U.S. Constitution does not apply in Oregon?

There is a situation in Oregon.  A lesbian couple went to a baker to get a cake for their “wedding” and the baker declined due to their religious belief that “marriage” between two women was contrary to God’s desires.

Oregon claims that to refuse to participate in a gay wedding is “illegal” and has required the baker to pay a “fine” to the lesbian couple for their “emotional damages”.  The person in the Oregon government who seems to be leading this is a real piece of work.

Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian’s order requires the couple to use “personal property” rather than only business assets to pay the vast sum ($135,000) and that it “has the potential to financially ruin” the family of five. Avakian “knew that full well going into this,” said Klein.  Plus, since when is a “fine” paid to individuals rather than to the government?  It kind of sounds like Oregon is awarding “damages” without benefit of a trial.

Furthermore, Avakian has issued an order “The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders [Aaron and Melissa Klein] to 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, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation.”

Wow.  So Oregon (or at least Brad Avakian) is of the opinion that a person of Christian faith has no standing, and that a person who chooses to be gay has unassailable standing.  That people who disagrees with the government need to be financially ruined.  Worse, that a person who degrees with the government does not have the right to explain their difference of opinion.  Really?  Is that not the absolute basis of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which last I heard, Oregon was still a part of?

I don’t know what options the Kleins have, but it seems to me that they have options.  Or should have.

Ok, let us talk about discrimination.  In our history, we have had unfortunate instances where people were discriminated against, refused necessary services or mistreated because of their race or where they were born or their sex.  Things which they could not help and for which there is no indication that such refusal would be justified.  But that is not the case here.  This couple decided to against the natural order.  Fine, their choice.  They decided to get married.  Ok, legally they are allowed and culturally, they are tolerated.  The bakers decided to be Christian, and as such, they believe that the gay couple, if married, would likely be doomed to eternal torment.  As such, if they supported the union, they would be partially responsible for the torment, and they certainly did not want to help them be so punished.  So, not a necessary service, and in their minds, the refusal was not only justified, but necessary.  Does such torment actually await?  Maybe, maybe not.  But the Kleins are certain it does, and behave accordingly.  This does not appear to be “discrimination”.

But what about the poor lesbians?  Don’t they deserve to compensated for their emotional damage?  What emotional damage?  A sane couple would have realized that the bakers were doing them a great favor.  Making wedding cakes is an art form, and what artist can excel if they are not “in tune with” the artistic task?  If the Kleins had agreed to make a wedding cake which their God opposed, then what are the odds that the cake would have been up to exceptional standards?  Would not a sub-standard cake have been more “emotionally damaging” than being politely declined?  What, there are no other bakers in town?  Or no non-Christian ones?

In order to suffer real “emotional damage”, the lesbians would have to have something wrong with them.  Disappointment is part of life, and anyone who suffers “emotional damage” from being denied an artistic service on religious grounds would seem to have emotional problems.  Actually, I’ll bet the couple were very happy to be rejected by this bakery.  It gave them the opportunity to “stick it to” some of those Christians.  And, extort money from them.  This sort of behavior would not seem to endear the gay population to the majority.

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In defense of the Donald

I don’t like Donald Trump.  He grates on my nerves.  I doubt I would vote for him even if we agreed on most issues, since I don’t see him as being competent in a political environment.  But I am ashamed of my country and the way they are vilifying him for telling the truth, even if it was done pathetically clumsily..

I was surprised about how hard it was for me to track down what he actually said.  You’d think that it would be everywhere, but all I found were, in articles chiding him, excerpts.  I was afraid that the excerpts might be “slanted” to support the position being slanted.  I finally had to listen to the actual speech and make my own excerpt:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.  …  They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us.  They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”

As far as I can tell, that is what he actually said which has raised such a fuss.  Poorly stated?  Absolutely.  If you want to make fun at him for the clumsiness of his speech, go for it.  But was he wrong or, gasp, bigoted?  Perhaps not so much.  Let us analyze what he said, not what it is claimed he meant.

Most importantly, the Donald left out a critical word – illegal – which, I think and hope he accidentally left out.  There are two completely different and unrelated classes of immigrants.  Those that come here legally tend to be of benefit to the country and should not be denigrated as a class.  Those who are here illegally have at a minimum, broken at least one law, and tend to not be interested in benefiting the U.S.  Anyone who makes any negative (or even positive) statement about immigrants who does not intend the statement to refer to only one of these classes of immigrant, is very likely to really be bigoted and stupid and deserve any criticism they get.

“When Mexico sends its people” is an odd way to start out.  There is evidence that Mexico does, or at least did, SUPPORT or even encourage Mexican citizens coming to the U.S. illegally.  They would tend to be in favor of it, as having Mexican citizens living in the U.S. increases the access the Mexican government has to the land and resources of this country, not to mention, reducing THEIR requirements to deal with those they perceive as being of negative impact.  Sort of a “stealth invasion” to reduce their problems and increase ours.  Although I can see why the Mexican government would consider sending people here, I don’t see any evidence that they are ACTIVELY sending them.  It does seem likely that at the very least, the Mexican government siphons off their share of the resources of this country which are sent back home by Mexican citizens illegally in this country.  And if those people are allowed to vote in our elections, they can “improve” the behavior of the U.S. toward Mexico.  So, this statement may or may not be so, but all we (or at least I) can say for sure is it is hyperbole and not helpful.

“they’re not sending their best”.  Ignoring the “sending”, per the last paragraph, it would be hard for an intelligent person to dispute the accuracy of this statement.  Who are “their best”?  Wouldn’t that be the doctors, the engineers, the teachers, the philanthropists, the geniuses, the athletes, the entertainers, the successful?  Those who have the ability and desire to improve their environment and the people around them?  How many of those people have come here illegally?  Are not most of those in this country illegally, the desperately poor, uneducated and unskilled?  Does not being in this country illegally indicate at the very least a tendency and willingness to flaunt the law?

“They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us.”  As already discussed, this is a generally true statement.  Maybe people with problems are not being SENT, but they certainly are not being effectively prevented from coming here.  And their problems do not vanish when they cross the border.  By the way, “with us”, Donald?  How about “with them” or even “to us”?  Or are you implying something about yourself?  🙂

“They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists”.  Ok, Donald, you need to fire your speech writer.  Or hire one.  SOME ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS bring drugs.  SOME RESORT TO crime, A FEW ARE rapists.  And some have a tendency to drive drunk, and some “game” the system, sucking resources which they are not morally entitled to, and some work to make here more like “home” even though they fled from home.  Basically, if someone is here illegally, it is very likely that they are not interested in improving America, they more likely only interested in getting what they can for themselves.

“and some, I assume, are good people.”  Thanks.for that.  Some are good people, whose primary negative is that they don’t think our laws are worth considering.  Some, provably, are not good people.  I fail to understand why anyone would want to encourage people to come here illegally.  Oh, unless you bemoan the loss of slavery and like paying people low wages and not having them gripe about horrid working conditions.  Or unless you are a politician who understands that your ability to snow the American public is fading, and want to import a new crop of useful idiots to maintain your power.  Or unless you are a compassionate person who is happier with bandaids than with cures; preferring to treat symptoms rather than the disease.

All the people and companies jumping on the Trump, get a grip.  Donald may be an ass, but it is not clear he is a bigoted ass.  Illegal immigration is causing great harm to this country and our government is not only making no effort to prevent it, but is actually supporting it.  To mock Donald for how he says it is fine, but to work to destroy him for what he said, shows you to be at best, an ignorant follower, and at worst, an evil character assassin or someone working to destroy America.  So, NBC, so Macys, which is it?  Are you spineless cowards who cave whenever a few loudmouths make a fuss?  Or do you hate the country which has birthed and nurtured you?