It all started in January of this year. Aaron and Melissa Klein were owners of a small private business in Oregon called “Sweet Cakes by Melissa.” On January 17, a mother and daughter walked in to the shop and inquired about purchasing a wedding cake for her daughter’s wedding. Aaron kindly asked when the wedding was, and also asked the names of the bride and groom. However, there was a catch. It was not a bride and groom, but two brides. When Aaron, a born-again Christian, found out that it was two lesbians getting married, he politely apologized to the women and said that he and his wife do not make cakes for same-sex marriages. He cited the Bible as the reason behind the decision. The woman and the daughter, furious, stormed out of the shop.
Just a few days later, either February 1st or 2nd, the Oregon DOJ sent Aaron a letter stating that he was under investigation for a “possible discrimination complaint.” Although the investigation was not carried out due to improper filing of the investigation, Aaron and Melissa’s troubles had just begun. At first the community supported them, but soon the support dissipated and was replaced by hate and slander. The hate ranged from death threats to insults such as:
“Here’s hoping you go out of business, you bigot. Enjoy hell”
“You stupid bible thumping, hypocritical b****. I hope your kids get really, really, sick and you go out of business,”
The result of the harassment towards Aaron and Melissa affected their business. Potential customers were bullied until they stopped doing business with “Sweet Cakes by Melissa.” Aaron Klein’s attorney described it as “economic terrorism.” After months of intimidation and boycotts, “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” closed shop near the end of August, opting to continue their business from their home.
The question then arises, who was right? Was it right of the Klein’s to refuse to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple? Although it can be debated whether or not the lesbians should be allowed to marry, one thing is for sure: Aaron and Melissa Klein had the right to sell to whomever they chose, and the right to withhold doing business from someone based on religious convictions. One of the founding principles of this nation was religious liberty, that people have the right to live their lives according to their religious beliefs. Were the Klein’s stopping the couple from getting married? Absolutely not. They were simply refusing to be involved in something with which they did not agree, and for that they were persecuted.
What makes this situation confounding is the behavior of those who opposed Aaron and Melissa Klein. The mantra of the gay rights movement is tolerance. According to them, humanity is supposed to tolerate what they do. Unfortunately, there are two faults in their presentation of this message, both of which were exemplified in this case. The first fault is that the definition of the word tolerant has been twisted by the gay rights movement. Tolerance, simply defined, is allowing the existence of an act, practice, belief, etc. that one may not agree with. The gay rights movement has misrepresented tolerance to mean soft-headed indulgence, where all views are accepted and welcomed without any disagreements. This is not the definition of tolerance. Tolerance does not necessitate acceptance, tolerance permits existence.
Secondly, shouldn’t those who claim tolerance tolerate others, even when their actions may seem intolerant? If someone who claims to tolerate all views, but spews vitriol at someone who does not hold their view, then it is not the dissenting side that is intolerant, but the one who claims to be tolerant. The gay rights movement has become deceitfully good at this: claiming to be tolerant and promulgating tolerance while shutting down anyone who disagrees with them. This is not tolerance, but in the words of Aaron Klein’s attorney: “terrorism.”
In short, the faction of tolerance has become a faction of terrorism.
Follow Caleb Casto on Twitter @Caleb_Casto.