Same-sex marriage advocates want to force Christian bakers to bake cakes celebrating their “marriages” or face civil penalties for refusing to do so – often now even forcing them out of business for failing to “go along.”
Christian bakers respect the human dignity of homosexual persons.
In fact, they love them as persons – since Christ insists we must love our brothers (and sisters) as we love ourselves.
Most Christians accept the teaching of God and of the natural law that homosexual sexual acts are morally wrong and will lead those who perform them to face the judgment of God. Since Christians actually love their fellow human beings, they do not want them to face such punishments for their immoral actions.
Baking the requested cake is tantamount to telling homosexuals and the world that this lifestyle is approved by the baker and by God, and that all is well for them to enter into same-sex “marriages.”
But, if you love someone, you do not want to encourage them to do something you honestly believe will lead them to misery and suffering. That is the ultimate reason why Christian bakers are not free in conscience to bake such cakes, since we are obliged not to willfully harm anyone. If we love them, we will not do them harm. Christians cannot bake that cake because they love the persons requesting the cake, and sincerely believe that baking the cake is not in those persons’ best interests.
But, what if the homosexual person believes that what he does is perfectly moral and innocent. By what right does the baker to judge his behavior? We cannot judge the interior guilt or innocence of another, and thus, it seems that all bakers should go along with the demand for baking a cake to celebrate this “happy same-sex union.”
This objection rests upon the eternal conflict between subjective and objective judgments. One can never be absolutely certain of the objective state of another’s subjective morality. Still, for that very reason, we must follow what we are morally certain — according to our own best judgment — is the objective morality of any given situation.
Thus, Islamic terrorists killed thousands of innocents on 9/11 in the name of serving Allah. We may not be able to judge their subjective morality with certitude, but we must judge what we are morally certain was the objectively evil morality of these acts — and act accordingly. To do otherwise is to abandon all obligations of morality and conscience.
Thus, the Christian baker refuses to bake the cake because he is morally certain that in so doing he would be encouraging the requester to engage in a lifestyle that will lead him to unhappy consequences — even, possibly, to eternal reprobation by God. The baker has no choice but to refuse to participate in the homosexual person’s celebration for the simple reason that he truly loves him and wants him to be happy.
“I cannot bake your cake, because I love you.”
Dennis Bonnette, Ph.D., was a Full Professor of Philosophy at Niagara University in Lewiston, New York before his retirement in 2003. He is the author of Aquinas’ Proofs for God’s Existence and Origin of the Human Species:Third Edition. He is presently teaching free courses in philosophy at the Aquinas School of Philosophy in Lewiston, New York. See www.aquinasphilosophy.com. To read more from Dr. Bonnette visit his website.