December 04, 2017
The Supreme Court is less than 24 hours away from hearing the case most Christians have been waiting for: Masterpiece Cakes v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. For religious Americans, who’ve been in the fight of their lives for their First Amendment rights since Obergefell, it’s a hopeful sign that the days of persecution against believers like Jack may be numbered.
Like so many Christian businesses, the war on religious freedom came to the Phillips’s front door when two men visited Masterpiece Cakes in 2012 and asked for a same-sex wedding cake. Jack was kind -- but firm -- in his conviction that he wouldn’t participate in a ceremony that violates his faith. Dave Mullin and Charlie Craig offered a choice gesture and stormed out. Later that day, they turned to social media, launching a campaign to force Phillips into submission. It didn’t work. “We would close down our bakery before we would compromise our beliefs,” Phillips told reporters.
For Jack, it’s never been about the person -- but the event. Like other artists, he doesn’t create custom cakes to celebrate every message. He won’t create anti-American cakes, Halloween cakes, or adult-themed case. But, like Barronelle Stutzman and others, he does serve every single person who walks through his doors – regardless of who they are, where they’re from, or how they identify. What most people don’t understand is that Jack happily serves customers whether they identify as LGBT or not. In fact, he offered to sell the two men suing him anything in his shop. They declined.
“If Jack can’t make wedding cakes,” his attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom point out, “he can’t continue to support his family. And in order to make wedding cakes, Jack must violate his belief system. That is a reprehensible choice.” Tragically, it’s a choice more Christians are having to make. Finally, the Supreme Court has a chance to rule that the government has no authority to force Americans like Jack Philips to use their artistic talents to celebrate events they morally oppose. And now, with Justice Neil Gorsuch on the bench, we’re more optimistic than ever that the court will uphold America’s long tradition of religious liberty. That wouldn’t just be a victory for Masterpiece Cakes but every Christian suffering under the government’s heavy hand.
For more on Tuesday’s oral arguments, don’t miss FRC’s Travis Weber breaking down the case in the video below. Also, check out his op-ed, which is appearing in newspapers all across America: “LGBT Advocates Seek to Scuttle a Vital Constitutional Right.” You can also join other Americans at a rally on the Supreme Court steps in support of Jack starting at 10 a.m. (ET) tomorrow. I’ll be speaking, along with Travis and FRC Action’s Patrina Mosley.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.