The Mess in the Kitchen

Have you ever baked homemade bread?

I made my first loaf a few days ago. As a Great British Baking Show fan (Mel & Sue seasons tho), I was ready for an intense workout. If you’ve seen the show, you’ve seen the contestants beating dough, slamming it into a cutting board, rolling it out, and turning the KitchenAid to a setting that can only be described as “warp speed.” It’s a frenzy that seems to take about five minutes.

Imagine my surprise (and naïveté) when the recipe I used called for a total of 6-8 kneads. In other words, I would knead it just 6-8 times. Where was the violence, the performative fanfare?!

The bread process is a longer one than I realized. Yeast, water, flour, stir, prove. Wait. Stir again, prove, wait some more. Wait overnight. Prove in the morning in the pan.

Wait one last time, then bake.

I know that the bread-dough-beating bakers on GBBS are far superior to me and know what they’re doing. At the same time, we only see an expedited version of the show. In stark contrast to those five frenzied minutes, filming one episode takes two days, with 16 hours of filming each day.

That doesn’t include the hours and days leading up to filming, in which bakers are at home, behind the scenes, testing recipes to bring to the tent. Contestants say it’s like a full-time job.

Suffice to say, baking bread takes time. And intuition, and even understanding the environment in which you’re baking — cold homes require more proof time, for example.

I don’t think you can bake without love.

You certainly can’t force things to go at the timeline that you see fit. You definitely can’t carelessly throw ingredients together without using any sense of intuition or compassion and expect it to do what you want.

I think there are far too many religious people in this country who have a lot to learn, who need to spend some time in the kitchen.

Something that unites Trump voters and Amy Coney Barrett supporters, apart from being white Catholic or white evangelical Christian, is the sole issue of anti-choice.

These “leaders” and white Christians alike think that being anti-choice is the number one path to religious salvation. They are encouraged — actively, often by church leaders — to throw every other human right out the window if it means ending abortions. An act that occurs in just over 1% of pregnancies, and, in most cases, when birth control was used but ultimately failed.

The degree to which this single issue has grown is interesting, considering abortion was not illegal in the US until the late 1800s, and even the Catholic Church didn’t have an issue with it. History books and sermons alike seem to skip over the part where one of the reasons abortion became illegal was because white male lawmakers were worried about women gaining power and white populations decreasing during the height of immigration to the US.

In other words, making abortion illegal was partly formed out of white supremacist, racist ideals. It had nothing to do with protecting fetuses. Well, except for white fetuses, that is.

And lest we forget, Trump was pro-choice. Conveniently right up until the 2016 election.


It’d be remiss to overlook LGBTQIA+ rights that are directly affected when personal religious beliefs interfere with law. Like with abortion, the rulings on whether a gay, queer and/or Trans person has equal rights depend — not on whether a person is religious or not, but if they think others should subscribe to the same beliefs as them.

If a person chooses not to have an abortion, or, say, marry someone of the same biological sex based on their beliefs, that is their choice. But to bring these spiritual beliefs into politics and force them onto everyone else is a violation of consent, a religious agenda-driven assault.

It’d be like insisting that everyone from now on, people can only bake and consume white bread.

Even when we know white bread is not the best (nor only) bread. Even when plenty of other bread options exist. Even if people have gluten or wheat allergies and it could kill them. Even when a doctor recommends switching to whole grain.

The white Christian agenda says “I only eat white bread, and now you do, too.”

And for anyone who says “not all white Christians” or “not all white Catholics,” true. But it is most. And the most are causing issues for everyone else.

The majority of white Christians are supporting a man and a party who have committed unspeakable acts. When the Bible spoke of the evils of lying, Trump has lied, on record, more than 20,000 times in just a 14-month span alone.

When Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me,” the Trump administration has responded by locking migrant children in cages.

The same white Christians who back up their beliefs with words like “family values” are in support of tearing families apart. They claim “they shouldn’t come here,” as if their ancestors didn’t immigrate to a country built on stolen land. Never mind the fact that Jesus himself was born in a stable, an immigrant himself.

They turn Jesus away with their vote, all for the sake of forcing everyone to break the same bread they do, whether they want to or not.

What’s really confusing is how the same people who want the country to reflect their personal religious beliefs are the same ones who cower or anger over the idea of other religions imposing their beliefs onto them.

They tolerate (or directly spew) vitriol at people like Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Muslim woman, and in the interest of “protecting life,” send her death threats. At the very least, they side with a man who condones and participates in the xenophobia.

In other words, they want to force their bread recipe onto everyone else but are outraged at the idea of that happening to them.

Which is ludicrous, because, while it shouldn’t even need stating, pro-life does not mean you have to get an abortion. Supporting gay, queer, and Trans rights does not mean you’re gay, queer, or Trans. It simply means that you respect other people’s rights to make choices that work best for them.

You recognize that you have different beliefs. Just as you wouldn’t want those beliefs forced onto you, you’re not going to force your own beliefs onto others.


As mentioned, baking bread takes time. I have to prove the dough and I have to wait. I need all the ingredients before I start and the oven needs to preheat. I can’t rush the process.

Republicans and white Christians are trying to take away rights that don’t match their personal religious beliefs without any helpful resources in place. They’re trying to cancel gay marriage and for what? It’s between two consenting adults. Who cares?

They’re trying to take away a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion — because remember, there’s no such thing as zero abortions, only safe/legal and unregulated/unsafe ones — without any other structural support in place. To say they’re rushing the baking process is a gross understatement.

If Republicans/white Christians made paid parental leave a priority (and not just maternity leave), provided universal healthcare so that having a child is affordable, guaranteed sick leave and vacation (which currently doesn’t exist in the US), afforded LGBTQIA+ adults equitable parenting access, funded better (and free) birth control options for women AND men, put money towards Black women’s healthcare and ending medical racism, gutted purity culture so that women don’t feel stigmatized for their sexuality, prioritized reparations and land sovereignty for Black and Indigenous folx as well as ending cultural genocide, invested in teachers and public education, fought for the rights of (and listened to) the disabled, fought to keep DACA, championed rights for immigrants, abolished ICE and police systems as we know it in place of community systems that actually help people in crisis so that parents don’t have to watch their children being shot, then MAYBE we can talk about abortion. MAYBE. I would at least take any “pro-life” claims more seriously.

But they don’t fight for any of those things. They actively fight against it. They throw the plastic mixing bowl and some flour into a 500-degree oven and expect everyone to eat the results after the timer goes off.

They claim to bake with love and compassion, but that attention is only directed at the bun in the oven. The result that matches their own beliefs.

And when that singular focus happens, it leaves a mess in the kitchen for everyone else.

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