“Well, you can’t have your cake
And eat it too,” said Miss Edwards.
“What good is having a cake
If you can’t eat it?” Said Amelia Bedelia.
“Good point” said Miss Edwards.
She cut the cake into even slices.
Everyone enjoyed the treat.
This time, they could
Have their cake
And eat it, too!
from: Amelia Bedelia Takes the Cake
written by Herman Parish
pictures by Lynne Avril
Greenwillow Books, 2016
Three years ago, June 9, 2015, I posted my first blog. I knew posting regularly would help me form a writing habit. I only hoped I had something to say.
A blog about children’s literature seemed logical. But so much of what seems logical doesn’t work out for one reason or another. And although I’ve tried hard to choose interesting quotations from familiar and unfamiliar children’s books, past and present, my mind is a mysterious thing.
I try to be current and relevant. Sometimes I am.
I will not celebrate my blogiversary with cake. I didn’t even know I would write about cake until about 9:15 a..m. yesterday when I heard a story on NPR about the Supreme Court’s decision about the cake baker. He did not want to provide a wedding cake for a gay couple’s wedding celebration.
Turns out, according to most of the most thoughtful and wisest minds in the United States, a shop owner is allowed to turn away a customer if said customer wants something the shop owner doesn’t want to provide. Not that he is not able to, just that he doesn’t want to. It could be because it goes against a particular conviction he or she is predisposed to. It could be because it doesn’t conform to his or her belief system. It could be because it sticks in his or her craw for any reason at all.
So the question that was NOT answered was, “Is this a matter of self-expression (which is protected by the Constitution) or a matter of discrimination (against which we are also protected)?
Whose right is more right? I, with my little brain and no training in Constitutional Law, decided and re-decided what was right many, many times.
For any creative person, including a cake artist, expression is a primary goal. It seems, though, once a price is expected for a creative work, compromise must come into play. A decision to purchase an item rests in the hands and purse of the buyer.
If the artist doesn’t care about or need compensation, can he or she post a sign stating that? “I won’t make a cake for you if you are celebrating something I think is wrong”? The decision handed down yesterday doesn’t clarify that.
Can a shop owner who wants to sell merchandise or provide a service select who is permitted to purchase said item or service? If a sign is posted, consumers will know to go elsewhere.
Posting signs makes my heart think of The South of the 1950s and Nazi Germany. Shop owners were selective then, and look where that led.
So unless our society is willing to modify our definition of “human being,” someone who selectively chooses which customers to serve is practicing discrimination. An open door must be open, wide.
At the beginning of my fourth blog-year, even though children’s literature is not often my topic, that is where my focus resides. I’ll continue to send you quotes of inevitable Truth told by main characters or wise narrators. I’ll continue to look for interesting (for me and I hope for you) topics and ideas.
I’ll continue to hone my creativity and express thoughts on as many sides of as many issues as I can.
I’m reading Varina by Charles Frasier