ADF is pimping Jack the Bigoted Baker again. Today they write “Same-Sex Marriage Doesn’t Affect Anyone? Just Ask Jack Phillips.” Phillips, you see, is the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado which is about five miles southwest of Denver. ADF recounts:

In 2012, David Mullins and Charlie Craig entered the shop hoping to have Jack create a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex union.  While same-sex marriage wasn’t legal in Colorado at the time, … the couple decided to  get married in a different state and celebrate with a reception in Colorado.

Jack respectfully declined to use his creative talents in that way because he is a Christian and believes in biblical marriage between one man and one woman.

“Respectfully?” How does one go about respectfully telling someone “we don’t serve your kind here?” Refusing service is disrespect per se. Moreover, what do the personal religious beliefs have to do with whom he serves? Nobody is forcing Jack into a same-sex marriage.

Jack is not a victim. The victims are the gay couple who were embarrassed and denied service.

Some time ago I concluded that these people who knowingly violate local anti-discrimination laws do so, not for religious observance, but to make a point — at the expense of gay people. Jack Phillips has been in no way restrained from practicing his religion. However, if he opens a public accommodation (which is his choice) then he has to serve everyone — in accordance with the law.

ADF goes on to state:

Yes, one of the commissioners who sat in judgment of whether Jack has a
right to operate his business according to his religious beliefs invoked
Nazis and slaveholders as justifications to deny Jack his religious
freedom.  Jack was entitled to a fair hearing, but it is doubtful he got
one from commissioners that hold such a dim view of religious liberty.

That’s not exactly correct. The session that they are referring to was not the hearing on the matter. Phillips received a fair hearing at which he was represented by counsel. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission was meeting to approve or deny a stay on the commission’s actions and Phillips was again represented by counsel. They denied the stay on the basis that the matter had been thoroughly litigated — thrice.

An unidentified woman (who may have been a commissioner said):

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. So that’s just my

personal point of view.

I personally prefer that people do not use the Holocaust to make a point, even if I agree with the point that they make. And I do agree with what this person has said. Going back to the Crusades and then the Spanish Inquisition religion has been an instrument of extraordinary oppression. Even our own 19th century ethnic cleansing was supported by the fact that Native Americans were not Christian.

ADF continues:

My point is this: activists have argued over and over that same-sex
marriage does not affect anyone but the two people getting married. I think Jack Phillips would disagree—don’t you?

It is absurd. This matter has nothing whatsoever to do with marriage. This is about public policy and responsibilities of doing business with the public. Moreover, this is settled law. It was settled by Justice Scalia (of all people) in Employment Division v. Smith. Scalia concluded that religious exemptions to any law make that law entirely unenforceable (the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act which Congress passed in reaction to Smith does not apply to state laws). The Supreme Court has already declined to hear a similar case, Elane Photography v. Willock. Elane Photography was represented by, wait for it … ADF.

My view is that the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment was designed to protect people from religious discrimination. Using it to discriminate against others is a remarkable detour from the Constitution. But that’s just my point of view.

The bottom line (in this case the concluding paragraph) for ADF is always money.

You can help us make a difference for religious liberty right now by giving a gift to help defend Jack and others just like him who simply want to live out their faith on a daily basis. 

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.