I think everybody should read Father Dwight Longenecker's blog post on the subject:
Putting aside the whole homosexuality issue, what I find most disturbing about the report is that the local government backed up the homosexualists and Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries is launching a formal investigation of the Klein family. In a statement which is clearly meant to be conciliatory, Commissioner Brad Avakian said that he was committed to a fair and thorough investigation to determine whether the bakery discriminated against the lesbians.
“Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs, but that doesn’t mean that folks have the right to discriminate,” he told the newspaper. “The goal is to rehabilitate. For those who do violate the law, we want them to learn from that experience and have a good, successful business in Oregon.”
In other words, instead of going to jail or paying a fine the Kleins will be rehabilitated or re-educated. How chilling is that? In a famous essay on jurisprudence C.S.Lewis points out that the only just reason for judicial punishment is retribution–not rehabilitation or re-eduation. Why? Because the principal of retribution (not revenge) assigns a just punishment for a crime committed. When the punishment is completed the criminal has paid his price to society and it’s all over. Other motives for punishment–while seeming more humane–actually open the door to grave injustice. So if the motive for punishment is to protect the public does a criminal who is irreformable get a life sentence in order to protect the public? If rehabilitation is the motive is the person incarcerated until he is reformed? What if that takes a very long time but his crime is minor?
When rehabilitation or re-education is the principal of punishment, then the person may be incarcerated or…”housed in a therapeutic center” until he changes his mind. If re-education is the end goal, then a person could be locked away until he is effectively re-educated. A Christian, therefore, who refuses to change his mind may be locked up indefinitely. Would such a thing happen in the United States? Err, what about Guantanamo?
Read the rest here.
I know some people think that the gay rights movement, and especially the gay "marriage" movement, is really just a "live and let live" moment in our culture. They are wrong--they couldn't be more wrong. The gay rights activists have no intention of letting Christians live as Christians. They will not be satisfied until everyone is forced to repeat the Big Lie:
"Two men can be married just like a man and a woman. Two women can be married just like a man and a woman. There is nothing special about the marriage of a man and a woman, and saying there is must be labeled as bigotry and hate. We agree with society that those who say there is something different and special about the marriage of a man and a woman must be punished.”
I call this the Big Lie because that is exactly what it is. The relationship of two men based in sexual sin can never be anything like the valid marriage of a man and a woman. The relationship of two women based in sexual sin can never be anything like the valid marriage of a man and a woman. While it is sometimes possible for a sinful relationship between a man and a woman to become a virtuous relationship (if they repent of their sin and are then validly married) it is never possible for a sexual relationship between two people of the same sex to be virtuous or holy or to produce grace for the people in that relationship. At best they might be invincibly ignorant of their sin, or their culpability might be lessened by personal issues that keep them from giving full consent to the sin or having full knowledge of it. But their relationship cannot produce virtue or goodness, by its very nature, any more than the relationship of an adulterer and his mistress can.
We live in an evil, post-Christian, materialistic and secular culture that has cut off the very idea of virtue from sexual conduct. The 18-year-old virgin of either sex is more likely to be asked what is wrong with him or her than praised for the virtues of chastity, modesty, and restraint. But up until now society has looked somewhat indulgently, if a bit patronizingly, on those Christians serious enough about their religious faith to shun fornication, adultery, remarriage after divorce, and other grave sins. They don't understand us, but for the most part they haven't openly attacked us, either.
All of that is about to change, because the Christian view of gay "marriage" which I outlined above is inevitably and inescapably at odds with society's Big Lie which it wants us to chant and repeat as the price of living, working, doing business etc. in this nation. A Christian cannot pretend that the "marriage" of two men or two women is real at all. A Christian cannot assist in the celebration of such a "marriage" by offering his goods or services to the couple as if what they are doing is merely silly instead of gravely wrong and dangerous to their immortal souls. A Christian, if he or she is a serious Christian, is going to have to walk away from any connection with the wedding industry if the price of doing wedding-related businesses is going to be to pour out libations to the gods of secularism.
But getting out of wedding-related businesses is just the first step for serious Christians who refuse to participate in the Big Lie. Because the gay activists are totalitarians at heart, they will not rest so long as a Christian can say anywhere outside of his church building that a real marriage involves one man and one woman, and no other relationship is or ever can be a marriage in God's eyes, in the eyes of the Church, and in the eyes of Christians. The gay activists will go after people for "hate speech," and if anyone thinks the First Amendment is all the protection we need, he or she should think again; I place no confidence whatsoever in the First Amendment's provision of freedom of speech lasting a second longer than the redefinition of the freedom of religion as the much narrower, much more restrictive "freedom to worship," a redefinition which is already well under way.
The end of a single bakery in Oregon, the loss of freedom of a single photographer in New Mexico: we keep being told that these things are no big deal, that serious Christians aren't going to be targeted or harassed or bothered in any way by gay activists in a nation agitating for same-sex marriage. Guess what? People whose agenda is to force those who disagree to participate in one Big Lie have no problem telling lots of other lies, too. We will be targeted. We will be harassed. We will be threatened. We will lose businesses and jobs and livelihoods. And the gay activists will applaud, because they think we deserve it.