As many of you may have heard today, the world again has decided to go its own way and the judgment has gone against Ashers Baking Company. This has just made a mockery of the laws of this world as it now means if a Muslim printer refused to print a cartoon of Mohammed with the caption ‘false prophet’, the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland would find him guilty in a court. So whether it is a cake or a piece of printed literature we now see that even our human rights are at stake. As Bible believing Christians (as many of us are) we are now into territory that could face any of us with law suits or even imprisonment.
A Christian-run bakery will be up in court on 26 March for refusing to bake a cake.
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland claims that Ashers Baking Company broke political and sexual orientation discrimination laws by declining to produce a pro-gay ‘marriage’ campaign cake last year.
Daniel McArthur, manager of Ashers, whose name comes from the biblical tribe of Asher who had many skilled bakers and created bread fit for a king (Genesis 49: 20), said that fulfilling the order would have involved promoting a cause which goes against their conscientious view that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Leading human rights lawyer Aidan O’Neill QC has written a legal opinion in which he outlines the dramatic consequences which could follow if Ashers Baking Company loses.
He states that if Ashers loses there would also be no defence to similar actions being taken against other businesses in any of the following scenarios:
A Muslim printer refusing a contract requiring the printing of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed;
An atheist web designer refusing to design a website presenting as scientific fact the claim that God made the world in six days;
A Christian film company refusing to produce a “female-gaze/feminist” erotic film;
A Christian baker refusing to take an order to make a cake celebrating Satanism;
A T-shirt company owned by lesbians declining to print T-shirts with a message describing gay ‘marriage’ as an “abomination”;
A printing company run by Roman Catholics declining an order to produce adverts calling for abortion on demand to be legalised.
The McArthurs have received widespread support, including from a gay activist, Northern Ireland’s First Minister, MPs and MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland).
DUP MEP Diane Dodds has described the legal action against Ashers as a “deeply regrettable” challenge to the “right to exercise faith”, and a “violation of Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights”.
A poll has shown that the majority of the general public think the legal action brought by the taxpayer-funded quango is over the top.
Will you stand with Ashers and the McArthur family as they face this difficult trial, and thank them for their good example?