Same Cake, Different Frosting

Evidently, it is human nature to do the same thing and expect different results. Einstein defined this as the definition of insanity; however, I think it applies to everyone. There are areas of our lives that we need to learn hard lessons, and even then it doesn’t mean it will prove to have any effect on our way of life. I say this because yesterday a bakery in my own hometown declined to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding day because it was against her religion. I get enraged for a number of reasons, not just, because it’s discrimination (no matter how you cut it) but I thought we had moved on. Clearly, we need another round of lessons. So, settle in class.

The thing that hurts me the most is that this is happening in my very town. No matter how liberal or crazy someone outside of the state of California views it’s residents it doesn’t apply into my pocket of bloody red that resides at it’s heart. This town is bleeding republicans. Which is why I am not surprised that it happened, but at the same time in shock. I get so comfortable in my own bubble surrounded by people that love and accept me without question. So, hearing that someone else has refused a service to one of my community members resonates on a whole other level because I know that I could very well have been in their shoes. It also makes me feel guilty, because I have very rarely come across any kind of hatred.

One of my good friends posted how he understood but it made him uneasy that government should have a say over private businesses. You mean, like laws? Where businesses have to have disclose all things in their food or how they have to abide by cleanliness? I’m confused. Where do we draw this supposed line?

My thought is that if you open a business there is a legal and social contract that is understood and accepted; unless the patron in your establishment is acting irrationally, you have to serve them. “The customer is always right,” has been echoed in retail since it was coined (by JC Penny I believe…). And unless you’re establishment offers a niche service there is no reason to say “I can’t do this.” For instance, if I went to a vegan restaurant and demanded a steak. Well, they don’t serve steaks. Or If I go to a Christian book store and demand the latest Stephen King novel. Those things don’t exist in that realm. So, when I walk into a bakery and ask for a cake, unless I don’t have the money or am calling you every filthy name under the sun (and speaking to a man that isn’t there), then the owner has to serve them.

It’s petty bull shit. “My religious beliefs….” Okay, what if this is that person’s third marriage, after she has been divorced twice for adultery? Are you still going to serve them? What about a couple that has had multiple children out of wedlock and is only now getting married? Their morals don’t exist then. They just see dollar signs. But, God forbid (pun intended), that they make a cake for a gay couple.

Now, in this event in my own hometown the baker at least was a “good Christian” and directed them to a bakery that does. Bless their heart. Doing the good Christian thing. However, here is how I see the situation. Let us say I have a coffee shop. And this same faithful baker comes in wearing all the trappings of a “Christian” and upon seeing them I pull her aside and say “I’m sorry. I don’t serve Christians here. However, there is another coffee shop across town that does. You’ll have to go there. Sorry.”

Everyone and there cat knows that woman would be infuriated and raise all kinds of hell. (Pun, again, intended.) Moreover, she would have every right to. No one should experience discrimination for any reason. Ever. At all. No matter what. Unless they’re just an outright asshole. Then let the denial of services commence.

So, if one has a hang-up about making a goddamn cake for a couple of homos on their wedding day then don’t make cakes. Make muffins for a coffee shop. Sell JUST cookies. If your morals are “so strong”, do not go into a job that would infringe upon your beliefs. It is common sense.

If this couple had gone in and lied about what the cake was for and they had made it, the woman would have done just that and they would have taken the cake to their gay wedding. Has this woman now participated in their unholy matrimony? Has she tarnished her “spotless” soul and barred herself from the gates of heaven? No.

The mental gymnastics must get exhausting.

To quote their own faith at them, what about the parable of the Good Samaritan? It was told by Christ to his followers and it detailed how a man lay beaten and bloody in a ditch and was passed up by all these holy men and strangers and wasn’t tended to until a Samaritan (a group of people who were seen as disgusting) finally came to his aid because he saw a man in need. They would say, oh, well the story is about helping out someone in medical need. True, but that’s not how parables work. They are miniscule lessons that impart an overall message. The thing you learn from the parable is HELP YOUR FELLOW MAN NO MATTER WHAT.

So, like most of everything that is happening in our country, here we are, once again. Same shit, just a different day.

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Faithful Musings

I know that I will not offer up any new insight into religion. More than likely most of my views have been gathered by others around me. What I can say in regards to religion is from my own perspective of having grown up in a deeply religious household, in addition to attending Christian school from pre-k to 8th grade. 

Through all that time I can tell you that religion does not make people good. On the contrary most of the people I have encountered in the faith are cold, cruel, and heartless unless it directly benefits them. There have been a few that exhibited what it is to be a “Christian” but they are few and far between. Primarily what I witnessed was “oh you’re not in our faith? You don’t go to our church? Then sorry. Not my problem.” Also, if someone wasn’t attractive or thin they weren’t wanted. 

My worst nightmares from church were the moments when the pastor had everyone in the congregation stand up and greet their neighbor. I hated it because most people didn’t say anything to my parents or myself. No one was ever friendly. They were doing it because the man in the suit told them too. Which is hilarious because that is the summation of what faith is. 

At one point faith was created as a way to explain the things that didn’t have a basic answer. It was man trying to understand all that was around them. Science has done away with the mystical powers. That’s why any scientific thought was considered heracy. It made man begin to question the world around them and as one of my heroes, Jim Jefferies, says is nothing is more toxic to religion than questions. 

With science the reason for even having faith, other than getting sky cake when we die (thanks Patton Oswalt), was to tell people how to be good and not be sinners. The strangest part about that is I have seen more hatred in the name of faith than anything else. At least if an atheist does something cruel we all just know he’s an asshole. When someone of faith does it they rationalize it and try to justify their actions with this made up bull shit from their respective texts. 

A couple weeks ago a gay couple in Indonesia were sentenced to a public caning for having sex. Now, they were discovered by accident but their punishment was deliberate. A news organization that covered this event interviewed the attendees to see their reaction and one woman, with her head scarf, said that she was glad they did it. That way no one would do it in the future. That statement shows her ignorance like someone would just choose to have sex with someone of the same sex, without any attraction. That’s not how sex works. Or just attraction. If there’s no spark nothing’s happening, you know?

I have gotten to the point where I want all faiths to go away. They really don’t offer anything to society except a reason to be a dick without being labeled one. And my thought is if you have to have some “higher being” tell you to be nice, you’re just not a good person and no amount of prayer will save you. 

When I was younger I prayed every night for god to take away the gay. I didn’t want to be at all. Yet as I got older I realized it wasn’t me that was broken, it was the thought behind that prayer. If god doesn’t make any mistakes then me being gay isn’t one of them. However the faithful work around is that it’s the devil trying to corrupt me. Okay, sure, Mary Beth. I think the real evil was if I had forced myself into a Hererosexual relationship with a woman to please god while all the while having no real attraction for her and lying. More than likely I would not be able to fight the “urges” and I would meet up with a stranger and thus have committed adultery. Then the lying gets stronger. It seems like I’m doing more sinning pretending to be straight than I am just being gay. 

Which brings me to the strangest of my week. I encountered a conservativel, Christian, gay man. The first two statements make sense but the gay part is the one that doesn’t fit. Out of the three that is the one I think is the most honest. The other two need to go because it’s him trying to live up to a standard or expectation that is inauthentic to who he is. And because he’s forcing himself into a mold he does not fit he is a RAGING alcoholic. This dude got so wasted at our game night I couldn’t believe he didn’t pass out. (Not to mention he used the n-word in the way it was originally intended. And that is NOT okay.) 

Religion is truly a harmful thing and is used to control the masses. Anything that forces you to not question anything and expects everyone to follow their faith is a cult.