Monday, December 4, 2017

Forced Labor and Cake Makers

          Tomorrow the United States Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral argument in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case. The media generally attempts to paint this issue as "Christian versus Gay Marriage" or a "discrimination" case (see, e.g., this article from Politico). But, in reality, the underlying issue is whether the government should be free to force a person to labor for someone else against their will. The courts have been saying that is acceptable since the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, so I don't hold out much hope for the Cakeshop. However, the simple fact is if you believe that a cake maker should have to bake a cake notwithstanding his religious views, then you believe in forced labor; and it would do much to improve the quality of the discussion if both sides on this issue would acknowledge that that is at the heart of the matter.

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