The Flawed Red Hen Analogy Shows Liberals Still Don’t Understand Christian Baker Case

Unlike the Red Hen, Jack Phillips serves all customers. He just doesn't participate in all events.

This Saturday, June 23, 2018 photo shows the Red Hen Restaurant in downtown Lexington, Va.

By Published on June 26, 2018

After a Lexington, Virginia, restaurant, the Red Hen, refused service to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Friday, commentators on the left immediately seized upon a false analogy.

They likened that incident to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the case of the Christian baker in Colorado who refused to craft a custom cake for a same-sex wedding.

That attempt at an analogy reveals that the left still does not understand the Supreme Court’s ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Jack Phillips, the baker, serves all customers, but cannot serve all events. He declined to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple not because of their identity, because he could not communicate a message that violated his religious beliefs.

 

He even offered the couple any other item in his store.

Meanwhile, the Red Hen denied service to Sanders precisely because of who she is. They did not refuse to create a custom order that would have endorsed views they disagreed with. They denied her service, period.

The false analogy also reveals the hypocrisy of the left’s position. They accuse people like Phillips, who serves everyone regardless of who they are, of discrimination, but herald institutions like the Red Hen for denying service because of who someone is.

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Robert P. George, a philosopher and Princeton University McCormick chair of jurisprudence, explained the problem with the analogy in tweets:

 

Copyright 2018 The Daily Signal

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  • John Connor

    SCOTUS ruled against the govt treatment of the baker. The state’s public accommodation laws and anti discrimination laws still stand. If the state govt had acted with civility towards the baker, he would have lost.

    • JP

      That is why freedom of speech and religion must be enforced.

      • Zimo29

        I just want my freedom enforced.
        Don’t like me, you are free to go some place else.

    • Andrew Mason

      Actually that latter is an assumption. SCOTUS has yet to rule if the Constitution protects orientation, or whether states can force bakers to violate their conscience and support SSM.

      • John Connor

        Nobody asked them to support anything. They were asked to provide product for a fee.

        • Andrew Mason

          Nope they’re asked to support something morally reprehensible to their orientation by utilising their artistic talents in creating a custom product. Exceptions already exist to refuse offensive requests.

          • John Connor

            Nope. They’re being asked to provide that which they provide others…a wedding cake. Not endorse. Not support. Just bake the cake.

          • Andrew Mason

            Nope. They’re being asked to participate in SSM. Masterpiece was willing to sell all regular goods, including pre-baked cakes – service wasn’t the issue. What it was not willing to do was create offensive custom content. Note too that Colorado has ruled that bakers have the right to refuse offensive orders. Had the Commission been consistent in their rulings SCOTUS would never have needed to get involved.

          • Trilemma

            Jack Phillips was not asked to participate in SSM. The only people participating in SSM were Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins. Nobody asked Phillips to marry a man. Phillips was not asked to create offensive content. He was not asked to put any words or images on the cake as in the other cases.

          • Andrew Mason

            He was asked to create an SSM cake. That’s offensive, and Colorado has previously ruled offense is grounds for refusal, at least if the customer is Christian. He was willing to sell them prebaked goods, that wasn’t good enough. Anything less than personal involvement in their wedding, was grounds for them to scream, despite his Constitutional rights.

          • Trilemma

            Phillips was asked to make a wedding cake that was no different than any other wedding cake he made. There is no such thing as a SSM cake. If you saw a wedding cake on a table, would you be able to tell if it was an SSM cake? The couple came in to buy a wedding cake. Why would would they buy anything else? When they requested the cake, the wedding had already happened so how could he be involved in the wedding? Phillips’s constitutional rights have yet to be ruled on.

          • Bryan

            No a custom wedding cake is a contracted order. You specify specific details but your product is unique to your order. Many a bridezilla have claimed, on camera, to want a one of a kind cake.
            I work for a company in the construction industry. If an owner asks me to provide a price for a project, I can refuse for any number of reasons, including not wanting to work for a particular owner or build a specific project. An owner can be upset that I’m not providing my services on his project but there isn’t much (if anything) they can reasonably do to force the issue. Additional, it’s usually not worth the expense of going through the process. The same should be true in the wedding service industry.

          • Trilemma

            I know the anti-discrimination laws work differently for independent contractors so you have an excellent argument. I wish some one would use that as a defense instead of the freedom of speech or religion defense. In Phillips’s case, he might have to change his business model for wedding cakes from that of a retail store filling special orders to that of an independent contractor. If customers are offering to hire him to make a cake then he should be able to turn down offers of employment for any reason. I think this would work even better for wedding photographers to set themselves up as independent contractors.

          • John Connor

            You’re wrong again. When did weddings become offensive? He discriminated against the couple. He wasn’t asked to participate in anything. Bake the cake or find a different line of work. When will christian bakers and the such grow a pair and hang up a sign saying they don’t serve gays? They won’t because they know it’s the wrong thing to do.

          • Andrew Mason

            Since SSM became a thing. There was no discrimination against the duo – he was willing to sell any prebaked goods. And Colorado has previously ruled that bakers do not need to bake cakes they find offensive, at least when the customer is Christian. Assuming you believe in equality, a Christian baker has exactly the same right to refuse. Since Christian bakers don’t discriminate against customers there’s no need to hang signs up saying they don’t serve homosexuals, no point since such signs are illegal, and no justification since there’s no Biblical grounds to refuse contact. Yet another straw man.

          • ghutch

            He would have sold them the cake, but they wanted his endorsement via custom decorating the cake.

          • John Connor

            No endorsement asked for or wanted.

  • KC

    Very difficult to find sanity in what is going on – on one hand asking someone to leave because you don’t agree and like the way they live their life is okay, but in another instance if a someone says he can’t serve you because he doesn’t agree with how you live your life – he gets hauled into court.

  • Matt Frihart

    well these are all nice facts and all, but we all know the left doesnt deal in facts……. their analogy was at best based on food establishment and kicking someone out and the emotions that surround it…… cant expect them to know trivial details like laws n stuff.

    • MisterGoldiloxx

      Leftists = all Hulk and no Spock.

  • jb

    While I understand what you’re trying to say, and desperately want to agree with it, I cannot. The Red Hen’s owner acted on her beliefs, just as Jack Phillips did. To draw some kind of arbitrary line as to why one is right and the other isn’t blurs the lines of freedom. In a free society, business owners should have the right to refuse service to anyone, for any reason. I understand there are discrimination laws, and those, too, draw arbitrary lines and remove freedom in the process. Freedom is not for the weak or fainthearted. It is sometimes distasteful, as well.

    • Andrew Mason

      The difference is Phillips was offended by intended purpose of the cake, the Red Hen was offended by the kind of client who walked in.

  • Philmonomer

    First, Masterpiece Cake shop refused to sell the gay couple any wedding cake. It didn’t have to be a custom order. If he had one behind the counter, already made, he still wouldn’t have sold it.

    So the analogy is: Cake shop refuses to sell cake to same sex couple because of who they are (people doing something immoral). Red Hen refuses to serve food to Sanders for who she is (a person doing something immoral).

    • tether

      How ignorant

      • Trilemma

        The wedding cake was not going to be used to commit a crime.

        • tether

          But both murder and sexual immorality are sins. As are many other acts that we as a society commit regularly.

      • MisterGoldiloxx

        Gay is not a race ma’am.

    • Bryan

      I think you have your facts wrong. I believe that Mr. Phillips offered to sell them any item already made in the store. One of the men in question had been a long time customer without any complaints. Surely he had bough several pre-made items and it’s certainly possible that he bough custom made items as well. So as others have said, repeatedly, 1) These are not the same situations, played out in reverse; and 2) No one is saying the owner of the Red Hen should be civilly or criminally prosecuted. Only that what she did and how she did it was wrong, not illegal, but wrong. I sometimes think we’ve forgotten the difference between those two words.

    • MisterGoldiloxx

      Whether he created that cake yesterday or just for them on the spot it’s still an artistic expression.

  • tz1

    Well, Sanders wants to turn Red Hens into extra-crispy Kentucky Fried Chicken…

    • MisterGoldiloxx

      Link. Prove it or go away.

  • Trilemma

    Jack Phillips, the baker, serves all customers, but cannot serve all events.

    An event did not walk into Masterpiece Cakeshop and request a wedding cake. Two people did. If the two people had been a heterosexual couple, they would have been sold a wedding cake. The sole reason the couple was refused a wedding cake was because they are gay. Offering to sell them a birthday cake for their wedding only adds insult to injury.

    • Andrew Mason

      Except the custom cake was for a particular event. Who attempted to order the cake is irrelevant. Anyone who tried to place that order would be refused. By contrast the Red Hen refused Sanders because of the class she is.

      • Jim Walker

        Save your digital ink, these people will never accept any answer or explanation. Sadly some say they are Christians yet those who click the Vote Up buttons are all attackers of our faith.

        • John Connor

          Nobody’s faith is under attack as you would like all to believe.

      • John Connor

        It was a wedding cake like any other. No one asked for their blessings, support, or endorsement.

        • ghutch

          They wanted him to use his artistic ability against his will, by doing so they asked for his endorsement of their fake marriage.

          • Trilemma

            Nobody buys a wedding cake for endorsement by the baker.

          • John Connor

            They asked for nothing but a cake. No endorsement or support necessary. These fake marriages are legal in every state. No gods needed.

          • MisterGoldiloxx

            Okay, I’m going to force you do something for a group or individual that you don’t like or support, then we’ll see if your tune changes.

          • John Connor

            Been there… done that my friend.

      • Trilemma

        It wasn’t about the event. It was about the couple. If the event had been for a heterosexual couple, Phillips would have made the cake. The only reason he refused to make the cake was because the couple is homosexual.

        • John Wayne

          You missed his. Point… Purposefully I think. He’s saying the order would have been refused due to the event it was for, regardless of who came in to place the order. If the couple’s (obviously hetero) Grandma came in to place the order, she’d have been denied too. It was about respecting this man’s Christian beliefs. There were dozens of other businesses that could have and would have filled the order. The business was targeted. It’s what the left does.

          • Trilemma

            What evidence do you have that the business was targeted?

            The event was a wedding reception. Phillips has made many cakes for wedding receptions. Why did he not want to make a cake for this particular wedding reception?

    • ghutch

      They are not gay, they are unhappy homosexuals who did not get their way. Maybe next time try a Muslim bakery. Tolerance should work both ways, imo

      • Trilemma

        Yes, tolerance should work both ways. He should have sold them the cake and not broken the law.

        • MisterGoldiloxx

          According to the Supreme Court he didn’t. Your strong opinion doesn’t count.

          • Trilemma

            The Supreme Court ruled he didn’t get a fair trial. It didn’t rule on his guilt.

  • Zimo29

    Any body should be able to decide who they are willing to work for. Forcing people to do something is akin to slavery.

    I have the right to refuse service to anyone. You dont like it go somewhere else. Get the community to run me out of business if I’m wrong.

    • Incarnation of Truth ✓Vilified

      That’s not what the court decided. You still cannot refuse service to the protected classes designated by the doctrines of Cultural Marxism. This case merely decided that you may not be compelled to produce art that violates your beliefs.

      • Zimo29

        So in other words. Its not really FREEDOM for us. We’re free to do what we’re told to do

        • Trilemma

          You’re free to do whatever you want as long as it’s not illegal.

      • Trilemma

        This case simply decided that a person’s religious beliefs can’t be treated with hostility in a court of law. The compelled artistic expression aspect was not ruled on.

  • John Wayne

    I believe the red hen can refuse service to anyone. Now having said that, if their reasons boil down to bigotry, then let the chips fall where they may. If the business fails… was it worth it? The left doesn’t like when their beliefs are questioned… They just want round applause for every falsely virtuous thing they do.

    It’s a bold move Cotton… Let’s see how it works out for them!

    • James

      It’s not failing. Those who support the Red Hen are giving them record business.

      • Tim Pan

        Each after its own kind.

  • NellieIrene

    Well said.

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