Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips is a deeply religious Christian. Why would a gay couple want to compel him to decorate a cake with words his faith rejects? What kind of craven cruelty would compel such coercion? Why, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, would you proceed with force against a private property owner? What’s wrong with you?
A retail store selling Nazi memorabilia opens its doors in my neighborhood. I enter in search of the yellow Star of David Jews were forced to wear during the Third Reich. The proprietor, decked out in Nazi insignia and regalia, says, “I’m sorry, we don’t serve Jews.” “Don’t be like that,” I say. “Where else can I find a pair of clip-on swastika earrings?” The Nazi sympathizer is polite but persistent: “Ma’am, I mean no disrespect, but back in the Old Country, Jews murdered my great grandfather’s cousin and used his blood in the leavening of the Passover matzah.” “Yeah,” I reply. “I’m familiar with that blood libel. I assure you my own mother’s matzo balls were free of the blood of brats, gentile or Jewish. No matter. I can see where you’re coming from. I’m sorry for your loss. Good luck.”
There! Did that hurt?
Did I rush off to rat out my Nazi neighbor to the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice? Not on your life. A principled Jewish libertarian (with a sense of humor)—who believes in absolute freedom of association and the rights of private property—would doff his Kippah and walk out.
Live and let live.
A devout Muslim with a wonderful singing voice runs a small music business featuring his CDs. A Christian couple asks this Muslim to record a song for the wedding. The song includes the words: “Jesus, resurrected from the grave and God incarnate.” The Muslim man declines, saying his sincere religious beliefs prevent him from recording the song. Would the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) take action against him and inflict financial penalties for abiding by his convictions?
A non-religious couple asks a Jewish kosher deli with fantastic food to cater their wedding reception, but demand that ham be included on the menu. The deli refuses. Would the CCRC take action against this deli for its religious convictions?
One more question: Would legal action be taken only against Christians practicing their sincerely held beliefs or against people of all beliefs?
All strength, Jack Phillips.