- - Friday, August 17, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Liberals and gay activists remain obsessed with forcing Christians to bake their cakes. And the answer, in the name of individual, religious and even gay civil rights, must still be no.

If you doubt the intensity of the left’s fixation on punishing people of faith, I submit to you the Colorado’s so-called Civil Rights Commission. Despite Masterpiece Cakeshop winning a 7-2 U.S. Supreme Court victory condemning the state for punishing Jack Phillips for his religious beliefs, they’re going after him again. This time, the set-up involves a request for a variety of cakes that would violate his religious belief, including a cake celebrating a gender transition.

Mr. Phillips, a baker who is Christian, found himself in the public eye six years ago when he refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding. He has always served all customers, including gays and lesbians, but as an artist his faith requires him to not participate directly — like the specific creation of a cake — in efforts that violate his faith.

Ultimately, Mr. Phillips was found to have violated the state’s anti-discrimination law, and his fight ended up at the Supreme Court. which found the actual violator of civil rights to be the state’s commission. Reuters reported in June when the decision was issued:

“The justices, in a 7-2 decision, said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed an impermissible hostility toward religion when it found that baker Jack Phillips violated the state’s anti-discrimination law by rebuffing gay couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig in 2012. The state law bars businesses from refusing service based on race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation. The court concluded that the commission violated Phillips‘ religious rights under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.”

That’s pretty serious stuff, and would make anyone take notice that a mistake had been made. But the haters and bullies in Colorado apparently don’t care. On the day the Supreme Court agreed to hear the Masterpiece case, Mr. Phillips received a call from attorney Autumn Scardina making a specific request for a cake celebrating a gender transition. Mr. Phillips declined, citing his faith.

The Daily Caller reported several other requests were made of him in the months that followed, “[T]he bakery received requests for cakes featuring marijuana use, sexually explicit messages, and Satanic symbols. One solicitation submitted by email asked the cake shop to create a three-tiered white cake depicting Satan licking a [sex toy]. Phillips believes Scardina made all these requests.”

The high court made it clear that the government of Colorado was targeting Mr. Phillips because of his faith, and that it must stop.

“The commission issued an order requiring Phillips to cease and desist discriminating against same-sex couples, and the Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed. But the commission violated Phillips‘ rights, [Supreme Court Justice Anthony] Kennedy said, because its ‘treatment of his case has some elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated his objection.’ Kennedy cited the comments of one commissioner, who said religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, including slavery and the Holocaust…,” the American Bar Association Journal reported about the decision.

The Journal continued, “Kennedy said the statement disparages religion ‘by describing it as despicable, and also by characterizing it as merely rhetorical — something insubstantial and even insincere.’ “

A few weeks after that decision, the Colorado commission notified Mr. Phillips that they were, again, launching new proceedings against him because of the “transition celebration” cake refusal.

The good news is that the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is suing the commission on behalf of Mr. Phillips. The ADF told the Daily Caller, “The state of Colorado is ignoring the message of the U.S. Supreme Court by continuing to single out Jack for punishment and to exhibit hostility toward his religious beliefs … the government is intent on destroying him — something the Supreme Court has already told it not to do.”

As a gay woman who has been involved in efforts to ensure the equal treatment of gays and lesbians, I remain appalled at how the liberal gay activist agenda has become exactly the same thing the original gay civil rights movement fought against. The gay rights movement originally was an effort for us to be left alone and to not be punished for who we are. We simply wanted to be able to live our lives without fear of arrest, or our businesses raided or destroyed, because of who we were.

Fast forward from 1969 to the 21st century. It is now gays and lesbians targeting other people for punishment and destruction, simply because of who they are. For most of our history, gays worked to “pass” as heterosexual so as to not be harassed, punished or fired from our jobs.

Now, it’s Christians being hounded by a liberal elite in power in government and society who are demanding, ironically, that Christians should be harassed, punished, fired or lose their businesses because they’re different and don’t conform. This much we know: Supporting the spark of freedom that fueled every civil rights movement requires supporting Christians who are targeted for their faith, and absolutely the ADF in their defense of Jack Phillips.

• Tammy Bruce, president of Independent Women’s Voice, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk show host.

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