Cake my day…
Posted July 8, 2015on:
When you slip on a banana peel you get attention, but everyone laughs at you. If you tell everyone you were pushed, you receive an automatic upgrade to victim status worthy of both everyone’s attention and their sympathy. This is the lesson conservative advocacy groups have come to understand: If the facts don’t make you an attractive victim, change the facts.
From a fundraising point of view, this lucrative professional victimhood is in full, rip-roaring crescendo after the decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. The professional victims and the organizations supporting them are capitalizing upon the clicks of “Contribute Now” buttons that are engorging them with cash to spawn future generations of victims.
Two of the poster children for this symbiosis are Melissa and Aaron Klein. You’ve heard of them. They are the couple behind Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery in Gresham, Oregon, that was ordered to pay $135,000.00 for their refusal to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. At every turn the Kleins are held up to be ground zero in the coming nuclear winter emanating from the Obergefell ruling.
The professional victimhood tale goes something like this: Sweet Cakes by Melissa has been forced out of business, the Kleins are being persecuted for their religious beliefs, and in addition to the denial of their religious freedom, their freedom of speech is also being abridged.
Here are the facts: The lesbian couple denied service were paying customers of Sweet Cakes by Melissa. In fact, as a couple they had ordered and paid for a cake as a gift for another wedding. When their cake request was denied, a two-year nightmare of harassment and public vilification at the hands of the Kleins’ victimhood handlers began.
Sweet Cakes by Melissa isn’t out of business, it has merely been moved. The lesbian couple’s home address was published in retribution by the Kleins and their handlers, one of which is the sensationalist radio personality, Lars Larson. All this happened during the couple’s adoption of two special needs children who have extensive and intensive needs. The emotional train wreck this wrought upon the couple and their children was borne out in extensive testimony from family, friends, associates, and acquaintances during the weeks of hearings.
If you are astonished by the $135,000.00, don’t worry about the Kleins. The money won’t be a problem. Franklin Graham has hosted a fundraising campaign. In addition, there’s a GoFundMe campaign pulling in $60,000 after taxes, a Continue-to-Give campaign raising over $55,000, and several other campaigns including their own personal fundraising via a Facebook page. Additionally, no one knows how much their non-stop parading in front of conferences like the Family Resource Council has netted or will net them.
The Kleins are appealing the sixty-page ruling by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry so it isn’t yet final. The Bureau was acting under its statutory powers granted in 2007 – before Obergefell and even before same-sex unions were recognized in Oregon. The law states:
Oregon businesses cannot discriminate or refuse service based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot turn customers away because of race, sex, disability, age or religion.
The Oregon Equality Act of 2007 includes an exemption for religious organizations and schools, but does not allow private business owners to deny service and unlawfully discriminate against potential customers.
In addition, the law provides that no business may advertise their denial of services or their purposeful discrimination which the Kleins have done, thus necessitating the Bureau’s Order they must cease and desist from such activities.
Those are the facts, but in these seven laborious, explanatory paragraphs I have probably lost you. The actual facts don’t hold near as much punch as “Bakers fined $135,000 because of their religion.” The professional victimhood organizations, their lawyers, and their media specialists know this.
Politicians like Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee have bastardized these issues into an ugly argument centered on religious freedom. Their victimhood creed is: If the law won’t allow you your particular “religious freedom,” then declare your freedom from the law.
The really important thing to understand is that this “religious freedom” argument isn’t really talking about “protecting” religious freedom; it is about expanding the definition of what can be considered an expression of religious faith to just about any and everything. Therefore, in the fun house mirrored world of victimhood, baking a cake is considered a religious act worthy of First Amendment protection.
The judge in the Oregon case said it best:
This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage. It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal.
Within Oregon’s public accommodations law is the basic principle of human decency that every person, regardless of their sexual orientation, has the freedom to fully participate in society. The ability to enter public places, to shop, to dine, to move about unfettered by bigotry.
Those goals, those ideals, were passed by an Oregon legislature in the hopes of making the Oregonian society more welcoming to all its citizens. If Oregonians have a different opinion, their solution is at the ballot box, not perverting the Constitution.
This subject became front-page news here in Kentucky when two, only two, out of one-hundred twenty County Clerks refused to issue marriage licenses – a criminal misdemeanor in the Commonwealth.
One of the two County Clerks says that “his oath for his office” won’t let him issue marriage licenses and that he won’t resign because “his conscience won’t let him”. In explaining why the citizens of his county should be held hostage by his religious views, he said, “Nature should not be perverted.” In essence, he sees the selling of a marriage license as a religious act. The solution offered by the Clerk: The state should create, at taxpayers’ expense, a website for the issuance of marriage licenses and thereby, relieve him of his religious quandary.
The Clerk’s comments were made at a press conference. Standing beside the Clerk was his own victimhood shepherd, none other than the executive director of The Family Foundation who announced the establishment of a Religious Liberty Defense Fund for “those who are targeted to have their religious liberty curtailed,” and he quickly added, “100 percent of the money collected is tax-deductible.”
And so it goes, just like Harry Callahan rasping in a gravelly voice, “Go ahead, cake my day.”
Your thoughts on any subject are encouraged and welcomed.
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