With the coming of the evening and my cessation of work for the day, I encountered this lovely article, courtesy of the inestimable Patrick Deneen. I almost always find things posted by Patrick to be edifying, and his commentary intelligent.
Patrick has ruined my evening. But, nonetheless, I thank him.
To set the stage, borrowing from the above article:
A crowdfunding campaign that had raised more than $109,000 for the Christian-owned bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon was removed Saturday after complaints from gay-rights advocates.
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries proposed a damages award Friday of $135,000 against Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of the [Sweet Cakes] bakery, after they were found in violation of the state’s anti-discrimination law in February.
"Lisa Watson of Cupcake Jones started her own campaign to contact GoFundMe and report the campaign as being in violation of their terms of service,” said the website GoLocalPDX in a Saturday post.
Sweet Cakes by Melissa has since closed its doors, although the Kleins are still providing baked goods from their home. The Kleins, who have five children, have said they are now struggling to make ends meet.I apologize to you, those who read this blog. I am going to vent my spleen here. If extreme language or emotional hysterics bother you, stop now. This post may not last long - get it while you can. (Update: See here for a new donation site for the Kleins.)
Dear Ms. Watson and all those others who cheered the closing of Sweet Cakes, the shuttering of the GoFundMe campaign, and hope for the utter ruin of Aaron and Melissa Klein:
You are a horrific, nasty, and small people. Your glee in the ruination of a business and lives of a family and your pride in their downfall reeks of self-righteous invincibility. Your hearts are corrupted by your own self-bestowed perfection.
What does it take? What does it take to rejoice in the destruction of a way of life? How can you stand there and cheer as those who attempt to ameliorate the way of life of pain that the Kleins now experience are blocked? Nay, how can you help it along? What sort of inhumanity now lodges in your souls that this is an occasion of glad tears for you? Dr. King may have said "Hate destroys the very structure of the personality of the hater. [...] when you start hating anybody, it destroys the very center of your creative response to life and the universe.." But you are better than he; you are more perfect and more wise and more knowledgeable, and your own counsel is far better than his.
Do you find such happiness in thinking of the Klein's children paying for this? It is not enough that the parents suffer, is it. Their children must be made to suffer as well, and if we can reach their children's children, we will rejoice. If they are homeless to the Nth generation, their property forfeit, their businesses reduced to ashes, their education denied, and be they driven from enlightened lands into darkness, then we will have only just begun to rectify their error. We would happily support a fund to provide legal defense for proven criminals, but these bigots receive no such love.
For you have turned these Kleins into a symbol, you have placed them on a pedestal of shame, you have made them a target of rage far beyond any action they have taken, and you have made them into scapegoats for your own dissatisfied feelings. For how could one action - ONE ACTION - not involving any fighting words, any threats of harm or physical attack cause two people to experience "emotional suffering" - to experience feelings of "mental rape." It beggars the mind.
I am a Christian. I am not a great, nor even usually a good, Christian. I have a great deal of work to do. You make that much more difficult - but that is my problem, not yours. It is also my problem that I must pray for you. Very well. Here, I do so.
May this prayer find you immediately, and give you no ease. May you be now stalked by an Angel of the Lord, who twists a fiery sword in your conscience, and may you know no peace or sleep. May you experience an opening of your eyes and and understanding of every pain and suffering you and your allies visit upon the Kleins and those like them. May the Lord soften your heart so that, unlike Pharaoh, you have a direct, intimate, and true vision of the end intended for those who inflict pain upon others for their own emotional and financial gain. May you come to a true understanding of the depth of charity which the Lord showers upon us, and the nature of the charity we are called to distribute in turn, and the nature of justice and of peace. May God bless you in this, and in all good work.