U.S. bishops applaud Supreme Court’s decision in favor of Christian baker

Baker Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, manages his shop Monday, June 4, 2018, in Lakewood, Colo., after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that he could refuse to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because of his religious beliefs did not violate Colorado's anti-discrimination law. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled 7-to-2 in favor of a Christian baker, Jack Phillips, who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The litigation began when the couple filed a discrimination complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The commission ruled that the baker violated Colorado’s law that prohibits public accommodations from discriminating against customers on the basis of sexual orientation. The Supreme Court declared that decision unconstitutional because members of the commission made public statements indicating an anti-religious bias.

At one point in the hearing a commissioner stated:

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Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the holocaust, whether it be—I mean, we—we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use to—to use their religion to hurt others.

According to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion, “[t]his sentiment is inappropriate for a Commission charged with the solemn responsibility of fair and neutral enforcement of Colorado’s antidiscrimination law—a law that protects discrimination on the basis of religion as well as sexual orientation.”

The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ conference said the decision “confirms that people of faith should not suffer discrimination on account of their deeply held religious beliefs.”

The court also took note that the commission issued several rulings in favor of bakers who conscientiously refused to make cakes with sentiments opposing same-sex marriage. The commission failed to adequately explain why it valued their version of “offensive” content more than it did that of Mr. Phillips. The court affirmed previous holdings that “religious and philosophical objections...do not allow business owners and other actors in the economy and in society to deny protected persons equal access to goods and services under a neutral and generally applicable public accommodations law” as long as the government itself does not engage in viewpoint discrimination.

The chairmen of three U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ committees said the decision “confirms that people of faith should not suffer discrimination on account of their deeply held religious beliefs, but instead should be respected by government officials.” In a statement they said, “In a pluralistic society like ours, true tolerance allows people with different viewpoints to be free to live out their beliefs, even if those beliefs are unpopular with the government.”

The court’s decision is narrowly written; it is more an admonition to local authorities to be more circumspect in their language than it is a pronouncement of religious liberty. The majority opinion leaves open the possibility that Mr. Phillips could lose again if the case goes back to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In fact, Justice Elena Kagan, joined by Justice Stephen Breyer, wrote separately to demonstrate that a neutral commission would have ample grounds to find Mr. Phillips was not entitled to a dispensation from the law. Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas disagree and argue that the First Amendment precludes the state from forcing Mr. Phillips to make cakes in celebration of same-sex weddings.

The U.S.C.C.B. filed a friend-of-the court brief in support of the baker, joined by the Colorado Catholic Conference, Catholic Bar Association, Catholic Medical Association, National Association of Catholic Nurses-USA and National Catholic Bioethics Center.

After oral arguments were presented late last year in this case, three chairmen of U.S.C.C.B. committees issued a statement saying, “America has the ability to serve every person while making room for valid conscientious objection.”

That statement along with the group’s reaction to the court’s final ruling was issued by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty; Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Neb., chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

The committees’ statement after oral arguments said it hoped the court would continue to “preserve the ability of people to live out their faith in daily life, regardless of their occupation,” noting that artists “deserve to have the freedom to express ideas—or to decline to create certain messages—in accordance with their deeply held beliefs.”

With reporting from Catholic News Service

J Cosgrove
2 weeks ago

Once again it easy to see where liberals/left stand. All four of the liberal jurists voted/expressed opinions against religious rights.

Phillips did not refuse service to gay people. He refused service to a gay wedding. He wouldn't make lewd bachelor party cakes. He wouldn't make Halloween cakes. He wouldn't make cakes for divorce parties.

Jeanne Linconnue
1 week 4 days ago

Somehow I can't help but wonder how you and others would react if the baker refused to make a First Communion cake because he believed that "participating" in this way in a Roman Catholic rite would violate his religious beliefs..

Many fundamentalist protestants believe that the Catholic church is the "whore of Babylon",, and that the Pope is the anti-Christ. Recently the Red Bank Baptist church in Lexington KY decided to take down a statue of Jesus because some of the congregation thought it looks "too Catholic" and is "theologically confusing". Well, it's a church, and they do have a right to decide what is religiously "appropriate" for their own religious beliefs.

People who own commercial businesses open to the public should not have the right to discriminate against others due to their "religious" beliefs. They should find a new way of earning a living instead. It's only been a bit more than 50 years since the Supreme Court struck down the last laws against racial intermarriage in Loving v Virginia. The Virginia judge used his religious beliefs to support his ruling that kept racial intermarriage illegal.

Fortunately, this opinion was very narrowly written and doesn't really support the baker's case as "religious liberty" but focused on the language of the Colorado Commission's ruling. The Supreme Court isn't finished yet. There will be another case. Religious beliefs should not be a license to discriminate in commercial settings.

rose-ellen caminer
2 weeks ago

The commission's statement about religious freedom and religion [being used to harm others and to discriminate] was an accurate statement, and for the Justices to see it as anti religion and anti religious freedom bias, and therefore inappropriate , confounds me. Religious freedom cannot be an argument to violate laws. That was the point of that statement[quoted above] . The justices twisted what the statement said and interpreted it to mean what it did not mean; nothing in that statement says that religious freedom does not exist, or that religion is inherently bad, but simply that religious freedom is not absolute, and that religion cannot be used as it has in the past, as justification for violating other peoples inherent human or civil rights! Of course a baker should not be forced to make a wedding cake. But if he/she chooses to sell wedding cakes, then to refuse to sell them to people who are of a protected class[ have civil rights], is discriminatory. To allow a protected class of people to be discriminated against in the public sphere, is to create a second class of citizens. Is it not already illegal in some states to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation? That has to be nationalized. It is needlessly divisive totally wrong and un American to tell someone to go down the street because they are not "fit" in the sellers mind to buy a wedding cake here.The business owner cannot use his religious freedom in the public spaces, to so adversely effect another citizens civil right. Hopefully this terrible harmful decision will be overridden soon.

rose-ellen caminer
2 weeks ago

The Catholic bishops should not be applauding this ruling either. Rather they should have[IMO] taken the position that, as the Church is against gay marriage, this is where ones faith [ assuming for the sake of argument that the Catholic person agrees with this anti gay marriage position of the Catholic Church] should make one counter cultural. This is where one 's faith informs ones choices; i.e., to choose to NOT have a bakery that sells wedding cakes. The onus is, in a secular pro gay marriage society, on the religious person to make the sacrifice. It cannot be on the lay citizen who has civil rights,[the right of gays as a protected class to the same goods and services as any other citizen in a public business]. That is what the Catholic bishops should have said; offer it up to God your not selling wedding cakes. [ or don't annotate any wedding cakes].For this is a secular society ; give to Caesar. As Christians are we not called to such sacrifices as expressions of faith in a secular world?

Lisa Weber
2 weeks ago

The best thing about this opinion is that it is narrowly written. My understanding is that it makes the point that religious belief cannot be discriminated against - a completely valid point.

rose-ellen caminer
2 weeks ago

Hopefully this narrow ruling will not prevail ,and the Court will one day rule in favor of the gay buyers over the sellers who want to refuse to engage in a particular commerce with gays that they engage in with non gays. Hopefully the court will be consistent with other policies that do not allow religious beliefs to be acted on, and rule that this religious belief too, CAN be discriminated against if the religious beliefs leads to discriminatory ACTIONS in public spaces; actions that violate someone's else civil rights, i.e., the right of a gay person to buy from a baker the same cake as non gays buy. Hopefully the Court will rule that religious beliefs cannot, in public spaces such as commerce, which is an essential aspect of a secular democracy's civil society, trump the civil rights of groups that anti discrimination laws were enacted to protect.
Hopefully the Court will cite how religious beliefs already and rightfully ARE discriminated against as practices, when they violate other people's rights and are contrary to secular laws. Female genital mutilation comes to mind, as does the refusal by the government [ in many states] to accredit Christian psychologists if they use conversion therapy in conformity with their religious belief that homosexuality is an evil and a perversion needing to be rooted out of their gay patients.

Henry George
2 weeks ago

Rose-Ellen Caminer,

A Judge or a Public Offical who is charged with deciding between two parties in conflict must give every appearence
of being impartial. The Commisioner who made his statement expressed evident bias against Mr. Phillips - that is the
ruling of the Court.

Mr. Phillips does not just bake cakes, though he told the couple that they could buy any cake in the store or any other
baked goods, but in good conscience he could not make and decorate a wedding cake for them.

Why is it that Mr. Phillips conscience and his clearly evident religious beliefs have no apparent value to you.

What is the First Amendment about if it does not allow you to live our your religious beliefs, to have the freedom
to speak or not be forced to speak ?

Mr. Phillips views his making and decorating a wedding cake as creative effort and thus "free speech" that he should
not be forced to express if he so chooses not to enter into a business agreement with someone. Is he not free to
decide when, where and how he will express himself ?

It is not for you, or me or anyone else to judge Mr. Phillips, he clearly followed his conscious in a non-violent manner,
as such he is protected by the First Amendment.

rose-ellen caminer
1 week 6 days ago

A baker telling someone he won't sell him/her one of his wedding cakes, but he'll sell him a pastry, is like a landlord telling a Black person , he won't rent him an apartment in THIS building, [but what's the problem?] he has an apartment in a another building [in Black neighborhood] he's welcome to rent! The baker's good conscience is his prerogative but discriminating against gays in a place of business is not. This is not a freedom of speech issue or a freedom of religion issue as businesses cannot violate other peoples civil rights. Treating a gay patron differently then a non gay one, is blatant discrimination. A baker , an artist is free to decide what he wishes to sell, but he is not free to discriminate against a protected group any more then anyone else is. He can pick and choose clients but if he it can be shown that he is engaging in discriminatory practices he is in violation of the law as any business is. Substitute "Black people" for gays, or "women" for gays, or" X religion", or "x ethnicity" for gays and you'll get the point, i.e., gays are in the same category.[ or should be nationally]. In these classifications your religiously based "good conscience" cannot take precedence over equal treatment and non discrimination in public life. You have the freedom of conscience to not engage , but once engaged publicly as a business, you don't have the freedom to discriminate against protected groups.

Marissa M
2 weeks ago

You would think that with the history of discrimination against Catholics in this country (often under the guise of "defending true Christianity" by protestants), the USCCB would be sympathetic to LGBT folks experiencing discrimination in today's society. It is decisions like this that are pushing younger people to leave the Catholic Church.

Ellen B
1 week 6 days ago

Along those same lines couldn't a Southern Baptist refuse to sell to Catholics because Catholics "worship" idols?

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks ago

The Secularist’s push for religious supremacy took a harder hit today than the mainstream media damage control spinning is letting on. The majority of justices found the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to have shown an anti-Christian animus (i.e. they acted like anti-religious bigots). Some quotes from the Justices who ruled in the majority:

1. “In this country, the place of secular officials isn’t to sit in judgment of religious beliefs, but only to protect their free exercise.” (Gorsuch)

2. “Civil authorities, whether “high or petty,” bear no license to declare what is or should be “orthodox” when it comes to religious beliefs, or whether an adherent has “correctly perceived” the commands of his religion. Instead, it is our job to look beyond the formality of written words and afford legal protection to any sincere act of faith.” (Gorsuch)

3. “Obergefell itself emphasized that the traditional understanding of marriage ‘long has been held—and continues to be held— in good faith by reasonable and sincere people here and throughout the world.’” (Thomas)

4. “In Obergefell, I warned that the Court’s decision would “inevitabl[y . . . come into conflict” with religious liberty,“ as individuals . . . are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples. This case proves that the conflict has already emerged. Because the Court’s decision vindicates Phillips’ right to free exercise, it seems that religious liberty has lived to fight another day.” (Thomas)

5. "To describe a man’s faith as “one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use” is to disparage his religion in at least two distinct ways: by describing it as despicable, and also by characterizing it as merely rhetorical — something insubstantial and even insincere." (Kennedy)

Louis Candell
1 week 6 days ago

"The secularists push for religious supremacy..."???? Why would a secularist advocate religious supremacy? A little confused perhaps?

Louis Candell
1 week 6 days ago

"The secularists push for religious supremacy..."???? Why would a secularist advocate religious supremacy? A little confused perhaps?

Tim O'Leary
1 week 6 days ago

Louis - think harder. Secularists have a set of beliefs and way or life that they want established or imposed on all other religions. One example, they believe the unborn child is not a human deserving of human rights. they want all religious people to act in hospitals, in law, in life to that effect. Same with gay marriage or gender identity. they want their beliefs to become the established faith. This goes against our Bill of Rights, as the Justices note.

Louis Candell
1 week 5 days ago

Actually, the phrase you used is misleading. Sectarians push for religious supremacy. Secularists may push for religious subordination.

Tim O'Leary
1 week 5 days ago

Same difference.

Louis Candell
1 week 5 days ago

Not really, Tim.

Al Cannistraro
2 weeks ago

"At one point in the hearing a commissioner stated: 'Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the holocaust, whether it be—I mean, we—we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use to—to use their religion to hurt others.'"

The bishops should have addressed the above assertion directly.

But how could they? The Catholic Church, not very long ago, was against total civil and religious liberty for non-Catholics. It was OK with enslaving aboriginals, blacks, etc., and questioning their status as fully human beings. It was against women in the workplace. It favored only nuclear families headed by men. It was against modernism and Americanism. Up to the 19th century, it favored death by slow and terrifying means for heretics and apostates. In the 1960s, It was unable to handle the liberalizing recommendations of its own "Commission for the Study of the Problems Relating to Population, Family, and Birth" (see link below).

The bishops make Catholicism look more primitive than it is in practice. Most Americans -- including Catholics -- "get" the idea of equality. The bishops' position is intellectually dishonest and thoroughly unconvincing to contemporary non-fundamentalist Americans, who easily accept equality for gays and their right to protection from discrimination.

The baker should either treat gays equally or stop selling wedding cakes.

These particular bishops are dinosaurs.

The pope needs to revive the above-mentioned commission and listen more closely to any recommendations to adjust church philosophy and theology to what is known now that was not known to Thomas Aquinas and other church doctors.
A New Yorker article on the above referenced Commission to update Church attitudes toward sex, etc.
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1968/11/02/letter-from-vatican-city-…

Al Cannistraro
2 weeks ago

Subsequent to posting the above comment, I read another current America article: "How Teilhard de Chardin’s hidden response to Vatican censure finally came to light." This article, and more so the linked article on which it is based, really opened my eyes to how primitive "official" Catholicism actually is (or at least was at the time of Teilhard's censure) relative to what I consider to be the "normal," non-fundamentalist variety. Do people at high levels still believe the assertions in the "Six Propositions" to which Teilhard was forced to assent?

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks ago

Al - what scientific proof do you have that any of the 6 propositions is false. i don't mean "just so" stories used for children, but hard science. i suppose you are not Catholic but you might not be a scientist. Perhaps, just a secularist fundamentalist.

Jessica Pegis
1 week 6 days ago

All modern humans came from a common ancestral group, not a couple, much less one man. Insisting on one couple as the progenitors of the entire human race involves accepting an extreme genetic bottleneck that isn't tenable in light of evidence. There was no Adam and Eve. Y-chromosome Adam and Mitochondrial Eve did not live in the same era.

Tim O'Leary
1 week 6 days ago

Jessica - your hypothesis is certainly not proven. DNA & RNA studies, of chromosomes and mitochondria, show we are all closely related and all have common ancestors. At the time of Chardin's studies, the prevailing theory was of slow gradual accumulation of traits via natural selection, progressively improving the species (to Chardin's Omega point). But, the fossil record never showed that. We now know that evolution is better described as punctuated, with long periods of equilibrium (cf SJ Gould). We know that there were primates and hominids in various branches, but the modern human developed in one place, probably East Africa. We do not know how small the group was but it certainly could have been to one couple. Interbreeding with other near-relation hominids is also possible without changing that. Given that there is such a chasm between a rational human and anything else, it is highly likely that something dramatic (even explosive) happened to get the rational spark going. Having said that, science cannot say it demonstrates or proves a hypothesis unless it can reproduce it. They rest is of lesser certainty.

Jessica Pegis
1 week 6 days ago

If it were one couple, the necessary interbreeding would have left its mark on our DNA. It didn't.

Tim O'Leary
1 week 6 days ago

It would not be easy to tell. For example, we do not know if Neanderthals were fully human. yet some genetic material of Neanderthals is found in our DNA. Most of our DNA is shared with other animal species, so it would be very difficult to separate out hominids from non-human species, A lot more work needs to be done to even come up with hypotheses to test. And testing (reproducing in a controlled experiment) is probably not really possible in these descriptive sciences.

J Cosgrove
1 week 5 days ago

Insisting on one couple as the progenitors of the entire human race involves accepting an extreme genetic bottleneck that isn't tenable in light of evidence

This argument is a straw man argument. A modern biologist could have created the DNA variety for the diversity to overcome the bottleneck. My guess is that God was a better creator of DNA variety than modern biology. But why is this discussion here? This is about a Supreme Court decision

Al Cannistraro
1 week 6 days ago

Tom O'Leary,
The propositions, translated from French, are listed below. They do not fall into the scientific domain, so they are nether provable nor falsifiable scientifically. That's the most charitable attitude I think a scientist can take toward dogma, no matter how ridiculous the dogma might strike some
from a scientific perspective.

Please don't label me. Labels are irrelevant to argumentation.

The Propositions:
1)

The first man, Adam, when he acted against God's command in paradise, immediately lost that holiness and justice in which he had been created (Council of Trent, Session 5, Canon 1).
2)

The sin of Adam damaged not only him alone but also his descendants; and the holiness and justice received from God, which he lost, he lost not only for himself alone but also for us (Council of Trent, Session 5, Canon 2).
3)

This sin of Adam, which is one by origin and passed on to all by propagation and not by imitation, inheres in everyone as something proper to each (Council of Trent, Session 5, Canon 3).
4)

Therefore the whole human race takes its origin from one protoparent, Adam (this fourth proposition is nowhere explicitly defined; but is clearly implied by the preceding three).
5)

Even though faith is above reason, there can never be any real disagreement between faith and reason (First Vatican Council, Session 3, Chapter 4).
6)

It is impossible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has understood and understands (First Vatican Council, Session 3, Canon 3 on faith and reason).

Tim O'Leary
1 week 6 days ago

Al - the most charitable way I can take your comment is to say you are half-right. You are right that science has not falsified any of these propositions and you are correct that science is incompetent to falsify most of them (all but 4). However, it is theoretically possible for science to falsify 4, if it can find a rational animal that is not genetically related to humans. Another way would be for science to find fossil and genetic evidence proving a lineage of humans that is separate or at least parallel to the rest of humanity. The problem would be the test for humanity. For example, science proves that the unborn are biologically human but many secularists deny this humanity. As to your judgment that these propositions might be ridiculous - well that is definitely a non-scientific prejudice.

Crystal Watson
2 weeks ago

Shocker - the US Bishops are the Republican party at prayer. They are always for the right to discriminate. And they wonder why people are leaving the church in droves.

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks ago

Justice Kennedy "To describe a man’s faith as “one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use” is to disparage his religion in at least two distinct ways: by describing it as despicable, and also by characterizing it as merely rhetorical — something insubstantial and even insincere." Crystal - you might see a bigot when you are looking in the mirror and still not realize it.

Louis Candell
2 weeks ago

The SCOTUS merely kicked the can down the road. The primary issue is whether or not a retail business owner can refuse service to someone whose lifestyle he objects to because of religious convictions. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission may have been antagonistic toward Mr. Phillips' religious convictions but that is irrelevant to the issue at hand. If Mr Phillips' religious convictions prevent him from providing service to a same-sex couple that he should find another line of work. Religious convictions are and should remain personal. They are not to be imposed on others. Mr. Phillips was not exercising his religion; he was exercising discrimination - exactly what the Founders sought to prevent given their knowledge of how religious belief was used to perpetrate discrimination and worse for centuries in Europe. They would be appalled. Furthermore, Justice Gorsuch's comment suggesting commensurability between divine, sacramental bread and one of Mr. Phillips' cakes was just plain silly. Should his cakes be viewed in the same manner as the Holy Eucharist? I would think that Mr. Phillips' religious convictions should also prevent him from making a cake for someone he knew to be an adulterer or a liar. Where does this nonsense end?

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks ago

Secularist convictions should have no advantage over religious ones, unless you want to encourage the end of peace. The second amendment is there to protect the first if the courts refuse to be impartial. The LGBT ideologues have truly lost all sense of civility and reason if they think they can force people to go against their religion and not have a breakdown in society.

Louis Candell
1 week 6 days ago

Actually, history has proven that discrimination based on religious belief has been the primary cause of war, genocide, societal upheaval and the disappearance of peace.

Tim O'Leary
1 week 6 days ago

The primary driver for the Guillotine, the Gas Chambers, the Gulag, the Killing Fields, was extreme atheism and a hatred of religion. The preoccupation of the modern Secularists is with death by abortion, euthanasia and suicide. The motivations of the Hittites, the Persians, the Romans, the Hans, the Goths, the Huns, the Mongols, the Turks, the tribes of the Americas, the Vikings, etc. were mostly secular (stealing things, murder, rape and pillage), and those motivations remained in part despite partial conversions of tribes to Christianity or Islam, so your position is extremely revisionist and naive. We have epidemics in venereal disease, depression, despair, suicide, gender confusion and demographic decline wherever they gain power. Atheism destroys everything.

Louis Candell
1 week 5 days ago

Apparently you simply dismiss the atrocities committed by Crusaders, periodic slaughter of Jews by Catholic regimes such as the killing of thousands of Heugenots by Catholic France, the Spanish Inquisition, the near genocide of South American natives by Catholic Spain bringing them Christianity, the Thirty Years War, ongoing slaughter in Sudan between Muslims and Christians, slavery in America, etc., etc. In short Tim, all the horrible occurrences you’ve noted have been committed by Christians as well. The Hittites, Persians, Romans and all the others you named can be understood as being pretty common practices by all peoples in their given time periods and were not considered to be contrary to whatever religious practices they may or may not have practiced. How do you excuse all the terror that has and continues to be perpetrated by Christian sectarians. Your religious zealotry is rendering your thinking more than bit skewed and a bit dangerous.

Tim O'Leary
1 week 5 days ago

Louis - Sounds like you are doing a major walk-back from your "primary cause" statement above, since you now accept that the many atrocities ("thousands") in the past were done by "all peoples in their given time periods" for a variety of motives. I notice you avoided the particular horrors of the 20th century (millions), which dwarfed the earlier periods in magnitude and which were explicitly motivated by hatred of religion. Your atheistic zealotry is blinding you to those motivations. Then there is abortion (millions) and euthanasia (thousands), the favorite forms of extermination by the arm-chair secularists.

Louis Candell
1 week 5 days ago

But they weren’t alleged Christians.

Will Niermeyer
2 weeks ago

I'm waiting for some cake maker to refuse to sell a cake to those who support President Trump. I know of several great cake maker's whom would love to make a cake for a gay wedding and they don't refuse straight couples either. My how very Christian of them.

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks ago

Will - very good point. A cake making secularist would scream injustice if he were forced to bake a cake with "Trump for President" on it, but would claim his free speech was denied if he couldn't have a cake with "Impeach Trump" on it made by a Trump supporter. Such hypocrites! No homosexual should be forced to bake a cake celebrating something he didn't believe in, and no Christian should either. That is free speech.

Louis Candell
1 week 6 days ago

Those business owners who believe as you do should find another line of work - one that doesn't pretend to offer goods and services to the general public.

Tim O'Leary
1 week 6 days ago

Louis - that is why the Supreme Court judges your ideas as bigoted and showing extreme animus against religion. We are not talking about not serving coffee or a service to anyone who comes into a store. We are talking about forcing someone to participate in a ceremony or event or to make a sign supporting something that goes against their deeply held beliefs. I would never want someone forced to bake a cake for a Catholic wedding if their conscience prevented them from doing so. I would go somewhere else. We have freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of association. Don't give up all your rights for this sexual revolution or it will come back to bite you.

Louis Candell
1 week 5 days ago

I’m sure that the religious fanatics of ISIS feel the same as you. Religious belief renders everything subordinate. Dangerous thinking.

Vince Killoran
1 week 6 days ago

Or, if they believe Catholicism to be an evil faith (and there are a few folks out there) to bake a cake for a Catholic wedding.

Vincent Gaglione
1 week 6 days ago

A reading of the decision is far different than the interpretations in so many comments here. Of course, if you merely shoot off the mouth solely based on your opinions, you don’t have to read, do you?

Louis Candell
1 week 6 days ago

I'd be interested to hear your interpretation.

Vincent Gaglione
1 week 5 days ago

The decision was narrow, very narrow. It only applies to the baker. According to most newspaper reports of the decision written by Justice Kennedy, 7 justices concurring, the decision was based on the poor quality of discernment and decision of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. As this article states: “The commission ruled that the baker violated Colorado’s law that prohibits public accommodations from discriminating against customers on the basis of sexual orientation. The Supreme Court declared that decision unconstitutional because members of the commission made public statements indicating an anti-religious bias.”

While several justices who signed on to the Kennedy opinion offered rationales of their own on various other aspects of the case, the decision does not address the issue of whether or not a business entity can discriminate based on personal religious beliefs, which the Colorado law bans.

This was no great victory for “religious freedom,” satisfactory to my mind. Businesses in this nation are underwritten by governments, local, state, and federal. Having once owned a business, I know full well all the advantages of tax law that help to avoid taxes. I do not believe that any business, given its governmental support underwritten by the nation’s taxpayers, has the right to discriminate against any citizen for any reason.

Louis Candell
1 week 5 days ago

I agree totally.

Michael Barberi
1 week 5 days ago

Good comment, Vincent. That is how I see it as well. Several other cases are making their way through the courts and I hope SCOTUS will eventually address the broader issue and question.

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 week 3 days ago

Vince
I agree with your analysis of the Court's decision as very narrow and based in its essence upon the evident bias of the Comissioners.
But your analysis involving imputed "government support" of a business via tax laws is more than sketchy. The way you word it the government is entitled to everything and its largess in not taking it constitutes "government support" . The current tax law is so utterly riddled with exceptions and ad hoc exemptions that all revenue left in a business would constitute " government support" so as to claim that all business is underwritten by taxpayers.
For instance if a person's pension is exempt from a State's income tax does that mean that his pension is underwritten by taxpayers so that the State would be entitled to determine what his pension could or could not be spent on!??!

Neil Purcell
1 week 6 days ago

The baker is following his conscience as a Christian, and his conscience leads him to refuse to provide a cake to two people whose civil wedding is sinful, by his reckoning. A Muslim cab driver in Minnesota refuses to pick up a fare at the airport who was carrying some bottles of whiskey in his luggage. A woman is harassed on the street by an Orthodox Jew for clothing he felt was immodest. People do all sorts of things in the name of God. The arrogance of a malformed conscience leads to a belligerence that is ungodly and blasphemous. There is no teaching of Christ that would condone such open disrespect for others, such hostility and rude behavior. The bishops are cheering this small victory but this is no small matter - it shows where the Church is determined to stand in Trump's America.

They stand with the haters.

How terribly sad for our country at a time when the need for wisdom and inspired moral leadership is so profoundly apparent to us all. How disappointing.

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James Martin, S.J.June 19, 2018
Mourners grieve by the casket of Father Richmond Nilo on June 11 n Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija, Philippines. Photo by Ezra Acayan.
Church and political leaders alike expressed alarm over a growing culture of impunity. President Rodrigo Duterte’s frequent tirades against the Catholic Church in the Philippines are believed to have emboldened killers in the recent attacks against priests.
Nash TysmansJune 19, 2018
“‘What can I do?’ That’s what everyone needs to ask themselves. We can’t be paralyzed. We need to act.”
J.D. Long-GarcíaJune 19, 2018
The Safe Car Wash app has been developed to allow the general public to engage with the problem, it is a new tool that will enable the largest community intelligence gathering exercise ever attempted in the United Kingdom.
Tens of thousands—including children—may be trapped in illegal employment in U.K. construction, hospitality and agriculture sectors, in domestic service, and, sadly, in prostitution.
David StewartJune 19, 2018