Of Bakes and Stakes

By September 1, 2017Colorado
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By Mario Diaz, Esq., Legal Counsel 

The next step in the marginalization of Christian beliefs has reached the U.S. Supreme Court. As I write to you, I am knee-deep, as they say, in the writing of our amicus (friend of the court) brief in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. This is the case you have heard so much about, in which a Christian baker is being forced to use his artistic talents to celebrate same-sex “marriage.”

I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for us to remain in constant prayer over this. The stakes are as high as ever, and we need to call on God’s mercy over us.

I think you are all aware of the general facts of the case. Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, operates his business according to his Christian convictions (closing on Sundays and such). Therefore, he does not create cakes that celebrate events or ideas that violate those convictions — no cakes for Halloween, anti-American ideas, atheism, racism, or indecency. This also includes any cakes celebrating marriage as something other than God’s model, between one man and one woman.

Two men, Craig and Mullins, wanted Jack to design a custom cake for their “same-sex wedding,” and when he politely declined, they filed “sexual orientation” discrimination charges with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The Commission found that Jack violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA).

He has now appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

What you might not know about this ghastly case is the remedy the Commission imposed on Jack, which the courts, in turn, upheld. It ordered him to 1) create the custom cakes celebrating “same-sex weddings,” if he is going to create cakes for traditional marriage, 2) to train his staff to do the same (meaning he must now, effectively, proselytize to his employees on the topic), and 3) to report to the Commission every order he declines for any reason for the next two years.

That is some scary, Gestapo-like law enforcement persecution of Christians we are witnessing. And it will only intensify if a case like this is left to stand.

The case involves both freedom of speech, as Jack is being compelled by the government to use his artistic expression against his will, and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, as he is required to violate his religious beliefs under threat of law.

It is an undisputed fact that CADA does not impose the same pressure on other cake artists to promote unwelcomed messages. In fact (and I know this is hard to believe), the Commission has exempted three secular cake artists from any violation after they refused to create cakes that opposed “same-sex marriage” for a Christian client.

That’s right. According to the Colorado “Gestapo” Commission, you can refuse to create a cake that opposes “same-sex marriage,” but you absolutely cannot refuse to create a cake to celebrate a “same-sex wedding.”

The courts below tried to obfuscate this obvious discrimination against Christians by saying that it is all about the actual design of the cake, since Jack did not design the cake before refusing to serve the same-sex couple. But that is simply preposterous. I confess, it would be amusing to see the federal courts turned into the “Next Great Baking Show,” where they just spend their time judging on the most offensive cake designs, but this is just not the purpose of our legal system.

The Commission argues that CADA does not ban “an African-American cake artist from refusing to create a cake promoting white-supremacism for the Aryan Nation.” Well, according to their arguments against Jack, it depends on the design of the cake the white supremacists want, regardless of whether or not it will be used as the centerpiece for their white supremacist rally.

What a joke.

Sisters and brothers in Christ, we must pray. What we are witnessing is the sort of darkening of the heart and mind that the Bible describes for us in Romans 1:21-22 and Ephesians 4:17-18.

That is why, even as I do my very best to express the best argument I can on this legal brief, my most cherished and trusted weapons are your prayers. Let them rise like the morning sun every day from now until the glorious day of His return. For this case specifically and beyond.