The Supreme Court gave everyone a chance to claim victory with its decision this past week in favor of the baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. The baker claimed free speech rights on creative and religious freedom grounds. In the narrow Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruling, the justices found the Commission was unconscionably dismissive of religious convictions, while affirm that LGBTQ people should be treated equally in this country. On this week’s State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s radio show and podcast, we’ll examine what SCOTUS decided and what it means going forward. We’ll also look at the larger issue of service denial.
Last week, we promised a follow-up with author, activist and attorney Rabbi Jay Michaelson once the Masterpiece Cake Shop decision was handed down by the Supreme Court. Jay is a member of the Supreme Court bar, and will join State of Belief host Rev. Welton Gaddy again this week to discuss the ruling and what it might predict for still-undecided cases, including Trump v. Hawaii, which is about the Muslim travel ban.
Published late last year, a research article entitled Denial of Service to Same-Sex and Interracial Couples: Evidence from a National Survey Experiment, is getting renewed interest thanks to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. The survey suggests that religious conscience exemptions have nothing to do with religion. Welton will speak with Landon Schnabel, a sociologist and one of the report’s authors, about the chilling implications of the findings.
A concert for Jerusalem on June 20 will bring together Muslim, Jewish and Christian voices in New York City. Imam Abdullah Antepli, who was the first Muslim chaplain at Duke University will be taking part in the event at Jewish Theological Seminary. Imam Antepli will join Welton this week to talk about Songs for the Holy City and his hopes for the concert’s impact.