Tuesday, February 5, 2013

guest post - the cake and the couple

Here is an example of two people who are doing their part to make our world better. A couple in Oregon wanted to get married and went to a shop to get their wedding cake made. The "Christian" owners refused because the couple was lesbian. In response to the coverage, a nationally known Baltimore cake maker Duff Goldman, known as the "Ace of Cakes" on the Food Network, decided he would offer to make them a cake for free and drive it out to Oregon for them. My hat is off to both Duff for doing the cake, and to my dear wife for the following email she sent to the owners gently but firmly calling them out on their un-Christian behavior. Rosa Parks and my mom (my previous post) would be proud.

Dear Aaron and Melissa,

You look like a lovely Christian couple and your cakes look absolutely scrumptious!

Therefore, I was extremely disappointed to learn that you refused to make a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding. As a Christian myself, I think this is just the wrong way to go about things. In everything we do, Christians should be sharing and demonstrating the love of God by our words and behavior. How does it show God’s love to this couple to deny your services to bake them a cake for their special day? They are not asking you to officiate their wedding. They apparently have been previous customers so they liked your cakes and baked items enough to want *you* to make their cake, and not someone else. Denying them your services was like slapping them in the face.

Instead, the “Ace of Cakes”, Duff Goldman, has stepped up to the plate with an offer to do the cake for this couple at no cost. He is showing love, where you only showed rejection.

As Christians, we need to be bringing people *into* the circle of God’s love, not shutting them out. My husband and I have a gay nephew who resides in Gresham. When his time comes to marry, I seriously doubt he will be patronizing your shop. If nothing else, this is costing you business. But more than that, every time you turn a customer away because they are gay or lesbian, you are missing the opportunity to share a little bit of God’s love with them, and to help make their day special.

I would ask that you would seriously consider what Jesus would do in your situation. He embraced the tax collectors and other outcasts of society; I certainly believe that He would make wedding cakes for gay couples.

Sincerely,
Debbie King

doing the little things

Yesterday was the 100th  anniversary of Rosa Parks' birth. She died in 2005 but her legacy lives on. She is remembered for doing a small thing with a big impact, and it is important that we remember that. We often feel that nothing we do really matters, or that we can only do small things, but we must remember that all we do really does matter even though we may never know exactly how it will.

Rosa Parks lived in Montgomery Alabama in a time of segregation. People of color like her were supposed to sit in the back of the bus and even give up their seat in the "colored" section to a white person when the "white" section was filled . One day in 1955 she refused and was arrested. She and others like her became the inspiration  for a citywide bus boycott which lasted 381 days and resulted ultimately in a Supreme Court decision overturning the bus segregation. It also helped launch the career of Martin Luther King Jr, and that led to a host of changes for people of color as well as the enriching of America.

I am continually amazed, and ashamed, of what my country allowed and promoted in terms of racial segregation and discrimination during those years. It was about the time when I was born (1956) and I guess being in Oregon and young I was not aware during my childhood of the climate in the South. But over the years I have become much more aware and  try to do my part to combat similar things from happening today. As a country we have come far, but there is still so much to do to combat prejudice.

I learned two big lessons from my mother. One was that you treat everybody with the same kindness and respect, no matter who they are, where they are from, what their "status" is. It is basic human decency. She really believed that we were all created equal, not just saying it, but living it out every day. And she believed that every day you should do what you can to make this world better. She didn't have a "high" position in the eyes of most, just a mom raising my four sisters and I. But she delighted in doing the many small things that she could. My sisters and I grew up to do as she did and that is her legacy.

You may not be a Rosa Parks, or a mom with a family to raise, but you can make a difference even though you may see your efforts as small. Do whatever you can to make this world better, to make someone's life better today, and I will do the same.