The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland has been the driving force behind a legal case against Ashers Baking Company for refusing to make a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan. Yesterday a Belfast judge ruled in favour of gay-rights activist Gareth Lee as the BBC Reports.
In the current legal climate, this is no great surprise – the secular world is obsessed with silencing the views of Bible-believing Christians who simply want to follow the convictions of their faith. As usual, they have picked the softest possible target to ensure a cheap token ‘win’ – we can be fairly confident these gay-rights activists would not have the appetite or courage to drag a Muslim business through the courts in the same way.
In response to this ruling, Aiden O’Neill QC has told the Christian Institute this has severe implications for all businesses – among other examples he cited, a Muslim printing company would have no defence if they refused to print cartoon of Muhammad which would be hugely offensive to them. One ministry in the United States, contacted a number of gay bakeries to ask for a cake with a ‘gay marriage is wrong’ message – naturally they were refused point-blank and insulted in the process. This demonstrates that this has nothing to do with equality and tolerance – it’s about the increasing persecution and intolerance directed against Christians. Worse still, this is supported by the tax-payer funded Equality Commission who, rather than pursue far more serious forms of inequality, jump on the anti-Christian bandwagon and grab some headlines in the process. Surely, there is no shortage of more terrible examples of inequality and suffering that would represent a much better use of the Equality Commission’s time?!
What is the message here? Freedom of speech and conscience are vital ingredients of our society and this represents a significant step in the erosion of these principles. Christians businesses are simply not free to follow their religious convictions or conscience and the anti-Christian agenda will be further empowered simultaneously. As a result of this precedent, activists will be looking for any reason to litigate against Christians – expect an avalanche of similar cases!
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12)