Discrimination or religious liberty? That was what ABC’s The View was trying to decide about an upcoming Supreme Court case involving a Christian baker’s refusal to participate in gay weddings. The debate resulted in a comment that was strange even for The View.
The Supreme Court revealed it will hear, next term, the case of Colorado baker Jack Phillips. He has refused to make a special wedding cake, exercising his own 1st Amendment rights. On today, things got heated as the co-hosts discussed their opinions in advance of their June 30 interview with the cake creator.
“Your religious freedom allows you to say I'm uncomfortable with this. It does not allow you to discriminate because it used to be -- you know, this goes to this idea that there's this war on religion,” co-host Whoopi Goldberg opined. “There's no war on Christianity or religion because you get to believe what you want to believe.”
But co-host Sunny Hostin pushed back, approaching the issue with a legal mindset.
“I'm on the fence on this because freedom of religion is your constitutional right,” she stressed, “and I wonder what happens if you're a catholic OB-GYN and someone wants to come to you for an abortion, are you forced to perform that service?”
“I don’t think most doctors will say I won’t do this for religious reasons,” Goldberg responded.
But Hostin didn’t let Goldberg get away with the astonishing claim.
“I know many, many, many catholic OB-GYNs that won’t perform abortions,” she interjected. “That is their right.”
Ultimately, the co-hosts argued over whether the case would be clearer if Phillips had published a list of messages and events for which he chose not to bake.
Co-host Sara Haines noted her view that “my dollar is my power,” adding that such a list would empower consumers to discriminate between the businesses they chose to patronize.
“I think it's important he advertises,” she stressed, “because he won't bake a cake for my [gay] brother's wedding then I don't want to give him any of my money.”
“One quick thing,” Jedediah Bila clarified. “He also, because of his religious beliefs, doesn't make adult-themed cakes, doesn't give Halloween cakes out.”
Bila also added that serving gay patrons was not the issue for Phillips; rather, he declined to create artwork and messaging that specifically celebrated a gay union.
Tomorrow, the co-hosts will interview Phillips in what is sure to be even more of a fight.