Last December, the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) heard opening remarks on a case of Colorado baker Jack Phillips who back in 2012 refused to create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. According to the Reuters© article, SCOTUS will be deciding “whether Phillips action was constitutionally protected and he can avoid punishment for violating Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.” The case will be decided next June.
Let’s focus on the far more dangerous nonsense that has been foisted on the American people, that a state-created civil rights commission can override the 1st Amendment rights of American citizens to freedom of association and of religion. No, if there is any discrimination here, then it is discrimination against an activity, not immutable traits like skin pigment or sex (chromosomes) which one is born with. Heterosexuality is defined as a “sexual attraction and/or intercourse with people of the opposite sex” and homosexuality is defined as “sexual attraction and/or intercourse with people of the same sex” according to the dictionary. Sexual feelings and attractions are not something one is born with.
This story reminds me of an online news article years ago about a couple who also owned a bakery/catering business who refused to use their artistic abilities to design a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Here was one leftist’s sarcastic reply in social media to one of the caterer’s comments about his artistic ability.
“Artistic ability? You’re not the next Rembrandt. It’s just a stupid cake.”
Then I say, “Fine…design it yourself!”
Say you are a plumber who has just retired. One day you are down in your basement man cave and a water pipe bursts.
Question – do you call to your wife, “Honey, call a plumber, quick!” or do you use the tools you still have and the plumbing knowledge you still possess and fix the pipe yourself?
If any of us go to a business owner to design something specific for us, we are admitting that this person has an artistic ability or skill which we lack or we would save the labor costs and design the item ourselves.
Mr. Phillips and others who provide wedding-related services don’t even need to bring religion or faith into this discussion; capitalism will work nicely. A business owner need only say, “I don’t want to provide my labor/talents towards a same-sex wedding. I simply don’t agree with it.” When word gets out that a specific caterer, photography, someone who silk screens shirts, designs flyers, signs and banners or a floral arranger doesn’t wish to design or provide services for a same-sex couple or for a homosexual organization, the LGBT folks can seek out a rival business.
Any business venture involves risks. Should the business owner lose enough business, he/she will have to make a decision which will go something like this. “Let’s see. If I don’t design a product or provide services for homosexuals (or some other group), I will lose this much business. If I announce I will provide products/services for homosexuals, I will lose this many of my present customers who don’t agree with same-sex marriage.” If he loses enough business he will close his doors. Capitalism has solved the problem. The business owner isn’t forced to go against his beliefs; the potential customers went to another business and still got their product produced.
But this isn’t about market forces or personal beliefs; this is about forcing conformity, normalizing unnatural behavior and tearing down social standards. Homosexuals know the vast majority of Americans will never accept homosexuality as normal, so they have to use force of law, activist judges, lawsuits and “civil rights commissions” to force acceptance. And if they can force acceptance, every business owner will have to provide their services against their own beliefs and then homosexuals will say, “See, homosexuality is normal. The fact that we can go to any business owner now and he will design same-sex wedding cakes or photograph homosexual weddings proves that we are just like everyone else.”
Christianity is also an activity, a faith, a way of life, not an immutable trait. If I go into a printing/design shop and ask the owner to design a banner with a Christian message on it and he says, “I’m sorry. I don’t want to have anything to do with organized religions or specifically Christians. I can recommend other designers for you.” I have two choices at that point –
1) I can angrily confront him and say, “From the moment I entered your business and explained what I wanted, you lost any right to say ‘No!’ to me. You must design my banner…or do we have to get the courts involved here?”
2) I can say to him, “I’m sorry you feel that way. I was prepared to put coin in your pocket today, but instead I will take my business elsewhere.”
You and I—and any sensible person respectful of others’ rights—would choose the second choice. But then, you and I aren’t trying to impose our wills on our fellow citizens now are we.
Progressives, unlike your ridiculous claim that the 14th Amendment requires equal recognition and protection of same-sex marriages in all states, the 13th Amendment actually does prohibit “involuntary servitude” (exact phrase). The government cannot force one citizen to work for them or for another citizen…period. The exception to this in the 13th Amendment states “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” A civil rights commission or a judge saying a citizen has broken a discrimination law is an accusation, not a trial or a conviction.
Involuntary servitude doesn’t have to be measured in years either; if the state forces someone to provide their labor/talents for another citizen and that service (designing a wedding cake for example) takes only few hours or half a day, that too is involuntary servitude, equally unconstitutional without due process or a conviction.
If SCOTUS will only read the 13th Amendment, this case can be decided—and dismissed—in one afternoon.
I am cautiously optimistic that SCOTUS, now with Justice Neil Gorsuch on the bench, will side with the caterer and other caterers in the future (as the leftists will never let this go), sending a message to progressive socialists and the LGBT community that business owners are not your indentured servants just because they opened a store to the public; they have rights too.
Even if SCOTUS rules favorably on this case, that won’t address the core problem: the Constitution is not being enforced or obeyed. Too many Americans hold the belief that, in the name of “promoting tolerance” and “fighting discrimination against the LGBT minority”, states have the authority to somehow force one individual, whether in violation of his conscience or simply against his will, to use his artistic ability and labor to serve another individual, the Bill of Rights and the 13th Amendment be damned. As long as that level of ignorance exists, hoping for a favorable, constitutionally-correct SCOTUS ruling is the least of our problems. Fortunately for us God is in control or our situation would truly be hopeless.