The Oregon Department of Justice is investigating a complaint against a Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding. Here’s what happened in a nutshell. A woman and her daughter came into Aaron Klein’s store requesting a wedding cake. When they told Klein that the cake was for a wedding with two brides, he informed them that he does not serve same-sex weddings.
The woman and her daughter filed a complaint with the appropriate state agency. Now Klein is under investigation for breaking “The Oregon Equality Act of 2007,” which says business owners cannot deny public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
In interviews afterward, Klein explained that he bases his views on what the Bible teaches about marriage. In the interview below, he quotes the text of Genesis 2:24 as his definition of marriage. Klein contends that the first amendment guarantees his right to practice his religion without interference from the government. In short, he believes that he shouldn’t have to violate his conscience by providing his services to a same-sex wedding. He claims that his Constitutional right to freedom of religion trumps Oregon state law. Klein says he has no problem serving homosexuals, and he does so regularly. He simply doesn’t want to bake cakes for same-sex weddings.
This case is like the cloud on the horizon that looks no bigger than the size of a man’s hand. But make no mistake, there is a huge storm coming with that cloud (1 Kings 18:44). We have not even begun to imagine the enormous challenge that the redefinition of marriage will visit upon Christians like Aaron Klein. The storm is coming, and Christian business owners may be the first to get hit. Klein says he’s willing lose his business over this, and it may very well come to that.
This is only the beginning.
J O E B L A C K M O N
The truly sad thing is not that the world thinks it’s ok to prosecute this guy. The sad thing is the number of people in the church who think he’s doing the wrong thing.
It’s much more important that we emphasize that Christians cannot in any way celebrate this kind of behavior than it is that we get involved politically. Why gain the whole world (or a small shop) and lose our own souls?
J O E B L A C K M O N
It is perfectly fine for the baker to behave this way. He is a Christian and he owns a business. If he doesn’t want to participate in a pretend “wedding” that is well within his constitutional right. The women brining the legal action could obviously have just gone to another bakery. The real motive here is to “stick it” to this Christian business owner and reaffirm the myth that Christians are predjudiced against gay people.
Indeed, you have hit the nail on the head. In addition to the Christian principle, there is the free association angle as well. Since when do we think it moral for a government to tell us who way may or may not mingle with?
Agree. What happened to peaceful coexistence of peaceful persons with different beliefs, life choices?
Remember, even if you disagree with this man, you destroy your OWN right of free expression if you shut down his free expression of his faith.
Bingo! Great comment! Unfortunately, we as believers in Jesus Christ and who follow Christ’s teachings, are being discriminated against these days. It was Judeo Christian folks who came to this country and made it the greatest nation on earth. Now we as a nation, have abandoned God for unnatural, ungodly behavior. We are a Post Christian Nation. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ and his Book, then you can’t pick and choose what Scripture to throw out. The Apostle Paul wrote in the Book to the Romans that homosexuality is an abomination to God. It’s unnatural for adults to have sex with children, a man to have sex with a man, a woman to have sex with a woman or a human to have sex with an animal. Besides, the body parts don’t compliment one another in the case of humans and crossing species lines is ridiculous and disgusting! This man’s 1st Amendment rights are at stake here to PRACTICE his beliefs. I say, I am glad you are standing your ground in this matter Aaron. You have the right to do just that!
Also remember there is no NATURAL procreation in a gay relationship…that goes along with God’s ordinance to “be fruitful and multiply”…….
Lynn Scherer Swager
then that ‘church’ is wrong…our church would be behind him 100% !!
Lynn Scherer Swager
then that ‘church’ is wrong…remember…a church is man…NOT GOD!! our church however, would be behind him 100%%%
IMO Klein could have had a much more impactful witness to these women if he had shared the biblical perspective on homosexuality while still agreeing to make their cake. Making a cake does not amount to giving one’s blessing.
With respect to his constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion, that guarantee has never been absolute. He can argue that in this particular case his religious views should trump the ability of gays and lesbians to not suffer discrimination when accessing public accommodations, and there may be a good case to be made there, but the mere fact that a law restricts religious freedom does not *automatically* render it unconstitutional.
I respectfully disagree. The First Amendment says that there will be no law made “impeding the free exercise of religion”. To expand the literal definition of this from the dictionary; there will be no law made “which delays or prevents someone by obstructing or hindering their free application and use of their religion”. This man’s exercise of his religion is his choice not to participate in anything that he feels is in opposition of his religion. And as no law can be made which hinder his application of that religious choice, then by default it does render the law unconstitutional.
This is an impossible situation for law makers because they are trying to enforce quantifiable laws against an amendment that is by nature all about perspective. Religion in it’s definition is a process of worship that takes a form that is specifically unique to the worshiper. No matter what the religion is, it’s the perspective of that worshiper that defines the reality of their religious experience. Even those practicing the same religious principles and submitting to the same rules and regulations of practicing those principles will not have the same experience because each person’s understanding of those principles, rules and regulation differs based on the uncountable variables with which they have lived their life. Each person’s understanding is simply unique. This makes any law which tries to quantify religion absurd because no two religious experiences are the same, which makes no two forms of practice the same. To apply such a law instantly impedes the free exercise unless they can guarantee that not one single person that is a citizen of this country is going to be hindered in their first amendment right.
For me it is simple, if an establishment can reserve the right to refuse service for any reason, such as no shirt or no shoes or saggy pants, then as an establishment I should be allowed the right to refuse any service to any customer which would cause me to violate something as deeply personal as my religious beliefs.
You are flat out wrong regarding your claim that “no law made” can impede religious expression. There are many, many such laws. One example, would be the use of drugs/hallucinogenics in religious practice. Peyote has been used by some Native Americans for some time. It’s use is generally protected, but some users have been prosecuted. Under your claim, persons could do anything they wished under the guise of religious freedom and nothing could touch them. Simply not true.
With regard to this particular case, while I am not unsympathetic to the owner of this bakery, the argument claiming he should be allowed to refuse service based on his religious beliefs was the same type of argument made by those prior to the civil rights ere who did not wish to serve African Americans, or “mixed couples.” Some might say this is a very different issue, but the principle is the same. If a person came to the conclusion that their religious convictions would not permit them to provide services for a inter-racial couple, would you believe they should be able to opt out of serving?
This is the smartest comment of the thread. From a constitutional standpoint, homosexuals are not a protected class (like race, sex, or religion). But cases like this one could change that.
They are in Oregon:
You are using an improper comparison to Black Americans. The color of their skin is God given. They cannot change that and must be accepted along with every other race. A woman is what God determined her to be; but homosexuality is a PREFERENCE.
Homosexuality is not a preference. It is ‘God’ given to use your terminology. Please educate yourself with some real science. Show me any peer-reviewed paper that proves it is a preference. I know of no gay people that claim it as preference.
Interestingly enough, before the more popular politicization of same-sex issues, those in the lifestyle described it as such–a “lifestyle” or “a choice.” But there is no victim-rights lever arm behind such language, and the idea that it was an inherent thing was pushed. History does not lie.
I’ll repeat: the guarantee of freedom of religion is not absolute. For instance, parents who believe it’s sinful to provide medical care to their children have their children taken away and given medical care. People whose religious beliefs preclude their wearing clothes are not allowed to walk around freely. Someone whose religious beliefs allow him to have sex with minors is not allowed to do so on the basis of preserving religious rights. Prison inmates with exotic religiously-motivated dietary requirements do not always have those requirements accommodated.
Now certainly the courts show a great deal of deference to religious belief, but as with other fundamental rights (e.g. speech) it is not absolute.
That the right isn’t absolute doesn’t mean Klein lacks a case. It’s possible that in this specific situation his religious rights should trump the access of gays and lesbians to his business despite it qualifying as a public accommodation. But that’s a much more nuanced argument than just saying, “Freedom of Religion.”
This is a property rights issue. The owner of this store has a right to determine who he sells his property to. He should not be forced to sell his property to anyone he does not want to. This is true even if he does not want to sell to someone based on race, sex, or any other criteria (how ever wrong or sinful that reasoning is). It is his property and any attempt to force him to relinquish against his will is akin to stealing. Any law that says otherwise is immoral.
How does this qualify as a property rights issue? This man sells baked good to the public. What would happen if he placed a sign out front of his store that said “We reserve the right to deny service to ……….” How long do yo think he would be in business. I do agree he has the right to conduct his business anyway he sees fit. The state on the other hand had the responsibility to enforce the laws of its people even if that means those laws are contrary to some of its citizens moral positions.
those baked goods he sells are his property.
No Johnny it is not. His business is a public accommodation business. Congress has ruled on that. So has the SCOTUS. Oregon law also has something to say on that. You cannot refuse to sell something to someone because they are black for example. Please look up the law.
Scott, those cakes are his property. I understand there are laws that say you cannot refuse to sell your wares to individuals based on things like race. While I agree that actions motivated by racism are sinful and wrong, laws that force the property owner to give up his property unwillingly and by force are also wrong.
I also understand that SCOTUS has ruled on it. But SCOTUS is not the arbiter of right and wrong. SCOTUS once said separate but equal was lawful and Congress and many states passed laws in the past that were overtly racist. So just because something is a law or blessed by SCOTUS does not make it right or moral.
Johnny, with due respect this is not an issue of right and wrong it is an issue of law. Most parliamentary democracies live by the rule of law. We do not live in a theocracy – in that case the law is more concerned with moral right and moral wrong. He is not being forced to give up his property unwillingly. He is willingly in business. When you willingly decided to open a business, you willingly and implicitly agree to the laws of the land. In this case that means selling to and providing all your services to everyone – equally. If he has a moral objection to that, he shouldn’t sell to anyone. He is of course free to give away anything to anyone. His web site clearly states cakes for all occasions – which in hindsight would seem to be false advertising.
dr. james willingham
There has been a set-to in San Francisco over the issue of people who go naked during the day. Seems the brouhaha is over the fact of their setting at restaurants and cafes, and other customers do not care to occupy the seats where the naked individuals had sat.
Again, people who might disagree with this baker should remember—their OWN right to practice their faith and/or to express themselves peacefully is ALSO under attack!
Lynn Scherer Swager
WELL SAID DON!!
And why would he need to share his perspective on their marriage, if they didn’t ask for his perspective? The sharing of the biblical worldview in some kind of informal discussion at the bakery would have absolutely zero impact on two gay people who came in there to cement their lives together. I suppose if he wanted them to leave and get their cake somewhere else, he probably should have done that.
“And why would he need to share his perspective on their marriage, if they didn’t ask for his perspective?”
Because presumably he doesn’t want the making of the cake to be perceived as implying his approval of their their union. Volunteering his views on the subject would clear up any possible misunderstanding. Plus I think it could be done in such a way as to be winsome. He might have said something like:
“I know a lot of people in my position would be tempted to refuse to do business with you, but I’m not going to do that because I believe Jesus wants me to treat others as I’d have them treat me. I wouldn’t want you to refuse to do business with me because of my belief that homosexuality is wrong, so I’m not going to refuse to bake your cake. In fact I’m going to bake it with the same care and dedication that I give every one of my customers. That said, I beg you, from the bottom of my heart, to seek out the God of the Bible and consider the ways in which he has circumscribed human sexuality. If you’d like to discuss the matter further I’m more than happy to oblige; no strings attached. I’m here from 6am-5pm every day.”
Apparently, from the newspaper article I read about this incident, he called the couple “abominations before god” when the mother and daughter mentioned the cake was for a same-sex marriage. That is not likely to get a very understanding response from his potential patrons.
Aaron stated that very thing in his interview. Listen to it again.
J O E B L A C K M O N
If he made the cake for them, it would be the same as saying his business approves of gay marriage because he made it for their wedding. We’re not talking about them being denied true public accomodations like housing, we’re talking about a private business owner not wanting his business associated with their wedding.
Making the cake doesn’t necessarily imply he approves of gay marriage. Especially if he tells them, when agreeing to make the cake, that he doesn’t approve.
And, legally speaking, it is a public accommodation.
Joe, I am gonna assume that the baker prepares items all the time that are then purchased by people whose lifestyles are contrary to the shop owners. Does this mean that he or his business approves of that lifestyle. Should Christian business owners examine the lifestyle and morals of all customers to ensure that they do not inadvertently approve of something they would rather not be associated with? At the same time can you imagine the outcry from evangelicals if a Gay or lesbian baker refused to sell a christian couple a wedding cake simply because they were hetero. I really just do not see the issue here. This is not a new law in Oregon, the article said the law had been on the books since 2007. The baker has the right to break the law but he should not be surprised when the law is enforced.
He serves everyone that comes in his store. You cannot necessarily tell what a person’s sexual preference is when he/she comes in to purchase a cupcake! But when you are TOLD a cake is for a same sex wedding, that puts the owner in a situation he may or may not have religious convictions about. Aaron lost a sale, that in itself is a form of punishment that is self inflicted. I say bravo Aaron!
If a person doesn’t agree with another in free trade market, then simply take your business where others do agree with you or have no religious convictions. Is there not be any other bakeries in this region of the state. Last I checked wedding cakes are a luxury, not an “accommodation” of necessity. I don’t think the denial of a wedding cake will cause anybody to go with out. I applaud this man for not being a hypocrite.
Robert I Masters
The Cultural Mandate is Biblical.
If Christians obeyed the Cultural mandate then Oregon,s Law would be overturned.
Here in Tenn he would not have to worry about such a law.
Could you explain your comment? I am not sure I understand what you are saying. Do yo believe there are enough Christians in Oregon to overturn this law/ Do you think that a business in Tenn would be able to deny service to a homosexual on the basis of his/her sexual orientation and not find themselves in a similar situation? I think that there are federal discrimination laws that would come into play in cases where state law might not intervene.
Robert I Masters
There is no sexual orientation class in the U.S Constitution or in Tennessee.
It is not unlawful to fire or discriminate toward someone based on, “their sexual
I live in Tenn so do not know if their are enough Christians to overturn the law in Oregon. My perception is that Oregon is much more liberal than Tenn but I do not have hard evidence for that conclusion.
Christians/people discriminate all the time. Try to get a job as a teacher after being convicted of Pedophilia. Not happening.
Now if you are working for the Feds in Tenn you might have protection but I do not think a Bakery is a Fed job!
This is relevant to TN because recently the city of Nashville passed a resolution barring the city from doing business with business’s that “discriminate on sexual orientation. Several Southern Baptist leaders got together with like minded Christians at Lifeway to strategize how to overturn this law. Glen Casada helped lead the way in passing a law that prevented the city from doing said action.Made it illegal throughout Tenn.
That is the cultural mandate in Action.
Robert I Masters
DJ Jenkins (@DJJenkins)
Glad this guy is a brother in Christ but I’m not sure he’s doing the best thing. The Father causes the sun to shine & rain to fall on the righteous and unrighteous (Matthew 5:45). Does the baker ask if a couple is fornicating and shacking up before he bakes their cake? Surely that is “blessing” a sinful union as well, no? I’m not sure this is the best place to take a stand as a baker.
I do not personally know the Law & Constitution well enough to know if his 1st Amendment rights are being violated, just trying to speak from a potential biblical perspective on this. I DO think it is different to be a PASTOR who would marry this couple. That seems very different than a baker.
Would love other’s thoughts on this. Blessings!
DJ, the situation you described was the first thing that came to my mind when I read this article. I really think it is a far stretch to say that he or any Christian is blessing or approving something based on selling them a product. How far does this go? Is it sinful for Hobby Lobby to sell products that will be used in a Gay or Lesbian wedding? Are we endorsing an activity simply by conducting business with a group/ If that is the case then Christians need to get out of businesses.
Yes, the Father does make it rain on the just as well as the unjust. To withhold rain would harm those that belonged to Him. The benefit of rain on the unjust does not mean that God accepts them. Then you must not know the Scriptures very well. You are making your opinion equal to what Scripture says. The Bible doesn’t make a distinction between laity and leadership in the matter of following what the Bible says.
Denny, do you think that a gay man or woman who owns a bakery and who is passionate about LGBT rights, believes Christians are a bane to society and considers their beliefs and practices to be harmful to other human beings be legally allowed to refuse serving Christians because of those beliefs? I’m honestly wondering what you think, because if Christians are allowed to choose who they will serve (or when they will honor legal requirements they disagree with, such as certain provisions Obama’s health care plan), then on what basis do we deny everyone such freedom to discriminate in business or complying with laws, based on their particular personal convictions? Do you support such rights for everyone across the board, or only Christians?
If there were a legitimate religious liberty claim, then they would certainly have my attention. If its just that they don’t like straight people, there’s no constitutional protection of that.
Absolutely, avid LGBT practitioners should be allowed to serve or refuse service to anyone they want in their own businesses. It is a matter of personal freedom to operate their businesses as they see fit. The Oregon law is bone headed. What if a Christian wanted a homosexual baker to decorate a cake with scripture verses that condemn homosexuality? Should the homosexual business person be allowed to refuse?
Someone earlier has already pointed this out but this is the exact argument used during the civil rights era. It went something like this ” I as a business owner should be able to decide who I will serve in my place and if they don’t like it they can go someplace else”. Do we really want a society that operates this way/ If so what happens when we Christians are no only the minority but lack any power. Would you want to live in a place where someone can decide they will not serve you or your money is not good based on your beliefs or who you choose to have sex with? It is not like the couple wanted to get married in his shop or consummate their relationship on his counter. They wanted to but a cake. What do you think the reaction of this couple will be next time they meet someone who identifies as Christian?
the fact that the couple is willing to sue even though she knew he was christian, shows she does not like christian’s anyways.
Also this man was following his conscience i.e doing what would please God-leave him alone
and what does Civil rights have anything to do with Homosexuality???-stop actively trying to insult African Americans- and those of dark skin,please
scared that christians won’t have power??-please , we all need to trust God-and not compromise our beliefs
Personally I would have served her and many other gays, for the simple reason that all of us are sinners and many women have had abortion etc and people still sell them their products.
I would just wonder though is what would happen if the man made the cake-the lesbian became a christian later on-and then asks the owner “your a christian why did you not tell me anything about what sin I was entering in, why did you not warn me that I would be hurting my creator”
which makes this decision hard.
Nobody’s suing and, contrary to the post’s title, Klein has not been “charged” in a criminal sense. The couple complained to the attorney general, which is investigating their claims. If it agrees they were discriminated against it can file a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. The Bureau will then do its own investigation and can recommend an administrative hearing if the two sides can’t settle on their own.
Here’s the outline of the process:
If the Bureau recommends an administrative hearing then the case goes before an administrative judge who can order that the respondant give remedy. This could be an order to “bake the cake” or it could be monetary compensation. If the respondant fails to comply then the state can record a lien against him which could potentially be enforced by garnishing his accounts.
I’m uncertain what would happen if he simply shut down the business. Most likely that would short-circuit the administrative process since the business would no longer exist. However, the complainants would still have the option to file a civil suit.
I am a retired contractor of more than 40 years. During those years I built many projects including homes and major remodeling projects for open homosexuals. As a group they are excellent customers who generally want the same things from their supplier, the contractor in this case, as all others I have dealt with. In every case the jobs, business relationships, profits, losses etc. differed little or none from all the others.
However, general construction is one thing, and marriage or worship related matters are another. I probably would not have built a wedding chapel specifically oriented to LBGT users. In the same line, I doubt this baker would refuse to sell general items to this couple or anyone else. This couple probably targeted this bakery for their own political agenda.
As for Christians being the minority and being persecuted for their beliefs, that is the case in much of the world today, including much of American society.
Sure, and I see Romans 1 decorating cakes ALL the time. Give me a break.
Some gay people would just say live and let live.
But the activists are pushing hard against Christians…and yes some of them do think Christians are a “bane”…and use words much ruder than that!
Some people (of whatever sexual practice) seem to quickly change their view of the Constitution/religious freedom…depending on whatever news story/situation blasts across the media.
For instance, the religious conscience exemption. Once it was struck down by Pres. Obama…INSTANTLY many spoke against it.
So sad to change one’s views SO QUICKLY…like a school of fish which INSTANTLY turns to follow the new shiny object…
Which is sad…!
As a believer I could not disagree with JOEBLACKMON more. I do think the owner is missing an opportunity to respond more wisely. Selling them a cake does not mean he condones gay marriage any more then selling ice means you condone alcoholism. A cake in and of itself is harmless. They will just get one elsewhere and have a story to tell about narrow minded and “hateful” Christians. We should always ask ourselves will my behavior in this situation work towards or against the kingdom? How can we show Gods radical grace and love to a lost and dying world? Bake them a really good cake. Throw in some extras, give them great service. Show them Gods love. Jesus gave it all for sinners like us and them. What are we willing to sacrifice for the sake of the kingdom?
If he is a Christian then he has the Holy Spirit guiding him and does not need your opinion. He said he has serviced homosexuals in the past but refused a wedding cake because a wedding cake is used in an act of homosexuality. Would you keep that mindset if someone wanted to buy a gun from you specifically to use for murder, a pair a surgical scissors specifically for use in an abortion, or a belt specifically to use for beating their child? Would you worry you’d look like a hateful Christian and therefore throw in some bullets, sharpen the scissors, and weave them a belt of your finest leather in the name of showing God’s love to a sinner?
Grace, the wedding cake is not used in an ‘act of homosexuality’. It is used in a wedding or civil union, most probably in this case. Marriage is not unique or the sole purvey of heterosexuals, not now, not in Biblical times, not throughout history. (You might look up 1 Samuel and delve into Jonathan and David’s relationship/union – do look up the original Greek). You know, my Mom always said to ask what Jesus would do. In this case, I have no doubt that he’d bake the cake.
Scott, your post is a nearly perfect demonstration of how propaganda has bled into the popular imagination regarding “proof texts” for (legitimate) homosexual behavior in the Scriptures. You have swallowed said propaganda so completely that you now pretend like it is authentic knowledge of those ancient texts and really believe it, and rattle it off with false authority any time the matter comes up.
Yet this “knowledge” (Jonathan and David have been a favorite target by activists since the advent of the gay rights movement in the 70s–it would have been unthinkable to tag them as “gay” before that point) is pathetically shallow. For beginners, the “original language” of those texts is Hebrew–not Greek. This tells me that you have been snowed and are now trying to snow others. You glibly tell others to “look it up in the original Greek” when it is clear you yourself have never done it–because it isn’t possible (the LXX is a translation–not original). Furthermore, and perhaps more to the point, you display near absolute ignorance of the ancient culture (some 3000 years old) of the Middle East. Consequently, you impose a post-sexual revolution, pornified hermeneutic on these texts and distort them beyond recognition. Our modern culture bears little comparison to that one, in which individual covenants between persons was something people regularly entered into (as Jonathan and David did). Neither is there an adequate parallel for the importance of the deep, intimate role of friendship between men that was entirely asexual.
The upshot is that when David proclaims that Jonathan’s love “surpassed the love of women” and that they “kissed each other,” it has nothing whatever to do with a “romantic”–much less sexual–relationship between them. The only way you can arrive at that is to determine that’s where you want to go from the outset, beg the question, and fold that assumption into your understanding of the text. Yet true scholars of ancient history (and languages–the right ones) could never arrive there. If you did some footwork instead of parroting what you’ve been told, and perhaps even took a trip to the Middle East where men still value their relationships and bonds with each other more than they do with their own women (and still kiss each other!) you wouldn’t conclude what you have concluded.
As for Jesus, you have also roundly turned Him into a “nice” guy of WWJD fame. But Jesus was a rabbi, an eschatological prophet, and the thought that he would cozy up to homosexual behavior when the memory of the Greek domination was still so fresh, with its public nudity, rampant homosexuality and pederasty (there were be no such distinctions as are artificially drawn today), and abominations sacrificed on God’s altar is simply absurd. Jesus told of His coming in terms of “the days of Lot” (Luke 17)–and for illumination check out the Book of Jude, written by none other than Jesus’ brother.
I’ve swallowed no propaganda. I read Greek and Hebrew and am an archaeologist. Do you? You do understand that the Bible is an incomplete piecemeal of rather old texts (see Council of Nicea) and had to be translated? Have you done any translation in your life? If you did, you would understand the error that happens and I don’t mean simple syntax and grammar error. Your view of homosexuality is so tainted by your USian viewpoint that we probably don’t have a common reference to start from. And yes I spent time in the middle east. Have you? Samuel was translated into Greek before Jesus was born. I suggested the Greek because it is probably more accessible and you should be quite aware of the controversies with the differences between the Hebrew versions (corrupted with endless copying errors) and the Greek. But you should know that – oh apparently not.
As for Jesus being a nice guy – straw man – you said that not I. But there is a great deal of evidence for Jesus’ homosexual acceptance, shall we say in books that didn’t make the cut for the New Testament – but you probably haven’t read those either. What do you think he was doing in Gethsemane, Mark 14:50-53?
dr. james willingham
The truly sad part of the whole deal is that it is only a harbinger of things to come. Things are going to get worse, horribly worse.
The real problem here is the bone headed Oregon law. Under that law a business owner gives up his right to run his business as he sees fit. Hopefully this case will overthrow or at least modify that kind of legislation.
Since it is constitutionally guaranteed, freedom to follow one’s religion should trump this kind of legislation.
“Since it is constitutionally guaranteed, freedom to follow one’s religion should trump this kind of legislation.”
It didn’t in 1964; not sure why it would now. Those whose businesses were classified as public accommodations and who considered their faith to prohibit the facilitation of mixed race relationships were told “tough luck”.
AS the husband of a black man’s widow, and the adoptive father to her children (who I have called my sons for nigh unto 23 years), and as witness to the prejudice they have experienced and have felt through them, I see this as a travesty–along with many other African Americans (including Dr. King’s niece, Alveda).
Yes, that is the principle being applied. Whether it is being rightly applied is another question.
The real question is whether we want to be a society wherein a private business owner does not have the right to choose whom he serves. Is the private business person and extension of the government and its policies or a free citizen? I have my own questions as to whether this business person took the wisest route. The deeper question is whether we are a free society.
“The real question is whether we want to be a society wherein a private business owner does not have the right to choose whom he serves.”
We chose that fifty years ago.
Well, we may agree there–although probably it was a whole lot farther back than 50 years. What we are seeing now is the bitter fruit of the flawed thought behind the Revolution. There was good thought, too, but it has run its course. Now comes time to pay the piper.
John Adams, who when all is said and done was as much the architect of the Constitution as Jefferson was of the Declaration of Independence, said that his handiwork was only worth the paper it was written on for a religious, moral people. There is little doubt as to what he meant by that. He also stated that it was wholly inadequate for a people that was anything /other/ than moral and religious.
It’s pretty clear there’s little doubt about /that/ statement as well.
I agree, David. I think good and godly people may have different opinions about the wisest response in this situation. Nevertheless, Klein’s conscience took him in this direction, and there will be many others like him.
Denny, I respect him deeply. From where he stands, to acquiesce here is to bow before Nabuchadnezzar’s image. I tread very very lightly under such circumstances–the man is following the dictates of his conscience, and I’m sure he didn’t “pop off” about this: given all the cases along this line he had surely determined ahead of time what he would do. For my part, when I say I have my own questions and thoughts, I mean it at face value–I’m just not sure.
But I /am/ convinced the day has arrived wherein all this chatter about civil rights and American freedoms and the Constitution and whatnot should more or less be recognized as so much noise. We are living under a society that hates righteousness and is using the law to punish people for it. So giddyup We aren’t going to bow. Our God is able to save us, but even if He doesn’t, we still aren’t going to bow.
Perhaps this plucky Christian Oregonian, in his own heart, drew the line and said, “Here I stand.” God be with him and with us all.
While I agree that he should have the legal right to refuse service based on his religious beliefs, he is acting in an immoral and judgmental manner by singling out gay couples as the ones he won’t serve. He has probably made dozens of cakes for people who, at the time they purchased them, were “living in sin.” The Christian world must stop meting out unfair judgments.
I have to disagree with your comment about the Christian world judging or this person acting immorally. If a person has any conviction about Anything!…it would be morally wrong to force that person to participate in the very thing they have the conviction about. I will respect someone else’s values…but they need to respect mine. I’m sure they could find someone else to bake a cake…It should have been that simple.
Point is Kat, they should have the freedom to choose any cake shop in the USA. Or doesn’t their freedoms count? How many adulterers has this shop served? Jesus gave one condition for divorce. How many divorced people that didn’t meet this condition has the baker not refused? He is cherry-picking his sins. That’s hypocritical of him. It is not up to him to judge. Besides, his web site clearly states “cakes for ALL occasions”. He should live up to his word.
The difference is that if a hetero couple living together decides to get married, that’s a step in the moral direction that should be encouraged unless we are otherwise informed. For a gay couple, there is no moral direction to go other than break up the relationship entirely.
How can someone contribute to his legal defense fund?
dr. james willingham
On my news page there were 2 or 3 references to the President’s appeal for the Boy Scouts to admit homosexuals into their ranks. Consider the kinds of problems they have had with pedophiles getting into their organization and the abuse of childre, one wonders where this whole deal is going to lead. Obviously, into a disaster for our children. Like the case in the Boyd County Schools of Kentucky where the lawyers and the judge told a father and a mother that they could not say anything to their son about homosexuality being wrong. What most of you folks don’t realize is that we are heading for a civil war, one that will make the one in the 1800s look like child’s play. The government went after the klu klux klan for their racism. Will they one day go after the church for its views on sodomy or homosexuality? Certainly, I know of homosexuals who want it to come to that very end. Only a Third Great Awakening will save our nation from a disaster of monumental proportions. For 40 years I have been praying for such a visitation. Others have prayed even longer. Surely, sooner or later, such prayers must be answered. Imagine the Holy Spirit falling on all of Orgeon, converting every last soul in that state, perhaps every last soul on earth today, and continuing for a 1000 generations?
I am not even sure where to start asking questions but just for clarity sake let me try. Surely you are not equating the Church to the KKK. As far as the Boy Scouts are concerned it would seem that they have had a long time policy prohibiting homosexual scout leaders and yet somehow they had many heterosexual scout leaders molest boys in their care. Is it your contention that this would happen at a higher rate with homosexual leaders? If so could you please share how you have come to that conclusion? Also could you provide a link to the story in Boyd County Ky? I would be interested in reading more about this situation. Honestly, if a civil war of the proportions you describe does happen I am not sure that many people in the church will survive. We have gotten so soft we do not know how to function without the overt approval and endorsement of the government. How do you account for the church in the first three centuries? There was no government approval and on top of that they were religiously oppressed as well and yet still they grew and spread around the known world. If that’s whats coming my prayer is that it comes quickly.
dr. james willingham
Mr. Bryant, I do not know you or your intentions by your questions. But in answer to your questions: 1, The church will very likely be equated with the KKK. The developing hatred for the Christian Faith will find that a means to an end. 2, Often these so-called heterosexuals are bisexuals at best or closet homosexuals and even pedophiles who deliberately seek the objects of their desires. I don’t have the links to Boyd County though I did google that situation some months ago and found a good bit of materials on the issue. I have connections to that area of the country, friends and family. As to the problem as I see it, the problem is one of satisfying urges no matter as to where, with whom or when. Having had to deal with the issue of homosexuality at various times in my life and knowing some of the history involved and having written a paper on incest in my graduate work in counseling, I have some apprehensions as to the future. The aim of a civil war as one group, perhaps the most important, is concerned is to exterminate the excess population. Other means to such an end will also very likely be involved.
“IMO Klein could have had a much more impactful witness to these women if he had shared the biblical perspective on homosexuality while still agreeing to make their cake. Making a cake does not amount to giving one’s blessing.”
What a convenient solution! You get to follow Christ and keep your job. Everyone wins!
Let me ask a question. Would you be willing to make something for a wedding in a foreign country which involved the marriage of a child bride? Why or why not? And why the difference? You could maybe tell them something about Jesus over the phone and “witness”.
Good question. It might depend on what you mean by child bride. I’d have no trouble making a cake for a man who was marrying, say, a sixteen year old, assuming the bride had consented to the marriage and wasn’t coerced. I would balk at a bride who was much younger. Mainly because I’d regard such a marriage as merely a pretext for sexual abuse, which is qualitatively different than two same-sex partners holding a ceremony for a “marriage” that really isn’t. The latter is a symbolic gesture to celebrate preexisting sexual sin that lacks a direct victim; the former is a celebration of impending sexual abuse that very much does have a victim.
but any marriage can be seen as a pretext for abuse-you just picking and choosing and not applying your “serve all” to everyone-thus you too are using your conscience to discriminate(perhaps rightly so)-just like the baker did!!!!!!
what about serving polygamists?
any relationship can “impend sexual abuse”- in fact it is quite possible that underage marriage will not have abuse as well
anyways you just put your foot in your mouth with that comment!!!
Okay. Would you make a cake for a 7-year old girl getting married off? I’ll even let you throw in a little “gospel” over the phone to the people forcing the marriage? If you refuse to bake the cake, you’re fired. What do you do? And does it differ from your decision for a “gay” marriage?
I said no up above:
“I would balk at a bride who was much younger.”
Was I unclear? Yes, it does differ from my decision with respect to a same-sex marriage because same-sex marriage is qualitatively different from the sexual abuse of a minor.
If you had a coworker who was gay, would you treat him or her differently than a coworker whom you knew kept a seven year old chained in his basement for the purpose of serial rape? I know I would.
Buddy, your comment exposes the linchpin of difference in your (apparent) stance and mine (and, I would suggest, that of many here as well as the baker in question, whether they are able to articulate it or not).
By implication, you are stating that each human being ultimately belongs to himself/herself. Hence, you would object to a child being forced into a “marriage” because another will was being imposed upon her, while with a gay “marriage” both are consenting adults under civil law and willingly participate in the sexual act intrinsic to such a union.
The problem is that such a position, while perhaps civilly tenable, is theological heresy. No one belongs to themselves. Everyone belongs to God. (C.S. Lewis quotes Gordon MacDonald as writing, “The first principle of Hell is, ‘I am my own’.”) Hence Joseph, while being tempted by his master’s wife, says, “How could I do such a thing and sin against /God/?” and David, after his sin with Bathsheba, says, “Against You and You /only/ have I sinned.” These statements are more than mere devotional hyperbole. They are ontological declarations of the first order.
The problem with /both/ child brides /and/ gay “marriage” (as well as fornication, polyamory, and a host of other perversions) is that they all are distortions of the imago Dei in which we have all been created. That image is God’s ultimate seal of ownership. We are not our own.
The mistake in this is to judge the baker’s actions /civilly/ as the beat all, end all of the situation. He is clearly determining his course of action /theologically/, determining he will not be a party to these people’s destruction (even, and perhaps especially, by their own hand–would you bake a cake for a man celebrating his own suicide just before he blew his brains out?), and most of all, he will not be party to sinning against God’s image as communicated by Genesis 1:27-28. The Church is charged with bearing witness to God’s image in this world for the sake of God’s glory, up to and including payment in blood in order to do so. My goodness, by the way some people chatter one would think that God’s command to endure that charge faithfully had really been a CEO’s order to carry out an effective PR campaign! So much for the preaching of John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Himself!
And if you have any doubt as to which takes precedent in God’s eyes–the civil or the spiritual–may I suggest some reading in the Bible?
This may be a different question, David: Would you make a birthday cake (a gift) for your homosexual co-worker? Would you make a birthday cake for your co-worker whom you have strong evidence is abusing a child?
Indeed, Stephen, so different I wonder why you would even ask it: A birthday is not a wedding, clandestine abuse is vastly different from both a social convention from another culture we may condemn (even rightly) and open homosexuality, and a gift is different than business.
But since you ask…
If I had /strong/ evidence that a co-worker was abusing a child, I would report them to the police. And no, I wouldn’t make them a cake for their time in the pen–for their birthday or any other occasion. “With such a one do not even eat…” (referencing someone pretending to be decent but in truth they are not…1 Corinthians 5:11). If they repent and turn and confess their sin and change their ways, that would be a different matter. But under those conditions they wouldn’t be an abuser any longer, would they?
As for the homosexual co-worker, the answer is yes, I would make a cake for them for their birthday. But a birthday celebration is not a ratification of the distortion of the image of God in their life and the imposition of that distortion upon society. I recommend Dave Howell’s comment, above. As a contractor, he did business with homosexuals, but he would have objected to building a gay wedding chapel. I would concur with such a position.
The distinction would mystify homosexuals and their advocates, mostly because they have believed their own propaganda that Christians are bigots. But the issue is not an objection to the person. The issue is defending the image of God in all humanity, and even in them.
“By implication, you are stating that each human being ultimately belongs to himself/herself.”
I really don’t think I am.
“The problem with /both/ child brides /and/ gay “marriage” […] is that they all are distortions of the imago Dei in which we have all been created.”
Agreed. Which is why I regard same-sex relationships as sinful. They are qualitatively different from child abuse, however, in that child abuse involves a victim other than “God”. God does not so much need the protection of the magistrate. Small children do.
The difference between us is that you are willing to compromise on God’s glory for the sake of pragmatism within a hopelessly corrupt system. The fact that you feel you can save the child by your actions but take no action with the homosexual shows you are finally dependent and beholden more upon the political process than upon the glory of God. You grant the homosexual both more latitude and less at the same time because it seems your mind is filled with civil codes instead of pure biblical truth. To use Tolkien’s metaphor, you seem to want to use the One Ring. This humble baker from Oregon has chosen to toss it into the Fire.
I hardly speak of “protecting” God’s glory (and that you would think I was shows you have not understood me at all). I speak of declaring it and giving it first priority. It is God’s glory and God’s glory alone that gives life and redeems. For that reason I serve God’s glory first–even if to the reasoning those actions make little sense to the Boromirs and the Denethors of the world. So you and I both would seek to save the child, but the motivation and the modus operandi would be completely different–as is shown by the fact that we take entirely different routes when it comes to homosexuals. Perhaps some more puzzling about David’s statement–after stealing his friend’s wife and murdering him to cover it up–that “against God and God alone” had he sinned on your part would be helpful.
Sinners are criminals and victims /simultaneously/, and all are wayward children in God’s eyes. The only way to save them (as we have been commanded) is to “be crucified with Christ.” The cross isn’t easy, it isn’t popular, and it isn’t found in the politics of accommodation. It is ugly and confrontational, but in the end it is the only way to see resurrection–in our lives and the lives of others.
In any case, once this man came to the conclusion that he, his bakery, and every soul that darkened his door (including consenting homosexuals) belonged solely to God, it appears that all the fine sounding citations from American civil rights history aren’t worth a hill of beans, eh?
Of course you refuse to make a cake for a 7 year old girl getting married off – the 7 year old girl can’t make informed consent. This is completely a false analogy. Gay marriage is not only legal in many states and most civilised countries, civil unions are in many more. You simply report them to the authorities as you are required when you come to realise a crime is being committed – unless you are said person’s legal counsel.
After reading most of the posting, I have a question that no one seems to have talked about. I would like to know, if the Mother and daughter who went to the bakery for a wedding cake, tried the cakes samples first, and then talked about what the wedding was going to be. Or did they say that the wedding was for two women, and then he went through all the samples and prices and so on, only to tell them sorry, I do not feel right making a cake for your wedding. Why is it that the customer is so right, and can do and say whatever they want and everyone has to please them. If they were so HURT, UPSET, that they needed to report the event, has it changed the wedding date, is there no other bakery within 100 miles for this POOR, HURT, LESBIAN COUPLE that they just can move forward. That is what you are doing to his business, he will have to pay dearly for this because he believes in what he has been taught. There is so much of this story that has to be told, and we will have to see just what happens when all the facts come out. Maybe someone should ask the Lesbian couple why did they have to forces themselves on this baker? I personally think that this whole event is blown way out, but of course, if you stand up for yourself, you are the one would will lose everything, makes you wonder who are we really leaving this country to?
So when did the right of a business to refuse service to someone change? I would have a very hard time providing wedding services to a gay couple. It’s nothing against the couple, it would be a conviction of one’s own beliefs. We shouldn’t judge and try to shove our lifestyle down their throats, likewise they shouldn’t judge and try to shove their lifestyle down ours!
“So when did the right of a business to refuse service to someone change?”
~50 years ago w/ the civil rights act of 1964. Limiting the rights of businesses to discriminate in any way they choose is not a new development. The inclusion of LGBTs among the set of protected classes is. (Relatively speaking).
Some of these comments have me shaking my head. When will people realize that there’s a big, big difference between providing SOME PRODUCT OR OTHER to people who may be doing SOMETHING OR OTHER wrong, and offering WEDDING services/accessories to gay couples?
If, being a baker (or any other service professional) means he is required to enter into a contract with a buyer, then he is not required to enter into a contract for any reason. The buyer cannot force the service provider to enter into a binding contract. It would be like me (as a buyer) forcing you (as a seller) to make a product from me that you do not want to make. Thus, a person (or company) cannot be in violation of a contract if there has been no contract signed or authorized. A buyer cannot force a seller to enter into a legal contract.
Best I have heard it put on this stream., Kevin. To refuse service or sale of a product on the shelf is one thing… to refuse to enter a contract with anyone is a totally different matter. One cannot be forced to enter a legally binding contract against his will, that would be tantamount to forced labor/performance.
A buyer cannot force the seller to sell. However, courts have allowed the state to stipulate that if the seller is going to sell then he must not discriminate (along certain lines) in choosing who he does business with. He can, of course, choose not to sell at all. That’s his prerogative.
Should you think this only applies to “goods off a shelf” scenarios, considers that it applies to landlords renting property (typically by way of rental contracts).
I have heard many homosexuals claim that we all have a right to our own opinions and yet when someone like this guys stands up to that opinion that he supposedly has a right to they are the ones casting stones. Sounds like hypocrisy to me.
Absolutely everyone has the right to their own opinions. That right doesn’t necessarily make the legally correct. Therein lies fallacy of your point. No one is suggesting he can’t hold that opinion. He is not required to change that opinion. He may be required to not do business, pay a fine or nothing, depending on whether that opinion and subsequent actions have contravened the law. Some people believe that adulterers should be killed for example. They are entitled to that opinion. Acting on that opinion would contravene the law. Are you suggesting that because we don’t kill adulterers that people right to an opinion is being infringed upon?
Scott, I’ve attempted to ignore your ignorant talk but now find I impossible to contain myself.
For beginners, the texts from 1 Samuel are written in Hebrew, not Greek. The fact that you glibly tell someone else to “check it out in the original language” (as if you yourself have), while making such a glaring mistake lets me know you not only haven’t done it yourself (because it isn’t possible) but that you are parroting what you have heard from someone else. Furthermore, the relationship between David and Jonathan was no more romantic or sexual than are the deep relationship between Middle Eastern men of today (or Russians, or some from Latin America), who kiss each other in greeting and value their friendships “above the love of women.” For you to impose a pornified, post-sexual revolution understanding upon a text of Scripture nearly 3000 years old is the height of ignorance. Stop acting educated when you are clearly not.
As for the “science” behind the genetics of homosexuality, only one recent study even remotely addressed the elephant in the room on that nonsense, viz., that if homosexuality were genetic it would be eliminated in a single generation because homosexuals by definition practice a sterile sexuality. The study from UC Santa Barbara, loudly trumpeted as “the answer” basically said latent “flaws” in the genetic code of reproducing heterosexuals could be heightened when passed on to their progeny, thus producing homosexuals. The problem with this theory is that a) they researchers admitted it was entirely unproven and was merely a theory, and B) it classified such a genetic condition in a way that could make it treatable as any number of other genetic disorders might be treated.
Claiming “genetics” is already passé in the gay community, and a recent comment on a message board by a gay militant said it all: “We only ever claimed the genetic thing to get sympathy, but now that the tide has turned we couldn’t care less if it is or not. It’s what we want, and that’s that.” Such a position is the honest view and the real impetus behind the homosexual lobby.
Finally, for you to parallel a man choosing who he will or will not make a cake for with killing adulterers shows just where you are on the scale of reason. You have come on this board and acted more educated, informed, and reasonable than you are. Now I suggest that YOU go and educate YOURSELF before acting like you know things you don’t and revealing how out of your dept you really are.
David is your argument so weak that you have to resort to ad hominem attack? Please don’t do that, it is unethical and makes you look silly. As I pointed out above, the Greek is probably more reliable, which is why I suggested it, because if you knew anything about the translation problems there and the horrific errors in the Hebrew, you would know that the Greek is more reliable in this case. You obviously haven’t looked at or compared the Greek to the Hebrew to the English, have you?
As for the genetic basis for homosexuality – um, sorry you are simply and plainly wrong. There are hundreds of papers out there that look into genetic factors. No, biology is not likely to be 100% the reason, but it clearly is not a preference any more than heterosexuality is. In fact it is probably a continuum and no one is likely to be 100% homo or hetero, but somewhere in between. Go ahead cite your peer-reviewed articles that it is only a preference. In the meantime, here is one of hundreds that says it is not. You are free to look them all up and read them.
Hamer DH, Hu S, Magnuson VL, Hu N, Pattatucci AM (July 1993). “A linkage between DNA markers on the X chromosome and male sexual orientation”. Science 261 (5119): 321–7.
Scott, I have a Ph.D. I biblical studies, meaning I have translated and exegeted both the Greek of Septuagint and the original Hebrew texts, Bluntly put, you aren’t as facile on those languages or texts as I am, or Denny who hosts this forum who is an expert in Koine Greek and did his dissertation on Greek grammar. You have ZERO clue as to what you are speaking about when you say “Greek was the original language” of the text of 1 Samuel. That is philologically akin to saying, “Check out Cervantes’ /Don Quixote/ in its original language, you know–Swahili.” The Septuagint is more category than a specific translation, and it is clear from the New Testament that some of its manuscripts are lost to us. It does help with access to the text because it is ancient, BUT IT IS NOT ORIGINAL, requires the Hebrew laid next to it for study, and with helps no more “accessible” than the Hebrew–except perhaps to you. I suggest, nay, rather /assert/ that you were merely bullying someone you know full well would/could not consult the text and were playing the odds they’d be “wowed” by you referring to an original text.
Little did they know you were lying. It /isn’t/ the original text. You owe the person you stated that to, and to Denny, an apology for lying and misleading, and/or stating something you were so patently ignorant of.
I have been to the Middle East, and Europe, and spent extensive time in Latin America. And I’ve both witnesses and experienced the type of relationship David and Jonathan had. YOU, sir, are the one who are ad hominem and completely tendentious and out of your depth when referring to the biblical text, a field about which you know NOTHING but what you carry to it from your godless agenda. You have no appreciation for the theology in those texts, nor do you understand the covenant relationship between those men. I repeat for all hearers, there is NOTHING in the Jonathan and David narrative that even remotely suggests homosexuality, nor anything, anywhere in Scripture. The culture of the Palestinian New Testament world was heavily influenced by Jewish texts written during the intertestamental period that directly addressed and roundly condemned Greek homosexuality. We know New Testament writers were aware of and influenced by these texts because of how they wrote, and given Jesus’ broad literacy and remarks, it is more than fair to realize He did as well. There is no way Jesus Christ would have winked at homosexuality. This is confirmed by the early church fathers, who also roundly condemn homosexual behavior in all its manifestations. To suggest Christ would have “baked the cake” means that He would have ignored the Torah, the immediate crisis of national Jewish identity in the Maccabean Revolt, and the overall Jewish culture of life (which one can see perpetuated in the fiercely pro-life, pro-birth stand of modern-day Hasidic Jews), AND is to suggest that His teaching was ignored by ALL the writers of the New Testament–including the Apostle Paul and His own half-brother Jude, and was /further/ ignored by the early church fathers. Right
Again, all readers, know this: ANYONE who recasts Jesus as some sort of post-1960’s, bead and sandal-wearing morally liberal flower child has not even remotely understood Him or His world.
As for science, if you are a scientist at all, Scott, you’ll admit that objectivity is a chimera. The “hundreds” of voices are as driven by money and recognition as anything that has ever happened in the academy. We have seen what happens when scientists–top scientists–object to something such as global warming: They are shouted down. What of sex?
You cannot answer–nor has any scientist been able to answer–how a “gay gene” is perpetuated in light of Darwinian evolutionary theory (which is applied more or less as if it were law). The concept of “survival of the fittest” and a genetic trait that impedes reproduction simply don’t square. Darwin would have laughed himself silly at the concept of homosexual activity being passed from generation to generation in the gene pool–at the least it would be ever diminishing, and if historically present in the culture of ancient Greece it certainly would have been gone by now. More realistically, it would have been entirely eliminated in the prehistoric era. Both philosophically and scientifically, then, the “gay gene” is an orphan, since biblical creationists sure aren’t going to take it in, and Darwin certainly can’t.
The bigger, immediate problem is that you and others cloak the entire issue in a cloak of obscurity. For you and your rhetoric, “gayness” is a general sense of being. But in practice–where it counts–the concept becomes even more difficult. NAUSEA WARNING: Male homosexuality is transfixed with the anus. (And spare me, Scott, I’ve read the statistics and the medical journal articles, taken directly from broad research among practicing homosexuals.) Licking and penetrating the anus (with the penis or other, larger objects) is fundamental and basic to male homosexual practice. Now for the biology of the matter: That’s BAD for you. Having your urinary tract exposed to fecal material is BAD for you. And ingesting fecal material is BAD for you. Having your anus distended is BAD for you–the rectum is fragile and the thrusting associated with anal intercourse (unlike natural, normal, vaginal intercourse) can lead to rupture and infection of the bloodstream by fecal matter, resulting in disease of the liver and other organs–HIV/AIDS aside. If male homosexuality were normal, natural, and God-intended, it wouldn’t be BAD for you–and no, on the Eighth Day God did not create condoms. The homosexual community has hidden behind the veil of “love” and has balked at discussing the specifics, but it is the specifics that lie at the heart of the matter. (And by the way, I always find it ironic when the scolding begins after discussion of the specifics comes into play–when it is the homosexual who is the one actually doing these things. I am not ashamed to say I have vaginal intercourse with my wife–it is natural and normal.) Any honest medical professional would tell you the human body is not intended for such activity, and IF there were some physical (i.e., genetic) proclivity towards it, then said proclivity should be treated as an illness and aggressively treated as is clinical depression or the like. But since homosexuality is a /politically correct/ unhealthy activity, it is therefore protected. It won’t be the first time: Our society has done the same with cigarettes and alcohol, both of which find greater footholds in some than in others and both of which claim lives through their toxicity.
The quote that I presented from the homosexual laughing at their own rhetoric of genetics is authentic: Gays have always ridden the line between claiming freedom for themselves and claiming victimhood through genetic determination. Anyone who thinks past the end of their nose realizes these are in conflict, and the gays have known it all along. Now that they are getting the upper hand in the political realm, they are tossing the victimhood cloak aside as the weighty thing that it is.
One thing is enlightening here, Scott: You have admitted your field of knowledge: archaeology. Great. Tell us about a recent dig. But don’t come here claiming superior knowledge of science and /especially/ of ancient languages and texts (my goodness gracious). And most of all, stop claiming that you, somehow, have the objective angle on homosexuality! NO ONE is objective on such issues, and your sources are as interested, invested, and tendentious as any that have come down the pike, and along with them your conclusions.
Capital punishment for adulterers and Oregonian bakers. Sheesh. I don’t expect you to change your views, but other people reading this need to know what a fraud you are.
Homosexuality is about the anus? Hmmm…how misguided is that. You obviously know nothing about the subject. Homosexuality isn’t just about sex, just as heterosexuality isn’t all about sex. BTW, heterosexuals often have anal sex too – and enjoy it. Try it sometime.
The genetics are not about a “gay gene” either – educate yourself please before you speak on something you know nothing about – genetics don’t often work that way. I won’t bother to educate you, you are obviously incapable of understanding of epigenetic inheritance, allelic interaction in modern genetics.
You are pompous and arrogant and a poor representative of Christianity. Your words are thinly veiled hatred and bigotry for people you know nothing about.
I never suggested capital punishment for adulterers or bakers in Oregon. That you feel the need to perpetuate that straw man says a lot about your motives. If you can’t follow a simple argument and insist on setting up straw men and using ad hominem attack then you are in violation of the posting guidelines here.
dr. james willingham
Bravo, Dr. Thomas, concerning your focus on Scott’s major historic and linguistic gaffe about I Samuel being written in Greek. That one was a howler. Wonders never cease at what some will do to win an argument or to intimidate an opponent with their supposed superior knowledge. Nothing works better than the truth unless what one is promoting is a lie from the beginning. If the latter, then baloney works as good as anything. My field is history, and there was a David Thomas, M.A., in Virginia in the 1700s, an early educated Baptist Preacher. Are you any kin? I had a friend who was a descendant of that Baptist preacher, Elijah Craig, who headed the committee that met with the colonial legislators and made the agreement that, in exchange for religious freedom, the Baptists would go back to their communities and encourage their young men to enlist in the patriots’ cause. Craig must have had a hand in fulfilling the promises. Accord to the volumes of the DAR, one whole regiment of the Virginia Militia, that’s all 2000 members of it, bore the last name Craig.
What these folks ain’t telling us about their sodomy practices is that right behind them stand the pedophiles with their NAMBLA signs, promoting adult-child sexual relationships. It has always depressed me to see the gay parades with the NAMBLA signs evident in the background. The folks of that view claim that warm, loving relationships, etc., are okay. Baloney! As a professional counselor, I can testify that they do tremendous harm to children.
There is more, but to the unholy every thing is unholy. However, the reverse is true, and demands the regard with which such an outlook accords. O yes, I have graduate degrees in all three areas, history, theology, and counseling. I did 6 years of research in church history, and two years of research in the Greek of the pericope on Agape in I Cors.12:31b-14:1a. My area of specialty is, in addition to Church History, the nature and effect of theological ideas. In other words, I am into the field of Intellectual research and how biblical doctrines make one balanced, flexible, creative, constant, and magnetic. A healthy minded approach to problems which disdains the psychologically manipulative practice of oneupsmanship games.
Dr. Willingham, my Revolutionary War Thomas forebears were Catholic Marylanders who married into a prominent Quaker clan (fighting Quakers, if you can believe it). I do have Virginia revolutionaries, but that ancestral name is Cooke.
For the record, I am reticent to bring up my education as a matter of course, and generally don’t do so unless invited (as Scott in fact did, though his tone was more like “I’m educated and you could not possibly be”), for precisely the reasons you mention: Dropping credentials can stifle the discussion and bully people. I’d rather the argument matter stand on its own merits. But Scott chose to dig in his heels on the “Greek is primary” issue vis-a-vis the text of 1 Samuel instead of admit his academic dishonesty, and took it a step farther to challenge my credentials. That’s why I answered him as I did. If he is going to claim expertise in a field that has bearing on the matter at hand (I’ll let other readers draw their own conclusions about the pertinence of archaeology for this discussion), and then push people around with that claim, I’m going to answer him.
In regard to the hard sciences, he has no more footing via his credentials than anyone else in this forum. In terms of Scripture, he’s way out of his league. The bottom line is that he, not I or anyone else here, brought up the matter of David and Jonathan. If I am a plumber it /might/ not be in my best interest to speak with great pomp and authority about art history while standing in the Louvre…
The fact that you have a PhD in Biblical Studies does not give you sole purvey over the subject. People can read. My studies were pertinent only in the language/anthropological end of the subject matter – and you were claiming prima facie knowledge about David and Jonathan (I note you don’t address my rightful claim to the Hebrew being error filled as opposed the the better Greek available) so I asked if you had similar language ability. That’s all. Greek isn’t primary there, and I never claimed it was, it is simply better and more accessible for reasons I have already given.
Your view of David and Jonathan is a tired interpretation that ignores facts of the society, facts of the text, but is convenient to your end goal. That is all – and you are entitled to them. You have a bias in your education and personal belief system. I don’t have any horse in this race. I don’t have a biblical studies reputation to protect or a theology to protect or a lifestyle to protect. You seem to – and that is fine. My only interest is looking at different points of view on the subject and this blog was suggested to me as one that allowed differing points of view – faerie tales, facts, science they all add up to tell a story on this issue.
It never ceases to amaze me how little heat it takes…
Keep in mind, Scott, that no one twisted your arm to write what you have written. You did it all by yourself.
“…heterosexuals often have anal sex too – and enjoy it. Try it sometime.”
This statement lets me and everyone else know that your inner directive is fundamentally hedonistic, not truth-seeking. There are a host of things we can do with our bodies that can give it enjoyment of a kind, including cigarettes, cocaine, orgies, and deep fried Twinkies, among other things, but that doesn’t mean we should participate in them. Many things that feel good for the moment are harmful. I have done my reading on both the statistics regarding male homosexual practice and the physiology of anal sex, and I stand by what I said. You, on the other hand, cannot for a second either sustain the claim that it is not central to the homosexual lifestyle OR justify it as healthful and biologically safe. It IS central to male homosexuality, and it IS unsafe, thus creating a conundrum for those who say homosexuality is a biological phenomenon.
“Are you suggesting that because we don’t kill adulterers that people right to an opinion is being infringed upon?”
“I never suggested capital punishment for adulterers or bakers in Oregon. “
No, but you very much suggested that commenter Grace Song would be in that camp by her assertion that this baker had a right to not serve this lesbian couple. Really, Scott? Really? And you are here, accusing /others/ of ad hominems? Give me a break. You’ve been ad hominem in nearly every post you’ve made, patronizingly talking down to everyone else like so many hoi polloi, tacking them as uneducated, Taliban-like buffoons while you are the Colossus of Reason, towering above the sweaty evangelical masses. You are as invested as anyone here, and your vicious (yes, vicious) attack on Grace was entirely uncalled for. There are Libertarians who would back this guy who are also pro-gay, but out of principle feel he should have the right to do what he wants. Such people are not suggesting thereby that we stone adulterers, thank you very much, and it is insulting as well as absurd for you to say so.
“Greek isn’t primary there, and I never claimed it was…“
“You might look up 1 Samuel and delve into Jonathan and David’s relationship/union – do look up the original Greek.”
Do you really think we cannot read? You didn’t start backpedaling and justifying this absurd lie until someone called you on it, then began with this whole “better reliability” nonsense.
Since Scott is beyond reason, I say this to anyone else: If Greek is the translation of the original Hebrew, the /translation/ cannot, by definition, be more reliable than the /original/ text. For once and all: NO ONE even remotely believed or thought the relationship between Jonathan and David—an ancient text written by a faith community that fiercely opposed the Sodomy practices of the nations that surrounded it—was about a male romance UNTIL it became convenient for the MODERN gay community to do so. For Scott to refer to the interpretation that has held for nearly three millennia as “tired” betrays his real agenda: He is more interested in what is modern and popular than what is true. (As if homosexuality and the cultural philosophy behind it isn’t “tired.” Better dig up some ancient Greek vases, Scott, and see what the bearded men and beardless youths are doing on them. It might also enlighten you concerning what those homosexual practitioners thought their lifestyle was “about.”)
And now for the real issue: Love or hate?
“And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner – no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment.”~C.S. Lewis
“In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair…the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.”~Dorothy Sayers
Both of these Christian social prophets foretold these days, but in truth they were telling what had already happened: The people of God have been called haters for their moral stand since before the coming of Christ.
I have lost several dear friends to the pit of homosexuality, and I don’t mean estrangement. They are dead by their own hands, over the pleadings and objections of their loved ones, consumed by their despair. Their loss is a deep grief to me, and their sin (in terms of guilt) was a minor matter in comparison to my love for them. Rather, it filled me with compassion for them, but hatred for the sin that destroyed the people I loved so. The Scotts will never know, it is easier for the Scotts to brand Christians “haters” and move on as if they really care about these people. But I know the real story, and I daresay many other caring Christians who read this know and care deeply for people whom we will not brand, will not finally condemn because we pray and plead and hope for them—even as the Scotts write them off and play the “tolerance” card that tells them, “You were born this way. There’s no way out. Being romantically, emotionally, and sexually attached to someone with whom you can never procreate but rather could bring disease to you is normal.”
I won’t stand for that. The love of Christ is confrontational, persists even when vilified and misunderstood and rejected. Love does not rejoice in evil but rejoices with the truth. And homosexuality is a lie.
I do not hate people who practice homosexuality. I love them. That’s why I hate what they are involved in, because it is a walking, living death. Because of this I have walked past the warning signs in the hospital to lay hands on AIDS ravaged flesh and have counseled people caught in the lifestyle and hoping against hope that the Zeitgeist is lying to them, and that perhaps, somehow they might escape the hell they are in.
Thankfully, some have been saved. I do what I do and say what I say for them, not for the Scotts out there who pretend—and above all, pretend to themselves.
dr. james willingham
I, too, have known of losses in the pit of Sodomy. A dear friend lost a son to it and to AIDS. Eisogesis is well known among those who give serious consideration to a study of Holy Scripture and no amount of misrepresentation will every justify accepting such practices as having Divine Approval. At the same time, it is to be noted that God also does save some who have sinned in that way just as He does those who, like I once did, say, “There is no God.” Very good, Dr. Thomas.
“you very much suggested that commenter Grace Song would be in that camp by her assertion that this baker had a right to not serve this lesbian couple.”
I didn’t get that sense at all. Nor do I think most readers would.
Really, Buddy? This is the text of Scott’s comment to Grace:
“Some people believe that adulterers should be killed for example. They are entitled to that opinion. Acting on that opinion would contravene the law. Are you suggesting that because we don’t kill adulterers that people [sic] right to an opinion is being infringed upon?”
If you think that kind of caricature of what Grace Song was arguing about this man’s right to refuse participation in something he considers morally reprehensible, then your line of reasoning speaks for itself. Anyone can take someone else’s argument, extrapolate it into a pretzel, then say, “Are you suggesting /that/?”
Do these things /really/ need to be explained to you? In all charity…
Go back and read what you said. You said to Scott:
“you very much suggested that commenter Grace Song would be in that camp by her assertion that this baker had a right to not serve this lesbian couple”
Scott suggested no such thing. Here’s Grace argument again to which Scott was responding:
“I have heard many homosexuals claim that we all have a right to our own opinions and yet when someone like this guys stands up to that opinion that he supposedly has a right to they are the ones casting stones. Sounds like hypocrisy to me.”
Scott’s point is that this is not hypocritical. To illustrate why he brought up the hypothetical of someone who believes adulterers should be put to death. Such a person is free to believe that, but he is not free to act on that belief by breaking the law. The example was clearly intended to illustrate how Grace’s assertion that “free to believe what you want” implies “free to act on that belief” falls down in the general case.
For beginners, I obviously owe you an apology for the last line of my previous post. But Buddy, here’s why Scott—and you—are dead wrong:
Grace presented a logical argument known as syllogism (though she may not have realized it). Simply put, she paralleled the homosexual claim to liberty of thought and expression to this Christian businessman’s claim to liberty of thought and expression. Having established that premise, she then noted (rightly, in my view), the incongruity of homosexuals /denying/ what they loudly claim as their own to someone else when that other person’s liberty is inconvenient for them. The obvious strength of her argument is that this man not baking a cake for these lesbians does not stop them from being lesbian, from getting “married,” or from getting a cake somewhere else. By the same token, her argument is equally forceful through its implication (based upon the ongoing previous discussion) that the converse is NOT true for the baker: For a Christian, even a /single/ preach of conscience is one too many. In short, him not baking the cake does not damage these women’s lesbianism; him being forced to do so very much damages his freedom to practice his faith as he wishes.
You, Buddy, of all people (going by the tenor and themes of your posts) should be astute enough to recognize the conundrum the nation is in here: We have a collision between Freedom of Religion (one guaranteed right) and Freedom of Expression (another guaranteed right). Pointing out the difficulty of that puzzle is the proper answer to Grace, though in so many words she had already pointed it out herself.
But Scott (whose cause you have inexplicably taken up) didn’t do that. No, he answered with syllogism with a syllogism of his own, and his argument goes something like this:
OK, if you are going to say that, Grace, I’ll say this: There is a parallel to this man’s right to thought and exercise thereof regarding denying service to lesbians (on the one hand) and other people’s right to thought and exercise thereof regarding killing adulterers (on the other). Ergo, Grace, to use syllogism as you have is to paint yourself into a corner and suggest, essentially, that /anyone/ who thinks /anything/ can do it in the name of personal liberty.
Once he said this, Grace was given a Hobson’s choice: Either she stands by her argument and thereby submits to his conclusion that adulterer killers should have a free hand, or she abandons her argument entirely, cedes the field to the victor, and by default grants the point—which, of course, was his design the entire time.
However, there are numerous problems with this scenario. First, syllogisms are only as good as the premises upon which they are based. And Scott’s fundamental premise is dead wrong: Christians (and that’s who we are talking about here) do NOT have the right to think adulterers should be put to death, much less to do it. Jesus settled this once for all in John 8:3-11. I would also suggest checking the U.S. legal code on that one, because for all the leap that Scott takes between “thinking” and “doing,” the step he skips (which I am again surprised is lost on you) is verbally /opining/. And I daresay that if one individual verbally makes known their opinion that any other certain individual should be /killed/ because of a private, non-criminal action (even an immoral one), the law takes that as a threat and under the right circumstances it is most certainly prosecutable—in other words, you DON’T have a right to “think” that, only the /ability/ to. But beyond all this, the premise is most flawed in that the parallel itself is absurd. Only in the most sterile sense of dead logic is the relationship between a man’s convictions and actions regarding serving cake to homosexuals parallel with thinking adulterers should be killed and then seeing that it is done. And, of course, this leads to a flawed conclusion, making Scott’s syllogism collapse under its own weight—it is a FALSE syllogism. Grace’s syllogism, however, still stands, and her point is still valid—even if it presents a conflict within the Bill of Rights.
But worst of all, for my money, is not Scott’s logic. It is his /rhetoric/. Scott could have, as you have often done, paralleled the cause of these homosexuals with that of civil rights activists in the mid-20th century. But he didn’t. He deliberately went nuclear, choosing an image from the barbaric religious totalitarian regimes of the Middle East who stone and behead and hang people for adultery. Frankly put, I don’t see Scott as so clumsy as to do this by accident—I wouldn’t do him the dishonor. For you, Buddy, to coldly act as if this is merely about “logic” (though again, it is beyond me how you can see what he says as “logical” and still claim any fidelity to Scripture) is to ignore his choice of images and words and how he closed that post. In so many words, this was a rhetorical, “Grace, have you stopped beating your children yet?” As I’ve often observed, once someone brings Hitler or the Nazis into any discussion, the discussion is over. /Logically/ (a la Mr. Spock of Star Trek) the parallel may apply; /rhetorically/ it is Armageddon. That’s what Scott pulled. So while /technically/ and /logically/ speaking he did not suggest that Grace wanted to kill adulterers, /rhetorically/ he stated, with lucid clarity, that he considered her /very much/ of that ilk if she continued with her “oppressive” opinions. (And incidentally, the fact that he thought I was accusing him of wanting to kill the baker shows how little he grasped my issue with him here.)
I suppose what mystifies me most about you, Buddy, is how apparently opaque and therefore subordinate the truth of Scripture is to you. The Constitution is little more than a dead document if it is not enlightened—at can be made to say anything anyone wants. For this reason, as I noted to you in a previous post, John Adams—its architect—declared it useless for any people other than a godly, religious one. That fact that you would simply pass over Scott’s statement about people having the “right” to think adulterers should be killed simply astounds me. I’m quite frankly not sure how I would have handled this situation if I were the baker from Oregon, though I do admire him. But I do know this: The day of reckoning is here, and we are in the midst of the multitudes in the Valley of Decision. If as Christians we exalt the civil over the theological and the spiritual (rightly called the “Queen of the Sciences” because of how it influences everything else), we are doomed from the outset. Would you have bowed before Nebuchadnezzar’s statue? Pledged your oath to Caesar? Worship and compromise take many different forms, and times haven’t changed merely so much as is so often claimed…
this conversation reminds of the line in Star Trek VI.
“You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon”
On David and Jonathan, I would echo everything David Thomas has written. And I would add one more thing.
If you think that David and Jonathan were gay (2 Sam 1:26), then you must also believe that Saul and Jonathan could fly and had super-human strength (2 Sam 1:23). Of course the former is just as absurd as the latter.
The remarks about David and Jonathan are a part of a poem/song–a genre that is often filled with non-literal uses of language. This particular song is filled with hyperbole. If I say, “I’m so hungry that I could eat a horse,” only a very naive person would conclude that I am making an existential statement about my ability to consume a horse. They know that I am using hyperbolic language go express how hungry I am. That is all.
Likewise, only the dullest of literalistic readers would try to press 2 Sam. 1:26 into an affirmation of homosexuality. That interpretation would never even have crossed the minds of the original readers. Those readers all knew that this was simply poetic language hyperbolically describing David’s loyal friendship with Jonathan. That is all.
Indeed, Denny. The genre of that passage is highly instructive.
I would also add that another text, 1 Samuel 20:33-42, has often been cited at face value per this issue. Gay activists have pointed to it as if to say, “Aha! See! They /kissed/!”
Well, Jonathan had just learned his father the king intended to put David to death, and Jonathan was bound by covenant oath with David (something that for all intents and purposes has no parallels in modern society) to tell him the bad news and help him get away. After Jonathan informs David by code, David ceremonially bows to his friend, they kiss each other (as even modern Middle Eastern men do), then weep, knowing they will never see each other again.
The context is so full of dark pathos it fairly drips of it, but homosexual activists couldn’t care less: The jump on it like a hen on a tick, plunder it for what is useful for their propaganda, and move on. In short, they turn the gripping, tragic image of covenant brothers parting for the last time in their lives into a scene of gay erotica. If modern men of that region can kiss each other as a simple “hello” under the best of circumstances, how can anyone conclude that under the threat of death itself all of a sudden these two men would start feeling romantic?
It defies all reason.
dr. james willingham
Scott: You were found out, when you made the ridiculous claim about I Samuel being written in Greek, as if Hebrew had nothing to do with it. Any scholar knows that First Samuel was written in Hebrew and that it was translated in to the Greek in what is known as the Septuagint, the Seventy, the same that I have in two volumes in my library which also contains the Hebrew Bible. One of the realities with which we have to contend in scholarly life is not to go beyond our training and make assertions lacking in evidentiary support. which is what you clearly did. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! The real course of valor is simply to say that you goofed and go on from there. Continuing in the same path just digs the hole deeper.
dr. james willingham
Thank you, Dr. Thomas. Your responses have been insightful, thoughtful, and evocative of a more intelligible approach to issues. Scott has demonstrated a surprising ineptitude for one supposedly well-educated (which he probably is), but he is dealing with an issue that has tripped his emotional switches and is responding accordingly. I wonder if he is aware of the caliber of education that is manifested by people who write on Dr. Burk’s Blog. He only made himself look bad and reflected poorly on the institutions where he earned his degrees by such nonsense as I Samuel being written in the Greek.