BP This Week: Merry Christmas…Not Yet!

Ed Stetzer says, “Merry Christmas!”  John Stonestreet says, “Not yet!”  Playful banter ensues. Then our hosts explore the season of Advent: marking the coming of Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, 2,000 years ago, and preparing for His return in glory.

Also, Tuesday the Supreme Court hears arguments in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Pray for Masterpiece owner, Jack Phillips, who has always happily served gay customers but is now being sued for not baking a same-sex wedding cake. Pray for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Pray that religious freedom will prevail and our freedoms will be preserved.


Comment Policy: Commenters are welcome to argue all points of view, but they are asked to do it civilly and respectfully. Comments that call names, insult other people or groups, use profanity or obscenity, repeat the same points over and over, or make personal remarks about other commenters will be deleted. After multiple infractions, commenters may be banned.

  • The Bechtloff

    “I’d be the first to say ‘No you can’t refuse service to gays'” and that is why you guys keep losing, why conservatives never managed to conserve a thing in the past 60 years. This is a fight you lost in 1967 and you don’t even see that. Either you have freedom of association or you don’t and since the Civil Rights Act we don’t. You’re merely begging society to give you the privilege to discriminate in this particular case.

    • Scott

      The arguments in this case has nothing to do with 1967? I assume you are talking about Loving vs. Virginia? This case is about whether or not artists (and other creatives) should be forced to create something that violates their conscience. We all (artist and creative professionals especially) stand to lose a civil right if the Supreme Court rules against Jack Philips.

      • The Bechtloff

        It has everything to do with it. The Civil Rights Act did away with a private business having the right of freedom of association. This is just the natural consequences of such a decision. You don’t even see that you’ve already lost this fight.

        • Scott

          When you say that private businesses do not have the right to “freedom of association,” your statement is false. Take book stores for example. If you go to a Christian book store, you likely will not find Richard Dawkins’ book “The God Delusion.” That is because a Christian Book store associates itself with Christian books. Same goes for a book store that sells college text books. You likely won’t find a copy of the Bible sold there… because that book store associates with college text books. All books are similar in construction, what separates one from the other is it’s content and in America today store owners have the right to associate with different content.

          The case Supreme Court case regarding Jack Philips is about freedom of conscience. Not the same as the above. Jack is a commissioned artist who decorates cakes. As an artist, he has the right of conscience… if the message he is asked to create violates his conscience, he should have the right to refuse. He may very well lose the case, but it won’t be because of Civil Rights Act. In fact, all artists stand to lose a “civil right” if the Supreme Court rules against Jack.

          • The Bechtloff

            If a store having the right to decide what products to stock is your idea of freedom of association you’ve set the bar pretty low. Freedom of association means much more than that. As for “freedom of conscience” as you put it should a wedding cake maker be allowed to not make a cake for an interracial marriage if they believe miscegenation is wrong?

          • Scott

            “If a store having the right to decide what products to stock is your idea of freedom of association you’ve set the bar pretty low.”

            I’m not sure how you define high or low in this case, I just used one example. We can both agree that the content of products one finds in a Christian book store is quite different than the content found in an “adult” book store.

            “Freedom of association means much more than that. As for “freedom of conscience” as you put it should a wedding cake maker be allowed to not make a cake for an interracial marriage if they believe miscegenation is wrong?”

            I’ll do you one better. Should an LGBT baker be allowed to refuse a traditional marriage wedding cake if they believe the content of the message violates their conscience? Should an LGBT cake designer be allowed to own a cake decorating business that serves their community (brand of marriage) exclusively? What about LGBT and Christian magazines, do they not exhibit ideological exclusivity? We are talking about freedom of speech and freedom of conscience here. If a Nazi is walking the streets of Seattle, does he/she have the right to speak about their convictions without being assaulted?.. In a free, plural society the answer to all these questions needs to be yes. The government should never be allowed to dictate speech or force someone against their conscience.

            Different ideologies need space. So long as our actions are peaceful, we need to continue to work towards developing and cultivating such space.

          • The Bechtloff

            “Should an LGBT baker be allowed to refuse a traditional marriage wedding
            cake if they believe the content of the message violates their
            conscience?”
            Yes. If you own a business you should get to decide who you do business with. The only exception is if it is something where there is a natural monopoly and thus utility laws apply. That is the only exception that should exist in my eyes. My point is that by fighting the “freedom of conscious” fight rather than the broader “freedom of association” fight you’ve already given too much ground from the start. And giving too much ground from the start is why conservatism hasn’t managed to conserve a thing in 50 years.

          • Scott

            “Yes. If you own a business you should get to decide who you do business with. The only exception is if it is something where there is a natural monopoly and thus utility laws apply. That is the only exception that should exist in my eyes. My point is that by fighting the “freedom of conscious” fight rather than the broader “freedom of association” fight you’ve already given too much ground from the start. And giving too much ground from the start is why conservatism hasn’t managed to conserve a thing in 50 years.”

            I think you and I are in agreement for the most part. Your distinction between freedom of “conscience” and “association” is a good one, however there are inherent difficulties when arguing from either position. If I were to break this down properly (covering most points) I would exceed the word limit, so I will do my best and apologize for all that is left unsaid.

            If freedom of association was your platform, then you would still have to defend what you were associating with and whether or not it is valid. Because conflicting ideologies differ on the validity of many things, eventually you would run into the same augments used against freedom of conscience. I personally think that freedom of conscience is a better place to begin because it addresses the individual. From this position you can argue that one is not allowed to force you to violate your conscience so long as your conscience does not violate others. That is why I like what our Republic vs. a Democracy. Theoretically it allows the individual (or minority) the same legal footing as a group of many (or the majority/popular opinion). I would argue for freedom of association as well… but defining what it is you are associated with is of great importance to this platform. Also it is worth noting that conscience might very well be the link to one’s association.

            Because America is a melting pot and was designed to be plural from conception, we have to leave the “one size fits all” mentality and continue to develop space for our differences. Would you agree?

          • The Bechtloff

            I think we are in more agreement than I originally thought.

  • Brian Hale

    I would rather not be commenting every week, but when Christian leaders say Americans do not experience religious persecution, my jaw drops. No, my neck has not been sliced open on a beach, but for writing against same-sex marriage as a sin and a trap that does not even work on its own terms, much less Christian ones, I have had my food poisoned purposefully in restaurants and spent nauseous days in my bathroom; I have been accused of hate speech, and my life has been threatened. If that is not persecution, please one of you write your next book on the history of religious persecution in America so that you can educate me on what is.

  • Vangie

    For what it’s worth, haven’t Christians let the culture dictate how we define people. We should never have gone along with defining people by sexual behavior. If a person walks into a bakery, you have no idea how that person get his or her sexual jollies – and thus no discrimination happens. We should have been more vocal about making behavior the measure of personhood.