The Masterpiece Decision Means Nothing

As an atheist, I’m completely unaffected by the recent

Supreme Court ‘Masterpiece’ decision. Even though the decision was 7-2 in favor of the plaintiff, it really means nothing overall. I’ve noticed since the decision that atheists have come out against the decision. Why?

First, it was a very narrow decision and had nothing to do with LGBT rights at all. What this decision was about is the government deciding that a religious view being illigetimate.

Yes, I know that it was the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, but those people are appointed officials. They represent the state government and for even a single commissioner to refer to the plaintiffs religious beliefs as “illegitimate” and compare them to slavery and the holocaust is incomprehensible to me – yes, as an atheist.

Of course, Christians view this decision as some sort of victory or as I’ve read recently a first step. I don’t see this decision that way at all and even though I’ve heard some legal scholars bemoan the decision as being one that may have courts into disarray, the majority of legal opinion I’ve read and heard, liberal and conservative, say this decision means nothing overall.

The isn’t a first step for Christians, whatever they mean by that. It isn’t even step zero. It also isn’t the beginning of the apocalypse for any that support LGBT rights.

All this decision had to do with is one ignorant idiot, on the record, denigrating someones religious belief.No government official in a position of power like this commission is, can do that.

I know that many reading this are saying so what? Imagine an atheist baker refusing to make a special cake for someone’s confirmation and some state official called that atheist a Nazi, or worse. How would atheists respond?

Finally, no one has the perspicacity to know how the Supreme Court will rue on any case. A good page to bookmark is Scotusblog, which details to an extent decisions made as well as petition that come before the court.

Before I leave here, there’s another similar case coming before the court. They will vote on Thursday whether to hear the case or not. All that’s required are 4 votes. It’s the case of the florist in Washington that refused to decorate for a gay wedding. She subsequently went out of business based on state law.

I don’t know the exact details of this one but if the court votes to hear the arguments next term, it’s one to watch.

Lets all wait before anyone declares victory. And if those of us that support human rights prevail, lets not be smug about it.

5 thoughts on “The Masterpiece Decision Means Nothing

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  2. The problem here is that, once again, social media outrage narrative is preferred to reality. The scope of this ruling was extremely narrow, but I’d estimate that at least 90% of those reacting to it in my Twitter feed were saying things like, “The court legalized discrimination by Christians against anyone they want to discriminate against.” Clearly, they are uninformed. Some may be getting all their information from the usual outrage-oriented sources, and others probably prefer to be uninformed as long as it serves their narrative.

    Personally, I would not go so far as to say that the decision means nothing. I’m sure it means quite a bit to those directly involved in it, and it will probably have some limited implications in similar cases. But it does not appear to mean anything remotely close to what many are trying to make it out to be (e.g., Christians have just been given a license to refuse to serve atheists). Hopefully, cooler heads will eventually prevail.

  3. I think I have said this before, I have never used the phrase, nor do I see any reason to use it, but you seem to say it often. “As an atheist…” Can’t you simply say, “I think…” without the caveat? When you write “atheists have come out…” it sounds like you are putting words in mouths. Try “some people who happen to be atheist…”

    • I use “As an atheist” simply because for many, it’s unusual for a conservative to be an atheist. According to Pew, only 10% of athesits are conservative. As with the other, I don’t know if you’re on Twitter or not but there was a lot of outrage from, yes, atheists about this decision. Most of them of course had not actaully read the decision, just the news headlines which seemed to imply this was somehow a “victory” for Christians. Clearly it is not.

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