Religion Unplugged

Let’s be honest: Many voicing opinions about Colorado baker don’t know the facts

By Bobby Ross Jr. | GetReligion

Everybody, it seems, has an opinion about Jack Phillips.

But not everybody — trust me on this — has taken the time to review the facts of Phillips’ case.

Does the Colorado baker — in whose favor the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 this week — really “refuse service” to gays and lesbians as a matter of general business practice?

Not according to him.

His position — one that resonated with the court’s majority — is more complicated than that.

Yet headlines such as this one in USA Today serve only to fuel the misperception:

Poll: 51% of white evangelicals support business’ refusal of service to LGBT customers

Here is the question that the survey covered by the national newspaper asked:

Do you support or oppose allowing a small business owner in your state to refuse to provide products or services to LGBT individuals if doing so violates their religious beliefs?

I have the same concern with that question that I did one asked in a previous survey that I highlighted last year: I’m just not sure it’s the right one. There are better questions to get closer to the real issue.

Read the full column.

• • •

All of my GetReligion columns (June 2018):

• Friday Five: Biblical bombshell (not), Joel Osteen deep dive, Onion-style real headlines and more. Published June 1.

• In same-sex wedding cake case, Supreme Court rules for Colorado baker — but who wins in future? Published June 4.

• Let’s be honest: Many voicing opinions about Colorado baker Jack Phillips don’t know the facts. Published June 6.

• Religious freedom question in Indiana: Can teacher refuse to call transgender student by preferred name? Published June 7.

• Friday Five: GetReligionista’s mea culpa, #JusticeForJack, SBC spell check and more. Published June 8.

• Hey, when reporting on Southern Baptist women, it helps to talk to … Southern Baptist women. Published June 12.

• Sin and money: In the Deep South, why one state seems more willing to embrace gambling. Published June 13.

• Wrapping up Southern Baptist annual meeting: Did we witness the return of the so-called ‘moderates?’ Published June 14.

• Friday Five: Southern Baptists and Catholic bishops and White House Bible verses, oh my! What a week! Published June 15.

• Seven can’t-miss takes on use of Romans 13 to defend policy on separating immigrant families. Published June 18.

• Despite a few holy ghosts, sweet Father’s Day story involving a major-league catcher warms the heart. Published June 19.

• At a religious freedom conference in Utah, a diverse panel explores how to get news media coverage right. Published June 21.

• Friday Five: BYU conference, border separation, McCarrick scandal, Chris Pratt on MTV and more. Published June 22.

• Trump-loving evangelicals at it again, showing affection for ‘self-styled top U.S. pimp’ — but really? Published June 25.

• Double standard? Religious animus? Five links to help dissect SCOTUS ruling on Trump’s travel ban. Published June 27.

• After Kennedy retirement, you’ll find thousands of the nation’s happiest people in … Wichita, Kan. Published June 28.

• Friday Five: Capital Gazette journalists, SCOTUS news, an unsung hero’s passing and more. Published June 29.

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