When Christian bigot baker Jack Phillips won his Supreme Court case after refusing to sell a wedding cake to gay customers, it wasn’t a resounding win for conservative Christians. The decision was very narrow, decided on a technicality, and applicable to only his situation. The jury is still out on whether religious business owners have the legal right to discriminate against LGBTQ people if their faith calls for it.
That issue may be decided very soon — and Phillips is once again at the center of it all.
Last June, on the same day the Supreme Court decided to take up his case, a women named Autumn Scardina asked Masterpiece Cakeshop to make a cake that was blue on the outside and pink on the inside. She told employees it was to celebrate her birthday and the seventh anniversary of when she came out as transgender.
A birthday for a transgender person?! JESUS WOULD NEVER APPROVE!
The bakery refused to make the birthday cake citing Phillips’ religious beliefs. He didn’t want any part in celebrating someone being trans.
And once again, after he refused to fulfill the order he would’ve completed in a heartbeat for a straight, cis customer, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission said it was a form of discrimination. (You can bet that no member of that commission will make any stray remarks, which could be taken out of context as belittling Christianity, since that’s what SCOTUS had such a problem with the first time around.)
Hickenlooper told reporters Wednesday that he was not involved the commission’s most recent ruling, but said the issue is one of the most thorny he has seen during his public service career. He said he expects the issue to return to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The first ruling from the Supreme Court did not address the basic issue,” he said, referring to the religious freedom issue, “and that’s what I think the U.S. Supreme Court will have to address this time.”
There’s another reason Phillips and his attorneys may be pursuing this case: They feel confident that they’ll win on the merits, especially with Justice Anthony Kennedy off the bench and his replacement possibly taking his seat very soon. They’re confident the five conservative justices would rule in favor of letting Christians discriminate.
But the facts may be against Phillips, just as they were before. After all, here’s what he said last year:
“I’ll make you birthday cakes, shower cakes, cookies, brownies,” Mr. Phillips recalled saying. “I just can’t make a cake for a same-sex wedding.”
So he does make birthday cakes… unless, apparently, a transgender person wants one,.
Do you really need more proof that Jesus has nothing to do with this, and bigotry is center stage? This guy just doesn’t want to serve openly LGBTQ people, even when they want to buy the same products straight people want to buy (and to whom Phillips would sell).
Conservatives are, as expected, calling this kind of response an “attack” on Phillips’ faith. Blogger Matt Walsh claimed “Phillips is obviously the one being harassed here” because every day is opposite day in his bubble. And then he trashed the Commission with his usual mix of bigotry and a thesaurus:
It goes without saying — but I will say it — that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission is a collection of despicable, vengeful bullies. The whole agency should be shut down and the tyrants who run it should each be personally sued into financial ruin. These are very evil people. And it seems that they are so overcome and driven by mindless wickedness that now they can’t even manage to disguise the fact. They’ve given up the charade. The mask is off. They hate Christians and want to punish Phillips for being Christian. That’s what this is and always has been about. Now the fact has been made unavoidably clear.
Yes, the people whose job it is to stop discrimination should just re-crucify Jesus since that’s their real end game. Matt Walsh would scream anti-Christian hate if an atheist stepped inside a church and took a breath, saying we’re depriving Christians of oxygen.
The Illinois Family Institute, which still refuses to accept the existence of trans people, put “Autumn” in quotation marks with a headline reading, “Male Attorney Who Pretends to Be a Woman Goes After Jack Phillips.” (Tell me again how this is all about devotion to Christ and not anti-trans bigotry?)
Alliance Defending Freedom, the right-wing group representing Phillips, announced the lawsuit by saying Colorado was seeking to “punish” him.
“The state of Colorado is ignoring the message of the U.S. Supreme Court by continuing to single out Jack for punishment and to exhibit hostility toward his religious beliefs,” said ADF Senior Vice President of U.S. Legal Division Kristen Waggoner. “Even though Jack serves all customers and simply declines to create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in violation of his deeply held beliefs, the government is intent on destroying him — something the Supreme Court has already told it not to do. Neither Jack nor any other creative professionals should be targeted by the government for living consistently with their religious beliefs.”
That bit about Phillips not wanting to “express messages or celebrate events” he disagrees with is ironic. Scardina didn’t ask for a special message, nor did she ask him to support or celebrate her being transgender. This was a birthday cake that served a dual purpose.
Whatever people thought of the wedding cake, the birthday cake is bound to be even less controversial. There’s no argument here other than Phillips really really really hates LGBTQ people and doesn’t want his beloved “artwork” being devoured by people he believes would make Baby Jesus cry.
This is what conservative Christianity is nowadays: an ever-growing list of who evangelicals hate followed by loud proclamations about how they’re the ones who are being persecuted.
(Screenshot via YouTube)