This subject has taken a beating in the last few years. Since the Obergefell decision that made same-sex marriage the law of the land in 2015, the tide turned against religious freedom and Christianity in general.
First a little background. Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop in Colorado, was known throughout the community as an artist, a Christian, and in general, a soft-spoken kind-hearted man. He employed several people and the wedding cake business provided more than 40% of his income. When a same-sex couple came in and wanted to order a cake for their wedding, Jack politely refused. He offered them anything in his cooler, but would not design and create their “masterpiece.” They left the store. Thus began 5 years of court appearances, derision, ridicule, death threats, and being in the public eye. Due to the rulings of the Colorado Civil Rights Board, he quit making wedding cakes for everybody. But in doing so, he had to lay off employees. At the start of this year, he was only employing family, and they were struggling. Jack can be seen smiling and laughing, being the calm, humble, shop-owner and baker that he is. But inside, he was hurting.
On December 5, 2017, the case was argued in the Supreme Court, and any bystanders could tell this was no ordinary case. There were two groups outside the court protesting for their side. The attorneys inside the court were pressed for answers by very inquisitive and not very happy justices. The questions and comments led to much speculation, but nobody could guess the results. The court came back today, June 4, 2018 with a 7-2 decision for Jack. It was not a broad decision such as Obergefell, but gives some space for those wanting to express themselves in their faith.
Don’t get me wrong, there is no reason for hatred or injustice. Jack would bake and sell a cake for anybody. But he would not create masterpiece cakes for occasions that went against his beliefs. He not only turned away the same-sex wedding cake, but also a cake that was celebrating a divorce. The case comes down to a principle: People who hold one belief, regardless of what is is, should not be penalized for holding that belief. Justice Kennedy, during the oral arguments said, “[T]olerance is essential in a free society. And tolerance is most meaningful when it's mutual.” So we have a short period of time, before the liberal ideologues in the mass media get ahold of this, to talk with people, and bring up the past true definition of tolerance, and what it means to a free society.
Today was a great win, but it was only a battle in the wider war for our culture and our children’s minds. Let us continue to pray, to live the life we intend according to our faith. Let us deal with our friends and neighbors in truth and in love. Yes, that even includes those who would spew hatred at us in losing this decision. We need to pray for them even more. Help them to find the true spirit of tolerance.
For more information, see www.adflegal.org.
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