- Rite: a prescribed form or manner governing the words or actions for a ceremony. A ceremonial act or action.
- Right: Something to which one has a just claim.
On July 2nd the Oregon Bureau of Labor an Industry, AKA Brad “Armenian Genocide” Avakian, handed down a final judgment in the Sweet Cakes By Melissa case. Bakery owners, Melissa and Aaron Klein, must pay two lesbians $135,000 by Friday, July 10th for refusing to participate in their marriage rites in 2013. Lesbians Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer demanded a service from the bakery that the bakery did not provide, a same-sex wedding cake. The two women were perfectly welcome to purchase any amount of bread, pastries and pies they wanted. They were welcome to purchase a birthday cake or graduation cake. They were welcome to purchase any baked product that Sweet Cakes sold. However, much like a Halaal butcher who will not process or sell pork, the Kleins are Christians who do not make same-sex wedding cakes because the rite of same-sex marriage is against their religion.
Within Christianity there are six fundamental sacramental rites: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Forgiveness, Marriage, and Priesthood. These are rites we do not take lightly, much to the distain of others. Outside of America’s religious – Christians, Mormons, Jews, Muslims and the like – the institution of marriage has become hollow and nearly meaningless. People float in and out of relationships on a whim, and over 40% of all American babies are born out-of-wedlock. The respect for marriage as an institution is waning in America. The respect for marriage as a religious rite is dead. It is readily apparent that, while the Bowman-Cryer’s want the right to marry, they have utter contempt for the religious rites of marriage.
Portland, Oregon is home to scores of bakeries, just like it is home to scores of butchers. There are only a handful of Halaal butchers, and Sweet Cakes by Melissa was one of the few, perhaps the only, Christian bakery, now destroyed by the Oregon State Government in direct violation of the Oregon Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of religion. When decent folk want pork, they pass by the Halaal butcher’s shop. They do not walk in and demand services that violate butcher’s religious laws. Only mean, disrespectful, hateful people do things like that.
Melissa and Aaron Klein did not actively interfere with the Bowerman-Cryer’s ability to go through a marriage ceremony. They just asked not to be involved. They wanted to be left out of ceremonial rites the two lesbians were about undertake. It is not about the cake or hate or discrimination. It is about the religious nature of marriage. The lesbians were not engaging in a government sanctioned civil union. They had no government issued license. In fact, at the time same-sex marriage was illegal in Oregon. The rite of marriage that the lesbians were about the engage in was purely a spiritual ceremony. Unfortunately, in order for a Christian to participate in a same-sex wedding, they must violate their own religious tenets. It is that simple.
Religion is weird, strange, peculiar, and sometimes obnoxious to those looking in from the outside. I live my life by a set code. There are things I will not do simply because of my religion. Every religion is like that. Some are stricter than others, and sometimes one sect’s rules are opposite to another sect’s, and many rules really chafe secular society. Rather than respecting their neighbor’s faith, secular people sometimes prefer to hate.
The rites of same-sex marriage are front and center in today’s America. The US Supreme Court has just handed down the decision that same-sex couples have the right to have their marriages recognized by society and the government. It was the right decision, and too long in coming. The trouble is that, along side this righteous decision, our leaders have decided that all people of faith must now participate in the rites of same-sex weddings, even when it is expressly forbidden by their religion. That is evil. I am Catholic, and I would never dream of forcing a Halaal butcher to cater my wedding reception, let alone tell him to provide ham sandwiches, and then threaten his livelihood if he refused. I would never ask a Jewish baker to make me a wedding cake adorned with a crucifix. I would never try to bully a Mormon caterer into serving coffee, tea, wine and beer. It would be extremely disrespectful. Evil.
During the colonization period of North America, many of the early immigrants were a variety of Christian sects fleeing religious persecution in post-Reformation Europe. Christian denominations were not one big, happy family back in the day. The king of England persecuted Catholics. The king of France persecuted Hugonauts. Ordinary people had their property forfeited, and were imprisoned or killed by their own government if they refused to renounce their beliefs in favor of the King’s church. It was an ugly, embarrassing era for Christianity. The New World was the one safe place for good, religious people like the Amish Mennonites and Quakers to live free from persecution and live in peace with one another.
Religious freedom is part of the very core set of shared beliefs that are the heart and soul of the United States of America. Without it, this country and everything that makes it great no longer exists. Brad Avakian’s forefathers, the victims of decades of genocide, fled religious persecution in Armenia and Turkey to settle in America. Today, America’s Armenian community is second in size only to Russia’s. Ellen Rosenblum’s ancestors, victims of the Holocaust, fled thousands of years of persecution in Europe and Persia. Today, America is home to nearly half of all the Jews on planet Earth. As a matter of fact, because America so values religious freedom, it is the most religiously diverse nation that has ever existed. The Amish only exist in America, Canada and Ireland. There is nowhere else to go. There will never be another New World. America is the world’s only bastion for religious freedom, and our elected leaders, whose ancestors came to our shores seeking those freedoms, are out to incrementally breach those walls and end it all.
Today, the “King’s Church” in America is atheism. Our government has unilaterally decided to reinterpret our constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion as freedom from religion. Aaron and Melissa Klein’s property is now forfeit because they refused to bow before it. Oregon lawmakers are telling us our religious rights must remain in the confines of our churches, synagogue, mosques, temples and kingdom halls. Once we step outside our sanctuary, we must bottle up our faith in our mind and accommodate a secular world that has contempt for our beliefs. Our government is making it illegal to make faith-based decisions and take faith-based actions, knowing that faith without acts is no faith at all. It is not just bakeries, florists, and wedding chapels that are under attack. For years left-wing American secularists have been pushing hard to force Christian physicians and medical facilities to provide abortion services. Religion is a threat to Big Brother, because our Constitution specifically states that God’s authority is greater than his, and he is under God. Big Brother hates that, and is doing everything he can to remove God from the equation.
There is only one peaceful solution. America’s religious have to stop voting for left-wing progressive politicians. People like Ellen Rosenblum, Brad Avakian, Hillary Clinton, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid do not have our best interests at heart. Oregonians keep electing corrupt governors, and look what it has got us. John Kitzhaber won reelection last fall because Oregon’s religious citizenry turned a blind eye and gave him a pass. We have to stop giving bad people a pass and vote for men and women who will return this country to the constitutional democratic republic it once was… or we will continue to forfeit our liberties just like Aaron and Melissa Klein.