Gay wedding cake2
Civil Liberties

The equality tyranny of the 'gay cake' judgment

 

“Equality as an aim in itself through government action is doomed not merely to defeat but to totalitarianism.” So observed the Archbishop of Canterbury earlier this year at the Trinity Institute symposium ‘Creating the Common Good’. His context was wealth creation and disparity, and the needs and means of redistribution. But his principle holds for the extremist pursuit of all equality: as a political vision and civil imperative, it inclines toward totalitarian injustice because it denies liberty to difference.

The court ruling in the case of the ‘gay cake’ against the McArthur family and Ashers Bakery is really quite astonishing (if not at all surprising). It appears that by refusing to make a cake with a political slogan agitating for a change in the law of Northern Ireland to permit same-sex marriage, Ashers Bakery discriminated against Gareth Lee by on the grounds of his sexual orientation, despite the fact that they would have declined an order to make such a cake for a heterosexual. And so, once again, we see gay ‘hurt feelings’ targeting a Christian business, and a court ruling which diminishes religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

Ashers’ decision was never about the Gareth Lee’s sexuality (if the McArthurs ever knew it: can’t heterosexuals order pro-same-sex-marriage cakes? Isn’t it possible to be gay and opposed to the redefinition of marriage? Can’t those inclined to same-sex attraction choose to marry a person of the opposite gender?): it was about a political slogan which offended against their Christian beliefs. Are businesses now to be compelled to produce materials or convey messages which are incompatible with their owners’ deeply and reasonably held beliefs?

Peter Lynas, a former barrister and Northern Ireland director of Evangelical Alliance (and guest writer on this very matter), commented:

“This judgment will cause great concern for all those in business. It turns out the customer is always right and businesses have no discretion in deciding which goods and services to produce. The law rightly protects people from discrimination, but it has now extended that protection to ideas. While it’s absolutely vital to keep this case in perspective, this ruling will come as a shock to the vast majority of people who, polling shows, supported Ashers. While the case will hopefully be appealed, that will lead to a prolonged period of uncertainty and nervousness among business owners. It will no doubt lead to further calls to change the law.”

It is important to note that the McArthurs discriminated not only on the grounds of sexual orientation, but also on the basis of religion and political opinion. Presiding District Judge Brownlie was very clear on this in her ruling (which merits reading very carefully in its entirety). As Peter Lynas further observes:

“With respect to religion, a law designed to protect the belief of the customer or employee had been extended and used against a business owner. Mr Lee’s beliefs were not relevant to the decision not to produce the cake – they were and remain unknown. To extend the law to include the religious beliefs of the supplier is we believe a significant change in the law that will have wider implications. It seems that religion has been effectively banished from the commercial sphere. Even the right to freedom of religion under the European Convention of Human Rights could not save the McArthurs.”

“It is important to remember there was no mention of political opinion in the original letter of claim. The Equality Commission, which supports same-sex marriage and is by definition a political organisation, added this ground later. Will it now regulate which political opinions are allowed under equality law and which are unacceptable?”

And this is the very crux of the matter. We are dealing with ‘protected characteristics’ and political campaigns which agitate for a change in the law. What are the limits of these? If a gay man asks a Christian baker to make him a cake iced with the slogan ‘Abolish the Gay Age of Consent’, is the Christian baker now obliged by statute to become complicit in the propagation of pederasty? If a Christian man asks a Muslim printer to produce leaflets declaring ‘Jesus is Lord; Mohammed is a false prophet’, is the Muslim obliged by statute to become complicit in blasphemy?

How can it be, as District Judge Brownlie decrees, that the exercising of the Christian conscience must be restricted to ‘religious institutions’? How, then, is the Christian supposed to ‘walk in the spirit‘ (Gal 5:16) or ‘worship in spirit and in truth‘ (Jn 4:24)? Is our worshipping to be confined to Sunday church? Is our walking to be restricted by the walls of a ‘religious institution’?

If Joseph & Son had their carpenter’s shop not in first-century Nazareth but 21st-century Belfast, would they be obliged by statute to produce a wooden sign saying: ‘Support Gay Marriage’? If so, isn’t it clear that the law must now be changed so that people may not be coerced into supporting political causes to enact laws which offend against the religious conscience? The @HolyVote campaign is embryonic, but if there is to be no reasonable accommodation of religious belief, we are indeed being increasingly subject to a statist totalitarian equality tyranny.

  • Is it just me who (sadly) thinks that the whole thing could have been avoided by the bakery having a specific list of 10 messages for the top of a cake, wording of which is not to be altered? Then the purchaser is at liberty to buy extra icing tubes and add whatever they personally like to it? I agree that the whole thing has been a very strange episode from start to finish – but if (as it appears) there was the intent to entrap the bakers, they do seem to have walked into the trap feet first.

    • Graham Wood

      No sister, you seem to miss the whole point. Christian bakers (and presumably all others) are not in their business to engage in political/ideological sloganeering, but to provide a service to their customers. Ashers agreed to bake a cake – no more.
      Messages of any kind then can be safely left to the buyer, not the baker.

      The judge’s verdict is clearly a travesty of justice, and incidentally a clear denial of Article 9 of the Human Rights Act. It would seem therefore that her decision was biased and politically (correct) motivated.
      An utter disgrace, and because of this ruling it is imperative that the “equality” upon which this case was brought must be thoroughly revised and amended I order to avoid the floodgates of similar vexatious litigation following her ruling.

  • Martin

    “The defendants also claimed that they had a right under Article 10 of the ECHR not to be compelled to express or commit them to a viewpoint. Judge Brownlie held that what the defendants were asked to do did not require them to support, promote or endorse any viewpoint.”

    Seems to me that the judge is an idiot.

    • Anton

      There are other explanations…

      • Martin

        Anton

        If I were to be charitable I’d call her a liar.

  • David

    On a parallel issue, I have recently returned from the Republic of Ireland where there were signs everywhere both supporting and opposing the redefinition of marriage.
    Also I note that an ecumenical Irish group is inviting Irish and UK Christians to fast on the 20, 21 and 22nd May to support fervent prayers for the proposed change in the law to be rejected and the natural family protected.
    This latest judgement is a nonsense of course, representing a frightening stride towards a totalitarian state where judges impose their will, almost arbitrarily. My respect for the judiciary, and their ability to recognise justice diminishes constantly.
    The words of the A of C were most prescient.

  • Orwell Ian

    The defendants objection was nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the plaintiff. The order was declined because of the wording requested. The defendants real misdemeanour is thoughtcrime against revisionist orthodoxy – a body of PC ideas which it is assumed that people will accept without question. So we witness this latest example of injustice. State imposed equality riding roughshod over hard won traditional freedoms.

    The slogan on the cake was aimed at changing the law in
    NI. It was therefore political and open to challenge. Yet refusal to
    reproduce it was bizarrely held to be direct discrimination against
    the customer on the grounds of sexual orientation. This misuse of
    customer protection against business owners sets an unwelcome
    precedent whereby any opposition to SSM may now be unlawful and
    dissent discouraged. A judgment that is another brick in the wall of
    equality tyranny, demonstrating as it does that the law is now
    concerned with regulating our opinions as much as our actions. It
    also exposes “equality” to be relative rather than absolute,
    since the one who demanded is more equal than the one who refused.
    Thus diversity trumps religious conscience, but probably only a
    Christian one. Had the defendants been Muslims the result would have
    been very different. Such is the obsequious fear of provoking Islamic
    uproar that there would have been no question of a prosecution.

    • Anton

      It is because of drivel like this ruling/laws that God is moving toward replacing our secular society by an Islamic one. There might not be much love in the average Islamic family but at least it is a stable institution.

      • fuzon

        A self-confessed “Christian” claiming that stability is more important than love? I suggest that you convert to Islam, as you know precious little of the message of Jesus of Nazareth.

        • Anton

          I am comparing Islam against secularism, not against Christianity. I suggest you read “Sex and Culture” by JD Unwin (1934) which shows that every culture to have gone promiscuous fell within a couple of generations.

  • William Lewis

    In rejecting the claims of the defendants that they would not have baked the same cake for a heterosexual, the judge cites another case in her ruling:

    “Discrimination, whether it is on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, religion, race or political opinion, is something which may be subtle, insidious or hidden … What is central to the enquiry is the working and thought processes of the alleged discriminator.”

    So there we have it. The courts must look into the minds or people and determine if there is discrimination against protected groups even though it may be completely hidden. Not only must SSM be enshrined in law but everyone must believe that it should be so.

    • Martin

      William

      One wonders when the Judge came under the impression that her task was to look into the minds of those in front of her. Did she consider whether the cake might have been requested for wrong motives?

      • William Lewis

        Protected groups can’t have wrong motives, Martin. You should know that by now.

    • Anton

      It’s only about recognition. The government might recognise SSM but my household doesn’t.

      • William Lewis

        Well you are just going to have to keep that within your household. There is now no accommodation for your view in the public arena as it constitutes discrimination.

        • Anton

          I know. It is a misuse by the authorities of the word “discrimination” because that is when two things that are the same get treated differently, but homosexual and heterosexual relationships differ in ways that legislation cannot alter.

  • john in cheshire

    Are businesses free to choose not to sell their goods to a person or organisation? I thought that there was no compulsion. If so then perhaps it is possible to decline business such as the cake but also decline to give a reason.

    • Anton

      That would be wise, but if the agent provocateur could prove that you had given service in the recent past such as a normal wedding cake then you’d still be in trouble. Likewise if the agent provocateur asked for a wedding cake, got told Yes, then got told No on the grounds it was gay, as I believe happened here.

      The presumption is that a business wishes to do business and so enrich its owner/employees, and if a business wishes to decline business then the loss of income should be penalty enough. I’d like to hear Adam Smith on the present silliness.

      Your Grace asks: “Isn’t it possible to be gay and opposed to the redefinition of marriage?”

      Yes; that is David Starkey’s publicly held position. And regarding Your Grace’s comments on showboating judges, it goes to the top. Here are some wise words of Charles Moore on the release of Prince Charles’ correspondence:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/prince-charles/11608001/The-case-of-the-black-spider-letters-has-alarming-implications-for-the-rule-of-law.html

      As regards the men of ill will behind such laws, let us recall that the politically correct Racial and Religious
      Hatred Bill became English law in 2006. It had been amended to allow
      prosecution only if you were believed to be deliberately
      stoking religious hatred, but the Director of Public
      Prosecutions cautioned that the Bill would “criminalise a state of mind”. Shameful words.

  • Mike Stallard

    “Those who do not believe in God will believe in anything.”
    Gay marriage is not Christian. It is not Muslim. It is not African. I do not recall that it is Jewish. Any other offers?
    But it is now the Law. And, as the judge says, marriage is linked to sex. So no bleating about David and Jonathan please.
    People who have dumped their Christian heritage now insist on Gayness being the norm. Who was it that said that humbuggery is the vice anglaise? (Is vice masculine? I forget.)
    Climate Change is also insisted upon. Just look almost anywhere in the web. Just listen to the BBC. They even had a WIA meeting on it, I understand – secret natch.
    These people, who constantly refer to outdated stuff like the inquisition and wars of religion, are now, as you so rightly say, heading in the same direction.
    Me? I got thrown off Conservative Home for attacking the idea of Gay Marriage. There’s a distinction!

    • Anton

      When people who call themselves conservative agitate for gay marriage you know your culture has undergone a revolution. Not for the better.

  • Demon Teddy Bear

    Fascism has arrived, in which all must be coerced to support certain political opinions.

    • Graham Wood

      Indeed so DTB. It is opportune to ask where most of our equality laws stem from.
      Yes, you’ve guessed it – the EU. The Equality Act of 2010 came about as a direct result of three “equality” directives issued by the EU, and as such mandatory for the government to incorporate into domestic British law.
      Yet another reason to leave this corrupt secular humanist anti-God organisation as there is no sound reason why we should be in membership.

      • Martin

        Graham

        Whilst I am no fan of the EU, the judges also have a lot to answer for in producing clearly biased judgement like this one.

        • Anton

          Someday they will be on trial.

          • The Explorer

            Maybe not in this life, though.

          • Anton

            That’s what I meant. We should pray for them, of course.

        • Graham Wood

          Agree Martin, but that is now past. on the premise “don’t get mad, get even”, I think all those who are determined to stand for heterosexual marriage must now work for a change in the law, namely an amendment of the Equalities Act as suggested by the DUP party in N.I. and UKIP. They are calling for a ‘conscience’ clause for with religious or political objections to the indiscriminate application of such equality laws – as in this case.

          • Shadrach Fire

            Would that apply to the Cabinet? With no previous members voting against it and two new members changing their view, Presumably to comply with an edict from DC.

          • Graham Wood

            SF I assume you refer to the ‘conscience clause’ applying to the cabinet? Of course, but I had in mind those who are at the sharp end of bigoted homosexual ‘traps’ such as presented to the Ashers etc.
            I would like to see the whole “equality” law abolished as it is fraught with ambiguity and bad cases, but a conscience clause as suggested would enable the restoration of our civil and religious liberties which are now virtually non-existent.
            I believe it is the duty of all Christians to work for that, as the alternative possible scenarios for vexatious litigation is now huge.

          • Martin

            Graham

            Perhaps we should go further than that and call for the re-criminalising of sodomy.

  • The Explorer

    America is way ahead of us with gay targeting of Christian bakers and photographers, but those rejoicing at the justice of this verdict might ponder the Georgia KKK case. A Christian baker refused to produce a cake for a Ku Kux Klan anniversary celebration. The Klan took her to court, and she was found guilty of discrimination.

    The lack of freedom to exercise one’s beliefs can cut in both directions.

    • Anton

      There are plenty of YouTube clips of people asking Muslim bakers for gay cakes in the USA, with predictable outcome.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    In future, if anyone finds themselves faced with the same situation as the Ashers, I would advise them to decline the transaction without giving any reason at all. A business is not obliged to give a reason, and without any reason, verbal or written, a court can do nothing more than speculate about the motive. If the customer asks for a reason, just say “I’m not obliged to give one”.

    • Anton

      But if the agent provocateur could prove that you had given service in the recent past such as a normal wedding cake then you’d still be in trouble. Likewise if the agent provocateur asked for a wedding cake, got told Yes, then got told No on the grounds it was gay, as I believe happened here.

      • Politically__Incorrect

        There would still be no concrete proof why you didn’t agree to the transaction. It could be that you didn’t feel well that day, or you were too busy. what they don’t know they can only speculate about

        • Anton

          If you had given service in the recent past such as a normal wedding cake then you could get round it like that. But if the agent provocateur asked for a wedding cake, got told Yes, then got told No after going on to state that it was a for a gay couple – as I believe happened here – then you would be in trouble.

          I hope the Ashers appeal.

          • Politically__Incorrect

            Indeed. retracting the order later was probably not the ideal way to handle this from a legal perspective. I hope they appeal too. I hope also that this sets some alarm bells ringing and makes more people sit up and take note of where this heading – Soviet-style cultural tyranny

        • Merchantman

          One could try delay tactics. ‘ Wow we are so busy baking cakes for gays I may be able to do yours but I just got a big order for the Ch………next February is the only slot available.’ blah blah

  • Politically__Incorrect

    So another judge plays to the LGBT gallery. It is hard to believe she wasn’t influenced by the current climate of gay “rights” hysteria. Even so, gay activists in NI have not had such an easy time as they have here in mainland Britain. So far, there have been four attempts to introduce gay marriage in NI. All have failed. One wonders whether people in NI, as in America, are starting to savvy up a bit to what is happening. People who were previously not exercised by the issue suddenly finding their kids having to learn about gay relationships in primary school etc… Prior to the redefinition of marriage here, there was at least one poll showing that the country was split 50 / 50 on the issue. I remember the BBC even reporting that fact. I suspect that it may have been a pre2015-general-election split. That is, more like a 60 / 40 split against redefinition. since we were not allowed a referendum on the issue (unlike the Irish republic), the matter was not settled in any kind of democratic way.

    • magnolia

      Maybe it is the prayers of St Patrick. Apparently he was forever praying, and won a concession from the Almighty that Ireland would be flooded before the end times so that it would never be ruled by the Anti Christ, which is interesting!

  • Hi

    I could understand the discrimination if I’d have asked them to bake a “happy birthday Sarah with love from Hannah ” cake, but this was about objecting to political campaign. Although it seems that if they were being asked to do a pro gay cake by a heterosexual or say if my sister had asked, on my behalf, for a birthday cake for my girlfriend they would have won the case?

  • The Explorer

    This case has involved the 2006 Equality Act and ECHR Articles 9 and 10.
    It seems that you are not prohibited from turning down business from any source, but the reason cannot be based on the customer’s politics, religion or sexual orientation. So are you obliged to give a reason, to prove you are not violating one of these three principles?

    Three possible scenarios.

    1. A Polish baker required to produce a cake slogan, ‘Stop Polish immigration’. From UKIP customer.

    2. Secular baker with slogan, ‘Unbelievers will burn in Hell’ from a. Christian, b. Muslim. Baker probably safe to refuse a (hate speech) , but not b. (legitimate expression of a tenet of the faith).

    3. A gay b&b could be required to provide accommodation if a hetero couple (or two) wanted to stay there and space was available.

    • Hi explorer

      From what I understand from the ruling that the case was won or lost, not because of the politics, but because the person ordering the cake was gay. So presumably if a gay UKIP supporter wanted an anti immigration cake or a gay Muslim wanted to do what you say, then they couldn’t be refused, but could if they were heterosexual? Which is quite bizarre. I’d agree it’d be discrimination to refuse a heterosexual couple a room in a “gay” b and b.

      • The Explorer

        It’s very confusing. I’ve read the ruling three times (very helpful link from DanJ0 on previous thread) and it becomes more convoluted each time.

        • Hi explorer

          I know I read the same link and agree it’s confusing. Which leads me to think that one could have inserted the Belfast phonebook as the reason for the ruling and it wouldn’t have mattered to the conclusion.

  • The Explorer

    Law can restrict what you say and do, but not what you think. Thus, “I’m doing this, not because it’s right but because they have the power to sack me/close down my business/fine me/put me in prison. I’m doing it because I have to; not because I believe it.”
    That’s not nearly enough for PC. PC seeks to align thought, speech and behaviour in one harmonious whole. PC arrogates to itself the power of the Holy Spirit to re-align the soul. (Metaphorically, of course: PC does not believe in the soul. Or in the HOly Spirit.)

    • cypruspete

      Actually not true. Any [or rather the greater majority of] criminal offences require two components, the Actus reus, the action that is actually illegal, and the mens rea, the guilty knowledge that makes you responsible for it.

      What is the difference between manslaughter (18 months) and Murder (life) if it not what the offender was thinking at the time?

      • The Explorer

        You’re citing a different sort of issue from what I was getting at. Mine was to do with Orwell’s thought crime.
        Suppose you’re a racist. The threat of legal reprisals can stop you from expressing racist thoughts. But it won’t stop you thinking them. PC wants to stop you thinking them.
        What’s untrue about that?

        • cypruspete

          Denying that the thought is an essential element of the crime.

          Assaulting someone is a crime, except under certain defined circumstances [ask any Policeman].

          If I beat you because you are black or white or whatever, then I am guilty not because I assaulted you, but because you belonging to a particular ethnic group is not, as I might have thought, one of those valid reasons.

          If the charge is amended to racially aggravated assault then the thought is definitely the central element of the crime.

          To deny the possibility of changing an offenders thought processes is effectively to deny any possibility of rehabilitation

          And even I’m not that hard-hearted

          • The Explorer

            A quotation from the Puritans that I’ve used before on this blog: “The Law may chain the wolf, but only the Gospel may change the wolfish heart.”

          • cypruspete

            A thought shared with Wahabis, as it is the justification they use for executing atheists and apostates.

            It’s really a kindness, you understand

          • The Explorer

            They have a gospel? They certainly have a rule book.

          • The Explorer

            If you haven’t said anything racist or done anything racist, what crime have you committed? The point we seem to be debating is not that the thought is an element in the crime; the thought IS the crime.

          • cypruspete

            Then what is the difference between simple assault and racially motivated assault [two different crimes, with two different penalties]

          • The Explorer

            And what’s the difference between thinking about assault (and refraining) and actually doing it? Can we call a truce on this?

          • cypruspete

            By all means 🙂

  • bmudmai

    Interestingly, this ruling, in theory, could create havoc with contract law. Contracts of a religious conscience are now, in theory, void (or voidable) due to the fact they are now made under duress. You will always have the threat of criminal action if you say no and that constitutes as duress.

    We saw that in the Ashers case. When the order was originally taken the lady was in fear of a backlash which is a form of duress which has been brought about through this ‘liberal’ movement we are facing at present time.

    The judge in this case clearly has an ignorance for religion too. As if you can just leave it on your doorstep. Worrying times ahead.

  • The Explorer

    You can see why it took so long for the verdict to be announced. Awareness of the implications for all sorts of other situations.

  • len

    The right to religious freedom has just been thrown out of the courts…….a landmark in the decline of our nation and our democracy……….

    • cypruspete

      Or perhaps it just confirms the previous definition of religious freedom as I understood it anyway, which is you are perfectly at liberty to believe anything you want to, right up to the point where you feel it gives you the licence to be violent, threatening, discriminatory, or just plain inhumane to your fellow man.

      The discourteous bit is still, of course, a matter for your own personal sensibilities, and perhaps peer pressure.

      • len

        To’ discriminate’ is both positive and to negative are you judging me on my ability to discriminate fairly?
        With the’ dumbing down’ of the population the ability to ‘discriminate’ is seen as a bad thing.
        Good job I am not brainwashed by the speech police then?.
        We are entering/already in the area Orwell spoke about……

        • Orwell Ian

          He warned that the preaching of totalitarian doctrines would weaken the instinct by means of which free peoples know what is or is not dangerous. Where people don’t see that if they encourage tyrannical methods the time may come when they will be used against them instead of for them.

  • bmudmai

    LGBT are a bit like a westernised version of ISIS. They are not going around killing people for not converting to their idealism, instead criminalising them all. The concept is the same, the form is what is different. *outrage alert*

    • The Explorer

      Isn’t it LGBTQ these days?

      • bmudmai

        Pretty sure I’ve seen it with about 10 letters recently. I don’t understand what the Q is added on for mind you.

        • The Explorer

          See my explanation above.

          • bmudmai

            But I thought queer was the term for LGBT?

            Or is it something else now?

            Anyway, I expect that I will be beheaded put in prison in the near future for being a bible-believing Christian and not converting so I guess understanding the Q won’t be that necessary…

          • The Explorer

            It’s okay if they choose to use it, but insulting if you choose to use it. Hence Queer Studies as a degree course, Queer Theory etc. If used in speech by a straight person, give an inverted commas sign with your fingers to show that you are quoting, rather than using the word in your own right.

            Using the n-word is outright too risky, even with inverted commas.

          • Anton

            It is extraordinary that some black footballers are saying that racial abuse can wreck their game. What do they expect to happen next time they play for club or for England in Eastern Europe after saying that? So every other verbal insult helps fire you up but this one takes away your spirit? Nonsense; man up!

          • Martin

            They could, of course, just have a ‘Q’

      • Shadrach Fire

        In the 16th century, queer originally meant strange, odd, peculiar, or eccentric.

        Strange if they think of themselves as Queer as that is a derogatory word.

  • preacher

    I believe that we should look more carefully at the motivation behind this case. It’s really not about a cake or even about the majority of homosexual people, who often don’t care about SSM.
    As in all groups, there are extremists who will attempt to gain power by fair means or foul. They welcome any chance of publicity as ‘good’ for their cause. That is why a certain group in the U.S.A claiming to be Baptists, openly use inflammatory signs to get mentioned in the press.
    Also why I.S show videos of their atrocities in an attempt to promote their ideology through fear.
    It’s obvious that some homosexual extremist groups are targeting Christians & their companies in an attempt, not to gain equality, but to further the cause of secular humanism & all it stands for.
    These groups are being encouraged by the wider cause to be the vanguard for change, & once they have accomplished this, they will be discarded as of no further use, meanwhile they are useful in creating a diversion, but leave the majority of homosexuals who quietly go about their lives, in a vulnerable situation

    Why are Christians the target ? Because we have a faith that proclaims a moral responsibility & the need for individuals to accept or reject a Deity that all will have to answer to & accept His verdict on our lives & receive the consequences, unless we repent & receive His mercy & love as shown in the gospels.
    But often we are guilty of not proclaiming the gospel as we should in a bid to be ‘user friendly’, in the hopes of filling our churches, so we fall between two stools.

    Whereas those religions that hold a stricter position are avoided – at least temporarily out of fear.

    Can good come out of this miscarriage of justice ? Yes ! If the appeal of the Ashers Bakery is upheld, & we are woken out of our sleep & lethargy to ‘GO’ & tell the gospel to friend’s, enemies & all Nations.
    Now is not the time to cower in a corner to lick our wounds & feel sorry for ourselves.

  • len

    What we are seeing( in regard to the Ashers Bakery case) is a small part in a much larger war(yes war) being waged against Christians.
    I was going to say no one has been beheaded in Europe yet but that is not true’.
    The war being waged against Christians in Europe is being played out through the Media and done very publically every programme on TV puts forward’ the Gay agenda’ constantly.The aim obviously is to put’ acceptance’ into the mind of the public by association with’ soap stars’.
    The public is being conformed to an image formed by those who are totally in opposition to the God of the Bible.
    Christians must become pro active in opposition to the being behind the desire to conform people to an image in total opposition to the creator.

    ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the
    renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what
    God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.'(Romans 12.2)

    • Martin

      len

      Take away someone’s livelihood & there is not much difference in taking away their life.

    • alternative_perspective

      I cannot imagine we are especially far away from a Sodom moment. It seems to me God acted when two or three things happened.
      1. Actions in contravention to God’s law became common sense and incorporated in to legislation
      2. When the judiciary turned a blind eye towards violence and the oppression of God’s people
      3. When the people prayed to God for help against that place.
      We are certainly through point 1 and gradually embarking on point 2. Only though once two is routine and the people are praying for deliverance will God act.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    There’s a good suggestion on Conservative Woman”, to put up a sign in the shop saying that all gay cake profits will be given to a traditional marriage charity or church.

    • Anton

      That’s good.

    • The Explorer

      There are ways of fighting back.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      There’s also the option of spitting in the cake 🙂

      • fuzon

        Let me get this right – you’re promising to poison or spit in someone’s food just because you don’t want to make a cake. And the reason you don’t want to bake a cake is because you follow Christ. Yet did not this same Christ advise that one turns the other cheek at a slap, and did he not make no resistance when taken, beaten, whipped, crowned with thorns and crucified? And you react like this at the idea of baking a cake?! Excuse my naivety but very few of you on this page sound like followers of Jesus of Nazareth at all.

        For the record, I don’t agree with the judgement here – yet most of the hysterical, abusive and completely non-loving posts here suggest that quite this is more a nest of Pharisees than Christians.

        • Politically__Incorrect

          Lighten up a bit! Even Christians crack jokes sometimes. You’ve taken it way, way too seriously

          • The Explorer

            He has a Pharisaic solemnity.

          • fuzon

            How can anyone casually reading this know it’s a joke? A lot of people here sound full of hate, loathing and fear. This is not Christian by any stretch of the imagination.
            “…every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”

            I haven’t read these comments much before. But as a representation of Christian thought and attitude, they bring shame on the faith.

          • The Explorer

            What’s your understanding of the difference between hate and loathing?

          • fuzon

            There’s no difference – my prose got a bit purple.

          • The Explorer

            Powerful cadences. And parallelism has sound biblical precedent.

          • Politically__Incorrect

            Not sure why you think there is so much hate and loathing. What I see is some anger over the ruling. Hate is more a state of mind that stems from the inability to forgive. I don’t believe that is the case here. Personally, I feel a bit sorry for the claimant that he couldn’t just move on with his life like the rest of us have to

          • The assaults on Leslie Pilkington, Ashers Bakery and others is 100% driven by hate, loathing and fear. Its a clear case of p*ssing down my back and telling me its raining.

        • avi barzel

          As a theological descendant of the Perushim/Pharisee factions I object to the gross mischarterization. No cake for you!!!

    • alternative_perspective

      All such cakes will be baked with abnormally high levels of vinegar.

      • magnolia

        and non-traceable mild emetics!

  • The Explorer

    The Muslim baker scenario has been tried in Dearbornistan, Michingan. An actor asked for a gay cake and was refused. The video evidence was offered to the American LBGTQ to enable them to take the baker to court, but no prosecution was sought.

    • Ivan M

      Why blame Muslims for the bad luck of Christians?

      • The Explorer

        Who’s blaming Muslims? Wonderful forthrightness. What’s at issue is the double standards of the LBGTQ. Or maybe the cowardice.

        • Ivan M

          This double standard that you speak of has been the norm for over a decade. During all this time it has only gotten worse. If the buggers didn’t get it then they sure as hell are not going to get it now. I confess that I too was going on about it. But I no longer see the point, as I can only see it getting worse.

          • Merchantman

            I agree there is a lawmakers assault on Christians in the UK. It started with the overturning of the Blasphemy laws. This was a capricious ruling by a senior judge.
            I am sure the individual judges are allowing their secular prejudices to push harder and harder to completely disestablish Christianity from its centuries old place in British society.
            ‘We fight not against flesh and blood but against Powers and Principalities.’
            I think if I was in the firing line tomorrow I would push back so hard they had no alternative but to jail me. St Paul set the standard with his appeal to Rome and to Caesar.
            Its come to that with this judgement and I hope I would be supported.

          • Ivan M

            I think if I was in the firing line tomorrow I would push back so hard they had no alternative but to jail me.

            Yes that is the key.

  • The Explorer

    Linus must be on his honeymoon. I can’t see otherwise how he could be missing out on a thread like this!

    • magnolia

      You don’t think he was the architect who became bound to the Prime Minister of Luxembourg do you? That was last w/e I seem to recall!

      • The Explorer

        I certainly wouldn’t rule it out. Linus said he was a nobody on this blog: implying he was a somebody in real life.

        • magnolia

          Yes, but many French who might be born in Belgium would still call themselves French. They don’t think much of Belgium. Also Linus does not actually believe he is bound by the same moral constraints, like being as truthful as possible, as Christians. He says he doesn’t have to be as nice, kind, non-hypocritical and so on as we do as he doesn’t believe. So there is bound to be more than the odd misdirection as suits him!

          I avoid him tbh, but you seem to regard him as a challenge you have become quite fond of! I could see him as Gauthier Destenay from the picture; the character is right, the expression is right, and the attitude is there. Fifty schmifty! I cannot read Linus as a 50 year old. Not sufficiently settled in himself to be that old– surely! Still needs to prove himself.

  • Jeremy Poynton

    “Isn’t it possible to be gay and opposed to the redefinition of marriage? ”

    Indeed it is; we have gay friends in our village who are adamantly opposed to single sex marriage, and feel it was foisted on us by extremists. One has to agree.

    • preacher

      Totally agree Jeremy, as I posted earlier.

    • sarky

      Are they the only gays in the village?

  • cypruspete

    I don’t really understand what the link is between the the opinions of the baker and the cakes he is making.

    I recently bought a packet of hot cross buns from my local [muslim run] corner shop. Should I take this as a sign that he is now prepared to reject the blasphemies of Mohammed and accept Jesus Christ as his personal saviour, and therfore his obvious divinity? Should I denounce him as an apostate to his local mosque?

    Or should I just take it that he is sensible enough to realise that his customer base is not stupid enough to equate the charateristics of the goods he is selling with his own personal prejudices and preferences, and that, like any sensible businessman will sell any legal goods he can turn a profit on.

    Personally I think the US solution [was it Indiana?] is the best one, where it is perfectly OK to have exemptions to manufacturing or selling goods on religious grounds, as long as you have a sign, prominently displayed, visible from outside of the shop, outlining what your exception is, to save the embarrassment of potential customers entering the shop to request goods you will not manufacture or sell.

    Don’t think it is tremendously popular with retailers though, as it seems to effect sales not only from the ‘non-target’ market, so to speak, but from lots of other people who just have a respect for basic human solidarity and dignity

  • Athanasius

    Interestingly, the logic of this decision could be applied to the situation where a Christian doctor or nurse refused to participate in an abortion.

    • Ivan M

      True. That is the price to pay when you can never defend anything from first principles, having to always make exceptions for this or that favoured few.

  • Malcolm Smith

    These comments are all correct, but I must take issue with the comment of Peter Lynas cited in the main article: “The law rightly protects people from discrimination, but …” No, it is not right. Anti-discrimination laws are, by their nature, a violation of civil rights: the right to interact with whomever you wish on your own terms. Some discrimination is wrong, some right, but the law is a blunt instrument in determining the difference. Furthermore, it should be perfectly obvious by now that many anti-discrimination laws are designed to protect immoral behaviour from social ostracism. Certainly, campaign to have exceptions made in this law, but keep your eye on the ultimate goal: all anti-discrimination laws must be revoked and the citizens set free.

  • Darach Conneely

    Let’s not fall into the trap of hypocrisy, demanding freedom for Christians while we deny freedom of conscience and action to others. From religious freedom and abolition of slavery, Christians have led in the fight for civil liberties, unfortunately other Christians have just as resolutely opposed them. I completely agree that Christians shouldn’t be forced to make statements they find abhorrent, or print them on cakes. But may Christians, though not all, have been trying to limit the freedom of gay couples, campaigning against gay marriage. In the US Christian bakers refusing to bake wedding cakes for gay couples, florists refuse to sell them flowers and photographers refusing to photograph the event. An anti-gay Christian Doctor even refused to treat a lesbian couple’s 6 day old daughter. Not so long ago the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa supported Apartheid from deeply held beliefs they based on the bible. Southern Baptists in the US opposed interracial marriage because of their interpretation of the bible. Interracial dating was forbidden in Christian colleges like the Bob Jones University, and blacks weren’t served in white only restaurants. We now recognise that as racist and very wrong. Black people have the same right as anybody else to goods and services in a shop or restaurant no matter what the religious views or bigotry of the owners or staff. If you make wedding cakes you should make them for anyone who wants to buy one, straight couples, interracial couples, and gay couples. but you shouldn’t be forced print statements you completely disagree with on one.

    • Ah, so our ‘comrade’, who doesn’t necessarily agree with Karl Marx’s analysis, just his economic ideas, now agrees with homosexual ‘marriage’, but not necessarily it’s morality, and also agrees with imposing the ‘rights’ of one small group on the majority.

      • Darach Conneely

        Yes it is terrible the way the right of blacks to freedom were imposed on white slave owners, and their right to buy a meal and sit with white folk in a restaurant were imposed on white shop owners and their otherwise white clientèle. They shouldn’t be making you print cakes advocating it gay marriage. But nobody is making you marry another guy and nobody is making you agree with gay marriage.

        Before complaining about how badly you think you are being treated, try to remember how the Christian majority treated gays in the past; James Pratt and John Smith executed in 1835; Oscar Wilde sentence to hard labour in 1895 which destroyed his health leading to his death a few years later; Alan Turing, the man whose work decrypting Nazi codes save Britain in WWII sentenced to chemical castration which led to his suicide.

        • avi barzel

          None of the injustices you list justify the desire to force a man to say, write or make something he doesn’t want to.

          • Darach Conneely

            No I’m saying when Christians want to complain about how persecuted, they should be apologizing for how badly gays were treated in the past, when the church was the moral authority in the land. At least then they would be in a better position to try to work out a fair balance of rights and responsibilities between all parties. They would certainly have more of a voice advocating for freedom of belief and speech a home, and speaking out against real persecution in the Middle East, if so many Christians in the UK and US weren’t calling so loudly for the continued marginalisation and discrimination of people they disagree with.

          • avi barzel

            The Gays were treated horribly. I’m old enough to recall. I also marched in support at one of the early Gay Parades, which were somber affairs and very tense, with cops looking for any excuse to swing the club or make an arrest. Not all churches, in fact a few outliers only, approved of the brutalities and persecution. Then, as now, they did not approve of the life style, but did not want persecution, as secular society did. You forget that all of society, including the Left, despised homosexuals.

          • Darach Conneely

            It took courage and integrity marching in the Gay Parade. Well done. Christian ministers were among the first to speak out for gay rights, but the anti gays laws, a capital offence in the US and UK and later a felony with prison sentences and hard labour went back much further than that. Jefferson even proposed castration, and that was meant as a less harsh option to hanging. Back then churches supported the law or accepted it as self evident. Compassionate Christians were busy campaigning against horrors of slavery, not the mistreatment of acts they saw as deeply immoral. After slavery the emphasis turned to women’s rights and civil rights for blacks. It was only later that the principle of human rights began to be recognised for gays. The church in the US has swung far to the right in the last few decades, with Republicans and right wing think tanks going after the votes for the moral majority. Instead of Christians being know for compassion they are now known for opposing food stamps, healthcare for the poor. They are also know for their very vocal opposition to gay marriage. The same strategy the Right came up with to oppose Obama Care, saying it goes against businessmen’s consciences (which was never an issue for Christians in any other country with universal healthcare system employers contribute towards, even strongly Catholic countries), is now being used to discriminate against gays and gay marriage by Christian bakers, photographers, florists, and even a Christian doctor refusing to treat a lesbian couple’s baby.

          • avi barzel

            It took courage to march, yes, for some, but not for me; I was in a group of Lefty uni colleagues and my Anthro prof and his teamster buddies. Plus, I was barely 20 and full of my self, so I was involnerable, immortal and smarter than anyone else. Plus, we had been sipping liquid courage.

            You speak of principles, a gradual recognition of this almost tangible thing called “human rights” and this ethereal event called recognition in mystical, religious terms and couple it to the Marxist illusion of “history” as a force, manifesting as “progress.” You do realize, I hope, that this is a transferance of Jewish and Christian messianic longings into a secular, materialistic template? The difference is that the religious bersuon openly points to a foundation whereas the secular version pretends to objectivity without evidence, morality without a source.

            Feminism didn’t errupt out of a realization…ping, hey, everyone was an immoral moron before me. There are great ideas floating all the time in all cultures and do not gain traction without the right conditions. Feminism emerged in force at a time when economic pressures from the two world wars made it practically inevitable. Then, it was easy to pick from thise ideas and present them to the intellectuals of the middle and upper classes, who seemingly can’t commit to a thing without a goodly amount of rousing bullshit on paper.

            What I argued, regarding feminism and Blacks is about an Anerican phenomenon. US Blacks in the industrialized North were over-taking poor Whites in all areas; intact, growing families, a functional culture, superb social support, an admirable and sought-after labour force and a rapidly gaining mass of capital that saw the emergence of competing businesses and enterprises and the first inroads into the professions and academia. This is the bit of history that the Left, especially the unionists and the feminists, gloss over. This is because they came out and systematically disrupted it; the unions declared the Blacks inferior wage-draggers and the women side-lined them from the growing service and clerical fields as stupid, inferior and dangerous. Look at the literarure, at the issue, at the eugenics and abortion movements and see the racism behind them. Not the fluff like the victories over the right to eat in White restaurant you can’t afford or don’t want to patronize anyway

          • Darach Conneely

            Not particularly into the Victorian ideal of progress, though increased communication travel and mixing of cultures has given us the opportunity to extend our empathy and compassion beyond the narrow confines of our local communities, or react in bigoted hate with all the advantages modern technology gives us to put that hatred into murderous practice.

            Human rights is simply the realisation that we share a common humanity and the compassion and empathy we feel towards those close to us, that innate mental ability that tell us when people we know are being treated unfairly, applies to people we don’t know too. Our human understanding of fairness and justice is an ability we share with other intelligent animals like great apes and capuchin monkeys, we are smart enough to codify it into laws, come to realise when laws are unjust to people outside our group, like laws about owning people, and codify them into concepts like Human Rights.

            Hadn’t heard about unions being anti black but I am not too surprised. For all it’s reputation as a melting pot,the US social history if full of peoples that have come in and established themselves being dead set against the next wave of immigrants. Feminism and the anti slavery movement have their roots in the reformation, and more particularly in radical Christian groups in the 17th century like the Quakers and political/religious movement like the Levellers who based their views on equality on us being one in Christ.

    • cypruspete

      So if I am the local monumental mason, and the family of a man I despised, not least for his blatant philandering, including with my wife, approached me to carve “loving and loyal husband and father” on his headstone, I should feel no compulsion, legal, moral, or even out of a feeling of simple human decency, to comply with that request? Whatever happened to “Thou shalt not commit adultery”, I might reasonably ask.

      Should I refuse the business out of hand, telling the woman “your husband was not a loving and loyal husband and father, I do not want your business on that basis” or tell her she could have a stone as long as it didn’t contain the offending text. Should I decline to carve any headstones for Jewish cemeteries on the basis that the ‘customer’ is implicitly denying the divinity of Christ [which, as a Christian I should presumably be more offended by that the simple contradiction of a couple of lines in Leviticus]?

      Which decision would square me better with the same sort of moral courage and zeal for religious freedom demonstrated by a Belfast Baker?

      • Darach Conneely

        I am pretty sure headstone carvers are well used to carving lies on tombstones, just as ministers at funerals are used to telling them. Probably a more familiar example is barristers and lawyers having to defend axe-murderers and rapists. If you can handle the principle that even scumbags have a right to representation in court, you need to find another area of law. However bakers haven’t traditionally been in the publishing business to ponder people’s freedom of expression vs what they disagree with. American bakers who refuse to make wedding cakes for gay couples are in the cake making business and never had a problem making cakes for remarried divorcees, even if they fervently believe divorce and remarriage was wrong.

        • avi barzel

          Bakers are not lawyers and even lawyers other than those engaged by the state can refuse a case without explanation. Whether a baker is ok with remarriage but not with gay unions is not is not the point; it’s his business how he organizes his ethics and thinking. And the issue is not about making a cake and not selling it to a gay person, the issue is about not writing something for whatever reason. A bakery is a private business, craftsman is a free individual, not a state-directed serf.

          • Darach Conneely

            So you are saying it is alright for for the state to discriminate against Christian lawyers?

          • avi barzel

            ??? How is assigning a salaried lawyer to represent a legal aid case discrimination?

          • Darach Conneely

            You think lawyers never wrestled with their conscience over who they represent?

          • avi barzel

            So? At $300 per hour, I’ll also wrestle with my conscience all day, if you want.

          • Darach Conneely

            So, could a lawyer decide he can’t go against his conscience and defend a particularly heinous murderer?

    • Ivan M

      What rubbish are you talking about? The issue here is of a Christian baker being forced against his will to do something that he finds abhorrent. If you don’t like it go somewhere else or make your own cake. No one is forcing the faggot to patronise the baker, and making cakes is neither an absolute necessity for life nor rocket science. Any fool should be able to make a passable one. The principle is that of individual liberty. I may be a complete bastard, but that still gives you no right to my labour.

      • Darach Conneely

        So you agree with segregation and Apartheid? The blacks had no right to eat in a white restaurant, they can go cook their own food?

        • avi barzel

          The key element behind segregation and apartheid, the one that made them evil is the same one which makes the cake judgement evil: compulsion. Segregatiin and apartheid were institutionalized and enforced by authorities as now, apparently cake writing will be as well. Without compulsion, both segregation and apartheid would have withered considerably, as they did in most parts of the world for practical, religious and ethical reasons. Both segregation and its seeming counterpart, enforced integration, violate the right of free assembly. We can continue making exception after exception to our rights until we come to a point where the only right we are left with is to live and obey.

          • avi barzel

            And before Ivan…who is a hot-head, a non-white one at that, if it matters…says anything hotheaded, I’ll interject and say that he would likely say that anyone has a right to eat in any restaurant that would have him. That a restaurant which bars people of colour, Jews, women or seeing eye dogs may be run by a dispicable cracker trash moron, but it’s his domain, not a public venue.

          • Ivan M

            Well you got me down to a tee, Avi.

          • avi barzel

            We’ve been around the block a few times, you and I.

          • Ivan M

            I hope you don’t mind me telling you, that I completely agree with this post of yours.

          • avi barzel

            Likewise. A rare event.

          • Darach Conneely

            Segregation and apartheid were preached by white churches supported by the white population and in the US enforced by white lynch mobs. Racism was as alive and well in 1960’s Alabama as it was at the end of the Civil War, with no signs of withering. It took the Federal Government stepping to enforce Civil Rights laws to end segregation. Minorities need to be protected against bigoted laws, bigoted communities and bigoted businesses trying to excluding them and discriminate against them. What you see as exception after exception is new areas of discrimination being identified and trying to dealt with them. What we need is a fair balance. Bakers shouldn’t be forced print messages they completely disagree with on cakes, but gay couples should have the right as anybody else to buy a wedding cake in a shop that sells them.

          • avi barzel

            Segragation and apartheid were also opposed and dismantled by White churches and nations. The issue was deeper than skin colour; it was economic, cultural and political, involving competing interests. What the White, “anti-racist” liberal has done to the Blacks in the US will one day be counted as a continuation of slavery. Through protectionist criminal mobs listed as unions unions and the White women’s emancipation movement, backed by taxpayer-funded armies of social workers, educators and activists, they turned an economically prospering, industrious, stable, religious, family-centred people with a rich culture and traditions into a dysfunctional, broken culrure of ignorance and violence within a single generation.

            Anyhow, no one is stopping anyone from buying cake; the issue is about the state forcing private business people to comply with political demands. There is neither shortage of cakes nor bakers who will write anything on them for a nominal fee.

          • Darach Conneely

            Pretty sure if anything is seen as a continuation of slavery it will be the american prison system, not just the 2nd highest incarceration rate in the world and vastly bigger than any prison system in the developed world, but disproportionately black and run for profit. They may see voter suppression as a continuation of the fight against civil rights, although that may be more opportunistic than racist, it shows a gross disregard for black people’s right to vote.

          • avi barzel

            You are veering off-topic. But alright. Black incarceration rate mirrors Black crime rates. In over 90 percent of cases, Black crime victimizes other Blacks. That being said, the US prison system is an insanity in need to of major reform. Won’t affect the crime rate either way, though. But it’s still not “slavery;” more like systemic corruption.

          • Darach Conneely

            You veered off topic with the claim of unions and women getting the vote were somehow a modern continuation of slavery. However American police target blacks and black communities for drug searches and drugs used by black have much higher mandatory sentences. (Perhaps ‘target’ is the wrong word when so many blacks, adults and children are being shot and killed by American police too.) Blacks are also more likely to be found guilty in court and when found guilty to be jailed. You systemic corruption is also systemically racist. Of course that isn’t even scratching at the surface of the underlying problem of poverty and hopelessness that are at the root of much of the crime and drug addiction.

          • avi barzel

            I veered off to your off-veer to make a salient point, seeing that you know doodly-doo-squat about the history of slavery in the US and the ante-bellum dynamics or current conditions.

            Your …American police target blacks and black communities for drug searches and drugs used by black have much higher mandatory sentences is a prime example. Black communities, especially those governed by Democrats and Black mayors and activists, are are overrun by criminal gangs whose primary victims are ordinary, poor, struggling and lower middle class Blacks, unable to get out of the ghetto cesspools and the dysfunctional “gangsta” culture supported by privileged and wealthy “community leaders”, one who even made it to the Whiter House. When the police gets tired of the blame game, and the rapes, robberies and shootings go up again, they get blamed for ignoring the community due to racism. It’s a cycle.

            That’s what I was getting at before: Look at the historic feminist movement, the powerful unions and the Democratic state and federal level bureaucracies which sidelined the emergence of succeflul Black communities in the North and even in the South, and kept them out of the garment sector, construction, low-end administrative and emerging “pink collar” service sectors. Instead, they marched-wippee!!!– for the Blacks and sat-in for some photo-ops in a few Whites-only restaurants in the deep South.

            As another “favour” the the Democrats and the idiotic Left build ghettos for them, with “free” housing, disrupted the most stable and traditionalalist families in the US with welfare schemes favouring only single mothers, brought back illiteracy and cultural stupidity by not teaching teach properly and pushing “Ebonics” and ghetto gang culture to make Blacks utterly unemployable except as rioters and compliance enforcers for politicians and the “Black leadership” at the rate of about $50 per day (medical coverage and legal fee insurance not included). So, this is where you are: You blame cops and judges in usually predominantly Black police departments and in cities and districts with Democrat and Black mayors as being racists and think that the worst sign of racism is a “Whites Only” plaque, but you don’t notice that education, welfare and labour policies which have systematically destroyed Blacks are in the hands of the liberal Left, the do-gooder, social justice warrior Whites?

          • Darach Conneely

            You are not actually dealing with the points I made just repeating and emphasising your own points

        • Ivan M

          I have never understood this sadness of not being able to eat in a white restaurant. Where is their sense of self-respect? I can easily pass as a black man in the US. I’ve been discriminated against many times in eating places, where I was served last, where the help ignored me, but then I make it a point to never ever visit those places again. And yes I am alright with apartheid, so long as it is not used a cover for exploitation of other races. They don’t like me, what can I do about it.

          • Darach Conneely

            Glad you have the self confident to deal with the insults and abuse. Others shouldn’t have to.

          • Ivan M

            They would not need to tolerate insults and abuses if they do not patronise those places. Go to other places, it is that simple. That is my point about necessity in case you missed it. If it for something as basic as some spuds during the Irish Famine, or a cup of sugar during the wartime rationing, that a homosexual or chinaman is refused service, I would be the first to protest. But that is not case here. Capitalism has ensured that there are countless other places to choose from.

            Fellows such as yourself have been using this non-discriminatory imperative to push through all manner of unpleasantness that I am afraid, your last sentence has no force on me. We are tired of your deceptions to the point of indifference.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Darach, I believe you are making a mistake by comparing the gay rights movement to the American civil rights movement in the 60s. The latter, quite rightly, wanted black people to be treated in the same way, by the same rules, as everyone else. That is not what gay activists are doing. The LGBT movement seeks nothing less than a revolution in the way we all think about gender and sexuality. They don’t want to be treated fairly by the rules; they wan to change the rules. Thus we have primary school children being taught that things like gay marriage are completely normal. To challenge any of this is punishable in the manner we have just seen. They are not seeking an even playing field, they are seeking dominance

      • Darach Conneely

        They are seeking the the same right to marry the person they love as you and I have. The reason you think civil rights in the 60s is a bad comparison is because you agree with civil rights but think homosexuality is unbiblical, but many Christians in the south opposed civil rights and integration because they thought that was unbiblical. But in a society that respects religious freedom, your interpretation of the bible should not be the basis for law for non Christian gays, or gays who are Christian but disagree with your interpretation. Our school already teach respect and understanding of non-Christian religions, not sure that respecting other sexualities is that different.

        Of course some gays and gay organisations respond in anger and hatred to traditional Christianity after the way they have been treated through the centuries The way they are still being treated. Gay marriage is still not legal in NI thanks to the strong Christian traditions there, traditions not historically noted for their gentleness and tolerance.

    • >>>An anti-gay Christian Doctor even refused to treat a lesbian couple’s 6 day old daughter.<<<

      Can you provide evidence for this very grave accusation Darach?

    • avi barzel

      Campaigning against “gay marriage” as you call it, Mr Conneely, is not an unjust discrimination against gay couple. They can “marry” in thousands of liberal establishments and sign boiler plate legal forms which would provide the partners with inheritance rights and such. They have successfully made ther case to the public and inatitutions stand by to serve them. That is fine.

      The fight is over such a union being recognized by the state and woven into our laws in a way which *compels* individuals and private concerns to accept such unions on equal footing with traditional, real marriage, which isn’t just a union for purposes of love or monogamous sex, but has always been about having natural children in a stable arrangement who would form a blood bond and a bridge between families. That has been, and still is in most parts of the world, the definition and meaning of marriage.

      This definition discriminates. In the West it insists on a partnership of two, a male and a female of what is deemed commonly as the age of consent. We discriminate against many groups when it comes to marriage; the underaged, unions between people and objects or animals and in the West, between more than two individuals. No doubt there is an equal or even greater number than gay couples who feel discriminated against. All have, in our liberal societies the right to promote their preference…including those who stand for traditional marriage…and only in the case of traditionalists, it seems, are the comvined forces of political pressure, offensive ridicule and the law applied.

      • Darach Conneely

        If you are talking about civil partnerships then the fact you put “marry” in inverted commas shows its second class status. I can understand churches and synagogues that disagree with gay marriage, who think it is a contradiction in terms, refusing to have anything to do with marrying a gay couples. They don’t have to and shouldn’t ever have to. But I don’t understand why they should have the right to force their views on churches and synagogues that do agree with gay marriage and want to be able to marry gay couples in their congregations, or those who come to them and ask. Why should some churches be able to force their definition of marriage on a secular state? Marriage was a legal institution long before the church took it over.

        Not sure adult gay people would appreciate being compared with children or animals, however if you think marriage is always about having children does that mean older couples shouldn’t marry? What about men who have had the snip, or couples who decide they don’t want to bring more kids into an already overcrowded world?

        • avi barzel

          I put “marry” in comas because I don’t recognize same sex unions as marriages. Words have to have meaning and appropriation of words does not have to be accepted by popular vote.
          I wasn’t comparing Gays to children and animals; I was listing examples of prohibited marriages. No, marriage is not always about children. Childlessness does not automatically end a marriage, although in some traditional religions, it is a legitimate cause for annulment or divorce. Different economies, different times, different priorities. The point is that marriage is a fragile social, political and personal institution. I am tolerant to creative arrangements people come up with, but I don’t have to accept that they equal marriage in kind or value.

          • Darach Conneely

            So marriage changes over the centuries with different economies, different times, different social structures? That sound like an argument for gay marriage and the ability and right of a society to change their definition of marriage. The big difference between gays and children or animals… (why does such a phrase even need to be used?) is that gays are mature adults capable of giving their consent to the commitment of marriage.

            I grew up in Ireland where there was no divorce and was able to vote in a referendum to legalise it. But introducing divorce changed my marriage much more drastically than the introduction of gay marriage. Even with gay marriage legal, I am still a man married to a beautiful women. Introducing divorce changed my marriage from being for life to a being legally pro-tem. But I thought it was much more important that people who needed to divorce should have the right to do so and that divorcees should be free to remarry. After all, while God he hates divorce Mal 2:16, it was allowed by Moses in the Torah Deut 24:3. Interestingly, for those who claim marriage as a religious institution rather than a secular one, what this is allowing is for the Israelites to continue the Egyptian practice of writing legal certificates to get a divorce. The bible itself recognising and adopting a secular, even pagan, marriage practice.

          • avi barzel

            So marriage changes over the centuries with different economies, different times, different social structures? That sound like an argument for gay marriage and the ability of culture to change their definition of marriage.

            This is what guides your ethics and preferences, the fact that things change? There is a better argument for polygamy…it has an actual history and practical sides and the current abuses can be pinned more on Muslim culture than the institution itself. So, why do SSM marriage types fixate on the Christian rule of 2 partners? And with the age of consent shifting from 8, that’s right, 8 in the West to 16, 18, 21…and possibly higher, because university girls (I use the word advisably for mental children) can’t seem to keep their legs crossed when drunk. What is your guide? Whatever the “social justice” crowds recommends? Note how the same activists who brought us “equal marriage” are preparing arguments for lowering the age of consent to 19th century levels. Are you ready for the next “evolution” of your mores?

            In listing different prohibited unions I wasn’t making moral comparisons, just showing that societies limit who can marry. What we have here is a cultural battle; those who think SSM is cool or even human right and those who believe that a millennia-old institution should not be turfed, and aggressively promoted because it became fashionable barely a decade ago. It can be fought fairly. The anti-side got walloped for the time being, but need not “admit defeat.” It’s a battle you don’t want to fight fairly by refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of the opposition, preferring the cheap activists’ way of accusing dissenters of the most horrid PC crimes in fashion.

            Re Moses; With the Torah, God gave humankind the right to make decisions. Moses and sages who followed after made rare, lengthy, deeply debated and heavily procedural decisions to modify certain commandments. This is how classical Judaism makes changes (very, very conservatively) and how divorce, for example, can gain permission for Jews. I cannot comment on your religious interpretations or lack there of, as I don’t follow them, and if you feel that anyone, including the local youth pastor, the wild-eyed social justice warrior, the Prime Minister and the whole Cabinet, Auntie Nelly and every Tom, Dick and Harry in the soup kitchens are entitled to make modifications, so be it. But don’t attempt to force me to accept them or expect that I won’t put up a damn good fight.

          • Darach Conneely

            My point about definition of marriage changing shows that the argument from tradition simply doesn’t hold. Each culture comes up with what they understand as best, the fairest idea of marriage. I agree you are free to have your own ideas of what marriage should be. What I don’t agree with is expecting a secular society to force those ideas on other people who don’t share your religious views. Secular society may continue to ban child marriage because it exploits vulnerable children we should be protecting. Polygamy will probably also continue to be banned because it is seen as exploitative. But that is very different from two adults entering into a mutual commitment with each other? There is a reason society has shifted far away from religion being able to force its views and practices on non believers. It is because when religions have done, they have made such an ugly and immoral mess of it. Just look at in the Inquisition. If we are to have a voice for our understanding of morality in modern society, we need to come up with better arguments than tradition.

          • avi barzel

            Sorry, back in 4 days…sabbath and 2 days of shavuot. Have a good weekend

          • Darach Conneely

            Chag Sameach

  • IrishNeanderthal

    Two hot-off-the-press articles from The Federalist:

    LGBT Activists Arm For Further War On Free Speech http://thefederalist.com/2015/05/20/lgbt-activists-arm-for-further-war-on-free-speech/

    Can We Have Religious Liberty In Modern America? http://thefederalist.com/2015/05/20/can-we-have-religious-liberty-in-modern-america/

  • magnolia

    And who spoke these words:

    “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: “as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.” ?

    • Darach Conneely
      • magnolia

        Love your link! Thanks for the laugh. At least it has gone viral and any dictatorial impulse is being carefully watched.

    • The same Munchkin who bombed Libya and forced SSSSM through.

  • The DUP won’t take this lying down, nor will the essentially religious conservatives of Northern Ireland. The homosexualists and those who promote their cause may have overstepped the mark. When it comes to a fight, the politicians in Northern Ireland do not do “surrender”.

  • This issue goes beyond that of religious freedom. It is all about Britain’s rejection of the Christian revelation. The fundamental point is that the word of God declares homosexuality to be sinful and that our society is openly rejecting this as an aspect of its more general rejection of the faith of Christ.

    The redefinition of marriage and promotion of the gay agenda were always more than just a single issue, but are rather symptomatic of a general Godlessness, as Romans 1:21 makes clear.

    Furthermore, leading politicians who promote ssm and the gay agenda must stop saying that they are also supportive of Britain’s Christian identity. There is no embracing Christ whilst at the same time rejecting flatly His holy commandments.

    Laws protecting the freedom of Bible-believing Christians would be useful, but the ultimate solution is national repentance and for the Government to stop legislating in a manner which is disdainful of the Queen’s coronation oath to uphold the teachings of Scripture.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Peter, your last paragraph is a particularly important point. I have no wish to see the kind of legal ghetto where Christians have to be protected by laws specific to them. This would result in an even more fractured society. A truly liberal society would allow people to chose their actions based on their conscience without fear of repercussions. A freedom of conscience law would be better than the kind of gender tyranny we are seeing now. Better still, as you said, is a return to a society that does not embrace the so-called sexual revolution

    • sarky

      Never gonna happen. Lets be honest you are now in a small powerless minority. You can huff and puff all you want but you are going to change nothing.

      • Dear Sarky, In courteous response, the preaching of the gospel has the power to transform a nation. Christianity was at a very low ebb in the early 18th century, with a general unbelief pervading society, corruption in high places and mass addiction to gin, but by God’s grace the early Methodist preachers went into the highways and byways preaching repentance from sin and faith in Christ, and many ordinary folk were genuinely converted. This preaching also saved the nation from the horrors of a French-style social revolution.

        • sarky

          Times have changed. You have too much to compete with now. You’re message is no longer wanted or relevent and is lost amongst all the background noise.

          • Politely, human nature is just the same. The mob often attacked the Methodist preachers, but they persevered. If human beings are still sinners, then the gospel is still relevant. The present generation is not more enlightened and not more sophisticated than those who went before. In courteous discussion.

          • sarky

            So where are your great preachers? You are not going to change anything hiding behind closed doors, preaching to dwindling congregations.

          • Not claiming to be great, but I am preaching in the local high street today. A glorious opportunity for souls to be eternally saved.

          • sarky

            Except that people just walk on by!

          • On the contrary, my friend, just returned from debating and reasoning from the Scriptures with considerable numbers who stopped in the high street to listen. Even those who do walk by hear a sentence of gospel truth and read the Bible texts on display. Helpers with me also had good conversations and handed out Gospel literature. We now pray that the Lord will continue to work in the hearers’ hearts to bring conviction of sin.

          • sarky

            But how many are now christians and attend church regularly?

          • CliveM

            It only happened a couple of hours ago, give it a chance!

          • sarky

            I doubt this is the first time he has done it 🙂

          • How many were there when the Lord Jesus Christ sent out the Twelve?

          • sarky

            Nice dodge.

          • avi barzel

            Brave words until this precedent compels you to take the pen, keyboard or cake icing tube and express something abhorrent to you. Then it’ll be, “off to the barricades boys, they’re enslaving us !!!”

          • sarky

            Like what?? You have to remember that what these bakers found abhorrent is not even an issue to the majority.
            We all have to do things during the course of our working lives that we don’t necessarily agree with, but we just have to get on with it. Would making that cake have made them any less christian? Would god have pulled them up on it on judgement day? Or do you think god has a bit more to worry about than a gay cake?

          • avi barzel

            Ah, and there you have it, Sarky. Folks like Reverend Simpson will take the jeers, the fines, the broken windows, the jail sentences if need be and in time this “background noise” will rattle the pillars of your brave new world. It’s what brings every tyranny down, eventually. Are you sure the right to compel someone to write something is worth it? And does it feel odd to be on the side of tyrannies, to force struggling bakers of all people, to sit down and write things they don’t want to? Because when you drop all that barely understood human rights bullshit and the flag-waving, you might as well take a whip and thrash a guy until he scribbles and mewls anything you demand of him.

          • sarky

            Bit dramatic Avi!! We’re not talking about the end of the world. It’s just ensuring business people treat everyone fairly and respectfully.

          • avi barzel

            Well, perhaps a tad, Sarky, but it’s never the big lofty issues that bite us in the proverbial and temporal arse, but what the big people insist are the silly little things. And afterwords, on the way to the gallows or in exile in some dunghole of the old Mundis, they shake their heads and mutter, “Never saw this coming!” Bwahahaha!

          • sarky

            Sorry, but not really into these conspiracy theories about the destruction of society by stealth.

          • avi barzel

            What conspiracy theories? The current bureaucracies are too stupid to formulate a conspiracy and too incompetent to make ot work. Groups look after their interests, events, the economy and technology change the playing field and actions have consequences which are far-reaching and not readily obvious, especially to the under-educated and over-politicised. We’d be much better off with actual conspiracies, because they usually fail thanks to stupidity and incompetence.

            It’s the same-old; for all the claims to realism and materialism, you seculars are the first ones to get bamboozled by big claims and dazzling appearances, never looking at the foundations and material consequences of structures and policies. As you slide obliviously into Paganism with each successive generation…jungle drums, body “art” and bones through the nose included…you acquire more and more socially and economically destructive beliefs and behaviours, and dysfunctional, dead-end hierarchies. Would be a bloody disaster for the world if it weren’t for your negative birth rates.

          • sarky

            What’s wrong with body art and piercings? I have quite a few of my own!
            P.s. I have contributed nicely to the next little generation of secularists.

          • avi barzel

            Nothing’s with piercings for you. They just an indicator of culture shifts.
            PS Blessings. Your contributions are always welcome. Gaia will send you a voucher for extra carbon credits.

          • sarky

            Lol 😉

  • carl jacobs

    Stop. Think. Breathe.

    You have to explain the spiritual content of baking a cake, and you have to do it from first principles. You can’t just arbitrarily assert religious conscience. You have to explain why this particular act violates your religious conscience. And then you must to explain why this particular cake violates conscience when other cakes wouldn’t. If you can bake a cake for any given non-Christian celebration, then you testify that this cake was refused for reasons other than religious conscience.

    There must be a boundary between the presuppositions we bring into the public square and the actions we may take on them. Unless you want to give proprietors the right to refuse any business for any reason, you are conceding this point. What has happened is that civil society has rejected the Christian faith as a guide for determining those boundaries. And we don’t like it much. That’s understandable. But that in itself is not a basis for a claim of religious conscience. It means only that we reject the fact the civil society has normalized homosexuality, and we would prefer to keep on living as if that hadn’t happened. Again this is understandable. But having that fact rubbed in our face is not a violation of religious conscience.

    There are more worrying cases on the horizon that actually do involve spiritual content – like a doctor being coerced to perform an abortion. That is a hill worth dying on. You can actually justify that claim. But making a cake? How does that involve participation? What spiritual compromise are you being asked to make? And remember. Once you answer, I am going to ask you why that answer doesn’t apply to Jewish cakes, and Hindu cakes and Mormon cakes. And your answer cannot be “Because gay marriage both wrong and disgusting, whereas the others are just wrong.”

    • Merchantman

      Carl
      I am thinking that the Gay Cake is similar to refusing to eat pork if I was Jewish. Next we will have people forcing Jewish and Muslim restaurants to sell Bacon Sarnies.
      Maybe the law should be changed to allow food handling to be excluded from the equality laws if it goes against one faith. Christians could refuse on the grounds it was food prepared for sacrifice to an alien god- the anti-god of gayness or secularism which is at variance with our basic tenets.

      • carl jacobs

        A Jewish man considers consumption of pork to be wrong. What is wrong with writing “Congrats Bob and Bill” on a cake?

    • “Unless you want to give proprietors the right to refuse any business for any reason, you are conceding this point”

      Why shouldn’t any private business be at liberty to choose who they do and do not do business with? Why should anyone be coerced by the state into making a contract with someone else.

      There are indeed more worrying cases on the horizon – which is why it’s important that we fight these battles now. Not so very long ago the sanctity of marriage would have been considered a major battle worth fighting for. We stepped aside about no-fault divorce … there were bigger battles to fight. We rolled over about civil partnerships – there were more important issues coming. Are you suggesting we now wave the white flag about gay marriage because we need to gird ourselves for the next issue?

      • carl jacobs

        It is within the legitimate authority of the state to enact laws prohibiting discrimination. You can advocate for a change, but you can’t day the state is wrong to enforce the general principle.

        You are right we need to fight now. But we need to fight wisely. How is it wise to claim religious conscience to a court when the claim can’t be justified to me? I’m a natural ally.

        • avi barzel

          Not to be in your face about this stuff at every step, but Rebel Saint has a point. Yes, the state is right in ending discrimination on many fronts but…and this is a libertarian quirk of mine…erred in dragging private business into the public arena. Had business retained personhood rights, we wouldn’t be having this argument. Yes, any proprietor would be able to bar Jews, Christians, atheists, people with glasses or people without glasses, but the state would guarantee discrimination free services in the public area and the marketplace would adjust itself with businesses offering to take trade from those who are discriminated against.

          • carl jacobs

            Avi

            Not to be in your face about this stuff at every step…

            Don’t worry about it. I don’t expect to win a popularity contest on this subject. 😉

          • avi barzel

            That’s generous. Mind you, you seem to be harvesting up votes like my wife does Airmiles. What will you do with them all? Trade them in for tickets to the Yankees?

          • carl jacobs

            The Yankees? The YANKEES!? Did you just imply that I have some unholy and utterly reprehensible allegiance to the NY Yankees? What kind of contemptible fiend do you think I am? I have a conscience, thanks.

            The St Louis Cardinals.

          • avi barzel

            I don’t know what I was thinking, how callous of me. The Cardinals it is then. Are you an inhabitant of the Plains, the fly-over country ?

          • carl jacobs

            Born and bred.

            With seven years exile in California.

          • avi barzel

            Hahahaha! You wound up in the Dems’ enclave! Went to San Francisco? Weave flowers in your hair? Sipping latte with stars in Hollywood? I hope you are getting well paid for that and the courses in Spanish.

          • carl jacobs

            San Bernardino. You have no idea how bad California is. I ended up there for the sake of my marriage. Long story short. My wife was stationed there when I got out of the Air Force.

            The Apostle Nathaniel, when told that Jesus was from Nazareth, responded “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” I did not understand that verse until I lived in California.

          • avi barzel

            Right in the Valley. My condolences. Good thing I met my wife after her service, otherwise I’d have had to live in Esquimalt and I cannot stand the West Coast, to everyone’ shock and disbelief. Toronto is my hood, rural Ontario and our North my earthly Paradise.

          • carl jacobs

            Avi & Rebel Saint

            I haven’t expressed an opinion about whether it would be good or bad for the gov’t to prevent businesses from discriminating. What I have said is that it is within the lawful scope of a gov’ts authority to do exactly that. This isn’t a moral issue, and so I have no Scriptural standing to disobey the law for the sake of conscience.

            This basically is the question I keep asking. What is the immoral action that the baker’s were compelled to perform? There must be a coerced immoral action for there to be a claim of conscience. Making a cake with a slogan on it is not an immoral action. I may not want to do it, but I have no moral standing to disobey the law. You can change my mind by showing me how the baker’s conscience was coerced.

            But making a cake with a slogan on it does not suffice.

          • avi barzel

            Well, you confined the parameters to the question of whether the baker is being asked to perform an immoral act or not, a violation of his faith and conscience. I argued that religion need not play a role and conceded that there may not be a basis for a conscience claim. I based my position on the argument that a compulsion to utter or create a statement is a violation of a person’s freedom or integrity *regardless* of what the statement is.

            Not that the moral defense rests on this, but in this case the baker can argue that he is compelled to declare a lie, an illusion, as two men can never change the definition of marriage and proclaim to be married. The whole thing reminds me of the Emperor has no Clothes tale, where the populace was forced to admire their naked emperor’s imaginary clothes after his tailors managed to convince him that they made a set for him and he went along with it because he came to doubt his own eyes and judgment.

          • carl jacobs

            Well, you confined the parameters to the question of whether the baker is being asked to perform an immoral act or not, a violation of his faith and conscience.

            Because that’s what I would need in order to defy the law. If I decided I had to violate the law for conscience, then I would have to accept the civil penalties. The question that you raise is a legitimate question for debate, but it does not provide standing to me for disobedience.

        • And yet here I am saying the state is wrong to enforce the general principle. Freedom of association (or dissociation) is as fundamental as any other of our basic liberties. The supplier should be free to choose to supply, just as much as the consumer chooses to consume. And the state can stay out of it.

          You are a natural ally, and yet you can’t see that Christian’s being coerced – however tacitly – in undermining the sanctity of marriage is a rather large stride down the road to secular tyranny.

    • This particular cake was promoting a grave moral evil in the public square because it carried a political message. Would you agree to put a slogan on a cake reading: “Support abortion on demand – it’s only a collection of cells, not a person” if a nation was preparing to vote on this?

      Whilst Jack agrees morally the bakers would be not materially participating in or facilitating evil by putting the slogan on the cake, a person has an unqualified right to exercise their conscience when using their creative skills, especially over contentious issues they consider intrinsically evil.

      • carl jacobs

        Fair enough, Jack. None of that requires a claim of religious conscience. Fight on those terms. Don’t squander valuable moral capital on claims of conscience that can’t be rationally defended.

        • But this was the defence of the Ashers – and it was dismissed as a valid defence because the person asking for the cake was a homosexual. If they had refused a cake with a non-contentious slogan to a person because they were homosexual, not only would this be legal discrimination, it would also be immoral.

          Would you say a person has a right to refuse to decorate a cake ‘celebrating’ a homosexual ‘marriage’ where it is legal? Whilst technically it is not manifestly facilitating evil, and so there is no moral imperative to refuse, another person may disagree. In those circumstances, shouldn’t they be able to exercise their conscience when using their creative skills?

    • avi barzel

      Stop. Think. Breathe….indeed.

      You can’t just arbitrarily assert religious conscience. You have to explain why this particular act violates your religious conscience.

      No you don’t. The argument need not be framed as an issue of religious conscience but personal preferences or objections. The baker is not refusing to bake or sell a cake. He is refusing to personally, or under the auspices of his business, to express (writing) or create (decoration) positions or symbols offensive to him.

      There are more worrying cases on the horizon that actually do involve spiritual content – like a doctor being coerced to perform an abortion. That is a hill worth dying on.

      Are you actually saying that a baker, an artist, a publisher, a broadcaster has to be willing to create or provide a platform for every and any expression? Should a daily newspaper, or your church newsletter, have to accept ads from other religions’ missionaries, from the sex toy industry, harangues by neo-Nazis, declarations by ISIS supporters?

      Methinks you have entirely missed the point or magnitude of this cake battle. The object or at least the predictable trajectory of this is not to make Christian bakers suffer, but to establish a body of precedents which will erase freedom of conscience and impose directives in far more important areas such as publishing and other forms of expression. Neither is it only about SSM; it’s about using the state and its new legal interpretations to impose expression on anyone by anyone. Once this occurs, it’s clear that the judiciary will use its growing powers to make decisions on the basis of what is popular or preferred by the state which signs their salary cheques.So, probably a Jewish baker will not be compelled to squeeze a swastika or an image off Hitler on a cake, but may be ordered to make a PLO or Hamas flag; a religious portrait painter may not be compelled to paint his female client in the nude, but may not refuse the job if the same client dresses immodestly; and maybe a publisher will not be forced to publish straight porn which the judge finds demeaning to women, but may have to say yes to Gay porn in concession to current political fads. And certainly, as things are now, a Christian baker may not refuse an SSM cake, but a visible minority Muslim one may not see a similar challenge go to trial and a Gay baker is unlikely to be compelled to create the logo of a traditionalist pro-family group. It’s all arbitrary.

      The way out of this conundrum is not to play sillybuggers with activist, or stupid, politizised, corrupt or pliable judges, but to instill, through the elected legislative branch, protective legislation which clarify freedom of conscience and limit cynical “lawfare” strategies and biased judges. Your state of Indiana has already moved proactively and introduced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It’s a start, but it should not be limited to religion only.

      I think the above points answer your closing question. Yes, a Christian should be able to refuse to decorate a Bar Mitzva cake, an Orthodox Jew must be able to decline a Reform client who wants a cake with a girl wearing a miniskirt while holding a Torah scroll, a Leftist “palestinianist,” or a relative of a British Palestine Mandate policeman can say “no” to my desire for a cake with the L.E.H.I. or Irgun logo. And the only way to establish such freedoms is not to tinker with the various acts but, as I said before, by hammering out sound human rights legislation which protects personal rights of expression.

      • Hi avi

        I agree wirh what you are arguing here .Alas this isn’t how the debate is being framed. Carl does have a point that these cases, often supported by the Christian institute, are often defended as if nothing has happened and that Britain is automatically a Christian nation and with the worldviews of yesteryear, with outrage from the ‘rump’ devout when this doesn’t happen .

        Besides which I have a sneaking feeling that a lot of Christians (certainly here ) aren’t interested in letting everyone have their say or making the world one in which we all have freedom of conscience , but rather that they want things to be as they were when their moral outlook was the dominate one : that mixed with the icky disgust with the actual act of gay sex, which seems to go beyond religious adherence.

        Plus Christians however devout have overlooked a multitude of other sins, such as sex outside of marriage and divorce and people don’t like hypocrisy so it’s a self inflicting wound. So that’s why the public who at 60% still identify themselves as Christian don’t seem to care and why there isn’t a lot of traction among the wider public against these cases.

        That’s how it is being played out : the old power being replaced by a new ideology (whatever it is as you say it’s an arbitrary one ), with most not caring .

        • avi barzel

          Perhaps, Miss Hannah, but the point isn’t how Christians here or elsewhere feel, or how the public or the courts decided to frame it, but on the facts and implications. It’s about whether anyone including a Gay Jewish baker, should be compelled to inscribe something that he objects to. Period. Where personal performance involving expression is concerned, a court shouldn’t have the leeway to decide on whether the baker is theologically incorrect or may be a religious hypocrite.
          This issue goes to the heart of freedom of expression and the notion that my personal liberties stop at the point of our noses. Freedom of expression and personal liberty are not served by suspending rights of expression and liberty with situational exceptions. It would be kind of like trying to levitate by pulling hard on the chair you’re sitting on.

          • Hi avi

            I’m definitely a liberal in that regard and would agree. In the meantime , I’m guessing that one way out would be to bake a cake “plain” and get someone else to put whatever slogans they want on it. I actually think a ” traditional” wedding cake, for example, is just icing, fruit and brandy, stacked up on each other with no lettering or wording. I can’t stand icing anyways, but curabies (a Sephardic cookie) are cool!

            Interestingly I didn’t realise this, but the swastika is also an old Hindu symbol. I wonder what the courts would say if a Hindu wanted can swastika covered cake supplied by a Jewish baker?

          • avi barzel

            Well, yes, that’s the trouble with compelling people write or express things for you. The Jewish bakers I know wouldn’t care if the swastika goes this way or that way, is an ancient and peaceful Hindu symbol or the medieval heraldic fylfot and would tell the guy to take a hike. No judge should have the authority to muck around in such waters.
            I was thinking along the same lines as in your first paragraph. That the few bakers who feel strongly about the issue can advertise that they don’t do decorating of any kind. But the publishers can’t say “we’ll give you a handsomely bound, but perfectly blank book” and so on, so that solution is only one of expediency.

          • carl jacobs

            Avi

            It’s about whether anyone including a Gay Jewish baker, should be compelled to inscribe something that he objects to. Period.

            If the issue had been framed purely in terms of freedom of expression, then I would be on your side. Probably. There is some residual and incoherent disquiet in me with your position. But it isn’t thought through. If I tried to argue with you about it, you would beat me into a bloody mass. But the truth is that this issue has been framed in terms of religious conscience. That’s the actual ground I am defending. This seems the wrong battle on the wrong terrain. And what has happened? A bad legal precedent has been set.

          • avi barzel

            Well, you know, it’s not my fault that the judiciaries in the Western world have been seriously negligent for not taking the time to hear my excellent argument for reframing the issue by distilling the irrelevancies down to the pure spirit, the alco’ol; the clear and heady liquor of liberty of expression of conscience and freedom from compulsion to utter. And of course you feel disquiet; I’m a truck driver not a lawyer, so there have to be a few teensy-weensy apertures in my otherwise well-considered deliberations.

            I’ll further put to you that you and most people here on the side of the bakers followed the red pocket laser dot wielded by those who specifically and purposefully want to frame the issue in a limited limited way, whilst knowing full well that it will apply to whole set of easily foreseeable issues. You have been bamboozled and distracted, my friend. The parties behind the challenge and the judgments knew well enough that the public will be squarely on the side of the meek Gay couple which just wants a nice cake for their perfectly legal and no doubt charming wedding, and will seethe against the rigid, parochial Christian fundamentalist capitalist tycoon who wants them all to burn in Hell anyway.
            The even greater issue is that judges can be either such closet fashistas or dismal ditzes in following the trends and playing to the crowds while delivering a misjudgment.

          • carl jacobs

            I understand exactly what you are saying. But it seems to me that claiming conscience instead of free speech plays right into the hand of the adversary. And why was it claimed? Because free speech was a losing legal argument. Not least of which because a private wedding cake is arguably not an instance of free speech. So they threw out religion hoping it would be boss trump. Now look where we are.

          • avi barzel

            Perhaps conscience is a redundant requirement, just as religion may be, although it seems to feature in arguments from Constitutional positions in the U.S. Your free speech counter argument, though, suffers from your limiting free speech to standing on soapboxes or churning out samizdat. Free speech also includes the right not to speak, the right to remain silent and not be compelled to express what you don’t wish to express for any reason at al.

          • The issue, as I see it, is liberty.

            The issue, as they see it, is the regrettable and anachronistic survival of Biblical Christianity which they intent to relegate to the history books they intend to write.

          • carl jacobs

            I’m a truck driver not a lawyer

            That’s a feature. Not a bug. 🙂

  • len

    I think the episode of’ the Ashers bakery’ and other events reveals just how far we have entered into the Orwellian world of’ the thought police’ ‘speech crime , hate speech etc.’ Freedom is being ‘whittled away and soon there will be precious freedom left worth having(especially if you have a mind of your own.)… We are being conditioned to a way of thinking and speech patterns which are intended to eliminate anything which deviates from’ the blueprint of the new man’ created in the image of the lesser god who is the (present) ruler of this corrupt dying world but not for much longer I feel.
    Do we have to define ourselves as Christians?. No God has already done that through the perfect man Jesus Christ who showed us what God intended when he created man.
    This’ Ashers affair’ is not about a cake!.
    It is about forcing Christians to conform to a world view opposed to the God of the Bible much as the early Christians had to pay homage to Caesar or suffer the consequences……

    ‘For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers,
    against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and
    against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.'(Ephesians 6:12)

    It would seem to me that as Christians are forced out of society there is an empowering of the occult and all sorts of spiritual entities who are gaining authority on this Earth and these spiritual realities are being witnessed by the appalling events happening here on Earth.

  • Hi

    More thoughts :

    This is the problem I think : the case should have been pitched about defending one’s right to a political belief. That this political belief was informed by Christianity is basically irrelevant. An atheist, Hindu, Jew, Martian etc, could and should be allowed to refuse a cake which was about a political view, in this case supporting gay marriage. In fact it would be interesting if it were an atheist who had refused to do this cake because they simply didn’t agree with it as a political issue . I’m doubtful it would have done because the case was won or lost simply because the person ordering the cake was gay. So if inspector had ordered this cake (LOL) then they could have refused and not have been taken to court. This I find quite strange.

    I agree that a baker shouldn’t be forced to put up a vote DUP sign on the shop window and likewise a gay bakery should be able to refuse an anti gay marriage cake, regardless of the sexuality of the person asking for it.

    What I don’t think a bakery could or should do is to refuse a gay who want a wedding cake, just like say refusing a black straight couple. An orthodox Jew asked me on my blog if I thought an orthodox Jew should be allowed to refuse to do a cake for a marriage where one of the people isn’t a Jew (that’s also forbidden in orthodoxy). My answer was that just because a baker is doing such a cake doesn’t mean that the baker is endorsing such a marriage : he or she is simply providing a product for someone.

    Another example : one of our businesses is renting out property and asking, say, what religion they are or whether they’re married is not in the contract. Paying the rent in full and on time, not being anti social and upkeeping the property (not trashing it or using it for illegal purposes , such as a cannabis farm) is for example. What the couples do behind closed doors or how they live isn’t for us to interfere. If we’d got tenants who were goths, that wouldn’t be a problem to us if they kept to the contract. It doesn’t mean we’d be endorsing a goth lifestyle.

    I do accept that demanding to be married in an orthodox ceremony or synagogue , a Rabbi (or vicar etc) and the authorities should be free to refuse as they are not a business and it would be a clear endorsement and participation in a ceremony which the Jewish faith itself says no to, doesn’t provide for and it’d be an utter farce to attempt such a marriage , given that Judaism is firmly against inter marriage and for that matter gay marriage. Especially when there’s other parts of Judaism that do so (reform).

    • sarky

      What’s wrong with goths? 🙂

      • Hi

        We did have a goth couple. Very gentle and mild mannered, they liked my brother’s black floppy fedora and black attire as a “fashion statement”…

        • sarky

          Just asking because I used to be one back in the day! ! 😀

          • The Explorer

            You mean you aren’t one any more?

          • sarky

            In my heart, but not on the outside. I’m a picture of repectibility these days 😉

          • Grouchy Jack

            … even shops at Poundland.

          • sarky

            Wouldn’t lower myself 😉

          • Grouchy Jack

            That’ll disappoint a few people ….
            Where is Linus?

          • The Explorer

            On honeymoon. Only explanation.

          • Grouchy Jack

            Have his finger in his mate’s ring by now then.

          • I’m a bit of a meatloaf fan…

          • The Explorer

            I used to do a mean rendition of ‘I would do anything for Love’.

          • avi barzel

            Thanks. The tune is now firmly stuck in my head. Probably for the entire day. Not that I don’t like the piece, but it’s one of those “anthem” tunes that stick.

          • The Explorer

            All that, and without even hearing my version!

          • avi barzel

            What I’d like to hear is you doing the girl’s version in falsetto. You know, the “stop right now! Before you go any further…” bit. Do put that one up for the fellows so we can play it at the pub for our buddies.

          • The Explorer

            Got round that with a bit of creative editing. Turned it into the bloke speaking. ‘Let me’ instead of ‘will you?’. ‘You know the territory’ for ‘I know the territory’. Etc.

            Besides, you want your buddies thinking you communicate on the internet with a bloke who sings falsetto?

          • avi barzel

            Well, I guess you have point there…

          • Hi avi

            When you’re trucking, you must surely listen to music and stuff? Or are you like Jack Burton in big trouble in little China? (I know a lot on 80s films thanks to older siblings) .

          • avi barzel

            I never listen to music when I truck or even when I go on a Sunday drive with my car. Too distracting. Driving, especially a huge, towering vehicle pulling twenty or more tons of stuff with a 2 inch-wide titanium king pin behind you is serious business. More serious than decorating or fretting about not decorating cakes!

          • Hi explorer

            I’m quite idiosyncratic like that because I’m also an Ofra Haza fan. I can happily play on the piano ” I would do anything for love ” and also be content with a traditional Sephardic melody like” bendigmos” or some of the Moroccan, Iraqi and Yemeni songs.

          • The Explorer

            Idiosyncratic. Blimey. Always did say you were posh totty, Hannah.

          • Gal, you just play the piano. No singing as we don’t want another insurance claim for windows and vases

          • avi barzel

            Methinks those will turn out to be Shabbat table fighting words. You’re on your own with this, buddy.

          • Grrr!!

          • Grouchy Jack

            Grrrrr ….
            That line is Grumpy Jack’s,

          • Sarah’s thinking

            Hannah’s hot and has a lovely singing voice.

          • avi barzel

            Told ya.

          • sarky

            But you won’t do that! !!!

          • sarky

            Was more into the sisters of mercy, the mission, fields of the nephalim etc etc 🙂

          • Sounds like a midrashic text to me !

          • sarky

            Ha ha not quite!! 🙂

    • Coniston

      Could not this judicial insanity have been avoided by the bakers saying that they were prepared to make a wedding cake for anyone, but would not put any writing or message on it (including small figures of people)? Of course they could not, presumably, know in advance that the judicial system would support gay bigotry.

      • avi barzel

        Withdrawing from offering decoration services would be just as much of a defeat as filling the order. One is a surrender of a principle, the other a loss of income from all clients on one of the more profitable lines of goods.

    • Hannah

      What happens if a gay couple rents a house and they don’t pay rent or trash the place, but they claim discrimination because they’re gay and we’re religious. I feel we wouldn’t have a leg to stand on as it were.

      • The Explorer

        And if you make no reference to their sexuality, they will.

  • Also, I wonder if it was a more mundane product whether it would evoke such a response : e.g. would a toilet roll manufacturer refuse supply if one of their shop owners they sold to was a gay couple ?

    • preacher

      Hi Hannah, I guess it would depend on what they wanted printed on it. LOL.

      • Dude

        To follow avi’s example a Jewish shop owner could be lumbered with “free Palestine” bogroll. But it’d never sell as folks would wipe more on than off…

        • avi barzel

          Hi-five on that one.

    • avi barzel

      Hi, Miss Hannah. Hoping your Israel trip was pleasant!
      This is not about cakes or Gays; it’s about a broader principle, with a far greater scope and reach, about the right of an individual to decline a service involving expressions he may find objectionable for any reason. (edit)

  • HedgehogFive

    The Hedgehog thinks that David Cameron has a lot to answer for in this connection.

    When the Prophet Muhammad died, his closest followers gathered together to elect a successor. When they did so, the Persian Companion of the Prophet (*) called out in his own language:

    “You have chosen, and you have not chosen!”

    In other words, your choice will lead to disaster. With the Sunni-Shia split, it may be that he was right.

    It seems to me that a similar situation occurred when David Cameron was chosen as leader. Even now, he probably owes his survival as Prime Minister to the Scots.

    + + + + + + + + + + + +

    (*) the one whom the “Satanic Verses” fuss was all about.

    • The Explorer

      Cameron would have a lot to answer for if he had the power to make decisions. But we’re in the EU, remember.

      • preacher

        Perhaps the scripture ” Do not be yoked together with unbelievers” would be relevant to him ?. May act as a spur on the ‘In/Out’ referendum.
        Although going on his past form I can’t see us leaving even if 98% of the electorate voted Out! Just more chicanery until the vote can be rigged or reversed.
        So the buck goes full circle & still ends up in Cameron’s lap.

  • Merchantman

    So now my right as a conscientious objector is in jeopardy?

  • preacher

    Christianity will never be popular with many, because it strikes at the very heart of the populace, especially the Secular humanists & atheists. The pride, self esteem & self interest of mankind feels threatened when Sin is mentioned.
    Our faith may not be popular with most, – But that doesn’t mean we, or it are wrong!.

    • DanJ0

      No feeling of threat here. Your assertions about sin are simply wrong, and that’s that, as far as I am concerned. If it helps you personally to imagine we feel threatened then I suppose that’s harmless enough.

      • preacher

        No problem Danjo, like everyone, you make your own decisions & as I’ve always posted those are personal responses.
        I just stick with the scripture that ” All have sinned – there is none righteous, not one”. Most disagree, that’s why Christianity will never win votes of popularity.

    • sarky

      My heart hasn’t been struck and I definately do not feel threatened in the slightest.
      The fact that you are not very popular at all, could mean that maybe you are wrong.

      • The Explorer

        There can be two reasons for unpopularity.
        1. Because you are wrong.
        2. Because you are right.

        • fuzon

          Spoken like a True Pharisee.

          • The Explorer

            I’ll take the judgement of an expert.

          • preacher

            And strictly speaking he was a Pharisee

          • The Explorer

            I deleted a line in error, and re-typed the intended version. The intended version is what now stands. Does your analysis relate to a. the incorrect original? b. the corrected version?

          • fuzon

            The incorrect original. Of course rightness and wrongness can both be reasons for unpopularity.

        • sarky

          2. Because you are wrong
          2. Because you are wrong

          • The Explorer

            Your statement makes sense in relation to my mis-typed original, but not to the corrected one.

          • sarky

            🙂

      • preacher

        Or Right ?.

  • The Explorer

    is ‘Right of Admission reserved’ now illegal? Anyone know?

  • Chaconia

    Another aspect of the Gay Cake discussion is that if the
    bakery is known as a Christian business, the owners may have been concerned not
    just with the message on the cake but the fact that they might bring their
    faith into disrepute. Members of the public on seeing the cake’s message might
    think – here are Christians who should be standing up for traditional biblical
    marriage, putting profit before conscience. It could be seen as putting a
    stumbling block in the way of another person (Romans 14:13-23).

    • avi barzel

      To pull this even further along, the judge didn’t specify that only Gay SSM messages are compulsory, but vaguely waffled about human rights. Bakers will now rightly agree to put anything upon request, which can also land them in trouble with human rights acts. Getting legal advice is nearly useless now, as the activist, “living constitution” or “living law” have made situational ethics the only benchmark. Yet common sense and plain justice would say that no individual or business should be required to act as a sacrificial lamb for legislative tests because legislators and judges prefer not to issue clear laws. This is why these “wedding cake judges” should be clinically declared as cretins and should have their law certificates pulled for not being able to see implications beyond their moods and feelings.

  • avi barzel

    Even cooler are the Negev desert (as opposed to dessert) wines grown with Israeli computer-controlled drip irrigation. Not necessarily the best tasting vintages, I hear, but if ever available here in Ontario, I’ll buy just to encourage wild innovation stuff like that.
    Yes, it is sad. Being Gay is paired to being on the Left, just as a feminist has to be a socialist. Stuff like that happens in the early generations of movements.

    • Hi

      I discovered that reading the earlier ” disabled” thread.

  • Snap, I put a nice picture of a cake on today, in the worst possible taste.

  • carl jacobs

    We should remember that a refusal of business based on religious objections will quickly morph into a refusal of business based upon irreligious objections. We are much more vulnerable to this kind of law than homosexual advocates.

    • avi barzel

      Yes, but only if you generalize “refusal to do business” to the provision of all goods or services. Refusal to personally or under one’s authority to utter, write or create anything for any or no given reason is a different matter.

  • Inspector General

    Is it about ‘equality’, whatever that is? No

    Is it about discrimination? Not really.

    Is it about acceptance? Yes, you’re there. It’s all about accepting the new priestly caste. You can accept it freely, or you can accept it on threat of legal action. However you want it, you will accept. As they say in the British army, there is an easy way and a hard way. The easy way isn’t easy, and the hard way is bloody hard.

    So there you have it. It has been a disastrous PR exercise, of course. You really couldn’t buy this degree of ill feeling, short of getting Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris on board. Not that that will in anyway bother homosexual activists. They believe they’ve put one over on a society that disdains them, and here they are, forcing the door open.

    KBO queer types. Keep on forcing it down our throats…

    • The Explorer

      Say hello to Linus, wherever he is. This is his dream thread, and he’s missing it. Magnolia and I think he probably got married (in his terms) over the weekend. Can’t see anything other than honeymoon to account for his current absence.

      • Pubcrawler

        I’m not sure even that would stop him.

  • Dreadnaught

    This is bad law; unnecessary protection of ‘hurt feelings’. Its no worse than a playground spat. Kick it into touch FFS.

  • Merchantman

    Just when you thought it was safe to go about your lawful occasion in NI along comes some gay and holds a loaded lawsuit to your head. The judge then pulls the trigger.

  • Who will print me a ‘Fags die, God laughs’ T shirt?

    • avi barzel

      Well, ok, that’s basically it in a nutshell. Some of us had to go and spend half a day writing essays, but that’s ok.

      • Just so Avi. The point being that should I be such a nasty person as to want such an inscription printed, well for sure Red Molotov (they advertise in Private Eye and specialise in Marxist slogans) will refuse. But in the end, I could find someone tasteless enough or easily produce such a shirt myself. Or a cake.

        This sorry affair, like that of Leslie Pilkington and others, is about an intolerant secular sexual revolutionary elite (some of whom are probably homosexuals) stalking and entrapping Christians. They are impatient and angry that the church is still in existence.

        As I posted on my http://www.darwinsadders.wordpress.com blog not so long ago ‘Big Gay will never stop until you give them what they want-your mind.’

        This is ultimately about liberty versus thought control. This is not the hill I would have chosen to die on, but one doesn’t always get a choice about such matters. I’m thinking about changing my name to Shadrach, Meshach or Abednego

        Daniel 3:16-18 ‘Maybe our God will save us, O king , or maybe not. But be clear about this, we are not going to worship the idol you have set up.’

        • Shadrach Fire

          Not Shadrach, thats my name.
          There a great song about the fourth man in the fire. Have you heard it?
          My dear friend the late Arch Bishop Idahosa used to say that the third man was african. Abed Negro.

    • Jack likes nothing better of an evening than smoking a few fags. He’s thinking of quitting soon though, well …. at least until he finds a way of disposing of the bodies.

      • avi barzel

        E-cigs, Jack. Not the disposable crap, but a proper, cool looking mod device (e.g. Kanger Tech starter kit, preferably two units) with a battery charger, refillable tank, replaceable coils and a decent quality, good tobacco flavour and safe “e-juice” with enough nicotine concentration (1.6%-1.8% at least, 2.4% if you were a fiend ) to do the job and keep your for fumbling for the cigs or attempting to massacre your family. Over three decades of smoking and switched in one single afternoon, with a bout one tobacco cig a day in the first month, and now one every week or more just to remind myself how awfully tasting and stinky they were. Ended my chronic bronchitis within 2 days, lung capacity is still rising and I can taste and smell things…the latter which is not always a boon.

        • Hi Avi, Happy Jack has all the equipment and has been happily puffing since the beginning of Lent – Golden Virginia flavour and highest nicotine concentration available. He’s even adding a touch of CBD oil as a health supplement. Apparently, it’s extracted from hemp and has major curative qualities and calms one nerves.

          • CliveM

            I thought you seemed mellower!!

    • sarky

      Fred phelps?

  • Here’s an interesting piece of market research.

    “Shoebat.com decided to call some 13 prominent pro-gay bakers in a row. Each one denied us the right to have “Gay Marriage Is Wrong” on a cake and even used deviant insults and obscenities against us. One baker even said all sorts of profanities against Christians and ended the conversation by saying that she will make me a cookie with a large phallus on it.”

    http://shoebat.com/2014/12/12/christian-man-asks-thirteen-gay-bakeries-bake-pro-traditional-marriage-cake-denied-service-watch-shocking-video/

    “It was all recorded. It will stun the American people as to how militant and intolerant the homosexual bakers were. Even after we completed our experiment we got a ton of hate messages saying that we were “hateful” for simply giving them a taste of their own medicine. They argued that the slogan “Gay Marriage Is Wrong” is not the same thing as “Support Gay Marriage” as if an opposite view of a view is hateful. This would mean that the majority of Americans who oppose gay marriage are “bigoted” and “hate filled”. “Support Polygamy” or “Polygamy is Wrong” are views, yet the first which the Muslim supports and the second most Americans would never support, but both are opinions and are considered free speech.”

    • bmudmai

      Very interesting. Sadly very true. It’s sad I fear posting it on my fb due to the backlash I would get. I get major backlash for the mildest of Christian posts.

      Well, at least the Bible tells us we will need to persevere. LGBT is a form of anti-christ which is dividing the Church and the nations. Also, they stop us talking about the coming of Jesus and I imagine they greatly fear that day being true.

      • Jack would advise against being too open on FaceBook and social media. Thee are a lot of crazies about nowadays and there is spite in the air as divisions grow more acute with a parting of the ways.

        • Dan

          Somehow running and hiding doesn’t sound like the Christian way. We should stand up for what we believe; as the Book fo Acts shows, attempts at persecution often turn into great opportunities for witness.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I have no desire to be stoned to death either with real stones or in the court of public opinion, such as it is today – but I will not allow that lack of desire stop me speaking the Gospel, or tweeting it.

          • No need to invite persecution or personal insults. Remember the catacombs?

  • Inspector General

    When this business was discussed on Pink News, several of the inmates found fit to post such wisdom as “Religion is a disease” and “Tax the churches until they break” or words to that effect.

    Such was the venom from the usual suspects, that it prompted others to point out that there are some who adhere to that site who haven’t really worked out what discrimination is all about…

  • Merchantman

    So if I want to put an overtly Christian message on a London Bus now its OK right?

    • The Explorer

      Not necessarily. You could be guilty of hate speech, and your request could be refused on those grounds.

      • As a child, I hated runner beans. I was allowed to say so though, in those days.

        No longer a child, now an adolescent, I had a bit of a love-hate relationship with homosexuality too, from the ages of eleven thru seventeen, before the hard-won victory of cultivating my present-day pure *hatred* of homosexuality – no turning back for me!

        It took me more than forty years, since I finally learnt to hate homosexuality, to admit to having practised homosexuality, adding (in my defence) that I now hated homosexuality. Are you seriously telling me that being “ex-gay” is the hate that dare not speak it’s name?

        • The Explorer

          Absolutely not. I’m saying you could be refused a request to put ‘Sinners will go to hell’ on the side of a bus because that could be deemed hate speech. Not sure if ‘Jesus saves’ is hate speech by implying that others don’t.

    • It is apparently illegal to refuse an INDIVIDUAL’s order to put many a message anywhere, that is overtly *anything*. Core Issues Trust should have got a front man – one person – with the ex-gay sexual orientation, to order the advert that Boris Johnson did or didn’t veto. Discrimination against corporations is still OK though.

      http://JohnAllman.UK

  • Inspector General

    Gentlemen. Although the judgement is unfortunate, we must look at the long term. It would be disastrous if what is happening gets through by stealth. Also, there cannot be a better time for this to have occurred.

    Shortly, a new initiative will hit the schools. It is supported by the two main parties, as well as the Liberal Has Beens, which thankfully now counts for jack. It is the change of emphasis for sex education from biological reproduction to relationship whatevers. We all know what that entails. Homosexual activists will be right in there, no doubt suggesting THEY and they alone write the new syllabus. If you think that possibility is crazy, worse things have happened in cake shops….

  • Sarah’s thinking

    Hi Hannah

    We could videotape “this morning”, as well as “the Jeremy Kyle show”…

  • Terry

    The politically active gays should think very carefully from now onwards. If they proceed in their campaign, the hate for them – which is what they are trying to avoid – will inevitably grow.

    • Careful, as Saint Augustine said:

      “ …. the man who lives by God’s standards and not by man’s, must needs be a lover of good, and it follows that he must hate what is evil. Further, since no one is evil by nature, but anyone who is evil is evil because of a perversion of nature, the man who lives by God’s standards has a duty of perfect hatred towards those who are evil; that is to say, he should not hate the person because of the fault, nor should he love the fault because of the person. He should hate the fault, but love the man. And when the fault has been cured there will remain only what he ought to love, nothing that he should hate.”

    • carl jacobs

      What is growing is hatred of us. The normalization of homosexuality is derivative of the significant shift away from belief in objective moral truth. Men no longer believe that any authority sits above them, So they feel free to re-create themselves after their own image. This is the source of the conflict – the replacement of the sovereignty of God with the sovereignty of man. They hate what we believe, and this will inevitably transform into hatred of us as well.

      Eventually this new ideology of man must negatively impact the nation-state in terms of its wealth, power, and security. At which point the vacuum of belief produced by Secularism will give way to something politically malignant. And then there will be hatred of homosexuals. And us, for that mater. This is I think a matter of divine judgment. The eyes are closed, and the ears are shut, and the crowd races toward the cliff like the Gadarene Swine. They will only stop when they hit the rocks at the bottom of the cliff. We are carried along with the mass. We are going over the cliff with them.

      The West was given much and has squandered it in dissipation. That which it possesses will be taken away. And there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    • sarky

      No it won’t.

  • The Explorer

    Okay,
    Just posh relative to me.

  • The Explorer

    Caught a couple of minutes of ‘Coronation Street’ earlier this evening. Some bloke was in a gay bar without realising it, and was asked why he was in a gay bar if he wasn’t gay.

    The question, surely, should have been irrelevant under Section 9 of the ECHR? Wrong to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of sexual orientation.

  • The Explorer

    Secularism says there can be freedom of religion, but religion must be subject to the law of the land.
    There’s the rub. If the law says sodomy is good, and your religion says sodomy is bad, then you must go with what the law says. In other words, you cannot have freedom of religion. That’s not to blame either side; that’s just to state a fact.
    We’ve been here before in the long history of state faith conflict. Emperor worship. Babylon. No biblical book is more germane to our time than the Book of Daniel.

    • Grouchy Jack

      “There’s the rub. If the law says sodomy is good, and your religion says sodomy is bad, then you must go with what the law says.”

      What a bummer.

    • carl jacobs

      Well of course. If your religion says bigamy is good but the law says bigamy is bad, you go with the law. If your religion says a wife should be immolated on her husband’s funeral pyre, but the law disagrees, you go with the law. If your religion says that a woman’s clitoris should be cut off, but the law says otherwise, you go with the law.

      The problem is not that the law governs religious behavior. That is a given. The question is “What informs the law?” At some point you have to decide “I will obey God and not man. I will accept the consequences.” But that isn’t the same as saying religious behavior gets a blank check. No one believes that.

      • Grouchy Jack

        Sod’s law …

      • The Explorer

        Absolutely. Secularism is confident that religions will enjoy freedom under secularism, but the religions contradict one another.

        • carl jacobs

          Your opening sentence is increasingly untrue of sections of Britain.

          That’s not relevant. I listed three things you personally would restrict. All three are motivated by religious belief. So you would gladly use the law to restrict action based upon religious belief. How is this different? Because you want the law to reflect your presuppositions. Your actual complaints is not that the law restricts actions predicated on religion. Your complaint is “The law restricts that which it should not restrict.”

          • The Explorer

            I think we’re arguing about different tings. Secularism says that the only way for different religions to happily co-exist is under its benign rule. I was identifying a problem with that.

          • carl jacobs

            I was reacting to this assertion in your OP that started this sub-thread.

            …then you must go with what the law says. In other words, you cannot have freedom of religion.

            Freedom of religion does not mean the absence of lawful boundaries. Did I misunderstand what you were saying?

      • avi barzel

        Careful, there. You’re muscling in on my turf.

        Dina d’malchuta dina (Talmud, Nedarim 28a, Gittin 10b, Bava Kama 113b, Bava Batra 54b: “Shmuel [Samuel] said, The law of the country is law.”)

      • The legal test, to identify what are protected speech, political opinion, beliefs, conscience etcetera (at least until the new government puts the cat amongst the pigeons by repealing the Human Rights Act), remains that which was articulated (echoing earlier dicta in the ECtHR) in Maistry v BBC ET/1313142/10. Beliefs etc, to be protected, have to

        1) Be genuinely held.
        2) Not be based on present facts – i.e. it must be a belief.
        3) Relate to a weighty and substantial matter.
        4) Be cogent, coherent, serious, important and worthy of respect in a democratic society.

        Let us apply this legal test to the less controversial fact of the two facts found, the one that Cranmer has said it is “important to note”. The court found that the McArthurs discriminated (directly) not only on the grounds of sexual orientation (a finding with which I disagree), but also on the basis of religion and political opinion.

        The McArthurs were destined to be found liable, even if the more controversial of the two findings of fact had not been made (sexual orientation direct discrimination), which I do not believe personally.

        There are two contrary political opinions abroad in Northern Ireland, succinctly if imprecisely summarised in the slogans “support gay marriage” (which the customer wanted on his cake) and “oppose gay marriage” (the McArthurs’ lobby, which would be mine, if I lived in Northern Ireland.)

        What the McArthurs decided to do, was to “no platform” the lobby opposed to their own.

        I think that both the alternative political opinions, “oppose gay marriage” and “support gay marriage” alike, pass the Maistry test with flying colours. It follows that the McArthurs were on a hiding to nothing from day one. Whether or not sophistry had been deployed also to bust them for homophobic thought crimes (the red herring in this case), it is a tort, under The Equality Act, for a baker, a printer, a public relations firm, a church planning to hold a hustings in a constituency in which there is a BNP candidate standing, or (in my case, a recent Parliamentary candidate) the BBC, to “no platform” anybody because of their politics, if their politics can jump the low hurdle of the Maistry test.

        • CliveM

          John

          Just so I understand. Are you saying because the Court held that the purchasers ‘belief’ about SSM met the requirements you outlined from the Human Rights Act, ie weighty, cogent, seriously held etc to refuse the order discriminated against him on the grounds of political/religious opinion?

          Or have I misunderstood?

          • That question wasn’t addressed in the judgment, because of how the defendants pleaded their case. They didn’t challenge whether the “support gay marriage” slogan passed the Maistry test. They tried to DENY that what they were doing was no-platforming the “support gay marriage” lobbyist’s political campaign instead, which I think was a pretty hopeless factual assertion to have pleaded – no to say dishonest.

            But the judgment implies that the judge thought that “support gay marriage” passed the Maistry test.

            Even if the defendants had been found not to have discriminated on grounds of sexual orientation, they would have been liable for damages to the plaintiff, for no-platforming him on the grounds of his politics, with which they disagreed. If they appeal, and win on the point most people are focusing on, they will still lose the case as a whole. If they had refused an order for a “support fox hunting” cake, they’d have lost on the no-platforming point.

            This case is good news for Christians. It means we can sue if we are no-platformed ourselves, which is an increasing risk nowadays.

          • CliveM

            Thanks for the clarification, I hadn’t previously picked up on this. Seems this was a case they couldn’t win.

          • The way this action was defended was all wrong. They should have admitted liability for direct discrimination against the plaintiff on the grounds that his political beliefs (“support gay marriage”) were the opposite of theirs (“oppose gay marriage”), but denied discrimination on the grounds of his sexual orientation (which I regard as a quite bizarre finding of fact, as does Alasdair Henderson, blogging at http://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2015/05/21/conscience-and-cake/

            That would have left the court only the task of deciding quantum of damages. They should have made an to settle the claim out of court for a modest sum of money, on the basis only of political discrimination, not sexual orientation discrimination, which they denied. As you say, it was a case they couldn’t win.

            Both sides wanted a trial, and publicity, each competing with the other to be the greater “victim”, in the court of public opinion.

            The Christian Institute paid for this ridiculous show trial. Yet The Christian Institute won’t lift a finger to help Gadded Dad, the legally unrepresented claimant in A v Cornwall, and guest blogger on my blog. Gagged Dad is a father who was told, almost two years ago to the day, that social services would try to ensure that his two year-old son never saw his dad again, because his dad had opposed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in 2013, and supported calls for the repeal of The Abortion Act 1967.

            Social Services has been true to its word. Gagged Dad’s son is almost five now.

            http://JohnAllman.UK

          • Merchantman

            Surely that applies to the Adverts on the buses which were refused by Boris.

          • That was in London. This happened in Northern Ireland. There are different regulations in the two jurisdictions. The facts, arguments, and type of proceedings were all very different.

            I have mentioned the bus adverts matter here:

            Transoriented erasure

            https://johnallmanuk.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/transoriented/

        • Dominic Stockford

          So, given that the local paper here ‘no-platformed’ me when I stood in the recent GE, probably because my Christian views didn’t suit them, what is my position vis-a-vis law?

          • I don’t know what your position is, but should we both try to find out?

            The regulations are different in Northern Ireland from those in Wales, mind you.

    • CliveM

      ” If the law says sodomy is good, and your religion says sodomy is bad, then you must go with what the law says.”

      Well you don’t. No law is telling you to sodomise. You can still campaign for a change in the law if you wish. All the law says is those who want to, can and cannot be discriminated against for doing so.

      If a law was ever passed making Sodomy compulsory (!!), at least we would be able to use the HRA to protect us!

      • The Explorer

        I was thinking ancient Rome: as I said, “the long history of state-faith conflict”.

      • Dan

        But the bakers are being told to approve of sodomy. This they will never do.

        • CliveM

          No they’re not. Providing a service doesn’t mean agreement. A printer doesn’t agree with everything he is asked to print, the same principle applies here.

          For clarification however. In a civil society the baker should have been allowed to refuse. However I don’t think people should over state what has happened.

          • Merchantman

            This is gay dictat enforced by the law, all under duress.
            This is very sinister.
            It needs to be resisted.

  • The link to the judgment in this blog post is a link to a scan. This makes it impossible to copy text from the judgment, to paste into a document that comments on the judgment.

    Cranmer’s readers might therefore find it helpful to learn a text version of the judgment published at:
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/Misc/2015/NICty_2.html

    I intend to blog about this judgment myself soon, because I have a lot to say about it, and it would be rude to say it all here. I will pop back here with a link to my blog post, but Cranmer’s readers are likely to benefit from following my blog too, in the mean time:

    http://JohnAllman.UK

  • Linus

    “Waaaah! We lost! It isn’t fair!”

    Thought I’d summarize in plain English the comments on this thread for the benefit of those who don’t speak Christianese.

    It’s always amusing to see self-appointed “experts” predict the end of the world when others ignore their prejudiced and self-aggrandizing theories.

    I welcome this verdict as a triumph of common sense over religious bigotry. The hierarchy of rights based on innate characteristics is now well and truly established, and religion is relegated to the category of moral choice rather than universal truth.

    The fact that Christians can no longer indulge in casual discrimination and justify it by claiming that their subjective morality gives them the absolute and untouchable right to act as they please is a huge step forward for society as a whole. This judgment will stand at appeal because of its clear justice and its definition of the limits of personal prejudice.

    The only wailing and gnashing of teeth we’re hearing following this judgment comes from Christians and other religionists who are outraged at the law’s temerity in prohibiting them from punishing others for their moral and political views. A Christian who can’t act out his sock-puppet of a god’s hatred for everything he himself doesn’t like is a thwarted and unhappy individual. And there isn’t a lot anyone can do about that except leave him to sulk and digest his defeat.

    • Ivan M

      I am sure that the supercilious such as yourself, will find everything endlessly amusing and diverting till they come for you.

      • Linus

        But according to you, it’s the gay liberal elite (as supported by Al Qaeda and the Lizard People) who’ll be “coming to get me”. So are you saying that I’ll be coming to get myself?

        Very incoherent of you. And very reminiscent of a certain episode of Fawlty Towers. “You’re a naughty boy, Linus!” I’ll have to shout at myself whilst whacking my own backside with my own hand…

        But perhaps I shouldn’t be quite so ungracious in victory. Gloating has limited appeal, especially when your enemy was destined to lose because of the clear moral and intellectual paucity of his arguments. The only people holding their breath in anticipation of this judgment were fundy Christians praying for a miracle. The same crowd that prayed for a Ukip government. The same crowd that believes all its enemies will perish in a lake of fire.

        Hold on to that ultimate image of vengeance. It’s pretty much all you’ve got left. Or you could wait until we’re overrun by Muslim hordes from the East. Or are there other methods of finishing off your enemies in Cloud Cuckoo Land that I don’t know about?

        • Ivan M

          You have Ichabod written all over you, a soulless spirit. I reserve my hatred for those who have red blood in their veins.

          • Linus

            C’est vrai que le sang d’un bien né, issu d’une famille ancienne, a des qualités particulières que celui d’un roturier ne possède pas. Mais il est d’un rouge aussi vif que le vôtre.

          • Le sang des lézards est vert.

    • The Explorer

      Explorer says, “Hello, LInus. Terrible verdict, wasn’t it?” Linus hears, “Waaaaah!”

      Explorer says, “Hello, LInus. Wonderful verdict wasn’t it?” Linus hears, “Waaaah!”

      In fact, whatever any of us says, Linus hears, “Waaah!”

      For what did Linus want to hear, and arrived determined and pre-determined to hear? “Waaah!”

      • sarky

        I take it you haven’t got an intelligent comeback? (Or maybe there is no comeback)

        • The Explorer

          WIth a statement like that, would you recognise one if I gave it?
          For comebacks to the verdict, read the pre-existing thread.
          For comebacks to Linus, there’s no point. That’s my point. Whatever is said, what he’ll hear is, “Waaah!”

        • carl jacobs

          An interaction with Linus does not require “intelligent comebacks.” An interaction with Linus requires only that you wipe the spittle off of your face once he is done.

      • Linus

        While it’s certainly true that Christians do little but whine and it’s hard to distinguish what they’re actually saying from their permanently petulant and hard-done-by tone, on this occasion the meaning was clear enough.

        Any verdict that didn’t give you the right to punish others according to the tenets of your faith was always going to be badly received by you. That’s what happens when an entitlement syndrome the size of Jupiter (and all its moons) meets the reality of a diverse society, where each group must make compromises in order to coexist with everyone else.

        No more divine right means no more ability to dictate morality to others. Like most overprivileged and spoiled former aristocrats, you’re just having a bit of trouble adjusting to the bleak reality that you’re no longer in charge. One day you’ll learn your lesson, stop throwing your tantrum and become responsible citizens. Until then the rest of us will just have to put up with the constant waaaah waaaah waaaah-ing…

        • The Explorer

          Great verdict for bigots. Encourages them to impose their views on others.

          If the Christian bakers had been petitioning outside a gay bakery, or had tried to order a cake with an anti-gay-marriage slogan, then I agree that they would have been aggressors. But they weren’t.

          The cake could have been made elsewhere. In fact, it was; and could have been in the first place. But some bigot went shopping with a grievance credit card.

    • bmudmai

      This verdict, Linus, means you have just discriminated against us Christians As you’ve disagreed with us…I guess we will see you in court?

    • carl jacobs

      {sigh]

      Anyways, it was nice while it lasted.

    • Orwell Ian

      Boasting about your attainments in the established hierarchy reinforces the
      opinion that Gay Rights never was and never will be about equality. That it is all about homosexualist supremacy, whose demand for tolerance from the religious – whilst showing none in return – has moved on to targeting dissenters and getting them prosecuted, convicted and silenced. Some might call this bigotry. But whatever it is, it certainly benefits from of every ounce of “Equality” that can squeezed from the law to your advantage by our politically correct judiciary. However, an illiberal system that works in your favour today can be turned against you tomorrow. State sanctified sexual perversion may not last forever particularly if the numerical growth of Islam continues on
      its current trajectory. Enjoy your victories while you may.

      • Linus

        Oooh, the big bad Islamic bogeyman is coming to get us, is he?

        What a joke! Holding up the spectre of Islam to frighten us back into submission to your false god (rather than theirs) is a classic Christian tactic. But when you don’t believe in gods at all, none of them can scare you. How can you be scared of a shadow?

        I will enjoy our victories, although I believe there won’t be that many more of them. How could there be when the equality that has always been our goal is so very near?

        Of course, I can’t see into the future. World domination and global hegemony aren’t currently on the battle plan, but perhaps future generations, most of whom will be raised by you, will take up the cause.

        Odd that your own children should turn against you, don’t you think? It really places a question mark over your parenting skills, doesn’t it? What did you do to us to make us want to completely overturn the social structure you hold so dear?

        Straights never bother to ask themselves that question: it’s all their evil gay children’s fault and they’re as blameless and pure as the driven snow.

        Perhaps there’s a clue in that attitude as to why you’re failing so badly at imposing your agenda on society as a whole.

        • bockerglory

          I work with devout Muslims in London and the plan is that Muslims are waiting for our society to be completely devoid of any type of firm morality and then they will “lead the political agenda”. This will happen as my muslim colleagues have key positions in the professions, police and civil service.

          Christopher Hitchens in his last years focussed on Islam for the sake of defeating Islam.

          You see Linus, Christians and Atheists have a common enemy called Islam and we must resist Islam. This means that Atheists will have to support Christians Jews Hindus and Sikhs.

          Remember under an Islamic State atheists are the first to go ….. Just look at Iran.

          • Linus

            The enemy of my enemy is my friend, you mean? Not when he would do everything my enemy would do, short of killing me. And even then, you only have to look at the current legal battle going on in California to know where a Christian state will inevitably lead. A fundamentalist Christian lawyer over there is fighting to get a proposition for a new law that would punish homosexuality with the death penalty on the ballot. He may, because of a bizarre legal technicality, succeed. Of course the proposition will be voted down by an extremely wide margin, but even if only a tiny percentage of Californians vote for it, the LGBT community will know exactly where the thin end of the wedge is situated.

            Give Christians an inch and they’ll take 10 miles. Allow them the right to discriminate against us in the provision of goods and services and we’ll wake up tomorrow facing prison sentences or the death penalty for simply living our lives in accordance with our sexual orientation.

            That’s how things used to be when Christians were in control. Never again.

          • LOL, not content with cutting off your nose to spite your face you seem to be veritably eager to invite cutting off your head to spite your face.

  • sarky

    Just read an article about how christian girls in iraq are being stripped naked, given forced virginity tests, then paraded in front of a baying mob and sold to the highest bidder.

    How about a bit of perspective.

    • The Explorer

      Unfortunate wording. You mean to get a better view of the merchandise? (Your comment invites that interpretation.)

      • sarky

        Absolutely, they were paraded naked.

    • Ivan M

      The only perspective you need to draw from this is how much the West actually cares about Christians. Jorge Bush and Iman Blair are jointly responsible for this by a large margin. Unfortunately, the same seems to be what is in store for the Syrian Christians should Assad fall. Give me the Marxist Millibands anyday, over the Christians Cameron and Hague.

    • Its all connected sàrky. The dechristianisation agenda of the leftists and their homoactivist agents provocateur is enabling Islamification.

      • sarky

        No its not. The two things are entirely unconnected.

        • Yes it is. The two things are entirely connected. The Muslims can’t believe their luck that we are making it so easy for them to take over Europe by destroying the only force that has historically withstood invasive jihadism.

          You will understand when its too late.

          • sarky

            Taking over Europe? Where?

          • Paris, Amsterdam, Bradford, Sweden, Belgium-check the Cherson and Molschky blog for detail. Read Orianna Fallaci’s book ‘The Force of Reason’ or Melanie Phillips ‘Londonistan’.

            Or not, as you prefer. Its much easier to stick to easily parroted secularist memes. But the problem of what to do with Islam when you have destroyed Christianity-which the ‘gay cake’ case is 100% about-won’t go away.

          • The Explorer

            Try Bruce Bawer’s ‘While Europe Slept’.

        • Owl

          No they arn’t, you just don’t want to see the Connection.

    • Busy Mum

      Christian girls in Iraq being treated like dirt.
      Christian bakers in NI being treated like dirt.
      There’s no difference in principle; all are equal but Christians are less equal than others.

      • sarky

        Theres no difference in principle? Are you joking? A gay cake doesn’t lead to humiliation, slavery and rape. Get a grip! !!!

        • bmudmai

          Though sarky, that is form rather than principle. Though not arguing really as the form you talk about is far worse. But the principle that Christianity is secondary is the same. Also, the principle to make an example of the Christian is the same.

          • Linus

            Christianity and all other religions must always give way to rights determined by inherent characteristics.

            If certain strains of Islam demand female circumcision, their right to practice their religion must give way to a woman’s greater right not to have her body mutilated. If Christianity demands the right to discriminate against the LGBT community, its right to do so must give way to everyone’s greater right to equality before the law. It really is as simple as that, and Christianity is not being singled out for unfavourable treatment. Muslims can’t marry multiple wives, so are they being persecuted? No, they are not. Their religion does not determine the law of the land and when there is a conflict between the two, the law carries the day.

            This is how it must be in any diverse society. Only theocracies can impose religious law on everyone.

            If you want Britiain to be ruled as a theocracy, vote for the Christian Party. There are a couple of thousand who did at the last election, which shows you the true extent of the desire for Church rule in your country. It’s so marginal as to be on the fringe of the farthest fringe. If you want to win the popular vote, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

          • bmudmai

            If you want to use FGM as an argument, it is probably closer to the opposite argument. FGM is forcing someone to do something against their will. The ‘Gay Cake’ situation, is an enforcement of an act against someones will. It ignores the serious nature that someone who may be a Christian views the act; in the same way FGM ignores the fact the female may not want it.

          • Merchantman

            This ruling being as it were about compulsion is strikingly Un- British. It has to be overturned or it will lead to complete mayhem.
            Of course the real problem is a law that says everyone and everything is equal. Because its the dogma of the secularists and nothing more.

          • Linus

            You’re equating bodily mutilation with baking a cake?

            In what sort of twisted universe are those acts in any way comparable?

            A woman’s body is her own and nobody has the right to mutilate it because of their religious or cultural beliefs. You can also make the same argument about male circumcision, although its far less serious consequences mean that it’s more akin to a cosmetic procedure than a mutilation. The issue with female circumcision is the fact that it renders a woman incapable of all sexual sensation and therefore turns her into a kind of sexless eunuch: for life. It’s a serious crime with life-changing consequences and should be prohibited in no uncertain terms.

            Asking a baker to bake a cake is NOT a crime. Neither is it a restraint of freedom. The law states that those who offer goods and services for monetary compensation must make them available to everyone regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation and political persuasion. Along with paying taxes and social charges, this is the price of doing business. If you’re not prepared to pay it, you should seek alternative employment.

            If this law were not in place, signs in shop windows reading “No Jews, Irish, blacks or gays” would reappear, which would seriously disadvantage those communities and lead to social and economic apartheid. Society has determined that this is a bad thing. Much worse than compelling someone to provide a service to those he doesn’t like.

            What all Western societies now recognize is a hierarchy of rights. Some rights are quite simply more important than others. The right of all communities to participate fully in society and the economy is more important than the right of individuals to discriminate against others because of religious belief. Where those rights conflict, religion must give way.

            This principle is widely agreed, and to compare it to female genital mutilation is so utterly inappropriate as to be completely ridiculous. Will a baker who has to bake a cake for a gay customer be deprived of physical sensation for the rest of his life? No, he will not. At the very worst he’ll have to admit that his will is not the ultimate law and that he doesn’t have the right to impose it on others. And all of us have to admit that every day. Unless we take ourselves for God.

            That’s the real problem here. Christians have deified themselves and claim a divine right to do as they please. Their rights trump everyone else’s because their god is just an ego projection and it is really they who must be obeyed, not him.

            Sorry, but the rest of society disagrees with you and demands that you follow the rules that have been put in place to protect everyone. You can agitate to change them, of course. But to do that, you’ll need a democratic majority. Good luck finding one.

          • bmudmai

            The extremity is not comparable but the principle is similar. You’re the one who brought it up to compare I’m afraid Linus.

            This wasn’t even discrimination, it was a refusal to put a certain message on a cake. The cake would’ve been made if it wasn’t for that message, so it’s not really discrimination against a person for any reason. If the guy turned around and said: ‘Oh ok, can you make the cake and leave off the message’ they most likely would’ve made the cake. Then he could add the message he wanted in his own time.

          • Linus

            The judge disagrees with you. She found that the defendants’ actions were motivated by clear anti-gay animus.

            It isn’t a crime to hate gays. But it is a crime to deny us the equal provision of goods and services. Refusing to make this cake was a clear contravention of the law and the law has spoken. No doubt there will be an appeal, however there are no grounds for it to succeed. It’s yet another case of Christians pursuing the judicial route not in the hope of winning cases they know to be unwinnable, but rather to pose and posture as martyrs and innocent victims of state oppression. This is a publicity stunt, no more. And given that for Christians to get their way, the basic principle of equal social and economic access for all has to be set aside, it will end up backfiring on them.

            “I’m such a martyr, they won’t let me victimise the people I hate”, falls rather flat as a rabble-rousing message, don’t you think?

          • bmudmai

            There are grounds on which to appeal, so we’ll done for your ignorance.

            The fact is, gay bakeries would and do refuse to bake cakes with ‘gay marriage is wrong’ on. Do you agree they should be prosecuted? I would certainly think they are entitled to say no, but unfortunately the judge has set a precedent now and people like you nicely think the law says they can’t Refuse.

          • bmudmai

            Also Linus, the majority of people actually agreed with Asher’s and that they shouldn’t have been found guilty. You may be eloquent, but you speak drivel.

          • Linus

            We’re not governed by direct mob rule, so opinion polls don’t make the law. We have democratically elected legislatures that set the rules, which are then interpreted and applied by the judiciary. That’s how democracy works. It isn’t an X -Factor phone in vote. It’s the delegation of sovereignty by the people to its representatives.

            If you don’t like how the system works you can always vote to change it. Once every four or five years, depending on the jurisdiction you live in. Given that elections have proved time and again that yours is a minority viewpoint, you have no hope of effecting any change, but at least you can stamp your foot and scweam and scweam in frustration. You are Christian, hear you roar, in numbers too overwhemingly few not to ignore…

          • bmudmai

            You’re the one who said the majority agree with the ruling etc. Was just pointing out you were wrong. Maybe you should go into politics, you talk enough bull and avoid what’s actually been said.

        • Deliberate misuse of language to misrepresent. This is not about a ‘gay cake’ it is about aggressive homoactivists setting out with the connivance of bad law and an activist judge to DESTROY A MAN’S LIVELIHOOD and deprive him of freedom of thought.

  • Royinsouthwest

    The Equality and Human Rights Commission is yet another bureaucratic body that has been captured by the Left and is used to suppress human rights. There has not been even the tiniest squeak from it about the issue of industrial scale rape in many towns of predominantly white British girls by predominantly muslim men of Pakistani origin. If girls from ethnic and religions minorities were being targeted by white men we know perfectly well that the Equality Commission would be up in arms about it, as would the BBC, the Guardian, Parliament, the churches, etc. etc.

    The former head of the Equal Opportunities Commission (the predecessor of the Equality and Human Rights Commission) is now the Chair of the Electoral Commission – the same body that deliberately ignored evidence of wide-spread electoral fraud in Tower Hamlets because the fraud was being committed in aid of a politician of Bangladeshi origin.

    Can anyone imaging the sort of people responsible for ignoring mass rape and electoral fraud deciding that a muslim baker should be legally forced to bake a cake displaying a cartoon of Muhammed?

  • len

    I suppose the Gay rights crowd will be demanding entry into a Mosque next to establish their rights?.

    • avi barzel

      Hahahaha!

  • Jonathan Tedd

    Perhaps Gay Marriage might prevent the shocking level of STDs in gay community and UK has record number of HIV?

    I speak as a sympathizer for Asher’s bakery case – here is a halal bakery BTW

    http://www.timeforcake.biz

    • Busy Mum

      But I don’t think there is such a thing as adultery within a gay ‘marriage’ so in these unions, there is not the same intention of monogamy and faithfulness; in other words, not likely to reduce STD rates.

      • sarky

        And where did you glean that little bit of bigotry from?

        • Busy Mum

          I said that I don’t THINK….how is that bigotry?

          I believe it was aired in the last parliament and although being a busy mum I didn’t really have time to follow it through, I got the impression that adultery didn’t exist in law for same-sex marriages.

          • sarky

            I was thinking about your assumption that gay marriages are less monogamous and faithful than straight ones.

          • carl jacobs

            sarky

            Do you really not understand that this is true? Homosexual relationships are notorious for their ‘openness.’ In fact, the homosexual community has even invented a concept of emotional fidelity to specifically replace the requirement of sexual monogamy. One of the clear arguments against homosexual marriage is that it will undermine the expectation of sexual fidelity in marriage. And why should it not when the whole point of sexual fidelity is intrinsically tied to procreation?

            There were two principle reasons that AIDS became pandemic in the homosexual community: 1) receptive anal intercourse and 2) the extraordinary number of sexual partners a typical homosexual man has in a given year. Have you never heard of the bath houses? You need to be more careful about flinging around this word ‘bigot.’

          • sarky

            If you read what I said, I was pointing out that that particular view was bigotry, not actually calling the person a bigot. (ignorant, but not a bigot)
            All that you have said above can be applied just as much to the straight community. In fact in the UK the group showing the biggest rise in STD’s is the middle aged and straight.
            Sexual fidelity is intrinsically tied to procreation? And there was me thinking it was tied to love.

          • Busy Mum

            Carl has said it all below.
            There are insufficient stats re levels of monogamy and fidelity for gay ‘marriage’ as it has only been up and running for a year. Time will tell, though of course it was significant that the govt didn’t want to distinguish between ‘gay’ and straight’ marriages when recording these sort of statistics.

            To enter into a ‘marriage’ knowing that neither your spouse nor society has any legal redress against infidelity means one’s expectations of oneself and of one’s spouse on that front are considerably lower than somebody who enters into a marriage with the nominal expectation by oneself, one’s spouse and society that it is to be monogamous and for life.

        • The Explorer

          ‘Sex and the City’ is written by guys. Part of its agenda is to educate hetero women to behave promiscuously. LIke gays as a generality, in fact. We all know that there are exceptions.(Source: Charles Colson. As an ex-lawyer, he would know better than to make an unsubstantiated assertion.)

          • sarky

            Sex and the City finished 11 years ago. Got anything more up to date?

          • The Explorer

            You asked for a source. You got one. Want to go back to Kinsey?

        • bmudmai

          I guess the fact that the government refused to change adultery to include ssm couples. So in this land, adultery is still only between man and woman. This then leaves ssm to be as unfaithful as they wish.

          • sarky

            Arhh right, because the fact that adultry only counts for straight people has really stopped married people sh###ng around hasn’t it?

          • bmudmai

            Noone is saying that. Just your own conclusion.

    • Wonder if they will bake a cake with the same pro gay slogan on or would they refuse?

  • ‘Will (the Equality Commission) now regulate which political opinions are allowed under equality law and which are unacceptable?’

    It seems to me we are already there.

    • Where we are already, is certainly not where many of us think we still are. How we analyse and explain that, without sounding paranoid, is another matter. That includes whether, how much and how, we need to think and talk about The Equality Commission, in our analysis and explanation, once we find our bearings, in our new location.

  • Owl

    Judge Brownlie has obviously been presurred into this idiotic ruling.
    Dear Dave (of broad forehead fame), your stupid and thoughtless Support of SSM has opened the gates of the asylum. Judges with deficient capabilities (in the brain area) are making things up as they go along.
    Thanks Dave!
    Things are going from bad to worse. The dream of the brain dead left.

    • There was one arguably “idiotic” ruling in an otherwise generally sound judgment, but the Ashers Baking Co Ltd was always bound to be found liable for political discrimination, so it wouldn’t have affected the outcome if that particular idiocy had been left out of the judgment.

      • Owl

        “generally sound judgment”
        matter of opinion, I would think. What happened to common sense?

        • I concede that I may have over-stated my defence as to the legal correctness of the judgment, both here and in my minority view blog post, which points out the near certainty of the defendants losing this case, and criticises The Christian Institute and The Christian Legal Centre, for squandering money on weak cases where little of importance is at stake except abstract principle, whilst refusing to take on an important case, that of my friend Gagged Dad, who faces (and whose son faces) far more dire deprivations for Gagged Dad’s faithfulness than did the defendants, who merely had to chose between decorating a cake with a political slogan they disagreed with, or forking out £500 to the disappointed customer.

          What has happened to common sense at The Christian Institute and The Christian Legal Centre? Why is this cake, or £500, more important to them than Gagged Dad’s four year-old son, who has been prevented from seeing his dad for over two years, because his father has published against abortion and same sex marriage in 2013, making him a potential child abuser in the opinion of Cornwall Social Services, who might “indoctrinate” his own little boy in his unBritish, non-violent extremist ways?

          http://JohnAllman.UK

      • bmudmai

        Even the political discrimination is a misunderstanding of the intention of the law. Would ‘support paedophilia’ have got the same ruling? When you come out with an answer, you’ll either have to decide that the law is messed up or that actually the judge got it wrong.

        • Whether we like it or not, the myth of sexual orientation is a powerful enough delusion (2 Thess 2) nowadays, for there to be an actual political campaign afoot internationally, in favour of “gay marriage”, which has conquered much of the world already, and now has both Eire and Northern Ireland in its sights.

          That global political campaign for “gay marriage” in every jurisdiction in the world, meets the criteria set out in Maistry v BBC, as far as the political establishment and public opinion in the UK are concerned. The same cannot be said for any political aspiration of a “support paedophilia” lobby, *yet*. That is what is wrong with your analogy, even though I think myself that there is a fair bit right with the analogy too.

          http://JohnAllman.UK

          • bmudmai

            The law isn’t about ‘common’ opinion though, it’s meant to support minority opinion to. So don’t give me that deluded rubbish. So my analogy is perfectly adequate I’m afraid.

          • (duplicate comment deleted)

          • Whether your analogy is “adequate” depends upon what you want to use it to accomplish.

            I’m afraid it isn’t clear to me what it is, which I wrote in my previous comment, that you consider to have amounted to “deluded rubbish”.

          • bmudmai

            Hmm I never noticed the ‘fair bit right’ remark on your previous comment. Apologies. Was in a bit of a grump.

  • I have blogged about this now. The post title is “No platform for gay cakes!”

    The post is here:

    https://johnallmanuk.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/no-platform-for-gay-cakes/

    It is subtitled: “Why the Ashers Baking Co Ltd were always doomed, and (I’m sorry to say) deserved, to lose their court case”.

    I was all set to jump on the freedom of conscience band-wagon yesterday. But the Lord pulled me up, and turned me round 180 degrees, to my complete surprise.

  • len

    As Christianity is pushed back Islam advances to fill the gap .(I don`t think the lefties have worked that one out yet)…….But the evidence is all over the middle East and working it way into Europe I just hope the Christians are out of here before the .s**t hits the fan….

  • What if they had to produce a cake for someone with the slogan “support
    sharia law for UK” or “support ISIS in Iraq and Syria”? If
    they had refused and been taken to court would they have been found
    guilty or not guilty of discrimination I wonder?

    • Yes, they would, you have to realise Muslims are right up there with the equality/rights Top-Trumps list. Now, had a BNP guy gone in and asked for a Swastika and “Hitler was Great” on his cake the case wouldn’t have even got to a police visit let alone court.

      • avi barzel

        Or even a “Happy Birthday, Dolfi” inscription and a cutesy ‘toon of the little Schicklegruber family with Onkel Adolf in Tyrolean lederhosen and Tante Eva in a dirndl.

        • Pubcrawler

          Mmmmmmm, dirndl….

      • So only some people have free speech then really. Christians haven’t got free speech, right wing political supporters don’t have, and anyone who holds controversial views really. Tut tut! “Man was born free yet everywhere he is in chains”. Jean Jacques Rousseau

  • The Explorer

    Linus argues that Christians should not impose their views on others. I quite agree: just as non-Christians should not impose their views on Christians.
    As far as I’m concerned, if the State allows its men to marry each other let those who want to get on with it: provided the State does not seek to force on Christians what is forbidden them.
    I do not think that the values arising from my beliefs should be imposed on those who do not share those beliefs. Let them come up with their own values arising from their own presuppositions..
    I think it is legitimate to seek to convert my neighbour, and from a regenerate life regenerate behaviour may flow. But to seek to impose regenerate behaviour on the still-unregenerate is a non-starter.

    • The argument that one “should not impose one’s views on others” is completely lame.

      “… from a regenerate life regenerate behaviour may flow.”

      As the proof of the pudding “may” be in the eating, I suppose.

      “… to impose regenerate behaviour on the still-unregenerate is …”

      what theologians call the combined effect of the common grace of the Holy Spirit and the ordinances of providence, including the appointment of Romans 13-compliant government.

      (Please click on my avatar to find my contact details.)

      • The Explorer

        I’m simply agreeing with C S Lewis in ‘Mere Christianinty’ as to what’s realistic.
        Trace it back, and it’s a view so dangerous that the leader of the Anabaptists was burned and his wife was drowned in the attempt by the religious authorities to stamp out the concept. The idea that faith is a matter of choice not coercion many be penicious, but it is hardly lame.

        • You have misunderstood what I was saying was “lame”, in my opening sentence.

          The rhetoric of Linus about imposing one’s beliefs on others being something one should avoid is lame, in the sense that it doesn’t get us very far. That slogan is used by gay activists delighted to be refused cakes, because they only ordered them to be able to savour the delights of litigation and to gloat that they were empowered to impose their beliefs on the hapless bakers.

          Your comments afterwards I responded to, but with a dose of theological jargon as shorthand. I do not think that what YOU said was “lame”.

          These cake wars have been going on for several years, all over the world. One encounters the same half-baked ideas over and over again. False analogies. Sauce for the goose that isn’t sauce for the gander a.k.a. the “one-way street”.

          My latest blog post is about calls for Tesco to punish Asher’s for practising discrimination once, by practising discrimination against Asher’s permanently. It’s entitled “An eye for an eye and a cake for a cake”.

          People who cannot tolerate intolerance are intolerant themselves. They either know this (and have ulterior motives that persuade them to brazen it out), or they really do not understand the ideas of freedom and tolerance, which are for people who are wrong and people who are right equally, or else the state has to decide what people are required to believe.

          • Stuart Beaker

            I think the litigants in this case understand very well the ideas of freedom and tolerance. Being uncommitted to them themselves, they are free to exploit their adversaries’ morality as a political weakness.
            The real moral issue here is one that was never examined in court. It was the debauchery of the complainant in wilfully exploiting the very morality of a tolerant society in order to promote its very opposite.
            It is akin to those well-known dictators who exploit democracy to provide a platform from which to destroy it. It has nothing to do with homosexuality as such, which was simply a pretext to force the crystallisation of a humanitarian society into ‘legalitarian’ self-contradiction. It is totalitarian Phariseeism, deliberately and maliciously designed to shatter the ‘ease of petty liberties’ which underpins normal life.

          • Well put.

    • dannybhoy

      Well said Explorer. Seeking to be more like Jesus, the Son of God our Saviour and Redeemer compels us to share our faith and joy in belonging to Him. We believe in God’s wonderful love and forgiveness and His judgement on our rebellion and sin.
      A true Christian cannot be popular with the world, because the world is in a state of rebellion against Him. We may be respected, but rarely loved by this world.

      • The Explorer

        Thanks Danny. Health not too good at the moment. Increased medication has knocked me out.

        • dannybhoy

          I am sorry to hear that. It’s very wearing when we aren’t a hundred per cent physically.
          I love the words of this hymn..

          “Sometimes when my faith would falter
          And no sunlight I can see
          I just lift my eyes to Jesus
          And I whisper, “Pilot me.”

          Fear thou not for I’ll be with thee
          I will still thy Pilot be
          Never mind the tossing billows
          Take My hand and trust in Me

          Often when my soul is weary
          And the days seem oh so long
          I just look up to my Pilot
          And I hear this blessed song

          Fear thou not for I’ll be with thee
          I will still thy Pilot be
          Never mind the tossing billows
          Take My hand and trust in Me

          When I come to Jordan’s river
          And its troubled waters see
          On the brink I’ll see my Saviour
          And I know He’ll pilot me

          Fear thou not for I’ll be with thee
          I will still thy Pilot be
          Never mind the tossing billows
          Take My hand and trust in Me.”

          God Bless you brother.

  • Philip Lishman

    Keep asking this of progressive activists – I’ve asked five times, with no reply:

    “Assuming your desires for the governance of society were realized, what professions, businesses and trades would you deem it acceptable for committed, witnessing Christians to perform”.

    They don’t answer, because they daren’t. I expect we shall find ourselves as gravediggers and sewer cleaners before this is over.

  • Richard Watson

    I think this should be overturned. Clearly the bakers were against publication of the slogan rather than the particular clientèle.

    I’m in favour of them having to sell a cake to anyone, regardless of what they are going to do with it. I don’t see how someone’s faith is relevant when it comes to which cake someone eats at their wedding.

    However, I’m not in favour of someone forcing them to write any message on a cake that they don’t agree with. It seems to me that if a heterosexual couple were having a wedding cake with the same slogan it wouldn’t fall under the legislation at all, so neither should this cake.

    Doesn’t that seem like a fair compromise?