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08/08/2012

The baker plays the innocent? Bull sheet cake!

by Jeremy Hooper

Continuing the summer trend of turning all of us politicos into food writers, Family Research Council is yet again defending a company's anti-gay choices by turning the stone-caster into the "victim." Check out this justification:

Although [Masterpiece Cakes' Jack Phillips] explained that he draws the line at same-sex "weddings," he made it clear that he's happy to serve homosexuals. "If gays come in and want to order birthday cakes or any cakes for any occasion, graduations, or whatever, I have no prejudice against that whatsoever. It's just the wedding cake--not the people, not their lifestyle." Even that didn't stop the threats. [FRC]

What, is a tiered cake closer to heaven and therefore more offensive to God? Or are same-gender cake toppers the final straw that turns an act of business into a act of blasphemy? I ask seriously: What added-on aesthetic turns a commercial bake job into a morality litmus test?!? When does the fondant and butter cream cross the line?

And if this is the logic, then why should it stop with just LGBT people? What, is Mr. Phillips going to start asking customers if they've had premarital sex or been divorced? Is he going to start asking if the customer plans to use his or her dozen of Devil's Food cupcakes for literal Satan worship? Is every exercise in pastry going to come with an evaluation of both fitness and intent?!

This is pure nonsense. If a bakery offers a certain kind of cake, then the baker should be in the business of selling that cake regardless of personal view. And if not? Then he or she must be ready to face the scrutiny and or potential repercussions that come from the decision. It is patently absurd for Mr. Phillips and his defenders to deny pre-judging, when he is FULLY ADMITTING that he is judging the intent attached to certain customers' (but not other customers') requested purchases. The discrimination in this case is completely undeniable, regardless of your view or political agenda! The aggressor is clearly cast, regardless of his defenders' deceptive attempt to hijack "victim" status.

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