The Christian Broadcast Network posted this news article today citing Aaaran and Melissa Klein's refusal to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple and the Oregon Labor Commission's decision to fine them $135,00 and a cease and desist order not to discriminate further:
"Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian ordered Aaron and Melissa Klein to "cease and desist" from openly professing that they won't serve gay weddings because of their Christian beliefs.
Avakian cited an Oregon state law in his ruling:
"The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders (the Kleins) to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations … will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation."
On their Facebook page, the Kleins responded:
"This effectively strips us of all our First Amendment rights. According to the state of Oregon we neither have freedom of religion or freedom of speech."
The Kleins say they will appeal the ruling.."
Some of the comments on that article from the Christian community are less than loving:
"They want nothing less than to completely destroy Christianity because what "they" are doing is driven by evil & Satan himself!"
"By using the mafia style approach like the LGBT militants always try to use, it shows me how narrow minded, intolerant, hypocritical and and abusive they are against any opposing view."
"Its about the LGBT practitioners trying to impose their lifestyle upon the true believers in Christ. Its about trying to silence freedom of speech and the freedom to practice the Christian faith."
And so on . . . you get the jist.
My take, having once been "a True believer," and a former side-kick to Pat Robertson on The 700 Club, is that the conservative Christian community, aka Pentacostals or fundamentalists always feel under attack. It's part of what gives them their identity and their grit. The more beseiged they feel, the more closely united they become.
In my book, Chiseled, I write, "Fundamentalists—whether Christian, Muslim, Mormon, or any other kind of deeply rooted believers—are normal people. They go shopping, have sex, raise kids, worry about the economy, and watch TV. Rich or poor, they live in cities or farms around the world. Just like everyone else, they may (or may not) love their neighbor, hate cats, and ride horses. But their belief in a very narrow and entrenched religious doctrine changes everything. They are in the world but not of the world, constantly challenged by the normal to justify the beliefs that make them abnormal. To the fundamentalist, rationality is masked as evil lurking around every corner. Reason must be suspended for faith, and knowledge surrendered to belief. They must wage spiritual warfare and jihad against the infidels of their belief, their faith growing fiercer with every perceived threat. They row against the tide of rationality; only God can save them."
What they don't see, is that their world view becomes a catalyst for isolation and marginalization which in turn, makes them perceive "attacks" from groups they do not belong to. In this case, the enemy is the LBGT community, any Federal law that draws boundaries beyond their own religious scope, and generally, anyone who isn't them. They become angry because they feel maligned and vitriolic because they have positioned themselves on the defensive.
To speak of laws disallowing discrimination, they scream freedom of speech and freedom of religion as if these amendments grant them rights beyond the law, and see no rationale that those same laws prevent slave trade and racial discrimination by any business regardless of your rights or your religion.
Personally, I don't know what a "gay cake" is, never seen a recipe for it, wouldn't know one if I tasted it. As for the fine, I think it excessive, but the right of all people to be treated fairly is unequivocal.