Cake Baking Goes To The Supremes, And Wave Watching In Cabo *Open Thread*


Today (Tuesday) has a mighty interesting, and important, case going before the Supreme Court. That would be the case of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, a Colorado-based bakery, in which the issues of religious freedom and non-discrimination are on trial.

If you are unfamiliar with this case or just need a refresher (and really, with ALL the outrage issues going on these days, it is hard to keep them all straight, so to speak – that will be funny once you see about what this case is), The Federalist sets the stage:

Here’s a quick primer on the events that led to the Masterpiece case. Charlie Craig and David Mullins, a same-sex couple, approached Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, a bakery in Colorado, to bake a personalized wedding cake. It’s worth noting that same-sex marriage was not yet legal at this point in Colorado. Phillips declined, not on the basis of their sexual behavior—he had served gay couples before—but on the basis that he did not wish to use his artistic abilities to celebrate a same-sex marriage, as it violated his religious beliefs.

Phillips told Craig and Mullins he would sell them any other baked goods, but not a wedding cake that implicitly or explicitly endorsed their sexual union. Devastated, the couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and eventually sued. (They later received a free cake from another company.) While several district courts sided with the pair, eventually Phillips petitioned the Supreme Court to hear his case. After 15 conferences discussing the matter, the court agreed.

Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the case, other than the everyday storyline, is how radically different the arguments for either side appear to be. On the one hand, the plaintiffs argue Colorado’s anti-discrimination law bars businesses from discriminating based on sexual behavior, among other things. On the other hand, Phillips argues this suit threatens his ability to live out his religious beliefs and speak freely via artistic, custom creations.

You can see why this is such a big case and why the ruling will be SO important – do we have Religious Freedom and Free Speech, or do we not? That is the bottom line, it seems to me.

But that ain’t how the ACLU sees this at all:

Is refusing service for religious reasons like discriminating against a person because he is black? This seems to be the major public argument for the LGBT lobby in this case. It rests upon the idea that people’s sexual behavior is inborn, something they can’t change like the color of a person’s skin. This is a scientifically debatable premise. Oddly enough, it also contradicts the gender theory that LGBT organizations push on the public, which insists that every person’s gender and sexuality are fluid and thus subject to change.

It will be interesting to see if the ACLU continues to press this logic during oral arguments and if so, if the court will discuss whether sexual orientation is the same as race, as well as if people’s constitutionally guaranteed rights to their own views, speech, and religious practices remain secure despite conflicting with those of other Americans.

Dang – that is going to be interesting to see how the ACLU plays this, because yeah – on the one hand, you can’t claim that those of us who are gay/lesbian are so by our DNA and then claim that there is a huge spectrum of genders (there are not – there are TWO genders biologically speaking, just the two of them) depending on how one FEELS. You cannot compare a FEELING to a skin color, also determined by DNA. If that is indeed going to be the ACLU’s claim. One is Science, one is Emotion. They are not equivalent.

On the other hand, the baker, Phillips, is claiming that his right to religious freedom and free speech means he can pick and choose what custom cakes he will bake:

But if this case truly were about discrimination, what to make of the fact that Phillips is happy to serve gay customers in every capacity except celebrating a ceremony that violates his religion? And isn’t Phillips being discriminated against because of his beliefs? After the plaintiffs sued him, he was ordered to retrain his staff and check in with the government about what kind of cakes he was baking to ensure he was following their guidelines. He’s lost half his staff and 40 percent of his business due to being sued and having to dance around the rulings affecting his company.

That is an important point, it seems to me – that Phillips has declined to make cakes for OTHER events, too, not just gay weddings.

Ben Shapiro of The Daily Wire also sees this as a landmark case:

This is obviously fascistic stuff. But the LGBT advocacy Left believes that religious freedom is a true threat to LGBT rights — that we all have a right to one another’s services…

…What makes this case so compelling is the religious aspect; we all know religious people with scruples strong enough to withstand the draw of capitalistic enterprise. But this isn’t a religious case at all. It’s a freedom of association and freedom of speech case. Religious practice shouldn’t be bound to the home or church — religious life infuses every aspect of living. But by the same token, an atheist should be free to reject a Christ-themed cake, a Leftist speechwriter should be free to reject a right-wing politician, and The New Republic should be free to refuse to deliver to the Trump White House. Does this mean that people we dislike will be able to act in ways we dislike? Absolutely. But freedom lives in the spaces where we acknowledge that we have no right to another’s labor or approval. Tyranny grows when we refuse to acknowledge those spaces. […](Click here to read the rest.)

It will definitely be compelling to see how the Supremes rule on this case of Religious Liberty/Freedom vs. Discrimination. Stay tuned to see what the outcome is.

Meanwhile, I am in San Jose del Cabo, and this gives you an idea of the sights and sounds from my balcony:

Oh, yeah. Even through the sliding doors you can still hear the waves rolling in. It is heaven on earth, in my opinion!

That’s it for me. Thoughts or opinions about the Masterpiece case are welcome, as are any other things that might be on your mind today. This is an Open Thread.


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23 Responses to “Cake Baking Goes To The Supremes, And Wave Watching In Cabo *Open Thread*”

  1. kenoshamarge Says:

    I don’t think I am a bigot nor am I homophobic but I have been called both because I side with the bakery.

    I am and always have been a leave folks alone if they aren’t harming you kind of a gal.

    If there are “sins” to be determined that harm no one in the here and now then I believe that it is up to God to judge. He knows what he’s doing, I don’t and neither do most of the people pontificating about the issue. Especially the ACLU.

    In the end I suspect that it will all depend on if Anthony Kennedy is feeling liberal or conservative on the day when the verdict is reached. So much of what is “law” in this country has come to boil down to just this one man. Roberts may be “Chief” Justice but

      Kennedy is the man


    Some members of the court, all the female ones in particular, along with Justice Breyer, think feelings more important than the law.

    Will justice prevail or will feelings?

    Great post Rev and great breakdown of the issues. This is important for the rest of us because like the “mandate” in Obamacare it is about personal freedom and just what the government can force us to do.

    • kinthenorthwest Says:

      What I found the most interesting about this case is that American Muslims won’t bake for gay weddings either. So why aren’t these bakeries being sued taken to court too.

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        It wouldn’t fit the narrative. And it seems the “victims” are only interested in forcing Christians to comply.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I KNOW you aren’t a bigot or a homophobe, Marge – no doubt abt it at all! And yeah, as a woman of faith and a minister, I have to side with the bakery, too. Our nation was founded on religious freedom and liberty. If we take that away, we are damaging the very foundation on which we stand.

      If I am remembering the correct case, this whole encounter took less than a minute and he gave them the names of alternative bakeries. Honestly, if someone doesn’t want my money, I will take it elsewhere anyway.

      Just this morning, we had a conversation with a CA gay man who basically said the same thing – if someone doesn’t want our business, we’ll take it elsewhere. But sue?? No..

      To force people – and yes, primarily Christians – to do something against their faith just to make a point and force the issue rather than take it on their own, maybe tell their friends and families, whatever, to force them out of business and to comply with overly burdensome regulations does indeed seem to be mean-spirited.

  2. kenoshamarge Says:

  3. kenoshamarge Says:

    Why The Cake-Baking Cases Are Really About Courts Deciding What Americans Can Believe

    Most justices first frame the issue by using judicial discretion of one kind or another to remove from consideration the nature of the product requested for a same-sex wedding.

    Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, is, of course, expected to be the swing vote, but the reasoning above relies extensively on precedents he has authored. Provided the details of the case remain obscure, it may be reasonable to expect that he will swing left, locking the above line of reasoning—or something analogous—into permanent law.

    Sadly I concur and believe that Kennedy will swing left. And by making this a permanent law there will be more hate towards gays and more resentment where there was acceptance and indifference before. Force people and they don’t react well.

    I wouldn’t want to eat any cake baked by someone forced by the law to provide it. Quite possible there will be unwanted ingredients.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      You ain’t only kidding. And why in the WORLD wold anyone want a cake not made with love for their wedding?? It makes no sense to me…

  4. kenoshamarge Says:

    Walsh: The Gay Couple In The Masterpiece Cakeshop Case Are Vindictive Bullies, Not Victims.

    The First Amendment is on trial, not Jack Phillips. If Phillips loses, free speech is effectively finished in this country.

    If a Christian business owner can be forced by the state to create something that goes against his deeply held religious beliefs – beliefs shared by a majority of the world, by the way – then what function does the First Amendment really serve?

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I agree completely. The complainants are bitter bullies who would destroy a man over his faith.

      Do I like that so many people believe homosexuality is wrong? No. I don’t. But they have the RIGHT to believe that as much as I have th right to believe they are wrong.

      Great articles, Marge!

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        As I’ve said, I’m the kind of a person who believes in live and let live so long as no one is harmed. When it comes to “sin”, I’ll leave that to God, I’m just not qualified.

        Forcing people to do things against their conscience isn’t going to end well. Doing that will cause less acceptance, which I think is where most of us are, and a lot more rancor.

        The owner of the bakery also refused to bake Halloween cakes. That too he saw as against his faith. His conscience – his decision. I don’t see any Witches or Warlocks suing him.

        No matter how this is adjudicated, and I believe Kennedy will swing it to the bullies, it will probably tear this country apart like Roe has done.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          EXACTLY!! This decision is directly in keeping with his faith and actions when asked to bake other types of cakes (including adult themed cakes, anti-GAY cakes, etc.). This is his faith. It isn’t the only bakery in town.

          And that is one of the things I love abt you – that you are a “Live and let live” kind of person. We ALL fall short of the Glory of God, and thus are called to rein in our judgments abt others. Maybe rather than filing a lawsuit, those folks could have sat down with the baker and had a CONVERSATION…

      • kinthenorthwest Says:

        Can’t remember which military member it was on Trump’s new administration but I think he said it pretty good.
        Basically he said that as long as they did their job, what they did in their bedroom was none of his business.

  5. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    As I think abt all of this more, it seems to me that if the state can compel someone to do something that goes against their own religious beliefs, is that not the state imposing its OWN religious beliefs of sorts? If so, that is a clear violation of why we have the separation of church and state – so that the State does not impose its religion on others who may not believe the same way. That is the purpose of it. Not to force people to give up their religious beliefs at the directive of the state on behalf of someone else who believes differently.

  6. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Okay – now many of y’all know I was more than a tad bit skeptical of Trump’s campaign promises. But I will gladly eat some crow over the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the moving of our embassy to the rightful capital. It is abt damn time, and I tip my hat to Trump for making this move:

    • kinthenorthwest Says:

      I was actually shocked by that one.

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        I am glad for it – in a big way. I know Congress recognized this years ago, but why they haven’t ACTED like it, all to appease the Palestinians, is infuriating. If Trump can rectify that terrible mistake, it will be great for Israel on a number of levels.

        And not for nothing, as Shapiro says, there would be no Jerusalem without JEWS – the Koran NEVER mentions it. So the eternal capital of Israel is should be…

  7. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    I guess this is something, but how abt the fact that he KILLED someone? No indictment for that? Wow:

  8. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    This is an excellent piece abt the issue of this post from the perspective of someone who is gay:

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