What is it with the wedding cakes? Will this never end?
A baker in the Midwest wrote to Dear Abby, confessing to being made “ill” by the upcoming wedding of her nephew, for whom she had at one time hoped to bake a groom’s cake. “Baker in the Midwest” was in fact so offended that she couldn’t even contemplate going to the wedding, much less baking for it.
Fortunately, “Abby” doesn’t seem to feel that this episode of revulsion requires reeducation or expiation for the offended baker. Abby’s advice:
Feeling as strongly as you do about not attending, write the happy couple a warm letter wishing them a lifetime of happiness together and include a nice wedding gift — I’m sure there will be no hurt feelings.
Grace for the hater? Well, yes, in this case. It turns out that what Baker in the Midwest objects to is the theme of the wedding. It’s a hunting theme. The bride is wearing a camouflage dress. Baker avers:
Abby, I am an animal-rights activist. I’m against any form of hunting. I am also involved with several animal-protection groups. My nephew and his fiancée know how hard I work for animal rights — just the thought of a hunting theme for a wedding makes me ill.
This is terribly intolerant, of course. Imagine being so moralistic and small-minded. Imagine being selective about your socializing, for such a reason. We might almost expect Dear Abby to lecture Baker for such judgmental exclusivity, as she did in responding to “Unhappy in Tampa” a couple of weeks ago:
From where I sit, you may have chosen the wrong place to live because it appears you would be happier in a less integrated neighborhood surrounded by people who think the way you do. But if you interact only with people like yourselves, you will have missed a chance for growth, which is what you have been offered here. Please don’t blow it.
But no. Baker gets off with a “send them a nice letter and a gift, dear.”
And although Baker has spectacularly failed the Baking for Tolerance test, Abby takes no note of that at all. We might even think, given Abby’s blasé reaction, that it isn’t evidence of “intent to oppress and enslave” when someone declines on moral grounds to bake a cake for someone else.
Now, there is this to consider. Unhappy in Tampa’s supposed problem was being ostracized after Unhappy had failed to invite gay neighbors to a party. (As Howard Portnoy pointed out, Unhappy’s letter may or may not have been a real one.) The problem for Baker in the Midwest is her hateful intolerance toward hunting. I wonder if that had something to do with the difference in Abby’s responses?