As the owner of Masterpiece Cakes, Jack Phillips is used to making batter. What he's not used to is being battered for his beliefs. Unfortunately for Jack, the two now go hand in hand under a ruling many would argue is its own masterpiece of religious intolerance. The case had been brewing since July 2012, when two homosexuals stormed out of Phillips's shop, irate that Jack wouldn't make a cake for their upcoming "wedding."
Despite Jack's polite decline and an offer to sell them pastries for "any other occasion," Charlie Craig and David Mullins left the bakery determined to make an example out of the Christian owners. Hours later, the threatening phone calls started — followed by death threats
, boycotts, protests outside the shop, and eventually, a lawsuit. For the 40-year-old business, a fixture of the Denver community for over a generation, it was a defining moment. "My decision not to participate in the gay weddings is not motivated by politics," he explained
, "or hatred of gays, though I've been accused of [that]. My decision is based solely on a desire to live my life in obedience to God and His word."
But to Colorado Judge Robert Spencer, Jack's rights — and those of thousands of other Christian businessmen — are not what matters. What matters is Americans' ideological conformity on an issue that contradicts the teachings of every mainstream world religion. To Judge Spencer, surrendering those beliefs is just the price of doing business in a politically correct market. "Conceptually," Spencer wrote
, "[Jack Phillips's] refusal to serve a same-sex couple due to religious objection to same-sex weddings is no different from refusing to serve a biracial couple because of religious objection to biracial marriage."
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