Government Demands Christians Violate Religious Convictions
In what can only be described as an appalling verdict, a federal judge has ordered a Colorado baker to violate his Christian convictions and serve cakes to homosexual couples.
Jack Phillips is the owner of Masterpiece Cake shop in Colorado. Last year a gay couple asked him to prepare a cake for them so they could celebrate their recent “marriage” in Massachusetts. Jack told the couple he could not serve them because doing so would violate his religious convictions. The couple, with the help of the ACLU, filed a discrimination lawsuit against Jack.
Now, a judge has told Jack that he must serve homosexuals or his business will face penalties.
This case is similar to the one from New Mexico where Elane Photography was sued for discrimination after Christian owner Elaine Huguenin said she could photograph a same-sex ceremony because it would violate her religious convictions. Huguenin and her company were charged with discrimination and the New Mexico Supreme Court upheld the conviction and fine. The case is now headed to the Supreme Court.
In the case of Elane photography one of the New Mexico Supreme Court justices made a chilling statement, telling the Huguenin’s that they are “compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives,” adding “it is the price of citizenship.”
Evidently the judge in the Colorado case agrees that the “price of citizenship” in America now is to be forced to violate your religious convictions.
Obviously not everyone agrees as attorneys for Alliance Defending Freedom continue to fight the charges against these citizens. The attorney for Jack Phillips commented:
“He can’t violate his conscience in order to collect a paycheck. If Jack can’t make wedding cakes, he can’t continue to support his family. And in order to make wedding cakes, Jack must violate his belief system. That is a reprehensible choice. It is antithetical to everything America stands for.”
The Elaine Huguenin’s attorney stated:
“The idea that free people can be ‘compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives’ as the ‘price of citizenship’ is a chilling and unprecedented attack on freedom. We are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to make it clear that no American has to abandon their constitutionally protected freedoms just to make a living. No American should be punished or put out of business simply for disagreeing with the government’s opinion on a moral issue.”
Further logical arguments being made in the case ask whether the government can force a black photographer to take pictures of a KKK rally? I would also ask whether the government can force a Jewish photographer to take pictures of a Nazi or communist rally? No one with a shred of sanity would answer yes to these hypothetical queries as we recognize the violation of freedom it would impose. And yet the government seems content to force Christians to violate their religious convictions as a “price for citizenship” without any qualms.
In Oregon however a ballot measure has been proposed to give businesses the rights to refuse to offer services for homosexual ceremonies if doing so would violate the owner’s religious convictions. The move comes after another cake shop, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, was accused of discrimination for refusing to provide a cake for a same-sex ceremony.
We should also ponder if the government can force people with a religious conviction against abortion to violate that conviction by supporting abortion. The Obama administration obviously believes it has the right to do so; as the HHS mandate proves. Thankfully the Obama administration and the HHS mandate is being decimated in the courts as judge after judge agrees that no one should be forced to violate their faith by supporting abortion.
But this trend is nonetheless troubling. It seems as if religious convictions are open game to our culture. There almost seems to be a concerted effort to see who can bring the next “discrimination” case against people of faith. Reports by religious freedom advocates such as the Texas based Liberty Institute highlight this dangerous trend. The most recent report, “Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America,” carries more than 1,200 incidents. The report asks:
“But what would happen if ‘open and widespread expression of religious freedom – in government, schools, workplaces, the military, public places, and more – is eliminated, driven into the shadows of society? What if religion becomes an opinion only to be expressed privately in your home or quietly in your church, if at all? What if religious liberty becomes a poor, subservient tenant of an arbitrary and imperious government landlord? If that occurs, then government can erase any of your rights as it sees fit, since government, not the ‘Creator’ cited by the founders, will be regarded as the ultimate definer, giver or taker of all rights.”
This is the dangerous direction we are currently moving as a nation. A direction that leaves God and the “inalienable rights” granted to us as people by our Creator behind, only to replace them with government sanctioned “freedoms.” Such freedoms can and will be revoked, altered, or ended at any moment because as government gives, so government can take away.
For federal judges to order people to violate their religious convictions and then call such orders the “price of citizenship” is a sobering reminder that if religious freedom is taken all other rights and freedoms can easily be stripped.
We are once again reminded of Thomas Jefferson’s wise words: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”