The 68-year-old proprietress of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, is the target of a lawsuit by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson because she refused to provide wedding flowers for a customer who was marrying his partner. Washington state legalized same-sex marriage in December.
According to CNN’s Belief Blog, Barronelle Stutzman, an evangelical, “said she agonized over the decision but couldn’t support a wedding that her faith forbids. ‘I was not discriminating at all,’ she said. ‘I never told him he couldn’t get married. I gave him recommendations for other flower shops.’”
Not surprisingly, “Among conservative Christians, Stutzman has become a byword—part cautionary tale and part cause celebre.”
Must progressivism decree that the power of the state be so absolute that there be no exemption from its dictate for religious conviction, not to speak of individual liberty? Apparently so, given Obamacare’s model of requiring private business owners to pay for their employees contraception, including abortifacient drugs, despite their religious convictions. In both cases, the state is not stopping one party from harming another; its forcing what it sees as positive behavior upon those who have a different view.
The pagans persecuted the Christians, and then the Christians came to power and persecuted the pagans. Similarly, there’s more here of animus against those who deviate from the one-true correct political line than anything else. It’s not only mean and vulgar, it’s politically counterproductive. But I’m sure using the power of the state to crush those who don’t toe the line makes those who can now persecute feel smugly empowered.