Monday, December 29, 2014

2014: Barronelle Stutzman's Year Of Tolerance

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington was dragged into court again last week as the saga of 'Tolerance" continues to be enforced by the ACLU and the Washington State Attorney General.

I've written about this a number of times over the past year and have regular contact with her as the legal action continues.

She is being sued by the ACLU on behalf of 2 homosexuals and by the Washington State A/G because she declined to provide service for a homosexual "wedding" in the Tri-Cities.

She has repeatedly told the courts she is not prejudiced or bigoted toward the homosexuals which have been her customers for the past 9 years.

Even their own testimonies confirm that to be true.

In declining the "wedding" business, Barronelle has explained repeatedly it is a matter of her religious biblical belief regarding marriage that precludes her participation. Not hate, bigotry or intolerance.

Her attorney says she has a right not to be coerced into an expression that violates her religious convictions.

In this latest court appearance, both sides brought motions for summary judgement. The State and the ACLU want her found guilty before the trial even begins.

During this past year, this case has become a national story.

This latest hearing was the second this month.

At this point, the actual trial is set for next year---probably in March.

Both the State and the ACLU base their legal action against Barronelle on state law that was supposedly enacted to advance tolerance and fairness.

History clearly shows and current events confirm that "tolerance" in isolation is a vice, not a virtue.

When "tolerance" is coupled with eternal values, it is a virtue.

When "tolerance" floats in progressivism and relativism, it becomes nothing more than an inverted tool.

When coupled with rebellion against nature and nature's Creator, pride and unbridled passions, it becomes a destructive bludgeon.

Instead of promoting true virtue, it advances the idea that "virtue" is merely the acting out on the unchecked passions of the individual. And "tolerance" is the justification for the actions.

Those who hold a different view, or refuse to affirm and celebrate the actions, for any reason, are discriminatory.

In this new moral order, truth is whatever an individual determines it to be.

If an individual is suicidal, legalized assisted suicide is virtuous.

If homosexual behavior is embraced, legalizing and celebrating it is virtuous.

If an unborn child is not wanted, legalizing the termination of that life is virtuous.

To do otherwise is to be intolerant.

The tolerant person, we are told, is broad-minded, open to other beliefs, truth claims, moral convictions and lifestyles.

Therein is the great deception.

The Roman Empire celebrated "tolerance." In fact they had a phrase that defined the virtue.

While Rome conquered lands militarily, they applauded themselves for allowing those whom they conquered to keep their customs and religious practices intact.

This policy was defined as "Pax Romana" ---"peace of Rome."

This policy was in place in Jerusalem.

Under this policy, authorities would take legal action against anything or anyone who disrupted the "peace of Rome."

Today we call any disruption of the new moral order "intolerant" and laws are being enacted to facilitate legal action against the intolerance, the "discrimination"---all this while being told we are free to "worship" as we please.

Napp Nazworth says 2014 is hallmarked as the year of "tolerance," being used for acts of intolerance. He gives 33 episodes of religious freedom being attack under the guise of "tolerance."

Some personal thoughts.

Many parallels have been drawn between the Roman culture and our own. This is another such comparison.

Jesus was the incarnation of truth, compassion and virtue.

He healed the needy, blessed children and forgave sins---even saving an adulterous woman from being stoned to death (John 8:1-11).

Yet he openly condemned hypocrisy. He threw business people and their wares out of the temple because of their sacrilege (John 2:12-16). He called some of the religious leaders of His day "sons of hell," "fools," "blind guides," "whitewashed tombs," and "vipers" (Matt. 23: 15-20).

Jesus was not the epitome of tolerance, yet He came during the era of Roman tolerance.

However,it was the policy of "Pax Romana" (peace of Rome) and complicit religious leadership that allowed Roman authorities to execute Him under the law.

Since the Pax Romana wouldn't allow Jesus to disrupt or upset the people under Roman rule, the "tolerant" Roman government tried, beat, and brutally executed an innocent man in the name of tolerance and fairness and maintaining the peace and the social order.

2015 is upon us.

As Barronette's trial and the trials of many other Christians and Christian institutions rumble through our courts this coming year, perhaps the question is whom will we emulate?

The tolerance of Rome? Or the Lord who is over all?

America needs Christians who will stand for what Christ stood for, not capitulate to the new 'virtue' of Roman style tolerance.

It is written that prophets may not be honored in their own country, but it is also written that no country will sustain itself unless it heeds the wisdom of God's eternal Truth.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful. Be Bold. Be Blessed. Be Free.


  1. Wonderful writing Gary. This is so amazingly other world. I just can't believe I'm on the same planet with this 'reason'. How much common sense does it take for the judge to throw this out of court?

  2. The state A/G should have know better. It should have told the ACLU to stop being intolerant. What a waste of Christian tax dollars. What a waste of good honest tax dollars, money that was earned by the long hours, sweat, toil, aches, and pains of so many good people who have worked so hard and don't have much at all.

  3. Christians must "hang together or hang separately" when it comes to righteousness in our communities!! How can we send funds to Barronelle's legal defense fund?

  4. Faith and Freedom Staff: Barronelle Stutzman may be contacted at Arlene's Flowers, 1177 Lee Blvd., Richland, WA 99352. You may also reach her at 509-946-7676.

    1. Thank you Faith and Freedom. If these people will accept a check, I want me some of this. I don't like this kind of injustice.

    2. Bagpipes playin' Waterloo is what I'm thinkin'.

  5. If you don't like the non-discrimination law, start an initiative to overturn it, although, given that your 2006 attempt R65 failed to get anywhere near enough signatures to get on the ballot, I don't fancy your chances.

    Why are you outraged that courts overturn marriage equality bans, supported by voters, yet you seek to have them overturn an non-discrimination law supported by voters?

    1. That non-discrimination law doesn't trump the 1st Amendment

  6. The ACLU and A/G are using the non-discrim law against Stutzman, but this is not a case of discrimination against a class of people. She is only unwilling to use her creative talent to participate in an immoral EVENT. No one should be forced by their government to do so.

    1. Anonymous, you should know that discriminate in any service is still a violation of public accommodation laws - doesn't matter if the customer can buy 'almost' everything someone else can.

      This case is a tragedy, Ms Stutzman acted rashly and then took advice from those who see her as a means to an end. If she is 'unwilling to use her creative talent' we know there were several other employees of Arlene's Flowers LLC that would have been more than happy to have made the floral arrangements.

      And no one 'forced' this business to do anything, it voluntarily advertised the sale of wedding floral services to the general public, knowing full well that they were not allowed to apply religious tests to the people taking them up on the invitation.

      And finally the first amendment is what's protecting the customers. They have a right to their own beliefs about marriage, there were people at the business who would have made the arrangements, but the business owner set up policies that made the invitation to do business fraudulent for this customer, exposing the business owner's personal assets to litigation.

      The Washington state constitution is clear on this, religious conscience is not an excuse for acting without regard for the rights of others, in this case the customer's right to their own beliefs about marriage.

      Either the public accommodation sells wedding floral arrangements to the members of the general public or they don't. If it does it can't apply a religious test on the customer for them to be able to buy the service. And it is only the public accommodation with the obligation, if a particular employee like Ms Stutzman doesn't want to make them let someone else. If no one wants to make them 3rd party contract them out.

      And what's sad is the state Supreme Court will have no choice but to rule against her and the federal Supreme Court already has - in the case involving goats bought for religious sacrifice it said the right of the customer's religious freedom trumps anyone else's opinion that they shouldn't be doing it. Ditto same sex marriage.

      Don't offer things for sale you have to religiously test to sell is one lesson learned, bother to run a business NOT as a public accommodation if you must is the other solution. But just whip out a religious test on the customer after the invitation has been made?

      Illegal, unconstitutional, immoral, unAmerican and unChristian to boot.

      Either Arlene's Flowers LLC sells wedding floral arrangements or it doesn't - pick one.

    2. So some garbage piece of junk vehicle (which never should have been considered to be street legal) scuffs it's sinful pride against the entrance of a legitimate flower shop, and I wonder what the state A/G thinks in terms of $ what such a thing is worth.

      What a joke.

      This is the kind of damage that happens when something illegitimate gets the blessing of the state.

      Everyone involved, politicians and voters alike that had anything to do with letting this sort of thing happen, should be ashamed, and repent. What a sham.

      Clearly it was the vehicle that was at fault.

  7. The legal defense for Ms. Stuzman is Alliance Defending Freedoms; 15100 N 90th Street; Scottsdale, AZ 85260. Check out their website for additonal information about their legal support to many Christian citizens and businesses being sued for living their faith. I resent my tax dollars being used in this law suit against a small, job providing, tax paying business in this state. Don't all businesses reserve the right to deny service to anyone?? How many other floral businesses could those customers have found in the yellow pages? Ms. Stutzman was targeted. As anyone of us could be the next target. Vishani's comments are consistent with the "progressive" movement's agenda to reshape this Nation.

    1. There has never been a right to deny service to anyone for any reason in Washington state and there has never been a right to religious discrimination in the public arena in Washington state, it specifically says such licentious acts are not excused by religious conscience.

      Again, someone else at the business could have made the arrangements, it is the customer's who were discriminated against because of their beliefs.

      We should all pray that there never is a right to religious discrimination somehow discovered in the Constitution because that would mean businesses could refuse customers because they dressed immodestly, weren't Christian/Muslim/Atheist, and if you can discriminate against potential customers because of their belief why not potential employees as well.

      As Justice Scalia quoted:

      "Conscientious scruples have not, in the course of the long struggle for religious toleration, relieved the individual from obedience to a general law not aimed at the promotion or restriction of religious beliefs. The mere possession of religious convictions which contradict the relevant concerns of a political society does not relieve the citizen from the discharge of political responsibilities... To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself."

      This case will reach the same case as all the others when it gets to the state Supreme Court and the federal Court will deny it certi because its already decided law - there is no right to religious discrimination in the public arena - the other citizen's own right to religious freedom shields them from such licentious acts.

  8. Ms Stutzman is obviously not biased, prejudiced, or bigoted, as anyone who reads her story will see. She did not attempt to prevent the women from marrying, she just didn't want to participate. Isn't that her right? I understand her legal support is from Alliance Defending Freedom. Lots of information on their website. (Cle Elum, WA)

  9. So the state is going after money in this manner?
    Governmental oppression. Treason to the constitution.
    So much corruption.

  10. Mr. Vishanti's comments are well thought out and articulated, however isn't Ms. Stutzman in the "private" arena (as a small privately owned business) and not the "public" arena (a government entity). Even though small businesses serve the public, they are privately owned (but increasingly stifflingly regulated by government). (Cle Elum)

    1. No, a business that advertises to the public is a business that is making a public accommodation, and how they interact with that public is regulated just as how they interact with their employees is. The business owner licenses the business with the presumption of full awareness that these interactions are regulated and what those regulations are.

      If the business doesn't want to serve some people they it has to devise a means to make their offer of sale only to the 'right' subset of the public rather than to everyone.

      Take a proshop at a whites only private golf club. They can refuse service to anyone not a club member legally no matter their race, they only serve the members of the club. Same 'right of association' exemption to religious freedom the Supreme Court said the Boy Scouts of America had when New Jersey said they were a public accommodation.

      In Washington state a private club AND any non-profit corporation is exempt from the civil rights restrictions of public accommodations.
      I have been rather surprised someone hasn't gotten a 'members only' club of 'right' thinking churches and ministers recruited and then people driven to religiously discriminate like Ms Stutzman could set up separate wedding businesses and only advertise to members of that club thereby legally limiting their services to 'right' people.

      Because that has to be the order - pick your group FIRST and THEN advertise to it, you can't advertise to everyone and then do the culling after the invitation has been made if it involves a quality in a protected class, the public's right (and the business knowing about that right before the offer was made) shields them from after-the-offer litmus tests.

      Again, Ms Stuztman could have run her business legally, the business could have just let an employee willing to make the arrangements do so, and she was given the offer of having the whole thing dropped if she would just promise to run her business legally in the future. This is a problem of her own construction from start to finish.

    2. We don't have to set up a club in order to have our constitutional rights protected. We just need lawmakers, judges, and everything else to stop overstepping their bounds.

    3. The gay agenda has always been about special rights, things that are wrong that they want to call right, things pertaining to that which is out of bounds, contrary to justice and judgment, fairness and equity. It's always about things that are an abomination to God.

      Take for example a man who goes into a flower shop, and asks for floral arrangements for his wedding, explaining that he's marrying for money, that his fiancé is some kind of tramp, but very rich, and his only interest is in cleaning her out financially, even intending to commit fraud and then get lost on some tropical island somewhere, as there are so many to choose from,,,etc.

      Now shouldn't a flower shop have the right to say, "Sir, we just don't do that kind of work. We don't do those kind of weddings, or we don't do flower arrangements for that sort of thing. We don't want to participate in any of that sort of corruption. In fact, if we knew who your fiancé is, we might want to talk to her and tell her that you were in here explaining what you were planning on doing...etc."

      They should be able to post a sign above their counter that says that their establishment has the right to refuse service to anybody regardless of race, creed, or religion, and that there is no religion, creed, or race that has authority over their religious freedom.

    4. Just because a law says something is legal, doesn't make the thing right.

    5. Or, how about if a Black man goes into a flower shop and says, I want a real nice bunch of flowers for my girl friend, to make her think I'm a real nice guy, and then do you know what I'm going to do? After she gets to trusting me, I'm going to poison her food..

      And the flower shop people point to the sign above the counter that says, "This shop reserves the right to refuse service to anybody regardless of color or religion."

      So the man takes them to court and says they refused to serve him because he's Black.

      So if the state is going to in effect create a new race out of people who have choses sexual immorality, how are they going to clean them up?

    6. Or again, How about the man that goes to the garage with his wife's car and says, "My wife's car needs a new brake job....and then do you know what I'm going to do..?"

    7. Homosexuals often think that they are not hurting anybody, but that's only their own opinion.

    8. Romans 2:1
      Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

      John 3:16,17
      For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
      For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

      Matt 19:4
      And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

      John 3:18-20
      He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
      And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
      For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

      John 6:36,37
      But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
      All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

  11. When the state becomes so corrupt it will force everyone to celebrate homosexual "marriage", and have pleasure in it, it's time for change.

    We ought not to be forced by the state to become a partaker in another's sins, simply because the state says so. It's another example of the state over stepping their authority.

    Whether law makers, presidents, congress, legislators, or judges, or anything else, has anything good come of over stepping one's authority?

    We have a good constitution. We just have to cherish it, protect it, and learn to live within it's bounds. May it be so 'till the Lord come.

  12. The state isn't just going after money unjustly, money they have no right to, money that isn't theirs, being an accomplice to a crime, but it's also going after the true riches, seeking the corruption or destruction of people's souls.

  13. Amazing how homosexuals create all kinds of problems and then blame it on anybody else. One could suppose that maybe that's how they got into some of their problems in the first place.

  14. Why should what some people do (that is so destructive to righteousness) be a reflection of a shop's work? It simply is that way by nature of the thing, but why should it be something that is forced by law to discredit a good business?

  15. I tend to wonder if the government in this deal is faking a bluff, or if it's a real one. It seems so stupid, I can hardly believe they would go through with a thing like this. Sign of the times, I guess. It's time for change.


Faith and Freedom welcomes your comment posts. Remember, keep it short, keep it on message and relevant, and identify your town.