The Supreme Court Case Set to Test Religious Liberty in the U.S.

Trump administration, weighing in on the issue, has thrown its support behind Christian baker in Colorado

For anyone in doubt, President Donald Trump supports the right to express conservative values — and is now staunchly defending religious liberty rights as well.

The Trump administration is standing behind Jack Phillips, a Christian baker in Colorado who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage due to his religious convictions. Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission will be heard by the Supreme Court this fall.

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“A custom wedding cake is a form of expression,” said acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall of the Trump administration’s Department of Justice. “It is an artistic creation that is both subjectively intended and objectively perceived as a celebratory symbol of a marriage.”

Ultimately, the amicus brief filed recently reinforces President Trump’s assurance of protecting religious liberty. However, only those businesses that provide a “product or service [that is] inherently communicative” would be considered. For example, “a commercial banquet hall may not refuse to rent its facilities, nor may a car service refuse to provide limousines.”

The Supreme Court will decide if the freedom and assurance provided by the First Amendment extends to private business owners who will not provide services that go against their religious conscience. Many people of faith — specifically conservative Christians, in most recent cases — believe that traditional marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

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It’s important to note that Phillips did not refuse service to Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins in 2012. Phillips did, however, decline to bake the cake for their gay wedding reception. On an ongoing basis, he also does not bake with alcohol or with themed items “celebrating Halloween and other messages his faith prohibits, such as racism, atheism, and any marriage not between one man and one woman,” as stated in his Supreme Court petition. Phillips no longer provides custom wedding cakes as a service in his bake shop.

President Trump is making good on his promises — and conservative Christians are taking note.

The issue at hand is about both acceptance and approval. What is so often misunderstood is that Christians in particular are held to biblical standards. Acceptance and approval are not a person’s to give — but God’s alone. This is in no way meant to be hateful or perceived as such. It’s intended, in fact, as instructional, a standard of love and what is deemed best by the Creator for His creation.

The conviction of Christians is personal, but it is ultimately directed by a higher power: God Almighty.

There are many bakeries in Denver, Colorado, that would have been willing to provide a custom-designed wedding cake. Why, then, was Masterpiece Cakeshop made such an example of, other than to further a liberal agenda? The argument by the Trump administration is that the respect for all Americans’ First Amendment rights should outweigh any such agenda and the measures of bullying to the point of loss of livelihood.

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Donald Trump won the evangelical Christian vote in November 2016 by promising that his administration would “preserve and protect our religious liberty.” In May, President Trump signed an executive order on religious freedom, saying in his remarks, “No American should be forced to choose between the dictates of the federal government and the tenets of their faith.” The order itself states, “Federal law protects the freedom of Americans and their organizations to exercise religion and participate fully in civic life without undue interference by the Federal Government.”

President Trump is making good on his promises — and conservative Christians are taking note.

Katie Nations, married for 15 years, is a working mother of three young children. She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 

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