I Prayed have prayed
Father, we ask that you protect our freedoms to speak your truth and stand for your Word. Give us courage and favor in this hour, Lord, and give us victories in these court cases.
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Religious freedom is back on the judicial chopping block. These court cases are extremely important and need our prayers.

From The Federalist. This coming week the Supreme Court will hear 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, a case that offers the court an opportunity to reconcile the growing tension between the First Amendment’s free speech guarantees and public-accommodation laws.

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Public-accommodation laws have generally coexisted peacefully with the First Amendment. Yet in a disturbing new trend, governments across the country claim the power to compel speech under the aegis of such laws. The crux of the question presented in 303 Creative is whether artists — indeed all Americans — remain free to say only what they believe.

The plaintiff in 303 Creative, Lorie Smith, is a website designer who combines the traditional elements of art with modern technology. …

Applying Colorado’s law to change Smith’s speech violates the First Amendment. …

[The] government may no more force individuals to affirm certain beliefs than it may require them to convey the government’s own message. …

Yet in 303 Creative, Colorado claims the authority to compel Smith to confess by word her faith in Colorado’s mandated orthodoxy instead of her own. Colorado requires Smith to create custom same-sex wedding websites — speech — even though doing so violates her deeply held beliefs. …

In a remarkable decision, the 10th Circuit acknowledged that Colorado’s public-accommodation law compels Smith to speak in violation of her sincere beliefs. Based on a novel theory, the lower court found that Colorado could force her to speak because she is the only source of the wedding websites she designs. Under the 10th Circuit’s artists-are-monopolists theory, the more unique an artist’s speech, the greater the government’s interest in compelling it. …

Colorado asserts that any burden on Smith’s speech is permissible because its public-accommodation law regulates sales. This argument relegates business owners who create speech to second-class First Amendment status. It would require a Democratic speech writer to draft speeches promoting the Republican platform, a mom with an Etsy side-hustle who creates religious art to create art supporting atheism, and a pro-abortion photographer to promote pro-life rallies. Simply put, the government shouldn’t deny free-speech rights to Americans who create art for a living. …

Smith’s request is a modest one. A win for her would not take us back to ugly times in our nation’s history, as Colorado and opponents of free speech disingenuously suggest. Thousands of business transactions occur every day and do not involve expression at all — they would be fully covered by state public-accommodation laws. Further, the compelled-speech doctrine does not protect the rare business owner who refuses to sell a pre-made product (in which case, the government is not affecting speech because the creation has already occurred) or the rare artist who declines to create a work based on who a person is.

Indeed, the public-accommodation laws of 20 states already protect speech, showing that those laws and the First Amendment can coexist peacefully. A win for Smith would be a win for all Americans to ensure none of us become government mouthpieces.

It is not an overstatement to call compelled speech for government-favored positions — as did Judge Tymkovich — “an existential threat to our most sacred freedoms.” Regardless of one’s views on marriage, we should be intensely troubled by Colorado’s argument that the government may force individuals to speak contrary to their most deeply held beliefs.

How are you praying for religious freedom? Share this article to encourage others to pray.

(Excerpt from The Federalist. Photo Credit: Adam Szuscik on Unsplash)

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Renata Berger
December 6, 2022

What you do or don’t do is based on conscience. What the court can’t say is that now I should not consider homosexual acts as perversions. Most gays I’ve interacted with know the idea of perversity so that is not at issue.

Darlene Estlow
December 5, 2022

Father, thank you for those who stand for righteousness and refuse to go along with things that go against their conscience. I pray for this case and for others that theirs would be the victory. May they not grow weary in these battles, but have joy in you and standing for their freedoms granted by the Constitution. Touch the hearts of the politicians and may they repent and look to you. Remove from office any who would try to stop the Christian message.

Susan Eddlemon
December 5, 2022

May we each in our own turn speak and stand for the truth; the Word; disregarding the cost to ourselves that is now being imposed upon us to keep our constitutional freedoms. We owe it to our children and to succeeding generations to do so, in Jesus’s name!


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