Colorado Harassing Same Baker Again, Even After Supreme Court Victory: Colorado is coming after Jack Phillips again – even after his Supreme Court victory! Jonathan Scruggs will be with us from Alliance Defending Freedom. Join us today as we discuss the new charges, where the case stands, and how Jack Phillips is keeping a Christian demeanor in the midst of all of it.
Air Date: 09/10/2018
Guest: Jonathan Scruggs
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture. Always from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.
We’re here with David Barton, he’s America’s premier historian and our founder here at WallBuilders. Tim Barton’s with us, he’s a national speaker and pastor, and he’s the president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislature.
Check us out at WallBuildersLive.com and WallBuilders.com. Two websites, two great resources for you. WallBuilders Live for the radio program, WallBuilders.com for those materials and tools that you can use to equip, inspire, and educate, yourself and your family, people in your church and your community. Kind of become a Paul Revere, actually spread the good news, spread the word, and help get other people engaged in the culture. Check all that out at WallBuilders.com and WallBuildersLive.com.
Later in the program, Jonathan Scruggs will be with us for an update, believe it or not, on the Jack Phillips case out of Colorado. They’re going after this guy again. David, Tim, can you believe this? We win at the Supreme Court and they decide to retaliate against him by bringing another claim against him for not wanting to use his gift and his art to participate, in this case, in a transgender– I don’t know what they call the celebration that they are transition or process–
Yeah, they’re transitioning. I just can’t imagine that they would pick on the same guy again.
What Jack Phillips is Going Through
Well, my first thought is, God bless Jack Phillips for what he is going through. When he was dealing with this, there were several times he was interviewed on national news programs and every time in the interview he just seems like a really soft spoken, a meek– this humble guy. He doesn’t seem like the left sometimes tries to portray him as this really intolerant, and bigoted, and hateful, guy. That’s not who he is at all. And after all that he went through – I don’t even remember how long, how many years is this court battle was – a year and a half two years, I don’t know what it was.
It was between four and five years.
Oh my goodness.
From the time it started to the time it hit the court.
So, for four or five years he’s having to deal with this emotional, this mental, this financial, burden. Actually, financial’s relative because Alliance Defending Freedom really gave of their time, energy, money, which is–
But it was financially because of the way it was advertised in Colorado. He lost business and everything else.
And that’s what I was going to say. So, he didn’t have to pay these legal fees because that’s– Alliance Defending Freedom is one of those great religious liberty groups who actually will donate their time, effort, energy, money. You don’t have to pay to have your religious liberty defended in these these kinds of situations. But, yeah, he lost a significant portion of his business, he’s harassed constantly, just all the things this guy has had to go through.
They’re Coming Back at Him
And then after he wins at the U.S. Supreme Court – after he wins – they come back and they come at him again. And actually, one of the things I saw during one of the interviews that I thought was very interesting – they were pointing out that it’s not just these really “controversial issues” and topics that he won’t make cakes for. He won’t do a Halloween cake, right. There’s several things that they went through this list and said, “Well, have you ever made one of these cakes?” “No, I don’t do those kind of cakes. I don’t do that kind of cake.” There’s a lot of cakes he doesn’t do.
And it just so happens that a couple of the cakes he doesn’t do are ones that the state has had issue with. And they’ve said, “Okay, well we are going to, in essence, crucify you and your position. We’re going to use you as the example. We’re going to basically hang you from the gallows up high enough for everybody to see, so they’ll know they can never do this.” Just God bless this guy for what he’s going through and actually keeping a Christian demeanor in the midst of all of it.
The other thing that stood out to me was what’s happening right now tells you a whole lot about the character of the opposition. Tim, you’re talking about the character of Jack Phillips and how it’s come out in this, and his demeanor, and how he is. On the other side is, “Okay, we lost at the Supreme Court. That is irrelevant. We’re going to take this guy down regardless of the fact the U.S. Supreme Court says we can’t.” So, it’s kind of like– in some ways it’s kind of like anarchy and lawlessness because if we were to ignore a Supreme Court decision that they agreed with, man, they would be all over us. Planned Parenthood would yell and say, “Hey, we got Roe v. Wade. You can’t ignore it.”
“Our Agenda for You”
So, these guys really kind of pick and choose. But the fact that they are determined to persecute this guy. And in America it used to be kind of hard to use the word “persecution” because it’s, agh, persecution in America is they said something bad about you. As opposed to persecution the Middle East where they impel you or behead you.
So, but Jack’s is now rising to a different kind a level. It’s not just an inconvenience. This is absolutely being targeted for your faith. It’s being set up, it’s an entrapment kind of a thing that they’re going to continue doing. And the– these are state officials in Colorado and they’ve sworn to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law.
So, this tells you something about the character of those really committed to the LGBTQ movement. Tolerance is not the deal. The rule of law is not the deal. “Our agenda is the deal and here’s what we’re going to do at all costs.” So, it really is striking to compare Jack Phillips to what the opposition is doing now.
And let’s not forget it’s not just the “This is our agenda for ourselves.” It’s “This is our agenda for you.”
We don’t get the freedom to do these things. Our agenda is we’re going make you participate. You will celebrate what we want to do even if it’s totally against your conscience. And it’s actually the ones who it is against their conscience that they most want to come force to participate in these things. So, just thankful that Jack Phillips is willing to say “no”, that there are attorneys that are willing to defend them, and defend them well, and that have the gift and the talent to do so.
So, thank the good Lord for these groups like Alliance Defending Freedom. Jonathan Scruggs from Alliance Defending Freedom is going to be with us when we come back from the break to update us on the situation. Stay with us. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
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Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Jonathan Scruggs with us from Alliance Defending Freedom. He’s senior counsel director of the Center for Conscience Initiatives there. Thanks for all you guys do at ADF, Jonathan. Thanks for coming on today.
Yeah, thanks so much for having me.
Hey, this is going to be a little bit surprising, I hope shocking, to folks. But had this great victory at the Supreme Court for Jack Phillips, The Masterpiece Cake Shop guy, and now the Colorado Commission is after him again. Is this really happening?
Is This Really Happening?
Yeah. It’s pretty unbelievable, right? Someone goes to the Supreme Court, wins their case, the Supreme Court declares that the state of Colorado was neither tolerant nor respectful to the beliefs of Jack Phillips. And then they turn around and effectively sue him again accusing him of violating the same law as before.
So, in this situation, the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear Jack’s case a lawyer called up Jack’s shop and said, essentially, “Hey, can you make me this cake to celebrate my gender transition.” Of course, Jack serves all people, but doesn’t convey all messages. He politely declined. That person filed a complaint with the state of Colorado and the state of Colorado validated that complaint and has sought to take Jack to the same administrative process as he went through the last time.
And how long did it take from the time the original complaint was filed to you guys getting before the Supreme Court, how long was that process?
Well, the state waited until after the Masterpiece decision came out, which is also ironic, right? It’s not like the state couldn’t say that they were ignorant of what the Supreme Court held.
Right, right, right. But what I mean is when we say, “He’s got to go through this process again” we’re talking about a multi-year process. It’s a long process.
Oh yeah, it’s years. Years and years of time. And you can imagine, Jack’s just a businessman. He’s just trying to operate his business according to the state. For him to be put through this whole process again after winning, how much stress and pressure that puts on his business, puts on this family. It really is a shame that Colorado has taken the same position and targeted Jack once again.
An Amazing Spirit
And he is kind of, because of the high profile case that this was, he’s had a lot of people harass him, asking him to do satanic cakes and all these different things, from what I understand. You know better than I do obviously, but from what I understand he has maintained a level of joy and love towards people that is kind of hard to even comprehend.
Yeah, it is. He really does, he has an amazing spirit. And it’s such an encouragement for us lawyers. We want to get him the relief that he deserves as quickly as possible. And like I said, to be put through this whole process again, to be receiving these complaints that effectively are trying to entrap him to violate the law.
And it isn’t his decision – how can he know what violates the law doesn’t when Colorado is going back on what the Supreme Court has ruled the first time.
How important is it, Jonathan, for people to realize– this could be construed in some ways as retaliation by certainly the community that’s going after him, but maybe even the Colorado commission retaliation for standing up for what’s right and for saying “no” to this agenda.
Yeah, you sort of play out– although a private attorney is the one who called him and made this request, he filed a complaint with the commission. And the commission could have just dismissed the complaint, right. It was up to the state to decide whether to pursue charges and the state has desired to go forward. And this is, again, in despite of the fact that the Supreme Court said that the state can’t play favorites and nothing has really changed since that first opinion.
How the Inconsistency Showed
One of the factors that the Supreme Court ruled on was that the state was allowing other cake artists to decline to create cakes they disagreed with, but they were forcing Jack to create cakes that he disagreed with. And that inconsistency showed that they were targeting Jack’s faith. It’s the same thing happening today. Nothing has changed.
Yeah, that was one of the things I thought in the case was most surprising that the Supreme Court called them out on their hypocrisy and said, “Look, you’re letting some individuals say there are certain messages we don’t want to be the one to convey with our art and with our gift.” And the commission was okay when that was a, what I would argue, is mostly leftist position. But if it was someone like Jack saying, “No, I don’t want to support or be part of a message that violates my religious conscience.” They said, “No, that’s not good enough. You have to. We’re going to make you convey a message that you disagree with.”
Yeah, it’s very frustrating. When Justice Kennedy wrote that opinion he conveyed a clear message and said, “Hey, Colorado, you’re not playing by the rules.” Colorado obviously has not received that message. So, we have to go to court again another time to defend Jack’s First Amendment rights.
What’s the best way for folks who are listening that are fed up with this stuff to help you to come alongside ADF? Obviously, contributions it at the website help you all continue to represent people for free. Praying for you guys. Contributions, prayer, what else can they be doing?
Yeah. Just go to the website and stay on top of not just Jack’s case, but we are representing people all across the country in similar cases. People are just trying to live out their faith. So, just be knowledgeable about that. There might be a case in your own backyard that you could be aware of.
The best way to find that out is on our website – www.ADFLegal.org.
ADFLegal.org. We’ll have a link today at WallBuildersLive.com to make it easy. Jonathan, keep up the great work, man, appreciate you guys at ADF so much. Keep doing what you’re doing. We’ll keep sending support.
Great. Thank you so much.
Stay with us, folks. We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.
Hi, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders and I want to encourage all the pastors out there with a unique opportunity that we’re presenting it WallBuilders. We’re doing a special tour just for pastors that you can come and learn more about the spiritual heritage of our nation. Not just seeing the sights but understanding the significance of what they are and what they represent.
We get to go to the Capitol at night. And we get to see the spiritual heritage of our Founding Fathers, of who we are as a nation, where we came from. We bring in congressman that will tell you about current legislation, about our religious liberties and freedom, and what’s going on in Washington, D.C.
If you’re a pastor or if you want to recommend your pastor for this trip, you can go to our website at www.WallBuilders.com. And there’s a link that’s for scheduling. If you click on that link there’s a section for pastor’s briefing. There’s more information about the dates, when it’s going, and how it’s going to happen. If you want to know more about our nation, our religious liberties, our freedom, our spiritual heritage, this is a trip you want to be a part of.
We’re back. Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Special thanks to Jonathan Scruggs for joining us from Alliance Defending Freedom.
And be sure and check out their website today, which we have a link today at our website WallBuildersLive.com, so you can get over there and not only follow Jack Phillips’ case, but also follow all of these other cases they’re involved with. And certainly also consider making a contribution to help them continue the good work that they’re doing.
Back with David and Tim Barton now. And, guys, it’s basically what we were thinking it might be, which is, essentially, retaliation. Essentially, “Hey, this guy fought us on this. Went all the way to the Supreme Court with us. We’re just going to come right back at him.”
Yeah, it’s not only did they come right back at him. Didn’t I hear Jonathan say it was the day of the decision that this attorney calls and asks him to make this other cake? Did he say it was a day of the decision when the attorney called?
It was definitely right after or right at the time because he should have already known, as Jonathan said, that the Supreme Court– what the Supreme Court ruling was.
Yeah, so here’s what’s interesting to me is that you have an attorney, so an attorney presumably would know when the Supreme Court has made a ruling, presumably he would know what that ruling means. So, this is an attorney trying to find the legal loophole saying, “Now, wait a second it might have protected you from that, but we’re going to find an issue. We’re going to say you long enough that eventually we find an issue that we’re going to be able to hang you on. And we’re going to show everybody else on this issue you can’t go.”
And this is where it’s interesting that he picked the idea of a gender transition, which has become a very popular notion in a lot of liberal culture, but certainly is not even scientific. So, if somebody came and asked you to make some fictional non-scientific cake and you said “no” and then you’re going to get sued by the state because you didn’t recognize what science doesn’t recognize.
Intolerance or Coercion?
This is where it really is so ludicrous, dad, as you pointed out it kind of exposes some of their position. When you see the attacks they bring that they’re not coming from this tolerant, “Well, let’s just all get along, let’s all be friends.” No, if you don’t agree with our idea or agenda we will directly come after you.
And I just think it’s very interesting that it was this attorney who– and again, in theory, an attorney should know the law, recognize what the Supreme Court says, how that’s upheld, how that’s applied. And yet this attorney comes back and tries to find the legal loophole to get Jack in trouble again. Again thank God for Alliance Defending Freedom. God bless Jack. But this just kind of crazy seeing the intolerance where–
Tim, let me take that intolerance thing for a minute. Because it goes past intolerance. It actually goes to coercion. And let me, I’ve mentioned this before, an illusion, but let me just build on it a little bit.
If you go into the Bible there are a couple of great examples of the LGBTQ community in the Bible. One is Sodom and Gomorrah. In that time, Sodom and Gomorrah might look like the gay pride day in San Francisco today. It was kind of the LGBTQ headquarters that was known back then. So, Lot, who is not part of that community, moves into that community and they start saying, “Hey, we want you do what we do.”
And Genesis 19 you actually have Lot inside his house and they’re beating on his door saying come out here and participate with what we want you to do. And Lot says, “No, no, no, let’s not do that. Can’t we reach a compromise?” And Lot offers all of these– he even offers his virgin daughters. He said, “Why don’t you take my virgin daughters rather than have me forced to be part of what you’re doing. And they said, “No, you will come out.
And that’s when the angel showed up and actually blinded these guys from Sodom and Gomorrah and got Lot and his family out of there. But it was coercion. It was not just intolerance. “You are going to do what we want you to do. You are going to validate us and participate with us.”
Why the Protection for Rights of Conscience
And then you have that same kind of story repeated hundreds of years later over in Judges 19 with a Levite who was on his way home to Benjamin and he spent the night in a town that had a real LGBTQ kind of community there. And they did the same thing. They started beating the door down said, “You will come out and participate.” And he says, “No, let’s not do that.” And the guy who owned the house offered alternatives. But it was, “No, you will do what we want you to do.”
So, it’s not only are they intolerant they are coercive. They’re not willing to– the old phrase used to be live and let live. Just kind of do your own thing. No, it’s not “let you do your own thing”. “We’re not going to leave you alone Jack Phillips. We’re going to force you to come out and participate with us in our activities whether you like it or not.” And that’s the nature of this opposition that people don’t seem to get. They seem to say, “We can all get along and–”. No we can’t when one side wants to be coercive. That’s a situation which we find ourself now.
And that’s why in early America there was such strong protection for the rights of conscience and that was to keep people from being forced to participate in activities to which they vehemently objected, activities that violated their religious conscience.
Hey, let’s take a quick break, guys. When we come back let’s dive a little further into that right of conscience and what that means in our culture today. Stay with us, folks. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
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We’re back. Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Talking about the Jack Phillips case out of Colorado and how they’re now going after him again. This is the baker out of Colorado. And David, Tim, you were talking right before the break about the founding or view of the rights of conscience, why the First Amendment is the First Amendment and why it is so important.
But I think you hit on it earlier when you said they want us to celebrate what they’re doing and participate in what they’re doing. Most people get from a kind of gut level reaction that freedom means you can’t be forced to participate in things you don’t believe in. So, why is this exception being accepted by so many people and kind of not a rallying cry? Guys like us we’re going, “Hey, wait a minute. This is wrong.” Why are so many people just kind of, “Agh, bake the cake. Just bake the cake.”
What People Didn’t Recognize
Well, if you listen to what the LGBTQ community had said over recent years is, “Hey, you guys have got marriage. Let us have marriage too. Fair is fair. Even Steven. You’ve got it, we– And it was not coercive at all. It was just we want a place at the table. And that seemed appealing to people. So, that was the guise under which all of this was advanced, “We just want to be even with you guys. No we don’t. We want to be over you guys.”
And that’s what people did not recognize. But that’s a change that has become more visible over the last 10 to 15 years. They fought to get marriage knocked down so that they could have marriage too. Well, now that marriage has been knocked down we see statistically that less than 1 percent of homosexuals actually get married and they don’t stay married very long when they do, statistically speaking. So, they wanted to knock the institution down under the guise of “We want access to it and want access too”. They didn’t want access, they just wanted to knock it down and now they’re going coercive.
So, part of that is the rhetoric and rhetoric really is a big thing. If you look at the First Amendment, Rick, you mentioned the First Amendment. The rhetoric surrounding the First Amendment and its purpose in the 21st century, start with President Obama moving forward. He talked about how the First Amendment guarantees your right of worship. Well, in the 20th century the First Amendment guaranteed your right of freedom of religion. But back in the 18th century when the First Amendment was written by the Founding Fathers they said it guaranteed your rights of religious conscience.
Now, each of those is a restriction from the others. Rights of religious conscience is the biggest aspect because that affects your behavior and your beliefs. Well, when you get to freedom in religion that’s not conscience, that’s exercising your faith, but not really your beliefs. Now you get to today, freedom of worship, that is where you can exercise your faith if you’re inside a place of worship. If you’re at church you can do that, but don’t try to take your faith out in the marketplace.
We’ve Reduced the First Amendment
So, what’s happened over the last three centuries essentially, two and a half centuries, we’ve reduced the First Amendment. You go back to what it was, the First Amendment was all about protecting the rights of Jack Phillips, it was protecting the rights of religious conscience. If your accountability to God said, “You know what? Before God I cannot participate in a homosexual wedding.” That’s what the First Amendment was about.
If Quakers said, “You know what? We cannot pick up a gun to shoot anybody else regardless of what happens.” And we’re in the middle of the American Revolution and we’re looking for every American to to come help and take arms against the British. And the Quakers say, “Not us”. We said, “Well, that’s what the First Amendment’s all about. It will not force you to do that.” All the way through, instant after instant, it was we will not force you to violate your convictions before God. Even if we disagree with your convictions we won’t make you do that.
So, you look at James Madison. He said, “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort.” And it is – private property and other forms of property, intellectual property, we protect the Constitution, it gives you Patent Protection Clause, Copyright Protection Clause, we protect property. But James Madison said conscience is the most important part of all property. That is the number one thing that government should protect.
And look at us today. Now we’re going to force Jack Phillips to reverse his conscious and violate what he believes God is telling him to do. What a turnaround. But this is the coercive nature of what they’re doing.
Well, the best way to put a stop to this is obviously fight back, stand up and say, “No, we’re not going to give into this agenda that requires us to participate and celebrate what someone’s doing even when it violates our conscience.” And that’s what Jack Phillips has been willing to do. That’s what John Scruggs and Alliance Defending Freedom is helping him to do.
You can help in this regard. You’ve got to spread the word on these things. You’ve got to get people educated and informed on this. They’ve got to understand what the Constitution actually says, what the original intent was, and how we live that out today. And that’s what we do here at WallBuilders. That’s why you enjoy listening to the program. Help us get other people listening to the program as well and get them educated on these principles.
Colorado Harassing Same Baker Again, Even After Supreme Court Victory
You can do that by going to WallBuilders.com and becoming a partner with us on a monthly basis. Make it five bucks a month, 10 bucks a month, some of you can do a hundred bucks a month. Whatever you can do to help us spread the word and continue this effort to “rebuild the walls” as it says in Nehemiah. In other words, we’re rebuilding the foundations of America that made the country great in the first place. And certainly, this right of conscience fits that category in a big way. Check it out at WallBuilders.com and come alongside us. We appreciate you listening. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.