The Religious Freedom of a Nation May Depend on One Small Cake Shop
Masterpiece Cakeshop, a small family business that sits opposite a car wash in the Mission Trace Shopping Center, has survived a Supreme Court case and is struggling through the pandemic.
The challenges of running a small business during shutdowns, food supply disruptions, and economic turmoil aren’t unique to the Colorado cakeshop which specializes in custom designed cakes. But Jack Philips, the cakeshop’s masterpiece creator, has also spent 8 years battling for his religious freedom.
And the struggling cakeshop off South Wadsworth is dealing with its third lawsuit.
“Since its birth in the fires of the French Revolution, the political left has been at war with religion,” David Horowitz wrote in Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America.
Eight years is a short time to wait to destroy a cake shop in a struggle that has gone on for centuries.
Jack Philips is a devout Christian. Masterpiece Cakeshop is closed on Sundays. And while he loves detailing glazed flour petals for weddings, his art expresses his deepest moral convictions.
That’s why he won’t even bake cakes for Halloween.
Six years of religious persecution appeared to have ended when the Supreme Court ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had discriminated against Jack’s religious beliefs after the Commission had not only ordered him to make cakes celebrating gay weddings, but its members had compared his dissent to slavery, and rejected the idea that religious freedom deserves to be respected.
And yet the political mafia that had tormented him all these years made it clear that it wasn’t going to stop. DNC Chair Tom Perez vowed to continue the fight in a press release calling for “equality” in “bakeries”. 211 Congressional Democrats, including Senator Michael Bennett, and future Governor Jared Polis, had filed a brief against the small cakeshop. After the ruling, Polis vowed to “stand strong.”
The Human Rights Campaign, a massive LGBT lobby with a $43 million budget, had submitted not one, but two amicus briefs against the cakeshop. One of those briefs featured a variety of celebrity chefs who make more in one day than Masterpiece Cakeshop and Jack Philips have in their entire existence.
The HRC claims to have raised $20 million for Obama.
The entire Left, from LGBT pressure groups like GLAAD, to the SEIU, the NAACP, the American Psychological Association, the American Bar Association, the cities of Los Angeles and New York, and even the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, poured down briefs.
They weren’t going to leave Jack alone.
And so, the Supreme Court ruling didn’t provide much of a break for the small family business which had been forced to cut its staff and get out of the wedding cake business entirely to avoid more lawsuits.
The radicals seeking a confrontation began placing orders for cakes with Satan, upside down crosses or pentagrams on them. Philips believed that one of his tormentors was Autumn ‘Adam’ Charlie Scardina, a local lawyer, who at one point allegedly tried to order a red-and-black cake with an image of Satan on it.
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission has yet to determine that there is a civil right that obligates a Christian baker to design and bake a cake with Satan on it, but after the Supreme Court took up the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, Scardina called to order a gender transition cake and was turned down.
Scardina then filed a complaint. That was in 2017.
The timing of the attempted order, “moments after news broke that the U.S. Supreme Court would hear Jack’s first case”, makes it obvious that this was not a legitimate attempt to obtain a cake, but a fallback legal strategy to continue the harassment in case the Supreme Court ruled for religious liberty.
The Commission found Jack liable for not making Scardina’s gender transition cake. But the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the small business, sued the state for discrimination. And the Colorado AG agreed to drop the case if the cakeshop would drop its suit. Instead of appealing the dismissal, Scardina sued the cakeshop in the District Court for the City and County of Denver.
The lawyer is demanding over $100,000 and a jury trial to punish Jack for the cake that wasn’t.
Scardina had not been placing an order in good faith, but seeking to entrap the cakeshop by first placing an order for a birthday cake and then announcing that it was also a gender transition cake.
That’s not how you order a cake, but that’s how a radical familiar with the law entraps a good man. And Scardina’s site is titled, “Attorney and Activist”. While Scardina accuses Philips of deception, it’s the “attorney and activist” who was being deceptive by misleadingly structuring the cake request.
Scardina claimed to have heard ads for Masterpiece Cakeshop in 2017 and ordered the cake in a “hopeful” mood. In fact, Scardina had been harassing Philips since 2012, sending him taunting emails that mocked his religion. The Satan cakes alone suggest a calculated pattern of harassment.
Despite claiming that the cake was needed to celebrate Scardina’s gender transition, the name Autumn appears all the way back in 2013 paperwork for the Adams County Department of Human Services. It even appears in the records of the California Bar Association. Since Scardina moved to Colorado in 2008, that cake order would have been a very belated celebration of the alleged gender transition.
The lawyer harassing Masterpiece Cakeshop had been working for Adams County for seven years. Scardina is familiar with the system and is exploiting it to harass a religious man for his beliefs.
Jack Philips won two lawsuits, one initiated by Scardina’s complaint to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, but no matter how many legal cases he wins, the harassment campaign continues.
After the Supreme Court cracked down on the Commission’s hostility to Jack’s religious beliefs, his tormentors decided to pursue a strategy of more directly harassing him through the courts.
Paula Greisen, the lawyer who is representing Scardina, also represented Craig and Mullins, the gay couple who had originally sued Masterpiece Cakeshop, making this the case that never ends.
The Left has the resources to continue harassing, threatening, and suing Philips indefinitely.
If Scardina loses, the next case has almost certainly already been prepped and waiting in the wings. The Left will not stop until it has smashed a small cakeshop tucked into the side of a shopping center.
Can one small business owner who is already on the brink stand up to 8 more years of this? The religious freedom of a nation may hinge on the determination of one cakemaker to resist a machine of hate.
As the Alliance Defending Freedom filing notes, “Phillips has suffered enough. The state’s past prosecutions generated death threats and vandalism and cost Phillips seven years of his life, 40% of his family income, and most of his employees — harms that endure even though he eventually won his legal fights. This crusade against Phillips and his faith should stop once and for all.”
What’s at stake is not a cake, but a primordial struggle between religion and a radical cult as David Horowitz had described in his groundbreaking book, Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America.
“Radicals in America today don’t have the political power to execute religious people and destroy their house of worship,” David Horowitz wrote in Dark Agenda. “Yet they openly declare their desire to obliterate religion.”
Destroying freedom of conscience is not a civil rights cause, but a crusade against religion.
The Supreme Court’s ruling penalized the egregious hostility by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to the very idea of religious freedom, but didn’t settle the fundamental First Amendment question at stake.
And as long as that question remains unsettled, the harassment will continue.
In defending his right not to bake a cake that violates his beliefs, Jack Philips and his small cakeshop stood in front of a vast national bulldozer that seeks to destroy the very idea of religious freedom. The Supreme Court victory by the beleaguered small business didn’t save his business, it made him a target.
The Left understands that destroying Jack, even if he wins every court case, will make an example out of him. And until the Supreme Court upholds his inalienable freedom to be true to his faith, not only Jack, but every person of conscience will have his or her freedom held hostage in Lakewood, Colorado.
Until the freedom of that small cakeshop is settled, none of us are truly free.
Article posted with permission from Daniel Greenfield