One of these situations is not like the others.
While some have tried to compare these situations, Jack and Barronelle declining to celebrate a particular event that violates their religious beliefs is fundamentally different from the Red Hen flat out refusing service to Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Jack and Barronelle serve all people, but they cannot use their artistic talents to celebrate every event or express every message. Jack offered to sell the couple anything else in his shop, or to design a cake for a different event. Barronelle had served Rob for nearly ten years for many different occasions. Their decisions were based solely on the message they were being asked to express and the event they were asked to celebrate, not the person making the request.
Jack and Barronelle are open to all. The Red Hen cannot say the same thing.
Despite that fact, the Red Hen has been met with applause by the very same people who have declared that the government was right to punish Jack and Barronelle.
And there’s no doubt that the states of Colorado and Washington punished Jack and Barronelle.
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission called Jack’s religious objection a “despicable piece of rhetoric” and compared his efforts to protect his religious freedom to the actions of Nazis and slaveholders. The ruling against him resulted in a loss of 40 percent of his business and over half of his staff. He was also forced to “reeducate” his staff and report to the government quarterly with a list of designs that he could not in good conscience create.
The state attorney general of Washington and the ACLU brought lawsuits against Barronelle that threaten everything she owns, both professionally and personally. She could lose everything – the business her mother started, her home, her retirement savings, and everything she and her husband have saved for their children and grandchildren.
But the Supreme Court acknowledged that government hostility toward religion has no place in our society when it ruled 7-2 in Jack’s favor. Later, it sent Barronelle’s case back to the Washington Supreme Court for reconsideration in light of that ruling.
Tolerance is a two-way street. But the reaction to the Red Hen’s decision not to serve Sanders, and the willful ignorance of the facts of Jack and Barronelle’s cases, makes it clear the Left would prefer a one-way street – where they applaud the ideas they agree with, and use the government to stamp out those they disagree with.
That’s a dangerous street to travel down.