Posts Tagged ‘religious freedom’

Jack Phillips is the kind of gentleman that most of us would want for a neighbor. I know because I had the privilege of meeting Jack, visiting with him, and buying one of his cakes while recently in Denver.

Jack Phillips is an artist. He is gifted with the ability to paint and design masterpieces both on canvas and cakes. Jack owns and operates Masterpiece Cake Shop in Littleton, CO., and, in this way, has provided an honest living for his family.

Jack is a Christian who incorporates the teachings of Christ into his daily life and decisions. The masterpieces that he creates reflect Ephesians 2:10. So, on the day that Jack was asked to create a wedding reception cake for two men who had married outside of Colorado, Jack politely explained why he could not. Jesus says, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:4-6).

Jack is the kind of guy who invites others to believe what he believes, but does not force them. People of all colors, beliefs, and sexual identities come into Jack’s shop and he sells to all of them. But designing a wedding cake is very different from baking a brownie. “What I design,” says Jack, “is not just a tower of flour and sugar, but a message tailored to a specific couple and a specific event—a message telling all who see it that this event is a wedding and that it is an occasion for celebration.”

Jack could not celebrate a same-sex marriage and remain faithful to God. “The two men coming into my shop that day were living out their beliefs,” explains Jack. “All I did was attempt to live out mine. I respect their right to choose and hoped they would respect mine.”

They did not. Instead of tolerance, Jack and his family received hate mail, obscene calls, death threats, and a law suit. Jack and his staff were ordered to undergo re-education and file quarterly “compliance” reports to Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act. Jack stopped creating all wedding cakes and, suffering the loss of 40 percent of his income, was forced to lay off employees.

On December 5, Jack’s case was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. As I await the decision, I know it will affect my religious freedom. It will affect the freedom to speak… or not speak… of us all.

The morning after Jack’s testimony before the U.S. Supreme Court, my morning devotions included Psalm 56. I could think of nothing better to give Jack than the words of this Psalm handwritten on a personal notecard:

Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;
all day long an attacker oppresses me;
my enemies trample on me all day long,
for many attack me proudly.
All day long they injure my cause
all their thoughts are against me for evil.
They stir up strife, they lurk; they watch my steps,
as they have waited for my life.
For their crime will they escape?
In wrath cast down the people, O God!
You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not in Your book?
Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call.
This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?
For You have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling,
that I may walk before God in the light of life.
(Psalm 56:1-2, 5-11, 13 ESV)

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Some people I know are saying, “I don’t like either Obama or Romney, so I’m not going to vote.”  Others are saying, “I can’t vote for a Mormon, so I guess I’ll vote for the one who says he is a Christian.”

This year’s presidential election is not about electing a Christian.  It is about electing an American.

To those of you who follow this blog, I ask one thing: Please inform yourselves about both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.  Get to know their mentors.  Learn who influenced them through life and shaped their worldview.  Then ask yourself: Which man more closely shares your vision of the United States of America?

I do not believe that Mormons are Christians.  However, I would rather be ruled by a loyal defender of this American republic than by a man who wants to remake America in another image.

Dr. Paul Kengor is the author of The Communist, subtitled “Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor.”  The media doesn’t seem interested in Kengor’s book, although it is “meticulously documented and fair,” observes Sheila Liaugminas (Sheila Reports, MercatorNet).  Kengor writes, “It is scandalous that so little attention has been paid to Frank Marshall Davis and his influence on our president . . . Frank Marshall Davis’s political antics were so radical that the FBI placed him on the federal government’s Security Index, which meant that he could be immediately detained or arrested in the event of a national emergency, such as a war breaking out between the United States and the USSR.

“Obama’s memoirs feature twenty-two direct references to “Frank” by name, and far more via pronouns and other forms of reference.  Frank is a consistent theme throughout [Obama’s book] . . . He is part of Obama’s life and mind, by Obama’s own extended recounting, from Hawaii – the site of visits and late evenings together – to Los Angeles to Chicago to Germany to Africa, from adolescence to college to community organizing.  Frank is always one of the few (and first) names mentioned by Obama in each mile marker upon his historic path from Hawaii to Washington.”

Kengor writes that Davis worked diligently to “trash the Democratic Party.”  Then, “like many American communists,” [Davis] decided to join the Democrats” because he had “nowhere else to go.”  Communists, like Davis, patiently sought “alliances with Democrats much closer to their collectivist thinking.”  Kengor’s detailed documentation reveals that Davis has a 600-page FBI file.  In that file is an April 1950 report stating that “members of the subversive element in Honolulu were concentrating their efforts on infiltration of the Democratic Party through control of Precinct Clubs and organizations.”  These communist subversives, said the report, were pushing “their candidates in these Precinct Club elections.”  Kengor explains that it was a “long march to transform the Democratic Party from the party of Truman and JFK to the party of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama.”  He continues, saying, “[I]n a quite fascinating twist of history, Frank Marshall Davis, as a ‘Democrat,’ would go on to influence today’s Democratic Party standard-bearer: Barack Obama.”

I wonder.  Did the Democratic National Convention meeting in Charlotte appear to conclude that it is government – not God – who takes care of the people?

It has been said: We become like the company we keep.  The mentors in our life matter.  The people we let influence us matter.  I want to know what makes the next leader of the free world tick.  I want to know who has influenced the next Commander in Chief.  I want to know what has shaped the man who will sit in the People’s House.  Don’t you?  So, it’s a fair question: If you seek to open the life story of each candidate, what will you find?  What is their worldview… and why?

Please.  Take note of how Obama and Romney each see the proper size and role of government.  Take note of how Obama and Romney listen — or do not listen — to Catholics, Missouri Synod Lutherans, Southern Baptists and other believers on the Lord Jesus Christ.  Take note of where they stand on the sanctity of life, marriage, and personal/religious freedom.  Take note of how they view Shariah Law vs. U.S. Constitutional Law.

Take note… then vote as if the lives of your children and grandchildren depend on it.

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