By Charlie Johnston
“No one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name…” – Revelation 13:7
I have long said I believe the mark of the beast to be subservience to an ideology. Would that there were not so much evidence to support me these days. Increasingly, if you are Christian and insist on living it as if you actually believe it – rather than treat it as a quaint cultural remnant, you are the target of government, rogue judges, and people who are not content to have their deviancy tolerated, but insist that all must applaud it.
Melissa and Aaron Klein, pictured above, lost their bakery two years ago when courts ruled against their freedom of conscience when they refused to design and bake a “wedding cake” for two lesbians. Now, not content with merely destroying their business, authorities in Oregon have also ordered them to pay $135,000 to the lesbian couple for refusing to bake that cake. That will bankrupt them personally. I would say I wish I could find someone to refuse to bake me a cake, but I am not so viciously spiteful that I would sue someone for a minor inconvenience. The original story was bad enough. Since then, GoFundMe, a supposedly non-political fund-raising site has banned the Kleins from raising money from their site. These “non-political” cultural mandarins think the couple is not morally worthy of the support of decent people. Fortunately, the Rev. Franklin Graham has stepped up to help the couple avoid complete ruin. Graham, son of the great Rev. Billy Graham, “America’s Pastor,” has been doing extraordinary work to fight the growing soft persecution of Christians in this country and hard persecution of Christians in other countries.
I tell you what…if robbers, muggers and violent gang members were prosecuted and sentenced with the same uncompromising vigor with which this Christian couple has been persecuted, you could safely walk the streets of any city in America at any time of the day or night. But we reserve our resources for real threats – Christians who won’t bow down to state authority and cultural discrimination against them. The dominoes are beginning to fall for the persecutors; their time is short, indeed. We will be in charge again well before the Storm is finished. May we treat all with genuine tolerance, charity and grace. You don’t have to agree with me to be my friend – but you do have to refrain from trying to force me at gunpoint, literal or wielded by courts – to celebrate your opinion.
Then comes the crusade of several Democratic Senators to protect Americans from the dangers of artisanal products made by small industries – including the little signature soaps and crafts made by orders of nuns and monks to keep afloat. Every product, every endeavor, must be made to dance to the tune of government overseers to exist. This actually was among the reasons many pilgrims came to America in the first place. The British government licensed friends and cronies as “purveyors to the crown” of various products – and shut all others out. Ironic, America was formed by people who would not suffer the yoke of soft government oppressions and cronyism – and now is run by people who make King George III look like a piker. If you have never read George Orwell’s Animal Farm, do so. The brief novel has become a startling allegory of what America has become.