The United Kingdom’s Supreme Court issued a ruling of sanity in favor of an Evangelical couple, Daniel and Amy McArthur, who manage a family owned bakery, Ashers Baking Co. in Northern Ireland. In 2014, Northern Ireland was embroiled in a campaign to legalize gay marriage and a gay activist approached the bakery’s Netwonabbey location to have it create a cake supporting the gay marriage campaign. The activist wanted a photo of Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie along with the words “Support Gay Marriage” written on the top of the cake. Though an employee in initially took the order, the McArthurs later turned it down stating that they would not be able to make the cake because of their Christian beliefs. The activists took the case to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland that ruled against the company and ordered them to produce the cake within seven days. The owners refused and have been embroiled in a series of court cases ever since, that finally ended up in the Supreme Court. The Christian Institute of England …
[by Dean Smith] Chick-fil-A was just awarded the top fast food franchise in America. It topped a list compiled each year by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). This was the first year, they included Chick-fil-A in the survey. It not only topped the list but according to ACSI with a rating of 86, the chain received the highest score ever given to a restaurant in the fast food category. ASCI determined the index after a survey of 5,000 people.
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:
When Nanaimo city council voted 8 to 1 to cancel a Christian conference booked in a city facility, they had no idea of the uproar their anti Christian stance would cause. Nanaimo, population 80,000, is located on Canada’s west coast in the province of British Columbia. On May 5, 2014, the city council voted to cancel a contract for an organization scheduled to hold a leadership conference in the city-owned Vancouver Island Convention Center on May 9. The conference, Leadercast, was billed as a Christian conference. It was being held in Atlanta, Georgia and broadcast from there to hundreds of locations around the world. One of the reasons for the cancellation is a sponsor of the event, Chick-Fil-A, has not endorsed gay marriage. The company does not discriminate against homosexuals in its employ, it dares to support traditional marriage.
Dick and Betty Odgaard own Gortz Haus Gallery in Grimes, Iowa. Their business — located in an old Lutheran church — contains a bistro, floral and framing shop and as well a wedding chapel that has proven popular for marriage ceremonies. Unfortunately, the two were recently forced to launch a lawsuit to preserve their religious freedom — a bizarre action considering the U.S. was founded by people seeking religious freedom. In August 2013, Lee Stafford and his partner Jarrod approached the Odgaards about renting their wedding facilty for a same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriages were legalized in Iowa in 2009. The Odgaards are committed Mennonites and the couple refused citing their religious beliefs.
Because of legislation passing through the Scottish parliament, Scottish churches are suggesting they may be forced to stop performing weddings. The new legislation — Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill — would see marriage redefined to include ‘same-sex’ marriage. The Scottish parliament insists churches will not be required to marry ‘same-sex’ couples under the legislation. Similar to a bill passed in England, under the proposed Scottish law churches would be required to officially ‘opt in’ if they want perform ‘gay’ marriages. Those that do not ‘opt in’ will not be legally required to conduct them.