Home Headline News Government Supreme Court To Decide Whether Faith Is Between You And God, Or You And Government By John C. Eastman

Supreme Court To Decide Whether Faith Is Between You And God, Or You And Government By John C. Eastman

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If one’s exposure to the case was limited to the popular media, you might think this case was only about the free-speech rights of wedding-cake makers. It’s much more.
John C. Eastman
On December 5, the Supreme Court will hear an important religious liberty case that, at its core, raises the following question: Whether the government may use its monopoly on force to require any person to participate in a ceremony purporting to wed two people with same-sex attraction, even if that person cannot, for sincere religious reasons, recognize a same-sex union as marital.

Of course, if one’s exposure to the case was limited to the popular media, you might think this case was only about the free-speech rights of wedding-cake makers. To be sure, the question of whether government can force any person to make a certain form of artistic expression is important and part of this case. Indeed, the lead argument made in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop is the owner’s freedom of speech.

But Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is, fundamentally, about religious liberty. The cake maker’s refusal to bake a cake for a ceremony purporting to wed two people with same-sex attraction stems from the cake maker’s religious principles. As in other cases involving photographers and florists, the core conflict here is whether civil society permits those who are compelled by “decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises,” as the Supreme Court said in Obergefell v. Hodges, to exercise those premises. In other words, can those who disagree with cultural progressivism’s dominant positions freely exercise religion?

How Far We’ve Come from Guarding Freedom

That the government could bestow a right on some Americans to force their fellow citizens to violate their conscience—and that a legal challenge to such an effort would be primarily considered to raise a free speech question, rather than a free exercise question—evinces the extent to which we have strayed from the Founders’ understanding of religion’s role in creating and sustaining a free society.

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