Archive for July 31st, 2012

Bakery Refuses Gay Wedding Cake

July 31, 2012

Here is the story on CBS News.

Chick-fil-A’s president spoke out against gay marriage last week, sparking a huge uproar in the gay community, and now the issue is spilling over to a Colorado bakery.

The owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood refused to bake a wedding cake for a local gay couple and now people are pushing a boycott against the owner.

Shop owner Jack Phillips probably didn’t think he was going to be wading into a civil rights debate a week ago when he told the gay couple that he would not make a cake for their wedding, but that’s exactly what has happened.

Dave Mullin and Charlie Craig say they dated for nearly two years before getting engaged. They went into the Masterpiece Cake Shop thinking they’d spend a full day trying cakes for their ceremony. Instead the meeting lasted a few seconds.

 “My first comment was, ‘We’re getting married,’ and he just shut that down immediately,” Craig said.
Naturally Dave and Craig couldn’t just decide to get their cake someplace else. Just because Jack Phillips owns his business doesn’t mean he is allowed to run it the way he wants to according to his values.

Mullin and Craig were stunned. They went online and posted their experience on Facebook. The response has been huge.

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the shop on Saturday and were very angry.

It wasn’t the first time the shop turned down gay couples who wanted a cake. Phillips has received more than 1,000 angry messages about his stance.

“If gays come in and want to order birthday cakes or any cakes for any occasion, graduations, or whatever, I have no prejudice against that whatsoever,” Phillips said. “It’s just the wedding cake, not the people, not their lifestyle.”

Personally, I would have sold them the cake. Whatever he may think of their lifestyle, their money spends as well as any and no business can afford to turn away customers without good reason. Still, it is his business and he can run it however he pleases.

This again, to me, is a freedom issue. If you think Phillips is being a jerk about this, than freedom has to include the freedom to be a jerk. Otherwise it is not really freedom at all, and of course Dave, Craig and friends are completely free to take their business elsewhere.

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Romney’s Jerusalem Gaffe

July 31, 2012

I have heard it said that a gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth. By that standard, I am not sure that the comment that Mitt Romney made in Jerusalem regarding the economic disparity between Israel and the Palestinians really qualifies since I am certain he knew exactly what he was saying. But first, the story according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Governor Romney caused a stir when he said in a speech Sunday that “it is a deeply moving experience to be in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.” That actually sounded milder than what then-Sen. Barack Obama said in June 2008, when he insisted that Jerusalem must “remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”

Romney’s statement on Jerusalem was not well received by the Palestinians, but the candidate didn’t stop there, adding a comment Monday about culture and prosperity that elicited even more condemnation.

Aside from angering the Palestinians, the problem with referring to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is that, officially, the United States – in line with most of the international community – does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Instead, it considers the city’s status an issue to be negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians, who claim East Jerusalem – seized by Israel in the 1967 war – as their capital.

As a result, the US keeps its embassy in Tel Aviv.

I think we should recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move our embassy there. Jerusalem has been the capital of every Jewish state since the time of King David and no one else has a claim on it, except the Jebusites, if any are still around.

At a breakfast fund-raising event in Jerusalem Monday, Romney said he couldn’t help but notice the “dramatically stark difference in economic vitality” between Israel and “the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority,” and he concluded, “Culture makes all the difference.”

No mention from the would-be US president of the trade and mobility restrictions that Israel maintains over the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza – restrictions that both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have said for years are key factors in hampering Palestinian economic growth.

Palestinian leaders quickly blasted Romney’s “culture” comment as “racist” and added that he failed to take into account the impact of Israel’s tight grip on the Palestinian economy.

Somehow, I find myself not caring too much what  the Palestinians think. That culture makes the difference shouldn’t be a controversial statement at all. A country that educates its population in the latest in science and technology and allows freedom of speech and thought is always going to prosper far more than a country that trains their citizens in hatred and has a repressive and corrupt government. If it is a matter of geo-political considerations, than I would note that Israel has been a country under siege for its entire history and yet they have somehow managed to create a diverse and vibrant economy. And then too, Israel probably wouldn’t be imposing trade and mobility restrictions if the Palestinians had not been making it perfectly clear that they prefer war with Israel to peaceful economic development.

I have a feeling that the Palestinians would be a whole lot better off if they gave up on their death cult and learn to live in peace.


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