It is Outrageous for the Government to Force Christians to Violate Their Faith

By Michael Brown Published on February 19, 2017

The more you see something shocking, the less shocking it appears, and the more something outrageous happens, the less outrageous it seems to be. That is how a culture becomes desensitized, and that is how the abnormal becomes normalized. But when it comes to the government’s attack on our religious freedoms, it is our sacred duty to remain shocked and outraged. Such things cannot continue to happen in America if we are to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.

According to the Washington Supreme Court, when Christian florist Barronelle Stutzman declined to do the floral arrangements for a same-sex “wedding,” she violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws, since she allegedly discriminated based on her customer’s sexual orientation by refusing to participate in his “wedding ceremony.”

Attorney David French is correct in emphasizing how this ruling should affect us (he penned these words shortly after the verdict was announced): “If you care about the Bill of Rights, the rights of conscience, or even the English language, there’s a chance that this morning you felt a disturbance in the Force — as if the Founders cried out in rage and were suddenly silenced.”

As French clearly explains,

She was not discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. She was making a decision not to help celebrate an action, a form of expression. She would no more celebrate a gay wedding than she would any form of immorality, gay or straight. To dispense with her argument, the court did what numerous progressive courts have done: It rewrote the law. It rejected what it called the “status/conduct” distinction, and essentially interpreted the word “orientation” to also mean “action.”

In a million lifetimes, the Founders could never have countenanced such an outrage. In fact, I doubt that the leading pioneer gay activists could have countenanced something this extreme when they launched their movement less than 50 years ago.

It is imperative that we not lose our sense of shock and outrage just because things like this are becoming increasingly common.

It is imperative, then, that we not lose our sense of shock and outrage just because things like this are becoming increasingly common. For the sake of our kids and our grandkids — not to mention for the sake of our contemporaries — we cannot become desensitized.

What the court has said in Washington echoes what other courts have said around the country: Regardless of your religious or moral convictions, you must participate in gay “weddings” if your business provides any service related to such events. Otherwise, you are guilty of discrimination. (This, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other examples of the government or corporations or schools punishing Christians for their faith.)

What this means is that a gay couple could go into a bakery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, home to tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews who primarily live and do business among themselves, that couple could ask the devout Jewish baker to bake a cake for their “wedding,” and that baker could be put of business if he refused to comply. (Stop for a moment and try to imagine this scenario in your mind. It really is unthinkable.)

Or that same gay couple could go into a bakery in the most religious part of Dearborn, Michigan, home to tens of thousands of Muslims, some of them very religious, and a Muslim baker could be put of business for declining to participate in their “wedding.” How could this be?

Are religious Jewish photographers required to shoot Christian weddings under penalty of law? Of course not.

Are devout Muslim photographers required to shoot Hindu weddings under penalty of law? Obviously not.

Why then are Christian bakers and florists and photographers required to provide their services for gay weddings under penalty of law?

What the courts have effectively done is to elevate sexual orientation to the most privileged status — trumping freedoms of speech and religion and conscience.

To say it again: This is an absolute outrage, and to shrug our shoulders with indifference is to insult Jesus, to insult our Founders and to insult our brothers and sisters in the faith.

What if a Christian woman went into the store of an Orthodox Jewish woodworker, asking that craftsman to make a crucifix for her to wear around her neck, then taking him to court when he explained that, as a religious Jew, he could not take her order, since that would be sacrilegious for him. Would the courts really rule for the Christian woman and claim that the Orthodox Jewish craftsman was guilty of discrimination based on religion? To do so would send shockwaves through the Jewish community nationwide, and rightly so.

What if this same Christian woman went into the store of a religious Muslim printer, asking him to print flyers declaring, “The Koran is wrong. Jesus really is the Son of God”?

When she took him to court for declining her business, would the courts really rule on her behalf and claim that the religious Muslim printer was guilty of discrimination based on religion? To do so would send shockwaves through the Muslim community nationwide, and rightly so.

The Washington ruling is no less outrageous and should send shockwaves through the Christian community nationwide.

What the courts have effectively done is to elevate sexual orientation to the most privileged status — trumping freedoms of speech and religion and conscience — and to rule that, businesses must not only serve gays and lesbians but also must participate in their lifestyle celebrations, with severe penalties for failure to comply.

Remarkably, when a gay baker declined to make a cake with a biblical verse against homosexuality and the case was taken to court, the court ruled in favor of the baker and against the Christian. How can this possibly be?

I wrote on Thursday that Christian leaders must not be silent about the Washington ruling, calling for specific points of action.

Today, I’m saying something even more basic: If you are a person of faith and conscience, you must not lose your outrage.

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  • The Evangelical

    I hate to say that I am on the other side of this issue. Does she provide those services for other weddings? If so, then she is discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. This “action” versus “orientation” is a false dichotomy is this case. Why do we keep bringing up Jewish or Muslims for these situations? A Jewish carpenter will not make a cross for ANYBODY. A Muslim butcher will not sell pork to ANYBODY. If she did not want to be in this situation, she should have stopped providing that service altogether–or stopped until a religious exemption could be granted. Sometimes when secular laws change, we Christians find ourselves unable to do certain jobs. This is one of those cases…but it isn’t one of those cases where we must obey God rather than man.

    • Paul

      Unfortunately you’re buying into the lie. Two guys can’t be legitimately married, it is a counterfeit. It’s quaint for you to sit there telling Christians to simply go out of business or find another career because some bozos in robes deemed a counterfeit to be real, I gather this doesn’t impact you personally. That same apathy has been at work for decades.

      • The Evangelical

        I’m telling my brothers and sisters in Christ that we must live consistently with scripture. Read Romans 13 and Titus 3. You don’t disobey unless it compromises spreading the Gospel or abandon your faith. Choosing to work in a state and follow their laws, then breaking the new laws you don’t like, and then claiming religious freedom to keep your job is hardly the appropriate response. It may not be fair and have constitutional issues, but this isn’t how Christians should respond. Why should it matter if it impacts me personally? Why call me apathetic? Do not attack fellow believers personally just because you disagree with them. Otherwise you attack Christ’s church.

        • Paul

          You’re now playing the victim after trying to tell other Christians how wrong they are in addressing their persecution? 1 Ti 5:22 clearly instructs us to not share in the sins of others. And yet you seem to be OK with Christians being compelled to do just that and criticize their faith for saying no.

          • The Evangelical

            I’m simply stating that your personal attacks are unbiblical. Attack my position; not my person. She was not compelled to do this. It was her choice to run a line of business where her faith could be compromised and she could have stopped that line of work once the laws changed. She also could have temporarily stopped that portion of her business and requested a religious exemption. But breaking the law in this case and then calling it Christian persecution is inaccurate.

          • Paul

            The persecution is the overall situation independent of how the persecuted responds. Deciding to close your business or leave a job because you’re forced to participate in evil is persecution. Saying no and being ruined in court is persecution, being boycotted out of business is persecution. This is what you fail to recognize. And if it were impacting you personally you likely wouldn’t be throwing stones from your ivory tower condeming the actions of the persecuted essentially claiming they get what they deserve. The plank in your eye is obscuring your vision.

          • The Evangelical

            I hope you don’t attack other believers as much as you are personally attacking me. That is shameful, sinful, and does not adorn the Gospel. I was hoping to reason together with other believers, but you insist on throwing bombs at my person.

          • Paul

            You play the victim well after throwing stones [applause] take a bow.

          • The Evangelical

            Are we not called to rebuke fellow believers and call for them to follow God’s word? Is it not like oil upon their forehead (Psalm 141:5)? Throwing stones is condemnation. When did I ever condemn her? But you have continued to personally attack me simply because you disagree with my position. If I am wrong based on scripture, then please correct me with scripture if you are a brother. If not, then I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior and come to a knowledge of the truth.

          • Paul

            You’ve been too busy playing the victim to notice the scripture I posted.

          • Teri Simpkins

            And this conversation alone is why religion always will be controversial: Because even the strongest believers and scholars can’t always agree with what was said in the Bible. Bottom line, Baronelle didn’t ask anyone questions about their marriages, whether it was their first or third, or whether they were following their bible’s rules. It was only with two men that she, all of a sudden, couldn’t possibly provide flowers. And Jewish bakers don’t usually have problems providing cakes for gay weddings because money is money. And Muslim bakers don’t usually have issues, either. Because their job is to bake a cake, not bless the wedding. It’s only with Christians that we have this problem. Because they love to think they were the chosen religion. They weren’t and aren’t.

          • Triple T

            How do you know she wouldn’t or didn’t refuse service to somebody for their second, or beyond, wedding? The article provides no information of the sort. Please don’t make assumptions and profess to speak for people you have never met.

          • The Evangelical

            You’re correct that there are issues of consistency. Unfortunately, consistency is not appreciated by some people and it distorts their view of scripture. As for the scholars, it all depends on their starting point. Do they believe the Bible is inerrant? If no, then their beliefs will be all over the place. Do they believe that Paul’s letters are fake? Then they throw out a ton of essential doctrine. It’s not that they can’t agree–it’s that they have different presuppositions that cause different conclusions. But if you get passed those, then things get much more clear.

        • Ronnie V

          Where did you get that wimpy “spreading the Gospel or abandon you faith” loophole, EV?

          Look at your Romans 13 and Titus 3 a little closer please. There you will see that love is still defined by the law of God rather than the love of some foreign god. Those references still indicate that there are moral laws to be rejected. And honor to whom honor is due. Yet you seem to be equivocating paying taxes with paying honor.

          But lets have a look at some less wimpy loopholes for you. Some “in the Lord” loopholes-
          Look at the “in the Lord” loophole of Romans 14:14. Where if you do contrary to your conscience you are “sinning”.
          Look also at the “in the Lord” loophole of Ephesians 6:1. Are you going to obey your parents in everything? Always?
          Look also at the “in the Lord” loophole of Col 3:18. Should wives be submissive to their husbands in everything? Always?

          You seem to have missed the point in your zeal EV.

          • The Evangelical

            Wimpy? Acts 5:29 and Revelation 13:16-17.

            As for your questions, yes, you are sinning if you violate you conscience, but that doesn’t mean I can use that as a justification to break the law. If I disagree with the law to have car insurance, but I believe that all insurance is unbiblical, does that mean I can drive without insurance? Romans 14:14 is to the individual believer, but cannot compel the church or government to change their policies because you don’t like them.

            As for the others, yes, you obey unless the commands are unbiblical.

            I’m open to correction if you can offer it from the bible. But please have more respect for God’s word and don’t call parts of it “loopholes”.

          • Ronnie V

            Glad you are open to correction EV.
            Let’s approach this in your order then.
            As regards Acts 5- Peter is saying that we must obey God rather than man. Spreading the gospel or defending the faith is not the issue. Peter is defending my paradigm- not yours.
            As regards Revelation 13- spreading the gospel or defending the faith is not the issue here either. Please stay in context.
            Please stay with your Romans there. Stop wandering.

            Then you say that the government is allowed by God to force me to sin. Really?
            Then you end up agreeing that thère are loopholes there. You are a conundrum EV.

          • The Evangelical

            You follow the government absolutely unless there are specific exceptions, like in Acts 4 and 5. Revelation 13 is referring to the Roman empire requiring Christians to say “Caesar is Lord” in order to function at all in society. Both of these situations are the government forcing us to commit a sin. The situation in the article is not that. It is “if you do business in this particular state you must treat all customers equally according to our statutes”. You may disagree with those statutes, but it doesn’t give you the right to disobey them outright and claim religious persecution. If your conscience is violated, then you find another job, move to another state, or temporarily stop provided that particular service and request a religious exemption.

    • Andrew Moffat

      That’s a good question! I would agree with your argument only as it applies to people who marry outside the bounds of what the Bible says is moral. For instance, if she were to make a wedding cake for a serial adulterer on his 4th marriage then she’s broken the standard because the Bible would be against that. But to bake a cake for a Muslim couple or a Hindu couple or an atheist couple would not put her outside the Biblical standard because marriage as one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others is something that can morally happen across religious lines. I have a question that I will ask below. I don’t know if it’s along similar lines but I think it’s in the same “sport” if not the exact same “ball park” so to speak. 🙂

      • The Evangelical

        I find the very idea that provided customized services for an event is somehow celebrating the event itself to be a weak argument. It really seems like it could be greatly abused. However, it appears that there are some court cases that define artistic expression as a form of speech, and this would impair her freedom of speech. Either way, it’s a legal argument and not a biblical one from what I can tell. Romans 13 and Titus 3 is very clear as to our conduct in this world, and this situation was certainly not at the level of justifying breaking the law on biblical grounds.

        • Triple T

          Then would you enlighten us as to what law, real or hypothetical, you would see fit to break on grounds of religious freedom?

          • The Evangelical

            I need to clarify: this IS valid grounds for a “religious freedom” objection. This is NOT valid grounds for a Christian to break the law. The only valid reasons I can see in scripture are the government telling us to not spread the Gospel or to deny Christ. As a Christian, she should have changed how she did business and made a complaint on the grounds of religious freedom. Breaking the law was not a biblical response.

    • Triple T

      So you’re suggesting that she should give up what is:
      A: Her livelihood and means of income
      B: Something she’s likely been doing since long before the gay “marriage” crowd started making loud noises
      Simply because somebody decided to change the rules in the middle of the game? You honestly don’t see anything wrong with this picture?

      • The Evangelical

        I’m suggesting that we Christians handle these situations consistently with scripture. You don’t agree to follow state law to run a business, then break the laws when you don’t like them, and then claim that you are justified for religious reasons. This goes against Romas 13 and Titus 3. Nobody is telling her to stop spreading the Gospel or worship another deity–so the exceptions in Acts do not apply here. There are constitutional issues here, but I believe that she is wrong from a biblical perspective.

        • Triple T

          But by the same token, you don’t start a business, follow the laws for years, then be expected to accept being run out of business when the laws abruptly change to require you to violate your religious beliefs.

          • The Evangelical

            I hate to sound callous, but that’s a risk of doing business. In this case, it was anticipated for years and fully expected to go this direction. All business run into this when public policy changes. Nationalization of oil, alcohol prohibition, legalization of certain drugs. New policies are creating new business and destroying businesses everyday. It isn’t fair, and I believe it’s not constitutional in this case. But I don’t believe this is the proper Christian response.Titus 3:1-2 says “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” How is her reaction consistent with this? Now, if she had said “I believe my civil liberties are being assaulted and I wish to challenge this on legal grounds,” then I would fully support her. But she is claiming, as others have, that this response is fully supported on Biblical grounds. I honestly cannot see where it would be.

    • Wayne Cook

      This “action” versus “orientation” is a false dichotomy is this case. Nope. It’s not.
      If religious conscience applies to the Muslim truck drivers who refused to deliver beer because it violated their consience, and were backed up by the courts, this woman deserves the exact rights.

      Freedom of religion in all contexts trumps orientation or action. Changing jobs is ridiculous.

      • The Evangelical

        I’m perfectly happy to discuss. Why the personal attack? How is not submitting to the state’s laws a Biblical sin? Romans 13 commands us to follow the laws. Did she not agree to follow the state’s laws when operating her business? You can’t agree to follow the laws, break the law, and yell “religious freedom” when you don’t like it. How does this meet the exemption to obey God rather than man? From the state’s perspective, they are simply saying to provide your services consistently among customers according to their laws. They are not telling her to stop sharing the Gospel or declare that Caesar is Lord.

        • Triple T

          How exactly do you equate obeying God with participation in a same sex “marriage”? There’s nothing in Romans 13 that says anyone has to do that.

          • The Evangelical

            Romans 13 and Titus 3 says to obey the law–>this lady starts a business and agrees to follow state laws–>the laws change in a way that affects her business–>she has a choice to either change how she does business, move to another state, or follow the laws–>she chooses to stay in the state and break the law and claims that she is justified on Biblical grounds (she IS justified on constitutional grounds, but not biblical). She is not being compelled to participate in a same sex marriage–only to consistently provide her services to all customers according to state law. If she cannot do that in good conscience, then she should stop providing that service or make another change. This is a religious liberty and a constitutional issue–I agree. But I don’t believe this is a Christian issue. Her comparing her decision to provide those services with the son of perdition’s betrayal is a gross exaggeration and inappropriate in my opinion.

        • Gary

          Romans 13 puts an obligation on the government to have moral laws. However, same-sex marriage is immoral. And so are laws that prohibit discrimination against sodomites. You are arguing that Christians should obey immoral laws, which God does not permit the government to have, because God requires Christians to obey the government. That is a misunderstanding of Romans 13, and it is a viewpoint that contradicts the remainder of the NT.

          • The Evangelical

            My understanding of Romans 13 is to obey all of the government’s laws. The only exception are the situations are when it impedes the Gospel or compels us to deny Christ. Are there texts that provide further clarification?

          • ARB

            You fail to recognize the harm that endorsing homosexual marriage does to our Gospel mission.

            To do so is to state to the world that many sections of Holy Scripture are incorrect. This in turn leads to people falling from obeying Scripture towards “pick and choose” Christianity, i.e. “haeresis”, the Latinized version of the ancient Greek word for “choosing”, from which we derive the word “heresy.” They become blind to the law where it condemns their evil, choosing instead to call it “good,” and fail to recognize their need for a Savior.

            With only a dimmed and selective view of Scripture, they haven’t the light to see the barbed arrow which has pierced their side, and if we throw a basket over that light *even in their eyes only* by failing to take what that light reveals seriously, we put their eternal souls in danger of hellfire. This is not an acceptable course of action for a Christian.

          • The Evangelical

            I said nothing about endorsing or celebrating same-sex so-called marriage. I came to these conclusions after a very careful study of scripture. This is about obeying Paul’s clear commands to obey government while not acting immorally. In my opinion, she did not have to disobey government in this case. We are not entitled to keep our jobs or line of work if the government will force us to do something immoral in order to keep it from a strictly biblical perspective. The correct thing to do may be to change jobs and accept that Christians cannot do certain jobs anymore–or fight it on constitutional and legal grounds, while admitting that there isn’t a Christian basis for disobeying. If I missed something in my analysis, then please explain your position from scripture.

          • Gary

            Any text that requires Christians to be moral. The Bible has many of those. Your understanding of Romans 13 is flawed.

          • The Evangelical

            The Greek used in verse one is of a solider being subject to the commands of his officer. That is absolute obedience. Other texts, like in Acts, show that the only exceptions are the ones I stated before. We are required to be moral, but not to flagrantly disobey laws. They are still governing authorities with authority from God. If she cannot do what is required because of Romans 14:23 or other biblical commands, then she can choose not to while not breaking the law using the options I stated above.

  • Paul

    Michael, I don’t know your history so this is an honest question: you recognize this is the tip of the iceberg, but have all the rest outraged you? Have you been outraged that for many years Christians are forced to pay for things through force of govt that are contrary to their faith? Paying for the spreading of lies to their own kids in public school. Paying for lies in public media. Paying for vile artwork. Paying to keep abortion clinics running. Are you outraged when kids are taken from their parents by govt for following their religious convictions? Are you outraged that Christians are forced to inject their kids with damaging immunizations?

    There’s been a multitude of opportunities for outrage, even regarding the Christian roadkill left behind the advancing homosexual agenda here in California, have you been outraged? If not, why not? Have you been calling for pastors to rise up all these years? If not why not?

    To all finally outraged, welcome, but why have you been so apathetic untill now? Realize that unwinding the mess of decades of apathy will take decades, and that resisting the devil is never done for he will be constantly coming to steal, kill and destroy.

    • Paul Burgett

      I know Dr. Brown, and listen to his radio show daily. To answer your question he consistently stands for righteousness and moral standards in all things, even when they are unpopular. He has earned the right to make this call to the church – in fact I am thankful that such a blameless man has done so, so that the church may be without excuse. We must have our consciences shaken, or they will certainly become seared.

    • Kevin Quillen

      Thank you sir! Much needed. There was much Christian influence in society in the time of my birth and childhood years. When prayer and Bible reading was taken out of school we began sliding downhill. I for one have been vocal since I became Christian about 35 years ago. Bless you brother!

  • Paul Burgett

    Gay lifestyle and the affirmation of it has become a new “religion”, and our government has made it the Only acceptable “religion” – in clear violation of the establishment cause. Fight this valiantly and vocally friends – and don’t let your heart become embittered.

    • Vezna Veneris

      I am meeting brain washed youth in Australia. There is nothing wrong with being gay.

      • Gary

        According to the Bible, there is.

      • Patmos

        “There is nothing wrong with being gay.”

        Even by secular definition it is a perversion. There is certainly something wrong with being gay.

      • Paul

        It takes some serious brainwashing to conclude that two dudes having sex isn’t wrong, but the media has been busy hammering home that lie for decades

      • Mara319

        Nothing wrong with being gay, but it’s the gay lifestyle, the gay sexual act, that is against Christian beliefs. The gay sexual act, called “sodomy”, is against the natural law and therefore a sin. Participating toward its promotion is also a sin.

      • Aaron Johannsen

        “Wrong with it” Who said this? It is an affliction like any other. Walking with a limp, wearing glasses. Usually not possible to Change, often deeply inprinted, sometimes not. What you miss is that the open acceptance of this as normalcy has an impact on society as evidenced by this case, and has on many others. It is weponized in such a way as to deliver attacks to the family structure. It is the wet dream of the libetal progressives to redefine family, man and woman to such a point that they no longer matter. Quote Malissa Harris -Perry: “We have to get over this idea that children belong to their parents, but to the whole society”. This is the reason for the biblical prohibitions, its not just arbitrary religious drivel, rules for rules sake. There are real world consequences to giving normalcy to such proclivities.

  • Autrey Windle

    If I own a gun store and I have a customer that wants to buy a gun and I know the person is hostile toward someone and probably wants the gun for nefarious reasons, I cannot refuse to sell the gun unless the person has already been convicted of a crime yet when they go shoot the person I am accused of being party to the killing. If I am a Christian and I have a wedding related business I am forced to sell my service even though the buyer has already committed a known offense against religious law and if I refuse to be a part of the endorsement of law-breaking, I am bankrupted, put out of business or prosecuted for a crime. Has the whole world gone lmnopqrst crazy!?

  • Andrew Moffat

    I have an honest question based on my desire to effectively discuss this issue with people who are on the other side of it from me. The title of the article reads, “It is Outrageous for the Government to Force Christians to Violate Their Faith”. I agree! And I really appreciate this article. My question is though, what about religions that allow for polygamy? Did the government not force the Mormons to abandon polygamy against their faith? As an evangelical Christian I have no problem with that prohibition based on my understanding of marriage. Can they prohibition forced upon them be included in the outrage of what’s happening with florists and bakers etc today? I know this is not an issue of service to a customer, but does it fall into the category of a religious belief being trampled?

    • Mara319

      Not to be flippant about it, but I suppose if it were a group of gay guys in a polygamous homosexual marriage, they can’t be banned. It seems it’s not faith that matters but sexual orientation.
      BTW, I read that in England, if a Muslim man turns up to be married to several women, only one of them is considered the official wife. The rest are considered “single mothers” and eligible for the dole.

  • Dave

    If she didn’t want to do business with the gays, she could have raised her price 10x or more. She has every right to do that.

    • Jim Walker

      What if the gays Obliged ?

      • Dave

        I’m banking they won’t. However, if they do, can she not outsource the order?

        • Mara319

          That’s an idea.
          However, a florist’s services may involve not just supplying flower arrangements but actual participation and coordination with the wedding planners on how the couple want the wedding and reception places decorated.

    • Tom Rath

      Generally, public accommodation and other anti-discrimination laws include the concept of “differentiation”. Any differences in price, quality, availability, etc., of the goods or services being offered can be construed to be constructive violations of the law. Attempts to do this have been prevalent in housing.

  • Vezna Veneris

    This woman had sold flowers to them before. A bit hypocritical..Mmmmmmmmmmmm. Next time just say you are closing the store for a couple days and do it. Beats expensive legal procedures. Wedding cakes and flowers must be fresh.

    • Triple T

      Why should she have to close the store, as you suggest, losing out on other revenue that could have been gained during that time? The fact that she sold them flowers before is not hypocritical in the least. The flowers themselves have nothing to do with anything. It’s the act of participating in the “wedding” that she finds objectionable. I don’t know if you’re married or not, but the florist, the caterer, the wedding planner, etc. are active participants in the event. They don’t just sell you their wares and go about their merry way, as I’m sure this florist wouldn’t have been opposed to doing. Why does it seem as though the cries of “live and let live” mean that Christians are the only ones expected to “let live”?

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    God judges believers based on their motives. He looks on the heart. In a republic we are judged by our faithfulness to the laws of that republic. Courts enforce the penalty for breaking those laws in relation to intent. It could be inferred that the court metes out the severity of the punishment to some degree in relation to the defendants heart. Conscience is that distinctly human attribute by which we implement our hearts considerations in practice. Were the court to be consistent across the board in their sentencing of every legal
    infraction w/out regard for motive, they would undermine the very foundation of the legal system. Justice. Unlike an impartial & omniscient God, judges demonstrate something less than absolute moral & ethical authority over every case they preside over. Consequently, justice is not always an objective, regardless of how loudly they pound their gavel. As Mr. Brown & others have correctly noted, it is a violation of this florists conscience that is at the heart of the matter. A matter which these nine “left lane ” judges are unable to discern in the face of their politically charged verdict. Yes, there should be ( & will be ) an outcry against this abuse of jurisprudence. Yes, there is evidence that similar situations w/very different players produced very different results. “To thine own self(heart) be true” quotes a Shakespearian character. While one can apply different shades of meaning to this notable verse of literary prose, none can discount it. Ms. Stutzman has found herself at the epicenter of much of whats wrong w/the direction some in this country have taken as of late. May her plight afford our nation one more occasion to reexamine , reconsider & repent from what amounts to little more than judicial collusion w/a constituency thats lost their way. Parenthetically, the application of this sentiment is predicated upon the character of the one whose conscience is to be judged. That can be a tough one, as conscience is not the equivalent of holy writ & judges are not the personification of impartiality – on either side of the political divide.

  • Gary

    All anti-discrimination laws are attempts by the government to force people into business transactions they do not want. As such, they violate both the first and thirteenth amendments to the US Constitution. The courts are well aware of this fact, but they don’t care. Their pro-sodomite agenda is much more important to them than what is written in the US Constitution.

    Christians, and others, must be aware of the laws. And if they don’t want to be prosecuted for discrimination, they must invent ways to avoid it, unless they are willing to do business with anyone. And, there are many states that do not protect sodomites from discrimination. I would strongly suggest all Christians make their homes in those states.

  • Patmos

    And for this cause God will send them great delusion…

    God is pouring out delusion on the Godless, for if you remove God from your knowledge you will be given over to a reprobate mind.

    Fret not. God was able to deliver a just Lot, vexed by the filthy conversation of the wicked.

  • Jim Walker

    Everyone, please go out to Gay bakeries and ask them to bake a cake with the message Leviticus 18:22 to be written on it.
    If they decline business, sue.

    • Paul

      Google joshua feuerstein cake

    • Elena

      Been done. Bakers won ;-( What is good for the goose does not apply to protected ganders!

  • Debby Harbour Cacovski

    My middle son is transgender an while he lives in our home, he is not allowed to dress as a woman. (Note: not going to discuss that on here.) He told me the other day that I didn’t have a right to my beliefs if they hurt someone else. I was just blown away, in a bad way, that he truly believed that.

    • Gary

      How old is your middle son?

      • Debby Harbour Cacovski

        He will be 19 in a couple of weeks. And BTW, I LOVE profile pic of your old truck. My grandpa had one almost identical to it.

        • Elena

          That is a difficult age. They think they know everything and that anyone over 30 is by definition an idiot who knows nothing. Around 25-26, they grow out of the “stupid parent” age. Once he gets a job and discovers the world can be an unfriendly, unhelpful place, he will appreciate you a bit more!

          Keep on loving him and praying for him.

        • Gary

          Your son is either insane, or demon possessed. Sorry, but he is. I don’t know what you can do about it now that he is over 18. You can ask God to help him, and maybe He will.

    • Triple T

      It sounds as though you and I would be on a similar wavelength should I discover something of this sort about one of my sons one day. Unconditional love for my son, but his behavior that I find abhorrent will not take place in my home.

    • Howard Rosenbaum

      Perhaps your son needs to reconsider his comment about his mothers right to a belief she holds dear though it may cause discomfit to the object of that believers concern.
      Were he to be faithful to that sentiment he would have to excuse himself of that same category of belief since it does bring a measure of anguish to another. The one who brought him into the world ..! I respect your decision & there are times when tough choices have to be made. Tougher still when they involve a child who can’t or won’t recognize the value of such a choice. Allow God to give you wisdom on how to proceed w/this challenge & don’t stop loving him. Even if it means doing ALL his laundry ..

      • Debby Harbour Cacovski

        I pointed that hypocrisy to him, but he said that being transgender isn’t a “belief”, it is who he is, so that its different.

        • Howard Rosenbaum

          I think (believe ) & therefore I am ….
          Mr. Decartes would like to have had a talk w/your son …
          Right or wrong – what one aspires to in thought is what one
          demonstrates in behavior eventually. The mind is a difficult nut to crack. As a believer, my actions validate my identity. My thoughts
          precede my actions & my faith affirms my aspirations. It is my conscience , the voice of my recreated spirit, that informs me of my
          real identity – which is in Christ. It’s hard ( impossible? ) to be truly objective about ones true self w/out the bright beam of Gods searchlight illuminating the heart …

          • Debby Harbour Cacovski

            It is so heartbreaking that the very my son rejects the very One who can help him.

        • Elena

          No, it’s an illness.

    • Mara319

      Debby, I know how it hurts because I, too, have been treated that way by my daughter, although on a different issue.
      If you don’t mind, allow me to pray for you and please pray for me, too. Thank you and God bless.

    • Aaron Johannsen

      This is a common perspective peddled to young people of this generation. The so called right “not to be offended”. There is no such right, it is a lie peddled by liberal educators and voter craving pandering politicians seeking to gain favor. Mommy-coddling these poor developing pools of gray matter in such a way to grow them into these delicate little snowflakes. Makes them dependants instead of independate thinkers. So many will never know what it really means to have self worth based on merit and accomplishments. I hope your son escapes this fate.

  • Tom Graffagnino

    Look, Big Brother, here’s the story
    On this fence where we are perched.
    Those folks there still preach the Bible….
    They no longer are ‘The Church’.

    Yes, my friend, we’re here to tell you…
    Sir, they took the Word too far!
    Now they’re simply asking for it!
    They refuse to drop the bar.

    Keep those churches in your sights, Sir,
    (Not just florists anymore!)
    It’s high time you crack down on ‘em…
    Close THOSE sanctuary doors!

    If they keep on preaching scripture
    Handed down for centuries,
    If they just won’t be “progressive”,
    Drive ’em, Bro, down to their knees!

    Time to stamp out their sedition…
    Time they realized the cost!
    If they just won’t see the light, Sir,
    Time to show ‘em, who’s The Boss.

    Time to squelch this dark rebellion.
    This dire threat, Sir, to The State…
    Bring The Hammer down, Big Brother!
    Quick! Before it gets too late!

    If they just won’t bow to Reason,
    Get the padlock, get the chain!
    Time to put ‘em out of business
    For not bowing to your reign.

  • David MacKenzie

    Has there ever been an American precedent in law that says that a man can barge his way into a Kosher restaurant and order a “Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato” sandwich, and then sue (and win) when he doesn’t get served one? What kind of court system would even ALLOW this kind of stunt?

    • Tom Rath

      A kosher restaurant wouldn’t serve a BLT…to anyone. Therefore, no discrimination has taken place.

      • David MacKenzie

        Interesting rationalization, and likewise this florist serves flowers to everyone, just not for gay weddings. Or, one might more honestly note, a kosher restaurant doesn’t serve BLTs because it’s against their religion, so it discriminates against ANY customer who may want them.

        • Tom Rath

          From the statutory perspective, discrimination requires differentiation.

          • ARB

            To be frank, differentiation has occurred; but it occurs in the supplying of the restaurant, not on the customer’s end.

            See, Kosher food needs to be certified by a rabbinical organization. So if a Kosher restaurant discriminates against Muslim or Christian food suppliers, who claim to produce food in accord with Kosher law but are not themselves Jewish nor hire rabbis to certify Kosherness due to a religious conviction that only rabbis can verify kosherness, it would be identical to this scenario.

          • Tom Rath

            But that differentiation’s direction is the key. A business owner makes no de facto offer to buy (or even entertain offers from) from all suppliers willing to sell to him, regardless of the guidelines the business owner sets for the products he is buying. This would be like saying someone looking to buy flowers is obligated to shop (or buy from) every florist wiling to sell to them.

    • Elena

      A BLT would not appear on the menu to begin with. Thus it’s not an option.

      Baronelle does flowers for weddings. Therefore, her former friends asked then demanded that she provide wedding flowers for their “ceremony.” She had previously provided flowers for them. She rejected providing flowers their ceremony as an abomination per her religious teaching.

      This is the point at which Big Brother got involved. Big Brother says it’s more important for the state to cram down Baronelle’s throat her compliance with its tolerant progressive agenda. If it’s on the menu for one, it’s on the menu for all. One size fits all mentality with a heavy dose of abomination on the top.

      • Mara319

        Exactly. Baronelle was not discriminating against their sexual orientation, only against her participation in their “wedding.”

      • Aaron Johannsen

        It is amazing to me how these lower courts get away with supporting laws prohibiting “the free exercise of religion” cited in our constitution over a manufactured right for a class that does not appear in the constitution at all. And simultaneously forcing a person to perform work (slavery), another constitutional prohibition. It’s a human rights abuse being perpetrated against these wedding service providers. It serves only several to extricate conservative religious persons from society by punishingvthem for exercising their religion, through their religious conscience. This is why the constitution contains these protections to begin with. This is why the Pilgrims came to this land in the 1st place.

  • moztake

    I read an article in the NYT called “Being Picky about Customers Early On Can Bolster Long-Term Success” by Caitlin Kelly (August 2015). In the article a “progressive” event planner admits to having refused service to potential customers due to their religious beliefs (they were conservatives). The NYT commends the event planner for being “picky’ about her customers. It seems to me that “progressives” are permitted to run their businesses according to their consciences, but Christians, like Baronelle, are not. What of the the clothing designers who have refused to do business with Melania Trump?
    It is so hypocritical for “progressives” to believe that they have the right to refuse service, but others do not. I hope Baronelle takes this to the Supreme Court.

  • Elena

    As Erik Erickson said — it’s just as wrong for the secular to demand the religious observe and participate in their events as it is for the religious to demand the secular participate in their events.

    So if you want to go to Mass or other service, you are free to do so. You are not free to demand your muslim neighbor attend with you.

    In Baronelle’s case, there are plenty of other vendors who could provide flowers for a “wedding” that she chose not to celebrate. When the state says you have to celebrate something that is on the wrong end of your conscience or religious teaching, this becomes a big problem.

    Your rights do not outweigh my rights. State statutes do not outweigh Constitutional guarantees.

    She will win at SCOTUS. And I hope that those buffoons who drove her to it end up paying all her costs to defend herself!

    • Tom Rath

      What arguments do you foresee her defense making in a petition for SCOTUS review that the same ADF lawyers did not make in the case of the New Mexico photographer back in 2013. The New Mexico Supreme Court upheld that business’ conviction on a violation of a similar statute for denying services for a same-sex wedding, and SCOTUS was petitioned to review the case. That review was denied in April 2014, meaning fewer than 4 of the 9 Justices agreed to review the case.

    • Gary

      She probably won’t win at the US Supreme Court. It is likely they won’t even hear the case. She should never have appealed to the Washington SC. She should have known she would not win. Most judges today don’t care what the US Constitution says.

  • pepper12

    Since when does a state law override the U.S. Constitution? The Washington law (and all other such laws) are UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

    • Gary

      Very few judges care what is written in the US Constitution. They have learned they don’t have to care. They are pursuing their own agenda in spite of the Constitution. Until that is fixed, we will continue to see judges do what is being done now. Congress has to rein in the courts. But I doubt they will.

  • Michael Sahai

    Pardon my ignorance if it’s so; but don’t we have the past ‘man in the WH’, who went the whole hog with his gay agenda, to blame for the whole debate here? And all the green lights came on after the court’s ruling and he lit up the WH with the ‘rainbow colours’. And he hasn’t quite exited the scene yet. Hope he gets his just desserts fast.

    • Paul

      He certainly was an advocate but was hardly working alone. There’s a whole lot of blame to go around including many who claim to be Christians who didn’t get involved

  • Mary Petnel

    Donated “big league” to the lawyers defending Baronelle. This is an outrage and MUST be corrected. President Trump – where is the executive order protecting religious liberty???

  • Gary

    In places where the laws try to force people to do business with lgbtq, it might be difficult to operate certain businesses that are open to the public. Anything having to do with weddings might be tough to run, unless you are clever and deceitful, or unless you are willing to work for anyone. If you can, I think Christians would be happier living in states that don’t try to force sodomites on them. But, I realize that relocating is a difficult option for some people. But, wherever you live, if you want to restrict who you do business with, you have to know the laws, and you have to be willing to find a way around those laws, if you don’t want to wind up in court.

  • bbb

    It is outrageous for Christians to vote for Democrats/New American Communists who support murdering babies, encouraging illegal immigration by those who despise Jewish and Christian people, muzzling churches under the Johnson Act, eradicating Christianity from public schools, file lawsuits against Christians businesses, etc.
    I have attended many churches with pious Democrat congregations who do not have the foggiest idea that their vote is what put the machinery in place to demolish the church entirely. They go crazy when someone says they would like to talk about voting the Bible. It’s really crazy.
    Go figure.

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