The Supreme Court and Cake

The Supreme Court and Cake
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Five years have passed since a Colorado baker of cakes refused to create one of his masterpieces for two men who wanted it to celebrate their  “marriage.”  It’s hard to believe that this incident is now before the U.S. Supreme Court. But it is, and the fact that it has reached such heights indicates how far our nation has descended toward destruction of common sense and the commonly held values that formerly undergirded our nation.

Photo by Wikimedia Commons by Michael Prudhomme, CakesMadeEasy.com under the terms GNU Free Documentation License.

Cake maker Jack Phillips says he has a right to refuse the business of a particular customer whose fundamental intention is not to purchase a decorated cake but to use the transaction to force acceptance of homosexual “marriage.” On religious grounds, he doesn’t approve of “gay marriage” and his refusal to build a fancy cake for a homosexual duo supposedly violates a portion of the U.S. Constitution banning discrimination. I searched but I couldn’t find the particular part of the Constitution on which this case is built. Legal beagles claim it’s discrimination, and that’s something terribly bad. Half a century ago, discrimination was so highly regarded that the Herbert-Tareyton cigarette company advertised its product as “the cigarette for discriminating people.” And a common assessment of the esteem accorded discrimination back then insisted that the only people who don’t discriminate “are prostitutes and fools.”

Sadly, commonly held attitudes of 50 years ago have been pushed aside in the rush to overturn cultural, religious, and even economic mores. Some would claim this development to be “progress.” But that’s another word whose meaning has been turned upside down.

Shouldn’t Jack Phillips have a right to refuse the business of someone who walks into his store and intends, not so much to buy a cake, but to have the planned transaction force acceptance of something abhorred by Phillips and many others? Why does Phillips have to provide an approved reason for saying “No” to a potential customer he knows has an agenda that far exceeds buying a cake? Isn’t his business his property, his “castle,” a place where his right to refuse entry to someone is supposed to be sacrosanct?

A deeper look into this matter shows that the homosexual couple seeking a cake from Phillips planned to have it at their ceremony in New York, not in Colorado. They obviously chose to challenge the Lakewood, Colorado, baker’s distaste for gay marriage. So, the issue isn’t really one of mere refusal to do business with someone. It’s about forcing acceptance of homosexual marriage. By definition, marriage has always been the union of one man and one woman. Homosexual marriage is no more a “marriage” than labeling something water when it isn’t a combination of hydrogen and oxygen.

It’s no surprise to find a spokesman for the ACLU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) division taking the side of the supposedly aggrieved cake customers. James Essex of the ACLU claims: “You have freedom to believe and to preach your faith until your actions harm other people.” Does refusal to cooperate with the demands of homosexuals amount to harm? If so, what about possible harm done to a baker who refuses to participate, even in a slight way, in a practice he considers reprehensible, even sinful? Also, what about harming the moral character of this nation?

The Supreme Court will hear Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission in the fall. The case progressed from rulings at lower levels favoring the claims of the two men who insist that they are victims of unjust discrimination. Phillips’s attorney David Cortman rightly states, “Every American should be free to choose which art they will create and which art they won’t create without fear of being unjustly punished by the government.”

That makes sense, of course. But good sense doesn’t always prevail, especially when so much more than discrimination is at stake. The high court’s willingness to rule in this case about cake signals that there are far more important matters at stake.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American


Is Polygamy Next?

Is Polygamy Next?
by JBS President John F. McManus

Professor William Baude teaches law at the University of Chicago. In his recent op-ed column published by the New York Times, he wrote: “With same-sex marriage on the books, we can now ask whether polyamorous relationships should be next. There is a very good argument that they should.” Relationships that are polyamorous (a word that doesn’t even appear in my huge 1987 Random House Dictionary), obviously refers to more than two persons cohabitating. The word could obviously mean several males, or several females, or any number of each.

Professor William Baude wrote: “With same-sex marriage on the books, we can now ask whether polyamorous relationships should be next (Photo by Mattpopovich [CC0 or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons).

The “good argument” for such relationships claimed by Professor Baude stems, of course, from the recent Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. According to that revolutionary departure from several millennia of tradition and legality, two males can marry, two females can marry, and the legal door has been shut to those who believe that the noble institution can be a union of only one man and one woman. Baude does admit that it might be difficult “to modify some of our marital laws … to handle larger numbers of spouses.” He wanders far enough from the traditional view of marriage to suggest that plural marriages might be “very good for children.”

Advocates of multiple partners in marriage should be hopeful, claims the professor, because objections to such relationships as those “sometimes come to seem trivial decades later.” And the rest of us should accept these newly crafted trends in a spirit of “humility.”

While Professor Baude seems very comfortable with these possible developments, he throws a bone to those of us (this writer included) who worry what else all of these changes can bring. He closed his article with, “… once we abandon the rigid constraints of history, we cannot be sure that we know where the future will take us.”

True enough, the “rigid constraints of history” shouldn’t be ignored. But there are other restraints even more rigid, such as those issued by the Maker of all of us. Let it be said loudly and clearly that God will not be mocked. Those who are busily redefining marriage may be allowed to have their day, but they too, will eventually stand before Him who sanctified marriage as the union of one man and one woman. And He can be counted on to never alter His view.

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Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


White House Lit Up To Look Like a Rainbow Flag

White House Lit Up To Look Like a Rainbow Flag
by JBS President John F. McManus

The Supreme Court handed down its same-sex marriage decision by a vote of 5 to 4 on June 26th. President Obama obviously expected the result favored by homosexual activists because he had the White House electricians pre-arrange a light show that created a rainbow colored edifice.

The White House is lit with the colors of the rainbow in celebration of the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, June 26, 2015. By White House Photographer (White House Press Office) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Social media immediately erupted into two opposing camps: for and against. Let us register in the “against” camp. We start by noting that the White House doesn’t belong to Mr. Obama; it belongs to the people of the United States, a property owned technically by the peoples’ National Park Service. It should not be used by any occupant to force a revolutionary view on the American people.

How did Mr. Obama respond when asked about the unusual lighting? He told a press conference “I did not have a chance to comment on how good the White House looked in rainbow colors.” He added: “That made it a good week – to see people gathered in an evening outside on a beautiful summer night, and to feel whole and feel accepted and to feel that they had a right to love – that was pretty cool.”

Partisans for same-sex marriage will surely rebel at any protest over making the White House look like their flag. I can hear them now likening what was done by a succession of presidents with a Christmas tree or, in days gone by, a crèche. I respond: The White House wasn’t made to look like a Christmas Tree or a crèche. Those reminders of Christ’s birth were displayed on the White House grounds or inside the building while 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue stayed white. Celebrating homosexual activity in such a flagrant manner brings to mind what occurred more than two millennia ago, when fire and brimstone rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah.

John Adams was the first president to occupy the White House. During his second day as its resident in 1800, he wrote to his wife, “I pray Heaven will bestow the best of blessings on this House, and all that shall hereafter inhabit it.” Franklin Roosevelt had the Adams prayer carved into the State Dining Room’s mantel. Blessings have indeed been granted America. But heaven might answer the Adams plea quite differently today.

The 5-4 decision favoring marriages of man-with-man or woman-with-woman was wrong and our country will pay for it in a manner that only God will decide. Two justices who had previously presided over homosexual “marriages” should never have heard the case. Many legal scholars claim that Justices Ginsburg and Kagan should have acted honorably and recused themselves. But they didn’t.

The United States of America is hurtling headlong down the slippery slope of immorality. The late Judge Robert Bork asked in his book “Slouching Towards Gomorrah,” “Are there enough who disagree with that undeniable development and are willing to register a protest sufficient to reverse this national descent?”

We hope so.

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Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


Marriage Can’t Be Redefined

Marriage Can’t Be Redefined
by JBS President John F. McManus

One of the unique features of the country known as the United States of America is its Declaration of Independence. And perhaps the most singular of the numerous important affirmations contained therein is acknowledgement of a “Creator.” No qualification is given. The men who wrote and signed the document believed in the Almighty who created “all men.” In their day, of course, the meaning of “men” referred to all persons, male and female.

Supreme Court building (Image from Wikimedia Commons by Jeff Kubina, [own work]).

Belief in a Creator presupposes adhering to those standards of conduct He presents. One of these is the definition of marriage given in Genesis. After recounting the creation of woman from a rib of man, the Creator’s holy book tells us, “Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother and shall cling to his wife and they shall be two in one flesh.” In simple terms, the institution known as marriage is a union between one man and one woman. Without doubt, this is what America’s Founders believed.

History recounts numerous attempts to overcome this sacred relationship. In their 1848 Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels attacked bourgeois marriage as a hurdle standing in their path to tyranny. Decades earlier, along with their intention to deify sensuality, the 1776 Bavarian Illuminati, from whom Marx and Engels obtained much of their designs, formally advocated repudiation of marriage. Totalitarian libertines throughout history have likewise attacked the very concept of marriage because it has always stood as a bedrock of human civilization blocking their way to totalitarian rule.

An American who might have fallen asleep 60 or so years ago and then awakened today would, without doubt, be shocked to learn that more than half of our nation’s state governments have redefined marriage to include a union between two persons of the same sex. And the Supreme Court has agreed to render its opinion on the matter. A proper decision would state without equivocation that the “Creator” of all has already defined marriage, and it cannot be changed. The definition given us by our Maker is that marriage is the union only between an Adam and an Eve not between some Adam and some Steve.

Speaking before the “Women of the World” gathering at the United Nations early in 2015, putative presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stated that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” Many same-sex-marriage enthusiasts, including New York Times columnist Frank Bruni who is a proud homosexual, have seconded her attitude. Sadly, these two cultural and religious revolutionaries are hardly alone.

If not blocked, the route being travelled by a growing number will lead to further attacks on the family, eventual state takeover of children, and more. Yet, there remains a huge majority of the American people who don’t agree with a redefinition of marriage and hold strongly to the “cultural codes” and “religious beliefs” openly decried by Mrs. Clinton. Questions remain: Will this still-existing majority gather itself and return the nation to sanity? Or will this shrinking majority collapse, as have others throughout history while they watched in horror the ushering in of a formally established Godless tyranny?

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Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


God Grants Men Their Rights

God Grants Men Their Rights
by JBS President John F. McManus

The history of mankind is the history of struggles to be free. Freedom to speak, publish, worship, assemble, and more are the rights most Americans take for granted. But these are the very freedoms most of the world’s population, even today, do not enjoy. How it is that we, in America, do benefit from such freedoms? The answer is very clear, although it is something that surprisingly few Americans currently understand.

It would be hard for me to provide a number for the many times I personally have spoken of the “thunderous assertion” in the Declaration of Independence, our nation’s birth certificate. Again and again, I have referred to the portion very near the part stating as a “self-evident” truth that “Men … are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”

I have always insisted everyone should stop right there because that short excerpt is more fundamentally a part of America’s identity as can be found anywhere. Rights come from God, not from government. And they don’t come from a monarch or some other source. It follows that, if God grants rights, no one but God can take them away. On this was built the whole system of government in the “land of the free and home of the brave.” Take it away and be prepared for some form of tyranny.

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo either never learned this basic truth or he has deliberately cast it aside. On February 13th, during an on-air verbal sparring match over same-sex marriage with Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, the judge calmly stated, “Our rights, contained in the Bill of Rights, do not come from the Constitution. They come from God. That’s clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence.”

Cuomo, an attorney, abruptly interrupted Justice Moore and argued, “Our rights do not come from God…. That’s your faith. … They come from man…. Our laws come from collective agreement and compromise.” There could hardly be a sharper difference between Judge Moore’s reality and Chris Cuomo’s myth. The problem is that myth has risen steadily in the U.S. and it now virtually dominates the thinking of a huge segment of the American people.

If government is the dispenser of rights then, ipso facto, government can change its mind and cancel them. There haven’t been many such instances in other countries where government engaged in such treachery because there haven’t been many occasions when a nation began as did the United States.

Shame on Chris Cuomo! We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he never learned the basic underpinning of our nation in the first place. Evidently, he wasn’t taught it by any of his teachers or by his father (former NY governor) and older brother (current NY governor). Nowhere in Chris Cuomo’s schooling did this monumentally important, and self-evident, truth get to him.

Sadly, CNN’s Cuomo is not alone. Because of Supreme Court rulings outlawing any semblance of religious instruction in schools and elsewhere, the most important passage in the Declaration of Independence isn’t being taught. Religious ideas are banned because of the “separation of church and state” portion of the Constitution which, amazingly, no one can find in that document. But it’s not partisan religious belief that resulted in the Declaration of Independence; it’s common sense. Our nation is being taken away from its remarkable roots in many ways. But losing the truth that rights are granted by God and, therefore, no one but He has power to cancel or suspend them amounts to banning the core of Americanism’s greatness.

Maybe we can thank Chris Cuomo for displaying deficient understanding of his country’s roots. As a result of his ignorance, many Americans have been reminded of this seminally important bit of American history. Let’s hope they never forget it.


Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


Alabama Chief Justice Defiant Over Same-Sex Rulings

Alabama Chief Justice Defiant Over Same-Sex Rulings
by JBS President John F. McManus

For many years, a monument depicting the Ten Commandments was prominently situated in Alabama’s main judicial building. In 2000, the state’s chief justice, Judge Roy Moore, balked at being told by federal officials that its presence in such a public place violated the U.S. Constitution and had to go. Moore fought that demand and lost. He was then removed from his post and the monument came down.

In 2006, with threats against the institution of marriage developing throughout the nation, Alabama’s voters overwhelmingly (more that 80 percent) chose to amend their state’s constitution in order to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Then in 2012, voters put Moore back into the post he previously held.

The truly popular chief justice is back in the news. Moore just sent a letter to Governor Robert Bentley urging defiance of “judicial tyranny.” He specifically asked the governor and other state officials to ignore a recent ruling by U.S. District Judge Callie Grenade stating that the definition of marriage in Alabama had to conform to recent federal rulings recognizing same-sex marriage. Moore stated in his letter to Bentley, “As you know, nothing in the United States Constitution grants the federal government the authority to redefine the institution of marriage.” He further pointed out that the people of Alabama had only recently amended the state’s constitution stating that marriage is a “sacred covenant, solemnized between a man and a woman.”

Moore’s letter even cited an 1825 opinion registered by Thomas Jefferson regarding nullification of unconstitutional federal mandates, a stand he will stand by. States, said Jefferson, could refuse to comply with unjust and unconstitutional federal dictates. Moore also pointed to the Tenth Amendment and its clear affirmation that “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution” remain with the states and the people – and no such delegation of power had ever been made. Governor Bentley issued a statement supporting Judge Moore’s call for defiance.

Defenders of traditional marriage may indeed salute Judge Moore. But the attack on the institution of marriage continues. Federal courts have already sanctioned same-sex marriage in 21 states and pressure from the homosexual lobby continues to grow. In no other state has Moore’s style of resistance been adopted. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling on the matter this year. Judge Moore’s expression of defiance may well be tested again.


Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.