SCOTUS Hears Colorado Baker Case (Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado)

we dont serve your kind

Oh, dear—the sky is falling. Christian fundamentalists are painting the U.S. Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, for which oral arguments are being heard today, as a threat to their religious freedom.

Summary of the case

In 2012, two men went to Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver. Same-sex marriage wasn’t legal in Colorado at that time (they were getting married in Massachusetts), but they wanted a cake for their wedding reception. The baker refused. He said that it wasn’t that they were gay—he would have sold them other products—but a wedding cake required his artistic input, and he couldn’t do that because of his Christian beliefs against same-sex marriage.

The Christian side of the case

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is the attorney for the baker, and it characterizes the case this way:

When a cake artist declines to design a cake for a Halloween party, the world goes about its business. But if that same cake artist declines a request for a custom cake for a same-sex wedding, he is forced to defend his decision all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

You act like this is surprising. The baker breaks no law (by refusing to serve no protected class of people) when he declines to bake a Halloween cake, but he refuses to serve homosexuals, who are protected by Colorado law, when he declines their wedding cake. When he has a place of public accommodation (like a storefront) in Colorado and refuses to serve someone in a protected class, he breaks the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.

The ADF says, “The government does not have the power to force creative professionals like Jack—or anyone for that matter—to celebrate events that violate their faith.”

You don’t want to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding? Then don’t bake wedding cakes. Problem solved—now your faith is no longer violated. But if you provide public accommodation, which in this case means declaring to the public that you will sell custom wedding cakes, you can’t discriminate against protected classes.

The ADF concludes, “[Baker Jack Phillips] has taken a bold stand for his faith—and for religious freedom for all of us.”

Religious freedom for all of us? We all want to be able to discriminate based on our personal religious beliefs? Sorry, laws trump your religious preferences when they conflict.

But the baker doesn’t just refuse the gays

In its brief to the Supreme Court, the ADF notes that the baker doesn’t just have it in for the gays.

Phillips will not design cakes that celebrate Halloween; express anti-family themes (such as a cake glorifying divorce); contain hateful, vulgar, or profane messages (such as a cake disparaging gays and lesbians); or promote atheism, racism, or indecency.

Ah, it’s nice to see that he didn’t forget the atheists.

But let’s go back to the original Colorado law that was broken. It prohibits denying “the full and equal enjoyment of the goods . . . of a place of public accommodation . . . because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry.” And it sounds like Baker Jack might be okay with most of that. He says he would refuse to create a cake with a hateful message or one that promoted racism, but the excuse that he wants for himself would allow a lot of collateral damage. If Jack can say that his religious beliefs forbid him from making a wedding cake that supports a same-sex wedding, another Christian baker can use the same logic to refuse a cake that supports a mixed-race wedding. In fact, if you think the multi-purpose Bible can’t be used to support a case against any of the protected classes listed in that law, including Jews, Muslims, and African-Americans, you haven’t read enough of the Bible. Worse, there’s no need to invent contrary biblical arguments because the logic behind the argument is irrelevant when religious beliefs are simply whatever someone says they are.

That needs repeating: the argument for discrimination doesn’t have to make sense to you or to anyone. There is no external, objective logic necessary to ground these demands to discriminate when the justification comes from inside people’s heads.

Artistic expression

Note the novel part of this case. The exemption for discrimination isn’t being asked for all businesses, just those that involve “artistic expression.” Artistic expression is speech, and the first amendment protects that as well as religion.

Making a cake is artistic expression, but this claim can apply (potentially) to lots of businesses: florists, nail salons, barbers, tailors, carpenters, plumbers, or destinations for kids’ birthday parties. Maybe even guidance counselors, funeral homes, therapists, or doctors. And once the door is open a bit, other businesses that can’t claim an artistic expression exemption might push for a piece of that sweet, sweet discrimination action.

One response is to say that a business would be fiscally foolish to refuse to serve a class of people, but that’s a weak argument when Masterpiece Cakeshop is already a counterexample. Putting a “We don’t serve your kind here” sign in a window might actually be a plus in some parts of the country. Chick-fil-A, a fast-food restaurant chain, got lots of pushback from its public opposition to same-sex marriage, but it has also gotten support from customers who applauded that action.

Businesses can decide what to sell (so, no, Jewish bakers wouldn’t be forced to sell swastika cakes, Muslim delis wouldn’t be forced to sell alcohol, and newsstands wouldn’t be forced to sell porn), but they can’t decide who to sell it to (with “no shirt, no shoes, no service” kinds of exemptions).

First Amendment rights are important. When the Christian doesn’t have the right to speak freely on religion, I probably don’t, either. But religious freedom doesn’t give you the right to impose your beliefs on others.

For a brief overview, see “Understanding Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission” by Movement Advancement Project.

For a legal analysis of the case, continue to part 2.

Religion is about having faith beyond what you can know or see,
and yet so many use religion to hate and discriminate
those they don’t know or see.
— Sarah Silverman

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  • Otto T. Goat

    Choosing not to sell a cake to homosexuals isn’t “imposing your beliefs on others”, forcing someone to sell to them is.

    “If Jack can say that his religious beliefs forbid him from making a wedding cake that supports a same-sex wedding, another Christian baker can use the same logic to refuse a cake that supports a mixed-race wedding”

    That should also be legal. Go to another cake shop.

    • Riverboat Gambler

      Exactly. Only one side here is attempting to compel action by another. Business owners should be free to refuse to serve customers and customers should be free to refuse to patronize businesses.

      • Otto T. Goat

        In most states any business can refuse service to homosexuals, and you never hear about it:

        https://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/04/28/402774189/activists-urge-states-to-protect-the-civil-rights-of-lgbt-people

        • Riverboat Gambler

          I’m not just talking about homosexuals. I’m talking about any privately owned business refusing any customer for any reason. We are not entitled to the labor of another. They perform that labor on a voluntary basis. Anything else is involuntary servitude.

        • Otto T. Goat

          I agree.

        • se habla espol

          The bakery in question has voluntarily offered to do business with all comers under Colorado law. The suit is over whether he can retract that offer and still do business.

      • Brian Westley

        Only if the city government can also decide whether police and fire protection, water service, etc (paid for by all taxpayers) should be extended to businesses that refuse to serve all of these same taxpayers. Fair’s fair.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Those businesses and business owners pay taxes too.

        • Brian Westley

          So what? All taxpayers pay for police, fire, water, etc. so the only businesses that should get to use them are ones that serve everyone, or at least all taxpayers. Why should some taxpayers have to pay to put out the fire at a business that refuses to serve them? Those taxpayers won’t notice the loss if it burns down.

        • Otto T. Goat

          Using your “logic” police shouldn’t respond to 911 calls from people on welfare.

        • Brian Westley

          Only if those people on welfare refuse to serve some segment of the population. Since they are below the line for any tax due, they are the same as taxpayers, they simply don’t owe any tax.

        • Otto T. Goat

          Why should refusal to serve “some segment of the population” be the standard? If it’s acceptable for government to discriminate, cities could choose to not provide police, fire protection, etc. to business and homes owned by homosexuals.

        • Brian Westley

          Why should refusal to serve “some segment of the population” be the standard?

          Well, really, it’s “taxpayers”. Taxpayers PAY for police & fire, so that’s the standard.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          And businesses and business owners are taxpayers.

        • Brian Westley

          And if they serve 80% of other taxpayers, they only get 80% of services paid for by taxpayers. Why should they leech off the other 20%?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Because they’re paying 100% of the tax burden that they owe.

        • Brian Westley

          But they aren’t serving 100% of the people paying for it. They’re leeching off some of them.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          How are they leeching? Whether or not they serve 100% of the public, they’re paying the same amount in taxes either way. So where is the leeching?

        • Brian Westley

          I keep telling you — people who pay for police & fire are paying to protect your business, but your business refuses to serve them. So they shouldn’t care if your business is held up or burned down. So why should they pay to protect your business?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          They’re not paying to protect your business. They’re paying to protect their house and their business.

          I don’t buy car insurance in case you get into an accident. I buy it in case I do. The fact that you may benefit from the shared risk pool is simply the nature of insurance.

        • Brian Westley

          They’re not paying to protect your business.

          Of course they are. They pay taxes for police & fire, which protects your business.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          It protects their house. That’s the portion they’re paying for. Obviously the funding is pooled, but the benefit they derive from it is the protection of their property, not yours.

        • Brian Westley

          It protects their house.

          And other people’s.

          Obviously the funding is pooled,

          OK, one pool are taxpayers plus all the business that serve all taxpayers. They use municipal police & fire departments.

          You’re in the pool that serve less than 100%. Pool your resources and pay for your own police & fire departments.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          If you’re only going to receive a portion of police and fire services, you should only have to pay a portion of the taxes that everyone pays.

        • Brian Westley

          Hey, fine.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          So in other words, we’re back to realizing that public services are directly connected to taxes, not to “portion of the population served,” which doesn’t make any logical sense at all.

        • Brian Westley

          Nope, the above solution still factors in the fraction of taxpayers served. 80% served means 80% of the full tax rate and 80% of the protection.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Why not just pay 100% of the full tax rate and receive 100% of the protection?

        • Brian Westley

          Because you aren’t allowed to — you also have to serve 100% of other taxpayers. If you only serve 80%, you pay 80%, but 1/5 of the time the police and fire department won’t help you. You’re a gambler, aren’t you?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          So it’s vindictive then. Not really based on the finances, just a punishment.

        • Brian Westley

          No, it really makes sense. If you don’t serve 20% of the people paying for police, why should you get the same police protection as someone who serves all of them? Your business may as well not exist for the 20%, so why pick their pockets?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Because you’re still paying 100% of the taxes required to fund the police.

        • Brian Westley

          No, you aren’t. You’re paying your small share, but you’re leeching off the other people who are also funding the police yet you refuse to serve.

        • TheNuszAbides

          irony noted.

        • se habla espol

          Why not just pay 100% of the full tax rate and receive 100% of the protection?

          Why not just serve 100% of the people you’re offering to do business with?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Because…those businesses and business owners pay taxes too. You’re talking about an entirely separate issue. The businesses in question pay their fair share of the tax burden associated with the services provided to the public. Whether they themselves serve the entire public has no bearing on whether or not they are entitled to receive the benefits of the services that they pay for.

        • Brian Westley

          Because…those businesses and business owners pay taxes too.

          But they are leeching off all taxpayers while only serving some. If they serve, say, 80% of the public, the fire department will put out 80% of fires they have.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Leeching? Are you also “leeching off of all taxpayers” because you don’t pay the full tax burden required to fund roads and emergency services in your area?

          These are shared costs. There’s no leeching here.

        • Brian Westley

          Are you also “leeching off of all taxpayers” because you don’t pay the full tax burden required to fund roads and emergency services in your area.

          No, I’m paying the same as other taxpayers. I’d object if I didn’t get the same opportunity to use the roads as other taxpayers. Same with businesses — if I can’t get services from them, they don’t get police or fire protection.

          These are shared costs. There’s no leeching here.

          Of course there is — I spelled it out. ALL taxpayers pay for police & fire, so the only businesses that get to use 100% of these are the ones that serve 100% of the public. If you serve less, the government returns the favor and serves YOU less.

          Fair’s fair.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Fair is fair, and these businesses are paying the entire fair share of the tax burden.

          If they only paid 80% of what they were required to pay, then you could make an argument that they should only receive 80% of the services.

          Your problem is that you’re conflating two separate issues: service of the public and payment of taxes. As long as the business is paying its fair share of taxes, it should receive the services it pays for. Serving the public is entirely unrelated to tax revenue.

        • Brian Westley

          Fair is fair, and these businesses are paying the entire fair share of the tax burden.

          But they aren’t serving all other taxpayers. They are only serving some of them. So they don’t get 100% of services paid for by taxpayers. They’re being parasites on those other taxpayers.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          But they aren’t serving all other taxpayers.

          Entirely irrelevant.

          They’re paying their share of the tax burden, and should therefore be entitled to the services they’re paying for.

        • Brian Westley

          No, entirely relevant. Taxpayers pay for police & fire, so why should you get 100% of those services if you refuse to serve 100% of the people actually PAYING for it? That’s parasitical.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Look…if I’m a business and there’s me and nine other entities each required to pay a share of taxes that fund police/fire/roads, and the bill is split equally, then I will pay 10% of that bill, which will entitle me to those services.

          If I’m a business and I refuse to serve 4 out of the 9 other entities, but still pay the 10% of the tax bill that I owe, then I’m still entitled to those services. Whether or not I serve those four entities is irrelevant.

        • Brian Westley

          Look…if I’m a business and there’s me and nine other entities each required to pay a share of taxes that fund police/fire/roads, and the bill is split equally, then I will pay 10% of that bill, which will entitle me to those services.

          Nope. It’s based on what proportion of taxpayers you serve. Your businesses don’t pay for 100% of police & fire, only a small faction. Don’t worry, your small faction is counted; but if you only serve 80% of the taxpayers, you don’t get full service. Sorry.

          Now, you’ve almost (accidentally?) hit upon the full Libertarian solution — have fully private police, fire, etc. Pay for it and you get to use it.

          But it isn’t that way now. Now, all taxpayers pay for it, so if you don’t serve all of them, you don’t get all the services. Fair’s fair.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Nope. It’s based on what proportion of taxpayers you serve.

          No, it’s not. It’s based on your tax assessment, which relates to property and revenue and has nothing to do with what percentage of the population you serve.

        • Brian Westley

          No, it’s not.

          Well no, not now. But neither are you able to refuse service to people on criteria like race or religion. But you’ve been stating as if you can, now. You can’t, not now.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          So have you been arguing for what you think “should be” this entire time?

        • Brian Westley

          Yes. Haven’t you?

          “What if there were no hypothetical questions?”– George Carlin

        • Otto T. Goat

          You’re analogies are ridiculous. Roads are owned by the public.

        • Brian Westley

          Paid for by taxpayers, yes. And businesses that don’t serve 100% of other taxpayers likewise shouldn’t get 100% of government services. Would you pay for public roads if you were prevented from using them?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Taxpayers aren’t paying for the businesses. Patrons are paying for the businesses.

        • Brian Westley

          Taxpayers aren’t paying for the businesses.

          Luckily I’ve never claimed that. Taxpayers ARE paying for police & fire, so if you want those services, serve the people paying for it. Taxpayers.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          You said:

          Would you pay for public roads if you were prevented from using them?

          It seemed the implication was that people shouldn’t have to pay for a business if they’re prevented from using it. But as you just acknowledged, people aren’t paying for the business. They’re paying for police/fire/roads/public services, and they’re not being restricted from using those simply because some other business that’s also funding those things refuses to serve them.

        • Brian Westley

          It seemed the implication was that people shouldn’t have to pay for a business if they’re prevented from using it.

          Of course! Why should they?

          But as you just acknowledged, people aren’t paying for the business.

          They’re paying for police & fire. You don’t get all of it if you don’t serve all the people paying for it.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Facepalm.

          I don’t know if you’re being intentionally ignorant or just really don’t understand at this point.

        • Brian Westley

          No, I understand — you don’t. I’m pushing your silly bigotry back up against a wall. If you really don’t want to serve all taxpayers, they shouldn’t have to pay to protect your business.

        • Otto T. Goat

          Many people don’t use roads their taxes pay for. Using your “logic”, a store that sells women’s shoes should only get 50% of government services.

        • Brian Westley

          Many people don’t use roads their taxes pay for.

          That doesn’t matter. My house hasn’t burned down, but I still want fire protection.

          Using your “logic”, a store that sells women’s shoes should only get 50% of government services.

          Only if they refuse to sell shoes to men.

        • TheNuszAbides

          lmfao, because only women can ever conceivably purchase women’s shoes. YOU’RE SO SHARP, OTTO.

        • Jim Jones

          They needn’t be. Pay per use is quite possible.

        • Otto T. Goat

          The businesses pay the same taxes and fees as any other. While not discriminating, most businesses in practice serve far less than 80% of the public.

        • Brian Westley

          The businesses pay the same taxes and fees as any other.

          Yet they only serve some taxpayers. If you only serve 80% of taxpayers, you only get 80% services in return.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          The taxpayers don’t fund the businesses.

        • Brian Westley

          So what? They fund the police & fire departments, so if you don’t serve all of the taxpayers, why should your business get all of the benefits of police & fire protection?

          Hey, you’re a gambler, how about if a business refuses to serve 20% of taxpayers, any police or fire call has a 20% chance of refusal of service for any particular event/fire. That’s fair.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          so if you don’t serve all of the taxpayers, why should your business get all of the benefits of police & fire protection?

          BECAUSE YOU’RE PAYING FOR THOSE BENEFITS THROUGH TAXES.

          I don’t know how to make this any clearer.

        • Brian Westley

          BECAUSE YOU’RE PAYING FOR THOSE BENEFITS THROUGH TAXES.

          That’s not the sole criterion.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Yes, it literally is.

          For some reason you’re creating an entirely separate criterion related to the portion of the public served, which is irrelevant, since the tax assessment is entirely unrelated to this percentage.

        • Brian Westley

          Yes, it literally is.

          Hey, if you can argue hypotheticals, I can too. If you really want legal, arbitrary discrimination (which is not legal today), you’ll have to pay for your own police & fire protection like a good little libertarian.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Of course you can argue hypotheticals. You should just make it clear that that is what you are doing.

        • Brian Westley

          I would think that would be obvious.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Yes, it literally is.

          go right ahead and cite that statute in black’n’white any time, genius.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Your bakery just started up. You’ve paid zero taxes so far. And–voila!–you’ve got roads to bring in customers and utilities to run your bakery.

          You’re welcome. Now–serve every citizen who paid for those roads and utilities.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Conversely, society pays for the roads and utilities to the anti-gay baker. How about that baker respond by serving everyone?

      • G.Shelley

        Have any of the laws that do force people to serve particular classes of people, ever come up before the Supreme Court. There are plenty of them, civil rights act, Americans with disabilities act etc, so businesses have been forced to serve customers for at least 50 years

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Obviously.

        • Kevin K
        • Brian Westley
        • G.Shelley

          So the federal government could probably do this under the commerce clause, but it might be that they think a State rule can’t supersede any first amendment concerns? That seems odd
          From the summaries I saw, it does seem they are concerned how to justify any line if they say that a state can’t designate homosexuals as a protected class – Other than possibly Thomas, I doubt any of them would want to get rid of the protections in the civil rights act completely

      • Kevin K
        • Riverboat Gambler

          You know Jim Crow laws were…well…laws…right?

          They mandated discrimination. In other words, businesses weren’t free to operate in a non-discriminatory manner and reap the benefits of doing so.

          The market would provide a solution given sufficient time, and actually punish bigotry financially.

        • Brian Westley

          So that’s a “yes”?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          That’s a “it’s irrelevant.” Ideas have no race.

        • Brian Westley

          So, “yes”.

        • TheNuszAbides

          ah, so as long as money is flowing more to bigots than to irrationally-stigmatized minorities, the market is working as The Invisible Hand intended, amirite?

      • Philmonomer

        Businesses really should be free not to serve say, Muslims?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Yes. Or Christians. Or whites. Or blacks. Or gays. Or people with purple hair. Or whatever they please.

          If a business wants to refuse money, it should be free to do so.

        • Philmonomer

          Ok. I disagree. That seems like a pretty radical, unjust, way for the world to work.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Seems really just to me. Everyone treated equally in the eyes of the state. People with full freedom to decide what labor and relationships they engage in. The ability to patronize non-discriminatory businesses or even start non-discriminatory businesses. Sounds pretty fair.

        • Philmonomer

          I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have been fair to blacks in the South in the 1960s.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          In individual interactions, perhaps not. From the state’s perspective, yes.

          In time, the market would have financially punished discriminatory businesses while rewarding non-discriminatory businesses.

        • Philmonomer

          In time, the market would have financially punished discriminatory businesses while rewarding non-discriminatory businesses.

          That strikes me as a faith statement, not necessarily based in reality. Moreover, I’d bet there would always be a market just for businesses that discriminate.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Happens all the time with boycotts today.

        • Philmonomer

          What happens all the time with boycotts today?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Also, it sounds like you’re concerned that the bigots wouldn’t be properly punished, and so therefore the government must step in. Why are you afraid that discriminatory businesses might be successful? Why does that matter?

        • Philmonomer

          I think it’s bad for society.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Successful at hurting people branded from birth? Why would anyone be scared of that?/sarcasm

        • Venavis

          Even if it did work (Which it doesn’t, as history has shown time and time again) it will take time. What about the people who need services now? What about the young black girl who needs antibiotics, but the only pharmacy in town won’t serve blacks? What about the interracial couple who needs a car, but the local dealers don’t approve of miscegenation? What about the gay man who needs to fill his tank, but the gas stations are run by bigots?

          That’s why it matters.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          In time, the market would have financially punished discriminatory businesses while rewarding non-discriminatory businesses.

          Why even bring this up? How is it relevant? You’re saying that it would be fabulous if everyone could discriminate at will? OK, justify this. Don’t tell us that it’ll suck … but that’s OK because market forces might eventually mitigate the damage.

        • Venavis

          —In time, the market would have financially punished discriminatory businesses while rewarding non-discriminatory businesses—

          Except that’s not the way it works. That’s never been the way it works. Please take a history class and pay some attention.

        • TheNuszAbides

          ah, the “just be patient” canard.

          if it’s so obvious what’s on the horizon, why not get it over with?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So you’d like a Libertarian Utopia? Or what?

        • Cheryl in Tucson

          It sounds like you think a business has an absolute right to serve whom it pleases. Does it have other rights, too? To be free from government inspection? To set its own labor rules? Where do you find this inalienable right in the U.S. or Colorado constitutions or does this idea just apply to the Kingdom of the Riverboard Gambler?

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        Only one side here is attempting to compel action by another.

        You’re pointing out that the gay couple is being compelled by the baker to find a different baker? Yeah–it sucks. The humiliation they endure is relevant to the case.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          They’re not. They could have purchased something else from his bakery.

          I’m pointing out that the gay couple is using the force of government to compel the baker to prepare a cake against his will.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          They could have purchased something else from his bakery.

          I wonder what they said when the baker pointed them to the cupcakes and suggested that they’d do just as well.

          I’m pointing out that the gay couple is using the force of government to compel the baker to prepare a cake against his will.

          OK—I got your meaning backwards. When you said, “Only one side here is attempting to compel action by another,” I just went to the baker forcing the couple to take their business elsewhere. So maybe the “Only one side” part of your sentence is the problem.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          The baker didn’t seem to mind any of the straight couples compelling them to do the same. You think they could get away with discriminating against any of those people, don’t you?

        • Venavis

          No. The baker prepares cakes all the time. They are a baker. That’s what they do. Now, if the gay couple was trying to use the force of government to compel the baker to make them meatloaf, that argument would apply.

          The baker, however, bakes cakes. It is a service they offer. They aren’t being forced to bake cakes. They chose to bake cakes and open their business and sell those cakes to the public. The gay couple is purchasing the cake. They are not demanding a cake for free. They are asking for the exact same service the baker provides to everyone else. The only one ‘imposing their will’ upon anyone is the baker.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          By the way, nobody forced them to choose his bakery in the first place.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Uh huh. Is that relevant?

          I thought I read that they had patronized that business in the past. Perhaps they thought that they’d like to throw a little business to that friendly baker who they knew and so deliberately chose him.

    • Doubting Thomas

      What you think should or shouldn’t be legal is irrelevant to whether this was legal or not according to the law.

      • Otto T. Goat

        The post brought up what should be legal.

        • Doubting Thomas

          It brought up what is legal according to the law. Bob wasn’t basing his points on what he thinks the laws should be. He was discussing if the baker is guilty according to the laws we have.

        • Otto T. Goat

          Try adding something to the discussion.

        • Tommy

          Doubting Thomas did. His/Her post was more informative than all your posts on this thread combined.

    • Philmonomer

      Choosing not to sell a cake to homosexuals isn’t “imposing your beliefs on others”, forcing someone to sell to them is.

      Requiring that lunch counters be integrated is forcing “your belief on others” too. Many in the South sincerely believed that God wanted the races kept separate. Should segregation be legal?

      • Otto T. Goat

        Private companies should be allowed to discriminate based on race.

        • Philmonomer

          Ok. I disagree, as that seems like a pretty radical, unjust, way for the world to work.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Or, indeed, anything. Right?

        • Otto T. Goat

          Sure.

        • Tommy

          Private companies that are open to the public should not be allowed to discriminate based on race.

        • Otto T. Goat

          I believe in freedom of association.

        • Tommy

          So what?

        • TheNuszAbides

          it’s always been an awfully convenient card for toxic political views, of which Otto is full-to-bursting.

    • MadScientist1023

      Spoken like someone who has never been kicked out of a store because of who they are.

      You assume that other stores won’t do the same thing if given the chance. What happens if a particular religious group becomes extremely unpopular. Muslims perhaps. Or Sikhs. Or maybe Jews. We’re certainly not past the point we won’t blame the Jews when push comes to shove. Heck, how about Evangelical Christians? There could come a day when it’s popular to discriminate against them for real. Not today’s current brand of social ostracism, but full-blown discrimination.

      What happens when everyone in a town decides to discriminate against a particular religious minority? Let’s say they all decide not to serve Evangelical Christians because the entire town is super liberal and they decide they don’t want your kind here. I’m sure you believe that could happen. What happens when there is no other store to go to, because the only ones in town get more business if they post “no Christians allowed” signs?

      • Otto T. Goat

        Can you provide examples of that happening to homosexuals?

        • MadScientist1023

          Interesting. In all your other posts you seem to think businesses should be able to discriminate this way based on race. Here though you’re being very careful to restrict not only when this discrimination has happened but who it happens to. Could it be that if you actually took an honest look at the history of discrimination in this country you’d see plenty of instances of this happening to other groups?

        • MadScientist1023

          You clearly know nothing about the history of the gay community in this country.

        • Otto T. Goat

          As I noted elsewhere in this threat, it’s legal in most states for businesses to refuse service to homosexuals. Yet you never hear about it being a problem.

        • Venavis

          Hi. I’m a homosexual. I was once refused service at a motel when
          someone noted the rainbow patch on my jacket. When I objected, because
          the vacancy sign was lit, I ended up getting beaten by the guy behind the counter and his buddies who were there shooting the shit with him. But hey, I got a place to sleep. I mean, it was a hospital bed, but you know, I got service somewhere at least, so I guess that makes it okay in your eyes.

          Now you’ve heard about it being a problem.

        • TheNuszAbides

          because they historically have as much access to platforms as the bigots who don’t see what the problem is? pull the other one, sparky.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      So you’re OK with the whole “we don’t serve your kind” thing?

      The trivial example is, of course, the mixed-race couple that wants a wedding cake. Race is another protected category. You’re OK with the baker refusing them, too?

      • Otto T. Goat

        Sure. Why would a mixed-race couple want to business with a racist? It makes no sense.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “Yeah, you were discriminated against, but it’s OK because he’s an asshole you wouldn’t want to do business with anyway”? That doesn’t make it legal.

        • Otto T. Goat

          You asked if it were OK, not if it was legal.

        • TheNuszAbides

          that’ll be a fun sticking point if you ever get around to making any kind of moral argument.

    • se habla espol

      Choosing not to sell a cake to homosexuals isn’t “imposing your beliefs on others”, forcing someone to sell to them is.

      The plaintiff has, according to a news report I saw today, taken the other legal option: h’s refusing to sell wedding cakes. I salute him for deciding to be honest and moral for a change.

    • adam

      If Jack can say his religious beliefs forbid him from letting someone who lies with a man as one lies with a woman, stay alive.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fbee2ae71608c49ff6cd3778051384d5ac950eab0a8c65082bd7d40a20822ade.jpg

    • adam
  • Etranger

    I have found it curious that the exemption is only being asked for in the case of artistic professions. I find that the fact that this is the christian lawyers’ approach makes their claim that sincerely held religious beliefs are what are at stake very dubious. If that were true, every worker should have the same right to discriminate as Jack does, right?! They are very hypocritical.

    • Otto T. Goat

      “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” – West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette.

      http://law2.umkc.edu/Faculty/projects/Ftrials/conlaw/barnette.html

      • Etranger

        Nice quote. Unrelated to my comment, but thanks for the extra reading.

        • Otto T. Goat

          It’s directly related to your comment.

        • Etranger

          Okaaaayy…lol

        • Otto T. Goat

          The first sentence of your comment.

        • Etranger

          It has absolutely no relevance to my sentence “I have found it curious that the exemption is only being asked for in the case of artistic professions. “

        • Otto T. Goat

          It’s the precedent for the Supreme Court’s compelled speech jurisprudence.

        • Etranger

          Yes, I know that. I am not talking about compelled speech. I am talking about the disrespect the Christian right has for employees who are not “artists”.

        • Otto T. Goat

          It’s lawyers making a legal argument.

        • Etranger

          Yes, essentially on a false premise. If Jack has a right to discriminate against gay people, why doesn’t the DMV worker? Surely the DMV worker comes in contact with more gay people and might be just as much an extremist Christian as Jack!

        • Otto T. Goat

          It’s not a false premise, it’s a rational legal argument given the line of precedent saying government compelling speech violates the First Amendment.

        • Etranger

          Gotcha. Pity that millions of Christians don’t get the same defense! Nothing in the precedent requires that it be limited to “artistic professions” btw.

        • Otto T. Goat

          Artistic professions involve expression, therefore they fall under compelled speech.

        • Etranger

          And the other professions? (Heck, the compelled speech case had nothing to do with artistic expression at all).

        • Otto T. Goat

          The “other professions” are not party to this lawsuit.

        • Etranger

          Gotcha. Well at least the ruling will only apply to ‘artistic’ professions. It is quite interesting that is the only profession they chose to include. I guess it was the only way to defend him.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        The religious person can believe whatever he wants. He’s still subject to the law.

        • Otto T. Goat

          The government is subject to the First Amendment.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Uh huh. I’m missing the relevance.

        • Otto T. Goat

          This case is about the application of the First Amendment.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      It seems clear that they are deliberately trying to open the door to all “creative” professions, not just bakers.

      It’s not hypocritical if they’re OK with that. Maybe they are.

      • Etranger

        Right – I understand it is all “creative” professions. I guess some Christians have more sincerely held religious beliefs than others!

        • Venavis

          Frankly, their behavior proves that their religious beliefs are NOT sincerely held. After all, god has these commandments against stuff like ‘bearing false witness against your neighbor’ and ‘no stealing’ and ‘not coveting’. They break those commandments freely and without fear, which kind of proves they don’t actually believe in god at all.

  • James A. North

    “Making a cake is artistic expression, but this claim can apply (potentially) to lots of businesses: florists, nail salons, barbers, tailors, carpenters, plumbers, or destinations for kids’ birthday parties.”

    I don’t know what all of the fou-fer-all is about, all of these businesses are obviously gay. C’mon, even “guidance counselors, funeral homes, therapists, or doctors” cater to teh gay…

    /s

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      And it all comes down to “it’s the gays’ fault.”

      It’s nice when there are solid touchpoints in society. Makes it so easier than thinking.

  • Kevin K

    Honestly? I have a very, very bad feeling about this.

    • Riverboat Gambler

      Why?

      • Kevin K

        Because Trump’s man is on the court, because Hobby Lobby, because the ghost of Antonin Scalia.

        The court has been increasingly open to allowing religiously based discrimination. James Madison would be rolling in his grave, were such a thing possible.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          All good things. People should be free to discriminate. The government should not be able to compel people to perform labor they do not want to perform.

        • Herald Newman

          Nobody is compelling the person to be a baker, and if they don’t want to bake wedding cakes they are free to shut down, or change, their business. Once they offer their products to the market they cannot discriminate against protected classes. It’s really a fairly simple idea that seems to confound many people.

          Fixed some typo’s

        • Riverboat Gambler

          The baker was already a baker before SSM became legal. Also, he has since stopped baking wedding cakes.

          But what you’re arguing is that sincerely religious people should be barred from certain types of business.

        • Herald Newman

          No, I’m arguing that if people want to operate a public business then there are certain accommodations that they need to make, one of them is to serve protected classes.

          What you seem to be arguing for is that white business owners should be able to put up signs on their doors saying “White’s only” and that they should not be compelled to serve non-white customers.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          It’s exactly what you’re arguing. “If your religion says x is a forbidden activity, then you can’t enter into a business where people may request that you provide a product to celebrate x.”

        • Herald Newman

          Nobody is asking you to participate, endorse, or enjoy, the activity. All you have to do is provide me the products and services that you area already providing to other people.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          In other words, participate.

        • Venavis

          So you are saying they have the right to impose their religious beliefs on me?

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Gay people don’t do anything that straight people don’t and in greater numbers. Neither is there black driving.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What part of “teh gay is icky” do you not understand? All of it, apparently.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          what you’re arguing is that sincerely religious people should be barred from certain types of business.

          Wrong again. Sincerely religious people should stop talking to the Christian or GOP leaders who prey on them and get a clue. The Constitution has the final say in the US, not the Bible.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          What does the First Amendment say?

        • Herald Newman

          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

          Your right to the “free exercise” of your religion is not absolute, and neither are your free speech rights.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          What does it say regarding the rights of gays to demand someone bake them a wedding cake?

        • Herald Newman

          Colorado has a law which states that it is illegal to deny service on the basis of sexual orientation. The essence of what’s on trial is whether individual states can enact laws which create new protected classes.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Oh…so…nothing to do with the Constitution at all then…

        • Cheryl in Tucson

          What does it say regarding the rights of a person to open any business, anytime, doing anythign s/he pleases?

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Equal protection under the law. If you are discriminating against some of us, you are attacking our fellow citizens!

        • Otto T. Goat

          Equal protection applies to the government, not citizens.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Oh, you meant that grievances should be addressed in the non-government courts?/sarcasm

        • Otto T. Goat

          No, I mean equal protection applies to the government, not citizens.

        • adam
        • Otto T. Goat

          I get the impression you don’t.

        • adam
        • Otto T. Goat

          Who gave you one of my calling cards?

        • adam
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Cute.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          With your question, it sounds like we both know what it says. If you have a punch line, make it.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          I’m agreeing with you. The Constitution has the final say in the US.

        • Otto T. Goat

          There is no constitutional right that requires a private business to serve you.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          There might be laws that do.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “sincerely religious”

          The customers sincerely don’t share those beliefs or why the fuck would they try to just do what any other couple wanting a wedding cake does? These Christians fighting to discriminate effectively seek conformance to their beliefs without legal recourse left to the people subjected to this bullshit. Sincerely religious is no better than sincerely fraudulent.

        • Kevin K

          I’m sure your whiteness will be very happy in his whitey white Christian Dominionist world. You’re not worth my spit.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          In what classes do you exist? You’re OK being discriminated against? You’re OK seeing your loved ones discriminated against?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Yes. If I am discriminated against, it means others have freedom to do so, which means I also have the same freedom. Besides, I’d rather not patronize a bigot than remain ignorant of their bigotry and hand them my money.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So if it’s reciprocal, it’s OK. Maybe we should let you shoot people who piss you off. It’d be reciprocal.

          I’d rather not patronize a bigot than remain ignorant of their bigotry and hand them my money.

          I’d love to patronize a bigot and rub his face in reality by forcing him to make a cake for a wedding he despises for some bullshit religious reason.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Weird. You financially support bigots.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You don’t? You can read people’s souls to see who deserves your patronage and who doesn’t?

        • Otto T. Goat

          Thanks for admitting your motivation is to impose your moral beliefs on those whom you dislike.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          By buying his products? Yeah, that’s what I’d call an imposition. I’m such a bastard sometimes.

        • Otto T. Goat

          You said it: “I’d love to patronize a bigot and rub his face in reality by forcing him to make a cake for a wedding he despises for some bullshit religious reason.”

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          It’s not Bob’s problem if they don’t despise the other marriages or none of them. They all make gay wedding cakes for straight couples without complaint (think about why I worded the sentence like this. What is a gay wedding cake?).

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          The gay couple didn’t ask for anything the baker wasn’t demonstrably willing to do.

  • skl

    “Businesses can decide what to sell (so, no, Jewish bakers wouldn’t be forced to sell swastika cakes…”

    Following your prior reasoning, I don’t see why this would be the case.

    Say the Jewish baker makes cakes for political party celebrations.
    So, he decorates some of these cakes with the image of a donkey
    and others with the image of an elephant, the respective symbols of the legal
    entities known as the Democratic Party and Republican Party.
    But he refuses to decorate cakes with the image of a swastika,
    the symbol of the legal entity known as the Nazi Party.

    Using your reasoning, I don’t see why the Jewish baker would
    be allowed to refuse to make the swastika cake for the legal Nazi Party celebration.

    • Kevin K

      Political party affiliation is not a protected class.

      • Riverboat Gambler

        Why shouldn’t it be?

        • Sonyaj

          I think the better question is why should it be a protected class? There’s no need – the 1st amendment already protects people’s rights (even loser nazis) to speak openly about their political beliefs; there is no additional protection needed. Although, if trump had his way, he’d try to punish anyone who didn’t agree with him. Hell, he’s already punished people that don’t agree with him.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Because clearly people can be and are discriminated against based on their political beliefs. And discrimination is wrong, is it not?

        • Sonyaj

          Are there specific examples of people being discriminated against based on their political beliefs, other than fringe groups that promote hate? I haven’t heard of anyone – democrat, republican or libertarian – being discriminated against because of their political party, but I admit I don’t go looking for that sort of thing. I’ve dealt with discrimination (plenty of it, too) as a woman, but never as a liberal, or back when I was a libertarian (admitting you are a libertarian gets you loads of shit from both dems and republicans, all of it deserved). Then again, I didn’t go obnoxiously shoving my beliefs in other people’s faces.

          Do I think that, for example, Nazis/KKK as a political class should be protected from discrimination? No. Absolutely not. I am happy to hear when they lose their job because they were outed on social media at some tiki torch rally. Their freedom to spew hateful, toxic shit that has no place in modern society =/= freedom from consequences. I would absolutely NOT hire anyone knowingly that was a member of any hate group.

          I don’t think they should have the shit beat out of them for that alone, but if you are going to walk up to a group of black people and call them “niggers” to their faces, getting your ass pounded into the ground is something you could have anticipated, something you deserve, and I admit that I would sit back and do nothing on behalf of Whitey McFuckstain if I saw that happen.

        • Venavis

          It’s not discrimination to treat an asshole like they were an asshole. Someone stating they are a Nazi is the equivalent of stating they are an asshole.

        • TheNuszAbides

          looks like you’re as oblivious to the nuances of discrimination as you were of the nuances of equality. big fan of “common sense”?

        • Kevin K

          Cuz the Constitution? 200+ years of jurisprudence? And 500 years of common law before that?

          Seriously, you keep displaying your complete and utter ignorance about the subject. I’d quit while I was behind instead of doubling down.

        • TheNuszAbides

          pure tragedy if RG is merely running on the fumes of a Trusted Authority [spewing hot toxic air] …

        • Philmonomer

          The question of putting symbols on cakes is about free speech, not protected classes.

        • Cheryl in Tucson

          Nope. This isn’t about the words or the design. For this baker, he’ll sell a “Together forever in the bounds of matrimony” cake to one couple but not another. Clearly it’s not about free speech. It’s about the protected class.

        • Philmonomer

          I agree. My point was that, sometimes, it’s about free speech.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Make your argument to your legislature. Come back when you’re done and then we can worry about it.

      • skl

        So, the Jewish baker would be allowed to
        refuse to make the swastika cake for the legal Nazi Party celebration,
        but he would not be allowed to refuse to
        make the swastika cake for a hypothetical Gay Nazi Party celebration.

        Jack Phillips should discriminate only against the un-protected classes.
        Then he’d be OK legally.

        • Anat

          No. If the baker is not offering swastika cakes as one of their products they can’t be required to bake one for anyone anytime. They can be required to make any product they are offering any of their clientele to all their clientele, but not to make a product they aren’t making.

        • skl

          The Jewish baker in my example was not making ‘swastika
          cakes.’ Nor ‘donkey cakes’ nor ‘elephant cakes’. He was making cakes for legal political party celebrations, appropriately decorated.

        • Venavis

          It’s rather pathetic that you go all the way to comparing homosexuals to Nazis and still fail to make your point.

        • TheNuszAbides

          and still fail to make your point.

          par for the course with self-alleged skeptic skl, I’m afraid.

        • Kevin K

          Does the Jewish baker make “swastika” cakes that he sells from his bakery shop? If he does, then he’s obliged to sell one to whomever walks in the door — gay Nazis or otherwise. If not, then not.

          The guiding principle is whether the request is consistent with what the business offers to every other customer.

          For example, I was in a Hasidic neighborhood some time back and had breakfast at a bagel shop. Nice bagels. Got an egg-on-bagel sandwich. They were more than happy to sell me that sandwich, even though I was the only goy there. If they had said “for Jews only” and kicked me out, I would have the right to sue them for religious discrimination.

          I didn’t ask for bacon on that sandwich, because there was no bacon to be had. Nor would I be able to sue the shop for not providing me with bacon, because they don’t offer it to anyone.

          In the instance of the case before SCOTUS, the bakery sells wedding cakes from its storefront operation. Therefore, they would be obliged to sell a cake to whomever walks through the door. Unless, of course, Republican Jesus™ declares otherwise. There have been awful SCOTUS decisions before. Based on Hobby Lobby, my fear is this will be another one institutionalizing discrimination based on the specific magic genie you whisper to once a week.

        • Greg G.

          Chinese restaurants usually have a menu for Chinese people. You can ask for it and order from it even if you don’t know what you are ordering.

        • Kevin K

          In my neck of the woods, the Chinese restaurants all offer sushi.

        • Greg G.

          I once read that the lucky numbers in a fortune cookie were the winning numbers in a national lottery. An author of Chinese descent investigated the restaurants where those numbers had won. She found that the restaurants adopt some of the local cuisine. One in Philadelphia had something like cheesesteak chop suey.

        • Michael Neville

          Chop suey isn’t Chinese. It was invented in the US in the late 1800s when some Americans went into a Chinese restaurant just before closing time and demanded food. The cook threw together all the leftovers and served the results. The diners loved the food and asked what its name was. They were told “chop suey”, which is from the Cantonese tsap sui meaning “odds and ends”.

        • TheNuszAbides

          so, it’s … Improvised Chinese.

        • Greg G.

          Is the cheesesteak and odd or an end?

        • Michael Neville

          I’ve had some very odd cheesesteak.

        • TheNuszAbides

          now *that’s* a hardcore Invisible Hand.

        • Greg G.

          …using invisible chopsticks.

        • adam
        • skl

          So, contrary to what Bob Seidensticker wrote above, you’re saying
          yes, Jewish bakers would be forced to sell swastika cakes.

          If people on the same side can’t agree on this, imagine what
          the SCOTUS might do.

        • Kevin K

          Read for comprehension. If the Jewish bakers normally baked and sold swastika cakes from a shop open to the public, then yes, they cannot discriminate as to who they sell to.

          How many Jewish bakers do you know who sell swastika cakes? Please name them and provide contact information that can be verified.

        • Joe

          How many Jewish bakers do you know who sell swastika cakes?

          The only one I can think of is old Adolf Goldstien, but I think he may be a little crazy.

        • skl

          So, in the case of the Jewish baker who makes cakes for
          political party celebrations
          , and thus may choose to make cakes with the image of a donkey for Democratic Party celebrations, and the image of an elephant for Republican Party celebrations, and maybe a big “I” for Independent party celebrations, can choose to not make a cake with a swastika for legal Nazi Party of America celebrations. He may discriminate because political parties are not a protected class.

          I think that, say, Americans of Italian ancestry, are not a protected class, either.

          So, if he chooses, the baker may refuse to sell cakes for Italian
          American celebrations.

        • Susan

          I think that, say, Americans of Italian ancestry, are not a protected class, either

          How aren’t they?

        • TheNuszAbides

          how old are you, skeptic? you’ve continued to make egregious category errors here for months on end and seem to make a point of asking questions for the sake of snark rather than the sake of becoming informed (or informing anyone else).

        • skl

          “how old are you, skeptic?”

          Old enough to know that Age is a protected class.

          But Political Party is not.

          I was wrong about the Italian Americans. You couldn’t refuse
          to sell to them for having Italian ancestry. But it looks like you could for them being Democrats (or Republicans).

        • Kevin K

          Yes…because political parties are NOT A PROTECTED CLASS!!!

          Fuck me, you’re stupid.

    • Philmonomer

      I’m pretty sure the Jewish Baker would not be required to put any symbol (regardless of what the symbol is) on the cake, as that would violate his right to free speech. I don’t think that is really in question here.

  • Peter Hilton

    The baker finds same-sex weddings objectionable (for whatever reason). Fine. I have been in and at a great many weddings, and not a single one of them involved a cake. A wedding reception is a purely social, cultural affair and is not any form of religious ceremony. That it is intended to follow a religious ceremony has nothing do do with its being a purely social event. It’s not your (the baker’s) social event, it’s not your cake. Bake the cake, frost the cake & shut yer trap. (And charge an exorbitant fee, mayhap.)

    • Riverboat Gambler

      The reception is a celebration of the event itself. The two are intimately connected. One does not have a wedding reception without a wedding.

      • Peter Hilton

        The reception is a celebration of the persons involved.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          No, it’s not. At least not to a Christian.

        • Peter Hilton

          A wedding reception is a party usually held after the completion of a marriage ceremony as hospitality for those who have attended the wedding,
          hence the name reception: the couple receives society, in the form of family and friends, for the first time as a married couple.
          Hosts provide their choice of food and drink, although a wedding cake is popular. Entertaining guests after a wedding ceremony is traditional in most societies, and can
          last anywhere from half an hour to many hours or even days.

          The popularity of receptions … during the 20th century led to the name reception being applied to any social event after a wedding, whether it is brunch, tea, dinner, or a dance. (from Wikipedia; note repeated use of “social event.” Your mileage may vary but your mileage is not the law of the land.)

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Again…the wedding reception always follows the wedding. Otherwise it would not be a “wedding” reception. It would just be a celebration, or a party. The wedding itself is the reason for the occasion. Trying to disconnect the two is disingenuous.

        • http://humanistchaplainjourney.blogspot.com/ Mark Landes

          Not always as in this case the celebration was to take place LONG time after the wedding of the individuals. So much for your argument. You are the person who is disingenuous.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Have you stopped to think about the PR issues here? You’re standing in the way of a wedding! Could you have possibly picked a worse thing to protest?

          You have an out. Find a church that has no problem with teh gays and use their reasoning to defend that position.

        • lady_black

          What are you even TALKING about? As a “Christian” can they refuse to bake a cake for someone who is an atheist and had a JP wedding? How far down the rabbit hole does this religious nonsense proceed?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “Christian” is defined in the head of every person who calls himself a Christian. Sorry–you don’t get to decide.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Not the Christian’s wedding, not their or any God’s say (thankfully all Gods act the same at all weddings, absent).

        • TheNuszAbides

          it’s unanimous!!

        • Venavis

          So they get to impose their religious beliefs upon others?

  • Grimlock

    Programming is clearly artistic in nature. Thus, programmers should be able to choose for whom they work based on their religious beliefs.

    On the other hand, I suspect that programmers is a rather irreligious bunch.

    • Riverboat Gambler

      Naturally. Any individual should be free to decide whether they perform labor for another person.

      • Grimlock

        Right, so I can certainly relate to that sentiment. But let’s consider some extreme cases, shall we, in order to see if there must be some limitations?

        For instance a firefighter or a doctor. Should they be allowed for whom they perform labour?

        Next, is any reason equally valid? Is it equally valid to refuse to work as a lawyer for a mass-murderer as it is for a lawyer to work for a Christian?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Typically we draw a distinction between public and private services. I understand what you’re saying, but if the public is funding you, then you should work for the entirety of the public.

        • Peter Hilton

          If your business is open to the public, it’s open to the public not your chosen sector of the public.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Why?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Cuz it’s the law.

          Or are you questioning the logic of the law? How about this: we as a society paved the roads and provided the utilities to your shop. In return, you can serve all of society.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          You also paid for those roads and utilities though.

        • Grimlock

          True, you generally pay through taxes.

          However, these services require that enough people pay taxes. It’s a collective effort, and as such they would not exist without a large amount of people collaborating.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          I don’t dispute this. Ideally, everyone would pay their fair share in taxes. Including the business. Whether or not that business discriminates really has no bearing on whether that business is contributing an appropriate amount in taxes.

        • Grimlock

          Yet they would still be benefiting from the services provided by society as a whole. The services only made possible by a very large part of the public, quite possibly including those against whom they would discriminate.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Naturally.

        • Grimlock

          Do you then concede that some services will, on your view, benefit from the benefits of society as a whole, while only providing services for a subset of society?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Sure. Most businesses do this. I’ll never be able to afford a Ferrari, but my tax dollars still pay for the roads and utilities running into the Ferrari dealership.

        • Grimlock

          And if your external circumstances changed, such as by winning the lottery, you could buy a Ferrari.

          However, in the cases we discuss, you would need to change a fundamental part of yourself. Thus not a good analogy.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          I’ll never use a women’s health clinic. Still pay for it.

        • Grimlock

          Presumably because those services can’t be applied to you. Still not a good analogy.

        • al kimeea

          so what. not selling you a car because you can’t afford it isn’t anything like refusing because of some personal characteristic that baby jesus don’t like.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          All of society contributed to get the roads and utilities to the storefront of the baker. In return, the baker is obliged to not discriminate. See the logic?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          No…the baker is obligated to also contribute to the roads and utilities that everyone uses.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          On day one, he’s provided nothing.

          Again, I say: you’re welcome, Mr. Baker. Now, serve everyone who helped put that infrastructure there.

          If you’re saying that Mr. Baker, as a citizen, paid his taxes to help, yes, that’s true, but obviously the roads, sidewalks, and parking lots in front of his storefront are providing particular advantage to him. And they’re all in place on day 1.

        • Otto T. Goat

          That “logic” is retarded.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I was confused, but that thorough analysis helped clear things up. Thanks.

        • lady_black

          BECAUSE, when you accept a license from the state, you are bound by state laws. And stop dumb-assing as though I haven’t already explained that to you!

        • Riverboat Gambler

          So your answer is “because laws.”

          Yeah…I’m asking why. Try to come up with a non-arbitrary response.

        • lady_black

          That IS “why.” So we don’t have idiots refusing food and shelter to those who need it for arbitrary reasons.

        • TheNuszAbides

          of course, because it was a perfectly sufficient rejoinder for you to say “because Jim Crow laws”. you were just goading someone to ask you for a non-arbitrary response then? oh, right – you were huffing the Free-est of Free Market fumes.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Every person is on equal footing in our economy. They all are the whitest straightest manliest Christians out there, as these traits are no more chosen than any of the traits people want to discriminate against. If you only give certain peoples a pass, ALL customers are those certain people by default.

        • Grimlock

          I wasn’t trying to make the public/private distinction, but I agree that publicly funded services should be equally open to all.

          Let me try again, if you don’t mind. Suppose the doctor works in the private sector, and through no fault of her own, is the only doctor in the area. However, she really doesn’t like [insert protected class]. Should she then still not be obliged to provide her services to everyone, even members of the class she doesn’t like?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          I suppose she should not be obliged. She also probably should not have become a doctor, and I imagine the public outcry will ruin her career.

          I do wonder though how much this case hinges on the legitimacy, or perhaps sincerity, of religious beliefs. SCOTUS recognized that Christian beliefs regarding same sex marriage are sincerely held and based in scripture. They’re not simply an excuse for bigotry. The religious teachings of Christianity have long held that homosexuality behavior is sinful.

          I think if this is case is decided as religious freedom case, then the doctor in your example would need to demonstrate that by aiding this member of a protected class she didn’t like, she was violating some sincerely held religious beliefs.

        • Grimlock

          It seems to me that you almost walk up to an argument for why you shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate in such a manner. It’d simply be a pretty awful society if everyone did that.

          While you might in some specific cases appeal to economic loss, that hardly seem like it’d be true in all cases. Not to mention that that’s a rather poor excuse for the utter unfairness of being discriminated against for something very much outside of one’s control.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          It’d simply be a pretty awful society if everyone did that.

          Agreed. Fortunately, there are strong economic incentives for everyone not to do that.

        • Grimlock

          While that might be a part of it, and valid in some – or even many – cases, that hardly makes it a bad idea to have other incentives in place. Simply appealing to market forces for moral guidance seems a bit optimistic.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          There are other incentives. Like not becoming a social pariah. This is 2017, not 1960.

        • Grimlock

          And such as laws with direct and measurable negative consequences for breaking the laws. Seems like strong incentives for both doing what’s morally right and, you seem to argue, economically beneficial.

          It’s a win-win!

        • Riverboat Gambler

          While relegating freedom to the waste basket. People should be free to be asshoIes.

        • Grimlock

          While freedom is nice, so are also other stuff. Such as fairness and security.

          If your counter-argument simply is to raise individual freedom – including the freedom to hurt others – above all else, I think this part of the discussion has reached an end.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          What hurts someone more…telling you’re not going to bake them a cake, or using the full force of government to compel someone to make a cake in violation of their conscience?

        • Grimlock

          We’ve been through this. We considered the consequences of your view, and found it wanting. Simply appealing to small disadvantages to a largely beneficial law doesn’t change this.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Just seems to me you’re only concerned about the impact this has on one party.

        • Grimlock

          And it seems to me that you’re backpedaling to avoid conceding arguments. Doesn’t mean it’s true though.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          The one that favors eroding legal protections for consumers hurts everyone far worse. Producers can keep their hateful cult shit to themselves or get their God off the shitter.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          No one wants shit all over their dick or pussy. Fuck assholes!

        • TheNuszAbides

          People should be free to be theoretical assholes. Practical assholes should be held accountable for violating societal standards. Of course, this principle creates a sticky wicket for those who believe in Thoughtcrime.

        • Venavis

          And yet, historically, many many many economies did just that.

        • TheNuszAbides

          it’s almost as though they couldn’t be persuaded to venerate the caricature of The Invisible Hand which RG seems to drool over.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “They’re not simply an excuse for bigotry.”

          If Jesus Christ came down from the sky and supported scripture, it would STILL simply be an excuse for bigotry. There is no defense that can make any sense out of homophobia. It’s “Because fuck” all the way down.

        • Philmonomer

          I suppose she should not be obliged. She also probably should not have become a doctor, and I imagine the public outcry will ruin her career.

          Again with the utopian view.

        • Venavis

          —-SCOTUS recognized that Christian beliefs regarding same sex marriage are
          sincerely held and based in scripture. They’re not simply an excuse
          for bigotry.—

          And SCOTUS is wrong.

        • TheNuszAbides

          it’s almost as though RG doesn’t recognize that an Argument from Authority doesn’t settle it nice and neatly. (except when RG has been spoon-fed an excuse to disagree with the Authority’s conclusion, of course.)

        • adam

          “SCOTUS recognized that Christian beliefs regarding same sex marriage are sincerely held and based in scripture.”

          As is slavery

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fb4831e1694c2ba934736efcb24fc7f67501a3f169ecaeac7e1a8fd31de3d3f6.png

        • Venavis

          If you are open to the public, the public is funding you. If you really don’t want to serve the public, form a co-op and only sell to members. You have an option if you want to be a bigoted, discriminatory asshole. It already exists. Form a co-op.

          Of course, you make less money not selling to the public, but that’s the price you pay for being an asshole.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          And I would say every reason is equally valid. Is every reason equally “good?” No, probably not. But equally valid, sure. Nobody should owe and explanation for their decision to perform or not perform labor.

        • Grimlock

          Fair enough.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So paint a picture of the world you envision. Is this a Kim Davis World, where every person gets to pick and choose what work they will do for their own reasons?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          No, Kim Davis worked for the state. The public pays her paycheck, and so she is required to serve the entirety of the public.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So then she was wrong when she refused to do her job?

          It’s good we agree on that point, but I’m still unclear about the society that you envision. Can you give us a brief summary of why it would be a good place?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Yes, she was wrong.

          It would be a good place because human interaction would be voluntary rather than compelled. Discrimination would be financially punished while non-discrimination would be financially rewarded. We’d not only address discrimination, but the disincentivize the racism, homophobia, sexism, etc. that underlie that discrimination. In time, we’d establish a more just and compassionate society organically.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          We’d not only address discrimination, but the disincentivize the racism, homophobia, sexism, etc. that underlie that discrimination. In time, we’d establish a more just and compassionate society organically.

          You have a utopian viewpoint. Why would it happen that way? Trump has flushed out lots of racist attitudes. You seem to imagine that, in the harsh light of day, they will be destroyed rather than forced into hiding. The other option is that people’s inherent racism (and other phobias) would be fertilized by this new society you imagine.

        • TheNuszAbides

          c’mon, RG, this is precisely the worst time for *crickets*.

          unless all you’ve got is a four-liner version of the Underpants Gnomes model.

      • lady_black

        No they should NOT. Should I be “free to choose” which patients I provide care to? That’s labor. I don’t like you. Therefore, you can lay in your own wastes, and whistle for your pain medication.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Go for it. Good luck staying in business.

        • lady_black

          I wouldn’t even be allowed to retain my license if I did that. No business that discriminates should be granted a license.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Professional negligence isn’t the same as discrimination.

          Regardless, you would learn very quickly that mistreating your patients isn’t profitable.

        • lady_black

          There is no “professional negligence” here. You are not my patient. I have chosen not to care for you.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Therefore, you can lay in your own wastes, and whistle for your pain medication.

          Sounds like negligence.

        • lady_black

          Go find some other nurse who caters to bigots! I don’t need to provide service to you, because you offend me! (Except, OF COURSE I do, because I have a license from the state, wherein I agreed not to discriminate in the provision of services. Sort of like that baker does.)

        • Riverboat Gambler

          I’ll probably complain about you and get you fired. Plus your coworkers probably won’t like you since you shirk your duties, but sure, feel free not to do your job.

        • lady_black

          That’s the entire gist of the situation, isn’t it? I possess a license, granted by the state, where by accepting that license, I agree that I will not discriminate against my patients for any reason. And my religious beliefs do not grant me absolution from that agreement. NEITHER DO THIS BAKER’S!!

        • al kimeea

          not if she worked at a whites only hospital under the “free” market

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “Oh, but they’d never do things like that because then they’d lose customers” doesn’t work. Masterpiece Cakeshop has already done it.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Their business is down 40% and they have to let two people go.

        • lady_black

          GOOD! That’s what happens when you are a despicable bigot!

        • Riverboat Gambler

          See? The market knows what it’s doing.

        • Grimlock

          Except when it doesn’t. For instance people selling and making a fortune selling quackery or by exploiting people, in large due to our inborn cognitive biases.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          … which did what to solve the problem? Perhaps you’ve not noticed that they’re bringing a case to the Supreme Court.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          What’s the problem?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The problem of businesses not serving all customers.

        • Philmonomer

          I believe they aren’t making any wedding cakes at the moment. If they could make cakes, I’m pretty sure they would have the conservative christian marriage market all locked up. Business could do really, really well.

  • DavidC

    Maybe it’s just me, but when someone’s opening statement basically amounts to “you know, the Civil Rights Act was and is a horrible idea,” I tend to lose all interest in any further dialogue with said person.

    Just a thought while browsing some comments.

    • Riverboat Gambler

      Have you thought about why they’re making that statement, or just dismissed their arguments out of hand because you can’t fathom the idea that anybody would oppose the CRA?

      • Kevin K

        You know, you really shouldn’t wear that white sheet in class. People might get the right idea.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Thinly veiled accusation of racism. But no evidence to support it. Typical.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You can clear up the confusion by making clear your position.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Not a fan of Voltaire, are you?

        • Michael Neville

          Not a fan of explaining yourself, are you?

        • TheNuszAbides

          loves to wear idealism on its sleeve when pressed; never recommends anything remotely practical as a step towards getting there

          EDIT: except “just be patient, these things work themselves out.”

  • http://humanistchaplainjourney.blogspot.com/ Mark Landes

    I find id reveling that the couple were already married in Massachusetts and the cake was not even for their wedding it was for a celebration.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2017/12/04/first-amendment-lawyer-explains-whats-at-stake-in-gay-wedding-cake-case/

    • Riverboat Gambler

      Celebration of what?

      • lady_black

        Of themselves!

        • Riverboat Gambler

          So it wasn’t a wedding cake at all?

        • lady_black

          What is a “wedding cake?”
          It’s a sweet treat served at a party. None of the baker’s goddamn business who will be partaking of it.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Pretty sure the couple requested a cake for their wedding celebration. Had they simply requested a generic party cake, they probably would have gotten it.

        • lady_black

          That doesn’t matter. There is no such thing as “wedding cake.”
          Here’s how I break it down. If you wouldn’t make a certain item for anyone, you do not need to offer it to anyone. If you DO offer a specific item, in this case, a cake, then you can’t pick and choose who you will sell one to.
          That’s the essence of public accommodation laws. Let’s NOT go back to the days of “whites only” lunch counters and hospitals, shall we?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          There is no such thing as “wedding cake.”

          Well that’s just laughable. Yes, there certainly is. A wedding cake is a specific kind of cake used for a specific occasion that conveys a specific message. It is an instantly recognizable symbol of a marriage.

        • lady_black

          Then, don’t make or offer them. Simple.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yep, that’s the resolution. If it offends you to offer Plan B, then don’t be a pharmacist. If it offends you to bake wedding cakes, don’t have a shop that sells them.

          Seems like a pretty easy resolution. But then I guess that avoiding the problem doesn’t get the ADF a court case.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Why? You should be able to pick and choose what customers you serve.

        • Herald Newman

          You already have plenty of ways that you can refuse service to somebody and those reasons cannot be in discrimination against protected classes. If you wish to be able to tell people of protected classes that they cannot be served you’re also effectively advocating that we allow “whites only” establishments.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          I am. I’d never patronize one of those. Are you afraid that you would?

        • Herald Newman

          I would patronize these establishments either. If you’re going to operate a business then there are certain public accommodations you must be willing to make. One of them is to serve protected classes.

          You have rights, but you also have responsibilities.

        • Otto

          The Federal and State governments don’t agree with you on this.

        • Joe

          No it isn’t.

          What type of frosting is used on this specific cake?

        • TheNuszAbides

          for people allergic to tree nuts and intolerant to dairy products?

  • Anthrotheist

    Can’t the baker agree to make the cake, decorating it right up to the point of a message or symbol that violates their conscience, and then provide the result? Refusing to put a message that the baker finds offensive onto a cake isn’t discrimination, is it? So long as the baker isn’t refusing to serve the client, can they refuse to produce certain attributes that they find offensive? So the couple gets a wedding cake, but they have to get their own topper, for example.

    I’m curious what objections on either side may be.

    • Riverboat Gambler

      He kinda did that, offering to sell them anything out of the display case, but refusing to put his time and effort into making a custom cake to celebrate their marriage.

      • lady_black

        If he makes custom cakes in CO, he cannot do that.

      • Philmonomer

        Do you have a cite for this? I’m curious, as I hadn’t read it. Thx.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          https://nypost.com/2017/06/30/cake-bakers-have-the-right-to-draw-a-line-in-the-icing/

          “A person with only passing interest in this case might be led to believe that Phillips is fighting to hang a “No Gays Allowed” sign in his shop. In truth, he never refused to serve a gay couple. He didn’t even really refuse to sell David Mullins and Charlie Craig a wedding cake.

          Everything in his shop was available to gays and straights and anyone else who walked in his door.

          What Phillips did was refuse to use his skills to design and bake a unique cake for a gay wedding.”

        • Philmonomer

          Your cite doesn’t say that he offered them any cake from the display case, before refusing his time and effort into making a custom cake.

          If there had been a generic wedding cake in the display case, do you think he would have sold it to them?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Probably not, since there wouldn’t have been a generic wedding cake in the display case. Wedding cakes are commissioned.

        • Philmonomer

          EDITED:

          Well, the hypothetical I proposed was what if there is a generic wedding cake there? (Which seems entirely possible. Some people get married at the last minute/Vegas wedding chapel type thing. It seems reasonable that a bakery might keep such a cake on hand.)

          Or are you saying he wouldn’t have sold them a generic cake? (I’m not sure if your response is answering my question).

        • Riverboat Gambler

          ??

          What do you mean?

        • Philmonomer

          If there had been a generic wedding cake in the display, do you think he would he have sold it to them?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Yes. He’s stated as much.

        • Philmonomer

          Really? Where? I.e. where does he state “I would have sold them a generic wedding cake.”

        • lady_black

          Yeah, sure they are. I ordered my daughter’s. I asked for a two tier red velvet cake with white icing, and black piping (her theme colors). Nobody asked me who it was for, or for any other specifics. I asked for no topper. I wanted to purchase my own.
          Now explain to me how any Christian would have any reason to refuse my order?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          They wouldn’t. If the couple had requested a cake that way, they would have gotten it.

        • lady_black

          They DID!

        • Riverboat Gambler

          They didn’t. They told him they wanted to commission a cake specifically to celebrate their marriage.

        • lady_black

          SO DID I!!!!
          Please explain to me what the effing difference is!

        • Riverboat Gambler

          ” Nobody asked me who it was for, or for any other specifics.”

        • lady_black

          Are you under the false impression that bakeries have two-tiered cakes, in the flavor my daughter wanted, and decorated in her wedding theme colors, sitting in a case in the shop waiting for someone to come in and buy one?
          You keep moving the goal posts. You say they should have picked a pre-made cake. That ISN’T how it works. Cakes made for wedding celebration parties are always made to order. You need to know how many people you are serving to know the size to buy. Also, they are no longer white cakes with white icing, and tacky plastic figurines on top. They will want to know what kind of cake to prepare, what flavor filling (if any), and what color(s) scheme the couple would prefer.
          I volunteered that it was for a surprise party for my daughter after her wedding. I didn’t mention whether she was marrying a man or a woman. Who it was for is none of their business. Only what the customer wants comes into play. Nobody CARES what the baker wants. It isn’t his party, and it isn’t his cake! The baker dances to the tune of the person with the cash, not his own.
          Now stop with your nonsense. A person who bakes cakes for a living bakes the cake the customer orders, OR ELSE! That’s how business is done.

        • Anthrotheist

          For the record, a little bit down the forum this same person agrees that they would advocate “that we allow ‘whites only’ establishments”.

          I’m pretty sure we’ve reached the end of this person’s capacity to make sense.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          Admittedly, there’s a big difference between permitting something and endorsing something.

          But you knew that.

        • Joe

          There’s only a semantic difference.

          Sure, to Christians, there’s a massive difference, because they use that argument that God permitted slavery but din’t endorse slavery.

          Permitting is tacit endorsement.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          What is a gay wedding?

        • Jack Baynes

          So he refused to provide a particular service to Mullins and Craig, which he would have provided to a straight couple, solely because they were gay.

      • Anthrotheist

        If he offers the service of making a cake, why would he refuse to make a cake for a client? As long as the cake was not somehow a “gay wedding cake” that violated the baker’s conscience, then all he would be doing is making a wedding cake for a client who happened to be gay. Just like making a birthday cake for a client who happened to be gay (even if the baker objects to “gay birthday parties”).

        • Riverboat Gambler

          He would have made a birthday cake for these guys. It’s the event, not the people that drove his decisions regarding which cakes he did and did not make. For instance, he refused to bake a cake for a Halloween themed wedding, and one for a bachelor party.

        • Anthrotheist

          I would object to those two examples as well, unless he was being asked to bake a “Halloween themed wedding cake” or a “bachelor party themed wedding cake.” At that point, if the clients couldn’t agree on a design that matched what they wanted and what the baker didn’t find objectionable, then they could agree not to do business together.

          Take the Jewish baker hypothetical: while a Jewish baker could refuse to make a cake in the shape of a Nazi swastika, or to make a cake and decorate it with a swastika symbol, I see no reason for a Jewish baker to refuse to make an otherwise-neutral cake for someone they know is a Nazi.

          I don’t object to refusing to produce symbols of something that one finds objectionable; I do object to refusing to produce something for people that one finds objectionable.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          A wedding cake is a symbol.

        • Anthrotheist

          If a wedding cake is a symbol of a wedding, and if the baker finds weddings offensive, then he should refuse to offer to make cakes that symbolize weddings.

          Again, I am arguing that the baker can refuse to make a wedding cake that has explicitly gay symbology, but cannot refuse to make a (custom, but otherwise neutral) wedding cake for a gay couple to use in their wedding.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          The baker doesn’t find weddings offensive. He finds weddings between gay people unconscionable.

        • Michael Neville

          I fail to understand the difference you’re trying to make between offensive and unconscionable.

        • Joe

          So why should the law be changed to accommodate this one, minor inconsistency in his thinking?

        • Otto

          So you refute your own argument here that it is about the event…*facepalm

        • al kimeea

          WAP!

        • Bravo Sierra

          Re: “I see no reason for a Jewish baker to refuse to make an otherwise-neutral cake for someone they know is a Nazi.”
          Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Nazis are a protected class.

        • Joe

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Nazis are a protected class.

          Though that might change under Trump.

        • Herald Newman

          It’s the event, not the people that drove his decisions regarding which cakes he did and did not make

          So the baker doesn’t bake wedding cakes? Or he just doesn’t bake wedding cakes for gay people?

        • Riverboat Gambler

          He bakes cakes for gay people. He doesn’t bake cakes to celebrate the marriage of gay people.

        • Herald Newman

          Does he bake cakes that celebrate marriages? If so, then his action contravenes Colorado anti discrimination laws.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          He used to. And obviously. That’s why this case is in SCOTUS. But the point remains, it’s the event, not the people that he discriminated against.

          If he had discriminated against gays, he wouldn’t have sold them anything at all. But in fact, he only discriminates against marriages between gay people. An event.

        • Herald Newman

          He did discriminate against gays by refusing to provide a cake that he would made for a straight-sex marriage. If the only material difference is that gay people are involved, then it clearly is a case of discrimination against gay people!

          You’re a retard, and we’re done. Welcome to my blocked list.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          If two straight people had some in and asked him to make a cake for a gay wedding, he would have refused them as well. It’s the event…not the people.

        • Anthrotheist

          I’m going to continue this line of madness for a moment, and ask: how do two straight people commission a cake for a gay wedding without there being any gay people involved? It comes back to the simple fact, there is no such thing as a gay wedding, only a wedding between two gay people. So refusing to make a cake for a wedding between two gay people is refusing service because of the people, not the event.

        • Riverboat Gambler

          How do you reconcile the fact that the baker would provide other products to the gay people, as long as they were not to celebrate an event he did not approve of.

          If he was truly discriminating against gay people themselves, he would refuse to provide them with all products.

        • Anthrotheist

          Being narrowly selective in your discrimination does not make you less guilty of discrimination, it just makes you a more hypocritical bigot.

        • Jack Baynes

          Like racists who like to claim they’re not racists because they have black friends.

        • Anthrotheist

          Exactly like that, great example!

        • Joe

          You don’t reconcile that fact. It’s completely illogical for him to think that way.

        • eric

          He’s discriminating against them some of the time. But the law says he can’t discriminate against them any of the time. If he offers 1,000,000 different services to customers and provides 999,999 of them to gays, but not the 1, he’s still in contravention of the law. So he’s broken the law. See Anthrotheist’s example above about serving black customers ‘to go’ but not allowing them to sit. It’s the same situation; offering service A but not service B (which you offer to others) is breaking the law.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I presume Gambler’s point is that, yes, he’s breaking the law, but that’s OK because the law is a bad law.

        • eric

          I think you’re being overly generous. IMO his comment “If he was truly discriminating against gay people themselves…” is a pretty clear indication that, in RG’s opinion, Phillips is not discriminating against gay people themselves.

        • eric

          I think you’re being overly generous. IMO his comment “If he was truly discriminating against gay people themselves…” is a pretty clear indication that, in RG’s opinion, Phillips is not discriminating against gay people themselves.

        • eric

          I think you’re being overly generous. IMO Riverboat’s comment “If he was truly discriminating against gay people themselves…” is a pretty clear indication that, in his opinion, Phillips is not discriminating against gay people themselves. He might also think the law is a bad law, but that was not the argument he made in the last post above.

        • Otto

          Actually I would be fine with that argument, not that I would agree with it, but at least it would be addressing the issue directly and honestly. If these people came out and argued having protected classes was a bad idea we could have an honest conversation. But they want to argue that having protected classes is fine, its just that they should be exempt for religious reasons…which as you point out just leads to being completely arbitrary and nullifying protected classes. This is not about religion being equal, it is about giving religious belief a ‘get out of jail free’ card.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Gambler seemed to be taking a libertarian position. He made a burst of comments, but I haven’t seen him for a while. Maybe he’ll make his position clear at some point.

        • Herald Newman

          And maybe Jesus will come back in glory through the clouds. Looks like our troll has gone off to play in other forums.

        • TheNuszAbides

          which somehow wasn’t particularly relevant when he ‘helpfully reminded’ us that Jim Crow laws were laws.

        • Otto

          >>>”How do you reconcile the fact that the baker would provide other products to the gay people, as long as they were not to celebrate an event he did not approve of.”

          Hypocrisy…that was easy

        • Philmonomer

          If he had discriminated against gays, he wouldn’t have sold them
          anything at all. But in fact, he only discriminates against marriages
          between gay people. An event.

          This is nonsense. Blacks could eat at many restaurants in the South. They just had to get their food to go, around back. It’s the event (a black person sitting in the restaurant). If restaurants were discriminating, they wouldn’t serve blacks anything.

        • Otto

          It’s not the event…he does Wedding cakes….he won’t do Wedding cakes for GAY PEOPLE

        • al kimeea

          the event cannot occur without the people and this arsewipe is very obviously discriminating a group of people because baby jesus told him to

          if the event were for people from any other group there’s no issue

          60 years ago, the brown group also wouldn’t have been one of these other acceptable people

          same tired old argument too

        • Jack Baynes

          If he objects to weddings, why was in the business of making wedding cakes?

        • Philmonomer

          You’ve come and gone “like a thief in the night.” Oh well. Why stay and respond meaningfully, when there are so many places in the world to troll?

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Whoa, smooth… Good thing we can’t tell the difference between the wordings “wedding cakes” and “cakes”.

        • Jack Baynes

          So it IS the people, not the event, that he objects to. If it were different people, he would not object to the even.t

        • Philmonomer

          This is nonsense, as anything can then just be refigured into “its the event” not the people. By the same logic, anyone who is against miscegenation could refuse to make a cake for an interracial couple, as it’s the event, and not the people.

        • eric

          The Halloween case and the bachelor party case highlight the discrimination rather than providing any sort of defense of it. He doesn’t produce halloween cakes for gays or straights. He doesn’t produce bachelor party cakes for gays or straights. He doesn’t produce wedding-style cakes…only for gays. So in the first two cases it’s the cake type he’s objecting to, but in the third case it’s the particular type of customer. He’ll sell that third cake type to straights, but not to gays.

        • Joe

          Exactly. So it was his distaste for the event, not that they required him to do anything out of the ordinary he didn’t agree with.

        • Otto

          People who like Halloween and people that throw Bachelor parties are not protected classes…so refusing them is not a problem.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          WHO makes that event any different from all the wedding events he had no problem with?

          “It’s the event, not the people that drove his decisions regarding which cakes he did and did not make.”

          This is a laughable lie.

        • Jack Baynes

          But he DOESN’T refuse to make cakes for weddings.

    • Joe

      As I understand, there wasn’t even a message requested for the cake at the center of this dispute. It was purely because the couple were gay.

      There are lots of ways around this, legally, it’s just that Christians of this stripe don’t tend to be the most accommodating.

    • Otto

      They actually can refuse ‘a message or symbol that violates their conscience’…unless by doing so it discriminates against a protected class.

  • Anthrotheist

    I’m going to recycle a comment from a few months ago that I think addresses some of the issues here.

    It seems to me that people have a skewed view of being a business owner. As an individual, your rights are predominately proscriptive: don’t murder, steal, assault, detain, harass, or otherwise actively cause harm to your fellows in society. As an individual, your few prescriptions are almost exclusively connected to the government: you are required to pay taxes on possessions, register with selective service, submit to legal search/seizure/arrest, etc. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of any prescriptions that involve other individuals; you aren’t required to help someone in need, give to charity, rescue someone in danger, etc.

    When an individual goes into business, they enter into a new contract with society. They now have more prescriptions regarding the government (permits, licencing, etc), and they have new prescriptions regarding individuals: safety and health requirements, rules about employment, and so on. These prescriptions are intended to prevent your business from causing harm to the community, and include rules about pollution, monopoly, and yes, discrimination. If you ask your community to allow you to operate a business, which you do for your own profit and not as some form of kindness or charity, then you have entered a new and more stringent agreement with that community. Business cannot be run as though it were an individual citizen, due to the business’s increased potential impact on its community as well as the purely self-serving purpose for the business’s existence (which affects motivations regarding business practices).

    • skl

      “If you ask your community to allow you to operate a
      business, which you do for your own profit and not as some form of kindness or
      charity, then you have entered a new and more stringent agreement with that
      community.”

      This makes no sense to me.

      I agree that a business’ purpose for existence is profit and
      not as some form of kindness or charity. Nor as a ‘community outreach’ or
      whatever. So, I see no “new and more stringent agreement with that community.”

      “Business cannot be run as though it were an individual
      citizen, due to the business’s increased potential impact on its community as
      well as the purely self-serving purpose for the business’s existence (which
      affects motivations regarding business practices).”

      This also makes no sense to me.

      I’ll leave it at that.

      • Otto

        >>>”This also makes no sense to me.”

        Everyone here that is surprised by this raise your hand…

      • Anthrotheist

        Well, then refer to sentence #1: “It seems to me that people have a skewed view of being a business owner.”

      • Joe

        This makes no sense to me.

        Try and open a liquor store without a license, and suddenly everything will become clear.

        “Business cannot be run as though it were an individual
        citizen, due to the business’s increased potential impact on its community as
        well as the purely self-serving purpose for the business’s existence (which
        affects motivations regarding business practices).”

        This also makes no sense to me.

        An individual citizen is free to not wash their hands after using the bathroom. A person running a catering business is not.

  • Tommy

    So much trolling on this thread.

    • Herald Newman

      It’s amazing how much content (a word I use very loosely) disappears when just two people are blocked.

  • Otto T. Goat

    It’s funny how a tiny bakery no one has to shop at is oppressive.

  • Shadow

    Has Jack, at any time he’s had the “profound religious beliefs” EVER made a wedding cake for a divorced man or woman remarrying? How about a mixed race or religious wedding? Those would be equally proscribed by his “values” after all.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I imagine the he would say that he sets his values, and they can be arbitrary from anyone else’s standpoint. That’s the problem when religion is in the eye of the beholder, not constrained by anything objective. (Despite what the Christians themselves may say.) But yes, great point.

      This was the question I wondered about Kim Davis. She won’t issue licenses for same-sex marriages. How about divorced couples or any other bizarre rules the Old Testament demands? (And since she’s been divorced umpteen times, why does she get to stand in judgment? Shouldn’t she recuse herself?)

      • Michael Neville

        The other problem with Jack and Kim Davis is not only do they have their religious views but they want to impose them on others. “I won’t do my job because I think that God thinks that you’re icky and the only way I’ll do my job is if you stop being icky.”

        • Joe

          Exactly. There was no way of getting a marriage license at all, if I recall, because Kim Davis had instructed them not to be issued. Now that’s activism at it’s worst.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          To expand on this, “If you had my religious beliefs you wouldn’t be getting a wedding cake. Since you don’t have my religious beliefs, I’m going to take away any legal defense you have against my effectively making you follow those beliefs. By doing this the government now de facto endorses my religious beliefs.”

          Bakers like him can’t argue that making wedding cakes is a sinful act just because a “black” couple is the buyer. If only “can’t” meant “won’t” or “completely unconvincing to everyone including the pandered to base” :-(

        • adam
      • adam

        “This was the question I wondered about Kim Davis. She won’t issue
        licenses for same-sex marriages. How about divorced couples or any other
        bizarre rules the Old Testament demands? ”

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/432d2d0f061a75e798dd98b009edc524a744a11cab0e268a8d5ec46762c0c7a4.jpg

    • eric

      As Bob says, everyone’s religious beliefs can be their own and idiosyncratic. That’s what makes the ‘religious exception’ basically infinite in application and in the way it can undermine public accommodation and equal rights laws. Want to discriminate against blue-eyed ten year olds? Religion can provide you with the excuse to do that. Want to discriminate against people who use red wheelchairs? Religion can let you do that. How about serving a person one day but deciding the next day not to? Religion can let you do that. “Sorry bub, God came to me in a revelation last night and told me I shouldn’t serve you any more.”

    • adam

      Biblical ‘values’ depend on the interpreter and the interpreters political needs.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a77e4ac6b76257f40e795a4cf0a260492db2eede843f62cd13f32839211ed306.jpg

  • adam
    • Otto T. Goat

      If you give a gun to someone you know is going to commit murder with it, then yes, you have participated in the murder and can be tried as an accomplice.

  • RichardSRussell

    If you’re a public accommodation, you should accommodate the public.