The Half-Baked Politicisation of Christian Cakeries

by Robert Harris (June 2015)

Who would have thought cakes, those (preferably) light sweet fragrant confections, would be the cause of abiding social turmoil? The cake shop just around the corner, where these flavoursome concoctions are made, can be a flash-point of contention, quite possibly of international proportions! Why are such businesses and even lives ruined by the ensuing fracas?  more>>>


2 Responses

  1. The right to freedom of expression also entails, I argue, the right not to express opinions with which one disagrees. The cake seller was asked to inscribe Support Gay Marriage on the cake icing i.e. was asked to express an opinion with which the cake seller strongly disagrees.

    This issue of freedom of opinion, not the issue of personal religious beliefs, is a point of law on which any court appeal could be successfully argued.

    In Hitler’s Germany people were dragooned into shouting the praises of the great leader, and in communist Russia people were dragooned into praising Stalin. They were forced to express opinions they didn’t have. It is against this background that in 1948 the UN universal declaration of human rights listed freedom of opinion and its expression as one of the most important human rights.

    Any democracy that fails to uphold the right of individuals not to express opinions they disagree with is not being democratic.

  2. Hello Don, well said. Freedom of expression, also includes the right not to express views or be pressured into expressing (in some respect) the views of others. Now in this case the cake shop offers a servive to write messages on cakes which muddies the water. However, they are still assisting with the expression of another’s political views, and, as such, they should have the right to refuse to advance the point of view of said person’s opinion. Whilst I am conscious that Mr. Lee, (the customer) had every right to request the cake with a political message, and to expect the cake after money changed hands since a legal contract was established, anti-discrimination law should not be artfully interpreted (for example, by making out that Mr. Lee’s opinion on marriage is somehow an intrinsic part of his sexual identity) to force others, in contravention with the most elemental of human rights, to become a proxy in expressing the views of others, particularly those they disagree with.

    It is notable how Christian baking companies are targeted by activists in this respect, to push pro gay marriage messages. Notably, such people don’t target Muslim bakeries, even though that would yield the same results, as Steven Crowder found. Whilst Mr. Lee may have not had such an intent, we can see this as a broad attack on those that disagree with certain liberal-left political positions. This is bad for democracy in the long term, regardless of one’s political persuasions.

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