You can come for my Constitution. You can come for my religion. But bring Jimmy Stewart into it, and I’m drawing the line.
All eyes were on the Supreme Court last week after Biden’s rookie Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson made some very puzzling comments.
As SCOTUS heard arguments that a small business owner in Colorado must fulfill the order of a same-sex couple for a wedding website, Jackson made an analogy to a non-existent racist photographer who refuses to allow non-whites to pose for an It’s a Wonderful Life scene.
But if you’re that deep into Critical Race Theory, then you can’t view a Christmas classic as anything less than a trope for Caucasian-Eurocentric-patriarchal-cisgender-colonial etc. etc. power. And so of course ipso facto anyone who enjoys Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 film is, of course, a white supremacist.
At least that seems to be the gist of what she was babbling about. The actual case has nothing to do with race. Instead, wedding website designer Lorie Smith does not want her services used to promote same-sex marriages.
If you’re like me, you probably asked yourself, “Didn’t we already go through this?”
Exactly five years before, the Supreme Court heard Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In that case, bakery owner Jack Phillips refused to provide his cake-making services to two newlywed men. Same-sex marriage violated his religious beliefs, and he didn’t want to contribute to its celebration.
The original complaint against Masterpiece Cakeshop was submitted in 2012. The case was filed in 2016, argued by SCOTUS in December 2017, and ultimately decided in 2018 with a 7-2 vote in favor of the Phillips’ First Amendment protections.
Masterpiece Cakeshop should have been an open-shut case. But back when we weren’t (knowingly) funding Ukrainian pensions or draining the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, there was more time for everyone to fume over pastries. So for months the gay-cake debate was the worst of our problems, generating headlines and chyrons and fanning the flames of liberal outrage about… something.
If you’re at all familiar with U.S. judicial history and the concept of precedence, you likely asked yourself why the SCOTUS is arguing a decision that already seems spelled out by recent and relevant case law. For six years, Masterpiece Cakeshop was dragged through the mud because two men were fighting for confectionary rights. Let them eat cake, the liberals said, and let Phillips be forced to bake it. Thankfully, SCOTUS ruled otherwise—correctly.
Website designer Smith should have been spared from this unsought-after sequel to Masterpiece Cakeshop. Her company, 303 Creative, which is the defendant, is even based in the same state as Masterpiece Cakeshop. If we know how this case is going to be decided, isn’t this a waste of time for everyone involved?
Yes and no.
We know there are plenty of other, more pertinent, less cut-and-dried cases the Supreme Court should be taking up (COVID injection mandates, election integrity, ad infinitum). So, yes, this is a waste of resources for all involved.
But now the gay couple is arguing for their “rights” not to a cake, but to a site. That’s why it’s back in court. At least that’s their tendentious, tortuous argument.
As opposed to a made-to-order cake, Lorie Smith’s product is a website template. 303 Creative sells access to these templates. Whereas Jack Phillips could passively decline service to a same-sex couple, if that same couple were to purchase a site from Lorie Smith, denying that client would require Smith to actively intervene.
The Enemy of the People will try to tell you this case is about sexuality—and maybe even race. But it’s not.
It’s about their ongoing war on religion as well as their war on small business.
The massive culture shifts of the 21st century make your religion just an adjective. It’s something about you, but it’s not you. To the secular world, religion no longer defines your everyday decisions. Identity does. Race, gender, and sexuality—the stuff you can see, the stuff that you can flaunt, for de jure advantage over members of unfavored groups who do not check those all-important boxes—is what is being protected by government.
That’s why Ketanji Brown Jackson is so up-in-arms. Faith means nothing to the Left. She famously can’t define what a woman is, but she’s pretty darn sure what Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore et al. were up to with Clarence the angel.
With no religion, the First Amendment is easily watered down through legislation. We laissez-faire types know that government should be totally hands-off Ms. Smith. Her company policies lose her clients. She freely accepts this self-inflicted competitive disadvantage. A free press can (and does, endlessly) demonize her for open and gross unwokeness. Progressives can boycott 303 Creative. Another virtually identical company will accommodate more couples than 303 Creative, and Smith’s business will fail. We live in America—that’s how it should work.
It’s called the creative destruction of capitalism.
As government invites itself into the private sector with increasingly invasive “anti-discrimination” ordinances and “public accommodation” laws, that is not how it works anymore. A free market is merely a nice idea. Now that there is a “right” to “public accommodation” in states like Colorado, citizens are granted a “right” to, well, everything.
The gay cake debate settled, essentially, nothing. SCOTUS has to deal with the same problem again, and they’ll have different variations of this issue until the court either has a Marxist majority or puts its foot down for First Amendment rights. For the sake of the Jack Phillipses and Lorie Smiths, we hope its the latter. If the former occurs, the Constitution is nothing more than ink on paper.
And you with all that religion of yours? Doesn’t matter—you’ll be forced to comply.