Seeking the complete financial ruin of a Christian family

I’ve written numerous times about the Oregon bakers, Aaron and Melissa Klein, who were forced out of business after declining to make a cake for a gay wedding. As the video above shows, that is not the end of the story.

It wasn’t enough that the activists were able to put the Klein’s out of business. The lesbian couple have now sued this family, and the Klein’s are on the hook for $135,000 and are facing potential bankruptcy. Aaron Klein had to take a job as a garbage collector after they lost their bakery. So needless to say, the wages from that work are not going to cover this fine.

Someone set up a “Go Fund Me” page for the Klein’s to help them pay the $135,000 pound of flesh. But activists complained to “Go Fund Me,” and the fundraising site changed their terms of service to exclude the Kleins and shut the Klein’s page down. Plainly, the activists are seeking the complete financial ruin of the Aaron, Melissa and their five children.

Why did all of this happen? It was NOT because the Klein’s refused to serve gay people in their bakery. In fact, the Klein’s had done business with this particular lesbian couple on numerous occasions before that fateful day. The Klein’s simply felt that they couldn’t lend their creative expression to help someone celebrate what their Christian faith forbids. In short, the Klein’s were following Jesus, and now they are being punished for it.

I just found out today that someone has set up another fundraising page for them at ContinueToGive.com. We’ll see whether the activists can shut that site down too. If past is prologue, I guess we know what to expect.

62 Responses to Seeking the complete financial ruin of a Christian family

  1. Ian Shaw May 20, 2015 at 11:30 am #

    Shows the true end-game of the movement. Not just equality, but rather dominance and extinction of those that even have a thought of disagreement.

    • Chris Ryan May 20, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

      Indeed. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind. We started the war on gays when we sold out back in 2004 to Bush and Rove’s cynical maneuvers to gin up the Christian vote just to beat Kerry. Now the majority of Americans think we’re just hateful people. And they’re acting on that perception…The reason the French are so virulently secular today is because the Catholic Church intervened once too often in political affairs. Now you cant even wear a large crucifix to school.

      • Ian Shaw May 20, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

        But wearing a hijab is ok, right? Until ISIS murders cartoonists…

        • Chris Ryan May 20, 2015 at 6:38 pm #

          Nope. You can’t even wear a veil. In fact there was a Muslim girl suspended recently for wearing a long black dress even. It wasn’t even 1800s long. It was the type of dress a teenaged girl might wear to church. There was nothing remarkable about it; it didn’t even have any religious markings. The NY Times covered it. The principal said she’d have to wear a shorter(!) dress.

      • Ryan Davidson May 20, 2015 at 8:46 pm #

        Chris,

        I think you’re probably right. It’s going to be difficult for Christians to oppose same-sex marriage (SSM) and avoid having that opposition associated with the malicious anti-SSM of the mid-2000s.

      • David Atkins May 21, 2015 at 11:16 am #

        Chris, I’m not sure this is quite as sophisticated or calculated as a reaction against a political strategy from 2004. You posit that “we” started a war on gays and now deserve to be destroyed–at least I think you believe the homosexual community and the sympathetic post-Christian political and cultural movement feel that way. While there may be individuals who think thus (like, perhaps, the lesbian couple pursuing this case), I think a more likely explanation comes from God’s word: those who are spiritually darkenned–and especially those under the judgment of homosexuality– (1) hate the things of God, his commands, and anything that reminds them of him, (2) are consumed with malice, maliciousness, and murder as a result of God giving them over to this spiritual darkness, and (3) give approval to others who engage in similar godlessness (including malice, maliciousness, murder, envy, and the like). We are witnessing exactly these things play out before or eyes in regard to believing bakers, florists, photographers, etc. While Romans 1 is not the only place this kind of spiritual blindness and wickedness is addressed in God’s word, it’s certainly a clear, instructive, and concise passage that helps us see with God’s eyes and understanding what is happening.

        It is important to let God inform us how to think and understand the world around us. He is governing it. He is the Righteous Judge. He is on mission to redeem it as a Righteous Savior. If we view the problem incorrectly, we prescribe the wrong, worthless remedy. The argument has been made by some believers that the Kleins should not have refused to serve the lesbian, but rather have used it as an opportunity to evangelize. That must be a post facto debate to the primary spiritual blindness that the Scripture defines. Indeed, that becomes a debate about missional strategy. However, we must not overlook or ignore what God describes as the primary problem and then ourselves become blind to the ways of God. This, for the believer, is not political. This is spiritual warfare, and is to be fought with the full armory of spiritual weapons.

        • Brian Sanders May 21, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

          David: I agree with all you wrote until the last line. I would say this is both spiritual warfare and political because this is America where we are supposed to have freedom of religion. To my mind that greatly complicates the matter because the lines of demarcation are not clear.

      • Brian Holland May 21, 2015 at 10:28 pm #

        So we’re not supposed to vote for people that we believe share our values, or we’re hateful? How would you have had Christians respond to the debate over gay marriage?

      • Brian Holland May 22, 2015 at 5:35 am #

        So we’re not supposed to vote for people that we believe share our values, or we’re hateful? How would you have had Christians respond to the debate over gay marriage?

  2. Brett Cody May 20, 2015 at 11:30 am #

    Denny,
    Samaritan’s Purse also has set up a fund for the Kleins…
    http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/persecution-against-u-s-christians-on-the-rise/

    • Brett Cody May 20, 2015 at 11:51 am #

      Actually, I don’t think it is just for the Kleins. I think it for all persecuted Christians in the US. Basically, the “least of these”… 🙂

      • Ian Shaw May 20, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

        Had to hit that beachball that was pitched across the middle of the plate, huh? … 🙂

      • Denny Burk May 20, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

        I almost titled this post “The complete financial ruin of the ‘least of these.'”

  3. dr. james willingham May 20, 2015 at 2:17 pm #

    Note, Dr. Burk, after I sent my contact comment to you be your contact route, there was a change in the way one comments on the blog. In other words, it suddenly became easier. Seems as if we are going to get a full court press in the next two years and with the wherewithal for voting machines to flip the votes, the election of those favorable to the same sex union will be assured.

  4. James Bradshaw May 20, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

    I think this is extremely unfortunate, but I don’t think it’s commonplace. Most gay couples who are turned away (and I’m sure there are many) simply find someone else to provide their services. That’s what I would have done, regardless of what the law is. I don’t understand why someone would even desire to coerce someone into being involved with something so personal as a wedding.

    Perhaps compromise can be had if we get an understanding of what sort of exemptions are being sought. Should a business owner legally be able to deny services to a customer because of their religion, race or sexual orientation regardless of the nature of the service, or is this really about not being compelled to provide services that imply a statement of agreement?

    In other words: can a physician or mechanic just say “I don’t want to serve gays or Jews or blacks?” If so, there’s a reasonable fear of how this will impact some minorities who are unpopular in various parts of the country. If this really is just about the baker, florist and photographer, then I think most folks will understand if some basic protections for these instances are given.

    I hope that the extremists on both sides don’t end up being the ones to determine these laws for everyone else and that reason prevails.

    • buddyglass May 20, 2015 at 5:46 pm #

      What I’ve seen proposed are exemptions for business owners whose product is a form of speech, e.g. if it’s an artistic endeavor. So photographers, bakers and wedding planners would qualify, but not, say, a liquor store owner.

    • Dal Bailey May 22, 2015 at 10:55 am #

      James, a solution would be to “Outsource” the work/job. In other words, run you bakery, floral shop or photo shop and have another you contract out with due to your religious beliefs. That way, none are hurt, refused or rejected or even (best of all) sued.

      • dr. james willingham May 22, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

        Little hard, Dal, to outsource walking off of the sidewalk and around a white person with the eyes cast down.

  5. Dal Bailey May 20, 2015 at 7:02 pm #

    Sadly, the hysterical sobbing of Dr. Burk is again being broadcast. How anyone can believe the Kliens were carrying the message of Christ by spitting on others is beyond me.

    • Gus Nelson May 20, 2015 at 10:55 pm #

      Are you suggesting the punishment fits the crime here? I say no cake, you get to ruin me financially? You go and get your cake down the street and get to go on living your life however you want. My family suffers immensely. This is what the “hysterical sobbing” is about.

      • dr. james willingham May 20, 2015 at 11:02 pm #

        Good point Gus, and I am reminded of the times when some of those folks have threatened me with physical violence, when I have not responded to what they have wanted. However, we have to realize that the LGBT community supporting the Lesbian couple were practicing the faith, when they destroyed a man’s livelihood. So were those who tabbed one young man with being a bigot who stated that he should have had a male and a female for his parents instead of two of the same gender.

      • Ian Shaw May 21, 2015 at 8:24 am #

        Talk about wanting your cake and eating it too….

      • Dal Bailey May 22, 2015 at 10:29 am #

        Had they followed the law, then this would not have happened. As much as I disagree with gay marriage, there was no religious freedom act in evidence.

        • Gus Nelson May 23, 2015 at 9:33 am #

          Dal: You do understand that the First Amendment which prohibits the government from prohibiting the free exercise of religion is, in actuality, a law? Or are you just claiming that these folks were not engaged in exercising their religious freedom but were engaged in some other act?

          • Dal Bailey May 23, 2015 at 11:48 am #

            How is making a cake, religious freedom? They were running a business, not a church. They were not conducting a ceremony, but a business transaction.

            Are we to say that because we can discriminate using religion, we should do so?

            • dr. james willingham May 23, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

              Well, I could come up with hangings and other violations of the law, but the point is that they were protesting the violation of their basic, constitutional rights. Now one of those rights is religious liberty. You should read George Washington on the issue. He declared: “If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the Constitution framed in the convention where I had the honor to preside might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it; and if I could not conceive that the General Government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny and every species of religious persecution.”(to the General Committee representing the United Baptist Churches in Virginia.). Dal, I live about a 50 minute drive from the Revolutionary War battlefield of Guilford Court House, where one of my ancestors served as a 2nd Lt. in the Virginia Militia, and I think it likely that others were there also. In any case, the point is that like the baker one has the right to oppose that which is contrary to biblical faith as our ancestors and predecessors fought for that right in particular. So, if you like the idea of putting a husband and wife and five children in jeopardy, you are going outside the bound of humanity as far as I am concerned.

    • Ray Charles May 20, 2015 at 11:37 pm #

      Sadly the hysterical trolling if Dal Bailey is again being broadcast. How anyone can read their Bible and not come to the same conclusion as the Kleins is beyond me.

      • dr. james willingham May 21, 2015 at 9:32 am #

        Very good Charles. What Mr. Bailey forgets that even the liberal (so called) papers are beginning to call attention to the dog eat dog attitude at least some (who knows how many) in the LGBT group. They are getting their rights (?), and now they want it all, including vengeance on those they perceive as being antithetical to their aims.

        • Dal Bailey May 22, 2015 at 10:30 am #

          No, I haven’t forgotten anything, I don’t read them.

      • Ryan Davidson May 21, 2015 at 10:20 am #

        What? I see nothing in Scripture that suggests that a Christian who runs a for-profit bakery that operates as a place of public accommodation must refuse to sell a cake to a gay couple because the cake is going to be used to celebrate a same-sex marriage. I understand that the Kleins may have a sensitive conscience on the issue, and therefore felt uncomfortable making the sale. But I’d imagine that most similarly situated Christian bakers would have sold the couple the cake.

        • Brian Holland May 22, 2015 at 5:45 am #

          There are countless situations that are not explicitly laid out in Scripture, but the point is that the Constitution gives you the freedom to decide how to respond. If you believe that Jesus would bake the cake, and would want you to bake the cake, then you have that right, just as the Kleins SHOULD have the right not to.

          But please also consider that just because Jesus ate with with sinners, and was friend of sinners, does not mean that he ever condoned sinful behavior. After all He said “go and sin no more,” and promised that the world would hate us.

          I would also imagine that “most similarly situated Christian bakers would have sold the couple the cake” but only for expediency, and to avoid trouble. Let’s not forget that we’ll all have to stand before God one day.

          • Dal Bailey May 22, 2015 at 11:00 am #

            Brian, but as I have stated, the Kliens violated a state law. While I’d have had no problem with them refusing to bake the cake, the laws we agree to live by, shouldn’t be cast aside when inconvenient

            • dr. james willingham May 22, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

              Dal: Do your remember, when the laws enforced segregation and the mistreatment of Black people? I do. I can remember back in the forties, riding a train in which the coaches were divided with appropriate signs. I can remember, when the signs were removed and finally the dividers. Rosa Parks broke the law, when she refused to get up and move to the back of the bus. By your reasoning, she should have been sued to the point of ruin like the Kleins.

            • Brian Holland May 25, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

              The first amendment guarantees free expression of religion, and that law takes precedence. Also recall MLK’s case laid out in his “letter from a Birmingham jail” that we have a moral obligation to disobey an unjust law, because ultimately there is a moral law that is higher than any man made laws. The best we can do is accurately reflect those natural laws that ultimately come from God.

              You also have to recall that Peter and John refused to obey the authorities, as recorded in the book of Acts, when they said that they would continue to preach and proclaim the name of Jesus, and were willing to gladly suffer the consequences.

            • Beverly Wells May 25, 2015 at 11:58 pm #

              Dal Bailey: the couple wanted something affirming gays on the cake. It wasn’t just a cake and the Kleins were right in declining, or they would have dishonored God.

          • Ryan Davidson May 25, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

            Brian,

            You’ve moved the goalposts here. I don’t question the sincerity of the couple’s religious convictions. I just don’t see where such conduct is necessarily required of Christians. Most Christian bakers would have completed the transaction because they see a distinction between selling a cake and condoning the buyer’s post-sale use of the cake.

            I worked at McDonald’s for two summers in high school. Am I going to face judgment by God for all of the post-sale uses of the food I sold people. I recall selling two sundaes to a friend’s married father and the father’s 20-something-year-old girlfriend. Was I condoning his affair by selling them the sundaes? Good grief, I hope not.

            • Brian Holland May 25, 2015 at 1:25 pm #

              Those are two completely different situations. You seem to be arguing that a marriage ceremony is no more significant than an adulterous couple getting sundaes.

            • Esther O'Reilly May 25, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

              That would only be remotely equivalent if the father came in to announce that he was leaving his wife for the hot new girlfriend on his arm, that he was throwing an engagement party, and would you please give them sundaes and cakes with the word “CONGRATULATIONS!” frosted on top.

            • Don Jackson May 26, 2015 at 4:30 am #

              Ryan: You do not understand the uniqueness of the wedding cake business. It is a work of art created especially to reflect the couple, matched to the wedding colors and theme, usually delivered, displayed, and sometimes even served by the baker. It is not like sending a birthday cake out the door of the bakeshop.

      • Dal Bailey May 22, 2015 at 10:38 am #

        Wow, nice retort Ray, guess you really showed me. Please show me where baking a cake means condoning a perverse act?

        • Don Jackson May 26, 2015 at 4:34 am #

          Dal: You do not understand the uniqueness of the wedding cake business. It is a work of art created especially to reflect the couple, matched to the wedding colors and theme, usually delivered, displayed, and sometimes even served by the baker. It is not like sending a birthday cake out the door of the bakeshop.

  6. pastorjackmcdonald May 21, 2015 at 10:33 am #

    May the Holy Spirit work in their hearts to return love and kindness to this hateful and bitter couple seeking their complete financial ruin… May their children be impressed as they see a Christlike response from their parents. Praying for this precious family.

  7. John Van Dyk May 21, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

    Counter-sue for damages, pain and suffering, loss of business and income. Ruined reputation in the community. Religious persecution. If there is any justice, the one suit should wipe out the other.

    • Dal Bailey May 22, 2015 at 10:41 am #

      Problem is, the Kliens violated a state law. Therefore they have no legal standing.

  8. Ellen Jervis May 21, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

    I wanted to know if there was another way to donate other than online so I wrote to their church. This was their reply:

    Yes, we are still accepting donations. The Klein’s have now gotten a PO Box for people to send donations. They then bring them to me and I put the money in their account. Or you can make out a check to ‘The Klein Support Fund’ and send it to
    Lynchwood Church of God
    3818 SE 174th Ave
    Portland OR 97236

    Klien’s PO Box is

    Klein Support Fund
    PO Box 126
    Sandy OR 97055

  9. Johnny Mason May 21, 2015 at 8:47 pm #

    And those who think that Christian business should just bake the cake or take pictures for these couples and do so kindly and it will all be fine dont really understand what is going on here. Exhibit A:

    “This Christian jeweler agreed to custom-make engagement rings for a lesbian couple, knowing that they were a couple, and treated them politely. But when they found out what he really believed about same-sex marriage, even though the man gave them polite service, and agreed to sell them what they asked for, the lesbian couple balked, and demanded their money back — and the mob threatened the business if they didn’t yield. Which, of course, he did.”

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/heads-christians-win-tails-they-lose/

    • Dal Bailey May 22, 2015 at 10:49 am #

      I agree, it’s very strange what they did.

  10. dr. james willingham May 22, 2015 at 10:35 pm #

    Some how I thought you were taking the part of gays.

  11. dr. james willingham May 22, 2015 at 10:37 pm #

    Being a bit supercilious aren’t you? Tsk!

    • Dal Bailey May 22, 2015 at 11:12 pm #

      Guess I am

      However, that being said I am thinking this is in my response to your response about stepping off the sidewalk.

      Do you have a better analogy then? Or maybe a better answer? Do you feel that “Outsourcing” the “Offensive” job is wrong and how so?

      • dr. james willingham May 23, 2015 at 12:54 am #

        I should think the analogy is apt. What’s your excuse?

        • Dal Bailey May 23, 2015 at 5:12 am #

          So in regards to my comment about having a “third party” all you could come up with is “Stepping off the sidewalk”??

          OK…

        • Dal Bailey May 23, 2015 at 11:51 am #

          OK, Dr. Willingham, I do see your point that the fine was seemingly excessive. But that was not a choice of anyone but the judge. The couple DID have the right to sue, I don’t know of they had a amount set or that this was the judges decision.

          • dr. james willingham May 23, 2015 at 8:43 pm #

            So you are saying that it would have been alright for that White person to sue Rosa Parks for not yield her seat on the bus as the law required then? Bah! Civil disobedience is the right thing to do, when the government transgresses the moral law. Better to obey God and not man as Peter says in Acts. The pabulum most Baptists have swallowed about obey them that have the rule over you, and specifically the government, was rejected by the abolitionists before the Civil War, and some in the South resisted it, too, even though it cost them dearly. Lawas are made to be changed, when they are wrong. Consider the young man who had been raised by a same sex couple. He was labeled a bigot, when he publicly stated that he should have had a male and a female as his parents. Now the boy scouts are going to have gay scout leaders. For years they have had a problem with pedophiles seeking such positions, drawn to you boys like honey draws flies. And have you ever dealt with a child who has been molested by an adult? And how about those who think that it is perfectly alright for an adult and a child to have sex or even to marry. O yes, and there is the bestiality issue, where, recently, a woman wanted to marry her dog.

            I got my degree in counseling, because I had to deal with five cases of incest and pedophilia in a three month period. Believe me, when I say that the lives of those people had been utterly disrupted for the worse. Children might experiment, but they are not ready for such involvements. Now they are teaching our children in the schools that which is utterly contrary to our Christian and biblical beliefs. Friend, this is no time for a supercilious attitude.

  12. Don Chapman May 24, 2015 at 8:38 pm #

    Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse have a fund to help Melissa and other Christians in the US: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/persecution-against-u-s-christians-on-the-rise/

  13. dr. james willingham May 25, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

    I live about a fifty minute drive down the highway from where I now live to a battlefield of the American Revolution, the Battlefield of Guilford Court House. There, at least one of my ancestral relatives participated in the effort to secure religious liberty for his descendants, and it is likely that he was only one of my relatives, since most of my maternal and paternal families came to the colonies before that event. If I get into the extended family bit, the number becomes quite large as I have connection to at least five Scotch clans, not counting my English name.

  14. Christiane Smith May 26, 2015 at 12:44 am #

    ‘the gays’ versus ‘Christians’ ???

    . . . why do I know that labeling and targeting leads to evil when it denies that we are ALL human persons made in the image of God and with the dignity that conveys to us, and we are ALL sinners in need of His Mercy and forgiveness

    and knowing this, I dread when folks glory in the divisions they help to create with the pointing of the finger ?

    Where there is ill will on BOTH sides, the enemy wins. And there is only ONE enemy.

  15. Lee Jay Martin May 31, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

    God is Not DEAD. Christianity Will NOT Die.Atheism Will NOT Win.”If God is for me, Who can Stand Against Me..????.!!!! 😀

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