Is This America?

Is this America?

Aaron & Melissa KleinFor two years, Aaron and Melissa Klein have been living a nightmare. Owners of an Oregon bakery, they had the audacity to refuse to bake a cake for a “gay wedding.” By the way, I continue to put that phrase in quotes because I find it so antithetical to common sense and one of the classic oxymorons of our time.

I have commented before on this case because of the gaystapo tactics of the state of Oregon. Now, not only have the Kleins been fined $135,000, they have been given a deadline of this coming Monday to pay the fine or lose their home. In addition to that threat, they have been ordered not to speak at all publicly about the case. In effect, they have been unconstitutionally gagged.

The Kleins are appealing the ruling, so we don’t yet know the final decision. The trend of the nation, however, is against them.

What I appreciate most is the outstanding witness they have been to their Christian convictions. They have always been willing to serve anyone, regardless of a person’s lifestyle; what they refused to do is what any genuine Christian should refuse—participation in a ceremony that mocks God’s institution of marriage.

PersecutionIf forced to pay the fine, they should be able to do it, since people have come to their aid. The last I heard, more than $200,000 has been collected on their behalf. However, they will also have attorney fees and other expenses, not to mention the loss of their business. They are being persecuted for what they believe. They truly are suffering for their faith in Christ.

There comes a point where Christians may have to just patiently endure the suffering, knowing there is no recourse for them in a nation that has set itself against God, but that time has not yet arrived. There still are avenues to follow to fight for justice. I applaud the Kleins for taking a stand. They do this not only for themselves, but for all of us who may have to walk the same path.

This is not the America I’ve known for most of my life. We can be discouraged or we can take a stand for righteousness. I choose the latter.

Sedition? Are You Serious?

I suppose I should be used to this by now, but it’s hard not to be outraged. Remember when disagreeing with the government was a sign of real patriotism—you know, back in the bad old Bush years? At that time, we were told continually by the Democrats and the media that dissent was a cornerstone of American liberty.

Well, there’s a whole lot of dissent going on out there right now. It started as a trickle, became a shocker with Townhall meetings in August 2009, then led to a more organized Tea Party movement that threatens to rock the establishment.

Suddenly dissent is no longer patriotic. In fact, according to some people, it’s downright evil.  Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick had choice words for critics of the president. The Boston Globe reported,

Governor Deval Patrick, even as he decried partisanship in Washington, said today that Republican opposition to President Obama’s agenda has become so obstinate that it “is almost at the level of sedition.” . . .

Patrick said that even “on my worst day, when I’m most frustrated about folks who seem to [be] rooting for failure,” he doesn’t face anything like the opposition faced by the president.

“It seems like child’s play compared to what is going on in Washington, where it is almost at the level of sedition, it feels like to me,” Patrick said.

Challenged on his wording, he later said, “That was a rhetorical flourish.” Accusing someone of sedition—attempting to undermine or overthrow the government—is simply a “rhetorical flourish”?

Then there was journalist Joe Klein speaking to MSNBC host Chris Matthews:

I did a little bit of research just before this show – it’s on this little napkin here. I looked up the definition of sedition which is conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of the state. And a lot of these statements, especially the ones coming from people like Glenn Beck and to a certain extent Sarah Palin, rub right up close to being seditious.

Do I detect the beginnings of a trend here? Are these the new talking points emanating from the White House, dutifully repeated by fellow-travelers?

Based on the attitude displayed by Obama whenever anyone has a difference of opinion with him, this is not all that far-fetched.