Baker Jack Phillips
Baker Jack Phillips
Colorado Christian University file photo

Reader: I Doubt the Bible Has a Passage Supporting Masterpiece Baker's Morals

A years-long case came to a close last week. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 4 that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission hadn't weighed the case against Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips fairly, thus siding with him over the gay couple he refused to bake a wedding cake for in 2012, citing his Christian beliefs.

Readers were torn on whether the Supreme Court made the right decision.

Jeremy says:

Based on what I know of the case and the decision, the right one was made. And before you tar and feather me, I am a huge supporter of LGBTQ (and anyone else I forgot) rights. The issue to me is that you cannot force this company to make a specific kind of cake. He didn't refuse them service altogether, he just refused to make a gay themed cake. That's his right. Just like it would be his right to refuse to make a cake that said "God is dead". You can order one of his many other creative cakes, just not either one of those cakes.

Erik argues:

Now he can suffer the court of public opinion. People will take their business to a better person and better cake maker. It is the right of any private business owner to provide or deny services. To harass someone based on race, creed, national origin, sexual orientation is a Fireable offense at many companies. Since he is a small business and customers are HIS boss, customers can “fire” him by not purchasing his goods and services. Denver is a big city with many competitors providing same levels of service. He has only screwed himself.

Matthew notes:

CORRECTION: Supreme court backs the right to a fair court process. Which didn't happen here so they ruled in favor of the group deemed to have gotten an unfair court process. No precedent was set here. Let's be accurate.

Jennifer explains:

As a private business it is his right to serve or not serve whomever he chooses. It’s also his right to exercise his religious freedom and stand behind his beliefs. This country is becoming ridiculous with its lawsuits.

Paul says:

As one part of a mixed-race, male-female couple, I have to wonder if this person calls himself a Christian after all of this hoopla. Would he have refused a mixed race couple with the same applied logic? I surely doubt that the Bible has any specific passage that supports his morals, but the Bible does have quite a lot to say about how ethical his choice was. Indeed, he does have to live with the consequences of his actions...I just hope that he is forgiven for passing judgement upon others.

Keep reading for more stories about Masterpiece Cakeshop.

Dave Mullins, left, and Charlie Craig speak at a rally in response to the Masterpiece Cakeshop Supreme Court ruling on June 4.
Dave Mullins, left, and Charlie Craig speak at a rally in response to the Masterpiece Cakeshop Supreme Court ruling on June 4.
Heather Fairchild

"Op Ed: Do Two Wrongs Make a Right in Masterpiece Cakeshop Decision?"

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Masterpiece Cakeship by a 7-2 margin.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Masterpiece Cakeship by a 7-2 margin.
FIle photo

"'We Told You So': Conservatives Use Masterpiece Decision to Energize Base"

Reader: I Doubt the Bible Has a Passage Supporting Masterpiece Baker's Morals
Thinkstock file photo

"Masterpiece Cakeshop Ruling Bad but Could Have Been Worse, Attorney Says"

In 2015, Lonnie Hanzon created an equality cake for PrideFest to protest against Jack Phillips's actions.
In 2015, Lonnie Hanzon created an equality cake for PrideFest to protest against Jack Phillips's actions.
Courtesy of Lonnie Hanzon

"Supreme Court Backs Denver Baker's Right Not to Make Gay-Wedding Cake"

"Jack serves all customers; he simply declines to express messages or celebrate events that violate his deeply held beliefs," asserted senior counsel Kristen Waggoner with the Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative Christian organization that backed Phillips, in a statement after the Supreme Court's ruling. "Creative professionals who serve all people should be free to create art consistent with their convictions without the threat of government punishment. Government hostility toward people of faith has no place in our society, yet the state of Colorado was openly antagonistic toward Jack’s religious beliefs about marriage. The court was right to condemn that. Tolerance and respect for good-faith differences of opinion are essential in a society like ours. This decision makes clear that the government must respect Jack’s beliefs about marriage."

The author of the majority opinion, released June 4, was Justice Anthony Kennedy, long considered to be the swing vote on the current court. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, as well as recently named Colorado justice Neil Gorsuch (who filed a concurring opinion), Samuel Alito, Stephen Breyer and, surprisingly, Elena Kagen, an appointee of President Barack Obama. Dissenting were Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, joined by colleague Sonia Sotomayor.

In the introduction to his opinion, Justice Kennedy essentially casts blame on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which found that Craig and Mullins had been victims of discrimination, as opposed to declaring that Phillips's work could be considered speech under the First Amendment because of its artistic qualities.

Did the Supreme Court make the right decision? Let us know in comments here or at editorial@westword.com.

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