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Unintended Consequences

March 11, AD2014 33 Comments

\"JoAnna

Alert the media! I\’ve found another case of an innocent person being cruelly denied a cake by an intolerant, bigoted bakery department. In this case, the zealots targeted an innocent child. The bakers didn\’t like the personal beliefs of the child\’s parents and subsequently refused to make their kid a birthday cake. That\’s right – they refused to make a birthday cake for a child simply because they didn\’t like the parents\’ lifestyle! There must be legal and social consequences for a tribulation of this magnitude.

I expect that the same people who opposed SB 1062, recently vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer due to outright lies perpetrated by a dishonest media, will immediately jump to the defense of the child and parents in question and ask – nay, demand – that these bakers immediately subvert their prejudices and consciences so that other children won\’t be victimized. I also expect the liberal media to encourage a boycott of the store until such time as they agree to make a cake for anyone who asks, no matter what.

This particular case happened in New Jersey. I sincerely hope Governor Christie and the government of New Jersey will hasten to pass a bill stating that all bakers in the state, no matter their feelings regarding a particular person\’s beliefs or lifestyle, will make any cake requested by a customer – or else that baker will be punished to the full extent of the law. After all, we\’re a land of tolerance and freedom. No one should be allowed to refuse goods and services to another person. We live in an enlightened time where no one should be refused anything just because another person night not want to participate in an activity they find immoral. Morals, schmorals. The only moral in our great country should be “I get what I want, when I want it, no matter what, or else I\’ll sue.”

Private business owners have no rights, at least not in this country. They use the public roads, and rely on public utilities in their stores. If they want to use public utilities and services, then they should have to serve the public, right? If we let private business owners refuse service to anyone for any reason, that would usher in another era of Jim Crow laws!

What\’s even worse is when business owners try to use their religion as a reason to refuse service. How ridiculous! After all, separation of church and state is clearly spelled out in the Constitution, and free exercise of religion isn\’t mentioned once.

Catholic bakers, especially, shouldn\’t use their objection to gay marriage to justify their refusal to cooperate with and participate in gay weddings. So what if the Catholic Catechism explicitly says they shouldn\’t participate in someone else\’s sin? People can practice their religion on Sundays all they want, but they shouldn\’t let it affect their weekday activities. This country was founded upon tolerance and acceptance of everyone, not religious freedom. And those who don\’t know history are doomed to repeat it, or something.

\”We reserve the right not to print anything on the cake that we deem to be inappropriate,\” a store employee said. It should be illegal to hold that view. They have no right to judge other people that way, especially since it forced the poor family to find another store in which to get their cake. Such a travesty! There aren\’t that many places where you can buy a cake in this country, after all. Businesses just can\’t be allowed the right to refuse people service for any reason. It might hurt their feelings, and we all know that people\’s feelings should NEVER be hurt (unless someone is being forced to violate their consciences based on tyranny – in that case, they DESERVE to have hurt feelings).

It\’s absolutely ridiculous that this is even an issue. That child deserves a birthday cake just like everyone else, and that store\’s bakers had no right to refuse to make him one just because they disagree with his parents\’ lifestyle. Bigots! Haters! Call the legions of LGBT minions to fight for this poor boy and his parents! We need Super Bowl executives and Apple bigwigs to call Chris Christie and let him know that New Jersey will NOT get their business as long as they allow these prejudicial practices to happen in their state.

Poor little Adolf Hilter. Given the scores of people who were so eager to spread malicious lies about a bill that would protect the rights of business owners to do exactly what that Shop-Rite bakery did, you\’ll get justice too, I promise. It\’s only a matter of time.

Disclaimer: The above is satire. Any comments taking it seriously will be ridiculed.

 © 2014. JoAnna Wahlund. All rights reserved.

About the Author:

JoAnna was baptized, raised, and married in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America but converted to Catholicism in May 2003, on G.K. Chesterton's birthday. She has five terrific kids here on earth, two saints in heaven praying for her, and a wonderful husband of 13 years who supports her in all things. By day, she is a content editor for a global information company; by night, she enjoys defending the Catholic faith online (in between her duties as chief cook and bottle washer for La Casa Wahlund). She blogs sporadically at http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com.

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  • http://www.dianemckelva.com/ Diane McKelva

    JoAnna, you have a biting wit that cuts through the minutia of life and exposes the ugly truth…..like it or not. Excellent observation on this issue!

  • Phil Dzialo

    sat·ire
    ˈsaˌtīr/
    noun
    1.
    the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
    The purpose of satire is to criticize people’s stupidity…I will not stoop to that level to respond to your “satirical” post, but let me use a real world example. This is NOT satire but it does ridicule stupidity.
    My mother died a little time ago and I buried her through the RCC. My family attended since I am an only child and my son, for whom I care full time, is a spastic quad, non-verbal and, of course, in a wheelchair. So we arrived at Church…many steps and no wheelchair access…the pall bearers had to carry him in the chair up the stairs. Quite humiliating and disrespectful to the disabled. No wheelchair cutout in the pews so his wheelchair was parked in the main aisle. Quite humiliating and dehumanizing…on exhibit for all. I complained to the priest,,,but handicap modifications would be inconsistent with the architecture. Of course, I call him an ass to his face. If this were not a religious place and exempt from ADA (American with Disabilities) Act, I could have filed a complaint with with the Office for Civil Rights and maybe sued, but religious organizations are exempt from the law. It is ok to discriminate. It is quite ok for a priest to refuse to marry gays. It’s quite ok to refuse communion to a legislator who voted for abortion rights. It’s ok and quite legal to discriminate based upon religious beliefs within the religious institution.
    When one choose to operate a public accommodation, you forfeit you right to assert your religious beliefs to discriminate against protected classes of people. You cannot refuse services to gay couples, you cannot refuse service to papists, you cannot refuse service to blacks, you cannot refuse service to women in a burka, you cannot refuse service to women who use contraception….you cannot discriminate against members of a protected class….this is the USA. But it was ok for the RCC to discriminate against my son because he is totally disabled? No satire here, just ridicule of stupidity.

    • http://stacytrasancos.com/ Stacy Trasancos

      Phil, why did you choose that church to bury your mom if you knew there wouldn’t be accommodations that satisfied you?

    • NurseTammy

      I’m sorry for your loss and I personally understand how hard it is to be the person who has to make all the funeral arrangements during a time of grief. I led my family in the process of having a cross-country burial for my husband when he died.

      However, Pallbearers carrying your son’s chair to where he needed it to be sounds like a generous act of service and love…I don’t see the humiliation and disrespect in it.

      I’m sure that they didn’t sneek stairs in when you weren’t looking. You would have had time to know if there was a wheelchair ramp or not. The Church building is what it is and you asked to have the funeral and they did as you asked. Going there the day of the event and screaming at them because the place you chose wasn’t capable of meeting your needs seems unreasonable.

      Calling the Priest an ass to his face is disrespectful and intentionally humiliating. I don’t see what was gained by your actions.

    • Phil Dzialo

      No, No…as a disability advocate, carrying a wheelchair chair up stairs and parking my son in the main aisle was de-humanizing, ultimately disrespectful and discriminatory….it means that the disabled are less than worthy of dignity and axxess…patently wrong not to accommodate the disabled. Priests have no special status when they refuse to acknowledge that disabled are worthy of equal treatment.

    • ME

      Part of humility is accepting the help of others.

    • Micha Elyi

      I haven’t met a humble “disability advocate” yet. They all demand superior treatment.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      I don’t understand how any of the actions you described are dehumanizing, disrespectful, or discriminatory. Your son was accommodated to the best of the church’s ability given their circumstances.

      Phil, perhaps as an act of love and humility, you can help raise money so that the church can afford to build a wheelchair ramp and renovate part of the sanctuary to accomodate wheelchairs.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Phil, many churches (Catholic or otherwise) are so old that they are grandfathered in and thus aren’t required to abide by the ADA. So, it seems likely that the church in question was fully compliant with the law and you’re taking your anger at your own poor planning out on the church.

  • cminca

    Honey–THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A “PRIVATE” BUSINESS.

    If you open a business to service the public–you need to serve the entire public. If you don’t want to serve the public–go into another business.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Would you tell this guy the same thing, sweetie? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/publiccatholic/2014/03/gay-hairdresser-refuses-to-do-governors-hair-because-she-opposes-gay-marriage/

      How about the Shop-Rite who wouldn’t decorate a cake for Adolf Hitler?

      Would you also support forcing a Jewish-owned print shop to make signs for a KKK rally?

    • http://stacytrasancos.com/ Stacy Trasancos
    • cminca

      Stacy–

      Is there anything on that site that indicates it would turn away a straight couple? Is there anything on that site that indicates the locations would not provide accommodations for a straight couple?

      No–it is a site that offers, as a service, assistance for SS couples to find locations that WON’T discriminate against them.

    • cminca

      Politics, like religion, is a choice.

      Being gay isn’t.

      Politics, unlike gender, race, or homosexuality, is NOT a protected population in New Mexico–so the case isn’t comparable.

      As for the Jewish printer–if the printer is rejecting the business for political reasons ( not so difficult to prove)–then the cases are not comparable.

      The shop-rite should decorate the cake–and I think you’d find the ACLU agreeing and supporting Adolf’s parents should they sue.

      Because sometimes living in a pluralistic, secular republic means you have to live with people you don’t agree with.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Being gay may not be a choice (although scientific evidence is not definitive in that regard), but homosexual acts and homosexual marriage certainly are choices. In all of the examples given, the businesses in question stated that happily serve gay customers, but are opposed to participating in an EVENT that goes against their beliefs. Please read the article I posted above for an excellent analysis of this distinction: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/03/refusing-to-photograph-a-gay-wedding-isnt-hateful/284224/

      Should the Jewish printer be able to refuse the KKK customers for political reasons? If not, why not?

      Living with people you don’t agree with and being forced by the government to provide goods and services to those people are two entirely different things – not to mention that the Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion, even if you own a business.

    • cminca

      You want to play hypotheticals? OK.

      A catholic mom is driving through the desert with her two children–15 months and 3 years old. It is getting dark and quite cold. She breaks down, and has to walk–carrying the 15 month child and holding the 3 year old by the hand–5 miles to the closest gas station.

      The owner, see’s her crucifix and realizes she’s Catholic. The gas station owner, being a strict Muslim, won’t help her because 1.) as a woman she shouldn’t be driving; 2.) it is a blaspheme that she is talking to a male that isn’t a relative; and 3.) she hasn’t covered her hair.

      He sends her out into the night.

      So–“Should” he have the “right” to deny her service? Remember–you aren’t born Catholic–you make that choice.

      So if you want the photographer and the baker to be permitted to be bigots–you better be prepared for the Muslim gas station owner. (After all–there is an “art” to fixing cars. He isn’t just selling gas.)

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Yes, he has the right to refuse service to her. But remember, having the right to do a thing is not at all the same as being right in doing it (to quote G.K. Chesterton).

      That being said, your hypothetical is a bit preposterous, because a Muslim gas station refusing to serve women wouldn’t stay in business very long – especially when people spread the word about it on social media.

      Your hypothetical is also preposterous because taking wedding pictures or baking a cake for someone isn’t akin to providing help in a dangerous situation.

      I’m curious what you would think of this: http://www.wnd.com/2013/09/gays-forced-to-serve-westboro-baptist-haters/

      or this: http://www.kmbc.com/Westboro-Bus-Tires-Flattened-In-Okla/12283020

      Should the government have forced local tire shops to fix the WBC’s tires?

    • cminca

      You are truly clueless.

      I started this with a remark about law and discrimination.

      You are talking about social media.

      Yes–you have to provide a cake to the WBC. You have to provide service to them. As much as you dislike what they stand for. Because otherwise you would be guilty of discrimination. Same as the white bus drivers and the white pool owners and the white lunch counter owners had to deal with blacks in the ’60s.

      You want the freedom to discriminate based on your religious philosophy? Move to a theocracy.

      Because your discrimination doesn’t fly here any more.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Okay, it looks like you didn’t understand my point. A Muslim man has the right (or should have the right) to turn away any customer he chooses, legally. But once people get on social media and spread the word – “Don’t go to XYZ Gas Station; he won’t serve women!” – he’ll have no customers. No customers, no profit, no money, no business. The power of the free market. Unless you think people should be forced to patronize his business…?

      So, a gay person refusing to provide service to the WBC is doing so on religious grounds? Do tell.

      Discrimination isn’t always wrong. We discriminate when we tell convicted child sex offenders that they aren’t allowed to live near an elementary school. Do you find that unjust?

      The free exercise of religion is in our Constitution, and that entails the freedom not to participate in sin. I guess if you don’t like that, you should go live in a dictatorship where no one has the freedom to do anything, and must comply with the government’s demands. Perhaps you’d enjoy North Korea?

    • cminca

      Regarding the “free exercise” of religion.

      Can you point out exactly HOW taking photos or baking a cake denies anyone the ability to exercise their religion? Is the government restricting their freedom to pray? Confess?

      Or is it just saying “if you have a license to offer goods and services to the public than you have to offer goods and services to the whole public”?

      Thank you for your remark “being forced by the government to provide good and services to those people”. It clearly shows that this ISN’T about marriage. You don’t want to deal with “those people” at all.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      It’s too bad you didn’t actually read the article, because I included a link to the Catholic teaching in question: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a8.htm#1868

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Also, context, sweetheart. “Living with people you don’t agree with and being forced by the government to provide goods and services to those people….”

      “those” is a modifier used to refer to the people mentioned in the first part of the sentence, not people in general. Grammar FTW.

    • cminca

      I did read for context sweetheart. Your meaning was loud and clear.

      Your meaning throughout your post and your responses has been loud and clear.

      You’re just another self-righteous convert who enjoys considering themselves holier than everyone else.

      Not amusing. Not well informed.

      Just rather pathetic.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Not holier than everyone else, just a sinner saved by grace.

      You did misunderstand my meaning, honeychild. As I said, “those” is a modifier used to refer to the people mentioned in the first part of the sentence, not people in general. Like this:

      “Living with people you don’t agree with and being forced by the
      government to provide goods and services to [the people you live with with whom you disagree] are two entirely different things…”

      using the word “those” shortens the sentence considerably, don’t you think?

  • Francis Choudhury

    “If you open a business to service the public–you need to serve the entire public.”

    Sugarpie honeybunch, could you please come around and tell that Mohammad Hussein Abdullah in the butchery down the street from here that he’s got to make pork sausages for me? The last time I asked, he just looked at me kinda funny. And that carving knife in his hand looked really sharp and shiny. I could do with all the help I can get from you to make him acquiesce to my just and rightful demand. Thanks, sweetie!

    • cminca

      Does Mohammad Hussein Abdullah offer pork to his other customers? Does the kosher butcher? NO.

      The government isn’t telling anyone what they have to offer to the public. But a business license means that what you do offer to the public you offer to the whole public.

      I’m sorry if that concept is over your head to grasp.

      So–Bubbles–You may now go back to Fox News to get your “facts” and leave the thinking to the rest of us.

    • Micha Elyi

      The Christian baker didn’t offer perverted versions of wedding cakes to other customers.

      By your own reasoning you’ve been found out as wrong, cminca.

  • Nicole C

    The sourcelink says, “A Wal-Mart spokesman told The Associated Press on Wednesday that in light of the incident, the company would review its guidelines regarding cake decorations and other requests.” What???? They have NO right to even HAVE guidelines!! They should print what anyone wants to have printed…period!!!

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Really? So, if the Westboro Baptist Church ordered a cake that said “God Hates Fags” on it, you think the Wal-Mart should be forced to comply?

    • Nicole C

      JoAnna, it’s me. I was just building on your sarcasm! ;)

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Whoops, didn’t pick up on the sarcasm! Sorry!

    • Nicole C

      Haha, my bad. I thought you’d see my name and know. But I did find it ironic that if businesses have guidelines for what they will and won’t provide, that other businesses are getting sued for not providing a service. Hmmm.

  • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund