Radical leftist groups are tying themselves in knots again. They want freedom of expression, yet they seek to silence any speech, be it written, televised, or spoken, with which they do not agree.
Leftist groups want to be free to demonstrate on behalf of their causes. Yet they confront demonstrators with whom they disagree with threats and even physical violence. Leftist groups claim they want everyone to be free to do anything he, she or the “unassigned,” wish to do or not do. However, they are intent on beating up on Jack Phillips, the baker in Lakewood, Colorado, who was the victor in the Supreme Court case Masterpiece Bakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission handed down on June 4, 2018.
In case you have been living under a rock and may be unfamiliar with this case, Phillips, a deeply religious Christian man, refused to create a cake especially for a gay wedding. However, he offered to sell the couple any cake that was readily available in his shop. In short, he did not discriminate, by refusing to serve the couple, he simply refused to create something that violated his core beliefs.
I wrote at the time that this was a hollow victory. https://www.wnd.com/2018/06/the-supremes-dereliction-of-duty/
It also was a case of dereliction of duty because the Supremes’ punted on the central issues of protected speech and religious liberty as it did in Roe v Wade when it failed to address the central question of when life begins. Instead, these puffed-up justices, who are supposed to be the guardians of our Constitution, took the cowardly way out, as it has so many times before.
How long must we pay or tolerate these justices who deliberately refuse to give this important job their best effort?
Justice Thomas, in a concurring opinion joined by Justice Gorsuch, summed things up rather well. He wrote, “It seems that religious liberty has lived to fight another day. However, it may have to fight with one hand tied behind the First Amendment’s back!”
Predictably, the harassment of Jack Phillips, whose religious beliefs and standards are well-known in his community, began in June of 2017, the very day the high court decided to hear his case, and has intensified thereafter. Masterpiece was asked to create a cake to celebrate a person’s transition from male to female. Never mind the fact that this bakeshop doesn’t offer these cakes. The requestee then appealed to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission — the same Colorado Civil Rights Commission that the Supremes said didn’t apply “religious neutrality” when it ruled against Phillips the first time.
In short, just 24 days after Phillips’ faux Supreme Court victory, the Commission ruled that Masterpiece had to create something it doesn’t sell, again, simply because because the person making the request was a member of a “protected class.”
This ruling put Phillips out on a legal limb with no defense against those who would harass him or the commission that allows it to continue. Make no mistake, the harassment has been severe. Phillips has been asked to create a cake to celebrate Satan’s birthday with an upside down cross under the head of Lucifer, and another with Satan smoking marijuana, and still another with Satan licking a 9” black dildo. Then, there was a customer who came into the shop and wanted a custom cake with a pentagram, the symbol of witchcraft.
This time around, Phillips’ attorneys at the non-profit Christian Alliance Defending Freedom organization decided to stop playing defense and go on offense in order to stop this harassment. ADF filed a lawsuit against the state to keep it from unjustly enforcing its anti-discrimination laws against Phillips, seeking punitive damages to boot. Good for them!
If the Constitution is to be defended, Phillips, a cake artist, cannot be compelled to create something to commemorate an occasion or an activity that goes against his sincerely held religious beliefs, anymore than a Jewish musician can be compelled to write a song that glorifies Christ or a Muslim artist can be compelled to create a sculpture that denigrates Muhammad.
This case also is expected to find its way to the Supreme Court. This time, the high court should do its duty and not leave all involved in legal la, la land. It is not fair to Phillips, the state of Colorado or the country. If not, Congress should cut its budget because its work is unacceptable, shoddy and incomplete.