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The Jack Phillips Case Is About More Than Wedding Cakes

It’s important for artisans of all persuasions to be able to conduct their business according to their beliefs.

Today, the Supreme Court will hear the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission . The implications of this case go far beyond whether a baker should be forced to bake cakes for same-sex weddings. The larger issue is whether any business providing service to the public at large can refuse service for reasons on conscience.

Two amicus briefs demonstrate how the case reaches far beyond Phillips and his refusal to place a same-sex wedding topper on a cake. The first , by several bakers from across the country, explains the artistry involved in cake making.

While these artists did not write for or against any party in their brief, they explain that the creative process involved in making cakes is just as intricate and expressive as songwriting, painting, or web design. Cake artists must use visual-art skills such as painting, drawing, and sculpting, and they must be able to create a unified whole from a series of individual artistic elements, such as textures, photographs, three-dimensional objects, and color. In fact, custom cake design is so artistic that artists’ designs can be protected under federal intellectual property law.

The second , by hundreds of creative professionals from all 50 states and Puerto Rico, delves into the issue of conscience and why it’s important for artisans of all ideologies and persuasions to be able to conduct their business according to their beliefs.

Should an African-American supporter of ‘Black Lives Matter’ be required to make and design a cake for white nationalist function? Must a graphic designer who supports gun control create advocacy literature for the National Rifle Association? Is an atheist photographer obliged to take and publish pictures of a Christian baptism?

The answer to any reasonable person should be, “no.” The Founding Fathers made freedom of religion and freedom of speech part of the first amendment in the Bill of Rights for a reason: the importance of staying true to one’s conscience and deeply held beliefs stands far above any business interest.

This case before the Supreme Court today is about more than cakes. It’s about more than same-sex marriage – or marriage in general. It’s about American entrepreneurs and their right to conduct their business according to their convictions.

And that’s why Jack Phillips and his legal team deserve our prayers.

I remember back when an artist painted a picture of the Virgin Mary and threw dung on it. I was appalled but I did not want it removed. The artist stayed true to their convictions...religion is BS. I am sure there were religious leaders clamoring for the painting to be taken down and it was their right to be appalled as well...each had a right to stay true to their convictions. The baker’s religious conviction also led him to not make Halloween cakes, again his decision to make and it is my opinion to think that is going a little overboard but again I respect this man’s conviction not to make that cake.

And Mr. Phillips will make ordinary cakes for anyone, any time. It's just his artistic talent that goes into the decorating that he won't use for cakes that will be used in celebrations that go against his beliefs. And for that I applaud him.

Mr. Phillips' attorney Kristen Waggoner was so spot on and very compelling in her arguments and seemed to really have the attention of the Justices that they let her go way over her allotted time. Arguing that the case is about speech and being compelled to say that which you don't believe and that the couple could have bought any ready made cake in his shop but he would not custom make a cake and topper that went against his beliefs.

Here is a video done by Steven Crowder in which he did a "Veritas"-like expose on a Muslim Baker. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgWIhYAtan4

MissMo, I remember the artwork to which you refer, "Virgin Dung", an image of the Virgin Mary stained with dung. The issue with "Virgin Dung" was the same as the issue with "Piss Christ" (Christ on The Cross sited in a jar of urine), not the artwork per se, but rather the venue in which is was to/did appear, - a publicly funded institution (museum). Those who wished the artwork not be displayed were not claiming it shouldn't be seen, but rather that a taxpayer funded institution was not an appropriate venue. Most people (bound to be one or two) wouldn't have demanded removal from a private gallery (which I think Virgin Dung was moved to), but the universe of taxpayers should not be required to fund the display of art intended to insult a significant portion of that universe.