For Halloween, I tried go as Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ left eyebrow. Scary. But my prosthetics guy, an artist I’ve worked with for years, complained her face was so constantly two, three, four and more faced, that he could not get a single still photo to make a model. He said, “Sarah cannot physically actually do a resting bitch face. Restless Face Syndrome. Even Derma-Grip couldn’t help.”
Sometimes I like to play WWSH-SD? What would Sarah Huckabee Sanders do? I picture her in various historical press rooms. Whipping those eyebrow-as-semaphores as she says, “The Visigoths are no threat to our great lands.” Side-mouthing, “Come on guys, there is nothing in that Trojan horse.” Asymetrically deadpanning, “Regarding what happened in Charlottesville, the president has looked at both crowds now.” Oh wait, that happened.
What if Sarah were spokesman for Marie-Antoinette during the French Revolution? When told her starving subjects had no bread, the queen is quoted as saying, “Let them eat cake.” Sarah would have handled that with the flick of her arching left eyebrow. “The queen actually said, in that French language, ‘Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.’ It was a brioche not cake. C’est faux nouvelle.” (tr: “That is fake news”.)
There’s more fake news about cake. On Dec. 5, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In July 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins visited the aforementioned cake shop to buy a wedding cake. When shop owner Jack Phillips realized it was for a same-sex couple, he refused to sell it to them based on his religious beliefs.
While the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and the state courts agree that the Cakeshop’s refusal violated Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act, the Cakeshop disagrees and argues that discrimination based on religious convictions should be constitutionally protected.
You can thank Hobby Lobby for expanding the scope of religious liberty protections. Prior to that case, courts had never recognized corporations as having any right to “religious freedom.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom argues that ruling against the Cakeshop is a violation of free speech. The bakery and its defenders have been speaking freely, endlessly, about the freedom of religion. The Christian is understood.
Imagine my lesbian-pantheist knitting group, Pussy-Crafters, Ltd, at a holiday pop-up store in the mall. That damnable Little Drummer Boy song is on an endless loop. It sounds like, “Ta-rump-pum-pum-Trump”. “I’m dreaming of a White Supremacist Christmas.” That loop causes one of the sister-vendors to lose her shit. Based on her sincerely held, pantheist beliefs, she refuses to sell one of our pink products to the cocky alt-right guy in the red MAGA hat.
You can only imagine it. Because our case would never make it out of the mall lost and found.
The Masterpiece Cakeshop case is not about religious freedom.
It is about using religion to justify discrimination. It is about privileging religion over the law of the land. That law says the Cakeshop is free to sell whatever it wants. It is not free to decide who to sell it to.
Sanctioning LGBT discrimination would of course set back years of progress for civil rights. If the court recognizes a constitutional right to discriminate, businesses can turn away people of color, single mothers, unmarried cohabitants, Muslims, Jews, interfaith couples and a host of others.
Presumably you’ve re-friended some family members since last year’s awkward, seething Thanksgiving dinner. Over pumpkin pie, bring up the Cakeshop case and discuss what it’s really about. If there’s time, discuss the Armageddon-out-of-here Tax bill. Then cue up Donna Summer and her eight-and-a-half-minute disco-fied version of MacArthur Park.
Scream along with Donna: “Someone left the rainbow cake out in the rain. I don’t think that I can take it, cause it took so long to bake it, and I’ll never have that recipe again.”
Good news: We do actually have a recipe. We saw it in this year’s election. Discuss electoralizing the resistance on your I-can’t-believe-I-ate-the-whole-thing after dinner walk. Next Thanksgiving, we’re serving up the mid-terms!
Kate Clinton is a longtime humorist. She writes regularly for the Blade.