By Jonathon Van Maren
The Cost of My Faith: How a Decision in My Cake Shop Took Me to the Supreme Courtby Jack Phillips (Salem Books: 2021), 256 pages.
Three years after securing a landmark victory for religious liberty at the U.S. Supreme Court, on June 15 baker Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop was ordered to pay a fine by a Denver County Court for declining to bake a cake celebrating a customer’s sex change. It did not matter that the plaintiff, Autumn Scardina, was targeting Phillips for his religious beliefs, or that Phillips has spent nearly a decade fighting the LGBT activists trying to destroy his life. Once again, Phillips found that his faith was a flashpoint in the fight between conscience rights and so-called sexual freedom.
Scardina, who identifies as transgender, called Phillips to ask for the cake the very same day in June 2018 that the Supreme Court ruled that Phillips had been discriminated against because of his faith in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. “The plaintiff said that the goal of the lawsuit was to ‘correct the errors of Jack’s thinking,” Phillips’s lawyer, Ryan Bangert of Alliance Defending Freedom, told me. “That if the case were dismissed, he would simply request another cake the following day and start the process all over again.” Scardina had previously requested a cake that featured Satan smoking a joint.
Jack Phillips released his memoir The Cost of My Faith: How a Decision in My Cake Shop Took Me to the Supreme Court in May this year, only a month before this latest Denver County Court order. The Cost of My Faith is a story of our times and for our times, a summation of the price Christians will increasingly pay for their beliefs in the decades ahead—and a road map for resistance. The book is the story of how a Colorado cakeshop became a culture war battleground; of how a private citizen found himself forced into the public spotlight; of how Christian faith has put not only bakers, but florists, wedding photographers, videographers, publishers, and t-shirt designers on a collision course with the forces of the sexual revolution.