Christians are being denied tolerance in Britain, a national newspaper columnist has said as she defended a Christian bakery facing court for upholding biblical marriage.
Amanda Platell said that too often Christians are not given the support offered to other groups, and criticised David Cameron for not supporting the bakery.
Her comments echo Janet Street-Porter, who questioned whether “aggressively targeting Christians will ultimately backfire on the gay community”.
Street-Porter and Platell spoke out after it emerged that a Christian family-run bakery is facing legal action because it declined to produce a cake with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage”.
Ashers Baking Company said they could not fulfil the order because it conflicts with their Christian beliefs about marriage being between a man and a woman.
However, the taxpayer-funded Equality Commission for Northern Ireland claims that the bakery has acted unlawfully by refusing to decorate the cake with the slogan. The Christian Institute is supporting the bakery.
Platell, commenting in the Daily Mail, said the bakery’s cause was “not helped by David Cameron”.
She explained that instead of defending the religious freedom of Ashers, “Mr Cameron lamely said that ‘tolerance and equality was a very important part of being British’.
“It’s also part of being British, Mr Cameron, to support those who believe in Christianity, which has been the defining culture of this country for hundreds of years”, she said.
She also wrote that “too often today Christians are soft targets, denied the ‘tolerance’ that in our increasingly politically-correct age is so slavishly offered to minority groups”.
“Imagine another possible scenario. What if an animal rights campaigner had asked a Halal butcher for a piece of meat from an animal that had not been slaughtered by a cut to the jugular vein?
“I bet that politicians would be queuing up to jump to the defence of the butcher if he was threatened with legal action”, she concluded.
Street-Porter said the case – which she called “cakegate” – “made me stop and think”.
“I just wonder if taking people to court over a bed and breakfast or a sponge cake is really the right way to move forward to greater tolerance and understanding”, she commented.