Franklin Graham has started a fund to help out Christians persecuted by gays. Were it not for his father, Franklin Graham’s job might entail asking; “Want fries with that?” or “Fill ‘er up?” Apparently Christians who discriminate in violation of state and local laws are victims and should be treated as such. In a recent case a judge in Oregon recommended that Sweet Cakes by Melissa and its owners, Aaron and Melissa Klein, should pay the couple that they denied service to the sum of $135,000. According to Graham:
They have done nothing wrong, and their lives, along with their five
children, have been turned upside down by this persecution. You can’t
call it anything else. This is wrong, and it’s happening right here in
our own country. Liberal judges and officials siding with the LGBT crowd
are trying to make a point with the undeserved punishment of this
family. This is America—we should have the freedom to live by our
sincerely held religious beliefs. It’s obvious who is really being
discriminated against here.
“They have done nothing wrong?” They clearly violated state law. They knew that they were violating the law. They wanted to violate the law because they wanted to make a point. In doing so, they victimized other people. Do Christians get to decide what laws they will obey? Does Mr. Graham decide what laws to obey? How about the speed limit Frank — are you okay with that? I’d like another five per, can I do it?
Apparently any judge who makes a ruling that Mr. Graham doesn’t like is a “liberal.” This wasn’t a matter of “siding” with anyone. The law is unambiguous. The fact that the Kleins broke the law is not in dispute. The fact that it was a gay couple on the receiving end of the discrimination is irrelevant. It could just as easily have been a religious or other minority. Obviously Mr. Graham has a problem with what he describes as “the LGBT crowd.” He feels that they are the rightful recipients of discrimination. Perhaps if Graham did not solicit discrimination there would be less of it.
The problem with all of these incidents is that gay people are selectively victimized. In this case the Kleins seem to feel that they have a proprietary interest in where their product is consumed. If their interest was genuine then they would have to make certain that their cake was not being consumed at a wedding where divorced people were getting remarried or where a Christian was marrying a Jew or any of a number of other conditions that would seem to rise to the same level of offense as baking a cake for that gay couple. If they were consistent, and not singling out gay people for mistreatment, I might view this differently. But that is not the case.
Nevertheless, Mr. Graham can start his fund to handle the Kleins’ payout. The gay couple will be very grateful. They won’t have to seize assets or chase the Kleins. The money will be available to compensate them as the court ultimately determines.