Sunday, February 16, 2014
Welcome to the Steinberg Bakery
"Welcome to the Steinberg Bakery. May I help you?"
"Yeah...I'll have ... let's see ... six schneeballs ... three of the cream horns....a half dozen ruggelah..."
"Cinnamon, chocolate or raspberry?"
"Two of each."
"Excellent. What else?"
"Lets' see ... a stollen..."
"I'm sorry, we're out of stollen."
"No stollen? Okay, how about a pound of the assorted butter cookies..."
"Any in particular?"
"No, just give me ... well, okay how about one of those, and one of these, that one and this one and two of leaf-shaped ones. A few with the candied cherries, and the almond crescents..."
"Here, with the powdered sugar?"
"No, behind it, there."
"Got it. Having a party?"
"No just a few people over for coffee after church ... and a couple of the poppyseed cookies."
"...and a lemon square...what? Oh yes, church. That lemon square there...."
"Yes, that's right. The one in the front looks nice."
"You want to serve my baked goods after your church?"
"The lemon .... Yeah, you got a problem with that?"
"Frankly yes. Well at least now I do. I mean, if state legislators in Kansas can try to pass laws allowing bakeries there not to make wedding cakes for gay Kansans, just because they've decided doing so violates some ad hoc notion of religious belief, then why should I be any different? Why should I insist upon my beliefs any less than they do theirs? Why should Steinberg Bakery provide my delectable Special Pecan Raisin Bread Pudding so you and your goyish pals can stuff yourselves silly and talk about Jesus?"
"Maybe we should all just unleash our deepest prejudices and let them roam free, under the guise of extending our peripheral religious beliefs to our business transactions. I mean, it's one thing if we were all in the same country, right? You know, Americans. Fellow American citizens who respect each other and try to get along with each other despite our differences, within the parameters of our idiosyncratic, often conflicting, almost random biases and belief systems."
"Maybe I'll come back later..."
"But if we throw that out, if one group feels entitled, feels empowered, feels able to proudly and consciously step back from the basic capitalist system, and wants to claim that it is a violation of their ineffable pact with the Lord God Almighty to rent their Grange Hall to a couple of ladies who want to have a commitment ceremony, so much that they want to even consider passing laws to codify their right to turn away anybody whose existence they disapprove, then why should I be so loosey-goosey about my own sincere religious beliefs that I'm going to supply the mandel bread for your Sunday-after-church-lord-ourselves-over-our-neighbors session?"
"I think I'll just head over to Deerfield Bakery..."
"Sure, sure, St. Bartholomew, shop around, find some cookie cleric who shares your hierotopic outlook, some muffin mullah whose worldview perfectly meshes with your own, cause soon that's the only kind of person you'll be able to do buy macaroons from, buster, when our heretofore cherished, fought for and protected democracy crumbles into the same anxious wasp's nest of warring tribes that wrecks half the world. Because we wouldn't want you suffering in your imagined fiery pit of hell along with my children for all eternity because you helped a gay couple pick out green tulle rental napkins for their wedding, would we? Because it's all about you, cupcake, isn't it? You you you and your precious theology, well, do you ever think about anyone else, huh? How they might feel seeing you run to legislature to protect yourself and your Bible buddies from the sin of selling a couple of queers some flower arrangements for their moment of happiness? I'll tell you this, Mark the Apostle: you're not the only religion around anymore. You never were, but the boot has slipped off the neck of we untermenschen, and your not wanting to provide your lousy limo service for Adam and Steve today means that Hajji the taxi cab driver won't take you to communion tomorrow! Or the Steinberg Bakery gets to tell you to hustle your mayonnaise-larded Christophany right out the door and bring your business somewhere else. Ever think of that? Huh? Ever imagine that other people might harbor toward you a fraction of the disdain you glibly heap on others? No? 'Course not. Sorry to be the one tell bleepin' tell you, mon-seen-your. Sorry to be the bearer of the bad news. Go! Go, you cross-caressing Vanilla Wafer! I wouldn't sell my profoundly puffy and ethereal jelly-filled sufganiyot to you if you were the last cash-paying customer on God's green acre! Get the Keebler elves to cater your Sunday tent revival soiree, you English muffin munching moron! Out! OUT!"
"Well I.... I... Fine! I'm out of here!"
"Welcome to the Steinberg Bakery. May I help you?
"Umm yeah. Do you have honey cake?"
"Sure, fresh out of the oven."
"Okay, I'll take two."
"Two of the honey cake? Of course. Having a party, are you...?"