Monday, September 11, 2017

Trump Administration Supports Christian Baker--ACLU "Shocked"

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

The Trump administration has outlined its support for Christian baker Jack Phillips to the Supreme Court.

The support is strong. Very strong.

The ACLU says they are "shocked."

Their shock is understandable in that they had become accustomed to 8 years of the Obama Administration pushing the envelope of the homosexual agenda---to the point of circumventing the Constitution as needed.

Phillips has been dragged through the courts since he declined to bake a cake for a so-called same-sex "wedding" in 2012.

Now, after 5 years, he has his day in Court---and so does every single American who cherishes religious freedom and freedom of religious expression.

And so does every Christian baker, florist, photographer and venue owner.

CNN is reporting that this case is one of the most important cases to be heard this term by the Supreme Court.

Indeed it is. The ruling in this case will impact the freedom of religion and freedom of religious expression for every American.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) released a statement that said in part:

WASHINGTON – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips and his family business, Masterpiece Cakeshop, filed their opening brief Thursday with the U.S. Supreme Court. In June, the high court agreed to weigh in on whether the government can force him to create a custom wedding cake celebrating a same-sex ceremony in violation of his faith.
“Tolerance should be a two-way street. Phillips gladly serves anyone who walks into his store, but, as is customary practice for many artists, he declines opportunities to design for a variety of events and messages that conflict with his deeply held beliefs. In this case, Jack told the couple suing him he’d sell them anything in the store but just couldn’t design a custom cake celebrating their wedding because of his Christian faith,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner. “The First Amendment protects Jack’s right to create artistic expression that is consistent with his core convictions. Individuals can support both same-sex marriage and Jack, and people should have the right to disagree on critical matters of conscience. The same government that can force Jack to violate his faith and conscience can force any one of us to do the same.”
The brief argues that the government cannot coerce Phillips to create custom artistic expression that violates his conscience, and that the justices should affirm this longstanding constitutional principle.

ADF also said,  “Phillips is a man of deep religious faith whose beliefs guide his work. Those beliefs inspire him to love and serve people from all walks of life, but he can only create cakes that are consistent with the tenets of his faith."

CNN says the filing by the government is significant, in part, as it indicates the difference between the two administrations---Obama and Trump.

Steve Vladeck, professor at the University of Texas Law School,  told CNN, "It's not unusual for the federal government to file an amicus brief in such an important case...But what makes this brief unusual is its substance. It's practically unheard of for the Justice Department to argue in favor of a constitutional exemption to anti-discrimination laws---a constitutional right to discriminate. But that's exactly what this brief is doing."

Not true. It's arguing in favor of religious freedom and freedom of religious expression---and against special rights.

Louise Melling with the ACLU says, "This Justice Department has already made its hostility to the rights of LGBT people and so many others crystal clear. But this brief was shocking, even for this administration. What the Trump Administration is advocating for is nothing short of a constitutional right to discriminate."

The Trump Administration brief says, "Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights."

It also says, "The government may not enact content-based laws commanding a speaker to engage in protected expression: An artist cannot be forced to paint, a musician cannot be forced to play, and a poet cannot be forced to write."

Justice Department spokesperson Lauren Ehrsam said the filing emphasizes that the "First Amendment protects the right of free expression for all Americans. Although public-accommodations laws serve important purposes, they---like other laws---must yield to individual freedoms that the First Amendment guarantees. That includes the freedom not to create expression for ceremonies that violate one's religious beliefs."

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is also leading a 20-state coalition in filing another amicus brief in support of Phillips.

While this matter may have a "shock" factor for the ACLU, it is the first fruits of answered prayer for Christians.

The US Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a committed Christian. And a committed constitutionalist.

Attorney Kristen Waggoner is leading this case on behalf of ADF. I know Kristen quite well. I am certain she is approaching this case with a great deal of preparation and prayer.

This ruling in this case will impact every other similar case.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's appointee to the Supreme Court, will help determine the Court's ruling.

The Trump Administration's support of Jack Phillips underscores another reason while tens of millions of evangelicals voted for Donald Trump.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.