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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The Eye of God

I have to say… this is a bit risky of a short story.  I couldn’t help myself.  I want to be controversial but who doesn’t?  Supposedly it acquires you fame or infamy.  Either ay it draws readers.  So, shamelessly, my mind wouldn’t let this idea go.  Please know that I meant no harm. I just needed fictional characters for a “matchup.”

A Year of Writing Prompts by Brian A. Klems & Zachary Petit
January 9
Matchup!
“Write a scene featuring a cruise ship or a boat, a sudden change of weather, and the idiom “Fools rush in.””

The prophet Mohammed stood on the rickety dock that jutted out into the waters of the Sea of Galilee. His band of followers were busily preparing the boat to set sail to the other side. One called from the ship, beckoning the prophet forward onto the skiff. Using the gentlest of motions he stepped down and they immediately set sail.

Mohammed tried dearly not to show his uncertainty, he was the prophet from Allah, he could not show any sense of fear, but deep down he dreaded being on the open sea. The fear of being washed overboard weighed heavily in his mind and he prayed for safe passage.

Then the clouds rolled in. Those around him commented at the momentary shimmer jumping from cloud to cloud. “It’s going to be a bad one,” someone said. Mohammed did not know who had whispered, what he thought, were the final words of his life. He had to admit that none of them truly mattered to him. They were mere stepping stones in his journey to retrieve the stone of power that rested on the other side. It was known as the Eye of God and any mortal that held it would take on the powers of one not of this world.

If it were not that he feared another would retrieve the stone he would have walked around the sea or at least found some other transportation other than the sea.

If only I had the stone now, he thought, I would stop this storm before it had spread like a disease across the sky.

The waves began to grow. They lapped at the edges of the boat, lobbing spray of sea at the men. The man chosen as captain tried his best to steer the ship through the waters. Mohammed would have thrown him overboard I he didn’t need him. The man clutched to the side of the ship, trying to stabilize himself, while keeping his eyes pointed ever forward.

The winds picked up and ripped the prophets ‘Imama from his head, relinquishing the greasy, black locks beneath. It whipped at his face like angry tentacles, entangling itself in his thick beard.

The wave first rose like a mountain rising from sleep at the bow of the ship, blocking Mohammed’s view of the other side of the sea. Then with the strength of the earth it crashed over the ship and sent everyone swirling into the blackness.

He scrambled. Climbing his way through the water but he could not tell what was up or down. But soon he found himself slowly drifting ever upwards.

His head broke the thrashing surface of the water. He gasped and gulped down the salty air.

“Why have you done this,” Mohammed cried out.

His black eyes scoured the sea for any sign of his companions. He knew none of them by name and felt it ridiculous to call out for anyone. There was no room for weakness.

A wave rose and cresting over it was another, larger, boat, still surviving the rough waters. It dove down the other side of the wave. It rushed past Mohammed, spraying him with a miniscule wave compared to it’s brethren.

“Over here,” he called out.

Lightning cracked the black and he saw the silhouettes of twelve men, scrambling across the deck of the ship. There was incoherent shouting but he did not recognize any of the words against all the other noise around him.

The storm quickly subside in a cool breeze.

“Look” shouted someone on the boat.

Mohammed waved his arms above his head and shouted again, until he was submerged in the water.

A hand grasped on to his shoulder and pulled him from the water.

Mohammed looked into the face of a Hebrew man, bearded like himself, with long locks of flowing hair. He knew that face. It was the man who claimed to be the son of God.

“You,” Mohammed said.

He looked down and realized with the sense of falling, that this man was standing on the surface of the water.

“Did you-“

“Yes, cousin, I got the stone before you.” Jesus sneered. “Cause only fools don’t rush in.”