Beit Gamaliel

The House of Gamaliel: The confluence of knowledge and faith.

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Cancel Culture Becomes Entrapment Culture

My son runs in a circle of friends that represent Asian and black backgrounds. One night in his dorm, he was engrossed in a video game. His roommates were all messing around when they started asking my son, “What is that racist word for black people?” As he continued to play his video game, the questioning intensified until one of his friends said, “Just say it!” At this point, my son turned around to realize they had been filming the whole thing. Why were black students trying to get my son to say a derogatory racial slur on camera? Curious.

Cancel Culture Becomes Entrapment Culture

Such is the case of Autumn Scardina. After the supreme court ruling in favor of the Colorado bakery that refused to bake a cake for a gay couple, Scardina started. Scardina is a transgender woman who also happens to be a lawyer. At first, she asked the bakery to make a cake with Satan smoking a joint. They refused. Then she asked for a pink cake with blue icing for a transgender celebration. They refused. Then she sued them. This is the second lawsuit for the same bakery.

Freedom of speech is not just the protection to speak whatever I please. It is also to protect not being forced to speak something that I do not want to say. Such was when a group of BLM protestors demanded a random woman join in their BLM chant. She refused. Not because she did not support the movement, but because she was having dinner. Ironic.

Forcing a religious person to speak or create representations contrary to their beliefs is not a new trend. In its sordid history, the catholic church, on a few occasions, instituted what has become known as inquisitions. These inquisitions were an attempt to quell heresy, and later, Protestantism. But the Spanish inquisition was exceptionally painful as it attempted to convert Jews and Muslims to Catholicism. But this was not just a debate over the veracity of belief systems. The inquisitions were notorious for the use of torture and execution for resistance. The inquisitions lasted for over 300 years!

For those that are not aware, a tenet of Judaism is Kosher law. Under Kosher Law, Jews are prohibited from eating pork. During the Spanish Inquisition, this become one of the benchmarks of conversion. A person that avoided pork was suspected of NOT being a Catholic. So, to PROVE one was NOT a Jew, Jews were forced to eat pigs. If they resisted, they were tortured, imprisoned, or executed. Food became the virtual entrapment needed to force catholic ideology.

Fast forward 200 years, it is no longer pork, but cake. What Scardina has done is exactly what the inquisitors did. Scardindi has entrapped the baker, knowing that the baker would not sear his own conscious. Now there is a new lawsuit.

Oh, the Irony!

To get the bigger picture, let’s also cast this in light of National Women’s History Month, and on the heals of National Black History Month. Scardina, a transgender woman, apparently required the services of a Christian man to do the job. Wow! How empowering for women everywhere!

How many black-owned, female-owned, LGBTQ-owned bakers did Scardina pass over to find this one exceptional baker that held the sole power to bake this special cake? If the only way Scardina can make herself greater is to make someone smaller, then American is simply no longer a land of opportunity. Scardina would do more for the movement by supporting those businesses that support LGBTQ ideals. But that wasn’t the point, was it?

The holocaust was arguably one of the most dangerous eras in recent world history. Jews were singled out precisely because of their religious beliefs. The first official action that the Nazis took against the Jews was called “Judenboykott,” or “Jewish boycott.” On Saturday, April 1, 1933, a list of Jewish-owned businesses was to be boycotted by all Germans. That began the discrimination against religious and ethnic Jews, leading to an increased number of national laws and regulations targeting Jewish-owned businesses, causing the vast majority to go out of business. The result was Jewish families losing livelihoods, and, by 1939, Jewish economics in Germany was completely destroyed.

Forcing people of any particular faith to do things contrary to the tenets of their religion is wrong. It was wrong in the Inquisitions. It was wrong in Nazi Germany. And it is wrong in the United States in 2021. Who are the real Nazis here?

Shabbat Shalom!

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