Sunday, January 31, 2016

The 3 - January 31, 2016

In this week's edition of The 3, my week-in-review feature, there is good news regarding participation in a tax rebate program for a theme park under construction in Kentucky featuring a life-sized replica of Noah's Ark.  Also, faith was a thread of the latest Republican debate in Iowa this past week.  And, a grand jury in Texas that was supposed to be considering indictments against Planned Parenthood turned the tables on 2 video producers who had exposed the organization's involvement in the sale of fetal body parts.

3 - Court rules that Ark Encounter can participate in tax incentives

Tickets are now on sale for the new Ark Encounter theme park, which is being built outside Cincinnati by the ministry of Answers in Genesis.  According to an Ark Encounter press release, the $92 million dollar first phase is scheduled to open July 7 in Williamstown, Kentucky, and tickets for the Ark's first forty days and nights of opening went on sale January 19. The park’s centerpiece is a massive, full scale, 510-foot-long recreation of Noah’s Ark.

According to the release, Answers in Genesis had applied to be part of the Kentucky Tourism Development Program, which has allowed many other tourist-attraction developers to qualify for a gradual rebate of a portion of the new state sales taxes their projects generate, But, AiG had been blocked by state officials from participating because, as the ministry claims: 1) the Ark project’s religious messaging; and 2) the possibility of AiG exercising its right as a religious organization to use religious preferences in hiring at the Ark.

Answers in Genesis filed a Federal lawsuit, and this week, a Federal judge issued a ruling finding, “that the Commonwealth’s exclusion of AiG from participating in the program for the reasons stated – i.e., on the basis of AiG’s religious beliefs, purpose, mission, message, or conduct, is a violation of AiG’s rights under the First Amendment to the federal Constitution”.  The judge ordered the state to move forward in processing AiG’s application for the available tax rebate incentives that would become effective once the Ark Encounter is open and operating.   The judge also said that the ministry may “utilize any Title VII exception for which it qualifies concerning the hiring of its personnel.”

2 - Emphasis on faith in latest Republican debate

Republican candidates took to the stage just days before the Iowa caucuses to discuss a variety of issues, and there was significant mention of faith in the latest GOP debate.  Tony Perkins wrote in an FRC Action e-mail release:

...If you ask me, there was one clear winner: evangelicals. Sure, a lot in the field held their own -- but it was the emphasis on God, faith, and values that carried the day. Of course, no one can be sure what impact Donald Trump’s absence had, but we do know that the seventh contest of the 2016 race was a substantive one on key issues. Among them, life, religion, and family. Chris Wallace made sure of that, bringing up the hefty influence of evangelicals, which, as he reminded people, make up 60 percent of Republican caucus-goers. Pointing to the influence of the movement in the primaries, he opened an entire line of questioning to values issues.

Perkins noted that, "With the exceptions of Senator Ted Cruz (Texas), Governor Jeb Bush (Fla.) and Dr. Ben Carson, candidates were asked pointed questions about how their beliefs square with their policies on abortion (Senator Rand Paul, Ky.), religious liberty (Governor Chris Christie, N.J.), big government (Governor John Kasich, Ohio), and the notion of America as a Christian nation (Senator Marco Rubio, Fla.)."

Baptist Press referenced a number of the faith statements that were related in the debate, including Marco Rubio's response to a questioner's mention of a TIME magazine article proclaiming him as "the Republican savior." He said, "Let me be clear about one thing: there's only one Savior, and it's not me," adding, "It's Jesus Christ, who came down to earth and died for our sins."

According to BP, Rand Paul said America's continued liberty "requires a virtuous people," citing George Washington and Christian social commentator Os Guinness. He also said he believes "abortion is always wrong" and proposed state and federal measures to protect unborn babies, including federal legislation stating the constitutional right to life begins at conception.

Chris Christie took aim at taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood by the Federal government, saying he banned taxpayer funding in New Jersey. He also responded to a question about Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who was jailed last year for refusing to allow her office to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He said that Davis should not personally have been required to issue the licenses, but "the person who came in for the license needed to get it."

John Kasich referred to the Bible in an answer to a question about caring for the mentally ill: "When I study Scripture,"he said, "I know that people who live in the shadows need to have a chance. ... The time has come to stop ignoring the mentally ill in this country and begin to treat them and get them on their feet, along with, of course, treating the drug-addicted."

In his closing statement, Ted Cruz said, as he attempted to emphasize trust: "Who do you know will defend life, marriage and religious liberty? Examine our records, pray on it and I will be honored if you and your family will come caucus for us on Monday night."

Baptist Press also reported that, "The candidates spoke on several occasions about how to balance religious liberty with security concerns related to radical Islam."

1 - Planned Parenthood undercover video makers indicted, no charges for Planned Parenthood

Just months after voters in Houston, Texas turned back an ordinance (the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, or HERO) that would have granted preferential treatment based on sexual orientation and so-called, "gender identity," the area is at the center of a controversy about a deeply-held Christian value, this time pertaining to the sanctity of life.

This week, as the Liberty Counsel website reported, a grand jury in Houston indicted David Daleiden and Susan Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress for allegedly “tampering with governmental record” “with intent to defraud and harm” Planned Parenthood.  Liberty Counsel is representing Ms. Merritt, and as the site pointed out, "the jury was supposed to investigate Planned Parenthood but is now charging the whistleblowers. Liberty Counsel will defend Susan against both efforts to silence her."

Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, who will be a guest on The Meeting House on Faith Radio on Tuesday (February 2), “Planned Parenthood is the “Corrupt Organization” here, and the Texas indictment is outrageous,” adding, “The fact that our client has been indicted and Planned Parenthood was not is mind-blowing.” Staver said, "Anyone who has watched Planned Parenthood employees sort through dismembered baby parts and heard the Planned Parenthood officials attempt to sell them knows that Planned Parenthood is the criminal, not our client.”

And, the Christian Examiner reports that a spokesman for the Houston Area Pastor Council said in a emailed statement this past Thursday that hundreds of pastors throughout the city had reviewed the indictments of the two investigative journalists and were "profoundly disturbed" at the district attorney's presentation of the case.

Rev. Dave Welch, who represents the council, said: "We highly respect the nature and process of our justice system when it works justly; however, often it falls prey to the private agendas and philosophies of individuals and we are very disturbed by the appearance of that in this case. To spin an investigation around one hundred eighty degrees from scrutinizing Planned Parenthood's documented trafficking of baby body parts to 'shooting the messenger' is breathtaking."

The pastors had objected to the fact that a Planned Parenthood board member was working in the DA's office. Welch said, "District Attorney Devon Anderson personally assured me at the beginning of the investigation into Planned Parenthood regarding the trafficking of human body parts that the assistant DA who is on the board of Planned Parenthood would be 'walled off' and have no role in the investigation," but added, "I am confident that DA Anderson made good on that promise: however, the results raise serious questions."  

Welch was one of the pastors whose sermons and other communication were subpoenaed by city officials, an action related to the so-called Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO).

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The 3 - January 24, 2016

This week's edition of The 3, my week-in-review feature, highlights how churches are responding in a crisis - this time, the water contamination crisis in Michigan.  Also, Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini is back in the U.S.  And, the March for Life united pro-life people in the nation's capital this week.

3 - Religious groups respond to Michigan water crisis

A number of religious organizations, including Christian groups, have responded to the water crisis in the city of Flint, MI, where the water has been poisoned, according to a report on the Christian Headlines website.  The organizations are also focused on a goal of making sure the impoverished city, where President Obama last weekend declared a state of emergency over its poisoned water, is never so neglected again.

Bob Bruttell, chairman of the InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit, said this past Tuesday, according to the website, “The most important role the church can have is to be the ethical watchdog for the welfare of the community." The report says that religious people — from black congregations within the majority African-American city to evangelicals hundreds of miles away — have responded with time, money and other donations to alleviate the water crisis threatening Flint, where officials had long declared its discolored water safe to drink.

The Detroit Free Press published an article about the ways that churches are getting involved. It quotes Pastor Eric Bogan of Harris Memorial Church in Flint, who quoted from the Bible to explain why his congregation is helping, from Matt 25:45: “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty and did not help you? He will reply, whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me.”

2 - Pastor Saeed returns to U.S.

Pastor Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American pastor recently released from prison in Iran, is back on American soil, and, according to the Samaritan's Purse website, Franklin Graham, who has been advocating for the pastor's release and encouraging prayer for him and his family, welcomed Pastor Saeed back to America.   He returned to the States this past Thursday.

The website says that Franklin Graham, who leads Samaritan's Purse, shared several photos of the pastor's reunion with his parents and sister on his Facebook page Thursday night.  A smile spread wide across Abedini’s face as he deplaned. On Facebook, Graham said, "Pastor Saeed Abedini is safely back and will be a guest at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina, as he reacclimates and spends time with his family."

Baptist Press reported that the recently-freed pastor has has been resting with his parents and sister since arriving there from Berlin, Germany.   Meanwhile, his wife, Naghmeh, changed earlier plans to fly with the children to meet her husband in Germany, where he was receiving medical treatment, after the couple determined he needed more time to heal psychologically.  She is quoted as saying, "When I spoke to him he didn't seem to be in a good state of mind, and so we just had to give it time before our family reunited, especially with the kids," adding, "I had a quick conversation with the German doctor and he said overall he was healthy, he was pretty healthy [physically]."

Naghmeh Abedini and their children Rebekkah and Jacob are scheduled to arrive in Asheville early Monday afternoon to spend at least a week with Saeed before returning as a family to their home in Boise, Idaho, she told Baptist Press. At the Cove, they will rest and receive counseling, she said.

1 - Despite freezing temperatures and blizzard threat, March for Life events go on

On the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe vs. Wade, and the legalization of abortion in America, people have been gathering on the mall in Washington, DC to celebrate life, to decry the taking of unborn life in the womb, and the remember those who have lost their lives to abortion. began a report by saying:
Thanks to a massive snowstorm threatening to dump at least two feet of snow on the nation’s capital, the March for Life did not break any attendance records this year, but the tens of thousands of pro-life people who braved the cold and snow proudly stood for life.
The report says that "many sounded a hopeful theme for a pro-life future and think the decision will eventually be reversed."  It pointed out that, "As with other recent marches, the number of young adults and high school and college students impressed organizers and provided another reason to be optimistic."

This year, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and Focus on the Family teamed up this year to sponsor an event called Evangelicals for Life, which began on the day before the March for Life and featured a variety of speakers.

WORLD reported on the March for Life, and quoted Russell Moore, president of the ERLC, who said that following the Roe decision, “Evangelicals were not ready for an abortion culture."

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, is quoted by WORLD as saying: “Defunding Planned Parenthood is at the center of the debate for the first time in 40 years,” adding, “Now our folks are on offense. … This is one of those causes that you cannot stop.”

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The 3 - January 17, 2016

On this week's edition of my week-in-review feature, The 3, I offer a look at a significant action taken by leaders of Anglicans worldwide.  Also, the leading nations persecuting Christians are highlighted in a new report released by the organization Open Doors.  And, four Americans, including an Iranian-American pastor, have been released from imprisonment in Iran.

3 - Episcopal Church USA excluded from Anglican Communion

The Episcopal Church USA has been suspended from committees and decision-making in the worldwide Anglican Communion for three years, according to a report on the website.

Meeting in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral in England, the majority of the Communion's 38 primates voted to suspend the denomination for voting last summer to allow its clergy to perform same-sex marriages. The primates' statements read, in part: “The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching."  The vote passed by a two-thirds margin.

According to the article, the Church will no longer be able to represent the Anglican Communion at ecumenical or interfaith gatherings, be appointed or elected to internal standing committees, or take part in decisions relating to doctrine or polity.

The senior bishops of the Anglican Communion later released a statement, noting their "unanimous decision ... to walk together, however painful this is, and despite our differences, as a deep expression of our unity in the body of Christ." Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby emphasized at a press conference that the action "is not a sanction. It's a consequence."

CT also points out the full participation of the leader of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), a new conservative body, among the leaders of the communion's 38 provinces. The church leaders noted that ACNA "would raise significant questions of polity and jurisdiction" if it were to apply for full membership as an Anglican province.

2 - Nations which are leading persecutors of Christians identified

For the 14th consecutive year, North Korea is in the number one position on the World Watch List, issued by the organization Open Doors, according to a report on the Christian Post website.

Open Doors CEO David Curry told The Christian Post in an interview on Thursday that even though Islamic extremism generally stole news headlines throughout 2015, there are very good reasons why North Korea still has not moved from the top spot on persecution.
Open Doors CEO David Curry told The Christian Post in an interview on Thursday that even though Islamic extremism generally stole news headlines throughout 2015, there are very good reasons why North Korea still has not moved from the top spot on persecution.
Religion News Service notes that Iraq is in second place on list, which it describes as a ranking of the top 50 most dangerous places in the world to be a Christian and is the first of 35 countries on the list where Islamic extremism “has risen to a level akin to ethnic cleansing,” said the Open Doors report, which was released Wednesday.

The top 10 on the list are:
  • North Korea
  • Iraq
  • Eritrea, leading several sub-Saharan African nations on the list
  • Afghanistan
  • Syria
  • Pakistan
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Iran
  • Libya, which appeared on the list for the first time
According to RNS, at a press conference introducing the new report, Open Doors CEO David Curry gave a world tour of murder, exile, terror, detention and destruction. The militant groups Boko Haram and al-Shabab, he added, are the “sinister” power behind persecution in four African countries. Curry said, "The level of exclusion, discrimination and violence against Christians is unprecedented, spreading and intensifying."

1 - Iranian-American pastor freed from prison in Iran

It has been announced that Pastor Saeed Abedini and three other Americans have been freed from an Iranian prison.  The American Center for Law and Justice confirmed the news, saying, "This is a major victory. We are incredibly grateful to the more than 1.1 million people who have joined us in fighting across the globe for Pastor Saeed’s freedom."

According to the Be Heard Project website, which has hosted a petition drive for Saeed to be released:

On 28 July 2012, during a visit to Tehran to visit family and to finalize the board members for an orphanage he was building in Iran, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard detained Saeed, asserting that he must face criminal charges for his Christian faith. After intense interrogations, Saeed was placed under house arrest and told to wait for a court summons. On 26 September 2012, instead of receiving a summons telling him where to appear, five members of the Revolutionary Guard raided Saeed’s parents’ home in Tehran, confiscated many of Saeed’s belongings, and took him to an unknown location. After four days the Revolutionary Guard informed the family that Saeed was in solitary confinement in the notorious Evin Prison.

The website said that during his imprisonment, Saeed has spent several weeks in solitary confinement and had been subject to abusive interrogations.  He also had been denied medical treatment for infections that resulted from beatings.

Pastor Saeed’s wife Naghmeh, responded, according to the ACLJ:

“This has been an answer to prayer. This is a critical time for me and my family. We look forward to Saeed's return and want to thank the millions of people who have stood with us in prayer during this most difficult time.”

CNN reported that Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian was also one of the prisoners released. The story said that senior U.S. administration officials confirmed the release as part of a prisoner swap involving seven Iranians held on sanctions charges. The deal comes after more than a year of secret negotiations, the officials said.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The 3 - January 10, 2016

In this week's edition of my week-in-review feature, The 3, there are more developments regarding the professor at Wheaton who contends that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.  Also, a bill that would have defunded Planned Parenthood was passed by the House and vetoed by the President.  And, Franklin Graham launched his series of prayer meetings that will be scheduled in all 50 states.

3 - Wheaton professor may be terminated for comments about Muslims and Christians worshipping the same God

Christianity Today reported on Tuesday that Wheaton College has begun termination proceedings against Larycia Hawkins related to her public statements of solidarity with Muslims.  The website said that Hawkins, a professor at the school, had posted on her Facebook and Twitter statements, including “I stand in human solidarity with my Muslim neighbor,” “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book,” and an assertion that Christians and Muslims “worship the same God.” Those statements were part of Hawkins's explanation for why she was pledging to wear a hijab during Advent in support of her Muslim neighbors. The college said that the hijab wasn’t the reason she was suspended in December.

It had been reported that talks between Hawkins and the school had reached an impasse just before Christmas.  According to WORLD, school officials had issued a statement that Tuesday that “Extremely frank conversation and communication have taken place in recent days,” adding, “The college’s perspective is that additional theological clarification is necessary before Dr. Hawkins may resume her full duties. Regrettably, Dr. Hawkins has clearly stated her unwillingness to further participate in clarifying conversations.”

Hawkins is now saying that she thought matters had been resolved.  According to Christianity Today, Hawkins met with the press this past Wednesday, flanked by roughly three dozen clergy, along with Wheaton faculty and alumni. She recounted a conversation with Wheaton provost Stanton Jones, in which she says Jones asked her if she affirmed the school’s statement of faith and told her that if her theological statements were sufficient, no further conversation would be necessary. She delivered a statement that, according to Hawkins, Jones told her would be accepted by the faculty personnel committee “with little to no revision.”

Her response can be found on her website.  CT reported that Hawkins said that Jones cited her with not providing “reasonable assurances in line with the statement of faith” in his recommendation for termination.

WORLD published a story on Friday that quoted a statement from Wheaton administrators, which says, "While Wheaton College disagrees with some of the facts presented in the press conference, the college admires Dr. Hawkins’ commitment to caring for our Muslim neighbors...As previously stated, at issue are the theological implications of Dr. Hawkins’ statements and requested explanation. The college will continue the internal review process set in place for tenured professors.”

2 - Senate-passed bill to defund Planned Parenthood passes House, vetoed by President

A historic vote took place in the U.S. House of Representatives this past week, as the House voted 240-181 in favor of legislation that would have cut funding to Planned Parenthood and repealed key parts of the Affordable Care Act, according to a report on the website. Last month, the Senate voted 52 to 47.

At a press conference following the passage of what is known as the reconciliation bill, House Speaker Paul Ryan said, "It’s up to the president to decide if he wants to side with the people whose health care costs have skyrocketed out of control, or the abortion industrial complex whose profits have skyrocketed out of control.” He added: “Congress is holding President Obama accountable.”

The President did veto the bill Friday, declaring: “Rather than fighting old political battles by once again voting to repeal basic protections that provide security for the middle class, members of Congress should be working together to grow the economy, strengthen middle-class families, and create new jobs.”  

Rep. Diane Black of Tennessee took the President to task. She is quoted as saying: "He spent this week discussing the need to ‘protect innocent people’ and ‘save more lives’ yet he callously vetoed a bill to protect the most innocent and vulnerable among us from the heinous abuses of Planned Parenthood.”

Casey Mattox of the Alliance Defending Freedom is quoted in the article as saying: "All he has done is kill an historic bill that would have redirected existing funding from the scandal-plagued Planned Parenthood to thousands of better, low-cost community health care providers that serve women and families far more comprehensively."

1 -  Franklin Graham's 50-state tour launches in Iowa

Last year, Franklin Graham, the son of famed evangelist Billy Graham and President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, announced that he would be hold prayer rallies in all 50 states in 2016.   On Tuesday, he launched the Decision America tour in Des Moines, Iowa. reported that 2,500 people braved 30-degree weather, navigating snow banks and icy steps to gather at the Des Moines, Iowa, Capitol building.

The website reported that at the beginning of the prayer rally, Graham said, "Our country is in trouble,” adding, "It's in big-time trouble. The moral and political walls of our nation are crumbling.

“The most important thing we can do as Christians is pray.”

After a time of worship music and prayer and 30 minutes of Franklin Graham sharing his heart for this country, his ending was similar, but with a significant and optimistic tone of returning to “one nation under God."

The prayer rally ended with an opportunity to make the Decision America Tour pledge—via text message or at—to both God (to honor God at home, in public and at the ballot box) and America (to pray, vote and consider running for office).

Franklin Graham told the crowd that an estimated 20 to 30 million Christians stayed home in the 2012 election. He wondered what our country would look like if city councils, school boards and mayor seats were filled by believers in the next two or three elections.

The next Decision America tour date is this Tuesday, January 12th at the State Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida.  The Georgia rally is coming up on Wednesday, February 10th in Atlanta at Liberty Plaza. And, the date for Alabama is Thursday, April 14th at the State Capitol.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

The 3 - January 3, 2016

This week's edition of The 3 includes news of the exoneration of players at the U.S. Air Force Academy who wished to pray before games.  Also, it's a new record for Operation Christmas Child in the number of shoebox gifts collected.  And, the couple who would not bake a cake for a gay wedding ceremony has paid their fine, but their fight is not over.

3 - Air Force Academy turns away complaint about players' prayer before football games

There was concern expressed recently about players on the Air Force Academy football team gathering to pray before their games.   According to, the Academy investigated the complaint, but said players are allowed to follow their own religious beliefs.

The complaint came from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which called the prayers illegal and unconstitutional. MRFF President Mikey Weinstein, an Air Force Academy alumnus and former military lawyer, had called the practice of Christian cadets assuming a posture of prayer on one knee a "disgrace" and a "putrid example of fundamentalist Christian supremacy, triumphalism and exceptionalism."

2 - Samaritan's Purse announces record number of shoeboxes collected in 2015

Operation Christmas Child, the ministry outreach of Samaritan's Purse, in which shoebox gifts are distributed to needy children around the world in the name of Jesus, has set a record in shoebox collections for 2015.  The Christian Post reports that Operation Christmas Child will distribute gift-filled shoeboxes to needy children in as many as 130 countries across the world in the coming year.

After 10.5 million gift-filled shoeboxes were donated worldwide in 2014, Operation Christmas Child Domestic Director Randy Riddle told The Christian Post that as of Tuesday, over 11.2 million shoeboxes have been donated in 2015, which sets a new operation yearly record.
Riddle added that the organization also surpassed its goal of receiving 8.6 million donated shoeboxes from people in the United States in 2015. The remaining three-plus million gift boxes came from donors in Australia, Finland, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Spain and the United Kingdom.

After 10.5 million gift-filled shoeboxes were donated worldwide in 2014, Operation Christmas Child Domestic Director Randy Riddle told The Christian Post that as of Tuesday, over 11.2 million shoeboxes have been donated in 2015, which sets a new operation yearly record.
Operation Christmas Child Domestic Director Randy Riddle told the Post that as of this past Tuesday, over 11.2 million shoeboxes have been donated in 2015, which sets a new operation yearly record.  This contrasts with 10.5 million shoeboxes filled in 2014.

Riddle added that the organization also surpassed its goal of receiving 8.6 million donated shoeboxes from people in the United States in 2015. The remaining three-plus million gift boxes came from donors in Australia, Finland, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Spain and the United Kingdom.

1 - Bakers fined for not providing cake for lesbian wedding ceremony pay under duress

Perhaps you've been following the saga of Aaron and Melissa Klein of Oregon.  Because, based on their faith convictions, they chose not to provide a cake for a gay marriage ceremony, they were fined $135,000 by Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries.

Well, recently, it was reported that the Kleins had paid the judgment, plus interest - almost $137,000, according to a story on the WORLD Magazine website.   The report says that just weeks before Christmas, the state labor commissioner who brought the case against them seized their bank accounts.  The article cited a piece on the Fox News website from Todd Starnes, which said that the confiscation wiped out nearly $7,000 of the family’s funds.  Melissa Klein told Starnes: "It was like my breath was taken away," adding, "I panicked. Everything was gone."

Money raised through donations to help pay the fine was held in a separate account.  WORLD had reported in July that the Kleins had raised $390,000 through a crowdfunding site called, Continue to Give, after another effort with GoFundMe had been shut down.

Attorney Tyler Smith, who represents the Kleins, said in a prepared statement: "The least expensive option to stay in compliance with the law was to pay the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries funds that will be kept in a separate account until they prevail in their court appeal."