By now, Americans are well aware of the unconscionable harm that has been inflicted on Christian bakers by what lesbian writer Tammy Bruce calls the Gay Gestapo.
In Oregon, Aaron and Melissa Klein were fined $135,000 and put out of business by a state bureaucrat. This was for having the temerity to think that when the First Amendment says the “free exercise” of religion, it actually means it.
Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado was forced to send all his employees to what amounted to a Communist re-education camp for thinking the same thing.
Baronelle Stutzman is not a baker, she is florist, but a wedding vendor all the same. The Washington State Supreme Court last week ruled that the state of Washington has every right to seize everything she owns and throw her out on her own sidewalk for agreeing with the Kleins and Mr. Phillips.
Phillips won at the Supreme Court, but only on a narrow technicality that will create enormous mischief unless it is corrected post haste. Phillips only won, said the Court, because the state acted with “animus” against him. Don’t let the word “animus” fool you. It sounds a bit anodyne at first glance, but according to Merriam-Webster, it means “usually prejudiced and often spiteful or malevolent ill will.”
In other words, what the Supremes said is that Phillips was not the hater in his scenario.
Bureaucrats in state government were.
But by finding for Phillips only on the narrow basis of the “animus” of the state, the Court opened the door for every subsequent regressive court to conclude, surprise, surprise, that state actors are models of tolerance and love and so free of animus that Christians may be punished at will.
That’s the sadly predictable route the Washington State Supreme Court took. It found mysteriously that kicking a grandmother to the curb and taking her house and everything she owns right out from under her is not “animus” at all but some twisted form of benevolence, kindness, and generosity.
Another bakery, this one in Oberlin, Ohio, barely escaped the PC mob. When the store owner’s son detained a black student and two of his friends for the crimes of shoplifting wine and using fake IDs, the social justice warriors sprang into action, tagged the bakery as racist to its core, and did their best to put it out of business.
They very nearly succeeded. The bakery barely survived the sustained and prolonged attack. Its nightmare did not end until a jury ordered Oberlin College - which had libeled the bakery as racist and tried to persuade the entire community to stop shopping there - to pay the owners of the bakery $11 million for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Well, how about the emotional distress inflicted on the Kleins when Big Gay ran them completely out of business? How about the emotional distress inflicted on Jack Phillips, who barely saved his business after the all-out assault from LGBT activists?
We’ll know we’re on a path back to sanity when Aaron and Melissa Klein, Jack Phillips, and Baronelle Stutzman each get $11 million dollar settlements for the same reason. Don’t hold your breath.
The bottom line from all this is simple: if you’re going to become a baker, and want to survive, don’t let anybody know you’re a Christian. Otherwise, you may have to fight for your life and your livelihood. And if you thought our system of justice is there to protect the little guy from being crushed by petty tyrants, you need to think again.