Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Shoe Salesman and the Cuckquean

I own a shoe store. A friend of mine came to visit me at the store. He was looking for new shoes. When I asked him for what occasion he was making the purchase he replied that he had a "date" with a woman who was not his wife. I told my friend that what he was doing was wrong, that he should end the relationship, and that I wouldn't sell him shoes because I didn't want to support his behavior.

That same day another man, named Bernard, came in to purchase a pair of shoes. He knew exactly what he wanted, grabbed them off the shelf and came to the check out counter with cash in hand. He was not interested in small talk based on his body language and lack of eye contact. I sold him shoes.

My friend owns a hardware store. A friend of hers came in to buy a hammer. My friend could tell that her friend was upset - she had the look of rage in her eyes - so she asked her friend what the hammer was for. Her friend admitted she found out her husband was cheating and she was going to smash all of the windows in his sports car (that she purchased for him as a wedding gift). My friend explained to her friend that she couldn't, in good conscience, assist her in her goal by selling her the hammer and that she should, instead, try to calm herself down and think logically and practically about a better, long-term solution.

That same day, another woman, named Catherine, came in to my friend's store and purchased a shopping basket full of small tools, including a hammer. My friend remembered that this woman was very pleasant and conversational and was looking to accomplish a lot that day with her new tools.

My uncle owns a bakery.  One day a man named Frank came in a ordered a wedding cake.  He picked out the type and flavor of cake, the style, the frosting, etc.  Frank said it was a small wedding and that he - or a member of his family - would just pick up the cake the day of the wedding.

That same day, one of my cousins (my unlcle's niece) wanted to buy a cake for her wedding, which happened to be with another woman.  My hypothetical uncle happens to be devoutly Christian.  While he loves his niece and supports her happiness, he does not approve of her sinful relationship and does not want to be a part of her decision.

What is my point?  My point is that not all Christian business owners are "hateful" or "bigoted" or discriminatory of a group of people.  In the scenarios above, perhaps Bernard was also going to commit adultery, Catherine was going to smash car windows, and Frank was getting a cake for a gay wedding.  Without knowing this, the store owners do not have a guilty conscience.  They did not knowingly aid in a sinful act.  Further, all three could have been straight or gay - it doesn't really matter because good store owners (Christian or otherwise) don't discriminate against groups of people. What if Frank was a known gay man and wanted to purchase a wedding cake for his mother? Even a Christian baker would sell Frank a cake.  Its a "hate the sin, love the sinner"-type situation.  In the scenarios described above, the store owners who refused to sell to friends/family only did so because they could not - in good conscience - aid in a sinful act.  That's it. They had moral code that was important to them.  They did not discriminate against a group of people - or even a person - they discriminated against an action.  I feel like this is an important fact that has been overlooked and needn't be any longer.  Should all adulterers and cuckqueans start pleading their case as discriminated groups that should be able to sue store owners for not serving them?  I hope we'd all agree no.

We all may not agree, yet, on what a 'sinful act' is or how we should handle these situations, but if the act is fairly clearly defined to a legitimate religious organization that generally exists for the good of humanity, then forcing that group to support any sin, in my opinion, is a greater injustice than not making a cake.  After all, I'm not sure how anyone can dispute the importance of a cake to that of a soul.

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