Today, December 5, 2017, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the Masterpiece Bakery v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case centers on whether or not the owners of a commercial enterprise which is open to the public is allowed to determine who they will provide products or services to, or if they must serve anyone who comes through their doors, regardless of the business owner’s religious beliefs. The decision on this case will be made public sometime in the first quarter of 2018. The Court has previously decided cases which put the outcome in doubt, because the “public accommodation” requirement decided in the 1960s says that a business cannot discriminate based on race, and in the recent Hobby Lobby case, the Court decided that faith-based businesses do not have to comply with the Obamacare mandate regarding birth control.
The case may come down to a simple fact that black people are born black whereas gay people have made a lifestyle choice. The decision therefore will hinge on whether being a “constitutionally protected lifestyle” (which is a recently “discovered” right by the Court) is more “constitutional” than the religious freedom (which is contained in the written Constitution) of the owner of the business.
If the Court decides in favor of the baker, it may have to acknowledge that the homosexuality is a lifestyle choice and not something people are born with. Such a decision would undermine one of the fundamental tenants of the homosexual community: that homosexual people are “born that way”. While they may acknowledge that there is no “gay gene”, they believe that homosexuality starts in the very early stages of life, rather than something that someone who has reached the age of reason (however that is defined) makes on their own.
Unfortunately, this Court has tended to make narrow decisions based on the specifics of the case and has shied away from making blanket decisions (that is with the exception of the gay marriage case). The Court could decide that making a cake is actually an expression of the owner’s artistic talents and therefore is his ‘personal property’ which would allow him to pick and choose who his customers are. This leaves to door open to additional law suites which try to define what “artistic expression” is and is not. Such a decision would leave open the question of what is the extent of religious freedom enjoyed by other business owners.
In the worst case scenario, if the court sides with the Civil Rights Commission and forces the baker to make the wedding cake for the homosexual couple, religious freedom will suffer a large setback. We know from experience how aggressive segments of the homosexual community are and you can be assured that other Christian owned businesses will be targeted, forcing them to make the decision to go against their beliefs or close their businesses (as those would be the only choices).
While, as yet churches and other court-defined religious organizations have not been forced to go against their religious beliefs on matters pertaining to abortion, a negative outcome from the Masterpiece Bakery case could certainly subject those organizations to recognize homosexual marriage and in some cases require them to participate in such ceremonies.
The Bible clearly instructs believers to follow God’s law and teachings even if they conflict with government mandates or laws. Christians must stand up for their beliefs and not walk away from the Truth. We need to continue to proclaim the Truth in the face of both social and legal opposition. We need to stand on that Truth and we know that, though we may suffer, God has a plan to prosper and not to harm. He always blesses those who obey His Word.Tags: bakery, Civil Rights Commission, religious freedom, Supreme Court