Setting aside the judgmental, holier-than-thou attitude toward those who believe marriage is the union of a man and a woman, I commend Jon Alexander’s Quad-City Times Opinion column, “The right to be awful.”

Jack Phillips is a cake artist who is being coerced by the government to design a custom wedding cake for an event at odds with his faith convictions – or be punished.

This is not a case of refusing service to gays who want to buy a cake off the shelf. This is not a case of refusing to design a custom birthday cake for a gay individual. This is not about discriminating against individuals because they are gay.

This is about declining to create a cake conveying a message that is in opposition to one’s conscience and faith. This is about the government crushing artistic and religious dissent and forcing an artist to create something that violates his deep convictions.

Is this the society we want? Do we really want the government forcing an Arab cake artist to create a cake celebrating the anniversary of the birth of Israel or the reunification of Jerusalem? Do we really want to force an African-American or Jewish cake artist to create a cake celebrating an Aryan nation event? Do we really want the government forcing a pro-Planned Parenthood cake artist to create a cake for a “defund Planned Parenthood” fundraiser?

Thank you for speaking up for freedom of conscience and expression in the face of government coercion.

Scott Pearson

Eldridge

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