nigel has done his bit and nobody else seems capable of holding the ship together.

      • bluedog

        There is no possible avenue for legal remedy. By ensuring the creation of statutory bodies armed with plenipotentiary powers to promote their causes, the Left have arrogated the power of the state to themselves. The individual, subject to coercive investigation, has no option other than submission and must inevitably pay a fine, whether guilty or innocent, as the cheapest method of escape from persecution. No individual can afford to challenge a state institution in a court battle, with the possible exception of a major publicly listed corporation.

        Thus the anti-discrimination machinery has become an instrument of oppression.

        The avenues left for the individual citizen, either acting alone or in groups, are either passive or active civil disobedience. If the homosexual lobby thinks this is a victory, one suspects the deplorables will prove them wrong.

        Of course, there is always the political route to salvation, and repeal of the offending legislation that permits the repression of freedom of conscience. But currently the momentum of elite opinion is still running hard in the wrong direction. The elites are anything but nimble in their comprehension of issues and heavily dependent on group-think. Turning group-think around can be a generational project in terms of the time required for redemption.

        • Anton

          A UKIP leader who turns the repeal of PC laws into its next great cause, once we’re out of the EU and ECHR, could get a lot of votes.

          • bluedog

            But will UKIP survive as a coherent political entity? The resignation of Woolfe and the apparent ascendancy of drones like Hookem within the ranks of UKIP, suggest that the party lacks the talent to go anywhere. Farage has clearly had enough, good though he is. This is an issue like Brexit that crosses party lines. There will be those within the Labour Party who are just as horrified as those in the Conservative Party who can think for themselves and see the risks. The vicar’s daughter, Mrs May, could possibly be taking an interest in the case.

    • IanCad

      Peaceful protest rarely cuts it. History teaches so.

      • Anton

        Gandhi? Aung San suu Kyi?

        • IanCad

          I did write “rarely” Anton. In the case of India, had the sub-continent risen up, a nuclear armed Pakistan would likely not be around today. Burma? It ain’t over yet. Ask the Moslems.
          The Americans tried politeness; fat lot that got them.
          OK! OK! South Africa went amazingly peaceably. Cromwell tried parliamentary means first.
          As a professed Christian my temperament is not yet suited for The Kingdom of Heaven. Must work on it.

          • Anton

            Then there is the fall of the Berlin Wall, triggering freedom without violence in a dozen eastern European countries.

            Gene Sharp made a study of peaceful resistance movements that had toppled a totalitarian regime, and distilled what he learnt into a How-to manual called “From Dictatorship to Democracy” (free online in as many languages as people have translated it into). His main points: (1) no totalitarian regime can operate without the people’s tacit consent; (2) therefore you can bring it down by refusing consent, but NEVER use violence, because that is the regime’s strongest point. Simply coordinate noncooperation. Yes there will be martyrs, but it can always be done.

            It is this organic relation between a people and its government that causes me to insist that a people gets the government it deserves. If there are enough brave people, they will refuse evil orders from above. Sharp’s work is credited with beginning the Arab Spring, which worked. The trouble was that they didn’t know what to do next and Islamists rode in.

          • IanCad

            You have the better of the argument Anton.
            Still looking for the source of “The King rules at the pleasure of his people” quotation that came up on a previous thread.

          • Anton

            Daniel Hannan’s book “How we invented freedom and why it matters” is all about that principle. Try amazon’s “search inside this book” facility (for, say the word “pleasure”).

          • Merchantman

            The brave would remain silent and refuse to plead in a case like this.

      • jsampson45

        I am no historian, but I gather that Christians faced with the demand to burn incense to Caesar simply refused to do so. Not long afterwards Christianity became the official religion of the empire.

        • IanCad

          Think, type, post. Sometimes I get it wrong. Type, post, think.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    The ruling is a lousy one for everybody and is probably based more on fear than sound judgement.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      its based on “no god crap”

  • A simple question.
    Why on earth would anyone, gay or otherwise, want to do business with an organisation that doesn’t want their custom?

    • David

      Perhaps to hurt them and the things they believe in and to exert their own egos. It will be presented as campaigning for freedom and equality of course. But they seek the equality of “Animal Farm” where some are more equal than others – not a good advert. for “diversity and tolerance” is it ?

      • I have a couple of gay acquaintances, they totally disapprove of this sort of thing as they feel that it makes life worse for them.

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          then theyre misinformed-=equality for all helps EVERYONE

          • Equality to most groups such as gays, feminists, etc means “extra privileges”.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            haha-no, dummy-name one extra privilege we get (maybe “not killing me” is a [privilege to you?)

          • ???????????????????????

    • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

      To target them

      • Exactly. I wouldn’t go to someone who didn’t want my custom for fear they’d do a poor job.

      • NORMAN DOSTAL

        yes-we must root out bigots and destroy them

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      They didn’t want to do business. The whole thing is a charade, conceived in hate and spite, for the purpose of doing injury to others.

  • David

    This is a very bad day for freedom and religious liberty. The ruling gives the lie to the secular orthodoxy peddled by the establishment that it promotes tolerance, diversity and living together in acceptance. Here we have the illiberal jack boot of state sponsored secularism imposing its irrational, unnatural, anti-family and revolutionary views on everyone else.
    A new ruling group of superior citizens has been created by the cultural Marxist legal concepts of “protected minorities”. If you not one of the recognised minorities you can find yourself persecuted for your views and practices – we live in an increasingly ugly, controlling society where debate and freedom of religious practice is becoming proscribed – especially for Christians, whose faith represents the foundation stones of this increasingly unstable society.

    • Merchantman

      I think we should peacefully assemble.

    • Jon Sorensen

      Why should religious people have the special freedom and religious liberty to discriminate?

      • Phil R

        Everyone discriminates Jon.

        Everyone.

        Inc you.

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          not in public business-not anymore

          • Phil R

            Rubbish. Everyone discriminates.

            Indeed, discrimination is a good thing and I for one am glad of it. Imagine a world with no discrimination of any sort……..

            No choice of people who you buy things from, no discrimination of job applicants.

            The stupid thing is that we are even trying to remove discrimination from democracy! All women/black/gay shortlists are just one attempt to remove discrimination from perhaps the area where it matters most.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            Youre confusing discrimination with choice
            As I said, not in public business-=or they are punished. I suppose if your e clever bigot you can get away with it by lying…

          • Phil R

            Two sides of the same coin

  • carl jacobs

    We cannot subject the Bible to state orthodoxy

    Ummm ….

    [Points at Church of England]

    Ummm …

    • Dominic Stockford

      Points at the specific translation decisions taken in producing the KJV.

      • carl jacobs

        Exactly so.

  • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

    The UK is a FULL signatory of the UN declaration of human rights and it is clear that the Northern Irelnad Human rights commission has shown itself to be comapoletely ANTI Human rights.

    Ashers said:
    “We wouldn’t decorate a cake with a pornographic picture or with swear words. We wouldn’t decorate a cake with a spiteful message about gay people. Because to do so would be to endorse and promote what was said.”
    and their statement that:
    “To essentially say ‘I’m sorry but whatever you think about the morality of any particular campaign you must get involved with it if asked’ is baffling and frankly oppressive.”
    “What about the Muslim printer asked to produce cartoons of Mohammed? Or the Roman Catholic company asked to produce adverts with the slogan ‘Support abortion’?”

    is spot-on and reveals the disgusting, hateful hypocrisy of the establishment now.

    “Any company whose owners believe that their creative output says something about them and their values has been put at risk by this interpretation of the law.”

    Nobody in the establishment would bring a case against muslim cake makers for refusing to add the slogan later to a cake they made whey slogan was a cartoon of Muhammed.

  • Demon Teddy Bear

    This is a wicked business, and wicked men are active in it, using the office and money that we give them in order to persecute harmless people. But words won’t shame these scum. Action is needed.

    • Dominic Stockford

      ? Action?
      Prayer yes, but what action do you suggest?

      • NORMAN DOSTAL

        maybe try praying? that always works-snicker

  • The Explorer

    At the back of all this is probably the historic sign NO DOGS, NO IRISH, and the determination to make such signs impossible in a just society.

    You can remove the signs from windows by legislation, but removing the sentiments that caused the signs from human hearts is more difficult.

    • Royinsouthwest

      But offensive signs on cakes are OK?

      • The Explorer

        Remove ‘from windows’ from the above sentence. If you see a sign ‘Please do not spit on the floor’ is it okay to spit on the ceiling?

        • Royinsouthwest

          What is offensive about asking people not to spit?

          • The Explorer

            That is my point. What is the statement requesting?

            1. Please don’t spit on the FLOOR?

            2. Please don’t spit?

            he first might mean the second, but by mentioning floor suggests that walls, ceilings etc might be acceptable. I mentioned windows because that was were the original notices appeared.

        • Anton

          It would be an achievement!

      • NORMAN DOSTAL

        but it isn’t offensive-got you!

  • carl jacobs

    If you are going to demand the right to refuse a customer on the basis of religious liberty, then you must do so consistently. If you would accept a job to do a Bar Mitzvah cake, then you have no grounds to refuse this cake. And who here would defend a baker who refused a Bar Mitzvah cake of grounds of religious conscience? Well, OK. Besides JR.

    I have asked this question every time this subject has come up, and I have never received an answer.

    • The Explorer

      If a Jewish customer requested a cake with the message ‘Destroy Christianity’ would that be as neutral as a Bar Mitzvah cake? Would you be justified in refusing the one but not the other? If you refused to provide either because your customer was Jewish, that would be another issue again.

      • IanCad

        Thinking along those lines myself Explorer. Would a Jewish baker be within his rights to refuse a cake with the message “God changed the Sabbath to Sunday” were a Goy to request such?
        Of course he would.

        • Anton

          He’d insist that it be “G-d” for a start.

      • carl jacobs

        You are attempting to shift the ground of the argument. I won’t let you. If this is a matter of religious liberty and not culture war, then a neutral Bar Mitzvah cake should also fall within the restriction. False religion is just as offensive to God as sexual immorality.

        • Anton

          The analogy isn’t accurate, Carl. For accurate analogy it would have to be not a Bar Mizvah cake but a cake commissioned by a Jew that says “Jesus isn’t God”.

          • carl jacobs

            No, the analogy is accurate. See my response to Politically_Incorrect.

        • The Explorer

          The issue came up during the trial if they were refusing to serve Mr Lee because he was gay. That was satisfactorily answered: they had previously sold him bread, knowing he was gay.

          Does God disapprove of everything equally, or are there gradations? Christ suggests there are different levels of punishment in the afterlife. I’m not sure God would rate celebrating a Bar Mitzvah as equivalent to actively attacking Christianity.

    • chefofsinners

      This is correct.
      The option left to Ashers Bakery is to cease supplying cakes with messages written on them.

      • IanCad

        Then the savages have won.

        • chefofsinners

          The Christians have lost the business of people who want customised cakes, but they have won, or bought, freedom of conscience.

        • Merchantman

          I think in fact its a Magnificent Victory and that heaven applauds.

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          No, they lost-the baker has to pay up-didn’t you read it?

      • The Explorer

        Would birthday cakes still be okay, or would there have to be a blanket ban? Could they say they’d do cakes with personal messages, but not public ones?

        Obviously, the wording about wording would have to be very carefully devised. How would a request for a birthday anniversary for gay marriage be categorisied?

        • chefofsinners

          A blanket ban on customised messages is the only option that I can see.

          • Anton

            Or a range of messaged cakes on the shelves and a statement that you can buy messaged cakes off-the-shelf only.

      • Bernard from Bucks

        “the judges said that it did not follow that icing a message meant you supported that message.”
        So let’s all bake cakes with an icing message –
        ‘The judge is an ass’

        • chefofsinners

          I suspect that if the message had read ‘Gay marriage is an abomination’ then, suddenly, the judges would conclude that making the cake did mean you supported the message.

      • Merchantman

        Or they can supply a packet of alphabet letters and say to LGBT ” you want an offensive message, then you know where to stick it”.

        • chefofsinners

          Yes, maybe a tin of alphabet spaghetti with every cake.

    • None of the above

      That’s why it’s a mistake to couch this issue in terms of religious liberty. Once you do that you’ve already stacked the deck against yourself. The battleground on which this should be fought, and the one which will carry more weight, is whether, as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “[a]ll are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law”, or whether some are privileged in law above others.

    • Anton

      What is your answer to English Pensioner’s question (below), please: Why on earth would anyone, gay or otherwise, want to do business with an organisation that doesn’t want their custom?

      A business should have the option of who to deal with, under the presumption that it prefers to do business (or else why exist) and that if it turns down business then it is its loss. Anything else is the government sticking its nose into private contracting.

      • carl jacobs

        What is your answer to English Pensioner’s question

        His question is not relevant. It doesn’t matter why. The state is operating within its proper authority when it set non-discrimination rules like this.

        A business should have the option …

        OK. Just understand that it cuts both ways. You have to also support the property owner who says “Christians offend me! I won’t rent to you.”

        • Anton

          Yes. I support that freedom.

        • seansaighdeoir

          ‘The state is operating within its proper authority when it set non-discrimination rules like this.’

          The state cannot stand by as an idle observer – by forming these laws it has become an active participant and is now responsible for defining the levels of discrimination and is obliged to form them into a hierarchy. When competing interests meet it is obliged to choose as it has done here whose interests to serve.

          By now choosing to usurp the right of the individual to act out of his or her conscience it has removed the inalienable right that each man has been granted by God to act accordingly and as a result is now in a position to determine how we are to act and think.

          That is a form of communism and as a result will compel us to become dependent on the state for patronage of our beliefs. We will no longer be free to act from our own consciences and will be dependent on the state for such largesse.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      A Christian baker is unlikely to refuse to bake a Bar Mitzvah cake. However, as Ashers point out, they wouldn’t inscribe a cake with anything pornographic or directly insulting to anyone, including gay people. They simply found the requested inscription offensive in the same way that a rude comment would be offensive. Problem is that gays are protected from being offended whereas many other groups are not. In that sense they are being consistent; not wanting to bake anything with an offensive message. An interesting test of consistency would be to ask a gay baker to inscribe a cake with something promoting heterosexuality

      • carl jacobs

        Would the case have been different if the cake had said “Congrats, Bob & Bill, or your Wedding.” I don’t care much about offense. If you are going to claim religious liberty, you must have something more than “I am offended by this message.” You have to show coercion of religious conscience. That means you have to demonstrate you are being compelled to participate in something that violates your faith. If writing a phrase on a cake for gay marriage constitutes participation, then making a Bar Mitzvah cake constitutes participation.

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          youre too smart for these religious rubes

          • carl jacobs

            I am one of those “Religious rubes”.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            Should have added “Religious BIGOTED rubes”-I have no problem with religious people that dont discriminate using their god to justify it. Most of my family is religious-the good kind

  • chefofsinners

    In other news today Ofcom has decided it is fine for homosexual Christopher Biggins to say on television that bisexuals are the “worst type”, “what it is is people not wanting to admit they are gay” and that “AIDS is a bisexual disease”.

    One law for Biggins and another for the baker, it would appear.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-37751930

    • IanCad

      Clicked on it Chef. How very apropos. Big Brother runs our land. Who appointed him? How far this country, once a beacon of liberty, has fallen.

  • Mrs S wilson

    Christians all over N ireland are heartbroken over the decision. But what else can we expect when we are told by the head of the Equality Commission that if our faith affects our business we should leave it at the door or try another type of business? We are seeing more and more the spectre of persecution coming our way, and most Christians are sleepwalking into it.
    Again, as I have said before, I believe a lack of Bible knowledge is behind much of this apathy, although over here there is also a kind of pietistic lack of engagement with the world around us on the part of some denominations, which means they are only now, when it is too late, beginning to see what is happening.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Absolutely. There is a good Reformed congregation near me in London which chooses not to support the practical cases such as this which we face, or to join us (at our congregation) in prayer about them ‘because some members’ apparently get too upset and express themselves strongly! Sleep-walking into it sums it up.

    • writhledshrimp

      I’m heartbroken, it is a nonsense.
      The baker should have said, ” Yes I’ll bake it, and it will cost you 56 thousand pounds.”

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      no, they aren’t-most agree it was a good call

  • None of the above

    Since the law now makes explicit that if you belong to certain specified groups then you enjoy higher status and greater rights in law than others, the correct response of Ashers to this judgement is to say “Tank you Massa, I go now and stand at de back o’ de bus wid de udder lesser folk.”

    • bluedog

      This is an important point. There are now ‘protected’ and ‘unprotected’ demographics within society. In order to achieve protection you must successfully present as a disadvantaged minority. Having achieved ‘protected’ status, all manner of state benefits flow and in effect the subject demographic receives immunity from statute law, by virtue of claiming cultural exclusivity.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      no, SAME rights

  • chefofsinners

    It is comforting to know that when 1.8 million of us are languishing in jail, there will be 220,000 to come and visit us.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      My local prison now has a renowned restaurant for the public, so that prisoners can train as chefs for when they are released. You’d be OK there chef. They would certainly keep you busy. May even ask you to bake a “gay” cake

      • IanCad

        Sure hope they don’t use the same ingredients as the one Inspector linked to yesterday. A lot of the same stuff going on in jails, so I am led to believe.

      • chefofsinners

        Yes, I learned how to cook books during my last stretch.

      • Anton

        I’m sure it’ll soon be a recipe on the BBC’s (renamed) Great BakeOff.

  • chefofsinners

    Anyone who wants to offer practical support for this and similar cases, donate to the Christian Institute:

    http://www.christian.org.uk/support-us/

    • IanCad

      Dream on Chef!! Look at the measly support HG has received since the collection plate was last rattled.

      • chefofsinners

        These people honour me with their lips, but their wallets are far from me.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Or to Christian Concern, who are supporting the Christian parents struggling with the council and the ‘transgender’ issue to do with their mixed up daughter.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      throw your money away!!!

  • AT Denning, later Lord Denning, gave a radio talk in 1943 in which he said: ‘Lawyers should be men of religion: and speaking generally that has always been the case in this country. It is the reason why the common law of England is so great. The law has been moulded for centuries by Judges who have been brought up in the Christian faith. The precepts of religion, consciously or unconsciously, have been their guide in the administration of justice.’

    He could have added that the law had also been made for centuries by Christians. See how much power and influence Christianity has lost and in so short a time. In fact, not ‘lost’ but ‘surrendered’: surrendered to the insatiable demands of diversity, multiculturalism and equality. In return, Christianity is spared being called really quite hurtful names like racist, homophobe, bigot, anti-Semite and Islamophobe. After a thousand years, Christianity wimps out.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Agreed, though I would change your last statement to “established church wimps out”.

      • Mike17

        I would change the statement to liberal Christians.

    • Busy Mum

      Lord Denning also made it quite clear that freedom of religion can only exist if the state is religious. His big mistake was to think that Christian beliefs were so well established that they no longer needed to be enforced by law and that teaching and example would suffice; he trusted in the Religious Instruction in schools to maintain the way of life.

      He underestimated the devil and thought that Britons could manage quite well from now on in their own strength, rather than relying on God.

    • wisestreligion

      In the Middle East faithful Christians risk torture and execution. They stand firm in the faith. In Britain Anglican church leaders risk being called homophobes. They surrender.

    • dannybhoy

      Yes but at least the State still tolerates us…

  • Redrose82

    I wonder what the decision would have been had the bakers been Muslims.

    • Orwell Ian

      I think we can safely assume that such a case would never get past the DPP. It being quietly filed away as “not in the public interest.”

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      same of course

  • Mike17

    The court said that the bakers would have been willing to bake a cake which promoted heterosexual marriage so, by refusing to bake a cake which promoted so-called same-sex marriage, they discriminated. The Christian Institute’s deputy director, Simon Calvert, asks the question: “What about the Muslim printer asked to produce cartoons of Mohammed?” Well, if the court were to be consistent the same court would have to say to the Muslim printer: “You were willing to print cartoons of X, Y and Z so by refusing to print a cartoon of Mohammed you were discriminating.” But would they?

    • Dominic Stockford

      No.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      no such thing as a cartoon of Muhammad, first of all. Secondly, no Muslim would ask for such a thing so theres no discrimination against a religion. Bad example

  • Anton

    This was a grey area, or it would never have reached the High Court. Shame on the judges.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    On a related subject, there appeared recently an article in the Telegraph .

    What concerns me is the Orwellian re-writing of history to suit the LGBT faction, especially as regards the church. Certainly, 19th century lawmakers did make things more difficult for homosexual men, but the CofE is being handed out a lot of stick over something for which it was not responsible.

    The Labouchere Amendment, under which Alan Turing was convicted, was brought in as a last-minute addition to a Parliamentary Bill that had nothing to do with homosexuality by Henry Labouchère, one of the two Liberal MPs for Northampton, the other being Charles Badlaugh, whose
    then-controversial atheism led Labouchère, a closet agnostic, to refer sardonically to himself as “the Christian member for Northampton”.
    Since that time, the CofE seems to have acted as a “safe space” for gay clergymen. Therefore I think it is a rotten show that they now threaten to bring the institution crashing down in order that they may, in a manner of speaking, upend the Lord’s Prayer to read so that their will may be done in Heaven as it is on Earth.

    Indeed, it is doubly ungrateful since, as the church historian , himself of that orientation, told us in his recent BBC series that the CofE bishops in the Lords played a major role in bring about thr deciminalization of homosexuality in the 1960s.

    • dannybhoy

      Communist ‘correct think’ seems to have infected western societies, so that political ‘apparatchiks ‘ regularly stand up to make apologies to someone or something now dead or defunct. It means absolutely nothing, and one wonders whether these are in fact only practice runs for when we become part of Greater Russia..

    • Dominic Stockford

      Offering pardons is a brilliant masterstroke – to accept one, even on behalf of someone else, means accepting that what they did was wrong. Slam dunk. Got ’em.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Shouldn’t we offer pardons to all the convicts who were sent to Australia for what would be regarded today as relatively minor offenses?

    • chefofsinners

      Hmm. Retrospective pardons seem almost as absurd as selling pardons for sins yet to be committed.
      Any thoughts, Jack?

      • There’s no need to purchase pardons for sins yet to be committed. God has already forgiven them. All we have to do is accept that forgiveness and prepare ourselves to stand before God. Now, suffering the temporal consequences of our sin in purgatory is another matter. Such pardons cannot be bought.

        Augustine, The City of God: “temporary punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by others after death, by others both now and then; but all of them before that last and strictest judgment.”

        Christ accomplished all of our salvation for us on the Cross. But that does not settle the question of how redemption is applied. Scripture reveals that it is applied to us over the course of time through, among other things, the process of sanctification through which the Christian is made holy. Sanctification involves suffering and purgatory is the final stage of sanctification that some need to undergo before we enter heaven. Purgatory is the final phase of Christ’s applying to us the purifying redemption that he accomplished for us by his death on the Cross. Our suffering in sanctification does not take away from the Cross. The Cross produces our sanctification, which results in our suffering, because “[f]or the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11).

        There is a requirement that a soul not just be declared to be clean, but actually be clean, before a man may enter eternal life. If a guilty soul is merely “covered,” if its sinful state still exists, then it is still a guilty soul.

        Catholic theology takes seriously the notion that nothing unclean shall enter heaven. A less than cleansed soul remains blemished and isn’t fit for God’s presence. It needs to be cleansed of its remaining imperfections. The necessity of the purging is taught in other passages of Scripture, such as 2 Thessalonians 2:13, which declares that God chose us “to be saved through sanctification by the Spirit.” Sanctification is thus not an option, something that may or may not happen before one gets into heaven. It is an absolute requirement.

        http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/HOW2PURG.htm

        • chefofsinners

          Good to hear from you HJ. You’ve been quiet lately.
          Protestant doctrine differs in the belief that Christ will accomplish the necessary sanctification through a transformation at death / or the last trumpet:
          “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1 Cor 15:51-53.

  • Busy Mum

    Asking a Christian bakery to do something they deem offensive is a hate crime. I wouldn’t ask a Muslim butcher to supply me with non-halal meat.

    • dannybhoy

      Where’ve you been btw?

      • Anton

        She’s been busy, of course. A woman who doesn’t waste words, in the best sense.

        • dannybhoy

          Ah.
          You have one of the other sort?
          My deepest sympathies…
          (Danny chortles into his Horlicks..)

        • Busy Mum

          True, I have been busy – see my reply to Dannybhoy below!

      • Busy Mum

        Fighting the state for control of my wayward daughter…seriously. The state ‘respects her choices’, however detrimental they may be to her future, and considers that it is her disapproving parents, rather than those ‘wrong choices’, that damage her mental health. I am not the mother currently being supported by Christian Concern, but I totally sympathise with that family’s predicament.

        • dannybhoy

          Hello again Busy Mum. Well, at least it wasn’t anything we’ve said.. :0)
          The wife and I know of a situation -no names no pack drill, where the young daughter was pushing for a sex change because she wanted to be a boy..
          It caused an awful lot of heartache, rows and confusion among family members. Then pfffft! she lost interest, and now seems content to be a girl.
          Sometimes when a couple break up or there is a lot of emotional turbulence in the family, a child can do something or want something weird either for attention or to signal distress.
          The mum in this case decided to as it were give in and gave her consent and even took an interest in the (very thorough) procedure. In this case her daughter apparently lost interest because Mum agreed(!) and the further along the procedure she went she was made to face up to what it would really mean.
          It is terrible that the State has taken authority away from the parents, to the extent that they would allow an unhappy confused teenager to take such a drastic step.
          Fortunately in this case there was a reasonably happy outcome. I hope it works out well for you.

          • Busy Mum

            Thanks dannybhoy. I am not sure how it is going to work out as the State allows my daughter to do all sorts of things I wouldn’t….and gives her many rights but absolutely no responsiblity. And it’s vice versa for us!

          • dannybhoy

            Wise as serpents, harmless as doves. Sometimes reverse psychology achieves what parental concern can’t! When my wife and I worked with abused looked after children, it never ceased to amaze how children could pick up on adults concerns and play them to their own advantage. Especially if they didn’t want to come to school, or go to an appointment, or there was something really bothering them and they couldn’t articulate it..
            May the Lord give you wisdom and peace.

    • chefofsinners

      You’d have trouble getting any butcher to supply you with non-halal meat.

      • Busy Mum

        Both my local butchers supply non-halal meat as routine – I asked in order to be sure.

      • Martin

        CoS

        Halal pork chops?

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      hahaha-no! a Muslim butcher wouldn’t carry that product, stupid

      • Busy Mum

        I agree that a Muslim butcher wouldn’t carry non-halal meat in the same way that a Christian baker wouldn’t carry pro-sodomy cakes.

  • dannybhoy

    I have every sympathy for the owners of Asher’s Bakery chain. A well respected prosperous business run by quietly devout Christians.
    But they have fallen foul of the law, which essentially states that no business can refuse to serve a customer on the grounds of religious convictions. We debated the Christian guesthouse owners prosecution last year, and I came down on the side of the law, because we believe in the rule of law, however pig headed and stoopid it may sometimes be.
    My solution would be that businesses with strong religious or cultural convictions be required to publicly state them, so that potential customers can then make an informed choice..

    • Politically__Incorrect

      We have to ask is the law being applied equally and fairly? I look forward to seeing it being tested in the opposite direction.

      • dannybhoy

        Perhaps the IG has pink news friends who would be willing to test the law by ordering from a Muslim bakery?

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          same outcome

          • The Explorer

            Prove it by ordering one from a Muslim baker.

          • CliveM

            He’ll also need to fly over and order it in the UK.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            I don’t know of any Muslim bakers. The Muslim population is very small here. You prove it by doing it

          • The Explorer

            I wouldn’t do it. a) I’m not gay, so I wouldn’t have any need to order a cake for a gay wedding. b) I’d say there’d be too great a risk of getting killed if one tried to prosecute after the inevitable refusal.. And the authorities would be too scared to carry out a prosecution. They’d simply close the case down as not in the public interest.

    • jsampson45

      But they can anyway. If the supplier refused to take the job, or quoted a high price, the customer would be free to go elsewhere. I gather that in this case Ashers was targeted deliberately. Further, I would be rather doubtful about eating a cake produced under duress.

  • The Explorer

    At the time of the ‘Sensation’ Exhibition there was a painting of Myra Hindley, done using a child’s handprint, endlessly repeated. It was attacked by members of the public, and had to be placed under police guard.

    I thought then of the reversal that had taken place – the police guarding the criminals against the public – and how society was swinging out of kilter. Things have got a lot stranger since.

  • John

    To borrow Stephen McAlpine’s metaphor, Christians in the West are no longer citizens arguing our case in Athens’ marketplace of ideas. We are exiles, living in Babylon, being told we must bow to Nebuchadnezzar or face sanctions.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      idiot-youre still the majority

  • Inspector General

    Inspectors like mathematics…

    He takes off his cloak and makes doubt disappear as follows…

    “5% is a substantial number, but we’ll consider it 1 in 20 which is a small number.”

    “89% of evangelical Christians are on course. That’s 18 in 20. That’s a massive number!!”

    “2 in 20 is screwball territory. The kind of people who leave windows open in their homes, the keys in the ignition, or allow themselves to be scammed out of their life savings for the supposed love of a Nigerian they’ve never met. The type who hand over good money to known drug addicts begging in the street. You could say that it’s the 2 in 20 who make the world go round. It would be such a boring place without them.”

  • Inspector General

    “Feel the edge on that”

    “Blimey, that’s sharp! It’s drawn a droplet of blood on my finger. What’s it called?”

    “Equality”

    “Who are you going to use it on”

    “Christians. If it wasn’t for them, we would have established a gay society years ago and it would have been one big happy life party right now”

    • Anton

      It’s fun to stay at the
      E.C.H.R.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      we dont care what you agree with, schmuck-just follow the law-MAN’s LAW

  • Inspector General

    Looks like man is now beholden to, shall we call them, ‘better’ men. Equal men. Even if you want nothing to do with their equality. You know the kind of thing. You don’t have to pray to Allah 5 times a day if you don’t want to.

    If your employer humiliates you, you can walk out on your employer. And now he can sue and punish you for that if he can convince a court you did so because he / she is gay. Well, it follows, does it not?

    They used to call it slavery. But we don’t do slavery in the UK. Oh no! We certainly do not! Not us, NEVER!

    And here’s the bugger (or at least another one). We can’t even change the law, because ultimately the ECHR still holds sway and they are above our laws. Even after Brexit. And Gay is the new state religion it appears…you have to believe in it, or you are fined.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      wow, youre a big fat bigoted baby-boo hoo

  • Inspector General

    Militant LGBT is a belief system all its own, and thus qualifies as a religion. And why not. As far as Buddhism is concerned, it has no god, but is accepted as a religion, so
    why not Big Gay. It has its own blasphemy laws (as Biggins found out (http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/10/24/celebrity-big-brother-cleared-over-christopher-biggins-bisexual-aids-rant/) and its own concept of betrayal (again, as Biggins found out), and seeks to damn for all time the unbelievers (as Ashers found out). It persecutes by way of on-line viruses its detractors (as the Inspector found out). It has its own saints, including Turing, and its own blessed, Elton John and Peter Tatchell to mention but two. And a priesthood. Stonewall and Terrence Higgins. There are miracles too – they can turn a man into a woman. Or at least they like to think they can…trannysubstantiation…

    And it is as protected an animal as anything can be with four legs, a tail and an arse.

    We need for it to be defined as a religion, and face everything the seculars (and the law) have in store for the religious. After all, we want ‘equality’ as much as they do…
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    1. NOUN
    1. the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods:
    “ideas about the relationship between science and religion”
    synonyms: faith · belief · divinity · worship · creed · teaching ·
    [More]
    doctrine · theology · sect · cult · religious group · faith community · church · denomination · body · following · persuasion · affiliation
    § a particular system of faith and worship:
    “the world’s great religions”
    synonyms: faith · religion · religious belief(s) ·
    [More]
    religious persuasion · religious conviction · religious group · faith community · church · persuasion · affiliation · denomination · sect · body · following · communion · order · school · fraternity · brotherhood · sisterhood
    § a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion:
    “consumerism is the new religion”

    • Anton

      As I’ve said before (and as I think Jack spotted first), the Gs will fall out with the Ts over whether they are born that way.

      • Inspector General

        At the moment, it’s around 55% for the Ts, 45% against. Plenty of bad blood on PN about it…

  • CliveM

    Was the result of the appeal ever really in doubt. The judiciary are as much trapped by the spirit of the age, as our politicians.

  • Dreadnaught

    Feel really sorry for the baker. I doubt that a Muslim owned shop would have been treated the same way. These equality/hate laws are absolute shite.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      wrong-all god nonsense is being heeled-its about time!

      • Dreadnaught

        I cant make sense of what you have posted.

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          It means god bigots are being put into their places

  • Inspector General

    Anything from Welby yet?

    • Anton

      It would be unusual for Welby to comment, as he would not be doing so in his capacity as the senior bishop of the Church of England, since it is not Established in Ulster. Try the Archbishop of Armagh.

      • Inspector General

        As the senior churchman of the realm, any choice he thinks he might have is taken from him…besides, the very law that went against the Ashers holds good in England. It can only be a matter of time before some other homosexual public nuisance tries the same here…

    • The Explorer

      Anything about the result of the appeal on Pink News?

      • Inspector General
        • The Explorer

          Thank you. Some of the comments seem remarkably reasonable to me; especially the ones that admit the verdict would have been different had a Muslim bakery been involved.

          • Inspector General

            Overt anti Islam is challenged on that site. Muslims in the UK are seen as an ‘oppressed people’ much as the anus enthusiasts consider themselves. Tis bizarre to normal types who read the comments….

          • The Explorer

            Standard PC view. Both are victim groups. So I suppose they find it very difficult when the fellow victim group behaves like an oppressor group. When the Muslims behave the way the gays would like Christians to behave, and the Christians don’t, there’s confusion. Some Linus-style hysteria on the thread , of course, but that was to be expected.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            no, they arent-have you been to the UK?

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            not true though-all religion falls under the rule of “its all nonsense” when dealing with reality

          • The Explorer

            You don’t know it’s not true since it hasn’t happened.

          • The Explorer

            I don’t know of anyone planning a gay wedding who has sough the services of a Muslim baker, stationer, photographer or florist, or who has tried to hire a Muslim centre for the reception. Christian equivalents have all been sued. Why the difference?

            Transvestite artist Grayson Perry is refreshingly honest. He’s happy to offend Christians, but he won’t give offence to Muslims. He doesn’t want to get his throat cut.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            Muslim gays that get married seek the services of Muslim bakers, I’m sure. There haven’t been any instances of Muslims refusing gays service in the western world. When and if there are, they ill be dealt with. Remember, the Muslim population in the Us is only a few million and in Northern Ireland very very few so they have few businesses. The bigoted Christian owners are only a handful as well-weve only heard of a few cases. Western Muslims are peaceful-theyre not bigots so far!

          • The Explorer

            Have there been any instances of gays requesting services from Muslims for gay weddings? That’s the issue. No requests, no refusals.

            Western Muslims are peaceful. Fort Hood? Orlando?

    • seansaighdeoir

      The UDA? Aren’t they on ceasefire?

      • Inspector General

        They’re still around, as are the IRA. The latter executing the odd drug dealer.

        • seansaighdeoir

          And each other.

    • Ivan M

      There should be a united response from all the churches. It is unfortunate that we have to die on this dunghill prepared by the homos, but if this is not overturned, the end of religious liberty is upon us.

      • NORMAN DOSTAL

        we humored you misguided fools long enough

  • The Explorer

    Specialist bakeries (Jewish, Polish, Gay etc) tend to be located where there are relevant clientele. It’s very rare for there to be one ethnic bakery and nothing else, especially in an era of supermarkets. So a situation of a Muslim or a Jew having to make a request of a Christian is the kind of contrived example one would find in Situation Ethics. For something group specific, why go outside the group?

    Anyone from outside the natural clientele visiting a specialist bakery is either a fan of a particular poduct (I, for instance, love naan, challah and Polish rye) or is looking to cause trouble.

    The situation for Gays may be slightly different: a gay bakery would probably not advertise itself in quite the same way as a Polish bakery would. But plenty of non-Christian bakeries were prepared to produce the cake, and one of them did.

  • len

    This was not so much Asher’s Bakery but God Himself who was put on trial here.
    When man becomes ‘a god’ (in his own mind at least) then he assumes ‘a right’ to change Gods Moral Order and to supplant it with his own.
    When the created assumes the place of the Creator there can only be one eventual outcome.

    • Anton

      It is not very well known, but Job in his desperation is talked by his so-called friends into putting a lawsuit on God, since in law you can cross-examine your opponent, who loses if he stays silent. This was Eliphaz’s bad idea (5:8), but Job believes (rightly) that a man cannot win against God (9:2-3), and he (wrongly) does not trust God enough to hear him out (9:14-17), saying that God would find him guilty whatever (9:20). Contrary to Bildad’s assertion (8:3), Job does not believe that God, acting as one party and also as judge, would be impartial (9:30-31). Only in a neutral court could Job state himself without fear (9:35-10:1), but no court is above God, so Job does not wish to resort to law (9:28) even though his thinking is legalistic. He is goaded into it by his friends’ insistence that some sin of his must be the cause, which God should explain. Chapter 13 consists of legal formalities of the old Middle East. Later, with God still silent, Job swears his innocence (chs. 29-31). He rests his case at 31:35. Now it is up to God to respond or, in theory, lose the case. [Legal insights by Edward L. Greenstein.]

      God does respond but, instead of answering Job’s question, cross-examines HIM – not even about Job’s sin, which he was expecting to hear about, but about his ignorance and presumption. Specifically, God shows up Job’s ignorance about His creation: the material world (38:1-38) and biological world (38:39 – 41:34). God is teaching Job that he knows little of even simple aspects of the world, let alone its moral mysteries. The way to navigate life is to give up self-justification and legalism and trust God. Job, one of the two finest men in history to his day, takes the point. For this repentance (‘in dust and ashes,’ 42:6), God restores Job, spiritually and materially. And Satan loses his bet with God stated at the beginning of the book.

    • Jon Sorensen

      “God Himself who was put on trial here.”
      I don’t think this article was about Mithras.

      • len

        Not about ‘Allah’ either.Please pay attention.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      ohmygod youre stupid-thats one person’s idea of god-each person has a different god

      • len

        Only One God many claim to be’ gods’ a wise man knows the difference.

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          There are over 38,000 different versions of the Christian god-sure yours is right? that aint good odds

  • Jon Sorensen

    When Christians discriminate it is “freedom of religion”.
    When somebody discriminates against Christians it is “discrimination and bigotry”.

    Maybe one day I understand how writing something on a cake means promoting that message. All bookstores must be promoting Christianity and Islam by selling a Bible and Quran. And Christians are promoting genocide because they Bible tells to kill Midianites.

    • The Explorer

      Not that easy to do, these days. Know the whereabouts of any Midianites?

      • Jon Sorensen

        They still live in just north of the old Midian area. Gershom and Eliezer moved that way.

        • The Explorer

          If the Midianites are still around, Christians obviously haven’t been making a very good job of genocide. But maybe they don’t interpret the order in the same way that you do, anyway, and don’t feel the need.

          • Jon Sorensen

            One Midianite female seem to have survived. I also agree that not all Christians support genocides, but some Christians like notably William Lane Craig defended the Midianite Genocide as justifiable. It’s not clear to me which other genocides over the years he has supported.

          • The Explorer

            Don’t announce on a site like this that there’s a Midianite unaccounted for, or someone will go after her!

            Actually, I’ve never read about the Christian killing of the Midianites: the Christian Press must have colluded in suppressing the story. Do you know how many Craig himself was responsible for killing?

          • CliveM

            Did I miss one?

          • The Explorer

            Hands off. I heard about her first!

          • CliveM

            My you’re getting possessive!

          • The Explorer

            It happens in a time of shortage.

          • CliveM

            Well I’ll let you go first. One chance only however.

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            Craig? You mean he of the list?

            Well there you go. I had no idea a text-based online goods and services site was actually God’s new channel to his faithful.

            And how many Midianites has Craig actually killed? Or is he merely holding himself ready to go ninja on them if they ever cross his path?

          • The Explorer

            Jon mentioned him in the post above mine.

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            Ah yes, I see now. I thought perhaps that Craig was autocorrect for Christ. A reasonable assumption given the practical applications of the list of the same name. I’m pretty sure the iPhone comes up with a “Did you mean Craigslist?” if you type Christ or Christlike into a text…

            In any case, to answer your question about how many Midianites Craig (not he of the list) actually killed, I believe it was about the same as the number of Jews killed by Oswald Mosley and David Irving…

          • The Explorer

            Thank you. I await Jon’s confirmation of the figures.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Of course is just a joke to you that Christians again support genocide. We so how that turned out last century

    • Inspector General

      You’re a free man, aren’t you? How would you like to be fined for not believing in Christianity as the Ashers people were for not believing in homosexuality…

      • Jon Sorensen

        “How would you like to be fined for not believing in Christianity”
        Well I already pay extra taxes because Churches get exemptions and my tax money is used to promote Christianity. I don’t get benefits of the money so I’m already fined for not believing in Christianity.

        The news did not tell but this baker promoted killing gays. I guess promoting killing people is what your religious freedom is all about.

        • Mike Stallard

          Are you mad?

          • The Explorer

            If he is, he’s not going to say yes.

          • Jon Sorensen

            The broken machine doesn’t know that he’s a broken machine.

            Privileged people don’t see their privileges.

          • The Explorer

            “The broken machine doesn’t know that he’s a broken machine.”

            Not so sure about that. Ever seen a computer flash up the message, ‘Attempting automatic repair’?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Sorry. My Midnight Express modified quote was fairly bad.

        • Oisín mac Fionn

          In reality someone posted an incitement to murder gay people on the bakery’s web page, but as the ads that appear there can be modified by users, it’s most probably just a sick prank by some troll who calls himself a Christian but is really just a hateful fascist.

          Before condemning the company for incitement to violence against the LGBT community, I would want to see some clear evidence that they posted the ad. Simply assuming they did shows poor judgment, in my opinion.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I was referring bakers got caught giving a Bible to their friend. According to bakers that constitutes a promotion of the message even if you would explicitly state that you don’t agree with killing gays.

            And what is wrong killing gays according to the Bible? Even the Bible endorses it!

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            Many Christians also endorse the death penalty for gays. Most who post here would probably deny that, but it’s clearly written into the Mosaic law, which Christ himself says is unchanging.

            Many Christians say that gays deserve death, but that they won’t mete it out to them out of respect for Christ’s exhortation not to judge and not to cast the first stone. Others say that Men can mete out divine judgment, so gays should be killed because to let them continue to offend God is a greater crime than murdering them.

            History shows us that in any conflict where the hawks of a particular movement or philosophy are opposed to the doves, the hawks tend to carry the day. Let Christians take power and the voices calling for the execution of gays will soon drown out those that call for tolerance and non-judgment.

            That’s the danger and given the Church’s bloody record, I think the LGBT community is wise to continue its policy of sidelining Christianity and rendering it ridiculous.

            Give the Church an inch and it will take a mile and before you know it, hanging for buggery will back. Scratch the surface of the average Evangelical Christian and you’ll find that what lies beneath is indistinguishible from a radicalised IS fighter. Religious zeal leads to the worst excesses. That’s why it needs to be contained.

      • NORMAN DOSTAL

        you cannot “not believe” in reality, stupid

    • Anton

      Hey John, if you ran a cake shop would you gaily bake me a cake saying “Atheists talk nonsense”? For the sake of definiteness, please include a clear Yes or No in any answer.

      The Bible tells who to kill Midianites? Not Christians, that’s for sure.

      • The Explorer

        Jon doesn’t believe in the New Covenant. Anything commanded in the Old Testament still applies. That’s why, if one does accept the New Covenant, any rational discussion with him is impossible

        • Jon Sorensen

          Jesus said: “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished”

          Heaven and earth have not disappeared yet so the Law still stands. I guess Jesus is with me on this one…

          • The Explorer

            “A new commandment I give you…” Christ was obviously as confused as his followers. But why shouldn’t we follow that, rather than what you suggest?

          • Jon Sorensen

            The Law and the A new command “Love one another” are not mutually exclusive. You can follow both. Are you confused?

          • The Explorer

            I certainly am. Love doesn’t seem to have much to do with law outside divorce courts.

          • Jon Sorensen

            You should read the Bible. It has both in it.

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            You need to remember that God’s law is written on our hearts, which means that anyone who encounters a Midianite will instinctively want to eradicate him.

            This places the Christian in somewhat of a dilemma. Christ’s exhortation not to cast the first stone must be obeyed while simultaneously acting upon the law written upon our hearts condemning all Midianites (among others) to violent death.

            It seems like an insoluble conundrum, but the answer is of course surprisingly simple. If you ever encounter a Midianite, don’t cast a stone at him. Cast him at a stone! You will thus be respecting Christ’s word AND dealing with his enemies as recommended – nay, commanded. Just make sure you love them as you dash their brains out against the nearest rocky outcrop. And of course, be sure to turn the other cheek while you’re doing it otherwise you’ll get a face-full of blood and brain matter, which I’m told is most unpleasant and has a tendency to wipe the beatific smile off even the most faithful Christian’s face.

            Ooh, and while you’re at it, once you’ve solved the local Midianite infestation problem by bludgeoning them to death against the nearest rock, you could try to starve out the Sodomites, the Hemites and the Clintonites by cutting off their supply of cake…

          • The Explorer

            Open season on Midianites. Crisis looming, though: what happens when supplies of Midianites run out?

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            Well according to the Bible, as not one jot nor tittle shall pass from the law until all has been fulfilled, the anti-Midianite statute won’t be abolished once all the Midianites are eradicated. It will merely fall into abeyance until such time as more Midianites are found. If there are no more, the law will nevertheless stay on the statute book until ALL of God’s laws have been fulfilled. That’s what the Bible says, so it must be so.

            This being the case, all a faithful Christian living in an area that has been cleared of its Midianite infestation has to do is be prepared to dash them against rocks if ever there should be a fresh outbreak. All God wants is that you should be ready to act like a homicidal maniac on his behalf if he so requires it. If he doesn’t throw Midianites in your path, you’ll never have to slaughter them.

          • The Explorer

            Boring. You don’t think we could start on a substitute group, do you?

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            I leave that to your discretion.

            Call me over-cautious if you like, but in my opinion second-guessing the next targets of God’s genocidal rage is fraught with danger. What if you get it wrong?

            Will an “oops, my bad!” get you off the hook if you slaughter the wrong group of ites?

          • The Explorer

            With Jon’s take on things, provided some group’s being killed it doesn’t matter too much which it is. Although, come to think of it, Jon’s a stickler for the letter of the law. If God is too -as Jon says He is – it could get tricky.

            I personally have a bigger problem with this New Covenant thing. If it applies, there was never a command for Christians to kill Midianites in the first place.

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            If the New Covenant applies then Christ has some explaining to do.

            Exactly how the old law can still apply in every detail while being replaced by the new, which it contradicts in many ways, is something that can’t just be dismissed as a “mystery”.

          • Anton

            Mosaic Law was given specifically to ancient Israel. It is a national legal code. It has never been commanded to any other people.

          • The Explorer

            Quite. Christians don’t offer animals as burnt offerings, so the idea of a New Covenant for a new people of combined Jews/Gentiles seems reasonable enough to grasp. Even Christ’s words about the jot and tittle of the law remaining is compatible with the New Covenant if Christ is seen as referring to the moral law and not the ceremonial law. The difficulty for some seems to be deciding what’s moral law and what’s ceremonial law.

          • dannybhoy

            “If it applies, there was never a command for Christians to kill Midianites in the first place.”
            ?
            Where are Christians commanded to kill anybody?

          • The Explorer

            A question to put to Jon. He raised it.

          • dannybhoy

            No thanks.

          • dannybhoy

            Sarcastic, aincha.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “You need to remember that God’s law is written on our hearts”
            Reality does not support your claim. People don’t know this law.

            But thanks for explaining why Bible has so many contradictions that even relativists get confused with the law in our hearts.

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            Now you’re just being obtuse.

            Surely you must realise that if two gay men show affection to each other in front of an innocent child, God’s law written upon its heart will cause it to scream in horror and faint at such a blatant example of public sinning. The younger the child and the more unspoiled and innocent its heart, the more pronounced the reaction.

            This is why newborn babies’ heads spin and they spray green vomit everywhere whenever a gay couple walks by. It isn’t coincidence or even colic. It’s their pure innocent little hearts convulsing at the sight of such blatant and unrepentant sinners.

            I thought everyone knew that…

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Surely you must realise that if two gay men show affection to each other
            in front of an innocent child, God’s law written upon its heart will
            cause it to scream in horror”
            LOL. In reality this never happens. Only in Christian fan fiction. Nothing wrong loving someone.

          • Martin

            Jon

            What homosexuals have isn’t love, it’s lust.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Clearly you are an expert in homosexual matters.

          • Martin

            Jon

            Any sex outside the marriage of one man to one woman fails the test of love. Clearly you know little or nothing of love.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Clearly you are also an expert in extra marital love and polygamy. You are such a multi-talent!

          • Martin

            Jon

            Clearly you have an inability to understand plain English.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            youre so small

          • Martin

            Norman

            That’s as it may be, but my point is valid.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            no-god stuff cannot be valid point because its not provable

          • Martin

            Norman

            That you know God exists is sufficient proof.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            wrong and laughable

          • Martin

            Norman

            It isn’t love to cause another to sin.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            Its not sin though -that’s just silly god stuff

          • Martin

            Norman

            There is nothing silly about God.

          • Nice fantasy world you seem to live in!

          • Anton

            It is Israel’s law. It was never commanded to gentiles whether Christian or not.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Again the moral relativist argument. I thought Christians pushed moral absolutism.

        • But that’s just it, is killing the amorites enshrined in The Mosaic Covenant or is it a command apart from the covenant? I’ll need to check.

        • dannybhoy

          Jon is a Destructionist. He just likes arguing.

      • Jon Sorensen

        I would be happy to bake a cake saying “Atheists talk nonsense” as a baker if you would order and pay for it. Just like if I would own a bookstore I would be happy to sell the Bible, Quran, Book of Mormon, fictional books and philosophical books I disagree with. Just selling these does not mean I endorse or promote the ideas in the product.

        “The Bible tells who to kill Midianites?”
        The followers of your God, by the genocide order of your God.

        • Anton

          It does not tell Christians that. You need to learn how to read it. Christians are a voluntary grouping, not a nation as ancient Israel was. Therefore same God, different regulations.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Therefore same God, different regulations”
            Typical post-Christian relativistic thinking

            And of course a revisionist Christian tells me how Jewish writing about Jewish God to Jewish people should be read. Do you ask Mormons how to read the New Testament?

          • Anton

            What I just said is not my own interpretation; the Bible itself says that. I suggest you learn to read the Bible before you talk about it. Otherwise you just show yourself up.

          • Jon Sorensen

            ” the Bible itself says that.”
            I bet that exactly is the revisionism. Let me know the Bible verse and let’s see.

          • Anton

            In 1 Corinthians 9:20 St Paul says that he is no longer under that law. You asked me for the verse; that’s one. Elsewhere he explains that circumcision is not required of gentile converts to Christianity. Take it or leave it at this point, because I’m not going to discuss Bible interpretation with someone who employs spoiling tactics.

          • Jon Sorensen

            We’ll Paul was the revisionist. He never even met Jesus, but started his own religion ignoring James how walked and worked with Jesus.

          • Anton

            I disagree but am not interested in contending that with you. Do remember that Paul was held in high esteem by James and the others once he became a Christian.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Paul was held in high esteem by James”
            LOL. Not really. have you read Galatians 2 lately. They would not even share a meal together. “high esteem” is Paulinist revisionism.

          • Anton

            They made up: Acts 15. If you want to criticise the Bible, read it.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Act 15 is fan fiction and authority grabbing loooong after James was dead.

      • NORMAN DOSTAL

        No and it would be illegal since that speech isn’t protected. Promoting lies is ok for a business to refuse

        • Anton

          You are not the final arbiter of what is a lie.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            a lie is countering that which is provable. You cannot prove atheist talk nonsense just as you cannot prove your god is real. Thusly, not law can enforce such comments. Its called a dictionary

          • Anton

            You are not the final arbiter of what is truth either.

  • On the whole (98%) I am with the Ashers and this article. I can see clearly the troubled waters ahead for folks of Evangelical belief. Yet a small part of me wavers. Am I happy to defend a muslim bakers right to refuse to bake me a cake with the slogan ‘God is trinity’? Or what of an atheist baker refusing to bake a cake saying ‘God is good’. Do I wish to defend his right? Should all consciences be respected and protected law, however, bizarre? And where do we draw lines? What about the bus driver whose conscience wouldn’t allow him to drive his bus because of the advert along its side? Should his conscience be upheld?

    I am reluctant to voice these concerns but these are my lingering doubts. Happy if you put them to rest.

    • Inspector General

      What’s the problem? At 98%?

    • Anton

      I take the view that the law should not compel a business to do business with anybody, and that this issue properly falls under government meddling in contract law rather more than it does under discrimination. A business is there to make money, which it expects to do when it makes a contract (or else it would not make that contract). Loss of profit as a result of declining a contract should be penalty enough. I have no problem with a Muslim baker declining a request for a Trinitarian cake, and so on. As for your bus driver, he presumably signed a contract with the bus company saying that he would drive whatever bus was put before him, and if he can’t hack that then he shouldn’t have taken the job and might have to quit.

      • chefofsinners

        The problem with that argument can be seen if you extend it to other forms of discrimination. If, for instance, a bus company refuses to take black people.

        • Anton

          Then there would be black demand for a bus service and soon they’d start their own and charge less and let whites on and the old bus company would rapidly die. As it knows this, it is very unlikely to commit suicide.

          • chefofsinners

            The USA in the 60s says that’s not what happens.

          • Anton

            Those bus companies were not free agents; they operated under segregation laws. Moreover, they *did* pick up black people. The ruckus was over black people mandatorily giving up seats to whites under those segregation laws. As usual, the problem was government. Please do not lay the responsibility for the problem at the door of free enterprise.

          • chefofsinners

            Those who made the laws were those who owned the bus companies; People who wished to oppress blacks. Markets produce negative outcomes and it is the job of governments to regulate those. Often governments fail, but that is not an argument against regulation.

          • Anton

            That is a leftwing myth, albeit a common one which has taken in many good men. In fact, free markets assist the persecuted.The substitution of contract arrangements was the first step in freeing mediaeval serfs. The Jews were able to survive that period despite persecution because there was a free market sector in which they could operate and maintain themselves. A purchaser of bread does not know if it was made from wheat grown by a white or black man, and the black man if impoverished by racist regulations consequently has lower overheads can afford to enter the market as a seller at a lower price, and thereby gain greater market share. And so on. That is the core of it but for fuller detail please read chapter 7 of Milton Friedman’s book “Capitalism and Freedom”, titled “Capitalism and Discrimination”, here:

            https://www.pdf-archive.com/2011/12/28/friedman-milton-capitalism-and-freedom/

            I question whether the bus company owners were the same as those who enacted the discriminatory laws. Can you confirm that?

          • chefofsinners

            Markets do not always assist the persecuted. There are forces in various directions, but the theory of economic discrimination is one simple counter to the forces described by Friedman. This theory is that economic agents will discriminate against individuals on the basis of genuine characteristics of a group as a whole. Thus on average the agent will benefit but one individual who is discriminated against will not necessarily share the negative characteristic.
            It is therefore important that markets are regulated in such a way as to maximise their benefits and minimise the negative outcomes.

          • Anton

            The agent will not benefit if he declines to trade with somebody, whether for racist reasons or any other. Any transaction has to be of benefit to both parties or it would not be entered into.

          • chefofsinners

            Your argument rests on the premise of perfect markets, which never exist in the real world.
            The theory of ‘economic discrimination’ deals with imperfect information. If an employer discriminates against women on the grounds that they are more likely to cost him in maternity leave, then on average he will be right. So left to his own devices he will always discriminate. But in individual cases he may fail to employ a woman who would not have gone on maternity leave. Both he and the woman miss out on a transaction which would have been of benefit to both parties.
            More than this, society may deem it undesirable that women are discriminated against in this way, and may decide that the market should be regulated. Society enforces many transactions which are only of benefit to one party. All safety legislation falls into this category, as does most employment law.

          • Anton

            I agree with you here (although I consider it a change of subject). Mosaic Law had free markets in goods but regulated markets in labour, property and money.

        • Mike Stallard

          There is nothing wrong with being black. For Evangelical Christians this cannot be said of homosexuality.

          • chefofsinners

            Homosexual acts are wrong. Being homosexual, however you might define that, is not a sin.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            sex among adults is not sin, stupid-and its none of your business

          • chefofsinners

            Nor is it the business of cake makers.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            true and thats why they were found guilty

          • chefofsinners

            For refusing this piece of business?

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            not true-evangelicals said black skin was sin and meant no soul per the Curse of Ham only decades ago

          • Anton

            That’s rather odd because it was evangelicals who evangelised the black slaves.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            1960s, not 1860s

      • Oisín mac Fionn

        So you support economic apartheid and would be happy to see “No blacks, gays or Irish” signs reappear.

        Why is it that so many Christians hate so many people?

        • The Explorer

          You just have a vested interest in ensuring there are no anti-Irish signs. You’re really getting into the latest role.

          Were there ever signs saying ‘no gays’? I’d have thought by the time ‘gay’ became a generally- accepted term, the expression of such sentiments would have been illegal?

        • Anton

          I would not be happy to see such signs reappear. I doubt that they would.

          Why is it that so many atheists hate freedom?

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            Why is it that so many Christians worship freedom?

          • Anton

            We don’t worship it. We just understand it. How likely do you consider the reappearance of such signs?

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            If Christians were allowed to use their beliefs as an excuse to discriminate against groups they don’t like, such signs would reappear very quickly.

          • Anton

            Mere assertion. Guesswork based on your own prejudices, in fact.

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            And your claim that signs wouldn’t appear is also mere assertion and guesswork on your part.

            It happened recently in Tunis. And it’s perfectly legal in some US states like Indiana and Mississippi. If it’s legal, it will happen. The history of the UK and its “no blacks or Irish” signs shows us that.

          • Anton

            Only a tiny minority of obnoxious people would post such signs. And so what if they do? Those running businesses lose custom – not only of blacks, Irish etc but also of you and me. Freedom cuts many ways.

          • Martin

            OMF

            Are homosexuals an intrinsic group or are they people who behave in a certain way.

            If the latter, which the evidence supports, why is it wrong to discriminate against them? There are no laws to prevent discrimination against liars, people who steal or those who commit adultery. Why are there laws against discriminating against people have sex with others of the same gender?

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Martin

            “Are homosexuals an intrinsic group or are they people who behave in a certain way[?]”

            Well, I don’t know of any homosexuals who needed to make themselves homosexual by behaving in a certain way, just as I don’t know of any heterosexuals who needed to make themselves heterosexual by behaving in a certain way, unless you are yourself a genuine instance of such an oddity, in which case I’m sure that sexologists will beat a path to your door.

            “Why are there laws against discriminating against people [who] have sex with others of the same gender?”

            Well, ask yourself why those self-same laws equally prohibit discriminating against people who have sex with others of the other “gender”. When you’ve worked out the answer to that, you’ll have answered your own question.

          • Martin

            GM

            All homosexuals make themselves such by their behaviour, as do thieves and murderers. And I don’t group people in such a way, rather there are those that sin sexually and those that don’t. There’s a lot of snake oil salesmen who double as experts on gender and sex. I’ve no doubt you have your own stash of bottles.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Martin

            Homosexuals do not make themselves such by their behaviour, just as heterosexuals do not make themselves such by their behaviour. The opposite is the case. Generally it is being homosexual (“same-sex-attracted”) that leads people to engage in homosexual behaviour, and being heterosexual (“other-sex-attracted”) that leads people to engage in heterosexual behaviour. I say “generally”, because we all know that it is possible not only for both heterosexual and homosexual people to refrain from ever engaging in any sexual behaviour at all, but also to engage, for one reason or another, in sexual behaviour that does not accord with their sexual attractions (e.g. in order to obtain money, or in the desperate and illusory hope that doing so will somehow change those attractions).

            How you choose to group people is entirely up to you. It is possible to group people in any number of ways, depending the purpose for which the classification is being made. One can, for instance, group people into those who recognize and accept reality and those who prefer obstinately to deny reality and to cling instead to their Cloud-Cuckoo-Landic fantasies.

          • Martin

            GM

            And, of course you would say that.

            If you were to admit that homosexuals are such because they follow their lusts it would be rather embarrassing would it not?

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Martin

            Yes, of course I would say that, because it’s true. Both heterosexuals and homosexuals are such whether they follow their lusts or not, and they know that they are, even if they don’t use or know any words to describe their sexual attractions. If I “admitted” otherwise, it wouldn’t be “rather embarrassing”; it would just be a ridiculous lie.

          • Martin

            GM

            It isn’t a question of homosexual or heterosexual, it is a question of sex outside the marriage of one man to one woman. There is simply no evidence that so called sexual orientation exists. It is simply a smokescreen to hide your sin behind. Sexual sin is simply no different to any other sin.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Martin

            You are entitled to the view that any sexual behaviour other than that between one man and one woman in marriage is immoral. (I am entitled not to share that view.) But your obdurate insistence that there is no such a thing as sexual orientation is an absurd denial of reality. And your assertion that it is “simply a smokescreen to hide your sin behind” is totally senseless. Even if the concept were a fabrication (which it isn’t), it could not serve that purpose.

          • Martin

            GM

            Actually you are not entitled to your view, nor are you entitled to reject my view. One day you will stand before God and answer for your position. You will have no answer.

            I am not the one denying reality, you are. And you do so to cover the wickedness of your heart. You do so to pretend to yourself that you are a good person. May God have mercy on your soul and cause you to come to the Truth.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Martin

            I am legally entitled to my view, and I am legally entitled to reject your view, which I do. Whether I am morally entitled is another question. It is clearly your firm opinion that I am not. It is my firm opinion that I am. I am as legally entitled to reject your opinion as you are to reject mine. I see no reason to suppose that God will take me to task for having the temerity to repudiate your opinions.

            Your insistence that you are not the one who is denying reality is futile. I know that you are because I am so thoroughly familiar with reality in this matter.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            god threats? the last resort of the small minded sheep…

          • Martin

            Norman

            No threats there, warnings perhaps, but no threats.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            a warning is a threat, numbskull. Your self righteousness is disturbing

          • Martin

            Norman

            A threat can only be made by those who have the power to do so, I do not. But I do know what will happen, hence it is a warning.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            wow-youre really retarded-all evidence proves orientation is real

          • Martin

            Norman

            You’ve not presented any evidence.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            funny coming from you-accepting your god in a book without any evidence…

          • Martin

            Norman

            The Bible has plenty of evidence, in Creation, the state of the World and in your knowledge that God exists.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            did you choose to be straight?

          • Martin

            Norman

            We all choose to sin in our own way.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            there’s no choice here-that debate is long over

          • Martin

            Norman

            Once you’re a slave of sin you have no choice.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            youre quite the nasty small penis’d man aren’t you, Martin?

          • Martin

            Norman

            That’s not much of an answer, is it.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            im not sure how to debate a religious tard-you seem impervious to all forms of logic and ocmmon sense…

          • Martin

            Norman

            I react better to arguments than insults. It is said that common sense is rarely common and never sense.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            it’s the former per all current psychological understanding and-simply ask a gay person-when did they know? Most knew before puberty which proves innate

          • Martin

            Norman

            Psychology is merely the ramblings of men who do not understand their own nature. And why would you think a person trying to cover their sin would give an honest answer?

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            ohmygod, shut your ignorant mouth. The psychologists aren’t gay

          • Martin

            Norman

            Nor is psychology a science.

          • CliveM

            Much as I hate to say this and it pains me to agree with our err, ‘Irish’ friend, but although God gives us freedom, he doesn’t give us license to treat others as second class. In principle I have no problem with a Government protecting the rights of weaker minorities.

          • Anton

            Then you will be one of the 11% to which His Grace refers? You were glad to see Ashers lose this case?

          • CliveM

            That’s not what I said. However if he had been refused simply because he was Gay(or black, or Irish) I would have agreed with the ruling.

          • Anton

            It’s very hard to know why someone is refused. You talk of weaker minorities but that is the first step down the present road, which says it is fine to discriminate actively against the majority. Somebody wise below said that this is all about perceived victim status.

            And what about Guest Houses? Obliged to take gay couples?

          • CliveM

            Provided the Guest House was allowed to explain why they objected to the lifestyle (equality of belief), if you’re providing a public service, why not.

          • Anton

            Because you’re a private business. Penalty enough that you turn down custom.

            PS Roy has just asked this question above: Should a printer be free to refuse to produce a sign saying “No blacks, gays or Irish?

          • CliveM

            Re the printer, this has already been responded to, so will not add to it.

            I have no problem with laws outlawing discrimination. My concern with what’s happening is that people with unpopular views are having their right to express them curtailed.

          • Anton

            But I’d like your answer to Roy’s question, if you are willing. You don’t generally hold the same views as Oisin who has responded to that.

            I think you’ll find that hard cases mean only two legal positions are stable: freedom or totalitarianism.

          • CliveM

            My point is actually quite a narrow one. I think discrimination based on sex, race etc is wrong and it is perfectly reasonable for the state to outlaw it.

            The reason being is that discrimination tends to target those less powerful and in a minority. So to use your example, they are unlikely to have the finance available to start their own bus company.

            With regards the printers, it is perfectly reasonable to refuse to help someone break the law.

            With regards the cake, provided the reason isn’t based on the persons sexuality, I personally think the bakers should be allowed to refuse too put messages on with which they disagree.

          • Anton

            That’s all reasonable, but if you phrase laws to match your views then I believe you will find that provocateurs and zealots will soon bring court cases that expose inconsistencies in them. That is why I suggested that only freedom and totalitarianism are stable positions.

          • CliveM

            All laws come with risks, so need to have appropriate safeguards. We need a more robust law protecting our rights to free speech.

            But your concerns equally apply to the existence of a state. It also can be totalitarian, but on balance the benefits outweigh the concerns. So with laws outlawing discrimination.

          • Anton

            It needs to be specified what forms of discrimination, because the word means the differing treatment of two things that are the same, eg black and white people, equally in the image of God. Some things that are ‘discriminated’ against today are not the same.

          • CliveM

            Regards your last sentence, could you give an example of what you mean?

          • Anton

            Given the iniquitous laws in force today and the fact that this is a public forum, I invite you to work out my meaning!

          • James60498 .

            But as he wasn’t then presumably you don’t.

        • Royinsouthwest

          Should a printer be free to refuse to produce a sign saying “No blacks, gays or Irish? Should a black employee in a toy shop be free to refuse to sell golliwogs?

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            Printers are free to refuse to print materials that contravene the law or exhort others to break it. It’s against the law to deny service based on skin colour, sexual orientation or nationality, so a printer can legitimately refuse to print a sign that promotes breaking the law.

            It is not against the law to support the campaign to legalise same sex marriage in Northern Ireland. So the bakery had bo grounds on which to turn down the order. Volume of work would have been sufficient grounds, if they claimed they had too many cakes to bake that week. But they couldn’t make that excuse once the order had been accepted and payment taken. They had committed to a contract and when they broke that contract for illegal reasons, they became liable under the law.

            As for a black employee in a toy shop that sells golliwogs, he could resign and claim constructive dismissal against his employer on the basis of racially motivated harrassment. I’m not aware of any test case that would indicate how successful his claim would be, but I have a feeling he’d win significant compensation.

        • dannybhoy

          “Why is it that so many Christians hate so many people?”
          That’s a stoopid remark.
          If Christians hated people, Christianity would not have spread right across the world, Christians would not have built schools, colleges, hospitals and worked for social improvements
          And Christ Jesus would not have gone to the Cross.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            you do know it spread under threat of death and in fact tens of thousands were murdered…

        • We disagree with many, but hate no one. Unless you hold the modern view that disagreement equals hatred, you should welcome a multiplicity of views on most subjects.

          However, Christianity has always been counter-cultural; and that makes us hated by many.

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            Refusing to provide services for specific groups amounts to a great deal more than “disagreeing” with them. It’s economic warfare motivated by fear and hatred.

            Using religion as an excuse to persecute others is a political act. Fundies always try to dress it up in clothes of piety, but the disguise is a poor one. Everyone knows that when you call for freedom of conscience, what you really want is the right to punish others for not believing what you believe.

            Go ahead and cry persecution. It’s a false accusation and you know it. Preventing you from harming others in the name of God is not persecution. It’s the basic function of the state to protect all citizens from harm. When the behaviour of some citizens discriminates against others, it is perfectly legitimate to regulate that behaviour in order to safeguard the interests of all.

            You’re not martyrs. You’re grandstanding drama queens who are so used to getting your own way that when you’re thwarted, the only way you know how to respond is to throw a hissy fit and play the victims. Nobody is fooled by you though. You ham it up too much.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            you cannot “disagree” with one’s very being without bigotry, dumdum

  • David

    Please could the judges clarify – what kind of business can a Christian actually run? Builders and plumbers might be asked to help with the ‘Marriage Equality’ marquee; mechanics to fix their battlebus; accountants and management consultants to provide strategy advice. The Equality lobby need to give us some careers advice! If you hold the Ashers’ conscientious convictions, what type of business are you actually free to set up?

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      they can run any business-just leave out the bigotry

  • chefofsinners

    I’m going to order a cake with the words ‘Legalise Christianity’.

    • Anton

      From whom?

      • Jon Sorensen

        From Christian bakery of course. Christians would never infringe non-Christians’ freedom of religion by asking them to do it.

        • chefofsinners

          Perhaps you would like to supply it, Jon? I’ll pay you well.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I really don’t have any baking skills, but I guess I could organise a cake and try write that on it with icing for a modest donation. The shipping is also a major issue where I now am to the UK, but I could donate it to my local Presbyterian church where I sometimes go. There is always some food there after 9am Sunday service.

          • chefofsinners

            Excellent. I think I’ll order another from our friend Original Sin Mac Fionn.

    • Anton

      That’s what institutional churches have done: turned it from a channel of grace to a channel of legalism.

      • chefofsinners

        I could send it to the Pope for his birthday.

    • len

      from a Gay bakery?

  • Mike Stallard

    Cor – I wish I was a lawyer in this case. I should be planning my next mansion!
    I love the way the Irish get passionate about stuff. There are two sides to this question: not one. The law is the law and the courts are there to interpret the law. You mentioned the ECHR. All the courts do is to say what the law of the land says. They have done their duty.
    If you do not like the law, then perhaps you ought to write to your MP or something. Or work for some kind of Brexit perhaps…

    • Anton

      That is to simplistic; there are grey areas, and sometimes overlap of clashing laws.

  • michaelkx

    “What sort of Christian opposes or doesn’t care about the freedom to proclaim the gospel or walk in spirit and in truth?” how about a non Christian.

  • len
    • Oisín mac Fionn

      Peter Tatchell is a professional contrarian who can only exist in opposition to prevailing orthodoxy.

      If equality becomes any more pervasive, mark my words: he’ll experience a miraculous conversion and become an Evangelical Christian agitator campaigning to overturn everything he worked for in the past.

      • Anton

        I’ve no idea what will become of him. But he regards freedom as precious, and in this situation the higher good.

        Anybody who frequents this blog holding your views is in no position to call someone else a professional contrarian…

      • IanCad

        The Road to Damascus can be travelled as well by Tatchell as by Paul

      • len

        All things are possible with God.

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          Allah be praised for that

          • len

            Allah is not the God of the Bible so who is Allah?.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            Allah is the same god in the bible-all three major religions share the same god-Christianity, Judaism and Islam-how do you not know this?

          • len

            How can Allah be the God of the bible when Allah is the total opposite of the God of the Bible?. A house divided cannot stand.Surely you know this?.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “How can Allah be the God of the bible”
            Asks a trinitarian believer when Jews are shaking their heads

      • Guglielmo Marinaro

        Yes, Peter Tatchell – although I have to say that I completely agree with him in the matter of freedom – is the epitome of a rebel in search of a cause. He puts me in mind of the fictional philanthropist who spent twenty years of his life trying to get an unjust law altered.

        “Finally he succeeded, and nothing could exceed his disappointment. He had absolutely nothing to do, almost died of ennui, and became a confirmed misanthrope.” – OSCAR WILDE, The Picture of Dorian Gray

    • dannybhoy

      He’s speaking on LBC radio right now..

      • Anton

        What did he say?

        • dannybhoy

          (Danny descends stepladder, puts down paint pot and brush, washes hands…)

          The same as he’s been saying elsewhere.
          I don’t do LBC podcasts, otherwise I would have provided you a link..
          (trudges back up stepladder..)

  • chiaramonti

    What is most worrying is the fact that the judges had neither the wit nor the wisdom to avoid supporting the original decision.

    • Martin

      I’m very much afraid that the judges think their purpose is to make the law and that they are endowed with the ability to do so in a right manner. There seems to be a definite left leaning tendency among them.

  • Martin

    Tell me, what is an Evangelical?

    I fear it is no longer someone who holds the Bible to be inerrant in all it says. Indeed, I fear it is no longer someone who regards the Bible as the authority.

    And while we are about it, should people have rights or should they have duties?

    • The Explorer

      Those who see themselves as stewards of the Earth will feel that they have duties in a way that those who see themselves as owners of the Earth will not. But rights and duties, surely, overlap? Pagan Romans considered they had duties to the Empire. St Paul claimed his rights s a Roman citizen.

      As for the definition of an Evangelical, I’d say the Bible is still the authority, but there is not uniformity over inerrancy.

      • Martin

        TE

        One man’s rights is covered by another’s duties.

        How can the Bible be the authority if it is not infallible? Once that path is trod the authority becomes one’s own opinion.

        • The Explorer

          I believe it to be infallible but not inerrant, but I have a hospital appointment looming and can’t get into a discussion on the distinction.

          • Martin

            TE

            So God could make mistakes?

            I hope the hospital appointment went well.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            the bible is written by men, not gods so of course it is flawed

          • Martin

            Norman

            God is the author of the Bible and, as other’s have said, God used men as a man uses a pen. The Bible has no flaw and it is infallible and inerrant.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            cut that out-God wrote the bible with all of its flaws? A Bat is a type of bird?? Have you read it? There are hundreds of errors http://errancy.org/bats.html

          • The Explorer

            None that has any bearing on any doctrine.

          • Martin

            Norman

            There are no flaws in the Bible. I assume you are referring to Leviticus 11 where God tells them what animals are unclean. It lists those that fly, not birds, and among them the bat. The translators are responsible for the word ‘birds’, it is not in the original. The webpage you reference is just full of errors like that.

    • David

      Should we have rights or duties ?, you ask.
      The answer must be both.
      The problem now is that the state places some groups rights above that of others.

      • Martin

        David

        Actually I think duties does away with the need for rights.

      • Anton

        The New Testament is about neither rights nor responsibilities, but relationship.

        • Martin

          Anton

          But would you not accept that it presents the responsibility of Man to obey his Maker?

          • Anton

            Yes, of course. But that flows from the relationship (whereas not vice-versa).

          • Martin

            Anton

            Does it matter where it flows from, men have a responsibility to obey God.

          • Anton

            True, but my point is that relationship is deeper, just as the NT is deeper than the OT; as grace is deeper than law. When you are given God’s heart you will want to obey him.

          • Martin

            Anton

            But grace does not affect the responsibility to obey your Maker that is laid on all men.

          • Anton

            Do you think we are disagreeing or just emphasising different things? I take the latter view.

          • Martin

            Anton

            It depends on whether you agree that all have a responsibility to obey God.

          • Anton

            I said I did, where my opening word in response to your previous asking was “True”.

    • David

      The term evangelical is becoming vague as now it includes both those who regard Scripture as inerrant, and those who believe that they have sufficient autonomy and authority in themselves, to pick and choose what bits of God’s Word they care to follow. Self-worship has crept into all sections of the Church including evangelicalism. This is the old, old story.

      • Martin

        David

        Totally agree.

    • Anton

      Evanjellycals…

      • Martin

        Anton

        Some are ….

    • chefofsinners

      Unfortunately a good proportion of those calling themselves evangelical Christians accept the authority of self-appointed modern day ‘Prophets’, who will announce that the Lord has spoken to them in a vision telling them to bake a cake or some such nonsense.

      • Martin

        CoS

        So you’d agree with Anton.

    • Dominic Stockford

      I have moved away from using the term, except in conjunction with Reformed, Protestant, and sometimes even Bible-believing as well. Even then, struggling to get people to understand that I and my congregation hold to the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible is hard – mainly because so many other local free churches have little time for the Bible and more for ecumenical fantasies and socially active niceness.

      • Martin

        Dominic

        I think that the worry over the Ecumenical Movement, 50 years ago, was mistaken in that those churches are simply crumbling.

        • Dominic Stockford

          I’m not so sure – there are no other churches in Teddington that are faithful to the Gospel any more – before that began there were at least two others – and even the one I am at nearly ‘went under’ under the oversight of my predecessor. It may be burning out, but it has burnt down so many as it did so.

  • Philip___

    The verdict does indeed set a dangerous precedent. It does seem to give the green light to the State to force people to use their skills and businesses to promote views and causes they disagree with. It hits a huge blow against freedom of expression and freedom of conscience. However just to think about one scenario:

    If a prosecution was launched against a Muslim printer for not producing a cartoon of Muhammad, the DPP would no doubt intervene to halt the prosecution as not in the public interest (as they halted a prosecution by a young Christian woman against doctors for allegedly doing illegal abortions), or on the grounds of religious sensitivity (as the Muslim printer isn’t a Christian) and due to the State’s enforcement (via “British Values”) of respect for all religions (except Biblical Christianity)

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      theres no promotion on cake-that was the ruling

  • David

    It is because he was sufficiently prescient to foresee these sorts of asymmetric applications of the law, one group’s rights trumping that of another and crushing freedom of conscience, that Nigel Farage opposed the introduction of same – sex so called marriage. It is the linkage of that marriage law with the so – called equalities legislation that is leading to these illiberal, freedom crushing actions. In terms of allowing individual choice and freedom of conscience, it is the equalities laws that is the problem, not the redefinition of marriage.

  • In the past, we have been too tolerant, as a society, in allowing individuals the freedom to obey their own consciences willy nilly. We should welcome the clampdown on this laxity that #Ashers represents. It must become seen to be the job of government to lay down standards about what is right and wrong. Those whose consciences are right, have nothing to fear from this reform. Only those dissidents whose consciences tell them the very opposite of the queen’s truth have anything to fear.

    • Phil R

      It is the job of government to not stick it nose into every aspect of people’s lives. It is the job of government to regulate as little as possible.

      We have seen the misery your worldview give us. 70 years ago half the world was under the stamp of one party and state imposed one mindset.

      We are free of that and have no wish go go there again

      • Anton

        I took it to be satire.

        • Phil R

          Needs refuting just in case.

          • Dominic Stockford

            It is satire – I know John a little.

          • chefofsinners

            A classic piece of totalitarianism,

    • Oisín mac Fionn

      The attempt to stifle free speech was made by the bakers. They refused to print a message they didn’t agree with and thus infringed the customer’s right to express himself publicly.

      If all those whose job it is to print, in whatever form, even just a few words on a cake, take it upon themselves to act as censors, freedom of speech will well and truly die. Which is exactly what fundamentalists want. All this brouhaha is just a cover for their true agenda, which is to destroy the freedom of others to express views that differ from their own.

      • Quite right. This business of ordinary folk taking things upon themselves is the real face of evil. People “taking it upon themselves” like this indeed, to decide what they will and won’t do and say. And all these insurrection in the name of so-called “freedom”. What a distortion of the truth that spin on the facts is!

        Why, they’re as bad those rebellious slaves in America, who “took it upon themselves” to interfere in their masters’ legitimate property rights by running away from what it was “their job” to do, all the way to the northern states, with its oppressive, bourgeois ideology of “freedom”. Stand firm and united. At the name of LGBT, every knee must bow, and every tongue confess the glory of diversity and the equivalence sodomy and the procreative sex act. No exemptions! No surrender!

        • Oisín mac Fionn

          Every act of censorship is an attack on freedom of speech.

          Now let’s see to how many paragraphs your sarcasm will run in response to that.

          • How can there be freedom of speech, if there is no freedom to refuse to say something one doesn’t want to say?

            I think that Ashers were always likely to lose this case, in Northern Ireland, because there is no freedom of non-speech, in Northern Ireland, for those in the business of facilitating the speech of others, such as print shops. However, I cannot get my head around the sophistry of the judges in finding *direct* discrimination on the grounds of *sexual orientation*, on the facts of the case.

            I think it is a pity that printers have to print pamphlets they disagree with in Northern Ireland. I think it is also wrong to create the legal fiction that what Ashers did wasn’t just that (in effect), but that it was also discrimination against the individual customer, on the grounds of his (unknown) sexual orientation. I cannot see why intelligent, adult, senior judges think this. Indirect discrimination perhaps. But direct? No way.

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            It was direct discrimination because the word the bakers objected to was “gay”. They indicated they would not have objected to a cake that bore the message “support straight marriage”. So the discrimination was based on the sexual orientation of the people for whom the cake was to be used as a tool in their campaign to have their right to marry recognised.

            Sexual orientation is a protected characteristic under equality legislation. As the complainant was gay, the defendants’ refusal to fulfill his order based solely on its association with homosexuality constituted a direct attack on him as a gay man.

            I support the verdict because it confirms the primacy of innate characteristics over religious belief in any conflict of rights. The right to constrain someone’s innate behaviour can only be accorded in circumstances where that behaviour does more harm to others than any benefit the individual derives from behaving in that way.

            It is therefore justifiable to ban paedophiles from having sex with children, for example, because such acts do demonstrable harm to the children.

            It is not justifiable to ban gays from marrying, because the only people negatively affected by such an act are those who choose to believe it’s wrong. Constraining them not to punish same sex couples does them little or no demonstrable harm. All it does is provoke a sense of outrage in them at not being able to impose their will on others, which on a scale of harm scores so lowly against the negative effects of centuries of concerted anti-gay persecution that it hardly registers at all.

            All this to say that if you’re hurt by same-sex marriage, poor little diddums will just have to grin and bear the agonising pain of being prevented from forcing others to live as you want them to. I know it’s difficult for a spoiled brat with an entitlement syndrome the size of Texas to stop interfering in other people’s lives. But you’re going to have to deal with it, I’m afraid.

          • “It was direct discrimination because the word the bakers objected to was ‘gay’.”

            Most of us cannot understand how objecting to facilitating the publication of a slogan supporting a political campaign for a change in the law to introduce same sex marriage, which happened to contain the word “gay”, equals direct discrimination against an individual of undeclared sexual orientation on the grounds of sexual orientation, because that individual later described himself later as having been “gay” at the time when he placed the order.

            Perhaps you can explain that apparent non sequitur, having read the judgment that most people seem unable to follow, here:
            http://www.equalityni.org/ECNI/media/ECNI/Cases%20and%20Settlements/2016/AshersFullJudgement-Appeal.pdf

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            The slogan on the cake wasn’t the only thing taken into account in making this judgment. The homophobic attitudes driving the bakers’ decision to refuse to make the cake qualified that refusal as directly discriminatory.

          • How do the appellants’ “homophobic attitudes” “qualify” this discrimination, against publishing, on a cake, this hated and feared political message, as “directly discriminatory” against the individual political activist who wanted them to facilitate the propagation of that message for him?

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            Don’t ask me. Ask the judges. You know, the ones whose job it is to judge cases according to the law.

            Of course in a perfect world they would bow to the superior knowledge of an armchair Internet expert who knows waaaay more than them about the law … or thinks he does.

            But we don’t live in a perfect world and society doesn’t give power of judgment to random Internet bigots. So you’ll just have to live with this verdict. As will the appellants. And all Christians.

            Unless you’re suggesting you’re above the law?

          • I only asked YOU, because what I was asking about, was what YOU had said.

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            And what I had said was taken from the judgment itself.

            The verdict of direct discrimination was upheld.

            You can disapprove of homosexuality all you like, but if you use it as a pretext for punishing LGBT individuals by selectively denying them access to your commercial services, you’ll be guilty of direct discrimination.

            And quite rightly too. If bakers can refuse to bake cakes for gays then why not also women or blacks? Commercial apartheid is not conducive to social harmony. If you’re a service provider, your services must be open to all. The only legal way around that is to restrict the services you offer, or to price yourself out of any market segments you don’t want to serve.

            What the appellants were asking for was the right to let their religious beliefs determine who could buy from them. This right was denied to them for clear and compelling reasons. Nothing about the judgment constrains the appellants to change their beliefs, so religious freedom hasn’t been trampled on. What has been is the Christian’s right to impose his faith on others. And that’s what really rankles, isn’t it?

          • John A

            Where in the judgment was what you said taken? Which paragraph?

  • len

    Is deliberately provoking someone to break a law an offence?.Or is that only when Islam is involved?.

    • Dominic Stockford

      As we know from aggressive actions against Christian owners of B&B’s, and other actions too, such deliberate provoking by the ‘minority’ is not regarded as an offence, or even as offensive (except by those with a modicum of common sense).

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      The Muslim printers-duh

      • len

        Right .I suppose everyone is right once in their life?.

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          huh?

  • I think you’ve hit on the key issue – when they were asked to make the cake gay marriage, whatever its virtues, was illegal and they should have been within their rights to refuse the order. This, I suspect, has been a set-up in order to get certain issues high on the public agenda, with a working class family and their business treated as pawns.

    • Anton

      It was a set-up alright, if you read what happened in detail.

      • NORMAN DOSTAL

        its ok to trap bigots

        • Anton

          I’ll take that as satire.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            It is actually ok to entrap bigots, but this case isn’t about that. The victim was a regular customer.

          • Anton

            We might not be in full agreement over the identity of the victim and the bigot.

    • James60498 .

      Correct. And it still is illegal.

      • Anton

        You mean “not recognised”, actually. It is not illegal for two homosexuals to exchange the vows involved in the marriage service. The point is that the authorities in Northern Ireland do not then recognise them as married.

        • James60498 .

          Yes

          • Dominic Stockford

            Ultra Vires, I think is the phrase.

  • Shadrach Fire

    It seems to me that the background of the Judge and the Equality Commission director should be brought into question. Justice is no longer fair nor equal.

    • Anton

      The Equality Commission should not even exist. Troublemakers. And at our expense as taxpayers.

      • Royinsouthwest

        The Equality Commission would have a useful role if it actually believed in and practised equality. Has it ever had anything at all to say about the sexual abuse of English children (predominantly white) by men from certain ethnic and religious minorities? Does anyone, even among Guardian journalists, believe that the Commission would have stayed silent if white males had been preying on girls from ethnic minorities? Why has nobody on the Commission lost his/her job because of such blatant bias and dereliction of duty?

        • Anton

          Agreed, but the reason it should not exist – rather than merely failing in its task – is that it is not disinterested. It has a vested interest in finding racism, etc, even where it does not exist, because if it said that everything was OK then it would do itself out of its job – and out of quite a few well-paid jobs on the taxpayer. Therefore it is actively bad for racial harmony. It is a contemptible organisation.

          • dannybhoy

            Agreed. Like some other state institutions it has to justify its own existence in order to keep the money coming in..

          • Phil R

            Burn the Quango.

            We need a Gov who will sign up to this..

            Wait, we did and they looked at all the Quangos and got rid of one. The one promoting new Technology in Schools. I think they looked at the wrong columns. This one should have been kept and all of the rest binned. Saving us billions for several aircraft carriers or a dozen or more new hospitals each year in the process.

    • David

      “Justice is no longer fair nor equal” – Correct !
      That is because our earlier ideas of justice, shaped by roughly speaking Christian understanding, has been deliberately dumped in favour of a cultural Marxist interpretation of society. In Marxism there is always the aggressor and the victim. Marxism looks to rebalance the power dynamic in favour of the supposed victim groups. So white, heterosexual, normative men are always the aggressor and women and people of colour, plus cultural and other minorities, especially sexual minorities, are by definition victims. Christianity is seen as an instrument of oppression used by the patriarchy to oppress the identified, legally defended, victim groups.
      The law is always applied to favour the victim group. Pre-existing concepts of justice and true equality no longer exist. The whole exercise is destabilising society and confusing everyone. The agenda rolls forward from one “victory for justice and equality” to the next. This juggernaut will not stop until either society is totally debased, confused and probably exhausted morally, socially and economically, or there is some sort of violent or catastrophic reaction.
      We have already entered through the portals of a synthetic hell of mankind’s own making, which is what happens when Reason, biology, reality, Truth and God’s wisdom itself is rejected. The judiciary is both a captive of this process and, in part, an engine for its trajectory as they refine and extend the untested statutes.
      Exit from the EU and the European Courts, may – not will – afford us some faint glimmer of hope for checking this monster as it clanks across the crumbling ruins of western Christendom. The west has not only turned its back on the Christian faith but on the Enlightenment’s pursuit of Reason. Thankfully even as the west falls prey to cultural Marxism, and has become a pagan zone, in the east Russia has shaken off economic Marxism, and is rapidly re-Christainizing, whilst the faith burgeons in the global south.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      we cant make law on god crap-its all made up-we rule and make laws based on REALITY

      • David Harkness

        Norman, would you dispense with all laws which were based on bible principles?

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          Yes of course. All “moral” laws predate all religions by thousands of years like murder, stealing, etc so don’t try that card!

          • David Harkness

            Sorry Norman, my question was not very subtle, and insulted your intelligence (but given the quality of your posts you can see why I thought I might get away with it). You speak of Moral law predating religions by thousand of years. What evidence can you show of this moral law? Law only flows from authority – divine laws, parliamentary statute etc. What authorities can you evidence that gave rise to your ancient moral laws? You won’t find any, you are living in fantasy land my friend.

  • David

    On a more general and reflective note I find it very odd that Cranmer has chosen, deliberately or accidentally, to divert attention away from this gross miscarriage of justice, the decision itself, to a tiny minority of a minority who appear to be asleep, stupid or perhaps not really Christians at all – the 11 %. What a strange “angle” for an article this day !

    • Anton

      He wrote it before the judge’s decision.

  • Inspector General

    Here’s interesting. Note the date. This from Anglican Mainstream…

    http://www.virtueonline.org/cdc-gay-men-2-population-67-all-new-hiv-cases

    As the song goes “This is what we’ve been waiting for
    This is it, boys. This is war”
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    How Does Gay ‘Marriage’ Hurt Us? Here’s How

    By Eric Metaxas
    http://cnsnews.com/
    June 17, 2014

    Christians are often asked by gay activists why they oppose same-sex “marriage.” “How does our marriage hurt you?” they ask.

    Well, I can think of one significant way it will hurt us: It will destroy religious freedom and free speech rights.

    The handwriting is on the wall in Canada, which legalized same-sex “marriage” in 2005, in effect completely changing its true meaning. Since then, as Michael Coren notes in National Review Online, “there have been between 200 and 300 proceedings … against critics and opponents of same-sex marriage.” Of course he means legal proceedings.

    For instance, in Saskatchewan, a homosexual man called a state marriage commissioner, wanting to “marry” his partner. The commissioner, an evangelical Christian, declined to conduct the ceremony for religious reasons. He simply referred the man to another commissioner.

    But that was not enough for the gay couple. Even though they got their ceremony, they wanted to punish the Christian who had declined to conduct it. The case ended up in the courts. And the result? Those with religious objections to conducting such ceremonies now face the loss of their jobs.

    • chefofsinners

      This is also the case in the UK. A friend who was a registrar resigned some years ago rather than officiate at civil partnerships.
      As Christians, there have always jobs we would not do. Pimp, for instance. Nowadays there are a whole lot more. There is a cost to following Christ, and it is slowly rising in our land. Never mind, the benefits outweigh the costs.

      • Pubcrawler

        “Pimp, for instance”

        Ever heard of the Winchester Geese?

        • chefofsinners

          Yes, have heard of them but never been to have a gander.

    • Phil R

      The first statistic is shocking enough from your link. A gay man is 100 times more likely to be HIV positive than a hetero man or woman or the same age.

      • NORMAN DOSTAL

        not true at all-there are tens of millions of straight people with HIV worldwide than gay people-besides that, so what?

        • The Explorer

          True if you include Africa, where anal intercourse has been used as a form of contraception, but not true of straight people in the West. In the West, AIDS is still predominantly a gay disease.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            No, its just a human disease-what is your point? Theres about 1.2 million with the disease in the USA, about 200,000 are straight.

          • Phil R

            Therefore from your own stats 300 times more likely to have HIV if you are gay.

            (Note it is not simply 1.2 million against 200000, since gays are only 2% of the population this needs to be taken into consideration and vastly inflates the likelyhood of having HIV if youa re gay)

          • The Explorer

            Take two navies. One has a hundred ships, the other has two ships. Each navy loses a ship. For one, it’s a 1% loss, but for the other it’s a 50% loss.. Of 1.2 million with HIV in the USA, 648,000 are gay. But gays are only 2-3% of the population. Work it out as to the percentages of straights and gays.

        • Phil R

          100 times more likely is still shocking

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            But that’s not true-I just told you. Did you know blacks get sickle cell almost 100% more often than white people?

          • Phil R

            My stats on 100 times more came from the Inspector’s comment. If you disagree with the maths, then tell me where I went wrong. If you disagree with the stats, take it up with the inspector.

    • dannybhoy

      “As Michael Coren puts it, “it’s becoming obvious that Christian people, leaders, and organizations are being targeted, almost certainly to create legal precedents”–precedents intended to silence and punish anyone who dares to disagree with so-called gay “marriage.”

      Christians should stand up for the clear teaching of God’s Word, and for doing so we may well experience various kinds of persecution.
      But let’s be clear; ultimately it will be society that pays the price for rejecting God’s commandments.

      • NORMAN DOSTAL

        come on, stupid-you cant pretend there’s anything about cake making in the bible!!

        • dannybhoy

          It’s ‘stoopid’ to you..
          Bread and cake making are mentioned in the Bible Norman..
          Genesis 18:6
          And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.

          Exodus 12:39
          And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.

          Exodus 29:2
          And unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened tempered with oil, and wafers unleavened anointed with oil: of wheaten flour shalt thou make them.

          Exodus 29:23
          And one loaf of bread, and one cake of oiled bread, and one wafer out of the basket of the unleavened bread that is before the LORD:

          Leviticus 2:4
          And if thou bring an oblation of a meat offering baken in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil.

          There are others, but I think these examples answer your question.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            No OT stuff-that’s outdated. NT is the fulfillment of Christ so that has no relevance today.

          • dannybhoy

            The Old Testament is as relevant as the New. Anyway Danny does not agree with Replacement Theology. Had you have been here a couple of weeks ago you could have joined in the discussion..

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            so youre not Christian?

          • dannybhoy

            What makes you think I might not be?

    • That’s shocking, what happened to live and let live?

      • Inspector General

        The queers are making an attempt to run society, Marie. Fantastically tiny numbers involved – 3% of the population are homosexual, and perhaps only 3% of them are militant. This queer army are however armed with keyboards and plenty of spare time. Some being too diseased to work. By the way, one notes your presence on PN comments. Hope your anti virus in place…

        • Yes, I’ve got plenty of pc cillin anti virus Inspector.

          • Inspector General

            Good girl. They’re vindictive bastards…

          • IanCad

            You’re a better man than I am Miss Marie.

        • They’ve deleted my reply and my original comment is now pending moderation. So one cannot have any sort of discussion with them that contradicts their views and way of life. They are a pathetic bunch of oxygen wasters.

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          we do run society, little man-your god is weak and impotent

  • Inspector General

    All this is so bloody reminiscent of the religious persecution that started in 1933 over on the continent. Small at first and then by exponential multiplying until the gas chambers. This fellow here has no intention of ending up like Anne Frank, and neither do you here. Let’s organise our Christian representatives and leaders and together get going !!!

    • Dominic Stockford

      Some of us have been on the way for some time – but we stand outside Parliament to pray and protest when they debate ungodly legislation, finding ourselves in smaller numbers every time. People are frightened of what might happen. I no longer care, for myself. They’ll come for me one day, why not today, says I!

      • Anton

        I might have bumped into you there on a couple of occasions. Andrea Williams and Michael Nazir-Ali are regulars, greatly to their credit.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Indeed they are. We may well have done. last time I was there, over the euthanasia bill I was delighted to first change the mind of an older lady who had turned up to support it, then to change the mind of a Roman about Christ as well…

          • Anton

            Well done!

      • NORMAN DOSTAL

        praying? hahahahahah!!! yeah-keep doing that

        • Dominic Stockford

          You come onto a Christian blog and mock prayer. You’re in the wrong place sir.

          Brothers and sisters, pray for this man’s soul.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            Its about gay marriage so yes, I am here to defend innocent gay people from awful made up god tyranny. and to mock a bit-your kind deserves it

          • Dominic Stockford

            You do not defend anyone by coming here and mocking God. We will be praying for your eternal soul, which is a rather more significant and long-term matter than your current hedonism.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            theres no god so keep talking to yourself (praying)-its no concern of mine

          • magnolia

            You will get the demeanour and the peace of mind appropriate to the beliefs you hold and the life you live, so keep looking in the mirror and see if you are getting to be the person you want to be. If not, make a change. If still not, make another change. You are not hated here, though we disagree strongly. I will pray for you.

            Prayer does change things and get answered. But only in the affirmative if it accords with the expressed will of God. The old traffic light simile applies. Some get red, some amber and some green. Watching what gets what helps us in our walk with God, and I assure you it coheres.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      sorry, you silly little fool-this war has long been over

  • carl jacobs

    This whole issue is about enforcing market neutrality. If Bob requests a service from proprietor Bill, upon what basis may Bill decline to provide the service? A “reasonable man” test is going to be applied, and our problem is that the “reasonable man” is no longer informed by a Christian conscience.

    A baker offers a service to the public. He will make cakes with custom messages. If the customer asks for a message which passes the “Reasonable Man” test, then the law will compel the baker to make it. So “Support Gay Marriage” will pass the test. “Legalize Pedophilia” won’t – at least for now.

    The State has a legitimate interest in preventing proprietors from arbitrarily restricting their customer base. It is not at all true that all proprietors would be hurt by such restrictions. If there is only one auto repair service in an area, and Bill won’t repair Bob’s car because Bill doesn’t like Bob’s membership in a disfavored minority group, where does that leave Bob? If the local population agrees, and would prefer that Bob just leave, how is proprietor Bill going to suffer?

    There is a larger principle worth defending here. If a customer makes a reasonable request of a public business, then that business must have non-arbitrary grounds for refusing service. “I don’t like your opinion” is too arbitrary.

    So then why could the baker refuse “Legalize Pedophilia”. Because the “Reasonable Man” would judge that request unreasonable. This just emphasizes the shift in public morality that undergirds this case. There is no sympathy for Christian moral judgment because the modern western world is no longer Christian. It judges morality in terms of autonomy and consent. We see natural boundaries. They see expanding opportunities.

    That means we must pick carefully the hills we wish to die upon. This seems no different than making a cake that says “Vote for Hillary”. (Or “Vote for Trump”). There is no participation inherent in the act of making a cake. There is no compromise of conscience required. If you think there is, you have to explain why. “I disagree with the message” is not good enough.

    • Inspector General

      The whole thing is about forced labour, you fool, sir!

      • NORMAN DOSTAL

        nope-its the price you pay to have the privilege of owning a business in N Ireland

        • David Harkness

          Norman, why is it a privilege to own a business in NI?

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            Because the community supports all said businesses by paying taxes. You agree to follow the anti discrimination laws when you start a business there. It is a privilege, not a right because it comes with conditions.

          • David Harkness

            The community has a choice of which business to support with their custom, they do not ‘pay taxes’ to support businesses. This whole Ashers thing would have been far better off left to the market. Those who did not support the Ashers stance could take their custom elsewhere, and the business would fail or prosper as a result. Your notion of privilege is misplaced, anyone can set up a business in NI, it just has to be legal, it is not a privelage to do so.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            Im sorry youre wrong. Legality is tied to the public accommodation laws

          • Anton

            Nonsense. Business supports the community by paying taxes.

            Do you work in the public sector?

    • chefofsinners

      The ‘reasonable man’ then imposes his conscience and his morality on all others. The very thing which he tells the Christian he may not do. Is that reasonable?

      • carl jacobs

        That is the basis of law. Someone imposes a moral order. Our problem is that law no longer reflects a Christian worldview. It reflects and imposes the Secular worldview of the modern age.

        • chefofsinners

          All in the name of tolerance. There’s the Achilles heel.
          Christian morality was imposed in the name of God.

          • grutchyngfysch

            And shall be imposed for ever by the same Name.

          • chefofsinners

            Indeed. In that day every cooking pot (and presumably cake tin) in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord. (Zechariah 14:21)
            Posthumous pardons will be issued to Ashers bakery by the Judge of all the Earth.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            no, you wackadoo

          • carl jacobs

            All in the name of autonomous freedom. The god is this age is the Self. We organize our society to worship our god.

          • chefofsinners

            God also desires the benefit of mankind. The problem lies in society’s understanding of ‘benefit’.
            The moral order which we are questioning in this context is imposed in the name of tolerance. It is therefore unreasonable in its own terms.

    • jsampson45

      I suppose in Nazi Germany the “Reasonable Man” hated Jews.

      • Phil R

        In the eyes of the Nazis, it was reasonable application of Darwinism.

        The logic is still applied, but at the moment it is acceptable to apply it to the unborn. But Darwin’s “logic” could be applied to anything or any group that the Gov thinks is in our interest.

      • carl jacobs

        There is nothing that says “Reasonable Man” must also be “Virtuous Man”. Reasonable Man is an inherently relative measure. It depends entirely on the world view that informs it.

        • jsampson45

          If there are clashing worldviews there cannot be market neutrality or any other sort of neutrality. But people can come to amicable agreements if they want to. Forcing someone’s conscience, even if it seems peculiar, or even objectionable, is not amicable. And the McArthurs do not strike me as aggressive people. The grounds for punishing them seem very dodgy to me.

          • carl jacobs

            There can never be pure market neutrality because law will always regulate the market. But there can be neutrality within the established boundaries. Current boundaries diverge from our preference. I would suspect it won’t be too long before we are pushed outside the boundary and people will be allowed to legally reject our business.

            Count the cost, Church.

          • ‘….And that no one could buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name.’ (Rev. 13:17).

        • Shadrach Fire

          If a reasonable business man looked at the work requested and decided they were too busy to do the job, how would that have worked out?

    • Phil R

      “If a customer makes a reasonable request of a public business, then that business must have non-arbitrary grounds for refusing service.”

      The Welsh have had this sorted for centuries. A Welshman in this position for whatever reason would simply accept the order and it would never materialise. That would be your notice to go and repair the insult, talk it though and service would be resumed. You could of course insist and you may even eventually get a “cake” of a sort, but your behaviour would be noted, discussed by the community and remembered.

      I am sure that N Ireland, who still has a community is no different to Wales in that respect.

      Christians will increasingly need to start to stick together, gather informal support in the community and offer passive resistance.

      We are not “reasonable men” and our mistake was to think we should be.

    • The Explorer

      Yes, a very good post. Discard Christianity, and Reasonable-Man opinion is what determines the Law.

      A problem could arise if R-M opinion and the Law got out of alignment with one another. Suppose R-M opinion ran ahead of the Law on the subject of paedophilia. The baker could refuse ‘Legalize pedophilia’ because he would have the backing of the Law. But if the Law pulled itself into line with R-M opinion and amended its stance on paedophilia (for truth, after all, is simply what the community agrees is truth) then the baker would have no grounds for not complying. His personal views would not come into it.

      To an outsider though, the American Supreme Court does not seek to reflect the opinions of Reasonable Man; rather, it seeks to create them. On sexual matters, the Law seems to consistently outrun public opinion.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      Carl, please stop the gay support=pedophile support-thats retarded thinking. One involves a victim

      • ukfred

        You are drawing unwarranted implications from the words of Carl Jacobs

        Surely one of the most important facts about being in business is that one can choose one’s customers on the basis of one’s own choosing. This is a judgement saying that one cannot.

        It is also a judgement that means that responsible Christians and others with strongly held beliefs will effectively be barred from certain businesses, because should they choose to act according their conscience, they will be subject to the full weight of the legal system against them.

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          No. Taxes support all businesses open to the public-sidewalks, police, firemen, power grids, etc. We as a society agree that public accommodation rules are in order to prevent bigots from harming the minority. They work well. In America, we have the option to make your business private and then you can be bigoted all you want. If Christians choose their made up god nonsense (and it is choice because most Christians do NOT choose to do so) to limit their own lifestyles, then let it be so. Remember, you CANNOT make laws around beliefs because theyre essentially made up! You can say “My god doesn’t like blacks (which people did)” and not serve blacks? That isn’t right. Reality always trumps gods.

      • carl jacobs

        I am not equating them, because they are not comparable. I am using them as convenient boundary markers. One is inside the boundary and one is outside. If you have an alternative sexual behavior that is generally recognized as beyond the bounds of allowable conduct in Secular society, I am all ears.

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          Your kind said that when blacks were allowed to marry whites-oh no! Marrying pets next? None of that slippery slope nonsense ever comes to pass. And youre mistaken-being gay is totally natural and quite common-there are 100s of millions of gay people in the world. When 3 to 5% of the population is gay, that’s definitely “inside”.

  • HedgehogFive

    Maybe there’s something wrong with judges:

    Man who raped 10-year-old boy at swimming pool in Austria has sentence overturned by Supreme Court http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/iraqi-refugee-raped-10-year-old-boy-swimming-pool-vienna-austria-sentence-conviction-overturned-a7377491.html

  • len

    This is the time when Christians are going to have to make a decision as to whether to follow the Laws of God or the laws of men. Christians are being told that to follow their conscience is’ no longer acceptable’ to this secular society and that they must conform to the secular model of ‘morality.’
    Christians are being killed in many parts of the world today because other religions and atheists feel threatened by the Christian Gospel.
    Christians in ‘the free liberal West’ are being silenced not by executions but by the oppressive laws which seek to silence their Christian conscience.The methods of silencing Christians in the West are different but the intentions are the same..
    The illusion of ‘a free liberal society’ in the West is just for a few not all.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      Maybe read your bible for an answer? Render unto Caesar-thats it-follow the law or be punished-we will no longer humor god crap in law

      • len

        ??

        • The Explorer

          Seconded.

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          Laws, dummy. Don’t you know your bible?

  • David

    There’s an excellent Editor’s Opinion article in today’s Telegraph criticising Parliament for passing laws that give more rights to some groups than others, suppressing freedom of speech and conscience and, in effect as this case illustrates, forcing people to produce propaganda in support of other people’s causes even when it clashes totally wit their own views.
    Truly Parliament, which is meant to be the guardian of our free speech and liberties is doing the opposite, as it is acting like a thug by imposing its illiberal views on the population, and favouring its “pet” groups over and above everyone else. This tyranny needs rolling back and I can’t see any of the political establishment doing this….

    • Royinsouthwest

      Parliament is riddled with lawyers and they are more interested in the question “what can I get away with?” than “what is morally right?” Going back to the “reasonable man” test judges would rule that a reasonable man would not ask a Moslem to bake a cake endorsing gay marriage because he would know it might lead to trouble.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      no group has “more rights” than any other in the UK except straights over gays in N Ireland

      • magnolia

        Yes they do. Or how come male gays are so much more affluent than female gays? is that right? You answer this question which should be thoroughly on your own territory. I have made it easy for you.

        • David

          Speak up – I don’t hear your answer to magnolia.

      • David

        That is patently not true as law case after law case is now proving. You fail to admit to understand the very nature of having “protected classes” of people. Our equality before the law has been destroyed by this divisive legislation.

  • IanCad

    To address the notion that 11% of the E. Christian community have no idea about what religious liberty is – perhaps we can derive comfort from the fact that it greatly exceeds that of the population at large.
    Religious Liberty – that, which from all liberties flow, and quite, quite impossible to achieve under a mature democratic system of government.

  • David

    Christians of all stripes need to learn to stick together, as we are now living in enemy territory. I do hope that the Belfast Christians of all persuasions make a point of giving their business to Asher’s to ensure that their business prospers. Brave Christian people of principle, who are being badly treated by a pagan system, deserve our support. It is sad fact that the “left-liberals” always wield power so as to divide society – they did it, not us. We must act to protect ourselves.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      Wrong-headed. We will not support bigotry justified by fake gods. That is counter productive to society

      • The Explorer

        When you say ‘we’ whom do you mean?

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          The majority, my friend. We are REAL. Your god is not.

          • bluedog

            Are you god?

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            perhaps

          • bluedog

            No god worthy of the name would give such a diffident answer so lacking in self-belief. You are not made of the right stuff to be a deity and should abandon any delusions that you may be godly.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            and no one to be taken seriously would say “I am who you say I am”-talk about gullible! Maybe don’t ask stupid questions next time?

          • bluedog

            Gullible? Me? It was you that took the bait. Thank you.

          • David

            “perhaps”
            Yes you’ve captured the essence of your creed most effectively, in one word – says it all really.

          • The Explorer

            Are the believers in the god real? They, surely are the ones to be compared with the majority, not the god?

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            yes, but there are believers who are good and those who use their religion to justify hatred and discrimination. The latter are thankfully a shrinking minority in the civilized world

      • David

        You are the one who sounds bigoted. Who gave you the authority to decide what are “fake gods”? Are you god ? Your idea of society is one that marches solely to your tune – how bigoted !

  • Albert

    The lesson is surely that not everyone who says he is an Evangelical actually is. It would be interesting to see if those in the 11% correlate with Evangelicals who support homosexual relationships. Freedom and liberalism rarely go together.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      liberalism is all about freedom of equality, dumdum

      • Albert

        Which is to say that it is not about freedom per se and it relies on a judgement about something being equal (or unequal).

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          nope-its pretty cut and dried-equality under the law for all-no exceptions-no religious kookery-just human beings with the same equal rights

          • Albert

            I do not see how your post answers mine. Freedom and equality are not necessarily identical concepts, and decisions about what (as opposed to who) is equal and what is not are not necessarily obvious.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            they are identical concepts-one cannot exist without the other. You cannot be free unless you are equal. You cannot be equal unless you are free. Religion has no place here so we remove it from law. It works out for everyone!

          • Albert

            they are identical concepts-one cannot exist without the other.

            Really? What sort of equality do you need to be free? Equally wealthy? Are you a communist? Equally talented, good looking etc.? You need to fill in your concept of equality before you can start making the kinds of moves you are making. And even when you do, you still cannot say that the equality is identical with freedom. In some societies, people are equally unfree. So what do you mean by equal?

            Religion has no place here so we remove it from law.

            What do you mean by this? Do you mean that religious people cannot express their views in the political legislative framework?

  • NORMAN DOSTAL

    The law is very narrow in terms of who is [protected in business in N Ireland. You cant be ordered to write hate speech on product, but you can be ordered to serve a protected group in a way that you serve others. The judge ruled-wisely-that making a statement of support on a cake was NOT implicitly supporting that affirmation.

    • Anton

      It didn’t end well for someone else who said Let them eat cake.

      • Guglielmo Marinaro

        I wonder who that was.

      • NORMAN DOSTAL

        Fortunately the law will keep the handful of bigots in line-religious tards are not to be feared 🙂

        • Anton

          And your definition of bigot is…?

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            the dictionary one of course

          • Anton

            Is it the man who ordered the cake whom you regard as bigoted?

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            No, idiot, the baker of course! He was refused because he was gay, which is bigotry.

          • Anton

            If you apologise for calling me an idiot you will prove yourself worthy of a reply.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            you did already reply…idiot…

          • Anton

            If you apologise again for calling me an idiot you will prove yourself worthy of a reply.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            Toidi?

          • Erik Dahlberg

            Well Norman, you appear to have acquired quite a large amount of attention. I harbour hope that we can have a short and civil discussion so could you answer me this? Why are you here? I’m just rather curious given the probably polar nature of your opinions compared to those of the majority of this website and mine. Please, do say something more interesting than “to show up how stupid your kind are” – or words approaching that. Though if that is the answer, and I do hope that it isn’t, then oh dear.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            Thank you for a kind response. Im absolutely willing to discuss things maturely and intelligently. Im here, Erik, because I always read anything concerning gay rights. When I see religious bigots using their gods to treat others unfairly (blacks, jews, gays, etc), I stand up to them. I usually try using the law which favors minorities, When that doesn’t work (usually because the bigot pull the “my god done said” card which you simply cannto argue against because gods are made up IMO), I mock. Its a bit childish, true, but its important for me to show bigots that we are not taking this lying down. We will fight and we will win.

          • Erik Dahlberg

            Thank you for a clear response. Indeed, whilst I myself don’t agree with what you’re arguing for, “I’d defend to the death your right to say it”. Rather conveniently, that quotation from, probably Voltaire (It’s disputed), lines up well with this article.

            “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire/maybe someone else

            I am almost certain that we can both agree on the validity of this testament above. It is an axiomatic truth.

            The speaker is, by the customer expected to be say “I disapprove of what you say, but I will still say it too”. It is, if I am not sorely mistaken, this distinction which has caused such an uproar over this case of the bakery. The speaker (the baker), has not tried to prevent the customer from expressing themselves but is not willing to partake and concur with the said sentiment; the speaker wishes to tolerate but not concur.

            It is for this reason that so many people on this chat, myself included, believe that this principle (the first quotation) expressing the notion of free speech has been twisted into something dangerous (an expectation of the implementation of the second quotation’s principle). Essentially, that it is no longer enough to tolerate but that subordination to a newly drawn up moral code is required.

            Regarding Northern Irish law, whether the baker is in fact obliged by law to cooperate is beside the moral point. Christians will acknowledge that human law, least of all increasingly secularized modern law, is not always a reflection of true right and wrong. Homosexuals will, I expect, agree with me too on this argument given especially the stance of ‘the law’ on that group of people in past times (Alan Turing). The principle then, that human law is not always right, is one I believe that we can both agree upon.

            Naturally, you may well throw me a “render to Caesar” (submit to human law) despite the fact that you would not have said so regarding the anti-gay laws of the earlier 20th century, but that would be argument ‘Ad Hominem’ on my part so I will deal with it in an alternative manner. The Roman Empire not only allowed but actively encouraged a multi-faith system (the persecution of Christians and introduction of Magna Marta were political issues – the anger of Rome after the 64 A.D fire and the fear of Hannibal in 205 B.C). The significance of this is that the phrase “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” never had any connotations of spiritual/moral subordination. Rome was not interested in what one believed, not in Jesus’s lifetime anyway, but only wanted tax.

            The icing of the baker, if you like, can represent the tax (it would have been paid in grain so this isn’t a bad analogy) and the slogan the conscience. Christians will give ‘the Emperor’ tax but not dominion over their conscience. Read the second part of that line of scripture.

            With the human law issue then cast aside. I do hope, Norman, that you and I can agree that Voltaire’s ‘version’ of free speech is correct and the latter one very wrong.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            Youre obviously very intelligent and well spoken, but my only question would be, “would you share the same viewpoint on this matter if the couple was interracial, wanted a “support Interracial marriage” message on their cake and the baker stated that because he believed interracial marriage was sin (which many did decades ago), he is right in refusing service? Remember, his hypothetical objection is as sincere as The baker’s in question.
            Regarding my agreement with that quote-whoever originally said it-I have to say that I don’t universally agree. As someone who has been discriminated against, seen it happen to many friends and even had some friends badly injured by bigots who think gays are “sinners”, I don’t think all speech is of value and should be defended or protected. Religion-to me, a recovering Catholic if that matters, has been abused and used to destroy and kill millions of people, millions of “different” people. I absolutely don’t agree extra freedoms should be bestowed on religious superstition because, frankly, I don’t think there’s any truth to any of it. Its not provable-laws must be made around that which is provable and real
            Yes, you should have the right to believe all you want, but we cannot allow belie into law-because it varies person to person-no one believes the same-everyone’s god is a little bit different.
            Lastly, did you read the judgment? The judge found-rightly to me-that printing an image or a slogan on cake is NOT endorsing said message. A cake with a witch for example on it is not an endorsement of witchcraft. Gays are solely being singled out by religious bigots. There are no examples of adulterers being refused service or pre marital sex offenders of people who have abortions.
            I think its a little unfair for you to remotely suggest that these laws that command people in the public sphere of business to treat all fairly is akin to the laws that discriminated against gays in the very near previous years. GAYS ARE REAL. Your god may seem real to you, but its not to anyone else-only to you-as I said, everyone’s god is a little tiny bit different than everyone else’s god. If we allow bigotry in law because of some god, we must allow it for EVERY god. That means blacks, jews, women-could all be refused service. I think its safer and fairer to make refusal due to religion a NO in a public business.
            In the US, we have private businesses which can discriminate all they want-I think this is the fair middle ground..

          • Erik Dahlberg

            Regarding the interracial marriage question which you pose, yes, I would defend the right of the baker to not endorse interracial marriage. Needless to say, I have nothing against interracial marriage, but I really do hold to that free speech illustrating quotation. You are right in saying that the judge said that printing a slogan is not the same thing as endorsing it but I have to say that I disagree entirely with that statement. Also, who cares? Judges rule all sorts of things that aren’t true. They seek to represent truth but cannot claim to own it. Is making uniforms then sewing on KKK emblems a morally neutral job? If not, then placing political/moral statements on cakes is not a politically/morally political job either.

            I will now address the witchcraft issue. Whilst, I agree with you here, a cake having a witch on it does not indicate the baker as endorsing witchcraft, it does indicate an endorsement of the idea of ‘celebrating’ Halloween. Many people have strong reservations against Halloween, take the recent article by J. John, and a baker holding those reservations would clearly be going against them were they to decorate their cakes in such a manner. As a result, were Waitrose to force an anti-Halloween baker to bake a Halloween cake then the situation, in principle, would be the same as this one and I would side with the baker.

            The trouble with censoring some speech as not of value is that it requires a definition of value. That definition, once, in my opinion, wrongly abusive of gays, and now abusive of the rights of free speech in Northern Ireland, leads me to support the (probably) Voltaire’s notion of free speech which requires no such value.

            My raising of the issue of several anti-gay laws was purely to exemplify to you, via an issue doubtless close to your heart, that the law of the land is not always right – this places that example on a parallel with my view of the current law of expression in Northern Island (the baker issue). They are, in principle, comparable in that sense. I am sorry if that was not clear.

            This is not a question of law siding with religion or not. I am proposing that, by the principle of free speech, it sides with neither party and advocates tolerance (not moral relativism but nonetheless individual choice). Naturally, you may well disagree with me, but I am glad that we either understand, or have come closer to understanding, eachother.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            you have a very interesting viewpoint. I don’t agree with much of it, probably having to do with my own experiences in life as you with yours.
            When what you propose was done in the past in the USA, blacks were refused services like gas, groceries-sometimes in small towns where they couldn’t access such things easily. Is that the world we want? For blacks, gays, jews, women, to have to travel many miles to get a tank of gas? Or food?
            I think now is much better than then.
            Lastly (for me), since i think weve shared all we can here, I think it’s very telling that the only free speech here that is supposedly being harmed is that of the religious to refuse service. Its not a race, not a gender, not an orientation. Its a religious viewpoint. I don’t think its possible to establish free speech on the invisible. Is there, then, any limit?

          • Erik Dahlberg

            I don’t quite follow, what have the experiences of blacks, gays, jews and women to do with the notion of free speech? I really don’t see how the principle of total free speech caused racism in the USA or even at all exasperated it. Indeed, I doubt very much that blacks had as much freedom or opportunity to publish works as whites did.

            Furthermore, I don’t follow what you mean by it not being possible to establish free speech on the invisible and therefore don’t understand your last line. Could you clarify that for me?

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            all groups have been victimized throughout history (and currently) by religion disguised as Free Speech. Free Speech didn’t cause racism, but it was used to justify and excuse it in business for many years after blacks were freed until the 1964 act stopped it. I was only speaking about the USA.
            I was talking about giving absolute free speech (not strictly oral talking, per se, but free speech in terms of running one’s business like the Ashers). No one’s god is the same as anyone else’s so to make everything legal when you can say “my god said” is a HUGE mistake because it means anything. You can say I don’t serve people named Amy. Or people that are short. Its too big of a blanket. There’s a fine lien batten bigotry and god ordained bigotry-do you understand that? You can basically justify any bigotry you want through a few carefully selected bible verses (or Quaran verses, what have you). Do you want to live in a country where the grocer doenst serve you because youre Chrsitain? What if the WHOLE town refused to serve Christians? Isnt it easier (and honestly, more “right”) to make certain rules in regards to a public business?
            It worked in the 60s when we abolished the right to discriminate based on religion in regards to blacks. We can work it out to protect gays too methinks.

          • Erik Dahlberg

            I worry that you may have conflated freedom of speech with freedom of action which pertains to anarchy. This I would never endorse. Indeed, in such circumstances, “render unto Caesar” applies for it is a thing of substance and not of conscience. I will refer to it later.

            I now see where you’re coming from. Naturally, I agree that total free speech can precipitate some pretty nasty things but I personally can see no better alternative. Fundamentally the human heart isn’t very nice so when it expresses itself the words can be just as black. However, I could equally give historical examples of when a government has considered one opinion, or school of thought, to be correct and therefore banned free speech as it is harmful – like anti (basically) everything in Soviet Russia. Free speech is an absolute concept. Either it is implemented or it is not.

            The problem is, Norman, that if we “work it out to protect gays” then why are we doing anything different from working it out to protect Marxist ideology? What exactly does that mean? Intercepting emails and letters? I am of course writing not of physical protection but of verbal protection. The latter sort of protection I disdain (we ought to distinguish abuse from intellectual criticism and moral expression – assault from disagreement) but the former I consider a basic requirement of civilized society.

            I do believe that you’ve misrepresented this question, I think accidentally, when you write of “the WHOLE town” refusing to serve a certain group. This is a different issue.

            Free speech does not mean freedom of action.

            I would think it wholly illegal for someone to be refused service on account of their gender/race etc. The baker in this article did not refuse service but refused to support a particular moral viewpoint. This is entirely different.

          • Albert

            would you share the same viewpoint on this matter if the couple was interracial, wanted a “support Interracial marriage

            Where would you stand if the buyer wished to have the message “oppose interracial marriage”? Should the baker have the right to refuse?

    • Inspector General

      I say! What a splendid specimen you are…

      Be seeing you…

      • NORMAN DOSTAL

        Thanks, my backward, bigoted friend!

        • Inspector General

          What a marvellous thing! Do you have a neck? Something a fellow can put a chain around. I’ll tell you this, they’ll be amazed at the Royal Society when they see you!

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            what a strange little turd you are, sir

          • Inspector General

            One line grunts. Yes, we can see how you do it. But what is exciting is the occasional grouping of two, sometimes three sentences together. This is most promising, because it shows you possess a rudimentary thought process. Do you know, this means there is the possibility, however small, that we might one day communicate. What do you think of that!

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            doubtful-I don’t speak to bigots, except to bash them and laugh at their impotent god. I do revel in the fact that the law now backs gays and has pushed the vile cretins into the closet. Im sorry that we must insist you keep your gods out of the public sphere.

          • Inspector General

            Well, you’re not much use, are you! One was hoping to keep you in captivity and breed from you, but here you are. A sterile drone. No bloody use. Still, at least we can move your examination onto the vivisection slab.

            One wonders what you went through when you embraced the homosexual way. Parental rejection and no doubt you were expelled from the herd when you started to mount the young bulls. Leaving you to wander friendless in a world that would rather you didn’t exist and that hides their male offspring when you turn up…

            Pip! Pip!

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            Ive actually bred, dumdum. Raised a daughter and several nephews.
            Nope-im close to both my parents and theyre still married.
            I was married to a woman-I CHOSE to be straight-didnt take. then I came out, met the man of my dreams and now we are at 12 years-successfully working at a studio, great friends, live in a Beverly Hills mansion-life is good!
            How about you? Always been an ignorant religiously brainwashed POS bigot? Did you choose to be a bigot or was it chosen for you when you were programmed by your parents?
            Derp Derp

          • Inspector General

            Here’s a tip. Don’t try to defy the hetronorm. It’s futile. Sorry to hear your marriage failed but you have a daughter. Many who have chosen your way have only a disease…

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            someone inserted just the tip into you? Your Uncle? Dad?

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            your threats are impotent like your god, little man. We have defeated you bigots at EVERY turn. Its over. No one chooses to be gay, you silly schmuck. Did you choose to be straight after you sampled the pole and the hole?

          • Inspector General

            One patrols Pink News regularly and noticed your droppings thereupon. You’ve found a home for yourself. Well done you!

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            I fight bigotry on many fronts

          • Inspector General

            Never was happy with the word bigotry. People throw the word around without realising what they are objecting to is another man’s freedom of thought. You are one of these people. To illustrate, one has no objection if you queer. None at all. It’s up to you. But if you come onto a site and recruit for your cause, whatever it is, then you will be treated to an alternative take on the subject.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            obviously bigots don’t like to be called bigots-may try not being bigoted? Remember, your god isn’t to blame for your bigotry-you choose that-many god followers choose not to be bigoted

          • Inspector General

            Good grief! The word bigot mentioned 5 times by you. Can you describe what you mean by bigotry…

  • The Explorer

    One used to see a sign ‘RIght of admission reserved’. That sort of right – who you choose to do business with, who you choose to admit to your premises – is the sort of right that is in the process of being dismantled. It was largely because the banks lost the right of deciding who they would, or would not, lend money to that the financial crash of 2008 happened.

  • Just Visiting

    Off-topic: but the BBC this week won in Court against Imam Shekeel Begg of Lewisham mosque: he had claimed libel because the BBC’s Andrew Neil had called him an extremist: but the judge on Friday concluded that Begg is an Islamic Extremist:
    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/10/9662352/

    Nice one BBC – well done for not backing down.

    Wiki has a page for the Imam
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakeel_Begg

    and the judges thorough 10 -point definition for islamic extremism is
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_extremism

    and the full judges write up:
    https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/shakeel-begg-v-bbc-judgment-final-20161028.pdf

    • Just Visiting

      in the Spectator link above – Murray amusingly contrasts the NI cake case with that of Imam Begg’s extremism.