June 4, 2018
|

When the Supreme Court overturned centuries of law and tradition in ruling that there is a right to same-sex marriage, it also created a huge muddle in which that newly-invented right conflicted with the enumerated First Amendment right of freedom to practice your religious beliefs without government restraint. In handing down that ruling, the SCOTUS made clear that care should be taken that it not infringe on religious beliefs. But the ink was barely dry before Christian bakers, florists and other wedding service providers in blue states were being sued, harassed, hounded, fined, branded as “haters” and driven into bankruptcy simply for declining jobs that would require them to violate their sacred belief in the Biblical definition of marriage.

(Say, remember when same-sex marriage activists questioned why Christians would oppose it when it would never have any effect on them? That seems as long ago as the silent movie era.)

The case of Colorado baker Jack Phillips would have been an excellent opportunity for the SCOTUS to clean up the giant mess it made and issue a broad-based ruling reaffirming that the First Amendment’s protection of religious freedom is #1 for a reason and that it means what it says and is supreme over all other laws. Unfortunately, while today’s 7-2 ruling in favor of Phillips is welcome and long-overdue relief for him, it still only tinkers around the edges of fixing the damage wrought by the original decision. The ruling focuses on the egregious actions of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which was relentlessly and openly hostile to Phillips’ religious beliefs every step of the way, never once according him even the benefit of the doubt that he had a legitimate objection of conscience.



The ruling (again written by the original muddler, Justice Kennedy) still doesn’t clarify the larger issue. Kennedy writes:

“The Court’s precedents make clear that the baker, in his capacity as the owner of a business serving the public, might have his right to the free exercise of religion limited by generally applicable laws. Still, the delicate question of when the free exercise of his religion must yield to an otherwise valid exercise of state power needed to be determined in an adjudication in which religious hostility on the part of the State itself would not be a factor in the balance the State sought to reach. That requirement, however, was not met here.”

So the state can infringe on the free exercise of religion as long as it isn’t hostile to religion? And who will make that subjective determination? State officials, like those on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission?

This ruling is something to celebrate, because the treatment of Jack Phillips was outrageous and unconstitutional. But it still leaves unfinished the untangling of the knot of conflicting rights the SCOTUS created. I expect there will be many more such cases as liberal state officials try to find ways to infringe on religious beliefs while being cagier about hiding their hostility to religion. Maybe someday, a future SCOTUS (possibly one with a Trump-appointed replacement for Kennedy) will get tired of dealing with the endless end-run attempts and finally issue a decisive ruling that the government cannot compel anyone to violate his or her religious beliefs, but it would have been a lot easier for everyone concerned if they’d just done it now.

I’ll bet the Founders thought they were being fairly clear when they wrote, as the very first words of the Bill of Rights, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

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Comments 51-72 of 72

  • Kenneth Hadler

    06/04/2018 05:38 PM

    What has the Supreme Court to restore the thousands of dollars that this business man has lost because of this court case? I think these claimants should be responsible to reimburse the baker for his court costs at a minimum.

  • Kay comstock

    06/04/2018 05:23 PM

    I'm glad the Supreme Court at least did this, but like you said there will be people who will find a way to get around it. But what about the money it cost the baker to fight this? I'm sure he will never recover it. Very sad

  • Ben Wilford

    06/04/2018 05:20 PM

    What I liked most about this was (1) It was a 7-2 ruling where 2 liberals joined in the opinion (2) That it shows all the anti-Christian, anti-Religion government officials that they need to stop being openly hostile toward Christians. This give me hope for the future. I am for freedom of choice. If a black owned bakery was asked by members of the KKK to create a cake for them, that they could deny that request and not get in trouble with the government and get sued by the KKK. Let the market place handle these situations.

  • Sharon Tomalavage

    06/04/2018 05:03 PM

    I couldn't agree more Mr. Huckabee. What those on the Left fail to take into consideration is this baker in no way denied entry to his bakery to gays or anyone, nor did he refuse to sell any item in his shop. Their argument on suppression of rights goes out the window. Example-if a practicing Wican wanted this baker to bake a wedding cake and asked him to put a witch figurine and warlock one on top of the cake, would they force the baker to do this? Or what if an atheist walked in and said "I want a cake that says "screw GOD, he doesn't exist" -again, would this man of faith baker be forced to bake him that cake?? This is actually a simple case for anyone who uses their brain, heart and common sense, sprinkled with parity/fairness--Faith is the 1st Amendment for a reason.

  • Judy Roetheli

    06/04/2018 04:54 PM

    Praise God that there is still some sanity on the Supreme court! Political correctness has taken over truth and our Constitution and it is time that good prevailed!

  • Crystal Rabaduex

    06/04/2018 04:35 PM

    I believe in the right to profess and practice your religious faith but I also abhor discrimination of any kind and anywhere. What must be asked is whether these same businesses would deny services to people who practice “open” marriages, who have sexual relations prior to marriage, who practice birth control , etc. if they deny service to these groups whose behavior does not support traditional marriage then they have a right to deny service to gays as well. My guess is they do not, and if not, then denying services only to gays is pure discrimination and shouldn’t be tolerated.

  • Viola Collins

    06/04/2018 04:27 PM

    Amen and Amen! I am grateful there are people who will defend Gods will for our country as it relates to biblical principles.

  • CAROLYN TRULL

    06/04/2018 04:14 PM

    I remember seeing signs in stores, when I was a child,
    that said " We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone"
    Of course , that was when we were a free nation.

  • People Cause Their Own Problems

    06/04/2018 04:08 PM

    People wonder why groups see so much resistance. They fight for their rights (and should) but the second they get them, they try to step on someone else rights. You call people haters but show no respect for others. Remember, the people that supported you that are not of your belief will fight you next time because you have no class. And if someone says, it just a few; then let the group they belong to shut them down. Waste of resource and money because people refuse to play nice with each other. Just treat all other with respect and you'll be surprise how level headed and nice people will be. They won't shut you out, they will open their minds.

  • People Cause Their Own Problems

    06/04/2018 04:06 PM

    People wonder why groups see so much resistance. They fight for their rights (and should) but the second they get them, they try to step on someone else rights. You call people haters but show no respect for others. Remember, the people that supported you that are not of your belief will fight you next time because you have no class. And if someone says, it just a few; then let the group they belong to shut them down. Waste of resource and money because people refuse to play nice with each other. Just treat all other with respect and you'll be surprise how level headed and nice people will be. They won't shut you out, they will open their minds.

  • Lyle Millander

    06/04/2018 04:06 PM

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    All religions? What it there were a religion that held at its core a hatred for all other religions? Is there a test to determine if a religion is a "real" religion, or if it is a hate group wrapped in a blanket of protected rights?

  • Tracey Hull

    06/04/2018 04:05 PM

    The issue is about mutual respect. And why would you want to do business with anyone who does not respect your marriage or your religion. I’m sure there were plenty of yummy bakers who would of loved to bake this couple a cake. Respect is not a one way street.

  • Rodney Scott

    06/04/2018 03:50 PM

    Thank you and keep on doing what you are doing,PLEASE.

  • James Hall

    06/04/2018 03:42 PM

    Thanks for the great info Mike.

  • D E W

    06/04/2018 03:41 PM

    When Hillary was opining about "despicable people", she was looking in the mirror and projecting the left onto the right.

  • Linda Y DuBois

    06/04/2018 03:31 PM

    Your writing is just as you speak on your TV program! Thank you for your service to us. Praise Jesus for the good report.

  • Rod Link

    06/04/2018 03:22 PM

    As much as it seems a good ruling, it appears this issue with appear in Scotus again for another version of a variant issue

  • Beverly Barton

    06/04/2018 03:22 PM

    Go Mike. Thank you for all the updates

  • bob bilby

    06/04/2018 03:19 PM

    With this ruling. Is it possible for Jack Philipps to seek Civil damages against the plantiffs and state of Colorado commission for trampling the 1st amendment and to allow reimbursement to them for the legal costs and lost revenue as this would only be fair and just.

  • Lu Jean Bedard

    06/04/2018 03:09 PM

    I was thrilled to read the Supreme Court decision in favor of the Colorado baker. After reading your comments I am less elated as this seems to be one victory in what will continue to be debated whenever and wherever it happens. Christians must definitely stay alert!!

  • Randy Grabill

    06/04/2018 03:06 PM

    We Constitutional conservatives need to take back our country! Convention of States is the ONLY way to wrestle power away from D.C.!!!

  • William Marshall

    06/04/2018 02:58 PM

    Yeah. My thoughts, too. As usual, you found a couple of terms ("cagier", and "endless end-run") that summarize exactly. One productive suggestion I think would help - it would never get passed - is for Congress to rewrite whatever law permits the SCOTUS to disallow any case that reaches it's jurisdiction, without comment (yeah, I know. It would mean they couldn't take 4 months off. And they'd have to work faster. Poor babies.) My Dad, a realist and a cynic, believed Harry Truman was the only honorable politician he saw in his lifetime. Harry had a sign on his desk: "The Buck Stops Here". A good motto.

June 4, 2018
|

When the Supreme Court overturned centuries of law and tradition in ruling that there is a right to same-sex marriage, it also created a huge muddle in which that newly-invented right conflicted with the enumerated First Amendment right of freedom to practice your religious beliefs without government restraint. In handing down that ruling, the SCOTUS made clear that care should be taken that it not infringe on religious beliefs. But the ink was barely dry before Christian bakers, florists and other wedding service providers in blue states were being sued, harassed, hounded, fined, branded as “haters” and driven into bankruptcy simply for declining jobs that would require them to violate their sacred belief in the Biblical definition of marriage.

(Say, remember when same-sex marriage activists questioned why Christians would oppose it when it would never have any effect on them? That seems as long ago as the silent movie era.)

The case of Colorado baker Jack Phillips would have been an excellent opportunity for the SCOTUS to clean up the giant mess it made and issue a broad-based ruling reaffirming that the First Amendment’s protection of religious freedom is #1 for a reason and that it means what it says and is supreme over all other laws. Unfortunately, while today’s 7-2 ruling in favor of Phillips is welcome and long-overdue relief for him, it still only tinkers around the edges of fixing the damage wrought by the original decision. The ruling focuses on the egregious actions of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which was relentlessly and openly hostile to Phillips’ religious beliefs every step of the way, never once according him even the benefit of the doubt that he had a legitimate objection of conscience.



The ruling (again written by the original muddler, Justice Kennedy) still doesn’t clarify the larger issue. Kennedy writes:

“The Court’s precedents make clear that the baker, in his capacity as the owner of a business serving the public, might have his right to the free exercise of religion limited by generally applicable laws. Still, the delicate question of when the free exercise of his religion must yield to an otherwise valid exercise of state power needed to be determined in an adjudication in which religious hostility on the part of the State itself would not be a factor in the balance the State sought to reach. That requirement, however, was not met here.”

So the state can infringe on the free exercise of religion as long as it isn’t hostile to religion? And who will make that subjective determination? State officials, like those on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission?

This ruling is something to celebrate, because the treatment of Jack Phillips was outrageous and unconstitutional. But it still leaves unfinished the untangling of the knot of conflicting rights the SCOTUS created. I expect there will be many more such cases as liberal state officials try to find ways to infringe on religious beliefs while being cagier about hiding their hostility to religion. Maybe someday, a future SCOTUS (possibly one with a Trump-appointed replacement for Kennedy) will get tired of dealing with the endless end-run attempts and finally issue a decisive ruling that the government cannot compel anyone to violate his or her religious beliefs, but it would have been a lot easier for everyone concerned if they’d just done it now.

I’ll bet the Founders thought they were being fairly clear when they wrote, as the very first words of the Bill of Rights, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

LEAVE ME A COMMENT BY CLICKING HERE.  I READ THEM!

Leave a Comment

Note: Fields marked with an * are required.

Your Information
Your Comment
BBML accepted!
Captcha

Comments 51-72 of 72

  • Kenneth Hadler

    06/04/2018 05:38 PM

    What has the Supreme Court to restore the thousands of dollars that this business man has lost because of this court case? I think these claimants should be responsible to reimburse the baker for his court costs at a minimum.

  • Kay comstock

    06/04/2018 05:23 PM

    I'm glad the Supreme Court at least did this, but like you said there will be people who will find a way to get around it. But what about the money it cost the baker to fight this? I'm sure he will never recover it. Very sad

  • Ben Wilford

    06/04/2018 05:20 PM

    What I liked most about this was (1) It was a 7-2 ruling where 2 liberals joined in the opinion (2) That it shows all the anti-Christian, anti-Religion government officials that they need to stop being openly hostile toward Christians. This give me hope for the future. I am for freedom of choice. If a black owned bakery was asked by members of the KKK to create a cake for them, that they could deny that request and not get in trouble with the government and get sued by the KKK. Let the market place handle these situations.

  • Sharon Tomalavage

    06/04/2018 05:03 PM

    I couldn't agree more Mr. Huckabee. What those on the Left fail to take into consideration is this baker in no way denied entry to his bakery to gays or anyone, nor did he refuse to sell any item in his shop. Their argument on suppression of rights goes out the window. Example-if a practicing Wican wanted this baker to bake a wedding cake and asked him to put a witch figurine and warlock one on top of the cake, would they force the baker to do this? Or what if an atheist walked in and said "I want a cake that says "screw GOD, he doesn't exist" -again, would this man of faith baker be forced to bake him that cake?? This is actually a simple case for anyone who uses their brain, heart and common sense, sprinkled with parity/fairness--Faith is the 1st Amendment for a reason.

  • Judy Roetheli

    06/04/2018 04:54 PM

    Praise God that there is still some sanity on the Supreme court! Political correctness has taken over truth and our Constitution and it is time that good prevailed!

  • Crystal Rabaduex

    06/04/2018 04:35 PM

    I believe in the right to profess and practice your religious faith but I also abhor discrimination of any kind and anywhere. What must be asked is whether these same businesses would deny services to people who practice “open” marriages, who have sexual relations prior to marriage, who practice birth control , etc. if they deny service to these groups whose behavior does not support traditional marriage then they have a right to deny service to gays as well. My guess is they do not, and if not, then denying services only to gays is pure discrimination and shouldn’t be tolerated.

  • Viola Collins

    06/04/2018 04:27 PM

    Amen and Amen! I am grateful there are people who will defend Gods will for our country as it relates to biblical principles.

  • CAROLYN TRULL

    06/04/2018 04:14 PM

    I remember seeing signs in stores, when I was a child,
    that said " We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone"
    Of course , that was when we were a free nation.

  • People Cause Their Own Problems

    06/04/2018 04:08 PM

    People wonder why groups see so much resistance. They fight for their rights (and should) but the second they get them, they try to step on someone else rights. You call people haters but show no respect for others. Remember, the people that supported you that are not of your belief will fight you next time because you have no class. And if someone says, it just a few; then let the group they belong to shut them down. Waste of resource and money because people refuse to play nice with each other. Just treat all other with respect and you'll be surprise how level headed and nice people will be. They won't shut you out, they will open their minds.

  • People Cause Their Own Problems

    06/04/2018 04:06 PM

    People wonder why groups see so much resistance. They fight for their rights (and should) but the second they get them, they try to step on someone else rights. You call people haters but show no respect for others. Remember, the people that supported you that are not of your belief will fight you next time because you have no class. And if someone says, it just a few; then let the group they belong to shut them down. Waste of resource and money because people refuse to play nice with each other. Just treat all other with respect and you'll be surprise how level headed and nice people will be. They won't shut you out, they will open their minds.

  • Lyle Millander

    06/04/2018 04:06 PM

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    All religions? What it there were a religion that held at its core a hatred for all other religions? Is there a test to determine if a religion is a "real" religion, or if it is a hate group wrapped in a blanket of protected rights?

  • Tracey Hull

    06/04/2018 04:05 PM

    The issue is about mutual respect. And why would you want to do business with anyone who does not respect your marriage or your religion. I’m sure there were plenty of yummy bakers who would of loved to bake this couple a cake. Respect is not a one way street.

  • Rodney Scott

    06/04/2018 03:50 PM

    Thank you and keep on doing what you are doing,PLEASE.

  • James Hall

    06/04/2018 03:42 PM

    Thanks for the great info Mike.

  • D E W

    06/04/2018 03:41 PM

    When Hillary was opining about "despicable people", she was looking in the mirror and projecting the left onto the right.

  • Linda Y DuBois

    06/04/2018 03:31 PM

    Your writing is just as you speak on your TV program! Thank you for your service to us. Praise Jesus for the good report.

  • Rod Link

    06/04/2018 03:22 PM

    As much as it seems a good ruling, it appears this issue with appear in Scotus again for another version of a variant issue

  • Beverly Barton

    06/04/2018 03:22 PM

    Go Mike. Thank you for all the updates

  • bob bilby

    06/04/2018 03:19 PM

    With this ruling. Is it possible for Jack Philipps to seek Civil damages against the plantiffs and state of Colorado commission for trampling the 1st amendment and to allow reimbursement to them for the legal costs and lost revenue as this would only be fair and just.

  • Lu Jean Bedard

    06/04/2018 03:09 PM

    I was thrilled to read the Supreme Court decision in favor of the Colorado baker. After reading your comments I am less elated as this seems to be one victory in what will continue to be debated whenever and wherever it happens. Christians must definitely stay alert!!

  • Randy Grabill

    06/04/2018 03:06 PM

    We Constitutional conservatives need to take back our country! Convention of States is the ONLY way to wrestle power away from D.C.!!!

  • William Marshall

    06/04/2018 02:58 PM

    Yeah. My thoughts, too. As usual, you found a couple of terms ("cagier", and "endless end-run") that summarize exactly. One productive suggestion I think would help - it would never get passed - is for Congress to rewrite whatever law permits the SCOTUS to disallow any case that reaches it's jurisdiction, without comment (yeah, I know. It would mean they couldn't take 4 months off. And they'd have to work faster. Poor babies.) My Dad, a realist and a cynic, believed Harry Truman was the only honorable politician he saw in his lifetime. Harry had a sign on his desk: "The Buck Stops Here". A good motto.