The recent 7-2 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of a Christian baker whose life had been ruined by the state of Colorado immediately set off a firestorm of passionate responses. While pro-family and religious groups hailed a victory for conscience rights, progressives bemoaned the atrocity of prejudice being legally codified. Even self-loathing Christians expressed reservations over what they perceived as an empty legal win that will lead to more discord.
The reactions revealed not just how divided the country has become on the culture front, but also how much the media is to blame for that division. When it comes to LGBT issues, media have become hopelessly dishonest and unreliable. Having foolishly adopted the LGBT agenda as this generation's civil rights movement, newsrooms are staffed – at least when it comes to this topic – with advocates, not journalists who willingly dismiss the movement's overreaches, ignore its abuses, and offer no legitimate skepticism to its demands.
So even when obvious, bipartisan rulings like this one come down, Americans cannot rely on its journalists to dispassionately explain and clarify the issue, but instead must brace for an inflammatory and exaggerated account of gay persecution.
For example, CNN's legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin suggested to viewers the decision was, "certainly an invitation to people who discriminate against gay people." This characterization is beyond irresponsible.
First of all, the abuse of the term "discriminate" is disappointing and unhelpful. Discrimination is a necessary part of all decision-making, including choices we make (as producers and consumers) based on moral considerations. When the owner of a movie theater tells patrons they may not have weapons on the premises, he is discriminating on the basis of his moral principles against gun enthusiasts. When a teetotaler opens a drink stand but doesn't serve alcohol, he is discriminating based on his moral convictions. The question comes down to what kind of discrimination is wrong or immoral.
So Toobin's analysis that this Court decision invites people to discriminate against gay people isn't necessarily wrong, but it's completely misleading. The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop did not refuse to serve gay people. He did not refuse to sell the gay couple a wedding cake. He was willing to do both of those things.
What he objected to doing, on conscience grounds, was customizing a cake – designing a specific celebratory message – for a union that he found to dishonor God. And he didn't single out homosexual customers in this regard. He similarly refuses to design cakes for bachelor parties, divorce celebrations, or even Halloween, for the exact same reason.
As Justice Gorsuch observed in his concurrence, "It was the kind of cake, not the kind of customer, that mattered to the bakers." Why do Toobin and the vast cadre of like-minded print and broadcast journalists refuse to distinguish this significant reality in their reporting? Could it be that they are blinded by loyalty to a political narrative?
The decision rendered by the Court centered not around gay weddings, but the fact that the Orwellian-named Colorado Civil Rights Commission had conducted a legal and personal witch hunt against the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, using the powers of government to destroy the life and livelihood of an individual who believed differently than them. That was the story of this case that deserved reporting – the abusive and corrupt power of government officials persecuting a man and his family for having the wrong religion.
Note that is what the Court's convincing majority – including reliably progressive, gay activist liberals Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer – put a stop to. As well they should have, given that it is textbook fascism.
Toobin and the overwhelming preponderance of his journalist brethren have reported that this decision was, "an enormous defeat for the gay rights movement." But gay people didn't suffer a setback in this decision, fascism did. It seems odd that so many reporters who regularly and willfully sacrifice their objectivity in order to champion the LGBT cause would insult their movement by equating the two.
In the final analysis, whether you'd bake a gay cake or not, this Supreme Court decision was a defeat for despotic government overstepping its boundaries to trample the First Amendment. In other words, it was a victory for individual freedom, for "live and let live," and for fidelity to the Constitution. If you find that objectionable, you might want to ask yourself why.