How does the church stand on this?

Giving service to gays wanting people to do things for their wedding?

Has the church come out with any rules on the matter or even doing business at an abortion clinic like being a handy man or someone who goes in to fix things, like a plumber?

There is actually no such thing as a homosexual wedding, as all Christians should know. It is a parody, a mockery. I am sure that the Church has no specific teachings against selling cake, flowers, etc., to homosexuals. It is a matter of prudential judgment. Society should certainly respect the religious freedom of those who choose not to participate in such events.

Should a Christian ever work for an abortion clinic as a handyman or plumber? Absolutely not. That could constitute material cooperation in murder.

The is no “rule” per se but there are principles. In moral theology, besides sinning by acting immorally, one can sin by cooperating or approving of someone else’s sin. That cooperation can be direct or indirect, it can be material or not material and it can be proximate or remote.

Ideally, we avoid all cooperation with sin but it is not always possible. It is not always sinful to cooperate with sin if the cooperation is remote, indirect and not material. It is virtually always sinful to cooperate with sin if the cooperation is direct, material and proximate. Everything else is a matter of degree and, of course, free choice and intent matter as well.

In your two examples, direct service to a same-sex “wedding” (presiding over the service, being the caterer or doing the required paperwork) would be direct, proximate and material. That would be very wrong. Some services to a wedding might be indirect (providing food to the caterer or flowers to the floral arranger) but still proximate and material so still wrong. Providing plumbing services at an abortion clinic would be indirect, material and proximate. It may be sinful if your intention is to help keep the facility up and running. It may not be sinful if you are an employee and are sent to the location as part of your job.

So the church would agree with the photographer who refused to take pictures at the so called gay wedding and the baker who refused to make the cake?

Absolutely. They both chose not to cooperate with evil.

Would it have been a sin if they did ? What kind of sin?

What kind of sin? The sin of cooperating with evil.

But it may or may not be a sin depending on the factors in post #3 along with knowledge, intent and consent.

If they did it in order to show support for SS"M" – absolutely a sin.

If they did it because they would be in violation of a law if they didn’t, probably not a sin (coerced).

Anything in between – too hard to judge from the outside. That’s where the advice of a good spiritual director should be sought.

I agree with you but I don’t know how to answer the points made in this article—

The article is ignorant of religion, the Constitution and of the cases that have been in the media. He states:

My personal beliefs, as many of you by now know, is that once you open a business to the general public you have to serve the general public.

In both the bakery and florist cases, the business owners were not turning away **any one **from business. They had, in fact, served these and other homosexuals in the past and since. So any comparison to discrimination falls flat. (ie the blogs reference to Bob Jones University not admitting black students).


I would be open to a “conscientious objector” law that allows business owners to turn away vile customers, like Nazis who might want a caterer to bring in food for their annual hate convention. But when laws are based on deeply held religious beliefs, I get nervous.

Conscientious objection is ALL about religious conviction. It is mostly used by individuals who have a religious conviction against bearing weapons or accepting certain medical interventions. It comes from the Constitutional protection of freedom of religion. So, any “conscientious objection” without a religious basis, is incredibly weak while one based on a Constitutionally protected right (religious freedom) is rationally stronger.

He is right that public accommodation laws are messy. I doubt he would have any problem with a business failing to serve a “skin head” with swastika tattoos even though that violates public accommodation laws more than failing to participate in an event does.

But the bigger question is why would you waste your time trying to retort to this guy’s badly written and poorly researched blog?

**But the bigger question is why would you waste your time trying to retort to this guy’s badly written and poorly researched blog? **

Because the points he makes are made by many others on the web and I have no answers. I agree with many things Goldberg says but not on all.

The photographer? Probably, as he would have had to be present (which is scandal at the VERY least) and participating in the actual ceremony and/or reception.

The baker? Maybe, maybe not. If the cake had no indicators on it that it was for a same-sex wedding, then it could potentially not be a sin. But I’d be uncomfortable if I were the baker, as your bakery would then be associated with the cake, and the cake with the reception. Your bakery would be indirectly associated.

Either way, people should have the right to decide their consciences with regards to products for specific events (but not at-will; people should not have the right to refuse service to people in general unless they are being disruptive).

As for it being mortal or venial sin, that is absolutely something we cannot answer. Any act of grave matter can theoretically be venial sin. Some are less likely than others to be venial, but we can never know the inner workings of someone’s heart or their culpability.

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