Religious freedom on life support

“Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them?” — Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays

Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a small bakery in Gresham, Oregon, has closed.

The shuttering of this business may signal a greater threat to the American Dream than Syria, Iran, China, Russia and North Korea combined. Those troubling nations threaten us from without – the other threat comes from within.

Faced with legal battles and what some have called “economic terrorism” the young husband/wife bakers threw in the towel and will try operating a bakery from their home. They continue to be under investigation by Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries; perhaps they violated the Oregon Equality Act of 2007.

The bakers are Christian and declined a request to bake for a Lesbian wedding. And the law says that no one can be denied service based on sexual orientation. A school or religious institution can have an exemption, but not a private business.

It seems that the government has decided that a person can’t operate a business according to his religious principles – that a Christian can’t conduct business as, well, a Christian.

OK. The bakery didn’t refuse to sell a donut to a hungry Lesbian who walked into the story. There wasn’t a sign in the widow: Lesbians Not Served. No. The owners of the bakery declined to be part of a ceremony that violated their Christian values.

This attack on our faith by our own government is the greatest threat our society faces. I expect the Russians and the Chinese governments to come after my life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. I don’t expect my own country to persecute me – or a little bakery in Oregon.

Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey! What will you do on the day of punishment, in the storm which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help, and where will you leave your wealth? Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners or fall among the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away and his hand is stretched out still. – Isaiah 10:1-4



About Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a writer and consultant. He lives in the Chicago area and has a wonderful wife, son and daughter. He enjoys fishing and occasionally catches something. He tries to play the piano and sings a little. In addition to writing for Regnum Christi Live, he blogs at Laughing Catholic. And you can follow him on Twitter: Jim Fair (@fishfair).
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