Jack Phillips owns Masterpiece Cakeshop, a bakery in a small Colorado town. In the summer of 2012, two men came into his shop one afternoon asking him to make a cake for their gay wedding. Jack responded: “I’m sorry, but I can’t promote messages that violate my beliefs, though I’d be happy to sell you anything else.”
Phillips has been a Christian for over thirty-five years and believes in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He also believes that decorating cakes is a form of art, that he can honor God through his artistic talents, and that he would displease God by creating cakes for same-sex marriages. Continue reading
On June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in a case entitled Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer. By a 7–2 margin, with two liberal justices (Breyer and Kagan) joining the Court’s four conservative justices, including Justice Neil Gorsuch, who joined the Court this year, and “swing” Justice Kennedy, the Court held that when a state (Missouri in this case) creates a neutral program for public benefit — in this case, a program that uses scrap tires to provide rubberized safety flooring for playgrounds — the state cannot exclude a church from that program. Continue reading
This year, deceased U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia was replaced by Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was nominated by President Trump. Justice Gorsuch has already shown himself to be a supporter of religious freedom, as discussed elsewhere in this newsletter.
Currently, the nine-member Court consists of 5 conservative justices and 4 liberal justices. Justice Kennedy is generally conservative, but is often an unpredictable “swing” vote. For example, he voted with the majority in the 2015 Obergefell decision legalizing same sex marriage nationwide. Continue reading