The Future of Jack Phillips is the Future of All of Us
Author: Chris Johnson  
20171205
 

 

As I write this, the future of our religious freedom is being discussed in a marble building hundreds of miles away. How fitting that the halls where the future will be decided is modeled after Greek temples to false gods.

Today, the case of Jack Phillips is being argued before the Supreme Court. As we’ve written about before, Phillips, the proprietor of Masterpiece Cakeshop, is fighting for his right to refuse to create a message through his own artwork which does not line up with his religious beliefs.  He is fighting for religious liberty at a fundamental level.

In this case, of course, he has refused to bake a cake for a homosexual wedding. As we’ve noted before, Jack Phillips did not refuse service to homosexuals. In fact he was willing to sell them any cake they’d like. However, he would not allow his artwork to be a centerpiece to a wedding he deemed immoral.

That ought to be a decision left up to any artist.

In fact, on the other side of the ideological divide, myriads of fashion designers have refused to allow their designs to be featured on Melania Trump. In a similar example, when Ivanka Trump shared a picture from her home on social media in which a liberal artist’s work appeared on the wall behind her, the artist demanded she remove it from her home!

Clearly, liberals are quite defensive of their own freedom of expression.

And other artists recognize the threat this case poses to their freedoms as well; hundreds of them signed on to an amicus brief in support of Phillips. As the Daily Signal reports, “479 creative professionals from all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico highlight their concern that a ruling against Phillips will threaten their expressive freedom in the workplace.

These cake designers, musicians, florists, photographers, journalists, videographers, poets, songwriters, calligraphers, graphic designers, cartoonists, bloggers, website designers, authors, actors, writers, sculptors, and painters have differing views on gay marriage. But they come together here for one purpose: ’They do not want the state forcing them to convey objectionable messages through their art.’”

The implications of this case, however, are much more widespread than for just the artistic professions.  If the courts decide that the right of Jack Phillips to choose which ideas his art will express is less important than the feelings of his potential clients, that will paint a clear picture of how the government will recognize all of our rights to express our beliefs and live by them.

Tony Perkins expressed it succinctly this morning, on the steps of the Supreme Court building, ”We simply want the freedom that our constitution guarantees us: the freedom to believe and to live according to those beliefs.”

One more point worth noting is that while the U.S. Constitution “guarantees” us those rights, as Perkins mentions, it does not grant those rights. They are “endowed by our Creator!”

It is our freedom as human beings, and our duty as Christians to proclaim the truth of God’s word, whether the government protects that speech or not.

Join me in praying for wisdom for the Justices as they hear arguments today.

As always, God is in control, working through all things for His glory and our good.


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