Bakers Take Path of Yeast Resistance
What part of “cease and desist” don’t conservatives understand?
Apparently, a lot — or so the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry would like us to believe. After four days of negative PR, officials are in full-blown damage control over Commissioner Brad Avakian’s $135,000 ruling against Aaron and Melissa Klein, which included a decree that the Christian bakers no longer speak publicly about the decision.
When news of the order went viral, Oregon officials tried to refute the story by recruiting their friends on the Left to explain it away. Slate obliged, posting a lengthy column on how the gag order wasn’t, in fact, a gag order. With verbal gymnastics that could have medaled in the London Games, the site took the Daily Signal to task for “misreading” the commissioner’s threat.
That was a difficult assignment for Slate, given that on more than one occasion, Avakian insists that the Kleins must “cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published…any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations…will be refused…”
In the commissioner’s defense, Stern pointed to an email from the far-Left Media Matters as proof that the order had been “absurdly exaggerated.” Stern lifts a few sentences to make his point — ignoring several pages of Avakian’s case for the Kleins’ forced silence in the process.
Of course, attorneys from Fox News to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) had already studied the text and concurred: anything Aaron and Melissa said about their case could be declared an act of “discrimination.” And while both sides agree that the commissioner’s language was intentionally vague, its potential to do damage is not.
As Daily Signal pointed out, “[Mark] Stern either didn’t read in depth the interviews of the Kleins that Avakian relied on — or didn’t care how flimsy Avakian’s case was…”
With all due respect to Slate and Media Matters, who do liberals think people are going to believe? The government officials caught colluding against the Kleins who have Twitter accounts full of gay activism — or a panel of legitimate legal experts?
Unfortunately, this is how bullies operate — they push until they’re challenged.
Well, Avakian has been challenged, and now he’s forced to “clarify” statements that were clearly meant to intimidate. But regardless of what the commissioner did or didn’t mean, these parents of five have no intentions of backing down.
“This is not a settled issue,” Aaron told me on last night’s “Washington Watch” radio show. “We’re going to continue to speak for God’s truth.”
And they’ll have plenty of company doing so. In Colorado, Masterpiece Cakes’s Jack Phillips — part of the growing club of persecuted, natural marriage-believing Christians — is taking his turn in court. Jack, who got a head start on the Kleins by turning down a same-sex wedding job in 2012, has watched his case wind through the state’s Civil Rights Commission (where he was charged with “discrimination”) to the Colorado Court of Appeals.
Like the Kleins, Phillips is represented by ADF, who this morning argued that “The right to be free from compelled speech applies to everyone, not just those who hold the ‘right’ views in the eyes of society.”
Interestingly enough, the same state that found Jack guilty just vindicated a Denver baker who objected to putting a Bible verse on a cake. If Marjorie Silva could turn down an order based on “her standards of offensiveness,” why not Jack?
All Christians are asking for is the same accommodation for their views that liberals already enjoy. Instead, the Left seems intent on punishing what it claimed to champion: diversity.
And in the process, they’re doing an incredibly effective job answering the question — how will same-sex “marriage” affect you?
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