The Constitution Lives! Supremes Uphold First Amendment!


In a huge win for religious liberty, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 today in favor of the First Amendment. The justices rebuked the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for their dismissive and contemptuous ruling against Christian baker Jack Phillips.

Phillips had politely declined to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual “marriage,” on the constitutionally protected grounds that it would violate his conscience to do so. Phillips did this, it should be noted, at a time when same-sex “marriage” was not even legal in Colorado. The couple had gone to Massachusetts where, thanks to Mitt Romney, sodomy-based “marriage” has been “legal” since 2004. Then they came back to Colorado to celebrate.

When they were turned down by Phillips, they went to another baker who happily designed their cake for them. In other words, they got exactly what they wanted. But they didn’t get it from Mr. Phillips, and in a fit of self-righteous pique, they immediately sought to punish him for having the temerity to exercise his First Amendment rights under the United States Constitution.

This, it should be noted, reveals something quite sinister about the homosexual movement. There is no “live and let live” with the gay lobby. While Jack Phillips was content to allow them to pursue their “wedding” celebration with another vendor, they were not content to let him get away with such an attitude of tolerance. No, the gay lobby insists that every display of religious liberty in the face of the homosexual agenda must be punished and punished vigorously. They will not be content until the last voice of Christian morality is gagged and marginalized.

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Even Anthony Kennedy, the author of the most reprehensible Supreme Court decisions since Roe v. Wade (Romer v. Evans, Lawrence v. Texas, Obergefell v. Hodges), was bothered by the attitude of the Colorado commission toward Mr. Phillips. During oral arguments in December, Kennedy complained that one commissioner, in particular, was “neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’ religious beliefs.”

Finally writing his first gay rights opinion on the side of morality, religion, and the Constitution, Kennedy wrote, “The commission’s hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion.”

The Trump administration, to its everlasting credit, weighed in on this case in support of Phillips.

Now, unfortunately, this battle is far from over. This is a huge win for religious liberty, but it is simply the first step in our campaign to reclaim the rights that have been unceremoniously stripped from Christians all over the fruited plain. The Supremes tried to limit the impact of their ruling by saying they were not attempting to issue a ruling on whether Christians in general can exercise their right to the free exercise of religion in the marketplace when it conflicts with the fascistic demands of the gay lobby.

From a constitutional standpoint, that conflict is easy to resolve. The Constitution guarantees the right to religious exercise, but absolutely nowhere guarantees any rights whatsoever to those who practice homosexuality. You can read the Constitution from front to back, back to front, upside down and in Sanskrit and you will find nary a mention of homosexuality. But the right to the free exercise of religious liberty is the first thing you run into in the Bill of Rights. When imaginary gay “rights” conflict with explicit constitutional rights, gay “rights” must yield.

In cases such as Jack Phillips, florist Barronelle Stutzman, and bakers such as Aaron and Melissa Klein, it is Christians whose rights have been squashed in violation of the Constitution and the law, both of which forbid discrimination based on religion.

As lesbian author Tammy Bruce wrote:

Under these rules, freedom of conscience is squashed under the jackboot of liberals, all in the Orwellian name of “equality and fairness.” Here we are dealing with not just forcing someone to do something for you, but forcing them in the process to violate a sacrament of their faith as well.

If we are able to coerce someone, via the threat of lawsuit and personal destruction, to provide a service, how is that not slavery? If we insist that you must violate your faith specifically in that slavish action, how is that not abject tyranny?

The Supreme Court ruling today thus struck a blow against both slavery and tyranny and for freedom and liberty. May it be the first of many.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Bryan Fischer is the Director of Issue Analysis at the American Family Association. He has degrees from Stanford University and Dallas Theological Seminary. He pastored for 25 years in Idaho, where he served as the chaplain of the Idaho state senate and co-authored Idaho's marriage amendment. He came to AFA in 2009.

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