A Colorado Court of Appeals three-judge panel, all appointed by Democratic governors, ruled a few weeks ago in favor of the LGBT agenda and against religious liberty in a decision against Masterpiece Cakeshop and Jack Phillips, a Colorado Christian baker who refused to bake a custom cake celebrating a gender transition.
Last year, a lower court ruled in favor of Autumn Scardina — a man who identifies as a transgender woman — after the activist lawyer set up Phillips by ordering a “gender transition” cake immediately after a Supreme Court ruling in favor of Phillips in a case where the Christian baker had refused to bake a same-sex wedding cake. Phillips refused to bake the cake because doing so would be a violation of his religious beliefs.
In the Colorado Court of Appeals decision, the three-judge panel agreed with the claim made by Scardina that Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop were guilty of transgender discrimination by declining to bake a pink cake with blue frosting to celebrate Scardina’s so-called gender change. (via National Review)
Christian baker Jack Phillips … lost his appeal in a case that stemmed from his refusal to make a cake for an individual’s gender transition.
Phillips won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 over his refusal to make a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Autumn Scardina tried to order a cake from Masterpiece Cakeshop that was blue on the outside and pink on the inside in honor of Scardina’s gender transition, on the same day in 2017 that the Supreme Court announced it would hear Phillips’s appeal in the wedding-cake case.
Scardina said during a March 2021 trial that the attempt to order the cake was a test to see whether Phillips would make good on his assertion that he would sell any other type of product but opposed making a gay couple’s wedding cake because, as a Christian, he was opposed to the religious ceremony involved, according to CBS Denver. (Emphasis mine)
When the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 against Colorado and in favor of Phillips in 2018, it was hailed by Trumpists and the Fellowship of the Pharisees as a victory for religious liberty that served as confirmation about how support of Donald Trump — an immoral man they believed was chosen by God to bring morality back to America — was an answer to their prayers.
However, the lopsided ruling was considered a “narrow” victory because the root issue concerning his case — freedom of religion — was left unanswered. The court’s decision wasn’t so much pro-First Amendment as it was anti-Colorado Civil Right Commission.
As I and other conservatives who refused to drink the orange Kool-Aid warned at the time, SCOTUS’s failure to protect religious liberty meant that government would still be able to pass laws forcing Christians to violate their consciences in the marketplace. And these warnings proved to be true only weeks after the SCOTUS ruling in the same-sex wedding cake case with another suit filed against Phillips by Scardina and the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
Trumpists and evangelicals are feeling a great sense of optimism based on how the Supreme Court ruled in the same-sex wedding cake case, but they shouldn’t; that ruling was essentially made irrelevant when Colorado accused Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop of violating the same laws in the transgender cake case as they claim he violated in the same-sex wedding cake case.
One reason not to get too excited is the Supreme Court might not even hear the case, and even if they do, there’s absolutely no guarantee they will rule in favor of religious liberty.
In the Obergefell v. Hodges same-sex marriage case, Anthony Kennedy — the Justice who found a constitutional right to same-sex marriage — wrote in his majority opinion that the case created a “difficult situation” when it comes to how the LGBT agenda impacts religious liberty and how the issue “must await further elaboration” in the courts.
In other words, high court “victories” are rarely as they appear.
Last year, the Supreme Court, led by Neil Gorsuch, ruled 6-3 in Bostock v. Clayton County ruled that an inalienable right to transgenderism existed in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and that there were no protections for religious liberty.
Obviously, we can’t put the fate of religious liberty in the hands of tyrannical courts. Nor can we place it in the hands of Congress, not when they have plans of their own with legislation like the anti-religious liberty, pro-LGBT Equality Act.
Originally passed in the House in May 2019, Nancy Pelosi re-introduced the Equality Act (H.R. 5) in February 2021 where it passed on a mostly party-line vote (three Republicans also voted to pass it). Under the Equality Act, complete submission to the LGBT agenda will be the law of the land, with churches, religious employers, organizations, and colleges afforded no exceptions whatsoever.
“Religion is no excuse for discrimination when it comes to sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) when explaining the intention of the legislation.
For those of you ready to blame Democrats for these developments, let me remind you that the Equality Act was introduced when Republicans were still in a position to stop it but didn’t, just as I warned would happen in April 2019. Not only did they fail to even try to stop it, but House Republicans also introduced a “conservative alternative” bill called the Fairness for All Act in December 2019.
The Fairness for All Act would have amended the Civil Rights Act using the same anti-religious liberty, pro-LGBT language included in the Equality Act but with additional language that allegedly protected the convictions of religious organizations, healthcare providers, and employers with 15 employees or less.
Following the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop, my conservative friends and I warned that despite the Colorado Christian baker’s so-called victory, the LGBT agenda would remain at war with religious liberty. Unfortunately, these warnings were rejected by the army of cheap grace evangelicals and Trumpists willingly goose-stepping their way down the road of compromise that leads to the abyss of tyranny.
I’ve said it before, but if America continues on her current course of lukewarm spirituality, cheap grace, and political indifference, we will wake up one day to find ourselves living in a country resembling the days of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Nazi Germany.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.
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