It may seem trivial on the surface, when must one citizen bake a cake for another citizen. But the issue actually is much more serious than it appears and has reached the highest court in our land. This past Tuesday the Supreme Court of the United States began hearing oral arguments in the case of the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, refused to bake a cake for a homosexual couple to celebrate their pending nuptials. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission claims Jack illegally discriminated against the couple and then shuttered his business. Jack claims the commission violated his free exercise of religion under the First Amendment.
The First Amendment
The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are known collectively as the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment is considered the cornerstone of the other nine because it contains the most fundamental rights of the American citizen.
The first words of the First Amendment are “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” I think it is significant that when our government sought to protect the rights of its citizens from government oversight and intrusion the first liberty they protected was freedom of religion.
Discrimination is not always bad
Did Jack Phillips discriminate? Yes, he did. Discrimination is at the heart of faith. I chose and still choose to be a Christian as opposed to all other religions and that preference is a form of discrimination. As a believer I must discriminate between what is sinful and what is righteous, what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil. It is an inescapable part of what it means to be a devout believer in Christ to the exclusion of all other belief systems.
Colorado like many others has misinterpreted and subsequently misapplied the reach of Obergefell v. Hodges, the U. S. Supreme Court case that gave same-sex couples the right to marry. One citizen’s right to do something does not create an obligation on behalf of another citizen to help him secure that right.
It is a liberty issue
It will never be in the best interest of liberty and justice to deprive one citizen of his liberty by coercing him to help another citizen secure his right to do something. Someone’s liberty is lost in the process, and you cannot advance the cause of liberty while robbing another citizen of his.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace to all those who are surrendered to His will, but he also said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword,” Matthew 10:34. Christ has warned us that to choose Him and what is right will sometimes bring division and conflict. It is the Christian’s desire to live at peace with all men, but not at any cost, not at the cost of our convictions.