Having Our Cake

Cake is in the news these days. Well, not so much the cake as the eating of the cake, or perhaps even more specifically, the baking of the cake.

Or not.

It seems that a baker had decided some time ago that he didn’t want to bake a cake for a gay wedding.

And this went to court.

Really?

Let me start out by saying that I think the baker’s stance was close-minded and bigoted.

And I am sure that the couple found another place to bake them a cake.

That it went any further than that points out how self-centered so many parts of our culture have become.

I don’t know the couple, but I can understand their indignation. But to sue the baker, essentially saying, “You HAVE to bake us a cake”?

It reminds me of the soup Nazi from the Seinfeld show, saying, “No soup for you,” based on his whim. It made for good comedy.

But this is real life. Whether or not we agree on what others think or believe, our country is based on their freedom to not only have those beliefs, but to be able to express them. Would most of us, as bakers, feel comfortable with being forced to bake a cake celebrating racism or domestic abuse? How about pedophilia? Where would you draw the line?

Years ago, I was working behind a booth at a craft fair. It was very busy, and a woman came by and was incredible rude and boorish, taking expensive articles of jewelry, questioning their authenticity and throwing them back on the counter: just generally being a jerk. She was loud, nasty and disrespectful. At some point, when I had reached my limit with her, I simply said to her, “You know what? You are not allowed to purchase anything from us. Go away!”

It was one of the most satisfying experiences of my life. Was I justified? Well, other customers actually applauded when I said it. Was it my right? I certainly thought so. Did I lose a potential sale? Maybe. Is the customer always right? Uhh, no. If the sponsor of that show came by and said, “You HAVE to sell her that ring” would I have done it? Absolutely not.

These are interesting, trying times in the history of this country. For better or for worse, we are now seeing the range of political, moral and ideological views that are held in America. And I have heard opinions expressed that essentially say, “This is not America.”

But the truth is, yes it is. America is ALL of this, whether you agree with it or not. Personally, I am appalled by what is passing for leadership in this country. Not for the ideas; I am OK with someone in power having different ideas from me. But when I hear, “You are not ALLOWED to have those beliefs,” that’s when I start to bristle.

We have incredible freedoms in this country. One of them is the right to disagree. And I would suggest that along with that, there should be an acceptance of the ideas of those that disagree with us. Sometimes that is really, really hard, because, we KNOW we are “right.”

But so does that person that is disagreeing with you.

We have an opportunity at this time in our history to take radical steps forward. For those of us with the wherewithal to see the big picture, let’s be part of that movement, whichever “side” you are on.

“Let ‘em eat cake” is a saying that symbolizes cluelessness, a lack of empathy and understanding.

What’s it looking like in YOUR bakery?

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© 2014 by Roman Ramsey.