Religious Liberty vs. Free Expression

Again, while you were planning your Fourth of July activities, during the last week of June, during the closing session of the Supreme Court, two rulings came down.

First, a partial allowance of Trump’s travel ban. A quick take: The ban was for only 90 days. So by the time the Supreme Court takes up the case, it should be a moot point. I believe the court just kicked the can down the road knowing this. It will eventually take up a case on the limits of executive power regarding immigration, even though as late as 2013, they have made their rulings on this quite clear. What probably will be challenged is whatever comes after the ban expires. Just my opinion.

Second, the Supreme Court said it will take up the case of the Colorado baker who refused to make a “specialty” cake for a gay wedding. In spite of whatever coverage you may have read or heard on this, as the Trump ban took up most of the oxygen, this is NOT about reopening the case for or against same-sex marriage. He did not refuse a gay couple a wedding cake, as the Associated Press reported, nor did he refuse to serve a gay couple, as The New York Times reported. 

Sign Up for E-News

The fact is, everything in his shop was available to anyone, whether gay or straight. What the bake shop owner, Jack Phillips, would not do was use his special talents in cake artistry to make a unique cake for David Mullins and Charlie Craig’s wedding based on his long-standing and widely known religious reasons. The cake the couple wanted was erotic-themed. This case actually centers on whether unelected civil rights commissions are empowered to decide when your religious rights are appropriate.

In this case, the lower courts, like in the Trump Travel ban, took it upon themselves to divine the “real” intentions as opposed to the spoken and written intentions. The lower courts again gave themselves the power to read minds and hearts.

There are a couple of points omitted from the coverage: This incident happened in 2012. This is important. Neither Colorado nor the Supreme Court ruled at the time the legality of same sex marriage.  In Colorado, at the time, it was illegal. This is why, for this case, same-sex marriage is a moot point. A little research would have shown this to the reporters. However, where would the template be?

What the lower courts ruled was that religious liberty takes a back seat to free expression when it crosses hairs with political advocacy or opinion. It gave itself the power to decide when religious beliefs matter to you. You see, in 2014, in the same state of Colorado, a man walked into a bakery (not the same one here) and ordered two cakes in the shape of a bible with these two passages written on them. One: “God hates sin,” Pslam 45:7. Two: “Homosexuality is a detestable sin,” Leviticus 18:22. The baker refused. The case was thrown out.

So, here we are. Two cases where the courts have decided they can divine your true intentions. Not on the cases before them, but on what was uttered in different circumstances. This is the real question before the Supreme Court: Are courts or other unelected officials allowed to read your minds and hearts? Can they use that power to make people see the world their way?

This is what I say. What say you?

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Facebook, Fools, Friends and Rock ‘n’ Roll

Since its inception, Facebook has been a regular target of mockery and criticism—everything from, “Do I really need to see a picture of the pastrami sandwich you had for lunch?” to “Why did you help the Russians get Donald Trump elected?”

No one likes to mock and criticize more than I do—just ask all of my former friends. And while I agree that Facebook can ...

It Was the Economy That Got Trump Elected

I am not easily shocked by much anymore. Yet, I was by last week’s column by fellow columnist Bernie Kosberg. Kosberg, whose column runs regularly in Mahopac News and sometimes in Yorktown News, said in the first paragraph: “Several readers decried my conclusion that the overwhelming support of Putnam County voters for Trump was not due to economic anxiety or the unavailability of ...

God Is Just! Schneiderman Is Out!

Whenever you doubt that God is just, remember last Monday. That is the day New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned.

As you know, I have had him in my sights for a long time. He has squandered our tax dollars with more than 100 lawsuits against the Trump administration. Plus, his lawsuits against Big Oil and trying to nullify our double jeopardy laws. Most will go nowhere as ...

It Wasn’t About the Economy or Jobs

Soon after President Trump was “crowned” by the Electoral College in November 2016, I wrote a column about Putnam County voters that garnered some attention—both good and bad. Several readers decried my conclusion that the overwhelming support of Putnam County voters for Trump was not due to economic anxiety or the unavailability of suitable jobs, but to the overarching fear ...

BOCES… What’s in a Name?

Do you ever wonder what BOCES stands for? We associate the name with a center of learning that supplements the general curriculum of local high schools by teaching students specialized trades. Beyond that, does everyone in the non-BOCES population, those who have no direct connection to the programs, fully appreciate the priceless value it brings to our communities’ young adults and their ...

Bias in Media, in Me, in You

While listening to an interview with a voter on my car radio, I thought I had excess ear wax that obstructed my hearing. The voter (whose name is Bruce) said this about one of the qualifications that a Senate or House candidate must have to earn his vote: “I don’t want anyone with ideas. We have enough of those already.”

I’m a journalist and have been one my entire ...

Dog Allergies, Part Deux

“I have some good news and I have some bad news,” I told my husband.

“Give me the good news first.”

“OK. The vet doesn’t think the dog’s ear infections are from a food allergy after all, so we don’t have to keep feeding him that hypo-allergenic food,” I said.

“Hallelujah,” shouted my husband. He was understandably ...

Cross My Legs and Hope to Die

One morning, I had a big cup of coffee as I usually do, and then I got in the car and drove 40 minutes to a clothing store I had been curious to check out. I don’t normally drive 40 minutes to go shopping, but since I am a stay-at-home mom and everyone knows we stay-at-home moms just spend our time shopping and eating bonbons, I figured, “What the hey.”

Having had the ...

CD Release Concert - New Middle Class at Putnam Arts Council

May 23, 2018

Press Release

Contact: Mike Borok

Phone: (914) 962-0120


May 19, 2018

Putnam Arts Council Hosts CD Release Concert featuring New Middle Class, with Dan Pelletier & Wendy Cody

MAHOPAC, ny: On Saturday evening, June 16, 2018, the Putnam Arts Council will host a concert ...