Monday, October 27, 2014

[loving enemies who won't bake cakes for you]

How would you love someone who discriminated against you because of your race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability or some other reason?

Here's a real life story:

In January 2013, Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of a bakery called "Sweet Cakes by Melissa," refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. The reason they gave for this refusal was their religious beliefs.

The lesbian couple filed a complaint and the bakery was investigated by the Oregon department of labor, which found that there was "substantial evidence of unlawful discrimination." Side note: public accommodations laws in many American states (known as Fair Accommodation Laws in Canada) mean that a business (restaurant, hotel, store, etc.) may not discriminate as to whom they serve. While some folks are unhappy about this as they would like the right to discriminate against lgbt people, this is the same law that means a business cannot serve "whites only" or carry on any of the other discriminatory practices that used to be lawful.

In any case, the department may bring formal charges if the two parties can't come to a settlement.  Formal charges could accompany a fine of up to $150,000.

Now here's where it gets interesting.

Matt Stolhandske, an evangelical, gay rights activist, is trying to raise money to help them pay the fine. Yes, you read that right. He's gay, he's a follower of Jesus, and he's trying to help out the Kleins. Even though he disagrees with their refusal to bake the wedding cake, he wants to help them out. Here's why, in his own words (as quoted at
Matt Stohlandske. Source: Facebook
'Stolhandske, who is gay, told KATU his effort is inspired by the teachings of Christ.

“We would like to demonstrate the true character of Jesus Christ, which is to show love in the face of discrimination,” Stolhandske said.

He added: “Exactly at the time of our enemy’s most difficult moment, exactly at the time when we can destroy them, that’s when we must show love.”

Stolhandske qualified that statement, saying the Kleins are his enemy only when it comes to gay rights. Otherwise, he said, the Kleins are his brother and sister in Christ.

“We don’t want to see the destruction of the Klein family or their children,” Stolhandske said. “We don’t want to see the destruction of Christians. We don’t want to see people suffering. What we want to see is the destruction of a system which systematically discriminates against LGBT people.”'
Wow. It seems that for some people, following Jesus is more than just lip service and looking good on Sundays. It's the real deal.

What do you think?

Read more:

See also what would jesus bake? (previous post on this blog)

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