Tuesday, June 5, 2018

What Would Jesus Bake?

Yesterday came the ruling from the Supreme Court that found that the rights of the baker had been violated when the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ordered the baker to make a cake for a same sex wedding.  I took note of some particulars:  it wasn't about whether the religious rights were more important than the free speech/expression right or the equal right to marry.  Instead, the Justices were ruling that the Civil Rights Commission was dismissive and disparaging of the baker's religious beliefs and rights. 

In short, it was a much more narrow decision than most of us may realize, and it may not help settle any future cases.  The court case says that the baker has a right to a religiously neutral hearing, and he didn't get that.  It's about the adjudication of the case, not the case itself.

Of course, that will not stop many of us from weighing in.  I saw one Facebook meme that asserted that we can be sure that "Jesus would bake the damn cake."

Immediately, I thought, really?  The same Jesus that in the Gospel of Mark seems to reject family in favor of the work of ministry?  I have read the gospels many time, and I don't see a pro-marriage Jesus in any of them.

Would Jesus bake the cake?  Or would Jesus ask how much the cake would cost?  I envision Jesus using the cake as a teaching moment, talking about how much the wedding would cost, reminding us of how those dollars could be used to feed the hungry with something more substantial than cake.

Would Jesus ask why we needed these public displays of commitment?   I envision Jesus saying, "Anyone can throw a party and declare their eternal love.  Call me in 20 years and tell me about your relationship.  And then, call me 30 years later.  If you can hold your love together for a lifetime, we'll come to a party, but it makes no sense to do this at the beginning."

Or maybe Jesus would say, "Let's celebrate love of all kinds.  Most of you show more devotion to your pets than to your other family members.  Why are we not having ceremonies about that love?"

Perhaps Jesus would say, "Sure, it's easy to show love to those who love us.  But if you can love your enemies--truly love them--that's worth a festive event of this scale.  That's love that's worthy of a special cake."

I could go on and on, but I'm sure we get the idea.  The only thing I know for sure is that when we're sure of how Jesus/God would respond, we're often wrong.  And that direction intrigues me even more:  what aren't we seeing, when we offer what we're sure Jesus would say or do?

No comments: