Liberal Bullying Works: Christian-owned Cake Shop Closes

September 2, 2013

Under SiegeThe Blaze reports that Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, have closed their cake shop.  In January, they declined to make a wedding cake for a Lesbian couple; liberals responded with an avalanche of hate mail and, more sinister, a campaign of harassment not only against the cake shop itself but also against vendors and others who normally did business with them.  (Their lawyer describes it as economic terrorism.)  This liberal bullying succeeded.

They claim that their wedding vendors have been “badgered and harassed” until they refuse to do business with Sweet Cakes by Melissa.

As a result, the business’ wedding cake orders this summer are down dramatically from the past.

They closed up shop this past weekend.  What’s left of their business will be “moving . . . to an in home bakery”, according to their Facebook page.

The liberals have also attempted to use state power to coerce compliance with their ideology, by filing some kind of “discrimination” complaint against the Kleins, but at this point it almost doesn’t matter whether that succeeds or not.

This is the new liberal version of “tolerance”:  You have a right to your opinion, as long as it’s the “correct” one.  Celebrate conformity.

Hat tip to Joe Pagliarulo, in for Glenn Beck this morning, who asked, What if you owned a cake shop, and someone came in and asked you to make him a cake and write “Kill the Jews” on top?  Should he be allowed to use the coercive power of the state to force you to take his order? or should you be free to live according to your own beliefs?

If the answer is that the cake maker in that hypothetical situation should be free, then Christians and conservatives should be free to make their own choices, too.  If a liberal answers that that’s different, because killing Jews is really bad, he’s given the game away:  Liberalism is not interested in pluralism and neutral principles of freedom and equality before the law, but in enforcing compliance with their own ideology, by any means necessary.

See also Heritage Foundation, “Same-Sex Marriage and the Threat to Religious Liberty”.

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4 Responses to “Liberal Bullying Works: Christian-owned Cake Shop Closes”


  1. Well, the hypothetical is a little lopsided. It compares an expression in favor of murder, which no one considers legal or moral, to being in favor same-sex marriage, which the majority of current residents of Oregon are in favor of legalizing. More an apples to hand grenades situation than apples to oranges.

    The ladies are entitled to hold the religious values they want, but if they are a small business and their values conflict with those of the majority of their own neighbors, they have to expect it might impact their sales. It isn’t liberal bullying. Just supply and demand. They’re going to get beat by other small bakers who will sell more of what the customers ask for.

    There’s an episode of the award-winning Canadian sitcom “Little Mosque on the Prairie” from about five years back that dealt with this exact situation. Fatima, the owner of a small-town diner who also caters, is asked to supply a cake for a same sex wedding. At first she says, “Absolutely not! Islam does not permit this.” Her customer replies, “Well, I guess I’ll just have to get it at Mercy Diner then.” She then says, “No wait! I’ll do it. I HATE Mercy Diner. Allah will forgive me.”


    • I completely agree that the antisemitism example is an inapt analogy, and I really wish conservatives would make more of their arguments without so colorfully over-stating their case (see a recent post here about the conservative messaging learning curve with respect to discussing how we feel about the IRS).

      But the rest your comment is not responsive to the situation. Hate mail is not the market; those people aren’t consumers who are simply choosing to purchase cakes elsewhere.

      I’ve seen that episode of Little Mosque on the Prairie. It lacks verisimilitude.


  2. “Invisible Mikey”, remember that we’re talking about using state power to criminalize people’s choices (through “anti-discrimination” laws) and about harassing vendors “until they refuse to do business with Sweet Cakes”. That’s totally different from the free choices in a free market that you seem to be imagining.

    I certainly did not “compare” murdering Jews to homosexuality, in the sense of saying that they are of comparably bad. I was using logic. (Liberals often don’t follow.) Of course I chose something that everyone would consider immoral, so that I could trust that whoever my reader is will agree that it’s immoral; that way, the reader can imagine himself being in the position of the cake makers, and ask himself whether he would like it if it were done to him. If I chose something that some people think is immoral and others consider not immoral, my hypothetical would add nothing useful to the original situation. Different people have different beliefs about what is good and bad; that’s the whole point. Should people get to have their different beliefs and ways of life? or should everyone be beaten down (whether by hate mail, by harassing vendors until the person is cut off and economically unable to survive, or through the coercive power of the state) until there is uniform conformity with the beliefs of the majority? Liberalism opts for the latter.

    • Snoodickle Says:

      The Kleins, though entitled to their beliefs (key word – belief) subjected themselves to Oregons nondiscrimination laws when they decided to run a for-profit business. In my view, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is no different than prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race. Both are immutable traits present at birth; neither should subject a person to unequal treatment. No one would challenge Oregons authority to sanction the Kleins if they refused to bake a cake for a black or mixed race couple. Moreover, even though I have no doubt that the Kleins refused service because of their genuinely held and legally protectable religious beliefs, neutral laws like Oregons anti discrimination law that do not target religion qua religion are a perfectly valid exercise of state authority, though they may incidentally impinge upon religious practice (see Native American Church). So, while I agree that the hate mail and intimidation tactics were both irrational and wrong, I have no qualm with the State of Oregon addressing this issue through proper legal channels.


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