We are starting to see more and more examples of religious business owners being asked and sometimes forced to violate their convictions and basically abandon free market principles to provide services for couples who live lifestyles their religion condemns.
In some situations, the bakers are wrong and in some situations they have every right to ask couples to go to a different bakery.
In the following case in Colorado, a Christian baker was willing to bake the cake but just not decorate it and in this specific state gay marriage wasn’t even legal at the time.
That wasn’t good enough for the state government and they ended up sending the bakers to a form of “sensitivity training” as punishment for their crime.
The Colorado Supreme Court has chosen not to intervene on behalf of Jack Phillips who refused to decorate (not bake, but decorate) a cake for a same-sex union ceremony—when such unions were illegal in Colorado.
Erick and I spotlight this case in You Will Be Made to Care:
We have already seen how Jack Phillips Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado has been made to care by this wildfire burning through our culture. The details of the case are chilling. For years Phillips served both gay and straight customers equally. But when a gay couple insisted that Phillips bake a custom wedding cake for them in 2012, he declined.
According to an administrative law judge who reviewed the case, “Phillips believes that decorating cakes is a form of art, that he can honor God through his artistic talents, and that he would displease God by creating cakes for same-sex marriages.”
And get this: Phillips offered to sell the couple a cake he had already made that they could then customize as they desired. They refused, insisting that he be made to decorate it for them.
Phillips made his faith priorities clear: “I’m a man who is devoted to following Jesus Christ. He’s the one that’s in charge of all this…. It’s not up to the courts to decide what marriage is. It’s up to God to decide that. If we are living in obedience to Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Bible we are on the right side of history—no matter what they say.”
On August 13, 2015, a Colorado State Court of Appeals ruled Phillips must make cakes for gay weddings if he is to make any cakes at all.
His attorney Jeremy Tedesco said, “Government has a duty to protect people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally rather than force them to adopt the government’s views.”
Some have cried discrimination, claiming that Phillips is a hater who refused service to homosexuals. But that is not what happened. He was happy to sell the gay couple a cake that he had made—but that was not enough. They insisted that give his seal of approval to their ceremony by using his baking artistry to create and decorate a customized cake that would celebrate their relationship. They insisted that he violate his conscience. And the government agreed.
To add insult to injury, the court ordered that his entire staff undergo training in the state’s policies—including his eighty-eight-year-old mother.
Re-education camp for bakers has come to America.
And then of course we have this…
No one should ever be discriminated against in this country but at the same time it is critically important we protect the religious freedoms in America.
But there is definitely a double standard going on here when it comes to Christians and other religions.
There is a thing in this country called reasonable accommodation and we need to start working together to make sure we handle these situations fairly.
It can be done.
Clearly, Colorado did not handle this well.