Oregon Labor Bureau Commissioner Brad Avakian’s proposal to “rehabilitate” a baker who refused to make a cake for a gay wedding bears a sinister resemblance to the “reeducation camps” of the Soviet Union and Communist China.
Anyone who still naively clings to the notion that the homosexual lobby believes in a “live and let live” society should take a look at recent events in Gresham, Oregon. The picture is not pretty. But it is indicative of the real intentions and methods of the counterculture. The onslaught is unrelenting, with traditional marriage being but a single casualty along the way.
In January, Lauren Bowman attempted to order a wedding cake from Aaron Klein, owner of a bakery in Gresham. Klein refused when he learned that the “marriage” for which she wanted the cake would be a same-sex ceremony. So Bowman filed a “discrimination” complaint against Klein that eventually went to the Oregon Attorney General’s office, where an investigation has since been undertaken.
Meanwhile, a coordinated effort to harass and boycott the bakery, as well as its suppliers, eventually forced Aaron Klein, and his wife Melissa out of business. Welcome to the new America, where Brownshirt tactics, including death threats against Klein’s family, can be openly perpetrated, while the state focuses on the possibility that the he and his wife might be guilty of “politically incorrect” thinking.
Oregon Labor Bureau Commissioner Brad Avakian has voiced his Orwellian assertion of a need to “rehabilitate” the Kleins in order to coerce them into abandoning their faith and converting to the state orthodoxy. In a classic example of statist doublespeak, Avakian proffered that “Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs, but that doesn’t mean folks have the right to discriminate.” Yet if the Kleins, or anyone else who remains steadfastly committed to their guiding moral principles, are forced by law to participate in rituals that are diametrically opposed to their recognition of right and wrong, they are in fact not entitled to any beliefs other than those sanctioned by the state.
For those who need a basic education in the Bill of Rights, and particularly the First Amendment, its intention was solely to prevent the government from compelling the citizenry to hold to certain beliefs. Yet by mandating their participation, the Kleins would be compelled to publicly assent to the new definition of “marriage” that defies not only the basic tenets of Christianity, but all of human history.
Clearly, these despotic actions are being imposed on a selective basis. This was a flagrant example of hateful and “intolerant” behavior from Oregon’s homosexual community, fully enabled by the iron-fisted excesses of the state’s government. Had the episode involved Muslim venders who refused to take part in a gathering where bacon was the main entrée, no reprisals from the customer would have ensued, nor would any have been tolerated by the state. And even the slightest hint of coordinated retaliation would have been immediately and vigorously investigated as a “hate crime,” with the full power of the law brought to bear against the perpetrators. Yet nowhere in all of the news accounts of the Kleins or their plight is a single mention of “hate crimes” to be found.
Also missing from this entire episode is even a single reference to “bullying” by Bowman and her accomplices. As America descends into the outrages and absurdities of “political correctness,” the public is incessantly deluged with leftist sanctimony about the evils of “bullying.” And while no decent citizen should stand by while any individual is assaulted or abused by a stronger individual, or any band of thugs, over time it has become abundantly clear that all of the diatribe about “bullying” and the need to curb it comes from the counterculture and is intended to be one-way. Those striving to undermine and affront traditional values can resort to any available means, including threats and intimidation. But let an opponent merely speak out against them, and that individual is instantly judged to be the “bully.”
The evidence is overwhelming that the Kleins, along with their suppliers, were systematically bullied to the point that they had to close up shop. But from the perspective of the counterculture and the monster state, this was “good” bullying since it accomplished the silencing and punishment of people who, by virtue of their Christianity, did not acquiesce to the tenets of Oregon’s state religion. Just as it was with Attorney General Eric Holder’s reprehensible sanctioning of voter intimidation by the New Black Panthers, certain episodes of bullying receive a tacit stamp of government approval. In the process, the rights of every citizen are trampled.
With monotonous predictability, countercultural leftists claiming to be on the moral “high ground sanctimoniously denounce “bullying” while applying the label to anyone who represents even the mildest opposition to them. Of course their demeanor and their professed respect for the rights and dignity of others instantly vanishes the moment the tables are turned and they realize that as the most virulent of bullies, they can further their agenda. Anyone who has ever sat across from them at a legislative committee hearing or otherwise participated in a legal effort to preserve the institution of marriage, knows full well how virulent and consumed with hatred the counterculture actually is. This is the essence of the “community organizers” who have wrought so much harm to the fabric of this nation and who now employ their sordid tactics at the highest levels of the U.S. Government.
As to Commissioner Avakian, it is no overstatement to warn that his proposal to “rehabilitate” the Kleins bears a sinister resemblance to the “reeducation camps” of the Soviet Unionand Communist China. For those who would dismiss such a comparison as severe, similar affronts to the American ideal are already being committed under the auspices of “Sensitivity Training.” In glaring contrast to its euphemistic title, the real purpose of “Sensitivity Training” is to completely de-sensitize Americans who uphold traditional morality to the ensuing disintegration of the nation’s culture, or at least to intimidate them into silent compliance. This is the role of the “Thought police,” a fundamental element of every police state.
However, those applauding the craven advocacy of their cause by Commissioner Avakian and their seeming victory over the Kleins had better beware. Their jubilation is likely to be short lived. Historically, once government acquires this degree of power, it is invariably wielded against the entire populace, including those who helped create the monster.
For Americans who recognize the importance of the values and morality on which the nation was founded, but had hoped to quietly sit out the culture war, this situation offers convincing proof that no such option exists. The onslaught of the counterculture will continue until it is opposed with sufficient resistance to stop its advance. Consequently, the people of this nation who recognize the critical importance of morality to the preservation of their freedom and their country will either commit to standing resolutely against the looming threat of the counterculture, or they will accept its mark on their society and their individual lives.