A family bakery business in Oregon run by Christians Melissa and Aaron Klein has closed down because of death threats, aggressive bullying and poisonous boycott tactics by homosexualists. Why? They decided not to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding. You can read about it here.
Putting aside the whole homosexuality issue, what I find most disturbing about the report is that the local government backed up the homosexualists and Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries is launching a formal investigation of the Klein family. In a statement which is clearly meant to be conciliatory, Commissioner Brad Avakian said that he was committed to a fair and thorough investigation to determine whether the bakery discriminated against the lesbians.
“Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs, but that doesn’t mean that folks have the right to discriminate,” he told the newspaper. “The goal is to rehabilitate. For those who do violate the law, we want them to learn from that experience and have a good, successful business in Oregon.”
In other words, instead of going to jail or paying a fine the Kleins will be rehabilitated or re-educated. How chilling is that? In a famous essay on jurisprudence C.S.Lewis points out that the only just reason for judicial punishment is retribution–not rehabilitation or re-eduation. Why? Because the principal of retribution (not revenge) assigns a just punishment for a crime committed. When the punishment is completed the criminal has paid his price to society and it’s all over. Other motives for punishment–while seeming more humane–actually open the door to grave injustice. So if the motive for punishment is to protect the public does a criminal who is irreformable get a life sentence in order to protect the public? If rehabilitation is the motive is the person incarcerated until he is reformed? What if that takes a very long time but his crime is minor?
When rehabilitation or re-education is the principal of punishment, then the person may be incarcerated or…”housed in a therapeutic center” until he changes his mind. If re-education is the end goal, then a person could be locked away until he is effectively re-educated. A Christian, therefore, who refuses to change his mind may be locked up indefinitely. Would such a thing happen in the United States? Err, what about Guantanamo?
What form of re-education will be used? Gentle lectures on the goodness of homosexuality? Reading books? Role play? Attending a gay pride parade? What if the person refuses to budge? Will more persuasive measures be used? Will their recalcitrance be softened by the use of drugs? Will they be isolated from others? Will they have to join Homophobes Anonymous? Will brainwashing techniques be used? Will government re-education centers be set up? Will the mental health professionals be involved? How much force will be used?
Furthermore, am I being paranoid or does anybody else see the financial threat looming in Commissioner Avakian’s statement, “we want them to learn from their experience and have a good, successful business in Oregon.” Subtext being, “If you don’t conform your thinking, your license to operate a business will be withdrawn and we will ruin you financially.”
Americans need to wake up. Our basic freedoms are being eroded as fast as a mud hill in a monsoon, and I fear that most Americans are too cowardly, blind, lazy and satiated by their materialism to do anything about it. Like fat husbands we’ll do anything for a quiet life. Big Brother will step in and most of us will welcome him because he will promise to provide everything for us and take care of us if only we will go quietly.
UPDATE: Here’s something from sent to my combox: I hope it’s just another one of those internet troll baiters…
Religious beliefs are no shield against commercial law. The Interstate Commerce Act gives the Federal Government total control of commerce. The Federals long ago dictated that any form of unapproved bigotry is not tolerated and will be crushed.
Anyone who has a “moral code” in conflict with Federal and/or State and/or local law cannot, I repeat, cannot withhold services based on their own “moral code.”
Today, legal=moral and illegal=immoral. It’s as simple as that. Since homosexual marriage is now legal in several states (and will be nationwide within the year, I bet), you had best adjust your “morality” or you WILL end up behind bars being re-educated.
Don’t be surprised when we atheists show up at one of your weekly shows (“the Mass”) and impose our legal morality on you.