We have been reporting on the tyrannical persecution of Aaron and Melissa Klein of Gresham, Oregon by the state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries.
They were the owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa – a small bakery in their local community. But, because they refused to bake a wedding cake for a “same-sex” wedding ceremony for a couple of lesbians, the state has charged them with “discrimination” and imposed harsh fines on them.
The case is still in court and is far from resolution, but that hasn’t stopped the state’s “gay-rights enforcement czar” Brad Avakian from seeking to destroy the Kleins, both professionally and personally.
Now, in a recent move right out of Joseph Stalin’s playbook, Avakian has done the unconscionable. Fox News reports:
Melissa Klein was checking her bank accounts just a few weeks before Christmas when her face turned ashen. The money was gone – every single penny.
Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries had confiscated all the cash in Mrs. Klein’s checking account and savings account as well as a special account set aside for their church tithe.
Yes, friends – the state of Oregon stole money meant for our Lord.
Mrs. Klein and her husband, Aaron, are devout evangelical Christians who own a mom-and-pop bakery – Sweet Cakes By Melissa.
In July, they were ordered to pay more than $135,000 in damages to a lesbian couple after they refused to bake their wedding cake. The Kleins objected because of their religious beliefs.
The judgment was awarded to the lesbians for “emotional suffering.”
Just a few weeks before Christmas, Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian wiped out the Klein family’s bank accounts – taking nearly $7,000.
Yep, that’s right. Just a few weeks before Christmas, this tyrannical bureaucrat raided a private bank account and stole around $7,000 – all the money the Kleins had earned.
And why? It was all because two lesbians had targeted this Christian bakery for persecution.
These two women had plenty of options for bakeries to bake their “wedding” cake. They singled out the Kleins hoping for a refusal to further the radical homosexual-rights agenda that guys like Avakian have been forcing on all Oregonians since they came to power in the state.
As a result, the Kleins have been forced to use money set aside from donations (donations raised from all over the country) to pay for their legal bills to pay the outrageous judgment in the case; a case which is still ongoing and far from resolved.
CBN News provides details:
The Oregon bakery owners fined $135,000 in damages for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding have delivered a check to a state official.
Aaron and Melissa Klein owned the Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery when the dispute began two years ago.
The Kleins refused to pay the fine for nearly six months, but Aaron Klein paid the amount, plus interest Monday.
The Oregonian, reports the state is looking for 9 percent interest and the right to seize other assets until the appeal is decided.
The money will be held in escrow while the Kleins appeal the case.
The one bright spot in this is that the Kleins may see that money returned to them if they win the case. Since the money remains in escrow pending the outcome, neither the lesbians nor Avakian can get their hands on it.
This whole case is absurd! As Christian News Network explains, the two lesbians’ complaints were downright silly:
As previously reported, in February, a judge with the Oregon BOLI declared Aaron and Melissa Klein of Sweet Cakes by Melissa guilty of discrimination for declining to make the cake, thus moving the matter into the sentencing phase.
The two lesbian women, Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman, submitted individual lists of just under 100 aspects of suffering in order to receive damages. They included “acute loss of confidence,” “doubt,” “distrust of men,” “distrust of former friends,” “excessive sleep,” “discomfort,” “high blood pressure,” “impaired digestion,” “loss of appetite,” “migraine headaches,” “loss of pride,” “mental rape,” “resumption of smoking habit,” “shock” “stunned,” “surprise,” “uncertainty,” “weight gain” and “worry.”
Commissioner Avakain has publicly admitted targeting Christian businesses for attacks from the government as Fox News reveals:
Avakian has publicly stated his intentions to target Christian business owners who do not comply with the state’s way of thinking. Here’s what he told The Oregonian about Sweet Cakes By Melissa in 2013:
“The goal is never to shut down a business. The goal is to rehabilitate.”
I’ve never met Brad Avakian but he sounds like a pretty ruthless individual – a person who is using his office to bully and intimidate Christians.
Be warned, friends. In Oregon, gay rights trump religious liberty.
To this point, it is not known if the confiscated (read – stolen) $7,000 will ever be returned, or where that money has now gone.
May God save us all from this “Brave New World” Obama and his radical socialists are forcing on America!
About Russ Hepler
Russ Hepler is a pastor, teacher, political activist, author and conference speaker with over 30 years’ experience. He holds a B.A. from Messiah College and an M.A.R. from Evangelical School of Theology. He has been an issues’ advocate, a campaign volunteer for local, state, and federal candidates, Regional Field Director for PA Christian Coalition and president of a county chapter of Pennsylvanians for Human Life. His first book – Yes! We Can Turn This Nation Around! A Practical Guide for Christian Political Involvement – was published in 2012. He and his wife, Sherry, have founded Transformation 1202 Ministries to educate, encourage, and challenge people of faith to get involved in the political and cultural issues of our day.