The Left's Latest Obsession: Buying a Cake

Leftists in America have managed to turn buying a cake into the modern version of the Selma march. For one Colorado baker, this has become a march to the courthouse, over and over again.

Militant LGBT activists are once again picking on Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, a Denver suburb.

Jack is no stranger to controversy, but not by his choice. He is now facing his third legal challenge from LGBT militants in their unending quest to force Jack, in Orwellian fashion, to deny his religious beliefs.

This sorry saga began in 2012 when a Colorado judge ordered Jack Phillips to bake a cake commemorating a gay wedding. Jack refused as this went against his religious beliefs. As he said at the time, "I'll make you birthday cakes, shower cakes, sell you cookies and brownies, I just don't make cakes for same-sex weddings."

Jack was practicing his “free exercise of religion” as guaranteed by the First Amendment. Being forced to deny his religious beliefs to him was, "displeasing God and acting contrary to the teachings of the Bible."

Jack had to march to the courthouse, again and again, finally arriving at the U.S. Supreme Court, which, a year ago, ruled 7-2 in his favor. Case closed, right? Nothing is ever closed for the left. Despite the Mueller report finding no Russian collusion and no case for obstruction, Democrats and the media ignore the report, continuing to insist that President Trump is a Russian agent who should be impeached. It's no different for the Denver baker.

The day of the Supreme Court ruling, transgender Autumn Scardina just happened to wander into Masterpiece Cakeshop, ordering a cake to celebrate her gender transition. Jack declined her order based on his religious beliefs.

Threatened with more harassment from the state civil rights commission, Jack punched back, filing a federal lawsuit against the commission, the State of Colorado, and then Governor John Hickenlooper, currently one of several dozen Democrats running for president.

The state backed off, taking off their jackboots, both sided agreeing to cease legal action, ending the “crusade to crush” Jack, as his attorney Phil Weiser put it. This should finally be the end of it, right? Not for the left where it’s never over. Just as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now wants Trump in prison, without trial and conviction, for unspecified crimes like having the audacity to run for and win the presidency.

Round three is transgender Autumn Scardina now suing Jack Phillips, the difference being that this lawsuit doesn’t involve the state of Colorado. The complaint is the original one, an order for a cake celebrating her birthday and gender transition.

The argument is that since this isn’t a wedding cake, the subject of the Supreme Court decision, Jack is discriminating simply because the customer is LGBT. Yet it’s not just a birthday cake she is ordering, but a gender transition cake, although the lawsuit only mentions the birthday portion of the cake.

The lawsuit is trying to thread the needle with this argument, “Phillips suggested he would make any kind of baked good for LGBTQ customers, so long as it wasn’t a wedding cake.” Whether it’s a wedding cake or a gender transition cake, both violate Jack’s Christian beliefs. He also does not make Halloween cakes or cakes disrespectful of the LGBT community.

This certainly appears to be harassment, picking on what the left thought was low hanging fruit in order to make their case and set precedent. Masterpiece Cakeshop is not Nabisco. It’s a small bakery in a nondescript strip mall that you have to look for if you want to find, as I discovered the first time I visited there. Of all the bakeries in metro Denver, a Christian shop was specifically targeted.

This is a common tactic for the left. A few years ago they targeted a New Mexico photographer who refused to provide services for a gay wedding. Sweet Cakes by Melissa, in Oregon, was fined by the state for refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian wedding and they too are appealing their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Interestingly Muslim bakeries won’t make gay wedding cakes, either. Some in Dearborn, Michigan were filmed refusing such requests, but there were no lawsuits or fines from the state civil rights commissions, only silence or else demands that we respect the religious beliefs of Muslims.

Would such a litmus test be applied to other religions? Could you walk into a Kosher deli and order a bacon omelet? They would politely decline and that would be it, not lawsuits and civil rights commissions.

Masterpiece Cakeshop is one of hundreds in Denver. If they choose to not make the desired cake, go elsewhere rather than harass them and make their lives miserable. The Purple Unions website lists 65 LGBT friendly wedding vendors in Colorado. Most bakeries will make any type of desired cake, with no religious limitations. Yet the activists target only those minding their own business practicing their religious beliefs, not bothering anyone.

The beauty of free market America is that consumers have numerous choices. If one particular business doesn’t meet your needs, move on to another one, rather than punish the business you don’t like. If Masterpiece Cakeshop won’t make a cake celebrating a gay wedding, one is free to choose one of the other 99 bakeries in metro Denver that make wedding cakes.

Jack is quite clear on his website saying, “Masterpiece Cakeshop will happily create custom cakes for anyone. But like many cake artists, Jack cannot create all custom cakes. He cannot create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events that conflict with his religious beliefs.” That’s the reason this bakery was targeted.

Kudos for those like Jack Phillips willing to push back. Too bad elected officials aren’t fighting back as well, rather than pandering to the most vocal identity groups, as Senator Kirsten Gillibrand did recently, working a gay bar in Iowa to show her LGBT bonafides.

Why not “live and let live,”  rather than “my way or the highway”? Using authoritarian tactics to bludgeon peaceful, law abiding Americans into accepting the views of the left violates the First Amendment and is decidedly anti-American.

Let people live their lives and practice their religions as they please. If you don’t like it, go elsewhere, rather than forcing those you disagree with to violate their core beliefs. Then everyone can have their cake and eat it, too.

 

Brian C. Joondeph, MD, MPS, is a Denver-based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn and Twitter.

Image credit: Stefano Bolognini, via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

 

 

Leftists in America have managed to turn buying a cake into the modern version of the Selma march. For one Colorado baker, this has become a march to the courthouse, over and over again.

Militant LGBT activists are once again picking on Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, a Denver suburb.

Jack is no stranger to controversy, but not by his choice. He is now facing his third legal challenge from LGBT militants in their unending quest to force Jack, in Orwellian fashion, to deny his religious beliefs.

This sorry saga began in 2012 when a Colorado judge ordered Jack Phillips to bake a cake commemorating a gay wedding. Jack refused as this went against his religious beliefs. As he said at the time, "I'll make you birthday cakes, shower cakes, sell you cookies and brownies, I just don't make cakes for same-sex weddings."

Jack was practicing his “free exercise of religion” as guaranteed by the First Amendment. Being forced to deny his religious beliefs to him was, "displeasing God and acting contrary to the teachings of the Bible."

Jack had to march to the courthouse, again and again, finally arriving at the U.S. Supreme Court, which, a year ago, ruled 7-2 in his favor. Case closed, right? Nothing is ever closed for the left. Despite the Mueller report finding no Russian collusion and no case for obstruction, Democrats and the media ignore the report, continuing to insist that President Trump is a Russian agent who should be impeached. It's no different for the Denver baker.

The day of the Supreme Court ruling, transgender Autumn Scardina just happened to wander into Masterpiece Cakeshop, ordering a cake to celebrate her gender transition. Jack declined her order based on his religious beliefs.

Threatened with more harassment from the state civil rights commission, Jack punched back, filing a federal lawsuit against the commission, the State of Colorado, and then Governor John Hickenlooper, currently one of several dozen Democrats running for president.

The state backed off, taking off their jackboots, both sided agreeing to cease legal action, ending the “crusade to crush” Jack, as his attorney Phil Weiser put it. This should finally be the end of it, right? Not for the left where it’s never over. Just as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now wants Trump in prison, without trial and conviction, for unspecified crimes like having the audacity to run for and win the presidency.

Round three is transgender Autumn Scardina now suing Jack Phillips, the difference being that this lawsuit doesn’t involve the state of Colorado. The complaint is the original one, an order for a cake celebrating her birthday and gender transition.

The argument is that since this isn’t a wedding cake, the subject of the Supreme Court decision, Jack is discriminating simply because the customer is LGBT. Yet it’s not just a birthday cake she is ordering, but a gender transition cake, although the lawsuit only mentions the birthday portion of the cake.

The lawsuit is trying to thread the needle with this argument, “Phillips suggested he would make any kind of baked good for LGBTQ customers, so long as it wasn’t a wedding cake.” Whether it’s a wedding cake or a gender transition cake, both violate Jack’s Christian beliefs. He also does not make Halloween cakes or cakes disrespectful of the LGBT community.

This certainly appears to be harassment, picking on what the left thought was low hanging fruit in order to make their case and set precedent. Masterpiece Cakeshop is not Nabisco. It’s a small bakery in a nondescript strip mall that you have to look for if you want to find, as I discovered the first time I visited there. Of all the bakeries in metro Denver, a Christian shop was specifically targeted.

This is a common tactic for the left. A few years ago they targeted a New Mexico photographer who refused to provide services for a gay wedding. Sweet Cakes by Melissa, in Oregon, was fined by the state for refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian wedding and they too are appealing their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Interestingly Muslim bakeries won’t make gay wedding cakes, either. Some in Dearborn, Michigan were filmed refusing such requests, but there were no lawsuits or fines from the state civil rights commissions, only silence or else demands that we respect the religious beliefs of Muslims.

Would such a litmus test be applied to other religions? Could you walk into a Kosher deli and order a bacon omelet? They would politely decline and that would be it, not lawsuits and civil rights commissions.

Masterpiece Cakeshop is one of hundreds in Denver. If they choose to not make the desired cake, go elsewhere rather than harass them and make their lives miserable. The Purple Unions website lists 65 LGBT friendly wedding vendors in Colorado. Most bakeries will make any type of desired cake, with no religious limitations. Yet the activists target only those minding their own business practicing their religious beliefs, not bothering anyone.

The beauty of free market America is that consumers have numerous choices. If one particular business doesn’t meet your needs, move on to another one, rather than punish the business you don’t like. If Masterpiece Cakeshop won’t make a cake celebrating a gay wedding, one is free to choose one of the other 99 bakeries in metro Denver that make wedding cakes.

Jack is quite clear on his website saying, “Masterpiece Cakeshop will happily create custom cakes for anyone. But like many cake artists, Jack cannot create all custom cakes. He cannot create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events that conflict with his religious beliefs.” That’s the reason this bakery was targeted.

Kudos for those like Jack Phillips willing to push back. Too bad elected officials aren’t fighting back as well, rather than pandering to the most vocal identity groups, as Senator Kirsten Gillibrand did recently, working a gay bar in Iowa to show her LGBT bonafides.

Why not “live and let live,”  rather than “my way or the highway”? Using authoritarian tactics to bludgeon peaceful, law abiding Americans into accepting the views of the left violates the First Amendment and is decidedly anti-American.

Let people live their lives and practice their religions as they please. If you don’t like it, go elsewhere, rather than forcing those you disagree with to violate their core beliefs. Then everyone can have their cake and eat it, too.

 

Brian C. Joondeph, MD, MPS, is a Denver-based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn and Twitter.

Image credit: Stefano Bolognini, via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0