Michael Helfand Op-Ed: The Jewish Week
How should the American Jewish community respond to Masterpiece Cakeshop and the clash between religious freedom and discrimination?
Professor Michael A. Helfand has published the article, "In Colorado Cake Case, Religious Values Clash With Discrimination. Jews Have Been On Both Sides," in The Jewish Week. The article considers the ideological divisions that emerge in cases where religious liberty stands in tension with the rights of minority groups.
Excerpt from "In Colorado Cake Case, Religious Values Clash With Discrimination":
Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the much-anticipated case of the Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. The extraordinary public interest in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) stems from the high legal stakes. On the one hand, the CCRC emphasizes how its “public accommodations” laws protect the LGBT community from discrimination at the hands of businesses open to the public. On the other hand, the baker argues that his First Amendment rights — both free speech and religious liberty — prohibit government from requiring him to design and bake a custom-cake for an event that runs contrary to his religious beliefs. And so this all-out clash has grabbed our collective attention: how should our society prioritize these competing principles of 21st-century American law?
The complete article may be found at jewishweek.timesofisrael.com