There used to be something called ethics. It was taught in school, you learned it at home and it used to be taken into consideration in our judicial system. It is, like so many other bygone principles, a thing of the past. Today we have a legal system that only recognizes the letter of the law. Anything goes as long as it meets the legality litmus test. It only matters if something can be done, with no thought given to whether or not it should be done.
It seems that just a few weeks before Christmas, Melissa Klein was checking her bank accounts only to find the money was gone – every single penny. According to Fox News Tuesday, all the cash in Klein’s checking account and savings account, as well as a special account set aside for their church tithe, had been confiscated by Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries. That’s right, they stole God’s money. Klein and her husband, Aaron, are devout evangelical Christians who own a mom-and-pop bakery – Sweet Cakes By Melissa.
Back in July the Kleins were ordered to pay more than $135,000 in damages to a lesbian couple because they refused to bake their wedding cake. The reason they objected was because of their religious beliefs. The judgment was awarded to the lesbians for “emotional suffering.”
Faced with a state-mandated 9 percent interest penalty, the Kleins opted to pay the disputed amount in full. They turned over a $136,927.07 check to the government. That money was acquired through donations the family and was not in their bank account. This was the price the Kleins had to pay for following the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The Kleins are not the only recipients of of lawsuits brought on by the LGBTQIA movement. The LGBTQIA’s are always claiming they are the ones discriminated against, but in reality, they are the oppressors. Christian relationship counselor Gary McFarlane was fired for refusing sex therapy to homosexual couples. Christian nurse Shirley Chaplin lost her appeal to wear a crucifix around her neck in hospital wards. The University of Toledo suspended the school’s associate vice president of human resources, Crystal Dixon, who wrote to a local newspaper in response to an article that claimed homosexuals to be victims of civil rights abuses. A Texas school punishes a Christian teen for voicing his opinion against homosexuality. And the list goes on.
Oregon has a law on the books that protects the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people in employment, housing and public accommodations. It also prohibits private businesses from discriminating against potential customers, Fox noted. What about the rights of Christians? What about the First Amendment? How does a very small percentage of the population obtain the power to persecute the majority? It is accomplished through biased laws pushed through by powerful gay rights lobbyists.
One News Now reports Attorney Tyler Smith, who represents the Kleins, says his clients still plan on fighting the state’s decision. They are willing to take it all the way to the Supreme Court. “The least expensive option to stay in compliance with the law was to pay the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries funds that will be kept in a separate account until they prevail in their court appeal,” Smith said. The Klein’s request for the state to hold off on collection attempts was obviously denied.
To add insult to injury, the Kleins were also slapped with a gag order which banned them from speaking publicly about their refusal to participate in or bake wedding cakes for same-sex marriages. They were ordered to “cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published, circulated, issued or displayed, any communication, notice, advertisement or sign of any kind to the effect that any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, services or privileges of a place of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination will be made against, any person on account of sexual orientation.”
“Aaron and Melissa will continue to work to ensure that every American has the First Amendment right to express their faith-based beliefs, and to conduct their daily affairs according to their conscience,” Smith said.
Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian has publicly stated his intentions to target Christian business owners who do not comply with the state’s way of thinking. He told The Oregonian regarding Sweet Cakes By Melissa in 2013, “The goal is never to shut down a business. The goal is to rehabilitate.” Avakian sounds like a person who is using his office to bully and intimidate Christians.
With this case it is blatantly apparent that gay rights trump religious liberty. With the legalization of gay marriage, it appears the intent for LGBTQIA supporters is to silence all dissent.