Home » Judge to Colorado Baker Jack Phillips: Forget Your Religious Convictions – Bake Cakes for Homosexuals or Else…
What would you do if a judge ordered you to violate your religious beliefs? This is exactly the dilemma one Denver man is facing. Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, refused to provide a cake for a same-sex wedding because of his religious beliefs. Judge Robert N. Spencer ruled Phillips must comply with the court order to provide services to same-sex couples after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Phillips. If Phillips does not comply, he faces paying a fine.
According to Judge Spencer, Phillips’ establishment discriminated against a couple “because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage.” While not facing a fine at present, Masterpiece Cakeshop must “cease and desist” from same-sex couple discrimination. Oddly enough, Colorado’s constitution bans same-sex marriage but does allow for civil unions of same-sex couples.
According to Phillips’ lawyer, Nicole Martin, “He can’t violate his conscience in order to collect a paycheck. If Jack can’t make wedding cakes, he can’t continue to support his family. And in order to make wedding cakes, Jack must violate his belief system.”
Martin calls this a “reprehensible choice … antithetical to everything America stands for.”
Naturally, the ACLU attorney argued this had nothing to do with Phillip’s belief system. It was strictly based around treating gay people differently because of who they are, which she stated is discrimination.
Phillips can appeal the judge’s decision.
Now, it seems business owners no longer have the right to deny services to anyone for any reason, according to this Colorado judge. This equates to a judge ordering a doctor to perform an abortion when the doctor refuses to perform abortions based on religious beliefs. And yes, that is the same thing. Being forced to violate a religious belief is being forced to violate a religious belief regardless of the perceived gravity of the belief.
Let’s look at it this way. You own a business selling widgets. An employee is caught stealing widgets so you fire him, but do not press criminal charges. A few weeks later this employee, whom you fired for stealing from your business, comes in to purchase widgets. Are you supposed to sell this person widgets knowing this person is a thief? After all, this former employee could go to another store to buy widgets. You refuse to sell him widgets so in response, the former employee files a lawsuit against you for refusal of service. The judge rules that you must sell widgets to the former employee, who is known to you as a thief, or face a monetary penalty. Should the judge be able to force you to provide services to this former employee?
This is an example of government mandated morality. When a court of law can “prohibit” the free exercise of your religion (and that includes your religious beliefs), the government has just violated the First Amendment. In essence, the government has taken away your right to choose your belief system and forced you to comply with the belief system of the government’s choosing or another individual. This becomes inequity of the law when one belief system is held in more high regard than another.
Do you think a court would force a business owned by a Muslim to provide services to someone who requested the owner to violate Islamic religious law? Even posing that question goes against the grain when Islam is not a religion and our government has certainly shown its propensity to favor Islam. Or, would a court order an establishment owned by a black to provide services to a professed Neo-Nazi or proclaimed white supremacist? What about being forced to provide services to someone who is a known child abuser but not convicted or maybe, a known woman abuser or someone cruel to animals?
The issue is about the rights of individuals to maintain their belief systems while owning and operating a business.
Then, there is the supposed “victims” in all of this – Charlie Craig and David Mullins. Instead of going to another bakery to procure a cake for their “union,” these two chose to contact the ACLU who jumped on the opportunity for a discrimination lawsuit against Phillips. It boils down to these individuals looking to inflict injury on someone who refused them service instead of finding another establishment. They were more interested in “putting the screws” to someone instead of procuring a cake. But, could this be what it was about after all?
Colorado’s constitution is clear. According to Article II, Section 31 of the Colorado State Constitution, “Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage in this state.” So, per the state’s own constitution, only a union between a man and woman is a marriage. However, the recognition of same-sex partnerships for the purposes of legal and beneficiary agreements does exist in Colorado since 2009. While it bans same-sex marriage, it allows same-sex civil union. The civil union is a legally recognized form of “partnership” similar to a marriage, but it is not a marriage.
This was not about getting a cake for their union. Craig and Mullins could have easily gone somewhere else to get a cake, if that was their main concern. No, the procurement of a cake was the ruse under which they found an opportunity, especially since these two involved the ACLU. It is clear this is an attack on Colorado’s constitutional definition of marriage and those who uphold the definition of traditional marriage disguised as a discrimination lawsuit. It is also an attack on Christian values and Christianity itself for a purely political agenda. Unfortunately, Jack Phillips is paying the price for the cause of Craig and Mullins.
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