Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

Posts tagged ‘Melissa Klein’

Franklin Graham decries Christian bakers’ beat-down


waving flagPosted By Cheryl Chumley On 07/06/2015

Article printed from WND: http://www.wnd.com

URL of the original posting site: http://www.wnd.com/2015/07/franklin-graham-decries-christian-bakers-beat-down

aaron_melissa_klein

Samaritan’s Purse president Franklin Graham, who also heads up the world-wide Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, called the recent ruling against a husband-wife Christian cake-baking team an utter travesty for the First Amendment, and said the plaintiffs in the case – two lesbians – ought to be the ones paying the government-issued fine.

Graham was reacting on his Facebook page to the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries ruling against Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” who, in 2013, declined to make a cake for a lesbian wedding. The lesbians turned to the government for redress, and last week, after two years of fighting, the Kleins were ordered to pay $135,000 to the lesbians, in part to account for their stated pain and suffering, as WND previously reported.

Graham found the ruling ludicrous.

He wrote: “This is unbelievable! … Brad Avakian, Oregon’s Bureau of Labor & Industries Commissioner, upheld [the previous] ruling that the Kleins have to pay the lesbian couple $135,000 for a long list of alleged damages including:

  • ‘acute loss of confidence,’

  • ‘high blood pressure,’

  • ‘impaired digestion,’

  • ‘loss of appetite,’

  • ‘migraine headaches,’

  • ‘pale and sick at home after work,’

  • ‘resumption of smoking habit,’

  • ‘weight gain,’ and

  • ‘worry.’

Give me a break. In my opinion, this couple should pay the Kleins $135,000 for all they’ve been through!”cp 11

Graham also pointed to another facet of the ruling as potentially dangerous to the future of the First Amendment’s freedom of speech clause.

On that, he said: “Even more outrageous is that Avakian has also now ordered the Kleins to ‘cease and desist’ from speaking publicly about not wanting to bake cakes for same-sex weddings based on their Christian beliefs. This is an outright attack on their ‪#‎freedomofspeech‬. A senior attorney with the The Heritage Foundation was absolutely right when he said, ‘It is exactly this kind of oppressive persecution by government officials that led the pilgrims to America.’”Leftist Giant called Tyranny

He called for believers to pray for the Kleins, who are planning an appeal, as well as for other Christians who are currently fighting to maintain their religious freedom rights in the supposed “land of the free” known as America, he said.


It HasNever Been About Marriage burke freedom combo 2

Religion and Politics: The Fire Is On the Wire


waving flagBy:  Anne Reed, Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2015

URL of the Original Posting Site: http://www.afa.net/the-stand/the-culture-war/religion-and-politics-the-fire-is-on-the-wire/

Religion and Politics: The Fire Is On the Wire“…it is growing more and more evident that “sharing the gospel” and “getting involved in politics” are not just loosely intertwined, but soldered together.”

– Anne Reed

Several years ago, I began to grow weary of the common belief that Christians should not be involved in politics or take any interest in civil government. Many have fallen into this category of thinking because of a secular view of separation of church and state. David Barton of WallBuilders clearly dispels this myth.

To form their argument, many stress God’s sovereignty, clarifying that political leaders are in position because God Salt and Light 02ordained it. And, well, we should just submit and stay out of it. Some say that we should not be involved with politics because it’s corrupt. That is exactly the reason why we should be there…to take light into the darkness!  Maybe our government is so corrupt precisely because we have stayed out of it!  Maybe we have been very poor stewards of God’s blessings.  

Why would He be in control of every area of life and send us into every corner no matter how dark (prisons, human trafficking situations, sick-filled hospitals, dangerous neighborhoods, the sidewalks of abortion facilities, etc.) and yet not ordain His children to participate in the government He has put in place? And in America, that doesn’t necessarily mean we are required to serve in a political office to be involved. 

Was God not sovereign when the Constitution was written giving authority to the people? The Declaration of Independence clearly identifies God as the giver of our rights, and places the responsibility of government on the governed (that would be us):

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness – that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to those ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying it’s foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.

Some believe we need to get off our “high horse” as President Obama recently put it. We absolutely need to humble ourselves, repent and pray! And, we must engage in the culture war that is essentially a fight (not of flesh and blood) to uphold God’s name in our nation. I know that as I’ve become more and more aware of the realities of our day, I’ve also become increasingly aware of my own part as I ignored or slothfully watched the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob painfully dishonored in countless ways. For this, I am ashamed.

When we turn from our old attitudes of indifference and complacency, evidence is seen through our obedience to God and His Word, regardless of what others may think of us or what names they may call us. That is not a pride thing – that is a faithful thing. 

And sometimes accusations and attacks come from inside the camp. Those are more painful. Even so, we should salt and light 04produce fruit that is worthy of repentance. He makes us salt and light – not a dim light or flavorless salt!  What use are those?  

When Jesus left key instructions for His disciples, He knew they would doubt what He was about to say:

When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:17-20 NASB)” 

Why do we doubt the authority of Christ? It feels safe when we sit in soft chairs in our comfortably heated and cooled sanctuaries to worship. We can easily sit there in a state of doubt. But to take ourselves into the places of uncertainty is altogether different. We may risk the loss of friends, comforts, and even safety. If we believe Jesus is who He says He is and that He really is with us, we will go and make disciples of all nations, including this one! That means we are to preach the whole gospel – a message that is increasingly offensive.

In light of many currents dragging away our freedoms, it is growing more and more evident that “sharing the gospel” and “getting involved in politics” are not just loosely intertwined, but soldered together. This has proven true by recent lawsuits forcing Christians to get involved in political and legal battles by simply holding true to their Godly convictions.

Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa in Oregon have been required to pay $135,000 to compensate a lesbian couple for emotional suffering after they declined to make a cake for their same-sex wedding.

First, let me say this: I’m planning a wedding currently. I ordered the cake just a few days ago. If the baker had told me she couldn’t bake the cake because she didn’t agree with heterosexual marriage, or for whatever reason, I would not have suffered emotionally. I’m not that fragile. I would have called another bakery – simple as that.

But aside from that, homosexual activists were not satisfied with the win or monetary gain unless it destroyed the Klein family financially. When a GoFundMe account was set up, 81% ($109,000) of their $135,000 fine was secured in less than eight hours. GoFundMe acquiesced to pressure and closed the account.

Although we are obviously not experiencing the degree of persecution that other nations endure (sometimes to death), the fire is on the wire (as in the featured photo). And we can no longer hide behind our fears and excuses. 

Will God give us a way out? Is it too late for us to return to Godly behavior in our nation?  Proverbs 29:2 says, “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, But when a wicked man rules, people groan (NASB).” 

A Pew research poll conducted in September 2014 presents a somewhat hopeful picture. When asked whether churches and other houses of worship should express their views on day-to-day social and political issues, 49% said yes, and 48% said they should keep out of political matters. This is up from 2010, when 52% wanted churches to keep out of politics, while only 43% wanted churches to express their political views.

In reality, our true hope is found in Jesus Christ our Lord. His Kingdom cannot be destroyed. And we are told in Matthew 10:28: “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (NASB).” So, regardless, we win. But, I personally long to see a faithful Church stand true to God; that He may be glorified, worshipped and honored.

Samaritan’s Purse has set up a fund to help the Kleins and other Christians recover from religious persecution: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/christian-couple-faces-135000-fine/#donateBottom OARLogo Picture6

Should GoFundMe and Christian Bakers Be Treated the Same? We Ask


waving flagReported by Kelsey Harkness / / April 28, 2015

URL of the Original Posting Site: http://dailysignal.com/2015/04/28/should-gofundme-and-christian-bakers-be-treated-the-same-we-ask/

Pick

Why does GoFundMe, a crowdsourcing website that raises money for a variety of personal causes and life events, get to choose who they do business with, but the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa do not?

After GoFundMe shut down a campaign set up for Aaron and Melissa Klein, bakery owners who were fined $135,000 by the state of Oregon for refusing to make a cake for a lesbian wedding, The Daily Signal posed that question to people in the nation’s capitol.

Standing outside the U.S. Supreme Court as the nine justices heard oral arguments over a high-stakes gay marriage case, advocates on both sides of the debate reacted to GoFundMe’s controversial decision.

Hear their reactions in the video below.

v01

Exclusive: Bakers Facing $135K Fine Over Wedding Cake for Same-Sex Couple Speak Out

It was the first time seeing her bakery since the new owners moved in. “This is really hard,” Melissa Klein said, tears filling up her eyes.

Almost two years ago, Melissa and her husband, Aaron, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, had to close the bakery they built from scratch after declining to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. “I did all the flooring in here—this was a collection agency before we moved the bakery in,” Aaron said, peering through the glass window.

bakery_042615

The end began in January 2013, when Melissa was home in Sandy, Ore., taking care of their then-six-month-old twin boys. “It was my day to be at home with the kids and Aaron’s day to be at the shop,” she told The Daily Signal in an exclusive interview. A woman named Rachel Cryer walked into the bakery with her mother for a wedding cake tasting. Aaron, just like he always did, asked for the groom’s name. “I’m sorry, we don’t do cakes for same-sex weddings,” he recalls saying after learning there were two brides.

Aaron and his wife, both Christians, believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. They say that turning down the request wasn’t easy, but not because they were worried about breaking any laws. “I wasn’t even aware at the time that Oregon had anything on the statute that would have prohibited me from turning down the order,” Aaron said.

(Photo: Patchbay Media)

Shortly after that interaction, Rachel and her then-fiancé Laurel Bowman filed a civil complaint against the Kleins for failing to provide them equal service in a place of public accommodation. Then, a firestorm started.

“A group of people—I don’t know what group of people—but they got together and harassed all of our vendors,” Melissa, 33, said.The Real Gay Mafia Their vendors, worried about being driven out of business themselves, took Sweet Cakes by Melissa off their referral list, and asked Melissa to do the same. Without that business, which counted about “65 to 70 percent” of the family’s yearly income, Melissa said they were forced to close the bakery.

That day come on Sept. 1, 2013, one month after the Kleins received an official complaint from the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries on behalf of the now-married Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman-Cryer.

Moving Out

Melissa now works from home, baking one or two cakes each month. Her five kids—Samantha, 16; Ethan, 13; Elijah, 9; and the 2-year-old twins Everett and Michael—provide easy distractions.

(Photo: Patchbay Media)

To avoid being a place of public accommodation, she can’t do much promotion. “I really haven’t been able to do my cakes … not even close to what I did in the shop,” she said. When Melissa does bake, it’s in her small kitchen, just a few feet away from the garage storing her old ovens, pots and pans as they collect dust.

Aaron, 35, found a new job as a garbage collector.

“From what we were making at the shop, compared to now … our income has dropped drastically,” Melissa said. “It’s about half,” Aaron said. Aaron says he doesn’t expect everyone to agree with his views on marriage.

“This country should be able to tolerate diverse opinions,” he said. “I never once have said that my fight is [to] stop what they call equality. My fight in this situation is religious freedom. It is the ability to live and work by the dictates of my faith without being punished by the government and all Americans should be free to do that.”

(Photo: Patchbay Media)

The Legal Fallout

The Daily Signal reported on Friday that an administrative law judge for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries recommended the Kleins be fined $135,000 for the damages they caused for Rachel and Laurel.

>>> Read More: State Says Bakers Should Pay $135,000 for Refusing to Bake a Cake for a Same-Sex Wedding

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries pursued charges against the Kleins on behalf of the now married same-sex couple. The Civil Rights Division of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries is responsible for enforcing the state’s public accommodation law, and the judge who issued Friday’s proposed order works for the bureau. “The administrative agency is not a court—it’s actually under the executive branch, not the judicial branch of the government,” Anna Harmon, the attorney representing the Kleins, told The Daily Signal. “[The case] is heard through the administrative law judge.”Picture1

The proposed fine will now go to state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, who can either accept it or adjust the amount in issuing a final order, which is expected to arrive this summer. The Kleins have signaled they plan to appeal the judge’s ruling.

042614_SweetCakes

One question concerning the Kleins and their lawyer is why no doctor or medical expert was present during the hearings. To claim $135,000, the couple submitted a list of mental, physical and emotional damages inflicted by the Kleins’ action.Liberalism a mental disorder 2

As The Daily Signal previously reported, some of those symptoms include, “acute loss of confidence,” “doubt,” “excessive sleep,” “felt mentally raped, dirty and shameful,” “high blood pressure,” “impaired digestion,” “loss of appetite,” “migraine headaches,” “pale and sick at home after work,” “resumption of smoking habit,” “surprise,” “weight gain” and “worry.”Really with logo

“There was no expert testimony at the hearing,” Harmon said. “The witnesses at the hearing were the two women who were requesting a cake, one of their mothers, one of their brothers and another family member. There was no doctor, there was no psychologist, no expert testimony at all.”Picture2

>>> After Receiving Over $100K in Donations, Bakers Crowdfunding Page Shut Down

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries did not respond to The Daily Signal’s multiple requests for comment. Paul Thompson, the attorney representing the lesbians, also declined to participate in an interview until a final order is issued.

(Photo: Patchbay Media)

In order to account for $135,000, the state isn’t just going after Aaron and Melissa’s bakery. “The business is gone,”cp 11 Harmon, their lawyer, said. “They don’t have business assets so when we talk about [the fine] it’s personal,” Harmon added. “It means that’s money they would have used to feed their children that they can’t use anymore.” Aaron said the sum is enough to financially ruin their family.

Same Sex Marriage

“The state is now saying that we can award damages above and beyond what you have already suffered … and they have no qualms about doing this,” he said. “It is really showing the state is taking a stance on absolutely obliterating somebody that takes a different stance than the state has.”more evidence

Harmon contends the Kleins can win on an appeal, arguing that a cake is more than just a cake. “I know we are talking about cake, but anybody who has watched TV recently knows that cake is more than just flour and eggs and water and sugar,” she explains. “It’s artwork.” It’s designed and created, and that is what the Supreme Court has called speech.”

(Photo: Patchbay Media)

For Melissa, who spent five years designing all sorts of cakes in her small town bakery, it’s hard to explain without crying. “When I do a cake, the only way I can describe it to people is it’s my canvas,” she said. “I get to create something on this cake and I get to pour myself out onto this cake.” Sweet Cakes by Melissa was a centerpiece of their family, and something that Melissa had hoped to pass on to her five kids. “I actually had the thought of my kids taking over,” she said, as more tears filled up her eyes. Looking back, what she misses most isn’t the bakery, but rather, the moments.

“I know this probably sounds really silly, but when my daughter would be helping out, we’d get into frosting fights,” she said, laughing. “Those were just so much fun. I’d just get her and she’d be covered all over her face.”

(Photo: Patchbay Media)

The Kleins’ daughter, 16-year-old Samantha, has her own memories of the bakery. She started helping in the family business when she was 10. “It was a part of my childhood,” she recalls. “My mom doing cakes and loving helping her with it. It was a lot of fun.” … “And,” says Samantha, “it was pretty sad to see it go.”

Shoving OARLogo Picture6

 

 

 

 

 

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: