On the same day of the Supreme Court decision, Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips received a call from an attorney asking him to make a cake that fades from blue to pink to celebrate the customer’s gender transition. Phillips again refused. He has also been harassed by the same attorney with multiple requests for cakes celebrating everything from drug use to Satanism. Now, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission is at it again, going after Masterpiece Cake Shop owner Jack Phillips for refusing to bake the stupid cake.
The Supreme Court ruling took exception to the Colorado Commission’s claim that freedom of religion doesn’t exist. As noted by Justice Kennedy, the Commission essentially dismissed the very idea that religious conviction could be a valid reason to claim an exemption from the Commissions rules and regulations.
The Court came back and slapped down this reasoning, but it left the Commission plenty of leeway to rule against Phillips using different reasoning. Essentially, as long as the Commission can manufacture a different rationale for ruining Phillip’s business, then go for it–at least as far as the US Supreme Court is concerned.
By limiting Philipp’s free use of his property only to cases in which he can prove some sort of religious conviction, the Court — and the law in general — relies essentially on mind reading in determining whether or not Phillips should be allowed to use his property as he sees fit. This has led to a number of absurd legal and legislative acrobatics in which property owners must prove that their business decisions are motivated by artistic choices or religious conviction, but not by some other motivating factor.
Ultimately, this sort of subjectivity invites just the sort of corruption and bigotry we see on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
A better way is to stop talking about “freedom of religion,” and focus on ordinary property rights instead. Essentially, freedom of religion can only be truly protected by protecting property rights overall. All rights — including freedom of speech and freedom of religion — depend on the ability to exercise control of one’s own body and property. Rights to religious expression and speech are simply types of property rights.
By forcing Phillips to bake a cake, the Commission is asserting that Philipps does not enjoy ownership over his own body, or the shop and tools he acquired by using his body to perform labor.
The failure of the Supreme Court to view property rights as the central issue has empowered the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to continue its war against Phillips, who is no threat to anyone and imposes his views on no one.
The tyranny against personal property, liberty, and religious liberty is not coming from the Right, but the Left.
But the Left isn’t interested in liberty and justice for all. They’re interested in liberty and justice only for their vetted list of oppressed groups.
The Left is also pretty confident in its ownership of the “bigot” and “racist” label to slap on whomever it deems necessary. However, the Left is bigoted toward Christianity. This has nothing to do with the state of Colorado defending LGBT rights, and everything to do with their contempt for Jack Phillips’ religious beliefs.
Ray Otton says
The federal government needs to step in and determine why there is only one baker in the state of Colorado.