tv Jack Phillips The Cost of My Faith CSPAN August 26, 2021 6:33pm-7:13pm EDT
>> weakens our intellectual feast, every saturday fine events and people that explore our nations passed on american history tv. on sunday, book tv brings us the latest in nonfiction books and authors. it is telling. learn, discover, explore, weekends on cspan2. >> hey guys welcome to the beckett cook show. i am back at cook. today i have a special gas many know him as the masterpiece cake shop in colorado. he's written and an amazing book of the cost of my faith how a decision and my cake shop took me to the supreme court. welcome jack and his lawyer is joining us as well. welcome you guys. >> thank you beckett i am
honored to be here today.ed >> just so my audience is aware, why is your lawyer with us on this interview? >> we are still in court. we just finished the end of march a trial in our third lawsuit we are waiting for the judge to announce his decision on that and so it might lawyer is here to help guide and protect me and make sure i do not say anything. >> good. for those who do not remember or fuzzy on the details, remind us what happened on july 19, 2012 when it two gay men walked into your cake shop and asked you to design their wedding cake. >> that was a beautiful july afternoon. at a couple girls working permit they were busy in the front. and 72 gentlemen came into my shop and sat down at the
wedding dress, my duty to go over, sit down and talk with them. so we went over, made introductions one was david will miss charlie so what can i do for you guys? we are here to look at wedding cakes is for our wedding. i said sorry guys i don't do cakes for same-sex weddings. they looks at me like what? set i'll make a birthday cake, shower cakes, i don't do cakes for same-sex weddings at which point they both stomped out of the store swearing at me flipped me off i was not expecting that. i told him i would serve them anything else in my shop i just could not create because of the nature of a wedding cake. >> was at the first time like a gay person asked you to design a wedding cake? >> oh note was the fourth or fifth time. the other ones we were always able to discuss it and make it clear it's not yourdi sexual
aorientation it was the nature of the cake. the message of the wedding cake is pretty simply understood. i could create anything else but i cannot create that. >> you talk about that in the book whatever kind of cakes would you not design? >> before we open, my wife and i had many discussions about what the cake shop would look like. we decided before we would open we would not do cakes to celebrate halloween or un-american, racist, or do aggregate people including people who identified as lgbtq. we had guidelines we just would not cross. >> after charlie and david kind of stormed out of your shop, you started getting basically legal notices, he found out they were soon to, right? >> lay stormed out of my shop i started getting hit hateful
e-mails in 20 minutes at the time i came in the next morning had a couple hundred e-mails in my box all hateful. phone calls, the phones are ringing all dayay long. i'm not sure how long it was made at the notice in the state i think it was july to october. i was aware there was a complaintt filed. >> when did you realize the legal troubles were getting really serious? >> right away. the two gentlemen came in on a thursday and they following tuesday i had been connect with attorneys from alliance defending freedom. i knew i was not going to have termite jet hire my uncle because the lights for freedom are the best at this.
the coach me, advise a me, and i had a wonderful relationship. >> many people as you say in the book, many people have asked why not just bake the cake? a lot of questions today in this culture would look the other way maybe. make a consecutive concession. look i don't get into bunch of legal problems i'm going to bake this is not going to be a big deal and look the other way. why did you just bake the cake? >> theren' are a number of different kinds of cakes we could not create, halloween cakes come up every year and we don't create this because of my beliefs. that was good practice when these other cases came up when the cake orders came up. this is the line in the sand i already knew how to approach that line trying to be as
gracious and kind as i could. i could not cross the line is basically what it was. >> you talk about romans 13 in your decision to fight this in court. i will just remind our audience this is taken from your book two, let everyone be subject to the governing authorities there is none which god has established the authorities that exist have been established by god. consequently whoever rebels against the authority is rebelled against what god has instituted, those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. brings everyone what is owed to them for it if you owe taxes pay taxes, if revenue than revenue, if respect and respect, if honored than honor. so tell us how your decision to fight this comports with romans 13?
>> been asked that before. the government gives us the option to defend these things. as well as in our government we have a constitution that our government was a supposed to protect our rights. among them are the right of free exercise. this is what this a was. i do note to greet the message of a wedding cake and a right to freely express my faith. the government is supposed to protect that right and when they weren't arms state constitution and u.s. constitution where we are able to go to a court system like this. >> in the book you said your legal defense was the rights of conscious dissent. could you explain what that means?
>> there asked me too create a message which is part of the speech which is a message in a cake. meet the viewer in a hotel and walk into a conference room with every business meeting. you see a three-tiered cake or something like that in the corner, you know it's not a business meeting. you know without having to ask anybody it is a wedding. what is a message to create that wedding cake the bible to find a marriage is between a man and a woman asking me too violate my conscience to create thisl cake. what is the distinction when, what is the distinction between freedom of religion because people confuse this a lot. >> the constitution is freedom of religion.
to find at least promote it what we do and church. i want the government to protect my right not just when i was in the halls of worship in any church. the colorado civil rights commission is a panel of seven gubernatorial appointees, they ruled against you, right? you chose to appeal to the colorado court of appeals. what was the crux of your appeal? >> the same thing. the state was forcing me to the arm of the civil rights commission to create cakes that went against my conscious.
whereas the court of appeals to reverse that decision allow me too obey my conscience and create cakes. >> there is a double standard there is a another denver bakery who did something almost identical to what you did. they did not, they were not persecuted and anyway. can you tell us why that happened? >> a judgment here in denver went to at least three different bakeries and asked them to create cakes that were shaped like a bible to men getting married is a message on the cake said sexual marriage is wrong. they asked the two create the cakes they disagree with the
message of it. that's exactly but we were doing. you're going to serve these people in the person said we cannot create all cake sprayed the civil rights commission so they're not turning you away they're only turning white and the message and they have that right but iid do not have that right. >> the commission said some very hateful things about you've heard you mention talk about this your debt is in world war ii he was involved in a concentration camp. what was the question saying about you? >> one of the commissioners we have it recorded on tape that religious freedom is a
despicable piece of rhetoric. people use it to all kinds of things like slavery and the holocaust went against my faith to the holocaust. it is this woman does not know what the holocaust is or ignoring the facts. my dad served in world war ii but he landed on normandy gets me every time, hang on. he fought through france, he fought through germany, who is in the battle of the bold, he was wounded in a attack he has a big scar across his back and gave him a purple heart. the passion back up h and sent into combat again. there he ended up being part of a group that liberated the prison camp, the concentration camp. he spoke of the horrors of that and the smell.
but if you look it up the pictures are horrific. for this commission to compare this decision to that was just ludicrous. >> i have been there and it is very disturbing. tell us what the outcome of that appeal was? >> the court of appeals ruled three -- nothing in favor of the super rights commission. meaning i lost in the commission went against me. part of it would be that i would need to retrain my staff, have to change all of my policies, it's a very small shop b including my mom who is in her 80s i won't be
reeducated. thanks mom i love you i appreciate it. that is what the court of appeals came back and said. those rulings now stand. the next step would appeal to the colorado state supreme court. >> that sounds very not a cultural revolution in china. the reeducation camp. and so the government, you talked about this before, the government was essentially ordering you to violate your conscience. was there ever a moment the first year or second tier of this where you were like sort of wavering and kind of a wondering if you should give in and do what they said or just bake the cake? >> road close the cake shop down before start creating cakes like that. how far could we go with a
biblical take us to the next step? i learned the state supreme court and the united supreme court had a discussion in the state supreme court. on so i thought it was over, it was done. we were willing to do that for the court to hear our case that was the big question but. >> apparently the court was willing to hear case. tell us what the odds are of the u.s. supreme court hearing your case? >> the odds are extremely small to be heard. they petition with 8000 -- 10,000 cases every year. and they would only grant 70 or 80 of them. they are usually two circuit courts they ruled differently on two different things.
the circuit split until they have to justify the constitution cannot mean one thing in california they are dealing with larger cases like that. and for my case we came from not a circuit court, or district court was a standalone case. we are basically coming from a court of appeals. the odds are incredibly against us. you have to have four justices to agree to take your case. you have to have at least four go over every aspect of your case is worth your time it worth your effort. thing to take this case to court. and we got that. >> what was it like when you found out you were going to the supreme court? what we are feeling? >> that was one of the craziest days of my life. there is a website scotus blog
you it's a website you can follow any case you want to looking at. as it was relisted which means they had in front of them let's put it off, let's put it off. i knew it was going to the end of the court session with a break to the summer. i was watching my computer confident we would get a decision if it had been granted. it had been granted it gets me still.
though i went to talk to in the shop was a homeless man that comes in. i turned him and said hey were going to the supreme corporate he looked at me and he said yeah i got a go to court on wednesday. [laughter] but i don't need a parole officer just to understand the gravity of the united states supreme court, people send going to sue you and take this to the supreme court do not understand how it works. and to be granted was incredible. >> i think you mentioned this in the book was the essential point to take it to the supreme court wasn't about freedom of speech? >> we asked them to reverse the case based on both the speech and the religious component of it. >> right and then june 4, 2018 you one, you won at the supreme court is seven -- two rulingul ginsburg dissented of course.
obviously that was an amazing occasion what was that like when you one? >> that was just an emotional day as the day they granted i was either moreon surprised this was three weeks before the end of the session and i was pretty confident they would not make the announcement until the m last day i happened to be watching and we have masterpiece. it looks like they win seven -- two. i'm saying to my computer what just happened? the phone starts ringing people are driving by my shop honking and waving it's an incredible day. >> likean a david/goliath story. you mentioned in the book, this was interesting what was one of the keys to winning the case according to the supreme court? why did they win in your favor?
>> one of the key factors was ther? cost agility we talked about before the commissioner comparing my case to the holocaust. i forget how they phrased it, it was clearis and permissible hostility. the other main components was the inequity that the commission would come after me for my case. in these other three bakeries for their denial of creating cakes in their conscience. those were two keys to that whole decision. >> you mentioned the violated free election clause but what is that mean again the free exercise clause question at. >> that this shall pass no law establishing religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. so in essence you can have
your religion you can do whatever w you want to you just cannot exercise it in your cake shop or you can only do it in your church. the exercise clause i cannot exercise my faith there openly hostile to that. >> you had three weeks after you one you had three weeks of kind of calm and normalcy again. but then suddenly you are right back where you started. a local denver attorney a trans gender attorney autumn scardina walked into your cake shop and ended up filing charges against you. what was that like? >> the first day going to court my average day i would take 25 -- 30 phone calls for cake orders.
with somewhere around 300 phone calls. that was a day they granted the case and requested another case which was essentially a message we couldn't take it would be blue on the outside and pink on a the inside and those colors were to celebrate this gender transition changing from man to woman. so again we will create any other cake fast forward to the day ruled in our favorite we got notice they'd taken up the complaint this attorney filed the year before and said there's probable cause to pursue an almost identical case again. >> that is what i don't get. you talk about in the book but iss cannot process it in my brain if the supreme court ruled in your favor, how could this happen again?
>> i am not sure how good of an analogy this is in john can correct me here, it's like speeding down might street, and get a ticket and beat it for their sake i am speeding down the street again or he ran a red light. i'm getting another ticket. i'm not able to face my t new ticket by already beat that speeding ticket last year. now you have ae new one. the cases were similar or identical in nature to two separate charges. the court to duty then is to file a complaint and see if there's probable cause. >> how did that first case with autumn and? how did that case and up? >> two years ago in march
court reporters and videographersvi take on every word as they basically destroy me in the next six hours. they said we would have a meeting and asked the recorder and stenographer to leave and meeting was too say this is a vehicle were willing to use will dismiss the charges against jack and gather a lawsuit against him in federal court when you got the suit. it was really based on the fact we had a recording of the same commission, the new commission saying they embrace the hostility of the first commission. and so if they were to go forward, they would not be successful parade they knew they would lose. they would rather drop the case then go ahead and lose it. >> but it is still not over. on june 5, 2019, autumn filed
a new case against you. ind do not know how much you can talk about it, why did that happen? where are you in that case? >> the attorney had an option of appealing the commission's decision to dismiss the case. rather than that, waited whatever the time period was over 90 days and then filed a civil lawsuit against me. this is not the state suing me it's the attorney% this past march a few weeks ago, we were in court the judge was in his chambers and denver i was in the office there in scottsdale with alliance for freedom i wear put on the witness stand, my wife, my daughter, the help, and the attorney and a couple other people. we had that trial direct examination, cross examination, all of those things. we are now waiting for the judge to announce that
decision. >> oh wow, how soon will you know that decision? >> there's not a timeline. it could be this afternoon, it could be next week, it could be july. we are just waiting and waiting. >> in the meantime are you still able to create custom cakes? >> we are. wet decided through all this until it is fully resolved we will not create wedding cakes or anniversary cakes in that field. there are practical reasons for that as well. until those are result this is her biggest time of year with graduation cakes, birthday cakes, shower cakes, all of those and we do those all of the time. >> you mentioned shadrach, meshach, a bendigo and daniel. and them being in exile in babylon. i do a whole chapter in my book, you mentioned in your book how do you draw inspiration from shadrach and
his friends story? >> in a couple of ways. for one they were not in their home village, they were not in jerusalem. the whole nation had been captured and carried off to battle and they were slaves. they had to do with the king wanted them to do. and king nebuchadnezzar was evil wicked man if you did not do exactly what he wanted, you are dead that's all there was to it. it would not be a sleeping pill it would be a gruesome death. were willing to stand and do what god wanted them to do and they knew what was expected of them from the law of israel to obey, and honor the lord god jehovah. >> i said this in my book, they refused to bow down to culture basically. that's basically what they were doing. and they were willing to go into a fiery furnace rather than compromise their convictions just like you did. there is no fiery furnace.
>> we also set our god is able to deliver us. but if he doesn't we are going great if not were still going to do our best to obey him. >> you talk about also on a personal level you talk about how the cake shop over the years and brought you and your father closer together. i think you said when you were young you are not really that close with them and there was a distance. but the cake shop really brought you closer. tell us how that happened. >> seems like i never saw my dad, he never came to baseball games but didn't play baseball anyway. he would take me fishing. he had a job to do, i had friends we just did not have an opportunity to be really close. but i love my got a great deal and he loved me. will be open the shop i was nervous to tell him i was going to go into business for myself. he was a meat cutter.
he hated working with the public. i don't care what you do for the living, just don't work in the public so working the baker that's fine fine from the back doing all kinds of things i decided it was time to open my own cake shop, how my going to tell my dad i'm going to be working with the public will be in charge off everything. when i told him he said that's great, where, when, how do we get it going? he came in the very first day we locked the door of the shop and was here every day since then. they got the phone upstairs see how many phone calls i get after the first half-hour that's the first phone call. today is scardina called in the court granted it was like ring hangup, ring hang up, anyway my dad then came down to help me too do the remodel, to finish up he was here virtually every day. we opened didn't 93 he opened
in 96. those three years were valuable to me he would come in every day have muffins and coffee he is a guy he would never work with the public. there wasn't anyone who came in the shop it would not try to befriend right off the back. >> how is all of this drama for the last nine plus years? >> almost nine. how is this all been on your family? >> it has been good. it has brought us altogether. i have a sister lives in indianapolis i talked to her regularly. i have another sister i see her two or three times a week. they pray for me and they supported spread my mom just passed away inee november. she was here working up until i think she was 88 -- 89 years old. for the last three or four years she was not here. but it has been great. my daughter has worked for me and has helped her to wake up
to the bible and jesus talks about a parable about ten virgins who were praying for a wedding feast and they were all asleep because it happens in the middle of the night. this of the bridegroom is coming all ten wake up, five are prepared for the wedding ceremony and five are not that is a great parable. also in my mind spoke to me i was asleep too. just like all ten of them were sleep they were prepared for this battle until that day came i was asleep and my daughter says the same thing, she had a wake-up call. this whole thing has changed her life spiritually. she was a follower of jesus before that but now she's a dedicated follower of jesus by. >> that is amazing. >> this is an amazing factoid from the book.
how did you come up with the name masterpiece cake shop? >> that goes back when i graduated high school i needed a job. a man that lived across the street over me owned a large bakery he was gracious enough to hire me. i fell in love with baking to go out and get acclimated to working for a living. i had to pizza parlors and you just don't show up right after i got acclimated to that i thought this is a job i could do, to this long-term. later on about it want to run my own baker. one day i found out the baker and brought out another bakery rather than making 100 cakes and time these people making one cake at a time, one custom cake at a time but i have an artistic backer may go through in the book also.
it's going to open my own bakery someday it would be at a bakery where i would use the canvas of the cake and turn it into hopefully art to help it celebrate. i came up with it almost immediately. i created with the other physical mediate sculptingfi painting those kind of things. the name came to me right away masterpiece cake shop. masterpiece and my mindset are cake shop. damage are not going to walk in that think you're going to get a loaf of bread or pie part of the masterpiece also in my mind, first part of that praise reminds me of jesus sermon on the mound that no man can serve two masters. as they come into the shop i think will my going to serve today? is a right out masterpiece i pretty much think master. i see that word and whom i
going to serve? i want to live my life, ran my shop with owners jesus christ by. >> that is a great name. and so you mentioned that in the book part of the reason you did all of this fighting, you fought in court, part of it is for future generations. what do you mean by that? >> one in the main reasons i wrote when i was approached with the idea as they wanted to put down writing a story with details of what happened. especially for my kids. i have three kids, my daughter works for me i have one and california one in canada. one thing to know exactly what happened. further that i wanted my grandkids was you can find any version of you once online. but also realize three, four,
five years ago this is not slet's fight for him so he can start making cakes again. this is for every american to build to live and work freely according to their conscience without fear of punishment. we were hoping to continue to fight for everybody. the people who are suing us. they might not value what they might. they would wonder what happened to them, let's fight for them now. >> exactlyly. the last chapter of your book is called a lessons learned. what is the most important things you learn through all of this? >> that is one of the most important things. this is not about me this is about everybody. one of the most important things for me as i need to remember who the master is in a who i serve every day.
every phase of my life whether i'm working, mowing my yard, my lord, my savior who is over everything and runs the universe is good. >> i know the answer to this question but i'm just going to ask. knowing all thatll you know now, and all you have gone through in the last almost nine years, would you still make the same decision back in 2012? >> absolutely. if i sat down with those two men that than 2012 knowing this was ahead of me, i would have said everything i said word for word but i wish i would've had more time to talk to them and explain it to them. what i said to them and 19 words in 20 seconds as i will serve you. cannot create every cake people asked me too create because of the message generally that is involved. i'll be more thann willing to fight for this, for they are your your seat, their sake in
myd sacred. >> were known as the guy who would not bake the cake what is it to be like that? >> i wish as a guy who wouldn't bake the cake but would serve everybody but not create that cake because of the message. people understand it is what it is they recognize me in public so you're that guy, quite often to share my faith. >> guys, a decision in my cake shop took me to the supreme court. is jack phillips and jack, i thank you so much o for being on the show. i think it will edify your daughter's faith that will
encourage people to help people their own convictions about certain issues god bless you your trooper thank you for being on the show i am excited -- i look forward to hearing the outcome of this latest case for. >> thank you mr. cook. it is such an honor to be on your show today have a great day guys, you two. >> be part of the national conversation affects you and your community has $100,000
grand prize of $505,000 but entries for the competition will be received wednesday september 8. for competition rules, tips and more information on how to get started visit our website at student cam.org. >> welcome to pmp live, along with my wife, we have a program this evening featuring two "washington post" journalist, here to talk about their new book nightmare scenario. how the trump administration so poorly and tragically miss manage the coronavirus pandemic. a couple of brief housekeeping notes first, to p