Readers React: Religious faith is about an individual’s conscience, not a business practice

Baker Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, manages his store on June 4 in Lakewood, Colo.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

To the editor: Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in the case of a Colorado business owner who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple signifies that he did not experience a change of heart regarding his past decisions that ruled on the side of gay plaintiffs.

Kennedy has shown that he recognizes that the primacy of the individual conscience is a fundamental part of religious freedom, which is an unspoken principle of the 1st Amendment. Business owner Jack Phillips believed in accordance with his conscience that designing a cake for a same-sex wedding would violate his conscience and his religious beliefs.

As a church member, I disagree with some of the practices instituted by the men around me because of my conscience. If I were a bakeshop owner, I would have taken pleasure in creating a wedding cake for Charles Craig and David Mullins and reflected on how we should love one another as God has loved us.


I wish them many blessings throughout their lives.

Barbara Lorenz, La Jolla


To the editor: The ruling itself is not as disheartening as the fact that this matter wended its way through the judicial system with significant expenditure of time, effort and money. Law is not needed when civility reigns.

Here is how this whole thing could have been settled quickly:

Gay couple: We want to buy a wedding cake.

Baker: Gay marriage is wrong in my religion. For me to make wedding cake for you, I would be participating in an act contrary to my faith. You are welcome to purchase any other cake.

Gay couple: Thank you for your offer. We shall look elsewhere.

How difficult was that?

Mark Stephen Mrotek, Carson


To the editor: The legally vague ruling on the rights of a business that serves the public leaves a number of possible orders for cakes needing to be addressed.


Can an African American baker refuse to decorate a cake with the Confederate flag? Can a Native American baker decline to portray the American flag? Can a Jewish baker refuse to serve Nazis? What about the rights of feminist bakers or animals-rights bakers?

Need I go on?

William Landau, Los Angeles

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