by Dr. D ~ February 4th, 2013
From Erica Nochlin, KATU News:
A Gresham baker is the subject of a state investigation after he refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
Did Sweet Cakes owner Aaron Klein violate the law when he told the couple that he couldn’t sell them a cake because “they were abominations to the Lord?”
That’s what Oregon Attorney General’s civil enforcement officers are looking into after one of the brides-to-be filed a complaint on Jan. 28. …
Klein on Friday denied making the harsh statement, but admitted to a KATU reporter on camera that he did deny her service. “I apologized for wasting their time and said we don’t do same-sex marriages,” he said. I “honestly did not mean to hurt anybody, didn’t mean to make anybody upset, (it’s) just something I believe in very strongly.”
But beliefs aren’t enough to cover him under state law. The Oregon Equality Act of 2007 prohibits discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. The statute includes public accommodations, such as businesses. …
Response: There are cases like this going on all across America. Nearly every state now has added ‘sexual orientation’ to their anti-discrimination statutes. So now Christian business folks are showing up in the news lately in trouble for refusing services like printing, wedding cakes, or rooms in Bed and Breakfast Inns to homosexuals or LGBT folks.
Eventually these cases will end up in the courts and judges will have to decide whether we truly still have freedom of religion in this country and whether business owners can be compelled by the state to provide services which are against their religious beliefs and conscience.
The tide of popular opinion seems to be turning against Christians who want to maintain and practice their Biblically based beliefs when it comes to homosexuality. Christian business owners may be faced with a choice of rendering services that they consider to be against their religion or going out of business entirely.
These are not choices that the framers of our Constitution 200 + years ago would have ever considered when they penned the 1st amendment granting and protecting religious freedom from state regulation. Yet in this particular case the state statute has no religious exemption and therefore it potentially overrides and supersedes the religious rights and freedoms of business owners in Oregon. If so, then the 1st Amendment would seem to be compromised and or limited at best by what is deemed by some to be ‘more important’ considerations?
That is the question that will have to be answered by the courts. Are the 1st Amendment rights to religious freedom primary in this nation or is it trumped by the newly granted civil rights of LGBT folks? There is a battle ahead over this issue.
However the greatest danger to religious liberty in America revolves around a recent popular reinterpretation of the First Amendment which is supported by the Obama administration. It identifies freedom of religion as applying only within the four walls of an official house of worship. If this new understanding and limitation of religious liberties wins the day in the courts of this generation then we no longer really have freedom of religion as it was originally intended by the framers and maintained from the beginning of our nation. *Top