Aaron and Melissa Klein are not backing down. The Oregon couple is in the crosshairs of a truly hypocritical legal battle that seeks to close their business and leave them homeless, all for the supposed crime of refusing to abandon their religious convictions and bow to the LGBTQ agenda. Ironically, it’s all in the name of tolerance and human rights.
No matter how you feel about same-sex marriage–come on, people–learn to get along! If your idea of marriage goes against someone’s deeply-held religious convictions, back off. Go to another bakery. Be a grown-up and learn to agree to disagree. Baked goods will never save your life or your soul. They are totally optional, and there exist numerous bakery options in any given community. The loss of your bakery dollars is penalty enough. Shop around and find a place that will rejoice with you– without violating their personal convictions.
The lesbian couple who launched the suit against the Kleins had been served, previously, in the Klein’s little bakery, but when the Christian bakers politely declined to participate in a same-sex wedding, things got ugly. In spite of the fact that the lesbian couple was immediately able to procure another cake and proceed with their nuptials, the legal bullying and intimidation of the Kleins was immediate and, because of the activist leanings of local officials, resulted in an off-the-charts judgment that seeks to close the bakery and slap a $135,000 lien on the Kleins’ home.
I can’t say I’m surprised.
In a recent post, I called for Christians to stand up for traditional marriage without losing their primary mission, which is to love everyone–even those who persecute us. Some in the comboxes claimed that our fears of persecution, including the loss of religious freedoms and freedom of expression, were ridiculous. But we know better.
Already, the Supreme Court has trampled states’ rights, in a move that opens marriage to almost any definition and places drastic limitations on free exercise of religion. Attorney Helen Alvarez of the grassroots movement, Women Speak for Themselves, made the following remarks in a July 8 e-blast to members:
Over the past 12 days I have been struggling over an adequate response to our new situation since 5 members of the Supreme Court invented a right to same-sex marriage in an opinion in which they also articulated a new and drastically limited meaning of the “Free Exercise of Religion” guaranteed by the First Amendment of our Constitution…Justice Kennedy said the Constitution guarantees us rights only to “advocate” and “teach” about our beliefs.But of course he’s legally wrong. We also have the right to live and work in integrity with our beliefs, limited of course by other people’s compelling interests, but not their mere will.
This drastic reduction in our rights to live out our beliefs in the peace and protection of our constitutional rights opens the doors of persecution even wider, as actuaries and business leaders note the coming war on religious freedoms and scramble to protect their interests.
Companies that insure churches have seen the costly handwriting on the wall, so some already stipulate non-coverage for damages resulting from legal claims of discrimination against same-sex couples. The fallout will be devastating, giving same-sex couples the power to financially ruin and thereby close churches and church-run organizations through costly financial penalties, against which religious Americans may find themselves helpless.
The National Review’s David French concludes,
That’s what insurance is for. Yet, as of July 1, it appears that thousands of American churches are more exposed than they imagined. And what’s the real-world result of Southern Mutual’s decision? Stanley, who focuses much of his practice on defending the religious-liberty rights of pastors and churches, was blunt: “More fear.” And fear can mean that the battle for religious freedom is lost even before it’s fully joined. (Read more, here.)
No big deal, right? Live and let live…?
Listen up, Christians, this is spiritual and societal war. We are called to respond by living lives of meticulous virtue and great courage.
As has been the case, since 33 AD, peaceful civil disobedience, prayer, and sacrifice are the hallmarks of the authentic Christian remnant in our society.
Let’s stand firm. In love.