TIM WILDMON: Violating rights walks on both sides of issues

TIM WILDMON

TIM WILDMON

In Portland, Ore., Melissa Klein was the owner of Sweet Cakes bakery, a small storefront operation. Her husband Aaron helped her. Last year two lesbians walked into the bakery and said they wanted Melissa to make them a wedding cake. The Kleins said they were sorry, but their Christian convictions were that marriage was between a man and a woman and they would not be able to make a cake for a same-sex ceremony.

Afterward, one of the women filed a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries claiming she was a victim of discrimination. The same thing happened in Colorado to a Christian florist and in New Mexico with a Christian photographer. They refused to participate in gay or lesbian “weddings” and they were punished by their respective state governments. In Oregon, the bureau spokesperson said they Christian couple needed to be “rehabilitated.” They subsequently had to shut down the store.

Seeing this, some states, including Kansas, Arizona and Mississippi, have considered or are considering legislation to try and protect small business owners like the Kleins. Some in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered movement (GLBT) want to force Christian business owners out of business.

However, at least one person in the GLBT community sees this for the slippery slope that it is. In a recent column, radio talk show host Tammy Bruce wrote: “As a gay conservative woman, I supported Arizona’s religious freedom bill, which was just vetoed this week by Gov. Jan Brewer…Under these rules, freedom of conscience is squashed under the jackboot of liberals, all in the Orwellian name of ‘equality and fairness.’ Here we are dealing with not just forcing someone to do something for you, but forcing them in the process to violate a sacrament of their faith as well…If we are able to coerce someone, via the threat of lawsuit and personal destruction, to provide a service, how is that not slavery? If we insist that you must violate your faith specifically in that slavish action how is that not abject tyranny?… Of all the people in the world who should understand the scourge of living under constant threat of losing life, liberty or the ability to make a living because of who you are, it’s gays…Horribly, the gay civil rights movement has morphed into a Gay Gestapo. Its ranks will now do the punishing of those who dare to be different or dissent from the approved leftist dogma. To all the young gays who tweet and email me that this is about ‘equality,’ how exactly? Forcing someone to do something against their faith has nothing to do with equality for you, has nothing to do with bigotry and has everything to do with a personal, spiritual understanding of right and wrong. In other words, I tell them, not everything is about you .…”

This does beg the question about freedom of religion, freedom of association and what the government can compel its citizens to do. Should the government punish the Jewish photographer because he refuses to take pictures for a gathering of Skinheads? Should the government levy fines against an African-American printer who refuses to print posters for a Ku Klux Klan rally? Should a homosexual painter be forced to paint signs for the infamous Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka that reads “God Hates Fags!”

The answer is no to all of these.

The government should not compel an individual to engage in a business transaction that violates their conscience. The “Gay Gestapo” (of which not all gays and lesbians are a part) is now pushing well beyond “live and let live” territory into using the law to punitively enforce their political and social agenda.

Community columnist Tim Wildmon is a Lee County resident. He is president of the American Family Association, but the column represents his personal opinion unless otherwise noted. Contact him at twildmon@afa.net.

  • Nick Wilgus

    Do these good Christians also refuse service to adulterers, fornicators, thieves, liars, disobedient children and wife-beating husbands, or is it just the gays they don’t want to serve?

  • barney fife

    So, in order to protect their delicate religious freedoms, now we’re writing laws that permit discrimination?
    Add “good christian” to your list of oxymora.

  • Ben Huffman

    Why does the president of a designated hate group get a column in this newspaper?

    • the_rocket

      Why does the DJ even bother to put that tag line about “his views are his own and not the Daily Journals” on the bottom of his monthly tirade?

      • TWBDB

        I have no issue with the DJ providing Rev Wildmon space for his commentary and I’m fairly certain many at the DJ don’t share his views: thus the tagline. In a free society, we must allow for opposing viewpoints and at the very least in this instance it gives those of us who may oppose Rev Wildmon’s viewpoint a forum to do so.

    • She’s not the mom

      Because the Daily Journal is run by idiots who buy into the hate that the AFA is selling

    • FrereJocques

      Actually, I find Mr. Wildmon’s column insightful. Once a month, it gives me fresh evidence of the ongoing hatred and bigotry of most religions, and a reminder of why I quit organized religion in the first place.

  • ceejaygee

    “Serving people we don’t see eye to eye with is the essence of
    Christianity. Jesus died for a world with which he didn’t see eye to
    eye. If a bakery doesn’t want to sell its products to a gay couple, it’s
    their business. Literally. But leave Jesus out of it.” ~Rev. Andy Stanley. As a Christian, I am with Andy on this, especially as I recall the teachings of Jesus: “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other
    cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand
    over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with
    them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you…
    Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be
    children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the
    evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
    If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even
    the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people,
    what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be
    perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” H/T to Rachel Held Evans. http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/jesus-religious-freedom-gay-lesbian-discrimination

  • TWBDB

    You’re correct, most gay people are simply living their lives and have nothing to do with these rare, yet very publicized, cases of anti-discrimination law. Yet, we are still a primary target of political and religious activism, so much so, that millions has been spent in state after state to find ways to keep us marginalized. The truth is, most of us will defend individual rights to a fault: making it truly difficult to take a stand against the discrimination we sometimes experience, such as the type indicated in the three cases listed here. Perhaps the very reason you don’t hear of more cases like these.

    What I can’t understand is that in none of these three cases was there ever the suggestion the business owners offered an alternative recommendation: did I miss something? Wouldn’t that be the easiest thing to do?

  • FrereJocques

    Interesting how Mr. Wildmon conveniently overlooks all the abuses that LBGT people have suffered over the decades at the hands of people just like him and his hypocrite followers. How many gay people have had their everyday, ordinary lives upset and even ruined by religious bigots who didn’t like someone simply because they were homosexual. Well, Mr. Wildmon, those chickens have now come home to roost. How do YOU like it?

    No, I think that revenge politics is wrong and distasteful, and ultimately serves no good end. And I think that, in reality, there are very few of these cases actually occurring. Really, if I wanted a wedding cake and the people at the shop I wanted to employ turned me down because I was gay, I’d gladly take my business elsewhere. And just as gladly tell all my friends not to do business with them.

    Just remember, Mr. Wildmon, that the freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.

    • 1941641

      Tim’s “Opinions” don’t bother me near as much as much his “Facts.”

  • TWBDB

    I think about the core issue(s) at hand here: one being conviction to religious belief and the other being the right to purchase from an entity licensed to do business with the public. Would a Klan member seek to hire an African American ? Would an anti-Semite seek to hire someone Jewish ? Would a member of Westboro Baptist Church seek to hire a homosexual ? Would any of these actions be seen as attempts at legitimate business transactions in a court of law ? I don’t know ?

    I have heard of businesses owned by gay people being destroyed: burned down, shut down because no one would service the business, denial of business license, etc. I’ve never heard of anyone suing a gay business owner for refusing to do business with them.

  • charlie

    The Bible says: Luke:6:37: Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn
    not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
    And in James 2:10: For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is
    guilty of all.

    I suppose the Mr. Wildmon will wind up right along side of all the LBGT people that he obviously judges and condemns in Hell.

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  • kcope001

    I too cannot help but wonder how the leader of a hate group gets a column in this paper. It is always amusing to see someone who is steeped in immorality lecture us on morality.

  • Winston Smith

    While I think it’s backwards and discriminatory to refuse to provide a service to someone based off their sexual orientation, I think a business should be able to refuse service to anyone they choose, for better or worse.. Gives me a sinking feeling to actually agree with something Tim Wildmon writes..

    • TWBDB

      Winston, I initially had this conundrum. So I ask, do we also support discrimination based on religion ? I don’t. Why ? I don’t support a business asking a customer if they are religious or not before selling them a cake, flowers, or anything off the shelf or in their product brochure. I’m also very hard pressed to come up with any situation where any individual working in a business or business owner would be acting in conflict with their personal belief by selling a product. If you don’t sell same-sex wedding decor, you don’t have it to sell: but the cake is the same cake, the flowers the same flowers, no matter where they end up. The business owner has the right to sell what they wish, the employee has the right to work there or not, the buyer the right to buy what they have or go to another shop. Services are different.

      I do support the right for a Christian to refuse to attend a gay wedding: therefore, prohibiting them from performing the tasks required to complete the terms of a contract. This is in kind with a black person refusing to attend a kkk rally, a Jew a skin head rally, or a gay person refusing to attend services at Westboro Baptist Church.

      I support the judge’s decision in the case of the Christian baker and florist and object to the decision in the case of the Christian photographer.

      It’s that simple. I have no legal training so perhaps I’m missing something.

  • 1941641

    I dare to say that a christian baker/candlestick maker would be happy to sell a gay couple a wedding cake if a $100.00 tip was waved before his/her eyes! Nearly any size bill might be hard to refuse in today’s money-grabbing economical setting! Whoa, Nellie! ,Whoa!