Even a generation ago, the story of Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, would have been unthinkable. After serving his community for more than two dec-ades, he suddenly found himself on the wrong side of the law. It wasn’t for health violations, stealing, tax evasion, embezzlement, or anything else you might expect, though. Rather, Phillips was guilty of nothing more than being a Christian in the public square who takes his faith seriously. And his life was turned upside down because of it.
In July 2012, two homosexual men came in to his family-owned cake shop in Lakewood demanding that he design a custom wedding cake to celebrate their homosexual “marriage.” Being a Christian, obviously he could not use his God-given artistic talents to celebrate something God describes in the Bible as an “abomination” — much less make a mockery of marriage, which to Christians is an earthly illustration of the relationship between Christ and His Church. So Phillips politely declined to bake the cake, offering to sell the homosexual couple cakes for other occasions or anything else they may want in his store.
The men could have simply taken their business elsewhere. But instead, they filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission alleging “discrimination” based on “sexual orientation.” And incredibly, the kangaroo “court” ordered Phillips to either bake cakes celebrating homosexual “marriage,” or quit designing any and all wedding cakes. He was also commanded to “reeducate” his employees so they would understand that he was wrong to be a Christian while operating his business. In other words, Phillips could violate his conscience and his faith — or lose his livelihood and allow his family to starve. This in a nation founded by Christians, for Christians, that offered unprecedented tolerance to those of other faiths and worldviews.
Eventually, after years of allowing authorities to terrorize the poor Phillips family, the U.S. Supreme Court ended up ruling in his favor. But the decision was based on a narrow finding that Colorado’s “civil rights” bureaucrats were biased against religion. The court never ruled on the question of whether or not a business owner could be forced to violate his or her conscience. As if it could not get any more outrageous, Colorado authorities targeted Phillips again for refusing to design a cake celebrating a “gender transition” by a confused man who was planning to have his genitals surgically removed to better impersonate a woman. After Phillips filed a lawsuit against Colorado authorities for waging a “crusade to crush” him for his belief that an individual’s sex is “given by God and cannot be chosen or changed,” the state attorney general finally backed off.
Still, the Phillips saga represented a turning point in American history. Not only have Americans’ once-Christian political institutions been thoroughly de-Christianized, those same institutions are now working to crush any remnants of Christianity still lingering in society. Similar laws to those that almost destroyed the Phillips family have proliferated across America. And now, the very same anti-Christian bigotry and legislation that animated the persecution of Phillips in Colorado is on the verge of being enshrined into federal statute.
The Equality Act: Criminalizing Christianity
This year, Democrats in Congress introduced LGBT “equality” legislation purporting to ban “discrimination.” Critics, though, warned that the measure would criminalize Christianity, Islam, and Judaism by forcing virtually every institution in society — including religious institutions — to hire, serve, and promote homosexuals and individuals confused about their gender. A number of analysts have warned that by enshrining “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in the statute, which would embed these concepts into the 1964 Civil Rights Act, even pedophilia and pederasty could be protected as a “sexual orientation.”
In the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats already have more than enough cosponsors to pass the bill easily. And in the Senate, they are getting very close, needing just a few more cosponsors for a solid majority. Whether President Donald Trump would sign the bill if it reached his desk remains unclear. But analysts on both sides have pointed out that the president has been rather friendly to the “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender” agenda.
Among other radical changes to federal law, the so-called Equality Act, also known as H.R. 5 in the House and S. 788 in the Senate, purports to “prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation.” To do that, it would enshrine actual or perceived “sexual orientation and gender identity” (SOGI) into federal statutes. That would give homosexuality, transgenderism, and other perversions of human sexuality and gender the same protections as race or sex in employment, housing, public accommodations, and more. Similar efforts are being pursued through international agreements such as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Incredibly, perhaps attempting to counteract any future court rulings on the issue, the “Equality Act” specifically states that religious freedom may not be used as a defense under the bill. And the legislation applies to churches, religious schools, religious hospitals, religious employers, gathering places, sports, all government entities, and more. Christian adoption agencies will be shut down, too, if they refuse to place children with homosexuals or individuals confused about whether they are men or women. That has already happened in states with similar legislation.