|Next shameful target, a Jewish bakers...|
The owners of a Northern Ireland bakery found to have discriminated for refusing to make a "gay cake" were forced to act against their religious beliefs, the Supreme Court has heard.
Ashers Bakery is challenging the ruling over its decision not to make a cake iced with the slogan "Support Gay Marriage" for activist Gareth Lee.
Appeal court judges upheld the original decision.
However, Mr Lee's barrister said he had 'no abusive intent' placing the order.
Ashers general manager Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy attended the hearing in Belfast, where the bakery was represented by barrister David Scoffield QC.
"This is a case of forced or compelled speech, unlike other cases which have come before the court," Mr Scoffield told the Supreme Court.
"Mr and Mrs McArthur have been penalised by the state, in the form of the judgment at the county court, for failing through their family company to create and provide a product bearing an explicit slogan 'Support Gay Marriage' to which they have a genuine objection in conscience.
They would equally have refused to provide that cake with the slogan to a heterosexual customer.
"Their difficulty was the content of the cake, not the characteristic of the customer."
Mr Scoffield added that the McArthur family were being forced to use their skills, trade and experience for a purpose inconsistent with their beliefs and claimed they must "choose between operating their businesses or living and acting in accordance with their religious beliefs, and we say that cannot be the law".
It is only the second time the Supreme Court, established in 2009, has sat away from its permanent home in London. Last June the court held four days of hearings in Edinburgh.
The court's judgement on whether the owners of Ashers Bakery were guilty of unlawful discrimination is expected to be handed down later in the year, or possibly in early 2019.
'If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.'Lev 20:13
'For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.'
There are lots of sins. We are all sinners. We have all sinned against God.
Jesus Christ is God. He suffered and died, was buried and rose again from the dead to save you.
But if you don't believe you need saving, he can't help you can he.
1 Tim 1:15
I stand with my brethren in the Lord Jesus Christ, whoever they be; bakers, painters, soldiers.
All one and victorious in Christ Jesus.
'We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thes 1:3-12