Hey Christians, Say Goodbye To Religious Freedom
By David Harsanyi
Just in case you need a refresher: Back in 2012, a baker in the Denver suburb of Lakewood was asked by a gay couple to make them a wedding cake—two years before gay marriage was even legalized in Colorado. The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Jack Phillips, declined to participate in Charlie Craig and David Mullins’ celebration, because such an event conflicted with his Christian faith.
Here are a few things Phillips didn’t do: He didn’t query consumers about their sexual preferences. He didn’t bar same-sex couples from purchasing a cake at a place of public accommodation. He didn’t ask consumers traveling in same-sex pairs to leave his shop. He didn’t hang a ‘No Gays Allowed’ sign in his window.
What he could never have known when he first opened his shop was that celebrating gay marriages would be a precondition for making a living. And when you consider that there are at least a few dozen other bakeries within a short drive from Masterpiece Cakeshop that could have accommodated the couple’s celebratory pastry needs, why would he?
Yet instead of exhibiting a basic level of tolerance (or dignity), two priggish bullies decided to call the authorities when Phillips refused to bake them a cake. And the cultural commissars at Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission soon ruled that he had discriminated against the couple.
The shop was not only ordered to alter store policy and start baking cakes for gay weddings–or else face debilitating fines, a consequence often reported on by the media–but it was also forced to provide comprehensive staff training, ensure compliance, and then file quarterly obedience reports with the government for two full years. In these reports, Phillips had to describe exactly which remedial measures the shop had taken to conform, and document the reasons why any other patrons were denied service.
So, you know, I’m sure this is exactly how Jefferson imagined America would turn out when he was writing the Declaration of Independence.
Phillips appealed the decision and just this week, a three-panel Colorado Court of Appeals unanimously decided that Masterpiece Cake Shop’s policy against creating wedding cakes for same-sex couples was a “discriminatory and unfair practice,” further ruling that the shop must continue to answer to the Civil Rights Commission, or else be run out of business…
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