The Christian baker in Colorado who was sued for declining to make a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding reception received a strange request last month: Design and bake a cake celebrating Satan’s birthday.
“I would like to get a quote on a birthday cake, for a special event,” the email request to baker Jack Phillips, sent Sept. 30 and exclusively obtained by The Daily Signal, reads. It continues:
It is a cake that is religious in theme, and since religion is a protected class, I am hoping that you will gladly bake this cake. As you see, the birthday cake in question is to celebrate the birthday of Lucifer, or as they [sic] are also known Satan who was born as Satan when he was cast from heaven by God.
The request for Phillips to quote a price for the cake also asks for an “upside down cross, under the head of Lucifer.”
The incident exemplifies the complexity of government laws mandating that those in creative occupations violate their religious beliefs in serving clients or customers.
This is a danger that lawyers for Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, say they’re raising before the U.S. Supreme Court, which in June agreed to take the baker’s case.
Phillips gained nationwide attention after declining to make the wedding cake for the gay couple, and eventually being found guilty of discrimination by a Colorado state agency and the courts.
Phillips has told The Daily Signal and others that his Christian faith not only doesn’t allow him to design and make cakes celebrating same-sex unions, it prevents him from designing cakes that involve such elements as witchcraft or explicit sexuality.
“The request for Jack to make a cake celebrating Satan proves the danger of using these kinds of laws to force people in the artistic profession to create artwork that violates their beliefs,” Jeremy Tedesco, a senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.
“The request from the Satanists is essentially the same as the request that Jack Phillips received from the same-sex couple to create a cake that violates his beliefs, because in both instances, the requester can say the law covers my request. For the Satanists, they’re going to say it’s religious discrimination for you to say no to a cake that I’m requesting because of my protected status.”