“Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”
The decision won't be announced until June, but Jack's lawyers are presenting their case today. If you are for a society where true tolerance exists, you should also be on Jack's side of this even if you don't agree with his stance. Here are five reasons why:
1. Jack Phillips is you
Obviously he isn't literally you, but he represents you. You have strongly held values and beliefs you live by whether you have defined them or not. You also want to live according to those strongly held beliefs and values. That's all Jack wants to do. Every time the government tells someone they can't live according to their convictions the government is one step closer to telling you the same thing.
2. Jack Phillips loves all people
I know many people don't think this is the case, but those people have either not spent much time with Jack or fail to understand his beliefs. I have spent significant time with Jack and have had the opportunity to talk about what he believes. He is one of the most loving and kind men I have ever met. Jack loves people who are hurting often ministering to those who struggle with addiction. His wife even volunteers to tutor students who are struggling in school. Jack and Debbie love people of all kinds and of all sexual orientations, but they don't support all messages.
3. Freedom is at risk
Today it is religious freedom, but if that is taken away which freedom is next? Will it be freedom of the press? How far removed are we from not being able to mention any religious beliefs in the public square? Rather than tolerance and plurality we are moving towards government enforced uniformity; that hasn't turned out so well throughout history.
4. Being free from being offended is not a civil right
Jack wasn't attempting to stop anybody from getting married, he just couldn't keep a clear conscience and participate in the wedding at the same time. Maybe that isn't your conviction, but it is his. Unfortunately this offends some people, but there are all kinds of things that some people find offensive. If not being offended is some kind of civil right how many things would you be kept from doing or saying because other people are offended? I am offended every time someone takes Jesus name in vain (that's a lot). I am offended by abortion, by foul language, by name calling, by trash talking, by burning the flag, by all kinds of things. That said, I realize it isn't everyone else's job to keep from offending me, so I deal with it in other ways.
5. It's common sense
Really it is! Jack doesn't do same sex wedding cakes, but the bakery literally across the street does, so go there. This isn't a case where the couple had no other options. Tolerance requires some sacrifice in society. If one person or group of people can't participate in your event you should not be able to force them to do so, that isn't tolerance, that is oppression.
Jack isn't going to make same sex wedding cakes, he will end up losing his business. At best this will cause people to fear government and avoid those kinds of businesses. Jack needs your support.
John Byrne is a pastor who has been spouting off his opinions his entire life (just ask his mom). This little blog is his venue for continuing in this tradition.