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Hey Christians, Say Goodbye To Religious Freedom


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hey-christians-say-goodbye-to-religious-freedomThe Federalist:

Just in case you need a refresher: Back in 2012, a baker in the Denver suburb of Lakewood was asked by a gay couple to make them a wedding cake—two years before gay marriage was even legalized in Colorado. The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Jack Phillips, declined to participate in Charlie Craig and David Mullins’ celebration, because such an event conflicted with his Christian faith.

 

Here are a few things Phillips didn’t do: He didn’t query costumers about their sexual preferences. He didn’t bar same-sex couples from purchasing a cake at a place of public accommodation. He didn’t ask consumers traveling in same-sex pairs to leave his shop. He didn’t hang a ‘No Gays Allowed’ sign in his window.

 

What he could never have known when he first opened his shop was that celebrating gay marriages would be a precondition for making a living. And when you consider that there are at least a few dozen other bakeries within a short drive from Masterpiece Cakeshop that could have accommodated the couple’s celebratory pastry needs, why would he?

 

Yet, instead of exhibiting a basic level of tolerance (or dignity), two priggish bullies decided to call the authorities when Phillips refused to bake them a cake. And the cultural commissars at Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission soon ruled that he had discriminated against the couple.

 

The shop was not only ordered to alter store policy and start baking cakes for gay weddings or face debilitating fines, as is often reported in the media, but it also was forced to provide comprehensive staff training, ensure compliance, and then file quarterly obedience reports with the government for two years describing precisely what remedial measures it had taken to conform and document why any other patrons were denied service.Scissors-32x32.png


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Defining Ideas

The Government’s Civil Rights Bullies

by Richard A. Epstein

Monday, September 26, 2016

 

Earlier this month, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued its report Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties. The report, which was occasioned in part by the same-sex marriage debate, tries to determine the correct relationship between antidiscrimination laws and the First Amendment’s protection of the free exercise of religion. Currently, persons of religious faith have been legally charged with discrimination under state antidiscrimination laws for refusing to provide their individualized services to same-sex couples because they sincerely believe that marriage is a relationship existing only between one man and one woman. The question is: should they be granted a religious exemption?

 

The report’s title, Peaceful Coexistence, conveys, perhaps unintentionally, a grim social reality in the United States. Historically, of course, it described the uneasy relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. In that context, the phrase described how two nations, organized under radically different principles, could avoid the dangers of mutual annihilation through nuclear warfare.

 

The Chairman of the USCCR, Martin Castro, recently commented publicly that “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ . . . remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy, or any form of intolerance.” Scissors-32x32.png

http://www.hoover.org/research/governments-civil-rights-bullies

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