“… if your head is made of butter” is the original proverb. But what’s progress if not adjusting old wisdom to new needs?
That’s what Belfast’s Court of Appeal has just done by upholding the original verdict in the case against Ashers Bakery. Only in a mad world could such a case have been brought before the court at all, never mind decided against the defendants, Mr and Mrs McArthur, Ashers’ managers.
This Christian couple declined an order placed by Gareth Lee, an activist in the homosexual pressure group QueerSpace. QueerSpace aggressively campaigns for homomarriage, which is still illegal in Northern Ireland. In that spirit, Lee ordered a cake decorated with the inscription SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE.
I would have recommended a less perishable medium for carrying this noble slogan. What if the cake is sliced so that the middle word is cut out, and only SUPPORT MARRIAGE remains? That would scupper the whole idea, wouldn’t it?
Anyway, citing their Christian faith the McArthurs refused to put this political message on their product. Lee threw a wobbly and sued the couple for breaching equality legislation.
In a sane world, Mr Lee would have been told not to be so bitchy. After all, any business has a right to refuse custom in extreme cases.
Imagine one such extreme case: a pervert orders from a Muslim baker a cake with an image of a dog in flagrante delicto with a pig and an inscription saying SUPPORT BESTIALITY. (I didn’t make it up: years ago a Manhattanite could order such things from an East Side shop called Erotic Baker.)
Something tells me the Muslim baker would decline such an order in no uncertain, possibly violent, terms. Moreover, should the rebuffed customer appeal to the law, it would be him and not the baker who’d get in trouble.
How the case in question differs from this imaginary scenario escapes me. Fair enough, bestiality isn’t legal. But then neither is homomarriage in Northern Ireland. Not being an expert in sexual pathology, I can’t weigh the fine points of the two practices against each other, but they don’t seem to be a million moral miles apart.
What’s sauce for the Muslim goose ought to be sauce for the Christian gander. Isn’t that what equality is all about?
If you ask such questions, you aren’t fit to live in the modern world. Equality, as in equality legislation, the Equality Commission and some such, actually means inequality in today’s parlance.
All religions are equal except Christianity, that stubborn creed hanging on to its outdated faith. Such things go against the grain of progress, which insists that the dial is zeroed in every generation.
Equality, in its present sense, is a device used to inch towards the ultimate goal: the destruction of the last vestiges of our civilisation, with all its religious, cultural and moral underpinnings.
Hence the judgement of the Irish court upholds the modern ethos, and Daniel McArthur can scream bloody murder till the judges come home. Where does he get off, saying things like “This ruling undermines democratic freedom. It undermines religious freedom. It undermines free speech.”?
And look at this lame excuse offered by Mr McArthur: “We wouldn’t even decorate a cake with a spiteful message about gay people, because to do so would be to endorse and promote it.”
His ear clearly isn’t attuned to the mellifluous music of modernity. Decorating a cake with “a spiteful message about gay people” would have landed him in prison, while refusing to do so would have earned him an honorary membership in QueerSpace. As it is, he’s stuck with £300,000 in legal bills (partly shared by The Christian Institute).
The Irish judges obviously didn’t realise that their ruling set a legal precedent for “spiteful messages about gay people” and other such exotica to appear on cakes as well. After all, while equality before God is no longer relevant, equality before the law still should be.
But such considerations would matter only in a sane place, not the loony bin going by the name of modernity. And if you doubt this description, here’s another appeal, this time not overturned but upheld.
An Iraqi 20-year-old child refugee raped a 10-year-old boy in the lavatory of a Vienna swimming pool. In his defence, the big child claimed he raped the small child because of a “sexual emergency” created by four months without hanky-panky.
The Austrian court must have seen that as a mitigating circumstance, if its lenient sentence of six years’ imprisonment is any indication. Now even that exercise in liberalism has been overturned on appeal.
Judges found that the big child may have believed the small child consented. Of course, unless Austrian laws are dramatically different from ours, a 10-year-old isn’t regarded as qualified to issue consent.
Yet even a raped babe in arms could be treated as a consenting adult if refusal to do so would clash with the dominant pieties of modernity. After all, the Iraqi rapist is a) a Muslim, b) a refugee and c) a homosexual.
Sending him down would thus be construed as a knife in the back of the prevailing ethos, and that won’t do. Taking an axe to our civilisation is much better.
Call for the men in white coats.