Religious Freedom Under Attack
Religious Freedom is the first freedom guaranteed by the United States Constitution. It has long been valued as a fundamental human right in this country. However it seems that Religious Freedom is under attack by claims that religion is a purely private matter and that voices of religion should be silenced. This ongoing debate is leading to question: Can a business owner due to religious beliefs decline to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies? A chilling reality that now, despite the first amendment, individual business owners may be forced to forgo their moral values and violate their conscious in order to appease a politically correct agenda.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The writing seems pretty clear: The Government shall NOT prohibit the FREE EXERCISE of religion. Is there something we are missing that the rest of the world is not?
Local couple and bakery owners Melissa and Aaron Klein have had this very right to free exercise of religion stripped away from them. When the Kleins declined to provide services to a lesbian wedding ceremony they were accused of discrimination and now face fines of up to $200,000. According to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa located in Gresham had no right to exercise their deeply held religious beliefs when it comes to business practices. Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian had this to say about the closing of Sweet Cakes:
“Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs, but that doesn’t mean folks have the right to discriminate… The goal is never to shut down a business. The goal is to rehabilitate”
Apparently now Christian business owners like the Kleins need to be “rehabilitated” for their beliefs.
Read the story Here
This case should be a wakeup call to all of us. It seems we are under fire for our beliefs, and for living them out in every aspect of life. As this trend of persecution for religious beliefs continues we must ask: What is stopping anti-religion activists from seeking out business owners who have a conscientious objection to participating in same-sex ceremonies with the sole purpose to run them out of business?
This case is not about gay rights or discrimination. This case is about Our Constitutional RIGHT to believe what we choose and practice that belief daily, and it is being taken away by a Government that seems to think they know better than the people.