Ashers Baking Company And The Gay Cake Row
Earlier this month, the media reported that a Christian-run bakery in Northern Ireland that refused a customer’s request to make a cake complete with a slogan supporting gay marriage. It quickly ignited into big news, being covered on local news in Northern Ireland and further afield. Amid the explosion of anger and aggression, I found it uplifting that the bakery showed some self-respect by standing up for their faith. It’s about time it was realised that Christians have human rights.
“Shut Up” Culture
The clash began in May when Ashers Baking Company, a family firm founded in 1992 and based in County Antrim, declined the order from a gay rights activist. The company decided to take a stand. They pointed out that, in Northern Ireland, marriage is still defined as being a union between one man and one woman. How often in recent times have we seen religion being defended rather than scoffed at? Not very often. The case represents that in the midst of the new “shut up” culture, we still have religious people who admirably refuse to stand by and watch their principles and moral standards decay. I’d have done the same. Why? I’m a ‘homophobe’? I love to ‘discriminate’ and ‘hate’? Actually, I’d refuse to do so because the order would be at odds with my beliefs, it’s as simple as that. The bakery maintained that baking a cake to promote homosexuality would go against everything they stood for, stating: “It certainly was at odds with what the Bible teaches, and on the following Monday we rang the customer to let him know that we couldn’t take his order.” Surely any business person has the right to decide who he or she does business with? The majority of British citizens are denied their rights in order that a minority has superior rights. Isn’t it time to give everybody equality of opportunity?
However, the equality commission maintain that the bakery discriminated against the customer on the grounds of his sexual orientation. Well, what about the blatant disregard for someone’s religious beliefs and the clear breach of free speech at stake? Newsflash: Nobody has to willingly support gay marriage. We all have our own minds, our own hearts and ears. Contrary to popular belief, you can refrain from having your Christian views bulldozed by the decadent, aggressive parade of liberalism if you choose. It’s ludicrous to suggest everyone has to sing from the one hymn sheet. Mr McArthur, who owns the bakery, stated that, “I feel if we don’t take a stand on this here case, then how can we stand up against it, further down the line?” He said he hoped that all Christians running businesses could be allowed to follow their Christian beliefs and principles in the day-to-day running of their businesses, and that they are allowed to make decisions based on that. With the emphasis being placed constantly on ‘gay rights’, what about the rights of anyone else?
If someone has a faith that says the contrary, they are entitled to decline anything that goes against it. There are surely more bakeries around that would support their cause. I back him 100 per cent.
Our freedom to live in line with our beliefs is gradually eroding. Many worry that this case is a sign of things to come. We are constantly under pressure to not only back, but promote gay marriage, amid fears of being blasted a ‘homophobe,’ a term created by gay and leftists activists to silence all opposition. The homosexual agenda is undeniably the biggest threat to free speech today. As the Christian Institute’s director, Colin Hart said, “No-one should be forced to use their creative skills to promote a cause which goes against their consciences. Imbalanced equality laws are making it increasingly hard for people, especially Christians.” It is clear from this case that millions of ordinary people who do not agree with gay marriage face intimidation and the real threat of legal action from the forces of political correctness if they, out of conscience, decline to provide goods or services to campaign groups they do not support.
I think the most important issue that this case illuminates is the emergence of the “shut up” culture. Britain’s free speech and human rights culture doesn’t seem to extend to those who don’t agree with powerful minorities. There’s a very thin line between extremism and freedom of speech. Activists have fittingly claimed that free speech and religious freedom has been gagged. If you oppose gay marriage, you’re seen as intolerant. It’s suffocating. We’re told we don’t have to promote gay marriage, yet we must not ‘discriminate’. There’s no line drawn in the sand. Already, we’ve seen that teachers, even in faith schools, do face disciplinary action for objecting to gay marriage on grounds on conscience. I mean, we hear about tons of so-called human rights abuses on the liberal end of the spectrum, yet the media stays silent about religious persecution.
I’m almost certain you didn’t know that recently a British primary school teacher was sacked after refusing to read a storybook promoting same-sex marriage to children. The over-emphasis on ‘tolerance’ is bizarre and plainly wrong. With gay marriage now legal in England, Wales and Scotland, parents who object to gay marriage being taught to their children have no right to withdraw their child from lessons. We’re no longer allowed to have an opinion that differs from the state. This case illuminates the very important question that gay marriage undermines the liberty of conscience.
Do you agree or disagree? Please leave your comments below.