Politics: Colorado baker who won't make gay wedding cakes ordered to sensitivity training

Published by: Dan Calabrese on Thursday June 5th, 2014

Dan Calabrese

"They are turning people of faith into religious refugees."

Colorado bakery owner Jack Phillips never sought out a gay person to discrminate against, nor to harm in any way. He has no desire to do so.

But because he serves Jesus Christ above all else, Phillips was not about to be forced into participation in celebrating the "marriage" of two gay men. So when they entered his store to place an order for a wedding cake, he simply told them they would have to find a different bakery.

We've told you this story before, and it's now reached exactly the point many people feared it would all along. Phillips is being ordered by the State of Colorado not only to undergo sensitivity training, but to enact new policies for him and his staff, and to file quarterly reports with the state that prove he has not turned away any business from homosexuals.

The fascism plays out as follows, with reporting from Todd Starnes writing for Charisma Magazine:

Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, in Lakewood, Colorado was directed to change his store policies immediately and force his staff to attend the training sessions. For the next two years, Phillips will also be required to submit quarterly reports to the commission to confirm that he has not turned away customers based on their sexual orientation.

Think of it as reverse conversion therapy (or straight man's rehab) so that the state can mandate diversity through conformity.

The plight of Jack Phillips and his family is something I write about in my new book, "God Less America." His story of religious persecution is one of many that I document.

Nicolle Martin, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, called the ruling Orwellian and said they are considering an appeal.

"They are turning people of faith into religious refugees," Martin told me. "Is this the society that we want to live in—where people of faith are driven out of business?"

Martin said it was "truly frightening" that Phillips will be forced to submit quarterly reports to the government disclosing whether he turned away any wedding cake business.

"There will be some reporting requirements so that Jack can demonstrate that he doesn't exercise his belief system anymore—that he has divested himself of his beliefs," she said.

He will also be required to create new policies and procedures for his staff.

"We consider this reporting to be aimed at rehabilitating Jack so that he has the right thoughts," Martin said. "That's offensive to everything America stands for."

Let's not lose sight of how this evolved. At first the Civil Rights Commission said you can have your beliefs but you can't hurt people. That sounds well and good, but it only applies to the extent that you use a reasonable definition of "hurting people." If a business contract between two parties is freely entered into, then either party must have the freedom to choose whether to enter into it. If you ask me to provide a service to you and I choose not to, I'm not hurting you. I'm just choosing not to be the service provider. Aside from the arguable inconvenience of having to contact other potential providers, I have not done you any harm.

What the State of Colorado is asserting here is that Jack Phillips does not have the freedom to make that choice - that he must enter into that business contract regardless of his comfort level with the service being provided or with the client he is asked to serve. That is fascism, plain and simple. In my business career, I have turned down clients many times just because I didn't get a good feeling from them. Do I not have the right to do that? Is the State of Michigan going to investigate me and tell me I not only must provide service to anyone who asks, but that I further must undergo sensitivity training and write new policies that I must submit to them for approval?

Understand what this is really all about. The secular left wants to remake the order of society in the image of its utopian vision, and people of faith are an obstacle to that dream. The embrace of gay marriage is not so much about the rights of gay people as it is a blunt instrument being deployed to marginalize the Christian faith. If you adhere to the Bible's teachings about homosexuality, you are at odds with mainstream culture in America, and there is no such thing as live and let live.

Someone will enter your establishment and demand that you perform an act that celebrates their lifestyle. If you refuse, the power of the state will be brought to bear against you.

Sorry. Scratch that. The past tense is not appropriate. It has already happened.

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