Why the Supreme Court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop Opinion Looks Tasty but Is Only Half-Baked

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6 Responses

  1. Yehoshua Duker says:

    You write: “Synagogues and churches next could have faced closure for refusing to host theologically forbidden marriages. Rabbis, pastors, priests could next be in line facing arrests and severely bankrupting monetary fines, even imprisonment on criminal charges that could end their careers in the public arena.”
    Why the fear-mongering? This case had to do with a business providing a purely non-religious service. The law for actual religious institutions/functionaries is totally different.

    • Yaakov Menken says:

      Interesting you should mention this, as I happened to run into a friend of mine who works with one of the large Kashrus organizations, and he mentioned this case in particular. He said it is extremely relevant to them, as they are with increasing frequency called upon to certify the food at one of these “wedding receptions” is Kosher. And yes, they could be sued, never mind that Kashrus is a purely religious service.

      Similarly, another one of the cases in the system concerns a pair of Christian calligraphers. The connection to a Sofer and a Kesubah needs no elaboration.

  2. Yehoshua Duker says:

    Can you explain in what way refusing to provide a cake to a gay couple getting married differs from refusing to provide a cake to an interracial couple getting married? Miscegenation laws were also based on religious beliefs, and were rooted in the bible.

    • Yaakov Menken says:

      For whatever reason, a brief Google search provides no indication that an interracial couple has ever sued — even the justice of the peace in Louisiana who refused to perform interracial ceremonies simply resigned. No one decided to make a federal case out of a baker who didn’t want to get involved.

      Nor should they have. If a private business owner doesn’t want to do the floral arrangements for a Jewish wedding, I don’t want that florist to do my child’s wedding. And if he’s willing to make arrangements for births or Bar Mitzvah’s, I’m not going to falsely claim it’s anti-Semitism. It’s kind of obvious at that point that it has to do with his religion, not bigotry — precisely as is the case with Jack Phillips.

      And even were this florist to tell me he won’t serve Jews, I won’t sue him, I’m not going to try to drive him out of business, I’m not going to try to send some sort of message about anti-Semitism through the federal court system. He’s not a cafe or hotel keeping Jews out, he’s just a guy with issues. SJP chapters are a much bigger problem.

      So I’m simply going to hire a different florist. First because he would probably do a lousy job if forced to do it, and second because my only agenda is tolerance, even tolerance for people currently encumbered by bigotry. What is going on over here is just the opposite: non-bigoted individuals being driven out of business by bigots who detest what the Torah has to say about marriage, and hate those who avoid “marriages” that violate the Torah’s definition. This is clearly true, because few things are more openly hateful than a false accusation of hate.

  3. Steve Brizel says:

    The majority of 7-2 was really 5-4 and the key was the openly hostile comments of the Colorado commission on human rights to the free exerise of religion claim.

  4. Bob Miller says:

    To sweep away interference with religion, we’ll need some new personnel in the Supreme Court and lower courts.

    But much of the problem with the immorality lobby stems from the increasing, sometimes “mandatory” brainwashing of Americans via schools and media.

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