From death threats to the vandalism of his Denver, Colorado, cake shop, to being sued all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, Phillips – the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop – has had to endure many attacks for standing up for his faith against the Left and its LGBTQ activists.
"The emails [and] the phone calls were sometimes horrific – you'd just hear profanity," Phillips shared in a recent "Edifi with Billy Hallowell" podcast interview. "We had our store vandalized … we had death threats. I had a guy call me up one day, said he was in his car, he's got a gun, he's on his way to the shop, and he's going to blow my head off."
Eventually, the bakery owner had to take all of the incoming phone calls to protect his staff – and with nearly a decade passing since the fateful day that ushered in continuous harassment, Phillips decided to share his story in his new book, "The Cost of My Faith," beginning when two men tried to order their wedding cake in 2012.
"I sat down, I introduced myself … I immediately knew what my answer would be," Phillips recounted before respectfully turning their request down: "I'm sorry, guys, I don't do cakes for same-sex weddings."
The visibly frustrated homosexual couple then angrily stormed out of the bakery.
"I was stunned. I tried to be polite," the Christian baker recalled. "I tried to – in that couple of sentences – let them know that I'd be happy to serve them in any other capacity … but this was a cake that, because of the message and my faith, I couldn't create."
Before long, Phillips' life would never be the same. He vividly remembers that 20 minutes did not pass before his phone began ringing and emails started bombarding his inbox.
The baker's polite exchange quickly evolved into a national debate, and the state of Colorado sued him three months later in October, when he was told that he must check his Christian faith at his bakery's door.
"The [Colorado Civil Rights Commission] required me to change my policies, ignore my faith," Phillips explained. "And [they told me] when I'm at the cake shop, I don't get to exercise my freedom of religion."
The culinary artist was basically told he had no control over his creations – similar to an author being told she has no freedom over what she writes.
"The baker said he would have had no rights over the design of his cakes and that the incident would force him to report to the Commission quarterly for two years as he retrained his staff to meet government standards," The Christian Post (CP) explained. "Phillips stood his ground and battled the government in court."
Soon, however, he had to shut down a major part of his business. "We decided that the way around it was not to create wedding cakes at all," Phillips noted. "We were doing probably 300 wedding cakes every year, but we had to give that up."
After the state of Colorado dealt Phillip's business major blows in court, the U.S. Supreme Court ended up reversing the outcome in 2018.
"The Supreme Court ruled in Phillips's favor in a 7–2 decision," the National Association of Christian Ministers (NACM) recounted. "They didn't render a decision on the broader issues of the case, but they did find that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission 'showed elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs motivating his objection.'"
It was made clear that the LGBTQ community cannot take away Christians' First Amendment rights.
"The laws and the Constitution can, and in some instances must, protect gay persons and gay couples in the exercise of their civil rights, but religious and philosophical objects to gay marriage are protected views, and in some instances, protected forms of expression," the opinion from Phillip's Supreme Court case explained.
But the LGBTQ community clearly isn't done with Phillips in court. "Phillips still faces the fallout from a separate 2017 instance in which a customer contacted the bakery and asked for a cake to celebrate a gender transition – something Phillips declined," CP noted. "He has since been back in court to battle over that incident."
After nearly a decade of exhausting legal battles, Phillips finds the strength to carry on through his faith in Jesus Christ.
"God has provided everything we needed all the way through," Phillips shared, according to CP.
And he would like his family to take away one thing from the ongoing saga:
"[I would] like for them to look and not say that I was a big political guy, but that I was a follower of Jesus Christ and did my best in my work and family and life and all of my relationships to reflect that relationship with the Savior of the world."