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.

That’s the Country We Used to Live In

Sweet CakesAbout two years ago, a bakery in Gresham, Oregon, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, was the first to suffer from the demand that the Christian owners bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. It went to court, and now the owners, Aaron and Melissa Klein, have been fined $135,000, a sum that could bankrupt them.

But there’s no antagonism toward Christians in our nation.

The Kleins were ostracized from the community as photographers and florists who used to work with them broke all ties with the bakery. They had to close the shop and operate out of their home instead. Their car was vandalized and broken into twice.

Yet we need not fear that Christian beliefs are under attack.

As with the pizzeria in Indiana, people started a GoFundMe account to help them cover the cost of the fines. Homosexual groups objected vociferously and put pressure on the website to disallow the funding. The pressure worked, as the site caved, declaring that the campaign violated its policy against raising money “in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts.”

As one commentator noted,

Seriously? Not baking a wedding cake for a couple who would have been perfectly welcome to come in and shop for cupcakes, donuts or any other treats in the store falls into a category with murder or rape? That one fails to pass the smell test by a country mile. What they really didn’t want to do was run afoul of a powerful political lobby from the Left.

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I’m glad Christians are still free in this country to act on their faith without penalty.

Franklin GrahamFranklin Graham has now come to their aid, pledging to help them through his Samaritan’s Purse charitable organization. He is one Christian leader who has been bold in his declarations to stand by Biblical standards.

Anyone willing to venture a guess that Samaritan’s Purse will now be the subject of homosexual vengeance?

Fortunately, we live in a country where our government recognizes liberty of conscience and freedom to exercise religious beliefs without interference.

Well, that’s the country we used to live in, at least.