A reader writes re: Creative v. Elenis

Someone should let the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in on “The Church’s Best-Kept Secret.”  I just happened to receive the July/August issue of St. Anthony Messenger the day after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in the matter of 303 Creative v. Elenis.  I was struck by the Court’s obvious ignorance of “The Four Pillars” as outlined by Mark P. Shea, and I suppose The USCCB never considered them either.

The Dignity of the Human Person.  “Our dignity does not proceed from anything we do [and] cannot be taken from us by anything we do…[it] owes to the fact that we…are made in the image and likeness of God.” So we honor all people regardless of “their income bracket, looks, skin color, ancestry, intelligence, mental health, physical condition, age, citizenship, religion or lack thereof, sexual orientation, gender, or anything they do or don’t do.”

The Common Good and Subsidiarity.  Regarding protections from the grocer who says, “we don’t serve your kind here,” the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court just disagreed with those fundamental ideas in 303 Creative v. Elenis. They ruled free speech is more important than the anti-discrimination laws. 
Solidarity. See Gal. 3:28.

I’m not sure if you are serious or not. I suspect not.

THE CHURCH’S BEST-KEPT SECRET is a simple introduction to the Church’s social teaching and does not, as you seem to suggest, claim to trump the bishops (I leave that work to the Greatest Catholics of All Time in their self-appointed mission to save the Church from the Holy Father and the USCCB and all the rest of the Church they deem to be Fake Catholics).

As to the SCOTUS case you reference, as far as I can tell as a non-lawyer, the Court ruled correctly because it was not about commerce, but about free speech, which the state can neither prohibit nor compel.  If you go into a baker and ask him to sell you and your gay lover a cake, he has no right to deny you service because the right to commerce is guaranteed, no matter who you are. 

However, if you and your Nazi pals don’t merely order a cake for your annual celebration of Hitler’s birthday, but demand that baker decorate a cake with the words “Death to the Jews!” he is under no obligation to comply because speech acts cannot be compelled.  This goes for all forms of expression.  So you and friends also can’t force him to decorate it with a swastika either.  The people in the case were within their right to refuse to have a speech act compelled.  

As to the suggestion that merely selling a cake to people whose moral choices differ from yours somehow makes you an accomplice to their moral choices (as is commonly claimed by people who want to deny service to gays), I see no reason at all why that argument makes any sense at all.  However, I would ask those who accept it why they characteristically deny that selling guns to maniacs who commit mass murder does not make them accomplices to mass murder.  After all, a cake does not harm anybody.  But weapons of mass slaughter are specifically and solely designed for mass shootings, rather like handguns, who sole purpose is to shoot human beings.  Those seriously concerned about the Church’s teaching on the common good and not merely interested in asking gotcha questions should at least be thinking about such things.


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