Once again last week the Rev. Jonathan Lange has written in detail about what he considers to be another attack on religious freedom, free speech and our very way of life — and this time, it’s all about wedding cake.
A balance — and a more common-sense approach to current events — is needed on these pages. Herald managing editor Bryon Glathar’s column on Dec. 8, was a breath of fresh air, but should not be the only voice raised in support of inclusive language, acceptance of others as they are, and a reasonable expectation that licensed businesses serve the public — all of the public.
Common sense tells us that our freedom is not threatened by a dispute over who should bake and who should eat wedding cake. One has to seriously ask why a rational businessperson would consider passing moral judgment on a potential customer.
Would that baker also turn up his nose at creating a cake for a visibly pregnant bride-to-be? Although that may be a bad example, since many of these judgers also proclaim that the only legitimate purpose of marriage is procreation.
Another common-sense question is this: If the baker is so firm in his beliefs, why not fully own it? Call the bakery the “Conservative Christian Values Bakery” and decorate the walls with posters celebrating the belief that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.
Put a flashing neon sign in the window that says “Get your cake and your moral judgment here.” Go ahead and exercise that free speech to the world and see what happens to your bottom line.
The truth is that the wedding cake problem is really an etiquette problem, a problem of bad manners. Most successful businesspeople understand that it is inappropriate and bad for business to engage customers in a discussion of moral values, and especially to criticize the customers.
Knowing when to keep your mouth shut, smile and nod is a necessary skill in any business that requires interaction with the public. It’s unfortunate that this failure of human interaction has become a matter for the Supreme Court. We can all do better.