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Twitter Chief Apologizes for Purchasing (Not Eating) a Chick-Fil-A Sandwich

Once LGBT activists learned that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had tweeted a positive message about Chick-Fil-A, they demanded that Dorsey apologize.

The Twitter CEO did renounce his purchase (but not his enjoyment!) of the chicken sandwich by saying “completely forgot about their background,” meaning the Christian pro-biblical marriage values of the chicken chain’s CEO, Dan Cathy.

But not everyone was quick to bad-mouth the famous fast food restaurant. Journalist Jeryl Bier said, “’Background’ meaning they employ 41,000 people, many of whom are the most pleasant fast-food employees in the country, serve delicious food at good prices, and at amazing speed? That background?”

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Will SCOTUS Now Hear the Case of a Christian Florist?

With the case of Christian cake baker Jack Phillips as precedent, will the U.S. Supreme Court now hear the appeal of a Christian florist who was sued because she refused to provide flowers for a homosexual wedding?

Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Wash., was not only sued by Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed, the homosexual couple who felt they had been discriminated against, but also by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. She lost her case in the state Supreme Court in 2017 and then ADF appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court put this case on hold pending the resolution of Phillips’ case.

In a statement on Monday, Ferguson explained how he doesn’t think Stutzman has a chance by saying, “Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision may add some procedural steps to the Arlene’s Flowers case, but it will not alter its ultimate resolution.”

On the other hand, Kristen Waggoner, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Vice President, U.S. Legal Division who represented Phillips, believes Stutzman does have a chance. In Tuesday’s ADF news release she said, “Barronelle, like Jack, serves all customers but declines to create custom art that expresses messages or celebrates events in conflict with her deeply held religious beliefs. The attorney general’s efforts to punish her because he dislikes her beliefs about marriage are as impermissible as Colorado’s attempt to punish Jack.”

The Court could rule as early next week on this matter. Given the narrowness of the Masterpiece ruling, it is possible that the Court will send Stutzman’s case back to the trial court to be re-reviewed in light of this week’s decision.

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A Christian Facebook and Twitter Alternative

One Christian tech wizard and entrepreneur in California, Steven Andrew, is using a crowdfunding page to raise money to create a social media platform that would be the Christian alternative to Facebook and Twitter.

The goal of this new USA.Life would be to foster religious liberty, faith, and other principles on which our country was founded, values that have largely been censored recently by the popular social media networks.

USA.Life would be free for users but would also offer a paid level for more features. The yet-to-be-launched social media network could be released as early as this summer if it reaches its fundraising goal of $778,000. Along with the new social media platform, Andrew wants to develop the search engine 1776Free that would reveal results often hidden by Google.

If Andrew is able to get these Christian-based resources out to people of faith, the question would be how quickly Christian personalities, organizations, and businesses would make the switch to a new platform.

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Supreme Court Refuses to Bite on Wedding Cake Case

Religious conservatives had to have felt like they’d been left at the altar, so to speak, on Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision involving the refusal of Masterpiece Cakeshop’s owner, Jack Phillips, to make a custom wedding cake for a government-licensed marriage involving two men. But Justice Gorsuch’s concurring opinion served up something for us to chew on.

Highest Court Sidesteps Main Issues

Throughout the various legal proceedings, Phillips’ primary complaint was that forcing him to make a custom cake for a government-licensed same-sex marriage violated his First Amendment free speech rights, because designing a cake is expressive conduct not unlike the expressive conduct associated with burning the flag. His secondary argument was grounded in the free exercise of religion. He argued that being forced by the state to make a wedding cake for a government-licensed same-sex marriage violated the free exercise of his religious beliefs.

The Court sidestepped both of these issues. Phillips “won” because the Court said the Colorado legal proceedings evidenced overt hostility toward his religious beliefs. Moreover, the Court said some of the considerations taken into account in evaluating Phillips’ claims seemed to be different from those applied to three bakers who were accused by a Christian man of discriminating against him because they refused to design cakes expressing disapproval of government-licensed same-sex marriages.

An Appearance of Religious Neutrality

As I read the opinion, all the U.S. Supreme Court really decided was that Civil Rights Commissions and the courts that review their decisions must treat religious defenses to claims of discrimination in the same manner and by the same standards of review as non-religious defenses. In other words, the record of the proceedings must show “neutrality” in the evaluation of different defenses given for non-compliance with a non-discrimination law.

But here is where Justice Gorsuch nails the majority. He notes that the majority’s standard doesn’t really ensure equal administration of the law; it just “invite[s] civil authorities to gerrymander their inquiries based on the parties they prefer.” In plain English, couch your questions and concerns in secular overtones so as to create the appearance of religious neutrality.

Justice Gorsuch realizes that all the majority really said was this: If you want to put the screws to bakers who object to providing services based on what their faith in God tells them about marriage while protecting secular humanist bakers who object to providing services based on what their faith in man and the non-existence of God tells them about marriage, then just be careful what you say. But Gorsuch seems to understand why that approach should not be allowed to work.

Without really saying why, it is because he equates the “secular commitment” of the bakers who refused to bake cakes expressing disapproval of government-licensed same-sex marriages with Phillips’ religious commitments:

[T]he Commission allowed three other bakers to refuse a customer’s request that would have required them to violate their secular commitments. Yet it denied the same accommodation to Mr. Phillips when he refused a customer’s request that would have required him to violate his religious beliefs. (emphasis added)

Why Gorsuch’s Connection Was Correct

What I believe Justice Gorsuch was saying, without doing so explicitly, is this: All our actions are based on some value system that is grounded in an ultimate belief that we have to hold in faith.

Many today want us to think that we should hold beliefs based strictly on science and reason, that this is “neutral,” but those things are no help when it comes to the beliefs that undergird our value systems.

Science can tell us how something works and, in some cases, why it may exist, but it can’t provide a foundation for values.

Reason argues from premises that reason can’t prove, at least not without resorting to some other belief that reason then can’t prove. Using reason to prove reason is what we call circular reasoning.

So, one thing I think the religiously-minded can take from Phillips’ case is this: When your values are under attack because they are informed by your religious faith, then help the other person understand that their values are informed by their faith, too—their faith in themselves (because science and reason can’t help them) and in the irrelevance of God to their value systems.

To hold that faith commitments based on God are not acceptable and faith commitments based on the denial of God are acceptable is the essence of discrimination against religion. Maybe someday the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court will understand that.


David Fowler served in the Tennessee state Senate for 12 years before joining FACT as President in 2006. Read David’s complete bio.

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FACT Pleased That SCOTUS Sides With Religious Liberty

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (June 4, 2018) – The following comment concerning the much-anticipated outcome of the Jack Phillips religious liberty case can be attributed to FACT President David Fowler:

We are grateful for the Supreme Court’s decision vacating the judgment that had been rendered against Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, for refusing to custom design a wedding cake for a government-licensed marriage between two men.

The Court’s opinion makes it clear that the government may not mock one’s religious beliefs or treat those beliefs less favorably because those in charge take offense.

However, the Court did not address his claim that custom designing a wedding cake should be protected in the same way as other forms of “expressive conduct” that the Court has recognized, such as burning the American flag or working as a stripper. The Court also did not address his claim that a law forcing him to design a cake that celebrates and marks an event his religious beliefs do not allow him to celebrate and acknowledge as a marriage violates his religious liberty. We look forward to both of those issues being addressed in the future.

The Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT), which Fowler heads, was formed in 2006 by a group of citizens concerned about the growing negative impact of public policies on marriage, families, life, and religious liberty. FACT’s mission is to equip Tennesseans and their elected officials to effectively promote and defend a culture that values God’s design for the family, for the sake of the common good. For more information, visit FACTn.org.

Media Contact: Laura Bagby, Director of Communications | Office Phone: 615-261-1338 | email: laura.bagby@factn.org