Last week I saw an interview with Aaron and Melissa Klein, the Oregon couple who own Sweetcakes by Melissa bakery. While I had heard and read of the case, this was the first time I had seen and heard this couple.
They are very young and very committed to God. They have five children. I have no question about their faith and their desire to live their lives and run their business for God.
I listened intently as they told of how they began their business. They invited their pastor and other believers to pray with them as they opened for the first day of business. They described how they prayed and followed Colossians 3:17: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” They demonstrated their desire to run their business for God and His glory.
I was very impressed with their genuine commitment and amazed at their resolve. I watched Melissa as she described how she had told the couple that she couldn’t participate in their same-sex wedding by baking the cake. She portrayed a kind and caring conversation. (She has not refused to bake for the couple or to serve them in other ways.)
Maybe I’m naive, but I had a hard time imagining the animosity of the couple. Shouldn’t these two women have a concern for how Melissa Klein feels or her deep convictions? Shouldn’t we be a people who exalt our kindness instead of our rights?
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has fined the couple $135,000 and given them a deadline of Monday, July 13, (today) to either pay the fine, begin payment, or ask for a stay until a court deals with their appeal.
Aaron Klein does not intend to give in. “I will not relent. I will continue. I will use every legal remedy I have to make sure that this man (Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian) cannot do this to me, cannot do it to my wife, cannot do it to my five children, cannot do it to any other American.” Avakian has threatened to garnish his wages or place a lien on the Klein’s house. The Labor Commissioner has even forbidden the Kleins to speak about the issue.
It’s time to pray for the Kleins, the Oregon Bureau of Labor, and for our nation.
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