The Christian baker at the centre of a six-year legal tussle over religious liberty says he’s “so thankful” to the US Supreme Court for ruling in his favour.
Jack Phillips won his case on Monday after being sued by two homosexual men who wanted him to create a custom cake to celebrate their wedding.
Christian leaders Russell Moore and Albert Mohler both welcomed the decision, but there was widespread caution given the limited scope of the ruling.
Writing on Twitter, Revd Mohler described the ruling as “good news, but only a start”. The Gospel Coalition’s Joe Carter said Christians could still be forced to “use their artistic talents in a way that violates their conscience”.
"The Supreme Court is right: the state should not compel people to use their artistic gifts for speech that goes against their deepest-held convictions."
– @drmoore #MasterpieceCakeshop pic.twitter.com/VMFHSW12Pe
— ERLC (@ERLC) June 5, 2018
But the commentators welcomed the rebuke the court gave to the state of Colorado for its animosity against Christian belief.
One official at its Civil Rights Commission had claimed religious freedom had been used to ‘justify the Holocaust’.
The Supreme Court said the Commission’s treatment of Phillips’ case “showed elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs motivating his objection”.
It’s hard to believe that the government punished me for operating my business consistent with my beliefs about marriage.
In the 7-2 judgment, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote: “The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”
Phillips, who has been supported by religious liberty organisation Alliance Defending Freedom, expressed his delight at the ruling.
“It’s hard to believe that the government punished me for operating my business consistent with my beliefs about marriage.
“That isn’t freedom or tolerance”.
“I’m so thankful to the U.S. Supreme Court for this ruling.”