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The Dignity Czar Police State

Sign in window of Sweet Cakes bakery

 

Our colleague Mark J. Fitzgibbons has a new post up on American Thinker detailing the reign of terror that Oregon’s “Dignity Czar,” Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, has loosed upon Christians in that state, but especially against Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein, for exercising their rights of conscience and refusing to bake a “wedding” cake for a same-sex “marriage.”

As Fitzgibbons points out, Democrat Avakian is not a judge, but was previously a member of the Oregon legislature. Under color of Oregon Code section 659A, an employment discrimination statute, Avakian ordered the Kleins to pay $135,000 to two women who planned to “marry” and demanded that the Kleins use their art to make them a cake for their “wedding.”

Oregon’s employment discrimination statute has been expanded to make Avakian the state’s “Dignity Czar” by giving him the authority to "...ensure the human dignity of all people within this state and protect their health, safety and morals from the consequences of intergroup hostility, tensions and practices of unlawful discrimination of any kind based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age, disability or familial status."

This includes, as Fitzgibbons notes, suspending the First Amendment and would seem to protect pedophiles based on sexual orientation and age, if evenly construed.

Avakian’s assault on the Kleins’ First Amendment rights was made through his ruling, which ordered them to cease and desist:

…publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published, circulated, issued or displayed any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, services or privileges of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation.

Avakian’s ruling is a coercive state action attacking the morals, religion and dignity of the Kleins says Fitzgibbons. At the height of Soviet power in 1965, the Vatican issued Dignitatis humanae, “Of the Dignity of the Human Person.” One of its supporters was Archbishop Karol Wojtyla of Poland, who in 1978 was elected Pope John Paul II.

Religious freedom, it states, “has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity . . . is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right.” Aimed at Soviet-style rule, it continues:

This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits. (Emphasis added.)

Avakian’s faux judicial ruling is an attack on the dignity of the Kleins by penalizing them for acting consistent with their religious and moral beliefs. This is government coercion against conscience, much like this week’s ruling ordering the nuns with the Little Sisters of the Poor pay for contraception under ObamaCare.

Fitzgibbons closes his piece by quoting James Madison, Father of the Bill of Rights, who wrote:

According to this standard of merit, the praise of affording a just securing to property, should be sparingly bestowed on a government which, however scrupulously guarding the possessions of individuals, does not protect them in the enjoyment and communication of their opinions, in which they have an equal, and in the estimation of some, a more valuable property.

More sparingly should this praise be allowed to a government, where a man's religious rights are violated by penalties, or fettered by tests, or taxed by a hierarchy. Conscience is the most sacred of all property . . . To guard a man's house as his castle, to pay public and enforce private debts with the most exact faith, can give no title to invade a man's conscience which is more sacred than his castle, or to withhold from it that debt of protection, for which the public faith is pledged, by the very nature and original conditions of the social pact.

Click this link to read Mark J. Fitzgibbons’ article “Oregon Dignity Czar's Attack on Christian Bakers' Property of Conscience.”

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