Today's Challenges For Issues For
It was still very good, with bacon and mushrooms and a bit of Swiss cheese. But was it art? I am trying to remember if there has ever been a cause célèbre that showed American social conservatives looking dimmer than their full-throated defense of the ludicrous notion that baking a cake is a constitutionally protected form of speech. Forget about jurisprudence for a moment. If this is true, all the art history textbooks will have to be revised to account for the numberless masterpieces we have peeled, boiled, stewed, gobbled up, and digested over the last 10,000 years or so. More to the point, if they are right when they say that a cake is speech and bakers don't have to prepare pastries for consumption after same-sex weddings, then Lester Maddox, that old master noted for his virtuoso designs in egg, dough, and poultry, was perfectly within his First Amendment rights to refuse to serve black Americans at his chicken restaurant. The whole idea is laughable on its face. Not only is a cake obviously not a form of artistic expression subject to constitutional protections, to make one is not in any meaningful sense to "participate" in some activity of which one disapproves, unless that activity is baking. If an evangelical tux rental magnate in Arkansas allows six of his suits to be worn by a lesbian wedding party, is he approving? What about the limousine drivers or bartenders? The misguided fracas is typical of social conservatives in this country, whose perennial mistake is to assume that a rightly ordered society would look very much like the one we have now, minus whatever their current bugbears (same-sex weddings, sex-neutral water closets, touchy "snowflake" millennials) happen to be.
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