Gay cake row: There's a lesson for us all in this parable
So business was a little slow in downtown Nazareth one day. JC and his friends were sitting around wondering what to do. "Flip me, I could murder something sweet to eat, y'know?", said Peter. "If only there was a cake shop nearby, I could go and buy what I like."
JC got that faraway look in his eye, just like Robert Powell used to get in Jesus of Nazareth, back in the Seventies. He gazed fondly at his disciples and thought, "These guys work so hard and all they ever get for dinner is fish. Fish, fish, fish. Oh, and bread. Fish and bread. But people cannot live by bread alone. Let them eat cake!" (He made a mental note to copyright that line in case anyone in the future might contemplate using it to become famous.)
"I'm going to open a cake shop!" he declared.
And so, "Heavenly Buns" was born.
One day, a young guy came in and requested a special cake be made. He wanted it in the shape of a skateboard with the words, "Support A Skate Park for Nazareth" iced on the top.
Thomas was working the counter that day and Thomas wasn't sure. Thomas was never sure about anything. He called to JC to come and speak with the young guy.
JC came out from the kitchen in his apron with the legend "Made In Heaven" on it. He took it off and handed it to Mary, who was arguing with her sister Martha about "doing all the work round here".
JC said, "A skate park, hmm? What's the intention behind it young man?"
The young guy said, "Well, it's a space for us to go and skate and have fun and do something creative with our time and we'll be getting exercise, too, and not getting into anti-social trouble."
JC stroked his beard for a moment as he stared off into the middle distance. "Yes!" he declared, "Let them have this cake! It promotes the three cardinal virtues, love, respect and tolerance.
"It's not my cup of tea, but I can see that the intention behind it comes from love, and love is what it's all about, eh?"
The next day, a young woman came in and requested a special cake to be made. She wanted it shaped like a cake with a photo on top of her with a man dressed in a Ku Klux Klan outfit.
Thomas was on the counter. He wasn't sure. He called JC, who came out and handed his apron to Mary. She didn't argue with her sister because this was Mary Magdalene, a different Mary altogether.
JC said to the young woman, "The KKK? What's the intention?"
The young woman said, "Och, it's just a bit of fun really. Just a wee laugh. And we sort of believe that we're better than other people, but I didn't realise it would get all this attention."
JC frowned. He didn't look off into the middle distance and his beard remained unstroked. He turned his loving gaze to the young woman and said, "We will not make this cake.
"The intention behind it does not come from love, respect and tolerance. We are purveyors of creations of love here.
"Please, taste our cakes and you'll see, we are all the same."
The next day, well, you've probably guessed by now, a young man entered requesting a cake saying, "Support Gay Marriage".
Thomas had picked up a fair bit from watching his boss by now. "Certainly," he said.
"And what colour would you like the icing?"
John Lewis just a Christmas dream
Have you seen the new Christmas ad for John Lewis?
The wee lad and his penguin and the soundtrack saying it's all about love and then it's not a real penguin, it's his toy and all he wants for it is to get it a penguin girlfriend/boyfriend for Christmas. Awww.
Whereas, the Northern Ireland version of the John Lewis ad would be footage of a wee Jeffrey Donaldson dreaming of a big John Lewis shop in Lisburn and all the Belfast politicians dreaming of it in Belfast and all waking up on Christmas morning and nothing has changed.
Still no John Lewis anywhere.
Thanks for the recipe tip, Gregory
Whatever you think of Gregory Campbell's "Curry my yoghurt" zinger up at Stormont, his remarks did have one inadvertent positive effect.
I had made some curry and it was extremely hot, due to my thinking cayenne was less burny than paprika and putting in loads. So imagine my delight when I heard his dulcet, tolerant, educated, positive, uplifting, life-affirming tones mentioning yoghurt. Of course! A big pot of the natural variety into the saucepan and my dinner was cooled and edible.
So, "Go raibh maith agat", Gregory, for helping me find a use for your extremism.
(Child of a war baby - we waste nothin'!)