Social conservatives continue poring over the Supreme Court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop decision to discern what it is:
- A punt, pure and simple. Only this and nothing more.
- A punt with deliberate hints of better things to come.
- A punt with deliberate hints of worse things to come.
- A punt with inadvertent hints of better things to come.
- A punt with inadvertent hints of worse things to come.
- Something else.
Herewith an aggregation, with more substance at the end.
- David French, attorney, both immediately and later in rebuttal of his less sanguine colleague. I don’t disagree with French lightly, but I’m quite skeptical of his second, third and fourth points in the second piece.
- Andrew McCarthy, that less sanguine colleague, who alone in this pack is okay with Justice Scalia’s rewriting of free exercise jurisprudence.
- Rod Dreher, stunned and grateful that we won, no matter how small.
- Erin Manning, who intuits some things so simple that only an intellectual (or a lawyer) could miss them (have we really expanded basic, fundamental human rights and needs to include wedding cake? Seriously?).
- Robert P. George, who discerns at least a clear principle that you don’t have to leave your religion at home when you go to work.
- Darel E. Paul (“Only profound naïveté can spin the majority decision as a victory for religious liberty.”).
- Hadley Arkes, who gives a law-savvy but essentially philosophical critique on the whole gang, the 7 as well as the 2, as relativists.
My favorite I’ve held back until now. R.R. Reno is no lawyer but has penetrated the tectonic shifts that may be taking place as “anti-discrimination” tries to grow in foreign soil as the putatively oppressed have now become elites engaged in punching down. (Caveat: Reno’s short article may be so allusive that it will “go over your head” if you haven’t been immersed in these issues for some time already. I can’t tell because I have been immersed, particularly since Chai Feldblum said that in almost every clash between gay rights and religious freedom, gay rights should win.)
And Marc Randazza, who I think is an irascible libertarian of some sort rather than a conservative, takes a scatological swipe at Jack Phillips but then correctly affirms that Phillips should have won on substantive grounds, with no dithering about petty anti-Christian Colorado Civil Rights Commissioners.
That was my preferred outcome, and one easily enough justified if we didn’t have Justices so tainted by knee-jerk progressivism that they refuse to acknowledge the reasonableness of the belief that a wedding cake symbolizes that a real wedding has occurred, a real marriage begun, and the one needn’t be a bigot to question that in the case of two men or two women “marrying.” Indeed, in Chestertonian terms, those justices are the real bigots:
Bigotry is an incapacity to conceive seriously the alternative to a proposition.
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