Thanks for a well-written article. I’m interested in how people’s thinking evolves over time. We forget that, sometimes, it takes time and reflection to understand what our values require us to do in a given situation. And I’m not talking centuries; just a few years, maybe — between 2015 and now.
Maybe, during that time, some preachers preached a few sermons on forgiveness, or the example of Jesus, and the congregations thought a little more about what a baker really ought to do when asked to sell a cake to a sinner. Maybe those Christians in 2015 hadn’t had much experience with anyone who identified as LGBTQ, and they had been taught that those sexual identifications were genuinely wrong, and then they met someone who was LGBTQ, and that helped them see them as human.
Or maybe they were just sincere Christians, who follow Jesus, so they studied the stories and the parables, on their own, and they saw how Jesus accepted sinners and didn’t judge and expected his followers to do the same. So they took some time in prayer, and they reviewed Leviticus, and they remembered that Jesus told them the old law had been replaced with the New Covenant, and then they thought about selling cakes to sinners. So then, the Christians maybe realized that the bakeries were there to serve the public cake, not judgment, and that it was probably true that each and every person who bought a cake from that bakery was also a sinner of some kind.
I don’t know if that’s how the Christians changed their minds and thereby changed the polling data. I’m just saying that getting to that kind of resolution, or making those change, takes time. We do not do ourselves a favor by insisting that we judge every case immediately, based on the headlines and our favorite long-held beliefs. Sometimes — we need to learn more, think more, allow for ambiguity. Pause a minute. Draw in the sand. You know — be more like Jesus.
So — thanks again, Annabel, for a chance to reflect on this topic.