I am a gay man, and I am also a believer in the Bible (Old Testament portions, as I am Jewish).
I can understand the need to honour and respect each other’s religious and ideological points of view. I also believe ‘Asher Gate’ has been blown was out of proportions.
When the scandal broke, I was one of the few gays that felt sympathy for the bakery, and felt that the buyer should have selected a more tolerant business to order from. However, watching and listening to the religious supporters of Ashers, as well as their own justification for the incident, has made me lose any sympathy for the bakery.
The owners of Ashers, like many other religious people from a plethora of faith traditions, have cherry picked what Biblical passages to follow. The Book of Leviticus, which lays out condemnation for those that partake in same sex intercourse, also condemns the eating of pig. However, one can walk into Ashers and see their sausage rolls on sale.
The Ten Commandments speak of honouring the Sabbath day, which falls on Saturday if one follows the Bible, and yet Ashers remains open on Saturday. There is a long list of Biblical laws that Ashers breaks, yet they ignore these and focus only on the tradition that condemns homosexuality. This hypocrisy is nauseating, and frankly offensive.
If the owners of Ashers want to truly live Biblically, they should follow all 613 Biblical laws prescribed in the Old Testament. If, however, they want to follow Jesus’ teachings and love unconditionally, then they should stop hiding behind desert laws from thousands of years ago and accept all patrons. Judge not lest ye be judged.
Harold Ohayon, Belfast