The headline of an article in The New York Times poses an interesting question: "Cake is his art. So can he deny one to a gay couple?"
Actually, it's not that interesting. The answer is yes. Very simple. No matter how you read the Bill of Rights, there's no way to interpret it as granting the government permission to force a private citizen to take part in a gay wedding. You can flip the First Amendment upside down, turn it inside out, spin it in circles and get it drunk, and still it won't give a homosexual couple the power to compel a Christian to make them a cake, no matter how inconvenient it may be to drive 18 and a half feet to the next bakery and get a cake from someone who isn't a devout Christian.
This particular case, Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, will be decided by the Supreme Court soon enough. I'm not optimistic. Justice Kennedy will be the deciding vote, and there's no telling if he'll discover a Right to Pastries just as he discovered a Right to Gay Marriage and just as his forebears discovered a Right to Abortion. Maybe they're all in the same mysterious amendment, written in invisible ink that can only be seen through a special decoder lens that liberal judges pass down through the generations like a family heirloom.
Some issues are so complex and nuanced that reasonable people can make intelligent arguments on either side of them. This is not one of those issues. In a free country, if we are to be a free country, you cannot compel someone to play any kind of role whatsoever in a private event that he objects to as a matter of conscience or religion. If you can, then I guess white supremacists can conscript Jewish caterers to serve them lunch at their next meeting. You may take exception to that analogy and point out that a white supremacist meeting is repugnant while a gay wedding is a wonderful celebration of love and happiness. That's your opinion, yes. But it's only your opinion. You cannot force me to agree with it or act upon it.
Speaking of force, it strikes me that those who desire only to raise their families and run their businesses according to their personal belief systems are the ones so often accused of "forcing their morality" on the world. When I was discussing this case on Twitter (an admittedly terrible forum to discuss this subject or any other subject known to man), I was admonished numerous times for committing the crime of morality-forcing. And that was just for saying that I think businesses should be allowed to refrain from serving gay weddings.
Here's an example of one message I received:
"If you want to be a bigot, that's your issue. But you can't FORCE your "morality" on OTHER PEOPLE. I have a RIGHT to live my life as I see fit. If I want to marry a person I love, I have a RIGHT to do that and to have the same kind of wedding that everyone else has. Yes that includes a cake. You can think what you want and say whatever bigoted sh*t you want in your backwards churches, but stop trying to FORCE it on everyone else."
Recap: Christians are "free" to think whatever thoughts they want in their heads (a generous concession, to be sure), and they're "free" to be as religious as they want while within the walls of designated religion buildings, but anything beyond that is oppressive. Meanwhile, Leftists can force you to make a cake, they can force you to share the bathroom with the opposite sex, they can force you to fund the abortion industry, they can force you to pay for their birth control, they can force all sorts of beliefs and doctrines on your kids in the school system, they can literally march down the street half naked in a celebration of sodomy and hedonism, and none of that can be construed as oppressive. In fact, you're oppressing them by objecting to it.
It's truly amazing that they've been able to frame the argument this way. Somehow, they succeeded in redefining "force" as "refusing to do what we tell you." They were greedy in their lie, and it paid off. Rather than being satisfied with shoving their ideology down our throats and pretending they haven't shoved it down our throats, they went for the home run and claimed that we're shoving our beliefs down their throats by not swallowing whatever crap they feed us. And they got away with it. Many Christians have bowed down and apologized for not being quite submissive enough, and now they lay their like beaten dogs, awaiting instructions from their cultural overlords.
So it bears repeating for the benefit of those who haven't quite noticed how this works: when a leftist complains that you're "forcing your morality," he's really just upset that you've resisted his attempts to force his immorality on you. "Don't force your morality," translated into traditional English, means "lie down, shut up, and let me stomp you into dust." If you let out a peep of protest while he presses his boot onto your neck, he'll cry that you're persecuting him, and then he'll press harder. If you dodge his punches while he swings for your face, he'll whine that you've enslaved him under a theocracy, and then he'll swing faster.
You have the right to be still and take the abuse. If you want more rights, you better get a new belief system. That's the American system in the modern age.