Welcome to G3 Weekly—a summary of this week’s top news stories on Christianity and the public square.
This week, the Supreme Court heard the case of a Christian graphic designer challenging a law that would force her to advance messages supportive of so-called homosexual marriage. A restaurant in Virginia refused to serve a private event from a conservative Christian organization. Meanwhile, actor Kirk Cameron was denied the opportunity to read a children’s book about the fruit of the Spirit in more than fifty public libraries across the nation.
Supreme Court Hears Arguments Opposing Colorado Discrimination Laws
“Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16).
Justices of the Supreme Court heard a case regarding Lorie Smith, a Christian graphic design business owner, who is mounting a challenge against a Colorado state law that violates her First Amendment rights to free expression and the free exercise of religion.
According to a press release from the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented Smith before the Supreme Court, the designer chooses projects based on their core messages. She refuses to build wedding websites inconsistent with the reality of marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
“Free speech is for everyone. No one should be forced to say something they don’t believe,” Alliance Defending Freedom CEO Kristen Waggoner commented. “And Lorie works with everyone. Whether she custom designs a website or graphic always turns on what the message is, not who is requesting it.”
Colorado officials have reportedly admitted that Smith, who runs 303 Creative, is willing to build websites for customers from all walks of life, including those identifying as LGBT, provided that the content does not violate her religious convictions.
The state of Colorado, however, asserted in a brief that the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act merely prevents sales discrimination. “What a business chooses to sell to the public remains entirely up to the business,” the state attorney general’s office said. “Once a business offers something to the public, however, the law ensures it must offer it to any customer regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristic.”
Virginia Restaurant Denies Service to Christian Organization
“One whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked” (Proverbs 29:27).
A restaurant in Virginia canceled a previously scheduled event hosted by a Christian group once employees learned that the organizers stand for traditional marriage.
Metzger’s Bar and Butchery in Richmond nixed service to the Family Foundation because they purportedly “deprive women and LGBTQ+ persons of their basic human rights” through their advocacy of public policies derived from biblical principles. “In eight years of service we have very rarely refused service to anyone who wished to dine with us,” a social media post from the restaurant said. “We have always refused service to anyone for making our staff uncomfortable or unsafe and this was the driving force behind our decision.”
The last-minute cancellation left the Family Foundation scrambling for new arrangements. “Welcome to the double standard of the left, where some believe Jack Phillips must be forced to create a wedding cake as part of the celebration of a same-sex ceremony but any business should be able to deny basic goods and services to those who hold biblical values around marriage,” the organization, said in a blog post.
Kirk Cameron Spurned by Public Libraries Nationwide
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Kirk Cameron was barred from hosting story hour events at public libraries across the nation, even as many of the same libraries host drag queen events.
The Christian actor and producer recently published a book called As You Grow, which centers upon the role of the Holy Spirit throughout the believer’s life. According to a report from Fox News, events meant to feature the book were rejected by more than fifty libraries.
“We are a very queer-friendly library. Our messaging does not align,” one library told the book’s publishers. “Because of how diverse our community is, I don’t know how many people you would get,” another library said.
Believers across the country are launching efforts to combat the drag queen story hour trend, in which transvestites read books about the LGBTQ movement to minors. Pastors Dale Partridge of Prescott, Arizona, and Michael Foster of Batavia, Ohio, recently read child-friendly books about the biblical distinction between the sexes at their local libraries. The former minister reported difficulties in reserving a space, according to a report from The Daily Wire.