Well, well, well. Look who’s here!
I haven’t seen you in many a year
If I knew you were comin’, I’d’ve baked a cake, baked a cake, baked a cake
If I knew you were comin’, I’d’ve baked a cake
Howdya do, howdya do, howdya do?
Yeah, not that cake. Sorry. How about a blueberry muffin?
So goes the theme tune to poor Jack Phillips’s life. The baker and owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., is a Christian with traditional views on marriage and sexual morality. In 2012, he declined to bake a custom cake for a same-sex wedding on religious grounds and was, as a consequence, hauled all the way to the Supreme Court by monomaniacal activists. Phillips won on the grounds that the commission had expressed “clear and impermissible hostility” to his beliefs. But as Phillips’s defense team explained, he didn’t refuse the customer on the basis of sexuality or any other characteristic, but rather refused a specific product, because it expressed sentiments contrary to his religious beliefs.
Oh, I don’t know where you came from
’Cause I don’t know where you’ve been
But it really doesn’t matter
Grab a chair and fill your platter
And dig, dig, dig right in
As the song goes.
Now, after all that, Phillips is back in the dock because he wouldn’t bake a cake for the celebratory occasion of “gender transition.” If you are wondering what such a joyous occasion might look like, consider the “farewell-to-penis party” in the reality-TV show I Am Jazz. During this “party,” Jazz, a 17-year-old male, hacked at a phallus-shaped cake with a knife, shouting, “Let’s cut it off,” as a room full of adults beamed and cooed. Do you have to be Christian to want no part in that? I would suggest not.
As it happens, the aggressor in this instance, an individual called Autumn Scardina, first requested a cake, pink on the inside and blue on the outside, “intended for the celebration of my transition from male to female.” Phillips declined to do this on the same grounds he declined to make the cake for the same-sex wedding. Next, Scardina requested a cake depicting Satan smoking a joint. And again, Phillips declined.
Here’s some hopeful analysis on Phillips’s chances of victory from Bill McGurn:
The good news is that there are some encouraging recent precedents from the Supreme Court should Mr. Phillips end up there again. In a 5-4 decision in Nifla v. Becerra (2018), for example, the court ruled that California couldn’t force pro-life crisis pregnancy centers to post information about how to obtain a state-funded abortion—in effect, advertising for the very thing they exist to oppose.
Meanwhile, in Janus v. Afscme (2018)—the court ruled 5-4 to strike down an Illinois law requiring public employees to pay fees to unions that support political speech these workers may object to. Since these cases, the Supreme Court has likely grown even stronger on upholding the faithful’s First Amendment rights, with Brett Kavanaugh replacing Anthony Kennedy and Amy Coney Barrett replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
And here’s Eileen Barton to lead us out: