“Embracing love ethic means that we utilize all dimensions of love– “care, commitment, trust, responsibility, respect and knowledge”– in our everyday lives.” -bell hooks
I already had my doubts about cake artist, Jack Phillips when I heard he refused to create a cake for a gay couple back in 2012. I’m part of an entire family of business owners, that being said, I can’t even begin to express the humility I’d hide behind if any of them refused service to someone based on discriminatory acuities. And yes, my family is religious.
I believe as humans, we all have a choice. I believe business owners have choices, too. When you own a business, you choose what services or products you provide to others and you also elect who you provide them to. However, the grounds which you base your decision making on are important for your business’s reputation and for future business. One of the simplest and most well-known practices any human can live by is one we’ve all known since childhood: treat people the way you want to be treated.
This is the part that’s hard for me to explain
As I’ve expressed, I believe as humans, we have a choice. We have morals, values, codes of ethics and some have strong religious beliefs. All of those things make up who we are, how we treat others, and how we make them feel. We use these parts of us in our personal and professional lives to put good into the world.
Being religious can be good thing. The hope, goodwill, morals, stability, and the countless other attributes religion instills in people, is truly a great thing. Yet, what’s to say for a great thing when it discourages the very basis of human rights? Jack Phillips claims he is a religious man who couldn’t provide a wedding cake for a same sex couple yet told NBC’s Today show, “I serve everybody. It’s just that I don’t create cakes for every occasion.” I guess what I don’t understand here is, occasions are for people, so refusing to contribute to an occasion is basically refusing to serve those people. Somehow, I can’t seem to convince myself that’s “serving everybody.”
Now, do I believe a cake artist who owns their own business has the right to refuse their cakes to gay people? Sure, I do. But I don’t believe it’s right nor will I be buying any cakes there. I will buy cakes (or anything for that matter) at an establishment that provides its products and services to the surrounding community equally and by a Love Ethic standards.
I know about religion. I was raised in a Christian home, I attended church, I pray, and I know God. What I can’t seem to remember in all my years of religious practices is making someone feel the way Jack Phillips made David Mullins and Charlie Craig feel. He humiliated those men, his actions were dehumanizing. Aren’t we supposed to make others feel worthwhile?
Some questions for Jack Phillips
As a religious man, is it really your place to decide whether or not same sex marriage is right or wrong?
It’s your right to decide who you make cakes for but when you refuse to make cakes for individuals whose beliefs differ from yours; does the way you make them feel by doing so affect your Christianity? Does it exemplify some kind of self respect taught to Christians I’m unaware of? Aren’t Christians supposed to treat others kindly and respectfully? Are gay people not lovable and sometimes Christian humans, too?
Is it unthinkable for you to be a Christian man who honors religion AND has it in his heart to respect those who don’t? If someone doesn’t think like you, are they not good enough for you? They’re obviously not good enough for your cakes. That is really unChristian, Jack Phillips.
You be you and I’ll be me
How do you determine right from wrong? If you’re a frequent reader of mine you know I live by a Love Ethic (a way of living adapted from my favorite author Dr. bell hooks). One of the very basic aspects of living by a Love Ethic is unselfishness. We all witness worrisome outcomes in today’s society, as people’s values aren’t based on selfishness. To maintain quality relationships and respect within families, churches, and communities, we must challenge ourselves to embrace a love that is greater than ourselves. We need to inhabit believing the well-being of others is worth putting before our own. We have a right to be who we want to be, but we have a duty to strive to make others feel worthwhile.
Please love and respect others. You have a right to be you AND they have a right to be them. We ALL have a right to feel worthwhile. –Mallory Lov-E-thic