Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Religious Liberty In America Weighed In The Balances...

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After 5 years of enduring homosexual activists' attempts--- using the power of the government--- to strip Jack Phillips of his religious liberty---his freedom---it came down to one and half hours before the highest Court in the land.

Yesterday, Jack made his case for freedom before the most powerful justices in America based on a document that is housed about a mile from the Supreme Court building.

The question?

Does the United States government have the authority under the Constitution to punish a citizen because of his deeply held religious beliefs? Can the state force citizens to act in violation of their conscience?

Jack Phillips and those who represent him spent an hour and a half yesterday before the highest court in the land---the most powerful justices in America.

America's Constitution is housed barely a mile from where they stood.

Ironically, the Christian baker, who came before the Court as a symbol of tens of thousands of people of faith, wasn't demanding anything his adversaries, and all progressives don't already enjoy.

He was simply asking for the same tolerance to live and work according to his beliefs.

Much will be written about this case---now and for years to come, because so much hangs in the balance.

Our Founding Fathers birthed this nation on the Truth that God, not government, is the author of freedom.

Jack Phillips lost that freedom when his conscience clashed with so-called "same-sex marriage."

When he declined to create a "wedding" cake for 2 men, 5 years ago, his life forever changed.

Family Research Council says, "The Colorado Civil Rights Commission swooped in and hauled Jack to court. Surrendering his beliefs, Jack was told, is the price of doing business. Liberals, meanwhile, went to work destroying his shop, Masterpiece Cakes, launching a fierce social media campaign in an attempt to siphon off customers. Phillips eventually stopped creating any wedding cakes as the case made its way through the courts---a decision that cost his family 40% of its income."

FRC said, "Outside the Supreme Court, Jack explained, 'Though I serve everyone who comes into my shop, like many other creative professionals, I don't create custom designs for events or messages that conflict with my conscience... I am here at the Supreme Court today because I respectfully declined to create a custom cake that would celebrate a view of marriage in direct conflict with my faith's core teachings on marriage. I offered to sell the two gentlemen suing me anything else in my shop or to design a cake for them for another occasion.' It's hard to believe, he went on, 'that the government is forcing me to choose between providing for my family and employees and violating my relationship with God. That is not freedom. That is not tolerance'."

He's right. Homosexual activists have weaponized the US government for their own purposes and agenda.

So what happened inside the courtroom?

Inside, the justices grilled Jack's attorney, Alliance Defending Freedom's Kristen Waggnor, a Christian attorney and friend of mine from Seattle. Far Left progressive Justice Elana Kagan---an Obama appointee--- about what exactly constitutes an "artist." "What about a florist, a chef, or a make-up artist?" she asked.

Kristen also represents Barronnel Stutzman, and others faced with similar challenges. Justice Stephen Breyer said, "Obviously we want a distinction that will not undermine every single civil rights law."

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, also an Obama appointee, was openly hostile to Jack's position, arguing that protecting him would result in a gay couple being "left on the side of the highway."

Most people are watching Justice Anthony Kennedy because most feel he will be the swing vote in this case.

A few years ago, Kennedy tilted the Court in its decisions on so-called "same-sex marriage" facilitating the legal redefinition of marriage under Obama.

However, his words and demeanor yesterday indicated he is not buying the homosexual's case. We'll see.

When the Colorado Solicitor General insisted that what Jack had done was "despicable," Kennedy reacted.

He said, "Tolerance is essential in a free society. And tolerance is most meaningful when its mutual. It seems to me that the state in its position here has been neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillip's religious beliefs."

"There are," he said, "other shops."

Justice Samuel Alito then asked why Colorado would let other bakers off the hook for declining other messages, but punished Jack---"especially when same-sex marriage was still unlawful in the state at the time."

How will the Court rule?

The ruling is expected in late July.

Based on the demeanor, the questions and the comments by the Court today, I believe there's reason to be cautiously encouraged.

Think Progress, a far Left activist organization, seems to share that view. Yesterday they lamented in an article published after the hearing, "The LGBTQ Rights just had a horrible day in the Supreme Court."

Here is the concern: The Supreme Court could quite narrow, invalidating this particular ruling because of say, poorly worded statements by one or two state commissioners, but leave intact Colorado and other states' ability to enforce their civil rights laws as long as they watch their tongues.

On the other hand, the Court's decision could be sweeping in regard to religious freedom.

FRC said, "As Americans, consensus on religious freedom has historically recognized our God-given right to live all aspects of our lives according to our faith. That hasn't changed. Attempting to confine religious conviction to the four walls of a church isn't freedom, it's tyranny."

About 68% of Americans agree with Jack Phillips.

Yesterday, America was weighed in the balances. Most likely in July, we will find out if our country has been found wanting---or if we will reaffirm the Judeo-Christian beliefs upon which our country was founded.

There is a reason our Founding Fathers chose to inscribe, "Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all inhabitants thereof" (Leviticus 25:10).

Pray that the Supreme Court will rule to affirm the beliefs of our Founding Fathers and of a large majority in our country today. And religious liberty will be proclaimed throughout all the land.

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