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“We Don’t Serve Gays”

| December 9, 2017

Charlie Craig and David Mullins wedding cake

Charlie Craig and David Mullins. (ACLU)

Religious belief is often used as a veil for discrimination. Islam and the Catholic Church for a millennium competed in treating each other’s infidels as lesser human beings. Too many parts of Dar-al-Islam (and Dar-al-Trumpland) still do. American slave-holders for four centuries justified their brutality by cherry-picking the Bible for color-coded chains, just as the Ku Klux Klan has done since Reconstruction. There’s a direct line from the protestant reformer Martin Luther to Hitler’s holocaust. As the historian Diarmaid McCulloch wrote in his book on the Reformation, “Luther’s writing of 1543 is a blueprint for the Nazis’ Kristallnacht of 1938. It recommends that in retaliation for Jewish obstinacy, synagogues should be burned, Jewish literature confiscated, Jewish teaching forbidden, and vengeance taken for the killing of Christ.” And 1938 was only the beginning.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive It’s a depressing history. Whenever anyone inhales religious values to justify any kind of exclusivity or superiority, discrimination exhales. These days, the same revolting arguments once leveled at blacks, Jews, this or that religious denomination, are leveled at gays, lesbians and transgender people.

In July 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins walked into Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., to order a wedding cake to celebrate their marriage. Jack Phillips, the owner, told them he’d make them any baked goods, just not a custom-made wedding cake. (In other words, you can ride but just go to the back of the bus.) Phillips believes he would “displease God by creating cakes for same-sex marriages,” according to court documents.

Charlie and David were not asking Phillips to create anything suggestive. They were not even asking him to write a message he disagreed with. All they wanted was a cake, the conventional sort inspired by a catalogue of traditional wedding-cake concoctions. Phillips refused. They sued. A case that should have been settled eons ago ended up before the Supreme Court this week, with a Trump administration lawyer naturally in favor of discrimination.

Phillips’s lawyers knew they had no case on equal protection grounds. That’s how the Judeo-Christian brigades lost the gay-marriage case a few years ago. They invented a craftier strategy. Cake as art. Cake as speech. It’s part of that broader assault on the gay-marriage decision, to undermine it by a thousand seemingly constitutional cuts just the way Obamacare was bled dry after winning its initial battles at the Supreme Court. The court opened that door (against both Obamacare and gay marriage) with its Hobby Lobby decision, carving out a purely religious exemption for companies that think their CEOs’ dogmas should peep around employees’ ovaries and spermatozoa. The calligraphy of theocratic mullahs is all over that decision. It does not make sense in a secular republic.

But in a hyper-legalistic society the approach doesn’t have to be factual, moral or tenable on any human rights or secular grounds. It doesn’t have to have more than token applications to real life, if that. For Oliver Wendell Holmes, whose approach unfortunately still commands more influence than his style, it didn’t even have to have even that. “The life of the law has not been logic: It has been experience,” he famously said before spending a lifetime on the court applying a form of scintillating but heartless logic, the equivalent of Bach’s Goldberg Variations on a mechanical piano. How else would Antonin Scalia, that other heartless stylist, have gone from a Lothario of textualism who ridiculed fellow-justices who read rights into the Constitution to the conjurer of the 2008 Heller decision on gun rights? “Never mind the texts we are supposedly construing,” Scalia had written derisively in 1997, “we will smuggle these new rights in.” His Heller opinion smuggled in an individual right to bear arms with the same freak acrobatics the Dred Scott decision used to deny the right of citizenship to a natural-born American just because of the color of his skin.

Oral Arguments: Full Audio

I happen to agree that there absolutely is an individual right to bear arms. But that right is absolutely not in the Constitution no matter how many times you imagine Charlton Heston reading the Second Amendment with the intonations of Marilyn Monroe’s Happy Birthday Mr. President. Scalia was successful more because of astrology than constitutional law. The stars aligned in the shape of a 5-4 constellation. The Constitution didn’t. And in a hermetic legal system whose acres of precedents is itself a cherry orchard, anything is possible. It doesn’t need a good argument. It needs the right five robes. Same goes with the ongoing battering of the church-state wall. When those robes are made of the same fiber as turbans, the rest is easy.

And so, cakes as artistic expression. Phillips considers himself an artist. He makes a strong argument that speech may not be compelled: you can’t force someone to say something and still pretend he has free speech. At that point it’s not his speech but yours. That’s assuming that his cakes are speech. It’s a stretch: you can’t eat speech, and I never knew food to be a protected species under the First Amendment. Then again we live in a country where corporations are considered people. He had room to maneuver. His lawyer’s argument to justices this week made all sorts of hair-splitting distinctions that in the end made Phillips an artist of first amendment sophistry more than of wedding cake “sculptures.”

The bigot doesn’t get to decide where bigotry stops and religious freedom begins, especially when his idea of religion becomes bigotry’s blessing.

“Certainly not all cakes would be considered speech,” his lawyer said. So Phillips is the arbiter of art? Seems so: He considers his sculptures artistic expression contributing to a wedding, but for some reason work of hair stylists or make-up artists or even chefs is not artistic expression. Those lesser toilers would have to provide their services to Charlie and David, no questions asked. It’s a little too convenient, too precious, and it drew an appropriately disbelieving expression from Justice Kagan: “Whoa. The baker is engaged in speech but the chef is not engaged in speech?” It got worse: Phillips’s attorney said she did not consider architecture a form of art protected under the First Amendment, either. “So in other words,” Justice Stephen Breyer said, “Mies or Michelangelo or someone is not protected when he creates the Laurentine steps, but this cake baker is protected when he creates the cake without any message on it for a wedding? Now that–that really does baffle me, I have to say.”

But for argument’s sake let’s grant that Phillips is a cake artist, without getting further lost in his aristocratic hair-splitting.

By opening a store in a public venue and agreeing to the rules of retail under Colorado’s anti-discrimination law, which also enable Phillips to conduct business in a safe and civil manner, Phillips, whether artist or not, gives up at least some of his absolute rights to free speech, if barely so, the same way that when an employee works for a company or a student attends a public or private school, some of those rights are surrendered at the door. Instead, Phillips wants to carve out the equivalent of retail’s gated community: some of you are welcome, some of you not. It doesn’t work that way in the public square. Or shouldn’t, because it’s no different than placing a sign in the window that says: we don’t serve gays. (The fact that he is willing to serve them anything but custom-made cakes is a difference à-la-meringue.)

Put it this way. J.S. Bach used to sign most of his scores with, “Soli Deo gloria,” Latin for “Glory to God alone.” His religious convictions are unquestioned. Neither is his art. If he was cantor at a Lutheran church in Lakewood, Colo., and Charlie and David were to go to him to ask that he perform at their gay-wedding ceremony, Bach would have every right to refuse. If they asked him to write them a piece of music for their wedding, he’d have every right to refuse. But Bach had a couple of dozen children and was always hard up for money. So let’s assume he opened a music shop in Lakewood and pasted in his window a handsome sign: “Cantatas For All Occasions.” Charlie and David go in and ask for a cantata for their wedding–not one off the shelf Bach had already written, but one for them alone. Would he have the right to refuse?

Click On:

No. Not the moment he stepped out of his Lutheran church and across the wall into the public, and by definition secular, square, where he is the one soliciting business, announcing “Cantatas For All Occasions,” and operating under Colorado’s anti-discrimination rules. In his shop, in his conduct of business, at least in so far as customers are concerned, Bach must check his lutheranism at the door, if necessary. At least lutheranism’s more dour demands. He may not pick and choose when and how to apply the social contract that goes with anti-discrimination in the public square even if, or particularly if, those requirements contradict the discriminatory strictures of his religion: after all, why are anti-discrimination laws necessary if not to overcome the unpredictable and endless permutations of personal belief?

Well, what if some of Donald Trump’s “very fine people” walked into Bach’s shop and asked him to draft a cantata for their next cross-burning? An attorney for the Trump administration actually raised that very possibility in this week’s hearing, saying Charlie and David would “compel an African American sculptor to sculpt a cross for a Klan service.” It was a clever line, an attempt to turn the tables with a seemingly sensational point. But it fails. The Klan’s sole and avowed purpose is to discriminate. A cross-burning, as even Justice Clarence Thomas said in 2002, is a terrorist act. “There’s no other purpose to the cross, no communication, no particular message,” he said at the time. “It was intended to cause fear and to terrorize a population.” To write a cantata or make a sculpture for a cross-burning would be complicit in a terrorist act, and if you don’t want to go that far, at least in a discriminatory act. (In keeping with his fetishized silence from the bench, Thomas did not call out the Trump attorney’s cross talk this time. Justice Alito’s preferred analogy was, ironically, with Kristallnacht.)

A shop owner has as much right of refusal as the owner would to refuse service to a disorderly drunk whose sole intent is to cause a scene. The wedding cake case is the reverse: Charlie’s and David’s wedding was an inclusive celebration neither infringing on nor questioning anyone’s rights. Or beliefs, for that matter. Not serving Charlie and David was discrimination.

Which reduces it to a simple question. Does belief trump law? Of course not, unless the law is to be made subservient to beliefs. In our society, at least in most regards, that’s not how it goes. It’s really pretty simple. Back when blacks were the targets of choice Maurice Bessinger was a South Carolina white supremacist who headed the National Association for the Preservation of White People, ran a chain of barbecue restaurants, put signs in his windows that said he didn’t serve blacks and considered the Civil Rights Act illegal because it “contravenes the will of God.” He was sued in a case that ended up at the Supreme Court in 1968, he lost, and the case helped establish the precedent that religious conviction does not trump civil rights. Justices asked Phillips’s attorney directly if she thought otherwise. When she finally answered–it took a while–she said: “Race is different,” kind of the same way she said chefs are not artists.

Well, no. Race is not different. Discrimination is not that conveniently subjective. The bigot doesn’t get to decide where bigotry stops and religious freedom begins, especially when his idea of religion becomes bigotry’s blessing. The law decides, as Colorado’s anti-discrimination law had. The law doesn’t say that Charlie and David are better or lesser people, it doesn’t say Phillips’s belief valid or invalid. It removes value judgments from the equation, as law must in matters of religion, belief, race, sexual orientation and so on. It applies a leavened standard of basic dignity.

Serving Charlie and David is not endorsement. It’s not even a matter of free speech, artistic expression or any other manufactured sophistry to hide behind. It’s courtesy. It’s kindness. It’s mutual respect. It’s what living in a civilized society that believes in living and letting live is about. Otherwise, those cliches about I-have-nothing-against-gays are as empty as the calories in wedding-cake icing. Belief in Phillips’s case is a pretext to demean. The law protects a gay couple from being humiliated, and it protects a shop owner from taking on value judgments that are not his to make at others’ expense.

The question is whether this Supreme Court is willing to once again make law subservient to belief, as it did in the Hobby Lobby case, this time buying a half-baked perversion of religious freedom as an excuse to discriminate, or whether it will remind Mr. Phillips and the rest of the country that, travel bans aside, the days of signs in the window that say no Jews, no Irish, no blacks, no gays, are over. Assuming “Soli Deo gloria” doesn’t replace the more secular English of our Constitution.

I’m not hopeful. The stars above and below are again aligning into an unspeakable cluster…

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here or follow him @PierreTristam. A version of this piece aired on WNZF.

J.S. Bach’s Wedding Cantata, BWV 202:

56 Responses for ““We Don’t Serve Gays””

  1. Anonymous says:

    Lawyers can refuse to take a case….if you are gay can you take action against them because you are gay? This crap is way over the top. There are plenty of gays out there, if you don’t get what you want in one place go somewhere else or pick a gay establishment who will give you what you want. One big happy family. Stuff like this isn’t worth taking the time to write about or read.I bet these people will be praying to GOD before they take their last breath, it’s too bad they don’t seem to know who he is now.

  2. Ken Dodge says:

    “Then again we live in a country where corporations are considered people.”
    Not at all. Corporations are considered (legal) persons. Legal person refers to a non-human entity that is treated as a person for limited legal purposes–corporations, for example. Legal persons can sue and be sued, own property, and enter into contracts.

  3. I Be Erudite says:

    If I were a business owner, cake artist, or any other artist I would certainly be willing to serve all customers regardless of their sexuality. That being said, a constructionist judge will likely rule that being gay is not a Constitutionally protected class such as age, gender, race, religion etc. Note that homosexuality is not mentioned in the Constitution. In the case of the baker, I do believe the baker is an artist. If you don’t think so, try baking and designing one yourself. It’s not like kicking someone out of a pizzeria which sells the same product to any customer. For that matter, should a wedding singer be compelled to sing at any wedding whether he or she wants to or not? Should a professional boxer be compelled to box an opponent they don’t want to box? Finding some wiggle room to allow the baker to not bake the cake if it violates his religious belief goes a much longer way in promoting tolerance in society than does compelling the baker to make the cake. What if a group of Satanists wanted the same baker to bake them a pentagram cake with an oath to Satan inscribed in the center? The same logic could compel the baker to bake them a cake as well or else he would be discriminating against them on religious grounds. There is no shortage of bakers willing to bake the cake for the gay wedding. The only reason this is an issue is to extort money from the baker via a lawsuit. We all know this is the real story. Lastly, refusing service in no way indicates a propensity to violence as implied in the article. I would also bet that any store owner who posted a sign saying “No Gays” would quickly go out of business. Societal pressure alone would put that person out of business without the heavy hand of a judge lifting a finger.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Self service….problem solved

  5. Mark says:

    I guess getting a bacon sandwich in a Muslim restaurant should be okay too.

  6. Will Wonka says:

    I’m sorry but you can’t compare someones race to someone elses sexuality. Here is an interesting quote By Maina Mwaura some may find useful.

    “News flash for the media and America: race and ethnicity are not the same as sexual behavior and sexual orientation. The argument that race and sexual orientation are the same is like comparing apples and oranges. Just because civil rights for gays and ethnic cultures have been debated in public policy doesn’t make them the same. Ethnicity and race refer to skin color and cultural background. Race is also publicly known. When I walk into a room, everyone knows that I am African-American.
    However, sexuality, including homosexuality and heterosexuality, refers to intimate personal behaviors. Ethnicity and sexuality is clearly not the same. Being black and being gay is not the same. “

  7. Layla says:

    The right to refuse service is not based upon bigotry or discrimination. It was meant to be based upon misbehavior which all patrons might find offensive. Like everything else in society today, it has become twisted and mischaracterized. Service must never be about force. All rights must be respected as long as all are respectful.

  8. kevin says:

    Hey anonymous, do you know who She is? God is love and obviously from your comments you haven’t found Her yet. Keep searching, open your eyes, God is the homeless person for whom you crossed the street to avoid. God is the slow driver you just honked at and gave the one digit salute. God is within most of those for whom you have disdain and hate. Their hearts have more love for you than some might think you deserve but in God’s eyes even you deserve Her love, God would even bake you a cake for your special occasion without regard for your beliefs, political persuasion and gender preference.

  9. YankeeExPat says:

    “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”

    Blaise Pascal

  10. Veteran says:

    If I had a business I would refuse to serve democrats. Is that discrimination?

  11. Yourstruly says:

    Who cares!!!!

  12. Jen says:

    I am a lesbian but I don’t have to go around telling people. I get the usual stares from having short hair and masculine clothing. It used to bother me when I was younger but now I have learned that educating people is better than feeding into hate. With that being said if you don’t want to service me because you can obviously see that I am a lesbian than I definitely don’t want you to make my food. I will go quietly into the night and not give you my service.

  13. Yourstruly says:

    You’re just and idiot for wishing that others care!

  14. Chris A Pickett says:

    I think both parties have rights and neither’s is greater than the others. Simply put NO one persons rights outweigh another’s. A person should NEVER have to do something they genuinely do NOT want to do, that is called FREEDOM.

  15. Dean S Carpenter says:

    This is so complicated it makes me want to kick EVERYBODY’s ass but what the hell it’s the holiday season. Merry Christmas to all.

  16. bob says:

    Get a life pierre

  17. Fantom says:

    Dear Pierre
    Your website is one of the most liberal I have ever seen. Your opinions do not reflect the majority of residents of this county. Why not do us all a favor and move your drivel to San Francisco or Portland?

  18. Pogo says:

    @Pierre Tristam

    “I do, and I wish you did too.”

    If only wishing would do. Republicans have bastardized the language with Newspeak and shameless lying for so long that they can’t speak the truth to save their souls. Sad.

    “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

    – Anatole France

  19. The Geode says:

    Nobody knows you’re gay, Jewish, Christian or any other old thing people like to yell discrimination about until YOU make it known. It’s not like MY “black ass” sauntering up to the counter and the proprietor telling me to, “get your black ass out of my store”….

  20. PC Woman says:

    At first I thought this was going to be an article about a local place. Glad it wasn’t. It really is disheartening the way a lot of society still has a discrimination personality. But, it has come a long way since I was a teen-late 70’s early 80’s because most were still hiding in the closet. At least its not as bad today. Change takes time – there is still discrimination against people of color and its really hard to believe. So take each small step and be glad that it is getting better.

  21. Iva hadit says:

    Wow. So many backward-thinking responses. Religion does that. In my experience, the more religious one is, the more judgmental, bigoted and less compassionate they are. How about this? Mind your own business and treat everyone equally! The world would be a much nicer place.

  22. C'mon man says:

    Nothing better to write about then gays and cakes?

  23. Steadfastandloyal says:

    Is it not tolerance the left consistently advocates and preaches? “Tolerance is most meaningful when it’s mutual. It seems to me that the state in its position here has been neither tolerant or respectful of Mr Phillips religious beliefs”. Supreme Court judge Kennedy quote. Are we not supposed to tolerate others beliefs even though they’re opposed to our own? Or for the left, tolerance doesn’t apply in this case?

  24. Makeitso1701 says:

    It never ceases to amaze me of how much hate and evil is in the hearts of some so called “religious” people.
    This shop owner is obviously a trumpster and like his president,is a moron. If Iwere in that situation I would not give a penny of my business to that shop and I would make sure to let others know, via social media, to do the same.
    Free speech!!

  25. Traveling Rep says:

    So, by the misguided logic above: a confederate flag lover could walk into a bakery owned by a gay person and demand that the owner decorate a confederate flag on a cake for his next “General Lee Outing” And the gay baker better make it, or he would be sued and smeared by news media until he was ruined?

    You say above: “Serving Charlie and David is not endorsement. It’s not even a matter of free speech, artistic expression or any other manufactured sophistry to hide behind. It’s courtesy. It’s kindness. It’s mutual respect.” I beg to differ sir! It appears to be much more than any of that. It is force, plain and simple. The bakery owner is being sued because he was not willing to bow to these fellas and break with his belief system. His right to refuse service is being trampled.

    Let’s put the shoe on the other foot for a second time here. See link below. This is actual footage of a gay coffee shop owner refusing service to people who’ve been passing out anti abortion flyers all day in proximity of his shop. Mind you, they were not actively protesting in his shop, just taking a break with a cup of joe…

    If this gay coffee shop owner has the right to refuse service and abruptly kick these patrons out, why doesn’t the baker have the right to do the same? Rhetorical question…

    Pierre, this is the hypocrisy you are attempting to defend. I wish you would write an article against this vile coffee shop owner… I don’t remember the bakery owner(s) shouting profanity or being threatening in anyway.

  26. bob says:

    If a gay cake maker denied service to a straight person, would anyone write about that being wrong? I highly doubt it.

  27. Layla says:

    The rights of all are covered under the Constitution, including the rights of those who are offended either by religion or personal conviction. I guess that’s why it bothers me so much that people are attempting to challenge those rights, on both sides of this argument/discussion. Issues like this should never go to the courts. They cheapen the very document which makes us so incredibly unique in this country. This is what frustrates those of us in this country who have read and believe in the Constitution.

    You cannot force your views and opinions on others. That seems to be the problem here, seeking special attention. You are already special.

  28. Sherry says:

    Another great article, Pierre! Thank you again and again for your thought provoking perspective and for bringing such “important” issues to the forefront of our community!

    Those in the local “brain trust” who claim this law suit is not worth consideration. . . remember the Supreme Court of the United States disagrees with you. . . not surprising! The Supreme Court is presented with 7,000 to 8,000 cases each year, and they only decide to accept 100 -150 of them.

    All “thinking” people know full well that this case is not about CAKE at all. It’s about “Inequality”, “Prejudice”, and “Discrimination”.

    Then there’s the, all too convenient, “Religion” component . You know, that often self righteous defensive wall cowards hide behind while passionately beating the drums of fear and hatred. True “Christian” ministers should be speaking about love and acceptance of all human beings, about such things as the “Golden Rule”, about being NON-judgemental. THEY are failing our society!

    In this horrific “trumptopian” world it may be that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of such “Discrimination”. . . but, the point is that they at least thought it was worth their consideration and decision. .

  29. Pogo says:

    @Jesus said…

    A little much for even a sheet cake, but a real artist could probably get her done:

    5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

    6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

    7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

    Matthew 6:5-7 KJV

    Irony: Ignore the word and spirit of the aforementioned scripture and do the very opposite by ostentatiously gathering looted and stolen antiquities to “humbly” proclaim a love of, and obedience to, God. Seems like neither to me. So much for “private matters” of conscience.

    Can the Museum of the Bible overcome the sins of the past?

    museum of the Bible

  30. just saying says:

    Let’s be clear, it doesn’t bother me if 2 people of the same sex marry. What is bothersome is that people who think marriage is an institution between a man and a woman are now viewed by the “politically correct” as bigots.

  31. hawkeye says:

    the owner can refuse to serve any one he wants… whether it is gays, gunowners, muslims with french sounding names or people with beards and tattoos. Just shop elsewhere!

  32. Jenn says:

    I agree Bob.

  33. capt says:

    Sad state of affairs we have these days when the news back then was a gay couple wanting a cake made and now it takes the freaking supreme court to decide how to handle someones rights either as a gay couple or a person owning a small business and their personal beliefs when we can’t even help our homeless veterans or veterans that are fighting to receive medical assistance. Can’t we all just get along and help each other.

  34. flagler1 says:

    I am so tired of the media trying to convince me that homosexuality is okay.

  35. Trailer Bob says:

    So there should be tolerance for the gays life style (which is a small percentage of the population) but zero tolerance for the bakers religious beliefs? Talk about discrimination…Now the baker is broke from the lawsuit…all over a cake. Sure leftist, tell us about understanding others views and beliefs.

  36. Edith Campins says:

    Thank you Pierre for another thoughtful article. The same “christians” who lack tolerance for gays, or for anyone different are the ones supporting a pedophile for Congress.

  37. Mark says:

    Make the cake and let them put their own top decoration on the damn cake. Just don’t carry male/male or female/female characters for the top. What is so difficult about this stuff?

  38. another vet says:

    why is it when you disagree with a liberal view you are a bigot, but when a liberal disagrees its progressive

  39. smarterthanmost says:

    Those that demand tolerance, have none to give.

  40. RickG says:

    Pierre I can’t believe your dedication to producing a quality news organ. You take so much S–t in doing so. You made good points that for most of the respondents here go right over their collective heads.

  41. Kevin says:

    Reading some of the comments concerns me about the lack of intellect in our society that people cannot differentiate between tolerance of religious beliefs and tolerance within a free society. The baker can practice his or her faith but that faith cannot infringe on others’ rights to be treated equally. If the baker closes the bakery on the Sabbath, the store is closed for everyone. If the baker wants to operate a business within the laws of our society which prohibit discrimination then they must follow those laws.
    If a faith wants to define marriage as only between a male and a female then that is fine and they can place any restrictionsmon their religous rituals they want but if Government (local, state or federal) is going to regulate and manage the licensing of a public right to marry for societal reasons then the Government cannot discriminate against a class of people.
    I do not view the baker as bigoted because of his/her religious beliefs, I do find him/her bigoted when he/she takes his/her religious beliefs and discriminates against someone in a business transaction.
    Imagine how absurd this could become in our society, Trailer Bob goes to the counter at his local pharmacy to check out with his purchase of Viagra and condoms but the clerk who is of a common faith that believes sex is for procreation only and that birth control devices are instruments of Satan and refuses to serve Bob.
    Now imagine this free for all of intolerance plays out in every other aspect of our society, renting or buying a home, being served in a restaurant, etc. … Is this the America in which you really want to live? The Taliban runs Pakistan and Afghanistan in this fashion, America is better and stronger because we keep our faith and our society separate and distinct. We are free to practice our faith but not to the point of bias and intolerance in a society.

  42. I be Erudite says:

    So much vitriole toward anything/ anyone claiming to be Christian! I wish the left felt as much respect for Christianity as they do for Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, or even atheism. And then they mix being a Republican in there too just to demonize someone for no good reason. I am surprised by Pierre’s comment brushing Republicans with such a broad brush. I’m sure there are democrat bakers who might also not wish to bake a cake for a gay wedding. I would not go into a Muslim bakery and force them to bake me a Christian themed cake. Its called respect and it goes both ways.

  43. Paul says:

    Thank you again Mr. Tristam for another thoughtful article. Incredible how terrified some people are of ideas that don’t agree with their narrow view of the world. For people so terrified of Muslims, they sure have no problem goosestepping with their preachers whose teachings reflect the same views of hatred and intolerance of radical mullahs.

  44. T.J. says:

    gay is not ok.

  45. Just me says:

    (Jen) NAILS it!!!!! If someone doesn’t want to take your $$$ go to another person who will. Also lets NOT loose sight of the fact that this baker WAS willing to make a cake for them ( from the article ” Jack Phillips, the owner, told them he’d make them any baked goods, just not a custom-made wedding cake.”). They just did not want to add words they found offensive. Tolerance should be a TWO way street but sadly to our political left they seem to only want tolerance for their views and have hate for those with differing ones.

  46. Just me says:

    @Edith Campins says:

    December 10, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Thank you Pierre for another thoughtful article. The same “christians” who lack tolerance for gays, or for anyone different are the ones supporting a pedophile for Congress.

    SO just who is this convicted pedophile and who are the Christians supporting this convicted criminal???

  47. Truth says:

    The 14th amendment to the united states constitution makes this action illegal plain and simple. There is no reason whatsoever to relitigate civil rights laws i dont care if there is a nazi in the white house rights are rights.

  48. Pogo says:

    @Live and let live

    Fine words – words to live by. Republicans and Christians who mix their religion with everyone else’s government need to stop doing it. Period.

    36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
    – John 18:36 KJV

    The rest of us (all of us – in fact) live in this world – not His.

  49. gmath55 says:

    This is ridiculous! And, waste of time and money. But, the lawyers are having a field day. LOL

  50. Sherry says:

    Truth. . . Really??? Ahhhhh. . . yet another one of the local “brain trust” who knows better than the justices on the Supreme Court.

  51. knightwatch says:

    No Veteran, that would be pure conservative ignorance.

  52. Lop Flap says:

    I hope, Pierre, that you understand that compelled speech is compelled speech, and it cuts both ways. If this were held up, it means that not only would the cake maker HAVE to create a cake for a gay couple, he would HAVE to create a cake for a Muslim man and his 16 year old fiance, no matter how reprehensible he found that idea. It doesn’t matter though because you’re probably okay with that.

  53. Mr Chris says:

    A baker who happens to be a vegetarian is asked to bake a cake to look like a huge T-bone steak. He says no. Can we infer the baker hates all people who eat meat?

  54. Sherry says:

    Thank you, Kevin. . . very well stated! Yours is the best explanation of why we should ALL support anti-discrimination business practices. . . as well as in our personal lives.

  55. Randy Jones says:

    “the same revolting arguments once leveled at blacks, Jews, …” My Bible doesn’t say it’s an abomination to be black or Jewish – it does, however, teach me to treat others in the manner I wish to be treated. Pierre, you are a social justice warrior EH?

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