All posts tagged: Northern Ireland

Daniel and Amy McArthur Photo: YouTube Capture/The Christian Institute

Gay activist supports Irish Christian bakers

A strange case emerging in Northern Ireland has a prominent gay activist supporting a bakers decision not to produce a cake promoting gay marriage. The issue involves evangelical Christians Daniel and Amy McArthur who manage a family-owned business: Ashers Baking Co in Newtonabbey, Northern Ireland. In the summer of 2014, they were asked to create a cake for an event supporting the push for the legalization of gay marriage in Northern Ireland. The cake was supposed to have the images of Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie on it along with the words “Support Gay Marriage.” The order was initially accepted at the store and later cancelled because the McArthurs did not feel comfortable supporting gay marriage. When they cancelled the order, Gareth Lee, who had requested the cake on behalf of the group Queerspace, took the McArthurs before England’s Equality Commission claiming discrimination. In the court case that followed, lawyers for The Christian Institute representing the McArthurs argued this was not a case of discrimination because the McArthurs did not know Lee was gay. Rather, …

Murals in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo: Daniel Kulinski/Flickr/Creative Commons

Islam in Ireland: the Great British Debate

In mid December of this year a court trial started in Britain. The leader of a Muslim community in Belfast Northern Ireland has registered a complaint against Rev McConnell, a Pentecostal minister who made negative comments about Islam in a sermon. Outside of the courtroom, the issue has created a large public debate in Britain. It is not clear that the court trial will reach a conclusion, but the court of public opinion has already decided. The public debate has some interesting trends: 1. Rev McConnell has already won the publicity battle. He might emerge as a victor with a verdict of innocent, or a martyr from a guilty verdict. In the court of public opinion, his supporters can claim both; he is persecuted by ungrateful and intolerant immigrants, and he is now a hero. One unusual spin off is the benefit to Irish Republican nationalists. Belfast, in northern Ireland is part of Great Britain, and Irish nationalists want it in the Republic. Some will say, this would never happen in the Irish Republic, and …

Christian baker persecuted in Northern Ireland for not endorsing gay marriage

A government is persecuting another baker, this time in Northern Ireland, for their family’s Christian beliefs. This is not unusual. Christian bakers are similarly under fire in North America for their refusal to make wedding cakes for gay weddings. However, this persecution has a bit of an unusual twist. The bakery is being persecuted for not endorsing gay marriage. The Ashers Baking Co, with six different locations in Northern Ireland, is owned by the McArthur family.  They have deeply held Christian beliefs and the name of the baking company comes from Genesis 49:20 which reads: