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Rabbi Rami: Why Force Christian Bakers to Bake Cakes For Gay Weddings?

Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler

<em>Edit Article</em> Rabbi Rami: Why Force Christian Bakers to Bake Cakes For Gay Weddings?

Photo Credit: Ivonne Wierink-vanWetten/Thinkstock

My aunt says forcing Christian bakers to bake a cake for a gay wedding is like forcing a rabbi to officiate at a Christian wedding. Is the analogy apt? Rabbi Rami: Since rabbis are not authorized to officiate at any Christian wedding, gay or straight, your aunt’s analogy is a poor one. Try an analogy to kosher bakeries instead: Kosher bakeries are certified as kosher by rabbinic authorities, and held to the kosher standards set by those authorities. While anyone may buy kosher baked goods even if she intends to eat them along with a ham sandwich and a glass of milk, no one can expect a kosher baker to bake nonkosher baked goods. If Christian clergy certified bakeries as Christian the way rabbis certify them as kosher, and if they made it clear that certified Christian bakeries cannot bake cakes for gay weddings, then no one would expect them to do otherwise. People could, however, buy a cake off the shelf and eat it at a gay wedding, but my guess is that no supporter of marriage equality would frequent such a Christian bakery in the first place. I value religion and want to believe, but how do I dec …

Author and teacher Rabbi Rami Shapiro has been called “one of the best bridges of Eastern and Western wisdom.” His newest book is Embracing the Divine Feminine. Check out Rabbi Rami's weekly podcasts for S&H at

Rabbi Rami Shipiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His spiritual advice column, “Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler,” addresses reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more. His latest book is Surrendered—The Sacred Art: Shattering the Illusion of Control and Falling into Grace with Twelve-Step Spirituality.

He has this to say about religion: “To me, religions are like languages: no language is true or false; all languages are of human origin; each language reflects and shapes the mindset of the civilization that speaks it; there are things you can say in one language that you cannot say or cannot say as well in another; and the more languages you know, the more nuanced your understanding of life. Judaism is my mother tongue, yet in matters of the spirit I strive to be multi-lingual. In the end, however, the deepest language of the soul is silence.”

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