File this among the stories that remind you “this is an America we no longer recognize.”
Melissa and Aaron Klein, owners of an Oregon bakery, just shelled out $136,927.07 to the state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries on behalf of a lesbian couple. Their crime? In 2013, the Klein’s declined to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding ceremony with their own private property. What’s worse, as Todd Starnes of Fox News reports, the state of Oregon seized their bank accounts and stole an additional $7,000:
“Just a few weeks before Christmas, Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian wiped out the Klein family’s bank accounts – taking nearly $7,000.
Faced with a state-mandated 9 percent interest penalty, the Kleins opted to pay the disputed amount in full – turning over a $136,927.07 check to the government. That money, which was not in their bank account, was acquired through donations the family.
It was the price the Kleins had to pay for following the teachings of Jesus Christ.
“It was like my breath was taken away,” Mrs. Klein told me in a telephone conversation. “I panicked. Everything was gone.”
And, as I said before, Commissioner Avakian even seized money set aside for You Know Who.
“We had three accounts,” she told me. “I have one account that’s labeled, ‘God’s money’ – our tithing. They just took it.”
Yup, they gave money set aside by the Klein’s for charity to a lesbian couple who claimed “emotional suffering” from being turned away from a private business. (As a side point, notice how the same liberals who assail religious Christians and Jews who peacefully dissent from the homosexual agenda are the most truculent champions of Muslim immigration?)
If you step back and size up the colossal perversion of fundamental rights, it is truly breathtaking. According to the courts, states no longer have the power to regulate the issuance of marriage certificates because not granting people affirmative benefits is supposedly a fundamental right. Yet, at the same time, a state can penalize a couple for not engaging in involuntary servitude with their private business. They are being punished for earning a livelihood with their own property – a fundamental right – because they peacefully adhered to their religious conscience, which Madison called the most sacred of property rights.
At its core, a fundamental right protects someone’s religious liberty and property rights from negative action taken by the government. This is the preamble of the Declaration of Independence in action. But earlier this year, the Supreme Court redefined a fundamental right as an entitlement to a positive government benefit that is mentioned nowhere in the Constitution.
That the GOP Congress has failed to put forth a single piece of legislation protecting religious liberty and clamping down on the courts is appalling. It’s as if the court decision never happened. It’s time for Congress to recognize this growing problem and pass civil rights style legislation to stop state or federal government officials from coercing private business owners into violating their conscience.
As I noted before, states have the full authority over powers not explicitly granted to the federal government, pursuant to the 10th Amendment. That’s why Justice Kennedy had no right to compel all the states into redefining marriage. But states have absolutely no authority to violate the Bill of Rights by abrogating religious freedom, property rights, or the due process of the individual – the same way the southern states didn’t have the right to infringe upon the civil rights of blacks during the Jim Crow days. That is protected by the Constitution – and in the case of religious liberty and property rights – the Declaration of Independence itself.
Now juxtapose this story to the numerous stories we’ve chronicled concerning the release of criminal aliens into our communities. Just this week, the Obama administration agreed to invite 100 more illegal aliens who were already deported back into the United States. Now, apparently, illegal aliens have standing to sue in court for a panoply of rights.
Our own citizens are treated like criminals for peacefully adhering to our founding values with their own private property, yet foreign nationals, including violent criminals, are being granted all sorts of rights against the consent of the citizenry and laws duly passed by Congress.
Where are the voices speaking out on behalf of the citizenry, our sovereignty, our civil society, and our system of governance and federalism turned on its head?
These are the specific stories that are fueling the public’s general sense that we are losing our country. Many thumb sucking conservative pundits are flummoxed by the fact that the GOP base is rejecting many elected figures they once considered solid conservatives. What they fail to see is that while some of these individuals might be conservative in their private lives, they are doing absolutely nothing to stop Obama’s fundamental transformation of America. Speaking about the Ex-Im Bank all day fails to measure up to the severity of the times in which we live.
When Congress returns next week for its new session, you will hear a lot of pomp and fanfare from the GOP establishment groupies on accomplishing important things. Unfortunately, saving the very foundation of this country’s sovereignty, security, and society will not be on the menu.
The Pilgrims must be rolling over in their graves.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.