The 'Masterpiece Cakeshop' ruling is actually a win for LGBT rights

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On Monday, the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in the now infamous Masterpiece Cakeshop case. Then all hell broke loose. After the Court ruled that a Christian baker didn't have to provide a customized cake for a same-sex marriage he objected to, Democrats eager to appease the LGBT community quickly voiced their outrage. Senate Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi even called the ruling a violation of "fundamental rights" that "fails to uphold equality."

But I'm gay and pro-gay marriage, and even after this decision, I don't think the sky is falling. If anything this ruling, albeit narrow in scope, is a win for individual freedom and the First Amendment — and in the long run, it will be a victory for the gay community as well.

RELATED: The Supreme Court dodged 'the bigger question' in same-sex wedding cake case

Let's consider the facts of the case. The left tried to portray the Masterpiece case as a fight for gay rights — CNN even ran multiple headlines calling it a "same-sex marriage case" — but this case was never really about gay marriage. It's about whether gay couples can force others to participate in their wedding ceremonies even when it violates their religious beliefs. Jack Phillips is a Christian baker who was punished by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission after he declined to provide a customized wedding cake to a gay couple because he didn't want to provide an implicit endorsement of a same-sex union. This raises a complex First Amendment question: Do business owners have free speech rights?

This case was never really about gay marriage.

The best answer for everyone, including LGBT people, is an emphatic yes. Business owners are people, and they shouldn't be forced to violate their beliefs to accommodate someone else's convenience. The gay couple in this case could have gotten a cake made for their wedding almost anywhere, but decided they wanted to try and force a Christian baker to serve them. At first glance this might seem harmless — or even appealing if you support gay marriage like I do — but it's dangerous. If Phillips can be forced to bake a cake for a gay wedding, why couldn't a gay baker be forced to bake a cake that says "God hates gay people?"

This almost happened. The same Colorado Civil Rights Commission that ruled against Phillips declined to pursue action against a gay baker in a 2014 case where he refused to serve a Christian activist who wanted anti-gay bible verses inscribed on a cake. But religious affiliation is a protected class just like sexual orientation, so before the Masterpiece ruling, the government could have cracked down on the gay baker and forced him to violate his beliefs as well. Other more conservative state regulatory bodies probably would have. So this ruling isn't just a win for Phillips — it's a win for all Americans who want to live a free society where they can't be forced to compromise their conscience.

Tolerance can't be forced.

Tolerance can't be forced. Activists who really want to increase LGBT acceptance need to seriously rethink their approach, because using the court system or government force to push your ideology onto others only fosters more resistance. Attitudes toward gay marriage are already shifting in a positive direction, but the 30 percent of the country still in opposition can't be convinced through coercion. The left insists that this case is about "gay rights," but no one has the right to force their beliefs onto others — and that kind of ideological animosity isn't exactly endearing. It often backfires, and isn't the way to truly promote tolerance or acceptance.

If anything, this decision didn't go far enough. The Court ruled 7-2 in favor of the baker, but it was a narrow ruling in scope, and it didn't hand down any broad declarations protecting free speech or individual conscience rights. The Court focused on the facts of this case, and cited the religious animosity shown by Colorado as an excuse to decline to set a precedent that could be broadly applied to future cases.

A broader pro-liberty decision would have done more to advance individual freedom, and could actually have expanded protections for LGBT Americans as a result. After all, at one time in American history, gay people were persecuted through anti-sodomy laws and even had their children taken away on account of their sexuality.

Surely the gay community can appreciate the necessity of individual freedom and the importance of protecting the First Amendment right to dissent from ideas you disagree with. In the Masterpiece case the Court narrowly protected this right — and in doing so, protected the same LGBT community it appeared to rule against.

Brad Polumbo is a writer for Young Voices. His work has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Federalist, Fox News and National Review.

In June, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips after he had refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex wedding. So, the Left is after him again.

Phillips says that on the same day of the Supreme Court decision, he received a call from an attorney asking him to make a cake that fades from blue to pink to celebrate his gender transition. Phillips again refused. He has also been harassed by the same attorney with multiple requests for cakes celebrating everything from drug use to Satanism. Naturally, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission is going after Phillips for discrimination. Again.

RELATED: The 'Masterpiece Cakeshop' ruling is actually a win for LGBT rights

Well, Phillips has understandably had enough. This week he filed a lawsuit against the state of Colorado. In the lawsuit, Phillips says his family lost 40 percent of its income due to the harassment he has received. He also says he and his employees were forced to complete a "reeducation program" about not exercising his faith at work.

In the Declaration of Independence, just before the list of specific grievances against King George III, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

"To prove this [talking about the king's tyranny], let Facts be submitted to a candid world."

The Left isn't interested in liberty and justice for all.

I wonder, do candid citizens in the U.S. notice that the tyranny against personal liberty, and religious liberty is not coming from the Right? Really, you would think that the Left would be all about the anything goes, to each his own kind of philosophy. "You do you," that's the typical Leftist philosophy, isn't it? It's certainly the spirit of postmodernism.

But the Left isn't interested in liberty and justice for all. They're interested in liberty and justice only for their vetted list of oppressed groups.

The Left is also pretty confident in its ownership of the "bigot" label to slap on whomever it deems necessary. But let's just go ahead and say it since no one else will – the Left is bigoted toward Christianity. This has nothing to do with the state of Colorado defending LGBT rights, and everything to do with their contempt for Jack Phillips' religious beliefs.

You know you're in for trouble any time an article begins with the following words: "These have been challenging times to be white in America."

Oh. I see where this is going:

People who aren't white may find this surprising. After all, it has been decades since white people could feel so free about loving their whiteness, or so openly celebrate whiteness, or talk about how much they relish being white and doing white activities.

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Those are the opening lines of a recent NBC News op-ed- titled "Are 'white people' jokes racist? Let a fellow white person explain." I mean, it would make for incredible satire. I mean, if it were mocking the outrageous postmodern mental gymnastics of the modern Left, this article would be awe-inducing in its satirical prowess. Alas, it is not. It's real. The author, somehow, means what he's writing.

You know the routine: Racism against white people isn't a real thing. It's a clever mechanism which allows that racism against white people is purely linguistic, based on the idea that power determines who can say what.

You know the routine: Racism against white people isn't a real thing.

The idea is embodied by the entire article, but one sentence in particular smacks of it: "one of the great things about being white is that you'll never have to know what racism feels like (on the receiving end anyway)."

I think I know what it feels like. It feels like someone is judging based entirely on my skin color. Kinda like this entire article about how white people cannot be judged based entirely on their skin color. How does that not make sense?

The great censorship jihad continue'ith. And maybe one of the most bizarre developments in this war is how members of the media have formed a Caliphate to wage this jihad. There are actually beat reporters from the mainstream media, hanging on every word Alex Jones says with the hopes of catching him violating social media terms of service rules.

If these mainstream media jihadis catch Jones in the act of saying anything haram - or forbidden - they instantly charge the battlefield and pummel companies like Twitter with examples of how their rules are being infringed upon. Their strategy bared more fruit yesterday. Twitter, one of the last platforms Alex Jones still had, slapped him with a seven-day ban.

RELATED: Alex Jones BANNED?!

I just can't understand where the Media Caliphate is coming from here. When you're in the business of and count on, the free flow of information, is it not counter-productive to your business model to advocate for censorship? Do you not see the slippery slope you're on? Look, I get it. You think Alex Jones is looney tunes and maybe even dangerous, but silencing ideas and information should never be the answer.

Countering crazy and dangerous speech with rational and sane speech should be your mission… not censorship. You're helping Jones get silenced and cheering it on, but what will you do when someone comes to censor you? Because that's where this is headed.

But while the call for jihad was raised for Alex Jones, and silence now falls on his Twitter account, these accounts still have full access. The Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, Beverly Hills Antifa, Antifa Philadelphia… there are more Antifa twitter accounts than I have time to mention.

The radical Left is so well represented on Twitter, you'd think they have their own private office at Twitter headquarters right next to Jack. The Revolutionary Communist Party of America is but one still posting and calling for things like - you know - just the violent takeover of the U.S. government.

I hope the advocates for censorship enjoy these early victories because it won't be long before the monster they're unleashing turns on the master.

But the Media Caliphate isn't calling for their social media heads. They just want people like Alex Jones and Gavin McGinnis to shut up. I sure it doesn't have anything to do with - no it couldn't be - this is crazy talk, but both Jones and McGinnis work for rival media outlets and deliver rival narratives to the mainstream media.

I'm sure that has nothing to do with it. If smaller outlets like CRTV and Infowars are cutting into their viewership and stealing their YouTube and Social Media clicks, would it benefit the Caliphate to come at them full bore on a digital battlefield where they're currently getting their butts kicked? You bet it would, but that's just crazy talk.

I hope the advocates for censorship enjoy these early victories because it won't be long before the monster they're unleashing turns on the master.

How could you say no to that face?

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Do you trust your own ability to unplug from technology? Some people born before the 1990s are wearing it as a badge of honor now – that they quit Facebook, or they do a regular technology fast.

We like to think we're not overly dependent on technology, while posting on social media about how old-school we are. That's all well and good until the technology starts giving you puppy dog eyes and producing digital crocodile tears. What if your robot begs you not to turn it off? Will you still do it?

RELATED: Glenn's Predictions on Technology and AI for 2018

This isn't science fiction anymore. It's right around the corner. And if you're skeptical whether humans will treat robots like a family member, a new study might alter your view.

Researchers in Germany set up an experiment to examine how people treat robots when the robots act like humans. Each human participant was asked to work with a robot named Nao to create a weekly schedule and answer a series of questions.

What the participants didn't know was that completing the tasks was just a way for the researchers to find out what they were really interested in – how the participant's interaction with Nao would affect their ability to shut down the robot when asked.

Half of the participants were asked to shut down Nao without the robot protesting. But the other half of the participants heard Nao plead with them, saying: "No! Please do not switch me off! I am scared that it will not brighten up again!"

Of the 43 people who heard Nao's plea, 13 chose not to turn him off. Some said they felt sorry for him, others that they didn't want to act against his will.

The other 30 people did turn him off, but they took twice as long on average to do so than the group that did not hear the robot's plea.

Our 2018 problems will suddenly seem very quaint.

The experiment confirms previous research demonstrating that humans are prone to treat technology, especially robots with human-like traits, as living beings.

Now, take this human tendency, and fast-forward a few years in the future when robots will look, sound, and act human, and know everything about us. Our 2018 problems will suddenly seem very quaint.