After hearing of the Supreme Court’s ruling the other day to uphold a Colorado baker’s decision to refuse to bake cakes for gay marriages, citing religious freedom, I decided to thumb through the Bible to the gospel chapter on gay cakes.
I could swear I’d put a bookmark there, but to my absolute shock I didn’t find a single world on gay anything. Jesus didn’t spend a second in his three-year ministry discussing gay marriage, gay sex, gay inclinations; he didn’t condemn the bi-curious. He did not say, not one time, Thou shalt not discover that you might be a woman trapped in a man’s body, and if — G-d forbid — you do, for G-d’s sake don’t say anything to anybody.
You have to wonder what Jesus, the purported founder of Christianity, was getting up to all that time if it wasn’t refusing to make cakes for happy newlyweds. How could he express his love for God? Was he attending abortion rallies? I sifted through the pages and remembered what it was: He just spent a shit-ton of time talking about love.
Love this and love that. Love your neighbor. Stop judging everybody. That sort of thing.
Here are a few examples:
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. —1 John 4:16:
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. —John 15:12
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. —Matthew 7:1-2
Jesus’ primary message seemed to be lightening folks up and easing them beyond superficial, legalistic interpretations. He stopped the angry townspeople from stoning the proverbial cheatin’ woman in John 8:7 by inviting anyone who had never sinned to throw the first stone. They were trying to pin him down on legalities, much as this baker got the Supreme Court to do, and he sidestepped it with a moral truth so true even those itching to hurl their rocks had to put them down.
Here is another truth. The baker in question, Jack Phillips, may mean well. He said that he would also not bake a cake condemning the LGBTQ community. (Although, one wonders, are they in demand?) But if you are an engaged couple looking for a bakery to play an integral part in sanctifying your happiness, and the bakery says, essentially, “Ew, no. Because I am a Christian, which was founded on Jesus’ teachings, though Jesus never mentioned either gayness or cakes, I can’t participate in that business,” what impact do you think it has? When you juxtapose the legalization and consummation of homosexuality against those who oppose it, even by refusing something as simple as a cake, just a few buttercream rainbows topped by two tuxedoed plastic grooms, where is the harm?
Well, the gay couple in question, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, who first asked the baker to make the cake in 2012, didn’t cause any harm. Maybe ordinary harm, like maybe one of them cut somebody off in traffic one day or failed to smile at a grumpy cashier. But for all intents and purposes they were just two people who wanted to build a life together, and there is no observable harm in that. People do it every day. But the minute the baker refused on religious grounds to bake them a cake, all manner of harm was done.
Here is what I mean. Say you go to get a cake and you’re not gay, but for some reason the baker says he can’t bake you a cake because his religion doesn’t approve of your marriage, implying God doesn’t approve of it, implying God either doesn’t approve of you (though, like Jeremiah, he knitted you in the womb as surely as the baker), or God made you who you were for the sole purpose of living a lonely, sexless life of shame and longing. That would probably hurt your feelings, rather deeply if you’ve been told you’re unacceptable your whole life, and after that it would piss you off. It’s a subtle way of stoning, whether the baker wants to admit it or not.
It’s also got nothing in the world to do with Jesus, who was far more intimate with those ostracized by society than he was with the rich and powerful. Jesus supposedly hung out with thieves, tax collectors and prostitutes. Odds are, some of them were gay.
Everything written about Jesus implies that if the Davids and Charlies of the world approached him asking for a rainbow-themed wedding cake, Jesus would say, “I don’t bake, man, but let me wash your feet. And anyone who wants to cast the first stone toward my friends here ought to consider their own sins first.”
And then there would be abundant wine-drinking. I’m not sure. But it seems about right, considering what I’ve read of gospels so far.