It is written, "Do not put your trust in princes."
Barronell Stutzman, the now nationally recognized 70 year old flower shop owner in Richland, told WA State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who seeks to re-orient her religious beliefs regarding marriage and apparently destroy her financially, "You are asking me to walk in the way of a well known betrayer, one who sold something of infinite worth for 30 pieces of silver. That is something I will not do."
She believes in biblical marriage.
When confronted with the decision to stand on principle and traditional beliefs, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a Christian, chose a different path. In what is sometimes referred to as the "Battle of Indianapolis," Gov. Pence, responding to a firestorm of criticism from gays and secular progressives, promised he would fix Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. He assured them it would not protect Christian bakers, florists, photographers, etc. who decline services to same-sex "weddings" because of their religious beliefs.
This is a profile in Courage and a profile in Cowardice.
It is also a snapshot of what the culture war looks like and the forces coalescing around opposing worldviews.
Why does this moral revolution continue when the majority of Americans do not embrace the beliefs of the secular progressive left, or the homosexual community?
Americans have not at any particular time in history accepted the worldview now driving our culture.
In the 60s we heard the cries of atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair suffering under the weight of her son Bill being forced to sit through a prayer in his classroom. She sued. The Supreme Court ruled prayer out. Americans are fair minded. They were also silent. They generally do not believe in compelling people to do as they disbelieve.
The banning of prayer was followed by banning religious books, including the Bible. Holidays that in any way related to Christianity were also banned. Christmas became "winter," Easter became "spring."
Prayer was censored from sports events, coaches were punished if they prayed with their kids before a game.
Pat Buchanan says, "Politics follows culture." Indeed it does. He believes traditional Christianity, driven out of the schools and the public market, is now being "whipped back into the churches and told to stay there."
The sexual revolution in American culture followed a similar path. First came the plea that abortion in extreme cases must be decriminalized, then legalized, then subsidized, then declared a constitutional right.
From crime to constitutional right in about 20 years.
The advance of the homosexual agenda is very similar.
First came the demand that a bar in Greenwich Village patronized by homosexuals be left alone by the cops. Next came the demand that homosexuality be decriminalized and that the chosen sexual behavior become a constitutional right.
It is possible the Supreme Court will discover in this current session that so-called same-sex "marriage" is a right somehow hidden in the Constitution until now.
We have now "evolved " to a point where biblical Truth is considered bigotry.
The process looks like this:
- A call for tolerance for those who believe and behave differently.
- A call for acceptance, often under the guise of Christian love.
- A demand for codifying the practice that was formerly debased or criminal into law to protect those who practice it.
- A demand to punish any and all who persist in their public conduct or their private business in defying the new moral order.
The next threshold of attack is to legislate what people can and cannot believe. This is the threshold where churches and pastors who hold certain biblical beliefs and teach them, become liable. We have recently seen such attempts by the lesbian mayor of Houston, Texas against the pastors in the city.
Words are redefined to assist the cultural and moral "evolution"---the word "tolerance" becomes a tool to be used to advance the agenda by playing on the goodness of people. Usually uninformed people.
As this minority gains power, they become more and more intolerant. "Tolerance" like "equality" and "diversity" all become expendable concepts, because it was never about virtue.
The cowardice of Gov. Mike Pence is the profile of too many who aspire to be political leaders or "a prince," claiming to represent those who hold traditional, biblical values, but under political pressure they act very differently.
The profile of people like Barronell Stutzman and in recent days, Kevin O' Connor who owns Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Ind. is more consistent with the beliefs of American people than that of many of our declared political "princes."
Stutzman has taken her stand. She told the A/G, "I certainly don't relish the idea of losing my business and my home and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important."
On April 1, Eater.com reported, "We have our first casualty in the war over Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was signed into law earlier this week by Gov. Mike Pence."
They wrote, "Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Ind., has temporarily shuttered over threats regarding the establishment's anti-gay policies..."
This was following the original version of Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Kevin O'Connor, co-owner of the family business, had told the press he "would not cater a gay wedding or marriage service."
The same firestorm that was unleashed on the Governor for signing the original bill was unleashed on this family owned business.
Within days the governor would cave in and call on the legislature to revise the bill in accordance with the demands of the homosexual activists.
The family business owners did not cave. Due to violent threats they were forced to close their business for a few days.
On April 10, Eater.com reported, "Late yesterday after days of social media harassment...Memories Pizza reopened."
Kevin O'Connor told the press he and his family will never change their belief in biblical marriage.
In both cases---that of Stutzman and O'Connor, the American public has spoken. And they do not agree with the so called "new cultural norm."
Within the past few days, Memories Pizza has received nearly $1,000,000 in donations from the public.
Within the past couple of weeks Barronell has received over $165,000 dollars in her special account.
All this from people who respect their moral courage.
Governor Pence is said to be in political jeopardy.
Courage as well as cowardice is contagious.
I sincerely believe we are approaching a point of turning in our culture. The turn will be led by spiritual restoration, not political promises.
As the "princes" roll out their political campaigns, consider this:
"Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them. Who keeps truth forever" (Psalms 146: 3-6).
Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Pro-Active. Be Blessed.