Monday 26th September 2022

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Sweet Cakes By Melissa

September 19, 2022 Frontpage No Comments


It seems, sometimes, that we have entered into a permanent crazy season that keeps getting worse and worse. And the hallmark of that season is the growing cultural chasm that has gripped our nation.
When I studied journalism and first entered that profession the rules were fairly defined: politics was a fairly rough game but it could be played by friendly advisories who, at least, were willing to give a more-or-less grudging respect to their opponents, and while the issues of the day could provoke sharp debate, they were overshadowed by those issues to which all Americans of good faith could agree.
That’s not true today. Somehow society has fostered a growing divide in American life that will take years to patch, if it ever does. And where did this divide originate? Well, my guess is that we won’t find that answer for several decades when a group of clear-minded sociologists (if that’s not an oxymoron) are finally able to explain this bit of our history to our grandchildren … or maybe our great-grandchildren.
So while the final answer evades us at this time, let me offer a theory about what widened the breach to the point we are at and where even our president has no tolerance for disagreement and will roundly condemn those who disagree with him. Of course it happens on the other side, too, but for some reason most of the vitriol seems to come from the president’s side.
Let me venture a guess as to why this is happening. It is because our political disagreements have turned to cultural disagreements which have turned political, and worse, legal.
Let me explain this way: I think the story of Melissa and Aaron Klein is a good representation of what has happened.
The Kleins owned and operated a bakery in Oregon called “Sweet Cakes by Melissa.” She designed and baked custom wedding cakes, among other things, and he delivered them to the appropriate wedding venues at the designated time. They were both devout Christians who believed in the biblical view of that institution: one man and one woman.
In January of 2013 Melissa and Aaron were approached by a same-sex couple, Rachel Cryer and Lauren Bowman, who asked if they could order a wedding cake for their upcoming nuptial. The initial contact was made by Rachel and her mother. When the Kleins explained why they could not do so, Rachel and her mother left. Mom, however, returned later and tried to reason with Aaron, calling this a “teaching moment” since her own belief about marriage, her “truth” about the subject, had changed.
Aaron quoted Scripture back, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination,” which later came back to haunt the case. Four days later Rachel and her mother met with another baker and arranged for a wedding cake.
Despite the fact that the cake was quickly procured at another venue, Rachel filed a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) claiming that the Kleins violated the state public accommodation law by refusing to bake their cake. The agency, rejecting the Kleins’ First Amendment defenses of Free Speech and Religious Freedom, held against them, and ordered them to stop discriminating, and entered judgment against them for $75,000 and $60,000, respectively, for Rachel and her partner.
The Kleins appealed claiming the agency action was motivated in part by religious bias but the court of appeals rejected their arguments, and confirmed the monetary judgment against them. An appeal to the state supreme court failed when the court refused to hear the case.
An appeal went to the U.S. Supreme Court which vacated the court of appeals judgment and remanded the case back to the state courts to re-consider it in light of its ruling in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Civil Rights Commission, and to make a determination on the Kleins’ claim of religious discrimination and animus by BOLI.
Masterpiece was a Colorado case in which a baker was found to have a protected right to refuse to bake a same-sex wedding cake. We’ll come back to Masterpiece in a moment, but for now that sounded like it should have ended the Kleins’ legal problems.
But that was not to be. The case went back to the Oregon state courts to determine if there had been any religious animus on the part of BOLI. On remand the court of appeals concluded that the only religious animus was citing Aaron’s use of the biblical statement about lying with a man as you would a woman. Once again the state supreme court denied review.
On remand to the agency, BOLI reduced the cash judgment only.
Earlier this month the Kleins filed another appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court in which they hope that the court will issue a definitive ruling in their favor, since the state court and BOLI seem to be unwilling to drop the matter.
Which now brings us back to Masterpiece. Shortly after its victory in the top court, another litigant tried another approach to persecute Masterpiece’s owner, Jack Phillips. This time an individual asked the baker to create a gender transition cake with the colors blue and pink to signify — and celebrate — the client’s sexual transition. Naturally the request was refused and naturally the Colorado civil rights commission found probable cause to open a new investigation against the bakery.
Now what does all this have to do with my thesis at the beginning of this column? It’s simple. You never saw this kind of vengeful legal action when society was only dealing with broken contracts, allegations of financial fraud, or other routine civil matters. But since the nation’s attention has been turned to cultural matters, those issues that cut to the heart of who we are, the lid of civility has come off.
You see this everywhere. In the wedding cases numerous bakers, photographers, printers, florists, and others have been chased and hounded by angry mobs seeking only to punish, and too often local and state officials help promote this conduct, which all too often resulted in the closing of the offending business, such as was done to Sweet Cakes by Melissa.
We now see repeated suits against Catholic hospitals who refuse to allow abortions or gender reassignment surgery to take place on their grounds. Lawyers have faced discipline for refusing to represent certain litigants. Other professionals and tradesmen have been repeatedly attacked when they are only standing up for their God-given rights, rights that before this generation were universally considered sacred.
But that is not how much of society looks at these things anymore. Here the Kleins were not being thought of as being just wrong legally, they were evil oppressors who must be punished. Same with Jack Phillips and all the physicians, and trades people who simply refuse to do something against their conscience.
We are no longer dealing with rational people who are seeking to expand what they believe are their rights. We are dealing with civil avengers who will stoop to anything to have their way and to disparage the traditional ideals which they seek to replace, and to punish their “oppressors.”
They are seeking not only new rights but to fundamentally change the nature of society by rejecting the traditions of the past and foisting their counter cultural beliefs on the unsuspecting and a largely unwilling public.
The new rules become if you do not comply you do not deserve a place in our new society. We see this everywhere now.
The Marquess of Queensberry has left the field to the bare knuckle brawlers. Is there any wonder now why the division is so deep?
(You can reach Mike at: and listen to his weekly program at

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1


Today . . .

Bishops, priests and scholars correct Pope Francis’ statement on Holy Communion

(LifeSiteNews) — Four bishops, several priests, and numerous Catholic scholars have signed a statement rebuking Pope Francis for a recent statement about the reception of Holy Communion, according to which “everyone is invited to the supper of the wedding of the Lamb (Re 19:9). To be admitted to the feast all that is required is the wedding garment of faith which comes from the hearing of his Word.” The Pope wrote these words in his…Continue Reading

A futuristic Nur-Sultan ready welcomes Pope Francis to Kazakhstan

As Pope Francis prepares to depart for Kazakhstan on Tuesday, our correspondent in Nur-Sultan takes a look at his upcoming participation in the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, as well as the small Catholic community’s great joy to receive the Holy Father.

Joe Biden Calls MAGA Americans Violent, Ignores Leftist Violence Against Churches, Pregnancy Centers

Illuminated with blood-red lights, draped in inky shadows, and flanked by U.S. Marines, President Biden launched into an angry screed Thursday night, using dangerous and inciting rhetoric to attack so-called “MAGA Republicans.” It was a terrifying sight that drew praise and flowery language from the “journalists” of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 as they lauded the “full frontal attack” and asserted he was “reclaiming patriotism.” “President Biden finishing a 24-minute speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. He said as…Continue Reading

Pope Francis creates 20 cardinals for the Catholic Church

Rome Newsroom, Aug 27, 2022 / 08:31 am Pope Francis created 20 new cardinals for the Catholic Church during a liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica Saturday. “Jesus calls us by name; he looks us in the eye and he asks: Can I count on you?” Pope Francis said in a homily addressed to the College of Cardinals and its new members on Aug. 27. “The Lord,” he said, “wants to bestow on us his own…Continue Reading

Toyota Sponsors Lesson on ‘First Steps’ of Drag Artistry for Children

Toyota sponsored an event for “LGBTQ+ Youth” that featured a performance from a drag performer and a workshop on “the first steps of becoming a fabulous drag performer.” The event, called “Models of Pride,” was hosted by the Los Angeles LGBT Center and was intended for those 24 years and younger. No minimum age was listed on the website. The Los Angeles LGBT Center described it as “the world’s largest free conference for LGBTQ+ youth…Continue Reading

Biden Is Losing The Race For The Cure

By STEPHEN MOORE President Joe Biden recently announced, with great fanfare, his Cancer Moonshot initiative. Biden used soaring and promising rhetoric about, at last, finding a cure for one of the world’s leading killers.Speaking at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston on September 12, the president declared:“Beating cancer is something we…Continue Reading

Becoming Pro-Life The Hard Way

By DONALD DeMARCO “Aujourd’hui Maman est morte. Ou, hier, peut-etre; je ne sais pas.” (Today my mother died. Or was it yesterday, I don’t know.) + + This is the celebrated opening of Nobel Laureate Albert Camus’ novel, The Stranger. It immediately establishes the main character as a person who, being emotionally unmoved by the…Continue Reading

The Queen: End Of An Era

By JOHN J. METLZER The Queen has died; the page of history has turned. The passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest serving monarch, has shocked and saddened much of the world despite the sovereign’s declining health and her 96 years of age. Just months after having joyfully celebrated her platinum Jubilee commemorating 70 years…Continue Reading

The “Secure Border” Of Kamala Harris

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY When Donald Trump was president in fiscal 2019, the Border Patrol did not encounter a single individual on the terrorist watchlist trying to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border between the legal ports of entry.In the first ten months of this fiscal year, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, they encountered…Continue Reading

Welcome to the Green New Deal, California

By DAVID HARSANYI If California, our most populous state, were its own nation, it would rank as the world’s fifth largest economy and boast the highest average household income (outside a handful of “countries” like Monaco or Luxemburg). And, yet, the governor is begging its citizens to stop using their appliances, turn off their lights…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

How Long, O Lord?

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time Readings:Hab. 1:2-3, 2:2-42 Tim. 1:6-8, 13-14Luke 17:5-10 The first reading today, from the Prophet Habakkuk, is very apropos for our time. As it was in his day, so too it is in ours: people crying to God for help, but nothing seems to happen; people crying out “violence,” but God does…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I don’t use rosary beads to say the rosary since I pray in the car or while doing gardening or housework. Is it okay to pray the rosary daily with my fingers? Also, I have seen pictures of St. Joseph with lilies, and I have been told that is the way he was chosen to be the husband of…Continue Reading

Future Bleak for Vatican II Mass

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK My parish is forced back into compliance with the “unique liturgical expression of the Roman rite” this month, as expressed by Pope Francis in Traditionis custodes, with the banning of the traditional Latin Mass in my as well as in other parish churches. This in order to open us to the full experience of the…Continue Reading

Crazy! . . . A Homily For The 24th Sunday Of The Year

(Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this on September 10 and it is posted here with permission.) + + The three parables in this Sunday’s lengthy Gospel challenge conventional thinking. They describe people doing things that we most likely would not do. All three of them — especially the first two — seem crazy. Who would ever do what the…Continue Reading

Cardinal Brandmueller… Pope Francis Prevented Crucial Dialogue Among Cardinals At Consistory

By SANDRO MAGISTER (Wanderer Editor’s Note: LifeSiteNews reprinted this article from L’Espresso on August 31. Fr. Kevin M. Cusick alluded to Cardinal Brandmueller’s remarks in his Wanderer column dated September 8.) + + (L’Espresso) — On August 29, a consistory saw the cardinals gathered with Pope Francis. It was behind closed doors, but above all it was broken down, at…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Bridget

By DEB PIROCH “Oh my friends, I love my sheep so tenderly that were it possible I would die many other times for each one of them that same death I suffered for the redemption of all” — Words attributed to Christ, Revelations of St. Bridget. + + In 1999, Pope St. John Paul II issued a moto proprio, making…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Lawrence O’Toole

By DEB PIROCH This Irish saint existed parallel to the life of St. Thomas Becket. Some of his biography can be difficult to follow, given Gaelic history and language, so we try to anglicize everything possible in this article. But his feast fast approaches, November 14, a time to acquaint ourselves with his holy life.Lawrence was the youngest of four…Continue Reading