ISN’T IT INTERESTING that we never run out of issues that divide us? Nearly every topic means something important to each of us. Instead of uniting us, they divide us further. About 160 years ago, Abraham Lincoln warned “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” We also are reminded “If we reward bad behavior, we will get more of it.”

Question: Can the government in America force a Christian baker to design a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding?

Apparently we need the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the answer to that question. That’s the dispute in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. A decision in the case is expected by June.

The case poses several levels of legal questions, starting with whether baking a custom wedding cake counts as speech under the Constitution. Advocates for Jack Phillips, owner of the Lakewood, Colo., bakery say he is an artist and has the same expressive rights equal to those of any sculptor or painter.

It’s important to note that Phillips did not deny the couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins of Denver, Colo., a wedding cake from his bakery. He just refused to customize the cake using his artistic talents. That was because he disapproved citing his Christian faith which condemns same-sex marriages.

Craig and Mullins wanted Phillips to create a unique cake for their special occasion. Phillips said “no,” but offered to sell them any wedding cake on display in his store. They said “no,” that would not be good enough.

A Colorado Civil Rights Division took the couple’s complaint to an administrative law judge and a seven-member commission ruled the bakery must offer wedding cakes to same-sex couples on the same terms as other customers.

A state appellate court upheld the commission’s decision. As a result, Phillips stopped selling wedding cakes altogether. Phillips dug in his heels and here we are, with a case taking up the time of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The high court’s ruling might have ramifications. If the baker loses, where will your rights and freedoms stop?

For example, newspapers have the right to reject advertising it deems inappropriate, inaccurate or offensive. It’s a First Amendment right. If a newspaper is forced to accept controversial advertising, its readers might be repulsed. The newspaper might be sued and it might lose offended subscribers.

Would the government force an Islamic store owner to sell pork products? Could a Christian bookstore be forced to sell books it found obscene or offensive to its clientele? Where does one person’s rights begin and end?



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ONE OF my senior citizen friends sent me this essay about 35 years ago. I was about 32 years old at that time and I couldn’t understand why she thought I should have it. Well, it’s starting to make sense now. When someone says, “It doesn’t get any better than this,” it now scares me. The essay is as follows:

You might be a senior citizen if you are the life of the party, even when it lasts until 8 p.m.

If you believe you are very good at opening child-proof caps, with the help of a hammer.

I’m usually interested in going home before I get to where I am going.

I’m good on a trip for at least an hour without my aspirin, Beano®, antacid and blood pressure pills.

I’m the first one to find the bathroom wherever I go.

I’m awake many hours before my body allows me to get up.

I’m smiling all the time because I can’t hear a word you are saying.

I’m very good at telling stories, over and over.

I’m acutely aware that other people’s grandchildren are not as bright as mine.

I’m so cared for, long-term care, eye care, private care, dental care.

I’m not grouchy. I just don’t like traffic, waiting, crowds, children, politicians.

I’m positive I did housework correctly before my mate retired.

I’m sure everything I can’t find is in a secure place.

I’m wrinkled, saggy and lumpy, and that’s just my left leg.

I’m having trouble remembering simple words and names.

I’m now spending more time with my pillows than with my mate.

I’m realizing that aging is not for sissies.

I’m anti-everything now, anti-fat, anti-gluten, anti-smoking, anti-noise, anti-inflammatory.

I’m walking more (to the bathroom) and enjoying it less.

I’m going to reveal what goes on behind closed doors: absolutely nothing!

I’m sure they are making adults much younger these days.

I’m in the initial stage of my golden years: Social Security, CDs, Individual Retirement Accounts, AARP, Medicare.

I have nine different doctors on speed dial and three funeral directors know my name.

I’m wondering, if you are only as old as you feel, how could I be alive at 150?

I’m supporting all movements now, by eating bran, prunes and raisins.

I’m really very popular. I must get six unlisted, out-of-area phone calls a day.

I’m a senior citizen and my family thinks I am having the time of my life.