Cakes and Christianity
Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, August 26, 2016 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler
When two men strolled into his business four years ago, a Colorado baker’s life was changed forever. Bakery owner Jack Phillips walked over, stuck out his hand and said, “I’m Jack. What can I do for you?” One of the men said, “We’re here to look at wedding cakes.” The other added, “It’s for our wedding.” To that Jack replied, “Sorry, guys, I don’t make cakes for same-sex weddings. I’ll sell you birthday cakes, shower cakes, cookies, brownies … I just don’t do cakes for same-sex weddings.”
Indignantly, the two men left, yelling something about “this homophobic cake shop!” Twenty minutes later Jack received the first of many harassing phone calls that continued for weeks, supplemented by angry emails, and it wasn’t long before the Colorado Civil Rights Commission sued him for violating the state’s non-discrimination laws.
Two years later, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ORDERED Jack to bake wedding cakes for same-sex as well as man-woman couples or NOT make them at all. To force him to comply, state officials DEMANDED quarterly reports for two years, detailing which orders he accepted or refused and why. Then, he was ordered to train his employees that (a) his religious beliefs violate state law, and (b) he cannot draw on those beliefs to run his business. Evidently, Colorado places more value on politically correct equality than constitutional liberty and freedom.After 22 years, Jack no longer makes wedding cakes, which were about 40 percent of his business, but he will never deny his religious beliefs to his employees or ignore them in decision-making. In fact, Jack’s bakery is used after hours for two Bible studies that meet weekly in the open area by the counter.
But the story isn’t over, yet. In October last year, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys appealed his case to the Colorado Supreme Court that declined to hear it on April 25th. With that, the Civil Rights Commission began enforcing its demands on Jack and his bakery.
His ADF attorneys may find ways to appeal, but Jack’s not worried. Twenty-two years ago, he named his business “Masterpiece Cake Shop,” to emphasize the artwork of his cakes, and remind him that Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters.” Whatever the outcome of his case, Jack Phillips has decided which Master he’ll serve. For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.