“Christians must beware of a polite persecution that is cloaked in a disguise of culture, modernity, and progress.” Pope Francis
Religious Liberty Loses – Again:
Four years after losing their business for declining to create a cake for a same-sex wedding, Melissa and Aaron Klein, owners of “Sweet Cakes by Melissa”, finally had a hearing with a three-judge panel of the Oregon Court of Appeals. Until March 2, 2017, the Kleins had never been granted an official day in court to appeal their case.
The saga began in 2013 when the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI) ordered the couple to pay $135,000 in damages and forbade them from speaking about this case. However, even before hearing the case, the BOLI Commissioner had praised an LGBTQ advocacy group on Facebook and made public comments on media interviews indicating the Kleins “disobey(ed)” the law and needed “rehabilitation”. Attorneys for the Kleins stated the Commissioner should have recused himself.
First Liberty attorneys argued the the OBLI violated the Kleins constitutional rights to religious freedom, freedom of speech, and due process. “The case centers on one vitally important question: can the government force citizens to violate their conscience or their faith? The First Amendment was written to prevent exactly that.” (cbn.com, 3/2/17; us news.com, 3/2/17)
Who’s Next? Ideas to Consider:
- Will the state now force Muslim and Jewish butchers to prepare and serve pork to whoever demands it?
- Will fashion designers who refused to design clothing for the First Lady be held accountable?
- Will an architect be compelled to design a church?
- Will a rabbi be forced to marry a Christian and a Jew?
(oregonlive.com, 3/2/17; tfpstudent.org, 2/21/17)