At the 1992 Republican Convention, Pat Buchanan declared, “There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself.” I remember listening to this declaration with disgust, understanding full well that his rhetoric was a bigoted attack on LGBTQ Americans.
What I did not know, nor I think did he, was that the “Culture War” was going to turn into a big food fight. I mean, seriously, what is it within the insanity of anti-gay logic that makes those under its influence think that excess sugar or cholesterol intake is somehow germane to their cause? When they say they disapprove of our “lifestyle” are they really talking about the consumption of quality nutritious food and health club participation? Are they seeking to corner a market on diabetes and clogged arteries?
First there was Chick-fil-A, who was discovered to have given almost two million dollars to anti-gay groups in 2010. When gay people decided they would not want their greasy chicken money going to such causes, they began to retreat to other eating establishments. “War games on” declared over 600,000 anti-gay society members who descended en masse to cholesterol up their digestive systems in support of their perceived lifestyle.
About a year later, a new venue was picked for the next round of Culture War expressions…the cake shop. A couple of self righteous bakers decided that they needed to fling confection soaked mud and attack prospective same-sex wedding couples. The most recent of these was Aaron Klein, owner of Sweet Cakes, a bakery in Gresham, Oregon. Klein refused to supply a wedding cake to a lesbian couple out of “principle.”
Apart from his obvious prejudice against gay people, it is unclear what “principle” Mr. Klein thinks he is supporting. It is the principle of the relevance of cake in a wedding reception? Wedding cake and baked goods at weddings started as superstitions from pagan Rome, and stacked pastry in medieval England. So, maybe it is “superstitious principle” that Mr. Klein is “defending”?
Given their online behavior after the story broke, an argument could be made that the guiding Culture War principle was simply to treat LGBTQ people badly.
It is inconceivable that their behavior could have upheld as defending Christian principles, as Klein claims. Jesus is reported to have spiced up beverages at a wedding and to have fed a throng cake like substance, (okay, it was bread) all without checking a single credential as to who would be ingesting it. It is particularly disturbing that such “Christians” would choose to behave so callously in an area that had recently claimed a tragedy attributable to attitudes reflective of theirs.
If the principle is simply to not do business with people whose lives one judges, then where does this stop? Can a plumber refuse service to a same-sex family because he or she does not believe the bottoms that sit on the toilet he is fixing should live together in the same house? Can a banker refuse the checks of a Muslim because he or she does not think finances should be allowed for non-Christians? Can a Catholic board of directors fire women because their church does not itself allow women in places of authority?
If these people care so much about these principles as they claim, why are they not fighting them out in places where they really matter? Klein’s cakes are not part of any sanctity nor is he an invited supporter at any of the events that use them. He, in fact, has no clue on whether the cakes even make it to a church; they could just as easily be picked up and devoured by a pair of multi-tiered pastry aficionados.
The Culture War thugs are not fighting in venues where real principles apply because they are not looking to really fight for real principles themselves. They are looking to humiliate others who seem to be getting what they want.
They want to smear someone’s face in goo, whipped cream and make them feel like an un-godly mess. So, they gather up their troops and go at it.
All they really want is a food fight.