Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Why I Would Bake a Cake for a Christian Who Opposes Marriage Equality

I don’t own a bakery or anything.  In fact I have such a hard time following recipes, my cakes never rise, and that would make for a pretty pathetic wedding cake.  But for argument’s sake, let’s pretend I own a bakery – one that specializes in wedding cakes for that matter.  There I stand: the rainbow flag-yielding, we-belong-to-each-other, love-sees-no-color baker in town.  My store would be called, “Let them ALL Eat Cake”!  
And one day, YOU walk through the door, asking for me to bake a cake for your conservative, 1-man, 1-woman, only-definition-of-marriage-in-the-bible, Christian wedding ceremony.  Like most situations in life, I try my hardest to put myself in the shoes of others, which is precisely why you are here imagining this unlikely scenario with me.  How would I feel?  Would I not want to bake you a cake knowing that you probably wouldn’t do the same for one of my very best friends?  Would I make a big deal about it and use that opportunity to impart you with my version of my truth:  That I don’t agree with your lifestyle and life “choices”?  That my commitment to being an ally prevents me from condoning the marriages of people who fall in your category?  What would I be saying to the world by baking this cake?  That by virtue of this baked good, I was in fact validating the sanctity of your relationship?  Would I instead invite you to my home to share the gospel of impartial love with you, hoping to help you see the light – and so that you understood that I still loved people like you, but that my belief system made me conscience-bound not to bake this cake?


I’d bake you the best damn wedding cake on earth.  No strings attached.  I wouldn’t even make you promise to watch an episode of Modern Family in exchange.  I’d fill it with raspberry jam, white chocolate, Nutella, whatever your heart desired.  I wouldn’t invite you to my home for dinner though, because that would be creepy.  Why, might you ask, would I want to bake you this cake?  

Because everyone deserves to eat cake on their wedding day.  Also, because given my interfaith, multicultural background, if I only baked cakes for people who shared my exact beliefs, I’d probably go bankrupt.

And because I believe that it’s not my place, as a simple baker, to impose my judgement on who is or isn’t worthy of receiving a cake from me.   I’d be afraid to imagine a society where businesses could deny cakes and you know other things like lung transplants and bus service, based on the personal religious beliefs of the business owners.

Can you just imagine?  Is that an NRA membership card in your wallet?  NO CAKE FOR YOU!  Keep on walking Tea Party candidate.  Don’t even think about stopping, man yielding a confederate flag bumper sticker.  Don’t  understand misogyny or white privilege?  Well then, you really don’t deserve my light spongy butter cream goodness either.   I imagine that these fictional customers would probably believe in a few things that went against the core of my faith tenants and convictions, but (honestly, I’ve pondered this) I wouldn’t consider my act of baking them a wedding cake to be condoning… gun violence, income inequality, discrimination, or violence against women.

I’d just be helping someone, who I know very little about, celebrate a sentiment that should be bringing people together rather than further dividing us.  In a world full of divisive religious and political ideology, I would never turn down the opportunity to contribute to an act of LOVE, regardless of what card you are carrying in your wallet or what bumper sticker you have on your car.  Even if you wouldn't do the same for me.   

Friends, I think there’s enough cake to go around, can't we ALL eat some?