Tag Archives: florist
It’s a chilling reality to realize that if the government can force Jack Phillips, under threat of legal penalty, to violate his core convictions, that same government can (and will) force us all to violate our conviction at some point. No one that loves liberty and freedom should desire to see such authority placed in the hands of any government.
In a stunning case of injustice, the Washington state Supreme Court ruled against Barronelle Stutzman, a florist that has been a pillar in her community for decades. Her crime: living out her Christian faith in public.
As the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, Stutzman served everyone in her community. She served people without prejudice and built relationships with the people she served, including homosexuals. When one of her long-time customers asked her to create floral art for his same-sex wedding, Stutzman politely declined, saying it would violate her religious convictions. Stutzman did exactly the same thing as designer Theallat, she refused to associate with something she found to be wrong.
People should be free to live and do business according to their convictions, even if that means refusing to serve food to Donald Trump supporters.
So the Brendan Eich’s, Phil Robertsons, Chick-Fil-A’s and bakers of the world are targets. For that matter all who hold to any view of sexuality that does not affirm any kind of sexuali activity will be a target. So maybe you are okay with homosexuality but you “draw the line” at polygamy, polyamory, or pedophilia; you will soon be just as much a target as those who currently oppose homosexuality.
This is the game, a game of degrees. The way it’s played is to slowly but surely take steps toward the ultimate goal. Those seeking to redefine marriage know full well that to come out and say “we don’t want marriage to exist” or “we support polygamy, pedophilia, and bestiality” would result in nothing less than an overwhelming defeat for their movement. So they move slowly, with what they believe is most palatable to society, two consenting adults that just want to love each other. And, like a great fisherman, society has taken the bait and the hook is sunk.
Pastor, let me ask you a question. Does your congregation know their religious rights? I’m not trying to be funny, it’s a serious question. And I am willing to bet that not only does many in your congregation not know their rights, but neither do you.
My friend Erik Stanley has been leading the charge to educate churches and pastors on their religious rights for a long time. As a religious freedom litigator with Alliance Defending Freedom he is on the front lines ensuring our constitutional rights are protected and defended. Part of his work has been the “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” project which aims to challenge the unconstitutional Johnson Amendment in the IRS code. Erik recently wrote:
“Why is it that Christians have a sense that our faith is under attack and that we are a disfavored minority on the road to sure persecution? One reason is because of the stories we see of fellow believers who are currently undergoing trials and tribulations for simply exercising their faith… Pastor, what are you doing to prepare your congregation to live in a culture that seems bent on denying them the right to live out their faith and to share their faith with others around them? Are they aware of the increasing attacks on people of faith?”
By now many people know of the florist in Washington, the baker in Colorado, and the photographer in New Mexico facing lawsuits for adhering to their religious convictions. What you might not know is that these are just three of the hundreds of cases wherein people of faith are facing legal action for their convictions. The reality is that these stories are growing in number.
We’ve all heard of a Christian being sued for effusing to take part in a same-sex ceremony. Sure you have. There’s a baker in Colorado, a photographer in New Mexico, a florist in Washington, these are just a few of the many people being attacked by LGBT activists and the government for refusing to violate their religious convictions. (If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, click here.)
Have you ever wondered what would happen if a straight person was ‘discriminated” against by a homosexual simply for being straight, conservative, or Christian?
Wonder no more.
Not long ago Alan Sears, the president of Arizona based legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, was turned down by a photographer when asked to take a family photo for a Christmas card.