Really? Another story about bakeries and cakes and who will or won’t bake what without the feds crashing your business? Apparently so. At Right Wing News, Warner Todd Huston has been tracking the story of an Arizona pastor, Joshua Feuerstein, who has been concerned over trends where Christians seem to be exclusively targeted for action if they assert their rights to Freedom of Religion, specifically in the case of so called “gay wedding cakes.” To prove his point, he contacted a “gay bakery” (though how this is defined is a bit hazy) owned by Sharon Haller and asked them to bake him a cake with the message, “We Don’t Support Gay Marriage” on it.
He was, of course, refused. He recorded the call and put it online to demonstrate how the scales of justice seem to only tip in one direction in these cases. That’s when things took a turn.
[T]he shop owner called the FBI to demand that they charge Feuerstein with a hate crime.
Haller complained of “nasty” phone calls and “negative gestures.” She said she lost money and was investigating her legal options, noting that the recorded phone call is illegal in Florida. According to Lifesite, Haller said she had reached out to the FBI regarding a possible criminal case.
“I’m just afraid because of the type of calls that we were getting that someone is going to attack me in my home,” Haller told News 13. Online, the bakery asked for help, “Please help put a stop to people like Joshua Feuerstein.”
So, let’s review: gays can get Christians arrested and their businesses shut down for not baking them a cake. But Christians can be denied service at any time by any bakery with no consequences.
It seems more clear every day that the only group not protected under our law as it is currently practiced is Christians.
It seems fairly obvious that, at least on paper, the pastor is not being charged with the crime of trying to order a cake. That’s never going to be illegal. But he did record and publish the call he made without gaining the consent of the person on the other end of the line. In at least some cases, that can be against the law. But by the same token, law enforcement always has the option of deciding how strenuously they are going to go after someone for a crime such at that, and politics can play a huge factor in those decisions if they feel under pressure to “make an example” of somebody.
A separate question is whether or not the authorities feel that there is a case to be made over whether the pastor was “inciting” the public against the baker, resulting in threats of possible violence. Of course, I didn’t see anyone from the government rushing out to prosecute anybody when Memories Pizza was closed down for a week, so that could be some thin legal ice to stand on.
I’ve written about this too many times to hash out the entire subject again here. What this all comes down to is whether or not a private business owner or operator has the right to refuse service if they feel offended, no matter what the reason. Apparently they do… unless the request in question is for a gay wedding cake.