Right wing sites are having a great time, ripping liberals as they promote a new video of a man trying to order a cake for a same sex wedding from a Muslim bakery. “See,” they’re saying, “liberals are ripping Christians for being bigots, but, look at MOO-slims!!!” Of course, the video fails on several levels.
The video comes from Steven Crowder, who runs a site called Louder With Crowder. In almost six minutes of video, Crowder manages to be both homophobic, AND racist, along with getting his facts wrong.
Crowder opens by saying, “You’ve no doubt heard about the controversy of some states passing laws to protect religious freedoms.” This is followed by a clip from the movie, Sling Blade, where the main character, played by Billy Bob Thornton, says, “Not funny ha-ha, funny queer.” So, right out of the gate, Crowder admits that these laws are intended to allow discrimination against gay and lesbian citizens.
Crowder grumbles about the media making a big deal of “hateful Christians” refusing to bake cakes for gay weddings. But what about Muslim bakeries, he ponders? Well, of course, he has a video.
The video is so heavily edited that it is actually hard to tell what is going on. A gay man, or one who is playing a gay stereotype more likely, tells bakers that he wants a cake for the wedding of two men. One baker does appear to be telling the man that he will not make the cake, but in the other cases it’s not totally clear. In one instance, after the man describes what he wants on the cake, the woman behind the counter appears to say “ok.”
There are a number of comments that Crowder throws out about persecution of gays and lesbians in Muslim countries. This has been a popular theme of the right in recent days. Even Sean Hannity discussed it on his program with convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza. But, nobody has explained what the connection is to American law. Are they saying that the U.S. should allow the same kind of persecution that some Muslim countries allow? Or, are they saying that these laws aren’t so bad, because other countries do things that are worse?
Crowder misses the point.
Crowder is so into his righteous indignation that he misses some key points.
First of all, the media, that he complains about, has been talking about a Christian bakery refusing to bake a cake for a same sex wedding, because that was the subject of several court cases. If a Muslim bakery somewhere has refused to bake a cake for a gay couple, that couple apparently didn’t take the issue to court. And, since Christianity is the largest religion in America, it stands to reason that the issue would be covered as it relates to Christian owned businesses. So, Crowder fails in his condemnation of the media.
Second, owners of Muslim bakeries are subject to the same laws and regulations that Christians are required to follow. So, if a law says that Christians can refuse to serve gay customers, so can Muslims. If the law says that businesses have to serve everyone, both Christians and Muslims have to serve everyone. Crowder seems to miss the point that, had this been a real situation, and not a publicity stunt, those Muslim bakers were probably in violation of the law, as well. That is, if they indeed had all refused to make the cake. Crowder actually undercuts his implied argument about how much less tolerant Muslims are, when he admits that there were many Muslim bakeries that agreed to bake the cake. Which is exactly the same situation with Christian owned bakeries, so what exactly is the point, other than an attempt to smear Muslims?
Of course, Crowder has to play the “persecuted Christian” card. He claims that Christians are under attack all over America, but he can’t even point to a legitimate case to back up his argument. He offers the case of a Canadian clergyman who was prosecuted under a hate speech law in 2007. The evidence that Crowder displays on screen as an example of Christians being persecuted is an internet story about the pastor’s conviction being overturned. And, since when did Canada become part of America? Strike one.
His second piece of “evidence” about persecuted Christians comes from an opinion article written about the Affordable Care Act’s requirement for contraception coverage. That is a dubious claim to begin with, but it has since been put to rest by the Supreme Court’s “Hobby Lobby” decision. Strike two.
The third instance of Christian persecution Crowder points to, is the case of Wesley Modder, a navy chaplain. Crowder says that “gay men wanted to ban [Modder] from the navy, simply for his views on marriage.” According to the Military Times, Modder’s superiors cited several instances where the chaplain offered “inappropriate counseling” to sailors, including a comment that he had the ability to “save” gay people. Strike three, and, he’s out!
Here’s the whole, sometimes offensive, always ridiculous, video that your right wing friends are certain to be talking about, via YouTube:
Featured image via screen shot from YouTube