The U.S. Supreme Court has picked Dec. 5 to hear arguments in the case of a Colorado baker who was accused of violating a state regulation by refusing to promote a same-sex “wedding” with his artistry.
In Colorado, it was a biased Civil Rights Commission that ordered Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop to provide his customized wedding cakes to same-sex duos if he provided them to anyone. He also was told to undergo state-mandated, homosexual-rights thought training and take his staff with him.
A member of the state’s Civil Rights Commission, Diann Rice, publicly exhibited bias against him during a hearing, comparing him to a Nazi.
“I would also like to reiterate what we said in the hearing or the last meeting,” Rice said during consideration of Phillips’ case. “Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust, whether it be – I mean, we – we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use to – to use their religion to hurt others.”
Hear a recording of Rice’s statement:
It was the same state commission that ruled homosexual bakers can legitimately refuse to create a cake with a Bible verse that condemns homosexuality, arguing it offends their beliefs.
Phillips contends he is protected by the First Amendment right to speak freely and to exercise his religious beliefs.
In a friend-of-the-court brief, the U.S. government comes to his defense, arguing the making of a wedding cake is a form of expression protected by the Constitution.
“When Phillips designs and creates a custom wedding cake for a specific couple and a specific wedding, he plays an active role in enabling that ritual, and he associates himself with the celebratory message conveyed,” the brief points out.
The Colorado law, therefore, by forcing Phillips “to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs,” intrudes on his First Amendment rights.
Colorado, the federal government argues, “has not offered, and could not reasonably offer, a sufficient justification” to force Phillips to makes such an expression.
Phillips lost in state court, where enforcement of the “gay”-rights agenda is common. A state Supreme Court justice has boasted of being a “gay” activist.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, which is defending Phillips, explained that Phillips considers the moral component of his work to be important. ADF points out that he also declines to produce products with a Halloween theme.
“Jack Phillips doesn’t design cakes for all events – he never has. He has a set of values based on his religious beliefs – a moral code – that guides his life, including his work. When an event conflicts with Jack’s beliefs, he doesn’t participate. The Constitution protects that freedom – not just because Jack is a person of faith, but also because he is an artist who pours his time, talent, and incredible skill into creating custom works of art for his customers,” ADF explains.
“But that hasn’t stopped LGBT activists and the State of Colorado from coming after Jack. They’ve accused him of intolerance and discrimination, forced him to reeducate his staff and file quarterly compliance reports with the government, and demanded that he design cakes for same-sex weddings.”
ADF argues the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision “may have redefined marriage, but it didn’t redefine freedom.”
“The government does not have the power to force creative professionals like Jack – or anyone for that matter – to celebrate events that violate their faith. That’s the kind of freedom the First Amendment guarantees, and that’s why we seek justice for Jack,” ADF says.
Phillips, who has generated a tidal wave of support, shares the Christian belief that the standard for marriage was established by God, and no earthly court, including the U.S. Supreme Court, can change it.
That position was stated emphatically by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, author of the New York Times best-seller “The Harbinger” and the inspiration behind the “Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” movie. His most recent book, “The Paradigm,” is just out.
He was addressing the Washington: A Man of Prayer event in the U.S. Capitol in 2015, just before the Supreme Court released its marriage opinion, which four justices criticized as unconnected to the Constitution.
“The justices of the Supreme Court took up their seats [in a hearing] on whether they should strike down the biblical and historic definition of marriage. That the event should even take place is a sign this is (the) America of (George) Washington’s warning … a nation at war against its own foundation,” Cahn said.
“If this court should overrule the word of God and strike down the eternal rules of order and right that heaven itself ordained, how then will God save it? Justices, can you judge the ways of God? There is another court and there another judge, where all men and all judges will give account.
“If a nation’s high court should pass judgment on the Almighty, should you then be surprised God will pass judgment on the court and that nation? We are doing that which Israel did on the altars of Baal,” said Cahn.
See Jonathan’s Cahn’s message at Washington: Man of Prayer event at the Capitol:
There are briefs from 20 different states, 86 members of Congress, 479 creative professionals, 34 legal scholars, 33 family policy organizations, 22 Utah Republican state senators and 14 legal and economic scholars.
In addition, he is supported by the Becket Fund, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Focus on the Family, Samaritan’s Purse, the Navigators, Tyndale House, Cato Institute, Christian Law Association, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Rabbinical Council of America, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, Concerned Women for America, numerous Christian colleges, the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, First Amendment Lawyers Association, Foundation for Moral Law, Aaron and Melissa Klein, Family Research Council, U.S. Justice Foundation, Thomas More Society and numerous Catholic groups, led by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.