The Weekly Standard posted an article today about Aaron and Melissa Klein, who previously ran a bakery called Sweet Cakes by Melissa. The bakery is now closed and shuttered after the State of Oregon fined them $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding. To add insult to injury, Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian added a gag order to the fine, ordering the Kleins “to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published, circulated, issued or displayed, any communication, notice, advertisement or sign of any kind to the effect that any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, services or privileges of a place of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination will be made against, any person on account of sexual orientation.”
I am hoping that the gag order will be repealed. The fine should also be repealed, but I don’t see much chance of that happening in Oregon. This is another example of what is happening to our First Amendment–the concept of the ‘free exercise of religion‘ has been replaced with the idea of ‘freedom of religion.’ The concept of ‘free exercise’ allows people to practice their religion in the public square. The concept of ‘freedom of religion’ confines religion to the interior of the church. It is hard to be ‘salt and light’ in a society (as mentioned by Jesus) when you are not allowed to express your views in that society.