Christian Baker Case Is About Religious Freedom, Not Discrimination

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Colorado baker Jack Phillips is having his day in court, battling for artistic expression and religious freedom in one of the most high-profile Supreme Court cases to be heard this term. The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Phillips declined a request from a gay couple to make a custom cake for their wedding.

After he turned away the couple in 2012, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled that the baker violated the state’s anti-discrimination law.

How is the court leaning so far?

The justices heard oral argument today and questioned Phillips’ attorney. Justices Elena Kegan and Sonia Sotomayor quizzed him on what exactly constitutes free speech when you’re fulfilling services for a customer, while Justice Anthony Kennedy said that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was “neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’ religious beliefs” in its ruling.

National Review senior writer David French joined Glenn on today’s show to analyze the nuanced case. French emphasized the fact that Phillips doesn’t “discriminate” against gay customers; he’ll serve anyone, but he didn’t want to be part of the message behind a gay wedding.

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: Today is a pretty important day in the court system. Today is the day that Jack Phillips goes to the Supreme Court. He is the owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop. And he refused to custom design a cake to help celebrate a gay wedding. And as a Christian, he says, I can't advance the message of gay weddings and -- and gay unions, because it's wrong, according to my religious belief. But he said, I'll sell you cupcakes. I'll sell you cakes. I'll sell you anything.

I just can't do the wedding cake. So he has no problem serving gay people. In fact, going another step, he has refused to make cakes for several people that weren't gay. Because he said, I don't agree with the message that you want to put on the cake.

I'm sorry. You want a topless woman with big bazoombas made out of icing, I don't do that. I won't do that. Okay?

So he has a long --

STU: Very strong anti-bazoomba stance.

GLENN: Yeah, very strong.

STU: I hope that's supported by the Constitution. I don't know that it is. I don't know that it is.

GLENN: But we have somebody on the phone that might know. David French. David, I won't start with the bazoomba clause in the Constitution.

But you wrote a great article. And you said that you're going crazy by the way this is being misrepresented. And Jennifer Finney Boylan is really the head of the snake on this one, from the New York Times.

DAVID: Yeah. It's a remarkable -- it's the most misrepresented Supreme Court case I've ever encountered, and here's how it's being misrepresented: Essentially what people are saying is that this cake designer's decision not to design a cake that advances a point of view that he objects to, is the same as segregated lunch counters. It's the same as refusing medical treatment to LGBT people. I mean, the parade of horribles that you're -- that you see spun out from this case is absolutely unbelievable.

GLENN: Explain.

DAVID: You hit the nail on the head.

GLENN: Explain to me why this isn't the lunch counter of the 1950s.

DAVID: It's very easy. He doesn't discriminate on the basis of identity. What he does is he decides not to advance certain messages that he agrees with. So if you're black, white, gay, straight, male, female, and walk into his bakery, you're going to be served. It is -- you're going to be served, regardless of your identity. Regardless of your membership and protected class. If you ask him to use his artistic talent to design a cake or any other thing that sends a message that he disagrees with, like in some of these cases it was like a Halloween message, then he's not going to do that.

And this is just common sense. This is normal stuff.

GLENN: Wait. Wait. Is it because the witches had big bazoombas? Is that what --

DAVID: Well, I've not explored that one.

GLENN: Okay. All right. Well, you should look into it. I know you're a serious thinker.

She goes on -- the New York Times says this -- and you just used this word, his artistic ability.

She wrote in the New York Times: Mr. Philips certainly makes nice-looking cakes, but I'm not sure I'd call them artistic expressions. At least not the same sense as say, Joyce's Ulysses. That argument demands that the court get into the business of defining art itself. A door the justices open at their own peril.

Is a well-manicured lawn a form of art by this definition? How about lean corn beef sandwiches? Would they not be art if the court rules to protect icing and butter cream?

DAVID: You know, that is so unbelievably absurd.

Here's what she's intentionally avoiding: The actual cake that this -- the gay couple settled on to celebrate their wedding, was a rainbow cake.

Now, are you going to tell me that that doesn't send a very clear message, that a well-manicured lawn doesn't send or a corn beef sandwich doesn't send -- she's acting as if the court has to decide the very definition of art itself, when all the court has to decide is, in this case, was he being asked to engage in artistic expression?

And this goes to something George Will sadly, mistakenly wrote, just the other day. He said -- he made much the same point, that this isn't art. It's primarily food. Are you going to tell me that a wedding cake is primarily food? Is that why people spend thousands of dollars sometimes to make sure that it's just a --

GLENN: I have to tell you something, my father was a baker. But he was -- he made wedding cakes. And he spent Fridays and Saturdays making wedding cakes. And they were -- they were pieces of art. And they took him forever. And it took him years and years and years of study and practice, to be able to practice that art.

And people would come from all over to get his wedding cakes. There is a difference. Otherwise, you just get a wedding cake at a Costco.

DAVID: Right. I mean, all you have to do to know it's art. It's like do a Google image search for beautiful a wedding cake. And you'll see amazing things.

You feel like people are being intentionally obtuse here. Everybody knows when one of the centerpieces of an entire wedding reception is the cake. It is one of the most talked about elements of the entire -- of the entire reception.

And, yeah, nobody wants it to taste badly. But they're talking about it because of the way it looks. Because of the way it expresses a view of the ceremony. The way it expresses the personality of the couple. All of that is undeniably artistic. And so, again, this is the most misrepresented case I've seen. They misrepresent the nature of what Jack Phillips did. And they misrepresent the nature of his work.

GLENN: So is this about art? Or is this about advancing a message?

DAVID: Well, it's -- well, in this case, it's -- it's both. It's about using your artistic ability to advance a message. And whether or not the state can force you as an artist to use your artistic ability to specifically advance a message. And that one woo run counter to generations of First Amendment case law. Generations that say, you cannot be compelled to advance a message that you disagree with.

GLENN: So most Americans -- as you point out, most Americans, if a white customer came in and said, I want a Confederate flag Klan cake. If that was an African-American baker, we would all say, he doesn't have to make that, man. He doesn't have to make that.

DAVID: Right.

GLENN: We would all understand that. And it would be fine. Now, if that baker said, I'm not serving any white people, and I'm not serving you anything, we still would understand, I'm not -- I'm not going to serve you because you're a Klan member. We'd still even understand it. But we would say it was wrong.

This is -- this is -- this is the -- you can't compare these two.

DAVID: Yeah. Even when the specific art doesn't send a very specific message -- now, think of -- remember when Melania and Ivanka Trump were getting ready for the inaugural ball, and all these designers said, I don't want to lend my artistic ability to design dresses for Melania and Ivanka.

Well, that was their right. They don't have to use their artistic talents to support a political family they disagree with, even though Melania and Ivanka are women and women are a protected class in public accommodation statue.

So this -- time and again, you can come up with these counterfactuals. And time and again, people on the left go, oh, well, that's different. Oh, that's different. Well, how is it different? And then they'll go, segregated lunch counters. Jim Crow.

GLENN: They'll say on her, she doesn't -- she wasn't born that way. She wasn't born that way.

DAVID: Well, she was born a woman. She was born a woman. And women disproportionately wear dresses. Or a person who wants a Confederate flag cake is disproportionately white. It's the same logic that they're using to try to claim their sexual orientation discrimination here. And they say, well, it's disproportionately, gay people would want a same-sex wedding cake. So, therefore, it's discrimination on the basis of status, which is false.

GLENN: So should -- I mean, just to make this point, should Melania or someone sue those -- I guess she would be the only one with standing, sue those people to make the point that, no, you don't have to make a dress for me.

If you don't want to, you're an artist. You don't have to make that dress for me.

DAVID: Well, you know, I do think if this decision turns out against Jack Phillips, people will start to do that. You will start to see these kinds of lawsuits popping up around the country, where say, for example, conservatives will then try to force progressives to advance their point of view. And then, you know, we're going to get into this mess, where we've seen this happen before, and what ends up happening -- when it's a particularly important sexual revolution issue to the court. Often, they'll carve out these distortions in the First Amendment. They did one for a long time. It became known as the abortion distortion, where if you were protesting abortion, magically, you would end up with fewer free speech rights than virtually anybody else.

What we're seeing in the clash between sexual liberty and free speech is all too often courts are carving out specific exceptions and specific special rules to help advance sexual liberty at the expense of First Amendment freedoms.

STU: Talking to David French.

David, I'm fascinated by this use of kind of a classic left-wing thing to say, which is that the courts can't define art. They've been saying that forever. But it's always used the other way, when something that might not be art -- it's always used to include everything is art. And in this one case, they can't find any art, in a beautiful wedding cake --

GLENN: A mason jar with piss and a crucifix is art, but this cake is not.

STU: But this cake is not. Isn't that a complete reverse of the way they usually use that argument?

DAVID: Oh, absolutely. For generations, there have been progressive lawyers arguing to expand the definition of protected speech under -- in the First Amendment. And many times, during so rightfully. Many times you doing so in ways that advance our liberty. But now all of a sudden, this thing that is obviously to any person, any objective reasonable observer is an artistic expression, suddenly it's primarily food.

GLENN: Well, it's primarily piss. So let me -- let me just ask you this last question. We have to cut you loose. The -- the court is hearing this case today.

The swing vote is Kennedy. Kennedy has already ruled in a way that looks like you should rule in favor of the baker.

What do you think is going to happen?

DAVID: Well, you know, if Kennedy holds to some of the language he wrote in the Obergefell decision, then I think Jack Phillips will win. I mean, in the Obergefell decision, Kennedy acknowledged that there are deep differences, religious differences, in particular, about the definition of marriage, and that the Obergefell decision was not designed to force anyone to profess agreement with a definition of a marriage that differs from the courts, that differs from the Obergefell opinion.

And in that circumstance, if Kennedy holds to that logic and holds to that reasoning and also holds to his own history of First Amendment jurisprudence, then Jack Phillips should win. But we'll -- of course, we'll see.

GLENN: Yeah. It could happen -- aliens could come down and just hold a conference on the steps of the Supreme Court, and it wouldn't surprise me at this point.

David French, thank you so much.

DAVID: Thanks for having me.

GLENN: David French, senior fellow and writer at the National Review.

STU: We'll tweet out his article. You can go to Glenn Beck or @worldofStu to get it.

I am an Irishman and in 2006, I was blessed with the opportunity to spend Independence Day in America. It was a magical experience I will never forget and one I am desperate to repeat.

Everything about the day was magical. I can remember every little detail: seeing the pure joy on people's faces when they saw family members, not seen since Christmas; enjoying burgers and hot dogs being grilled to perfection in the mid-afternoon; jumping on a boat and witnessing an awe-inspiring fireworks display with the feel of a cold beverage in my hand; coming ashore and sitting around an open fire, toasting marshmallows.

As fun as these activities were, they are NOT what made the day magical.

The day was and is made magical remembering WHAT Americans are celebrating: being thankful for the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence and the idea of America which improved EVERY aspect of our world.

I would be honored if you would allow me to share five pivotal points from the Declaration, explaining how they started America on the path to becoming an exceptional nation, and how you can learn from the founders' example today.

1 The Layout

Take a look around society today, and you will notice a prevalent theme. The majority of people are angry, upset, and frustrated. They love to highlight the parts of society they view as a problem and tear it down. This requires zero talent. Even newborn babies with no verbal skills and very little knowledge of the outside world will let you know when they are unhappy by crying for a clean diaper, food or attention.

History is filled with people complaining and starting wars because they feel they have been wronged and sought a future "free from their oppressor".

Thomas Jefferson and your founders were different. Before mentioning any issues with the King (they waited 1338 words), they first explained their vision and how America would be different from other nations. They boldly declared that all men were created equal and have a God-given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

This principle of explaining what you are for has a long track record in American society and has long lead to effective change.

This principle of explaining what you are for has a long track record in American society and has long lead to effective change. This includes famous speeches by John F. Kennedy declaring, "We will go to the moon by the end of this decade," or the great Martin Luther King Jr. telling everyone how he "had a dream."

LESSON: Tell the world what you stand for -- not what you stand against!

2 Role of Government

I have spent over seven years with The Blaze, promoting your founding principles and explaining how America is unique and different to every other nation in the world. Every principle, policy, plan and idea can be traced back to one core principle: How we view government and its role in society.

On the surface of history, it is very easy to believe that our world is very different and would provide many different answers to this simple question.

Just look at our world today and you see many different power structures. England retains a monarch. European countries, like mine, are democracies. Iran is a theocratic-controlled country. Russia is an oligarchy. Inside those countries, you will notice differences in ideologies between communism, socialism, fascism, liberalism and even conservatism.

YES, they all look very different. However, if you look deeper into those countries, you will notice they all view government the exact same.

Government is a central agency that possesses the power to be the moral arbiters of society, the ability to be the great equalizer and most importantly they are the provider of rights.

Does this mean every government uses this power every day?

NO.

Clearly, there are governments around the world who are more open to freedom and view government as the last resort. However, every country believes government always has that power and there are situations when government must take control for the "greater good".

If you doubt this, look at the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Even countries that love to talk about freedom and identify as freedom-loving, removed their citizens' rights in the name of public safety. You witnessed everything from governments shutting down businesses, banning you from traveling more than three miles from your home, limiting the number of people you could have to visit your own house and enforcing you to wear a mask.

How could they do this? Because government is the power structure of all these countries and providers of rights. Any government that has the power to confer can also rescind them under the right circumstances.

Your founders were very clear that they did not share the world vision of an all-powerful government.

The idea of America is different. Your founders were very clear that they did not share the world vision of an all-powerful government. You can see this by reviewing the structure of the Constitution, but that foundation was started in the Declaration of Independence when they spoke about the Law of Nature and Nature's God, which highlights ALL rights come from God. You are born with these rights and it is the government's sole responsibility to ensure these rights are never taken away.

3 RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Take a step back and look at the public discourse today. You will notice the majority of people love to talk about their rights. My friends on the right love to talk about their right to free speech and guns. My friends on the left love to talk about their right to healthcare and abortions. When was the last time you saw anyone online talk about their duty and responsibilities? It's not a very popular topic.

Your founders were not dumb men.

Their genius was understanding the laws of nature and basic first principles. They researched world history -- from the great empires of the past to senates that were supposed to last forever, examining why they failed. While there are countless reasons for each, understanding one concept is critical. When freedom becomes all about rights and forgets about responsibilities, it creates a vacuum. Historically, the government always fills that vacuum. This creates a prime opportunity for a tyrant to come to power and solve a public need and always ends the same way - gaining more power and stripping you of your individual rights.

Your founders feared this vacuum and warned against it TWICE in the opening paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence. They spoke about your right to alter and abolish your government, instituting new safeguards. Then they spoke about your right, and duty, to throw off the government and provide new guards.

LESSON: Freedom without responsibility will always lead to tyranny.

4 RACIST FOUNDERS

As an outsider, nothing annoys me more than the constant attacks on your founders and their brilliance. Were they perfect? NOPE. Should they be worshipped like Idols? NOPE. Are there things we can improve upon? Yes. For example, it's 2021; why does the post office need to be included in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution?

Despite their flaws, they provided America with a great platform on which to build. If America is to survive and prosper, the IGNORANT attacks that America's founders were old racist white men with wooden teeth must stop. Why? Because it is a LIE!!!

I could write at length about this issue alone, but I will provide two simple facts.

Firstly, please close your eyes and imagine an actual racist (no, not your typical Donald Trump supporter). Imagine how they look, how they sound, what words they use and everything down to what aftershave they wear. Got that vision? Good. Now try imagining that vile, disgusting racist say the following:

ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL!

Did your vision say those words? Do you think people like David Duke would say them, let alone sign their name to a statement declaring this as a self-evident principle for the world to see?

Answer: NO!

The second fact requires you to have a reading of history before America. Thomas Jefferson could have very easily left these five powerful words out entirely or just use the accepted language of the day from the Magma Carta which stated:

"All FREE men are created equal."

If Jefferson and the founders were racist, why did they improve on the language of the day and declare this truth as self-evident?

If ...the founders were racist, why did they improve on the language of the day and declare this truth as self-evident?

5 FORGOTTEN FOUNDERS

If you look at culture and politics today, you will notice a common theme where everyone just wants to win, regardless of the cost. Society tells us winning is everything, and there is no room for failure. Is this true? Can society progress really progress without failure and sacrificing everything they have for the greater good?

American history is so vast and deep that it can be straightforward to focus on the great and famous leaders who survived like Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison and Franklin.

This particular weekend, I would like to briefly highlight three patriots who took the ultimate risk by signing the Declaration of Independence. They lost everything, and are sadly forgotten by many who teach history.

JOHN HART: John was a widowed farmer in New Jersey with 12 kids. He was rich, well-known in society, and employed many. When he signed the Declaration, troops attacked his farm with orders to execute him in Hopewell. He fled and eventually died in hiding.

FRANCES LEWIS: Frank was involved in international business and made a fortune on the mercantile exchange. Like John, he was rich, powerful and employed many. When he signed, he returned to find armed troops at his home, taking possession of it. They arrested his wife, starved and mistreated her and although she was later released, she soon passed away due to the horrific treatment.

RICHARD STOCKTON: Richard was a wealthy lawyer who studied at Princeton. He served on the New Jersey Supreme Court and had the respect of his peers. After signing, he was locked up, starved, tortured, and robbed of his possessions. His treatment was so bad that his final days were spent living on the charity of friends.

These brave men could have chosen a much easier road in life. They could have ignored the calls for Independence, paid any additional taxes to the King and still lived a great life. They had everything you would deem desirable in society -- money, earthly possessions, name recognition, and respect.

...these men... risked everything they had so everyone could have a brighter and freer tomorrow.

When they signed the Declaration of Independence, the only thing they could gain was an opportunity for absolute freedom. This ideal was so powerful that these men, and countless others, risked everything they had so everyone could have a brighter and freer tomorrow.

LESSON: Pursuing a higher aspiration is more important than winning.

Personal Request:

It is popular for Americans to say "Happy 4th" or "Happy 4th of July."

PLEASE STOP SAYING IT!

After reading this, realize how important and significant your founders to America and the world. It is disrespectful to them, their memory, their sacrifice, and everything they fought for. After all, would you go up to a Christian and say "Happy 25th?"

NOPE.

May I wish you and your exceptional nation a very HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

If you enjoyed this column, I released a special on The Blaze this week where I did a deep dive into the Declaration of Independence with KrisAnne Hall. You can listen for free on Apple or Spotify or The Blaze.

Glenn Beck predicts average Americans will not be eating beef in the future, thanks to America's current monopoly on meat processing that is all but destroying the small farmer.

There's already talk of switching to lab-engineered or plant-based "meat" and severely limiting how much land is used for cattle grazing. One of the strongest voices in Congress pushing back against these plans is Congressman Thomas Massie (R-Ky.).

Rep. Massie joined Glenn on the radio program to explain how farmers are being demolished by big-market regulations, but also to share some ways Congress can fight back. He gives an update on his efforts to pass the PRIME Act and solve the looming meat crises, without getting the government too involved.

Watch the video clip below for more details:

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Retired U.S. Navy Chief Master-at Arms Sean Cahill is an eyewitness to the well-documented "Nimitz encounters" with unidentified aerial phenomena, or UPA — otherwise known as UFOs.

Cahill joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail exactly what he — and others — witnessed and to explain why the nine-page report on UFOs recently released by Congress isn't as lacking in information as some are saying.

In 2004, Cahill was stationed on board the missile cruiser USS Princeton, which along with the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, was part of a Navy carrier strike group conducting training exercises off the coast of Southern California. He told Glenn that Senior Chief Operations Specialist Kevin Day reported multiple "strange and worrisome" anomalous contacts on the Princeton's state-of-the-art radar system.

"[Day] had been picking up anomalous contacts on the AEGIS radar system that were coming in at sub-orbital altitudes, then going down to 80,000 feet," Cahill said. "And then, what was spectacular, was that they were immediately translating down to sea level. And then there were groups of them proceeding in a southerly direction, against the wind."

"This was so strange and worrisome to Kevin, that he began a series of diagnostics," he continued. "He and a radar tech named Voorhis, both rebooted the system numerous times. They double-checked everything, triple-checked. And finally, Kevin went to our captain and said, 'Sir, I'm pretty sure that we have real contacts. These are not ghosts in the system, based on the upgrade.'"

"It's highly unusual and frankly impossible for most of our vehicles that aren't ballistic weapons systems, because to de-orbit a craft requires a certain specific set of maneuvers to reenter the atmosphere," he added. "So, not only were these appearing beyond where the AEGIS radar system could pick them up, they were in space. They were then translating down to an altitude that even our best aircraft don't operate very well at."

Cahill went on to explain how air defensemen, sent to attempt an intercept of the UAP, observed an area of "roiling" water approximately the size of a 737 aircraft. "And around it, were these Tic Tac-shaped objects that were matte white in color, approximately 30 feet long, with no control surfaces. No means of compulsion. No markings, whatsoever. And they were darting around, instantaneously, like ping-pong balls" he said.

"What we encountered that week was unlike anything we had ever seen before," Cahill continued. "The night that the pilots returned with the gun camera footage, before we had seen it on board Princeton, I was out on the port side bridge wing with the port watch. Approximately 45 degrees up in the sky, at 2,000 feet off the port bow, I saw five to seven lights in a completely clear and cloudless sky. It was about 10 o'clock at night, and these five to seven lights all moved toward the center of their formation that they were in, and each instantaneously disappeared. They blinked out. But they didn't show any kind of movement or propulsion."

"This action completely matched what we were seeing on radar. And completely matched what the pilots returned with on the gun camera footage," he said. "The next morning, when myself and the other chief petty officers witnessed that video, we were astonished. We knew that immediately what we were looking at."

Watch the video clip below for more details:

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The Biden White House is working overtime on the great reset of energy. A major part of the president's agenda is focused on the leftist pipe dream of the U.S. reaching net zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050.

On "Glenn TV" Wednesday, Glenn Beck exposes the fine print, dirty secrets, and very inconvenient truths about the Left's green agenda to "save the world." The Left's solutions of solar, wind, and electric vehicles are driven by climate change hysteria that will doom America to long-term failure and submission to our foreign enemies. But as Glenn reveals, not everything is as green as it's being sold to you.

Watch the full episode below:


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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.