When Aaron and Melissa Klein politely declined to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, they had no idea their choice would make national news. What they knew was the so-called “marriage” – which isn’t even legal in their home state of Oregon – was contrary to their Christian beliefs.
They didn’t want to profit from something they couldn’t condone.
The Kleins did not wish to offend with this decision. They gladly sell their baked goods to anyone regardless of sexual proclivity or lifestyle. But they couldn’t willfully participate in an activity that they believe is proscribed in God’s Word.
For merely following the dictates of their Christian faith the Kleins now face state investigation for violation of the Oregon Equality Act, a law that makes no allowance for religious beliefs.
The Kleins are not flinching. As Aaron Klein informed his local NBC affiliate, he’d rather close down their Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery business than “be forced to do something that violates [his] conscience.”
Though the Kleins aren’t looking for validation for their decision – other than that rooted in Scripture – they do happen to enjoy a constitutional right to act according to conscience. It is an inalienable (God-given) freedom our Founding Fathers accounted for in the First Amendment.
This fundamental right is presently at tension with the very powerful, ever-popular homosexual movement in our country.
With the cause to legitimize same-sex unions spreading like wildfire from state to state, more and more Christian business owners are facing challenges similar to that encountered by the Kleins. Claims are being pressed against photographers, florists and a variety of other vendors who similarly want to avoid active support of same-sex “weddings.” These brave Christians are ostracized, ridiculed in the press, labeled as bigots, charged with discrimination, cited for violation of local and state laws, and issued fines that would bankrupt just about any small business.
In the face of these attacks, at the Center for Religious Expression, we are stridently urging courts to acknowledge the Christian’s freedom of religion – not just freedom to worship in church – as guaranteed by the First Amendment. Our freedom to follow our conscience must be assured.
But unless we – as Christians – are willing to abide our conscience, this freedom is useless. The Kleins should be an inspiration to us.
Living in culture that is becoming increasingly hostile toward the Christian faith, we are approaching a day when all of us who profess Christ will be forced to take a stand. We need to pray for courage for that day.
A stand can take many forms; for the Kleins, their stand was on a cake.
Post by Nate Kellum