Last week was Holy Week, so sure enough there were many critical issues in the news that needed attention but we in the Church were off doing more important things like worshipping God and pondering our need for salvation. Permit a brief wrap-up and look ahead from me on the latest unpleasantness in Indiana last week.
First of all, I am not a lawyer and do not know or understand all the legal implications of the law signed by the Indiana governor and then later amended. I speak more to the cultural concerns raised by same sex attraction, the redefinition of marriage in civil justification, the rapidity of all of this and how this affects the Church.
As for the cultural concerns and political landscape, as is often the case Ross Douthat summarizes it best:
One of the difficulties in this discussion, from a conservative perspective, is that the definition of “common sense” and “compromise” on these issues has shifted so rapidly in such a short time: Positions taken by, say, the president of the United States and most Democratic politicians a few short years ago are now deemed the purest atavism [a recurrence of or reversion to a past style, manner, outlook, or approach, something strikingly archaic], the definition of bigotry gets more and more elastic, and developments that social liberals would have described as right-wing scare stories in 2002 or so are now treated as just the most natural extensions of basic American principles….But the pace involved is unusual, and its rapidity makes it very easy to imagine that scenarios that aren’t officially on the table right now will become plausible very, very soon. the only remaining question in the same-sex marriage “debate” [is] what kind of space, if any, an ascendant cultural liberalism would leave to Americans with traditional views on what constitutes a marriage…[T]he choice of exactly how far to push and how much pluralism to permit would [seem to] be almost entirely in the hands of liberals and supporters of same-sex marriage. That’s…basically how it looks to me today. 
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 2006, Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures.
Yes, bakers shouldn’t have to make cakes for people they morally disapprove of, and other people should also have the legal right to say, “I’m not employing you, because you are a Catholic, and therefore the evil pawn of a foreign power and Spawn of The Whore of Babylon,” or,I’m not making a cake for you because you are black, and I’m legally entitled to dislike back people if I want.”
Have I got this right?
No, as usual, you haven’t “got this right.” Here’s a better comparison:
If I own a cake shop and Adam and Steve (sorry) show up in hot pants to order a cake with the words: May Our Gay Marriage Be Filled With Years of Love – I show them the door.
Conversely, if I own a Bed & Breakfast and someone calls to reserve a room, I would have no hesitation accepting his/her custom, even if he/she later arrives with another person of the same sex. How do I know what they intend to do up there? It is no part of my Catholic faith to be a snoop. There’s probably no one here who’s not shared a hotel room (possibly even the same hotel bed) with an adult of the same sex for one non-sexual reason or another. I have.
The trouble with your activist homosexuals is that they are unwilling to make distinctions like these, and indeed, ‘Adam and Steve’ in my first example probably took steps to intentionally seek out a Catholic pastry shop in order to advance their cause.
It is your activist homosexuals who are the ones most inimical to freedom and liberty. They are the bigots. They are the ones demanding that only their values be tolerated by law.
If I had my druthers, they’d all be firmly back in the closet, but that ain’t going to happen until the Muslims take over, and I can live with that. Just wish they would extend the same courtesy to normal people.
Interesting points here. If I were the hotelier I would be (I admit) a bit uneasy. However, reason and tolerance would intervene I hope..and the words of Pope Francis.
In the UK there used to be signs on rented property saying No Blacks, no Irish, No Dogs. I am more than glad this has long been stopped. In the US, we know about the Whites Only bus seats, drinking wells and so on. Although the US still has a very long way to go, a little progress has been made.
I was excluded from the first job I applied for. They saw on my naively completed application form that I had gone to a Catholic school. I later found out that this printing works was a hotbed of Freemasonry and bigotry. I have friends from Northern Ireland whose stories of anti Catholic discrimination are shocking.
I am not aware that gays demand that only their values prevail. I hope not. And how did Adam and Steve ensure they only went to Catholic businesses? John H says ‘probably’ they sought them out. Could well be; but is there any evidence for this?
There are so many terrible events in the world that I wouldn’t have the energy to get worked up about gay cakes. Nor did I become anxious about Camp Coffee. Is it still available?
You offer a “better” comparison JH, which is nice – but don’t really address the problem: Should it be part of our religious freedoms to be able to actively discriminate against, say, Catholics, without fear of legal repercussion?”
Surely it must?
If I own a cake shop and Adam and Steve (sorry) show up in hot pants to order a cake with the words: May Our Gay Marriage Be Filled With Years of Love – I show them the door.”
…How would the wording on the cake confirm that they intend to sodomise each other – and not just share a bed for “non-sexual reasons,” as was your practice, on at least one occasion?
You are very sensible, Darling.
Camp coffee was horrible. Haven’t seen it for years.
Toad doesn’t think the words, “You are very sensible, Darling,” have ever been spoken to him in his whole life. Can’t think why.
Did you ever see this?
I met up with my elder sister to travel to Ireland by ferry. We approached the purser to request a cabin. He asked what name.
Simultaneously, I gave my surname, and my sister gave her married name.
We got a knowing wink from the purser. How we laughed!
All we wanted was a quiet place to while away a tedious few hours, not indulge in incest, I should make clear.
Toad, you never do think, you just habitually repeat your little self to your self and those around you.
I wish you could see this.
Everyone has this problem.
Just to clear up a couple of non sequiturs by Darling and Toad:
Darling questions my assumption about the homosexual agenda of ‘Adam and Steve’ when they show up at my pâtisserie in hot pants. Darling asks: “Could well be; but is there any evidence for this?” Darling, my sweet, on a balance of probablilties my assumption is probably correct – as you seem to concede when you say “Could well be”. In other words, I think you accept my point, evidence-wise, on a balance of probabilities – that there’s probably an agenda involved, and that’s all I ask from you…except: how’s the weather in San Francisco?
Toad croaks: “How would the wording on the cake confirm that they intend to sodomise each other – and not just share a bed for “non-sexual reasons,” as was your practice, on at least one occasion?”
You’re even more non-sequitur-ish than the person you fawn over – (“You are very sensible, Darling…Lovely name”):
Where did I say that ‘Adam and Steve’ “intend to sodomise each other”? Never said that. Do I have to explain to you that homosexuality is disordered even without sodomy? It’s no part of my brief that sodomy is the only disordered homosexual act there is. There are many others. My point was that when ‘Adam and Steve’ appear in my shop in hot pants asking for a wedding cake celebrating their future lives together as husband and husband, I’m being reasonable in taking them at face value and therefore refusing to service them.
And where did I say that I’ve ever shared a bed with another person of the same sex, which I haven’t? My parenthetical remark in that regard was, er – parenthetical – to my admission about sharing the same hotel room with another man, which I have. Not that sharing a bed with another man in a non-sexual relationship is wrong, because it isn’t, and there’s no doctrine that says it is. And you say you used to be an editor of a major newspaper?
See what you have strolled innocently into, Darling?
Nasty, vicious, men.
…Although, for all I know, you might be a man yourself.
Manful response, JH – except it fails to answer the question which I shall re-submit more simply: “If anti-gays should be legally allowed to discriminate against gays in Indiana, should anti-Catholics be legally allowed to discriminate against Catholics?” I think “yes” in both cases.
Yes, I know of at least one “gay’ who was not ‘keen,’ if that is the mot juste, on sodomy. Auden, in fact. But that’s not the point here, and you know it.
“And you say you used to be an editor of a major newspaper?”
No I don’t.
“Everyone has this problem.” (of not thinking) How do you know that, Burro? Just because you clearly have the problem yourself, it’s unwise to assume it’s catholic (or universal).
As it’s 6 am here, and sane people are asleep, JH, let me ask you something that perplexes me a little. Why are you so obsessive about my past and present life away from this blog? I don’t care in the least, of course – might find it a bit flattering if I did.
But it bores me, and no doubt bores other readers. I’m not particularly interesting.
You may have noticed that I’m totally incurious about your circumstances. You are a Canadian lawyer, I know – because you’ve volunteered that. And that’s plenty more than I need, or want, to know.
Your opinions are generally interesting. I suggest you confine your comments to what I write. But it doesn’t signify. It’s just dull for the onlookers.
Your answer to Darling, above was, I thought, very lame.
And to me, too. But then, I would, wouldn’t I?
There are so many terrible events in the world that I wouldn’t have the energy to get worked up about gay cakes.
Darling’s reaction is also mine. JH seems uncharacteristically petulant this week. Oh well, we all have days like that.
p.s. I don’t especially care, but I for one have noticed that JH has made more uncharitable references to Toad’s career and (supposed) marital history than I think is strictly necessary.
Maybe JH is living vicariously via Toad, eh, Tom?
Just as long as he makes sure his references to my external life are funny, not boring.
And he can’t be “uncharitable” – he’s a Catholic.
I’m sorry JH is so upset. His tone and responses show a sensitivity on the topic, as does his repeated vision of hotpants-wearing gays clutching a fairy cake and asking for a room in his San Francisco based Hotel California.
May I say that ‘assumption’ and ‘probabilities’ are not evidence – as any good lawyer will tell you.
On law and morality, if JH were not a hotelier but a doctor, would he treat a homosexual for a disease contracted via his/her sexuality? If JH were a state-provided lawyer, would he refuse to represent a homosexual who needed legal counsel? I guess it’s about professionalism, caritas and humanity; JH may yet have these in abundance as his response will show..
Darling is an old name from NE England; it’s fortunate I’m not named Grace.
One more brilliant contribution by Monsignor Pope, and I mean that with all the sincerity I’m capable of.
Toad (05:07) –
Your past life isn’t boring. It’s as interesting as the next person’s. We wouldn’t know anything about it without your volunteering same; but you’re within your blog rights to change your mind and to request no further references to it. My remarks concerning same have been without animus (rather in a jokey way, and that’s how you’ve seemed to take them in the past), but that you now perceive some underlying ill feeling is sufficient reason for me to refrain in future, and I will do my best to proceed accordingly.
Darling (10:14) –
There is such a thing as sufficient evidence (proof) on a balance of probabilities to render a verdict, as any lawyer, good or otherwise, can tell you. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is not always the required standard, and certainly not on a blog forum, what? Not saying that you’ve got a tin ear or anything, but consider this: if something looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, what is it likely to be? That’s a rhetorical question – no answer asked for or expected.
But returning to the subject at hand, you and I will both benefit from your actually reading the lead article, because (a) it will answer your last two questions – the gist of which are both the same – and (b) it will spare me the unnecessary trouble of doing so. Ta.
Thank you for your canards above.
Tom Fisher (05:28) quotes Mr Justice Darling (there was such a person, actually) who opines:
“There are so many terrible events in the world that I wouldn’t have the energy to get worked up about gay cakes.”
…and then adopts that attitude as his own.
Tom, I find your Marie Antoinette “Let Them Eat Cake” insouciance rather shocking. It betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of ways and means by which our rights and liberties are being taken away. In liberal democracies this is being accomplished not by one fell swoop of the axe, but rather by way of a thousand cuts. It’s got to the point that the courts now see it as their business to monitor the way pastry chefs conduct their business! In other words, no aspect of life, no matter how trivial, insignificant or personal is beyond the purview of the Panopticon State. And you’re okay with this? Unbelievable.
“Thank you for your canards above.”
A witty play on words, Darling. And here I was thinking you had a tin ear for humour.
”Tom Fisher (05:28) quotes Mr Justice Darling (there was such a person, actually) who opines:
“There are so many terrible events in the world that I wouldn’t have the energy to get worked up about gay cakes.”
…and then adopts that attitude as his own.”
Quite ‘sweet’ as you yourself say. Any evidence, any references, any provenance? Or recipes?
Coin! Coin ! as the Francophones say. (smiley)
Spookily your instincts are sound; I do have a ”tin ear ”- it’s called tinnitus, the result of appalling noise in industry long ago. It’s a wealth producing thing you may not understand, understandably.
“Any evidence, any references, any provenance?
For what, Darling? You’re not making much sense. Par for the course, I admit. Would you like to try that again? I shall be away for awhile redistributing wealth, but shall endeavour to return here if you say something interesting or at least amusing.
”Would you like to try that again?” asks JH.
OK ! – ”“Any evidence, any references, any provenance?”.
Peace to you………“At the end of your life, you will be judged by your love.” (St. John of the Cross)
Sorry, Mr Robber Baron, I still don’t know what your questions are in reference to. Can you remember, what with all that ringing in your ears? Never mind, I still love you. Not sure if you’re my neighbour or my enemy (smiley), but the Bible says I must in either case. (G.K. Chesterton)
Peace and love to all. Yea, man.
“It’s got to the point that the courts now see it as their business to monitor the way pastry chefs conduct their business!”
Deplorable …and so to attempt No. 3:
Do we think it’s a good idea to allow people in Indiana, or anywhere else, to be allowed to discriminate legally against life-styles they despise, and consider sinful and disgusting? Such as homosexuality, Catholicism, Fascism, Communism, water skiing and tap dancing?
….So does Mnrsngnsnr. Pope, I gather. What about the rest of you?
My life is an open book. Rather a dreary one, with no pictures, and not enough conversations. (sorry Alice.) But anyone is welcome to flip through it without causing me the mildest offence.
Mr Toad’s curmudgeonly opening comment shows that he was too late for the generation of love and peace – man. What interesting things he missed.
Mr JH’s comment shows his flawed grasp of ”A smoke screen is smoke released to mask movement”. Herr G was the master of this, not JH.
JH runs for cover when his assertion is lost. Yet honesty is key. But the word Catholic means universal and there is a place for JH there. We are a broad church if you behave. No acerbus needed.
The Church needs harmony – put aside your selfish bickering and see the long term.
Curmudgeonly Mr Toad is older than the rocks amongst which he sits – and has died many more times than the vampire.
Too early for the generation of L & P – in fact.
…That might be the problem, Darling.
[I was] “Too early for the generation of L & P…”
No, Toadstool, that is falsehood on your part. Perhaps due to Early Onset Dementia, I can’t say for sure. But since you want to amuse us (again) with tales of your past, forgive me for remembering when you were *born* (if that’s the mot juste) – your birthday puts you at the front lines of the Beatnik generation and its slightly younger evil twin, the Hippy generation. I bet you used to own a pair of bell-bottom pants so flappy and wide that homeless people lived inside them.
Tom, I find your Marie Antoinette “Let Them Eat Cake” insouciance rather shocking. It betrays a fundamental misunderstanding…
I quoted that sentence about not being to worried by cakes to indicate that I don’t really feel too exercised about the issue (the fault is mine). Your tone has become uncharacteristically sour this week, which means I’m not going to get into this discussion at all. Hope you’re well, and your usual good temper returns soon.
Friend Tom, it’s you – not me – who ought to check his blood pressure. My preferred tone (except with people who can ban me from this blog, as has happened on several other blogs on both sides of the Atlantic) is always slightly acerbic, mordant, sardonic – but usually, I think, in good taste?
I hope you are well, too, and that your skin is thickening up.