tv Jack Phillips The Cost of My Faith CSPAN July 31, 2021 6:42pm-7:22pm EDT
>> will come and today i have a very special guest, jack phillips. you may remember him and know him as the masterpiece cake shop in colorado and he has just written an amazing book calling the cost of my faith how my decision took me to the supreme court. welcome. >> i'm honored to be here today. >> so why is your lawyer with us on this interview quick. >> we are still in court. we just finished the and of mard lawsuit so we are currently
waiting for the judge to announce his decision on that so my lawyer is here to help guide and protect me that i don't say anything. host. >> those who are fuzzy on the details remind us what happened in july 192012 into game and walked into your cake shop and asked you to design their wedding cake. >> it was sunny and bright so when the two gentlemen it was my duty to see and talk with them. so we made introductions and they said were here to look at wedding cakes and i said sorry i don't do cakes for same-sex
weddings and said make cookies or brownies or shower and at which point they stomped out and i wasn't expecting that but a told than anything else but i just did not create that particular cake because of the iconic nature. >> was the first time and gay person asked you to design a wedding cake? >> it was the fifth time. the other ones we were able to discuss it and make it clear is not your sexual orientation but the nature that it is simply understood i could create anything else but not that. >> you say whatever kind of cake would you not design? >> my wife and i had many
discussions that we decided we would not do cakes that celebrated halloween or racist or denigrate other people including people who identified as lgbt. we had guidelines we would not cross. host: after charlie and david stormed out of your shop you started to get legal notices you found out they were suing you? >> right. i started to get hateful phone calls and e-mails and 20 minutes by the next morning there was a couple hundred all hateful and phones were ringing all day long i'm not sure how long i got the notice
but it was right at the beginning. >> so when did you realize the legal troubles were getting serious? >> right away. they came in on a thursday and four days later i connected with the alliance for freedom and i knew that i wasn't going to be able to hire my uncle to defend me because adf is the best and have been right beside me all the way through to guide me and coach me and advised me. >> and many people have asked you why not just bake the cake because i feel many in the
culture would look the other way and make a confession and say i don't want to get into legal problems i will just bake the cake it will be a big deal i will look he other way. why didn't you just bake the cake quick. >> there were a number and halloween cakes comes up every year and it was good practice when the other cake orders came up it was a line in the sand but i couldn't cross the line is what it was. host: you talk about romans 13 in your decision to fight this in court so it says this has
taken from your book this translation that everyone be subject to the governing authorities for there is no authority except that which has been established those are established by god consequently whoever rebels against the authority or what god has instituted brings judgment on themselves give everybody what is owed to them if you are taxes pay taxes, revenue and revenue are respect and honor so tell us how your decision to fight this comports with romans 13. >> i have been asked that before with as well as the fact we have a constitution the government is supposed to protect our rights and among them are the right to free
exercise and that's what this was because i didn't want to create that message and also to freely express my faith so government is supposed to protect that right and when they weren't also in the state constitution where we could go to the court system like this. >> and you said your legal defense was a right of conscience? can you explain what that means. >> in there asking me to create a message but to create a message and it is a message in and of itself if you walk in for the business meeting
you know it's not business meeting you know it is a wedding so it is a message and to create that wedding cake is a marriage between a man and woman so this would go against my biblical believe this asked me to violate my conscience that i cannot do. >> what is the distinction between freedom of religion and freedom of worship? >> the constitution on - - constitution declares so allied of what freedom of worship is it is promoted what you do in church freedom of religion is your life to freely exercise my faith when
i'm at the grocery store or at the park not just in the halls of worship or in a church. >> the colorado civil rights commission ruled against you? and when you chose to appeal to the colorado court of appeals what was the crux the viewer appeal? >> the same thing it was forcing me to the arm of the civil rights commission to go against my conscience and to reverse that decision allow me to create cakes. host: in the book you talk about there is a double standard because there is another denver bakery almost identical to what you did but
they were not persecuted can you tell us why that happened this gentleman asked three different bakeries it was like a red circle next to it and it was a message on the cake with homosexual marriage is wrong and they disagreed with the message of it and that's exactly what we were doing so the civil rights commission only have that right but i did not have that right.
>> it is a bizarre double standard so the commission said some very hateful things about you and you said one of the most painful things about it was talk about this a little bit because your dad was in world war ii and he was in the concentration camp so tell us what was so prayerful on - - powerful. >> we have it recorded on tape that religious freedom is a despicable piece of frederick to do things like slavery and the holocaust that went against the holocaust and this person is you know the
holocaust is or is ignoring the policies on a basic level that you see my dad served in world war ii. hold on. he fought through france and germany and the battle of the bulge has a giant scar across his back and the purple heart and send them back into combat again and that was part of the group that liberated the prison camp, concentration camp and he talks about that but if you look it up the pictures are horrific and then to compare this decision to that. >> it is very disturbing so
tell us the outcome of that appeal. >> they ruled three / nothing to the civil rights commission that the ruling would stand which means i need to reach your brain my staff create cakes that go against my faith and then report to the commission quarterly for two years. it's funny because we are a very small shop my wife and i own it my daughter and various relatives work for it and she said i will not be reeducated. thank you mom. that is what the court of appeals said those rulings now stand. so the next step is to appeal to the state supreme court.
>> that sounds like a reeducation camp so you talk about this before but the government was ordering you to violate your conscience. was there ever a moment where you were wavering and wondering if you should just give in and do what they said? >> i would close the cake shop down but the question why is how far could be go? i learned the colorado state supreme court have discretion in the cases that they take and then my case was declined and thought it was over there is only one option left and
that is to appeal to the united states supreme court. we were willing to do that but what they hear our case? that was the question. host: they were willing to hear your case and tell us the odds of the us supreme court to hear your case. >> the odds are extremely small you will be heard they are petitioned with between eight and 10000 cases every year the only grant between 70 or 80 and it has to be to circuit if they ruled differently that is the split so they have to justify that the constitution can't be one thing in california and another in california so they are dealing with larger cases like that and in my case they
come from the district court or any large thing which was a stand-alone case in coming from a court of appeals but the odds are incredibly against us so they have to go over every aspect and the energy it takes and we got that. >> what did it feel like when you are going to the supreme court? >> the greatest day of my life there is a website you can follow any case that you are looking at which means they had in front of them and talked about it put it off so
i knew it was talked about every weekend through the court session where they break through the summer i was watching my computer and offering to get a decision if we were denied or if it had been granted and then i saw masterpiece cake shop has been granted, it still gets me. still i can't breathe i text people to talk to add know i no space i myself and said i can go to the supreme court and he looked at me and said he i have to go to court on wednesday. [laughter] i said that i need a parole officer but just to understand the gravity of the united states supreme court they
don't understand how it works for them to grant that was incredible. >> was the essential point was that freedom of speech? >> we asked them to reverse based on speech and the religious components. >> and then you want in 2187 / two ruling ginsburg and sotomayor were dissented of course but that was an amazing occasion but what was that like when you one quick. >> that was just as emotional i was even more surprised because it was three weeks before the end of the session i was confident they would
make the announcement until the last day. and then to say we have masterpiece. >> seven / two so what just happened? then the phone starts ringing and people are driving by and honking and waving it was just incredible. host: it is like to david and goliath. >> so what was one of the keys to winning the case according to the supreme court? why did they ruled in your favor? >> one of the key factors was the commissioner comparing my case to the holocaust i forget how they phrased it but in permissible hostility. permissible hostility. . . what does
you had three weeks of kind of calm normalcy again but suddenly you were right back where you started because a local denver attorney named autumn scardina walked into your cake shop and ended up filing charges against you. what was that like? >> this attorney called us and the first day in court i would take 25 to 30 phone calls. that particular day we had around 300 phone calls and this attorney called us that day and requested another cake which would be blue on the outside and pink on the inside and they were to celebrate the attorneys gender changing transition from
man to woman. we said we will create other custom work for you and you are welcome in our shop but i can't create that cake. so that was the three weeks after the court ruled in our favor then we got notice the civil rights commission had taken up the complaint and said there was probable cause to pursue an almost identical case again. >> that's what i don't get it. i still can't process in my brain if the supreme court ruled in your favor, how could this happen again? >> i'm not sure and john can correct me but if i were speeding down my street and i get a ticket and go to court and beat it, they are saying i was speeding down the street again so i'm getting a new ticket. i'm not able to base my new ticket, i've beat the one ticket
last year, now you have a new one. so the cases were similar or identical with separate charges so the courts duty is to file a complaint and see if there is probable cause. the commission is an appointed body appointed by the governor who decided they had probable cause to pursue the case. >> how did that first case with autumn scardina and? >> two years ago in march we were ready to go into the deposition and as we sat down at the conference table with the lawyers on the one side and our attorneys on the other hand court reporters and videographers ready to take down every word as the attorney tries to basically destroy me in the next six hours they said we need to have a meeting and the
meeting was to say this is the vehicle we want to use, we are willing to dismiss the charges and had a lawsuit against them also in federal court. it was based on the fact we had a recording of the same commission saying they embraced the hostility so if they were to go forward it wouldn't be successful. a. >> button june 5th, 2019, autumn filed a new case against you and i don't know how much you can talk about. where are you in that case? >> there was an option of appealing the decision to dismiss the case but rather than appealing that, wait whatever the time period was and then
file a civil lawsuit so it wasn't the state and just this past march the judges in the chambers and the offices in scottsdale and so we were put on the witness stand. my wife and my daughter and the attorney for scardina. so we had the trial and a direct cross examination and all those things and we are now waiting for the judge to announce that decision. >> and how soon will we know the decision? >> it could be this afternoon or july so we are just waiting. >> in the meantime, are you still able to create custom cakes? >> we are. we just decided.
ruthless man and if you would attack, you were dead. it wouldn't always be a sleeping pill or anything like that. but they were willing to stand and do what god wanted them to do and to obey and honor the lord. >> i say this in my book as they refuse to bow down to culture basically and they were willing to go into a fiery furnace rather than compromise their convictions like you did. there was no fiery furnace but -- >> they also said our god is able to deliver us but if he doesn't we still will obey him. we are going to the court and if we win, great, if we don't, we will still do our best to obey. >> you also talk about in a personal level, hell the cake shop over the years brought you
and your father closer together because i think you said that when you were young you were not really that close and there was kind of a distance but the cake shop brought you close. tell us how that happened. >> he had a job to do and i had friends, so we just didn't have the opportunity. when we opened the shop i was nervous to tell him i was going to go into business for myself. he hated working for the public. he said i don't care what you do just don't work for the public. when i decided it was time to open up my own shop i thought how am i going to tell my dad i'm going to be working not only within the public but i will be the one in charge of everything
so when i finally told him he's like that's great. when, where, how do we get going. he came in the first day and was here every day since then. the day that scardina called it was like ring, hang up. but anyway, my dad then came down and helped me do the job. those three years were valuable because he would come in every day.
how is all of this drama the past nine years, how has this all been on your family? >> it's drawn us all closer together. i have a sister that lives in indianapolis and another i see two or three times a week. my mom passed away in november but she was here. it's been great. my daughter works with me and it's helped the case wake up. the bible tells a parable about those waiting for a wedding feast and it happens in the middle of the night and they say all ten of them wake up and five of them are prepared for the ceremony and five of them are
not. that's a great parable but in my mind it spoke to me. five of them were not as prepared until that day came. i talked with my daughter and she said the same thing. she had a wake up call and the whole thing has changed her life experience. >> how did you come up with the name, what was the story? >> the man across the street owned a bakery with 100 employees and conveyor belts and he was gracious enough to hire
me. one day they brought in cake decorators and i'd never seen that so rather than making 100 at a time, they were making one at a time and had an artistic background. i knew at that point i was going to open up my own bakery one day and it would be a bakery that i would use the cake and turn it into our to help people celebrate. i came up with the name almost immediately. i'm not generally that creative with words but with the other fiscal media.
the name came to me right away and said our cake shop says cake. you're not going to walk in thinking you're going to get a loaf or piece of pie, but an artistic take. part of the masterpiece, the first part reminds me no man can serve two masters. as they come into the shop i think who am i going to serve today. a masterpiece to this day i pretty much think master. i see that word and think who am i going to serve in a way that honors jesus christ. >> that is great. and you mentioned in the book that part of the reason you did all of this fighting is that you fought in court part of it for future generations.
what do you mean by that? >> one of the reasons when i was first approaching the idea was i wanted to put down the details of what happened especially my daughter works for in california and another in canada and i wanted to be able to understand and know exactly what happened. i wanted my grandkids to find any version you wanted and they also realized three or four or five years ago that this is not about so he can start making cakes again. it's true for every american to be able to live and work freely without punishment for the government so we were hoping to
buy for everybody's expense for the people serving us because they may not value. it's important they might and they would wonder what happened to them. let's fight for them now. >> and the last chapter of your book is called lessons learned. what was one of the most important things you learned through all of it? >> that's one of the most important things. one of the most important things for me, i needed to remember who the master is and who i serve every day as i go into every phase of my life. whether i'm working or mowing my yard or in a crisis, my lord and savior and god is in control of everything and the decisions. >> and i'm sure i know the answer to this question but i'm just going to ask, knowing all that you know now and all that
you've gone through the last almost nine years, would you still make the decision back in 2012? >> absolutely. and if i sat with those two men knowing that this was ahead of me, i would have said everything i said word for word. i wish i would have had more time to explain it to them but in 19 words and 20 seconds i can't create every case people ask me to create because of the message generally and i would be more than willing to fight for this for their sake and my sake and her kids sake. >> you are known as the guy that wouldn't make the cake. what is it like to have that? >> the guy that wouldn't make the cake because of that message but it still is what it is.
people sometimes recognize me when i'm out in public and say hey you're that guy and it gives me the opportunity not only to this explained the case but also share my faith. >> i highly recommend this book. the book is "the cost of my faith" how a decision in my cake shop took me to the supreme court jack phillips. thank you so much for being on the show. i really recommend the book because it's so encouraging i think it will edify people's faith as you said it did your faith, this will experience and i think it will encourage people and will help people strengthen their own convictions about certain issues of the christian faith. god bless you. you are a trooper. thank you for being on the show. i am excited. i look forward to hearing the outcome of the latest case.