On Monday, I introduced you to Jack Phillips and his small family-owned business, Masterpiece Cakeshop. During his 40 years in the cake industry, Jack has sought to live his life and run his business in a way that glorifies God.
In 2012, a same-sex couple filed sexual orientation discrimination complaints with the State of Colorado after Jack declined to design a custom cake for their wedding. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled against Jack… and the case has been working its way through courts ever since.
On December 5, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments leading to their precedent-setting ruling in early 2018. Their decision will hinge on this: Was Jack’s action really, at its core, sexual orientation discrimination? Or his rightful exercise of First Amendment religious liberty?
The Alliance Defending Freedom published six things we should know about Jack and his case. [http://adflegal.org/detailspages/blog-details/allianceedge/2017/10/17/6-things-you-didn-t-know-about-jack-phillips-and-his-supreme-court-case]
Jack does not discriminate.
Jack offered to sell this couple cookies, brownies, or anything pre-made from his shelves. But that was not enough. The government wants to force him to use his artistic talents to celebrate events that violate his faith.
Jack turned down other cakes in the past.
He won’t make cakes with alcohol in them… Halloween cakes… lewd cakes for bachelor parties… or cakes celebrating divorce. A cake artist deciding which messages he will promote has nothing to do with the concerns behind public accommodation laws.
Jack faced anti-religious bigotry, threats and intimidation because he declined to promote an event.
Jack received an avalanche of hateful calls and letters, including a death threat against him and his family. Fearing the worst, Jack called police. No one should have their peace of mind taken away simply because they live consistently with their beliefs.
Jack owns a private family business, and he doesn’t give up his rights when he sells his art.
The First Amendment protects Jack’s freedom to run his family business consistently with his faith, and to decline to promote messages that violate his beliefs.
Jack’s shop has been called an “art gallery of cakes.”
His cake designs were also featured on ads for TLC’s Cake Boss (Season 2). Jack pours his artistic ideas and talents into making something special for his custom-order clients. He should not have to use his creative expression to promote something that conflicts with his deeply-held convictions.
Wedding cakes made up about 40% of Jack’s business.
Jack loves creating special, custom designs for weddings. The state’s order requires him to create anything for same-sex couples that he creates for opposite sex couples. So Jack is no longer able to create wedding cakes. If this order becomes permanent, his business will take a huge hit.
What do you think?
Should Jack be barred from working in the wedding industry he loves because he will not violate his Christian faith, which defines marriage differently than the Colorado government?
Please leave your comments below.
And please pray the oral arguments on December 5 lead to a God-pleasing decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. There is an even Higher Court, after all, and a Judge above all judges… Amen?
Diana Furr… a.k.a., Abba’s Girl
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