Nolte: Hollywood Should Applaud SCOTUS, Defend Christian Baker’s Artistic Freedom

Baker Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, manages his shop Monday, June 4, 2018, in Lakewood, Colo., after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that he could refuse to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because of his religious beliefs did not violate Colorado's anti-discrimination law. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Monday’s SCOTUS ruling on Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, while not as sweeping as some of us would have liked, is still wonderful news. By a 7-2 margin, SCOTUS sided with a wedding cake artist who refused to design and bake a same-sex wedding cake.

Hopefully, the larger question of the state forcing artists to create art that violates their conscience will soon be settled in favor of the artist. But in the meantime, we will take whatever tender mercies come our way.

This is also a perfect time for every artist in America to take a deep breath and ask, “How obscene is it, that the STATE, that our own government, is trying to force artists to create art that violates their beliefs, religion, and conscience?”

Christians sincerely believe that a same-sex wedding is the sacramentalization of a sin, and to force them to participate in such a thing, is both un-American and a violation of their human rights.

What’s more, refusing to bake a same-sex wedding cake is not an act of discrimination against homosexuals, or anyone else. In this particular case, the baker was willing to sell this very same gay couple a cake he had already made.

What we have here is an artist, a person of conscience, refusing to participate in a behavior that violates his conscience. This was about not wanting to participate in an activity. This is not about refusing to serve someone based on their identity. That is a huge distinction.

In other words…

How is forcing a Christian artist to create a same-sex wedding cake any different from forcing an Islamic artist-for-hire to paint a loving picture of Buddha, a Jewish caterer to cater a Hindu ceremony involving non-kosher food, a printing company owned by a gay couple to design and supply fliers for an Islamic mosque’s march against gay marriage, a black lawyer to defend a racist Sikh, a Hindu investor to invest in a slaughterhouse owned by a gay man?

The hypotheticals above do involve identity discrimination. These are merely people who, for religious and personal reasons, do not want to have anything to do with certain activities and behaviors. And yet, if the state can force a Christian artist to design and bake a cake, why can’t these others also be forced into participating in activities they oppose?

All artists, but most especially those in Hollywood, should be appalled at the idea of government forcing artists to create art, but of course they are not.

Unfortunately, most everyone in Hollywood is either too short-sighted or too bigoted against Christians to comprehend just how different the world will look if government if given the power to force artists to create art that violates the artist’s conscience.

If the fascist state is going to muscle cake artists, let me ask Hollywood this…

Should a filmmaker — a director, writer, editor, actor, choreographer, designer, cinematographer, composer– be forced by the government to work on a film that violates their conscience?

Should the state sue someone who works in the film business for discrimination if, for example, they turn down a legitimate offer to work on a Christian film that, say, opposes abortion?

All of these Hollywood people freaking out over today’s Supreme Court decision had better think long and hard about the Pandora’s Box they wish to open.

This would be no different than a Hollywood producer refusing to work on a Christian-funded documentary meant to re-elect Donald Trump in 2020.

If the producer turns down this job offered by a Christian group, no rational person can claim he is discriminating against Christians. The truth is that he is simply exercising his Constitutional right as an American to not use his artistry when it means engaging in behavior (filmmaking) when that behavior is an activity (re-electing Trump) that violates his personal  beliefs.

No one would dream of forcing anyone in Hollywood to create art they were opposed to creating.

But if you say nothing when the state comes after a set of artists you despise, it is only a matter of time before that standard is applied to you.

 

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.

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