My issue is one you touch upon here -- with one's freedom being taken away to believe and act according to their beliefs. Do we truly value a person's freedom? Even if we do all we can to change the minds of others, so long as the freedom of others aren't infringed upon, then such is good -- and it's what God also values, our freedom.
I still see an inconsistency here with my paramedic example, the paramedic isn't infringing on anyone's freedom, he is simply refusing to assist and in fact by forcing him to act, you are infringing on his freedom.
The issue isn't discrimination, which your hypothetical paramedic example is seeking to show an inconsistency on. That is why I say it is irrelevant to what my issue actually is over all this. I wonder if you also caught this part of my words:
To be clear, I've never said that I wouldn't make the cake with a pro-gay message.
I understand that now, but the example was designed as to cover both areas, so I still think it stands.
Ok, now if there is something to work with:
1) We believe that people should be free to act according to their beliefs.
However, evidently, we discriminate and it is important to the welfare of a functioning society that we do so! We discriminate against murderers, we discriminate against thieves, we discriminate against rapists, we discriminate against pedophiles, we discriminate against bombings, violence, corruption and so on and so forth.
Because, such people take away the freedom of others, or a foundational human right to live safely.
Now, I would further discriminate against a paramedic not helping someone else because a) they've agreed as part of their job to help people regardless, that's why they're paid. They should be taken to court for firstly breaking their oath and promised responsibility if they purposefully promise to fulfill their duty and don't do so.
I believe a good case can be made that to not provide assistance to someone else who could die, especially when there is no risk to your own life, is actually condoning their death and as such indirect murder. Murder harms another person without reason, who has an equal right to live. We have a certain responsibility to others, to ensure they are safe. Such can be seen in the social nature of our human species, which is founded upon God Himself who desires us to love one another. Therefore we are morally obliged to not stand by and watch someone die, but to help them as much as we can. So then, it is clear cut to me that if Person A doesn't help Person B to live without good reason, then Person A ought to be prosecuted.
Indeed, Christ himself very clearly points out that we should help the Samaritan. We're all created in God's image. This forms the basis of each human life possessing intrinsic value and being afforded basic human rights to live life without physical threat from someone else.
2) We believe that not all discrimination is bad.
The difference between us, is in defining the type of discrimination that ought to be punished
We are all aware of the rhyme we grew up with as children, but somewhere got lost (perhaps generation Y, I don't know): "Sticks and stone might break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
" And "sticks and stones" is generally where I draw the line. Someone should not have action taken against them for their beliefs, especially over a passive action like not choosing to act or participate (an exception being allowing someone to die for no good reason which I have reasoned is in fact murder).
To be particularly clear, I draw the line here: If your life isn't in physical jeopardy, plus no one is trying to take away your freedom to believe and act (bounded by you not trying to physically hurt anyone else, or take away their freedom to believe and act), then that is healthy. Furthermore, it is good for people, personal growth and society to be confronted with opposing ideas.
It does get more complicated than that when discussing finer details, but such is a good general rule -- you should not have your freedom taken away, or be penalised, for acting in accordance with your belief when another isn't being harmed. They might be offended, because well, we all don't see eye to eye, and differences of opinion, on matters of truth, such are offensive and divisive by nature. Call those who disagree with you not nice, a zealot or what-have-you, but such isn't reason to punish them by taking away their freedom to believe and act according to their beliefs, religious or otherwise.