The nephew of Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips says that he found faith and turned to the Bible after seeing his uncle withstand hate and death threats when he declined to bake a same-sex wedding cake.
Alliance Defending Freedom, the law group that successfully represented Phillips in his Supreme Court case concerning his refusal on religious grounds to design custom cakes for gay weddings, pointed out that the baker had “hate mail, nasty phone calls, and death threats pouring in.”
“At one point, Jack even received a death threat when his daughter and granddaughter were in the store. He sent them in the back to hide while he called the police. The threats got so bad that Jack’s wife, Debi, was too afraid to go into their own shop,” the law group revealed.
At the time, Sean, Phillips’ nephew, “didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus,” ADF said.
He saw that his uncle was willing to take a stand for his beliefs, however, and continue to serve and engage with various members of the community, including homeless people.
ADF says that Sean became angry and “shocked” at the hateful messages sent against the Colorado baker.
“But in observing and talking with Jack, he saw a quiet example of what it looks like to live a life in obedience to Christ,” the group stated. “Over time, Sean let go of his anger. He dug into the Bible to understand the comfort that Jack had in Christ and how he could withstand such hardship with grace and peace. And eventually, God drew Sean to Himself.”
Today, Sean is "walking with Jesus" and "is a changed man.”
Phillips said that others have told him their lives have also been changed by his witness.
“[We] have been blessed to see countless other Christians, who’ve watched the effect of this case on our lives, stand up boldly and with greater confidence. Some weren’t standing up at all, and now they are firm in God’s teachings,” the baker revealed.
“That’s deeply encouraging to us, and I think it is one of the most beautiful things that could happen to anyone in a similar situation — to know that other people will be encouraged and, in turn, will encourage others. That really has made all of this worthwhile.”
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in June that "religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression."
Just two months after his Supreme Court victory, however, Phillips was again taken to court in August for refusing to make a transgender-themed cake.
The case concerns an incident where Phillips was accused by the state of Colorado of violating the law by refusing to make a cake celebrating a gender transition.
"After Phillips defended himself all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won, he thought Colorado's hostility toward his faith was over. He was wrong," reads ADF's latest lawsuit on behalf of Phillips.
"Colorado has renewed its war against him by embarking on another attempt to prosecute him, in direct conflict with the Supreme Court's ruling in his favor. This lawsuit is necessary to stop Colorado's continuing persecution of Phillips."