In March of 2014, Bill Jack went to the Azucar Bakery in Dever and asked the bakery for two cakes:
“I requested two cakes, each in the shape of an open Bible. On the first cake I requested on one page, ‘God hates sin — Psalm 45:7,’ and on the facing page, ‘Homosexuality is a detestable sin — Leviticus 18:22.’
On the second cake I requested on one page, ‘God loves sinners,’ and on the facing page, ‘While we were yet sinners Christ died for us – Romans 5:8.’ I also requested a decoration of two groomsmen holding hands with a cross in the background with a ghostbusters symbol over it to illustrate that such a union is unacceptable biblically.”
According to The Christian Post, Jack is in the process of filing an appeal with the Civil Rights Division, over what he calls “hypocrisy and unequal treatment before the law.”
At the heart of the controversy is a simple question: While it is illegal to discriminate against gays, is it “discrimination” to refuse to create customized messages that violate one’s freedom of conscience?
The reason laws on free speech and freedom of religion were enshrined in the Bill of Rights is so they applied to all individuals. The argument for extending the same rights to all Americans goes something like this:
- If gay people wants to refuse to put ‘hateful’ messages on something, they should have that right.
- If Muslims want to refuse putting cartoons of Muhammad on a poster, they should have that right.
- If black Americans want to refuse putting images of the KKK on materials, they should have the right to do that.
- If Christians who disagree with gay marriage don’t want to endorse messages that support it, they should have that right.
Similar contentious religious issues were hotly debated just prior to the Constitution being ratified and were addressed by James Madison, the Father of the Constitution himself, in Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments:
Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, “that Religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence”… The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate.
This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him.
The nation was founded with multiple religious sects at odds with one another over various issues of faith; the Bill of Rights sought to quell those civil disturbances with a uniform rule of law that was applicable to all people equally – no exceptions.
There was never a contemplation by the Founders about one set of citizens having certain rights, and another set of citizens having different rights. Such is the prelude to national discord and never-ending tumult among Americans.
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