Last Friday the owners of the Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery in Oregon learned the price of freedom of religion – $135,000. That’s the amount that Aaron and Melissa Klein have been ordered to pay to the two lesbians who requested the Kleins make a cake for their lesbian wedding. The Kleins declined on the grounds that doing so would be a violation of their religious beliefs. The lesbians complained to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries that the cake refusal was “mental rape” and that the Kleins had hurt their feelings.
Christian News – According to the Daily Signal, the two women, who have been identified as Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman, submitted individual lists of just under 100 aspects of suffering in order to receive the damages. They included “mental rape,” “distrust of men,” “distrust of former friends,” “discomfort,” “high blood pressure,” “impaired digestion,” “loss of appetite,” “migraine headaches,” “loss of pride,” “resumption of smoking habit,” “shock” “stunned,” “surprise,” “uncertainty,” “weight gain” and “worry.”
But the Kleins told the court that they too had suffered because of the attacks that they received over their desire to live out their Christian faith in the workplace. They stated that they endured “mafia tactics” as their car was vandalized and broken into on two occasions, their vendors were harassed by homosexual advocates resulting in some businesses breaking ties with them, and they received threatening emails wishing rape, death and Hell upon the family. As a result, they had to close their business and move it into their private home.
A GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the Kleins was started after the ruling but was shut down within a day by site administrators who said the site doesn’t allow crowdfunding campaigns for those who have been found guilty of violating laws. Around $109,000 was raised and GoFundMe said the funds would be made available for withdrawal.
Fox News – Family Research Council President Tony Perkins blasted the harsh penalty levied against the Kleins.
“The state of Oregon has given a new meaning to shotgun weddings,” Perkins said. “You will be forced to participate in same-sex weddings and violate your beliefs.”
Perkins wondered what impact the Oregon ruling would have on religious freedom across the country.
“If Americans are not free to decline to be involved in a specific activity that violates their beliefs, then we are not free,” he said.
The Kleins are victims in the ongoing war on religious liberty by the secular left. The irreligious left has no legitimate religious principles and shapes their claimed religious views to justify their chosen lifestyles. They believe that people should be allowed to do whatever they feel like and that the church should modify its doctrine to endorse behavior that was previously considered abominable. Further, those who don’t agree with the left’s new definitions of morality are to be labeled as bigots or haters and are to be ridiculed, shunned, attacked and harassed.
The secular left will tell you they do believe in freedom of religion, but only as it applies to what happens in the church or in the home. And some would even disagree with that. But outside of the church or the home, your religious views are to be kept to yourself and your behavior must adhere to the left’s expectations of normal societal behavior. And declining to make a wedding cake for lesbians is no longer acceptable, religious principles or not.
It’s a sad thing to see happening when the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion is dismissed as being less important than the hurt feelings of two lesbians who apparently start smoking again and gain weight because of a refusal to make them a cake. But remember, the secular left is now deciding what’s important in our society and advancing the homosexual agenda is at the top of the list. Destroying religious liberty is an integral part of the homosexual agenda.
Aaron Klein has it exactly right. He said, “My fight in this situation is religious freedom. It is the ability to live and work by the dictates of my faith without being punished by the government and all Americans should be free to do that.”
What Aaron and Melissa Klein are finding out is that in a society that places more importance on a homosexual’s feelings than on religious liberty, the full weight of the government will be brought down on those who think it’s the other way around. In this case, to the tune of $135,000. The Kleins are still free to exercise their religious freedom and refuse to make cakes for homosexual weddings, but we’ve reached the point where that freedom is no longer free. The homosexuals and leftists who have been attacking the Kleins won’t be happy until they’ve lost their home and are living on the street. That’ll teach those mean ol’ Christians to not bake a cake.
So Christians, you go ahead and insist that you still have the religious liberty our Founders thought they had guaranteed us with the Constitution. But when your religious liberty finds itself in conflict with the leftist agenda, be prepared to either surrender or open your wallet. Freedom ain’t free anymore.