Jack Phillips and the Need for Tolerance

By Richard Nelson


December 11, 2017

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The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of the Colorado Baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay wedding ceremony. There's been a lot of misinformation in this case and the court is trying to sort it out. For starters, Jack Phillips doesn't discriminate against individuals who come into his shop and make a purchase. He does believe however, that the government shouldn't force him to speak messages that he disagrees with. This is because his conscience won’t allow him to express all messages. He won't make cakes that are rude or have morally objectionable messages. Justice Kennedy said “tolerance is essential in a free society. And tolerance is most meaningful when it’s mutual. It seems to me that the state in its position here has been neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’ religious beliefs.”


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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center