How this baker ended up at the forefront of the culture wars

How this baker ended up at the forefront of the culture wars June 12, 2013

What if you were faced with a challenge to your faith by the full weight of politics, culture, and popular opinion?  What if your entire livelihood came down to one choice between right and wrong? This is what’s happening to my friend Jack Phillips, a baker. He is happiest when he has flour on his face and a wedding cake to decorate.

Making hard choices

But Jack and his decades-old business, Masterpiece Cakeshop, are now under fire. Last year, Jack  was approached to make a cake for a gay couple who were wed in Massachusetts but had come home to Colorado. Jack said “no.”  He politely told them it was against his belief, as a Christian, and he couldn’t make the cake.

Last week, the State of Colorado Attorney General’s office filed a formal complaint.  Even though the state didn’t legally recognize the marriage (at the time), they are coming down on Jack for not catering to it. He’ll face the music in a hearing in September.

I know many businesses still have signs posted that declare they “reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” I don’t know if this goes back to pre Civil Rights days when shop owners would routinely turn away those of a different color.  But Masterpiece is a private business. Shouldn’t they have the ability to live out their faith and not violate their core principles?

Jack has also turned away cakes requested by those who want explicit language or images on their cakes. So he is an “equal opportunity” advocate for righteous living.

Poking holes in logic

If Jack is forced to make gay cakes, would we also expand this logic to other businesses? Would we make a Muslim Halal butcher sell pork chops? Would we make a Jewish butcher sell bacon? Would we force Indian vegetarian restaurants to sell hamburgers?

And one other issue that screams out to me. Some are demanding “respect” and “acceptance.” But what about respect and acceptance for Jack Phillips and his strongly held beliefs?

What would you do?

English: Wedding cake

Many of you are small businessmen. What if you were faced with a similar dilemma? Or what if your employer asked you to do something that clearly violated your faith? Would you risk your livelihood for your position? Unlike too many of us, he’s willing to turn away money if it goes against his principles.

What can you do to help?

Pray for Jack. He’s a good man, soft spoken, and

not one for controversy. He’s not a crusader. He’s not a firebrand. He’s a simple baker who loves God and wants his business to reflect his principles. He’s an unlikely hero if I’ve ever seen one. I need him to know that he’s not alone. Locally, we are standing with him, giving him encouragement. But the withering assaults of those on the other sides are brutal.

All of this has me thinking. How deep are my convictions? Could I stand firm in my faith if my job were at stake?




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