Remember Melissa and Aaron Klein? They are the owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa, an Oregon bakery that shot to national infamy by refusing to bake a cake for the local Satanic cult’s 3rd Annual Fetus Cook-Off. The cake was to celebrate the addition of Planned Parenthood as a Gold level sponsor of this year’s event, and…. Yeah, actually they refused to make a wedding cake for two women because Jesus said very plainly in that book the bigoted Christians really wish existed:
“And Thee Sayeth Onto Thou, Skip a bit, brother, and thee Woman folk I command thusly; Touch no man but thou husband; be pure and chaste in all, but slut in the bed of marriage; enjoy thee not sex, but suffer through it whenever your lawful husband, your master, wishes it; know that if your husband strays, it is your fault, oh woman, once tempted led to the fall of man; God created fellatio, as a way for woman to worship her superior, and you should provide your husband nightly; cunnilingus however, is the work of Satan, never ask it of your husband; and now woman, pay close attention, for this is the key to your salvation. Thee are permitted, encouraged even, to lick, kiss, touch, feel, fondle, poke, rub, hug, and/or suck on any part of another woman ONLY for the entertainment and pleasure of your lawful husband. For a woman marrying a woman robs two men of their rightful property. So spoke Jesus the Christ. Seriously. That is what I said. Jesus. That’s me. And that is what I said. Honest. ” – The Book of “God We Wish We Had This,” chapter 5, verses 11 to 73.
See? It’s right there in that made up quote from that imaginary book about the mythical sky daddy who tells these people to be bigots. It’s not their fault!
So anyway, Sweet Cakes by Melissa refused to bake the nice couple a wedding cake and possibly also told them they were abominations in the eyes of god*. The nice couple sued, and since our judicial system doesn’t base their decisions on what they think a 2000 year old mythical figure would do, Sweet Cakes by Melissa lost and was ordered to pay close to 150k.
So everything worked out alright in the end, right? The couple, who just wanted a wedding cake, got compensated for being discriminated against, which kinda makes up for their unwanted infamy among the Christian right wing lunatic fringe, the courts did court stuff lawfully, and the cake bakers who refused to bake cakes for people in relationships they did not approve of had to pay a hefty fine. All’s right in the world!
Until you read this:
Sweet Cakes by Melissa was kicked off GoFundMe earlier this year, but has since raised more than $350,000 on the crowdfunding site Continue to Give. The growing total, which far exceeds the couple’s $150,000 goal, is the largest individual campaign in the history of the three-year-old site, the Washington Times reported. The couple previously netted more than $60,000 from Go Fund Me before that campaign was taken down.
What good are fines at stopping discrimination when there are a whole bunch of bigots out there all too willing to send their bigot bucks to whatever bigot needs bigot bucks at that particular moment? It’s practically an encouragement to discriminate, a bigot safety net, there to catch bigots who face complaints and lawsuits in a big pile of bigot bucks.**
Which leads us to our next chapter in this story; what the Klein’s decided to do with the leftover cash.
This week, the owners of an Oregon bakery ordered to pay $135,000 for refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple sent out 10 specially made cakes to LGBT groups.
Sweet Cakes By Melissa sent the cakes, which say “We really do love you!” in white writing over a red heart. The packages also included a DVD copy of “Audacity,” an anti-gay film, according to The Advocate. The film’s website says it “delivers an unexpected, eye-opening look at the controversial topic of homosexuality.”
“Our purpose is to express our love for them as a Christian,” bakery owner Melissa Klein wrote in an email to the Oregonian. “We don’t hate them. We also included in the package the movie Audacity. I feel it is a well done movie that shows what being a Christian is about. My hope is that they will watch it and maybe just understand our heart. We want to show them that it’s not about not serving them it’s about not being able to partake in an event.”
Okay, three cheers to the Kleins for a textbook example of the second definition for “audacity”:
- 1.the willingness to take bold risks.“her audacity came in handy during our most recent emergency”
- 2.rude or disrespectful behavior; impudence.“she had the audacity to send GLBTQ organizations a cake with the hate flick Audacity.”
I mean, spot on use of language there. Very impressive. Second, you fucking sent them “Audacity”? While claiming that you love them? Holy mixed messages, Batman. That’s like giving your kid a kitten then running the cute, cuddly ball of fur over on purpose, then replacing said kitten with a puppy because puppy rape is what gets you going. “Audacity” has an incredible amount of audacity (first definition) in even calling itself a film. Half the damn movie is Ray Comfort clips from Youtube. My feelings on “Audacity” can be summed up as follows; if Ray Comfort came up to me with a video camera and started asking idiotic questions about sexuality, I would fuck with him like no other. But that’s not fair, I know who he is. If a random stranger with a video camera came up to me and started asking me insane questions on sexuality in the same tone of voice and manner of speaking as Ray Comfort, I would say whatever I thought he wanted to hear to shut him up and get him away from me before he started to shoot or stab people. If you torture yourself into watching “Audacity,” put everyone of his interviewees in that frame of mind. If you want the full scoop on Ray Comfort’s masterpiece of Christian cinema, Eli, Noah, and Heath review this gem on The Scathing Atheisthere. (Review starts at the 23:45 part if you don’t like well written comedy. Not that you’ll like the review then either, but I still wanted to include the time stamp.)
So let’s see, we have spot on use of language, and inflicting a film that makes God’s Not Dead look both like Oscar bait and a subtle, nuanced work of apologetic. We’ll add that together, carry the one, divide by the square root, multiply by the ………
I got it!
Dear Melissa and Aaron.
Please take your bigot cakes, paid for with bigot bucks, and shove them as far up each of your bigot assholes as you each can reach, you passive aggressive, condescending, holier than thou, asshatted bigots. While Jesus has surprisingly little to say about homosexuals, considering how much time and effort Christian bigots dedicate to all things gay, your god* could be the most homophobic deity in the pantheon and it still wouldn’t give you a legitimate excuse to not bake the cake.
When you bake a cake for a wedding, you are not giving your blessing and/or seal of approval on the match being made. No one is asking that of you. When they ask if anyone has any objection to the wedding, they don’t frantically look around to make sure the cake baker is in the room and giving consent. It is the same as a county clerk, except even less vital; the clerk is also not approving or blessing the union, they are just verifying that the couple is eligible to get married according to the secular law, while you are just providing a decoration that will probably be shoved into at least one of the couple’s faces.
Melissa, you are a bigot. Unfortunately, you happen to live during a time period in America where being a bigot pays. You may have to move to a more bigoted location, or open up a mail order business, but it is beyond certain that while many talented and driven small cake shops will fail in the coming years, you will make a decent living either baking for bigots or speaking to bigots. But do not let yourself be fooled. Do not buy into the lie, that you are the one being oppressed, and that you are somehow fighting a fight for religious liberty. You are not. You are a homophobic bigot.
Why am I so comfortable in making that statement? Well, partially this:
When one of the reporters called and asked if the business could make two identical cakes to help a friend celebrate the grant she received for cloning human stem cells, a Sweet Cakes employee simply laughed and said, “It’ll be $25.99 each, so about $50 to start.”
A request for a cake to congratulate a friend on her divorce was also happily accepted, with a Sweet Cakes worker saying, “We can definitely do something like that.”
Sweet Cakes was even happy to take orders for cakes for a pagan summer solstice fete — complete with a green pentagram decoration — and celebrating babies born out of wedlock.
But even more than that is the simple fact that all of you “traditional marriage” people are bigots. No one is kidnapping the men off your block and forcing them into gay marriages. You argue for biblical marriage, yet ignore the polygamy running rampant throughout the book. Marriages were arranged for decent chunks of history, and while clans like the Duggars long for the days when women were passed like property from one man to the next, something tells me that even most Christians are not willingly going to accept arranged marriage. While we’re keeping things traditional, are we bringing back the dowry as well? I’ve recently been fascinated with medieval history, and the rare cases where a King or dowager Queen marry for love are often seen as scandalous. (For one example, the dowager Queen Katherine and Owen Tudor. Or if we’re speaking of dowry, the marriage of Henry VI to “a Queen not worth ten marks”***, Margaret of Anjou. Ah, traditional marriage.) If you are that concerned about “traditional” marriage, why aren’t you freaking out about interracial weddings? Cause you’re fifty years too late? Cause that type of bigotry isn’t acceptable in polite, Christian circles anymore? I guess it depends on what “polite, Christian circles” you run in, does it not?****
What about divorce? You will bake divorce cakes, and something tells me you gladly bake cakes for people’s second (and third, and fourth, and….) weddings when Jesus, your whole fucking reason for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding, was quite clear (for once) on divorce(my bolding):
8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”
11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” Matt 19
See, Jesus’ opinion isn’t “be fruitful and multiply,” it’s “keep it in your pants, but if you absolutely can’t stay celibate, which you definitely should, but if you can’t, I guess you can get married.” And since he starts the chapter talking about how marriage was totes awesome according to god, who’s the enemy of traditional marriage in this story? I’ll give you a hint. It’s the same guy who’s on the other side of the glory hole.
Invariably, about this deep in any anti-marriage equality article, after the author has exhausted the weak arguments available to them, you find the anecdote about the author’s child (or friend’s child) finding out about gay marriage through tv/a magazine cover/ a newspaper cover/ an assigned book in school and that person having to explain something they are uncomfortable talking about to the child, and….. Well, and then I’m not really sure. I see this argument all the time I’m really not sure what they want. The ability to hide reality from their child until that child is of legal age? Here’s one recent example, from Right Wing Watch (although Wonkette covers it here as well.)
Ruse said that he started to worry when he realized that one of the chefs on Chopped “looked like a butch lesbian” and put his finger on the remote just in case he got exposed to gayness. “But this is the Food Network so we don’t have anything to worry about, right?” he said.
But it was too late. Despite his best efforts, Ruse and his daughter were forced to see a lesbian couple:
So I didn’t have my hand on the trigger fast enough when they did a hard cut to a backstory about this lesbian chef and don’t you know it she’s got her arm around her ‘wife,’ she refers to her ‘wife,’ and I was too slow in fast-forwarding. My eight-year-old Lucy, sweet Lucy, turned to me and said: ‘Did she say wife?’ And I said, ‘No, I think she meant girlfriend.’ And Lucy said, ‘I think she said life.’ God bless the innocence of this child. But they will not let us off the mat, the ideologies who want to cram this thing down our throats no matter where we go.
And it gets worse. Ruse laments that unwitting children may have had their vacations ruined by an edition of USA Today that featured a gay couple kissing:
The day after the decision of the Supreme Court was a full page photograph of two men kissing on USA Today. This is a paper that lands in front of hotel room doors all over the country, this is vacation time, families open that door, children may have opened this door to see two men kissing. They are making us explain things to our children that we don’t want to explain and they know what they’re doing, they absolutely know what they’re doing.
While Ruse complains about being persecuted by the Food Network, let’s remember that this is same anti-gay activist who condemned the United Nations for investigating “discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.”
I mean, I get the urge to protect your children. If I had kids (and I do have nieces, a nephew, and a young cousin who’s pretty much a niece) I would want to protect them from Confederate battle flags, neo-nazis, Fox News, Westboro Baptist Church, Catholic priests, The 700 Club, guns, and poster sized pictures of aborted fetuses. But these things all exist, and at age appropriate times, I think it is important to introduce children to the concepts. I do not want the first time my daughter hears about a poster sized picture of an aborted fetus to be when she’s walking into a Planned Parenthood for her well-woman check and some protester is shoving it in her face. “Traditional marriage” supporters will throw my own “age appropriate” comment right back in my face, but we aren’t talking about hardcore gay porn here. We are speaking of the existence of a group of people who most certainly do exist. Everyone knows a homosexual. If you do not know a homosexual, it is more than likely because you are a bigot and the homosexuals you do know just aren’t telling you. Chances are a few of the kids at your child’s school have gay parents. A lesbian couple on Food Network is not an endorsement of that lifestyle. A lip to lip kiss on the cover of a newspaper is not a religious statement. They are just holding a mirror to society. What evil lifestyle is the couple on Chopped displaying? The one where you love someone and commit to them in marriage? Those bastards.
Marriage equality is about love, consent, and equal rights under the law. Freedom of religion means you do not have to get gay married. Your church doesn’t have to perform gay weddings. You and your pastor/priest can bitch about how gay marriage is going to lead to the end of the world all day long, and twice on Sunday. You are even free, as sick as it is, to raise your kids believing that homosexuality is a sin and that gay marriage is wrong. (Hopefully you’re not one of those bigots who will throw their child out of the house if they come out as gay.)
What you don’t get is the ability to force that belief on others. No anti-gay prayers in school (or any prayers for that matter….and note, I am referring to official prayers, not non-disruptive silent prayers by individual students.) If you hold elective office (or appointed office) you don’t get to refuse to do your job because Jesus. You took an oath to obey and support the laws of our nation, not those of your book or church. If you can’t do your job, then quit. Save us all the trouble of firing you. Especially when you are more than likely a “fiscal conservative” as well, and it is tax dollars you are wasting grandstanding for martyr points. If you are a business, then you serve everyone or no one. Simple, is it not? Think that isn’t fair? Well, how would you feel if I had a business and I refused to serve Christians? Could you imagine what Bill O’Reilly would say about me? He’d probably have David Silverman on as a guest, show the one picture of me posing with Silverman, and spend the whole segment yelling over David about how much of a treasonous bigoted scum sucking commie I was. But that whole thought experiment is meaningless to you, is it not? Because you can not place yourself in another person’s skin.
Enjoy your bigot bucks. Enjoy sending out your condescending cake with the bigger waste of a disc than “Free AOL” software. Because on this front of the culture war, you lost. You can pretend that you will out breed the progressives all you want, but most of your children will end up rejecting your bigotry. The “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” kerfluffle will be a dark family secret, with their great grand children shockingly discovering those bigot were their ancestors, wondering what went wrong, eventually chalking it up to a different time, just as those of us did with ancestors who protested against things like interracial marriage, women’s suffrage, or ending slavery.
Now, get back to shoving that cake so deep in there that you see it in your santorum for the next year.
*While I never really thought of it before, after listening to this week’s diatribe on The Scathing Atheist, I am making a conscious effort to not capitalize “god,” except when it appears at the start of a sentence. This is a habit I have had for ages, so please don’t mind the inconsistency as I retrain my fingers.
**Dude, I can not be the only atheist who’s retirement plan looks like this:
- Fake conversion
- Plead poverty/persecution due to my new found faith
- Rake in the bigot bucks
- Write book on my experiences in the Christian fringe movement.
Fucking ethics and morals. I wonder how “psychics” and alt-med practitioners get rid of those pesky things.
***From the title of chapter 7 in The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir. Also from this book comes my personal favorite nickname for the future Queen of England, “la petite creature.” (pg 107)
****Bigotry against an “outgroup” is fascinating. While I was growing up and during my teen years, bigotry against homosexuals was seen as the standard in my area. It was the default assumption. Unless you spoke up, everyone assumed you hated the “fags.” Those who were different at all for any reason were labeled “fags.” (Before Nirvana went mainstream, I think I was called “leather fag” more often than my actual name for a while.) There was also a really strong undercurrent of racism, just not as automatically assumed as the homophobia. Perhaps because while my school had (I believe, I am not getting out my yearbook) one African-American (in 1994!!!) and two Indian-Americans in my graduating class, we were just outside of Altoona (and all hung out with people from each school) which had a much more diverse racial make up.
Now, with outright racism largely frowned upon by society and the acceptance of GLBTQ community members as actual normal people, we’re witnessing a strange outbreak of bigotry across multiple fronts as, I don’t know, bigots look for an acceptable place to release it? From the resurgence of anti-black racism (see the comment thread on any story dealing with Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown) to the last gasps of those who desperately wish they could choke on a nice hard cock (see Brian Fischer, Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, et al.) to the shockingly counterproductive anti-Mexican immigrant hate coming from the GOP’s field of presidential candidates (see. well…all of them?) to the confusing issue of actual post 9/11 anti-Middle Easterner racism being lumped together and equated with legitimate criticism of the tenants of the Islamic religion, it seems society is determined to prove those who claimed we had moved beyond race, beyond bigotry as wrong as possible. What’s the next group? It can’t be women, although the GOP has made a go of it over the past couple of years, but women simply have too much voting power. My guess, and we’ve definitely seen it in action before, I just think it will get much more mainstream: bigotry against the poor. A group with almost no political power, with no money to buy politicians, that is so easily demonized (they buy steak with food stamps! They get free phones! Welfare mommas! Your hard earned tax dollars, Rabble Rabble Rabble!!!) It’s coming hard, from your local GOP candidate. Bet on it.
***** Just a note here. The piece on Jindal is over half done at the moment. It hasn’t been the best week as it goes with my family and health, so I’ve been a bit behind. I’m also just about to become unemployed, hopefully for a very short period of time, which has been cutting into my time. I will work on getting it up on Monday. Thanks all for reading this!