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Friday’s religion wrap

The Journey team selects stories that got us talking this week.   

Legal retake over right to bake?

CBN News has an update on a Colorado Christian baker and his latest case involving his refusal to bake a cake—this time the request has been for a gender transition celebration cake. Baker Jack Phillips has previously been involved in a lengthy legal dispute over his refusal to bake a wedding cake for a same-gender couple, eventually getting the US Supreme Court to rule in his favour.

Now he is filing a new lawsuit after a state civil rights division ruled that his cakeshop discriminated against a customer who requested a cake celebrating coming out as transgender.

“When I explained I am a transsexual and that I wanted my birthday cake to celebrate my transition by having a blue exterior and a pink interior they told me they will not make the cake based on their religious beliefs,” stated Autumn Scardina who requested the cake.

Phillips meanwhile maintains his position is biblically-motivated.

“The Bible teaches that God made male and female, and I believe that we don’t get to choose that, and we don’t get to change that, and the government shouldn’t be able to compel me to celebrating somebody who is trying to do that—celebrate that by creating a cake for this occasion.”

Donate for a Jet in the name of God?

The Independent reports that Jesse Duplantis, a televangelist from Louisiana, encourages his followers to donate for a new jet. He will give his current aircraft to other ministries as soon as he acquires his fourth private plane, a Dassault Falcon 7X worth USD$54m, arguing that it is necessary to be closer to God and preach his gospel.

“I really believe that if Jesus was physically on the Earth today he wouldn’t be riding a donkey,” he states. “He’d be in an aeroplane preaching the gospel all over the world.”

Mr. Duplantis has previously been criticised for his manipulative skills, and his preaching approach to the “prosperity gospel”. He truly believes that a faithful life is determined by the Lord’s blessings in terms of material wealth and luxury items and that if people donate for these causes God will bless them more. 

Pasta-la-vista to new religion

The Guardian reports that a Dutch court has recently established that Pastafarianism is not a religion. It is a satire, not a serious faith arguing that “Pastafarianism lacked the seriousness and coherence required”. For this reason, the court has denied the use of colanders in the passport and driving license photo of the followers of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Indeed, the question is who the Flying Spaghetti Monster is. It is an invisible and undetectable god that believers worship. Some characteristics of this religion, founded in 2005 in the United States and officially recognised by New Zealand in 2015, is the use of pirate outfits and colanders on their heads, to be nice to all creatures on earth and of course, to eat a lot of pasta. Of particular note, Pastafarians have their own word for “Amen”, concluding their payers saying “Ramen”.

Church sorry for lustful worry

The Christian Post reports on a Michigan church’s apology to a mother who was ordered to cover herself while breastfeeding in case male congregant’s felt lust upon seeing her. Amy Marchant was breastfeeding her 1-year-old daughter at the Naz Church but was later told by a church leader that “nursing fully exposed” made some people uncomfortable.

“I was told it was immodest, that it was not shaming, that (breastfeeding) can cause men to lust and stumble,” said Marchant.

Naz Church lead pastor Ben Walls Sr. commented, “We have nothing against breastfeeding and we are in favour. It’s very hard because we understand that she was very hurt and we apologise to her. We’re very sorry for the embarrassment and hurt caused when she was asked to cover or use one of those rooms.”

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